Deathwatch – Assault Upon the Decay of Honour, Session 2, Nov 1, 2013
XP – 400
Enemies Slain – 1 Khorne Bloodletter, 2 Xenos Bat Creatures, 100 Cultists, Za’al the Flayer (For now at any rate), 2 Riddles
After a tumultuous battle on their crippled frigate, the squad scavenges what gear they can from their ship and proceeds to enter the Decay of Honour. Gunnar volunteers to carry Antaeus’ comatose body and Jimmy tags along as to stay behind is certain death. Before leaving the squad recovers several medkits and a power sword that Aethon quickly wields as his primary weapon.
Upon entering the hulk, the squad finds themselves on the bridge of an Imperial transport ship, hopelessly twisted and warped into the guts of the hulk. However that is the least of their concerns. Throughout the bridge the skeletal remains of the bridge crew lay where they were slain, and above them, a skeleton hangs in cruciform position, and by the looks of the remains, the officer was flayed alive.
Written in blood on the walls of the bridge are the words “Viris colratha dath sethicara tesh dasovallian. Solruthis veh za jass.” However, aside from eventually discovering it’s origin to be Nostraman, the squad is unable to decipher its meaning.
With only one exit from the bridge, the squad prepares to advance before hearing the raspy voice of Za’al the Flayer, who has styled himself master of this vessel, and perhaps the hulk itself. Za’al bids the squad welcome to his domain and assures that they will soon all become intimately acquainted…
The squad then enters what looks to be the ship’s doctor’s quarters, and discover a safe and a clock face on the wall. Each object has a monitor and keypad next to it. On the safe is written “Freely given to those that deserve and do not deserve alike, I enrich all and yet am always in short supply.” After a brief search of the quarters, Gunnar determines the answer to be “Mercy” which opens the safe revealing 2 medkits and a medical servo skull.
The clockface is devoid of hands and has an engraving of a set of scales, equally balanced, on it. Aethon Harker briefly sees the images of several greatswords, and utters the words “I ain’t got no time for justice!” The clock opens and inside are two melta charges.
Upon leaving the quarters the squad moves south into a corridor that has been desecrated and contains a foul essence and odor. Inside a shrine to the Emperor has been defiled. Marcus takes his flamer and destroys it, unleashing a Khornate Bloodletter! Reacting swiftly, the squad destroys the monstrosity before it can strike at Marcus. After the battle the squad sees the following words, written in blood on the walls. “Tosha amthilla van veshi laliss.”
Gunnar then enters Antaeus’ mind and helps reinforce it against wayward energies and the foul miasma of the warp. Antaeus is grateful and warns Gunnar that there will be great trials ahead and that his abilities may be the difference between success and failure.
Beyond the corrupted shrine is a hallway filled with prisoners chained to the walls. They are all mutilated, tortured or injured in different ways, with their blood draining into the floor. Gunnar begins to cut their threads and lay them to sleep on the red snow, but Za’al has trapped several of the bodies with explosives. As Gunnar cuts the throat of a prisoner 2 krak grenades and an EMP grenade go off. The krak grenades do minimal damage, but the EMP grenade damages Marcus and Gunnar’s armor, reducing it’s speed.
Za’al taunts them from the shadows and his maniacal laughter causes Icthaylion to curse Za’al’s name.
The squad continues south, and they enter a large room of pitch blackness, but filled with the stench of evil. With their infrared vision they see Za’al sitting on a throne of bone and his true nature is revealed. Za’al is a Night Lords Chaos Space Marine, armed with 2 lightning claws, a jetpack…and The Legacy of Nocture, the thunder hammer the squad originally came to acquire.
As Za’al takes off to attack the squad, two huge xenos bat monsters dive out of the shadows and 100 cultists in 4 huge groups charge forward to engage the noble Deathwatch members. However Aethon is faster than any of them and activates his jump pack, intercepting one of the huge bat creatures. They both exchange vicious blows, but Aethon takes the worst of it when he is poisoned by the beast, but not before his chainsword bites deep into the monstrosity.
Za’al challenges Icthaylion and dives at him with his claws, which Icthaylion dodges by a hair’s breadth. Alban Xanthus fires off several devastating rounds at the bat creature attacking Aethon while Gunnar engages the other beast. Marcus is charged by 25 cultists and while he isn’t injured, the cultists are buying time for their fellows to bring up heavy weapons.
But the Emperor is with the squad this day. Each squad member enters squad mode, choosing to work together rather than as individual elements. Then Marcus hits the override feature on his com link and begins to lead the squad by example. Somewhere in the distance the squad swears they hear the traditional marching music of Macragge play, an Old Earth song called “Ghostbusters.”
Inspired by Marcus “Level 2 Bard” Valen, the squad tears into Za’al and his minions mercilessly. Icthaylion levels his pistol at Za’al and fires two extremely well placed shots, critically injuring Za’al. He escapes from the fight promising revenge and punishment. Alban begins firing at the cultist hordes, causing tremendous carnage and utterly destroying over 75 cultists in the course of seconds. Aethon’s chainsword slices through one of the giant beast’s necks, decapitating it in one continuous and gruesome stroke.
Gunnar and the other xenos beast exchange vicious attacks but neither is able to land a truly telling blow until finally the squad, having disposed of the other threats, come to his aid and together slay the beast. The squad’s first real trial by fire comes to an end and the squad stands triumphant, if not smeared in gore and viscera.
After surveying the carnage and healing as best they can, they discover a small personal cache kept by Za’al. Inside are some additional bolter clips, a medkit, a skull with 4 service studs and an Imperial Fist icon engraved on it and a relic bolter named “The Golden Lion of Terra.” It is a Masterwork Bolter with underslung grenade launcher, meticulously crafted and well maintained it is as deadly as it is priceless.
The squad falls back to an earlier part of the ship and travels through a narrow hallway filled with the statues of various Imperial Saints. Halfway through the tunnel, the entrance collapses and a huge boulder rolls at them, trapping them with no exits. The squad hides in the alcoves with Marcus instructing those who forgot how to jump to “jump better.” The squad escapes with no damage, but their retreat is cut off.
Ahead of them is a huge pool of water, a byproduct of the environmental systems going haywire in the cargo holds. As Aethon approaches a nearby door to further scout ahead, a huge tentacle emerges from the water, ensnaring him and dragging him to his apparent doom…