Meet the Party: Dark Heresy Second Edition #2

A keeper of the Imperium’s laws who has taken his shock maul to the darkest shadows. A priest of the God-Emperor who brings light to His adherents and flame to His foes. A killer-for-hire on ‘permanent retainer’ to the Holy Ordos. A shaman without a soul, wielding her tribe’s knowledge and the void in her heart in defense of Man.

Each Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. It’s time to travel back to the grim darkness of the 41st millennium and Meet the Party, acolytes of the Ordo Xenos, from Dark Heresy Second Edition by Fantasy Flight Games!

Quinten Ferris, Seeker

Kill the Alien before it can speak its lies . . .

Homeworld: Hive World

Background: Adeptus Arbites

Weapon Skill: 41   Ballistic Skill: 29

Strength: 42   Toughness: 33   Agility: 37

Intelligence: 28   Perception:  32  Willpower: 30

Fellowship: 35    Influence: 34

Aptitudes: Perception, Offence, Fellowship, Intelligence, Strength, Social, Tech

Skills: Awareness, Common Lore (Adeptus Arbites, Underworld), Interrogation, Intimidate, Scrutiny

Talents, Traits, and Advances: Weapon Training (Shock), Disarm, Quick Draw, Simple Weapon Skill, Simple Strength, Takedown, Simple Fellowship, Intermediate Strength

Bonuses: Teeming Masses in Metal Mountains, The Face of the Law, Nothing Escapes My Sight

Fate Threshold: 2

Wounds: 12

Equipment: Shock Maul, Enforcer Light Carapace Armor, 3 Doses of Stimm, Manacles, 12 Lho Sticks, Micro-bead, Shield, Screamer

Quinten brings the iron authority and brutal Shock Maul of the Adeptus Arbites to the party, and is the toughest and best-protected member of the team. Thanks to the Shock Maul and his Takedown talent he’s not just capable of breaking the bones of his enemies, he’s extremely skilled at disabling them to be taken alive. Once the scum are locked up he can use Interrogation and Intimidate, backed up by The Face of the Law, to get the team the secrets they need. He also has sharp eyes; Nothing Escapes My Sight lets him use a Fate Point to succeed on Awareness and Inquiry checks.

Tyruss Grendal, Hierophant

Be a boon to your allies and the bane of your enemies . . .

Homeworld: Shrine World

Background: Adeptus Ministorum

Weapon Skill: 31   Ballistic Skill: 39

Strength: 41   Toughness: 31   Agility: 25

Intelligence: 26   Perception: 25   Willpower: 39

Fellowship: 40    Influence: 34

Aptitudes: Willpower, Leadership, Fellowship, Offence, Social, Toughness, Strength

Skills: Charm +10, Command, Common Lore (Adeptus Ministorum), Inquiry, Linguistics (High Gothic), Parry

Talents, Traits, and Advances: Weapon Training (Flame), Weapon Training (Chain) Hatred (Eldar), Frenzy, Simple Fellowship

Bonuses: Faith in the Creed, Faith is All, Sway the Masses

Fate Threshold: 4

Wounds: 10

Equipment: Hand Flamer, Imperial Robes, Backpack, Glow-Globe, Monotask Servo-Skull (Laud Hailer), Micro-bead, Chainsword, Dataslate

Tyruss might not be the best melee combatant on the team when he wakes up in the morning, but once he uses Frenzy not even Quinten can match his up-close mayhem, and even if he chooses not to wade in his hand flamer can be extremely dangerous. Still, Tyruss’s true contribution isn’t in combat: it’s in his role as a man of the God-Emperor. His skills and aptitudes make him the friendly face of the party. Faith in the Creed and Faith is All give great bonuses to Fate Point use, a great advantage since he’s tied for most Points in the team. Sway the Masses lets him spend Points to succeed on crucial Charm, Command, and Intimidate checks.

Dokk Hons, Assassin

Dark dreams lie upon the heart . . .

