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Marwynn

Blessed Enterprise (73 SP, Dictator class cruiser)

114 posts in this topic

 

Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 

 

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say no. It's one thing to repair a large ship after sustaining "normal" combat damage.  Converting (read: constructing) something as large as a Battlecruiser should generally be restricted to Forge Worlds - of which there are none in the expanse.

 

 

I have to agree, unless you happen to be Orks (and can just cram more parts on the ship until it is significantly larger) Tyranids (and can just grow the ship) or potentially Stryxis (and can just caravan the ships together to make one large ship) then you're out of luck. Your best bet would be to have the ship taken apart and start from scratch but that could take decades.

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Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 

 

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say no. It's one thing to repair a large ship after sustaining "normal" combat damage.  Converting (read: constructing) something as large as a Battlecruiser should generally be restricted to Forge Worlds - of which there are none in the expanse.

 

 

I have to agree, unless you happen to be Orks (and can just cram more parts on the ship until it is significantly larger) Tyranids (and can just grow the ship) or potentially Stryxis (and can just caravan the ships together to make one large ship) then you're out of luck. Your best bet would be to have the ship taken apart and start from scratch but that could take decades.

 

 

The conversion from Cruiser to Battlecruiser could definitely work.  I believe all/most Armageddon-class Battlecruisers are essentially constructed from the hulks of crippled Lunar-class Cruisers.  Part of that is because the Lunar is such a simple design, but it does show that it can be done.

 

Like the Armageddon-class, I think you'd end up with a VERY cramped and compressed ship that doesn't have much room for "extra" and quality-of-life components - it would be a PURE combat vessel.

 

Best option, have it sent to a Forge World in the Calixis Sector.  Perhaps a middle of the road one with a shipyard.  Could create a whole endeavor out of dealing with the AdMech to get it done faster in exchange for services or a "simple errand" (that isn't as simple as it was described).

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Thanks guys, thought so myself.

 

Traejun, it was a longshot anyway since the Lunar hull belongs to another dynasty. Keeping it is unlikely enough as we have ~35 PF and can't maintain the fleet as it is, and I had hoped to keep the development in the Expanse to limit the news.

 

I'm just going to suggest selling it off to the Breaker Yards actually. 

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If it belongs to another dynasty, then, yeah... probably not a good idea to keep it.  They might reward you for its return, so could end up being a swap out - i.e. give them the Lunar, they give you another (likely smaller) vessel; or perhaps even other assets/PF and a favor.

 

Otherwise, yeah... longshot.

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Well, the thing is, the dynasty was engaged in some illicit trade of Vaporious' "holy" water. That and slaves.

 

We met them on the ground. Words were exchanged. Then fire was exchanged. More heated words and finally the Blessed Enterprise dealt an "alpha strike" with a full broadside, lance, and bomber attack that crippled their Lunar in one turn. 

 

Had to do some fancy flying (well one of the players did, my RT just sorta yelled) to grab the thing before it fell to the planet. Luckily, they were newly arrived and had only made the run a few times before. 

 

It's essentially a corpse we want to hide. (Hello, NSA!) I figure we might as well chop it up for parts. 

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That's what the group wants to do, **** the consequences. Except that this dynasty and its former head were really big with the Cold Trade and various slavers. Big enemies for a tiny dynasty like mine to take on. Did I mention they have their own fleet too? 

If we keep it, we may have to use the Inquisition's goodwill toward us to redirect their fury. All to keep a second cruiser that we won't be able to field for a few years. It comes with -5 PF too, according to our GM, as our resources will need to be permanently drained to repair, crew, and fit the vessel. 

 

The decision isn't wholly mine, but I wanted to offer some options for the group. 

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That's what the group wants to do, **** the consequences. Except that this dynasty and its former head were really big with the Cold Trade and various slavers. Big enemies for a tiny dynasty like mine to take on. Did I mention they have their own fleet too? 

 

This is what I've hinted to my players will happen if they piss off people allied with the Cold Trade, since they are powerful enough and rely on their reputation to want to discourage this kind of gunboat ship acquisition. It'll especially be problematic if they drop a Rak'Gol vessel through orbit and let the radioactive hulk destroy everything.

 

Also it will be terrible for your player's reputation if they start gloating about how they attacked another Rogue Trader and blatantly stole one of their ships. That's not the kind of action that inspires confidence in someone's business.

 

Edit: This also has to be the first group that's ever believed the Inquisition actually has the power to influence anything inside of the Koronus Expanse. I'm sure the fact that they're hoping to use the Inquisition to help them is completely irrelevant to this point of view, and they would be just as open to the Inquisition second-guessing and penalizing their more heretical actions.

Edited by Erathia

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I'm afraid our successes have so far given my group a false sense of invincibility. They are quite new to 40K, at least compared to the GM and myself, so they're not fully aware of what the Inquisition is. These are, thankfully, OOC discussions and I hope to enlighten the group further before next weekend.

 

I think there was a hope that since we helped out some Acolytes by turning in some Stryxis tech and augur logs that they'd "owe us one" and somehow look into the enemy dynasty and create problems from them. I don't know if that's likely, though the GM's own notes does list that the "Naro" dynasty has holdings mostly in the Calixis Sector whereas the Strom dynasty is mostly situated in Koronus now. 

