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Case IV: The Impenitent

Current Case.

Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby Claw » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:32 pm

The Arch-Deacon makes no objection to your orders, but does not retreat with unseemly haste, maintaining the silent dignity of his office as he and the Faithful withdraw calmly into the next carriage.

Rothe doesn't bother with his weapon. Although you doubt the old man would go down without a fight, you are all too aware that Doll could defeat the both of you without breaking a sweat. So far as you've heard, even The Faceless Man was only able to beat her to rough stand-still during their last encounter, and that monstrous man's abilities are worlds apart from your own.

“I don't know a lot about her kind, and what little I do know warns me to pry no further, but I understand that Doll was was once some sort of profane priestess or something passingly similar, anyway, because nothing these xeno have could be considered holy.”

Weiss' alliance with the alien is sounding all the more dubious by the moment, and nothing Rothe has to add does anything to ease your concerns.

“Anyway, I believe she was important once, but she had some manner of falling out with her own despicable kin. Jacob saving her life, then kicking her ass, probably made her think it would be wise to keep on standing in his not inconsiderable shadow... but now he's not around, all bets are off.”

Unlike the guesswork you detect in Rothe's earlier reply, you feel certain that he has some personal experience of this latter event.

“No. This isn't sport. This isn't coincidence. This really is a hunt, and I honestly can't think of any reason why she'd go to these lengths to kill me, which leaves only one possibility...” The Confessor says, shooting you a questioning glance. You have no response to that, of course, so he goes on without delay.

“Getting back to what I do know, if Doll is on your trail in particular, then it's you she'll be looking to torture, and not necessarily directly. Now she's actually seen us, I think it's distinctly possible that whoever she sees with us is going to be in considerable danger the moment we turn our backs. I think it's for the best that Conner doesn't know that, and he'll be safer in public than he would be in private for now. Doll won't shy away from a fight, but she's not psychotic enough to bring the entire planet down on her head just for one kill.”
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby inquisitor faust » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:01 pm

Gregor considers Rothe's implications carefully. 'No, I don't think I've done anything that would particularly offend her either, and it's not like I'm a good enough fighter to be interesting sport. She would know that since the only reason I survived meeting Faceless the first time was her and Lord Weiss intervening.'

Gregor tilts his head a moment. 'Maybe that's it? I asked Ture to try to contact Doll because she's the only one that can match Faceless. She might be trying to use us as a way to get to him. If that's what she is after, we might be able to point her in a more productive direction, either by talking or by kiting her.'
Gregor Undhart ― WS: 31 BS: 28 Str: 31 T: 22 Ag: 35 Int: 28 Per: 40 WP: 40 Fel: 40 Ifl: 57
Wounds:14/14 Fate:3/5 Fatigue:1
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby Claw » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:24 pm

“Like I said earlier, she's definitely interested in a challenge, but there's nothing in that fight for her without Jacob holding her leash. Faceless doesn't fear anything, he doesn't even feel pain like a man. It's not the killing she cares about; these Eldar like to see us suffer before we die.”

Rothe is probably right. Doll could have found her way to The Faceless Man any time she wanted, and you know that lunatic well enough to realise that he'd never decline a challenge from someone like Doll. Quite the opposite in fact; you suspect that he'd go out of his way to start that fight.

The Confessor shakes his head, “Don't try so hard to understand the alien; that way heresy and madness lays. We just need to decide what we're going to do about this.”

“If nothing else, this is certain to get Dillan's attention, and his attention is exactly what we need right now.”
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby inquisitor faust » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:29 am

'Yeah, except as soon as we meet with him either he goes to a public place where any bishop can give him orders, or he's marked for death so Doll can get her jollies. Same problem that Conner had, but without even the possibility of putting him back where we found him.'

Gregor sighs. 'Ok, we can't win the fight and we can't negotiate, so let's retreat for now. We'll use the refugee issue to start making contacts and friends among the local bishops, then use the ring to get Cardinal Thorn's people in line. After that we'll be able to meet with Abbot Yand and hopefully not get him killed or compelled by a hostile cardinal.'

