Monday, 16 June 2014

Dark Heresy Campaign Journal Episode 0.2

PCs:
  • Cadence, Tech Priest Cyber-Handler
  • Gunner, Under-hive Gunslinger
  • Grimoire, Precocious Psyker
  • Ishtari, Novie Battle Sister
  • Lemantz, Hive Enforcer
  • Zane, Squat Cleric
NPCs:
  • Thrandy (Cyber-Hound)
  • Lilly Arbest (Witness)

The acolytes rendezvous on the second floor, with Gunnar, Ishtari and Cadence each covering one of the stairwells. Meanwhile Zane and Cadence try to figure a way out of their predicament. Luckily, Cadence manages to spot a tattered looking mattress lying on top of a dumpster in the street outside when she peers out one of the windows at the top of a stairwell.

While the others hold off the advancing gangers, Zane and Lilly jump down to the Dumpster. By this time the gangers are clogging up the stairwells and have left none of their number outside. While Gunner and Ishtari wish for grenades, Cadence throws Threnady out of the window. In the ensuing combat however, both Gunnar and Ishtari takes wounds. Minor wounds yes, but enough to weaken them. They group stages a fighting withdrawal and soon only Cadence and Ishtari are left behind. However, at this moment, an enraged Ishtari charges into combat with her flail. Outnumbered, she is soon overwhelmed. Cadence drags her back and shoves her towards the window. The Sister escapes safely, but when Cadence follows, the Tech Priest injures her ankle. The group shuffle away as swiftly as they can, covering themselves with fire and maneuver, until they loose pursuit in the alleyways once more. 

For the second time that night, they bind wounds, reload weapons and check their gear.  Grimoire offers phyker healing techniques to the wounded. Gunner and Cadence accept, but Ihstari refuses to subject herself to the filthy touch of the Warp. Before she can say any more, Threnady lets out a long, low, mechanical growl. The acolytes ready their weapons.

Enforcer Lemantz of the Corcorla Precinct has been chasing gun-fire all night. While most of her colleagues had retreated back to the Precinct House to wait out the night-cycle in the same abject terror as they rest of the populace, she continued her solitary investigation into the disappearances. Or she would have, had she not received reports of a new gang trying to muscle into Coscorla. Though why in the warp anyone would want to take control of a dump like Coscorla was beyond her.

And that was what she was thinking when she rounded a corner to find a las-pistol pointed at her face.

A few minutes later, Gunner returned the Enforcer's weapon. Lilly had helped to facilitate an alliance by explaining that  Lemantz was one of the few possibly even the only) member of the Precinct House that wasn't corrupt. She went on to explain that when she had first reported Saul's disappearance three weeks previously the Precinct Chief, Locan, had warned her to keep her head down and not go asking too many questions. She'd left to work a contract uphive soon after and had only just returned earlier that day to find Locan had joined the vanished. Lemantz confirms grimly that Locan failed to report for duty one morning two days previously, and that when she had visited his quarters she had found the door broken down and fresh blood staining the bed sheets. Since then, her colleagues have taken to locking themselves and their families into the Precinct House at night. Lilly adds that after she heard about the Precinct Chief, she realised that help from up-hive wasn't coming. That was when she decided to leave. She's willing to tell them more, but only if they help her get to the mono-rail station. Lementz is able to confirm that Lilly is in danger. She hasn't been able to locate anyone who has filed a missing person complaint for several days. It seems that those who report their loved ones as missing disappear soon after. When Lemantz tried to contact Lilly several days ago, without success, she'd assumed that Lilly had been taken as well.

Shortly thereafter, the group makes it's way through the quite streets to the mono-rail station. They encounter no more gangers on the way, but several times during the short journey the still night air is pierced by shrill screams in the distance. Once, Threnady seems to pick up a strange energy signature nearby, but on closer investigation the signature appears to have been lost.

