Faith and Betrayal
“Faith and Betrayal” is a Warhammer 40,000 Dark Heresy/Deathwatch RPG Campaign set approximately around the time 814.M41. It follows the exploits of Acolytes under the command of Inquisitor Sand of the Ordo Xenos and the missions of Deathwatch Kill-Team “Kronus.” Working alone, and sometimes together, both of these Inquisition units are dedicated to finding and destroying the enemies of the Imperium. Only in Death Shall Duty End!!
“The Eternal Tide”…(02/20/2014)
Upper Spire of Hive Sibellus two months following the failed assassination/capture of Magos Caerivus
Inquisitor Sand sat in the private open air booth looking out at the layer of greyish white clouds below. Even this high, the pollution was starting to have its toll and it would not be long before even these clouds were permanently black and foul smelling. The booth was elegant and richly decorated, as was expected from an establishment that catered to the rich and elite. The rose-colored marble surfaced table with rare Teek chairs, small finely-crafted reliefs of various Imperial iconography and a richly colorful painting depicting Saint Drusus marching in victory amongst a cheering crowd of millions following the pacification of the Calixis Sector were just some of the expensive decorations that pleasured the eyes. Sand took another sip from his glass of wine as his visitor entered the booth and took a seat.
“I see you’re drinking Golden Tokay,” Inquisitor Srax-Rhame said nodding with approval at the bottle of Quaddis-made vintage sitting on Sand’s table. “You know that it’s said that some vintages from Quaddis are so perfect that their mere taste…”
“Is enough to kill a man with pleasure. Yes, yes, we’ve all heard that by now and its getting a little old” Sand said cutting the other Inquisitor off.
“Just cause the saying is old doesn’t mean it’s not true,” Srax-Rhame replied as he pored himself a glass of the vintage.
Nearby, his bodyguard, the Moritat assassin Esme Blackheart, stepped back toward the booth’s wall and almost seemed to blend in inconspicuously with the surroundings. A technique used no doubt to avoid detection but still be within range to defend her master. A dark-colored armored bodyglove covered her small lithe body and from her matching mask, her black eyes studied Sand’s bodyguard, Red, whose appearance and stance was in direct contrast to Esme. The massive armored Crusader made no attempt to hide out of sight, but prominently stood near his master to defend him if neccessary.
“I heard the assassination of Caerivus was a failure. My sources tell me your Interrogator, Quint, was on scene but he allowed Caerivus to escape.” Srax-Rhame cocked an eyebrow, “Is this true?”
“Your sources are correct. Caerivus did escape, with the assistance of Quint and some of my acolytes but they were able to recover some of Redole’s lost research, as well as find out what Caerivus is doing for the Logicians.”
“Gramen, I can’t help but voice my disappointment. You and I both know the danger that the Logicians pose. Whatever intentions they have with Redole’s research will not have the Imperium’s best interests in mind. And to allow a traitor, a heretic like Caerivus, with access to Inquisition secrets go free is unacceptable. How many do we now have to silence because of Caerivus’ operation on Spectoris? How many has he involved- these mercenaries that he hired- the Steel Savages? The Organicists from the Adeptus Mechanicus?”
“The Steel Savages are not a concern. I have credible information from my sources that their operation with Caerivus and the ensuing firefight they had with the Organicist forces sent to intercept Caerivus’ salvage operation has sealed their fate. The Organicists don’t know what, if anything, was brought up from Redole’s underwater lab but they do know that Captain Liam and his Steel Savages were responsible for defying their authority and that alone will ensure their termination and cease their operations on Spectoris.”
“That may be true, but regardless, I have sent resources to deal with any surviving Steel Savages and to pick up Caerivus’ trail- a trail that should have ended with the hands of your men strangling the life out of that traitor.”
“Quint chose a proper course of action given the circumstances. Caerivus is alive yes, but now we have an opportunity- an avenue of investigation that until now has been closed for some time. How long has it been since we’ve had a potential path to an Iron Techtrarch? Ten, twenty, years? Aren’t you tired of eating little fish in the pond Srax-Rhame?”
Srax-Rhame did not immediately reply but took a drink from his glass and pondered as he enjoyed the taste of the wine. “You know, my sources also tell me that your man Quint is a Logician agent- a double agent like Caerivus.”
“He is indeed, but this was done with my approval to work towards my…our goals.”
“I’m sure by now, Caerivus has told his superiors of Quint’s allegiance to the Inquisition.”
