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Knight of Dark Renown

DW Fallen Suns Adaptation

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Hey all, this is the first entry of a campaign log for a game I'm running, which is a high level (Rank 6) Deathwatch kill-team taking on a heavily adapted version of the RT adventure 'Fallen Suns'. I had been GMing a long running RT campaign, which slowly morphed into a RT/DW crossover and covered the Frozen Reaches and Citadel of Skulls adventures. After we finished the Citadel of Skulls, we just ported completely to DW characters. The cast of characters is:

 

Asmodeus - Dark Angels Librarian/Deathwing Terminator

Astramael - Blood Angels Tactical Marine/Deathwatch Chaplain

Caedras - Black Templar Apothecary

Hektor - Imperial Fists Techmarine/Forge Master

Sarlock - Iron Hands Devastator

Taranus - Storm Wardens Assault Marine (aspiring Deathwatch Champion)

 

The first session was essentially just an introduction and scene-setting. Over a period of 4 years, the Deathwatch command in the Jericho Reach authorised a fact-finding mission into the Koronus Expanse, to assess the threat posed by the Xenos elements there. This mission, conducted in collaboration with the Sabras Rogue Trader dynasty, resulted in the permanent establishment of a small Deathwatch presence in the expanse. This is comprised of a small watch station drifting close to footfall and a modest watch fortress hidden in plain sight within the super-structure of the Bastion, in orbit above Damaris. Both facilities are ostensibly commercial facilities owned by the Sabras dynasty, which explains the occasional comings and goings of several of their smaller, raider-class vessels.

 

The session opened with the characters all present at watch fortress Drusus, within the bastion, summoned to a mission briefing by their commanding officer, Watch-Captain Titus Scamander of the Ultramarines. The captain provided a strategic update of a campaign of pacification which the Sabras dynasty and several allied rogue trader houses were prosecuting in the expanse. The campaign is currently bogged down on Vaporius, where, despite enormous early successes in ousting the priest kings and their supporters, the RT forces suffered sigiifcant losses during the last engagement, and reported encountering what were believed to be several forms of Yu'Vath construct warriror.

 

The Kill-team's mission is to enter the complex of the last Priest King of Vaporius, kill or capture him and destroy any and all alien combat constructs, plus eliminate any heretic humans encountered and secure any Xenos technology found.

 

Two of the players (Caedras & Hektor) were unavailable for this game session, so we started the action with the other 4 members of the Kill-team advancing on the citadel menacingly. They encountered and easily despatched a couple of hordes of 'Unquenched' as well as one Sand-Slime construct, without any one of the four Marines receiving so much as a scratch.That was the end of the session, so for next time they will probably penetrate the inner citadel and encounter some more of the Yu'Vath client races... (which I have decided includes both Rak'Gol and Slaught). It should make for a slightly more challenging series of encounters as well.

 

until next time...

Edited by Knight of Dark Renown

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Sounds great! I ran Frozen Reach and Citadel of Skulls in a Deathwatch campaign, suitably modified. The Killteam operated out of a stealth vessel (modified Viper) on a hunt for Karrad Vall, fighting him within the Citadel.

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So I ran another couple of sessions since the opener, where the kill team (joined by Caedras the Apothecary) penetrated the citadel of the last Priest King. They encountered slightly stiffer resistance, several different forms of Yu'Vath battle construct - Crystal Orbs, Bone Conquerors & Tunnel Horrors - but were never in great danger. Finally, they penetrated the inner sanctum of the fortress, a vast space, filled with the most devoted guardians of the Priest King; several hordes of Slaught flesh puppets, multiple Slaught Vassal constructs and 3 powerful Slaught Overseers, plus the leader himself, an even more impressive Slaught Specimen (based on the Intendant Recusant from DH Ascension). There were a couple of close calls in this final battle, both Asmodeus and Astramael taking greivous wounds from the Necrotic weapons of the Slaught, but the kill team prevailed in the end, even rescuing some captives from the Rogue Trader forces. One of these immediately identified himself to the team as a deep-cover agent of the Ordo Xenos, by the name of Garvin Derleth and begged for their assistance...

Edited by Knight of Dark Renown

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So, we've run another couple of sessions, involving Badb Ra's strike team breaking into the Watch station. I said that one of the 'artefacts' that Derleth had recovered and was returning to the Inquisition was actually a beacon of sorts, planted by the Crow Spirits for him to find and bring on board, which allowed them to bypass much of the station's security, thus making Derleth a patsy in the Eldar plot, which got him severely reprimanded by the Deathwatch.

