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Campaign Log - The Awakening


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#1 Polaria

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:44 PM

Dramatis Personae

 

Severine – Untouchable Voidborn Assassin. Joined the Adeptus Arbites in order to get some ”field-experience” outside starships. Considers herself to be ”above and beyond norma humans” because the immunities to warp her untouchable status gives her. Attracted to all things Inquisitorial. Unquestionably loyal to Emperor and generally messed up in the head.

Constantin – Feral World Cleric. Born on feral world where the tradition dictates that all children born on sertain auspicious day are sent to local Governor to be taken outside into Maccabeus Quintus for clerical service. A black priest in training and serious fanatic. Is working as a aliason in Adeptus Arbites to offer spiritual guidance to our hard-pressed enforcers.

Brutis Mirko – Sepheris Secundus native Arbiter with ”special medication” to keep his strange dreams and visions in check. Joine the Adeptus Arbites because it was ”the right thing to do”. Serious fanatic.

Varnias – Hive Ambulon native Arbiter. Headhunted into Adeptus Arbites due to his investigative skills and quick hand with a gun. Not nearly as fanatic as the previous ones.

Yarn – Iochanthos native Guardsman. Headhunted to Adeptus Arbites after serving as a mutant-hunter in Iocanthos. Really, really attached to his collection of dried bodyparts taken from dead mutants. Not quite right in the head.

Lupus Haxtes – Adept from agri world no-one would ever remember if it didn't produce all the powdered milk used in Scintilla. Used to work in boring, paper-pushing desk job in some semi important part of local ministry of agriculture. Joined the Adeptus Arbites to get power and prestige. Full blown sociopath.

Severus Trantor – Arbiter from previously mentioned mostly harmless agri world. Used to be a sheriff in local village but opted to join Adeptus Arbites out of huge need to bash in some heretic heads. Messed up like everyone else.

Abidan Goran – Hell Gardens native Guardsman of ”Scythewind” Regiment. Joined the Adeptus Arbites to get out of his homworld after an accident involving one corrupt governor, flame thrower and an arrest on murder charges. Fanatic.


Sister Superior Celest (NPC) – Former Dominator squad leader now working as Inquisitor Vaaraks personal assistant and nurse. Responsible for attending to all sorts of details to keep Inquisitors dozens of simultaneous plans running smoothly. Also responsible for keeping the Inquisitors mauled body alive by daily checking and blessing his life-support systems. Fanatic to extreme.

Drake Mercutio (NPC) – Voidborn Techpriest. The chief medical techician aboard Inquisitorial strike cruiser Swrod of Retribution. Loyal believer in the teachings of Omnissiah.

Ziapatra Lupa (NPC) – Fenksworld native entertainer. Has undergone a radical prefrontal lobotomy which has left her unable to feel fear, hate, disgust or any deeper feeling of affection. Emotionally unable to feel any emotions connected to sex or personal violence. Great in faking emotions. Sardonic rather than fanatic, but still surprisingly loyal to Inquisitor Vaarak. Yes, you guessed it: Quite messed in the head. Literally.



#2 Polaria

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 05:45 PM

Doppelganger incident
Location: Sepheris Secundus

 

As their very first mission after being assigned to 2nd Battalion of the Sepheris Secundus Regiment of Adeptus Arbites the team of five troopers (Brutis Mirko, Constantin, Severine, Varnias and Yarn) were sent to investigate a strange call of help orignating from one of the mines near the planet capital. The Adeptus Arbites had gotten a message sent via radio by one of the miners there simply saying ”There is something wrong here... I... I think you'd better come and take a look yourself”.

The Arbiter dispatch called local security force immeadeatly after receiving this message only to learn that the miner in question was suspected of killing one security trooper.

The Arbites team arrived at the scene of the murder and were shown the mutilated body of the security trooper with his chest cavity violently torn open. No information on what had happened could be found on spot or from the miners. However, according to local security troops the incident in question had happened when the security patrol was sent to investigate an unspecified strange incident the miner reported.

After a few days of piecing together the story the team concluded following: Two security troopers had entered the mine and were attacked by a miner who managed to wrestle the lasgun away from one of the troopers and use its bayonet to kill him. The other trooper captured the miner who was subsequently banished to Undermines along with his family. The remaining trooper had spoken something uncomprehensible and had vanished into the city afterwards. He hadn't shown up to work after that and was still missing.

After a second visit to the mining site the Arbites team found a new clue: the miners had uncovered remains of a xeno ship hidden inside the ground and it was being invetsigated by local mining barons operating with full knowledge of the Ministorium priests and xenoarcheologists. After trying to track down the AWOL security trooper the Arbiters slowly started to be convinced that he must be possessed by some evil xeno or demonic influence. They proceeded to interrogate his wife who claimed to know nothing of his whereabouts. The Royal Scourges, also by now interested in all that had passed had found the sister of the trooper dead and flayed and had found and imprisoned the possibly possessed trooper.

On their third visit to the mines the Arbites team finally uncovered a vital clue: the body of the AWOL trooper, several days old, chest cavity sliced open and several internal organs missing. This find, along with the fact that several people had seen the dead trooper alive in the city before he went AWOL but now, it seems, after he was already dead changed their hypothesis from a simple case of possession to demonic or xeno doppelganger incident.

The Royal Scourges reported the team that the trooper had escaped after killing a Ministorium exorcist priest who had come to investgate his case. After this the trooper had exited the prison section and was missing. The Arbites team went to question the trooper wife again but she was also missing. After talking to her parents it turned out that she had just visited her mother who had been a nun in the Ministorium before she renounced her vows and married. It turned out that the missing wife had stolen her mothers old robes just before vanishing.

Working on the hypothesis that the trooper/wife were actually the same shapeshifting demon the Arbites team contacted back to their Regiment to put out all points bulleting on him/her and request for more troops to deal with possible demon at large. The dispatch told them that a nun had previously called in from Royal Scourge radio to them and asked for an Arbitor shuttle transport to local cathedral to relay an important message to planets bishop. The team immeadeatly suspected that a demon, now in guise of a nun, was trying to get access to local Ministoriums Bishop and no-one wnated to knwo what would happen if it succeeded. The team made haste to cathedral and deployed to intercept the demon, finally meeting it in cathedrals main church hall. The demon, which turned out to be an unusual form of daemonette, was gunned down by Severine and Brutis but not before it had succeeded in wounding Brutis quite severely.

Finally the Arbiter team returned to the mine with a squad of Adpeta Sororitas as set the whole mine in quarantine due to possible demonic influences radiating from the xeno ship remains. The Adepta Sororitas proceeded to ”purify” all 23 security troopers and 75 miners that had been in contact with the xeno ship.

The Emperor Provides.



#3 Polaria

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 12:17 AM

Xenos, Weapons and 100 gallons of Nerve Gas
Location: Sepheris Secundus

 

The Adeptus Arbites strike team (Severine, Brutis, Constantin, Yarn and Varnius) were sent to investigate a mine rebellion in northern glaciers. The preliminary reports said that the miners had taken over a whole mining complex but were largely contained inside it by local PDF troops. The rebels had been sighted using several weapons of uncommon design and possibly xeno origin. The mission of the team was to investigate the rebellion and find out the truth behind the reports of uncommon weapons. The team prepared for the mission by loading their Rhino with several dozen pounds of high explosives and loads of additional ammunition.


After arriving to the site of the rebellion the team encountered a few dozen local PDF troopers who had contained the rebellion by setting their firing positions into concrete bunkers overlooking the main entrance of the mine. The local PDF was quite convinced that even though the miners outmanned the PDF by at least 100 to 1 they did not have any way of crossing the several hundred meters to reach the bunkers alive. As a backup the PDF had loaned have two 50 gallon drums of extremely potent nerve gas from Imperial Guard and planned to gas the whole mine if the miners did not surrender in few weeks. However, it seemed that there was several smaller entrance tunnels located in hilly terrain which the PDF could not control and which were thus viable routes for smuggling weapons and supplies to rebels if there was an outside element supporting the rebellion. The team promptly decided to find the other tunnels.


After killing driving over few dozen rebels guarding the smaller tunnels the team used their considerable stash of explosive materials to collapse two out of the three tunnels and then set up into position to monitor any traffic on the third tunnel. They intercepted a hovertruck heading towards the third but unfortunately it crashed, killing the pilot and spreading several tons of canned food around the valley. The team spent the rest of the night booby trapping and sniping the rebels who sneaked out of their tunnels to gather the food. After waging this low-intensity warfare against the rebels for a few days the team intercepted another hovertruck which turned out to be 500 pound VBIED fixed to explode if the pilot left his seat… Which happened when Arbiters ordered him to do so at gunpoint. The resulting explosion damaged their Rhino, wounded Constantin and Varnius and totally obliterated the hovertruck along with its pilot.


