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In the Warhammer 40,000 setting, Ferrue Fayne is the leader of the Blessed Flesh cult, appearing in Fantasy Flight Games' Dark Heresy (second edition) role-playing game.
Ferrue Fayne is the brother of Tormus Fayne.
The pale man shifted his corrupted flesh, shrugging off the disguising cloak needed when venturing uphive. Here, in his rusted bastion rising out of the sump waters, Ferrue Fayne was the master of the Blessed Flesh, and soon all of Desoleum. Nothing could stop his rise; it was as certain as decay itself. Not even his traitorous brother Darnis, who would dare steal a shard of the primordial relic, could forestall this.
Fayne looked deeply into the item from another world, from an age before men walked upright. There was ancient power here, enough to bring the fallen to shambling life, and summon the Grandfather's children onto this plane. Soon, he would lead dead and daemonic wonders across the hive, and transform it to a temple fit for the Plague Lord.
Within the artefact, something smiled. Soon, indeed...
"Do not fear death, for should you fall, I shall raise you up again to continue our grand conquest."
— Ferrue Fayne, to a congregation of the Blessed Flesh
The adventure takes place in a rundown section of the lower hive known as the Gallowsway. It is home to a collection of Carrion Guilds, the families responsible for dealing with the dead of much of Desoleum's impoverished. Riddled with corruption, the Gallowsway has become a thoroughfare for those wishing to pass between the city's lower hive and the lawless Underhive relatively unnoticed. It is also the hub of the lower hive's body trade, where the Carrion Guilds dispose of the thousands of corpses sent from above, the remains of those lacking oath-credits for anything better than a one way trip to the Mortuarius Factorums.
The Gallowsway is more than just a warehouse for corpses and the citizens which tend to them: it is home to thousands of souls too poor to live anywhere else except among the dead. Even by the bleak standards of the lower hive, this is a tangled web of decay and ruin, with precious little power to light its worn streets and meagre rations to feed its populace.
From this rotten foundation, true heresy has begun to fester in the form of an ambitious and tainted Carrion Guilder: Ferrue Fayne. Second son of the Fayne Charnal House, Ferrue, along with his older brother Tormus and his younger brother Darnis, all share a latent psychic gift, rumoured among the Gallowsway residences to be the result of their late mother's illicit congress with unholy powers. Nurturing their gifts, the Fayne brothers were seduced by the Warp and its promise of power, becoming part of the Callers of Sorrow, a major heretical power overseeing many Nurgle cults within the hive.
While Tormus rose to power within the Callers, eclipsing the works of his brothers, Ferrue remained in the Gallowsway and schemed. His chance for power came in the form of a xenos artefact - a strange, asymmetrical device painful to look upon, which greatly enhanced his connection to the Warp and granted him the power to animate dead flesh. With promise in this newfound power, Ferrue formed his own splinter-cult, dubbing it the Blessed Flesh.
As Ferrue's power has grown, so too have the fortunes of the Blessed Flesh, and the cult is now well-established in the Gallowsway. The cult leader has created a lucrative body trade between the lower hive and the Underhive; he steals corpses from the Carrion Guilds for his own needs, then sells their wealth and remaining organs to the Red Walk, a gang located farther downhive. Ferrue's ultimate goal is to amass an army of the animated dead, and rise up from the Underhive in the name of the Plague God, spreading ruin and death in his wake. To this end, he has been preparing for a ritual to summon a powerful Herald of Nurgle to lead his corpse army.
Unfortunately for Ferrue, his brother Darnis has complicated matters by drawing the attention of the Sanctionaries. Much in the same way that Ferrue languished in the shadow of Tormus and the Callers of Sorrow, Darnis was jealous of his older brother's power. So much was his desire for attention and power that he stole a piece of the xenos artefact and tried to animate the dead himself. The horrific results are what has drawn the Acolytes to the Gallowsway, providing the first glimpse into the danger Ferrue and the Blessed Flesh pose to Desoleum.
The Blessed Flesh is a splinter sect of the Callers of Sorrow, both cults dedicated to Father Nurgle. Ferrue formed the Blessed Flesh when he gained power from the xenos artefact and stepped out from his older brother's shadow. Because the artefact has granted Ferrue the power over dead flesh, he has become obsessed with that aspect of the Plague Father. Blessed Flesh cultists are usually identifiable by their self-mutilation. They commonly stick old nails, bits of metal, and bone through their bodies, and allow the surrounding flesh to become infected. The GM should play this up when the Acolytes encounter Blessed Flesh cultists, describing their puckered, red flesh around pins and blades still in their bodies, or the way they pause to lick their wounds when cut or shot. The cultists also have a foul smell of infection about them, and even when fully robed the GM can allow the Acolytes a chance to smell them on an Ordinary (+10) Awareness test.
