The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    "There are those amongst our Ordo who say that I seek advancement for my own purposes, and they are correct.
    My purpose is to destroy the daemonic and if I must rise to command an entire sector to do so, then so be it.
    I am a servant of the Emperor and only those who consort with Warp-spawn need fear my ambition."

    Inquisitor Lord Torquemada Coteaz

    Chapter One: The Dragon's Hammer

    The Babylon Sector is a region of space located in the galactic north of the Segmentum Obscurus, far removed from the Eye of Terror and the Cadian Gate. Indeed, it is a sector so far removed from many of the goings-on in the Imperium of Man that perhaps its most remarkable feature is how utterly unremarkable it is in the grand scheme of things. Much of its history has been lost to time, a well-known byproduct of the constant wars that have plagued humanity for so many thousands and thousands of years. Surrounded by wild, untamed space and accessible only by those with the courage and know-how to navigate the few stable warp routes within the region, very little information flows into the sector, and even less flows out.

    It is in this pocket of unexceptional space, in the small sub-sector of Nippur, that a single voidship makes its exit from the warp.

    The ship is small, at least by Imperial standards; not even two kilometers long from bow to stern. Its hull is painted completely black save for a small patch on the port side bearing the sign of the Imperial Inquisition. The ship's engines come alive and it knifes its way forward, a solitary dagger of black against the carpet of stars visible in every direction. The ship's name: The Menes.

    Aboard this vessel, the skeleton crew begins to stir after their successful translation from warp travel. Systems are checked, navigational charts are locked in, and security personnel resume their regular patrols. The air is fraught with professionally contained urgency that clearly depicts the veteran status of most of the crew on board. These are men and women on a mission.

    Deep within the belly of the ship, a small, single room has been cleared out to function as a sort of informal briefing room. A large conference table dominates the center of the room, and a dozen or so chairs surround it. The chair at the head of the table sits a solid half-meter above the rest, evidently for a position of authority.

    Barely fifteen minutes after the Menes snakes it way out of warp travel, five strangers are escorted, one at a time, into the briefing room. Each is flanked by a pair of security guards, all wearing identical green uniforms and armed with pristine-looking lasguns. Without saying so much as a word, the guards motion for the five individuals to sit down and wait whatever fate has in store for them as they themselves take up positions around the edges of the room. The five strangers take stock of each other as they sit down.


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The overhead, bleak lights in the ceiling continued to grow in intensity as ship power was re-routed from the gellar field and the warp engine back to primary systems. The rapidly increasing light intensity hurt Lourn's eyes as his stomach continued to churn following his first translation to real space.

    Each footstep into the room echoes somewhat, *Clank* *Clank* *Clank* as he makes his way into the room.

    The figure who enters the room is around six feet tall, walking with the sort of ease of someone who has seen the rough and tumble. His hair is a dirty brown, cut bald, except for a short half inch strip in the shape of a mohawk.

    His eyes dart left and right to the tapestries on the walls: Depicting saints, heroes, and the imperium at large. Lourn, while not an expert, took only a moment to admire their quality before being forced to continue to a chair. Unlike the rest of the ship wrought in metal, the chairs were wooden, and padded with pillows for a modicum of comfort in a ochre color.

    He takes a seat, and noisily slides the chair back into the table, running a hand over his hair with an explosive sigh.
    He then sits quietly, looking left, looking right, and trying to find some kind of sign of where he is, and who abducted him, his two guards giving absolutely no sign that they'd heard or even paid attention his earlier questions, complaints, or mumblings on the subject.

    Lourn looks around to gain details about whose ship this might be: Number to beat=39
    Result = [roll]1d100[/roll] I can't get the dice roller to work.....result is a *7*
    Last edited by IanMan; 2019-09-22 at 10:01 AM.
    Playing Lourn

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The next stranger to file in to the chamber does so with the characteristic slow, rhythmic steps of someone reared on a higher-than-standard gravity planet. The lights overhead play off of the burnished plate armor he wears like a mediocre holo-drama of some old Terran legend. Standing a few inches short of six feet and nearly three and a half feet wide he cuts an imposing figure. He proceeds to thud-click his way across the deck plating as the tips of his armored feet tap the bare metal with each step.

    After pulling out a chair 3 spaces away from the thrones left side, he moves his short cape to the side and sits; Leaving the fabric draped over his shoulder for the heraldry to be observed. This movement seems route and practiced, pure muscle memory. He does not wait to see if anyone observes this.

    The rich scarlet-and-saffron quartered colors are marked with 4 devices. A rearing griffon in the lower-left, a familiar Cog Mechanicus of a tech-priest in the lower-right, a blazing torch and chainsword crossed in upper-left, and the Imperial Aquila in upper-right.

    After taking off his sallet helm and respectfully laying it in between the brass and gold filigree on the meter thick pillar of obsidian that they were using as a table the man looks up. Icharus Burns cuts an unremarkable visage. The youth's bronze skin was marred by scars of burns, cuts, stitches and other injuries. Yet still his warm smile and deep orange eyes speak of an inner calm that belies his years. He looks and nods over to Lourn in greeting, ash-grey locks falling forward over his face briefly.

    Finally his eyes settle on a nearby guard and he speaks in an accented low Gothic with notes of old Balkan dialect. Icarus attempts to ask the guard to do him a favor. out of 28. [roll0] Could we perhaps get some water, my good-man?
    Playing Icharus Burns

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    A third man walks stiffly into the room. His short, stocky body is framed in a lacquered red armor that squeaks slightly as he moves to sit at the table. An odd pattern of chainsword hangs tightly at his hip, and a bulky skull hangs off the back of his belt. Noting that Icarus has done so, he unhooks the buckles on his helmet and sets it on the table, making sure that the Cog Mechanicus on the front is facing the others. His head is clean-shaven, but his face and neck are covered in a carpet of swirling tattoos. A few are lit up, pulsing slowly in a regular pattern of blues and greens. He eyes the people at the table, paying special attention to the heraldry on Icarus' cape.
    Eckleman Ferrmi

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The door to the chamber slides open a fourth time, revealing one of the green-clad guards with the stern expression of a man deliberately keeping his face blank. As he proceeds into the room, the shadows in the exterior hallway just barely able to stay cast as the pale, sterile corridor lights finish powering on and purvey throughout the ship ever more intensely stir briefly, before seeming almost to materialize as the figure of a woman emerges from them. Tall and strong, she strides into the light to reveal glistening black hair cut through by streaks of grey that punctuate the stark contrast with her pale complexion. As she glides across the threshold the light glistens off her meticulously polished armor - the characteristic bodysuit of the renowned Adepta Sororitas, reflective armor plates deep black cut with grey to match her hair, emblazoned with the iconography of the Sororitas and the Ecclesiarchy in brilliant crimson, scarlet, and maroon. Trimmed in gold, or perhaps brass, on each of her chestplate's breastforms is the characteristic Ecclesiastical fleur-de-lis, and on the back of each gauntlet is the imperial Aquila in bronze, facing outward.

    As she enters the room, her heels click piercingly with each stride across the remarkably reverberant floor. She proceeds across the room, fully a head over each of the two green-clad guards flanking her, seemingly unaware of the sudden audibility of her footsteps, for the Sisters of the Adepta Sororitas often draw attention in this manner. Her gaze follows the third man's skull briefly before falling to each of the tapestries on the walls, her otherwise stoic visage flickering briefly with pride as she beholds these testaments to the glory of the Imperium. She silently takes the seat she is directed to, across the table from the side of the room containing the door through which she came, without any acknowledgement of the guards in the room. She hesitantly pulls her gaze from the tapestries on the wall now newly facing her to offer silent glances of acknowledgement to the three men also seated at the table, her stoicism unchanged. Though stern, she lingers on the first two men long enough to convey genuineness; though others in her order would be in compliance with reputation to only offer a perfunctory acknowledgement, and still others would be equally inconspicuous coldly ignoring these men altogether, this particular Sister seems not to be quite so pretentious. As her gaze falls on the third man and she beholds his glowing tattoos, her eyes narrow slightly as if she were unaware of it, however upon seeing the Cog Mechanicus upon his helmet, her suspicious tell relaxes back into the same stern but genuine acknowledgement she gave the others.

    She returns her gaze fervently to the tapestries, absentmindedly gesturing silent somatic prayers and rites as she awaits the Inquisitor.
    Last edited by LilithGNM; 2019-09-22 at 10:56 PM.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The last stranger to be brought into the room sighs as he enters, either tired or trying to calm himself before the coming meeting.

