Dark Heresy: 41PRY Campaign

The team reflect

The team of acolytes are reflecting upon what they have learned.
Slaugth and non warp drive technology is severe heresy. This needs to be wiped out as a priority.
The team are beholden only to Inquisitor Al-Subai. The team are expected to die for the cause.

There is a new safehouse several km away from the pirate habitation. Equipment can be stored here. It is an uncivilised area and it is dangerous to go on foot. There is transport available, an APC and what are essentially mopeds.

Dessius maintains a network of agents to keep gathering information.

Althan Guir’s compound has already been ransacked. Presumably the Syndicate agents have already been there. Ish picked up some warp traces when he went to look.

An edict has been sent out not to try and rescue Seamus.

Sirocco probably knows that the team are Inquisition agents therefore there is a good chance the other leaders know this too. Stromberg definitely knows.

Gravalax triangulator – the Syndicate are aware of 4 power sources and plan to circulate it. The Triangulator crops up in the works of St Drusus. There is an image of it in the writings. Mer-cik traced the on on Miron IV through these works. He used the triangulator itself to dowse for power sources. The Inquisition is very interested in this.

A second power source has been recovered by a Syndicate agent – it might be useful to catch him alive and question him. The buyer for the power source is on Cyrus Vulpa, an agri world with a pleasant climate. Bulgar Thrung is the buyer, a minor noble from the house of Thrung, part of the ruling elite. He is part of the Syndicate, but is not Slaugth.

Morgad the Despoiler, the renegade astartes. It is assumed he is searching for the power source.

The team have at their disposal a small rogue trader ship called the Antonius Pius. It has cannon batteries with enough power to destroy a city. Crew is 88% servitor. Full complement of marines/thugs. Captain Scipio is the leader of the marines and will provide intel for us.

The Fall of the House of Thrung
In which the acolyes pay a visit to a minor noble

Thrung’s mansion is a towering gothic building, surrounded by a gigantic wall. there are cannons mounted on the walls. Household troops are employed. There are other buildings within the complex – a mausoleum, a glass topped greenhouse and a chapel.

The acolytes land a full squad of marines out the front of the mansion whilst Claude and Eli infiltrate the building from behind.

Barack Tharack takes the direct approach and demands that the household guard let them in in the name of the Emperor and the Inquisition. Captain Fidelicus of the household guards tries to play for time, but is being ordered to shoot at the acolytes. Claude is listening to the chatter on a house Thrung microbead, having infiltrated the wall at the back.

Barack turns his back on the house and walks back to the lander, ordering the forces to get ready to shoot on command. The household guard open up whilst Barack is walking away, and the APCs the acolytes brought along charge forwards. A full on fire fight ensues. Eventually the house Thrung troops start to rout, and the acolytes get in to the compound. Claude gets his hands on a multi melter and starts shooting with it.

Scaphandra spots the target – he has a mutant arm and lots of xeno animals around him. Definitely a heretic. The team start shooting at him. His mutant arm gets blown off and he dissolves.

Scaphandra loads the alien glove onto the lander with instructions that no one should look at it or touch it. Thrung’s body is burnt. The acolytes go to the chapel to see if they can find the power source. There is a dead priest there and his left arm is missing, has been torn off. Not much blood from him, but there are a lot of black feathers which are sodden with blood.
3 bodies by the door – 2 of Thrung’s men, 1 of the team’s.
Scaphandra finds a pressure plate which opens a secret door by the altar. Scaphandra and Barack go down the stairs, where there are lots of black feathers and blood. There is a long room, lit the length of the chapel, beneath the crypts. It looks like a museum. 12 display cases, lit from above:
1. Long las sniper rifle used by a ratling to kill the Siegemaster of Thorr in the Gun Metal City uprising
2. Xeno sword (Eldar)
3. Bolt pistol that belonged to Commissar Gild
4. Xeno cloak, shiny and iridescent, very tough.
5. Decanter of amsec
6. Fine chrono on a chain with an auspex
7. Single bolt shell from an astartes bolt gun, ornately carved
8. feedings brands from ancient Terra
9. 12 books of religious and heretical content (musings on faith from palatine solero – a minor relic, liber exmentis)
10. Data slates journal
11. empty
12. opened and empty, leaving a power source shaped indent.

The team remove the items to review closely on the ship.
Thrung’s journal is very interesting, and proof that he is clearly a heretic. Sounds like he was supposed to give the power source to Mer-cik but has instead given it to someone called Gustavus. The team determine to go to Barsapine to investigate further.

The glove is larger than a human arm, with thin elongated fingers which end in claws. It is made of skin. This, and the Liber Exmentis, are sealed up in ammo boxes and put in vacuum storage.

Session 18.12.13 - in transit to Barsapine
In which the acolytes travel to Barsapine

It takes the acolytes approximately a month to travel to Barsapine.

Population 1.5bn, heavily tithed. Population is concentrated around the poles. Of the 7 continents, 3 are populated. Tidally locked, not rotating. It is not possible to live on the dark side of the planet.
The capital of Barsapine is Scaltine.
Thaumocracy – religious ruling elite of the Soothsayers College. Main figures in this thaumocracy are Oldus, Malinor and Valkarinasy.
There is a low military presence on the planet. Pottery commands high prices.

This is not an important planet in the Calixis Sector.

The Gilded Cathedral is situated near Kethistron Ultris, a large city. Light reflects from the Gilded Cathedral into the dark side of the planet. It is visible from everywhere in the city (on the surface).

The Inquisitor sent a message to the acolytes advising he was pleased with their progress, and recommended they meet with Abbott Chainus Juratus. Agents will be dispatched to deal with House Thrung.

The acolytes go to the Gilded Cathedral. There is a lot of artwork commemorating the attack by the orks many years ago. Inside the Gilded Cathedral there is a huge block of black stone, about the size of a house, made of something similar to jet or marble. There is a pulpit above it. Could this be the heard of black in the temple of gold that Thrung’s prophecy made reference to?

Barack Tharack knows that this is a serious branch of the Imperial Cult, and has heard about the Black Sepulchre of the Gilded Cathedral. It is an ancient tomb older than the cathedral itself. It is believed to be one of St Drusus’ companions, but who or why is lost to history. It is protected by a forcefield. Legend states the Black Sepulchre contains the body of a great champion.

Abbot Juratus is an ancient man with a beard. When questioned, the Abbot claims not to have heard of the Dei-Phage or the Hecate family, but closer questioning leads him to reveal that the Hecate family were involved in building the Haematite Cathedral, on the dark side of the planet.

Session 8.1.14 Summary
Acolytes at the Hematite Cathedral

The acolytes on Barsapine (Claude Karr, Barak Tharak, Scaphandra, Ravi and Eli) struck out for the Hematite Cathedral, using transport & supplies gifted them by Abbot Juratus in Barsapine. The journey to the dark side of the planet was uneventful although the terrain was inhospitable. The journey took 36 hours.

The Hematite Cathedral is located on a cliff face looking out over the grey, raging sea that covers so much of Barsapine’s Eastern side. In past days it once functioned both as a place of worship and part of the Planetary Defence Force (PDF), so stationed to rain fire from its heavy cannon fire upon invading Orks. Now it stands amidst overgrown gardens and tumbledown tombs in a state of disrepair, appearing long abandoned.

Upon arrival the team split into pairs to begin scouting the surroundings, with Claude remaining with the transport. Barak and Scaphandra uncovered a half-collapsed building in the ruin of the graveyard. Eli and Ravi found a cave beneath a long-dry water feature that contained a grisly discovery: almost two dozen human corpses, roughly two weeks dead and festering. Analysis by the medispex determined that they had died violently, most of them showing signs of deep lesions or bruising and several of them missing limbs.
Meanwhile back at the transport Claude had a vision of blood spattering from the transport roof onto the ramp: he fired through the ceiling, but hit nothing. When the others arrived back, drawn by the sound of gunshots, there was no sign of the blood he claimed to have seen.
At the same time Barak caught a glimpse of something terrible upon the cathedral roof – a robed, hunched figure with vast rotten wings and a stump where its left arm should have been…

Exploring the Haematite Cathedral pt 1

The acolytes can hear the wind howling through holes in the roof, and the sea pounding the cliff outside. Something sounds like a regular heartbeat – a large clock which is ticking. The whole place smells rotten and damp. There is a huge cannon at the far end and a spiral staircase around it. The altar is by the cannon, bolted to the floor. It is reminiscent of the block in the Gilded Cathedral.

Kitchen – clear. Old servitor – black feathers stabbed into its back. Feathers are greasy and smell of incense. Huge oven.
Trophy room – full of stuffed animals. The desk contains some specimens – hip flask containing spiced brandy (taken by Barack Tharack), stub revolver with two clips, and a letter sealed with wax. Eli momentarily sees skulls on all the aquilas. Ravi sees a cowled figure outside the trophy room and shoots at it.
Portrait room – portraits on the walls, everyone in heroic poses. Skeleton of a woman sitting in the middle of the room. She is holding a small item, looks like part of the adeptus mechanicus emblem. Barack sees a vision of the angel of death again in a picture. The Warrant of Trade for the Hecate family has been stolen.

Ballroom – 24 corpses are sitting at the tables, no jewellery and no wigs. Mummified decaying food on the tables in front of them. Barack looks closely, and sees that one of the corpses is him!
Claude notices that all the bodies are those of poor people who have been dressed up in rich clothes. At least 30 years since they died from a fast acting poison.
On the far side of the room is a door to stairs, which shuts and locks itself.
Scaphandra finds a small study, and finds hand drawn notes referring to a trap door hinged on a flagstone – this is surely in the oven in the kitchen.

The team open the door to the stairs, and climb the spiral staircase. On the first floor there is a room with full length mirrors lining the wall. It is thickly carpeted, but empty and windows boarded.

The acolytes continue to the second floor. The stairs end with a reinforced wooden door. There is the distinct sound of a door locking, then unlocking and opening slightly. Claude and Barack burst through first. There is a large dining table with a thick velvet tablecloth. It is set for a meal, candles are freshly alight and burning with a green flame. Food looks fresh. 6 high back chairs – the name places are set for the acolytes, but the name place at the top of the table is unreadable. Scaphandra looks out of the window and a horrible face looks back. The door slams shut and locks behind the acolytes.

An apparition of a well dressed woman appears from the warp and subdues the three acolytes in the room. When Ravi and Eli are able to enter, they have to fight their comrades who have been taken over by the warp apparition. There is a massive fight until finally Ravi and Eli subdue their comrades violently. Eventually the acolytes are able to go back up to the top room and finish off the warp apparition.

They return downstairs and work their way back along the corridor they originally came down. Barack shoots the padlock off a room which has had its door painted over. An eerie breeze rushes past the acolytes. There is a mummified body on the bed with a huge knife plunged through its chest. Barack identifies it as a female second degree priest from a Rogue Trader vessel. The knife is a power blade and has the initials GH carved into the hilt. The body has had its eyes gouged out. Barack commends her soul to the Emperor.

In the kitchen, Claude and Scaphandra open the oven and find a trap door. They go down the trap door and find a bronze door with the Hecate family crest on it. Inside cages line the wall, big enough for people to go in. There are steel operating tables and tools. Restraints on the tables. There is a symbol on the floor, it looks like an astrological symbol. The acolytes find a secret room within the secret room. There are a number of corpses mounted on the wall, horrors all stitched together preserved with formaldehyde. Claude lifts a loose flagstone – there is a horrible stench as it was covering a hidden well stuffed fulled of decaying corpses.

The air shimmers in front of the acolytes and a figure of a man appears. He is tall, ornately dressed, has long dark hair and his voice is echoey. Claude shoots him. Things start oozing out of the pit trying to grab at ankles. The ghost punches Scaphandra and knocks her out. Claude is also overpowered. Fortunately the rest of the acolytes show up and get stuck in to the fight. Eli makes the ghost disappear, but the well explodes and bits of corpse go all over the place. There are a couple of black feathers, and a shining segmented metal piece.

Exploring the Haematite Cathedral pt 2

The acolytes decide to go out to the transport to take a moment or two to recover from their ordeals.

On their way out of the cathedral, Eli sees two figures sitting in the front pews. They are leaning against each other as if asleep or dead. One has long dreadlocks and a headdress. The other looks a bit like Ravi. They are two dessicated corpses, in an advanced state of decay, chests ripped open and innards removed. They are wearing the same clothes as Ravi and Eli. The medispecs advises that the bodies have been dead for 100 years. There is a single black feather under the pew.

The acolytes get outside to clean up and eat something. They have searched the right hand side of the cathedral, and now need to go along the left hand wing. The left hand wing is single storey, and the windows are mortared over from the outside. The windows on the tower are boarded up from the inside.

The acolytes re-enter the cathedral – the corpses have turned to look at them.

Scaphandra looks at the clock – there is a depression in the wall behind it, which is about the same size and shape as a three part mechanicus symbol. But why is the clock still running?

The door that has been mortared over gets krak grenaded. As it opens, the acolytes hear a whisper – “who is this? Gustavus?” Ravi steps through the doorway and there is a hissed intake of breath. It is a long corridor, with doors either side and a door at the end. All the doors open and horrible zombies/corpses come scrambling out to attack the acolytes. The acolytes eventually kill them all. They looked slightly wrong, as if they had been experimented on.

There are six cells off the corridor, three each side. Crude drawings of a figure with feathered wings feature heavily. In one of the rooms, the acolytes find a scrap of paper containing a picture of of a planet surrounded by two interlocking rings. There is a word written beneath it – BEWARE.

The door at the end of the corridor opens of its own accord. It is a dark damp operating room that has seen a lot of use. There is a door at the other side of the room – which leads to a spiral stair case. The team go up the stairs. There are lots of gears, chains, bundles of wire across the stairs.

There is a plain red door at the top – it opens into a large circular room. It is dominated by a huge model of the Barsapine system. Each planet is represented by skulls encased in glass. This room is clearly an observatory. It is dusty, but not decayed.

There is a massive telescope in the room. The desk is covered in papers covered in drawings and writing about he stars and their movements. There is a book – Prodigious Heavenly Occurrences of the Barsapine System. There is something significant about the 7th and 9th planets of the system. The planet the acolytes are on is the 4th planet.

Claude looks through the telescope, and an enormous eye looks back at him.Ravi finds the control panel for the model and lines up the planets for a simultaneous eclipse of the 7th and 9th planets. The temperature drops, and the apparition of a man appears at the desk. He appears to be in his mid 30s. His arms are covered in mathematical symbols and equations.

The acolytes speak to the apparition – it is Coranath Hecate, master of the Tower. He is Gustavus’ brother. He thinks Gustavus is a fool, always grubbing around in the dirt. There are portents surrounding the eclipse, it is a very big deal, even though it is not due to happen for 200 years.

Coranath tells the acolytes he has the key, and he will give it to the acolytes. There is a malevolent intelligence in the building.

Beneath the Haematite Cathedral
In which the acolytes make an alarming discovery

The acolytes return to the nave of the cathedral. The corpses in the pews have gone.

The three parts of the key are inserted into the wall behind the clock. The door opens to reveal a black shaft going down, wide enough for one person at a time to go down. There are handholds in the wall. It stinks of oil and machinery. There is a grinding sound from below, the sound of an enormous machine spirit.

Eli descends first using his grappling line. The shaft ends in a shallow puddle of thick brownish liquid, smells like oil. The sound of gears is much louder here. There is a door at the bottom of the shaft, set into the wall. There is a numeric keypad, however Eli just pulls the door off its hinges.

In the room beyond the door are three hovering servo skulls, each emitting a weak light. There is another door on the other side of the room, and beyond that the floor has collapsed and churning gears and cogs can be seen. There is a walkway leading from the door into the room. The acolytes take the servo skulls with them.

This room is enormous – much bigger than the cathedral above. Two walkways across the room – one going N/S and the other going E/W. There is a plate on the wall next to Claude and the writing is High Gothic. It says “Pax Mecharia”. There is a diagram of the room next to it, pitted with rust. Ahead is the Genatorium. Left is the armoury. Right is the Moderati Quarters. There is a level below the cogs which can only be reached by going through the cogs – this appears to be the cogitator core.
Claude knows that the role of Moderati is the second highest rank on an Imperial Titan, and is responsible for the weapons systems.

The acolytes head for the armoury. The room is in excellent condition. There are loads of ammo hoppers, and dozens of shells casings and debris. There is a shell casing the size of Barack in there. All the ammo is designed for weapons much bigger than those which the acolytes are carrying. They also find two las guns, two las pistols, and two fully charged packs for both.
There is a note written in high Gothic waxing lyrical about what a magnificent sight it is to see the march of the Titan Legions. It makes reference to the Pax Mecharia, a Titan of the Imperator class (the biggest one).

The acolytes cannot quite believe that they might be on board a Titan.

They head for the Genatorium next – the generator room. It is a large chamber. Inside it there is a thick cylindrical shimmering void shield. The room has a psychic stench to it – it smells of heresy more than anything else in the whole cathedral. The air feels thick and reality feels slightly distorted. It looks like there is oil running down the wall. The floor seems to have purple green veins running underneath it like an enormous brain.
There is an ancient looking servitor on the left wall. There is a door on the right hand side.

The acolytes quickly head into the room on the right. There are three massive map tables and a brass encased cogitator (computer). It feels a lot less heretical in here. The maps date back to the time of the Angevin Crusade. The cogitator turns on, and displays an aquila. Text starts scrolling across the screen, describing the “Rite of Replenishing” (changing the fuel rods).

The acolytes leave these rooms, and head for the Moderati quarters. This is a small room lined with bunk beds (6). There are emblems of Mars everywhere. There is a headless skeleton sat on the floor, dressed in naval uniform. Decorated. Skeletal hand clutches a bolt pistol. Written on the floor in blood is a word – Dei-Phage. Barack takes the bolt pistol – it is best quality with 7 sanctified bolts.

A door at the far side of the room opens and someone shoots at the party. They shoot back and there is the deranged howl of a madman. The acolytes look in to the room – it is a medical room, with similar smell as in the experiment room and bodies showing unnecessary augmentation. The madman is shot and goes down. He had a bolt pistol, and was an old frail man of indeterminate age. He had a strong resemblance to the man in the experiment dungeon – Gustavus. He gasps out a few words about the Dei-Phage and the alignment. The power source is powering the void shield. The generator is the prison for the Dei-Phage.

The acolytes head back to the generator room. Ravi awakens the servitor and upon interrogation learns the following things:
- level 32 is above level 33.
- access to level 33 is blocked, and the ritual of replenishing is required to open it.
- power is at 3% and weapons systems are currently offline. The weapons systems consist of quake cannons, las cannons, rail guns, plasma cannon and a bolt cannon.
- Princeps of the Pax Mecharia is Tarum Hecate.

The servitor activates the ritual of void shield deactivation. The void shield shimmers and drops. There are 4 massive fuel rods lying on the side, and the power source has been jury rigged in.

There is a horrible screech and four horrible things blob out of the wall. The acolytes fight these Horrors, which keep regenerating wounds, and eventually are able to dispatch all four of them.

The acolytes get the servitor to activate the ritual of replenishment. As the fourth fuel rod is inserted, a loud thrumming sound starts. Lights start blinking and the power levels start rising. An announcement is made on speakers – “Engine seers excellor to the bridge” and then “Foreign body expelled urgent urgent”.

Eli grabs the power source, and the acolytes leg it. The alert messages increase in their frequency. As they cross the floor of gears, they notice there is a ladder heading down past the gears, but they are keen to leave the place.

Barack scales the shaft first. As he gets to the top he notices Scaphandra is not there, and there is a horrible presence in the Cathedral. Everything feels darker. There is a faint rain of black feathers, and the doors to the Cathedral lock. He sees a huge angel with rotting wings, the face of which is changing and twisting before his eyes. There is hideous laughter all around.

Encountering the Dei-Phage
in which things do not go well for the acolytes

The team have barely finished scrambling out of the access shaft, with Ravi locking it behind them, than they feel the unbearable horror of the Dei-Phage, which is only just starting to manifest from the warp. Ravi and Eli pass out from the overwhelming evil. Claude begins vomiting profusely, and Barack tries to run away. One by one the Dei-Phage extinguishes their lights…

Total party wipe.

New party, new adventure
In which a new group of acolytes set out to protect the Calixis sector from itself

A new team of acolytes has been assembled on 41 Pry. They receive word that Al-Subai is suspicious of Arch Cardinal Ignato, who is the senior religious leader in the Calixis Sector. The Inquisition are not yet ready to “out” him just yet, but they believe he is connected in some way to the Syndicate, and may possibly even be Slaugth. The team are instructed that they need to infiltrate the Cathedral of Illumination on Sophano Prime. The team are not to confront him directly, and certainly are not to execute him if he does turn out to be Slaugth. The team are going undercover as relic inspectors. The team are to gather information only.

This is an incredibly serious allegation to put against the Cardinal.

Passage has been secured for the team, and the journey will take approximately a month.

The Cathedral contains several relics of St Drusus and Telani is able to inform the team about them:
- Rotator cannon of the warrior St Praxedes
- St Euphreka’s chalice
- the tri skull of St Uther
- 8 tablets of Drusian wisdom (the actual words of St Drusus)
- the genesis vestments worn by St Drusus at the blessing of Scintilla
- the daemon hammer of St Agamemnon
- the femur of St Brannicus the thrice maimed. He was one of Drusus’ closest companions, and reportedly beat 300 sinners to death with his own severed leg.

Felix and Ketch agree to act as inspectors. Julia will act as hired muscle. Ish will act like a penitent and Leena is going to act as Felix’s bit of fluff.

The team land on Hive Tarsus, and are taken to the Cathedral. Sophano Prime is a desert world and has been farmed dry. This is standard for a hive world. Hive Tarsus is the size of a small country. Cathedral of Illumination sits atop the Hive like a golden crown, surrounded by vast artificial gardens. There are thousands of pilgrims waiting to enter the cathedral. Cathedral has its own landing pads. Blastingly tropical heat.

A fat man in simple robes is waiting to greet the team – Archivist Druke. He is very excited as Arch Cardinal Ignato has arrived and is addressing the congregation. The Arch Cardinal wears a white and purple robe. The Arch Cardinal’s speech is very bombastic, exalting the church above the common man. Wealthy congregation.

The team are shown to their quarters in the cloisters, and are given data keys to obtain access to the sacristy where the relics are kept. The rooms are plush and comfortable. Ketch checks for bugs, but cannot find any. The ventilation shafts are wide enough for a servo skull to fit down, and there are lots of servo skulls and cherubim around.

After passing an uneventful and restful night, the team are taken by archivist Druke to the sacristy. On the way there they make careful note of the types of people they pass – many ecclesiarchical brothers going about their business, a vast number of servitors who undertake minor duties etc. As they head upwards into the cathedral, they start to see security – Adepta Sororitas. Only ever one at a time.

The Sacristy is a massive room, a bit like a museum. There are five of the Adepta Sororitas in this room, dotted around, wearing black and can only just be seen.

The relics:
- Rotator cannon of the warrior St Praxedes. It is a heavy stubber and bandolier of twice blessed rounds. The bullets are made from cobblestones touched by the boots of St Drusus when he was on the sanguinated path. St Praxedes was a very close friend of St Drusus. It is in impeccable condition, and the age and design appear to be contemporary with St Drusus. Seems legit.
- St Euphreka’s chalice and assorted writings. St Euphreka carried out a century long pilgrimmage retracing St Drusus’ steps across the sector. There is not much common knowledge available about her. This is the chalice that she supposedly slaked her thirst with, and it is a broken ceramic bowl. According to the legend, the bowl was gifted to her by the Rogue Trader that she travelled with, but this does not match the description of the bowl in the text. This is not a true relic.
- the tri skull of St Uther. These are three skulls of differing sizes, and are the three skulls of St Uther the Cataplast aged 12, 50 and 150 years old. The markings on the two older skulls are like wound markings. He suffered 99 wounds before he died. The three skulls appear consistent with his legend. Seems legit.
- 8 tablets of Drusian wisdom (the actual words of St Drusus). 8 palm sized polished stone tablets. Rumoured to be completely impervious to damage. Seems legit.
- the genesis vestments worn by St Drusus at the blessing of Scintilla. These are robes on a tailor’s dummy. There is also a pict with a two second viewing of St Drusus praying. Leena has been able to ascertain that some of this has been locked by the Inquisition. The robes have not left the Cathedral since they were worn by Drusus. Legit.
- the daemon hammer of St Agamemnon. This is a massive battlehammer. St Agamemnon the Just was an inquisitorial daemon hunter, with a special interest in killing psykers. He destroyed 200,000 psykers. Ish detects a psychic field emanating from the hammer-pain and emotion. This is a sanctified weapon to be used against daemons and psykers. This is probably an Inquisitorial relic rather than a church relic. Legit.

The case containing the femur of St Brannicus is empty. Felix asks Druke about this, and Druke advises that the Arch Cardinal has taken it for meditational purposes. Felix pushes for more information and finds out that Druke is concerned about the authenticity of the femus. There are three small marks on the bone, but legend has it that the bone was totally untouched. As far as Druke is aware, there have always been these marks on the bone – he has been in post 10 years.
- the femur of St Brannicus the thrice maimed. He was one of Drusus’ closest companions, and reportedly beat 300 sinners to death with his own severed leg.

Going undercover
In which the acolytes try not to blow their cover at the Cathedral

The acolytes decide to go to the refectory to try and gather more information about life at the Cathedral. Druke accompanies them. They strike up a conversation with Lector Zaveticus, Lector Darwan and are briefly introduced to Medicae Galican. After some conversation, Lector Zaveticus (in charge of communications and servo skulls) quietly advises Felix he would like to talk to him about the possibility of a fake relic, and the acolytes arrange to visit him later.

In the afternoon the acolytes take a break from pretending to look at the relics. Druke catches up with them and advises that the Arch Cardinal is holding a synod and one of the topics of discussion is the validation of relics, especially those of St Drusus. The acolytes know that Drusus was supposed to have been buried intact. He is normally depicted with a bolter in one hand and a sword in another. He was probably interred on Scintilla. The acolytes are invited to join the Synod and give their opinion.

Felix and Ketch do most of the talking at the Synod, and seem to get away with it. They deflect the question of whether there can be multiple relics of a saint by raising the issue of the tri skull. They also mention that the femur of St Brannicus is missing. The Arch Cardinal looks annoyed when this is raised, and advises them it will be returned immediately following the Synod.

Good as his word, the Arch Cardinal ensures the femur is returned. Felix and Ketch examine it. It is a human femur, very old. There are a number of tiny scrapes/grooves which could have been made by a tool or implement. Only decades old, probably. Not as old as the femur. The marks are along the length, and there are impact marks on one end. Ish suggests it could be used as a key to open a secret chamber.

The acolytes then go to meet Zaveticus, who is quite concerned about a friend of his, Kaius Moye. Moye has been working as a missionary in the Hive, and he was in the Hive when he became ill. Zaveticus is concerned he may be suffering a daemonic possession. Exorcist Amortis, who resides in the hospital, should be approached about this.

The acolytes accompany Zaveticus to the hospital. There is security at the entrance to the hospital, it would not be possible to just stroll into the hospital.

Exorcist Amortis is sent for, and arrives shortly. He is a big man, with a shaved head. He looks like a soldier, wearing white robes. He has old scarring on his face, and piercing blue eyes. He is very hard line, and has no time for rich wimps. He has only just been made aware of the possession. He assigns roles to the acolytes and tells them what they need to do.

There is a specific wing of the hospital where the exorcism takes place. It looks a lot like a torture chamber. Moye is brought in my hospital workers, who leave them to it. During the exorcism of the daemon, Felix becomes aware that Leena has knowledge of the occult.

The party are successful in their exorcism of the daemon, and return to Zaveticus’ chambers to inform him of this. Moye is no longer possessed, although he does now have a large aquila branded in his forehead. Zaveticus is grateful for the acolytes’ help, and gets to the point. He monitors communications to ensure that there is no misuse of resources within the Cathedral. A number of communications have passed in and out of the Cathedral on an unofficial encrypted channel. He has been able to recover snatches of messages which hint at something sinister going on. He shows the acolytes data slate transcriptions of what has been recovered. There are 6 pieces of text:
1. secrecy is of the utmost importance, we all will suffer if leaks occur and it will be on your head.
2. understand. Place your trust in me. The matter is fully under my control. he will never see the light while I yet live. Temporary. Create an alternative method of restricting him.
3. concerns are noted. Resources are directed elsewhere. Place trust in you brother to maintain the current interdiction of our wayward brother’s…
4. complete and continues as planned. Within three months I anticipate the next stage can begin. Synod concur plan most likely to…
5. should further oversight be required
6. insist the means of entry require the purple hand. the femur is the key. Keep communications to a minimum. You know as well as I that…

This is oldish data – a few months old, but unable to ascertain the age. 6 is a direct response to 5.

Zaveticus tells the acolytes that the Cathedral once sported a wing for private prayer off the nave. It was sealed off due to instability a few hundred years ago. The nave was originally set up slightly differently. Leena goes to observe it. there is a wall right behind the altar, upon which a mural of the Emperor can be seen.

Zaveticus is able to locate a book that provides the acolytes with useful information about this.

Ish goes and looks at the kitchens immediately underneath the nave. Does not look like it would be possible to get in and go up through the ceiling.

Leena and Julia go and “volunteer” in the hospital to see if there is anything untoward there, as it would be a good place to hide someone. Leena meets Moltus K’Taan of the House of K’Taan, an important trading family. He seems quite mad but lucid – he believes the hive is built over a wellspring of daemonic energy, and that there are huge insects in the walls. The gargoyles are daemons which come alive at night, and should not be looked in the eye. He asks Leena if she has seen St Drusus, as he wanders the halls at night dispensing wisdom and the insects don’t like it. K’Taan also thinks the meat is human. The cloisters are full of ghosts and monsters, and the Arch Cardinal murdered a girl thousands of years ago and her ghost still wanders. there is also a secret room beneath the daemons in the nave.

The acolytes know the Arch Cardinal has a passageway from his chambers to the nave, but not where it is.

The acolytes attend the evening sermon in order to better view the nave and think about their tasks. There do not appear to be any gargoyles in the nave. There are some very ugly statues around though, and there is the mural of the Emperor crushing daemons.

The acolytes go into the Cathedral grounds after the sermon to try and gather their thoughts. As they are walking slowly, a robed man bumps heavily into Felix. Felix looks up and the man’s hood falls down to reveal a third eye in the middle of his forehead. Felix lets out a loud exclamation of surprise. The fake monk draws a shock maul out of his robes, and the rest of the robed men draw knives. Ish makes himself scarce, and Julia pulls out a gun. Everyone else gets behind Julia. As the bad guys advance, Julia starts shooting. The majority of the bad guys get killed. A crowd has gathered around the fight. Ketch goes to check one of the bodies, and frisks him for useful stuff. There is a sealed tube which has unfortunately been shot, but he palms it off to Felix. The Sororitas come over and shoot all cultists in the head, obliterating their heads.

Ish has taken advantage of the distraction to sneak back in to the cathedral. He sneaks through the Cardinal’s secret passage. Ketch also sneaks back in and looks at the mural. One of the daemons under the Emperor’s foot has a hollow eye, about the right size for a femur.

Back at their rooms, the acolytes look at the handwritten note that was inside the tube. It has been burned from being shot and is stained with blood. The handwriting is poor.

I regret to inform you that the situation in the blinding gulch is rapidly becoming untenable. Gang warfare is increasing exponentially. I fear it will not be long before someone uses their knowledge of my location as a bargaining chip with the magistrates. I need to relocate. Your deadlines make this very difficult. I am sending my envoy…


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