Monday, July 11, 2022

Vox Extremis - Gladiators of Xothu II

(+++ The following is a demo of a custom scenario I created again using a simple set of Necromunda (N18) rules. The 12 Gladiator characters are created as Venator champions (variety of the stat sets), maximum 200pts each. Equipment was restricted to close combat weapons, armor and black market chems. One main book skill per gladiator.
The Hounds represent Sumpcroc beasts. Arena size is 24"x18". Deployment 7" apart.

This can be played as single player mode as well, numbering each fighter 1-12 and drawing from a dozen numbered cards to activate. Multiplayer could easily be converted into small co-op squads.

 Good easy dice game for a lazy Sunday afternoon).


  

 Somewhere in the cavernous depths of Xothus palace, the Heliodrome fighting pit. Eight figures emerged from the shadows of the blast doors. The roar of the spectator mobs rose like a festering storm in filthy air thick with the stench of cooked meat and strong intoxicants. The cacophony thundered into the pit below.


 From a gang plank on the edge of the pit a gnarled animal horn was sounded and a rusted grill raised up, ejecting forth a pack of snarling Hounds of Xothu. It was begun... 

Into the center, the alpha beast struck out at speed. The large mutant Volos was blindsided, gored and savaged. The second beast loped along the wall towards Tetsu, the pikeman stuck the creature but was wounded by its sweeping tusks. The veteran knew to defend his back, well enough to parry the serrated teeth of the twin blades of Cytus.

The fighting quickly spilled into the center courtyard between the spike racks. The mutant barbarian Jungir in the depths of chem frenzy rushed forth, spiked and hooked flails swinging for Ithlans throat. The warriors armor held and he countered with a crushing hammer blow, sprawling Jungir into the racks to his end. He swung the heavy maul again, this time shattering the body of the third charging hound.   

The swordsman Tyros, a warrior of the bleak thorned forests of Paleon entered the fray, slaying the alpha hound with hacking thrusts that sprayed the arena floor red. He however failed to see the servo claw of the badly mauled Volos close around his throat and was then hurled several feet away.

 Tetsu was slain by Cytus who approached the melee raging in the center where the heavy warriors now dueled. The fortunes of Ithlan turned ill as he was struck down by a massive blow from the roaring chain cleaver of the workganger Sarvog in a slash of gore. 

Heavy footfall thundered across the arena floor. The lumbering brute Olrik strode forth, his chain axe and spiked knuckleduster wove a bloody path of destruction through Sarvog and Cytus before turning his wrath on a dying Volos, finishing him.

The mono hole of the giant gladiators helm now fixed on the remaining survivor; Tyros. Though badly wounded, the swordsman leveled his blade in challenge to the deafening howls of the crowds. The fighters closed the distance, Olriks chain axe carving sweeping arcs of certain death at the swordsman.

 Ignoring his own wounds, the Paleonnian flanked and swept low, feeling the whirling teeth of the chain axe shearing into his scrap shield. Tyros lashed out with viper thrusts of his blade catching Olrik in the chest. The massive warrior collapsed to the floor with a heavy crash.

The mobs howled into the arena with fury for Tyros now stood alone, badly wounded but victorious. The newest champion of the Heliodrome.


(+++ This proved to be a entertaining small scenario for some figs I have converted. The fighters Skill abilities really came into play for each gladiator; parries, dodges, crushing blows really adding to the action. 

The victor Tyros won only by the narrowest of margins, having killed a hound and then hurled nearly into a spike rack with a Serious Injury. Remained down for two turns on the brink of death. He then regained consciousness to face Olrik who had just slaughtered three other gladiators.

He parried a blow that would have meant certain death and landed multiple sword wounds through Olriks armor to win. -Ak)

  


Vox Extremis: Gladiators of Xothu I

 

Under the depraved rule of the rogue pysker lord Xothu the world of Helius-117 would languish for many years. With the liquidation of the planetary governor, control of the settlements was appointed to local chieftains and satraps. These were indigenous Heliusi - a brutal Iron age people with new found access to advanced technology and an enslaved populace at their will.

All but cut off from the galaxy at large, the screaming mobs were entertained by the ways of old, before the time of the off-worlders. When blade and axe sang songs of death across the howling Heliusian wastes and stone walls. In the great fighting pits, the Gladiators of Xothu would do mortal combat in the ancient ways for the prize of survival...

The ranks of the gladiators were myriad; savage tribesmen, condemned bandits, prisoner voidsmen - any who might entertain the baying masses and their overlords with blood and violence. Fighters would don whatever crude armor and weapons that could be pried from the dead. Many imbibed of the exotic chem elixirs provided by renegade alchemists, cocktails of combat drugs to further fuel the fighting.  
Many of the arena pits kept stocks of things other than man or mutant; wild ravenous beasts from the far hinterlands of Helius.117 would also take part in the fighting, voracious pack predators with a taste for man flesh.




Sunday, June 26, 2022

Vox Extremis - The Baleful Call

 


Helius.117, a bleak world of harsh broken hills, blasted wastes and storm wracked oceans. Despite its low value in resources its high importance was attributed to the psychic beacon tower located at its northern pole. For centuries voidships navigating the Voltarnus Cluster relied upon its signal to navigate the shifting stars. 

In [REDACTED.iSi82].M41 deep survey teams in the fog shrouded northern mesa ranges discovered ancient ruins of an unknown origin. The purpose of the strange geometric designs and esoteric rune columns eluded the techno-archaeologists and scholars who studied them in extensive detail. After decades of research the sites were marked Ex Anomalous, catalogued in the Imperial archives and passed into obscurity.

 

Many years later marked by the passing of a rogue celestial body - the space hulk Pryies Lament; a mass wreckage of lost void ships hammered together and ejected by the warp. In its wake a cloaked figure emerged from the ash desert levitating ominously above the ground. The figure was that of Xothu, an alpha-class psyker of ghastly telepathic power.

Able to reach into the unprotected mind with ease, he gathered an ever growing flock of devotees. One by one the settlements of Helius.117 fell under the grip of Xothus dark influence. As the planet was overrun frantic messages were sent from the psychic beacon tower before its link to the Astronomican was extinguished. In a single night of terror the cultist militias of Xothu besieged the beacon tower and put the entire facility to the torch and axe. 


The final defenders - a group of Navigator guildsmen attempted to fortify themselves in the labyrinthine tunnels beneath the complex. These Astropathic guardians hastily erected a null shield to thwart the relentless nightmare visions assailing their senses. When the shield eventually failed the final navigators bodies cracked and contorted by some fell power, amalgamating into a protean mass of mutated horns, clawed limbs and snarling visages. A beast that should not be; the Horror of Gan'gora was born at Xothus foul behest. 

So it was that Helius.117 fell under the grip of the dark psyker, retiring to his lair in the mountain crags of Vonsalva to feed off the enslaved populace.





Sunday, May 22, 2022

For a few credits more...

 On nearly all worlds across the frontier, trade bazaars of the I.S.G.U.M (Inter Star Guilders United Merchants) could be found in dimly lit corridors and via ducts. In the outland systems these traders supplied all manner of vital goods and off-world amenities.

Hyperion-LOTUS dealers in particular could fetch a high profit for their goods. High quality fuel cores, cybernetics, espionage and surveying gear were ever in demand in the remote colony worlds. Most would also have a side score of rare exotic items and tech to supplement their income.


Under warrant of trade most local authorities were willing to ignore small level arms dealing in the effort to bolster their economy so long as no significant forbidden weaponry began appearing after their departures. Usually the best place to acquire any array of autos, blasters, pinners, cookers and many others. All at "fair market value" of course.


Expeditionary outfitters were a profitable resource for those intending to traverse the outlands where possessing the right equipment could be a matter of survival. Such vendors often brokered in information with local underworld sources of charts to supposed archaeo-tech hordes, rare element veins and hazardous places sane men should not tread.