    The man is of an average height and stocky build. Shaggy, dirty blond hair and a rugged stubble crowd a square shaped face. The regalia of a naval officer upon his chest indicates his station. His belt, holstering a large well used pistol and a chainsword hanging off of it, is removed and hung upon his chair as he steps forward to the last remaining seat, placing them at the head of the chair before taking his seat and moving forward towards the table.

    Getting comfortable, he stretches his back with an audible popping before leaning back in his seat. Placing one arm beyond the top of the chair with his hand hanging downward beyond it, he takes another deep breath as he looks towards the ceiling. Moving his line of sight downward he begins to regard the other strangers, looking them in the eyes if they allow him, trying to get an initial impression. Finally closing his eyes, angling his face towards the table, his ears perk up to focus on whatever sounds permeate the room.
    Last edited by shomaxt; 2019-09-22 at 11:47 PM.
    Playing Calad Esteban Rozario Machentritus III

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The lights beat down from the vaulted ceiling in their full brightness, and are accompanied by the soothing the sound of ship operations, a quiet, constant thrumming reverberating through the deck.

    He regards the noble coming through the door, seemingly unimpressed, or at least not betraying much in the way of his thoughts on the man. The second man, the acolyte, he seems to admire the tattoos for a few moments too long to in some circles be considered polite. His eyes go wide at the massive warrior monk. He thought A genuine Sister of Battle...A daughter of the Emperor himself...Here?

    He wasn't admittedly sure if that was good news or bad news. He works to compose himself as another person enters the room in the regalia of the Navy, the same people who would have shipped him off to war, he rubs a hand across his face to ward off the thoughts of saying something particularly rude.

    After waiting a few moments, it becomes apparent to Lourn that there won't be another individual coming through the door. He adjusts his jacket resting atop his armored body glove, and puts his legs up on another unspoken for chair. His heavy, functional boots are pristine like they were provided to him recently, much like the rest of his outfit. He rubs his neck, where there is the hint of a puncture mark in an angry red. He shifts around in the chair somewhat uncomfortably, hoping someone will tell him what is going on.
    Last edited by IanMan; 2019-09-23 at 08:00 AM.
    Playing Lourn

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The security guards in the room look momentarily taken aback at Icharus's polite request, clearly not anticipating any of the strangers in their midst to break the relative silence of the room. A few of them look at each other with raised eyebrows, questioning, before one of them shrugs, does a quick scan of the room, and exits through the door.

    The five of you have been kept in relative isolation for the last couple of weeks of warp travel, brought onto this vessel either by choice or by force and kept in adequate accommodations. You have all been fed and kept comfortable, but the crew of the ship has been tight-lipped and information has been hard to come by.

    Information Gathered During Transit
    Raine (1d100)[13]
    Lourn (1d100)[7]
    Calad (1d100)[83]
    Icharus (1d100)[73]
    Eckleman (1d100)[3]

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Raine, Calad, and Icharus: you have nothing but the name of the Inquisitor with whom you find yourselves attached to: Bayek Hassan.

    Spoiler: Lourn IC Knowledge
    Show
    Lourn, over the last couple of weeks of eavesdropping and picking up clues, you know the identity of your captor: the enigmatic Inquisitor Bayek Hassan. While you have yet to meet him in person, he seems to run a tight ship and there have been many whispers of his prowess as a member of the Inquisition. He seems to have a penchant for pulling many strings here and there, finding connections where others see none.


    Spoiler: Eckleman IC Knowledge
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    Eckleman, over the last couple of weeks of eavesdropping and picking up clues, you know the identity of your captor: the enigmatic Inquisitor Bayek Hassan. While you have yet to meet him in person, he seems to run a tight ship and there have been many whispers of his prowess as a member of the Inquisition. He seems to have a penchant for pulling many strings here and there, finding connections where others see none.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    As she notices the naval officer scanning the room, she pries her gaze from the walls once more to offer him a silent greeting as well. She catches his eyes for a moment, regarding him with her own of rich, dark emerald and sage color.

    Her eyes flit between the two relaxed men briefly, taken aback by their casualness. Perhaps they have known the Inquisitor for some time. Dismissing the concern, she returns her gaze once more to the tapestries, but less intently now, so as not to be overly invested in her own thoughts when the Inquisitor arrives.
    Last edited by LilithGNM; 2019-09-23 at 06:00 PM.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Noticing both the newcomers and the guard leaving, Icharus raises his eyes and the smile vanishes. A low whisper of High Gothic snakes out, for only those at the table to hear.

