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Saldre

Triple-heresy.

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Hey!

 

I figured I start this up and see what we can Leech off - Erh, I mean work together to achieve :P 

 

For those who are going to be running the game, or planning to run the game, I figure we could discuss possible leads, connections and a general plot to tie together all of these NPCS and villains in various situations.

 

I personally VERY much like the "Three Organisation are heretical" option, giving it a more or longer "Campaign" feel- so I am going to start off by discussing that. 

 

A) The Priesthood is being controlled by Rogue-Psykers who pass themselves off as Saints. 

B) The Farming Company which facilitates heresy is planning on poisoning the sector. 

C) The Noble Family which runs the place are a cult of Slaanesh. 

 

The weakest of these three option is the Noble family being a cult of Slaanesh. The investigation into seems to be not much save "Going into their castle and finding Slaaneshi Symbols." 

 

They lack a purpose, and a goal. 

 

How to tie all three events together? 

 

How about this for a plot- Cult of Slaanesh intend to use the seeds, infected with some sort of drug and chaos sorcery [Which would expose the entire sector to new sights, sounds and feelings], to corrupt the entire sector (in revenge for the purging of their family line years ago.) 

 

They are responsible for the Chaos here- with the Farming company only being a criminal organization which handles the delivery of the product... until its head decided to sample a but for herself, turning her into a monster. 

 

The rogue Psykers have gotten wind of this plot due to their psyniscience and divination powers. They are "Good guys." though they've subverted the priesthood when, after an accident discharge of their powers, they killed the previous priest. Their plan is to rile up the population from the Shadows agaisnt the noble family and the grain. 

 

When the players first arrive to the planet, assuming an overt approach, the nobles quickly point them to the heresy of the Saints, and how they've been fighting off this new cult and crazy-ness thats been going on the planet. The players assumes that the saints, controlling the priest hood are the true culprits, and we go trough that section of the adventure [which I will expand upon later. Or can easily be replaced by the section of the book with some minor tweaks.]

 

When the players defeat the rogue psykers at the end and see that those guys aren't "That bad", just unsanctioned due to lack of ships and trying to save their planet, they can lead them to the hint with the grain. 

 

Second session is Vs the Farming Company- which fights tooth and limbs for its product. Most of the people don't know the true heresy, and assume that the players are fighting them for their illegal/criminal dealings. In reality, the boss is already infected and corrupted. When the players get to the bottom of the cursed cargo, and face off against her- they should start getting hints that someone else was pulling her strings. 

 

Queue Investigation into the nobles- the only one with the real possibility to have orchestrated this whole mess. Not only would they had access to kill-squads that would plague the players throughout, and maybe even a daemonette for fun, they are the only ones with the resources, the pull and the authority to pull off a scheme of this magnitude. 

 

What do you guys think? 

 

I will start thinking up of detailed links from scene to scene or clue to clue and write them down as I come up with them. 

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Well, I for one feel its a bit too much to have all three factions being heretical. It just seem contrived.

However, if you have one big heresy coming from one faction and then slowly over these 25 years corrupting all three you can have a major campaign that is belivable. You can still put a twist on each faction's corruption and have the pc slowly and to their horror realise that the corruption doesn't stop where they think but just go on and on.

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Its true that the heresy can be halted at any stage- 

 

Though I am somewhat a fan of the idea of having the Rogue Psykers and the Priesthood as Heretics- but actually a force of "Good" on the planet, attempting to subvert the nobility.

 

Maybe a triple-whammy? the nobles are innocent- but its the Viceroy thats responsible for the entire thing, and frames his older brother? 

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Here goes my take on how I am likely to run the first session: 

 

"Living Saints" 

 

Follow up towards the landing, moving them to town and have them attacked. Follow up to town, when the players meet up with the Head of the Church, as designed. Here is one main difference- there is a relative state of Unrest amidst the town-people. The living saints, and rumors of them, seem to be sparking some sort of outrage- not at their existence, but the Nobles, who rumors say are corrupt and worship devils. The saints, avenging angels, are here to liberate the locals from their evil... 

 

They chase warp-signature to a secret basement at the bottom of the church, at which point they encounter broken down, yet noticeable upgraded and special "cells"- with a nearby drained & malfunctioning generator. A few specialist [Psykers] tests, or even some tech-use, would determine that this is a "Null-Cell" reserved to hold psykers for the black-ships. 

 

In reality, all of these catacombs are reserved for the safe-keeping of psykers and have been null warded and decorated with purity sealed, signs and charms and a multitude of aquillas and plants. But the entire plate has been abandoned and derelict for years now. 

 

That doesn't keep the players from finding a log- in which the names of five individuals are inscribed. 

 

--------------------

"On this, the day of holy harvest, his Crops are purified and the Witch Ophelia, Corrupter of Flesh, is weeded out" 

"On this, the day of holy reaping, his Crops are cleansed and the Witch Mathias, Scorcher of Fields is weeded out" 

"......... the witch Ishmael, Caller of Storms, is weeded out" 

"........ the witch Jedia, Herald of Ill Omens, is weeded out" 

"..... the witch Lazarus, Wh...., is weeded out" 

----------------------

 

The log, of course, is dedicated to the Rogue psykers captured and held in the cages awaiting the black-ships until the day the cells null field failed, unleashing these people. 

 

The players exit the church and fight some guards, as described in the book- and start going after the saints, who they can probably guess are Psykers. 

 

The first Saint- Mathias, Flame of Purity. 

 

Rumor has it he burns with the light of a thousand flames, a bright light which reflects his undying faith. 

 

They encounter him in a village #7 a few days away from town. When they arrive, people quickly point him out- he has gone to purge and put to holy fire one of the large Tithe-reservoirs near the village despite the fact that is just been recently inspected by the Nobility, and would soon be picked up by the soladity's agents and tithe-guards. 

 

The fight the man in a critical junctures- he quickly sets fires to the reservoirs around him and creature an arena of sorts. The players have to contend with smoke and suffocation all while attempting to keep the madman from burning down an old oil reservoir in the distance, which would surely spell doom for the entire area. 

 

He fights to death- and likely pushes his final power to ensure the destruction of the reservoir- forcing the acolytes to find a place to hide under some debris to avoid the flames of destructions. 

 

The second saint: Ishmael, The Elevated. 

 

It is said he does not walk but moves with the grace of angels and the sky-father himself, his feet never touching the ground. 

 

They encounter it on the opposite side of the capital, village 18. Again, when the players get there- he's already left. This particular village has only just recently finished harvesting its crop- as such, the MASSIVE [Kilometer long] mechanical-harvester is still in the nearby fields. 

 

But the machine, though its job complete, is still moving!!! and its headed straight for a reservoir silo! 

 

Ishmael has subverted control of the machine, moving all the way to the top of its multiple floors to the main control booth. To reach the top, the players have to navigate across fields of razor-sharp teeth, spinning spikes and vats full of deadly insecticide solutions, using Evade Rolls, Leap Rolls and Jump rolls. Furthermore, in order to open various gates and security locks, a few Tech-use or Security-Tests, maybe STR to break a few gates and finally, climb tests to get to the top of the moving machine of doom.

 

Ishmael uses his tech-use to activate various sharp instruments aboard the machine, hindering the players progress- forcing to duck, dodge or climb out of the way, while keeping safe with his telekinesis powers. Once the players get to the top- he escapes using a gateway to infinity- unless the players manage to stop the machine before it hits its target [say 30 rounds for the entire thing? Any suggestions on how many successful tech-uses it should take it stop it? :P .]- then the only escape might be to jump into the portal after him.

 

The Third Saint: Ophelia, The hand of Faith

 

It is rumored her presence heals the sick and her touch closes wounds and cause injuries to vanish. 

 

They find her in village 25- another day out into the wilderness. Here, she is tending to the sick- villager who've become violently ill in the last few days. The villager consist of a small boy and some young adults. The young adults are disliked by the villagers, for they have a history of trouble-making. It seems that they've even tried, a couple of times, to get into the stores of the nearby Tithe reservoir to steal some extra-rations. The boy however is innocent, and the saint has saved him from certain death. 

