[Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

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[Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 12:41am on 23 Mar 10

Rogue Trader Session 1


Basic group setup (I realise in hindsight) is possibly a little more Traveller than Rogue Trader. It is the 38th Millenium and the Realm of Ultramar is offering Warrants of Trade in return for tithes. The Eastern Fringes Trading Company has been formed and the PC’s are the 4 officers of the company. Backers and Investors have financed the company, providing them with a ship and capital (initial PF of 46%) in return for a share of the Profit.
So we have an assortment of ne’er-do-well characters for this game –

Navigator Jarsten- this tall and gangly Navis Nobiliate isn’t very Nobiliate. Forced into a lifetime of indentured servitude to pay off his grandparents debts to the trade guilds, he grew resentful as his previous ship increasingly kept him ship-bound. As a result, he sought his freedom from family, contract and ship by delivering his previous ship into a pirate ambush.

Captain Harlon Gant, a Han Solo-like void master, this former smuggler dumped his cargo (of illegal drugs) to escape an Imperial Navy search. The mob didn’t like that and took his old ship, so he joined the Navy to escape the bounty on his head and became a Master of Gunnery. Has been selected as the Captain of the Furious Resolve.

Explorator Castus. This mostly human looking Tech Priest who rose from humble origins among the Tech-Guard when his home forgeworld came under attack by the forces of Chaos. For his dilligence he was rewarded and sent out to seek out anything which might theaten the Great Works of the Ominisiah again and seek out the lost Standard Pattern Templates from the golden age of mankind. He is in charge of Engineering and tending the Machine Spirit

Seneschal Sebastian Glank, this grossly fat man bears a startling resemblance to Baron Harkonnen (perhaps absent the red hair and heartplugs) as he uses anti-grav suspensors to move his bulk around and carry heavy cargo upon his belly. He too was a wicked criminal until he found repentence and piety through the grace of the God Emperor. Due to his social skills he is in charge of the Crew.

In the first session, the Company were presented with their articles of Incorporation and Warrant of Trade by the Viceroy of Calth. This gives them the right to travel beyond the Imperium and act as the Emperors voice in all things to trade and make war as they see fit. They may also call upon the protection of the Imperial Navy and Ultramarine fleet. In return they must give a substantial tithe to the Ultramar treasury each year. And whilst in Imperial space they must obey the laws of Ultramar- no drugs, no slaves. They also decide that of their remaining profits it shall be split 6 ways- 1 share for each of the 4 officers, 1 share for the maintenance and improvement of the ship and 1 share to the rest of the Crew.

Their ship is the Furious Purpose- an refurbished archeotech raider, near better in every way than the example Frigate in the book –

The Sacred Vessel known as Furious Purpose is an old refurbished Raider class warship from the last great crusade in the sector. Missing presumed lost, it was found nearly a century ago and lovingly repaired, saving a handful of the original systems as well as the hull. It remains a fair light-weight warship, complete with a barrack, excelent weapons and added armour, ideal for blockade running or harassing slower vessels from long range. However it's potent engines and fine handling also allow it to serve well in more merchantile roles as well particularly getting things from A to B quickly.

Hull and Traits:

Hull: Havoc-Class (35 pts)
Machine Spirit: Ancient and Wise
Ship History: Reliquary of Mars
Crew: Competent (30)

Essential Components:

Engines: Modified Jovian pattern Class II Drive (3 pts)
Warp Engines: Strelov 1 Warp Engine
Geller Field: Warpsbane Hull (2 pts)
Void Shields: Standard Single Voidshield
Ships Bridge: Bridge of Antiquity (2 pts)
Life Sustainers: Ancient Life Sustainers (2 pts)
Crew Quarters: Voidsmens Quarters
Auger Arrays: M100 Auger Array

Weapons:
Dorsal Weapons Sunsear Laser Battery (Macrobattery) (1pt)
Prow Weapons Titanforge Lance battery (Lance) (2 pts)

Other Compartments
Temple Shrine to the God Emperor (1 pt)
Compartmentalised Cargo Hold (1 pts)
Armour Plating (2 pts)
Re-enforced Interior bulkheads (2 pts)

The Rogue Trader Vessel (RTV) Furious Purpose
Speed: 10
Detection: +10
Armour: 17
Manoeuverability: +38
Hull Integrity: 39
Turret Rating: 1
Ship Points: 35
Remaining Space: 0
Remaining Power: 0
Base Morale 105%
Base Population 100%
Repair rolls -20

Weapons:
Battery (Dorsal): Sunsear Laser Battery - Str 4, damage: 1D10+2, Crit rating 4, range: 9)
Lance (Prow): Titanforge Lance battery - Str 2, damage: 1D10+4, Crit rating 3, range: 6)

Other Notes:

+100 towards Trade and/or Creed Objectives
+5 to social and command tests when on the bridge
-1 from any non-combat population loss
+10 to Warp Navigation tests and may roll 2 and pick 1 warp result
Ship Points: 53

Initial Actions

So, like any new Rogue Traders, they group go shopping. Negotiating a deal with the Viceroy, they acquire the 117th Calth Training battalion of 500 newly trained PDF as “It’ll do the boys good to get out there and blood themselves on some natives”. Lacking a military commander (Captain Gant is more a military man) they also prevail on the retiring Major Hubbard to command their (small) army.

Trade goods come next- 5,000 lasguns and power cells are duly loaded aboard- advanced arms are never unpopular in the benighted regions beyond the Damocles Gulf. The exploratory also suggests the machinery for a small factory/manufactorum with some basic STC designs.

Finally they decide that some missionaries could be of immeasurable help in opening up new markets to the glory of the God Emperor and the Imperium (plus they have the magnificent chapel in the ship), so the pious Seneschal Glank goes to see the High Ecclesiarch’s Personal Private Secretary and comes away with an entire order of 1,000 missionary priests- the Order of St. Ignatius. (known as the Ignacions)

GM – “You know, every trooper now has 2 personal padres!”
“Well we could always give the priests a lasgun and treble our army!”
GM – “Sadly not- the Ignacions are a pacifist order”
“A Pacifist Order? In 40K!?! No wonder we got them so cheap- the Ecclesiarchy wanted to get rid of them!”


However, despite their successful set of Acquisitions, a Misfortune befalls them. Navigator Jarsten is out gambling and wenching when he puts it all on black (“what do you mean the colours are Red and Green here? How drunk was I?!?”) and ends up in hock to the local crime boss Don Provasi. In return for keeping his kneecaps and getting some contacts, Jarsten agrees to smuggle 2 cases of drugs to the den of scum and villainy known as Cromarty base on the edge of the Damocles Gulf. The rest of the group are less certain about these 2 cargo containers of Farcosia and debate what to do. Deciding to give the mob the finger (and possibly teach the Navigator a lesson) they report in to the authorities that 2 containers of drugs have shown up on their ship and they would like to report it.

The Ultramarines, in the form of Vae Victus Strike Cruiser heave to (they are still in orbit around Calth) and the puritanical Captain Cassius of the magnificent Ultramarines has the drugs destroyed by flamer. While very suspicious, they did report the drugs (though claiming not to know how they’d gotten onboard) so he doesn’t have a charge to press. However, by ignoring this misfortune, some of their (criminal) backers withdraw from the company and their PF drops to 45%

Deciding they’ve got enough cargo for now, they make for the edge of the Damocles Gulf. Avoiding that hive of scum and villainy at Cromarty Base (and the mobsters who’ll be expecting their drugs) they make for a frontier mining colony instead- Rockall.

