Faith and Betrayal

"Damned Cities"- Through the Shattered Mirror

“The Dark Traveler returns to plunge these stars of Calyx into an abyss that none, not even my kind can escape.”

-The Daemon in the Mirror, speaking to the Acolytes of Red Cell at Haarlock’s Folly

744 realsizeStill recovering from their injuries, the Acolytes answer a summons from Enforcer General Khan for a meeting at his Office to talk about recent events, including the ongoing conflict between the nobility and the Undertow as well as the assassinations of several Mandato agents who Khan believes that the Inquisition is responsible for. Khan is not interested in fairy tales about magical mirror fragments and his only concern is to his employers, the nobility, who want the situation with the Undertow resolved. The meeting ends with neither side trusting the other but the Acolytes suspect that they may have convinced Khan a little that they were not involved in the murders of his agents.

At the conclusion of their meeting, the Acolytes receive a message from the Turning Hand hotel informing them that unknown persons violated the security of their penthouse suite. The Acolytes respond and their investigation show that their room has been trashed in a thorough search and the break-in was orchestrated by a single person, or team of professionals. In addition, the psyker Praetus (who was recovering from his exposure to Haarlock’s Folly) is nowhere to be found.

The late evening proves to get more intense when the Acolytes receive a priority message from Constantine who is requesting the Acolytes’ assistance in responding to the manse of Lady Amorite. The Acolytes arrive just in time to see Lady Amorite being attacked in her bedroom by four cloaked bandaged figures. Her attempts to defend herself result only in her death and setting the place on fire, which quickly spreads to a blazing inferno due to the mansion’s old and dried out interior. The Acolytes engage their foes and the combat is deadly as the already wounded Acolytes are beset by attacks from their enemies, as well as the blazing inferno around them. Valen goes into a battle frenzy wielding the mysterious knife that was secured from the Ramsus Manse and takes on one of the cloaked figures by himself in the center of the blazing inferno. Seemingly immune to the heat and flame, Valen brings down the creature and then attacks his fellow Acolytes. Red is able to restrain Valen until he is able to regain control of himself apparently not realizing what he had done. The Acolytes get out of the burning mansion which has been reduced to a burning pile of rubble.
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Hostilities between the Undertow and the nobility are escalating and recent reports state that Khan has been killed or seriously wounded in an ambush. The Acolytes ponder their next move when they receive a mysterious Inquisition coded vox-message asking for a meeting. Answering the invitation, the Acolytes meet with another team of Inquisition Agents who are operating on Sinophia. These agents give limited information, but briefly explain that they have been tasked by their master to secure pieces of the mirror fragments in order to protect society from their corrupting influence. After some convincing arguments, and a trade for their abducted teammate, Praetus, Red agrees to give this Inquisition team their only fragment. The two teams depart and soon afterward the Acolytes receive a call from Marshal Skarmen who is requesting an urgent meeting with the Acolytes and Constantine. Skarmen explains that the situation is critical and nothing else can be determined about the reason for the meeting because the city goes into complete anarchy and chaos and after a brief Arbite Emergency broadcast the entire vox-net goes out.

A supernatural storm is brewing centered on the Folly and upon arrival at the meeting location provided by Skarmen the Acolytes link up with Constantine (who gives them a mirror fragment that was found by fire control teams searching the Amorite Manse). Skarmen’s Rhino APC pulls up alongside the group and a team of Arbitrators dismount and attack the Acolytes. What follows is an intense firefight and melee battle in which the already wounded Acolytes suffer yet more injuries before they dispatch their foes. The betrayal by Skarmen’s men is only the first surprise; the second surprise is when Valen again turns on his comrades in a battle frenzy lashing again at Red with the mysterious knife.

Red and rest of the team combine their efforts to take down Valen- who appears to absorb an onslaught of damage that would kill an ordinary man. With expert marksman skill, Rasar shoots Valen’s knife-wielding arm off and free of the knife’s influence Valen has a moment of peace before his life fades. The Acolytes secure Valen’s body and his belongings and accompanied by Constantine and a few Arbitrators, they advance on Haarlock’s Folly in a mechanized assault.

Arriving at the tower, the Acolytes find Arbites fighting each other and the Tower’s defense systems are operational shooting everything that comes into the courtyard. The Acolytes and Constantine fight their way up the tower and near the top they are confronted by a daemon who offers the Acolytes a deal to save the city from the ongoing destruction if they will assist in freeing it. The daemon tells of the “Dark Traveler” that is returning to the Calixis Sector and will destroy everything. The Acolytes refuses to accept the Daemon’s offer and the daemon gives the Acolytes a taste of his power before he retreats to the top floor of the tower. While recovering from their dark encounter, the Acolytes and Constantine and joined by members of the other Inquisition Cell. They are intent on destroying the daemon and an alliance is created. Lacking the psychic power to harm the daemon, the other Inquisition Cell psyker has the power to confront the daemon.
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The joint Inquisition forces confront the daemon and Skarmen in the middle of a ritual to reconstruct the broken mirror and free the daemon. There are three missing fragments that the Acolytes possess that are needed to complete the ritual. Skarmen is no longer a mere human and has been infused with the power of chaos and possesses sorcerous powers. After a fierce battle, the Inquisition psyker is able to banish the daemon. The victory is short-lived as the once allied Inquisition Cell turns on Red Cell in a surprise act of betrayal. The Acolytes are able to dispatch two of the rival Acolytes before their leader, a man named Hellos, escapes via grav-chute (with two of the mirror fragments) through a hole that was created by a missile blast from a hovering Vulture gunship piloted by one of his fellow acolytes.

With the failure of the ritual to free the daemon, the city shortly returns to a state of calm and starts rebuilding. Sur’Mayworth is appointed as the new Judiciary and Constantine takes over as the new Arbitrator Marshal. Inquisitor Sand and staff arrives a couple of days to assist in the interrogations and purging. With a celebration and much fanfare the Acolytes are rewarded by the planetary officials for their efforts at stopping the great evil and are awarded the Sinophian Blood Laurel, the highest award that can be granted from the planet. The fate of the daemon and Hellos, and the identity of the “Dark Traveler,” remains to be seen…

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s “Damned Cities” book by Alan Bligh and John French. It can be found here:
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"Damned Cities"- Wicked City

“The universe is so consumed by darkness that seeing the greater shadow of pattern and cause is a gift given only to the mad.”

