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 Fall of Solace”- Termination Order: Lericet Slaus (02/04/2016)
“The Fall of Solace”- Salvaging Solace (01/21/2016)
Mid-level in what remains of the capital hive city of the planet of Solace following the impact of the Imperial cruiser the Ardent Crown.
“…my priests inform me that the lower spires are in complete anarchy and there are barely enough enforcers, arbites and military personnel from the PDF and Cadian forces to secure the main transit lines that remain intact, let alone the general…”
Deacon/Acting Planetary Governor Coleridge was still droning on. The man was definitely pious (there was no doubt about that) but he was certainly no leader and his complaints and concerns of the various plights currently facing the hive world of Solace, especially the calamitous state of the planet’s capital hive, were constant and ongoing. Inquisitor Sand had long since lost interest in Coleridge’s words and feigned interest in a status report that sat on the meeting table in what he hoped would be a polite hint to the Deacon to finish. Sand reflected on the popular theory circulated about Lord Inquisitor Caidin wearing masks to conceal his true identity, and suddenly thought of another reason how wearing a mask could be useful at this moment.
“…food and water stocks are not adequate at all. The upper spire nobility have flooded my Office’s vox-networks and I have personal assistants, attaches, and secretaries lined up for miles to talk to me and my staff…”
It had been a week since Inquisitor Sand arrived at Solace, and three days since he and his acolytes were successful in boarding the crashed Genestealer-infested Imperial cruiser, the Ardent Crown, and shutting the ship’s massive engines down before they self-immolated with catastrophic results. Sand pondered how the planet might have been better off if the Ardent Crown’s engines had completed their Rite of Self-Immolation and detonated taking the rest of the crippled hive city and surrounding area with it. Reports were constantly flooding in about fires, flooding, suffocation, structure collapses, food and water shortages, mass rioting and criminal activities. And then there were the reports that really concerned Sand, Genestealers loose amongst the populace, confirmed Chaos cult activities, and even more concerning, reports of strange attacks and raids all across the planet whose vague descriptions lead Sand to believe they were related to the Necron (at least that was what he believed the Xenos species called itself) tomb complex hidden deep underground. Of course, Sand did not speak of the Necrons to any of the planet’s leadership, and had not even sent a transmission out to his peers and superiors about this unheard of threat, deciding that more information would be needed to compile an adequate report. The continued investigation of Quint and the Logicians that initially brought Sand to this planet had taken a back seat to more immediate concerns.
“…and we have not even broached the subject concerning the planet’s trade stocks…”
Solace was very much like a dying animal in its death throes, hemorrhaging all manner of plights- civil unrest, resource shortages, and Xenos, heretical and Chaotic infection. Unfortunately, the needed political, military and law enforcement personnel and infrastructure to restore order was basically non-existent. The ionization in the atmosphere had only two days ago cleared up enough to allow off-world communication and the reports coming in were just as bleak as those on-world. Many of the commerce ships that were in orbit had fled the region to safety after rumored sightings of Eldar ships and the reports of what was going on planet side.
“…Inquisitor Sand? My Lord?”
Coleridge had finally stopped talking and was looking at Sand, as were the other meeting attendees that were the highest-ranking officials that could be located for their respective offices. The meeting room of the mid-hive Arbites precinct that Sand had requisition as his new command center was packed shoulder to shoulder with people wanting to know how he, the Inquisition, was going to fix things.
Inquisitor Sand settled his unflinching gaze on Coleridge for several long seconds before turning it to the faces of the rest of those present. "Do not view this challenge as a crisis. Consider it an opportunity to demonstrate your faith in the Emperor.”
Sand’s micro bead chirped quietly in his ear signaling an incoming message on his secure vox-channel and he held up a hand to hush the meeting attendees. “I’m still in my meeting,” the Inquisitor told the person on the other end.
“My apologies Inquisitor Sand,” Melua’s voice replied, “but this could not wait.”
Sand could hear the barely contained excitement in the Rogue Trader Captain’s voice and this peaked his interest. “What do you have to report Captain Melua?”
“Space Marines my Lord. Well, technically five Space Marines and one Sister of Battle. We just pulled them into one of the Arcadia’s docking bays a few minutes ago. Found them orbiting the planet in a boarding torpedo.”
