Only War – RPG/TRPG Session
Run by Will
Baine Bravith – Jason (jymmijamz)
Father Deimos – Chris (alcoholandaphorisms)
Hans ‘Loki’ Lokisson – Me
Odetta – Tanja
(Write-up by Chris)
Travelling at high speeds through the air over the jungles of the necropolis planet the crafts bay doors open, air pulled out by the rushing wind. The mission of the Hadeon 13 squad is about to begin. Ork infested lands await them below,
The Ogryn Baine is the first out the bay doors. The servitors that opened it barely stepped back before he leaps for the freedom of the open air, away from the tight claustrophobic craft. The others follow bare moments later, grav chutes in hand they leap out above the drop zone.
Things start skewing from plan almost instantly. The turbulence in the area buffets the Guardsmen, spinning them and tosses them from their course. The group is quickly dispersed to the winds, with only the medic Odetta managing to keep to the pre-set path. Controlling her drop Odetta shifts in behind Father Deimos, trying to stabilise his flight path. Instead the two get caught in the same free fall, spinning away from the drop zone. Hills, necropolis spires and the sight of a miles long cracked road come up into view as they struggle to recover, pushing themselves away from the sharp and quickly rising objects below.
The ground hits hard, rolling and bracing the two bounce and curse across the landscape. Skin scraped from flesh, ribs bruised and heads dazed. Battered but alive they come to a halt, sliding down into the cracked road they had seen from above, now revealed as a deep trench into the ground.
High above Baine slams down into a high balcony, the concrete cracking and dust dropping, but functionally unharmed. Loki rolls to his feet on landing, half a mile away. Glancing around he recognises he has landed near the entrance to a giant monolith tomb. Sprinting to cover, he brings his las carbine up, checking corners and then the sky, watching for signs of his battle comrades.
The land is open around him, smoke rising from damaged buildings and from jungle clumps in the distance occasionally. Seeing nothing else he flicks on his micro bead to communicate with the others.
“Hans Lokison here. Landed successfully. Can I have a response please?”
The signal is received by Odetta who is busy binding her ribs, lying prone out in the open Deimos is climbing the steel walls at the side, heading for the cover of the alleyways between the sacred tombs.
“Hans” Odetta replies “I’m on the road. The Fathers is taking cover. He can move, I’m not in such good position. I don’t have much in me, try to move to this location if you are mobile”
From far up in the sky, Baine looks down, searching for his comrades “Baine not down yet. Where’s friends? On tower here. Where friends?”
On the ground, nestled behind cover Deimos looks down the barrel of his las carbine, ready for any sign of trouble. Spying Odetta still in the trench, injecting stims into her injured side he says “Odetta. Move. Now. You are in the open. There is no time to lie down on the job”
“Well if you would lend a hand father”
“I am covering your advance. If you want more then ask the emperor for strength. Now move or I will slot you myself”
Odetta’s squadmate crawls up, slipping a shoulder under Odetta’s arm and the two stagger to the steel wall as Deimos covers. Baines voice can be heard still over the microbead, as can Jops whining about yet another fucked up mission. Taking advantage of a moment of silence Deimos reports their position to everyone, using the statues of the fallen saints as guides to their way.
Up on the tombs baroque balconies Baine and Jops look out over the city, no sign of the rest of their team-mates.
“Come on” Jops says to Baine by him “lets get inside”
Baine looks the painfully small door way and shakes his head. Not going inside a small place again. Instead he looks over the sheer drop from the balcony then out over the row of spires. “Friend” Baine says over the microbead “Friend need to help me. Stuck on top of tower. No obvious way down”
“You have a grav chute” Deimos exclaims back “Throaning jump!”
Baine pauses at the nigh blasphemous curse from the priest. Looks over the drop and steps forwards plummeting over the side “Going now. Exiting tower” he says as he falls.
There is an audible crack and sound of meat on concrete as the Ogryn forgets to activate the grav chute until the last moment. Dust clouds billow up and paving stones crack. As the dust settles Baine walks away cheerily, completely unharmed by his escapade. Moments later Jops disappears from sight on the balcony to be spied shortly after as he vaults with a flying leap into the air, rolling gracefully on contact with the ground, encased in a protective grav sheath, rolling up, weapon ready.
Meanwhile, back by the road Hans approaches from the north, hailing over the bead first to warn everyone of his arrival. Odetta, having slowly made her way up the steel walls, is attending to Deimos’ wounds as Hans joins them. Deimos tries to wave her away “Pain is good for the soul. I need no aid”. Ignoring this Odetta works on, taking his annoyance as the closest to praise she will receive here. Biting her lip she holds back a cry of pain as the stim packs wear off. Seeing her discomfort Deimos nods “and it seems you have a pure soul indeed.”
“I am not afraid for my immortal soul, it’s my mortal ribs I worry for” Odetta replies.
“If you are worried” Deimos says patting his chain sword” I could end your pain with the emperors mercy”
“I’m not that worried”
“Then I have restored your faith, my work here is done” Deimos smiles.
The conversation is interrupted by Baine and Jops joining them. The full squad now reassembled. Huddling they discuss the best way forwards with their mission.
“I have a plan that matches to all of our skills “Deimos says “We set up at three cover points. Baine, our dedicated comrade, will walk in the open while loudly declaring that he is alone and that he hopes he is not attacked by xenos. Because it will be true, and you would not lie in front of the emperor would you Baine?”
Baine shakes his massive head
“Good” Deimos smiles “Well, then when the xenos try to ambush you , we shall ambush them”
“Not bad” Loki says. “I suggest Odetta and I set up with the las carbines here and here as snipers. You should set up there Deimos, the low ground will mean you are in flamer range. Baine should take a route by the trench, it is open enough and central enough that if anyone is nearby they should see him ”
“Excellent. Very good indeed “Deimos says “I can feel a good feeling, like a fire inside…other people “
Baine and his squad mate Jops quickly move down to the road while the others move into cover positions. As soon as they are out of hearing range Jops starts swearing to himself “The fuck kind of fucking plan is this? We are in the fucking firing line. Between our troops and the fucking orks” Baine just smiles, shrugs and keeps walking
In a loud stage whisper Baine talks to Jops “Oh no. Where’s team? Where’s friend? Lost team” Baine does a large exaggerated wink to conclude the sentence and grins again.
Watching from the rooftop Odetta spies movement through windows and doors on the far side of the road. Shadowy and indistinct but definitely movement. “Windows” She says over the microbead.
“Windows” Baine repeats out loud, looking quizzically around.
Deimos winces “Ogryn if you blow this with your stupidity I will burn you again.”
Baine freezes in the centre of the road and starts whispering in hushed tones “Sorry. Very sorry. Sorry”
“MOVE MUTANT, MOVE!” Deimos growls down the microbead.
From the other rooftop Loki braces, las carbine sighting for and confirming targets. Nothing breaks from cover but flag poles start poking out from the windows. Trying to focus Loki realises they could be gun barrels. Instead rocks and chunks of masonry start flying from the windows, raining down on the Ogryn.
“Could they be trying to lure us out?” Deimos says “A xenos ambush would be better organised than this”
“Could be locals” Loki replies as the second rain of stones starts “Defending their turf”
“Our men are wearing the uniform of the Imperial guard! Though if they are thinking they face the enemy I commend their faith”
Unsure of what to do with the discussion bouncing back and forth over the airwaves Baine just stands as stone bounce off his tough hide. Moments later muzzle flashes start, rounds fired harmlessly into the air. After fifteen seconds of harmless fire the din dies down without harm done.
The air is quiet, and the squad watches carefully for what happens next. A blood curdling cry come out and the doorways flood their contents onto the streets. People leaping from windows and ledges, simple wrenches and picks as weapons as the mass of mankind charge towards the Ogryn. Baine looks at them, back to where Deimos hides, then shrugs, unsure of what to do now.
“This could still be an ambush. Cover me, I’m going out” Deimos says, stepping out to face the charging horde. Chain blade running and robes billowing in the wind.
