Operation Hallifax: Prologue

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Warmaster Death

Original poster
It is the 41st Millenium

For more than a hundred centuries
the Emperor has sat immobile
on the Golden Throne of Earth. He
is the master of mankind by the
will of the gods, and master of a
million worlds by the might of his
inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting
carcass writhing invisibly with power
from the Dark Age of Technology.
He is the Carrion Lord of the
Imperium for whom a thousand souls
are sacrificed every day, so that he
may never truly die.

Yet even in his deathless state, the
Emperor continues his eternal vigilance.
Mighty battlefleets cross the daemoninfested
miasma of the warp, the only
route between distant stars, their way
lit by the Astronomican, the psychic
manifestation of the Emperor's will.
Vast armies give battle in his name on
uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst
his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes,
the Space Marines, bio-engineered
super-warriors. Their comrades in arms
are legion: the Imperial Guard and
countless planetary defence forces, the
ever-vigilant Inquisition and the techpriests
of the Adeptus Mechanicus to
name only a few. But for all their
multitudes, they are barely enough to
hold off the ever-present threat from
aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse.

To be a man in such times is to be
one amongst untold billions. It is to
live in the cruellest and most bloody
regime imaginable. These are the tales
of those times. Forget the power of
technology and science, for so much
has been forgotten, never to be relearned.
Forget the promise of progress
and understanding, for in the grim
dark future there is only war. There
is no peace amongst the stars, only an
eternity of carnage and slaughter, and
the laughter of thirsting gods.

The Lighter, Sequestered from the Imperial Navy Cruiser Hand of Wrath
The Enterior of the Lighter is spartan, with most of the space usually filled with either Navy Ratings or Imperial Guard Troopers empty save for your small group, clustered, along with your belongings at the rear end of the lighter, you have spent the better part of a month with your fellow acolytes, though in that time you did not truely get to know them all that well, their quirks and habits are, if you deigned to pay any attention to them, known to you, as is the appearence of your fellows, though whilst you are all aware of each other's former career paths, just how skilled or trained they are remains vague, though you assure yourself that having been handpicked by the Inquistior for training, surely they know their crafts, whether it be the Imperial Guard's aptitude for combat and tactics or the Administratum Adept's skill with data and research.

One question gnaws at the back of your mind, being the reason for your being assigned to this mission.
In his breifing, Inquisitor Van Yastobaal's tone suggested that he was not fully confident in your ability to handle this task, even to the point where he subtly hesitated before admitting you all into the breifing chamber, but the dire need for the matter to be resolved and the fact that yours was the closest group of acolytes by a matter of two months travel force his hand.

But Brief you he did, you know that Sepheris Secundus is of vital economic importance to the sector, you know that some foul rebillion sprung up and that it required a regiment of the Imperial Guard to put down.
The Inquisitor also mentioned that the fighting was heaviest and the casualites highest in the Gorgonid Mines, and that reports from that particular action report hellish creatures and other 'madness' filtered back, soon reaching the ears of the Inquisition.

Thus it came to be that your band of Recruits, once bound for the Inqusition Training complexes on Scintillia, were sent to the Gorgonid mines. the Lighter
decends slowly at first, the Cruiser slowly dwindling from a behemoth that consumes all the space outside the portholes to a small silhouette in the sky.

Swathed in the Crimson Robes of an Mech-Wright of the Mechanicus, Cain Jericus, known as "Crisis" to the Skirarii of the Mechanicus Vessel Purity of Logic for his desire to participate in combat drills and his habit of making important decisions quickly, but with less compassionless arrogance than the other Tech-Preists on board the vessel, shifted his position quietly, the Tattoo's that were etched in unperceptable patterns across the left side of his face pulsed weakly, the Tech-Preist sat in what could be called a light sleep, for he knew that all too soon the decent would be over, and their trial by fire would begin, though around him, the others held conversations over the rythmic hum of the lighter's engines.

OOC: Okay my fellow Acolytes, its 'getting to know you' conversation time, though remember, you have a basic knowledge of each others habits and personality quirks already this is jsut whether or not you get along with each other, that sort of thing.
to look at it another way, this is where you all get used to each other's characters as you play your own, 'coz pretty soon your not gonna have that much time to 'shoot the breeze'


"Frail, wavering, heretic bitch. She is the cause of this. She is the cancer that should be ripped from this planet."

Abitrator Vailon Crayborne paced the cramped compartment, even though the others sat... and his rasping voice scratched at the walls, even though the others were silent.

