Everyone told Jason Scarn that it would be hard to avoid looking at the pulsing glow of the warp storm overhead.
But what bothered the cynical bounty hunter most was the smell.
“I’ve spent much of my life in the underhives, but this cesspool of a town is worse than the sewer systems of a hive city,” he muttered.
Overhearing him was his second-in-command, a grizzled hive ganger known as Jerkwad. The beefy fighter’s laughter bellowed over the buzz of the surrounding crowd, drawing stares from everyone around.
“By the Emperor’s britches, haven’t I told you about this pleasure house I visited once?” Jerkwad boasted. “If you want to know about foul smells . . . .”
“No, I don’t want to know,” Scarn growled. “Keep your mind on your work. If you haven’t noticed, we’re not the only bounty hunters around here. We’ve competition.”
On 6 853 739.M41, four individuals—bounty hunters Belladonna and Jason Scarn, maverick Tech Priest Malikot, and Rogue Trader Johann Feracci—found themselves on the cursed world of Dargav III.
The planet is located only 23 light years from the Heart of Darkness, a violently unstable warp storm that could engulf the world in madness and destruction at any moment. Anyone with any resources at all have fled, and those who remain on the planet are poor laborers and unwanted mutants—all struggling to survive despite the likelihood that all are doomed eventually.
These four “adventurers” are seeking five unsanctioned psykers who somehow escaped an infamous Black Ship. For reasons of their own, all four bounty hunters, accompanied by hired henchmen, seek the Imperial bounties placed on the psykers.
The psykers have been tracked down to a wretchedly poor shanty town near the planet’s equator. As they search for these dangerous escapees, the four adventurers must deal with suspicious and armed local residents, hive gangs, abandoned Enforcers still seeking to maintain order, and the pulsing glow of the warp storm filling half the sky over their heads.
To look at this storm is to invite madness, damnation, and even immediate and uncontrollable mutation. This is not a good place to be, but desperate people take desperate chances.
The Hunt Begins
Whether through instinct, bribed informants, or pure luck, the four bounty hunters and their minions narrowed their search for the psykers to a small shanty town in the shadow of a largely abandoned hive city in the northern hemisphere of Dargav III.
Belladonna was the first to discover one of the psykers. With little nuance, she used her hired thugs to force her way into the small shanties in one corner of the town. That almost cost her: When she entered one shanty, she disturbed the members of a local street gang as they were loading up on drugs to sell on the street.
The bounty hunter made a cursory attempt at diplomacy, but that wasn’t her strong point. The result was a catastrophically intimate fire fight that left one of her henchmen wounded . . . and three gang members dead. Oh, and she pocketed the valuable stash of drugs as a consolation prize.
But she struck pay dirt when she entered a two-story shack at the end of the street. Inside was one of the psykers, who attempted to cast witchfire—but was assailed by a rushed charge by Belladonna and brought down.
A Second Psyker
The second psyker captured was grabbed by Count Feracci and Lady Adriana, who were accompanied by the count’s personal bodyguard, all dressed in gaudy bright-red silk uniforms and shining white pith helmets.
While searching a different neighborhood of shanties, they initially found little of value—although they did stumble into two hovering guard robots that were assigned to prevent entry into one shanty. What followed was another brief firefight that left one of Feracci’s bodyguards dead.
The loss of a man didn’t seem to bother the arrogant count very much, although he took mild interest in what was discovered after searching the shanty: a valuable multi-key that permits its user override almost any Imperial lock (yes, that includes those of other people).
Finally, Feracci found his prey hiding in a small shanty. This psyker, instead of using witchfire, attempted to fight it out with a laspistol. Rushing the psyker, Feracci’s bodyguards bowled over the psyker and subdued him.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.