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For Profit and Plunder - A pc's tale


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#21 DrVesuvius

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 10:20 AM

 Oi!  I resemble that remark!  That's Abhumanist, that is!

Actually if you asked Kilgrim right now what he would do if a true heir showed up, he'd quite honestly and sincerely say he'd hand over the House and happily return to the role of loyal House Warmaster.  A few years down the line, however, I imagine he might find himself making excuses and rationalisations and finding reasons not to, since the thirst for power is kinda insidious that way.

Like Marvin says, I'm not really much of a 40K fan, but I'm seeing our RT game as "Frank Herbert's Dune - as directed by Quentin Tarantino" and playing accordingly.  It's certainly a heckuva lot of fun playing someone who operates on a spectrum between "morally grey" and "stone killer" instead of the usual heroic type.

Lord Spatula, on the other hand, has a much better grasp of the setting and has absolutely nailed the voice of Nikandar Hak in the write-ups.

And of course, it's Marvin's universe that we're playing in.  He's even overlooking my heresy of playing a [***REFERENCE TO A NON-EXISTENT ABHUMAN SUBSPECIES CENSORED BY THE INQUISITION***].

Here's to the next 69 pages of grimdark goodness. 



#22 LordSpatula

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:23 AM

Once the story arc's finished I plan on putting all the write-ups together into a .pdf file to bring it all together, and add some images, character profiles etc, and make it all look pretty...



#23 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 01:23 PM

++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++

 


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, TRANSITION FROM SAPHIRUS SYSTEM, WINTERSCALES REALM ++

We rendezvoused with Captain Perez and The Revenge on the edge of the Saphirus System and made the final preparations for the transition to the warp. The plan was to keep our asteroid suspended between the Furnace of Redemption, and The Revenge, attached by huge chains which we had brought with us for this very purpose. Mindful of the potential for unwelcome attention during the passage through the empyrean, I made some plans, and then oversaw the work to extend the Gellar Field envelopes of both ships to cover our prize rock; as our new Rogue Trader Regent so colourfully phrased it; "We don't want to arrive in Footfall to find we have to fight to clear our new base of warp spawned filth!"

Tech-Priest Calldia, as ever, was vocal with his opinions of my plan and preparations. Although he found much that he felt could be done better, he could not actually suggest any way to improve what we were doing, so we settled with the original plan, and I "let" him check my calculations. Which, by the way, were correct. Yes, Calldia, I know it is far better to be safe than sorry. And yes I do appreciate your help. Oh, do stop sulking; it's unbecoming for one of your intellect!

Based on what happened during the journey through the Warp, I think I must investigate whether Rogue Trader Kilgrim Hartek-Dureen is in possession of some form of witch-sight, or is just suitably paranoid as befitting his new role...

Once the preparations were complete, and the initial transition made, Hartek called me to the Command meeting room, and we began to discuss the transition of power of the Dynasty to his command. He came up with a two-tiered strategy; firstly to let it be known that Rogue Trader Dureen had disappeared, although the circumstances of the disappearance were unclear. Secondly, we would let a few key individuals know, via rumour and scuttlebutt, that Hartek had visited Dureen's quarters and witnessed his passing to a higher plain, in a bright glow of light, with his last words bearing a cryptic message stating "Take care of my people, cousin!" This statement it would be explained, had confused Hartek, until I had produced the genetic evidence proving the familial link between himself and Dureen.

I suggested that Kilgrim take the Ship's Confessor, Archbishop Nathaniel Shepherd, into his confidence, explaining the circumstances of Dureen's death in full detail, and make the case that we need to ensure the survival of the fledgling Dynasty and as we have a crucial, Holy task to aid the Calixis sector; effectively we do the work of the Emperor and cannot risk failure because of the degenerate behaviour of a single individual. Hartek nodded, and broke into a smile when I suggested that he broach this as part of his regular spiritual confession to the Archbishop, so he could couch the plan in terms of asking for advice on the situation, to protect the mission, and the spiritual wellbeing of the servants of the Dynasty. He stood, and headed for the Chapel.

Hartek recalled me a short time later, and told me that although the Archbishop was initially a little uncomfortable with the spiritual aspects of the story and would prefer that that section be rethought; he had not particularly liked Dureen, and he felt that we were acting in the greater good, and was pragmatic enough to accept the plan for what it was. Hartek nodded, and promised to rethink the sections that Archbishop Shepherd did not like, and would check with him prior to releasing any story.

We spent a little more time tweaking the tale, until I suggested that rather than transitioning to a higher plane, a more mundane explanation could be that Dureen had had an epiphany during his time in the Expanse, and had seen the error of the decadence of his previous life, and, with a new purpose and purity of mind had headed into the Expanse to spread the word of the Emperor to the heathens there, leaving his cryptic message to Hartek on a dataslate within his quarters. Both Hartek and Archbishop Shepherd accepted this as a valid compromise, and the matter was settled.

Hartek then spoke to the Chief Bosun, Johannes Vitteberg, and the Ship's Master at Arms Mikhael Petrov, explaining that the Rogue Trader was missing, and unlikely to return, and that he would be taking control of the Dynasty. Vitteberg, a man who had previously suggested to Hartek that he felt that the Warmaster was a far better candidate for command of the Dynasty, had no problems with the proposed transition of power, whilst Petrov was taciturn, but accepted that the change was necessary, as Dureen had effectively abdicated his responsibilities months earlier.

Satisfied, Hartek announced to the crew that Rogue Trader Dureen was missing, and after the hours of agonising over the decision, was somewhat surprised by the lack of response. It seemed that the crew were of the same opinion of the Master at Arms, and had more contact with Hartek than they had ever had with Dureen, and anyway, it did not really matter greatly who was in charge, their jobs remained the same.

A few days later, a second announcement was made, outlining my research, and that Hartek was a distant relation of Dureen, so until further notice Hartek would be reluctantly taking the role of "Rogue Trader Regent", and command of the Dynasty - at least until a more suitable heir could be located. This announcement was met with some celebration, although that may have been more to do with the fact that I authorised the doubling of the daily disbursement of the shipboard grog-ration from the ration servitors...

Throughout the journey I suffered from vivid nightmares, most of which were related to the battle with the corrupted inhabitants of Saphirus 1-1S2M3, and I was assailed with memories that I could not place, that I could not clarify, yet I found disturbing. I was not the only one affected strangely on this journey, and it was noticeable that Rogue Trader Regent Hartek was rarely seen without a piece of the strange fruit that bore his name, that we had discovered on Dropas.

A day after the confirmation of Hartek as Rogue Trader Regent, he was presented with his first challenge of command; and emergency message reached the bridge from The Revenge. At the same time, from my position monitoring the ships systems, I noticed a surge in power draw from the Gellar Field.

Hartek ordered the message to be transferred to the main holo-screen, which was filled with the image of a worried looking Captain Perez.

"Captain Perez!" Hartek greeted him

Dispensing with any preamble, Perez replied; "We have a situation over here. I have just been informed by my Enginseer that the Gellar Field is strained, as is on the point of failure. I have had reports of intrusions on half a dozen decks, sir!"

Suddenly, the lights on The Revenge flickered out, and a warning siren sounded.

A new, panicky voice came over the channel out of the darkness; "Captain Perez Sir! The Enginseer says he can cover certain areas of the ship, but the Gellar Field is being strained Sir!" Emergency lights flickered on, bathing the bridge of The Revenge in a red glow.

"Tell the Enginseer to do what he can, but he must keep the field up!" snapped Perez, tersely.

The panicky voice responded, "Sir, he says that certain sections of the generator have blown, and until he repairs them, he won't be able to get the field fully back!"

Suddenly there was a cry of "Watch out Sir!", and in the background we could see a deranged crewman launch himself at Perez, who casually spitted his attacker on a rapidly drawn sword, however, in the struggle, the transmission from The Revenge was cut.

I turned back to the readings I was getting from the ships instruments, and could see that although the Gellar Field of The Revenge was still functioning it was wildly fluctuating, and the power spike we had suffered was our field compensating for the weakening of The Revenge's field around the asteroid. I reported this to Hartek who ordered that the chains be shortened between us, the asteroid, and The Revenge so that there was less strain on both fields. Although this was a risky manoeuvre, the crew performed it flawlessly, and the strain eased slightly, however, there were still problems on The Revenge.

Hartek was about to call for troops to ship over to The Revenge from our barracks, when I reminded him that they too would be vulnerable to the vagaries of the fluctuating Gellar Field, and we really did not want heavily armed combat troops falling under the sway of the powers of the warp.

He grunted, and then spoke; "I am going to speak to the Iron Men..."

I nodded. "I must attempt to do what I can remotely to rectify the problems on The Revenge, and I need to ensure our field stays strong, but I will monitor the conversation. Keep a vox link active..."

He nodded, and headed to the accommodation of the Iron Men.

On arrival Hartek pressed the vox-stud and announced "I seek an audience with Iron Man XX1V1", and settled back to wait.

A few minutes later the door to the chamber slid open, and an Iron Man stood there. Hartek reactivated my translation servitor, and repeated his request.

"I am Iron Man XX1V1" replied the Iron Man.

Deciding to get straight to the point Hartek nodded, and then spoke again; "I have come to ask for your help. Your directive is to deal with the xenos threat, confirm?"

"Confirmed."

Hartek continued, "How do you feel about warp entities?"

Iron Man XX1V1 paused for a second, before replying, "We do not have enough data to come to a conclusion with regard to these warp entities. We are aware of the threat, but have no specific details."

"We are currently transiting the warp, and our sister ship is being assailed by entities from the warp." Hartek paused, but there was no response. "We're in great danger. If we lose our sister ship, as well as the loss of life on that vessel, this ship could suffer heavy damage, perhaps even be destroyed too. If that were the case, your people would also be destroyed, therefore it may be in your best interest to aid us."

Iron Man XX1V1 did not respond, although it did appear that he was communicating with his brethren.

Hartek continued; "Humans are vulnerable to the mind altering effects of the Warp, and the entities that reside there. Your people are not."

XX1V1 appeared to consider Hartek's words, and there appeared to be some debate going on between the Iron Men.

Several minutes passed, so Hartek spoke up; "Do you require any further information to aid you in your decision making?"

"Affirmative." Responded the Iron Man.

Hartek nodded. "The human crew of our sister ship, The Revenge, are suffering and dying at the moment. I as the Warmaster, and now Regent of this Dynasty, cannot in good conscious let this continue. If you are unable to help us I will lead a human force onto the other vessel, and many will die. Many more will suffer as a result of the warp entities, but I will lead the force anyway to protect both our peoples. Whatever you decide, I will respect your decision as free thinking entities, but I need an answer soon."

The debate rolled on for another ten minutes, and then Iron Man XX1V1 spoke to Hartek; "We will assist you, but, we expect something in return."

"Name your terms!" Hartek grunted, with a wry smile.

"We ask for less restricted access to the vessel. We are confined to this small area. It stifles us. We wish to experience full life on this vessel."

I spoke over the vox to Hartek; "I do not believe that this is a bad thing Kilgrim, however, perhaps we should specify that there are certain areas that the human crew do not have full access to either, and that they need to respect what privacy is available to the crew. Perhaps we should offer them the same access as human crew, as long as they are careful in the numbers that they travel in; we do not wish to impact on the efficient functioning of the vessel?"

Hartek, grunted, and made an offer to Iron Man XX1V1. "Will you agree to abide to the same sort of restrictions that the human crew on board the ship accept? Freedom to move around, but with certain limitations?"

Very quickly Iron Man XX1V1 responded; "Affirmative"

"Very well then. It is agreed!" Hartek nodded. "I would be honoured if you, or one of your people, would accompany me to gain an overview of what we do here."

"Affirmative."

Again, Hartek nodded. "In that case, estimate the force you require, and ready your people for transfer to The Revenge please. You have the layout of this ship from the records?"

"Affirmative. However I am unable to estimate the force required as we do not have enough information regarding the enemy."

Hartek paused. "In that case I suggest the largest force you feel comfortable with."

XX1V1 responded immediately; "Ninety."

"Good. We will transfer from Small Craft Bay 17 forthwith."

I was left wondering what the remaining nine Iron Men would be doing while remaining onboard the Furnace of Redemption, but quickly finished making the last adjustments to the Gellar Field, handing over to the senior Tech-Priests, before collecting my equipment and heading to the small craft bay to meet the Hartek, his aide Antonio Fenducci, and the Iron Men.

Hartek had formally handed command to the Officer of the Watch, currently Orbest Dray, with orders to maintain a high alert, and then we split the force over four gun-cutters. Although nervous about making the journey in an unshielded craft, with some skilful piloting we would remain within the extended Gellar Fields, projected to cover the asteroid under tow, so we should be able to transit without problem. Fortunately the pilots were able to meet the challenge and this proved to be the case, and we successfully docked in one of The Revenge's small craft bays still protected by her Gellar Field.

Hartek requested that Iron Man XX1V1 leave the bulk of his people defending the small craft bay, and to a number to come with us as we headed off towards the bridge. Our group consisted of Hartek, his aide, myself, Iron Man XX1V1, and an additional seven of his people. The journey of several hundred metres was surprisingly uneventful, despite the distant sound of the occasional gunshot, and bout of screaming.

As we advanced through the ship, Hartek called me forward to translate, and then turned to Iron Man XX1V1, "Iron Man XX1V1, it's difficult for humans to relate to a name like XX1V1. Would you object if we re-designated you to help with human interactions?"

Personally, I do not see what the problem with the name XX1V1 is, but I translated the message properly as requested. Surprisingly, XX1V1 responded "I would not object."

Hartek smiled. "In that case, for human interaction, I think the name Xerxes will work!"

XX1V1 or Xerxes as he is now to be known apparently, seemed unmoved, and I cannot say I blame him.

Tech-Priest Calldia was keeping a running commentary up throughout our journey, and although I was able to tune most of his drone out, he did make some salient points with regard to a number of technical issues which were raised as we advanced. It was because of this internalised debate that I missed much of what happened next, but have since gained a better understanding after reviewing recordings of the encounter.

Hartek had spotted a crouched figure, perhaps forty metres away, down the corridor leading to the final approaches to the bridge. The figure was crying softly, and seemed to be hugging itself, focussed intently on something that no-one else could see. As Hartek approached, he drew one of his bolt-pistols, but hid it behind his body, and was able to identify the person as a woman. Beyond her, there was a splash of sparks, as some of the wiring seemed to short out, and he reached out to draw her away from the danger, her head whipped round, and he saw that her eyes were completely white, and she was covered in dried blood and cuts. Most horrifying of all, her lips had been sewn shut with rough twine, and it looked as though this was self inflicted. The woman screamed, and launched herself at him, and shocked, Hartek scrambled backwards and quickly swung the bolt pistol round, squeezing off a round, which hit, but did not detonate as she was too close for it to arm properly. Even so, the woman was sent sprawling, giving Hartek time to gather himself properly, and prepare for her attack. She pulled a knife from the folds of her ruined clothes and slashed at Hartek, scoring his armour. Tiring of this, Hartek finished her with a burst from his bolt-pistol. Fenducci, Hartek's Aide, took this as a cue to vomit on his own boots.

"Xerxes" Hartek spoke up, indicating around him, "This is why we needed your help..."

"Affirmative" was the emotionless reply.

We continued towards the bridge, passing a number of crumpled bodies, and soon came to a set of heavy sealed doors. Hartek attempted to vox through to the bridge, but got nothing but static, although, judging by the look on his face, and from the tone of his quiet muttering, he was also hearing something else. I am becoming quite the expert at recognising voices in the head, and I feel sure that Hartek was hearing something more than the static he reported. Such are the perils of a warp incursion, and I made a mental note to keep an eye on my friend. He seemed to quickly gather himself, and called me forward to open the door.

I connected myself to the data-port and began to negotiate with the machine-spirits, much to the disgust of Calldia, who chided me for taking unnecessary risks. It is nice to know that he cares, although I suspect it is more to do with self preservation than anything else.

While I was working, a number of howls and screams came from down the corridor, and a severed head was hurled at the group, mercifully falling short, and while I was aware of the Iron Men powering their weapon systems, and the heat from their firing, I focussed on my task in hand. Less than half a standard minute later, I had bypassed the security protocols, and spoken the correct litanies to calm the machine spirits, and turned to notify Hartek, when I noticed the remains of two dozen people either burnt to a cinder, or explosively dismembered and scattered around the corridor. The Iron Men were clearly highly effective warriors.

As the door slid open, I heard a voice shouting "Prepare to fire!"

I flung myself to one side and tried to shout "Cease fire!", but my voice was lost in the noise of the gunfire. Rounds whipped past me, one clipping my arm, and another two hitting young Fenducci. A number of the other shots struck the Iron Men, and that was enough for them to classify the firers as hostile. Once again, their weapons activated, and in an impressive show of force, they surgically removed our attackers.

Hartek bellowed "Hold your fire!", and Captain Perez raising himself from behind the cover he had taken, managed to finally restrain his men, and the Iron Men realised there was no longer a threat. There were over a dozen dead and wounded people strewn across the bridge.

"Captain Perez! Permission to come aboard?" asked Hartek jovially, as he stepped over the threshold into the bridge, and attempted to cut through the tension with humour.

Despite himself, Perez grinned, "Permission granted, Sir!" He swept low, removing his hat, in a formal bow. "Apologies for the reception, but we didn't know you were coming to the party!"

"That's fine Captain." and then the Hartek indicated the rest of us; "I hope you don't mind, I brought some friends!"

Perez looked at the dead and wounded crew, and paused for a second, "No, no problem at all Sir!", and the proceeded to update us with regard to the situation.

Captain Perez had lost contact with his Enginseer in the Gellar Field sanctum, but had managed to move all the crew into protected areas, and detach Armsmen to protect them. We updated our tactical plans to reflect these safe areas, and Hartek turned to the Iron Men; "Anything within these safe areas we do not engage. Anything outside is a valid target."

"We only engaged the targets here because we took hostile fire" stated Xerxes

"That is perfectly logically and reasonable" I interjected.

Hartek agreed; "Obviously you have the right to defend yourselves Xerxes. This is forgotten..."

We arranged for the remaining Iron Men to patrol the ship, protecting as many of the safe areas as they could. Perez voxed the crew warning them to stay within the designated safe zones as anywhere else was classified as a free-fire zone.

I stepped forward, "I need to get to the Gellar Field sanctum and restore it properly. I will need an escort, and we need to get there quickly..."

Hartek and Perez nodded, and leaving Perez on the bridge to co-ordinate, Hartek, Fenducci, Xerxes, his seven Iron Men, and I, set off, at speed, towards our destination. As we approached the Gellar Field sanctum, I picked up a reading on my auspex indicating a single slow moving target, so sent one of my servo-skulls, Yorrick, to take a quick look round the corner. As he approached, there was a short in some of the ships wiring, and he was caught in the discharge and effectively shut down. Unfortunately this meant that I had to base the rest of the record of this day on after action reports, as my recording ended here.

Throwing caution to the wind, I ran down the corridor to retrieve my fallen friend, and picked up a very weak signal from Yorrick, warning me that the figure was heading towards him. I was not going to leave Yorrick to the mercies of the unknown, and redoubled my efforts to get there first, all the time hearing faint whispers at the edge of my consciousness.

I reached out and grabbed Yorrick, as the figure came round the corner, and threw myself backwards to keep clear as the gore covered humanoid reached out. I scrabbled backwards and unslung my hellgun, as Hartek stepped passed me, pistols drawn firing at the figure. There was a horrible click as one of the bolt-pistols jammed, and distracted by this, Hartek missed with his second pistol. As the figure reached out for Hartek I fired off a burst from my hellgun, catching it a number of times, blasting it from its feet. It lurched once more, and with a deep groan, it reached out a hand to Hartek, holding forward a necklace, and muttering "Why did they all have to die?" and then it too died.

"I don't think he was a mad one!" exclaimed Fenducci.

"Aye..." nodded Hartek sadly, "But he was in the free-fire zone, and we couldn't take the risk..."

I gestured to the Warmaster for him to pass me his jammed pistol, and speaking the proper litanies, and applying the sacred oils in the correct places, un-jammed it and freed the action, before handing it back, and we continued on to the Gellar Field sanctum. There were the bodies of Tech-Priests scattered around the fairly large room, and in the centre was the vital equipment, obviously suffering from power-fluctuation problems. I stepped forward, focussed on the device and trusting to the Iron Men to protect me when suddenly the vox sprang to life, and we could hear gunfire and screaming from one of the safe areas; "By the Throne! What is that? How can it exist? Emperor preserve us... Aaaaaarrrggghhh...!"

I spent a few minutes analysing the damage, when once again the vox sprang to life; "By all that Holy! Arrrggghhh! How can this be... Noooo!"

Another safe area was being attacked. Between them, Perez and Hartek worked out that the attacks were in a direct line towards the bridge.

"Xerxes, can you bring your people to intercept please?" Hartek asked.

Xerxes responded, "Affirmative. But we are the closest."

I looked up; "Leave me some protection, and go!"

Hartek nodded, and Xerxes detached two Iron Men to defend me, and then Hartek, Fenducci, Xerxes, and the remaining five Iron Men left the chamber at a run.

I had to rely on second hand reports and some static recordings from The Revenge to piece together the events of the next standard hour or so, as I was engrossed in repairing the damaged Gellar Field.

The team reached the corridor to the bridge unopposed, but as they rounded the corner to the bridge doors they saw a terrible sight; a creature born of inhuman horrors radiating hatred, and immense power. They could hear the screaming of souls as its burning gaze passed over them, and men around the creature killed themselves rather than stand to be in its presence. Its shape constantly changed, with pseudopods and limbs forming and dissipating at random. The Iron Men, unmoved, opened fire with their plasma weapons bathing the creature with energy. It appeared not to notice, and one of its pseudopods began to bubble and then split from the main entity, producing a smaller, shark-like creature with legs of a sort, which began to move towards Hartek. At this time, Hartek noticed that the metal in the room had begun to corrode, and the Iron Men were showing signs of damage too, and as he staggered back, he could see the metal bulkheads of the ship weeping blood.

The Iron Men fired another volley of plasma at the creature, again bathing it in fire, but again it seemed not to notice. Hartek stepped forward to intercept the smaller creature that had began to stalk the Iron Men, and un-sheathed his Squat axe, attacking aggressively. With inhuman speed, the creature evaded the blow, and lashed out with a knotted limb, punching through Hartek's armour as though it was not there, driving him to the floor, and leaving him on the edge of unconsciousness. Hartek told me later he could feel reality melting away at this point, and he knew that the creature was feeding off weakness between the empyrean and reality...

The large creature charged into the Iron Men driving one into the bulkhead, Hartek realised that it was Xerxes who had taken the hit, and he had been rendered instantly inoperative by it. The others responded by leaping at the creature, slashing at it with their taloned hands.

Throughout this time, I worked on the Geller Field generator, knowing that speed was the key but not knowing how desperate the situation on the bridge was getting. Fortunately, I had identified the problem; something was blocking the machine spirits of the genatorium from flowing properly, reducing the power to the Gellar Field, however, it was also clear that the machine spirits would require much help to clear the blockage so I released a burst of incense and began the correct litanies to aid them on their journey. Immediately I could feel the harmonics changing, as I eased the spirits on their way, but I knew that it would take some time.

Back on the bridge, the fight was getting desperate. The remaining Iron Men were tearing chunks of foul flesh from the large creature, which began to fade and shimmer, and Hartek could feel a psychic roar of anger and pain. Then the creature quickly stabilised itself and moved to strike back at the Iron Men. Hartek and Fenducci had their hands full the smaller creature, and were fighting defensively, and as a team. Fenducci managed to evade an attack, but Hartek was not so lucky, being pinned to the floor by spine driven through his shoulder. As the creature twisted away to strike again, it tore Hartek's arm off, and left him unconscious, on the edge of death. The larger creature swatted two more of the Iron Men to the floor, where they remained motionless, and their remaining brothers renewed their assault, when suddenly, the creature burst, and disappeared, leaving ichor stains on the deck. There was a smaller explosion as the smaller creature, which had turned its attention to Fenducci burst too.

The young man paused for a second before leaping forward to the aid of his Master and attempting to staunch the blood flow from the amputated arm. He did his job well, and as the Rogue Trader Regent began to regain consciousness, he saw a huge clawed hand begin to descent through the bridge. Each finger was the size of an Iron Man; however, it had not quite coalesced into real-space. Hartek could hear heavy metal-shod footsteps approaching; Iron Men reinforcements had begun to arrive in the corridor approaching the bridge.

I knew I was getting close to repairing the Gellar Field; the machine spirits had calmed themselves, and the genatorium had begun to slip back into a proper rhythm, when suddenly I felt the ship lurch, and additional alarms sounded. Afterwards, when I was able to compare chrono readings, it became clear that this coincided with the giant hand reaching into the bridge. I completed the last litany, and felt the power began to flow cleanly again, and the Geller Field sprang back to full power enveloping The Revenge, and I felt the ship settle back into its normal routine.

Hartek told me he knew the moment I succeeded, as he felt a deep thrum vibrate through the vessel, and suddenly the fingers were sliced from the giant hand falling to the deck and dissolving. Hartek, relieved, blacked out once more at this point.

I got onto the vox system; "All call-signs, the Gellar Field is back up and stable. Report in please."

I was swamped with information, and was pleased to hear Captain Perez come onto the net, and exert some control over his crew. They had suffered heavy losses with almost 5400 loyal souls lost, nearly 30% of the entire crew complement, but as Perez said, it could have been much worse. I requested that the Iron Men undertake a sweep of the vessel, to round up stragglers, and destroy any remaining threats, which they did without further loss. I arranged for Hartek to be delivered to the Medicae bay along with the other wounded, and began to do what I could to aid them.

++ End of record ++

 



#24 FoxPhoenix135

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:42 AM

With a little bit of expanded detail, you'd have a full-fledged novel on your hands here! I greatly approve! Thanks for taking the time to put it all in writing.



#25 Timberboar

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:51 AM

This is the second campaign log I've seen that mentions a giant demonic hand forming right as a gellar field kicks back on.

Is that from a published adventure, or is it just too cool of an idea not to use?



#26 crisaron

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 06:51 AM

Made my day again!



#27 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:02 AM

All,

Sorry for the late reply, ive been away this weekend.

So...

FoxPhoenix135 I have thought that with a little extra work so of the games I have ran would make a damn fine novel

Timberboar I dont remeber seeing it in any published adventures and I just thought the idea was too cool not to use, I thought about a tentacle or something similar but then realised that its harder for the players to realise just how big the creature would be and hence, PANIC!!!!

crisaron its good to hear your still enjoying the write ups, FYI the next session will be the last one for approx 5 weeks due to winter sports and climbing going on with the players and gm. Depending on how quick LordSpatula writes up the session will depend when it gets posted. Hopefully I can get a cliff hanger or two out but you know how players will attempt to destroy and gm plan



#28 DrVesuvius

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 07:17 AM

MARVIN THE ARVN said:

 Hopefully I can get a cliff hanger or two out but you know how players will attempt to destroy and gm plan

Oh Marvin only says these things to make me cry. javascript:f_valida_respuesta();

Anyway, we played the "holiday season finale" this week and it was spectacular, wrapping up a couple of plot threads and laying the seeds for the next run.  Sadly LordSpatula hasn't managed to finish the write-up before Marvin left for his "falling-down-a-mountain-on-a-plank" holiday, so I'm afraid you Fantasy Flight-ers will have to wait a couple of weeks to read about it.



#29 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:07 AM

Hi all,

Sorry for the delay in the posting of our last session but its all here now in its full glory!!! Enjoy!!!

Note - We will not be playing another session until the start of the new year.

