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"The Higher Call" - Campaign Diary

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Hey guys,


This thread should hopefully prove interesting - I always like reading campaign diaries; I think it's fascinating how the same story can be told different ways and pan out differently. Thing is, mine is likely to pan out somewhat differently because we didn't set our Dark Heresy campaign in the Calixian Sector. Instead, we moved half a galaxy away to the Dalthus Sector, located in the Ultima Segmentum.

This topic is to provide a record of our activities and hopefully provide you with some entertainment!

My players asked me to create a Dark Heresy campaign, and so a lot of the work has been in taking the sourcebooks and subtly changing names, locations and events to better suit our own setting. After some work, I helped my players set up their characters, and gave them a bit of background.

The players were to take up the roll of Acolytes in Septimus Cell, a group beholden to the Lady Amaranthe, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus Dalthus. None of the players had met her, but she (or her agents) had taken an interest in them, and through various means they had all been brought to Hive Praxis, a smaller hive on the world of Hyades (Capital World of the Hyades Sub.)



The Acolytes of Septimus Cell

Aridius Helbrec (Noble, Former Information Trader

Born into nobility on Alander IV, Aridius and his family lost everything when his father was framed and executed for serious financial crimes. Convinced of the power of information at the age of fourteen, Aridius sought to collect and trade in the secrets of others. Building up a vast network of contacts, clients and enemies over the years was far from easy, but Aridius had the strict determination and attitude of a child wronged by the authorities. Recently, Aridius came into possession of some information concerning the destruction of the Pride of Baal and the subsequent Lailth Expedition. Before anything could be done with it, he was arrested for illegal possession of data. Cornered, Aridius did the one thing he knew best. He cut a deal. . .


Artemis Stroud (Arbitrator of the Adeptus Arbites)

A scion of the Scholam Progenia after the death of both of his parents, Stroud was inducted into the Arbites, eventually becoming commander of a precinct on Meggdon Prime. There, his politically meddlesome but thorough investigations caused the fall of three noble houses. After attempting to subpoena the planetary governor over unlawful trade deals, he was reassigned to the agri-world of Loftus VI, where it was thought he could do no further harm. He boarded the transport, but was delivered to the world of Hyades and the service of the Inquisition.


Neros Varrin (Corporal, LXV Prendar "Blacks" Grenadiers)

A capable front-line soldier from the "Grenadier Blacks" regiments, Varrin hails from a military dynasty. In the wake of several successful campaigns, the Regiment were refitting and resupplying over the world of Hyades when Varrin was ordered to report to the surface. There, he was inducted into Septimus Cell.


Father Zarkov, (Ministorum Priest)

A burly priest in his fifties. Zarkov says little of his former life, having stated "what was before is nothign, going forward there is only the God-Emperor." He served for almost a decade as a Preacher alongside the Brimlock IVth, before being dismissed under claims of "drunkenness in the line of duty." He was due to be executed for his crime, but an order came down that he be spared, and dispatched to Hyades.



Brother Majster (Tech-Priest)

A Tech-Priest hailing from Mutara, the Dalthus Sector's major Forgeworld. Majster came to the attention of the Ordo Hereticus after purging an infestion of Hereteks on Mutara that subscribed to the outlawed "Vinculist" creed.


Scribe Astelan, (Hereditary Scribe of Section VII, Sub-Section XII, Cube XLII, Seat XV-A)

A proud member of hereditary scribes deep within the bowels of the admin-hive on Hyades. At the age of 41, after 26 years of service in the Inscription unit, Astelan illuminated a text that was never meant for his eyes to see. The text has since vanished, and Astelan was offered a simple choice: Death, or service in the Inquisition. Astelan lived to serve. In exchange, the scribe was made mute, so that the secrets he recorded would remain unspeakable.



Lukas Finn, (Underhive Ganger)

Born in the depths of Hive Praxis itself, Lukas was a member of the 'Sons of Agony', an underhive gang. Lukas was arrested setting up an ambush with explosives. Before he could be tried for his crime, he was released on an Inquisitorial order.




The acolytes of the newly-created Septimus Cell were all brought to Hyades, where they were incarcerated and subjected to a series of seemingly endless questions and interrogations. Forced to engage in bizarre and mind-numbingly repetitive tasks for hours on end, they were tested and measured against criteria they could not begin to understand. They were taken into rooms filled with the cloying scent of sacred incense, where robed seers peered into horologic decks and imparted them with words of great import; prophecies that weighed heavily upon their shoulders. Their questioners pried into their backgrounds, teased at their sanity and tore apart their lives, looking for any suggestion that they might in some way be unsuitable.



Finally, all seven were accepted. Without ceremony, they were taken to the mid-levels of Hive Praxis, installed into an anonymous hab-hostel under a false name and hidden in plain sight amongst the teeming billions of the hive city. They were told to await a summons, but it was almost two weeks before they heard anything...

