Mercy Crier 8: Apotheosis

What a turnaroud! Our final week ends with the biggest comeback we’ve seen, with the Calorie Crooks jumping from last to first place in a single evening, guaranteeing themselves a position in the finale.

Apotheosis week has been kind to the Order as well, with their pole position from a successful rescue, shoot-out and downtown dust-up. The Mayhem gang maintained their lead, and the Iron Rovers managed to claw the necessary Rep out of the Inheritors’ weird, clammy hands in the final few games of the Turf War. A 3-way Border Dispute was always going to be messy…

With Apotheosis rules in full swing, the only thing for our gangs to do was duff each other up until four remained. The most significant effect this had was for Calorie Crooks who managed to steal Rep from all their games, and combined with a series of very good Cool checks in some shoot-out scenarios, managed to grab 12 Rep in just 3 games. The Top Dogs have been decided, all that’s left is the showdown…

All to play for: Apotheosis is a series of climactic battles designed to turn the tables on the bigger gangs. The 4 Gangs with the highest Rep at the end of this week will enter into a 4-way Showdown to determine the Lord of the Callowdecks.

  • A gang with a lower Rep than their opponent rolls 2d6 for Bottle checks and discards the higher number
  • A winning gang with a lower Rep than their opponent steals 1 Rep in addition to any other Rep rewards for that scenario
  • A losing gang reduces their Turf size by 1 to a minimum of 1

Juve of the week 8

It’s the final Juve of the Week for the Callowdecks and we have some candidates that personify the campaign in totality – two angry lads with shivs just trying to make the world a better place.

Juve of the week will return for one last special edition when the dust has settled, but until then let’s look at this week’s contestants on Who Is Knifiest:

Jim ‘Jimmy Two-Knives’ Bean made his final week a particularly spectacular one. In a shoot-out with the Order, he came toe-to-toe with a chain glaive wielding madman who whispered something about offering eternal knife.

Perhaps it was the multiple head injuries taking their toll, but Jimmy charged the demagogue with a vision to taking him out, but caught a chain glaive to the face instead.

Captured after the game, Jimmy now languishes in a stinking Order jail for the crime of bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Mincemeat is a new contender to Who Is Knifiest but has proven his worth. In a showdown between his own Leader and the punchy Inheritors Leader, Mincemeat intervened when his hammer-hefting boss wasn’t producing results.

In a stunning round of combat, the baby-faced Juve hit and wounded with all attacks, and when all the Leader’s saves came up snake eyes he kerb-stomped him with a flourish, causing the Inheritors to break and costing them the Rep needed to stay on the Leaderboard.

As always with Juve of the Week – will you vote for effort or for achievement?

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Public service announcement, sponsored by Distilled Mayhem

“Resident idiot Juve last seen charging down the leader of the Emperor’s Sole gang, swinging knives wildly. 

The Distilled Mayhem gang are offering a reward for the safe return of this stupid but weirdly endearing Juve who arrived to a shoot out without anything to shoot with.

Or at least we want his knives back.

They were pretty nice knives.”

The Order of the Emperor’s Sole have released a statement:

“To all heathens and false-claimers of the Callowdecks, the scoundrel and drunkard known as Jimmy “Two Knives” was recovered from the field of glorious battle. Even though the heathen reeked of Amasec he has been granted mercy by my own blessed hand, as even though he was clearly out matched, unskilled and unworthy to fight the Emperor’s chosen sons, he did engage in pure, glorious and divine melee combat and for this his wounds were treated and he has been given “food” and shelter. For a suitable donation, the Order under my blessed command will make sure this man returns to his “family” healthy and in one piece. Do not dally however, the Emperor’s mercy does not last long”

Rumour in the underdecks is the going rate for Jimmy Two-Knives is 80 Credits – will Distilled Mayhem pay the ransom in time for the showdown?

Fashion Corner – King Beeflump III of the Calorie Crooks

A rarely-seen sight in the Callowdecks, the Leader of the Calorie Crooks made a smashing return to form. His twin power hammers and spooky smile make him look as deadly as he is.

Other highlights

Fighting was bitter, and we saw several shoot-outs, a downtown dust-up, a game played entirely in the dark and a three-way Border Dispute that lasted almost five hours!

The fighting was harsh as everyone battled for a chance at the coveted title of Lord of the Callowdecks.

shoot out – calorie crooks vs iron rovers
Two Goliaths roll cool checks at each other for 26(!) turns before the Rovers break and the Crooks butcher them.
Downtown dust-up – Iron Rovers vs The Order
Downtown dust-up, now with new civvie models!
The citizens of Mercy were delightfully unpredictable
This was a common sight – Civvies running for their lives
Iron Rovers took some hits early, but when both gangs were making Bottle checks they ground down the Order by attrition
This guy took a shining to Pooch and kept shooting in him in the back for the whole game
The final shot of Muzzle taking out the remaining Cawdor ganger. No civvies dead and only two fleeing meant the Rovers gained the full reward for victory
In the dark – calorie crooks vs the inheritors
The gangs could only target each other in 3″ or if someone had recently fired a weapon… bad news for both teams!
The Inheritors spider-bros out in force but struggling in the pitch black
The Inheritors Champion slotting Goliaths whenever he could see them
When the inheritor’s grav gun is on the field, this is a very common sight
Mincemeat deals the killing blow to the Inheritor’s leader, breaking the gang and scooping Rep for the Calorie Crooks
Rescue mission – Iron Rovers vs The Order
In our first (and only) stealth mission, the Order burst in the first door they find and gun down the Rovers heavy bolter champion
Before the others get a chance to react, the Order sweeps the rest of the Rovers off the board, leaving Muzzle alone to guard the hostage
The Rovers reinforcement arrives… on the other side of the map. The Rovers flee the field and the Order get their captive back.
Shoot out – Distilled Mayhem vs The Order
The Order are fortunate enough to have their Leader, a blunderbuss and a plasma gun in their line-up
Did we mention that every ganger in Distilled Mayhem packs blasting charges?
Jimmy charges but gets put down and captured. The Leader goes on to clean up the rest of the Mayhem gang now they’d run out of explosives.
shootout – distilled mayhem vs iron rovers
Distilled Mayhem bring their new bouncer to a shootout
Ogryn-servitor “Bouncer” with Flamin’ Moe in one hand (counts-as Arc Welder)
Iron Rovers learn a valuable lesson in not bringing any guns to a shoot-out and get flattened by the Bouncer
Border dispute – Iron Rovers, The Inheritors and Distilled Mayhem
Three gangs have a dispute over the bar
The Rovers’ luck was against them the whole game
Distilled Mayhem’s gang icon is well-themed
The Inheritors’ Champion guarding their stash
The brutal 3-way lasted 5 hours and only two Inheritors gangers were left standing

Mercy Crier 7: All That Glitters

Two down! Blackstar Hunters have officially retired this week due to commitments elsewhere and the Dreadquill House Gang 16th Law have stepped down. It would be difficult arbitrating the finale if the Arbitrator also had a horse in the race.

This is also the penultimate week before Apotheosis, so the gangs were dropped hints about what was to come. The finale will be an epic multi-brawl between the top four (!) gangs, no-holds barred, last-gang-standing fight to the end.

There is everything to play for to get into the top four gangs!

This week’s event shook things up for our gang but made it a little easier to get any last minute kit for the finale. D3 random fighters at the beginning of each game from every gang had to test Leadership – if they failed, they would be stricken with Insanity! This lead to some interesting tactical changes mid-way through some games, as well as some valiant sacrifices from some gangers deemed not worth saving from themselves.

On the up side, they got a boost to Rare Trade rolls, so they couldn’t say the Arbitrator was not merciful…

Whispers of the warp: The Callowdecks is giving up its riches… at a price. Forgotten things that slumbered are now waking, haunting the dreams of those that have ventured too far.

  • Rarity of all Trading Post items is reduced by 2
  • At the beginning of each game, randomly select D3 fighters in yoru crew and make a Leadership test for each. If they fail, place an Insanity marker on them as the voices in the walls become too much to bear
week 7 juve of the week

It’s a battle of madness for this Juve of the Week! Our event ‘Whispers in the Warp’ meant fighters had the chance to start every game with a touch of Insanity. Not much concern for the strong-willed among us, but for Juves who’ve had one too many head injuries, this was going to be a hard week for them…

Let’s see who was a few bullets short of a bolter this week!

