01-05 Stealing is Bad - Restealing is Okay

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PF: 51
DATE: 346.815 M41
LOCATION: Omnicron 71-DX
OBJECTIVE: Repair the Hymn
REASON: In Progress
PC’s: Anna, Cynthia, Erata, Holt, Janus, Thurman, Uric

After the session recap, we integrate some new PC’s. The player of Hob starts running Holt Shilwulf while the player of Lazarus Leere starts running Uric Heizenfaust, and a new player joins us with Cynthia Xan’Tai.

Captain Holt Shilwulf has been selected by Rogue Trader Octavius Shilwulf to be his successor. However, it is specified in the Warrant of Trade that the current Rogue Trader must act as mentor to the successor before handing over the reins. Octavius will be escorting the explorers and their new captain on a run into the Koronus Expanse. Once they make a chunk of profit factor and return, Holt will become the official Rogue Trader of the Shilwulf Dynasty and will need to name his second (in case something bad happens to Holt).

The players decided that Cynthia came over at the request of Ivan Warluskew. Instead of the navigator deal being a mainly Leere sponsored thing (through Lazarus Leere’s (Randall’s) family connections). It is going to be a joint effort between the three houses. Cynthia is actually a male, but on his ship the name/gender assignment are reversed. Being slight of build with long red hair, there might be some odd situations in the future.

In Uric Heizenfaust’s backstory, he was arrested for unknowingly supplying a Scintilla rebellion. Octavius calls in a favor of an old war buddy to find him a hot-shot pilot to compete in the big race. A haggard, unwashed, and still in chains Uric is delivered to the Hymn, leaving the explorers left wondering what terms Octavius parted on with his old war “buddy”.

Once everyone is settled in, the explorers tie up a few loose ends prior to departing Omnicron for the shrine world:

  • A few incomplete ships were recently delivered and Octavius instructs Thurman to secure one for him. After a Fate Point and a decent roll, the Dynasty is now the owner of an incomplete but Good Quality Orion Class Clipper.
  • The authorities ask to see Erata’s sanctioned psyker papers since she was setting people on fire with her mind on Omnicron 71DX. Janus takes a keen interest in this exchange but everything seems to check out just fine, and no other repercussions occurred.
  • The explorers receive more info on the attackers that were after Hob:
    • The Lucky Dawgs were a mercenary unit that was employed by the Shilwulf Dynasty.
    • Hob spent some time with them and was the only survivor (unscathed no less) of one squad during a particularly nasty engagement. It was surmised that Hob probably got the crap shot out of him like everyone else, but he’s cursed with this terrible Regeneration mutation and so survived.
    • Each Lucky Dawg had an explosive charge in one of their clips that was remotely detonated after the attack on Hob failed.
    • There was also a xenos grenade of unknown design found on the leader’s corpse.

Next stop is The Palm of Anais, the Shrine world where the Hymn is scheduled to have the Warpsbane hull repaired with some blessed silver. After some excellent navigation by Cynthia, the explorers arrive in the correct system.

Unfortunately, the ship that contains the silver for the hull repairs is under attack by void pirates. The battle is two days away at full burn, so there isn’t much the Hymn can do except for trying to head off the pirate to prevent them from jumping out of the system.

After a little cat and mouse and Ivan analyzing the warp trails in the area, some communication is exchanged. based on the navigator’s finding, the explorers threaten to tell the Navy about the coordinates they surmise are the pirate’s home system. Though the pirate laughs and basically gives the explorers the finger, Erata detects a hint of “Oh shit!” from him.

With Ivan’s tracking and Cynthia’s navigation (giving Lazarus the chance to evaluate the new guys), the explorers race off with a 12-hour head start to beat the pirate back to his base. When they arrive in the system, the explorers find a failing space station which they approach cautiously to make certain it doesn’t have any weapons.

As they approach the station, Cynthia makes a good roll with his special Navigator power which is (basically) short-ranged but very good sensors. He detects a mine field before the Hymn’s sensors do, allowing them to plot a course through the field but it is going to be a tight squeeze for the Hymn. Rather than risk the ship, the explorers decide to teleport over instead and hope for the best. This decision upsets Cynthia, and he storms off the bridge saying the Captain has no faith in him.

