The Apostasy Gambit

Aboard the Illustrious Sailor (part 2)

Stranded in the warp, the acolytes must restart the Illustrious Sailor's engines and translate back to realspace before the ship is overrun by daemons

Summary of Key Information gained during this session:

  • A group of Imperial Guardsmen from the 158th Skorn regiment had smuggled aboard and were hiding in the bilges of the ship.
  • In the hold with them was an arcane device which seemingly drained the power to the Geller Fields, causing them to lose power in the first place.
  • Tech-Priest Krieger killed himself, and several other crew were killed by daemons during the transit.

    + + + Channel: Cell Ω9 Public+ + +

    Rosabelle, Corvin and the Captain are by the bunker with Lazarus, Krell and Ishta. Krell is running like a girlyman.
    Lazarus backs away from the demon, trying to protect the captain. Yells to Krell:
    Lazarus: “Krell! Get back here! We need help!”
    Krell doesn’t hear/ignores him.
    Rosabelle and Corvin are both paralysed by fear, Captain recovers and takes a shot at the demon, but misses.
    Captain (over vox to whole ship): “Target sighted, starborad superior. Gunners engage at will. Engine room, immediate translation to realspace, Kreiger, now! Now! Now! Security open all armoury ports. All crew equip yourselves and get to a bunker immediately.
    A couple of gunners take up positions and start firing at something outside.
    Corvin is crouched down, starts freaking out “No no no no!” When he looks up his eyes are glowing yellow, a big pink tongue rolls out and his hands turn to sharp claws. He stands up and takes a swing at Lazarus, who dodges.
    Able scrabbles backwards away from the demon, grabs the gun from Kriegers corpse. Realises it’s not a gun he’s familiar with and pauses to check it and prepare a shot.
    Enoch closes the door on the demon, goes to Able and takes the gun from him.

    Krell recovers, Lazarus’ words finally get through, draws his pistol and takes a shot at the demon in the doorway. Blows a hole in its leg.
    The demon runs towards Ishta and claws at her, but misses.
    Demon by Able and Enoch simply walks through the wall and claws at Enoch, but can’t quite get him.
    Corvin’s skin is starting to turn more purple, swings at Lazarus and wounds him in the body.
    Lazarus takes a swing at him with his cleaver, but he dodges quickly out of the way.
    Ishta manages to disengage from the demon and hoof it down the corridor
    The captain is about to shoot at the demon, but realising he might hit Ishta takes a shot at Corvin instead and blows a bit of his leg off
    The ship shakes as if it’s just collided with something huge.
    Able stands up and shoulder barges the demon away from Enoch, who, free from the combat blows a chunk out of it.

    Krell takes another shot, but misses.
    The demon takes a swing at the captain, but he dodges.
    Corvin’s eyes flash human for a second, looks around, then goes back to demon-y again. Takes a swing at Lazarus but misses.
    Lazarus, seeing that there might still be some humanity left in Corvin starts chanting hymns of the Emperor, saying his name over and over, trying to get him back to his body.
    Corvin falls to his knees, whispers “Help me…” and collapses.
    The captain keeps shooting, and says over the communicator
    Captain: “Krieger where the hell are you? Translate now! Translate!”
    Able looks over to Kriegers Vox, and he’s pretty sure he sees Krieger’s hand move. He stands up, picks up the vox and curb stomps his head into mush.
    Able (over vox): “Krieger’s down, is there any way I can do it? I need some basic instructions”
    Captain: “You need to reboot the Gellar engine from the engine room, then flip the switch in the cockpit”
    Able: “…How?”
    Captain: “I don’t fucking know, I’m not an engineer dammit, I’m the Captain! Find Vladimir!”
    Enoch steps back, dodging the demon’s swing. His warp infused sight briefly shows him the hidden center of energy in the demon, he aims right for it and blows the demon back to the warp with a cry of “My squeeglyspooch! Argh!”

    Krell hits the demon again, putting another hole in it.
    The demon knocks the captain to the ground, bleeding. Rosabelle is readying a shotgun to wade into the fight, when she suddenly grunts in pain. Her eyes start bleeding, she throws the shotgun to the ground and draws her shock maul. With her other hand she rips a pipe from the wall. Her muscles burst her armour apart at the seams and two horns burst through her helmet. She takes a swing at Ishta.
    Able stares blankly at the console and tries to figure out the start sequence, he gets a little way through but the sequence halts a few presses in.
    Enoch: “Able, what was the first part of that sequence?”
    Able shows him, Enoch has a go at completing it, hands the gun to Able.

