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Raith

Campaign Diary: The search for victory [New Entry: May 28, 2013]

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For all those who came in late…

The following is a Campaign Diary of my second Dark Heresy game. Feel free to ask any questions of comment on what’s happening. Hopefully I will update this log after each session. I compile these diaries to help myself keep track of a campaign as I tend to not to plan every aspect of a session, as well as hopefully providing some inspiration/entertainment for others.

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Name of the Campaign: The search for victory
Time Period: 799.M41+
Starting Rank: 1
Campaign Duration:

Prologue: Cult of the Skull (11 sessions)
Chapter 1: Retinue (20 sessions)
Chapter 2: By Tooth and Nail (11 sessions, Ongoing)

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The Cast:

Ashram Magnus – Shadesman, Assassin. Noble born into a Rogue Trader family. White and Violet Hair, Fair skin, Gold eyes. Age: 25

Narla Tzarine – Constantia, Adeptus Sororitas. Raised by the Schola Progenium. Blond Hair, Dark Skin, Blue Eyes. Age: 25

Arl – Armsman, Imperial Guard. Born and bred on Dusk. Black Hair, Dark Skin, Blue Eyes. Age: 24

INQUISITOR ABIDAN RA – Inquisitor Abidan is extremely young for a bearer of the Rosette being only about 25 years of age and freshly promoted from the ranks of Interrogator. Abidan is quite tall, almost 7’ in height but rather thin, he wears a long dark brown (almost black) robe and hood that conceals his body. Beneath the robe is a marvel of technology rarely seen in any sector of the Imperium. Aside from his long dark hair a portion of his forehead and his left hand Abidan is enclosed in sculpted silver armour.

The armoured suit is a miracle of Mechanicum design (If it indeed is the work of the Mechanicus) in micro construction to minimise any signs of the usual bulky, gothic manufacture they habitually create. Abidan views the universe through glowing green lenses covering his eyes and his voice is a near silent whisper edged with a metallic chill issuing from behind a blank face-mask.

Whether all this armour is for show or covers a terribly ravaged body is unclear at this time. All that is known is that despite being rated as a Alpha Plus Plus grade Psyker, Abidan seems unable to transmit more than basic thoughts or emotions over short distances, he is however capable of unleashing devastating blasts of Blue Warp Fire from outlets in the armours chest and right gauntlet.

With his Rosette in hand Abidan is carefully recruiting the beginnings of his Inquisitorial Cadre from people he has encountered through his life, as this is only the beginning of his career Abidan has yet to take a stance upon how he plans to deal with the threats of the Universe beyond his innate sense of the Imperium’s right to rule.

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Rolls of the Honoured Dead

Solaria (Deceased) – Aspirant, Imperial Psyker. Raised by the Schola Progenium. Blonde Hair, Tan Skin, Augmetic Eyes Age: 53. Killed by eldritch discharges sequel to a minor Warp Incursion, 161.799.M41, Scintilla (Overhive)

Detatched Service (AKA currently not playing)

Nari-ann K’thine – Guard, Imperial Guard. Recently her father (A talented general of the Imperial Guard) died a Martyr defending her homeworld against a hidden Xenos threat.  Nari-ann's family was granted a noble title, lands and profit or appropriate standing much to the ire of other established noble households. Blue-black Hair, Tanned skin, Teal Eyes. Age: 27

Hack –Technomancer, Adeptus Mechanicus.  Born on Volg and taken by the local Mechanicus for training.  Transfered to Hive Tarsus on Scintilla for duties with the Adeptus Arbites.  His skin is plastered with a variety of Electoo's. Ruddy complexion, Grey Eyes. Age: 21

Gaius Bolter - Trooper, Adeptus Arbites.  Born into the ruling Noble family of an Imperial world located at the edge of the territory being conquered by the Margin Crusade, Gaius joined the Arbites to not only protect his home, which has been steadily becoming a Fortress Planet thanks to increasing levies of its population for the Crusade effort, but the rules of the greater Imperium.  He is a well-built man with a ruddy complexion, dark hair and green eyes. Age: 25

Arn Spurius – Novice, Cleric. Born and raised on Maccabeus Quintis. Grey Hair, Pale Skin, Blue Eyes. Age:42

Trauma Bles – Cantus, Adeptus Sororitas. Raised by the Schola Progenium. White skin and hair, grey eyes. Age: 22.

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Setting up:
Having helped my players through character creation I gave them a couple of minutes to think about their characters before I went around the room and asked them to think of something about their characters that didn’t go on the sheet. When they had all answered I then asked that they describe a situation to me about how they encountered the Inquisitor Abidan whom I described briefly. Normally I would go into a game knowing what any “sponsor” type character would be like, but aside from determining his appearance and that this would be his first “team” I thought I would give my players a chance to impress me and they did. After going around the room and listening to their suggestions I turned to each and modified what they had described to better fit with the Grim Darkness of the far future.

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FIRST CONTACT: Inquisitor Style.
Arn Spurnius – 25 years ago Arn spurnius a simple devotee living on Maccabeus Quintis was rounded up by men in black carapace and marched from his house. Blindfolded and with people chanting litanies of purity into his ears he was taken offworl to a place filled with the screams of the tormented and wall that seem too long for their size. The young man was shown into a room whose walls were engraved with the most powerful hexagramitic wards and introduced to a young woman called Solaria who was on her way for sanctioning on distant Terra. Arn was ordered to do his duty and couple with the nascent Psyker, as their progeny was foreseen to be a powerful asset to the Imperium. Following that night Arn was returned to his home where he eventually entered into the priesthood in hopes of cleansing his soul from that night. Two and a half decades later Arn was summoned along with 11 other Novices to take part in a trial by combat, now an elderly man, Arn found himself the victor of the contest and inducted into the retinue of a man whom he feels a strange sense of attachment.

Solaria (Deceased)– Taken by the Imperial Tithe at the age of 26 and placed onto a black ship Solaria struggled to cope with the tortures inflicted upon her, after two years aboard she was bound with potent drugs and mystical formulae to quell her mind and shown to a warded room where she became impregnated at the orders of robed Inquisitors. Solaria carried the babe to term while aboard the Black Ship but the moment he was born the child was spirited away. Seventeen years later Solaria had gazed upon the radiance of the God-Emperor and survived at the cost of her natural sight. Returned to the Calixis sector she was assigned to low-level astropathic monitoring before being recruited by Abidon a man she senses is not so unknown to her.

Trauma Bles – As a war orphan trauma was raised in the Schola Progenium in a small and lonely facility. Unfortunately for Trauma the college Dean was busy using his position to trade in the flesh of the orphans kept their. Unwilling to submit to the immoral activities of the Dean, Trauma managed to alert the local authorities. During the investigation the Dean tried to slaughter the Investigators, his plan failed and a red flag was raised in the local Arbite Precinct. What followed was the unveiling of a Slaaneshite pleasure cult and the interdiction of the Ordo Hereticus and the Adeptus Sororitas. In the aftermath Legate Abidan Ra who was in charge of the purge pronounced Trauma as unsullied by the incident and turned her over to the care of the Sister of Battle. Twelve years later Trauma again encountered Abidon as the Inquisitor requested the Novitiate assignment to his retinue.

Arl – Born on the world of Dusk Arl encountered Abidan during his time as Interrogator. Abidan was investigating reports of a daemonic incursion when he discovered the young man bound to a pillar crafted in homage to the Great Enemy. Despite the proximity to such evil Arl displayed only the usual signs of corruption present within all those living on such a blighted world. After freeing the young boy Arl was recruited into the Imperial Guard and years later found himself reassigned from his duties to the entourage of the new Inquisitor.

Nari-ann K’thine – Born into the family of one of the Calixis sectors prominent heroes Nari-ann was assigned to the Imperial Guard after repeatedly displaying a love for all things firearm. Nari-ann encountered Interrogator Abidan during the purging of Shonsho-7 Sub-Hive when her unit was dispatched for mop-up operations, K’thine chased down one of the fleeing cult leaders and clubbed the man to death after her antique firearm failed to discharge properly. Abidan’s master took note of the recruit’s zeal and seconded the guardsman to Abidan’s service as a gift following his promotion.

Ashram Magnus – Distant nephew of the Rogue Trader Varsiliae Magnus, Ashram’s parents were left to supervise the inclusion of a world into the Imperium. Trained as an Assassin in the newly reconquered world’s premiere murder-college, Ashram was chosen by Abidan for his natural talents and his connection to such a powerful and ancient family.

Narla Tzarine – The fledgling Novitiate is the newest recruit into Abidan’s service having only encountered the Inquisition less than a year ago on K-17-H-2 a planet recently conquering in the Margin Crusade and one where the Sister was stationed while learning from the Order Hospitalier. The Inquisitor was struck down by a stray mortar shell and the Novitiate tended to him during his recovery. Narla has been sworn to secrecy over anything she might have seen of the man inside the silver armour.

