Ok, lets see if the topic appears properly this time...
Feel free to comment, ask questions or leave any ideas you might have on my campaign, i promise i will try not to get mad
The following is a description of my Dark Heresy campaign, I have found in the past that writing this stuff down for others helps to keep my plans focused and it can also be entertaining for others to hear about. Sorry of rhe long post, (and any poor punctuation etc) this document is meant as entertainment and inspiration for players and GM's alike.
Name of Campaign: What Doesn’t Kill You…
Time Period: 813.M41
Starting Rank: 1
Campaign Status: Currenty on hiatus
Campaign Lenght: 17 sessions plus a 2 session prologue.
Average session length: 3 hours
Constantine – Forge World Adept (Inditor) - the researcher of the group a thorough non-combatant but willing to stick his neck out on occasion. With his grey hair he looks older than his age of 30,.
Ruby – Void Born Psyker (Scholar Materium) - while willing to take risks she has yet to utilize any overt mental abilities. Too thin and too pale, her hair is white and so is her skin though she uses glaring make-up in an attempt to look normal, thoug it makes her look like a concubine more than anything.
Yasha – Feral World Assassin (Secluse) - Point-man, likes to get up close and has the uncanny ability to blunder into the truth when lost. Lean and Dark the perfect shadower.
Jaleth – Agri-world Assassin (Secluse) - a sniper and an expert at getting into trouble. Dark Hair and Fair skin.
Castella – Adepta Sororitas (Sister Militant) - the combat specialist, she looks every din the warrior, tanned and svelte she is quick to fight.
Mecha – Void Born Tech-priest (Enginseer) - His curiosity for Technology borders on the heretical. What remains of his flesh is very pale and his hair seems unnaturally aged for his bare 16 years.
Wilheln – Void Born Psyker (Neonate) - a confidant bald man with combat powers, his skin has a blue tinge and not just from his electoo's.
Scammer – Hive World Scum (Dreg) - “Send the scum in first” Wiry Build, Fair Skin and Flamboyant Green Hair
Summary: A powerful Inquisitor called Thrakis has learned of a threat to the Imperium one that unfortunately he does not have the time to address fully in person. Instead a group of individuals chosen with the assistance of holy divination rites has been brought together from across the Calixis Sector and beyond. Thrakis hopes that in time these chosen few will prove worthy of his expectations but for now they are merely fodder to be directed at a problem and hopefully counter it.
Before the campaign started I ran a once off adventure it lasted a little longer than one session and involved 16 people as a quick introduction to roleplaying and the basic rules of Dark Heresy for my RP Society while not initially planned that first adventure became the prologue/background for the actual game.
Prologue: Calixis Sector, Scramus 2-15, 310.812.M41
Six months ago Scramus 2-15 was a world covered by mid-level industry with a primary export of ground vehicle engine components and Ecclesiarchy personnel. The planet held a population of 8 billion spread across three continents most of which featured vast sprawling cities but no true “Hives”.
Then the first incident happened, the people inhabiting 4 city blocks went on a rampage killing three times that many in the surrounding area. The local planetary forces moved in but were thrown back by what could only be described as Zombies. In increasing numbers and in multiple locations across the planet people turned savage attacking in shambling mobs using their bare hands and teeth or whatever equipment they happened to have on them when they turned. As more of the planet fell into anarchy the governor sent out a call to his Imperial masters.
The 31st Sepheris Secundus Irregulars were dispatched as a pacification force. The Imperial Guard arrived dirt side two months after the first incident and began to tackle the problem unfortunately by the time they arrived a third of the world’s population had fallen. The fighting was pitched and the Irregulars were repeatedly forced to call down orbital support reducing much of the planets cities to rubble.
Some sort of Xenos life form had spread across Scramus. Small insect-like creatures were appearing attached to the foreheads of the planets population turning them into mindless beings with a massive tolerance for pain and no apparent need for the comforts of humanity such as food or heat.
Though it took months the Guard (after having been reinforced by the 32nd and 33rd Irregulars) managed to defeat the Zombies though they continued to suffer random attacks mostly from the underground sewer and stormwater system. The planet was in ruins with over 94% of the population dead either as tainted Xenos controlled Zombies or the casualties of the conflict and almost 60% of the initial Imperial Guardsmen contingent similarly affected. Amid the ruins the Guard secured as much area as they could while a representative of the Inquisition was summoned to investigate the incident.
Session 1: Calixis Sector, Scramus 2-15, 209.813.M41
Almost 9 months after war initially broke out on Scramus 2-15 the players (Scammer, Constantine, Jaleth, Yasha, Ruby, Mecha, and Castella) arrive with little fanfare and are brought before Inquisitor Thrakis, an imposing man, 8 feet tall with a build like some sort of Greek deity. Along with the Inquisitor the players meet Thorr an ex-guardsman from outside the sector who is equipped with 4 augmetic arms and totes around a lascannon for his personal use and a silver eyed, grey haired woman in he late 20’s called Aimee who assesses the recruits and takes down their names before reporting back to the Inquisitor with a whisper and a gesture towards Ruby.
Thrakis informs the players that they have been seconded to his service and that they are to help investigate the strange Xenos infestation. Aimee quietly hands the player’s a data-slate containing information on the strange bugs that turn people into virtual zombies as well as a detailed pre-war schematics of the underground sewerage and storm water system. Thrakis informs the group that there are three locations of interest marked on the map which has been deemed worthy of investigation by Astropathic scans. They are to investigate the sites and report back anything of interest for further analysis. The Inquisitor them turns the recruits over to Thorr who informs them that while the planet has been officially deemed pacified the Imperial Guard is still seeing pockets of resistance. After a quick trip to the Armoury for supplies and a visit to the local Chaplain for Castella the group gets on their way infiltrating the underground network via a hole rent in the ground beneath the shattered remains of church previously struck by orbital fire.
