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Blessed Enterprise (73 SP, Dictator class cruiser)

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#41 Annaamarth



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Posted 11 March 2014 - 04:26 PM

Three comments, not toward anything specific or particularly recent.


One: This is awesome.


Two: Revisiting an old topic: upgrading a cruiser to a battlecruiser?  No.  In 40k terms, that would mean chopping your ship in half, inserting a whole new piece, and welding the three pieces together really, really well.  This would mean a) you're flying a bastardized vessel that no Mechanicus will like seeing (and some will scream 'heretek,') b) you're maneuverability may suffer because the proportions are off, c) you'd be stuck with cruiser grade equipment because your hull was never designed to take the big stuff, d) you'd take a hull integrity hit because welds suck and e) don't fly that thing near strong gravitic stresses, because your hull will snap into thirds.  Don't even think about low orbit bombardment.


Class change refits really bite :(  Of course, this all only applies if your GM doesn't know much about ships and shipyards- if he's clueless, then Port Wander HO!


Three: Speaking of refits, an Idea that you may want to consider- refit your weapons.  Put both broadsides on one side and both hangar bays on the other.  With the long range of Sunsear weapons, this means that your broadsides on that side are hellish and you have great capability as a standoff, fire support vessel.  At that point, your biggest worry is raiders getting in on the opposite arc, for which you have two solutions: bombers and an escort ship.  That sword-class frigate, for example.


Then your ship will be some bastardized combination of the Enterprise and the Big Mo.  Kaboom.

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 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played

#42 Chaki



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Posted 11 March 2014 - 05:14 PM

Regarding two: Wasn't the Armageddon basically a refit of damaged Lunar class cruisers?

So apparantly, it is possible to upgrade to battlecruiser class, especially with the Lunar, as its always described as highly moddable.



Edited by Chaki, 11 March 2014 - 05:15 PM.

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#43 Annaamarth



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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:02 PM

Meh.  40k verse plays fast and loose with physics and engineering.  Big surprise.


 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played

#44 Askold



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Posted 11 March 2014 - 11:50 PM

Annaamarth: Actually in 40k terms a battlecruiser is just an upgunned cruiser.


You have a problem with cruisers being turned into battlecruisers but in 40k that project does not mean physically making the cruiser bigger. They have the same hull strength but with overcharged weaponry.


So it is more that in this case 40k verse plays fast and loose with ship type names.

#45 Marwynn



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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:52 AM

Plus, House Rules trump Game Rules! 


The GM and I sat down and (after a quick game of BFG) we decided that we should let the players upgrade their ships. We're not going to be playing in tournaments where we have to be beholden to rules--as long as the upgrades make some sense, and that they'll be a constant hassle--then we figure go for it.


He did agree with some cackling and steepling of fingers though...


Anyway, we figure there are two yards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle this: The Breaker Yards and Port Wander (technically not in the Expanse).


At this point, the Dynasty can't handle modifying the Blessed Enterprise or even the Illustrious's hulk. We'll need a Battlecruiser plasma drive for one, and I'll definitely rip out the guns and add Hecutors instead, and there's the small problem of moving the Starflares from the prow to the dorsal slots and figuring out what to do with the prow.


Then, we'll have a heavily modified Armageddon class battlecruiser that is unfit for long travel and exploration. So... no on the Blessed Enterprise becoming one. 


Acquiring a sleek new Battlecruiser seems like a good idea, but right now I'd much prefer another cruiser. Or a pair of frigates.

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#46 Marwynn



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Posted 13 March 2014 - 09:55 AM



Clean water and fresh food are some of the rarest things in the galaxy, I've found. The Expanse is no different, and supplying Vaporious with our own stores was dangerous but their need was great. When I first assumed command I have no doubt the crew of the Blessed Enterprise thought me a tyrant, waiting just for the moment when I'd eventually relax discipline. It's one of the reasons why I stayed as far away from the Strom dynasty fleet all these years. No voidman should be able to glut themselves with rations or waste so much water.


I have no doubt that more than a few heads were cracked when I ordered our water to be shared with the rebels on Vaporious, even after taking on more precisely for that purpose. The crew's respect and attention to such matters is much more useful than the complacency they displayed before.


While the Seneschal quickly arranged for victuals and provender--Naduesh's bounty truly is baffling--I have begun grooming my bridge crew to catalogue and remain aware of the ever changing void. Our Navigators have acquiesced to my Navy-like requirements, performing routine scans into the warp. It's an outdated tradition, made more unnecessary by swift and unpredictable changes in the warp, but even with their leader away the Navigators on board will have a steady 'picture' of the warp around us. 


The Master of Etherics took it upon herself to summarize the bridge stations' reports into one document. A Rogues Gallery, if you will. I have added information to it and have ordered it distributed to the officers. This will be a new tradition.


Pol Maki, Sollux Incarna


A gaudy, aquilla-burdened frigate currently operated by the Rogue Trader Pol Maki, the Incarnate Light of Sol is owned wholly by the Adepto Ministorum. Legally, it's under the newfound Maki Dynasty's name, donated to it by the pious of the Calixian nobility. Pol is the third master of the Sollux Incarna in as many decades, the previous two having been killed and/or eaten by the feral humans the Ecclesiarchy sees fit to antagonize. Lord-Captain Pol Maki, however, is a far shrewder master and commander I imagine. Find attached are his exploits under Lord-Admiral Brigg, Battlefleet Ixaniad. Also worth noting is that the Sollux Incarna is heavy laden with cargo--discovered thanks to the excellent efforts of the Etherics crew--and may be transporting colonists/pilgrims.


The Sword class frigate is an intermediate threat, I would imagine, despite its senseless sacrifice of armour and hull integrity. It mounts a pair of plasma batteries found only in Cruiser vessels. I imagine it maneuvers as one too, a refit no doubt ordered by someone with no knowledge of void operations. 



Drea Wren, In The Moment


Any communications with the Wren Dynasty will be strictly handled by the senior staff under pain of execution. The Wrens have a pockmarked reputation for good reason, alternating between saints and sinners with every generation and sometimes combining the two in confusing ways. Consider them hostile if you must. 


Lord-Captain Drea Wren has consolidated her dynasty's illicit fortunes in a core of three similar looking Dauntless class light cruisers. These vessels are highly capable, equipped with archeotech as well as xenotech, and have preyed on raiders and pirates just as often as they have on merchants and transports. The flagship, In The Moment, is believed to be the one in orbit of Naduesh and has an elite crew. They appear to be taking on supplies as well, though I doubt it is due to any trade agreements. 



Boro Dynasty, Lords of the Seas


There has never been as secretive a dynasty than the Boros. The current warrant holder is unknown to us and their dealings here are a mystery. I've served with several Navy officers who have worked closely with Boro dynasty ships with their deep-purple hulls and stark white prows and they could find no fault in their capabilities. A Navy man can always find fault, need I remind you of that.


You have no doubt heard the rumours that the Boro Dynasty have an empire situated in the distant space between the Heathen Stars and Winterscale's Realm. To support such a large and unknown fleet I believe this to be true. Remain respectful in all standard communications. The Lords of the Seas you see in high polar orbit--a traditional Boro choice--fought at the founding of the Imperium. 


Should that awe you then do well to remember that we extend all courtesies as equals. 


Amalico Bruden, Viago Torus


Noted here only as the only free trader in the system, Captain Bruden does not own the Viago Torus but is beholden to several merchants in Calixis. That the Orion class star clipper is conducting repairs is of no true concern to us, though the fact that it seems to want to stay in the Sollux Incarna's blind spot was missed by all bridge officers. Find attached are the specifications for the Sword class frigate along with the writings of Magos Binar regarding the interplay between augurs and hull modifications. 


The oddly named Viago Torus is a new ship, less than two centuries old, and Captain Bruden's family has been in nominal command of it since its purchase. It suggests a dynasty though they have no warrant, writ, or letter. Remain aloof in all proceedings. 


Amalico served in the Navy as well, though mustered out at a younger age. As an exercise, all junior officers will submit tactical assessments of Captain Bruden's capabilities as well as the Viago Torus's potential loadout. As you can see in the attached logs, our standard scans pick up faint telltales. Of what, I leave to our junior officers to ascertain.



Lord-Commander Thraves is in command until my return. 

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#47 Marwynn



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Posted 17 March 2014 - 10:28 AM



She wouldn't stop screaming. A part of me understood that she had only started, my laspistol was still rising to her head, but it had felt like ages had past. The ancient weapon was always cool to the touch, even through my gloves, and its trigger action was smooth. I had made the decision to kill Trelany the moment I felt her scream, maybe a second after I heard her.


