Many, many Acolytes have died grisly deaths in the service of the Emperor. However, some Acolytes manage to survive situations that should by all rights have killed them through careful planning, skill, or (most likely) sheer dumb luck. By all accounts, the Emperor has a very warped sense of humor.
What are your favorite near-death experiences your Acolytes have endured? This could be a lucky roll that avoided a particularly horrible death, or an explanation for how the burning of a Fate point allowed an Acolyte to survive the unsurvivable. I'll kick things off with a story of my own (from the DH2 Beta, but the relevant rules are basically identical to those of DH1).
I was GMing a game with four Acolytes in which they were investigating the world of Lannis V. Lannis V is a very unusual world, but two specific things are relevant for this story:
- It is approximately the same mass as Earth, but has a composition very similar to a gas giant. The atmosphere is not breathable by humans.
- The only human settlement is an interconnected collection of 20 floating mini-hive spires held aloft by the dissected remains (and plasma engines) of a Mechanicus Explorator vessel.
The Acolytes had split up into two groups at this point in their investigation to track down two separate leads. The party of interest consisted of the Feral Tech-priest (essentially a member of the Biologis branch of the Mechanicus who was picked up by an Explorator vessel) and the Voidborn Psyker, and they were investigating the payment drop-off point for a group of hitmen the PCs had eliminated earlier. Unfortunately, they soon found that the canister containing the payment was both heavy (~80kg) and affixed to the OUTSIDE wall of Spire 12. These two Acolytes had one rebreather and one grapple hook between them, so the Tech-priest volunteered to venture outside into the howling, toxic wind and retrieve the canister. They were in the working-class commercial area and so were quite close to the bottom edge of the spire proper.
The Tech-priest found an access chute and climbed onto the hive exterior about 250m below the canister, then began his grapple-hook-assisted climb. The grapple hook could only reach 150m, so at about the halfway point he had to detach the grapple and fire it again. At this point, a particularly strong gust of wind battered the Tech-priest, so I made him test Athletics to maintain his hold.
With that, the Tech-priest went tumbling down the exterior of the spire, slamming into the plasteel exterior plating many times on the way down. Waiting inside, the Psyker looked out a window to see his friend tumble by on the way to certain death. I asked the Tech-priest to make another Athletics check to stop his fall.
The Tech-priest grabbed hopelessly at any handhold he could find, but he couldn't get purchase on anything solid. As he cartwheeled off the edge of the hive towards a certain, prolonged death by steadily increasing gaseous pressure, I asked him to make a final Ballistic Skill test to hook onto the hive exterior with his grapple hook (adding a substantial penalty for the howling wind, disorientation, and downward velocity).
With a jerk, the mag-clamp snagged the bottom lip of the colony and popped all the joints in the Tech-priest's arm. As he dangled off the edge, he could see the engine exhaust and the swirling clouds far below him. Eventually he climbed back up the edge, retrieved the canister, and (slowly and carefully) returned to the colony interior. Truly proof that flesh is weak and only sacred machinery can be trusted in times of crisis.