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GauntZero

Shades of Heresy (Play-by-Post) Ingame

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Asterius, after investigating the case of the "Desoleum Scare Witches" (as the arbites called it) without any real success for months, was sent to proceed on the case as leading investigator for another department that focusses on special operations. Your partner died just about 3 weeks ago and it still hurts a lot because you miss him. He saved your live when you both where ambushed by crazy cultists who served one of the witches as instrument of chaos.

The witches where called scare witches, as they seem to love it to kill their targets with pure horror and fear, driving them insane and into suicide.

You lost not only your partner, but also one of your eyes during one investigation some years ago, when one suspect (he was innocent in that case, but you are sure that guy is not innocent at all in general) resisted capturing very violently - and got even away with it.

The location of your new office is a secret place in the middle hive of hive desoleum.

A regular department without any special symbols or signs. Simple and subtle.

When you arrive, there already are 3 other persons, who seem to have arrived just moments ago.

Those must probably be your new colleagues.

One man who called himself Dammek, seems familiar, but you cannot fully remember where you have seen him before. Maybe he just looks that much like average scum. Even has an explosive collar attached - that says more than words. What kind of department hires such a person ??

The second one, Dral, somehow makes you feel uneasy. He is not impolite or threatening...but something about him makes on you an even more odd impression than the explosive collar on the guy before. What are you going to achieve with such people working for you ?

You take a look at the last one, who introduces himself as Cade. He makes a serious and good impression on first sight. Maybe at least one guy who you could work with...

Now you are standing there - 4 people who where called here to work on some mysterious project together under Asterius lead.

svstrauser likes this

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As Dammek arrives, he looks over the two present members of his investigative team. That Cade fellow seems quite dangerous -- a Guard sniper is someone you definitely want on your good side. He does't look like much of a talker, though. Dral is altogether different -- he has no visible firearms besides a laspistol and seems much more approachable, but something about him suggests he's just as dangerous as the sniper in his own subtle way.

 

Dammek pulls out a lho-stick and introduces himself: "Dammek Vossen, recently liberated from the 623rd Desoleum Penal Assault Corps. Don't worry, I won't bite." He smiles as he lights his lho-stick, then offers one to the others.

 

As the fourth member of their party approaches, Dammek's grin vanishes, and his lho-stick falls to the floor. That pattern of Arbites carapace armor and that glowing bionic eye are far too familiar...

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*nods to Cade and Dammek and eyes the explosive collar around his neck*

 

"You do not look very liberated to me Dammek *smiles*. I am Dral from the Astra Telepathica".

 

Declining the offered lho stick with a shake of his head the forth member of the team arrives. Seeing Dammeks startled look Dral again looks at Dammek "You are looking a bit pale, are you ok?"

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Cade observes the other three individuals in the room. Most would probably look at this and consider them a rather unsavory lot. Or at least an unusual one. The one Cade's eye travels to most regularly was the one with an explosive collar around his neck. A member of the Penal Legion. Without speaking, Cade shakes his head, when offered a Lho stick. As the door opened, Cade spun his head towards the door as what looked like a member of the Adeptus Arbites entered the room. A bionic eye glowed red in its socket. Now... this was interesting. Dral introduced himself as a member of the Astra Telepathica.

 

So. A Penal Legion convict, a member of the Telepathica, an Arbitrator and...

 

"Cade Harkness. Reconnaissance squad." He introduced himself in a curt, and brief tone. Not a harsh or cold one, just very brief.

 

What a peculiar group this was indeed. 

Edited by ColArana

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Before acknowledging the individuals present, I do a quick scan of the premises, locating entrances, exits and generally noticing the layout of the office. "Fancy middle hive office, strange, but not bad", I think to myself.

"Well, gents, it is a pleasure to meet you", I say, my voice rough but not unfriendly.

"I am Investigator Asterius Arsa, previously of the Adeptus Arbites Level 121 Autoritas precinct."

I place my helmet at the closest office table (my shotgun still in its shoulder holster) and proceed to offer a curt, strong hand shake to each member of the team.

