“Do you think you’re important? Do you think your life matters? You are a fool. All that matters is service to the Emperor. You are tool at best; an impediment at worst. If you do not realize that, I should put you out of your misery.“—Lady Georgene Serillian, inquisitor, Ordo Xenos.
Fall of Cryillias
“Within moments, communications with the command center was lost. As I looked in the direction of the landing pad, I could see people fleeing out the outpost’s main entrance, rushing toward my shuttle, as if the small craft could carry even a tenth of those who sought the escape it promised.”
“All with me—Abnightus, Bernard, Feracci, and a pitiful few of their followers still alive—were too far away to reach the shuttle. There was no way we could fight our way through the panicked crowd, and I could see rebel troops starting to pour out of the outpost and open fire.”
“The screams of the outpost’s doomed staff soon rivaled that of the rebel fire.”
“Enough, I thought. There was no hope here. I could not allow the shuttle to leave the planet with anyone aboard, not without ensuring that its passengers were free of the xeno taint.”
“So, I ordered the pilot to initiate the shuttle’s self-destruct program.”
“To his credit, the pilot did not flinch. Nor did he bother to disembark from the craft after obeying my orders. He knew there was no hope.”
“The shuttle exploded in a ball of flame that engulfed most of the civilians who were fighting to board the unlucky aircraft. Those that survived the blast were severely injured or burned, and all would suffer at the hands of the rebels.”
“There was nothing that could be done for them.”
Escape and Retribution
“I pride myself on anticipating every contingency. I ordered my party into the shadows of some nearby ruins and guided them away from the slaughter at the landing pad.”
“We were followed. Several genestealers climbed out of the ventilation shaft we’d used earlier and followed our trail. We defeated them, but we lost the last of our bodyguards.”
“Thankfully, no one else gave chase. We marched five kilometers into the desert, where we rendezvoused with a Corvus Blackstar that was sent from my orbiting strike cruiser.”
“On our way to orbit, my cruiser blasted the now-traitor-held outpost with lance strikes. By the time I reached the ship, its captain reported that the desert sands surrounding the site—nearly 100 square kilometers—were fused glass. Where the outpost had once stood, there was a 100-meter-deep crater that stretched nearly a kilometer across.”
“I took every precaution with our survivors. I considered simply shooting them, but I saw no great threat in letting them live. All were forced to endure a comprehensive medical examination, including DNA analysis, and I ordered the same intrusive examination of myself. I could take no chance that the xeno taint would escape Cryillias.”
“Before I allowed my temporary allies to return to their lives, I made it clear that, if they ever spoke a word about events on Cryillias, they would face immediate arrest and execution. I’m confident that they will remain silent.”
“As to lessons learned, I would say that my doubts about our research outpost have been confirmed. The fact that the captured genestealer, contained under the most stringent security measures, managed to infect the outpost staff with its xeno taint is proof that such research is irresponsible. We simply cannot trust that a genestealer can be studied safely.”
“Still, we will make use of what we learned. The outpost’s research was downloaded and transported from Cryillias by Abnightus, and I’m sure my Ordo Xenos colleagues will examine it carefully. I hope that their conclusions will mirror my own: No more research. We just kill every genestealer we meet.”
++ END REPORT++
TheGM: I promised participants that their games at Shorehammer would impact the overall campaign of the Corvus Cluster. But I must say I was initially horrified when the gamer playing Serillian put the needs of the Imperium over her own survival. The idea of stranding Serillian on Cryillious, with a bunch of genestealers, was a bummer.
You see, I have big plans for Serillian. Also, I hadn’t anticipated that all my major characters—stories of Count Feracci, Lady Adriana, Bernard, and Abnightus—would all be wiped out in one game.
But, as it happened, I ran the Infection at Outpost Alpha-Omega two more times during the convention, I felt free to consolidate the three different results into the “official” results of the incident on Cryillias. In other games, the above characters survived, and hey, who is to say that Serillian hadn’t made contingency plans.
Still, I couldn’t totally ignore the bloodshed of the first running of the scenario. Commissar Brutus and the merchant named Amari, along with some other minor characters, met their doom at the outpost, falling to the claws of the genestealers or the blades of xeon-tainted rebels. They shall have no further impact on the campaign.
As to the larger impact of this battle, the genestealer infestation on Cryillias is stopped. There was a chance some survivors would carry the xeno taint to other worlds, provoking civil unrest and a possible Tyranid invasion in the future. But Serillian’s willingness to kill just about everyone at the outpost means hat’s not going to happen now.
That’s not to say a new Tyranid threat won’t eventually arise. But, it won’t happen any time soon.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.