When the party climbs the gantry to the mono-rail platform, Threnady stops suddenly, her heckles raised. Cadence signals the others to stop. Allowing her consciousness to commune with the Cyber-Hound's machine-spirit, Cadence see's through it's eyes and other senses. She is able to detect a number of large, humanoid, metallic shapes shambling through the ruins of the Terminus' building. But each shape is surrounded by a strange, foreign looking energy signature that disrupts the hounds auto-senses. She is unable to tell exactly how many of these humanoids are present in the Terminus. As she turns to the others, Gunner and Ishtari spot an eerie green glow coming through one of the shattered, greasy window panes of the building.

Cadence and Threnady go forward to investigate. Once closer to the Terminus, she is able to ascertain the presence of an oosphere, an electromagnetic field, around each of the figures. Opening her nodes for communion, she expands her own oo-sphere, hoping to learn something about the strangers.

Instantly, her nodes erupt in agony. She can smell the stink of melting metal as the very touch of the humanoids oosphere attempts to corrupt her own. She hears numerous, binary voices in her head. Each of them foreign. Each of them subtly wrong. Illogical. Number and Character combinations that are mathematically and theologically impossible. 

Scrap-code.

She shuts down her oosphere within moment, managing to purge her system of the infectious code before it can take root. But while she rolls in agony on the filthy, cracked ferrocrete of the platoform, she hears bursts of binary static from within the terminus building. The platform lights wink out in showers of broken glass and blue sparks. Amorphous, shadowy shapes lit only by a myriad of greenish, electronic eyes erupt through the flimsy walls of the Terminus building towards her. Threnady grabs her by the collar of her robes and starts dragging her back while behind her, Cadence's colleagues open fire with everything they have. 

Cadence manages to get to her feet and reach the others just before the scrap-code Servitors reach her. With frantic blows and a flurry of las and auto fire they manage to escape back down the gantry, where the tracked servitors do not appear able to follow (leading Zane to wonder aloud how they managed to get up there in the first place). Cadence, although still shaken from her near-disastrous experience with the scrap-code, enacts a cunning plan involving a bewildering array of cables and using herself as bait that leads to the capture of one of the scrap-code Servitors. Or, more precisely, it's torso. The tension of the snapping cable cuts the thing in half, and it's tracked mid-section falls to the caverns metal floor.

Hauling a near catatonic Lilly behind them, the group discusses their next move. Trapped, they realise that they have to summon help from the Inquisition. They turn to Lemantz for suggestions on how to contact the outside world. Lemantz explains that the district has not had reliable, communications with the rest of the hive since the plasma disaster several years ago. Few of the residents and only a handful of local organisations have been able to afford private links to the inter-hive data network. She supplies the following options:

  • The Precinct House itself, which the acolytes deduce is likely to be under close watch. Lemantz reluctantly admits that there is likely to be at least one traitor among her colleagues, given that individuals who file missing person reports tend to vanish shortly thereafter.
  • The Union. Lemantz explains that "Boss" Luntz, head of the local workers union has his fingers in many pies and is, in fact, the leading figure in what passes for the local underworld. All the local gangs work for him. It's possible that he is involved in the disappearances but Lemanzt doubts it. He is losing a lot of face in underworld circles for not being able to keep his own house, small as it is, in order.
  • The Almshouse. Lemantz explains that after the Plasma leak, House Tantalus ceased all of it's operations in the district (a disaster given that the majority of the inhabitants were indentured to the House). Pressure from other trade houses looking to one-up Tantalus forced it to maintain an Alms House to feed the locals. Lemantz has never seen it, but believe the Almshouse must have some means of regularly contacting Tantalus to order new shipments of food and clothing.
After some debate, the group decides that Luntz and the Union would be their best bet. They need to get the local gangs off their back so they can focus on the disappearances and what better way to do that than by making an alliance with their boss.

Hurriedly, the small group makes it's way across the square to the Union building. It's locked up tight, but the lights are still on inside. It's Lemantz who walks up to the security door and bangs it a few times with her nightstick. When the auspex unit mounted next to the door whirs in her general direction, she identifies herself and tells the gang boss to open up.

The door slides open.....



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