“Let him. They may think that Quint is a traitor to their organization or perhaps they may think they have someone they can exploit in ours. In any case, I will have Quint take precautions. He understands the danger and has accepted the potential consequences.”
“Has he now? There are not many outside of the Ecclessiarchy and the Adeptus Astartes so eager to throw their lives to the winds of fate.”
Sand did not respond immediately, but stared at a passing cherub flying past spraying a pleasant-scented fragrance from a dangling incense orb. “All of us choose to make sacrifices of a sort for what we believe in” he said momentarily lost in thought.
Srax-Rhame continued, “So the specimen recovered from Redole’s lab, it’s like the others we know of?”
“My preliminary research of the documents recovered by my team and their descriptions of the specimen appear to indicate yes.”
“And now they have another specimen. That makes at least two that we know of in their possession. We have only been able to retrieve the one after all these years. Speaking of our specimen, what has your and Faust’s research on it uncovered?”
Sand again did not respond immediately but drank the last of the wine in his glass.
- GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from “The Eternal Tide" adventure by Andrea Gausman. It can be found on the Fantasy Flight Games website “here”
The acolytes continue searching the interior of Redole’s secret laboratory and on the bottom level in the darkness danger finally strikes- several murder servitors programmed to guard the area where submersibles are kept attack Quint with deadly results. The unconscious Interrogator has to be pulled up to safety by his comrades and Bishop decides to go back to Tam’s ship to retrieve some illumination devices.
Hours pass with no word from Bishop or the return of the diving bell from topside and the acolytes begin to suspect that something is wrong. Not willingly to brave the servitor-guarded area again with Jez and Quint wounded, the acolytes decide to give Bishop some more time and are relieved sort of when the diving bell returns to Redole’s lab empty of occupants.
Suspecting a trap, the acolytes ascend back to Tam’s ship in the bell with their weapons ready and when the door opens, as they suspected, they find themselves staring at a small force of Captain Anthony Liam’s heavily armed Steel Savages. Magos Caerivus is present via hololithic projector and he orders the acolytes to surrender so that, much to the acolytes’ surprise, the parties can negotiate their differences. Most of the acolytes turn over their weapons, through Jak, Quint and Rylak are able to conceal a pistol or knife from their captors. With Jak under guard below deck of Liam’s ship, the Lantern, the rest of the party meet up with Tam and Bishop (also taken captive) and join Caerivus and his silent servant in his make-shift office. There, they see some of the documents that Caerivus has stolen and learn of Caerivus’ work to continue Redole’s research- research that he tells the acolytes their masters mean to suppress because its success will mean immortality for all of humanity. Caerivus offers the acolytes a partnership to help him in his work to better humanity and the offer appears to be genuine and some of the acolytes appear to be interested.
The conversation soon turns to topics that only Quint and Caerivus are knowledgeable of, such as the secret Revivificator faction and the Logicians, and Quint’s mind spins trying to think of a way to gain control of the conversation and sanitize the minds of the rest of his party from this information that they have not been cleared to have knowledge of. Using his secret identity as a Logician operative, Quint subtlety displays the secret gesture identifying himself as a Logician member to Caerivus and the surprised Tech-Priest asks Quint to go topside to engage in private conversation. There, they establish a rapport and understanding of their individual missions and a deal is brokered to finish the salvage operation here and head back to port where the parties will part ways and Caerivus will escape with his prize and Quint will report failure of the mission to his supervisors. Whether or not Quint intends to stick to the deal remains to be seen.
With this new understanding, Jak is allowed to join the rest of his comrades as they eat, drink and relax under the eyes of a small escort while Captain Liam’s men bring up the strange figure in stasis from Redole’s lab. The salvage teams have just secured the stasis tank on board one of Liam’s other ships, the Ray, when a new arrival descends from the clouds overhead- a massive sky ship from the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Over the vox, Captain Liam’s fleet is ordered to surrender and prepare to be boarded by the Mechanicus forces. Not interested in giving up their prize, the Steel Savages prepare for battle. Crew-served heavy weapons are manned and the mercenaries lock-and-load weapons. Inbound, descending with jet packs from the sky ship, can be seen the figures of heavily armored Skitarii warriors.
Using the confusion, Jak, Quint and Rylak are able to slip below deck to Caerivus’ office hoping to secure the stolen research documents so that they can complete one objective of their mission. Guarded only by Caerivus’ silent robed servant, Jak moves to incapacitate the servant while Quint moves to search the desk only to find that the servant is not what he appears to be and is actually an Ashen Tear Assassin (a specially trained and enhanced operative of the Logicians).