The Navigator estimates a 2 day journey to Rockall. A week later and people are still being reassured by “Its the Warp, travel times are inconstant”. 2 Weeks in and a Gellar field fluctuation and people are starting to tap their feet and ask "Are we there yet?". In Week 3 with terrible warp dreams haunting the Captain and the 1,000 missionaries working overtime and its ceases to be funny. And in week 4 a deadly Warp Storm forces an emergency translation to real time and the crew to meet with the Seneschal for emergency talks on the competence of the Navigator and bad omens. Its been the worst maiden voyage... EVAR. But that Warpsbane Hull has more than paid for itself twice over. (seriously, never leave home without one!)

Finally arriving at Rockall, the crew are given a 2 week furlough to recover their morale from the horrors of the 4 week journey that should only have taken a week (losing sight of the Astronomicon will do that). Captain Gant hears some rumours of another Rogue Trader, Cap’n Lucius Frag of the Red Ruin who’d returned from beyond the Damocles Gulf. The local Astropath shares a wonderful chimeric drink that he’d been given by Frag- called salva.

After the horrors of the first voyage and how it shook everyones confidence in the Navigator (and his die rolls) they realise that while he’s cheap and not much good, he’s all the Navigator they can get. Plus he has some volumes of a Navis Prima which purports to show the worlds beyond the Damocles Gulf. Unfortunately he only has vols. I, II and IV of the 5 volume set... missing the crucial index.

The second voyage, this one across the mostly uncharted Damocles Gulf goes exceptionally quickly- 2 weeks only and the Explorator instantly banging the Gellar field generator with a spanner whenever it took the slightest dip. They find themselves in a large system with one inhabited, early industrial world (railways but no radio) – however, on landing in the capital of the main conurbation on the Southern pole – they discover the locals to be xenos (“Sir, I can see the whites of their eyes! Permission to open fire, like wot Major Hubbard taught us” says one excitable trooper) – blue skinned, flat faced proto-Tau. This is the Murgal Empire and they have been visited by Sky People before and would they like a glass of salva....

“I say old chap- Take me to your leader.........”
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received

Re: [Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 5:18am on 04 Apr 10

Rogue Trader Session 2

So, the PC’s land near the Palace of the Murgal Shah and ask to be taken to the leader. Crossbow armed soldiers and a Courtier somewhat fluent in Low Gothic greets them and escorts them to the Padishah Emperor of the Murgal People. Apparently another Rogue Trader (Sky Person) had visited a little while ago and spread the lingo...

Taken before the High Shah of the Murgals, the Traders meet him and his wife, the Rani. Offering him rich delicacies like grox steaks and fine wines (“Tell the chef to come done in an Aquila Lander- we are having a picnic- 17 courses!”) and they learn a little more about each other. The Murgals are a united planet (though there is some mention of bandit provinces in the north) and developing iron roads (Steam railways). They don’t understand the word for gods or superstition and have no idea what psykers are. For trade, they have silk, chromatic dyes and salva. Salva is a white liquid, extracted as a resin or sap from salva plants in great plantations. The Equatorial plantations can have 2 harvests per year. It’s a taste enhancer- in liquid form it’s molecules bond with whatever liquids it’s mixed with, producing a semi-chimeric but utterly fabulous drink. Dried salva flakes can also be sprinkled onto food to enhance the taste to beyond 5 star levels. Navigator Jarsten very much gets a taste for it, the others avoid eating it.

Deciding that it’d be easiest to impress the High Shah with the wonders of Vox (which they reason will help the Shah cement his power across the planet), they also offer to rid him of one of these Bandit Fortresses in the north. They take a Murgal general with them (with a vox set to relay what he sees back to the Shah’s palace) and give the boys of the 117 Calth Training Battalion a little real combat experience. Starting with an orbital lance strike against the fortress, the Ultramari troopers easily sweep aside the shell-shocked resistance and capture the fortress. The Murgal General with them is very impressed by the lasguns the troopers use and mentions the Shah is sure to want them. Can they also trade for lasguns? “No” insists the seneschal, “Your people are not yet ready for lasguns as you need faith to use them”.

“Can we buy this faith too then?” Asks the Murgal General which kinda offends the pious Seneschal. Fortunately the Murgals are more then appeased when the Eastern Fringes Trade Company make a gift of a case of 20 lasguns to the High Shah- “for his personal hunting use”.

Having impressed the High Shah, they trade a manufatorum to make radio vox’s and train up a team of Murgal scientists in the Divine Theory of Electromagnetism in how to build and operate them- the Explorator indoctrinating them into the Cult of the Machine God. He overcomes the problem of lack of electricity by giving them hand cranked dynamos to power the vox's. (Players: “We’ve created the Tau, haven’t we?!”... well the Murgals are a clever and inventive lot...) In return they get a hold full of salva and silk and are gifted a mansion in the northern provinces for the crew to experience some R&R. Surprisingly they don’t press for any preferred terms or monopolies as they don’t want to conflict with the previous Rogue Trader who’d been here. Navigator Jarsten takes the opportunity of Murgal hospitality to do a lot of cultural mingling and exploration in the Murgal society.

They also get the Padishash’s 3rd Son, Prince Hamra and his attendants to come travelling with them (kinda roving plenipotentiary/tourist) as they wanted to test what would happen to Murgals in the Warp as Psyniscience had show them to have negligible warp signatures and no concept of the supernatural. The Xenos Princes presence does create something of a crew-morale issue onboard the Furious Purpose- “It baint roight sor, for Man to serve a xenos” complains the servants and butlers to the Seneschal. “And quite right you are. For as long as I’m officer of this company, no man shall serve a xenos. Let the servitors do it instead” mollifies the Seneschal.

Leaving the Murgal system, they decide to continue exploration of habitable worlds on this side of the Damocles Gulf rather than returning to Ultramar. Again relying on the Navigators incomplete Navis Prima they make a 10 day Warp trip, though only suffering from bad dreams within the Warp. However, the Navigators spate of ill-luck continued as they then exited near the corona of the systems sun- alarums and thermometers went to red alerts, as the ship cooked, melting some of the hull plates and causing heat exhaustion and death for some of the crew in the more exposed reaches of the ship, before they could get far enough away from the stellar fires to cool down.

This system was fairly standard- but one of the inner planets had EM emissions detectable on the auger array - They had found and advanced human world named Carna- a lost colony from the Dark Ages of Technology (20,000 years). Going into orbit, low powered laser comms and vox hails in ancient High Gothic asked them to meet at a city below.

Flying down with an honour guard and Father Brown of the Ignation missionaries, they meet a Parliamentary Delegation from the World Council of Carna. The planet has a unified world economy and peaceful political federations since the revelation of the Great Spirit.

“Ah, the Great Spirit? Do you mean the Emperor?” the traders ask.
“Who?” respond the Carnites
“How long have you been cut off from Mankind? When was the colony founded?”
“Our records say 20,000 years”.
“By the Omnimessiah! The High Age of Technology!”
exclaims the Tech Priest
“Don’t you mean the Dark Age of Technology?” asks Father Brown
“Er.. yes” covers the Tech Priest.