The weapon rose, settled, and I began to pull the trigger. Then silence. 


Our Astropath rose and dusted herself off. She looked at me in the eyes and nodded and I realized that my finger had not responded to the commands I sent it. I holstered it quickly. She understood, I hope. 


Behind us, a desecrated human hung, suspended by organ machines and supplied by vein-pumps. It smelled of horror.


The red priests seemed to be worshipping it. 


I forced myself to stare at the parts and not the whole, recognizing implants and replacement organs. Like everything on Naduesh it spoke of a human hand, a human understanding of technology, but not quite Imperial.


Binar would later explain to my why: Imperial technology is rudely based on Standard Template Constructs. We derive and improvise as best we can, usually basing "new" designs on several other templates. The massive macrocannon had all of the same fundamentals as the Navy-standard Mars-pattern macrocannon batteries. It worked on the same principles. But it used no STC guidelines. 


As if it had been created by those who knew of STCs, understood the underlying concepts, and chose to use something else. Something better. 


That was as horrifying a thought as the image of the poor thing in front of me. 


At the time, all I noticed and focused on, was the pulsing tube rising from its neck. It looked like a metal claw had grabbed the man from behind the neck and wrung it as other appendages ripped into his body. 


"He's alive," Astropath Trelany whispered. "And awake."


"Call off the armsmen," I spat out. 


It was a tense few seconds but finally the armsmen were called off. I had to verify it myself, lest the very dedicated Stromgard charge in anyway to rescue me. Yes, just me. I know the way the Stromgard think. 


Was it a servitor? A cogitator-servitor? Binar seemed to think so and scooped up some of the thing's waste. Or was it skin? Or blood? It looked like all three. The plasma pistol tucked into my back holster felt heavy. I should put an end to this thing, for mercy's sake, yet it was quite possibly controlling a pair of macrocannon that would render us deaf if not dead if it discharged and most likely hull the Blessed Enterprise in its initial salvo. If not this pair then another pair in a nearby tower, and a dozen more like it.


"There is no centre." 


Bain was hardly a philosopher, and it took me a moment to grasp the young flight marshal's meaning. I agreed. Opening that alcove had most likely lowered whatever wards there were.


I asked the priests to check this theory and they, unhurriedly, complied. It took a few more moments but they confirmed it--they initiated a maintenance routine to get at the controls, apparently, and this required shutting down several layers of protection. 


I was more than a little surprised they managed to do so, and so quickly. Most Tech-Priests seem more charlatan than enginseer at times. I have, perhaps not for the first time, underestimated the quality of these priests.


"The orders must still come from somewhere," volunteered our Navigator. 


She had made the intuitive leap others hadn't. It made sense to me. Tyrants all Navy captains must be, but decentralization is key to successful operations where communication is unreliable. Ship patrols that last decades is one example. But perhaps more applicable is the Blessed Enterprise herself and her layers of defensive turrets. No centralized turret control is present anywhere on the ship, each turret is commanded by a gun captain who answers to a deck officer. Eliminate a turret and there are dozens more--even if the deck officer is removed there's only a small drop in efficiency unless all communications are blocked.


A planetwide psychic communications network would be very difficult to block. Not even the Great Enemy has the Warp truly on its side.


There was something else odd about the violated being hanging in front of us. The replacement parts were too... long. Out of proportion.


We resealed the poor thing and Trelany assured us that it had gone back to numbed sleep.





Retreating to the trade post was an unpopular order. I did not care. It was an excuse to ride the combat bike again, but that paled to the relief of being surrounded by dozens of combat servitors and a thousand or so armsmen. 


Two tribes had relocated nearby and wanted to speak with me. The Seneschal had apparently been caught up in an orbital drama than warranted by attention as well, but speaking to feral chiefs are usually amusing and I could have done with some.


They warned me instead of the folly of building a permanent dwelling. I listened, eating food automatically. These Nadueshi had engaged in trade for generations, knowing enough low gothic to get their message across. 


Stealers, they called them. I nearly choked on my food when they said that. Genestealers? I described them and they look horrified and waved that away. Stealers came to steal you. It didn't matter where on the surface, but in the cities they got you even faster. They burrowed from below, taking entire families away beneath the sands.


If you stayed too long. Most Nadueshi did not stay for more than three days time in one camp. They would relocate a kilometre or so away and stay in the same area if it proved beneficial to do so. Most followed animal herds and stayed only in a single place for a night's rest.


I thanked them, granted them gifts of weapons and armour, and wished them well. 


Tonight would be our second night.


When the chiefs stood up I was struck by their physicality. They did not need to stretch after more than an hour of sitting still. They drank no water, ate none of the food. And they were tall. Long limbed.


I stopped them and asked a question that may have damned my soul.


"Do you have any enemies?"

It's surprising just how lethal most weapons are to an unarmoured human. Even a lowly laspistol will carve chunks of flesh off. So it was quite a challenge to secure non-lethal implements. 


Both chiefs indicated that a small tribe had been raiding them, stealing their weapons and other tools traded with the "Sky People" like us. It was a simple matter for the Stormgarde to locate the tribe and douse their camp with gas. Their young I offered to the chiefs who swore they would be raised as their own, so I suppose there's solace in that.


We evacuated on the third day. A thousand armsmen and a few hundred clerks and traders, all their equipment, and all the combat servitors, we lifted the all up before nightfall. 


Behind, the drugged savages remained behind, with servo-skulls and picters their only company. Both of the friendly tribes had already moved off. 





The situation above had, predictably, strained. 

Drea Wren had increasingly become fixated on the Boro ship and had been sending envoys in diplomatic shuttles. Each had been politely turned away.

One had drifted too close to the Sollux Incarna and had been seized. It was released quickly, but that didn't matter. Archeotech plasma batteries or not, the Sollux Incarna cannot stand up to a Wren attack. 


We were being comfortably ignored. I had broadcast that the Blessed Enterprise would be maintaining a geo-stationary orbit and the other vessels responded courteously and remained a respectful distance. 


In turn, I had extended the courtesy of sharing our various navigational and weather information as we were closer to the planet and were thanked again. 


The arrival of the freighter Fair Trade should not have altered matters. It was the Aesperanza's unexpected debut that proved devastating to the status quo. The Fair Trade was enough to raise suspicions due to its... non-standard equipment. Escorted by a Sword class frigate, it greatly tipped the balance of power in my dynasty's favour.


Lyza Strom, my cousin, had engineered for the Aesperanza's quick recovery as well as certain modifications to the hull that I was not present to authorize. The Damarans complied, of course, indebted as they were to the dynasty. She had then seen fit to oversee the frigate's maiden voyage to escort the Fair Trade's valuable cargoes.


It took all the restraint I had and my Seneschal's pleas to not order the ship destroyed. Lyza Strom is... a classic Strom. Emperor have mercy on us, either she'll help secure the dynasty or turn us renegade.


Goddard has overseen the transfer of personnel and supplies, and the Fair Trade's own lighters will fill it to the brim with all the goods we negotiated for.


I cannot deny Lyza for long, she is a scion with ancient rights afforded to her by my dynasty's own laws. She wants the Aesperanza and I'm happy to let her have it. But not too quickly, lest she ask for more. But the longer she stays here the more paranoid the others will be. 


A formal dinner is a stuffy and dull affair. A formal Strom dinner is a circus and riot by comparison and Lyza brought the entertainment. It did little to salve my mind. I ate while some savages fed through tubes, kept in stupors below on the planet.


A messenger came just as the grav dancers began their routine. I didn't bother with making apologies and left, Lyza in tow. 


Binar looked flabbergasted. All the servo-skulls reported failures at the same moment. All broadcasting picters died soon after. Two well hidden combat servitors reported combat just before their destruction.


Everything that had been transmitting had been destroyed. 


Lyza has brought gifts as well, for my senior staff and myself. I never understood the allure of power armour myself, but the suit was well tailored (machined?) to my form. I offended Lyza by turning it down, putting it on and familiarizing myself with it might prove deadly. I will not embarrass myself or encumber myself needlessly.


We found the equipment we left behind crushed. No weapons fire, just physical trauma. All the tribals we left behind were taken. 


Each room had two picters. Only one set had been discovered, the hidden set recorded but did not transmit. They were easy to miss. 


These Stealers were human. Nadueshi, in fact, though altered. I thought them to be mutated at first, but they were merely modified with bionics. They seemed just like the Nadueshi I had dined with so recently, yet there was no complacency in their eyes and they wielded their tools efficiently. They arrived and quickly took the tribals away.


Weather and topographical sensors marked disturbances nearby. These "Stealers" had burst from below the sand and emerged near the site. If we had stayed...


