|25 Dec 2007, 23:07||#1 (permalink)|
The Shimmer Campaign
Adeptus Mechanicus Tithe class: Populated
13th of 13 Orbitals
Shimmer. One of the thousands of planets reclaimed in the name of the God Emperor during the Great Crusade, the world takes its name from the peculiar staccato warp pulsation that it emanates, as seen by the Warp Eyes of the Navigators guiding the Explorator Vessels in the Vanguard of the Crusader Fleets. Shimmer is unique in its peculiar vicinity to the perpetual anomaly known as the Perdus Rift, and yet its apparent relative immunity to the effects of this weeping lesion in the skein of reality.
Initial Imperial Envoys found that the planet was inhabited by an ancient coven of sorcerous heathens who worshiped the network of monolithic Pylons that dot the surface of the planet, giant ebony constructs riddled with tiny holes and covered with arcane glyphs and sigils. The Wizards attacked the Crusade Fleet, slinging foul Warp-Spawned Magicks at the warriors sent to crush them. Thus, a great purge was undertaken, and in spite of horrendous casualties, the last of the covens were wiped from the face of the planet, leaving an empty world for the colossal Pilgrim ships to inhabit and reshape in the service of the Empire.
For Millennia, Shimmer has enjoyed a reign of relative peace, watched over by the Legions of Imperial Guardsmen and the dozen chapters of the Adeptus Astartes who share vigil over the Eastern Fringe. Even when Hive Fleet Kraken ravaged the surrounding space, Shimmer suffered little, the small Tyranid Invasion quickly eradicated by the timely intervention of the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter, leaving only a few of the creatures alive, who retreated to the planet’s equatorial jungles.
Now, however, new danger threatens the enduring pax. Foreword observation stations have detected faint signals in the warp. Ships, and not Imperial, headed directly for the peaceful world from every vector. On the surface itself, the Imperial Guard regiments called to the world fight the uprisings of heretic cults while at the same time fending off the now Feral Tyranid Hordes from the invasion, sending distress calls as the unmistakable shadow of a Hive Fleet falls across the Warp, masking the last of the desperate distress calls from the Planet’s defenders. Even the planet herself seems to quiver in anticipation, her Warp Pulse beating faster and faster as she nears the rare occasion of perfect alignment with the other twelve worlds in the system, the Pylons on the surface begin to vibrate in distinct, patterned frequencies. And deep beneath the crust, something ancient stirs…
Welcome to Shimmer.
Hey all. I've finally gotten around to running a campaign for my local players, and I figured I'd post the details up here and see what you all think. The game is played on the map shown above, very similarly to Diplomacy if you've ever played that, and somewhat like Risk if you haven't. Now, we're just starting this weekend, so there has yet to be any interesting plot developments that I've been able to reveal to the players as the GM, but suffice to say that the situation is full of intrigue, politics, and backstabbing. I'll post more campaign fluff as I write it/it becomes available to the players (don't want them stumbling across this and learning all my secrets...). By the way, we have a Tau Player, a Tyranid Player, an Imperial Guard player, a Necron Player, and an Eldar Player.
Thanks for your time, if this sounds interesting to you, stay tuned, there's a whole lot more to come [/i]
Media, I've heard of her. Didn't she kill her children?
|29 Dec 2007, 01:11||#2 (permalink)|
Re: The Shimmer Campaign
IInquisitor Lahrimann gritted his teeth as the groundcar vibrated along the rough terrain, the bumpy ride threatening to hurl him from the cabin in spite of his white-knuckle grip on the seat. This region of Shimmer was far too wild for his taste – he had always felt more comfortable in the tight, claustrophobic tunnels of the Hives he had grown up in. Unfortunately for him, Shimmer had many centuries ahead of it before it would ever reach such a population density, and matters of personal comfort were hardly the first thing on his mind given the current situation. Beside him, his apprentice, Explicator Faust, slammed the gas pedal deeper into the cold steel floor. Faust was barely out of his juvie years, the spoiled child of a rich aristocratic family in Shimmer’s capital, Trillian. But he had proved to have a pure soul, a burning desire to exact vengeance upon the enemies of the Imperium, and even latent psychic potential. The Inquisitor had taken him under his wing perhaps a year ago, after his last apprentice had been taken as a sacrifice by a cult of Xeno-Worshippers, and already the lad had proven himself incredibly resourceful. His driving skills, however, perhaps left something to be desired. Lahrimann clung to his seat tighter still.
“How much longer, Griegor?” The young Explicator consulted the auspex haphazardly utili-taped to the dashboard.
“A few more minutes, Inquisitor. The map says we are very close, but I do not know how accurate it is”. Lahrimann nodded and squinted out through the windshield. The grassy expanse of the Aurelian Flats stretched before them, the plains populated only by the occasional low copse of trees and underbrush. He was getting worried. They had been driving for several hours already, and had yet to see anything but local flora. The maps of this region were antiquated at best – many dated from the Great Crusade itself; he had no idea how well they could be trusted.
“Inquisitor, is that it?” Lahrimann followed his apprentice’s finger, spotting a distant shape on the horizon. Tall and dark, it loomed ominously over everything else on the plains. Given how far away it was, it must have been utterly immense to cast such a silhouette. A smile curled the corner of the old Inquisitor’s lips.