    In High Gothic Now we have one less captor- or, at the worst, some water.

    If any of the faces of those around Icharus betray that the do not understand the language he was speaking in, he winks to them and makes the sound of a shotgun racking. He then casually points to the weapons of those assembled before leaning back in his chair like an ailing elder; All groans and stiff movements.
    Playing Icharus Burns

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tem View Post
    In High Gothic Now we have one less captor- or, at the worst, some water.

    If any of the faces of those around Icharus betray that the do not understand the language he was speaking in, he winks to them and makes the sound of a shotgun racking. He then casually points to the weapons of those assembled before leaning back in his chair like an ailing elder; All groans and stiff movements.
    As the man across the table from her speaks, Raine's eyes snap to him intently, and she reads his attempt to communicate to the others.

    (In High Gothic, directly to Burns, also in a low whisper) You speak High Gothic. Perhaps I should have guessed as much by the filigree and trappings. Do you believe we are held here, captive?

    Her voice betrays concern to him, buried under the cadence of the sacred tongue imperceptibly to all but those who speak it. Her face and body language remain stoic, showing no change in emotion.
    Last edited by LilithGNM; 2019-09-23 at 06:14 PM.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Quote Originally Posted by LilithGNM View Post
    As the man across the table from her speaks, Raine's eyes snap to him intently, and she reads his attempt to communicate to the others.

    (In High Gothic, directly to Burns, also in a low whisper) You speak High Gothic. Perhaps I should have guessed as much by the filigree and trappings. Do you believe we are held here, captive?

    Her voice betrays concern to him, buried under the cadence of the sacred tongue imperceptibly to all but those who speak it. Her face and body language remain stoic, showing no change in emotion.
    Locking eyes with the Sororitas for the first time, Icharus bears none of the familiarity those of the common Imperium hold for the revered sisters.

    He sniffs and his eyelids raise in approval, (lily ill alter this if not true) The scent of promethium- he turns to Ferrmi and machine oil mark those who burn in the name of the truth.

    Icharus nods in acknowledgement of Sister Raine, an eager flare of violence in his eyes past the eager smile, the look of prisoners and mutineers. it fades quickly if she does not react, like dying embers.
    Playing Icharus Burns

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Ferrmi looks between the Sister and the Knight, eyes squinted in concentration. When it appears to have reached a natural stopping point he speaks up in Low Gothic, his articulate speech clipped with a slight accent.
    Do you suppose these guards speak High Gothic?
    He nods his head in the direction of the lone guard at the door.
    Eckleman Ferrmi

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Raine, taken aback by confusion, turns her attention to Ferrmi.

    (Low Gothic, to Ferrmi) I don't suppose so, no. A moment, if you will.
    (High Gothic, to Burns) Speak plainly and briefly, Sir, and tell me what you know.


    Spoiler: Context (for all)
    Show
    OOC I assume we are all still speaking in low tones and will continue to do so until we reach a conclusion; someone please correct if they/we are speaking at normal conversational volume.
    Last edited by LilithGNM; 2019-09-23 at 09:33 PM.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    The strangers keep talking in some language that frankly, Lourn did not understand.
    His visible look of perturbation gives way to bemusement as he removes his feet from the chair with a quiet creak.

    He sits forward at the strangers insistence to keep speaking high gothic, something rich people spoke in their prayers, their supplications, their orders, and their edicts, and replies in low gothic, with no context to speak of, grating out in a quiet, calm voice.

    Yes, yes and all that. So, i'm loving the tension here and all, but if this was a holo-vid, the scene has gone on way too long. I'll go ahead with the introductions and all. I'm Lourn. And I suppose this is Inquisitor Bayek Hassan's ship, or so I've been led to believe from the murmurs. I haven't been mistreated since I've arrived here, and it doesn't look like any of you have, but mum's the word on what we're doing here, at least so far. I'm not an educated man, but I suppose that's probably why we're here

    Satisfied he's said his piece, he sits back in his chair, steeping his fingers, enjoying sticking his fingers into a conversation he cannot actually follow.
    Last edited by IanMan; 2019-09-24 at 07:10 AM.
    Playing Lourn

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Politely allowing the stranger to finish so as not to arouse suspicion, Raine turns her attention expectantly back to the knight before her.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Icharus laughs loudly at Lourn's interruption and seems to relax.