Once the explorers arrive on the station, Holt uses his Commanding Presence to order six pirates in the hangar to surrender. Penalties are more than offset by the presence of the very well-armed explorers, teleporting in, and (what for all intents and purposes) a Space Marine (Hob in Best Quality power armor). While Uric and Cynthia commandeer a pirate shuttle, the others search for the leaders of the meagerly populated and failing station (with the prisoners in tow).

The base leader contacts the explorers via the station’s intercom, choosing to meet face-to-face in a cargo bay to discuss the station’s surrender. The leader, a few armed men, and one in administratum robes come in while a dozen or so more armed guards wait outside the bay.

Negotiations proceed very well, Holt makes reasonable demands and the pirate leader seems very receptive. When Holt and the leader go to shake on the deal, however, Roland blasts the leader into giblets. Apparently Roland Shilwulf hates pirates.

A firefight ensues, the explorers take superficial damage while in turn gunning the armed guards down. Holt curses Roland’s name as part of his free action and seals the door so the 100+ pirates can’t stream in and overwhelm everyone. Roland searches for the administratum fellow, but the clerk rolls extremely well on his stealth check and ducks into an environmentally sealed container.

At first the explorers decide to vent the cargo bay in order to blast an escape hole to get to the shuttle that Uric and Cynthia boosted. The prisoners, however, are against this plan and plead for a different solution. After a quick search around the cargo bay, void suits are located and distributed to the prisoners.

All the while Holt is dressing down Roland who maintains that the leader was reaching for a gun and not “shaking on it”. Uric flies back to the Hymn through the minefield and rolls a natural 100 crit-fumble. Luckily this is negated by his void-master special ability that allows him to re-roll failed piloting tests.

With a little smirk on his face, Octavius asks Holt how things went onboard the station. He apologizes for not bringing Roland’s backstory to light, but seeing how Holt reacts under pressure is part of the “mentoring” process. As a side note, “Damn you old man!” has become one of Holt’s favorite sayings.

Holt hails the station and attempts the peaceful negotiation route once again with the tech priest (the newly appointed leader of the station) by assuring them that Roland was acting way out of line and has been dealt with. After a good negotiation roll in combination with the pirates having no real cards to play, the pirates begrudgingly agree to Holt’s terms.

The station is ordered to act normally and turn off the mines, then turn them back on when the pirate vessel carrying the stolen silver is halfway through. The explorers go into silent-running mode behind the station and wait. The plan works, almost a little too well…

GM Note:
I told someone to roll a d10 and I’d subtract 3, then I would look at the crit chart and said we’d begin ship combat from there. The player Hob rolled a 10. I said alright I’ll give a 30 percent chance for an Ulric’s Fury and someone rolled a 29. The player of Holt rolled for a second bit of damage and again rolled a 10. So I went straight to catastrophic damage and the player of Erata rolled a 7, which is Hulked and only 1 away from plasma drive explosion. I had to roll for every component, and on a 1-2 the component would be fine. After rolling for everything, the player Thurman asked about the cargo hold, which I had forgotten was a built-in component for the pirate’s ship. I rolled a d10 and it came up a 2 – everyone cheered :)

I love rolling out in the open, the dice want to tell a story!

So after looting an extensive array of supplies from the pirates, the undamaged ship components, and the silver, the explorers are a bit pressed for time to make it to Port Wander in time for the race. Luckily they make the journey with a week to spare and Thurman shares the rumors he uncovers:

  • There is a high-stakes race happening soon, run by Conrad Livingston (another rogue trader)
  • Livingston shuts down the entire mining belt every year for the race but hasn’t personally won it yet. Word is he does it just for fun.
  • Four Shilwulfs are going to be on Port Wander soon, an assassination attempt is bound to happen.
  • Sarvus Trask (another rogue trader) found a cache of ancient Imperial weapons and plans to entertain offers on Footfall.
  • Someone is using xenotech in the upcoming race, which is against the rules.
  • There is an Inquisitor that recently arrived on station looking for a rogue trader’s mutant bodyguard.

The last one prompts Hob’s confinement to the ship during their stay at Port Wander. From a private contact, Thurman does in fact receive what appear to be detailed plans for an assassination attempt and hopes to head up efforts to thwart that. There is a planned dinner with Eisen Shilwulf (the currently named successor should something happen to Octavius).

Post Mortem:

Next Session: 01-06 The Big Race

01-05 Stealing is Bad - Restealing is Okay

The Shilwulf Dynasty Eck Snowmoon