Sunday, September 9, 2012

The House of Dust and Ash, pt. 4: The Day Before The Auction

After dismantling the thugs who attempted (foolishly) to attack our Inquisitorial acolytes, with little help from Ferrus, whose player believed would tend to hide and be passive in combat, the PCs returned to the black mausoleum called The House of Dust and Ash.

Now, for any of my players who might be reading this, I"m going to have to do it from memory, and that was a looong time ago. I may get some things wrong, so please feel free to correct me in the comments.

The first thing they did was to give up to the rooms they'd been assigned. They were up a couple of floors, and not too far from those of the other factions. To review, there was:

  • Lanus Cisten, the "absentminded adept," and his assistant
  • Vymer and Quill Malfian, Bloodsworn boutyhunters, there to kill someone, but who?
  • Octavia Nile, a lovely young noblewoman who is a secret member of the Logician cult
  • Abbot Tamas of Shale, "a daemonworshipping cult magus bound to the entity known as "Tsyiak, the Crow Father."
While we're on the topic, they would soon meet:
  • "Captain" Rubio: A flamboyant young aristocrat with a ship, who fancies himself some sort of rogue trader, and dresses the part. He is attended by lackeys of various sorts, who will do his fighting for him.
  • Magyar Marshrek: A beast slaver who hopes to find something interesting at the auction.
  • Master Nonesuch: A charming patrician man with a cane and the closes of a guild tradesman. Master Nonesuch is, in fact, possibly the most dangerous of all the auction’s attendees, a member of the horrific and dangerous xenos race known as the Slaugth. He is one of their Overseers currently constrained within a hollowed-out sheath of flesh, while his “staff ” are fashioned from living human bodies invaded and piloted by Slaugth flesh-parasites. Fun!
There are, also, of course, the folks who run the place:
  • Greel, Head Mourner of the Sorrowful Guild. There are also his group of mourners.
  • Hiram Bland, who runs the auction
  • Locuter Mayweather, the characters' administratum contact here at the House of Dust and Ash.

The Day Before the Auction
The acolytes spent the day before the auction exploring the House of Dust and Ash, which included a visit to the Haarlock crypt.

At the end of the great hall is a single huge black mausoleum, its high flat sides ornately carved with skulls, saints, conflict, blasted starships, and burning worlds without number. This, the cipher and the inscription at the head of the tomb proclaims in High Gothic, is the tomb of Solomon Haarlock.
[T]he black granite tomb contains two separate doors set flush to its sides with no visible means of opening them. The one on the left side contains a an engraving of a blazing, black sun etched into the black marble that reads, “Death is but a Door,” with a recessed space at the centre in the shape of a hollowed out sunburst. The one on the right is carved with a mass of screaming, distorted faces and reads, “Here Dwell the Children of the Kingdom.”
The acolytes suspected that the engraved part of the panel probably had something to do with opening it, but were not sure about the key, or the means of employing it. They were correct, and after they'd been there for a little bit, the figure of Greel the Head Mourner arrived, more or less to tell them to "move along, nothing to see here." They did notice, though, that:

Greel wears a black iron amulet in the shape of a sunburst around his neck as a symbol of his office. This amulet is a key that opens the door in the side of Haarlock’s vault, and is one of the only means of escape.

Brilliant! So, they pissed off from the Haarlock Crypt and made their way upstairs, to the Garden of Lost Saints, and its Auditorium, where the auction would be held the next day. For today was the Day of Viewing, and they spent some time looking at the various items for sale in the auction.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I spent some time preparing a comprehensive list of items to supplement those provided in the adventure's descriptions. I also figured out a way to make the auction process work more like I thought it should, with competition over items, rising bids, and so forth. What I didn't say, though, was that the acolytes were equipped with a credit block and a lot of money with which to make their purchases. Their marching orders were, again, to buy such dangerous or heretical-seeming items as they could, and to keep tabs on who bought those items they were not able to win.