-Inquisitor Lord Caidin, in conversation with Cassilda CognosDeath of sinophia magna final styli

Senior and Junior Acolytes of Inquisitor Sand are combined into a new investigation cell called C8: Red Cell under the command of newly appointed Inquisition Legate Investigator Red. This new Cell has been tasked with answering a call from Arbitrator Constantine on the planet of Sinophia who is requesting Inquisition assistance in the investigation of a series of mysterious murders that appear unnatural in nature. No one else on the planet agrees with Constantine’s theory and instead believe that the murders are assassinations by the planet’s competing corrupt nobility and the criminal organization known as the Undertow- both of which are locked in an escalating power struggle.

The Acolytes meet Constantine at the Arbite headquarters, which is currently located at the ancient tower known as “Haarlock’s Folly”- a monument created by the infamous Rogue Trader Family of the same name during Sinophia’s glory days; the Arbites’ original headquarters was recently destroyed by members of the tech-heretic cult- the Logicians. The Folly gives the Acolytes an uneasy feeling, especially the party’s only Psyker, Praetus, who is plagued by strange dark dreams every night that affect his performance during his waking hours.

The Acolytes jump right into the investigation and start making contact with representatives from both the nobility and the Undertow and come to the conclusion that neither side wishes to cooperate with the other and the fragile truce they have is on the verge of being broken by all out war. Examination of the murder victims, and the remains of the attackers, leads the Acolytes to believe that these murders are indeed supernatural. The bodies of the attackers appear to be dead corpses that have been animated by the use of sorcery and evidence points that these animated attackers murdered their victims in order to retrieve legendary pieces of a glass mirror, each of which is rumored to have special powers.

Cloaked womanThe Acolytes eventually come face to face with the supernatural murderers at the Clockwork Court- an ancient mechanical construct built by the infamous Rogue Trader family- the Haarlocks, which also serves as the planet’s seat of political power. What follows is a deadly battle in which a number of administrators, guards and nobility (including the planet’s governor- the Judiciary) are killed. The Acolytes are able to neutralize the enemy but they prove to be super strong and durable and Valen and Lysandros are beaten unconscious during the battle.

The Acolytes are approached by a noble woman, with the title “the Keeper of the Rolls,” who is responsible for the accumulation and study of legendary and forbidden knowledge on Sinophia. She tells the Acolytes that she suspects that the murderers are after thirteen mystical mirror fragments that were taken from Haarlock’s Folly long ago- each is suppose to have powers and unlock a secret when they are combined. She gives the Acolytes one of these fragments which her now deceased uncle had passed to her care. Bruised and battered, the Acolytes return to the Folly for needed medical care and learn from Constantine that tensions are at the tipping point and members of the Undertow and the nobility have started hostilities against each other.

On a hunch, the Acolytes (accompanied by Constantine) are concerned with Arbitrator Marshal Skarmen’s lack of involvement and concern for the investigation and decide to check his Office for clues. They find a hidden door that is secured by a complicated archaic lock that is similar in appearance to the mechanism found in the Clockwork Court. Unable to open it at this time, the Acolytes decide to follow up on it later.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s “Damned Cities” book by Alan Bligh and John French. It can be found here:
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"Oblivion's Edge"

’I’ve never met something that I couldn’t kill with a bit of faith in the Emperor and the right amount of firepower.’

- Captain Grayson of the 227th Storm Trooper Company- 112th Calixian Expeditionary Battle Group.

Despite the destruction of the Broodlord, Kill-team Kronus and the rest of the Imperial forces on Avalos find that the situation on Avalos is beyond hope. With the lost of Brother Mcleod, the remaining Deathwatch Space Marines, joined by the few scattered PDF forces and the lone Callidus Assassin, Syndalla, find themselves trapped in a city that is about to be overrun by rebel forces. The situation goes from bad to worse when four days after the destruction of the Broodlord the Imperial forces are unpleasantly surprised by the arrival of a massive Tyranid Hive Ship and accompanying fleet in orbit above the planet.Stormtroopers

The Hive Fleet wastes no time and begins unleashing its deadly Tyranid cargo onto the planet’s surface. Mycetic Spore Pods bombard the planet’s surface and their deadly cargo of Tyranid organisms begin to neutralize the last of the Imperial resistance so that the Hive Fleet can begin stripping the planet of its resources. Things look grim for the Imperial defenders but hope comes in the form of the 112th Calixian Expeditionary Battle Group under the command of Fleet Captain Cobb. Cobb has arrived in response to the astropathic message that the Kill-Team manage to get out before the arrival of the Tyranid psychic blackout. In addition to his small fleet, Cpt. Cobb is accompanied by an Inquisitorial Agent named Titus Dorn and also a Deathwatch Space Marine named Timujin.

The Tyranid Fleet above Avalos is still too strong for Cpt. Cobb’s small fleet to attack directly and so he orders the evacuation of Kill-team Kronus, Syndalla, the Governor and choice members of the Governor’s staff. The Kill-team must fight their way through the Tyranid and rebel infested city to the starport. There they establish a strongpoint and hold off hordes of Tyranids before the evacuation force, which consists of a company of Storm Troopers accompanied by several Valkyrie and Vulture gunships, is able to reach them and take them to safety to the drop ship, and eventually off-planet to rejoin the fleet.
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Aboard Cpt. Cobb’s flagship, and with the Imperial Fleet a safe distance from the Tyranid Fleet, the Imperial Forces are able to come up with a disparate plan, despite the odds, to liberate Avalos. The two-fold operation consists of Imperial forces deploying to the planet’s surface to slow down the tide of the Tyranid strike force by striking key enemies and targets. In addition, the Kill-team is able to recover the last of Inquisitor Jezehell’s Intelligence, which describes her findings of a mysterious stasis pod of Imperial manufacture that was brought to Avalos and used to unleash the Broodlord onto the city; the ones responsible for this act of treachery are unknown at this time.

