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!!”
“Five Minutes to Extraction”…(03/27/2015)
With the Rite of Auto-Annihilation complete, the Perihelion’s massive plasma reactor starts becoming unstable and there is only a short window of opportunity for the Kill-team to make it off the station and get a safe distance away to survive the station’s destruction. With the station’s structural integrity failing, the Kill-team must maneuver past obstacles of falling debris and collapsing corridors, as well as fight past scattering Tyranids caught in the destruction.
Making it to the nearest landing bay with only a short amount of time left, the Kill-team voxes their awaiting Thunderhawk for extraction and gets to work preparing to exit. It is decided that splitting into teams would be best. One team to find a suitable void suit for Astropath Arlarnt, so that he may survive the void when the landing bay doors are opened. One team, which includes Brother Aoner wearing the Lucius-Pattern Vision Cowl to scan for incoming Tyranids, including Species Seven. And the last team, consisting of Brothers G’heirnat and Vectis, who have been tasked with manually opening the massive landing bays doors, which are no longer responding to electronic controls.
With five minutes till their Thunderhawk arrives, Palatine Ruby and Brother Angelous are able to locate, and get Arlarnt secured in a void suit just as several large groups of Tyranid creatures converge on the landing bay from several directions. Brother Dante quickly requests the assistance of the Alpha Scars Chapter Tactical Squad under the command of Sergeant Riesus that has been waiting on standby to assist. The squad teleports into the center of the landing bay with weapons ready to support the Kill-team’s exit.
With the clock ticking away to destruction, Brother Aoner’s Lucius-Pattern enhanced vision notes a fast moving smaller group of Tyranids heading toward the landing bay concealed by the walls…
“The Dying of St. Margaret’s”…(03/20/2015)
Continuing the joint investigation that started with the strange tainted black birds that were found in Hive Sibellus at the Colleges of Hetaireia Lexis, Inquisitor Sand and Inquisitor Baspherone have yet to locate Chaos cultist Stefan Seiger, but have uncovered information about some time the cultist spent in the disguise of an Imperial Priest working at the isolated island Schola Progenium of St. Margaret’s on the world of Pellicuda IX. The long-established schola had a reputation for producing quality progena, but over the past couple of decades, the numbers of quality graduating progena has declined and the schola has been plagued by personnel issues, deaths and training accidents that are far above the norm for such an institution; analysis shows that these deficiencies appear to have started after Seiger’s time at the schola.
Initially, Inquisitor Baspherone dispatches a team of his acolytes to St. Margaret’s in an overt investigation into the matter, but the team disappears with no explanation after a week on site. Concerned about hidden Chaos agents amongst the schola’s population, Inquisitor Sand dispatches a team of his own acolytes led by Legatine Uriel, whose cover story is that she is has been assigned as the new head of the schola’s medicae facility to address the unusual number of deaths and injuries taking place. Flak accompanies the team assigned as Uriel’s bodyguard, Bishop takes the cover identity of a pilgrim and Lupus is assigned as the schola’s new choir teacher. These various appointments should allow the acolytes to investigate all ranges, from the upper administration to the lowly pious servants, of the schola’s population.
Upon arrival, the acolytes quickly adapt to their cover identities and the strict puritan way of life that the schola functions under. Three Imperial services and three humble meals a day, corporal punishment of students by Drill Abbots and the constant sound of Imperial hymns in the background are just some of the conditions the acolytes endure during their investigation, which they conduct in-between the duties of their assigned cover identifies.
While no hidden cultists of malevolent individuals are found, there is definitely something strange going on at the schola. All of the staff and children appear to be in a state of constant weakness and fatigue, and Uriel is perplexed when her studies of patient records show that everyone, even young children, are suffering from various degenerative medical conditions. The people, the structure of the schola, and even the land itself seem to be aged and in a decrepitated state with no explanation. The acolytes soon find after their first night of sleep that sleep offers no rest and fatigue is a constant condition that plagues everyone no matter how much sleep one gets.
Uriel suspects some type of contamination affecting everyone and starts looking at ventilation, food and water as potential causes. The other acolytes question some of the staff but no leads are made until Bishop breaks into the secure theater that the previous Inquisition team was using as a base of operations. Inside the acolytes find a wealth of research material that the other team complied, and analysis leads the acolytes to believe that the other Inquisition team found evidence to support that something emanating from a meteor that crashed long ago into the beach of the island is responsible for the maladies taking place.
