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Kill-Team Blackthorn: The Battle for the Dorsal Spine

Deathwatch Roleplaying Game RPG Play by Post Commissar Molotov Blackthorn Kill-Team Blackthorn Fantasy Flight Games FFG

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#476
Mazer Rackham

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Akkad drew his Combat Knife and scooped up two unbattered shells.  He chopped them squarely, smoothly and scooped some teeth, claws, some soot from weapon marks and some small fragments of a lasgun.  He stooped and took the Imperial Eagle from the Commissar's headdress.  He stepped closer, head and shoulders above the female naval rating.

 

"Do not move." He advised, although not unkindly.  With a short flick, the monomolecular edge snipped a short lock of hair from the blonde fringe that peaked out from beneath her helmet.  He caught it as it fluttered in the light, something pretty in the charnel house they had made together.  He looked at her for a long time, his emerald lenses a reflection of her own.  Piercing, strong, defiant.  He placed the hair into the makeshift receptacle and put the brass totem away in a pouch.

 

His armour was unblemished, apart from a few scrapes and slaps of wet, dead meat.  He turned away and lifted the head of a Gaunt that bore the marks of furious las-fire and flayed it quickly chopping and threw it to her.  With quaking fingers and not so fast hands now shock was setting in, she caught it clumsily, but gripped it to her chest like it was important - which it was.  On any other day maybe they would have laughed together, on any other day.

 

The Emperor had smiled on her, that was enough.  Vaidan's ear is going to be bent in half...he thought before turning back to the splayed Tyranid warrior genotype.  He doffed his helm, securing it to his belt, with the faint clink of the mag-locking plates as the metal met.  He looked at Varvost with a half-smile.

"Good Kill."   He shared glances with all of them, settling on Vaidan last.

 

"Today, you become Lugal.  Her life is ours - she must now come with us."  His face was not open, not warm or encouraging, but a ferocity of pride burned in his eyes that, were it a laser, would have sliced through plate.  It was terrible with the expectation that they would not let him down, rewarding in good measure from the keen admiration of a veteran, whose armour had been steeped in fields of blood and broken foes - stained with the dust and wind of a thousand battles - followed by a wake of howling ghosts, pleading for mercy that was not shown.

 

Then, taking his knife in his right hand, he plunged it deeply into the skull of the xenos beast at his feet, hewing the bony rigid plate open.  He scooped out a handful of strange, sickly-grey organic matter, which was a large gobbet even for an Astartes and, turning from them lest they see him, strode away into the darkness of the corridor.  He pushed the flesh into his mouth, concentrating.

 

He continued walking, the soft thudding footfall of his sabatons across the deck plate masking his chewing.  Memories that were not his came as he knew they would.  He would know more of these aliens and the Emperor had given him the means.  Follow your gut...he heard Ichoma say.  So long ago - on any other day they would have laughed...

 

MR.


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"How far are we going?" One of the the human Legionaries peered up at him in the darkness.  They were all wounded, sore and tired from hours, turned to days, to weeks of heavy battle.  Silver armour flashed emerald in the light from a Viridian flare.  3rd Company had begun their attack at last.  The only full Battle-brother left in the unit looked down and hefted a salvaged heavy bolter.  He racked the bolt and the first round slid home true.  In the silence before the wall of noise hit them, the black-and-gold Lion on azure on his pauldron witness to their courage, the Marine spoke gently, almost wistfully.

"All the way.  To the bitter end."

 

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#477
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Seeing Akkad and hearing his words of “She must come with us now.” Tyber walked over to the now dead Commissar, searching her corps for weapons and equipment to hand to their newest charge. Before picking them up, he removed his helm, attaching it to his sword belt. He flashed the girl a smile as he placed the former Commissar’s weapon belt around her, he added “Do try to keep up, small one.”


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#478
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As he and his squadmates cleared out the rest of the gaunt-strain in short order after the last warrior-strain was slain, Solastion took a quick look around at his brothers trying to regain his bearings.

