Saturday, 8 August 2020

Rogue Trader Season 3: The Ties That Bound Us, Part 1: Incursion

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. Protein shake advocate. The last of his line, and currently searching for the one thing that obscene wealth cannot easily procure, nor his now prodigious strength wrest from the world by force: Love.
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A Magos Explorator-biologist, chymist, and practicing genetor, and most definitely the heart of the command staff. The Lord-Captain's wingwoman in his ongoing romantic forays.
Archaius "Boosto" Wash - A sector-renowned pilot of anything with wheels, wings, or a gellar field, and peerless swordsman. Often seen approaching the speed of sound, by virtue of his jetpack, but soon may be heralded by bombardment from a multi-melta.
Sebastian LaMarck - Rarely heard or seen, but his presence certainly felt, our Spymaster and reigning king of Human Resources and Administration. By him, every command given by the Lord-Captain is magnified.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Unsurpassed willpower and aspiring champion of markswomanship, despite the obvious handicap of being blind. Three time recipient of the Death's Door award. Notorious advocate of psychic power pissing matches, more machine than woman at this point, and endowed with wings. Also your glorious narrator and remembrancer.


Wash awakens in the sickbay, alone. He's fully dressed, and his weapons are not far away. The lighting is a ruddy red, emergency lighting. Power's out.

Wash makes to leave, and spots a bolted-shut casket, labelled "Magos' Genetic Experiments, Do Not Open". Wash strongly considers opening it, but his concience finally convinces him to leave it be, and exit the bay.

More red lights means no power; he wants to go check out the Genitorium. The rail car isn't running, so it's a walk.

Meanwhile, in the Enginarium, the rest of the command crew comes to; the engines are silent, and the place is abandoned. I conclude that things are bad, but not so bad -- the engine is here, and I'm not exploding like the explosive canary I would be if I were naked in the warp, so it's not totally FUBAR.

I scan for minds; I have a range of 1km, out of the ship's total 1.5km length, and I'm picking up exactly four souls, and they're all familiar. One is me. One is very close to me, and surprisingly strong, one of them is weakly psychic and also very close. I'll figure that out later. For now, we need to regroup with the fourth mind, heading for the Generatorium.

Meanwhile, Wash is walking along; he's passing through habs. He feels inclined to check one out; it opens easy enough, and it's... spartan, but there. He moves onto the Generatorium, and makes his way in. It's quite deserted.

In the drive-core room, he sees a bundle of red robes and metal. It sure is magos-heavy. He drags it out, and from the namebadge, it's Nox.

As he's sorting through the body, and failing to salvage a flashlight, we finally get there, after having climbed up way too many flights of stairs. We catch each other up, and I finally bother to check for the Gellar Field; I cannot hear it, and I start whispering to talk.

The Magos checks Nox's body; he got fucked up. Something with claws that could slice steel.

We manage to reboot the generator, bringing it up from 10% to... more. We can't crank it any higher, there's problems. But we're able to bring more things online, like the Gellar Field.

We take the lift up to the field generator; it's... scuffed. Whatever happened to Nox, happened to the walls of this elevator.

The chamber is as deserted as the rest of the ship. As we're looking for the ignition rune, something emerges from hiding.

It's androgynous, and moves sinuously; it has one boob, and not center-aligned. It's horrifying. The magos, the Lord-Captain, and I are stricken by fear; I get 2 insanity points and pass out. The magos gets four, and starts vomiting uncontrollably. The Lord-Captain manages to pass out in a dignified way.

Wash, unfazed by the Daemon, gives the Daemonette "the business" with his multi-melta. (At which point, our DM realizes that he never should have let him have it.)

We come to and stop vomiting respectively, slightly hot from the backwash of the Melta. The Gellar Fields are back up, and things might just be okay now.

Then we took the tram up to the command deck; as we hit the last rail junction, we come to a halt; the line's been shredded up ahead.

