Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dark Heresy Campaign #1: The Edge of Darkness, pt. 2: The Adventure Background

The first adventure I ran for Dark Heresy was The Edge of Darkness, a freebie, introductory adventure for the game. Here's a bit from the adventure's background section:

Heresy and evil takes root most readily and most easily in forlorn and forgotten places, be they on distant worlds, in isolated communities or, as here, in a place that has become the victim of disaster, economic starvation and slow neglect. In the shadows of the mighty spires of Hive Sibellus on the world of Scintilla, in a run down and decaying district called the Coscarla Division, a criminal and heretical conspiracy has taken hold. Using the destitute and fearful populous as a shield and a ready supply of “material” when needed, an individual going by the name of “the Churgeon” and her lackeys have set up a hidden medical facility to conduct horrific and forbidden experiments. In order to mask their activities, the tech cult has infiltrated and secretly usurped control of both a local Alms House and the area’s enforcers to further their ends, and is supplying chemical serums to criminal narcogangs in order to induce their complicity in the cult’s dark plans.

The Churgeon is a renegade techadept in the employ of the heretical cult known as the Logicians. She is a biosculptor whose particular area of interest is the creation of (illegal) alchemical serums and artifi cial organs to augment human biology. She requires live human subjects for experimentation and the downtrodden people of Coscarla have proved a ready source of victims. She has no care for the lives of her servants or for those her macabre experiments kill or mutilate, and already her servants have “vanished” scores of Coscarla’s people. One such abducted experimental subject, a  man named Saul Arbest, managed to escape before dying on the transit rail. It is his body, once discovered, that sparks the Inquisition’s interest in the matter and the involvement of the Acolytes.
Once the Churgeon’s current round of tests are concluded, she intends to cover her tracks by releasing a biological agent to mimic the effects of a plague outbreak, killing perhaps tens of thousands of people in the process. She has done it before, and if not stopped, shall do it again.
This was a really fun game to run, especially given how my players approached it.  The players were discussed in my last post. We had Jason (a Tech Priest), Rhonda (playing the infamous Ferrus D'Angelus, who came to betray his Inquistrix as the campaign goes on), Stephen (Feral planet assassin, melee type), John (assassin, ranged weapon type), Kevin (Guardsman).

Here's what happened the first session:


Game Session #1: July 24, 2010

What happened:

·         Players were introduced to their Inquisitor.
·         Players got briefing from Interrogator Sand regarding the victim, one Saul Arbest (unemployed habworker), found dead in transit station.
·         Acolytes are posing as bonded agents for the Coblast Assay," a Sibellan mercantile operation of somewhat dubious repute but not inconsiderable power, specialising in tech salvage and manpower  services." They are pretending to recruit among the unemployed of Coscarla. They also have permits to carry weapons.
·         They are told to conduct as quiet an operation as they can, but are authorized to act for the Inquisition, and to use force as needed.
·         Players got two rooms w/ connecting door at the Hostel.
·         They went to the market to begin to check things out.
·         Ianescu began creeping toward Sikes' Yard.
·         Krell  tried to listen in on the gangers, and was confronted. Combat looked to be in the offing, so he backed down.
·         Play suspended at about 5:15 p.m.

What was learned:

Saul Arbest was medically altered. There had been an attempt to implant and artificial neurological system of some kind, most likely to be used to control the victim. The grafts eventually failed, somehow, and he was either running away at the time, or being sent on a mission, and under control, until the nerve graft killed him somehow.

South Coscarla is a grim-looking place. Lots of empty apartments in the habstacks, burnt-out sections, failing infrastructure, crime, vice, etc. Pervading feeling of abandonment and disrepair. People are not particularly friendly.

Enforcers don't seem to be bothered by open presence of obvious ganger types.

Gangers don't want to be bothered, and respond to curiosity with threats of violence.

Coscarla used to be a palace complex for some ancient noble, long gone from Scintilla to seek new horizons. Broken 50m tall statue/fountain of winged feline critter of some kind near Enforcer Station.

The Tantalus Combine maintains (though not well) a physical presence here, in the form of the 3rd Workers' Union and the Tantalus Alms House. They don't seem to be putting much money into the district, though, probably because they have pulled out for greener pastures.
 The investigation was afoot, but would they expose the truth before time ran out, and the plague was released? Tune in for our next exciting adventure!