You are Rhea Silvia.The last few months of your life have been an unimaginably wild ride.Your conscription into the Guard. The Chaos ritual at Camp Xenos Purge. The deception in Wonka Land and Imperial Diamond Resort. Your dalliances with warp magic and the power of Slaa-Neth. Your reincarnation as a Dark Eldar vassal and your brief time as a “pirate”. Finally things seem to be improving though. If living in a decrepit manor, in an equally decrepit town, guarding some cursed xenos treasure on behalf of an eccentric master who seems to have forgotten you can be considered “improving”. At least you are back among God-Emperor fearing citizens, too bad they are paranoid, parochial peasants who would string you up for any number of reasons if they found out even a sliver of the truth about you. And at least one of them is a serial killer. Plus there may be one or more non-human predators around as well... Although other parts of Damnatum Lutum are more hospitable, you stay in the mansion because:>Having been reminded of what life is like on an Imperial world, suddenly life as a valued Dark Eldar servant doesn’t seem so bad.>You are afraid of disobeying the instructions of your Dark Eldar masters.>You are worried about living in a higher density area where someone may uncover your secrets.>A decrepit mansion is better than derelict ruin, a flophouse, or sharing a flat with several strangers.Although you have visited the town a few times for supplies, the locals are less than friendly...>Which is fine, you don’t want them uncovering your secrets.>However, you are making some headway befriending some of them, it never hurts to have a few friends.You have just spent the day:>Getting drunk as you try to forget the horrors of the past half a year or so.>Cleaning up the mansion to make it semi-livable.>Reading books in the library to see if you can find anything on the mansion’s history that might answer certain questions.>Booby-trapping the shit out of everything.After a brief meal with Namara, you will now:>Try to buy some guns from that shady guy in town.>Go to the local bar with your new friends.>Retire for the evening.Followed by:>Another night of paranoia and jumping at shadows.>Another night spent drinking yourself to sleep.>Sleeping peacefully knowing you are (probably) in less danger than any time in recent memory.>Trying something new with your girlfriend Namara.Previous threads here:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4878085/http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4926394/ http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4979125/Although previous threads were based mostly on the “Chocolate and Corruption” tg threads, this thread takes place on Damnatum Lutum, a few years after the events of that collaborative story arc. See 1d4chan link for links to the DL threads, summaries, and world building material:https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Battle_of_Damnatum_Lutum
>>5015461>You are afraid of disobeying the instructions of your Dark Eldar masters.>A decrepit mansion is better than derelict ruin, a flophouse, or sharing a flat with several strangers.A bit of both. Rhea still has some subservience to authority, and Trys'ta isn't all that bad. There's also the fact that Rhea tends to latch onto somewhat safe and private places, like the hotel suite, so it's definitely in character.>Which is fine, you don’t want them uncovering your secrets.Can't imagine us cozying up to the locals, even though it would be useful.>Booby-trapping the shit out of everything.Twitch was always right, anyways. Let us channel his powers of paranoia.>Try to buy some guns from that shady guy in town.We do have a suitcase full of local currency. Might as well.>Trying something new with your girlfriend Namara.Obligatory sweet moments before terror and chaos. Also, who's on top ?
>>5015461>Having been reminded of what life is like on an Imperial world, suddenly life as a valued Dark Eldar servant doesn’t seem so bad.>A decrepit mansion is better than derelict ruin, a flophouse, or sharing a flat with several strangers.>However, you are making some headway befriending some of them, it never hurts to have a few friends.>Cleaning up the mansion to make it semi-livable.>Go to the local bar with your new friends.>Another night spent drinking yourself to sleep.
>>5015506+1It's spooky season
>>5015461>You are worried about living in a higher density area where someone may uncover your secrets.>However, you are making some headway befriending some of them, it never hurts to have a few friends.>Cleaning up the mansion to make it semi-livable.>Try to buy some guns from that shady guy in town.>Trying something new with your girlfriend Namara.
>>5015461ohohoho, a mysterious serial killer. we should definitely read up on the mansion's past
>>5015461>Although other parts of Damnatum Lutum are more hospitable, you stay in the mansion because:All of the above, to be honest.>Cleaning up the mansion to make it semi-livable.Rhea should probably try to quit drinking for a little while. Or she can be drunk while she's cleaning, no skin off my neck. The mansion is a fixer-upper either way.>Try to buy some guns from that shady guy in town.>Go to the local bar with your new friends.If we live in a small town we need to go through the paces of seeing and being seen. It isn't like a city where you can just blend in. Also it should make it easier to find and kill the serial killer, assuming it's nobody we already know. Getting strapped is a regular priority, though to be honest Rhea loses guns like she's still working in the munitorum; it might just be faster to borrow them from whoever is trying to murder us that day.>Sleeping peacefully knowing you are (probably) in less danger than any time in recent memory.>Trying something new with your girlfriend Namara.Let's just make a point of enjoying the bucolic life, ghosts or no.Oh and black soul stone aside, it seems like one option we'd have is to try and find the ghosts and ask them who killed them.
>>5016160>>However, you are making some headway befriending some of them, it never hurts to have a few friends.I forgot this selection. goes with the other point about small towns and getting to know people
>A decrepit mansion is better than derelict ruin, a flophouse, or sharing a flat with several strangers.>However, you are making some headway befriending some of them, it never hurts to have a few friends.>Cleaning up the mansion to make it semi-livable.>Try to buy some guns from that shady guy in town.>Trying something new with your girlfriend Namara.You walk down the steep gravel road that connects the town of Liamhelm to your new home, and a few other derelict mansions.Behind you is the seemingly unnaturally steep mountains of the Great Boundary Fault. Even though this is one of the low points in the range the nearest mountains still almost a kilometer tall, yet their peaks are barely a kilometer from downtown.Ahead of you is Liamhelm itself, or what is left of it.Said to be one of the oldest communities on the planet, Liamhelm is home to a bewildering range of architectural styles from its millennia long existence. From the baroque gothic spires of temples, mansions, armories, asylums, and sanitariums built during better days, to the cheap red-brick townhouses, concrete paneled habstacks, and clapboard cottages built to house laborers from Groxbridge’s overflowing slums, to the grim warehouses and meat factories in corrugated metal, Liamhelm is not short on variety. But the most famous buildings are far older. The Bunker, The Star Fort, and the Old Spaceport are said to date back to the Dark Age of Technology, though the have been repurposed so many times it is hard to say for sure. But there is a definite robustness to these buildings, blocky structures clad in highly durable metals and with narrow horizontal windows. They remind you more of Tau technology than Imperial, and perhaps a bit like Necron tech as well.Even older, or perhaps younger, are the Aelderi ruins. Graceful arches and pillars are all that remain now. Some have been incorporated into new buildings, others sit forlorn in overgrown parks. Officially they were made by the Exodite Eldar who even now live in some of the most remote swamps on the planet, but to you they look a bit more like the relics of the old Aelderi Empire you have seen in the Webway and the Archipelagia treasure chamber. On the vast majority of Imperial worlds, such structures would have been obliterated from existence, but Damnatum Lutum has a long history of tolerating xenophilia, particularly long standing pacts with the Craftworld Eldar even the Sector Lords and Inquisition accept for who knows what reason.However, most of the buildings regardless of origin or quality are now boarded up or bombed out ruins. The town is only home to several thousand people, a tenth of what it once held.
>>5016512According to an old history book you found in your house’s library and skimmed through, Liamhelm was once home to several Imperial Guard garrison regiments, but they moved elsewhere about a century back, causing a large drop in population, and driving away many of the town’s middle and upper class inhabitants as lower class individuals from Groxbridge flooded in to take advantage of dirt cheap rentals. However, losses during the war have created plenty of openings in Groxbridge itself, and the loss of nearby agricultural land to orbital bombardment during the war decimated one of the few remaining employers. This is hardly the first time in Liamhelm’s history it has suffered a major setback, but it may take a few centuries to recover from this one.It has been a week since you took possession of 13 Mossbark Drive, known to some as “The Murder House”. Although neither the house, nor Liamhelm itself are particularly inviting, you are determined to make the best of your situation. You are using the money from the mystery suitcase to make the house more inhabitable, and win over some new friends among the town’s merchant and religious communities. Hopefully, your Dark Eldar master Trys’ta will leave you in peace in your new home, but the occasional visit won’t hurt, despite her eccentricities, she has rescued you more than once, and there are many questions you desperately want to ask her, for example, what to do with the cursed gemstone you keep with you at all times (the only way to nullify it), or whose bodies are in your basement, and what happened to them, or whether she can do something about the serial killer (or killers), who has/have racked up 12 victims in the past two weeks. Having spent the day continuing to renovate your house, you are now heading into town to meet with a crusty scavenger named Gregorius, who is said to have scavenged numerous military grade weapons following the war. Despite your desire to be as positive as possible, a little caution never hurts.Your girlfriend Namara tags along with you. Little does she know you have been reading an old erotic instruction book you found in the house’s library. Slaa-Neth and Trys’ta may have taught you many things, but both their styles were highly aggressive, while some of the tricks in the erotic book are quaint and gentle, but creative in comparison.You cut through the Old Cemetery at the base of the hill, and end up on Old Main Street, a densely packed mess of townhouses and street level storefronts.Bodger the Barkeep storms out of Bodger’s Pub as you walk by. A dimly lit maze of mismatched furniture in a two story pub made from three previously separate townhouses now interconnected with some creative demolition work, Bodger’s Pub has a very friendly and neighborly atmosphere, mostly thanks to the kindness of Bodger himself, so you are surprised that he seems upset with you.
>>5016517“Now listen up little misses, Carl spotted you with them rich Alabaster folk over at Cherry Pop in the Rookeries. We may be poor, but we are pious folk and want nothing to do with spoiled nob’s brats. If you are playing some sort of game, keep us out of it.” - Says Bodger.Your faces goes from surprised to concern as the implications of Bodger’s warning become clear. You have never been to the Rookeries, the worst part of an already bad town, and definitely not Cherry Pop, an incredibly sleazy strip club and drug den in the basement of a bombed out habstack. In a fair universe it would be easy to brush this off as a case of mistaken identity, but unlike you, most people don’t have an evil Chaos tainted clone who is known to associate with wealthy degenerates.>Head to the Rookeries to see if you can find out more about your clone.>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy. >Try to smooth things over with Bodger over a few beers.
>>5016518>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy.We are going to want to get strapped before dealing with 14% Rhea (though knowing 86% Rhea it's just a way to give her Doppelganger free guns.)We might be able to come back to see Bodger if the guns aren't too big (or if Gregorius looks at us like we're insane and tells us he already gave them to us -- another reason to see him ASAP)On the bright side, it sounds like we don't need to do much investigation to identify the serial killers.>pic: 14% Rhea's sidearm
>>5016572Also,>That's not me, it's my cousin, Leah. We're not on speaking terms. And the other one is Tamara. She's kind of a crazy bitch. They both are, really.
>>5016518>>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy
>>5016518>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handyOn hard times are we, Falkar?
>>5016518>>Try to smooth things over with Bodger over a few beers.
>>5016518>>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy.I doubt guns would be handy against actual spirits and ghosts however
>>5016518>>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy.
>Continue on to your meeting with Gregorius, a little fire power may come in handy. You decide to continue on wards to your meeting with Gregorius.Although still early evening, the air is cold, and the sky is already dark.Inhabitants of Damnatum Lutum are fond of complaining about the extreme seasons of their world, and this particular region has five (cold dark winter with frequent storms, spring with massive flooding, monsoon season, a short but intensive summer, and a relatively mild autumn).Autumn is usually considered the region’s only pleasant season, but this one has been unusually rainy and damp. For all Archipelagia’s dangers, you sure do miss the weather.Bundled up in the shabby high collared jackets and tasseled wool hats favored by the locals to avoid attracting attention, you make your way deeper into the town to the abandoned block of row houses where Gregorius lives. His shop is an empty living room with a dozen of guns scattered across several tables, though you know he has many more hidden away. The price tags are indicated in scrawled writing on bits of paper.You brought 200 crowns with you, a high amount by Liamhelm standards, but only a fraction of what was in the suitcase.Guns on the tables include:- Modified Nail Driver – 50 crowns – Not really a gun per say, but a heavy industrial tool modified to shoot large spikes at close range.- Phobos Stubber – 20 crowns – A highly common civilian-tier pistol, 9mm, 8 rounds.- Mars Pattern Short Lasgun – 50 crowns – A bare bones lasgun used by many b-list regiments, it lacks the ability to switch to rapid fire or high powered shots like higher end lasguns, which made it famously useless during the war when Guardsmen were pitted against much tougher and better equipped xenos breeds. Technically illegal since was once Guard property, but such rules are rarely enforced.- Kantrael Pattern Lasgun – 100 crowns – Used by the Cadian regiments, firing rate isn’t great, but on its top setting it packs a serious punch. Also illegal for civilian use.- Galaxy Short Pattern Lasgun – 50 crowns – Used by the Catachan regiments among others, hitting power isn’t great, but has a relatively high rate of fire for a lasgun.- Revolver – 20 crowns – Even Gregorius doesn’t recognize the exact make, dozens of mid-sized snub nosed revolvers models are produced on Damnatum Lutum. Six shots, 9mm. This one has a naked woman engraved on the hilt.- Sawed-Off Shotgun – 30 crowns – Double barrelled shotgun rigged to fire both shots at once, barrel length greatly decreased, technically legal but popular with bandits and robbers.- Pump Action Shotgun – 35 crowns – Popular with local law authorities, but legal for civilian use as well.
>>5017382- Deluge 77 Autocarbine – 35 crowns – A cheaply made local design with low accuracy but a high rate of fire. Fed by a 60 round drum of 9mm bullets. Used by law enforcement and PDF reserves in emergency situations. Technically illegal for civilians due to its high rate of fire.- Stormchild Hand Cannon – 60 crowns – An oversized revolver that fires 18mm bullets. Gregorius isn’t sure where it came from, and good luck getting reloads for it. Even with your enhanced strength you are not sure you can handle the recoil.- Tau Plasma Pistol – 200 crowns – Very powerful, assuming you can get it to work. Very illegal though.- Kroot Rifle – 100 crowns – Highly accurate, but low rate of fire. No one has seen reloads for it for a while. Illegal.There are also several boxes of 9mm bullets and shotgun shells for 1 crown each, and a couple power packs for 10 crowns each.>What do you buy?
>>5017383>Also, where do you go after having made your purchase?
>>5017386>>5017383The Tau plasma pistol is tempting, but I want to make sure that we're both strapped, because we can cover each other that way.Two Phobos Stubbers, since we'll want to CC, and maybe a couple Galaxy Short Patterns, since, assuming they're actually short and not short the way a SMLE is short (22" bbl instead of 24+) they should be a little handier than the other lasguns. Rhea and Namara are also probably still in the "spray and pray" mode of fighting as far as guns go, anyway. My assumption (and probably Rhea's assumption, by now) is that we might well lose the guns if our enemy gets the drop on us,, so it shouldn't be anything too nice. It also leaves us with plenty of money for ammo.After that, go back to Bodger's and see if Carl is around so we can bend his ear. Maybe try the Leah and Tamara trick, and see if he can give us more information about who we were spotted with. 14% Rhea is probably trying to draw us out, or punish us for abandoning her by ruining our reputation.
>>5017383-Sawed-Off Shotgun-Deluge 77 Autocarbine For all our needs
>>5017405Sure, I'll support that. Galaxies as mid range spray, and the stubbers we can pull out if we get tackled. Anything that could give us an edge against someone of similar build. Like a clone.
>2 Galaxy Short Pattern Lasguns>2 Phobos Stubbers>Go back to Bodger’s PubYou buy two Galaxy Patterns and two Photos Stubbers, then head back to Bodger’s Pub.You also buy several power packs and boxes of bullets, plus an old kit bag for carrying the illegal guns and the ammo.You don’t bother with holsters, the pistols fit in your deep jacket pockets just fine.It has gotten darker outside while you were listening to Gregorius’s sales pitches and inspecting the wares, and it is now essentially night time.The sky is clear for once, and already three of Damnatum Lutum’s seven moons are already visible in the sky, including the two largest. Working streetlights are few and far between, and even many of the inhabited buildings don’t have working power, not to mention all the empty ruins. With your enhanced night vision, you aren’t particularly worried about seeing in the dark, but the darkness tends to bring out Liamhelm’s sleazier characters like drunks, drug dealers, muggers, and of course, the Hallowmas Killer(s).Wanting to avoid trouble, you decide to spend as little time on Old Main Street as possible, and instead walk along Temple Street most of the way. Temple Street runs parallel to Old Main Street and is rarely used these days, particularly the few blocks on the northern end that were walled off with piles of debris by its inhabitants during the plague zombie outbreak back during the war.As always, Temple Street is eerily quiet. The tall, empty townhouses that line the street give it a claustrophobic feel, like walking at the base of a narrow canyon.During the war, it was one of the few parts of town that weren’t evacuated as a result of the Tau using chemical weapons to cover their retreat, as it was located far from the nearest chemical weapon deployment. During the zombie outbreak, some inhabitants made a stand here but were overrun. As a result, the area is considered unlucky and no one lives or even hides here.You approach Executioner’s Square, a smallish, tight public square framed by the Old Cemetery, an old temple, an old courthouse, and multiple abandoned townhouses.Public executions once occurred here back when such things were popular with the area’s judicial system, and several hangman’s stands and gibbets are still intact.You prepare to turn left to take Old Jail Lane back to Old Main Street, but your enhanced vision notices something strange in the center of the square.As you get closer, your feeling of dread grows.There are eight bodies in center of the square.They are arranged in a circle, with the heads pointed inwards, the hands tied together, and the feet pointed outwards. After a moment of examining the bodies, you realize they form a compass of sorts, with the taller bodies oriented in the cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west, and the smaller bodies (or just heavily dismembered ones) are oriented in the intercardinal directions.
>>5019406On second thought, the symbol the bodies seem to form also remains you of the “Chaos Star” symbol favored by some Chaos Cults.The heads have all been either replaced, or in some cases enclosed within a “jack-o’-lantern”, a strange local custom that involves hollowing out and carving up a common gourd known as a “pumpkin” so that it resembles a face.You have heard rumors that enclosing the heads of his victims with jack-o’-lanterns is the calling card of the Hallowmas Killer, but you doubt this is the work of one person.You are preparing to leave the scene when you hear a loud engine and an old, poorly maintained cargo-5 open topped truck, probably ex-Munitorum, but now painted in the colors of the Groxvalley Police Force comes rushing in from the southeast along Old Jail Lane.At the same time, an open topped civilian muscle car comes from the opposite direction.Several masked figures are crammed inside.Both vehicles stop not far from you.Four law enforcers spill out of the cargo-5.One of them orients on you and Namara, gun drawn and shouting that you get on the ground, while the rest focus on the muscle car.Suddenly, one of the individuals in the muscle car, a woman in a rabbit mask, fluffy lingerie (despite the cold) and fluffy boots, hops out of the muscle car and opens fire on the law enforcers with a drum fed autocarbine you recognize as a Deluge 77, or similar model.The law enforcers return fire with pump action shotguns and pistols.>Flee area. Not your problem.>Get on ground. The law enforcers may have recognized you, and you could get in trouble later for not complying with instructions. You will probably face some hard questions on the illegal lasguns and being near the bodies though.>Open fire on the muscle car occupants. They seem like the sort who would be allied with your evil clone, and you may get some good will from the law enforcers, though they still will likely question you.>Open fire on both sides, no survivors, no witnesses, no awkward questions about your background, illegal guns, or possibility of someone searching your house and finding the cash, bodies, and xeno tech in the basement.