Session 2: Calixis Sector, Scramus 2-15, 210.813.M41
The party reached the closest waypoint in a little less than 6 hours, cautiously approaching a hatch apparently blocking access to the marked area Yasha edged ahead of the group unfortunately as he attempted to slip into the room unnoticed his foot snagged on the lintel and he stumbled pushing he door open with a rusty squeak. Shouts of alarm, followed by a challenge from the players resulted in a short shootout around the hatchway. Shotgun rounds flew through the door as the group hunkered out of the way, after retaliatory fire one of the players spotted their assailants wearing the uniform of an Adeptus Arbites officer. Tense moments passed as both sides exchanged identities. The assailants were a trio of Arbitrators who had been assigned to escort a psyker to meat the Inquisitor. The players agreed to relieve the Arbites of their duty (which they were pleased to be rid of) and they were joined by Wilheln. The room the group had fought in turned out to be nothing more than a sewage control station that seemed to have been the site of squatters at some point in the recent past. With nothing else to find the group set out again this time heading deeper underground via ladders located at a junction of several storm water drains.
With over 100 meters of rock and pipes above them the party moved into a series of drains that had not seen human feet in years, slowly they worked along the labyrinth only to be confronted by a makeshift wall of fused scrap metal near their secondary destination. Selecting a route that hopefully would lead closer to the waypoint the group edged into a smaller tunnel partially filled with water it was then they encountered their first “Zombies” a pair of the possessed burst from the darkness throwing themselves through a volley of fire headless of minor damage one dropped to a luck shot from a lasgun that immolated much of its upper torso while the second reached close quarters forcing the group to slowly butcher it in hand-to-hand.
Session 3: Calixis Sector, Scramus 2-15, 210.813.M41
Swiftly recovering from their encounter the group advanced towards their goal, only to find that their map seemed to be incorrect as the tunnel wall had no such branch, while the player’s debated what to do (whether they should go back or poke around the area in case the divination was incorrect) it was the scum who discovered the secret, what appeared to be a solid wall was some sort of semi-permeable holo-matter being generated across the tunnel mouth by a strange Heretek device being powered by a non-Imperial power source. Beyond the fictional wall the tunnel had been converted into some sort of laboratory. Amid broken cogitator units and samples of various chemicals lay a severely burned corpse. The search of the lab turned up two items of interest the first was a broken data-slate which had been blasted by a las round though the Tech Priest believed some of its contents might be salvageable with some work. The second item was a pair of small led boxes containing a strange yellow gelatine substance, in the centre of which was suspended a single specimen of the Xenos bug. Deciding that a full investigation of the lab would take too much time the group gathered up as much as they could that seemed important before proceeding for the final point of interest.
Again Yasha took the lead ranging ahead of the group until he was stopped by a barricade of rubble and discarded junk being manned by a half dozen men and women armed with ancient hunting rifles as lasguns. When the rest of the group caught up to their scout Constantine and Scammer moved forward calling out to the people behind the barricade and an elderly man called Jed stepped out to meet them introducing himself as the “Sheriff” of an encampment. Beyond the rubble was an enclave of survivors, people who had fled their homes during the fighting moving into the deep tunnels where they had set up a small town amid a cavern of collapsed tunnels. Fatigued from their journey and the fight against the Zombies the group took refuge with the survivors trading rations for some hot food before bedding down.
Session 4: Calixis Sector, Scramus 2-15, 210.813.M41
After investigating the hidden encampment of survivors the players gathered their kit and headed back to the surface with the information they had collected. As they approached the upper tunnels they could hear the not-to-distant sound of gunfire and the dull thud of artillery, worried about collapsing tunnels the group opted to find the nearest exit to the surface. Unfortunately their early exit left the group several kilometres away from the Guard Outpost andy between them and their destination milled an army of several thousand Zombies most of whom seemed to be dressed in Military uniforms. To make matters worse the creatures had somehow gained control of several Imperial artillery units.
Quickly devising a plan the group split, Yasha would make his way back to the outpost as quick as possible via the sewers while the others would try to commandeer a Leman Russ tank and take a more direct route. As the group prepared to overwhelm the guards of the nearest tank their position was suddenly given away as strange apparitions appeared filling the air about the group with disembodied spectres bleeding spectral blood as Wilheln tried to use his mental abilities. With no chance for surprise the group pushed forward with their plan, Constantine bolted from his position firing a laspistol wildly towards the nearest Zombie which turned and lurked after in pursuit with a pair of its companions. With the distraction apparently working and Constantine running for his life the rest of the players unleashed a volley of fire. Within moments the fight was over, several Zombies had been burned to cinders those inside the tank had been sliced apart by autogun fire from the scum as well as a carefully placed grenade from Wilheln.
Just as the group took control of the tank it was targeted by a bombing run from Marauders, as the players struggled to raise the attack craft on the Vox, Yasha emerged amid the Guard encampment, reporting to Thorr he quickly relayed the information about his teams position, diverting the air strike. In control of a Tank and with the support of aerial units the group made their way to the relative security of the Encampment.
While the Guard fought off the Zombie attack Thorr informed the players that Thrakis had been called away on other duties. After they related what they had found to the Inquisitor’s aide and a subsequent investigation by Mecha of the recovered data-slate several pieces of information were recovered, the most prominent being two names, Hedon Strein and Arctus IV. While the first was unknown the second was the name of a planet which would be the next destination of the recruits with orders to look for information related to “Hedron Strein” and the mysterious Xenos bugs. Within a week the group had shipped out aboard a bulk freighter.
Session 5: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV, 242.813.M41
After a month of being cooped up aboard the Bulk Freighter, Tireless Servant, the group slipped into the Arctus system. The primary world Arctus IV was a mid sized planet covered by a dense forest like those found on Death worlds and populated by a single small Hive City. The planets most distinguishing feature was a large ring in orbit around the planets equator. Housing billions of inhabitants this relic of the Dark-Age was the ships first stop. Upon docking the party was met by a woman whose appearance bore a striking resemblance to Aimee the Inquisitors aide though she dressed in an extravagant costume of red silks.