    In Low Gothic he continues. We are a sorry bunch of starch-asses aren't we?
    He offers his hand out.
    Icharus Burns my good-man. Glad someone has squeaked some secrets out of our wardens. Forgive me, but my intentions were to see if anyone here had been abused to the point of revolt- not that I'd actually try it. He indicates his lack of weapons.
    You however have cut right to the heart of it though, leaving me feeling foolish and childish for attempting the subterfuge.

    He turns to regard the other three.
    How about it? Has our host treated you well? What are your names?

    A wolfish smile crosses his face, as if this all was just a fun game.
    Last edited by Tem; 2019-09-24 at 04:48 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    For the first time, Raine allows emotion to crack her stern demeanor. A look spreads across her face that is best described as equal parts annoyed, impressed, and relieved. She no longer makes any attempt to dampen her volume, revealing a confident cadence lined with subtle traces of the casual accent of a dialect just beginning to diverge from Standard Low Gothic, as well as of the eloquent, elegant, refined, dignified one characteristic of those who frequently engage in Imperial ceremony and ritual.

    (to Burns) A hand well played, Sir Icharus. Or should it be Sir Burns? I find the custom differs among knightly orders. Rest assured I have not suffered any ill treatment at the hands of Inquisitor Hassan or his crew.
    (to Lourn and Ferrmi) Apologies for the dismissiveness, gentlemen. Believing oneself to be in a hostage situation is no time for casual pleasantries.
    (to all, including the Naval Officer she has yet to interact with) I am Sister Raine Ravidia of the Adepta Sororitas, Ordo Sororitas Electi Disciplina*. You may refer to me as Sister Ravidia. It is a blessing to meet you all this day. I imagine we are to be compatriots under the honorable Inquisitor.


    Spoiler: *OOC
    Show
    I totally made this up because I wasn't about to scour Lexicanum for the right reference on the right page I didn't even know for sure exists, haha. I intended it to basically sound like High Gothic gibberish to Low Gothic only speaking characters, subject to GM approval, of course. (Mystic, if you want to retcon that, I'll edit this post and take out the footnotes.)


    Spoiler: *Meaning in High Gothic
    Show
    "Order of the Elite Sisters in Training"
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Just Icharus will be fine. I am no noble.
    Spoiler: OOC ALL
    Show
    BTW the filigree was on the table. His armor is bare unadorned plate.
    Playing Icharus Burns

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Lourn takes Icarus' offered hand with a firm grip, well suited to holding a weapon, but clearly without one today.

    "Good to meet you. I have to imagine we come from different worlds, what with the plate and all"

    He regards the Sister's comment regarding hostages "Believing oneself to be in a hostage situation is no time for casual pleasantries." With a nod of agreement.
    "Yeah, can't find much fault with that logic. I was feeling pretty cagey m'self. What with the...um...forceful recruitment and all. Imagine that might be partly why I didn't get my personal effects back....that or the smell...you know...maybe it was the smell. Hive...no smell quite like it. He offers a toothy, fond grin.
    Playing Lourn

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Planetar

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    I suppose pleasantries are in order. I am Eckleman Ferrmi, Sworn Gendarme of Explorator Fleet Iota-35-Styges II. I have been seconded to Terran command, though I must admit the exact nature of my commission is unknown. He takes a second to look again at the guard, then again at his companions. I could hazard a guess though. This many dangerous people in a room does suggest the assignment will be a violent one.
    Last edited by Lordy; 2019-09-24 at 09:57 PM.
    Eckleman Ferrmi

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Before any more words can be spoken, a set of doors hiss open and two more green-clad guards walk in. Unlike their compatriots that have escorted in the rest of the group, these two are wearing heavy plate armor on top of their vestments, battleship grey and inlaid with bronze. The armor covers their chests, their shoulders, their forearms, and their shins. Heavy black gloves cover their hands, which are holding the same pattern of pristine lasguns that the rest of the guards are carrying.

    The pair strides in, their eyes darting around the room and taking in seemingly everyone and everything in a fraction of a second. With calm precision, they wheel and take up positions on either side of the door, making way for the figure that walks in behind them.