++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++

 


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, TRANSITION FROM SAPHIRUS SYSTEM, WINTERSCALES REALM ++

Once the crew of The Revenge, and the Iron Men had dealt with the remains of the incursion, I asked the Iron Men to return to the Furnace of Redemption taking their casualties with them. As they left I thanked them for their assistance, and promised that I would do my utmost to reactivate their fallen comrades, in the same way that we were attempting to "reactivate" the damaged humans, and then began to repair the systems that had been damaged during the battle.

Captain Perez had moved to the secondary bridge in the enginorium chamber, and so it was that I heard him begin to curse to himself, as I was completing the replacement of damaged power couplings.

"How dare they! The fools! The ungrateful curs! I'll have their hides for this!"

I snapped the last restraining bolt in place and looked up. "Is there a problem Captain?"

Obviously agitated, Perez nodded; "The ungrateful blackguards have decided that they don't want to work anymore. It's a damn mutiny!"

"Really? What do you propose to do about it?" I asked.

"Huuurrmppph..." he grunted. "A firm hand is needed! Give these people an inch, and they'll take a mile - and a nautical mile at that!"

"Where are the mutineers?" I asked.

"Well, you know those safe containment areas I went to the trouble of setting up for the crew? A few of those are refusing to return to their duty stations, damn their eyes!"

"Captain Perez, would you give me a few minutes to attempt to speak to them before acting?" I asked, "We have lost a lot of crew today, and if possible I would like to avoid the further wasting of resources... By all means, put your plans into action, but hold off until I've spoken to them..."

The good Captain looked dubious, and I can't really blame him, but credit to the man he agreed to let me try.

I opened a vox-link to the ringleaders of the mutiny, and asked to speak to their spokesman. One was quickly appointed, and a new, aggressive voice came onto the vox.

"This is Petty Officer Theon. What do you want?"

"That was what I was about to ask you!" I replied calmly.

"We've had enough I tell you!" he shouted.

I knew then as the man listed perceived slights and minor grudges that the negotiations wouldn't end well. I offered a number of incentives, and promises of bonuses, which Hartek and I had already agreed would be paid to the members of our Dynasty on our return to Footfall, and completion of our first great endeavour, as a thank-you for loyal service. However, he obviously was not really listening, and he continued to shout about minor problems, and then began to criticise the decisions of the Rogue Trader Regent, whipping those around him up into a storm of disloyalty. I cut the link.

"Captain Perez" I looked at him, and he nodded, "You were right. We will do it your way..."

Again, the Captain nodded and ordered his armsmen in. I noted that although he had every right to say that he told me so, he chose not to, and my respect for the man increased. He led the armsmen himself, seizing control of vital areas, and storming the containment areas, managing to quickly ****** the ringleaders, applying the letter of ship-law, and executing the traitors. I was able to prevail on him to leave the skulls of several of the mutineers intact, as I had plans to create a number of additional servo-skulls. Once again, Perez was happy to comply, and I thanked him for his understanding.

The crew were informed that the unrest had been dealt with, and they quickly made the sensible decision to return to their posts, to prevent any further loss of life. I made a mental note at this point, much to Calldia's amusement, that I should stop trying to be reasonable with people, as they really do not appreciate the effort... I really should stick to dealing with the machine spirits of the wonders of the Omnissiah, at least they are logical unlike the clearly deranged flesh-bags I'm forced to associate with.

I left Perez dealing with his recalcitrant crew and headed up to the bridge, and spent some time repairing as much of the battle damage as possible, allowing the Captain to return to his rightful place on The Revenge, realising that it would be far easier for him to command the ship from his primary bridge. He thanked me for my efforts, and I returned to the Furnace of Redemption.

On my return, I headed straight to the medicae bay, and began to look at the long term care of Hartek, and take measurements so I could start to construct a replacement cybernetic arm for him. It was fortunate that I was able to make a difference to his recovery, and promoted speedier healing. The most worrying aspect was that in his delirium, he kept crying out for more of his "special" fruit, which I took to mean the fruit named after him that we were transporting from Dropas. It appears that an addiction has well and truly taken hold.

As I was tending to Hartek, the proximity alarm sounded, and a ship-wide announcement to "Brace! Brace! Brace!" was made. I attempted to clamp myself to the deck with my utility mechadendrite, however, had not managed to anchor myself properly when the impact occurred, throwing me off my feet, and into the far bulkhead. Once I had cleared my head, I attempted to contact the bridge to enquire as to the nature of our latest emergency, but aside from making out the word "impact", was unable to decipher anything else through the static.

After thirty-seven seconds of shaking and shuddering, the ship finally calmed, and as I was about to vox the bridge once again, the device crackled to life, and I heard the voice of Mister Dray calling for me.

"Mister Dray. What has happened?" I replied.

"We have had an impact to the stern of the ship. The asteroid shifted in its tether, and we have reports of three decks open to the void."

I sighed. "Seal them, and I will see what I can do."

As it turned out, there was little I could do other than ensure that the bulkheads would hold, check on the tether holding the asteroid, and mutter a brief prayer of passing to the unfortunates who had been caught in the damaged sections.

Later in the day we actually received some good news! The Navigator informed me that we were in a position to back into real-space, so Mister Dray made the announcement, and we made the transition, appearing right on the cusp of the transfer point of the Footfall system. I congratulated the Navigator on a well judged jump, and headed back to the medicae bay to see if there was any more I could do for Hartek.

Fortunately there was, and shortly after the judicious application of various chem substances, he regained consciousness, and although slightly surprised by the fact he was missing an arm, he shortly afterwards returned to the bridge.


As an aside, I used this opportunity to test a theory. I had noticed that the chirurgeons and medicae staff tended to use exaggerated facial expressions to reassure those remanded to their care, and so in an attempt to duplicate this, and make myself seem more approachable and friendly, I had constructed a series of mesh grills that simply clipped to the front of my respirator unit. Each of these grills replicated an expression that could be made by a human mouth, and as Hartek regained consciousness, I attached the one that represented a wide smile. I am not sure that it had the desired effect, as the Rogue Trader Regent looked more surprised and confused than anything else. I realised that perhaps I had not painted the smile with enough teeth. I resolved to experiment further and judge different reactions.

We began to prepare for all the work that would be required once we reached our destination, arranging for more ship repairs at Magos Julien's dry-dock, Hartek contacted the Black Dragon Society to arrange for the work to start on the new asteroid base, and then began to notify the relevant guilds that we would be recruiting more crew once we had docked. The astropaths were ordered to send messages back to Inquisitor Attalus and the Adeptus Mechanicus back in the Calixis Sector, notifying Attalus of the recovery of his team's equipment, and that we needed to speak to him with regard to a pressing matter. That matter was that of the corrupted world in the Saphirus System; however we decided not to mention that in the message because of the risk of a security breach. The message to the Mechanicus included the details of the strange terra-formed world that we had also found in the Saphirus System.

The vital messages sent, I returned to my workshop and turned my attention to attempting to re-activate the damaged Iron Men. It quickly became clear that the Iron Men contained an emergency download module to which they could send their consciousness if they were physically damaged to a sufficient extent and had enough time to enact the relevant protocols. However, I would only have chance to attempt to reactivate Xerxes, as his comrades had either not had the time to enact the protocols before critical damage shut them down, or as in one occasion, the module was too damaged to recover anything from.

As I was working, I reflected that I had not seen anything of the other Iron Men since our return, so contacted them to explain that I was attempting to reactivated Xerxes, or XX1V1 as they knew him. Although I was surprised by the lack of interest this information elicited from them, I returned my focus to the job at hand. Xerxes was in a bad way, although his head was undamaged, his torso was severely crushed, and his limbs were either broken or had be removed by the force of the impact, however, it appeared that his vital systems were intact.

I connected to one of the standard data-ports in the cracked chest cavity of Xerxes and replaced his damaged power-unit with a prototype I had been working on with Iron Man XX1V2 over the previous few weeks. I quickly invoked the proper rituals and litanies, and almost instantly Xerxes core systems hummed with power once more.

I could see the start-up routine and data compilation running through his neuro-sphere, and was able to guide the data-flow through the correct channels. I had just started to greet him, when Calldia spoke up;

"Oh! Oh! That's strange!" And then with increased consternation, "What's that? That's not right!"

I paused, "What have you seen Calldia?"

"Look... There! Have you seen that before?"

Suddenly, I could see what he was talking about; coded data was flowing, coded in a way I had never seen used by the Iron Men before, and in a style that did not make sense. I could feel an icy cold spreading through where I had connected to the data-port, and suddenly a panicky Calldia was shouting for me to break the connection. I quickly shut Xerxes back down again, and then disconnected myself.

"That was scrap-code!" Calldia was still panicking "It did not make sense! It was... it was Heresy! It was describing things that cannot exist! Things that break all the laws of the machine! Heresy! Heresy!"

"Corrupted code... Hmmm" I muttered to myself. "We need to strip the corruption away to give Xerxes a chance..."

I retrieved a stand-alone cogitator from storage, and rigged it to capture the data output from Xerxes. "We need to restart the process Calldia, it is important..."

"No, we cannot! It's far too dangerous! Please do not plug back in - it is not Holy information!" Calldia wailed

I nodded; "In that case we need to purge it..."

"I feel like it is changing me... I feel different..." Calldia's voiced trailed away.

"In that case I am relying on you Calldia. You must drag me back to myself if you feel it again, we must do this for the good of the Mechanicus and in the name of the Omnissiah!"

There was a brief pause before he replied. He sounded stronger; "For the Omnissiah. Yes. For the Omnissiah!"

I re-plugged into Xerxes port and began to transfer to the cogitator, keeping an eye on the strange code, and suddenly realised that although the code was corrupted, it was putting forward theories that were impossible, the mathematics did not add up, and the data relating to the tech-use made no sense... Unless, of course an additional variable was added; the fluctuations and power of the Warp. If included as the unknown element of the calculations, then the theories made sense... Stunned, I realised Calldia was right, Heresy indeed!

I checked through Xerxes' systems to attempt to work out whether it was him projecting the data, or whether he was infected, and although the theories were enticing I did my utmost to reject the heresy and focus on my search for Xerxes core data.

I heard a binary call from one of my Tech-Priests, "Enginseer! Look at subject Alpha!"

I turned towards Xerxes and saw that his physical body had rapidly rusted and decayed, and that his eye had changed colour to a sickly green colour. I rapidly enacted his shut-down protocols and disconnected. I realised that Xerxes core was indeed infected as a result of his contact with the warp creature onboard The Revenge.

The next logical step, as far as I could see was to remove the corrupted code from the copy I had made of Xerxes core on the cogitator, and to do that I knew I would need a healthy Iron Man to compare the coding with. I called XX1V2 over, explaining my intention, however, he ignored me, and after a few seconds simply walked away. I knew I had no hope of preventing this, so, shocked I let him go.

I destroyed the cogitator I had used to store the corrupted code, and sadly did the same with Xerxes emergency module, knowing that there was nothing more I could do to retrieve him. I did, however feel concerned by the response of the other Iron Men to my attempt to rescue Xerxes' personality. I would have been far, far more concerned if I had realised what was actually going on.

I reported the events of the previous hours to Rogue Trader Regent Hartek, and he was as worried by the reaction as I was, and equally at a loss to explain it. I confess that I was also slightly distracted by the new ways of using the technology that had been indicated by the corrupted coding that was being spewed from Xerxes. Calldia did his job in keeping me focussed, but I did feel a change in my body, no matter how much I tried to fight it, and eventually I noticed that my eyes became very sensitive to light. I resolved then to remove the fleshy orbs and replace them with sanctified cybernetics to rid me of this reminder of my fleshy weakness... As an interim measure I constructed a set of shielded goggles to wear to protect my vision.

The day after this uncomfortable occurrence we arrived in the settled core of the Footfall System.


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, FOOTFALL SYSTEM, THE CAULDRON ++

We towed the asteroid into the location we had selected for our new base of operations; it was nicely high profile and close to the centre of Footfall, and quickly, the teams from the Black Dragon Society began their work. The asteroid itself was twelve kilometres in diameter and after the initial shaping was almost spherical.

We had arranged for a dry-dock area in the centre of the base to be created, and above the opening a huge Dureen Dynasty crest was laser etched; Asteroid Base Alpha, as we had named our home, was taking shape in a most impressive manner. Hartek paid a social visit to Mistress Chu Leng, the head of the Black Dragons, to thank her for her prompt work, and to finalise the plans. On completion, as well as the dry dock, capable of servicing a cruiser sized vessel, there would be external docking spines, and a docks area offering everything a crew on a run-ashore would need. We had arranged for specialist meeting places, stores, and services, hotels, a garden area of similar quality to that within the base of the Black Dragons, and, of course the private offices and accommodations for members of the Dureen Dynasty.

All these services would keep Thrones pouring into the Dynasty coffers, particularly when the Rogue Trader was busy elsewhere, allowing the base to be more than self sufficient. The asteroid would be protected by its own void shield generators, and have point defence weapons systems. All in all, it would provide an excellent and imposing front for the up and coming new Dynasty, projecting an image of wealth, power, and quality.

I took a step back, continuing to look towards our technological needs, with my immediate attention being focussed on building a cybernetic arm for Hartek. I focused on good quality components, and decided, as a little bonus to conceal a compact hand flamer within the construction. The Rogue Trader Regent was delighted with the results, and found that he was able to wield his Squat war axe one handed! It had been several weeks since I had seen him smile quite so widely. On a more selfish note, while searching for the components for constructing the arm, I stumbled across a suit of Dragon Scale armour, which, having listened to the pleas of Calldia who seemed inordinately concerned about my physical wellbeing for some reason, I managed to acquire for myself.

Even as the new base was being constructed, the work on our damaged ships was continuing apace, and within two standard months all three vessels were fully repaired, and ready for action. Hartek and Seneschal Cassandra Salvatore had recruited a number of Chartist captains to run the trade route to and from Dropas, and they now turned their attention to the recruitment of new crew. Hartek had notified the Guilds of his intention to do so on arrival in the System, and this prior notice, along with some generous sign-on bonuses, was quickly able to gather some high quality and experienced void farers. The Furnace of Redemption and The Revenge were brought up to full complement, and we were able to provide a permanent crew for Asteroid Base Alpha, however, The Great Fortune was still only crewed by a skeleton crew, which although not able to effectively fly her, would allow her to operate safely while docked in system. Once we had brought everyone into the Dynasty, and allocated them their respective roles, we then gave them rotating shore leave so that all of them could get to know one another, and those who had been with us previously could get chance to clear some of the star-dust from their hair.