Magos Binar then activated the homing beacons I had ordered implanted in the tribals. They remained broadcasting, already hundreds of kilometres away in a hive city. One by one the signals stopped. Binar assured me the implants were removed first before being deactivated.


The Fair Trade and Blessed Enterprise each carried several thousand soldiers. Half of whom were Stromgard, the other half demobilized Damaris PDF troopers. I had the equivalent of two Imperial Guard regiments, with several void attack craft squadrons in support, as well as armour and a few dozen specialists. Not to mention three voidships that could flatten any city. 


All I could think about was that I should've worn the power armour.



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#48 Annaamarth



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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

Should've worn the power armour indeed.


Most Rogue Traders take the perspective that it is better to have an unneeded tool present than it is to have a required tool absent.  The gift of the powered armour may well have been encumbering, but that's just a matter of a few years drilling during warp-sailing.


Also, insulting a family member is never safe.  I play Crusader Kings 2, and it's always embarrassing to be assassinated by a brother or cousin who I had just snubbed.  Oops.


Then again, the armour could have been trapped, so there's that too.  It's not too hard to hide a melta bomb underneath the armour's power plant...


 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played

#49 Nameless2all



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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:26 PM

All I could think about was that I should've worn the power armour.


Sounds like a famous last quote.  One of my characters final last words were, "Don't worry about me, I got- !" *splat*

For a collection of fan created material, please refer to the link below. Some of it was edited/created by myself and friends, while most is other fan material. Happy gaming people.https://drive.google.com<p>-"May your endeavors always be prosperous, though they may not always be profitable."

#50 Marwynn



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Posted 17 March 2014 - 02:56 PM

I think my character's fairly safe... This was our last joint game before the group split up in two and I'll be GMing the second group!

Though we say they're related and part of this game's dynasty, in reality that's not actually fair for the new group. No point in saddling them with our choices. They did, however, agree on a Frigate. 


So we're splitting the continuity somewhat and let them play their own game and have it moderately when we can schedule it. The "new" Aesperanza is 63 SP of fun as follows:

SWORD Class Frigate 
SHIELDS     Single Void Shield [C:GOOD Power]
ARMOUR     17    
SPACE Left Over           0 POWER USED               48
Weapon Capacity         Dorsal x2
Crew Disposition:   Fanatical
Crew Max    100% Crew Quality  Crack (40)
Morale Max  101% (Current)  100%
Normal Operations (Morale)
Skill Test Modifiers
Tech-Use Repair Ship/Emergency Repairs 10, Navigation/Warp 10, CMD/Hit&Run 20, CMD/Hit&Run (Def) 20, 
Achievement Bonuses
Achievement Bonuses: Trade + 150  Crime + 200  Creed + 200  Explore + 100  
Essential Components
Jovian Pattern Class 2 Drive , Miloslav G-616.b Warp Engine (T,R,F) [C:GOOD Space], Warpsbane Hull, Combat Bridge (T,R,F) , Vitae Pattern Life Sustainer [C:GOOD Power], W-240 Passive Detection Auger Array [C:GOOD Power], Voidsmans Quarters
Supplemental Components
Luxury Passenger Quarters, Temple Shrine to the God Emperor, Trophy Room, Observation Dome, Teleportarium (Archeotech) (Can make H&R attacks without Piloting Test), Astropathic Choir-Chambers (+10 Focus Power Test, +5 VU Psychic Power Range), Empyrean Mantle (When 'Silent Running' it is 2 Degrees HARDER to detect this Vessel)(External),
Complications / Past Histories
A Nose For Trouble,  Turbulent Past 
Ryza Pattern Plasma Battery  [Strength: 4, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 5]  Location:DORSAL
Ryza Pattern Plasma Battery  [Strength: 4, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 5]  Location:DORSAL
So the ship and its crew is remotely related, but it's a spin-off game and we're not going to be holding them too strictly to what the first group did. Quite possibly the first "multigroup" Rogue Trader game I know of.
This group wants space pirate fun, chasing renegades and finding hidden treasure. We can only get together once every two weeks, however. 
So, I'll maintain a fictional account of what the Aesperanza Prime is doing for story purposes. (And yes, we offered them the Lunar hull but they turned up their noses at it.)
I look forward to how quickly they'll render my plans moot. 

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#51 Annaamarth



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Posted 17 March 2014 - 04:10 PM

That manoeuvrability coupled with the twin Ryza batteries is going to make for a nasty combat ship.  The range suffers a bit, but the Empyrean Mantle should help them close distances anyway.  A flexible ship, but I don't know that I would call it a warship.  Should it ever conduct operations in conjuction with the Blessed Enterprise, they would make for a fright'ning pair.


The Miloslav drive is always a good choice, and should always be recommended in my opinion.


 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played

#52 Sebastian Yorke

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 11:50 AM

You want fun? Slap a Belecane Geller field and a Miloslav Warp Drive in a Repulsive-class Grand Cruiser.

RT Wannabe Shipwright & Frustrated GM

#53 Marwynn



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Posted 28 March 2014 - 11:59 AM



I have no doubt that our House historians and tutors will have their own lessons to teach about my failures. Anton's Arrogance they'll probably call this one, perhaps rightly so. But I will share with you my honest assessment and show that it was not arrogance so much as it was complacency. Hubris, even.


I had intended no harm, nothing untoward to anyone. I came to Naduesh in the hopes of perhaps establishing a colony, not to take one by force.


Lyza was dangerous in many ways. I had affronted her before her arrival here, during our dinner, and even now. I do not grant her the same leeway as I would another scion. I underestimated her and her reputation. In her time in the Strom Dynasty Fleet, when it was still a Fleet, she had quite aggressively defended her claims. 


That she arrived in a sharp frigate escorting a transport while a cruiser carrier maintained a geo-stationary orbit on Naduesh must have been very alarming. I am quite unaware of my own reputation at this point, having only just begun interacting with other rogue traders. They knew of me as a navy man and no doubt saw my efforts in the brief Reconquiste Crusade a few decades back. 


I was taking Naduesh. That was what the others saw. Dozens upon dozens of bulk loaders and attack craft flooding into our trade post, with nothing but rumours of Damaris' war industries now being mine to go on, they assumed I was carving out my claim. 


How silly. I merely wanted secure victuals and provender while keeping the Red Priests aboard happy by poking at things they no longer understood. 


I will not absorb all blame. The Aesperanza did not enter a geo-stationary orbit along with the Blessed Enterprise and Fair Trade. Instead, it began circling and creating a perimeter. Lousy and useless, but provocative. 


I am told that the first ones to move were the free captains. Beholden to merchants, cartels, or worse, banks, these voidmen saw a threat they couldn't defeat or intimidate alone. They gathered together, upsetting the other Rogue Traders. When they moved, they did not do so in a straightforward manner, hoping to surround the stationary vessels and threaten us from multiple points. I commend them for that thought. 


It may have been the only coherent one they had.

While we sat generally just north of the equator, the Boro ship saw something else entirely in its high polar orbit. It saw a pack of lesser ships about to encircle its lone vessel. 


Did I fail to mention that the Lords of the Seas is a Grand Cruiser? 

From their point of view, reviewing all the vox and augur readings, it was perfectly valid for them to assume they were the target. Why is another matter.


This had been happening even as we dined and boarded our landing craft. 



It rained that night. Days of heavy landers and bulk haulers had punctured Naduesh's arid sphere so many times in the last week that I was only mildly surprised when it finally began. A timid drizzle on other worlds, worrisome for the voidborn to have water leak from above. 

Somehow, I did not expect to see the desert flowers glow in the night. I suspect it keeps predators at bay as they gorged on water.


If the Emperor sent that rain it did not wash the blood from my hands. My crew and guests assumed we'd chase the signals, the now near-dead savages. To rescue them? I laughed at the first idiot that suggested it.


I had asked the Mechanicus to join us and bring their burrowing servitors along with them. 

My suspicions are that Naduesh, while not fully artificial, has a crew. An under-strength one at that. They did not take the poor tribe we gathered to their main nerve centre, merely the nearest processing point before returning to their own posts. 


Lyza did not like my plan. I did not much care and offhandedly said that she could investigate the savages' whereabouts on her own. She, thankfully, did.


In the midst of all of this I had a tremendous idea: cans. The Nadueshi would not use up all the megatons of metal ores the Fair Trade brought with it for centuries. They were eager to foist off older food they could no longer safely eat to us, explaining just how quickly we were able to amass such provender. 


So, cans. I made the arrangements myself and some machinists were sent down to set up the operation. In a week's time the trade post can become a cannery of sorts. Harvest can proceed at a much less disastrous pace--though it seems Naduesh's plants hardly mind the brusque handling of its fruits and seeds. It will also give us another trade item with the Nadueshi.


