Saturday, 30 September 2017

Deathwatch, Mission 1, pt 2: Tantalus Prometheum Refinery

The Deathwatch: The black line in space, humanity's first and best line of defense against the ever-encroaching threat of the Xenos, whether mankind knows it or not. The best of the superhuman Adeptus Astartes make their ranks, and with a licence to kill that is very Yes, we go where larger armies cannot, and shoot everything that mortal men should not know.

Kill Team Six is comprised of:

Ultramarines Lexicanum Solomon -- The team Librarian. Very shiny armor, has he ever been in a fight? Favors a bolter and a force-sword.
Iron Hands Courras -- The team Devastator, narrator, and bearer of his beloved Heavy Bolter, Erlund.
Raven Guard Inigo van H**m -- A tactical marine with a flowery accent, prettiest man on the team. Self-proclaimed teen idol.
Space Wolves Asmund -- A handsomely-rugged ginger giant of a tactical marine, with flowing hair.

We arrive at the compound. In a ravine, a mere 16 guardsmen are perched on top of their transport, holding the line. Amidst them, one Commisar standing tall and strong without fear. They're surrounded by dead tyranids.

We descend and meet with the Commissar and set up lines of defense. I set up on the corner. Asmund sets up grenades with tripwires on the entrances.

Commissar Falco Sander introduces himself to Solomon. He guesses that he's the last ranking officer on the planet, and is ever so slightly hopeful that we're here for them. We're not, but fuck it.

We hear a roar, and the time for talk is over. Here comes the horde.

They trip the booby traps and it takes chunks out of them. Asmund biffs another grenade into their midst.

Courras' time is nigh, and he opens up; Erlund sings, and although the horde is some distance away, metal storm rounds shred the enemy. It's Space Hulk Oddyseus all over again.

Solomon waves his hands, and acts like the Psyker that Winter York thinks psykers should be. Lightning arcs across the horde; we smell ozone.

Above us, the grenade booby traps at the main gate go off... and two Big Boys emerge from the smoke, Tyranid Warriors.

Asmund rips into them with full auto-fire. Courras tries to follow suit, but his gun jams on a bit of Tyranid. Solomon lets his powers loose once more, floats up, and suddenly explodes, dropping back down and passing out.

Three guardsmen are snatched off the edge of the vehicle for standing too close to the edge.

Inigo finally does something noticeable, and full-autos on one of the Tyranid Warriors converging on us. He somehow hits every weak point and fells it in one salvo. It is nothing short of a miracle -- a Raven Guard has finally done something worthwhile!

Asmund rips into the remaining warrior, firing over Courras' shoulder. Grumbling something about Erlund "letting the team down". he pops a frag grenade and drops it into the horde with precision, decimating the majority of what's left, and allowing the Guardsmen to finish it off.

Inigo once more displays unusual courage for a cowardly Raven Guard, and decimates the last Tyranid warrior. "No beakie helmet wearing, shadow-hidin', Istvaan-abandoning Raven Guard"

Sander salutes us, and is glad to volunteer what remains of his men for our mission in any way they think possible. They were here to cover the escape of senior officers and staff.

There's two good places for the drop beacon -- the hills above the refinery to the northwest, and the comms relay to the southeast.

We head to the rail station. Most of the team smells or senses someone hiding in the building, and goes in to fish them out while Courras babysits the guardsmen.

After a while, Adept Hellas scampers out of the building, spotting the Guardsmen and gladly joining the retinue. We formulate a plan. Courras and the Retinue will head West along the rails to point 8 on the map. The rest of the kill team will head East, and investigate point 7.

As the kill team heads towards 7, they pick up the trail of blood once more. It heads south, angling towards the rear of the compound where we picked up the Guardsmen. Behind a cluster of rocks, they find a lurching, red-robed figure.

They find the Magos, and his datacore. He seems to be on auto-pilot, robotically advising them of the situation and following the kill-team. Courras and co are called back for exfiltration.

We catch up, regroup, and bunker down on the hill as we wait for the ship to arrive. As we watch the horizon, we see a dark shadow sweep across it -- the horde. Eugh. Above us, a shadow -- our ride out?

