For all those who came in late…
The following is a Campaign Diary of my second Dark Heresy game. Feel free to ask any questions of comment on what’s happening. Hopefully I will update this log after each session. I compile these diaries to help myself keep track of a campaign as I tend to not to plan every aspect of a session, as well as hopefully providing some inspiration/entertainment for others.
Name of the Campaign: The search for victory
Time Period: 799.M41+
Starting Rank: 1
Campaign Duration: 31 sessions (Ongoing)
Trauma Bles – Cantus, Adeptus Sororitas. Raised by the Schola Progenium. White skin and hair, grey eyes. Age: 22.
Ashram Magnus – Shadesman, Assassin. Noble born into a Rogue Trader family. White and Violet Hair, Fair skin, Gold eyes. Age: 25
Hack –Technomancer, Adeptus Mechanicus. Born on Volg and taken by the local Mechanicus for training. Transfered to Hive Tarsus on Scintilla for duties with the Adeptus Arbites. His skin is plastered with a variety of Electoo's. Ruddy complexion, Grey Eyes. Age: 21
Gaius Bolter - Trooper, Adeptus Arbites. Born into the ruling Noble family of an Imperial world located at the edge of the territory being conquered by the Margin Crusade, Gaius joined the Arbites to not only protect his home, which has been steadily becoming a Fortress Planet thanks to increasing levies of its population for the Crusade effort, but the rules of the greater Imperium. He is a well-built man with a ruddy complexion, dark hair and green eyes. Age: 25
Arn Spurius – Novice, Cleric. Born and raised on Maccabeus Quintis. Grey Hair, Pale Skin, Blue Eyes. Age:42
Nari-ann K’thine – Guard, Imperial Guard. Recently her father (A talented general of the Imperial Guard) died a Martyr defending her homeworld against a hidden Xenos threat. Nari-ann's family was granted a noble title, lands and profit or appropriate standing much to the ire of other established noble households. Blue-black Hair, Tanned skin, Teal Eyes. Age: 27
Narla Tzarine – Constantia, Adeptus Sororitas. Raised by the Schola Progenium. Blond Hair, Dark Skin, Blue Eyes. Age: 25
Arl – Armsman, Imperial Guard. Born and bred on Dusk. Black Hair, Dark Skin, Blue Eyes. Age: 24
INQUISITOR ABIDAN RA – Inquisitor Abidan is extremely young for a bearer of the Rosette being only about 25 years of age and freshly promoted from the ranks of Interrogator. Abidan is quite tall, almost 7’ in height but rather thin, he wears a long dark brown (almost black) robe and hood that conceals his body. Beneath the robe is a marvel of technology rarely seen in any sector of the Imperium. Aside from his long dark hair a portion of his forehead and his left hand Abidan is enclosed in sculpted silver armour.
The armoured suit is a miracle of Mechanicum design (If it indeed is the work of the Mechanicus) in micro construction to minimise any signs of the usual bulky, gothic manufacture they habitually create. Abidan views the universe through glowing green lenses covering his eyes and his voice is a near silent whisper edged with a metallic chill issuing from behind a blank face-mask.
Whether all this armour is for show or covers a terribly ravaged body is unclear at this time. All that is known is that despite being rated as a Alpha Plus Plus grade Psyker, Abidan seems unable to transmit more than basic thoughts or emotions over short distances, he is however capable of unleashing devastating blasts of Blue Warp Fire from outlets in the armours chest and right gauntlet.
With his Rosette in hand Abidan is carefully recruiting the beginnings of his Inquisitorial Cadre from people he has encountered through his life, as this is only the beginning of his career Abidan has yet to take a stance upon how he plans to deal with the threats of the Universe beyond his innate sense of the Imperium’s right to rule.
Rolls of the Honoured Dead
Solaria (Deceased) – Aspirant, Imperial Psyker. Raised by the Schola Progenium. Blonde Hair, Tan Skin, Augmetic Eyes Age: 53. Killed by eldritch discharges sequel to a minor Warp Incursion, 161.799.M41, Scintilla (Overhive)
Having helped my players through character creation I gave them a couple of minutes to think about their characters before I went around the room and asked them to think of something about their characters that didn’t go on the sheet. When they had all answered I then asked that they describe a situation to me about how they encountered the Inquisitor Abidan whom I described briefly. Normally I would go into a game knowing what any “sponsor” type character would be like, but aside from determining his appearance and that this would be his first “team” I thought I would give my players a chance to impress me and they did. After going around the room and listening to their suggestions I turned to each and modified what they had described to better fit with the Grim Darkness of the far future.
FIRST CONTACT: Inquisitor Style.