 

 

 

(Also, Tearing Lances? Sheesh. It's like max damage all the time. We may change that but I think the GM wants to use it on us a few more times.)

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I think there was a hope that since we helped out some Acolytes by turning in some Stryxis tech and augur logs that they'd "owe us one" and somehow look into the enemy dynasty and create problems from them. I don't know if that's likely, though the GM's own notes does list that the "Naro" dynasty has holdings mostly in the Calixis Sector whereas the Strom dynasty is mostly situated in Koronus now. 

 

In this case, "Owing you one" translates as "Not asking why you have Stryxis logs to turn in". 

 

Also, does Tearing lances mean you're playing with precious Mathhammer? If so, hurray! That makes your one-turn victory over a Lunar Cruiser even more impressive!

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Does the storm quality seem necessary for the non-lance guns or not?  I still haven't had a ship combat with my group yet. (I probably should before long.)  

 

Personally I would have kept the transport from the Styrix caravan. I definitely wouldn't keep the lunar given your low PF.

 

Could you repair the ship enough to land the hulk on the planet, and use it to make an imperial shrine? You could put your 'relic' in it. That usage of the ship shouldn't cost any PF.

 

For the relic you could find(Throw together) a casket identical to the one that holds a relic on Damaris and simply have similar rules for not actually looking at what's inside the box.  Clearly this must have been the work of Saint Drusus.

 

The treasure troves of the Unquenched might have a relic though. If your gamemaster has the Koronus bestiary to use them.  I think most inhabitants of the planet would know the legends of the unquenched.

Edited by Cultadium

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Yep, we've been using Mathhammer. The Storm quality for broadsides seems necessary almost. It's highly unlikely you'd land a decent hit with Strength 6 when you're such low level. It also helps NPC ships quite nicely.

 

We add +12 to all damage values except for Lances which ignore armour anyway. That means that my poor Sunsear Las-Broadsides only deal 24 damage maximum... and that's 4 damage against the Lunar, max. They did nothing at all, really. It's the Bombers that did most of the work. 1d10+16 x 3 hits x 4 squadrons adds up quite nicely, I split them up for individual runs and tests.

 

Lost some bombers, but thankfully the Small Craft repair bay reduced those losses significantly.

 

Good idea about the relic. Hmm...

 

 

EDIT:

The Lunar is void-worthy, as in the main areas are not open to the void. It's unknown if it'll be warp-worthy anytime soon, Vaporious lacks any facilities to make that happen faster. 

 

While it'll cripple the Profit Factor I can't help but imagine what a second Cruiser would let us do. But alas, our GM keeps track of the crew's reliability and loyalty in addition to morale. So hiring tens of thousands of new crew isn't going to be ideal.

 

We'll probably scrap the thing for money.

 

Being a poor dynasty sucks.

Edited by Marwynn

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DESERT ZOMBIES

 

So Vaporians really like their special water. They've been drinking it all their lives, even while in the womb, and they're more than just addicted to it. Our accidental overthrow of the local governments has turned into one massive aid effort, one that the Blessed Enterprise is ill-suited to maintain for long on its own. 

Luckily, the Ecclesiarchy's mission has been weaning some of the locals off their tainted water for years. It requires gradual changes, but the 'rebels' are clear-headed if not as healthy as they could be. 

 

The unintentional regicide and regime change had passed without much comment from the locals until our own Missionary demanded we cut off the warp-touched water supply and replace it with our own victuals. That's when the populace turned on us. They drank and drank the cleanest cloud water and spat it back out. Luckily, they were mostly unarmed and went about berating anyone in some position of authority with just their angry shouts and stares.

That gave us plenty of time to evacuate the former rebels, but it took several days for the warp water to be re-distributed. Until then, we had to face hordes of unthinking 'thirsters' who we promptly shot in the head (to be sure). Some had taken to drinking the blood of their own fellows for the taste of a trace of the warp water.


WANDERERS WHO ARE NOT LOST

 

A caravan ship from the xenos Stryxis wandered into the system after our Seneschal asked for an astropathic message to be sent. It seems that message had been intercepted. 

They expressed an interest in acquiring the vaguely warp-worthy hulk of the Illustrious Lunar class cruiser in exchange for several valuables. I expressed some hesitation in handing off a Lunar cruiser to xenos when even the Imperial Navy can press it to good use.

The senior officers agreed as well, and the Stryxis were rebuffed without any exchange of fire. This Stryxis "ship" was of the larger "Xebec" class, and had two cruiser-sized hulls already chained together. I have no doubt the Blessed Enterprise would've emerged victorious in a contest but it would've been a pyrrhic victory at best.

 

EX UMBRA

 

The Illustrious was sold to a scavenger the Seneschal had dealings with in the past, and indirectly will return to the Imperial Navy. The Blessed Enterprise had, in fact, been recovered by the very same ship and crew.

Months had passed in orbit of Vaporious in the meantime. Insurrections have been put down bloodily, and the Drusian Faithful consider it their duty to bring the Emperor's Light to this parched world. Meanwhile, the restless senior officers have been chasing rumours of these "Unquenched" and have so far uncovered numerous stashes of mundane treasures. Whatever vile sacraments the Priest-Kings performed on their water supplies seems to be waning, and the Vaporians are more clear-eyed and level-headed than they've ever been.