Wrong. It's a flying Hive Tyrant, here to fuck our shit up. Asmund cuts loose with hellfire rounds, as does Inigo. Courras throws a krak grenade The Tyrant takes solid hits, but lives and slaps Asmund's left arm clean off.

Solomon becomes the psyker we all want him to be, and unleashes a stupid amount of energy on the hive tyrant, cooking it... and because it has a blast radius, Courras as well.

He does not dodge.

What feels like an eternity later, the Thunderhawk finally arrives; everyone piles on, just in time as waves of Tyrannid surge over the ground we'd been holding, and we kick rocks as fast as possible.

At base, the team is commended for their success, and Courras' body is returned to the iron hands. Kill Team Six is given a little time to rest up, but will be redeployed soon, for the enemies of Mankind are many, and the Deathwatch few.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Carrion Crown, Session 46: Twice the Adventure

Carrion Crown, as told by Inquisitor Victoria van Helm.

Esteemed Witch Hunter Coim,

It's still the 15th of Desnus, 4715, although it feels like it's been months. Plant pod widsom is quite a trip. Lucia and Jeff are standing idle, like the force that controls them is absent.

Now that we're done with the pod, there's two chambers we could explore. I press on into one; it's octagonal, blessedly empty save for a few cobwebs, and seems to have some sort of multihued lighting going on, despite there being no source of light.

There's a low hum in the air to go with it, and we notice that Ronan's staring off into space. He seems to come to. He's a bit odd, but okay, so... I guess I'll let it go?

The next room is also empty, but doesn't seem to have been for long. There's weird patterns in the dust of this room. It looks like something was standing on a tripod, and/or had wings that disturbed the dust. This chamber has weird lights going on as well.

Using detect magic, I can see the barrier between worlds is extremely thin here. I suspect the people given to the Neighbors were taken here by Scum to be sacrificed for this purpose; we're standing in prison cells, but not for things of this realm.

We need to bury this place, if possible. We move on, We take the only tunnel out of here, and come to a fork in the road, heading south. The tunnel widens into a large chamber, where we see a single scum standing there.

It has clearly just finished summoning something. To the Western edge of the room, a large plinth stands, and if I were able to see clearly in the dim light, I would behold a mace.

I rush left to flank the Scum , but am interrupted by two more scum that were hiding in a crevice to the left! They fling their tridents at me! One misses, but the other connects, and I ready myself to shank them if they get any closer.

Hecathia does her thing, and tries to dispel the summon spell and send the mysterious, summoned creature back where it came from. It works, and the barely-materialized creature is flung back where it came from.

The summoner does not like that. It screeches in anger, and jet of flame shoots out of the ground from beneath Hecathia. She's not quick enough, and catches the full blast.

Ronan advances, and I charge to deal with the trident-wielders. I do a little damage, but they're much better at clawing and biting than they are at throwing tridents, and they do a lot more damage.

Lucia arrives out of nowhere, and engages the spellcaster. Hecathia tries to hold him to no effect.

Ronan strikes, avenging me, and does some damage. I back up, and put some distance between me and Ronan's scum. The one I'm picking on savages me a little more.

Lucia tries to do her thing to the spellcaster, but bad luck means she just hits herself in the back on her backswing, doing some damage.

The spellcaster backs up and cuts loose a blinding stream of darkness at Lucia. She screams as it does considerable damage.

Ronan gets in there. I try to flank the scum, doing a little damage, before it unflanks itself and knocks me out, although it manages to hurt itself considerably with the last bite.

As I fall, now that I'm close enough, in the corner the trident-scum came from, I can see a statue depicting a creature that is an unholy fusion of eel and other creatures. The walls are decorated with carvings.

I feel someone power-slap me, and I wake up, filled with renewed life. I lash out and stab the scum in the ankle. It tries to bite me, oddly breaking it's usual combo of claw-claw-bite, but instead just vomits on me. Gross.