    The man that walks into the room stands a full five or six inches shorter than the guards that entered before him, but nonetheless commands an air of authority and respect that so few naturally possess. His skin is a dark brown, his mane of hair and well-trimmed goatee jet black. He wears his hair in an array of braids adorned with small talismans and beads, all tied together and pulled off to the side of his head, seemingly to partially conceal the massive burn scar around where his ear should be. His coat is a navy blue trimmed with brown leather, unbuttoned in the front to reveal an expensive-looking suit of some type of mesh armor. At his right hip is a nondescript bolt pistol, and a lethal-looking curved steel blade hangs from the left. He is young for an individual of his charisma, perhaps in his mid thirties, but his face shows signs of premature aging around his piercing gray eyes that dart between the five strangers seated around the table before him.

    He stops in his tracks as he clears the threshold to the room, the low lights emphasizing the wrinkles around his face and giving him an almost haunting appearance. After a few brief moments, he nods to himself and turns to the guards that walked in with him.

    "Gentlemen, the room, please."

    His lightly accented voice is soft, hardly above a whisper, but it nonetheless fills the small chamber. Without so much as a word or even a glance, every guard in the room gives a bow of their heads and files out, two by two. The pair of armored guards are the last to leave, and everyone can see them take positions outside of the doorway before it hisses shut once more.

    The dark-skinned man turns to face to the motley crew of individuals seated around the table and walks towards them. His movements are calculated and deliberate; not holding back, necessarily, but almost as if he is acutely aware of every joule of energy he is expending with every step and swing of his arms. He takes a seat in the single available chair left at the table, its raised position putting him nearly a head above everyone else present. His eyes flick back and forth between everybody present for a couple of seconds, then he gives a slight, satisfied nod and produces a data-slate from within his coat.

    "My lords," he says, "And ladies," with a respectful nod to Raine, "Welcome to the service of the Imperial Inquisition. I trust you all have many questions. Unfortunately, in these times, one's duty cannot wait. Therefore, I request that you keep your questions brief and to the point. My name is Inquisitor Bayek Hassan, Ordo Hereticus, and loyal servant to the Golden Throne. Have you all made your introductions?"

    Spoiler: Raine IC Knowledge
    Show
    The curved sword at Hassan's hip appears to be a masterfully crafted power blade of an unfamiliar pattern.


    Spoiler: Icharus IC Knowledge
    Show
    The curved sword at Hassan's hip appears to be a masterfully crafted power blade of an unfamiliar pattern.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    As the doors to the main entrance open and the armored guards stride into the briefing room, Raine leaps to her feet and adopts a straight posture, facing the wall opposite her with the throne to her left, and remains standing at attention until the Inquisitor has seated himself. Once he has done so, she retakes her seat in a relaxed but attentive posture, taking in every bit of his appearance and listening intently as he speaks.

    Privately, and unbeknownst to the others, it dawns on her that she has never served under a male superior officer before. The sudden realization unsettles her for the briefest of moments, but she masks her surprise and dismisses the thought promptly. This is the Emperor's Will, after all.

    At the Inquisitor's query regarding introductions, Raine says nothing, respecting her place not to speak for the others, but rather turns her focus attentively towards the Naval Officer in the room, the only one now left whose name she does not know, in anticipation of his response.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    His eyes finally open as the Inquisitor walks into the room, transitioning from a calm stare to an alert gaze at the man now taking a seat. Looking him over, once, twice, and one more time for good measure, he takes a breath before responding to the Inquisitor's question. A warm smile appears on his face before he speaks, eyes seeming to light up ever so slightly.

    No, Sir. My name is Calad Machentritus. Pleasure to make your acquaintances.

    He looks around the room as he speaks to address his new fellows, before returning his gaze to his new superior, smile still upon his face. His once slouched position has now shifted, fingers curled together in a fashion that brings notice to the insignia of His Emperor's Navy upon his chest. Sitting upright, one leg crossed, head tilted towards the Inquisitor, Calad falls silent once again.
    Playing Calad Esteban Rozario Machentritus III

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Satisfied that everyone has made their introductions, Hassan lays the data-slate on the table and steeples his fingers.

    "You are here because the Imperium has need of your varied skill sets. Who you were before this moment does not matter. Where you came from, the people you have known, the deeds you have accomplished, the crimes you have committed." Hassan gives a long, pointed stare at each of you, his eyes lingering slightly longer on both Lourn and Icharus before breaking eye contact. "From this point forward, everything you do is in the name of the Inquisition and reflects not only upon me personally, but the entire Ordo Hereticus, the Inquisition, and indeed, the Imperium of Man at large. I trust you will not disappoint." Although he doesn't phrase the last sentence as a command, Hassan's tone of voice clearly states that is much more than a polite request.