The team found out that the Rhinos radio had been damaged and as they were now out of contact with their regimental HQ they decided to return to local PDF only to find it overtaken by several dozen rebels. The team ruthlessly assaulted the rebels, killing most of them and taking a dozen or so prisons. The team also noticed a suspicious absence of 100 gallons of nerve gas in Imperial Guard issue drum containers. After preliminary interrogation Arbiter Brutis condemned and executed all of the prisoners for heretical rebellion against Imperium. As a small sign of compassion the executed men were allowed to confess their sins to Constantin who subsequently absolved their souls before the execution was carried out. Meanwhile trooper Varnius had managed to fix the Rhinos radio by reattaching the antenna in less-than-orthodox methods. The several xeno-issue weapons (shuriken catapults) found from rebels were tested and everyone agreed that it was a good thing the rebels were generally untrained and lousy shots with them.


The team tried to contact their HQ only to have their radio-traffic rerouted to Adepta Soriritas sister superior Celest who identified herself as being onboard Inquisitorial ship. Apparently after being damage their Rhino had sent out an emergency radio call and after several attempts of reaching it proved futile the Rhino and the team were listed as “destroyed”. When previously “destroyed” Rhino now started radio traffic again Inquisition strike cruiser monitoring the planet had intercepted the message and were demanding who the team were and how come they claimed to be alive. After some discussion Inquisitorial Storm Troopers were dispatched to scene to evacuate the team and certify their identities.


After Inquisitorial strike cruiser Sword of Redemption had evacuated the team and contacted their superiors team members Brutis , Yarn and Varnius were sent back to Regimental HQ to explain the circumstances which lead the team into starting a private war on rebels and thus involving Adeptus Arbites in a conflict which was ultimately a “local PDF problem”. Trooper Varnius also had to make penitence to Omnissiah to calm the machine spirit of the Rhino which was not pleased by the unorthodox method of repairing its radio. Sister superior Celest used the authority of her Inquisitor master to “loan” Severine and Constantin for a little undercover operation to reclaim the lost nerve gas.


The Inquisitorial Strike Cruiser had earlier spotted a suspicious hovertruck leaving the destroyed PDF compound and heading towards space port. For undisclosed reasons the Inquisitor suspected that the rebels might try to smuggle the nerve gas away from the planet. Adeptus Arbites was order to deploy more troops into patrolling the space port and Severine and Constantin entered the Sepheris Secundus spaceport under false identities with a mission to prevent the rebels from smuggling the nerve gas drums out of the planet. After a few days they identified a group of rebels and voidborn cultists who were doing some kind of transaction considering the nerve gas drums. Together with two patrolling Arbiters (Lupus Haxtes and Severus Trantor) they succeeded in killing the rebels and the voidborn cultists and reclaiming the nerve gas drums along with several hundred pieces of xeno-made weapons. The team spent several days of listing all the evidence of the case (including the 600+ weapons) while the 1st Battalion ended the mine rebellion by giving the rebels 24 hours to surrender before they would nerve gas the whole mine. Several thousand rebels surrendered. No one ever bothered to count the deathtoll of those who didn't. The team was extremely happy to learn that the machine spirit of their Rhino was finally pleased and did not hold any grudge for the nigh-heretical antenna repairs.

Only in death does the duty end.
 



#4 Polaria

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 02:15 AM

Redzone: Containment Facility
Location: Fenksworld

 

As the team had been operating at reduced manpower for a long time the Arbiters Severus Trantor and Lupus Haxtes were attached to them to bring the total team size to seven members. Meanwhile the Adeptus Arbites Sector-Command had received a word from Fenksworld where an unusually large hive rebellion in hive Volg had spilled over to involve Imperial Adepts as the rebels had attacked the local precinct-fortress. The precinct-fortress site included an old Inquisitorial Supermax Containment Facility used to house captured mutants and psykers waiting for Black Ships to arrive and according to preliminary information it had fallen to rebel hands. The sector-command decided to redeploy several divisions of Adeptus Arbites all around the Calixis sector to assault and take back the Volg precinct-fortress and to restore the order in the hive. The 2nd Battalion of Sepherus Secundus was ordered to take part in this redeployment and would ride to the Fenksworld aboard Inquisitorial Strike Cruiser Sword of Redemption.

While aboard the ship the team met medical enginseer Drake Mercutio who conducted medical checks and rituals of inoculation needed in transit to new world. During routine medical checks medical engineseer Drake Mercutio noticed that Brutis had been prescribed with double dosage of suppressive medication and readjusted his dosage to conserve the valuable medical resources. Severine was found out to be fitted with a remote controlled intra-cortex implant which seemed to be affecting her hormonal levels in ways which required future testing to figure out. In addition to this Drake Mercutio also spotted a small micro-tattoos in the bodies of both Brutis and Severine. Both were quite amazed by the discoveries but decided that they must have been from their earlier treatments in Imperial medical facilities and thus would be purely non-heretical in fashion and made for their own good.


Soon after exiting warp into Fenksworld system the team was deployed to take assault on the containment facility and was tasked with securing one of the four 560 meter tall elevator shafts leading from the ground level up to the top of the facility into guard housings and command center. As everything but the central command-tower of the precinct-fortress was in hands of rebels it was going to be a very hot landing and the team prepared for it by loading their trusty Rhino full of extra ammunition, grenades, shields and food along with fitting themselves with some additional body armor in form of flak long coats. Personal weapons (shotguns, lasguns and autguns) were blessed according to rites and seals of protection were attached to their mesh armor.
The hot landing, turned extremely bad as several of the assault shuttles were destroyed and whole squads of Arbites lost in the inner courtyard of the fortress. The teams trusty Rhino took a missile hit and was filled with smoke soon after crashing through the elevator shafts protective doors. Most of the team (Severine, Constantin, Brutis, Yarn and Lupus) breached the shaft while Varnius and Severus were left to tend to the wounded Rhino. The team managed to scale the shaft to the upper level, surprise a group of rebels and, killing them, enter the top floor of the facility only to be assaulted by waves of escaped mutant convicts. fighting valiantly they managed to push back the mutants even though they did suffer a few wounded (Yarn and Severine).


Meanwhile Varnius had hooked up with survivor from one of the destroyed shuttles (Abidan Goran) and they began to haul extra ammunition and grenades up the shaft while the rest of the team guarded the room above. The team contacted their company HQ and a new order of battle was quickly formed. Brutis, Yarn, Lupus and Severus were to continue securing the upper floor while Severine, Constantin, Varnius and Abidan were to continue the mission of one of the lost squads and assault the holding cell area in the top floor. Unholy chanting and shivering cries were heard from the cellblock while this team of four was faced with a heretical sorcerer and his cult-group of mutants who crashed wave after wave on the shields of the arbiters only to be cut down by hails of grenades and shotgun fire. Finally the demented sorcerer managed to call a daemonette from the depths of the warp only to be subsequently murdered by the daemonette. The valiant actions (and lasgun hotshots) of Severine and Constantin managed to send the daemonette back to warp while everyone else was horrified out of their minds.


The team found Ziapatra from one of the cells and arrested her but soon changed their mind when they succeeded in hacking into the personnel database of the Containment Facility and found out that she was held there in because Inquisition wanted to protect her from something. Assuming she was Inquisition informant they quickly contacted Sword of Retribution and were instructed to escort Ziapatra to the inner bunker of the fortress to be evacuated to Sword of Retribution by Adepta Sororitas. While acquainting themselves with the computing systems of the facility Varnius also figured out a way to lock all the cell doors, leaving most of the mutants and rebels isolated from each other and thus hugely speeding up the process of cleansing the facility.


While escorting Ziapatra back to Inquisitorial custody the team also had the honor of seeing Inquisitor Vaarak in person as he was passing by on his way to negotiating with local Arbites high-command. Even though everyone was hungry, tired, wounded and soaked in unholy blood of dirty mutants they received a huge moral boost when Vaarak bothered ordered his escort of battle sisters stop for a few seconds and personally thanked the team for dealing with the sorcerer and saving Ziapatra.

Know a mutant, kill a mutant.
 



#5 Polaria

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 12:57 AM

Infiltrating the Cult
Location: Fenksworld

 

Inquisitor Vaarak had requested the Arbites team (Severine, Constantin, Abidan, Lupus and Varnius) for helping with his own investigations and the Adeptus Arbites battalion command respectfully decided to liason the team under Inquisitorial command until further notice. The first task of the team was to infiltrate hive Volg disguised as a group of unemployed travelers who had arrived to Fenksworld as part of “Imperial work-force relocation program” and in absence of other jobs in Fenksworld were forced to seek employment in atmospheric processors of Volg. The aim of the mission was to contact a local Imperial cult “Cult of White Hand” and investigate the cults possible rebel connections and analyze if the cults message was heretical or not. Inquisitor Vaarak assigned Fenksworld native Ziapatra to the team to guide them to the intricacies of Volg hive.


