So our second session had two less players. The Scum had a baptism he had to attend too and the Nobel Arbiter was moving back to the big O! I picked them up in a NPC status for the time being... The gang returned to Stern Hope to report on the beast that attacked. Artimus looked as tired as always and a bit distracted. The NPC players stayed and conducted watch while the players went about the community to try and find something useful. Questions were asked, Cathedrals were visited. They tried desperately to find a hidden chamber or secret door, but alas none existed. After a bit they retired for the night. In the morning the players see Artimus and he still hasn't slept well, but tells them to join the service for the morning that will start the consecration and he will join them this afternoon for the high ceremony. Player head out and get their first glimpse at the Dark Singer/Widower Raine and the Warlord chieftain Ko'osk. Inquiries are made and they know that Raine is a big time imperial supporter, thinking it will help her backward folks, but she isn't pleased with the location of Skae's cathedral due to some ugly pasts... (bing) eyes start to pay attention and pieces start to be seen as a whole. The characters go to the service which starts and Artimous, despite being tired shows up anyway. After the opening a loud explosion is heard and the camp is under attack. The players head out to see what the matter is and they see the chaos of the gate being destroyed and invaders with yellow headbands attacking all over. The characters each see different things and charge into the frey. The Arbiters, Klightus and Thadius, attempt to come to the aid of a young lady protecting a pack of children. The murderous villains are advancing and shooting. Several shotgun shots do no good and soon the bad guys are in the midst of the young ones. Thadius charges in with his club while Klightus uses the shotgun at short range. Dar and Talon spot a band of vermin heading to the generator farm. They fire and follow in pursuit, engaging in a bloody battle while generators explode. Rapid thinking by Dar allows them to 'toss' the bombs before it gets worse. Raltus and Frak see a group of yellow bands heading to the cathedral with a big ass bomb strapped to their backs. Going full auto, Raltus and Frak take care of the bad guys and the bomb goes off well short of the chapel. As the chaos subsides, the gang heads back to the front of the cathedral to find Skae and Artimus in deep conversation with Raine. Raine's pissed and feels that these crazies are just the tip of deceit that is going on (bing!). Artimus, obviously tired and in a foul mood that his Grand^5 Dad's cathedral is being dumped takes out his las pistol and shoots the only living yellow banded guy who is blinded and jibbering about the 'Crow Father' and the "end coming" (Bing!). Shocked Raine picks up and leaves saying that this place is cursed and she will not return. Her and Warlord Ko'osk pack up and head out. Skae says he needs to meditate and should be left along, Artimus appoligizes for loosing his cool, but hey, he is with the =][= so it is OK. Everyone else starts cleaning up the mess. The players fan out to help out and get some more info. Dar finds out that the scary Brother Severus who was 'suppose' to help repair the gate is missing and was 'summoned' by Abbott Skae... (bing!) Odd . Klightus finds Brother Larmark drowning his sorrows and crying about not being able to protect their flock. If only Abbott Skae would have allowed him in the 'secret' discussions between Severus and Artimus he could have helped (bing!). About then they hear screams and find Abbot Skare in the middle of the street surrounded by Severus and Artimus with cuts and blood over his face/body (bing!). He claims that a woman attacked him, a witch... Artimus orders the party to go find Raine at her place up in the hills a few hours. (bing!)It is obvious to the team that something is not right, but being good little baby =][= they head out to find the witch Raine as ordered. They hit her little camp just before dusk after driving through a horrid sand storm. She steps out from her hovel to great them, flanked by her posse. Raltus steps up and explains that people are hurt and need her help back at the camp. Raine, looks at them with her eye and says she will not return, but there are things a loyal imperial servant should know. She invites them into her house when they hear a maniacal laugh on the wind and the Shale Crows that have been hanging around all over swarm and attack. Dar fails his fear test badly and develops an OC about cleaning his axe... :) The team dispatches the swarms and finds that Raine has an old book that details how the old Saint Darrus (Artimus' Great ^5 Dad) battled a demon that was possessing the final warlords body on the exact location of the cathedral (BING!). And that this demon was a master deceiver (Bing!). Raine finishes by stating that per legend the demon only fears which it likes to inflict most upon its victims... (BING!)
The gang piles back into the truck and heads to Stern Hope to see what the heck is going on. On arrival they find the camp dark and the gate unrepaired. The only people they seen have either dead with their eyes gouged out, or are wandering around lost and insane. The local inn has been ransacked and destroyed, but they find in Artimus’ room a data slate that they Raltus repairs and finds out that Artimus new of a ‘Miracle’ that was going to happen and that he would be the Saint’s new vassal (Bing!). Marching up to the cathedral they stumble upon Brother Lamark, pulling himself towards the cathedral with his arms, his legs shattered. “Save my flock” he begs and expires a martyr to imperial faith. Entering the cathedral the team sees the members of the community chanting and rocking in the pews. They see Artimus standing on the alter with his ever present Tarot cards swirling around him. The ceiling of the cathedral appears to be loosing its planer integrity as the warp seems to be entering. And standing at the top of the processional is this Skae-Thing… It is bloated and vile and most defiantly demonic. (BING!), (BING!), (BING!), (BING!).
Players take action and begin to fire and engage. The Skae-Thing seems to have some massive regeneration and shrugs off the hits. The Skae-Thing states he will blind them as he has blinded Skae and Artimus in their faith. The players take some damage, until Dar puts it together. Blind? Blind! Shoot the eyes. After a bunch of missing and some fancy dancing around, the players manage to take the eyes out which sends the beast hurtling back to the void. Artimus, awakes, perhaps for the first time in the adventure and says… “what have I done” and falls into the swirling Tarot cards that tear him to shreds. The players recover a single tarot card that Raltus determines is Xenos in origin.
The night ends with the party heading towards Port Suffering…