    The Inquisitor reaches down to the data-slate and begins to move his fingers rapidly across its surface. His voice subtly switches to rapid-fire, clipped tones, as if reciting a contract. "Everything you are about to see is strictly classified and information given is on a need-to-know basis. You will receive all data relevant to the completion of your mission, nothing more, nothing less. I will answer questions if I deem them worth my time. Upon completion of this briefing, you will be turned loose to complete your objectives in whatever manner you deem fitting, with the blessing of myself and the crew of the Menes. Failure to accomplish these goals will result in...harsh penalties."

    With one final stroke of a finger, a small holographic display flickers to life from the data-slate, projected directly over the table for all to see. The low-quality, sepia-toned hologram depicts an impossibly ancient space-faring vessel, clearly Imperial in make but not of any standard pattern recognizable by most. It bristles with firepower and the scars of a thousand battles, regal and majestic even in the flickering projection. Hassan points to the vessel.

    "The Drekihammar," he states in an unfamiliar accent, "Or the 'Dragon's Hammer' in less antiquated terms. Millennia of service in the Imperium, a veteran of thousands of battles, and a staggering kill count against an equally staggering variety of foes. Unfortunately, some time ago, the Drekihammar was lost to us without a trace. Rumors circulated that it had been lost to the Warp, or destroyed by our enemies. The most ludicrous theories even stated that its entire crew rebelled against the Emperor and have turned traitor. Regardless of how and why, the ship has been missing for centuries."

    Hassan pauses to ensure that everyone seated has taken in the information he has given them, before leaning forward and pressing another button. The hologram shifts to show a different vessel, smaller than the Drekihammar but nonetheless impressive in its own right. "Lords and lady," Hassan intones, "I give you the Factorum Rex: the Kingmaker."

    The Kingmaker does not appear to boast even a tiny fraction of the firepower from the previous hologram, and indeed appears to be a highly-retrofitted civilian cargo hauler. It seems that whomever has been in charge of the vessel has meticulously stripped it of anything non-essential and replaced it with arrays of docks, hangars, and small habitation modules all along its hull. It is not a pretty vessel to look upon, more functional than flashy.

    "The Kingmaker is a civilian vessel that pulls triple duty as a salvage vessel, cargo hauler, and a mobile factory of sorts," Hassan states, "Its standard modus operandi is to find wrecked spacefaring craft, strip them down, collect what they can save, and scrap everything else and use it in any of a hundred different micro-factories throughout the vessel. These manufacturers can turn out anything from weapons, munitions, armor, supplies, and even small vehicles if they are so inclined. Obviously because of this, the Kingmaker has a well-established relationship with several Rogue Trader dynasties and Mechanicus members, and have been in business and protected for generations.

    I have a contact on the Kingmaker whose job is to provide me with any interesting finds that the vessel stumbles upon. Xenos artifacts, ships left over from ancient battlefields, anything that doesn't meet the norm. Three weeks ago, he reported me that the Kingmaker had come across a vessel that matches all descriptions that I can find on the Drekihammar. Salvage teams had reportedly boarded the ship and made their way to the bridge to retrieve the ship's logs, but whatever they found scared them enough that the Kingmaker departed the area before it could begin its standard salvage procedures. My contact further informed me that the advance team did bring back a black box of sorts before the ship left."


    Hassan leans back in his seat, looking to each of the team seated around him. His eyes have a faint gleam to them, the look of a man who has something almost in his grasp.

    "We have tracked the Kingmaker to this sub-sector, where it is currently conducting a salvage operation. Your mission is to make contact and dock with the vessel and through whatever means necessary, find me this black box. I care not how you choose to go about this mission, only that you see it through. I am close, very close to a discovery of tremendous proportions, and this black box may just hold the key that I need."

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Calad leans forward as the holograms appear, admiring the ships before him as he listens intently to Hassan.

    "What can you tell us of your contact, Inquisitor? Have they noticed any oddities on the ship after the salvaging of the black box, perhaps heard rumors or accounts from those salvage teams who boarded the ship? Getting in contact with those who have witnessed it first hand may provide additional details regarding the ship as well as avenues of procuring the item as quickly and intact as possible."

    He pauses for a moment before continuing. Looking around the room and considering his new companions, he again begins speaking.