The Illustrious will ship out in the care of the Ex Umbra in a few more weeks. I hope to set sail along with it and leave this place to the Ecclesiarchy. We will rendezvous with the Fair Trade out of Damaris in Naduesh. I hope to take on some fresh supplies and use the Fair Trade to supply Vaporious' awakening population. The recovered, somewhat-heretical, transport will ferry members of the Damaran PDF to replace the Drusian Faithful who have chosen to stay on Vaporious as well as several items worth trading with the Nadueshi.

The trinkets amassed from Naduesh and Vaporious are in high demand in Calixis, but I've requested the Fair Trade to offload the goods in Damaris. From there, it will be sold to the Damarans who in turn will sell some to offworld concerns, adding greater value to the items. That, and it will keep the Fair Trade in a continuous, year-long circuit along fairly stable routes--that vessel and its technologies of "unknown" origin need not be sailing Calixian tradelanes.

 

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

 

TL;DR - We ran a compressed "The Frozen Reaches" style campaign on saturday for Vaporious. Much blood was shed, though not ours. It was a hotbed, and remains so, and mostly used as a backdrop for our shenanigans. 

Our "flight marshal" managed to recover a perfect skeleton of some thing, I forget, and has put it up in our trophy room. There's some random assortments of 'treasure' as well recovered from killing three Unquenched, but they seem to be dying off along with the taint in the water. 

 

Oh, and the fanatics are getting off our boats, finally! To soothe their egos, I've asked for reinforcements from Damaris as well as Sentinels and Chimeras. I have a feeling the Stryxis will return to that world. 

 

It took most of Saturday to play that through. Not a lot of action, but a lot of actual RPing between the group which was great. I left that out in the post above. 

We're off to Naduesh next! 

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I like it!  Best of luck to you and your crew!

 

As for the event with the "WANDERERS WHO ARE NOT LOST," I believe you missed a prime opportunity to negotiate the trade of the Illustrious for another ship the Stryxis had, and possibly fabricate a story in where the Stryxis captured the ship in orbit over Vaporious (and not you).  Alas, it's easier to look back and fret than it is to be making a hard decision at the present, so just take my whimsical talk as future ideas.  :)

 

Food for thought, Naduesh is prime real-estate for a colony, especially in one it's many ruins of a city.  Though, there must be a reason why no other RT has done it yet...  Or maybe they tried, and the world "swallowed" them up?  *shrugs*  Anyhoot, wishing you and your Dynasty many fruitful Endeavors!

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Thanks! I think our crew was being a little xenophobic at the time, also a little guilty considering they attacked another Stryxis vessel in a previous game session. We dug into our backstory, the GM filled it out some more, and ta-da... space scavengers!

 

You're right though, no one in the group thought about that. There's also no guarantee that the Ex Umbra won't simply betray us... 

 

Anyway, here is the latest chronicle!

 

 

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

UNDERWAY

 

Repairs to the Illustrious were completed with the Ex Umbra's crew's help. They provided the skeleton crew to take the heavily damaged vessel away, with repairs to its Gellar Field requiring scavenging the Blessed Enterprise's emergency field generators. 

 

Luckily, my crew have yet to notice this as the repairs allowed for rampant--I'm not even going to gloss over this--looting of the corpse ship. By my order, any xenotech items 'discovered' were to be brought to the attentions of their commanding officer, and in turn the Magos or Enginseer in their sections. In return, they would be well compensated in throne gelt and other privileges. 

 

It went well enough, with the usual assortment of xenos weaponry to be found in the ship's various vaults. Only seventeen crew had to be executed for trying to smuggle the weapons on board--the fools. If they had simply surrendered the weapons they would have earned a year's pay each, plus some other advancement opportunities. Almost right after this, several more xenos weapons were turned over and while some were already on board the Blessed Enterprise I have decided that they are to be treated much in the same way as those that simply came forward.

 

Of special concern was the Illustrious's Navigator. House Remelik is ancient and decrepit but still has influence, I'm told. A scion was on board, claiming to have been forced into working for the Naro dynasty despite his richly appointed quarters and harem. His survival complicates matters--if he was in league with the Naro then it won't take much to point them at us. If he was coerced then he could reward us well. 

 

This Thandrik has already shared some secret warp routes with our own Navigator. She has corroborated some of the routes already with her own House's maps though others appear to be hidden routes traversed by the Naro slavers. It could very well be a trap, and it will require the Navis Nobilite's involvement sooner or later.

 

DISTRESSING SIGNALS

 

Favourable omens and a swift passage took us to nearby Naduesh in record time. Our Navigator has proclaimed that she has found a new, safer and faster route between Vaporious and Naduesh, though only time will verify her claims. She seems certain, however, and has charted the course through certain calm pools of nearby systems and used the 'gravimetric' pull of nearby warp phenomenon as a way to accelerate our passage. She is certain this is beneficial, though I don't foresee much trade opportunities between Vaporious and Naduesh besides the supplying the former with the latter's resources.

 

Several vessels were in the system already, some taking on supplies in orbit above the perfectly situated world. Others were anchored on nearby planets, keeping to themselves. I was content to keep our distance and head for the world proper as we decelerated, but our Master of Etherics raised an alarm over several bursts of vox communications.

