Only War Episode 3

Tea of the Session: Thermos has finally been sourced so I was able to partake of some very fine Whittards Irish Breakfast.

Recorded: Recorded but not up to standard.

I forgot the map. Which given today ended up being the first combat was very unfortunate, however before we got to that point there was some other things happening. In the wake of the Warhounds passing through the area, the Commissar made a point to pass through all of the squads and try and keep morale up. However the sight of Imperial war machines heading to the front line in such an obvious hurry had shaken the troops slightly and even his reassuring words were not enough to calm them.

This on his mind he asked the heavy gunner Vyn to prepare some food. Vyn decided that rather than break into the high quality food they had received in error from requisition, or just make do with standard rations, he would make something with the Corpsestarch and bitter beans they had found in the priest house. After some preparation he produced a passable mean, handed a plate to the Commissar and headed back to the machine gun nest to eat with Narine his loader. Four bites in however he knocked it out of her hand and jammed his fingers down his throat. The Corpsestarch had been poisoned! In a panic he ran to the Commissar and got there just as he was finishing the meal.

Vyn started shouting for the medic as Commissar Herik’s skin turned brick red and all of his muscles began to twitch and jerk under it. Jellin the medic arrived at the run and dumped his medical kit on the ground… Then he spent the next ten minutes or so trying to think of what to do, in the end he decided to fill the Commissar full of muscle relaxant, and then when his heart stopped jam him chock full of stimm. One ocular injection later the Commissar was conscious and weakened, but he was at least not dead.

That night he decided to sleep rather than take watch, trying to deal with the fatigue that the poison had left in him. The others however got to spend yet another night sleeping in shifts and in the case of Liana the Techpriest listening to the sounds of chanting from far to the north.

The next morning the Commissar contacted command only to find out that Commander Culchan was unavailable as he was off at HQ trying to find out why the Hazeroth Burners Commander (who was in overall command) had thrown out the Inquisitions battleplan (the interestingly titled Onion of Defence) for their own (known as Throw the Peladeon’s at it). None of the other sections of the Taelorn first had reported coming under attack, but several had reported booby traps and poisoned foodstuffs. There had been a few fatalities, and a lot of casualties, but nothing catastrophic.

With this in mind however the Commissar realised that they had not yet swept through the Cathedral or indeed set foot in the place. He grabbed Byarl the Meltagunner and put him in charge of Squad 1 (npc) much to the chagrin of their sergeant and sent them off to the Cathedral.

The Cathedral to the Emperor was huge, some eight stories tall at the spire end, and at least 6 everywhere else. As Byarl and squad one entered they found themselves staring towards a huge golden altar, behind which stood a statue of the Emperor seven stories tall, behind which were fine stained glass windows. To either side of the altar stood servitor choirs seemingly controlled from the Altar. Byarl led the squad into the back section first examining the cells of the priests that tended the cathedral. They were a lot more opulent than the cells in the priest house and it wasn’t too long before Byarl found himself in one of the rooms with Meeks one of the less pleasant of squad one. Meeks tried to persuade him to liberate a couple of golden candlesticks they found, pointing out that they would probably only go to waste otherwise. Although Byarl wasn’t willing to take some of the booty himself, he did turn a blind eye as Meeks and his squad mate stuffed their packs full of booty.

Going back into the main Cathedral he looked again at the Altar, and this time he noticed a lever at the bottom of the Altar, and calling in Liana it was decided that they would check what it did. After a brief prayer to the Omnissiah Liana operated the lever, and the entire altar slid back revealing steps down into the crypt. They radioed through to the Commissar who gave permission, and so the descended into the darkness. The first crypt seemingly contained the bodies of the High Priests who had served in the cathedral laid out on biers. Meeks once again cast a covetous eye over the riches on display. At the far end they found another set of stairs which led down into a different area.

This room was plainer, with shelves on either side which were filled with stacks of corpses, all imperial guard and all wearing ruined carapace armour, all at least 500 years in the crypt. At the far end of this crypt, they found a sarcophagus, a huge sarcophagus with only a plaque reading “Their duty was done”. On the lid was a carving of a man wearing featureless insignialess power armour, obviously a Space Marine. Liana looked at it for a moment then quickly ushered everyone out. He had seen armour like that before, but last time it was stepping out of a drop pod and opening up on a bunch of Orks charging across the Taelorn Museum Square.

The rest of the day was spent listening to the sounds of a heavy combat somewhere to the North. Liana was not able to determine the distance however as he had realised that the entire City had been designed specifically to allow the sounds of the choir in one of the main temple to be heard throughout the city. Sadly the one in question was the very first Cathedral the Chaos forces had taken, which probably explained why every night they could hear the chanting. As night fell again the Commissar did not take watch, choosing instead to shake off the rest of his fatigue. It turned out that this was a very very good choice.

The night watches started, the pcs taking shifts along with the NPC squads. It was however again the Techpriest Liana who spotted something strange. Meeks left the Tithery to go round the back and relieve himself. But he came back from the toilet twice…

Realising this was probably not right he woke the Commissar and together they watched another person come back from the toilet. They were busy discussing what to do about it when a shot rang out from the tithery and a large group of people ran to the window and dived through! Finally realising they were being infiltrated the Commissar started shouting orders as las fire started coming from the Tithery from five renegades crouching behind the thick stone walls of the Tithery. Luckily for the squad they were in good cover behind a doubled up line of Flakboard and Sandbags. As Vyn opened up the heavy bolter on them and Delvin the operator sprinted to the Sentinel they realised that the great cover they had selected for Squad 1 was now counting against them. Apart from the odd headshot that was hitting home against the enemies Guard Flak Armour, the majority of their weapons were hitting the walls and doing absolutely nothing.

The Commissar started calling for coordinated fire from squads Two and Three, but their positions had been chosen specifically to support each other, not fire on each other and they didn’t have a shot. With fire whickering back and forth Jellin crossed the dead ground to the back of the Tithery to check to make sure there wasn’t a flanking force coming. Byarl hefted his Melta gun and sprinted towards the other room of the Tithery, but had to dodge as four renegades smashed through the doors and snapped shots off towards him. The tech priest stood and aimed, and after a slow count of ten shot one of the larger group of renegades in the face, setting his hair on fire and spinning him round. The Commissar also returned fire, but his bolt rounds hit only rockcrete, so he set off to support Byarl. Finally in position the operator fired up the Sentinel and turned it to stomp round the end of the Statue of Sanguianius.

Byarl ducked under the window of the Tithery, yanked a grenade off his belt, pulled the pin and lobbed it towards the renegades inside… But hit the top of the window causing it to drop into the dust behind him! Barking a Taelorn curseword he dived out of the way as it detonated narrowly avoiding being hoisted by his own petard. As the Renegades fired back, but were defeated by the heavy stone of the Tithery walls the Commissar headed over to help him.

Vyn continued raking fire back and forth across the larger group of renegades but they had very good cover and his heavy bolter was not exactly built for accuracy. Realising this he called for his squad mate to ready the Missile launcher. As the Techpriest took potshots and the Sentinel fired its multilaser, he brought it up to his shoulder and leaned all the way out of his machine gun post. There was a pop, and a hiss, and a blinding white light as the wall disappeared, leaving the renegades stunned and uncovered. The sentinel and the techpriest capitalised on it quickly, killing three of the renegades with rapid fire from the Multilaser and the techpriests lascarbine. The remaining two dived out of the room into the Tithery’s hall leaving behind the wrecked corpses of their squad mates still steaming from the Multilaser blasts.

Byarl meanwhile had fired his melta gun once and missed, but decided that the second time was the charm. He stood up, and before the renegades could shoot, vapourised one of them with the anti-tank weapon. The Commissar also fired, but to little effect. The renegades decided to return fire using their own grenades, Byarl again dodged the blast but the Commissar was caught by the outside of the blast and a hot piece of shrapnel ripped across the back of his leg. However much like Byarl one of the renegades had hit the lintel of the window and the grenade landed at his feet and knocked him prone. The Commissar decided to get involved as well and threw his grenade into the room, dropping it into the crook of one of the Renegades arms. The resulting explosion blew him apart setting off his grenades and reducing the entire renegade squad to little more than red mist.

Jellin meanwhile had located the corpse of Meeks. It looked like he had been taken entirely unawares. One blow to the throat stopped him crying out and a dagger to the back of the neck finished him off, leaving him lying on the ground with his fatigues around his ankles. Jellin radioed this information into the Commissar but received a terse response as the Commissar was still under fire. Leaving Meeks where he was the Doctor started to move rapidly round the front of the building as he expected there to be friendly casualties.

Byarl had dropped his Meltagun and dragged out his Lascarbine before the Commissar took out the renegade squad with his well placed grenade. It served him well however as the last two renegades piled out of the Tithery and leapt on him. The first he managed to parry with his Lascarbine, the second sank his dagger into his thigh and then slashed him across the chest. It would have looked bad for him if Vyn, the Commissar, and Liana hadn’t also joined the fight. Most of the fighting was ineffectual, the enemy was wearing full guard flak and the knives of the Taelorn troops were not enough. The Commissars Chainsword however did it’s bloody work opening one of the two renegades across the throat. Realising that he might want prisoners for information he shouted for the others to grab the last renegade but the man was fast as a snake, swapping his knife from hand to hand and striking out at his attackers.

Which was the point at which the Doc stepped up behind him and jammed a syringe full of sedatives into his neck. He turned tried to slash at Jellin, but then his eyelids fluttered and he dropped to the ground unconcious.

The Commissar cracked his knuckles and Vyn mentioned that he was skilled at making people talk…

The first combat went fairly smoothly, although there were no less than five 100’s rolled (i.e. the worst result you can get). It’s my intention to give the players some experience points after this fight, as this is going to be a fairly short campaign and I want them to have some feel of their characters improving. Strangely for 40k we found that the close combat, apart from the Commissar’s chainsword the close combat weapons they start with are actually too weak to harm an armoured man! This may need to be rectified, and possibly they’ll get and airdrop of some useful accoutrements.

Of course the first part of next session will be the interrogation of the Chaos Renegade.

One Response to “Only War Episode 3”

  1. Vyn Sarvus Says:

    If at all possible, I would like to improve my awareness. I am getting a little peeved by my continuing obliviousness to all things.

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