"There is a glorious rot within the heart of Hive Desoleum, one that will see its great foundations crumble and falter until all is decay and ruin!"
— Ferrue Fayne, the Pestifex
Obsessed with power, the middle of the Fayne brothers has latched onto using mysterious xenos artefacts to bolster his own splinter cult, the Blessed Flesh. With his younger brother dead and his elder brother Tormus seemingly ignoring him, Ferrue is ready to launch a major ritual that could bring the hive to its knees.
Armour: Head 9, Arms 10, Body 10, Legs 10
Stub Revolver: Class Pistol, Rng 30m, RoF S/-/-, Dmg 1d10+3 (I), Pen 0, Clip 6, Rld 2 Full, Wt 1.5kg, Avl PL, Reliable
Force Staff: Class Melee, Rng -, RoF -, Dmg 1d10+7PR+SB (E), Pen 62+PR, Clip -, Rld -, Wt 2kg, Avl ER, Force
Skills: Command (Fel) +10, Deceive (Fel) +10, Dodge (Ag) +0, Awareness (Per) +10, Psyniscience (Per) +10
Talents: Bastion of Iron Will, Deceptive, Resistance (Disease, Psychic Powers), Strong Minded
Traits: Psy Rating (4; 3 when he does not possess the xenos artefact), Touched by the Fates (2), Unnatural Toughness (2)
Psychic Powers: Endurance, Enfeeble, Life Leech, Nurgle's Rot (see the sidebar on page 25)
Gear: Xenos artefact, parchment scrolls filled with notes, flak robes
The GM should use the following NPC profiles from Chapter XII of the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook to represent various members of the Blessed Flesh: Contagion Demagogue (page 406), Strain Initiate (page 406), Strain Infector (page 407), and Pestilentant (page 407). Thugs and Heavies (page 387) and can also be mixed in, depending on how difficult the GM wants to make a specific encounter.
"Some will sell their very souls if they receive enough coin. But, to return to the topic at hand, how much were you offering for this delivery?"
— Gholsken Hresk, Sable Trader
The adventure begins in Hive Desoleum, with the Acolytes investigating the scene of a violent altercation at the request of Sanctionary Oath-Captain Kaytian Nils. The scene is marked by several strange factors that led her to reach out to the Acolytes. Confirming the Oath-Captain's fears that something unnatural and heretical is at work, the Acolytes follow the trail of a group of smugglers from the scene and discover that these smugglers are indeed involved with the corrupt xenos artefacts that have been poisoning the hive. These smugglers are in fact not importing them to the city, as others in the Faceless Trade in proscribed items have done, but transporting them off-world. In order to discover the truth, the Acolytes must follow the smugglers onto a ship bound for an unknown destination.
The crime scene that the Acolytes find themselves investigating is the aftermath of a deadly encounter between smugglers of the Trade Sable and cultists of the Callers of Sorrow. The latter is an expansive cult, with many dozens of sub-cults called "Strains" throughout the hive. Its true numbers are unknown, and at any moment the Strains are involved in numerous unholy plots. It was a cult member named Ferrue Fayne who first came into possession of a strange and ancient relic of unknown but clearly xenos origins, with which he boosted his existing psychic powers. Drawing on the unholy resonance of the xenos artefact, Ferrue was able to raise the very dead to serve him. If the Acolytes have already been through the events of Desolation of the Dead in the Dark Heresy Game Master's Kit, then Ferrue Fayne is most likely himself dead, his corpse dissolving in the depths of the sump. However, word spread quickly of Ferrue's explosive ascent within the cult and the reasons behind it.
Soon other would-be leaders and sorcerers within the Callers of Sorrow began seeking out similar xenos artefacts, which the smugglers of the Trade Sable were all too happy to provide. The malevolent work of the Trade Sable, one of the largest groups working the Faceless Trade in forbidden artefacts, should be quite familiar to players of the adventure Dark Pursuits in the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook. These smugglers sell to whomever can pay, and they have no more qualms about dealing with the twisted cultists of the Callers of Sorrow than they do with the jilted nobility of the Apex. Even seemingly innocuous artefacts of xenos origin fetch a high price and have become one of the most lucrative commodities for the Trade Sable in Hive Desoleum.
As ever, heretics are quick to betray their allies when it seems expedient. Certain factions of the Trade Sable have worked for some time with a cult known as the Children of the Inheritance, based on the fabled Cemetery Planet of Thaur (though it is important that the Acolytes do not learn this until the events of the second chapter). In fact, this is the same cult that employed the services of the arch-heretek Somnius Halbrel in the events of Dark Pursuits. The Children of the Inheritance value these artefacts not just for their power, as the Callers of Sorrow do, but as a central object of devotion within their heretical belief system (for more on the beliefs of the Children of the Inheritance, see page 112). The Inheritors, as they are sometimes known, are willing to pay almost any price for these objects. Thus, a number of enterprising Sable Traders, collaborating with the Inheritors, decided to retake artefacts from the Callers of Sorrow, by force if necessary. The adventure begins in the aftermath of one such incident. This is not the first deadly encounter between the Traders and the Callers of Sorrow, but it is the first to come to the attention of the authorities, as the others have occurred in the darkest and most forlorn stretches of the hive.