 

Despite their stealth advantage, the raiders were handily defeated by the kill-team, with only Badb Ra herself surviving. She was questioned under extreme duress by Apothecary Caedras and eventually gave up what information she had available. She revealed that her team were not seeking Derleth or anything he had discovered, but instead were after the 'relic of St Drusus' and were to bring it to the Serpent's Cradle system. The Relic had been entrusted to the safekeeping of the Deathwatch by the Sabras Dynasty, who had in turn received it from Bishop Arint of Damaris in the aftermath of a huge Ork invasion some years earlier.

 

The team were dispatched by Captain Scamander to travel to the Serpent's Cradle with Badb Ra and discover what grave threat to the expanse the Eldar are preparing to confront. Shortly after setting out, their ship was confronted by the Fate's End, a Crow Spirit's cruiser, which demanded the return of their strike team and the artefect, which the Eldar claimed was a relic of their people! They agreed to set down on a remote part of Damaris to negotiate, but before they had a chance to do this the crews of both ships were overwhelmed by a psychic howl of dread and despair, emanating from the relic itself.

 

From this point, the Battle Brothers cautiously uncovered the true nature of Spirit Stone of Anaris and of the threat of Lu'Nasad. They forestalled the meeting with the Crow Spirits, to instead move direclty to the Serpent's Cradle, name dropping Anaris liberally to ensure safe passage. They participated in the formal parlay with representatives of three Eldar factions, the Crow Spirits, Craftworld Kaelor and a Harlequin warband. These talks were swayed greatly by the presence of Anaris' Spirit Stone and eventually all parties agreed that a combined taskforce would seek out Lu'Nasad and attempt to stop it's rampage of destruction and also prevent it falling into the hands of other agents of Chaos - namely Karad Vall.

 

Just as these talks were ending, the Eldar Ghost Ship, Whisper of Anaris, appeared along side the Deathwatch destroyer and the meeting abruptly ended as all parties rushed to their own vessels... and that's where we finished up, until next time.

Edited by Knight of Dark Renown

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Latest session involved the Kill Team being persuaded by Anaris to use the Whisper to track down Lu'Nasad. Once on board, along with a contingent of Eldar from among the Crow Spirits, Craftworld Kaelor and the Harlequin Warband, they set about the task of determining what device could be used to get the scent of the corrupted world-ship. After a little research, a history lesson and some consultation with Anaris, they realised that the Core Cogitator of the Gaunt Triumph, stolen from Karad Vall's Citadel of Skulls would fit the bill perfectly. In fact, two members of the KT had been part of the group that performed that heist, along with some allies from the Sabras Dynasty, so they knew that the Cogitator was being stored in a Sabras secure facility... in Footfall. The Whisper made all haste to the Furibundus system, only to discover, on their arrival that the station was under seige from Karrad Vall's reaver fleet.

 

Despite a couple of the party being familiar with Captain Locke, they opted to stay removed from the defence of Footfall, instead trying to focus on meeting a Sabras transport which was fleeing towards them, carrying the Gaunt Triumph's cogitator. While this was happening, Lu'Nasad finally made it's appearance, erupting high above the elliptic and arrowing straight towards the entrance to the Maw. Anaris quickly explained that, since they now had possession of the cogitator, they could instead use it to 'attune' the Whisper's webway portals to link once more with those of the craftworld. Between Hektor the Forge Master and Librarian Asmodeus, they accomplished this and had their means to board Lu'Nasad.

 

We finished up the session with the extended party, Deathwatch and Eldar, traversing the path through the webway, where they were ambushed by Warp Spider aspect shells. This was a brief battle, with the shades of Lu'Nasad dispatched within seconds of their appearance, though they did significant damage to several of the Kill Team before they fell. Apothecary Caedras in particular, requires some of his own healing skills.

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We've run through another couple of sessions, with the KT and their Eldar 'allies' completing the perilous journey through the webway, with another couple of encounters - firstly with Daemons of Slaanesh, followed by another ambush of Warp Spider aspect shells. They fought off both of these attacks, with minimal injury, though they did lose 5 of the 11 Eldar that had set out with them. Eventually, they reached the end of the winding, shadowy paths and stepped through a lurid, pink-purple glowing portal and on the surface of the Craftworld proper. Almost immediately, they were set upon by a patrol of corrupted wraithguard. They got some small sense of the potency of the wraithcannons, but still dispatched the constructs with little difficulty.

 

The biggest challenge the team have experienced so far is the limitation of staying within range of Anaris psychic protection... most of the Kill Team are primarily melee combatants and cannot charge to engage foes who are peppering them from beyond the 20m range. This was very apparent when a group of aspect shells engaged them amongst the towering lance battery emplacements along one flank of Lu'Nasad. The battle was not particularly challenging from a danger point of view, but was frustrating, particularly for Taranus, who could not make full use of his jump pack to engage with the sniping Eldar.

 

Next session should see the team find the remains (and spirit stone) of Kobras Aquairre which could help them with this problem. They are also likely to have their first encounter with the servants of Karrad Vall, as well as a more concentrated force of wraithguard - with perhaps even a wraithlord in attendance.