    Krell, still walking towards the demon, misses it with another shot.
    Rosabelle takes a swing at Ishta, just about misses her with the shock maul and Ishta dodges the pipe, rolling backwards down the corridor. As she does a bolt of psychic energy flies through the wall, right where she was standing. Rosabelle, leaning forward to attack gets caught in it.
    In the engine room there’s a buckling sounds, and all the loose bits and peices around the room suddenly start drifting away from the floor. Gravity no longer applies.
    Kriegers body is floating near Able, two mechadendrites come from out of his torso and start snaking towards him, snapping and clawing.
    The demon is standing over the Captain, ripping chunks out of him. Captain is barely conscious, trying to unjam his pistol.
    Lazarus recites a (catachysm?) of hate and imbues the cleaver with the Emperor’s wrath. Takes a swing, but the demon dodges.
    Suddenly the air goes ‘black’ and Lazarus, Krell and Ishta feel like they’re breathing in nastiness. Forever onwards they never feel quite right.
    Used to dealing with zero-g able spins his body before shooting at Kreiger’s body, sending him flying backwards into Enoch when he fires the gun to stop him floating away from the console. Unfortunately it goes wrong and he collides with the console and resets the sequence. One of the mechadendrites is blown off, but the other one attacks him.
    Krell takes another shot and misses.

    We hear the sound of airlocks closing rapidly in the hold, there’s been a breach somewhere.
    Gunner Locke starts screaming, his hair catches fire.
    Lazarus beheads the demon with his holy cleaver. it disappears back into the warp.
    Ishta bolts to the elevator and takes it to the top level. Reloads in the lift.
    In the engine room gravity goes from being absent to reversing completely. Able fails to catch onto something, starts falling but manages to catch himself, taking damage.
    Able tries to climb up towards the console, but slips back to the floor/ceiling.
    Enoch falls, but catches himself, taking damage. Starts climbing up to the console.
    Kreiger’s body falls all the way to the bottom with a splat.
    As the demon he’s been shooting dies, Krell runs to the locker and grabs a shotgun. Starts loading it.
    Lockes head, still on fire, turns around 180 degrees and fires a bolt of fire at Lazarus, setting him on fire. He swings at Rosabelle with the cleaver, but doesn’t do any damage.
    Corvin is still down, weeping. The captain is holding his guts in, reloading.
    Ishta gets to the top of the lift, praying to the Emperor. The lift doors start to open…
    Back in the engine room, all the surfaces suddenly become mirrored. Enoch and Able can see reflections of the past, future etc in them. Enoch pushes it aside, but Able goes a little bit mad.
    Able manages to climb a little way up.

    Krell shouts for Lazarus to get clear, aims his shotgun for Rosabelle.
    Rosabelle takes a couple of swings at Lazarus, but misses.
    Locke screams at Lazarus and Krell, the loudest sound they’ve ever heard.Lazarus resists it with his faith, Krell resists with his steel plated balls.
    Lazarus hears Krell’s command to hit the deck, does so, but as he does he tries to bring Rosabelle back to her senses
    Lazarus: “Crewman! Think of the Emperor!”
    He starts chanting hymns, universal prayers that she will have heard since she was a child. Anything to spark recognition. Unfortunately she’s too far gone, and it doesn’t get through.
    As soon as he hits the floor Krell opens up with the shotgun. The shot rips into her, but she doesn’t seem to notice.
    The doors of the lift open and Ishta heads to the cockpit. As she opens the door there’s a yell, as Vladimir dives out from behind the chair and fires a shot
    Vladimir: “Dah! Shit!”
    The bullet ricochets off the door frame and catches Ishta in the back of the head, knocking her against the wall and stunning her for a few seconds.
    Vladimir: “Ishta! Oh, oh shit! Are… are you a demon?”
    Ishta (pissed off): “No! I’m trying to get this ship out of warp, you cunt!”
    Vladimir: “I thought you were Javier!”
    In the engine room, Enoch notices in the reflections around him that a group of nurglings are gathering at the closed door, upside down, trying to open it.

    Krell and Lazarus notice more of them appearing at the end of their corridor.
    Ishta hears gunfire from the bunker on her level, ignores it.
    Able pauses climbing, takes the communicator out.
    Able: “We’re trying to get the Gellar field on, is there anybody out there who can help us? we don’t know what we’re doing here. We need help immediately”
    Ishta, hears it over her Auspex, realising Vladimir has turned the comms off flicks them back on
    Ishta: “Look, how do they recharge the Gellar field?”
    Vladimir, stammering, starts talking it through.
    Able: “Vladimir, calm down, there’s some Vodka in it for you”
    Vladimir: “Vodka? Da, I’ll need more than that if I get out of this”
    Ishta: “You’ll get more than that if you can do this”

    Krell blows another hole in Rosabelle and she goes down.
    Lazarus goes over to Rosabelle’s corpse, is overcome with hatred and takes one last swing at it with his sanctified cleaver. The body hisses, twitches one more time and lies still.
    Lazarus: “May the Emperor still find a place for you, sister”
    Ishta aims her pistol at the door and prepares to take down anything that comes through.
    Enoch finishes keying in the ignition. The engines start firing up.
    As Able notices he shouts to Enoch
    Able: “Enoch! Gravity…”
    Enoch: “Oh shit. Oh shit…”
    He grabs the wall and prepares for gravity to right itself as they drop out of the warp.
    Krell notices the captain standing up, his gun unjammed
    Captain (sighs): “Here they come”
    Krell (To Lazarus): “Grab some shit from the weapons locker, Brother, there’s more weapons here”

    Krell starts walking down the corridor with the shotgun towards the demons, opens fire.
    The nurglings swarm all over him and the captain.
    Outside the engine room, Enoch and Able hear a round of gunfire, as the nurglings get blown away down the corridor with las fire, they flee.
    Lazarus & Krell see a new creature materialising, a four armed plaguebearer with a fly’s head carrying a huge greatsword, walking behind the growing swarm of nurglings.
    Krell freaks out, freezes in terror.
    Lazarus charges into the fray with his cleaver, calling to Krell
    Lazarus: “Brother Krell! The Emperor needs you!”
    Krell doesn’t notice. Lazarus takes some swings at the nurglings., but misses.
    Ishta tries to boost Vladimir’s confidence, to get him to work faster, but it doesn’t work.
    Gravity in the engine room rights itself, Enoch and Able are prepared, and hang on safely. Able tries to climb down, but slips and lands badly, spraining his ankle.
    Enoch gets on the communicator to the cockpit
    Enoch: “Engines are running”
    Ishta: “Yeah, we know that”
    Enoch: “So what do I do now?”
    Ishta: “Wait until we drop out of warp”
    Enoch prepares a warp blast in case a big demon enters the room.

    Able and Enoch see a millitary helmet poke round the door, a trooper steps around the corner and shoots Enoch.
    The nurglings keep chewing on Krell. The big demon points his finger down the corridor and it’s filled with a swarm of flies. They swarm around all of them, getting in their mouths, eyes, ears, etc. The Captain falls to the floor with a gurgle.
    Lazarus wades in, cleaver swinging wildly at the nurglings, kills some.
    Vladimir (Over comms): “Translate!”
    Everything flashes white, then goes black, our guts wrench, and we suddenly realise that what we’ve been feeling wasn’t real, that this is now real. The nurglings explode with a splat, the flies all fall to the ground, the big demon reaches forward but as he does he turns into a cloud of flies and dissipates into the wind. Enoch, gets a bit thrown by the translation, vomits.
    Able : “Guardsman! Stand down!”
    He calls out his rank, regiment, squadron, etc.
    Enoch: “Guardsman, I will survive this day, and so will you. Stand down, or i’ll send you to meet the Emperor myself” (Isn’t allowed to roll on his fellowship for this. Scumbag GM)
    Guardsman: “Are… are we still in the warp?”
    He drops to his knees, lowering the weapon.
    Enoch: “No, we’ve dropped out. It’s okay, guardsman, this is over. We need to do a sweep of the ship and make sure everyone’s alright and clear up the mess. Are you with us?”
    Guard nods “Okay”
    Enoch: “Where’s the rest of your squad?”
    Guard: “The demons got ‘em”
    Enoch: “Okay, okay. We’re okay. With us. Let’s go get the others, we need to do a sweep of the ship”
    Guard: “Okay. What the hell happened?”
    Enoch: “The field dropped”
    Guard: “Who let the Gellar field drop?”
    Enoch: “We don’t know what happened. The tech priest was the only person who could have fixed it and he put a bullet in his own head rather than help us out. He was either taken over by a demon or a coward. And we don’t like cowards round here, do we soldier?”
    Guard: “No sir”
    Enoch, Able and the guard head off up the ship.