>>5019406>You don’t bother with holstersRhea, no! Bad Rhea! >>5019410>>Open fire on both sides, no survivors, no witnesses, no awkward questions about your background, illegal guns, or possibility of someone searching your house and finding the cash, bodies, and xeno tech in the basement.We are standing in the middle of a chaos star, that we can strongly suspect was put there by a crazy person wearing our face. There is literally no way out of this that involves witnesses.
>>5019410>Open fire on the muscle car occupants. They seem like the sort who would be allied with your evil clone, and you may get some good will from the law enforcers, though they still will likely question you. I haven't seen any law against some light vigilante work versus the forces of chaos, have you?>>5019431Our weaponry isn't specifically designated as illegal so I would consider it sensible. Besides, we're in the wrong place at the right time (as usual?) So we can play that for what it's worth.
>>5019410>>Open fire on the muscle car occupants. They seem like the sort who would be allied with your evil clone, and you may get some good will from the law enforcers, though they still will likely question you.Don't get any closer. I can smell shit a mile away:Chaos star made of bodies, place at a place filled with old death near a desacrated holy site. This shit smells like a pack of "Heresy Noodle: just add blood" to me. It's pretty standard stuff. Just keep away and shoot till nothing moves. If the cops are in the middle of it when it procs, then they'll have to got to. Until then, Rhea doesn't have in in her to murder cops in cold blood. At least Ii don't think so.
>>5019410>>Open fire on both sides, no survivors, no witnesses, no awkward questions about your background, illegal guns, or possibility of someone searching your house and finding the cash, bodies, and xeno tech in the basement.
>>5019410>>Open fire on the muscle car occupants. They seem like the sort who would be allied with your evil clone, and you may get some good will from the law enforcers, though they still will likely question you.
>>5019540I wasn't worried about the lasguns, I was worried about the fact that Rhea's body is literally illegal weaponry at this point. And, you know, surrounded by dead bodies arranged in a chaos star that may have been put there by an evil clone wearing her face.
>>5019410>Flee area. Not your problem.If we open fire on the cultistmobile, we'll probably get brought in by the rozzers afterwards because we were found in the middle of a Chaos ritual after all and we don't want that. If we open fire on both sides then it's 8(?)v1, and I don't think Rhea would do that anyway.
>Open fire on the muscle car occupants. They seem like the sort who would be allied with your evil clone, and you may get some good will from the law enforcers, though they still will likely question you.You fumble your way through opening you pocket zipper and pulling the pistol out.The rabbit masked woman continues firing her autocarbine inaccurately at the law enforcers, but she manages to drive some of them behind their truck.You finally pull your pistol free and fire of a few shots.You don’t seem to hit anything. Phobos Stubbers aren’t known for their accuracy, and you have never been that great a shot.Unfortunately, you do draw the shooter’s attention and she fires a few bursts in your direction just as one of the other occupants of the muscle car pull her back in.A bullet nicks your shoulder and you stumble backwards, more startled than anything. You slip on a wet paving stone and fall hard on your back, cracking your skull on the ground in the process.From your new viewpoint, you can see Namara is beside you trying to get the lasguns out of the duffel bag. She turns to help you, but gets tackled by one of the law enforcers.You try to get back up, but your vision swims and your skull throbs.The last thing you see is one of the other law enforcers about to zap you with an electroprod...----------------------------------------------------------------You wake up in a dingy medical ward.The mercury vapor ceiling lights seem far too bright and one of them flickers sporadically.You try to cover your eyes with your hands, but then realize to your dismay that both your wrists are handcuffed to the railings of your bed.There is a woman in the room with you, sitting on a high stool staring down at you.She wears a padded black bodysuit over a shapely body, and has long red hair, but her most defining trait is her piercing blue eyes, that seem to see into your very soul.“Ah, you are finally awake...” - She says in a pleasant voice.You try to respond, but a spike of pain in your skull interrupts you.“Don’t worry, I will do the talking for a bit, you just lay there.” - Say the woman.“My name is Annika Nordenvik. I am an Acolyte for the Inquisition. Normally I am a pilot, but we are short handed lately, and ever since I got back from Archipelagia, I have been checking into odd cases like this one.” - She continues.You feel the all-to-familiar feeling of your blood turning to ice, and your guts twisting themselves into knots as you realize you are in yet another seemingly hopeless, and quite possibly fatal situation.You were aware of at least three corrupted Inquisitors running around Archipelagia, so there is a very strong possibility she works for either En’Dee’Nette or HYDRA IX. Even if she is a loyal to the Emperor, you are still in deep shit if she recognizes you from your brief conscription into being one of En’Dee’Nette’s senior officials.
>>5022091Annika doesn’t seem to notice your panic, which to be fair, is the standard response for most Imperial citizens when it is revealed they are in the presence of a member of the Inquisition.“As you are no doubt aware, there has been a string of killings in Liamhelm lately, all of which had unusual elements, but the last few have clearly had ritual importance. Someone tipped off the local law enforcers of a particularly elaborate one, and guess who they find at the scene? You, your Gomorran friend, and a couple of local nobs with too much time on their hands.” - Continues Annika.Despite the hopelessness of your situation, your overly-curious mind can’t help but pick up on a few details. Annika talks like local, one of the more educated ones anyways, and “your Gomorran friend” is a clear reference to Namara, though she hates discussing her home world. You wonder if Namara is okay, but also worry what she has already told Annika.“Well, the local nobs got away, after injuring two officers, but you and your friend didn’t. At first your friend managed to convince the law enforcers that you were just bystanders, but we in the Inquisition like to be a bit more thorough. Your ID names you as Rhea and Namara Redmane, married. Likely relatives of Trista Redmane, the previous owner of your current place of residence, 13 Mossbark Drive, “The Murder House”. All of you are offworlders, and none seem to have any employment, though Trista listed hers on her paperwork to purchase the house as “Badass Awesome Bitch”. So what kind of offworlder buys a small manor house with a haunted reputation on the edge of a ruined city, in an area said to still be stalked by monsters and criminals? And why are two of them found at the site of a heretic ritual with a bag of illegal firearms, getting in a shootout with a group of rich druggies that some of the local law enforcers say you are a member of?” - Asks Annika, real steel in her voice now.Your mind whirls as you try to come up with a plausible story, knowing Annika has already talked to Namara. Who knows what else she already knows. If Annika is a psyker, or if the medical team did a thorough job examining you, she is likely already aware of at least some of your xenos body modifications, and she likely already saw the unusual black gem hanging from a chain around your neck.Or did she? You feel another wave of panic roll through you when you realize your tainted necklace is no longer with you, who knows what trouble it will cause away from the psychic dead zone created by the Necron null material embedded in your body.
>>5022093>Ignore Annika’s questions. Demand to know where the black gemstone is.>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)>Come up with a story about how you are an Inquisitorial Agent who has come to this area to investigate the costumed gang for their involvement in chaos rituals and summoning undead spirits. Also they have shapeshifters that impersonate people, like yourself, to cause trouble.>Guess she works for En'Dee'Nette and try to pass yourself off as a member of her organization.>Guess she works for HYDRA IX and try to pass yourself off as a member of that organization.
>>5022094>>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)This is already mostly the truth, isn't it? Maybe Rhea really is the bastard child of a noble. We could probably actually just tell the truth* with some tasteful omissions regarding Trista's species, that we were house sitting for our wealthy relative who serves as our benefactor. And of course you and Namara both have twin sisters, that's what initially caught your attention in each other.We shouldn't try to be particularly creative here, because we can't get our story strait without Namara. It's best to focus on the truthful but non-incriminating parts of the story. If it becomes apparent that Annika is the real deal, we should definitely spill our guts about the coup in Archipelagia, but not Auntie Trista.
>>5022094>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)
>>5022094>>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)Probably won't work, but hey. Also, I'm confused. When did Namara show up ? Didn't we leave her at the murder house ?
>>5022549Namara has been with you the whole time, there just hasn't been much for her to do worth mentioning, though it is stated she is tagging along with you near the start of the thread, and she is mentioned twice more in the shoot out.
>>5022094>>Come up with a story about how you are an Inquisitorial Agent who has come to this area to investigate the costumed gang for their involvement in chaos rituals and summoning undead spirits. Also they have shapeshifters that impersonate people, like yourself, to cause trouble.
>>5022094>>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)
>Come up with a plausible story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family exiled to the middle of nowhere, who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time while trying to bring some weapons home meant for self defence. And who also has twin sister who hangs with the wrong crowd. (And hopefully she doesn’t ask about your house)You come up with a plausible-ish story about how you are a bastard child of a noble family who was sent to live in a slum.Annika doesn’t seem to buy it though, particularly the part where both you and Namara have irresponsible twins, which seems very convenient.However, she doesn’t say anything about whether your story matches up with Namara’s. No doubt she is hoping you will incriminate yourself further.For now she seems to have better leads to follow, so she leaves you handcuffed to the bed.You spend the next hour or so sitting in the room by yourself.You are pretty sure where you are.Groxvalley Asylum.A sprawling institution in the High Gothic architectural style, it was built several centuries ago to replace the smaller privately run asylums that were common in the area back when “mountain air” was a major fad among both the idle wealthy, as well as the sick in mind or body.It gained a bad reputation after long standing rumors of medical experimentation were proven true when several rogue psykers mysteriously imprisoned there went on a rampage and killed most of the occupants, which also led investigators to discover hidden labs in the basements, attic, and utility wing that were used for a wide range of unusual experiments. The asylum was abandoned for several decades, before being partially refurbished several years ago for use as a field hospital during the war.Following the war, it became a multi-purpose institution, serving as the town’s only hospital, as well as one of two police detachments in the town, and as one of three asylums in the wider Groxvalley region. Despite this, much of the building is semi-derelict, even some occupied areas like your current location. You imagine you are in some special ward where both medical staff and law enforcers can keep an eye on you, but neither seem to see you as a priority right now.Your first sign that something is wrong is when screams start to echo throughout the building. Although perhaps just unrest among the asylum inmates, you somehow know the black gem is somehow responsible for this.Your second sign is the appearance of a ghost in the hallway outside your room.The ghost’s white straight jacket indicates it was likely an inmate at some point, and its head, which looks like it was smushed between two industrial pistons, indicates that perhaps it died during the psyker rampage.So horrific is the ghost’s appearance, that even the knowledge that it can’t hurt you directly due to the null stone woven into your skeleton doesn’t stop you from being overwhelmed with terror.
>>5025545Digging even deeper into your enhanced strength than you realized possible, you wrench the rails free from the bed, then flee out the door, evaporating the ghost as you pass near it.You tangle your legs in the railings (still attached to your wrists via the handcuffs), and fall awkwardly.Your head still hurts, and your vision swims for a bit, but your terror ebbs just enough to try to figure out what to do next.>Find Namara, flee to Groxbridge, there are several possibilities there assuming you can cross 13 kilometers of wasteland without being caught.>Find Namara, flee up into the mountains, there is a webway gate up there somewhere, and few would think to look there for you.>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.>Find Namara, try to locate your evil twins, maybe they know something useful.
>>5025547>>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.Whatever it is, we should try to hold on to it.
>>5025547>>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.It's got to be what is causing this. The Inquisition would have it contained otherwise. We have to try and get close to it. It'll blow our cover, and probably get rid of a good distraction, but I don't fancy another zombie apocalypse, and Trys'ta did ask us to protect it. Let's see how we fail this one, I suppose.
>>5025547>>Find Namara, try to locate your evil twins, maybe they know something useful.
>>5026074I knew we'd lose those guns.
>>5025547>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.
>>5025547>>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.
>Find Namara, try to find a way to track down the black gem, it is probably in the asylum somewhere, unless its power is far more than you anticipate.You decide to go try to find the black gem, aside from the fact that it is probably harming or killing a large number of innocent people, you doubt Trys’ta will be pleased that you lost it.You don’t see any ghosts nearby, but you doubt you will be this fortunate forever.The hallway you are in seems pretty decrepit, but you see a newer looking floor plan on a panel on one of the walls along with some directions.You go over and read the floor plan, as you suspected, you are located in the boundary zone between the area used as a hospital, and the area used as the police station.It doesn’t take you long to figure out where the jail cells likely are in relation to your current position.You head over to the part of the asylum that contains the police station.Ironically, you find yourself hoping that the ghosts drove out all the law enforcers. The ghosts can’t hurt you as far as you can tell, but good old fashion bullets and clubs can. The bruise on the back of your skull and the wound on your shoulder from the grazing shot flash with pain as you briefly think of them.You can’t help but notice you are more calm (relatively speaking) then you once would have been in this situation. You wonder if you are merely becoming jaded, or if losing a portion of your soul, the null stone embedded in you, or some other aspect of your resurrection by the Dark Eldar has somehow dampened your emotions.For better or worse, the police station section of the asylum seems empty of living beings. You find a few desiccated corpses lying around in law enforcement uniforms, but fewer than you though there would be, perhaps many of them simply fled the area.Old desks, filing cabinets, type writers, and the occasional low quality cogitator do little to little to bring cheer to the room, nor do the ceiling lights, several of which flicker sporadically.Although horrifying to look at, you are morbidly curious about just how a warp ghost desiccates a living being. A side effect of some sort of soul draining perhaps? You don’t really know that much about warp creatures despite a brief education from En’Dee’Nette’s followers. A savant in En’Dee’Nette’s service known as the Sexy Librarian once told you that daemons come in an almost infinite number of forms, though some are far more common than others.Lost in thought, you are caught of guard when a ghost manifests directly in front of you.A pants-less woman in a straight jacket with pale skin and speckles of puke on her chin, she disappears seconds after appearing, having gotten too close to you and the warp nullifying bubble you project.
>>5027629Almost instantly afterwards the same thing happens again, but this time it is a man assembled from parts of several different men, and empty eye sockets and a sawed open cranium that exposes a swollen brain.It takes a few minutes for you to recover enough to continue exploring. You are glad for the confirmation the ghosts can’t harm you, but are extremely not thrilled by the prospect of having horrific looking ghosts appearing in front of you (or behind you) every few minutes.You spot some keys lying on a table and figure out fairly quickly which one unlocks hand-cuffs, freeing yourself from your cuffs and the cumbersome detached railings they are attached to.You then make your way to the jail cells, where as expected, Namara is being held.She seems like she is recovering from a near emotional meltdown, and it is not hard to guess why. Both the other cells in the room contain desiccated corpses.Mindful of your reputation for asking inappropriate questions at inappropriate times, you forgo asking about the exact mechanism by which warp ghosts desiccate their victims, and also any questions related to her encounter with the Inquisitorial Agent, Annika.However, you do tell her about the missing black gem and how it is likely linked to the appearance of the warp ghosts.You doubt Annika has it, unless she is still in the building.You also doubt it got checked into the evidence locker, otherwise Annika probably would have known about it. But you decide to check there anyways, and in the process recover your confiscated firearms.You also find several bundles of pamphlets with multiple choice questions on them. Something about being matched with your favorite fictional villain / folklore boogeyman. It would seem harmless enough at first glance, specially given that Hallowmas is tomorrow, and dressing up as such entities is customary on Hallowmas, but back on Archipelagia, several different chaos cults used tainted multiple choice pamphlets to corrupt new recruits or create insane mobs as a distraction.You can’t help but wonder if HYDRA IX or the Iron Horde is active in the area, or if En’Dee-Nette’s Daughters of Peace or another cult has developed their own pamphlets. If HYDRA IX or the Daughters are involved, perhaps that explains the presence of your evil twin.However, one problem at a time. You figure most likely scenario for the missing black gem is that either a law enforcer, doctor, or nurse stole it while you were unconscious, likely before they were aware the Inquisition had an interest in your case.You and Namara start by searching the police station, but it seems rather hopeless. Given that the thief won’t want any colleagues to know about the theft, it is likely well hidden.
>>5027630Intent on your search, and rather willfully ignoring your surroundings less another gruesome, yet harmless (to you and Namara) ghost appears in your field of vision, you and Namara are caught off guard when a group of individuals in ragged black hooded cloaks and even more ragged cloth masks with skulls or the visages of horrible monsters printed on them. At first you think they may be ghosts, but they move with stealth and purpose, and carry a mix of firearms and blades.“So, which Rhea are you?” - Asks the leader. You think you recognize his voice from somewhere, but are not sure where.>Tell him you are the Rhea working for the Dark Eldar, even weirdo cultists will probably think twice about crossing the Dark Eldar if they know what is good for them.>Tell them you are the Rhea working for En’Dee’Nette. Perhaps your evil clone is working with these guys and you can get some assistance or information from them before they figure out you are the wrong one.>Tell them you are the Rhea working for HYDRA IX. You don’t know if there are any additional clones other than the one working for En’Dee’Nette, but if these guys know about your clone, they may know know just enough about HYDRA IX for you to bluff them.
>>5027631I vote for "that depends on who's asking."We're strapped up with the lasguns in low ready, and not in a sack, right? (Also get a holster, Rhea. They're free as long as you're willing to defile a corpse. There's dead cops everywhere. And yes is it that important. Every pistol needs a holster, every long gun needs a sling. Simple as.)Short of that, might as well tell the truth. It will hurt them more than it hurts us.>>Tell him you are the Rhea working for the Dark Eldar, even weirdo cultists will probably think twice about crossing the Dark Eldar if they know what is good for them.
>>5027631>>Tell him you are the Rhea working for the Dark Eldar, even weirdo cultists will probably think twice about crossing the Dark Eldar if they know what is good for them.
>>5027631>>Tell them you are the Rhea working for En’Dee’Nette. Perhaps your evil clone is working with these guys and you can get some assistance or information from them before they figure out you are the wrong one.
>>5027631>Tell him you are the Rhea working for the Dark Eldar, even weirdo cultists will probably think twice about crossing the Dark Eldar if they know what is good for them.
