Rejoice For You Are True

Illumination Fades

February 27, 2011

You all survived, although some less than others.

The Cell began in the midst of a furious battle erupting in Stern Hope.

Cecil, Sil, and Thak headed straight towards the Leader of the Voicers – doing well to find him in the shifting morass. The Leader used his hand cannon to blast away at Thak, but Thak’s accurate sniping eventually drove the Leader to take cover in a truck bed. While Cecil and Sil took turns cutting off legs and spraying blood everywhere in the open spaces, Thak carefully aimed, called his shot, and blasted the Leader’s head right off. MPV: Thak. (+30 XP)

Zero, Mordrin, and Hextes rushed to the Generatoria to try and prevent the Voicers from burning it down and returning Stern Hope to the dark age. Zero’s psychic powers were essential in driving the Voicers to madness and disrupting their ability to use the firebombs they had. Hextes bravely rushed forward to try and save the generator from within, while Mordrin laid down suppressing fire and dispatched one Voicer in hand to hand combat. MVP: Zero. (+30 XP)

Cecil, Sil, and Thak received communication from Mordrin and went after the Voicer giving a sermon to the Emperor. Cecil’s unerring awareness allowed them to locate the Preacher, and they cornered him and tied him up to deal with him later. (Bobby rolled a 01 on a very difficult Awareness test . . . ) They moved to join the others at the Cathedral.

Mordrin, Zero, and Hextes rushed towards the Cathedral to help Warchief Kos’ke stop the Voicers from bringing a bomb into the Cathedral. Firing their guns at the bomb carrier, the Cell managed to get him to drop the bomb and set it off, killing all of the Voicers.

As the battle wound down, the party interrogated the captured voicers but didn’t get much from them but muttering. At the Cathedral, Aristarchus and Skae faced off with Kos’ke and [[:esha-raine | Esha Raine]] over the fate of the last Voicer. Esha claimed that he was controlled by some force and wanted to investigate it. Aristarchus became enraged, threatened to label her as Heretic, and summarily executed the Voicer. Raine, Kos’ke, and the other Ashleen became furious and rode off, saying the Cathedral was a forsaken place.

The party saw Brother Lamark in the hospital and surveyed the wreckage. Suddenly, Skae burst out of the Cathedral covered in blood. He claimed he had been attacked by a shadow woman but had driven her off with the aid of the Emperor. Aristarchus ordered the Cell to track down, arrest Esha Raine, and return her for questioning.

The party took to the truck again, wtih Thak driving carefully. When they reached the Ashleen settlement they piled out and were quickly faced with Kos’ke and half a dozen Ashleen soldiers protecting Esha Raine. The party managed to convince Esha they weren’t going to kill her, and she agreed to go with them. Suddenly, Shale Crows appeared and formed into two flocks. Their beaks and numbers were frightening, and the Cell had to ally with the Ashleen warriors to overcome their terror and fight the creatures off. Zero, however, was wounded, and both Hextes first aid and Zero’s own psychic powers did more harm than aid. At the conclusion of the fight, the party took Raine back in the truck to Stern Hope.

In the truck, the party successfully got Raine to give them an ancient book, revealing that the Crow Father was an ancient demon defeated by St Drusus at the exact spot the cathedral was being built. Its had previously been summoned in rituals pitting brother against brother, and rituals in which much death occurred often led to it appearing at dusk. The party realized that the attack on Stern Hope could well be the beginning of a summoning ritual for the Crow Father – also known as the Dancer at the Threshold.

Returning to town, it was in wreckage. The populace were huddled in their tents, out of their minds with fear. Those who had tried to flee had somehow been forced to commit violent suicide and their corpses blocked the gates out. In the bar, they found Aristarchus’ room tossed and managed to recover parts of his data-slate journal – Aristarchus believed he had seen the reborn St Drusus in the church at night with Skae. Somehow, the generatoria had entirely disappeared from the manufactorium, and Stern Hope was in total darkness except for a strange haze over the cathedral. Raine managed to perform some first aid on Zero where the others had failed. In the priory, they found Severus and all of the clerics dead, with their eyes put out. Lamark was barely alive, and Hextes managed to stabilize him and save his life. Before they headed to the cathedral, Esha Raine told them that folk legend told that the only thing that made the Crow Father afraid was the same wounds that he inflicted on others.

In the cathedral, the Cell found the rest of the population of Stern Hope bound in thrall in the pews, speaking words that were not their own and frozen in place. In the center alter, Aristarchus floated in the air, surrounded by a column of spinning tarot cards glowing with an intense light to bright to look at. The column went up to the domed ceiling, where the roiling darkness allowed Zero to sense the warp was pressing through. Behind Aristarchus, the Cell saw Abbot Skae, deformed and altered – before he could speak, they opened fire on him. Unfortunately, to fire upon his terrible visage drove several of the party to terror – Zero passed out for a while, and Mordrin fainted. Many found their ability to fight impaired.

