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jareddm

A character becoming a Saint

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I have an unusual problem in my group.  Our mission was to sneak down onto a feudal world, where a local governor and his sub-governors had turned traitor and were attempting purges of any town that harbored still loyal imperialists.  While traveling to one of these towns, we were stopped by a soldier who demanded to know our allegience.  We pulled a deceive  and managed to convince him that we were loyal to the local governor, only at that moment, the resistance against the governor swarmed down on us from the surrounding forests, killing the guard and taking us captive...not to mention having heard the entire conversation between us at the guard.

While in captivity, me, the psyker, and our group scum managed to pass secret messeges between the two of us about planning to con our way out of this mess.  The third member of the group, our cleric unfortunately was left out of the loop.  Keep that in mind.  The plan consisted of trying to convince the captives that we represented an echlesiarchal temple that has heard of their resistance and has sent aid in the form of a powerful sanctioned pskyer and his retinue. 

Several poor rolls later and the resistance soldiers are about to execute me for fear that I'll bring the warp down on them.  It's at this moment that the scum speaks up, chastising me for trying to pass myself off as the divine being and declaring that SHE is the holy entity that has been sent to aid them!

She then precedes to roll 01.  Our DM decides that they are in awe of her, immedietely freeing her and her retinue (me and the cleric) and pledge themselves in her name.  It's at this point that our cleric is utterly confused, looking between the two of us for some answers as the soldiers start building a statue of our group scum.

Suffice it to say, there isn't time to deal with this at the moment, as a sub-governor and a good sized purge are heading towards the village as we spoke.

One extremely hectic battle later, involving a strong defense of the town, and several well-rolled command checks saved the town.  In the midst of our fighting, the scum crept along the outer edge and with one good shot from her rifle at extreme range, with another roll of 01, managed to score rightous fury four times, obliterating the sub-governor in one shot.  Suffice it to say, the soldiers were in awe, their faith stronger than ever in her.  Our cleric was also quite swayed by this act, having known of a prophecy of a mongrel that could destroy a man from farther than the eyes could see.  Our scum attempts to further convince our cleric of her divinity, rolling yet another 01!

After the battle, and nearly the entire town fervently faithful to our scum, our cleric brings up a point of sending a messege back to his precinct to have the scum declared a saint.

It's at this point that I start thinking.  This scum's not a saint, it was all a trick to get them to release us!  These people are worshipping her as they should be worshipping the Emperor!  And our cleric wants to make her a Saint!?  Has everyone gone mad?  This is heresy!

Truly I would like nothing more than to end this idol worship by condemning the village and my companions myself, but being a psyker, I feel my ability to be believed by higher athorities, especially over the word of a cleric, would be limited.

I honestly don't know what I should do.  Should I swallow my belief and go along with this cannonizing?  Or do I do something about it and risk the wrath of a small army of gurilea fighters?

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My thoughts are to go half-and-half. "Phone the Ecclessiarchy", for instance! How many corruption points does she have? Can your character determine something like that? Pray a bit. Write up a 'likely choices' table and ask the GM to help you make up your mind (i.e. can you resist the mass delusion, will you be a naysayer, a doubting Thomas, a debunker or a well planted faux-critic? Or something else entirely?) by perhaps just rolling for it (once you've decided your chances).

As it stands, such a series of '01s' is enough to encourage the GM in me to think "Heh, wouldn't it be nice if she actually had a genuine possibility to be a Saint...?". Would she have to become "Holier than Thou?", or is it perhaps amusing that the Emperor works even through his dubious servants? A corrupt scumbag becoming slowly 'possessed' as a vassal of the Emperor's divine will would be an amusing...redemption. Certainly if the character was played like Gaius Baltar!

My advice to you would be to go with the choice which you feel will offer up the most fun RP opportunities. My suspicion is that your fellow players might be a bit miffed  if you 'ruin their game' by bringing in an actual Inquisitor, Cardinal or someone to verify saintliness...but there are other ways which aren't quite as extreme. Fun stuff, it sounds like a rather endearing situation.

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Interactive skills cannot be used by PCs on PCs, e.g. no Skill Roll from the Scum PC can convince your Cleric PC of anything - your Cleric maybe entertained enough by the performance or the player is the type that likes to dictate their response by a roll, but the Cleric could ignore the (Deceive?) result.

