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 Will (ep 10) & Chris (ep 11))
EPISODE TEN & ELEVEN
Hans Lokison, Odette, and Bain left the fevered Father Deimos behind as he attempted to put right the tomb’s inscriptions that the orks had vandalised. These three soldiers headed away from the chanting orks and up into the higher reaches of the monolith. If ambushes and raids had been conducted from this building, they reasoned, then the spoils of the raids should be stored here.
Exploring the expansive rooms takes a long time and there are many stairs to climb. Both Bain and Loki found loot, but most of it had been damaged by the mindless xenos and was unusable. Moving higher into the towering structure, climbing a multitude for stairs, they eventually came to an elaborate atrium, with five doors. Loki picked one of the doors at random and carefully opened it to discover a shrine. Golden ornamentation filled the room, gleaming with gems and cast in a variety of exotic styles.
Professional soldiers as the Hadian 13th are, the troop concentrated on the immediate details of the scene in front of them. Specifically the towering statue of a noble imperial citizen striking the pose of a hero, and the fact that this place had been left unmarred by the green hoards, although it seems ripe for looting and desecration. The next three rooms in this section of the monolith were found to contain similar wonders, each holding a statue in the centre, but the fifth shrine-room held a different scene.
Ork bodies and weapons littered the floor. From the largest green skins to the vicious toothy creature the size of a human head, each of them was dead and dismembered. Odette immediately knelt besides one corpse while Loki and Bain surveyed the death scene in general, each of them trying to determine what happened and how the enemy had been dispatched.
Leaving the hulking figure of Bain to essay the nature of understanding in his own ogryn way, Loki saw that there wasn’t one non-ork corpse among the dead and that the damage inflicted on their foe was too vast to be a caused by single incident. Most likely, he reasoned, a misfire or stupidity had caused them to attack each other. As Odette investigated, she noticed too things of value. Firstly that the wounds were precisely targeted to slay, and secondly that while the orks had carried hatchets, slug throwers, and other impact weapons, the wounds had burned, not bled. These attacks had been made by las or other energy blasts.
Combining their findings, Odette and Loki decide to leave this problematic picture and get back to killing instead. Bain was a blank slate.
For Odette, the key to purging the planet of xenos lay in the mysteries of the high-gothic script that seemed to cover the planet and all of it’s structures. She found a pen in her basic equipment and traced some of the alphabet in the hope of deciphering it later on. Loki had less academic interests so he chose to scout further the lower levels, and hopefully find some tactical advantage against their distracted, chanting enemy.
Slinking down the tower’s steps, everything seemed quiet. The rooms where he passed on the descent were all deserted and wrecked. Nearing the original entrance an echoing noise caught Loki’s attention, so he moved toward the source of the sound. Grunting in a dark corner he finds a large ork. With a forkish weapon and a whip, it was cowering out of sight, beseeching whatever gods it revered. Recognising it as the green-skin that ran from the skirmish outside, Loki moved silently toward the creature, seeking a suitable ambush point for a quick kill. As he moved from one shadow to another however, Loki made a small misstep that cost him his stealth. The creature rose from it’s crouched position and sniffed the air. It began to hulk into the lighted centre of the room. Alerted but not aware of what disturbed its rite, the green face turned to the corners, behind pillars and into the nooks, anywhere that a victim could be found. Loki in turn, played from one shadow to the next, suddenly hunted, until he made an escape and determined to come back with numbers and put the ork in mate.
As the others investigate upstairs Deimos kneels to examine the vandalised iconography of the monolith, trying to find some pattern in the xeno’s blasphemy to explain their acts here. There does not seem to be any structure, but still Deimos drags out his field knife and tries to re etch the images, and clear the foul scarring of the greenskins. His head low, he prays to the emperor as he does so, hoping that in some way re-sanctifying this place will disrupt the orks plans and grant them an advantage. In the distance the orks chanting grows louder and louder, and Deimos grits his teeth, unable to concentrate with the creatures so nearby.
“How goes it?” Loki asks from behind, near causing Father Deimos to jump in surprise
“Slow. Tell me you have progress Loki”
“We’ve been exploring for a few hours, I ran into the ork that retreated earlier. It seemed frantic, I managed to avoid it while it was doing some sort of ritual. The chanting ceased a while back while I was exploring, don’t know why but it soon started up again”
“Odd. I didn’t hear any cessation. Where were you when it happened? Did you see it or just hear it?”
“Just heard, by the time I got closer they were chanting again. I was deeper in the monolith, Odetta was further in and had called me there. That is where we found the ork doing his own ritual”
“Hmm he could be useful” Deimos muses “We could torture the information out of his foul flesh”
“Well I need to report back” Loki says
“Very well. I shall continue the restoration while you do so. Don’t take too long, there are xenos nearby we need to slay”
Loki returns to his investigation, aiming at rejoining the others high in the monolith, amidst gothic statues upon a balcony overlooking the forests surrounding the encampment.
Leaving his investigation of the monolith for the time, Loki made back for the rest of the squad. One hundred meters up the stairs, he begins to hear the normal human sounds of hushed conversation. Cool air met him, a thing he hadn’t noticed before in this contained place, so on a moments thought, he took the path that smelled of the woodland and carried up to an unnoticeable balcony.
A solid improvement at last, this doorway could act as both a lookout and escape route for the drop-pack toting team! Loki surveyed the vista of woodland and scared battle ground below him. There were no orkish abominations near the tower; they had sent no distress call out it seemed, but farther out, on the road that they had taken was a movement. A troop was approaching. Through the trees it was impossible to tell their numbers, one hundred or two perhaps, but they were on foot, not therefore the Albion Regiment, and they were moving with purpose.
Another fighting force drew close, but were they friends or enemies? Clicking the microbead Loki speaks
“Deimos, we’ve spotted some potential danger heading our way. We are going too use our grav packs to jump down and investigate”
Deep in the bowels of the monolith the signal is broken and crackling but Deimos hears enough to comprehend. “Very well, I will meet you outside” Slinging his flamer up he slowly retraced his path to the outside.
Above Loki braces himself, using the piccorder to capture images of the approaching forces as the rest of the squad hurl themselves out, letting the grav forces catch them as the hurtle through the air.
The ground below is still charred from the battle earlier, broken equipment strewn around. Ripper gun up, Baine braces against the shattered watch tower, covering Odetta as she sprint up to the gateway through the perimeter walls. The gap is about five persons wide, too wide to hold with their numbers. They need a plan and fast. Done with taken his images above, Loki tries to find a sniper point, but monolith is too high, he wont be able to get an effective shot at this range. Cursing he leaps from the tower after the others to rejoin them on the ground. A scatter of images greet him on the way down, the figures approaching from the wood, banners risen above them, red on white. Flicking the microbead again he contacts Deimos
“Deimos, I’m seeing some banners, red on white. I’m thinking some sort of sister of battle maybe?”
“Maybe” Deimos replies “It is plausible, if so they could be much needed reinforcements. The emperor watches over us”
Deimos cuts the feed as he hears orkish grunts. The xenos Loki mentioned from earlier. His first instinct is to purge it with the flamer, but they need information from its flesh and pain first. Marking its position mentally Deimos continues on to the warfront outside.
By the time Deimos reaches them the entrance gate way in the perimeter is blocked. The ogryn Baine having dumped chunks of rubble and broken vehicles in the way to create an impromptu barricade. Odetta and Baine along with their squad mates lie braced, weapons pointing to the tree line. Loki however is elsewhere, slipping through the undergrowth to gain information on the approaching forces.
He hears them soon enough, voices, reassuringly human. Angry voices and without the order that marks a military regiment. Civilians then. A mob. Watching he sees them pass by his hiding place. White flag raised with a bloody hand etched upon it, a mix of xenos slug throwers, looted imperial guard las weapons, sickles and farm implements in their hands. Looking from face to face Loki recognises some, the civilians that they encountered earlier just after landing. Those they had the unfortunate and lethal misunderstanding with.
