Voidwalkers' Salvation

The Salvation of Inessa

The horrors within the Observation Deck soon revealed themselves. A large multi-mouthed blob burbled its way towards the crew causing hallucinations and even sending the Captain into stunned silence. Meanwhile, the floating form of Inessa floated over the ghostly cowering image of a naked woman.

With a yell of pure rage, Quell incited the crew to action and began to charge the foul beast. Behind him the crew sprung to action with Dmitri repeatedly trying to use his gaze upon the creatures and repeatedly failing. Silas moved to a better location to take aim and shoot the creatures. While Cornelius began chanting litanies to the Emperor to drive the things back into the warp. As Inessa floated in the center of the room, she released a massive burst of light that blinded Vir. Quell took one swing at the blog to little effect. Vir sensed the danger Quell was in and re-routed his optics to his servo skull. Vir then quickly charged and threw Quell out of the way.

The blob then sloughed its way over the two of them even as parts of it were vanishing back into the warp. —TBC

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The Awakening of Inessa

Our intrepid Explorers had defeated Killian’s Bane in the basement vault of the capital city on False Hope. Upon returning to the surface with a piece of the beast, Captain Harvlesk informed Governor Bosch that the vermin had been cleared out of the palace and some servitor teams would be along to clean up the mess. Bosch was most grateful for his assistance. Silas, Quell, Cornelius, and Dmitri returned to the Voidwalker’s Salvation in the Aquila while Vir took the chimera back towards the tech priest bunker. The Captain stayed behind to oversee the retrieval operation and spend some time talking to the Governor.

On the flight back, Quell received a telepathic communication from Sebastian.
clunk… clunk… Quell, you wanted me to inform you if Inessa awoke. She is awake. I can sense her. Clunk… clunk…
Yes, yes, alright. Tell Cornelius. I’m sure he’ll want to administer to her soul.
clunk… clunk… Very well…. Clunk… clunk…

CLUNK CLUNK… MISSIONARY CORNELIUS. QUELL HAS INFORMED ME TO TELL YOU THAT INESSA IS AWAKE IN THE MEDICAL BAY. SHE WILL REQUIRE YOUR ATTENTION. CLUNK… CLUNK…

After Cornelius was recovering from the sudden headache that communicating with Sebastian caused, he told Quell that he would be happy to look after Inessa.

Upon arriving at the Voidwalker, the command crew went their separate ways. Silas checked on the bridge and reported to the Captain that all was nominal, then went to bed. Dmitri went to check-in with his network before heading to his bed chambers in the Navigator section. Quell told Cornelius exactly where to find Inessa and then went to bed. Cornelius felt the burden of his duty to the Emperor and chose to visit Inessa before resting.

Dmitri learned that three things had been happening on-board since you’ve left 1) some kind of strange cough is taking to some of the crew and 2) people have started regularly saying “I can’t say” instead of “no.” Its becoming a ship-slang figure of speech. Dmitri then wrapped his affairs and went to bed.

Cornelius arrived at the medical bay to talk to the Chief Medical Officer and quickly learned that about 5% of the crew had this strange cough but he was treating their humours correctly and expected they should be well soon. Then Cornelius asked him…
“The psyker, Inessa, is she here?”
“She was discharged not too long ago.”
“Who discharged her?”
“I can’t say.”
“What do you mean? Where is she now?”
“I can’t say.”
“Crewman, you will answer me. It’s a yes or no question. Do you know where she is?”
“I can’t say.”
Cornelius smacks him across the jaw.
“Sir! Why did you strike me?”
“You are being insubordinate. I only want a yes or no answer to this question. Do you know where she is?”
“I can’t say.”
“Cornelius to security. Kalus get a detail down here to arrest the Medical Officer for insubordination and have him flogged. He is a possible heretic.”
Kalus – “Right away.”
“But-… But, sir! I answered your question directly. You said it was a yes or I can’t say question and I answered you with ‘I can’t say, sir!’ How else can I answer you?”
The security detail arrived in seconds. “Men, this man is a heretic. Don’t listen to his lies. Drag him to the brig and flog him.”
As he was dragged away, he screamed, “I CAN’T SAY! Sir! Please I CAN’T SAY! Don’t make them do this! Sir!!”