Homeworld: Voidborn

Background: Outcast

Weapon Skill: 26   Ballistic Skill: 41

Strength: 22   Toughness: 31   Agility: 40

Intelligence: 30   Perception: 33   Willpower: 36

Fellowship: 32    Influence: 37

Aptitudes: Intelligence, Social, Agility, Ballistic Skill, Fieldcraft, Finesse, Perception

Skills: Slight of Hand, Common Lore (Underworld), Deceive, Dodge, Stealth, Awareness +10

Talents, Traits, and Advances: Strong Minded, Weapon Training (Chain, Las), Jaded, Simple Ballistic Skill, Intermediate Ballistic Skill, Simple Perception, Precision Killer (Ranged)

Bonuses: Child of the Dark, Never Quit, Sure Kill

Fate Threshold: 4

Wounds: 9

Equipment: Laspisol, Chainsword, Armoured Bodyglove, Injector, 2 Doses of Obscura, Long Las, Micro-bead, Concealed Holster

Dokk brings a slightly more illegitimate skill set to the team. He’s the only acolyte who can lie worth a damn, the local expert at stealth, and has sharp eyes and sticky fingers. What truly brought him to the Ordo’s attention, of course, is his skill with a las weapon. Sure Kill can grant him more damage for spending a Fate Point, and Precision Killer means he never takes penalties for making devastating head-shots. His high Agility and the Dodge skill mean that, while not the toughest acolyte, he’s going to be the hardest to actually hit.

Garma Jaine, Sage

Even one who has nothing can still offer her life . . .

Homeworld: Feral World

Background: Adeptus Astra Telepathica

Weapon Skill: 34   Ballistic Skill: 32

Strength: 34   Toughness: 33   Agility: 30

Intelligence: 39   Perception: 30   Willpower: 41

Fellowship: 28    Influence: 26

Aptitudes: Toughness, Psyker, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception, Tech, Willpower

Skills: Awareness, Common Lore (Adeptus Astra Telepathica), Interrogation, Forbidden Lore (The Warp), Scrutiny, Forbidden Lore (Psykers), Forbidden Lore (Xenos – Dark Eldar)

Talents, Traits, and Advances: Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech), Ambidextrous, Untouchable, Resistance (Psychic Powers), Simple Willpower, Soulless Aura, Simple Intelligence

Bonuses: The Old Ways, The Constant Threat, Quest for Knowledge

Fate Threshold: 3

Wounds: 14

Equipment: Laspistol, Whip, Flak Vest, Micro-bead, Laslock, Sword

Garma is the smartest acolyte on the team and brings a small host of knowledge skills to aid them in their efforts, with Quest for Knowledge offering the chance for automatically successful Lore and Logic checks. She’s a decent hand with a blade and a decent shot, with The Old Ways giving her laslock a surprising amount of punch. What really makes Garma useful to the Ordo Xenos, however, is her Untouchable elite advance. It makes her an extremely hard nut for enemy psykers to crack, and opens up an entire set of advances that will make Garma downright dangerous for the psyker and the daemon. For now, her Soulless Aura unsettles foes enough to hamper their Deceive and Charm checks against the team.

Like Magdala, Aennisse, Ragaa, and Castess before them this team of acolytes were subject to the whims of the thirsting dice gods to determine their starting characteristics. I also rolled for their home worlds this time, although I did avoid repeats in order to keep things interesting.

The divination rolls for this group resulted in some particularly interesting results. Quinten and Tyruss both gained static effects (Quick Draw for Quinten and +2 Strength for Tyruss). Dokk, however, has been granted a degree of control when he is unfortunate enough to gain a Malignancy. Garma actually has a 10% chance of not reducing her Fate Threshold when she burns a Point to avoid death, a potentially huge boon.

Who They Are

Arbitrator Quinten Ferris was already serving the Imperium of Man to the best of his ability, enforcing the edicts of the Lex Imperialis and hunting traitors, criminals, and heretics. He gained a reputation as a no-nonsense officer with a solid record of quarries apprehended for interrogation, rather than killed along with their secrets. One case got particularly dangerous, however, when Quinten unwittingly ended up on the trail of a genestealer cult. Even when he figured out exactly what he was dealing with, however, he continued the chase, eventually ending up on the same track as the Inquisitor who would recruit him after the cult was destroyed.

Tyruss Grendal always felt called to a life of faith. He was well-known and well-respected on his homeworld as an approachable and caring member of the Ecclesiarchy who truly loved taking care of his flock. And then his world came under attack by the Eldar, for arcane reasons known only to the xeno filth. Tyruss discovered that day that he did not just have love for Man and God-Emperor in his heart, but also unbridled fury directed at those who would hurt Man. He snatched up a chainsword left by a slain PDF officer and charged into the fight in a rage, hacking at the xenos until he met an Inquisitor on the other side . . .

