Path of the Heretic, Liber Erratum
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Grendel is now that which daemons run in terror from. And he is still nothing more than a bookworm. He has not bought a single Sound Constitution, and rolled a 1 for starting wounds. He still has a wounds of 8 and a TB of 2 and no armor. He is from a forge world and rolled the Demesne background. I would say he proved his right to survive via superiority. Anyway, the party interaction is as follows: Both the Guardsman are new players, one from Volg Hive, one from a Feral world, and both have crazy toughness both have over 40 and thanks to this, do not do much in the way of strategizing or being diplomatic.
However, as new players they defer to the more verbally minded characters when it is time to decide what to do basically they are muscle, as they should be.
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The Tech-priest me has been serving as a sometime leader, trading out with the arbitrator periodically as he has better training at most verbal interaction. The tech-priest is played as being quietly scornful of the beliefs of the other acolytes and role-played as being a bit standoffish to the party, as ultimately, they have different beliefs. The arbitrator is from gunmetal city and duals shotgun pistols even though she has no talents to make dual wield worthwhile yet and loves following right behind the charging guardsman to get of some point blank scatter shooting goodness. She HAD been flirting with the assassin who was a great shooter, but he blew up in a pile of gore, so that is done.
The psyker is a vanilla psyker role-played as being completely subservient to the whims of those he is told to follow, and flagellates himself when he manifest phenomena for being 'unclean'. He has a rebuilt skull, which is awesome. And then there is Grendel. He was going along with the flirting because it was pretty close to Love Can Bloom in that the two met while trying to kill each other long story. His new char will be a Cleric, and Monodominant, so the interactions with the Psyker should be awesome, as the Psyker will probably agree and flagellate himself more.
The Scum wore one of those exploding collars and had previously been part of the cold courier guild or whatever it is called and had a fake lung player refused to run or charge too, which I thought was an awesome choice to reflect having one lung and was an asshole and reluctant ally to the party. His new char will be an Assassin with the Moritat background, so he will be a slice and dice fucker. That cover them good? Okay, so here's what happened last session in the wonderful world of Grendel.
The group of acolytes had been dispatched to Solomon, as there were rumors that something might be afoot in the lower parts of the hive. Over the last several weeks, disappearances named as sacrifices to the 'Beast of Solomon' widely believed to be a myth by majority of the inquisition thought up to give the people living and working there a sort of mental release, a reason that their lives are so terrible Have risen dramatically, to the point that work is slowing drastically. Grendel and Co get sent in to find out what's going on and get the lower hive back to normal, or order a massive purge on it, whichever is necessary to prevent the taint from spreading to the upper hive, as their inquisitor owes some favors to Nobles in the upper hive there, who called in their markers to get this shit resolved.
Oh, and for future reference, the other characters have the following names: Noble Born Cleric prev. Dusk Feral World Moritat Assassin prev. Anyway, on the travel to Solomon, we get accosted by pirates shortly after exiting the warp GM randomly rolls each time. They get past the batteries and dock with our transport, and send in a boarding party, and since they docked in the hallway outside our rooms we got BAD rooms for the trip we are the first thing they run into.
Thankfully, the blaring sirens and sounds of shouting invaders did wake us, and we had time enough to set up cover and make the hallway something of a deathtrap, and after killing sixteen pirates who tried to rush us, the rest are bunkered down, and we have ourselves a stalemate. After a few rounds pass with only an occasional trade of potshots, Grendel who had not hit a single pirate with his stub revolver has an idea. He confers with our new Cleric Nihilius who had taken the Firebrand redemptionist background for a bit, and then after fiddling a bit, walks out into the open he was made to take a fear test to walk down bullet avenue, but failed by less than a degree, so after spending a bit of time whimpering, he went.
The pirates, seeing this, get ready to turn him into a pile of bullets, before a few of them pass an awareness check to notice Grendel had strapped twelve flamer fuel canisters to his chest, and was holding a firebomb in one hand and a molotov quick and dirty conversion of rotgut using a piece of cloth in the other with a lit Iho stick in his mouth.
The pirates who passed the check proceed to frantically prevent their less observant compatriots from opening fire. So Grendel walks until he is pretty much right in the faces of the pirates, and proceeds to try and threaten to blow himself up and kill all of them if they don't get off the ship. GM makes Grendel roll an intimidate check he is unskilled in intimidate.
He rolled a GM rules he stands there stuttering and gibbering for a moment, at which point Grendel spends a Fate Point to re-roll. He rolls a 1. The pirates flee for their lives, leaving behind their fallen comrades. Grendel, before the campaign even truly began, pulled a Gran Torino-esque crazy old man moment, and made pirates run away from one fat guy.
The Nihilius decides to try and charm the captain into upgrading their room and board, maybe even pay them for services rendered, in light of their actions. He rolls to charm, and rolls a Nihilius insults the 'lesser beings' that are all those not of the Nobility, and turns the admiring masses into bitter and angry fucks, who proceed to think of us as racist, assholic dicks.
Way to go Nihilius.