Hartek began to source the basic weaponry that he had promised the Dropas leader, Word Bringer Korvek, and made sure that amongst the vessels selected to accompany us, was one suited to heavy lift as we would need to relocate the miners and their equipment from Saphirus 1-101 to Dropas, and the preparations continued apace.

Throughout this time, we had heard nothing more from Inquisitor Attalus, so we resent the astropathic message. Fortunately, the Adeptus Mechanicus had responded with a simple acknowledgement to the message sent to them, so that was one less thing to concern us. Perhaps the lack of response from the Inquisitor should have worried us more than it did, but hindsight is a wonderful thing...

Eventually, we did get a reply from the Inquisition, but not from the expected source. The reply came from a Witchfinder Rykehuss who informed us that we were to have no further contact with Inquisitor Attalus as he had been declared Excommunicatus! Rykehuss sternly questioned us, asking whether we could inform him of the current whereabouts of Attalus, which we were truthfully able to inform him that regretfully we were unable to do so. We also informed Rykehuss that we had replaced Attalus man, Rico Dureen, who had also mysteriously disappeared... We decided not to mention the corrupted world to the Witchfinder, as it was entirely possible that he would purge the Dynasty for simply possessing the knowledge of such corruption, and began to attempt to make contact with the Inquisitorial presence in Footfall, using some of Hartek's back channel contacts in the system, however we had little initial success.

The construction of Asteroid Base Alpha had progressed well since our return to Footfall; there were now areas which were inhabitable, and it was from one of these which Hartek had claimed as his personal office that I received a vox-call summoning me. I quickly made my way there, and found Hartek relaxed in a large chair behind his desk, enjoying a glass of amasec, with a slice of the Hartek fruit added for additional flavour; I noticed with satisfaction that he was using his new cybernetic arm, and seemed to have gained perfect control of the limb. I was, however, slightly worried by the noise I could hear; it sounded like the failed transmission of a cargo lifter from the docks, and I was considering how the delicate cybernetics could be making such a din, when I noticed that there was a music playback device in the room, and realised that the noise was emanating from that, and worse, Hartek had chosen to listen to it! This must be the traditional Squat music I had heard some of the crew talk of, and it probably explained why the Squats as a race were prone to flashes of temper; it certainly was giving me a headache. I tuned as much of it out of my hearing as I could and crossed the threshold.

Hartek looked up and noticed me, and then grunted; "I've had visitors..."

I paused, and realised that the Hartek had had lots of visitors over the preceding weeks, and surmised that the visitors he was referring to were unexpected. I know of Hartek’s penchant for telling a story though, so simply replied "Really? What happened Kilgrim?"

He smiled, obviously relishing the story he was about to tell, so I found a large, low, couch and settled into it.

Apparently he was relaxing in the chamber, and going over some of the status reports, when the lights in the chamber flickered; that caught his attention, but he was not too worried as construction was still ongoing. Then, from behind him he had heard a cough, obviously made to get his attention...

Hartek pivoted round in his seat, and saw leaning on the wall at the far side of the chamber a reasonable tall and muscled figure, wearing a long greatcoat, sturdy boots, and a tri-corn hat which left his face in shadow. The man was in the process of lighting a lho-stick, and seemed completely at ease.

Hartek poured another glass of amasec, and offered it to the man; "Alright, I'm impressed. You have my attention."

The man looked up, showing a thin, rakish face, and walked over to the desk with long, measured fluid strides, giving the impression that he could be a dancer or acrobat. There were definite shapes underneath his coat indicating weapons.

He smiled slightly at Hartek, taking the drink and nodding his thanks. "A toast, Rogue Trader Regent, to our future working relationship!"

"I am quite choosy who I go into business with..." Hartek smiled.

The man sipped his drink, and sighed. "It would be uncouth of me to say, but it is you who have been looking for me..."

"I have been looking for a lot of things, friend!" Hartek said, raising an eyebrow, "Which particular object of my intentions are you?"

"I heard from... mutual contacts... that you were asking for, shall we say, a certain service from the authorities..."

"Ah! Yes!" Hartek smiled. "And you have come to ply your trade?"

The man smiled, showing a perfect set of teeth. "As much as I enjoy the verbal sparring, we are both busy. Shall we get to the point?"

Hartek agreed, and switched on the holo-projector built into his desk. He quickly displayed the chart of the Saphirus system, and recapped the story of our adventures there, focussing on Saphirus 1-1S2M3, the world with the corrupted population. He showed the man the pict-captures and video recordings that we had made there, and the data-slate documenting the progress of the illness that so nearly killed me.

The man looked at Hartek; "This is very dangerous information you have here. I know people who would kill for far less; even knowing such information is grounds for termination."

Hartek shrugged, and the man continued to check through the information the Rogue Trader Regent had passed him; "But then, that would be counter-productive, as no-one would ever tell us anything would they?" He indicated the data-slates, "Can I keep these?"

"I'll have copies made for you..."

The man nodded his thanks, and asked "What now? What do you plan on doing with this place?"

Hartek smiled; "Never going back and forgetting I've ever heard of it. After reporting it to the proper authorities, of course! Some of my ships will be returning to the system however. Should someone wish to hitch a ride to discretely visit the area, they are welcome to do so..."

"Hmmm..." the mysterious man mused, "From what you say, this sounds like a significant threat, and certainly not one we should allow to grow. Valuable time could be wasted if action is not taken soon..."

The Rogue Trader Regent nodded. "I agree, however, I am no longer the military man I once was... I now have the concerns of a Rogue Trader House to consider... I cannot simply head off on a mad crusade at the of a hat... However, if a certain revenue stream was guaranteed, I am sure such an expedition would be approved by the house!"

"These dealings with the xenos, how go they?" The stranger asked pointedly.

"Well, thank you for asking! We have a trade agreement setup, and we have even seeded their world with humans, so the future looks good there!"

"Good..." the man replied, "Having the ear of... certain parties... would also prove beneficial for you, would it not? I hear of many things, and many of those are profitable. It would be to everyone’s benefit if those profitable opportunities were given to those who had proven their loyalty to the Throne..."

The Rogue Trader Regent paused before answering; "I would be more than happy to take on the task of purging this world, however, I'm not sure that my meagre forces are up to the task..."

"You would not have to purge the target yourself. Your role would be to get me and my associates close enough..."

"We can do that!" Hartek nodded.

"A joint venture then?" the man smiled.

"Agreed. How many associates?" asked Hartek.

"Myself, my travelling companion" he indicated the space behind the Rogue Trader Regent, who smiled, but did not look, "A few additional companions, and a small number of guests... No more than a dozen in total..."

"We can handle that!" Hartek smiled. "I assume you need our troops to support you?"

"Of course. We will deal with the major threat, you will keep the other threats off our backs."

Hartek considered the network would be available to the man via the Inquisition, and the offer he had made. He held out his hand, "I believe that this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!" and the two men shook hands.

Smiling, the stranger said, "We will meet again in a week" and left the office.

Hartek leaned back in his chair, and waited for a few seconds, and then spoke again without looking; "And you can go too!" He heard the door open, and then close softly again, and permitted himself a wry smile.

Hartek leaned back in his chair having relayed his story to me. I reflected that he was right, that the Inquisition has a far better intelligence network than we could ever hope for, but hoped that we would not have to pay too high a price for their favours. We both sat in silence for a few moments, after I had voiced my thoughts, before I got up and returned to my workshop on the Furnace of Redemption.

I had been working in the workshop for several hours, stripping down the remains of the deactivated Iron Men, when suddenly the ship-wide alarms sounded, and the lights and artificial gravity failed. I quickly clamped myself to the deck using my utility mechadendrite, successfully this time, and waited for a few seconds until the emergency systems activated, before moving to the master cogitator terminal in the workshop. The terminal was locked out, so I moved on to another, to find the same there. I did a little a digging into the code, and saw that it was a command override lockdown, and, had an immediate thought that this was the doing of the Iron Men.

All vox-traffic was being blocked, and the door to my workshop was sealed, so I stepped to the manual override, and ordered my servitors to open the door. It took them a few minutes to force a gap wide enough for me to squeeze through, and I headed towards the bridge, sending another Tech-Priest to notify the Rogue Trader Regent of the events.

It took forty-two standard minutes for me to reach the bridge as I had to manually open every door I came to, but as I moved and opened each one, I was able to release trapped members of the crew that had been caught by the lockdown. As I freed them, they followed me to the bridge, aiding me with the opening of further sealed doors that blocked our path.

As I stepped through the bridge door, I could see Officer of the Watch Dray attempting, and failing to get the systems back online.

"By the Throne Enginseer! What's going on?" he asked.

"I was about to ask you the same thing Mister Dray! Status report please." I replied

"We have no idea! Everything is locked out, it's as though the Rogue Trader Regent had removed that!" he indicated the control rod, locked into the command pulpit. "And one of the crew noticed that!" Dray continued, pointing so a metallic arachnid shaped creature, attached to the ceiling. Later, after reviewing the events that had led to this, I was able to recognise this construct from the recording made by the translation servitor in the chamber of the Iron Men...

At the time, I simply recognised the device of being of similar build to the Iron Men, and it appeared to be running a program of corrupted code. I firewalled and isolated my systems in preparation of interfacing with the device in an attempt to over-ride its actions, and finally ready, I steeled myself and made the connection, despite the protestations of Tech-Priest Calldia.

I made the connection, and was quickly able to overwhelm the arachnid's sub-routines and logic loops, shutting it down, and the ship's systems began to restore themselves. Immediately, I made a vox-call to Hartek, outlining the situation, and was about to attempt to contact the Iron Men, when Dray called out "Enginseer! The Great Fortune is heading out of system!"

"Hail them!" I ordered, and to my surprise, received a response, however, I recognised it as the corrupted scrap-code and killed the connection straight away.

"How long before we can be underway?" I demanded, however, even as I asked I knew it would not be quick enough as we were effectively coming from a cold start, and would take us several hours before the Furnace of Redemption would be active.

Suddenly we were hailed by The Revenge. Captain Perez came on the vox reporting that a number of mechanical creatures had teleported onto the vessel and started to interfere with the systems. They were quickly removed, and the vessel could be underway within two standard hours, I ordered him to do so, and Hartek and I transferred to The Revenge, meeting on the bridge.

Although The Great Fortune had the head start, I was confident that the familiarity of our crews with their own vessels would give us an advantage, particularly while commanded by the Rogue Trader Regent. I spent my time micro-managing the engines and tracking of the escaping ship, attempting to gain as much power as possible, making us more efficient in the chase. We closed down on our quarry quickly, and had got within weapons range in twenty standard hours, However, as soon as we closed to range the Sensorium Void Master called out; "They're bringing their warp engines online Sir!"

"This close to the gravity well?" I asked, incredulous "That's insane!"

The Void Master nodded, but confirmed that they were doing so anyway.

"Power-up the weapons systems, and prepare to fire!" Hartek fired off a number of orders, "Wait until they their shields just before they try to jump! Send out a vox-alert into Footfall warning that a rogue vessel is about to make a warp-jump so close in!"

At this, I quickly moved to the gunnery systems, and began to lock The Great Fortune into our targeting cogitators, and, at Hartek's command fired both the Sunsear Laser Battery and Mars Pattern Macrocannon at her. The lasers hit, scoring the armour from our target, but the vessel still began her jump; however, we had obviously distracted them as they began the transition, as the ship twisted at an angle, before the hole into the warp flashed with its strange light, and The Great Fortune disappeared.

Hartek shouted at the helmsman to turn us away, and although the void shield collapsed, we were able to ride the shockwave from the reckless transition, suffering only minor damage. The Furnace of Redemption which had got underway in pursuit of us was unscathed, as was our new base, but despite our warning, others within Footfall were not so lucky; fully ten percent of the structures in the system were destroyed, and an additional forty percent damaged to one extent or another.

Hartek and I sequestered ourselves into the command meeting room to discuss the events. Captain Bully Hayes, the erstwhile commander of The Great Fortune, had been onboard when she was taken, and given his past record, we decided that he would take the blame. The story that would be passed to the authorities was one of a man who had decided to return to his old life of piracy, and steal our ship in the process. We, of course, had pursued, and reverting to reckless type, he chose to make the near-suicidal jump in an under-crewed vessel when we challenged him, with catastrophic consequences for the system.

I destroyed every single record and all physical evidence that I had pertaining to the Iron Men, with the exception of this highly encrypted journal. Our story clarified, we turned back towards Footfall, and joined up with the Furnace of Redemption.

We began to offer tows back to the dockyards for any damaged ships that we came across, for the correct towage fees, of course, and made our services available to the authorities in Footfall, which were gratefully accepted. Strangely, the catastrophic events had left us virtually untouched, whilst many of the other Houses and Guilds were in poor shape, so we were much stronger, relatively, than we had been. Truly, the will of the Omnissiah is strong, and works in unimaginable ways.

As we journeyed back, Hartek and I transferred back to the Furnace of Redemption to begin the purge of all evidence, and I visited the chamber that had been used by the Iron Men. The walls had rusted, and there were strange symbols and sigils on the walls, so I cleansed the room with fire, and then an acid wash, before asking the Archbishop to re-sanctify the space. Once done, it reverted to a tech storage area.


In the aftermath, I was shocked to find out that twenty-seven of my junior Tech-Priests, and twenty-four of my Tech-Guard were missing. I checked the logs of the teleportarium, and found that they had fled to The Great Fortune with the Iron Men, Omnissiah damn them!