If I was you, I would take it up with your GM - I rather like the idea of a Scum that is just playing at being a Saint... and then slowly finding out that belief makes for reality. Sometimes, the "Con" brings about the Genuine Article.

Do not discuss this with the Scum's player of course and by all means, your PC can be suspicious... or you can jump on the band wagon and start demanding that the Saint bless your weapons on a regular basis. gui%C3%B1o.gif

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TS Luikart said:

Interactive skills cannot be used by PCs on PCs, e.g. no Skill Roll from the Scum PC can convince your Cleric PC of anything - your Cleric maybe entertained enough by the performance or the player is the type that likes to dictate their response by a roll, but the Cleric could ignore the (Deceive?) result.

If I was you, I would take it up with your GM - I rather like the idea of a Scum that is just playing at being a Saint... and then slowly finding out that belief makes for reality. Sometimes, the "Con" brings about the Genuine Article.

Do not discuss this with the Scum's player of course and by all means, your PC can be suspicious... or you can jump on the band wagon and start demanding that the Saint bless your weapons on a regular basis. gui%C3%B1o.gif

I realized this afterwards.  I guess it wasn't so much that she rolled to decieve him, simply that he saw the reaction she was recieving from the soldiers and rolled for his own reaction.

I'll certainly talk with our GM about it.  As I type this, I think I'd like to take some sort of Devil's Advocate role, speaking out against the saint.  Obviously my psyker would have to do some reasearch involving echlesiarchal procedure and doctrine.  Any ideas for 40k-style titles for this position?

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I agree with TS. No PC can be forced by opposed dice rolls within his own party. It's up to the players to decide what their characters believe or not. However, I do have to state OOC information should not play a role in how characters act in game. If the deceiving PC can put up a good argument for their cause without arousing suspicion, then maybe the other PC's should believe in this individual's sainthood.

BTW my character has been declared a saint too. My Cleric is the Saint of Frequent Misses and Wiffing of Damage.

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NB: My proposal on 'rolling' wasn't to force it, but as an option for deciding. If faced with multiple choices which you have difficulty chosing between, merely construct a table (or actively engage an opposed roll to figure out the outcome), but this is as a suggestion for the player, not as a 'what the GM should do', of course!

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I would think that declaring yourself to be a 'divine being' would be enough to bring about the wrath of the inquisition its self... especially if you start getting followers.

IMO the Psyker and the Scum should be purged... ;) Unless of course you are the Radical sort... then buy them a drink, congratulate them on their new found sainthood, and be on your merry way... Just watch your back cause I might be there with a flamer to bring about the wrath of the redemption upon you! :P

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drseuss620 said:

I would think that declaring yourself to be a 'divine being' would be enough to bring about the wrath of the inquisition its self... especially if you start getting followers.

IMO the Psyker and the Scum should be purged... ;) Unless of course you are the Radical sort... then buy them a drink, congratulate them on their new found sainthood, and be on your merry way... Just watch your back cause I might be there with a flamer to bring about the wrath of the redemption upon you! :P

Now hold on!  I am the psyker.  And from everyone else's point of view, it's the Scum that's getting all the worship and idols built for her.  I'm right with you and would like to purge her as well, but I'd also not to have the pretty significant number of followers come crashing down on me as well.

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As the Psyker, I'd pull the Cleric aside and let them in on the con. Bring them awareness that the scum was not sainted, but just very very lucky. If the Cleric chooses to still believe it after that, it's out of your hands.

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jareddm said:

 

Now hold on!  I am the psyker. 

All the more reason to be CLEANSED! :P

 

Unless you have been specifically told by your Inquisitor, you could always drop the bomb that you are with the Inquisition and it is withing their best interests to help lest their planet be scheduled for Exterminatus...

Half of it may be a lie but do they know that?

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I imagine that the process of actually being declared a saint is very similar to the Catholic method. For example, the person has to be dead first. A living saint is so obviously sacred and holy and overflowing with the divine power of the Emperor that they glow and float and have weapons wreathed in fire and that stuff. What you are witnessing is HERESY. Any Cleric of the Cult Imperialis should be able to recognize this. If the Scum had simply said that he was an Imperial hero or perhaps a Cardinal or something it could be overlooked. But now it is your duty an an Imperial Citizen to report to the Ministorium that someone has declared themselves a saint n this planet for killing off a heretic leader and he has a wayward priest of the Church openly supporting it.