Path of the Heretic: Liber Erratum
We are advised to stay in our piss poor rooms until we arrive at Solomon, and we do. Nihilius is convinced it is the psyker Able's fault, and Able morosely agrees, and flagellates himself in the corner, crying about what a repulsive mutant he is. The rest of the trip passes without incident, and we land on Solomon, and get down to investigating. We hit up the Administratum, the local law enforcement, and briefly speak with some of the nobles who strong-armed our Inquisitor into doing this.
Pretty much all we get is generic legends about the Beast of Solomon, and how things sound like they got worse in the underhive. Rather clearly we will have to investigate there. So we head down to the underhive, and start asking around. Pretty much every time we mention our topic of interest, people get scared shitless and run the fuck away. Understandable, as fluff presents the Beast of Solomon as being a terrifying legend. So, we are getting nowhere, and decide to call it a day after meeting back up and heading to a seedy hotel in the underhive to spend the night.
During the night, Able is awakened by a group of robed and cowled individuals trying to bodily spirit him away from the hotel. In panic, he manifests Warp Howl, and manages to fuck that up with a Psychic Phenomena, and now everyone is floating up onto the ceiling. Predictably, this manages to wake up everyone, who proceed to Able's room, to find Able alone, who proceeds to start apologizing profusely for not catching any of his abductors.
Path Of The Heretic: Liber Erratum: B. H. Powell: amisaliwywav.tk: Books
Nihilius calls him warp tainted scum not fit to breathe, Able cries, and the Tech-priest Cromwell punches Nihilius in the gut and tells him to stop being a cunt to his teammate, there are more important things to do Cromwell really only punched him just for a chance to hit a cleric, what with the whole opposed faiths thing.
Squabbling commences, and then everyone goes back to sleep with a watch order established. Morning comes, and the Acolytes have a new topic of inquiry: For a while they get nowhere again, but the Arbitrator Inez actually finds someone who recognizes this, and after some cajoling he tells us that the cowled people took his sister around the time that the sacrifices to the Beast started drastically rising. Another day spent inquiring reveals many people have had family members just vanish, and some have also seen these robed strangers taking them away, all taking place during the rise in sacrifices.
Quick backstory, the Beast of Solomon is an open ended horror legend from Disciples of the Dark Gods, and underhivers sacrifice members of their own family and friends just so that it doesn't kill them. These abductions are markedly different. We even run into someone who had the balls to follow the abductors for a time, and saw them vanishing into the same parts of the underhive the Beast of Solomon is claimed to inhabit.
We go back up to the overhive, and contact the Nobles who tasked our inquisitor and us, by proxy with this mission, and the cleric and arbitrator converse with them, saying how it would be far easier and expedient to solve this problem if they could help us get some local Arbitrators as backup. Some good charm and blather rolls later, and several of the nobles reluctantly agree. Simultaneous to this, the rest of the party has entered the Inquisitorial holdings in the hive, and after presenting their credentials and introducing themselves, explains how, if they could get some degree of backup, they can most likely make the local inquisitors look responsible for both ending the disappearances, resuming work levels in the underhive, and dispelling the Beast of Solomon myth in one fell swoop.
A 1 and a 2 are rolled during this, and lo and behold, some acolyte trainees are sent to get experience with us, and a few Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. So, with allies everywhere, we proceed into the underhive, and start searching near the area the guy had led us to. Sure enough, we find a locked room with lots of noise behind it, and what Grendel identifies as cult symbols on it. The Inquisitorial stormtroopers blow the door off with charges and charge in, spraying bullets everywhere.
We opt to let the Arbitrators charge in next, and go in last with the trainees, imparting the greatest possible words of wisdom to them: Let other people take the bullets for you. Funny thing, as we charge in, we notice a great deal of brass and red colors. In fact, looking to near the back of the room, we see some weird lights and the Psyker gets some feedback from Psyniscience. We look at the grinning GM and realize he did it again: We just made a bloodbath out of a Khornate summoning ritual.
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What proceeds is a Scooby Doo chase sequence, with us running away from the beast, until the corridor branches. We all split and go different ways, because fuck this scares us. The Daemons charge after the two Guardsmen, Dakka and Hak, and everyone tries to navigate the labyrinth. Grendel and Cromwell make their way back to the cultist room first, and finds that the Inquisitorial stormtroopers and the arbitrators had cleaned up, and all the cultist are dead, and it reeks of blood everywhere in that room.
The four trainee acolytes with Grendel and Cromwell gag at the smell, but one remarks 'At least this proves the Beast of Solomon isn't real! Remember how the disappearances are different from the Beast sacrifices, and how the abductions are recent whereas the beast is not? So now pretty much everyone stormtroopers, arbitrators, acolytes and trainees are dashing around, both trying to keep away from the daemons and the beast for those who know it is here and trying to find each other.
The Beast decided to follow Grendel, because all that fat makes for a savory meal I guess, and so Grendel and co are running like hell to get away. Eventually they reach a broken bit of underhive where on one side there is no wall, just a drop the whole way to the surface, about a mile down.