Cornelius moved through the medical bay and determined that she had been released less than an hour ago. He quickly contacted Quell to notify him and headed towards Quell’s quarters. Quell for his part contacted Sebastian.
Sebastian.
clunk… clunk. Yes, Quell.
Is everything alright? I have a report that Inessa is free and there may be trouble.
clunk… clunk… No, everything is fine here.
Have you seen her?
clunk… clunk… No, she hasn’t come by the astropath quarters…
Be wary. She may be dangerous. Contact me as soon as you sense her.
Yes, Quell.
Quell thought it was strange that Sebastian would sign off without his constant finger tapping. In fact, he’d never heard that before. Quell decided to check for the Damarus inferno pistol in his safe and sure-enough, it was gone. He contacted security and asked them to check the recordings for around his room. Security responded that he had entered his room over an hour ago, but that didn’t make sense because the other records showed him off-ship at that time. The video logs had a strange switching motion… almost like the track was skipping every few milliseconds. But, they couldn’t isolate the cause or explain what was happening. Cornelius arrived at Quell’s quarters and Quell informed him that the last time there was this kind of trouble it was happening on the Observation Deck. So they quickly headed there.

Upon arrival at the Observation Deck, Quell saw that it had been completely cleaned. No furniture was present yet, but the whole place had a faint antiseptic smell. As they stood and looked around the darkened quiet location the light from the pulsar faintly washed over the deck. Cornelius noticed the faint image of a naked, glowing woman standing in the middle of the deck. They discussed it and Quell believed it was some part of Inessa that was left here. Quell contacted Security and notified Kalus that the guards who were watching Inessa should be considered compromised. Kalus ordered all squads to shoot them on-sight. The captain was notified of the situation and he and Vir began making their way back to the ship. Dmitri and Silas were called while Quell and Cornelius made their way to the Astropath quarters.

In those quarters they quickly discovered that something was VERY wrong. First of all, the security detail that had been sent to investigate screamed and then went silent. The two-man detail was sitting on the floor of the hallway outside the quarters nearly catatonic. Secondly, there were clearly astropaths there but they felt distant or not present somehow. Upon further investigation, Inessa’s room was empty except for some random drawings along the walls. The next room held a horrific sight… Winston, one of the lesser astropaths, was laid out upon his bed his kidneys removed and placed over his eyes, his hands severed and crossed where his feet would be, his feet severed and crossed above his head. The whole room reeked of Chaos ritual murder. The captain enacted the Emperor’s mercy upon the security detail such that they would no longer have to witness such horror.

Then, in Sebastian’s room, they found him sitting sat with his back to the door clearly locked in some kind of mental struggle. Dmitri broke his connection to the warp and brought him back to his senses. Sebastian informed the crew that Inessa had run amok and had braced all of them in their quarters. Upon checking on the other astropaths, they found Regilus similarly murdered while Holt and Kennoch remained locked in mental battle. The crew shepherded them to the Navigator’s quarters to get more help and asked security to check on the video files outside the astropath quarters. A similar flicker was noticed. The captain and Vir ordered them to follow it… and it flickered straight to the Observation Deck.

The crew successfully got the remaining astropaths to the Navigator quarters. Dmitri turned over his watch of Sebastian to his companions and they were able to rouse Kennoch as well, but Holt remains locked in mental battle even as some navigators watch him for signs of changes. A security detail was assigned to stop anyone from entering the hallway that leads to the astropath quarters.

Security and Vir traced the flickering camera anomaly down the corridors and to the Observation Deck. The command crew quickly made their way there. Upon arriving, they saw Inessa, or perhaps what was once Inessa. The figure was floating half a meter above the floor with her arms stretched out to either side. She glowed with a sickly light and all over her body were wrappings of some kind of cloth or thread. As she looked at the command crew, her mouth opened wide and light emanated from her mouth and eye sockets in all directions……… (to be continued next time).

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Killian's Bane

The Burnscour worm rushes towards the party as we begin the initiative count. Some shots are fired at it to minimal effect and then Quell hits it with the sensory deprivation (blinding and deafening it) followed by a thought send of the tunnel opening actually being in the wall to its right rather than in front of it. The beast charges into the open “hole” leaving the party behind. Suddenly an unnatural darkness falls over the entire area as the group realizes that the beast just charged right… into… the wall… without burrowing….

Some handy green sticks are pulled from the acquired ship packs and dropped/thrown to strategic locations around the room. Quell sustains his Astropath mind trick and keeps the beast running through the walls. On the next round a Flamer demon moves out of the wall and into the cavern. It blasts a firestorm across the cavern that the group successfully dodges. Then it absorbs fire from Cornelius to no effect. However, a hail of bolter and plasma shots puts it down. Vir began checking his auspex for signs of the beast or other living things, but has no information on its location. Quell and Dmitri are convinced that its currently in the warp.

