Monday, 27 January 2014

Dark Heresy: Tattered Fates - Session 2 - New Objectives, New Problems

So last time we ended with the group, with barely any weapons between them and mostly in the nuddy, entering a vast room filled with caged beasts and guards. Also, and a subject of great interest, one particular item which was property of the Imperial Guard it seemed. However, that description does not fully convey the place. The room, closer to being a cavern of corroded metal, stretched out for meters in every direction, reeking of congealed blood, festering wounds and the acrid stench of iron. Dimly lit by a few hanging globes of light, suspended from the ceiling, illuminating the occasional guard moving between the cages of slavering beasts.

Despite Bardason suggesting we stealthily take down the armed figures one at a time, the others were more interested in sneaking about. It would take far too long to bring them all down, or even just to take the equipment from a few without arising suspicion before we could use it. Unfortunately we proved to be expectedly bad at this. As Cromwell attempted to sneak forwards, his piston driven legs struck the ground with the sound of hammer blows, immediately attracting a guard. Despite an effective concealment roll and Guilliman attempting to choke the man after rising up before him, we were almost caught right out of the starting gate. It was only thanks to Bardason somehow delivering a silent and unseen flying kick to the guard's head, and by extension Guilliman's face, that we went undetected.

With the usual ritual of rifling through his pockets and stealing anything of value, almost the exact same thing happened when we tried to approach the abattoir. This time with a hulking man was using a chain-axe on some meat, spotted Dwr's massive bulk trying to hide behind a few crates, and being jumped by both Guilliman and Cromwell. With that done, Dwr strolled into the nearby butcher's tent and the sound of necks being snapped resonated from within. Yes, the arbitrator the size of an ogryn was the most stealthy one of our group.

It was at this point the man who seemed to be the main villain promptly introduced himself. 

Hidden out of sight, Cromwell watched as an elevator at the far end of the room juddered down from above, only to have a jackal masked man storm out screaming in fury at some underlings. While seeing one nutjob get mad at a duo in blood smeared surgical robes was no concern of ours, he had something of interest which made us pause: 

"Damn your Warp blasted hides! What game does he play here, he brings an Inquisitor to mutilate and pry, and you did not see fit to inform me!?"

Being a villain he promptly kills the one who answers back, displaying some very nasty electrified lash coils. One moment the hapless butcher was standing there, in the next he's quietly sizzling chunks of meat on the ground. As jackal mask stormed away, the group realised we could not leave so swiftly. With an Inquisitor here, likely being tortured to death, it was our duty to try and rescue him if possible.

Being the most obvious place, thanks in part to the sound of chittering blades and circular saws, everyone headed for the pod. Almost immediately Dwr and Bardason were spotted, but this thankfully played into our hands. With Bardason having stopped to strip the guard we had taken out of his leathers, everyone thought he was a beast handler with an ogryn. Dwr was not amused. Bardason meanwhile opted to use this to their advantage and headed towards a guarded crane system.

Guilliman, keeping his mind on the task sneaked inside the pod only to be greeted by the stuff of nightmares. Splattered with the gore of xenos and human alike, a lone heretic stood administering to what was little more than a torso of a man. With his rosette nailed to his chest, libs removed entirely or reduced to bloodied stumps, the man was clearly barely alive, perhaps tortured for days on end. Being the pious man he was, Guilliman did the only thing any good Imperial devout would opt to do: Physically ripped the heretek limb from limb. Thankfully his screams were mistaken by those outside as those of the Inquisitor finally breaking. Also, probably because they were distracted by what happened next.

Managing to convince the guard at the cargo crane that he had been asked to check on it, and kept him busy by asking him to "guard the ogryn", Bardason clambered into the controls. The plan was to use it to drop crates on some of the assembled guards and deal with the rest. Being a savage from Fenris, he rolled a tech use test which ended up in the negatives, resulting him releasing all the crates.

With half the guards suddenly being squashed beneath falling cargo and another turned into a smear by the out of control crane, Bardason barely managed to avoid having the rest turn on them by yelling "Jim!? What the hell did you do!?" The unfortunate "Jim" promptly disappeared under a hail of fists as a fight broke out, which inevitably devoted into your average free-for-all.

