Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dark Heresy-Session 5

(Due to some surprisingly cunning timing on my part, the next session is tomorrow!)


The party returned, triumphant over the forces of chaos, to report back to the Interrogator. He received their news with no suspicion at the report of the death of Lazerus (which left out the whole getting shot in the back by his team mate situaton...), and upon hearing of the daemon that had aided their party, received it with some concern.

Karl informed the party that Marr had returned, and would have need of them tomorrow, and would probably have a replacement for them then. Most of the party retired to the medical facilities, as they sorely needed it. Meeting with Marr the next day, he introduced them to their new member, a tech priest by the name of Mallear, one adept with the mysteries of the machine spirit (how stuff works....).

He then gave the party their new assignment. The world of Barraspine (which I think I spell differently every time I write it), has a dark secret. It is rich with minerals, and so there is a large mining operation in place to take advantage of that, but every now and then, they strike more... dangerous materials. Looking like black chalk, the rock is embued with the essence of chaos, and wreaks havoc on those who find it. Not willing to condemn the whole planet, being a natural resource as it is, the habit on Baraspine has been to destroy the rock upon finding it, using a large quantity of explosives, which seems to break up any unnatural taint it has.

Marr, now, intended the party to deal with the next bit of rock, but before doing so, take off a small stick of it, and return it to him. While doing so they would pose as members of the adeptus arbites, the team that normally deal with the rock. The party felt some concern at this mission, but did not express it- they had been taught to trust their inquisitor beyond all, and the citizens of the imperium are nothing if not unquestionably obedient...

Marr gave them pagers, and told them he would contact them the next time the rock was found. This gave the party time to rest up, have their wounds heal, and also to make some purchases to upgrade or replace their weapons and armour.

Finally the call came, and they headed down to the mines. Level 1 is a deeply claustrophobic place, the walls tightly packed together, and the trains that lead to the many sections of mines rickety and shambolic. Still, they made it to the mine in question without too much trouble, but upon presenting their id discovered that someone had got there first. Somewhat shocked, Nicodemus still managed to put on an intimidating enough performance to convince the guard that letting them through would be the easiest thing to do, so they headed forwards.

Stepping into the mines, none noticed the tripwire across the floor, which let a huge bundle of rocks collapse on their heads. They managed to avoid too much injury, however (as, as per usual, I was rolling looooow). Further down the tunnels it forked into two path ways. Taking the left, they came across an odd scene.

Three mutants, dressed in miner's clothes, were attacking another, who was cowering in the corner. Seeing that they were mutants was enough for members of the inquisition, and battle was given. The mutants put up very little fight, only armed with picks and not wearing any armour, the party tore them apart. The remaining mutant thanked them, explaining that he had no idea what was going on. Helpfully, Cain pointed out that he had tentacles sprouting out of his face.

Nicodemus ended his wailing by pointing a gun at his face, and telling him to act as as their guide or face the consequences. The mutant agreed.

He led them back the way they came, taking the other arc until stopping abruptly.... "that wasn't there before".

There was a chamber with the bodies of 6 miners on the floor. Out of their bodies had spilled a sickly black blood, which had filled the chamber ankle deep with it. Stepping cautiously into it, Nicodemus discovered that the blood was highly acidic, and stepped back with alacrity. Instead, they decided to launch a rope onto the ceiling, and try to swing across. Cain and Nicodemus managed their swings fine, but at this point the corpses stood up....

One of them reached for the rope, and the party gave battle. They managed to kill the creatures, but not before the rope was dragged into the blood, and dissolved. Remembering that there had been rope attached to the trap earlier, the party headed back, and then noticed the large rocks that could probably be used as stepping stones. Taking these back, they made their way across.

At this point they rounded the corner to an ambush. A man dressed in the uniform of the adeptus arbites opened up with a heavy stubber. Diving into the room, the party took cover, and attempted to make pot shots. Little was effective, apart from Lek, who reached out into the man's mind, and caused his gun to spasm, flailing across the room, the bullets thudding into someone hidden from sight, who screamed in pain and died.

With the room no longer covered, the party charged forwards. Switching to his knife, the man gave battle against Jericus wielding a power spear, only to have it cleaved in two. In desperation, he grappled Jericus to the ground, but with 5 others outnumbering him, he had no real chance of survival.

Exploration of the room discovered an odd electronic timer. It appeared to be counting down..... It appeared to be a bomb.... Mallear grabbed it and attempted to disable it, but the machine spirit was unforthcoming, and he failed. Nicodemus took it, and with seconds left to spare, managed to halt the timer.

They headed forwards, until they came across a large, ornate door. "Thats curious," said the mutant, "that wasn't there before...."

Cain went forward and pushed it, and managed to keep his balance as his hand went through. There was a small pit on the over side, which the party managed to jump over without trouble. This led to a chamber with the hideous black rock. There was something wrong though- it looked like a lot of it was missing, and there was a collapsed corridor leading out of the room.

Still, there was certainly enough for a small sample. Sadly, being so close to the rock meant that their guide gave into the emenations, and turned on the party. He was easily cut down. They took the sample, set the demolitions, and then left, leaving the rest of the rock to be destroyed.


This session was my desire to have a dungeon crawl. I really want all my adventures to make sense, so throwing in standard dungeon puzzles would not work here- they had to make sense in the context of the adventure.

I had two main puzzles. The pool of blood needed crossing, and then the bomb needed defusing. Both had a solution in the previous room- the pool could be crossed using pirates style criss crossing, and the bomb could be thrown into the acid, which would fizzle it. Neither of these solutions were thought of by the party. They decided to swing across, which was fine, although a lot more dangerous for them, as falling in would not be good for their health, or their weapons and armour for that matter.

The bomb puzzle didn't go as I wanted mainly because I got confused by my own notes. I threw the climatic ambush at the party before the minor encounter of the door and the bomb, which led to it being somewhat anti-climactic. As a mini-encounter on the way it makes sense, but as the final barrier, an illusionary door is rubbish!

The bomb was meant to be solved by either dissolving it, disarming it, or throwing it under a mine cart and running for it. With the bomb thrown in with the ambush, it was kind of lame, and also didn't make all that much sense as to why they had the bomb in the same sodding room as them. Never mind.....

The ambush was a little surprising. The heavy stubber's comrade had a flamer, so if the party charged forwards, they were going to get set alight. Instead, thanks to Lek's spell, the flamer carrier got filled full with lead, as I was far more accurate at shooting at my own minions. Also, the spell Lek was casting was incredibly effective, because it meant the heavy stubber carrier didn't have enough time to open fire on his turns, being too busy getting up again. Never mind. Things going the players way is actually more fun anyway, especially in an amusing fashion as this was.

I possibly regret making the mutant turn on the party- it might have been more fun to let them defend him the next session, in a world which is highly suspicious of such creatures. This way removed the dilemma from their hands, which I think was a mistake.

I once again enjoyed having the wider background that the party get to peek at- something has gone on before they got here, but they're not sure who or why it has happened.

Ultimately this session lacked mostly in roleplaying, which is a shame- that was kind of what the mutant guide was there to provide a little bit of, and he could have played a bit of a bigger role. Never mind, I intend the next session or two to be fairly roleplaying intensive, with less combat.

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