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Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:37
Not sure whether this or the Stories and Art forum is the right place for this - but considering that it's a blend of story and Inquisitor gaming posts, I figured this should be OK...

Basically, I finished running an Inquisitor campaign recently. The campaign consisted of 4 gaming sessions, with 4 different player character warbands. In between the gaming sessions, narrative stories moved the tale along

One of the player's used a lone Eldar Ranger by the name of Eoheran. This is his tale, the campaign from his perspective. In this post I intend to tell Eoheran's campaign experience, through stories and descriptions of the events during gaming sessions. I hope you enjoy it, feel free to post comments and criticisms.



PROLOGUE - A QUICK SETTING OF THE SCENE

Eoheran is the Last Child of Dilherran, the one survivor of his Craftworld's destruction. As a Ranger of the Avenger Kindred, he has sworn to combat the enemies of his race from the shadows, whilst seeking vengeance upon those responsible for his Craftworld's destruction.

Upon the world of Benevolence three years, Eoheran came into contact with an Inquisitor Austus. This was in fact no coincidence - Austus, a fierce radical and pyromantic psyker, had been identified as a potential threat to the Eldar race, and one that Eoheran had seen fit to investigate. Soon Eoheran had set his sights on executing Austus, even teaming up with another Mon-Keigh, Inquisitor Hectus in order to do so. Unfortunately, Austus was able to escape their clutches, and now flees from invisible enemies - both his Inquisitorial Masters who's mission he failed to complete upon Benevolence, and the Eldar Ranger who hunts for him still.

I hope this is enough of an intro, ask away if you still have any questions.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:38
Elequin. A world of tranquil peace and harmony, where the splendour of nature’s work went undisturbed. The sheer number of ecosystems that thrived across its surface was staggering, and it was amazing to consider that such wildly different organisms could survive together upon a single planet. So long as outside influences were careful to maintain natural equilibrium, a world like this could survive for millennia without ever bearing witness to the strife that beleaguered the rest of the galaxy.

A strife that the Exodites knew all too well.

In one form or another, Eldar had lived upon Elequin ever since the Exodites had fled their homeworlds in the years leading up to the Fall. The world lay far upon the eastern periphery of the galaxy, a great distance away from the centre of the ancient Eldar empire, but the original patriarchs who had led the Eldar to this place had proclaimed that only those who escaped furthest from their kin’s heartland would survive the inevitable cataclysm that would follow their excesses. They had been right.

Hidden within the forests of Elequin’s northern continent, a tribe of Eldar hailing from the Tyrandol dynasty lived out their simple lives. Times had been particularly hard of late- the local Emoxen herds had suffered terribly during the cold of last year’s winter, and were only now beginning to reproduce in meaningful numbers. It would be some time before the Tyrandol’s could hunt to the same level to which they had become accustomed, or they would risk exterminating the Emoxen entirely.

Several miles north of the Tyrandol settlement, a lone hunter silently crept along the floor beneath the forest canopy. His ears had sensed the company of another animal nearby, and he was determined to bring his prey’s carcass back to camp. It was the least that his adoptive family deserved.

The stalker finally caught sight of his target as he approached the outskirts of a small forest clearing. A Trazelle- a large equine herbivore of unnatural speed- quietly grazed within the glade, oblivious to his presence. The hunter smiled. A Trazelle was a rare catch. The Chief would no doubt be impressed with this prize, especially from an outsider.

The predator reached out slowly to draw the weapon holstered over his back. The gun was an Eldar Long Rifle, the signature firearm of an Eldar Ranger.

Eoheran Quilherna, Last Child of Dilherran and Ranger of the Avenger kindred, raised his rifle’s scope to be level with his right eye. Taking careful aim, Eoheran considered the events that had conspired to bring him here since the strife upon Benevolance three years earlier.

The Ranger’s heart still burned with anger for his failure upon that ugly Mon-Keigh world. He had allowed the verminous Austus to escape from his clutches, despite his most careful of precautions. To be outwitted by a creature less civilised than the Trazelle he faced was a source of humiliation and utmost shame, and he vowed never to be cheated in this manner again.

For months after the world’s destruction by the Imperial Navy, Eoheran had continued his hunt for the Chaos-tainted Inquisitor. Austus’ attempts to conceal his tracks might have seemed cunning to one of his primitive race, but failed to impress a pursuer as experienced him. He’d picked up the trail within days of the psyker’s escape from the custody of another Inquisitor. Unfortunately, Austus’ flight had been relentless and ongoing. Eoheran had continued his hunt persistently, but the Mon-Keigh’s movements had become increasingly erratic. Furthermore, Austus’ ship spent much time hiding within the depths of the sha-eil, that which the Mon-Keigh called warp space, a place that Eoheran could not enter. At one point the Ranger had begun to fear that the pyromancer had detected Eoheran’s pursuit and was deliberately avoiding him, but the Eldar warrior knew that he had been careful to remain unidentified. He presumed that he had not been the only one seeking to kill the Inquisitor.

Eventually he had lost sight of Austus’ path, and reluctantly abandoned his quest.

Since then, the Ranger had returned to his true calling in life. He had wandered the galaxy aimlessly, seeking fulfilment upon as many worlds as he could set foot upon. For a long time he had put aside his Shuriken Pistols, and now only palatable animals felt the force of his Long Rifle. In this manner he had achieved some measure of enlightenment- he would never forget the spectacle of sunrise upon the shrine world of Wieldor, nor the haunting cries of the Traeldabeests of Isharius as they mourned their lost companions. But he could not continue to stride the stars forever. He was a member of the Avenger kindred, and the Bloody Handed God’s thirst for vengeance was compelling. Eoheran craved the chance to recommence his hunt for Isha’ enemies, and that was not all he missed.

As the last child of his Craftworld, Eoheran knew that it was his duty to his family and kin to seek the truth of their deaths, and to punish the evildoers responsible. After all, was this not why he had joined the Avengers in the first place- to avenge the deaths of those lost in the flames of Dilherran’s destruction?

Eoheran’s put aside his feelings of bloodlust. To give into his passions would prove his undoing. The chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of the galaxy was healthy for him. And the lives of the Exodites had always intrigued him, had they not?

Nevertheless, the control he felt as he aimed his Long Rifle at the Trazelle was intoxicating. The power to grant life… and the power to take it away.

“Master Eoheran,” a voice behind the Ranger whispered softly. Eoheran did not shift or turn, or indicate surprise at all. Although the Trazelle he faced might still be oblivious to both Eldar, Eoheran had sensed the young Exodite’s approach long ago, and identified him as an ally not long after that.

“Greetings young Kelerith Tyrandol. I am impressed that you managed to find me,” Eoheran murmured, at a volume that none could hear but the Eldar beside him.

“You craftworlders may think our kind simpletons, Eoheran, but we are unparalleled masters of our art.”

“I am no craftworlder,” the outcast muttered quietly.

Neither Eldar spoke for a while. Each sat in silence, regarding the proud majesty of the Trazelle with admiration.

“The Chief wishes to speak to you back at the camp,” Kelerith said eventually. “Our scouts have taken captive an individual stalking the periphery of our territory. Another outsider.”

“An enemy?”

“He claims to be a past acquaintance of yours. We’re not sure what to make of him.”

Eoheran sighed. “I shall do as your master requests. He is my ruling Chief after all.”

Kelerith nodded and quietly rose to his feet, careful to avoid disturbing the Trazelle still grazing within the woodland copse. Eoheran didn’t move at all. His sniper rifle had remained fixed upon the animal even when the Exodite had arrived, and was still held in this hostile position.

“Master Eoheran?” Kelerith inquired, “Will you not come with me?”

The Ranger didn’t move or respond. His finger curled to rest upon the rifle’s trigger. The Trazelle had still not noticed him. It would be easy.

The power to grant life… and the power to take it away.

Eoheran remained where he was for a few seconds more, before lifting his rifle and silently rising to his feet.

“I will come,” he answered, stalking away to leave the Trazelle to feed in peace.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:38
Eoheran walked through the Exodite camp with poise, keeping his gaze fixed straight ahead and ignoring the whisperings of the Eldar around him. Their grumbles were to be expected, he supposed. To them he was still an outsider, and several months of servitude had failed to rid him of this label.

Kelerith had left the Ranger as they’d entered the village, the young hunter no doubt reluctant to be seen in the company of a stranger. Nevertheless, Eoheran didn’t need the Exodite to point him in the Chief’s direction. He was familiar enough with the settlement’s layout to know the location of the Chief’s tent. It was there that he would meet the Eldar who claimed to be an old friend of his.

Eoheran curiosity was all but unbearable. Who would seek him out in such a backwater sector of the galaxy?

As the Ranger caught sight of the Chief’s dwelling, he was surprised to see that the Chief was standing outside the tipi waiting for him. Presumably the newcomer was inside.

“Greetings Master Eoheran,” the Chief stated politely.

Eoheran dropped down on one knee. “You sent for me, my lord.”

“Rise, Eoheran, rise. I know how humiliating you must find it to subjugate to another Eldar.”

The Ranger rose to his feet swiftly. In truth, the Chief had been right. The thought of recognising another Eldar as his superior had never sat well with Eoheran, one of many reasons why he’d never felt comfortable walking the Path of the Eldar.

Although admittedly his exile had not been one of choice…

“The stranger is right through there,” the Chief said, gesturing towards his home’s entrance as he did so. “He claims to be searching for you, and that you are a comrade of his. Remember, Eoheran, if you fear that he is a threat to us at all…”

“I understand, Chief. I will call for help if I need it.”

The Exodite leader nodded. “Then my home is yours, Eoheran.”

The Ranger returned the nod with gratitude and reverence, before peeling away the cloth covering of the tent’s opening and stepping through to greet this foreigner.

His eyes widened in surprise and joy as he noticed the Eldar lying upon the rug of the tipi’s inside.

“Ulathir!” he cried happily.

The Eldar resting upon the carpet rose to his feet instantly as he recognised the familiar voice.

“Eoheran!” he gasped, “It is you! I had thought I’d never find you!”

The two Eldar grasped each other in a brotherly embrace, with warmth that only two best friends who had been separated for decades could achieve.

When Eoheran had been a young infant, his Craftworld had been in grave peril. Dilherran had faced extinction, and all upon its surface understood that the end had come. Whilst the Eldar had prepared themselves for their last battle, Eoheran’s father, an experienced follower of the Path of Command, had refused to let his child die needlessly. He had approached Lord Gaelthas, an Autarch of the Alaitoc Craftworld, and begged that he would care for Eoheran as though he were his own son.

That had been the last he had seen of his craftworld. Dilherran had been destroyed, and he was the last of his kin.

Lord Gaelthas was true to his word, and had brought up Eoheran along with his own children: Ulathir and his sister Anaelrin. The three of them had been the closest of friends, experiencing a bond that extended beyond conventional family ties. They had been good times, but they could not have lasted forever.

Eventually Ulathir had tired of the discipline of the Eldar Path, and voluntarily taken up the mantle of an Outcast. Both Eoheran and Anaelrin had begged Ulathir not to go, or even to let them come with him. But Ulathir had rejected their wishes, explaining that this part of his life was something that he had to experience alone. He had left Alaitoc, and become an Eldar Ranger.

After that, Anaelrin had been the only true friend left for Eoheran. She had always been precious to him, but now those feelings had extended beyond mere fondness. They had become close, very close… but Eoheran could never compete with the attachment that Anaelrin had with her brother. Before long she had elected to go into exile herself, and Eoheran had been left alone.

Losing Anaelrin had been even worse than Ulathir’s departure. Even when he been a young child, Eoheran had always presumed that he would eventually take her as his life-mate, and that some day they would be unified in companionship together. But now that could never be- Anaelrin had chosen to become an Outcast, and he could never be with one who had forsaken the Path. That was just the way that things were.

He had not seen either Ulathir or Anaelrin for decades after that. He had frittered away from Path to Path, embracing the Paths of the Lyricist, Archivist and Warrior in turn, but he had found fulfilment with none of these and his membership had been short lived. The next time he had seen the siblings had been during the Yariel Affair.

The affair that had culminated with his banishment…

Eoheran shook himself from his reverie. He had no desire to return to such bad memories, especially not in Ulathir’s company.

The jovial visage that Eoheran had remembered was still present upon Ulathir’s face, but it was shadowed by an expression that spoke of the centuries of hardship he had witnessed. He wasn’t surprised- the life of a Ranger was fraught with dangers, and he presumed that Ulathir could see the same exhaustion upon his own features. But there was something else that had brought on this worn appearance, and he had a good idea what it was.

Eoheran had met Ulathir only once since the incident with Yariel. On the Maiden World of Thelisia, Ulathir had caught up with him to ask if he had heard from Anaelrin. Apparently she had vanished, and none could find any trace of her, or explain her disappearance. Ulathir had been searching for her ever since.

