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Mnesimache

Plot help requested...

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Hey guys!

 

I've been running a Dark Heresy game set a long, long way from Calixis in a DIY setting known as the Dalthus Sector. Drawn from their previous lives, my acolytes have been inducted into the service of the Lady Amaranthe, a Witch-Hunter of the Ordo Hereticus.Having been brought to Hyades, capital world of the sub-sector, the cell has assembled in the depths of Hive Praxis. Brought to the ominous building known as the House of Forgotten Saints, the Acolytes have been operating under the auspices of Interrogator Brandt, who tasked them with investigating the mysterious death of indentured worker Findus Vigg. My acolytes descended into Acid Falls, a settlement within a district known as the Barrens.

The Cell consists of:

-> Aridius Helbrec: A hive noble who ran a large information network that stretched across the sector. Having uncovered some important information that made him some key enemies, he has been inducted into Inquisitorial service.
-> Artemis Stroud: An Arbitrator who made numerous enemies for his ill-advised purges against noble excess. Forced to transfer, he found himself in the service of the Inquisition, who valued his uncompromising nature.
-> Father Zarkov: An older preacher who, in his glory days, fought alongside the Imperial Guard. Although age (and drink) has dulled his fervour somewhat, he has found a new lease of life in Imperial service.
-> Tech-Priest Majster: Gained some distinction on the Forge-world of Mutara for destroying a small heretical sect which had sprung up among the workers. Assigned to the Inquisition shortly afterward.
-> Scribe Astelan: A member of a hereditary guild of scribes deep within an administrative hive. Mistakenly given a forbidden text to illuminate, he was offered a simple choice: Death, or service in the Inquisition. Living to serve, he has had his vocal chords removed, so the secrets he records will remain unspeakable.
-> Neros Varrin: A Guardsman veteran and stalwart warrior.
-> Lukas Finn: A hive-rat ganger, incarcerated for his numerous criminal infractions.
 

Now, my group has been doing really well. As you can probably tell, they've been playing through the "Edge of Darkness" introductory scenario, with the locations renamed so that it suits the Dalthan context. I've really been enjoying it (as have they) and I'm in the midst of planning what to do next.

In the long term, what I want to do is embark upon the monolithic storyline that is the Haarlock legacy (again, with details changed - I really like the pseudonym used by Silar Marr in THOD&A: 'Ezekiel Sunder', so the 'Line of Sunder' may become my storyline...) but in the meantime, my group are still quite junior. Obviously, "Edge of Darkness" shows the characters the absolute worst of the down-hives, and I would like to contrast it by showing them the uphives. In my mind, such jarring juxtapositions are very "grimdark" - we have the baroque and arcane against the high sci-fi, and so the jarring contradiction between the extreme poverty they experienced and the absolute extravagance of the up-hives would be great.

I've seized upon "Rejoice!", and I would like to run it, but I'm having trouble with the fact that it basically railroads the players, giving them very little choice about what to do, and dropping clues every now and then. I love the set-up, and I think that the Strophes are great - though in my setting, Laurent Strophes (or "Amos Haldane") is an old acolyte of the Inquisitor, given leave to return to his life. He is in a position of power because he knows much about the Lady Amaranthe (and her master), whilst the Acolytes are still rather in the dark about her.

Equally, I'm still in the dark as to how to make the adventure more interesting. What I'd like to do is link it into "The Edge of Darkness" by removing the Serrated Query and replacing the "big bad guys" with the Logicians. I think that Theodosia could easily be explained as a bionically-enhanced monster employed by the Logicians to protect their affairs. The uneventful ride between Hive Scintilla and Hive Ambulon is going to be excised, and replaced by the skyship ride from "The House of Dust & Ashes"; I reason that the pirates attacking the Acolytes could be explained by the Logicians trying to prevent pursuit (or it could be coincidental.)

I'd also like to include Siprit Daneen, as I want him to be a key player in later scenarios - his Slaneeshi cult is likely to replace the "Pilgrims of Hayte" when it comes to chasing down Haarlock.

I guess what I'd like is some thoughts and some advice in making the "Joyous Choir" into a more interesting enemy, and perhaps some discussion as to what the Logician plans might be. They don't have to involve psykers, and if it links in with the Edge of Darkness, that would be fabulous - it could even feature the Churgeon returning in the end of the scenario!

 

Thanks in advance for any discussion, I really appreciate any input you have to offer.

 

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That sounds pretty interesting and something that as player i'd love to play through. I've ran shades of Twilight and Baron hopes and found them extremely railroady with many things assumed, such as the players needing to do certain things at certain times or they fall apart that don't show up on reading through the adventure, just when you play through them so be wary of that.

 

Beyond that it sounds pretty good and Dead Stars, Haarlock 3, is an epic looking adventure and one i plan on including in my own campaign.

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An obvious link between Edge of Darkness and Rejoice For You Are True is drugs. Perhaps the Logicians in the Coscarla District get their synthetic drugs to pay off the narco-gangers from the same source that makes the drug for which the psykers are killed.

 

Ps if you are looking for a decadent noble’s playground, running Tattered Fates from the Haarlock’s Legacy will be a blast .. it details the pleasure world of Quaddis where various scheming nobles have their mansions and dark dealings.