Me: "At this point in the sesion, we've had... jeez, nurse outfits, vomiting..."
[Table laughter]
Ronan: "Oh god, I'm the male solo... Laying on hands..."
Me: "Slapping..."
Lucia: "Jeez, what kind of video are we making here?"
Me: "All of them. We're hitting every demographic at once."
DM: "Alright, alright, come on -- Lucia, make this a snuff video. Go."

Lucia charges the spellcaster and rips into him. It tries to retaliate, but the moment passes and his spell fizzles.

Ronan charges the spellcaster too, as I'm relatively safe to be left alone with the vomiting scum, and mangles the spellcaster.

I get up, and stab it a little. Meanwhile, the spellcaster's on the ropes; fatigued, he can't run away without Lucia running him down easily. He tries to blind Ronan, but Hecathia's on the ball and counters it.

I resume taking my revenge on the Scum -- nobody's vomited on me like that since prom. I finally finish it off, and just barely; it's vomiting, I'm crying, we're both screaming, and there's a lot of thrusting going on. So, just like prom all over again.

The spellcaster charges up negative energy and lets it off; I'm out of range, thankfully.

Ronan tries to finish off the spellcaster, but slippery grip embeds the sword in the wall.

Lucia finally manages to finish it off. I sneak back to our entry point to wash off the vomit, with no further incident.

We don't tarry, and press on. At a fork in the road, we turn left. It's a long, rectangular room, 30' across and 120' long. Unlike the other chambers in this place, the walls and such are actually straight and machined. Copper and glass canisters line the walls, sitting on pedestals. Most hold disembodied brains, suspended in fluid. There are no other exits.

Hecathia notes that some are faintly magical, presumably coming from a magical creature. I shout "Hello!" at one brain. It doesn't respond, but I notice that it's weirdly fresh. New... the Mayor's?

With nothing else to see for now, taking the other fork in the road leads us to a dimly-lit grotto. All over is a riotous tangle of vines. Part of the wall appears to have been melted and reshaped into some sort of door. The middle of the room features some large machine, an equally large pool of blood, and a number of bodies next to it.

Lucia, Ronan and I go check out the machine. Hecathia, disapproving of us as usual, checks out the wall.

I miss something, and Ronan suddenly shrieks in pain as he is nibbled by something behind. Hecathia screams out to look up, and we do. Gross things descend from above. They carry cylinders... oh dear.

The room seems to feel colder compared to the ball of plasma that emerges from the cylinder. Lucia is splashed with it and takes a hit.

The second shot comes for me, and it's a rock. I take a solid hit, but not nearly as bad as Lucia did. I take cover behind the mysterious machine, and open fire on the plasma flier with my repeating crossbow. I don't do very well, hitting myself instead, somehow.

Lucia screams and jumps like MJ, 20' up into the air, to grapple the rock-casting flier. Hecathia forces the plasma flier to the ground.

Suddenly, a long, lanky creature appears next to where Hecathia had been -- if she hadn't jumped, it would be using it's freakishly large people-pushing-into-box hands to push her into the big machine box. And we all instinctively realize that's a bad time for anyone inside.

It lays it's hands on Ronan, but he's still benefitting from freedom of movement, from when we went along the seafloor. The dog savages him a little too, and we finally see him bleed.

The now-grounded flying dissector stumbles towards me, slashes me, and to my horror, begins dissecting my flesh, taking a valuable chunk of my constitution.

I brand Fuckhands McMike for retribution.

High above, Lucia realizes the fliers don't actually need their wings to fly. She wriggles free. The landing isn't really stuck so well.

Hecathia: "I will use Violent Thrust."
Lucia: "But you don't have a Cylindrical Object..."

Hecathia works her magic and pulls the invisible dog and the rock flier into the mulcher. It activates, and we hear a terrible grinding.

Fuckhands tries to grab me, but in my struggles, he somehow winds up grabbing himself and teleporting to another plane.

The plasma flier lets go of me and backs off... only to blast us with plasma.

Ronan, slightly singed, advances and cuts the flier deeply. I try to brand it for retribution, but it escapes my blade. Lucia flanks it, and mauls it. I tickle it for negligible damage.