>Tell him you are the Rhea working for the Dark Eldar, even weirdo cultists will probably think twice about crossing the Dark Eldar if they know what is good for them.“I am Rhea Silvia, Emissary of the Frozen Heart Kabal of the Dark Eldar, Scourges of the Eastern Fringe.” - You say, trying to sound impressive.“I am Skullorex Ebonsoul, Emissary of the Many-Headed Serpent, Bringer of Internal Darkness!” - Replies the leader of the hooded cultists in an ominous tone.This time you recognize the voice. Kristoff, a former colleague from your brief time in the Imperial Guard, who you last saw working for HYDRA IX.“Hi Kristoff!” – You say with as much cheerfulness and sweetness as you can muster, hoping to undermine Kristoff a bit in front of his cultist buddies.“Hi Rhea! Hi Namara!” - Says Kristoff, mimicking your tone.“She is the original one, not the slutty one.” - He says to the cultist closest to him, who seems to sag in disappointment a bit. You glance over at Namara. Like yourself, she got tired of constantly moving her lasgun so that it is constantly within arms reach. Both of you have pistols shoved in your pockets, but you don’t want to risk getting in a shootout with half a dozen cultists who have the drop on you, plus who knows how many others in the building, without trying to talk your way out first.“So what are you doing here ‘Skullorex’?” - You ask pointedly, trying again to put Kristoff off balance.“Oh, you know, just trying to make this year’s Hallowmas a memorable experience. It used to be a time of hair raising thrills and titillating terrors, but it has been rather watered down over the years. We got our own plans underway, but then ‘Mistskalker Murderclaws’ here senses a major warp disturbance in the asylum, so we decide to check it out. There has been a couple of incidents lately that weren’t us or the followers of your... more promiscuous self, so we decided to come on down and see if we could locate this third party and propose an alliance.” - Explains Kristoff.Your mind whirls as it considers the implications of everything Kristoff has said. Kristoff’s mention of Hallowmas perhaps indicates he is behind the killings, as well as perhaps has something big planned for Hallowmas (tomorrow). But it was also implied that your clone maybe isn’t working directly with Kristoff, and that perhaps a third party is active in the area as well.Lost in thought, you belatedly realize Kristoff is waiting for some form of response.“Well, the, uh, business of the Dark Eldar is our own, and is of no concern to the likes of you, you should, uhm, consider yourself lucky our objectives don’t conflict... FOR NOW!!” - You improvise, rather poorly this time.“You have lost it haven’t you? whatever this thing is. Your blankness keeps it inert, but now that it is away from you, it has become active.” - Guesses Kristoff.
>>5029513“No, not at all, we were just looking for.....”You look down into the desk drawer you had just opened before being interrupted.“A box of condoms and a half eaten chocolate bar...” - You finish lamely.“So if I were to get my pet psyker to locate this item, could we agree to an alliance of sorts? You regain the item for whatever purpose you actually need it for, and in return, you help us draw the attention of the authorities somewhere else while we complete our own activities.” - Proposes Kristoff.>Agree, get his help finding the cursed gem, then re-evaluate the situation then.>Agree, then flee the building the first chance you get, hopefully Annika can get the resources in place to bring the situation back under control. Trys’ta won’t be happy about losing the gem though.>Disagree, start a shoot out, figure something else out for finding the gem once the cultists are dead or have been driven off.
>>5029514>>Agree, get his help finding the cursed gem, then re-evaluate the situation then.I mean, we originally got this job because Trys'ta is willing to work with chaos, and Kristoff is probably nice enough for a chaos cultist, all things considered. For now, we have common enough interests, namely nullifying the black soul gem.As for Annika, who cares? She might be an Inquisitorial Agent, she might not be, but it doesn't really change the math. Rhea has already worked for or with at least 3 inquisitors and "inquisitors." She's going to have her hands full what with all hell breaking loose and she probably won't bother us unless she needs help. Worst case scenario, Rhea pleads the "Sorry I just assumed you were working for Tzeench or Slaanesh like every other person I've met claiming to be an Inquisitorial Agent. Honest mistake, really." Defense. Hopefully Annika will be flabbergasted enough that she decides to press us for more answers instead of immediately killing us. Or, if she is a cultist, willing enough to cooperate until we can get this all settled....and Rhea needs to pick up a holster.
>>5029514>Disagree, start a shoot out, figure something else out for finding the gem once the cultists are dead or have been driven off
>>5029581Honestly, I'm up for having a casual working relation with the other side, as just pawns in a bigger conflict, different only by the color of their uniform. We all come from the same place, we know each other, and since no one here is a flamer-toting loyalist, we can work something out. We avoid dying stupidly, and the higher-ups never have to know, or can just ignore it. Everyone's happy.Watch him betray us, though. Because nothing ever goes nice for Rhea. Maybe its because we're in 40k. Maybe its because she doesn't have a holster. Who knows.
>>5029514>Agree, get his help finding the cursed gem, then re-evaluate the situation then.
>>5029514>>Agree, get his help finding the cursed gem, then re-evaluate the situation then.
>>5029764plus it is way easier to spy on them if we have a casual working relationship with them instead of something more acrimonious. Letting Trys'ta know Hydra IX and En'Dee are both active in Liamhelm is probably important to our continued survival and (un)employment. We also might need friends in low places if the inquisitorial agents are actually working for the inquisition, for a change.
>Agree, get his help finding the cursed gem, then re-evaluate the situation then.You agree to work with Kristoff and his cultist buddies for now.Without asking for permission, you pick up your lasgun, and Namara follows suit. You doubt Kristoff considers this ideal, but he seems unwilling to start a firefight pressing the issue.One of the cultists is evidently a minor psyker and picks up the scent of what is likely the gem stone easily enough.Soon the group is moving through the asylum with purpose.The psyker dispels any warp ghosts that appear, as well as several zombie-like corporeal undead. The zombies are rather concerning to you, and even more so to Namara, who survived the zombie plagues that occurred during the war a few years ago. Kristoff explains that when the warp spirits become strong enough, they will eventually try to animate a body, either their own or any others that are handy.Luckily the zombies are arguably less dangerous than the ghosts. Slow moving, and in many cases still trapped within their cells, they are easy prey to blasts of warp energy from Kristoff’s pet psyker.You shudder at the thought of the bodies in your basement reanimating though.Evidently feeling safe in his position near the back of the group, Kristoff initiates some annoying small talk, you had forgotten what a smart ass he could be.“So, are these versions of you and Namara also together?” - Asks Kristoff, jamming two pairs of splayed fingers against each other.“Yes, yes we are you perv.” - You reply. Which shouldn’t be surprising since your clones seem to have all your memories up until you joined the Dark Eldar, but to be fair there is no way for Kristoff to know that.“So, how do you live with yourself sacrificing innocent people for warp rituals? I know some people in this town, they are not all bad folk.” - You ask, hoping maybe to shake some information from Kristoff. And also because you are still upset about the ritual performed at Camp Xenos Purge, a ritual similar to the one that is perhaps being conducted in Liamhelm by none other than Kristoff himself, which cost several of your friends their lives or souls.
>>5031317“How do you live with yourself? You are nothing but a pet for a foul xenos breed that literally thrives on the pain and suffering of our kind. Had your first combat experience been against the Dark Eldar, would you still be working for them? I bet more than a few of the hooded victims back at the Frozen Heart lair are young conscripts just like ourselves that wanted nothing more than to be left alone. Besides, most of the “nice folk” in this town would happily dangle you over the nearest bonfire if they knew even a fraction of the things you have done. We are fighting a war here, for the future of humanity. Without increased knowledge of the powers of the Warp, of the old technology, and the sciences of the xenos races, we will not win against the Tyranids and the Necron. We need breathing room to continue our experiments, and we need to rid humanity of the orthodox and backward thinkers that have allowed mankind to stagnate and rot for over ten millennia.” - Argues Kristoff passionately. His eyes seem to glow as he stares at you, but maybe it is a trick of the light.You wince at the reminder of the somewhat selfish, survivalist mentality you have developed since Camp Xenos Purge, and was likely there all along.You are still trying to think of a rebuttal when the group arrives in the arboretum. A large glass dome that was probably once filled with trees and plants from southern climates, it is now filled with the dead skeletons of trees from which a maze of arachnid webs hang. A raven croaks somewhere, but it is otherwise chillingly quiet.“It is close...” - Rasps Kristoff’s psyker.“It is here.”The ghost of a Dark Eldar appears before you. Its skin is withered and white-grey, and its eyes are jet black. It wears a crown of ebony shards, and nothing else save a few items of black jewelry, including the gemstone Trys’ta gave you for safe keeping.You can’t help but wonder whether you are looking at the spirit of the gemstone itself, or some long dead Dark Eldar that tied in this location.The ghost makes a gesture, and Kristoff’s psyker explodes into a rain of gore, painting everyone nearby, including yourself bright red.“Betty! Limiter off! Now!” Yells Kristoff.Your not sure what that means, but you don’t think this fight is going to go Kristoff's way.>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.>Do nothing while the ghost kills of Kristoff and his crew, then maybe get the gem back if you can think of a way.>Flee the area. Avoid both enemies while they are distracted.
>>5031322>>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.Standard anti-warp procedure. Try to beat it first, because giving it time to do what it wants only makes things worse.
>>5031322>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.
>>5031322>Do nothing while the ghost kills of Kristoff and his crew, then maybe get the gem back if you can think of a way.
>>5031322>>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.>>5031335Like he said. Rush'em and shoot'em/club'em.We've seen what happens if we keep our distance under the bank.
>>5031322>>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.
>Rush the ghost, hopefully your nullifying presence will cause it to dissipate.You decide to rush the ghost, but unfortunately, unlike the other ghosts you have encountered, it seems to realize it can’t get too close to you without being dispersed by your aura.It evidently has experience dealing with individuals such as yourself though, because instead it uses its psyker powers to throw a rusted metal bench at you, which hurts like a bitch when it hits, not to mention knocks you backwards into a large dead shrub from which you struggle to extract yourself.From this poor angle, you then see Namara go down hard as a heavy plaster bird bath hits her with enough force to kill a normal person. Without really considering the consequences of changing priorities, you extract yourself from the dead shrub and rush to Namara’s side, dearly hoping that the modifications the Dark Eldar made to her body are enough to allow her to survive the injury.As you sprint the handful of strides to get to Namara’s side, you see that several of the cultists are now down, including perhaps Betty.Unfortunately, just as you reach Namara’s side, you get hit with another thrown object, this time a soggy, large log, and go crashing to the ground hard and briefly black out.You wake up a few seconds later to the sound of maniacal laughter as the Dark Eldar ghost with the gem stone gloats over the dead and unconscious bodies of Kristoff’s followers.Only Kristoff himself remains standing.“Fine, fuck it, be that way...” - Mutters Kristoff to himself before tearing off one of his gloves and brandishing a glowing ring.Kristoff beings to glow brightly, like a fire was just lit inside his body.A second later, he does in fact internally combust, burning away much of his clothes and growing several feet in the process. His skin is charred black but many old stitches and piercings are still visible, and his face no longer resembles anything human. Fires burn all around him, and even the dead, rotting trees of the arboretum catch blaze.“Pull the others to safety”. Kristoff commands you, before boldly squaring up with the Dark Eldar ghost like a boxer sizing up his opponent.You do what he says, starting with Namara obviously, then Betty, then two others that still seem alive.Namara is fortunately still alive, but very much unconscious. Hopefully the increased durability and healing factor the Dark Eldar gave you will allow her to shake it off in a few hours.As you continue to move the others to safety, you occasionally get glimpses of the fight through the fire and smoke in the arboretum, just enough to get a sense that a very serious psychic struggle is occurring.
>>5033907The smoke starts spreading to the hallway you moved the others to, so you end up dragging the survivors even further from the arboretum to another wing of the asylum. Your not really sure why you are helping the cultists survive, other than that crossing Kristoff seems like a really bad idea. Or perhaps you are just not thinking straight. Your vision seems blurry and you can’t remember whether you hit your head during the fight with the ghost.By this point, conflict between Kristoff and the Dark Eldar ghost seems to have spread to other parts of the asylum as well.The whole building seems to shake, and occasionally you see ghosts and zombies shambling in the same direction in small groups, no doubt rushing to aid their master.After what seems like forever, but was probably only a few minutes, the shaking subsides and quietness reigns again.A couple of the cultists you rescued are slowly regaining consciousness, but they don’t very talkative, not that you have any interest in speaking to them anyways.You tense as your enhanced vision picks up a shambling figure moving through the thick smoke in your direction, but then relax a bit when you see that it is Kristoff, returned to normal, more or less.As he gets closer, he dangles the black gemstone necklace from one hand, like he is going to give it to you, but at the last second he closes his fist around it instead.“As much as I would like to give you this back, I have the feeling you have no intention of using its power in the near future if ever. Unfortunately, my mission here is to create as big a distraction as possible, and this little widget sure makes a good distraction. Don’t worry, you can tell your Dark Eldar masters I will give it back to you when I am done.” - Says Kristoff rather snidely.You hear the now familiar sound of an electroprod crackling behind you, then everything goes dark.Again.-------------------------------------------- You wake up on a musty old couch in the parlor back at 13 Mossbark Drive.“The Murder House”.It is not exactly a location you consider a home yet despite having lived there for a week. Definitely not like your hotel back on Archipelagia, and not even quite as comfortable as the manor house you lived in during your short stint as a follower of En’Dee’Nette.You groan as you pull yourself upright. Despite the alterations made to you by the Dark Eldar, being shot, electrocuted twice, smashing your head, and getting slammed twice by heavy thrown objects doesn’t feel so great once the shock and adrenaline wears off.Namara is sprawled on the room’s other couch. You go over and check on her. She opens her eyes a bit as you approach and smiles, but by the time you lean down to kiss her she seems to be back asleep.You decide to leave her alone for a bit and take stock of your situation...
>>5033911Kristoff got you and Namara safely home and even dropped off your guns on the parlor table. He seems keen to keep on the Dark Eldar’s good side, or perhaps his is just looking out for you. It is not the first time he saved you while serving HYDRA IX, but whether he is following orders or harbors some sort of affection is impossible to determine. Either way it is pretty much the only good news.You lost the black gemstone that Trys’ta told you to protect – bad.Kristoff somehow knows where you live – bad. The Inquisition knows where you live and consider you a person of interest – bad. Kristoff is planning a “distraction” that involves ghosts, zombies, and maybe corrupting pamphlets – bad.Your evil clone may be involved, or may have her own separate plan – bad....You can hear someone walking up the stairs just outside the room you are in – really bad.As stealthy as you can, you grab a handgun off the table, sneak to the doorway, and pivot quickly to point your gun at the back of the person climbing the stairs. But no one is there.You are about mutter something under your breath about “damn haunted houses” but then you notice a small blinking object on the stairs where the noise is coming from.And the crackling noise of an electroprod behind you...“Fuc-”-----------------------------------------You wake up on the couch.Again.But this time your hands are tied behind your back, and your angles are tied together.You straightened up and see Annika sitting on the table in front of you.She is staring at you intently with her piercing gaze, and still holds the electroprod in one hand.Namara is still passed out on her couch, but now she is likewise bound.“So, I leave you alone at the hospital for a few minutes, and somehow both of you escape confinement during a Tier I psychic event. Care to try explaining again who you are?” - Asks Annika threateningly.At this point you are fairly sure she is legit, so you only see three real options.>Stick with your original story of being a bastard child sent to live in a slum. Explain you escaped during the chaos and busted out Namara as well. Say you saw some ghost and zombie like creatures but managed to avoid them.>Pretend to be an Inquisitorial Agent and try to pass off what you know about Kristoff and your evil clone so far as research gleaned from going undercover. Point her in the direction of Cherry Pop, the only location you know about associated with either that Annika might not know about.>More or less tell the truth, at least about your association with the Dark Eldar. From what you have heard, both the Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar helped save this world a few years ago, and both swore to help protect it in the future, so perhaps you can work something from that angle.
>>5033912>Pretend to be an Inquisitorial Agent and try to pass off what you know about Kristoff and your evil clone so far as research gleaned from going undercover. Point her in the direction of Cherry Pop, the only location you know about associated with either that Annika might not know about.
>>5033912>>Stick with your original story of being a bastard child sent to live in a slum. Explain you escaped during the chaos and busted out Namara as well. Say you saw some ghost and zombie like creatures but managed to avoid them.We were already mostly telling the truth with our backstory, the main difference being that we didn't mention that our wealthy aunt might not be strictly human, and we might not actually be the bastard child of a noble house. The locals might not be too upset about the Eldar being involved, but the inquisition probably would be. If she presses us, we might mention that we had some dealings in the past with Handson and Chalmers, off-world, and leave it open ended whether we are still maintaining an association with him. We could also use that as our reason for our reluctance to get involved with the inquisition and their internal conflicts.
>>5034212Let's try that. At the very least, we're being truthful about our reticence to trust her kind.
>>5033912>Stick with your original story of being a bastard child sent to live in a slum. Explain you escaped during the chaos and busted out Namara as well. Say you saw some ghost and zombie like creatures but managed to avoid them.
>Stick with your original story of being a bastard child sent to live in a slum. Explain you escaped during the chaos and busted out Namara as well. Say you saw some ghost and zombie like creatures but managed to avoid them.“I already told you all that, you know, before you left me chained to a bed in a zombie outbreak!” - You shout, hoping to catch her off-guard.It doesn’t work, and you spend the next ten minutes trying to explain concepts like warp ghosts and zombies without revealing you know more than you should. The existence of zombies is public knowledge around here due to the zombie plague a few years ago, but warp ghosts are rather difficult to explain without revealing how you know they are actually ghosts. As a result you are pretty sure she is even more suspicious of you by the end of the conversation.Your anxiety levels spike when she asks for a tour of the house, which you can’t think of any reason to deny her.She cuts the cords binding your ankles, but leaves you wrists tied, and Namara bond and unconscious on the other couch.The tour of the first floor goes off without a hitch, but when you get to the second floor and enter the master bedroom, you can immediately tell that something is a bit off.There are several small piles of revealing clothes and masks in the room, some of which look like they simply fell to the ground when the occupants within them disappeared into thin air.There is also an ornate, full length mirror in one corner that was definitely not there before.As you stare at your own reflection, you notice yourself making beckoning gestures you definitely aren’t making in real life. Your reflection’s eyes have a distinct purple glow to them, and one finger has a ring on it which reminds you of Slaa-Neth. Despite all this, for some reason you don’t find your reflection threatening or worrisome, which in itself should concern you, but doesn’t.Annika doesn’t seem to notice any of this despite clearly looking at her own reflection.>Tell Annika none of this stuff was there before, hope that will somehow be enough to get you off the hook.>Get as close to the mirror as you can, it can’t be any worse than passively following an Inquisitorial Agent around.>Flee the minute Annika seems distracted, hopefully you can get Namara out of the house and find somewhere to lie low.>Attack Annika the moment she seems distracted. If you can wound her or knock her out, it should buy you more time to escape.
>>5034832We should greet 14% Rhea, since she's pretty clearly the one in the mirror. Maybe do something about the wrist bonds, if there's anything sharp around.>Flee the minute Annika seems distracted, hopefully you can get Namara out of the house and find somewhere to lie low.>Flee the minute Annika seems distracted, hopefully you can get Namara out of the house and find somewhere to lie low.Just strut out if the room like we own the place (technically we do) and then head on down to the kitchen to get a knife, unless there's one closer. If Annika figures out we left, play dumb and act like we thought she was behind us the whole time.
>>5034832>>Get as close to the mirror as you can, it can’t be any worse than passively following an Inquisitorial Agent around.
>>5034879This might work. Nothing overly hostile. Besides, she doesn't look to be that good an Inquisitor. Or she's got a great poker face. Or Rhea is terrible at reading people.
>>5035277She's probably Ordo Xenos if she doesn't understand how Warp Ghosts work. She might not have even left the planet if she was roped in by an inquisitor who had to come planetside and needed bodies. This is, of course, assuming she's not just another patsy like Rhea herself. But voiders should, for the most part, have a working understanding that the Warp can make things fucky for no apparent reason. If she is Ordo Xenos, that might be a problem.Also it pains me to say it but we might need to rescue her from the mirror, or Slaa-Neth might find a new BFF.
>>5035319Annika likely knows what warp ghosts are among other things, but is more interested in how much Rhea knows about them. Zombies have appeared on Damnatum Lutum before, and ghosts are fairly common knowledge for experienced voidship crew, as well as planets with a touch of taint like Damnatum Lutum, but Rhea is not a particularly good bluffer, so during her interrogation, Annika picked up on the fact that sometimes Rhea was pretending not to know a concept that is common enough knowledge, and other times struggled to explain how she knew something without revealing the source of said knowledge.
>Flee the minute Annika seems distracted, hopefully you can get Namara out of the house and find somewhere to lie low.“So are you going to try explaining all of this?” - Demands Annika.“You can’t see her, can you?” - You reply.You are still very mystified by the reflection, and it is muddling your thought process to the point that being in the same room as an Inquisitorial Agent who is mad at you no longer seems very concerning.Furthermore, everything in your room seems a bit different. The dimensions are off, the walls seem crooked, and the old portrait on the far wall is a lot more...lewd...then you remember.You wonder if the reflection is actually your evil clone, or just some sort of side effect of the warp magic. You vaguely remember someone, maybe The Sexy Librarian or Trys’ta once explaining to you that even those with warp nullifying devices still sometimes fall victim to illusions created by the warp.But maybe if you get closer to the source, the null material embedded in you can cancel out whatever is creating the illusion...You take a step forward, but Annika grabs you by the shoulder and points an electroprod at your face.“Last chance to explain...” - She says threateningly.“We have to get out of here, this is bad magic, like, warp magic.” - You reply, this time taking a step backwards.Annika finally seems to decide that risking herself in the spooky room isn’t worth trying to press you for answers. She follows you out of the room, and back towards the stairs.Except, the stairs are no longer there. The hallway just continues all the way to the far side of the house, and the stairs and landing have been replaced by a blank section of wall.You spin around, the hallway extends much further in the opposite direction than it should, and many hallways branch off it.Like in your room, the dimensions seem a bit off, and there is a nude statue that definitely wasn’t there before.“Pocket dimension...” - You whisper to yourself, as the pieces finally start falling in place in your mind.You encountered one of these back on Archipelagia, in the tomb of Gyrab.This one is more clever though, you must have entered it when you first walked into your bedroom, but when you left, you merely travelled deeper into the pocket dimension.You wonder how you will escape this one, there must be at least one fixed exit somewhere back to the real world.Hopefully.“So where exactly are we?” - Demands Annika, finally starting to lose her cold professional façade.“Your asking the wrong person. The important part here is that we set a trap, and you fell for it. Catching other other Rhea was just an added bonus.” - Says a deadpan voice from an open doorway further down the hall.You recognize the voice, and aren’t surprised when the first figure to emerge is the Sexy Librarian, one of En’Dee’Nette’s cronies and a noted savant.
>>5035602With her are half a dozen others, wearing highly individualistic, bizarre, and (naturally) lewd costumes, and carrying weapons meant to subdue rather than maim.>Plead with Annika to cut your wrist bonds so you can help her fight the cultists.>Plead with Annika to cut your wrist bonds so you can help her fight the cultists (but then run away). >Run away, maybe find something to cut your wrist bonds with later.>Try to convince the Sexy Librarian that you are willing to switch sides.
>>5035603>>Try to convince the Sexy Librarian that you are willing to switch sides.More like, maybe ask the Sexy Librarian what it would take for the Daughters to leave us alone. 14% Rhea should be more than enough Rhea for them as she still has a deldar copy of the other 86% which I assume is more "real" than the original, given what an average Haemonculous can do (and our Haemonculus was probably well above average). Letting them murderrape Annika isn't actually a bad thing since it's one less mon'keigh on our back.
>>5035603>>Plead with Annika to cut your wrist bonds so you can help her fight the cultists.
>>5035603>Plead with Annika to cut your wrist bonds so you can help her fight the cultists.They have the decency to fight to subdue, I think its only polite we do the same.I also wouldn't be against turning those weapons back on Annika if we succeed. Cold, but she IS a threat to us. The Inquisition is not our friend. Besides, she knocked us out. It would be karmic.
>>5036249Sexy Librarian made it sound like they're not even that interested in us, why would we even help Annika to begin with? Sure there's a lot of "worst" in the worst case scenario but the most likely outcome is 14% Rhea venting at us for abandoning her and maybe running an errand or two (maybe trying to rescue Slaa-Neth from Wyen'dala, or more likely the CW eldar in groxbridge, before handing her over to 14% Rhea so she can go hang out on a beach in Archipelagia shading herselfwith a rotating lineup of paramores)It's a real case of the "devil you know."
>>5035602>“Your asking the wrong person. The important part here is that we set a trap, and you fell for it. Catching other other Rhea was just an added bonus.” - Says a deadpan voice from an open doorway further down the hall.>You recognize the voice, and aren’t surprised when the first figure to emerge is the Sexy Librarian, one of En’Dee’Nette’s cronies and a noted savant.Oooh, is Sexy Librarian hoping to snag her own pet Inquisitor?!
>>5036713So far just an agent, but it's a pilot apparently, so it should be a good opening to work up the chain to the paranoid lunatic with the rosette.Also at this point Rhea should be proactively introducing herself with, "please don't knock me out, I only have so many brain cells left to lose"
>Plead with Annika to cut your wrist bonds so you can help her fight the cultists.“This is bad... Free my hands... help me help you...” - You fumble for a way to sound more convincing, but Annika is not listening to you anyways.She pulls a highly compact autopistol from somewhere and opens fire on the cultists, but Sexy Librarian simply vanishes, while her followers soak up the low caliber rounds with only some losses. They seem abnormally tough, and the masks they wear appear to be bulletproof.You hear a noise behind you, and turn to see four more cultists rush you from behind.The largest, a seven foot tall brute wearing nothing but a head-enclosing furry ursid mask and a thick glove on one hand grabs you by your wrists and throws you into an empty room.As you struggle to get back up, he fidgets with his glove, causing it to electrify.He then makes a mad rush at you, but you manage to partially side step him and knee him hard in the groin.You here an electric crackling noise, and realize ursid mask inadvertently grabbed...himself... with his shock glove, amplifying the injury.Hoping you took him out of the fight, and making a mental note to wash your pants the next chance you get, you turn to face the other three cultists, who are approaching more slowly and cautiously.You recognize the woman with the ceramic rabbit half-mask from back at the shootout Executioner’s Square, though she now carries an electroprod instead of an autocarbine.A thin, short man wears a painted wooden fox mask wears trousers with long orange artificial fur attached, as well as a furry tail. The tattoos on his torso seem to indicate he was at various points a Tau sympathizer, a furry cult leader, and a member of HYDRA IX, though other tattoos indicate his present loyalty is to the Daughters of Peace. He seems to intent to fight you with his bare hands and feet, but you can’t help but notice the katana strapped to his back, maybe with a bit of luck you can somehow use it to free your bound wrists.A voluptuous woman in a leather feline half-mask wears the revealing black leather armor favored by many Slaanesh followers (and some Imperial servants oddly enough). She carries an electro-flail, a notoriously difficult weapon to block.>Fight your way through them, then try and help Annika.>Fight your way through them, then try to takedown Annika by surprise, then flee.>Fight your way through them, then try to takedown Annika by surprise, then try to talk your way out of the situation.>Tell the three cultists that you demand to speak to the Sexy Librarian, your evil clone, or whoever else is in charge.>Flee room out sidedoor.
>>5038502>>Tell the three cultists that you demand to speak to the Sexy Librarian, your evil clone, or whoever else is in charge.And be ready to>>Flee room out sidedoor.We probably can't beat them with our hands tied together, given Rhea's decidedly mixed record in combat. In any case, we're still trapped in a pocket dimension with a bunch of cultists and a daemon, so it's only a matter of time before we lose.
>>5038502>>Fight your way through them, then try and help Annika.
>Tell the three cultists that you demand to speak to the Sexy Librarian, your evil clone, or whoever else is in charge.>Flee room out sidedoor. Hoping to somehow talk your way out of the situation, you demand to speak with whoever is in charge.The feline faced woman merely shrugs and says you had two opportunities so far to talk to someone important, and now it is time to do things the hard way.Thinking fast, you decide to flee out the other door in the room rather than stay and fight.You find yourself on the second floor of a huge entrance lobby with a massively wide set of stairs leading down to the first level, where a pair of double doors leads to the outside.Hopefully going through those doors will somehow lead you out of the pocket dimension. You figure that perhaps the pocket dimension has been here for ages, and HYDRA IX and/or the Daughters of Peace only recently figured out how to manipulate their way into it. Despite the recently added paintings and sculptures, overall the pocket dimension doesn’t seem very Slaaneshi, so perhaps the situation isn’t as dire as it appears and there are several viable exits.The alternative is of course you are trapped in a reality bending labyrinth with highly concealed exits.You have no time to dwell on this though, running with your hands tied is surprisingly hard, and you are surprised the three cultists haven’t caught up with you yet.You somehow maintain your balance while sprinting down the stairs, after which you make a beeline for the entrance door.To your surprise, you see Annika come out of a first floor side door on the opposite site of the room you came from, clearly geometric rules don’t much apply here. She sees you heading for the door and sprints in your direction, probably assuming you know more than you actually do.She lost her gun at some point, or perhaps just discarded it once it ran out of ammo, but she pulls a pair of throwing knives from her belt as fox mask and rabbit mask cut her off.Fox mask deflects the first knife with an empty hand, but a second knife punches into his left kidney, immobilizing him with pain.Likewise, rabbit mask deflects a knife thrown at one of her eyes by lowering her head, causing the knife to bounce of her masked forehead, but a second knife embeds itself in her upper thigh.Feline mask hangs back, talking to someone on a vox bead, but several more cultists arrive from various side doors.You and Annika push open the main entrance door, tumble through, and slam it behind you.You find yourself in an empty field, perhaps several kilometers east of Liamhelm, though it is hard to tell in the dark.Annika glares at you in the gloom.“Are you still going to pretend you are just some random bastard child? You know a lot more than you should, and a lot of very bad people seem to know who you are.” - She notes.
>>5040098>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.>Pretend to be an Inquisitorial Agent, promise to give her some details once you leave the area.>Tackle her to the ground, the Daughters of Peace will probably be here soon, maybe you can give them her, then talk them into leaving you alone.
>>5040100>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.
>>5040100>>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.At this point we should stick with the story just to fuck with her. If we were going to pretend to be an inquisitorial agent (which we technically still are, even if the Inquisitor is dead/corrupted, and hasn't contacted us for over a year) then the last thing we'd do is admit to being an agent, so we have to stick to the original story. But I would be a little smarmy, "remember how the Sexy Librarian said I was the 'other Rhea?' Its because I'm not the bad one. I haven't done anything wrong, lately."
>>5040100>>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.>>5040100No real reason not to. First priority is getting the warp out of here, anyway.
>>5040100>>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.
>Continue sticking with story, note you need to leave this area fast.“Yes, because I AM just some random bastard child...” - You say without much conviction.You are pretty sure at this point Annika believes nothing you say, but you decide to keep to your story, out of spite if nothing else.Then you start running towards Liamhelm, the direction which also seems to have the most nearby ruins to hide in.Annika reads between the lines and doesn’t bother continuing the argument so close to where you enemies can easily catch you.You glance behind you, but see nothing but an empty stone arch, which apparently marks the opening/exit of the pocket dimension you just left.Thanks to your modified eyes, you can see fairly well in the dark despite the minimal light provided by Damnatum Lutum’s moons.The area you are in is often referred to by the inhabitants of Liamhelm as the “Burn Lands”, former agricultural lands that were severely damaged by orbital bombardment during the last phase of the war. All around you are massive holes filled with water, which you know to be quite deep as the heat of the lance strikes “glassed” the holes, and the ground around them, preventing erosion from backfilling the holes. Most crops, trees, and wooden structures were simply burned away to nothing, but there is a nearby cluster of ruined buildings made of brick and cement, no doubt a farmhouse and assorted outbuildings.You and Annika flee into the nearest building, but it doesn’t appear as though anyone is chasing you.Yet.As you further catch your bearings, you realize you aren’t far from the Groxbridge-Stanley Road, and you can see a large truck coming up the road on its way to Groxbridge.No doubt Annika will try to commandeer it, but thinking quick, you come up with another plan...Although during the daytime, inhabitants of Liamhelm are sometimes known to hitchhike in and out of Groxbridge via the Groxbridge-Stanley Road, during the night-time, there is no way a vehicle would stop for anyways. Muggers and car jackers are dime a dozen in Liamhelm, and this stretch of road is their main hunting ground. Although you are pretty sure Annika is from Damnatum Lutum, you hope she isn’t as familiar as you are with the details of this particular region, or is simply too desperate to care. Sure enough, Annika indicates to you she will try to stop the truck. You follow her, but deliberately keep to her right side. While Annika unsuccessfully tries to flag down the truck, you nimbly jump up onto the side and hang on for dear life.No doubt Annika would have tried to do the same thing if she could, but despite her obvious combat skills, she lacks the nightvision, strength, and speed the Dark Eldar added to your body.You can’t help but feel a bit cocky...
>>5041750Whereas you were once intimidated by even the weakest opponents and smallest risks, you now (more or less) keep your cool and escape even the toughest situations without unexpected outside help.You briefly wonder if one or more of the corrupted pieces of your soul removed by the Dark Eldar was responsible for most of your fear.SNAPPOPPOPSNAPThe rusted rail you are holding onto with both bound hands comes loose, before snapping off completely.“Oh sh-” - Is all you manage to say, before you fall off the fast moving vehicle, and bounce at least twice on the pavement before everything goes black.-----------------------------------------------You wake up in a ditch at the side of the road, half-submerged in ditch water.Every part of you hurts. Between your truck accident, being shot, being electrocuted twice, and the various other injuries you have taken recently, you are surprised you can still move. No doubt beneath your jacket and thick pants, every inch of your skin is either blue, purple, yellow, or red.Luckily the Dark Eldar also made some changes to you that enhanced your durability and pain tolerance. Much like Namara surviving the thrown bird bath, you can survive injuries that would kill a normal person, and heal much faster too.You have apparently been unconscious for some time. It is now at least midday, Hallowmas, though it is hard to tell with the grey, cloudy sky.To the east you can see Liamhelm several kilometers away. Heavy smoke rises from one location (the asylum no doubt), and several flying vehicles circle overhead. It looks like someone has finally decided to take the situation seriously.To your west is the sprawl of Groxbridge, and to the southwest is the ruins of the volcanic Mount Rhyo, still leaking thick clouds of smoke into the air (Trys’ta herself claims to have detonated it during the war to wipe out an army of tyranids).As reality slowly starts setting in again, your first thought is that you have to locate Namara as soon as possible. Your heart sinks as you realize she probably got nabbed by the Daughters of Peace as you last saw her unconscious and bound back at The Murder House. But you also feel some obligation to warn some sort of authority on what you know of the chaos cults in the area. You have a sinking feeling at least one of them will try to do something today given Hallowmas’s association with ill fortune, horror, and creatures of underworlds.>Head back to The Murder House as quickly as possible and look for signs of Namara’s whereabouts.>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.>Try to send some sort of warning to the authorities before looking for Namara.
>>5041752>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.
>>5041752>>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.
>>5041752>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.By the way, for the benefit of anyone who isn't familiar with these places being thrown around from the original Damnatum Lutum threads, here's the region map for reference. I've gotten better at drawing maps since then.
>>5041752>>Try to send some sort of warning to the authorities before looking for Namara.
>>5041752>>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.Time to get Namara. The authorities clearly know everything they need to for the time being, no need to get under their feet.
>Skirt the edge of town and travel along the mountain edge to reach The Murder House without running into authorities.You decide to skirt the edge of town in order to avoid any unwanted interactions with the authorities.You manage to saw through your wrist bindings by rubbing them against a sharp fence post. It is a cheap “zip tie” type binding favored by local law enforcement, Annika is surprisingly under-equipped for an Inquisitorial Agent. It is only a short walk north to where the Starrick Pass Road splits of the Groxbridge-Stanley Road. On the Starrick Pass Road, you attract little attention, just another traveler heading back to Liamhelm from Groxbridge. Many either hitchhike to/from the intersection, or walk the whole three hours or so to Groxbridge. The walk is wretchedly unpleasant, the part of you that was submerged in a puddle never really dries, and your body aches from the accumulated injuries.You then cut north towards the mountains rather than head into the downtown core, with the intent to cut back towards the southeast via the forested mountain foothills. As you navigate your way through abandoned hiking trails, and poorly maintained access roads leading to decrepit mansions and chateaus, you occasionally catch glimpses of the PDF rotorcraft circling over the city. Not exactly a top notch response for a planet that is still guarded by a number of Imperial Guard regiments and a few Fleet assets. Perhaps they are distracted elsewhere. Kristoff hinted that HYDRA IX is on Damnatum Lutum to create a “big distraction”, and you doubt limiting themselves just to the dying town of Liamhelm counts as “big” by any measure. Despite your tiredness, and accumulated injuries, you break into a slow jog as your concern for Namara’s well-being increases.After about half an hour of jogging, you find yourself back at The Murder House. You approach cautiously, but see no signs of any intruders on the grounds, or in the house, whether Imperial, Daughter, HYDRA IX, or who knows what else.You are somewhat surprised Annika doesn’t have anyone tearing apart the house looking for ways into the pocket dimension. It is possible that she got nabbed by the Daughters sometime after you escaped by riding on the side of the truck, but somehow you doubt things will be that easy. Either way, The Murder House is undoubtedly compromised, once you find Namara you will have to find a new hidey-hole.You enter the house via the side door and quietly have a look around. No signs of life, but your heart sinks when you find a note on the table near where you last saw Namara.-- If you value your lover’s life, meet us at the Old Cemetery at sundown, by the large crypt with the headless angel – Kristoff. P.S: Don’t invite any “friends”. --
>>5042985In a brief outburst of frustration and rage, you flip the table and shout at the wall. Then, suddenly worried you may have alerted the Daughters or God-Emperor knows who else may be in the house, you flee the house and hide in a dense thicket of shrubs.You then sit and cry for a bit as you consider your next steps.>Lie low until sundown and then go to the indicated location and hear Kristoff out.>Try tipping of the PDF that something will go down in the cemetery, then bust Namara out in the confusion.>Try scoping out the cemetery ahead of time and attempt to get the drop on Kristoff... somehow.
>>5042986>Try tipping of the PDF that something will go down in the cemetery, then bust Namara out in the confusion.