Godfreed the Mad found himself facing off against two Goliaths in a darkened alley – not a pleasant place to be. Luckily, he’d seen things in the darkness he’d attributed to the Emperor and found himself afflicted with a bout of madness.

Such angry gnashing of teeth and stammering prayers had (apparently) caused the rival Goliath juve to panic and fire their only bullet at his team-mate.

Naturally he missed and jammed his weapon, earning ire from all those involved, so Godfreed hacked him apart in close combat. A devastating blow to both the Goliath team’s dignity and the poor juve’s skull.

Pup the Mad was afflicted with a case of the terrors at the beginning of a three-way Archeo-hunt – the least useful time to have a wayward juve shooting your team-mates in the back.

The Goliath Leader had a plan – when he showed a brief moment of sanity, he pumped the little guy with combat stimms, sending him into a frothing frenzy and aiming the mad lad towards the Emperor’s Sole Leader.

Actual achievement is overlooked in favour of effort, right?

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Fashion corner – Hector the Crusading Step of the Order of the Emperor’s Sole

The newest Champion for the Order (and the longest title of any ganger to date) – an angry chap with a pair of flails and Crushing Blow. He’s yet to bloody them on the bonces of heathens, but we’re sure it’ll be impressive when he does.

Other highlights

This week saw a Shootout between the Rovers and the Order, with the Order having a great bout of luck with their Insanity rolls. We had a three-way Archeo-Hunt between the Order, Rovers and Boom Slag Belles, and another three-way Spook Harvest between the Sarin Sirens, Calorie Crooks and Distilled Mayhem.

Spook Harvest – Distilled Mayhem, Calorie Crooks and Sarin Sirens

Lots of gangers got very high on Spook including the Sarin Siren Juve ‘Rimes’ who became convinced that she was the living embodiment of the Emperor somewhere between her third and fourth huff of that sweet, sweet powder.

Eventually ‘Turner’ took one sniff too much and she had to be put down by a quick hose of Cassidy’s chem thrower. So that’s yet another death for the Sirens to mourn.

With the purchase of a new ganger to replace Turner, the sirens are right back to square one except for the rep they have picked up!

Shoot out – Iron Rovers vs The Order
This alleyway ain’t big enough for the two of us…
Godfreed cleans house and the remaining Rover retreats
Archeo-hunt – Rovers, Order and Boomslag Belles
Three gangs, two beep-boops, one vault
The newest member of the Order fails his Insanity check and blasts his boss
The Vault has its own guardians…
The mad Order ganger fails again, flees and is flamed *into* the flaming pit
The Order get sandwiched between two hungry gangs
The gangs call a brief truce to take out the Automata
The Order are wiped from the board, and the bottling Rovers declare a ceasefire with the Belles to get access to the Vault
Betrayal! The final Rover charges a Belle to remove her from blocking the Vault in his final turn!

Mercy Crier 6: Prying Eyes

This week saw some grudge matches played out on the broken hull-plate floors of the Callowdecks – some shootouts between rival juves, a rematch between old rivals and a new stompy Brute has entered the field.

After this week, 16th Law will turn down the chance of being in the Showdown – being part of the Turf War has been great fun, but the finale will need an Arbitrator! Hopefully we’ll see them again in another Turf War soon.

It’s also been a bad week for pets – the Inheritor’s spider, “Numbers”, got torched, Mayhem’s pooch got blasted by las-fire and the Iron Rovers got to field their first pet, a sumpkroc named “Dog”, for all of a single game before the Inheritors cut it down with massed small arms fire.

This week’s event introduced some extra creds for tipping off House Agents with useful intel about 16th Law, potentially earning a gang extra cash as a Leader’s Post-Battle Action. They’ll surely need it for the next two weeks…

We also agreed to increase the campaign’s length by 1 week due to scheduling conflicts.

Extra Time… For Some: The treasures of the Callowdecks attract many interested parties, some more profitable than others. Some agents of a Noble House have been spotted nosing around 16th Law’s turf and are willing to pay handsomely for any information of their recent activities.

  • The campaign is extended by 1 week
  • 16th Law receives half income from the Working the Turf Post-Battle Action
  • All gang Leaders (except 16th Law) may make a special Post-Battle Action this week:
    • Valuable Information: if you pass an Intelligence test the Agents compensate you 2d6x10 Credits

Week 6 Juve of the week

Juve of the Week is a little unusual this week as we have an honourary Juve vying for the title. There were strong contenders – Jeacock the Gammy was looking to make his third appearance by gunning down an Iron Rover Champion in a Shoot Out, and Job ‘Tentacle Wrangler’ showed enthusiasm but was ultimately shown the door against Mayhem’s leader with a servo-claw. We’re running short on Juves…

Dog is no ordinary Juve, but he lived like one (and most importantly, died like one) and earned a place at the Emperor’s kibble bowl.

He lived only one game, but lasted long enough to vault two ravines on a 6+ and charge down a corridor of Van Saar laser death to save his master.

“H*ck”

He would have gotten away with it too, were it not for some cheap resourceful tactics by the Order sending the Rovers’ Champion to the doc. When they only had the cash to save one, Dog gave his organs willingly to save the team’s Champion (who had gotten himself crushed by walls again).

 

Jimmy Two-Knives found himself in a predicament, but rose to the challenge in a way only a Juve with Two Knives could. Jimmy had not been paying attention in Knife School, where he would have learned that the trend of the campaign was More Knives > Fewer Knives.

He bravely charged down the Inheritor’s newest toy, an Arachno-Rig, knives blazing. Unfortunately the giant cyber-spider had three knives, and made very short work of the spunky young go-getter.

Will we see him return from recovery with a third knife? Only time will tell…

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Fashion Corner – Muzzle of the Iron Rovers

The Leader of the Iron Rovers, Muzzle is more steel than man. Part from his massive biceps, part from all the metal plates in his head from stray fire. It turns out that many gangers would kick a dog when he’s down.

Other highlights

We had two Shootouts and another three-way Escape The Pit with the Inheritors, Iron Rovers and the Order, and rounded the week off with a Stand-Off between the Inheritors and Distilled Mayhem.

Shootout – 16th Law vs The Order of the Emperor’s Sole
Juvie battle! A terrible idea in a scenario where you shoot at each other!
With 2 guys down and 1 fleeing, somehow 16th Law turned it around to win this shootout
shootout – iron rovers vs the order of the emperor’s sole
Four goliaths at close range? It can’t end well for the Order…
JEACOCK OUTTA NOWHERE SLAYING FOOLS LEFT AND RIGHT
Escape the pit – the inheritors, Iron Rovers and the Order
The pit needs escaping from!
Inheritor’s Champion does what he does best – running in first and getting shot while Numbers observes and takes notes
Dog heroically charges down the Inheritors
The Order heroically flame the Rovers’s Leader and ganger while they lie on the floor bleeding, preventing them from winning anything
The Inheritors stack up ready to heroically shoot the Rovers’ Leader to death while he lies unconscious and on fire
shootout – distilled mayhem vs the inheritors
Jimmy takes on the Cyber-Bastard. Loses.
Mayhem’s leader catches a bullet and calls for the doc
Job tries his luck with a charge and finds he’s punching well above his weight

Don’t forget to follow us for more updates and to vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Mercy Crier 5: Dwellers in the Depths

Last week was Respite (so no Mercy Crier), earning our gangs valuable time to recover their fighters and consolidate their earnings. A much needed break in the conflict for some and a teeth-gnashing stay of hand for others.

The gangs have split into three broad groups, owing to a combination of bad luck and real world commitments. 16th Law and Distilled Mayhem are the forerunners, with the Order and the Inheritors placing in the middle of the table. Next week’s event should even the scores out a little…

In another week of firsts, two new scenarios had been tried out by our gangs – Archeo-Hunter and Monster Hunt – both with high stakes and high rewards. Both 16th Law and the Inheritors faced off against the Monster and were battered by tentacles and fled the field, so the monster still stalks the sump.

This was coupled with the week’s event ‘Dwellers in the Depths’, making every scenario very deadly for the unprepared.

Hunted by Ghilliam: Haunting the dark spaces and abandoned holds of great vessels are the Ghilliam – debased, insane mutants and carrion eaters that have made the Callowdecks their new hunting ground.

  • All scenarios this week use the ‘Horrors in the Dark’ special rule from the Forgotten Riches scenario
  • All scenarios this week must have a Beast’s Lair token. Any fighter who kills the Beast’s Lair gets D3 additional experience.

wEEK 5 JUVE OF THE WEEK

Juve of the Week is producing more interesting results as the weeks go on – either all our juves get turned into Swiss cheese early in a game or they continue to go on to do great deeds and thrilling heroics.

Honourable mention goes to the newest (and last) addition to the Order, who on his first game huffed a big bag of Spook, gained a psychic power and was immediately gunned down at point blank range by a Boom Slag Belle. Such is life!

Jeacock ‘3-Lungs’ the Gammy

Jeacock the Gammy has booked a place at the Emperor’s table, even if he’s not quite ready for dinner yet. A devastating attack launched by Nox’s chem-thrower of the Boom Slag Belles left four of Jeacock’s comrades seriously injured in one fell swoop.

“With me, Brothers! Uh.. Brothers..?”

Jeacock passed his Nerve test for the devastation wrought on his brothers, bravely pulled himself to his feet and opened up on Nox with all the spunk and vigour one would expect from the Emperor’s Finest.

He was promptly vaporised in a ball of white-hot plasma from Nox’s wingman shortly afterwards, but it’s the thought that counts.

Job ‘the Tentacle Wrangler’

Job of the Inheritors proves himself to be ever resourceful, and in a Monster Hunt scenario against 16th Law found himself up against not one but THREE Beast Lair tokens thanks to some suicidal juves from the opposing gang.

With a Tactics Card played from the Van Saar deck that allowed him to Rapid Fire three times, he needed a string of sixes to hit and wound. His successes were met with a rousing cheer from all (including a few weak hoorays from his battered gangmates on the floor).

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Fashion Corner – Scarlett of the Boom Slag Belles

This week is the Leader of the Boom Slag Belles – Scarlett. She is pictured here in a rare moment of self preservation, firing her combi-bolter/needle rifle at foes from a comfortable piece of cover.

In a practically guaranteed act of victory, in a Spook Harvest scenario she charged down the Cardinal of the Order, expecting to slice him to ribbons with her power sword. It didn’t quite go her way, and a duff set of rolls meant Scarlett sat the rest of the game out, nursing her ego and wondering where it all went wrong.

other highlights

The Inheritors and 16th Law locked horns in a Monster Hunt scenario, neither walking away with the prize. The Order joined in next, with a three-way for control of a vault in Archeo Hunter.

The Order and Boom Slag Belles faced off in a Spook Harvest scenario, with the Inheritors and Distilled Mayhem facing off in a Shoot Out to round off the week.

16th law vs inheritors – Monster hunt
Inheritors and 16th Law set up to knock the snot out of each other to summon the monster
The Inheritors – now with added colour!
Three newest additions – Tynker, Clipper and Flow-Matic
A Juve’s valiant charge ends in his death, which summons a monster that attacks his assailant. Net profit?
This is getting out of hand… now there are two of them
I’m sorry it has HOW many wounds?
Sue bravely holds on for another four turns, failing to deliver the final blow (8/10 damage done!) and eventually flees the board in an unheroic result
Inheritors, 16th law and the order – archeo-hunt
This vault ain’t big enough for the three of us…
The Inheritors newest pet, Numbers the Spider
The Order find themselves sandwiched between two rival gangs and the Automata
The Order heroically accidentally wound the Automata twice with two separate stray shooting attacks
An uneasy truce as the last few fighters on the board see the Automata to the vault
The Order vs boom slag belles – spook harvest
The Belles and the Order face off for that tasty tasty Spook
Easily the safest, most accessible Spook on the board
Juve of the Week #3 Hosanna gets a lick of paint, but doesn’t get to stab anyone
The Emperor smiles on Jeacock as the rest of his brothers are horribly gassed by Nox
Inheritors vs Distilled Mayhem – shoot out

Facing off down a creepy corridor of the Callowdecks, six gang members and one cybermastiff locked eyes and prepared to draw.

The Inheritors and their humiliated ganger were quick to go for their guns, but the liquor fueled the men of Mayhem to get the first shots off.

The Inheritors had a fairly easy start to the showdown, pinning all of the opposition and wounding the cybermastiff, but the wily pooch quickly recovered from its flesh wound and bore down on the Van Saars as grenades rattled and rumbled throughout the corridor.

The Inheritors were quickly forced to pull back when the vicious bite of the cybermastiff took out one of their gang, effectively leaving them outnumbered two to one.

Lacking the means to go on under the weight of numbers, they scattered into the night whilst the members of Distilled Mayhem stood victorious, gaining massive reputation.

The Inheritors gained one reputation while Distilled Mayhem cleaned up a cool-keeping five!

Don’t forget to follow us for more updates and to vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Mercy Crier week 3: Mark the Maps

Unstoppable! Distilled Mayhem may have arrived late in the Turf War but have exploded into second position. The Cawdor gang holds firmly onto third place after a run-in with the Inheritors and 16th Law during the week.

This Cycle saw our first four-way gang brawl – 16th Law, Distilled Mayhem, Boom Slag Belles and Iron Rovers duking it out in a three-hour scenario of Escape the Pit. It’s a great mission for getting Rep quickly, as the Mayhem gang found out!

In another Callowdecks premier, Mayhem are the first gang to pick up a pet – Chaser the cyber mastiff has quickly earned himself a number of kills in as many games.

Glenfiddich and Chaser

In our last week before Respite, the event was ‘Mark the Maps’, increasing the chance of a gang gaining Turf at the end of each game.

Any game you had fighters still standing at the end, you had had a 3+ chance on a D6 to increase your Turf by 1. Any scenario that already had Turf as a reward meant you automatically confirmed to gain a Special Territory!

Turf Rush: As the Callowdecks are explored by daring souls and plucky Juves, its vastness becomes increasingly apparent – gangs will need more forward bases if they are to plunders its wealthiest depths.

  • If your gang is still on the board at the end of the game (ie does not Retreat and is not wiped out) roll a D6. On a 3+ increase your Turf Size by 1.
  • If the Scenario already includes Turf rewards, defer to those instead. However, during the Post Battle Sequence, you automatically pass the roll to generate a Special Territory, even if it wasn’t one to begin with.

Week 2 Juve of the Week nominations

Juve of the Week had some tough competition, unfortunately mostly from the same gang! The Order had two great entrants, but only one could be picked.

The narrow miss for nomination was a Juve dragging a loot crate to the extraction point in Escape the Pit, but taking a pot shot at the 16th Law Leader as he went, expecting nothing.

Instead he hit, wounded, and Out of Actioned the Leader with a permanent hand injury!

Hosanna ‘the Emasculator’ of the Boom Slag Belles

Hosanna won her nomination following the popular trend of Two Knives > Anything Else. After being blasted to bits, crawling through a duct into pure darkness and with two flesh wounds to her name, she still managed to find the Iron Rovers leader and administer a Humiliating Lasting Injury.

She figured “If I have to die, I’m whittling my name into this jerk’s unspeakables first…”

Renart the Fungal (RIP) of the Order of the Emperor’s Sole

Renart the Fungal‘s watch has finally ended. After heroically gunning down a 16th Law ganger and taking a bolt-shell for his teammate, he crawls to his Cardinal for aid.

First result: OUT OF ACTION. But wait, don’t you get an assist for his Leader being within 2 inches? Yes! Second result: OUT OF ACTION.

No matter, surely his Lasting Injury won’t be that ba-MEMORABLE DEATH.

Renard was (apparently) decreed to have performed with adequate valour, and the Cardinal carried out the Emperor’s Mercy upon him. With a chain glaive.

Truly a blessed relief we can all wish for in such tumultuous times.

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Fashion Corner – Cardinal of the divine arch

This week is the Leader of the Order of the Emperor’s Sole – the Cardinal of the Divine Arch. Resplendent with a chainglave, grenades and a variety of ranged weapons, he’s a cheap and cheerful solution to a problem so many gangs of the Callowdecks are facing – having too many team-mates.

“Phew, it sure is a nice day to murder some under-performing Juves.”
Other highlights

The Order faced off against 16th Law and the Inheritors in one night, and later in the week was a four-way rumble between Iron Rovers, Boom Slag Belles, 16th Law and Distilled Mayhem.

16th Law vs The Order

In a bid to try out the Escape the Pit scenario, 16th Law and the Order agreed to give the scenario a bash with some of their fastest crew. Two teams versus each other versus the walls – what could possibly go wrong?

The pieces are set, the weird alien teleporter is our getaway
Clipper and Sue try to pin down the Order and secure a second crate
Aha! I’ve fallen for my own trap card!
The first Order fighter escapes with a crate
Clipper and Sue get introduced to the business end of the Purgation blunderbus
“Hello, my name is Bash-II, you killed my identical brother Bash-I, prepare to die”
*dead noises*
Shh shh shh, only dreams now
A cheeky Cawdor Juve takes a pop at the 16th Law leader who just wants to help his buddy
The final fighters – not much stress from the walls, and most people made it out safely
Four-way Escape the Pit
The green marker is the escape point – in the pitch black corridor and next to the crossroads of death. Fun!
Distilled Mayhem proved that a pitch black corridor is no handicap for ONE MILLION BOMBS
The Belles and Rovers skirmish through a tight corridor

Don’t forget to follow us for more updates and to vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Mercy Crier week 2: Tension and Prosperity

What a week! The second Cycle has come to a close and we’ve seen over twice as many gang skirmishes in the Callowdecks as the gangs start to find their feet.

First the sad news – we’ve had to say goodbye to Apocalypts No (for now…) as they will be retiring from the Callowdecks. No doubt we’ll see them again back in the underdecks causing a ruckus in no time.

We’ve also welcomed a fresh Orlock gang to the campaign – Distilled Mayhem! They have blasting charges coming out of their ears, and as the Calorie Crooks can attest to, they’re not to be taken lightly…

This week we introduce the Mercy Jetsam event to encourage a bit of cash flow into our gang’s coffers. Things will get rough towards the end of the Turf War, so a good headstart is as important as a bowl of delicious hive Rad Flakes for breakfast.

The timetable for week 2
Event: Mercy Jetsam

The Callowdecks are ripe with abandoned cargo ready for the picking. When opening a Loot Casket, replace the “2-3: Nothing useful” result with:

2-3: Forgotten Cargo: The casket contains D3x10 Credits that is added to your Stash if the fighter is not abandoned or captured during the game.

You can’t transfer cash between fighters either – your gangers are far too protective of their ill-gotten gains to do so in the heat of battle.

week 1 Juve of the Week results

Last week’s vote was close but Job ‘the Humiliator’ came out on top, earning the Inheritors 30 Credits for his valour. The votes were close and different on both Twitter and Facebook, but after compiling them both, Job pinched it by just a handful of votes, so don’t forget to vote for fave on both channels!

Week 2 Juve of the week nominations

Juve of the Week had a lot of incredible potentials, but was tempered by most of the heroic (or foolhardy) deeds being carried out by mere gangers instead of our handsome Juves.

As one of the gangs this week is the Dreadquill house gang, if that entrant is picked by you (the illustrious and intelligent public), those winnings will be donated to FLOW-MATIC’s victims instead – the Boom Slag Belles.

Jimmy ‘Two Knives’ Bean proved the adage that a man with two knives must be pretty happy. In his inaugural match, he faced down the bolter-wielding Goliath that had been engaged in a shooting match with the Orlock leader for much of the match.

Jimmy was shot not once, but twice by a bolter at long range and walked away unharmed
Jimmy’s boss and buddy were pinned down by the Calorie Crook ganger
“I don’t need to worry about him he’s two turns away and just a Juv-OW MY EYES AAAAGH”

FLOW-MATIC beat all odds, killing a Champion with a reaction attack, then chasing down and beating up a plasma-pistol wielding Escher all with a length of motorcycle chain and all in the same turn.

“You’re using Bonetti’s defense against me, ah?”
“You seem like decent fellows, I’d hate to kill you”
“Please understand, I hold you in the highest respect”

Vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Fashion corner – Distilled mayhem

And finally, last call at the bar! The Distilled Mayhem are a pack of mad moonshiners who are ready to fling a deadly blasting charge Molotov your way at a moment’s notice, filled with double measures of their signature product.

Glenfiddich, Jack Daniels and the (in)famous Grouse here have heard about the party going on down in the depths of Mercy and are ready to bring some extra kick to the already volatile mixer.

Other highlights

As we have too many games to squeeze into a single Mercy Crier, we’ve got some highlights for you from other games played throughout the week.

Iron Rovers vs Boom slag belles

A hard fought (and many mistakes) Forgotten Riches match between two new and upcoming gangs.

Both players got to field their entire gangs, 7 Iron Rovers and 8 Boom Slag Belles.

Final result – 7pts to Iron Rovers and 2pts to Boom Slag Belles. One fatality, Lou of the Boom Slag Belles. Victory to the Iron Rovers!

Iron Rovers vs Boom Slag Belles

Highlights

  • Barb had an unfortunate close encounter with an exploding Plasma Pistol, she survives unscathed
  • Scarlet, leader of Boom Slag Belles, took down two of the Iron Rovers (Pooch and Pup)
  • Runt charges into Josie and takes her out
  • Savannah and Lou have a terrible time fighting a Beast Below, Lou losing her life to the tentacle.
  • Tooth, the iron rovers heavy bolter champion, learns to late that the bulging biceps skill has been errata’d and isnt very good. As he is behind a door.
  • Nox, the Nightshade Chem Thrower, survives a point blank Shotcannon shot to the face.
  • Iron Rovers managed to secure 2 of the loot caskets
Calorie Crooks vs Blackstar Hunters

Perhaps the fastest game we’ve seen so far – in the first activation of a ‘Fighter Down’ scenario, the Blackstar Hunters’ Champion curb stomps the downed ganger and ends the match.

Iron Rovers vs Sarin Sirens and The Inheritors

Our first multiplayer match of the Turf War! We played the Ambush scenario, with the Iron Rovers being ambushed by an alliance of Van Saar and Escher. The Iron rovers had also picked up a hired gun to draw some flak away from the bulk of their force.

The Alliance set up defensively, expecting the Iron Rovers to try and push aggressively through. The Goliath team instead used their Juve and Hired Gun as a screen to retreat the bulk of their gang early on, prompting the Alliance team to switch tactics.

With clever use of frag traps to deny the Inheritors easy access to their escape, much of the Iron Rovers had moved to within scoring distance.

Their nature got the better of them, and they tried to score some easy points on some lingering Escher gangers before retreating.

In the most tragic group melee we’ve seen so far, one of the Sirens fired acid shells into combat, setting her (new) Leader on fire. The Goliath fighters managed to somehow avoid killing the helpless flaming Escher for several until they finally managed to bring in their chem-thrower from across the map to douse him in delicious chemicals.

By this point, the Juve had been shot in the back by Van Saar gunners and the ganger had acquired 3 Flesh Wounds from simply refusing to die. The chem-thrower rolled a Memorable Death for the ganger as he turned completely inside out.

It was a victory to the Alliance, but by a hair’s breadth.

Don’t forget to follow us for more updates and to vote for your favourite Juve of the Week on both our regular vox channels:

Mercy Crier week 1: The Callowdecks have opened

Thrills, spills and grav-gun kills in the opening week of the Callowdecks Turf War! In no less than seven different altercations and five ganger deaths already, including a Leader (RIP Jett), the gangs have set a precedent that others will be hard pressed to match.

With this week being the opening week, the gangs have been tentatively finding their feet and probing other gangs for weakness.

Only two gangs saw their Turf Size increase – 16th Law and Calorie Crooks, but what really matters is their Gang Reputation. Here’s a look at the leaderboard so far:

Fashion corner

Jett – Leader of the Sarin Sirens (RIP)

Special mention for our first Fashion Corner is the exquisite Jett from the Sarin Sirens, painted by Lawrence Williams of Hobgoblin3D. The contrast of armour and hair is just wonderful. Shame her skin tone hasn’t changed much now she’s died…

Jett of the Sarin Sirens, painted by Lawrence Williams
Juve of the week

Our first regular Juve of the Week is an opportunity for Juvies to earn their salt performing for you, the illustrious readers of the Mercy Crier. Our glorious benefactors at Dreadquill have released 30 Credits PER WEEK to give to one lucky Juve who has baffled, astounded or inspired undiscovered feelings of gang loyalty among you, the public.

