Rustborn

Session 9 and 10
The Real Dark Ones

“It’se smell…s’like shit ‘n ’methium. S’like home.” Private Plank, 1st squad

Negotiations begin with Chief Klarion. The squad learn more about the depth of the hostility between the Virband and the Kalanaris.

Klarion offers to cease hostilities immediately if the envoys prove themselves in the eyes of the Stormlord. Sly suggests confronting the Dark Ones within their stronghold. Klarion accepts this proposal.

The squad sets out with the Chief’s son Jurgis as a guide, travelling deep into the mountains. They soon pick up vehicle tracks and encounter a group of Severan soldiers stationed at the mouth of a man-made crevasse. Fausta uses a krak grenade to dislodge an overhang and eliminate the unsuspecting crew of a Severan Chimera, while Sly and Mordecai eliminate the sentries.

After capturing two more sentries and stripping them of their gear, the squad moves deeper into the mountain, following a highway until they encounter the remains of a small hive city. All around are abandoned vehicles and signs of conflict, but no bodies remain. The path becomes too clogged and the squad continue on foot, traversing an abandoned arcade. They follow the tracks left by the Severan expedition and the sounds of gunfire.
Sly begins hearing cries in his microbead, believing it to be the Severan squad, but as the voice repeats he realises it is the voice of a child.

The source of the gunfire is a Machine Temple located in the centre of a wide plaza. Bodies litter the entranceway, stormtroopers seemingly cut down in a frenzy of vicious blades.

Entering the inner sanctum Fausta reads three signatures. Soon the plaza is alight with signatures. She accesses the nearest cogitator in the hopes of gaining some control over the temple’s systems but finds herself thwarted by a malevolent intelligence.

Outside in the plaza, dozens of servitors converge, their numbers growing in a steady drip.

Mordecai confronts the remaining Severans, a stormtrooper, General Scarus and one of the missing Tech-Priests. All pretence is thrown away with Mordecai’s declaration of their true identity. Scarus is unwilling to yield, but buckles in the face of an unwinnable battle.

Sly rigs the door with a live cable, creating a makeshift electrical trap to delay the servitor tide.

The squad climbs to the roof of the temple using the communications spine. While Mordecai and Cassmire haul the supine Tech-Priest along, Sly and Fausta dispatch the stormtrooper and General Scarus in short order.

A roar of engines signals rescue, with the Severan Chimera careening into the plaza, mowing down servitors. It roars to a halt 40 metres out and Hobb opens up with his heavy stubber from the rearward hatch.

Using another live cable and blind grenades the squad clears a path to the Chimera and makes a desperate dash, dragging the tech-priest in their wake.
A servitor seizes Mordecai just metres from safety and he feels himself being pulled away. A timely shot from Sly releases the servitor’s grip and Fausta pulls him to safety. Before the hatch is fully shut the Chimera roars away, continuing to blaze fire from every available weapon.

The Tech-priest emerges from his fugue and informs the squad of Scarus’ intention. He was looking for a meteorological research facility, located far into the Storm Barrens. When quizzed about the nature of the facility, the priest replies that it in the wrong hands it could be harnessed into a super-weapon, urging the squad to secure it before anyone else.

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Session 8
Diplomacy

Squad are tasked with protecting a diplomatic mission to the Virband. Briefing is interrupted by an incensed Uthor Kalanar.

Outside of the briefing, Captain Lhorens gives the squad a set of four long-range radio beacons with the stated goal of attaching them to the Virband’s lead vehicles. The squad conceal all but one beacon amongst the supply crates earmarked as a diplomatic gift, attaching the remaining beacon to Uthor’s combat bike.

The squad departs from the FOB and heads to the Virband’s last known position, making a detour when they detect vehicle tracks. Sly, Fausta and Mordecai come across an abandoned camp centred around a thrumming pylon. After disabling the generator, the squad investigate signs of conflict, including las weapons fire. Fausta dumps a partial recording from a servitor’s memory banks onto a scavenged data-slate. The recording shows the Mechanicus survey team being confronted by Severan stormtroopers.

Leaving the camp, they continue to follow the tracks, but are forced to regroup with the squad who have come under attack from combat bikers. Under the guise of Severan soldiers, they engage the bikers and drive them off. Interrogation of a prisoner reveals the bikers to be Kalanaris, with Lorax identifying one of the dead as the son of Uthor’s right hand man.