>>5042986>>Try scoping out the cemetery ahead of time and attempt to get the drop on Kristoff... somehow.Might as well get there early. Maybe we should find a nice shrubbery and catch a nap under the bushes if we have time.
>Try scoping out the cemetery ahead of time and attempt to get the drop on Kristoff... somehow.You decide to head down to the Old Cemetery and scope out the location Kristoff said to meet you.Speaking of cemeteries, you realize you are crouched not far from the small family cemetery associated with The Murder House. It is an area you have generally avoided ever since you found out that ghosts were a real thing.You hear an odd whispering noise behind you and freeze, unwilling to turn your head and see what you somehow know is likely to be there.After a few second though, you realize you have to know for sure and turn your head.Gathered in the small cemetery are a small cluster of ghosts standing in a loose semi-circle around another ghost hanging from a tree. There is a certain family resemblance to all the ghosts, and all of them seem to have met tragic or violent ends.As one, they turn their heads and look at you.Nope, screw this, you are out of here, you think to yourself, and flee the area.Technically you should be immune to ghosts, but you have a feeling Kristoff is now controlling them and have little desire to see if he has taught them any new tricks.Plus, ghosts are inherently scary even without any warp tricks.You run down the hill, and cut through the Old Cemetery without really thinking about it, as it has been your normal route into town for days now.As per certain odd local traditions, there are some people about, placing candles, small carvings, and “jack-o’-lanterns” next to the graves of departed loved ones and honored ancestors (generally the latter since the Old Cemetery filled up centuries ago, and only those with family lots can request new burials there). Later in the night there will be wild parties and parades where masked revelers will no doubt strain the patience of the PDF and police brought in to investigate the incident at the asylum, but for now it is a time of silent mourning.Your original plan was to lie low somewhere in the cemetery, but that doesn’t seem like such a good idea now that you know ghosts are about even in relative daylight. Besides, several mourners have seen you and doubtlessly at least one is HYDRA IX. And it just started raining and you are in no mood to be wet.You continue walking south, and end up in Executioner’s Square, the same location in which you found yourself in a shootout yesterday evening. The bodies are gone, but there are a few law enforcers doing forensic work, and some PDF troops lurking about.You make a beeline for the old temple and slip inside, hoping to find somewhere quiet and dry where you can keep an eye on the Old Cemetery, but to your surprise, the temple seems to have been commandeered as an HQ of sorts by PDF troops. Perhaps they had some run-ins with the ghosts already and are hoping sacred ground will keep them safe (the thought had crossed your mind as well).
>>5043887You slip back out and travel east along a narrow alley instead. The boarded townhouses on the north side back onto the Old Cemetery, and if you figure if you travel about half a block east, you will find a townhouse overlooking the crypt with the headless angel.You find a loose paving stone and bash your way through the cheap pressed wood fiber panel blocking the door, then make your way to the rear bedroom on the second floor, picking up an old electric lantern on the way up.As you hoped, it has a pretty good view of the crypt, plus as an added bonus, as an old mattress that is only slightly moldy, and a working clock that seems roughly accurate.With a few hours to go, you decide to take a quick nap and hope no ghosts wake you.-----------------------You wake up disoriented and confused.It takes a few moments to remember where you are, and a few more to sense you are not alone.It has stopped raining and moonlight pours in through the window.The clock is three minutes to midnight, and the ghost of an old lady in a night dress watches you mournfully.You jolt fully awake as a mix of fear, irritation, self-loathing, panic, and adrenaline floods into your system.You bolt out of bed and scramble over to the window. Outside a number of figures, both living and ghosts, are arrayed in a loose mob, facing the crypt. Two figure, likely Kristoff and Namara, stand in front of the crypt, while a number of jack-o’-lanterns have been stacked near or on the crypt, including one placed where the angel’s head should be.There is definitely a strong “ritual sacrifice” vibe to the gathering, and you rush out of the room, ignoring the ghost, run down the stairs, out the back door, and clamber over the remains of the fence.Sure this whole thing has “trap” written over all over it in massive letters, but you really wouldn't be able to live with yourself if Namara got sacrificed just because you were a few minutes late.The mob silently lets you pass.The ghosts are a truly diverse set of individuals, dressed in different fashions, and dead of different causes, as one might expect from a cemetery operated for centuries.The cultists are only slightly less diverse. Mostly ordinary enough looking folks, except all where some sort of mask, whether it be a crude burlap sack, a cloth mask with a monstrous visage painted on it, or a fully sculpted mask of rubber or plastic depicting one of many creatures of local dark folklore and horror stories. Many wear civilian garb, but others are in PDF or law enforcement uniforms. A few near the front wear the black hooded robes worn by the HYDRA IX strike force you encountered in the asylum, and you also see a handful of Daughters of Peace, including rabbit mask. Most of the cultists, regardless of background, are well armed.You arrive at the crypt, where the two figures you saw from the townhouse window are indeed Kristoff and Namara.
>>5043889Kristoff is in his cult robes and skull-printed mask. His eyes smolder merrily with daemonic light.Namara sits on the grass bound and gagged.“So what do you want Kristoff?” - You ask.“I am merely returning lost property.” - Replies Kristoff. His cryptic smugness is getting pretty tiresome for you.“What lost property?” - You reply, seeing no alternative but to play his game.Kristoff holds up the black gemstone necklace, the source of the recent warp ghost infestation.“That is very generous, what do you want in return?” - You reply, highly doubting it will be that easy.“Oh, it is not for you, it is for our other guest, who, in fact has lost three items...” - Replies Kristoff.“You are such a melodramatic little weasel.” - Says a familiar voice behind you.You turn and see Trys’ta walking through the crowd behind you. It takes you a moment to realize that she is “in costume”. The frilly lingerie, thigh high boots, and black cape are well within the range of eccentric clothing you have seen her wear. Only the clearly fake, elongated canine teeth give away that she is dressed as her interpretation of a vampyre, a blood sucking night demon of local legend. Strangely appropriate given the Dark Eldar need to drain the souls of others.“Hand over the gems Kristoff.” – Demands Trys’ta.“Push the button first.” – Replies Kristoff.Trys’ta sighs, pulls something small from inside one of her boots, and depresses her thumb.The nearby temple, the one you visited earlier, explodes in an impressive blue-tinged fireball.In its place is a massive, gaunt, glowing figure, at least 50 meters high. You realize it is probably a Dark Eldar hololith given Trys’ta’s involvement, but it is a chilling sight nonetheless.It appearance also seems to be some sort of signal. Gunfire erupts from all over the town, and one of the PDF rotorcraft circling to the north explodes, likely hit by some sort of cheap missile or RPG.“Happy Hallowmas!” – Says Kristoff, before tossing the necklace to Trys’ta, then signaling his small mob to depart the cemetery and join the chaotic fighting in the town.Soon you, Trys’ta, and Namara are alone outside the crypt.You breath a sigh of relief.Suddenly Trys’ta spins around, grabs you by the front of your jacket, and effortlessly lifts you into the air.“So how exactly did Kristoff get the necklace? That I entrusted to you? Which is like pretty much the only meaningful task I have ever given you?” - Asks Trys’ta coldly.It suddenly occurs to you that being sacrificed by Kristoff might not actually be that bad compared to whatever the half-sane sadist holding you in the air has in mind for you...>Tell a very abridged version of the truth as quickly as you can, before she loses interest.>Plead for mercy and try to appeal to her soft side you have seen from time to time.>Try to break free and make a run for it.
>>5043890>>Tell a very abridged version of the truth as quickly as you can, before she loses interest.>>Plead for mercy and try to appeal to her soft side you have seen from time to time.Both of these, focus on the former. Our main mistake was getting caught in the firefight, but for the most part we've tried our best not to screw up too badly.Also why is greentxt brown now?
>>5043892Also of course all her fights have gone badly, she didn't have a holster. Stuffing a gun in your pocket only works if you get the drop in someone, but if you're defending yourself you're going to fumble the draw (like she did in the square, and probably also in the fight against the spirit. She can't hurt it with bullets but she could have used them as a distraction while she closed the distance)
>>5043892Support.Greentext is spooky, since this is hallowmas. Check the theme button on the lower right of the page if you want to change it back.Also, Namara is still here, right? Kristoff didn't just leave with her ? >>5041900
>>5043898Makes sense. Green is already pretty spooky though.
>>5043890>Plead for mercy and try to appeal to her soft side you have seen from time to time.
>>5043895Rhea's combat training is rudimentary at best, so she doesn't really appreciate the importance of holsters. To be fair though, she doesn't want to be seen openly carrying a weapon and drawing attention to herself. Also rushing the spirit as quickly as possible was probably the right call.>>5043898Namara got left at the crypt with Rhea and Trys'ta.
>>5044127I mean it really depends on what kind of holster she has, but she'd probably do best with an AIWB. Even if people noticed the bulge they'd just assume she's Slutty Rhea.
>Tell a very abridged version of the truth as quickly as you can, before she loses interest.>Plead for mercy and try to appeal to her soft side you have seen from time to time.You start babbling about how you accidentally got caught up in a shootout between the Daughters and the police and how it really, really, really isn’t your fault, and please be gentle...But before you can start thinking of explaining how some thief likely took it at the hospital, then Kristoff took it from some weird eldar ghost person, Trys’ta merely starts laughing and drops you back on the ground, which causes you to stumble backwards and trip over Namara.“Hahahaha, you are such dolt. You should have seen the look on your face! Do you need a change of pants? By the Muses I missed how adorably stupid you two are. Dumb and Dumber don’t really cut it anymore.” - Laughs Trys’ta.She tosses you the necklace.“It wasn’t even what I thought it was, but I needed it back from Kristoff to be sure. I showed up at the Murder House not too long ago and saw the note. Grabbed a couple HYDRA IX henchmen and their local proxies and tortured my way up the food chain. Kristoff is pretty powerful with that ring on though, and his seer knew I was coming in any event. I made a bit of a deal to add some holographic trickery to Kristoff’s little revolution.” - Explains Trys’ta.You nod dumbly at all of this. It is strangely considerate of her to explain her unexpected appearance. She is well aware of your tendency to ask questions about everything, but rarely gives you meaningful answers, and instead treats you like a small child or harmless pet instead. “Anyways, I am contractually obligated to see if Kristoff or his superiors intend to destroy the planet, but first, I want to partake in this “Hallowmas Revolution” of Kristoff’s, it is very... aesthetic... if nothing else.” - Continues Trys’ta.She pulls a knife from her boot and cuts through Namara’s bonds, then pulls a small splinter pistol from her other boot and trots confidently in the direction of the nearest fight without giving you any further directions.You pull Namara into a tight hug as you consider your options.>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous.>Find somewhere close by to hunker down, Trys’ta can probably find you when she wants you, until then, no need to get caught up in things.>Flee the town completely. Again, Trys’ta can probably find you when she wants you, until then, Liamhelm seems very much not safe.
>>5044865>>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous.To be fair to Kristoff, it's probably the Imperials who will end up destroying the planet, but we're not Orikan the Diviner and probably can't survive on a planet with a cracked mantle until someone picks us up 3,000 years later. Nor would we want to.Also, Trys'ta is by far our best option for avoiding Annika and the Daughters of Peace. If we're her pets, it's her job to untangle the leash after we go the wrong way around a lamp post and get ourselves stuck.
>>5044865>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous.
>>5044865>Flee the town completely. Again, Trys’ta can probably find you when she wants you, until then, Liamhelm seems very much not safe
>>5044865>>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous.We may be a poor shot, but our bodies are just plain better. Let's get some combat experience and a holster. With Tryst'a around, we're actually safer compared to most of the time. Also, we don't want to bore her. That would end terribly
>>5044865>>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous.
>Follow Trys’ta into the havoc, she is your best ticket out of Liamhelm, and ‘destroy the planet’ seems ominous. Feeling like you are probably making a mistake, but seeing no other option, you and Namara run after Trys’ta as best you can.You get slowed down navigating the debris covering Executioner’s Square from the now demolished temple, but correctly guess she would head towards the largest concentration of anarchy in the area, which is likely on Old Main Street, so you turn west on Old Jail Lane. En route, you pass a few fallen PDF troops, law enforcers, and armed civilians in fright masks. Perhaps the civilians were with Kristoff’s group, but you don’t recognize any of them. However, judging by all the fighting going on, Kristoff likely has dozens, if not hundreds of followers here. No doubt at least some were recruited using the pamphlets you saw back at the asylum. There are a couple of Daughters as well, or at least their local proxies among the Furry Cults and wealthy degenerates from Alabaster and the University frats and sororities.You reach Old Main Street and find Trys’ta giving a brutal beat down to a group of young PDF conscripts who probably mistook her for one of the Daughters despite her lack of a mask. Perhaps honoring her often ignored commitment to protect this world from the forces of Chaos, she is taking them down with non-lethal but painful kicks, punches, and knife stabs. You feel a pang of sympathy, after all, it wasn’t that long ago that you were drafted to fight a foe you were hopelessly outmatched against.Elsewhere, the street is in chaos as PDF, law enforcers, and average civilians struggle against masked cultists. It doesn’t help that many loyal citizens were dressed in costumes for the parade, and some haven’t had the brains to ditch their masks yet.There are thankfully few ghosts though, and no sign of Kristoff.>Go help Trys’ta beat up PDF troops.>Go help protect some civilians. In particular, you see some cultists heading to Bodger’s Pub.>Avoid conflict until Trys’ta gets bored and starts her investigation into HYDRA IX’s evil plan.
>>5047790>>Go help protect some civilians. In particular, you see some cultists heading to Bodger’s Pub.
>>5047790>>5043898>>Go help protect some civilians. In particular, you see some cultists heading to Bodger’s Pub.
>>5047790>>Avoid conflict until Trys’ta gets bored and starts her investigation into HYDRA IX’s evil plan.
>Go help protect some civilians. In particular, you see some cultists heading to Bodger’s Pub. You decide to help protect Bodger’s Pub and hope Trys’ta doesn’t leave the area while you are distracted.You approach the group of seven cultists as they try to break into the pub by bashing down the door. By their behavior and equipment, you figure they are low level cult members, who were probably given general instructions to cause havoc, and decided that stealing alcohol is the best way to do so.Four of them wear fright masks and lower class clothing, while the other three wear cheaper versions of the erotic clothing favored by local proxies of the Daughters.As you approach, they stop what they are doing and demand to know who you are.Not wanting to incriminate yourself in case Bodger or someone else you know is on the other side of the door, and doubtful this group would know who you are, or even who your evil twin is, you merely shrug and kick their leader, a large, fat man in stained overalls and a jack-o’-lantern mask, hard in the gut.You grab the pitchfork he dropped, and stab it into the face of a man in cheap skull mask and black hoodie before he could finish reloading his sawed-off shotgun.Meanwhile Namara wrestles a revolver from the grasp of a woman wearing nothing but a cheap plastic feline mask and shoots her in the foot with her own weapon. She then uses the revolver to kill a man with a burlap sack mask wielding a meat cleaver.The rest of the group backs off a bit, but you see more coming out of the corner of your eye.You also see Trys’ta hijacking a flat bed truck with a giant plastic skeleton on the back, apparently part of some sort of parade. She tries driving it south, but there are too many other abandoned parade vehicles blocking the road. It looks like she is now turning the vehicle around in order to drive northeast towards the mountains.>Continue fighting outside Bodger’s Pub.>Break free of the fight and jump on the back of the truck.>Go fight with some nearby PDF troops to get some better weapons before jumping on the truck.
>>5049691>Continue fighting outside Bodger’s Pub.
>>5049691>>Break free of the fight and jump on the back of the truck.grab the shotgun before heading out. knowing our luck, we'll pull the cultists away from the pub when they try to chase us.
>>5049697Aye, let's try that. Don't want to be left behind.
>>5049691>>Break free of the fight and jump on the back of the truck.Don't want to be here when shit truly breaks
>>5049971>>5049703Also, I mean, it's still Rhea and Namara. We no longer have the element of surpise and the cultists are getting reinforcements. Better to just leave with a good impression before we manage to get overwhelmed and lose the fight.
Huh. No update yesterday. Hope its not ded
>>5051338His schedule seems a little inconsistent but i feel like we'll at least get a conclusion to the current story if he decides to wrap it up
>Break free of the fight and jump on the back of the truck.You decide to make a break for it and jump on the back of Trys’ta’s truck.You reach down and pick up the dropped shotgun, but unfortunately it is an old double-barreled break-action model, and its previous owner loaded one shell tops before you dropped him.In the chaos of the melee, no one tries to contest you leaving, no one you notice anyways.You and Namara get into the back of the flat bed truck as it drives aggressively northeast.You almost fall off the back several times during sharp turns, but manage to stay on somehow until you reach your destination, which to your surprise is the massive, allegedly Dark Age of Technology era complex known as The Bunker.Even millennia of existence hasn’t diminished the shiny, rounded plates that make up much of the building’s exterior. Not for the first time you are reminded of Tau designs, and wonder if the Tau somehow reverse engineered ancient human technology.What you really can’t figure out though is why you are here. The Bunker has been used in the past as storage for military garrisons, but it has been sealed off for nearly a century.A three story tall door built directly into a mountain face, with several smaller structures on either side with no visible entrances, The Bunker is the subject of several legends made by locals, not surprisingly given Damnatum Lutum’s strong, but perhaps justified, fear of anything that comes from beneath the surface of the planet.Trys’ta stops the truck outside The Bunker, strolls over to a rusted manhole, shifts it aside, then drops down the revealed hole.“Coming?” - She asks tauntingly from somewhere inside, though with a lewd accent that makes it sound more like “Cumming?”.A bit uneasy, you and Namara head over to the opening (which thankful has footholds, and climb down the narrow shaft, before ending up in an even narrower horizontal shaft following Trys’ta while crawling on your hands and knees.You end up in a small, foul smelling room with clear architectural similarities to the exterior of The Bunker. The only light source is a tiny, flickering light on a control panel, but it is enough for you to make out the details of the room with your modified eyes.Five rotting corpses with the distinct face covering hoods that the Frozen Heart Kabal often forces upon their victims are piled in one corner.Several PDF uniforms are piled nearby.Trys’ta seems mildly surprised by the presence of the corpses, but after a few moments, comes up with one of her trademark odd ideas.“Alright, everyone strip and grab a uniform, a disguise may be useful where we are headed...” - Commands Trys’ta.>Comply without question.>Ask questions, lots of questions (where we are going, why is the world about to end, why are there bodies here, etc.)
>>5051362>>Ask questions, lots of questions (where we are going, why is the world about to end, why are there bodies here, etc.)Asking stupid questions is kind of Rhea's thing, so Trys'ta might as well get what she paid for when she got us. Still, best foot forward, ask the questions while we're changing so it doesn't look like we're being disobedient or obstinate. It sounds like at least the uniforms aren't currently being worn by the corpses so it could be worse. Try to find a holster.
>>5051371We'll annoy her, but in a stupid endearing puppy way, so it's okay, as long as we're also obeying. Let's maybe finally get a holster. If we do it right, we can make it look like we have a sidearm under our uniform.