Pps I’ve run Damned Cities and this was also an adventure in which I felt the PCs were more or less railroaded ... they just need to show up at a certain locale, and NPCs will present themselves to hand over vital clues. So you will need to rewrite a lot there too.
 

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Hey,

Thanks for the responses. As I said, I do intend to launch my players on the trail of the Haarlock legacy in the future, but first I need for them to have proven themselves. Plus, I figure it makes sense to run two adventures on the same world before they are sent to another planet.

 

Before I signed up to start posting, I read through a lot of posts. It seems to me that the plots of the Serrated Query are a little too nebulous and vague. I realise that's probably so you can put your own stamp on them, but killing all those psykers just to produce a drug didn't sit well with me. As I said in my first post, the missing cult members perhaps don't need to be psykers - doubtlessly the Logicians would have their own stringent requirements for their experiments. In "The Edge of Darkness", Sikes makes the point that the Churgeon isn't taking any of the dregs, as though they weren't suitable for her experiments. We don't really know what the glassy synthetic tissue is for, other than "control", but it could potentially be for something else.  Assuming that the Logicians bankrolled Shoal and were instrumental in the creation of the Joyous Choir, what might their end-game be?

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The Laughing God said:


An obvious link between Edge of Darkness and Rejoice For You Are True is drugs. Perhaps the Logicians in the Coscarla District get their synthetic drugs to pay off the narco-gangers from the same source that makes the drug for which the psykers are killed.

 

Ps if you are looking for a decadent noble’s playground, running Tattered Fates from the Haarlock’s Legacy will be a blast .. it details the pleasure world of Quaddis where various scheming nobles have their mansions and dark dealings.

Pps I’ve run Damned Cities and this was also an adventure in which I felt the PCs were more or less railroaded ... they just need to show up at a certain locale, and NPCs will present themselves to hand over vital clues. So you will need to rewrite a lot there too.
 

I think the level of railroading in PtU was much worse than in DC. In fact DC is the first official module I felt was real investigative, and my players earned their info by playing on their strengths. The Scum made contact with the Undertow fairly early, which made giving their information right. ALso the Arbitrator investigated the corpses and managed to track it down to the Folly eventually. So no railroading there.

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Hey guys,

 

I've been reading through Purge the Unclean again, and I'm pretty comfortable with having the Logicians as the "big bad" force in Rejoice! Now, the issue arises in trying to piece all the bits together. What is their goal?

I'm very set on the idea of House Haldane helping the Acolytes. I like the idea of the old man of the house being a former Inquisitorial Acolyte and having an insight on the Cell's mistress. I also like the headstrong daughter, who will likely become an influential NPC acolyte later on, following in her father's footsteps and finding some release from the tedium of noble life. Having the acolytes investigate the Joyous Choir, Interrogator Brandt might call upon the services of Amos Haldane. If the Choir is an exclusive organisation whose membership includes many noble families, having an "in" through House Haldane might be important. But it's whether we need a "Saia Strophes" character. Obviously in Edge of Darkness, the acolytes are investigating a missing person, and I don't necessarily want them to be doing exactly the same.

I like the idea of the Joyous Choir being thought of as a Slaneeshi cult (even by Slaneeshi cultists such as Siprit Daneen) but actually being a complete sham set up by a con-artist, but why might the Logicians get involved? Or perhaps Shaol set up the cult before the Logicians got involved? Edge of Darkness suggests that the synthetic organs grafted within Saul Arbest were designed to create an easily-manipulated army. If need be, I can scrap that. But then why get involved with the Choir? And if they are involved with the Choir, then to what end?

It is perhaps possible that the Logicians have been involved with the Choir to gather funds - it's clear that the nobles will throw away huge amounts of cash on their latest tad - and the Choir certainly qualifies. The Churgeon could be using her expertise to create drugs for Shoal in return for cash, which she can then use to fund her experiments. Theodosia could be a henchman of the Churgeon, delivering the narcotics and ensuring compliance from Shoal, who is getting increasingly nervous.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mnesimache said:

 

Hey guys,

 

I've been reading through Purge the Unclean again, and I'm pretty comfortable with having the Logicians as the "big bad" force in Rejoice! Now, the issue arises in trying to piece all the bits together. What is their goal?

I'm very set on the idea of House Haldane helping the Acolytes. I like the idea of the old man of the house being a former Inquisitorial Acolyte and having an insight on the Cell's mistress. I also like the headstrong daughter, who will likely become an influential NPC acolyte later on, following in her father's footsteps and finding some release from the tedium of noble life. Having the acolytes investigate the Joyous Choir, Interrogator Brandt might call upon the services of Amos Haldane. If the Choir is an exclusive organisation whose membership includes many noble families, having an "in" through House Haldane might be important. But it's whether we need a "Saia Strophes" character. Obviously in Edge of Darkness, the acolytes are investigating a missing person, and I don't necessarily want them to be doing exactly the same.

I like the idea of the Joyous Choir being thought of as a Slaneeshi cult (even by Slaneeshi cultists such as Siprit Daneen) but actually being a complete sham set up by a con-artist, but why might the Logicians get involved? Or perhaps Shaol set up the cult before the Logicians got involved? Edge of Darkness suggests that the synthetic organs grafted within Saul Arbest were designed to create an easily-manipulated army. If need be, I can scrap that. But then why get involved with the Choir? And if they are involved with the Choir, then to what end?