Cries can be heard in the air now “Kill it. Kill it whatever it is. For the emperor”
Deimos smiles and holds his blade on high shouting to the crowd “Congratulations my flock, your zeal and dedication is admirable but there are better targets! This mutant, filthy thought it may be, will kill the xenos that ruin this planet”
Over the din his words are hardly heard, all they see is a preacher of the imperium and as one the crowd takes this sign as a cue to charge the Ogryn, swinging their weapons to try and carve it down. Knocking the pick axes away with the giant weapon taken from the orks Baine swings it again, cleaving two of his attackers in twain across the waist. Blood spurts up and the bodes tumble to the ground. More and more pile on baine swinging clubs and fists in a desperate attempt to wear him down with numbers. Others leap at Jops, trying to bundle him to the ground and pummel him.
Watching from above Loki notices more movement “Deimos. Watch your six, could be more in the undergrowth”
Seeing things rapidly escalating out of control Deimos shouts “Baine. Salute and stand to attention. Men, this mutant is a member of the imperial guard. He is serving you!”
The voice is barely heard over the ruck and Baine crushes, kicks, stomps, punches and cleaves his way through the crowd. Tossing broken bodies left and right. Limbs sever and flop to the ground. By the time he is done tens of men lie dead or dying, the rest, few remaining stumbling back away from the monster turning to flee in terror. At the back a small number of men and children still alive shrink back into the shadows. Others drop to their knees, pleading for “Mercy monster, please, mercy” Alone Baine stands panting, bloodied weapon risen high above his skull.
“You attack me. Why you attack me?” Baine shouts
Lifting his flamer and readying the pilot light Deimos screams “Everybody. Halt where you are in the name of the emperor of I swear I will burn you all”
The crowd freezes “Help us. Please help us” they mumble, dropping prostrate in front of the priest who just looks with contempt
“When you attacked the mutant. Mistaken though you may have been, then I had respect for you. For your bravery and faith. In this quivering mass I have but contempt. Now tell us. Where are the xenos so we can burn them!”
The crowd just keeps their head down .Mumbling platitudes and begs for mercy, Enraged Deimos grabs the nearest, pulling him to his feet. Pointing at Jops he shouts “This pure blood human, does he look like a xenos?”
“Well. Some of them are small and..”
“YES OR NO! DOES HE LOOK LIKE A XENOS?” Deimos lifts his chainblade back, pointing it towards the man’s chest
“He was with…”
The man’s answer is cut off as Deimos plunges the chainblade up through his rib cage. Bones shatter and heart’s blood spills with a ripping sound . As the blade pulls loose once more the man collapses, a ragged hole in his chest a sure sign he is dead. Deimos looks to the next person nearest to him
“I ask again, does he look like a xenos?”
“No. No. Human. Pure blood” the man babbles.
“So, why did you attack?”
“He, he was with a xenos. That makes him a traitor”
Deimos stares for several seconds into the man’s eyes then smiles, patting him gently on the head. “Yes it would. Good answer” The man promptly faints from relief, slumping to the ground. Looking up Deimos continues “That creature is a member of the Imperial guard, and not a xenos. In your faith your intentions were good. In your fear you had nothing. Remember that next time you fight the xenos. Now, return to your houses, we will have need of information from you”. A teleportarium could not have cleared the street faster than the fleeing people did in that moment
“Baine, prostrate yourself in shame. You killed pure blooded humans” Deimos says, flicking the microbead on to speak to the others. Baine just snorts in response.
“Odetta, keep us covered in case of further incidents. Hans, could you come down please, I need your assistance in collecting information from them
“We should be good “Loki replies” Some of the refugees moved to the other area I saw so either it is safe or they are unaware of anything there”
Coming down from the rooftop, Loki retrieves the high gothic map from Deimos then heads into the building to speak to the people there.
“You. I wish to speak to the head of your tribe” Loki says “I need to correlate what you know with what we have on the attacks in the area”
“Most of our leaders are dead” the man replies
“Well who took over then?”