Before another round passes… the GM calls stalemate because there is no way to force another Willpower check against Quell at this point. So, the beast and Quell would remain locked together until Quell needs to sleep… at which point it would be returned to its senses and come crashing in on a very tired party. The group takes this moment to collect their strategy and plan for a way to bring it into the cavern in the most advantageous way possible. Unfortunately, its return was accompanied by a sudden rain of blood and gore falling down from the ceiling like a hard downpour.

Vir rigged all of the available grenades (3) into a remotely detonating bomb. The group formed a semi-circle on with the focus in a back corner of the cavern. Then Quell brought the beast up into the kill-zone and right on top of the bomb. Since they had time to prepare, the GM let the party set their own initiative order and the beast would go last. The beast came up exactly as prepared and the bomb went off, but it only scratched the underbelly. Shots rang out from all directions… with Silas hitting it with a full-auto shot from his bolter. Those shots ripped into its side revealing a swirling warp storm in the beast’s belly. A swarm of demon insects rushed out of the hole. The beast turned and blindly rushed at random… right towards Captain Harvlesk! The beast brought its maw right down on top of him, but the Captain deftly jumped out of the way. Then he thrust his power sword right up into the beast’s gaping maw and through its brain. The beast’s head exploded in a shower of fire and the body of the 30 meter worm flipped over straight back and away from the party. The group then watched as the warp storm began slipping its bonds and increasing outward. Quell focused on it from behind the party, but the veil to the warp was thinning now… he successfully stopped the expanding storm and shut it down… but vanished into thin air!

Cornelius put down the demon insects in a shower of purifying fire with some help from the Captain and Dmitri. The group waited for the beast to stop moving as Quell snapped back into existence behind them. Dmitri spotted him and went over to check that he was alright. Having determined that he was whole, they both moved towards the worm. Then, the Captain and Silas began dissecting the beast to look for any artifacts they could find.

The crew shaved the whole beast’s interior apart. They located a boot with some kind of symbol on it (that no one looked at), an ancient Baleful eye (possibly from the Age of Strife), and a brooch with the sigil of Killian’s family on it. Vir located a secret compartment in the brooch and opened it slightly and handed it back to the Captain. The Captain determined that there was some kind of leathered skin inside that was folded up. He carefully closed the brooch again and put it in his pocket.

Then the Captain asked what the armor rating potential of the worm’s hide would be. I informed him that it was a 10 (individual) or 5 (vehicle) armor rating, if it could be tanned correctly. Everyone searched their memories (including Vir), but didn’t know how to tan Burnscour Worm hide. But, the Captain wanted it. So, we discussed having the combat servitor BOB drag it through the castle. Turns out (after some checking) that BOB can only drag 2700 kg. Not the 30,000 kg that the worm originally weighed or the about 18,000 kg it weighs now that it was scooped out. The group cut it into about 6 pieces (approx. 5 meters wide each) and had Bob drag one out.

The Captain and company discussed briefly with Governor Bosch what they were doing and then some were planning to head back to the ship to sleep (its been a long 20-hour day). The Captain ordered the landers to come down to the courtyard with servitors to get the rest of the worm. Followed by a cleaning servitor crew to cleanup the mess.

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The Vault Door on False Hope

The session opens with Captain Harvlesk having a wide ranging and open conversation with Patronius Bosch, governor of this city on False Hope. Patronius told Harvlesk about growing algae indoors away from the radiation to provide food and that there is a thriving barter economy of exchanging services (e.g. fixing small machines) for food in the market. He asked an indelicate question about why did Wolfheart Harvlesk abandon this colony to the sand tigers. Which the Captain answered by saying some people believe that new colonies are hardened by hardships and that was apparently Wolfheart’s opinion. Captain Harvlesk referred to Theresa Koll as a scavenger… a remora feasting on the scraps of meals hard-won by her predatory betters (e.g., Wolfheart).

Then it was on to the vault where he quickly ascertained that Dmitri (Le) was nervous about the vault door… Vir (Jeff) was jacked into it and the rest of you were standing around looking on. Harvlesk missed the same initial awareness check that you all missed, but fortunately Nathan asked for a Ciphers check and passed. He immediately saw that the whole configuration of the door made a cipher that said “Danger to all who enter here.” Moving up to the door he began examining the symbols and strange ports in the door/wall. On his way in Vir warned him, “Captain, be careful, there are weapons systems protecting this door.” But heedless of the concerns the Captain looked closer. (Nathan would later claim that this statement was never made and that I had withheld information about the danger… but the other players corroborated my statement.)