 
A welcome sign to any weary traveler, the aroma of authentic hot non-synthetic food was often enough to draw a steady stream of customers interested in off-world cuisine and intoxicants. Some short contract operations were known to be fronts for the trafficking of contraband and psy-narcotics. However others such Nok Dragons Nest were well known chains throughout the frontier.


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Vox Extremis - Rogue Trader House Samra

The Korban Expanse was a desolate region of the galaxy, a vast arm of the Neomosa Spiral. Once but long ago, fledgling empires rose and fell here amongst the harsh stars. Across scattered worlds their decayed ruins stand in sentinel memory of their passing.

It was here that the Rogue Trader Captain Tyco Samra gained great prestige by traversing the uncharted Pillars of Voltarnus. Contrary to the strongest recommendations of house navigators and logicans, his relic Conquest-class Star Galleon - The Alastor survived the perilous expedition fraught with piratical raiders, hostile xenos and dark unknown horrors of the void.
 

The bombastic Samra was known for leading many away missions and boarding actions himself, accompanied by his personal security entourage; the Iyomen. This handpicked cadre consisted of veteran voidsmen, house storm troopers and specialist adepts.
After the decades across the expanse, there could be no "after Korban" for the crew of The Alastor. Not after the wonders and terrors they had experienced. The return to Port Solas had been brief.  Despite his holds brimming with priceless artifacts, wealth and archeotech from the furthest reaches of the void, it was not enough for Samra. The ancient Alastor departed again into beckoning stars.
"You can't imagine the things I've seen - the storming of the Gammu temple, the sky fortress of the Tekarti, the hunt for the Corlatt void beast. All I can tell you is that without Captain Tyco at the helm, my bones would be out there adrift in the deep..."
-Sulla, Iyomen hearldry bearer to new ensigns.


  

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Vox Extremis - INQ Battle: The Raid on Izula

For the rules minded...

Mission: The Hit (Necromunda N18) - This is an arbitrators scenario from the mainrule book. Defender deploys in the middle, Attacker deploys 2" any board edge. The only objective is to eliminate the Defenders leader.

Ordo Desolatus Roster
Disciples of Izula Roster

...

The intelligence dossier and sanctioned orders had reached Inquisitor Lukor under the highest encryption auspices available. He remembered the subject from decades prior; the Genetor Corruptus, Izula. A secret lab complex on the industrial moon of Vakus was the destination. He assembled his kill team and dispatched with all haste aboard the fastest Guild freighter.

They had located the complex on the outskirts of the Via Narcopa starport, the Mercatur Guild agents had proven reliable informants. Over a week was spent in the cramped confines of the nearby safehouse, a small unit of an abandoned hab-block when the quarry was finally spotted on a routine visit to his chem still. After a short field briefing the Inquisitor and his Desolatus agents assembled for the fateful attack...

Above: The main Desolatus warband approached from the east through the chem processors.
Below: Suphera-892 & Kaust flanked south through the hab-block alleyways.


Izula and his retinue had just exited the chem still when the raid began. Acolyte Caspiel fired from the east chem gantry, his high energy lasrifle beam toppling a mutant at the Arch-heretics side. The response was immediate as he was blown clear off the gantry by a frag round blast from the mutant grenadier on the chem still second floor.

More danger sounded from the rooftops as autogun fire rained down on Lukor and Varian from a lone sentry, narrowly missing the agents as they darted through a derelict chem processor. Terrelion and his automata Rho-91 advanced under the gantry girders, spraying bolts and las fire down the alley at the Hetmen.
From the south hab-blocks Kaust and Suphera-892 sprung their flank attack (Group activation). Kaust scrambled into close range of the Hetman Sindisi, gunning down the mutant champion with a shotgun slug. Suphera felled another of the mutants. They would pay for their cunning as Kaust was cut down by Izulas own bolter. Before she could come to his aid Suphera herself was blown several feet down the alley by another frag grenade from the chem still, wounded but alive.