Thak took up a sniping position in the rear of the cathedral, and Hextes went around the edges to the altar. Mordrin did a leap over the pews to join Hextes near the altar. In the center, Sil and Cecil got into a furious melee with the Skae thing. As it began to charge them, the Skae thing announced that it was Tyziak, Crow Father, Dancer at the Threshold, and that when its ritual was complete it could pass beyond the useless meat that held it in check. The Cell knew they had to defeat it quickly or it would tear them apart and corrupt the whole planet.

Cecil felt the rage of the Emperor at this blashpemy and put all of his strength and more into one blow, doing serious damage to the creature. Somehow, though, it continued to savage him. Although Sil joined the melee and managed to distract the creature for a while, it eventually shredded through Cecil’s armor. After making a grievous blow to Cecil’s right arm, the Skae thing rent Cecil’s left arm clear off his body and blasted Cecil across the room into a puddle of blood. Sil took the brunt of the creature’s anger from then on, until Sil was nearly knocked down. Then, at Thak’s urging, he disengaged and sought cover.

All the while, Thak carefully aimed and shot at the creature, and by doing some damage to the beast’s head, assisted by Cecil, managed to figure out the creature’s weakness was its eyes. Cecil chopped one of its eyes out of its head before he lost his arm and went down. It put out the eyes of its enemies and servants, and, like Esha Raine’s advice, did not want its own eyes put out. Hextes and Mordrin pleaded with Aristarchus to help them and turn against the creature, and began to get through to him. As Sil disengaged, Mordrin turned to take the creatures attention and give Zero a chance to heal Sil a bit. Zero managed to rally and used his psychic powers to stabilize Cecil, who was bleeding out. Mordrin took a terrible blow from the monster and was on the verge of collapse. Hextes pleaded further with Aristarchus and the seer seemed to be coming around. Thak, carefully firing all the while, again called his shot and put a rifle bullet into the creature’s other eye. Dark energy poured out of the creature, and it spun across the room into the column of spinning Tarot cards. The cards shot up into the air, slicing Aristarchus to bits, and disrupting the warp energy above. The energy blasted the roof off of the cathedral and rubble rained down on Stern Hope. MVP: Cecil. (+50 XP)

The warp was blasted away, and Aristarchus and Skae were left only as lumps of flesh. A single Tarot card floated down and landed on the altar. It was the Magus of the Executoria suit. Damage to the card revealed a strange circuity inside, and when Hextes was unable to figure it out the party realized it was probably not human in origin.

As they surveyed the wreckage, the cell realized they had accomplished a great thing. They had headed off a full blown deamonic incursion, defeating the creature at its chosen ground. Esha Raine told them that, perhaps, they had finally cleansed this ground of the demon’s taint and the cathedral could be salvaged. The party tended to their wounds, secured Cecil int he flatbed safely and looked after him as he rocked in his coma, and headed back to Port Suffering. They began to prepare their report the Inquisitor, and to think on what had happened in Iocanthos, and where they would go from here.

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Illumination Grows
Further Investigations

February 17, 2011

The Cell spent the night with Aristarchus, and were surprised when two new Acolytes joined them during the night. Cecil and Thak had been sent by Inquisitor Van Buren.

Later in the night, Zero and Hextes discovered Mordrin sneaking out in the night. After arguing, the Cell followed him and heard him report to the Inquisitor. They couldn’t figure out much from one side of the conversation, but they now know that they are being reported on. Mordrin caught them out, and they had a discussion about his relationship to the group.

In the morning they left via truck to head to Stern Hope. All around, they saw the local carrion birds, Shale Crows, circling and following them. En route, they encountered a suspicious rock fall that had flattened another vehicle. Aristarchus led them off the path, but they encountered an archeological dig site that no one had ever heard of before. In a clearing covered with bones, at the center of the site was a twenty foot tall black obelisk covered in vaguely glowing runes. Searching around, the Cell found a document, a bastard sword, and a semi-functional Xenos pistol. Reading the document, the Cell learned that the obelisk was a psychic beacon of Eldar origin, and was some kind of warning signal. They felt the impossibility of the obelisk’s location so close to Port Suffering sank in, and the Cell felt worms of doubt and confusion grip their souls.

At the camp in the night, the first watch of Cecil and Thak discovered a human figure approaching the camp. When it didn’t respond to their shouts, they fired on it. When Solanus Zero got up close, it was clear that it was an Ashleen warrior hat had been long dead. Thak crushed its head in with a hammer for good measure, and sent its soul to the Emperor with prayer. Aristarchus has been sleeping fitfully through the whole event and couldn’t be woken. In the morning, the body was gone.

Getting closer to Stern Hope, the Cell saw a strange figure on a ridge above them. Aristarchus felt psychic emanations and could tell something terrible had happened in the location before, and ordered the Cell to investigate. Silvanus “Sil” Geiss has to be dragged up the hill, despite boasting about his Climbing skills. At the top, the Cell discovered a pictograph of a bird grasping a skull, burned deep into the rock, and still incredibly hot to the touch. None of them could identify it, but Aristarchus was clearly disturbed and would speak no more of it.

