Black Crusade Campaign:
++ MAGELLAN'S DEVILS ++
Bridge of Thor's Hand, (Space Marine Strike Cruiser) 0300 Zulu, 999.M41
His reflection stared back through the darkened pane of armoured glass. Behind it was the blast shield preventing him from seeing the Empyrean, the Sea of Souls. Even with the Gellar fields and void shields at maximum Garalon could fancy the scratch and scrape of talons, slithering fingers and grim pincers trying to break through the adamantuim plating and feast on those within.
He never got used to the sound, forcing himself to relax from his braced stance, as memories of making war in the belly of the Maelstrom subsided.
"What do you think, old friend?" the voice was haggard, rasping through mangled flesh and battered lips.
He wasn't used to that either, the sound no less grating than the imagined perils ringing the hull. He took a deep breath as his Terminator Armoured bulk swung round, weighing his words. He paused, looking at the hololiths and screens, depicting a small armada behind them, composed of looted vessels, maniacs, thieves and cutthroats of the highest and lowest orders.
"It lacks the glory of Badab, sire, but it will do."
The maimed figure in scarlet, black and brass contorted on the throne, a raw chuckle still ragged around the edges, even though many years had passed. He reached down to pet the strange entity lurking by his armoured feet. The Hamadrya looked up at its master, then gave a piercing, maleficent glare around the darkened bridge, striking the backs of the serfs and indentured crew left over from Battlefleet Maelstrom.
Even Garalon, a vastly experienced and hardy Astartes, harnessed in the mighty war-iron of Tactical Dreadnought Armour had to suppress a shudder. The thing was odd beyond reason - even for him, who once fought daemons, and the Dark Eldar pirates of the inner hell-worlds. He looked around the little-altered bridge of the Wolf of Fenris, Huron's prize from the battle of Parenxes. The ripped panels on the wall at the back were Garalon's own work.
The Strike Cruiser was broadcasting decoy information and augur returns, and was essential to the plan. For days now, Huron's slave-savants had broadcasted that the ship was coming to resupply after a hard-won battle against the Black Legion, whose activity was increased.
Thinking of the Despoiler's own, he wondered how far this gambit would go. Abaddon the Despoiler was up to something, calling for all renegades against the Throne to embark on his great undertaking - and Blackheart was keen. This would be his most auspicious raid yet: The throne world of an Imperial system, for war materiel and slaves to bargain with for ships, to refit the Tyrant's Legion in its new image.
And what a ragtag flotilla had joined them in the promise of plunder! Iconoclasts, Idolators, even a Desolator was back there somewhere. Pirate ships with living Helltalons and much, much more. Cultist groups, Heretek Circles, and the powerful Astartes.
"Yes..." Huron replied at length, "it will do. Signal the fleet and prepare for translation. It begins."
Welcome to Magellan!
This is the IC Thread for the campaign and where we will do all our roleplay and rolling. The first few stages of the Invasion will be narrative mostly, where you, as Heretics will document your numerous atrocities against the Imperium, for vengeance, loot, or infamy.
As part of a Warband (or an individual) you will detail how your comrades in betrayal die around you as Blackheart's plan comes to fruition for him, and imperils you. We will deal with the several phases of how this unfolds, but it will not be heavy, this after all is meant to be fairly sharp and rudimentary, but since we got a few players more than I bargained for - a little cinematic rigmarole is certainly in order.
The first order of business when running any Black Crusade game is what I call the Covenant, which are the rules we sign up to as Roleplayers to make sure everyone is comfortable with what we're doing and how far we go with our Evildoers.
Now, the good news is, that this is the B&C, and it has strict rules governing mature content, so most of this is already taken care of. I would urge you, new to the forum or not, to refresh yourself with these rules before we begin play. You can find them: Here.
That's about all there is to minding your P's and Q's, as we use Big Trousers around here and expect appropriate behaviour.
The rest of the Covenant relates to player interactions. There are nine players in the group, and we must keep them all in mind. If, when dice are rolling and your turn comes up, we will wait a suitable period for you to post your actions or narrative. If you can't do this, because life has a habit of getting in the way, a placeholder or even bullet points is perfectly agreeable to let us get on with the game. That said - this is a slower burn than my Deathwatch Campaigns, which I always run at a fair clip, so we have the time and the leeway to accommodate everyone. After a short period of time, if I have no communication at all from you (not even what you'd like me to do in your absence) I will make a decision based on situation and character, taking appropriate actions to move the group forward.
In short - if you're stuck - let someone know what you want to do, and we'll sort it!