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So that is how the campaign begins, characters are made, equipment purchased and prayers sung over the new acolytes as they go to meet thier Inquisitor more formally…

- Raith
 

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Prologue: The Cult of the Skull

Session 1: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, 052.799.M41
The game opened with the group aboard a Dauntless class Troop Carrier on route with a full complement of Imperial Guard to one of the War Zones within the Calixis Sector. The player were stationed aboard but were unaware of each others presence of their shared destination. Under orders the vessel slipped from the Immaterium and back into real space just long enough to dispatch a servitor controlled Shuttle with the player aboard to an imperial mid-range Space Station Classified as Scintillan Hub 25-2. Despite careful training this shuttle ride was the first experience many of the recruits had with Zero-Gravity and it fell to Narla Tzarine one of the Sisters of Battle to part with her lunch. Following this the group exchanged names and filled the short trip with random chatter. The shuttle eventually docked with the outpost and the group was led through the network of corridors and hanger decks to a small conference room where they waited to encounter their new master.

Abidan presented himself directly and with little in the way of flowery speeches or endearment the Inquisitor filled the group in on their new life and what was expected of them. Abidan presented a question to his potential acolytes inquiring if they had any knowledge of an item called the Sword of Severis. Unsurprised at the negative response Abidan quickly gave a brief account of the item.

“2,500 Years ago a man called Severis tried to wage a private war against the Imperium. Severis was a man of great political clout, one who had been sent by the Imperium into the depths of the yet-to-be-conquered Calixis Sector and the Halo Stars. He returned with many strange items showing the possible riches hidden in those unexplored depths but something changed him and the Servant became a Tyrant bent on carving out a niche for him in the flesh of the Emperors realm.

At his side at all times was a strange blade, some form of ancient Long Sword. While Severis had the weapon at his side he seemed impossible to defeat either through direct conflict or indirect action. That was until the blade went missing and an Imperial surprise attack decimated his armies staging ground. In the aftermath the Blade vanished.

Ever since in the millennia following, reports of the blade have reappeared, each time the rumours have begun so have various conflicts which have threatened to devour portions of the Imperium. Now the rumours have come to Calixis and Scintilla in particular.”

Rather than directing the group to search Scintilla’s hives for the sword, Abidan presented the group with several dossiers containing pict-stills of violent murder scenes and notes on a series of killings that had occurred in the recent past. A group called the Cult of the Skull seemed to be claim responsibility and in the past where this cult had appeared so to had the Sword.

After informing those assembled that it was their task to visit the Hive and ascertain whether it truly was the Cult of the Skull responsible for the murders, the Inquisitor departed as quickly as he had arrived, leaving the group to puzzle over the documents and their first task.

- Raith
 

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Your setup is cool.  That's how I would picture a fresh inquisitor building his first retinue, recruiting from the ranks of trusted citizens he's dealt with in the past.

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Thanks to all who read the first Session and Introductive material, I hope you will continue to read, I should have a new session every fortnight or so.  As the party is still getting use to just what they can do, their hasn't been a whole lot of interaction so far... aside from Nari-ann constantly threatening to wash the layer of protective dirt from Arl.  Now its on with Session 2...

Session 2: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, 52.799.M41 to 66.799.M41

After their briefing the group took some time to rest before embarking onto a cargo ship heading from the system watchpost to Scintilla herself. The journey in system took fourteen days, during which the group studied documents provided by their new master. The data comprised of reports gathered about 32 killings attributed to the Cult of the Skull as well as more general information relating to Scintilla and Hive Tarsus their eventual destination.

They also received a Slate containing contact information for an Arbite official located at the Hive along with instructions to refrain from identifying their association with the Inquisition and several codes that would help them pass as an observation team assigned to monitor the Arbite investigation as per Administratum orders.

Before making planet fall the Acolytes transferred from their vessel to Scintilla’s primary orbital dock where they spent some time soaking up the local colour. Aside from a few hesitant inquiries about the legend of the Sword of Severis and the Cult of the Skull which came up empty they awaited a shuttle bound for the Hive.

Following a short descent they arrived at the inverted city where they were quickly directed to the correct access stairwell that would lead them to the bustling middle hive from their docking platform. As soon as the officials finished the formal rituals of Admonition and Welcome a group of street urchins rushed from the shadows offering to guide people about. Nari-ann quickly secured a guide offering 4 thrones for his services and the Acolytes began their long descent.

After an hour of walking and constant nattering by their young guide the group arrived at the highest level of the “mid-hive” where they received their first true look at the city with its clinging buildings, inverted nature and the vast avenues dedicated to trade and commerce. With a few moments of hurried discussion over where to go they set off towards the Arbite prescient responsible for investigating the murders.

The precinct house loomed before the group its black walls were pierced only by the primary gate at which mulled a line of petitioners. Skipping ahead and presenting their access pass the Acolytes were shown through the fortress to the office of Senior Marshal Thaddius Blac, a large dark skinned and heavyset official who was responsible for directing the various investigation and forensic teams assigned to the case involving the Cult of the Skull. The Marshal described that their information on the murders was now out of date and that a total of 64 murders, bizarre accidents and other fatal incidents involving 256 victims had been officially attributed to this Skull cult, all the events had occurred within 8 months with the latest being a slaughter of a wealthy merchant and his immediate family happening less than 4 days prior.

When asked as to how the 64 cases had been interlinked the Marshal explained that they were the only cases the Adeptus Arbites had failed to find any explanations for due to a complete lack of identifying evidence beyond the scene of the crimes. After organising for a workspace to review the case logs and requesting to speak with the investigation team leaders the group decided that they would have to see the latest incident for themselves.

- Raith
 

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Good stuff.  I'm curious, would you have any notes detailing your description of the city?  I like how you seem content to set the stage well, and haven't jumped head first into heresy and darkness.  Not every session has to find the party combating some new horror.  I wish a horror GM I know could figure that out.  happy.gif

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Seeing as my group is so large and heavily oriented to Combat I prefer to save it for when it’s really necessary, that way I can make the fights serious work and not just another gratuitous fight scene. Thought gratuity can’t be overlooked either. However in this case the lack of combat has more to do with how inexperienced the party is in that regard and the fact that this is only the prologue of an ongoing campaign and I am trying my best to set a nice tempo so I can speed things up over time as the situation becomes more and more desperate as things progress.

HIVE TARSUS
Hive Tarsus is described in the main rules pretty well, much better than I would if I had planned a Hive out. Basically it described the city sticking up out of a desert somewhere in the southern Hemisphere of Scintilla. Because the surrounding desert is so hot the Hive is mounted on what are essentially giant stilts. With the hive acting as a web of highways, avenues and buildings suspended between these massive pillars.

Unlike most Hives the order of its layering is reversed with the Low Hives being located at the top and exposed to the harsh desert climate with the Mid Hive beneath the and the Upper Hive hanging at the very base where the shadow of the city above cools it.

With that in mind I described the Hive to my players and explained that the cities Transport docks were located on the “Roof”. All transports would be identified and their passengers sorted by clearance as to where they could go into the hive, most would simply be directed to stairs and accesses situated in the main pillars that would give access to the Low Hive (which is like all other low hives, crowded, full of manufactorum and recycle systems and the pipes that support all the amenities of the Hive) while others would be directed to the Mid Hive access.

I figured that on foot it should take about a hour (based on how far I can walk in an hour if I hurry to descend through the Low Hive via an express stairwell and reach the top of the Middle Hive which I described as a vast area, much more open than the crowded lower hive with great roads sweeping between pillars, building bolted on to each other etc. Just as if a modern city had been capped by a steel sky but the further down people look the more they can see with even more mid hive levels below theirs leading eventually to the primary market places and then the Noble Under-spire.

I hope that help somehow… I think I might create a new thread in the House rules sometime so I can collate all the stuff I come up with for my campaigns…

- Raith
 

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This weeks session was fairly short but surprisingly it seems my group managed to cover a fair bit of stuff, despite my inability to think straight.

Session 3: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus, 66.799.M41 to 67.799.M41

Having convinced Marshal Blac to take them to the scene of the latest massacre the party piled into the back of an Arbite Rhino and was whisked down through the mid-hive levels to the border of what Tarsus calls its “upper” hive. The rhino dropped the group off outside a restaurant complex and while Ashram Magnus stayed outside with the Arbite Troopers to gleam any information from them, the rest where shown through the eatery and into one of the many private entertainment suites.

The suite was arranged around a small garden filled with exotic flora. Next to the garden was the primary scene, a dinning room around which was splattered the liquid remains of the guests. 8 distinctive blood patterns dominated the room and the garden where one had attempted to flee. There was no sign of any battle having taken place or bullets fired, nor had any of the staff heard any disturbance.

After several minutes questioning Marshal Blac over the collected evidence, several of the party noticed something strange about the blood spray around the head of the table which reportedly had been where a 15 year old girl was sitting celebrating her birthday with her family. Leaping up onto the dining table for a better view the blood spray took on a more sinister aspect, that of a skull.