>Ask questions, lots of questions (where we are going, why is the world about to end, why are there bodies here, etc.) As you disrobe, you bombard Trys’ta with questions, do which she gives answers which are mildly helpful at best.“Where are we going?” – reply – “We are visiting an old friend...”“Who?” – reply – “You don’t know her, and likely won’t like her much.”“What is Kristoff up to?” – reply – “Who knows, he probably isn’t the senior operative here, just a distraction...”“This is taking too long, Friii’yste will probably have better uniforms, let’s go.” - Says Trys’ta, grabbing both you and Namara by the upper arms and dragging you out of the room before you had a chance to find a uniform that fits.Two corridors and a stairwell later, and you find yourself in a massive room, no doubt the room directly behind the main door of The Bunker.It is cluttered with piles of old military equipment, massive shelving units reaching up to the ceiling containing yet more junk, and garages and offices made from pre-fab structures, but it is obvious this was once one large, long room, or perhaps the start of a tunnel.It is cold in here, barely above freezing at best, and although Trys’ta seems just fine striding around half-naked in all sorts of weather conditions, apparently this is not one of the “gifts” that the Dark Eldar gave you when they made your new body.“Your ‘Imperium’ can be very narrow minded sometimes, even after finding some of the old transit tunnels during the War, they never made any effort to find them all. Perhaps they are afraid of what goes bump in the dark.” - Says Trys’ta with a wink as you follow her to the back of the room.She grabs the end of a piece of tarp and tosses the whole thing in a corner, revealing a Dark Eldar jetbike.She then fidgets with something and part of the back wall disappears, revealing an ominous void even your eyes can’t see far into.“All aboard the funmobile!” - Yells out Trys’ta, and you and Namara scramble to wedge yourselves behind Trys’ta as she settles herself down in front of the controls.The jetbike wasn’t meant for two people, and definitely not three, but somehow you all fit on, with you hugging Trys’ta tightly from behind, and Namara doing the same to you. This isn’t your first time riding a jetbike with Trys’ta, and are well aware how fast it accelerates, and how reckless Trys’ta drives.
>>5052166After a short period flying through pitch darkness (but given the speed of the jetbike may have still allowed you to travel considerable distance) you find yourself at what appears to be a crudely lit subway station, with many holes in one section of wall around a door, almost like someone tried to bolt a bunch of steel plates over the door, then someone else removed them. Thanks to the lighting you can now see the massive train tracks on the ground. Whatever train once used them was at least as tall and wide as a Baneblade, and perhaps nearly a hundred meters long judging by the length of the station platform.“Never try to seal in a pocket dimension, it is pointless.” - Notes Trys’ta cryptically, apparently in reference to the doorway.She pushes open the door, and you follow her through a series of poorly lit, illogically organized corridors and stairwells before ending up in some sort of waiting area with cheap metal benches and a broken screen which probably once showed train arrival and departure times.Strange that it is so far from the subway station itself, though judging by Trys’ta’s earlier remark, you are now in another pocket dimension.Wonderful.Not.After a short time period waiting for who knows what, a section of wall disappears revealing a figure that rivals any of your nightmares, and behind it you catch a brief glimpse of some sort of lab that is probably worse than anything you have ever seen, even the short nightmare you once had you now believe was a glimpse into Slaanesh’s realm.You recognize the creature as a Haemonculus, a breed of evil you thankfully rarely encountered during your time at the Frozen Heart, aside from during the creation of your body, the memory of which you are pretty sure your mind subconsciously suppressed to preserve your sanity.>Fuck this, flee area.>Avoid eye contact, suppress your fear as best you can.>Hide behind Trys’ta just in case it is hostile, but mostly just because you are scared of it.
>>5052169>>Hide behind Trys’ta just in case it is hostile, but mostly just because you are scared of it.I don't know what she has planned for us, but I'm interested in finding out. Rhea probably would be happier not knowing, though.And unlike the other pocket dimension, this one is probably somehow connected to Commorragh, so running away might be really bad.
>>5052169>Avoid eye contact, suppress your fear as best you can.
>>5052169>>Hide behind Trys’ta just in case it is hostile, but mostly just because you are scared of it.
>>5052169>Hide behind Trys’ta just in case it is hostile, but mostly just because you are scared of it.
>Hide behind Trys’ta just in case it is hostile, but mostly just because you are scared of it. With a squeak you jump off the cold bench you were sitting on and hide behind Trys’ta.Namara pulls out the revolver she had somehow stuffed in her underwear and points it at the Haemonculus, who simply ignores her.“Trick or Treat!” - Exclaims Trys’ta, holding out her cupped hands in front of her, in apparent imitation of a largely abandoned Hallowmas practice you once heard of.The Haemonculus laughs, which sounds more like a death rattle, and pulls several Wonka chocolate bars from somewhere and drops them in Trys’ta’s hands.“Let’s see, the little amateur botanist is dressed like a vampyre, and the two creations of Kalak are dressed as whores? Beach goers? Doesn’t matter, it is the thought that counts...” - Says the Haemonculus.Despite your terror, your mind does pick up on a few facts. Trys’ta and the Haemonculus are clearly speaking Low Gothic for the benefit of you and Namara. And it is clearly familiar enough with both Trys’ta (based on the reference to her botany hobby), and the creation of you and Namara (based on the reference to Kalak, the Haemonculus that Trys’ta has occasionally referred to as your creator).“At your service Lord Friii’yste” – Replies Trys’ta and does a weird motion that looks a bit like a curtsy.Trys’ta then steps back and pushes you and Namara in front of her.“These are my pets Rhea and Namara, aren’t they cute?” - Coos Trys’ta.Namara is still holding the revolver in her hand, but seems to have the sense not to use it. Neither Trys’ta nor Friii’yste seem to remotely care.Trys’ta forces you and Namara to sit back down, and hands each of you a chocolate bar. You aren’t sure what possibility is worse, that Friii’yste made some sort of enhancement to the chocolate, or that it is one of the bars you saw tainted by the forces of Nurgle back in Wonka Land. Friii’yste calls for someone called “Blueberry” to fetch some tea while she and Trys’ta talk business in surprisingly cultured Low Gothic.It turns out you are not far from Van Kijeck Island, site of the infamous Stonehenge weapons complex. Instrumental in destroying the Tyranid fleet and ending The War, you had heard rumors back in Liamhelm that it had been largely abandoned due to insurmountable mechanical failures and focus placed on reactivating the other two weapons complexes instead.However, based on Trys’ta and Friii’yste’s conversation, the real reason it was abandoned was due to a persistent Chaos taint that always seems to return no matter how many times it is suppressed. As a result, the site was turned over to the followers and allies of one Inquisitor Rosen, who in turn handed it off to an Inquisitor named Chalmers. Who, is apparently, as Friii’yste has recently uncovered is a shapeshifting daemon...
>>5053639Somehow you already sort of knew that, you are just not sure why. Occasionally your memories are a bit blurry, perhaps some were lost during the cloning process, or perhaps they were lost on one of the many occasions that agents of HYDRA IX or the Daughters of Peace got a chance to tamper with your mind.Even worst, one of the Imperial personnel that Friii’yste has been periodically kidnapping from the island for “questioning” was an HYDRA IX agent in disguise. Although said agent didn’t know anything useful other than that other agents would eventually contact her, clearly HYDRA IX has some sort of presence on the island.Trys’ta seems strangely ecstatic about this news, though it quickly becomes apparent this is only because she now has an excuse to visit the Craftworld Eldar Kerala. Friii’yste makes a snide comment that confirms your long held theory that Trys’ta has a crush on Kerala, or at least lusts for her.However, your amusement at this doesn’t last long. Trys’ta states she will leave for Groxbridge immediately, and leaves it up to Friii’yste to oversee your infiltration of the compromised PDF regiment providing perimeter security for the island.“Blueberry” finally arrives with the tea just after Trys’ta leaves.A shapely, nude Tau female with a skin heavily decorated by ritual scarring, flaying, and piercing, and a small spiky metallic ball instead of a head, she is equal parts horrific, erotic, and strangely aesthetic.You spend the next hour sipping tea with Friii’yste as she briefs you on everything she has uncovered about the island.She has been watching over it ever since The War via a series of vid-capture devices, supplemented by the monitoring of vox and noospheric transmissions, and the periodic capture of luckless individuals for "questioning".Apparently the Frozen Heart Kabal makes good money selling fuel for the reactors that power Stonehenge and the other two similar devices and want to protect their investment. Furthermore, Friii’syte is an expert of sorts on Chaos and other Warp phenomenon and first set up shop in this pocket dimension during The War to experiment on the affects of Warp energy on mortals. You struggle to be polite with Friii’yste, but even your love of information, and the fact she apparently pioneered some of the null stone enhancements you have benefited from, isn’t enough for you to overlook the fact that she is a demented sadist of the highest order, and just being in her presence instills a deep, gnawing terror.Eventually, Friii’yste explains her plan for you to infiltrate the island. A small regiment of PDF fodder is based on the island, and is periodically replenished with unfortunate individuals due to a steady stream of losses (some due to Friii’yste herself, some due to weather or accidents, and some are mysteries even Friii’yste can’t explain).
>>5053640A boat bringing the latest platoon of fresh meat capsized in a storm earlier today with no survivors. Friii’yste’s “brilliant plan” is to stick you and Namara in PDF uniforms, and dump you in the ocean near Port Gunther. Apparently new PDF recruits for the island are usually chosen at random with no paper trail indicating their redeployment collected by either their old or new regiment, so there is no risk of someone realizing you weren’t supposed to be on board the ship.Before you and Namara have a chance to protest this plan, Friii’yste casually informs you the tea you are drinking is drugged.------------------------------------------------------You wake up on a rocky beach, covered in rotting seaweed, and half submerged in frigid ocean water.Through blurry eyes, you can barely make out an old seawall ahead of you, and a few derelict structures on top of it.If you had a penny for each time you woke up on a beach in life threatening circumstances, you would have four pennies, but it is strange how often it happens...However, unlike on the tropical paradise world of Archipelagia the beaches here are filthy, coarse, and smell like rotting fish, seaweed, and sewage. Also, the water is far colder, and the risk of hypothermia is very real.You stumble upright, look around, then spot Namara still unconscious and pull her out of the water.You hear some whistles blowing somewhere, someone has clearly seen you, but even your enhanced eyes don’t work well when filled with salt and grit.Feeling utterly exhausted, you suddenly pitch forward and fall on your face.------------------------------------------------You wake up in an infirmary bed.A youngish woman in a captain’s uniform is smoking a lho-stick and holding a bottle of amasec while looking down at you.“Oh. You are awake. Finally. You were in a shipwreck. Your dark skinned friend told us all about it. The medic will be back soon. Don’t mind me, I am just here because I left my amasec. Brief me once the medic declares you fit.” - Says the captain with the tone of someone who has stopped caring about anything in life.She departs, and a grizzled half-mad looking old man arrives not long after.He is heavily intoxicated and a lecherous manner to him and you shudder at the realization that he was probably the one who checked your body for injuries.. You don’t really want to be in the room with him, and also dearly want to check on what Namara is doing, but also you still feel like shit, and the thought of leaving your warm blanket to wander the no doubt cold and damp settlement isn’t appealing.>Exaggerate injuries so you can stay in bed.>Claim you are fine and push for a clean bill of health.>Just get up and leave, you have important things to do.
>>5053642>Claim you are fine and push for a clean bill of health.Ace Combat reference?
>>5053642>>Exaggerate injuries so you can stay in bed.
>>5053642>Exaggerate injuries so you can stay in bed.And refresh a more comprehensive checkup
>>5053660not particularly, clean bill of health is a common enough expression, and hot shots wanting to get back in the fray is a pretty common trope>>5053766probably not the best idea as Rhea has had significant improvements made to her body by the Dark Eldar which may be noticed
>>5053642>>Claim you are fine and push for a clean bill of health.if not>Just get up and leave, you have important things to do.>>5053954is right. We cannot be put through anything other than a visual examination, otherwise this infiltration will fail before it has even begun. Say we're fine, if he starts talking about running test, just walk out. If questioned, blame it on you feeling fine, and him being creepy. Check up on Namar, then maybe leave the hospital/ go find an officer together. They won't turn down willing recruits, considering they're down an entire shipment, and we showed up later than expected. We may also need to pace ourselves in training until we can come up with an excuse, depending on how corrupted those guys are.
>>5053642>>Just get up and leave, you have important things to do.Just find Namara and then get to work.>>5053970>>5053954I agree.
>>5053954Meant to write reject instead of renewal. Damn autocorrect.
>>5054186*instead of refresh
>>5053954I was talking about Stonehenge
>>5054224maybethe Stonehenge superweapon was taken from the original Damnatum Lutum greentext threads, like many other things that appear on Damnatum Lutum
>Claim you are fine and push for a clean bill of health.You grudgingly accept that you have stayed in bed long enough and clamber upright.It is not hard for you to convince the medic you are fine, you merely state you are fine, and he shrugs and accepts.He notes that your uniform has probably already been brought to your new billet, and that he hasn’t seen Namara “for a while”.Concerned by this, you resolve to search for her, in your underclothes if necessary.To your dismay, you note that at some point your civilian underwear was replaced with an ill-fitted and much used shorts and undershirt combo. Either the medic or Friii’yste must have changed you. Your not sure what possibility is worse.Actually, no, it is Friii’yste, definitely Friii’yste would be worse.You also take note of your countless bruises and scrapes you gathered over the past two days or so. Luckily your enhanced healing factor has done into overdrive, even the bullet wound looks partially healed.You get directions to your billet from the medic, and trudge out into the frigid rain.Because of course it would be raining.Port Gunther is a shithole excuse for a village that makes Liamhelm look like an upper class gated community.The largest of the three squatter communities that once existed on the island before being purged during The War, it is a rough collection of shacks, sheds, and houses made of rusted corrugated metal panels and/or rotting wood planks. A few older looking buildings are made of concrete blocks or rough cut stone, but they are definitely in the minority. Fish nets and slit crab traps are everywhere, leaving little doubt to the main economic driver in the community prior to the purge.These days, the main inhabitants are a company of PDF soldiers, one of six providing security to the island, and providing the Inquisition and cogboys with a steady supply of expendable labor and fodder when needed.Friii’yste informed you that discipline in Fort Gunther has become increasingly lax ever since most of the researchers got pulled from Stonehenge. These days there is little for the Port Gunther garrison to do except help unload supplies that arrive by boat (which happens as little as once a month) and occasionally patrol the coastline of their sector of the island. Due to the lack of purpose, wretched weather, and the steady stream of disappearances, morale at Port Gunther is basically negligible.On your short walk to your billet, you see plenty of evidence of this. Although the foul weather has driven most of the soldiers indoors, you see more than a few outside to vomit, relieve themselves, or simply to stare blankly at nothingness. A few soldiers are armed and on patrol, but many such individuals are solitary, and seem more driven by fear and paranoia then by discipline.
>>5054463You also notice many of them are young, mostly in the 18-26 range, which greatly increases their chances of being hit by the lottery determined military draft.Though by "young" you really mean roughly your own age, just far less mature and jaded.All in all, you are getting very strong deja vu vibes from this place, no thanks to the fact you began your own military service in a similarly dysfunctional posting.Camp Xenos Purge, that was what, barely six months ago? Sometimes it seems like ages, and that you can barely remember you life before then.By the time you are halfway to your billet, you are soaked to the bone, your undershirt is transparent (some things never change), and your socks feel like they have soaked up about a pound of mud each.Namara comes out of a large mess tent with two cups of recaf.She is wearing a poorly fitted PDF uniform and a torn foul weather poncho, but still looks a lot warmer and drier than you.She seems surprised you are up, as you were in deep sleep barely 10 minutes ago. Note to self, don’t take drunken, lecherous medics words for things.Namara leads you back to your squad billet, a ruined two story wooden building right on the ocean with a partially collapsed roof, and a body hanging from a support beam.Even in a village full of decrepit buildings, this seems like a poor choice for a billet, and Namara says it was chosen by the sergeant to prove to the ocean “we are not afraid of it”. Also on the rare clear days, it is one of the best vantage points in the village.The inside is even worse than the outside.Most of the sleeping bags are clustered on the ground floor in crude tents made of tarp, but as new arrivals, you are assigned to the second floor, where rain pours in freely from holes in the roof, and cracks in the walls, and the whole place smells like corpse due to the body rotting outside.Your uniform is drying on some crates under one of the intact sections of roof, but you doubt it will be dry anytime soon without the sun or some sort of fire.Namara points out a much patched sleeping bag on a pile of rags as yours.Lovely.>Head back to the infirmary, at least it is warm and dry there.>Go to sleep here, you might as well get used to it. Friii’yste hinted it may be a couple of days before Trys’ta shows up to check on you, and she isn’t the most reliable being in the universe.>Go report to the captain.>Start investigating the garrison for signs of trouble like pamphlets, HYDRA IX markings, orgies, whatever. You honestly aren’t sure what you will find here that Friii’yste couldn’t.
>>5054229Yeah, that's from Ace Combat. Some sort of ground-to-air/low orbit railgun. Anti-asteroid purpose, but with 40k ships being so big and slow when in low orbit, it should have made a killing. (as I didn't read Damnatum Lutum)>Get dressed>Go report to the captain.>Start investigating the garrison for signs of trouble like pamphlets, HYDRA IX markings, orgies, whatever. You honestly aren’t sure what you will find here that Friii’yste couldn’t.Let's get acquainted, not like we could stay dry in here anyways. Once we have orders (or what passes for it in this dump), we should try and keep our ears peeled: what are the patrolling loners afraid of ? What areas and times are considered dangerous ? Are there individuals in large gatherings or looking less bored than the rest ? What are the weird rules every soldier knows and passes on ? Maybe useless, but with an all but proven Chaos taint, they may hold some promise.The kind of intel you get by mingling in for a while, not periodic long range observation. Just waltz in somewhere, nod to whoever is there, sit down and listen to ramblings, basically.
>>5054465>Head back to the infirmary, at least it is warm and dry there.
>>5054465>>Start investigating the garrison for signs of trouble like pamphlets, HYDRA IX markings, orgies, whatever. You honestly aren’t sure what you will find here that Friii’yste couldn’t.It's not so much about us finding whatever it is, so much as whatever it is finding us. We can report to the captain of we see him or her, but no reason to rush things.
>>5054465>>Start investigating the garrison for signs of trouble like pamphlets, HYDRA IX markings, orgies, whatever. You honestly aren’t sure what you will find here that Friii’yste couldn’t.