The team entered hive Volg, rented an apartment from local street gang and managed to contact the cult which turned out to enjoy very wide support amongst the population living in and around atmospheric processor number 216. During the following days the team managed to form a few contacts with the cult priesthood, local streetgang and local workers union. One of them was employed by the Union of Servants and Hireworkers to relay messages and press more workers to the atmospheric processor when additional workforce was needed. They also learned that the cult was divided in two different parts: the priesthood and the White Robes, a sort of paramilitary guard. Father Constantin made a preliminary analysis of cults teachings and found them to adhere to Ecclesiarchy-approved teachings at least on popular level. He did note that the cults teaching did concentrate on eschatological vision of coming final battle where the oppressed masses of Imperium would overthrow the corrupt governors and nobility and reforge the Imperium into a perfect, paradise-like state of true Emperors visions. They also learned that the locals had the habit of dealing with anyone expected of being a security troop informant by dropping them several hundred meters down from the walkways into the poisonous sludge below. The casual callousness of this operation did cause some of the team to worry about the mental health of the local population.


Severine was offered a chance to join the White Robes but she didn’t jump to it instantly, instead playing safe. She did, however, agree to help the White Robes in using her spacer training to interpret the shuttle flight data White Robes had managed to get from abandoned PDF outpost. While analyzing the flight data the team noticed that PDF presence was suspiciously absent in the whole hive even though there was several now-empty PDF facilities all around it. They also noticed that the local nobles security troops had concentrated alarming numbers of airpower and troopers near the processor 216. Meanwhile one of the cult priests hired Lupus to use a local library “mechanical search engine” to search for references to several hundred keywords from material housed in Library of Knowledge in Fenksworld. Lupus quickly realized that the “keywords” were, in fact, a complete translation of poetically written xeno-prophesy. Further investigation showed that the piece was a million year old Eldar text called “The Awakening” which a certain Inquisitor had translated with the help of a priest and xenoarcheologist working in the Library of the Knowing. The fact that this cult was somehow interested in obscure xenological material of Eldar orgin did cause some alarm and few members of the team wondered if there was connection with Sepheris Secundus incidents where Eldar-made xenoweapons were found.


Next the team was alerted by Inquisition agents to evacuate their local guide Ziapatra who had apparently gotten into some sort of trouble during her latest several-days-long absence. Trying to avoid the attention of nightly security patrols the team moved across the processor grounds climbing on the support structures, a feat which was easy to Severine and Ambulonborn Varnius but did cause some doubts in the minds of those less-accustomed to heights. They found Ziapatra badly bruised and battered in a small housing complex, along with three very dead security guards and one Imperial Death Cult assassin who did not talk much, but was apparently hired by Inquisitor Vaarak to find and release Ziapatra. The team promptly evacuated Ziapatra back to their own housing while the unnamed assassin was left behind to “clean up”. Soon afterwards sister superior Celest appeared at the teams door, disguised as a wandering sister hospitaller, and Ziapatra was evacuated out of Volg.

Truth is subjective, Emperors will is absolute.
 



#6 Polaria

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 07:22 AM

Death to the False Emperor!
Locations: Fenksworld

 

The team (Severine, Costantin, Varnius and Abidan) travelled to Library of Knowing to find the priest who had translated the Eldar text. They did find in in his room, deep in the libabry... but unfortunately he was mummified and had been dead for years. The investigations revealed, that he had been killed by stab in the heart and flayed post-mortum with the skin still missing from the room. Perplexed by what seemed like a ritual murder the team met with their inquisitor and got instructions to continue trying to infiltrate into the Cult of the White Hand.

During the next week Varnius got a new job, guarding Ziapatra. Next few days listening to the girls blank-eyed confessions of the sexual excessed she had been participating in the Inquisitors service started to make the Arbiter seriously worry about her sanity. Meanwhile Severine and Abidan managed to infiltrate into the White Robes and found themselves in drug-induzed, frenzied orgy of the cultists where one of the cultist women was apparently possessed in some way. Severine and Abidan both got up-close-and-personal with the lecherous demonhost but managed to escape with at least most of their sanity and soul intact.

At the very same time, on the other side of the processor the cult meeting was attacked by local security troops and several priests were killed. Interesting this happened to coincide at the exact same time as the possession of the woman in the White Robe orgy and when one of Ziapatras rich clients had made a suspicious phone call. Next morning Abidan started to remember what had passed last night and decided to atone for his part in the filthy, demonic orgy by several hours of self-inflicted torture and praying. At the same time Severine questioned Ziapatra about her last-nights client and together with Constantin they started to suspect that she had been used in some sort of sexual ritual, perhaps even to summon the demon that possessed the cultist in the other simultaneous ritual.

After the murder of the cult priests the locals were in state of alert and confusion. The white robe infiltrators and Constantin (who had gotten close to cult priests) were invited to a gathering of several hundred cultists to hear new instructions on how the cult would proceed without the priests. Here they met a Flawless Host chaos marine who told them that the priests were in fact ”willing martyrs” and their killing had been orchestrated to provoke the hive into rebellion. After cofessing this the marine adressed all the cultists, explaining how Empire of the mankind had been deceived by the servants of the False Emperor, worshipping a dead body and oppressing the masses and how the time had come for the oppressed masses to rise up in revolt against the False Emperor. The marines speech quickly whipped the cultists into blood-thirst frenzy to avenge the priests and overthrow all the servants of the ”False Emperor” and the team found themselves in middle of a full scale hive-rebellion which was gathering momentum fast.

The team managed to contact their inquisitor and were instructed to follow the chaos marine from distance to quide the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers dispatched to hunt down the traitor. The team was ambushed by the marine and Varnius was badly wounded when they had to jump down from several stories to avoid being drilled full of holes by bolter-fire. Cosntantin started to evacuate his wounded team mate out while Severine and Abidan pursued to retreating marine. The Inquisitorial death squad of one extremely lethal death cult assassin and several Storm Troopers arrived in nick of time and fire fight started. Severine and Abidan found themselves facing the traitor marine who had just survived several dozen laser blasts, including a hit from lascannon. Fortunately they had managed to secure three melta bombs from the death cult assassin and the well-placed melta-bombs proved to be enough to keep the marine in place for the assault shuttle to get into firing position and put the traitor finally down with another lascannon blast.

The team gathered their many wounded, boarded the shuttle and made haste back to the Inquisitorial Strike Cruiser in orbit while the hive behind them exploded in frenzied spree of violence. The traitor marine responsible for starting it was dead, but somehow the team started to think that their mission wasn't over quite yet...

Innocence is an illusion



#7 Polaria

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 10:52 PM

Addition to Dramatis Personae:

Tassa(NPC) – Feral World Assassin. A Death Cult assassin pressed into Inquisitorial Service by Officio Assassinorum. Favors skin-tight, black synskin, swords and pistols. Absolutely adores meltabombs. As for what happens inside her head... Well, imagine a medieval death cult acolyte who started stabbing people at the age of ten... Yes, Tassa is all that and more.

 



#8 Polaria

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 11:25 PM

Finger of Emperor
Locations: Fenksworld


The team spent a whole week aboard the Inquisitorial Strike cruiser Sword of Redemption recovering from their latest escapade while the planet below them was ripping itself to shreads. It turned out that in addition to full-scale civic upraising in hive Volg there had been an attack into one of the naval refitting factories, a forge-city situated 2 kilometers below the planetary crust and tasked with production of naval-grade armored steel plates. In addition to this a small taskforce of Chaos Marines had attacked an escort cruiser parked in holding pattern above the planet and seriously damaging the power plant of the cruiser which was now falling towards the planetary surface. Meanwhile Inquisitor Vaaraks other agents had managed pin the location of the leader of the rebellion, Marcos, into one of the central hive quarters. Unfortunately Marcos isn’t such an easy prey, being an ex-inquisitorial convict and possible demonhost who also happens to be a level 6 psyker and former Imperial Guard sergeant.


The Acolyte Team (Severine, Constantin, Varnius, Lupus, Abidan and Yarn) was tasked with locating and terminating the heretic Marcos. The team fitted itself with a new layer of civilian clothes, pistols, shotguns, lasguns, one heavy stubber and plenty of grenades from the ship armory and proceeded to enter the hive in trail of the heretic. It turned out that the sector Marcos was reputedly staying in was a full-blown warzone with no civil governance left and armed hiver gangs holding the streets. The team used their earlier knowledge from sector 3 to pose as a group of mercenary hive gangers who were coming to join the forces of great leader Marcos. In quick order they managed to sneak, lie and cheat their way past cannibals and demon-worshipping gangers finally coming across a group of White Hand cultists who told Marcos was found living in a huge tower-fortress formerly owned by local noble house. However, in order to gain access to the fortress the team had to find a way to get past a small detail of local merchant houses security forces who had blocked the street with a Chimera tank.


