"To Plunder the Stars Themselves"
Episode 1: The Rivals
A haven for those cast from the Emperor's light.
In recent centuries, the Nebula has become the home of a dark legend, Talek Varn, and his reavers, the Iron Gods. Astartes, those who should be the greatest of Humanity's defenders, led by a tyrant and turned against their former charges. Terrifying monsters that plunder and pillage worlds and vessels around the edges of their domain. Few would now willingly enter the Solios Nebula, risking the pirate Lord's wrath.
But there are still those who do come, for like inevitably calls to like.
Outcasts and freaks, ignored, shunned or even persecuted by the vast Imperium. Captains and crews of warp-faring vessels, seeking a life of freedom and adventure from the grim realities of Mankind's existence. Even once proud Astartes warriors, somehow failed or fallen in their duty to the Golden Throne.
Warriors like you. Each of you has travelled here, some with intent and purpose, others drifting like flotsam and jetsam caught in an eddying current. However you came to be here, you each have stood before the mighty gates of the Crag, the Iron Gods asteroid fortress. You have each come before their cruel master and revealed to him alone the secrets of your former lives. Your histories, your glories and your shames. You have bowed down before him and sworn the oaths of fealty and obedience he demanded of you. Now the day has come that you must pay what you promised. Talek Varn has called you again to his presence.
Any weapons you brought with you into the Solios Nebula still have not yet been returned.
You gather, as instructed, in the Crag's Auditorium, a vast amphitheatre carved into the inner rock of the asteroid. It is a dark, echoing space of gradually descending stone steps in a wide semi-circle. Down at the centre of these many levels is a raised platform with a podium, surrounded by lumens and accessed by dark portals on either side of the chamber. The Auditorium could hold every single Astartes under Talek Varn's authority and several thousands of his mortal thralls besides, but at this moment there are only six.
Seven. On the platform, beside the podium, a seventh Marine stands at ease. He is armoured as you are, in grey and red plate of unidentifiable provenance. Unlike yours however, his armour is covered in trinkets and talismans, furs and long, wicked looking teeth. His face is tanned and weathered, his hair and short beard a peppery grey, and something golden glitters in one ear. You all recognize him as Ghoran, Talek Varn's utterly loyal Master Sergeant and second-in-command. He has a reputation as a highly skilled if less than honourable fighter, especially with the powered fist that encases his left arm.
Ghoran does not stand on ceremony, but instead offers you a simple comradely nod. Then he speaks, his rough voice a match for his worn features.
"Well lads, you're all here," he grins. "He'll join us in a moment and we can get started. In the meantime, feel free to get to know each other a bit."
GM: Welcome to the Solios Nebula!
This is now your opportunity to introduce your characters to each other. Or at least to make mental judgements about each other based on what you can see. The physical descriptions in the character thread may give you a few ideas or hints about who your new squadmates are. (Bear in mind that everyone has their armour and any personal items back now, but no-one has their weapons yet.)
Alternatively, you might want to introduce your own character by means of flashbacks, or thinking back and wondering how you ended up in this Emperor-forsaken hole, etc etc. You're free to share as much or as little of your story as you wish, though you have already learned it is wise to be cautious around strangers. And of course, you cannot even be certain that anything you are told by the others is actually the truth…