 

Luckily, Explorator Binar was on the bridge at the time and was able to aid in deciphering the signals quickly. 

 

Naduesh, in many ways, offers the perfect place to expand into the Heathen Stars. An easily navigable system with an easily defensible world with plenty of fresh water and food... it was the perfect place to set up a colony. I had often wondered how it was not already claimed, and only recently discovered that it had been. Several times, in fact. 

 

The earliest had been established more than a few hundred years ago and had situated themselves in a portion of an abandoned hive city bordering a fresh water source. The locals did not wander too closely to the city, any of the cities, so the colonists used freshwater ships to conduct some limited trade across the vast lake. 

 

A re-supply ship arrived months later to find no trace of the colonists. All their belongings were left in their homes with no signs of any battle or conflict. Further investigations by that ship indicated that the locals they were trading with regularly had been waiting on the lakeshore for the colonists to return. A month-long search was conducted and no trace of them was ever found.

 

This is repeated nearly a dozen times throughout the years. It seems my thoughts on colonizing Naduesh were not that original, yet it's curious that it doesn't have the same dark reputation as other worlds that have swallowed up millions of colonists in the Expanse.

 

The vox-burst was received by the Blessed Enterprise only because of its own ancient augur and auspex arrays. It included coordinates and a text message in garbled High Gothic that simply read "We are trapped."

 

SANDS OF NADUESH

 

I, however, did not come to unravel some ancient mysteries but to secure supplies firstly for my ship and then the starving wretches on Vaporious. The Fair Trade is due to arrive within a few weeks, charting its own course directly from Damaris to Naduesh and will bring with it replacement crew as well as trade goods for the primitive Nadueshi. 

 

The Fair Trade should also bring low-grade ores that Damarans have no use for. The Nadueshi, however, can make jewelry or simple weaponry from them and is something they cannot acquire without entering the hive cities.

Our Astropath noted that all the failed colonies we knew of all had situated themselves within the comforting shadows of the hives. Perhaps a trade station out in the wastes, near some fresh water, would allow for some semblance of permanency. Already the shifting sands have covered up our own tracks and despite the ready alert of several attack craft squadrons overhead I feel a strange hostility in its manicured environs.

 

Aerial surveys have identified a potential site for our use. The locals we have contacted have also indicated that several tribes pass through the region, some camping on the site as well from time to time. We will make use of this place and allow any visiting tribes to shelter from the sun and sand for free, as long as they enter under truce. 

 

Explorator Binar seemed eager to delve into the secrets of Naduesh's hive cities and we were eventually convinced to set out. The Mechanicus delegation was also eager and agreed to provide Desert-modified Combat Servitors for our new trade site's security. I'm thankful for that--the less firepower the Mechanicus has on board the Blessed Enterprise, the better. And of course, the site needed security.

 

Our first target to survey was a massive tower, built on a kilometre-long square. We gained entry to find ourselves in a gun deck. My senior staff commented that it looked like the inner workings of the Blessed Enterprise and I resisted the urge to correct them. Our Dictator class cruiser used las-batteries in broadside arrangements--it had none of the gantries to load macrocannon or motivators to raise and train the guns themselves. But I understood their meaning. 

 

I had served aboard the Prince Alfour, an ancient Oberon class battleship in my younger days. Its gun decks were very much like this, though of course, the Prince Al's were filled with guncrew not massive machines. Even the more experienced among my crew neglected to see one detail--there were no railings. No stairs. No guiding chains, let alone any spokes to turn the weapons sitting far above us. Men were not meant to man these guns. It took my staff a while to understand that implication.

 

A service lift did exist and with our Explorator's numbed silence we took it to the top level. I had expected the actual command and control section to be far off site, which a Magos agreed with in between bursts of unintelligble chatter amongst their kind. But there was an on-site control room dangerously close to the guns themselves. 

 

The weapons themselves were massive macrocannon, without a doubt. One massive shell was already pre-loaded into each of the two portals while the cannon itself seemed only waiting for orders to fire, though we could not discern any telltales to indicate a charge. 

 

Our sharp-eyed flight marshal found disturbances... in the dust. It seems the mighty macrocannon had moved, quite recently. 

 

I, rudely, interrupted the Mechanicus delegation that was too busy clicking to each other and demanded they calculate the macrocannon's target. I already knew.

 

The paired macrocannon had swiveled to track the Blessed Enterprise which had entered a geostationary orbit to provide local aerospace supremacy for the trade hub. There were seventeen other such towers nearby, each housing a pair of macrocannon that belonged on battleships. 

 

It took a few moments, but I made it perfectly clear to the red priests not to touch a single thing that didn't pertain to locating the macrobattery's control centre. The young flight marshal correctly understood my intent and ordered a ready team of armsmen to join us. 

 

That was when our Astropath screamed.

 

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

 

 

And that was how our saturday session ended. I'm very proud of my crew who didn't even engage in any combat at all this session, but we all found interesting things to do nonetheless. 

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Three comments, not toward anything specific or particularly recent.

 

One: This is awesome.

