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Campaign: Damos Crusade

Astropathic communique to Inquisitor E, from imperial psyker Elric Nilius.

I have killed an Ork Weirdboy, and witnessed xenos psychic powers.

But let me start from the beginning. Rogue Trader Erika Damos led a small fleet to an ork-held planet. The command crew was sent ahead to lead an expedition to the surface in order to take out the anti-space artillery, which was successful. There are now Jika regiments scouring the planet of the greenskin infestation.

The local commander calls us to his tent, informing us that he has received new orders from Erika Damos. Many of the orks have taken refuge in a network of underground caves, and we are to flush them out. This seems extremely suicidal, to say the least.

Ogryn

Most of us are given a squad to command:

  • Desu girl, sorry I mean Moll (our arch-militant), leads a squad of demolitionists
  • Leo, our survivalist seneschal, leads a squad of scouts
  • Nicole, our void mistress, leads a heavy weapons squad
  • I'm also leading a heavy weapons squad
  • and the navigator chooses to lead a squad of Ogryns

There is one entrance to the labyrinth cave system that is already known, but we decide to fan out and find one that is hopefully less well guarded. Leo quickly finds a hole, about 50' wide, that drops straight down. He calls us over, and soon we're all peering down (except for Nicole who isn't answering on the micro-bead). The navigator tells one of his ogryn to jump down, but the creature gets confused. It grabs the navigator and holds him over the hole, asking "This one?"

I immediately command the ogryn to put the navigator down. It turns to me, waving the navigator around like a sock puppet, and asks again "This one?" I tell it yes and the navigator is once again back on firm ground, if perhaps a little shaken.

At this point we decide perhaps the navigator isn't fit to lead the ogryns, and I attempt to command them. But they're not impressed. However they do react well to Moll and seem to follow her... I guess they both share a similar intellect and can relate well to each other.

Moll and Leo start rappelling down the hole with their squads. The ogryns can't use the rope system we've put into place, but one of them takes his bayonet and sticks it into the side of the hole. He then hangs on to it as his weight causes the bayonet to tear the ground, and he slides down the wall in a controlled manner. The other two ogryns follow likewise... or at least try to.

Leo's at the bottom of the hole, about 30' down, when an ogryn comes crashing down next to him. Shocked, he asks "What was that?"

"Reinforcements" I reply.

We finally hear from Nicole over the micro-bead, who informs us that she's found another entrance into the labyrinth of caves and that we should come to her position. I reply and tell her that we've already committed to the hole that Leo has found, and she says Ok then decides to go on her own.

Nicole is deciding to go on her own? That's crazy.

In any case, at the bottom of our giant 50' wide tunnel we now see a pile of scrap metal. Upon closer inspection we find it packed with squigs. Apparently it's some sort of trap, and the squigs were meant to be released, but for whatever reason it didn't trigger. Not questioning our good luck I command my heavy-weapon squad to tear them to ribbons, and they relish the opportunity to do so.

There are 7 tunnel exits leading outwards from this hole, and Leo has his scout squad fan out and explore 4 of them. Moll meanwhile decides to take her squads down the first tunnel on the left, and I follow. That's when we hear heavy stubber fire from far down the tunnel.

Lesson number 1, never split the group.

We head forward, hoping to rendez-vous with Nicole, but the tunnel splits evenly to the right and left, and by sound we can't tell in which direction Nicole's group is. So I place a hand on the left tunnel wall and feel no vibrations, then put my hand on the right tunnel wall and feel some vibrations. Right it is!

We race ahead and then Desu-girl, I mean Moll, suddenly says "Stop"! I didn't even know she knew that word. She points upwards to the ceiling and we see a spike trap, ready to fall down. We trigger the spike trap by throwing rocks ahead of us and triggering the pressure plates.

Squiggoth

We finally meet up with Nicole as well as the eldar corsair Za'Shan Shawe who caught up with her. They found a squig trap like us, but triggered theirs, and that was the heavy stubber fire we heard. This attracted the attention of an immature (though no less huge) Squiggoth. They were about to sell their lives cheaply when the eldar noticed that it was blind, and so they decided to sneak away.

We continue onwards, and we come upon a bigger chamber that is littered with what looks to be giant batteries, or maybe some form of rudimentary power cells. There are power cables leading away down one of the tunnels. That's when one of the ogryn tells me that there is a sneaky purple "git" over there, in the darkness.

