Post Mission 3 Downtime

Note: Normal speech is standard text, Speech in italics is for vox transmissions. Green text are for GM comments.

Sinbad’s player wanted to achieve a few things between sessions and provided a lot of detailed content of what the Storm Crusader would be up to, an excerpt of which is shown below, as well as having a private session with me to address some of Sinbad’s worries after the end of Mission 3.

This would set a precedent for the rest of the campaign, Sinbad’s player was very good with providing downtime content and making requests that helped me as the GM make the game fun.

Sinbad’s Daily Schedule:

0400 – Morning Prayer
0500 – Armoring
0700 – Battle Practice (some wrestling with doop, about two hours of sparring or exercise with Patriclus)
1200 – Midday Prayer
1300 – Midday Meal
1330 – Armoring
1430 – Charity Armoring (armoring for the encampment and war effort out of religious civil-service)
1500 – Battle Practice (Private, or with Team), some Armoring/Maintenance if time
2000 – Evening Prayer
2100 – Evening Meal
2130 – Armoring
2300 – Proselytizing to surrounding humans, threatening physical and spiritual damage
2330 – Free Time (Chat with Patriclus, feed doop)
2355 – Before-Bed Prayer
0000 – Rest

Patriclus’ Daily Schedule (as loosely assigned by Sinbad):

0600 – Morning Prayer, Breakfast
0700 – Free Time (most likely some stretching and physical warm-ups)
0800 – Battle Practice (some wrestling with doop, about two hours of sparring or exercise with Patriclus)
1000 – Free Time (Patriclus’ choice)
1200 – Midday Prayer
1230 – Go do some light exercise, or otherwise
1300 – Midday Meal
1330 – Armoring (watching Sinbad, learning the skill)
1500 – Free Time (Patriclus’ choice)
2030 – Discuss the tactical or spiritual situation with Sinbad (if necessary)
2100 – Evening Meal
2130 – Walking around the encampment, checking morale (reasonable free time, hopefully there’s some sort of bathing involved in this area)
2345 – Free Time (Chat with Sinbad)
2355 – Before-Bed Prayer
0000 – Rest
*Within all this, there should be time allotted for normal weapon maintenance.

==== SINBAD ====

The defense line is made up on a series of trenches with wooden steps for the guardsmen to fight from, behind these are aegis defense lines and bunker complexes filled with heavy weapons teams mounting everything from heavy bolters to lascannons. Behind these are where the reserves and off duty guardsmen that linger in case of attack or the need to shore up a point in the defense.

To the rear of these men are another set of trenches followed by tanks and mortar sections that will provide indirect fire when the time comes. Next are the rapidly fabricated or re-purposed buildings for keeping such a large army at the ready, barracks, munitorium stores, mess halls, first aid posts, shrines, all bustling with activity from the forces supporting and operating on the front line.

Sinbad has been staying in a barracks separate from these, closer to the Inquisitor’s base of operations and laboratory set up, where Cadmus seems to spend most of his days, Patriclus sits on his bunk cleaning his bolt pistol while watching Sinbad. The barracks was sterile clean but now has the same covering of slight red and the smell of the mine now inhabiting it.

It is the third day, Sinbad has managed to make rudimentary repairs to his wargear that returns functionality to the power armor. The spit and shine added to his armor when he joined the deathwatch is now gone, replaced with the battle scars commonly found on a veteran xenos hunters armor.

Sinbad checks his chrono, and looks to Patriclus “How are you feeling from that mighty xenos slash, Patriclus? If you’re feeling well, you’re free to go about your duties. I shall go about finding materials for making some items.”. His chrono reads 1310, having just finished his midday meal. The bowls of nutrients now sit empty on the communal table used by the Kill Team.

Sinbad dons a plain robe while his armor rests on his bed while the Commissar replies “Very well my Lord, I will see if I can learn a little about the regiments serving nearby.”. Sinbad places his traditional face mask on, a long strip of thin gauze wrapped repeatedly around his head, showing only his eyes “I shall see you later, for prayer. Bismalik, Patriclus.”