Hearing Loki’s report over the micro bead Deimos smiles “More willing bodies to throw themselves into the meat grinder”Stepping out past the barricade he walks over the open ground to greet the approaching forces. As the approaching men spy Father Deimos a shouts goes out in high gothic and the men start charging forwards, rising their weapons.
“There are xenos here!” Deimos shouts “Have you come to kill them or are you traitors?”
“Kill the fascists!” comes the scream of the mob “Kill the priest!”
“Traitors them” Deimos mutters activating the micro bead “Grant them the emperor’s mercy” he says as he swings the flamer up ready.
Realising just how badly outnumbered they are Odetta pulls a smoke grenade, tossing it out into the open to grant them a moments reprieve. Readying her weapon, she aims for the rapidly fogging figures behind the smoke screen that billows up. Weapons fire bursts out in return, mainly concentrated on Baine, the giant Ogryn the only figure that can be reliable discerned through the smoke. Las fire fizzles against his armour but does little but superficial damage.
“Deimos. We should try and lead the mob back, get them in the monolith. They could be useful against the orks” Loki says over the mic
“The traitors seem to be focussed on us. I am not entirely sure that will be possible”
“We can use that. Fall back and get them to follow you in”
“Agreed” Odetta chips in.
“Very well” Deimso agrees, falling back, barking commands to the keep them organised as they retreat back towards the monolith. A cheer rises from the mob at their seeming easy victory, the squad falling back before them, Baine putting out wild ripper fire as he retreats. Organised over their microbeads the squad falls into what appears to be a full rout, heading to the monolith gates.
“Anyone with explosives, soon as we get in toss one into the corridor near the orks. We need their attention” Deimos shouts
“I got a frag” Baine replies grinning
“Good, soon as we have their attention, head up to high ground. We need to be out of the way when the two forces clash”
The conversation is cut short as a stray las shot slams into Deimos chest from behind, knocking him to the ground. Gritting through the pain, his lungs burning Deimos drags himself back up staggering the last few steps towards the Monolith gates. “I look forwards to the xenos murdering these traitors” he growls.
The jeers and catcalls of the mob haunt the squad as they spring through the maze like corridors of the monolith. Outside Loki follows on their heels, hidden from their sight, ready to close the gate on the trap once they are all inside.
With bare meters headway before the mob, the squad reaches their destination. Baine pulling ready the frag grenade “Throw now?”
Outside Loki is pushing the gates closed, sealing the monolith behind the forces, barricading them in. The triumphant mob pauses confused for a moment as the doors close behind them, aware for the first time that something may be wrong.
“Now” Loki confirms.
The grenade bounces down the corridor, once, twice then detonates with a deafening roar in the enclosed space. The voices silence. Both the mob and the chanting of the orks. The building up energy that has been omnipresent during the chanting suddenly faltered. “Upstairs. Now” Deimos shouts, dragging the squad upstairs, away from the storm to come.
The mob, finding its bravery again, approaches, following the sound of the explosion, ready to hunt down the imperial guard fascists. Instead they find greenskins, a horde looking for a scrap. The sound of weapons fire and the ripping of flesh fill the air as the imperial guard fall back, barricading themselves in four floors up. Odetta leap from the window, ready to join Loki outside while Baine and Deimos ready their weapons in case they were followed.
More than the sounds of the battle, the slaughter, something feels wrong. An energy rising again, like the static of a machine spirit or the feeling around witches burnt at the stake. Like the sanctioned psychers of the imperium
“It seems our job is not yet done” Deimos growls to Baine
As the two rush back down the slanted stairways, Deimos shouts over the microbead to Loki “We need to find an alternate route to the chamber, one without xenos in the way. Did you see anything?”
“Well if your planning stealth I’d advise leaving Baine behind” Loki says
“He may prove a useful distraction” Deimos replies. The sound of ork fists tearing human flesh is near now. The last few steps. Screams ahead. Deimos has to hold back a smile and the traitors fate.