I include the list here for reference. As you'll notice, there's a LOT of stuff here. I wanted to use the auction as a way both to gauge my players' interest in the various items as well as affording them the opportunity to equip themselves with items both useful and potentially dangerous, before the big reveal of the danger facing them all. Here's the Big List:

List of Items Included in the Adventure "The House of Dust and Ash" (GM: DotDG, pp. 217 - 218)
A Book Unbound An apparently leather bound folio filled with loose parchment pages. Said to be collected knowledge from beyond the Emperor's Light. Priceless to the right collector. Starting Bidding: 15,000 ThronesAn apparently leather folio filled with loose parchment pages. The leather is, in fact, xenos-hide, and the loose leaves inside contain fragments of various archaic and proscribed works, interspersed with fragments of a personal journal.Effects: The contents of the folio, if put into some order, will grant the reader +10 to Forbidden Lore (Xenos) with regards to the arts of the eldar corsairs and the forgotten inhabitants of the Halo Stars. The folio also contains unrelated lore and partial instructions on the creation of Dybuk. The first time that anyone reads more than a small portion of the folio, he gains 1 Corruption Point. Anyone who reads all of the contents of the folio gains 1d5+1 Corruption Points , which includes the 1 Corruption Point for reading a small portion.
Bloody Seal A gilt seal, the width of a human palm, slowing the symbol of the aquila clasping keys in its claws. Said to be many millenniums old, a fine example of the early Empire.
Starting Bid: 25,000 ThronesThis gilt seal, the width of a human palm, shows the symbol of the aquila clasping keys in its claws. Anyone who passes a Challenging (+0) Forbidden Lore (Heresy) Test will recognise this as a symbol of the pre-Thorian Ecclesiarchy. The seal is still stained with dried blood that will not come off.Effects: When the rim of the seal is twisted, it projects a hololith of the face of Gorge Vandire, once marking the bearer as his personal emissary. Contained within the seal are engrams to unlock all pre-Thorian and archaic ciphers used in Imperial records. Owning such a thing is considered heresy in itself.
Silver Key A large and ornate key made of tarnished silver. Inscribed with archaic human symbols said to predate the Dark Age of Technology. A unique relic of human civilization. Starting Bid: 40,000 ThronesA large and ornate key made of tarnished silver, inscribed with archaic human symbols that can be translated by anyone with Speak Language (Archaic). The symbols translate as “open now the portals of sleep.”
Effects: Up to the GM to decide.
Greyskin Psalter A battered but sizable prayer book of archaic style and design, bound in some kind of grey skin. The text is in high gothic, but appears to make no sense. Penned in the hands of each of the Rogue Traders of the Haarlock line, starting with Solomon, ending with Erasmus.  The ultimate for collectors of Rogue Trader arcana. Starting Bid: 50,000 ThronesThe book is displayed open, and anyone looking at the text who is able to read High Gothic and who has Knowledge (Imperial Creed) will realise that it is gibberish, with words and phrases in entirely the wrong order.Effects: The Psalter is actually an encoded navigational codebook, describing worlds and journeys beyond the light of the Golden Throne, undertaken millennia before the Calixis Sector was founded. Included within are the location of things thought to be mythical. It is priceless to those who covet its secrets.
A Shattered Pauldron An Adeptus Astartes shoulder plate, torn and badly damaged. It is crimson in color with the symbol of a black, fanged skull blazoned on it. Origin unknown. Starting Bid: 50,000 ThronesEffect: None, but as a relic of the Astartes, it has great value and the mystery of which Chapter it belonged to might prove a dark one.
A Xenosflesh Mask Not for the faint-hearted. A vile looking hood-like mask of withered grey-green flesh, featureless but for a wide, circular, lamprey-like mouth. Xenotype: Unknown. Perfect for costume parties. Starting Bid: 50,000 ThronesEffect: None, except that psychic senses directed at it will generate a queasy feeling of crawling horror and dank forgotten places. It is, in fact, the skinned face of one of the creatures Haarlock named “the Children of the Kingdom,” of which more active examples will later be encountered.
An Onyx Statute A beautifully carved statue of a three-eyed, bat-winged felid, around a meter tall. At the statue's neck is a strange gorget of what appears to be tarnished copper. Well suited to entryways and pedestals. Starting Bids: 100,000 ThronesEffects: The statue is a xenos-relic, older than mankind. The gorget, which may be detached from its neck, is a Halo Device (see DotDG, page 97).
An Unknown Portrait A somewhat dark, blurred portrait, about half a meter square, encased in a solid block of crystal. There is some High Gothic writing etched in azure lettering at the bottom.
Starting Bids: 150,000 ThronesEffects: The portrait is designed to capture the image of one of Haarlock’s bloodline. Six hours after a scion of Haarlock has looked at the portrait, it will change to show  their likeness. Of course, such a person may attempt to vandalise the portrait (should he discover its effect) in order to prevent discovery of who he really is.
A Primitive Doll in a Glass Jar A small rag and stick doll, trapped in a dusty, stoppered bell jar. The air within is somewhat smoky. Another one not for the faint-hearted, just look at that doll's face. Scare the kiddies. Starting Bids: 250,000 ThronesEffects: A tormented and particularly vicious Astral Spectre is trapped within the jar (see page 350 of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook). Use of the Psyniscience Skill will reveal this fact. Breaking the jar, which is ordinary glass, will free the spectre. An unscrupulous or desperate Acolyte might use this as a weapon.
The Gilded Widow A magnificent life-sized automaton formed from gold and encrusted with agates and rubies, dressed in an archaic gown of crimson and purple silks. The automaton has an open aperture in its chest, revealing an intricate clockwork mechanism of staggering complexity. The figure is seated on a high-backed throne with an inbuilt table set before the figure, all carved with geometric and occult symbols. The gilded figure's head rests on its chest, and in its right hand it hold a ruby chalice, whilst in its left hand is an ivory set of the Emperor's Tarot in a silvered slip-case. The label reads: "The Most Sacred and Wondrous Oracular Device, Known to Men as the Gilded Widow." Starting Bids: 500,000 ThronesEffects: The device is extremely unnerving to look at, even when inert. Chronometers malfunction nearby, auspex systems register malfunctions, and any Psychic Power attempted nearby suffers Psychic Phenomena on any roll of a “double” number. The device is also entirely impervious to harm. The awaking of the Gilded Widow triggers the last part of the adventure—see Part Four: Death Trap.
And here's the list of things I included in the list that were not included in the adventure, as-written:
Other Items of the Haarlock Estates for Auction at the House of Dust and Ash
Extremely fine vintage wine (13 cases); Bidding starts at 500 Thrones per case.
Vial of water from Holy Terra. Bidding starts at 50,000 Thrones.
Perinetus-Pattern Personal Hover-Car—Pristine condition; very fine. Bidding starts at 3,500 Thrones.
Statuette of Saint Drusus—Bronze. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Offworld Properties (7 are listed); Bidding starts at 25,000 to 75,000 Thrones depending on the parcel.
Gilded Regicide Set—Beautiful regicide set in white gold, yellow gold, and electrum. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Sanctified Transcription of a sermon of [an important member of the Ecclesiarchy]-- Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Stuffed Carnodon-Somewhat moth-eaten, but large and impressive. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Furniture (multiple pieces)—Many lovely pieces in various styles and finishes. Bidding starts at 50 Thrones.
Fancy clothing of all sorts. Bidding starts at 10 Thrones.
Rare, or ancient (but mudane) texts (50 to 500 Thrones)
Accessories, such as canes, hats, purses, scarves, of exceptionally high quality.  Various costs (5 to 500 Thrones)
Angelus Bolt Carbine (best quality)—Gilt and bone grips with Haarlock crest. Bidding starts at 2,500 Thrones.
Archeotech Las Pistol (best quality)—Made of unknown black alloy. Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Handbow from Acreage (best quality) - Bidding starts at 750 Thrones.
Ornate Dataslate—Gilded with semiprecious jewels. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Amasec (5 bottles of various origins) Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Needle Pistol - "Once owned by an Inquisitorial alien hunter" Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Web Pistol (good quality) - "Once owned by an Inquisitorial alien hunter" Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Power Blade (good quality) - With Haarlock symbol and writing Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Lightning Chain (best quality) - "Property of a King's Guard of Acreage" Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Heretic's Wake Deck (best quality) - Blasphemous but beautiful version of the Emperor's Tarot (not explicitly stated on placard) Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Volgite Gloom Eye - "Worn by the infamous bounty hunter Jarvis Quin until his retirement" Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Three bottles of Golden Tokay - "A fine wine of Quaddis" Bidding starts at 300 Thrones.
Vivisector with Injector Rigs (best quality)-- Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Jokaero Light Sculpture - Constantly changing pattern. Bidding starts at 5,000 Thrones.
Grey Device—Origin and function unknown. Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Dorcas Pattern Trophy Stub Automatic --The backup sidearm of one Segeant Rhone, who slew scores of rebels and held a position by himself for three hours until relief arrived. Bidding starts at 3,500 Thrones.
Xenos Sculpture-- A strange man-sized piece of sculpture resembling irregular shaped pseudopods entwined around themselves and all in all poised like a tree that has grown under constants winds. The sculpture is made of light blue material similiar to wax in appearance but hard and very cold to the touch. If touched, the spot will glow with a light green hue for about a minute.  Bidding starts at 50,000 Thrones.
Archaeotech clockwork ballerina (functional)--A small (50cm high) archaeo-clockwork ballerina seemingly made of copper. It is "wound up" by dancing and pirouetting around it in circles in about one yard distance (quickly, for half a minute) . After that, it will itself dance in circles and pirouettes while it sings with a little girl's innocent voice "Dance, Dance / Around it goes / Dance, dance / On the top of your toes / Dance, Dance / Around it goes / Till the clock, it strikes [number]" Bidding starts at 25,000 Thrones.
A portrait of Erasmus Haarlock's Wife
The portrait shows the beautiful wife of Erasmus Haarlock. After her loss and during his plans for revenge, he stood countless hours before it. His extreme will, moaning, desire for vengeance and finally his wish to undue it all left a psychic imprint on it. Those who study the portrait for about an hour will start to feel like him. After thirteen hours (or 13 success on an extended hard Psyniscience test; one role per 15 minutes) the viewer will know about Haarlocks plan to bring her back (but not how. Haarlock stopped looking at it from roughly that point on). But at this point, the viewer must pass a challenging willpower test or gain one point of Insanity and an additional one for ever level of failure (Haarlocks madness left an imprint as well!). The fact that an imprint is left can be told with one difficicult test for Psyniscience. Bidding starts at 75,000 Thrones

Pict Viewer—A best quality and finely ornamented pict device with the emblem of the Haarlock line. It contains a collection of very old but priceless visual recordings of unique and strange celestial phenomena from Haarlock's journeys, about 30 hours of material. Bidding starts at 20,000 Thrones
The final is a recording of the appearing of the Tyrant Star. Even the viewing is dreadful to mind and soul (ordinary check for willpower, otherwise the viewer gains one point of insanity and corruption ones) but will prepare the viewer (+3 to all rolls resisting the effects of the Tyrant, if ever encountered in game).
Shade-Servitor (good quality)—This servitor will follow its owner wherever he goes, providing shade from the hottest of suns. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones
Psy-Tracker - Has very obvious Inquisition symbols. Bidding starts at 400 Thrones
Hrud Fusil - Plasma weapon of the near-mythical Hrud. This one has been adapted to take a standard Imperial plasma flask (pistol) as ammunition. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones.
Crimson Bestiary (best quality) - "Xeno bestiary of Fenksworld" Bidding starts at 500 Thrones
Egerian Geode—Bidding starts at 500 Thrones
Las Gauntlets—Best quality las gauntlets with the Haarlock crest. Bidding starts at 4,000 Thrones
The Bionic Heart of We'qan (an aide to a Saint Meloem, best quality charm)—This holy relic is one of a kind. Bidding starts at 60,000 Thrones
Shifting Color Formal Coat and Trousers—This beautiful suit of clothes shifts colors randomly, in vivid fractal patterns. Unknown material and origin. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones
Living Terran Turf, under bell dome Bidding starts at 100,000 Thrones
Fractal Blade—This odd weapon is much sharper than it looks. Be very careful not to touch the blade's edge. Bidding starts at 2,000 Thrones
The Haarlock Multicompass – Never be lost again with this archeotech multicompass (includes 'galactic' indicators, such as Terra, Ophelia IV and Hydraphur)-- Bidding starts at 50,000 Thrones
Xeno Hide Flogger—The ultimate item for the discerning flagellant. Bidding starts at 100 Thrones
Gilt Scroll Cases (3)—Beautiful, ornate scroll cases, now empty. Bidding starts at 300 Thrones (each)
Preserved Arm of an Eldar-- Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones
Dragon Scale Armor—Complete, but damaged. A 15cm hole goes all the way through the chest to the back. Rumored to have belonged to the Mechanus Sectutor Ariz al Kar, who fell in battle. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones
Gentleman's Grooming Kit—This grooming set belonged to Erasmus Haarlock himself. Bidding starts at 4,000 Thrones
Storm Trooper Carapace Armor (4 suits)—New condition, w/ Haarlock crest and house colors. Bidding starts at 2,500 Thrones (each set)
Clockwork Regicide Set—This set consists of metal and jewel clockwork pieces (a Tyranid vs. Adeptus Astartes theme) which perform their roles during play. Bidding starts at 50,000 Thrones.
Kraken Tooth Dagger—Though unremarkable, it is said this was something E. Haarlock won in a bet with a rival Rogue Trader. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones
Encyclopedia Galactica (13 Volumes)—This marvelous collection of antique books provides an overview of every known Imperial System, including planets and points of interest. Includes hand tinted illustrations and illuminated script. Bidding starts at 125,000 Thrones
Excruciator—High quality excruciator. Bidding starts at 200 Thrones
Logician Grav Flux Harness—This device is reputed to have been built by the Logician cult. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones
Deed to Fenksworld House –This deed is to a property on Fenksworld, consisting of a house and attached lands. Bidding starts at 50,000 Thrones
Sallet Helm—Battered helmet of black metal with bronze ornamentation. Rumored to be the helmet worn by renowned gladiator Herrick Dalen when then-unknown champion Bela Kruzchensky killed him, breaking his streak of 1312 victories. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones
Bolts of Nightweave Silk (3 in total) Bidding starts at 2,000 Thrones (for each)
Statuette--This statuette depicts a city of some kind, carved in extreme detail. However, when one looks at it, the geometries are wrong, and one's eyes can see the details but the mind cannot process them. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones
Gazing at it for too long requires a WP roll. If the roll fails, the PC gains 1d10 insanity points, and becomes obsessed with owning it.
Black Moon Stone—This is a perfectly round sphere (20 cm in diameter) made entirely of flawless black moonstone. Bidding starts at 25,000 Thrones.
Wraithbone Puzzle Box—This puzzlebox is made of wraithbone, but little else is known about it. No one (to our knowledge) has been able to solve it. Bidding starts at 2,500 Thrones.
Power Swordcane—A best quality power sword masquerading as a fine cane of heavy dark wood. The ultimate gentleman's accessory. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Clockwork Dancer Statuette—This beautiful statuette of a dancer operates continuously with no apparent power source. Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Stone Manacles—Working manacles of unknown origin made of unknown black stone. Key included. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Star Opal and Black Moonstone Necklace—Beautiful necklace of flawless star opals and black moonstones. Worn by Lady Haarlock. Bidding starts at 15,000 Thrones.
Book—pages mounted with pressed xenos botanical samples of unknown origin. Best quality, with ornate engraving. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Digiweapon (needle)-- Best quality, with ornate engraving. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Digiweapon (las)—Best quality, with ornate engraving. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Xenos Mesh Armor, w/ Cowl—Best quality xenos mesh armor. Bidding starts at 250 Thrones.
Ship Captain's Logbooks (11 of these)—Bound in xenos vellum with lined parchment pages. Numbered 121-132, with Haarlock crest on front cover. Bidding starts at 500 Thrones (each).
Zamarkand Rose Tree - Sealed in glass case to prevent "accidents" Bidding starts at 15,000 Thrones.
A "Perfect Needle" of xeno-metal in a suspensor field. - "A Perfect Needle, with xeno glyphs written into its very molecular structure." Bidding starts at 900 Thrones.
Sealed rose wood box. The seal bears the crest/emblem of one of an unknown noble house. Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Red Button--A large alluring ruby-red button set in a brass mounting but attached to nothing else. Affixed with a plaque reading "The Red Button." Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones.
Tarot Deck--A deck of the Emperor's Tarot which belonged to Erasmus' wife's personal seer and advisor. The deck sits in a mirrored display case. The mirrors are cracked and the card displayed is the Tower. Bidding starts at 5,000 Thrones.
Hand in Jar--A six fingered hand in a jar with a corroded brass plaque on the base reading "Vengeance." Bidding starts at 500 Thrones.
Golden Pocket Chronometer— The time-piece of Mathias Haarlock; broken. Decorated with intricate scroll-work. Stopped at thirteen-hundred hours. Bidding starts at 3,000 Thrones.
Eviscerator Chain Sword—Best quality, two-handed chain sword.  Bidding starts at 500 Thrones
Xenos Hide Greatcoat-- Bidding starts at 100 Thrones
Cherubim (pair)— cherubim Erasmus Haarlock's personal chamber. Bidding starts at 5,000 Thrones
Skull servitor (medicae)—Bone inlaid with rare alloys, gems, and semiprecious stones to form Haarlock crest. Bidding starts at 2,000 Thrones
Power Sword (Mordian Pattern)—Best quality power sword. Bidding starts at 2,500 Thrones.
Force Staff—Made of black metal alloy with crystalline skull mounted on top. Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones.
Hardened Body Glove (stealth)—Good quality, but otherwise unremarkable. Bidding starts at 900 Thrones.
Lathe Blade Longsword—Part of a matched pair. This sword and the dagger it is paired with were gifts to E. Haarlock from his wife. Bidding starts at 5,000 Thrones.
Lathe Blade Dagger—Part of a matched pair. This dagger and the sword it is paired with were gifts to E. Haarlock from his wife. Bidding starts at 3,000 Thrones.
Saint Meredith's Wristlet—This is to have belonged to Saint Meredith, who is famous for bringing the faith of the Emperor to people trapped on planets that were consumed by heresy. The skulls of this bracelet are said to be carved from the saint's teeth. Her teeth and fragments of her skull were all that survived her last encounter with the enemies of mankind, according to reports. Saint Meredith was famous for defeating daemons of the warp in deadly combat. Bidding starts at 15,000 Thrones
GM: Any weapon held in the hand whose wrist holds this bracelet is considered to be a Warded Weapon. DotDG 120. Skull bracelet.
Stuffed Genestealer
A fine example of the taxidermist's art, this hideous creature would be a sure-fire conversation starter. Eyes seem to follow you around the room. Age and Origin: Unknown.
Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones

GM: Causes strange dreams that force a Willpower Test (+0) or bestow 1d10 Insanity per year.
Hrud Fusil
Little is known of the Hrud, save they dwell only in darkness and possess strange technologies that allow them to walk between worlds and change time. This fusil is a form of a "plasma musket" that is a rare collector's item. Note: the item has been modified to accept Imperial plasma cells. Impress your friends on your next hunting expedition.
Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones

GM: DotDG 73, 74.
Gown of Silken Dreams
This beautiful gown is cut from Nightweave Silk, a form of flexible crystalline material that shimmers with a spectrum (favoring hues of violet) of soft inner light when worn in twilight or darkness. Your friends will be hypnotized by the fascinating patterns. Turn heads at your next turn at court.
Bidding Starts at 1,000 Thrones.

GM: DotDG 74. Psyniscience to detect the faint echo of suffering.
Moliochin Fire Heart
This fine gem glows in the dark with a flickering flame of yellow and orange. It is said to bring the owner good luck to new ventures. Why trust in blind luck when you can own your own? Bidding starts at 1,000 Thrones

GM: Xenos Art, DotDG 73
Idol of Sleef
This strange carving out of green stone is said to represent an alien god. Note the facial tentacles and delicate membranous wings. Said to be found on the Dead World of Sleef. Bidding starts at 5,000 Thrones

GM: Xenos Art, DotDG 73
Fragment of Eldar Wraithbone
The mysterious alien race known as the Eldar grow all sorts of unusual items from these wriathbones. No collector should be without one. Bidding starts at 1,500 Thrones