“Have you heard anything about Anaelrin?” Eoheran asked his companion, releasing the Ranger from his grip as he did so.

Ulathir shook his head darkly. “No. I keep picking up signs of her passing, but then I lose sight of her trail. Isha willing, my persistent efforts are sure to be rewarded soon.”

“You know that I would crave to help search for her myself…”

Ulathir waved his hand to one side irritably. “I told you before on Thelisia. Anaelrin is my sister, and it is my responsibility to find her.”

“Ulathir… you may never find her…”

“Then I will die trying,” Ulathir stated forcefully.

Eoheran fell silent, and neither Ranger spoke for a while. Eventually Eoheran thought of something else to talk about, in an attempt to cheer up his comrade.

“So. What has provoked you to visit me upon this world of bounty?”

Ulathir smiled, momentarily putting aside the pain of his sister’s loss. “I bring word of a mission for you Eoheran. Apparently the Seers of Alaitoc have a use for one of your talents.”

Eoheran was intrigued. “When did they speak to you about this?”

“I returned to Alaitoc a few months ago to see if they’d heard anything from Anaelrin there. A joyless experience it was, particularly encountering the pretentious tirade of my own father again.”

Eoheran smiled, but stopped when he realised how insensitive a gesture it was. Lord Gaelthas was no doubt deeply mourning his daughter’s disappearance.

“When I was there, one of the Farseers summoned me to his chambers. He told me that the Seer Council had seen evidence of a terrible future that might conspire soon, and that he had need of a hunter like me to save it from emerging. My own pre-occupation prevents me from accepting this mission myself, but I promised him that I would find another to complete it for us. Someone they could trust.”

“I am honoured that the Seers and yourself judge me worthy of embracing this challenge,” Eoheran spoke honestly. “What must I do to serve the Eldar?”

Ulathir nodded approvingly, before continuing. “There is an alien. He is an emissary of his race, a Tau diplomat known as O’Toreme or Ambassador Serpentine. He must be killed.”

Eoheran frowned. “Why? What threat does an alien envoy pose to us?”

“Serpentine is influential and ambitious. We believe that he wishes to find scope for an expansionist policy to boost his own power-base. His spies have already identified Alaitoc as being responsible for disrupting Tau imperialism in the past. It is only a matter of time before he proposes a full-scale campaign to destroy Alaitoc entirely. If it is but partially successful then his authority will grow further, but that will be the least of our Craftworld’s problems.”

Eoheran remained confused. “Will we not run and live, as we have always have? Are the Tau not harmless to us?”

Ulathir shrugged. “Perhaps. But Serpentine is relentless and determined to achieve his objectives. He will never stop hunting our kin, and if the future the Seers have seen is to be believed, then we have a good idea where he will start.”

“Where?”

“Here,” Ulathir said gravely.

The finality of his old friend’s words shook Eoheran. The Tau, here on Elequin. The alien scum had no appreciation for this world’s beauty, and would show no mercy to its inhabitants. The Exodites would be murdered, the World Spirit polluted, and the regal pride of Elequin’s ecosystems would be annihilated. Never again would this world of bounty know peace, only the terrible fate of war and alien occupation. He could not let this world and its inhabitants suffer, not after all they had done for him.

Eoheran sighed. So much for enjoying the simple pleasures of the galaxy.

“Where can I find this alien?” he asked eventually.

“Serpentine is too heavily guarded at this time. He’s paranoid and justly so. But our Seers believe that soon he shall set foot upon another alien world to negotiate its subjugation. There it is believed that malcontents within the planet’s government will attempt to assassinate Serpentine themselves. If you can, you should try to support this conspiracy in any way possible. It abolishes the need for direct action, and they will likely have a clearer idea of what’s transpiring there than we do.”

Ulathir paused. “Both sides in this conflict are our enemies, and conditions upon the Eastern Fringe are too fragile for us to be seen interfering directly. We must avoid a war or confrontation at any cost. Keep to the shadows, and act with subtlety. Direct force is to be used as a last resort only.”

Eoheran nodded. “And where is this planet that Serpentine is set to visit?”

“A Mon-Keigh world,” Ulathir answered, “in the Innocence system.”

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:39
The prescience of Alaitoc’s Seers had spoken of a plot within the senior hierarchy of Innocence, and investigating the conspiracy was essential for Eoheran. His mission dictated a discreet approach, and a successful assassination of the Tau diplomat might only be possible with the triumph or failure of the Mon-Keigh scheme. The Ranger needed to understand how this plot would help or hinder his assignment, and then subtly alter its course to suit his goals.

Of particular interest was the recent theft of a destructive Mon-Keigh weapon from an IPDF fortified armoury. It was possible that the theft was unrelated to the conspiracy developing upon Innocence, but Eoheran didn’t believe in coincidences. This stolen warhead was doubtless a part of the traitor Mon-Keigh plot, and potentially an integral factor. The Ranger decided to infiltrate the military stockpile from which the weapon had been stolen, a base not far from Innocene’s capital of Phalanxia.

The last time that Eoheran had journeyed to Alaitoc, many decades ago, he had been granted a gift by the Seers of Alaitoc eager to maintain the Ranger’s allegiance. This had been a Psychic Receptacle, a rare wonder of Eldar technology from the Golden Age of their race. The Receptacle was a lure for residual psychic energies and intense cognitions. Its principal use at the time of its creation was to warn its bearer of potential enemies – the Receptacle could examine the surface thoughts of all nearby to search for feelings of disapproval, malice or betrayal, and attribute the source of these emotions to a specific individual. Eoheran intended to use the Psychic Receptacle for a very similar purpose.

Placing the artefact by the entrance to the silo would be able to detect the feelings of the thieves as they entered the chamber. From this, Eoheran might be able to gain a further understanding of the conspiracy. Vengeance might implicate a third party with a hidden agenda, unearthly sadism or rage would hint at the involvement of the Ruinous Powers, whilst unfamiliar emotion or thought would imply direct alien intervention.

With his objective clearly identified, Eoheran commenced his operation to penetrate the base’s defence perimeter. Infiltration of the barracks was straightforward enough for one as proficient as an Eldar Ranger, but the involvement of external forces meant that the actual placement of the Receptacle might prove more complicated…

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:54
Insert first gaming session here. This gaming session involved two missions, both of which included both Eoheran and the retinue of Inquisitor Parargon, another player character.

The first mission was set in the missile silo from which the thermal warhead had been stolen. Whilst Parargon entered through the front door, flashing his Inquisitorial Seal and conducted investigations of his own, Eoheran infiltrated the silo more discretely, hoping that Parargon would not set back his own objectives.

Unfortunately, Parargon's arrival did indeed cause complications. For reasons that Eoheran could not decipher, a fierce gunfight broke out between Parargon and the IPDF (Innocence Planetary Defence Force) guards stationed within the armoury. As more guards entered the silo, some were able to spot Eoheran, and thus move to interfere with his mission. However, Eoheran was able to overcome these interruptions without injury, despatching his opponents with ease. A carefully timed placement of the psychic receptacle via the silo entrance ensured he managed to complete his mission, whilst simultaneously avoiding detection.

From the receptacle, Eoheran was granted an insight into the emotions of the missile's thieves. Their feelings were ones of familiarity, confidence, assurance...and simultaneously underlined by darker thoughts of betrayal. To Eoheran it seemed as though there was only one explanation. Clearly the thieves had been familiar with their territory, thus suggesting the missile had been stolen by men working within the armoury themselves - Mon-Keigh who had betrayed their comrades.

Eoheran did not know how far this conspiracy went, but there was every possibility that it went right up to the top. With this in mind, he chose to move directly against Watch Commander Thedriel Mestas, general of the IPDF, and potentially the chief architect of the conspiracy. Unfortunately, it seemed that Inquisitor Parargon had a similar objective in mind.

In this, the second mission, both player made their way to Mestas' command centre - in Parargon's case by butchering all the guards in his way, and in Eoheran's case by taking the longer but safer route. But the ease with which Parargon despatched his opponents shocked both Mestas and Eoheran. By the time the Inquisitor had reached the Watch Commander, the Ranger was too late, and was forced to make a hasty retreat from the IPDF armoury...

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:55
Eoheran dived into the cover offered by a side-passage wall and pressed himself flat against its surface. He turned to face his left slowly, watching a squad of Mon-Keigh warriors head straight past him, no doubt intent on defying the Imperial Inquisitor causing havoc within the barracks’ command centre. True to form, the blundering Mon-Keigh were oblivious to his presence even as they ran within inches of his still body. Briefly, the Ranger considered drawing his pistols and punishing the aliens for their stupidity, but decided against it. Drawing attention to himself so deep within enemy territory would be most unwise. Let the Mon-Keigh war amongst themselves – for now at least it suited his purposes.

As he slinked down the forgotten passageway, Eoheran considered the implications of his failure. The interference of this Inquisitor complicated matters. At first he had been useful – twice the Inquisitor had clashed with the IPDF guardsmen, and each time it had provided Eoheran with the diversion he needed to infiltrate into optimum position. But now this creature had directly obstructed his work, kidnapping the Mon-Keigh leader that the Ranger had seen fit to interrogate. Without the means to directly oppose the Inquisitor in violent confrontation, Eoheran had been forced to withdraw with his task incomplete. The feelings of resentment Eoheran harboured towards the Inquisition, feelings that had festered on Benevolence, seemed to grow daily.

If Eoheran’s plans were continually thwarted in this way, then successful completion of his assassination mission would become an impossibility. Serpentine was untouchable except when on Innocence, but without knowledge of when and where the Ambassador would arrive, execution would be impossible. Furthermore, intelligence of this rumoured Mon-Keigh plot would be necessary to plan for how it might obstruct or aid the objectives of the Eldar.

No matter. Other leads would present themselves. Further obstruction by the Mon-Keigh would be punished with termination. It was folly to presume that he, a member of the Eldar race, could be deterred by lesser aliens. He would succeed, no matter the cost in Mon-Keigh lives.

The passageway Eoheran had been following had ended, leading into another main corridor. Carefully checking for more IPDF grunts first, Eoheran stepped out into hallway. There was not far to go now.

The slight vibrations in the floor as the clumsy Mon-Keigh traipsed forwards warned the Ranger of danger even before the door to his right side opened. Another squad of Mon-Keigh warriors stepped forwards, before coming to an abrupt halt upon noticing the intruder. Each man appeared to be rather alarmed by the Eldar’s presence.

“What-” began the squad leader. He never got the chance to continue his sentence. Before the sergeant had moved onto his second word, Eoheran had drawn both shuriken pistols and opened fire.

The low hiss of the blades’ ejection from the pistol barrels was barely audible over the screams of the Mon-Keigh and the cracking sound of the ammunitions penetration through armour, sinew and bone. Standing in a thin line, one behind the other, the dozens of shots fired by the guns mowed the guardsmen down with consummate ease. The first four warriors collapsed as one, their bodies riddled with shuriken fire.

The next soldier gaped in horror at the horrific scene before him, and the Ranger fired a hail of shot into the Mon-Keigh’s primitive brain. The warrior’s companion was quicker, and raised his lasrifle. Eoheran kicked out at the gun with his right leg, sending it tumbling out of his foe’s hands. Wrapping his other leg around the left neck joint of the guardsman, he slammed the human’s head into the wall twice. The helmet absorbed much of the impact, but the blows still stunned him long enough for Eoheran to fire his pistol into the warrior’s torso.

Back out in the corridor, doors opened as more IPDF guardsman came to investigate the source of such carnage. Stepping back, Eoheran aimed his two pistols to face in opposite directions, before emptying their ammunition into the approaching ranks. Once more the Mon-Keigh died in droves, their corpses slowing down the warriors behind them and thus adding their bodies to the piles of dead. The Ranger kept firing until all his bullets were spent, before sheathing his guns in a single smooth motion. All of his enemies had been slain in the crossfire, but for a single guardsman desperately fleeing the scene, like a lamb panicking before its entrance to the slaughterhouse. Eoheran strode after the human for a few steps, before drawing a slender wraithbone knife and hurling it towards the retreating warrior. The shot was a perfect hit, severing the Mon-Keigh’s spinal cord and sending him tumbling to the floor.

Slowly advancing on the dying guardsman, Eoheran reached out and withdrew the precious blade. For a while, the Ranger watched as the thick Mon-Keigh blood trickled off the knife’s smooth edge onto the corpse of the soldier that had once been a living being, with contemptible and primitive desires of its own.

Only Mon-Keigh. Only human.

Eoheran smiled. These aliens were irritations, nothing more. Where he saw fit they could be used as tools, means to an end. Where such co-operation was unnecessary, they would be destroyed like the uncivilised savages they were. Nevermore would a human thwart his goals.

Nevermore.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 12:56
Eoheran gingerly placed the gem-studded data sorter down upon the crude Mon-Keigh table before him, marvelling for a few moments at the beauty of the simple artefact. The jewels glistened in synchrony, attuned as they were to the beating heart of the object’s wraithbone core. The sorter fulfilled a similar function to a Mon-Keigh cogitator, keeping a digital record of any information that the Ranger committed to its memory. However, unlike the clunky machinery used by those primitive aliens, the depository operated at a far higher level, communicating directly with the Eldar’s higher brain functions via a remote psychic link. Thus Eoheran could cycle through numerous sources simultaneously, whilst giving each his full attention.

Tearing his eyes away from the Eldar construction, Eoheran disdainfully regarded the unmoving form of the alien behind him. Ropes and chains kept the Mon-Keigh fixed to an uncomfortable wooden chair. The man’s uniform identified him as a member of the Phalanxian Enforcers, a lieutenant no less. The fact that the Ranger had managed to capture this so-called officer with such ease said little for the proficiency of the Mon-Keigh in combat.

The soldier bled from a dozen cuts inflicted during his kidnapping by the Eldar, including a particularly nasty gash underneath the man’s chin. His head had been tied back, leaving his neck exposed, and blood ran down it from the wound beneath his jaw. The animal eyes of the Mon-Keigh darted around wildly; his mouth remained fixed in a silent scream.

Eoheran walked over to the cabinet by his right, drawing from it a slender needle topped with a trio of dull gemstones. Carefully examining the sharp implement, the Ranger drew closer to the imprisoned alien and kneeled down at his side.

The officer coughed, spitting out thin droplets of blood and saliva as he did so. It took Eoheran a while to realise that the creature was actually attempting to talk. The Eldar cocked his head to the side, amused.

“What…are you going…to do with me?” the Mon-Keigh panted.

Eoheran decided to reply honestly. “I am going to draw from your mind information that might assist me with my investigations. In doing so, your mind will merge with the wraithbone core of my depository unit. Exposing your thoughts to the depths of the device’s heart may well prove fatal for you. This is of little consequence, for if you survive, I intend to terminate you anyway.”

The alien groaned and shook, as though he could escape his bondage if he fought hard enough. Eoheran ignored this and continued to clinically examine the needle he held for faults or cracks. Eventually, the Mon-Keigh ceased in his struggle.

“Why?” he whispered eventually.

Eoheran stared at the officer, surprised at the question. “Because I desire it, Mon-Keigh. Isha granted we Eldar this galaxy and its inhabitants, to do with as we saw fit. It serves my interests to retrieve this information from your consciousness, and I see no reason why I should not do so.”

The enforcer stared at the Ranger, aghast. “What kind of monster are you?”

Eoheran smiled an alien smile, but did not answer. Instead he twirled the needle around his fingers a few times, before plunging its tip into the forehead of the man lying before him.

The human cried out in pain, the touch of the psychic strands as they flowed around his mind wreathing him in terrible agony. Eoheran wasn’t listening – having sensed the touch of the warp-tendrils as they flowed out from the needle, he broadcasted a single thought command to connect the vines to the data sorter. Although the Ranger was no psyker, the energies of the needle had been created to obey the wishes of any Eldar unquestioningly. Within seconds, the invisible vapours emitted from the spike impaled in the Mon-Keigh’s head had settled themselves within the wraithbone heart of the depository. The three gems of the needle glowed green in unison.

Eoheran rose and stepped over to the artefact, reaching out with his right hand to touch the item’s surface. Instantaneously, his mind became at one with the ancient memory of the digi-bank. His first sensations were ones of suffering, the surface thoughts of the dying Mon-Keigh. The pain, whilst disconcerting, was entirely tolerable – Eoheran had suffered far worse anguish, both physical and emotional. He wondered briefly how the Mon-Keigh coped with living such meaningless existences, lacking such extremities of passion.

Probing further into the Mon-Keigh’s mind, Eoheran was granted a glimpse of thoughts more relevant to his mission. Loathe as he was to admit it, the Eldar’s investigation had hit a dead end, and it would take the compliance of well-informed Mon-Keigh to help him further his investigation into the political conspiracy. This enforcer was a small-timer, with no knowledge of any plot or coup. But Eoheran was far cleverer than this animal, and he was able to piece together the clues within the officer’s mind to fit with his own knowledge of the conspiracy.

A fragment of memory caught the Eldar’s attention, and he examined it further. A shuttle crash…a routine occurrence, a free captain lost to a tragic accident, after dodging a security check no doubt. A simple matter of determining the cause of the crash, seizing any contraband, and disposing of the bodies. Except things had got a lot more serious.

It seemed that what should have been a small-time Enforcer investigation had blown up into a highly classified Ministry cover-up. Even the lieutenant, a high ranking policeman, had been denied key details of the case, before he’d been dismissed altogether. They’d even had IPDF soldiers guarding the crash site. What was going on?

Eoheran momentarily retreated to his own thoughts, thinking hard. The IPDF had large enough problems on their hands after the disappearance of their leader – things would have to be pretty serious for them to get involved with a shuttle crash incident. Whatever secrets were hidden on that vessel had to be of relevance to the conspiracy. It was the only thing that could explain their eagerness to keep the whole event covered up.

The underlying sensation of the Mon-Keigh’s agony began to subside, as he drifted towards the dark embrace of the Abyss. Eoheran continued unperturbed. The thoughts and recollections of the enforcer had already been stored within the depository’s long term memory.

Whilst searching for further clues to the shuttle’s mysteries, the Eldar encountered another memory-trace that perked his interest. An order, issued recently. High clearance level, directly issued to all police officers by someone high in rank and status. The command spoke of an urgent need to acquire and detain an escaped terrorist of some notoriety. Eoheran spied a vague flash of a photograph image displaying the criminal’s appearance. And a warning: the offender may be masquerading as a high ranking politician with identification to support his alias.

Once more Eoheran considered his options. Whoever this “terrorist” was, the political elite were eager to find him, and that was reason enough to desire his capture. Whatever the members of the conspiracy wanted to keep quiet was exactly what the Ranger wanted to know. His information might prove critical in determining when and where Ambassador Serpentine might arrive, and what plans had been set in motion by the conspiring Innocents that might support or interfere with his mission.

Two potential sources of enlightenment and information. He knew not which might be best to investigate, but to spread his resources between tasks that would require his full attention would be folly. He would have to choose between them.

Withdrawing from the hub of the data sorter, Eoheran carefully adjusted to his physical surroundings, and casually regarded the corpse of the Mon-Keigh slumped across the chair. There was no time for preliminary investigation. He would have to act on instinct.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:19
Well, Eoheran chose to hunt for the "terrorist" which led handily into the next gaming session.

Both Inquisitor Parargon and Eoheran's one time ally, but most-of-the-time enemy, Inquisitor Hectus, had made contact with this individual as well, having arranged a meeting to find out what he knew. Eoheran was able to learn of the meeting, and be there when it happened, planting surveillance units around the assembly-place so that he wouldn't miss any of the action.

The "terrorist" was in fact a man by the name of Raymond Terrelis, a leading politician upon Innocence who had refused to be part of the political conspiracy. For that he was now being hunted by the authorities, who were desperate to conceal their plans. After confirming the Inquisitors' suspicions of a plot, Terrelis began to reveal what he knew, beginning with a statement that he had learned much of the conspiracy from the cogitator of Warrior Prince Robertus Schpile. As Schpile was no less than the second most powerful man upon Innocence, a general and enforcer second only to Philosopher King Chalaros Bellack in authority. Unfortunately, before Terrelis could give anymore information, he was assassinated by a masked Swordsman moving at impossible speeds only possible through psychic manipulation. Soon afterwards, IPDF guards closed on the meeting place, ordered to kill any who'd bared witness to Terrelis' testimony.

There was one thing worth retrieving before escaping. Terrelis had been carrying a digi-disk on his person that he had claimed would give proof of the conspiracy. Unfortunately that disk was now in the hands of the Swordsman - Eoheran would have to retrieve it.

Things started well as the Mon-Keigh Inquisitor Parargon gunned down the retreating Swordsman, before being pinned down himself by advancing IPDF guards. As Eoheran eliminated all guards in his way from afar with his Ranger Long Rifle, he prepared to descend from the tower he'd been occupying and move in for the disk - but not before getting revenge upon Inquisitor Hectus first. A single bullet in the head was all the master sniper needed to take Hectus out of action...

Unfortunately, whilst incapacitating his old foe was most satisfying, it also drew the attention of Parargon's henchmen to a sniper in the immediate vicinity. Upon spotting Eoheran during his not-so-stealthy dash for the disk carried by the Swordsmen, they immediately opened fire, gunning down the Ranger and taking him out of action. Fortunately, the pressin IPDF reinforcements prevented Parargon and his men from finishing off the Eldar, and Eoheran just about managed to escape with his life.

Despite suffering terrible injuries, and failing to retrieve Terrelis' disk Eoheran had learned one thing from the meeting - the possible involvement of Schpile in the Conspiracy. Upon learning that Schpile had recently visited his residence upon the boundaries of the city of Phalanxia, Eoheran set out for the mansion, entering via a secret entrance and emerging within the dungeons of the Warrior Prince's house.

But the dungeons were not unoccupied. They were guarded by armed warriors - but they were not human. They were Jahaati, aliens, a blue-skinned and horned race of cyclopians, clearly involved in the conspiracy with Schpile. After successfully slaying one of the alien guards, Eoheran realised that once again his goals had been thwarted by Inquisitor Parargon, who'd arrived in the dungeon moments before him. As such, Eoheran hid to avoid a direct firefight with the Inquisitor's retinue, waiting until they left the dungeon before making his move and interrogating the occupants of the subterranean jail.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:20
The din of the firefight was painfully loud, doubly so for a being with hearing as refined as an Eldar. Eoheran tried to ignore the noise, retreating within his own mind to a meditative state whilst retaining a perpetual condition of readiness. Once the gunfight was over, then he would make his move.

He’d followed the retinue of the Imperial Inquisitor down into the dungeons of the mansion, and watched as they had butchered their way through the jail’s alien guardians. Whatever creatures these jailers were had been unrecognisable – in all his journeys across the galaxy, he’d never encountered beings like these blue cyclopean fiends. He might have been inclined to demonstrate leniency towards this unfamiliar race, had they not commenced hostilities against him first. By daring to attack a member of the Eldar race these aliens had demonstrated their barbarity and earned themselves the disdain of the Ranger.

Eoheran carefully glanced round the edge of the column he sheltered behind. Whatever mission the Mon-Keigh had arrived to complete appeared to be fulfilled, for now they were withdrawing from the dungeon, carrying the body of their leader with them. The Ranger briefly considered finishing the Inquisitor off, before thinking better of it. Commencing a gunfight with the numerically superior Mon-Keigh within such a concise environment would be fatal. He would bide his time.

Behind the retreating Inquisitorial retinue advanced the mansion’s security guards, men who had descended from the house’s upper levels to slay the interlopers. Eoheran smiled, amused by the folly of the aliens. Once again the Mon-Keigh demonstrated their stupidity by pointlessly warring amongst themselves. The thought that Man had emerged as the dominant power in the galaxy was astonishing really. How had they managed to construct a galactic empire without immediate self destruction? The Mon-Keigh truly were their own worst enemy.

The sound of gunfire seemed more distant. Eoheran listened to the captains of the security guards order their men to pursue their enemies, and before long the dungeon was empty. He emerged from beneath his cameoline cloak and warily checked for any sentries that might have been left behind. Satisfied that he truly was alone, he rose to his feet and stepped out of cover.

The walls and floor of the underground prison were slick with blood, corpses and dismembered body parts. Eoheran took in the scene with a casual glance. He’d seen much worse sights during his journey along the Path of the Warrior, and his adventures as a Ranger since. Besides, there was nothing worth mourning here. Only Mon-Keigh.

The Eldar strode down the corridor for a short while before reaching a crossroad of paths. To the Ranger’s right lay the tunnel entrance to the dungeon, the direction from which Eoheran himself had arrived and the route that the Imperial Inquisitor had escaped down. On the left, another long corridor leading towards a staircase ascending to the mansion’s ground floor. However, it was the path directly opposite the Ranger that seemed the most intriguing. All the passageways that Eoheran had seen within the dungeon had been lined with prison cells so small and squalid that a man would struggle to lie down in them, but in clear sight of the Eldar was a far larger room with a digital lock across its portal. What differentiated the cell from all the others? There was only one way to find out.

A Mon-Keigh cogitator was built into a column to the right hand side of the room’s entrance. Eoheran moved towards the processor, expecting to have to hack into its hard-drive to input the unlock command, but was surprised to find that the door opened automatically as he approached. Someone had been too rushed during the fight to lock down the cell.

As the Eldar set foot in the room, he quickly surveyed his surroundings and assessed what he found within. This was an interrogation cell. A semi-naked Mon-Keigh lay in bondage upon a rough stone table in the centre of room, plagued with a colourful variety of wounds and injuries his captors had inflicted upon him. The human’s eyes had glazed over, staring vacantly into oblivion, and the Ranger didn’t need to examine the alien further to know that he was dead. Comforting as it was to know that another enemy of the Eldar had perished, Eoheran sighed. Dead men could offer him no leads. There was nothing left here to grant him the information he needed.

He walked back out of the room and glanced around, spying another large detention facility to his right. Perhaps he would be fortunate enough to find the intelligence he needed there.

Once more the portal opened instantly without the need to use the cogitator. In contrast to the torture cell, with rows upon rows of shelves and cupboards, the room was entirely sparse. There was nothing here but four walls, a floor and a ceiling; no furniture or surfaces. The one exception to the almost eerie emptiness was the corpse of another Mon-Keigh male, lying slumped against the far wall in a bloody heap. The clothing of the alien revealed the human as a prisoner rather than a guard. Cause of death was easy to identify – a thin trickle of blood still spilled from a gaping hole blown in the inmate’s chest. The Eldar kneeled down to the floor, and reached out for a ring of metal lying a few inches away. The casing of a Mon-Keigh shotgun shell.

Eoheran cast the covering to the floor angrily and rose to his feet. Yet another intelligence source lost. Weeks of searching for informed Mon-Keigh to capture and interrogate had revealed nothing – by the time he’d found the targets he’d been searching for they had invariably disappeared, been kidnapped or slain. Beyond what the Seers of Alaitoc had told him - the inevitability of Serpentine’s visit to Innocence at some point in the foreseeable future - the Ranger was completely in the dark about the means by which he would accomplish his mission. If another lead did not present itself soon, then the one real chance to assassinate the Tau Ambassador would be lost. And the inhabitants of Elequin would suffer…

“They will suffer…and you will bear the responsibility of their deaths alone…”

Eoheran ignored the pessimistic voices of his own mind. Another opportunity would present itself. All was not yet lost.

“Failure…you have failed…and once more others will suffer for your shortcomings…”

The Ranger started. The whispers of doubt were not confined to his mind. They were spoken out loud – he was not alone.

“They will die…and their souls will know no peace…Kelerith Tyrandol…The Chief…Ulathir…Anaelrin…”

Eoheran felt his temper rise at the speaker’s impudence. How dare this creature threaten his closest friends? How did this being know him? He turned angrily in the direction of the voice, and was shocked to find that the Mon-Keigh corpse had reanimated. The eyes of the human were wide and without pupils, and the grin on his face was borderline-psychotic.

“Who are you?” Eoheran asked with disgust.

The man-thing’s smile broadened. “I am your best friend, Eoheran Quilherna,” the creature answered silkily. “I am your guardian angel. I am the one who Sees, who Sees deep into the heart and knows you better than anyone else does. I am the one who Sees your innermost desires, and I am the one who can grant you them.”

The creature rose to its feet – literally rising without the necessity of pushing itself up – and stood comfortably upon two legs so bloody and broken that by all rights it should have collapsed instantly. But instead of falling, the monster began to advance towards the Eldar, slowly but relentlessly. Eoheran remained immobile, too proud to step back, but too unnerved by this seemingly omniscient being to act in any other way.

“But tell me, Eoheran Quilherna,” the man continued. “Tell me: who are you? Truly in your heart? That rage you feel as you prosecute your foes and avenge your fallen brethren, is it really so different from the barbaric lusts of your enemies? Are the means you go to whilst accomplishing your missions not a reflection of the unholy practices your foes use? Are you so sure of your own purity?”

Once more Eoheran felt the urge to recoil, but he swiftly calmed his fears. A shudder passed through his body, originating near to his heart, but he soon realised that the flutter had not been an internal reaction. His waystone, hanging from a necklace disguised beneath his traveller’s robes, vibrated almost imperceptibly.

“Daemon…” he whispered.

“Daemon,” the fiend acknowledged, “or Angel perhaps. Who are you to differentiate between them, mortal?”

The warp beast in Mon-Keigh form ceased its implacable advance, and leaned close to the Ranger to whisper.

“I know everything, Eoheran,” it murmured. “I know about your mission, and your frustration as all your well laid plans are thwarted. I know about Elequin, the Exodites, those whose souls are forfeit thanks to your failure. I know about Anaelrin, and I feel your despair as you mourn the loss of a friend, as the last glimmer of hope is extinguished by the irresistible force of time’s slow march. And I know your true feelings towards her, your most secret of cravings, desires towards a friend you’ve known so long that they border on…incestuous.”

Eoheran snarled and moved threateningly towards the daemon, but the beast slipped away, stepping to the side to whisper in the Ranger’s ear.

“I know all this and I know more, Eoheran Quilherna. Listen to your heart, Eoheran, do not repress your most basic of instincts. Let me in, let me help you, and I shall grant you whatever your heart desires.”

“No…” growled Eoheran, turning to face the fiend, but once more the daemon had shifted to the Ranger’s other side.

“I know about Yariel, Eoheran Quilherna,” the daemon continued. “I know what you risked to help your people that time, and I know what powers you unleashed unwittingly in your ignorance. I know how addictive those powers were, and still are…the insatiable seduction of that which you claim to abhor but secretly crave to taste again. Is that not why you wander alone, Eoheran Quilherna? In desperate pursuit of secrets your people would deny you, secrets you would sacrifice all to hear whispered in your ear one last time?”

“Enough!” the Eldar raged angrily. The daemon remained still, the grin of sadism never once leaving its features as Eoheran drew his pistols and opened fire. It took several dozen shots to erode the last remnants of flesh and bone from above the daemon’s neck, before the creature collapsed to the floor.

Eoheran lowered his guns and stood there for a few moments panting. The words of the daemon continued to echo in his mind, taking on subtler variances and nuances that chilled and disturbed him more than when expressed out loud. Eventually, the Eldar came to his senses. There was nothing of value left here – if he delayed any longer he risked detection by security personnel. He was sure he could hear the sound of bolter rounds reverberate upstairs already.

With one last disgusted look at the mangled corpse lying by his feet, the Ranger span on his heel, and sprinted towards the exit to the dungeon. There was only a limited number of leads left, and they wouldn’t wait forever.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:21
Eoheran crept through the air vent silently, with the stealthy precision of a snake closing in on its prey. His position was not entirely unfamiliar – ventilation shafts were the Ranger’s friend, along with sewers, tunnels and (on occasion) laundry skips. But despite his experience of moving through such claustrophobic settings, he’d never quite got used to the aroma. There were few things he’d experienced during his journeys across the galaxy that compared to the stench of the Mon-Keigh.

His ears strained to listen to the human soldiers talking inanely beneath him, whilst trying to match the speed of their slow walk. The mindless chatter was for the most part irrelevant and uninteresting, but it was their references to the coming “campaign” that intrigued the Eldar. These officers really should have known better than to discuss classified military secrets in a location he’d proven to be so insecure…

“So when does the campaign begin?” asked the younger junior officer. His enthusiasm bordered on the juvenile, and Eoheran was staggered that even a race as primitive as the Mon-Keigh would see fit to promote this ***** to a position of command.

“Difficult to say,” the young man’s leader replied. “Acting Watch Commander Lopose said that it may be months or even years before our enemies commence their arrival. The pacifists on both sides will doubtless try to prevent the campaign from beginning, but once Operation Last Cry is completed their opinions shall be considered irrelevant. Those in power will understand the need for such drastic measures.”

“What we do, we do for the good of the people,” the younger man spoke in a monotone fashion, as though repeating word for word orders from his superiors. “The campaign is necessary to convince the people of that fact.”

“Indeed it is, Crytol, indeed it is. But there is much to do before we are ready. How are your men performing in the Advanced Training Programme?”

“With distinction and fervour, Sir. They understand the need for such relentless preparation, as do you and I. They will be ready when the time comes.”

“And what of Operation Last Cry? Have you made your recommendations to Captain Tuphes?”

“Yes Sir. Three men, all from 1st Platoon. They are my best, Colonel. They should be more than good enough to satisfy Commander Lopose’s needs.”

“Excellent, Crytol, well done. I shall ensure that the Watch Commander hears of your co-operation in this matter. Your obedience to orders is a credit to you and your Company, Major. The IPDF is fortunate to have such competent officers within its ranks.”

“I wish only to serve, Sir. But I thank you for your kind words.”

Eoheran realised with slight panic that the voices grew more distant, that their pace had quickened. Even more troubling, the grating across the vents both beneath and before him signalled that he could get no further by following the shaft onwards. The only way out was down through the grating or backwards.

Quickly thinking through his options, the Ranger considered that the chance to learn more from these officers was an opportunity too great to pass up. The time for stealth was over.

He reached up to hang on the vent’s low roof, sliding his feet and hands into the edges where the horizontal and vertical surfaces met. So balanced and dextrous was the motion that for a while he lay suspended above the base. Shifting his weight carefully, he let gravity take its course, smashing his legs forcefully through the mesh as he fell.

The grating collapsed, sending Eoheran down with it, and he landed cat-like upon the floor of the barracks’ interior corridor. A few metres ahead of him, the two IPDF officers turned to regard the source of such commotion.

The younger officer went for the laspistol holstered at his side, but to face the Eldar in a gunfight was to invite death. Eoheran drew and fired his pistols immediately, putting the Mon-Keigh down in a quick burst of shuriken fire. The other soldier took the more sensible option, and ran for the nearest alarm, but just as he reached for the button the Ranger shot his hand off with practised accuracy. The man screamed, distracted by the crippling injury, and the short delay was all the time Eoheran needed to close the distance. Flooring the man with a combo of high and low kicks, he drew a wraithbone knife and leaned down to press the blade against the man’s throat.

“Don’t move,” he whispered in Low Gothic, struggling to pronounce the words of the irksome human language. To the alien’s credit, he didn’t moan or whimper, but instead nodded slowly.

“You and your friend seemed to have a lot to say about Operation Last Cry,” the Ranger continued. “Perhaps you could fill me in on some details.”

The officer shook his head. “You’ll get nothing out of me.”

“Unless you desire to lose another hand Colonel, yes I shall. Tell me what is planned, and when and where the Operation is taking place.”

The Mon-Keigh swallowed hard. “Nine days. We’re forming part of the honour guard receiving a foreign ambassador.”

“You are lying, Colonel, and I don’t have time for it. Be honest or I shall castrate you,” Eoheran said clinically. “What is Operation Last Cry?”

The officer hesitated again, and seemed to consider lying again, before wisely thinking better of it. “It’s an assassination mission. We are planning to assassinate a foreign diplomat due to meet the Philosopher King in nine day’s time. There is nothing else to know, certainly not for an alien like you.”

“That is for me to decide, worm. Who is the target?”

“I have told you all I-”

The Eldar casually drew a second knife. “Who is the target?” he repeated.

“An…an alien. An alien emissary.”

Eoheran’s heart began to beat even faster than its normal rapid rate. At last after months of searching, he was finally getting the answers he needed. He was so close, within striking distance…

“A Tau Ambassador?” he questioned.

The Mon-Keigh stared in amazement. “Yes,” he replied. “How did you-”

Eoheran wasn’t listening. His keen senses had already begun to pick up on the tell-tale signs. Automatic doors, opening and closing, the trooping sound of IPDF soldiers advancing. The gunshots had been heard by a sentry, and the guardsmen were closing in to apprehend him. He didn’t have much time.

“I need a name, Colonel,” he whispered quickly.

The human shook his head. “No…I can’t-”

“Give me a name, Mon-Keigh, now!” the Eldar hissed violently, pressing his knife further into the officer’s throat and drawing a thin slit of blood.

The Mon-Keigh held up his hands for clemency, before saying what Eoheran needed to hear. “Por’O Dal’yth Toreme Kal’ara Pheron, Ambassador Ser-”

The Ranger sliced the blade across the man’s exposed neck, the use of his life exhausted. With one last glance down the corridor, Eoheran rose to his feet and ran.

The noise of lasgun volleys sounded soon after. He ignored the proximity of the shots and kept going. If he turned or paused or hesitated, then the IPDF squad would destroy him. He had to escape, or find somewhere to hide.

He got his chance a few seconds later. Diving to the side, he passed through the automatic door of a side room and rolled to land in a crouch. He tossed a knife towards the solitary and rather surprised sentry, and was satisfied to see the blade bury itself to the hilt in the man’s neck. Pausing only long enough to retrieve the weapon, Eoheran sprinted out of the room and headed into another long corridor.

He ran and turned at random, desperately seeking to lose his pursuers without working himself into a dead end. He spotted an expended power generator in a side corridor, and he headed towards it, pressing himself flat against the wall. From the perspective of anyone coming down the main passageway he would be invisible, hidden behind the bulk of the generator. Even if someone did catch a glimpse of him…well, his cameolene cloak would do the rest.

He held his breath as a small team of guardsmen passed down the primary aisle. As he waited for the soldiers to depart, he considered the words of the Mon-Keigh he’d interrogated. Serpentine here on Innocence, within nine days. His chance to accomplish his mission had arrived at last. By following the movements of the human Philosopher King, he’d be sure to find a chance to catch Serpentine in the open when he met with the Mon-Keigh ruler. And one chance was all he needed…

But the officer had told him that the IPDF were preparing to assassinate the alien themselves. This presented a unique opportunity – presumably these soldiers were following the commands of their supreme commander, the Warrior Prince Robertus Schpile. What benefit the Prince would have to killing the Tau diplomat was beyond him, but such concerns were irrelevant. He didn’t even know why Serpentine was visiting Innocence, but he was not going to waste his good fortune on considering the motivations of the Mon-Keigh. Nevertheless, if Operation Last Cry was to succeed, then the humans would achieve his mission for him.

As the Eldar watched the IPDF soldiers head back down the corridor they’d come from, he briefly considered whether it might be worth remaining in this guard station a while longer. If he could discover Schpile’s whereabouts from here, then he could begin to trail the Warrior Prince instead, and from there he could work to further the aims of the conspiracy.

Eoheran sneaked out of cover to check that the guardsmen had gone. He would never get a better chance to escape this armoury than now. The question was whether it was a chance worth taking.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:21
Eoheran leapt, somersaulting in mid air and plummeting downwards through the centre of the spiralling staircase. He landed perfectly, rolling to cushion the impact, and ran directly forwards across the breadth of the corridor. His heart beat a rapid tattoo in his chest. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d attempted something this dangerous, this reckless. But he had no choice. The supposed antique finery of the Palace of Philosophy left no vents to crawl through. The only way to get anywhere in the Palace was along the main corridors, passageways constantly patrolled by armed security guards. But, without any alternative, Eoheran had no choice. It was the hallway, or no way.

So far, through a combination of speed, stealth and luck, he’d managed to avoid detection. He hoped sincerely that his good fortune would continue. If he was spotted, he would be forced to flee, and he was far from enthusiastic about leaving with his task incomplete.

Every since his tip-off from the colonel he’d interrogated at the IPDF guard station he’d relentlessly trailed the movements of the Philosopher King Chalaros Bellack, and searched for contents of his upcoming schedule. He’d had little to go off initially. The colonel had left him with nothing but a name and a vague mention of an assassination plot, and much of that had proven to be inaccurate – it hadn’t taken him long to find out that the meeting was planned to take place eight days later rather than nine. But from there he had worked persistently to gather more information and, with luck, a chance to get a clear shot on Ambassador Serpentine.

Unfortunately, such an opportunity had not been forthcoming. Serpentine’s arrival upon Innocence had been handled quietly, so much so that Eoheran had only learned of the Tau’s appearance here three days ago. Since then he’d lessened his concentration of tracking Bellack – the purpose of following the Philosopher King had been to learn of Serpentine’s location, and now he had all the information he needed.

But Serpentine was frustratingly well guarded. The diplomat had been kept at a bunker usually reserved only for royalty in times of danger, and was protected enough to be proof against any attack. He’d thought of every possible way to get at the alien: bombs, poison, arson, sniper shots, knifings. He’d even considered a direct frontal assault. Alas, the bunker was proof against all of these ploys. Furthermore, all transport of the Tau had been conducted using a private underground rail network that connected directly to the safe house, so there had been no chance to catch the ambassador in the open either. To be so close to eliminating his target and yet so far was exasperating. More and more his thoughts turned to the words of the Mon-Keigh colonel, who had claimed there was a plot to assassinate the alien already formulated.

Eoheran had been curious to know the Mon-Keigh intended to kill such a well protected target. His failure to gain meaningful information about the conspiracy had left him in the dark, second guessing the plans of the IPDF. But in the Ranger’s mind, the assassins would have no chance to achieve their mission prior to the diplomat’s meeting with the Philosopher King. Something was planned for this day, and he was here to find out what it was.

He dashed down a side corridor, dropping to the floor and rolling behind a nearby pillar the moment he heard the first sound of movement. The footfalls sounded more distant as he waited, and the Ranger realised that it must have been a guard patrolling the main passageway before him. He slowly crawled out of cover and began to run silently again, clearing the width of primary hallway with blistering speed. In slow motion he saw the sentry turn his head at the suspect sound, but before his foe could catch a glimpse of the Ranger he had reached the cover of another side corridor. Eoheran kept running, quietly as possible, and didn’t stop until he reached the corner of the passageway. He listened for sounds of pursuit, and was relieved to find that none were forthcoming. He exhaled deeply and glanced around the bend slyly.

The corridor led to a downward staircase, and from the disgusting smell assailing Eoheran’s senses he predicted it descended to a basement storing human wine. He sighed – he was unlikely to find anything of value here. He prepared to re-trace his steps, but as he waited he was sure he heard the sound of voices echo from the cellar beneath him. He paused and listened again. Yes, there were definitely men in the wine cellar, speaking in hushed tones that were nonetheless audible to the Eldar’s precise hearing. Two Mon-Keigh, engaged in quiet conversation.

Eoheran thought through his options. In all likelihood the two humans were household staff, tasked with collecting wine bottles for the great assembly currently undergoing within the Palace’s eastern wing. But even so, there was little chance of the Mon-Keigh raising the alarm this far away from the sentry patrols. And there was always the possibility that these men might be linked to the conspiracy against the Tau Ambassador.

He sneaked around the corner and began to tread down the stairs, careful to remain silent to avoid alerting the Mon-Keigh. As the staircase turned in the opposite direction, he noticed the doorway leading into the cellar. He approached it and decided to listen in for a moment.

“-long. We should be gone soon,” he heard one human say, addressing his companion in a formal tone that seemed peculiar somehow – not the usual manner in which one butler would address another.

“Good,” the other Mon-Keigh replied. “Much as I approve of our mission, standing so close to something like that unnerves me.”

“Relax, Yorris. It’s not armed. Not yet, anyway.”

“Hello?” the Ranger heard a third voice shout. The words were muffled, and came from a point beneath the other speakers. He had to strain to understand what the human was saying.

“You done?” the man called Yorris asked.

“Yep, we’re done. Time to get out of here.”

“Understood,” the first speaker responded. There was the sound of the man drawing something from his belt, and a crackling sound as he spoke into a communications unit. “Motherland, this is Alpha Team One. The Speartip is in position, repeat, the Speartip is in position. We’re extracting ourselves now, over.”

The comm-link rustled again as the reply came through. “Alpha Team One, this is Motherland. Message received and understood. Awaiting your safe return, over.”

Eoheran frowned as he listened to the Mon-Keigh converse with one another. These humans definitely weren’t catering staff.

“We’re clear,” Yorris shouted down, addressing the men down below. Let’s get back to the Command Centre.”

Eoheran drew both shuriken pistols and armed them carefully. The humans were leaving, and he wanted to find out more from them. It was time to make his move before it was too late.

He smashed the door open with a powerful kick. As he had predicted, the room was a wine cellar, with wooden shelves filled with bottles of liquid that passed as delectable to the Mon-Keigh. Of far greater interest was the collection of floorboards which had been torn off, and lay stacked against the side of one wall. Around the hole left by the floorboard’s removal stood two humans, each carrying lasguns and wearing the uniform of IPDF guardsmen.

Eoheran pointed his pistols at the head of the nearest human and fired. The man collapsed almost instantly. He turned to the other guard and shot him in the leg. The Mon-Keigh cried out in pain, and dropped his gun. The Ranger drew closer to the hole and kicked the weapon down into the gap. Two more humans, standing within the underground tunnel that the opening led to, caught sight of the Eldar and raised their weapons. Eoheran sprayed the gap in a hail of shuriken fire, and was satisfied by the absence of return shots. Glancing around for any other enemies, he turned back to the guardsman he’d shot in the leg. He moved closer and drew a knife, pressing the blade towards the man’s throat.

“You are going to tell me what I want to know, or I will do terrible things to you,” he said ruthlessly. “Understand?”

The guardsman shook his head. “I won’t talk.”

“Yes you will,” the Ranger assured. “They all say they won’t, but they always do.”

The man remained silent. Eoheran sighed, and tried an alternative approach to persuading the human.

“There are two possible outcomes to this interrogation,” he said. “The first is that you refuse to answer my questions. I will hurt you, inflict pain more horrific than anything you have ever experienced, and still you will keep quiet. Eventually the pain will reach intolerable levels, and you will give me false information in an attempt the halt the agony. I will see through your lies instantly. Desperate to avoid more torture, you will give in, and tell me all I want to know.”

He paused. “The second option is you co-operate fully. You tell me what I need to know, without embellishment or lies. I will get the information I require, and your suffering will be eased.” He shrugged. “Either way I get what I want – it’s just a matter of how much pain I inflict before I do.”

The guard moaned, and Eoheran drew a second knife with his other hand. “If you choose option one, then your feet will be the first to go. I sincerely hope that you choose option two.”

The guard nodded. Eoheran smiled reassuringly.

“Who are you?” the Ranger began.

The Mon-Keigh hesitated, and glanced down at his feet. Eventually, he spoke. “Yorris Jonasberg.”

“Very good. You are a soldier in the IPDF are you not?” The human nodded. “What is your rank?”

“Sergeant.”

“Excellent. Now tell me, Sergeant, why are you here in the Palace of Philosophy?”

The human whimpered, his pitiful moans reminding Eoheran of a young child. “Remember,” the Eldar whispered. “I find out one way or another.”

The soldier nodded. “We are implementing the final stages of Operation Last Cry.”

Eoheran thought back to IPDF colonel he had interrogated eight days ago. Operation Last Cry. So this soldier was involved in the plan to assassinate Serpentine also.

“What is the purpose of Operation Last Cry?”

“That is classified information,” the Sergeant mumbled.

Eoheran laughed. “I hardly think that matters now, Sergeant. I’ll repeat the question. What is the purpose of Operation Last Cry?”

The human gave in. The fear in his eyes was reminiscent of a hunted animal’s.

“The purpose of Operation Last Cry is to assassinate human and xenos heretics who seek to sacrifice our world’s freedom and independence. When we succeed, Innocence shall be rebuilt as a glorious land free of the evils of apathy and pacifism.”

The Ranger nodded. This guardsman had been far more forthcoming than his colonel. Apparently these men were intending to kill their own leaders and ambassadors, as well as Serpentine. Amusingly, they seemed to believe that the success of the plot would allow them to revolutionise their world as a utopia – in truth they would earn themselves nought but the vengeful wrath of the Tau Empire. Innocence would soon be conquered by the aliens. But such musings were irrelevant, as was the fate of the Mon-Keigh. So long as these men assisted him in his plan to kill Serpentine, he cared little for their plight.

“How do you intend to achieve this objective?” Eoheran questioned.

“There is a bomb.”

“Where?”

The guardsman pointed down towards the hole left by the uprooted floorboards. The Ranger turned to look towards the opening, but could see no evidence of any bomb down there.

He hauled the human to his feet, taking care to ensure that a knife never left the man’s throat. Together they moved awkwardly towards the edge of the gap, before Eoheran pushed forwards and jumped down. They both landed within the hole with varying degrees of grace – the Eldar landed with precision, whilst the guardsman screamed in pain as he landed hard upon his already wounded legs.

Eoheran kept the Mon-Keigh pinned down against the floor, and turned to regard his surroundings. The tunnels were unlit, the only light coming from the cellars above. This didn’t trouble the Eldar, whose eyesight was proficient enough to see almost as well at night as during the day. The bodies of the two guardsmen he’d gunned down earlier lay strewn across the ground, but it was not the humans that drew the Ranger’s attention.

The bomb, the thermal warhead that had been stolen from the IPDF armoury all those weeks ago. Here it was, placed hidden beneath the Palace of Philosophy, prepped to explode and destroy its alien inhabitants. This was the means by which the Tau Ambassador Serpentine would die, and by which the inhabitants of Elequin would be saved. In all his journeys from one side of the Imperium to the other, he had never seen a Mon-Keigh construct that looked so…so…

“Beautiful,” he thought out loud. His prisoner looked confused by the Eldar’s words but remained silent as Eoheran mutely stared at the explosive devise. The silence was broken abruptly a few seconds later.

“All units this is Motherland,” a voice spoke from nowhere, until Eoheran realised that it was being emitted from the comm-link attached to one of the IPDF bodies. “We have received reports from Delta Team of a security breach by the east wing of the Palace of Philosophy. It’s not one of ours, repeat, it is not one of ours. The breach may be an attempt to disrupt the operation. All units are to return to the Command Centre immediately and to keep careful watch for intruders, over.”

The words worried Eoheran. A security breach? It hadn’t been the IPDF, and it certainly hadn’t been him. Either Bellack’s men had become aware of the conspiracy, or a third party had become involved. He sighed. More intruders could only mean more trouble, especially as the Ranger already had a good idea who the trespassers might be.

“How will the bomb be activated?” he asked his captive.

“Tampering with the warhead directly will automatically trigger detonation,” the Sergeant replied. “The only way to stop the countdown is from the Command Centre not far from here. The bomb will be remotely activated from there.”

Eoheran nodded. If anyone was seeking to disrupt the operation they would have to do so from the Command Centre. And if he wanted to prevent any such disruption, then he would need to be there himself…

“Where is the Command Centre?” he inquired.

The guardsman shook his head. “I can’t tell you.”

“Tell me this, and I shall release you. Deny me once more, and the pain will be worse than anything you can imagine.”

“No. I can’t. I really can’t…”

“I’m sorry, Sergeant,” Eoheran whispered. “This is going to hurt.”

A cry of agony pierced the darkness.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:24
Eoheran flitted from cover to cover, hiding behind whatever he could as he leapt from rooftop to rooftop. Not far ahead he could see the building he was heading for. It matched the description the IPDF Sergeant had given him perfectly – a large structure, inconspicuous from the outside, directly opposite the grounds of the Palace of Philosophy. Soon he would reach the Command Centre, and see to it that all who would interfere with Operation Last Cry were suitably punished.

He dropped down from the roof of the house he stood upon, firing his grapple gun backwards as he did so to slow his fall. He ducked downwards to remain out of sight, and crept towards the structure as silently as he could.

His journey from the Palace of Philosophy to here had been difficult, as once again he had resorted to dashing around in the open. But as he came closer to his destination he caught sight of something that relieved him greatly – a vent, letting the gases of the kitchen out into the outside world. He approached the opening and drew the devices he would need to detach the outside covering. Removing the meshed casing quietly, he ducked to enter the vent and crawled through it quietly.

A few minutes of crawling through the small space saw him move deep into the building’s interior, and the sights that he greeted convinced him that this truly was the Command Centre he’d been searching for. IPDF guards patrolled every door, every window and every corridor, armed and armoured as though fully prepared for battle. The closer the Ranger drew to the centre of the building, the more guards there were, reassuring him that he was continuing in the right direction. Confident that he was as close as he was going to get to the main HQ, he waited until he’d reached a safe position before escaping from the vent network and landing upon the floor of the Command Centre.

He glanced around and panicked as he saw another pair of guardsmen come towards him. He dived flat against the wall behind the nearest pillar, drawing his shuriken pistols whilst simultaneously hoping he wouldn’t need to use them. Fortunately, the soldiers passed straight past him and through a door at the end of the corridor on the right. As the portal opened, Eoheran realised how close he had come to his objective.

He only glimpsed the room for a split second, but it was enough time to recognise what he saw. The vastness of the interior, the rows upon rows of cogitator banks and multitude of assembled armed guardsmen could only mean that he had at last found the main HQ. From the amount of soldiers heading towards the room, he could only presume that the final countdown would soon begin. If anyone was planning on disrupting Operation Last Cry, they would be doing so shortly.

He didn’t have much time.

He detached himself from the cover he hid behind, walking back down the corridor. Entering the HQ by the front door was too risky – he would have to find an alternative route.

He ran, catching a glimpse of a staircase on his left. He turned towards the stairs and began to climb, leaping the steps two at a time. An IPDF guardsman suddenly appeared in front of him. He gunned down the soldier without hesitation. A second sentry heard the shots, and came running down the stairs to isolate the source of the commotion. Eoheran shot him dead too.

He kept charging up the stairs, arriving eventually at the top. A single door led outwards, and he opened it, passing into a straight corridor with a doorway on each side and at either end. He dashed forwards to the far end of the passageway, and opened the door outwards. When he emerged, he found himself at his destination – the third storey of the centre’s HQ.

From this distance he was far less exposed from the sentries below, but the Ranger was taking no chances. He ducked and sneaked forwards slowly, peering over the banister lining the edge and regarding the scene below.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 13:24
A mass of cogitator screens, each manned by servitors, lay upon the ground floor, patrolled by IPDF guardsmen. There was a second storey that also looked over the hall, connected to the ground by a long ramp. The floor was ringed with a barrier around its edge, not entirely dissimilar to the banister he peered over himself, and numerous soldiers stood on sentry duty around the perimeter. Eoheran looked back to the ground floor and noticed three individuals standing within the room’s centre, directors of the operation’s proceedings. The central figure was Innocence’s Warrior Prince, Robertus Schpile, the overall commander of the HQ. On the left was a Mon-Keigh soldier, a man that the Ranger did not recognise but presumed to be a high ranking general within the IPDF. The man to the right was the Minister Administratus, Gabriel Severor, a figure Eoheran recognised from his intelligence briefings even from this distance. Severor was little threat physically, but his influence had clearly been sufficient for Schpile to consider him as one of his closest aides.

The three men were speaking with each other, but the words were inaudible at such great distance. Eoheran crouched down behind cover, and drew a small spherical object from his person. He whispered a command to the item, and two almost imperceptibly thin wings extended from the orb. Another few words of instruction prompted the artefact to take flight, rising from Eoheran’s hands and soaring towards the three commanders. The stealth field of the sphere activated, covering it in a sheath that rendered it invisible. He looked away from the globe and mentally cycled through the hearing filters of his helmet, before settling on a setting that would allow him to hear what was said within the vicinity of the spying device. Satisfied, the Ranger rose slightly to peer over the edge of the banister and watch the action.

He heard the sound of a door opening not far away from him, and it took him a while to realise that it was not in fact close at all – the perceived nearness had been due to hearing through the sphere hovering two stories downward. The door was one on the ground floor of the room, over to the Ranger’s right. He turned and saw three figures pass through. The lead figure was Harvier Valdes, Chief of Police. Valdes was dressed in the uniform of his Enforcers – a full suit of black carapace armour, minus the helmet. From the wariness of his manner and expression, Eoheran wasn’t sure if the Enforcer-General was present voluntarily. Two IPDF guardsmen followed, armed and armoured identically to their already assembled comrades. A short while later, a forth man came through the doorway. The figure was vaguely recognisable as the Swordsman responsible for the murder of Raymond Terrelis a few weeks ago, and Eoheran remembered the unnatural speed with which the human had moved and attacked. To the Eldar, the Mon-Keigh’s abilities were clearly a result of psychic talents.

Schpile smiled and opened his arms wide. “Harvier! It is good to see you again, my friend.”

“It is as my pleasure to serve, as always,” Valdes answered with a low, almost gravely, voice. He continued to walk towards his Warrior Prince, halting a short distance away from him. The IPDF soldiers stepped to the side, keeping a respectful distance away from the Martial Chief as he addressed their monarch. The Swordsman continued to walk slowly forwards towards one of the cogitator banks; from his vantage point, Eoheran watched as he transformed into a black smear that shifted forwards and reappeared besides Schpile almost instantly.

“I am glad you could join us during this momentous occasion,” the Prince said smoothly.

“You are my Warrior Prince, and I am but a loyal soldier,” Valdes responded, his reservations still noticeable. “I would follow your commands to the death, but still I am troubled. What is going on here?”

“This?” Schpile said, opening his arms wide and gazing around the room. “This is Operation Last Cry in action.”

Valdes turned to regard the work in progress, glancing at the myriad of cogitator screens worriedly. “May I be honest, Prince?” Schpile nodded. “What I see troubles me. I see security relays of the Palace of Philosophy, house of the man I swore unconditional allegiance to, and I see teams of armed guardsman extracting themselves from its grounds. I see men gathered in secret, plotting within the shadows where the Emperor’s Light is bleak. It was but a few weeks ago that you requested me to handle the problem of the shuttle crashes. I oversaw the matter personally, covered up the affair, and ensured that the office of King Chalaros remained oblivious. Now I think back to that moment, and I remember learning of the disappearance of Raymond and Thedriel, friends of you and I. When I correlate that we what I see hear today, I worry, and wonder whether my loyalty to yourself is justified. I see conspiracy.”

For a while, all men in the room fell silent, quieted by Valdes’ words. All eyes turned to Schpile, apprehensive as to how their leader would respond.

The Warrior Prince was the first to break the silence, abruptly letting out a laugh that began quietly before rising to a deep chuckle.

“Ah, my dear friend Harvier!” he exclaimed jovially. “There’s no getting past you is there! I knew I chose my Chief of Police wisely.”

Schpile’s companions remained silent as the Mon-Keigh Prince continued to cackle manically. Eventually, Schpile’s laughter subsided, and he began to speak again.

“You call this conspiracy, Harvier, and perhaps it is. I prefer to regard this work as liberation, or at worst, a military campaign against an identifiable enemy. Let me illuminate you, explain the error of your ways.”

He gestured around the room once more. “From this point, this command centre, today, we shall witness the change of history. Two thousand years ago, at the height of the Great Civil War where our people were blighted with discord and division, it was my ancestors that ended the conflict and reunited this world behind a common cause. I see myself as concluding this task, and ridding Innocence of the last vestiges of heresy and disloyalty as is my divinely appointed mission.”

He stepped away from the platform’s centre and began to pace back and forth, gesturing wildly with his arms and stopping every now and again to look directly at Valdes.

“You suspect that I – that we – plot to assassinate the Philosopher King Chalaros Bellack. You are correct. A thermal warhead has been placed beneath the Palace of Philosophy, and once my men have extracted themselves safely the countdown shall begin. You might see this as treason, a betrayal of my oath to defend this world and its principal ruler, but in truth Bellack is the betrayer. At this moment in time, our beloved King and his power-hungry Court of the Magi are engaged in negotiation with xenos filth. Emissaries from the Tau Empire have been sent to barter with Bellack, aliens who would gladly see this world conquered and our people enslaved.”

“He welcomes diplomacy with xenos when he should stand and fight!” the soldier at Schpile’s side bellowed angrily. Eoheran snarled at the Mon-Keigh’s xenophobia. In truth, Mankind’s hatred of the other races in the galaxy was entirely reciprocated by the species they oppressed. Such was certainly the case amongst the Eldar.

“Bellack does not understand the truth,” Severor spat. “He is not enlightened as we are.”

“And what is the truth?” Valdes questioned.

Schpile, who had continued to pace the length of the podium, turned to look straight into Valdes’ eyes.

“The truth is that offering concessions to aliens is heresy,” Schpile spoke quietly. “No price is too great to ensure the freedom of our world, to preserve the independence of our people. I would sacrifice millions upon millions of lives to protect Innocence. I would pay any price, perform any deed, to halt this alien expansion – even if it means co-operating with aliens myself.”

“What was on those shuttles, Robertus?” Valdes asked, worried with what the answer might be.

“The shuttles?” Schpile smiled. “Xavier, send for our associates would you?”

The Swordsman nodded, and stepped down away from the raised area before disappearing in a blur of darkness. He shot towards one of the nearest doors and passed through it. For a few moments there was silence, as each man waited for the Prince’s associates to make their way to the hall.

“The shuttle crashes were an unfortunate accident, but one that heralded the arrival for our companions in this heroic endeavour. These are the cohorts whose identities it was so important to conceal.”

Three figures emerged from the doorway, hulking shadows that soon manifested in physical form as they entered the light of the room. Valdes gasped. Eoheran frowned. These aliens were the same species as the creature he had slain within Schpile’s dungeons a few weeks ago. Their blue skin accented their alien nature, as did their faces adorned with a single eye and a long pointed horn. The leader of the pack carried a Tau Pulse Carbine, whilst his companions each carried a handgun similar to that which the alien he’d fought before had carried. He was unsure what role these creatures would have in Schpile’s plan – he was surprised that a man so dedicated to rescuing Innocence from alien invasion would ally with other aliens in order to do so.

“These are the Jahaati,” Schpile answered Valdes’ unasked question. “This is their spokesperson in this matter, Anaka Thankrox.”

“It has a name?” Valdes questioned, disgusted. The aliens ascended to the platform where the other leaders conversed. The creature Schpile had called Thankrox regarded the assembled humans with barely restrained contempt, an expression mirrored by Valdes and much of the IPDF guardsmen.

“Ordinarily I would oppose welcoming xenos to set foot upon a human world,” Schpile continued. “But, unlike the Tau, the Jahaati have no interest in claiming Innocence. We have a common cause.”

“What could we possibly have in common with these disgusting creatures?” Valdes spat venomously.

“Watch your tone, human!” Thankrox commanded, speaking in the Mon-Keigh tongue with surprising fluency. “Do not think I enjoy spending time in the company of beings like you. We have an interest in your conspiracy succeeding, and so long as we do, you would be advised to keep on my good side lest I withdraw our support.”

“What Thankrox means to say,” Schpile put in smoothly, “is that our bomb is set to destroy more than just our own enemies. The alien ambassador I spoke of earlier, Serpentine I believe he is known as, has proven to be a grave irritation to our associates. They are willing to risk much to see him removed by a third party – in fact, it was they who helped lure the ambassador here.”

“What?” Valdes exclaimed, shocked. “You mean you planned to bring the Tau here?”

“Yes I did Harvier,” Schpile answered. “I was the one who encouraged the Tau to take further interest in our world. Why? Because Bellack’s co-operation with them proves the truth of all I have said or done! Willingly has our Philosopher King continued negotiation with our worst enemies, and sold away our freedom! Today, before this hour is up, those humans and Tau who would sacrifice our world’s independence will be destroyed. The Last Cry of pacifism and apathy will be silenced forever!”

“But the Tau will invade Innocence!” Valdes argued. “Our world will be conquered! Bellack has proven to be a just ruler-”

“WRONG!” Schpile bellowed, all vestiges of his former calm gone. “Bellack is weak, soft, a pacifist fool without the spine to do what must be done! He personifies all that is worst in our society, the indifferent acceptance of the status-quo that would see many of our people embrace alien occupation rather than fight to the death! When Bellack dies, and war begins, I will invoke my privileges as Warrior Prince and seize emergency dictatorial powers as entitled to me by the Emergency Powers Act. I shall rule Innocence, and put right all that is wrong. You are a good man Harvier, and I know that you understand the need for hard measures to secure our world’s future. As supreme commander I will impose martial law, secure the unconditional obedience of the people, and lead them onwards to victory! With the Emperor on my side, and Innocence united as one, we shall vanquish the Tau invaders! And then, when the war is over, we can re-make our world as we see fit, and accomplish all that we have ever wanted to. You see much Harvier, surely you must see the vices that blight our world. You dream of seeing these evils eradicated – would you not do anything to see those dreams become reality?”

The Jahaati exchanged unconvinced glances with one another, and Eoheran knew exactly what the aliens were thinking. If the Tau invaded, then Innocence would fall – Schpile was truly deluded if he thought otherwise. But the Jahaati cared little for Innocence’s fate, so long as the conspirators successfully eliminated Ambassador Serpentine first. In that regard, the Jahaati and the Ranger were kindred spirits.

“I…understand the need for what you do here, Warrior Prince,” Valdes relented at last. “But I still don’t see why we need to ally with xenos to accomplish our goals.”

“Technology,” the alien Thankrox answered.

“We have no need for filthy xeno-tech!” Valdes sneered.

“No, not our technology,” the Jahaati replied. “Yours.”

Valdes frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I said earlier that the Jahaati were able to help lure the Tau Ambassador here,” Schpile responded. “They accomplished this by appealing to the Tau’s desire for technological advancement. There is an artefact – they call it Sithian’s Jewel – which the aliens have a great interest in obtaining for themselves. Thanks to the work of Xavier,” Schpile said, nodding towards the Swordsman as he did so, “we have managed to capture the Jewel, and offer it as an incentive to the Tau. Of course, I have no intention of granting the Tau this item. It lies within the Palace of Philosophy, set for destruction along with our enemies.”

“I see,” Valdes acquiesced. “You have thought of everything, my Warrior Prince.”

“I have indeed,” Schpile answered smugly. “But there is still one factor yet to finalise. Can I reply on your support Harvier?”

Valdes seriously considered the question, but Eoheran could tell which way this was going. The Chief of Police would happily do whatever his Prince ordered, no matter how insane the command. “I will follow you, Warrior Prince Robertus. I would follow you to Hell and back if you saw fit to lead me there.”

Schpile smiled. “I am glad, Harvier. I thought at first you might betray me, like Raymond and Thedriel. But I was wrong. I should have known better than to distrust you.”

He stepped forward and clasped Valdes’ hand, pulling him closer for a brotherly embrace. Valdes smiled and returned the gesture of comradeship. When the two men came apart, the Warrior Prince seemed more invigorated than ever, and Eoheran saw that each man was now fully committed to the task ahead. It pleased him – Schpile and the Mon-Keigh were tools, but even tools need to be maintained to remain functional…

“We are ready to change history,” Schpile announced to his assembled followers. “Operation Last Cry has begun!”

“Our men have extracted themselves from the Palace, Sir,” Schpile’s IPDF general informed. “We are ready to begin on your command.”

Eoheran realised excitedly that this was the moment of truth. The countdown was about to begin, and when the clock reached zero his mission would be complete. No-one had attempted to disrupt the operation so far, but in his heart of hearts Eoheran knew that intrusion was inevitable. He smiled. Any aggressors would be gunned down by the mass of soldiers Schpile had assembled, or dealt with personally with his Ranger Long Rifle. Ambassador Serpentine would die.

“Now,” Schpile ordered with an evil smile.

Eoheran noticed movement in the top left corner of the room, and saw an IPDF guardsman nod and press a button upon the console he stood by. A loud beeping sound began to emanate around the command centre, one beep every two seconds. All Eoheran had to do was ensure that no-one approached the detonation point and tampered with the warhead’s countdown, a task that was easily achievable. Ambassador Serpentine would die.

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 14:01
So began the third, and last, gaming session of the campaign. To the dismay of both Eoheran and Schpile, both Inquisitor Parargon and Inquisitor Hectus were present within Schpile's command centre, determined to stop his mad plan that would see the population of Innocence slain and their cities burnt in the a war against the Tau Empire that the people of Innocence could not possibly win.

In the first mission, Eoheran's plan was simply to hold off the two Inqusitors until the countdown was completed. With Hectus and his companion Gabriel Phantose out of line of sight (and, incidentally, effectively neutralised by Schpile's goons for entire game), there was only the might of Inquisitor Parargon and his retinue to contend with. Things began well. Stunning Parargon for three turns after a particularly accurate head-shot from his sniper rifle left Eoheran in the dominant position, with no other player characters coming close to reaching the objective. Furthermore, with Eoheran occupying a position two stories above the other players, it seemed as though he was immune to their retribution.

Unfortunately, with the arrival of two more of Parargon's companions, things began to swing towards the Inquisitor's favour. IPDF guardsmen and Jahaati warriors were put down one individual at a time. The Swordsman, fresh from having OOA-ed Inquisitor Hectus in a storm of super-fast attacks, was shot down in a single shot from Parargon's bolt pistol. One by one, the numerically superior henchmen of Schpile's operation were eliminated by Parargon and co, and it seemed that only Eoheran was in a position to stop them from interfering with the countdown. Unfortunately, Eoheran was spotted by an IPDF guardsmen, and the human's xenophobia saw him instantly open fire on the one being that might save his master's plan. Whilst Eoheran was distracted during the vital turns, Parargon finished off the last of Schpile's goons, and reached the metal box by the big red button in the corner.

As the Inquisitor worked to sever the connection of the remote detonator and thus halt the bomb's countdown, Eoheran finally finished off the guardsman that had distracted him, and opened fire upon Parargon's retinue. A few tense turns of shots rebounding from cover and failed pinning tests followed. This was resolved only by one of Parargon's comrades, Brutus Sardon, who's marvelously flukey lobbing of a grenade at a foe two stories above him saw Eoheran pinned, injured and momentary subdued. Before Eoheran could recover, Parargon made his way to the red wire/blue wire choice. He picked the red wire...and he chose correctly. Schpile's plan had been thwarted, along with Eoheran's as well!

There was still a chance for Eoheran though. The final mission began with Schpile triggering secondary explosives around the Palace of Philsophy that allowed him to make his way into the building and assassinate his opponents directly. Parargon followed, desperate to stop Schpile before it was too late, whilst Hectus entered the Palace with his own inscrutable goals in mind. For Eoheran, this was the one chance to move in and kill Ambassador Setpentine directly...

Whilst Parargon fought with Schpile, Eoheran made his may through the Palace stealthily and silently. He managed to avoid Parargon's retinue, and Schpile and his henchmen. In fact, his first target encountered was Inquisitor Hectus and his companion. One perfectly used stasis grenade saw them essentially taken out of the whole game.

With Hectus dealt with, Eoheran opened the door leading into one of the Palace's room. Two Tau Gun Drones and an alien Ambassador stared back at him.

I'll let the story below describe what happened next...

Sabbad
13-05-2007, 14:02
Eoheran remained unflinching, keeping still as the Tau Gun Drone before him returned fire. The pulse shots passed within centimetres of his body, heating the air around him as they travelled, but he ignored the volley and kept his fingers squeezed over the triggers of his shuriken pistols, shifting his aim ever so slightly to compensate for the Drone’s erratic swaying. Even at such close range, the recoil of the weapon sent much of his shots wide, and many of the shuriken blades rebounded off alien armour. But enough projectiles were getting through, sheering into the Tau construct’s interior mechanisms and passing out the other side. The Drone’s return fire slowed and became irregular, whilst one Carbine hung limp as a blade sawed across its gun barrel. Even then Eoheran kept firing, not stopping until an explosive blast emitted from the rear of the machine. The repulsor-lift engine stuttered and failed, and the contraption dropped abruptly before crashing upon the floor, joining the remains of the other Drone that the Ranger had destroyed earlier.

He didn’t hesitate, not even for a moment. He was so close to his objective and time was of the essence.

He ran out of the corridor and through the doorway, into a room that contrasted sharply with the others of the Palace. There was little decoration here, and precious little furnishings either. But for an electronically shielded pedestal placed within the centre, the room was bare.

Eoheran couldn’t have cared less. The only thing that concerned him here was the individual cowering a few feet away. Ambassador Serpentine was tall for a member of his race, and wore ornate ceremonial robes appropriate for a creature of his rank. He was unarmed and unguarded; with his hands he desperately grappled for a Water Caste medallion, a symbol of his neutral status and a mark of diplomatic immunity.

The Eldar raised his pistols and shot the Ambassador, allowing himself a moment to relish the demise of the foe he’d searched for so long to find. Serpentine backed away, and even managed to avoid some of the shots, but the sheer number of blades projected soon caught up with him. The bullets tore through his robes and into his frail torso, before exiting the body in a mist of crimson. The Tau’s white clothing was soiled by the blood pouring from his many wounds, and he screamed out in agony and fear. His cry was cut short by a blade that impacted with his skull, knocking him unconscious instantly and sending him sprawling to the ground. More and more shots burst from the shuriken barrels, and Eoheran kept firing until a searing pain in his left side sent him falling down involuntarily.

Another shot rang out loudly, punching into the Ranger’s leg with splintering force. Eoheran cried out as he realised that he was the target of this gunman – in his haste to eliminate Serpentine he had lost track of the fight out in the corridor. More bullets tore towards him, some missing by inches, others piercing his armour and inflicting even more horrific injuries. He realised that he’d dropped his pistols as he’d fallen, and reached for the nearest gun with his right hand. Gripping onto the firearm, he began to turn to face his assailant. But as he did so the truth became apparent to him. It was too late to save himself, but he could still accomplish his mission –

He screamed more in fury than in pain as another shot sent his gun tumbling out of his grasp. He tried to draw another weapon, but the pain was too great, and his body no longer seemed to respond to his wishes. He rolled onto his back to regard his attacker, and his vision was filled with the sight of a Mon-Keigh warrior advancing vengefully towards him. The Imperial Inquisitor that had thwarted his early investigations and terminated Operation Last Cry…now the man had stopped him from achieving his mission, and Eoheran would pay the price for his failure.

The Eldar’s vision blurred and darkened, as he began to succumb to his many injuries. Though too proud to do so outwardly, Eoheran cried sorrowfully in his heart. He was the last, the Last Child of Dilherran. With him would his Craftworld die, and the people of Elequin along with them.

He did not regret the path he had chosen. He did not regret assuming the mantle of Ranger, or accepting so perilous a mission. His only regret was that he had failed…

Eoheran Quilherna’s last sight was of a Mon-Keigh chainsword rising, before he departed to the realm of his ancestors.