“Really, Adeptus Astartes here? This is good news for a change…”
“The Fall of Solace”- Shedding Light (12/03/2015)
BY ORDER OF HIS MOST HOLY MAJESTY THE GOD-EMPEROR OF TERRA INQUISITOR GRAMEN SAND’S PERSONAL LOGS- AUTHORISED PERSONNEL ONLY
• Log Number 327:22V:GB5:Gac
• Work Station Location: Lumin12
Please enter your authority code> * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thank you, Inquisitor Sand.
You may proceed…
• Date: 815.M41
• Transcription: Inquisitor Sand, Ordo Xenos, Rogue Trader Cruiser the Arcadia, in orbit over the hive world of Solace
• Subject: Discovery of Unknown Xenos Race and Interrogator Quint’s Status
Nearly a year has passed since I dispatched Interrogator Quint and acolytes Pullo and Rylak to the frontier world of Faldon Kise to recover a stolen exterminatus weapon, and nearly three months has passed since I dispatched acolytes Bishop, Jez, Luck, Silvain and Jak into the Eldar Webway to attempt to rescue Quint and Pullo after I received information that they had been captured by the Dark Eldar and were slaves in a city called the Nexus of Shadows. Surprise and concern do not even begin to describe the feelings going through my mind when during an investigation into what was originally presented to me as the suspected location of a lost cache of Dark Age Technology on the prosperous hive world of Solace, I find an excavation operation being conducted by operatives of the heretical tech-cult known as the Logicians that is being overseen by Interrogator Quint and a heretek, and known Logician agent that has been designated exocummincate traitoris by the Inquisition and Adeptus Mechanicus, named Magos Caerivus.
Operating in secret using Rogue Trader Melua’s Writ of Trade to facilitate the sale of war stocks to support the combat operations going on in the Spinward Front, I made my way down to the planet’s surface accompanied by my ever faithful Crusader bodyguard, Red, and acolytes Flak, Hadrian and Lupus supported by three combat servitors. The location of the cache was easily found using the coordinates that my sources provided- housed in the interior of one of Solace’s many unremarkable mountains and accessed by an opening that the Logicians had excavated.
We breached the well-guarded security perimeter the Logicians had set up at the cost of the combat servitors we had brought with us and proceeded into the mountain’s interior. What the Logicians had uncovered beneath the desolate wasteland of Solace was no cache of Dark Age Technology, but a subterranean realm of precisely machined fluorescent-lit corridors and rooms decorated in geometric patterns and symbols.
One of these antechambers the Logicians had turned into a scientific laboratory in which to study the ancient ruins and its denizens- strange metallic humanoid beings that looked like advanced robots, which initially appeared to be in some type of stasis or hibernation. Despite their bipedal human-like appearance, there was something so utterly alien about the creatures that I have no doubt they are of Xenos design. I have never heard or read of creatures such as these in any of the Imperial records I have accessed, with the exception of the report that Red turned in many years ago documenting Red Cell’s deadly encounter with similar beings in one of the alternate timelines he visited while investigating Rogue Trader Eramus Haarlock’s Blind Tesseract on the planet of Mara; it was unsettling when Red confirmed that these indeed appeared to be the same type of creatures.
Our presence did not go unnoticed, and immediately after entering this research area we were attacked by Logician forces led by Interrogator Quint and Caerivus. Quint showed no remorse or hesitation as he fired on my party nearly immolating Red with a deadly shot from an inferno pistol. During the battle, a sudden and violent earthquake shook the area and collapsed the passage that we had used to enter the mountain. Fortunately there were other passages leading out of the room that could hopefully be used to return to the surface but the earthquake brought more than just the danger of being trapped in a subterranean tomb. It appears that the earthquake triggered something which caused the inanimate robots to “awaken.” They rose from their evaluation beds while hundreds of metallic beetle-like constructs began pouring into the room from circular orifices in the room’s walls.
Armed with destructive energy weapons that seem to strip away flesh, and even more resilient materials, such as that found in carapace armor, down to their basic molecular components, and eventual nonexistence, the constructs attacked Logician and Inquisition Agent alike- their movements efficient and precise and seemingly eerily coordinated at times. They seemed to be impervious to all but the most powerful weapons and demonstrated the fascinating ability to self-repair damage at times and rise up to continue fighting. My team barely survived the encounter while Quint and Caerivus escaped during the fighting down one of the room’s other passages. Of the metallic constructs, no evidence remained- their broken and destroyed bodies seeming to have disappeared when they finally sustained sufficient damage.