We get off the tram and take the stairs; we reach the observation deck, and find a horripilating sight; dozens of Kevins, slain where they stood; all of them in clusters, obviously defensive wounds as they covered someone's escape. Leading all the way to Sebastian's room.

We enter his room. Or, at least, we try to -- we anticipated traps after the last time someone tried to enter his room and ransack his things without permission. It's quite the trap; his chambers are entirely gone, and we just step into hard vacuum.

Fortunately, those of us who don't need to breathe (Wash, thanks to the power armor, and Abigail, who is more machine than woman) have the reflexes to catch those of us who do, and pull us back in the door and reseal it.

We circle up to the next floor, the meeting room, and it's glass floor; Sebastian's quarters are totally gone. A big giant silver chain hangs limply in space; it's got a gigantic silver fish hook on it, and from it hangs the iced-over body of Sebastian.

The bridge. We need to get to the bridge.

It's more of the same when we get there; dead Kevins, all in defense. Wash vaguely knows all of them. Wash leans over a terminal and rattles some keys. To no effect.

We hear the metallic ping of something being flicked up and down. A coin, from the upper deck of the bridge. We hustle up there, and who we see sitting in the command throne is a woman, reclining in a slinky dress. The coin-like sound is coming from a ring that she's flicking.

"Hey hun," she says, looking at Wash.

Wash knows who this is, but is extremely skeptical that she is who she is. Judging by the talk, she's his ex-wife, Amber. I barely keep up with the check-and-response, but it's clear she shakes out. Which is disturbing, since the read I'm also getting is that she, and Wash's entire home planet, Descent, was obliterated.

And I thought I had skeletons in my closet.

Wash asks us to step out of the command deck for five minutes. Amber insists that we do not. I insist that we will. It feels like an alien psyche knocks into mine, and I'm knocked back a step.

Wash makes a counteroffer; if she gives him five minutes alone with her, he'll kill us himself.

We tentatively roll with it; the Magos stays behind, but me and the Lord-Captain step out for a moment.

And Wash attempts a sacrifice play by blowing out the void-glass of the bridge, and venting atmos. Amber does not like it.

The Lord-Captain demands that I undo the breaking of the glass; I gladly comply, and stretch my now impressive Psy Rating VI to Psy Rating IX (Effective Willpower: 120), trying to grab all the glass and pull it back into the window. Unfortunately, fortune is not with me, and it feels like my telekinesis hits a mirror, giving me backlash for 12 damage.

The Lord-Captain calls for a voidsuit.

Meanwhile, Amber transforms; no longer human, an outright daemon. Wash can barely fend her off as they exchange banter and roll through Wash's more recent past.

"A space marine? How gauche." - Amber

"I'm pretty sure he's ambidextrous." - Wash

The Magos, not having much success with riddling Amber with the now considerable amount of firepower she has bolted to her, faces the true power of a daemon of the warp, who ignores all her metal and armor, and slices her clean in half with a wicked talon for a fingernail.

The Lord-Captain is suited up by now; I grab an Oz tank and let him into the bridge, closing the door after him because I can't wear a voidsuit anymore.

I try to hijack the Magos' upper torso with Dominate... but as we incidentally discussed earlier, the Magos is entirely immune to the effects of psychic control. So I settle for telekinetically gripping Amber for 20 damage; it's a godlike manifestation of my power, but I, too, underestimate the strength of a Daemon in it's element -- unnatural strength and agility. Even eleven degrees of success can't hold it down.

And then the toll of the fight hits me back, and straight out of time. (4 insanity)

Meanwhile, the Lord-Captain concieves his master plan; he sits the Command Throne, and the ship springs to life at his word.

Amber screeches as she stretches to infinity, and laments how nearly total her control over Wash was as she's torn away.


Once we're all back in the Real, we all regroup on Wash, who is now in a concious state.

The Magos gives it to Wash straight. He's got brain damage. And not just any brain damage; neural decay. If we'd let it go on any further, the decay would eventually take basically everything. A horrible way to go. But, since the Magos got de-rezzed first, she had time to perform some surgery on Wash; she's patched some of the damage with a MIU and a neural compensator.

