Meet the Party: Dark Heresy 2E, The Enemy Beyond

A survivor of a world consumed by the Warp, bound to the God Emperor body and soul. A man born into a prison, possessed by a daemon but freed to unleash the Emperor’s wrath upon His enemies. A tech-priest long trapped on a world quarantined and doomed, who has learned how to keep her secrets. A righteous crusader of noble blood, devoted to her order and the destruction of the Immaterium’s denizens. Every 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. Prepare yourself to face the worst of the grim, dark future Dark Heresy Second Edition as we join the Ordo Malleus and fight the Enemy Beyond!

Enemies Beyond is the latest supplement for Fantasy Flight Games’s Dark Heresy Second Edition, addressing the one part of the Inquisition that hasn’t been touched upon yet: the Ordo Malleus. While the Ordo Hereticus gets to fight nice, normal, raving mad cultists and the Ordo Xenos can relax while hunting average, deeply unsettling aliens, the Ordo Malleus gets the delightful task of fighting the sanity-destroying and soul-devouring Daemons of the Warp. There’s rarely anything more dangerous, more terrifying, or more corruptive then getting involved with Daemons, yet the Ordo Malleus consider it their day job. As a result, they can’t just rely on the usual sources of Acolytes, or normal Acolytes at all for that matter. Enemies Beyond offers new and horrible home worlds, a truly awful background, and a Role meant to take on the worst the Warp has to offer, all of which are featured below. The book also presents some new abilities, advances, and gear, some of which our poor Ordo Malleus Acolytes find themselves graced with. Brace your sanity and say your prayers, and let’s see what our Acolytes can do.

Yemmise Frennine, Mystic

To War is Human . . .

Homeworld: Daemon World

Background: Adeptus Astra Telepathica

Weapon Skill: 34   Ballistic Skill: 25

Strength: 35   Toughness: 34   Agility: 28

Intelligence: 25   Perception: 39   Willpower: 44

Fellowship: 36    Influence: 36

Aptitudes: Willpower, Psyker, Defence, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception, Fellowship, Weapon Skill

Skills: Psyniscience +10, Awareness, Common Lore (Adeptus Astra Telepathica), Interrogation, Forbidden Lore (The Warp), Dodge

Talents and Traits: Weapon Training (Las, Low-Tech), Warp Sense, Psyker, Psy Rating 1, Sanctioned, Soul Bound (The Emperor, Blind), Unnatural Senses (4), Ashen Taste Malignancy

Powers: Telepathic Link

Advances: Astropath, Willpower Simple, Willpower Intermediate, Fellowship Simple

Bonuses: Touched by the Warp (14 Corruption Points), The Constant Threat, Tested on Terra, Stare into the Warp

Fate Threshold: 4

Wounds: 8

Equipment: Laspistol with Two Clips of Ammo, Staff, Light Flak Coat, Psy Focus, Micro-bead, Consecrated Scrolls, Respirator/Gas Mask

Yemmise is a Psyker, with all the potential power and dangers that can offer. Her Telepathic Link lets her read the thoughts of others and communicate with her fellows, and her Psyniscience (a rank of which she got from Touched by the Warp) and Warp Sense turn her into a living radar for all things related to psychic goings-on. That’s a vital skill when trying to detect (or avoid) Daemonic activity. What sets her apart, however, is her Astropath Elite Advance. Although the process of becoming an Astropath has blinded her, she no longer needs eyes to see thanks to Unnatural Senses. The process of being Soul Bound to the Emperor makes her even more resistant to the Perils of the Warp than The Constant Threat and being Sanctioned can make her. Being an Astropath opens up entirely new Powers and Talents, specializing in communication, mental shielding, and telepathy greater than anything the core Telepathy Discipline has to offer.

Shiv Rhaban, Hierophant

Innocence is an Illusion . . .