His long, hooded coat was lined with chain-links, but their rattle could not be heard over the sound of the roaring descent engines. The Lighter shuddered and jerked, machine spirits whining in the antiquated mechanisms around them. But still the Arbitrator paced, his thin face set in a perpetual sneer.

"The Queen grows weak. Darkness looms at the end of her life and she seeks to make the people love her. As if there is love left on this rock!"

He spat on the floor in contempt, saliva darkened by the tar of Iho Sticks.

"She is the cause," he muttered again, leaning against his staff as the ship jolted through an air pocket. "No rebellion has ever outlasted fifty days on this planet. The bastard serfs don't even have weapons!" he snarled. "The Scourges and the Baron's armies should have eradicated this rebellion as they have always done."

He brought up his slender hand and leant against one of the viewing portholes. Down below, the icy surface of Sepheris Secundus rolled by, broken only by the occasional forest and then the stainglass shimmer of the hanging city. They were passing over Icenholm, the capital city suspended between three peaks like a nestling jewel. The spires glittered and Vailon willed them to break apart, to slice the ageing Queen and all her family to shreds.

And in the vast valleys beyond the mountains, the first glimpses of the Gorgonid Mine could be seen, like an open sore. They would be landing somewhere nearby, in the outpost thrown up by the emergency garrison of Imperial Guard.

"A waste of the Emperor's armies!" he spat. "Corruption drips from the Whore-Queen's bones and infects all the land. It courses through the mines, into the tunnels where the mutants dwell. And all the dregs of this world find courage from her weakness and rise above their station."

He turned and paced the chamber again, glacing at the ceramite doors that separated the acolytes from the pilots. They had been sealed shut, partly from protocol and partly from the fear that walked with the servants of the Inquisition.

The pilots were right to be afraid, thought Vailon. All lesser dogs should fear men like him.

"We should have purged this world long ago - stripped the Queen of her robes; burned the mutants from their nests."

His final words came out in a hiss, almost lost beneath the rumble of the landing gear deploying.

"These people should know their place!"

He spoke so he would not have face the contradiction... the fact that he had been born on a mining world just like this one, and escaped his place through treachery and betrayal.

He sneered so he would carry on hating, and never mourn the memory of his mother and father, burning in the streets as he looked on and condemned them.
Sitting in the cramped space, backed into a corner the psyker only half-listened to the arbitrator's ranting. He had both hands and his forehead resting on his staff that was firmly planted on the ground before him.

"They are the emperor's and will serve him." he thought, "Even if they serve by dieing..." A small smile creased his features. This world held no special interest to him, neither did the other acolytes. This was just the mission he had been talked with and it was his duty to get it done. His very soul belonged to the emperor, and it would be selfish of him to deny it to his service.

"I will earn my place by his side, again I will make the privilege to gaze upon his glory." he whispered, it was a way of calming himself against the sounds of the straining machine around him, "The memories of his glory are taken from me but I will make the pilgrimage again." he remained silent, lost in thought. "Yes they will all serve, we will convince them."

His eyes flickered open and he raised his head, a small red mark remained from where the wooden surface had pressed against his skin. "Calm yourself arbitrator." he spat, "We will have much to do then we arrive and the cultists will not be ........ forgiving." the last word was said slowly, with a unstable pitch to it, as if the speaker where suppressing glee at its implication. Then the psyker closed his eyes again... he needed to remain calm, and prepare for the trials ahead.
As the Lighter descended, Cain opened one eye to regard the Psyker and the Arbitrator, the pupil of the eye was a strange beige colour
"My comrades, in the name of the Omnissiah and the Emperor cease your bickering" he chided softly, his voice, though human, carried a slight mechanical undertone.

"Ah, listen to the hymn of the engines, we will be landing very soon" The Mech-Wright now had both eyes open, and the electoo's on his face pulsed more energeticly, each pulse in time to Cain's beating heart as he Drew his Laspistol, inspecting the weapon and intoning several blessings as he did so.