In short... well, it's not a fix. But it'll buy Wash time that he really doesn't have.

As we contemplate Wash's immediate future, we get signal -- a transmission from the Mechanicus.

Long story short: our presence is demanded ASAP, and the Mechanicus are calling in the Lord Captain's marker, threatening to have his Warrant revoked.

Coordinates are attached and decoded, but Wash already knows where they point to - Descent. Wash's homeworld.

The journey takes us about a month of real-time, as we pass by Port Wander. With Wash out of action, it falls to the Captain to pilot his ship. Poor Wash feels the ship groaning as it hits what can only be described as a "sick drift" through an asteroid field; the crew are wailing in despair, and our resident death cult is hyping things up for "The End".

And so the Absolute Ambition emerges back into realspace backwards, but intact. Waiting for us over the planet is the Mechanicus ship, Thule's Last Theorem. Named for Magos Paracelsius Thule, a controversial figure in the Explorator fleets, and depending on who you ask, absolutely bug-fuck insane.

The ship hails us, and the owner comes on screen. Skull-faced. Arch-Magos Skekris.

That Asshole.

Next up: Descent.

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Rogue Trader, Season 3: Coming in from the Cold (Epilogue)

 Rumors of my death have been... greatly exaggerated.


The Lord-Captain, freshly cleaned twice and back in his usual finery, is interrupted by a warning about Wash's hospitalization. As he rushes to the medicae bay to see what's going on, he learns the depth of Wash's brain problems. He tries to summon Sebastian and Winter, but only gets static from Winter. Sebastian knows why; an explosion near the barracks.

He makes haste to the barracks, along with Abigail, and sees the results of our fight; a large scorch mark where the grenade went off, and no small amount of blood splattered everywhere. The dent in the bulkhead. And me in the middle of the scorch-mark, unconcious. But for all intents and purposes, perfectly healthy.

The next thing I know, the Lord-Captain has slapped me awake. I sit up, and I'm... whole. In my pocket is a paper note that crinkles. I pull it out, and it's a neatly folded paper that just reads:

You owe me.
-Niall

I curse him, and crush it in my fist. I put out an APB on him via Sebastian. Dead, not alive.

The Lord-Captain notices the locked barracks, and demands them to stop being closed, despite my recommendations otherwise. They open up, and the room inside is quite red. A train of murder-servitors sheepishly roll past him and out of the door, covered in gore and not meeting his eye. The Lord-Captain gives me a look.

I said I was tying up loose ends. I had it under control. Except for Niall.

The Lord-Captain informs me my revenge hunt can wait. Wash has brain problems, and my talents for getting inside people's heads are needed. We can talk about this at a later time.

I'm taken to the medicae bay where I see Wash on the bed. I put my hands around his head, and linking the Lord Captain and Abigail to me, dive in.

What dreams of madness await us inside the head of Archaius Wash?

Rogue Trader Season 3: Coming in from the Cold, Part 2: The Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. Protein shake advocate. The last of his line, and currently searching for the one thing that obscene wealth cannot easily procure, nor his now prodigious strength wrest from the world by force: Love.
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A Magos Explorator-biologist, chymist, and practicing genetor, and most definitely the heart of the command staff. The Lord-Captain's wingwoman in his ongoing romantic forays.
Archaius "Boosto" Wash - A sector-renowned pilot of anything with wheels, wings, or a gellar field, and peerless swordsman. Often seen approaching the speed of sound, by virtue of his jetpack, but soon may be heralded by bombardment from a multi-melta.
Sebastian LaMarck - Rarely heard or seen, but his presence certainly felt, our Spymaster and reigning king of Human Resources and Administration. By him, every command given by the Lord-Captain is magnified.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Unsurpassed willpower and aspiring champion of markswomanship, despite the obvious handicap of being blind. Three time recipient of the Death's Door award. Notorious advocate of psychic power pissing matches, more machine than woman at this point, and endowed with wings. Also your glorious narrator and remembrancer.