You could perhaps beg them to be merciful because they did eliminate the leader of this group who would turn the entire planet from the Emperor's Light and they did so using the few Faithfull remaining on the world. No need to send the Imperial Guard to stage a campaign of bring the world back into the fold and thus sparing the lives of many Guardsmen. And more importantly, sparing the Guard and the Munitorium from being forced to waste the Emperor's fleet to transport them, the Emperor's fuel getting the ships into orbit and the troops on the ground, the Emperor's Navigators and Astropaths from making another risky flight and the Emperor's munitions which would have been wasted on the heretic rabble. You could even attempt to send correspondance to the Sub-Sector fleet, the local Guard, the local Adeptus Astra Telepathica, the local Munitorium adepts and the like if you really want them to be merciful.

You just need to remember that Imperial Beurocracy is incredibly slow and it may be tears before anything gets underway to solve the problem. If that is unbearable to you, you're going to have to do something to undo what has been done. Discredit the Scum in some ways. Tangible ways. They aren't going to believe anything you just tell them. There needs to be some very damning hard evidence. Also be prepared to become a martyr, because you are likely to die.

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Simple Solousion, once the assiment is over and you are safely off world, put the Scum in to the Boss, the Faitful get to keep their Saviour and Faith in the Emperor and the Scum gets their just comeupance.

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to those mentioning that the living saint is a being that glows, wrapped in fire, and flies around, our DM has actually started to describe our scum as having a faint glowing ring around the base of her feet.

I took a look at the lexicanum...it was...less than helpful to say the least.  I qwas hoping for a little more detail on the actual methods of having someone declared a saint.  If it does follow the Catholic system, I would very much like to take the position of Devil's Advocate against the Scum.  I think that would be an extremely interesting roleplaying situation.

Once again, I ask, does anyone have any ideas for a 40k-style name for the Devil's Advocate?

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jareddm said:

to those mentioning that the living saint is a being that glows, wrapped in fire, and flies around, our DM has actually started to describe our scum as having a faint glowing ring around the base of her feet.

I took a look at the lexicanum...it was...less than helpful to say the least.  I qwas hoping for a little more detail on the actual methods of having someone declared a saint.  If it does follow the Catholic system, I would very much like to take the position of Devil's Advocate against the Scum.  I think that would be an extremely interesting roleplaying situation.

Once again, I ask, does anyone have any ideas for a 40k-style name for the Devil's Advocate?

jareddm said:

Once again, I ask, does anyone have any ideas for a 40k-style name for the Devil's Advocate?

Given the fact that much in the Imperium is taken on blind faith, the questioning role of a devil's advocate may be dangerous enough to actually lack a word in the common parlance. Following the general mythology, terms like "the Heretic's Advocate" or "Horus' Advocate" seem logical, but not particularly safe to use in character, for fear of accusations of heresy (Inquisitors and Witch Hunters are notoriously literal-minded). Prefacing any statement entertaining the opposite viewpoint with "Have you considered that..." or "On the other hand..." might be safer.

Regarding your impending saint, the Ecclesiarchy is not going to take the word of one Cleric and a bunch of laypeople as the whole Truth. Everyone will be thoroughly investigated, requiring the Scum PC to have to fool an escalating number of members of the Clergy, many of whom are specially trained to seek out flaws in stories of saintly miracles, especially for so-called living saints. And if the Scum gets caught in this investigation (and odds are that he will), then such false claims of sainthood are heresy of the highest order, and his execution will be long, painful, and probably filmed as an educational documentary for the edification and warning of the citizens of the Sector.

In your shoes, I would explain this to the Scum, probably in some detail. I might even get the Cleric to state his understanding of the Canonical Investigation Process, with a few questions at the right moment ("And what would happen, Father, if someone failed the test? Just hypothetically, of course."). If the inherent danger of failing such a test for sainthood doesn't dissuade the Scum PC from continuing to claim such a thing, then he's sticking his head in a noose of his own making.

Should the Scum see the light (so to speak), he can always play up the Emperor working through him, rather than any inherent saintliness. "I am merely a humble servant of He Who Protects The Righteous." or something similar. After all, humility is another characteristic of a saint....gran_risa.gif

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jareddm said:

 

to those mentioning that the living saint is a being that glows, wrapped in fire, and flies around, our DM has actually started to describe our scum as having a faint glowing ring around the base of her feet.