A fierce melee and firefight breaks out between the party and the assassin. Caerivus’ office becomes a mess of broken furniture, shattered wood and steel and torn and shredded documents as bolter rounds and other small arms fire discharges in the close confines. Some miss their mark but some are accurate and Quint and Jak are both severely wounded by the assassin before Rylak is able to dispatch the Logician agent.
“The Deep Blue”…(02/06/2014)
After beaten unconscious by several bouncers at a bar, Rylak is rescued by Jak, who intervenes and takes Rylak safely away from the situation. Rylak’s luck goes from bad to worse when a disagreement between him and Jak results in Jak knocking out his teammate and leaving him on a passing mono-rail. A priest of the Ecclessiarchy happens to be passing by and saves Rylak from being stripped of all of his possessions by street people.
Meanwhile, Jak proceeds with his work for Johnny “the Vapor Rat” and hits a local narco-gang warehouse. Single-handedly, Jak dispatched five of the six gangers guarding the warehouse (the last one escapes) and secures a large stash of illegal drugs. With merchandise in hand, he exchanges it to Johnny for information on Caerivus. True to his word, Johnny tells Jak that his contacts note that Caerivus was meeting with a ship Captain named Anthony Laim who runs a poaching group called the “Steel Savages.” The Steel Savages are known as professional big game hunters with ties to a powerful organization called the Beast House.
Topside of the hive, the rest of the party learn that Caerivus set sail with Anthony and his trio of ships two days ago to a remote and dangerous location called the Carrion Gorges. They scour the docks looking for someone crazy enough to take them to the Gorges and find a boat captain named Tam Chevrin. Chevrin appears to be crazy, but competent, and she drives a hard bargain for passage. Quint dips into his master’s coffers to pay for the price of passage and to buy additional equipment for the team.
Once all of the acolytes meet back up, the team and Tam depart for the Gorges- a three day trip from Enkaiden. During a conversation with Tam, Tam shares information that she knows the location of a secret underwater lab of the renown Magos Redole Halix that is hidden in the Gorges. Believing this to be more than mere coincidence, the party negotiates a deal for Tam to take them to this location.
Upon arrival at the lab’s location, the acolytes use a diving bell to descend into the ocean’s depths and deep underwater, they observe a large free-floating, but stationary coral-encrusted sphere. After docking at the hatch and ensuring a water-tight seal, the party enters the sphere to find that it is deserted and appears to have been for quite some time. Exploration of its interior shows a vast library still containing crumbling tomes and documents and several research rooms with deceased specimens of various Xenos organisms.
The biggest surprise comes from the final research room they explore, which contains an operational stasis tank with a very much alive (but in stasis) individual who disturbingly looks much like a normal-sized version of Jak. Contemplating, this development, Jak studies his odd twin while the rest of the party continues exploring the Sphere.
After several rare copies of documents concerning the research of renown genetor Magos Halix Redole are stolen from Revivificator faction holdings on Morwen VI, Interrogator Quint is dispatched with a team of acolytes to the water world of Spectoris to retrieve the documents and capture or terminate their thief, Magos Caerivus (a loyal faction member who has recently been discovered to be a Logician agent). Upon arrival, the team makes contact with an Inquisition agent named Kel Sanus (also called Bishop) who has been tracking Caerivus, but lost the tech-priest once he arrived planet side at the hive city of Enkaiden.
After a night of rest and socializing at a local bar, the acolytes begin the toiling task of looking for clues on Caerivus’ location and purpose on Spectoris. Several promising leads are discovered after the acolytes talk to various people in the dock and Adminstratum areas of the hive- both of which appear to show that Caerivus has an interest in an expanse of ocean located some distance from the hive city and that he might have procured the services of an individual named Liam Anthony who is known to captain a poaching ship called the Lantern.
In an effort to gather additional data, Jak and Rylak head to the lower hive levels to engage in conversation with the less than law-abiding populace and an inquiry at a seedy bar named Sid’s offers Jak a business proposition from a local ganger named Johnny “the Vapor Rat.” In an exchange for information, Jak agrees to procure a box for the ganger. All seems to be proceeding well until Rylak gets into an altercation with several of the bar bouncer’s. Outnumbered, and in front of a cheering crowd of bystanders, Rylak is knocked unconcious just as Jak steps in to assist his teammate.