It is perhaps possible that the Logicians have been involved with the Choir to gather funds - it's clear that the nobles will throw away huge amounts of cash on their latest tad - and the Choir certainly qualifies. The Churgeon could be using her expertise to create drugs for Shoal in return for cash, which she can then use to fund her experiments. Theodosia could be a henchman of the Churgeon, delivering the narcotics and ensuring compliance from Shoal, who is getting increasingly nervous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps the design of the bio-control thing has been refined since the early experiments in the falling almost-underhive district. Now the Chrgeon's plans and development have moved on to a higher stage in which the first true army is going to be created with the new refined design. This army will be drafted from a cult they helped to start, the Joyous Choir.

The drug that they have been synthesizing has the same effects as listed with the addition that it is slowly introducing the necessary components of the new refined bio-controller. With each dose of the drug taken, the control device grows. However, in order to create this new refined design, most of the liquid mass from certain people matching a given transitional genoadsorbtion profile with a very specific fractional allele adhesion number must be reduced and added to the serum. This was the breakthrough the Churgeon made in that sad slumped district and now she has a means and a cover not only to test individuals matching the given profile but also a means of easily distributing the end result to the power elite of the hive insuring the remainder of the hive will be easily turned!

On a side note, the Churgeon noted that when a psyker was ardently grabbed and rendered down, the control devices that were in part derived from that batch had awoken latent psychic potential in their hosts, albeit to a minor degree. The effects were close to that of Spook. While creating an entire army solely derived from control devices grown from distilled psykers is a bit of a stretch, she is ever on the lookout for more to create a more advanced mind controlled shock trooper.

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That's quite an interesting idea. I began thinking about how the story might take shape, and the relationship between the Churgeon, Theodosia and Caros Shoal, whilst keeping in mind the Churgeon's operations in Coscarla and the Spire.

Shoal is a con-artist extraordinaire, with a dubious history. Why might the Logicians associate with him? Because he is certainly a great deal more charismatic than the average tech-priest. And why might they set up a cult? Because the Imperium is a religious society, and plenty of corrupt nobles will flash their cash and donate to a cult in order to look the part and keep up with their peers. If the Joyous Choir is the fad of the moment, it will be generating a great deal of money for the Churgeon to bankroll her experiments. (Edge of Darkness makes it clear that the Churgeon can create drugs for Luntz's cartel, so i don't see why she couldn't be creating exotic narcotics to keep the nobles coming back to the Joyous Choir...)

I imagine that the Churgeon has a hidden base somewhere, where much of her work is kept. She has set up a temporary base in the Coscarla district. When the Acolytes disrupt her operations, she retreats back to her hidden base. At the same time, I imagine that Caros Shoal is torn between his fear of being caught again and his greed at the money that's flowing into the Choir. When the Acolytes start investigating the Choir, I imagine he might be getting to the stage of wondering just why he needs the Logicians - which is why Theodosia might be keeping an eye on him to ensure he doesn't get caught up in his own illusion and start believing his own hype.

 

 

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Graver beat me to it.

Although, rather then suggest that the Churgeon has refined and perfected her work, I was going to suggest a different phase.  Where the low-hive EoD incident was more or less a brute force, mass experimentation...the uphive operation using the Choir as a front...are involved with testing a different aspect of the heretical, possibly xenos-based control device.  Rather then all out control, these implants are much smaller and much more carefully concealed, woven partly from the victims own genetic code, but mixed in with strands of the control device.

The resulting item is much more difficult to find, but also far more limited, only being able to create feelings of contentment and well-being, enhancing the sense of belonging (especially with other implantees) and possibly granting a low level Psy ability or psyniscience that allows Choristers to "commune".  Since your group doesn't seem to really have a medical examiner, not sure how you could get this information into their hands but it shouldn't be too difficult...perhaps that's where Saia Strophes comes into the picture since she might have died on the table and recovering her body somehow reveals signs of a recent...and dreadfully familiar...surgical procedure...

The Choir has been operating for a significant amount of time, considerably longer then the Coscarla/EoD mass experiment.  It existed for two reasons:  Giving the Logicians the connections to maneuver Sibas Moran and their people into positions of authority that they used to run the EoD experiments and to earn the Logicians a massive stack of ready cash.  With the completion of the EoD plot, the Logicians are pulling up stakes and draining dry the last resources of the Choir and moving to the next phase of their experiment...meaning the Acolytes are racing the clock, without even knowing it at first.

As they finally piece the clues together, you can have the skyship chase to the space port where the Acolytes either get to watch their enemy lift into orbit...or have an exciting duel with the Logicians, depending on how well they did in their investigations.  Or a mix there-of, with whatever major villain NPCs you want your group to face again making their escape, while the rest of the Logicians stay behind to delay the characters as their masters run for it.  With their tech savvy, it should not be impossible for the Logicians to fake or hide their lifter shuttle's ID somehow, especially as the sub-sector capital is likely a busy place with hundreds or even thousands of ships in orbit.