Arn Spurnius – 25 years ago Arn spurnius a simple devotee living on Maccabeus Quintis was rounded up by men in black carapace and marched from his house. Blindfolded and with people chanting litanies of purity into his ears he was taken offworl to a place filled with the screams of the tormented and wall that seem too long for their size. The young man was shown into a room whose walls were engraved with the most powerful hexagramitic wards and introduced to a young woman called Solaria who was on her way for sanctioning on distant Terra. Arn was ordered to do his duty and couple with the nascent Psyker, as their progeny was foreseen to be a powerful asset to the Imperium. Following that night Arn was returned to his home where he eventually entered into the priesthood in hopes of cleansing his soul from that night. Two and a half decades later Arn was summoned along with 11 other Novices to take part in a trial by combat, now an elderly man, Arn found himself the victor of the contest and inducted into the retinue of a man whom he feels a strange sense of attachment.
Solaria (Deceased)– Taken by the Imperial Tithe at the age of 26 and placed onto a black ship Solaria struggled to cope with the tortures inflicted upon her, after two years aboard she was bound with potent drugs and mystical formulae to quell her mind and shown to a warded room where she became impregnated at the orders of robed Inquisitors. Solaria carried the babe to term while aboard the Black Ship but the moment he was born the child was spirited away. Seventeen years later Solaria had gazed upon the radiance of the God-Emperor and survived at the cost of her natural sight. Returned to the Calixis sector she was assigned to low-level astropathic monitoring before being recruited by Abidon a man she senses is not so unknown to her.
Trauma Bles – As a war orphan trauma was raised in the Schola Progenium in a small and lonely facility. Unfortunately for Trauma the college Dean was busy using his position to trade in the flesh of the orphans kept their. Unwilling to submit to the immoral activities of the Dean, Trauma managed to alert the local authorities. During the investigation the Dean tried to slaughter the Investigators, his plan failed and a red flag was raised in the local Arbite Precinct. What followed was the unveiling of a Slaaneshite pleasure cult and the interdiction of the Ordo Hereticus and the Adeptus Sororitas. In the aftermath Legate Abidan Ra who was in charge of the purge pronounced Trauma as unsullied by the incident and turned her over to the care of the Sister of Battle. Twelve years later Trauma again encountered Abidon as the Inquisitor requested the Novitiate assignment to his retinue.
Arl – Born on the world of Dusk Arl encountered Abidan during his time as Interrogator. Abidan was investigating reports of a daemonic incursion when he discovered the young man bound to a pillar crafted in homage to the Great Enemy. Despite the proximity to such evil Arl displayed only the usual signs of corruption present within all those living on such a blighted world. After freeing the young boy Arl was recruited into the Imperial Guard and years later found himself reassigned from his duties to the entourage of the new Inquisitor.
Nari-ann K’thine – Born into the family of one of the Calixis sectors prominent heroes Nari-ann was assigned to the Imperial Guard after repeatedly displaying a love for all things firearm. Nari-ann encountered Interrogator Abidan during the purging of Shonsho-7 Sub-Hive when her unit was dispatched for mop-up operations, K’thine chased down one of the fleeing cult leaders and clubbed the man to death after her antique firearm failed to discharge properly. Abidan’s master took note of the recruit’s zeal and seconded the guardsman to Abidan’s service as a gift following his promotion.
Ashram Magnus – Distant nephew of the Rogue Trader Varsiliae Magnus, Ashram’s parents were left to supervise the inclusion of a world into the Imperium. Trained as an Assassin in the newly reconquered world’s premiere murder-college, Ashram was chosen by Abidan for his natural talents and his connection to such a powerful and ancient family.
Narla Tzarine – The fledgling Novitiate is the newest recruit into Abidan’s service having only encountered the Inquisition less than a year ago on K-17-H-2 a planet recently conquering in the Margin Crusade and one where the Sister was stationed while learning from the Order Hospitalier. The Inquisitor was struck down by a stray mortar shell and the Novitiate tended to him during his recovery. Narla has been sworn to secrecy over anything she might have seen of the man inside the silver armour.
So that is how the campaign begins, characters are made, equipment purchased and prayers sung over the new acolytes as they go to meet thier Inquisitor more formally…
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
Prologue: The Cult of the Skull
Session 1: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, 052.799.M41
The game opened with the group aboard a Dauntless class Troop Carrier on route with a full complement of Imperial Guard to one of the War Zones within the Calixis Sector. The player were stationed aboard but were unaware of each others presence of their shared destination. Under orders the vessel slipped from the Immaterium and back into real space just long enough to dispatch a servitor controlled Shuttle with the player aboard to an imperial mid-range Space Station Classified as Scintillan Hub 25-2. Despite careful training this shuttle ride was the first experience many of the recruits had with Zero-Gravity and it fell to Narla Tzarine one of the Sisters of Battle to part with her lunch. Following this the group exchanged names and filled the short trip with random chatter. The shuttle eventually docked with the outpost and the group was led through the network of corridors and hanger decks to a small conference room where they waited to encounter their new master.