Sinbad stands and exits the barracks as Patriclus makes the sign of the aquila. As he exits the area has just picked up in traffic, everyone else has also just finished their meals but he has no difficulty moving through the crowds. His size and reputation giving him a clear path to the nearest guard repair bay. Over the massive double doors that are wide and tall enough to allow leman russes to pass unhindered is the painted words “55th Graian Armoured, Brimlock 7th Dragoons”.

One of the regiments that fought on Hidule.

Sinbad calls out to the bay, hoping someone will answer to his summon. Inside is both a Leman Russ and a Chimera, guardsmen and techpriests work on them. There they fix tracks, refill ammo supplies and re-paint armour.

Sinbad will not cross the threshold until invited in, as per custom amongst his people “Hail! I desire entry to thine domain, in the name of my mothers and the honor of my fathers, in peace.”. As he calls out a nearby Sergeant looks up from his uplifting infantrymans primer and snaps to attention, “Welcome sir, please come in.”. Sinbad moves over to the Sergeant, giving the sign of the Aquilia “Good morning to you. I desire to borrow tools.”.

A young man, recently given a promotion by the looks of his newly sown on rank badge “What project do you have in mind sir?”. Sinbad “I intend to make trophies of battle to boost the morale of my brethren, mortal brother.”. Somewhat taken aback he replies “Uh, of course, I will ask Ruffert about what we have to spare.”

Sinbad nods silently, crossing his arms by grabbing his elbows (as a traditional sign of peace amongst his people, regardless of the normal impatience it would belie off his planet) “Yarhamukah Malik.”. The Sergeant walks to a techpriest overseeing the re-alignment of a leman russ battle cannon, a short exchange is had with glances at you occasionally coming from both men before the sergeant goes into another room and comes out with a bag weighed down by what it holds. “The techpriest says this should cover what you need.”

Sinbad takes the bag gently “My thanks. I shall return here in roughly an hour for my daily service. These shall be back to you in four days, if not less, on my honor.”. From a glance the bag contains enough to suit Sinbad’s purposes, they are not high quality tools, most have worn edges but that is likely the best he will get on short notice and without throwing his weight around.

Sinbad gives a small bow, and leaves the bay with long strides “Yes sir” the Sergeant replies, he gives a bow as the Storm Crusader leaves. Sinbad thinks to himself, “They are not the most well-made tools, but their spirits have served the Guardsmen’s armor and their spirits. They shall serve well to force xenosflesh to Man’s Will.”

He goes back to the marine barracks and readies the genestealer and broodlord claws, having already discarded the majority of the stinking genestealer’s body days earlier. “Hmm. It’s like taking the flesh from a sand-crab claw.” Sinbad remarks to himself. Sinbad sets aside a particularly nice one for Patriclus with a chuckle, then prays his thanks to the Emperor over them briefly.

Sinbad carefully crafts one of the claws into the shape he wishes. It is also inlaid with a basic scrimshaw depiction of a space marine exploding with holy light next to a genestealer. Sinbad chuckles at the finished Broodlord claw, putting it on Arkias’ bed

Sinbad also beings to teach Patriclus his skill, starting with assigning him the goal: to balance his own sword. Sinbad He’ll get to it when he feels he’s learned enough. The rudimentary tool work he has shown Patriclus has had mixed results, sometimes he almost prefectly cuts and hammers objects into shapes he desires, other times he almost cuts or hammers his own hand.

Sinbad “You’ll learn eventually, Patriclus. To care and make his own tools and weapons is a rite of male adulthood on my planet. You started late, but you’ll learn. We have no forges you see. The sand perpetually shifts and sinks, and the sandstorms are no help either.”

