"Dominion of Deceit"
“If not for such men, we would be at the mercy of every daemon.”
-Michael Yon, ancient Terran Warrior and Remembrancer
Back from a brief hiatus following their successful mission on the Ork-infested moon of Aeyras, Inquisitor Sand recalls the members of Romulus Cell for their next mission. Joining their Inquisitor, who is under direct orders from the Calixian Conclave, the Acolytes travel to the war-torn planet of Tranch to investigate a possible security threat in the Imperial ranks concerning Hive Navole- one of the few Hive Cities on the planet that is still under Imperial control.
After touching down planet side at the Imperial Operating Base Reflex Point, they learn that the hive’s current governor, Raymundo Caniz, is well liked by his citizens, but has been struggling to keep morale high in light of the recent rebel attacks that have been plagueing the hive’s resources and infrastructure. The most recent crippling blow to the hive’s security has been the total destruction of the hive’s entire Adeptus Arbite force by suicide bombers.
Departing the next morning via an armored convoy consisting of several Imperial tanks and two Armored Fist squads, the Inquisitor and his team finds that the route to Hive Navole traverses a harsh barren wasteland in unsecured territory. Ever alert for ambushes by rebels, the convoy is only a few hours from reaching their destination when they are attacked by a significant rebel force supported by two stolen Leman Russ tanks. The Imperial convoy’s lead Leman Russ, which includes Red and Lazarus amongst its crew, is struck by a massive Improvised Explosive Device that turns the tank into fiery wreckage. The blast kills all on board except Red (who survives by being thrown from his position in the open turret hatch where he was manning the pintle-mounted stubber) and Lazarus (who is trapped and unconscious in the twisted wreck). A bloody battle between the rebel and Imperial forces ensuses and the Imperial convoy loses several tanks and sentinel walkers, as well as one of their Armored Fist squads, before they are able to rout the enemy with the assistance of fire support from Basilisk artillery.
After Hadrian is able to make some hasty field repairs, the convoy reaches Hive Navole with no further incidents. Departing from their Imperial Guard security detail at the Hive’s fortified gates to enter the hive proper, the party makes their way to the Chapel of Saint Infrium to meet with Father Freghius- who is the caretaker of the Chapel and who is also holding a care package for the Inquisitor courtesy of the Ordo Hereticus. In the Chapel, under the watchful guard of a pair of power-armored Sisters of Battle, Father Freghius shows the Inquisitor and his retinue the stasis-preserved body of Saint Infrium and his holy weapon “Earthshaker.” Legend states that long ago the Saint vanquished a mighty daemon with Earthshaker on the very spot that the Chapel was built on. The priest also presents the care-package, which contains a limited amount of Blessed ammunition for some of the Acolytes’ weapons. He also offers his religious services and blesses the party and their weapons in the name of the Emperor to aid in the success of their mission. To continue their investigation, Sand splits the party into two groups. Group one, consisting of the Inquisitor, Red and Hadrian, will proceed to the upper hive and seek audience with Governor Raymundo Caniz. Group two, consisting of the rest of the retinue, and led by Quint, will proceed to the lower hive to contact a person named Frheud, who is suppose to have inside information on the conspiracy taking place at Hive Navole.
Upon arriving at the Government Adminstratum section of the hive, the Inquisitor and his companions find that the Govornor is currently unavailable due to a crisis involving an attack on some of the food stores, but the Lt. Governor, Travis Hult, is more than happy to assist them in their investigation- explaining to the Inquisitor about all of the recent attacks and assassinations of high ranking government officials that have taken place and also notifies Sand that the governor is putting on a formal ball in honor of the Inquisitor the following night (there the Inquisitor and his staff will have an opportunity to meet key hive officials and uplift the spirit of the people). The meeting concludes with Sand tasking Hult to gather an assortment of data for analysis by the Inquisitor’s team and the securing of accommodations in a private upper-level hive apartment.
After leaving Hult’s office, but before they have exited the government building, the group is attacked by several cultists supported by two daemonically-possessed humans. A fierce battle ensues in which the cultists are dispatched and Hadrian is wounded. Further investigation on their attackers reveals that the they are all government workers- scribes, clerks, and such that work in the building.
Meanwhile, Quint leads the rest of the retinue to the underhive of Navole where they locate Frheud at a local bar. After some haggling for Thrones, Frheud leads the group to a building under construction that he insists is being used as a meeting place by local cultists. Lazerus senses that there is something going on inside because he can hear chanting and can sense the bleeding of the Warp into reality.