Upon reaching Stern Hope, the cell encountered Brother Severus, the settlement’s Intercessor, at the front gate. They were greeted by Brother Lamark, the Abbot’s right hand man. The abbot was busy, so the Cell explored the town before bunking down in the Crying Clota, the local ramshackle bar. Some inspired cooking by Thak sent them along to sleep with full stomachs.

In the morning they had a meeting with Abbot Skae. He informed them about the region and the troubles at the cathedral. Of particular interest, he told them that inside the Cathedral they had been hearing strange sounds in some particular places, and that they had discovered stripped corpses in the hills above the town. Amid some disruption and intrigue inside the Cell, Zero managed to determine via psyniscience that the disruptions in the Cathedral were linked to the hills above town.

Trying to leave a message for Aristarchus, they were told that he was in deep meetings with Abbot Skae. Brother Lamark led the Cell up into the hills to investigate. They didn’t find much, but Thak noticed that they were being stalked by a creature. As soon as he noticed, a Hexalid erupted out of the rocks and charged directly towards them. Moving quickly and staying in cover, it was a tough target to hit. Its fearsome aspect caused shock to many of the party members, including Brother Lamark, but the party got several shots in on it. When it got close enough, Silvanus “Sil” Geiss drew his Greatsword and put an enormous chop through the creature’s knee. However, in return he took a significant wound and was losing blood from his right arm. Sil managed to muster all of his energy and put a final chop into the creature before it rent him limb from limb, and in an enormous fountain of blood it collapsed on the rocky hill. Nearby, the party found its lair, full of bones and scraps.

Hextes mustered all his energies to try and perform first aid on Sil, but it proved detrimental to Sil’s health. Though reluctant, Sil consented to psychic healing from Zero. It went off fine, and Sil could feel some of his torn muscles knit back together. Returning to town, they did some minor investigations and waited for Sil to be strong enough to handle further psychic healing. They recovered rumors about the local Ashleen and an individual called Seth the Voice, a local warlord who had been attempting to raid Stern Hope, believing that it was against the Emperor’s will. Resting for the night, and receiving healing in the morning, Sil was mostly at full strength, although he felt some lingering twinges and endured a bad night of nightmares as he dreamt of the Hexalid eating his face off.

As the Cell left the bar, they found that the Ashleen had arrived. Led by Warchief Kos’Ke and accompanied by their holy woman, Esha Raine, they proceeded towards the Cathedral. Aristarchus met up with the team and got a game plan together. Of primary interest, the Cell thinks that something is wrong with the local Ashleen. Aristarchus agrees that something suspicious is going on. In preparation for the morning services, the Cell managed to convince some of the local guardsmen to man the guns on the walls.

Inside the Cathedral, the Acolytes were given a place of honor near the front next to Warchief Kos’Ke. During the service, however, the sounds gunfire erupted from outside. Abbot Skae looked to them and declared, “The sacrament of the Imperium is Blood.” The Cell rushed outside.

A smoke belching truck had been driven into the gates and crushed both them and one of the watchtowers. Nearly thirty local Ashleen, all wearing yellow armbands that label them as servants of Seth the Voice, began running wild in camp. Looking around, the Cell sees several immediate events.

The Leader of the Voicers is shouting commands from near the gate.
A group of several Voicers is rushing and carrying a large box straight towards the Cathedral.
The smoke and fire has driven several of the enormous Dustdogs in the Warrior’s Camp to stampede.
Several Voicers carryings firebombs are heading towards the Manufactorium and Geratoria.
A group of Voicers in the thick of madness are whirling their swords through the tents and one of the refugees has gathered a group of children but is unable to get out of the path of destruction.
Through the haze and smoke, the Cell can hear one strident Voicer worshipping the Emperor and asking for his intercession as they do his will.

The party has split into two groups. One will head to confront the Leader, hoping that taking him out will slow them down. The second will head to try and save the Manufactorium and Geratoria. The Cell hopes that Warchief Kos’Ke is truly an ally and will be able to stop the bomb from destroying the Cathedral.

It is time for the Acolytes to fight for the glory of the Emperor!

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Early Illumination

February 7, 2011

As a newly formed Cell of Acolytes, you were ordered to go to Iocanthos and investigate disturbances surrounding the new Stern Hope Cathedral. Your contact is

Planetside, you landed at the planet’s only Imperial settlement, Port Suffering. You explored the town. At the alms house, you distracted the guards and purged several mutants. Outside, “Sil” appeared to be distributing food to the poor, but a crowd began to threaten him and he shot a citizen. He escaped in the distraction. The citizen was dragged into the Alms House.

While moving through the city to meet your contact, Aristarchus, you were accosted by a madman. When the man began to rave about the Crow Father, Content Not Found: solarus-zero executed him as a heretic. This led several local Ashleen thugs to attack you. You killed several of them and the rest fled. The party was unable to convince the local Guardsmen to let them be, and they were all arrested except for Sil.

Aristarchus broke you out of jail several hours later. You were given some more information about the journey. In the morning, you will enter the wasteland via flatbed truck en route to Stern Hope. You expect the journey will take several days.

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