We spent the remainder of the week doing what we could throughout Footfall, and the name of House Dureen was spoken with much favour in the system, largely because of our selfless acts. We left The Revenge in Footfall, to help with the reconstruction efforts, and took the Furnace of Redemption to our rendezvous with our new Inquisitorial ally. He and his retinue came aboard with very little fanfare, and Hartek conducted them to their private quarters, effectively an area of the crew quarters more remote than the rest, and we headed out to the edge of the system, followed by the merchant fleet that would be making the trade runs to and from Dropas on our behalf.

As we approached the jump point, our new passenger made his way to the bridge meeting room. Finally we learned his name, Helbrech, and his rank, Interrogator, and he told us that his additional guests would be with us momentarily.

Within the hour, there was a flash of light, and another vessel exited the empyrean, several hundred thousands of kilometres off our bow. Our scans reported a destroyer sized craft, massively armoured and shielded, and if we thought that the Furnace of Redemption was overpowered for her size, then this ancient ship was a magnitude again more powerful. Her hull was covered with religious statues and huge, embossed texts from a holy book which I did not recognise. Truly she was a temple to both the Emperor and the Omnissiah.

"Our guests have arrived!" I looked over my shoulder to see who had spoken, and saw Interrogator Helbrech, with a small smile on his face.

Our holo-screen sprang to life and the head and shoulders a stern looking, huge, grey armoured figure appeared. His face has covered in the traceries of fine scars, and he had three gold studs embedded in his forehead. I recognised him immediately for what he was, after all, I had met an Astartes previously, and I could tell by the intakes of breath that the bridge crew recognised him as such too. I glanced at Hartek, if the Angels of Death were joining us, just how bad was this mission going to be?

The Space Marine spoke; "This is Justicar Poscar of The Light of Purity, we are here at the request of Interrogator Helbrech. Identify yourselves."

++ End of record ++

 



#30 crisaron

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Posted 20 December 2010 - 03:32 AM

nice!

 

Read you next year!



#31 cmrsalmon

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:41 PM

Emperor's toothbrush! This is excellent. Really very, very good.

Thanks Marvin, and thank the Enginseer for the great read too.



#32 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:43 AM

Hello all,

After a slight delay due to some overseas travels im now back and here is the next exciting write up.

++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++

 


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, FOOTFALL SYSTEM, THE CAULDRON ++


With only a slight pause, the Officer of the Watch replied to the challenge from The Light of Purity, and we were ordered to hold our position until the Astartes vessel could close to within shuttle range. The Interrogator smiled wryly at this, and then turned and left the bridge.

I turned to Hartek "They will take several hours to close with us, I will use the time to slave the transport vessels navigation systems to our own for the jump."

"Good idea. I have others to welcome aboard." Hartek replied "I have managed to recruit some experienced troops to our flag, and they are due to be here within the hour..."

"That's welcome news!" I said as I left the bridge, and I could hear Tech-Priest Calldia agreeing whole-heartedly. He had been strangely silent since he heard that we would be returning to the Saphirus System, and I had welcomed the silence if I am honest.

Yes, Calldia, I am saying that sometimes you talk too much...

Of course, I already knew about our impending recruits, I had sent Yorrick to shadow Hartek when I noticed him slipping out one evening, and had reviewed the recording on his return. He had met a Mercenary Captain named Duo...


Captain Duo was a hard-bitten and tough looking character, obviously a veteran of dozens of battles, who had earned his position within the Mercenaries. He and his men had returned from a mission in the Heathen Stars. They had chosen to part company with their previous employer, Duo stated, because of a "Cock-up."

Hartek sat up at this, alarm bells sounding in the back of his head. "Cock-up? Really? What happened?" He asked, hoping that what had happened was not the fault of the men he was hoping to recruit.

"Yes," Duo responded. "Some damn fool Rogue Trader nearly got us all killed out in the Heathen Stars. I don't want to be heading out there again in a hurry...!"

Hartek nodded. "Well, I won't lie to you Captain, we're not exactly on a pleasure cruise here. We're signed up for some fairly robust action. However, I won't piss my men's lives away like some Rogue Traders do."

"I hear that!" Duo grunted. "We lost a lot of men. Maybe not good men, but men non-the-less! It was a fool by the name of Trask, Sarvus Trask."

Hartek had never heard of Trask, but made a mental note of the name, for future reference.

"The man's a crazed fool!" Duo continued, "Takes insane risks, and cares little for the consequences. I won't be signing on with him again, or his line!" He paused as if thinking. "So, where are we going?"

Hartek nodded, accepting the implied acceptance of employment by Captain Duo. "I can't tell you the exact location, but we are heading into an unexplored system where we have, err... accepted... some subcontracted security work..."

Duo smiled wryly. "My men and I are not scared by hard fighting, we just object to sailing with fools. Or men who just don't care."

"Good." Hartek grinned. "Captain Duo, I am looking long term here. I aim to establish a cadre of experienced troops to build my cohorts around, and it seems like you and your men fit the bill. Stick around, and you will do well out of this."

Duo took another look at the figures on the dataslate that Hartek had passed him, and spoke; "We're in!"

Hartek smiled, and shook his hand. "Good! I'm pleased to hear it, Captain, actually, no, Major Duo. Welcome aboard."

Duo wrinkled his scarred face into the approximation of a smile, "Major Duo's Light Infantry is at your disposal, my lord!"

Hartek passed him another dataslate, giving him the co-ordinates for rendezvous near the jump point, "I trust you can arrange transport to here, and at this time?"

"Of course my lord." Duo nodded, stood and left the bar.

 

 

The work on the transport ships went remarkable smoothly and also allowed me to gain an insight into the vessels, their machine spirits, and their Captains. The Lux was a bulk carrier, with the capacity to transport people, supplies, and equipment. She was well maintained but poorly armoured and armed, and her Captain, who went by the name of Sven was pleased to be travelling in the company of warships. Captain Sven himself was a portly veteran of the outer worlds, charismatic and garrulous, who was even friendly towards me - I know that I cause some disquiet amongst most humans, so this was a pleasant change.

The Anvil was a smaller ship that was built with a specialist heavy lift capability for salvaging machinery, and was well equipped with lifters, diggers, cranes, and large dropships. Her Captain was an ugly Asian woman named McFallon, and for me to realise she was ugly, is saying something, usually I pay little attention to the appearance of humans except for recognition purposes, but she definitely stood out. She had a knack for technology, and if I'm truthful I would say that the ship was an example of borderline tech-heresy, and if we were within the borders of the Imperium I would report the ship to the nearest Forge World, simply for the sake of the mistreated machine spirits. However, I am a realist enough to know the challenges of the Expanse, and know that the skills of a bodging, scavenging, engineer are often required, and as Calldia reminded me, I have skirted the edges of tech-heresy myself. I kept my opinions to myself, but it was obvious I made McFallon uneasy, even more so than I do with other humans. I finished my work quickly, and headed back to the Furnace of Redemption.


I headed to the bridge to report the successful work on the navigation systems to Hartek, and he nodded his thanks, and as I left Navigator Proscesu approached the Rogue Trader Regent, and asked to speak to him in the Bridge Briefing Room. I looked on with interest, however, was not invited to join the meeting, so simply activated the recorders I had secreted in the room, and diverted the feeds to my own cogitators.

The Navigator was worried by some of the reports he had been getting from his contacts in Footfall, and amongst the vessels of other Rogue Traders and Chartist fleets, and had decided to pass on this intelligence to Hartek.

"I know you are busy Kilgrim, but before we left Footfall I felt that it was important that you know what I have discovered over the last few weeks. We need to protect our interests, I fear that conflict is coming..."

Hartek snorted, "There's always conflict!"

"I know, but this time it seems that the Dynasties are splitting into two factions, and facing off against each other. This is bigger than anything that's been seen for decades!"

Chastened, the Rogue Trader Regent took a seat, and indicated that Proscesu do the same. "Tell me everything..."

Effectively, the two largest Houses in the Koronus Expanse appeared to have developed a conflict of interest, however it was unclear what that was. Both sides had been make overtures to other Houses, and organisations, bringing them into the "protection" of the respective Dynasties, and were also rapidly recruiting troops, and buying weapons.

On one side was the Winterscale Dynasty, led by Calligos Winterscale. Even I had heard of Winterscale, a legend in the Expanse, indeed, the Saphirus System we had recently discovered, and were heading back to was located in an area of the void known as Winterscales Realm...

The Winterscales were squaring off against the Chorda Dynasty. The Chordas too had influence in the Expanse, not as much as the Winterscales, but were probably more powerful than any other line. Aspyce Chorda, the head of the Dynasty had a reputation for ruthlessness and coldness, and being from Scintilla in the Calixis Sector was a natural at dealing with political intrigue. She was an ex-Imperial Navy Captain, the third of six siblings, and the only daughter of Hamish, the previous head of the family. She took control after Hamish nearly bankrupted the Dynasty, and then disappeared with his oldest son and the family flagship. Anyone else who may have prevented her taking control, or had a claim to the Warrant of Trade, quietly disappeared, or were hunted down by Aspyce herself.

Hartek was obviously intrigued by the political upheaval, and he sat in silence for a few seconds, before speaking. "I think that we should hold a great ball on our return from Saphirus, and invite all the players. It will be interesting to meet these people and see what unfolds..." He smiled. "I'll leave instructions with the Seneschal to develop as much intelligence on all involved as she can while we're away."

Proscesu waiting patiently for Hartek to finish his scheming, and then continued; "I have also heard reports that a 'Master Dougal' in Port Wander has been offering a bounty to anyone who would help 'solve a problem' for his Dynasty..."

"Which Dynasty?" Hartek asked.

"I wasn't told." Came the reply.

Hartek went back to looking thoughtful; "Hmmmm... Thank you Navigator, we have a lot to plan for it seems! By the way, the Interrogator has provided three Warp Routes into unexplored systems for us. He assures us that no-one still living knows of them..." He handed the Navigator a data-slate. "I suggest you study them, we will be making use of them soon..."

They both left the briefing room, and Hartek headed to the Communicatorium chamber to relay his instructions to the Seneschal. While in conversation with Mistress Cassandra he learned that the Fel Hand had been spotted arriving in Footfall, and that Hadarak Fel had entered into conversation with the Chorda Dynasty. It appeared that more and more pieces were being placed on the board. The Seneschal reported to Hartek that she had run the standard checks on Fel to confirm what we already knew of the man from personal experience, that he was cunning, and his foppishness was a simple blind. She was able to add that the Fel Dynasty was in decline, and Hadarak was the last hope for the recovery of their line. I saw Hartek smiling at this news. She had also learned that a ship of the Mako Dynasty had arrived, captained by Lady Sun Lee, broadcasting dire warnings that a small flotilla of Ork Raiders had been encountered in the Cinerus Maleficum region of the Expanse, moving away from Undred Undred Teef.


The time of the rendezvous was fast approaching when Interrogator Helbrech requested my presence in the bridge briefing room for a planning session for the upcoming campaign. Finishing the work that was occupying me, I transferred any data I felt would be relevant to my cogitators, and made my way there. On arrival I found the rest of the Command Staff, and the Interrogator and his retinue already in place, it was the first chance I had had to properly inspect the Interrogator's team.

My attention was first drawn to a bulky, well tattooed man, who carried himself with the confidence of a combat veteran. He was obviously an ex-Guardsman, and was rarely seen without a well crafted long-las. He was introduced to us as Sergeant Bolke, the only survivor of his entire regiment. What he had survived was not discussed, and the Sergeant himself seemed to have very little he wanted to say to us.

The next man, a tall human, he had features that were almost too perfect, almost artificial, and I made a mental note to find out what I could about him. He was dressed in the manner of Feral World tribal shamans I had seen picts of in the cogitator databases, so logically it made sense to assume that Boe was the psyker of the group. A few seconds later this was confirmed by the Interrogator as he introduced him as such, and named him as Damien Boe. Strangely, he seemed universally liked by all that had any contact with - me included, something that made me more determined to discover what I could about him. The Omnissiah knows that I am not usually so suspicious, but this man had triggered something that I needed to settle.

In the corner of the chamber stood a relatively short and sinewy figure dressed in a bodyglove. I saw Hartek smile as he caught sight of the figure, and remembered his story of the fist contact he had with the Interrogator on our asteroid base. I think Hartek assumed this was the person who had been standing behind him during the conversation. The figure moved with a grace and silence I have not seen in anyone else, and nodded, but did not speak, when introduced as Divine Vengeance.

The final person to be introduced was Doc. Doc had the appearance of a gun-fighter, and my attention was drawn to the pair of exquisite custom made pistols he carried. Initially he spoke very little, something that seemed to be a requirement for this Interrogators retinue, however, as people got to know him he opened up more. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his name, he was introduced as the team medic.

A few minutes after the introductions were completed a message was relayed from the Bridge telling the Rogue Trader Regent that Justicar Poscar's shuttle had just left The Light of Purity. Accompanied by Interrogator Helbrech, the Rogue Trader Regent and I made our way to the shuttle bay to show our proper respects to the Astartes by meeting him on his arrival. Hartek had arranged for an honour guard in full dress uniform to be in place too.

The Shuttle was a work of the Omnissiah's art. It was sleek and deadly looking, superbly and lovingly maintained, and inscribed with prayers of dedication. The ramp dropped, and a huge armour-clad figure stepped onto the deck plates, I was shocked when I realised I could feel the vibrations of his steps through the floor. My mind flashed back to my previous encounter with an Astartes, at the start of my posting to the Rogue Trader Dynasty. As imposing as he was, he was unarmoured, and nowhere near as striking as the giant in front of me. I suddenly realised that Justicar Poscar was not wearing power armour, but was clad in tactical dreadnought armour, Terminator armour - something I had read about in the Mechanicus briefings, but never actually seen myself. He was carrying an archaic weapon, a halberd that he was also using as a staff, yet even that was as finely crafted as anything I had ever seen.

The armour quality was incredible, and despite the bulk it was intricately carved and constructed with a care rarely seen. I thought of the suit of Astartes power armour in my workshop, the set belonging to Castagir that we had recovered from Hadarak Fel, and resolved to rework it to the best of my ability in an attempt to provide him with something that a hero of the Imperium would be proud to wear. Tech-Priest Calldia was stunned into silence by what we were seeing - it was strange to be without his constant commentary - and I was shocked at just how wrong it seemed when it was missing.