I took a look at the lexicanum...it was...less than helpful to say the least.  I qwas hoping for a little more detail on the actual methods of having someone declared a saint.  If it does follow the Catholic system, I would very much like to take the position of Devil's Advocate against the Scum.  I think that would be an extremely interesting roleplaying situation.

Once again, I ask, does anyone have any ideas for a 40k-style name for the Devil's Advocate?

 

Actually, you should look to the Calixian timeline. That will give you a much better idea I believe.

As far as the whole living saint thing goes, I don't think one needs to fly around excreting white fire and what-not. Looking at the case of St. Dursus, the Dursine Imperial Cult came into being after he failed to die properly at the hands of that assassin and adventively claimed that he was a living saint. Whether he actually was or not is never mentioned, just that some folks thought he most definitely had to be. The only incredible thing that is mentioned about him and the reasons for the cultists to insist he was a living saint is his divine resurrection. If he had been flying about dripping fiery spirit energy, one would think that would have warranted mentioning somewhere. So, if a whole gaggle of folks can claim a man who doesn't fly around farting fire is a living saint, then that must not be a necessary requirement for being a living saint else someone would have been able to point out that Dursus was not doing either of those things and end the argument right then and there.

And, while I'm on Dursus, his case dose paint a very Catholic method of assigning sainthood. He wasn't declared an official saint (no matter what he cult claims) until nearly a hundred years after his second and for real death. It took the General Synod of Holy Terra nearly 75 years of deliberation to finally arrive at the conclusion that Dursus is indeed a saint and proclaim him officially as such. So, assuming his case is in some way typical of one ascending to sainthood, one can be fallowed about by an Imperial Cult who proclaims the individual to be a saint and it isn't necessarily heresy (I guess it helps if said individual is really important to the Imperial plan as opposed to just some guy). Likewise, despite any cults claims, it takes the word of the General Synod of Holy Tera to actually officially canonize a saint though such doesn't happen lightly and without an incredible amount of debate. It's also safe to assume that before deliberation's can begin, the individual would have to be dead just to make sure they don't up and do something distinctly unsaint like.

However, it is mentioned in the IH that it is quite common to have someone revered as a saint on one wold but not on another or even in one hive but no one else has even heard of said saint. This isn't seen as a heresy in and of it's self, just a natural part of the fracturous nature of the Creed and all the cults that have sprung up around it's interpretations. As long as said cults are loyal to the Emperor and revere him above all else (and don't call him a blood god sitting on a skull throne or any of that) they won't be burned as heretics by the Imperium at Large. This, of course, dosen't preclude another official Imperial Cult from claiming the other is a terrible heresy because of their unofficial saint. That happens all the time. Whether they actually are heretics of not would be determined by whether they win the war with the other cult or not.

Edit:

As for being officially the Devils Advocate, I don't think you need to worry about official titles and positions. If such a position existed, it would be filled by a member of the General Synod of Holy Tera some 20 years after the scum dies. This doesn't stop you from trying to preach out against the to the cultists that have gathered around her and try to convince them that they are wrong. In such a case, i reckon your official title would be Lay Preacher, Crazy Street Preacher, or Kindling depending on the cults temperament.

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Jareddm - I've considered your problem for awhile here and I realize my previous advice was faulty...

There is a significant difference here between character knowledge and player knowledge, yes?

So here is how my thinking went:

Your sanctioned psyker is clearly honestly devout in the Imperial faith.

The scum gave your psyker a message stating that she was going to con the locals.

Your psyker therefore knows its a con.

Once the mission is over, your psyker should turn to the scum in front of the cleric and say, "That was truly an impressive deception, you almost even had me believing it. Still an all though, it was skirting blasphemy... you should probably confess your sins to our good cleric here and be shriven of them."

If the scum acts like she doesn't know what you are talking about, your psyker would then know that she was wilfully engaging in ongoing blasphemy...

...and thus your duty becomes clear. Death and martyrdom are nothing to a true servant for the Emperor will know his own.

 

I suggest that if you intend to follow this course, you explain out of character, to the other players, that you are going to have to attempt to lay the smackdown on the scum if she keeps up the deception.