The woman spoke quickly with the group leading them through the docking bay and around checkpoints, slipping them past security and into the habitat levels of the ring. After showing the group to their temporary residence (A lavish apartment previously occupied by a less than scrupulous merchant who had an unfortunate accident involving a sharp object) the strange woman reiterated their orders to remain a discrete presence and if they needed assistance to hire a runner amid the locals to seek her out. After a quick examination of the apartment the players settled in, some headed for the bedrooms to sleep while other went out to scour the markets for equipment and supplies. While his companions searched for ammunition Mecha accessed the ring stations datanet and located the nearest temple of the Cult Mechanicus feeling the need for his own kind and hoping for a promotion as a reward for his Imperial Service.
After hours of shopping and walking amid the stations bazaars and information kiosks the party regrouped in their rooms. During the outing they had discovered that there was a Hedron Strein on Arctus, he was the founder of a Corporation located on the planets surface. His company (along with most of those located in the planet-side Hive) was responsible for assembling Virus bombs for planetary annihilation. The group quickly agreed that they needed to slip into the companies facilities for a closer look while they worked on a plan there was a knock at their front door, swiftly concealing their weapons (aside from the Tech-Priest who felt it better to leave his pistol sitting on the kitchen counter in plain sight) the group cautiously answered the door only to be confronted by a Planetary Law Enforcement Detective who had learned of their suspicious activities including the procurement of weapons and ammunition and the acquisition of information regarding an esteemed member of the dirt-side Hive.
The tense situation was dispersed when Castella still decked out in ecclesiastical garments from an early visit to a nearby temple identified herself. Deciding not to mess with the militant arm of the church the Detective ordered his men to retreat.
Session 6: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV, 243.813.M41
The plan was simple. Constantine in the guise of an official Adept of the Imperial Arctus IV Taxation and Requisition department with his retinue of scribes would pay a surprise visit on the Hedron Strein facility declaring an Audit was needed. While the majority of the group would go in through the front the assassins Yasha and Jaleth would infiltrate the companies compound via electrical access conduits, it would be their job to locate the rest of the group and provide back-up seeing as Scribes could not carry much in the way of firepower.
Shuttling down to the Hive took about an hour followed by another as the navigated through the upper Spire. The Hedron Strein facility was located near the border between Upper and Middle hives, built along the outer wall it appeared more of a fortress with little signs of outward finery. Doing his best to sound official Constantine and his “scribes” where greeted by Madeline Chasey the primary aide to Alfren Strein, son of Hedron and current CEO. The officious woman looked over the credentials of the group (carefully forged in advance and written in high Gothic to further conceal any potential flaws). Satisfied that the group was what they seemed Madeline quickly guided the group to the Data Archives, a portion of the Complex set aside for record keeping.
Without wasting a moment Constantine got to work, he would search the transit/delivery records for signs of contact between this company and Scramus 2-15. It wasn’t long before the true scope of the task was revealed. Notifying Madeline that they would need rooms to rest in while the conducted their “Audit” the primary group settled in for a lot of reading.
While the main party riffled through books and rolls of parchment the Assassins breached the facility entering via disused electrical conduits that had not seen a maintenance crew in decades. Unfortunately such neglect had weakened the conduit to the point where it collapsed beneath Jaleth plunging him into a room, after a quick conversation, Yasha pressed on through the system while Jaleth would try to climb back up to the pipe.
It didn’t take long for Yasha and Jaleth to loose each other, twisting turns and a labyrinthine system split them up eventually dumping Yasha out in the upper reaches of the complex amid rooms that were filled with astonishing displays of decadent wealth. Deciding to make the best of it Yasha prowled around behind the walls, peeking in on the activities of the Companies elite apparently involved in a formal ball entertaining a small portion of the Hive’s ruling class.
After witnessing several things the young assassin had not previously considered physically possible by two people his random crawling brought him to a room populated by an elderly man whose fragile body was being held upright by a mechanical armature and a much more impressive individual dressed in the formal military uniform of the Navis Nobilite. Pressing his ear to a vent Yasha strained to listen in on their conversation learning only that some sort of shipment required better storage and that next time much more would be needed to meet the demand. After the pair vacated the room Yasha once more set off searching for his companions.
Session 7: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV, 244.813.M41
Having spent hours trawling through records Constantine declared his task done for the day and the group shipped back to the rooms prepared for them. A quick search turned up no listening devices but some of the information recovered in the research led the group to be cautious and maintain their cover. As they prepared for bed, Jaleth finally located the room quietly identifying his presence in the crawl-space behind the wall near the rooms ceiling.
Unsatisfied with the speed of the investigation Ruby decided that a more hands on approach was needed, with the aid of Castella (who had spied a suspicious shipment of barrels being taken into an elevator) and with Jaleth as backup she slipped out of their room several hours later to see where the elevator went. The elevator led down a few hundred meters dropping below the main corporation levels and into a section of the mid-hive totally controlled by Hedron Strein. The area was filled with people, many baring scars and deformities from exposure to the harsh reagents involved in creating Bio-weapon virus’s, laboratories as well as smelting facilities filled the floor in all directions. It was in a laboratory that Ruby and Castella found workers assembling small devices. Using a “old mind-trick” Ruby discretely appropriate a box marked with caution. Further investigation of the facility found the pair standing amid a massive crowd of hundreds of workers busy at a forge casting and moulding and packaging things that neither of them could guess at a use for.
Unfortunately for Ruby and Castella their sojourn had not passed unnoticed and it was only through chance that they escaped being detained as warning lights flashed and sirens blared indicating a leak in the Bio-containment seals surrounding a nearby lab. Fleeing back to their room apparently free from scrutiny they handed over the box of components to Mecha to see what he could make of them.
Having followed Ruby and Castella on their foray Jaleth slowly worked his way back to their room via the conduits, as he clambered back up to the appropriate level he became away of a sudden silence as the internal cooling system shut down. Nervously he drew out a pistol and loaded a hot shot charge as shadows raced across tunnels at the edge of his light, with little warning a pair of chubby Cherub-servitors careened down the conduit he was in raking at him with sharp claws and firing small metal darts from their wing tips. Jaleth fired blowing a hole in the left wall before reaching for another hot-shot charge and firing again, and again and again, three out of the four shots melted the walls while one cooked off the pseudo-flesh of a Cherub leaving it a charred mechanical skeleton of its former self. Unfortunately for Jaleth his shots had attracted the notice of several company security agents which swiftly roused him out of the electrical system, hauling him off for interrogation.