I planned to sleep well that night, having prevented the destruction of this site for at least three days. It would take a while longer to offload the Fair Trade's cargoes and load it with food and herd animals, by then I hoped to solve the problem of the "Stealers".


I did not see the first lance strike. I'm told it seared like a solid bar of the sun and struck a quickly collapsing bubble. I did see the flaming wreck of a frigate falling into Naduesh.




Too much to hope for that Lyza got herself killed. Horrible thought, one that I may have uttered at the time. I knew who fired and what died before Mr. Thraves told me that the Lords of the Seas had struck and killed a free ship, the Recus apparently. 

Not that it mattered. We were all dead. Millions of tons of void ship was falling towards the planet and we were all dead. Perhaps the Takers--that is what I choose to name them, "Stealers" is far too charged a name--will survive. 


My only sad thought was that Lyza had in fact retired to the Aesperanza for the night. She would inherit the Warrant.


She did a damned fool thing instead.

Luck would have the Aesperanza close to the Recus' stumbling hulk and the frigate dared Naduesh's atmosphere, all weapons blazing. I could see half of the Recus--the fore half--had broken into three pieces. All the frigate's firepower and thankfully few of its generatoria. 


There were still men alive in there. 


The liquid hot touch of the Aesperanza's plasma weapons ended their lives and their threat to us and the planet. Superb gunnery, even the turrets--upgraded, unless I miss my mark--disintegrated many pieces of debris. 


Only the prow remained and the Aesperanza had already made its pass. Lyza saved us and the planet that day, though a few hundred square kilometres of Naduesh would be a radioactive wasteland for millennia.


I was the first to see it. A flash from below, a single macrocannon shot. There was no deafening boom, no pressure wave, just a streak of superheated air into an annihilated fireball. 


Then the boom came as the debris shattered against the cities' void shields.

Naduesh awoke.

I should have felt joy and relief at our rescue. Or dread at the awesome power from the sleeping planet. Instead, I retreated and calculated. The plasma batteries on Aesperanza were Ryza-pattern, I had checked. Those are not meant to maintain ready statuses for long periods, not overnight. They cannot be brought up quickly unlike las-batteries. 

Lyza had meant to use those weapons for something else. The frigate's path had taken it close to the Viago Torus
I assumed she meant to attack it for straying too closely. Fool. I didn't see the threat at all. 
What I did see was our Astropath and Navigator in clasped arms. Both had been lending their power somehow to the Aesperanza, guiding its gunners. I am proud of their clearheadedness, I was simply about to find the most attractive female and kiss her as we died in the impact or fallout.


The tireless tech-priests traced our Takers' origins, far below the planet. It was also directly under one of the hive cities. I have never heard of an Underhive reaching this far down. 
The void shields around the cities evaporated soundlessly but the skies were no longer clear. The Lord of the Seas had several attack craft squadrons as well and they rose from their polar base. The Wrens simply could not stay out of it and had begun launching their army as well, punching through the tortured atmosphere with mass landers.
Everyone began landing what they could even as their ships circled. I ordered our flight marshal to return to the Blessed Enterprise and take command of our attack craft... right after taking a lander and dropping us off in the middle of a hive city. It was pretty impressive flying.
Void shields have a curious effect on atmospheres, at least the ones large enough to matter. I saw more than a single generator for Naduesh's cities, perhaps dozens, layered to create the pattern that was painful to look at as the Recus smashed into it. The rain from the night became a storm. A massive, twisting tumult of rain and pressure. If anything, it made landing troops all the more necessary.
The Navigator lead us through the twisting thoroughfares mundanely, something of a hobby for her. It was our Astropath that guided us into the storehouse. Or barracks. Whatever it was, it had a lift that descended. 
My armsmen ringed it and I ordered them to reinforce that position and send in more men after us. I knew those orders would be followed even with the sandstorm engulfing the area.

I was expecting warmth. The Underhives, not that I've ever been, are supposed to be pressed in, squalid, humid, and hot with humanity and exposed machines. I saw none of the squalor but plenty of the technology. Binar, too focused on keeping us breathing up till this point had moments to gasp at the rare examples of working seismic stabilizers and other things he couldn't process. 
The Magos bent over the lift's control podium, marveling at its simple functionality while aghast at its nonexistent security. We fell through the world unstopped and unchallenged. As the Navigator and Astropath meditated, the missionary blessed our weapons and various devices, I took out a silvered rectangle from my pocket. By some power unknown to me it began cleaning the sand off my head and entire body, leaving it in two pools at my feet. My dusty companions were not impressed as i then used its surface as a mirror.
First contact needs to proceed carefully. I'll not be covered in muddied sand while speaking with the very people who have more firepower than some segmentum fleets.
I smiled as the lift slowed and the doors opened. The sharp, pointy things aimed at my head gently backed away as I stepped forward. I am told by my staff that it was as if I was entering the bridge of the Blessed Enterprise. Let that be a lesson: arrogance has its place and time. 
I smiled further and said "Take me to your leader."

That was of course when they struck me in the head.
That was last week's play session, our actual last combined session. The Aesperanza things actually did happen, we wanted to give them a scare (okay, I wanted to) and it seems it worked. Space combat is easy, they used to say. No real consequences. 
It was sort of truncated, but we still managed to fit it all in a few hours. The Aesperanza did a lot more things that won't be "canon" in this campaign, namely setting a few ships on fire as it ran out of the system, but otherwise good fun to be had. 

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#54 Marwynn



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Posted 04 April 2014 - 03:37 PM




The first realization I had when I awoke was that Naduesh had more than just macrocannon. What destroyed the falling hulk had not been a macroshell but a burst of plasma. It devoured the prow instead of blasting it apart. 