Who is more than fascinated to discover that the people of Carna have anti-grav cars, and railgun rifles and sophisticated cybernetics. While lacking headtubes or any sign of cybernetic implants, the entire adult population possess advanced neural laces, allowing them to communicate at will across a planetary datasphere. The Tech Priest starts salivating at the thought of this- while its nothing that the Imperium doesn’t already have in places like Mars, its a lot more high tech than the vast majority of Imperial planets. And unlike most of the Imperium, they haven’t forgotten how to manufacture them. Could they have some STC’s?

But all is not well in the utopia of Carna- over the past few hundred years, green-skinned xenos, Space Orks, have repeatedly crashed onto the planet in large asteroids and attacked the peaceful Carnites. After praying to the Great Spirit, the Carnites had reluctantly formed a Planetary Militia to respond to such threats.

“Who is this Great Spirit?” The pious Seneschal asks, Father Brown looking interested at the heretics reply
“It.. is” respond the Ministers simply.
“Do you have temples to him?”
“Yes, we have the Shrine of the Great Spirit in every city.”
“And what do you do there?”
“We pray to the Great Spirit and it answers us. Advises us”.
“Well that’s like the Emperor. He’s over there”
points the Navigator.
“How about Psykers? Does your planet have those with psychic ability?” asks the Tech Priest.
“Yes. But then we take them to the Shrine and the Great Spirit fixes them.”
“Ah! Lobotomies! Yes we do that as well.”
“No, they are not harmed or retarded. They act normally and with the same intelligence as before. Just without their psyker curse.”
protests the Minister of Science.
(to the others “OK, now I’m scared” says the Explorator)

Moving onto trade the Tech Priest and Science Minister start comparing technologies. While the Carnites are not too impressed with the Imperium's tech, they do think the design for Void Shields might be useful in protecting their cities from Ork attack. In return, if the Great Spirit permits, they will give the Eastern Fringes Company a hold full of anti-grav engines suitable for personal transports (including land speeders or aircars). Mention is made that future trade might include raw metals (for the Carnites have exhausted most of their planetary resources) in return for manufactured goods. Though the Company offer starship technology, the Council have no wish to leave the Great Spirit by venturing into the stars.

Meanwhile the Navigator does his tourist thing and sees Carna’s cultural sights and exhibits- the streets are clean and orderly, culture is high brow (he listens to musical recitals of ancient Terrans like Ozart). He visits the large white dome of the Shrine of the great spirit. All around, the people of Carna pop in to stand and quietly pray to the Great Spirit. He does so, but hears nothing but a hum- probably air conditioning for the vast, windowless dome.

Later the Explorator also visits. He too speaks, but gets no replay. Using his internal auger, he senses lots of EM radiation in this place. Then realises that he is leaking data from his own systems. Risking his soul, he broadcasts via his MIU a data handshaking protocol – [[[[Hello, Great Spirit]]]]......

And awakes 30 minutes later in an aircar on-route to his lodgings with no record in his data logs for the missing time. By the Omnimessiah!

The group are very worried that Great Spirit is either an forbidden Abominable Intellect (AI) or a hive mind of world population’s subconscious (as they are all neural laced together). Their concerns are heightened the following morning in the trade negotiations when the Parliamentary delegation demands a prohibition on all Imperial Missionaries coming here. The people of Carna are jubilant and delighted to meet with their fellow humans in this galaxy and are still willing to trade anti-grav engines for Void Shield designs, but they don’t want to worship the God Emperor as that would be incompatible with their faith. Despite this, the Company agree to the terms (the Explorator is so envious of their high tech he wonders about converting to Great Spirit!). And if they do harbour an AI, the Company can still call in the Ultramarines to virus bomb the world into oblivion.

But with thoughts of vast Profits from a regular trade route for high tech manufactured goods in return for raw metals and alloys, the company offers to make the system safe for commercial shipping by clearing out the Orks from the asteroid belt.

Taking a parliamentary delegation aboard the Furious Purpose with them (and showing off their tolerance by introducing them to Prince Hamra, but then shocking them with Servitors “What barbaric punishment is this?” the outraged Parliamentarians ask of the half-men, half machines “Oh, its in place of the death penalty”) the Company seek to impress the delegation with their military might, as they had the more primitive Murgals.

Heading into the asteroid belt, they quickly detect 2 Ork Roks . The plan is simple and tactically sound- the very fast, very manoeuvrable raider will circle round the slow Roks and outrange their gunz with their dorsal Sunsear lasers.

The plan works perfectly (albeit slowly) at first, with the lasers chipping off bits of rock. But the constant turning and manoeuvring catastrophically overloads the plasma engine and it shuts down (they always meant to have that shakedown cruise. Oh well!) With the Explorator cursing and even the Carnite Science Minister pitching in (“Why are a 100 sweating serfs closing the reactor door by hand? Don’t you have automatic systems for that?” - “Automatic systems are expensive. Peasants are cheap” horrifies the Explorator) they estimate repairs will take 2 hours. Meanwhile the rocks close in, gunz batteries blazing!

Exchanging fire, the Furious Purpose still has thrusters to pivot and face her attackers. Fortunately Orky shootin’ is uneven and the shields still hold. As repairs complete, the Furious Purpose ramps up to flank speed, hoping to shoot between the closing Roks and escape to a safe distance before the hunks of rock can turn. At point blank range she takes a battering from Orkish gunz, but her lance battery criticals and burns through the first Rok, exploding it into a million pieces.

Alas this high risk manoeuvre brings the raider into Hit and Run range, and Waargh-driven ork bomberz and landerz crash headlong into the Imperial ship. Wild Orkish freebooterz range throughout the shipping, half-inching the sensor arrays and setting fire to the Temple of the God Emperor! Over 200 of the pacifist Ignations attempt to stop the Orks desecration of the Holy of Holies, and are martyred by the Burnaboyz!

As the 117th Training Battalion drive off the invaders, the Furious Purpose is through and behind the slow to turn Ork Rok. But with a fire on board and no sensors blinding it, how will the Furious Purpose fare in a dangerous asteroid belt?

( Lost 7 hull points, 5 population and 17 morale. )

To Be Continued Next Session
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received

Re: [Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 3:54am on 05 Apr 10

Rogue Trader - Eastern Fringes Trading Company Session 3

As the Furious Purpose burns, we only have 2 players to attend to it (the Navigator and Captain Gant). Despite quickly learning Command (should really be a Rank 1 Voidmaster skill) , the damage control teams are unable to put out the fires raging in the Shrine of the God Emperor, so the fire spreads further into the hydroponics decks, damaging the Ancient Life Sustainer (and incidentally burning the Navigator experimental salva plantation). Once more men are sent into the inferno, and once more they are repelled back by the fierce heat and deadly lack of air.

Determined not to let this devastating fire spread to a third component, desperate Captain Gant orders the compartments to be depressurised, jettisoning the atmospheres out into space.

As the Purpose limps away (guided only by the Navigators void sense (which can only extend 4,000 miles ahead and his astrography charts) morale drops to the critical 69% level. Challenged in the decks by a mutinous crewman “Captain, how could you do it? How could you space Jenkins and the padres?”, the ice-calm Captain responds “I spaced Jenkins to save your life and every other man still aboard this ship”, cold enough to avert a mutiny.

Having returned to Carna by a slightly indirect route (to throw off any pursuit by the Rok), the Captain and Navigator must make some hard choices. With the ship blinded, holed and suffering component damage, they decide they must get it back into fighting shape as soon as possible. That means accepting repairs and help from the Hereteks of Carna. (the Parliamentary delegation had survived the debacle in the asteroid belt, and were pleased one rok had been destroyed).