We're on-planet, walking down into the dig site; a chamber was uncovered in the depth, and it warrants looking at.

It's not shallow; walls have been uncovered. The place is oddly geometric, lots of perfectly symmetrical surfaces, angles and straight lines.

Nial says that the Lord-Captain has not been introduced to him yet, and asks if we know; I say yes, and that he sent us in his stead, it does not require his personal attention.

Wash tells him he's a "shooter man", concealing his role as pilot, and thanks to the power armor, his identity.

There's a command tent set up just inside the dig; several ex-guardsmen are lounging about in Casque livery. Niall enters and gets a standing salute from all of them.

He introduces us to:

Sergeant Ostia
Comms specialist Adrick
Kurtis (demolitions) and Nicolai (heavy weapons)
Reaver and Kelsig
Medicae Rolf
Grenadier Furlogh

We're introduced in turn; I'm introduced as an ex-Casque member to some tittering.

Kurt is doing his usual thing, turning a small hole into a large hole, and he found a concealed chamber. We talk a bit, try not to laugh as the Lord-Captain's fitted with a suspensor rig to haul a cargo crate, and we head on in. The Casque are sweeping ahead of us and bringing up the rear.

At the end of the corridor, we reach a large, circular chamber. It's got a hole in the wall, which leads to a pitch-black, 98m drop. The Magos goes first, using her maglev to descend gently and report it's depth. She lands in a tunnel, which has a small river flowing through it; we head up to the source, and find something peculiar.

It's a literal wall of still water. The river is trickling out from the bottom of the wall. The Magos experimentally tries to poke the water with her axe, but it's extremely hard to even approach it, and progress eventually slows to a vibrating halt. I flick a shotgun shell at it, and it slows to a crawl, eventually coming to a dead halt in midair.

We check out the other end of the underground river; it ends in a waterfall off the edge of a cliff.

I propose that everyone wait up on the ropes or in the chamber above before we go trying to bust the forcefield. Just me, Kurt, the Magos and Wash go back to the forcefield.

Kurt tries to probe me for more information about me and Nial; I don't really feed him any information.

I try touching the shotgun shell with my hand; I meet the same resistance the Magos did, and I feel the vibrations in my hand. I try to pull it out, and it's extremely hard, it feels like my joints are extending. I use my telekinesis to hold my hand together as I pull it out.

It's Wash's turn to try and get through; he starts melting a channel through the rock around the forcefield with his melta gun. He's blasting away with no thought to ammo efficiency. As he melts away, I hear a distant cracking sound. I ask Wash if he heard it; he didn't, he couldn't hear a damn thing over his multi-melta. I replay the sound for him via telepathy.

"Cave in!" he shouts. We all bail out ASAP.

Not long after we get up the way we came in, a torrent of water rushes past; it quickly abates, becoming a trickle. We head back to the source to see what it's like.

The channel that Wash was melting away is filled with rubble as the rock gave way and let the water all flow out. This means we can consequently get into the chamber beyond.

The mysterious forcefield is still there, holding a chunk of water just like the shotgun shell; closest to the invisible wall, the water is perfectly still, and further away, it's like it's melting, trying to flow in strange ways. We cordon it off; last thing we need is someone walking face-first into it, they'll probably rip their eyeballs out trying to free themselves.

The chamber itself is vast and tall, with a number of statues of weird, bird-like lizard people. In the middle of the room is a raised platform; small statues on little platforms flank the approach to a sarcophagus.

Wash is extremely distrustful of the statues and remains on guard to destroy them if they make a move.

On the central platform, we investigate the plinths; Niall knocks on them, getting solid sounds. "Kevin" Van Hohenheim knocks on the plinths on the other side, and finds a hollow one; he smashes it open with his bare fists, possibly breaking them in the process. Inside, he finds unguarded treasure -- a Macuahuitl, stone knives, a glass eye with a strange pattern, and a small, silver sphere with fine engravings on it.