>Start investigating the garrison for signs of trouble like pamphlets, HYDRA IX markings, orgies, whatever. You honestly aren’t sure what you will find here that Friii’yste couldn’t. You grudgingly put on your still soaked uniform (a bland beige jacket and pants) and step back outside.Outside is just as bad as before, except now there are a few snowflakes mixed in with the rain.You arbitrarily start your search by wandering the port.It stretches along about a kilometer and a half of shoreline, but most of it is abandoned. Individual squads have taken over some of the larger buildings as billets, while a few smaller buildings are used as gun nests and guard towers. The captain’s office, infirmary, and comm tower are new pre-fab concrete buildings, while the mess hall and several storage areas are covered by large tents. There is a pre-fab dock made of interlinked pontoons so that larger ships can dock.Behind one of the storage tents, you find an old sign that once said “Welcome to Port Gunther” but “Gunther” was scratched out and replaced with “Hellhole”.As you walk about, Namara fills you in on what little she has found out during the few hours she was awake before you.The squad you are assigned to is an under strength “left-overs” squad of poor performing new recruits under the command of a slightly unhinged war veteran. The platoon’s lieutenant disappeared three weeks ago, and no one ever replaced him, as a result, the platoon’s sergeants report directly to the captain, who generally ignores them in favor of the other two platoons with better organization. Not that she gives much instruction to these platoons either, unless directly told to assign men to a task by another senior officer or one of the Inquisitorial agents at the weapon site.>Go visit the captain.>Go visit your sergeant.>Try to track down your squad mates who are not currently with the sergeant.
>>5056184>>Try to track down your squad mates who are not currently with the sergeant.It will be fun to see how "normal people" perceive our adorable little bundle of paranoia and self-interest. Most people seem to think Rhea is a little dim, but that doesn't hurt anything. If anything, it's worked out well. Maybe finding the sergeant would be best, but he might send us on an errand or sexually assault one or the both of them. Or he'll ask why we came back so soon.
>>5056184>Try to track down your squad mates who are not currently with the sergeant.Back to the beginning heh
>>5056184>Go visit your sergeant
>>5056184>Try to track down your squad mates who are not currently with the sergeant
>Try to track down your squad mates who are not currently with the sergeant.You decide to track down some of your squad mates who aren’t currently with your sergeant, Travers.Namara leads you to a rotting storage shed where one of your new squad mates told Namara that they often meet to have a few drinks.You are soon introduced to Genny, Lars, and Dougson, three conscripts from Groxbridge who accept their shit posting with a mix of dark humor and nihilism.You can’t help but be reminded of the conscripts you did your own first posting with, not to mention Genny reminds you a lot of yourself. You feel more than a bit guilty that one of the reasons they are so demoralized is that your own Dark Eldar masters have been snatching soldiers periodically.You ask some gentle probing questions that seem logical enough for someone new to such a grim, disorderly posting, but that also might point you in the direction of Daughter or HYDRA IX activity.Unfortunately, you don’t turn up much.The alcohol all comes from official ration shipments, the reason there is so much of it is likely that on paper an entire brigade sized force is supposed to be guarding the island, not a group that is battalion sized at best. There are also large stockpiles of unused rations in the harbor, which support this theory.The reason for the disorderly conduct a combination of poor weather, mysterious disappearances, and lax discipline. There don’t seem to be any ringleaders, though some soldiers are obviously less disciplined than others.You and Namara try and act tough in order to suggest that you may have past combat experience, not uncommon given The War was only a few years ago, however, no one seems to be buying it. Perhaps for the best since you and Namara haven’t really worked out a backstory yet, except that Namara arrived with an off-world regiment (which both explains her complexion, which is much darker than local standard, and is also ironically the truth, Namara did arrive with an off-world regiment during The War, but obviously the fact that she departed later was left out).After about an hour of talking, you decide you won’t learn much from this group.>Go find the sergeant, he seems like the type who may get offended if you avoid him too long.>Go report in to the captain, she is expecting it at some point.>Go to sleep, you still feel like shit and your enhanced healing only goes so far.>Go find some of the more rowdier soldiers and check for signs of corruption.
>>5058547>>Go find the sergeant, he seems like the type who may get offended if you avoid him too long.
>>5058547>>Go find the sergeant, he seems like the type who may get offended if you avoid him too longMight as well, I guess.
>Go find the sergeant, he seems like the type who may get offended if you avoid him too long.You decide to go see the sergeant next. He sounds like a jerk, so you might as well avoid offending him since it looks like you may be stuck here for a while.You track down Sergeant Travers in the mess hall. He is eating dinner with two other members of your squad, a woman named Janice, and a man named “Brick”.Cans of corpse rations naturally, one would think a world with as much agriculture as Damnatum Lutum could do better, but apparently not.Travers and his friends have a definite edge to them. Veterans of The War, they all appeared to have survived it fairly unscathed physically, but not mentally.Travers seems paranoid and high strung, Janice has a predatory sociopathic air to her, and Brick just seems like a thug and a bully.They all seem to regard themselves as superior to you, and their naturally more assertive personalities seems to trigger your innate submissiveness, and Namara's innate stubbornness. Perhaps wanting to see your capabilities, or perhaps just to lazy to track down Genny, Lars, and Dougson, Sergeant Travers announces that he has heard rumors of unexplained activity near the ruins of the Kijeck House, the former country home of the noble clan for whom this island is named.And he wants to go check it out.Now.In the middle of the night, and in the freezing rain.Apparently he thinks he can get the jump on what ever is causing the disappearances, and doesn’t seem to care he may stumble on something he is completely outmatched by, or that the “Inquisition” doesn’t want tampered with.It is also pretty clear he hasn’t cleared this with the captain, who he dismisses as useless.Janice and Brick are also strangely on board with this, though neither strikes you as the type who would risk their lives for others.>Claim you are not fully cleared medically, head back to the infirmary and get some sleep.>Claim you are going to fetch your gear, rat him out to the captain instead.>Join him on the mission. It is probably nothing, and even if it is, “good”, after all, you are supposed to be investigating this place.
>>5059382>Claim you are not fully cleared medically, head back to the infirmary and get some sleep.
>>5059382>>Join him on the mission. It is probably nothing, and even if it is, “good”, after all, you are supposed to be investigating this place.I mean, a little rain probably won't bother us with the deldar tune-up. At least, we hopefully won't die of hypothermia. Also maybe if we're lucky we can shack up in the ruins of Kijeck House instead of on the wharf.
>>5059382>Join him on the mission. It is probably nothing, and even if it is, “good”, after all, you are supposed to be investigating this place.
>>5059382>>Join him on the mission. It is probably nothing, and even if it is, “good”, after all, you are supposed to be investigating this place.it's probably something
>>5059718As long as it's not a pile of bodies in gimp masks we don't have too much of a conflict of interest
>Join him on the mission. It is probably nothing, and even if it is, “good”, after all, you are supposed to be investigating this place. You decide to join the mission. After all, you are supposed to be investigating anything strange.You have heard of Kijeck House of course. Friii’yste brought it up in his briefing.One of the wealthiest noble clans on Damnatum Lutum, they own considerable amounts of land on several continents, but several centuries ago they moved their ancestral home brick by brick to what is now called Van Kijeck Island to better carryout their borderline heretical hobby of poking around the ruins of the ancient superweapon known as Stonehenge.Although not completely unknown to Imperial authorities, Stonehenge managed to stay below the radar of authorities until The War, just one more ancient structure on a planet with thousands of such curiosities that the Mechanicum probably intended to get around to doing something about someday, but never did.However, during The War, the Tau found out about Stonehenge, and tried to get it operational. It was only during the subsequent battles that occurred on the island that it was revealed that many of the island’s inhabitants had fallen to Chaos and/or been corrupted by genestealers. Van Kijeck House was identified as a major source of corruption and razed by the Inquisition, however, following The War, patrols continue to visit the nearly non-existent ruins to check for signs of lingering taint.According to Friii-yste, nothing interesting has ever been uncovered, but you never know.It is a seven kilometer hike along the slippery, muddy, and much rutted dirt road from Port Gunther to the Kijeck House.It is pitch black except for a few lights around Port Gunther, Hatties, and certain parts of the Stonehenge complex, all of which are barely visible through the rain.The stablight tapped to the end of the Deluge 77 Autocarbine they gave you isn’t much use, but you suppose it is better than nothing.The last half a kilometer or so is the worst, as it is uphill on a barely visible footpath, complete with several rock scrambles.The fact that you need both hands to point the stablight at the end of your gun helps ensure several painful falls.When you finally arrive at the ruins of Kijeck House, the results are disappointing to say the least. Although it is hard to tell with the limited visibility of the stablights, it looks like few structures remain that are higher than waist height.Travers orders you and Namara to check out a blind spot behind one of the few remaining walls.You step around the corner, and find yourself in a lavish entry hall filled with Daughters of Peace and their local cult cronies.The “door” you unknowingly stepped through disappears behind you and Namara.Fucking pocket dimensions.
>>5060202>Open fire with your autocarbine, hopefully the cultists are under orders to capture you, giving you an unfair advantage.>Surrender peacefully, maybe you can talk things out.>Try to flee the immediate area and find an exit, laying down covering fire if needed.(the map isn't my work, it was taken from the original Damnatum Lutum threads)
>>5060203>>Open fire with your autocarbine, hopefully the cultists are under orders to capture you, giving you an unfair advantage.Then>Try to flee the immediate area and find an exit, laying down covering fire if neededBasically, just hose down everything and then try to figure out how to get out of the pocket dimension after they (hopefully) scatter. Rhea can't screw up a spray 'n pray when she's already got the gun in her hands, right? .... right?I'm slightly concerned about escalating the situation with the daughters, but cultists are generally pretty expendable and for all we know our former associates enjoy the hunt and wouldn't want things to be too easy. Also negotiating hasn't worked in the past. In the bright side, it looks like only some of the disappearances were due to the Dark Eldar so we're slightly less guilty than when we started. Still, standard Rhea tactics apply. Try to break contract as soon as we can before we get another major head injury.
>>5060203>>Try to flee the immediate area and find an exit, laying down covering fire if needed.
>>5060203>>Open fire with your autocarbine, hopefully the cultists are under orders to capture you, giving you an unfair advantage.It's just cultist, would be embarassing to be captured by them lot
>Open fire with your autocarbine, hopefully the cultists are under orders to capture you, giving you an unfair advantage.>Try to flee the immediate area and find an exit, laying down covering fire if needed.You open fire on the cultists, only for the bullets to slow down dramatically a few meters from you.At least one of them is a psyker of abnormal power.You and Namara turn to flee through the nearest hallway, but stop in confusion when the two nearest cultists remove their masks to reveal a familiar face.Your face.In fact they are you, except with some minor Slaaneshi alterations.You briefly wonder if the Dark Eldar sold Evil Rhea some additional clones, or if she is using fleshshaping rituals to make copies of her/you.Not all the cultists are copies of you though, most are clearly not.One of them, likely tall and muscular, grabs you from behind and lifts you into the air.Another, a burly man with a dead eyed porcelain mask and a tight codpiece, wrestles the gun from your hands.Namara is similarly disarmed and constrained. Your stomach sinks even further when Evil Rhea seemingly rises through the solid wood floor, shrouded in ever shifting purple warp energy. She has clearly grown more powerful than during the last time you met. The glowing ring on her left hand probably has something to do with this.“So we meet again, my shallow little replica...” - Drawls Evil Rhea.You don’t reply, but no doubt your face indicated some form of disagreement with that statement.“Hmm, let’s see, who has the original body, original memories, original soul? All you are is a copy of the uncorrupted pieces of me, shoved in a clone body with a few enhancements. All you may have that I don’t is a few memories and feelings that were preventing my ascension to power, and now that I have that power, I want them back.” - Says Evil Rhea smugly.Your mind reels a bit from this revelation, and you wonder how much of it is true. You always knew you had a clone body, but Trys’ta always told your mind and soul were the original, minus a few corrupted bits. “You see, you have been on my mind a lot lately.” Continues Evil Rhea, indicating the other versions of you in the room, there are at least six. “I want my memories back, and I am going to trade you back to the Dark Eldar for them, you can either cooperate during this process, or things will be unpleasant” – Says Evil Rhea, wrapping up her monologue.>Agree to cooperate, maybe you can wrangle some information out of her.>Vow to resist at all costs.
>>5061898>>Agree to cooperate, maybe you can wrangle some information out of her.If those memories were preventing her ascension to power, maybe giving them back will hurt her. No point in worrying about which one of us is the fake; if it makes her feel better to think she's the real Rhea, she can go right ahead and think that. As an aside, it looks like Slaa-Neth made it out okay as well. While we should express a willingness to cooperate, maybe pointing out that she's better off without those memories, and in any case that we've been bonked on the head so many times we might not have them any more, and we don't know which memories she's even taking about, and please don't hurt us, we're just trying to get along with everyone. Also, ask if it's about Kristoff and let her know we think he's Secondborn like her, to see if that's all she needs.In any case, we're pretty well on track with our mission to investigate the island. We've established the daughters are active here, and maybe we can get an idea as to why. We were almost certainly sent here as bait, rather than for our dubious investigatory skills.
>>5061898>Vow to resist at all costs.
>>5061898>>Agree to cooperate, maybe you can wrangle some information out of her.Make small talk, I guess. Make sure the process doesn't involve us losing those memories, as it could be bad for her in the long term, us being technically the same. Mention the regular head trauma. Maybe ask to speak with Tryst'a to determine whether it would be best for us to go back to her or come back out of the pocket dimension on the island.Again, we're still technically not enemies. Our little Rhea squabble should not disturb the status quo, for if someone important, be it her patron or ours, get annoyed, we will all pay the price. So let's keep this civil.
>>5062309We definitely aren't enemies, but Slutty Rhea might not feel that way about things. Maybe we should reinforce the whole "you could have just asked" angle, and point out that we never wanted to be her enemy we just couldn't handle everything the daughters were throwing at us. Maybe we should ask after her Namara and find out if they're still getting along. Kristoff made it sound like they're still married.
>>5061898>Rejoin your ascended self>Find out Daemon Rhea has also been bumbling through mishap after mishap all this time, and thought Uncorrupted Rhea got the competent bits>Also those "Copies" are actually her and Other Namara's daughters
>>5062473That makes sense. Slutty Rhea probably hung her hopes on the idea that Normal Rhea had some sort of X factor that made everything easy for her, no doubt based on wildly exaggerated reports of Normal Rhea fighting her way out of pocket dimensions and through roving bands of chaos cultists when in reality Normal Rhea was just running away and hiding behind other people. The reality of the situation is the only memories and feelings Normal Rhea has that Slutty Rhea lacks are the ones giving her an aversion to Daemonic Corruption.The other "memory" we have, second hand, is knowing that Chalmers got replaced by a Hydra IX agent, since it was mentioned by the Deldar and Rhea was like, "oh yeah i was supposed to already be aware of that". I could definitely see Slutty Rhea just bursting into tears when she realizes that whatever she was looking for was never there to begin with, but that could at least give us a chance to make up and get back on good terms.
>>5061898>Agree to cooperate, maybe you can wrangle some information out of her.
>Agree to cooperate, maybe you can wrangle some information out of her.You agree to cooperate with Evil Rhea for now, it is not like you have much other choice.Evil Rhea orders everyone to stand down, and you and Namara are escorted to a side door, which exits into the real world.You find yourselves in some sort of ancient control room. Despite the extreme durability of the materials used in its construction, some windows are broken, and the room is filled with probably decades worth of seabird nests and waste.Although it is hard to tell since it is still dark outside, you have a feeling you are now within the Stonehenge complex.You relax a little, although you have little desire to be around Evil Rhea, this doesn’t seem like the kind of place for an orgy or some other weird Slaaneshi rite.Three other people followed you and Namara through the portal. You recognize rabbit mask and ursid mask as disposable but high level thugs from previous encounters. The third is Madame Tweezette, the Minister of Tourism under one of En’Dee’Nette’s provincial puppet governments back on Archipelagia.“Madame Tweezette Kijeck-Shankshire, her knowledge of the ancient pocket dimensions her ancestors have created has been most helpful to our current operations.” - Says Evil Rhea as a form of introduction.You recognize the Shankshires as one of the previous inhabitants of the Murder House, and the Kijecks of course owned the ruined mansion that contained the portal you recently walked into.“So, uh, what memories do you want?” - You ask, hoping you can tell them to her verbally instead of having them extracted via some weird sorcery, which would no doubt also involve surgery since your skull is laced with null stone.“Don’t worry about that, I have already made arrangements with the Dark Eldar, they have their own copies, so to speak.” - Replies Evil Rhea.You decide you don’t want to know what she means by this, but also have a hard time believing the Dark Eldar would respond to ransom tactics.Perhaps reading the doubt on your face, or perhaps understanding how your mind works since she is more or less you, Evil Rhea continues.“Their is a lot of politics involved here, grabbing you was more about opening a dialogue, the memories just sweeten the deal for me personally.” - Says Evil Rhea.You spend a while trying to sort out the implications of what she said.During the silence, Evil Rhea, Tweezette, rabbit mask, and ursid mask are unusually quiet and professional, almost like they are waiting for something. Evil Rhea fiddles with her ring, which may or may not be Slaa-Neth, given its shape shifting abilities. If it is Slaa-Neth, you wonder why the Frozen Heart Kabal gave it back.Namara is also silent, though she does try and make eye contact several times in order to assess if you have some sort of plan.Unexpectedly, Trys’ta jumps through one of the open windows and lands with a graceful somersault.
>>5064515“Alright losers, you got my attention. What do you want?” - She asks the Daughters.“We are merely returning your wayward pets, as a sign of benevolence and an indication of our desire to trade information for information, namely, my memories and soul fragments for information on HYDRA IX and the Iron Horde’s operations at Stonehenge.” - Responds Evil Rhea smoothly.“Huh, I doubt your masters, generous though they may seem, would offer up valuable information just for you to trade for your own private goals. The information is clearly something you were told to tell me. If you want me to do something about it, and if you want some bonuses thrown in, it will cost you extra...” - Replies Trys’ta, already in full haggle mode.“Fine, three gr’evh for exposing Stonehenge, and another for my missing pieces.” - Counters Evil Rhea, offering up gr’evh, a somewhat abstract Dark Eldar concept similar to a favor, but also with high material value.“Six gr’evh total, final offer.” - Responds Trys’ta.“Fine, meet me at the command post in 20 minutes, somethings are easier shown then said.” - Replies Evil Rhea.Evil Rhea and her minions leave the room via the portal back to the pocket dimension, leaving you, Trys’ta, and Namara alone.“Hmmm, any idea what that was about?” - Asks Trys’ta.>Speculate Evil Rhea is maybe turning on her allies.>Speculate the Daughters are maybe turning on their allies.>Speculate it is probably some sort of elaborate trap for Trys’ta.
>>5064516>>Speculate Evil Rhea is maybe turning on her allies.She might not be turning in the Daughters, but it seems like she's on her own agenda. Also, Hydra IX and the Iron Autists have their own agenda which doesn't line up at all with Ed'dee'nette's priorities. But I get the feeling Slutty Rhea really wants to be the Real Rhea even if it's at great cost to herself, because honestly her situation is kind of horrifying and she doesn't want to feel like an incomplete simulcrum of a human being anymore. I think we can at least work with her and things won't turn out too badly for normal Rhea.