Narla Tzarine quietly suggested that perhaps someone had teleported into the room but quickly dismissed the idea without any evidence of such a powerful activity. Quietly Solaria used her psyniscience to read the room, gaining a sense of a massive build up of Warp power that had occurred when the slaughter happened but little other information.

Unable to proceed any further without studying the various case files the group reboarded their transport intent on returning to the Arbite Precinct. Their path was suddenly changed as report of another incident was relayed over the Vox and Marshal Blac ordered the driver to investigate.

This time the Rhino took them to one of Tarsus Hives busiest mercantile markets, two other Trooper units and an Investigator had already arrived on the scene which was the steps of one of the Munitorum Offices. A pair of mid-level clerks had been shot twice each, once in the head and one in the heart with heavy calibre rounds that reduced their features to a bloody smear as they ascended the steps. Again there were no witnesses and unless the shot was taken at a considerable distance with highly skilled agents no one had heard any report of gunfire.

While the local Arbites processed the scene the group returned to the Precinct house and then took residence in a nearby hostel. Marshal Blac gave the group a copy of their case files relating to the 54 incidents which the group poured over all night and into the morning. When those who had caught some sleep awoke Trauma, Ashram and Nari-Ann reported that their investigation had turned up only a single clue, all the murders had been committed based on the number 8. Eight single executions in a week, 2 bodies filled with 4 bullets, 8 family members killed on their child’s 16th birthday. In all 256 murders had been committed in the first 64 crimes.

While they now had a clearer picture that all the deaths were for some dark purpose they still needed to find the proof their Inquisitor craved.

- Raith
 

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Session 4: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41

NB: Well its been a few weeks since the last session, holidays, missing players etc. But here is a slightly more descriptive update in compensation.

The Acolytes awoke to a loud pounding upon their hostel door. Struggling awake, Solaria answered the hurried knocks. A small squad of Arbite Enforcers stood at the door, dressed in riot ger and demanded the presence of the Acolytes at a once.

Gathering their gear the Acolytes and Troopers piled into a couple of transports which sped at full speed down through the layers of Tarsus only slowing when they reached one of the primary gates to the hives Noble sector. In short order the Rhino’s pulled up and the Acolytes disembarked amid a full blown Arbite Operation.

A cathedral-like mansion belonging to the De Villiers House had come under terrorist attack 4 hours earlier, the Arbites acted swiftly arriving within an hour to purge the household. Marshal Blac stood amid a temporary command center with several other senior Arbites and a number of personal guards. He quickly laid out the situation to the Acolytes. The Noble family had been slaughtered, some of the terrorists had been killed either during their attack or by the Arbites and some sort of Cult Ritual had been discovered.

Under escort the Acolytes entered the Household, for the first few floors the building seemed to have escaped much damage, but as the group was led deeper into the building towards the residents more secure quarters signs of the violence materialised, bodies of servants and personal guard lay strewn about in corridors and various rooms gunned down by Shotgun rounds. It wasn’t long until they passed the first ‘Hostile’ shot down by Arbite fire, the man was dressed in Flak armour and carried a combat shotgun, making the man extremely well equipped compared to the usual recidivist.

Within the center of the household lay the Noble families “Safe Room” a small complex within the larger residence that presumably was sealed early in the battle. Through a massive breech in a wall was the primary battleground, terrorists and household guards had died fighting each other through the breech and then the terrorists had used the point to delay the Arbites. Beyond the first scene of slaughter things became a little stranger, one of the terrorists had enacted some sort of ritual by taking apart eight people and arranging their body parts into an eight pointed star.

The Acolytes spread out among the Arbite Investigators searching the room for whatever information they could, the bodies used in the ritual had all been painted in blood with a series of numbers, each equalling eight or being a division or multiplier of. In one corner of the room slumped against the wall was another terrorist, dressed in armour like his fellows but similarly covered in numbers. Marshal Blac identified the man as the apparent leader of the ritual who had been gunned down the moment the Arbites broke past his defences.

While the bodies were examined Solaria used her Psyniscience to perform a different examination. The moment the Psyker focused her inner eye she could see the room plunge into darkness, the walls elongated, changing the room’s dimensions and a chill breath blew across the back of her neck. Snapping out of her trance she tried to ascertain exactly what was causing the presences. In the meantime Arn Spurnius continued to chant the rites of purity against the violence and corruption of the room while Arl went hunting through the nearby rooms keeping an eye out for any terrorists who may have simply been hiding.

During his wanderings Arl came across another seen of slaughter a dleeing woman had been gunned down and then her attacker also had perished (presumably from Arbitor fire). The woman had been carrying a small pouch containing a crystal. Returning to his companions the crystal was identified as a Data Storage devices and a Enforcer was sent to recover an appropriate Data-Slate with reading equipments. While they waited the players collated their information. The bloody numbers on the body parts used in the ritual all coincided with the numbers they had seen from all the previous murders, the terrorists were well armed and according to Auspex information from an Arbitor Investigator the safe Area had been breeched with military grade Melta explosives. The ritual seemed to have been unsuccessful but some scorching in the center of the Octogram was not encouraging. And the De Villiers family seemed to have some connection to the recent murder of the Velkadir Clan who had died at the restaurant.  With 256 new deaths the toll on the Hive by the cult stood at 768.

When the enforcer returned with the Data-Slate Nari-ann found herself upon the wrong end of a security system as the crystal forced the devices spirit to rebel and discard. Without any means to fix the device or otherwise access the crystal Marshal Blac suggested that the Arbites could contact the local Tech-Priests. With nothing else to be gleaned from the crime scene the Acolytes returned to their Hostel.

After a quick meal the Acolytes were again called to the Arbitor precinct house. In the bowels of the black fortress they were shown to an observation room attached to the Arbites laboratories where Marshal Blac sat watching the work of Senior-Magos 110100101000101010. Blac swiftly reported the failure of the Magos in his attempt to decode the crystal, it had been sealed with the highest level of security that would take much larger resources than the Arbites could quickly assemble all they have been able to determine was the general purpose of the information the crystal stored, it was a form of location data.

While the Acolytes pondered over the possibility that Blac knew of their new association with the Inquisiiton from his suggestions of more expedient access to anti-security-demons. The Senior Magos finished his examination of a shotgun brought from the massacre pointing out that it had been manufactured in Tarsus and Issued to the local PDF units.

- Raith
 

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This update is just a little late, ok so its a lot late seeing as the session was almost 2 weeks ago.  Anyway, my Acolytes finally made it into battle but it seems they are going to need a little bit of a refresher in the proper use of force.

Session 5: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41

The lights in the observation room plunged the Acolytes into darkness before flickering back on in a threatening red accompanied by a shrill scream of a klaxon. Marshal Blac quickly informed the group that the alarm was the Precincts, Purity Alarms and that only a moral threat could trigger them.

A metallic scream of alarm and agony focused the group’s attention to the glas-steel windows in the room. Beyond them they could see senior Magos 110100101000101010 struggling with an assailant that looks like nothing more than a billowing cloak of darkness wielding a black bladed sword shrouded by an unholy red glow. The monstrosity and Magos grappled with each other and Marshal Blac ordered a retreat from the room as the shadow ripped the Tech-priest apart before turning to reveal a grinning skull where a face should have been beneath its heavy hood.

Quickly the Acolytes fell back through the fortress, retreating towards the Armoury to reequip themselves. As the withdrew they passed other Arbites already equipped rushing towards the disturbance and while they soon where out of sight they could hear the screams of dying men-at-arms.

As swiftly as they could imagine the Acolytes donned their gear while Novice Arn intoned a blessing or purity upon them and their equipment. They also took advantage of their unlimited access to Arbite equipment to secure some larger weaponry, ammunition and grenades.

Rushing back into the cooridoor, prepared to face the threat they were startled to find just how quickly the entity had worked its way through the defensive fire-teams of Arbites, as they watched another group was falling beneath the creatures blade.

Despite his lack of familiarity with grenades Arn lobbed one of those he had taken down the corridor where it exploded in a cloud of dense smoke, cloaking the area from sight. Despite not getting the response he was hoping the Priest seemed satisfied and his action spurred on the remaining Acolytes several of which knew what they were doing and lobbed Frag’s into the smoke while others fired blindly hosing down the passageway electing screams from Arbites and Enemy alike.

With a cry of “For the Emperor” Marshal Blac charged into the smoke to bring his Combat Shotgun to bear when a deafening boom exploded about the Acolytes as a miss throw with a grenade set the explosive back behind them detonating beneath Sister Tzarine’s feet. Saved only by her Carapace armour the Sister ignored the actions of her supposed allies to focus her efforts on the treat before them.

With sustained fire from las and autogun, amply tossed grenades and the mighty bursts of shotguns the party continued to fire heedlessly into the smoke. When it finally was cleared by the bases filtration systems they finally could see the extent of their recklessness. The bodies of a dozen Arbites lay torn apart by grenade and blade strikes, Marshal Blac lay against a wall unconscious from an errant lasgun blast to his helmet and a deep cut to his stomach while the black tattered cloak of the entity lay on the floor like a pool of shadow.