And just as we are about to flee out the other pathway, here comes the rest of the party and helpers, chased by the daemons. So, we are trapped and terrified, when Grendel and Able devise a plan. Able tries to cast a modified Psychic Stench, one to make something smell highly desirable instead of repulsive, and succeeds in casting it Grendel charges forward, trying to get in between the monsters, while everyone else tries to get into the tunnels. Both the Beast and the Daemons charge Grendel, but there is a slight problem: Grendel is equidistant between them, and one awesome untrained dodge roll later, they have collided, with the Bloodletter getting thrown onto the Beast, who then tries to eat its new friend, and the Juggernaut temporarily dazed.
Grendel declares he is going to try and climb and ride the Juggernaut. He is made to roll two difficult agility tests, one to climb it and one to mount it. He rolls a 9 and a He then uses Grendel's Claw to goad the Juggernaut forward, and after making some awesome suggestive stabs, encourages it to charge, ramming some of its spikes into the Beast, still entangled with the bloodletter.
He tries to turn the Juggernaut, and rolls a 2 on this attack, and gets the Juggernaut, Beast of Solomon and Bloodletter pile to all be moving at ramming speed straight at the broken part of the wall. He attempts to leap off the pile of bodies, rolls a 87 and fails miserably, and spends his last fate point to try again.
He fails by one point. Grendel leaps off the now plummeting pile of bodies, and Burns a fate point, and manages to wrap a hand around an exposed piece of rebar, as behind him a Juggernaut, a Bloodletter and the Beast of Solomon all plummet to their deaths.
He now is a fast fat guy! He had still not bought any Sound Constitutions or armor by this point. AP 3 all, TB 2, 9 Wounds. He also added a kill counter to his robe It has caricatures of a Charnel Daemon, A Juggernaut of Khorne and a Bloodletter on one side, and a the Beast of Solomon on the other, which looks like a giant worm with teeth and scales.
Grendel reluctantly agreed to actually learn something about the things he kills so easily. Okay, so Grendel and crew, after giving their report on the awesome shit they pulled off last time, got some downtime, both to go do their real jobs, and basically not have to worry about excessive probabilities for dying for a few months. Nice boring life for everyone, and a decent amount of money for working. But then our Inquisitor calls us in, and tells us 'Oh wait, that awesomely non-fatal lifestyle you were just living?
Kiss that shit goodbye, you are going to a warzone on a hive world rumored to have a severe amount of cultists on it, and have to try and rescue an Inquisitor who may have gone insane and might attempt to kill you rather than come with you. So we get a transport, and fly out, making some passes through the atmosphere the Orks as of yet have not gotten ahold of any aircraft, so high altitude flight is mostly safe.
Our pilot actually picks up the Inquisitor's distress signal. This might not be so bad after all. Except the beacon is in the middle of an abandoned hive city that the Ork Warboss has made his home. So we land well behind the battle lines, and arrange a meeting with the nearest Commissar, a Commissar Russ, and present our identification and explain our purpose here, and then ask if he or anyone else can give us some maps or potential locations of Ork forces within the city so we can try and be sneaky. We also made sure to be unfailingly polite and NEVER interrupt him, because our GM has a hard-on for the parts of Commissar fluff portraying them as being psychopathic murderers that make the army work solely out of fear.
Thankfully, we get some maps, and after a bunch of discussion and thought, establish a route that should hopefully get us to the beacon without having to fight anything more than small groups of orks, to thusly avoid being made the target of a WAAAGH and thusly die. Dakka suggests we 'Orkify' the truck to hopefully get past a patrol or two, which the party wholeheartedly supports, and I get to work on, and 2: A small group of Sisters of Battle approach us three and inform us that their Legatine or whatever the sergeant equivalent for SOB is got orders from the Ordo Hereticus the one our inquisitor belongs to to give us some support, and these were the volunteers.
One sister in particular stands out, since it matches exactly the fake sister cultist I had rolled up to present to the GM as a cultist of Khorne that tries to get close to Grendel, either to kill him or protect him from all non-Khorne-caused deaths. I smile maniacally, and thankfully the other players think I am smiling at NPC helpers. Which I am, sort of. So Nihilius is, for pretty much the first time, not an arrogant dismissive snob, as he lost a finger and got a vicious scar on his arm as a result of previously being snide to a SOB, and so presents a respectful exterior to prevent further damage.
He does become even more malicious to Able, to such an extent that even Garm, someone who grew up on Dusk, thinks he is being a bit extreme. He causes a level of fatigue and five wounds of damage to Able, who all through the beatings is sobbing about how this is all a wretched mutant like him deserves, and he only calms down and heals himself after Grendel assures him of how capable he is and helpful to the party, and he heals and removes his fatigue, right as rain again Except he rolls Psychic phenomena at the end, and gets Memory Worm.
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Our GM rules that Able actually forgets he got phenomena, and I Cromwell falcon punch Nihilius when he is about to berate him for it, so that Able actually gets to believe he just performed a chain of powers without incident, and is genuinely happy for the first time as an Acolyte. Inez d'awws, and messes his hair while congratulating him, and he beams. Happy moment over, we pile into the now Orkified Flatbed spikes nailed on everywhere, painted red, with barbed wire everywhere and Grendel and the Cultist named Benedicta end up in the back together with most everyone. To pass the time to the city, Benedicta asks us to regale the sisters with tales of the accomplishments of members of the Inquisition us.