* * * * *

Many light years away, the Craftworld of Alaitoc journeyed across the stars. The giant spacecraft had departed from the Webway to travel through material space for a time, losing itself in the mass of planets and constellations like a needle in a haystack. The Craftworld was invisible to the naked eye, hidden behind a shroud of advanced psychic shields, but as it drew nearer to the dying star of a distant uninhabited system the light reflected of its cloaks to reveal its outline – a glimpse of the home for survivors of a dying civilisation.

Deep within the heart of the Craftworld, a Spiritseer kept watch over Alaitoc’s Infinity Circuit. As the Seer lost herself in the tides of departed spirits, she felt the loss of one of the Craftworld’s adopted sons. She mourned the loss of the warrior, whilst simultaneously taking comfort that a tortured soul would soon know peace.

Not far away, a Farseer wandered aimlessly through the Dome of Crystal Seers, seeking wisdom beneath the trees of his lost kin. As he cleared his mind and sought peace, his thoughts were disturbed by a vision of a hero meeting his end upon an alien world, defending his people to the last. The Seer contemplated the meaning of this apparition and bowed his head, knowing that a time of sorrow for his people lay ahead. Accepting with a heavy heart that some fates are unavoidable, he turned to leave the Dome, and consult his fellows of this news.

Within the living quarters of an Eldar warrior, an Autarch placed a single flower against a memorial to a daughter he feared lost. His heartache grew even more intense and the warrior gasped, realising without understanding how that an Eldar he’d raised as his own son had departed the mortal plane. Though hardened to the sights of corpse-littered battlefields and alien monstrosities, a single tear ran down the Autarch’s cheek as he lamented the loss of his children.

Submerged within the depths of the Immaterium, a daemon grinned with anticipation as it sensed the emergence of a soul-light not far away. To the monster the light glowed fiercely, promising a delectable feast indeed once caught. The daemon soared upon the winds of Chaos, reaching for the source of the radiance with its hideous clawed hands. It howled with rage as the light dimmed and disappeared, captured within the physical universe by a waystone upon a necklace around the lost warrior’s neck.

Far out upon the Eastern Fringe, a tribe of Exodites lived out their simple lives. All remained oblivious to the events of the galaxy around them, but for one who meditated within the great barrow of the tribe’s lost rulers. The Chief realised that the countdown to the end had begun, as he knew it would do when the spirits first spoke to him decades ago. He accepted this news with solemn apprehension, vowing to defend his family until the end of all days.

Upon a planet half the galaxy away, an old Eldar exile sat cross-legged upon a rock beneath a blood red sky. Daring to use his psychic abilities again, the ex-Seer was horrified to discover the demise of one who he had considered a true friend. Powerless to aid his comrade now he had left the mortal realm, the psyker muttered a quick prayer to Isha so that his friend might find peace in the afterlife.

And far, far away, within a forest of trees so tall that they seemed to support the sky, a female Eldar Ranger rested within a copse of blue grass and silver flowers. Taking a rare moment to recover her strength, she realised an emptiness grew within her and she gasped with unbearable grief. She knew the truth, much as she wished to deny it, for her heart had ever been entwined with that of the warrior she bemoaned the loss of. She tried to take the solace in the fact that her companion had died a hero’s death, fighting to protect those he loved until the end, and that he could have desired no more fitting a demise. But nothing could comfort her, nothing could relieve the grief. She wept tears of agonizing sorrow, regret consuming her, as she realised she would never speak to her soul mate again.

* * * * *

“Home,” Ulathir whispered quietly to himself. It felt strange to set foot upon Alaitoc again, even though it had been but a year since he’d visited the Craftworld. The last time he’d been searching for his sister Anaelrin, checking to see if she’d made contact with her Craftworld. The negative response he’d received had made the visit a far from enjoyable one – but instantly preferable to the grief he felt now.

Whilst searching for news of Anaelrin here a year ago, he’d been approached by one of the Farseers, and tasked with an important but dangerous mission. He had refused. In his selfishness he had shifted the responsibility to another, so that he may continue his quest. And now his friend had paid the price…

Ulathir looked down upon the small gem he cradled in his arms. The spirit stone shimmered and glistened, a clear sign of its occupation. It had taken him months to retrieve the item. Since the culmination of events upon the human world of Innocence, his friend had not received the peace he deserved. The body had been dismembered and offered to the Tau as part of the Mon-Keigh negotiation, whilst his spirit stone had been experimented upon by alien scientists. Such a terrible fate was an insult to the warrior’s brave sacrifice, and Ulathir had seen to the matter personally. No longer would the Tau conduct foul research with the hero’s body – it had been destroyed utterly. Along with the rest of the Earth Caste facility.

He’d only rescued one thing from the laboratory, and that had been the jewel he currently bore. His brother deserved peace. Although it saddened him to know that the warrior would never know the haven of his own Craftworld’s Infinity Circuit, Ulathir hoped that he would find conciliation amongst the deceased of Alaitoc.

He walked down the corridor slowly, regarding the memorials on either side of the passageway. This was the Path of Heroes, a ring of monuments to the greatest heroes of Alaitoc that ran around the perimeter of the Infinity Circuit. These shrines celebrated the greatest of Eldar warriors, commanders and Seers, those who had given their lives to defend their people. Every time that Ulathir visited his Craftworld the Path seemed to grow longer, and he was saddened by this omen of his race’s slow demise.

Death…such was the pre-ordained fate of all mortals, but Ulathir had never expected or desired to lose his friends so soon. First Anaelrin’s disappearance, and then this…the pain was almost unbearable. Without such close friends to turn to in times of darkness, he feared that he was doomed to wander the stars aimlessly and solitarily for eternity. He could think of no worse a destiny – he had become a Ranger to witness the full glory and spectacle of creation, but all he had been greeted with was pain and destruction. The fates mocked him, and much as he might curse them he was powerless to defy their wishes.

At the end of the corridor, a female Spiritseer stood waiting for him. The Seer’s head was bowed respectfully, and Ulathir wondered how accustomed she must have become to death after wandering the Path of the Spiritseer for so long. He advanced slowly towards her, hesitating before taking the final steps and closing to within reach of her. He was ready.

“You wish to offer his spirit to the Infinity Circuit?” the Spiritseer asked softly, ensuring that Ulathir was prepared to complete his task. He nodded, and reached out with a hand that held the spirit stone. She took the gem carefully and made to return to her sanctuary, to where he would be unable to follow. As she was about to leave, she turned and looked up into his eyes, her own silver orbs glistening with tears of either sadness or joy.

“He will know peace,” she assured, before leaving Ulathir to his bereavement. As the Spiritseer disappeared down a left passageway, the Ranger turned right to regard the nearest memorial upon the Path of Heroes. Most of the monuments took the form of a sword intersecting a crescent inscribed with a eulogy, thus mirroring the symbol of Alaitoc. But this memorial instead took the form of a wide spanning tree, topped with the fruits of remembrance, vigilance and hope. This was the symbol of Dilherran.

Upon the trunk of the tree, a simple tribute had been emblazoned:

“In memory of the Children of Dilherran.

They who gave their lives to combat the Shadow.”

A few centimetres below the old inscription, a new one had been recently added, still glowing slightly from the psychic energies used to form the words.

“And to Eoheran Quilherna, Last Child of Dilherran.

He who gave his life to show others the Light.”

Ulathir bowed his head and let the tears flow. At last Eoheran had found the peace he deserved. He would be sorely missed.

As the Ranger was preparing to leave, he spotted something lying by the side of the memorial, largely concealed from view. He frowned and reached down to pick up the object, looking upon it himself for a while. He smiled slightly, before rising to his feet. As he strode away down the passageway, he let go and let the item flutter to the base of the memorial slowly.

The silver flower landed upon the ground quietly, its light surface glistening for a while before dimming entirely. There it lay undisturbed, free to rest in peace.

Sabbad
27-05-2007, 12:13
Seriously, no-one has anything to say about this? It took me a long time to write...

Catferret
28-05-2007, 03:10
That's all pretty cool Sabbad. It really shows how much effort you have put in to story. All Inquisitor campaigns need people like you to make the plot come alive.

My guess as to why nobody has replied yet is because there is a lot of text and gamers have short attention spans... It's no fault of yours.

Zhai Morenn
05-09-2007, 01:41
I just read this for the first time and I am thoroughly impressed. I love the Eldar in all their forms and am saddened when the only good literature on them comes in the form of Farseer and the rest of them being abominations by the hand of C.S. Goto. I got attached to the hero and was sad at his death and the mourning of his loved ones. Most stories don't incite that kind of emotion for me so I am thoroughly impressed and glad to see someone writing truly compelling stories about the Eldar.

Keep up the good work!

Maren
06-09-2007, 21:40
great stuff!!

Toppan
13-09-2007, 00:05
you made me shed tears at the end. no joke.

great writing, i applaud you.

Inquisitor Konig
15-11-2007, 20:15
It took me a few days to read but I really liked it.

I suppose it has to do with the game Inquisitor but I never understood why getting shot in the head doesn't kill a character outright! I mean how many shots did that Tau guy take and still live?

Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own campaign? What models and terrain did you use? I always feel limited by this factor but did you just make the majority of it up? How much research into the exhisting Fluff did you use compared to things you made up yourself? Lastly how much of the story was based on the games and how much was your GMing?

Anyway thank you very much for writing this and I hope to read about more of your campaigns in the future.

precinctomega
16-11-2007, 10:10
I never understood why getting shot in the head doesn't kill a character outright!

A hit to the head could include being shot through the ear-lobe, a grazing hit to the scalp or any other such fortunate chance.

That said, it is true that it's annoying when a character rolls maximum damage, and then maximum damage again on his "Lucky Hit" roll and he still only gets 18 damage - enough for an Acute injury to a typical, BIV 6 character. Of course, for all practical purposes, an Acute head injury is still death and the character won't be playing any further part in the game (automatic system shock is automatic system shock, after all) but it's still galling that it takes (1) a head shot and (2) a 1 in 36 chance of getting a double 6 for a lasgun (principle weapon of the Imperial Guard) to cause fatal injury to a human.

The "fix" for this problem is simple. Double all Damage caused by ranged weapons (not thrown weapons or primitive weapons) after subtractions for armour. So if a lasweapon causes a "typical" 7 damage on a character wearing flak armour, subtract 3 for armour (giving 4 damage) and double that result for a total of 8 damage: that's two levels of Injury on even a pretty tough target.

The problem with this is that, when opposing teams are equipped with high Damage weapons (like bolters or plasmaguns) but low armour (e.g. your typical Guardsman or Desperado) the game can quickly bog down into a protracted fire-fight.

R.

Sabbad
17-11-2007, 00:11
suppose it has to do with the game Inquisitor but I never understood why getting shot in the head doesn't kill a character outright! I mean how many shots did that Tau guy take and still live?

Heh heh. The Ambassador came remarkably close to death - at one point he took enough damage to suffer an Acute head injury. One more point of damage would have killed him.


Do you have any advice for anyone starting their own campaign? What models and terrain did you use?

We used 28mm models for the campaign. A full description of all those used might take a while, but Eoheran was a standard Ranger model, Ambassador Serpentine a Tau Ethereal, IPDF Guards were converted Guardsmen. The retinues of the other characters came from all over the place: Witch Hunters, Forge World Techpriests, Necromunda Enforcers, Gangers and Bounty Hunters... The advantage of 28mm models is that not only are they cheaper, but the range is far more extensive, which means that you'll always have what you want.

Our terrain was mainly...abstract. Wooden blocks stood in for walls on far from infrequent occasions. But to be honest, it was never really a problem for us since it was our imagination that made the game. So, yes, most models were unpainted, a grass flocked mat was used for an indoor battle, and blocks of wood stood for walls, doors and pillars. And yet, for our gaming group, it never really seemed to matter. Much.


I always feel limited by this factor but did you just make the majority of it up? How much research into the exhisting Fluff did you use compared to things you made up yourself? Lastly how much of the story was based on the games and how much was your GMing?

Luckily, I'm a bit of fluff nut (and an Eldar player) so I didn't have to make up much stuff. That said, the ambiguity of some elements of 40K fluff was my friend here, and you should NEVER let less than complete knowledge of the background discourage you from playing the game. Psychic receptacles, Eoheran's torture device, and the flying spy were all made up solely by me simply to fill holes in the story where they needed to. The fact that Eldar are aliens means you can do pretty much what you want with them - and the fact that the Imperium rules over a billion worlds (and has been around ten thousand years) means you're pretty much given free reign with them too.

Rorschach
02-03-2008, 16:08
Wow.... I know this is thread rezzing, but this story is seriously good. My eyes were watering as I finished the last part.

Goruax
19-08-2008, 00:04
Just found the thread and I have to say; congratulations. Thrilling read and damn cool.
In fact, you've inspired me to begin writing up an Inquisitor Campaign...once I find a few people to play.

Thank you Sabbad :)