Looking closer, Captain Harvlesk spotted the eight-pointed chaos symbol next to the Emperor and the Machine God. This was clearly an abomination, so naturally he shot the Chaos-marked gear with his plasma pistol.

Vir was the first to notice the door powering up and urged them all to run as he unjacked and fled the room. The rest of the party rolled initiative and tried to escape. But, first everyone had to make dodge checks as the door shot its heavy flamers all across the room. Everyone made it but had to hit the deck. On the next round they all started to flee with varying degrees of success as the heavy bolters fired up. Dmitri was hit twice in the right arm and Quell was hit twice in the head. They both survived to flee the room. Captain Harvlesk valiantly stayed behind to aid Cornelius (Dan) in escaping the vault corridor. In the next round, a warp incursion began all across the face of the door as black blobs winked into existence and a Screamer of Tzeentch appeared. Imagine a purple manta ray-shark that was as large as the door. The Screamer hung onto the door as the door began melting in contact with it. The flamers fired again lighting it on fire and attempting to hit Harvlesk and Cornelius as well. In the next round, the door had melted away to a pile of slag on the floor and the screamer now flaming and covered in promethium charged Harvlesk and Cornelius. A quick dodge by the Captain kept him out of it clutches as the party moved into range to try to finish off the beast. It was a final 38 point… yes… 38 point shot by Silas with 3 spikes on a d10 that struck it and finished it off. The party burned the now dead and flaming screamer until it returned to the warp. Some wanted to look for patterns in the flame colors, but were quickly shouted down by the other players.

The party moved beyond the door into the large seemingly natural cavern beyond. A good distance in they found one symbol on each wall… an 8-pointed star superseded by the Emperor’s throne where offices of the Administratum made up each point. Captain Harvlesk informed the crew that his ancestor believed so strongly in the Emperor’s might that he didn’t hesitate to show the Emperor triumphing over chaos even if that meant using chaos symbols. Also in this location, on the floor and ceiling were two large symbols showing the Emperor on his throne and manifesting psychic power. The party took these symbols as powerful symbols of warding. Heading deeper into the cavern and now apparently outside of the palace foundation they found a larger dead-end cavern. In this place was Killian’s Bane… an enormous worm clearly transplanted here from the Death World, Burnscour, where such worms are common. Killian’s Bane was the largest of these ever seen and was said to have eaten a Rogue Trader named Killian. At that time, Killian was said to have a Xeno artifact that would protect him from the creature… it appears it didn’t work… oh… and it may have opened a portal to the warp in its gut. Its currently charging towards the party with ravenous hunger and evil intent.

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From Then until Recently

To be added

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Session 12 - 2/18/2012
In which the Scared Straight technique is applied

Unwilling to carry on without repairing the damage from the skirmish with the raiders, Harvlesk returns the Voidwalkers’ Salvation to the Hermitage. Repairs are determined to take 17 days, which will put the crew approximately on an expected timetable for their mission to find Damarus IV and Kato Thaddeus.

During the trip back, Silas investigates the pirate data. All logs are within realspace, which is a tad odd as the ships they fought had Warp drives. There were many consistent but unknown reference points in the nav data, but there was a single point that was the origin of the last three departures. Likely a base or meeting point.

Harvlesk offers the priate vessel as a gift to Fortunas and the Hermitage. hey respond that a tech priest named Hux had contacted the dockmaster hoping to speak w/ Harvlesk. “Oh, yeah,” says the rest of the table, “I kinda remember that happening.” Vir had met with Hux hoping to gain some new patterns, and Hux asked for an audience in return.

Hux: “I am told you are quite adventurous. Your preist mentioned your search for the lost system of ”/wikis/damarus-iv" class=“wiki-page-link”> Damarus IV?" Asks to be kept in the loop of anything discovered on its location or any goods from there.

During conversation, Harvlesk brings up the name Davanne. Hux doesn’t know it or recognize the signature code. Vir gives him the second, hidden code. “Ah, yes. This code is connected to a priest on board named Racko. Not part of the enclave, but all tech priests are required to check in. But you never said why you were looking for him?” Hux is informed of the concern over possible tech heresy. Hux is troubled by the possibility. Doesn’t know of a sect that would wear yellow robes. Also, re: the mines around the (former) Harpalian: “Strange those mines don’t show on my scanners. That’s Navy technology, there. Closely guarded.”