The internal vox system crackles as it comes to life
"Gentlemen, this is the Pilot, touchdown at Gorgonid outpost in five minutes" the Pilot's voice is tense but professional, and his announcement comes with an unspoken warning 'get in your seats and buckle up'
A sudden, almost gentle bucking rocks the Transport bay, indicating that the Lighter has touched down, a fact that the pilot wastes no time confirming, a hint of releif almost coming through his wuick statement, though the hiss of the pnumatics of the large rear door of the Lighter opening and lowering itself to the greyish brown scene that for all intents and purposes would look like any other city on the planet, were it not for the fact that almost all the buildings and habs are either half ruined or piles of rubble, though al around you is a sea of tents, though you attention is drawn to the heavy pounding footsteps of an armored sentinal, the whirring of it's hydraulics between each step shattering the quiet.

behind the sentinal you notice seveal burnt out wrecks, once civilian cars and even a Chimera APC, litter the camp, their presence made even more noticeable by the fact that some of the tents have been modified to join with the structures, the APC in particular turned into an open area between several tents by enterprising guardsmen.

The Soldiers that fill the camp shuffle about with the look of Victors haunted by a gruelling and savage campaign, the men and women before you, all clad in the Ash grey Fatigues of the 97th Battalion, many have Bandages, sligns or other indicators of battle wounds, though all are covered with a sooty grime that makes seems to enshroud their faces and uniforms, making distinguishing rank or other distinguishing marks difficult if not impossible.

Beyond the Camp, in the distance, you see a mountain range covered with the signs of heavy industry, smoke stacks and other buildings seem to belch thick chains of smoke into the sky, which seems to always be a sickly grey-black

In the centre of this sea of tents, craters and wrecks stands a rust red hab building, the Golden Aquila of the Imperium proudly emblazoned on the only intact structure within the camp.

GM: Alright Acolytes, this is Sepherus Secondus, the camp of the 97th Battalion, 2nd Albrechtian Infantry Regiment.

what you do next is up to you.

A world of snow and twilight.

As Crayborne stepped onto the soil of this ancient world, the sense of oppression was tangible. Grey clouds obscured every inch of sky and what moisture there was came from the geysers and mine workings beneath the surface. The dual weight of smoke from above and steam from below gave a sense of being crushed. And this was just one of the dualities that held on Sepheris Secundus: the black scars of mines at odds with the white of snow-capped forests, the glittering capital at odds with the serf-infested abyss to which the Acolytes were travelling.

A world torn in two, the blessed and the damned pushed so far apart that only fire and heresy could breed in the space between.

"We must find the commanding officer," Crayborne's voice rasped above the hydraulic noise of the Sentinel. He turned to glare back up the rank at the other Acolytes. "And mark my words, it is only fitting to hold a healthy distrust of your peers. Every single soul on this vermin-infested rock is a suspect. Be on your guard!"

His threatening snarl ended, the Arbitrator turned and set off towards the rust-red hab building in the centre of the camp, his staff punching the rock with every step.

Perhaps his comrades did not deserve such harsh words. But one thing could not be denied - all of them were green and the Inquisitor had given them this task only after great hesitation.

Vailon Crayborne had much to prove, and he was not about to let another Acolyte's incompetence cost him his name in the Inquisition.
Venris Kelor had been sitting in one corner of the lighter as it descended to Sepherus Secondus. He was dressed in his guard flak armour and clip harness. He had left his overcoat back on the ship knowing that he would not need it on a mining world. All through their decent on the lighter, he was inspecting his gear, making sure everything was in working order, only half listening to one of the new acolytes rantings. It had been a while since he had been called in to do a mission for Inquisitor Van Yastobaal.

As he stepped down the exit ramp of the lighter, he took in the scene that layout in front of him. He felt somewhat at home in the clutter. He was born and raised on a world where it was in constant conflict, and being a guardsmen himself, he was used to seeing all this.

"Seems like they had one hell of a fight down here, huh Cain?" He slung his las rifle over his shoulder.

He turned his attention to the acolyte that had been ranting in the lighter as they descended, what was his name? Crayborne? He was an Arbrite that the Inquisitor had recruited, from what Venris could recall. When he was done, Crayborne had set off towards the camp.

"I'm going to ask a few questions before we look for the CO." Venris jumped off the ramp, kicking up some dirt as he landed, and walked up to a few of the guardsmen that were huddled around a fire.

"What exactly happened here?" he asked, still looking around. He wasn't going to let down his guard even with a lack of enemies in sight. A couples years playing in a war-zone had taught him that.
Quinlan had tried and failed to sleep through the trip, but he hadn't managed to with the Arbiter's very aura around him. He'd make an excellent commissar that man, too far away from any agents of chaos for the arbiter, he figured, or he would be an even better poet. The man was far louder than any machine spirit he'd have the pleasure of listening to while he'd been training with Land Raiders.

Nothing he would do about it though, he didn't want to risk being labeled of being a heretic because he wasn't killing everything in sight that didn't look human enough in the camp. He got off the ship without much hassle as the last one, this reminded him very much of his last home.

Quinlan checked his shotgun one last time and loaded the weapon, walking out the lighter along the rest of the group of very eager acolytes.

"They'll know the as much about this thing as whoever's in charge here, Venris." Quinlan observed, facing at the skies for a second, all the Guard did was shoot at whatever the officers told them to shoot at, that wasn't going to change any soon.
As the putrid atmosphere, filled with the smells of smoke, pollution and the fetid smells of camp entered the lighter Guilliman couldn't help but wrinkle his nose in disgust, but he had a job to do, and the sooner he got it done the better for everyone. As usual the arbitrator was condemning the entire camp but Guilliman didn't care. He stood leaning on his staff and used it as he descended the ramp, pausing at the bottom to look around, his tatty roads blowing slightly in the steady breeze coming from the mountains.

Without a word he moved away from the lighter and towards what looked to be a supply tent, before anything he needed something more than the three bullets that nestled inside his revolver, emperor willing there would be a few extra that he could procure without too much difficulty.

The Sentinel roared to a halt as Crayborne crossed in front of its legs. The gears of the collosal machine wheezed and exhaust vents fumed in outrage as the startled pilot yelled obscenities. But Crayborne continued his relentless stride, drawing stares from the dirt-smeared guardsmen sat around the compound.

A solid figure blocked his path as he neared the rusting hab building. The Albrechtian Guardsman was in full flak gear, a barrel-like build accentuated by shoulderpads and combat helmet. The aquila symbol was on the wall directly behind him, making it seem like he had golden wings upon his back. And the dark sheen of a visor hid the soldier's eyes as he stood in the Arbitrator's way.

"That's far enough."

A second guard brought up a lasgun as Crayborne reached inside his robes; but Crayborne paid it no heed. With an impatient sneer he lifted his Arbitrator ID.

"I am an Acolyte of Lord Inquisitor Van Yastobaal. Now get the hell out of my way!"

The second guardsman kept his lasgun trained on the Arbitrator. "I don't care if the Emperor himself squeezed you out of his asshole. You stay there till you're invited."

The first guard took Crayborne's ID and ducked through the metal blast doors of the hab building, leaving his comrade to hold Crayborne at gunpoint. The mountain winds kicked up dust around them, shaking the tents and flimsy constructions. There was a sense that, at any moment, the whole base might be swept away.

"Where's your power maul?" asked the guardsman, still with his rifle braced. Beneath his visor the face was expressionless, but Crayborne could sense the joke.

"I must've left it up your mother." rasped his menacing voice.

"Now that's just rude. I thought you Inquisitor types were pure sorts - keeping our souls as clean as your own."

Vailon brought his full gaze against the man's visor. "Are there stains that you wish to confess, brother?"

The guardsman's fingers tapped the casing of his lasgun. "I got my own personal exorcist right here."

"You had better pray it is all you need, before your life is spent."

The malicious exchange was cut short as the door of the hab building creaked open again. A uniformed officer stepped out, followed by the first guard. And if the two guardsmen were well-built, then this new man was positively bear-like. Biceps bulged beneath the well-creased folds of his grey fatigues, while his hands were heavily callused and ingrained with ancient lines of engine-oil and cordite. Crayborne looked up into the grizzled face of the Commissar's Adjunct Officer, his gaze drawn to the mess of scar tissue around his left eye. A plasma burn from the looks of it. Crayborne wondered how much more of the man's chiselled frame was wracked by scars.

"Arbitrator Crayborne," said the officer, looking down at a data slate with his one good eye. "Trying to become the final casualty of this campaign?"

"Forgive me if I do not have time for formalities, Adjunct. The fate of the Emperor's servants hangs in the balance."

There was a tense silence. The Adjunct's eye lifted slowly to regard the Arbitrator, and Crayborne could feel the raw violence contained within this man, the catalogue of blood that he had shed in his veteran days.

"Of all of the people on this rock," said the Adjunct through his teeth, "We do not need reminding of that."

"Then let me do my service as you have done yours, Soldier. I want to see the Commissar. Now."

One of these days, Vailon Crayborne would suffer for his brashness. But, Emperor willing, it would not be today.
The haggard looking guardsman turns to Venris, a tired look in his eyes
"sorry lad, ought to check with the Commissar, He'll tell you everything you need to know" the guardsman then turns back to what he was doing.
It is clear you need to go see the Commissar to learn anything

as Guilliman entered the tent, he heard the 'chick-chick' of a weapon being cocked and saw the quartermaster pointing a vicious looking boltgun at his face
"Unless Ye've got a signed writ froom the Commissar i cannae give ye anythin'" he says, the weapon remaining pointed at you.
it is clear that you have to go see the Commissar in order to get any supplies.

The Adjunct, a short, stocky man, acrid smoke wafting from the cigar clamped between his teeth looked to the Arbitrator and the Tech Preist, a look of dismay on his face
"Your all the Inquisitor sent? you two?" his eyes betray the dismay and disbeleif his voice tried to hide.

Cain stepped off the lighter with a mix of relief and anxiety, though he followed Crayborne to the Commissar's office, keeping a fair distance to avoid any retaliation for the Arbitrator's comments falling upon him.
as the Adunct spoke, Cain smiled weakly
"No, we are but two of five, the others dally and tarry where we do not, they will be along shortly" he said, the machine like undertone in his voice making the man grimace with distaste

"Right, well wait here until they do, the Commissar's a busy man, and I'll not have you two wasting his time" the Adjunct replied, stifling any rebuttal of Crayborne's with a withering glare
"And dont you even think about trying any of that 'righteous arbitrator, inquisitoral arbitrator' crap with me, else the inquisition will find itself one acolyte short" the Adjunct taps the holster at his side for emphasis.

Five minutes later, as the last of your felows, Guilliman, enters the Commissar's Office, The Commissar's aide stands to regard you all, the look in his eye plainly telling you that he thinks this will be the last time he ever sees you, and something tells you that that doesnt suprise or alarm him as he opens the door to the Commissar's office, the burly aide directign you to go through with a brisk movement of his head
"Commissar Nihlus will see you now" he says as you step through the haze of cigar smoke.

The first thing you notice is that Commissar Nihlus is a grim, gaunt man in his late thirties, he wears the neat black uniform of the Commissarat, though the trademark cap and Long leather storm coat hang limply from a hook to the left of the desk.
The second is taht the Commissar's ice cold, grey eyes seem to look deep into your soul, as though this man could judge you with ease, even the normally cantankarous Crayborne is at a loss for words as the Commissar's gaze passes over him.

"Gentlemen, please have a seat" he accentuates the offer with a smooth gesture, and you comply, the seats are modest, but not uncomfortable.
Nihlus steeples his fingers and pauses for a moment, before continuing with a slight sigh
"First allow me to assure you that i have dealt with the Inquisition before, and as such expect no trouble from me or the regiment unless you go looking for it, second, the Quartermaster's stores will be open to you should you require anything, though I regret to inform you that we have not been supplied for quite some months and are down to simple basics" The Commissar's voice is diplomatic but firm, and you get the feelign that whilst he speaks to you like Equals, this is a man who has accomplished much.
"I msut admit I was expecting the Inquisitor, or, to be blunt, some more Experienced Acolytes, but it is not my nature to question the Emperor or his Inquisition, in any case, I'm sure you're all aware that this world is of vital importance to the sectors economy, and that the ore dragged from these mines is instramental to the ongoing economic security of this world" the Commissar pinches the bridge of his nose with his left hand before continuing, his movements distinguish him as a man under immense pressure but giving little support
"The rebellion itself was a simple matter to put down, the rebels were mostly untrained and poorly armed, the regiment put them down in a fortnight with little to no casualties, though as they were preparing to ship out, I noticed that some of the filthy traitors carried a sheaf of paper, usually of poor quality and clearly copies, but all speaking of unspeakable acts and written in a queer text, we conducted and investigation, and found the Gorgonid mines to be the source of this villainy" at this point the Commissar retreives a ciggerete from his jacket pocket, and lights it, taking a long drag before putting it down in an ashtray that was almost full of half smoked ciggeretes, clearly the habit is something the Commissar picked up on this world, and you find the notion unsettling in no uncertain terms.
"So as commons ense and duty dictated, i sent a few platoons into the mines, under the command to Master Sergeant Raynard, and at first, things seemed to go well, the bastard scum we found were purged, and we cleared the mines all the way to an area known as 'the shatters', and as the Mines block all but the best Vox equipment, we received updates through a series of relay-men with Voxcasters, no sooner had Reynard's men entered the shatters than they were attacked by an unknown enemy, they suffered heavy, hideous casualites, and Reynard ordered a retreat, his report, which I sent to your master, spoke of filthy mutant horrors, or perhaps worse, subsequently i sealed off the mine after the Guardsmen had retreated, and had the Medicae report on all the wounded's injuries and what could ahve caused them, the rport explains that to a man, every soldier wounded subsequently died of some form of disease, and that their wounds were caused for the most part by blunt, rusted objects, in this respect, we suspect the heretics have either gathered mutants to their cause, or the source of the corruption is fouler than first thought" Nihlus finishes, the concern almost as plain as the undercurrent of anger that ripples through the last portion of his story.

again you feel a shudder of apprehension, though you struggle to contain it as the Commissar hands across a sheet of paper, signed and bearing
the Commissar's personal seal imprinted in red wax.Cain reached out to take the papers, but Crayborne snatched them from the Commissar's hand as the arbitrator stood"Thank you for your time" the Arbitrator's sneering face made the comment seem almost sarcastic, though the Commissar simply gave a slight nod

"When you have seen the Quartermaster, meet me at the entrance to the mine" The Commissar's gaze left the acolytes as he went back to his paperwork, and you feel yourselves relax slightly

A short while later, you stand before the Quartermaster, and he nods and scoffs to himself as he walks behing a thin metal screen to get you what supplies can be spared.

he returns moments later with two metal boxes, one containing a fifteen metre length of thick rope and five Luminator "Bayonet Torches" the other box contains a Fragmentation grenade and three inferno shells, though the Quartermaster, a grim looking man missing a large chunk of his nose, ducks beneath the counter and lifts a heavy box filled with shotgun shells, winking at Venris
"Jest as ye left em lad, though if you could spare some fer the regiments Vet'rens It'd be much appreciated.
Venris can only nod, his eyes showing the dismay his face hid as the Quartermaster shared out Venris' shotgun shell stash to the other members of the group.
"Much Appreciated lad, the Vet'rens 'd want you lads tae 'ave this" he says, retrieving another box, with las cells and stubb bullets from underneath the desk, it is clear to all that he planned this in advance.

Vernris looses 516 shotgun shells and 1 shotgun.
Venris gains an inferno shell, 15 metres of rope and a bayonet luminator
Crayborne gains an Inferno shell,
a bayonet luminator and 62 shotgun shells
Quinlan gains an inferno shell,
a bayonet luminator and 62 shotgun shells
Cain gains a bayonet luminator, a lasgun charge cell and a laspistol charge cell
Guilliman gains a bayonet luminator, a fragmentation grenade and 27 stubb revolver rounds

When the Quatermaster has finished dispensing everyone's gear, he looks to the acolytes with a look that seems to be a mix of pity and releif
"Take care've yerselves in that mine lads, alotta good men've died in that pit" he says as you leave.

It takes you thirty minutes to find the Mine's entrance, and to get there you march past thousands of dishevelled miners, all either slaves or below the poverty line, none meet your gaze and all sem to try to edge away from you.

The entrance to the mine is blocked off ith an Immense slab of stone, whih in itself is surrounded by several sandbagged heavy weapons, you count no less than three heavy bolters before you see Nihlus, a special weapons squad manning the sandbag barricade in front of him, three plasma guns humming and giving off a faint blue light.
you find this to be the most disturbing, for plasma guns are rare and sacred weapons, employed only when the need is dire and the foe terrible, for they are prone to explosively failing.
to have three in a regiment is rare, to have three in one weapons squad guarding one objective is nigh unheard of outside the Cadian gate.

As you approach him, Nihlus signals for the door to be opened, and a handler team of guardsmen set to work on four massive beasts of burden, the creaturess are twice the size of a large bull-grox, and their matted fur is a drag grey.
The beasts heave and drag the chains that tie them to the doos mechanism, they move slowly at first, turnign a large wheel that in turn manipulates large metal cogs above the stone door, ropes and weights lifting the massive slab until you can walk underneath it with relative ease.
Nihlus turns to you, the Commissar is wearing his hat and coat, and looks rather intimidating in comparison to the man you last saw
"We must close this portal behind you, and it takes quite some time to open, so be wary of that if you decide to retreat, may the Emperor guide you and protect you" he says, making the sign of the aquila as he does so.
you swallow your fears, and step into the darkness.

You activate your luminators and trudge on through the dark mines, though rather than a chill cold, there must be a geothermal vent somewhere, for the mines are rather warm, and the sensation puts you rather on edge, though nothing untoward actually occurs as you trudge through the darkness, eventually coming to a point where the floor simply drops away in front of you.

Your Luminator's reveal that three metres down, the passage continues, but to reach it, you will have to climb down, though the wall seems to have many handholds.

Gentlemen, please make a Strength check (though with a +20 bonus to your characteristic, so cain needs to roll under 52 on a d100, Crayborne under 55, Guilliman/
Venris 50 and Quinlan 47.)
should you fail, you make no progress, should you fail it by 30 or more......the effects are most dire.

a single successful test is enough to reach the other side.


"Keep those lights steady!" rasped Crayborne as he pushed past the others. Slinging his shotgun and staff across his back, he stooped down and sought the first handhold. His weight had increased thanks to the bandolier of shotgun rounds he now wore, but it was better to be slowed down than outgunned in the darkness to which they were bound.

With the others illuminating the space below, the wiry Arbitrator found his way down. The air seemed to grow hotter, the sense of oppression deepening, every inch of darkness another brick in the coffin.

Just like home... just like the choking darkness of the mining world, where he had struggled like a rat to prevail over the trampled corpses of his family and friends.

There was always another tunnel... another way to outfox what you despised and leave the weaker vermin bleeding in the darkness...

And it was almost enough... his nostalgia was almost enough to suppress the tangible horror that emanated from this place. But the great stone that now blocked the light behind them, the downcast heads of the Gorgonid people, the plasma batteries that stood watch, and the death-stare of the Commissar... these were things that could not be ignored.

Some of them would not be coming back from this...

Releasing the final handhold, Crayborne dropped the last few feet into the lower tunnel. He landed squarely and unslung his shotgun, directing the bayonet-light down the next passageway.

"Hurry up," he muttered to his comrades above.
After Crayborne made his decent Guilliman stepped up to the drop. He pulled his robe around himself to fend off some of the chill and slung his staff across his back as best he could.

"A little light arbitrator." he called down as he tried to find handholds in the darkness.

He wondered what horrors waited for then deep in the tunnels, from what the commissar had said it sounded grim, possibly heretics following the path of chaos and decay. If this was so then the emperor's light would purge them. It was right for them to seal the tunnel none would escape the purge.
Venris had begun climbing down to where the passage continued, with the aid of his clip harness, just after Guilliman. As he descended, he felt his foot slip on one of the handholds. Luckily he was able to grab another handhold, before he could plummet to his own demise.

"Emperor's bowels!" He gripped the handhold better, "That was too close for comfort!"

He paused for a bit before continuing his decent.
His companions passed, now only Cain and him remained. Quinlan decided to grant himself the honors and go first, he put the shotgun to the back, felling a lot safer now that he had more ammunition.

"If you will excuse me." He smirked, readying himself while he saw that one of them hadn't made it well, his smirk went away. He looked for a second, before he shrugged it off with a grunt and got ready for the climb.

He lowered himself into the rock wall, trying to get a firm grip. He had a slight complication as he went down, his laser pistol getting stuck on one of the holes on the rock, but he held strong and freed one of his hands to move the pistol.

He hoped it wouldn't have any more damage than a scratch, he figured he might just need it in the end, Guardsmen always felt without ammunition. Well, unless they were carrying an assault cannon, then you felt a lot safer.

The trip down was dark and slow, even with whatever lighting the others provided.

He managed to get down the wall with relative ease, immediately readying his weapon again.
Cain swallowed audibly as he approached the cavernous pitfall, he had been terrified of the darkness ever since he first heard of the Necron Tomb worlds from some of the more veteran Tech Guards as a child.

the stories often spoke of Tech Preists and even to a lesser extent Tech Guard officers becomign obsessed with unlocking Archeotech or even in some cases, unknowing of the Danger of the murderous automatons, thinking them vessels of the machine god, such individuals often died giving obeisance to the Omnissaiah.

Cain's flesh shuddered under his red rob as he moved to cross the drop, concientiously avoiding looking down, the Tech Preist even began muttering a few litanys and benedictions in Binary.

He needn't have been so worried, as he made the crossing without incident, urging the others onwards with a nod of his head, hoping they would mistake the sweat running down his forehead and temples for the stifling heat of the cavern.