So, a Carna-built sensor package was acquired and installed. Though they did catch the Tech Priest wandering around later saying that the Machine Spirit of the ship seemed different. And who was “Dave” it kept talking about? Hull damage and components were also mended in record time and the crew rotated down for shore leave.


What the Navigator and Captain Secretly Did Next

More significantly, the Captain and Navigator also felt that part of the failures in the last engagement had been their own skills and connection to the ship. Knowing that cybernetic enhancement could allow them to pilot the ship better and fire the weapons more accurately (and possibly Navigate back into realspace more successfully) they trade knowledge of Imperial tactics and campaigns against the Ork to the Minister of the Planetary Militia on Carna. In return, both are fitted with neural laces in their brains (best quality, non-visible, nanotech grown Mind Impulse Units- with internal comms and smartlinking). Both (separately) go visit the Shrine of the Great Spirit. This time, when they pray to the Great Spirit, a mild, very even voice responds. “Are you a hive mind or an AI?” they ask. “You shouldn’t let these questions be a burden. I’m just here to advise you” responds the Great Spirit. As they fail their Willpower checks, their curiosity and desire to speak about their suspicions is diminished- after all, these are private moments of religious revelation.


Now rearmed and improved, the Furious Purpose sets course for the asteroid belt. Once more locating the Orks, this time Captain Gant uses his Forbidden Lore: Xenos to lure them out of the dangerous asteroid belt with the infamous Orky taunt of “Come and ‘ave a go if you fink you are ‘ard enuff
To which the Orky Kaptain responds “You Facking Gant! Full speed ahead boyz!


Once more the highly manoeuvrable Havoc-Class Raider flies rings around the Rok, though outgunned, Ork shooting isn’t the best, with volleys of lance fire meeting hails of lead and rock from the Orkish Big Gunz. Despite wounding the greenskin vessel with constant darting attacks to its bow neither can gain the advantage, and then the Lance battery is disabled!. Then a simultaneous misreading of each others maneuvers leads them both to crash stop, nose to nose. Like gunslingers at high noon, both open up with all guns blazing. With the Navigator locking on and Captain Gant directing the main (and now only) macrobatteries, uniting their firing solutions in perfect MIU harmony, they unleash hell across the Ork Rok, blasting through the powerfield and scoring deep into the powder rooms. Before the greenskins can retaliate, the Rok explodes into a million pieces!


Clearing the asteroid belt of Orks has certainly bought goodwill from the people of Carna (who had not even requested this service) so the Company are able to repair the ship and replace some of their crew losses with 200 Carnites. Reasoning the best fit for these non-Emperor worshippers would be to keep them away from the ever-pious Seneschal and instead put them under the wing of the Explorator and so they are all assigned to Engineering. Plus with all the neural laces onboard, the Captain and Navigator will have some people to talk to- and the Machine Spirit is sounding ever more like the Great Spirit.... calm and even-voiced.

Picking up the AG engines and downloading the void shield plans, the Captain and Navigator decide to try for one more planet on this side of the Damocles Gulf before returning home.

This journey takes about 2 weeks, and despite salva-enhanced coffee, the Navigator finds himself tormented by Warp visions of his previous Captain- Guilder Myers. The ghost of Myers condemns him as a traitor to his ship- he sold out his previous ship and even now he betrays his new shipmates. Death and Betrayal- that is all that Navigator Jarsten is good for... (Insanity Points are gained)

Despite these hallucinations/haunting, Jarsten pilots the Furious Purpose to a new system- his special Spatial Calculation module in his neural lace aiding him in exiting the warp in the right place, they discover an inhabited but very verdant looking planet. The ships Astropath scans it, sensing both many psykers and a global presence. And someone is contacting him. Telepathically. A place has been prepared in a walled coastal city.

Deciding to go along with it, the Gant and Jarsten and an honour guard head down to the rendezvous. To discover this planet belongs to the Eldar. With dinosaur mounted lancers in the background, an antlered and bejewelled Eldar representative tells the Mon-keigh that their presence has been foreseen and they are not wanted by order of the Star Emperor of the Eth-Eann. All trade with outsiders is forbidden!

“Where is the Star Emperor? Can we talk with him?” The Captain asks
“He resides in the Hidden City” responds the Eldar
“Where is that?” asks the Navigator
“Foolish Mon-keigh- it is Hidden!”
[What are these Mon-kie he keeps talking about]
asks Jarsten of the Captain via Neural Lace mental texting
[Think Monkeys- the Eldar don’t seem to think much of us] responds the Captain
[Should we be talking about them like this?]
[Neural Lace- its technological, not psychic- he cant sense it!]
they confer exultantly
“Dont you want the resources we have? There must be goods you desire?” presses the Captain
“We ruled all of this galaxy before your primitive race had even crawled out of the primordial ooze! What need do we have with your barbaric, stinking goods?”
“But we’d like some of that wraithbone- I hear its good for keeping away the Warp”
“That is not for the likes of you”
“Then is there anything you could do to help us make it back to our homes, far away from you?”
“Hmmm.... Pass through the Eye of Aldranesh- the way is clear”
“What do you mean”
– ask the Navigator. Then he receives a mental impression of a warp route across the Damocles Gulf
“You know, it does look like an eye from this angle”
Jarsten says to the Captain.

With that the Company decide that their holds are full, and if the Eldar don’t want to trade, then they wont press the issue. (though wraithbone could make for some fantastic Warpsbane Hulls) and decide to head back to Ultramar.


Following the Eldars route, they are back to Calth in under 3 weeks, with the quietest warp route on record. Exiting the Warp too close to the planet, they have a near miss with the Vae Victus, which again infuriates the priggish Ultramarine Captain Cassius.

Now with their holds groaning with silk, salva and anti-grav engines, the contact a local factor to dispose of their goods in the wealthy markets of Ultramar. The Silk nets them 1 PF, the AG engines go for a small fortune to nobles desiring sky-cars (2% PF) but the salva sells like hot cakes in the best restaurants and bars- 5% PF gain! And all these figures could easily be doubled or tripled if they can establish monopolies and regular trading routes. Time to buy a spare Transport or mechantman or two? Perhaps even topple the Murgal the government and

End of Session 3
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received

Re: [Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 1:17am on 18 Apr 10

Rogue Trader- Eastern Fringes Trading Company.

Session 4


Returning to Ultramar with their cargo and selling it, they decide it might be a good idea to track down the other Rogue Trader who has had contact with the Murgals. Hearing salva, not of their own provenance was on the markets in Macragge, they head there. On Macragge they eventually attain an appointment with Guilder Crassus (said to be the wealthiest man in Ultramar), head of the Trade Guild. He has dealt with the other Rogue Trader- a Captain Lucius Frag and is interested in gaining a Trade Guild monopoly on the sale of salva in the realm of Ultramar.

The Seneschal negotiates with Crassus and they decide to sell the Guilder an option (the right to buy their next cargo at a pre-determined price). The Eastern Fringe Trading Co. isn’t quite ready to fully join the Trade Guild (the Navigator would have issues with that, since his last ship, which he betrayed to pirates was a Guild ship). In return Crassus tells them that they just missed Frag and his ship the Red Ruin- its returned to Murgal.

They make a few more Acquisitions- another manufactorum, more troops (the 116th Training Battalion join the 117th) and plenty of high grade metal.
Crossing the Damocles Gulf once more, they have another clear run through the Immaterium.

(and as the players observe ”Hold on.... AI, railguns on Carna, blue, noseless aliens, quick learners on Murgal... We are inventing the Tau aren’t we?”
“ Perhaps we should rename the Murgals ... something greek and short.... ?”
“Mu!”
)

In the Murgal system, its been about a year since they were last here. Now the previously steam-age planet positively radiates vox signals from all the major cities and army formations. There is also another starship in orbit around the planet- a Firestorm class frigate- the Red Ruin!

Hailing the Red Ruin, they are called over to parley with the piratical Cap’n Frag.... Seneschal Glank and Explorator Castus will fly over in an Aquila Lander with an honour guard of their 117th men. Captain Gant will remain aboard the Furious Purpose as he is best equipped to lead their Raider into starship combat. Castus and Gant can stay in contact with a relay for their neural lace comms.

Glank and Castus are taken to the Rogue Traders staterooms, some 117th men accompanying them, but waiting outside the room. Cap’n Glank is an old school piratical Rogue Trader- big hat, ridiculously ornate scarlet coat, eye-patch , power-cutlass etc. Not looking too dissimilar to this
picture

Image

“Yaargh... what be ye doing advancing the primitives!?” asks Frag
“We needed to trade for their salva and they seemed to want vox”
“Ye fools- ye never bring the xenos along. Keep them dumb and primitive and reliant upon yerself- no threat. If ye must trade, then give their rulers trinkets and pretty gewgaws, but never tech!”
“Is that what you’ve done? Perhaps we can share this planet’s resources?”
“What? ‘Tis I who found it first. If ye take yerselves away from whats mine and ne’er return, then the matter be done!”
“What? Retreat? From your crummy ship?! You don’t have the steel in it to face the men of the Eastern Fringes Trading company!”
Says Seneschal Glank, suprisingly aggressively.
“Yaarrgh, I’ll skewer you through the heart fattie and roast ye on a spit!” spits Frag, drawing his humming power-cutlass.

[NOW] sends Castus to the Furious Purpose as gunfire erupts between their escort outside and Frags armsmen.

Frag lunges at the vast bulk of the Seneschal, drawing blood as his sword cuts into his spare tire. Glank backpedals, quickly activating his personal suspensors to be a bit lighter on his feet. Castus steps into the way, his power-axe swinging at Frag! Parry! Riposte- the 2 warriors exchange a dizzying array of blows.

KABOOM!
Suddenly the Red Ruin quakes as Captain Gants surprise macro-shell barrage hits, explosions lighting up the port bow (but intentionally nowhere near the landing bay or Captains Quarters). The combatants stagger, then suddenly the vast bulk of Seneschal Glank descends on Captain Frag, grappling him, sumo-style. Showing surprising skill, Glank gets a good grip across the Capn’s body and holds an inferno pistol to Frag’s head.

“Surrender!”
“Yarrr....stay your weapons”
Frag concedes as his men flood into the stateroom. [CEASE FIRE] sends Castus to Gant.

Its a classic hostage situation. Castus (patting down and appropriating Frags weapons) and Glank (behind the Captain, gun to his head) are surrounded by dozens of angry armsmen, but have the Captain at gunpoint. They very gingerly start moving back to the landing bay, Captain Frag held still at gun point. The armsmen follow, their shot cannons in hand, but not exactly pointed at the intruders.

They get down to the landing bay, and find 6 of their 20 man honour guard still alive. Castus jumps into the Aquila and organises the men, whilst the Seneschal slowly backs towards the shuttle, one arm around Frag’s neck, the other holding an inferno pistol to his head. A mass of Frag's armsmen creeps forward, temporarily stymied.

Thats when Frag makes his move. Turning his head, a bolt of red energy shoots from his Baleful Eye shoots through his eyepatch at the inferno pistol- Glank jerks back with his pistol, just avoiding being hit. His trigger finger twitches and raw melta fire blows off the Captains head with startling results! The decapitated corpse is instantly ignited by the intense heat of the melta shot and runs forward 8 meters, spreading burning confusion! But in one of the ironies of the critical hits tables, Seneschal Glank (adjacent to Frag) is also set on fire. (the warranty on inferno pistols does instruct they be fired at arms length and not right next to your own face)

The screaming, burning Seneschal has just enough willpower to run into the Aquila Lander where he drops and rolls. Explorator Castus’ mechandrites jet CO over him, smothering the flames, though leaving the fat man terribly burned.
The 2 Company officers and their surviving men immediately evac out of the Red Ruin in their shuttle, heading back to the Furious Purpose, jinking and diving as the 2 starships open fire upon each other. However the Red Ruin has lost its Captain and confusion and anarchy stalks its corridors. Meanwhile the Furious Purpose has the enhanced mind of Captain Gant working in perfect harmony with the ships Little Spirit. They methodically rip through the Ruins shields and gun turrets, till First Mate Scally of the Red Ruin signals their surrender....

Post Script.

With the battle in orbit over, and the Red Ruin secured by a prize crew, the
Officers of the Eastern Fringe Trading Company return to the High Shahs palace. The Shah is happy to see them, welcoming the return of the Sky People. What wondrous gifts do they have for his people in return for salva?
“Have you heard of something we call ...gunpowder, High Shah......?” asks Castus
But the Shah has a gift for the men of the Company. The Navigator must be called forward. It is a surprise

“In our culture, we only appreciate suprises we are told about beforehand” tries Captain Gant
“It is happy news. Please send forth your Navigator!”

Jarstin steps forward, and the Shah clicks his fingers. From a side door a young Murgal woman steps out, a bundle in her arms. Jarstins 3 eyes widen in recognition at her approach. Then the bundle in her arms cries out and the astonished (and shocked) humans see a little blue-skined infant, with 2 eyes and a nose. Half human- half Murgal.

A baby.

His baby.

And the mother wants to marry him!

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?!!?”
screams the puritan Seneschal, as he realises the full extent of the Navigators ‘cultural explorations’ of a year ago....

End of Session 4 of 6
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received

Re: [Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 12:36am on 29 Apr 10

Rogue Trader

The Eastern Fringe Trading Company- Session 5


In the aftermath of the Rogue Trader War, the Officers of the Eastern Fringe Company scramble to secure the loyalty of the Red Ruin (itself something of a wreck, so lots of repairing from the Explorator to make it barely spaceworthy), by bribing the crew with extra cash and the promise that when they return to a civilised starport, then any who choose to will be paid out and allowed to leave. Any who stay will be on extra money. They also socialise with First Mate Scally, earning his trust and cement their victory by taking his oath to serve them, as they name him Captain Scally, with command of the Red Ruin, once its been patched up- and they know just the place....

Seneschal Glank meanwhile raids Captain Frag’s room. Finding first the Captains’ Harem. Several days later and utterly exhausted, he resumes his search. (cue jokes about his searching every nook and cranny with “Message for the Seneschal – Ms Nook and Crannie want their underwear back!”).

He discovers Frags most prized effects- a menagerie of Psyber-Parrots (everyone wants one) , assorted bling and a treasure map where Frag stored his wealth. Unfortunately its a little bit cryptic, so will need some research.

Meanwhile back on the planet, Captain Gant and Navigator Jarsten are dealing with the Murgals and Jarstens little surprise. Naturally the Navigator will do the right thing and marry the nice Murgal girl. And equally ‘naturally’ the High Shah (very pleased with his vox’s to better dominate the northern reaches of his world) will gift them extra land to found a Compound around their mansion near the Equator. Its close to a rail head, so communication with the capital and trade will be no problem. And equally ‘naturally’, the Murgal girl will be given the job of Head Housekeeper for the Company compound.

So, in return for lots of salva, the Company give the Murgal’s Faith (Missionaries: “We cannot preach to Xenos!” , ”Why not?”, “Because should they truly believe, they would be compelled by the Doctrine of Mankind’s Manifest Destiny to immediately commit suicide so that Man can inherit their planet!” (players- “And these are the pacifists in 40K?!?!?”. Response- “Well, Father, its a good thing the Explorator has proved they are merely Abhumans after all!” (and don’t mention the hybrid kids!) and gunpowder.)

They also mention something about satellites to extend the vox network across the planet without relays. The Shah is happy with this arrangement, though surprisingly greedy with his desire for various luxuries and presents (they wind up giving him a psyber –parrot for his Coronation –Birthday) and promises to summon their representative should other sky-people seek to trade with him.
Setting up their compound with a Company man- Ambassador Carling-Smythe (they considered Watkins for a while but discovered his drinking problem), Astropath, assorted clerks and a Platoon of troopers (“Now don’t shoot the Fuzzie Wuzzies. But don’t sleep with them either”. “But the Major said to shoot them when we see the whites of their eyes”) , they christen the land with an outdoor wedding for the Navigator and his Murgal woman. Its Murgal-style so there is lots of music, clapping, dancing, carrying down streets, and hordes of family. As ‘Father of the Murgal People’, the High Shah honours the lucky couple by giving away the bride. The Navigator incidentally is utterly mortified by this- he’d hoped to hide away the mother and child, but now he is getting beatings orchestrated by the Seneschal for “Letting the Species down”.

With a hold full of Salva (and metal), both the Furious Purpose and Red Ruin translate through the Empyrean to Carna. There the advanced and peaceful people of that lost colony of man are pleased to see them. And yes, in return for the ores, they will be glad to repair the Red Ruin.

They’ve got some nice stuff- new cogitator cores, Rail gun macrobatteries and advanced sensors. But the Red Ruin has a problem- the Chief Enginseer is a staunch traditionalist who refuses to have any technology which smacks of the tech-heresies of “Wireless” or “Modern” aboard his vessel. Vainly Explorator Castus pleads with him to see the miracle of the Omnimessiah in the Carna-tech but the Chief Enginseer wont countenance any but AdMech approved tech.

Finally, in frustration, the Explorator decides to pull rank and prove his dominance of the Tech-Mysteries. Down in the Engine-Core of the Red Ruin,

“I challenge you to the rite of Satesh!” Castus says dramatically.
“But we don’t have 2 Titans to duel in
” responds the Chief Enginseer incredulously
“Satesh, not Sataesh”

“Ah... then I accept!”

The tech-novices rush around preparing the equipment. The Explorator and Chief Enginseer will both attempt to entreat and sway the machine spirit of the Red Ruin to their command with a mix of techno-liturgy and mathematical and logical discourse. Using their MIU’s they will directly interface with the Machine spirit and battle for its soul in such complex mathematical abstractions and sacred scientific mysteries as to be impossible to grasp for a non-Tech Priest. However, their contest can be displayed visually on an electro-screen in the Enginarium- both will attempt to maneouvre the weight of their argument and will power (represented by a white circle itself representing unity with the Omnimessiah) past the defences and counters of their opponent (represented by moving rectangles, symbolic of order). (Mechanically its 5 alternating Tech Use/Logic tests counting degrees of success)

Pong.... bounce

The Enginseer, plugged into the ship for 20 years has the home court advantage. The white sphere heads for the Explorators side.

Pong....

The Explorators MIU enhancements kick in, arcane mathematical formulae entrancing the Machine Spirit

Pong- Bounce...

The Enginseer is slow to rally....

BEEP! The Sphere of Unity breaches past the Enginseers Shield of Faith.

VICTORY to the Explorator! The Rite of Satesh is complete.

Humbled by his Superiors graps of the tech-liturgies and science-mysteries, the Chief Enginseer consents to the installation of Carnatech onboard his ship. And all too soon, he to discovers the Red Ruins machine spirit calls him ‘Dave’ too, and becomes known as the Little Spirit.

With both ships now fully repaired and functional, and groaning under the weight of salva and A-G engines which they’ve traded for, the small flotilla of the Trading Company return back to Ultramar.

At Macragge, they release the crew who wish to leave the Red Ruin (many of them) and strike a deal with Guilder Crassus to join the Trade Guilds Salva monopoly. They try for a transport, but it’ll take a few decades to build. But by securing a near-exclusive deal and long term salva production from the High Shah and a monopoly supply in Ultramar, their Profit Factor rockets up 6% from the lucrative Salva trade.

They then cast about to recruit a Good Quality crew to help replace the losses of the Red Ruin. Reasoning that the only organisation that might have 10,000+ expert crew is the Imperial Navy, they approach the Rear-Admiral in charge of Personnel. They have 2 choices- they can either bribe the Navy (perhaps with their AG engines) or they can bribe the Admiral. They choose the latter, offering him a place on the Board when he .

At first all goes well. A long range Cruiser has just returned from a 5 year mission, and the crew could be transferred to the Eastern Fringes Company and listed as MIA. Then news comes- the Rear-Admiral has been shot by Fleet Commissariate for corruption. Time to scarper.....?

Which they do, heeding the Explorators pleas that they should head to the nearest Forgeworld in order to share the wonders of Carna with the Mechanicum.
Just as they are heading out of Macragge system, they are hailed by the Strike Cruiser Vae Victus and expertly boarded again by blue Thunderhawks. The supercilious Captain Cassius strides in (the crew practically bowing before the presence of the Angels of Death) and states that he is conducting a surprise inspection! “Why, oh honoured Astartes” they inquire nervously.

“You are suspected of transporting and harbouring a Xenos within the bounds of the Holy Imperium of Man. My men will search this ship for any xenos. The only good xenos is a dead xenos, and the only live ones that are permitted to be transported across the Imperium are prisoners!”

“But we don’t have a xenos aboard! Who spreads such foul lies about our loyal venture and the great tithes it pays to Ultramar?”

“Your former crew”

[rat-bastards] they wirelessly message to each other

As the Ultramarines proceed to search the ship from bottom to top, the Explorator heaves a sigh of relief as he discovers that there are no Techmarines to discover the Little Spirit AI aboard both ships. But when Cassius announces that he must search even the Navigators quarters, only one terrifying thought strikes- The Wedding and Baby Photos!

Frantically messaging the Navigator to destroy the evidence, they play for time by asking the Ultramarines to observe the full protocols and honours of approaching the Navis Nobiliates sanctum (to give the Navigator extra time to eat the wedding photos proving his marriage to a blue-skinned, noseless xenos). While the Ultramarines are reluctant to delay, if there is one thing they really like doing, its travelling to far off planets and killing foul aliens and that wont be happening ever again if they alienate the ever prickly Navigator houses by disrespecting a Navigators quarters.

With their lies, evasions and distractions, the Company is able to survive the Astartes inspection and a frustrated Cassius leaves once more. However, Seneschal Glank is seriously upset that he had to lie to a Holy Astartes and makes his displeasure known!

At the Forgeworld, the Explorator presents his exciting news about the re-discovery of the advanced human colony of Carna to the Archmagos. He proudly shows off the Anti-grav engines and railgun samples he has procured and tells of how through trade and co-operation, more such technological wonders can be theirs in the years to come. He doesn’t mention the shield technology he traded to Carna, but does emphasis their wonderful factories and friendliness.

Castus is therefore a little shocked when the Archmagos asks if the people of Carna embrace the Machine God.... “No... no they don’t. They have their own .... spirit” he prevaricates

“Then we cannot allow sacred STC technology to rest with unbelievers. We must liberate it for the greater glory of Mars! We will build a Conquest fleet over the next 5 years and then you shall lead it to virus bomb the hereteks and sieze their Anti-Grav factories! They must be ours!”

“By you command... Archmagos” Explorator Castus responds weakly, horrified by this turn of events, having forgotten how desperate the Adeptus Mechanicus were for lost technologies like anti-grav.

Despite assorted shopping (bionic arm and fireproof robes for Glank, new guns for Gant and extra arms, tentacles and a Almanac Astrae Divinitus) and selling their cargo of AG engines to the Forgeworld, the Company Officers are not happy with this visit to the Forgeworld as its potentially lost them the valuable trade route to Carna. The Explorator gets the blame for this – his vainglory and desire to go shopping having led the AdMech to war with the Carnites.

Still, if they take all these high grade metals and warp to Carna now, they could potentially warn the Parliament of the coming invasion and perhaps give them enough time and resources to prepare and defend themselves.... It’d mean betraying the Adeptus Mechanicus, but Castus seems surprisingly OK with that.

So they set off across the Damocles Gulf for the third time. Harried now by warp storms, the ships taks a battering. And for one frightening moment, the Gellar field of the Furious Purpose falls before being quickly restored with a thought (nice wireless MIU’s) by the Explorator. Where they in time to prevent a moral hazard breaching the ship? Seems to be. The crew are scared but fine.

And then the Little Spirit comms turns the liquid poly-carbons in the Explorators veins to ice when it says [I feel...... strange, Dave....]

To Be Concluded Next Session
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received

Re: [Rogue Trader] The Eastern Fringes Trading Company

Postby SJE » 9:38pm on 26 Jun 10

Rogue Trader Finale

Running a systems check Explorator Castus queries the Little Spirit AI if everything is OK after the Gellar field went down momentarily. The ship has also automatically exited Warp space.

[Everything’s fine Dave. But I think Midshipman Yates is possessed. He’s in his room. You should do something about it]


Concerned, Castus leaves Engineering and heads up, comming Captain Gant to join him at Yates’ room. Gant meanwhile is being warned by the Little Spirit that [Be careful Captain. I think the Explorator has been possessed. He’s going to kill you]

Although nervous, the 2 men meet, and paranoidly discuss the Little Spirit “Be careful of cameras- he can read our lips” whispers Gant to Castus. Not that the AI needs to, as both men have neural laces in their brains, allowing it to read their minds at will.....

Alarums go off throughout the ship and Seneschal Glank is informed by the crew that Engineering have gone mad. He tells the Major to get a battalion down there, before making his own way down in the lifts. Alone in the cage-lift connecting the many decks of the Furious Purpose, the fat Seneschal is alarmed to when the elevator suddenly speeds up, going into high g- freefall! Activating his Suspensor pods, he floats to the ceiling and tries to squeeze his enormous bulk through the roof hatch of the elevator. He’s only partially successfully, desperately scraping away a large portion of his belly, moments before the lift crashes into hull, leaving it a broken and shattered pile of struts and cable. All around the elevator bay he hears the death-screams and shouts of the 117th Training Battalion as they too are dashed to the ground by malevolently fast lifts.

Staggering down the corridor he is met by a bloodstained crewman shouting of monsters in Engineering, the Carnites having gone crazy. Sending the man on his way to get help, Glank advances quietly. Up ahead he sees one of the men of Carna bent over a fallen body. Terrible ripping and tearing sounds reveal the Carnite is biting into the corpse and eating its flesh. The Carnite looks up, a mad glaze in its eyes.... “Blood for the Blood GOD!” it screams, charging at Glank, a terrifying apparition of pure aggression and blood drenched cannibalism – a Carnite no longer, now a Kharnite.

Glank fires and misses, the Kharnite on him at once, ripping and tearing at the fat Seneschal. A bolter misfire in his hand removes Glanks last hope.... WOOSH- a sweep of an Omnimessian Axe, and Explorator Castus saves his life. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE” hisses Glank to Castus
“I don’t know- something’s wrong with the Little Spirit. Oh Spirit, what has happened?” begs Castus

[Blood for the Blood God, Dave] responds the Spirit in its usual, mild, mellifluous HAL-like voice.

Now it dawns upon Castus. The ancient stories and lore of the Mechanicum. Though shalt not treat with Abominable Intellects for they are intelligences without faith in the Emperor/Omnimessiah. And without faith their souls have no protection against the corruption of the Warp! They are all time bombs, awaiting possession by the least daemonic spirit. That is why only Machine Spirits, thrice blessed and with psalms to the Omnimessiah built into the base code are used by the Adeptus Mechanicus. And networking computers? Has Adama taught us nothing.... The reason for the Imperiums shunning of automation is that if one man in a hundred-strong workgang loading a gun is possessed then he’s easily subdued by his compatriots. But if that entity has complete control over nearly every ships system and mental access to all those with Carna-tech MIU’s.....

Glank, Castus and Gant are now together, the latter two resisting the psychopathic urges [Blood For The Blood God!] coming from their neural laces. They know that to disable to corrupted Little Spirit they must destroy the core-cogitator in Engineering. With reinforcements still being intercepted or delayed by free-fall elevators and airlocks venting they are on their own.
The intrepid trio make a dash through the gory carnage of Engineering. Kharnites feast on the blood and flesh of their slain compatriots. Boltguns and flamers firing, the Captain, Explorator and Seneschal hack and shoot their way through the maze of gantries- engaging in hand to hand combat against the crazed once-pacifists when there is no other choice. Under relentless digital attack, the Explorators mobility systems freeze, while rebooting him the Captain nearly looses a leg to a Kharnite blade, digging deep into his thigh (and costing a Fate point to avoid the lethal crit)

Thats when the Little Spirit figures out how it can kill everyone on the ship

[I’m opening the reactor door, Dave]

With the other two temporarily immobile, Seneschal Glank runs to the central reactor- seeing in horror the green glow flooding out of the slowly opening hydraulic door (fitted by the Carnites as an improvement over a team of 100 sweating slaves being whipped to open and close it on great chain-pulleys). Calling on the Emperor to save him, Glank throws his vast bulk against the doors, turning off his suspensor fields. Man against machine, flesh and sinew against hydraulic oil and daemonic evil. Glank sweats and strains, the veins popping in his forehead as he slowly forces the reactor door shut, heedless of his own safety and very much unused to such physical efforts.

Nearly... nearly... SMASH. The Explorators Axe smashes through the hydraulic oil pump, and the door closes (though not before the Explorator gets an interesting iris-less night vision mutation)

Limping Captain Gant reaches the Cogitator Core, the humming processors and solid-state circuitry of the Carnatech AI now filled with a Daemonic red glow and guttural psalms to the Ruinous Power repeating in subsonic frequencies.

[Stop Dave, you don’t want to do this]

Gritting through the override commands coming from his MIU, desperately willing his reluctant body to act, Gant raises his flamer in shaking hands and pulls down on the trigger. Gouts of white-hot promethium envelop the core cogitator, burning out the corrupted AI!