I stood, bereft of my weapons, and surprised the person watching me. The Taker had intelligent eyes. We spoke, haltingly, in Low and High Gothic. The room had no doors, but hulking shadows passed by from time to time. Their utterly silent servitors, massive even in the space we were in.
He thanked me for the gift. 
I thought he meant my weapons at first but he threw a blinking bulb at me. One of the beacons Binar had implanted on the Nadueshi that I sacrificed. It was why we were alive, or rather why we were allowed to remain whole.
We spoke long, someone brought water and some fruits that we ate. These Takers don't remember much, and there are clans and nations of them teeming just below Naduesh's surface. Or there were. 
The tribes had dwindled as more left their posts--he was clear on that word in High Gothic--and enjoyed a nomadic life free from their duty--another High Gothic word. The ones I sacrificed were already being put to work. He knew not how, only that more of the city came to life than it had before, at least in living memory. 
This was another reason why we had not been harvested. 
Our gifts were not trivial. Trelany received a powerful blade, our Navigator an arcane staff, and even my armsmen were awarded with a choice of weapon from their armouries. Their fully stocked armories of well-preserved archeotech weaponry.
I enjoyed the new toys the Taker had given me--he had not asked my name and I had not asked his--but I wanted more than just weapons. He knew it as well. 
Both the Wren and Boro have been busy excavating what they can of Naduesh. Until now they had been unable to stop them. Now, with the aerospace battle between almost all above us the planet was in danger. And my host had the means of ending it.
He was doing me the courtesy of showing which ships were mine before he annihilated the rest. All had left orbit and were well away, maneuvering from outside the constraints of a gravity well. 
This man, this young man, controlled a fraction of the world's weapons. He assured me he had the power to devastate more than a dozen voidships. 
I would like to believe I did not pale at that idea. The rush of blood to my face could have been interpreted as excitement. It was fear.
I had an alternative, an altogether unaltruistic one. My host didn't know why he had to preserve Naduesh only that he had to. That narrowminded dedication is why the Imperium still stands. I respected that. 
Reason won out. Destroying these ships would only bring more and while those would be destroyed they would be a constant drain. Allowing the planet to be scavenged was not an option either, at least the hive cities had to remain intact. And I could profit by making the popular resting point a little less crowded. A safe harbour, a trade post, would be a monopoly and dynasties are built on those.
Hopes for establishing a macrobattery trade slimmed. But there was still a wealth of archeotechnology on Naduesh. I asked for a slice, a full sample from all pieces of technology the Nadueshi had. The massive plasma macrobatteries for starters were well worth a look. In truth, I wanted trinkets to dangle in front of the Mechanicus on board. They cannot know that there are living, technically adept humans on Naduesh. Samples of their technology will suffice. 
In exchange, I would give the Nadueshi the manpower he needed. In turn, he could trade that manpower to the other Takers--Nadueshi--who will ensure that there is only one safe harbour on the planet: my trade post.
I followed little of his conversations with the other leaders save that manpower was not enough. They wanted to meet in person. The fighting made it difficult, but my companions showed their mettle. Journeying to reach each secluded Taker community took the better part of a day, even with the underground rails helping us when it could. Our party grew as the leaders joined us. We journeyed to the surface or delved into the burrows and fought our way through Boro, Wren, or some unknown hostile force. Madness.
Finally, we arrived at a place that allowed us to reach the rest by hololith.  I know my strengths and negotiation is one of them. I also know that Mr. Thraves' skills far outshines mine. 
We rose to a high spire, crackling with void shield power, as the storm cleared from Naduesh's skies. Thraves arrived quickly, with a full retinue, and barely raised an eyebrow when he found out the price in blood my tentative deal required. He worked out the finer details while I focused on the grand scheme.
All I needed then was a show of force. 
The Lords of the Seas was surrounded and it mattered not to the Grand Cruiser. It swatted away heavy fire with its void shields and mangled the Free ships still daring to attack it. They were still in orbit or close by. Dangerous for a void battle, reckless even. Most were above the various hive cities, though a few congregated closer to the Blessed Enterprise.
One Free Trader darted close to the planet. Streaks of light it never even saw killed it in motion. That was all the other vessels needed to burn out of the system. 
I ordered Bain to render aid to the vessel. I should not explain the measures I had him take. 
The next few hours consisted of unloading what we could, in trade, to take on what the Nadueshi could surrender to us. We managed to load one massive plasma cannon in our cargo bay and I left behind a small town to oversee the trade post.
By then of course most ships had been far out of augur range but we caught up. They saw the Blessed Enterprise move to aid the Boon of Santom explaining our delays. There were no witnesses of course.
Some of the same vessels that fled joined us in our cruise to Damaris. Our would-be attackers were now the closest of our friends after they saw us try to render aid to the stricken Boon. When we return they'll no doubt spread the tale of my mercy and grace under fire and how Naduesh was now off limits. I had insinuated that the Wren and Boro excavations into the hive cities were the reasons for this--something the Free Captains were all too eager to agree with seeing as how both the Lords of the Seas and In The Moment destroyed half their number. 
It seems we had only just left Damaris yet it feels like so long ago as well. 
So here ends our abrupt jaunt into Naduesh. The Blessed Enterprise is heavily laden with treasures from Vaporious and Naduesh, including some bits of Naduesh-tech. 
Technically, the plains are free for everyone to partake of, just as before. But the trade post is situated nicely and is the only spot that will not be targeted by the Takers/Nadueshi. I'm hoping the news of what happened there will spread and will give credence to my poor trade post.
In other news, my RT began training to use the power armour. I think we all hit Rank 2 at this point. 
Our mission goals were accomplished, though I'm the only one that actively cares about growing the dynasty. The rest had a blast killing stuff--we even had Jet-Bikes at one point, kinda like those Eldar... hmm... Anyway, that was last week. 
There will be a series of short stops along the way from Naduesh to Damaris, just as is proper. It's mostly wild, uncharted space. I'm actually GM-ing these bits, and I hope to introduce some sci-fi horror elements into our games. 

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#55 Annaamarth



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Posted 04 April 2014 - 09:18 PM

Great usage of gunboat (macrocannon tower?) diplomacy.


 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played

#56 Marwynn



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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:09 AM

Captain's Log

After setting beacons on the Boon of Santom's floating hulk, the Blessed Enterprise set out for the system's Warp limit. Its own momentum will eventually take it out of the system in a few months' time, long enough for the Free ship's shareholders and investors to bicker and send a recovery vessel. 

Curiously, none of the Boon's comrades inquired about the crew nor raised any concerns that I had left the survivors stranded on Naduesh. 
The week in transit was uneventful as the Blessed Enterprise readjusted itself to the riches we had taken aboard. Of the other Rogue Traders I saw naught but their wake and I am relieved. Our stores were full with victual and provender, our tanks refreshed with fresh, pure water. Only our prometheum was at an alarming level, so much so that I considered joining the Aesperanza and Fair Trade to journey back to Vaporious and refuel. 
Instead, I ordered the Fair Trade to surrender her fuel stocks to us. No captain likes surrendering prometheum, even on vessels with plasma hearts. But Vaporious was close and our cruise had only just begun.
Earlier I had broadcast my intent to return to Damaris straight away, but it would waste a third of a year to journey there and back and here among the Heathen Stars was where I wanted to rebuild House Strom. 
First, I had business to attend to. You will recall, young scion, that the Blessed Enterprise was recovered to the near bankruptcy of our dynasty. That was due to mismanagement of my predecessors--we had transitioned the dynasty fleet from cruisers to merchantmen over several millennia. It left us vulnerable and obligated in trade pacts to secure more wealth. So much so that this House that was established at the dawn of the Imperium was made bankrupt by the recovery of one cruiser and its refit. 
It is staggering. 
I took action. I secured funding from the Ecclesiarchy in exchange for a pilgrimage route and the establishment of two missions. I have done so, and Missionary Sevia agrees. Magos Binar, long aligned with our House, bound three separate factions within the Mechanicus--who knew such a thing even existed--into layered, complex agreements and exchanges. In exchange, I granted him--and him alone--access to all technology we would encounter, and my rights to use them within reason.
Now, the red priests are howling. After suffering for years in an incomplete vessel, where they kept their expertise for themselves, now they want access. The Tech-Priests are skilled in many things but their inhumanity leaves them at a disadvantage. Remember this, as I have secured further upgrades and a complete overhaul of several systems after only applying slight pressure and a bit of misdirection. When we return to Damaris, or any other capable shipyard, the Blessed Enterprise will undergo a much needed overhaul, courtesy of our red robed priests.
Damaris' neighbours--Ignus, Aestus, and Aduro--in the Forsellis system are being carefully exploited under the guidance of Tech-Priest Hadron Shard. Whatever factions the tech-priests aboard belong to also have a hand in the exploitation of these worlds, benefiting them all, including our House. Lyza brought word that construction had continued in our absence without incident and already the first shipments of precious ores were ready to journey to the Lathes. 
In light of this, Archmagos Hexiron's representative eventually agreed that we had met our terms as well. That meant that the technology we had recovered from Naduesh belonged to myself, as a duly appointed representative of the Imperium, and could hand over the technology to the Adeptus Mechanicus--Magos Binar--without consequence.
I believe this gave Magos Binar tremendous influence. It is out of my hands now. Warrant or not, never get in the way of a Tech-Priest and technology.

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#57 Marwynn



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Posted 08 April 2014 - 11:10 AM