Abidan presented himself directly and with little in the way of flowery speeches or endearment the Inquisitor filled the group in on their new life and what was expected of them. Abidan presented a question to his potential acolytes inquiring if they had any knowledge of an item called the Sword of Severis. Unsurprised at the negative response Abidan quickly gave a brief account of the item.
“2,500 Years ago a man called Severis tried to wage a private war against the Imperium. Severis was a man of great political clout, one who had been sent by the Imperium into the depths of the yet-to-be-conquered Calixis Sector and the Halo Stars. He returned with many strange items showing the possible riches hidden in those unexplored depths but something changed him and the Servant became a Tyrant bent on carving out a niche for him in the flesh of the Emperors realm.
At his side at all times was a strange blade, some form of ancient Long Sword. While Severis had the weapon at his side he seemed impossible to defeat either through direct conflict or indirect action. That was until the blade went missing and an Imperial surprise attack decimated his armies staging ground. In the aftermath the Blade vanished.
Ever since in the millennia following, reports of the blade have reappeared, each time the rumours have begun so have various conflicts which have threatened to devour portions of the Imperium. Now the rumours have come to Calixis and Scintilla in particular.”
Rather than directing the group to search Scintilla’s hives for the sword, Abidan presented the group with several dossiers containing pict-stills of violent murder scenes and notes on a series of killings that had occurred in the recent past. A group called the Cult of the Skull seemed to be claim responsibility and in the past where this cult had appeared so to had the Sword.
After informing those assembled that it was their task to visit the Hive and ascertain whether it truly was the Cult of the Skull responsible for the murders, the Inquisitor departed as quickly as he had arrived, leaving the group to puzzle over the documents and their first task.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
I really hope you continue to write about it. It's definitely sounding great, and was an entertaining read.
When in doubt, move forward.
Your setup is cool. That's how I would picture a fresh inquisitor building his first retinue, recruiting from the ranks of trusted citizens he's dealt with in the past.
-Mark It Zero
"Over the line!"
Thanks to all who read the first Session and Introductive material, I hope you will continue to read, I should have a new session every fortnight or so. As the party is still getting use to just what they can do, their hasn't been a whole lot of interaction so far... aside from Nari-ann constantly threatening to wash the layer of protective dirt from Arl. Now its on with Session 2...
Session 2: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, 52.799.M41 to 66.799.M41
After their briefing the group took some time to rest before embarking onto a cargo ship heading from the system watchpost to Scintilla herself. The journey in system took fourteen days, during which the group studied documents provided by their new master. The data comprised of reports gathered about 32 killings attributed to the Cult of the Skull as well as more general information relating to Scintilla and Hive Tarsus their eventual destination.
They also received a Slate containing contact information for an Arbite official located at the Hive along with instructions to refrain from identifying their association with the Inquisition and several codes that would help them pass as an observation team assigned to monitor the Arbite investigation as per Administratum orders.
Before making planet fall the Acolytes transferred from their vessel to Scintilla’s primary orbital dock where they spent some time soaking up the local colour. Aside from a few hesitant inquiries about the legend of the Sword of Severis and the Cult of the Skull which came up empty they awaited a shuttle bound for the Hive.
Following a short descent they arrived at the inverted city where they were quickly directed to the correct access stairwell that would lead them to the bustling middle hive from their docking platform. As soon as the officials finished the formal rituals of Admonition and Welcome a group of street urchins rushed from the shadows offering to guide people about. Nari-ann quickly secured a guide offering 4 thrones for his services and the Acolytes began their long descent.
After an hour of walking and constant nattering by their young guide the group arrived at the highest level of the “mid-hive” where they received their first true look at the city with its clinging buildings, inverted nature and the vast avenues dedicated to trade and commerce. With a few moments of hurried discussion over where to go they set off towards the Arbite prescient responsible for investigating the murders.
The precinct house loomed before the group its black walls were pierced only by the primary gate at which mulled a line of petitioners. Skipping ahead and presenting their access pass the Acolytes were shown through the fortress to the office of Senior Marshal Thaddius Blac, a large dark skinned and heavyset official who was responsible for directing the various investigation and forensic teams assigned to the case involving the Cult of the Skull. The Marshal described that their information on the murders was now out of date and that a total of 64 murders, bizarre accidents and other fatal incidents involving 256 victims had been officially attributed to this Skull cult, all the events had occurred within 8 months with the latest being a slaughter of a wealthy merchant and his immediate family happening less than 4 days prior.
