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Darth Smeg

Stuck on Dusk. Now what?

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*** Minor Spoilers for Dead Stars ***

So, at the end, our Heroes are stuck on Dusk. It's a nasty place, with no tech to speak of. And not much in terms of Imperium Adepta presence either. 

So just how can our Heroes get home to fanfares and applause and Slaught invasions? How often do the Black Ships visit, or traders, or sporting nobles? Where do they make planetfall? Is there a capital? A Space Port? Anything?

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Hi,

 

I had a similar problem for the group I was running a few years back. My solution was to go complete survival-horror on them.

Have them running for there lives from the local wildlife when the discovered the remains of an old imperial outpost, one that might offer them shelter and a chance to contact the imperium off world. Of course nothing is ever that simple and several sessions of jumping at shadows (some of which weren't exactly shadows) I had the entire party walking on eggshells - which is when I gave them a broken comms array to fix, after they had scav'd some parts from the rest of the base, and with tha ticking clock of a hoard of nastys closing in. Of course then they had to escape to the surface…

 

Hope this helps (and didn't ramble too much)

 

Regards

Surak

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As far as I can tell from 40K lore, a "Comms device" isn't going to help them. Any signals sent will take decades to reach the nearest star-system. They'll need an Astropath, no?

Unless there are Imperium resources on planet or in orbit. I found some references to secret orbital stations, lost or taken over by unknown forces. (Ordo Malleus was mentioned, but who knows if they will want to risk advertising their position just to help a bunch of expendable Acolytes lost in the jungle).

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Dusk has attracted a lot of attention. IH on p.22 says: "The rate of psyker births among the population of the planet is also known to be comparably high … visits by the Black Ships comparably frequent despite the world’s distant locale". A lot of Dusk's biosphere "products" are exported: drugs, poisons, beasts - but the people who are engaged in such activities, may not be those with whom a pleasure to meet.

If you do not want to keep the players here for long - just put some non-hostile ship into orbit. Of course, this will only help if the Acolytes have vox-caster…

On the other hand, imagine how after weeks of fighting with Dusk's wild nature and supernatural phenomenas Acolytes finally come to a civilized outpost - only to meet their old enemies from the Beast House. Even careless vox-communication far out of direct sight of the outpost may attract unwanted attention...

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The idea of your acolytes stumbling over an old, abandoned imperial post (seems very Jurassic Park to me….) and having to defend their room from prowling nasties while trying to fix a communications device should lead to a memorable session. 

 

There could be many reasons for people to be close enough to pick up their distress signal. The beast house is an obvious example but a big game hunting party is just as likely. Smugglers or a crime gang coming to pick up drug ingredients. A mining team investigating an anomaly on their scanners, hinting at a new find. A voiud captain press-ganging people to top up his depleted crew. 

 

Or you could go a bit further and put in a secret lab by a magos biologos studying the medicinal values of the local plant life. Or take it up a notch; a secret lab in which captured tyranids are being exposed to a variety of bio-weapons (made from local stuff). And conveniently get loose once the acolytes have been taken in and think they are rescued….

 

Or have them encounter a secret watchtower from the Deathwatch. Guarded by automated defences and manned by servitors and chapter serfs (perhaps with a single battle brother). Created at the dawn of the calixus sector, it was tasked with overseeing the ruins of a defeated xenos civilization on Dusk. Now the tower scanners indicate new movement in the nearby overgrown ruins. Perhaps the acolytes can have a look?

 

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Based on the fragmentary information available on Dusk, I'm pretty sure that it interacts with the larger Imperium just enough that it would have to have a spaceport manned by a skeleton crew and support staff (possibly surrounded by a makeshift settlement of shacks, tents, and lean-tos populated by an unsavory variety of miscreants and cutthroats who have been 'put ashore' by their former vessels, as well as some truely desperate types who have intentionally 'holed up' on the infamous world to hide from prying eyes…). Visiting vessels would be infrequent (a half-dozen a year?) but not so rare as to prohibit the party from eventually escaping off-world (after sufficient negotiating for passage).

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Another angle - A Witness of Dusk undertaking a pilgrimage might run into the party with a small orbital lander and could prove to be a way off planet (willingly or not, gm fiat). 

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How about an Imperial Nobleman's Yacht ostensably big game hunting, but actually recruiting "talent" for his chaos cult from among the feral psykers of Dusk. You could pull the whole rescuer Face-Heel turn, throw in some Victorian big game hunter, some golden age Hollywood golden age jungle movie stuff and end up with something different, and very memorable.

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If you don't want to bother dealing with the whole "trapped on a cursed feral world" thing, it's easy enough to deal with: the acolytes wake up on their Inquisitor's ship or otherwise in his custody, no memory of how they got there. They had stumbled into a Grey Knights operation (you can tie it into the secret Ordo Malleus base mentioned above), who returned them, but also mind-wiped them for their troubles.

 

Leave it there, or use it to tie in one of the Grey Knight interludes Daemon Hunter suggests, letting them play their own rescuers.

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