Harvlesk consults w/ Josef for insight into combating heretics and handling the issues of Arbites and the various jurisdictions involved. Asks Josef to present a trophy taken from Temple to (a representative of) Brother Regen as a gift (along with informationon /passage to Temple itself), and asking for an audience.

Fortunas calls Silas and demands an audience. Along with Vir and Quell. Silas notifies Eli, who is also in the docks to meet the ranks of Arbites led by Commander Marquez. Harvlesk insists on accompanying his crew, and is brought along.

The three are led into one room, Harvlesk into another looking into the first. Some questions are asked, mostly about the footage of the events on the Harpalian, and the crew’s actions during and after the recording. This is the first time Quell has seen the footage… and the creatures peering from the pool. “You are sure you destroyed that pool!?” he demanded of Silas. “Yes! I used your own weapon!” “Let us see that weapon,” the commander asks, “hold it to the window.”

Quell does. Within the control room, another voice is heard: “Thank you, Commander. We no longer require your presence. You may leave now”. He does. A tech priest enters the room with Harvlesk and reveals himself to be Davanne. There is much suspicion, especially since the microphone was left open. Davanne offers to join up with the others, Eli agrees.

A suspicious/pious/foreboding thought causes Eli to take a closer look at the tech priest, and notices something that simultaneously puts him at ease and convinces him he is in more peril than he ever has been before.

“My lord Inquisitor!” he blurts, and makes appropriate religious gestures. Luckily, the rest of the crew caught on.

Revelations are made! To describe them, I present Our Friend The Bullet Point:

  • Quell’s Damarus IV Inferno Pistol has the same type of Warp connection that the statues did.
  • Davanne is carrying a Damn Big gun… one with a Damarus IV mark… that ALSO has the warp-connection.
  • Davanne considers the Soul Binding ritual’s protections enough for Quell to withstand any Warp influence from the connection.
  • Some general background on the history of Damarus IV is provided
  • Davanne believes that the weapons of Chaos can be harnessed and used against Chaos, and this is why she was performing the tests on the Goo and general interest in Damarus IV.
  • Davanne further warns Harvlesk about the Zetok Syndicate and their relation to Damarus IV and Kato Thaddeus. “Who do you think owns The Hermitage, Captain?” “I do not know, nor had I given it much thought. But narrative irony dictates that the answer is the Zetok Syndicate.” “Not directly, of course. Through many levels of shell organizations. But… yes.”
  • Davanne is interested in putting an end to Thaddeus’ spread of un-controlled Damarus IV goods, and provides some information on his ships (Thaddeus Bargin, Bothney, a few others assumed to be transports)
  • She instructs the crew to send a message to the Zetok. This exactly: “We have met with Davanne and everything is proceeding as planned.”
  • In the future, if it is necessary to contact Davanne, talk to Hux and tell him there is a message for his “special assistant”.
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Session 11 - 2/4/2012
In which Harvlesk takes an asprin, two statues burn, and another derelict goes boom

Vir’s medicae skills have an extremely effective result, and Quell is back on his feet quickly, though still stiff and sore.

Back from his pilgramage around the station with Josef, Captain Elizar Harvlesk was already slightly annoyed by the attempted interruptions and other news. Then he checked the ship’s logs to see WHY he was being paged. Revelations did not assuage the annoyance.

Harvlesk met Vir in the bridge and called him into the Captian’s office. As Harvlesk pulled more details out from between Vir’s literal responses, Eli slowly grew more… head-achy.

Eli then confronted Quell about the statue as Josef had brought it to his attention. Eli was quite insistent on destroying it. “I do not want this thing on my ship. I want it destroyed,” he said. Then, after a very slight pause, he added, “will it… explode?” Perhaps visions of burning parchment flashed before his eyes. No one will ever know.

“That is one of the reasons it is still on your ship, Captain. I can’t be certain what sort of reaction there might be to violence against it.”

Vir was consulted on the most efficient way to destroy the item. He would need to scan the statue to be sure of its physical properties, but proposed that using the ship’s thrusters to burn it up would likely work. “Good. Now, are there anymore Damarus IV good on my ship showing this taint?” Another quick pause and a successful Intelligence test later he added, “The golden statue of the emperor on my desk… did that come from the same shipment as your statue?” Why, yes! A Pyniscience test later and Quell reported that it gave the same sense of being connected to something through the warp, but was no affecting the physical world. Harvlesk responded, “Perhaps its form is holding back its horror. Destroy this as well. And check anything we may have picked up for anything similar!”