 

Two: Revisiting an old topic: upgrading a cruiser to a battlecruiser?  No.  In 40k terms, that would mean chopping your ship in half, inserting a whole new piece, and welding the three pieces together really, really well.  This would mean a) you're flying a bastardized vessel that no Mechanicus will like seeing (and some will scream 'heretek,') b) you're maneuverability may suffer because the proportions are off, c) you'd be stuck with cruiser grade equipment because your hull was never designed to take the big stuff, d) you'd take a hull integrity hit because welds suck and e) don't fly that thing near strong gravitic stresses, because your hull will snap into thirds.  Don't even think about low orbit bombardment.

 

Class change refits really bite :(  Of course, this all only applies if your GM doesn't know much about ships and shipyards- if he's clueless, then Port Wander HO!

 

Three: Speaking of refits, an Idea that you may want to consider- refit your weapons.  Put both broadsides on one side and both hangar bays on the other.  With the long range of Sunsear weapons, this means that your broadsides on that side are hellish and you have great capability as a standoff, fire support vessel.  At that point, your biggest worry is raiders getting in on the opposite arc, for which you have two solutions: bombers and an escort ship.  That sword-class frigate, for example.

 

Then your ship will be some bastardized combination of the Enterprise and the Big Mo.  Kaboom.

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Annaamarth: Actually in 40k terms a battlecruiser is just an upgunned cruiser.

 

You have a problem with cruisers being turned into battlecruisers but in 40k that project does not mean physically making the cruiser bigger. They have the same hull strength but with overcharged weaponry.

 

So it is more that in this case 40k verse plays fast and loose with ship type names.

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Plus, House Rules trump Game Rules! 

 

The GM and I sat down and (after a quick game of BFG) we decided that we should let the players upgrade their ships. We're not going to be playing in tournaments where we have to be beholden to rules--as long as the upgrades make some sense, and that they'll be a constant hassle--then we figure go for it.

 

He did agree with some cackling and steepling of fingers though...

 

Anyway, we figure there are two yards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle this: The Breaker Yards and Port Wander (technically not in the Expanse).

 

At this point, the Dynasty can't handle modifying the Blessed Enterprise or even the Illustrious's hulk. We'll need a Battlecruiser plasma drive for one, and I'll definitely rip out the guns and add Hecutors instead, and there's the small problem of moving the Starflares from the prow to the dorsal slots and figuring out what to do with the prow.

 

Then, we'll have a heavily modified Armageddon class battlecruiser that is unfit for long travel and exploration. So... no on the Blessed Enterprise becoming one. 

 

Acquiring a sleek new Battlecruiser seems like a good idea, but right now I'd much prefer another cruiser. Or a pair of frigates.

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ROGUES GALLERY

 

Clean water and fresh food are some of the rarest things in the galaxy, I've found. The Expanse is no different, and supplying Vaporious with our own stores was dangerous but their need was great. When I first assumed command I have no doubt the crew of the Blessed Enterprise thought me a tyrant, waiting just for the moment when I'd eventually relax discipline. It's one of the reasons why I stayed as far away from the Strom dynasty fleet all these years. No voidman should be able to glut themselves with rations or waste so much water.

 

I have no doubt that more than a few heads were cracked when I ordered our water to be shared with the rebels on Vaporious, even after taking on more precisely for that purpose. The crew's respect and attention to such matters is much more useful than the complacency they displayed before.

 

While the Seneschal quickly arranged for victuals and provender--Naduesh's bounty truly is baffling--I have begun grooming my bridge crew to catalogue and remain aware of the ever changing void. Our Navigators have acquiesced to my Navy-like requirements, performing routine scans into the warp. It's an outdated tradition, made more unnecessary by swift and unpredictable changes in the warp, but even with their leader away the Navigators on board will have a steady 'picture' of the warp around us. 

 

The Master of Etherics took it upon herself to summarize the bridge stations' reports into one document. A Rogues Gallery, if you will. I have added information to it and have ordered it distributed to the officers. This will be a new tradition.

 

Pol Maki, Sollux Incarna

 

A gaudy, aquilla-burdened frigate currently operated by the Rogue Trader Pol Maki, the Incarnate Light of Sol is owned wholly by the Adepto Ministorum. Legally, it's under the newfound Maki Dynasty's name, donated to it by the pious of the Calixian nobility. Pol is the third master of the Sollux Incarna in as many decades, the previous two having been killed and/or eaten by the feral humans the Ecclesiarchy sees fit to antagonize. Lord-Captain Pol Maki, however, is a far shrewder master and commander I imagine. Find attached are his exploits under Lord-Admiral Brigg, Battlefleet Ixaniad. Also worth noting is that the Sollux Incarna is heavy laden with cargo--discovered thanks to the excellent efforts of the Etherics crew--and may be transporting colonists/pilgrims.

 

The Sword class frigate is an intermediate threat, I would imagine, despite its senseless sacrifice of armour and hull integrity. It mounts a pair of plasma batteries found only in Cruiser vessels. I imagine it maneuvers as one too, a refit no doubt ordered by someone with no knowledge of void operations. 

 

 

Drea Wren, In The Moment

 

Any communications with the Wren Dynasty will be strictly handled by the senior staff under pain of execution. The Wrens have a pockmarked reputation for good reason, alternating between saints and sinners with every generation and sometimes combining the two in confusing ways. Consider them hostile if you must. 