A warp gale is a betrayal. Warp storms blast and rage, ambushing and suffocating in terrible grandeur. Gales begin as currents, threads in the Immaterium that were once safe and provided swift passage. It blends amongst so many other streams that the lies of one influence the whole.
Seven standard minutes of hell as our gellar fields shuddered and our minds fought away the sounds of scraping metal. We hurtled out of the Immaterium and the Blessed Enterprise wrenched. I felt explosions shudder through the command throne as we escaped at translation velocity.
The others in our convoy had not been as lucky. One, bleeding fire that didn't consume the ship, shattered three asteroids before finally dying on a large moon, its ruin was its own tombstone. I spared it a moment's thought as we worked furiously to steer the Blessed Enterprise through the twisting gravitational eddies and shallows. A gas giant, we saw it minutes later, massive and hidden by the sheer curtain of moons and asteroids, pulled us in.
We lost sight of the others quickly. It was only Bain Iosef's talented piloting that saved us all. Navigator Idris had rushed to the bridge from her spire and guided him while I had focused on keeping the ship whole. Bitter orders had to be given. We had lots more to warp madness and that horrid translation than we ever had lost in battle.
It was Idris who saw the way out, and Trelany wasted no time in sharing it with any other survivors. For a while we thought we were the only ones then two ships, Majestic Benefit and Shining Trust emerged slowly from the ringed layers of rocks. Two out of seven. 
And still the gas giant pulses. We limped away, hours of tearing maneuvers had exhausted our crews and strained our ships. 
The Master of Aetherics reported ghastly streams of gravitic riptides as the system was laid out before us. It was quite similar to the Sol system--I have ever only been there once--though only the third planet here seemed inhabited. Vox messages were picked up, likely from hulks and survivor camps. Only the orbit around the third planet offered any safe harbour for effecting repairs.
The Lords of the Seas was not happy to see us. It rested again on a high polar orbit, its broadsides slashed and torn but still capable of outmatching the Blessed Enterprise in an exchange. We effected repairs on the other side of the world.
Raakata. It has to be, Toros Umboldt's greatest discovery and worst failure. Another world of feral humans in the midst of lost technology. I had my fill of that on Naduesh.
I turned my attentions to expanding the dynasty fleet. There were solid returns from our own scans and I meant to take a closer look. Ignoring the planet, I sent gunboats to scout the echoes. Two of them were from the same ship, ripped in half and twice as useless. 
But two of the echoes were not. A Falchion was not a common vessel in this part of the galaxy and it sported colours of Battlefleet Koronus (as it were). The second is far too common among renegades in the Expanse--a Meritech Shrike raider.
The damage to the Falchion seemed extensive. I could see the molten wounds carved by the Shrike's prow lance on top of the rents made by its macrobatteries. The Shrike was intact save for a single gaping hole amidships. 
The Master of Aetherics was momentarily confused by my order, but she carried them out anyway. Buried among the streams of vox chatter one beacon repeated itself, a standard Navy distress signal. 
There was no avoiding the planet after all.
Raakata is a fallen world. It is classified as feral, but I see no redemption here. Not even Sevia felt the urge to tame the savages that assaulted us, foolishly I might add.
The weeks of travel were not idly spent. I had trained myself to use the gifted power armour and had Binar ensure it was free from sabotage. Lyza had been so kind as to equip it with a military-grade power source. It seemed overly dramatic yet my armsmen were insistent on my wearing it. It was a symbol of status if nothing else. 
Damarans joined our landing parties, those of the Highlander Levy that fought so well against the Orks had no trouble slaughtering the savages. Many sported deformities that Binar assured me were not of the Warp but rather of the poisonous metals they daubed themselves with, the dried blood of their civilization. 
A statue greeted us midway, a glorious thing of cast adamantium, hovering on its own. I wanted to recover it but it was immovable. While we rested it began to speak, a record message in High Gothic that I could barely hear. I heard two words "behold" and "despair" before all power faded from it and the statue crashed to the ground, crumbling as it did so. It was not made of adamantium after all.
Still, the stasis field that preserved it was functional and Binar ordered another landing party to excavate it. A stasis field that could easily preserve a Baneblade would be useful, no doubt.
The savages still attacked. I had thought it best to move quickly, using mostly lighter Damaran troops, and left the Chimera aboard. It had proven effective, though I'm still not sure it was the most efficient. The Damarans were eager and capable, I only saw overlapping lasfire and heard the chatter of autocannon--for what purpose I didn't care to know. 
We were greeted on a low ridge by the survivors. Their first shots at us proved to be ill-aimed. Thankfully, the Stromgard obeyed my orders not to retaliate. The sight of a Navigator and an Astropath, for once, brought joy to Imperials' hearts and they quickly surrendered. There were few officers among them, the one in charge being a young lieutenant in charge of a damage control team when the order to abandon the ship was given. 
I shot him first. 
Never impersonate a Naval officer. The firefight was quick and decidedly lopsided. 
We found bones in their camp, gnawed and baked, cracked open for their marrow. Raakata had none of Naduesh's bounty. Only then did I understand why the savages feared us so: these renegades had fallen from the sky and preyed on them, literally. They feared we would join with them, or thought we were the same. 
A single streak of light struck the renegade's camp as we lifted off.

Edited by Marwynn, 08 April 2014 - 11:12 AM.

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#58 Marwynn



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Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:11 PM



Raakata tested me in more ways than one. High winds tore at us every time we descended, investigating another signal, another call for help. I've recovered less than three dozen Navy crewmen and killed ten times that many renegades or savages. Storms vomited from the wracked skies at a whim of a child god, and we took shelter in the very caves where we had slaughtered.

I had heard of the wastelands of Zayth, of that arid and denuded wasteland of unrelenting war. I would find that to be more preferable to the carrion existence of these Raakatans, subsiding on the corpses of their ancestors, in living fear and anger towards anything unlike them. Yes, I know full well how ironic that is, damn my soul. 
We have recovered more stasis generators and precious little worth preserving. I do not believe Toros Umboldt failed in his last two expeditions as he claimed and was derided for. Most of the hive cities we've ventured in have signs of heavy excavation. Whatever treasures rotted within have been extracted long ago. Still, our sorties have not been without some reward. Life finds a way, remember that.

Several biologis have joined our rescue missions to study the ruined ecosystem of the planet. Idris, Trelany, and I all accompanied one each in our separate missions. We returned with goop, disgusting scrapings, and what appeared to be the remains of an Ork's breakfast. The biologis believes they can be cultivated to absorb pollutants from various forge worlds and even provide an alternate means of sustenance. I hope to never be that hungry.

I had the free captains of the Majestic Benefit and Shining Trust aboard for dinner several times. They were heavy laden with supplies and I had the facilities to make use of them and conduct repairs on all our vessels. It was then I discovered they were slavers. Out here, beyond the bounds of the Imperium, no law against slavery exists. In fact, slavery is not even illegal in most parts of the Imperium. I'm sure vast sums of our own House's fortunes were built on the backs of slaves, and that my gun crews would scarcely consider their lives anything but slavery. But it rankles.
How did I know? Massive crew losses on both transport ships yet they had manpower to spare hauling all their supplies and making repairs around the clock. Both alluded to a powerful vessel nearby that they considered an ally, more than the Blessed Enterprise's match one even said. They were quite surprised to learn that we had journeyed from Vaporious to Naduesh--they assumed we came straight from Winterscale's Realm or Damaris. They can only mean the Illustrious and its fool crew.
Predators. Would-be wolves in sheep's clothing. I sat there, smiled, joked, even drank and acted the fool as if a grand cruiser didn't hang over our heads, ready to kill us all. They hoped I would see reason, or be as cowardly, and seek the protection of a true cruiser. I nearly shot them both then. Instead, I asked for a meeting and they gave me a chart to a world deep into the Heathen Stars. They called it Bar Abas, a primitive world they used as a way point. It was home to teeming millions all easily trained and sold.
Curiously, neither seemed remotely curious about the system. The Lords of the Seas had yet to even launch a single lander to visit the planet below. I suspect again that Raakata is not as unknown or as lost as I was lead to believe. Both free captains, Vurras Albri and Totenhem Mulk, believed I had been rounding up savages to fill my barracks and galleys, explaining the heavy landers. Raakatan warriors were apparently prized.
Both transports sat fat and happy at the Blessed Enterprise's flanks. Their trusted crew had even been allowed on board, at select locations, while my larger and more experienced crew had the run of their ships. After all, they were refilling our stocks with spares.
The next shift proceeded like the rest. Instead of repair teams, squads of armsmen boarded both ships. I didn't bother joining the attacks, neither one deserved my attention. The senior officers of both transports, Q-ships it appears, were brought aboard. Since I had no real brigs, and hand no interest in allowing them quarters, I ordered they be kept in stasis. If the generators failed they'd suffocate to death if their falls didn't kill them instantly.
All senior and trusted crewmen from both ships were rounded up. Those that resisted were eliminated and the rest were dumped on to Raakata. I made sure each had an autopistol with one bullet, an extravagance for a co-opted tradition.

I do abhor slavers.

The Majestic Benefit and Shining Trust are no more. They are now the Strom Dynasty Ships Free Endeavour and Duchess Mallory. Overly dramatic, but their names suit them. Now if I only had the officers.
The addition of the two ships to the Strom dynasty fleet was not without incident. Both had legal charters granting them access to many services, including those of the Navis Nobilite. Navigator Idris met with each twice. Both were willing to stay on and serve Idris' own House in a complex layer of favours and secrets that bound them. I was glad that I didn't have to fight one--I have seen Idris in combat and she is terrible to behold as an ally.
Of course, one of them lied. I would imagine both did, but one did so in Trelany's presence and was called out on it. He panicked and the resulting mess still leaves the foul smell of the warp in those rooms. I have ordered it sealed until Sevia can conduct some rites and cleanse the place. In the fool's place, Idris has assigned one of her junior Navigators to the Duchess Mallory. His death also granted us access to the late Navis' charts.
Bar Abas was only a week's journey away. We could make it in two weeks' time if we headed out now, conduct repairs while underway.
I almost gave the order when I remembered the Lords of the Seas. It could not have missed the fighting, no matter how one-sided it was.
Dinner. Aboard the Boro flagship--as we thought it was--had to be the most hazardous thing I'd done in the week since our arrival. We were received in good fashion and I met Lord-Admiral Gavil Boro. The man certainly had earned the rank, judging by the tremendous amount of medals pinned to his chest. Cherubs chased after him with even more medals on wound capes.
We exchanged the traditional gifts. Only the Old Families did so, and only with each other. I gave a piece of wood from Terra's long dead forests. He gave a single drop of water from Terra's parched oceans. This was done in secret, and you, young Strom scion, will have to learn how on your own.
I had brought more than just that gift, I brought the free captains as well. I wrought a tale of disgust at finding slavers and quickly sought to punish them and expand my fleet at the same time. It was well received, I thought. Until I realized how familiar the lord-admiral was with the two.