Next, Harvlesk called Silas into the room for more information about recent relations with the Hermitage. A lot of deep sighing was involved. Eli calls up the station, and is answered by a lesser acolyte, who admits Harvlesk is on “the list” and that FOrtunus will be notified and return the call later. An insult for a Rouge Trader.

Half hour later, Dockmaster Fortunas returns the call. Conversation goes much as expected. Harvlesk turns conversation toward the local pirate trouble and offers to deal them a blow in order to reduce their local activity. Fortunas accepts, but presses the importance of avoiding any damage to the derelicts in the area. Foreshadowing ensues.

Quell and Vir head towards the isolated quarters w/ the dark statue and meet Josef there at Quell’s request. Josef inspects the golden statue and reads the High Gothic script on it: an old prayer that reads along the lines of “may blessings flow from the emperor to the planetary governor yadda yadda”.

Vir’s scans show the dark statue to be made of an interesting formation of obsidian with suspended streaks of gasses that were captured as the stone formed. The golden statue was more of base metals; steel, with a thin gold plating. Both are connected to the warp, but the black one’s connection is much stronger. They show the same sort of energy field that a Warp drive would have, but much much smaller and very difficult to detect.

Kalus reports to Harvlesk that all supplies are on board (including the goods he agreed to deliver to Footfallen in exchange for contacts/information, but has not shared with anyone including Harvlesk). The captain informs Kalus of the upcoming pirate hunting excursion, and Kalus gets started on running security drills.

Quell speaks with the navigator (Tokan) to make sure he has integrated the found star charts into his own and that he is prepared to depart. He responds with a very polite “of course, you asshole,” but does volunteer that “There are some eddys in the warp. Departure may be… difficult”

The Voidwalkers’ Salvation leaves port and heads towards the jump point and the pirates. On the way, Harvlesk informs Fortunas of the plan to fake a systems failure and lure the pirates with distress signals that shouldn’t be responded to.

Approaching the jump point, the horribly tainted statues were launched in a device Vir designed and piloted to behind the main thrusters and into the backwash. The statue burn-off worked as expected. Scanners showed the statues smolder with smoke billowing out, but also being atomized by the engine backwash. After a few seconds, with 60-70% of the statues burned off, the statues suddenly disintegrate… and are replaced by a MASSIVE explosion, at the heart of which was a VERY quick visible rip in in space showing the Warp, which sucked in the smoke and remains of the statue.

This served as the signal for the Captain to signal to cut power, start a slow roll, and initiate the false comm chatter.

Two raider-class ships appear, flanking the Salvation. One hails; its captain identifies himself as Do Durrant of the Sirius and offers “support”. Harvlesk notes that the Salvation’s comms appear to be getting jammed and that he likely doesn’t need the help this close to the Hermitage. Durrant promises to help by launching boarding torpedoes. And the first space combat initiates.

The lead ship takes heavy damage in the first salvo, but the Salvation is recovering from its slow drift and the second ship gets off some good hits.

Harvlesk: I want that Command ship taken out!
Silas: So… bridge, engine, or ‘Surprise Me’?
Harvlesk: I defer to your judgement on this matter, Silas.

Roll: 47 damage + critical. Macro-batteries slam into Sirius’ engines. Massive explosions. The Plasma drive explodes. Nearby derelict is caught in the debris and takes… 42 damage. Ripped to shreds.

Determined to replace that lost ship, Harvlesk orders pursuit of the second ship that fled into the asteroid field. A tension-filled many-hour pursuit (and at least one meal) later, the Salvation gets within weapons range. The ship hails, but Harvlesk ignores it and orders a shot on their engines. The hit takes out the ship’s thrusters, and their return shot does a small amount of damage. They hail again and are again ignored. The next shot from the Salvation breeches the bridge and the ship ceases all movement.

Harvlesk orders the Voidwalker’s Salvation to swing behind the other ship, then orders a precision shot on their life support. The first shot is absorbed by the ship’s armor. The second shot burns out the life support and also the engines. “Sorry, sir. I have no sense of moderation,” was Silas’ reaction.

The captain orders for the crew to watch scanners for movement and life signs. When they all disappear, a quick away team mission is sent into the bridge to collect data from the ship’s computers. They then start the return trip to the Hermitage, reporting the location of the ship for pickup by the station’s tugs.

