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The Hand of Corruption: GM_Loki's Black Crusade

Game Master Lokio

You are a Heretic; a renegade turned against the oppressive Imperium of Man. The crumbling monolith mobilizes the might of its numberless armies, and you must stand against it. But can you realise your destiny before that power consumes you?

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It is the 41st millennium.

For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truely die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor's will. Vast armies give battle in His name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defense forces, the ever-vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable. This is a tale of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughing of thirsting gods.

Yet there are those who rise above the teeming masses, rejecting the conformity and servility of mankind. The ignorant call them traitors, heretics, lost, and damned - but they know themselves as Disciples of the Dark Gods.

Chapter 1: Broken Chains:

You are heretics. Condemned by the God-Emperor for your crimes and sentenced to imprisonment, torture and eventually death by the Inquisition. Though your crimes are varied, you share a similar fate, having been hunted down and captured by agents of the Imperium and incarcerated aboard the Chains of Judgement, a prison barge on a course for the core worlds of the Calixis Sector and its capital Scintilla, where the dungeons of the Tricorn Palace await you. Befitting your nature as dangerous criminals, you were placed in stasis, held in a state of limbo to ride out the journey, powerless to change your fate. That is the last thing you remember.

The first thing you notice is a flashing red light. It blinks incessantly, awakening your senses to the annoying buzzing noise repeatedly sounding in your ears.


You feel the amniotic fluid holding you aloft begin to drain from the tank you find yourself in, and once complete, the front slides open with a mighty hiss of changing air pressure. You fall forward onto your hand and knees, and as your mind remembers why you are hear, you half expect to be grabbed roughly by uniformed guards, but this does not come. Looking around, you notice others in a similar state as yourself. As awareness continues to come to you, you notice that the walls and floor are covered with dust. The low-ceilinged room you find yourself in is lit by only two flickering emergency luminen globes. Other than the dozens of stasis caskets on the walls, the only other feature of the room is a cogitator column in the center.

Not in use

Coming to slowly Zadlu's first act is to puke out the remaining amniotic fluid that coats his mouth and gullet - covering the floor before himself in regurgitated goo. Breathing heavy and still on all fours, he takes in his surroundings quickly - noting the other rebirthed souls... including one he recognizes.

Growling as he regains his feet quickly, slicking off as much of the viscous fluid as possible. The others in the room see a well built though slightly overweight man with short cropped hair and a soul patch on his chin. He looks around the room for a screen or tech station that he might use to make some sense of things.

(Male Human Heretek)

Awakening and his eyes popping open Danate focus on his surroundings. Seeing other people in similar condition, waking up and couching and trying to stand up. Focusing his senses to his arms and legs he slowly stands up and notices a man not so far away: lightly overweight man with short cropped hair and a soul patch on his chin.

A gurgling voice with fluid drops from his mouth. Danates Utility Mechadendrite slowly beginning to function again slowly goes through a series of peepings and automatic self-repair commands.

The Deceiver calmly focuses his mind as he takes stock of his physical state. Then slowly, he emerges from the soup that's been his companion for quite some time.

Awareness 1d100 ⇒ 14

In the dim light, The Deceiver looks for a weapon to fend off the guards he expects to find. Though he knows that the weapon is merely a crutch, a foil. For he is a weapon.

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

Adoris awakens slowly, luxuriating in the sensation of the liquid around him, within him, recognizing that it is as much a part of the Greater Plan as the logic and charisma within him.

He extends his psychic awareness first, even though his eyes are open he ignores his sense of sight, for reality can confuse the mortal senses.

Psyniscience 1d100 ⇒ 15

Next his eyes open completely, purple-blue irises with golden rings of fire around the pupils. His face is long and strangely both feminine and masculine, a narrowed chin with a sharp goatee that somehow seems to accentuate the entire face. The body is lithe, muscular but not overly so, and somehow glistens with a golden sheen of its own.

The fluid drips from his body in strange ways, and Adoris rests for a moment in stillness, aware that his body might not have responded well to its treatment.

@Danate: The mechadendrite arm itself would have been removed, though the harness it anchors to is still attached. It's not uncommon for tech-priests to swap out mechadendrites, so it could have been removed without too much bodily damage. Plus, they tend to be kind of bulky. Would've been hard to fit you into the tank.

(Male Human Heretek)

Ah, thanks for the info. Trying to find info about tech-priest etc to get better image of whats going on and fluff wise

As you look about the dusty chamber you find yourselves in, a few things become apparent. One, is that all your caskets seems to have released you, and that your four are the only ones here. All of the hatches are open save one. It is labeled 'Stasis Crypt XX'. All the others are open and there is nothing about them that would lead you to believe that they are operational.

Those trained in Tech-Use:
Based on your knowledge, you would say that it is safe to assume that this is likely the result of system failure rather than anything intentional.

Other than that, the only other noteworthy feature of the room is the cogitator column in the center of the chamber.