I peer ahead and don't see anything. Moll, not taking any chances, just starts shooting! The ogryns like that, and they also open up. That's when suddenly we realize that the whole area is full of greenskin, and they come charging toward us. I fire my autopistol on full-auto, killing a couple orks, while my squad sets up their heavy stubbers. The rest of the command crew and the squads do likewise. The orks have the disadvantage of starting far away from us, and so we are mowing them down. We cut down roughly half their number and then they start to get wise, stop, and run away. But by now our heavy weapons have been setup, and now the killing really starts! Soon the far side of the cave is thick with their coarse blood.

Our navigator hears something behind us and sees that there are snakes, hundreds of them, coming towards us. So we pack up and follow the power cables. We see more traps, kill more squigs, and generally proceed onwards.

That's when we hear from Leo again. Apparently he's all alone now, with his scout squad all dead. He's pretending to be dead since there are lots of snakes and 2 orks, but the orks decide they want to cook his body. He's whispering over the micro-bead for help, and then Moll yells back "Desu?". The orks must have heard that over the micro-bead since we hear them arguing, and then suddenly we hear an ork scream.

So we decide to turn back and rescue Leo. But our way is blocked by the hundreds of snakes that have been pursuing us. Moll instructs her demolition squad to attack, and they rain down grenade after grenade on the snakes, making short work of them. We manage to reach Leo and kill his surviving ork captor before it could even react.

Back again down the tunnel following the power cable, we finally come upon a giant cave. Suddenly rokkits, launched by 2 ork kommandos hanging from the ceiling with rokkit launchas, come careening down toward us. I'm able to avoid the blasts but they do kill 1 of our ogryn and 1 of our heavy weapon groups.

I reach out with my mind and Compel one of them to "Fall", which he promptly does and lands badly. The other one gets shot up to pieces by the rest of our group.

We move onwards into this large chamber, following the power cables, and it only grows in size. Up ahead we see that the cables end in a giant structure which is adorned with huge rocks. Nicole tells us it's a Rok Launcha, and apparently it could be a threat to our cruisers in orbit. So we all agree to blow it up.

Leo is ahead of us, moving towards the structure, when suddenly an ork zips down from the ceiling, tries to grab Leo but somehow misses, and then zips back up to the ceiling. We look up and we see that the cave ceiling is full or orks!

"WAAAGGHHH!" reverberates throughout the room.

We go full-auto on them, and soon it's mayhem. Orks are falling down, either intentionally or otherwise, and that triggers traps (which we hadn't even seen). Orks are getting spiked as well as dismembered by large buzz saws and whirling blades.

Ork weirdboy

About 20 meters behind us we hear an ork bellow, in Low Gothic, "You killed my brother now you gonna die!" The ork is visibly wreathed in fire, and in fact his chest seems to be full of fire embers. There's also some type of force field, actually a telekinetic shield, protecting him.

"That wasn't us" yells back Leo. But he's not being very convincing. "It was pinkie weapons that killed him!" yells the ork weirdboy, advancing towards us.

Most of us focus on the weirdboy and his retinue of orks. Nicole shoots at it but the shots bounce off of its telekinetic shield. I figure eventually we'll overload the shield and so go full-auto on it as well. I aim well, and my 4th shot shatters his foot. He was about to use some type of pyrokinetic power, but in his pain he involuntarily turns to the side and breathes fire on his fellow orks. Though it doesn't hit us the sheer blast of the heat wave almost knocks us back.

Meanwhile Moll yells out "Desu!" and in front of us we see that a fully grown Squiggoth is being lowered down to the ground. She aims with her man-portable las cannon and shoots out the chains lowering the gigantic creature. It is still high up when it suddenly comes crashing down, hard, and splatters on the ground.

The ork weirdboy is now about 10 meters aways, hobbling toward us, and we open fire once more. I'm able to kill the ork weirdboy before it is able to summon up his psychic powers again.

With the ork weirdby dead the orks are in disarray, and the splattered squiggoth can't be helping their morale either. They eventually feel outnumbered and scatter, running away, while our heavy weapon teams continue to mow them down. We place the charges onto the Rok Launchas and head back. By the time we're clear of the tunnels we detonate the charges and the whole area becomes a big sinkhole. Our cruisers in orbit will remain safe.

In service, Elric.

Astropathic response from Inquisitor E

Don't assume that just because you've never previously heard of a psychic phenomena that it must be a xenos psychic power. The Imperium is vast, and there are untold number of different ways that the immaterium can be shaped and molded. What you have been taught is but one of many sanctioned ways to leverage the warp, and one of thousands or more unsanctioned ways to tap its potential. Though in this case you're actually correct -- it is believed that ork psykers don't even use the immaterium to power their psychic abilities, but rather the collective gestalt of their species.

- E

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