GM: Xenos Art, DotDG 73
Eldar Spirit Stone
Taken from the breast of a dead Eldar, this stone is said to contain the memories and soul of the fallen alien. Emits a soft rosy light in a darkened room. Prized among the elite as as backup source of light in a power outage. Bidding starts at 2,000 Thrones

GM: CA 77
Matched Set of Shuriken Pistols
Includes 10 clips of shuriken ammunition. Beautiful Eldar craftsmanship, they appear to be made out of matching wraithbones. You won't find items like this on the Cold Trade. Great for target practice. Can do single shot, semi-automatic, or full automatic. Bidding starts at 10,000 Thrones

GM: CA 85
Avenger Shuriken Catapult
Not your average Eldar catapult weapon. This was crafted for an elite Eldar Dire Avenger. With its longer barrel and inbuilt range-finders, this weapon is accurate even at extended distances. Includes 13 clips of shuriken ammunition on beautiful bone case. Bidding starts at 9,000 Thrones.

GM: CA 85
Enoulian Whisper Line
A fine cord, nearly monomolecularly thick, used by diminutive aliens known as the Enoulians as a lariat and garrote. Best if displayed under magnification. Bidding starts at 4,000 Thrones.

GM: CA 87.
Enoulian Trouble Detector.
Beeps when certain kinds of trouble are near. Modified to use Imperial Power Cells. Why wait for trouble when you can hear it coming? Once owned by Androticus Xarn, famous soothsayer 500 years ago. Bidding starts at 4,000 Thrones

GM: +30 to Psyinscience, beeps when near warp effects. Luggage detector.
Staff of the Martyred Psyker
Bone staff, said to be made of the fused and carven bones of psykers who gave their lives for the Emperor. Atop the staff is an ivory carving of a brain on fire. Bidding starts at 3,000 Thrones.

GM: Force Staff. IH 187, 188
Sword of Shadow
Dark grey blade of an unusual alloy which includes adamantine. Amazing craftsmanship. Said to have parried a power axe without a scratch on its surface. Origin: Unknown. Do not touch. Perfect for the swordsman on your list. Starting Bids: 4,000 Thrones

GM: Deamon Weapon DotDG 120, 121. Warp Predator, WP: 26. Hungering.
Greatsword of Blackest Night
Black iron greatsword with an onyx encrusted back-scabbard. Used by legendary heroes of the Drusus Marches. Legend has it this has cut through power armor and burned the warrior inside. No better way to show off your physique. Hands off. Starting Bids 7,000 Thrones

GM: Deamon Weapon DotDG 120, 121. Astral Sprectre, WP: 41. Mind Leech and Dark Fire.

So, that's a lot of stuff, isn't it? I may have over-engineered this list, frankly. The session where we did the auction required almost five hours to get through the list. It was probably one of the most difficult jobs of GMing I've ever had, because I had to make sure that they were able to get a sense of who was bidding against them, and building tension based on the results of that bidding. What people were bidding on was key to understanding, in part at least, their motivations. Not that anyone outside of Lanus Cisten and his assistant were even remotely trustworthy.

During the viewing period they acolytes had cause to learn some things. First, they were being watched by a variety of people, including Octavia Nile and another woman whom they did not know. It would turn out later that this person was Alexis Molotov, a Inquisitrix, and rival to Dorothea Senjak. She was aligned with the more radical factions of the Inquisition, those who believe that the powers of Chaos can be harnessed for the good of the Empire. However, she didn't identify herself at this time.

After the viewing, the acolytes made their ways back to the rooms they'd been assigned, and found that their rooms had been searched by someone. This would result in some serious trap-building, later that night, and a much more paranoid approach to keeping watch. Paranoia is good. It built a lot of useful tension to be developed at the following session.

That's pretty much the meat of what happened that session, other than the acolytes discovering that some kind of vast storm was brewing, making communication with the mainland (or orbital ships) impossible. Very cliche, yes, but something else to help ratchet up the tension. While little action occurred during this session, things would get very, very exciting during the next session. These things would include:

  1. The Auction
  2. The Revelations of the Gilded Widow
  3. The Countdown o' Death
  4. and The Death of Red the Guardsman (and the beginning of a long list of his no-good, terrible, ridiculous, and awful replacements)

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