“Faith and Betrayal” is a Warhammer 40,000 Dark Heresy/Deathwatch RPG Campaign set approximately around the time 814.M41. It follows the exploits of Acolytes under the command of Inquisitor Sand of the Ordo Xenos and the missions of Deathwatch Kill-Team “Kronus.” Working alone, and sometimes together, both of these Inquisition units are dedicated to finding and destroying the enemies of the Imperium. Only in Death Shall Duty End!!
“Into the Storm”…(05/15/2013)
While in the process of carrying out sensitive courier duties within the Orpheus Salient, Kill-Team Kronus is suddenly diverted to the Vanir System by orders of the Inquisition. It appears that Hive Fleet Dagon is on the move and its tendrils are branching out toward nearby areas containing various Imperial holdings- one of these is an Adeptus Mechanicus research orbital called the “Perihelion.” Mainly a research station, the Perihelion does house advanced medicae facilities and a section dedicated for use by the Inquisition. Lead elements of Hive Fleet Dagon are approaching the facility, with a larger force in tow, and Imperial command had ordered the evacuation of the station.
These evacuees are being shuttled to a responding Imperial Naval cruiser, Stoic Judgment, and it is here that the Kill-Team will proceed to pick up a secret Inquisition prisoner that was being held on the Perihelion for medical treatment. This prisoner, Namor Tarinten, officially listed as executed, was one of the Monarchs of the Kingdom of Vanir and responsible for many atrocities against the Imperium and his people, including the deaths of over 3.5 million citizens. Not known to many, in addition to be a tyrant, Tarinten is a Chaos-worshipper and powerful champion of Khorne. He was being held by the Inquisition and was critically wounded during an escape attempt. Additionally, the Inquisition never received the final transmission from the Interrogator in charge of Tarinten and the Kill-Team is ordered to recover this data.
With a proven record, Brother G’heirnat is again selected as leader for this mission and the Kill-Team arms up from the limited armory aboard their frigate, the Mark of Honor. By chance, the frigate was in the process of delivering the famed Deathwatch relic, the Cruciform of the Crusade, back to Watch Fortress Erioch and Brother Angelos decides to arm himself with its destructive power. After arming and oath-binding, Brother Angelos takes a personal oath to remain at G’heirnat’s side to ensure the Apothecary’s protection for the mission. This act takes back some of the kill-team’s members as they are more accustomed to their battle brother charging away into the thick of the battle instead of remaining with the group.
Arriving at the location of Stoic Judgment, and the center of the Perihelion’s evacuation operation, the Kill-Team proceeds to the naval cruiser for what should be a simple prisoner pick-up. They find the docking bays a bustle of activity as personnel from the Perihelion are accounted for and arrangements are made to house the additional people. With the assistance of a Naval Officer from the Stoic Judgment and a Magos from the Perihelion, the Kill-Team discovers that Tarinten never made it to the Stoic Judgment despite all of the shuttles responsible for his section having returned. Further interviews of the shuttle pilots responsible for that area finds that one of them, pilot Vaush, admits that he did not proceed with docking for his final evacuation run due to sighting several Tyranid spacecraft in the area as well as creatures infesting the orbital itself. He claimed that it was not cowardice that caused his decision to terminate his mission but a logical course based on the circumstances.
Time is of the essence as the Kill-Team must get to the Perihelion (an hour’s flight time one-way) to retrieve or confirm Tarinten’s status before the Tyranids overrun the place. The timetable is further compounded when they learn that larger elements of the Tyranid vanguard are five to six hours out and the Stoic Judgment has been ordered by command to out of the area by that time.
The Kill-Team goes to work preparing for departure to the Perihelion. Brother Dante acquires floor plans of the orbital, which are downloaded to Brother Vectis’ for access. The rest of the team comes up with a plan to approach the Perihelion. With Tyranid forces in the area, they will use their servitor-piloted Aquilla shuttle as a decoy while they take one of the medically-modified Arvus Landers (volunteered to be piloted by Vaush on Brother G’heirnat’s
orders) and use the distraction caused by the Aquilla shuttle to sneak in and dock with the orbital.
Upon arrival at the Perihelion, everything goes as planned and despite the destruction of the Aquilla shuttle, the Kill-Team is able to dock with the Perihelion. Exiting their lander in a zero-gee bay, Brother Dante notices that Tyranid Termagants are attempting to conceal themselves amongst the floating debris to ambush the Kill-Team. Passing warning to his teammates, this launches a firefight between the opposing forces and the Kill-Team is easily able to destroy and rout the enemy minimal injury.
Epilogue- “Dead Stars”…(05/03/2013)
It had been days since the Beloved had sacrificed the last of his followers and the warding circle that had been created from his blood had long since dried up and was beginning to frost over from the bitter cold found inside the abandoned prison complex. Soon the ward’s power would wear off and would need to be replenished with fresh blood but there was no else living in the complex but him. He knew this as a fact because he had reach out with his mind scanning as far as his broken sanity would allow and he never saw another soul on Mara but his own. Several of the Psycheneuin hovered, or flew in lazy circles, nearby just on the outside of the warding circle. They could feel that the ward was failing and had been nearby ever-waiting. Waiting for the protection to fail so that the Beloved’s soul would be theirs to feed on.
The gibbering of the Widower’s face babbled some more incoherent phrases in the background. The infrequent babble was annoying at first, but the Beloved had developed a level of comfort from it. It made him think that he was not alone- even if his companion was saying nothing but nonsense, though sometimes the things it said appeared to have meaning and the Widower knew much about a variety of topics, including dark secrets. But there was no organization to the babble and it left much to ponder.
The Psycheneuin suddenly changed their behavior and seemed to be interested in something else. The Beloved could feel it- a presence. The soul of a human was approaching. He grabbed his Heron-shaped masked and placed it onto his head and waited for his visitor. It did not take long before footsteps crunched on the ice-crusted steel corridor and a lithe female figure in a black robe wearing a cat-shaped mask stopped outside the circle- The Sinner. The Beloved could smell the fresh blood of a recent sacrifice on the Sinner and the Psycheneuin swam in the air around her unable to take action.
“The False Prophet?” she asked the Beloved.
“Dead, died at the hands of those who intervened on Quaddis.”
“The same ones…interesting…” The Sinner sighed, “No matter…you have failed. The Black Sun has manifested over Dusk. Death and chaos reigned briefly but it was different this time. Only a brief period before the Black Sun’s departure. Something has changed. I have intercepted Imperial reports sighting his ship making its way towards the Kronus Expanse…the seers have confirmed this with their sight. I came only to recover the artifacts in hope to try again. “
The Beloved took out the piece of shattered mirror and threw it down the hall where it failed to break but clinked noisily before coming to rest. “Worthless…this avenue is closed to us. It sounds like someone has already freed him…”
“What now? Pursue his ship? He will not be so easy to negotiate with since he is no longer contained.”
“No,” the Beloved gestured to the mumbling Widower’s face on the floor. “It’s babbling has told me of a new prospect…a great and powerful evil that was banished hundreds of years ago but is ready to walk the worlds of man again.”
Interested, the Sinner inclined her head to the Beloved, “How will this come to pass? Who is this evil?”
“I do not know the name of the evil yet, but I know the name of the one responsible for freeing it- Macoff.”