 

Lord-Captain Drea Wren has consolidated her dynasty's illicit fortunes in a core of three similar looking Dauntless class light cruisers. These vessels are highly capable, equipped with archeotech as well as xenotech, and have preyed on raiders and pirates just as often as they have on merchants and transports. The flagship, In The Moment, is believed to be the one in orbit of Naduesh and has an elite crew. They appear to be taking on supplies as well, though I doubt it is due to any trade agreements. 

 

 

Boro Dynasty, Lords of the Seas

 

There has never been as secretive a dynasty than the Boros. The current warrant holder is unknown to us and their dealings here are a mystery. I've served with several Navy officers who have worked closely with Boro dynasty ships with their deep-purple hulls and stark white prows and they could find no fault in their capabilities. A Navy man can always find fault, need I remind you of that.

 

You have no doubt heard the rumours that the Boro Dynasty have an empire situated in the distant space between the Heathen Stars and Winterscale's Realm. To support such a large and unknown fleet I believe this to be true. Remain respectful in all standard communications. The Lords of the Seas you see in high polar orbit--a traditional Boro choice--fought at the founding of the Imperium. 

 

Should that awe you then do well to remember that we extend all courtesies as equals. 

 

Amalico Bruden, Viago Torus

 

Noted here only as the only free trader in the system, Captain Bruden does not own the Viago Torus but is beholden to several merchants in Calixis. That the Orion class star clipper is conducting repairs is of no true concern to us, though the fact that it seems to want to stay in the Sollux Incarna's blind spot was missed by all bridge officers. Find attached are the specifications for the Sword class frigate along with the writings of Magos Binar regarding the interplay between augurs and hull modifications. 

 

The oddly named Viago Torus is a new ship, less than two centuries old, and Captain Bruden's family has been in nominal command of it since its purchase. It suggests a dynasty though they have no warrant, writ, or letter. Remain aloof in all proceedings. 

 

Amalico served in the Navy as well, though mustered out at a younger age. As an exercise, all junior officers will submit tactical assessments of Captain Bruden's capabilities as well as the Viago Torus's potential loadout. As you can see in the attached logs, our standard scans pick up faint telltales. Of what, I leave to our junior officers to ascertain.

 

 

Lord-Commander Thraves is in command until my return. 

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IN SHADOW

 

She wouldn't stop screaming. A part of me understood that she had only started, my laspistol was still rising to her head, but it had felt like ages had past. The ancient weapon was always cool to the touch, even through my gloves, and its trigger action was smooth. I had made the decision to kill Trelany the moment I felt her scream, maybe a second after I heard her.

 

The weapon rose, settled, and I began to pull the trigger. Then silence. 

 

Our Astropath rose and dusted herself off. She looked at me in the eyes and nodded and I realized that my finger had not responded to the commands I sent it. I holstered it quickly. She understood, I hope. 

 

Behind us, a desecrated human hung, suspended by organ machines and supplied by vein-pumps. It smelled of horror.

 

The red priests seemed to be worshipping it. 

 

I forced myself to stare at the parts and not the whole, recognizing implants and replacement organs. Like everything on Naduesh it spoke of a human hand, a human understanding of technology, but not quite Imperial.

 

Binar would later explain to my why: Imperial technology is rudely based on Standard Template Constructs. We derive and improvise as best we can, usually basing "new" designs on several other templates. The massive macrocannon had all of the same fundamentals as the Navy-standard Mars-pattern macrocannon batteries. It worked on the same principles. But it used no STC guidelines. 

 

As if it had been created by those who knew of STCs, understood the underlying concepts, and chose to use something else. Something better. 

 

That was as horrifying a thought as the image of the poor thing in front of me. 

 

At the time, all I noticed and focused on, was the pulsing tube rising from its neck. It looked like a metal claw had grabbed the man from behind the neck and wrung it as other appendages ripped into his body. 

 

"He's alive," Astropath Trelany whispered. "And awake."

 

"Call off the armsmen," I spat out. 

 

It was a tense few seconds but finally the armsmen were called off. I had to verify it myself, lest the very dedicated Stromgard charge in anyway to rescue me. Yes, just me. I know the way the Stromgard think. 

 

Was it a servitor? A cogitator-servitor? Binar seemed to think so and scooped up some of the thing's waste. Or was it skin? Or blood? It looked like all three. The plasma pistol tucked into my back holster felt heavy. I should put an end to this thing, for mercy's sake, yet it was quite possibly controlling a pair of macrocannon that would render us deaf if not dead if it discharged and most likely hull the Blessed Enterprise in its initial salvo. If not this pair then another pair in a nearby tower, and a dozen more like it.

 

"There is no centre." 

 

Bain was hardly a philosopher, and it took me a moment to grasp the young flight marshal's meaning. I agreed. Opening that alcove had most likely lowered whatever wards there were.

 

I asked the priests to check this theory and they, unhurriedly, complied. It took a few more moments but they confirmed it--they initiated a maintenance routine to get at the controls, apparently, and this required shutting down several layers of protection. 

 

I was more than a little surprised they managed to do so, and so quickly. Most Tech-Priests seem more charlatan than enginseer at times. I have, perhaps not for the first time, underestimated the quality of these priests.

 

"The orders must still come from somewhere," volunteered our Navigator. 