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The team continued their inexorable advance into the inner habitation districts of Lu'Nasad, accompanied by a constant dirge of the tortured souls of the Craftworlds former residents. After marching for a number of hours without incident, they all noticed, as they were passing one of the meditation shrines that dotted the hab zone, that the psychic assault on the senses temporarily abated. Devastator Saarlock of the Iron Hands cautiously advanced into the shrine to investigate and spotted a glowing gem, what appeared to be an Eldar spirit zone, though with a deep red hue, rather than the pale blue of Anaris' stone, or the sinister purple of the corrupted defenders of Lu'Nasad. As he bent to pick it up, he hear a strong, melodic and clearly Human voice in his mind.

 

The voice introduced itself as the disembodied spirit of Rogue Trader and Inquisitor, Kobras Acquairre, who had waited centuries to welcome fellow servants of the Emperor to this benighted place. The team were immediately suspicious, but through questioning of the spirits former life, allies, campaigns etc, they satisfied themselves that the stone did in fact house the soul of a devout peer of the Imperium. They were also most pleased to discover that Acquairre could offer his own, somewhat limited, sphere of protection against the warp corruption of the Craftworld.

 

Another hour or so after discovering the spirit of Acquairre, the KT detected real, audible moans and chants mixed in amongst the endless psychic wailing. They quickly set an ambush and waited. In short order, they saw a small squad of four Space Marines move into the kill zone... Space Marines in the Livery of the Thousand Sons, followed by a rag-tag chain gang of mortal sacrificial slaves. There was no battle to speak of, just a swift, efficient slaughter. They did discover, however, that this chaos force relied on the powers of their sorcerer to protect them from the corrupting energy of the place, rather than an artifact such as a spirit stone... such information should be useful in the future.

 

Shortly afterwards, the spirit of Anaris informed Librarian Asmodeus that there were a number of route options to proceed towards the core of the Craftworld. They could attempt to pass through either the Grav Tank Hangars, the Aspect Warrior Temples or the Bonesinger Gardens, each of which would contain different potential defences. The team elected to pass through the gardens of Wraithbone sculptures, feeling that the cannons of the Wraithguard were less of a threat than the Deathspinners of the Aspect Warriors or the potential of a squadron of animated Grav Tanks.

 

The whole group, including the last 4 remaining Eldar (3 Harlequins & Badb'Ra) started to pick their way carefully through the Bonegarden. They passed several, seemingly dormant, Wraithguard without incident. When they were perhaps a kilometer into the gardens, Brother Taranus noticed an active construct, wandering randomly, however within a few seconds it appeared to detect the approach of the team and immediately changed to a combat stance and started to bring it's cannon to bear. The team responded instantly and those with the quickest reactions opened fire.

 

The Eldar construct returned fire and simultaneously, the team became aware that several of the nearby 'sculptures' revealed themselves to in fact be misshapen, but still fully functional Wraithguard, also activating in response to the firefight. This turned into a fairly drawn out battle, culminating with the arrival of a Wraith Lord into the fray. Several of the battle brothers took some damage, though only Saarlock was badly wounded, unsurprisingly from the Wraith Lord's Lance weapon. However, none of the team were in critical danger at any point in the encounter and eventually they destroyed every corrupt construct. Once again, limitations of mobility due to staying within the protective psychic spheres was a major factor for such a melee heavy group - even including the Eldar Harlequins.

 

In the aftermath of this fight, the team traversed the rest of the Bonegardens and, through the dim, purple light could see the tops of the Core Spires in the distance... next time will see them perhaps close on their objective, though most likely they will have to fight through more defenders of Lu'Nasad and/or servants of Karad'Vall to get there

Edited by Knight of Dark Renown

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The Kill Team and their allies traversed the last few remaining miles across the surface of the Craftworld with little incident. The saw frequent signs of battle, clearly the defenders of Lu'Nasad were no more welcoming to the servants of the Faceless Lord than they were to the loyal warriors of the Imperium. Eventiually they reached the edge of a vast, open plaza in the centre of the vessel-city. Emerging from the floor in mid point of this plaza were the enormous vent stacks, some providing breathable atmosphere to the populace and some carrying the by-product of the immense plasma drives and venting them into the void beyond the canopy dome.

 

The team realised that there would be no cover for this last leg of their march, so they opted to simply cover the distance as quickly as possible. Surprisingly, they encountered no resistance crossing the plaza. As they approached the vent structures, they detected an energy barrier preventing direct access the spires. After a brief search, they located a terminal of wraithbone and crystal which they guessed was the control mechanism for the force-field. Forge Master Hektor immediately set to work, attempting to disable or bypass the field. Mere moments later, the team came under fire, as small groups of Wraithguard slowly closed on their position.