 

I name you the Barrister Sinister - go forth and fight false prophets.

 

 

 

 

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I think I read in one of the Dark Heresy books that the Calixis sector has no shortage of candidates for sainthood- and there was one excerpt in particular mentioning a sort of holiday in which the said candidates case's are proposed to the Ecclesiarchy.

And as always, a process of this magnitude is an extremely sluggish and byzantine thing... Of course, if this scum character can raise a large enough sensationalist rabble to her cause, I bet the process could be hastened- perhaps even quick enough to achieve living sainthood in a couple of decades.

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jareddm said:

 

She then precedes to roll 01.  Our DM decides that they are in awe of her, immedietely freeing her and her retinue (me and the cleric) and pledge themselves in her name.  It's at this point that our cleric is utterly confused, looking between the two of us for some answers as the soldiers start building a statue of our group scum.

Suffice it to say, there isn't time to deal with this at the moment, as a sub-governor and a good sized purge are heading towards the village as we spoke.

One extremely hectic battle later, involving a strong defense of the town, and several well-rolled command checks saved the town.  In the midst of our fighting, the scum crept along the outer edge and with one good shot from her rifle at extreme range, with another roll of 01, managed to score rightous fury four times, obliterating the sub-governor in one shot.  Suffice it to say, the soldiers were in awe, their faith stronger than ever in her.  Our cleric was also quite swayed by this act, having known of a prophecy of a mongrel that could destroy a man from farther than the eyes could see.  Our scum attempts to further convince our cleric of her divinity, rolling yet another 01!

 

 

ok, the scum tells you that she's going to play a saint and so you know that she's lying but what happens next should put some doubts into your mind. Forget the fact that there are lucky dice rolls involved here, that's OOC.

She awes the villagers (which leads to their savior), she makes an impossible God-like kill and even the cleric (who's a better expert in these matters than you are) is convinced. Whatever she said, maybe she is or temporarily was (without even her knowing) a true chosen of the Emperor. The cleric certainly believes so.

As a character, given the circomstances, I might seriously consider the fact that she ended up becoming what she said to be merely playing.

Now as for becoming an official Saint. She's a long way from that. Her name will have to live on after she dies and her 'worship' has to have a sufficient enough base. Regardless of her 'true' actions, the ecclesiarchy will probably grant her Sainthood if they think it will increase their hold on the people and declaring a person who is revered a Saint does just that.

I'd say she's only a martyr's death away of true Sainthood :-)

It would be interesting to know if she herself still thinks it was just a lucky shot or that she starts doubting it was something higher that touched her. As a GM I would take her apart to work that out as it certainly impacts character development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personally, I don't make PCs make judgement calls like "your fellow PC is really a saint!" off of straight die rolls, let alone one single one. That takes away the control from the player, which is always where a game stops being fun and starts being painfully boring. Besides, otherwise, you could convince a man "no really, you can breathe in hard vacuum, you don't need a hard suit". Common sense, in this case, the cleric *knowing* the PC in question and knowing that it's all a con, would overcome all but psychic manipulation. If the PC in question performed say a dozen miraculous deeds in the eyes of the cleric, then you might let the PC start to wonder, but I still wouldn't base it off of a die roll.

That being said. The Imperial Cult will certainly want to investigate such a claim, and will probably view it with suspicion at best, and hostility at worst. Your patron Inquisitor will almost certainly get personally involved, if nothing else to avoid having *other* inquisitors get involved with his/her affairs.

That being said, when it comes out that the scum is really full of crap, you're going to have a problem. The scum will be probably put to the question to examine for traces of corruption, and then purged/executed for gross heresy and blasphemy, or you know, excommunicated from humanity and the Imperium. The cleric will at the very minimum be stripped of his authority for misusing it and allowing himself to be fooled, and might be purged. Generally, you're looking at, from an "in-setting" point of view, a total party kill by the inquisition or the imperial cult just to "be on the safe side".

If you don't want a TPK, the solution is easy. The cleric's superiors either never get the message, or he is laughed out the door and it's never spoken of again.

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Hereticus Exterminatus ...