When shaking Dral's hand (assuming he takes it) I shiver slightly, but don't let it trouble me. I do, however, keep it in mind for future reference and profiling.

Upon standing in front of Dammek, after offering my hand (assuming he takes it) I look at the lho sticks at the floor and, instead of releasing it, hold it slightly stronger and ask, in a lower tone of voice:  "Don't I know you?"

Edited by svstrauser

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Smiling warmly I shake Asterius' hand "Dral of the Astra Telepathica" I then step back to allow Asterius to finish greeting the others.

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Smiling warmly I shake Asterius' hand "Dral of the Astra Telepathica" I then step back to allow Asterius to finish greeting the others.

In media res of my handshakes, before shaking Dammek's hand and while shaking Dral's, when he introduces himself I stop and shudder for a second, but resist the urge to step back and to remove my hand from his.

I give him a lopsided grin, favoring the right side of my face and say, almost thoughtfully, before moving to Dammek: "You're gonna be useful, Brain."

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Dammek shakes Asterius's hand, doing his best to recover his composure. He remembers that face very well -- that damned bionic eye never stopped glaring at him during the trial in which he was sentenced to the penal legions. As the bones in his hand creak under Asterius's crushing grip, Dammek laughs nervously and replies:

"I'm not sure what you mean, officer. I haven't had much experience with the Arbites. I'm just a law-abiding Imperial citizen." He grins weakly while scratching underneath his explosive collar.

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I release Dammek's hand, get down to get his lho-sticks on the ground and return them to Dammek, all the while without removing my eyes (specially the cybernetic left eye) from him.

" "Just a law abiding citizen", I see. Interesting choice of necklace for a model citizen, though."

"So, I'm guessing the P.A.S. lent you to us, am I right?"

I lean, apparently relaxed, on a table in front of Dammek, getting my data slate from my belt.

Edited by svstrauser

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Dammek replies, very quickly. "Oh yes, th-the collar. It does get a bit stifling sometimes, but it gives a nice 'tough guy' appearance. I'm free as a bird, the collar just encourages me along certain courses of action, such as working with you lot. All under my own volition, naturally." Dammek accepts the lho stick and takes a long drag to steady his nerves.

"So, what's our first assignment, Captain Eyeball?" Dammek leans back on a nearby desk and tilts his head expectantly, fingers drumming on the table edge.

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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As you speak, the door to the room you are in suddenly opens.

 

A man dressed in a very formal uniform enters, his face young, yet strict and serious.

 

His eyes look at you behind small glasses.

 

"Good to see that all of you indeed made it in time. With some of you I was rather sceptical" - he looks at Dammek as he says this.

 

"I guess you have a lot of questions why your previous employers transfered you into this unit so suddenly and swift. This answer will not be answered. At least not today. All you need to know is, that your former employers expect you to cooperate fully, and that there is no going back. You will get a task which you have to work on together. If you are successful - you might get to know more. If you fail - then we wont see each other again."

 

The last words had something slightly intimidating.

 

Without further words, he lays down an envelope on the rooms only table, and leaves as suddenly as he came.

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As greetings were doled out, Cade briefly shook the entering Arbitrator's hand. Asterius Arsa was it? Cade met Asterius's firm and solid handshake with one of his own. No yielding on either side. The hint of a smile crossed Cade's face as he performed the handshake and realized this, but it vanished almost as quickly as the handshake ended. He overheard Dammek explaining why he was wearing an exploding collar, but his story seemed dubious. He couldn't think of any reason a free man would have to wear an exploding collar. Still, he would take Dammek at his word... for now. 

 

Dammek then asked the Arbitrator-- Asterius, what their assignment was. Oh, that was good. Right and down to business. Excellent. Cade's eyes trained onto the Arbitrator, and he leaned back against a wall, feeling the somewhat uncomfortable feeling of his long las pressing against his back. He shifted his position slightly, to alleviate that feeling, but kept his eyes on Asterius. "An excellent question." He remarked to Dammek, and Asterius. "I would like to know myself."

