Friday, September 25, 2009

Warhammer 40K Dark Heresy - Prologue

Well I have neglected my little blog for long enough.

I have started running my first Warhammer 40k Dark Heresy game. We have two nights down. The first night went about as I expected. This my first time running any kind of pen and paper RPG.

Recap of night 1.

The games starts off in Warhammer Fantasy Role-Playing. This is a classic sword and board time with some technology. They have black powder type guns. Some steam work machines.

My girlfriend, Cheryl, lives with me so she is already there. Her character has a brother, so I have her write up a character sheet for him for an extra member of the PC party. She is an orphan, her parents were tried and executed as heretics. They dabbled in the dark magic. Her eldest brother, who she wrote the character sheet for, became a hunter. While she and her younger brother both joined the church of Sigmar. She has unusual eyes, one is blue and one is yellow. These are the colors of the Chaos God Tzeentch. She was also born on the 9th day of the 9th month. Tzeentch's number is 9.

First friend shows up, Shawn. We discuss his character a bit, why he is in this little town in Hochland. He is actually there because his mentor sent him to investigate a sudden flowing of chaotic magic in the area. He is to meet Cheryl and her brother at the inn to discuss matters further.

Next James and his girlfriend, Alicia, show up at my place. James' character was already drawn up, so we quickly went over why his character was at the town. He is a bounty hunter and is hunting a wanted criminal that came through the area. The criminal escaped from Altdorf jail, was seen in Talabheim and headed towards Middenheim. James' character is from Altdorf.

Alicia had to roll up her character. She made a human noble from Talabheim. She was in the town chasing the same man that James was. The criminal stole from her family as well. Alicia and James both got descriptions of the man they are looking for.

Finally, we got a hold of Alicia's cousin AJ and he decided to play also. He is playing a thief from Middenheim. He was heading to Talabheim on an errand from the Thieves Guild. He learned of man fitting the same description James and Alicia got being captured and sent to prison in the Middle Mountains.

The setting was a small inn in the town of Esk. Esk is at the edge of the middle mountains and a short distance from Middenheim. Cheryl and her brother are at the inn waiting on their contact from one of the colleges of magic. Her brother tells her this has to do with their parents. At that time Shawn shows up at the Inn. Being a wizard, he stands out among the merchants and body guards. The brother immediately sees him and waves him over to the table. The brother fills Shawn in on why they are there. He tells Shawn about their parents and their involvement with Tzeentch. He explains about Cheryl her ominous eyes and birthday. He tells Shawn and Cheryl that their parents did most of the rituals in the middle mountains out in the vast cave system there. The last thing he tells them is that the witchhunter who caught their parents and brought Cheryl before the church when she was only 3 or 4, passed away a week ago. It was shortly after his passing that the magic started flowing into the area. They ate dinner and planned to get up in the morning to check out the mountains.

As they were speaking, near the end of the conversation, James walked into the inn. He noticed the group because a priestess, a wizard and a hunter seated together is odd and possibly a joke. James proceeded on to the bar. He asked the bartender if anyone had been seen meeting the description. No one had seen anyone like that. He ordered dinner and a bed.

At this point Alicia arrived at Esk. She made a grand entrance like only a noble can. She went and took a seat at the bar near James. She also asked if the bartender had seen a man fitting the description. James being easily within earshot over heard her. He looked at her and said, "You don't look like a bounty hunter."

I honestly don't remember her response, but the conversation was quite humorous. She treated him like a noble would treat a peasant boy (James' character is only 16). James got tired of dealing with her and went back to eating his food.

Shortly after their exchange, AJ arrived. AJ, being a thief, noticed the noble and went to take a seat right next to her at the bar. Alicia just looked at him and said, "No. You are going to move now."

James said, "Just do what she says man, trust me."

AJ asked, "Why?"

Then the bartender asked AJ to move over a seat (Alicia had paid him very well). AJ acquiesced. AJ never heard the description so he was never able to give the information that the guy they were looking for was arrested and take to the prison in the caves of the middle mountains.

After all groups had ate, some town guards came into the inn carrying a man. He was hurt badly, cut and bruised. The guards had sent to get someone from the church to help heal him. All the players could hear him say "Orks" before he went unconscious.

Cheryl had first aid and was able to bandage him and revive him. He told them the following story. He was a prison guard at the prison in the middle mountains. This morning they brought in a prisoner by the name Pieter, fitting James, Alicia and AJ's description. He was placed inside a cell and started laughing. One of the other guards, banged on the door and told him to stop laughing. The prisoner replied, "You fools you have brought me to the power I was looking for." He then stopped laughing and started meditating. Most of the guards wrote him off as crazy. Then only a short while ago, Orks attacked the prison. Hundreds of them. They swarmed past the guards killing everyone that got in their way. The injured guard was guarding the back passage. As the Orks got to the cell containing Pieter, reality seemed to have warped. The door to the cell flew completely off the hinges. Pieter walks out and all the Orks bow to him on one knee. Pieter then pointed towards the remaining guards and the Orks charged. The guards ran. Only the one made it to town to warn everyone.