After finding evidence that the other Inquisition team acquired spelunking equipment, the acolytes decide that there must be a cave near the beach and set out to investigate the possibility. Their hypothesis proves correct, and they do find a small cave mouth concealed on the boulder-strewn beach. Using Bishop’s expertise from his upbringing on a frontier world, the team takes hours to navigate a cave system that is lit by a strange phosphoresce from an unknown source. The trip through the cave eventually leads the acolytes to the remains of the other Inquisition team. Some are just piles of rapidly decomposed bones and equipment, but others appears to be alive until, to the horror of the acolytes, a mere touch causes their forms to rapidly fall apart as dust.
The cave ends in a cavern with a large glowing rock of a strange material that is surrounded by a dense shifting fog that the acolytes soon discover is actively sucking the life from them. With the sudden appearance of daemons of Tzeentch called Horrors, the acolytes begin a desperate fight to destroy the meteor before they succumb to the life-draining fog and its daemonic guardians. With the group on the brink of death, Uriel finally sends the last shot that shatters the meteor and banishes the daemons and the life-draining taint from the schola.
“The Watchers in the Sky”…(03/05/2015)
On behalf of Inquisitor Sand’s old alma mater, the College of Hetaireia Lexis on the planet of Scintilla, one of the Inquisitor’s old professors (and dean of the Lexis Maxima), Magister Loremaster Cornelius Wright, has requested Inquisition assistance in investigating a strange and perplexing matter in recent months in which standardized experiments on campus have resulted in abnormal results with no explanation; this phenomenon appears to be only limited to the Lexis Maxima campus in Hive Sibellus. The abnormalities are severely hindering research projects since known effects are no longer standard.
Interested in helping his old friend, but still preoccupied with his search for Interrogator Quint and other matters, Inquisitor Sand dispatches a team lead by one of his senior acolytes, Magos Vern (the rest of the team members include Lupus, Bishop and a newly acquired acolyte from the Penal Legion that goes by the nickname of Flak). In addition, Vern decides to take the added firepower of a gun servitor just in case.
Upon arriving at the Lexis Maxima, the acolytes are set up with quarters and the faculty extend whatever assistance they can provide to resolve this matter. Vern conducts some experiments of his own and confirms that standardized chemical reactions and other known results are not happening. The rest of the acolytes spend their time interviewing other faculty, including a Loremaster named Kale who is currently being treated in a sanatorium on campus that is run by an order of the Sisters Hospitalers. Kale proves to be suffering from some type of psychosis and he believes that the strange black birds on campus that look similar to crows are the cause of the anomalies.
The acolytes note that there are hundreds of the black birds perched on buildings and trees throughout the campus and they always move together in a flock. Lupus and Bishop start getting the sickening feeling that the birds are watching their every move, and during the night, their dreams are filled with the ever watchful forms of the birds. The feeling of their constant gaze starts to wear away at their sanity and they each begin to subconsciously trace a strange spiral pattern with their hands, the same distinct pattern that they have noted the birds always using when they fly up into the sky.
Intrigued by this strange bird theory causing the anomalies, Vern tasks Lupus and Flak to secure a specimen for analysis. On the high roof of one of the campus’ buildings, the pair try to lure a bird with food with no success. It is only when Lupus decides to shoot one with his crossbow that the normally passive birds react violently and attack Lupus en masse. Despite being seriously wounded, and almost falling to his death, Lupus does kill one of the birds and brings it back to Vern.
Vern conducts an autopsy on the animal and finds a strange physiology inside- the bird is not of any known species, and more disturbing, some of its internal bones and organs appear to be from a variety of species, including humans and dogs. Even stranger is the absence of blood, and instead there is a black caviar-like substance that holds the insides together.
The group decides to each utilize their scholastic and forbidden knowledge to comb the source material in the libraries of the Lexis Maxima. In addition, they pay a visit to the College’s premiere ornithologist on birds across the galaxy, Loremaster Juliann Nott. Nott tells the acolytes that the black birds are not native to Scintilla (or any other known place) and were in fact brought to the College over twenty years ago as a pair by a previously employed Loremaster named Sieger. Sieger has since left the employment of the College and his whereabouts are unknown. It is believed that his pair of birds bred and the flocks on campus are their offspring.