Homeworld: Penal Colony

Background: Exorcised

Weapon Skill: 37   Ballistic Skill: 38

Strength: 26   Toughness: 33   Agility: 26

Intelligence: 29   Perception: 31   Willpower: 40

Fellowship: 41    Influence: 29

Aptitudes: Toughness, Defence, Fellowship, Offence, Social, Weapon Skill, Willpower

Skills: Common Lore (Underworld), Scrutiny, Awareness, Inquiry, Forbidden Lore (Daemonology), Intimidate, Interrogation +10

Talents and Traits: Peer (Criminal Cartels), Hatred (Daemons), Weapon Training (Solid Projectile, Chain), Ill-Fortuned Malignancy, Double Team, Keen Intuition, Coordinated Interrogation

Advances: Weapon Skill Simple, Fellowship Simple, Willpower Simple

Bonuses: Finger on the Pulse, Touched by a Daemon, Sway the Masses

Fate Threshold: 2

Wounds: 15

Equipment: Autopistol with Two Clips of Ammo, Shotgun with Two Clips of Ammo, Chainblade, Imperial Robes, 3 Doses of Tranq, Excruciator Kit, Rebreather, Stablight, Micro-bead, Chainsword

Shiv is dangerous and relentless, whether on the field of battle or in pursuit of his quarry. He’s roughly equal in melee or at range on the face of things, but when he can Double Team his skills with a chainsword shines through. His skills, high Fellowship, Peer (Criminal Cartels), and Sway the Masses means that he will often be the best choice for peacefully gathering information. As for more extreme methods of doing so, his already impressive Interrogation skill is further boosted by his excruciator kit and Coordinated Interrogation Talent. In either case his Keen Intuition can give him a second chance on Awareness tests to notice something he’s missed. Finally, Touched by the Daemon makes him difficult to frighten, and immune to possession by the Daemon who once possessed him. Hatred (Daemons) means that when he finds that Daemon, he’s going to have a decent chance at carving some revenge from its hide.

Thesse Tzarelle, Chirurgeon

Ignorance is a Wisdom of its own . . .

Homeworld: Quarantine World

Background: Adeptus Mechanicus

Weapon Skill: 38   Ballistic Skill: 38

Strength: 29   Toughness: 33   Agility: 32

Intelligence: 39   Perception: 27   Willpower: 34

Fellowship: 35    Influence: 31

Aptitudes: Fieldcraft, Tech, Agility, Intelligence, Knowledge, Strength, Toughness

Skills: Operate (Surface), Common Lore (Adeptus Mechanics), Logic, Scrutiny, Tech-Use, Medicae +10, Forbidden Lore (Daemonology, The Warp), Navigate (Surface)

Talents and Traits: Mechadendtrite Use (Utility), Weapon Training (Solid Projectile), Mechanicus Implants, Resistance (Fear), Cover-Up

Advances: Intelligence Simple

Bonuses: Secretive By Nature, Replace the Weak Flesh, Dedicated Healer

Fate Threshold: 3

Wounds: 13

Equipment: Hand Cannon with Two Clips of Ammo, Optical Mechadendrite, Imperial Robes, Vial of Sacred Unguents x2, Subskin Armour, Micro-bead, Medicae Mechadendrite

Thesse is useful to the team in a number of unique ways that combine to make her a vital Acolyte to have around. Like many members of the Adeptus Mechanicus she is the group’s premier source of information and lore thanks to her Intelligence and her Malleus-appropriate Lore skills. Beyond that, however, she has turned her knowledge to the healing arts, making her the team’s medic. Provided an Acolyte lives long enough for Thesse to get to them, she can use her Medicae skill, Medicae Mechadendrite, and Dedicated Healer bonus to bring them back from the brink. Thesse is also able to act as the driver and navigator, thanks to her Agility and Fieldcraft Aptitudes. In what is perhaps her most interesting ability, Thesse is great at maintaining the group’s Subtlety, keeping them off the auspex as they conduct their investigations. Secretive By Nature reduces Subtlety loss for the entire group by 2, and Cover-Up lets her reduce her Influence by 1 to gain 1d5 Subtlety.

Mycandra Eos, Crusader

Violence Solves Everything . . .

Homeworld: Highborn

Background: Adepta Sororitas

Weapon Skill: 42   Ballistic Skill: 35

Strength: 43   Toughness: 31   Agility: 30

Intelligence: 30   Perception: 25   Willpower: 36

Fellowship: 35   Influence: 37

Aptitudes: Fellowship, Offence, Knowledge, Weapon Skill, Strength, Toughness, Willpower

Skills: Athletics, Charm, Common Lore (Adepta Sororitas), Linguistics (High Gothic), Parry, Command

Talents and Traits: Weapon Training (Flame, Chain), Deny the Witch, Crushing Blow, Sound Constitution

