Deathwatch: The Dead Crusade

Mission Seven: Gray Matter

Emperor's Children

Briefing: Hyzeron takes several steps back, his boots thumping loudly upon the deck plates. He seems relieved to be done with the formalities of awarding the purity seals and distinctions. “Now, to the matter of your next assignment,” the Captain punches a few rune-plates upon a nearby cogitator console and data begins to stream into the machine spirits of your armor. “As much as you may want to remain here and aid the reclamation of the Bestiarium, there are more pressing matters. I am uploading the most recent mission logs to you. Within you will find that Watch Captain Servais was present here in the fortress prior to the escape of Subject #696. His team departed the fortress aboard a Kill-ship bound for Vanity, a planet in the Cellebos Warzone.” Hyzeron pauses a moment, as if the evidence of his friend’s suspicious activity physically hurts him, “The log cites the recovery of a heretical noble named Edgarius Gray as his mission objective. Gray has apparently been questioned by the Inquisition before but has never been found guilty of any crimes against the Emperor. Either Servais knows more than the Inquisitors, or he is after…something else…in Gray’s possession.” None of you miss the subtle hint that Hyzeron believes Servais is after another one of the Honored Dead’s caskets. “Gray’s Manor occupies many blocks in the upper reaches of Hive Hubris. According to the Inquisitorial Adepts, Gray is wealthy beyond belief and employs extremely capable soldiers and servants. As of now, the forces of chaos that contest Vanity have yet to reach Hive Hubris’ upper levels, though I would advise you to expect the worst.”

“Your mission is to bring Servais back to Erioch alive.” Hyzeron pauses and levels a stern gaze at Brother Waechter, “Watch Captain Servais is your Battle-brother and a ranking officer. His life is more valuable than any xenos you will ever encounter, so I expect this won’t be an order you alter.” The Watch Captain returns his look the lot of you, “Bring Servais to me and me alone.” Hyzeron’s next few words leave an obviously sour taste in his mouth, “Resort to violence only if necessary. Despite Captain Servais’s recent actions, he has not been proven a heretic and should not be treated like one.”

Hyzeron spins on his heel to stare out over the still expanse of the Erioch system. “I am ordering you to board a Kill-ship instead of Captain Zin’s vessel. The trader is unfamiliar with his new role in the Deathwatch and he needs time to learn his place.”

Kill-team Objectives:

Primary Objective: Follow Watch Captain Servais to the hive world of Vanity and bring him to Watch Fortress Erioch (and Watch Captain Hyzeron) alive.

Requisition: 78 per Marine in the Kill-team

View
Mission Six: Subject #696

Subject 696

Briefing: It took three weeks after withdrawing from the surface of Sedu to repair the Mahzooz Yawm’s jump drive. The whole while Captain Emile Zin oversaw the efforts, often wearing a hurried or nervous expression that he quickly stifled in the presence of your Kill-team. Despite Zin’s attempted discretion, it is clear to you that the man has been affected by recent events.

Watch Captain Hyzeron is a constant presence aboard the Yawm. The Marine is stoic and contemplative when encountered, but never refuses to have a word with any of you who seek it. It is clear that Hyzeron is also shadowing Inquisitor Quist. He is far from subtle, and his wanderings often lead him near the woman, no matter where she might be. One thing Hyzeron seems eager to discuss with his Kill-team is his own mission prior to the destruction of the Vindex.

At one point in the long journey, Hyzeron collects all of you in a private room much like the observatorium on Erioch. He explains that he was retracing Watch Captain Servais’ steps after their own reports from Argoth and was eventually lead to Sedu. As he prepared to land at the Watch Station, the Vindex’s reactor exploded and he had only a short time to grab what he could from its machine spirit before the fire consumed the entire ship. It is in these bits of data that he discovered Inquisitor Quist’s apparent involvement in the sabotaging of the vessel. Augury logs also obtained tracked a personal transport removing itself from the Vindex right before the explosion. This much you already knew, however. It’s what Hyzeron discovered on Sedu prior to your arrival that concerns him most – Watch Captain Servais was present at the station several months ago and performed a data retrieval. Epistolary Axineton himself authorized the retrieval. With Zin’s help, Captain Hyzeron analyzed the Watch Station’s records more thoroughly to discover that whatever knowledge Servais took from the Station’s spirit was implanted mere days before its retrieval.

Inquisitor Quist is as elusive as ever, speaking only when she can find no escape. The information supplied by the Eldar Corsair Ulthyr Ellarion about the Honored Dead obviously excited her. You’re all sure that Hierophant Vodis, the Imperial cleric torn from the strange surface of JS-415, suffered as a result of the new scrap of information. Quist is rarely seen outside of her quarters, despite the length of the journey – though you do know that she requisitioned the use of Zin’s personal library on more than one occasion.

Now you have arrived at the designated area of space to transfer from the Mahzooz Yawm to a Deathwatch shuttle for the final approach into Erioch…and all is quiet. Nobody answers Zin’s long-range vox calls and use of any secret Deathwatch channels yield similar silence.

Kill-team Objectives:

Primary Objective: Discover the cause of Watch Fortress Erioch’s silence.

Requisition: 102 per Space Marine in the Kill-team

Debriefing:

View
Mission Five: The Honored Dead

Sedu

Briefing: The trip to Sedu is a long one without the aid of the warp, even in Zin’s surprisingly nimble vessel. A month has past since your Kill-team departed the doomed planet known as JS-415. Indeed, whatever had drawn the Tyranids to the near-lifeless mass has probably already been claimed…or consumed. Though you do not feel fear as most humans do, the very thought of what secrets or powers the Tyranids might gain as a result of their invasion of JS-415 sickens you.