The town sent a runner to the major cities nearby, in hope for reinforcements. Soon the Orks were upon the town. The city has a wooden fence surrounding. Everyone grabbed arms and prepared to defend themselves. James borrowed a rifle and headed for the bell tower in the church. James and the local defenders were able to slow the onslaught of Orks down some, but eventually they pushed through the gates and the walls.

As the Orks flooded into town, they attacked everyone except the PCs. They made a very wide berth around Cheryl. James was the first to see Pieter and he shot at him a few times. Every time he did it was as if Pieter was no longer where James was shooting. It was as if reality warped around Pieter.

Pieter approached the party. He saw James in the tower and teleported him down to the ground with the others. No one was going to escape him. Pieter then summoned forth an alternate reality, a kind of bubble or pocket universe. The PCs could still see the destruction of the village by the Orks but they could no longer get to them nor could anyone outside the bubble see or hear them. This summoning put a great strain on Pieter and he was substantially weakened.

Pieter pointed at Cheryl and said, "You have something that does not belong to you." The fight was on after that. Pieter was able to go first. His objective was to knock everyone out, so he could use them in his ritual. Amazingly, AJ managed to make an incredible resist roll. Then Cheryl made a critical strike to Pieter's chest, almost killing him herself. Shawn put the finishing touches on him with a near critical magic attack. Pieter could resist 6 points of damage and Cheryl still hit him for 12 points of damage after his resist. The others were able to attack, although it no longer mattered.

Pieter sensing his end tried to invoke a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch. The PCs caught a shadowy glimpse of the Daemon before the image collapsed in on itself. What formed was a hole in the universe. It started to drag everyone into it. Pieter screamed, "This is not how it is supposed to end, I was promised..." as he was dragged into the immaterium. With nowhere to go, being trapped in the bubble, the players are also sucked into the expanding hole.

The pull into the immaterium knocked out everyone except James and Cheryl. They were able to witness what happened next. First, they were all there, except Pieter, floating in a dark void. Then they saw a giant eye, planet size, appear staring at them. They heard laughter but it kept changing in pitch, volume and sometimes it sounded human and at other times totally inhuman. A hand started to reach for them, it also was constantly shifting sometimes looking like a human hand and sometimes like a bird claw. Right as it was about to reach them, a twin-tailed comet hit it. A griffin made of light also began to push the hand back. The hand easily swatted the comet and griffin away. The comet and griffin then collided with each other and formed a new symbol, a double-headed eagle. The eagle grew in size and repelled the hand and eye. It slowly enveloped the group in a warm bright light. Soon Cheryl and James found themselves blinded by the light.

When they were able to see again, the entire group was laying in grass surrounded by trees and bushes. The others started to come back to their senses. James refused to move because he was certain he had died and was now in heaven. He witnessed his God save him from the "devil". Cheryl told the others what had happened and what she had seen. After about 5 minutes had passed, some men pushed through the bushes. They were carrying what the PCs would consider guns but they were far different than any of them had ever seen before. These men were also wearing strange clothing but on the chest piece was the double-headed eagle. The men asked the group what they were doing here. Each person gave a response of what they had went through and this confused the two men. Shawn decided to try to sense magic in the area. He couldn't quite sense magic, it was different, he felt more like a pounding in his head.

Shawn's action brought a third man over to them. This was no ordinary man. He was 7 feet tall and wore armor much larger than any they had ever seen before. (Here is a good picture of Space Marine Librarian, although the one the PCs met only had the staff and not the gun on him.) He immediately looked at Shawn and told him, "Stop. You do not know what you are messing with." AJ was struck with fear at the sight of a Space Marine. James was ready to worship the Marine as a God, to which the Space Marine replied that only the God-Emperor deserved worship. This further cemented into James that he was in heaven and under Sigmar's rule. The idea of this universe being Heaven made the Space Marine laugh.

The Space Marine loaded them in his vehicle and took them to the Imperial Palace. It was about a 30 minute drive. During that time he checked them for corruption and any sign of Chaos on them. He found nothing. He almost had to kill Shawn for trying to use magic again. Shawn was considered an unsanctioned psyker.

The Marine brought the group before Ordo Hereticus and the Golden Throne. (I changed some things up here. I made the Throne at the palace and the palace situated where Altdorf was in Warhammer. Also I made the Emperor keep his living appearance instead of a corpse. Also I had the High Inquisitors situated over the throne in a balcony. The PCs were on the floor with the throne. The Emperor looks exactly like Sigmar.) James, Cheryl and Shawn (all veteran role players) fell to their knees at the sight of Sigmar. AJ and Alicia soon followed suit. The argument over how to handle the PCs raged over them. Then they heard a voice in their heads. "I am the God-Emperor and I brought you here. You are here for the purpose of helping save the Imperium. Know that I am with you." After hearing that, the next thing they heard was an Inquisitor by the name of Praetus speak. He lobbied for the PCs to work under newly charged Inquisitor Kaltos and be moved to the Calixis Sector. There was a murmur of agreement among the Inquisitors and the PCs were sent off to Prateus' Black Ship.

Thus ended night one for the group. We proceeded to move everyone over to 40k classes.

AJ became a Scum.
Alicia became an Arbitrator.
James became an Assassin.
Shawn became a Psyker.
Cheryl became a Sister of Battle.

No comments: