Here Be Dragons

Part III: The Twilight

Aboard the Space Hulk Twilight a race for treasure becomes a nightmare dash for survival.

The Twilight according to scans by Bastil, Seventus’ crony who chattered over the taunting message of his master, held several ships of interest including one “The San Jose” which contained an active gellar field in the “Head” of the space hulk “Twilight”…mentioning that it was a treasure ship of legend owned by Jarrion’s ancestor. Seventus after battering Bastil threw down the proverbial gauntlet to Jarrion in challenge to ’race to the treasure holds of the San Jose". He launched a few gunships loaded with his men before Jarrion could even speak.

Jarrion, not to be outdone, gathered his officers rapidly as well as a few armsmen, a medic, and an enginseer that Azrael approved and jumped aboard the “San Diego’s” single gunship to get to a route that Azrael ascertained as a possible trajectory through the morass of metal and stone. Before departing Azrael detailed the following:

•The hypothetical route he has planned out will take them slightly out of the way but it will shield them from rad poisoning and structurally instable areas.
•Communications will not work well due to the warp instability.
•The teleport machine will not work well. Extraction can be ascertained to be from any area on the exterior of the hulk that the PCs can send a flare from.
•He will be monitoring with Jessica to the best of their abilities.
•The salvagers should work as FAST as possible to locate the “San Jose” and to leave. Time is not a luxury. Most likely 20 hours.

After departing into an exposed cargo hull leading to an airlock, the gunship it detailed that it would be maintaining a constant circle around the “Twilight” if they should be able to signal it for emergency pickup. The entry was relatively uneventful but the warp nature of the hulk seems to have given it a haunted feel to it as it well carried over small warp taints of varying degrees.

•Gravity is still an issue for some parts of the hulk.
•Most of the ships are imperial.
•There are no light sources detected. Nearly all of the ships in the “Twilight” have no power remaining and most light filaments are most likely well beyond repair.
•Most of the exterior ships seem to have possible air problems. The inner contents seem to have a decent amount of stale, yet breatable air.

The airlock led to a series of tunnels and the dataslate carried by the captain led the crew on a relatively easy to follow path though the first hull and into a cavern. The cavern was marked with stange chalk markings that only Karina recognized…as a game played by mostly young girls: “hop-skip”. Out of the darkness skipped a incorporeal apparition of a child navigator who told the PCs “You’re not supposed to be here. You’re not the one’s we’re expecting” The Captain ignored the waif ghost who melded back in wall before warning “The living thing is hungry.”

Through wrecked ship after wrecked ship our explorers briskly forged. Finding the ruins of a battle from long ago and soon hearing the sounds of fighting nearby. They did not pursuit this directly but continued along their path, eventually coming upon a lavish ballroom inside a richly appointed merchant vessal. In the center of the ballroom they found the devestated remains of a squal of Seventus’ men. Crow, the loyal tracker found tracks among remains the torn to shreds and tossed onto a chandelier high above. Beside the obvious spent shells and blood lay below the corpses there were tracks of men and those of a three toed clawed beast. Two men had ran off to the stairs exiting the room and one had been gutted at the first tier.

What most likely was the survivor was discovered further down the line in the center of the ruins of a Navigator’s tower. As the armsmen lay gasping in a small indentation at the bottom of the pit a hooded figure comforted him in his anguished moments with a medical kit nearby. As Jarrion moved forward to address him he raised a hand…then the Arch-Militant Karina noticed that she and soon the others joined her had red dot laser sights all over them…they were surrounded by chaos raiders tittering with laughter.

The hooded figure jabbed the dying armsman with a filthy syringe infecting him with diseases and poisons beyond the ken of any common man before revealing himself as a filth laded envoy of Nurgle. His men laughed as he taunted the captain and his explorers…assuring a quick death and to let them be food for “the children of Nurgle”…as the explorers moved to react in a last ditch stand against horrific odds the huge lumen lighting up the ceiling of the tower exploded in a shower of glass and with the raining glass came a roaring carapaced monstrosity that began to rip the filthy leader of Nurgle to shreds despite his best effors to fend off the beast.

Akiro and Chrysipus understand the odds better than anyone else. They both bolted for the door opposite to their entry at full speed amidst a hail of bullets. Jarrion, Karina and the troops opted for a running attack moving toward the door…the result was a few chaos raiders being obliterated by grenades as well as one fellow dropping a grenade at his own feet leading to his incapacitation and assumed death. The hail of fire dropped the medic, grazed Akiro’s head, and poor dear Crow who had helped out intrepid explorers so well that they had begun to ask for him by name.

Within the next turn the carapaced thing ripped the servant of Nurgle into pieces like a child shredding a paper doll…it’s clawed hands tearing his body in raining the world around it with filth. The raiders poured every bit of firepower they could into the thing but as our fleeing heroes and the remains of their shipsmen saw it shrugged off heavy stubber/boarding shotgun fire as if it were rain as it lept 20 feet into the air and onto the staircase and began to tear into the pirates. Our heroes wasted no time and beat a sprinting retreat continuing to their goal with all possible energy. After they had run nearly an hour they heard the telltale roar of the beast letting them know it was in hot pursuit and gaging from its previous speed would soon be upon them.

One of the remaining crewmen stopped to plant a metabomb which caught him partially in it’s radius throwing him forward as he ran. Karina and another crewmen helped the wounded man sprint along as the barrier created would no doubt only slow the beast down. Coming to a hollow vertical cylinder shaft on their path with only an I beam to cross would present and obstacle…the clattering of an overhead grate behind them followed by the roar of the carapaced fiend let them know that they did not have the luxury of time in this endeavor. As a slow howling wind began to pick up the techpriest accompaning them wasted no time and sprinted across the beam and onto a platform on the opposite time…succeding due to his training from the illustrius Azrael no douby… The growing downwind howling into a cacophony, he turned and threw a rope across to help Akiro, Chrysipus, and Jarrion while the wounded crewman used his boarding shotgun to hold the beast off. Karina fasted the rope last and fell from the beam. Her fellow crew and officers held tight (at least the techpriest and captain did…) as she dangled below them…catching her hands on the walls and using a sense of survival and inner strength none but her possess, Karina pulled herself onto the ledge aminds the screaming wind ringing with laughter of a crone. As the beast tore into the wounded armsman the final crewman on the beasts side ran across the beam only to fall out of vision.

With a roar the beast tried to cross but it’s massive bulk combined with the wind made it falter and fall into the darkness howling it’s insane rage as it plummeted. As the beast fell into the blackness and screaming downwind out of vision Akiro noticed a golden flash from the beasts chests…he shot his pistol at it to no success…they seem to be safe for now.

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