Inquisitor Quist has largely kept to herself, unless you count her prisoner, Vodis, company. What little you have seen of the man in the ragged robes of the Ecclesiarchy has led you to believe him mad with the thought of revenge. Any control he once exhibited a month ago has melted away with the time he has spent in Quist’s chamber. Vodis’s already wide eyes are shot red with blood and though he is usually gagged, he endeavors to shout, scream, rant and rave at every opportunity. Quist herself says very little to you Marines. She is difficult to pin down; even by those she seems to favor (Brother Waechter). It’s common for the Inquisitor to do away with any pretence of formality and dismiss herself from somebody’s company without a word, let alone an excuse. The woman is wholly distracted by whatever secrets she gleaned from the surface of JS-415…or the thoughts, memories, or emotions the place woke within her.

The Rogue Trader, Emile Zin, has been focused upon repairing the Mahzooz Yawm. The vessel’s servitors, those that survived the invasion of the Tyranids, have done all they can to keep the ship together. Zin has mentioned that his resources have run out and true repairs will require supplies he hopes are available at the Watch Station on Sedu. Unfortunately, the entire journey has been plagued by a series of minor disasters that have forced the Captain to divert his already thinning stock of assets. Servitors have been found ruined in darkened corridors, entire banks of cogitators have been reduced to smoldering metal chunks and a few of the Yawm’s human crewmen have disappeared entirely.

Player Objectives:

Primary Objective I: Dock with Watch Station Sedu and oversee the repair of the _Mahzooz _Yawm.
Primary Objective II: Ensure the safety of Inquisitor Adrielle Quist.

Requisition: (105) per Marine in the Kill-team

View
Mission Four: Exterminatus

Photobucket

Briefing: The components of Inquisitor Quist’s legs whir softly as she moves away from the small strageium’s only door, enacting a locking ritual upon the door’s rune plate before doing so. “I am pleased you all answered my summons. I was hoping that my previous encounters with some of you would not cause a permanent rift between us.” Quist’s eyes linger on Brother Ordo as she moves to occupy a position at the front of the room. A smile, obviously forced, comes to her lips and none fail to miss the oddity of the expression upon Quist’s usually stern features.

The Inquisitor is garbed in an elegant suit of ceremonial power armor from the waist up. Each of the armor’s ceramite plates is trimmed in gold and the broad spaces between those borders have been covered in fanciful excerpts from the Imperial Creed. The Inquisitor’s legs are hidden by a robe of cream-colored silk. “I would have you know that you may speak freely here. The room is properly warded against prying eyes and ears.” Quist moves to stand behind the strategium’s dormant cogitator rune plate but makes no overtures to wake it. For many seconds she stands there, staring at each of you in kind. When she finally speaks her voice is so low as to be undetectable without the aid of your sensory implants.

“What I am about to divulge to you must not leave this room. I am to trust you with information most in my order do not possess and that many would kill to steal.” The Inquisitor taps several of the runes on the cogitator’s console before the thing comes to life. A sprawling holographic map of the Jericho Reach suddenly hangs in the air above the console, rotating slowly to show you every angle. Tiny dots of light represent stars, each of which is surrounded by opaque balls of varying sizes and colors. “This,” Quist’s voice continues at her expertly slight whisper, “is the Jericho Reach as those aware of its existence know it.” The woman walks around the cogitator console, settling before an area of sparse black space. She extends a long mailed finger, barely touching the hologram. “Here,” she says pointing to the area of empty space “lays a world only a handful of human beings know exists. You’ll find it on no map or star chart anywhere. All mention of its presence has long since been stricken from Imperial record, even those rare few dating back to before the Age of Shadows.”

Inquisitor Quist’s finger withdraws from the space, leaving a pin-sized hole in the hologram. “The world was once known as JS-415 and was a frontier colony managed by the Departmento Munitorum in the time before the fall of this sector. Upon the return of the Imperium to the Reach, Lord Inquisitor Belgrade, companion to Lord Militant Achilus himself, classified this world for reevaluation. Belgrade apparently believed that there was a slim chance that the military presence upon JS-415 persisted despite years of isolation in the vast darkness.”

Quist returns to her position at the cogitator rune plate and stares directly at the mark she made upon the hologram. Her eyes linger even as she speaks, “Belgrade dispatched his personal retinue along with a young and hungry Inquisitorial apprentice. The details of the group’s encounters upon the planet are sketchy, but it is known to me that only the apprentice returned from the planet after issuing the order of Exterminatus and returned to Belgrade for debriefing. Again, the details of the conversation between the apprentice and the lord are beyond me. However, the result of the conversation is not. All record of JS-415’s existence was wiped from Imperial data stores. The Inquisition was extremely thorough.” Quist pauses to remove her eyes from the hologram. Her use of the word “thorough” implies murder.

“You are here, learning of JS-415 because I require your company upon the world’s surface. Had my personal retinue survived my last expedition, I would have doubted their ability in this matter. However, I trust that the elite Marines of the Deathwatch are up to the task.” You all get the feeling that this is the closest thing to a compliment you’ll ever receive from Inquisitor Quist. “I’ve already taken the liberty of speaking to Watch Captain Ramiel and he has released your team to me in Captain Hyzeron’s absence. My goal is to investigate JS-415 to confirm or dismiss suspicions I have concerning the forsaken planet’s fate.” Standing straight, Quist locks her eyes upon Brother Waechter. “The meeting with your Trader friend, I will have it now. I am curious to know how the man was able to get you to the surface of a quarantined Imperial world. Skills such as those will be quite valuable in this instance, as I wish this to be an…independent operation.”

Kill-team Objectives:

Primary Objective: Accompany Inquisitor Quist to the surface of JS-415 and ensure her safety.

Requisition: (113) per Marine

Debriefing: The Kill-team completed their clandestine meeting with Inquisitor Quist and quickly made haste to prepare for the secretive (and ominous) mission. When all weapons, armor and equipment had been secured, the Kill-team boarded a shuttle and met Emile Zin’s ship, Mahzooz Yawm. Zin greeted the Kill-team with smiles and accepted Brother Waechter’s offering of fine wine and amasec. After only a short time, Zin gave the order and the Mahzooz Yawm translated into the warp.

When the vessel exited the immaterium, its crew and passengers found themselves surrounded by a thin arm of a Tyranid hive fleet. The fleet, preoccupied with a distant dead-looking planet, spat four spore pods at the Yawm. The pods crashed into the vessel’s hull, spilling forth hordes of hormagaunt variety Tyranids and a pair of lethal Warrior breeds. The Marines of the Kill-team met the Tyranid menace head on, and after a short but brutal fight, they were able to repel all but a single swarm of the bugs.

Just as the Marines were taking their final swings and shots at the savage xenos, Zin’s voice broke over the vox channel. He ordered the Marines to regroup with Inquisitor Quist on the embarkation deck. The Trader also warned that their window for deployment was growing short and that speed was of the essence.

The Kill-team found Quist already at the pilot’s seat of an Aquila Lander. They promptly boarded the aircraft and deployed to the planet. As the vessel approached the dead planet the Marines spotted a patch of lush, verdant forest seemingly unaffected by the order of exterminatus. Quist angled the Lander towards the island of green and promptly touched down amidst an eminent Tyranid invasion.

Crunching their way through the jungle, the Kill-team was suddenly assaulted by a Tyranid Lictor. The beast took a swipe at the lead Marine, but Ordo was quick to retaliate. The Marine sawed through the beast with his chainsword, delivering a near-perfect strike to its chest and nearly severing the thing where it stood. Howling in agony, the Lictor leapt into the thick canopy above, disappearing to lick its wounds or find more favorable prey.

After their encounter with the Lictor, the Kill-team came upon a small clearing of freshly hewn trees that seemed to be slowly regenerating. In the center of the clearing stood a large, smoky fire, the only company to a man hunched against one of the stumps. The man’s robes were bedecked with the tell-tale “I” of the inquisition. He stood as the Marines approached and muttered something about how he was happy to see they returned. He referred to the lead Battle-Brother as Servais, a Watch Captain the team had encountered before. The Kill-team refuted the misidentification and proceeded to battle Vodis to secure his manacles. After a brief confrontation with the man, the Kill-team had bound him and headed back towards the Lander. Inquisitor Quist and Brother Waechter lingered at the site of the fire long enough for Quist to walk into and out of the inferno unscathed. What the Inquisitor sought within the flames is unknown.

Back at the landing site, the Kill-team encountered what appeared to be the remnants of an Inquisitorial retinue including a Death Cult Assassin called Lux, a Judge named Gorr and a Sanctioned Psyker labeled Keyser. Gorr ordered the remnants to attack the Marines, again identifying them as Servais and his Kill-team. The Marines quickly subdued the psyker Keyser and the Assassin Lux, but were unable to pin down the Judge.

Gorr attempted to abscond with the Aquila Lander but unfortunately for him, Quist, Ordo and Dragano all leapt aboard the departing vehicle. After a brief scuffle aboard the Lander that nearly resulted in a fatal fall for Quist and Ordo, Gorr was dispatched. Quist regained control of the Lander and made for the atmosphere until Ordo held her at gunpoint and instructed her to return for his Battle-Brother and his captive.

When the Kill-team was together again aboard the Lander, they witnessed the initial impact of the Tyranid spore pods upon the verdant island. Aboard the Mahzooz Yawm again, the Kill-team was told that the vessel could not translate into the warp until repairs were made. Zin asked for a safe haven and the Marines pointed him in the direction of one of the Deathwatch’s Watch Stations. The Mahzooz Yawm fired up all its rudimentary engines and is now headed towards the Watch Station located upon the frontier world of Sedu on the other side of the Slinnar Drift Cluster.

View
Mission Three - Quarantine

Photobucket

Briefing:

Watch Captain Hyzeron stands before a number of pict screens in one Erioch’s many briefing chambers. Several of the larger glass-paneled displays show orbital captures of an unfamiliar hive city. The place looks to be in complete chaos, hungry flames and clouds of smoke forever frozen in the moment the recorder was active.

“This,” begins Hyzeron, turning to face you in full battle armor, “is the hive city of Taurinum on the world of Argoth.” Hyzeron punches a rune tablet in his gauntleted hand and the pict-captures begin to change. The city is slowly revealed from a number of angles and distances, all of which show a level of destruction wrought by widespread war or revolt.

“The planet Argoth lies in the Canis Salient, an effort lead by Lord Commander Ebongrave.” Hyzeron’s usually stoic features break into a deep scowl. “Argoth and its sister systems Rheelas and Kaggeran have been quarantined by the Commander for quite some time. It would seem that Ebongrave believes the three systems have been thoroughly subverted by the Tau.” Hyzeron’s scowl only deepens.

“A Deathwatch Kill-team lead by Captain Servais was dispatched to Hive Taurinum to determine the validity of Ebongrave’s claims but it has been months since their last report. Servais hails from the Raven Guard and it is not unusual for our Battle-brother to achieve his objectives over long periods of time using careful and stealthy observation. However, something about this entire affair does not rest well with me.”

Hyzeron looks back to the scrolling pict-captures for a brief moment. “I would accompany you personally but other matters demand my immediate attention.” The uncharacteristic scowl that has marred the Watch Captain’s features twice already suddenly returns.

“Your objectives are clear, investigate the purity of the hive on Argoth, make contact with Watch Captain Servais and his Kill-team, and throw off any corruption encountered in the process. I will require a full report upon your return. Lord Commander Ebongrave is one of the Lord Militant’s most trusted commanders and if the Deathwatch is to approach him requesting termination of Ebongrave’s orders, we need as much evidence supporting our cause as possible. The goal is to lift the quarantine, a task not easily accomplished considering Taurinum’s current state.”

Hyzeron punches another rune and the pict screens suddenly flash a number of bios: Argoth’s governor, several commanding Imperial Guard officers and even more of the hive’s politically influential nobles.

“It should be clear to you from the orbital captures displayed here that conditions within the hive are poor. Riots rip through the streets and apocalyptic cults have likely sprung into existence – preaching about an end that surely will come at the purging fires of orbital bombardment or simple starvation. Ebongrave’s hounds, the 14th Mortressan Highlanders’ presence has already been confirmed by one of Servais’s earliest communications.”

Another manipulation of the hand-held tablet in Hyzeron’s possession brings to life a pict of a thick naval blockade. “To clear this action with the Watch Commander would waste valuable time. Thus, your usual method of insertion, Captain Gelius’s Vindex, will be unavailable. Your arrival must be in secret, which will require you to run the blockade orbiting Argoth.” The pict displays change again to portray a middle-aged man with caramel colored skin, a jet-black beard and elegantly greased hair. “This is Emile Zin, a Rogue Trader that has experience running the Crusade’s many blockades. I am trusting your delivery to Argoth’s surface to him. The Vindex will take you well beyond Erioch’s borders where you will transfer to Zin’s vessel, Mahzooz Yawm.”

The Captain deactivates the pict screens. “If you find yourselves returned to Erioch and I am not present, defer to Watch Captain Ramiel’s command. He is a trusted Battle-brother.”

Kill-team Objectives:

Primary Objective I– Break the blockade around the planet Argoth without alerting Imperial forces of your Deathwatch identities.
Primary Objective II – Locate and capture evidence revealing the extent (or lack thereof) of Tau influence in Hive Taurinum.
Primary Objective III – Locate Watch Captain Servais and his Kill-team or determine their fates.
Secondary Objective – Excise as much corruption (in any form) as possible from the hive.
Tertiary Objective – Eliminate any seditious leaders encountered in Hive Taurinum.

Requisition: (70) per Space Marine

Debriefing – Part I:

The Kill-team arrived aboard Zin’s vessel (Mahzooz Yawm) and made haste towards the quarantined world of Argoth. While aboard the ship, the team discovered that Zin had an interest in the events that occurred on the planet of Pellor III. Brother Waechter bargained with the Rogue Trader, exchanging personal knowledge of the incident on Pellor III’s surface for a future meeting between Zin and an unnamed Inquisitor.

Meanwhile, Brother Caleb diligently questioned the ship’s machine spirits, who had been carefully protected against even surface intrusion. Caleb’s technical talents proved to be the better, at least for a time, as he was able to access the Mahzooz Yawm’s recent flight history. Oddly enough, the logs showed that Zin’s ship was in orbit of the doomed Necron tomb world while the Kill-team was on its surface. When confronted with the information, Zin denied the accusation. Afterward, the Mahzooz Yawm’s machine spirits grew stubbornly quiet.

Though mysterious and odd, Zin proved to be quite adept at breaking the Imperial blockade in orbit of Argoth. Not one of the Imperial ships reacted to the Mahzooz Yawm’s presence, though Zin encouraged the Kill-team to be hasty in their decision about where to land and their actual deployment. The Kill-team quickly decided to make for Hive Taurinum’s Ecclesiarchal Holdings rather than the area outside of the Hive known as the Boneyard.

When the drop pod from the Yawm smashed to Argoth’s surface, the Kill-team found themselves surrounded by the ruins of countless chapels, shrines, churches and cathedrals. Some members of the Kill-team spotted graffiti praising the glory of the Emperor and an unfamiliar saint, Scythus. Almost immediately after investigating the area, the Marines encountered a group of Scythus’s adherents and their leader, a man calling himself Epidimus the Unworthy.

Epidimus hailed the Battle-Brothers as Angels of Scythus; brought to them for an event he called “The Final Harvest.” The cleric encouraged the Kill-team to follow him to a place he named “Everend” and they reluctantly followed. There, Epidimus was convinced to square off against Brother Ordo in a solo Harvest. Epidimus proved to be an unexpectedly difficult opponent. Every wound caused by Ordo seemed to close almost before it bled, and the man’s massive (and oddly intricate) scythe bypassed the Imperium’s most advanced power armor! Ordo quickly realized that there would be little he could accomplish alone against the so-called “Unworthy” aside from disarming him and relying on the support of his Battle-Brothers.

The rest of the Kill-team opened fire upon Epidimus and he decried them as false angels before being struck down into hundreds of bloody chunks. A massacre ensued within the cathedral of Everend as the followers of Saint Scythus turned on the Kill-team. They were promptly slaughtered.

After the battle was over, the Kill-team noticed that the remains of Epidimus attempted to reconnect, but what the Kill-team could do to prevent the man’s rise was deemed unimportant. The remains were left in the burning husk of Everend and the team moved on towards the palace.

On their approach to the palace, the Kill-team was met by a man calling himself “Jump.” Jump claimed to be the Governor’s personal proxy and seneschal and stated that the Governor had been aware of the Kill-team’s presence on the planet for some time. The Governor, it seemed, was in need of aid and requested the Kill-team follow Jump to where they could meet.

Jump delivered the Kill-team to the palace, where they met with the Governor. The Kill-team promised to investigate the siege and see if they could put an end to the battle. When they made to leave, they found that the door that Jump had led them through was left wide open. Karl sprinted outside to catch a flash of movement on the roof and alerted the rest of the team of a hostile presence.

After a series of cryptic vox communications between somebody claiming to be Watch Captain Servais and Brother Ordo, the Kill-team finally fell into line with the apparent Captain’s requests for them to stand down. Servais decried the Governor as a heretic, but would give no justification or even hint at his Kill-team’s objectives. The Kill-team was forced to watch as Servais’ Marines, including Brother Noctis, removed something from a heavily fortified vault below the palace. A chance shelling of the palace loosened the mysterious object’s covering for a moment, revealing a coffin-like box bearing a the ancient symbol for infinity.

The Governor protested loudly against the Marines’ actions and called them heretics. Once Servais and his Kill-team extracted themselves from the palace, the Kill-team decided to end the Governor’s life. His head was removed from his body but oddly enough, the tissues, arteries and bones desperately tried to reform – recalling the team’s earlier encounter with Epidimus.

The Kill-team now stands ready to investigate the 14th Mortressan Highlanders who lay siege to the palace in an attempt to root out more heresy.

View
Mission Two - Pellor III

Photobucket

Briefing:
Watch Captain Hyzeron has again gathered the lot of you in one of Erioch’s many observatorium’s. Erioch’s sixth dead world dominates the arma-glass bubble, blotting out the stars that usually surround it with reflected light from the system’s dying white sun. Hyzeron rests within one of the many chairs grounded to the high-polish marble floor. His posture is relaxed, though the Marine cannot help but project the potential death that resides within all Astartes muscle and bone.

“Please Brothers, be seated. It’s rare to witness number six so close.” Whether you are seated or not, the Captain reaches within his robes and produces a stack of paper-thin data slates. He passes the stack around the room, never taking his gaze from the barren gray surface of Erioch VI. Hyzeron is deathly silent as you read the green gothic text that scrolls across the slates’ pict screens.

Report on Pellor IIIwritten by Adept DolemDepartmento Munitorum

Fifteen years ago an Agri-Conversion Team (or ACT) was dispatched to the world of Pellor III to prepare the planet for its seeding, a process integral to the growth of human foodstuffs on planned agri-worlds. The ACT numbered slightly less than 500 laborers, administrators and planetary defense forces and established an encampment in the geographical center of Pellor III’s lone continent. The low number of personnel was meant to keep the operation quick and concealed from aggressors who would seek to disrupt it.

The team had reported successful conversions of the top and sub soil layers within the first two years of operations. Within the third year the ACT began the more laborious process of converting the continent’s salty regolith at the C Horizon. Before the end of the third year an astonishingly weak astropathic message sent from Pellor III’s surface was received by a passing Rogue Trader named Emile Zin. The Trader alerted authorities within the Departmento Munitorum of the message, though the communication was not evaluated until five years later.

The contents of the message were reviewed and marked for review. Repeated attempts to contact the ACT have resulted in just as many failures. Astropathic communication could not be established with Pellor III’s surface and a suggestion was made to dispatch Imperial Guard forces to investigate. Deployment orders were promptly refused by General Lucidivar Vlack of the Canis Salient, citing the lack of evidence regarding a military threat to the operation on Pellor III.

When this adept attempted to recycle the request, the original message received by Emile Zin had been stricken from the records and labeled “Inquisition Prioritis.” No further action will be taken by the Departmento Munitorum and the matter is considered closed.

Timing his words to the very second the last of you finishes reading the report, Hyzeron states, “I recovered this report upon receiving instruction from Watch Commander Mordigael to dispatch a Kill-team to Pellor III – it’s the only piece of information about the planet and its recent history that I could find. It seems the Inquisition has gone to great lengths to see the details of this situation buried. Despite their secrecy, Inquisitor Carmillus herself has requested Deathwatch assistance from the Watch Commander.”

“Thus, you are to travel to the third planet in the Pellor system and investigate the ACT compound. Considering the Inquisition’s conservative stance on this mission and Inquisitor Carmillus’s personal request for action, I suspect that you may encounter hostiles on the surface, if not something worse.”

Objectives:
Primary Objective: Investigate the Imperial Agri-Conversion Team base on Pellor III.

Requisition: (71) per Space Marine

Debriefing:

The ACT compound was shrouded in rain and darkness when the Kill-team touched down on Pellor III. It appeared as if the compound itself had been deserted for weeks, possibly months. Power still fed the compound’s lights, but most of the cogitators’ machine spirits seemed to be in long-term sleep.

The Kill-team proceeded from the landing platform to the Hub where they found a lone survivor calling himself Kyle Anders. After a fair bit of coaxing and intimidation, the Kill-team determined that something of value had been found in the pit. Anders described the PDF Captain (a man named Feln) claiming the prize for him and his men. The ACT’s laborers and administration rebelled against the Captain’s claim and fighting ensued. After securing Anders aboard their gunship, the Kill-team proceeded down into the pit.

The walls of the massive hole were smoothly drilled soil. About 50 yards into the maw the Kill-team discovered evidence to support Anders’ story – a crude barricade covered in the obvious signs of a small-arms fire fight. No bodies were discovered amongst the spent rounds and abandoned weapons.

Further into the Pit the Kill-team encountered a large drilling vehicle. Caleb accessed the vehicle’s on-board black vox (a safety measure in case of cave-ins) and revealed further evidence of fighting between the ACT and its PDF defenders. The last vox log also indicated the presence of hostile xenos, apparently responsible for the destruction of the ACT and PDF.

The pit took on a steep incline now, and for several hundred yards the team half-slid, half-climbed down. When the tunnel suddenly leveled off, the Marines found their night vision sensors to be in complete disarray. Karl tossed a glow lamp ahead of the team to reveal a glossy black stone had become the prevalent material. The stone was neatly cut to form a perfectly square corridor. Shallow lines lit with lime-green bars of energy formed uniform geometric shapes across the corridor’s stone surfaces. The symbols and materials defied the knowledge of the Kill-team.

Brother Ordo volunteered to investigate further and approached what appeared to be a body on the shiny floor. Closer inspection revealed the body to be little more than a collection of cybernetic implants surrounded by the robes of a Mechanicum Magos. Several trinkets amongst the pile displayed the Inquisitorial “I.”

The Kill-team moved beyond the glossy stone corridor into an absolutely massive room made of the same stuff. In the center of the chamber was a pit more than 60 meters deep. Arcs of emerald electricity snapped out from the pit to collect on coils evenly placed on the ledge the Kill-team now occupied. Trudging mechanically along the rail-less rim of the pit were four mechanical skeletons, promptly identified as the rare but immensely dangerous Necrons!

A whisper in the team’s secure vox channel revealed that a Vindicare assassin calling himself Ishin was somewhere in the room. The assassin informed the team that his inquisitor lay at the bottom of the pit, her body shattered and unconscious. Rescuing the Inquisitor became the team’s priority.

Karl wasted no time and poured a brutal amount of heavy bolter rounds into one of the Necron warrior’s backs! The spray of fire tore through the thing’s pelvis and continued up along its spine until smashing into its neck and head. Gouts of emerald green electricity and ebony fluid poured from the thing’s shattered form and it fell to the ground in a heap. Caleb followed suit and shots from his bolter echoed throughout the chamber, finding purchase in another warrior, though his target remained on its feet it looked far worse for wear. Brother Ordo heroically jumped into the pit, his jump pack firing at expertly executed intervals to guide him safely down the bottom. The Assault Marine quickly spotted the broken form of a female inquisitor in golden power armor amidst towering coils of the green lightning.

The battle ensued for several minutes, with the Necrons taking the brunt of the damage, but always finding their way to their feet again. A horde of scarabs flooded into the passage behind the Kill-team, and the Necrons looked to have effectively bottled the Kill-team in. Their C’tan masters would feast well on the robust life force locked in the Marines’ bodies.

The Kill-team had other plans, however. Ordo burst forth from the pit with the inquisitor in his arms, skillfully maneuvering his jump pack past the hovering swarms of scarabs. In but a few minutes, Ordo found himself upon Pellor III’s salty surface again. Caleb and Karl forced their way past the nipping mechanical insects, while Dragano bravely faced down a storm of fire from the Necron’s Gauss weaponry. Though badly wounded, Dragano pressed on and through the scarab swarms.

Karl remained behind long enough to cover his wounded Battle-brother and the Vindicare Assassin crept from the ceiling to the bottom of the deep pit. When the Kill-team reached the surface of Pellor III a massive explosion rocked the earth. Karl leaped to safety aboard the hovering Thunderhawk as the Vindicare’s melta bomb exploded, causing a thick column of green energy to rise into the sky for several minutes.

Safely aboard the Vindex, the Kill-team learned that the inquisitor they had rescued went by the name of Adrielle Quist. It was also learned that Kyle Anders was Quist’s interrogator, and left the retinue behind over an apparent disagreement in philosophy.

View
Mission Zero Point Two - Paying Debts

Photobucket

Briefing:

Message from Watch Captain Hyzeron:

I have just been made aware that your Kill-team has promised the Adeptus Mechanicus favors in return for bombarding the Astraeus. I will not lie to you; the Watch Commander is not pleased. The matter of bombing the Astraeus will be discussed upon your return to Erioch. More importantly at this moment is the issue of favors. Owing favors to anybody is counter productive to what the Deathwatch is trying to accomplish. Owing favors to the Mechanicum is worse. However, a debt is a debt and this one you have earned yourselves.

As repayment to the Mechanicum, you are being transported aboard The Fury of Mars to a region of space that has been rife with Eldar activity. This particular region has long been plagued by attacks from the xenos, though the strikes seem to be more opportunistic than offensive. Considering the relatively low number of Eldar we have encountered in the Reach, I cannot say that I am surprised. Despite this, Eldar raids have increased and their success seems almost assured, a trend the Deathwatch cannot afford to ignore.

According to the tech-priests, the Eldar are based upon the lone moon of the agri-world of Vespasia. How they came into possession of such knowledge is beyond me, but their unwillingness to part with their source only confirms old suspicions.

Your mission is to investigate possible Eldar activity upon the moon of Vespasia, and if necessary, eradicate them. Recover whatever information or technology the Adeptus Mechanicus encounters and deems proper payment for their services. They have not been completely forthcoming on what exactly they seek from this arrangement but they have assured Watch Commander Mordigael that this will eliminate the Deathwatch’s debt. Be weary.

Kill-team Objectives:
Primary Objective: Investigate eldar activity on Vespasia’s moon.
Primary Objective: Recover any data or technology identified by the Adeptus Mechanicus agent and deliver them to the agent.
Secondary Objective: Ensure the safety of the Adeptus Mechanicus agent.

Requisition: 72

Debriefing: The Kill-team was dropped to the icy surface of the Vespasian moon accompanied by the tech-priest, Magos named Moriarty. Their drop pod landed in the chilly confines of a glacial rift where they were unexpectedly assaulted by Eldar rangers posted above the chasm on either side. Though the snipers let loose an impressive volley of well-aimed shots, they caused no more than a few scratches on the black paint of the Marines’ armor. Caleb, the team’s Techmarine, dispatched two of the rangers by blasting away at the walls of the rift with his bolter. The subsequent rangers were either gunned down by heavy bolter fire from Karl’s prized gun, or turned to ash by Ulkell’s powers of the warp.

At the end of the crevice the Kill-team found a pair of ruined spires protruding from the moon’s surface. One of the spires was clearly damaged beyond the point of functioning, however the remaining spire appeared to be perfectly intact. The Kill-team set a demo charge at the spire’s base and promptly made themselves an entrance.

Within the spire the Kill-team was set upon by advanced automated defenses that included a blinding effect and a pair of twin-linked deathspinner turrets. Caleb smashed one to nothing using the height his servo-arm afforded him to his advantage while Ulkell once again let loose the fury of the warp, polishing off the remaining turret.

Further up a winding staircase the team encountered an Eldar Bonesinger attempting to keep them from accessing a room that seemed to house an important bit of technology. Karl attempted to use his heavy bolter to penetrate the writhing wraithbone door, but access into the room wasn’t gained until Meniere tossed a grenade in through the closing bolter holes.

Once inside the Kill-team encountered a device that seemed to be psychically activated to allow entrance to the webway. Ulkell channeled a fair amount of power into the device and a portal to the webway opened just outside of the spire’s upper level. The Team jumped through to find themselves in the alien realm of the webway.

All around them ornate bridges of wraithbone extended from a central, intricately sung building. At the end of each bridge, sleek Eldar spacecraft hovered, docked and waiting for their next raid.

The team made their way to the central building to find an infamous Eldar corsair called Ulthyr Ellarion and a pair of his warlock bodyguards. Crouched behind the corsair’s throne was a being that very much looked like a tech-priest, though much older, haggard and obviously corrupted. The tech-priest clung to an orb of black glass and bore a wraithbone collar around his neck.

The Kill-team’s tech-priest companion began chattering in binary code (techna-lingua), but what was said was lost to all but the team’s Techmarine, who promptly identified the corrupted tech-priest as the true threat – not the Eldar.

Ulthyr attempted to reason with the Kill-team and approached them with weapons sheathed, however bargaining with xenos proved to be an act that all but the team’s apothecary couldn’t stomach. A fight ensued and the odd looking tech-priest dissolved the wraithbone collar around his neck before running towards a rear exit.

The fight was long and brutal, as the elusive Eldar dodged shot after shot while bringing their witchblades down upon Karl, Caleb and Ulkell. Meniere and Magos Moriarty battled the dark tech-priest as he began gathering components to himself in the store room behind the audience chamber. Eventually the dark tech-priest fell to heavy bolter fire from Karl, Meniere and Moriarty while Ulthyr and one of his warlock guards slipped away aboard the fleet of docked Eldar ships.

Moriarty gathered the glass orb carried by the now decommissioned tech-priest and the Deathwatch’s debt to the Mechanicum was repaid.

View
Mission Zero: The Astraeus

Briefing:

The War World of Khazant has just become the home of a valued Imperial artifact, the ancient Space Marine Battle Barge, the Astraeus. The vessel has only recently revealed itself to Watch Station augury scans but was presumed lost during the Heresy. Members of the Mechanicum have calculated the barge’s path into Khazant’s atmosphere and believe they can estimate its point of impact within 10 kilometers. There’s no need to relate to you the importance of the Astraeus’s recovery, if only to keep it out of traitorous hands! Your mission is to secure the area around the Astraeus and the vessel itself. The barge has been lost to us for quite some time, and there is no telling what may have moved in during its long, cold voyage. Mechanicum forces are standing by to extract the hulk from Khazant’s surface – see to their safety.

Photobucket

Kill-team Objectives:

Primary Objective: Secure the area around the Astraeus.
Primary Objective: Secure the Astraeus’s interior.
Secondary Objective: Protect Mechanicum forces while they work to extract the Astraeus from Khazant’s hostile surface.

Requisition: 72 per Space Marine

Debriefing:

The Kill-team arrived at the planet of Khazant aboard the Mechanicum vessel The Fury of Mars. They were quickly deployed to the surface and encountered an Imperial Guard brigade lead by Lieutenant Colonel Indus. A brief encounter with the officer revealed to the Kill-team that the Colonel was about to deploy proscribed viral weapons against a group of renegade militiamen between his brigade and the wreck of the Astraeus. The Kill-team confiscated the biological mortar shells and proceeded towards the Astraeus without support from Indus’s brigade.

The Astraeus itself had broken in two upon impact with Khazant’s muddy surface. Almost the entire ship had sunken beneath the gooey soil, leaving only the command decks exposed. The Kill-team discovered a breach in the battle barge’s exterior that lead to what once was the ship’s medical decks. Just within the breach they found evidence of intrusion aboard the vessel in the form of footprints upon the icy flooring.

It was later revealed to the Kill-team that a group of five Eldar warp spiders had penetrated the Astraeus’s interior, likely on a mission of looting, though their motivation was never determined. The Kill-team delivered death to the warp spiders before proceeding to the command deck itself.

Upon the command deck the Kill-team found evidence that the Astraeus may have served as a pre-Heresy Legion’s flagship. All clues pointing to the Legion’s identity were absent, however an Obliterator Locum, possibly attracted by the Astraeus’s violent impact upon Khazant, whispered rumors that the vessel once belonged to the 2nd Legion. The Kill-team dispatched the Locum and his Obliterator allies and gleaned as much data from the ship’s machine spirit before calling for extraction.

It was determined that the Astraeus was unsafe for removal from Khazant’s surface, as it was obvious the traitorous legions were attracted by the vessel’s presence. A bargain was struck with the Mechanicum and those bits of the Astraeus that remained on the surface were annihilated from orbit.

Lastly, the Kill-team’s Techmarine was able to analyze the data gathered from the Astraeus’s ancient and decayed machine spirit. The spirit revealed two secrets to the Techmarine, the first being that the vessel had traveled past the Halo Stars into the space beyond the galaxy and then had returned, and the second being that within the last two hundred years the Astraeus’s servitors logged the deployment of a single Thunderhawk gunship. Information on the passengers or their purpose was a technical oversight in the servitors’ programming. The Techmarine divulged only the second piece of information to his fellow marines.

View
Mission One: Deathwatch Diplomacy

Photobucket
The Vindex

Briefing:
Watch Captain Hyzeron stands before you with a field of glittering stars behind him. You stand in one of Watch Fortress Erioch’s many Observatoriums. The room is a massive bubble that hangs from the fortress’ walls like a pustule of glass and steel. Hyzeron’s back is to you when you enter the chamber, studying the stars as he is want to do.