 

Quickly he regained his sense of self and just where he was among the piles of jumbled limbs, split carapaces and pooling ichor and as he looked around his Apothecarion training started kicking in quickly attempting to asses the state of his Kill-Team:

  • Brother Atratus: Superficial damage to armor, vitals nominal; skip.
  • Brother Akkad: Undamaged, vitals nominal; skip.
  • Brother Greysight: Undamaged, vitals nominal; skip.
  • Brother Tyber: Wounded. Source: Physical damage inflicted by gaunt-strain. Larraman's Organ should staunch bleeding. Diagnosis: Medium Priority. Apply sutures to any cuts to ensure proper healing; apply minor armor lock to form temporary cast around any damaged bones.
  • Watch-Sergeant Vaidan: Wounded. Source: Tyranid Bio-Weapon. Diagnosis: apply counteractive agents to neutralize any remaining bio-acid and/or parasitic lifeforms. Priority: High.
  • Brother Sabaan: Undamaged; vitals nominal; skip.
  • Brother Varvost: Wounded. Source: Extreme physical damage inflicted by warrior and gaunt strains. Larraman's Organ should staunch bleeding. Diagnosis: apply sutures as well as synthskin spray to deeper cuts causing an overstraining of the marines biological functions as Larraman's Organ attempts to staunch heavy bleeding. Will perform further diagnosis to determine whether hardlocking armor sections as a cast are required. Priority: High.
  • Brother Thorvald: Undamaged; vitals nominal; skip.

As his squad-mates went about their rituals and Vaidan addressed the squad, Solastion barely registered the Sergeant making mention of him as he approached him.

 

"If you would allow me, watch sergeant, I would see to you first before tending to Varvosts more grevious injuries."

Medicae: 1d100 95 hmm; vs Medicae 60 thats a no go.

 

With the amount of time and the tools available to him in this moment, Solastion was not properly equipped to deal with Tyranid bio-acid and parasite-leech burns and wounds. The best he could to was spray down the Watch-Sergeant to neutralize the xenos bio-agents.

"Theres not much I can do, Watch Sergeant. Brother Sabaan, however, will hopefully be able to restore your Power Armour to optimal integrity." and he abruptly stands up and heads to the next patient: the Eradicator.

 

"Acts of heroism and bravery are all well and good, Brother Varvost, but the risk of me having to send the Eradicators your geneseed back increases drastically if you do so unsupported. Be mindful of yourself, Brother, for it would be a shame to lose one such as you before his legend could be recorded in the annals of the Watch-Fortress." he says as goes to work in bringing the most gravely injured of their party back up to fighting form - or as close to as he could in such a short amount of time.

 

FP Reroll: 1d100 75...Yeah FP Rerolling; unless the test is somehow at a +20; 2/4 FPs left.

Medicae: 1d100 48 succeeds vs Medicae 60 (super regretting not having Int 50); Heals Int Bonus (4) x 2 (narthecium) wounds for a total of 8 Wounds restored bringing Varvost up to 13 Wounds + 1d5 for Enhanced Healing Apothecary Ability:

Enhanced Healing: 1d5 3 bringing Varvost up to 16 total Wounds.

 

"This is the best I can do. You're in good enough shape to do as the Angel demands of us and persecute the enemies of the Emperor but do not over-strain yourself until you've had proper recovery time." and, just as with the Watch-Sergeant, he is off to see the next: Brother Tyber.

 

"It seems, Brother Tyber, that you've gotten out of your encounter with the Warrior-Strain much better than Varvost has. Now, do attempt not to move too much..."

Medicae: 1d100 63 vs Medicae 60 WHY!?

 

But the time constraints, unwittingly placed upon him, made his work difficult as he did what he could to work fast. Tybers wounds were cleaned at the very least but he would have to apply more effective treatment at a further point in time.

 

Sighing to himself at his inability to properly tend to the entirety of his kill-team at this point, its at that moment that he remembered the damage he himself had taken while battling his was to Varvost.

 

Medicae: 1d100 28 :| I'll take it I guess. Healing self for 8 wounds + Enhanced Healing: 1d5 3 for a total of 11 wounds bringing Solastion back up to 23/23 from 12/23.

 

It was almost second nature to him at this point to work upon himself and seeing his wounds tended to. After all, his most studied subject was his own body.

 

He finally turned back to the Watch-Sergeant and gave him sign that he had done all he could and was ready to proceed.


Edited by Slips, 14 July 2018 - 03:03 AM.