After some discussion the team decided to join forces with the White Hand cultists to destroy the security troops. The assault went well until to the point when the White Hand cultists summoned a group of three demonettes to help them. The demonettes quickly ripped apart the Chimera and its occupants but witnessing the slaughter of the security troopers and subsequent demonic orgies was taking hard toll on the sanity (and purity) of the acolytes. With the Chimera out of the way the acolytes hastily bid farewell to the cultists and continued on their way, silently vowing to come back and finish off these heretics and their depraved demons another day.


Finally reaching the tower the acolyte team decided to dig in outside the tower while assassin Severine sneaked inside to scout the area. Just in case things would turn bad she also decided to fit herself with a suicide-bomb-vest made up of six fragmentation grenades. Severine gained entrance to the tower easily but quickly found herself stranded in middle of a Slaaneshi cults non-stop orgy lead by a full-blown, unchained demonhost and his two demonettes. Unable to extradite herself without gaining unfavorable attention of the demonhost Severine had to stay inside until a Traitor Marine Sorcerer joined the games starting a ritual sacrifice of some kind of xeno (elder) captive to the demonhost. While everyone else was concentrated on the ritual Severine finally managed to discreetly climb out of the window and scale down the wall of the tower, reaching the rest of the team waiting below. Unwilling to charge head-on into a frenzied pack consisting of Traitor Marine, demonhost, two demonettes and several hundred demented cultists the team decided to call their Inquisitor. After hearing the report on what was going on inside Inquisitor Vaarak gave the team exactly half a minute to reach the minimum safe distance.


Needless to add, the tower itself was destroyed along with the whole cult in one beam of searing white light which melted the whole tower into a smart little pile of molten steel and rock. Although the beam was originally fired by the main laser cannons of the Sword of Redemption acolyte Yarn was quite convinced that it was, in fact, the finger of the vengeful Emperor himself, reaching out all the way from Terra to touch the infidels.


Enlighten the Ignorant, Illuminate the Heretic.
 



#9 Polaria

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 12:43 AM

Hunter Becomes Hunted
Location: Fenksworld

After returning from the last assignment few members of the team (Constantin, Varnius, Abidan and Yarn) were assigned to act as specialist advisors to Adeptus Arbites and PDF troops tasked with “cleansing” of hive subsector 3 of chaos cultists and demons. As part of this task they requested to be drop-inserted into the middle of the subsector 3 twelve hours before the main assault so that they could hunt down and destroy the three daemonettes formerly seen there. The request was approved and the four team members were inserted into the ruins by Inquisitorial Stormtrooper shuttle transport.
 

Following the trail of destruction left by the daemonettes the team entered a ruined building in the middle of the hive subsector just to find themselves being ambushed by the trio of daemonettes suddenly materializing all around them. Trooper Varnius was promptly knocked down the stairs and hit his head while Abidan and Yarn were assaulted by a single daemonette. Abidan was lightly injured and knocked to the side by first assault while the daemonette started ripping into Yarns flesh. Panicking, trooper Yarn decided to detonate the daemonette using a krak-grenade. The resulting explosion managed to banish the daemonette but also ripped off trooper Yarns left leg from the hip. Meanwhile cleric Constantin distinguished himself by single-handedly surviving the combined assault of two daemonettes while wounding both. The daemonettes were successfully banished and the team made a hasty shuttle-evacuation.

Trooper Yarns life was saved but he lost his leg and was fitted with a cybernetic prosthetic replacement. The rest of the team were hastily debriefed and sent back to Sword of Redemption to wait for new orders.


Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
 



#10 Polaria

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 01:17 AM

Deeper
Location: Fenksworld

The Acolyte Team was assembled again after several weeks of rest to tackle the suspicions that the Fenksworld Cathderals priesthood may have been partially responsible for supplying the rebellious heretics in Hive Volg. The team (Severine, Constantin, Brutis, Varnias, Abidan and Yarn) decided that infiltration was not worth the time and the trouble in dealing with ecclesiarchy and decided to take a whole different approach. Using a forged documents they decided to trump up charges that the cathedral had been skipping on sending a part of their income to subsector cardinal they entered the cathedral grounds identifying themselves as representatives of Inquisition and Adeptus Arbites and demanded the bishop to help them in all further investigations. Clearly not impressed by this show of force the cathedral met them with equal display of their own might by escorting them into bishops office with a full squad of Adepta Sororitas watching them.


After securing a formal agreement of cooperation from the bishop the team started to pursue their investigations. They uncovered several things being astray in the cathedral. For example, most of the cathedral grounds (including private chambers) were fitted with wide area video and audio surveillance the team had to first dismantle from the rooms they used for their own meetings. They were also strongly advised to keep inside locked doors and not wandering out to the cathedral during the night time as arcoflagellants were frequently released to patrol the empty halls after the evening mass. At one point assassin Severine was forced to sleep over in the shuttle used by medical enginseer Mercutio because of the arco-flagellant threat. Neither one seemed to be sorry about spending the night together, though.


With the added problem of being largely ignorant of the local cathedrals procedures of conduct the team had to fight their way through a whole lot of red tape to get things done. At one point they were forced to consult the medical enginseer Mercutio for assistance to get them the inventory of the local armory as the AdMech priests in charge of the armory refused flatly to release any information on the weapons without proper codes.
After some time the team found out that the cathedral staff had been collecting a “shadow fund” by constantly forging tithing results and they had also delivered several thousand small arms (mainly lasguns) into abandoned PDF bases which had fallen under the control of the rebellious White Hand cult. When finally confronting the bishop with their findings the bishop produced three letters signed by Inquisitor Lorquai of Ordo Xenos detailing how the local cathedral should arm and fund the White Hand using secret funds and how the cathedral priesthood should strive to remove any records of the ancient elder prophesy “The Awakening” from the Library of Knowing. Unable to act against a direct order signed by another Inquisitor the team decided to contact Inquisitor Vaarak.


Inquisitor Globus Vaarak arrived the scene and decided that the best way to deal with the matter was to suppress all information considering the Inquisitor Lorquais involvement in supporting the White Hand. As a result the team executed the bishop, two of his closest advisors and four senior priests. Five other priests were condemned to be sent into Maccabeus Quintus for mindscourging and arco-flagellation. The sister superior commanding the local detachment of Adepta Sororitas and three other sisters were sent to join Sisters Repentia. Furthermore under direct orders from Inquisitor Vaarak assassin Severine secretly assassinated the three Astropaths that had managed the communications between the cathedral and Inquisitor Lorquai finally erasing all trace of Inquisitors involvement in the Hive Volg rebellion which had so far cost several hundred thousand lives and resulted in several hive subsectors falling into Chaos.


Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.
 



#11 Polaria

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:49 PM

Addition to Dramatis Personae:


Flavia Ephese – Imperial World Tech Priest. Born and raised in Mars and destined to become an acolyte in AdMech from early age. She has specialized in medical technology and has served previously as a “medic” for Skitarii.


Mr. Cain – Hive World Scum. Scintillaborn ex-noble who found excitement and purpose for his life in crime. Was recently involved in trafficking lobotomized “entertainers” and “pleasure slaves” to Scintilla noble. Got involved with Inquisition by selling Zia (Ziapatra Lupa, see Dramatis Personae) to Inquisitor Globus Vaarak.
 



#12 Polaria

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:29 PM

Aleph Cornelius
Location: Warp

In order to stop the insurrection from starting again Inquisitor Vaarak has decided to transfer the refugees from Hive Volg subsector 3 out of Fenksworld to colonize a new deathworld. Thus all the 100 000 surviving refugees have been loaded into three huge transport cruisers which will be escorted to the new colony by the Inquisitorial Strike Cruiser Sword of Retribution. Unfortunately the transport ships are actually former cattle-ships originally designed for moving huge herds of cattle from agriworlds to be slaughtered and processed for food. Thus the ships design doesn’t really support having 30 000+ people onboard. Furthermore Vaarak could only detach one battalion of Adeptus Arbites to guard the ships so each ship has a contingent of only 200 to 300 arbiters on board.