The Justicar gazed at us all, sweeping us with his piercing eyes, and I could feel his eyes piercing my soul as he seemed to judge us. I was not alone in this feeling, judging from the gasps escaping the lips of those nearby.

"Justicar!" Hartek spoke, stepping forward. "Welcome aboard the Furnace of Redemption!"

Poscar looked down at the Rogue Trader Regent, and I am certain I saw his eyes widen with surprise when he realised who he was. He glanced at the Interrogator, before speaking in a rumbling bass voice. "You summoned us Interrogator?"

Helbrech nodded.

Poscar glanced at Hartek, then turned back to the Interrogator. "A mutant?"

Before the Interrogator could reply, Hartek interjected; "Abhuman is the correct terminology, Justicar!"

Helbrech added, "The Rogue Trader Regent stems from a stable branch of humanity, Justicar, in a similar way that the Ogryns do."

There was a brief silence, and then Hartek spoke again; "My people were once populous, and loyal servants of the Imperium, until we suffered great calamity..."

Justicar Poscar nodded, and then spoke; "I meant no slight, Rogue Trader Regent. Let us discuss the Emperor's work."

At this, Calldia snorted, and spoke to me for the first time in a while; "He said slight! To the slightest person on board! Ha!" I am sure I detected the edge of hysteria in Calldia’s voice, and he soon quietened down again.

"No slight was taken Justicar." Hartek replied. "If you would like to join us in our briefing room..." And with the rest of us in tow, he headed towards our destination.


As we approached the briefing room, the Archbishop, Nathaniel Shepherd, was waiting in the corridor, along with numerous missionaries and clerics, all clearly in awe of the Justicar.

The Archbishop spoke; "It is a pleasure to have you aboard, my lord! I knew the Emperor would send his servants to smite those who stand against him!"

"His eye watches all of us, and we all do his work." Poscar replied sternly, before brushing passed him, and entering the briefing room.

We all took our seats, as the Justicar remained standing, and Hartek spoke up once more.

"Justicar, in this case the Archbishop speaks for us all. We are truly most blessed to have you with us, to have you aid us in solving this problem..."

"The Emperor guides our steps, and this is the destiny that he has always had in store for us. But this is no minor problem, this will be a fight, not just for your lives, but for your very souls."

Hartek nodded. "Then let us hope we prove worthy!"

He paused, and began the briefing, outlining everything that we had done, or encountered during our time on Saphirus 1-1S2M3. I provided all the data I had, including recordings of all the creatures we had encountered, including the highly distorted pict capture of the huge figure seen emerging from the underground tunnels.

Justicar Poscar listened intently, and absorbed the information with a focus that a normal man would find impossible to maintain for so long a time period. Occasionally he would interrupt with a question, and then return to listening to the reports, once it was answered to his satisfaction. On several occasions during the briefing, particularly when the reports were concerned with the deadly infection that killed the wounded, and nearly killed me, I noticed that his armoured gauntlet with its mounted storm-bolter drifted slightly to cover everyone in the room, and then after a slight pause, as though he was analysing and assessing the data he was given, and appraising us, it dropped away again. I knew then that if the Justicar felt that we were compromised in any way, he would not hesitate to administer the Emperor's peace to us, and with a chill, remembering the voice I heard in my head on the planet, I felt strangely grateful.

Glancing around the room, I realised that nobody else had registered the slight movement, and decided not to mention it.

The Justicar was not interested in the records of the deadly illness, other than recognising that we were not infected, however, Interrogator Helbrech took copies of them, thanking me for my diligence.

We then started the strategic and tactical planning for or return to the infected world. Poscar revealed that there were four other Astartes that would travel with him, and they would engage the large creature that we had the distorted pict capture of. Our role was to deploy a teleportarium homer close enough for them to strike against the beast, and then keep all the other enemies from interrupting. This way, it was hoped, we could keep the large creature ignorant of the arrival of the Astartes, and give us the element of surprise crucial for victory.

Justicar Poscar informed us that he would leave us to making our plans for battle, and would return to The Light of Purity to prepare himself, and his men for the upcoming battle. With a final "The Emperor guides" he left the room and headed back to his shuttle.


Hartek and the Interrogator began to plan, and quite quickly formulated something that looked like it might work, and Interrogator Helbrech decided that he and his retinue would deploy with the forces of House Dureen. The operation was codenamed Operation Innoculatus, and broke down as follows;


++++ OPERATION INNOCULATUS ++++

Target: Saphirus 1-1S2M3

Objective: Destroy the Entity. Purge infected former-colonists. Restore the world to the Emperor's Light.

Initial Forces Available: (Guncutter transport requirement in brackets)

Divisional HQ

1st Cohort (3)

Tech Guard (2)

Inquisitorial Party (1)

9th Cohort (4)

7th Cohort - 100 bikes (5)

10 Basilisks (8 Cohort) (5)

20 Guncutters in total


Duo's Brigade

2nd Cohort (10)

3rd Cohort (10)

20 Guncutters in total


Zim's Brigade

4th Cohort (10)

6th Cohort (10)

20 Guncutters in total


Reserve Forces Available:

8th Cohort (Armoured Brigade) Due to transport limits, this will be reduced to 25 Leman Russ Battle Tanks and 25 Chimera Armoured Personnel Carriers

25 Guncutters in total


Mission Plan:

PHASE 1: Orbital Bombardment of the planned zone by the Furnace of Redemption and The Light of Purity

PHASE 2: The Orbital Bombardment is shifted to outside the planned defensive perimeter (10km radius), on call for redirection by Divisional HQ. Initial landing of Divisional HQ, Duo's Brigade, and Zim's Brigade to setup a beachhead and to use the bike units to scout the perimeters. These scout forces are directed to avoid contact if possible, but report concentration and movement of hostiles. Priority given to reporting location of the Entity. Zim's & Duo's Brigade to immediately setup defensive perimeter with prepared positions, and the Basilisks will be sited at a firebase central to the overall position primarily for fire support, but placed suitably for assault-gun mode direct fire should it become necessary. Guncutter transports are to leave the combat zone immediately and return to the Furnace Of Redemption to be loaded with ammunition and supplies. However, one Guncutter, assigned to the Inquisitorial Party, is to remain on the ground and under the Interrogator's command. Once the defensive positions are engaged with significant numbers of hostiles, Phase 3 will be initiated.

PHASE 3: Armoured Brigade landing. The Armoured Brigade will be held in reserve for when the natives attack, but when this happens they will be directed to a Landing Zone previously pacified by orbital bombardment, 4-8Km from main defensive perimeter. The Armoured Brigade will then proceed to the main defensive position where it will act as a mobile strike force tasked with breaking any attacks that look set to breach the defensive perimeter. Once the location of the Entity has been reported, Phase 4 will be initiated.

PHASE 4: Teleportarium Deployment. When the Entity shows itself, the teleportarium beacon will be deployed by Enginseer Hak to give the Grey Knights accurate coordinates and then the House forces will shift focus towards keeping all of the other hostiles off their backs. The deployment of the beacon, while under the control of the Enginseer, will be undertaken by those forces best suited to do the job. Since this will be a judgement call by the Officer Commanding, this could be one of a number of options; delivery by Mechanics battle servitors, manual delivery by 9th Cohort penal troops, or in the 8th Cohort vehicles for an armoured push. Once the beacon has been successfully deployed, the Grey Knights will deploy to engage the Entity and Phase 5 will be initiated.

PHASE 5: Support the Grey Knights. The focus of the House troops will shift to keeping hostile forces from interfering with the Grey Knights mission, and they will take an offensive stance in support of the Grey Knights. This task will be led by the mobile elements (7th and 8th Cohorts) with fire support from Divisional HQ and the Furnace of Redemption and The Light of Purity. Other Infantry forces may be redeployed from their initial positions where the tactical situation permits. Standing Orders are not to engage the Entity directly, but to focus on other hostiles attempting to flank or harass the Grey Knights. Fighting in Phase 5 will continue until the Grey Knights have defeated the Entity. This may take some time, and Guncutter resupply missions may be required.

PHASE 6: Mop-Up. House forces will remain in theatre for an indefinite period until all hostile threats have been eliminated. The Destruction of the Entity may or may not result in destruction of other minor infected. The plan is for a deployment period of not less than a week and Guncutter resupply missions will be possible in this time. Recovery of all troops to the Furnace Of Redemption will be carried out when threat has been eliminated.

++++ FOR THE GLORY OF THE EMPEROR AND THE ADVANCEMENT OF HOUSE DUREEN ++++


Justicar Poscar seemed happy with the plan, and so, everything settled, we prepared for the journey to the Saphirus System and made our transition into the Warp.


++ End of record ++

 



#33 Apex

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:47 PM

Great writeup. Excited what happens next!



#34 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 12:05 PM

Thanks Apex, its Lord Spatula who writes these up, I just post them. Enjoy!!!

++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++

 


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, SAPHIRUS SYSTEM, WINTERSCALES REALM ++


I settled myself into my usual role of monitoring the ships systems as we made the transition into the Warp, and was pleased to see that my work slaving the control systems of the other vessels to match ours for the journey through the Empyrean was working perfectly. I had barely finished running through my checks, and applying the correct unguents and incenses to the holy machinery when the ship-wide vox carried an announcement ordering us to prepare for the jump back to real space! The Navigator had surpassed himself, and we would have completed the journey that had previously taken almost a standard week would be completed in just six hours. I ran a diagnostics check of the Warp Engines, and was unsurprised to notice the unusual flutter in the drives that I had seen previously. Still, the Omnissiah was clear providing His blessings and speeding us on our way...

The collision alarms blared the instant we reappeared in normal space. While Navigator Proscesu had been outstanding with the navigation of the route, it appeared that he had miscalculated the final stage badly; as we appeared in the Saphirus System we found ourselves on course for a head on collision with the rest of the ships in the Flotilla. I felt the violent manoeuvres through the structure of the Furnace of Redemption as she responded to commands from the helm, and later was given to understand that we missed a collision with The Lux by just three kilometres... Apparently the bridge crews of both ships were left ashen faced by the close shave. I'm sure that the crew of The Lux would have been more worried had they known that we were seconds away from using the lance battery to break their ship apart if it looked like we were going to hit... I suspect the Rogue Trader Regent will keep that gem of information from Captain Sven!


Interrogator Helbrech looked towards the Rogue Trader Regent Hartek and smiled weakly. "Perhaps we should wait long enough to allow the enemy to try and kill us...?"

"The Emperor protects" Hartek replied, jovially, however I know him well enough that I could tell he was mightily relieved, my recording of the events was clear enough to pick out the sweat on his brow...

To help alleviate the shock that was evident around the ship, Hartek broadcast a brief, but stirring speech over the vox, in which he spoke of his pride at the professionalism with which the crew handled themselves and spoke of his unswerving faith in them. This was mildly successful, and confirmed my opinion that most humans will do anything if you scare them enough and then say something they want to hear. I may instigate a program of monitoring the Rogue Trader Regents speeches' and then compare that with the productivity and efficiency levels of the crew. I am certain that the Adeptus Mechanicus will find a use for the data, even if it is only to confirm the gullibility of the unenhanced. Whatever my future plans, the Interrogator seemed impressed with Hartek's performance, even suggesting that he may have missed his true calling within the Ecclesiarchy, which I believe drew some hastily hidden smiles from those who overheard the comment.

Overall, however, I am just pleased that I did not have to oversee another round of repairs caused by the carelessness of others.


The Flotilla began the journey from the outer edge of the system, and over the next few days Hartek worked the troops hard, running them through the plan for the forthcoming battle until every action became second nature, following the old Terran maxim of train hard, fight easy, but nobody believed the upcoming fight would be easy.

Hartek was interrupted in his training by a message from Orbest Dray. "Sir! Officer of the Watch reporting! Your presence is urgently requested on the bridge by Captain Sven of The Lux."

Handing control of the latest training exercise to the senior officer present Hartek hurried to the bridge; "Mister Dray! Report!"

"Sir! Captain Sven has reported that The Lux has detected a number of contacts in the system!" Came the concise reply.

Hartek nodded. "Get me a vox channel to The Lux!"

Dray had already done so, and instead simply activated the link.

Appreciating the good work of his subordinate, the Rogue Trader Regent allowed himself a small smile, and then spoke again. "What have you seen Captain Sven?"

There was a brief pause, and then Hartek heard the voice of the Captain. "My boys ran a standard sweep of the centre system to help plan the route through, and we've picked up multiple ship contacts! I didn't know you already had ships here..."

"We don't..." Hartek grunted

"Oh. Well, um, transmitting the data to you now!" Sven stammered "We have detected at least three vessels, but there may be more..."

Hartek turned to the Sensorium Void Master; "I want active scans of that area now! I don't want any surprises when we get closer to those asteroid belts." He then opened a vox link to the Astartes and notified them of the contacts, which they acknowledged.

After a couple of hours of scanning, and interpreting the data the Sensorium teams reported back a total of six contacts. Four appeared to be Raider Class; one was Frigate Class, and the final one Cruiser Class. As the information sunk in, it soon became clear that our small flotilla was hugely outgunned. The ships were split into two patrol groups, the Frigate with two Raider escorts, and the Cruiser with the remaining two raiders. Over the next few hours as we closed on the ships, we were able to gain additional information, and the database of vessels stored within the ships cogitators soon identified the Cruiser as the Promise of Sedition, and the Frigate as the Bringer of Desecration. Clearly we were facing servants of the ruinous powers.

The Promise of Sedition had been en route to the planet Dropas, however, had reversed course and seemed to be making all speed towards Saphirus 1-1S2M3, the corrupted world that was the target for out little adventure. The route of the other group of ships led by the Bringer of Desecration was quickly detected as being towards Saphirus 1-101, the ice world from which we were planning to lift the miners for transport to Dropas, however, those ships too had reversed their course. It was obvious that both planets were to have been the target of assault by our enemy, and that we had arrived in the nick of time. Unfortunately, although both of the enemy patrol groups were moving at different speeds, they were now heading to the same destination, and would be there at roughly the same time and this left us with a tricky tactical problem to solve.