 

She had made the intuitive leap others hadn't. It made sense to me. Tyrants all Navy captains must be, but decentralization is key to successful operations where communication is unreliable. Ship patrols that last decades is one example. But perhaps more applicable is the Blessed Enterprise herself and her layers of defensive turrets. No centralized turret control is present anywhere on the ship, each turret is commanded by a gun captain who answers to a deck officer. Eliminate a turret and there are dozens more--even if the deck officer is removed there's only a small drop in efficiency unless all communications are blocked.

 

A planetwide psychic communications network would be very difficult to block. Not even the Great Enemy has the Warp truly on its side.

 

There was something else odd about the violated being hanging in front of us. The replacement parts were too... long. Out of proportion.

 

We resealed the poor thing and Trelany assured us that it had gone back to numbed sleep.

 

THE THIRD DAY

 

 

Retreating to the trade post was an unpopular order. I did not care. It was an excuse to ride the combat bike again, but that paled to the relief of being surrounded by dozens of combat servitors and a thousand or so armsmen. 

 

Two tribes had relocated nearby and wanted to speak with me. The Seneschal had apparently been caught up in an orbital drama than warranted by attention as well, but speaking to feral chiefs are usually amusing and I could have done with some.

 

They warned me instead of the folly of building a permanent dwelling. I listened, eating food automatically. These Nadueshi had engaged in trade for generations, knowing enough low gothic to get their message across. 

 

Stealers, they called them. I nearly choked on my food when they said that. Genestealers? I described them and they look horrified and waved that away. Stealers came to steal you. It didn't matter where on the surface, but in the cities they got you even faster. They burrowed from below, taking entire families away beneath the sands.

 

If you stayed too long. Most Nadueshi did not stay for more than three days time in one camp. They would relocate a kilometre or so away and stay in the same area if it proved beneficial to do so. Most followed animal herds and stayed only in a single place for a night's rest.

 

I thanked them, granted them gifts of weapons and armour, and wished them well. 

 

Tonight would be our second night.

 

When the chiefs stood up I was struck by their physicality. They did not need to stretch after more than an hour of sitting still. They drank no water, ate none of the food. And they were tall. Long limbed.

 

I stopped them and asked a question that may have damned my soul.

 

"Do you have any enemies?"

It's surprising just how lethal most weapons are to an unarmoured human. Even a lowly laspistol will carve chunks of flesh off. So it was quite a challenge to secure non-lethal implements. 

 

Both chiefs indicated that a small tribe had been raiding them, stealing their weapons and other tools traded with the "Sky People" like us. It was a simple matter for the Stormgarde to locate the tribe and douse their camp with gas. Their young I offered to the chiefs who swore they would be raised as their own, so I suppose there's solace in that.

 

We evacuated on the third day. A thousand armsmen and a few hundred clerks and traders, all their equipment, and all the combat servitors, we lifted the all up before nightfall. 

 

Behind, the drugged savages remained behind, with servo-skulls and picters their only company. Both of the friendly tribes had already moved off. 

 

 

A RETURN 

 

The situation above had, predictably, strained. 

Drea Wren had increasingly become fixated on the Boro ship and had been sending envoys in diplomatic shuttles. Each had been politely turned away.

One had drifted too close to the Sollux Incarna and had been seized. It was released quickly, but that didn't matter. Archeotech plasma batteries or not, the Sollux Incarna cannot stand up to a Wren attack. 

 

We were being comfortably ignored. I had broadcast that the Blessed Enterprise would be maintaining a geo-stationary orbit and the other vessels responded courteously and remained a respectful distance. 

 

In turn, I had extended the courtesy of sharing our various navigational and weather information as we were closer to the planet and were thanked again. 

 

The arrival of the freighter Fair Trade should not have altered matters. It was the Aesperanza's unexpected debut that proved devastating to the status quo. The Fair Trade was enough to raise suspicions due to its... non-standard equipment. Escorted by a Sword class frigate, it greatly tipped the balance of power in my dynasty's favour.

 

Lyza Strom, my cousin, had engineered for the Aesperanza's quick recovery as well as certain modifications to the hull that I was not present to authorize. The Damarans complied, of course, indebted as they were to the dynasty. She had then seen fit to oversee the frigate's maiden voyage to escort the Fair Trade's valuable cargoes.

 

It took all the restraint I had and my Seneschal's pleas to not order the ship destroyed. Lyza Strom is... a classic Strom. Emperor have mercy on us, either she'll help secure the dynasty or turn us renegade.

 

Goddard has overseen the transfer of personnel and supplies, and the Fair Trade's own lighters will fill it to the brim with all the goods we negotiated for.

 

I cannot deny Lyza for long, she is a scion with ancient rights afforded to her by my dynasty's own laws. She wants the Aesperanza and I'm happy to let her have it. But not too quickly, lest she ask for more. But the longer she stays here the more paranoid the others will be. 

 

A formal dinner is a stuffy and dull affair. A formal Strom dinner is a circus and riot by comparison and Lyza brought the entertainment. It did little to salve my mind. I ate while some savages fed through tubes, kept in stupors below on the planet.

 

A messenger came just as the grav dancers began their routine. I didn't bother with making apologies and left, Lyza in tow. 

 

Binar looked flabbergasted. All the servo-skulls reported failures at the same moment. All broadcasting picters died soon after. Two well hidden combat servitors reported combat just before their destruction.