With Tyranid operations temporarily disrupted, the Imperial Forces move to the second part of their plan- which is to attack the Tyranid Fleet. This plan involves a near-suicidal mission by Kill-team Kronus to board the Hive Ship and destroy one of its vital Hive Mind Synapse Nodes. The temporary disruption that this will cause should give the out-numbered Imperial Fleet a window of opportunity to launch a concentrated assault on the Hive Ship and destroy it. With the Hive Ship gone, the rest of the Tyranid Fleet should be more easily dispatched.
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Accompanied by Captain Grayson, and his company of Storm Troopers, Kill-team Kronus boards the Hive Ship during the distraction of the space battle and makes their way to the Synapse Node. Encountering all manner of biological horrors inside the massive living ship, the Imperial forces are able to fight and navigate their way to the Synapse Node. Death is around every corner as the Imperial forces take on Genestealers, Termagants, Hormagaunts, and Gargoyles. Battered and bloodied, the Kill-team and a few surviving Storm Troopers arrive at the Synapse Node and a deadly battle ensues between the Imperial Forces and the Nodes guardians- a Tyranid Prime and several Tyranid Warriors.

The Kill-Team is victorious in its mission and they manage to escape the ship via shuttle, which is unfortunately disabled by a chance bio-plasma shot from the Hive Ship. Helplessly drifting in space the Kill-Team watches as the Imperial Fleet’s attack on the temporarily dazed Tyranid Fleet falters and the Tyranids regain the initiative and begin to crush the Imperial Fleet. It is only by the timely surprise arrival of a Space Marine Battle Barge from the Angels of Vermillion Chapter, and accompanying ships, that that Imperial Forces are saved from destruction and the Tyranid Fleet is destroyed.

The planet of Avalos has been saved but as to whom is responsible for unleashing the Broodlord onto the planet and the subsequent signaling of a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Dagon, no one knows. Further investigation is definitely warranted.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s free adventure by Owen Barnes. It can be found here:
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"Final Sanction"

“It’s only a small civil disturbance, just some malcontents rousing the poor or some such. I’m sure it will be over soon…”

-Lord-Governor Perian Thorsholt

Following an urgent, but vague, Astropathic request for Deathwatch assistance from Inquisitor Jezehell of the Ordo Xenos, Kill-Team Kronus is activated by order of Watch Captain Brand to answer the Inquisitor’s summons. With the addition of a sixth Deathwatch Squad member, a Space Marine from the Storm Wardens Chapter named Brother Mcleod, Kill-Team Kronus is sent via an Imperial Navy Sword-class Frigate to the Agri-world of Avalos to locate and assist Inquisitor Jezehell.

Immediately upon arrival above the planet of Avalos, the Navy Ship is attacked by several Tyranid Kraken-class ships which make short work of the lone Imperial vessel. It is only through a desperate last minute effort by the ship’s captain that the Deathwatch Kill-team is able to escape the doomed ship by drop pod to the planet’s surface. Landing at the planet’s capital city of Lordsholm, the Space Marines arrive in the midst of a massive battle between the city’s Planetary Defense Forces (PDF) and hordes of Rebel forces. In their first battle on the planet, the Deathwatch confirms the existence of a Genestealer infestation when they kill a rebel leader that is in fact a Genestealer Hybrid. The aftermath of the battle brings them thanks and information from a Callidus Assassin named Syndalla, who has taken on the guise of a PDF Officer to take command of the decimated PDF forces and keep them from breaking.

Syndalla explains to the Deathwatch Marines that the situation on Avalos is dire with a massive Genestealer Cult leading the rebels. The rebel forces are many and have already overwhelmed most of the PDF positions. Without the intervention of the Deathwatch in assisting the PDF in re-taking key strategic positions and destroying the enemy leadership, particularly the Broodlord, the city is doomed to fall by dawn. In addition, the Deathwatch must insure that the planet’s governor, Lord-Governor Thorsholt is safe and use his Astropath to send out a message requesting reinforcements. Inquisitor Jezehell has not been heard from for a few days since her attempt to locate and terminate the Broodlord.

Nid genestealerKill-team Kronus travels through the worn-torn body choked streets and is able to liberate several PDF forces, as well as destroy a number of rebel forces. They located the Governor who appears to have underestimated how much his city is nearly overrun and after getting him to listen to reason, as well as saving him from an assassination attempt by several Genestealers, the Space Marines are able to use the Governor’s Astropath to send out a message that hopefully will be received in time to save the planet.

Continuing their fight through the city, bolstered with forces from the PDF, the Space Marines are able to learn the location of the Broodlord’s lair from a retired guardsman named Gremarch that they saved from rebels. Located in the enemy-controlled Fabrica District, the Deathwatch Marines make a daring assault on the only bridge connecting the Fabrica District to the rest of the city. Heavily guarded, the Deathwatch throw their PDF allies into the battle and are able to gain control of the bridge.

Alone, with the remnants of the PDF pulling rearguard under the leadership of Brother Zim, the rest of Kill-team Kronus makes their way to the Broodlord’s lair which appears to be in a deserted Promethium Factory. Making their way through the tight confines of the factory’s service tunnels and pipes, the Battle-Brothers are besieged by deadly Genestealers and Lictors. Battered and bloodied, the Space Marines dispatch these foes and Death angel brood lordarrive at the Broodlord’s lair, which rests inside a large empty Promethium pressure tank. The Broodlord proves to be a very deadly foe indeed, and with the assistance of several other Genestealers, the Kill-team is in a fight for their very lives. Dispatching the Broodlord and his minions would cost the Kill-team greatly- Brother G’heirnat gets one of his arms ripped off by a Genestealer’s claw, Brother Zarkaran goes unconscious due to his wounds and both Brother Aoner and Brother Lance are gravely wounded. But it was Brother Mcleod who would sell himself dearly against the Broodlord in order for his Brothers to accomplish their mission. Calling on the courage and battle fury that the Space Marines of the Storm Wardens Chapter are known for, Brother Mcloed manages through strength of will to continue fighting the Broodlord in deadly hand-to-hand combat despite sustaining several mortal wounds. Alas, he did not get the killing blow on the Broodlord, but his efforts were what made it possible for his fellow Battle-Brothers to survive the encounter and eventually dispatch the Genestealer leader. The Storm Warden’s ravaged body finally gave out and he collapsed lifeless to the ground but his sacrifice was not in vain.

