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Fanfic / Xenoarchaeologist

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Johann Donner and his retinuenote 

Xenoarchaeologist is a LEGO photo story set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. This means the text with illustrations done in LEGO. While real LEGO sets and minifigures are used for most scenes, the spaceships and most epic scenes are made with CGI. The first part of Xenoarchaeologist was made by Felix Sapiens (Farseer), Illarion and Artlego, the users of The Russian Fan Forum of LEGO, while the remaining parts were made solely by Felix Sapiens.

Xenoarchaeologist can be described as LEGO Adventurers IN WARHAMMER 40K! The first part is set in Egypt-like desert with Necron ruins while the second one moves to the deadly jungle.

Xenoarchaeologist is a trilogy. The parts are as follows:

  • Part One: The Pyramid of the Dead (2013)
Inquisitor Johann Donner of Ordo Xenos and his retinue visit a backwater desert world of Anubis to investigate alien ruins of unknown origins. He doesn't know that the mysterious pyramid was built by Necrons and that he will befriend the nameless Eldar Farseer. And he is about to meet his achnemesis, the heretic called Samuel Kruger who is interested in the ruins too.

The recap in English on Eurobricks.

The prologue in English on Eurobricks.

The original in Russian on Russian Fan Forum of LEGO (the final chapter has links to other chapters).

  • Part Two: The Jungle of Doom (2013)
Three years have passed sincce the events of Part One. Johann Donner chases Samuel Kruger across the Galaxy and arrives on Smert, the world covered in deadly jungle. Here he finds new mysterious alien ruins and some answers to his questions.

The recap in English on Eurobricks.

The prequel in English on Eurobricks.

The original prequel in Russian on Russian Fan Forum of LEGO.

The original in Russian on Russian Fan Forum of LEGO (there is a link to the next chapter at the end of previous one).

  • Part Three: The Hour of Chaos (2014)
Several months after the events of Part Two, Johann Donner finds out the recent location of Samuel Kruger. The heretic arrived at the hive city of Burtonopolis on world of Burton Primaris and is going to perform some dark ritual. Donner has to stop him once and for all.

The original in Russian on Russian Fan Forum of LEGO (there is a link to the next chapter at the end of previous one)

  • There is also a New Year special comic called The Emperor's Day published in January 2015.

The original in Russian on Russian Fan Forum of LEGO (there is a link to the next chapter at the end of previous one)

Xenoarchaeologist contains examples of:

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    Tropes in the series as a whole 
  • Absolute Xenophobe: Atypically for 40k, averted with Johann Donner and the Farseer.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Johann Donner is a good one. Samuel Kruger and Trazyn the Infinite are evil ones.
  • Aerith and Bob
    • Humans may have different names, from normal modern (Johann Donner, Harold Kane, Samuel Kruger) to exotic for Anglophones but still plausible in other cultures (Thorvald Ragnarsson, Stanislav Vigilansky) to fancy Latin-sounding names (Eugenius Nikitus, Charles Kilrus).
    • Eldar have fictional names such as Erestril, Malonil or Eyla. So do the Orks (Grogmog Bluddhook, Dob), though one of them is called Bob.
  • Ancient Egypt: The Necrons have this feel.
  • Antagonistic Governor: Played straight in the first two parts. In the third, the main characters don't interact with the Governor of Burton at all but he is still portrayed as corrupt and incompetent. In The Emperor's Day the Governor of Lefofarus actually helps the protagonist.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil
    • Governor de Vermin in Part Two hails from a noble house.
    • In the whole series, Samuel Kruger, son of Baron Mannfred von Kruger, of all people.
  • Arm Cannon: The Gunslinger has one made using some forbidden human or alien tech.
  • Ascended Meme: from 40k and other media alike.
    • In Part One the Tyranids "say" "Skreee!" and "kekeke".
    • The Orks sometimes call the humans "ymperials". "Ymperets" (ымперец), derived from "imperets" (имперец, imperial), is a derogatory Russian Internet term for monarchists.
    • In Part Three Kaptin Grogmog calls Trazyn "Trollzyn".
    • Eldrad Ulthran wears an Imperial Commissar cap in the Farseer's vision.
  • Bilingual Bonus
    • Donner means "thunder" in German.
    • Murzion sounds similar to Murzik, a common cat name in Russia. Similarly Moosix sounds like Moosik and Barsion - like Barsik, two other common Russian cat names.
    • Smert means "death" in Russian and Ukrainian. In the original Russian text, the planet is called Vufer (Вуфер) which is actually "death" written in Russian keyboard layout.
  • The Cameo
    • Eldrad Ulthran and Szarekh the Silent King in flashbacks of Part One.
    • Eldrad Ulthran, Farseer Macha, The Haemonculus and the Slann in flashbacks of Part Two.
    • Abaddon the Despoiler and Da Weirdboy in Part Three.
  • Continuity Nod: several to Warhammer 40000 canon, both new and old.
    • Kilrus' eccentric-looking pith helm is given to him by a Praetorian Imperial Guard General.
    • Both enemy and friendly Mooks occasionally say quotes from Dawn of War.
    • In Part One, the Orkish Warboss mentions Ghazghkull and Gorgutz. Somehow he knows them.
    • In Part One, Donner compares Kruger with Inquisitors Quixos and Eisenhorn.
  • Corrupt Politician: every part has one in some sense.
    • In Part One, Governor Adamantius is bribed by Kruger and allowed him to smuggle Orks on Anubis and investigate the Necron ruins.
    • In Part Two, Governor de Vermin may not be corrupt but is corrupted in a different sense by Genestealer Cult.
    • In Part Three, Governor McCracken is so corrupt that his people rebel against him and even Inquisitor Llorona who is loyal to the Emperor executes him for this..
  • Crapsack World: obviously, since this is "Warhammer 40,000" universe. And the main characters don't want to lose themselves and their principles in it.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Eldar Craftworld.
  • Cyborg: As this is 40k, there are lots of them.
    • Charles Kilrus, Eugenius Nikitus and Thorvald Ragnarsson as tech-priests of Adeptus Mechanicus replace their living parts with cybernetics and bionics.
    • The Gunslinger is a cyborg with an Arm Cannon.
    • Samuel Kruger has right eye replaced with augmetics and a hook instead of his left hand.
    • The Ork Warboss from Part One has an Arm Cannon and power klaws.
    • The canon examples are augmented Imperials, servitors and Orkish Mega-Armored Nobz. Eldar wraith constructs and Necrons aren't technically cyborgs as they have no biological parts. But they still have living souls within their wraithbone or necrodermis bodies.
  • Elves vs. Dwarves: Squat Thorvald's opinion on Eldar is this.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Lots of them.
    • The Farseer, obviously. Actually subverted: his real name is Petriel.
    • The Gunslinger.
    • The Imperial Guard General in Part One prologue.
    • The Ork Warboss in Part One.
    • The Dark Eldar Haemonculus in Part One.
    • Da Weirdboy in Part Two.
    • The Burtonopolis Master of Administratum in Part Three.
  • Evil Versus Evil: happens several times.
    • In Part One, Kruger vs. Phaeron Amentekh during their Mêlée à Trois with Donner.
    • In Part Two, Kruger betrays de Vermin, his Genestealer Cult and the Tyranids, obliterating Smert with the cannon containing Ether Crystal..
    • In Part Three, all the parties abord the space hulk except Donner's people: Kruger's henchmen, Grogmog's Orks, Malonil's Dark Eldar and Trazyn the Infinite.
    • In the meta sense, the Imperium of Man vs. its enemies.
  • Expy
    • The major characters are essentially LEGO Adventurers characters Recycled In Space:
      • Inquisitor Johann Donner is Johnny Thunder. Johann is a German equivalent of John and Donner means "thunder" in German.
      • Magos Charles Kilrus is Doctor Charles Kilroy.
      • Interrogator Patricia Red is Pippin Reed.
      • Captain Harold Kane is Harry Cane.
      • Heretic Samuel Kruger is Sam Sinister.
      • Rogue Trader Julio Palomar from Part Three is Señor Palomar.
      • Cassandra Dexter from Part Three looks like a psychic version of Alexis Sinister.
      • Archibald Illario is Mike in some sense.
    • The Farseer shares many traits with Loki from Marvel Cinematic Universe. But, unlike Loki, he wants to redeem himself.
    • Steiner shares traits with Doctor Stein from Soul Eater.
    • The Gunslinger is a 40k equivalent of the similarly-named cyborg from a Doctor Who episode.
    • Illinois James, Donner's Inquisitorial mentor, has a name similar to Indiana Jones.