Sinbad returns to his usual duties but the next day he heads out with Patriclus to see Inquisitor Tellion. Her headquarters stand before the Tactical Marine, a three story mansion taken over for her use with additional laboratory prefab structure adjoining it. Guards stand ready at the door.

Sinbad nods at the guards and announces his presence, waiting on the threshold for admittance, knives wrapped carefully in cloth in his hands. The two men standing at the door are a mixed couple, one is tall and broad shouldered, wielding a high tech crossbow. The other is a small lithe man with two holstered pistols and a sword at his back.

“Your the one who rides the lizard right? Cadmus’ brother?” the Lithe man asks. Sinbad replies “Yes, that is I. I am Sinbad, Astartes of the Storm Crusaders. I wish to speak to the Inquisitor.”. both men looks completely unperturbed by standing in the presence of an astartes. The bigger one pipes up “Nice ride, would of loved to have one to hunt and wrestle back on my homeworld. Go right ahead, the housekeeper will lead you to the Inquisitor.” He talks into a hand held vox attached to his combat webbing to let those inside know who is entering.

“You are free to wrestle the doop, if you are able to risk its bite. Its hide swallows even overpowered lasbolts, and its spit is caustic to the extreme. It would like a new playmate. " Sinbad says in all seriousness. The man gives a savage grin and opens the door for Sinbad and Patriclus.

Inside the mansion he is met by a elderly woman who seems to run the place, “Follow me please, she is waiting in her room.”. Sinbad bows gently to the elderly woman, and follows her. The house is filled with objects and decorations, it is hard to tell which ones belong to the previous owner or to the Inquisitor. The Inquisitors room is on the second floor are hard wood door protecting her quarters.

The elderly woman knocks twice and waits before opening the door and motioning for the pair to enter. Sinbad looks around, loosening his facemask to expose his mouth, then enters. Sinbad grabs his elbows and bows, “Hail, Lady Inquisitor. Subhanal-Malik. We bring gifts and tidings to your home.”

Inside he observes the Inquisitor sitting down in a plush chair, glass of amasec in one hand and a dataslate in the other, she looks up and removes a set of glasses from the bridge of her nose, placing them on the coffee table next to her. “Welcome Sinbad, I am always happy to accommodate Watch Captain Oeris’ men.”

She continues “And to you Commissar, how is your new position treating you.”. Sinbad motions for Patriclus to present the gifts “We bring you trophies, carved from the foul xenos.” before he sits on the floor, cross-legged. The Commissar steps forward with the wrapped knives and places them on the desk, unwrapping them “Most satisfying lady Inquisitor he responds.”

“He has been blessed mightily by the Emperor. It was by his hand that the xenos that made those knives were felled. Three of them, to be exact.” comments Sinbad. As the mortal man unwraps them the Inquisitor’s sharp eyes play over the weapon, she quickly puts down her glass of amasec and dataslate to pick one of them up for a closer inspection.

Sinbad chuckles lightheartedly, despite his serious face “He even had a higher kill-count than I, an Astartes! He will be welcomed in Heaven by He-Most-High, should he continue to fight with such glory.”. “Wonderful to hear, worth the effort I put in to have him officially transferred.” At this she points to a set of papers on her desk, munitorium stamped orders of reassignment to classified operations.

“Excellent craftsmanship”, the Inquisitor picks up a knife and swings it in the air to test in before picking up a sheet of unused paper and slicing through it mid-air. “These xenos have the most intriguing biology, razor sharp claws that we can only begin to rival with high quality power weapons.” she explains.

Sinbad replies “Such things are horrors, fit to be put to the death. Of course, it is in the Emperor’s will that they are worthwhile still in their deaths. However, I have also come bearing a boon of you… I wish to meet the Sisters who accompanied the fool-man, Hardgrave. My chapter owes their orders a great spiritual boon for bringing us the Light of the Emperor after the Interregnum of the Heresy.”