- Raith

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Fideru said:

 

I really like reading these, they're quite enjoyable.

 

 

Then you're in luck cause after 3 (or 4) weeks of being slack here is the update for session 6 and 7.  Both these sessions where rather short due to a slight change of venue and random goings on irl.

Session 6 & 7: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41

With Marshal Blac unconscious and the injured being tended to by the Arbite Medicae the players came to the swift conclusion that the data-crystal and the appearance of the strange shadowy apparition where certainly good indications that the Inquisitors suspicions about the Cult of the Skull being a serious threat where true.

Carefully reviewing the information they had uncovered the acolytes decided it was time to present their finding to their master and through the Adeptus Arbites arranged for a meeting with the Astropathic Enclave of Hive Tarsus.

Aware of just how serious a breach of security the entity had been the group proceeded across the Hive under a full escort of three Rhinos and two squads of fully armed enforcers. Their journey brought them to a special elevator shaft which served only to reach the Astropaths lair which unlike the rest of the city, still remained at the vertical top.

Greeted by a small and apparently mute guide the elevator lifted the Acolytes into a grand hall atop the inverted Hive. Here in rooms strangely chill against the scorching heat of the surrounding desert they could hear the chanting of choirs. Through darkened halls they where guided into a vast auditorium around the circumference of which sat hundreds of men and women all bound in sightless obeisance to the Emperor.

The Conclave listened to the Acolytes words before projecting their might across space with a discordant cord of a thousand voices striking false notes and spoiling the perfect hymnal of the palace. Once the ringing in the Acolytes ears ceased and the discordant noise faded they left the enclave to await their master’s reply.

The journey back down to the hive was not as quiet as their ascent as a mighty explosion greeted their exit from the lift and the Acolytes stepped into the hell of a Hive wide insurgency.

Already a missile strike had demolished one of the Arbite Rhinos as men with guns burst from a nearby factory. Ducking away for cover the group split up with Arl running towards the Rhino wreckage and Solaria using her psychic powers to blind several opponents to cover her retreat towards the elevator shaft. Missile after missile streaked into the street as a massive gun battle ensued against lightly armed insurgents despite the sniping shots by Ashram.

Very quickly the lethality of the situation escalated and while most of the acolytes had the presence of mind to find some cover, Nari-Ann managed to continuously draw fire as she stood defiantly hurling insults and ammunition at the oncoming ambush while Sister Narla advance forward Slayer ablaze in a closing action before a misfired rocket annihilated the Sisters opponent…

- Raith


 

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Apparently while I thought not much happened in the latest sessions a fair bit did.  Or at least a lot was worth describing.  So here are the latest updates to my campaign.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 8 & 9: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Tarsus Hive 66.799.M41 to 67.799.M41

The volume of fire covering the open streets outside the Access to the Astropath Enclave finally sent everyone scurrying to cover. Behind the lift, the hulks of the two demolished Rhinos or the bodies of rioters the group go down to business hurling vast amounts of ammunition into the oncoming rebels taking them down one by one. Only to be showered again and again by frag missiles from the assailant hidden on the nearby office rooftop.

While the butchery continued Novice Spurnius raised his sidearm and flanked left squeezing off rounds at opponents while trying to head towards the building from where the rioters emerged. His action did not go unseen and before anyone could react the Novice took a direct impact from a missile just as the last opponent was gunned down.

A few quiet moments passed as the Acolytes waited to see if any more missiles would come their way but aside from the cries of the injured and the screams of distance civilians caught in other riots and uprisings silence rained.

While the assassins carefully watched the roof for the Rocketeer the others saw to their injuries. As Nari-ann moved to check on the Cleric she was surprised to see that while he had sustained grave injuries he was still alive, simply stunned from the impact. Furthermore his injures were reknitting themselves, the flesh winding together and forcing pieces of broken shrapnel from the wounds and the flesh scaring over until Arn sat up and roared out a cry of “EMPEROR BE PRAISED!” before setting off towards the building once more. In the background Solaria turned her attention from Arn to see if their were others she could aid with her Psychic might.

Arn lead the way into the office building storming through its hall to catch an elevator while Novitiate Bles followed taking the emergency stairs.

Arn reached the roof only to find the wielder of the Missile launcher gone, his weapon and several spare missiles sitting near the shattered edge of the roof. While the seemingly immortal cleric search the roof, Trauma caught a flicker of movement through a grim covered window of the stairwell, punching out he glass she found a fire escape. Clambering down the last few levels was a man in combat fatigues.

Quickly giving pursuit Trauma chased the man out into the open only to see his head vanish in a mist of pink to a carefully timed shot from Nari-ann.

With no survivors to question and the Hive apparently going up in flames around them the acolytes commandeered the remaining Rhino and sped off towards the Arbite Complex.

The Black Arbite fortress was already surrounded by teeming masses of the Hive seeking sanctuary from the uprising and the group was forced to put the Rhino’s weight into action to press through the crowd. Once inside the Bastion they were stunned to find Marshal Blac up and about directing his men to prepare for a siege action.

While the party transferred to a medicae station to see to their injuries Blac explained that the riots were almost Hive wide. Their conversation was interrupted when a young recruit arrived with word from the Arbites Tactical Command center of a Vox Transmission for the Acolytes.

Flagged as a Ultra-Gold Communiqué Blac ordered the Communications center vacated leaving only the Acolytes and Vox Servitors left in the dim room. Having barely gained their breath the Acolytes listened to a static filled communication from their Inquisitor. Laying out their experiences and the situation to Abidan, the Inquisitor ordered the Acolytes to guard the recovered Data-Crystal with their life, transport would be sent to extract them to Hive Sebillus on the other side of the planet where Abidan would meet them.
Suspecting that Marshal Blacs recovery might have been a bit to quick the group carefully informed their contact that transport was coming to get them.

For the next few hours the Acolytes remained in the Operations center watching Pict screens filled with the various riots the Arbites were trying to suppress. Despite their efforts and those of private Militia and Planetary Defence forces the riots seemed to be intensifying with a large number of the acts not only being committed by Cultists chanting their allegiance to the Cult of the Skull but being enacted by criminals and recidivists simply taking advantage of the situation on those around them.

With tensions rising Marshal Blac proposed that he could not wait for the Inquisitors transport to arrive to pic up the Acolytes. Instead they would move to the landing platforms now and in force. Commanding a column of seven Rhino’s Marshal Blac forced his way through the violent streets to the primary docking/cargo lifts that ascended from the mid-hive all the way to the “roof” of the Hive where the landing platform awaited.

The lift was capable of ascending only two of the Rhinos’ at a time so the rest of the coloumn awaited below and the elevator slowly climbed up through the hive. Over an hour of waiting brought the Acolytes into a massive warehouse sitting atop the hive, its interior was lit only from a row of skylights. The light showed rows of crates awaiting transfer to other sections of the Hive and only Lifter/Carrier Servitors to be present.

With the heat of the Hives desert blasting into them the Acolytes advanced out into the open air. Surrounded by several dozen large landing areas the Acolytes awaited as Marahla Blac ordered the second Rhino to invsitage a nearby Traffic Control tower which refused to answer Vox communications.

Nervously the group waited by their Rhino or in the relative shade of the warehouse. Their waiting was broken by the report of the investigating Arbites confirming the crew of the control tower were all dead when all hell broke loose.

Solaria was the first to fall as a black figure that flowed up from the floor behind her plunged a cold black blade at her, the psyker turned just in time and the blade severed her right arm rather than piercing her chest and she collapsed to the ground inside the warehouse.

Before anyone could go to her aide figures cloaked in grey ran from hiding swarming over the first Rhino and butchering the crew with numbers while a second assault upon the Acolytes was met with some warning allowing for scattered ranged fire before a firebomb guttered the Rhino and forced the Acolytes into hand to hand. With Axe, Sword, Shotgun and pistol the Acolytes fought back against the near naked men and women whose bodies where painted in red and whose faces depicted blood covered skulls.

- Raith
 

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Yay for gaming! It's been a while since enough of my players (or myself) were availible to add some more to this game, but hopefully it will be back on track now.  Especially given the ridiculously large amount of combat they were able to cover in a single night (15 rounds or more I think I stopped counting around that point.)

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 10: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus 67.799.M41

The wet thump of a severed arm followed a second later by a larger sound was all the signal the Acolytes needed. Shots blazed across the open space of the landing platforms and the oppressive heat of the Scintillan desert was soon forgotten as the near naked cultists turned to race across the intervening gap so they could bring their crude melee weaponry to bear.

The Acolytes fought back against the knives, guillotine blades and swords with pistols, hammers and righteous fury. Arl took a savage strike to the thigh before unleashing a round into the forehead of his opponent while Novice Spurius laid waste to his enemies. Only Novitiate Tzarine seemed to have problem dealing with her opponents as a lithe woman wielding a boning knife continued to slip behind her and stab at her back.