Advances: Weapon Skill Simple, Strength Simple

Bonuses: Breeding Counts, Incorruptible Devotion, Smite the Unholy

Fate Threshold: 4

Wounds: 13

Equipment: Hand Flamer with Two Clips of Ammo, Chainblade, Armoured Bodyglove, Chrono, Dataslate, Stablight, Micro-bead, Flamer with Two Clips of Ammo, Chainsword, Backpack

Mycandra is a living embodiment of ‘speak softly but carry a big chainsword’. On the one hand her Fellowship is good, she’s equally capable at being Charming or Commanding, and she has a high Influence which is difficult to reduce thanks to Breeding Counts. On the other hand, just for starters, she is adept at using the ‘point and watch things die’ flame weapons associated with her fellow Sisters. She’s extremely skilled with her chain weapons, with the Strength to deliver impressive damage that is further increased by Crushing Blow.  She can Parry physical attacks and use Deny the Witch to evade psychic ones. As a Crusader, Mycandra can spend a Fate Point to automatically pass a Fear Test thanks to Smite the Unholy. In addition, Smite the Unholy turns her opponents’ attempts to frighten her against them, giving her melee attacks additional damage and armor penetration equal to the Fear Rating of her targets.


 

Left to the mercy of the thirsting dice gods, these Acolytes tend to be very good at what they do, in addition to even the less combat-centric characters having at least one good combat characteristic. In return, however, they all have at least one characteristic where they fall below average. The team will find themselves depending on Yemmise’s Perception because of everyone else’s lack there, for instance. Delightful bit of irony, considering she’s blind.

As for the Divinations: Yemmise’s awareness that War is part of human nature grants her the Dodge skill, Shiv’s concerning the illusory nature of innocence grants the Keen Intuition Talent, Thesse’s acknowledgment of selective ignorance being wisdom reduced her Perception but also reduces Insanity Points gained, and Mycandra increased her Weapon Skill because violence really does solve everything.

It’s not all good, however. Shiv gains a Malignancy for simply being an Exorcised character; Ill-Fortuned means that his Fate points won’t always work when he needs them to. Yemmise gained enough Corruption points during character creation to have to test Willpower, and unfortunately she failed. Her Malignancy means that she cannot even enjoy the simple pleasures of food and drink, which results in Fatigue being twice as difficult to recover from.

Who They Are

Yemmise Frennine lived a damned life, and quite probably should have been doomed to a damned eternity. Her homeworld consumed and spat out again by the Warp itself, twisted into a Daemon World, Yemmise spent her life on the run: fleeing from hungry daemons in reality and from cunning daemons who sought entrance through the door in her mind. The Ordo Malleus does not balk at such worlds, however, and Yemmise was fortunate enough to be discovered by an Inquisitor leading an expedition to her homeworld. Plucked from her literally hellish existence, she was taken to Holy Terra itself, there to be sanctioned and bound to the God Emperor. She lost her sight in the bargain, but can see and hear so much more now. Including ways to hurt the daemons who haunted her dreams and her every waking step.

Shiv Rhaban was born a criminal. His ancestors having committed some crime or another that got them locked up on a penal colony, Shiv was literally born into the system, never knowing a day of freedom. When a daemonic incursion struck the colony, and Shiv was possessed among all the chaos, it was just a more horrible form of imprisonment. The Ordo Malleus led the effort to purge the world, but for some reason the Inquisitor who confronted Shiv and his daemon decided against killing the man; rather, the daemon was cast out, and Shiv freed. Shiv took this to be a sign from the God Emperor, revealing to him his purpose: to bring His light to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, and there use it to burn the daemons to ash and sorrow.

Thesse Tzarelle was a rising star among the Adeptus Mechanicus as a youth, particularly among those who studied the life sciences. It was a common opinion that Thesse was on the fast track to becoming a Magos Biologis, until she was assigned to investigate a plague that was beginning to ravage a continent. Thesse doomed herself and the entire planet when she blew the whistle: the ‘plague’ was a ‘gift’ from the Chaos God Nurgle, and his daemons and cultists were already beginning to spring up. Thesse spent most of her life trapped on a planet that had been quarantined, fighting the plague as best she could knowing that the Imperial Navy waited above for the order to burn everything. Before that could happen, an Inquisitor apparently became curious about the young tech-priest who had willingly brought the quarantine down upon herself and her people. Thesse was plucked from her world with little say in the matter, tasked with using her knowledge against the same breed that doomed her world.