Grendel starts to talk, but Dakka and Hak both interrupt him and fight over who gets to tell them about all the shit they have seen Grendel do. The two maybe real sisters are most impressed, and murmur prayers of thanks to the God Emperor for so blessing one of his children to do his will. Benedicta smiles and talks about how powerful he must feel, having felled so many powerful foes in battle, to which Grendel reluctantly agrees, making her smile all the wider.
We arrive at the city, and immediately a real ork vehicle pulls up alongside us, and shouts out a challenge to a race, since they believe that their red truck is faster. Rather than responding, Dakka the driver guns it, and the orks take this in stride and we start to race to the city versus a truckload of orks. Nihilius finds this to be most unseemly of a noble, and tosses an entire belt of grenades into the ork truck, and commands Dakka to ram them after they go off.
The ork truck veers and starts flipping, and by the time it has flipped all it will, it is mostly pieces. They got an orky death, at least. Okay, so we actually get in the city now, and have to ditch the truck, so it is time for sneaky stuff. We are doing good, and several hours pass very uneventfully, until we get about three blocks from where the beacon is coming from. It is at that point an awareness test reveals something very strange: A symbol of Tzeentch on a steel wall with a giant X gouged through it by some mammoth weapon and a symbol for gork and mork crudely carved in next to it.
Able gets weirded out, and rolls psyniscience. Guess what, clear indication that bad shit went down right in the direction we are heading. We get to the beacon, and there is no inquisitor left. But then the entire building with the markings EXPLODES, and a giant ork in Mega Armor presumably the warboss is thrown out of the building, and nobs and orks aplenty boil out to follow him. Now what the hell could have done that? But wait, that's not all, down a side-street boil some bloodletters and cultists presumably of Khorne , heading into this clusterfuck.
We decide to back the fuck away, as this shit looks ridiculous. The two sisters charge the daemonhost, warboss, orks, bloodletters and cultists, like good little zealots, and are EATEN by the daemonhost who now looks over our way. We run like little bitches, which surprises the crap out of Benedicta, who was expecting some Grendel badassery. Besides, pretty much everyone but Grendel and Benedicta failed their fear test in such a manner that makes them want to run.
So, we flee, and thankfully the warboss finds the daemonhost such a damn good opponent that it bodyslams it and tries to chop it up right and proper. We do not stay to see the end, and somehow we lose Benedicta while run away. Initiative is rolled, Grendel gets a one, the Bloodletters acting as a duo get ten.
They both charge Grendel. One hits, and Grendel makes his dodge. The other hits Grendel in the head with his giant fucking axe, and we all think Grendel's story has ended. The daemon rolls two ones for damage, and Grendel gets a bloodletter axe in the face without much incident. This is the first time Grendel has ever been wounded by a daemon, and apparently that unlocks his nerdrage as when his turn comes, he announces he wants to try and kill them both.
I guess the player wasn't really feeling like he would live long, so he decided to go for rule of cool. The GM rules he must make a agility test to try, and then must try and hit both with a to weapon skill to each attack. He rolls damage GM said roll once, it is the same hit. Rolls a ten, confirms still with the penalty by rolling a 4, and then rolls ten, ten, ten, nine.
Grendel just disemboweled two bloodletters in one strike. With this event, the tide of battle turns very sharply, and Grendel and co proceed to curbstomp the cultists without major incident, and after thoroughly checking for any other pursuers, hastily grab some loot and retreat to regroup. Even when running away, Grendel decided to bitchslap Khorne. And oh so mysteriously, Benedicta shows up again, covered in gore and blood, with a glowing smile, and after being told of Grendel's feat, embraces him, blessing him for his prowess thanks made to the emperor are decidedly absent, but most everyone is too busy trying to make Nihilius stop kicking Able for not taking a bullet that, after being dodged, hit Nihilius.
He thought it very unseemly for such a noble personage as himself. So, we are celebrating our luck, both with the combat and getting back one of our NPC 'Helpers' and getting some decent loot, and times look good. Oh wait, we only got a block or two away, and not ALL of the orks following the warboss can be engaged with the daemonhost. This starts looking bad, but wait!
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The orks are rolled as three groups and roll 1, 1 and 2 as initiative, and Nihilius AND Benedicta have flamers and training in them, and both open up while everyone else unloads full auto except Grendel, who has a revolver, and misses terribly. By the time the orks get to act, so much devastation has been laid on them that only the three nobs two on fire and four 0 wound orks are left.
The orks just got out-orked. The battle is decidedly one sided they are still on fire and is ended by Grendel putting a bullet through the skull of the last nob the one not on fire who had been hit the least in the second round. We are feeling pretty awesome from tearing our way through so many enemies in such a short time without suffering severe wounds, but wait, all the noise we have made has made even more orks, nobs, and some gretchin and squigs come our way.
The Guy Who Cried Grendel
Grendel is all set to use some down time to peruse a few tomes on Orks he had gotten from some Xeno-Archivists when they came to scout him he is still thinking on it when Benedicta comes into the room. She starts up a conversation, asking how someone who is essentially a librarian found themselves fighting daemons and xenos, that sort of thing. Grendel explains he happened to read a forbidden book by mistake when checking it to see where to catalogue it, and had then turned himself and the book in to a local arbitrator he knew Inez who brought his story to the Inquisition, where both eventually got recruited.