One week into the warp the navigator-astropath on board carrier Aleph Cornelius transmits a message to Vaarak telling that 21 people have been killed on board in rather bizarre occurrence and the ships crew is afraid of daemonic presence on board. A team of five acolytes (Constantine, Severine, Abidan Gora, Flavia Ephese and Cain) is transported from Sword of Retribution to the Aleph Cornelius via connection cable connecting all the carriers with Sword of Retribution. For further reference the connection cable is a huge hollow metal tube approximately 10 meters across and several kilometers long. It is, at least in theory, fully inside the Gellar fields but still the priests aboard Sword of retribution ritually cover the windows and doors of the traincars running inside the tube by bolting them shut with thick metal plates covered in hexagrammic wards. Furthermore the car cannot be exited during travel in the tube as the door is bolted shut from the outside…


Arriving aboard Aleph Cornelius the team finds out that an Arbiter guard has slain 20 prisoners who were being detained for misconducts. He has slitten open their throats one by one after which he has killed himself by stabbing his own neck with a pencil. The security camera feed and dead arbiters own journal tell that he has seen weird dreams and visions a few hours before he suddenly proceeded to slaughter every inmate under his guard. The team concludes this is a clear case of possession and there might be daemon loose now that the original host is killed. They promptly detain and investigate everyone nearby, including other arbiters who first arrived the scene and servitors working nearby during the happening, but are unable to find the daemon.


Unable to find the daemon straight away the team decides to settle to Aleph Cornelius and wait for the daemon to make its next move. Flavia finds that the ships hull is plagued with odd stresses in the metal and manages to find an anomaly which manifests itself in a metallic “growth” pushing out of the outer hull support beams. She cuts of the growth and decides to analyze it later. The team is woken up in middle of nightcycle by a strange whistling noise. Only after several minutes of investigating they find out that the noice is caused by the air conditioning blowing to the hole in the metallic growth Flavia extracted from the hull. Before they can investigate further they are alerted by the ships crew.


One of the ships laymen technicians has been driven completely crazy by unknown reasons and is found in his room, naked and writing on the walls. The writings all seem to be repetition of some sort of warning which warns against continuing the warp travel to the deathworld saying it is “inhabited by soulless whose silence breaks our ears”. Trying to speak to the lunatic proves to be fruitless as he has chewn off his own tongue. Finally the team decides to sedate the lunatic and detain him somewhere. The team suspect that instead of daemonic possession one or more of the telepaths either onboard the Sword of Retribution or the carriers might have seen a vision (or rather a lack of vision if soulless – untouchables- are involved) of their destination and wants to stop the fleet from going there, thus mind-controlling crewmen. What they can’t, however, understand why a telepath would wantonly kill people… unless the first try for mind control went somehow wrong. They call Drake Mercutio to Aleph Cornelius to consult him of his knowledge of psykers.


The next alert comes soon after Drake has arrived. This time it is serious. The connection cable to Sword of Retribution has been severed by an explosion looking lot like a meltabomb. Now that Aleph Cornelius (and the two other carriers connected to it) are severed from direct physical link to the Sword of Retribution the team is worried that they might get lost in warp. Worried that the severing of the connection cable might be just the first step in bigger attack the team decided to split up to protect the two most vital targets on board: the shrine of Omnissiah (aka main control panel for all ships systems) and the Navigator. However, they were late. Arriving to the Navigators dome Constantin and Abidan found the Navigator freshly slain and themselves facing a very real (and pissed off) daemonette. Constantin managed to wound the daemonette with a bolt pistol shot but Abidan missed with his grenade-launcher, firing the krak-grenade right through the darkened dome between navigators quarters and warp…


As daemons started to pour in, Constantin and Abidan made a quick retreat, barricading the navigator dome and alerting all crew to stand fast against incoming daemons. Flavia, now logged into ships surveillance cameras, witnessed the wave of daemonettes pouring in through the hole in the dome and passed out in horror, leaving the team with no-one to operate the ships systems. When the daemonettes claws started to rip away the barricades Drake decided to sacrifice his multi-melta equipped combat servitor to delay the daemonettes while the crew and the team would retreat further inside the ship locking and welding doors and bulkheads behind them. They managed to contact the other two carriers and found out that the carriers had lost contact with Sword of Retribution and the two other carriers had been attacked also, leaving the three carriers combined with only one living (but wounded) astropath. Finally, when the daemonettes were starting to break down the bulkheads the team decided that the only thing they could do was to retreat to the next carrier and sacrifice Aleph Cornelius along with 38 000 people on board. Flavia who had come to her senses again, logged into the ships systems for one more time and opened enough doors to leave the daemonettes a direct route to the refugee holding areas in the hope that ripping their way through the refugees would delay the daemons long enough for the team, arbiters and ships crew to evacuate to the next ship. True to their calling in the service of the Imperium the team decided to evacuate the crewmen and arbites first, holding the fort until they left the ship as last and cut the connection tunnel with a meltabomb Drake had removed from his servitors self-destruct system earlier.


Just a few minutes after escaping to the second carrier the two remaining carriers exited warp with an override command given by the last astropath. He was later found dead, lying in a pool of his own blood with his hand on the override switch. On the floor near him was written a message in blood saying “they” would destroy the fleet if it continued its present course.
 

Absence of faith is the mark of damnation



#13 Polaria

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 12:44 AM

The Revenant Moon
Location: Revenant Moon


After the trouble aboard Aleph Cornelius revered Inquisitor Vaarak decided to fill in a few gaps on his acolytes knowledge of the current situation. As it turned out it was the stolen nerve gas canisters (see chapter Xenos, Weapons and 100 gallons of Nerve Gas) in Sepheris Secundus that first caught his attention on the possibility of a greater scale civil uprising or other rebellion being at hand. When he cross-referenced the known ship routes from Sepheris Secundus with possible sites of rebellions the name of Fenksworld popped up. At that time Vaarak decided to requisition several things: ships, armed troops and arbiters to use in the case of Fenksworld rebellion. Knowing that one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to deal with civil uprisings was to transport all the potential rebels to another world he also approached the Administratum to locate a suitable world for colonization if such transports were necessary. The world of Revenant Moon (where they were heading now with the convoy) was named as such. As it turned out that in Inquisitorial holding facility was attacked on Fenksworld (see chapter Containment Facility), a full scale civil uprising was at hand (see chapter Death to The False Emperor!) and Inqusitor Lorquai seemed to be behind organizing the whole uprising while actively suppressing information on the ancient Eldar prophesy (see chapter Deeper).


After all this revered Inquisitor Vaarak has become convinced that something or someone was actively guiding him into a trap. A trap that, somehow, included moving large amounts of people to Revenant Moon. Not being easily scared type revered Inquisitor informed his acolytes that he was now committed to walk into the trap just to see what lied behind it. Thus the acolytes were assigned to make the first planetfall on Revenant Moon with a platoon of arbiters and scout out the abandoned imperial outpost there while the other ships of the convoy remained safely away from planetary orbit. Almost the whole acolyte team, Severine, Constantin, Varnias, Yarn, Lupus Haxtes, Abidan Goran, Flavia Ephese and Mr. Cain, were to take part on the landing, supported by Tassa, a handful of arbiters and all the orbital firepower of the Inquisitorial strike cruiser Sword of Redemption.


The team landed into the thick, death-world jungle in a stormy weather and all landing shuttles were frequently bombarded with lightning strikes which disabled the auto-pilots and scattered the shuttles away from each other. However, piloted by Severine, acolyte teams shuttle managed to land safely and quite near to the abandoned and now overgrown imperial fortress-base. Scouting the base they found it totally stripped of all equipment, overgrown by jungle but with all basic functions like electricity, communications and environmental control functioning once Flavia had cracked into the system with AdMech override-codes. They decided to set up a base in the main fortress compound and used downgraded laser-phalanx strikes from the orbit to clear the jungle for several hundred meters all around the compound. However, next morning all was not well on the planet…


It turned out that several shuttles carrying arbiters had been disabled during the storm and the teams had to make their way to the fortress by foot. In addition to this, no contact with the team Tassa was leading could be made. The acolytes set out to find Tassa just to find her shuttle having landed safely but still being somehow disabled. No trace of Tassa or any of the arbiters could be found. Even the feral-born trackers like Abidan Goran and Constantin were unable to find any tracks. As if this wasn’t worrisome enough, another arbiter squad, one which had been making its way towards the fortress through the night, had just failed to answer radio calls. Suspecting something really evil was afoot the acolytes geared up with heavy weapons and set out to track them. After several hours of tracking and aerial recon they finally located the whole squad dead, flayed and all bodies deposited into a 10 feet across crater dug into the ground. Investigating the carcasses they were attacked by what seemed to be one of the carcasses, somehow resurrected or animated, and wielding huge metal claws. Shooting down the carcass, they retreated from the site with a few wounded and summoned Inquisitorial Storm Troopers to clear the site. Surprisingly of the animated body they had shot down the Storm Troopers were able to retrieve only a flayed human skin with several shotgun-made holes in it. Whatever had inhabited it and caused the horrible wounds with its claws was now gone.


A spiritu dominatus,
Domine, libra nos,
From the lighting and the tempest,
Our Emperor, deliver us.