Each week we will present the stories of two plucky Juves, fresh from the blood-slicked bulkheads of the Callowdecks, and you will vote for your favourite on our regular vox channels.

Job “The Humiliator” of The Inheritors

Job of the Inheritors earned his stripes in his very first match, coming up against rival gang 16th Law. He charged heroically through an open bulkhead, putting his life on the line to save his boss from autopistol fire.

After an embarrassingly long combat Job finally struck down his Juve sparring partner, doing unspeakable things to the poor Juve and causing the Humiliation lasting injury. His gangmates may never speak to him again…

You can see the full battle report here.

Renart the Fungal of the Order of the Emperor’s Sole

Renart the Fungal broke a deadlock between two cult gangs – his own and their (now) bitter rivals, Apocalypts No. When battle lines were drawn over a wide area of toxic sludge and little cover to protect the Order’s advance, Renart took things into his own hands.

With a (presumably) mighty war cry, he sprinted across open ground, autopistols blazing at the Chaos gunmen hunkered down in the corner.

He needed a 6+ followed by a 5+ and a 4+. We watched with bated breath as all three turned up sixes. Truly the Emperor was guiding his aim that day.

It was a terrible shame he was burnt to a crisp by a mad woman with flamers for eyes shortly afterwards.

Other highlights

As we have too many games to squeeze into a single Mercy Crier, we’ve got some highlights for you from other games played throughout the week.

Apocalpyts No vs The Order of the Emperor’s Sole
Emperor’s Sole face off against Slaanesh’s chosen across an open sludge pit
Renart heroically charges down the Chaos nest
The Witch has the last laugh, barbecuing friend and foe alike
16th law vs Apocalypts no
Chaos stack up while the Leader ruthlessly employs the Overwatch skill from the safety of cover
The Witch deploys her new familiar, saving her from 16th Law’s hail of bolter fire and torching Bash to death
With most of the Chaos team down the Witch rushes 16th Law’s position, requiring a bolter, a heavy bolter and a melta gun to take her down
Sarin sirens vs calorie crooks
Escher and Goliath test each other out in their inaugural brawl
Jett enjoying her only game where she doesn’t get shot in the head
The Siren’s run of bad luck means they fail to bring their powerful weapons to bear

First Blood: Orlocks vs Van Saar battle report

The first of our Callowdecks battle reports is a brawl between an Orlock gang “16th Law” (my own gang) and a Van Saar gang “The Inheritors“. We agreed on the ‘Stand-Off’ scenario to test our gangs out, using all the default rules for deployment and battlefield setup.

We rolled a 1 for determining how much cover there was going to be, and it wasn’t pretty. This was going to be a bloodbath…

Correction: Mumps (bottom left) is a Juve, not a Ganger. Don’t let him get ideas above his station.

With custom gang deployment, we both secretly picked equal gang sizes. The Inheritors (top of the board) had two gangers, a juve, a leader and a champion. 16th Law had a leader, three gangers and a juve.

A tentative setup

Although we’d played a few times before this was the first campaign game we’d both played, so we were both very conscious about lasting repercussions. I didn’t really pay attention to the victory conditions of the scenario, which is one of the biggest learning points I took away from this game, so the outcome was more luck than tactics.

The dice fell for Priority and the game commenced.

TUrn 1

I use similar tactics for Necromunda as I do for video games – run forwards as fast as possible at get as much ground as you can early on. We House Ruled that the cover terrain would nearly always confer a better cover save than corners, so that was going to be my preferred sniping spot.

The 16th Law Leader snapped a shot off at the Van Saar twin plasma-pistol wielding Champion in the opening move and took him Out Of Action immediately. We both gained a new-found respect for bolt weapons.

Both gangs exchanged small arms fire, and both the Inheritors Leader with grav gun and my own ganger with a grenade launcher failing to find targets.

turn 2

A few small arms attacks hit home – the 16th Law grenade launcher finds himself Seriously Injured by a las carbine and his buddy is pinned. A 16th Law bolter ganger finds a mark on another Inheritors ganger but only manages to pin him.

Mumps decided to earn some hero points, opened his door and fired on the Van Saar leader to no avail. He got himself charged by the rival juve and we both became very excited. Two Juves Enter, One Juve Leaves.

Both juves failed to hit with any attacks.

From what was very promising opening turn, things had gone downhill quickly for 16th Law…

Turn 3

The Inheritors Leader lands a terrible blow with his grav gun, Seriously Injuring the bolter ganger in the middle of the map. To make matters worse, the Inheritors Juve sees off the 16th Law Juve, proving himself to be King Juve of this map.

The grenade launcher ganger was recovered in the previous turn by his helpful buddy, and all three remaining 16th Law fighters withdraw out of line of sight.

I could pretend it was a cunning feint to lure the Inheritors into a trap, but really I just didn’t want any more of my guys squished by the grav gun.

Turn 4

The Inheritors Juve moves to flank the remaining 16th Law fighters but finds himself eating frag grenade in an unprecedented useful shot from the grenadier.

The Inheritors leader follows the same path to get an easy flanking shot with his grav gun, and the other Inheritors gangers keep taking pot shots at whoever they can see.

In the final throes of the combat, the Seriously Injured bolter ganger crawls back to his buddies and they help him to his feet, narrowly helping him avoid rolling on the Lasting Injuries table.

At this point, I figured discretion was the better part of valour, and opted to withdraw my gang and concede victory to the Inheritors. I’d rather live to fight another day than risk anyone valuable getting ground into paste.

Wrap-up

A tense game but very enjoyable! It was only during the wrap-up that we worked out that the victory conditions were for taking out opponents and less about last-man-standing. We added up the points and it turned out to be a 3:1 victory to 16th Law!

After that totally intentional victory, we reflected on what had happened. Grav guns are great, bolters are great and juves are adorably sucky. Amusingly, Mumps was the only person to have any permanent injury – he got the “Humiliated” result on the Lasting Injuries table, so his opponent Job got the title “Job the Humiliator”. A title I hope comes back to bite him another day…

Roll on the next battle!

Orthesian Herald 14 – Voidbound Anew

Last time on the Herald our bold team of Explorers were raiding the untouched treasure vaults of the Golden Valley Estates on the storm-wracked Cilice Prime. They had found the Missionary they had come here to find, all that was left was to tidy things up and plot the next course into the void…

risk and reward

We picked up where we left off, with the crew dragging what loot from the Estate’s vaults they could find. I had tailored each estate with baddies and loot themed to the Estate’s original owners, and each vault would also contain a plot seed for locations further into the Nomad Stars for future adventures.

Glaw Estate:  The Glaw Household is a house in decline who make money wherever they can – extortion, slavery and blackmail are their specialities. They have a strange penchant for acquiring religious iconography – whether for some illicit trade or forlorn sense of guilt for their black history, none can say.

  • The missing missionary and associated plot
  • A Condemnor Boltgun (with silver stake-thrower for purging daemons)
  • a few vials of holy flamer fuel
  • Seed:  A dusty book that talks of a lost relic, an archeotech power hammer called Piety’s Charge that once belonged to a lieutenant of Saint-Admiral Troubadous. According to the book, it was last seen on the world of Sobek in the Heathen Trail.

Grin Estate: House Grin no longer exist, but once upon a time they were the name in black market weaponry – anything they couldn’t manufacture they could acquire for you, at great cost

  • Several crates of counterfeit xenos weapons
  • Plasma gun with (illegal) starflare vents (which turns it into a flamer)
  • Seed: A stasis-vault containing a trade agreement between House Grin and the Gunmongers of Fane. The agreement states the bearer is entitled to contract the gunmongers to manufacture weapons, on the condition the bearer provides a working prototype. The stasis-vault also contains a memolith with the coordinates for a Gunmonger facility in the system of Chital

Fallaset Estate:  The Fallaset dynasty still exists, but the short-tempered Rogue Trader in charge is content to fritter away his finances on expensive hunting expeditions and exacting revenge on those who slighted him. They made their wealth on the beast trade – capturing, killing and processing exotic beasts and vermin from across the Nomads for research, materials or blood sport.