>>5064524>She might not be turning in the Daughters, but it seems like she's on her own agenda. Also, Hydra IX and the Iron Autists have their own agenda which doesn't line up at all with Ed'dee'nette's prioritiesYeah, I have a feeling the Daughters are using Rhea's more ambitious parts as a Catspaw here.One of the big reasons for En'dee interest in Rhea was how well she lined up with the Daughters ideals; She may be a perverted ditz, but she's got a kind and empathetic heart and genuinely would rather help people if the opportunity arose.Thus, even when acting on her own Daemon!Rhea is probably advancing the Daughters of Peace's agenda in a plausibly deniable way; She either moves things in a direction favorable to the Daughters or she can be written off as an overstepping agent. >But I get the feeling Slutty Rhea really wants to be the Real Rhea even if it's at great cost to herself, because honestly her situation is kind of horrifying and she doesn't want to feel like an incomplete simulcrum of a human being anymore. I think we can at least work with her and things won't turn out too badly for normal Rhea.Your not really helping Daemon!Rhea's existential issues by referring to Player!Rhea as the "Normal" one.>Pic related when Daemon!Rhea realizes Player!Rhea is actually the Lazy!Rhea
>>5064600"So basically, after we got separated, you sat in a corner and watched a Dark Eldar have sex for three months? "Basically.""That's it?""That's it.""...""...""What the fuck is wrong with you?"
>>5064516>Speculate Evil Rhea is maybe turning on her allies.
>>5064516I see no use in theorizing. I just hope we can just coexist, maybe have a chat every so often. See how her Namara's doing, talk about life how she's dealing with the Chaos craziness and the wackjobs back on Archipelagia. Just not going down the cliché road of trying to kill each other all the time. It would just be annoying for everyone.
>>5064714>"So basically, after we got separated, you sat in a corner and watched a Dark Eldar have sex for three months?>"Basically.">"That's it?">"That's it.">"...">"...">"What the fuck is wrong with you?"Maybe I shouldn't be calling them Daemon!Rhea and Player!Rhea, but Slaaneshi!Rhea and NURGLE!Rhea!>>5064800>See how her Namara's doingIf they took my suggestion, then YES, her Namara is doing REALLY well...
(Here's hoping we get a nice conclusion to the arc and hopefully a new adventure before it shuffles off page 10)
>Speculate Evil Rhea is maybe turning on her allies.“I think Evil Rhea is going rogue.” - You theorize.“No, I think it is more complicated than that, the Daughters have always disliked their nominal alliance with HYDRA IX, and outright hate the Iron Horde. The question is how much they are willing to do about it, and how much we should help them.” - Replies Trys’ta.“She has gone after me more than once, she is clearly obsessed...” - You retort with as much courage as you can muster.“Members of the Daughters frequently have pet projects, but she, like you, is too much of a follower to go against direct orders. Anyways, no time for chatting, no doubt ‘Evil Rhea’ will be able to reach the command bunker easier than we will. You already have disguises, but I don’t...” - Says Trys’ta.You head towards the door, but Trys’ta stops you.“No point going that way, we are in Fort Texas, one of the sea forts. My skyboard is outside the window, come on!” - Commands Trys’ta.She seems unusually keen on meeting Evil Rhea on time, but even then, you are a bit shocked when she climbs out the ruined window and simply drops from view.You scramble over to the window and look down.The skyboard is about five meters down, and it is another fifty or so above the crashing waves.You sigh and reluctantly jump down, barely grabbing onto one of the rain wet wings. Namara manages to drape herself over the other wing, and the flight to shore is mercifully short.Trys’ta jumps off the skyboard before it even lands.You don’t even realize what she has done until the skyboard lands on the ground near Trys’ta and she whispers to you to move the bodies onto the skyboard.You wince when you see she has gunned down three PDF conscripts with her splinter pistol. Judging by the relaxed poses, lack of blood, and occasional eye movement, she likely used Niul splinters, a neurotoxin that causes key muscle groups to relax, but leaves victims conscious and with elevated senses.You and Namara move the other two, while Trys’ta takes the clothes from a female officer with a hooded foul weather jacket and rain goggles.It is a remarkably effective disguise, though you wince again with guilt when Trys’ta uses the remote control feature of the skyboard to dump her helpless victims out in the ocean.A short time later, you are inside Stonehenge itself, having slipped in via an old shell crater that punctured a small hole in a disused service tunnel leading to the bunker.You find yourself wondering why Trys’ta sent you at all on this fact finding mission.The lower levels of the command bunker seem to be seldom visited, but you occasionally hear footsteps, and once even caught a glimpse of patrolling PDF soldier.Trys’ta sniffs the air and holds up a hand in a placating gesture.A moment later, two shapely female tech adepts come into view.
>>5066916One is barely recognizable as Evil Rhea, while the platinum blonde woman is likely rabbit mask, without her mask.“The upper levels of Stonehenge are home to a couple hundred expendable PDF soldiers, plus a few dozen tech-priests and adepts doing basic maintenance. Inquisitor Chalmers never did much with this place after he took over from Rosen, but now that Chalmers has been replaced with an imposter, he has brought in several “specialists”, actually agents of HYDRA IX and the Iron Horde, to investigate the technology, and risk of Chaos taint. They have walled off several areas in the lower levels, claiming that they are tainted, but actually to give themselves privacy to perform new rituals. The upper level staff are mostly clean, in order to deflect suspicion when other Inquisitors come by unannounced, but there are a few undercover agents up here.” - Explains Evil Rhea.Evil Rhea leads you down several corridors before entering a seldom used washroom, stepping up onto a toilet seat, then disappearing partway through a blank wall.“The Kijecks once had pocket dimensions and gates all over this place, but ever since relations between the Daughters and the Iron Horde have become strained again, most of them have been destroyed. A few survived though, barely.” - Explains Evil Rhea.The rest of the group follows her in, and you find yourselves in a strange, static-y reality with bare concrete walls and floors that sometimes change color, alter their geometry, or disappear completely.Luckily there is only one other door in the room, and Evil Rhea confidently leads you through it.You now find yourself in a disused, enclosed control room far above a vast chamber filled with massive projectiles.“Oh good, he is here. That saves us some time looking for him.” - Says Evil Rhea to herself as she gazes through a window.You notice what she is looking at, a huge figure among the tiny men far below. Larger than even a Space Marine, the hulking brute seems to be examining a series of control panels.“Warpsmith Tallum.” - States Trys’ta, flatly.“I see you understand the implications. For now he is mostly just researching, but sooner or later he will start up his warp experiments again, and you know how that went for the last few planets where he made his lair, an accident is inevitable. A major warp incident here will flood a huge section of the webway, and deprive your Kabal of many of its best hunting grounds. That is why your masters swore to protect this world, is it not?” - Notes Evil Rhea.“I assume the Daughters aren’t going to do anything about it, but why not tip off the authorities?” - Replies Trys’ta.
>>5066917“Not worth our trouble to sort out which Imperials are and aren’t compromised. We are fairly sure Annika is clean, but our attempt to lure her down here was derailed by your halfwit clone of myself. Now we are dumping this on you. Sabotaging HYDRA IX and the Iron Horde is fun, but they are still our allies on paper, and they could do major damage to our operations on several worlds if we push them to far.” - Says Evil Rhea.Having shown Trys’ta what needed to shown, Evil Rhea leads you out of the Stonehenge complex without incident, then departs, likely to head to some gate back to the pocket dimension.You, Namara, and Rhea take shelter in a half ruined shed on the outskirts of Stonehenge in order to get out of the cold rain.“Hmmm, tricky. Frozen Heart Kabal has some pretty profitable arrangements with HYDRA IX. Besides, no self-respecting Kabalite rushes into a fight with daemonkin without trying to manipulate someone else to do it for them. We should reach out to either the Craftworld Eldar or track down this Annika that your progenitor mentioned.” - Muses Trys’ta.>Recommend visiting the Craftworlders, no doubt Kerala, who Trys’ta had just recently visited while you investigated the island.>Recommend tracking down Annika. You will need a good cover story though.>Try to convince Trys’ta to directly involve the Kabal.
>>5066919>>Recommend tracking down Annika. You will need a good cover story though.No cover story. Just tell her there's a DarkMek Warpsmith that needs killing, and she's the one who needs to do it, and by the way Chalmers is a fake who was replaced by a daemon or something. We'd probably get more help from the Eldar but it would be funnier to rope in Annika.
>Recommend tracking down Annika. You will need a good cover story though.“Hmmm, yeah the Eldar probably won’t want to risk their necks for this either when other options are available. Looks like you just volunteered to go track down Annika. By the way, you now both work for Lherzon Security. It gives you some credibility in terms of where you get your knowledge from. Everyone knows how tight they are with the Craftworlders.” - Says Trys’ta.She tosses you and Namara badges identifying you as high level agents of House Lherzon. You have heard of them of course. Stannim Lherzon is a wealthy Rogue Trader who won several key victories during The War, and also helped enable the alliance between the Imperium and the Craftworlders in this subsector of space. During your first visit to this world, you ended up in Brannet, a neighborhood of Groxbridge owned by Lherzon where his employees on Damnatum Lutum, as well as a few Eldar live.No doubt this is part of some plan that Trys’ta cooked up with Tolria and Kerala even before she found out what is going on at Groxbridge.Trys’ta mumbles something at her pinkie finger. You know from long experience with her that she is talking into some sort of Dark Eldar equivalent of a comm-bead. “Annika is chasing a false lead out in Liveria. Get her to do something about Stonehenge, then go to Brannet. Tolria has set aside a townhouse for you there. I am going to need you to keep an eye on this situation for the next few months and I don’t want anyone guessing your true allegiances. Aside from the many people who already know about your ties with us, so also don’t meet Annika or any of her associates in public. Also, supposedly Annika is very sensitive when it comes to Liveria, so don’t say anything that will piss her off. Everything makes sense?” - Says Trys’ta.“No, I...” - You begin, not remotely comfortable with the amount of subterfuge and tact this job seems to entail.“Oh thanks for taking this on, you are the best pets a girl could ask for!” - Exclaims Trys’ta, before pulling you and Namara into a tight embrace.Trys’ta flies you back to the mainland on her skyboard (an unpleasant experience as rain as turned to wet snow) and you end up in a small city known as Grimhedge. From there, Trys’ta borrows a marked truck from Lherzon Security personnel watching over a construction project there using the authority granted by the badges.
>>5067797With Trys’ta (still wearing the rain googles and hooded foul weather coat) as driver, you then head east to the interdicted and ruined city of Liveria.One of the least fortunate parts of the planet, Liveria was occupied by Tau, corrupted by Chaos, invaded by Tyranids, then bombarded with an array of Dark Eldar doomsday weapons. Access to the city is forbidden due to the risk of lingering Chaos and xenos taint, not to mention the disturbing nature of some of the weapons used by the Dark Eldar, but in truth, the interdiction is loosely enforced at best. Few still live in this region, and Liveria itself is widely considered cursed.You find Annika easily enough.A one person aircraft is parked at the edge of the city, and Annika herself is poking around some disturbingly lifelike statues of black ebony writhing in agony.Trys’ta stays in the truck while you and Namara reluctantly approach Annika.You hold out your badges, and hope it is enough to keep Annika from filling you with bullets.Annika draw a compact autopistol and glares at you with those icy eyes that seem to pin you in place, though you can’t help but notice her eyes seem a bit red tinged, like she was crying recently.You fumble for something to say.>”Don’t shoot, we come in peace...”>”Stonehenge is being corrupted...”>”I wouldn’t touch those statues, they may contain Glass Plague...”
>>5067798>>”Stonehenge is being corrupted...”
>>5067798>>”Stonehenge is being corrupted...”>>”I wouldn’t touch those statRhea being Rhea, the real greeting Annika should be subjected to is, "Are you okay? It looks like you've been crying. Is something wrong?"We might not want to mention the statues. They're probably safe enough, and for all we know they're her friends and/or family and she's come back for a visit. We should probably stay focused on the task at hand, though. Warpsmith and all that.
>>5067798>>”I wouldn’t touch those statues,
>”Stonehenge is being corrupted...”“Stonehenge is being corrupted, you have to listen to us!” - You blurt out.“Lherzon Security huh? Why didn’t you mention that the first two times I captured you?” - Challenges Annika.You glance around, trying to find inspiration for an answer.The storm dissipated sometime during your drive over, and the sun is just barely starting to rise far to the east. A thin layer of wet snow covers the tops of everything, including the anguished looking ebony statues, and the hideously mutated skeletons of victims of the ossification amplifier bombs. It is hard to tell whether they once were cultists or hapless civilians, clothing has long ago been reduced to shreds by the savage regional weather.“We didn’t know whether you were corrupted or not...” - Replies Namara, a rare insistence of her speaking up during a tense conversation.“Hmm, so a pair of undercover House Agents who just happen to both have identical twins seen consorting with known heretics, and who just happen to have recently moved into a warp tainted house which seems to have been the headquarters for a heretic uprising, decide that I am the one who may be the heretic?” - Notes Annika with a heavy dose of chill in her voice.“Yes?” - You meekly reply.“Whoever you work for must really not like you if they are doing to send you to try and interfere with my investigations with so little prep.” - Notes Annika, switching the safety off her autopistol.“You are too hasty to smash my pawns, good Blanks are hard to find.” - Says a voice coming out of nowhere. You turn to see the Eldar Farseer Kerala emerge from thin air. Psychic illusion? Warp gate? Teleportation? Holo-illusion?Who cares? Your credibility has just gone up a few levels. Even puritans will probably trust a pawn of a Craftworlder more than the pawn of a Dark Eldar, or of Chaos.“You have means of contacting me directly Kerala, why bother with this pair?” - Asks Annika, still clearly suspicious.“My timing was slightly off, I was supposed to arrive before they did. I wanted you to know you can trust them. I came to this world a few weeks ago simply to reminisce with old friends, not help clean up old and new threats. I have mobilized a few agents and allies to help out where they can, but my responsibilities will soon lead off world again.” - Replies Kerala smoothly.Kerala spends the next few minutes filling in Annika on her knowledge of the threats present on Damnatum Lutum. The world is more messed up then even you had realized, with a number of chaos cults, tau sympathizers, and a few remnant genestealer cults worming their way into all levels of society, and a several evils, both ancient and new, lurking in the vast network of tunnels that extend deep below the surface.
>>5068803Often Kerala’s warnings are infuriatingly vague and cryptic, a product of the strange psychic means by which Kerala gathered much of her information. But other warnings, gathered via allies like Trys’ta, are more concrete, like the doppelganger Chalmers, the infiltration of Stonehenge, and the distractions employed by HYDRA IX. She also says more about the Daughters of Peace’s operations than perhaps Trys’ta would have liked, which is not surprising given the intense hatred that most Eldar have for the servants of Slaanesh.Annika promises to put the information to good use and departs.Everyone else (including Kerala strangely enough) piles back into the truck and drives back to Groxbridge.Trys’ta and Kerala spend most of the time speaking in the Aelderi tongue (or one of them anyways, you assume there is more than one). You wonder how much of it is planning for the upcoming campaign against Chaos, and how much is simply Trys’ta hitting on Kerala.You spend the relatively short drive gazing out the window at the bleak desolation. Fighting was just as bad here as on the other side of the mountain. Most of the agricultural land was deemed tainted and abandoned pending purification. A low priority as this continent has hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of arable land which are more salvageable than the areas immediately around Groxbridge and Liveria.However, automobile ownership seems relatively high on Damnatum Lutum by Imperial standards, and you see some evidence of people living in the remote areas between communities, a long walk but a short drive from civilization.Trys’ta drops you off at the townhouse that Tolria set aside for you and Namara, then leaves to go drop off Kerala.There is a vague promise from both Trys’ta and Kerala that they will visit once the next stage of the plan is ready, but naturally, they give no indication of how long that will be, or what that even means.The townhouse is of reasonable size, and though obviously smaller than the Murder House, it is much more welcoming. Someone has been making some effort to maintain it, probably local contractors on behalf of a House Lherzon employee who uses it only sparingly. The furniture is old and worn but comfy, the water, heating and electricity actually work, and there is no sign of dead bodies, walled off rooms, or portals to pocket dimensions.There is even a pile of clean clothes and sheets on the bed.>Get cleaned up, go to sleep.>Go visit Tolria and Kerala, you know where they live from previous misadventures, and they may give you useful information without Trys’ta around.>Explore Brannet, you may be here for a while.
>>5068808>>Go visit Tolria and Kerala, you know where they live from previous misadventures, and they may give you useful information without Trys’ta around.We should probably still shower and change our clothes, but it might be a good idea to get some idea of what we are supposed to be up to.
>>5068808>Get cleaned up, go to sleep.Rhea needs proper rest
>>5068808>Go visit Tolria and Kerala, you know where they live from previous misadventures, and they may give you useful information without Trys’ta around.
>>5068808>>Go visit Tolria and Kerala, you know where they live from previous misadventures, and they may give you useful information without Trys’ta around.>>Explore Brannet, you may be here for a while.Do get a bath first
>Go visit Tolria and Kerala, you know where they live from previous misadventures, and they may give you useful information without Trys’ta around.You decide to visit Tolria and Kerala, but first, bath time, plus switching to better clothes than second hand PDF fatigues.You call dibs on the bath, and take your time soaking in the hot water.Being warm and wet is definitely better than being cold and wet.The number of bruises and scrapes you have accumulated is pretty concerning though (not to mention the bullet wound).You get dressed in the warmest clothes you can find, then listen to GRN on the radio for a while waiting for Namara to take her turn in the bath.After some inconclusive discussion with Namara on your situation, you put on some extra layers and head out outside.It is really not that cold out compared to your home world, or first posting, but fatigue is giving you a strong desire to be warm, and you find yourself missing Archipelagia a bit, despite all the bad things that have happened to you there.It is not very hard to find Tolria and Kerala’s mini-mansion made of joined townhouses. According to Namara, while the neighborhood of Brannet itself is fairly large, the section owned by Lherzon is really only about a square kilometer or two centered around Aria Park.As during your last trip through Brannet, most of the houses are boarded up, but there does seem to be a few more people on the streets compared to last time.House Lherzon has also dispatched some soldiers to patrol the streets, who look quite elegant in their thick green jackets with gold thread frogging and tall fur hats. You arrive at Kerala and Tolria’s place and knock on the door.They let you in and lead you to the living room.They are courteous as last time, but you can’t help but wonder how they actually perceive you and Namara.You have a brief conversation regarding what it is that you are actually supposed to be doing, and they seem mildly amused by your need to risk your neck when it is not needed. They assure you that all portents indicate that pointing Annika in the right direction has reduced the immediate risk to the planet, and it may be weeks or months before you are needed again.They (politely) kick you out so they can go back to what they were doing.You and Namara spend the next few hours exploring Brannet while coming to terms with the fact that for the first time in months you don’t feel you are at risk of a painful and unpleasant death in the near future.It is a very strange feeling to say the least...>I am off on vacation for the next few days. If this thread gets pruned before I return, I will just make a new thread without linking
>>5069976>>I am off on vacation for the next few days. If this thread gets pruned before I return, I will just make a new thread without linkingHave fun! I liked how you tied up this arc.
>>5069976>>I am off on vacation for the next few days. If this thread gets pruned before I return, I will just make a new thread without linkingHave fun ! Sorry I couldn't be very active this time around !