Blades of the Inquisition: Into the Deep Tunnels

Category : Actual Play
Date : July 11, 2017

What: Blades of the Inquisition Tigranya Heresy, Episode 1 – Into the Deep Tunnels
When: 6 July 2017
Where: Dragon GameZ

 

 

Episode 1 – Into the Deep Tunnels

I met up with my players Ian, Ruben and Ezra at Dragon GameZ in Shah Alam to properly begin this Blades in the Dark campaign, using RoosterEma’s Blades of the Inquisition hack for the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

In previous weeks, I had done the necessary worldbuilding. I had written up, in broad strokes, what the main factions would be on the planet Tigranya (religious authorities, noble houses, mining guilds, planetary military, civil service, Adeptus Mechanicus Refiner Cult, unsanctioned religious sub-sects, drug gangs, heretical cults, alien infiltrators and so on).

The players formed a new team of acolytes serving Inquisitor Tiberius on the mining world Tigranya, based in a slum in the capital city of Aduwa.

  • Ruben as Sister Helius Creed, also known as The Stick. An argumentative Cleric and secret dissenter, who believed that the Imperium has failed the dream of the Emperor.
  • Ian as Jean, Scum formerly of a Noble House called Ravenmore. An information broker and seeker of forbidden lore.
  • Ezra as Julius, an Adept from a distant hive world with a love of forbidden lore. We have a theme!

 

Ian, Ezra and Ruben begin their hunt for threats to the Imperium.

 

Do not ask why you serve. Only ask how.

Ruben and Ian established their safe house as being located in the slum of Revival City, in a pre-fab building block amidst the teeming tent-cities of pilgrims and refugees who had been drawn to the holy sites of Aduwa. Revival City, like nearly all of Aduwa, was located in a vast underground cavern perpetually lit by glow-globes. Millions of people lived in icy tunnels dug by a long-vanished xenos race, between the frozen blizzards of the surface and the geothermal wells that lay below them. Our acolytes chose to have fine quality documents and additional training facilities in their base, and took a noblewoman of House Kanaan as their starting connection. I took note of how their contact might get them entangled with plenty of enemy factions.

Our trio of acolytes began scouring the district of Sobat Deeps for a new product linked to psychic phenomena. To the disgust of Sister Helius the outspoken cleric, Tigranya has a hundred saints and ten times as many sects, most of which incorporate intoxicating narcotics into their worship. The team would need to rub shoulders with vile drug dealers to find their target.

The entire party of acolytes had a shared playbook to keep track of their base and upgrades. The Forged by Horror special ability saved quite a few characters this time.

 

Die if you must, but not with your spirit broken.

Following a tip from their noble contact and some black market investigation, the ne’er-do-well ex-noble Jean led her team into the maintenance tunnels under the Sobat Deeps district, the turf of the Deep Knives drug gang. Due to bad luck the acolytes walked right into an ambush by well-armed cultists of the Rasmikael Heresy, who had a history of armed revolt. Our protagonists survived a desperate exchange of fire in the dimly-lit tunnelways through sheer grit (and a lot of help from the Forged by Horror special ability). The fight ended when Sister Helius charged the heretics that Jean had helpfully shot holes in, setting them on fire with her hand flamer and detonating their ammunition, grenades and drug supplies.

Notes and factions galore. Blades in the Dark is designed to maximise GM improvisation and aside from setting up the factions is not supposed to require GM prep.

 

A mind without purpose will wander in dark places.

Exploring the deep tunnels in the wake of the bloodbath, the acolytes were wounded and exhausted, even suffering visions of glowing ghosts. Julius the hive-world scholar diagnosed his entire team with poisoning from the hallucinogenic drug smoke they had inhaled after the shootout, but his survey of their surroundings failed badly enough that they were taken by surprise by ten Deep Knives who questioned their allegiance. Sister Helius was quick to declare her loyalty to the Emperor, displaying her purity seals as evidence. Fortunately the gang leader, Samael, was religious enough to be impressed by Helius, and the gang escorted the injured acolytes to their hidden lair, where they were surprised to meet a visiting nobleman…

Overall the game ran quite smoothly, both during free play (gathering info) and during the operation (full of desperate rolls, stress and injuries). The playbook was well designed enough for Julius’ player Ezra to pick up on things despite being new to RPGs. And we managed to get a fair bit done in-game in just 2.5 hours. Really looking forward to resolving the impact of the acolytes’ investigations on the many interlinked Imperial Cult sects, gangs, mining guilds, noble houses and high priesthood of Tigranya.

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