Dokk Hons knew one fact very well: so long as he was one of three sentient beings left in the galaxy, there would be paying work to kill one of the other two. This was as true in the orbital voidstation of his birth as it was in the darkest hole of a hive, and Dokk was skilled enough to ply his trade from world to world. It was on a border planet that he was just passing through that he received an unusual job: the assassination of a Tau Water Caste diplomat who was plying the locals. Xenos were not targets he usually received pay for, but the fee was good and a Tau dies to a las shot in the eye the same as any other. When he went to receive his reward, however, he was met by an Inquisitor who made the offer of a lifetime.

Garma Jaine lived a lonely life on her home planet, disliked by most in her tribe for reasons she was never able to discover. She was viewed as useful, however, for the Dark Eldar who raided the world every few years seemed to be unable to harm her with their sorcery. An elder overlooked his contempt for the youngster and trained her in the shamanistic knowledge of her people; while she lived isolated outside of the village, she was well provided for so long as she rushed to its defense. On the tail of a particularly gruesome raid human visitors from the stars came to the village, the Inquisitor among them claiming to hunt the xenos. Upon hearing of Garma the Inquisitor recognized her ‘gift’ for what it really was; in exchange for helping to exterminate the raiders once and for all Garma was given to the Inquisition. Garma views her new life as an improvement; she is not exactly loved, but she is highly valued, and the village she now defends a much larger one.

How They Interact

Quinten quite likes Tyruss, actually. As an Arbitrator Quinten had a lot of opportunities to see corruption at work, gnawing away at the Imperium’s bones, and there was more than one person of faith who let that corruption into their hearts. Tyruss’s care for Man is a refreshing change. And, while he’s too serious to ever say it out loud, watching Tyruss tear into enemies when his blood is up is hilarious (if sometimes inconvenient). Dokk is scum, the kind of paid killer that Quinten had to deal with more than once over the years, but at least he seems to be the kind of killer who stays bought once paid for. Garma gets on Quinten’s nerves, and that’s more or less that. Despite knowing about her ‘gift’ and appreciating her knowledge he can’t seem to not find the very sound of her voice irritating.

Tyruss respects Arbitrator Ferris greatly, knowing that the Arbites do good work in protecting the faithful members of the Imperium. It is also Quinten who has helped Tyruss learn to more effectively wield his blade. The pair sometimes butt heads, however, on the subject of taking prisoners; while Tyruss realizes that captives can sometimes be useful, he has a difficult time staying his blade when agitated. The holy man has a strange relationship with Dokk; despite being very different men the pair have created an effective professional relationship in social situations, with Tyruss playing the honest face with Dokk covering for him when things turn shady. It’s worked so far. Once Garma’s . . . condition was explained to Tyruss he felt pity for the savage, despite her uncouth ways and irritating tone. He tries, despite her unsettling aura, to show her the God-Emperor’s light in whatever small way he can.

Dokk is endlessly amused by working with Quinten; there was one job gone bad that ended with Dokk fleeing from the Arbites, so it tickles the assassin’s sense of humor to now be working with one. He does his best to tell his wildest stories, bragging about his most flagrant breaches of the law, whenever Quinten might be listening. Tyruss is a good sort, way too preachy for Dokk on most days, but at least he never tries to comment on Dokk’s past. The way he gets in a fight is a little unnerving, though, even through a scope. Garma was filed away as “Non-Target, Non-Employer, Non-Vital” as soon as he met her. Learning that she is an Untouchable get her upgraded from “Non-Vital” to “Potentially Useful”. She’ll make a decent speed-bump for a psyker one day while Dokk is lining up a shot, he thinks.

Garma knows very well that Quinten doesn’t care for her. Frankly, she couldn’t care less. She’s been living with disdain from others all her life, and now she knows why, so she’s not going to waste time worrying about it. At least he does his job and keeps her safe. Tyruss’s efforts are the largest single experience with kindness that Garma has ever experienced in her life, and she is nearly brought to tears by that. She remains slightly suspicious, however, that the entire display is some sort of ruse so that further tragedy can be heaped upon her. Garma likes listening to Dokk’s stories. She is smart enough to know that the assassin is only telling them to her because Quinten can overhear them and be irritated, but the illusion of belonging is pleasant.

The Far Future

Fighting the Enemy Without as an acolyte of the Inquisition’s Ordo Xenos is varied and dangerous work. Tyranids seek to consume all before them, Eldar go about their no-doubt nefarious business, Orks rampage across the galaxy, the Tau preach in the name of their Greater Good, and one can never tell when some new alien horror will come screeching out of the black. Can this team help the Imperium of Man survive one more day despite its enemies on all sides, or will they be the first of many to perish? That’s for you (and your dice) to decide!

Originally posted 7/19/15 on the Mad Adventurers Society!

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