 

When the players attempt to take her back, the villagers step in to protect him. She will come peacefully to avoid them injury- but ultimately, this is a social challenge. The players quickly understand that the reason the villagers got sick in the first place, or became slightly mad, was due to having successfully stolen some rations before the former were picked up by the Soladity. 

 

Once all three psykers are captured or destroyed, the final psyker is missing. No one knows where he really is- except of course, One of the surviving psykers. At this point the players might suspect something extra is going on related to the tithe reservoirs. All of these psykers have been trying to destroy them, or clear up something going on there. 

 

Ophelia might point them out to the location of the final psyker- a lonely abandoned lighthouse on the docks, by village 12. Or, they can go back to town and attempt to find more information there. 

 

If they go back to town, continue the events from the book- with the raid outside of the church. If Ophelia's disposition is favorable to them, go straight to... 

 

The fourth Saint: Jedia, The Voice of the Harvest-father. 

 

It is rumored she sees further into the Emperor's plan than any other, capable of perfectly divining his will and his word... 

 

By the abandoned fishing village #12, a long line of pilgrims has gathered to speak with the seer. Outside of the lighthouse, they line up for miles. Inside there is only darkness. At the top of the climb, she sits where once there was a huge oil lamp. Wrapped in clothes and cloaks and baggy robes, she is heavily mutated, but none gaze upon her face- for they await the answers to her questions from the staircase leading into her chambers. 

 

When the players arrive, she tells them cryptically of a great disaster that would wreak havoc upon the sub-sector. [if anyone wants to fill in that blank and write up the speech, that would be cool :P]- the source of this thing? the corrupt harvest. There is treachery afoot- and appearances can be deceiving.

 

Upon their return to town, and heading to church- they meet the final saint, enraged that all of his psykers and his friends have likely been killed, he moves against the players as the final boss.   

 

The Fifth Saint: Lazarus, The Holy Presence.  

 

He is the final, unknown saint- and the players don't even see him. 

 

A powerful telepath, he controls the crowds and the guards- and causes the final event has described in the book. 

Though he is present on the battlefield, psyniscience tests and careful observation will be necessary to spot the eerily calm robed figure standing in the background, surrounded by a few followers. 

 

If the battle ends and he does not make progress- he attempts to escape unnoticed to start his plot again from scratch. 

 

 

When the town rises up against the acolytes, they have likely secured help from both the Nobility (by helping quell the civil-war) & the Titheguards (by saving tithe-reservoirs.) Sometime during the battle- assassins betray the players and attempt to kill them... 

 

Who are they working for? The Tithe-guards officials have promised them a healthy bonus if they get rid of these particular individuals when they aren't looking... 

 

Next session, we investigate the Soladity and its criminal operations. How its attempted control of the tithe outflow and income may have been due to someone pulling strings, and could have more far reaching consequences than the organisation even thought possible. 

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Ok- so Part 2. 

 

So last time, we discovered how the living saints had an unusual agenda- and a particular hatred for the Soladity. What drives them? 

 

Mathias is so obsessed with purifying the Silos that he sacrifices himself, Ishmael causes untold destruction and damage in his wake to ensure the same thing. Ophelia seems nice enough, moving from village to village healing afflicted villagers. Those people seem to be slowly going crazy, and begin to show strange mutations and self-mutilation tendencies and they all have something in common- they've gotten their hands onto the contents of the silo. Jedia informs the group of a prophecy- a great disaster that starts here and consumes the entire sub-sector: Something to do with two spoiled apples and crop, which landed far from the tree and into the garden of corruption. Even Lazarus, if captured at the end, spells it out to the players- and accuses the nobility of some great act of corruption, he speaks of the warp-taint that has afflicted the crops and how its going to spread across the sub-sector. He blames the Soladity, seeing as its they are the ones fanatically protecting the crops. 