Gregor eyes the macabre display of tortured priests remorsefully. This, too, is my fault. First the Crusaders, now this. I just keep making bad decisions...
Gregor Undhart ― WS: 31 BS: 28 Str: 31 T: 22 Ag: 35 Int: 28 Per: 40 WP: 40 Fel: 40 Ifl: 57
Wounds:14/14 Fate:3/5 Fatigue:1
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby Claw » Wed Jun 21, 2017 2:58 pm

“Don't worry about Dillan; he's twice as slippery as a greased up ratling. Once we get somewhere he can reach us, he will reach us.” Conner replies with a slightly wistful smile.

The Confessor overrides the train's machine-spirit again and sets you moving forward, pushing slowly through the grim forest of bloodied clerics. Once you've passed through that gruesome spectacle, the train picks up speed, moving swiftly towards the light of the tunnel exit as Rothe hammers the accelerator sigil into the back of the runeboard. Even Doll would be hard-pressed to leap aboard the train at this speed.

But it's not just Doll you need to worry about...

As the train bursts from the tunnel into another harshly illuminated, vaulted chamber, you see that flakboard defence lines have been arrayed to protect the platforms. The Frateris Militia troopers in blue and gold striped tunics – the colours of Cardinal Vahs – standing behind these lines ready heavy weapons to engage you, but are halted by a barked command from a disturbingly familiar figure standing amongst them.

The heavy flak coat, the carapace barbute-style helmet, the ballistic tower shield festooned with Inquisition iconography. There is no mistaking the Ashtak Mercenary.

Rothe slows the train slightly in an effort to buy a precious few moments of thinking time. There is no sense in trying to run the checkpoint at speed anyway, as a single burst from any of the heavy weapons arrayed against you would probably derail or destroy it. You'll have to think of some other way out of this problem.

But just as you consider the alternatives, the Ashtak raises his hand and waves you onwards, as though it were the most natural thing in the world for him to do so. Rothe doesn't hesitate to comply, raising the speed. As interesting as a conversation with the man might be, you'd never manage to fight your way through a full platoon to reach him.

“Alright... that makes things more interesting. So Astier's people are already inside. And setting up shop like they own the place,” Rothe says as you move past the blockade, “The Main Hall terminus is just ahead. It looks like Vahs people and the Ashtak aren't messing with regular operations around here, so it should still be held by a main contingent of the Faithful.”
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby inquisitor faust » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:30 pm

When the Ashtak looms in the middle of the station, Gregor's first thought is of Conner. If he is recognized there's no way they will get through this without bloodshed.

It is only after Rothe brings the train up to speed again that he realizes they have escaped unscathed. Gregor looks through the door to the next car to see how Conner is doing, but it seems the obstructions will make it hard to gauge whether Conner is doing anything...

Scrutiny roll of 58. This is probably silly but I'm looking for roughly whether Conner is concealed, obvious, or actively signalling to Vahs's people.

But this does not prevent Gregor from voicing some reactions to these developments.

'Well, now we know for sure which cardinal can't be allowed to win between Vahs and Osbryn.' Gregor remarks dryly.

But maybe we can use this. Having a bunch of Ashtak on the inside already could be the proof we need to have Vahs denounced as a co-conspirator in Fabien's assassination. There's no way Yand would have failed to raise a stink about these guys if they weren't well hidden, and having an extra army of mercenaries handy for a moment like this is pretty damn suspicious even without everything else we know.'
Gregor Undhart ― WS: 31 BS: 28 Str: 31 T: 22 Ag: 35 Int: 28 Per: 40 WP: 40 Fel: 40 Ifl: 57
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby Claw » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:25 pm

Rothe shakes head head, “You're dead wrong. Regardless of their origins, those men really are Inquisition levied, and if Vahs takes the throne, he can immediately denounce the Yeomanry for attacking agents of the Inquisition fulfilling their legitimate duties. And even if we can prove that isn't the case, we can't use it the way you're thinking, because there's no way any common citizen or noble will believe two Inquisitor's are fighting, and we wouldn't want them to know that even if they would believe it. An Inquisitor is the right hand of the Emperor; the moment they doubt that authority is absolute, that's the moment the whole system breaks down.”

“All problems for when we actually stop running for our lives,” The Confessor says with a shrug, “Dillan would have raised the alarm if he saw them. That probably means there aren't many, or maybe they only arrived recently. Whatever the case, they don't seem to be looking for us in particular.”

Conner wasn't exactly hiding, nor are his robes subtle, but then again, to the layman one priest's robes are more or less the same as anyones. You also didn't notice any sign of recognition in him; he seemed not to be able to tell one soldier from another. The Ashtak are probably here to supervise the Cardinal's men... and not just to ensure they perform in battle. Regardless of Vahs' loyalties, you have little doubt that such a valuable pawn has been left to his own devices.
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby inquisitor faust » Thu Jun 22, 2017 3:07 am

'Hmmm. It's strange, though. There's no doubt that the Ashtak are a stronger caliber of soldier than Vahs's personal troops, and they lack the tact or political sensitivities for this kind of work. One of Vahs's people might have recognized Conner and realized he's potentially useful. Meanwhile, the Ashtak's fighting ability was nowhere to be seen in the battlefield we just left.

It's like using Ogryns for a garrison while you only attack with White-shields. Even if they're keeping an eye on Vahs's people, wouldn't most of the interesting stuff be at the front lines?'
Gregor Undhart ― WS: 31 BS: 28 Str: 31 T: 22 Ag: 35 Int: 28 Per: 40 WP: 40 Fel: 40 Ifl: 57
Wounds:14/14 Fate:3/5 Fatigue:1
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Wounds: X/13 Fate: X/2 Fatigue:X
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby Claw » Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:12 pm

“Assuming this goes wrong, that would make them complicit in a coup against the Ecclesiarchy, and even the Inquisition can't shrug that off without damage. Having them sit on the rear lines makes their involvement all the more vague... and it means they can do a deal with Osbryn if his position suddenly seems stronger. Hm.”

Rothe bites his lips, clearly thinking something through.

“Why is Osbryn doing this now anyway? I don't doubt that he knows if he can seize the initiative from Vahs that Astier will side with him, but this just seems... like too hard of a play. Too much of an all or nothing risk. No. Osbryn's a fat, corrupt asshole but he isn't stupid. He's got a card in play we haven't seen. Something he thinks will bring home the win either which way.”
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Re: Case IV: The Impenitent

Postby inquisitor faust » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:19 pm

'Well, if the Ashtak want to be the face of the Inquisition in the temple, we might be able to use that later. Like I told Conner, dealing with that macabre display Doll created is Inquisition work, right? If we can't get Doll to hunt Faceless, it's just as good to get Faceless to hunt Doll. But we need to make some more friends in the temple before we can start pulling on that thread, I think. Better to send an errand boy that can't reveal much than risk all the assets we have accumulated on a conversation with the Ashtak.'

'A trump card? Perhaps. It might be related to the fact that Ture and the Livid Aquilla have gone comms silent. I think there's also something to the idea that he might have realized Astier was behind the assassination so suddenly he is desperate to secure the throne before he can be eliminated as well. But right now Astier's people are standing with Vahs's troops. I very much doubt Osbryn can trump Faceless unless he's got a squad of Astartes hidden away some where. Vahs is probably going to win this, even though Osbryn had an edge in the fight we saw. But even if I'm wrong our plans won't change much. In fact, the more the two of them bleed each other, the better it is for us in my oppinon.

If Osbryn and Vahs kill each-other off, then that gives us one less foe to deal with. Angry survivors from the losing side might flock to our cause out of spite as well. As Lord Solar Macharius said, 'The enemy of my enemy dies next.' Until then, keeping friendly, or at least useful, assets out of the crossfire should be our agenda.'
Gregor opines.

'If we get a lead on Ture, I'd love to follow up on that. Never leave a man behind, right? But he could be anywhere, or with anyone. Without a lead to follow up on we can only trust that he's smart and resourceful enough to stay out of trouble or get us some kind of message if he's in too deep.

Until and unless we receive a sign like that, I think we should consolidate as much support as possible around securing the temple and the cause of Cardinal Thorn before we have to fight it out with who-ever wins between Osbryn and Vahs.'
Gregor Undhart ― WS: 31 BS: 28 Str: 31 T: 22 Ag: 35 Int: 28 Per: 40 WP: 40 Fel: 40 Ifl: 57
Wounds:14/14 Fate:3/5 Fatigue:1
equipment
Alphis Tunter WS: 26 BS: 40 Str: 27 T:30 Ag: 38 Int: 50 Per: 42 WP: 20 Fel: 26 Ifl: 36
Wounds: X/13 Fate: X/2 Fatigue:X
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User avatar
inquisitor faust
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Posts: 3219
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