Still 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.
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 Enforcers, 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.
Fighting 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 he 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: