The Bael War has raged for twenty years, and Hesperos, a prime system at the heart of the Ultima Segmentum, has been its stage.
Half the planets are infested with Xenos and the other half rife with heresy and daemonic scourge. All arms of the Imperium are committed to returning Hesperos to the Emperor's light.
But now... on the 21st year of the War... all is set to change.
Something is happening in this star system. Heroes are arising with new and terrible powers that could change the course of the war. Some have been missing for years and others were believed dead. But all have returned and all bear the marks of strange symbols never seen before.
Whether they will rejoin their comrades, forge their own empires, or seek an answer to their blessing, it remains to be seen. But one thing is certain... the fates of these individuals are sure to become entwined.
The Dark Tarot is waking...
CURRENT MAP OF HESPEROS SYSTEM
Okay, so here's the deal. Due to real life commitments, this will be the one single roleplay that I'm involved in on Iwaku. Here are the rules:
1. You can play up to 3 characters and they can be anything from the 40K setting.
2. Your character must have in their backstory a point at which they vanished/died/suffered a strange transformation during the course of the war and then returned with a mysterious symbol on their body or wargear.
3. You must help me out by submitting a planet suggestion with your character sheet (see below). The aim is to develop/describe the Hesperos System between us. The planet does NOT have to relate to your character.
4. Your Tarot Power can be a force for good, evil or neutrality. It is a supernatural ability that has far-reaching consequences. If you're stuck for ideas think of urban legends, historical myths, divine fates or the meanings of the classic Tarot Cards.
5. You can have NPC followers/troops/allies but they can never harm another PC without their permission.
6. PVP showdowns are encouraged and anyone who acts like a twat will be Mod-slapped and subjected to snarky put-downs.
7. Keep it grimdark. Keep it epic.
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NAME: Alo'Kine Nebuwihn
RACE/CLASS: Eldar Farseer
SYMBOL: Nebuwihn's symbol is on the palm of his left hand.
TAROT POWER:The Life Sands - Nebuwihn can bring great luck or ill-fortune to those who cross his path. When contemplating the destiny of another, Nebuwihn conjures a handful of sand that represents their fate. He can either scatter it to bring them bad luck, or mould it into a crystal and thereby improve their chances. With this power Nebuwihn is having a strong influence upon the war.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: Nebuwihn believes that the symbol is a blessing from the Eldar Gods and that the Dark Tarot are predestined to serve the greater good of the Eldar race.
NPCs: Nebuwihn's transformation has split the loyalties of the Ulthwé Strikeforce operating in the Hesperos System. He has now gone rogue with a sizeable army of Black Guardians, Wraithguard and Aspect Warriors. They are moving quickly from planet to planet and turning the course of every battle they encounter.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Farseer Nebuwihn was reported slain during fleet combat with Tyranid hive-ships around the Hesperos sun. A year later he appeared on the planet Skarfax, amongst the urban fighting, and rejoined the Ulthwé Strikeforce. His transformation has been causing division amongst the Eldar ever since.
TYPE: The city's main Industrial/Agri-World
TERRAIN: Flat and temperate, with vast hive cities and crop-continents. No oceans. High winds and rainstorms common.
STATUS: Skarfax is in the grips of a massive Ork invasion, along with the first waves of a Tyranid Assault. There is a heavy Guard presence in the warzones and Space Marine Chapters are being brought in to stem the tide.
SYMBOL: The Rune of the Sovereign is scorched onto his forhead
TAROT POWER: World Network - For whatever planet he is on, Sovereign can project a psychic field through it, allowing him to, at will, listen to and translate the thoughts of any other sentient being on the planet, as well as communicate with them.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: Sovereign thoroughly believes that it is because of the Rune of the Sovereign he is free of the Hive Mind's will.
NPCs: Sovereign was the sole connection between the main hive fleet and a small specialized tendril known as the Atrament. His re-emergence has given him complete control of the small force of tyranids in the tendril.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: In an ambush set up by Sovereign against the Taus, the Tyranids were overwhelmed and slaughtered, Sovereign fled into the tunnels of Vatere. Sovereign re-emerged from the tunnels several months later, awakening what remained of the Atrement. He has carved a small territory in the tunnels for the now christened, Atrement Autonomous.
NAME: Vatere "Va-Tear"
TYPE: Mining World
TERRAIN: Barren and Mountainous. There is a Large Tau City present near the northern polar cap, but very little is present on the surface, most of it extends into the tunnels below the surface. There are several smaller cities and outposts extending through the tunnels. Most fighting takes place through the tunnels due to Vatere's surface being of little worth and extremely difficult to traverse. This, in no small way, is what has allowed the Tau to effectively hold the world.
STATUS: Vatere is largely controlled by Tau, but incursion of Tyranids, Orks, and Chaos daemons have appeared recently.
TAROT POWER: Emathy – The ability to swap emotions between sentient beings (not daemons). He uses it to instill the fear his own men feel into the enemy. He uses it to make heretics and xenos fear their own creations as him own men do, and lift him men’s spirits with his own dedication and certainty of victory.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: He sees it as a gift from Ollanius Pius or perhaps the emperor himself to bring their divine judgment on their foes.
NPCs: The 214th Cadian sent to quell the fires in the sector, or at least whats left of it. The declaration and use of an unusual power was caught the eye of both the Ecclesiarch and the Ordo Hereticus but none may deny their results.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Then Hive Nectiptia was overrun by Orks and purged by orbital fire the 184th was declared lost to man and their company roster locked in the halls of valor. Then a platoon commander Lazarus was but one in a thousand, until a squad fighting three subsectors away, out of ammunition and heretic on their feels suddenly felt their waning moral soar and a carapace armoured man wielding laspistol and powersword rushed into the melee shouting oaths and praising the emperor. They rallied around the stranger and drove the mutants off mistaking the man for a space marine scout surprised to hear him announce himself a man of cadia.
TYPE: Hive world
TERRAIN: Quagmires of pollutants, and sickly jungles and continent-sized hive cities.
STATUS: In the grips of civil war, many of the under hives rioted over food shortages, PDF troops were sent in to quell the violence but couldn’t cope with the sheer numbers. Riots became rebellion and soon half the hives fell to the renegades. Now rumors of mutants of the plague god fighting alongside the rebels have caused the governor to send for aid from the Imperial Guard.
SYMBOL: Akagk's symbol is located on his left "temple".
TAROT POWER:Eternal Journey - It's uncertain if Akagk consciously triggers this power, which enables him and those allies around him to succeed or in lieu of succeeding, survive... even in spite of considerable logical reasons why they should not. Its effects span entire battlefields, but do not appear to affect the entire theater.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: While he's not entirely certain what it represents or how to feel about it, he's content to know that it works.
NPCs: Upon his sphere being hired by the Tau, Akagk was given oversight of several kindreds of Carnivores, Headhunters and Trackers, which were further augmented by presence of Krootox and Kroot Hounds.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Akagk was last seen leading his group into the midst of a Tyranid incursion on Vatere, and those of his party who survived reported that he had been consumed whole by a Carnifex. He returned approximately a year later, almost nonchalantly while his Kroot were setting camp on the outskirts of Skarfax, where they have been sent to observe, and if possible, intervene.
TYPE: Former Agri-world
TERRAIN: Varies between valleys, jungles and medium bodies of water. It is pinpricked with slow-decaying remnants of Imperial habs and demi-spires, along with several Ork camps which have been fabricated within the last fifteen years. Weather patterns are chaotic, habitat is hostile.
STATUS: Caliban was always rich in organic life, plant and creature alike. The flora and fauna coupled with the indigenous lifeforms nearly landed it a classification as a Death World, but Imperial terraforming and raw brute strength sought to tame the planet. At the onset of the war, Caliban was quickly laid to ruin by the Eldar in hopes of gutting Imperial food supplies. Since then the Imperium has adapted Skarfax to accommodate themselves, and allowed Caliban to be seized by Ork forces shortly after the Eldar departed. It has become wild and overgrown once again, serving as a staging ground for the Orks as they assault other planets.
Tarot Power: The Hand of Justice has a myriad of different uses; from the primitive combat oriented, where anyone foolish enough to injure him suffers the same wound, to rewarding or punishing individuals for their actions. Given enough time between when the triggering effect was received and when he chooses to return it, a compliment given by one man could result in his Great-Grandson inheriting wealth and power beyond his wildest imaginations. as far as he knows there's no limit on the number of effects he can hold
Attitude towards power: Sepulchris believes it to be a gift from his patron Tzeentch, to what purpose he has no clue, such are the whims and mysteries of the changer of ways.
NPCs: The court mage has a handful of familiars that augment his magical ability or serve as guardians and retainers.
Disappearance: In the year prior to the Outset of the war, the Changer of ways whisked away the senior court mage of the Kingdom of Chaodan, on the pre-industrial world of Loemnese, directly to the heart of his realm. The reason why only the changer knows, but the mere sight of the raven god caused toe court mage to swell with power, rupturing the flesh that bound him. He would arise, and be dubbed Sepulchris, Court Mage of Tzeentch.
Planet: Loemnense (Lo-Men-Se)
Type: Pre Industiral Imperial world
Economy, Loemnese is a mineral rich planet with a native population that scarcely knows how to harvest it, all metals can be found in abundance here
Terrain: Standard Terran, though much more mountainous.
Status: Thus far untouched by war, it's likely that it's mineral wealth is so far unknown by the powers controlling the galaxy.
TAROT POWER: Truesight - O'Shosanno is able to 'see' whatever he wishes. He can see the entire scope of the battlefield from a bird's eye view, he can see something from miles away as if he was standing just a few feet from, and he can see through any material. Given enough concentration, he can also see something he seeks-- though it is not the same as finding it...
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: It is a curious thing, but never-the-less welcome. He has yet to truly gain full understanding of it, and views it as a blessing from that which brought forth the Ethereals and gave them to knowledge of Tau'va, the Greater Good.
NPCs: O'Shosanno is a commander in the Tau Expeditionary Force in the Hesperos System. He has complete independent command of a Cadre of Veteran warriors, which include a versatile force of Fire Warriors, Pathfinders and Stealthsuit teams, and their supporting armour contingents of Devilfish transports, Crisis battlesuits, a number of Drones, and several Sky Ray and Hammerhead gunships.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: O'Shosanno was reported slain in the campaign to take Ajax's World from the Imperium, in order to secure the vast natural resources on the planet to help fuel the Tau war effort. Less than six months later, he would appear during a fierce engagement with the Tyranids on the planet Vatere and be instrumental to their victory in that battle. He was welcome back by the Ethereal leading the Expeditionary Forces with open arms, a bright beacon and proof of the righteousness of the Tau'va.
NAME: Ajax's World
TYPE: Mining World turned Industrial
TERRAIN: A water world covered in a series of large islands. The largest islands, located along the equator, are homes to the major cities of the planet, and many island chains are connected with advanced man-made bridges.
The only continent on the planet is along the northern pole; the planet has a severe tilt to it's axis and this continent constantly faces away from the major sun-star of the system. This icy continent, dotted with massive polluting factories and deep ice quarries, is home to vast veins of resources; enough to fuel any war machine for centuries, and the only thing of any worth on the planet.
STATUS: Imperial Owned. Dark Eldar forces have been spotted sporadically. Tau incursions have been unsuccessful, mostly due to the weather conditions of the most fought-over area of the planet: the Northern Continent.
TAROT POWER: The Dark Art - Dargrim's bolter is a weapon of unholy terror. When fired it rips open the fabric of space itself, causing the immaterium to spill through and repaint the world. Just the noise of it will fry the minds of lesser psykers, and every rift carved by the trajectory of the bolt shell will bring daemons in flood.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: Dargrim has been driven utterly insane. He can no longer distinguish between the blessings and curses of the Dark Gods. In fact, he is no longer sure that other people exist, believing them instead to be figments placed before him by the Ruinous Powers. Everything is a spiral of delusion and violent rage.
NPCs: Dargrim is followed by a small band of chosen Space Marines, most of them utterly possessed and insane beyond measure. Though few, these champions are sustained by considerable daemonic allies. They ride upon a single Infidel-class raider and act like a band of pirates and prophets, raising cultists and heretic rebels wherever they go.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Dargrim was assassinated following a lengthy campaign on the Shrine World of Lietania, close to the Raquian Warp Gate. He was brought down by a squad of Battle Sisters, who burned his body to ashes. But since that day the Sisters who participated in the assassination have started to die, slaughtered in cunning traps and well-laid ambushes. Dargrim is hunting each of them, moving from planet to planet in his sadistic quest for revenge.
TYPE: Shrine World
TERRAIN: Thick forest covering 70% of the surface, broken by two oceans and isolated cathedral cities. Many Imperial nobles have private estates here and principle exports include game meats, fish, drugs and rare gems. It was named after St Lieterman, a missionary who (according to legend) carved the Emperor's name on 1 million trees during his 6 year trek around the planet.
STATUS: A year ago the Raquian Warp Gate opened above the world of Leitania and now the northern cities have been overrun by the forces of Chaos. The orbit of this world is one of the fiercest areas of fighting in the Hesperos System, while on the planet a Crusade has been ordered by the Adeptus Ministorum, with Battle Sisters, Space Marines and Imperial Guard forming a united front against the Dark Powers. Many of the Noble Villas have been occupied by Inquisitorial cells, who together with PDF forces keep a tight cordon on the southern hemisphere. Some of the nobles in the south do not even know that their planet has been invaded.
Tarot Power: The Lucky Bastard Maher and those around him are touched by an amazing amount of luck. Events will always favor Maher and his comrades, and will work against his opponents.
Attitue Towards the Symbol: Maher believes that he has been touched by chaos, and is eventually doomed. He believes that killing himself over it would be an insult to the God-Emperor, and that the only way to purify himself of his taint is to die in the name of the God-Emperor.
NPCs: A squad of StormTroopers that have fought over six campaigns together. They have collected a miriad of unsanctioned equipment and skills.
Disappearance and Return: Maher died in a lengthy campaign to defend the Forge World of Balheersh from tainted factory workers. At the campaign's end he was found near death on a field half a continent away. Several months passed and his sqaud of stormtroopers dissapeared, and have become a legend amongst several Imperail Guard regiments as phantom soldiers, who seem to appear and tip the balance of conflicts in the favor of the Imperium.
Type: Forge World
Terrain: The planet is covered with a dozen large factory complexes that dwarf most hives, and with a half dozen mining quaries for raw materials and energy. Aside from this and the many habcomplexes that dot the landspace, the world is nothing but a dying rock tormented by acidic rain and deadly air.
Status: Balsheersh is at only 30% capacity due to a recent chaos incurison. All over the world workers took up arms and attacked the foundries, taking them, and then building thier own weapons of war. Two Cadian Regiments and a few space marine squads were called it to help cleanse the world. The action took a yeah and a half to complete, and another year was spent on mopup opperations. New workers have just been shipped in and the world is continuing to work again. After the chaos assault several Mechanicus groups have taken up residence due to rumors spreading about a vault of Plasma tech from Pre-Heresy times.
NAME: Lord Julius Hugo Elryeh August, Captain of the Rogue Trader Vessel 'The Precipice'
RACE/CLASS: Human, Rogue Trader
SYMBOL: An intricate, possibly xenos symbol that spreads from his left shoulder and across his torso, frequently changing colour
TAROT POWER: 'Eye of the Storm' – Triggering this power, anarchy and chaos spreads around Lord August, his ship and his allies. Things break, explode or otherwise go haywire in whatever way they can, causing pandemonium, yet August and his allies are seemingly unaffected by this, capable of moving through the insanity unaffected.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: Like a lot of things, Lord August sees this symbol as an opportunity, something leading him to a greater goal. He is concerned about it's possibly heretical nature but his status as a rogue trader means he is largely outside the rule of the Imperium, so he is happy to follow where it may take him.