  • Dozens of Good Quality Beast Cages in various shapes and sizes, from tiny rodent-sized cages to gargantuan cages designed to hold creatures of terrifying bulk .
  • Shocknets, shock collars and other beast-catching equipment
  • a Solo-pattern Boltgun
  • Seed: Two of the largest cages appear to have lost power and been torn open from within. Their data-plaque is damaged, but it reads something about “breeding pair from Gallionic. Client; Beast House”

Beefington Estate:  The Beefington fortune is built on one thing: muscle. Both from vat-grown meat from their huge farms to chem-hanced thugs drawn from penal colonies and feral worlds. Now they make their money above board, servicing military contracts across the subsector for anyone who needs a blunt weapon to solve a problem.

  • 80 crates of Rad Missiles (p51 HA)
  • hundreds of crates of Barrage (p66 HA)
  • Seed: Coordinates to a secret Beefington drugs laboratory on a hidden moon near Seldon’s Folly in Skylar’s Lie

There was only one estate left on the map that the team had yet to venture to – the Beefington Estate, sworn enemies of the Arch Militant’s family, the Von Gunn Household.

Too much of a good thing

At the beginning of the Cilice adventure I reflected on what I got wrong, and it was no more apparent that at this moment. Writing all this stuff was so much fun, it never occurred to me that it might not be so much fun to actually grind your way through it all and suddenly remember half a dozen new names and places. As a writer, I am in desperate need of an editor.

As we started the session, I could tell there wasn’t great enthusiasm for clearing out another Estate – we had spent four sessions in and around Cilice for what was really supposed to be just a minor errand. It was time to clear the decks and get back to the fun stuff.

I was honest with my group at this stage, pretty much telling them all of the above. Rather than retcon anything, I suggested we handle the final estate like a boarding action – a hundred or so armsmen had now been landed on the planet following the Captain’s orders, and were ready to storm the poorly-defended final estate.

Three minutes and a few dice rolls later, they had won the day and ‘completed’ the planet so they could move on to other things. I handled the estate narratively, explaining the debased here were slow, imperceptive and incredibly vicious when roused, with clear evidence of decades of drug abuse. Linking that to House Beefington’s penchant for illegal drug manufacture gave the Arch Militant some socio-political ammunition to fire at them later on.

With all the objectives out the way and tedious paperwork abandoned, it was time to reassess and plan our next moves.

Those who fall behind are left behind

I mentioned that the crew had been on their feet for more than 30 hours – it was time to return to the Rightful Remit. Not only was this mechanically correct (I track time because I’m a masochist) but provided a good excuse to have an in-character discussion about our next moves.

In preparation for this discussion, I drew up a star chart with some ‘known’ warp routes that Navigator Mahd’Naz would have under his belt. I stressed they weren’t all the known warp routes, but the ones that would be relevant to the upcoming journey.

Known warp routes from Cilice

The problem arose again. There were some mildly interesting places to go, but in this circumstance you couldn’t just split the party or pop in for a quick adventure – warp travel is arduous and dangerous. Nobody at this stage could justify several months of travel to head to an unknown place with an unknown agenda.

The Captain made the call – we’re heading back to Mercy to hand the quest in and reassess from there.

Tidying up

Astropath Gil calculates they’re too far to send an astropathic message to Brother Espin without inviting daemons to a pool party in his skull, and Cairn was the nearest possible communication point. It seemed that was the direction to head.

I swept the map of Cilice of any additional ‘encounters’, saying the mysterious energy signature had disappeared. We’d had enough of this, and I was already working on plans to re-use these encounters later on in the campaign to give them proper gravitas.

While the crew were discussing their next move and drawing up plans for the distillery, I used this opportunity to feed them some intel.

With so much Intrigue™ happening, I didn’t want to limit plot revelations to whole plot episodes. I had quickly learned from my mistakes that dumps of too much good stuff can be bad. Instead I leaned on a character I had previously set up, a rumourmonger called Getz with shady connections, to feed Gil information as and when it cropped up. This would hopefully keep players up to date with happenings and make the universe feel like a larger place around them. They were making ripples, and they were learning their actions had far reaching consequences.

“Name’s Leo Getz, ’cause whatever you want, Leo gets! Get it?”
We need a spam filter

Leo is eager to impress. He was sending so much garbage through the astropathic relay that the juniors were all working overtime and had to draft in extra scribes to deal with all his nonsense. Gil send a stern brain-ache message back while they deciphered anything useful from the spam.

I asked for a Search check, with degrees of success granting additional bits of information. He aced the check, and got all five handouts:

+++ Deciphered intelligence #1 from Informant Getz, day 119 shipboard time of Nomad Stars Expedition +++

1. Fel is hiring skilled miners and prospectors for a contract somewhere in Skylar’s Lie

2. Lady Ash has not been seen or heard from since the Rightful Remit

3. Baroness Ravenula has publicly announced the discovery of a new civilisation of humans and has departed to convert them to the Imperial Creed

4. Lord-Captain Patroneus and Lady Chosokabe have set sail on a joint expedition deep into the Nomads

5. The Obsidian Emporial auction house on Mercy has come into possession of something very valuable and intends to put it in front of bidders as quickly as possible

+++ Messages end +++

None of it was actionable, but it helped the players feel like they were part of something bigger.

Much ado about ambull

We still had a question mark hanging over our heads about the colony of ambull underneath the Fallaset Estate. The (presumably) parents had been offed, but there could easily be more of them living in the warrens deep beneath the earth. Nobody fancied an underground expedition, so turned to Freeman for some WMD expertise.

Cue montage!

Finally getting to utilise his Chem Use skills, Freeman whips up some anti-Ambull toxin from samples of the creatures he took from the nest and some rad missiles pinched from the Glaw Estate.

By his reckoning, it could easily wipe out the nest, the Ambull and any margin of error for a few kilometres around. The downside was that it would render the Fallaset Estate uninhabitable for a really long time. The Captain did not consider this a downside and gave the order.

Not willing to risk their own necks delivering the payload, they stopped off at Stiletto station where they knew there were a bunch of servitors just hanging around and pressed them into service. With some minor tweaks to their pathfinding abilities, Freeman strapped the Ambull nukes to their chests, said a prayer and pushed them out the back of an Arvus Lighter.

via GIPHY

The Captain gave a short speech to the technomats who were sad to see their newest friends leave, saying they “were all going to go live on a farm”.

To everyone’s surprise everything goes to plan, and they watch the Fallaset Estate become a hellish, radioactive crater from orbit. Good work team!

The hatchling keepers

Contact!

Three new plasma signatures are detected on long-range augers in the outer reaches of the system. The Voidmaster identifies them as a merciless pack of Chaos pirates called the Hatchling Keepers, leader by the dreaded Captain Moloch. They are an infamous pack of hit-and-run pirates who can tackle vessels and fleets many times their own size, and as their name suggests, prowl the Hatchling Worlds domain for prey.

Shortly after detecting them, the signatures disappeared from augers. They were a week away from their current position, so the threat was not immediate, but still concerning. The crew deduced they had likely gone into silent running and moving to engage.

They notice Captain Avag and her charge were also moving to the jump point of the system, changing course after the Chaos raiders entered the system. The Captain pulled some pretty agonising faces trying to justify picking a fight with them, but in the end decided discretion was the better part of valour and made the order to flee the system.

As an aside, this was my Deus Ex Machina for keeping the game running and moving the players on from this system. They were done here, and were starting to grow tired of all the excess crap I had piled on them. This was my unsubtle way of agreeing with them.

I had, however, run the numbers for the potential conflict. If the players could steal the initiative and have Avag’s Frigate and the mechanicus vessel on side, it would be a close fight, but tipped in the players’ favour. The Captain worked much of this out, but his character’s pride forbid him from asking for help from Avag, and his Naval background pointed out the chances of getting the drop on a trio of experienced raiders in silent running required more resources than they had available to them.

I’ve never seen a player so twisted up in conflict and I fuggin’ lapped it up.