When asked as to how the 64 cases had been interlinked the Marshal explained that they were the only cases the Adeptus Arbites had failed to find any explanations for due to a complete lack of identifying evidence beyond the scene of the crimes. After organising for a workspace to review the case logs and requesting to speak with the investigation team leaders the group decided that they would have to see the latest incident for themselves.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
Mysterious indeed <.<
This is looking great :P
I'm not crazy, my reality is just different to yours...
Good stuff. I'm curious, would you have any notes detailing your description of the city? I like how you seem content to set the stage well, and haven't jumped head first into heresy and darkness. Not every session has to find the party combating some new horror. I wish a horror GM I know could figure that out.
-Mark It Zero
"Over the line!"
Seeing as my group is so large and heavily oriented to Combat I prefer to save it for when it’s really necessary, that way I can make the fights serious work and not just another gratuitous fight scene. Thought gratuity can’t be overlooked either. However in this case the lack of combat has more to do with how inexperienced the party is in that regard and the fact that this is only the prologue of an ongoing campaign and I am trying my best to set a nice tempo so I can speed things up over time as the situation becomes more and more desperate as things progress.
Hive Tarsus is described in the main rules pretty well, much better than I would if I had planned a Hive out. Basically it described the city sticking up out of a desert somewhere in the southern Hemisphere of Scintilla. Because the surrounding desert is so hot the Hive is mounted on what are essentially giant stilts. With the hive acting as a web of highways, avenues and buildings suspended between these massive pillars.
Unlike most Hives the order of its layering is reversed with the Low Hives being located at the top and exposed to the harsh desert climate with the Mid Hive beneath the and the Upper Hive hanging at the very base where the shadow of the city above cools it.
With that in mind I described the Hive to my players and explained that the cities Transport docks were located on the “Roof”. All transports would be identified and their passengers sorted by clearance as to where they could go into the hive, most would simply be directed to stairs and accesses situated in the main pillars that would give access to the Low Hive (which is like all other low hives, crowded, full of manufactorum and recycle systems and the pipes that support all the amenities of the Hive) while others would be directed to the Mid Hive access.
I figured that on foot it should take about a hour (based on how far I can walk in an hour if I hurry to descend through the Low Hive via an express stairwell and reach the top of the Middle Hive which I described as a vast area, much more open than the crowded lower hive with great roads sweeping between pillars, building bolted on to each other etc. Just as if a modern city had been capped by a steel sky but the further down people look the more they can see with even more mid hive levels below theirs leading eventually to the primary market places and then the Noble Under-spire.
I hope that help somehow… I think I might create a new thread in the House rules sometime so I can collate all the stuff I come up with for my campaigns…
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
This weeks session was fairly short but surprisingly it seems my group managed to cover a fair bit of stuff, despite my inability to think straight.
Session 3: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus, 66.799.M41 to 67.799.M41
Having convinced Marshal Blac to take them to the scene of the latest massacre the party piled into the back of an Arbite Rhino and was whisked down through the mid-hive levels to the border of what Tarsus calls its “upper” hive. The rhino dropped the group off outside a restaurant complex and while Ashram Magnus stayed outside with the Arbite Troopers to gleam any information from them, the rest where shown through the eatery and into one of the many private entertainment suites.
The suite was arranged around a small garden filled with exotic flora. Next to the garden was the primary scene, a dinning room around which was splattered the liquid remains of the guests. 8 distinctive blood patterns dominated the room and the garden where one had attempted to flee. There was no sign of any battle having taken place or bullets fired, nor had any of the staff heard any disturbance.
After several minutes questioning Marshal Blac over the collected evidence, several of the party noticed something strange about the blood spray around the head of the table which reportedly had been where a 15 year old girl was sitting celebrating her birthday with her family. Leaping up onto the dining table for a better view the blood spray took on a more sinister aspect, that of a skull.
Narla Tzarine quietly suggested that perhaps someone had teleported into the room but quickly dismissed the idea without any evidence of such a powerful activity. Quietly Solaria used her psyniscience to read the room, gaining a sense of a massive build up of Warp power that had occurred when the slaughter happened but little other information.
Unable to proceed any further without studying the various case files the group reboarded their transport intent on returning to the Arbite Precinct. Their path was suddenly changed as report of another incident was relayed over the Vox and Marshal Blac ordered the driver to investigate.
This time the Rhino took them to one of Tarsus Hives busiest mercantile markets, two other Trooper units and an Investigator had already arrived on the scene which was the steps of one of the Munitorum Offices. A pair of mid-level clerks had been shot twice each, once in the head and one in the heart with heavy calibre rounds that reduced their features to a bloody smear as they ascended the steps. Again there were no witnesses and unless the shot was taken at a considerable distance with highly skilled agents no one had heard any report of gunfire.