    Vladimir is too occupied with Ishta sucking on his face to say what Dan had planned for him to say.
    The captain sits up, covered in ick from the demons. He picks up his cutlass and pistol.
    Captain: “What the hell happened? Krieger!”
    He storms off towards the engine room.
    Halk swings down from his turret, sits on the floor with a thousand-yard stare
    Halk: “It was so close… It, it almost rammed us… We were almost gonners there…”
    Lazarus moves over to him, blocks his vision of the mess that was Locke.
    Lazarus: “Ah, brother. You’re a true hero of the Emperor! He’s singing your praises right now on the golden throne. What was out there? what was attacking us?”
    Halk: “It was huge, it was like some giant face, coming right for us”
    Lazarus puts his arm around him
    Lazarus: “Ah, brother, to the galley! I’ve been saving some special liquor for just such an occasion. You’ve earned it!”
    Halk (genuinely moved): “Yeah, yeah okay.”
    As he stands up, Lazarus makes sure he continues to block his line of sight to Locke
    Lazarus goes to one of the ship-wide communicators
    Lazarus: “I’m heading to the galley with a valiant brother, when things get sorted out, come find me”
    Over the vox more voices start up, checking if everyone is okay etc.
    Able (to the shaken guard): “Guardsman, make your weapon safe. I think we’re out of trouble”
    Guard: “Are you sure that’s wise?”
    Able: “Absolutely”
    He puts the safety on.
    As Lazarus gets to the galley he moves to the shrine, starts chanting prayers to the emperor

    Summary of crew damage
    Rating Bathilda was found torn apart on one of the lower decks
    Rating Javier was found covered in plague boils and disease on an upper level
    Locke got eaten by flies.
    Rosabelle was taken over by Khorne and killed
    Captain was injured
    Bosun was heavily injured, arm pretty mangled
    Corvin survived, but in a bit of a state, whimpering on the floor, unable to make the sign of the Aquilla.

    Lazarus finds him, as Krell is finally coming around. Krell is very shaken, can’t even light a deathstick.
    Lazarus: “Krell… Krell!”
    Lazarus is standing there, covered in blood, both human and demon, with a shining cleaver in his hand. Krell pauses for a second, looking at him
    Krell: “Can you put the cleaver down and take out a cigarette for me? I’m failing”
    Lazarus, laughing, obliges. He kneels down to Corvin, and tries to push his hands into the aquilla, but can’t physically do it. Krell knows there’s only one way out of this. He walks over, put his hand on Lazarus’ shoulder
    Krell: “There’s only one path for this man left to walk. Step aside, Brother, I’ll see him to the end”
    Lazarus’ head drops, he takes Corvin’s hands and gives him the last rites.
    Lazarus: “I’m sorry brother Corvin”
    Lazarus walks off towards the galley, there’s the sound of a shotgun firing behind him. He makes it to the galley, and grabs a bottle of liquor from the nearest person.

    Able, Enoch and trooper Bruul arrive at the mess
    Enoch: “You’re still an Imperial guardsman here, these people are going to look up to you. Put on a brave face, we’re going in, and we’re going to boost their morale a bit. You ready buddy?”
    Guard: “Yeah..”
    As they walk in Enoch calls out: “Gentlemen, we have a guardsman with us. We’re all good”
    Captain: “The fuck you do? where did you come from?”
    Captain pulls a pistol on him. Enoch stands in the way of it
    Enoch: “Captain, we just survived the warp. put your fucking gun down now.”
    Lazarus goes to push the gun aside
    Captain: “Don’t touch my gun, it’s my ship”
    Enoch: “Captain put your gun away, please. We’ve just survived the warp. It doesn’t matter than he’s onboard, he survived, he helped us fight. He’s a hero, as is everybody on this boat. Put your gun down. Please.”
    Captain: “I just want to know where he came from”
    Enoch: “Well, I… Guardsman, where did you come from?”
    Able: “Yeah, where did you come from”
    The whole mess hall turns to look. Someone says “Hey, aren’t you one of them Skorne boys?”
    Guard: “Um, yeah. I’m with the Skorne 158th. Me and my unit were ordered to smuggle aboard this ship and make sure the last shipment got to Cindar”
    Krell walks over
    Krell: “This sounds like a talk we need to have in private”
    He tries to steer the guard out of the room, but the captain intervenes.
    Captain: “Bosun, Halk, take this man to the brig. We’ll talk to him later on. Your weapon please”
    The guard places it on the floor and the captain kicks it away. The bosun pulls out a shotgun and gets him to raise his arms.
    Enoch: “Guardsman, I’ll make sure they don’t hurt you. Don’t worry”
    Captain (to the crew): “I want a status report on the ship immediately”
    One of them prints out a report and reads it off.
    Captain: “Vladimir, you’re the pilot, if no one else can do it. Set a course for Prull IV. It’s the nearest repair station. We’re going to need to go there to make repairs”
    Lazarus and Enoch have heard of Prull, it’s 2-3 weeks warp travel away, the same distance as Cindar, in the wrong direction.
    Lazarus: “Captain, Cindar have the means to repair and we can still make the delivery on time. What’s the point of giving the ship a bad reputation by going for repairs?”
    Captain (looking stressed): “My ship is not a fucking democracy. Shut up, crewman, we’re going to Prull. There’s no discussion here. Get back to your stations”
    Able takes Ishta aside
    The crew begin dispersing. Able follows Vladimir to the cockpit.