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(This first episode was based on The Edge of Darkness, the preview adventure available on the site. As before, the locations and some of the events have been changed, but for ease many of the names haven't been.)


Episode I - "De Profundis"


Hive Praxis, Hyades



Part I - "The House of Forgotten Saints"

Having been left to their own devices for two weeks in less-than-salubrious surroundings, the Acolytes had had little to do but reflect on their experiences, and the events that had led them there. Some had begun to question the wisdom of their endeavours - or if it even really happened. Above all, they had waited restlessly for some contact from their new Mistress.


When finally they were directed to a meeting the following day, it came as almost a relief. The message was a terse and perfunctory order, but along with it came a small silver-metal pin-badge, about two inches long. The badge was of a downward-pointing dagger impaling a rose. Barbed vines twist around its blade. If any of them were to study the dagger's handle, they might see the thrice-barred sigil of the Inquisition - a symbol still powerful enough to make them shiver somewhat. http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_responder.asp?efid=101&efcid=3&efidt=482037


A scant few hours later, the acolytes met for the rendezvous within the hustle and bustle of the mid-hive administrata districts. They made their way to a large and imposing building. The facade was dominated by statues of various saints, all sculpted in various poses of distress. Some were clawing at themselves, others reaching otu for salvation. One clutches a broken sword, whilst another seems to be knelt, gathering the scattered beads of a rosarius. Peculiarly, each had had its face chiselled away, entirely obliterated. 


Making their way to the rear of the building, the acolytes entered a metal elevator platform. This was their first opportunity to observe each other - and they were quite a rag-tag bunch! The journey downwards was passed in tense silence, with none of them willing to talk first. The elevator reached the bottom before shuddering to a stop and revealing a featureless corridor.


At this point, the Acolytes began to wonder just what was happening to them. Corporal Varrin readied his lasgun, encouraging the others to arm themselves in case they were walking into an ambush. Aridius drew his weapon; Astelan, lacking any weaponry, was reduced to carrying his data-slate simply so he wasn't empty-handed. It was at this point that Artemis gave the group some much-needed discipline, organising the group so that they could advance. Weapons ready, the group headed down the long corridor for five minutes or so until their advance terminated at a heavy, armoured door that could easily shield a bunker from a sustained assault.




As Varrin began to worry that they had been trapped, the hive-ganger Lukas began to speculate that explosives might have an impact. Aridius asked the group to cover the Tech-Priest as he examined the door. Already, the dominant characters in the group were beginning to emerge. Brother Majster moved forward, uncovering a keypad beside the door. It was a matter of moments before he attempted to place the Sword-and-Rose pinbadge against the surface of the scanner, which glowed a soft green. The acolytes were confronted with the unarguable power held by the badge.


As the door unsealed with a hiss of pressurised air, the acolytes were confronted by a glittering steel chamber whose only inhabitant was a tall figure wearing white robes with a red leather jacket draped over his shoulders standing over a table that appeared to hold a human body. The players advanced carefully,  weapons at the ready, asking the stranger to turn around.


The stranger did so, seeming rather unfazed to have so many weapons pointed at him. He stood with intelligent eyes set within a shrewd, weathered face. His hair was shockingly white and rapidly retreating at his temples. Dark stubble swathed his jaw, and he appeared as though he had been up for days.



This, it transpired, was Interrogator Brandt, representative of the Lady Amaranthe on Hyades. He told the acolytes that she had called them to this building, the "House of Forgotten Saints", to assist in the investigation of a matter of interest that had only recently come to light. Whilst many of the Acolytes had questions as to why exactly they were there, Artemis himself was more curious as to what had happened for the body to wind up on Stroud's slab.  Brandt waved off the questions, introducing the acolytes to the body of Findus Vigg, an unskilled labourer formerly indentured to the Hyronian Cartel.


Vigg had been found dead on the mid-hive transit system, and during the Post Mortem the Magos Biologis found an implanted synthetic organ that had crushed the life out from within. Brandt explained that Vigg had been reported missing from his hab-stack by his sister, Elspeth. The Acolytes were to travel down-hive to the lost and folorn district known as "The Barrens", and to find any trace of those responsible for implanting the organ within Vigg.


Taking in Brandt's briefing, the Acolytes asked many questions. Majster was most interested in the synthetic organ, whilst Zarkov was quick to ask questions about the victim's sister, Elspeth. Brandt answered as best as he could, and then provided the Cell with equipment. There was one final matter - the group had to elect a "Prime", a leader who would be responsible for providing the Cell with direction.


After some deliberation, the group selected Aridius Helbrec to be their leader, after Artemis declined the opportunity. With that, they set off to head down-hive to the Barrens, and the settlement of Acid Falls.

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