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#479
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IT WAS PAINFULLY quiet. One moment, the clacking and screeching of the tyranid swarm verged on deafening, the next, nothing. It was as if destroying the warrior brood had severed some psychic link, causing the remaining lesser species to lose all coordination and revert to base instinct. They were easy prey for the kill-team, and the dying shrieks of the creatures dissolved into an eerie silence that hung over the Voice of Thunder’s dorsal spine.

The boarding invasion was denied.

Greysight could not relax. Bolter braced, performing a cursory sweep of any remnants of the horde, he quickly stalked past the other brothers of kill-team Blackthorn, who had loosely assembled at the junction of the connecting corridor, ankle deep in the ichor of the lesser tyranid xenoforms.

Slumped next to one of the tyranid warlords was Vârvost, breathing laboriously. Up close, the Eradicator’s shredded and beaten armour began to resemble the body that bore it. He stirred slowly, and Greysight ignored him, walking straight past his brother to inspect the deadweight of the tyranid warrior breed.

It was huge. Nearly twice as tall as a battle brother and ten times its mass, the monstrosity was repulsive in every aspect - there was an unnatural-ness about the thing that defied even the most rudimentary laws of the material universe. Curling his lip in disgust behind his helmet, and gripping a jutting spur of bone with his free hand, Greysight bodily turned the thing over to see the grievous wound that Vârvost had so expertly carved into its hardened carapace. Blood, ichor and other nameless fluids gurgled out of its mass, revealing the vulnerable organs that Greysight had targeted to kill the other creatures.

Defying all probability and verging on the miraculous, the beast lived, though its capacity for combat was long extinguished. Now, it only functioned only to survive the next few moments as its life essence was sustained by the faint pulsing of sac-like membranes that hardened carapace had evolved to protect.

The dorsal spine corridor roared with the thunderous discharge of two rounds fired in quick succession. There were no shrieks or wailing. For all its horror, a faint wheezing was all Greysight could hear as death finally took the remaining warlord.

It was almost comical.

A scorched and dented hand suddenly reached out and clasped Greysight’s gauntlet, and the Storm Son slowly heaved the Eradicator from the floor.

How many? Vârvost battle-signed, leaning heavily on the Storm Son.

Greysight raised three fingers.

Good, signed Vârvost. Greysight was sure the Eradicator was smiling behind his ebon helmet.

They turned and regarded the others. Thorvald, Akkad and Sabaan, like Greysight appeared unscathed. Akkad had taken to searching for trophies amongst the chaos, gingerly scavenging his way through the foul ichor of the now-dead swarm in search of whatever was left of the naval armsmen.

The others were a ruin. The Imperium’s finest battle armour had been reduced to scrap by the tyranid onslaught. Blisters, dents and gouges marred their onyx and quicksilver livery. Greysight could only recognise Atratus and Tyber by the chapter symbols on their shoulder pauldrons, and the Giant stood guard over the sole survivor of the naval detachment.

Behind Tyber stood the apothecary, Solastion, attending Vaidan. The sergeant’s armour was a pitted husk, fused in parts where the tyranid warlord’s deadly artillery had tried to dissolve Vaidan alive. Of more concern were the numerous deep gashes across his body where he had weathered the storm of scythes to save the remaining armsmen. His armour was awash with congealed blood. In the amber light, it appeared black on black.

Vaidan addressed the kill-team, his voice hoarse from the exertion. There was work to be done, but at that moment, in the cold darkness of the spinal corridors, amongst the mire of expired flesh, it was painfully quiet.


Edited by Nineswords, 14 July 2018 - 09:30 PM.

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+++ Index Astartes: Storm Sons +++

 

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#480
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Atratus reloaded his rifle and took up position, scanning the surrounding bulwarks for any organisms that might seek to bypass this location in adjacent crawlspaces. Tactics would need to be adjusted for future waves to now allow the smaller creatures to amass into so great a number at one point, lest attrition take greater toll.

 

He considered for a moment the decision to save the armsman. Duty to the Imperium in its own way, those chapters that had forgot the purpose of the astartes creation to protect humanity were lost, though he questioned the pragmatism of taking time to honour her such... he caught himself, forgetting the frailties that he himself had once possessed before becoming astartes. Encouragement to stand and fight again, effort perhaps not wasted in this moment of quiet.


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#481
Xin Ceithan

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By the time they emerged from the intersection, the remaining xenos were dead or dying. The boarding vector had been successfully closed. For now.
The first thing Sabaan noticed as he crunched his way towards the kill team was the distinctive lack of covering fire positions. Apparently, further hostile contact was not deemed a high priority. Watch-Sergeant Vaidan was giving praise to the Emperor and attempting to channel their recent experience to further the bonding between the Astartes under his command. Another speech, then. Truly a descendant of the avenging son. Nycax noticed his ocular cluster switch through several wavelength bands at the unconscious attempt to roll his organic eye. Tyber and Akkad scavenged the bioforms for trophies. Then they began baptizing the single surviving human, which apparently had survived by first abandoning it' duty and then the actions of the Watch Sergeant. The female was visibly shaking. Interaction with unaugmented humans was not Sabaan's optimal field of experience. He was not sure if having the blood of an alien beast that had just attempted to kill her smeared on her face by a power armoured giant was going to improve her functionality. At least Atratus and the Storm Son had the sense to dispatch the remaining semi-active warrior forms around them. The Eradictor was a broken mess. Greysight was helping him up. The scene could have been featured on a painted tableaux in their honour. Victory at the Dorsal Spine. Sabaan could just now see it replacing the acid washed memorabilia along the corridor.
>>They are having... a moment.<<
The unthought pulsed through his mind . Sabaan had no idea what " a moment" was. It invoked unpleasant associations of the infectious, squishy, fleshy kind. Something Solastion should lock away in a counterseptic stasis containment vessel until it could be properly disposed of.
He called up the squad diagnostic data his sensorium had collected in the meantime to take his mind away from it. Most damage was superficial. There. The Eradictor's armour was most heavily damaged and thus was ranked last. At any rate, the Apothecary was already supporting him. Sheathing his blade, Sabaan crossed over to the Watch Sergeant. He kicked in a xenos chest cavity on the way. His bolt pistol was still firmly in his left as he began the rituals of cleansing and purefication. It almost succeeded in phasing out the emotional nonsense around him. Almost. Then Astral Claw spoke...

"Today, you become Lugal.  Her life is ours - she must now come with us."

Sabaan froze. For a moment he concentrated on nothing but the angonized squeal of his Armour and the soothing hiss as his tools burned away the crusted remains of acid damaged ceramite.
Why would, should they take the human along? By the Primarch, the Omnissiah and the Emperor - what folly was this! The Iron Hand was no stranger to concept of bond taking. On Medusa, humans fought for the opportunity to serve the Clan Companies with the determination and wickedness bred into them by their desolate home. On occasion, even outsiders had been given the blessing of Iron in acknowledgment of their impressive actions. But this female? She had survived by abandoning her post and then, mostly by the sheer happenstance of the Watch Sergeant protecting her.
An astounding amount of luck surely, but that did not qualify the investment of time and resources required in performing the blessing of Iron. Surely, they could probably just request an existing servitor if it were truly needed. More pressingly, there were operational factors to be considered...
Sabaan opened a vox channel.
+Watch Sergeant.+ He returned to mending the damaged warplate. Even if he was facing Vaidan directly, he still directed the broadcast at the entire squad.
+ I advise against this action. Bringing an unaugmented human on our mission is going to lower our operational performance considerably. Actually....+
Even from his short time among his brethren, he could already project resistance to his Calculus. The others were clearly emotionally involved. He predicted a reasonably high bias on their efficiency estimation regarding the female. There would be arguments. The squad could not be allowed to be divided on such a minor occurrence. This could not be allowed to continue. The mission had to come first. Outcome was all.
He moved around Vaidan and into a better position. He turned his faceplate towards the still shivering human. Calmly' he raised his bolt pistol. His respirator rasped as he spoke out aloud.
"Human. Based on your observed performance here and our projected mission parameters, your chances of survival if you accompany us are negligible. My brothers are already emotionally involved in your wellbeing. Your unavoidable demise at a later point is going to lower their effectiveness reciprocally to the length of your existence among them until the point of your termination. A termination most likely by a xenos force in excess of what you have faced here and involving a great deal of physical and emotional trauma." He aimed the bolt pistol at the middle of the bloody imperial eagle on her forehead.
"Do you wish for the Emperor's peace? Now, peacefully, in the presence of his chosen warriors and not by the Claw of some vile xenos beast? Now, before your weakness at a later time will hinder them doing the Emperor's work and thus bring shame and damnation to you for all eternity?"
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#482
Mazer Rackham

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"Do you wish for the Emperor's peace? Now, peacefully, in the presence of his chosen warriors and not by the Claw of some vile xenos beast? Now, before your weakness at a later time will hinder them doing the Emperor's work and thus bring shame and damnation to you for all eternity?" 

 

And I talk too much? A sour note crept into his mind, slithering it's way through the alien memories.  Tentacles of foreign instinct compelled him to listen.  He could almost hear his thoughts more clearly as the xenological matter was analysed, broken down.  He concentrated:

 

GM: Akkad will attempt to recall memories from the creature, specifically about Syndalla, if the hive have dropped a clearing/invasion force, how many bioforms, etc.

 

He gazed further into the darkness, the corridor stretching on forever...the sound of a million chittering things lurking just beyond the sense of sight and hearing...

 

MR.

 

Edited to accommodate Mol's superlative post below.


Edited by Mazer Rackham, Yesterday, 03:39 PM.

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"How far are we going?" One of the the human Legionaries peered up at him in the darkness.  They were all wounded, sore and tired from hours, turned to days, to weeks of heavy battle.  Silver armour flashed emerald in the light from a Viridian flare.  3rd Company had begun their attack at last.  The only full Battle-brother left in the unit looked down and hefted a salvaged heavy bolter.  He racked the bolt and the first round slid home true.  In the silence before the wall of noise hit them, the black-and-gold Lion on azure on his pauldron witness to their courage, the Marine spoke gently, almost wistfully.

"All the way.  To the bitter end."

 

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#483
Steel Company

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Seeing Sabaan aim the bolt pistol at the human, Tyber moved with the best speed he could muster while Sabaan spoke in his more mechanical then flesh way,
"Do you wish for the Emperor's peace? Now, peacefully, in the presence of his chosen warriors and not by the Claw of some vile xenos beast? Now, before your weakness at a later time will hinder them doing the Emperor's work and thus bring shame and damnation to you for all eternity?"

 

Placing his left hand over the barrel of the pistol, in such a way that any round would be discharged into his silver gauntlet, his blue-grey eyes staring furiously into the lenses of Sabaan’s helm, he spoke: “Brother Sabaan, neither you or I know what she did or did not do, we were not in this hall to see what happened. We were in the lower hall, dealing with our own set of bio-forms. From what I have heard about the 10th legion, being quick to determine judgment on half information is not something they are known for.” He takes a breath, preparing himself for the pain he knew could be coming at any moment, “I do not know how closely the 10th legion has worked with humans, we of the First Legion's 9th Armoured Assault Chapter learned long ago, that if one wants to know what is going on with the Imperialis Militia, one needs a human. Mortals are not likely to tell us the whole truth, until it is too late, as evidenced by our ‘friendly’ Interrogator, who has us here to seek out a possible Gene Steeler infestation, not what we are facing now.”

 

 Taking a moment to let those words sink in, while collecting his own, he continues with “If we want the know the truth of what is going on below, we will need a trust worth human to talk with the Sergeants of the Imerialis Militia force down there, the officers will only tell us what they think we want to hear, until it is too late for us to do anything about it. So if you are going to shoot, you will have to shoot me first, but know this, I will not stand idly by and let you murder her for being human.” As he spoke those last words, his right hand drifted to the grip of his arming sword.

 

Thinking on his speech to Sabaan, Tyber recalled that he should send Viadan a copy of the data his armour had recorded from the battle in the lower hall, a feature he had discovered in part of the command and control features built into the armour, it recorded everything once the combat systems had been engaged so that actions could be sent up the chain of command for review. Later he reminded himself, he had more pressing things to deal with, the feel of the bolt pistol reminding him of the greater needs of the moment.


Edited by Steel Company, 14 July 2018 - 08:02 PM.

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To all you Space Wolf Players... Its called a Razor and the Soap isn't a Daemon.
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The Iron Hands, they are the real emo marines. Seriously. The Dark Angels aren't the ones who sit around cutting off bits of themselves, wearing black, and complaining about weakness and ennui...

--Octavulg

#484
Xin Ceithan

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Sabaan stood unfazed among the confusion. His aim did not waver. Over the squad channel he voxed
++You want to save this miserable human, don't you? So leave her here, to do her duty on this ship. Force her to come along and she will die. This would be quicker. Much less painful to her. And to you. ++
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#485
Chaplain Dosjetka

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Please don't escalate the situation further until I've found the time to post later on tonight! Thanks! +
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"Suffer not the Heretic to live."

 

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Black Templars - W:4 L:1 D:0


#486
Commissar Molotov

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For the sake of completion and clarity, here are the end-of-battle stats: 

 

STATUS:

 

Healing: 'A character is consider Lightly Damaged if he has taken Damage equal to or less than twice his Toughness Bonus.' 

 

Vârvost has suffered 14 wounds (Less than 18, Lightly Damaged): 8+3 wounds restores him to 21/24 (the remaining three wounds counting as 'treated damage')

Vaidan has suffered 16 wounds (Less than 18, Lightly Damaged)

Atratus has suffered 3 wounds (Less than 18, Lightly Damaged)

Tyber has suffered 9 wounds (Less than 18, Lightly Damaged)

Solastion has suffered 9 wounds (Less than 18, Lightly Damaged): 8+3 wounds restores him to 23/23

 

Slips: You need to roll healing for Atratus, and if you can invoke your personal demeanour effectively, it would give you a free fate point to heal one of the Kill-Team further, perhaps? 

 

VÂRVOST | WOUNDS 21/21(24) | FATE 2

DAON AKKAD | WOUNDS 22/22 | FATE 2 |
KHYBER VAIDAN | WOUNDS 4/20 | FATE 2
ATRATUS | WOUNDS 20/23 | FATE 3 |
TYBER | WOUNDS 10/19 | FATE 5 |
GREYSIGHT | WOUNDS 22/22 | FATE 4
NYCAX SABAAN | WOUNDS 22/22 | FATE 3
SOLASTION ALBIKUS | WOUNDS 23/23 | FATE 3
THORVALD HAMMERHAND WOUNDS 21/21 | FATE 3

 

COHESION: 5

The errata v1.1 (page 9) says that fate points must be spent for the express purpose of recovering cohesion in order to count. The Kill-Team has completed the objective of holding the Dorsal Spine (+1) and roleplayed the bonds of brotherhood well (+1). 

 

The rulebook does not say that Cohesion is restored in each combat, and the errata goes on to say that Cohesion can rise above the starting value to represent the squad working well. It is a value that the squad - and in particular, the Sergeant - need to manage carefully to get the most out of it. 

 

 

+++++

 

AKKAD:

As you bite down, you feel firm resistance, before the meat yields with a disatisfying squelch. The ichor of the Tyranid bioform floods your mouth, and as you chew you feel something stirring within you, something powerful and nauseating. The preomnor, the organ known by some within the Astartes as the Remembrancer, begins to stir to life. 

Please roll an Intelligence, Willpower, Perception and Strength test. The Strength test should not include the bonus for Power Armour.


Edited by Commissar Molotov, Yesterday, 11:10 AM.

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QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

#487
Mazer Rackham

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+++++

AKKAD:

As you bite down, you feel firm resistance, before the meat yields with a disatisfying squelch. The ichor of the Tyranid bioform floods your mouth, and as you chew you feel something stirring within you, something powerful and nauseating. The preomnor, the organ known by some within the Astartes as the Remembrancer, begins to stir to life. 

Please roll an Intelligence, Willpower, Perception and Strength test. The Strength test should not include the bonus for Power Armour.

 

 

Strength (Natural - non PA) Target 45

D100 Roll: 08

Intelligence (No bonus) Target 41

D100 Roll: 23

Perception (No Bonus) Target 50

D100 Roll: 36

Willpower 42 +3 (Chapter Trapping) Target 45

D100 Roll: 98! (My willpower has jammed! This nicely fits the themed narrative I have already written, so bonus!)

 

MR.


Edited by Mazer Rackham, Yesterday, 01:46 PM.

"How far are we going?" One of the the human Legionaries peered up at him in the darkness.  They were all wounded, sore and tired from hours, turned to days, to weeks of heavy battle.  Silver armour flashed emerald in the light from a Viridian flare.  3rd Company had begun their attack at last.  The only full Battle-brother left in the unit looked down and hefted a salvaged heavy bolter.  He racked the bolt and the first round slid home true.  In the silence before the wall of noise hit them, the black-and-gold Lion on azure on his pauldron witness to their courage, the Marine spoke gently, almost wistfully.

"All the way.  To the bitter end."

 

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#488
Commissar Molotov

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It is an old adage that if you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss stares back. A pre-Imperial adage that has reverberated through Human history, a warning that has been tragically unheeded. Perhaps the greatest curse humanity faces is its curiosity, its drive to conquer the unknown. It has brought Humanity the Imperium of Mankind, the dominance of the galaxy - and yet the promise of more has ensured the dissatisfied hearts of men have ever yearned for more. 

 

The sound is the first sense-memory; the crack of birthing sacs being torn open, merging with the staccato roar of bolter-fire. The growl of shadowy creatures beyond sight, fused with the snarl of Lufgt Huron's terminator warplate, the whine of servo-motors and the smell of ozone enough to set ones teeth on edge. The memory of the chisel in your hands as you ritually deface the thorn-wreath, as you bring the hammer down for one more -

 

It takes focus to navigate such an overwhelming experience - this is no Ork or Eldar to be consumed, but the merest, smallest part of the so-called Great Devourer. What does a single hair or blood vessel know of the greater whole?  What does the droplet know of the greater ocean? And this is an ocean, a wave of a trillion trillion bodies working in unison. It would be the easiest thing to allow yourself to be washed away, forever.

 

You clench your fists - all four of them - and push your tongue against teeth that, you think upon reflection, seem oddly sharp. You growl to yourself, a wet bass sound - and remind yourself that you are in control - that this is no different from idiot children daring one another to stare into the purple scar in the sky in defiance of the preachers. The strong are strongest alone. The strong are strongest alone. The strong are strongest alone. 

 

When you open your eyes, it feels as though hours have passed since the battle to hold the dorsal spine. You hear others talking, repairing their arms and equipment. You feel almost limited - a laughable concept, considering the strength and capabilities of your transhuman physiology. You remember the rumours that in the wake of the devastation of Macragge that Librarians had attempted to commune with the hive fleets - that the effort had driven some of the greatest psykers in the Astartes mad with the effort. You understand entirely how such a thing could happen. And yet, you know - you know, somehow, that the two pulsing, quivering creatures dueling the Voice of Thunder are vanguard vessels, forward scouts and hunters presaging the arrival of a greater threat. A threat that will arrive soon.

 

Akkad takes 4 Insanity Points - the void stared back. 


Edited by Commissar Molotov, Yesterday, 05:37 PM.

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QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

#489
Mazer Rackham

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He looked down at his hands, now only two of them - thankfully.  He felt the presence of something darker, hungrier than he had ever known hiding just beyond the reach of the fingertip of man, dwelling somewhere out there in the abyss between the Swordpoint stars.  Fangs sharper than blades.  Thunder louder than the mightiest of guns.

 

Concentrate.

 

He could feel the claws raking across his soul pull away, reluctantly as if they desired to enflesh themselves in him in all manner of ways.  The experience was harrowing and his body, following the process of the mind prepared for combat, his secondary heart spiked, preparing all muscles and bodily genebred hardware for assault.  He fought it down, practiced rotes helping him, grasping onto purchase.  He did not realise his eyes had been closed, when he opened them, all he could see were steel walls, cold hard metal, cooked, burned flesh and the sweat of human fear.  His muscles unlocked.  Somehow, suddenly the Maelstrom had been brought into the world in which he now lived...

 

The consternation behind him had knifed into the travel of his subconscious.

 

The Strong are Strongest Alone.  And yet...

 

Akkad spat out the last gobbet of flesh, to bounce and land in amongst a pile of giblets.  He donned his helm and turned back to the squad.  The helmet was impassive, matched by the stern face behind it.  He opened a channel to the Iron Hand.

 

Sabaan (Xin) and GM/CM Only:

Spoiler

 

He cocked his head to one side, so he could take in the rest of the brothers.  His gaze rested on Vaidan a second and a Badabian rune flickered, opening a vox channel.

+ We must hurry. + His voice was quiet, but utterly sincere.  He angled his posture to match, to put confidence into his warning.

 

He looked back to the Techmarine, as Tyber staunchly placed his hand in front of the unwavering barrel.

 

"So if you are going to shoot, you will have to shoot me first, but know this, I will not stand idly by and let you murder her for being human.” Akkad could only admire him for his conviction.  In anyone else, at any other time - even back under the service of the Astral Claws, this human would have been slain outright or left to die, by his order by his hand.  Today though, it appeared she was to be a pawn that was not going to be so easily sacrificed.  He admired Sabaan's logic as well.  That Ruthless Calculus.  They were both right, they were both wrong.  Vaidan appeared to be formulating something to intervene with, making motions for everyone to calm down.

 

Akkad had said his piece and it had cost him a lot to do so after his brush with the alien menace, drawing on reserves he rarely had called upon in the past just to hold on.  Burning, sightless eyes scouring his soul, estimating him not as worth, but potential - the potential for something greater, but not the greatness of honour, not command, not loyalty or the Emperor, but in a primordial sense, one of many, his cells not even knowing they were now strewn across a million other bodies, blood running in a million veins...then coldness broke into the reverie once more.

 

++You want to save this miserable human, don't you? So leave her here, to do her duty on this ship. Force her to come along and she will die. This would be quicker. Much less painful to her. And to you. ++ 

 

He checked his teeth with a hesitant tongue and finding nothing amiss - he would not admit it, maybe not even to himself - his vitals stabilised in what he could only describe as relief.  The Strong are Strongest Alone.  And yet...

 

The tension drew out like a tight wire pulled from a spool of tripline.  One false step and this would explode.  He kept silent.  This was Vaidan's opportunity.  His right arm was hidden from Sabaan and Tyber both.  His hand slipped to his bolt pistol in case that opportunity was missed.  The human slowly turned her head and looked up at him.  There was accusation there, that he had started something maybe she wouldn't see finished.

 

It was not the first time he had seen it.  It would not be the last - to save Humanity, Human lives must be spent, sacrificed.  Suddenly a thought - that he hoped was his own began to crawl and slither around his mind.  She had been exposed to them too...

 

His fingers dallied on the butt of Sonnet.

 

MR.


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"How far are we going?" One of the the human Legionaries peered up at him in the darkness.  They were all wounded, sore and tired from hours, turned to days, to weeks of heavy battle.  Silver armour flashed emerald in the light from a Viridian flare.  3rd Company had begun their attack at last.  The only full Battle-brother left in the unit looked down and hefted a salvaged heavy bolter.  He racked the bolt and the first round slid home true.  In the silence before the wall of noise hit them, the black-and-gold Lion on azure on his pauldron witness to their courage, the Marine spoke gently, almost wistfully.

"All the way.  To the bitter end."

 

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#490
Commissar Molotov

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Vârvost stands apart from the group; he looks over his shoulder at the confrontation between the others, at the Iron Hand's drawn bolt pistol and at Tyber interposing himself between Sabaan and the armsmen. To talk of the Legions, to pretend that the glories of a previous age persisted, seemed foolishness. It brought to mind those fallen to the Rage, those whose grip on reality faded. He had seen those who became so deluded they thought they were Sanguinius himself, fighting through the Siege of Terra and even battling the arch-traitor himself. Even Sabaan and Thorvald - they were not Legionnaires. They were ten thousand years away from those days, and from those dreams. 

 

He shrugs, turning away from the group, as though scanning for the next threat. As he does, he swings his chain-axe in quick flicks, dislodging Tyranid gore and detritus from the weapon's teeth. Satisfied, he sheaths his weapons, drawing instead his combat knife. He kneels, digging the tip into the soft armour at his knee. He wrestles momentarily before something dislodges, and he pulls a broken tooth from the joint. There was never much in the way of artistry in Vârvost's warplate, and the gouges and runnels from the horde and its leader-beast seem to have only further added to the Eradicator's fearsome exterior. 

 
He looks at it for a moment, studying the dim light as it glints off of it, before throwing it to the Storm Son. 

 
QUOTE (voi shet magir @ May 31 2011, 05:38 AM) 
That is an unexpectedly strong assertion from a dead person.

#491
Nineswords

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+++ Placeholder +++
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We are the sword of Jaghatai. Had you not created great sins, the Emperor would not have sent a punishment like us upon you.

+++ Index Astartes: Storm Sons +++

 

A White Scars Successor Chapter

 


#492
Xin Ceithan

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++++ I see your placeholder and raise it by one+++
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