 

 



#14 Polaria

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:17 AM

The Awakening
Location: Revenant Moon


With Tassa still missing, several arbiters dead and the revered Inquisitor of Ordo Hereticus nowhere nearer to solving the mystery the team was resting in the safety of the fortress. Flavia had just patched up the wounded for the best of her abilities as the revered Inquisitor informed the acolytes that from the orbit the Sword of Redemptions sensors had spotted an old basing of a road cut into the forest and now overgrown. The road seemed to go near the Imperial base but not be part of the original construction of the base, a fact which was verified by the later study of bases construction plans Flavia had found. The next task of the acolytes was to follow the road and see where it would lead them.


The acolytes followed the road for several kilometers before they found a curious structure of obviously xeno make. It included a rectangular pool of water, several rock monoliths and a structure which seemed to be an underground entrance. All structures were made of black, obsidian-like material and adorned with gold xeno script of unknown type. Several structures were surrounded by strange, totem-like objects which looked like upper bodies of tall, humanoid skeletons made of unknown, dark metal. Entering the underground complex the acolytes found stairs leading down inside the planets crust. After summoning some Inquisitorial Storm Troopers to guard the entrance the acolytes went underground.


After half an hour of walking down the acolytes slowly noticed that there was something wrong with the place. Light seemed to throw shadows in wrong angles, their sense of time was off and somehow the whole geometry of the cave to be subtly, but definitely “wrong”. Then someone noticed the ceiling was covered with small, metal scarabs scurrying away from their light. They tried to retreat back up only to found out that their spatial sense had gone haywire. Trying to climb up the stairs they seemed to go down and soon they lost each other also. After several moments of trying to navigate a landscape which looked normal but did not function along the lines of normal space and time anymore the team found each other inside a huge hallway filled with several strange machines and coffin-like structures made of milky glass-like substance.


At this point the teams communication with the Sword of Redemption had been reduced to garbled messages transmitted over and over again and they had become aware through the messages that several days had passed outside the structure while their own sense of time indicated they had been there for maybe little over hour. Searching the hall they found a strange gynoid robot resting on stone slab, surrounded by what seemed like pieces of armor and weapons. Flavia Ephese tried accessing the robots systems just to find out that it was indeed partly compatible with AdMech interfaces but still obviously of xeno make. She managed to find out that it wasn’t exactly a robot, but a cyborg body which needed several human organs (like brains and spine) in order to work. She could also say that it was definitely a weapon, but not something AdMech would make. The team decided to gather the armor in as evidence.


Further investigations turned out that one of the strange mechanisms was actually the only piece of imperial technology in the hall: it was a fully functional teleporter device with one pre-programmed destination set in. The team deducted that the earlier Inquisitorial team that had been on the planet had probably set it up to investigate the hall without having to pass through the stairs which seemed to mess up space and time in unholy ways. At this point the golden xeno runes in the walls and ceiling started to shine with eerie, green light and the milky coffins started to melt, revealing robotic creatures looking like tall, metal humanoid skeletons. Several team members panicked, went insane or passed out witnessing the awakening of what seemed nigh endless amounts of these unholy constructs. The rest valiantly fought, downing several skeletal creatures only to witness them rising again. Finally, seeing as their recident tech priest was down in shock and unable to function arbitor Varnias activated the teleporter with some kind of rigged-emergency procedure. Following the somehow haywire teleport the team found themselves, bruised, battered, burned, shocked and smelling of ozone, on what seemed like a ruin with similar teleporter device set amid a grassy plain below a clouded sky. No one had any idea exactly where they had teleported.


That thou wouldst bring them only death,
That thou shouldst spare none,
That thou shouldst pardon none
We beseech thee, destroy them.

 



#15 Polaria

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 12:45 AM

Aleph 112
Location: Revenant Moon


Barely surviving the emergency teleport out of the Tomb the acolytes found themselves stranded without shelter or communications on unfamiliar looking plain. Constructing a hasty shelter and giving first aid to the badly wounded the acolytes braced themselves against the night and the inevitable tropical rainstorms. Luckily the energy spike of the teleporter device had been located from the orbit and Inquisitor Vaarak had sent a couple of Imperial Guard sentinels to scout the area. The acolytes contacted the guardsmen and were evacuated to the Sword of Redemption where their description of the horrors inside the Tomb were recorded for further use by Inquisition. They were further informed that while they had spent maybe 20 hours of subjective time inside the Tomb they had actually been gone for 5 days. Furthermore the Inquisitorial Stormtroopers that had been guarding the Tomb entrance had been lost during a swift and deadly attack by unknown xenos.


While the acolytes were resting and recovering from their latest expedition the Imperial Guard battle group Aleph 112 started to establish a beachhead and hundreds of troops with heavy weapons were being dropped on the planetside. Suddenly the acolytes became aware that the Sword of Redemption had suffered some kind of electrical malfunction which cut off power and air-conditioning inside the ship, gearing for battle they started to make their way towards the bridge only to meet huge swarms of metallic scarabs trying to cut their way through the bulkheads into the bridge. Acolytes engaged the scarabs with all weapons and managed to break up the swarms. Acolyte Haxtes was wounded and lost two fingers of his left hand as scarabs ate them. Entering the bridge the acolytes found out that the ship had been attacked by several swarms at three key locations. Meanwhile one of the Imperial Navy cruisers carrying Aleph 112 had also been attacked. The attack had damaged the powercore of the cruiser which was now burning and making a barely controlled landing towards the surface of the Revenant Moon.


During the next hours the acolytes helped with clearing out the scarab swarms from the Sword of Redemption. While the ship was being repaired they heard that the second Imperial Navy cruiser had also been attacked and it had lost power. With both navy ships and Sword of Redemption out of power the Aleph 112 had no orbital support when it was attacked by xenos. Meanwhile the message arrived telling that the two remaining passenger cruisers, Aleph Lucius and Aleph Damocleus, were both damaged by unknown magnetic anomalies and contact with Aleph Lucius was lost. The acolytes commandeered two shuttles and hastily assembled a strike team which included Acolytes Constantin, Haxtes, Varnius and Jarn along with 32 arbiters. The shuttles tried to contact Aleph Lucius but failing to establish communication they decided to dock on the surface of the cruiser and storm the bridge of the ship. Entering the Aleph Lucius the acolytes and arbiters were met by a single xeno-creature of humanoid shape, unknown, greenish armor and wielding a huge two bladed melee weapon.


The xeno cut down acolyte Varnius first, slicing his foot off and disemboweled one of the arbiters. Constantin, armed with chain sword and bolt pistol, managed to hold off the xeno long enough so that Haxtes and Jarn got over their first shock and engaged the xeno. Haxtes, still wounded and missing fingers from his earlier encounter with scarabs, bravely grappled with the xeno-man, trying to get control of its weapon, but was rendered unconscious by a kick that crushed his left leg. At this point Jarn managed to shoot the xeno with krak grenade, wounding it and knocking it off balance. At this point Constantin shot the xeno and it went down. The acolytes decided to take the xeno-man back to Sword of Redemption as a sample and leave Aleph Lucius.


On the surface the Imperial Guard battlegroup Aleph 112 was bruised, battered and near the end of its strength, retreating to the orbit with last shuttles. With no chance left to investigate the xenos of the Revenant moon further the Inquisitor Vaarak made a final decision. Cruiser Aleph Lucius, presumably in hands of xenos now, was destroyed by the Imperial Navy. Invoking Exterminatus, Vaarak then proceeded to launch a single cyclonic torpedo into the moon just before the surviving three ships jumped into warp, hoping it would be enough to damage the underground Tomb.


There is no way in which the fully realised sentience of a machine could not be of benefit to us.

As it is, the Machine Spirit is revered, yet in permanent bondage, its full potential shackled by petty fears.

I seek to terminate this state of affairs.

 


Epilogue

Location: Scintilla


The session and the first major story arc of the campaign closed six weeks of game time later on the orbit of Scintilla. The Sword of Redemption, passenger ship Aleph Damocleus and the navy cruiser carrying the remnants of Aleph 112 had successfully escaped into Imperial space. The acolytes accompanied Inquisitor Vaarak into a meeting where they met Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Cordess and her retinue of six Deathwatch astartes. Vaarak and Cordess made a pact to investigate this new xeno threat together. While Vaarak would continue to pursue the leads of xenos involvement into Administratum and other Imperial power structures Cordess would take her Deathwatch marines into ancient Eldar worlds, trying to locate more of the Eldar prophesies which described this new xenos threat.

[[Here ends The Awakening and from here starts the next part of the ongoing campaign, called Maneater. I am planning to run it as a joint Dark Heresy / Deathwatch campaign, where the two teams will jointly solve the mysteries of Necrontyr. The campaign will be alternating between the Vaaraks acolytes delving deeper into the secrets inside Imperial space while the Deathwatch is investigating ancient xeno ruins and engaging the xenos threat first-hand.]] 
 