Carry on

With the Captain still nursing his pride, the team plot a course and make the first jump. The 3 days to Cairn are uneventful, and the astropath uses the few hours between warp jumps to send a brain-message to Espin.

“We have secured Cilice, located the missionary and returning the bodies PS upon leaving we found Chaos lol thx bye”

The route to Mercy was (poorly) estimated by Mahd’Naz at 4 weeks, and barring a minor gellar field fluctuation and a generous helping of corruption points, the Unbroken Resolve arrive in the Telos system intact in little under 2 weeks. A round of gin for everyone!

Welcome home

The first order of the day was contacting Brother Espin and Free-Captain Acheron that they had returned. They returned to his bloated pilgrim boat, The Sword of Saint Troubadous, to hand the quest in.

From space it looks like a hunchback baron cradling a hoard of gold. Cathedral spires extend from its spine and every inch is covered in stained glass, ornate gothic pillars and hand-carved statues of every Saint in the Imperial Creed.

Shuttles scurry about like insects feeding their queen

The hangar bay stinks with the raw musk of human existence – there are sleeping cubbies set into the walls, hammocks hang from the gantries high above your heads, and canvas shanties exist around the peripherals, despite the constant roar of shuttles dropping off pilgrims and supplies. You have no doubts the rest of the ship is in a similar situation.

He pays them their reward and thanks them for their service. The team leave out a lot of what they considered need-to-know information, pocket the gold and turn to leave. Before they do so, however, he wheels out a huge cart jangling with arms and armour.

Turns out Ol’ Espy had been hoarding some crusader armour – about a dozen suits of plasteel plate (Armour Value 6 – I counted it as fancy carapace armour) with some swords, shields, bolters and flamers, dressed to the nines with religious iconography and purity paraphernalia. If only someone in the party had a bunch of religious wackos following her around who could do with a bit of extra equipment…

They bundle it into the back of their lander and take off before he changes his mind.

it is I, Lombar the archaeologist!

Back on Mercy Actual, the team head to Mayweather Mooring to find Lombar and pick up the loot they had tasked him with recovering from the bridge of the Rightful Remit.

“It is I, friends! Lombar the Archaeologist!”

They had some questions that needed answers. This time though, they decided not to mentally peel his psyche open like a brain banana and peer inside with space magic, but rather do it the old fashioned way. Get him reet proper pished. To Telasco’s!

It doesn’t take them long to get him suitably drunk. He sobs into his expensive wine while blubbing incoherently about Lynn, his bodyguard ogryn, who lost her family and he is all she has left. They continue prodding him for information, primarily about Captain Avag and the mystery mechanicus ship in Cilice, but he doesn’t have much more than they already know.

He does, however, drop a little tidbit about Brother Espin, which they weren’t anticipating. Ol’ Espy tipped off Baroness Ravenula about the Unbroken Resolve heading to the Void Sea, a rumour that the crew themselves started when they left Mercy last time.

Although they weren’t quite sure what to make of this revelation, the Intrigue™ had thickened.

Follow the free man

Explorator Freeman, as is his wont, did not attend the Plot Party but instead set about his usual tech-shenanigans.

I felt this was a suitably important moment – the first proper refitting of their first ship. I had a particular image in my mind that I couldn’t shake, so I blew the dust off my drawing tablet and set to work.

I need to work on my concept art a lot, but I was pretty pleased with how it came out for a few hours’ work.

Finally, Freeman goes looking for a Resolution Arena in the markets of Mercy. He wants to go all Battlestar Galactica and have a punch-up palace in the underdecks, but he fluffs his Acquisition check and doesn’t have the right change on him at the time.

A strange man sidles up to him, identifying himself as Chief Wrecker Davit of the Pale Wreckers. He overheard Freeman looking for something he has, and he is happy for Freeman to take it off his hands on one condition.

“All you have to do is fight for it in the Bazaar Arena tonight.”

An arena for an arena? I think we all know how the next session will start…

 

+++++++

Previous: Session 13- The Glaw Estate

Orthesian Herald 13 – The Glaw Estate

Last time on the Herald, our players landed an incursion force on the storm-wreathed world of Cilice Prime, stole a Taurox pulling the universe’s last known supply of Cilice Gin, leveled an estate with its guns and psychically commanded an army of cannibal abhumans to fight itself. They were left with a few more marks on the map, a full tank of gas and a compulsion to loot.

Rain lashes down, running across the uneven valley floor into a deep, dark river. Patches of fungus seem to be growing quite contentedly by the side of the road, and every now and then you catch a glimpse of more figures in the rain that scurry away to hide as you thunder past in your Taurox. 

The ugly palace-fortress of the Glaw Estate begins to emerge from thick curtains of rain. A massive construction that was probably once quite beautiful, now layered thick with armour and crumbling weaponry. 

Saddling up

The Grin Estate was now swarming with loyal armsmen and technomats brought down from the orbiting Unbroken Resolve on heavy halo barges. They were on hand to ruthlessly loot the estate of its worldly belongings and reinforce the Explorer’s immediate retinue.

The Missionary, Lyoness, hand picked a few more of her covenant to join her. She decided that her Covenant were named after ancient Terran saints, famed for their war-hymns. We are joined by Zeppelin, Ziggy, Iggy and Acey-Deecey.

The commandeered Taurox, dubbed “War Pig”.

We fill out the Taurox’s capacity with Master Zilla at the controls and Von Gunn on guns and thunder off into the rain.

The Glaw Estate

No messing about this time. With the Astropath firing off his psychic mind scan (much to the surprise and discomfort of everyone trapped in the little metal box with him) and ascertaining the resistance was next to none, the Captain gives the order to ram the front gates.

Knock knock, bitches

There is clearly nowhere near the level of intelligence as in the Grin Estate, and whatever wretches are still present in the estate scatter and flee at the big angry gunbuggy. The team slowly and cautiously make their way to the lower levels.

They discover tread marks and scraps of pilgrim robes around the Glaw Estate leading down to the vaults. There is also a lot of broken religious iconography around the place, unusual for a criminal organisation.

It’s dark, and the vaulted ceilings carry their voices out into the darkness. They occasionally spot more of the abhumans, but they always stay just out of sight and weapons range. The Explorers decide it’s best not to waste the ammunition.

“Oi am weldin’ this doo-ah”

They arrive at the vault, a similar size and makeup to the one from the Grin Estate. It is air tight and sealed from inside. Oggy-Bong fires up the lascutter. The players had had a sinking feeling since they arrived, and the “YOU HAVE ALERTED THE HORDE” noise was palatable. Oggy-Bong shouts over the gunfire it will take just over a minute for him to get the door open.

Liquid hunger pours from the darkness, dressed in rags and purple flesh.

“Abhumans m’lud! Thaasands of ’em!”

This section it was time to play hard and fast with the rules. If they were able to beat a target’s TB of 3, they killed it. I put a little marker down on the board to represent a body, and the model gets brought on from another table edge in subsequent turns. Weight of numbers and the press of bodies in a confined space would be the main threat.

We had a few extra Armsmen in tow this game – this is just beyond the upper limit of how many player-controlled models I would prefer to have on the board to keep things flowing smoothly. The Astropath player’s actual real-life brother was in the area that day though, and rather than delay the game or leave him out while his brother rolled dice, I offered him a place in the session.

The Covenant were played by my mad green techno-monks

The wretches came in waves, crashing against the bulwark of the Orthesian Dynasty. Everyone played their part in sinking bullets and plasma into wasted flesh, dropping the wretches left and right. The bodies begin to pile up.

After a turn or two, it becomes apparent this might not be sustainable for six turns – they would either run out of luck or ammunition. Freeman decides the best course of action would be to plug his potentia coil into the operational lascutter and turn it up to 11.

Against tricky odds, he superjuices the lascutter, knocking a few turns off the clock as poor Oggy-Bong clings on for dear life.

Lyoness (green-haired Escher) and her Covenant plunge into the fray

The team spread out, trying to cover as many entrances as possible. Von Gunn and armsman Felicity cover the top left corridor. Felicity finds out she is entirely superfluous and there largely for moral support. The Captain and Thud guard the bottom left entrance. Astropath Gil and Voidmaster Zilla take up centre stage, using their ranged weapons to most effect. Lyoness and her Covenant of mad chainsaw-wielding warrior women lock down the uh.. everywhere.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the board:

BLOOP

Dedicated melee character Captain Orthesian discovers the hilarious repercussions of combining a low movement speed with a force field that teleports you randomly away from trouble whenever you are hit. The Captain spends most of this game charging into combat, getting fingered by some hungry schmuck with a pointy stick and his displacer field panics and throws him 2d10 inches in a random direction to repeat the process. I even had to add a new tile to the board just to encompass the distance moved.

