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[Adventure Idea] Patching the Cracks

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This is still a work in progress, but i intend to update at least once a week, maybe with some tweaking or anecdotes how my players fare with it.





Patching the Cracks

An investigative adventure in the Spires of Sepheris Secundus


Adventure Background


Sepheris Secundus, best known under its other name The Suffering Kingdom is a harsh world. Not just due to its climate but the strict social hierarchy and laws of obedience.

The serfs work the mines and few fields, delivering 9/10th of their product to their barons, who in turn give 9/10th of their income to the royal ruler, Queen Lachryma III. Other rules regulate marriages which require the barons consent, regulated competition of the serfs for the best mining claims and other things. Serfs are required to work hard, pray, sleep little and eat less. The priests of the Ecclesiarchy constantly preach about servitude and not asking, challenging or even changing ones position in this society.

The technology is highly regulated, most miners work with their forefathers tools, working decades for newer tools, and even their barons barely have better gear than steel armour and swords.

Modern armour, vehicles and weapons are reserved for the queen and her guard, the Royal Scourges. So far every uprising has been put down either by baronial troops or laser-fire.

The people only have the choices to serve or die. Or to leave the more hospitable parts and hide among the rubble and unstable regions. Among high radiation, pollution, mutants and other sinners survival is even harsher than under the hard rule of the Imperium. Truly a Kingdom of Suffering.


For a better understanding I recommend you as a GM to read the chapter about Sepheris Secundus from the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook.


But this adventure is about revenge, a tale of one of billions who got out and came back.

A product of a non-sanctioned relationship, the child was delivered by their parents to the Tumble to die there before their master could discover their disobedience and sentence all three to death.

Instead of succumbing to the environment it was found by a group of Loathers. It underwent the strict training of the assassins, surviving with clenched teeth whatever was thrown at it. After its tutelage one of the assignments was to deal with a smuggler that had angered some of his customers. Instead of killing him a bargain was struck, to take the unwanted one up to the stars, where bigger rewards awaited someone of its skills.


After decades and dozens of contracts that person now returned in another smugglers junker, equipped with tools of his trade far above what the locals can usually handle. Modern Bolt weapons, armour, climbing gear and burglary tools make him a threat that even baffles the Royal Scourges.

So far 7 barons and nobles have been killed in their fortresses or glass-stained homes. Blown away with stolen explosives, murdered in their sleeps, garroted and poisoned, his bloody work sends shivers of fear throughout the upper echelon on Sepheris Secundus. The infighting between the relatives of the murdered nobles does further damage by complicating matters of succession, inflicting harm to the Empire by slowing down exports and tithe contributions.

The serfs are meanwhile busy with spreading the rumors along to the lowest mutant-hole. Some curse the assassin, some cheer for him, but most are afraid that things will only get worse. Crackdowns and witch-hunts are already underway, to no avail.


The rumors have reached both the ears of the Adeptus Arbites and the Inquisition. The Arbites are mainly interested in restoring the flow of tithes, less in the saving of lives. Some Inquisitors are concerned about who does the killing and why. Your acolytes, proven but replaceable, are sent to Sepheris Secundus to investigate the murders. Due to a certain sordid humor the assassin has been given the nickname 'The Crack', since his work starts to show the failures in the glass-towers of Icenholm.



Adventure Synopsis


SSS is an investigative adventure for experienced players and GMs, with rather little emphasis on action unless needed for more dramatic situations. That said, there is plenty of chance for violence, both desired and undesired.


Part 1: The acolytes are given their task by their superior and get shipped to Sepheris Secundus. Offer them a chance to get accustomed to each other and with their destination. Once they are there they will be greeted by an acolyte of low rank, Malken, a scribe, who hands them the information about the killed nobles. Should they not be familiar with the local customs and people (from adventures like Purge the Unclean) offer them again a chance to learn. They get their small quarters in one of the glass towers of Icenholm amid the thousands of scribes tasked with the control of the tithes.


Part 2: The acolytes will be in dire need of information since the reports of the dead nobles tell very little, and the Adebtus Arbites is about to launch their own investigation but lacks sophisticated tools. They will have to deal with up-tight nobles trying to protect hat they consider their house's honour; fearful serfs that do not even dare to look at them, less at their own masters; and a criminal underground that has no reason to trust them either.


Part 3: Once their quarry is identified the acolytes still have a dangerous and elusive enemy to deal with, one that out of sheer hatred would see the nobles and their queen burn. If they do not work fast Sepheris Secundus will descend into chaos.

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