    Enoch (quietly): “Captain, this goes against protocol, but we don’t have any other choice. Have you heard of the inquisition?”
    Captain: “Yes, why?”
    Enoch: “Do you know what an inquisitor is?”
    Captain: “Yes”
    Enoch: “We’ve got one commanding us, we’re part of the inquisition. If we do not make it there bad things will happen to you and everyone you know, and that won’t be on me ”
    Captain: “Listen, I don’t know why you need to get to Cindar, but we’ll get there eventually, okay?”
    Enoch: “No, no, no. This is high priority. We must get there, otherwise more bad shit is going to happen”
    Captain: “Bad shit has happened enough to this ship. Moran’s not paying me enough to get to Cindar. To hell with him”
    Enoch: “Moran is our target”
    Ishta (Stepping in): “Captain, we need to go to Cindar. You need to go to Cindar”
    Captain: “Well then I suggest we take the shuttle. I’m tired of people bossing me around on my own ship. Bosun! ”
    Ishta: “I’m not trying to boss you captain, I’m just trying to help you.”
    The captain doesn’t budge.
    Enoch: “If you don’t help us you’ll be a heretic in the eyes of the Emperor. You’ll be hunted for the rest of your existence.
    Lazarus has been edging closer since overhearing Enoch mention the inquisition.
    Lazarus: “Captain, think of your crew, everyone on this ship is at risk. We’ve got additional warrants for anyone who impedes our investigation. Our gear is in the hold, this ship is going to Cindar one way or the other. You can either do it with us or we can arrest you all and make you take us there anyway.”
    The captain seems to be taking it onboard, but he turns and walks off.
    Gunner Halk has been eavsdropping, when we notice him he spins and walks away, looking innocent.
    Enoch (to Lazarus and Ishta): “I’m so, so, sorry for having to do that, but I just couldn’t think of anything else to do”
    Lazarus slaps Enoch on the back, sighs: “I want my hammer, I want my armour, and I want my ‘Little Book of Calm’”
    He heads for the cargo bay, after Krell. Enoch follows.
    Lots of sections of the deck have been ripped apart. As they get to where the gear was stashed before there’s a twisted bulkhead. They realise that Krell’s trunk has been ripped open, but the gear is all there. After checking he heads down into the area where the soldiers were. There’s blood everywhere, eight or nine bodies that have been ripped apart, some with plague boils on them, and a Khornate axe in the wall. There are patches around, humanoid shaped, where the blood isn’t, where demon corpses lay, before they dissipated after translation.
    Krell freaks out, it takes a while to gather his wits and force himself to go back in. The guards are all well armed, and there is a rack of Gravchutes on the wall. He puts them outside the door. While searching he hears a beeping noise. Moving stuff around he finally finds a glass cylinder with wires coming off it, clamped to the floor. Krell gets on the comms and calls for Enoch, Ishta, and Lazarus.

    Captain (over comms): “Everyone prepare for warp translation. We’re going to Cindar”
    Able is in the cockpit with Vladimir, staying out of his way.
    Able: “Vladimir, what the hell happened to the Gellar field? It was working fine when we left”
    Vladimir tells him that something had been plugged into the ships power and that it had drawn power from the field and shorted it out. He’d noticed earlier in the voyage but hadn’t asked Krieger for help, figuring he could sort it out alone.

    As Lazarus is searching the Bilges with Krell he finds a new printing of the ‘Path of Light’ book, similar to the one Luntz had. Where the other book had the section on Drusus returning on Scintilla it instead mentions his returning on Cindar. There are hundreds of crates, all with identical books. He has a few words about it with Krell, then begins sanctifying the bodies.

    Over the rest of the journey Krell spends a lot of time chatting to the whole crew, gets hold of all the rumours and chat going around. Lazarus spends the time praying as often as possible, he’s more than a little freaked out by the fact that the whole ship has been touched by Chaos.
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