The survivors of Kill-team Kronus gathered up their fallen comrade so that he may be buried with honor for his deeds and a search of the Broodlord’s lair leads to the discovery of Inquisitor Jezehell’s body; apparently another victim of the Broodlord. Amongst her belongings the Battle-Brothers find a clue as to the source of the Genestealer infestation on the Inquisitor’s data-slate. Apparently the Inquisitor was able to discover a stasis pod which was used to deposit the Broodlord onto Avalos and initiate the infestation but as for who was responsible for bringing the Broodlord to the planet that is not known at this time.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s free adventure by Owen Barnes. It can be found here:
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"Darkness Falls"

On their way to report back to Inquisitor Sand after successfully receiving two important tomes from the possession of Deathwatch Kill-team Kronos, Acolyte Cell: C2’s ship is diverted by special order from the Office of Lord Caidin to investigate one of the Inquisition’s infamous Blackships, the “Validus”, which has been out of communication for several weeks and is a month overdue from its psyker tithing voyage. The Acolytes’ orders are to travel to the last known location of the “Validus”, locate the ship, assess the situation and recover the ship if possible.

Electric space colors brightUnder the command of Captain Hedrak, the Imperial Navy Cobra-class escort ship, the “Storm’s Hammer,” makes haste to the “Validus’” last coordinates and upon arrival are greeted by a sight nearly unheard of- the “Validus” is floating stationary in the churning warp but it is surrounded by an unexplained area of unnatural calm warp-space. After assessing the situation, and taking into account the Blackships’ classified nature, the Acolytes decide to investigate the ship alone, leaving the “Storm’s Hammer” nearby to provide support if necessary.

They board the “Validus” using the “Storm’s Hammer’s” teleporter (which it is lucky to have from its throwback days as a personal escort for one of the Calixis Sector’s past admirals) and find the “Validus” to be a mix between a tomb ship and a house of horrors. Throughout the decks, the Acolytes find the ship’s crew either dead or in a state of unexplained catatonia. In addition,strange phenomena, such as weeping bulkheads, spirit forms, and frozen time anomalies, are observed throughout the ship. The strangest, and most persistent, of all of these unexplained phenomena is the strange voice(s) that can always be heard in the Acolytes’ mind; the only one that does not seem to hear the voice is the Untouchable, Quint, which hints to the fact that the Voice is psychic in nature.

Gathering information from the “Validus’” bridge records, as well as from a survivor named Hydra, who was a member of the personal retinue of the Inquisitor in charge of the “Validus,” the learn that the “Validus” received a strange transmission in the warp that lead it to the strange area of calm warp-space. While investigating this anomaly, the “Validus” was attacked by a strange psychic force which caused many of the crew and their human cargo to go mad. Many of the psykers broke free from containment and the ship was plunged into chaos as the Inquisitor and what able-bodied crew remained attempted to stop the rampant psykers. Strangely, several of the most powerful psykers sought each other out and joined together into a rare entity called an Amalgam, a rare occurrence (documented to happen perhaps once every 4000 years) in which powerful psykers join together into a group mind, or a hive mind, and together they are very powerful and very difficult to neutralize. The “Validus’” Inquisitor made a desperate failed attempt to vanquish the Amalgam, which was residing deep in the psyker cellblocks, and afterward the few remaining members of the Inquisitor’s henchmen could do nothing but contain the Amalgam until help arrived.

The Acolytes decide that they must stop the Amalgam and enter into the psyker cellblocks. 3182079 lg Inside, they are confronted by all manner of horrors. Spirits appear from everywhere and attack their minds and the Acolytes physical bodies must staved off the attacks from mobs of mindless animated crewmembers that are intent on killing them. A couple of well-placed bilge grenades from Quint reduces several of the mindless crew members to festering pieces and the rest of the Acolytes are able to dispatch the last of the possessed crew. The spirits are banished thanks to Quint as his Untouchable aura proves to hinder their ability to maintain form.

Deep in the center of Cell Block 7, before the entrance to the furnace room, the Acolytes pass by the mass bodies of what appears to be the Inquisitor’s failed attempt to destroy the Amalgam. Once inside the furnace, the Acolytes come face-to-face with the Amalgam- a horror made up of a hundred psykers moving and speaking as one. The scene is too much for Quint, Rasar and Xerxes and they bolt from the furnace room away from the Amalgam. Red is too shaken to run and can only stand in place vomiting his guts out as his fear makes him lose his last meal. Only the Tech-Priest Vern is resolute and engages the Amalgam in a conversation.
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Though difficult to fully understand, Vern learns that the Amalgam is actually trying to get a message to the Inquisition about a danger on the planet of Reth- a danger that will cost millions of lives if left unchecked. The nature of the danger is not specified and suddenly the Amalgam starts to break apart with devastating effect as it becomes unstable and its hosts start unleashing their psychic powers in uncontrolled fury.

With the barrage of unchecked psychic energy being unleashed on the ship, the Acolytes quickly decide that they need to leave before the ship breaks apart. Calling back to Captain Hedrak, the Acolytes are able to teleport themselves and Hydra off the ship just in time before the “Validus” explodes. Of what danger lies on Reth and of who or what sent the Amalgam remains to be seen…

  • GM’s Note: This mission was written by the GM and inspired by the short story, “The Voice”, by James Swallow, which can be found in the Horus Heresy “Tales of Heresy” book.
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"Greenhorn"

In their inaugural mission as Deathwatch Marines, Kill-team Kronus, under the leadership of Brother Lance, is dispatched by Inquisitor Sand to locate and retrieve two important tomes, the Crimson Bestiary and the Codex Corporaptor Hominis, that had been lost over the frontier planet of Ganf Magna when their courier’s Aquila shuttle was shot down by unknown forces. Arriving at the crash site, the Space Marines are able to locate the body of the deceased pilot and ascertain that the shuttle’s wreckage has been salvaged and stripped by nearby Ork forces and the tomes are missing.