It was no mistake. The Lords of the Seas back on Naduesh had fired first, it had feared... Betrayal? Somehow, it was vulnerable to a pack of transport ships. The realization hit me as dessert was served. They were partners. The Boro were in on the slave trade, along with the Illustrious' rogue trader. Two dynasties? It was not unheard of, but with one being the isolationist Boro it was unbelievable.

We dined and danced and stayed the night. My staff had picked up on my tension and didn't dine or dance as much as they could have. We were now prisoners aboard quite possibly the largest vessel in the Koronus Expanse.
That was last week's adventure. I left out most of the fighting details for the gritty RP layer underneath. Also left out all the other things the other characters did.
Won't be a game tomorrow. But it should give us plenty of time to figure out how to escape.
Or maybe even capture the ship?

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#59 Marwynn



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Posted 21 April 2014 - 02:47 PM

A pastoral world orbiting a timid star, Salvator was discovered nearly two hundred years ago. Situated within the Heathen Stars, the system was considered an acceptable way station due to the relative abundance of fresh water, clean air, and mostly edible herbivores that roamed the planet. The planet and system grew to accommodate the rare traffic of merchants and explorers, though its light industries were kept in orbit so as to leave the world as pristine as possible. 

When representatives of the Missionaria Galaxia arrived less than 50 years ago they did so with the intent of making Salvator--then known as Aecus--the hub for their proselytizing. Donations and funds poured in, gradually expanding the Missionaria Galaxia's presence on the world. Less than a decade ago. Salvator was entertaining the notion of requesting an official Administratum visit with the intent of being officially recognized as an Imperial colony. The system's trade was growing by the day until the Monarch of Whispers arrived. 
Hundreds of thousands of missionaries were present on Salvator, many were newcome to the Expanse and awaiting orders or returning from their own pilgrimages. Surrounding them were millions more, their flock of new converts from nearby systems and passing ships. Ember Nostromo, renegade Navigator and pirate captain, ended all of that and set the quiet world on fire. She laughed as Liberdad, the primary continent, broke apart and fell into a sea of molten rock. Astropaths will sometimes report this strange laughter when near Salvator. 
The system is far too convenient a resting point to be completely ignored. Its orbital facilities--what little the Monarch of Whispers did not destroy--have been left to rot, their orbits decaying. There's a rumour that a second settlement was established on Salvator's lone moon, but the system is frequented now by renegades, pirates, and slavers not to mention xenos. If such a port did exist it might not be too welcoming of Imperials. 
Salvator itself is only beginning to calm down seismically. Earthquakes have changed the landscape, devastating the docile wildlife and throwing the ecosystem at risk. Scans by traders and merchants show that the molten wound, the Red Scar, contains high concentrations of very useful minerals unearthed from deep within the core. Even the gases released by the death of a continent can be harnessed for profit. The numerous freshwater rivers and lakes are now heavily polluted and present an ongoing risk to the world's oceans. An Explorator who found herself on the planet detected diluted promethium in the running water. 

It seems even in death Salvator may still be useful.

As per your earlier instructions I have allowed certain tech priests free access to both ships. Most have concerned themselves with the Navy ship: it's not often examples of Voss engineering can be examined so closely. A few have ventured aboard the raider with the understanding that it is a favour granted by you to myself. 
Tempestor Three
Early scans proved to be quite misleading. The Falchion class frigate is heavily damaged with one third of its hull mangled by macro-fire yet its internal systems remain mostly intact. Life support was systematically destroyed, I believe by the crew, so as to make the ship unusable as they no longer had access to the Warp engine or plasma drives. 
In short, the ship can be returned to active operations in a month's time. Less if the crews of both Majestic Benefit and Shining Trust ++EDIT: Free Endeavour and Duchess Mallory++ can spare several work crews. I have discovered one torpedo halfway between the launcher and the bay where it was stored seemingly abandoned. Blood coats most of it. As the bay itself was heavily damaged I have ordered the servitors to load it into a tube. They should finish in the next few days. 

The heretech vessel is intriguing. It is mostly a well-preserved shell, however, as the single torpedo that penetrated and detonated within spread its plasma fires to nearly all major components. I have lost seventeen work crew and fourteen servitors in trying to gain access. As I know the lord-captain views the loss of life as inefficient, I will conduct most of the scouting by the use of servo-skills. The Damarans have been of great help as well, well experienced they are in unstable conditions. 
Renegade star charts were recovered though no signs of a Navigator spire is evident in the design. Damage patterns also do not indicate that it was lost in battle. Perhaps it was consumed in plasma fire, yet the storage of the star charts on the bridge suggests a different purpose. Trophies? It seems likely, though how this vessel traverses the Warp is difficult to fathom; it even lacks advanced cogitators to handle those intense calculations. Scuttling charges have been placed.
The Blackblade's rear half was mostly undamaged. Her Warp engine was consumed in the explosion but did not detonate, surprisingly enough. The plasma drive can be repaired though it seems to be a common STC pattern and would power little as few components remain functional. Securing examples of the advanced cogitator linkages was my priority and it resulted in several deaths. However, one trooper found a supply bay filled with spares. I have discreetly loaded them back to the Blessed Enterprise
Lord-Captain Strom,
Please find attached my first report regarding the slave crews of both transports we recently liberated. Most are locals, from star systems that are not on any charts. I have heard the names of several of these worlds in missives from the Missionaria Galaxia; many had a limited trade route with Salvator decades ago. These were fledgling worlds, newly returned to the Emperor's teachings. Many were eager to begin tithing, to join the fight against the Enemy--whoever they may be.
It seems that when Salvator was razed many of the merchant ships ferrying missionaries and supplies were taken. I've also attached charts of the Salvator system. They were ambushed in the outer reaches of the system, there are only a few clear passages to the inner worlds in this otherwise tame system. Yes, I am blatantly enticing you with prizes. The new mission on Vaporious will not have the same reach and access as the one on Salvator did, and these heathen worlds are not only lost to us but are actively supporting the Great Enemy, unknowingly.
You'll find transcripts of interviews with some of the slaves. They all believe they are helping the Imperium, that they are already a part of it, and serve these raiders and renegades gladly. It churns my stomach. Worlds such as Atroxia and Lintol were said to be highly productive agriworlds. Vlaas is a mining system and Tur-Tur is a refinery world in it, once said to rival the output of an entire cluster. All are in various states of ruin, but even these renegades know how to restart simple economies.
I trust you will make the right decision, for your dynasty, and for the Imperium.

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho

#60 Marwynn



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Posted 26 April 2014 - 11:36 PM

I had several visitors during the night, lovelies who had been demure and reserved during dinner and had none of that restraint afterwards. It almost took my mind off the insult of my quarter's decor. New drapes, new bed, new everything. I made sure they were all a little less new by morning.
Somehow, I woke up in a different bed in a different part of the spire we were housed in. One of the ladies, Ysema, owned this room. It was filled with new things as well. I remarked at this to them and it seemed to be a point of pride for her. All Imperials that I have met held to the belief that the older the better, especially when it came to decoration. If it couldn't be truly old it must look old.
It wasn't the same here. That worried me.
You should have spent most of your life amongst the aristocracy. You know how depraved, how vain, how utterly biting they can be. Yet, I felt none of that. Instead I'm reminded of a siege.
We broke fast with some Nadueshi fruits and nuts and we were taken to a tour. Judging by some of my staff's general state I wasn't alone in having a sleepless night. The Magos had spent the night conducting his own tour of the ship's systems. He had one troubling statistic for me: there were not enough crew.
The passageways were filled with ratings carrying on their normal tasks, but I could see shoddy work with my eyes closed. They were unused to the work they were carrying out, many consulting dataslates or chanting litanies in halting tones. I did not see a tech-priest amongst them. There should be at least one on every deck, yet as we continued with the utterly frivolous domes and scryspaces--all newly furnished--I saw the same teams conducting the same shoddy repairs just out of sight.
Brunch was a less stuffy affair than dinner though considerably more formal than my breakfast. The Boro vassals finally began to act as all aristocracy did and began to insinuate a great many things. They had become far too familiar with me. I made sure they remembered they were only peers to each other.
Lord-Admiral Gavil joined us for the meal and I wasted half an hour commenting on his ship despite having only seen spires and theatres and plazas. I further congratulated him on just how new everything was. The vassals all smiled at each other with that but not the lord-admiral. He had served in Battlefleet Calixis, same as I. He had swam in the same seas. That was an insult even if everyone else mistook it for a complement.
The vassals were left behind as we were ushered into the bridge. Here was a thing of antiquity. Of ancient history. Cogitators clacked with precise finality, the bridge thrummed with power and it centred into the waiting command throne, hovering high above the entire bridge and all its sunken alcoves and lowered pods. There were hundreds here with none of the unfamiliarity we witnessed earlier.
But some had the same look, the same faces. I thought nothing of it then, clans and tribes form on many void ships after all.
It was impressive. But not as impressive as the hololith of the Blessed Enterprise in the middle of the space with the Duchess Mallory and Free Endeavour. The resolution was clearer than I expected, and the runes indicated they had a very clear picture of my cruiser's readiness despite a whole planet in between.
Binar, however, had briefed me on it before the tour. He had introduced a small indigestible bit of datum that was now multiplying, corroding the augurs. I saw it in the runes displaying around the Blessed Enterprise. The lord-admiral mistook my stare for fear.
The privacy field fell like a gentle mist. We were joined by the Boro Navigator and Astropath both and introduced ourselves as proper. They did not partake of the meals.