I am not going to get everything right, as my experience with Black Crusade is limited to like three games. The OOC thread can be used to correct and advise me, and it will be taken on board and I'll do my best not to repeat it. Please don't beat me up about stuff! This will be a mix of both Crunch and Cake, so if I have to fudge things, I will, but I will try and explain. Some stuff WILL happen offscreen, most likely for pacing, and I hope that's alright.
If there's anything you're unsure of, hit up the OOC, where our canny veterans will dig into the nuts and bolts, helping out yours truly at the same time, and without whom, I couldn't cater for you all.
The Four Seasons:
Phase 1: Breaking The Line
This will involve the "Muster at Calth" type of deal, where everyone gets together and stands there staring up at a big hololith of the man himself, slack jawed at the audacity and sheer brass neck this Huron fella has to attack what is in effect, the Throne World of a small system. He needs you because Battlefleet Magellen isn't going to be messing about, and your characters along with your "warbands" will be allocated to different ships, which will engage the enemy fleet cordon protecting the prize Huron seeks.
Phase 2: Planetfall
There are only a few sectors (for simplicity) that you'll drop into. I plan for two, maybe three. This is where you can start to bunch up as characters and become familiar with each other. Here you will meet the PDF, some Stormtroopers, maybe Arbites, the common average garden type of Imperial Defences. Again, this will be handled narratively or possibly pooling a number of Successes representing gains etc.
Phase 3: Imperial Response
This is when everything goes sour. Huron leaves, the Imperium decides it's had enough of you and the enemies ramp up. Space Marines, more Stormtroopers and legions of redshirt Guardsmen. The Heretic fleet gets driven off and you're left holding a very sour bag.
Phase 4: Un-Chained Melodies
You are all captured (Killed on the surface or in battle in the void) and dumped into a Prison Barque floating above one of the worlds.
You are all among your brethren when the call comes: Prepare for Warp Translation. As the klaxons sound to announce the slip into realspace, the shudder ringing the hulls of the invasion flotilla stop and the shuddering of weapon impacts begins. The Capital ship, guided by Huron Blackheart is well ahead of the pack, opening fire with bombardment cannons and macro-batteries. Across the fleet, his image is beamed through the installed relays, displaying his brutish, crimson bulk and mangled face to everyone in the fleet.
"Now is the time, you who have been wronged, slighted or abandoned by short-sighted fools. Now is the time to choke the Imperium on their own weak blood! Now is the time when we rise, and the Imperium once again falls! Now is our time! Let them know, let them see - we do this for no-one else but ourselves! The only thing to loose is our chains!"
His image stutters and vanishes. Those in the holds and depths of the ships roar and beat fists against their chests, rushing to dropships and stolen void-to-surface craft. Battle-sirens sound along with the thump and rattle of your own guns discharging. The void war is joined, and ten thousand souls, mortal and Marine alike, gird themselves to raid, kill and plunder in a red tide...
As a disparate body, you and the rest of your Raider ilk cease only in despoiling the world because you are forced to. From the horrendous Helldrakes, to the mangled ruins of Chaos Space Marine bikes, nothing has been left unmarred or unmarked. In return, the Imperium has struck back, the mailed and mighty fist of your previous, hated master reaching to throttle the life out you inch by tortuous inch.
The grip is completed as the forces of Huron Blackheart flee, leaving their pawns behind to reap the inevitable whirlwind that you all knew was coming, deep in your soul. The thorns in your side consist of the Black Knights of the Templars, the zealous sons of Dorn, along with the Inquisition. They claim to see clearly, they claim to come here to excise sin, but you know the truth. They are bloody butchers, no better than you.
They merely have the blessing of a corpse god.
What is not irrelevant, is that you have been abandoned to their painful care, and it has been brutal. Run to ground, bled and shackled, you are ensnared by those who would decry your failings, not understanding the freedom and the truths revealed. Now they seek to break you, murder you even, but to what end is unknown...
The factions of Chaos are myriad, and this has been proven in deed as well as belief, for the Hereteks have abandoned their protectors and allies in the Heretic Astartes an seek to forge their own destiny in the Magellan System. Now, the warriors geneforged by the Emperor's science, perverted to their own whims or the allegiances of those who give them their desires, are plunged into the raw, malleable putty of the warp, there to linger as the aeons of the empyrean roll over them.
Time means nothing in the Sea of Souls, just as the protestations and prayers torn from the mouths of the mortals exposed to it were nothing to whatever predators lurk within it. A hundred-thousands deaths befell the wretches innocent and guilty alike, but there are still hearts beating in the ship...there is still life in the ancient circuits, and the Gellar Field, wounded sorely, over time has repaired itself.
Yet power ebbs and flows, and now only the ghost of protection remains for those abandoned to the depths...
Edited by Mazer Rackham, 11 May 2021 - 05:17 PM.