Meanwhile, at the sarcophagus, the crew prepares to crack it open. With impeccable care, the Magos lifts the lid off the sarcophagus; inside is a mummy, accompanied by a tasteful scattering of gems. And in it's hands, clutched to it's chest, is something small and weirdly crystalline.

Niall is extremely interested in it, and tries to get it out without damaging the mummy; I use my telekinesis to do it, and pull out a small vial, containing three grains of what looks like large sand. Niall is extremely interested in it, and when I give it to him, he secrets it away in a secure pouch on his person. I ask why it's so important to him and what it is; it's a "planet's ransom", but he doesn't want to specify what it is, simply insisting that it's 'freedom' for the Casque. I telepathically knock on Wash's mind and show him a picture of the vial.

All of a sudden, he's at home, in his bedroom. He's not wearing armor. He's not jacked anymore. He's back on Descent.

He can smell breakfast cooking. He goes out to the kitchen, and sees a familiar figure, she's cooking grox bacon. She turns around, and Wash's last day on Descent flashes through his mind, before all of a sudden, he's back in the cave.

He mumbles something about bacon. I ask him "what bacon". Wash gets his shit together and demands to know what it is that I just showed him. I don't know. He wants to destroy it, and so I refuse to tell him where it is.

Wash immediately turns around, and after getting a clue from the Magos, confronts Niall, lifting him up by his armor and intimidating him.

Niall's not shaken, but he is eventually convinced to tell us what it is. These xenos had incredible control over the flow of time. The grains in the vial are literal moments of time. Worth a fortune to the right buyer on Malfi, and presumably not the first vial the team's found.

Wash is appeased by the explanation, and lets Niall go, and everyone calms down. I propose that if the vial's so important, we should wrap this op up and get moving ASAP; we can always come back later for the prefabs and other stuff that needed removing.

Everyone agrees, and over the day, we start hauling what we can off the planet within the day, to depart tomorrow morning. I radio Sebastian to prepare a barracks for the Casque and their men, and I telepathically ask the Magos to ready some murder servitors near the room. It's time for a Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal.

The Casque's command tent is host to a small party and a toast; to the Casque's newfound freedom, Niall's unwavering leadership. The subject of my past as one of the founding members of the Casque is bought up. The precipitous mission where everyone else died. The Lathes is mentioned; I suggest we don't talk about it since there's an associate of the Lathes here in this very tent, and successfully quash reminicsing about the past. Niall grits his teeth when he thinks of who might have betrayed them; the pilot and/or the skull-faced magos who orchestrated the op. He curses that the rest of the Casque got made into servitors. I promise him that the current Casque will not share the same fate; they shall be free.

We wrap it up for the day. I inform Niall that there's fixings and supplies for a further party for his men on the ship, in the barracks; I joke about putting it on his tab, since he'll be, in the near future, very wealthy.


Wash, for his part, has not been feeling so well; he didn't even fly the gun cutter up to the ship himself. Turns out that since the statues in the temple, he's been having some sort of neurological problem, a headache that's only been getting worse.

As Abigail goes to put some censers and holy oils around his bed to try and help him get better, she discovers Wash on the floor, unmoving and immobile, the silver orb we got from the ruins not far from his limp hand. His vital signs are strong, but his brainwaves are fading fast. ("A fool and his brainwaves are easily parted." - DM) She immediately calls for a medicae team to help him to the medical deck.


Meanwhile, my betrayal is coming to fruition. I lure Niall back out of the barracks, later at night. I ask if he's holding onto the vial personally, to which he confirms. I give the signal to Sebastian to lock the doors of the barracks for the Murder Servitors' entrance, and attempt to Compel him to "give it to me."

It fails, and Niall doesn't realize he just avoided getting compelled, insisting that he holds onto it as he realizes I'm not entirely on his side, but for reasons of potential profit and greed. I brandish my shotgun. I'm not asking.