“We just help each other. Do what we can. We were thrown from our homes”
Hans looks to Deimos and rolls his eyes as the man continues “We will do what we can of course. We’ve suffered some attacks ourselves.”
“Right then. Can we get a table so we can roll the map out and clearly mark where these attacks took place?”
“Sir we can’t. Not in here. I mean, you shouldn’t even be in here. This is a holy monument. A tomb. We should not desecrate it”
“I’m not desecrating it” Loki replies “I’d just rather sort this inside
“S,Sir. This is a tomb. If we use it for anything else it is desecrated”
“The man speaks true.” Deimos says “We have seen other tombs desecrated by the xenos as well. Has any such events happened here?”
“Well, refugees have mentioned it. It is the only thing they agreed upon. They say the worst of the xenos came from the tomb. That they are trying to destroy our faith”
“Yet these tombs have not been attacked” Deimos asks
“The refugees from the town maintained the tombs of warriors and the imperial guard. We look after that of the ecclisiarchy. People who did not die on the battlefield”
A horrid thought rising in Deimos’ mind he asks “What sort of things would be in a warriors tomb exactly?”
“Relics that they used in life. Left in the tombs in the hope they would grant them the emperors grace. Parts of armour. Or treaties the have written, or parts of great battleships.”
Remembering the giant mechanical xenos idol they saw Deimos spits with anger “Did any of these refugees return to the tombs to see if the relics remained there? Did they let them be taken. Why did they not give their lives to the last man to protect or recover them!”
“They, they turned up too late. They wouldn’t have had a chance” the man sputters. His hands shaking and the sheer raw nature of the lie he has just told evident on his face.
Suddenly quiet and unfailing polite Deimos asks “Oh. I see. Where would these poor broken people be. I feel the need to help them with their obvious spiritual wounds”
Frantic to be rid of the priest the man replies “Yes. I can tell you that. Many were travelling east in this direction” while waving down the road.
“Thank you” Deimos smiles then pushes his face close to the man’s, speaking in only a whisper “Now remember. If you ever think about lying to a member of the eclisiarchy again I will cut out your tongue with my chain sword”
The man staggers back whimpering as Deinos continues, louder now “Of course my aim is quite poor, but frankly I’m sure you don’t need your jaw either” That said he turns and departs, deciding to take out his rage on any insufficiently pious members of the flock.
Seeing that the man Deimos was threatening has become the focal point as impromptu leader and person to blame, several others drag out a large slab outside for Loki to use as a table. Spreading the map Loki asks “So where are the xenos?”
“Well” the man says, reading the High Gothic that the squad had found indecipherable “As it shows on the map there is evidence of attacks at these five locations. I can’t see any pattern to them”
Hans looks at the markings, trying to see if there are any signs of movement or pattern, but they seem just random. “I don’t need you to try and work it out” Loki says “I just need the times so I can work it out myself. Don’t tax your brain with things that are not your duty. For example, this tomb..”
“Sir, that is a civic centre not a tomb”
Loki throws the man a stare.
“Erm, sir” the man starts ”Can I ask you what regiment you are with?”
“I’m sorry. It is none of my business. Yes that is a civic centre” The man continues, reading off from the high gothic details of the events that have happened. They seem to be centred around the hills from these details. Fast and brutal attacks. So much so that :Loki doubts they will have been able to successfully cover up their tracks after. Hopefully that should give them somewhere to start.
Heading out Loki spies Deimos, pushing a man down, prostate on the ground. Telling him to beg the emperor for forgiveness for some perceived flaw. Explaining what he has found out Loki suggest they head to the last known attack location and try to pick up a trail from there.
“Good. Do you think we should stay the night here first, or use the night as our cover?” Deimos asks.
“Let’s get some rest. It’s been a long day” Loki replies “We can start early and still catch the cover of dark. Let your leg heal up a bit Father”
“The emperor shall sustain me I need nothing else” Deimos replies, but still they rest. For tomorrow they shall hunt. For the Emperor.