Monday, 24 February 2014

Dark Heresy: Tattered Fates - Session 3 - Questions, Heretics and Spiders

So after last time we were left with our band of merry heroes having made mincemeat out of a group of moderately armed threatening men and with one survivor pinned to the floor. Surprisingly the brief fight seemed to have drawn very little attention from the surrounding scribes and readers, despite the copious amounts of blood involved. Admittedly, with the festival going on, this was probably tame by their standards of library disruptions. They were probably just trying to focus on reading what was in front of them and praying to the Emperor the fight wouldn't devolve into an orgy.

Anyway, as two of our group pinned the cultist in place, Guilliman ripped off his animal mask to see a bloody network of intricate slashes and tattooed skin. The nutter's entire face had been turned into one massive symbol of khorne's power. Attempting to coerce him into co-operating with us through psychic means, the cultist bitterly resisted spitting back insults and dark language. Bardason then promptly threatened to smash his face to pulp against the nearest wall. The cultist suddenly decided it might be a good idea to answer a few questions before information was beaten out of him.

Unfortunately it seemed that whoever was in charge opted to introduce a few countermeasures to prevent interrogation. There was a sickening pop and the cultist's head slumped down, blood leaking from his eyes. There was a few seconds hissing before his body began to quickly liquefy. Speculating about internal acid glands or the method to this, Cromwell took a closer look as the others discussed our next actions. We had seven and a half hours to save the planet and we were still at square one without any knowledge or information to go by. Our only contact was dead and the bodies of his compatriots dissolved before they could be examined. Or, as Bardason had so eagerly suggested, nailed up against the nearest building as an open declaration of war. This left the acolytes two options to pursue - The Spider Bride or the crime boss Grist.

With Grist being the slightly more untrustworthy option, the  group opted to attempt audience with the Spider Bride. Whoever she was, she apparently never left the Twilight Gardens meaning we would at least have an easy time tracking her down. Unfortunately before we could get to that, foreshadowing and hijinks via bad dice rolls ensued.

As we departed the building, the group as a whole catches a glipse of a heron masked man watching us from the crowds. Grinning sinisterly, his black eyes were fixed upon our group for several moments. Those moments passed and he quite literally disappeared within the crowds. Strangely we heard him laughing somehow.

Chaotic trolling aside, this was enough of a distraction for someone to try and pickpocket what little coin Guilliman had. While Cromwell punched the thief in the face, the psyker was unfortunately dragged off into the human masses swarming through the streets. Pursuing him via crowd-surfing, Bardason left the other two to head for their location as he tried to track down Guilliman. Unfortunately, despite one's psychic powers and another's tracking skills, neither were able to find one another. Eventually, things were taken to their natural extremes with both ending up on seperate rooftops and Bardason having to burn "TWILIGHT GARDENS" into the side of his building with a laspistol. At least before this act destroyed the building's structural integrity and the entire thing came crashing down around him. Given this was our group, we were probably lucky explosives were not involved.

With thankfully little more than a few minutes lost due to these diversions, the group ended up outside of the Twilight Gardens. Walled, gated off and heavily guarded by power armoured figures, the one we approached demanded tribute and would only let in two at once. With Guilliman handing over his makeshift weapon, passing it off as his Mercy Blade, he and Dwr were promptly escorted inside. Never to be ones left out of the action, Bardason and Cromwell immediately left to try and find another entrance.

Within, the psyker and arbites officer were brought before a woman in spider inspired bionic appendages. Lurking within a massive web of steel cabling and electronics, she revealled she knew why we were here and would give answers in exchange for a service. Handed a box, with explicit orders not to open it, the duo were sent off to hand it to Grist. 

A good ten seconds after they left, Bardason and Cromwell strode in. Having gone to a separate gate, they had managed to get through via re-enactment of the bridge questions from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Apparently some gates did not require the same price as others. Wanting the same damn answers, they were also given a box with the same damn target, but were also informed someone else had been sent and they needed to get there first.

We're probably lucky this sort of situation didn't end in team-killing.

Running into Grist first thanks to their head start, Dwr handed over the box to Grist who was more confused than anything else. Opening it up, a giant metal spider promptly leaped out, decapitated him and scurried out the door. One scene later of Bardason quoting a certain line from The Thing as they arrived outside the bar, and the group was reunited.

As the bar devolved into mass fighting/looting within thanks to the death of its owner, Bardason promptly shrugged as it was explained he was too late get his target and tossed the box inside anyway. One scream later and a second spider was sent scurrying away with a man's head. A few seconds after that, Dwr emerged bloodstained, and carrying a lot of knives and pistols. Apparently she had taken the opportunity to grab as much weapons as possible while we were in there. Also clothes as, the group was soon reminded, tour resident tech priest was still wondering around starkers.

Despite the unnecessary death, it seemed that the Spider Bride was more than happy to answer both our group's questions about our foes and Gabriel Chase. For those wondering about the heads, they were both behind her, now fitted to servitor bodies and serving drinks. Thankfully the information proved to be well worth the acts of homicide, as she explained the following:

Both foes could be found within the Gabriel Chase building. We would find them there before the time was up as both their fate's and ambitions were intrinsically linked to a single moment within there. The heron masked man in particular was apparently already in there.

The Widower we have heard mentioned is an ancient being, a living weapon, which guseds the steel clock at the center of Gabriel Chase. It is drawn to those of the Haarlock bloodline, to kill or to guard. Its vigil was Erasmus Haarlock's final order before departing from this world. However, the Spider Queen fears it will serve no more and is driven by pure spite.

Our missing equipment had thankfully ended up in Van Graff's hands. Good news indeed, as it meant we would not be left trying to rebuild our personal armories with a few pennies we had begged off of the streets.

Unable to gain any more information and our exchange up, the group left. We now had a little direction even if almost everything was still a mystery to us.

Unfortunately before we actually had time to contemplate any meaning behind any of this, the group was distracted by a scream from a backalley. Racing towards it, we soon find that the interior of the alleyway has been turned into a charnel house. Corpses littered the ground nearby, ripped limb from limb by some great force. As we approached the place, a few among the group caught sight of the jackal masked man within the crowd.

Many of the corpses were disfigured beyond recognition, but a few details could still be seen. Tattoos hailing the ruinous powers, weapons and certain identifying bits of clothing symbolising their allegiance to Chaos. More pressingly, one particularly skinless and mangled figure had an in-built shock whip installed in his arm.

Something had killed the jackal masked figure and was now wearing his skin. Something, as it was soon revealed from a note on the cultists, which had saved us from the group ambushing us as we left the library.

Six hours now remained, and we were getting nothing but more questions from this investigation.

We were only about to have one attempt to discern who and what had happened when out of nowhere the GM shoved in a character related to the Haarlocks looking for her brother. One of a handful of survivors of a supposed massacre of the bloodline, if any yet survived.

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