You proceed onwards down the mines, though as you decend to see a section of the tunnel is flooded, a brackish water, a layer of oil glistening across the surface.
the liquid is only knee high, as you discover as you walk onwards, though you distinctly feel something brush against your leg, something slimy, something unnatural.
but you press on, and before you the passage rises upwards, and you leave the filthy water behind you as you continue onwards.

you follow the passage for some minutes before the tunnel widens into a vast chamber, the ceiling a at least thirty metres above you.
The roof is supported by massive columns, five metres wide and reachign all the way to the ceiling.
the dusty floor is littered with footprints leading in all directions, you follow some of these though they simply end, or you end up where you started.

realising that precious time is being wasted, you head out of the chamber, though only to find yourself yet again facing a drop, as the floor seems to have collapsed, the tunnel continuing on just shy of a metre ahead.
you realise that you will have to make a running jump to cross the drop, though you also note that if you fail to make the distance, whilst the possiblity of injury is high, the chance of death is reletively low.

Gentlemen, Here we make a strength check once again, although for every metre you run to get to the edge, you gain +10 to your strength characteristic, though you can only go back 2-3 metres.
Ill demonstrate with Cain.

Eager to ensure the others forget his earlier fear, Cain paced 3 metres from the gap, and turned, the look in his eyes betraying his apprehension.
After a momentary pause, Cain sprinted forwards, covering the distance rather quickly, and just short of the gap he leaped forwards, arms outstreached.
he fell short by a hairs breadth, slamming bodily into the wall before falling to the ground below with a sickening thump

should you fall, you take 1d10+5 damage, hence Cain would takes 12 damage, bringing him down to 4 wounds, though I elect to temporarily use a Fate point (points used to garner a re roll are regained the next day) thus, i roll again.
That said, he still falls. thus he still takes 12 damage.

Cain Looses 12 wounds (wounds remaining 4)

Let the good times roll.....
Venris winced as Cain's jump came up short and he hit the wall. He decided he'd jump before checking on the adept. He stepped back three metres, and thumbed his palm before he broke into his run. Just as he was about to make the jump, he tripped on a rock and fell into the pit, uttering, "Aw, frak!"

(OOC: Venris takes 11 damage, and is at 3 wounds.)
The psyker leaped across the gap landing on the other side, a little unstedily but he had made it.

"Impetuous fools," muttered Crayborne, scowling as Venris and Cain landed hard on the rocks below and Guilliman barely made it across.

Turning, he pushed his shotgun against Quinlan's chest, prompting him to take hold of it rather than attempt his own foolish leap. Then Crayborne crouched at the edge of the precipice, glaring down at his injured comrades.

"Guardsman!" he shouted as he saw Venris rolling over, clutching his leg, "You were given that rope for a reason! Now throw it up to Guilliman!"

Gritting his teeth against the pain, Venris slowly unshouldered the rope he was given by the Quartermaster. Unravelling it, he took hold of the end and threw it up to Guilliman, failing the first time, but getting it to him on the second throw.

"Now to me!" barked Crayborne, holding out his hand and turning his glare to Guilliman. The Psyker threw the other end of the rope across the gap and the Arbitrator passed it to Quinlan, taking back his shotgun in the process.

"Hold it as you would hold your soul," he rasped. With a nod, Quinlan wrapped the rope around his torso and biceps, bracing against the wall until the rope was stretched tautly across the gap.

Crayborne tested the rope, checking that Guilliman and Quinlan were braced, then gripped the line and swung across the breach. His feet had almost reached the other side when Quinlan buckled, his hold on the rope slipping on a patch of Venris's blood. The guardsman dropped to one knee and Crayborne was jolted, one hand coming away. He hit the side of the wall, his grip loosening to the very fingertips before he snarled and took hold again.

"Hold still, Emperor curse you!" he yelled. Now with most of his weight supported by Guilliman, the Arbitrator clambered upwards, gripping the Psyker's legs and robes to haul himself up. Both men almost toppled in the process, but in time Crayborne, sweating and gasping for breath, pulled himself clear of the precipice.

Guilliman gave him space and Crayborne stood, glaring back at Quinlan. Clearly, counting on the Guardsman's strength was a foolish gamble. But Crayborne said nothing. He and Guilliman wrapped the rope around themselves and looked back to Quinlan.

"Now your turn. Hurry up."

With the rope tied around his waste, Quinlan took a run-up then leapt across the chasm, the other two ready to support him if he fell. And it was clear that what the man lacked in strength he made up for in agility. The guardsman cleared the gap with ease.

"Good," grunted Crayborne, motioning Quinlan to take up position behind them and brace more of the rope.

With the three men safely across, they lowered the rope into the pit and began the strenuous process of hauling up their injured comrades.

Just like another day in the mines... thought Crayborne with a sneer.