As a possible tie-in with the Haarlock plot-line, perhaps the Haarlock family had a holding on the sub-sector capital, and the Acolytes discover amongst the captured Churgeon notes that the forbidden tech used in creating the c ontrol implant was originally recovered from this holding.  That could spark an investigation into the whole affair, letting you tie them into the rest of the Haarlock plots with some modification.  This way you could even keep the Logicians as a recurring villain since the Logicians may be attempting to recover lost or forbidden tech in their bid to master the Haarlock Legacy.

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Bladehate said:

Although, rather then suggest that the Churgeon has refined and perfected her work, I was going to suggest a different phase.  Where the low-hive EoD incident was more or less a brute force, mass experimentation...the uphive operation using the Choir as a front...are involved with testing a different aspect of the heretical, possibly xenos-based control device.  Rather then all out control, these implants are much smaller and much more carefully concealed, woven partly from the victims own genetic code, but mixed in with strands of the control device.

The resulting item is much more difficult to find, but also far more limited, only being able to create feelings of contentment and well-being, enhancing the sense of belonging (especially with other implantees) and possibly granting a low level Psy ability or psyniscience that allows Choristers to "commune".  Since your group doesn't seem to really have a medical examiner, not sure how you could get this information into their hands but it shouldn't be too difficult...perhaps that's where Saia Strophes comes into the picture since she might have died on the table and recovering her body somehow reveals signs of a recent...and dreadfully familiar...surgical procedure...

The Choir has been operating for a significant amount of time, considerably longer then the Coscarla/EoD mass experiment.  It existed for two reasons:  Giving the Logicians the connections to maneuver Sibas Moran and their people into positions of authority that they used to run the EoD experiments and to earn the Logicians a massive stack of ready cash.  With the completion of the EoD plot, the Logicians are pulling up stakes and draining dry the last resources of the Choir and moving to the next phase of their experiment...meaning the Acolytes are racing the clock, without even knowing it at first.

As they finally piece the clues together, you can have the skyship chase to the space port where the Acolytes either get to watch their enemy lift into orbit...or have an exciting duel with the Logicians, depending on how well they did in their investigations.  Or a mix there-of, with whatever major villain NPCs you want your group to face again making their escape, while the rest of the Logicians stay behind to delay the characters as their masters run for it.  With their tech savvy, it should not be impossible for the Logicians to fake or hide their lifter shuttle's ID somehow, especially as the sub-sector capital is likely a busy place with hundreds or even thousands of ships in orbit.

As a possible tie-in with the Haarlock plot-line, perhaps the Haarlock family had a holding on the sub-sector capital, and the Acolytes discover amongst the captured Churgeon notes that the forbidden tech used in creating the c ontrol implant was originally recovered from this holding.  That could spark an investigation into the whole affair, letting you tie them into the rest of the Haarlock plots with some modification.  This way you could even keep the Logicians as a recurring villain since the Logicians may be attempting to recover lost or forbidden tech in their bid to master the Haarlock Legacy.

 

Bladehate, thanks for the excellent ideas. I think including Sibas Moran like that is a very clever and subtle way to tie plot threads together. The trouble is, I'm really unsure as to what extent the Churgeon should be experimenting on the members of the Cult. If you take that to its fullest, every member of the Choir will have to be executed - especially if the synthetic tissue has bound with them on a cellular level!  

I've been thinking of dropping the skyship ride; after this modified version of Rejoice!, I intend to do a mash-up of Tattered Fates and The House of Dust and Ashes, so it perhaps will work better there, especially with the intrigue aboard the vessel. I think this game will involve the acolytes moving around various locations in the same Hive - Instead of Hive Ambulon, it's easy just to create an "Artisan's District" in the Hive City, where the Acolytes lodge with a contact of the Strophes.

I probably won't include the Saia Strophes character, only Julia Strophes - with my group of acolytes, I think it would be a great idea to include a headstrong female character - her father's daughter, so to speak. Whilst others were learning fine dining, she was learning to field-strip a lasgun. She is bored with the noble life, and sees the investigation as an adventure - and later in our campaign, perhaps she will join the Acolytes.

So I've been thinking about ways to make the game slightly more open-ended, rather than a single linear narrative. At the start of the game, perhaps there will be mutiple ways to go. Obviously, it's possible to contact Vorlin Orday. I imagine that one of Julia's friends might have joined the cult and gone missing. (Alternately, the cell could visit her family to find them in mourning, because she's died of an overdose - leading to delicate requests to gain access to the body and conduct an autopsy.)  Another option could be to find out information on the Logicians - whilst this doesn't fit immediately into the investigation of the Joyous Choir, it's possible that Interrogator Sand told the acolytes to seek out information on the Logicians.

I found the adventure The Price of Knowledge by Inquisitor Concero on Dark Reign: (www.darkreign40k.com/drjoomla/index.php/component/docman/doc_download/110-the-price-of-knowledge) and it features the acolytes having to go to the scholars' district to gather information from a Professor. My players will appreciate this: I intend to make the Professor  a young, roguish Archaeoxenan, a man with contacts in the Adeptus Mechanicus, who has sought out numerous pieces of information for them in his career. Professor Jonas, who is sometimes known as "Xindi-Alpha" Jonas, or just "Xindi" for his efforts in finding that cursed planetoid....Of course, I'm not entirely sure just what they'll have to do in order to get the information out of Xindi. Ultimately, it gives them an opportunity to learn a bit about the background of the Logicians and what their aims are.