Lucia finishes it off. Ronan, after divesting it of the cylinder, puts it through the mulcher. Interestingly, plant matter, not giblets, comes out the other end.

I think that'll be enough for today. I'm in sore need of a rest.

Glory to Pharasma,

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Deathwatch, Mission 1: Tantalus Prometheum Refinery

The Deathwatch: The black line in space, humanity's first and best line of defense against the ever-encroaching threat of the Xenos, whether mankind knows it or not. The best of the superhuman Adeptus Astartes make their ranks, and with a licence to kill that is very Yes, we go where larger armies cannot, and shoot everything that mortal men should not know.

Kill Team Six is comprised of:

Ultramarines Lexicanum Solomon -- The team Librarian. Very shiny armor, has he ever been in a fight? Favors a bolter and a force-sword.
Iron Hands Courras -- The team Devastator, narrator, and bearer of his beloved Heavy Bolter, Erlund.
Raven Guard Inigo van H**m -- A tactical marine with a flowery accent, prettiest man on the team. Self-proclaimed teen idol.
Space Wolves Asmund -- A handsomely-rugged ginger giant of a tactical marine, with flowing hair.

Today's mission takes us to a refinery on Tantalus, a dying resource world on the edge of the Castobel system. Our objective: Recover the data core of a Mechanicus Magus, Xardos Vaiakai, who was downed and crashed on this rock. He survived and set a message to repeat to call us for help.
Optionally, we can recover the Magus. He's rather important to the war effort. It would be best if we did.
Complicating this simple milk run, and necessitating the deployment of Kill Team Six, is the Tyranid hive fleet dangling overhead, a mere 5 hours away.

This is a 30 Req mission. I pick a spare box of metal storm, a fire selector, 3 frag grenades, and a dose of recusitex. We take the oath of Knowledge, to screw tyranids with +10 to attack.

We go in hot, hitting the earth with drop-pods, and pile out, all ready to kick ass. There's nothing for us to kick straight away though -- there's nothing but pre-dead corpses.
We've touched down next to the crashed shuttle, in the middle of the operational area. It'll take us about an hour to cross the width of the facility at normal speed. We decide to check out the shuttle first, and then move on to the bunker beyond, the Magos' likely hiding place.
We don't move very far before we hear an earsplitting screech, and we're beset by winged biological creatures -- shrikes!
One spits some stuff at Asmund, narrowly missing him. Inigo retaliates with a blistering spray of fire, grieviously mauling it.
Solomon breaks out his sniper rifle, and... misses. I jog forward, and pop one in the uninjured Shrike.
It takes a swing back at me, and just barely misses. Asmund rushes in with his chainsword with no luck. Inigo goes missing. Solomon engages my target with his sword, and I smell ozone.
I try and put 3 rounds into it with the pistol. Two connect for 14 and 23 damage.
Asmund has another go, but nothing gets through the carapace. The shrikes try and fail to maul us.
Solomon rams his sword into the throat of the creature and with a flash of energy, cooks it dead from the inside.
I lean across him, and pop caps into the last living Shrike, shredding it.

With combat over, we move on to the shuttle. Once a mighty machine, the Kestrel-class lighter is shattered against the earth, back broken and hull split like paper. Despite the wreckage, the engine and fuel lines did not rupture... because it's still here, and not a crater. No signs of life.

Inside are four crewmember corpses. There's what's left of servitors. In the cargo bay, a jury rigged vox sits. Solomon figures it's boosting it's signal. Burnt out, but properly anointed with the proper rites and ungents. A mechanicus was here.

Not far away, Asmund finds the sparking body of a busted servitor. Correction: Half a servitor. Also two eviscerated crewmembers, a busted servoskull, and a couple of Hormagaunts. Blackish blood trails off to the north, a train depot of some sort. To the east, a small compound. We decide to search the compound first, as it's on the way.

As we get closer, we hear las-fire. Humans. There's an overturned landhauler of impressive size. Atop it, guardsmen in a firing position, with one leader standing tall amongst them with a big hat. We sprint to the fight and rescue.