Hearty chortles and slapped thighs all round, except the Captain.

It was coming up to the final turn, and things were turning sour. Ammunition was running low, the Captain was not in the melee enough to make his power sword’s presence felt, and the Covenant were looking battered and bruised.

Tell my storyyyyy

Iggy falls to the wretches. They tear off her hand and begin to drag her into the darkness. Lyoness is having none of this nonsense and hurtles off to save her. Iggy’s life is saved, but she might NEED A HAND from now on.

The last few inches of vault door are carved apart by Oggy Bong. As the thick blast door slams inwards, internal lumens activate, blasting the darkness with holy light. A mighty Imperial Aquila, polished to within an inch of its life, is emblazoned on the opposite wall of the vault. Its blessed light shines through the darkness, the wretches recoiling in fear and awe at the sign of the God-Emperor. They had done it.

Vault-dwellers

You head into the vault, down the stairs and underneath the shining Imperial Aquila. The air is stale and tastes of death.

In the vault proper you see a congregation of Imperial worshippers in a circle lying dead on the floor, each executed with a las round to the back of the head. There are no signs of a struggle.

A senior priest is propped up against a baroque mobile shrine on tank treads, a las wound through the side of his head and a laspistol in his hand. A hand-written note is placed neatly in front of him that simply reads “Without the dark there can be no light. Emperor forgive me.”

There was no doubt that this was the Imperial Mission that Brother Espin requested they find. They said a small prayer and got to the important task of looting the vault for everything it was worth.

Gold and jewels as far as the eye could see, painted chalices, stained glass windows and ornamented priestly robes – everything in the vault looked like it would have been donated to (or taken from) churches across Imperial space. The Missionary said a small prayer to the lost and opened her loot sack wide.

Standing proud of the jewels was a display case holding an arcane-looking weapon – a bolter with built-in stake thrower. A Condemnor-pattern boltgun (page 81 of Faith and Coin) with a crowssbow mechanism designed to fire holy bolts inscribed with runes of banishment and exorcism. Valuable in its own right, but in the hands of a daemon huntress…

The mobile shrine-canter had build-in loud-hailers and incense burners and a simple movement-slave module so it can trundle along behind its owner. It has a shrine on the front clearly meant to hold a large weapon, but was currently empty. A dusty book sits nearby, most of its pages missing or faded, but it talks of a lost relic – an archeotech power hammer called Piety’s Charge that once belonged to a lieutenant of Saint-Admiral Troubadous. According to the book, it was last seen on the world of Sobek in the Heathen Trail…

Mount up, move out

The Captain calls in support, comfortable that his armsmen can strip it of all its worth now the Explorers have had their pick of the prize. He makes sure to instruct them to take the big shiny Aquila as well, it would look excellent above the desk in his quarters. They make tracks for third palace, the Fallaset Estate.

Some lore checks are rolled on the way over. The Fallaset dynasty still exists, unlike the owners of the other estates, but the short-tempered Rogue Trader in charge is content to fritter away his finances on expensive hunting expeditions and exacting revenge on those who slighted him. 

They made their wealth on the beast trade – capturing, killing and processing exotic beasts and vermin from across the Nomads for research, materials or blood sport. I’m sure that information won’t be important.

The Fallaset estate is abandoned, the only sign life is the greenery growing around where the roofs have caved in. The front door is ajar.

Inside, they find remnants of wretches, most brutally torn apart. They come across large footprints, and eventually, a gaping hole through the floor of the estate leading all the way down to the vault level. The team gird their loins and carefully make their vaultward.

They see the vault in the distance – it has been brutally torn open from the inside. The Captain thinks he knows what did this, so he begins issuing orders to-

REEEEEEEEE

ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!

The rumbling beneath their feet crescendos in an explosion of sodden dirt and marble. Two massively built creatures burst from the floor, encased in insect-like armour with hugely oversized arms tipped with iron-hard claws. Ambulls!

(If you want to see how these guys were built, check out this week’s Meanwhile, On The Bench)

This could get ugly REAL quick

Von Gunn: “Permission to freak out and shoot my nearest team-mate?”

Captain: “Denied”

Von Gunn: “Sorry sir, I failed my Fear check. Eat shit, Freeman” *blam blam blam*

I love the Fear tables, and the look of panic that washed across everyone’s face when Von Gunn (gun by name, gun by nature) failed his shock test so badly against the incoming creatures of the deep that he would be randomly assigning a target. The party’s greatest asset in a combat swiftly became their biggest threat. Another reminder to people that Willpower should not be your dump stat.

Luckily for Freeman, this was one of the statistically few times Von Gunn actually missed a target, much to my disappointment.

“Uh guys? Help?”

The team open fire, splitting their efforts against both Ambulls. One had popped up quite some distance from the group as I had openly rolled a random direction for the beasties to arrive. The Ambull are insanely powerful and distressingly fast for their size, and could comfortably splatter a player character in one round if the dice are in their favour. To counter this viciousness, I wanted it to seem as fair as possible as to who would get picked on. If someone died, it would be on the dice, and not me.

Lyoness and her Covenant (minus Iggy, who was back on the Resolve getting her hand seen to) opened up with their flamers, dousing the poor creature in so much hotsauce that practically takes it out of combat for the rest of the session. Lyoness jams her weapon from over-enthusiastic flaming, but the damage is done.

Her and her Covenant spend the remainder of the combat enthusiastically carving it up with chainswords, rarely dealing enough damage to hurt it properly, but enough to keep it busy.

Back on the other side, all the armsmen panic and open up, bouncing their lightweight shot and autopistol rounds off its hard carapace. With Von Gunn a gibbering wreck for a few turns, they would need some thrilling heroics to deal with this Ambull before it finally got its shit together and landed a hit on someone.

ENTER FREEMAN.

Freeman: “I roll Acrobatics to do a sick flip and land on its back like in Starship Troopers”

GM: “Well shit, that’s probably going to be super hard as you don’t have Acrobatics or-”

Freeman: “001. Critical pass”

YEAH GET SOME

So our spider-legged techpriest sails through the air with the greatest of ease, doing a sick flip and planting himself firmly on the beast’s back. He plunges his power axe into the thing’s neck and it screeches in pain, thick ichor dribbling out onto the floor.

The armsmen panic, and one of them accidentally shoots the Captain in the back while he’s trying to stab the Ambull.

Luckily the displacer field activates and teleports the captain a LONG way away. Good news for not getting shot, bad news if you’re a melee character trying to stab a giant alien beastie to death.

Von Gunn finally comes to his senses and blasts the first Ambull through the eyeholes. It screeches and collapses. Freeman massively flubs his Agility check to get out the way and is crushed by the corpse. The dice giveth, the dice taketh away…

Friends! I have fallen and I can’t get up!

Zilla and Gil have been contributing, but not in a noticeable way. Zilla’s fancy autogun doesn’t cut the mustard against brutes with a high Toughness Bonus, and Gil’s only chance is to use his plasma pistol on Maximal, only getting to fire every other round. Great IF he hits. Which he never did this combat.

Von Gunn turns to see a flaming wreck of a creature being carved up by angry ladies with chainswords. Lyoness has backed off and is shouting moral encouragement after realising just quite how much damage one of those fists do. (It’s 1d10+10 with Swift Attack) Von Gunn takes aim and uses double shot to crack its skull wide open.

With the sound of steam escaping from betwixt toasted carapace like a lobster in the soup, the final Ambull comes crashing to the ground. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief while doing a quick check on everyone’s health. The Captain sets his sight on the vault doors, wide open and inviting, and congratulates everyone on a good fight.

The Astropath uses the dying moments to use Sensory Deprivation on his brother who shot the captain in the back with Felicity. All’s fair in love and war, eh?

+++++++

Next: Session 14 – Voidbound Anew

Previous: Session 12 – Blood and Gin