Hartek called the command officers together, and Interrogator Helbrech joined the planning session, as did Justicar Poscar over a link from the Light of Purity, and the two Captains of the transport vessels. As the discussions began, the door to the briefing room opened, and the Interrogator's Psyker, Damien Boe was shown in. As he moved into the room, he staggered, it was quickly clear that he was not well; his face was paler than usual, and drawn, and movement was an obvious physical effort. He was holding his head, and a fine trickle of blood flowed down his face from one nostril. Helbrech quickly stood, and helped prop Boe upright as everyone else looked on in confusion, there was a slight pause as Boe appeared to focus, and then the blood on his face appeared to reverse direction, and then disappeared, and Boe himself looked stronger and healthier. I noticed at this point that the Navigator stared with intent at Boe, so I concluded that logically he must have used psychic energy to affect his recovery.

Boe raised his head and spoke, a desperate look in his eyes; "A great evil is awakening - it calls those who would serve it! We cannot let them get there! I have seen a future where if it escapes all will decay..."

A silence filled the briefing room, abruptly broken by a booming voice from the vid-projection of Justicar Poscar. "Our course is clear. We must stop these... Heretics."

Hartek nodded. "Agreed. Justicar will you do us the honour of sailing into battle at our side?"

The projection of the Justicar nodded. "It will be our honour to bring the Emperor's justice to these heathens. Even should it bring our deaths, we will show them that victory will not be theirs!"

"I would rather make the other buggers die!" Hartek growled. I am sure I saw the Justicars face twitch into a smile for a brief second, although it could have been interference in the projection.

"We will need EVERY available ship in the line..." the Justicar stated, and glared at everyone. Captain Sven looked less than happy at the prospect.

Hartek spoke, quietly, "I do not wish to contradict you Justicar, but should we fall we will need someone to take the news to the relevant authorities and arrange for our unfinished work to be completed... I propose that Captain Sven takes this role as I doubt that The Lux will contribute much to the fight..."

"I see the wisdom in your words Rogue Trader Regent..." The Justicar conceded, "And I do not believe that the worm has the guts for the fight in any case. This would be perhaps the best course of action."

Hartek spoke quickly to soften the insult to Captain Sven; "Captain Sven! Would you do us the honour of providing overwatch to us please? This is vital should we fail..."

"Of course my Lord!" Sven spoke rather quickly, "I will make the preparations immediately!"

"Good!" Hartek nodded, glaring at Sven, "But you do not jump until ordered, or until you witness our destruction."

"Aye my Lord! You can rely on me." And the projection of Captain Sven disappeared from the briefing room.

It quickly became clear that Captain McFallon was made of sterner stuff, and she refused the invitation to withdraw from the battlefield with Captain Sven, insisting that she would provide flank support to us. I know that we do not see eye to ocular implant, however I am fairly certain that this decision proves that the woman has something wrong in her head...

"It is clear that we must split our forces." The rumbling voice of Justicar Poscar cut through the conversation. "The path is dangerous but the Emperor is with us."

Even I noticed the raised eyebrow from Interrogator Helbrech, but as no one mentioned it, I deemed it best not to say anything myself.

As the discussion continued, it became clear that The Light of Purity would have to be dispatched in pursuit of the Bringer of Desecration and the two Raiders in that group as she was the only vessel with the speed to get close enough in the time available. That left the Furnace of Redemption with some support from The Anvil to face the Cruiser. There was a definite shuffling of feet when people realised the implications of this. Calldia squawked loudly at this, and then went quiet for the rest of the meeting, and I cannot say that I disagreed with his reaction.

As we considered this there was something about the enemy cruiser that seemed familiar to me, however, no matter how I scanned through my cogitators I frustratingly could not pinpoint the data. It was then that the Navigator spoke up; "I know of the Promise of Sedition. It is known as a pirate ship, and a tainted cruiser, and has been hunted for centuries, but had vanished in the lesser explored, far reaches of the Expanse almost seven hundred years ago. It has a reputation for attacking the weak, focussing on transport and colonist ships, but Sebastian Winterscale's fleet managed to drive it away, but not before it had raided the convoy for prisoners and slaves..."

I could not help myself this time; "A fleet managed to drive it away!?" Calldia made that strange strangled squawking noise that is becoming so familiar, and there were similar reactions from several others at the briefing table.

Navigator Proscesu smiled weakly and continued. "It is also known to Warp-spawned clouds in its wake, making it difficult to pursue. All in all, a formidable vessel..."


Interrogator Helbrech looked around, and seemed to come to a decision. "Gentlemen, and ladies. This information is classified; people have been executed for knowing even less than this. That ship is one of my Ordos most wanted targets in the Expanse. It is captained by a Sendak Voltrasse, a hideous creature who has given himself over to the Warp. He was probably once a man, but we cannot say for certain, all we know is that he exists to serve the ruinous powers, and few are the people who have had contact with him and survived..."

Hartek nodded. "It is a dire situation indeed then. Let us be about our work! May the Emperor protect us!"

There was the ringing sound of ceramite on ceramite as the Justicars crashed his fist across his chest, and his voice intoned "May the Emperor protect us."

"And the Omnissiah watch over us!" I added. After all we would need all the help we could gather to our cause.

Helbrech spoke up; "Rogue Trader Regent, this is a dire course you set us on. Do not under-estimate this vessel! It is ancient, dating from the thirty-third Millennium, and served with honour and distinction for the Imperial Navy, but was lost in the warp en route to the Cadian Gate, and was next seen in the thirty-sixth Millennia, aiding rebellion in the Hades XV agriworlds. It has history and experience."

"Helbrech, I know that this could be the end of us all, but our course is clear and duty must be done..."

The Interrogator smiled. "To the bridge, then!" And the planning session broke up, and the ships crews plotted the respective courses for their venerable vessels.


"The Light of Purity" angled away at speed in pursuit of the Bringer of Desecration, while the Furnace of Redemption quickly stepped up to battle stations, and within three days we had caught the Promise of Sedition.

Relying on our better speed and manoeuvrability we angled in directly at the Cruiser, hoping to cause disabling damage early in the engagement. The Anvil moved onto the flank to draw off one of the Raiders reducing the odds we had to face. As we closed on the enemy we were able to detect that the Machine Spirits of the vessels were labouring with great insult; the hulls had been daubed with forbidden runes and desecrated in countless ways, and we could hear the noise of wailing and moaning coming from within them. I pitied the once proud ships; they were being horribly mistreated, their plasma drives were leaking and operating well beyond safe levels and it was clear that no care had been taken of them. It would be a great service to their tortured spirits to destroy the abominations that now controlled them, and possibly the vessels themselves as they were crying out for the release of oblivion. As we closed to extreme range and opened fire I offered up prayers to the Omnissiah.

I could tell by the trajectory calculation that the hab-sized shells from the Pyros Melta Cannon battery were flying true, and we were rewarded with the flaring of void shields on the Promise of Sedition as first one, and then another shield collapsed under the intense energy. The non-essential systems on the Furnace of Redemption shut down, and lights flickered throughout the ship as the lance battery fired, again striking true with one of the beams of coherent light, leaving huge chunks of the enemy ship drifting into the void. As big as the hit was, the huge Cruiser seemed not to notice as it continued turning towards us.

The Raider closed on us and opened fire, its Macrocannon batteries fired wildly and the shells missed us by several kilometres as we evaded. The Promise of Sedition manoeuvred to bring us within her weapon arcs and as we watched the tactical representation of the battle in the holo-tank, we were interrupted by an incoming transmission warning.

Hartek accepted the transmission, and initially I thought that the projector was malfunctioning as it sparkled with a range of colours, but they suddenly coalesced into a hugely tall figure dressed in a gore caked void-suit, that towered over those standing around him. The void suit was torn in several places and visible in the rents were thin dark veins, worming over pale skin which twitched and shifted. A sphere of obsidian, held in place by a cage of barbed black iron and covered in blasphemous runes and engravings that hurt the eyes was visible through a larger hole in the chest of the figures suit. The eye sockets of the large figure were empty, as were those of many of the creatures surrounding it, and all were covered with strangely shifting tattoos. I assumed that this was the foul Sendak Voltrasse, the fiend in command of The Promise of Sedition.

Voltrasse opened its mouth, when suddenly there was the loud report of a bolt pistol firing. Doc, the acolyte of Helbrech stepped away from the headless corpse of the crewman who had been operating the vox controls as the projection snapped back into nothingness.

"We will not have contact with the ruinous powers, or those that serve them! The next person to accept an incoming transmission from them will meet the same fate as this fellow..." the Interrogator barked at the Rogue Trader Regent, and then glared around the bridge.

Seemingly unperturbed Hartek nodded, and then called for a replacement communicatorium operator, as a servitor cleaned up the mess at the terminal. He then gestured to the Interrogator; "A simple "No!" would've sufficed"

"There was no time; the minds of weak would have easily succumbed to his powers..." Helbrech indicated the crew on the bridge.

Hartek nodded, but added with a raised eyebrow "I am generally a little unhappy about random executions of my crew, unless it is by my orders..."

"I apologise Hartek." The Interrogator acknowledged, "However, time was of the essence here. If I had got to the bridge sooner I would have stopped the transmission being accepted, and avoided this unpleasantness."

"I understand Helbrech, however, we must work together to ensure this doesn't happen again..."

An accord reached, the conversation was about to turn to more pleasant topics before it was interrupted by a shouted warning; "Brace for impact!"

The Promise of Sedition was firing her Mars Pattern Plasma Batteries at us, and the projectiles were almost upon us. The first barrage flew wide, however the second barrage hit us, collapsing our void shield and scoring our armour, however Omnissiah be praised doing no damage.

Hartek barked orders to the crew and we prepared to strike back.


++ End of record ++

 



#35 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:39 PM

Hello readers, heres the next session, enjoy!!!

++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++

 


++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, SAPHIRUS SYSTEM, WINTERSCALES REALM ++


As the Void Shield bled off the energy of the hit from the enemy plasma battery, and then reactivated, we manoeuvred the Furnace of Redemption into an optimal firing position, the Promise of Sedition our target once more. The build up to our next attack was going smoothly, however, the new vox-operator called out "Incoming transmission, my Lord!"

I am certain I saw the man glance nervously at Interrogator Helbrech, conscious of the fate of his predecessor, but when he continued, "It's from The Anvil!", everyone relaxed.

"Put it on speaker!" Hartek ordered

There was a lot of interference overlaying the transmission, and the crewman constantly had to fine tune the receiver, but he did an admirable job and Captain McFallon's voice came through strongly.

"My Lord Hartek! I am sorry to report that we are in trouble! I attempted to push our engines to draw the raider away, but I overloaded the conduits and we are running at reduced power... We are attempting repairs, but we are a sitting target for the Heretics..."

Calldia suggested that if she had been following the correct litanies laid down in Mechanicus lore, then she would not find herself in such peril, and I found it difficult to disagree, however, speaking up at this point would not help the situation, so I kept my council, particularly as I saw Hartek's knuckles whiten as he gripped the arm of the command throne. "Understood Captain. Do what you can, and attempt to run in our direction. We are still engaging the Cruiser and other Raider but will endeavour to aid you if we can!"

"Thank-you My Lord!" McFallon replied, relief in her voice, although I'm not sure she realised how dire her situation was, as there was no way we could turn our stern to the enemies we were engaged with.

Just before we began the Rituals of Firing, and prepared the solutions for the weapons systems, Navigator Proscesu spoke up; "I have scanned the Promise of Sedition, and although there was much interference I have been able to identify her basic layout. I will transfer the data to the gunnery cogitators, it may aid with the targeting!"

I nodded, and took a few seconds to absorb the information, and then made some changes to the auger array which would allow the gunnery officers the clearest possible tactical picture for the barrage, while the Rogue Trader Regent coordinated our actions. As this was ongoing, the new Master Helmsman, Victrix Ivanov, an ex-Imperial Navy Commander, recently recruited amongst the experienced Void-farers who joined us in Footfall, eased ship into position, and we opened fire on the heretics again.

The melta-cannon barrage flew true, the initial salvos flaring the void-shields of the Promise of Sedition, and as these collapsed, the remaining shells battered the hull, smashing through in a number of places, setting fire to one of her plasma-batteries, and staggering the corrupted Cruiser in its flight. Then, just as the enemy ship seemed to recover from the battering, the light of our lance battery reached out across the void and punching through the hull causing the enemy ship to shed large chunks of itself and its crew, into the void, and putting the other port-side plasma-battery out of action at least temporarily. The Cruiser, staggered once more, rolled away from us as we closed on it, and as the last of the energy bled away from our lance array, Ivanov threw the ship into evasive manoeuvring as we found ourselves within the arcs of fire of both the enemy ships.

McFallon came on the vox once more, the panic clear in her voice; "We have been boarded! I am mustering the Armsmen to defend the incursion, but I don't know the number of our enemy, and I don't know if we can survive! I will report back when I can, Emperor willing!" and the transmission ended.

Helbrech looked at the Rogue Trader Regent, "Well there is nothing we can do to aid The Anvil for now, except get to her as soon as we can. She will have to fend for herself..."

Hartek grunted his agreement, a worried look on his face, but turned his attention back to the matter at hand.

As we rolled after the Promise of Sedition we picked up an energy spike from her prow, and the beams from a lance battery flashed across the void towards us, fortunately missing. The Raider, now identified as the Cursed Death, closed, and attempted to ram us, however, we easily evaded the clumsy attempt, and as it slid past us it fired its weapons, with an equal lack of success, as Ivanov guided us through the salvos unscathed.

Notification came from the gun-crews that the melta-cannon battery was ready to fire again, and the power readings showed the lance battery had finished recharging, so, once again the command team combined to give the best possible chance for a firing solution for the Gunnery Void Master. The targeting systems were still suffering from the violent manoeuvring we had used to evade the earlier attacks, and this was reflected in the effectiveness of our attack on the cursed heretics; the melta-batteries missed, and the lance battery only struck home once, overloading the enemy's void shield, but causing no further damage.