Session 8: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV, 244.813.M41
Things began to escalate, with Jaleth under the cruel ministrations of a Torturer and the less than discrete investigation by Ruby and Castella the group was placed under heavier surveillance. As the Strein facility prepared for a new day, Constantine returned to complete his work, tracking down the names of three vessels that had visited Scramus 2-15 near to the outbreak of the Xenos-Bug attacks. The ships were called the Avernon, The Sleeping Orc and Humanities Path, the captains of these ships all seemed to have dealings with Hedron Strein for several years.
The party assembled for a quiet lunch and quickly relayed the information they had discovered, Constantine shared the name of the vessels while Mecha had assembled 24 small injector units, each built to comfortably fit into the palm of a persons hand but with a strange curving shape and a barbed needle protruding about three inches.
Worried that someone might have noticed their investigation the party hastily worked out a plan to get Ruby free from the Strein holding, Castella would escort here to the main exit. If they were stopped they would explain how Constantine required a series of forms to be collected before he could finalize his investigation.
While Ruby exited the compound the rest of the players returned to the Data-vault, hoping that continued res4earch would fool any suspicions and perhaps reveal more leads. Unbeknownst to the group their activities had been observed since their arrival by Strein Security personnel under the watchful eye of a seasoned mercenary. With it obvious the players were trying to investigate something the mercenary ordered the rounded up and detained.
Hearing the rapid approach of security personnel the group tried to hide what little weaponry they could, though only Scammer was successful, somehow managing to keep his auto-pistol. Stripped of their weapons and equipment the players were locked up in a part of the manufacturing levels.
Rather than leave via the main gates Madeline had shown Ruby to a smaller service exit. As she moved down the cramped hallway she noticed a figure in a brown overcoat quietly walking ahead of her, just as she was about to move ahead to see who it could be, a hand lunged out of another dark passage seizing her around the neck and slamming her into the wall with enough force to almost batter her senseless. As Ruby struggled not to pass out she caught sight of the owner of the hand, a burly mid-hive worker loamed over her, planted on his forehead was a small white bug. With her last strength Ruby drew her concealed Laspistol and focused her mind, as the zombie stretched out its hands she pressed the muzzle to the bug and fired.
After becoming lost once more Yasha decided that the tunnels were getting him nowhere, spying a likely exit point he slipped free of the constricting passages and into what seemed to be some for of emergency access corridor. Deciding that his mission had ultimately failed he began to search for a way out. Locating a possible exit didn’t take long, Yasha’s wanderings had left him roaming te outskirts of the compound, exiting into a dark passage barely the breadth of a man he was surprised to see a fight takening place before him. Before he could rush to assist the crack of a las discard reached his ears.
The Emperor was with Ruby as her shot immolated the bug and vaporized much of her assailants head. Yasha hurried to her and the pair quickly fled the scene and disappeared into the crowds of the Upper Hive. The pair covertly made their way back up to the Kane Band by way of a pilgrim transport and Yasha various skills. Slipping away from the mass of humanity they hired a local guide who guided them to a far more opulent portion of the immense station which housed the business (a high class bordello) of the strange woman Genevie the woman whom had led them through customs and their local contact.
Session 9: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV, 245.813.M41
Genevie, Ruby and Yasha quickly assembled a plan, using Genevie’s contacts through the local Adeptus and some of her more personal influence a detachment of senior Adeptus Administratum officers and Squad of Chasteners from the local Hive-side Arbites would proceed to the Strein compound to official place the company under scrutiny and more importantly extract the rest of the players. Organising the raid took most of the night leaving Yasha and Ruby to shuttle back down to the planet at first light.
The Adept Taskforce preceded by their escort broached the Strein compound in short order. Before the managers of Hedron Strein could assuage the Administratum’s suspicions the power was cut plunging the facility into the dark. Ordering the Adepts to fall back the Arbites took point as they began to sweep through the compound in search of the rest of the players.
Held without food, Scammer, Constantine, Mecha and Castella were on edge, especially when the report of gunfire signalled the deaths of the guards outside their prison. Preparing to jump whoever entered next they were confronted by a trio of heavily armed men in black fatigues with combat shotguns and night vision equipment. Rounding up the group they escorted them through the darkened facility and into a storage room full of crates. Ordering the Players to open the nearest crate they discovered that they contained ancient lasguns left behind from some long ago shipment. For a moment they thought that they were free but the sounds of shotguns being racked and the lack of energy cells for the las rifles swiftly squashed their hopes.
As the men in black prepared to execute the players Mecha activated his Vox-unit emitting a high frequency screech which disabled two of the men while Scammer retrieved his concealed Auto-pistol and began to spray the room. Bullets and Las blasts filled the air as both sides scattered for cover, with nothing to use as ammunition Castella and Mecha charged the closest opponent hoping to club him down while Scammer kept up his full-auto assault. Seeing a chance to flee, Constantine hurried away into the dark to the massive roller-door at the other end of the storage room.
While Constantine fled to the outside of the hive and an ancient landing platform the party managed to down one of their assailants, with a man down the others fell back using a flash-bang grenade to secure their escape through a hatchway. Quickly pursuing, Mecha reached the door and opened it, his incautious advance cost him as an explosive charge on the other side detonated blowing the door from its fittings and smashing him across the room.
As the Arbites continued their sweep searching for Ruby and Yasha’s companions a massive explosion tore through the facilities lower levels blasting a massive whole in the side of the hive. Someone had activated the Production facilities emergency procedures immolating the Virus Labs and whatever else had been hidden amongst it. Amid the fires the party managed to regroup, realising they were at a dead end with whatever evidence of heretical activity going up in flames around them, they withdrew to the relative safety of their orbital apartment to await further instructions.