 

At first, the Kill Team were easily able to eliminate the automatons without taking any significant damage. However, and the seconds ticked by, more and more constructs appeared, converging on them. Finally, a pair of Wraithlords also joined the fray, which drew the focus of the Astartes. This allowed several of the smaller Wraithguard to close on the group and focus their fire on one target at a time. One of the Eldar Harlequins fell to one such volley before Hektor managed to lower the forcefield, allowing the squad to scramble within the perimeter before the Tech-Marine re-raised the field, with a little jury-rigging to slow any efforts by the defenders to bypass it again. At last, the team breached the Core Spires and commenced their descent into the heart of Lu'Nasad!

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...and we're back! We actually wrapped up this campaign many months ago, but I totally forgot to recount the final scenes here on the forums, so here goes...

 

The Kill Team made the climb down through the Core Spires into the Enginarium region of Lu'Nasad with little difficulty. They cautiously made their way through the great, vaulted chambers housing the Plasma drives. The space was dimly illuminated by pulsing streams of plasma, barely contained within electro-magnetic energy fields as they arced through the complex mechanisms which powered the Craftworld. This area was almost entirely unpopulated, with only occasional remnants of battles between the Wraithguard and Karrad'Vall's scouting forces. The spirit of Anaris guided the team swiftly and unerringly to the heart of the great vessel, the Soul Shrine.

 

They breached the forcefield barring entrance to the Soul Shrine, expecting at any moment to be ambushed by Karrad'Vall's warband. However, it appeared that they had won the race and arrived before any of the servants of Chaos. Forge Master Hektor immediately re-activated the forcefield once everyone was inside. The chamber was large, some 20 meters across, roughly circular, with a series of pillars and what looked like a column of cooled Magma in the centre of the room. The spirit of Anaris imparted the knowledge to Librarian Asmodeus of how to re-integrate his spirit stone into the Craftworld's systems and explained that it could take some time. The Kill Team took up defensive positions and settled down to wait for the inevitable attack.

 

Finally, after a tense wait, Karrad'Vall revealed himself, stepping into view on the far side of the forcefield and offering the kill-team one final chance to submit. He urged them to surrender Lu'Nasad to him and swear oaths of loyalty to his masters, the true gods of mankind and the forces that would finally enable humanity to conquer the galaxy. Naturally, the team rejected his offer in the most disrespectful terms and suggested that if he wanted Lu'Nasad, to come and take it. At this point some of the KT, who had been focused on the forcefield, noticed that a section of the wall was beginning to glow and blister, before finally collapsing in a molten mess. Through the newly created portal stepped a multi-melta armed Dreadnought, covered in perverse sigils and draped in war banners and skull-trophies!

(I will note here that, this being a powerful DW Kill Team, I diverged from the suggested representations of the faceless lord as depicted in Citadel of Skulls. I used all of the different suggested aspects of Karrad'Vall to reflect his personal cadre of warriors, plus a chaos Dreadnought. For Vall himself, I used the Daemon Prince profile, reflecting his ascension to something much more - and far less - than human)

This led to a climactic battle, the toughest that the team had faced throughout this mission, though ultimately one that they were victorious in. Some sound tactical decisions and use of cover allowed them to eliminate the Dreadnought early in the fight, which tipped the balance in their favour. While none of the battle brothers escaped unscathed, only Chaplain Astramael was seriously wounded (though the remaining two Eldar Harlequins were killed). Ultimately, Keeper Apothecary Caedras landed the telling blow on the faceless lord with his Sanctified blade, while Vall was battling Brother Taranus.

 

In the aftermath, the team discovered the lifeless body of Badb'Ra draped over the magma column... her wounds apparently self-inflicted. As they watched, they saw the magma start to glow, felt the heat radiate from it and watched as the Eldar Corsair's body was immolated and ultimately incinerated. Gradually, the magma bubbled, slowly expanding and re-shaping, until the form was recognizably humanoid - though gigantic - an avatar of the xenos war deity, Khaine! At last, the elemental being opened the lambent eyes of it's newly formed face and spoke in a furnace roar "This vessel is reclaimed by the spirits of my people. We shall voyage now beyond the reach of younger, less wise races. You have our gratitude for your efforts and for preventing the forces of corruption taking hold, but now you must leave, for we journey far from the realms of your kind".

 

The team briefly thought of attacking the avatar, but the spirit of Anaris reached out to them, telling them that even if they did so, they could not prevent the Craftworld's transition to the webway and so would be lost to their chapters and their galaxy forever more. This finally persuaded them to return to the Whisper of Anaris, which bore them back to Footfall. Their last glimpse of Lu'Nasad was as it gracefully, silently slid into a great rent in the fabric of reality and disappeared from sight...

Edited by Knight of Dark Renown

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