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Mnesimache said:

Bladehate, thanks for the excellent ideas. I think including Sibas Moran like that is a very clever and subtle way to tie plot threads together. The trouble is, I'm really unsure as to what extent the Churgeon should be experimenting on the members of the Cult. If you take that to its fullest, every member of the Choir will have to be executed - especially if the synthetic tissue has bound with them on a cellular level! 

 

Sometimes, agents of the Inquisition have to be harsh in the execution of their duty...it is one of the core themes of the game, though of course that varies from group and GM.  Perhaps a very few might be saved through the efforts of the Mechanicum, but for the majority the pyre is the only answer...

I like the rest of your ideas for making things more open ended a lot, but I'm not sure what else I can offer while knowing so little about how your EoD adventure was concluded (IE did Sibas Moran and/or the Churgeon escape?  Did the Acolytes prevent the explosion at the Alms House?  Was the plague released?  Etc.).

Since you have an Adept in your group, its possible for them to also try to track the paper trail of permits and manpower shifts that originally put Sibas and the false Enforcers in the slums.  The trail doesn't have to be too difficult, as the Logicians weren't specifically trying to cover their tracks (they are in the final stages of their experiment after all...).  After investigating the people responsible, a common thread could emerge:  All responsible were either Choristers or had been influenced by Choristers, leading the group to investigate the Choir more closely.

Also, not every Chorister needs to be implanted...only those with a certain level of initiation (and resources or connections desired by the Logicians) would be so affected...  Perhaps the majority are  influenced by some Logician tech-heresy involving sub-harmonic aura generators or the like, producing the desired (but temporary) joy effect.  Thus full initiation would be seen as a rare gift, and becoming one of the chosen.

 

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Thanks for the excellent ideas. You're really giving me a lot to think about - and I'm definitely glad I signed up.

My group are still in the midst of Edge of Darkness - at the moment, all the key players are still alive. They've bumbled around the settlement, tried to force Sikes to hand information over at gunpoint, and killed off two of the Body Snatchers. The Enforcers have locked down the district so a lot of their attention is focused on Warden Locan at the moment, but no doubt pretty soon they're going to be sniffing around the Alms House (especially because Luntz will be making his "devil's bargain" soon.)

At the moment I'm just fiddling around with Rejoice to tailor it a little more to my alternate setting, and to interest the group (whilst also removing as much of the "railroading" as I can.)

I like the idea you have of the varying "levels" of the Joyous Choir. I certainly agree that the game needs to be grimdark, I just wasn't sure on eradicating most of the bored young nobility of the hive!

Thanks once again for your feedback; it's really appreciated.

 

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It sounds like a great time to encourage your players to ask some questions that could lead them into your RfyAT adventure then.

Questions like...how does an entire hive quarter just fall off the map?  Who in power could allow such a thing to happen...and why?  In EoD as a stand alone adventure this is explained away as Coscarla being on the brink of ruin, but that's a rather thin explanation after all.  Uncounted lives are lost in the gears of the Imperium every second...but are those losses bureaucratic incompetence or something more sinister?

Also, one of the "loose" ends suggested in EoD is that Samuel was on his way home when he died, having escaped from somewhere else.  As one of the interesting or successful experiments, perhaps this "other place" is the staging area where the Logicians are gathering their resources and preparing it all for shipment offworld.  This location could be a suitably dramatic backfor an epic confrontation between your players and the Logicians.

This could be anything from a semi-abandoned Hive Spire, or perhaps one of the Hive Tarsus (or your equivalent) "forgotten" vaults, with a nearby space port where a constant stream of heavy landers boost into orbit.  The latter could be particularly dramatic if you want a running gun battle through the guts of a massive space port, complete with civilians getting in the way and vast rail tunnels where the Logician items are being transported.  The occasional heavy lander blasting through on plumes of plasma jets could add even more feeling of risk and being caught in the guts of some vast, mechanical beast...

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I think it's a great idea to start tying up the loose ends of The Edge of Darkness and linking them with Rejoice. The idea that the Tantalus Combine (or the Hyronian Cartel, as they are in my game) may have members in the Choir - members who had encouraged the decline of Coscarla is really interesting. I had a think, and in a bizarre way it almost appears as though the Churgeon was enforcing a quarrantine protocol - as well as trying to hide from prying eyes. But it certainly helps the idea of "how can a hive district fall off the map?"

The idea that Saul Arbest died on the way home is a very poignant one. Perhaps he was even attempting to get the help of the authorities. It helps transform him somewhat from a helpless victim into a tragic hero. I like that.

As mentioned before, I have been working on the idea that I want Rejoice! to be more multi-dimensional. If I remove the character of Saia Strophes and simply expand upon Julia, I had been thinking that a friend of Julia's had been an enthusiastic member of the Choir. When the acolytes come to the House of Strophes, Julia mentions that her friend had become a member of the Choir. She had become somewhat introverted, tending to focus her energies on the Choir and becoming "true." Julia offers to take the acolytes to visit the holdings of her friend's family. We'll call her Elinor, of House Fihad.