    • Birdie is an Orkish Captain Jack Sparrow. Justified since he watched the original films and started to look and act like Jack.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Becoming a daemonhost. The soul of Farseer's sister trapped within a Dark Eldar soul-trap in Part Three too.
  • Four-Star Badass
    • The unnamed General in Part One.
    • General Worthington in Part Two.
    • General Krasneyev in Part Three.
    • Brother-Captain Tertullian of the Ultramarines Chapter, as the rank of captain is equivalent to general in Space Marine hierarchy.
  • Funetik Aksent: DA ORKZ, of course!
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Tyranids, obviously.
  • Incest Subtext: Very subtle one between the Farseer and his sister. She was the closest and dearest Eldar for him, and he loved her more than any other Eldar in his entire life.
  • Lighter and Softer: This story is about the ones who want to remain people even in the Grimdark universe. Archaeology, personal relationships and saving others are more important for them than service in the name of the Emperor, to the point when they go rogue.
  • MacGuffin: of course, the series about xenoarchaeologists contain these.
    • Necron Ether Crystal in Part One.
    • Slann psychically-conductive ruins in Part Two.
    • The treasure on the space hulk which is actually a trapped Daemon Prince with his army and a Dark Eldar soul trap containing the soul of Farseer's sister.
  • Mad Scientist: Rudolph Steiner and the Haemonculus.
  • Meaningful Name
    • Jean Francois Henri de Vermin.
  • Mind Control
    • In Part Two, the Farseer uses Psychic Powers to pass through de Vermin's guards.
    • In Part Three, Trazyn uses his Mindshackle Scarabs to mind control Grogmog's Orks and Palomar's gang.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters
    • Dark Eldar experiments in Part One are humanoids with shark head, bird's beak or even with a larva protruding from the neck.
    • Genestealer Hybrids in Part Two also look like these.
  • Mythology Gag: Many.
    • To LEGO Adventurers:
      • Harold Kane looks very similar to Johann Donner. In LEGO Adventurers, the faces of Harry Cane and Johnny Thunder had little differences.
      • Patricia Red uses "Linda Storm" as her alias in Part Three. This refers to Dub Name Change in Adventurers series. Patricia Reed was called Gail Storm in America and Linda Lovely in Germany.
      • Similarly in Part Three, Samuel Kruger uses an alias of "Baron Samuel von Barron". Baron von Barron was an original name for Sam Sinister.
  • Original Character: Most of the characters didn't appear in any other Warhammer 40k media. The notable exceptions are Eldrad Ulthran, Trazyn the Infinite, Farseer Macha and Abaddon the Despoiler. There are mentions of other Warhammer 40,000 canon characters but they never appear in the stories.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Murzion the Gyrinx is this for the Farseer. He is also the Familiar enhancing his owner's psychic powers.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens: The Eldar. Averted with the Farseer but played straight with Autarch Erestril and Farseer Temaniel.
  • SkeleBot 9000: The Necrons, as usual.
  • Shout-Out
    • Many to Blizzard Entertainment games.
      • The forge world of Sara overrun by Tyranids is a reference to planet Mar Sara from StarCraft overrun by the Zerg.
      • The Necron dynasty of Anubarakh is a reference to Anub'arak from Warcraft.
      • The daemonhost in Part One quotes MAAR: "Do you not see the futility?" and "OBLIVION for all!"
    • In Part One, archaeologist Gustav Carnarvon shares a surname with Lord Carnarvon, the alleged first victim of the "Curse of Tutankhamun".
    • The hive world of Burton Primaris and its capital of Burtonopolis (and Burton Secundus and other planets in that system to the extent) are obviously named after Tim Burton whose Batman movies are set in a grim, gothic city not unlike hive cities in Warhammer 40,000.
    • Goatswich, the second hive city on Burton Primaris, is a shout-out to Gotham from Batman mythos.
    • Panem Building in Part Three is a reference to both Pan Am Building (now Met Life Building which is replaced by Stark Tower in Marvel Cinematic Universe) and Panem, the totalitarian state in The Hunger Games.
    • Another reference to The Hunger Games in Part Three is a name of a news host in Burtonopolis, Octavian Nightingale. He has Roman name and American surname, very much like Capitol denizens.
    • In Part Three, Eugenius' electro-riser, a device which helps Donner climb the skyscraper, is a shout-out to Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams.
    • Birdie dresses and acts like Captain Jack Sparrow and makes several nods to the films. Justified since he somehow found and watched them in M41.
    • Bob and Dob, Ork Mega Armored Nob pirates, are a shout-out to Bobchinsky and Dobchinsky The Inspector General by Nikolai Gogol.
  • Soul Jar: Eldar soul stones and every single Necron body.
  • Space Elves: The Eldar.
  • Theme Naming
    • All the Gyrinxes in the stories are named after popular Russian cat names. The examples are Murzion, Moosix and Barsion.
    • As in canon, the Ultramarines have Roman-sounding names, and Chaos Lord Acheron's name ends with -on like in Abaddon and Torgaddon.
  • Token Non-Human: Several examples.
    • The Eldar Farseer in Donner's retinue (albeit he leaves at the end of each part except Part Three when he saves Donner from Vigilansky).
    • Though Abhuman characters are technically human Mutants, they aren't human for Imperial society.
      • Thorvald Ragnarsson, a Squat, as an apprentice of Eugenius from Part Two onwards.
      • Bonehead, an Ogryn in Kruger's team from Part Three.
      • Bimbo, a Ratling in Llorona's retinue from Part Three.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: unsurprisingly for 40k, there are these.
    • Samuel Kruger is essentially this. He wants to make an independent human state but kills billions of people for Chaos rituals and uses a Chaos Daemon Prince to achieve his goals.
    • The Farseer was like this in the past. He wanted to create a new Eldar society, free from the decadence of Eldar Empire, and leaves with his people right before the Fall, not caring about his doomed homeworld.