We continued in pursuit of our quarry, as well as searching for a way out, with the various corridors and rooms introducing us to more variants of the horrific metallic constructs. We fought many of the creatures, including ones that appeared to resemble strange armed serpents that could phase in and out of existence allowing them to pass through walls. Later we encountered a huge hovering spider-like construct tending to a large green gem that was inscribed in various symbols, which I suspect must be the written language of these Xenos creatures. This spider-like construct was accompanied by a huge centipede-like construct, as well as a humanoid construct that appeared to be a leader figure. This figure spoke in emotionless Low Gothic as it inflicted pain on the heavily injured form of Caerivus, who was laying at its feet, while Quint watched from the doorway of what was later discovered to be an exit; Quint decided to flee, leaving Caerivus to his fate.
I suspected that the large gem would be valuable in learning about this previously unknown foe, and dispatched my team to secure it and escape down the corridor used by Quint. Despite the devastating energy weaponry and regenerative properties of our foes, my team was able to secure the gem and flee down the corridor with the huge metallic centipede-like construct in pursuit. I am pleased to report that prior to leaving I was able to administer the Emperor’s justice on the traitor Caerivus with a point-blank inferno pistol blast to the face.
We were lucky to find that the corridor offered a way out in the form of a large crevasse, most likely created by the recent earthquake, that exposed the corridor to the open sky above. As we clambered out onto the planet’s surface, we were greeted by a guncutter (which I suspected was occupied by Quint), which sent a volley of missiles in our direction before flying away toward the nearby hive city capital. Luckily, my team and I were able to avoid the main blast zone of the missile strike, and injuries were limited to a few broken ribs and minor cuts. This same strike appeared to obliterate the centipede-like construct and collapse the crevasse leading to the underground passage. My team and I started back toward our lander not realizing that the worse was yet to come…
“The Fall of Solace”- Falling Star (10/29/2015)
“Our task is solemn, and our purpose final. This is no matter of raucous glory, but of duty alone.”
-Watch-Captain Hrolth Fangtaker
Several months have past since the events that took place on the Perihelion. The story of the daring rescue of their Battle-Brothers and the termination of Species-Seven has circulated the ranks of the Deathwatch and Inquisition, and the members of Kill-Team Kronus have found many who praise and respect their combat prowess and duty to the Imperium and the God-Emperor. Most of the Kill-Team have spent their time tasked as advisors, messengers, and inspectors dedicated toward improving the various war efforts in the Jericho Reach, while Brother G’heirnat chose to embark on the difficult path of becoming a Space Marine Chaplin.
A sudden summons of import has the members of Kill-Team Kronus dropping their current tasks and making haste to Watch Station Erioch; luckily, Brother G’heirnat has just finished his Chaplin training and is able to join his Kill-Team for this mission. Watch-Captain Hrolth Fangtaker, a loud and boisterous Space Wolf Long Fang well-known for not playing well with Space Marines of other Chapters, issues the Kill-Team their orders, but not before Brother Aoner of the Space Wolves and Brother Dante of the Dark Angels fulfill the tradition of their rival Chapters and participate in a duel to celebrate the great bout between their Primarchs. The bout seems to start out evenly matched but Brother Aoner is finally able to gain the upper hand and subdue his Dark Angel opponent much to the satisfaction of Watch-Captain Fangtaker. With honorable tradition fulfilled, Watch-Captain Fangtaker briefs the Kill-Team on their mission.
Over two centuries ago, an ancient relic revered by both the Space Wolves Chapter and the Deathwatch called the Halo of Providence was lost when the ship, the Ardent Crown, transporting the Space Wolf Librarian in possession of the item and his fellow Kill-Team members failed to return after initiating a Warp jump on a routine mission. The Halo of Providence is psychic hood of legendary power created by an Inquisitor over a millennia ago. It was thought to be lost until recently an Astropathic Choir received a vision that the Ardent Crown would soon return near the heavily populated hive world of Solace but would bring an unspecified disaster, possibly involving multiple breeds of foul Xenos, with it.