Ork40kAfter a brief fire-fight with a mob of Gretchin and Snotlings, Kill-team Kronus meets up with Brother Zim, also of the Deathwatch, who was sent to the area as an advance scout with orders to link up with the Kill-team upon their arrival. Brother Zim’s reconnaissance has revealed that this particular area of forest is infested with Orks ruled by a warboss named “Greenhorn” whose base of operations is a cave complex located in the nearby mountain range. The Orks have significant numbers and have two massive Anti-Aircraft guns hidden in the forest that they use to shoot down passing Imperial flyers.

Following the established trails made by the Ork forces, Kill-team Kronus decides that the Orks are likely to have the tomes in their possession, the Deathwatch Marines make their way deeper into Ork territory and along the way they dispatch the Ork opposition that they meet, as well as locate and destroy the Orks’ two Anti-aircraft guns. The Librarian, Brother Aoner, uses his Smite psychic power with devastating effect and the Devastator, Brother Zakaran, uses his heavy bolter to decimate Ork and Snotling alike. The skills of the Apothecary, Brother G’herinat, soon become invaluable as the toll of the heavy fighting starts to make its mark on the Kill-team.
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Eventually, the Kill-team is able to penetrate the Orks’ cave complex (following a victory over a massive Ork guard force that was supported by two Killer Kans) but their actions have stirred up the fighting spirit of the Orks who mob in force and are determined to destroy these trespassers. In a heroic stand, the Kill-team finds itself surrounded by cave walls and Orks closing in from all sides. Led by their warboss, “Greenhorn,” the Orks slam into the Marines’ position and a bloody and fierce melee ensues. The battle would be hard won and by its end, most of the Kill-team are critically wounded with Brother Aoner suffering the worst- his right eye had been torn out from his head by an Ork Choppa and the chest-plate of his historic MK6 armor (a relic of many battles) lay in a useless waste of ceramite tatters. “Greenhorn” proved to be a tough foe and he took several wounds from the Kill-team before Brother Lance was able to finally bring the huge Ork down in an explosive barrage of semi-auto bolt pistol fire.

With the death of their warboss, the rest of the Orks scatter and the Kill-team is able to search the rest of the cave complex without interference and are eventually able to locate the two tomes tossed carelessly in a pile of scavenged and stolen Imperial goods. With their mission complete, they are extracted and make their way to the Inquisition rendezvous point.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was created by the GM.
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"Illumination"

Metalus’ Personal Journal
Log Entry 43…
The Abbot just got finished telling Brother Lemark, Brother Severus and I that he has received more reports from the pilgrims about strange phenomenon- the harsh whispers in the dark, the eerie lights above the mountains and the disappearances of two more pilgrims without explanation. The Abbott told us that nothing must stop the completion of this Cathedral and he has used his connections with the nobility and the Inquisition to request the investigation talents of a famed senior Throne Agent named Aristarchus. I have heard of the man- a distant descendant of Saint Drusus himself and a powerful psyker seer.
I used the lessons gained from my past experiences as an Inquisition agent to suggest to the Abbot that perhaps Aristarchus would not be enough to deal with this potential threat, especially if the power of Chaos is present. He was hesitant at first, but then agreed due to the importance of the Cathedral and what it means to the Imperial Church on Iocanthos. I told him that I knew of some capable agents- my old Acolyte team from when I served the Inquisition (if they were still around). Abbot Skae trusts in my judgment and sent word to Inquisitor Sand.

Log Entry 48…
Some of the pilgrims found a couple of dead bodies up in the mountains above the Cathedral- they looked like bandits from their clothing and equipment. Strange though, their dried up bodies looked like they had been dead for days, weeks even, though no one saw them up there the day before. Looks like the birds had a meal though- all of their eyes were missing.

Log Entry 59…
The Abbot just informed us that the Inquisition has agreed to the request and is sending Aristarchus and the Acolytes of Cell C2. I saw the list of the members of my former Cell and was sadden to see that there were only two names that I recognized- the Tech-Priest Vern and the Assassin Xerxes. I fear that the others must have paid the ultimate price in the Emperor’s service.

Log Entry 63…
That blasted Lemark!! Drinking everyone under the table at the bar. I hope his liver gives out.

Log Entry 79…
Aristarchus has just arrived planet side at Port Suffering. He will stay there waiting for the arrival of the rest of the Inquisition Agents and together they will head out to Stern Hope.

Log 96…
Just got done welcoming the Inquisition Agents and getting them settled into their quarters. They reported observing some strange things during their trip from Port Suffering to here- walking corpse…disappearing bodies…perhaps the stories that pilgrims have been reporting have some truth. Brother Lemark and I are taking them all to the Crying Clota for some of the Emperor’s Teat to celebrate their arrival.

Log 97…
Awww…my head is killing me…I don’t feel like writing.

Log 98…
There was an attack on Stern Hope yesterday by raiders from Warlord Seth’s band (crappy day to have a hang-over). No one knows why they attacked and many pilgrims were killed. The Cathedral was not damaged and the Abbot intends to go forward with the consecration ceremony despite the disagreement with Esha Raine (the Ashlee Death Singer). She pulled her support of the project and left Stern Hope following an argument with the Abbott. An hour later the Abbott stumbled from the Cathedral mortally wounded. He exclaimed that Esha was responsible and Aristarchus has order the Acolytes and I go to Esha’s steading and bring her back for interrogation. If she refuses to go then we have been order to terminate her.