Leaving Lysandros and Uriel to conduct surveillance, Quint and Lazerus head back to the Chapel to report their findings. While monitoring the situation, Lysandros and Uriel hear
gunfire coming from the inside of the building and shortly afterward three figures clad in black carapace armor flee the building. Further investigation of the building shows that one of the rooms contains the fresh bodies of several robed figures killed by shotgun blasts lying amidst a make-shift altar with the exsanguinated body of a man whose blood has flowed from the altar to create an eight-pointed star on the floor. A Chaos ritual took place here but its purpose is unknown.
The party members all gather at the upper-hive apartment that Sand has been provided with and exchange notes and conduct analysis on the massive of amounts of data that Sand requested from the Lt. Governor Hult; additionally, Hadrian makes contact with the hive’s senior Adeptus Mechanicus official, Magos Militant Addax, and secures the use of a Medicae Servo-skull replacement for Sand and an experimental Combat Servitor that Hadrian has agreed to field test for the Magos.
The following day is equally busy for the Inquisitorial party. Sand receives his official invitation for the Ball to be held in his honor where he will have the honor of escorting one of the hive’s most desired bachelorettes, Duchess D’varne. The party is also approached by the vigilante group, the Pride of Maggots, and meets their leader- a man named Bahaum. The Maggots seem to be devoted servants of the Emperor and explain to the Acolytes that they are fighting for the people against the cultists and the rebels since it appears that the hive authorities are not doing much to curb the violence and protect the people; it was their members that killed the cultists at the construction site. Through the interrogation of a cultist that the Maggots were holding prisoner, the Acolytes gain a dire warning about something the cultists have planned for the Ball.
That night, dressed in fine Imperial livery, Sand and his entourage pick up the ravishing Duchess and proceed to make their entrance to the Ball where they are met with much fanfare. All of the hive’s ranking political officials and senior staffers are present and fine wine and food are in abundance. The merriment of the Ball only lasts for a few hours before the serving of a cursed bloody Khorne beverage circulates amongst the guests turning them into frenzied maniacs bent on killing everyone in sight.
Inquisitor Sand and his Acolytes manage to maintain their discipline in the midst of the bloody orgy of death that has overtaken the Ball and fight their way out of the building to link up with Bahaum outside. They learn that the bloody carnage is not an isolated event, but is taking place throughout the hive as mobs of cultists have revealed themselves and are slaughtering citizens and using promethium to start massive fires that are spreading through the hive. The hive’s limited response personnel are clearly unable to control the level of death and destruction taking place.
Bahaum and Sand’s party make their way to the Chapel of Saint Infrium where they meet up with Father Freghius and assess the situation but the forces of chaos have tracked down the party and hundreds of bloodthirsty cultists surround the chapel for the final confrontation with the highest official of the Emperor’s authority- Inquisitor Sand. Refusing to cower or run, Sand addresses the massive horde of enemies and pronounces their guilt of several crimes against the Imperium and declares their penalty to be death. Undaunted, the Chaos horde calls for more blood to be shed for their master Khorne and Sand and his allies wait in the chapel for the enemies’ assault.
The leader of the chaos forces smashes into the chapel to confront Sand’s party, and all are surprised to find that Governor Caniz is actually the leader of the Chaos insurrectionists- plotting all this time, and converting citizens of hive to turn against the Imperium. Another surprise comes when the Acolytes learn that Bahaum is actually the Governor’s son. They stand as polar opposites- one a zealous believer in the God-Emperor, the other a devoted servant to Chaos.
The army outside the Chapel watches as their master (the daemon-possessed Caniz) and several Bloodletters supported by a Khorne Juggernaut, battle the Inquisitor and his small party of loyalists. Inspired by their Inquisitor’s presence, and the faith of the Emperor (for some), a massive melee ensues in which Sand and his allies are able to vanquish their foes. Red puts the skills he learned in daemon-slaying from Crusader House Vigilant to good use and it is he that vanquishes the Raymundo-fiend. Lysandros, despite torment from his own inner traumatic emotions, is able to banish the massive juggernaut back to the Warp with a well-placed shotgun blast.
Temporarily defeated, the army of Khorne, supported by newly summoned daemons, make ready for their next wave of attack on Sand and his remaining allies. Moments from certain death, it is only through the timely intervention of a teleported Brother-Captain and a squad of Grey Knight Terminators that saves them. The purging of Hive Navole commences.
- GM’s Note: This mission was ran with modifications from the adventure of the same name by Randy Rocket. I could not locate it on the internet.