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)
The sun is already rising as the squad prepare to march on once more. The light has come earlier than expected and their plans to travel under the cover of darkness is in tatters. Odetta walks between the comrades, checking their wounds and readiness. The ogryn is squatting next to a tombs wall, shovelling mounds of gruel into its maw and swallowing down greedily.
“How are you feeling today Baine?” Odetta says, annoyingly cheerfully for this early time.
“Good. Good food” Comes Baine’s reply, food ejecting from its open mouth as it speaks. Another shovel worth of gruel is shovelled into Baine’s mouth to make up for the chunks lost.
Odetta looks around the tombs for the others. Most of the refugees have made themselves scarce, most likely glad to be away from Father Deimo’s random acts of violence. Speaking of the priest Odetta spies him, stripped down to rag cloth, flagellating himself in the morning sun in sacrifice to the emperor. Odetta decides to leave Deimos be, instead taking note of the few remaining refugees who have chosen to stay and tend to the damaged tombs. A noble act, and one that should keep them from the Father’s short temper.
Odetta finds Loki next, tucked into the shadows, weapon braced, watching the firing angles and ambush points. The wound on his arm is starting to look infected and she goes to work, tying a strap around as she prepares the pneumatic syringes to inject the serums of cleansing. Feeling a burning sting Loki holds back a wince, the pain means it must be working. Realising that she has missed the vein, Odetta pretends all is as planned as she plunges the syringe in again, correctly this time and a soothing numbness comes over the area, the swelling already starting to fade.
Thus as the lowest part of the sun rises above the hills, the squad raises weapons and starts on their way. The ogryn still shovelling last mouthfuls of food down his gullet as they move on. The way is hard, with the sun up they have to keep off main roads, heading over hillsides and through deserted tombs. Water trickles down the hillside from recent storms higher up, and as they look back where they came they can see the dry trench starting to fill, washing away the signs of the bloodshed that happened the day before.
Remembering the words of the refugees, Father Deimos is keeping a close eye on the tombs, watching for signs of xenos desecration. A likely candidate comes up half way through the morning, a magnificent tomb of an Imperial Governor, one of the idols on the outside cracked in half.
Raising a hand Deimos indicates to investigate, as one they slip through the tomb doors, weapons up as they head into the darkness. Slipping from statue to statue for cover they find no xenos within, nor any further sign of despoiling. Eventually Odetta joins Baine where he is guarding outside and looks up to the statue again.
“Deimos. Look” Odetta says waving the priest outside “Doesn’t look like a sharp break, it’s been smoothed away since as well. I’d guess this just happened by wear and tear, not xenos. The locals just haven’t maintained it well enough”
Loki joins them, nodding “Same inside, just standard breakage”
Anger at the damage now dimmed to smoldering as it becomes apparent that the xenos were not involved, Deimos merely spits “Well, those responsible should be given the emperor’s mercy for their neglect”
The trek begins again, hours pass until they come across a wide road cut into the hill, three trucks stilled, deserted in the centre. Bodies strewn over the scene, men in Imperial Guard uniforms, crushed and impaled upon the spiked ornamentation of the vehicles. Securing the scene it quickly becomes apparent that a significant amount of their kit is missing. The vehicles have been looted
With her usual disregard to sacred ignorance Odetta kneels over the corpses, attempting to discern what the cause of death is. Loki hold position, watching over the site, covering it with his las carbine while Baine stomps the surrounding jungle looking for something to kill.
Moving around Father Deimos giving last rites to the fallen, Odetta realises quickly that the guard here seem to have been killed by the sudden stopping of the trucks. The tyre marks shows they were going at a significant speed and whatever halted them threw the troops against the vehicles, breaking bones and impaling bodies. Her examinations are cut short by the sound of ripper gun fire erupting from the hill above. Bringing her las carbine up she tries to spy through the smoke for signs of target. Elsewhere Loki hears the same, squatted over tracks he has found, human and non human, whatever happened here the non humans won. At the sound of ripper fire he hits the ground, carbine ready. Watching he spies as Father Deimos charges up towards the sound, flamer at the ready, hoping to flank whatever the Ogryn is engaging.
Finally, with the three troops in position the smoke clears and the ogryn stands visible, shattered statues and trees surrounding him.
“What the hell where you shooting at?” Father Deimos says
“Enemies” Baine replies
Deimos looks around ”Where? You were shooting at bushes”
“Green things. They moved”
Deimos growls “You destroyed the statues of the sacred tombs, I should set you on fire where you stand!”
Interrupting the potential conflict Loki steps in “I’ve found some tracks. Xenos, heading that away, towards the structure”
Following where Loki is pointing the squad sees a monolithic structure rising in the distance. Less baroque than most with less adorning flourishes To Deimo’s eyes the unusual design reminds him of heretical xeno worship rather than the purity of the emperor, his trigger finger twitchy on the flamer’s trigger.
As they get closer they can see the high military walls surrounding the monolith tower, a heavy iron gate down over each of the seven entrance ways. From their vantage point the squad tries to perform reconnaissance of what lies within but the gates block their view. All they can see is the black monolith rising up over the walls towards the heavens
Loki slides in close, pressed up against the wall as Father Deimos tosses loose stones at the base of the iron gate, causing a dull rattling throughout it. Nothing happens for a long while, then, through the gaps in the iron, Loki spies a green thing shuffling through the undergrowth. A short green creature with fanged teeth and an slug throwing piece of junk that passes for a pistol. The creature is keeping low, near out of sight as it tries to see what caused the noise. Biding his time Loki waits, waits for the creature to become bolder and step within arms reach of the iron gate. One hand goes over the creatures toothed mouth, the other drags a knife across its throat. Reaching through the iron gate Loki holds the creature until it stops writhing, green blood covering his gloves. The xenos is dead.
Moving out Loki can see into the courtyard now, four small watchtowers reaching up around the monolith, watching over the open killing ground between the gate and them.
Larger greenskin xenos thud around in the distance, behind the main structure. Slipping back to through the undergrowth to the others Loki reports what he has found.
Father Deimos suggest a plan, use the smaller greenskin’s shooter to fire into the air outside in an ambush spot. The Xeno’s are not known for subtlety in looking for a fight so will likely come running into a packed fire zone in which they can be ambushed.
Loki nods “How about further back though” he suggests “There’s loose ground just before the tree line which we should be able to collapse into a pit beyond. Could set some trees to fall, sealing them in”Loki glances back to the gate “I’d best grab the body as well when I grab the gun, don’t want to be giving the game away”
Without another word the squad ready, moving into position and preparing for war. Only war