When they arrive, they find the house in mourning, and Lord Fihad meets them at the door with the terrible news that Elinor has died overnight. When Julia says that she hadn't heard, the Lord Fihad replies that his wife simply will not accept the truth - that her daughter has died. She is in her daughter's room; several servants that entered to try to get her to leave have been sent fleeing in tears. The master is quietly pained, though a life in the spire's nobility has led to him never really revealing his true self.

When Julia and (some of) the Acolytes head to Elinor's bedchamber, they find the shades drawn, the room plunged into darkness, and a fire dying in the grate, only a few smouldering coals putting out a feeble heat. The Lady Fihad is a formidable woman with a sharp tongue, and is struggling to deal with the death of her daughter. She will not come to terms with her daughter's death; she will not leave her side, she will not let anybody touch her, and she certainly will not let the acolytes conduct an autopsy (or arrange for an autopsy to be conducted.)

The Acolytes will be required to calm the mother and reason with her, getting her to agree to allow an autopsy. If they can do so, they would find that Elinor died due to (an overdose of/a reaction to) a drug distributed by the masters of the Joyous Choir. Tissue samples from her body can be used to analyse the composition of the drug, which uses a number of proscribed ingredients, and would require no small amount of technical skill in its construction. This would obviously add a more personal element to the investigation, and increase the involvement of Julia Strophes, which is something that I want to do.

Anyway, that's my idea at the moment, I'd love some feedback.

 

Bladehate - I would love to hear more about your ideas of the Logicians attempting to escape from the planet, or any details you might be able to conjure up regarding the spaceport. The idea sounds fantastic, but I fear I would struggle to realise it!

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Hi Mensimache,

a long while ago, I wrote up some suggestion (in a horrible gramma) on "Rejoice". They can be found here

http://darkreign40k.com/drjoomla/index.php/gm-tips/tips-for-scenarios/1080-rejoice-revised

It offer some minor options to the part at the Alabaster Court.

[EDIT] A version containing some additional guest for the soiree can be found here
http://rapidshare.com/files/357446201/Rejoice-RevV02.pdf

I although ran the missions with the Logicians behind it. It really isn´t not that much a change. Your ideas about it (especially the one for the Skyship trip from Dust&Ash) sounds where good. Go for it!

 

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Concerning space ports.

I would draw heavily on images of Soviet Russia's industrialization for inspiring my mind's eye and using that to focus my descriptions.  There are a lot of easy comparisons to make, even down to the prevalence of imagery and icons throughout both socialist Russia and the Imperium, along with the massive, brooding architecture.

But more then that, is the combination of manpower with technology.  No matter how big or how glorious the buildings or machinery, every aspect of Soviet industry was thoroughly dependent on the worker.  No matter where you went or how it progressed, the Russian industrial cogs chewed up men faster then it ever did resources.

That same concept applies to the Imperium, but on an even more massive scale.  So, a space port would be constructed of massive, blackened landing pads where heavy landers are constantly tearing up through the atmosphere on columns of fire, or descending on massive jets of plasma.  Vast warehouses contain the wealth of the Hive city, and fresh, raw materials for its manufactoria.  Hundreds or even thousands of rail way tunnels are constantly thrumming with the slow, steady rhythm of massive train engines.

And as an integrated part of this are the millions of humans whose sweat and blood and bone make the whole endeavor go round.  Any kind of conflict will almost always include collateral damage and bystander casualties, as Cargo 8 trucks are sent careening out of control or trains de-rail and result in miles' long wreckage.  If the Logicians have gathered resources, it could easily be enough to require a significant portion of a Heavy Lander.  Which would also mean a cargo train to transport it from the warehouse to the landing pads.  Any attempts to go through official channels are immediately stopped by layers of bureaucracy and the need to schedule all movements weeks in advance.  Characters will have to take matters into their own hands, and perhaps try to high-jack the kilometer long train or derail it somehow. 

If the characters manage to stop the train, the Logicians are likely to abandon it and make a run for it, trying to save their work and personnel.  Combat bikes, cargo trucks or even skimmers might all be ways they try to flee.  Finding a route (perhaps there is an extra skimmer that Logician personnel killed by the characters can't take...) to pursue, the players arrive at the vast landing pads.  Perhaps the players manage to catch the Logicians as they are attempting to board, prompting them to flee across the tarmacs where slow, ponderous landers are moving around on pillars of fire hundreds of meters long...although slow, the extreme nature of the hazard could make for some very tense chase scenes and descriptions.

The enemy is finally dealt a near fatal blow, causing their vehicle to careen into one of the massive drainage ditches, well to the side of the main approaches. The drainage dikes are half full of water covered in a thick slick of raw promethium.  As the players stare down at their defeated foes, it becomes so easy for the Guardsman to offer around his pack of loh-sticks.  Together, the group smokes their sticks and watches as Sibas Moran starts to claw his way up an oily ladder...together they flick their butts into the ditch, transforming it into a massive, but brief inferno of cleansing flame, secure in the knowledge that they do the Emperor's work in delivering his fiery retribution on those most deserving of it.