 

----

 

Almost as soon as the question left Cade's lips, another individual entered the room! He made a quick and brief explanation of what was going on (though quite vague), and left some envelopes on the desk. After he left the room, Cade spared a glance at the others, to see their reactions, before moving over to the desk, to examine to envelope, and then open it, intent on reading the contents.

Edited by ColArana

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Dammek doesn't speak as the bespectacled man gives his speech, listening intently with one eyebrow raised. When the man leaves, Dammek takes another puff on his lho-stick and sidles up next to Cade while looking intently at the envelope.

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Dral looks on in dismay as the stranger speaks his piece... "What, no going back?.... Oi wait I have questoins... come back". Dral moves to the door the stranger left through, opens it and looks down the corridor which is already empty. 

 

Turning back to the group with a frown upon his face "He's gone...."

Edited by dava100

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I start to growl at Dammek, my face a scowl, when the door opens.

As soon as the man leaves, seeing that Cade got to the envelope faster then me ("quick fella", I think, and save the thought for reference), I give another quick scowl to Dammek, an ingrained Arbites force of habit, and say quickly and quietly: "this conversation is not over, convict."

I approach Cade and ask, in a friendlier tone of voice: "It's Harkness, right? Trooper Harkness, mind if I have a look at these papers?"

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The documents contain the following information:

 

 

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

 

Arbitrator Arsa worked on a case called the "Scare witches". These witches first seemed to be only a minor annoyance, but now the issue gets more dynamic as a nobles nephew disappeared and word gets around that those "witches" were involved.

He disappeared in the lower part of the middle hive, in a division called Crealon. Some of the murder cases connected to the myth of the witches also have been said to happen in this division.

All of the murder victims have been found scared to death, which leaded to people talking and imagining things - thats why they call the suspects the "scare witches from Crealon".

 

Your mission objectives are:

> find out what happened to the nobles nephew (name: Balthasar Crane)

> find out what is true about the myth of the witches

> if possible, eliminate existing threats

> come back here and report your deeds

 

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

 

Attachment: Autopsy report of Balthasar Crane

> died of heart attack

> had a frozen expression of shock in his face

> a psyker who took a look at him was scared about the sight - he said "his soul fled his body"

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Dral starts walking back and forth in the small office a worried look on his face, hands clasped behind his back and muttering to himself ignoring the others for a moment. The odd word can be heard "Not going back..... not a field agent... this is most irregular".

Edited by dava100

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Dammek returns Asterius's scowl before reading the briefing. Looking up, he notices Dral pacing back and forth with a worried look on his face. He hears Dral's mutterings and tries to refocus him on the task at hand:

"Hey Dral, my main brain, does any of this sound familiar to you? 'Souls fleeing their bodies,' scare witches and all that? I'm no expert on psykers but I'm sure a member of the Astra Telepathica knows a bit about them."

I try to plumb my memory for details on any xenos creatures or devices with similar abilities to these scare witches [Forbidden Lore (xenos) 31; rolled an 83 :( ]

Edited by Covered in Weasels

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"Feth..."

"Fething Witches again."

I run a hand through my face, setting aside for further analysis all thoughts other than those pertaining to the case. I put my shotgun at the table where my helmet lies and pull a chair, pointing to the other members of the team to sit down as well.

"Well, gents, it seems that we have a mission. Welcome to the investigation on the Scare Witches."

"I don't know why we were selected by such a secretive arm of the Administrandis Imperialis, but our superiors seem to think we all have skills that will be relevant to the case. So, Mr. Dall, the question posed by our... colleague... Dammek seems pertinent. Do you have any experience opposing witches? I had an encounter with their servants and I can say they are pretty fething tough in a fight (I scowl at this comment). We could use all the help we can get."

I switch my slate on, ready to take notes.