The Promise of Sedition fired her lance battery at us again, however was obviously struggling with the damage she had suffered as the beams went wild, missing by a long distance, and then she turned away from us. The Cursed Death attempted to hold our attention by firing, and missing, again, before turning in the opposite direction to the Cruiser, meaning we would have to focus on one target or the other.

The vox crackled to life once again, and the message headers showed that the transmission had originated onboard The Light of Purity. There was an obvious delay because of the distance that the message had travelled, but the content was clear enough to show that the ship had been in combat, as a shaven headed bulky man in devotional robes, and wreathed in smoke, appeared in the holo-projection. "Furnace of Redemption: If you get this message, we have engaged the enemy battle group! The Justicar and his men have boarded the enemy ship and are on their way to the bridge, but the two raiders have damaged our systems. We are still in the fight, but we do not know for how long..."

Another voice interrupted him, calling out "Sir, I am picking something up! It seems like an increase in energy! I think there is another ship out-" The transmission ended suddenly, leaving us uncertain of the fate of our allies, and although The Light of Purity was still detectable on the sensorium array, sadly, it did not seem likely that that fate was a good one.

"Sir!" The Master of Etherics called out, "It looks like the Cursed Death is attempting to run to Saphirus 1-1S2M3!"

Hartek cursed, and then ordered Ivanov to break off the pursuit of the Cruiser and focus on the running Raider; "We CANNOT let it reach that planet!"

The new course was quickly laid into the cogitators and we began to chase the Raider.

"Mr Ivanov!" Hartek called out.

"Yes Sir!" Ivanov came smartly to attention.

Hartek smiled, "How do you fancy leading a raid?"

Surprisingly, Ivanov matched Hartek's grin with one of his own, "It would be my pleasure, Sir!"

"Excellent. Report to the Teleportarium chamber, the Penal Cohort will join you on this little jaunt!"

The raid went exceptionally well, and on his return Ivanov was able to report that they had damaged the void shield generators, and they were at least temporarily offline, and that an estimated thousand heretics had been dispatched, mainly due to the judicious use of explosives and booby-traps. The assault force suffered five dead and a dozen wounded.

"Good work Mister Ivanov!" Hartek grinned, "Make sure the cohort are rewarded for their work with an extra grog ration!"

"Thank you Sir! I will see it done." Ivanov saluted and returned to his station.

The raiding party safely back aboard, we opened fire on the now shieldless ship; the lance battery discharged first, once again hitting home tearing a huge hole through the length of the Raider, leaving its engines damaged, and the burning ship leaking atmosphere and the corpses of her crew into the void. As the stricken vessel shuddered, and drifted virtually out of control, our melta-cannons opened fire, sadly missing by a small margin.

As we surveyed our handy work, the vox-operator called out "Incoming transmission, Sir. It's... It's from The Anvil!"

There was a pause as we waited to hear whose voice it would be coming from the speakers.

"We have repulsed the enemy, my Lord!" An excited McFallon almost shouted, "We have lost some crew and servitors, but the enemy seemed to get distracted by the fighting and did little damage to the ship itself...!"

Hartek grinned at Helbrech who returned the smile, "Well done Captain! Now repair your engines and get over here!" And he cut the connection.

As we watched the holo-display, we saw the Raider that had been harrying The Anvil turn in on her again, and then registering the fate of her sister ship, turn towards the planet and start to run. As our cogitators analysed the data from a clean sensorium sweep on her, we were able to identify the corrupted ship as the Unholy Curse. The tactical display showed the Promise of Sedition continuing her run in the opposite direction, heading out of the Saphirus System.

Hartek barked orders, and the Furnace of Redemption closed on the shattered Cursed Death and finally destroyed it in a merciless barrage of both melta-cannon shells and lance blasts. The coup de grace applied, we set off in pursuit of the Unholy Curse, ordering The Anvil to pound the wreckage of the Cursed Death until there was too little debris remaining to show up on the sensorium display to ensure no heretics survived. I managed the power drain on the plasma drives to give us best possible speed, which had the unfortunate consequence of some areas of the ship losing power to the artificial gravity, still it was for the betterment of the mission, and as this allowed us to catch our quarry within two standard hours, so I am sure the crew will not grumble too much!

The Unholy Curse realising she could not outrun us turned to meet us head-on. "This ends now!" Rogue Trader Regent Hartek roared, and the decision that the situation was well beyond subtlety and complex tactics made, we closed to weapons range and opened fire.

Our initial attack was ineffective as the heretics desperately manoeuvred to avoid the fire, but suddenly the Master of Etherics called out once again; "Sir! Sir! The Unholy Curse is registering impacts!"

In the holo-tank we saw the characteristic flare as the void shield overloaded, and the Unholy Curse staggered from additional hits. Our batteries reloaded, and lances recharged, we took the opportunity to open fire again, and at the range we were at we could hardly miss. The full barrage hit the corrupted vessel, blowing large sections of her open to the void, setting her on fire, and punching through her length with the lances. The wrecked ship was left tumbling out of control as she began to die.

We manoeuvred to finish her off, but saw a strange, pulsing beam weapon flash out of the void, and cut the wreckage in two, and finally her plasma drive detonated, destroying anything that remained of the ship.

"Get me the location of that other vessel!" Hartek barked, and then looked at the Interrogator, who simply shrugged.

The Sensorium crew leaned over their terminals, and to aid them I modulated the frequency of the auger scan to cover a broad spectrum, and quickly we were able to detect unusual temperature changes that were indicative of the cooling weapons of a star-ship moving away from us off our starboard bow.

The data from the scans mapped the vessel to the holo-tank; it was obviously of Xenos origin, but was heading away and not appearing to pose a threat.

"Eldar!" spat Hartek, and sat back in the command throne, recognising the strange build style of the unusual vessel, and then activated the vox-broadcast, and spoke; "Eldar vessel in quadrant Alpha-niner Sierra-two, please identify yourselves..."

After a few seconds, the holo-screen flickered to life, and we were presented with an image of a tall, slim, apparently male, humanoid figure that projected an uncommon grace. Its face had an inhuman beauty to it. I recognised it as far more pronounced, but similar in character to those strange features that I had seen in Interrogator Helbrech's pet Psyker, Damien Boe, and I wondered about possible Xenos heritage in the man. The figure lounged back onto a throne-type construct, and seemed to be amused with us.

Hartek spoke again, "We are the Dureen Dynasty trading ship the Furnace of Redemption" At this the creatures smile widened slightly, but it retained its focus as Hartek continued; "I am Rogue Trader Regent Hartek-Dureen, I thank you for your assistance in that... unpleasantness..., and would know the name of my comrade in arms!"

The fey creature looked beyond the range of our view, and spoke in a language that none of us understood, and then, smiling again, turned its attention back to us, this time speaking in Low Gothic; "My name is not important, little Mon-Keigh! Of course you needed our help, you and your kind always do, don't you?" He leaned forward, still looking amused. "There is no need to thank us, as your thanks are worthless anyway!" He paused briefly, and glanced at something out of view to us, and then continued; "For your barbaric kind, who only know destruction and hate, your vessel is not too primitive, by your standards!"

Hartek smiled back, at least I assume it was a smile as I could see his teeth, and the emotions that the flesh-bags seem to have to deal with are somewhat alien to me, however, I was also annoyed with the creature too; it could say what it like about the humans, but it needed to be careful what it said about the Furnace of Redemption! This is my ship, my temple to the Omnissiah, and no foul Xenos can denigrate such a powerful machine spirit, and expect to go unpunished...


The Rogue Trader Regent replied to the Xenos; "Truly you are being too kind! Anyway, now your business in our space has been concluded, you are free to run while we continue the important business of cleansing this system of corruption!"

There was an instant change in the demeanour of the Eldar and his face flushed with anger as Hartek continued; "Obviously I understand that you don't wish to be involved in these good works..."

The Eldar almost shouted at the projector "This was all your races doing, Mon-Keigh! Everything you touch you destroy, the galaxy would be a better place without your kind, but unfortunately that is not the way of things..." He seemed to get control of himself, and quickly appeared calm once more.

Hartek smiled, "That may be so, but we can't always have what we want, can we? Now if you'll excuse me, I have to be about my business in this System."

The Xenos smile had twisted into something nastier and more sinister as he spoke again. "Beware of what you find on the surface little Mon-Keigh!"

The Eldar cut the connection just as Hartek was attempting to reply, so, instead, Hartek turned to the bridge crew; "Well, he was a bit of an arse, wasn't he?" I couldn't help but notice the smiles that diffused the tension that had been building.

The Master of Etherics reported that he had tracked the Eldar ship, which our cogitators had now identified as The Memory of Lament, and tentatively tagged as Cruiser class, to the edges of our scan range, and it appeared to be leaving the Saphirus System. Hartek acknowledged this information before ordering a message be sent to both The Lux, and The Anvil, asking for damage reports and ordering them to complete their missions to the worlds of Saphirus 1-101 and Dropas. We received the reports, acknowledgements, and congratulations, from both Captains.

We next attempted communication with The Light of Purity, and glory be to the Omnissiah, received a response! The Astartes were back on board, without casualties, and they were en route to our position. They also reported the intervention in the battle of a mysterious vessel which destroyed a raider when it looked like they were about to be destroyed. The Rogue Trader Regent relayed the story of our detection of the Eldar ship, and the brief conversation with her arrogant Captain, and it seemed likely that the Xenos had intervened in both battles for some obscure reason of their own.

I accepted copies of the battle report from the Astartes destroyer, and they made interesting reading; The Light of Purity had barrelled into the enemy flotilla with a single aim; to get close enough to the corrupted Frigate, the Bringer of Desecration, to teleport the Grey Knights on board. Once this had been achieved the fate of the enemy ship was effective sealed; two of the Space Marines fought their way to the warp drives, and once they reached their target placed explosive charges, while the other three warriors headed to the bridge. Justicar Poscar slew the enemy Captain in single combat while the other two Astartes butchered the bridge crew along with anyone who attempted to intervene. Their mission complete, they too placed demolition charges before teleporting back to The Light of Purity.


The ship battle was not so clear cut; the escorting Raiders had battered The Light of Purity as she focussed on her mission to deploy the Space Marines to their target, however, once this had been achieved, she turned to face them, and crippled one, the Blissful Despair. However, in return she had suffered damage to her plasma drives and void shield generators, and when it looked as though the second raider the Eternity of Doom would take advantage of this, the mysterious attacker we now know as the Eldar ship The Memory of Lament, intervened and destroyed the attacker. The demolition charges left on board the Bringer of Desecration then detonated, and in the subsequent warp explosion the Frigate was obliterated, and the crippled Blissful Despair dragged to her doom in the warp, ending the battle. The crew of The Light of Purity were then able to repair the damage to their engines and shields and plot a course to join us.

The effectiveness of the Astartes raid gave me pause for thought, and I resolved to speak to the Rogue Trader Regent with a view to strengthening our on ship defences to guard against a similar calamity befalling ourselves...

When considering the overall balance at the end of the space battle, we had done incredibly well;

Four corrupted Raider Class ships had been completely destroyed, the Cursed Death, the Unholy Curse, the Blissful Despair, and the Eternity of Doom. Similarly, the Frigate Class ship, the Bringer of Desecration had been destroyed, and the Cruiser Class ship, the Promise of Sedition a notorious pirate and servant of the ruinous powers had been badly damaged and driven off.

The cost to us was small, the Transport Class ship, The Anvil suffered cosmetic internal damage from the raiding party who had attempted to board her, and the Astartes Destroyer The Light of Purity had suffered 38% damage to her hull integrity. The other Transport Class vessel, The Lux, and ourselves, the Furnace of Redemption had remained completely unscathed.

Truly the Emperor, and the Omnissiah, had been watching over us.

The two fighting vessels in the service of the Emperor of Mankind, the Furnace of Redemption, and The Light of Purity turned together and continued the journey to Saphirus 1-1S2M3, and to take the fight to the lair of the enemy.


++ End of record ++

 



#36 Thrantor

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:38 AM

Hey Marvin, sorry to hijack your post a bit... but I see that you use the Dark Heresy Framework for maptools(found it out on the 4shared page). Where do you get your scifi images from? And do you use it for this RT game?



#37 MARVIN THE ARVN

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 08:18 AM

Hi Thrantor, your welcome to Hijack the thread and its nice to see some people are reading it.

We are indeed using maptool and the dark heresy framework for our campaign, though we do seem to be abit behind the current version and leap frog a few versions at a time when we do upgrade.

The Sci Fi images are either taken from the internet or created by DrVesuvius (Who is very good at creating planet images). Lord Spatula also has a useful knack for finding relevant images from the internet.

Once I have the required images I then use token tool to create a token and bob's your uncle....



#38 Thrantor

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 05:53 AM

Do you have a recent campaign that you could upload to the 4shared? I JUST found the framework and am amazed at it's potential but finding things like a non-fantasy bunk room bit are hard to find.

Example: As part of my groups investigation of a chaos cult on one of their planets they are raiding the headquarters(Or what they think is the head quarters.) and the building has extensive barracks... But I can't for the life of me find an image of bunk beds from the top that doesn't look basically pulled straight out of a Tolkien novel.

I'm nit picking I know and can just say "this room contains a barracks and bunk beds..." but it's more interesting to be able to put images up.

I'd love to see the campaign or map you used for the fight on the other ship towing the asteroid in the warp. Just to see how you are using it.

I've gotten lots of fantasy examples... but not quite as useful as scifi maps for learning.



#39 Errant

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:28 PM

 http://www.dundjinni...ts.asp?TID=9730
http://www.dundjinni...ts.asp?TID=9419
http://www.wcnews.co..._barracks11.png



#40 Thrantor

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 04:36 AM

Errant said:

Sweet. Thanks. I hadn't found dundjinni yet. Thanks for the pointer. Any others?

And sorry, Marvin. Please continue the story when you can. I know I'm waiting to hear what happens next.






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