 

Everything that had been transmitting had been destroyed. 

 

Lyza has brought gifts as well, for my senior staff and myself. I never understood the allure of power armour myself, but the suit was well tailored (machined?) to my form. I offended Lyza by turning it down, putting it on and familiarizing myself with it might prove deadly. I will not embarrass myself or encumber myself needlessly.

 

We found the equipment we left behind crushed. No weapons fire, just physical trauma. All the tribals we left behind were taken. 

 

Each room had two picters. Only one set had been discovered, the hidden set recorded but did not transmit. They were easy to miss. 

 

These Stealers were human. Nadueshi, in fact, though altered. I thought them to be mutated at first, but they were merely modified with bionics. They seemed just like the Nadueshi I had dined with so recently, yet there was no complacency in their eyes and they wielded their tools efficiently. They arrived and quickly took the tribals away.

 

Weather and topographical sensors marked disturbances nearby. These "Stealers" had burst from below the sand and emerged near the site. If we had stayed...

 

Magos Binar then activated the homing beacons I had ordered implanted in the tribals. They remained broadcasting, already hundreds of kilometres away in a hive city. One by one the signals stopped. Binar assured me the implants were removed first before being deactivated.

 

The Fair Trade and Blessed Enterprise each carried several thousand soldiers. Half of whom were Stromgard, the other half demobilized Damaris PDF troopers. I had the equivalent of two Imperial Guard regiments, with several void attack craft squadrons in support, as well as armour and a few dozen specialists. Not to mention three voidships that could flatten any city. 

 

All I could think about was that I should've worn the power armour.

 

 

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Should've worn the power armour indeed.

 

Most Rogue Traders take the perspective that it is better to have an unneeded tool present than it is to have a required tool absent.  The gift of the powered armour may well have been encumbering, but that's just a matter of a few years drilling during warp-sailing.

 

Also, insulting a family member is never safe.  I play Crusader Kings 2, and it's always embarrassing to be assassinated by a brother or cousin who I had just snubbed.  Oops.

 

Then again, the armour could have been trapped, so there's that too.  It's not too hard to hide a melta bomb underneath the armour's power plant...

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All I could think about was that I should've worn the power armour.

 

Sounds like a famous last quote.  One of my characters final last words were, "Don't worry about me, I got- !" *splat*

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I think my character's fairly safe... This was our last joint game before the group split up in two and I'll be GMing the second group!

Though we say they're related and part of this game's dynasty, in reality that's not actually fair for the new group. No point in saddling them with our choices. They did, however, agree on a Frigate. 

 

So we're splitting the continuity somewhat and let them play their own game and have it moderately when we can schedule it. The "new" Aesperanza is 63 SP of fun as follows:
 

Aesperanza
SWORD Class Frigate 
 
SPEED 8
MANOEUVRABILITY 20
DETECTION 20 
TURRET RATING     2
SHIELDS     Single Void Shield [C:GOOD Power]
ARMOUR     17    
HULL INTEGRITY     35
 
SPACE AVAILABLE     40 POWER AVAILABLE:     48
SPACE Left Over           0 POWER USED               48
Weapon Capacity         Dorsal x2
Crew Disposition:   Fanatical
Crew Max    100% Crew Quality  Crack (40)
Morale Max  101% (Current)  100%
Normal Operations (Morale)
 
Skill Test Modifiers
Tech-Use Repair Ship/Emergency Repairs 10, Navigation/Warp 10, CMD/Hit&Run 20, CMD/Hit&Run (Def) 20, 
 
Achievement Bonuses
Achievement Bonuses: Trade + 150  Crime + 200  Creed + 200  Explore + 100  
 
Essential Components
Jovian Pattern Class 2 Drive , Miloslav G-616.b Warp Engine (T,R,F) [C:GOOD Space], Warpsbane Hull, Combat Bridge (T,R,F) , Vitae Pattern Life Sustainer [C:GOOD Power], W-240 Passive Detection Auger Array [C:GOOD Power], Voidsmans Quarters
 
Supplemental Components
Luxury Passenger Quarters, Temple Shrine to the God Emperor, Trophy Room, Observation Dome, Teleportarium (Archeotech) (Can make H&R attacks without Piloting Test), Astropathic Choir-Chambers (+10 Focus Power Test, +5 VU Psychic Power Range), Empyrean Mantle (When 'Silent Running' it is 2 Degrees HARDER to detect this Vessel)(External),
 
Complications / Past Histories
A Nose For Trouble,  Turbulent Past 
 
Weapons
Ryza Pattern Plasma Battery  [strength: 4, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 5]  Location:DORSAL
Ryza Pattern Plasma Battery  [strength: 4, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 5]  Location:DORSAL
 
 
So the ship and its crew is remotely related, but it's a spin-off game and we're not going to be holding them too strictly to what the first group did. Quite possibly the first "multigroup" Rogue Trader game I know of.
 
This group wants space pirate fun, chasing renegades and finding hidden treasure. We can only get together once every two weeks, however. 
 
So, I'll maintain a fictional account of what the Aesperanza Prime is doing for story purposes. (And yes, we offered them the Lunar hull but they turned up their noses at it.)
 
I look forward to how quickly they'll render my plans moot. 
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