“It would not be good to leave them in false impressions of my anger, which I may have done when I desired to chastise Hardgrave.” Sinbad makes a traditional sign of distaste at Hardgrave’s name, mime-ing picking up and throwing sand from the ground

Sinbad’s player had a great many different cultural and verbal norms for his character that were great to watch being unveiled over the course of the campaign.

The Inquisitor continues “Well said Sinbad, their abilities will be their undoing, we will turn their nature defying biology against them until they are purged from the galaxy.” before addressing his next issue “Ah I see, yes The Order of the Bloody Rose has a commandery here.”

“I see! May I be given leave to meet with them, to make amends? As such, I know I must contact Brother-Captain Oeris, but I desire…a gift. An honorable gift of some sort, before I cross paths with them again.” Sinbad bows low from his cross-legged position, showing humble shame from asking for a possession despite being a superhuman warrior monk “Astaghfiru al-Malik.”

“Of course, you are in luck as I have something for you. Hopefully enough to smooth over ruffled feathers. Please stand Sinbad and receive your just reward.” She retrieves a box from behind a hidden wall panel and approaches, offering it to him. Sinbad stands and takes the box with both hands “My thanks! …What is it?”

“It is a reliquary containing a single preserved flower from Mount Oclasi on the planet Farsius, the site of a shrine that members of the adeptus sororitas all love to take a pilgrimage to but few ever do.”. Sinbad bows his forehead to the ground in thanks “My thanks, Inquisitor. I shall not forget this. I shall promise you more, many more, deaths to the foul xenos for this honor.”

Inquisitor Tellion bows in respect, “Go with my thanks and best wishes faithful warrior.”. The still lost Sinbad asks “Might I know where to meet the Sisters?”. She points to a location on a map nailed to the wall, “They maintain a shrine here, that would be the location to check.”

Sinbad takes note of the map, and prepares for his leave "My thanks. May his Majesty bless your works and home. ". Patriclus bows to the Inquisitor, taking his copy of the reassignment orders before returning to Sinbad’s side.

Sinbad leaves a note for Cadmus and Oeris: Dear Honored Brothers, I am going to restore my honor. I will be back when I’m done. Emperor guide your blows and glory to you, Sinbad (and Patriclus).

He leave as the big man at the door is mid demonstration to his friend, trying to show how he would tackle a doop sized creature. Sinbad soon arrive at the shrine set up close to the front line. It seems to be private as only battle sisters and some members of the Order Hospitaller operating on the planet seem to be entering or leaving.

Sinbad greets them and asks for entrance, in peace. He removes all his weapons save for his knife while asking Patriclus to do the same, and puts them in the doop’s cargo bags. “Sisters, honored Daughters of the Emperor! I come in peace to your threshold to make amends!” he says from a small distance.

The two battle sisters in their bright blood red armor wear black cloaks with pure white reverse sides look at each other before one heads inside. The other calls out “What business do you have here honored astartes?”. Sinbad “I wish to speak to Sisters of the…honored Order of the Bloody Rose. I have amends to make. Fear not, my chapter owes the Sisters of Battle their faith, for guiding them to the Light of the Emperor, millennia ago.”

The second sister returns and privately talks with her fellow guard, “Very well, the Canoness Commander will see you now.”. Sinbad bows lightly, telling Patriclus to hold the box, and follows inside. He makes the sign of the Aquilia before entering. Inside the small shrine is a single woman kneeling in a set of robes next to a pool of water, she seems to be trickling water from the pool over a set of exquisite armor.

The walls are of solid grey stone and a relief of The Emperor is set into the ceiling above a statue of a saintly looking woman. Sinbad removes his helmet, mag-attaching it to his thigh, then bows with his head to the ground in supplication “Honored Reverend Mother, this worthless Astartes brings you gifts to amend his foolishness and his honor to the Daughters of the Emperor, Most High.”

At the sound of you entrance a voice reaches you, solid sounding but with a soft edge to it. “Your repentance is welcome, your actions brought my word to shame.”. The woman stands and turns “I am Canoness Commander Isabella Chevalier , I gave my word that no harm would come to Inquisitor Hardgrave.”

