Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Silenced Voices 2.0: A Dark Heresy Campaign

This is a reboot of an old campaign that never really got off the ground. After our play-test of Stuart Marshall's new Mega-Dungeon project, the group decided we didn't want to be a temporary collection of play-testers after all. So, I've blown the dust off my old notes. Time for a reboot.

Player's Introduction:
"Your contact is late. Three hours late. Intelligence indicates he is residing in room 4306, on the thirty-first floor of the Irridium Rest House. It is outside this door that you stand. Now. Looking at the shattered mag-lock slowly melting melting into the floor. Wondering at the smell of blood. The ozone of warp-taint lingering in the air. Behind the closed door, you can hear the faint sounds of movement. Something unnatural occurs within..."

The Crone Sector:
The setting will be the Crone Sector, in the galactic south east. A newly re-conquered Sector, returned to the Imperial Fold a scant fifty years before, it lies on the very edge of Imperial Space . The Inquisition keeps the Imperium's newly-conquered subjects extremely ignorant (even by the standards of the Imperium) or other worlds within the Sector.

Only the handful of Chartist captains (and a good half-dozen Rogue Traders) operating within the Sector have any real comprehension of the Imperium beyond their home world.

The Voidship Penumbra's Ghost

The Sanctum Invigilus:
The Sanctum is a modest manor house in the mid-levels of the Central Spire in the Rubiantum Mega-Hive of the twilight-shrouded world of Penumbra. Although none of the Acolytes are aware of it's exact location, it a small but significant location in Shard's net-work and the operational base of Shard's cell-network on Penumbra.

Rubiantium Hive, Penumbra.
It is here that the Acolytes received their brief, orientation training. It is the (some-times) home of Inquisitor Shard (albeit not for nearly half-a-century) and the dwelling place of their "handler", Explicator Sand, the Inquisitor's Senior Interrogator.

Inquisitor Shard:

Inquisitor Sharde, according to a 50 year old Portrait in the Sanctum
A shadowy figure, Shard rarely allows his acolytes to meet with him directly, instead operating through a network of "handlers" - senior Acolytes, Explicators and Interrogatorswho carry out the actual field work while under his command. Shard seemingly belongs to no specific Ordos and directs multiple lines of inquiry simultaneously from some secret lair hidden deep within the shadows of the Crone sector.

Explicator Sand:

Explicator Sand enjoying work on his latest project
A somewhat macabre and distant figure, Sand is the Explicator who undertook your painful (and invasive) induction into Inquisitorial Service. A former Munitorium Surgical Adept, Sand invariably dresses in soiled, blood-stained surgical gowns and green plastic aprons when conducting Inquisitorial business. He displays an unnerving and somewhat disturbing affection for his many surgical devices, knives and implements of torture, keeping them spotlessly clean while at the same time neglecting his own appearance and hygiene. Sand's voice is a silky velvet caress, somewhat disarming at times, but capable of discussing the most painful acts of torture in entirely dispassionate tones.

The Explicator has never raised his voice in your presence, but you have heard whispers among the distaff that those juniors who raise his ire seldom re-appear as anything but the newest addition to his installations seemingly endless supply of servitors.

Sanctum Encounters:

Aside from the ubiquitous Servitors and Servo-skulls, a handful of pallid, aging former acolytes act as house servants. All are former Acolytes themselves, though many seem to have failed their master in some way, leading to their re-assignment and "retirement" to the Sanctuary. Their bitter pronouncements of near-certain death with regards to the Acolytes and their glee in laying odds on each individual Acolyte's chances of survival can be somewhat unnerving.

Former Acolytes serve even in death
Most unnervingly, each of these servants, male or female, bears an identical, grafted face. All without exception must be addressed as "Zorius".  

Other hooded Acolytes, hurrying too and from briefings with Sand occasionally cross your path. Communication between members of active Acolyte cells is, however, forbidden, upon pain of mind-wipe or surgical lobotimisation.

Inquisitor Shards Rosette and Seal

Character Creation: 

 Shard is know to despise conventional means of recruiting Acolytes to his service - having neither the patience nor inclination to recruit and train novices only to see them falter and die due to inexperience. Therefore, he draws his followers exclusively from veteran members of other Imperial agencies and Adepta, choosing those who have, through a combination of luck and skill, stumbled onto heresy and survived where others who chose to take action have not.

An Acolyte Cell
The Acolytes have faced heresy and adversity and survived. While they have been subjected to only the briefest hypo-indoctrination techniques, they are now sufficiently acquainted with Inquisitorial doctrine and practices as to be unleashed, under the careful observation and direction of a distant "handler", into the Crone Sector.

Acolytes begin play at rank 1, with 400 points of experience to spend on creating their character.

Legal Books for Character Generation:

The beginning character may follow career paths and acquire skills, talents and equipment made available in the following rulebooks. Purchase of Heretical items is not permitted during character generation.

The Dark Heresy Rulebook.
The Inquisitor's Handbook (inc. Sisters)
The Book of Judgement
Blood of Martyrs (excluding the rules for Sisters)
 The  fan-produced Commissar career path.

Important Note on Character Backgrounds and Portraits:
Note that at least a paragraph of background information explaining how the character came to attention of the Inquisition is expected, as is a character photograph.