Session 10: Calixis Sector, Arctus IV/Sepheris System, 280.813.M41
After the massive explosion at the Strein holdings it took local law enforcement combined with Arbite patrols and the presence of Inquisitor Thrakis to sort out the situation. Not much of the manufacturing levels or the records in the Upper sections of the complex remained, what survived was badly burned. The players had recovered from their injuries over the intervening month and acquired replacement equipment. They had also spent the time honing their skills and developing new abilities with the available facilities until Thorr arrived to debrief them and hand over their next assignment.
For all their trouble the group still only had a paper trail showing the names and destinations of a trio of Bulk Transports that had called at Scramus 2-15 and Arctus IV. At the direction of Thrakis, Thorr was to assemble several teams of acolytes to pursue the most likely craft called the Humanities Path which was travelling first to Scintilla then Sepheris Secundus before finally moving on to Tarsus if the vessel carried any of the Bugs or similar heretical objects their release at any of these places would destabilize the region and possible destroy the sectors infrastructure irrevocably.
Thorr instructed the Acolytes to make a choice, which planet did they wish to investigate. After some discussion they settled for travelling to Sepheris Secundus, hoping to intercept the Freighter before it reached the planet. Before Thorr departed to make transit arrangement he reported one thing of interest, in the wreckage of the Strein Corporation several of the strange twisted injection devices had been discovered, the design matched several found during a raid over a year earlier on Scintilla, aside from their presence in the aftermath of that raid the only information the investigators had determined was that under Infrared light the containers would suddenly decay, an aspect that meant Quarantine Sweeps abroad Starships would usually destroy whatever they contained before being seized unless they were carried in shielded compartments or packages.
Unable to tell if this information would help them the players debated what to do if they encountered their target, Castella wanted to board the vessel and seize any evidence before it reached Sepheris Secundus while others considered simply monitoring it and following the trail to its conclusion. After much debate it was decided to enact two plans. The first was to organise with local Customs officials to detain the ship, if it arrived after the Acolytes or within a few days, the group would then go aboard in a semi-official capacity disguised as local Customs agents to inspect a illegal drug shipment. If they were unlucky and arrived long after their prey, Mecha was to pose as a reclusive off-world Noble on a holiday to visit the sectors primary worlds, a curtained palanquin would conceal his true appearance long enough for the group to get themselves entrenched within a residence and to give them some sort of standing in the worlds Feudal system.
It took the better part of a week for Thorr to make all the arrangements and for the players to find a vessel (A small water transport, returning core-wards for resupply known as the Mermaids Wings) and almost 40 days of calm Warp travel. The Mermaid’s Wings dropped out of the Immaterium at the edge of the Sepheris System. A quick consult with local authorities revealed the presence of their quarry berthed in a quarantine dock for less than 12 hours.
Session 11: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 284.813.M41
Plan A was a go, 4 days of in-system travel brought the players to the orbit of Sepheris Secundus and the multitude of ore barges and transport clotted around the equator. Having heard a detailed report by Constantine on the world beneath them (6 degrees of success) the players requested transport to the orbital star-fort that acted as the world’s traffic control centre/imperial watch post and most importantly the customs house.
They arrived with little fanfar and were escorted to a holding room whil Leiutenant MArkis the Officer of the Watch was summoned. Markis quickly related the orders that had been passed to him, that the group were to be in charge of the inspection and that he was to provide whatever material were needed. It quickly became apparent that Thorr had arranged things discretely. Markis and his companion Munitorium Aide, 2nd Class Trevold seemed to have no idea of the Inquisitions involvement addressing the group as Special Agents operating in a cross-system taskforce.
Issued wth Light Enforcer Carapace, Combat Shotguns and Inbuilt Vox Units the players and 50 other Customs officers made the short hop to the Humanities Path which lay at anchor beneath the facilities defence batteries. The three shuttles boarded their target along the starboard docking ports where they were met by the XO and an unnamed Imperial Cleric accompanied by a huge Ogryn carrying a Ripper gun. The XO, Commander Davise reported that Captain had taken ill during the voyage and that in his stead the XO would do all he could to assist the inspection.
After turning down a meal, Constantine took charge reordering the disposition of the party. Mecha would check ou the ships manifest and try to access its Data-banks while the rest would split up with the customs teams to check the cargo decks. The 5 groups moved quickly through the ship. Jaleth, Castella, Ruby, Constantine and Yasha split up with 5 customs officers each to sweep as many cargo decks as they could.
Hours passed, almost half way through their examination Castella reported requesting the tech-priest aide, she had uncovered some sort of concealed storage space in the decking. Though it was empty it seemed to have been equipped with a refrigeration system. At the same time Ruby (who had wandered off from her companions) stumbled across a lantern sitting atop a pile of crates that seemed to have been moved. Before she could look closer she heard a foot scuff behind her. Turning a man in a ships uniform moved towards her with a knife. Instantly Ruby swept out her pistol and fired barely missing the man who crashed into her. Her second shot did no better as another man appeared this time with a Shotgun at the ready. The fight was short and intense as Ruby called upon her powers delving into the mind of the man with the shotgun and forcing him to suddenly stop to pick up and stack nearby crates as his mind boiled. Seeing the sudden change in his companion the man with the knife threw down his weapon and fled scream “Witch” only to be gunned down by the arrival of Ruby’s security team.
Session 12: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 284.813.M41
The customs squad assigned to Ruby raced to her aide. Cautiously they checked the status of the attackers determining them deceased with a nudge from a combat boot. Ruby called off the other players with a short vox message and they returned to their search while Ruby and her goons searched for what her attackers had been after. Beneath the pile of foodstuffs they located a small compartment packed with 24 litres of “Dusk” a potent narcotic and in enough volume to make a huge profit but unfortunately not what the players wanted to find.