“Ok, there’s some cover near where you are. Keep to the shadows and follow the back of the statues and you may get a clean run” Loki offers.
“Thank you. Baine, are you ready to do your duty and kill some xenos?”Deimos says. Baine just smiles as Deimos continues “I need you to head to the other side then open up with your ripper gun. I’ll sprint for the shadows as you do”
Baine heaves his ripper gun up and steps down to the final floor, gun blazing. Corpses lie everywhere, the walls painted with blood. The traitor humans screaming, clawing and dying before green bulky muscle and firepower. Unprepared for a moment the orks are thrown back by the sudden influx of fire and in the discord Deimos runs unseen to the first statue’s cover.
Hurling fire everywhere Baine cuts down a small greenskin and tears two humans to pieces. A hulking greenskin turns to Baine for a moment, and is clubbed on the back of the head by an opportunistic shovel shot for his troubles. With a simple back swing the ork’s cleaver cuts his assailant down, but in that moment Baine is pushed beyond his reach, lost in the brawling mass.
Meanwhile Deimos has reached the chamber where the orks were chanting, slipping in through a side entrance. The rank aroma of the fungi orks fills the air, and the once proud area is ruined and filled with debris. A desecrated statue’s the lone sight in the middle of the room. The crackling of warp energy flickers around the statue as Deimos approaches, Flamer raised. The hairs on his neck rise, images flit at the corner of his eye. Flashes of dark lighting surround the statue of an imperial saint.
Deimos pulls down the trigger and bathes the statue in purifying flame, the statues stands undamaged as the flame warps around it, shaping into eclisiarchy images and shifting figurines of saints of the imperium. Waves of power and heat roll off from its centre.
Unsure, Deimos tries to pull the wrecked gates down around the entrance to the chamber. Anything to prevent the greenskin returning. Anything to keep them from this powerful and tainted holy place. He is not strong enough though. The gates, twisted and bent, still will not budge.
Then, at the edge of his hearing it comes. A whisper, a prayer of the imperium. One moment of purity in this desecrated place. Dropping his head Deimos lets the words roll free, asking for guidance. Asking the emperor to guide his arm. The words echo trough the room, statues repeating in high gothic, reinforcing it.
In the midst of a chant praying for the destruction and death of xenos, the words around him reaching crescendo, Deimos realises what has happened here. What must be done. The orks have been perverting it, drowning out the purity with the chanting of their own. Disrupting what must take place here.
With shaking hands Deimos unlocks the promethium canister and raises it above his head, letting the thick liquid pour down over him, his prayers rising in pitch and frenzy. As the barrel lies empty he places his hand on the trigger of the flamer. One spark is all it needs.
His fingers wont move, despite his prayers and faith his fingers will not move. He has been tested and found wanting.
With a snarl Deimos throws open the microbead channels and screams down it
“Baine. Are you there you pathetic mutant? We are going to die here. Do you understand that? We will die here and I am glad. Glad that I will never have to see your face again as I die!”
He is rewarded with the sound of a roar of rage on the other side of the coms. The sound of Baine smashing through the crowd of battle to reach Deimos. Baine steps into the chamber, to see Deimos, hunched by the statue, nestling an empty promethium cannister in his arms, the gas rising in a haze of the air around him. Praying silently to the air. Praying that the lives he has taken will extend his life, not here, but beside the emperor in the afterlife.
Two ripper gun rounds punch through Deimos hurling him back. The enraged Ogryn emptying round into the air, finally taking it out on the priest that has made his life such a misery.
Blood pouring from multiple wounds Deimos hits the ground just as the sparks take the promethium. Still praying his body is engulfed with an inferno, a two headed eagle formed of fire. The imperial aquilla burns in the air outlines in warp energy then coalesces into the shape of a woman, garbed in armour and weapon. The first warrior saint, burning as flame lets loose a pulse of energy, burning traitor human and xenos alike. The first warrior saint has returned to protect this tomb world.
(Thanks to Will who provided the session 10 part of the write up as I was absent that day – Chris)