The caravan continues on and locates the Virband encamped in a valley. Introductions are made and the negotiations begin.

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Session 7
Dark Ones

After securing the loyalties of a local guide, Lorax, the squad heads out, intending to track down a missing Janissary squad who may have further intel. 20 km behind enemy lines they discover the remains of the Janissaries’ Chimera and the aftermath of a vicious skirmish. Fausta recovers an unknown grenade used as a booby trap. Closer scrutiny identifies it as a gas grenade of non-Imperial manufacture. The squad send Lorax back to the FOB with the grenade in the hope of synthesising an anti-toxin and continue with their mission.

They encounter a Severan patrol near an oasis and a small engagement ensues. Hobb is badly wounded in close combat, but the squad prevails, eliminating a Severan Chimera with the daredevil application of a krak missile. They carry on into the mountains and the wounded elements remain behind in a secluded cave.

Fausta, Sly and Mordecai travel onward to the Severan base and infiltrate using uniforms captured from the patrol. Fausta successfully rigs the General’s Valkyrie with explosive charges and commandeers a Severan cargo-8. Sly and Mordecai open fire, raising the alarm, before crashing the truck through the main gate.

They are pursued by vicious, dart-like jetbikes and a small transport. The truck is riddled with vicious toxic crystals and Sly is severely wounded. Only the close range application of krak grenades and some desperate manoeuvring allows the squad to eliminate their pursuers.

The rising whine of turbofans heralds the arrival of the Valkyrie. The squad watch for an agonising moment as the gunship begins to turn in their direction. Tracer fire stitches across the ground towards them before the craft is consumed by a huge fireball. Chaos erupts over the Severan vox channel and the squad completes their escape, linking back with their squad.

A day later, the squad encounters a Janissary patrol and returns to the FOB.

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Session 6
Arrival

In the wake of the Battle of the Yoke, 1st Company are rotated back to Gulch for R&R. The squad make good use of this time to trade and gather supplies, including a new arm for Fausta.

During travel the squad are pulled out of their usual routine and escorted to a small meeting room by a squad of naval armsmen. Commissar Skorse makes her presence felt, and interrogates first squad regarding the death of Lt De Bray. Each member of the squad is questioned in private, though it seems to be little more than a fishing trip.

Tensions rise within the squad. Fausta and Sly confront Casmirre, unsatisfied with his response that “he told the Emperor’s truth”. Fausta questions his loyalty to the squad, driving the otherwise level-headed Casmirre to the brink of violence. Only Mordecai’s timely intervention prevents a fistfight.

In the wake of the interrogation, Sergeant Haggard confronts Sly and accuses him of bringing unwanted attention to the squad. He gives up his share of the smuggling proceeds in disgust, warning Sly against further illicit activities.

The squad is mired in suspicion and paranoia just in time for their arrival on Virbius. After mustering in a makeshift town, the company are given their new assignments. The bulk of the regiment are assigned to assist with the coming offensive, but 1st are summoned to see Captain Lhorens.

Despite Commissar’s Skorse’s clear protestations the squad are assigned to a special operation under Colonel Garn of the 37th Maccabian Janissaries. The unit travel to FOB Epsilon 12 and receive their briefing from Colonel Garn, managing to insult his men’s honour in the process.

Mordecai lends his assistance in the infirmary and inspects the unusual wounds suffered by the Janissaries. He is able to identify the effects of the toxin and recover a decayed sample from a recently deceased Janissary. The toxin is of unknown origin, and does not match any known Imperial compound. Furthermore, the pattern of injuries is inconsistent with typical Imperial weaponry.

Two riders approach the camp at dusk and meet briefly with the Colonel. The natives seem less than impressed, one referring to Garn as an “effluent worker”. Sly engages one of the riders, Lorak, and gleans information about local history, learning of the Dark Ones and their long predation on the tribes of Virbius. Lorak agrees to join with the squad as a guide and brother-in-arms, with the promise of taking the fight to the enemies of the Stormlord.

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Session 5
The Battle of the Yoke

We’re the Green Death brother. Ain’t no kakkin’ greenie messes with us an’ lives. Private Hobb, 1st squad, overheard during furlough in Gulch City

The splintered remnants of first squad make a hasty retreat from the plantation to a hunting lodge in the foothills of the Blackyoke Mountains.

