Judgement of the Righteous

One Step at a Time

252.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Castobel Sector XXIIVVI

* Hive Cressos *

The Kill Team moved out quickly, finding a way to the roof of the Hab Block. From it, they had a decent view of the Eastern portion of the Hive complex. Burned out and ruined buildings spread out to the north and south along the Curtain Wall of Cressos. Living artillery shells rained down on the inside of the hive, punching holes in roofs and starting small fires. To the north it could be seen Heirodules were advancing on the Eastern Gate Complex.

Knowing that the simple weaponry that the Kill Team possessed would not be enough to topple one of these monstrosities, the team set to work trying to find an alternate method. A plan was hatched that would take the kill team underneath the beasts into the belly of the manufactories. There demo charges would be placed and detonate the manufactory itself.
With the swarm focused on tearing the hive apart, there was little in the way of resistance upon entering the undercity, though there was a small firefight once inside the facility. That would complicate the escape.

Thomas and Orthorn were halfway through setting the charges when the tidal wave of Tyranids burst down the staircases into the storage facility. Heavy bolter chattered, psychic energy flared, and power axe flashed. The swarm was relentless, pouring hundreds of chitin armored creatures into the hole in what felt like a never ending stream. The Emperor’s Finest, as expected, prevailed, and left a carpet of corpses around them. The walls and floor slick in a layer of tyranid vital fluid. They did not emerge unscathed however, their armor and flesh punctured in numerous places.

The team moved out to a safe distance and detonated their demo-charges; it had the desired effect, and a 4 square block area of the manufactory district outside Cressos erupted in a column of fire that for a moment appeared as a second sun. Disoriented, the Tyranid forces pulled back to regroup, giving the team time to enter the embattled city.

After getting local information (and after watching the now-awake Scythia stare at the pylon), it was decided that the team would head to the Main Spire to speak with General Dickson, and head south to investigate the pylon with the hopes of activating the shield wall. The General, while busy, saw the Marines and explained to them the dire situation; both southern gates had been breached. The Tyranids were forcing their way down the gate highways and the only thing keeping the breach from spreading was the clever construction of the gate houses, which provided excellent defensive positions. These defenses however were low on ammunition and morale, and would certainly fall if they were not reinforced in some way.

The team made it to the pylon, which appeared as xenotech covered in a steel shroud, and forced their way in. Once inside, a hundred or so meters down, the team was faced with a kilometer wide intricate base of some kind that rose into the ceiling. Brother Thomas gazed in wonder, and told his companions that it would take him hours, maybe days, to decipher the xenotech and get it running again. Scythia, in her near catatonic state, was brought into the room as well, and while she had a glimmer of recognition in her cold eyes, did not seem to respond or otherwise activate the device.

Knowing that the hive was in imminent danger, and might not have hours to survive, the team decided to postpone the investigation of the shield pylon and head south to where twin Lance Batteries were located; the batteries had been installed a year prior and were put in place to help defend against such an assault, but news from the people on the ground indicated that the cannons didn’t fire a single shot, and it was suspected that infected humans were responsible.

The Kill Team made it to the Basilica, where they tried to get information from a local priest knowing that the local Guard units on the gatehouses themselves were likely to be engaged in direct combat. He informed the team (after being scanned by the Apothecary) that he knew there were tunnels that were used to ferry men and equipment to and from the cannon emplacements that had been shut up after the siege had begun. That was their destination.
Inside the administration house next to the square of marshals was a basement. Inside the basement was a boarded up and welded barricade leading into the tunnel system. The local Sergeant informed the Marines that they had been assigned to this station to prevent entry by the Tryanids, that the Guard had been forced back down the tunnel. They were unaware of any local (Hive Side) power conduits, and after some scans from Thomas it was determined that the power lines running into the tunnel were in fact intact. It was suspected that further down the line some of them might have been damaged in the retreat.

The Kill team crossed through the barricade and had it sealed behind them. They left with the local guard unit a frequency to check for their return.

400xp was given for Friday the 20th. 350xp was given for Friday the 27th.
Brian and Pete get 75 bonus xp for playing. mike gets 50 bonus XP.

New Base XP is 29,153.

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Into the Fire

252.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Castobel Sector XXIIVVI

* Outer Regions of Hive Cressos *

The Kill team was briefed, and felt as prepared as they could for their insertion into the fires of Castobel. As they prepared to depart, Chaplain Strome bid the Brothers farewell, awarding them each with a Purity Seal from the vaults of the Watch Fortress Chapel- a blessing of sorts, and a reminder of those words immortal and truthful words: The Emperor Protects.

The journey to Castobel was quiet, the crew was nonexistent save for less than a dozen servitors and one navigator. The fate of the vessel was largely a forgone conclusion. Most of the team spent time practicing their arts and tending to their rituals. Brother Eizen took care of the young Scythia, working with her over many sessions to do what he could to help her contain her powers. Though not a trained teacher or blessed with the authority to sanction a psyker, he used memories of his own lessons to try to help. Despite despising her existence, Eizen showed her remarkable courtesy and respect. Through the trip, the closer to Castobel the team got, the more strange the visions Eizen received in his sleep- twisted landscapes, dark creatures, and the familiar clawing at the back of his mind of the Shadow in the Warp- if Scythia encountered these, she kept them to herself and her drawings grew no stranger because of it.

Once in system, the team boarded their drop pods and descended into the warzone. It took little time for the Swarm to recognize the danger of the drop pod- only Space Marines braved those devices, and this Swarm had encountered plenty of Marines. Harpies, Shrikes, and Gargoyles attacked the pods, tearing off vital parts of the stabilizers and engines. The pod spun into a dive and impacted, somewhere off course, sideways into a hab block of some kind. The drop pod, while not completely crushed, was significantly damaged in the fall. Scythia was alive in her specialized cocoon, but unconscious. Daedalus had been impaled on a piece of the hab structure that penetrated the drop pod. Most of the others in the team were injured but overall in good health. The same could not be said for their gear- bolt shells and grenades were heated in crushed during the crash, wrecking much of their spare supply and damaging several pieces of gear- including the cartograph. The equipment was salvageable, and Brother Thomas felt sure that he could put things back into working order given enough time.

Time, however, was not something the team had at the moment. Something was smashing into one of the walls nearby- something big. The team moved as quick as they could, Castiel moved out with Daedalus over his shoulders, Eizen carrying Scythia along. They moved up one floor when they heard the Swarm coming. Readying their weapons, they moved the injured into a side room- a drab living space for one of the Hive’s workers, fitted quite simply with a bed, small desk, cooking area, and toilet. The Swarm spilled around the corner of the corridor- an army of Termagants, armed with their Fleshborers. A million Borer Beetles flew through the air, fighting and clawing to get inside the Kill Team’s Power Armor. The team responded with a ferocious line of fire.

It was then four of the Shrikes landed above- Brother Erik wasted no time and began to engage them, one by one. There was little in way of backup for Erik, the rest of the team was doing their best to keep the seemingly endless wave of Gaunts at arm’s reach. Hellfire rounds melted away their natural carapace, Metal Storm rounds detonated like grenades in the hallway, standard bolt shells ripped the beasts apart from the inside out. Brother Erik dropped one of the Warriors and headed for another; its companions grew wise to his attempt and redirected their fire on him. The Swarm still dove towards the main body of the Kill Team. As it drew close, Brother Eizen raised his Force Dome again, and Brother Orthorn stepped forth and blazed the horde with a precision blast of holy fire. The Tyranids had engaged the Marines with a small force, but were unprepared for the tenacity of a Deathwatch Kill team nor their specialized weaponry and training. The last of the Shrikes fled to regroup with its unholy companions- the team opened up and hit it; the final blast was from Erik’s plasma pistol. Smoke pouring from its wound it spiraled out of sight.

Castiel moved in to seal the wounds of his companions as quickly as possible before the team moved out again- the pounding below was still going on, it was uncertain how long before the creature there broke through the walls and gained entry into the structure.

400xp was given. 10 extra was given to Eizen for not being a total distraction. 25 were given to Brother Erik for being the least disruptive. Total base XP is 28,403.

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Keys of the Unsanctioned

235.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – XXIIVVI

* Watch Fortress Erioch *

Immediately following the last death rasp of the Heretics on the platform, Brother Castiel started work mending the wounds of his comrades. Brothers Orthorn and Eizen began shoving the mangled corpses of their victims down into the control center below, shouting challenges and warnings to those that would oppose the Empire. Brother Thomas set to work attempting to gain control of the pilot servitor, the previous Hero of the Margin Crusades, Uriah. After Thomas ordered Uriah to set a course for Scintilla, the team cautiously left, following the last instructions of Áinfean. They crowded into an escape shuttle and launched themselves into space. It was a fairly routine pickup.

It was not long after the return to Honored of Starlight that Brother Deadalus revealed to Orthorn and Eizen his concern about the visions he had been experienceing. He worried that the clarity of the visions, and their link to the Jerhico reach posed a possible source of information regarding activities there. Orthorn and Eizen also worried that the mere knowledge of the activities in the Reach by an Unsanctioned Psyker was also worth exploring.

The team quickly re-deployed to Port Avarice and hastily made their way to Xanthia’s club. There was a skirmish in front of the club- the Von Asters Militia had deployed several men and re-commissioned Sentinel Walkers to the club, and they were standing in front as guardians. The team advanced under heavy fire. Brother Thomas, who normally stays out of the line of fire, was targeted and hit by a burst of anti-vehicle fire that caught him off guard, nearly knocking the wind from his mechanized lungs. Brother Erik on the other hand, who was used to continual cuts, scratches, and las burns, advanced without complaint into the mass of men; perhaps his flight from combat in the previous encounter was truly the touch of The Carnivore. With missiles, meltas, and boltgun the war machines were immobilized or set alight. The crowd of men, though defiant against the Astartes, died to a man. The Kill Team quickly entered the club and found Xanthia and her companions. A deal was struck- to the discomfort of Eizen and Erik- that the remainder of Xanthia’s ‘guild’ would be transported to Foulspar nearby, and she would allow them to take Scythia into their protection. Xanthia also made Brother Orthorn give her his word, seeming to know that a while a word can be broken, to do so for an Astartes of the Ultramarines would be an anathema.

The team honored their end of the bargain and deposited the psykers in the Koronous Expanse, then returned by way of the Warp Gate to Jericho.

After debrifing and extensive medical scans, the Astartes were cleared for duty. Brother Castiel made a request into Captain Ephraim that he be permitted to pay back the brothers who rescued him rather than return immediately to Scintilla. Ephraim agreed to send the request to the Tricorn, and in the meantime placed Castiel in the ranks of the others’ Kill Team.

Two more meetings of the group were held- one was largely disciplinary in nature. Captain Ephraim chastised Castiel for his actions, that hurling sarcasm and slights at a temperamental Astartes was simply aggravating the situation. He also chastised Brother Erik for his in-field violence towards a fellow of the Deathwatch, and made it clear that under his command, he viewed challenges of that level of violence as a waste of the Emperor’s resources and would not stand for it.

The second meeting of the group was an unusual proposition from the Captain. After reviewing the information gathered from the previous mission to the Segmentum Obscurus, it seemed that the psyker that had been in contact with Deadalus was showing something to do with the planet of Castobel.

Castobel is a battered Hive world. The planet is ruled by a noble-born class that had remained loyal to the Imperium through the Age of Shadow despite being cut off from the rest of the Empire. The council of nobles was known as the Aquilan Pluracy, and kept the planet safe from xenos raiders and heretics. The Crusade forces were welcomed on their return, and the planet quickly was placed in a position where its weapons, provisions, and troops were an invaluable resource for the ongoing war.

The planet has once again lost contact with the Empire, only this time the cause was not warp storms, but the Shadow in the Warp created by the advancing fleet from Hive Fleet Dagon.
Castobel has a few things going in its favor against the Tyranid; mainly that the planet is barren, wind-scoured, and largely lifeless. There is little biomass to fuel the enemy forces. However other worlds within the Reach can and do fuel the fleet, and without some sort of intervention it is possible the world will fall.

There are six primary hives on Castobel, two have fallen. The first, Trimalov, was lost in a valiant defense. The defense of that hive is what earned Ortarna Lokk his name within the Crusade forces. He was named Lord Castellan, and given complete military control on Castobel. The second Hive, Tyralos, was destroyed in atomic fire. The public story is that the Hive sacrificed itself as it collapsed, denying the enemy of the biomass inside. The truth to that story is Lord Castellan Ortarna Lokk ordered a team of storm troopers to set off a chain reaction in the hive’s plasma reactors, destroying both the hive and a huge piece of the swarm. It is the Lokk family crest that was seen in one of Daedalus’ visions.

The Captain revealed the current situation to the Kill Team, and asked if they felt a mission to the planet was in order. Some of the Astartes showed trepidation, a near sense of defeat before even deploying on a mission of near suicidal order. What good would a handful of Deathwatch Marines do to a world being consumed by a Tyranid fleet. Such is the power of the Great Devourer, that even His most stalwart warriors have been known to balk at the idea of fighting the beasts. After deliberation, the team agrees to the mission, and the Watch Fortress begins preparations to send the Astartes to see how they can aid this embattled world.

500xp was awarded, total base xp is 28,003. 4 Renown was awarded for the action on Peleus. 6 Renown was awarded for the action on the Carnivore. Brother Erik should reduce his renown reward by 1 for his actions attacking and wounding a marine in the field, as well as abandoning a team member in combat.

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Best Served Cold

235.817.M41 – Koronus Expanse – The Cauldron XXIIVVI

* The Carnivore*

The team moved out with Áinfean, who led them along a long twisting path to the Trophy Room. It was here they could see the bodies of Castiel’s Kill Team, at least two Inquisitors, a sniper, and an Imperial Agent of some kind. In addition to skills of dark eldar, xenos weapons, books and documents of unknown origin, and other animal heads and corpses.

Brother Erik smelled man sweat in this room, the team prepared for combat. As they filtered through the room, the trap was sprung- teams of fighters opened fire with lasguns and autoguns, pinning part of the team halfway across the room. Eizen attempted to defend them by creating a dome of energy around them, helping to deflect the volley of fire. Erik became stuck behind a bit of cover- hard rounds and energy slapped the cover around him, making it impossible to break position.

Brother Josiah opened up with his own weapon, showering the heretics with holy bolter fire. Orthorn and Daedalus added their weapons to the attack as well. It was not long before the rear doors to the chamber opened, three Chaos Marines entered the fight. Eizen thought quickly, and let the energy dome fall, concentrating on disabling the machine spirit of one of the Traitors suits of power armor. Josiah turned his full attention at the enemy and fired a long burst directly into his chest. The marine fell to his knees, and Josiah continued to pump bolt rounds into him until his suit exploded. The other Chaos fiend got off several shots, but was hit repeatedly by Orthorn and struck in the eye by Daedalus. The final Marine, helpless in his disabled armor, was finished off.

It was not long after the combat wound down to a close. The team sealed the doors and gathered up the trophies into the center of the room to set them alight. Some of the team recovered items, notably Constantine taking the weapons and armor from the sniper. The Inquisitor was missing his rosette, and had no real items of value on them. Castiel pulled his old companions from their chambers and carefully removed their progenoids, storing them in the sealed containers attached to his narthecium. Áinfean found his equipment and rearmed and armored himself.

The group moved onward, towards the bridge, and were briefed on the layout by Áinfean. Brother Deadalus, Constantine, and Áinfean would head through the vent system and distract them while the others charged the front gate.

The plan commenced, and the team burst into the bridge. They immediately began to take fire from the heavy weapons, but again shielded by the power of the warp, many of the bolt rounds, las shots, and autocannon rounds dented and dinged armor but did not penetrate flesh. The team moved to the foreword chamber, where even more weapon teams were waiting for them. Quick work was made of them as furious firing and psy powers were unleashed on them. At this point the rearguard team had opened fire to create confusion. Áinfean tossed two blind grenades into the fray, sowing confusion and misdirection.

Brother Erik ignited his jump jets, but the confined spaces of the bridge caused him to go off course. He landed on the upper platform, near Deadalus. It was at this moment the power armor clad enemies emerged from the smoke cloud. Erik quickly ignited his thrusters again, fearing the wrath the Heron Mask would inflict on him. Deadalus was left alone to face the Heron Mask and his minions. Fearing that alone Deadalus would fall, Constantine revealed himself and helped to engage the Heretics.

The rest of the Kill Team rushed forward into the thick obscuring smoke. Áinfean emerged from the smoke and engaged one of the heretics. At this point, Erik again engaged his jets and landed back on the other side of the smoke, but the enemy had moved from their last position and there was nothing to swing at. Brother Orthorn emerged from the smoke and shouted for Codex Attack Pattern Gamma-3-6, and the Marines within reach charged furiously into hand to hand. Brother Erik swung his axe and sword again and again, but most of the attacks were converted to harmless light from the power of the Mask’s Conversion Field. The team stabbed and cut and shot and their opponents. A psy blade cut deep into Daedalus, penetrating his flesh and cutting into his organs. As the team was nearing victory, the powerful psyker erupted in an unholy conflagration, consuming the flesh of all around him. The force of the blast stunned most of those around him, and sent Daedalus down onto the deck. Orthorn took the opportunity of distraction to fire a single melta blast into the deamon worshipper’s chest. The field did not engage. The melta blast incinerated him from the inside, and he collapsed to the ground as well.

With the smoke still hanging thick in the air, Castiel moved forward to aid his companions, using his narthecium to great effect once again- in sharp contrast to he and his boltguns performance in the last few encounters.

Áinfean stood, faced Orthorn, and spoke. “Thank you. I think you will find that heading out down the hall and taking the second right will see you to safety.” Quick as a flash the being opened a gate into the webway directly in front of him. The portal was not transparent, and was too large for Orthorn to shoot around. By the time the gate vanished, and having completed his portion of the bargain, the Dark Eldar had vanished. Flushed, Brother Erik muttered a curse against the foul xenos.

500 xp was awarded, the total is 27,503.

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Belly of the Beast

235.817.M41 – Koronus Expanse – The Cauldron XXIIVVI

* Port Avarice*

Jacobi was discovered, returning from von Aster’s guild halls. Constantine warned the team that things on the station were being locked down, and Von Aster’s men were out in force. The Kill Team took to the service tunnels and weaved their way to the docks. With most of them in the cover of the shadows, Brother Orthorn spoke with the guards, and convinced them to ‘grant’ him audience with Jacobi. He appeared, and Quist then showed herself in order to play her part in things- displaying the Rosette and stating the team’s intent (to speak with the Empire on his behalf), the man, nervous, decided compliance was preferable to combat with an Inquisitor and her 7 foot tall guards.

The orbs were secured by Quist, and the team started to regroup, heading towards the Von Asters Werehouses. They found the main gate open, stuck somehow. In a lightning quick advance the Marines peppered the standing guards with bolt and grenade, killing them. The mechanics looked up in surprise but offered no resistance. Advancing with a classic but effective leap frog technique, the team found the central vault. A mass of guards had taken cover on the stairs, and the team engaged them in a firefight. Using teamwork, the Kill Team continued to advance relentlessly, opening fire and throwing grenades, all the while protected by Eizen’s crackling blue energy field.

Once inside, the team quickly found the stasis chamber at the heart, holding what appeared to be a Blood Angel. Nearby was his equipment, aside from the narthecium and white helmet of the apothecary, his armor was jet black and bore the shoulder heraldry of the Deathwatch. Freed, he briefly described to his new brothers that he was on board a ship departing a planet after a successful mission when his transport was ambushed. Rather than guard against the pirate, his Kill Team went on the offensive, boarding the pirate frigate.

Sensing the enemy closing in, the Kill Team grabbed up the Brother and his gear and fled. Before leaving, the new Marine joked about needing help with his gear, suggesting the “Space Wolf” carry it. In response, Brother Erik let loose a hammer blow to Castiel’s chest, cracking ribs and bruising organs. With a brief aspiration of blood, Castiel composed himself. The team shifted, surprised by this outburst of unrestrained aggression on a fellow Marine. Both troopers brushed off the exchange and headed out. Thomas accessed the local pict viewers, and was able to steer the team down hallways where enemy troopers were not present.

At that point they received a message from Noches, which was abruptly cut off. The Marines decided to head back to his aid, feeling that his loyalty to them and the Empire in such an evil place deserved the reward of their assistance. They returned to Janices’, the bar Noches owned. The team burst into the lower portion of the bar and immediately contronted the armed men inside. Erik received a blow to the body followed up with a burst from an infernus pistol before felling the man that carried it. Brother Thomas rushed in to engage the other men, smashing their brains to pieces with his servo arm. Castiel entered the scene and used his narthecium to seal the wounds on Brother Erik’s body. Noches thanked them for their assistance, and indicated with the current state of affairs he could not conscionably leave his employees behind. The team, without hesitation, agreed to bring them aboard. Quickly they all departed for the Honored of Starlight.

From there they formed a plan to board the Carnivore- they commandeered three shuttles, dispatching two of them with the soldiers of the Starlight, and one containing the Kill Team. The two distractions docked with the enemy ship, followed quickly by the Marines.
They entered near the brig, and found Castiel’s ‘friend.’ During the negotiation with the xenos, again Castiel made an off color remark about Space Wolves. And again Erik took the bait. Reaching out with a mighty blow he swung hard at Casteil- this time the Angel was quicker, and ducked out of the way. This exchange was met with raised weapons from the rest of the Kill Team. Orthorn shouted a warning, that if he should try such an assault in the middle of a mission again, Erik would be the one on the receiving end of an assault. What had gotten into their brother? Had he smelled some sort of corruption in the Blood angel? Was Erik under some sort of influence? Were Erik’s animal instincts simply getting the best of him?

After deliberating, the Marines decided to take the Dark Eldar up on his offer. He gave his name, Áinfean El Kath’Cael, and stepped out of his cage. He asked the Marines for a blade to perform a ritual that would keep the Mask from detecting them. Most of the Astartes balked at such an idea, arming their treacherous companion, though Castiel offered up his combat knife. The Dark Eldar cut his hand open and drew a complicated sigil on the floor- looking on it hurt the brain behind the eyes, it was most likely a symbol of the archenemy. With their ward in tow, the team began to head out.

500 xp was awarded, the total is 27,003.

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A Working Plan

235.817.M41 – Koronus Expanse – The Cauldron XXIIVVI

* Port Avarice*

The team discussed their options at length, and decided to head back to Xnathia at the Hand and accept her proposition. Orthorn negotiated somewhat, and asked for more information on the Carnivore in exchange.

The team scouted the Lady Pens, and to their dismay there was truly a single entrance and exit large enough for Astartes to fit through. A plan was hatched to use smoke grenades in the ventilation system in order to sound the fire alarm, then in the confusion escort Scarlet to ‘safety.’ During the scouting, Daedalus had a vision so intense it dropped him to one knee. The description and sketch he made sounded like a Tyranid of some kind- Tyranids are unknown in this edge of the Galaxy, they are concentrated on the Eastern Fringes. Before they depart, Xanthia give them two pictures that she felt would be important to them.

They detailed the maw of some great creature, with three animals inside the mouth. The next picture was of a vault, blood spilling underneath, and the face of a daemon obscured by darkness in the corner. Brother Thomas looks at them and draws a connection between the three beings- all are representative of Astartes chapters. The bleeding angel that of the Blood Angels, the dragon that of the Salamanders, and the bird that of the Ravenguard.

Daedalus is the point man, and pays for a visit with Scarlet. He tries to avoid her touch but it is useless, and he experiences a handful of other visions while he is in her chamber, including a vision that matches pictures they had received earlier. He explains to her through touch/sign language that they’re going to ‘rescue’ her.

The smoke goes off, and the alarms sound. Security guards begin to move the ladies out of the area in a somewhat orderly fashion, and but they move to Scarlet (the most valueable one in the hall) to open her door. As the door slides open the pair rush out and into another room. From there Deadalus retrieves his weapon. One of the soldiers spots the pair heading into the room, but they are able to use their chameloline cloaks to slip past them as Thomas remotely disables the lights, then after the two reach the top floor, the elevator.

On the main floor, the guards have approached, told ahead of time that someone is heading out with their prize whore. The main doors begin to close, but Thomas, in a rare display of technical competence, reverses the door and starts to open it again. As Daedalus and Scarlet emerge, one of them is spotted, and a soldier raises his heavy weapon to dispatch him. Eizen summons the warp and freezes all three suits of power armor, they are unable to pull the trigger. A plasma bolt discharges and strikes Deadalus in the arm, boiling his skin and melting muscle. Brother Erik charges the group, attempting to appear scared and unintimidating, but can’t pull off the stunt given his size, bulk, and gear. While the PA’d troopers still find their armor and weapons useless, the men above open fire with their pistols. Melta, bolt, and plasma rounds smack out from the upper landing into the Marine, boiling his blood and vaporizing large chunks of flesh off of his body. While he does not close well enough to truly enter into combat and dispatch the warriors, he effectively draws their fire from Scarlet and Daedalus. Daedalus breaks and runs at such speed that he has to drag Scarlet along- tossing her under the gate he struggles under it. Brother Orthorn opens fire with his Godwyn, spraying cover fire into the soldiers posisiotn, forcing most of them to duck and try to take cover. At this point the other Marines inside break position and race out of the building, heading into the dark station that has now entered its night cycle.

Daedalus takes Scarlet aside, separate from the group, and questions her. The team realizes something is odd with his return radio calls, and begin to suspect the Dark Angel is up to something. He questions her about what she sees, what she knows, and whether or not she trusts the Umbral Hand. The woman is intimidated, and though apparently she does not trust Daedalus, knows she has little to negotiate with. She speaks of the mark of the Blood Angels, and tells Daedalus the visions started only a day or two before.

After the discussion, the pair final reach the rendezvous point, the safe house, just as the cleaning cycle begins. She is deposited in her house and the team retreats into the relative darkness, meeting back up at the Hand to claim their reward.

What is revealed is Jacobi Dellesium is a front man, a buyer, for a Rogue Trader of some kind. The name they’ve not discerned yet and the Hand avoided more direct questioning techniques so as not to undermine whatever it is the Astartes were planning. He purchased the orbs for a great sum of money, and the intent was that this Rogue Trader, who had lost his Writ of Trade, would finally have something of such value he could turn it over to the Imperium to regain his Warrant and honor. Jacobi was planning on hitting up the Lady Pens one last time before departing late that day or the next morning, as they are said to have xenos slave girls there.

The information on the Carnivore is the salesman of the orbs most definitely came from that ship. His name was not known, and he spoke to no one but Jacobi. It would appear the exchange was pre-set, and the sale was not one of fencing the goods but a direct sale. The Carnivore, as Thomas had discovered, had a new captain- Hektor Grallion. Her crew was approximately 22,000, with an armed soldier core of about 2,200. It is also rumored that the ship possesses beasts, xenos or otherwise. It is thought they are bought or created form the relationship that the Carnivore has with the Beast Houses. Xanthia also reveals that most of the people on the station want little to do with the Carnivore. It has a dark reputation and most people, herself included, wish it were not at their station.

There is also a man, known as “Knife’s Edge” or simply “Edge” is searching the station for a buyer of a xenos warrior, a trade of some kind. He was last looking to approach the Von Asters, though it seems he will turn to the Redemptionists if that does not pan out. This man also came from the Carnivore.

The group asked Constantine to go find Jacobi and watch him, the group was going to head to the man’s ship and wait for him there. After dealing with Jacobi, the team had decided they wanted to investigate the Vault within the storage docks at the Von Asters estate.

500 xp was awarded, I think the total is now 26,503

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Port Avarice

235.817.M41 – Koronus Expanse – The Cauldron XXIIVVI

* Port Avarice *

After splitting up, Quist and half the team headed to the Broken Aquila, and Solaria and Nicodemus with their two ‘guards’ headed to Janice’s. Constantine accompanied Quist to the Aquila, and was thoroughly consumed by a set of dataslates he carried with him, studying.

In the Broken Aquila, conversation aimed at finding locations to buy or sell xenos devices, and it is discovered a man by the name of Thraxx is one of the biggest dealers of xenotech on the station, possibly the sector. His emporium is located mid-deck on the station, though the Imperial Servants are warned that Thraxx takes his security seriously, and his emporium is located at the end of a long hallway, and he hires men to watch over the rows of merchandise- people do not tend to steal from the man.

Janice’s appears to be a strip club on the bottom, and a High Gothic bar on the top floor. To reach the top floor one must discard all weapons- sensors have been installed in the stairwell in order to attempt to detect weaponry on people. It is discovered here that the bar’s owner (a man by the name of Noches Aralias) has been on station since before the rebellion and is well versed in the groups on board.

The team decides to meet with Noches and ask him a few questions- it is not long before the man seems to recognize Brother Erik’s accent, and requests the men join him in his private office. He reveals he is ex-Guard, though none of the Battle Brothers recognize his unit designation. He claims to have served alongside a group of Space Wolves several years ago. He willingly tells the group what he knows of the people on board the station.

The three primary gangs or paramilitary groups are known as the Redemptionists, Von Asters Militia, and the Umbral Hand. The Redemptionists are a hard line group that takes the existence of mutants and xenos as an anathema, and does what it can to wipe them from the station. This puts them at odds with most others, and thus the group has been pushed underground. The Von Asters Militia, run by a man by the name of Erastus Von Aster, is the richest and best equipped group on the station. He regularly lends or rents out his men to help with other folks, and supplies the bulk of the security forces on the ‘neutral’ decks where ships dock. Aralia indicates that having a single gang own the docks, or to have fighting on the decks, was bad for everyone’s business.

The Umbral Hand deals with miscreants. They have much political clout, but their firepower pales in comparison to the Von Asters. However if it’s information that is sought, they are the owners- they tend to have fingers and ears in all aspects of the station, and not much happens on board that they’re not aware of in some regard.

Something else is revealed to the group- brought up by Constantine, through Quist. A ship docked with the station is believed to be the Heretic vessel the Carnivore, a deadly ship that has consumed scores of Imperial Servants. Constantine seems bent on boarding and or destroying the vessel.

A small group from the Kill Team, with Constantine in tow, goes to the Carnivore to scout it out. After interfacing with the ship itself as well as the docking monitors, Brother Thomas reveals the ship I smost definitely a pirate vessel, with an unknown name. The registered, or broadcast, name of the captain is Hektor Grallion, which is not the previously known name of the ship’s captain (Marcus Vulpa). After scanning the inside cogitators, Thomas discovers that the system regularly sweeps its internal systems for access, and to defeat such a system would take considerable time and would be quite risky. Thomas also wanted to implant a subroutine that would broadcast its location in order to help the Inquisition track it, but the time required to build such a program onboard the ship would be time prohibitive. The team leaves the Carnivore, but not without first accidentally activating the bio-sensors in the loading bay.

The team tries to hide, but only Constantine and Daedalus are skilled enough in the art of stealth to avoid the eyes of the team of stormtroopers that came in as a response to the alarm. They quickly identify both Thomas and Josiah, and open fire. The troopers are, undisciplined, and are staggered by the gout of flame that erupted from Deadalus’ flamer and the burst skull of their sergeant from Constantine’s weapon. They open fire into the team, but their scattered shots aren’t concentrated or precise enough to inflict significant injury on any of the Marines. Josiah opened up with his shotgun on full auto, and a devastating hail of astartes grade shot tore apart much of the remaining group. Thomas raised his boltgun and fired a quick burst, the bolts exploding the torsos, arms, and skulls of the few men who remained.

Constantine and Daedalus emerged from the shadows, grabbing their companions, and fled into the complex passages under the docks, emerging a short time later to reunite with their rest of the team.

The team decides to meet up with the Hand, and Noches takes the large group to the Contraband, a nightclub several levels down, where the leader of the Hand tends to be. She is a woman by the name of Xanthia Castellenos. They meet with her, and Ezien is quick to point out to the group there are at least four psychic contacts within her private suite.

Xanthia is interested in a trade, she describes the devices that the group wants to secure, quickly commenting on information that she could only have if she knew of the devices- or used her abilities to peer inside the minds of the individuals in the group. The trade she offers if for the team to secure from the Von Asters one of their sex slaves, a woman who’s ‘stage name’ is Scarlet, but a given name of Scythia Ordanallis. She explains that the woman is a unsanctioned psyker, a witch, and she seeks to bring her into the Hand in order to train her and school her in ways to prevent the tides of the warp from using her as a tool, or from her unwittingly releasing daemonic powers across the station. After some questions, she indicates that while her group is not in a position to assault the Von Asters to retrieve the girl, they are in a position where they could defend against (or hide from) a reprisal from the group.

The team indicates to her they will meet in private to discuss the deal, and she accepts. In private, Eizen brings up that the cost of assaulting a gang house to retrieve a human subject is a steep price for names and locations of men on the station, and suggests getting additional information from the Hand in exchange for their mercenary services, perhaps the information she has on the Carnivore and its crew.

500 xp was awarded, 26,003 I think is the total for base XP

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In Pursuit

234.817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Peleus XXIIVVI

After a brief bit of code exchange to establish identity, the Kill Team boarded the Valkyrie that arrived on the island. The group was taken to Quist’s personal compound after passing over the primary Imperial City- fires could be seen burning in various compounds- in fact fire was burning all down the coast. The compound was simply adorned yet lavish. Local fruits and meats were brought out for the team, along with refreshments.

Brother Daedalus, suspicious of Quist’s team due to the recent treachery they experienced, eyed and questioned some of the team members, letting most of his suspicions fall on the young Solaria Orlean, an adept with latent psychic abilities. He and Brother Orthorn asked her to help them investigate Ignatius Phaan’s – the individual Quist suspected of being the traitor – personal quarters in the compound. Most of what Orthorn was able to compel (using charm over intimidation) from her was genuine fear that a traitor could be found within the depths of a high Inquisitor. Perhaps the suspicion of the girl was a dead end?

Most of the paperwork in Ignatius’ room consisted of what appeared to be genuine acarology reports and documentation, discussing both mundane and xeno artifacts. With the help of Brother Thomas, a bit of intriguing data was found on some data slates. One showed suspicious data deletion dates that coincided with the ambush. Another bit of data, which was encrypted, showed financial deposits into some sort of account belonging to Ignatius. Circumstantial as it was, it seemed to lend itself to the idea that Ignatius was the heretic.

Most of the team retired that evening, though the Marines worked later than most. Constantine was left alone for a brief spell with Brother Erik, and after some pointed and confrontational remarks about Erik’s treatment of Imperial citizens, specifically women and those that would get between him and a woman. Erik laughed the remarks off, and the two separated.

The next morning the team met with Veyoris Akioh, the Seneschal of the Horizon’s Pride, who had come up with a theory as to where the enemy ship had vanished to. He suspected the ship would’ve departed the Reach and traveled to a Mining Colony in Segmentum Obscurus, through the Warp Gate. The outpost had suffered a rebellion sometime in the last 3 decades, and had turned into a renowned safe harbor for renegades, pirates, and other heretics. The team went over their options, and decided that if Veyoris was correct and they did not act quickly, the heretics would get away. If he was incorrect and the villains were still in the Reach, they would have more time to try and secure them.

It was the same morning when word that Captain Thaler aboard the Honored of Starlight had just entered the system, conveniently, in a search for the Kill Team to find some way of paying them back for saving him and some of his comrades several months back. He offered his ship up as transport, and his astropath up to send a distress call about the condition of the Spear and the Pride.

The team boarded the vessel and headed out. Once they were through the warp gate, Brother Daedalus began to have some strange visions, some of which he confided to Brother Eizen about. Each night there had been a disturbance in the Warp Eizen could detect, but he could not precisely locate the location or origin of the disturbance.

A week or so later, the ship made it to Port Avarice. The Marines put on their scout armor, and obscured it with cloth and cloaks, and split up to accompany the Throne Agents into the Port.

400xp was given, bringing the base total to 25,503.

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Fast but Fragile

XXIIVV – 817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Peleus XXIIVVI.232

**** Isla Fortis ****

The exploration of the temple structure continued, the team managed to hack their way into the western door, which exposed several other chambers and a handful of strange xenos, lumpy, fish-like creatures and those that appeared to be human-cephalopod hybrids. One of the hybrids, using some kind of warp magic, managed to escape, but his filthy companions were cut down by axe and bolt.

Next the cavern system was explored. It was here the group came across their first group of Dark Eldar- the team first set up defeinsive positions but the Eldar began their retreat deeper into the caves. It was for naught, as the Kill Team gave up their squad positions and ran full force towards the group of aliens. The mercenaries opened fire on Brother Erik, the first to close with them, and filled his armor with crystal shards and send ripples of dark energy through his body. Once in hand to hand their relentless attacks tore at the joints of his armor, and even his unprotected head. The Sybraites continued to fire their blasters at him, until Brother Daedalus fired a silent shot from his Stalker, which exploded the villain’s chest in a vicious display of flesh and bone. Erik was joined by Thomas and Eizen, and the Dark Eldar horde began to crumble under the onslaught.

Nearby the rhythmic sound of an autocannon could be heard. Using as much stealth as they could muster, the Kill Team advanced. With the chatter of the incoming and outbound weapon fire, the Marines approached undetected on two large formations of Dark Eldar. It was with blistering speed they launched their coordinated attack, 6 grenades and a burst of bolter fire turned roughly 60 Dark Eldar into little more than broken armor and burnt flesh.

Down the hill and across a marine was the Inquisitor and her Acolytes. Doctor Arturo Bellesan, whom the team had worked with their last time on Peleus, had been taken under the Inquisitors wing- presumably for his uncanny attention to detail. Also with here was Constantine Novus, a confident and personable bodyguard of sorts, who had an uncomfortable knowledge of the Marine’s histories in the Reach. He made a comment towards Brother Erik’s activities outside of the battle field, but his probes were cut off by Quist. Erik brushed off the comments with a slap to the arm and a hearty chuckle. Also with them was Nicodemus Silon, who remained largely quiet. He wore the carapace and badge of a Stormtrooper, and had been manning the autocannon. His right leg was a bloody, pulpy mess, wounded by something in the caves.

Quist thanked the group for coming, and quizzed Daedalus about his latest mission- from that she noted that they should hurry to see if anything else had occurred on the planet, as the cost of hiring over 100 Dark Eldar suggested quite an expensive job.

What they were looking for was a partial mystery- Quist indicated they had discovered several devices on an altar (the altar had subsequently disappeared into the warp portal) – 3 spheres roughly softball sized. Quist had one of them still, but it was partially crushed. The other two had gone missing in the initial assault.

The team returned through the jungle, and put the Inquisition on the Valkyrie back to King’s Island- the pilot radioed back that the ETA for an inbound flight was 5 more hours. The team dug in to wait for pick up.

500 xp was awarded

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The Dark Eldar

XXIIVV – 817.M41 – Jericho Reach – Peleus XXIIVVI.232

**** Isla Fortis ****

The Kill team began to secure the scene after slaughtering some of the local wildlife. Gunnlaag walked a short way of one of the hills to investigate one of the kills, perhaps to secure it’s corpse for food later. It was at that moment he disappeared from view. At nearly the same time a furious discharge of bright green electrical energy erupted from the hole. His brothers leapt into quick action- Erik firing his thrusters and leaping through the jungle to where his companion last was seen, only to find a sinkhole. Peering inside he found the body of the Marine, sliced apart into thirds. The other’s from the Kill Team made it to the sinkhole, and Erik descended inside to see what had happened, ready to face the dangers within. What he found was a broken cylider with two endcaps- each cap bore similar markings to the xenotech that was discovered on the Kill Team’s original mission to the planet [See IOX-DWR XMMI-V2x]. A single bolt shell was ejected from Brother Gunnlaag’s Stalker Bolter, and his combat knife was in hand. On inspection of the body, it seemed a very potent power weapon of some kind was used- the cuts were clean and mostly cauterized, and sliced through the Aquila Power Armor as though it was a piece of meat rather than ceramite.

The group discussed what to do, determined not to leave their Brother’s body behind, but at the same time knowing that carrying him through the jungle would put their whole mission in jeopardy. They decided to leave him in the sinkhole, where he would be shielded from view and potential predators, and return when their mission was complete. It was at that moment that Brother Erik shouted an alarm- an incoming craft was ripping into the forest at their position. The Aquila Lander smashed through the trees, one side already sheared off by some sort of weaponry. It impacted into the hillside, smoldering. The group quickly entered via the cockpit, moving the dead pilot aside, and recovered an injured Deathwatch Marine- Deidalus of the Dark Angels. He was on a mission somewhere in orbit, aboard the Spear of the Adder, when an enemy ship of unknown origin ambushed them. The Adder was disabled, and he saw that the attacking vessel had taken up a geosynchronous orbit over this island. Knowing something important must be going on, he descended in the lander.

With the additional arms, the Marines headed out, continuing towards the goal of the Temple. It was not long before they uncovered the Inquisitor’s campsite. There were no survivors in the camp. Judging from the placement of the bodies and the expenditure of their ammunition, it appeared the perimeter guards were taken out first, not even getting a chance to fire a shot. The guardsmen in the interior returned fire against someone, but it was not long before they too were cut to pieces. In addition, another man was found about 50 paces to the northwest of the camp, a single blade wound just above his collar bone was present, he was dead as well. Tracks from a human truck headed northeast- scattered around the tracks was a spend melta canister and several shells from an autocannon. Orthorn arranged the bodies ceremoniously and covered them with what materials he could find, taking one of the dog tags from each of the victims.

Following the truck tracks led the team to the temple structure. If this island did not have such aggressive growth, it would likely stand out from the jungle quite magnificently, but as it were the whole structure was covered in vines, trees, moss, and bushes. The Deathwatch began to slowly circle to the northwest, to check all around the structure, when the enemy opened fire; crystalline splinters spat at them from the hillside, weapons of the Dark Eldar. Brother Josiah returned fire almost immediately, spraying the hillside with bolter shells in order to try and keep the enemy heads from peeking up. Orthorn, Eizen, and Deidalus all returned fire, Erik began to leap through the forest towards their position. After a few seconds of firing into the hillside the crystals were no longer being fired out, the area went quiet. Brother Erik leapt up to the last known position on his own and began to investigate. The rest of his team began to move in cautiously. As Erik pokes around, the survivors, which had pulled back into the trees to hide, opened fire on him again, knowing it was only a matter of time before the Marine found their position. With his characteristic blind fury, Brother Erik stepped into melee and finished the mob off. The team reunited as Erik picked the crystals from his face and scalp, and the group moved into the structure.

Moments after moving in, they were ambushed a second time; Dark Energy burst forth from arrow slits in the main foyer, cutting into Erik and Eizen. The team quickly manuvered to try and return fire, but the narrowness of the slits provided the enemy with excellent cover and protection. Orthorns examined the temple wall looking for the weakest spot to open fire, and launched a melta blast into one of the chambers. Part of the wall split apart, and the Eldar on the other side was consumed in white hot energy, causing his ammunition to violently explode and send a gout of flame and debris into the foyer. Eizen and Erik poured in bolts and promethium into the other ambush location, as Deidalus moved into position, firing a single well placed bolt into the xenos’ skull. At last the battle was over.

Cautiusly, the group explored much of the facility. To the north was a large room with black painted walls and some sort of woven purple-green mat on the floor. At the center of the back wall was an undulating portal- Eizen felt a disturbance in the warp, it was most likely some sort of warp portal. It was here that they found two Imperial Tarantual Turrets, aiming at the portal, in a pile of bolter shells, their ammunition reserves depleted. Also at the base of the portal were measuring and investigative devices, all smashed to pieces. To the left and right of the main foyer were hallways- to the left, or west, was a large steel door that looked out of place in the worked stone structure. To the right, or east, was a similar door, however that door had been forced open. In the room that followed was a large pool filled with pale, eyeless fish. In the center of the pool was a raised dais, on top of which was a defaced Aquila statue. To the north and south of the east wall of the room were two doors. One led into a storage room of some kind, which had an opening into a cave system of some kind, and the other led into a crude prison. In this prison were two guardsman that had belonged to the Catachan exploration team. Dehydrated and malnuourished, their story indicated they had come here with the Inquisitor.

The Inquisitor and her Acolytes explored the large room to the north and told the guardsmen to stay out. To the east, there was a locked door (the one the Kill Team found forced open) that they were trying to bypass. It was not long before the sound of bolter fire could be heard from the north room and the team was quickly under attack from some kind of xenos creature- a fish human hybrid of some kind. The two guardsman succumbed to wounds and passed out, thinking they were dead, but woke up sometime later in the prison cells. It was hard for them to tell how long they had been locked up, time travels strangely in the dark of the prison.

The Kill Team took the guardsmen back to the camp, where they were picked up by the Valkyrie. The team ensured that the survivors were armed and ready to go- thankful they tied themselves to ropes and flew off into a hopefully safer area of the island.

The Deathwatch then returned to the structure, and once again entered the Foyer. They had a set of options before them- to try and breach the door down the east hall, to explore the warp portal, or to explore the cave system to the north east.

500xp was awarded, bringing the total, I think to 24,603. Also, 6 renown was awarded from the previous adventure.

[SUPPLEMENTALXVI “Dark Eldar”]: The Dark Eldar are kindred to the Eldar, an ancient and advanced race of elf-like humanoids. Their armies usually have the advantages of speed and technology, though they are often lacking in resilience and numbers. The Dark Eldar revel in piracy, enslavement and torture, and are sadistic in the extreme. Dark Eldar raiding parties make use of advanced anti-gravity skimmers to launch high speed raids on their enemy while still transporting a large number of their warriors. Due to their use of the galaxy-spanning interdimensional labyrinth known as the Webway, they are extremely mobile, striking from seemingly nowhere, with little or no warning, and vanishing with their captives before significant military reaction can be mobilized.

[SUPPLEMENTALXIVV Aquila Lander]: The Aquila is a small Imperial landing craft used by the Imperial Navy to transport dignitaries such as Inquisitors or senior Administratum representatives ship-to-ship and from fleet positions to planetary installations. While the Aquila is not a combat aircraft as such, it mounts a single nose-mounted heavy weapon such as an Autocannon for close defense, and is well armoured

[SUPPLEMENTALXIVV Tarantula Sentry Gun]: The Tarantula is an automated mobile weapon system, more commonly referred to as a Sentry Gun. The Tarantula takes its name from the distinctive form of its gravitic base, which allows it to traverse rough ground easily. Sentry Guns utilize simple logic engines and are infused with a machine spirit to allow them to operate without a controller.

[SUPPLEMENTALXIVVII Valkyrie Gunship]: The Valkyrie is a heavily armed airborne armoured assault carrier with VTOL capabilities, used to ferry special forces infantry units such as Storm Trooper Squads and Drop Troop Regiments such as the Elysian Drop Troops to and from combat zones.

[SUPPLEMENTALXXM P37 Terrain]: [See full Planetary Datafax for additional information]: Isla Fortis matches the tropical environmental conditions as much of the planet. Heavy rains occur regularly but are short lived, providing ample moisture for plant growth. One significant aspect to Peleus at large is each island appears to be a largely self-contained biosphere, plants and animals on one island do not necessarily exist on another island, and many of the islands are classified as ‘death islands’ as they exhibit many of the aspects of a death world.

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