Not in use

I hesitate to ask.... but what exactly is a cogitator column?

Large central computer

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

I have common lore (Tech), but not Tech-Use... do I know anything different about the technology of the place?

Close enough, you're good.

Not in use

Zadlu moves towards the central column, clearly unperturbed by his nakedness. "Let's see if we can elicit something more..." as he begins to engage the machine spirit of the column.

Tech-Use (Int of 44): 1d100 ⇒ 23 (plus extra degree of success from Adroit)

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

As his senses take in his surroundings, Adoris steps out of his containment unit. He glances at the flashing display on the cogitator column.

"Hmmmm, system failure, most likely. Of course, I am faced with imperfection and frailty everywhere I go. I am not surprised the Imperial scum's machines could so easily fail to the Lord of Change's whim."

His voice is silken, but not especially alluring, and an edge of anger hides beneath the verbal caress. His jaw ticks nervously (or perhaps angrily) as he speaks about the Empire.

(Male Human Heretek)

Looking as the overweighted man goes to next to the cogitator column Danate simply follows to gain a bit more understanding of the situation. The way he access and uses the cogitator column impress him Interesting... you are quite adept at this thing. If you are interested, I can show you how it is done better... after all these things are more familiar to me

Tech-Use 1d100 ⇒ 24 vs 65 (int 55 + 10 tech-use)
4 degree success

The first entries in the cogitator’s memory list your names and the dates when you were interred. A notation indicates you were to be taken to Installation Obsidian Magna for debrief and summary termination. A second notation mentions that certain items in your possession at time of capture were held in 'Investigative Laboratorium V.' Following this are three months of regular and identical weekly status updates from your caskets, interrupted by this message:

++Alarms triggered in main prison hold. General prisoner uprising in effect. Emergency lockdown protocols active. Sealing Sanctum Gate between Prison Hold and Upper Decks. Sealing stasis crypts I-XX on Medicae Deck 3. Sealing Investigative Laboratoriums I-V on Medicae Deck 3. Medicae Decks switching to tertiary reserve plasma power generators.++

++Lockdown protocols in effect, pending uprising resolution.++




You scroll through the updates, quickly realising via the datestamps that they continue for two hundred years. You have been interred in these stasis caskets for over two centuries. Eventually, you reach the final message in the cogitator’s memory.

++Reserve power generation below 1 percent power. Unable to maintain operations on stasis crypts. Unable to maintain lockdown protocols. Initiating termination protocols on stasis crypt inhabitants.++

++Stasis crypt XX termination protocols overridden. Stasis crypt I-XIX termination protocols active.++

++Stasis crypt operations switching to emergency standby. Stasis caskets deactivating. Lockdown protocols inactive.++

++Deploy remote access point?++

This last entry has a flickering bar next to it, requesting confirmation.

Not in use

Smirking "Looks like we're a couple hundred years late to the party... should we confirm?" turning to Danate.

(Male Human Heretek)

A dark laugh escape from his lips Haah, these scums tried to keep us here... pray the Dark God. Foolish of them to try to keep us here locked although I really wonder what happened here. I say yes Danate says as he turns back to cogitator and start to enter questionaires

So, what should we find out? I guess we should first Deploy remote access point and then look further data. I am at least interested what is going in other part of ship... only survivors so far in whole ship

Did I find any weapon?

No, no weapons. You're the only ones here. No signs of any combat either.

Not in use

Zadlu presses the flickering bar.

"Magos, please run a print out of the data. Perhaps we can divine some useful information."

The Deceiver smiles a pleasant, disarming smile.

With a whoosh, a panel opens and a servo-skull floats out of the column and hovers in front of you. Shortly thereafter, Danate's ministrations cause the servo-skull to produce a sheet of parchment bearing the data you just read from beneath its jaw.

Also, I think I might have mislead you with the description of the room. Here it is in plain terms. You're in a small, dusty room. Set into the walls are your stasis caskets. There is the column in the center and a hatch on the wall labelled Stasis Crypt XX.

The Deceiver silently considers the data.

"Thank you for the prompt action on my humble request. Based on this data we need to inquire from the cogitator: who or what overrode the termination protocols for Stasis crypt XX?"

(Male Human Heretek)

Hm... we will find out that eventually if we are only ones alive here... or rather, I would like to know where is all the others? I say we get out of here and try to find our equipments Danate mutters

"I agree with that, Magos. But, respectfully, do you not feel the hand of fate? We did not survive by mere chance, as the data would show. Someone or something saved us."

Not in use

Leaving the others to their pondering, Zadlu moves to the hatch and attempts to open it.

(Male Human Heretek)

Might be fate but logic keeps the world rolling. Only pure intellectual and deduction will save you from harm... but help does indeed bolster the chances. The fate has left us here. Now it is up to us to continue... so might as well do it and Danate moves towards the hatch

"Lead on then, and I shall follow."

The door offers only a little initial resistance as you open the hatch. Outside is a circular corridor that appears to connect to Stasis Crypts XVI through XX. It is dark, dingy and littered with debris. Sensing the air pressure change from the opening hatch the servo-skull putters out into the corridor. It issues a series of beeps and clicks before projecting a hololithic display. Upon quick examination, it appears to be a map of the Chains of Judgement.

The Deceiver memorizes the map as best he could. He divines the location of the armory and the bridge and best and secondary paths to these places.

Will come in handy with Total Recall. Memorization should grant added bonus to the Intelligence Check later.

(Male Human Heretek)

Show us quickest way to reach location for the stored / confiscated equipments Danate commands the servo as he takes a quick look at the map of the ship.

Is it okey for me to issue commands like this or to be more subtle?

Based on the display, the Chains can be primarily be divided up into three main sections: the Lower Decks, the Upper Decks and the Bridge. The Armoury would be located on the Upper Decks. Your current position, as noted on the servo-skull's display has you in the Medicae Deck on the Lower Decks.

You're good. That is exactly what the servo-skull is for. Since it would be slightly impractical for me to actually map out the entire ship, consider the skull to be your help through the ship.

++Stasis Crypt XX prisoner belongings currently stored in Investigative Laboratorium V.++

Looking at the projected map, you'll note that Investigative Laboratorium V is only a few hundred metres from your current location via an adjoining corridor connected to the rest of the Medicae Deck.

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

Like the others, Adoris is not at all ashamed of his glorious (if somehow strangely alluring) nudity. He moves out into the hall following the others, but attempts to keep a wary eye on the others.

"I am called Adoris, or at least I was two hundred years ago. Who knows what name I am to claim now, or if that name even has the meaning it once did." Although his words are silky smooth, the edge of anger beneath them is clear.

Sorry, it seems the post monster ate my response last night. It's all good. That's what the servo-skull is here for. Since it would be only slightly impractical for me to map out the entire starship for you, think of the servo-skull as you guide throughout the ship.

The servo-skull beeps and clicks in response to your command.

++Stasis Crypt XX prisoner belongings currently stored in Investigative Laboratorium V.++

Based on the display, you note that Investigative Laboratorium V is only a few hundred metres from their current location via an adjoining corridor connecting to the rest of the Medicae Deck.

Not in use

Zadlu does not yet give over his name.. though he is known to one of his co-inmates, thinking such extravagance irrelevant unless there is some expectation of survival. "If our gears that way, then lets get rambling." heading off in that direction taking position at point.

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

Adoris follows, dragging his fingernails casually along the walls of the hallway. Occasionally a crackle of electricity flares up, but Adoris does not seems to care.

"It would be nice to be reunited with Avlar again."

(Male Human Heretek)

Danate begin to head towards the location of equipments and hoping to get back his own stuff. This whole trip with this people and this ship, although short one, was convincing him that something odd was going on here

"Lead on then."

The Deceiver as his 'name' implies seeks the shadows to better conceal him from unexpected adversaries.

I assume that we collected some scalpels and other instruments we can use as weapons, as well as some clothes.

I'm glad you said that,lol.

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

Would clothes and tools have been available in that room? I suppose we could have ripped a pipe or something off the wall. (Not sure how advanced tech the 41st Millennium is supposed to be)

Everyone who wants to look for some manner of clothing or a makeshift weapon make a Challenging (+0) Awareness Test. After that we'll continue on into Investigative Laboratorium V.

Male Human Phantasmist 1 (8/8 hp)

1d100 ⇒ 73 / 44 + 0 = 44

(Male Human Heretek)

Awareness 1d100 ⇒ 42

Not in use

Pass - Zadlu is gunning for his chainsword

Awareness 1d100 ⇒ 82

The Deceiver accepts that he is weapon enough for whatever the darkness may bring.

You manage to find some scraps to cover your nakedness, but nothing substantial that you can use for a weapon. That is fine, though. All your equipment should be just down the hallway.

As you walk through the corridors, the damage to the ship becomes more evident. It takes longer to get to the chamber you seek than it probably would were the ship still in good condition, but alas, it is not. Most of the glow-lamps no longer function, and finding your way in the dark is difficult. Some hallways are blocked off by wreckage, and you have to climb over collapses more than once. When you finally do find the chamber you seek, you find that others have beaten you there.

Six feral creatures that vaguely resemble humans fight over your equipment. Their bodies are emaciated, their bellies swollen and their limbs just a little too long for their bodies. Their eyes are the milky white of creatures that have spent too long in the dark, and their teeth are sharpened fangs. Two are attempting to drag out a large mechanical appendage, while two others fight over a chainsword. The other two dig through the chamber looking for treasures of their own. When they see you they sniff the air before hissing and snarling. They run to attack, their loot forgotten. "Smells foods!"

GM Screen:

Carrion: 1d10 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Adoris: 1d10 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
The Deceiver: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Danate: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Zadlu: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15

Initiative Order:
The Deceiver
Carrion Hunters

Map soon to follow.

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