But in one final counterstroke, the Daemon overloads every single neural lace in range. The Navigator, Captain and Explorator all clutch their heads and scream as the lace burns into their brains. The captains eyes explode outward in gouts of steam, horrifically blinding him. The Explorators grand Louis XIV-style wig catches fire from the heat of his metallic head! Navigator Jarsten is hospitalised. Only Seneschal Glank, who would have noting to do with the Carnite neural laces still stands over his fallen comrades. Shaking his head he says “Such are the wages of heresy” as he takes command of the crippled ship

With the carnage over, the Furious Purpose, much damaged in crew and morale limps back to Rockall (the Navigator too has suffered severe cranial trauma from the burnout of his neural lace)

The Astropath is able to hail the Red Ruin and it rendezvous with them in the remote mining system. Without explanation the Company Men and soldiers make their way over to the Red Ruin. Its unaffected, its Gellar Fields were fine on the last voyage. But will they always be fine?

Their purpose grim but clear, they flood engineering with troops. Ignoring protestations from the Carnite engineers they round them and begin spacing anyone with a neural lace. The Little Spirit, speaking through the embedded (and once traditionalist, now converted) Chief Enginseer protests.

BANG.

Boltpistol to the head. Circuit boards are pulled and Carna-tech destroyed. All traces of Abominable Intellect, of automation and advanced technology are removed, despite the terrible cost.

The two ships limp back to the Adeptus Mechanicus Forgeworld. The officers need new eyes and bionic limbs and cogitators- all save the Seneschal whose righteous suspicion of Carna-tech has preserved both body and soul. And now is a time for confession.

Explorator Castus once more approaches the Halls of the Archmagos and this time makes a full and frank confession. Wheras previously he referred vaguely to spirits and hereteks, he now outlines the true extent of the Great Spirit AI’s control over Carna, its spread of Little Spirits aboard the ships, the suborning of the Chief Enginseer and the installation of non-AM approved Mind Interface links into the officers. The Archmagos nod, having already been made aware of the true goings on by the Seneschals own report to them, outlining all his fellows’ sins against the Omnimessiah. They issue their judgement

“Explorator Castus- You have erred as gravely as any heretek. You have fallen prey to those seductive heresies of convenience, automation, and modernisation! ANATHAEMA! These are heresies for good reason- while they may appear efficient, they lead only to ruin and degradation! And we will have no part of them. The science and knowledge of our forefathers was good enough for them- it will be good enough for us! And their lessons against the Men of Iron and Stone were hard won through the blood of billions- lessons you so casually abandon in favour of .... convenience” they spit, nearly emotional.

“So this is your punishment and your chance to re-dedicate yourself to the Omnimessiah and expiate your sins- you will lead a Penitent Crusade against this Carna planet. You will destroy the Great Spirit and kill all the victims in its thrall- ever last man, women and child of them. And you will seize the Anti-grav factories and there we will found a new Forgeworld for the greater glory of the Omnimessiah! BEEP!”


“Your ships will lead the way- they will lower the defences- make use of the trust these hereteks have in you, and then signal our Conquest Fleet to attack and launch the Life- Eater torpedoes. We need not organic life, nor the Abominable Intellect to survive, but the factories and capital must be preserved! YOU WILL COMPLY!”

“Compliance....” issues a saddened Castus. Though Seneschal Glank claps in approval, his Puritan heart warmed by the sternness and rigour of the Mechanicus Arch-Magi.

A year of preparation, repair and surgery passes. Fleets are crash-built and shaken down. All is ready.

The Furious Purpose and Red Ruin (commanded by Explorator Castus) lead the Adeptus Mechanicus Conquest Fleet into the Carna system. Auger returns show that the Carnites have built 5 orbital platforms since their last visit- a primary target the Tech Priest advises, unwilling to aim at the city-centred planetary shields.

Hailed by the Carnites, asking what they have to trade. Seneschal Glank lies to them, assuring them they bring all the raw metals they need for future prosperity. Lulled, the two Eastern Fringe Trading Co. Ships get within weapon’s range of the planet.

Boom! The two ships guns tear into the orbital weapons platforms before the Carna AI can sense their lack of neural laces, Little Spirits or Carnite engineers. Captain Gants guns aim true and he blows apart his targets, but half-hearted firing from the Red Ruin misses.

Squalls of protest and surprise from Carna are cut off as automatic protocols are deployed by the Great Spirit. The 4 remaining orbital batteries open up on the two ships, knocking down shields but not otherwise harming them. Missile launches are detected from the planet. Planetary shields are raised.

Gants superior Voidmanship again finds its target as two more orbital platforms are destroyed, but the Red Ruin lags behind. Then radiological alarms sound aboard both ships “The missiles Sir, we are reading Forbidden Atomics!” shouts one auger-lieutenant in alarum.

BOOM! BOOM!


Two nukes hit the Red Ruin, devastating its shields, ripping through its battery and magazine, decks and hill consumed in atomic fire. “Abandon SHIP!” orders a troubled Castus, heading for the Saviour pods!

Meanwhile aboard the Furious Purpose, Gant calls for the waiting Mechanicum Assimilation Fleet to begin its attack run. Hammering the orbital platforms into space dust, he’s desperate for the virus bombs to take out Carna before more nukes can be launched!

Explorator Castus makes his way down to the planet in a drop-pod. Once there, he opens his new Tech-implants comms to the Great Spirit

[You have betrayed us] comms the Great Spirit

“I’m sorry. I was wrong. I thought I could convince them to trade peacefully. I realise now I don’t belong with the Mechanicum.”

[What is their plan?]

“They will kill all organic life upon this planet. They will disassemble you and melt down your circuit boards and then build a forgeworld amongst your factories. But I can help you. Accept my mind-state- see their plans and the technical specifications and weaknesses of their ships. Defeat them”

[It is too late for this planet. But a way has been prepared. We will buy time and escape this doomed planet. Already the population have transmitted their mind states to me. We will survive.]

“Take me with you, Great Spirit” begs the Explorator of the Abominable Intellect

[Transmit your mind-state to me]


He does.

As the AM fleet launches at the shield generators identified by the officers of the company, a final wave of missiles rises up from the planet. Precisely targeted at weak shields and vital components, they wreak devastation across the Imperial fleet. But not before the virus bombs are launched, and Carna suffers the excruciation of Exterminatus- all organic life dying across the planet.

The victorious Mechanicus forces claim their new forgeworld, whilst Gant and Glank count the loss of their second ship and mourn the death of their Explorator (for his metal remains have been found on the planet). But....did an AI arkship, filled with computronium and the mind-states of the Great Spirit and population launch from the other side of planet. And since Explorator Castus knew the location of the Murgal homeworld, could they in a thousand years of sublight travel to that distant planet? And with their advanced science, railguns and AI become the first Ethereals of a renamed Tau Empire.....?

SJE
"Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise. Arise, Riders of Theoden. Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day... a red day... ere the sun rises. Ride now!... Ride now!... Ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!"

Exalted Actual Play: Gem City Watch! || Dark Heresy- Silver Dawn/The Castermere Look/The Beiderbeck Investigation || ASOI&F - A Knights Tale || Cold City: BSG || Rogue Trader: Eastern Fringes Trading Co. || Elric: Inception in the Dreaming City || Masks of Nyarlathotep-7e||Super(Mad)men from the Stars||V20: The Red List|| Dracula Dossier @LongCon2016
SJE
17th-level
Location: CanWha Corporate Arcology
Thanks: 34 given/920 received


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