Author Topic: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10  (Read 4790 times)

Offline Kaled

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The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« on: May 18, 2010, 06:39:46 PM »
On Saturday Brother_Brimstone and I played a few games - a couple were follow-ups to the events of the Spring Conclave with agents of Inquisitor Kaled attempting to track down and capture Zophar/Sarthuul and his followers.  The other games were the start of a campaign with Explorator Kryzak's team investigating tech-heresy on a world all but abandonned by the Imperium.

Here's the first of them - hope you enjoy it.

 - Dave


Escape from Hive Primus

On orders from Lord Calleia, all agents of the Ordos have been on the lookout for the heretic Zophar/Sarthuul who is known to be operating in the sector.  Agents working for Inquisitor Kaled have tracked Zophar to Hive Primus on Taenzer III, and have been ordered to apprehend him and his followers.

Morena Goodchild turned to the waiting local enforcement officer,
'Commander, we have the heretic cornered.  Have your men throw up a cordon around the area; my team will go in to apprehend him - he is a foe beyond your ability.'
'Ma'am, with all due respect, they are just three fugitives.  My men are...'
Morena cut him off before he could finish,
'Your men are just men, the one we seek is something far worse.  You have your orders, you only need to keep him from escaping.'
She turned away before he could argue further and looked over to a nearby Arbites Chimera.  In the back a tall auburn haired woman performed the activation rites on two cyber-hounds, while a shorter, stocky Arbitor checked over his weapons.  The Arbitor met her gaze and nodded almost imperceptibly.  The two cyber-hounds came to life, and followed their mistress out of the Chimera.
'Let's go.' said Morena, turning on her heel, her cloak swirling around her as she strode into the abandoned hive level.

As the Inquisitorial agents moved into the zone in which Zophar was cornered, Blackwell signalled to the two women - he would circle around to the left while they covered the central approach.  Although Morena was leading this mission, she knew enough to defer to Moses Blackwell, the Arbitor Senioris who had worked for her for some years, when it came to attempting to capture a target.  As Blackwell disappeared out of sight, Morena and Talessa Valdez crept up behind cover of a barricade giving them a vantage point from which they could survey the street.

Meanwhile, Zophar whispered to his fellow conspirators,
'Come, the PDF believe they have us trapped but I know a way out of here.  We must act quickly - I sense the hand of the Inquisition in this - they will be coming for us soon.'
He stepped around the corner, and drew back quickly as he saw an armoured form across the street.
'Too late, they're already here and I think they've seen me!  Willie, you circle around behind them and create a diversion.  Severin follow me and hold them off while I open up a way out.'
As Willie disappeared into the darkness, Zophar hissed after him,
'And find out who they are - I want to know who's tracking us!'

Zophar advances into the underhive

Blackwell stalked the side alleys, bio-scanner in one hand, shotgun in the other.  Ahead of him was a large storage tank, and behind it to his right were three contacts, or so his bio-scanner indicated.  He peeped around the corner and saw Zophar looking straight at him.  He raised his shotgun and stepped out to confront the heretic.  Zophar called out to Blackwell to identify himself, his words cloying and strangely persuasive.  Before he could step himself, Blackwell replied,
'I am Arbitor Senioris Moses Blackwell, aide to Inquisitor Kaled and his acolyte Morena Goodchild...'

At the same time, crouched behind the barricade, Valdez nudged Morena and pointed,
'There.  It is him - I don't see the others, but that's Zophar.'
She turned to the cyber-hounds and gave the order,
'Fetch - Zophar'
The hound's cogitators whirred as they processed their orders and suddenly they leaped over the barricade and raced across open ground towards Zophar.

Hearing the snarling cyber-hounds, Severin barged forwards and put himself between them and Zophar.
'Run, I can deal with them, you make a break for it!'
As the first cyber-hound sprang towards his throat, Severin thrust out his buzzing circular saw and eviscerated it.  Not sooner had it's twitching, sparking form hit the floor than the second hound was upon him.

K-9 charges Severin
Severin fights K-9

Blackwell shook his head to throw off the effects of Zophar's persuasion and raised his shotgun, but it was too late - his shot was blocked my the pit fighter and cyber-mastiffs.  There was no easy way past the monstrous figure, so he decided to climb on top of the storage container where he'd be able to get a better angle on Zophar.  When he reached the top he could see that the pit fighter had dispatched on of the mastiffs, but the other was proving far more resilient.  Ignoring them for the moment, he took careful aim at Zophar and pulled the trigger.  Zophar fell back as the shot rang out, and Blackwell peered through the half light to see if his target was down.

Blackwell shoots Zophar
The combat zone

As she saw the first of the hounds go down, Valdez muttered to herself,
'Damn, they've gone for the wrong target - we'll have to do this the hard way.'
Stepping to her feet, Valdez fired at Zophar with her shotgun - the shots fell short, sending splinters of rockcrete skidding towards Zophar who ducked back into cover.  Meanwhile, Morena concentrated a moment, drawing upon unearthly powers in order to protect herself - the rush of power quickly overwhelmed her and blood started to trickle from her nose.

Unseen in the darkness, Willie crept forwards - he saw on top of a nearby storage tank, the silhouette of an Arbitor lit up by for a second by a shotgun blast.  Drawing a Molotov cocktail from his backpack, he lit the fuse and hurled it scoring a direct hit on the Arbitor.  Blackwell was lucky, his armour had protected him from the worst of the flames, but he was still on fire and fell to the ground attempting to smother the flames.  Seeing the explosion Valdez figured Blackwell was in trouble and set off at a run to discover his attacker.

Willie sneaks up on Blackwell
Blackwell in flames

'Damn, this second robot-dog was tough' Severin though to himself.  The first one had gone down easily, but this one had managed to dodge everything he threw at it and had got in a few bits of it's own.  His stomach bled where it's claws had dug into his flesh, and his left arm had a minor hydraulic leak where it had bitten through several cables.  The dog leaped at him again and forced him to the floor; snarling he pushed himself back to his feet and re-doubled his efforts to turn it into junk.

K-9 takes down Severin

'Damn, that daemon must be disrupting the warp.' muttered Morena as a second attempt to draw a psychic shield around herself failed.
'Well, nothing for it but to trust in the Emperor to protec me.' she said drawing her pistol and setting off at a run towards where she'd seen Zophar fall.  Off to her right, the pit fighter was still busy fighting the second cyber-mastiff - she'd have to be quick if she was going to subdue Zophar, there was no way she could stand against that monster.  As she approached, Zophar's eyes flickered open and seeing her, he leaped to his feet, sword raised.

An overview of the battlefield

Zophar confronts Morena

Blackwell had finally managed to extingish the flames that wreathed his body and stood up to appraise the situation.  Below him he saw the heretic leader ready to attack Morena; quick as a flash he fired from the hip and Zophar went down once more.  Morena kicked his sword out of his hand - as she did so, she felt for a brief moment the claws of an unimaginably powerful presence clawing at her mind. Not losing any time, she cuffed Zophar and started to drag him out of the combat zone.

As she ran down the street Valdez saw the recidivist 'Wicked' Willie skulking in the shadows, she raised her shotgun but before she could fire he took off at a run heading up a ramp onto one of the upper levels.  Willie knew he could never hope to outrun the long-legged Inquisitorial agent, so paused a moment to lay a demo charge at the top of the ramp.  The hesitation amost cost him his life as a shotgun blast hit the bulkhead by his head, and he took off at a run once more.  Behind him, the demo charge exploded and Willie giggled to himself as he glanced back at the destruction.

Willie plants his demo charge

Willie runs from the devastation

Blackwell saw the explosion, but he had more pressing matters - below him, Severin was still engaged with the cyber-mastiff, but the mastiff surely couldn't hold out much longer and should it fall, Morena would be next.  Dropping his shotgun, he drew his shock maul, slid down the ladder and charged the pit fighter to give Morena time to get the prisoner away.

Blackwell charges Severin

As Willie ran as fast as he could for safety he saw at the end of the street Zophar in the custody of the Inquisition.  Severin was still fighting, but he was outnumbered and Willie decided that discretion is the better part of valour and he could best help Zophar by not being captured himself.

Valdez chases Willie

Having failed to track down Willie, Valdez moved towards the sounds of combat.  Coming upon Severin from behind, knife drawn she crept closer while he was diverted fighting Blackwell and her cyber-hound.  She spotted her chance as the pit fighter raised his arm to strike, and quickly severed the hydraulic cables connected to his machine-arms.  As they slumped lifeless to his sides, Blackwell pressed his shock maul to Severin's temple and he went down hard.

Severin is finally subdued

Willie watched from the shadows as the Inquisition dragged Zophar to a waiting Arbites Chimera.  They'd left Severin laying in the street, obviously he was of little interest now that they had Zophar himself.  The Chimera sped off and Willie ran forwards to see to his 'friend'.  Severin was unconcious, his body covered in bruises, and blood ran from numerous wounds and mixed with hydraulic fluid pouring from his backpack.  The wounds seemed pretty superficial, and Willie knew Severin had taken worse beatings while in the ring.  Willie slapped Severin's face to rouse him and jumped back to avoid his flailing weapon-arms.  He quickly brought Severin up to speed with recent events; they were nothing without Zophar and would have to act quickly to rescue him before the Inquisition put him permamently beyond their reach.  For that, they would need help and, thanks to his years of working for Zophar, Willie knew just the man...

Willie makes his escape
I like to remember things my own way... Not necessarily the way they happened.

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Offline Kaled

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 08:53:07 PM »
And here's the next game in the sequence - no comments so far, so I hope people are enjoying them!

 - Dave

Blackwell's comm-link cracked, hissed a moment, then spat out the words,
'This is Falcon - landing in two.'
Hearing this, Valdez checked over her shotgun once more and peered out the door at the approaching Valkyrie.
Blackwell, kicked his drugged and bound prisoner,
'You hear that scum - that's the Blackship team here to collect you.  Once they're finished probing your mind you'll wish you were back in the hands of the Inquisition!  Now, lets go.'
He dragged the prisoner to his feet and checked the cuffs on his wrists, the gag and the null-collar were secure.  He grabbed the warded box containing the prisoner's effects and the three of them moved out towards the hastily cleared landing zone.

Down the street, 'Wicked' Willie skulked in the shadows - the Valkyrie had handed about fifteen yards to his left, and about  twenty yards in the opposite direction he could see the damned Inquisitorial agents pushing Zophar out of a doorway.  He knew that across the street, Severin lay in wait ready to pounce and somewhere above him the Mercenary Sniper, Vadim Heldt, was in a concealed firing position.  If he was going to disable that Valkyrie, he would need to get closer, so set off at a run down a side alley.

Willie and co. lay in wait

The Valkyrie was little more than thirty yards away, they'd be there in a matter of moments, but Valdez had learned the hard way that things could change a lot in that time.  Everything seemed quiet as she and Blackwell led Zophar down the street.  She saw the ramp of the Valkyrie open and out stepped Maximillian Gusteens followed by a masked security trooper.  She'd worked with Gusteens a few times in the past, and his presence here was reassuring - if there was trouble, he and his men would be more than capable of dealing with it.

No sooner had she thought this than a shot rang out, a long-las by the sound of it.  A burning pain spread across her stomach as she realised she'd been hit - luckily it was just superficial, her body-glove had protected her from the worst of it.  Blackwell broke into a run, shoving Zophar ahead of him towards the Valkyrie.
'You find that sniper, I'll get this heretic to the ship!'
Valdez ran down a side alley; the shot had definitely come from this direction, but from where - she wished she'd brought an auspex, wherever that sniper was he was well concealed...

Hearing the shot Gusteens and Trooper Zelig moved forwards into cover and went on overwatch to guard against more attackers.  Little did they know, danger was a lot closer than they thought.  To his right, Zelig saw a figure  carrying a shotgun and a heavily laden backpack, and snapped off a shot hitting him in the arm before the figure vanished once more.  As Zelig fired, the pit-fighter, Severin, crashed through the doorway and charged at Gusteens.  Before the Blackship Officer could reach, Severin's circular saw lashed out and sliced through the man's bicep, cutting into the bone.  As his laspistol clattered to the ground, Gusteens turned and ran.  Zelig saw this as if in slow motion, he got off a couple of shots at the monstrous killer who turned towards him ready to charge.  Zelig knew he stood little chance against the pit fighter, but slung his autogun, drew his shock maul and charged.
Down the side alley, Valdez heard another shot ring out - the sniper must be almost directly above her.  Some crude netting had been hung from the generator next to her, so she slung her shotgun and started to climb.  The netting smelled of rotting animal carcass, she dreaded to think why, but steeled herself and pulled herself up towards the roof.  The netting suddenly gave way and she fell back down into the alley, her shotgun digging into the wound on her stomach causing her to shout out in pain.

Valdez falls into the alley
Heldt gives away his position by shooting Blackwell
Up above, Vadim Heldt realised his hiding place had been discovered and looked down to see one of the Inquisitorial agents sprawled on the street below him clutching a wounded stomach.  He smiled cruelly, raised his rifle and blasted another couple of holes in her stomach causing her to scream in pain once more.
'She won't be getting up from that in a hurry.' he thought to himself, and moved back to take aim at the Arbitor once more.
Peering back at the Valkyrie, Willie saw Severin fighting one of the guards - no one else seemed to be around so he pulled a home-made demo-charge from his backpack and make a break for the wing of the Valkyrie.  No sooner had he stepped out then he heard a shout and turned to see a uniformed officer who seemed to be trying in vain to stop blood pouring from his arm.
'More of Severin's handiwork - this guy should be easy to dispose of.' Willie thought to himself, but before he could raise his gun to shoot the officer stepped forwards faster than he'd have believed possible and with his left hand planted a knife deep into Willie's chest, before slumping back against the wall.
'Today is not my day.' thought Willie as he cried out, more in annoyance than pain (but that would surely follow) and fell to the floor, the world swimming before his eyes.

Willie is stabbed by Gusteens
Gusteens set his teeth against the pain, he was just running on adrenaline now and would have to get his arm seen to before long.  Blackwell has almost reached the Valkyrie with his prisoner, so Gusteens staggered over to him and took custody of Zophar, pulling him aboard the Valkyrie.  Meanwhile Blackwell went back to find Valdez - he'd heard her scream a minute ago and couldn't just leave her out there.

Zelig was still locked in combat with Severin, both bled from a number of minor wounds, but neither could land a decisive blow on his opponent.
Blackwell's comm-link crackled,
'Gusteens to Blackwell, we're ready to take off.'
'Then take-off damn it!  We can handle things here!' he replied.
The Valkyries engines spooled up to full power, but as they did the noise roused Willie into action.  Ignoring the pain in his chest, he grabbed his demo-charge, staggered to the wing and set it in place.  Out of the corner of his eye, Blackwell saw this happen but was too late to stop it - his snap shots went wide as Willie ran for cover.

Willie runs from the explosion

The blast shredded the outer wing of the Valkyrie, destroying the lift fans and sending it slewing to one side.  Severin and Zelig were thrown to the floor by the blast, neither suffering more than minor injuries.  Inside the Valkyrie, the cabin filled with smoke and Gusteens and his prisoner were knocked prone.

Meanwhile, back down the street, Valdez ripped strips from her coat and used them to patch up the wounds in her stomach - she was no longer in danger of bleeding to death, but she knew that if she didn't get proper medical attention soon she'd be in real trouble.  Behind her, she heard the sniper drop to the ground and set off running towards the Valkyrie; she dragged herself to her feet and, using her shotgun to support her weight, got ready to follow him.
Mentally, Blackwell added yet another 'destruction of Imperial property' citation to Willie's list of crimes and sprinted towards the crippled Valkyrie.  He fought his way through the smoke and dragged his prisoner out of the ramp and away from the landing pad.  Gusteens followed after and once more took custody of Zophar.

Turning back to confront the heretic's two associates, he began to loudly recite the list of charges against Willie and Severin.  Willie looked visibly shaken and then say Zophar being dragged away so ran down the port side of the Valkyrie in an attempt to cut them of.  Blackwell ran down the starboard side of the Valkyrie; he wasn't going to let that recidivist get away this time.
Zelig staggered to his feet and backed away from Severin, firing shots into his prone form as he did so, unfortunately for him this just enraged the pit fighter who gave a mighty roar and charged straight a Zelig.  Zelig reached for his shock maul, but before he could draw it, Severin's mechanical claws ripped through his armour and Zelig's world went black.

Severin takes out Zelig
Heldt shouted at Severin to get out of the way, he couldn't get a clear shot at the Blackship Officer with the pit fighter in the way.  Snarling in frustration, Heldt saw Zophar being dragged away.  Sirens were approaching from all sides - they'd failed, the Inquisition had Zophar safe in custody.  He shouted at Severin,
'Come on, it's all over - let's find Willie and get out of here before the enforcers arrive!'

Willie and Blackwell faced each other by the nose of the downed Valkyrie.  Blackwell raised his shotgun,
'I hereby arrest you in the name of the Emperor for crimes against the Imperium...'
Willie didn't waste a moment, and in one practised motion drew and lit a molotov cocktail.  Blackwell adjusted his aim a fraction and pulled the trigger.
'Not this time you thrice-damned heretic!'
The shotgun blast blew Willie's arm clean off at the elbow.  The lit bottle of promethium fell from his lifeless fingers and shattered on the rockcrete - the flames leaped up and Willie screamed in agony as the flames consumed him.

Willie goes up in flames
Zophar opened his eyes: yet all was darkness. In the black, pitiless void he saw images, as though a pict-recording was flashing in and out of view. He felt a flurry of emotions, hate, anger, frustration.... Then a lingering sense of existential angst. An empty hollowness inside his very being. He didn't know where he was or why, but he felt that he was bound, and was fairly sure that he was drugged. He tried to cry out but his voice wouldn't come... they must have given him some sort of muscle control reduction drug. His head throbbed as he numbly wondered where the past months, possibly years, had gone. He felt longing, but for what? The sword... the last thing he saw before the vile darkness. Emperor's teeth how he wanted that sword... He felt so incomplete, and longed for the solace he knew the sword could bring. Perhaps if he waited, he could find his way to regaining that sword.
While Zophar tried to make sense of what was happening, Sarthuul writhed in torment.  His sword-bound form burned by the pentagrammic wards sealing the chest in which he was stowed.  Despite this, he too was smiling (if such an entity can be said to smile) - through the warp he had been shown a glimpse of the future.  A nexus of fates was centring around the world known to the Imperium as Ryncon's Halt; and while Sarthuul did not yet know what events would bring, he did know that they could spell doom for the entire sector and that he would be there when they came to fruition.  The sector would be beset by chaos, attacked by an ancient foe, and he would be there to use the devastation to twist events in his favour...
I like to remember things my own way... Not necessarily the way they happened.

Inquisitor - Blood Bowl - Malifaux - Fairy Meat

Offline Chipperz

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 10:25:07 PM »
Wow!  Very nice reports!  I'm liking Zophar's slow descent into almost a Gollum-like entity, longing for the sword above all else.  Very creepy.  Works really well.

Also, is that a 54mm Valkyrie, there?
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Offline Necris

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2010, 12:19:06 AM »
Great battle reports Dave

I wish I could get more great games like this with you sorted out and knowing that Brother_Brimstone is also close by means I really should make the effort more

dammed work

This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline Kaled

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 07:27:26 AM »
Also, is that a 54mm Valkyrie, there?
Looks like someone hasn't been reading Dark Magenta...
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Offline Swarbie

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 11:31:54 AM »
Wow, that looked like an intense couple of games! Poor Willie wasn't having much luck near the end.
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Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 01:42:56 PM »
I was quite pleased with how willie played out. Severin seemed to vary wildly between killing with every blow and being unable to land a single hit and Zophar did his patented 'go down straight away' technique, despite his new daemonic resillience and displacer field (which, Dave will back me up on, MUST have been found on a scrap heap...). Willie was really the only character who consistently managed to be useful. I did think things ended rather poetically, with Blackwell giving Willie as good as he'd been given!

As for the Zophar/Sarthuul thing, Golem had been a sort of inspiration for their relationship; Sarthuul, being a daemon of manipulation is a very addictive influence on Zophar. I wanted to convey the notion that they have now reached the point where their relationship is symbiotic. Not only does Sathuul need Zophar, but Zophar needs Sarthuul.

Anyway, thanks to Dave for the great work on the reports and thanks to everyone for the comments.

Don't expect Zophar/Sarthuul to stay locked up for long...

Offline Kaled

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 05:45:09 PM »
Zophar did his patented 'go down straight away' technique, despite his new daemonic resillience and displacer field (which, Dave will back me up on, MUST have been found on a scrap heap...).
Yes, that displacer field was rubbish - to say it was a roughly 55-60% chance of it activating every time, I think it only worked once (or was it twice) in four games.  I'm not sure he actually needs the displacer field though - although he went down pretty often, Invulnerable or Impervious (I still can't remember which is which) meant he was very resiliant and kept getting up again.  Still, the displacer field is pretty fun and it certainly didn't feel like he was over/under powered compared to what I'd expect.  We played four games, and although I made a couple of minor tweaks, in the main all of our characters used seemed to work pretty well.

Don't expect Zophar/Sarthuul to stay locked up for long...
On that subject, the other two games we played concern the events on Ryncon's Halt - so people aren't going to find out how Zophar/Sarthuul escape.  Maybe we should put something on the Carthaxian Conclave thread to explain what happens...

The current plan is to write up the other two games as a battle/campaign report for DM, so you probably won't see them on here unless that falls through.  They're good though - the first of the AdMech game had some interesting moments, and the plan for the campaign finale promises to be good. :)
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Offline JoelMcKickass

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 06:19:13 PM »
Was it wrong for me to be routing for Willie? That dude was awesome.

Seemed like a decent couple of games, pretty damned intense towards the end!

Offline Brother_Brimstone

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Re: The Mancunian Conclave 03. 15/05/10
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 07:33:43 PM »
Was it wrong for me to be routing for Willie? That dude was awesome.

It's never wrong to be routing for Willie! It's funny, when designing him, he was my least favourite character both stats and model-wise, but since I added that backpack, which has definitely improved the model, and played him in a few games, he has beome one of my favourites, and definitely my most versitile character (he manages both combat and non-combat well, whereas Severin is obvious close combat driven, and Zophar/Sarthuul is more non-combat driven).