“Greetings Brothers,” the Captain’s voice is almost remiss. He turns slowly revealing his stern, scarred face. “It is good to see you all in one piece again.” He bows slightly and offers you all the sign of the aquila. “However, I am afraid that your stay in Erioch will be short lived. The Deathwatch has need of your services again, and soon.”

Hyzeron produces a data slate from a large belt satchel, punching the control keys with quick efficiency. “Watch Station Andronicus has noted the passage of the infamous ”/campaign/deathwatch-the-dead-crusade/wikis/tau" class=“wiki-page-link”>Tau Skether’qan The Good Wind on several occasions. Analysis of the station’s data leads me to believe that The Good Wind is using the Andronicus system as a regular shield against Imperial augury scans on the border of Tau space. The elusive vessel and its captain have long plagued the efforts of the Crusade. It would be a great boon to the Imperium to end its operations as quickly as can be."

“What is more is that I have learned that the vessel is carrying an important Tau official to the Greyhell Front. You will be boarding the Dark Hunter Class Frigate Vindex as soon as you are rested and armed. The Vindex will take you to the space around Andronicus where it will patrol for and subsequently ambush the Tau Skether’qan. You are to board the vessel and capture any Tau official that calls it home.”

The Good Wind has been known to carry Water Caste ambassadors and Ethreals in the past. Understand the danger involved in taking ranking Tau alive. Destruction of The Good Wind is not priority.”

“It is a possibility that the The Good Wind may have discovered the Watch Station on Andronicus and is trying to taunt or goad the Imperium to respond. If the Skether’qan survives your incursion, it is a secondary priority that you wipe its data cores. The Tau are not to possess evidence to the extent of the Deathwatch’s presence in the Jericho Reach.”

“Lastly, The Good Wind’s Captain, ”/campaign/deathwatch-the-dead-crusade/wikis/korel-jkarra" class=“wiki-page-link”> J’Karra has proven to be a thorn in the Imperium’s side for some time. If the opportunity presents itself, terminate Kor’El J’Karra."

Objectives:
Primary Objective: Recover a Tau Water Caste Ambassador, Ethreal or other Tau official aboard an infamous Skether’qan (messenger class star ship) known as The Good Wind. Return the Tau to Watch Fortress Erioch alive if possible.
Secondary Objective: Wipe the Skether’qan’s data cores or otherwise eliminate the vessel.
Tertiary Objective: Kill the Skether’qan’s commander, Kor’El (Captain) J’Karra.

Requisition: 61 per Space Marine in the Kill-team

Debriefing:
The Kill-team received their mission and arrived in the Andronicus system aboard the Vindex within days. As soon as Captain Gelius began patrol maneuvers augury alarms sounded across the bridge. Apparently the vessel the Kill-team sought was relatively close but engaged with an Ork Kill Krooza. The Kill-team wasted no time and immediately invaded their objective, The Good Wind via a well-aimed boarding torpedo.

Snotlings and Gretchin, minor greenskins of almost no importance, fled through the hall the Kill-team’s torpedo had breached. The Marines swatted those xenos that got in the way and moved past what appeared to be a service tunnel to the Tau vessel’s engineering decks. Their travel lead them to a section of hallway littered with greenskin remains. Within the hallway the Kill-team encountered three elite Tau armored in mysterious stealth suits. The Kill-team managed to kill two of the xenos using a combination of overwhelming fire and grenades. What became of the third Tau who had rained shots down upon them, they never did learn.

The Kill-team proceeded toward the source of the minor greenskins’ fear, a massive battle between the few Tau survivors and a massive tide of Orks lead by a warboss in mega armor! Brother Ordo wasted little time and jumped across the massive glass chamber to a door the Tau obviously guarded only to find the thing locked against intrusion. Meanwhile, the rest of the team’s Marines blasted apart the various hordes of enemies while the xenos tore at each other.

Brother Vendramus launched a series of psychic attacks against the xenos, producing a number of disturbing psychic phenomena but utterly devastating the enemies around him. The warboss himself was not safe from the Librarian’s fury and charged head long at him after being badly scorched in his mega armor. Once engaged, the massive ork found the Blood Angel to be equally formidable. The combined might of the Librarian’s force sword and Brother Waechter’s unerringly accurate heavy bolter tore the greenskin down without so much as a single wound inflicted by the giant.

Meanwhile, the Tau and Ork forces were polished off by Caleb and Ordo. The door to the command deck was then breached and the Kill-team found the infamous Air Caste Captain of The Good Wind sitting calmly at his seat. Several pods of gun drones hovered menacingly about the room, while Air Caste crewmen tried hard to hide their fear of the ominous Marines. Floating next to the Tau Captain was a xenos no member of the Kill-team was familiar with, a tentacled beast with a milky white cranium resembling the head of a jellyfish.

Captain J’Karra, despite Brother Ordo tossing a stun grenade into the room, remained calm and pleaded with Brother Waecheter for the safety of his crew. The Captain even offered his own life if his remaining crew’s lives were spared. Karl agreed and began teleporting the Tau back to the Vindex. Brother Vendramus seemed to be in communication with the tentacled xenos and declared that the thing must return with them to Erioch. When all of the Tau were loaded aboard the Vindex (including Captain J’Karra – much to his chagrin), the Dark Hunter made haste for Erioch and The Good Wind succumbed to its injuries.

Back at Erioch the Kill-team handed the now identified tentacled xenos (Nicassar) over to Epistolary Axineton. The chief Librarian seemed to be affected by the alien’s presence and all members of the Kill-team noticed the sweat upon his brow and the blood trickling from his ear.

When the Tau had been removed to holding cells, Watch Captain Hyzeron expressed his displeasure towards the Kill-team. Their objective was to kill Captain J’Karra, not return him to Erioch. Brother Waechter argued that the decision was his own and that it was more beneficial to the Deathwatch than simply killing the xenos. Hyzeron reminded Waechter that it his duty to follow orders and achieve his objectives without question.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.