Breaking free of the cultists Arn raced towards the hanger and the collapsed shape of Solaria. The psyker lay on the terminator of the shadows at the hanger’s entrance. As he sprinted towards the woman the Cleric fired a round at the indistinct shape of Solaria’s attacker hidden within the darkness. The assailant vanished and Arn grabbed up his fallen companion only to cry out as a blade forged from darkness pierced up from the ground and into his thigh.

Falling back into the light with Solaria, Arn watched as a skull faced figure rose up from the ground, its immaterial form flowing into a humanoid shape like a giant pool of ink turning into a man. The creature turned its skull face towards the cleric at the cultists began to chant “Narthaqueladenckarculthars, Narthaqueladenckarculthars, Narthaqueladenckarculthars,” over an over in horid exultation of their master, the word drove itself into the minds of the Acolytes with sickening power. As the chant continued the shadow creature struck out at Arn but was unable to finish the strike as its weapon evaporated whenever it left the shadow of the hanger and was touched by daylight.

With Solaria dragged from the darkness and another group of cultists finished the Acolytes hope of a reprieve was short lived as more of the crazed men and women come running from a nearby control tower. Raising their weapons in preparation for another fight the Acolytes and cultists attentions were suddenly drawn by the roar of engines as an Aquila shuttle screamed overhead.

With their transport circling the landing area the Acolytes turned their attention to securing the landing area only to panic as one of the cultists clambered onto the roof of the second rhino and take control of its storm bolter. Diving into cover behind their blazing transport the roar of the heavy weapon surprised the Acolytes as it was not directed at them. The bolter traced fire at the Aquila shuttle which quickly pulled away to gain altitude. In response the Acolytes opened fire, a full burst quickly dismantled the gunner and a few seconds later the last cultists were down giving the Aquila pilot enough time to touch down.

Trowing the severed arm of Solaria at the Aquila pilot the Cleric sounded the retreat not wanting to see if more cultists where about to show up and attack again. Battered from the riots and cultists the Acolytes struggled aborad the shuttle before blasting off towards the capital hive Sebillus.

-Raith

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So this weeks session was short as the majority of time was spent showing the players how to finally level up and buy advances and such which with only 2 books and six people (some of who turned up late) levelling each character to rank 3 took a lot of time anyways…

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 11: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Sebillus 68.799.M41 to 158.799.M41

The transport raced across the upmost level of Hive Tarsus skimming the various landing platforms before dropping towards the barren desert surface which it raced over at breakneck speed. As the transport departed the riotous Hive the acolyte could see the first wave of Planetary Defence forces being shipped in behind them via larger aircraft and other vehicles.

Without using an orbital curve the Aquila raced across Scintilla giving the Acolytes time to take in the scope of the planet as they flew across its varied terrain. After 6 hours of flight their vessel finally reached the massive urban sprawl of Sebillus and was quickly dodging around the hive spires and other aircraft roaming the skies as it made its way to the blackened walls of the Tricorn palace.

The moment the transport touched down inside the Inquisitorial fortress the acolytes where wisked away into the bastions general access levels where they immediately received emergency medical care. For the most part this was nothing more than scrapes and bruises but Solaria was spirited away to receive detailed care.

Inquisitor Abidan soon arrived and after a quick word with the medical staff he led the Acolytes away from the bustling levels of administratum workers and menials responsible for the day to day needs of the Inquisition and into the dimly lit halls of the fortress proper. Under the watchful eye of Storm Troopers and Weapon Servitors the group made there way through the corridors quietly passing other Inquisitors and the retinue until they reached a set of apartments used by Abidan.

The dozen rooms including a fortified vault and a vast dining area would serve as the Acolytes home. Already Abidan had a meal prepared for the group which needed no urging. Especially Arl who simply dived in still caked in the debris of battle. While the Acolytes ate Abidan listened and when their meal and report was complete he relieved the group of the Data-crystal they had recovered before leaving them in the care of Coranst and Peleng, two elderly servants.

The information locked inside the Data-crystal took three months to decipher, during that time the group honed their skills with weapon and word amid the various facilities of the Inquisition or lucked in the nearby regions of Sebillus’ primary hive. When the crystal was finally cracked a Servo-skull summoned the group to meet with Abidan and Alpha-6-Theta-Kappa a machine priest attached to the Holy Ordo’s facility. The Gold-faced servant of the machine god worked from a facility located beneath the Tricorn. There amid the wonder of her god the crystal had revealed itself as a map. Its data stores were filled with celestial and warp references, astro-navigational data and predictive ciphers all of which showed a remarkable complexity but all of which were incomplete.

The Crystal was simply one of three and all would be needed to make the map complete. Thankfully the crystal contained one piece of navigational data intact. After a quick scan of the information a cross reference was generated indicating that the location was somewhere within the “Lower” sections of Hive Tarsus a place that had once been a temple to the God-Emperor during the founding of the Calixis sector but since abandoned as the hive had grown.

-Raith
 

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THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 12: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 159.799.M41

Unlike their previous visit to Tarsus, the Acolytes new trek was far more open and impressive. Accompanied by their master, Inquisitor Abidan, the group arrived at the inverted city via high velocity orbital transport.

As the Acolytes strode out onto the Hive’s landing platforms they were greeted by a cluster of officials and military personnel. General Henderick Gantz, commander of the pacification forces and Commissar Anasi Karn swiftly presented themselves to the Inquisitor, impressing the acolytes with their no-nonsense attitude when compared to the overt fawning many of the Hives ruling elite who stood nearby hoping to pay their respects and curry favour.

Dismissing the various requests for a private audience, Abidan led the Acolytes through the gathered assemblage and into the hive itself. Once again the group descended the massive lifts to waiting vehicles before once more speeding through Tarsus’s streets.

With the Hive still under partial Martial Law it didn’t take long for the Acolytes to reach their new headquarters. A small and abandoned mansion located deep below the city within the “Upper” Hive had been opened by servants of the Inquisitor. The mansion had clearly been the focus of either an inquisitorial purge or Adeptus Arbite action to have remained abandoned for so long and to still be relatively untouched by looters. Its rooms were filled with shrouded furniture and odd knick-knacks not taken away by investigative units.

As the Acolytes searched the house for anything of interest or any signs of outside prescience the Inquisitor began to set up a massive cogitator unit and communications hub. The ancient machinery had been delivered in advance and with the help of several tech-adepts was quickly up and running.

Following the evening meal Abidan summoned his acolytes, without any indication of that the data-crystal’s information pertained to there was a need to act as decisively and quickly as possible. To that end Abidan tasked his group to track down any information relating to the area of the “Low” hive they would be entering.

After some discussion the group agreed that it might be best to locate a guide for their journey and so they piled into an armoured car and took to the streets. Their journey seemed almost fruitless as the deserted streets were manned only by newly established check-points of PDF troopers and Arbites but after some assistance from several local law-enforcers the group arrived at Checkpoint 37-theta a small garrison of the PDF located on the very edge of the so called Overhive. The Outpost was tasked with monitoring one of the major access points to the dingy and forgotten levels as the area made for an excellent hiding place for rioters and malcontents who had yet to be tracked down.

Master Sergeant Agmarr Jenkins a rough Ex-Imperial Guardsman was in command of the outpost and was more than willing to help out the Inquisitorial representatives. The Master Sergeant quickly pointed out that one of his troopers was exactly what the Acolytes needed and will a bellowing yell Gunnery Sergeant Manning a wiry and nervous looking trooper hastened on over.
Manning was a local, or had been before shipping out for PDF training and as the Acolytes relayed their intension Manning paled visibly and quickly. Having heard the rumours of what the Inquisition was capable of doing to someone who didn’t help them Manning reluctantly agreed to the groups request especially after some persuasion from Jaleth in the form of a well place warning shot.

With guide secured an a small supply of survival gear obtained from a local market the group returned to Abidan to await further instruction.

- Raith

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Ok, so it seems I made a little mistake in the last update, I used the name "Jaleth" (the assassin from "That Which is Made Stronger".)  Anyway it was actually Ashram Magnus who shot at the fleeing Sergeant Manning.  Obviously the fact Jaleth briefly appeared was due to the manipulations of a Warp Entity trying to drive you insane.  Initiate Arn suggests you locate the nearest confessor and expunge the warps taint with the prayers of cleansing and perform an act of contrition to assure your sanity and place beside the God-Emperor in the final days.  May the Emperor Watch and Protect Thee.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 13: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 160.799.M41

With the gear collected, a guide secured (literally) Abidan explained his plain to the Acolytes. In the morning the Inquisitor would go before a congress of the Hives ruling trade Elite, its notable nobles and the various heads of the Reoccupation and Interdiction forces that had pacified the troubled Hive. The Inquisitor would be accompanied by Solaria and Nari-ann as aides. Solaria would be dressed in concealing white robes but would be responsible for “reading” the gathered assembly with psyniscience for any outward signs of hostility or culpability related to the Hives uprising.