 

So the players investigate one the rumors that the Soladity is manipulating production values... A couple of accidents here and there, certain crops found lost then found later- especially in those places where "the sickness" has spread. Perhaps the players even encounter such an attempt... They can piece together the story that agents, likely working for the Soladity, end up "messing around with the crops" somehow and doing something to them. A few missing people always end up in those villages [Though no one knows, they have been sacrificed in the fields to ensure the corruption of the crops]

 

Eventually, the players have to investigate one of the warehouses- The Titheguards obviously, don't approve of snooping and neither does the overseer. When the players meet her, she's careful to always appear fully dressed & heavily robed so as to avoid revealing her slowly corrupted- for she's already sampled some of her own product, and succumbed to their mutating powers. As the players investigate her crops and her involvement, she's eager to help them resolve the issues with the Rogue Psykers and start the Tithe delivery again... but if they start suspecting something, she attempts to assassinate them to have a plausible cause at contacting the ship in orbit herself, on her own terms. 

 

Its in that perspective that she calls up the acolytes to a secret meeting when she feels they've discovered the truth. She says she's uncovered evidence on the real culprit. They said they would kill her if she ever spoke up- but it was getting too dangerous- so she decided to risk it anyways, seeing as if they've been good sports at protecting silos.

 

She points them out to village #23- and the Soladity was scheduled to deliver a "special batch" of crops to the warehouses there in a few days. Something special. 

 

When the players head there, the warehouse has multiple entry rooms and one large central chamber, with various stacks of hay, wooden boards and boxes- plenty to ensure lots of cover and a good hiding spot. Little do they know that they've been expected. 

 

The head priest has not yet arrived- but both the prisoners, the attending cultists [members of the corrupt nobility] and security [tithe-guards] are there. And only when the acolytes are surrounded (without their knowledge) do the cultists call them out.

After a tense fight- the Cultists are captured or killed, and are revealed to members of the nobility. Perhaps the Overseer herself is waiting outside of the warehouse, and burns it down to make sure that the acolytes don't make out alive... When they do, "No one can see her true form and live." 

 

Once she's taken down- the remaining pieces fall into place: who else could have funded this, or been responsible for this entire plot, than the nobility! Its always those dirty nobles. They have the resources, they handle the tithe- the gouvernor is obsessed with it: clearly he's a heretic. 

 

Time for the final face off at their fortress. The encounter plays trough relatively like the book- a couple of guards, minimal resistance- with the players crashing into the head mansion and finding, at every corner, signs of Slanesh and corruption. When the Governor and his wife are located in a lavishly decorated parlor, in a drugged stupor, celebrating the future delivery of the tithe and the success of the planet. Executing it is a simple matter, as there can be no doubt to their heresy.

 

The only thing that's left now is to delegate a new leader for the planet! What better candidate than the Viceroy himself. Pure and untainted, he always concerned with the law- and provided the player with assistance at every single turn. From vehicles, to loyal troops [the strictionists], he has never failed to satisfy and his loyalty is without question....

 

Or is it?

 

In reality, he is responsible for the entire thing. Bitter over his brother's acceptance of the family's genocide, he wants revenge. He is the apple that has fallen far from the tree. A high priest of Slaanesh, he regularly indulges in forbidden pleasures and, trough a ritual, corrupts the tithe which his brother arduously collects. He has an affair with the Overseer- and though the players might suspect she's using her close connection to him to hide her criminal activity, in reality he was the one to corrupt her- and giving her the first sample of the product which turned her into a monster. 

 

At the end, he quickly alters the palace to resemble a temple of Slaanesh, sin and corruption everywhere. And in the pretext of celebrating the resumption of the Tithe-delivery, convinces his brother to hold a massive party- wherein he drugs the guests, infecting them with the cursed crops. 

 

How do the players uncover this? I have no idea. It will be up to them. If anyone has any suggestions of tiny details that could be added here or there- that would be great. But ultimately, he has his own private army, the Strictionnists, and the only chance the players are likely to get is going to be during his dramatic entrance at the end. 

 

Perhaps the fact that he does not flinch or recoil in horror from the Throne-room, despite the desecration? Or perhaps the players, walking trough a Hallway, find a missing spot in a hallway of portraits "dedicated to the heretic, so that people might remember her crime but forget her image" - the old noble who caused the family line to be partially purged. Later, the portrait is found in a secret shine in the Viceroy's quarters- and it has an eerie resemblance to the man himself... 

 

And that's that for "Seeds of Heresy" which I am planning to run. Opinions? Advice?

 

Always appreciated :P 

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