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Session 10 - 1/14/2012
In which Mark abuses his HTML skills

FADE IN:

ESTABLISHING SHOT: The Aquilla flyer leaving the scene of the Harpalian, exiting from the surrounding minefield and heading towards the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Camera sweeps across the lander and PUSHES THROUGH the front windshield, showing Silas at the controls with Vir next to him. Behind them, the security detail sits either checking their equipment or tending to the viciously wounded Quell who is stable but unconscious. Camera pulls back around to picture Silas and Vir at the main controls when the comm link beeps.

OFFICER ON DECK (over comm)

Commander, we’ve received a message from Captain Harvlesk. He and Josef are spending additional time investigating a particularly interesting shrine. He will remain out of communication for longer than originally anticipated. His only orders: “Carry on.”

SILAS

     (rolls his eyes)
Very well. We will be back shortly. Prepare the medical staff for an emergency. Quell has taken a power axe to the… well, just be prepared

OFFICER ON DECK (over comm)
Yes, sir!

FADE CUT TO:

Silas and Vir entering the main bridge of the Voidwalker’s Salvation.

OFFICER ON DECK

Sir, Dockmaster Fortunas has been hailing us, demanding to talk to someone in charge.

SILAS

Oookay. I’ll talk to him.
     (walks over to a comm station, activates it)
This is the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Go ahead.

FORTUNAS

     (angrily)
Who am I talking to? Where is Harvlesk?

SILAS

This is Silas Caine, I’m senior officer on board while Captain Harvlesk attends to a personal pilgramage.

FORTUNAS

Then I guess you’ll have to do. Do you mind telling me why my ships keep exploding?

SILAS

Er… excuse me?

FORTUNAS

The Harpalian. It exploded shortly after your little expedition left its vicinity, and I want to know why.

SILAS

Um. One moment.
    (Mutes the comm system)
Can we get a scan of that area?

NEARBY TECHNICIAN

Uh.. it looks to be true, sir. This is where the Harpalian was. There’s nothing but a drifting chunk of what appears to be the engine section.

SILAS

And the mine field?

VIR

      (looking over the Technician’s shoulder)
Still there.

SILAS

      (Sighs, then activates the comm system)
I see what you mean. I swear it wasn’t like that when we left.

FORTUNAS

Yes, my ships seem to have a very expensive habit of exploding between the time you leave them and board your own vessel. I think we need to discuss this. In person. At your earliest convenience.

SILAS

Uh. Yes, that might be prudent. We have news on what we found on the ship that you might be interested in.

FORTUNAS

Right. I’ll have a security detail escort you to my office. …To protect that information.

SILAS

      (With only a slight twinge)
Er. Yes. Yes, that would be fine. We’ll be aboard shortly. Voidwalker’s Salvation out.
      (disconnects comm channel)

For a beat, Silas and Vir look at each other.

VIR

      (Holds up data slate from the Harpalian)
Right. I’ll just go make some copies of this then.

FADE OUT

OPENING CREDITS

COMMERCIAL BREAK



Arriving at the docking bay on the Hermitage, Silas and Vir are met by 10 heavily armed/armored security personnel. The one in charge looks somewhat surprised to see Vir, demands to know who he is. The answer satisfies him, but he still doesn’t look happy. The guards fall into a formation surrounding the two and escorts them to the Dockmaster’s office. Neither PCs show any outward signs of objection to this, knowing a token show of force when they see one. Even if it is an overwhelming one.

Fortunas is mighty pissed, but Silas and Vir relate the information about the experiment they found on board and the information they have on the Tech priest seemingly behind it ( Davanne ). This information more distracts Fortunas than appeases him. However, Silas’ attempt to explain the apparent purpose of the experiment— to investigate Demons from the Warp— has a much stronger reaction, causing Fortunas to shrink away slightly, refusing to accept the sort of information he is hearing. Disquieted, Fortunas accepts the PCs’ story that they were not responsible for the explosion, but demands that he be informed of any future… excursions onto his ships so that he can provide for adequate protection. The two leave a high-quality copy of the data slate with the dockmaster, who promised to pass it along to the local Arbites along with the information on Davanne.

Meanwhile, Quell lies in the medical bay, hovering near death. He wakes up to find himself in a psychic dream state, and comes to discover he is “on” Damarus IV, witnessing an operation of some sort involving the implantation of obviously alien biology or technology into a man identified as Planetary Governer Dmitri Xalot. The attendant surgeon refers to Quell as Councilor Apolonius, and that “he is next”. Once Quell realizes the situation, he digs for a bit more information: this was all “his” idea.

