Fires of Perdition
<metadesc>Bill's Dark Heresy/Only War mashup game of Adeptus Arbites in the Hive city of Perdition for wh40k</metadesc>
Bill's Dark Heresy/Only War mashup game of Adeptus Arbites in the Hive city of Perdition, on the world of Crucible. In it, the PCs are the Adeptus Arbites of Station House 73, dealing with crimes, misdemeanors, and other events that threaten the peace of the Hive City of Perdition.
Crucible is a planet of extremes, with a thin atmosphere, close to the system's binary suns. The surface is scarred and pitted with miles-deep canyons and rifts, some reaching to the planet's core.
A space fortress (known as Emperor's Regard) fulfills communication between Imperium space and the hive cities below. A narrow band along the planets equator sporadically allows for an "Eye of the storm" to form, with little or no turbulence. Colloquially known as the "Eye of Terror" for the terrifying descent (although pilots wisely do not call it that when escorting Imperial dignitaries to Redemption or Perdition) it allows smaller craft to reach the surface. Emperor's Regard is often the last stop for Rogue Traders before entering the Wall of Night, the darkness between the galaxies. Much of the minerals from the Crown of Thorns asteroid field comes through this fortress.
One half of the planet is in continual darkness, swept by constant downpours of torrential rain, where huge rifts and canyons fill with water in minutes creating short lived lakes. Water plunges down miles-high waterfalls before entering a tempestuous ocean swathed in a constant storm.
The other half of the planet is subject to the searing rays of the binary suns, and is scoured daily by crystal storms capable of stripping the flesh from bone in seconds. It is widely believed by the Adeptus Mechanicus that some crystals mixed with water, create the storms: some early version of terra-forming that failed spectacularly.
Crucible, as its name suggests, has a thriving trade in smelting and mining. The alloys and minerals mined from the planet are hugely important to the Imperial war effort in the sector and elsewhere. The crystals found here are useful in the creation of dreadnought and titan sensory arrays, as well as the lenses needed to focus beam emitters in las-guns.
The iron mined on the planet has an unusual coloration once smelted, some unknown impurity gives it a greenish sheen. However steel created from the smelting process is very durable and does not rust or damage easily. For this reason it is highly prized by Imperial Guard officers and also the Nobility of Perdition and Redemption.
Law & Order
Day to day law enforcement is carried out by the Adeptus Arbites as is the case on most Imperium worlds. Street Judges comprise the larger part of the legal process, though only experienced Judges have the legal power to sentence individuals within a court of law. The average judge on the street typically makes an arrest and presents his case to the attending Ombudsman (as the sitting Judge is called). Both the Judge and accused can call witnesses, and if the accused has been slain, the Ombudsman can file a report with Internal Affairs or pass judgment on the killing as being within legal sanction. Despite this quick response, lawyers can tie some cases up for months, particularly when the nobility of Crucible is involved in a criminal trial.
Ombudsmen can give a variety of sentences; from a minor fine for offences such as jaywalking, to prison sentences and penal servitude. For the most heinous offences, a triumvate of Judges can reach a quorum, and sentence the offender to a death of personality: the guilty party is sentenced to life as a Servitor. Life as an indentured slave in the mines of The Crown of Thorns or depths of Crucible may be hard and brutal, but better than the so-called life as a Servitor...
All Cruciblans are expected to participate in military training for at least one month in every 24. The PDF constantly drill, although much of their focus is on search and rescue or similar in the event of geological collapse - the tunnels that worm through Crucible are critical to the existence of the cities yet are prone to sudden earthquakes.
The regular Imperial Guard are known as the Cataphracti. They have built up a reputation of fierce loyalty and expertise in close-confines fighting. Many of their units have been trained to use las-cutters and they often use these to remove obstacles as part of their PDF training, something they carry on into the Guard. They often use these to cut through walls, airlocks, or siege emplacements.
Cataphracti tactics tend to focus on careful planning and synchronized attacks. Defensively they often employ fortified strong points, from which they raid in swift attacks and retreat, wearing the enemy down; usually culminating in a massed assault with heavy fire support.
A Brief History
The Crown of Thorns
Adeptus Arbites PCs
Starting Skills: All Arbites begin with the following skills: Common Lore – Adeptus Arbites, Common Lore – Imperium, Common Lore – Perdition, Inquiry, Scholastic Lore – Judgment.
Starting Talents: All Arbites begin with the following talents: Weapon training (Bolt, Las, Power, Solid Projectile)
Equipment: All Arbites PCs begin play with the following standard equipment: Bolt pistol, Carapace armour (Light), helmet with micro-bead and respirator, manacles.
Starting Wounds: Arbites begin play with d6+12 Wounds.
Fate Points: Arbites begin play with d4+1 Fate points.