Inquisitor Lukor and his remaining agents had reached the edge of the chem processors, autogun fire still hammering off the gantries above them. Acolyte Wrax delved into his torn cloak and primed a stun grenade, hurling the small canister at the Hetmen. The blast sent both giant warriors reeling.

Terrelion was shot through by an auto round from the rooftops. Cursing in binaric, his servo-rig still steadied him and his archaic-pattern boltgun. Short thunderous bursts pinned the mutant rifleman long enough for him and Rho-92 to escape the vertical kill zone.

To the Ordos agents horror Izulas Disciples continued to rise up from grievous wounds that would have been mortal on normal men. They had to get past these bio-engineered scum or Izula would slip the net.

Into the blood-streaked chem still alley Acolyte Varian broke from cover. twisting the ignition chamber on his flamer unit to life. "Burn heretics!" he snarled as he unleashed a sweeping gout of fire into their ranks.

The Desolatus agents were swarming into the chem still complex now, dodging the scattering flaming bodies of Izulas henchmen. Terrelion among them did not see Izula in the chaos until it was too late. The Combi-melta blast vaporized the Tech Adept into ashen wind instantly. Lukor howled with rage as a bolt salvo ricocheted off the girders around him, nearly decapitating the Inquisitor. 

Another grenade launcher blast from the mutant Ghazi caught Wrax, blasting him to shreds before Lukors eyes. In desperation he reached into his minds eye seeking the accursed grenadier. The warp surge came on strong, too strong. Ignoring the screaming visions clawing at his mind he pushed through the veil of reality, hurling a stunned Ghazi from the rooftop to the ground below. The Inquisitors mind was scorched but luckily intact. (*Telekinesis Assail: From Perils to Warp Surge to Success).

In the southern hab-blocks, a bleeding Suphura-892 limped down the alleyway. She spied the lumbering giant Sindisi swatting away the worst of the flames engulfing him and sliding a fresh magazine into his boltgun. Suphura capitalized on the distraction and charged. The Hetman had no chance as the Adept Assassins stiletto sword lashed out in a whirlwind. The exotic neuro-toxins released by the blades edge staggered the giant champion. Bleeding from scores of wounds, burnt and now poisoned the brute collapsed with a massive thud and did not rise again.


Cornered and seeing his numbers waning, Izula charged Varian with a savage guttural war-cry. The old grizzled veteran had no chance as the large rusted chainaxe tore him in half. It was to be the Arch-heretics final triumph however, as the gore spray cleared the last vision Izula would have was of Inquisitor Lukor and the muzzle of his smoking combi-plasma. The remaining scum fled into the shadows.

The attack had been costly but the Genetor Corruptus fiend - Izula was finally dead, as were the five honored martyrs whose names were committed for inscription in the holy Ordos records. For Lukor it was bittersweet, he had lost the counsel of two veteran specialists; Terrelion and Varian. They would be difficult to replace.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Vox Extremis - The Disciples of Izula

 


The Arch-heretic Dominae Izula was a notorious renegade who tormented the outer colonies of the Nibaru Belt. His practice of forbidden gene-sorcery was responsible for the abhorrent contamination of the populations of at least twenty confirmed settlements on five worlds. 

The ravening bands of new generation mutants that soon followed Izula's heresies would plague the frontier systems for decades. Vat cloned from the modified gene-stock of Izula himself, his chosen Disciples are his ruthless personal bodyguard. The Izula Genome, while compromised by unstable mutagens resulted in unnatural physical resilience and unchecked psychosis.


The first generational clones - the Hetmen were subject to further modification via chem harness devices feeding a litany of combat drugs, stimms and growth hormones.

               Second and third generation clones often featured more extensive mutation.

      The origins of Izula himself are largely unknown. Subtractus file indicates his first presence in the hive wars of Sybaris, after which he vanished only to reappear decades later on the frontier systems.