    Tropes exclusive to Part One: The Pyramid of the Dead 
  • Bold Inflation: The daemonhost speaks like this. This is a Shout-Out to Hybrid Maar from Franchise/Starcraft.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Part One has different style of photos and some minifigures than the other parts (except CGI ships). Also the effects in Part One are practical, made with transparent LEGO parts, while in other parts they are mostly CGI. This is because different persons worked on photos for Part One and the remainder of the series.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Donner vs. Kruger vs. Phaeron Amentekh.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Lychguards of Phaeron Amentekh.
  • Red Right Hand: Kruger literally has one (albeit left) when he is wearing the Gauntlet of Blood Demon. Normally his left hand is replaced with a hook.
  • Wolverine Claws: One of the Dark Eldar has these.

    Tropes exclusive to Part Two: The Jungle of Doom 
  • Death World: The appropriately-named jungle world of Smert.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Malonil is first mentioned here.
  • Mayincatec: The Slann ruins have a subtle feel of this.
  • The Other Darrin: The sets and photos in Part Two onwards are made by a different person than in Part One. So some old characters are a bit different than their appearances in Part One. The examples are Patricia Red, the Gunslinger, Eldrad Ulthran, Rudolph Steiner and the Farseer's sister. This can be mostly justified by a Time Skip, and, in the case of the Gunslinger, by an upgrade. However, the different appearance of the sister and Eldrad Ulthran in the flashbacks can't be justified.

    Tropes exclusive to Part Three: The Hour of Chaos 
  • Actually a Doombot: After Trazyn is defeated, he canonically replaces his body with an ordinary Necron. Justified since Trazyn should be Saved by Canon.
  • Dressed to Plunder: As usual for 40k, Ork Freebootaz.
    • Kaptin Grogmog Bluddhook wears a bicorner hat with a skull and has a Hook Hand (hence the nickname) and a Spacedog Peg Leg. He doesn't have an eyepatch, though.
    • Birdie is essentially how Captain Jack Sparrow would look if he were an Ork. Justified as he watched the films.
    • Maggot looks like an ordinary Ork Boy but in a red bandana.
    • The other two crew members, Dob and Bob, avert this trope since they are Mega Armored Nobz.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Wraithknight.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Wraithknight acts as one for the Farseer. After the fight with Belthazor, he is trapped within the world of illusions and happy childhood memories, including his sister.
  • Nanomachines: Trazyn's Mindshackle Scarabs which help him mind control Grogmog's Orks and Palomar's gang.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Beltazor and his army were trapped in a sphere aboard the space hulk by an allied force of Grey Knights and Ulthwe Eldar.
  • Space Pirates
    • Kaptin Grogmog Bluddhook and his Ork Freebootaz are type two: Orks dressed and acting like stereotypical pirates which is usual for 40k setting. Justified with Birdie as he watched some ancient 'umie film about pirates and acts like its main character.
    • Palomar and his henchmen are type one: ordinary human pirates in space.

    Tropes exclusive to The Emperor's Day 
  • Christmas Special: Exactly the New Year Special, as New Year is more significant holiday in Russia than Christmas which is celebrated on January 7th. But it is still treated like this.
  • Genre Shift: Unlike the trilogy, The Emperor's Day is a comic, not a photo story.