While the Inquisitor took to the meeting the other Acolytes decided to put in some training time. Their search of the Mansion had turned up a underground firing range equipped with target servitors as well as a duelling pit complete with a eight-limbed combat unit armed with stun batons. As the servitors put them through their places proving they still needed a lot of work to improve their abilities the Congress began in a massive half-circle auditorium.

The meeting was a dudgery, enforced by small minded individuals more worried about the mounting losses to their trades and the reduced cash-flow lining their pockets. Solaria proceeded with her task identifying to suspect individuals one, an elderly man, who was beyond even the miracles of Juvenat treatments, was accompanied by his own astropath. The Psyker discretely shielded the Noble and his small retinue. The second individual was much different. A lone young well dressed man sat quietly in the rooms upper seating tiers who registered as a complete blank to Solaria’s investigations.

In the end Abidan dismissed the assembly refusing to get bogged down in internal hive politics or allow them to delay him from other tasks. He reaffirmed that Lord General Gantz was still in command until the curfew and decree of Martial Law were lifted then the Inquisitor left.

Following the assembly the Acolytes and their master left on their true mission. Locating an entrance to the “Low” Overhive took little time, and the group began the slow journey into the Overhives leaking, damp and dark depths. The deeper they journied the more oppressive thesurrounding becan. Several times the group was forced to backtrack around collapsed areas and piles of rotting machinery before their way was truly bared. An ancient factory prevented their passage, its roof had collapsed in a tangle of metal spars and rubble.

Needing a ay through the Acolytes searched the rubble until Arl located a crawlspace. It would be hard going but passable. The crawlspace ran for over a hundred meters through broken stone and precariously positioned rubble. Taking the lead Arl slowly pressed forward checking the way. As Arl reached the end of his journey disaster struck as a spar of metal, nudged by his movements slipped free of its perch and speared the acolyte in the thigh.

The piercing bar kept the Guardsman held in place, forcing him to draw his mono-sword and hack away at the bar until he was free. While Arl dragged himself the last few feet clear of the tunnel the rest of the group quickly made their way through so that Solaria could use her powers to repair the hole in Arl’s thigh. While the psyker knitted the guardsman’s flesh the rest of the group took in their surroundings it was obvious that the crawl-space was in bad shape and was unlikely to support a return trip for the group.

Solaria soon finished her manipulations and Arl was once again back on his feet. Pointing the way Abidan continued to lead the group further into the darkness. Hours later the Acolytes emrged onto a rickety landing twenty meters above a broken floor in a vast room which had once been a power transfer station. Distant voices raised in song could be vaguely heard. Arn suggested the song might have been an Imperial Hymm and so the Inquisitor directed Ashram to go take a look. The Assassin dutifully obeyed slipping over the landings guard-rail with a descent harness before scurrying across the floor and into the shadows.

It was soon clear that a gathering of some kind was taking place. A section of the ancient room had been converted into a makeshift chapel, a broken winged Aquila hung from chains near the ceiling, its multi-tonne shape silently gazing down on a gathering of around thirty robed penitents. The group was guarded by three figures located on crude watchtowers. At the head of the congregation stood another robed figure chanting in high Gothic, behind him sat a crude alar top which lay a naked woman, bound to the stone by thick chains. While their was no outward sign of any mutations on the heavily cloaked worshippers their hidden forms certainly seemed misshapen..

As Ashram reached for her comm.-bead a presence settled upon her mind, for a moment the Assassin panicked before the voice of Abidan pierced her brain, using her mind and eyes to see what he could see and hear. The information was in turn relayed to the other Acolytes. As Ashram continued to listen to the chanting prayers he began to name out worlds spoken in accented high Gothic, names that sounded different from the standard monikers for the God-Emperor such as the Eternal Shadow, Watcher in the Night, He who is without Life. As a chill crept down his spin the assassins eyes picked out a curious design stitched into the robes of the worshipers, the crud embroidery read “Narthaqueladenckarculthars”.

The abominable word leapt into Ashram’s mind and as it pressed the assassins will Abidan acted, shutting down the Acolyte’s eyes, and mind before possessing his body and carefully guiding it back to the group. As Ashram returned to awareness Abidan addressed the group, their would be no forgiveness for the corruption of an Imperial ritual, the worshippers would be destroyed.

- Raith

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THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 14: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 160.799.M41

Inquisitor Abidan released Ashram’s mind and allowed his acolytes a few moments to compose themselves. The Genetorium lay not on in the path of their journey but was clearly some form of cultist hub and thus could not be simply avoided to locate a different route. The Genetorium was vast, over a kilometre long and half as wide, the massive electricity-stacks still crackled with minor discharges despite the rundown state or their systems.

The gantry upon which the Acolytes stood ran around the entire room which meant the had a superior position and would be able to fire down upon the cluster of ruinous worshippers but it was a very exposed position especially with a number of lookouts stationed near the makeshift chapel atop ancient scaffolding that in ages passed would have served as overseer posts.

After some quick planning it was decided that Ashram would attempt to snipe one of the Lookouts, hopefully dropping the figure silently allowing for the rest to approach as close as possible to surprise the congregation. While the Assassin set up his weapon the Sisters of Battle and Arn descended to the floor of the Genetorium as slinked forward under cover, they would assault the Mass from the ground while Arl, Solaria and Nari-ann would stick to the elevated walkway following Abidan who intended to take care of the “priest” leading the worshippers.

With everyone in position for the attack Ashram took his shot. The bullet punched a hole in the chest of the closest lookout dropping the man instantly. Despite the silent kill a second lookout noticed the first fall from his perch as called out an alarm, firing his shotgun into the air. With the element of surprise slipping away the Inquisitor dashed along the walkway raising a hand towards the distant podium and its attending priest Abidan unleashed a blazing arc of green witch-lightning which scorched the ground but appeared to have no effect upon its target.

As the Inquisitor continued to rain psychic destruction towards the ruinous preacher the Sisters of Battle and Arn leapt from concealment, their weapons opened up with a roar cutting into the backs of the worshippers who had begun to move towards their leader. The Acolytes attack forced the group to turn about and address the latest assault when Arl and Nari-ann joined in on the carnage firing shots from on high as Solaria sought a way down to the Genetoriums floor.

The crowd of worshippers swiftly closed the gap towards Narla, Trauma and Arn despite the volley’s of shotgun fire. With a furious prayer to the God Emperor Arn leapt to meet his foes swinging his blessed Hammer into the robed cultists. With an iron determination the priest swept aside several of the mutated worshippers but was soon in danger of being surrounded by weight of numbers.

Continuing to fire as he moved Arl finally reached a point on the overlooking gantry where he had a clear line at the attackers below. Grabbing a pair of grenades the feral guardsman hurled them into the mass of robed cultists inflicting serious injuries upon their corrupt forms and briefly giving Arn room to breathe.

The raw power unleashed by Abidan seemed to do little against the Cultists leader, the fell priest laughed and held up his hand towards the Inquisitor deflecting or shattering the mental attacks directed at him. Without a moments hesitation the Inquisitor leapt off the gantry towards his opponent dropping to the ground with such force it bent the ancient floor-plating. Abidan quickly gathered his strength and bore down upon the no-longer laughing cultists renewing his assault.

- Raith

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Short update this time, session was filled with the echo of battle.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 15: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 160.799.M41

The heretical chapel was engulfed by the Acolytes assault, the Sisters of Battle pressed forward into the ranks of the cultists blazing away with shotgun and smashing apart the infidels with blessed hammer. From their elevated position Nari-ann, Arl and Ashram continued to rain down volleys of las, and solid rounds.

Again and again Inquisitor Abidan and his Chaos infused opponent traded aetheric blows, the discharge of power rippling the air with electricity and frosting the ground around the battle. Despite the horrific power unleashed, the ruinous preacher continued to hold up against Abidan’s powers until a small buzzing noise sped between the pair jerking the cultists head aside and causing him to falter in his concentration.

The momentary distraction was enough for the Inquisitor to press his attack blasting through the heretics defences and ripping apart his skull. Ashram looked up from the scope of his rifle and turned his attention from the smouldering corpse of the Heretic Priest back towards the throng of cultists still standing, his shot had barely injured the Priest but it had been enough.

Even with their leader down the Cultists did not falter, instead renewing their assault with even more vigour Arn laid about himself calling upon his faith and the fury of the God-Emperor over and over while Narla pumped her slayer’s shot into clusters of the cultists brining the battle to a close.

- Raith
 

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THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 16: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 160.799.M41

The last of the mutated cultists hit the ground and the Acolytes gathered together near the heretical altar. Solaria quietly approached the blood stained plinth still decorated by the naked body of the cultists sacrifice. As the Psyker steeled herself to look at the vivisected woman’s face she recoiled in horror as the sacrifices eyes rolled to focus on her and her muscle les jaw worked trying to make a strangled noise.

That the woman was still alive was a horror to behold and Abidan quickly ordered Solaria to dispatch the sacrifice and so she did quickly snapping off a shot with her laspistol. Not wanting to waste any more time from their task Abidan briefly invoked the rite of cleansing and called form the group to see to their injuries before moving onwards.