He refuses me again, and I shoot at his legs. Somewhere in between me pulling the trigger and him getting kneecapped, he vanishes, leaving only a floor full of buckshot.

I hear the sound of a bolt pistol being chambered, and hold my hands up, throwing the gun away.

Niall doesn't understand my betrayal. He's a loose end, I say. Niall doesn't have much to say to that, except regret that it came to this.

While we were talking, I was taking aim, and charging up a full-power telekinetic bolt; it's accompanied by daemonic whispers of uncomfortable truths and secrets; Winter hears a whisper on the wind: "He looked up to you." Inside the barracks, men began to scream as they're exposed to the whispers too. Or maybe the murder servitors finally entered the room.

Niall, for his part, maintained his composure, and dodged the bolt just barely; it smashes a massive dent in the bulkhead. I make a sleight of hand check and spin around, drawing my Wick-pattern slug pistol.

It's a moment's difference, but I'm faster. I hit him neatly in the chest, but he stays standing thanks to his flak armor. In hindsight, a grave mistake -- I should have just sprayed him until he was meat, never mind the expense of the amputator rounds.

I'm not so lucky; he fans the hammer and his bolt pistol punches a solid hole in my gut, and left arm; the damage is catastrophic and it's blown clean off by his bolt pistol. What's left of it falls to the ground... and lets go of the grenade I primed behind my back.

There's a moment of clarity, and then it goes off, and we're both engulfed in shrapnel and fire.

The thing about almost dying not just once, but three times, is that you gain a feel for it; you can tell if this is "the one" or not. Well, short on the Emperor's favor, and tragically outgunned, I'd flirted with death several times previous, but this time, it was time to commit to the relationship.

My only regret was that I couldn't avoid destroying the valuable vial of time-sand in my quest for destruction.

Saturday, 11 July 2020

Rogue Trader Season 3: Coming in from the Cold, Part 1

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. Protein shake advocate. The last of his line, and currently searching for the one thing that obscene wealth cannot easily procure, nor his now prodigious strength wrest from the world by force: Love.
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A Magos Explorator-biologist, chymist, and practicing genetor, and most definitely the heart of the command staff. The Lord-Captain's wingwoman in his ongoing romantic forays.
Archaius "Boosto" Wash - A sector-renowned pilot of anything with wheels, wings, or a gellar field, and peerless swordsman. Often seen approaching the speed of sound, by virtue of his jetpack, but soon may be heralded by bombardment from a multi-melta.
Sebastian LaMarck - Rarely heard or seen, but his presence certainly felt, our Spymaster and reigning king of Human Resources and Administration. By him, every command given by the Lord-Captain is magnified.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Unsurpassed willpower and aspiring champion of markswomanship, despite the obvious handicap of being blind. Three time recipient of the Death's Door award. Notorious advocate of psychic power pissing matches, more machine than woman at this point, and endowed with wings. Also your glorious narrator and remembrancer.


It's been a long time. Three years since the Dread Pearl.

Our settlement, Verloren, has grown; cities have sprung into existence, and the Lord-Captain's personal residence, Meridian Prime, has been established; it's been extensively furnished, including a round table with a slightly more prominent seat, and statues of the Lord-Captain are prominent and (somewhat) tasteful; among them, a statue of him in a thoughtful pose, a statue of him wrestling an oncoming Ork that bears a strong resemblence to Hadarak Fel (spitting sound), and a statue of him holding the world aloft, supported in turn by statues of us.

Our (the Lord-Captain's) wealth has expanded; we made full use of the bounty provided by the Dread Pearl, which has swelled the dynasty coffers, and almost as importantly, Hadarak Fel (spits) has not been heard of since -- with any luck, he didn't make it out, but knowing that weasel, he certainly did.