Log 99…
I am writing this while sitting in the back of a flatbed truck on a bumpy road. We are making haste back to Stern Hope. We spoke with Esha and during our conversation we were attacked by hundreds of Shale Crows infused with the power of the warp. I no longer doubt the tales from the Pilgrims- the power of Chaos is at work here and they have their eyes set on Stern Hope. Esha told us that we have been duped by the Abbot who had sent us away so that we would not be present when he puts his devious plan into action. We are not sure what he intends to do but an ancient book that Esha provided us with tells us the tale of how Saint Drusus battled and vanquished an ancient evil from Iocanthos on the very spot that the Cathedral has been built on. This ancient daemon is known by many names, such as the Crow Father, the Dancer at the Threshold and Tsyiak. We must put an end to whatever the Abbot plans on doing. I fear the worst…A dust storm is approaching and I must get some sleep while I can…

Entries recovered from a journal found on the body of Cleric Metalus (loyal servant of the Ecclesiarchy) by Sister Gracion during the investigation of the events that took place at the Cathedral of Stern Hope. The investigation by the Ordo Hereticus and Adepta Sororitas has concluded that Cleric Metalus and the Inquisition Agents of Cell: C2 (in the employ of Inquisitor Sand) served honorably with courage and fortitude and were successful in stopping a full-blown daemonic incursion that was initiated by a tainted member of the Ecclesiarchy- Missionary-Abbot Prelate Orland Skae. This and other records pertaining to this incident have been sealed by order of the Ordo Hereticus under authority code: KKL3374J8G[sic]trident

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from the adventure found in Fantasy Flight’s Dark Heresy core rulebook. It can be found here:
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"The Patchwork Man"

‘To have faith is to have purpose, and purpose in life is what defines a man, and makes him steadfast and resolute. Faith keeps him true and, even in the darkest hours, illuminates him like a candle flame. Faith guides him surely, from birth to the grave. It shows him the path, and prevents him from straying into the lightless thickets where insanity awaits. To lose faith is to lose purpose, and to be bereft of guidance. For a man without faith will no longer be true, and a mind without purpose will walk in dark places.’

-The Spheres of Longing, II. Ix. 31.

The Acolytes of Cell: C2 are sent by Inquisitor Sand to the mining world of Pellicuda IX tasked with a two-part mission that is inter-related. The first mission is to enforce the conditions of a Puritas Warrant that was issued by the Inquisition on the nobles of House Culden- a wealthy and prominent family whose holdings include several adamantine precursor ore mines that are responsible for supplying a large portion of the demands needed for the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Lathe forge worlds. The warrant was issued one-hundred and eighty-nine years ago against the family when it was discovered that the then master of House Culden, Sabent Culden, suffered from a genetic defect. This defective trait, since named the Senecai Syndrome, is a rare condition that prevents those it affects from being able to use life-extending treatments, such as rejuvant treatments and synthflesh graphs. This is not considered a malign mutation, but it does mean that the family members of House Culden are limited to only a lifespan of thirty to forty years, which is unfortunate for the Culdens, and the public disclosure of the genetic trait actually cost Sabent his bid for planetary governorship; following which he died shortly afterward. Since then, Senecai Syndrome has plagued all Culdens with a short life span causing sudden death with conditions similar to a stroke. The Acolytes must test the current House Culden members, Lothar (the current head of the family), his brother, Roboute, and Lothar’s daughter, Valia, to see if the Syndrome is still present, as well as see whether or not it has mutated to a level of concern.

The Acolytes’ second charge is to investigate the product loss of precursor ore, which has been the result of attacks on the shipping convoys by the local hill tribesmen over the recent years. The reason for this behavior is unknown and while taking on the normally primitive-armed nomadic tribesmen would not be a problem, the tribesmen have somehow armed themselves with lasguns and rocket launchers, which have made them an equal, if not more of, a match for the convoy guards. Who is supplying the tribesmen with weapons and the reasons for attacking the convoys are unknown, but Inquisitor Sand has unsubstantiated Intel that the tech-heretic cult the Logicians are involved.

84609Acolytes Vern, Pullo, Rasar and Quint make planetfall on Pellicuda IX and meet with Lord Roboute and House Culden head of Security, Commander Ennet. At the meeting they learn that on the day prior Lord Lothar has died and Lord Roboute has taken charge of the House since Valia (only seventeen years-old) is not of age to take over the House yet. Despite the unfortunate timing of the Inquisition’s arrival, Roboute understands their authority and cooperates with their investigation, which Vern wastes no time in starting the autopsy on Lothar. The rest of the Acolytes converse with Ennet and learn of the ways that he has tried to fight the tribesmen. Quint and Rasar decide to have Ennet set them up undercover as convoy guards to see the attacks in action.

Vern’s tests on Lothar confirm that he had, and die of Senecai Syndrome, and he also confirms that Roboute is a carrier of the trait. Puzzling though, tests confirm that while Valia is indeed the daughter of Lothar, there is no sign of the genetic defect present. Meanwhile, Quint and Rasar are not having any luck with observing the tribesmen; convoys are still being attacked, but only ones that the Acolytes are not accompanying. Rasar and Quint do find two pieces of interesting information during the investigation of a recent convoy attack. They discover that little of the ore on the convoys is actually being taken and the tribesmen seem to be after something that is stowed with the ore containers. Also, the main reason for the product loss is due to the fact that Commander Ennet has ordered against salvage operations of attacked convoys due to the manpower and the time that it would take to conduct an operation, which would give the tribesmen a tempting target.

Later, the Acolytes’ investigation at the starport warehouses where the Culden ore is kept waiting transport off-world, they discover an empty null-box (a stasis protected shipping container used to store and protect perishables and valuables) amongst the ore crates. The null-box is empty, but its interior is bloodstained and analysis of the blood shows that is a match to Lothar. A trip to the Culden morgue confirms that someone has taken several body parts from Lothar post-autopsy.

While Quint and Rasar decide to set a trap, without Ennet’s knowledge, for the tribesmen by placing a null-box equipped with a tracking device on a convoy they accompany, Vern conducts the tedious task of cross-referencing the personnel with access to the starport warehouse and the morgue. Vern is able to track the most-likely suspect as Commander Ennet who had recently accessed both facilities and was the last one to access the morgue. Vern and Pullo request Roboute, Valia and Ennet for a meeting and when accusations are made against Ennet the Commander’s takes on a blank stare and attacks. Vern cuts down the Culden head of Security in a hail of autogun fire and prepares Ennet’s body for a medical examination.A1583

Quint and Rasar, still disguised as guards, find the convoy they are accompanying attacked by tribesmen. Out-numbered and out-gunned, what at first appears to be a massacre of the convoy turns into a full rout of the tribesmen as the convoy guards, bolstered by Rasar’s valuable fire support with a heavy stubber, forces the tribesmen to disengage due to their losses. While they were not able to use their tracking device, Rasar and Quint are able to follow the fleeing tribesmen back to there camp in the mountains and get word of its location back to Vern.