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Hey guys,

 

It's been a while since I last posted in here. My acolytes did far better than I expected, and managed to storm the Alms House, killing the Chirurgeon. I'm still a little unsure about where to go next: I had envisaged that Theodosia was the Chirurgeon's acolyte, though it could work the other way round. Of course, the Chirurgeon could still somehow resurface - such is the Omnissiah's bounty!

 

However, with Edge of Darkness over, my players have once more returned to the Interrogator, who is due to set them onto Rejoice, For You Are True. I've been reading through a number of fan-made scenarios and additions. Along with the routes suggested in the adventure - the soiree and following Vorlin Orday, I wanted my players to take two more routes - to visit one of Julia Strophe's friends, and to visit a Professor who will provide them with some more information about the Logicians in return for their aid.

 

The "Professor" angle comes from "The Price of Knowledge", by Inquisitor Concero (www.darkreign40k.com/drjoomla/index.php/component/docman/doc_download/110-the-price-of-knowledge) - and whilst I love the idea of having to convince the Professor to lend his not inconsiderable talents to the investigation, I'm stuck as to what the "favour" he wants in return. It should be something substantial, as I want it to run as a sub-plot for part of the Cell. Equally, it has to take place within Hive Praxis (or just outside) as I'm keeping the whole game inside the Hive and not going to "Ambulon" for the final part.

 

Any suggestions for this part would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Mnesimache,

What could the professor want?
Perhaps he is into bio-alchemy research (best kept hidden!) and wants the pc to bring him some specimen of what the pc will uncover. Some doses of farcosia and some sample of the "control bio-organ" (the white thing in the tank of the Surgeon) if they will ever get hold of this again. If they do, he might refine the dreaded thing himself instead of "working on a counter-agent" as he explains it to the pc.

A late suggestion to the control-thing
While graver beat me to it, I leaned on the Xeno-component of "Farcosia" and explained to my pc (afterwards!) that ingredients of the drug must in fact have been much more costly for the cult then the selling price suggested. In fact, they must have lost money in the deals!

My idea behind this: some of the Xeno-components are derived from the Q´Orl (see RH p.202). By making this drug popular in the higher circles, they infused them with a seed similiar to a mind grub, making them more manipulateable by agents which where laced with dominant Q´Orl genes in matter of transgenetic blasphemy. The plan was to first subvert the higher classes and then to introduce the "dominator agents" which would have an easy way with draining those of nobles of funds and putting their influence to use to further the goals of the Logicians. Of course, one dose of this is not enough and the drugs needed to be laced with psyker genes. Otherwise, the formula would not work as expected.

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Hey Gregorius,

 

Thanks as always for your help. My players have already begun to plan for their introduction to House Haldane (my stand-in for House Strophes.) Once they're settled in, a small detachment of them are going to have to go to the Preceptor's Quarter, find the Scholam in question and convince the Professor to give them some of his time. They want to know about the hereteks - because at the moment they know very little indeed about their enemy.

Inquisitor Concero's adventure has the acolytes heading to a different hive and exploring for ancient artefacts. I'd like to do something along similar lines, without being so drastic. It'd be fantastic if it could somehow lay the groundwork for the Haarlock trilogy without spoiling it too much, but if it needs to be more generic, that's fine too. Basically, I want the group to cultivate a contact who could be useful, or who could (as you suggest) wind up being corrupted by the Logicians/Haarlock's legacy.

I guess what I want is for some of my players to actually have to go and do something for/with the Professor, which can take a bit of time and run as a sub-plot to the main events of Rejoice, For You Are True. I'm just a little stuck for suggestions as to what it could be.

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So, it would be best if it would take place somewhere they have to visit as part of the main plot line.

I exchanged one of the Libaries with a hall full statues. Perhaps some of them are... "from unknown hands". The good Professor might know about it and might either want the statue to be stolen (if it is a rather tiny piece) or some element of it (perhaps some strange crystl or stone which is part of it. Or perhaps
it does has something writtin on it which the Professor wants to be copied? Do you have any thieves and/or people with Read/Write or Copiest?
 

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I've read through your PDF of proposed changes for RFYAT, and on the whole I think I'll be adopting many of them, as they help give the story that bit more depth. For me, one of the big characters will be Siprit Daneen, as he's going to be taking on the "Heron Mask" role in Tattered Fates (but I'll tell you guys more about that when we get closer to that!)

 

For me, the venture to meet Vorlin Orday is a "sub-plot". It occurs separately from the main body of the action, takes two encounters to resolve, and adds to the storyline. Because our group plays in a way that easily allows the retinue to split up, I think it would add a bit more depth to the game in order to do so. That's why I've added the storyline where Julia Strophes takes one or two fo the acolytes to meet a friend of hers who is still in the Joyous Choir - but when they get there, she has just died, and the acolytes must convince her grieving mother to allow them to take the body for examination. (With the support of Interrogator Brandt, this is one way that they will find out about Farcosia's effects.)

 

My thoughts are that I'd like one or two fo the acolytes to go meet the Professor, who will agree to aid them - for a price. Something that's not necessarily connected to the Joyous Choir immediately, but something that will give the Professor what he wants. My group has planned for only one acolyte to be a "noble", so there aren't going to be too many invitiations into the Alabaster Court.

