'You have found the Maul.'
'I thought there was only one.'
'You have found the Maul.'
'I thought there was only one.'
The ship suffered a warp breach and all hell broke loose, almost literally. We survive by finding sanctuary in the most heavily shielded room in the ship, and as that barely remains intact it's unsurprising to see the state of disrepair beyond the doorway.
There are fires everywhere, and we need to recover the Watch Captain's Maul to fulfil our duty as Space Marines. We'll need to put out all of the fires if we are to succeed.
'Okay, we know what we have to do. We must whip out our enhanced glands and—'
'No, a number of tech-use rolls need to be made.'
Bah, someone's raining on someone else's parade, and I don't think it's me.
It's been a while since the last session. Do we even know where we are?
Okay, we're up to speed. Let's go.
There's been an incursion in the warp! This is generally not only bad, but often disastrous. The first sign of the incursion is ice forming on the walls of and a skein forming across the bridge. Then the crew goes a bit bonkers.
The helmsman goes wild, leaping out of his chair and attacking Brother Lucien. Not wanting to harm a member of the crew, Lucien aims to stun the helmsman with a simple punch. Or he would, if he didn't critically miss and slam his fist in to a control unit instead.
Brother Lucien tries again to subdue the helmsman with a stun attack. 'What do I need?' Stunning an opponent has a -20 modification to the Weapon Skill roll. '-20?! I should just kill him.'
'Stand on a chair, claim the higher ground!' It's not often you see a GM shake his head in despair, but it happens. Thankfully, Brother Thaddius steps up and cold clocks the helmsman from behind, taking down the crew member in a striking display of competence.
We make it to the genestealer broodlord's lair. There is blood, ichor, and bodies everywhere. Everything I learnt from playing D&D helps now that I'm a space marine. I look up, giving us enough time to notice the broodlord dropping down from the ceiling, and ensuring we're not surprised.
Our bolters chatter, spewing explosive rounds in to the broodlord's toughened hide, and although obviously damaged the broodlord is far from hurting. Attacks come raining down on us.
Brother Anatolias is missed, Brother Gregor parries the blow heading towards him, and I manage to dodge the incoming attack. Is that all the broodlord's got?
Not having being attacked, Brother Sepheran isn't in melee with the broodlord. Our devastator marine is in an excellent position to unleash fully automatic bolter fire.
'Balls, I rolled 94. That's a jam on a fully automatic weapon.' The situation looks bad, as the jam cannot realistically be cleared during combat. But Brother Sepheran's decision to save a fate point to avoid such a jam, instead of recovering some health from the previous fight, now looks to have been a sensible precaution.
Brother Sepheran looks fate in the eye and rolls again. 97. His heavy bolter jams and he's effectively out of the fight. But a space marine knows his fate. Brother Sepheran stands tall and goads the broodlord, preparing himself to make a heroic sacrifice.
Brother Sepheran's sacrifice would have been more heroic had he been able to make it before the broodlord ripped him to shreds in a single combined attack. But his loss won't be in vain. The three of us took the opportunity of the broodlord concentrating on our fallen comrade to withdraw to different corners of the room.
Now Brother Gregor sees his chance for glory. He charges valiantly towards the broodlord, calling on his Storm Warden's Thunder's Call, provoking the broodlord to attack him and only him. I don't think the xeno needed such encouragement. But by placing himself in such a position, Brother Anatolias and I can get take full advantage of our bolters' semi-automatic fire outside of melee combat.
Brother Anatolias gets a couple of solid hits. By the time I get to fire on the broodlord, I am not even encumbered by having to fire in to melee combat, Brother Gregor's corpse no longer counting as an opponent. And the hits I inflict are just enough to drop the broodlord. We are victorious.
All that's left to do is recover the glands of our fallen Brothers, so their seed may live on. This is easier than normal for Brother Anatolias, with no surgical tools required. Just a dustpan and brush.
A genestealer dives down a side-tunnel ahead of us in the sewers. We press forwards to engage it, but as we reach the junction more movement is spotted in all three directions.
One genestealer comes from further up the tunnel, one from behind, and the one in the side-tunnel comes back towards us. The crafty xenos have us surrounded!
Given our previous encounters with the genestealers, the last situation we want to be in is in close range with these creatures, and now we can't move away from them. This looks bad.
'When you said you'd like the mission to be completed this week, did you envisage us all dying in a sewage-filled tunnel?'
'Something like this, yes.' But we're not dead yet. As we're in squad mode, Brother Sepheran gets us in to a solid defensive mode. Our focussed fire should take down the xenos more effectively, and give us an additional attack as a reaction.
Brother Gregor opens fire on the genestealer attacking Brother Sepheran, which seems like a sound tactical decision. His bolter fire rips in to the xeno beast, but doesn't do enough damage to kill it. 'I'll use my reaction to finish it off.'
'No can do, Brother. You can't use reactions in your own turn in a combat round.'
'Okay, then that's all I can do. Brother Skold, you're next.'
'Great, I'm going to use my reaction to finish off the genestealer.'
'You're a bell end.' But, to give him his dues, Brother Gregor gets a glorious hit, calling on the Emperor's Fury to inflict a righteous wound, downing the genestealer with that one more shot.
Heading towards the genestealer broodlord, we are sensibly avoiding a heavily defended area by diverting through the sea-water run-off tunnel. 'This is where the district's waste is washed away.'
'Is that so? In that case, someone had better keep a tight grip on Brother Sepheran.'
We've fought back the hordes attacking the city's astropath, got our warning out to the void, and are heading towards the broodlord's lair. To get to the broodlord we have to pass through the focus of much of the fighting between the oppose factions. Piece of cake.
Some heavy stubber nests could cause some problems as we cross mostly open area between trenches, but some tactical advances and suppressing fire helps us get close without facing any return fire ourselves.
Brother Sepheran's heavy bolter is ideal for laying down the suppressive fire. He gets a couple of the nests pinned, and whoever is pinned can only take half actions. With a fully automatic gun, this means a pinned character cannot shoot.
'So you're screwed then', says Brother Sepheran as more rounds spray out of his heavy bolter.
'What? No, this is good for me. They can't shoot as I get closer to their nest.'
'No, I don't mean 'you' as in you, I mean 'you' as 'in general'.'
'Oh', I say to Brother Anatolias, 'he's looking at you, but talking to me'.
'And as he's the only one with a heavy weapon, he's looking at you, talking to me, but meaning himself.'
I'm glad we cleared that up.
'Is the horde a massive target?'
'This is an unproductive line of communication.'
'You could have just said 'no'.'
He could, but his question coincidentally came mid-Futurama quote.
The genestealers are defeated, the governor saved. Naturally, he has no hesitation in approving our request to gain access to the astropath to send our warning.
We return to the Chamber of Echoes, get past the Hollow Guard, and see the astropath. As we explain the message and get some cryptic warnings about the situation on the planet, some explosions are heard below.
'Psyker, what's happening?'
'Um... we're under attack.'
'No shit, Sherlock. I can see how you got the astropath job.'