Sinbad “I swear by my honor, I meant no disrespect to the Sisters. And I did not…harm…the…lord Inquisitor Hardgrave.”. The woman replies “The Inquisitor seems to think otherwise and as talk spread of your actions I have recieved word of your chapter. You are known as friends of the Adeptus Sorotitas, yet you disrespect our charges.”

“I acted in haste…but he said things…I felt unbecoming for a man of the cloth, and of his rank. —I swear! I shall not impinge upon your honor again, Reverend Mother! I was unaware of your honor-charge to protect him!”, Sinbad presents the box given to him by the Inquisitor, head downcast.

“I have asked boons to give this to you and your Order, in hopes that I may not cause hostility between your house and mine.” says the Storm Crusader. “Very well, your repentance is noted, I will pray for your soul this night.” she takes the gift with a curt bow and opens it, a gasp escaping from her lips. "Th-This is remarkable a rare thing in this universe, she returns to her knees at a moment muttering a prayer and picking up the preserved flower,inspecting the blue and red hues it exhibits.

“I asked of it from the Inquisitor Tellion. It is by her hand that my worthless self have been able to give this, Reverend Mother. She is no heretic, by mine eyes… At least she has not disrespected the deaths of men and the struggles of Man to hold this place….” Sinbad trails off there.

The Canoness Commander takes the box and its contents to the side of the shrine, placing it in a alcove, “Her… she does not closely follow the teachings of the Ecclisiarchy, her deviations worry us and Inquisitor Hardgrave.”.

“Yet, Inquisitor Hardgrave defames the very lives of all who serve here…I shall hold my tongue, out of respect for your Order, Reverend Mother. He…he said this planet would fall to the Xenos regardless, and that…that it would face Exterminatus.” Sinbad nearly slams his forehead to the ground in a dogeza bow out of polite tact.

“We serve the Emperor with our faith and devotion, and with faith there must also sometimes come sacrifice. Have you have read the scriptures of Saint Ollanius Pius?” asks the woman. “I have.” replies Sinbad “However, it is also that the lives of men given, is not to be given in vain, by the Saint’s own story. It was by his life that the Emperor yet was unharmed.”

Sinbad admires his Gauntlets of Xirion “And it was by the sacrifice of his life, that the Divine King of Kings, al-Malik, continued to push the Imperium to its height.”. She continues “Then you know that sometimes sacrifice is required to achieve victory, it took the entire ultramarine chapter to hold a hive fleet at bay, we do not have those resources available to us so the sacrifice of this world is acceptable in the greater effort to save The Emperors realm.”

“We must similarly…never, ever discount the will of a man for what he loves. But I speak out of turn. If he wishes to truly save something, then he shall do it. Bisal-Malik. I…I have tarried for too long, and taken much of your time. By your leave, honored Reverend Mother.” says the bowing Space Marine.

“I appreciate your conviction to save this world, it is shared by all my sisters and I but the Inquisitor is above the concerns of a single world and we must serve his needs as our order has promised. You have my thanks for coming and my blessing to continue to fight this threat, we all pray that we may overcome it.” replies the Battle Sister.

Sinbad bows, and prepares to leave, musing sadly to Patriclus on the doop ride back to the base that the Sisters were not of totally like mind, but at least accepted his apology.

He spends his evening writing to his home chapter about Markus Hardgrave using Chapter ciphers. Telling them he’s a defeatist and a borderline-heretic to not work with. Hoping, this will trickle over to the Templars and other, more pious/zealous brother Chapters. He hope Hardgrave doesn’t intercept the letter, and that he doesn’t know how to read Future-Grimdark-Arabic.

My first private session with a player for downtime. Worked out pretty well and added a new character to the story that we would see more of down the line.

Post Mission 3 Downtime

Xenos Hunters Antoine