Immediately upon hearing of this discovery, Lieutenant Markus issued orders to his men, lockdown the ship and round up the crew for questioning. Worried that their plans were going south, Constantine overrode Markus’ orders and called for a meeting of him and the players. Assembling in the main hanger deck the group was also met by Scammer who transferred to the Humanities Path via a Aquila Lander. Carefully keeping his back to the yawning vastness of space (something his hive world upbringing had trouble dealing with) the players brought Scammer up to speed before convincing Markus to hold off on his duties for 24 hours so the players could look for more evidence (or more specifically any signs of what they were after).
The players returned to their search while Castella and Mecha took a look at the hidden refrigeration compartment. Mecha was able to determine that it had been placed there some time ago but its installation had been very unorthodox, a violation of the vessel Machine Spirit but little else in terms of purpose or what it may have held. The search continued (The players reassigned several goons to Scammer and told him to inspect the final Cargo Deck) until a shudder ran through the ships hull throwing everyone from there feet and panicking the Pilgrims, fearing attack or another explosion the party began to make their way to someone who could tell them what was happening. Several of the ships crew reached the players urging them to move to the Docking bays a reactor leak had occurred and was going to flood several decks with radiation.
With several decks sealed off due to the Radiation leak the players suspected an attempt for people to flee the Pilgrim transport so they hailed the Custom Station to monitor the space about the Humanities Path in case someone tried to slip free. While the players waited the XO of the ship caught up with them, hastily explaining that it would take time for the repairs to be made and the infected decks might require venting in order to return them to proper order. Something in the voice of the XO raised Scammers suspicions and after the XO left, Mecha returned to the nearest Dataorum to try to hack into the ships monitoring systems. Bypassing several firewalls the Ships machine spirit revealed that one of the supposedly infected decks was free from contamination. Before Mecha could do anything with the information he found himself on the business end of a Shotgun wielded by an angry looking Security Officer.
Session 13: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 285.813.M41
The Security Officer forced Mecha to back away from his terminal and held him at gun point until the ships XO and Constantine (With Yasha in tow) arrived. The XO ordered Constantine to keep a better check on his men, a brief argument almost lead to a duel as Mecha impugned the XO’s honour, only the fact that Mecha was a revered member of the Mechanicus kept anything from happening as well as Constantine dragging Mecha from the room.
Back on the main Hanger level the players regrouped, mecha quickly outlined what information he had recovered. After contemplating several possible courses of action the party ordered up Customs Marshal Markus and their troops to begin a thorough sweep of decks 1 and 2, seeing as they were still officially free of contamination and able to be accessed.
As the Customs Agents began their search the group quietly slipped away to locate an emergency access shaft that would lead from Cargo Deck 2 down to Deck 3. Yasha went first, slipping down the 50 meter shaft and after a brief pause to consider the possible implications of what was possibly happening on the 3rd Deck if Mecha’s earlier intrusion had been wrong the Assassin opened the access hatch and rolled into the room sweeping left and right with his weapon.
With the way clear the group made their much less discrete entry. While there was no one in the immediate area, the group could hear voices and the decks Lighting was at a much higher level than on previous visits. Yasha and jaleth moved off towards the noise, slipping unseen down behind rows of crates and cargo. At the far end of the deck were several dozen people wearing crew uniforms plus two heavy-lifter type servitors. About half the assembled people were working to rip up deck plates and retrieve a series of metal boxes about a meter long from hidden compartments while the rest kept a careful eye on proceedings armed with Lasguns and flak vests. Amidst the bustle stood a young man in immaculate clothing armed with a sabre and a bald man toting a Combat Shotgun.
While Jaleth kept watch Yasha returned to the group to report, Ruby requested to see and the Assassin began to sneak her forward. Back with Jaleth things had changed a massive hatch at the decks end had opened and 2 figures swathed in black and leading a trio of servitors (2 power generator types linked to another with some sort of aperture embedded in its chest). Feeling that time was running out for action, Jaleth, Ruby and Yasha decided to act, Ruby reached out with her mind hoping to trigger a psychotic episode in the leader of the group and sew confusion in his minions. Unfortunately the act failed and in retaliation the bald man turned to face her concealed position pointing and exercising his own powers in return.
The session ended with Yasha trying to flank around the boiling confrontation, Ruby running back towards help and Jaleth firing from cover with his autopistol as their opponents gave chase fired off their lasguns or unleashed arcs of psychic lightning.
Session 14: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 285.813.M41
Jaleth dived behind a pile of unmarked crates and scurried off beneath the fusillade of lasgun bursts. Drawing away some of the gathered men as Yasha prepared to charge the well dressed man and his robed companion.
Still running as fast as they could Constantine and Ruby crossed paths with a glance Ruby tossed Constantine her compact las, threw away her shotgun and drew out her axe ducking behind some cover the pair readied to face Rubies pursuers. As the arms-men spilled out into the main "alley" between supply racks. Castella and Mecha (Who quickly called for support) still some ways off hurled themselves into cover before opening fire.
Shotgun pellets and las rounds filled the air as the players engaged twice their number in opponents. As Castella advanced Ruby flung herself at two opponents in an attempt to distract them, while she did not cause much harm the arms-men were forced to stop firing and fight off the attack using their guns as clubs.
At the enemy psyker's gesture the young man in the fine clothing stopped and drew out a Bolt Pistol, leveling it at the oncoming Assassin. Before he could react the black robed figure stepped in front of his aim. With the sound of tearing cloth the figure revealed itself forcing Yasha to halt his charge. The figure was no human, but some form of machine vaguely resembling the upper body of a man, four extra limbs protruded from its back, the upper two ended in large scything blades while the bottom whined with building energies, its cylindrical head was dominated by a large glowing "eye" and rather than having legs it floated unassisted in the air. As Yasha tried to recover from the shock of witnessing such a metal clad abomination to the God-Emperor the machine/thing moved forward forcing Yasha into melee...
Session 15: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 285.813.M41
The battle continued to rage across the cargo deck. While Ruby hammered away at her opponents defenses with her axe, Constantine braced himself and with a whispered prayer to the Emperor closed his eyes and blazed away with his borrowed compact laspistol. The Techpriest raised his own pistol and sighted in on the unprotected head of his opponent with a powerful discharge the mans head exploded showering his companions with burning bits of brain and skull, while Castella thundered out a burst a second later.
