Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dark Heresy-Session 4


The players, having defeated the enemy psyker, searched the room for loot and for clues as to what exactly he had been planning. Looking around they found a book that was clearly an artifact of chaos. One noticed that there was a glint coming from underneath the bed. They pushed it out of the way to reveal a glowing symbol, a disgusting sign of chaos, that threatened to warp their very sanity.

They immediately (well, actually, they had a bit of a discussion first...) attempted to destroy it, but found their weapons were ineffective. They would need to find something to eradicate it. Meanwhile, looking at the book proved difficult, but there was one passage which seemed to relate to the passage they had read, a riddle saying

"One in decay,
One in learning
One in Time
One in death"

Figuring this described the location of other similar symbols, they decided they would see if they could recruit help. The house was now eerily quiet, after the raucous noises that had pervaded it, and seemingly empty. An attempt at opening the door discovered it lock, and attempts to force it failed. Looking out of the window revealed a swirling mess of colour... Lek realised that they were in the warp itself! There would be no outside help.

The party split up to look for help. Exploring the upstairs discovered one in the bathroom, amidst much decay, and a few partygoers who were completely oblivious to the chaos around them.

As their explorations continued, odd events kept happening- small breezes, detached voices, and occasionally Lek felt as if there was an extreme disturbance in the warp around them. Time was definitely of the essence. Splitting up, Barak rounded the corner to encounter a disturbing sight. A heavily modified human being, half machine, waving a force spear, yelling that he wouldn't let them kill him.

Startled, Barak didn't ask questions, and opened fire, but missed in his panic, and was struck heavily by the glowing spear, knocked to the floor unconcious.

Hearing the commotion the others moved to investigate, and the madman burst through the door. Trying to talk this time yielded some information. The man had been called to do some work in the house- he wasn't too forthcoming on what it actually involved. Then the disturbance had happened, and things had got extremely weird. He had run out here after destroying a weird symbol....

At this point the man's eyes grew red, and he yelled and leapt at the party. A bloody combat ensued, as he wielded the deadly weapon against the party. During it, Lazerus, the party's guardsmen, was shot in the back by his own team member, Cain, and fell to the floor. The force spear proved dangerous, splitting two weapons in two, before the madman was finally dispatched.

Jericus picked up the powerful weapon to replace his own, torn in two by it's power field. They went to check Lazerus, who managed to pull himself up. Discussing what to do next, they were somewhat surprised to see Lazerus disappear before their eyes. Worry was replaced with calm as he managed to reappear a few moments later.

So when Lazerus vanished yet again, most of them ignored it. Unfortunately, this time he was not invisible. Lazerus found himself in a dark room with an odd presence....

The others continued onwards, discovering the kitchen, where some delicious cooking was revealed to be the chef, much to the disgust of several of those who had already eaten it. Moving onwards, they discovered the broken symbol. Realising that the spear was the key to destroying these, they endevaoured to find the rest and end them as well.

At this point Lazerus reappeared, but instantly Nicodemus realised there was something wrong. Lazerus was acting oddly, and was unable to understand the acolytes code. Nic decided not to be cautious, and unloaded his shotgun. Lazerus collapsed, the spirit departing, but his body still injured.

Needing all the help they could get, the party stimmed Lazerus up, and continued to explore the house. A thorough exploration revealed all the remaining symbols, which they managed to destroy (with some minor upsets along the way, as the house attempted to resist them). With the last one destroyed, the house was free... Except there seemed to a presence still outside.

Heading downstairs, they discovered 5 twisted daemonettes of chaos standing outside, having managed to slip through the rift. They gave battle. Lazerus, stimmed up and not thinking clearly, charged forwards, bearing the full brunt of their attacks. Things looked desperate. Lek fainted at the pure shock of seeing such beings, and the party seemed outclassed.

At this point ANOTHER daemon appeared, this time looking more like a man, but twisted an malformed, with large blue wings carrying it aloft. Thinking they were doomed, the party was very much surprise when the Daemon gave battle against their assailants, destroying them in short order.

"It's been very pleasent working with you gentlemen. I shall see you around, fools of fortune...."

The daemon flew off. The battle was finished, but not without a price. Before the daemonettes could be defeated, Lazerus, already heavily wounded, had been brutally killed.


This was a harsh session on the characters. As they had no chance to rest since last session, most of them were already damaged, so all were in danger of death. Of course, they would have suffered no casualties if Steve had not decided to shoot into combat, and Antony to not charge the bloody daemons!

This session wasn't perfect. There was a very long hiatus between this and the previous one, and in between I had little time to see what notes I'd written. On the night itself I had to work with what I'd got. If I'd put more effort in I think I would have planned more carefully. The mechanic for deciding how many daemonettes the party would face at the end was based basically on how long they took to solve the puzzles, and could have used a bit more finesse.

My biggest regret was not allowing Antony to roleplay his character when possessed. Not only would it have been more fun, it might have been a bit more of a surprise when he betrayed them!

Still, this session was intended as a bit of a betrayal tribute, and on that manner I believe it succeeded. A few more events and omens might have been fun though!

At some points I was very glad Nick was paying attention, as I suspect no-one would have realised how to destroy the sodding symbols, but never mind. I actually would have allowed offensive psychic powers to damage the symbols as well, but as Kerrith's psyker doesn't have any, that would have been no good.

The introduction of the daemonhost was fun, with it's ridiculous power level proving quite astonishing. A will power of 95 indeed (out of 100). Nick, I suspect, has some idea of the broad plot of this campaign, which is fine, although I imagine I shall be able to provide a few twists and turns yet.

This section of the campaign was originally not going to be attached to the main plot, one of the main reasons an interrogator rather than the inquistior gave it to them, but I decided it made more sense to tie it in. There are more subtle ties again that the players cannot see but I know, which makes me happy. I like the world to have levels of detail that the players don't even see. This allows things to make sense, and for me to respond to unexpected player moves if they happen to infringe on plot elements.

Overall, while this session was somewhat combat heavy, it was not impossibly hard, and some smarter choices would have left the players more or less unharmed. I suspect that if I was doing it again I would have made the symbols a little harder to find, with more puzzlement attached to them, but never mind.

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