#16 Polaria

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 02:00 AM

[[Here starts the follow-up campaign called The Maneater]]

Cult of Ethereal Voice – Part #1
Location: Scintilla


Few weeks after the Revenant Moon incident Father Constantin is called to meet one of the elder priests of Maccabeus aboard the Sword of Retribution. When Constantin arrives he finds out that the priest was fatally wounded on Revenant Moon and is near death. As his last act on office this old priest conducts a rare ritual called Absolutio Ultima which, in effect, promises Constantine unconditional absolution for all sins he has committed, and will possibly commit, during his next mission. The priest explains Constantine that this is necessary in order for him to successfully complete his next task in Inquisitors service as the mission will require very extraordinary things of him. The priest also tells him that he was tasked to complete this ritual because he is about to die and no-one outside the team should be allowed to know what he has been promised.


At the same time Severine receives a priority message from Officio Assassinorum, telling her that she has been re-assigned on the order of Office of High Lords of Terra to serve the Adeptus Mechanicus in any capacity they think she is needed in. Meeting with her Magos contact she is promptly informed that she is as of now property of Adeptus Mechanicus and will serve them as one of their assassins joining the secretive order of Sisters of Cydonia. After this the Magos tranquilizes her with one injection. As she wakes up three days later she notices that while tranquilized she has been implanted with a metallic spine and some adjustments have been made on the brain-implant device she had earlier. A servitor of Adeptus Mechanicus brings her new official robes, Mechanicus symbol and an encrypted data-slate that will teach her the basics of her new office. Severine is returned to the Inquisitorial Strike Cruiser Sword of Redemption and, assisted by Flavia, starts to learn the ways of the Mechanicus. She also contacts her mother and asks her if she knows anything about this new assignment to Mechanicus. Her mother tells her that of all the hundreds of people in her family she knows that few strong Untouchables have been assigned to Mechanicus service before, but she does not know anything more as she was never strong enough for anything else than taking care of the children.


After spending a few weeks resting and recuperating from the strains of Revenant Moon incident the team composed of Constantine, Severine, Varnias, Lupus Haxtes, Flavia and Abidan Goran receive details for the next mission from Sister Superior Celest. She explains them that Inquisitor Vaarak feels he has been manipulated by someone inside the Imperium for several months or even years and all the manipulations have lead him to the point where they woke up the things on Revenant Moon and lost thousands of people on that world. The possible origin of this manipulation has been tracked down to Calixis Sectorial Departmento Munitorum offices on Scintilla. A second team sent to investigate has found out that a good 60 % of one of the Departmento offices there are members of a local cult called Ethereal Voice which is a splinter cult of Cult of Emperor Revenant. The task of the team is to infiltrate this cult and follow any leads that would point to heretic, daemonic or xeno influence within the cult. Futhermore they are told that this time the infiltration will be different: Communications with Inquisitor will be held at minimum to prevent anyone from learning what they are doing and the team is to turn a blind eye on any minor heresies, instead trying to get to the very bottom of the things no matter how long it takes.


Preparing for a long and difficult mission the team arrives to Scintilla in several smaller groups, taking measures to frame meeting each other on Scintilla and to establish credible backgrounds on how they arrived to Scintilla. Lupus Haxtes has a forged transfer papers that allow him to go directly to work as a chief of small office inside Departmento Munitorum and Abidan Goran will go by his own name and record as Lupus Haxtes’ bodyguard. Constantine and Flavia will go to work in local Imperial and Mechanicus temples near the Administratum levels of the hive and Severine and Varnias will try to get some kind of work nearby.


During their first weeks of infiltration the team finds out that the Cult of Ethereal Voice is pretty mainstream Cult of Emperor Revenant and widely tolerated on Scintilla. There are, however, few irregularities. First is that it is strictly invitation-only and has been observed to convert only people serving Administratum in one capacity or another. Ethereal Voice is also known for their beliefs that Emperors words and messages can be deciphered from the variations in Astronomicans psychic field by technological means. Several books containing these messages have been published on Scintilla. Earlier on Ethereal Voice has had trouble with certain elements of Adeptus Mechanicus for their links in Moiraen Heresy. Moiraen Heresy is not heresy in eyes of Ecclesiarchy. Instead, it is a competing interpretation of certain technological principles inside Adeptus Mechanicus. A bloody civil war has been fought over the Moiraen Schism, resulting in several destroyed worlds and billions of casualties. Moiraen Schism started when the supporters of Moiraen principles suggested that the present cult of Mechanicus should be combined with Imperial Cult and Emperor-Omnissiah would be instated as the new icon of worship. Ethereal Voice has been investigated almost 200 years ago by Ordo Hereticus for Heresy of Emperor Revenant. Several key-members were executed for harboring xenos-artefacts but the cult itself was cleared of charges.


While starting their investigations Flavia and Severine receive a message from Drake Mercutio through encrypted Mechanicus channels. He tells that few weeks ago there has been a catastrophic breakdown in Inquisitor Vaaraks life-support and Inquisitor is comatose. He also wonders why Celest sent them on mission while Vaarak wasn’t conscious and cautions them that any orders they have received so far come from Celest, not directly from Vaarak.


Only a few days later the team suddenly meets Tassa on Scintilla. This worries them all as Tassa was supposedly lost on Revenant Moon. They follow Tassa to her apartment and while searching the place find that the apartment is somehow strange: There are huge storages of guns and ammunition in there even though Tassa was known to prefer knives and bladed weapons but there is no food or water anywhere even though Tassa is of feral world origin and known to be usually well prepared. The Team confronts Tassa and demand for explanation on how she is here instead of being lost on Revenant Moon. Quite surprisingly Tassa tells that she never left to Revenant Moon at all, but stayed on the ship because Inquisitor had ordered her to kill Celest and dispose the body in all secrecy. After this Tassa insists that she has actually killed Celest and brough her body here in Scintilla to be buried. This worries the team somewhat as they have seen Celest, and actually gotten orders from her, after the date when Tassa supposedly killed her. They are a bit doubtfull of everything though, as Tassa doesn’t quite seem herself and, for example, insists her name is Sheol even though the team has always called her Tassa before. They decide to contact Celest and tell her of Tassa/Sheol, but omit any mention of how Celest is supposedly dead now.

Many claim they wish to destroy their enemies. If this were true, most would be compelled to destroy themselves. 
 



#17 Polaria

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 02:05 AM

Cult of Ethereal Voice – Part #2
Location: Scintilla


The team continues their investigations and Severine meets a local girl named Kenda who seems to have some contact with a local gang or a death cult. While pursuing this lead Severine finds out that Kenda seems to share several beliefs common with Ethereal Voice and actually has copies of illustrations from Moiraen texts in her home. She also seems to have some sort of fetish for cybernetic implants of other people. While studying the illustrations taken from text called Moiraen Apocrypha Severine notices that certain figures depicted on the pictures are drawn wearing armor that is almost exact copy of the armor they gathered from the robots found on Revenant Moon (see The Awakening and Aleph 112). Severine decides to stick around Kenda, trying to find out more.


Constantine receives a message from Celest, saying that she will send Ziapatra to meet with him and provide them with more information on how to deal with Tassa/Sheol. Before this meeting Constantine, Flavia and Abidan Goran go to a local cathedral to see the body of Celest Tassa/Sheol supposedly delivered there to be buried. In the cathedral they meet local sister superior who is guarding the body and has a strange tale to tell. The body was delivered in a closed and sealed casket and the two young Adepta Sororitas who took the casket did not dare to break the seal before sister superior comes back. When she finally came and opened the coffin, they found it empty. The two younger sisters are now utterly convinced that it was Emperors miracle and Sister Superior Celest has been resurrected and ascended to the Living Saints. The sister superior, however, thinks that it is quite possible that the coffin was empty to begin with. The team investigates the coffin and, finding no evidence of anyone being there, decide to believe the more experienced sister superiors version of events.


Abidan Goran goes to check out the meeting place with Ziapatra and finds out that the place is being watched from atop one of the nearby structures by a man wearing cameoline cloack. When Constantine and Flavia arrive and meet Ziapatra she confides them with something very surprising: Zia tells that after hearing about Tassa/Sheol Celest became very worried and decided to activate one of Vaaraks old contingency plans. Basicly the plan is to kill both the acolyte teams on ground, wipe the slate clean and start over. Zia tells that as part of this operation she is carrying a small melta-bomb inside her and was instructed to blow up herself and most or all of the team while meeting them. However, Ziapatra feels that because the team rescued her from Inquisitorial Holding Facility (see Redzone: Containment Facility) and have always been kind to her she will rather kill herself than hurt them. Constantine and Flavia think the melta-bombs might be remotely controlled and try to jam the radio signal from afar, but the bomb explodes consuming Ziapatra and good part of the bridge she is on in a searing white ball of light.