While the local Arbites processed the scene the group returned to the Precinct house and then took residence in a nearby hostel. Marshal Blac gave the group a copy of their case files relating to the 54 incidents which the group poured over all night and into the morning. When those who had caught some sleep awoke Trauma, Ashram and Nari-Ann reported that their investigation had turned up only a single clue, all the murders had been committed based on the number 8. Eight single executions in a week, 2 bodies filled with 4 bullets, 8 family members killed on their child’s 16th birthday. In all 256 murders had been committed in the first 64 crimes.
While they now had a clearer picture that all the deaths were for some dark purpose they still needed to find the proof their Inquisitor craved.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
Session 4: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41
NB: Well its been a few weeks since the last session, holidays, missing players etc. But here is a slightly more descriptive update in compensation.
The Acolytes awoke to a loud pounding upon their hostel door. Struggling awake, Solaria answered the hurried knocks. A small squad of Arbite Enforcers stood at the door, dressed in riot ger and demanded the presence of the Acolytes at a once.
Gathering their gear the Acolytes and Troopers piled into a couple of transports which sped at full speed down through the layers of Tarsus only slowing when they reached one of the primary gates to the hives Noble sector. In short order the Rhino’s pulled up and the Acolytes disembarked amid a full blown Arbite Operation.
A cathedral-like mansion belonging to the De Villiers House had come under terrorist attack 4 hours earlier, the Arbites acted swiftly arriving within an hour to purge the household. Marshal Blac stood amid a temporary command center with several other senior Arbites and a number of personal guards. He quickly laid out the situation to the Acolytes. The Noble family had been slaughtered, some of the terrorists had been killed either during their attack or by the Arbites and some sort of Cult Ritual had been discovered.
Under escort the Acolytes entered the Household, for the first few floors the building seemed to have escaped much damage, but as the group was led deeper into the building towards the residents more secure quarters signs of the violence materialised, bodies of servants and personal guard lay strewn about in corridors and various rooms gunned down by Shotgun rounds. It wasn’t long until they passed the first ‘Hostile’ shot down by Arbite fire, the man was dressed in Flak armour and carried a combat shotgun, making the man extremely well equipped compared to the usual recidivist.
Within the center of the household lay the Noble families “Safe Room” a small complex within the larger residence that presumably was sealed early in the battle. Through a massive breech in a wall was the primary battleground, terrorists and household guards had died fighting each other through the breech and then the terrorists had used the point to delay the Arbites. Beyond the first scene of slaughter things became a little stranger, one of the terrorists had enacted some sort of ritual by taking apart eight people and arranging their body parts into an eight pointed star.
The Acolytes spread out among the Arbite Investigators searching the room for whatever information they could, the bodies used in the ritual had all been painted in blood with a series of numbers, each equalling eight or being a division or multiplier of. In one corner of the room slumped against the wall was another terrorist, dressed in armour like his fellows but similarly covered in numbers. Marshal Blac identified the man as the apparent leader of the ritual who had been gunned down the moment the Arbites broke past his defences.
While the bodies were examined Solaria used her Psyniscience to perform a different examination. The moment the Psyker focused her inner eye she could see the room plunge into darkness, the walls elongated, changing the room’s dimensions and a chill breath blew across the back of her neck. Snapping out of her trance she tried to ascertain exactly what was causing the presences. In the meantime Arn Spurnius continued to chant the rites of purity against the violence and corruption of the room while Arl went hunting through the nearby rooms keeping an eye out for any terrorists who may have simply been hiding.
During his wanderings Arl came across another seen of slaughter a dleeing woman had been gunned down and then her attacker also had perished (presumably from Arbitor fire). The woman had been carrying a small pouch containing a crystal. Returning to his companions the crystal was identified as a Data Storage devices and a Enforcer was sent to recover an appropriate Data-Slate with reading equipments. While they waited the players collated their information. The bloody numbers on the body parts used in the ritual all coincided with the numbers they had seen from all the previous murders, the terrorists were well armed and according to Auspex information from an Arbitor Investigator the safe Area had been breeched with military grade Melta explosives. The ritual seemed to have been unsuccessful but some scorching in the center of the Octogram was not encouraging. And the De Villiers family seemed to have some connection to the recent murder of the Velkadir Clan who had died at the restaurant. With 256 new deaths the toll on the Hive by the cult stood at 768.
When the enforcer returned with the Data-Slate Nari-ann found herself upon the wrong end of a security system as the crystal forced the devices spirit to rebel and discard. Without any means to fix the device or otherwise access the crystal Marshal Blac suggested that the Arbites could contact the local Tech-Priests. With nothing else to be gleaned from the crime scene the Acolytes returned to their Hostel.
After a quick meal the Acolytes were again called to the Arbitor precinct house. In the bowels of the black fortress they were shown to an observation room attached to the Arbites laboratories where Marshal Blac sat watching the work of Senior-Magos 110100101000101010. Blac swiftly reported the failure of the Magos in his attempt to decode the crystal, it had been sealed with the highest level of security that would take much larger resources than the Arbites could quickly assemble all they have been able to determine was the general purpose of the information the crystal stored, it was a form of location data.