Additionally research reveals the following: 1) Lupus recognizes Sieger as a Churirgeon that used to work at a manor house that was purchased by Inquisitor Sand; it was later found that Sieger was a Chaos cultist for the Eldritch Order of the Unblinking Eye and he fled Imperial authorities while the rest of the cult were being terminated. 2) The bird’ spiral pattern is similar to the symbol of the Chaos power of Tzeentch and there is a numeric significance present related to the number “9.” 3) It is believed that the birds are related to the Warp and a theory is developed that as their numbers increase, they weaken the veil between the Warp and realspace (thus the abnormal experiment reactions) and left uncheck, a tear in the fabric of reality will happen. 4) There are reports of similar types of birds near a remote frontier city outside of Hive Sibellus called Rydal.
The acolytes’ investigation is not without complications though, as a power play between Vern with his Inquisition authority and the Sisters Hospitalers and their Ecclessiarchy authority creates a situation in which both groups get higher powers involved. Inquisitor Sand and Inquisitor Baspherone both personally respond to ease tensions and negotiate a working relationship. The potential Warp threat that the birds create cannot be ignored and it is decided that Inquisitor Baspherone will oversee an operation to have Sisters of Battle Retributor Squads armed with flame weapons destroy the birds on campus while Vern and his team continue the investigation in Rydal.
After requisitioning a Valkyrie transport, the team secretly lands on the outskirts of the town of Rydal and approaches on foot. They find that the black birds are indeed present, in considerably more numbers than they were at the Lexis Maxima. They find the townsfolk to be quiet and melon collie and they are mainly miners that work the network of mines that surround the town. The team learns much from a local named Vincent who is not a priest, but is caretaker of the town Church; he tells Lupus that the Ecclessiarchy has not sent a new priest to take over since the last one drowned in the nearby lake over twenty years ago. The acolytes also learn that the town’s women are being plague by a madness in which they take their own lives, which is why there are few woman in the town and the area is shunned by travelers.
After securing room and board at a local inn called the “Green Man,” Lupus and Flak make additional inquires to people but find little useful information other than not many actively worship the Emperor in the area and the strange birds are in abundance but not dangerous. Lupus and Flak do get involved one night in helping Vincent save his daughter from taking her life on a strange stone that sits outside the town- a stone with strange occult engravings that has a local history as a suicide location.
Deciding that the mines might hold the answer, the group makes inquires for a local guide to take them where there are reports of strange phenomena and a miner named ‘Ol Ned agrees to provide his services for hire. Early the following day, ‘Ol Ned takes the group to an old series of mines near a place called the Longhrigg Quarry. Inside is a maze of tunnels that ‘Ol Ned seems to know how to navigate that takes them deep underground in the dark. The tunnels appear to be a nesting place for yet thousands more of the black birds who lay asleep on the walls ignoring the group’s progress. Hours pass by as the group goes deeper and deeper into the earth, and eventually they arrive at a section where the barrier between realspace and an unknown Warp world is permeable. Strange sights and creatures can be seen on the ever fluctuating tunnel walls of the mines and further exploration leads the acolytes to a bright pillar of light in a dead end cavern.
The acolytes find out almost too late that you have been set up and local cultists open fire from the cavern, nearly killing Flak. The acolytes regroup, and using the cover of a tossed blind grenade, they conduct an assault. With the group momentarily split up, ‘Ol Ned, proves to be a cultist as well and launches a surprise attack on Bishop with his chainsword while Vern and Lupus are in the cavern attacking the cultists let by a rogue psyker that is a local shepherd. What follows is an intense battle between the acolytes and the cultists, who are supported by Tzeentch Flamer daemons that emerge from the pillar of light, which appears to be a gateway to the Warp world that is anchored by a strange inscribed stone in the light pillar.
Despite the daemonic horrors and psychic assault, the acolytes are victorious in terminating the cultists and destroying the Warpstone anchor, but the destruction of the stone unleashes one final surge of power as the thousands of birds in the mine attack the acolytes. The aftermath finds the acolytes barely alive and in serious need of medical attention (Flak lost his left eye to the birds), but all the birds in the mines and town are found to be dead and the taint in the area appears to be gone.
* GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from the Trail of Cthulhu adventure, “The Watchers in the Sky" by Graham Walmsley. It can be found on the Pelgrane Press Ltd website “here.”
“Staying Alive 1.0”…(01/08/2015)
Battle continues as Kill-Team Kronus crosses into the inner control chamber of the reactor core for the Perihelion. While Brother Angelos acts as rearguard against sporadic advancing Tyranid organisms, the rest of the team charges into the midst of the enemies waiting inside. Vectis takes a volley of fire from the fleshborers of a waiting horde of Termagants and their supersonic beetle ammunition bores through his armor in many places actually damaging the mostly impervious Tech Marine. When a Tyranid Warrior engages Vectis in melee, Brother Dante rushes to his Battle-brother’s aid and Palatine Ruby and Brother G’heirnat start decimating the ranks of the xenos horde with deadly flamer and storm bolter fire. Despite the many casualties the Termagants take, the minor xenos creatures hold position and continue to fire at the Kill-team.
With the enhanced visual assistance of the Lucius-Pattern Vision Hood, Brother Aoner is able to see two more Tyranid Warriors hidden on the other side of the control room and he advances ahead of his Kill-Team towards these targets. When he arrives, he does indeed find two more Tyranid Warriors, and realizes almost too late when one of them sends a powerful beam of psychic power at him that one of them is a psyker Tyranid Prime. The two pskyers, Librarian and Prime, begin a duel hurling psychic energy at each other.
Calling for his Kill-team to push forward, Brother Dante leads a charge that results in the death of the Warrior fighting Vectis and inspires the rest of his team. Brother G’heirnat and Palatine Ruby continue to thin the Termagant ranks yet further. Brother Dante later charges into the remaining Termagants and uses the Hammer of Balthazar to smash his foes while his teammates use him as a screen to occupy the Tyranids while they continue to pour firepower into their ranks.
Brother Vectis rushes to Brother Aoner’s position to assist him battle with the Tyranid Prime and remaining Warrior. Brothers Dante and G’heirnat soon follow when the remaining Termagants finally fall. The Prime unleashes several Psychic Screams on the party while the Warrior engages the team in melee. These combined efforts are enough to critically injure Brother Dante and knock him unconscious before Brother Vectis’ Breaching Auger drills the life from the Tyranid Warrior. The rest of the Kill-team converge on the Prime, and outnumbered and trapped, the xenos is slain.
After setting up a security perimeter, and tending to the wounded, the Kill-team searches the control room for the Sacred Scroll of the Rite of Auto-Annihilation. Palatine Ruby braves the radiation danger and locates the scroll and immediately heads out to a protected area while Brothers G’heirnat and Vectis complete the Rite, which is executed flawlessly.
With the safety barriers disabled, the massive plasma reactor becomes unstable amidst the sound of warning klaxons. The countdown to the destruction of the Perihelion begins and the Kill-team makes haste to the nearest hanger bay for extraction.
Kill-team Kronus arrives at the massive plasma reactor that powers the entire orbital. Stretching up through several levels and crawling with thousands of Tyranid organisms, the Kill-team starts their long approach to the control room located in the center of the massive chamber. Leaking radiation slowly starts to affect their bodies but their Melanchromic Organs are able to protect them from permanent damage for the time being. Vectis drags the body of the hibernating Sergeant Aagamorr as the team makes their way to the closest catwalk that travels through the arcing plasma streams to the control room.
Their progress is soon noted by the nearby surrounding Tyranids and a warning flashes through the Hive Mind. Hundreds of Hormagaunts and Termagants’ under the direction of Tyranid Warriors make haste to the Kill-Team’s position. Some of the Tyranids are fast enough to intercept the team before they make it to the center of the chamber and a blood battle ensues between the two forces.
Palatine Ruby’s stormbolter blasts many of the lesser Tyranid organisms to pulp and she is responsible for bringing one of the massive Tyranid Warriors down on her own. Angelos, Dante and G’heirnat wade into the Tyranid ranks cutting, slashing and pulverizing Tyranid bodies with their weapons. Wielding the Hammer of Balthazar, Dante smashes Tyranids to lifeless shattered sacks of flesh and chitin. Aoner supports his comrades with his psychic powers and Vectis supports his team while dragging the bulk of the unconscious sergeant.
As the battle continues, the massive numbers of the Tyranids starts to give them an advantage. While decimating a horde of Termagants, Brother Angelos goes down and is swarmed by the creatures. Brother Dante and Brother G’heirnat are able to get to their critically wounded battle-brother in time to treat his wounds. Many of the Kill-team have sustained numerous injuries as they finally make their way to the catwalk that leads to the reactor’s central control but inside they find that the battle is still not over as yet more Tyranids wait for them within the control room itself. With time ticking away, the Kill-team charges into the enemy…
Kill-team Kronus slays the last of their Genestealer attackers and Brother G’heirnat administers aid to his battered comrades. Their time on the Perihelion facing the Tyranid threat is starting to take its toll on the Kill-team- the stock of pain suppressants in their armor is slowly being depleted, their apothecary’s supply of medications has long been used up, and it is only through G’heirnat’s medicae skills and the grace of the Emperor that the Kill-team is still in fighting condition.
Finally arriving at the Adeptus Mechanicus section of the station, the Kill-team makes their way through a devastated section where the Tyranids have used brute strength and numbers to smash their way through the security protocols and physical barriers- the remains of combat servitors litter the corridors and heavy reinforced doors have been torn asunder. The exception to this devastation is the area where the Tech-Priests house their high-value secure storage. The Kill-team find that the Tyranid advance has not penetrated this far into the section and Brother Dante decides that he and Brother Angelos will scout ahead of the rest of the team to check for an ambush.
Ahead of their fellows, Dante and Angelos find that the area is still under guard by active combat servitors. The heavily augmented guardians rush at the Space Marines with deadly whip-like appendages crackling with power. Calling to his team for aid, the two Space Marines are engaged by the servitors and Angelos becomes a whirlwind of death destroying his foes. By the time the rest of the Kill-team arrives, the few remaining servitors are easily dispatched and the way to recover the Lucius-Pattern Vison Hood is clear.
Using the authorization codes provided to them by the Adeptus Mechanicus, Brother Vectis unseals the vault where the Hood is being stored. A marvel of archeotech, the Vision Hood gives it wearer the ability to detect life signs through a variety of barriers and cloaking devices, detect radiation and contaminants, and note flaws in structural integrity. Hoping the device will assist them in combating the Tyranids with chameleon abilities, Brother Aoner dons the Hood for the rest of the mission.
While evaluating the abilities of the Hood, the Kill-team gets a distress call from Veteran Sergeant Agamorr. The Sergeant’s mission in recovering the geneseed was successful, but the famed Deathwatch Space Marines is being attacked by overwhelming Tyranid forces and requests the Kill-team’s aid. With haste, the Kill-team navigates the Perihelion’s corridors (the Vison Hood assisting the Kill-team in evading Tyranid forces) and arrive at Agamorr’s location.
The Kill-team is too late for the battle and find the Veteran Sergeant’s bloody and broken body atop a small mountain of dead Tyranids. Sustaining grievous injuries, the Sergeant’s body is slipping into suspended animation to preserve his life until advanced medical aid can be given. G’heirnat revives the Sergeant for a short time so that they can question him about what took place. Agamorr still has the geneseed intact, but reports that a rare and classified Tyranid-strain creature known only as “Species Seven” attacked him. While the rest of the Kill-team are lost with the reference, Agamorr and G’heirnat know of the creature and the apothecary briefs his brothers on the rarely seen and reported (some don’t even believe in its existence) Tyranid creature that is simply described as a Hive Tyrant with Lictor abilities. Records indicate that there have been no survivors of a suspected Species Seven encounter.
Before slipping back into suspended animation, the Sergeant tells the kill team that Species Seven is stalking them even now and they must complete their mission before its too late. While Brother Vectis secures the Sergeant’s body, Brother G’heinat takes possession of the recovered geneseed and Brother Dante stows his chainsword to wield the mighty Hammer of Balthazar. The team then makes haste to the Engineerium to initiate the station’s auto-annihilation sequence…
“Stand Your Ground”…(11/06/2014)
On their way to the Mechanicus section of the Perihelion to recover the archeotech relic, the Lucius-pattern Vison Hood, Brother Vectis becomes aware of multiple contacts on the auspex rapidly approaching the Kill-team from two different sides. This message is relayed to his teammates and the Kill-team decides to form a defensive position in a room housing several of the station’s sub-generators. This room can be easily defended- a pile of rubble and debris partially blocks one corridor, a small hole in the ceiling allows limited access on one corner and there is only one long corridor that is entirely open. Brothers G’herinat and Aoner position to hold the long corridor with flamer and psychic powers, Palatine Ruby and Brothers Angelos and Dante act as a ready reserve to assist where they are needed and Brother Vectis watches the partially blocked corridor and the hole in the ceiling in a position where he can protect the Astropath.
The kill-team does not have to wait long until the enemy is upon them. A large group of Genestealers rushes down the corridor at G’hiernat and Aoner and they unleash their weapons in an effort to push them back and reduce their numbers. Calamity strikes the Kill-team from the onset as Aoner taps too much into the Warp and his psychic Smiting power backlashes onto himself severely wounding the Librarian and hurting his comrade Dante; the Black Templar G’heirnat is unharmed as his Chapter’s distrust of psykers has developed methods of protecting them from the Warp’s foul energies.
There are too many Genestealers to keep at bay with the weapons at the Kill-team’s disposal and battle is soon joined as Genestealers nearly overwhelm G’hiernat and Aoner. Brothers Dante and Angelos rush in to assist their battle-brothers while Vectis holds his section as best he can when Genestealers start emerging from the rubble and the hole in the ceiling. Overwhelmed and starting to sustain serious wounds, the Kill-team takes some desperate, but tactical measures- Palatine Ruby sends cleansing flamer fire to engulf Genestealer and Space Marine alike and all of the Battle-brothers, except Vectis and G’hiernat catch on fire with some of the Genestealers. Covered in flames, both forces fight on.
Angelos sends several Genestealers to their death with sweeps of Vectis’ power axe. G’heirnat takes on the enemy armed only with his Storm Shield and a Combat Knife. Vectis’ servo-arm reduces Genestealers to bloody pulp. Palatine Ruby’s hand flamer keeps the enemy burning. Bolstered by the defense of his Iron Arm psychic power, Aoner cuts at the Genestealers with the Shard of Bekrin. Dante yells defiance at the enemy and drives his comrades to a battle fervor that guides their attacks in a way that the Genestealers find difficult to avoid.
The Genestealers’ numbers start to fall but most of the Kill-team have sustained numerous wounds. Brother Aoner goes down after sustaining a multitude of injuries but Brother G’heirnat is able to revive his comrade and get him back into the fight. The battle continues…
The Kill-team and Sergeant Agamorr finish clearing the Perihelion’s docking and storage bay and their Thunderhawk gunship returns to the Argent Crusader to repair and rearm so that it can be ready for the Kill-team’s extraction call.
Making their way deeper into the station, the Kill-team and Agamorr split up to prosecute their individual missions before linking back up to enact protocols to destroy the Perihelion. Kill-team Kronus find the station in a decrepit state- lack of maintenance and the Tyranid presence has left failing or non-operational utility systems, a damaged interior and no sign of survivors. A scan by Brother Vectis picks up a faint distress signal Imperial in nature being broadcast from the bridge area and the Kill-team makes haste to locate the signal’s source.
Proceeding down one of the station’s many corridors, the Kill-team finds their way blocked by an unresponsive door. As Brother Vectis and Sister Ruby use their technical skill to attempt to revive the door’s machine spirits, the rest of the Kill-team enacts a desperate defense to buy Vectis and Ruby time to complete their work as a massive horde of Tyranid organisms floods the corridor intent on terminating the Kill-team. Termagaunts and Hormagaunts attack the Kill-team’s position with razor sharp claws and organic weapons that fire armor-boring beetles. Brother Aoner unleashes psychic power-fueled death while Brother Dante stoically stands his ground and to bulwark the corridor against the enemy.
