Contains Spoilers for the Chemical Burn adventure!

“The Emperor’s eyes are upon you, acolytes. Through my confessors, I have heard word of an unidentified and likely heretical biochemical known as Gratis circulating in the lower reaches of hive Rokarth. I fear such a substance may distract the devoted from their worship. I need you to find out where and who that Gratis substance is coming from, discover its purpose, and destroy the source.

I have no time to investigate personally, nor am I inclined to draw attention to myself while more pressing work looms. You will operate clandestinely in my stead. Recall that the Emperor tolerates neither failure nor excuses — both are refuge of the weak.

Seek and destroy, my acolytes. Carry the Emperor’s will as your torch, and let its flames burn His foes to ash.

Faith without deeds is worthless.”

Arn wasn’t good at listening to speeches. When the officers had felt the urge to ‘inspire the troops’, they’d tried to use fancy phrases with big words. Ultimately it was just another way to tell soldiers they were going to die. These words from the aged Ecclesiarchy priest sounded pretty much like all of those officers’ speeches.

The Arvus Lighter descended quickly, its pale grey of its Ecclesiarchy livery catching reflected glints from the spires of Rokarth. Jaq had never flown anything quicker, anything more nimble. Not that the Lighter was nimble… it was just as agile a craft as he’d experienced. His passengers stared out through the armoglass cockpit, evidently they’d never seen a hive city from this angle. By the cut of the militarum soldier, Jaq wasn’t sure he’d really seen a hive from any angle! Jaq had been tasked with an escort duty of sorts… bring these two to Mud Gate, Rokarth’s largest port, and accompany them on their ‘mission’. He’d never flew to Mud Gate before. He’s never had to descend so low. His assignment had been to ferry the Arch-Confessor and his entourage from hive to hive and occasionally to voidcraft. He didn’t resent his new mission, however, it meant that Pater Nosticus Persuivant, the Arch-Confessor to Voll, saw something in him.

Kael’ion XII had never been this low in the hive. The noise was incredible… the sheer volume of people, vessels, grinding haulers, thudding machinery was oppressive. She’d lived her life in the mid-levels, salvaging archeotech and doing her bit to patch together broken elements of the datasphere. It was reclaiming a piece of archeotech from a Basilica that had gotten her into this mess, somehow indebted to a senior member of the Ecclesiarchy and now moving through some place called the ‘Mud Gate’.

They’re just a few vignettes from the characters. Here’s what happened in Session #1:

  • Their patron, Arch-Confessor Pater Nosticus Persuivant, tasked the characters with finding and destroying the source of Gratis. The particulars of their mission were relayed through Priest Daleron: the Mud Gate seemed to be where Gratis was moving vertically up the hive; there is a known user, a former noble named Vidame Gullar, at the Cathedrum of Obligatory Modesty; a ‘safe house’ is available to the team at the Thaler Hostelry – they were given a pass phrase for it.
  • Jaq piloted the Arvus Lighter down into the clouds, avoiding collision with a large conveyance vessel and ably guiding the craft through the downwash created by gargantuan fans that keep the worst of the toxic clouds from the Mud Gate. The Lighter was guided to a mid-tier berth, where other craft belonging to more ‘respectable’ sorts are. They paid the docking fee (to a slightly twitchy toller) and made their way along gantries that led to a large structure, through which passengers made their way to the lower level of the port. They feared their bagged up weapons would cause issues, but they were waved through.
  • They saw some subtle signs of illicit dealings, people exchanging small items for solars, amongst the moving throngs. Strange attire from some of those involved, what looked like decrepit noble clothing.
  • A running man nearly smashed into Jaq, seemingly fleeing from Vigilites. Jaq didn’t hesitate and made to hold the man in place. He bucked and nearly got free, but Arn made sure he wasn’t going anywhere. The Vigilites shock-mauled the man, were thankful and hauled him away. A man in a red leather jacket paid close attention to the prisoner’s capture, but when they tried to tail him, he slipped away.
  • Kael’ion interfaced with a cogitator and gleaned a basic map of the nearby region.
  • Some kids had seen Jaq secure the Lighter with a signet ring. They decided to tail and ambush the party, who had gotten slightly lost, as they made their way from the Mud Gate towards the Thaler Hostelry. It was dark, but augmetics and photovisors showed one waving a stub pistol about. Some intimidation and a crushed hand saw off the threat.
  • They took a huge vertical-conveyance down a few ‘levels’ to where they hoped the Hostelry is. They found it. It’s not clear if it had ever seen better days, but now certainly wasn’t ‘good days’. In a small office room, they exchanged the pass phrases with Janelle, a seemingly ancient woman, with a bad case of hiver’s lung. She guided them along dank corridors, past the entrance to many poor habits units where shouting, weeping and all sorts of human activity could be heard. She showed them to the safe room.

And that’s where we left it.

Until next time,