    "Something to consider is how the team would like to approach this, as a whole. It seems quite clear that we've some experience between all of us, but I'm not yet entirely aware of what particular kind of experience that is or what it may allow us to accomplish. Of myself, I've some proficiency with a pistol, a quick command, or even as a pilot should we so need it. Obtaining the black box by any means necessary certainly opens up all things for consideration but a proper route should be thought of on our parts."
    Playing Calad Esteban Rozario Machentritus III

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    Lourn lets out an explosive an somewhat exasperated sigh, leaning forward, and paying sharp attention to the briefing, silently mouthing words to himself throughout, as if trying to commit it to memory.
    Too blind, far too blind to take on a mission here...gotta know more or we're all dead

    OOC: (I'm going to list these out bullet point style for ease of reading)

    Inquisitor. I have a few questions, hopefully of a worthy sort... Apologies for the rapid-fire steam of consciousness here. I've found it best to make sure I don't forget anything. And well...I like being thorough. Little as possible left to chance. I'm sure you understand.

    -Who is your contact onboard?
    -Are we to meet with them?
    -How will we know them, and how will they know us?
    -Who is the captain of the Kingmaker, should we be asked?
    -What sort of person are they?
    -I assume your preference is a covert removal of the black box, and not us blindly shuffling aboard and asking nicely for it, correct?
    -Is there any way we could forge, or gain your assistance with forging credentials to be aboard the ship, if we're looking to do this quiet-like? Do we have a cover story for coming onboard? Or even for the Medes and Kingmaker to cross paths?
    -Do we have schematics or floor plans for the ship?
    -Under what circumstances, in your preference should force be used?


    He regards Calad's comment
    Calad, if someone will give me a scope and a long-las, I can make your problems go away. But i'd rather sneak in, pick a lock or two, take it, and leave, given the option.
    Playing Lourn

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    As Calad and Lourn enumerate their concerns, Raine silently detaches her data-slate from its clip-mount on the lower back of her armor, sets it before her, and briefly makes a few selections on it. She then waits for a break in the conversation.

    Gentlemen, no offense intended, but the Inquisitor seems a very busy man and has already indicated that he isn't one for questions. Our tactics and proficiencies should be discussed in a post-briefing conference.
    (Turning to address the Inquisitor directly) Sir, I presume you have prepared a mission dossier from the documents we have been authorized to access. My data-slate is in receptive configuration, should you wish to transmit the materials wirelessly.
    Sister Raine Ravidia

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2019

    Default Re: 40K Dark Heresy - Saga of the Gatekeepers (IC)

    I am terribly sorry Sister Ravidia. Icharus says, refering to the Sororitas exactly as she asked, no more or less.
    Questions remain that the honored Inquisitor may need to answer or ignore in person, and show I shall beg him stay for as long as he is able.
    While his tone is polite, it is neither warm nor deferential as he regards Bayek Hassan.

    You may of course wave off my questions, as is the privilege of your... position. However I find line soldiers who know what they are dying for tend to have a fire that unwilling or coerced conscripts lack- makes them more effective. He half sneers, an ugly scar splits across his lip as it curls, causing more teeth than a smile usually requires to be exposed.

    What is the lineage of the Driekhammar? Which of the Emperor's forces has it served with? The Astra Millitarum? The Legiones? The Omnisiah's Devotees? Your own Ordo?
    He waves towards the sepia-colored holo for emphasis.

    You claim this endeavor benefits you, the Ordo Hereticus, and the Emperor's Kingdom. How? Is there more at stake than simple career advancement?
    He leans forward and holds the edge of the table.

    What prevents you from simply seizing the whole Factrorum Rex? - or at least just the black box? Who Else is watching you and by extension -sweeps hand over assembeled- all of us?


    If there is something that hampers to your authority in this realm, what is it? Is it law? Fear of retaliation? Chance of this black-box disappearing to some unknown advisory? What exactly is a team of disposable, anonymous, complete strangers going to be better at than a team of your own trained men, or paid spies?
    Is there any future for us after this? Are we to be used like torches till we gutter out? Or are we to be confined to the dungeons after this to keep Ordo secrets?


    He leans back, the smile finally reduced back to simply bemused levels. Throughout the whole series on questions Icharus never raises his voice or sounds accusatory. His tone is reminiscent of a student asking questions about an upcoming exam-or a glutton asking about the daily menu special.

    After a second he chuckles to himself.

    -and where is that dear man who went to go fetch water?
    Playing Icharus Burns

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