A handful of Sable Traders escaped the carnage and are working their way through the hive, carrying with them the artefacts taken from the Callers of Sorrow, even as the Acolytes investigate the scene of the skirmish. After some investigation, the Acolytes pick up the trail and eventually catch up to the smugglers, either fighting them or following them into the wastes surrounding Hive Desoleum. Eventually, the Acolytes discover a smuggler camp, where Sable Traders and cultists of the Children of the Inheritance are preparing to take their stockpile of artefacts off-world. Again, the Acolytes can choose to take up arms against the smugglers, or to remain inconspicuous and follow them. In either case, the path leads to a vessel preparing to disembark. In order to discover the smugglers' destination, the Acolytes must board the ship and leave Desoleum behind.
The Callers of Sorrow are a large cult endemic to Hive Desoleum. The followers of this malefic group are sworn to the service of the Dark Gods, in particular the Chaos power known in forbidden texts as Nurgle, the Lord of Decay. The cult is divided into self-sustaining cells, known as "Strains". The events of Forgotten Gods are concerned with the Mournful Song Strain led by Tormus Fayne, based out of a downhive area known as the Gallowsway. Tormus is one of three brothers who are the hereditary masters of one of the Mortuarian Houses of the Gallowsway - macabre facilities where the bodies of the dead are rendered down to their component parts. This region, rife with death and decay, is fertile ground for the Callers of Sorrow. Tormus's younger brother Ferrue, seeking to usurp his elder brother's position as Preceptor of the Strain, came into possession of a mysterious xenos artefact, which amplified his own sorcerous abilities and granted him the very ability to raise the dead as mindless automatons. Whether or not Ferrue is still amongst the living, knowledge of his practice has spread throughout the Strain, which seeks further xenos artefacts to enhance their Warp-spawned powers.
More information about the Callers of Sorrow can be found in Chapter XII: NPCs and Adversaries in the Dark Heresy Core Rulebook, and in the adventure Desolation of the Dead in the Dark Heresy Game Master's Kit.
|Creatures||Beasts of Nurgle; Blight Drones; Foetid Bloat-drones; Great Unclean Ones; Hooktors; Lords of Contagion; Mabrothrax; Malignant Plaguecasters; Noxious Blightbringers; Nurglings; Pestigor; Plaguebearers; Plaguebulls; Plague Hulks; Plague Ogryns; Plague Toads; Plague Towers; Plague Zombies; Poxwalkers; Rot Flies|
|Characters||Abcellyoth; Aynthrexes; Bilerot Vomitflesh; Lothar Bubonicus; Bubonis; Vorxec Calvarius; The Carrier; The Entomancer; Epidemius; Ferrue Fayne; Tormus Fayne; Foulspawn; Nathaniel Garro; Ghulroth; Goresqualor; Gulgoth; Jibberjaw; Ku'gath; Mamon; Adrius Meinloka; Mephidast; Mortarion; Mortius; Necrosius; Nurgle; Pestilaan; Putricifex; Scabeiathrax; Achkovas Spengh; The Thanator; Typhus; Ussax; Plaguestrangler Vilestench; Jonas Whitespore; Ystareth|
|Groups||Apostles of Contagion; Blessed Flesh; Bringers of Decay; Callers of Sorrow; Carnival of Chaos; The Cleaved; Company of Misery; Death Guard; Deathmongers; Death Priests; The Grey Death; Inevitable Order; Legio Mortis; Legion of Festering Death; Lords of Decay; Mournful Song; Nurgle's Rotters; Pox Tribes; The Purge; The Reborn; The Scourge; Sorcerer-Kings; The Tainted; Tainted Sons; Vile Savants|
|Things||An'garrach; Balesword; Blight Grenade; Bloodrot Rounds; Bone Maul; Corruption; Cursed Carillon; Death Head; Dolorous Knell; Doomsday Bell; Epidemia; Father of Blades; Foulswarm Grenade; Gem of Nurgle; Horn of Nurgle's Rot; Icon of Despair; Icon of Seeping Decay; Manreaper; Palanquin; Pandemic Staff; Pestilaan Light Cruiser; Pestilent Flail; Plague Banner; Plaguebringer; Plague Cauldron; Plague Chalice; Plague Claw; Plague Flail; Plague Knife; Plague Sceptre; Plague Skull of Glothila; Plaguesword; Poxwalker Hive; Puscleaver; Rot Giver; Scab; Scourge Shells; Staff of Nurgle; TP-III; Undead Heart; War Altar|