While the Acolytes collected themselves Nari-ann took a look around the area hoping to find some extra ammunition or a retrievable weapon when a sickening sucking noise drew her attention back to the altar. From the corner of her eye the guardsman watched as the bones of the unnamed woman’s left arm worked their way free from its fleshy prison, bursting free from the muscle and sinew to reach up towards the skeletal head.

Screaming in horror Nari-ann swept up her lasgun and blazed shot after shot into the moving corpse, but all the burst seemed to do was cook the flesh off the skeleton aiding it in its attempts to free itself, throwing aside her lasgun Nari-ann swept up her ancient Matchlock fire to club at the abomination her terror driving her to extreme action.
Even though it was still somewhat contained by the woman’s flesh the creatures skeletal arms seized the ancient firearm and with a wrenching motion threw the guardswoman away. Within seconds the skeleton stood beside the altar its flesh discarded like a change of clothes. It reached down to the floor where the body of the cultist leader had fallen and quickly stripped the corpse of its ragged robe before throwing the fabric about its shoulders like a cloak.

The Robed Skeleton stood awash with eldritch power, inky shadow coiled around its bones in a semblance of the flesh it had removed though it had no body and was barely perceivable, psychic force pummelled into Solaria staggering her with the difference in power, an unseen wind stirred the ripped and shredded clothing it wore and it turned its gaze upon Abidan as he ordered its destruction.

The Acolytes opened fire but their attacks seemed to do little to damage it, bones chipped from the occasional glancing shot but the ink shadows that wreathed the creature swept out to absorb most of the weapons fire. Abidan drew his bolter firing shell after shell into the creature the holy shots caused the creature to shriek out a single word “Narthaqueladenckarculthars!” before leaping at the Inquisitor who countered its assault with a blaze of psychic force unleashed from his left hand.

Seeing the effect of the Inquisitors holy bolter shells Arn leapt into the fray at the Inquisitors side his blessed hammer forcing away the shadowy armour of the creature so his blows could strike with their full force. With a gesture of contempt the creature leap back from the priest snarling unheard words it gathered its mental might to fling knives off fire at the acolytes who hastily dodged to the side or behind whatever cover was to be found.

Seeing that its attack had little actual effort the creature again summoned its powers forming a sphere of darkness between tis hands that exploded outwards burning with unholy dark flames anyone that got too close. The creature continued to hover above the Acolytes gloating at its strength.

Without ever taking his eyes from the daemon Abidan called for his acolytes to retreat and continue with their original task, he would confront the demon and if he could not destroy it he would hold its attention. With a few worried glances the Acolytes followed their Master’s orders fleeing from the ancient Genatorium down a abandoned roadway once used by the workers of the power station but now their only way out.

- Raith
 

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This will be the last update of this Diary for the year due to the Christmas break, people going on holidays and all the other fun stuff for this time of year.  I hope everyones enjoying the read, more to come in 2010.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 17: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 160.799.M41 to 161.799.M41

The acolytes fled from the psychic maelstrom that quickly engulfed Inquisitor Abidan and his skeletal opponent. The torrent of power warped the space about them causing scaffolds to collapse and ancient plating to buckle and twist effectively blocking any way for the Acolytes to return and assist their master.

Following their orders the group trudged into the dark activating lumin-globes and flashlight to guide their steps. It was then that Arl noticed that their guide was nowhere to be seen. After a quick check the group realised that Manning had been missing since the opening moments of their confrontation with the heretic abominations.

Agreeing that it was unlikely they could find the cowardly conscript anywhere nearby the group decided to press on, they had an approximate fix on their destination, it would be just a matter of trying to head in the appropriate direction.

The passageway they followed eventually dumped out into a large open space, a dozen tunnels converged at one point and it was still clear despite the age of the area that once the junction had been used as a meeting place and transit hub for workers. A quick search of the area revealed no signs of life but the air was strangely thick with smoke which Solaria and Ashram agreed was most strongly emanating from one of the western exits.

While the acolytes pondered which route to take Narla noticed a series of regular scrapes marking the floor and proceeding down the tunnel that seemed to be the source of the smoke, the marks were shiny lines scratched every twenty centimetres into the floor, each mark was regular and was paralleled a meter away by a similar pattern. Surmising that the marks were mostly likely caused by the passage of some sort of heavy tracked vehicle Narla realised that they also had to be very recent to have remained so pristine in the rusting, dripping darkness of the Over-hive.

As the tracks seemed to go in a direction roughly in line with the groups destination they cautiously followed the marks. After a kilometre of dank and increasingly smoke choked passageways the group arrived at a small subjunction one that had long ago been dominated by refectories and restaurants.

The junction was filled with acrid black smoke issuing from the remains of an overturned tracked vehicle. A moment of inspection showed it had been some kind of mobile heavy weapon equipped with flamer throwers one of its promethium tanks had been ruptured and the resulting explosion had filled most of the area. Blackened bodies lay strewn about, several wearing the remnants of Imperial Guard Uniforms and clutch IG-Issue weapons one of which Solaria quickly requisitioned.

The area also revealed several cunning hide-aways, well concealed barricades and firing positions where someone could lay in wait. Several of the fortifications still contained burnt unidentifiable remains.

With the air still filled with smoke it was obvious the destruction was recent, perhaps as recent as their fight with the cultists. Not having any immediate answers the group quickly searched the abandoned stores until a shout from Trauma revealed a blood trail through one of the buildings. Evidence pointed to a fighting withdrawal from the central area by a number of poorly armed men, their bodies lay pierced by sustained las-fire. Each body bore the stigma of mutation though not as severe as the praying cultists.

The bloody trail ended in an ancient kitchen. The room’s lack an alternate exist had forced a last stand, three men had been gunned down in a group, a forth lay some distance away a sticky trail of gore marked where it had been wounded but not killed until someone had deliberately started blowing off its limbs joint by joint with a bolt pistol, the massive craters in the floor allowing Arl to identify the weapon.

With Nari-ann becoming violently ill over the sight of the needless dismemberment the group moved on, now fully convinced someone as heavily armed as they were moving through the Over-hive.

The Acolytes continued their journey, for several hours they wandered searching for a way to a higher level eventually locating a twisting stairway that led to a portion of the slum levels that had suffered from torque forces at some point making the floor uneven with bulging steel and twisted pipes. They ended up using a small service access lined with ancient electrical conduits and water distribution systems to continue their journey.

As they travelled the group slowly became aware of a noise other than themselves, Ashram heard it first, footsteps where there shouldn’t have been, the occasional clatter of metal on metal or the scrape of something nudged in the dark.

Swiftly Arl sought out a small niche to conceal himself while signalling to the others to continue on and make some noise as a distraction. Narla quickly took up a song reciting of the Emperors litanies in a loud and somewhat off-key voice. As the singing diminished Arl waited muscles tensed for conflict with anyone following the group.

Long moments passed until the Guardsman became away of someone moving behind him. The niche Arl had hidden himself amidst was part of a collapsed conduit, beyond the rubble a flicker of light and a muffled voice indicated a pair of men. They spoke quietly, just above a whisper, discussing why their Mistress had sent them to such a miserable place and how stupid it was for them to be wandering around in such small numbers.

Arl strained to hear more but one of the unidentified men suddenly hear the signing of the Sister of Battle and quickly ordered his companion to clam up and see what the noise was. Arl leapt from his hiding place and raced after his companions afraid they might be walking into an ambush. He slid to a halt behind Trauma as the group entered an ancient machine shop. Arl relayed what he had overheard and the Acolytes immediately went on the defensive sweeping the corners of the abandoned room with their light.

A flicker of movement behind a broken pile of machinery was all Nari-ann needed. Already on edge from the Demonic confrontation earlier and the violent slaughter the Noble opened fire at the movement with her steel-burner, the shot illuminated a man in fatigues who quickly threw himself into the gaping maw of another darkened tunnel.

The Acolytes gave chase following the fleeing man and his companion down twisting access ways and around ancient buildings just as they were about to close upon their target a shriek of men and metal forced the Acolytes to a sudden halt as a portion of the tunnel collapsed beneath there quarry.

Carefully Ashram and Narla edged forward to peer down the depression they could make out a body lying on a sub-floor twenty meters below their level the figure groaned slightly and Nari-ann raised her pistol to silence him when the body suddenly jerked and was swiftly dragged out of the torchlight.

Gathering their equipment the Acolytes rigged up Ashrams harness and a number of ropes to allow a safe descent, one by one they climbed down to the sub-floor with the assassin following last, as they descended the group could clearly see that the pitfall had been deliberately designed.

It was then that the acolytes realised they could hear a muffled chant and could make out the flickering of a distant light.

- Raith.