It certainly beat getting mind-cleansed or purged for knowing it. Benedicta perks up at this, and ask if Grendel can share any knowledge about it. He says it's fine for him to admit knowing it now as a member of the inquisition, and relates that it was documentation of some strange Daemon or Xenos that had terrorized Valhalla for decades before a squad of Space Wolfs came, pursued it into the nearby mountains, and the leader of them slew it in single combat.
FYI while this stuff is going on most of the rest of the party are getting field treatment from Cromwell or trying to make the location defensible. Benedicta sidles closer, asking if Grendel thinks he might have been able to kill the beast, to which he quickly responds he finds the idea laughable. Benedicta reminds him that he has by all accounts killed things that even space marines can fail to defeat, and did so as nothing more than a man, not some genetically augmented and supremely trained super soldier.
He tries to play those events off as simply being the divine emperor's protection, but Benedicta will have none of that, saying victory in battle goes to the stronger and more determined, always and forever. Grendel frowns, questioning this, as did not Benedicta's own sisters fall before Xenos and Daemons? She shrugs, only a hint of melancholy on her face, and wonders what choice would two people have in the face of such foes.
She shifts closer still, and leans towards Grendel, and then proceeds to say, and I quote. And yet you, a lone man, as bereft of power as one could find in the inquisition, you stood against foes stronger, more fierce than you, perhaps more powerful than any servant of the imperium, and did not die. You flourish in the face of that which strikes down others, and always emerge alive and whole, and stronger for it. I question whether you are simply a man, or something more. At this, while Grendel fumbles for something to say, Benedicta embraces him, saying that a child born of such blood would truly be a warrior and conqueror by birth, destined to crush his foes, and goes on to say it is her duty, no, her privilege to bear it, if he will serve the Imperium in such a manner please note the GM specifically avoided having her say the child would serve the imperium, and no one noticed.
The GM has Grendel roll to resist seduction, and he rolls a flat Thankfully, the GM skipped going into the act because that could have been creepy. Afterwards, Grendel tries to rationalize what happened, which is made easier by Benedicta simply stating he did his duty. So anyway, with this done, the party regroups, everyone none the wiser to what Grendel and Benedicta just did, and discuss their options. While Benedicta is still advocating wholesale assault of the Orks, the remaining Khornate cultists and the presumably Tzeentchian Daemonhost, pretty much everyone else vetoes the plan as being a suicide job.
But wait, Nihilius actually says something useful! He suggests trying to rig this building to collapse via undermining key parts of the foundation, support beams etc. After rigging it, he suggests we attempt to lure the opposed forces into the building, exit out one of the other ground floor entrances on the other side and blow the building on top of them, thusly avoiding soiling our hands. We all agree that, assuming we pull this off, even if we don't find the inquisitor we will sure as hell have accomplished something.
So, some time passes, and right about as we finish rigging the place to explode in just the right manner, a slight hitch appears in the plan: The three-way fight is heading our way. We are trapped in a building we just set up to explode. After quickly appraising the potential to jump to a nearby building not happening or find some rope none left, we used it all securing the traps , we hit on an idea.
We have exactly three frag grenades left, and are on the fourth floor. If we use the grenades to blow a hole through the floor, drop down and then leap out the third floor window, we have a relatively decent chance to survive the fall. We run this by the GM, who rule we must cause at least 30 explosive damage to the floor with said grenades for this to work. We pull the pins on the grenades and drop them in a little circle we made out of rubble to prevent them from rolling around and hightail it to get behind cover, all the while hearing the sounds of fighting growing closer.
Hak spends a fate point, and his roll of 4 for damage transforms into a 9. Dakka spends his only point to re-roll, and gets a critical, but doesn't confirm. Assuming this is going to attract unwanted attention fast, we spring up and run over, Grendel getting there first because he is sprinting like a motherfucker. We all jump down, and thanks to the short distance, no one incurs damage. Grendel pops off a few shots with his stub revolver at the window, bursting the glass just before he reaches it, so Grendel explodes out the side of the building amidst a shower of glass, gun in hand, and about eight meters off the ground.
He proceeds to start rolling agility tests to see how far he counts as having jumped down before starting to fall. Definitely a smooth exit. Everyone else is right behind him, and thankfully no one dies from the fall, but the party is re-injured especially Cromwell and Able. A quick glance at the building shows that our flashy exit has attracted attention, and a large number of orks and cultists, while still fighting each other, start charging our way. Dakka presses the button, and suddenly, the entire ground floor where all of the enemies are is covered in fire, and mighty explosions begin the collapse of the building.
Several hundred tons of concrete and metal descend into the swirling inferno where all our potential foes are fighting. We all fail the agility test to remain standing, and are thrown back by the massive gust from the rapidly changing nearby structure, now a giant pile of rubble. As we regain our feat, a bit worse for wear, we are still smiling, as this looks like we might have done in our foes. The thought doesn't last very long, as with a screech of grinding gears, a massive slab of concrete is hurled aside as the warboss, battered but still alive, regains his footing, and is looking right at us.