Believing he wasn’t likely to get any additional information from these apparitions, Quell deludes the attendant into believing that he has been sedated again, and goes exploring down the empty halls of his Damarus IV vision, looking to learn more. Undeterred by the multi-colored mist that grows thicker, he begins to both smell something like bread and hear a low grumbling, coming from different directions. Turning towards the grumbling, Quell found himself faced by the horned demon Vulcanus, who was disquietingly happy to see him. Among other things, the demon claimed that Damarus IV was his planet, and that its people were his as well.

The demon kept pressuring Quell to answer the question: “What do you want?” Quell quipped that he was just trying to find his clothes since he was walking around in a hospital gown. The Demon’s response was “Your boon is granted”, a phrase that, somehow, is more terrifying from a demon than “I will eat your face.” Unable to rouse himself (and unfamiliar with Old Terra stories of Djinni), Quell decided to try and get some information and asked the demon what he know about Kato Thaddeus. The information was disappointing, and then Quell was able to force himself awake, back on the Voidwalker’s Salvation. Covered in sweat. With his clothes on a chair next to his bed. And the laughter of the demon in his ears.

He went back to sleep.

Finally able to review the data from the captured data slate, Vir discovers many medical-style readings and a video log that included regular still shots punctuated by full video when activated by motion. The camera covered the Servitor stations, the pool on the ground and the doorway. The items of note he finds are:

  1. Tech priest with a big servo-arm and a hell-pistol eye replacement wearing dark robes with obvious Mechanicum symbols (Assumed to be Davanne). Checks the pool, taking some readings and a sample, does something at the console behind the camera… but as he walks away from the pool, an arm reaches out and scrabbles around the floor, reaching and grabbing. There is no indication the priest saw this. On his way out, he says aloud “Everything seems to be in order. Good work boys, see you next week.”
  2. A creature pulls itself out of the pool… the servitors beat it down.
  3. Video erased – not present even on original data slate, but can tell it’s supposed to be there. The still shots return, with time stamps of the following day.
  4. 24 hours after first demon breach, THREE come out. The servitors kill them, but it’s a tougher fight.
  5. Another missing segment, followed by returned still shots with the servitors back in their posts, repaired of their damage.
  6. The group entering the room, inspecting the servitors… who activate and attack. We destroy them. During the fight, and unseen at the time, a couple heads rise up out of the goo and watch. When it appears that our side has won the fight, they retreat back in. Once the fight is over, several guards carry Quell back though the door. Vir looks around and heads towards the camera and out of frame (to the console). The recording ends as he pulls the data slate. Silas’ incineration of the goo with Quell’s pistol is not recorded since that happened later.

A little later, Silas, Vir and Quell meet with Kalus for his report on the dead drop he was observing. He reports much less “chatter” of cold trade than he would expect for a station of this size, but that Josette does a good job of running it. No real leads on the name “”/campaigns/rogue-trader-voidwalkers-salvation/characters/marcella-1" class=“wiki-content-link”>Marcella"; the only references to it were tied to an “Astaban” and not Kato Thaddeus. Roland, however, appears to have simple buisness contact with Bal of the Atellus.

The dead drop itself is used fairly infrequently, and the messages left appear to include only a name, location, and a time. There is some discussion of how such things tend to operate and whether some sort of contact should be initiated. Ultimately, it is decided against doing so. Instead, an expedition to hunt for the combat bridge of the Torian Blade that had ejected prior to the explosion.

Upon launch of the Salvation’s wing of transports (including a new one obtained by Silas earlier), Fortunas immediately hails the Salvation, demanding to know what is going on. He accepts the “breaking in the new ship” story, but isn’t happy about it and declares that he will be closely watching all the flyers’ beacons on his scanners.

The group manages to find the combat bridge, and scans show a single, very weak life sign. After a quick debate about whether to do anything themselves, Silas calls back to the Hermitage to report the finding. At first, Fortunas doesn’t believe that there could be anyone still on board (especially since he didn’t believe there was anyone in that section of the Blade to begin with), he does launch a rescue team to pick up the survivor.

The PCs hang about as best they can and observe a boarding crew enter the bridge then leave again, at which point scans confirm whoever was on the bridge had disembarked. The group then returned to the Salvation intending to find out who was on board that bridge.

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