Unseen by his companions Yasha fought for his life, the multi-limber mechanoid flailed its scythe limbs smashing them into the assassins defense which could not stop all the blows drawing deep cuts across his body. Unable to pull away Yasha watched as the man in the expensive clothing withdrew from the scene, exiting via the massive cargo hatch.
Still leading his pursuers Jaleth ducked into cover away from the main area before turning to fire a burst from his Customs-Issue Combat Shotgun. The first round clipped the head of his target but the second round ripped into a pile of supplies puncturing a bottle of pressurized gas that slammed into the mans legs severing them from his body. Aghast at the violent end of the comrade Jaleths attackers fired a wild volley with surprising accuracy, only the scant cover of supply crates and the Carapace armour saved the Assassin who quickly decided to run some more rather than fight a half a dozen armed men.
The burning skull fragments raised mortal mayhem as clothing, hair and people caught fire swiftly turning the fight in the players favour as over half their attackers proceeded to run about wildly screaming and beating at the flames. Ruby dropped back from her target giving room for her companions to blow him away but before they could the soldier raised his lasgun and unleashed a burst. The Psyker threw herself to the side but burst continued on catching Constantine in her place. The energy burst vaporized the front of his armour before knocking him down. The burst should have killed him but for the grace of the Emperor Constantine somehow survived the deadly attack.
Badly wounded Yasha was surprised to see his opponent backing away, the strange machine floated backwards carefully retreating along with the bald Witch who had been quietly watching the confrontation and the remaining man in black robes. Before Yasha could attempt to alert his companions the Witch reached out and seized his mind sending an all clear command instead before riffling through the Assassins memories. As the main exit from the cargo deck slammed sht yasha felt the grip on his mind release.
Jaleth caught up with the main group as his pursuers stumbled into the squads of Sepheris Customs Agents, the confrontation ended in a defining roar of combined firepower and the players hurried forward to Yasha's position. Before they could attempt to bypass the main exit's controls an explosion plunged the deck into darkness. Comm-traffic quickly revealed that a portion of the Humanity's Path's forward hull had ruptured into space. Fearing the worst the players ordered the debris to be monitored for signs that their quarry might be trying to escape.
With two of their team injured and a massive bulkhead blocking their path the session came to a close
Session 16: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 286.813.M41 to 301.913.M41
Unable to ascertain what was in store for the group if they cranked open the massive doors an argument boiled over as the group debated there next action. Mecha wished to pursue the strange mechanical creature Yasha had described to him with almost heretical passion while the rest worried that the explosion may have vented the next compartment. The argument was tabled when the party decided to focus on what they had already accomplished and so they turned thier attention to investigating the metal storage crates and the Servitors they had seized.
While the Techpriest disabled the IR-Emitting Servitors the group with the assistance of the local Customs assault squads searched through the pile of boxes trying to find any which were still unaffected by the damaging light. Again and again from each crate they opened drifted the smell of melted plastic. After searching through over 100 crates they carefully removed the contents, each large metal box contained 16 smaller square containers, eerily similar to the boxes retrieved from the abandoned lab on Scramus 2-15.
Panic seized the group as they realized that they may be looking at almost 2000 container holding the strange bugs that had turned the population of Scramus into Zombies. Ruby sized up the possibility, if the containers were somehow keeping the bugs in a form of stasis it was possible the IR light was to wake them up and that the bugs would then have a ship full of Pilgrims to take over and disseminate across Sepheris Secundus. Still unsure if there were actually bugs inside the smaller boxes Jaleth cautiously opened one with his shotgun braced to blow away anything that might be inside.
With a collective sigh of relief the party discovered that the box contained a small storage cradle, in within which sat the remnants of 3 injection devices, horribly melted and twisted by the IR Light but still recognizable. The only piece that had survived intact was the small metal injection cartridge. Pucking one from the ruined device Yasha cracked one open to check its contents finding nothing by a small amount of green liquid that seemed to be partially bio-luminescent.
Just as the party began to order the Customs Agent to fire up the Servitors to confiscate all the evidence another explosion rocked the ship. The blast this time was significantly more potent sending people flying and causing the vessel to tilt at such an angle that the artificial gravity could not cope with and the boxes and cargo-servitors skidded away to slam into the cargo decks main access hatch. As the ships power failed Yasha tried to request an update from the Cstoms Space Station only to find his comms were down. With a burst of static the ships loud speakers broke the sudden silence the captain was ordering all hand to abandon ship. With the Ship in trouble the players decided to return to the hanger deck, as they scrambled up the slooping floor, Ruby hastily grabbed one of the small containers, unwilling to leave all the evidence behind and trusting to her extra senses that she had grabbed a useful sample.
By the time the party and the Customs units reached the flight deck pandemonium had broken out, thousands of Pilgrims clamored at overwhelmed deck crew screaming for a way off the ship, the magnetic field that keep the outside environment from the deck was sheathed in fire and the group realized what was happening, somehow their vessel was plunging into the atmosphere. The huge mass of people stood between the players and their shuttles. wielding Shotguns as clubs and later as they were designed the Customs Agents formed a wedge and drove their way across the flight deck.
Packed into the landing craft the player fled the stricken starship launching out into the turbulent atmosphere. The small shuttle spun through the air and Ruby rushed to the pilot compartment, seizing a hold of the woman pilot she pulled her away from the controls and sat down to fly the ship herself. Closing her eyes and gathering her will Ruby vanished as the warp overwhelmed her. As Yasha stared at the now vacant pilot seat the female pilot picked herself up from the floor from where she had been pushed and retook her position sending a cold chill down the Assassin's spine as the original pilot turned out to be Ruby.
As the Humanities Path impacted near the southern Pole of Seperis Secundus Ruby brought the small transport under control and the group zipped away from the huge detonation. After their arrival back on the space fort the party found themselves confined to quarters as Lieutenant Markus the commander of the Customs Squads demanded to be informed as to what was happening, the Stations sensorium had revealed a half dozen explosions tearing open the ship with enough force to destabilize its orbit. Unable to provide him with an answer Constantine compiled a report for the stations Astropaths to send it was time to call in support.