Acolyte Red arrives on scene (being summoned from a location further away from the rest of his team) and is briefed up on the situation. Vern’s examination of Ennet’s body reveals that he has been implanted with a more advanced version of a mind-control device that Vern encountered on a past mission while investigating a Logician operation in the Coscarla Division of Hive Sibellus on Scintilla. With the location of the Hill Tribesmen base now known, the Acolytes coordinate with forces of the local PDF and the Culden House Guard to initiate a full-scale attack.

The attack on the hill tribe encampment is messy and deadly and while the tribesmen make their 4240attackers pay dearly they are too out-number and have no where to escape; most are killed and the rest of taken prisoner. During the attack, the Acolytes notice an STC prefabricated bunker guarded by gun servitors. Deciding this to be an odd construction amongst the tribesmen tents and ramshackle huts, they make their way to bunker. Accessing the bunker reveals it to be medical lab of sorts occupied by heretical tech-priest, an assassin and a human abomination that has been constructed of a mixture of human body parts. A deadly battle ensues that brings both Pullo and Quint unconscious and near death before all the enemies are terminated. True to Logician modus operandi, the bunker goes up in a fireball explosion to destroy evidence and all make it out with the exception of Red who is still inside when the bunker goes up. Luckily by the grace of the Emperor, Red survives the explosion, critically wounded but alive- his armor in tattered ruins having soaked up the brunt of the damage.

With the area secure, the Acolytes are able to salvage through the wreckage of the bunker. From the little evidence left intact they learn that the man made up of different body parts was Sabent Culden (who apparently did not die) and he was being kept alive, with the assistance of the Logicians, who were replacing dying parts of Sabent with parts from his late family members. In addition, partial files reconstructed show that the Senecai Syndrome was not a natural-occurring mutation but a virus-like organism specifically engineered to affect members of House Culden; it appears that Valia did not have the condition because she had not been infected. For what reasons the Logicians were keeping Sabent alive and what their plans were for engineering a virus targeted to a specific genetic make-up remain unknown at this time.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from the adventure of the same name but I don’t know who the author was and I am unable to locate it on the net anymore (shame because it is a great adventure).
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"Objective Amber"

UTILITATUM ADMINISTRATUM CALAXIS

+++++++Transmitted: Tranch- Forward Operating Base Purity
+++++++++Received: Astropath Hetex
++++++++Destination: Tricorn- Ordo Xeno/Ordo Hereticus/Inquisitor Soldevan/Ordo Sicarius
++++++Mission Time: 8 288 850.M41
++++Telepathic Duct: Terminus Fulber
+++++++++++++Ref: Ordo Hereticus/454228444/NB
+++++++++++Author: Inquisitor Sand

Thought For the Day: “Cleanse the Enemy with the Fire of Faith.”

I am please to announce the successful termination of Objective Amber- a.k.a.the “Scorpion.” With the assistance of the Imperial Guard and PDF on Tranch, my strike force, which consisted of myself and members of one of my Acolyte Cells: C2, were able to conduct a surprise raid on a Pale Throng stronghold located in section Alpha-5-6-B, which was being used by the Scorpion to conduct business transactions with the rebels. Our insertion via Valkyrie and the use of several Battle Servitors to bolster our firepower was a contributing faction to the success of our mission and ultimately it was the timely marksmanship of the crew of the Valkyrie that was able to prevent the Scorpion from escaping in his Guncutter which was in the process of extracting him and his men.

A later survey and excavation of the scene of the destroyed Guncutter, and the stronghold itself, which was secured by the utilization of several Imperial Guard Armored Fist units, revealed the remains of five bodies in the Guncutter’s wreckage. These bodies are human, one of which had extensive cybernetic enhancements, and analysis supports that the Scorpion perished in the Guncutter when it exploded (the probability of this has been estimated at 98.73445%). No intact bodies were found in the wreckage and this determination has been made based on the evidence and the salvageable DNA available.

In addition to the death of the Scorpion and the destruction of his Guncutter (and its crew), I would also like to relate that my analysis of the scanner footage from the Valkyrie, satellite imagery and my personal servo-skulls revealed that me and my team were responsible for the destruction of three rebel vehicles, which included a captured Armored Personnel Carrier, a captured Hydra Flak Tank and a modified Insurrection vehicle. In addition, enemy casualties are estimated at approx. 80 to 100 mutants have been terminated.

While this mission was a great success, not only in the elimination of the Scorpion but also by the great blow dealt to the Pale Throng forces in this area, I am disappointed to report that the Exterminatus weapon was not recovered and with the death of the Scorpion we may never know where the weapon went. I can only hope that though additional investigation and luck we will be able to locate it before it is put to use in a capacity which is sure to cause great destruction and loss of life.

This is end of my preliminary report. A more thorough report will follow up in the next week after I have had a chance to analyze the data from the crash site excavation.

  • GM’s Note: This mission was created by the GM and inspired from real-life events depicted in the movie “Blackhawk Down” and the Navy SEALs capture of the real-life Objective Amber.
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"Sight Unseen"

HiduleStill working on tracking down the mysterious individual known as the “Scorpion,” the same individual responsible for framing Inquisitor Sand and the original members of Cell: C2 and the same individual responsible for taking one of the Inquisition’s Exterminatus warheads, the Acolytes are sent to the neglected Orbital classified as Stat098.3457 or the “Coffin” (as locals and spacefarers call it), which sits in orbit over the forbidden world of Soprony, after Sand receives word from one of his agents, Solomon Gann, that the “Scorpion” is present conducting a business transaction. Due to the lack of Imperial presence on the Orbital, it has become a meeting ground for pirates, black market traffickers and anyone else interested in conducting illegal or questionable business. In addition to their main task of locating the “Scorpion,” the Acolytes are also tasked with the secondary mission of investigating the meaning of a vague coded Inquisition transmission from an Inquisitor Jezehell of the Ordo Xenos who states that she has sustained losses and is requesting help on the Orbital in stopping a dangerous unspecified threat.