 

Edited by svstrauser

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Continuing to pace back and forth the muttering is replaced.... "main brain... scare witches... fething witches" 

 

After a moment Dral quits pacing and looks over at the table towards the others "...Hmm that is Mr Drakkon actually, but Dral is fine. Scare witches, possibly, let me think that over. Experience of combating them, not so much, although my mind is hardened to resist their befouled thoughts!"

 

Walking over to the table Dral pulls up a chair and reads the report while also trying to think if he knows anything about scare witches. [forbidden lore (Warp) 36; rolled 19 - pass]

Edited by dava100

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After reviewing the files, Cade dropped the exposed papers back on the desk, for anyone to examine them further. He had already gotten the information he desired from them. Was this an assassination, or an investigation? Both, he supposed at an initial thought. At Asterius's suggestion he sat down to answer the question.

 

"In truth." He began. "I've never dealt with any manner of Psyker or Witch before." He admitted. Having grown up on a Forgeworld, and then going into the Guard, he really hadn't. He'd fought men, Orks and even, on one absolutely nightmarish occasion, his division had been fielded against Tyranids. The thought of those horrifying abominations made his skin positively crawl. The seething mass of bodies. The howls, shrieks and chitters... He snapped out of his memories.

 

"So I'm afraid I will not be quite as useful in identifying common trends or abilities of these abominations." He stated calmly. "Though from what I do know, I understand they still die like any other man, or woman, as it may be." Even an Ork wouldn't keep going for long if you put a las-shot through its eye socket. He couldn't imagine a Witch would be altogether different. Maybe getting that shot might be a trick, but if it could be done....

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Dammek pulls a chair up to the desk, then lounges in his seat as he surveys the other investigators. He's a little jealous of Dral -- if he is so distraught over being reassigned to a little detective work, he must have had a pretty great gig before this. Personally, Dammek would be a very happy man if he never returned to the 623rd.

He squints his eyes in thought and takes a long drag on his lho-stick before speaking: "I've had some experience with xenos devices, and the powers of these scare witches don't sound like anything I've encountered. Sorry, but I'm drawing a blank on this."

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@Dammek:

You are sure you heard about 2 different kind of Xenos, who, if one stands on the others shoulders, looks extremely scary. Or was that just a dream you had...not quite sure...

@Dral:

This myth seems to appear from time to time within different areas of the hive, each time with slight variations, but always about a supernatural cause that creates deaths by pure fear. After the myth had ots peak, the source seems to move on and start at another area. The confirmed death numbers were never high enough to make a big inbestigation worthwhile.

Covered in Weasels likes this

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Dral leans back in his seat to compose his thoughts for a brief moment and then addresses his colleagues “Yes I have heard of this phenomena or myth, call it what you will, although I fear it is nothing we do not already know. Strange deaths occur in an area of the hive apparently caused by shock and fear. Then after a number of deaths whatever is causing it moves on to a different area or lies ‘dormant’ for a while before resurfacing”

 

Placing his hand on the documents left by the stranger “It appears to me though that we have a number of avenues we could look into.” Dral counts off on his fingers as he continues…

 

“One. This noble, what was he doing in a lower section of the middle hive? Perhaps if we can trace his movements we may find witnesses or other clues.

Two. If this is some supernatural creature or witch it may have left an echo in the aether when it killed the noble. If we can find the location of where he died I may be able to sense something. Perhaps the location of where his body was found is in a report someplace.

Three and this may be a long shot. Is there any pattern to past killings? Not just with deaths in one area but also as this ‘thing’ moves to different areas of the hive.”

 

Dral leans forward “What do you think gentlemen, any other options?”

Edited by dava100

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@ Investigator Astra - you know some details about the case from your previous work:

The place where the nobles body was found is specified (it has been dropped into the gutter) - the number of other victim is 3 as far as the officials know (3 similar bodies have been found during the last 3 weeks in the gutter). Other cases where the witches might have been involved in different areas, there were never more than 8 victims - and the time during which the mudering occured was always around 2 months.

The first murder in the current area was registered 3 weeks ago.

There has been no information at all about the reason why the noble went there. The Crane-family didnt want to give any information on this.

Edited by GauntZero

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