For 8 days the party stewed in there room, each day Markus arrived to ask if they would reveal what was going on. While they waited they received reports from the planets surface, the vessels impact had kicked up a large cloud of dirt and ash and huge infernos obliterated tracks of wilderness but thankfully the ship did not have the mass to cause an extinction event. The lieutenants persistent questioning eventually convinced the group to quietly inform him as to their status, which to their surprise seemed to satisfy Markus who had suspected after seeing the reaction of the Astropaths to the message they had sent. Freed from House Arrest the party returned to their investigation, trying to glean as much information about what had happened while also carefully monitoring the situation on the ground for any hint that "Zombies" might be appearing on the planet.
Early morning 15 days after the ship had struck the planet the stations early warning buoys detected the arrival of a massive vessel. Summoned to the Command Center the party waited while the stations cogitators sought out the vessels identity. Before the machines had their answer Jaleth whistled as he recognized that massive ship as a Battle Barge of the Adeptus Astartes. Moments later the stations comm system burst into life as the hololithic image of Thorr and Inquisitor Thrakus appeared, Thorr announced their immediate arrival with a grin.
Session 17: Calixis Sector, Orbit Sepheris Secundus, 302.813.M41
The group rushed to gather their possessions, the evidence they had collected and the few pieces of weaponry they had managed to keep a hold of while the Redoubtable powered across the system. Reporting to the stations flight deck the group boarded a servitor controlled shuttle and transferred across to the Battle Barge. It was a strangely quiet and human welcome that they received aboard the immense battle and they were swiftly led down the labyrinthine corridors by a pair of silent young men dressed in simple white cassocks to a boardroom.
The door had barely been closed behind them before it opened and into the room swept Inquisitor Thrakiss accompanied by Thorr, Aimee and another young woman with silver hair wearing a red skin tight suit and a half mask to cover the bottom of her face. The newcomer positioned herself by the door ignoring the questioning stares of the group as they tried to work out who and what she was. Despite the familial resemblance to Aimee and Genevieve on Arctus this new lady looked a lot less "soft".
With little formality the Inquisitor debriefed the group about their activities. After an hour of careful questioning the large man spoke, praising the group for their efforts before informing them he will temporarily be assigning them to a new operation, one that the Inquisitor planned to personally supervise. leaving them without any further information the Inquisitor left them in the care of Aimee and Thorr who directed them to their assigned quarters.
While some of the group used the time to rest up Castella and Mecha had other needs to attend to. Mecha left his quarters ecstatic to be aboard such a powerful icon of the Machine God, driven by his curiosity he wandered the halls of the vessel. Trying to find the engineerium or some other interesting local his passage was blocked by an immense figure swathed in an encompassing robe of black. Recalling the strange machine Yasha had reported, the Tech Priest began to grow uneasy until the figure reached up an lowered its hood revealing a face that could have been carved from marble. So far none of the group had seen any of the Astartes during their time aboard the vessel, now Mecha stood face-to-chest before one. The Brother-Marine inquired as to the Tech-Priests destination and after a quick reply the marine summoned a serf to act as a guide.
At the same time Castella departed her "cell", ordering a servant to guide her to a place of worship so she could pray to the Emperor. Her guide brought her through the ship to the primary Cathedral. Inside the massive chapel Castella could see serf's hard at work cleaning in the dark corners while a huge figure knelt in prayer before the alter and golden throne at the head of the amphitheater. before she had a chance to beat a hasty retreat the figure lifted itself up and turned to face her.
Black Power Armour was adorned by a darker robe, small accents of yellow broke up the dark colours its helmet was formed in the shape of a skull and a fell red light glowed in the eye sockets. With a remarkable show of willpower Castella stood before the Chaplain as he strode toward her. The Battle Brother towered over Castella encased in his ornate armour, with a word of greeting the Chaplain invited the Sister of Battle to make use of the chapel as she would before he continued past her and out the door she had entered.
While Castella and Mecha had their own fun, the rest of the group spent a quiet evening chatting to Thorr about Inquisitor Thrakiss before turning in for the night.
Conclusion of Part 1 - Training: Calixis Sector, Sepheris System 303.813.M41
Inquisitor Thrakiss shifted in his seat, pushing himself back from the glowing green data-screen that was filled with the vital statistics and summaries of his newest team of recruits. The room he sat in was dark except for the flickering illumination provided by the cogitator unit. Without turning Thrakiss addressed the rooms other occupant.
"What do you think Brother-Captain?"
A massive figure swathed in black robes shifted ever so slightly. The voice that rumbled from the Astartes lips was deep and mellow.
"They appear to be fine survivors, my lord. I am sure the test you have prepared will answer your question for you."
Thrakiss studied the screen once more, two assassins, a psyker, an adept, a tech-priest and a Sister of Battle they were certainly an eclectic group. But one that seemed to be functioning well together. Still there were many challenges yet to be faced and most would be even more intense than those they had survived so far.
The Cogitator chimed softly as it communed with the ships Machine-Spirit drawing the Inquisitors attention from his reverie. Ancient High Gothic glyphs revealed the vessels status. Stable Orbit: PC31-D-4.
Rising from his seat Thrakiss arched from the room followed by his giant companion.
"It is time. You know what to do Captain."
"Yes, my Lord." Answered the marine before stalking away to fulfill his orders...
17 Sessions, it seemed longer (well... 19 with the dodgy intro stuff) for all those who have been reading this diary I am sad to say that there will be no more updates this year. The group that plays in this game is based around a University and with the exams happening and the holidays coming things have come to an end. I hope you enjoyed this little saga.
Where things will go from here? Only the Emperor knows. Perhaps the Lord Governor Calixis will issue the necessary finances so the scribes can continue to research into the saga of this band of Acolytes or perhaps like so many before the story will simply be buried in the dust shrouded bureaucratic libraries of the Imperium...
Thanks for reading