While observing the melta explosion Abidan Goran who has been watching the cameoline cloacked figure decides to open fire on him with his laser rifle. In the middle of general chaos Flavia, Constantine and Abidan Goran manage to capture the mans dataslate and get away from the scene. Deciding to frame the events to look like Flavia and Constantine were killed in the melta-explosion with Ziapatra the team evacuates Lupus Haxtes to new, secret housing. Varnias is left to shadow Tassa/Sheol and Severine is still keeping eye on Kenda.


Severine comes to meet the others and tells them that two Inquisitorial Stormtroopers attacked Kenda and her but they killed them both. After asking Kenda about her weapons and the Stromtroopers Kenda avoided the questions but Severine now thinks Kenda might be member of the second acolyte team Vaarak sent earlier to investigate the Cult of Ethereal Voice. The team decides that Severine should stay with Kenda now and find some place to lay low while they try to figure out everything. The team decides to contact Tassa/Sheol again and confront her about the missing corpse of Celest. When interrogated Tassa/Sheol comes more and more incoherent with her answers and there are gaping holes in her story, implicating that she has not been alone. Finally she collapses in fear and tries to run away. Varnias stuns her with shockmaul and she is brought to Flavia to be tranquilized and checked. Flavia finds out that Tassa/Sheol has been implanted with metal spine (potential coil) similar to what Severine now has. However, unlike Severine Tassa/Sheols mind has been subjected to radical brain-surgery and metallic implants that are clearly of xeno-origin and actually surprisingly similar to the work done on the robots in Revenant Moon (see The Awakening). She thinks that the only possible explanation is that Tassa/Sheol is under some kind of xeno influence and the reason to why none of his stories make any sense is because her memories have been altered but the xeno who did it did not master the fine points of human brain-chymistry, causing her mind to slowly become detatched from reality so that she started to hallucinate things like killing Celest.


Concluding that Celest might actually be alive and herself and acting under Vaaraks plans the team captures an outside link-station to contact Sword of Retribution about these new findings. While speaking with Drake and Celest they learn that Vaarak has recently recovered from the coma and has taken control of the ship once more. Although still very weak Vaarak shortly speaks to Constantine in person, instructing him to deliver Tassa/Sheol to Sword of Retribution, contact the survivors or second acolyte team and then continue the original mission of infiltrating the Cult of Ethereal Voice. On closing connection Drake finally warns the team to keep very low profile as it seems nothing is quite safe from the xeno-influence anymore.

Death stands above me, whispering low 

I know not what in my ear

Of his strange language all I know

There is only pain and fear.



#18 Polaria

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:51 AM

Shadow of Pyramid


Location: Morwen VI


The team (Severine, Varnias, Constantine and Flavia) meets Kenda and learns that everyone else in her earlier team have been killed in mining accident on Morwen VI. Kendas earlier team had met with Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator called Guorn Lepidus who had some respect amongst the members of the Cult of Ethereal Voice. Seeing Ethereal Voice as very secretive ‘gentlemans secret society’ Kenda and her group had conducted that serving Lepidus would be a sort of fast-track to get inside the Cult. However, all three of Kendas associates had been on Lepiduses expedition to Morwen VI and had died when mining shaft collapsed on the world. After this accident the sub-sector administratum forbade any continued expeditions to Morwen VI until such time as Adeptus Mechanicus had gotten better equipment there.


While discussing with Kenda over what her team had learned earlier the team also learns more about the history of Moiraen Apocrypha texts. They are told that the most perfect copy of Moiraen Apocrypha is being kept in Library of Knowing in Fenksworld. This copy, by unknown author, has been illustrated by a somewhat known Calixian Martyr called Blake the Twice-Martyred who was murdered and flayed in his illustrators chamber. According to the tale the Moiraen Apocrypha was bound into his flayed skin as a testament to his unfinished work in illustrating the text. This story brings back memories from the teams earlier encounters in Library of Knowing when they found one ecclesiarchy clerk murdered and flayed there… and the murder was left unsolved (see Infiltrating the Cult).


Varnias, posing as a private investigator, was contacted by Mechanicus Secutor called Rho-Phi-Omicron-19808 who wants to hire him to find about the whereabouts of Sheol. According to Rho-Phi-Omicron he is working as a bodyguard to exploratory Guorn Lepidus and his employer had detected ‘faulty, impure technology’ implanted into Sheol. Unwilling to tell that he has already capture Sheol and delivered her to Inquisition Varnias still accepts the assignment and starts to see if he can find out who Sheol has been connected to prior to recent events. After a week of unsuccessful search, Varnias presents his report with his findings, including the fact that he has been following Sheol before, but excluding any Inquisitorial involvement. Rho-Phi-Omicron seems pleased and hires him to find explorator Lepidus a team for new, technically illegal, expedition to the xeno-ruins on Morwen VI.
Despite the possible risks the team decides to use this contact and join the expedition. Constantin, posing as a frateris militia veteran, and Varnias get hired as security guards, Flavia and Kenda as technical assistants and Severine as a shuttle pilot. In addition to them the expedition will include Lepidus himself and Rho-Phi-Omicron. Arriving later on Morwen VI the team finds the earlier expeditions basecamp evacuated and destroyed. However, Lepidus has another, secret underground basecamp located at the shadow of the two huge xeno-built ziggurats. The material and architechy of the pyramids resemble the team of the structures they saw on Revenant Moon (see The Awakening). Lepidus is well prepared for his expedition this time: When the earlier lascutters have been unable to pierce the xeno-structures he has now procured a conversion beamer for the job. He also has a stasis field rigged to place where he intends to breach the ziggurat so that they can seal the place with stasis field afterwards. While unloading the gear from shuttle and preparing the conversion beamer Lepidus tells the team of what he knows about the ruins. They belong to a race called ‘Necrontyr’ who seemed to worship sun and stars. Lepidus has dug out several Necrontyr ruins before and while there has been no signs of the race itself many wondrous artefacts have been recovered from them. He also mentions that the ziggurats send out undecipherable electromagnetic bursts but they have been unable to find any source for those sendings.


Next night Lepidus confronts Severine telling her that the implants built into her have been ‘cailbrated incorrectly’ and offers to fix them. After a discussion Severine agrees and Lepidus explains that he is infact specialized in his work on null-fields and devices and thus knows the technology in her implants better than most. Lepidus explains that the suppressor implant is used to limit the effects of her natural null-aura and teaches her to use the implant so that she can hide her null-aura (not completely, but to a point) or switch off the implant to release the full impact of her aura. Lepidus also mentions that it is this scientific specialty of his why he is so interested in Necrontyr structures.


Next day the team uses the conversion beamer to breach the ziggurat and enter it. Finding most doorways inside locked they finally find a huge temple in the middle of the ziggurat. There is a huge, obsidian statue resembling some sort of semi-humanoid, robed grim reaper inside and golden glyph writings on the walls. Nearby the statue the team also finds three artefacts: A blade they recognize as a similar fractal blade they have captured from xeno in Aleph Lucius (See Aleph 112), a stone jar filled with black liquid which Lepidus calls ‘essence of anti-psioniks’ and an unknown black stone orb. Finding nothing more the team retires back to basecamp for the night.


Next night the team in woken up when Varnias notices an Imperial Guard vehicle heading for the camp. Convinced that they do not want the Imperial Guard to find the entry into xeno ruins they ask Lepidus to contact the guard and try to convince them that they have Adeptus Mechanicus mandate to explore this area. Meanwhile the team prepares for a possible fight. The Imperial Guard chimera does not answer their calls and the infantry squad inside exits the vehicle, starting to spread and close in with weapons ready. Severine accidentally handles the unknown xeno-orb and it gives her a vision of ten dead, zombie-like guardsmen preparing for combat. She warns everyone that the guards might not be what they look like and heads out for ambush. Fight starts when Severine, unknowing of results, activates the xeno-orb and the strange device produces lightning bolts that destroy the Chimera and kill three guardsmen. The team quickly suppress the rest of the guardsmen with automatic fire and grenades. While Constantine picks out the nearest ones with two aimed bolt pistol bursts Severine moves in and finishes the rest with a deadly, blood-soaked ballet or powerblades. Only after all the guardsmen are dead or dying they find out that these men have also been implanted with similar xeno-heretical brain implants earlier found on Tassa/Sheol.


Unwilling to risk additional reinforcements the team uses the conversion beamer to destroy the bodies and the chimera wreck, demolish their dig site with explosives to seal it from outside and carefully conceal any signs of the underground entrances before loading into shuttle and heading back to ship to take them back to Scintilla.


Perhaps the most merciful thing in the universe is the inability of the human mind to comprehend it.






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