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Hello once again avid readers, after several months without any action Inquisitor Abidan’s Acolytes once again continue their story, with a few sudden changes, there is a death in the family and soon the appearance of a couple of new characters.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 18: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 161.799.M41

The Acolytes dropped down through the ragged hole in the floor and into another long-forgotten service tunnel. The passage stretched onwards mirroring the way above but was filled with debris, shattered conduits, buckled supports and general rubble made it impossible to see what the passage had originally been for. In places it was barely wide enough for a single person while at others it stretched out to ten meters at its widest point. Not only was the passageway strangely shaped but frequent piles of rubbish meant the group had to clamber through smaller gaps or around dangerous objects.

The sound of rhythmic chanting and the pounding of drums still echoed from the way ahead, of the man they had been following there was no sign beyond some drag marks leading along the tunnel. Arl soon pointed out the faint noises sounded like some sort of primitive celebration and took point guiding the Acolytes towards the noise.

It was not long before the group found signs of their quarry, a splatter of arterial blood washed over the tunnels wall, signs of a brief struggle showed that whoever had dragged their target away had tired of any resistance offered and quickly finished the fight.

Moving passed the carnage the group closed on the chanting, now much more audible but still unrecognisable in form. As the group approached a considerable pile of rubble almost completely blocking their way forward and forcing them to crawl over the pile to continue Solaria spoke up, something had put her on edge about their situation. The rest of the group quickly dismissed the Psyker’s warning believing it was just another of her paranoid feelings when Arl cried out.

Three sets of grotty hands stretched out from beyond the blockage he was trying to crawl over. Scurrying backwards he avoided two set of grasping hands and managed to wrench his way out of the third. The hands belonged to several stunted figures all clad in tattered robes and showing signs of degeneration.

Before Arl could react further the first figure produced a crude knife made of a piece of sharpened junk, it stabbed out at the Feral Worlder and only his quick reflexes saved him as he whipped out his own knife to parry the blow down and into the rubble pile.

As the Acolytes tried to see what was happening the second ambusher brought out a long and ancient mark of lasgun. Sighting along the extended barrel towards Arl the ragged figure fired a single shot the weapon bucking from the discharge and missing the Guardsman despite the point blank range. The gunman quickly dropped back and started to dismantle his weapon in order to replace the power-cell.

Stabbed and Shot at, Arl found the third attacker now crawling atop the pile of debris with him and swinging a hatchet, the blow was wide but Arl found himself beset with little choice of action. His initial thoughts to fling a Grenade quickly became ones of survival and he lashed out with his Knife striking the first ambusher a severe blow to the chest.

Surprise wore off the rest of the Acolytes and they moved to support Arl. Sister Bles was the first to move striding forward with her weapon. Clicking a safety over Trauma primed her Exterminator charge and swept a cloud of promethium across the ambusher trying to reload his Las-lock setting him ablaze.

While Trauma purged the unclean Solaria sighted in on the ambusher with the Hatchet who had cried out a shrill call of alarm down the corridor towards the muffled drumming. Calling upon her powers to focus her vision the Psyker shot the ambusher blasting a round into his chest. As the gun discharged the air changed.

A single arc of electricity suddenly sparked along the passages wall, followed a moment later by a large surge that arced into the pile of rubble. Another arc followed, then another each a distinctly different colour, then Arl was struck power coursed through him, a moment later the burning ambusher was electrified and within seconds the passage was filled with flashes of eldritch power. Bolts of etheric lightning struck at everyone over and over filling the corridor.

As suddenly as it had begun so it ended but the aftermath was horrible. At the center of the storm lay a blackened corpse, Solaria was dead, her body a husk of cooked flesh the last arcs of power crawling across her skin. Sister Tzarine also lay on the ground wheezing with breath her lungs scorched and her senses rattled.

The warp incursion had turned over a hundred and sixty meters of the passage into a field of power, no one escaped unharmed including the ambushers two of which were as badly off as Solaria while the third lay in a daze.

As Trauma and Nari-ann cursed the incautiousness of the Psyker and their fickle ways Arl gathered himself quickly setting a plan in motion. He grabbed the last ambusher who stood in a daze. Quickly Arl primed a grenade and dropped it down the man’s pants before shoving him towards the sounds of commotion ahead. The lightning storm seemed to have struck at whatever lay further up the passageway. The ambusher stumbled along several meters before his sense returned and in a panic he hurriedly reached for the explosive.

The grenade dropped out of the mans trouser leg and hit the floor, as the device detonated Arl realised he had made a bit of a mistake and threw himself backwards across the debris pile as the ambushers remains splattered across the passage.
Picking himself up the guardsman sheepishly explained to the other Acolytes staring at him that he had thought the man would wander a bit further away and perhaps back to his encampment before snapping around.

With the storm of lightning and the bang of a grenade explosion it wasn’t long before the sounds of chanting from nearby became the sounds of war-drums and shuffling feet echoed down the tunnel. Borrowing a page from their ambushers the Acolytes hunkered down behind there side of the barricade and hid.

Minutes passed but soon the sounds of men yammering in a deviated for of crude low gothic came from the site of the grenade detonation. Figuring that there were only going to be a small group and they were close enough to eat a nice blast of shotgun, Arl rose up and swung his gun onto the top of the blocking wreckage, his howl of aggression quickly diminishing as he registered twenty pairs of feral eyes glaring back at him.

The first of the Acolytes has fallen, Solaria ended up with two 9’s while trying to manifest Unnatural Aim. Her player chose not to reroll the dice with a fortune point and seeing as even burning a fate point only takes you up to the nearest “Not outright Dead” point on the crit table (House Rule)in addition to her missing limb her Strength, Agility and Toughness as well as fellowship would have been cut in half. At that point he decided he would prefer to start over… especially seeing the two Sisters of Battle were unlikely to let the fact a Warp Incursion had happened within eyesight…

How this death will effect Abidan even I don't know yet.

In two weeks the group should be joined by a Tech-priest called Hack (To replace the Psyker) and we will be joined by a new player as well running an Arbitrator with possibly the coolest 40k character name: Gaius Bolter

In the meantime I hope you all enjoyed this update, if you can’t wait 2 more weeks then look forward to “The best laid plans of Xenos and Men” the third instalment of my other campaign.

- Raith
 

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Welcome back to another instalment of my campaign entries, still no new acolytes this week the fight scene didn’t go quite as planned.  There will be a bit of a break following his due to Easter and one of my players from another game going on extended holidays, I need to finish up a storyline with him involved before he goes.

THE SEARCH FOR VICTORY
Session 19: Calixis Sector, Scintilla Sub, "Overhive" Hive Tarsus, Scintilla 161.799.M41

Arl rose up a pistol in one hand a grenade in another beside him the rest of the Acolytes did likewise expecting to deliver a sudden attack an slaughter the scouts. Their actions froze as they took in the score of figures on the other side of the barricade of rubble.

The scouts were bedraggled in tattered clothing, their stunted and pale forms a clear sign of degeneration from generations born in the toxic tunnels of the Over-hive. In there centre stood one taller than the others a great metal wood and bone mask covering his head and upper chest, its hand clutched a staff topped with feathers and the giant skull of a hive-rat. It flailed the staff at the acolytes and in distorted Gothic ordered its companions to attack.

Narla shot first the retort of her slayer bursting the bubble of inaction the round thudding into the Masked Hive-scum tearing at his cloths and bruising him as old but serviceable armour turned most of the shot.

The group of abandoned degenerates poured forward attempting to clamber over the rubble and get to the acolytes as quickly as they could their reckless efforts yielded much confusion with only a single figure slipping over the wreckage while a burst of solid projectiles rain forth from a battered Stub-Auto held by their leader.

Nari-ann stepped forward drawing her las-pistol in her off hand unwilling to use her rifle on the target right in front of her. The energy weapon shot the attacker in the chest but failed to fell him.
His grenade forgotten, Arl drew out his shotgun and fired into the attackers still trying to get over the barricade the blast caught several of the aggressors slowing them down but not before another managed to worm his way over.

As more of the hive-scum managed to make it over the wall, Arn stepped forward with his shotgun aiming at the legs of his opponents while Ashram moved to fight beside Nari-ann. Despite their efforts the Acolytes were soon swamped by enemies, sacrificial knives and hunks of sharpened steel were drawn and in desperation Nari-ann pulled out a grenade.

The Acolytes all closed their eyes as Nari-ann yelled “Flash-Bang!” and dropped the grenade at her feat, only Arn kept his eyes open and denied the searing explosion of light with a roar of praise “For the Emperor!”.

The scum were not so lucky, most lay on the ground clutching their eyes and shrieking at their sudden loss of sight. A few still stood, ironically those closest to Nari-Ann and Ashram undeterred by the grenade they hacked at the Guardswoman and Assassin but the acolytes easily turned away the strikes or deflected them with their superior armour.

Without a moment to waste the group took to the fallen pumping round after round into the blinded scum hoping to cause enough hurt to disable them before they could recover, only Narla continued to fire over the barricade to the lone figure of the Masked man busily trying to clear his jammed weapon. A shot took him again in the chest followed by another driving him to his knees.

- Raith

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