Selecting Brother Aoner as the team leader for this mission, the Kill-Team makes haste to the war torn Spinward Front to locate and intercept the Ardent Crown before it’s too late. After two weeks of Warp travel, the Kill-Team’s ship transitions out of the Warp into the Solace sector and begins its search for the lost ship. Augars soon pick up the vessel drifting derelict in space under only emergency power with no signs of life. The Kill-Team gathers their arms and equipment, strap into a boarding torpedo and are promptly shot across the void toward their target. Things appear to be proceeding without complications until an Eldar Nightshade escort frigate materializes in their path and begins to engage in battle with the Deathwatch ship that brought the Kill-Team to this sector. Fortunately, the Kill-Team’s boarding torpedo glances off the hull of the Eldar ship, spins out of control but still manages to crash into the Ardent Crown. After some minor setbacks that costs them precious time, the Kill-Team is able to breach the ship’s interior and begin their search for the relic. There is concern when they realize they are unable to send or receive communications with their ship.
Walking the ship’s desolate and damaged interior it soon becomes apparent that the ship’s crew is most likely long dead and even worse, deadly genestealers now stalk the corridors. Both Brother Aoner and Brother Vectis are able to confirm through psychic and technical means the likely location of the Halo of Providence in the ship’s fore weapons bay and direct the Team in that direction. Not long after, they finally meet the enemy as several genestealers ambush the Team from their concealment near the corridors’ ceiling. Brother Dante goes down as several of the foul Xenos gang up on the Tactical Marine, but his teammates are able to dispatch the creatures and administer aid.
Ever wary of additional threats, the Kill-Team proceeds cautiously, and with the exception of a moment of concern when the whole ship appears to briefly shudder and shake, they make it to the Ardent Crown’s fore weapons bay. Upon forcing open a set of blast doors, the Kill-Team is surprised to find a huge battle taking place inside between genestealers and a force of Eldar comprised of a squad of Warp Spiders and a squad of sharpshooting Pathfinders led by a Farseer and a Warlock. Amongst the ancient stockpile of munitions and other debris, the Kill-Team sees that near the Eldar fighting position are the bodies of four Adeptus Astartes whose power armor is painted in the black color of the Deathwatch.
The Kill-Team advances toward the Eldar position fighting their way through the genestealers, which are between the two forces. Shortly after the three-way battle begins, the Warp Spiders and the Farseer vanish leaving only the Warlock and the Pathfinders to continue the fight with their enemies. The psychic might of the Warlock proves to be particularly effective against his foes as he compels both genestealers and Space Marines to battle their own forces. Brothers Vectis and Angelos engage each other is devastating melee combat and come close to killing each other before the Warlock’s psychic power fails and he is promptly smashed to bloody pulp by Brother Vectis’ thunder hammer. The Kill-Team is able to dispatch the last of the remaining Xenos and secure the area.
Inspecting the power armored remains, Brother Aoner is able to confirm they are the lost Deathwatch Kill-Team long since dead-their precious geneseed no longer recoverable. In addition, Brother Aoner’s inspection shows that the deceased librarian’s psychic hood (the Halo of Providence) is missing. Suspecting that the Eldar Farseer had taken the item prior to her escape, Brother Aoner psychically scans the ship and is able to locate a strong psychic signature, which he believes is the Farseer. After plotting a course through the ship to intercept the Farseer, Brother Aoner tasks Sister Ruby and Brother Vectis with preparing a boarding torpedo that they found in the fore weapons bay for launch while he takes the rest of the team to recover the artifact.
Unfortunately, it appears that Brother Aoner’s calculations are off and his team fails to find the Eldar, or the Halo of Providence; a psychic scan supports that the Eldar are no longer aboard the Ardent Crown. He orders the team back to the fore weapons bay where the boarding torpedo has been successfully prepped and loaded with the remains of the deceased Kill-Team.
Their mission a failure, the Kill-Team departs from the Ardent Crown- their boarding torpedo shot from the derelict vessel into the unknown since communications with their transport ship have still not been re-established. As the torpedo speeds away from the Crown, the Kill-Team gets a brief view through the torpedo’s small viewing window of the Eldar frigate dematerializing from view and the Ardent Crown plummeting into the upper atmosphere of the heavily populated hive world of Solace.