The surviving members of Red Cell (Quint, Hadrian, Lysandros, and Sister Uriel) find that they have been taken captive by unknown forces. Unsure of how much time has passed since the ill-fated events that took place at the House of Dust and Ash, during which Rasar was killed by daemons, the Acolytes go in and out of consciousness witnessing unspeakable horrors and torment from their captors in the sporadic moments when they are awake. Eventually, the Acolytes wake to find themselves free of their bonds but lying naked at the bottom of a blood-soaked blood sport arena pit with several other captives, including Lord Melua; Red is not present and his fate is unknown.
A pack of deadly canine-like creatures are released into the pit and begin to devour the trapped humans. With the help of a Heron Masked Man, the Acolytes and Lord Melua are the only survivors of the blood sport pit, which they barely escape. Free from immediate danger, they discover that their rescuer is gone but he has left a dagger and a strange note pledging possible assistance. The party has little time to contemplate its meaning at the moment, and with pursuers hot on their heels, they flee from the pit and into the depths of a massive steel and concrete labyrinth with the constant sounds of machinery. The purpose and whereabouts of their location is unknown, but hours of walking bring them no exit or interaction with people other than the hunting parties of men tracking them with sensor-equipped servo-skulls. The party is able to defeat or evade these hunting teams and start to accumulate weapons from their hunters, or from the dead bodies of others discovered in the course of their travels.
Hunting parties are not the only dangers that the battered party encounter in the depths of this hellish labyrinth. Strange deadly creatures, murderous servitors, a disturbing shrine and an ancient abandoned manse with the remains of a giant humanoid are sights that the party comes across. Eventually the party happens upon a group of beast wranglers herding a hideous and deadly looking creature to the doors of a location designated as Vault 13. Following safely behind, the Acolytes find Vault 13 to be a massive room that appears to be of some importance to the operations going on. It is filled with cargo containers, an overhead winch system, several large animal cages, a security monitoring station, an Imperial Guard field hospital pod and most importantly, an elevator that hopefully goes up to freedom. The area is heavily guarded by the beast wranglers and there appears to be special interest in guarding the hospital pod.
Quint and Sister Uriel come up with a plan to distract the guards by releasing some of the caged creatures to draw the guards’ attention and using the distraction to approach the medical pod and find out what is inside. Quint and Lord Melua approach a trio of cages while the others wait for their move. The first cage that they inspect contains hideous man-sized spiders with blades for mandibles and claws. Both Lord Melua and Quint lose their nerve at the sight of these creatures and Quint is so traumatized that he temporary loses his ability to speak. It is decided that the spider-creatures are too much and they move to the next cage and find a pack of the same type of canine creatures that were released to devour the Acolytes in the blood sport cage during their initial encounter in this place.
The plan goes somewhat according to plan- one of the creatures pursues Lord Melua upon its release, two run after Quint and the rest charge toward a group of the wranglers. Using the distraction, the rest of the Acolytes begin their approach to the Pod. Wranglers begin to take up positions around the pod and security station while others go after Quint and the creatures he released. Of additional concern, a sniper on top of the medical pod makes himself known and begins engaging the Acolytes and the creatures.
A fierce run and gun battle with bouts of intense melee breaks out in the Vault. Surprisingly, Lord Melua demonstrates that he can be a fierce fighter when pushed and he single-handedly dispatches the creature pursuing him and then kills several of the slavers with an axe. Hadrian also shows that he can be quite deadly with the use of a sniper rifle that he repurposed from a slaver (a weapon that he is not trained on) and he dispatches several of the enemy.
Sister Uriel is the first to make it to the pod and upon swinging open its doors she finds their missing teammate and a gruesome sight. Under the guard of a torturer and a medical servitor, in a scene of blood-splattered gore, are two naked individuals strapped down on metal lab tables. One of these is the unconscious form of Red missing a large chunk of muscle from the thigh of his left leg and on the other table- a man missing his legs from the knees down, his right arm and with a crudely nailed Inquisitor Rosette nailed directly into his chest. The Acolytes and Slavers all congregate in the medical pod to finish the battle and eventually the slavers are defeated.
The party learns that other occupant of Red’s prison is an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos named Nazauth Karkalla. Karkalla tells the Acolytes that they are in Xicarph- the capital city of the pleasure planet of Quaddis during a great celebration called the Festival of Tattered Fates- a great celebration of decadence and sinful folly. The Inquisitor explains that he was in the process of tracking members of the criminal organization known as the Beast House to their operations on Quaddis when his team was ambushed by members of the Beast House backed by members of a Chaos cult called the Pilgrims of Hayte. With the death of all of his men but one, the Inquisitor was captured and has been tortured by a man known as the Heron Masked Man. Karkalla believes that the Heron Masked Man has a plan to bring death to this world and asks that the Acolytes stop it.
The Acolytes swear to the Inquisitor that they will bring the Emperor’s Justice and stop the Heron Masked Man’s plan and Karkalla’s instructs them to find his last surviving acolyte, the White Scholar. Upon giving this last bit of information, the Inquisitor breathes his last. Mir relates to his fellows how he and Karkalla were tortured and also shares his disturbing experience of having parts of his leg eaten by the Wanted heretic that they met at the auction at the House of Dust and Ash known as Tobias Belasco. Mir also tells them that he overheard the leader of the Beast Slavers, a man wearing a Jackal Mask, mention to his men that Marshek (a Rogue Trader that the Cell also met at the House of Dust and Ash) was working with the Heron Masked Man.
Grabbing what gear they can salvage from the dead slavers and the discarded piles of equipment and supplies in the Vault, the Acolytes make their escape from the vast underground nightmare and emerge on the surface of the city, which is enclosed in a giant glass dome. The city streets are crowded with costumed and masked revelers and the Acolytes find themselves in the gaming and blood sport arena section of the city.
- GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from Fantasy Flight’s “Tattered Fates” book by Alan Bligh and John French. It can be found here: