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.
[SUPPLEMENTAL – XVI “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.
[SUPPLEMENTAL – XIVV 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
[SUPPLEMENTAL – XIVV 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.
[SUPPLEMENTAL – XIVVII 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.
[SUPPLEMENTAL – XXM 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.