Friday, March 2, 2012

Risky Business: Into the Maw (Part 1.2)

Risky Business: Into the Maw
Part 1: The Riddle of the Righteous Path
A Rogue Trader Campaign
--- Continued from Part 1.1 ---

[This is a series of write-ups narrating the progress of my online campaign, the Risky Business. If you're interested in seeing a play-by-post campaign in action using the Rogue Trader setting and rules, you can check out the website for my campaign at All of our gameplay is visible to non-members, so you can watch our progress as we play.]


The high ranking officers file one by one into one of the Risky Business's finer meeting rooms. The old and venerable ship creaks and groans, the plasma drives rumbling as minute course changes are made to dodge interstellar debris. The ship dropped out of Warp about one Terran standard hour ago, and began it's slow journey through the void and into Port Wander. It will probably take another week to reach the port - it's unsafe to drop out of Warp too close to any large bodies, or other ships.

The furnishings of the room were once fine - red velvet, rich and opulent, covers the ground, chairs, and some wall hangings. But it has worn thin in places, tattered and dirty with age and use. Gilt coatings on tables and chairs flake and show the plain wood or metal beneath. The room shows clearly the state of the Florosa dynasty, and it is a dire one.

Soon, all chairs are filled save one. After a few minutes of uncomfortable waiting, an orderly rushes in and leans close to Alphmire, but his whisper is loud enough to be heard by all. "Seneschal Dante sends his apologies - his current task will prevent his attendance of this meeting." After receiving Alphmire's nod, the orderly rushes out.

Waiting done, Alphmire turns on the display at the front of the room. A middle aged man with graying, balding hair and a barrel-like chest appears. Alphmire speaks in his pleasant baritone. "We received this message from a contact, one Orbest Dray, at Port Wander as soon as we entered real space." Alphmire keys in something at the display controls, and the man on the screen begins to speak.

"Esteemed Rogue Trader Alphmire, I carry a message and a gift from your great-grandmother Lilianne Florosa. I would meet with you as soon as you have docked, if you would honor me with your presence. I'll be waiting at Old Gert's stall in the Court of the Dead. It is a matter of some urgency, but which promises great glory. I dare not say more now, but I promise you will not be disappointed."

The screen freezes. Alphmire looks out at his officers. "This was recorded and encrypted in our dynasty's personal cipher, with the appropriate seals and signs. It appears to be legitimate. I intend to investigate when we make portfall. However, there is the possibility that this is a trap."

He looks expectantly at the officers, waiting for their input. "Theani, I want your input about keeping everyone safe during this meeting. Mr. Simo, yours as well. Ariadne and Nydia, I will need your advice on warp-spawned dangers; what to expect, how to protect against it, that kind of information. As we've no Ecclesiarch Primus, it will be solely up to you two." Alphmire stands, leans over the table and sighs. "If I haven't seen some of you in action I have still interviewed you and found you exemplary." He smiles with...pride? Elation? Fear? He seems to wear the same face for all three, smile or no. He sits back down. "So let's have it. How do we best approach this meeting?"

Cassius Simo, from his seat exactly halfway between the door and the display, takes in the situation carefully. He studies the image on the screen, capturing every minute detail of the man's face, looking for any hint of deception. He pays close attention to the timbre of the man's voice, listening for any sign that the man is withholding the truth. Unfortunately, despite his close scrutiny, Cassius can't seem to get a read on this Orbest fellow. Before answering, Cassius subconsciously rubs his hand on the handle of his whip, coiled on his right hip as always.

Glancing at his old friend across the table, Cassius turns to Alphmire and, in his soft, low voice replies, "We will need a full schematic, or as close as possible, of the building we will be in, as well as the surrounding area before we are able to draw up a security plan. As for the meeting itself, I advise extreme caution until we learn more about this man and what this gift is."

Ariadne, looking ever the disheveled, steam punk, scavenger, raises her goggles onto the top of her head. "Haven't felt anything weird in the warp lately. It ebbs and flows like it always does, no storms, nothing warping the patterns. Can't rule out psykers at port though. Would be worth taking a walk around the building before you leave the ship just to make sure."

She pulls her goggles back and appears to shut out the rest of the conversation, as always, lost in her own little world.

Glancing at her fellow psyker, the navigator Nydia "Crash" sighs. Nydia is a stubby and short human, with a gangly and stern frame. Her face is long and angular, marked by small scars and bits of grease. Small, crystaline frames cover her bleary grey eyes. Flat and lean, her figure isn't very imposing. She typically wears fingerless gloves, soft soled boots, a set of xeno-mesh armor and a bland, black robe. A broadcloth headscarf covers her head, lidless third eye, and short black hair.

"I think the hard part of this leg his behind us." crows Nydia, rubbing her bloodshot and fatigued eyes, "We're out of this warp, and this image seems legit enough." She looks ragged and sleepless, her head drooping forward on some imaginary pillow.

She plays with her headband, scratching behind her ears, "I don't think there will be a plot upfront. They'll get us to do what they want, we'll bring it back. Then they'll try to kill us." She coughs once, "Or whatever they want to do."


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