While Fausta rests and recovers, it becomes clear that the liberated prisoners are somewhat unusual, mostly likely off-worlders. Sly overhears them arguing about taking the guardsmen to the Duke.

Fausta takes the initiatve and questions Ghill about the Duke and his trustworthiness. Bog overhears this exchange, and decides to show his hand. He offers to take the guardsmen to speak with the Duke, claiming they will be safer in the mountains.

The group votes, and though there are dissenting voices, the majority choose to go with Bog.

After a further two days hike into the mountains they come upon a Marchman encampment in an abandoned quarry. The Duke greets the guardsmen warmly, offering them refreshments. He shares his concerns and outlines the dire situation faced by the March militias.

His scouts report a large contingent of Orks, perhaps a thousand strong, with mechanized forces, moving towards the mountains. The only place they can cross in such numbers is the Yoke, a large rock formation straddling the widest pass through the mountains.

He outlines a plan to lure the Orks into an ambush and collapse the Yoke, blocking the pass. The Orks will remain a threat, but will be unable to link up with Feral tribes to the east. The guardsmen agree to assist and set about making preparations.

Fausta heads south with Bog to secure an abandoned Hellhound mired in some marshland.
Sly heads north to Fort Brevisbridge with Ghill to speak with Lt Aesman and make contact with his own platoon. Mordecai remains with the Marchmen and oversees the setting of traps and obstacles in the pass, and also renders vital medical assistance to injured militiamen.

Sly receives a cold reception at Brevisbridge, confronted by Commissar Skorse and questioned about his absence. He succeeds in blunting the Commissar’s questions and convinces Lt Aesman to provide explosives and a sapper to aid in destroying the Yoke.
Sergeant Surko also agrees to dispatch reinforcements from Fort Idlecliff. Sly also learns of his squad’s return to Fort Idlecliff and the demise of Bosko. Saddened, he returns to the Yoke with haste.

Fausta, meanwhile has been busy excavating the Hellhound. After a failed attempt to start the engine, she makes creative use of some spare parts from a mired Chimera and coaxes the beast back to life. Vek and Bog take up gunnery duties, while Fausta navigates the dilapidated tank back to the Yoke. She arrives just in time.

Ork forces are surging through the pass. In the vanguard are several warbikes and warbuggies, and lumbering further back is the Boss and his Battlewagon. Sly snipes the Boss, causing considerable injury. Mordecai blasts a rider from his warbike, sending it careening into the boulder blockade.

Hearing the chaos of battle, Fausta urges the Hellhound forward, pushing it’s engine to the limits. The tank reaches the Yoke just as the first Ork mechanised forces begin to spill through. Sheets of flame and torrents of tracer fire engulf the first Ork waves. A single warbuggy manouevres itself through and in a typically Orky display the gunner leaps aboard the Hellhound. Fausta and Vek blast the Ork moments before it can unleash a stikkbomb.

The battlewagon surges forward with uncanny speed grating along the side of the pass. Ork grapples fix themselves to the pass walls and Orks begin to climb the ropes. Several make the climb into close-combat with the Marchmen and Sly narrowly avoids engagement by blasting desperately with his sawn-off shotgun.

The first charges go off, causing half of the Yoke to collapse. The eastern charges fail to detonate and there is a moment of confusion. To the relief of all, continued fire on the battlewagon causes a secondary detonation and the remaining charges trigger, collapsing the Yoke. Hundreds of Ork infantry are crushed, as several hundred tonnes of rock falls inward. Their Boss dead and the pass blocked, the Ork forces scatter in disarray. 4th platoon arrives in force and continues to drive the Orks backwards out of the pass.

A cheer goes up along the line and the Marchmen surge forward with renewed vigour. Two hundred voices ring out in unison, praising the Emperor for their glorious victory. The day is won!

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Session Four
Taking the Initiative

The platoon settle into their duties at Fort Idlecliff. They are dismayed to discover that the Orkwatch garrison has been reduced to an under strength unit of disaffected veterans.

Ever enterprising and vigilant, 1st Squad strike a deal with Sergeant Grove to smuggle surplus lascarbines to the Marchmen in return for a shipment of polygum.

During night watch Fausta becomes aware of a disturbance near the wall. She discovers two Royal Army soldiers extorting a group of refugees from the Marches. During the confrontation a small group of Orks attack from the treeline. Fausta, Sly and Mordecai provide cover as the refugees scramble to safety.