In terms of health, the Lord-Captain has never been better; now accustomed to his new muscles, which have been evened out by judicious use of premier vat-grown muscle, his strength is rapidly approaching the realm of legend, putting him on a truly galactic stage; by contrast, the Lord-Captain's personal life is... not quite falling apart, as that implies there is something to be salvaged, but there is definitely something left to be desired. As fantastic company the command crew is, dating options are exceptionally thin on the ground, and being the last of his line in a profession which carries no small amount of personal risk makes for some tremendous dynastic pressure to produce an heir.

To this end, the Magos, working her own family's prominent connections, is playing Wingwoman, helping to arrange suitable suitors:


This is a quest not helped by the Lord-Captain's reputation as the "Mad Captain", so it's an uphill battle.

Sebastian, ever diligent, has ensured the day-to-day function of the dynasty, and in his spare time, focused his Verloren-based efforts inwards. Thanks to him, what areas of Verloren are civilized are heavily bugged and monitored, generating a steady stream of intel for a man with his thumb gently-but-firmly on the pulse of a new settlement, and a new genatorium means power supplies going forward will be ample, and bountiful enough for something anti-orbital. In case of an emergency, of course.

In the Magos' spare time, when she hasn't been meddling in the Lord-Captain's love life, or performing any one of the countless surgeries on myself, she's been working on isolating the genetic sequence that has rendered our Lord-Captain so... vascular. She's succeeded, but the development process was a bit hit-and-miss, and initial experimentation has resulted in a small squad of Kevins who have set up a full gym in the prow, pumping iron 24/7 and spotting each other. 

Wash, having made an excellent name for himself during the Dread Pearl Incident, has also made leaps and bounds; his skill and reputation as a pilot has given him the pull to establish a team of crack interceptor pilots, forming the first Verloren air force. When he's not out-flying his trainees, he's beeb working on personal improvement; he's made excellent use of the Hohenheim Gym, and has seen similarly remarkable gains. He also made significant material gains; his latest acquisition has been a multi-melta, the logistics of which he's still figuring out how he'll commit to.


And then there's me -- by the Will of the Emperor, I survived our encounter with the Eldar on the Dread Pearl. While I certainly lost the battle, I have made a very strong argument that I won the overall war with the space elves; after all, I'm still here, I can stand under my own power, and I can boast about it. Meanwhile, brave sir Eldar bravely ran away, only escaping Wash's relentless pursuit thanks to his backup dancers.

Survival has come at a cost of some of what humanity I still possess -- once again at death's door, I've received extensive skin grafts, new skeletal prosthesii, and a lot of physiotherapy. But in the time where I wasn't in surgery or recuperating, I've been brushing up on some of the fundamentals; and in so doing, have sharpened my skills.

A rendition of the physiotherapy process, as provided by the Magos herself.

In anticipation of a full return to combat power, I've procured a twin-linked pump shotgun; sixteen shells, ten kilos, and enough firepower to eviscerate any xeno at close range, until I need to reload which will take me a good half minute. My diminished condition means that I cannot make proper use of it, but close proximity and the extra buckshot should make up the difference until I get my gunplay back together.


But in the meantime, we have business to attend to. As the ship's radio, I get a transmission; it's for me. An old friend wants to catch up, and he's calling in a debt owed. But I change it, and now it's a different message, for the Lord-Captain. A 44 Quintillion Throne, 298 year old debt at Space PF Changs'. All to get the ship to the planet where I need to have a chat with someone from my past, who dared to bring up old debts.

The faked message. The debt is accurately calculated, and even the Administratum would sit up and take notice of such a number. A debt this large could leverage anything.


It turns out to be my ex-CO, Lieutenant Nial of a mercenary outfit named the 13th Casque (formerly Sergeant in the 589th Scintillian Fusiliers, in which we served together), who has been caught up in the cold trade -- while running security for a client with a xenos dig site out in the expanse, he realized that the Inquisition might have the Casque's ships marked. He wants us to help transport artifacts out of a dig site, with the reward being the dig site.

