Monday, October 5, 2009

Dark Heresy - Night 2

So after stranding my players in the future at the end of night 1, I had to go over new character sheets and have some time with each person in getting them somewhat up to date with the Warhammer 40k Universe. Only two people really know anything about 40k, James and Cheryl.

They spent about a year traveling and training from Terra to the Calixis System. They were each introduced to their Inquisitor, Kaltos. Kaltos and his advisers actually trained Shawn and sanctioned him as a psyker. Kaltos is a pyromancer and each of his advisers are one of the other psyker fields. Everyone was separated during the trip and did not get to spend a lot of time together, Shawn even less than the others. They were all given basic equipment before they arrived at Scintilla, the capital of the Calixis System.

Once they arrived, Kaltos got them all together to give them a briefing of why they are where they are. Recently, Divination Psykers have detected a lot of chaos energy started flowing into the Calixis System. Shawn noticed that this description was similar to the description given to them about Hochland. Cheryl also pointed out that Hochland and Calixis are similar in that both are more rural areas. Kaltos found this interesting. Kaltos went on to tell them that they are going to Iocanthos to help oversee the christening of a new Cathedral. There have been some psychic activity in the area, bleeding walls, strange sounds, etc. This may be related to the influx of chaos energy and the acolytes are to keep on the watch for anything unusual.

After the briefing, one of Kaltos' advisers flies the PCs to the public space station. They are given passage on an old freighter that is heading to Iocanthos. The estimated travel time is about a week (travel through the Immaterium is not always exact). The only contact for the PCs on the ship is a very weasel-like man named Sebek. Sebek is their only contact with the crew.

Sebek shows them to their "room". It is a large communal room with hammocks and a single bathroom. As Sebek is leaving, he says that he will be back by for dinner to show them to the cafeteria. When he left he locked the door behind him. This didn't sit well with Shawn and James. They now thought the ship had something to hide. James talked Alicia and AJ into action. Cheryl sat back and just observed, saying as long as they aren't heretics then she has no opinion.

James' first plan is to get Sebek into the room and tie him up, something like that. Cheryl points out you can just ask him if they will leave the door unlocked. James uses the intercom to talk to Sebek asking about the lock and about getting some battle narcotics. Sebek says he will ask the captain about the door. They usually lock it because normally they have a lot of passengers and don't want them getting in the way of running the ship. This particular trek almost never has passengers and sense the PCs are the only passengers, Sebek is sure that something can be arranged. James still settles his deal with Sebek and convinces (pays extra) Sebek to deliver the stuff as soon as possible.

Sebek shows up a few hours later with a couple of bodyguards. James scraps his plan to jump Sebek. Sebek then tells them that he discussed the door lock with the captain and that it was decided that it didn't need to be locked. He still insisted that for the most part to stay in the room as to not disrupt operation of the ship while in the dangers of the warp. James proceeds to buy "slaught" from Sebek.

James now has a new plan to go and investigate the ship for anything illegal. Shawn, AJ and Alicia agree to the plan. Cheryl is indifferent. Since James and AJ are the only ones with any kind of stealth, it is decided that they should be the ones going on this exploration. First, Shawn wants to test his new psychic abilities. So he decides to use an ability that will let him know how many people are in the area.

When Shawn does his little trick, he rolled a 9. Whenever a psyker rolls a 9 they have triggered Tzeentch's curse and have manifested a side effect. In Shawn's case there was an eerie wind blowing for 30 metres around Shawn. In other words, Shawn alerted the very people he was trying to detect. He did succeed in detecting them. Shawn let AJ and James know how many men were in the area and that 3 of them were headed this way.

James decides they should just go out anyway. So the two, AJ and James, head out in the hall and start walking. Shortly they are passed by Sebek and his bodyguards. Sebek smiles and says hello as he passes. Sebek goes straight for their room. James and AJ continue down the hall and take the first corner. They are in the living quarters of the ship and are passing room after room, most closed and locked (they never try a door). They finally come across an elevator. Inside they find that it needs a pass key to access restricted floors.

Meanwhile, Sebek has entered the PCs room. He is a bit upset at Shawn. Shawn doesn't realize that what he has done is just put up a big flashing neon sign for the ship saying "Hey Daemons! We are over here!" if even only for a second. So Shawn was verbally reprimanded for his actions.

James and AJ make a quick scan of the elevator to see if they notice in alarms or cameras. They don't notice anything. AJ finds the emergency hatch on the top of the elevator. The two pry it open and climb out. This sets of a silent emergency alarm to maintenance. James thinks they should go down because that is where the cargo bays would be, and he is right. So the two go down the ladder to the bottom floor, 2 floors down. Once they get there the elevator door is shut and needs to be pried open. Both of them attempt to pry it open with their knives. AJ breaks his knife. The doors are opened though.