While the Acolytes pondered over the possibility that Blac knew of their new association with the Inquisiiton from his suggestions of more expedient access to anti-security-demons. The Senior Magos finished his examination of a shotgun brought from the massacre pointing out that it had been manufactured in Tarsus and Issued to the local PDF units.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
This update is just a little late, ok so its a lot late seeing as the session was almost 2 weeks ago. Anyway, my Acolytes finally made it into battle but it seems they are going to need a little bit of a refresher in the proper use of force.
Session 5: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41
The lights in the observation room plunged the Acolytes into darkness before flickering back on in a threatening red accompanied by a shrill scream of a klaxon. Marshal Blac quickly informed the group that the alarm was the Precincts, Purity Alarms and that only a moral threat could trigger them.
A metallic scream of alarm and agony focused the group’s attention to the glas-steel windows in the room. Beyond them they could see senior Magos 110100101000101010 struggling with an assailant that looks like nothing more than a billowing cloak of darkness wielding a black bladed sword shrouded by an unholy red glow. The monstrosity and Magos grappled with each other and Marshal Blac ordered a retreat from the room as the shadow ripped the Tech-priest apart before turning to reveal a grinning skull where a face should have been beneath its heavy hood.
Quickly the Acolytes fell back through the fortress, retreating towards the Armoury to reequip themselves. As the withdrew they passed other Arbites already equipped rushing towards the disturbance and while they soon where out of sight they could hear the screams of dying men-at-arms.
As swiftly as they could imagine the Acolytes donned their gear while Novice Arn intoned a blessing or purity upon them and their equipment. They also took advantage of their unlimited access to Arbite equipment to secure some larger weaponry, ammunition and grenades.
Rushing back into the cooridoor, prepared to face the threat they were startled to find just how quickly the entity had worked its way through the defensive fire-teams of Arbites, as they watched another group was falling beneath the creatures blade.
Despite his lack of familiarity with grenades Arn lobbed one of those he had taken down the corridor where it exploded in a cloud of dense smoke, cloaking the area from sight. Despite not getting the response he was hoping the Priest seemed satisfied and his action spurred on the remaining Acolytes several of which knew what they were doing and lobbed Frag’s into the smoke while others fired blindly hosing down the passageway electing screams from Arbites and Enemy alike.
With a cry of “For the Emperor” Marshal Blac charged into the smoke to bring his Combat Shotgun to bear when a deafening boom exploded about the Acolytes as a miss throw with a grenade set the explosive back behind them detonating beneath Sister Tzarine’s feet. Saved only by her Carapace armour the Sister ignored the actions of her supposed allies to focus her efforts on the treat before them.
With sustained fire from las and autogun, amply tossed grenades and the mighty bursts of shotguns the party continued to fire heedlessly into the smoke. When it finally was cleared by the bases filtration systems they finally could see the extent of their recklessness. The bodies of a dozen Arbites lay torn apart by grenade and blade strikes, Marshal Blac lay against a wall unconscious from an errant lasgun blast to his helmet and a deep cut to his stomach while the black tattered cloak of the entity lay on the floor like a pool of shadow.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
I really like reading these, they're quite enjoyable.
Then you're in luck cause after 3 (or 4) weeks of being slack here is the update for session 6 and 7. Both these sessions where rather short due to a slight change of venue and random goings on irl.
Session 6 & 7: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41
With Marshal Blac unconscious and the injured being tended to by the Arbite Medicae the players came to the swift conclusion that the data-crystal and the appearance of the strange shadowy apparition where certainly good indications that the Inquisitors suspicions about the Cult of the Skull being a serious threat where true.
Carefully reviewing the information they had uncovered the acolytes decided it was time to present their finding to their master and through the Adeptus Arbites arranged for a meeting with the Astropathic Enclave of Hive Tarsus.
Aware of just how serious a breach of security the entity had been the group proceeded across the Hive under a full escort of three Rhinos and two squads of fully armed enforcers. Their journey brought them to a special elevator shaft which served only to reach the Astropaths lair which unlike the rest of the city, still remained at the vertical top.
Greeted by a small and apparently mute guide the elevator lifted the Acolytes into a grand hall atop the inverted Hive. Here in rooms strangely chill against the scorching heat of the surrounding desert they could hear the chanting of choirs. Through darkened halls they where guided into a vast auditorium around the circumference of which sat hundreds of men and women all bound in sightless obeisance to the Emperor.
The Conclave listened to the Acolytes words before projecting their might across space with a discordant cord of a thousand voices striking false notes and spoiling the perfect hymnal of the palace. Once the ringing in the Acolytes ears ceased and the discordant noise faded they left the enclave to await their master’s reply.