NPCs: The crew of 'The Precipice', though most of them remain on the ship with only the Security Team really making appearances off-ship. There's also Lord August's personal companions, including his brutal former mercenary of a First Mate Brutus and his rather unhinged Navigator Crepslius.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Lord August has been rumoured to have died or been lost to the Warp on numerous occasions (one that stands out is a story of him being eaten by an Ork Warlord), but seemingly his final journey into the war-torn region of Aproxis is what people believed killed him; 'The Precipice' was last seen being pursued into the Warp by a pair of Chaos warships, and hasn't been seen again until it's sudden reappearance in Hesperos recently.
NAME: Helios VII
TYPE: Former Agri-World, now Death World
TERRAIN: Desert, high winds mean frequent sandstorms, terrain uneven and shifting due to unstable surface. Ruins of the Battleship 'Tsar' dot the surface, and the ordinance is was carrying when it collided with the planet's surface still detonates periodically, causing constant shifts in the planet's surface.
STATUS: In a battle above the planet between Dark Elder raiders and Imperial forces, the Battleship 'Tsar' was heavily damaged, causing it to crash into the planet surface. The shockwave caused serious damage to Helios VII, but it was the highly dangerous weapons that the ship carried that turned the planet into a death world when they went off. The only remaining inhabitants live in underground Hives, and scavenge the surface for supplies and salvage to sell off-world.
SYMBOL: He claims the symbol is on his left butt-cheek. No one has volunteered to check.
TAROT POWER: The Commissar Smile - It is not known if this is actually a Tarot power, or just an instance of very, very good luck. Finn was able to impersonate a Commissar during the destruction of Precinct 19 on the outskirts of the Humboldt Spire. With his disguise he 'commandeered' a small armoury of weapon from a Cadian Platoon and used them to arm his own gang, the The Wafers.
ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE SYMBOL: Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.
NPCs: Finn's 12-man gang, known as 'The Wafers', 'The Holy Wafers', 'The Holy Wasters', 'The Thin Men', 'The Tin Men' or 'The Pennybloods', depending on who's telling the story.
DISAPPEARANCE & RETURN: Finn was never the smartest member of the Pennyblood Gang. He tried to steal from his boss and his boss had him drowned in a chemical sump. Four days later the same boss was shot in his sleep. Now Finn's in charge, and he's a little smarter than before, and a lot more cheerful. He's got this big idea, and the 12 gangers from the Pennybloods who were stupid enough to follow him have been dragged out into the middle of a warzone. They live upon his word, his charisma, and the mythical promise of the symbol on his arse.
TYPE: Penal World
TERRAIN: An ice world, tormented by huge predators and flocks of carniverous birds. A few Mechanicus installations and penal colonies are dotted across the frozen continents. In the mountains is a well-maintained spaceport devoted to pleasuring wealthy nobles. The healthier prisoners are sent here to be enslaved, raped, murderered, sold, or entered in arenas - whatever the customers desire.
STATUS: Largely untouched by the war, due to its low profile. Business at the pleasure-port continues as normal, whilst Penal Legions are being raised to send to Skarfax and Grandor.
'Nids killed my Tau. I hate Nids...Which is why I'm going to enjoy eventually blowing up the planet. Or at least getting one of the Imperials to get it cleared for Exterminatus...or get the Tau to drop a few Darkstar Warheads.
A little Mind War for ya, Vay. I thought it was more subtle than launching an over-detailed attack on your command column. Feel free to use your power to battle me, or bringing a Sanctioned Psyker in to nullify the spell. But at least this gives us a chance for some juicy interaction.
*wonders if he should send a certain Chaos ship after Grumpy*