Securing passage aboard a passing freighter, the Acolytes and their equipment are dropped off on the Orbital which is in such a sorry state of upkeep it is a miracle that it still barely functions and is able to sustain life in its confines. Gearing up and establishing a hiding place to stow their excess gear, the Acolytes leave the cold void of space and enter the passages of the orbital. After a short battle with some of the Orbital’s lower-class fringe-living residents, which are locally called “Edge-Livers,” the Acolytes make their way to the main habitation area of the Orbital which is not what they expected. The habitation area in the Orbital’s dome is filled to capacity with farmland and houses surrounding a central market and governing hub.

The Acolytes decide to bypass this area and instead go to the area located underneath the habitation dome which is known as the “Underdark;” led there by the lone surviving Edge-liver from their initial fight. Setting their guide free, the Acolytes find the Underdark is dark and confining, with the Edge-livers barely sustaining an existence in its polluted and squalid conditions. In addition, the whole area seems to have a tangible feeling of fear permeating the air and which the exception of conducting business, the Edge-livers avoid interaction with outsiders.
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Finding no answers regarding either of their missions, the Acolytes return topside to the habitation dome area where they are stopped by the local authorities who are interested in assessing and collecting a visitors’ tax from the Acolytes in the form of weapons and equipment. Hesitant to give up any of their equipment, and hesitant to get into a fight with the local 18 ork freebooter smithEnforcers, the Acolytes are saved from possible hostile action by the arrival of Solomon Gannwhose fast-talking and barter skills are able to avoid a conflict. Solomon leads the Acolytes to a nearby bar where he tells them that he has confirmed the presence of the “Scorpion” two days ago, but no longer knows where he is. He also confirms that the “Scorpion” was here on business, but with who and for what he does not know. When Solomon leaves the table to use the restroom,the Acolytes are confronted by a group of pirates, including two Ork Freebooters, who demand to know the location of Solomon- apparently Solomon ripped off the pirates’ captain on some trade goods. Negotiations with the pirates do not go well and are eventually ended when Titus draws his chainsword to attack. A fierce fight breaks out- made the more interesting by the actions of Quint who is under the hallucinating effects of recently smoked Obscura. The battle is brutal and all of the Acolytes are wounded to some extent, especially Quint who was critically injured after nearly being cut in half by one of the Orks’ massive axe.

After dispatching the pirates, the Acolytes quickly flee the scene before the authorities arrive. They split into two groups with Red carrying Quint away while Titus and Rasar take off in a different direction. The Acolytes are all able to make their way to the Underdark and hunker down for the evening for some much needed rest. At his resting location, Red meets an Imperial Missionary that has been on the “Coffin” for two years trying to bring the light of the Emperor to its denizens, which has been largely unsuccessful. The conversation eventually turns to the atmosphere of fear in the Underdark amongst the Edge-Livers and Red learns that for the past year someone or something has been preying on the Edge-livers and the local authorities have not taken action. Red promises the Missionary that he will investigate these deaths and disappearances and bids the Missionary farewell.

Red and Quint link back up with the rest of their party and they all proceed to the Underdark’s criminal big boss and the recognized “mayor” of the Edge-Livers. Convincing the mayor that they want to help, he provides the Acolytes with a guide to the “Outer Edges,” which is the area nearest to the outside skin of the Orbital and the location of the majority of the disappearances. The Outer Edges is less maintained than the rest of the station and the Acolytes immediately start to notice strange noises and strange organic fluid seeping from between plating and dripping down from the ceilings. It does not take long before they become involved in several skirmishes with well-armed and well-equipped pale humans, some of which are led by humanoids that appear to be mutants due to their third limb which ends in a deadly claw. The Acolytes do encounter unlikely allies, in the form of a group of Edge-Livers led by a man named Pullo who are ill-equipped but have decided to hunt the ones responsible for preying on their people; they joined the Acolytes.

SewerFighting their way through a well-fortified choke point, the Acolytes break through a sturdy door and find Inquisitor Jezehell, as well as the location where all of the missing Edge-Livers have gone. Jezehell is seriously wounded and barely holding onto to life. In the same room is a fluid-filled composting pit where the bodies of Edge-Livers are dumped and slowly broken down into nutrients which are suck up by a large umbilical cord-like object that goes from the pit and into a nearby organic mass with a doorway made of muscle tissue. Jezehell tells the Acolytes that they have been fighting a Genestealer Cult that has established itself on the Orbital. The Genestealers have gotten a hold of a Tyranid Drone ship and have been growing it so that upon maturation it can break free from the Orbital and send out a signal to the Tyranid Fleet which would be extremely dangerous for the Calixis Sector; the Drone must be stopped.

Dragging Inquisitor Jezehell along, who has lost the use of her legs, the Acolytes, Pullo, and his last surviving companion, push past the doorway of muscle and find themselves in the interior of a living ship- the Drone. Navigating the ghastly insides of the creature, directed by Jezehell’s psychic powers and her knowledge of Tyranid anatomy, the Acolytes battle several Genestealers before arriving at one of the Drone’s heart chambers which is guarded by several Genestealer Hybrids, Genestealers and the Cult’s Magus.

Battle is joined between the two forces and produces a horrifying and bloody affair that is accompanied by horrors from the warp, the appearance of a rogue daemon, ghostly voices and death everywhere. The Magus severely hampers the Acolytes’ fighting ability when early on heGenestealer horde psychically Dominates Red and uses him against his teammates. The Hybrids are quickly taken out by Rasar but the Genestealers, Red and the Magus prove to be harder to deal with. Eventually, with the assistance of Jezehell and the timely arrival of Solomon, the Acolytes are able to slay the Genestealer forces and destroy the heart. This gives them just enough of a pause to escape the Drone by way of Jezehell’s nearby ship.

The Drone’s bio-repair systems are able to restore function to the Drone, but not in time to escape a battle group of Battlefleet Calixis, which responds to the area to investigate the strange ship signature. The battle group quickly destroys the Drone with a combined bombardment before it can take action. On board Jezehell’s ship, they learn that the “Coffin” and all aboard perished when the Drone broke free of the Orbital, the force of which sent the Orbital plummeting down to the planet below (estimates of 4,000+ souls lost). Pullo, the lone survivor of the “Coffin,” morns the loss of the only home that he has ever known. Whether or not the “Scorpion” was on board the Orbital and perished remains to be seen…

  • GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from the adventure of the same name by Tadeusz Cantwell . It can be found here:
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