“That’s it Griegor. Excellent work.” Faust nodded and slid the steering wheel in the direction of the massive shape. As they neared, Lahrimann could begin to work out more details. The structure was clearly not natural. Carved seemingly out of an impossibly large piece of obsidian, its form was reminiscent of a great pillar. The central column was fluted, and even from here, Lahrimann could here the wind whistling along its irregular surface. He reached into his coat and unbuttoned the holster that held his autopistol.
Soon, the pillar was so large that it filled their entire view. Lahrimann ordered Faust to stop the car and slid from his seat onto the muddy earth. The Explicator followed him, his ornate heavy plate armour clanking loudly as he drew bolt pistol and blade. Lahrimann’s own weapon remained holstered – Faust could handle most anything that might appear, and the Inquisitor loathed combat in any case. He straightened his long blastcoat and began the short walk towards the base of the mighty pillar. Around the base, he could see the burned out wreckage of what had once been prefabricated hab units – Adeptus Mechanicus design. An explorator force had been here, studying the pillar, trying to unlock the secrets of this mysterious edifice. And then, all contact with them had been lost. And this was not the first time such an event had happened either. Lahrimann had been operating on Shimmer for over a decade now, and this sight had become a common appearance. This pillar was not the only one on the planet – a total of sixteen had been counted and recorded, with the ruins of a dozen others excavated at locations all across the globe. And at every site, unexplained disappearances had been reported, numerous times. It was not always military operations, either. Local Agri Adepts who had expanded their fields a little to close. A gang of inebriated juves seeking a little bit of danger and adventure around the monoliths that their parents had always warned them to stay away from. It seemed no one was safe from black enigma’s touch.
As he neared the hab units, he began to see the bodies. Corpses were scattered all across the ruined settlement. Skitarii and Magi alike lay where they fell. However, the cause of their deaths was not nearly as mysterious as the rest of this cursed place. Skin and bionics alike had been flayed away in gruesome splotches of gore and metal. Some were barely even recognizable as humans any longer, having been reduced steaming piles of offal and bone. Lahrimann blanched at the odor of death that hung in the air, so thick that it was almost tangible. He heard Griegor retch behind him.
“What the Throne happened here, Inquisitor?” Lahrimann shook his head sadly.
“The same thing that happened every where else these ungodly obelisks rise, Griegor. This is all I ever find after a report. Death. Death with no culprit. These wounds are unlike anything I have ever seen. Certainly no weapon of the Imperium is capable of such… destruction…” He trailed off as he heard a pained mechanical groan from nearby. Movement. One of the Adepts was still alive. Lahrimann was at his side in an instant, cradling man’s head in his lap. The Adept, a lowly engineseer by the markings on his robe, was missing fully half his body, torso ending in a gory stump. Bionics fizzled and cracked in strained effort as he tried to turn his head to face the Inquisitor’s cold grey eyes, his own occular implants dim and fading. Lahrimann reached into a pouch and pulled out a plastic-packaged syringe filled with clear viscous liquid. He slid the needle into one of the few fleshy areas remaining on the engineseer’s body, and the man relaxed with a relieved sigh as endorphins flooded his system.
“What is your name, Engineseer?”
++Golgi….Ullanaox Golgi…++ The adept’s voice was metallic and artificial. His larynx had no doubt been replaced long ago by a vox synth unit, to better his abilities to serve the Machine-God.
“ I am called Lahrimann, and I am an agent of the Emperor’s most Holy Inqusition.” Lahrimann said, flashing the Inquisitorial Seal that hung around his neck.. ”You must tell me what happened here, Engineseer Golgi.” The shattered Mechanicus shifted slightly, struggling to recall.
++We were…sent to study the….pillar… Archmagos Irosian himself had dispatched us to gather as much…data…as we could….++ Lahrimann grimaced at the mention of Irosian’s name. The Archmagos Venatus was the senior Adept on Shimmer, in charge of all of the Mechanicus’s operations on the planet. And he was less than cooperative. Verging even on treasonous. But Lahrimann had come to expect no more from such a dark organization as the Mechanicus.
++We had just set up camp…when they attacked…… metal killers… not human… They slaughtered us…the Skitarii’s weapons were useless against them…. We never stood a chance…78% casualties in 5.2346 minutes…it was a massacre…++ Lahrimann glanced up at Faust, who had returned from checking survivors. The explicator shook his head at his master’s questioning gaze, and was about to speak when a mechanical whine exploded from their dying charge, drawing the attention of both. The Adept was writhing in what seemed to be pain. Lahrimann tried to find the source of the man’s distress, until the red-cowled head evaporated in a shower of bone and brain and blood. Lahrimann leapt back as a second green beam crackled into the engineseer’s body, finishing the job permenantly and reducing him to mound of burnt metal and skin. The Inquisitor heard Faust’s bolt pistol bark as the Explicator returned fire, and looked up in panic. A panel, previously indiscernible from the rest of the pillar’s facade, had slid open, and from it had emerged a group of vaguely humanoid shapes. But they were far from human. Silver metal skin glittered in the sunlight, and glowing green eyes burned from sockets recessed deep into disturbing skeletal faces. Terror struck Lahrimann then, terror unlike any he had ever experienced before.
As more coruscating beams of energy flashed past, he drew his pistol and fired.
Media, I've heard of her. Didn't she kill her children?
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