Brother Dante stands firm but the Tyranids have inflicted numerous wounds on his enhanced physique. On the brink of being overrun, Vectis and Ruby are successful and the sealed door opens to reveal their missing Battle-brothers on the other side. Brother G’heirnat motions the team through the door while Brother Angelous charges into the Tyranid horde to buy his teammates time to retreat to safety. Once all of the Kill-team members are safely through the door, G’heirnat seals the door to stop the Tyranid assault.
A short exchange of pleasantries follows and the Kill-team learns of the hardships that Angelous and G’heirnat have endured for the past four months. With no ammunition left and their armor battered, G’heirnat and Angelous are grateful to receive the weapons and ammunition that the Kill-team has brought for them.
After utilizing the semi-operational augur array on the bridge, the Kill-team investigates a warning rune at some stasis chambers near the bridge and discover the Perihelion’s Chief Astropath, Mardon Arlarnt, who requests that the Kill-team escort him to safety so that he can relay a priority message that he was in the process on receiving when the station’s evacuation was taking place. Despite being wary of the psyker’s presence, the Kill-team agrees. With the astropath under their protection, the Kill-team decides to make their way to the Adeptus Mechancius section of the Perihelion to retrieve the archeotech item- the Lucius-pattern Vision Hood…
Using the bat-like wings granted to him with his daemonic ascension, Vargash the Black swept low over the battlefield surveying the damage his daemonic hordes and human followers were inflicting upon the Imperial Guard forces- his presence both motivating his troops and causing terror in the ranks of the enemies. The Imperial battle line was faltering and the moment of glory when the Chaos forces would breech the city walls and the real slaughter began was close.
Below, Vargash could see a squad of some of his own battle-brothers from the Black Legion advancing toward the wall. Imperial soldiers fell to their blades and bolter fire as bunkers and trenches were methodically cleared. Suddenly a massive explosion erupted in their midst, an ordnance shell from a nearby Leman Russ battle tank taking down three of their number. Another Leman Russ drove alongside the first and added the weight of its guns to stopping the Chaos advance. Guardsmen followed using the tanks as mobile cover. Daemons phased out of reality and back to the Warp as their physical forms sustained too much trauma from the Imperial counter attack. Chaos Space Marine Legionaries and their less armored allies alike took cover from the torrent of weapons fire.
Vargash dove toward the lead tank and sent his massive blade through its turret- the daemon prince’s massive strength easily pushing the blade through the tank’s thick armor. Two more swings severed the tank in two and the resulting explosion triggered from the damage tore apart some nearby guardsmen. Vargas waded into the Imperial ranks, 10,000 years dedicated to the art of war and the gifts bestowed by his daemonic patron had honed his body into a weapon of destruction. Slaughtering Imperial troops, he advanced towards the breach in the city walls where the last of the Imperial tanks were trying to hold…
Suddenly, there was a charge similar to that of static electricity and the air around Vargas simmered. In mid swing toward an Imperial Guard Captain, Vargash saw his surroundings shift to another locale. The fickle of the Warp was definitely at work here- some fool who did not understand its intricacies had caused an anomaly, an inadvertent summoning, and Vargash had randomly become the target. Taken away from his battle, Vargash gnashed his teeth in rage- he would deal with the one responsible for this interruption.
His surroundings solidified into what appeared to be a shuttle docking area of Imperial design. Vargash’s feet found purchase on a massive Thunderhawk gunship painted in black and showing the insignia of the Imperial Inquisition’s Deathwatch. In the zero gravity of the interior of the docking area, Vargash could pick out the forms of several Imperial Space Marines with their armor decorated in the colors of the Deathwatch- they appeared to be fighting a massive horde of Tyranid creatures. Scanning their members, Vargash could sense the psychic power emanating from one of the Space Marines- a Librarian. His shoulder pauldron showed that he hailed from the Space Wolves Chapter and looking at his helmetless face a spark of recognition struck Vargash- he had seen this man before years ago when he had inadvertently summoned Vargash while fighting Tryanids on a jungle-like planet. Vargash thought he had killed the psyker then but apparently the dark gods had a sense of humor to preserve his life and to once again make Vargash inconvenienced by the Librarian’s lack of skill in using his powers. Vargash’s eyes burned with hatred and glee, he was going to enjoy killing this one.