Idris recognized the Navigator, of the House Li-Tsai, and wondered aloud at that. Xivana then begged herself away and the Astropath, Gorj, did so as well. Idris and I were familiar with the Navis Houses the Boro dealt with and Li-Tsai was a small upstart, a mercantile family from an offshoot of lesser Houses. Their serving the Boro would have been big news.
The lord-admiral knew this and didn't seem to care. That worried me a bit.
Trelany had been silent in all of this so far, but her mind had been busy. She too had spent the night awake, in communion with her brothers and sisters on board the Blessed Enterprise and also here. This Astropath, whom a month ago I nearly Commissar'd, had been instrumental in our plan.
"How is it that a vessel half again the size of mine has less than half the crew?" I asked Gavil with a smile. He was not amused.
He went on about the failing fortunes of the Boro. The desperate pacts he had made, that I knew so very little about the pressures of an ancient dynasty crumbling just as he came of age. Thankfully, the bombers shut him up.
Whatever the augur array the Lords of the Seas had was ancient and watchful. It was, however, focused to the void and wrapped itself around a planet. Bain Iosef saw no need to announce their coming and simply flew the squadrons into the atmosphere. Polar orbits were for victorious ships, hovering over worlds they owned, without any fear of retaliation from the surface below. Raakata's ruins were no threat to anyone and so it had been a perfect first strike.
The grand cruiser's turrets did not fire at first and when they did the crews were working blind. The first squadron struck the augury spines, wrecking the ancient masterwork in moments. I regretted it but we had no choice.
The second and third squadrons struck at the rents in the grand cruiser's broadsides. It was prudent to target the vessel's wounds so recently repaired, but I felt some small shame in doing so. The fourth squadron landed near the control spire, just below the bridge.
Faithful armsmen, coming to rescue me. And, of course, everyone else.
Lord-Admiral Boro was gracious in defeat. I could not believe it, I had won.
Of course, it was not that simple. With the ship blind we were not alerted to the xenos until they were upon us. Astropath Gorj, the man who had orchestrated the mutiny, died as a pale grey light swallowed the forward half of the bridge.
Navigator Xivana ran from her guards and joined us as the lord-admiral's eyes grew panicked. He called me a Traitor, working with the foul xenos. I shook my head and shot him twice. The plasma bolts merely curved around him and he turned away.
The flight to the landing craft was swift. I turned away a few lowly ratings who were clambering to join us, but some of the vassals, and their daughters, were more than welcome. The three that had welcomed me that evening were well prepared for the voyage.
Pale light consumed the outnumbered crew. Our bombers turned back in a futile attempt to distract the Stryxis xebec mauling the Lords of the Seas but they could do little. I ordered both Binar and Trelany to convey my orders for them to return to base, and the finally did.

Bain Iosef greeted us along with a small army of Stromgard. Our refugees and co-conspirators leapt aboard the boats and we were away. Not all of the boats made it past the turrets, but most did. We fell into the atmosphere and made way for the Blessed Enterprise which was underway and ready to recover her squadrons.
Somehow the Lords of the Seas' lance turrets fired and gnawed into the chained vessels of the xebec. The lead ship was unknown to me, but it bled fire as the lancefire burrowed deep into the very same Stryxis vessel we met in Vaporious. The xenos knew the Illustrious, I'm sure of it now, just as they know the Lords of the Seas. Both trafficked in slaves and xenotech, just as the two transports that I had captured.
The Heathen Stars, indeed.

Somehow the Lords of the Seas fought the Stryxis away. Two of its lesser vessels had been hewn off by the grand cruiser's lances, drifting away from it as the xebec charged towards the asteroid field.
The Blessed Enterprise headed in the opposite direction. Our two new vessels had already made for the outer edges of the system while we kept the rear-guard. The Boro did not fire at us.
Navigator Xivana told us why: there were three other Navigators, bound in stasis deep within the ship. The Lords of the Seas had no need of her. This infuriated Idris, we might have found a way to liberate them, but it was done. Xivana pledged herself, and her House's services, to the dynasty. House Li-Tsai would have more to gain from that than we would in the short term, but it would be a good long relationship provided we survive.
We managed to hide ourselves in the gas giant's gravimetric shadow for a few days. The Stryxis had the same idea and wandered into our aft. They demanded a trade, our personnel for trinkets, even as they closed with multiple weapons hot and ready to fire.
Tempestor Three loosed her remaining torpedo then. It swam straight to the lead ship and punctured deep before detonating inside. The other vessels chained to it, and each other, shuffled violently as they tried to break away.

I had a choice then. The xebec had a Dauntless hull and a Lathe hull chained at its flanks. Neither appeared warp worthy on its own, but they were valuable all the same.
I ordered a bombing run to batter the still active parts of the xebec as we prepared to board. We could only choose one, the Lords of the Seas had spotted the detonation and was only a few hours away.
I chose the Lathe. The Dauntless had no colours I recognized, but the Lathe was an Explorator vessel.
Seeing as how Goddard Thraves was doing a great job captaining the vessel, I decided to lead the attack myself. The bombers swatted away the sputtering fire with focused melta fire and plasma strikes and we docked at the cratered hull of the monitor-cruiser.
Binar's fears were made real as soon as we stepped aboard. What had been crafted as a work of devotion to the Machine God was now a heretech ship filled to the brim with xenos equipment. Not even the Lathe-class' gellar field generators remained. Waves of slave things died to us, and I banked my rage at seeing Aquila tattoos on many of the blasted forms. We fought to the main cogitator bank and found it still operational, still untouched.
The Magos was able to soothe the machine spirits around it and address the cogitator directly. It furnished him with a complete copy of its astrologs and charts, as well as select items from its databanks. Somehow it felt shame, at least that was the best way Binar explained it to me.
It was no longer warp worthy on its own, all hopes of taking the ship away was dashed. Only the lead ship had a warp engine apparently. The cogitator then indicated a nearby room that we needed to visit on our way off the vessel. Binar spent some more time in communion with it then led us away.
The room was a cathedral museum. Strange pieces of archeotech hovered in stasis all around us, none of which we could carry. But detailed physical scans were there and I sent my armsmen to secure them all. Binar, strangely, ignored it and made for one item in the corner. He fell on his knees and shouted, scaring us all.
All I saw were a few burnt pages of some sort of schematic. Then I understood. This one we had to carry.
The fighting on the way back was difficult, and Binar was less than his calculating self. I had the STC fragment strapped to my back, stasis generator and all, and we waded through the slave things of the Stryxis.
Truly, I owe Lyza for this. Without the power armour I wouldn't have been able to carry the fragment with me, it was far too fragile to be transported in any other fashion.
We departed just as the Lords of the Seas entered weapon range. The xebec died, but not before Stryxis slaves began boarding the grand cruiser.
Four ships in our flotilla translated as one.

So ends our Raakatan adventure!
This is actually two sessions on two separate days, hence the shifting players and so on. I wasn't even there for what some of the players did, namely the plotting.
We made out like bandits though. And yes, it's an STC fragment we recovered from the unnamed Lathe-class vessel. Of what, I don't know.
I'm sure travelling with two vessels that may be renowned slave ships and a damaged navy frigate will work out fine! We're debating heading to the Breaking Yards or going straight home to Damaris.

Edited by Marwynn, 26 April 2014 - 11:43 PM.

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Beyond Reach - The New Adventures of the Strom Dynasty

The Tau Fleet | The Tyranid Hive Fleet | Battlefleet Jericho