With this having bought us a little time, Guilliman began speaking to the Inquisitor, who introduced himself as Nazru of Kalkala, of the Ordo Xenos. Likely in incredible pain and suffering horrific bloodloss, Nazru was able to provide us fragments of information he had uncovered. Helpfully he informed us that we were on the noble ruled world of Quaddis at the time of the Tattered Fates. Specifically in the city of Zicharth.

This was why the Beast House was here, to provide the entertainment, and partially the reason Nazru had come here. To investigate the presence of Markus Vulper, the heron masked man, but now stated that his original mission was meaningless. Unable to remain truly coherent, he managed to divulge that we should seek out the White Scholar, an associate of his who had gone into hiding, and that the time of the Great Conjunction was drawing close. With it some dark horror of the Haarlocks which could threaten all. Unable to get much more out of him, mainly thanks to Cromwell ripping his rosette from his body without warning, we fulfilled his final wishes by torching his corpse. 

Quickly racing out, trying to pass of Guilliman's obviously nude state as "Casual Fridays!" to the shocked guards still engaged in their brawl, we moved for the elevator. Two minutes later we were out, breaking out into some hidden exit from the elevator, and into the middle of a parade. Thankfully this was one occasion where our state was not a problem, with countless acts of hedonism and madness putting us to shame. If anything it was helping us blend in with the crowd.

To make this clear: The Time of the Tattered fates turned out to be when the planet full of nobles goes nuts and parties in a manner which makes the Roman Empire's greatest excesses look tame.

Without much resources on hand, we tried various methods to get some cash. Starting with ambushing people in back alleys, which succeed in Bardason and Cromwell attacking one another, and the much more successful efforts of Guilliman. Who, acting the madman, opted to start soothsaying for whoever would pay, putting a theatrical spin on things.
The only thing of true note during this time was when Bardason stumbled upon the corpses of a ,multitude of armed thugs, thoroughly eviscerated by something with claws. As he looted from the bodies (and really, did you expect anything less?) he heard a few onlookers murmuring things along the lines of "widower, i'm glad it didn't get me."

We regrouped and found the White Scholar not too long later hiding in an obscure library from the Beast House. After bringing him up to speed, he proved to be more than willing to help us in explaining certain information about where we were. Namely that the world was effectively off the radar, somewhat beyond the usual jurisdiction of even the Imperial Inquisition. This was largely thanks to Solomon Haarlock, the rogue trader having set up the world specifically for this reason. Having taken it in exchange for his services years when a crusade took the sector.

The Festival of Tattered Fates is during a time in which celebrates the Grand Conjunction, a solar eclipse, and the world being sold off. During this time, the world is cut off from the Imperium and seemingly the Warp itself somehow. During this moment of darkness, any and all laws are witheld and no crime committed will be punished. The bloodletting will be immense, likely linking into some Chaos ritual if jackal mask was here.

To get more information and get into the place where the Great Conjunction was celebrated, the Palace of Gabriel Chase, we would need greater help than just the Scholar. There were two leads we could follow: 
One was a creature which had been installed into the world by the Haarlocks to maintain order. A being known only as the Spider Bride, who brokered power from within the Acastan Folleys.
The other was Grist, a local mob boss who was vying for greater power within the city and held considerable influence.

Before we could get much further, the GM realised we had not completed our quota for wanton violence for this session. At the sound of a man crumpling behind us, the group turned to see a trio of figures in heron masks standing over the broken form of a servitor. They demanded the Scholar. We refused.

Cromwell promptly call-shotted the nearest man in the balls with his plasma pistol, and managed to get righteous fury. This went from just frying his nads, into burning him in half at the waist, killing him instantly. Bardason meanwhile charged the nearest one with his bare hands, trying to take at least one alive, repeatedly punching him in the head. Dwr did likewise to the last one, breaking his neck with Guilliman finishing him off.

Within one turn, the opposing side was dead. Now, time to get some damned answers from the Chaos worshiping filth.

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