He ran down the length of the gunship to set up the perfect charge to brutally murder his foe but the Librarian sensed Vargash’s sudden presence and retreated backward a few steps turning to face him. “Coward,” Vargash thought to himself, “It’s a wonder that the Imperium won any wars with followers such as these.”
Suddenly a massive blast of energy struck Vargash in the back, his enhanced physique struggling to absorb and heal the devastating energies. Taking a glance back, Vargash saw that the Thunderhawk’s massive form had pivoted to bring its weapons to bear on him. Vargash was ready for the next shot and easily stepped out of the way of the beam from the double lascannon. The pain enraged Vargash even more and he turned back to the Librarian ready to charge but suddenly the Imperial psyker disappeared.
Vargash sensed the energies of the Warp, they had whisked the Librarian away to parts unknown. Vargash could only hope that the Librarian had reappeared in the center of a star or into the Palace of Slannesh. With his summoner gone, Vargash could already feel the bounds tying him to this place weakening, he would return back to salvage his battle but a burning desire for this Librarian’s death left Vargash unsatisfied. He would have to find out who this Librarian was that the dark gods have decided to tie his form to and pay him a visit…
“The Desperate Gambit”…(10/03/2014)
It has been months since Tyranid forces from a tendril of Hive Fleet Dagon advanced on the Imperial station in the Salient Orpheus known as the Perihelion. Just prior to the station being overrun, Kill-team Kronus departed the station with the fleeing Imperial fleet, but left behind two of its members- Brothers G‘heirnat and Angelos who volunteered to remain behind so that their team could complete their mission in extracting a high value Inquisition prisoner on a shuttle with limited space available.
Death at the hands of overwhelming Tyranid forces is the fate that many expect for the left behind Deathwatch Marines, and the notion of entertaining even the thought of a rescue attempt could not be done while the beleaguered Imperial forces were struggling to merely survive being routed. The battle line has moved far past the Perihelion and the station now lies deep in Tyranid territory. Deep scans by probing Adeptus Mechanicus vessels show that the station still appears to be intact, though its condition and structural integrity is in question as the monitors for many of its critical systems are no longer transmitting. Speculation, supported by biometric augurs, is that the station is infested with Tyranid organisms with a small force of capital-class ships stand guard nearby.
But recently, a window of opportunity has arrived- a desperate counter-assault by a combined force of Imperial Navy, Adeptus Astartes and Adeptus Mechanicus ships has stalled the Tyranid advance. A bloody stalemate has ensued and the call for reinforcements from both sides has gone out. Amongst this carnage, petitions for a rescue attempt have started again backed by the support of various Deathwatch, parent Chapter Space Marines, and a few members of the Inquisition and Adeptus Mechancius. This lull in the battle has again brought up the idea of a rescue attempt and, this time, enough support has come forward that a desperate plan was approved to send a small, but formidable, combined force of Naval, Astartes and Mechanicus ships to make a concentrated strike into the Tyranid battle line closest to the Perihelion in an attempt to draw away as much of the nearby Tyranid fleet as possible so that a sole Deathwatch cruiser, the Argent Crusader, can penetrate to the Perihelion and deliver Kill-team Kronus (consisting of Brothers Aoner, Vectis and Dante and Palatine Ruby) who will be accompanied by a legend amongst the Deathwatch and Space Marines- Veteran Sergeant Agamorr, to rescue the lost Space Marines, carry out a variety of sub-missions and destroy the Perihelion,.
After heated debate between Brothers Dante and Aoner, Brother Dante Brother Dante – Tactical Marine is voted as Kill-team leader and the group requisitions various weapons, equipment and assets to assist them on their mission, including two Deathwatch relics- Sergeant Agamorr will be wielding the famed Hammer of Balthazar and Brother Aoner will be wielding the Shard of Bekrin.
After an uneventful transit through the Warp, the Kill-team reaches their destination. It appears that the surrounding Tyranid ships have left to engage the Imperial forces and the only opposition the Kill-team faces at the moment are the Xenos that remain aboard the station. Inserting via a Thunderhawk gunship, the Kill-team and Sergeant Agamorr disembark into one of the station’s landing bays and find a formidable Tyranid force of Carnifexes, Termagants, Hormagaunts and Warriors waiting for them…