Down the new hall are some large hanger like doors. There are no guards, but there are two men heading towards the elevator. James asks if they are armed. They have common laspistols, holstered on their side. Neither PC really does anything as the two men approach. The mechanics ask, "Is everything okay? We are here checking out the maintenance alarm that just went off in the elevator, what happened?"

James replies, "Sorry we got stuck in the elevator and lost, can you help us out?"

"Sure, you are passengers correct? We can take you back to the proper area."

With that the maintenance men summon the elevator and take James and AJ back to their floor. AJ attempts to pickpocket the elevator key, unsuccessfully. The maintenance man didn't notice the attempt though. They return to the room and no more attempts are made at discerning what was in the cargo hold during the brief trip.

When they arrive at Iocanthos, Sebek takes them down to the cargo area to board a drop ship to take them to the planet's surface. After they board one of the crew members ask if they have ever done this before, of course none of them had. He offered a sedative for anybody who wanted one, only AJ took him up on the offer. The drop ship then did as it is named. The drop took about 30 minutes and it was a literal free fall for most of the trip. AJ, Shawn and Alicia threw up. AJ throwing up made me laugh because that meant he missed his toughness check by over 30, that was the bonus of the sedative.

Once off the drop ship, they were first approached by a member of the local government. He started to question them on why they were there. I was proud, because the PCs pretty much told him to fuck off. Shortly after, a cherubim approached them and handed them a piece of paper. The paper had Kaltos' seal and told them to follow the cherubim to Aristarchus, their contact on Iocanthos.

The cherubim proceeds to fly over the crowded streets of the city, while the players struggle to keep up. Periodically it stops and sees that the PCs are having trouble keeping up and it just waves at them before proceeding on its route.

During this trip, Cheryl and Alicia notice a few people that seem to be staring at them. These are younger men with their faces painted with blue flames. The PCs try to pursue but quickly lose these Ashleen (what the native humans are called) men in the crowds.

The group continues to follow the cherubim down a few alleys and out of the crowds of the main streets. Down one of these alleys, a half-naked, badly sunburned man with wild dirt-caked hair and blue and white flame tattoos across his face accosts them. He starts yelling wild comments and obscenities at the group. Nothing anybody tries calms him down, nor can anyone make out anything sane in his rantings.

While they stand there, a shout is heard behind them saying, "Begone off-worlders! We don't need your kind." and 7 young Ashleen men attack them.

The men never draw their weapons and instead just use their fists. James draws his pistol. The fight is over after 4 rounds. James captures one of the men to question. The only thing the Ashleen tells them is "the wise ones have seen the darkness brought from afar." City guards show up shortly after the fight is over. Alicia flashes her badge to them and they let her handle it. James ends up killing the one hostage they have. He then drags the body out into the street and yells, "This is the fate of all heretics!"

Alicia notices that the madman disappeared during the fight. The cherubim takes them to the Ordo Hereticus compound where Aristarchus is located. Once inside, they notice Aristarchus handling some ivory Imperial tarot cards. When he sees them, he puts the cards away and comes over to shake everyone's hand.

They discuss the ambush, but Aristarchus brushes it off as a normal part of life on Iocanthos. He proceeds to tell them more about the mission and that he is a relative of St. Drusus, so this is a high honor to be part of this dedication of a cathedral in honor of St. Drusus. Aristarchus also speaks about the psyker phenomenon that has been going on in more detail than what they had been told. He tells them that he has rented a truck and supplies. He also gives them each a vox communicator so they can all stay in touch. He also says they should leave first thing in the morning and that he was going to bed to rest for the trip. The sun is setting but everyone has free reign to check out the town and talk to the locals.

Alicia decides to head to bed. AJ decides to check out the shops and see if he can find anything out from the locals. James shadows AJ to make sure he doesn't get into any trouble and to see if any more Ashleen attack. Cheryl goes to talk to the small order of Sisters Battle located in the same complex they are in.

AJ buys a new knife and heads to the bar. He doesn't learn anything from the locals. James follows AJ without AJ noticing. No Ashleen are seen any where.

Cheryl studies up on St. Drusus. She finds out that he battled a Daemon of Tzeentch that went by the name "the Dancer at the Threshold". She remembered that the only thing they knew about her parent's activity had something to do with "the Dancer". She also could not find any good pictures of St. Drusus.

That is where the night ended. Tomorrow night is the next session.

1 comment:

BeamStalk said...

I am posting this for any suggestions or discussion on what you think is going on in the story.