 

To answer your question about the Cell's makeup, we have:

- A Noble who controlled a network of information brokerages, until he came across information that was not his to know...

- An Arbitrator

- An Imperial Navy officer

- An ex-IG Priest

- An underhive ganger

- A Tech-Priest (inducted into the Inquisition's service after destroying a Logician cult on his forgeworld.)

- A Scribe

 

The Noble is the Acolyte prime, but my players are planning on using the Naval Officer (who does come from an up-hive background) as the young "distant cousin" who will be attempting to charm the high society.

 

Other thoughts I'd had regarding the game would be perhaps to look into Caros Shoal's previous indescretions, or to look at members of the Magistratum/Ecclesiarchy that the Choir has bribed into submission. Isuppose one question is to ask what the Professor might want. Given that he has an interest in the Adeptus Mechanicus, it could involve something like that? Forcing the group to visit the Mechanicus and acquire something difficult? Or perhaps it could be today with the scholarly society in the hive, there is some sort of intrigue that could take place?

 

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Huh, I didn't realise I couldn't edit posts.

 

I guess part of the issue is that the suggestions you've made (all of which are good) are mostly "Whilst you're doing A, also do B" - for example, visiting the Alabaster Court. I'm wondering about a "Whilst half of the group does A, the other half go and do something completely different."

 

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Okay, I got you know (I think).

What could the professor want?
He wants to talk to a condemned Heretic (a scholar his personally knows of) which is in the custody of the Enforcers at the moment. The pc would need to arranged things that they can bluff and/or bully their way to the Heretic (perhaps prolcaiming that they would need to Interrogate him "under Inquisitional Authority" or that of the Arbitrators). They would somehow need to "explain away" the presence of the professor (who would wish not to be recognized) as well. Or posing as clerics intend on giving the Heretic "one last chance to repent"

The professor tries to convince the captured (and soon to be executed) Scholar to part with some knowledge... or perhaps the location of a certain book the Professor knows that the Scholar must have had it. Not a daemon tome but a text deemed heretical by the Ecclesiarchy and/or the Mechanicus.
He will not want the pc to lay hand on the Scholar ("Stop that at once! Can´t you see that he has been handled that way for the past days?") but to help in convincing him to talk.

Another option is that he wants some substance for an experiment. But the substance is strictly forbbiden to produce (it is some bio-compound), so the only way to get hold on it is dealing with a heretec. While he knows a quarter where such an trader of the forbidden is known to be, he never had the guts to go their himself. It is a rather dangerous part of the lower hive and he feared to get in trouble. Enter the pc who are to aquire the substance (if the kill this Heretek in the process or not is to no concern of the Professor).
 

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I think we might just be very, very close now.

 

Part of my thoughts were that after the Pressure Point assault on House Strophes, it's very possible for the trail to run dry. This is where the Professor would come in handy - he could piece together some of the extant clues to put the cell on course for Theodosia's hideout.

 

Your idea about visiting the condemned heretic has been percolating in my mind, and it's exactly the sort of thing that could work. Having the group find a way into the jail (whilst smuggling the Professor) and/or recovering the text could be very cool. It's also a good way to subtly test just how radical they (or some of them) are willing to be in order to achieve their mission aims. Their Interrogator has told them to secure the Professor's assistance "whatever the cost", and it'll be interesting to see just how far they're willing to go.

 

I imagine that he hid it before he was arrested, so the Acolytes will have to go searching for it, which is cool. Many thanks! Now I just need to give some thought as to what the text might be...

 

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What is the topic of the text?

  • It is a fragment from a historical text, from the time before the Emporers Ascension. Unbeknown to the soon-to-be-executed-now-Heretic, the author of this text is a figure who (in general) was critical on the Emporer. The convitect Scholar not only discovered the fragment, but began sharing it in the University. Before the Enforcers made short work of him.
  • The text is banned by the Ecclesiarchy for mocking and/or debasing a saint. The thing could be similiar to The satanic verses
  • It could be a part of "In the defence of future: a logical discourse"
  • It could be a writing of an ancient philosphers whos teaching incited/inspired too many a rebellious (and thereby heretic) school of thinking
  • Unsanctioned technological manuals might be heretic as well as heretek.
  • It could be a collection of poems (early works) of an artist who was later proclaimed "debased" and exiled/excommunicated since his works ran more and more contradicted to the views of the Imperium as a whole (perhaps daring to question the sense behind waging an eternal war).
  • Perhaps the work itself is "from unknown hands", some miniature scrims-shawing on some stone marble. Those scrim-marbles are prohibited since some Scholars deciphering them are not quiet should sure if they are really relicts of early humans...

Where and how is it stored?
I advise that the convict was interrogated so throughly that he is only half concious at the moment the pc visit them. So, he might only point out that the writing is hidden and in which location...but not exactly where before he passes out.

The writing could be microsopic etchings on a marble, it could be data on a crystal hidden in the hollow throat of a statue or it could be as simple as the real writing being put into the cover an holy text...perhaps the pages mounted anew so that only every tenth pages is "the real text", a fact hat could be missed by somebody just skipping through it if font of the print is the same.

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