We have to roll surprise things usually don't survive a burning building dropping on them and all fail. The Warboss pulls out his snazzgun, and unloads on us. Or tries to, but it overheats and he drops it to the ground. Before we can really do anything, two things occur simultaneously: We start hearing distant explosions but see nothing happening, and another slab of debris is pushed aside as the Daemonhost gets back up, still infused with biomantic power, and charges the warboss.
As they continue pummeling each other, refusing to budge from their final fight, we hear high-pitched whistles that swiftly grow louder, and seconds later explosions start blooming all around the city. We could retreat away from the fight, but it would likely double the amount of time it takes to get to the truck, and with the shelling, that could be just as fatal as trying to get past the fight, if not more so. But as we are trying to figure out what to do, Grendel announces he is charging over to pick up the warboss's dropped snazzgun, now cool again, and wants to attempt to discharge it on the ork.
Everyone else runs after grendel, as anywhere is better than where they are. Grendel has to roll concealment while running to be able to pick up the gun while so close without getting noticed. He fires the Snazzgun, and unfortunately, the hit is in the body, and Mega Armor give 14 AP to the chest.
We all think his cool idea is going to fizzle, but wait! He confirms the critical, rolls again and gets a nine and an one. He spends a fate point to re-roll the one and gets another ten. He then rolls a nine. Not only does he kill the warboss by blowing a hole clean through his chest with a beam of energy, he also accidentally ignites the ammunition there, which proceeds to explode. The GM rolls the blast radius, as 3m, so while the rest of the party is fine, Grendel has to worry about more damage while at 5 wounds.
We are all feeling pretty happy for Grendel, when the GM abruptly announces he is rolling for the Daemonhost to dodge, as he was also in range. After thinking for a bit, he decides that righteous fury, or something similar, should apply here, and has the daemonhost roll to dodge again as the means to see whether it is confirmed. The daemonhost fails the roll. The GM rolls damage again. He slams his head down, and scoops up the dice and rolls again. Grendel just killed an Ork Warboss with his own gun in one shot, and killed an Unbound Daemonhost with the ensuing explosion, but came out of it without a scratch.
As we all get ready to continue running, the GM says to roll an awareness test. Garm passes, and notices a rosette of the inquisitor's on the daemonhosts remains. Well, we found the inquisitor, but no chance of bringing him back now. Garm quickly pockets the rosette as proof, and everyone hightails it, fleeing as fast as they can. Occasionally, a bomb drops nearby, and the party has to roll to avoid shrapnel.
A few cuts and scars-to-be later, we are almost at the truck, when a shell strikes a nearby building, and it starts to collapse on the path. Everyone is running as fast as they can, but Benedicta got hit in the leg previously pretty hard, and can't hobble along as fast as everyone else. Seeing this, Grendel picks her up succeeding on the strength test with a roll of ONE and sprints along, just getting out from under the building in the nick of time.
He rolls a 1, seven degrees of success. The GM rolls for Benedicta to resist Seduction, and rolls a In that moment of Gallantry and Badassery, picking up the wounded SoB while fleeing a city being shelled, Grendel made Benedicta fall for him sex didn't count, that was mostly the job to her before. When they arrive, they are greeted by a WALL of cheering and joyous Guardsmen, as apparently some of the aircraft had had cameras on Grendel's moment, and know he killed the warboss and some monstrous daemon.
The party, and Grendel in particular, are showered with cheers and thanks, and get to be the heroes of a giant party as the PDF is pretty happy that the Orks got almost completely wiped out they are still shelling and dropping bombs, since they aren't so stupid as to not try and prevent spores from getting loose. As the party winds down, Benedicta approaches Grendel while he is away from the rest of the party, and while blushing faintly thanks him for saving her. Grendel stands there awkwardly for a moment, and Benedicta continues, asking him if he sees how he is different from other men, how the middle of a warzone seems to be his place to flourish.
He responds that he doesn't honestly know, and she smiles for the first time he has seen, and asks him to simply think about what he could do if he were to embrace his talents. With that, she promptly kisses him much to Grendel's surprise and turns around, departing into the crowds with only a single glance back, the smile and the blush still adorning her face. Additionally, for pulling off the whole 'killed a warboss with his own gun and killed an unbound daemonhost at the same time' and for killing two bloodletters in one hit simultaneously, he got:.
A Best Quality Mono Sanctified Knife That can re-roll a missed attack once per round against any foe, and gets another re-roll once per round against Daemons meaning he needs to miss three times in a row to miss a daemon and Daemons cannot parry the knife due to its extreme anti-daemon history. That makes Solomon, Ambulon on Scintilla and Cantus that all know Grendel's name and face and find him awesome. The GM also said we will soon be having a mini session where Thorians come to investigate Grendel between normal missions, which is only natural considering the shit he pulled off.
Alright, so, after the last mission, there was pretty much no way to deny that Grendel was ever so slightly different from the usual Acolyte, what with being a librarian that kills big-ass daemons and xenos like little bitches. So, after we came back and got debriefed from our last mission, we got summoned to the Inquisitorial Holdings on Scintilla, for 'Further Debriefing'. We did not like the sound of this, and were getting paranoid. But we went, since the request was delivered by a full platoon of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers and no less than THREE Inquisitors we did not know any of them by reputation or name.
But once we got there, we were split apart and put in individual rooms, all of which had, among other things, a chirurgeon, a tech-priest, an Interrogator and various mechanical implements, some of which were recognized as Pict Recorders and Excruciator Kits. Oh damn, this did not sound fun. So, the GM plays the role of the Interrogator and crew for each player one by one, and the questions are both relieving, partially expected and at least partly disturbing in focus: They just keep asking questions about Grendel, whether there were any details of his exploits we failed to mention, whether he evidenced signs of corruption and such.
We answer truthfully, most of us erring on the side of giving more support to Grendel than is strictly necessary he did save our lives multiple times, after all with the exception of Cromwell, Nihilius and Inez. Cromwell just answered the questions as accurately as possible other than a general dislike of the ecclesiarchy, he does not go in for having strong emotional investment in others , Nihilius was snide and tried to be dismissive of Grendel's accomplishments the way he is about everyone other than himself , and Inez was getting pissed off at the potential accusations of corruption and by proxy heresy being levied at her old friend.
So, we make our way through all these dialogue sections, with only the occasional roll being used Dakka trying to intimidate his Interrogator into letting him leave on the basis of him 'looking scrawny and therefore weak' and getting bitchslapped, etc until finally we get to the last interviewee: Now while all the rest of the party got pretty much a batch set in terms of rooms and 'interviewers', Grendel got slightly different treatment.
They initially start off with the same line of questioning that was applied to the others, asking if what was in the reports was true, etc. After a bit of time, someone knocks on the door, and shortly informs the Inquisitors of what was said in the other rooms almost exactly the same as what Grendel had been saying. Upon hearing this, our Inquisitor Gerrod Russio, of the Ordo Malleus , gets into a quiet argument with the other three Inquisitors. After a few minutes, it becomes clear that the combined authority of these three far outweighs Gerrod, who pauses to tell Grendel 'I did what I could for you, and still find you to be the finest Acolyte I have had serve me.
I was going to transfer you to my personal retinue for a few missions, and Emperor willing put you forward as a potential Inquisitor, but our Thorian friends have 'loftier goals' for you, and as such I am ordered to relinquish all claims on you. So now the Thorians advance, and sit at the table across from Grendel, who at this point is pretty out of his league. In all honesty, what you are recorded as having accomplished is simply impossible, and yet every investigation that has been launched has turned up nothing but further evidence to support that you have, in fact, accomplished what has been claimed in the reports.
You have been screened repetitiously and exhaustively, and it has been decided that you are not tainted by Chaos. Hence, why we are here. You could say it is our purpose to seek out those Servants of the Imperium who have performed You now will answer to us, and we already have a mission, of sorts, for you to attempt. We will bring you to meet the existing group of individuals that have been selected, and you shall then leave for your mission the next day.
Timing is critical, and the mission data is highly sensitive. For now, all you may be told is that if you complete your mission, we will have more to say to you. That will be all. Now this sounded crappy to the rest of us, as we were all wondering what the hell we would be doing during Grendel's little caper, but wait! Our GM had already prepared new temporary characters for us all around Grendel's level.
All of them had accomplished some decent stuff, a couple guardsmen who held off part of a Warboss' assault alone for three days using terrain and trickery [Hak and Dakka's new chars], a commissar that strangled an astropath when he became a daemonhost [Inez's new char, complete with cybernetic everything, as the daemon did not go quietly], the tech-priest that somehow got the ship mostly safe and sound back out of the warp after the death of its astropath by temporarily taking control of the whole thing via interfacing [had good quality cortical implants and a shit-ton of talents related to machine interface, Able's new char], A cleric that burned a tau scout party to death alone [Garm's character] and two Scum who survived rescuing lo-hivers from a burning building for an hour unburnt [Nihilius and my new char's respectively].
So, we all read over our new characters, get used to them, and find a lot to like they all have some nice quirky history, both shining moments and personal failures, etc. So anyway, we fast-forward to the next day, when all the new characters and Grendel are meeting each other, and introductions are made, we share confusion as to what this mission could possibly be, the brand new acolytes desperately try and get some form of advice on what to expect, only to be met with silence by their elders a mission from three Inquisitors where all the acolytes were picked for being 'special'?
Does not sound very run-of-the-mill. So we are nervously socializing in the hangar we were told to report there when the three Thorian Inquisitors show up again, and gather us up. We are handed a dataslate, and told to get on a transport ship, and read the dataslate after taking off. Okay, a bit secretive, but it's the Inquisition, that's their thing. We get on the transport a fairly large one, at that and are told we are heading to Cantus for Grendel, this place is familiar to a degree, not so to the others so we strap in and wait for departure.
The engines start firing up, and then falter for a minute, during which time we exchange troubled looks, and Able's Tech-priest starts fidgeting with his implants, muttering about potential problems that could be assailing the ship, when the door to our cabin opens, and who rushes in claiming to be a 'last minute addition? Quick introductions are made as the engines wind back up to full speed, and Benedicta quickly squeezes in next to Grendel, who looks somewhat nervous at this development, and glances up to see her staring at him smiling for a moment before looking away.