Really, I just wanted to type that.  Here's the issue:  Your psyker knows the character is not a Saint, because the two of you came up with the con.  Events like you witnessed in and prior to the fight should not be enough to convince him otherwise - rather they should be a proper demonstration of the fact that the God Emperor - Savior of Man and Eternally Rightouse - is looking out for you ... as he does all properly faithful subjects.  After the battle this very sort of thing should come up; "Con or no, the Emperor - may he be eternally praised - was certainly watching out for us."

Should the Scum try to push the Con, however, then there arises the issue of your Inquisitor.  Is he (or she) a Puritan or more of a Radical?  If the former he'd certainly scrutinize the character and demand any such claim be brought before the Ecclesiarchy to be tested; if the later, he might consider ways to use this to their advantage.

If I recall correctly, in Catholicism an individual must demonstrate some miracle before a trusted member of the church before he can be considered for sainthood.  At that point prayer, discussion, debate, and fruther investigation are all in order.  Should it be found that the people of this little planet have renewed their faith in the God Emperor - His Light Shines Eternal - through their belief ... he just might not be executed at that time.  If, however, they find these people whorshiping the PC himself ... then it is time to get the Ordo Hereticus involved.

Now, we come to the question, what does the GM want?  If he is playing with the possibility of truly making the PC a living saint, fantastic.  Perhaps, in the course of the scam, the PC discovered something about himself and touched the pure radiance of the Emperor ... perhaps he convinces himself that he is what he says.  Or ... maybe he simply continues this ploy, coming up with more and more inventive ways of perpetuating the lie, until he is so entangled in the scheme that he has no choice but to see it through to the end. 

Like someone else said, let it be fun, don't rain too hard on anyone's parade, but don't compromise your character either ... find an acceptable middle ground.

 

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Jack of Tears said:

Hereticus Exterminatus ...

Really, I just wanted to type that.  Here's the issue:  Your psyker knows the character is not a Saint, because the two of you came up with the con.  Events like you witnessed in and prior to the fight should not be enough to convince him otherwise - rather they should be a proper demonstration of the fact that the God Emperor - Savior of Man and Eternally Rightouse - is looking out for you ... as he does all properly faithful subjects.  After the battle this very sort of thing should come up; "Con or no, the Emperor - may he be eternally praised - was certainly watching out for us."

This would be my stance as well. As for the convinced cleric. Don't worry too much. In time your Saint Scum's luck will run out and your cleric friend will come to see reality for what it is.

The only realistic option your would-be-saint has to become the real deal, is to die a marthyrs death ASAP (before he rolls a fumble :-)). I doubt he'll take that route though :-)

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I had actually completely forgotten about this thread.  Let me update it a bit.

The group's disbanded for the summer, considering we all live in different states outside of college.

What's happened recently has only further given evidence to the Scum's saint-hood.  The group is leading the loyalist soldiers in an attack against the governor's keep, with the psyker leading the assult on the walls, and the cleric and scum plus two dozen elite soliders are going in through the sewer system.  We all have micro-bead communicators to stay in contact.  While in the sewer, the group is ambushed by a pair of gene-stealers.  The players have a good idea of what's going on at this point, but the characters are quite shocked.  Fighting starts with the stealers striking down on the Scum, being on point.  This is where the fun starts.

Both gene-stealers roll, comming up with 99 and 100 respectively.  Now our GM is a fan of self-inflicted damage on unarmed combat and litterally has the two gene-stealers break their fists/claws on the Scum's face.  He rolls damage for them, and they end up taking critital damage, each losing their claws in the process.

Two more attacks later, two more 99's, and two more critical fumbles as the Scum has done quite a good job of incapacitating two gene-stealers without so much as raising a finger!  Obviously the soldiers and the cleric are in awe.

Now on the outside, all I'm hearing through my micro-bead is the sound of hissing and screeching, quickly followed by our Cleric ranting about the presence of the Divine Emperor before us.  How no Xenos can lay hand on the Divine without being destroyed.

Our Scum is actually dumbfounded with herself, not having felt a thing, "Umm...what just happened?"

It was actually quite an enjoyable experience, and I'm glad my character wasn't there to see it, only so now I still can deny any real miracles having been performed by the Scum.

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One possibility is that just because it started as a con doesn't mean it can't be real now. If the scum is claiming to be divine that's heresy, but perhaps the Emperor truly is smiling on her. If you truly believe her newfound abilities are from the Emperor then there is no heresy in believing her a saint.

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