Mycandra Eos was born as the fifth daughter of a noble family. While of undoubtedly good breeding, with a manner to match, her older sisters had quite frankly exhausted most of the options that might have been available to Mycandra. As a result, she was given over to the Adepta Sororitas. Mycandra brought the same poise and dignity to her training there as she had brought to any social function, but before long she began to believe in what she was doing far more than her family might have expected. In fact, her zeal surprised even her superiors, to a degree that was troubling. That she would live her life on the front lines against the God Emperor’s enemies was taken as a given; but not for her was service with the Sisters of Battle or the Ordo Hereticus. Her studies had her convinced that the Enemy Beyond was her true foe, and she became something of a proselytizer for the fight against the Daemon. Eventually, she was granted her wish. Her superiors hope they have not doomed her.

How They Interact

Yemmise likes all of her companions. Granted, her sense of perspective on the matter is a little skewed: anyone who is not trying to kill her and/or possess her soul and/or a daemon is perfectly alright in her book. She’s been told this makes her disturbingly cheery for an Ordo Malleus acolyte. Aside from that, Shiv can irritate her from time to time; even his thoughts are loud. Thesse, on the other hand, is a soothing presence, quiet in speech and calm in thought. Yemmise often spends time around the chirurgeon in silent companionship. Mycandra is almost as loud as Shiv, but she’s . . . calmer, somehow, as if her version of faith is a bulwark instead of a blaze. While they are by no means friends, Yemmise still likes to be around the crusader.

Shiv sees threats all around himself, up to and including within his own allies. Having grown up with cutthroats all around him and having lived with a daemon in his flesh makes this understandable, if not comforting. Yemmise came from a damned world and is clearly damned herself, and she has the curse of the psyker on top of it. Only Shiv’s faith in the God Emperor, and the belief that He can maintain the chains connecting Yemmise to Him, keeps Shiv from cutting her down. Thesse is more or less in the same category; while she doesn’t have a way into the Warp resting within her head like Yemmise, she has been haunted by the Immaterium just the same. Her faith on the Omnissiah does her no favors; only stern words from his Inquisitor stayed Shiv’s hand in this case. Mycandra, at least, understands what must be done to destroy the Enemy Beyond in all its horrid forms. She is the staunchest ally Shiv has.

Thesse sometimes resents her service to the Ordo, not that she’s ever foolish enough to say so out loud. That being said, it has provided new avenues along the Quest for Knowledge, even among her ‘compatriots’. Both Yemmise and Shiv provide living samples of rare phenomenon, a daemon world survivor and an ex-daemonic host. While potential threats, both are invaluable objects of study in Thesse’s efforts to better understand – and vanquish – the enemy. Mycandra is great to have around for the vanquishing part, and her chosen crusade against the Enemy Beyond is one Thesse supports wholeheartedly. However, the lessons taught by the quarantine have stuck with Thesse; she talks with her fellow acolytes little, and then usually only when the mission dictates it. Most of her thoughts are kept to herself.

Mycandra is quickly learning that the fight against the Enemy Beyond will not be a simple affair, and will often require working with . . . unsavory types. By all rights Yemmise should be an abomination, but with the daemon worlder’s very soul being bound to the God Emperor Mycandra has decided to keep faith with Him. Surely not even the denizens of the Warp can break such a bond. Shiv’s faith is, if anything, stronger than Mycandra’s own, but even to the crusader his zeal can be troublesome. It will do the acolytes no good to chase every shadow Shiv sees, so Mycandra has resolved to help him see the true targets. Thesse’s sacrifice of her own freedom, that of her planet, and potentially her life in the fight to stop Nurgle’s incursion means that she is the only one Mycandra outright respects, even as quiet as the tech-priest is.

The Far Future

The Ordo Hereticus is constantly embroiled in a fight against heretics and traitors, while the Ordo Xenos face unfathomable aliens and their human-formed cults, but on any given day the acolytes of the Ordo Malleus would beg for such easy prey. Will Yemmise, Shiv, Thesse, and Mycandra send the horrors of the Warp back from whence they came? Will they fall to the claws of the Enemy Beyond? Or will their fate be far worse, their souls turned into playthings? That’s for you (and your dice) to determine!

Originally posted 3/18/16 on the Mad Adventurers Society!

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