And then the ship is in the air, and we have time to bust out our data slates, and review our mission, simply titled: Apparently the IG sent to Cantus and the PDF both have fallen to chaos with incredible speed, and there are accounts of a space marine being seen in each force, which have now abruptly begun fighting each other the dataslate confirms that the Astartes have sent no one to Cantus.
Benedicta proffers that she was sent with them as one of the few people who had been serving with the combined army in the previous skirmish, and as such has some knowledge of their armaments, troop strength etc. Destroy the two traitor legions. We will not be the only forces sent to accomplish this goal, but we will be receiving no officially ordered backup, just any that we can scrounge for ourselves.
It is preferable that this get accomplished before the imperial navy gets there approximately three weeks after our arrival , since they have orders to perform an Exterminatus if the situation is not either resolved or severely changed by the time they arrive. This sounds like it will be a cakewalk. Oh, and in case this isn't enough of a challenge, we get attacked in the warp mere hours before we were scheduled to exit by a bunch of Hullghasts that, coincidentally, also chased out a few vagrants and a few Cultists of Khorne.
So the cultists of Khorne start going mad why did three of them have flamethrowers? And two had Chain Axes, the last had a Best Mono Great Axe , the Hullghasts are tearing into the passengers, and some of the vagrants were wanted men, as they decided to start firing wildly and capturing passengers to hold hostage. And just to clarify, when I say a bunch of Hullghasts showed up, I mean 46 Hullghasts plus 6 Cultists and 11 Vagrants I guess a dreg or something similar. So we blockade the central corridor, start using suppressive fire and liberal firebomb use to thin out their ranks.
It is working pretty well, until the Cultists of Khorne breach the barricade after they all pass their willpower test to avoid pinning I suspect the GM fudged the roll, but it certainly was thematically appropriate and kept the combat brisk. Anyway, the three Cultists of Khorne hereafter referred to as Cok with flamethrowers go before the melee CoK, and open up with all three flamethrowers.
Cover protects some of us Grendel being one, along with Hak, Dakka does not like cover, as he fears it lowers his chance of being shooty , Garm's Cleric and Able's Tech-priest. Inez's commissar bravely firing away as a commissar should, all while cursing both out enemies and our allies for not having killed the heretics already , Dakka and both Cromwell and Nihilius' Scum they did get nominated for actions involving fire, and we had great agility are the ones that had to deal with fire to the face.
Dakka somehow survives three separate agility checks and does not get burned at all he is apparently a fire ninja , Inez's Commissar got burned, but only gets set on fire once uses a fate point to re-roll, which negates it. The two scum under Cromwell and Nihilius' control, however And of course, it is now time for the three melee CoK to charge. So the first melee CoK charges Dakka, Chain axe just grinding towards his head. Dakka parries it with his gun with a chain blade bayonet, and then stabs the cultist in the face. Where he had no armor.
With a Best Chain Blade Bayonet. He rolled a two and a ten, confirmed, and rolled a 4 and a 7. He skewered the CoK's head and plucked it off his body, and this was not even during his turn. Next melee CoK's turn. This time Inez's is under attack. The CoK misses, and Inez is fine. The final CoK charges in, and also charges Inez apparently CoK hate Commissars, who knew , and successfully hits thanks to ganging up.
It is now Grendel's turn, and he decides to grapple one the the two CoK on Inez. He succeeds, but causes no damage in the grapple. Dakka's turn comes up, and he proceeds to shoot off the CoK's face with his autogun, full auto. He rolls a 2. There is now just one melee CoK left. Inez goes next, and does a called shot at one of the flamethrowers the other three CoK are carrying, and hits. With a bolt gun. The PCs not behind cover have to roll agility to avoid getting knocked prone and roll agility again to avoid getting hit with shrapnel.
The lone surviving CoK has to roll as well, and makes both. Hak and Able both lob firebombs into the inferno, hoping to hit some of the charging Hullghasts, hopefully either killing or halting them long enough to turn some attention towards the Vagrants taking other passengers hostage and shouting demands keep in mind about six seconds have passed since the fight started. The firebombs do wonders, setting several Hullghasts on fire that then set their compatriots on fire. The choke point is clogged with fire and corpses, and we deem it defensible enough that we can worry about the vagrants with hostages.
Nihilius charges a vagrant with a hostage that has his back to him and grapples him, freeing the hostage and setting the vagrant on fire in the process. The vagrant burns to death as Nihilius strangles him, grinning maniacally. Cromwell Got put out by the blast from the explosion pulls out his Nomad Rifle apparently richer than the average scum , and aims a called shot at another vagrant's face. Oh, he also had learned crack shot the one that removes called shot penalties in his past at some point, and rolled a 7.
With an accurate gun at less than half range, and we play with the errata 2. So, the one vagrant's head explodes, showering blood everywhere I imagine the hostage is not feeling too good right now , but then the GM frowns, and pulls out a ruler, fiddles with the map a bit then smiles. Even for vagrant, odd for hostage. An investigation into alternative or unorthodox exegesis and occult symbolism.
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