I agree to convey the mission to the Lord-Captain, and warn Nial to keep his damn mouth shut. He agrees, and parts ways for now, awaiting my signal. I catch up with the crew, who have resolved the fictitious debt issue, and are seated at a table in PF Changs; the air is decidedly frosty, and I present him with the job -- we're going to the dig site to clean up evidence of the Casque's involvement, taking away the last shipment of artifacts which they cannot move themselves without being spotted, and cannot otherwise profitably dispose of them.

Out of character, it was noticed that the terms of the agreement which Nial provided, and the terms which I relayed to the Lord-Captain, are very much different, and will almost certainly cause strife. It was a genuine accident on my part, but one that I will not only commit to, but make full use of.

The Lord-Captain is displeased with my deception in bringing the whole crew to Malfi, and questions my loyalties, but grudgingly accepts that there might be profit in the matter, and so my execution is stayed, pending the results of the business venture.

He gives me a day to get my shit together, and after I pick up Nial, we head out. I put Nial in third-class. He sounds like he expected more from a former subordinate who owed him her life. I remind him that he's the one who's trying to dredge up my past. He's lucky he's not dead.

We spend 25 days in the warp; and 109 days in real-time. We arrive at the destination; it's not on any naval charts. They only knew it was there because an Admech beacon reactivated around 4 years ago. The Lord-Captain is still pissed with me, and pointedly waits for me to start calling the shots; with him disguised as a (very vascular) standard Kevin, a few regular Kevins, and Nial, we head down to the surface with the gun cutter.

We find the dig site with Nial's guidance; there's not much left, just a few miners left, Casques on sentry duty, and a few prefabs in the process of being dismantled. Here, Nial changes; he stands up straighter, and gets into his element as an officer; this is his turf.

There's more Casques here than I thought -- he didn't just rebuild the outfit, he's strengthened it. When the time inevitably comes for me to throw him under the bus, I'm going to need to put in some work to make sure he doesn't drag me with him.

Friday, 10 July 2020

Rogue Trader, Season 3: You Can(not) Profit




"I need to tell you something. Please listen, and try *not* to panic. You've been recovering from the Dread Pearl incident for... quite some time. Yes, yes, I know -- you want to know how long. I'm afraid it's been... three years."


It's the Imperial year 40,296 -- three years after the Dread Pearl incident.

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim has returned, wealthier still, to Verloren. From here he has commanded people to manage the expansion of his colony world and most importantly his own personal estate on the planet's surface, Meridian Falls.

His research into the silver ship that took his family and his flagship continues, throwing up the occasional old voidfarer's tale about phantom vessels along the borders of the Calixis sector.

Being the last of his line has been on the Lord-Captain's mind lately, and he has taken steps to remedy this by making inquiries about potential bachelorettes in noble Calixis families. This has met with several complications - tales of the "Mad Captain van Hohenheim" are apparently rife within the Orders Famulous in charge of making these matches. Additionally, and much more disturbingly, the Magos has somehow caught wind of this and for what are surely her own abnormal reasons has embarked on her own endeavour to provide the Lord Captain with a suitable partner.

Winter York emerged from the Dread Pearl Affair in a sorry state - this is not particularly abnormal for her, but the unplanned and premature detonation of several grenades on her bandolier confined her bed and then wheelchair rest for the better part of 18 months.

Having lost her arm, leg, and most of her skin to the explosion, Winter has gently led through the rehabilitation process by the caring* touch of the Magos, who replaced the missing limbs with chromed, skeletal bionics, and the skin with vat-grown replacement tissue. Her time confined to the wheelchair has given her time to read, reflect, and develop her telepathy and telekinesis skills to new and even more dangerous heights.


"Why were we born? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg... And my arm, even my fingers... The dynamite body I've lost... The boobs I've lost... won't stop hurting... It's like they're all still there. You see it too, don't you? I'm going to make them give back my good looks!"


Season three is just beginning. The Emperor's favor will see us through these times of strife, and I'm running out of credit with the Big E.

Part I: Coming In From The Cold
Part II: The Ties That Bound Us
Part III: Proditum Memorae
Part IV: For Those Who Went Before
Part V: Reckoning