Torgill, the leader of the refugees furnishes 1st squad with information regarding Ork positions beyond the wall. He claims a significant force is encamped at a polygum plantation to the southwest, with more coming through the mountains.

Reports of fighting along the wall filter back to the platoon. Fearing an imminent attack on the wall, 1st squad takes the initiative and ventures over the wall to disrupt the Ork advance.
True to Torgill’s information, they encounter a hundred strong Ork warband entertaining themselves by throwing prisoners into a makeshift fighting pit with their Squigs.

Sly and Mordecai snipe the largest Ork, providing cover for Fausta to sneak forward and release the remaining prisoners. She makes short work of the crude lock and as an afterthought sets a krak grenade to destroy the Ork’s ammo dump. The resulting explosion causes the Ork forces to splinter, with Sergeant Haggard luring the bulk of them away.

Sly and Mordecai move up to assist Fausta. They encounter a singed Vek furiously heaving at a tangled pile of metal, struggling to free his comrade. A critically wounded Fausta is freed by her squadmates but as they do so the remaining Orks cut them off. They are forced to flee into the forest, hoping to link up with the squad later.

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Session 3
Conservatorium Assault

The squad barely have time to catch their breath after returning from their successful action against the Ork camp. Wounds have barely been licked when enraged Orks attack the Conservatorium with heavy weapons and the entire platoon is engaged in a bitter close quarters battle.

1st squad, already fatigued and injured, put up a desperate fight and are almost overwhelmed, but grit and determination sees them through. In the heat of battle they show considerable regard for their fellow soldiers and fight tenaciously to protect the wounded.

In the aftermath of the battle, Sly finds Lt De Bray cowering in the forest, badly injured. By the time Private Casmirre arrives to render medical assistance the Lieutenant has already succumbed to his wounds.

Staff Sergeant Surko assumes command and voxes HQ with a request for reinforcement. By dawn 5th platoon are shipping out from the Conservatorium for rest and refit at Fort Idlecliff.

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Session Two
Raider Camp

The squad conduct reconnaissance to locate the main Ork forces, encountering evidence of logging as they approach the coast. On a rocky beach they discover an encampment of a dozen or more Orks. Several crude boats are moored there, along with a much large war-raft under construction.

Fausta and Vek circle out into the water and swim to the largest raft. Once on board they use a grenade to detonate the ammo magazine. The rest of the squad lure the Orks away into the forest, where they have readied an ambush in concert with third and second squad.

During the withdrawal second squad is pinned down and only timely intervention and astute use of stun grenades by first saves them from annihilation. First secures the four survivors, including Sergeant Gilzo and makes a fighting withdrawal back to the Conservatorium.

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Session 1
Arrival

“I must admit, when I heard we were to be deployed to Ganf Magna, I was in equal parts relieved and disappointed.”
Lieutenant Augustin De Bray, 2nd Cindar Light Foot, 5th platoon

The 2nd Cindar Light Foot “Rust-born” are deployed to Ganf Magna following a recent Ork incursion. The majority of the regiment are deployed to the Orkwatch, a series of forts protecting the polygum cultivation zones from indigenous feral Orks dwelling beyond the Viridian Marches.

The squad settles into their temporary quarters in Gulch and quickly make friends with some local mercenaries in service to the Rogue Trader House Aubraxis.

Next morning the Rustborn ship out to their assignments. The bulk of the regiment reinforce the Orkwatch, but 5th Platoon are deployed behind the main line to fortify a facility known as Conservatorium 4. Upon arrival, 1st squad encounters evidence of armed struggle, the reek of fyceline, spent cartridges and broken servitors littering the ground. They discover the facility Magos slain, laspistol in hand and a blood trail leading into the forest. A surviving tech adept informs them that a squad of Royal Army soldiers attacked the Magos when he refused to hand over his research. Lt De Bray authorises 1st squad to take up pursuit while the rest of the platoon secures the area.

In the course of their pursuit, the squad encounter a small group of Orks and stage a successful ambush. They take the Ork heads as trophies, before continuing the pursuit of their human quarry.

They fall upon the remaining mercenaries as they make their escape in a stolen vehicle. A lucky shot from Mordecai punctures the engine and ignites the vehicle in a large fireball. The mercenaries are neutralised, but all that remains of the Magos’ research is a charred data-slate.

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