The journey back down to the hive was not as quiet as their ascent as a mighty explosion greeted their exit from the lift and the Acolytes stepped into the hell of a Hive wide insurgency.
Already a missile strike had demolished one of the Arbite Rhinos as men with guns burst from a nearby factory. Ducking away for cover the group split up with Arl running towards the Rhino wreckage and Solaria using her psychic powers to blind several opponents to cover her retreat towards the elevator shaft. Missile after missile streaked into the street as a massive gun battle ensued against lightly armed insurgents despite the sniping shots by Ashram.
Very quickly the lethality of the situation escalated and while most of the acolytes had the presence of mind to find some cover, Nari-Ann managed to continuously draw fire as she stood defiantly hurling insults and ammunition at the oncoming ambush while Sister Narla advance forward Slayer ablaze in a closing action before a misfired rocket annihilated the Sisters opponent…
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
Apparently while I thought not much happened in the latest sessions a fair bit did. Or at least a lot was worth describing. So here are the latest updates to my campaign.
THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 8 & 9: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41 to 67.799.M41
The volume of fire covering the open streets outside the Access to the Astropath Enclave finally sent everyone scurrying to cover. Behind the lift, the hulks of the two demolished Rhinos or the bodies of rioters the group go down to business hurling vast amounts of ammunition into the oncoming rebels taking them down one by one. Only to be showered again and again by frag missiles from the assailant hidden on the nearby office rooftop.
While the butchery continued Novice Spurnius raised his sidearm and flanked left squeezing off rounds at opponents while trying to head towards the building from where the rioters emerged. His action did not go unseen and before anyone could react the Novice took a direct impact from a missile just as the last opponent was gunned down.
A few quiet moments passed as the Acolytes waited to see if any more missiles would come their way but aside from the cries of the injured and the screams of distance civilians caught in other riots and uprisings silence rained.
While the assassins carefully watched the roof for the Rocketeer the others saw to their injuries. As Nari-ann moved to check on the Cleric she was surprised to see that while he had sustained grave injuries he was still alive, simply stunned from the impact. Furthermore his injures were reknitting themselves, the flesh winding together and forcing pieces of broken shrapnel from the wounds and the flesh scaring over until Arn sat up and roared out a cry of “EMPEROR BE PRAISED!” before setting off towards the building once more. In the background Solaria turned her attention from Arn to see if their were others she could aid with her Psychic might.
Arn lead the way into the office building storming through its hall to catch an elevator while Novitiate Bles followed taking the emergency stairs.
Arn reached the roof only to find the wielder of the Missile launcher gone, his weapon and several spare missiles sitting near the shattered edge of the roof. While the seemingly immortal cleric search the roof, Trauma caught a flicker of movement through a grim covered window of the stairwell, punching out he glass she found a fire escape. Clambering down the last few levels was a man in combat fatigues.
Quickly giving pursuit Trauma chased the man out into the open only to see his head vanish in a mist of pink to a carefully timed shot from Nari-ann.
With no survivors to question and the Hive apparently going up in flames around them the acolytes commandeered the remaining Rhino and sped off towards the Arbite Complex.
The Black Arbite fortress was already surrounded by teeming masses of the Hive seeking sanctuary from the uprising and the group was forced to put the Rhino’s weight into action to press through the crowd. Once inside the Bastion they were stunned to find Marshal Blac up and about directing his men to prepare for a siege action.
While the party transferred to a medicae station to see to their injuries Blac explained that the riots were almost Hive wide. Their conversation was interrupted when a young recruit arrived with word from the Arbites Tactical Command center of a Vox Transmission for the Acolytes.
Flagged as a Ultra-Gold Communiqué Blac ordered the Communications center vacated leaving only the Acolytes and Vox Servitors left in the dim room. Having barely gained their breath the Acolytes listened to a static filled communication from their Inquisitor. Laying out their experiences and the situation to Abidan, the Inquisitor ordered the Acolytes to guard the recovered Data-Crystal with their life, transport would be sent to extract them to Hive Sebillus on the other side of the planet where Abidan would meet them.
Suspecting that Marshal Blacs recovery might have been a bit to quick the group carefully informed their contact that transport was coming to get them.
For the next few hours the Acolytes remained in the Operations center watching Pict screens filled with the various riots the Arbites were trying to suppress. Despite their efforts and those of private Militia and Planetary Defence forces the riots seemed to be intensifying with a large number of the acts not only being committed by Cultists chanting their allegiance to the Cult of the Skull but being enacted by criminals and recidivists simply taking advantage of the situation on those around them.