Creating Arbites PCs in Perdition
There are a number of different roles in Perdition's Adeptus Arbites. Some aere extremely specialised, but the majority of Judges are Street Judges. When creating Arbites PC, roll 2d10+20 as normal for stats. Your homeworld will be Crucible. If you like you can come from a different world - roll a D10: if you roll 10 on a 1d10, you can come from a different world entirely (using the rules in Dark Heresy)
Street Judge (Vigiles Civitas)
The rank and file of Adeptus Arbites are Street Judges. They are Judge, jury, and all-too-often, executioner. They are uncompromising, tough and hard-bitten, and only a few survive to retirement. Street Judges usually know their territory or "beat" extremely well.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Ballistic Skill
Starting Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Defence, Finesse, Offence, Strength, Toughness, Weapon Skill
Starting Skills: Awareness, Charm or Intimidate, Interrogation
Starting Talents: Double Team, Quick Draw or Rapid Reload, Take Down
Specialist Equipment: 2 Stun Grenades, Power Maul (Low), Heracles (Perdition Pattern) motorcycle
Templars (Vigiles Doctrinas)
Sometimes called Templars and Temple Guards, these Arbites are tasked with keeping the Imperial Faithful in line. As well as being ceremonial guards for the Ecclesiarchy, they also investigate possible claims of miracles or heresy and are well versed in religious law and doctrine.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Intelligence
Starting Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Defence, Intelligence, Knowledge, Weapon Skill, Willpower
Starting Skills: Awareness, Common Lore – Ecclesiarchy or Common Lore – Imperial Cult, Intimidate, Scrutiny, Forbidden Lore – Cults
Starting Talents: Cold Hearted, Peer (Ecclesiarchy), Weapon Training (Low Tech)
Specialist Equipment: Power Sword, Ceremonial Glaive (Great Weapon)
Tech Judges (Vigiles Vestibulum)
Tech Judges, often called TekJudges or TekDiv, are trained in the ways of the Mechanicus Ominissiah. Most station houses have their own TechPriest, but there is a requirement for technical knowledge in the field. TekJudges are trained to deal in all manner of forensics, computer or otherwise, as well as documenting a crime scene.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Intelligence
Starting Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Fieldcraft, Intelligence, Knowledge, Tech, Willpower
Starting Skills: Common Lore – Tech, Forbidden Lore – Adeptus Mechanicus or Logic, Interrogation or Security, Operate (Surface) or Operate (Aeronautica), Scholastic Lore – Chymistry or Scholastic Lore – Cyphers, Tech Use
Starting Talents: Exotic Weapon training – Webber, Technical Knock, Weapon Training (Any two from Flame, Heavy, Launcher, Melta, Plasma)
Specialist Equipment: Combi-tool, Dataslate, Multikey, Interface port, Auspex.
Vigiles Medicae (Medical)
Medical Judges or MedJudges often work closely with TekJudges. As well as carrying out autopsies, they provide biological and chemical forensics. They are also authorised to carry out first aid on wounded Judges as well as forensic work.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Intelligence
Starting Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Fieldcraft, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception, Willpower
Starting Skills: Interrogation, Logic, Medicae, Scholastic Lore – Chymistry, Scrutiny
Starting Talents: Cold Hearted or Jaded, Master Chirurgeon, Peer (Adeptus Arbites)
Specialist Equipment: Medikit, auspex.
Vigiles Psykana (Psykana Division)
The PsiDiv, or Vigiles Psykana, are tasked with dealing with what they call the "Weird stuff". They deal with reports of mutants in the sewers, conspiracy theories, and other strange events that other Judges cannot handle. They are tasked with hunting down rogue Psykers as well and often are called upon by the Inquisition or Adeptus Astra Telepathica in such instances.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Willpower
Starting Aptitudes: Defence, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception, Psyker, Willpower
Starting Skills: Common Lore – Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Forbidden Lore – Psykers, Intimidate, Psyniscience, Scholastic Lore – Occult
Starting Talents: Jaded, Orthoproxy, Resistance - Psychic Powers or Dead Eye Shot
Specialist Equipment: 2 Stun Grenades, Power Maul
Anti-crime (Vigilum Antisclersis)
Sometimes known as "The Wally Squad", Judges from this division are used to spending a vast amount of their time undercover in the Hive gangs or within the criminal underworld. They are usually somewhat paranoid, and often display idio-synchratic behavior, a legacy of their undercover work.
Characteristic Bonus: +5 Fellowship
Starting Aptitudes: Ballistic Skill, Fellowship, Fieldcraft, Intelligence, Knowledge, Perception
Starting Skills: Charm or Intimidate, Common Lore – Underworld, Deceive, Survival
Starting Talents: Unremarkable or Cold Hearted, Peer (Underworld), Light Sleeper or Street Fighting
Specialist Equipment: Las carbine, Autopistol (Compact), Hab clothing, papers with multiple cover identities.
Vehicles of Crucible's Adeptus Arbites
The Judges of Crucible use a variety of vehicles but the most common vehicles they use are:
- The Heracles (Perdition Pattern) motorcycle is the most commonly seen vehicle and is as much a symbol of the Arbites themselves. This heavy motorcycle has twin-mounted bolt guns and is amazingly durable; capable of pulling more than five times its own weight easily. It has repeatedly proven its worth in armed pursuits.
- For general transportation the Imperial workhorse, the Chimaera, is the most favoured. For pure intimidation value or the armour it affords, it provides better cover and security than domestic vehicles or the Heracles.
- Despite the coverage of pict-corders, it is sometimes necessary for an "eye in the sky". TekDiv have a small squadron of Landspeeders kitted out with heavy bolters. Piloted by TekJudges, they are rarely seen but are carefully maintained.
- When the Governor refused to open fire upon citizens during the early Food Riots, the Arbites requisitioned a number of Hellhounds from the PDF. The flamers were replaced by TekDiv with water cannons, and later used in both crowd suppression and the fires that started.