With tensions rising Marshal Blac proposed that he could not wait for the Inquisitors transport to arrive to pic up the Acolytes. Instead they would move to the landing platforms now and in force. Commanding a column of seven Rhino’s Marshal Blac forced his way through the violent streets to the primary docking/cargo lifts that ascended from the mid-hive all the way to the “roof” of the Hive where the landing platform awaited.
The lift was capable of ascending only two of the Rhinos’ at a time so the rest of the coloumn awaited below and the elevator slowly climbed up through the hive. Over an hour of waiting brought the Acolytes into a massive warehouse sitting atop the hive, its interior was lit only from a row of skylights. The light showed rows of crates awaiting transfer to other sections of the Hive and only Lifter/Carrier Servitors to be present.
With the heat of the Hives desert blasting into them the Acolytes advanced out into the open air. Surrounded by several dozen large landing areas the Acolytes awaited as Marahla Blac ordered the second Rhino to invsitage a nearby Traffic Control tower which refused to answer Vox communications.
Nervously the group waited by their Rhino or in the relative shade of the warehouse. Their waiting was broken by the report of the investigating Arbites confirming the crew of the control tower were all dead when all hell broke loose.
Solaria was the first to fall as a black figure that flowed up from the floor behind her plunged a cold black blade at her, the psyker turned just in time and the blade severed her right arm rather than piercing her chest and she collapsed to the ground inside the warehouse.
Before anyone could go to her aide figures cloaked in grey ran from hiding swarming over the first Rhino and butchering the crew with numbers while a second assault upon the Acolytes was met with some warning allowing for scattered ranged fire before a firebomb guttered the Rhino and forced the Acolytes into hand to hand. With Axe, Sword, Shotgun and pistol the Acolytes fought back against the near naked men and women whose bodies where painted in red and whose faces depicted blood covered skulls.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)
Yay for gaming! It's been a while since enough of my players (or myself) were availible to add some more to this game, but hopefully it will be back on track now. Especially given the ridiculously large amount of combat they were able to cover in a single night (15 rounds or more I think I stopped counting around that point.)
THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 10: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus 67.799.M41
The wet thump of a severed arm followed a second later by a larger sound was all the signal the Acolytes needed. Shots blazed across the open space of the landing platforms and the oppressive heat of the Scintillan desert was soon forgotten as the near naked cultists turned to race across the intervening gap so they could bring their crude melee weaponry to bear.
The Acolytes fought back against the knives, guillotine blades and swords with pistols, hammers and righteous fury. Arl took a savage strike to the thigh before unleashing a round into the forehead of his opponent while Novice Spurius laid waste to his enemies. Only Novitiate Tzarine seemed to have problem dealing with her opponents as a lithe woman wielding a boning knife continued to slip behind her and stab at her back.
Breaking free of the cultists Arn raced towards the hanger and the collapsed shape of Solaria. The psyker lay on the terminator of the shadows at the hanger’s entrance. As he sprinted towards the woman the Cleric fired a round at the indistinct shape of Solaria’s attacker hidden within the darkness. The assailant vanished and Arn grabbed up his fallen companion only to cry out as a blade forged from darkness pierced up from the ground and into his thigh.
Falling back into the light with Solaria, Arn watched as a skull faced figure rose up from the ground, its immaterial form flowing into a humanoid shape like a giant pool of ink turning into a man. The creature turned its skull face towards the cleric at the cultists began to chant “Narthaqueladenckarculthars, Narthaqueladenckarculthars, Narthaqueladenckarculthars,” over an over in horid exultation of their master, the word drove itself into the minds of the Acolytes with sickening power. As the chant continued the shadow creature struck out at Arn but was unable to finish the strike as its weapon evaporated whenever it left the shadow of the hanger and was touched by daylight.
With Solaria dragged from the darkness and another group of cultists finished the Acolytes hope of a reprieve was short lived as more of the crazed men and women come running from a nearby control tower. Raising their weapons in preparation for another fight the Acolytes and cultists attentions were suddenly drawn by the roar of engines as an Aquila shuttle screamed overhead.
With their transport circling the landing area the Acolytes turned their attention to securing the landing area only to panic as one of the cultists clambered onto the roof of the second rhino and take control of its storm bolter. Diving into cover behind their blazing transport the roar of the heavy weapon surprised the Acolytes as it was not directed at them. The bolter traced fire at the Aquila shuttle which quickly pulled away to gain altitude. In response the Acolytes opened fire, a full burst quickly dismantled the gunner and a few seconds later the last cultists were down giving the Aquila pilot enough time to touch down.
Trowing the severed arm of Solaria at the Aquila pilot the Cleric sounded the retreat not wanting to see if more cultists where about to show up and attack again. Battered from the riots and cultists the Acolytes struggled aborad the shuttle before blasting off towards the capital hive Sebillus.
Free Agent 005
(Vedros Anima est mea!)