Latest news:

[all news]

ModelsLoreSourcesInspiration ]


Enemies Beyond (2016), p120 — Investigation Template: The Lingering Stench

Overview: In a remote corner of Askellon, the Acolytes discover that a once-defeated Nurgle cult may have risen again in the area, and that it was more powerful than its remains would have indicated. Its true power descended from a manifested Daemon, which continues to empower its worshippers.

This template can be introduced whenever or wherever the PCs are conducting research, where they can discover information that leads to investigating the cult, its supposed eradication, and possible daemonic influences. The template includes not only investigative efforts but also fierce combat with cultists and the Plague Drone that is leading them into Nurgle's foul embrace.

Act I: Buried in Bureaucracy

While conducting research at an Imperial facility, possibly as part of an ongoing investigation or at their Inquisitor's direction, unsettling information comes to the Acolytes' attention concerning a recently-defeated cult of the Plague Lord. Uncovered data indicates the cult should not have been able to sustain itself and its Warp-tainted weapons for as long as it did, and the surrounding area has not recovered from its presence in the expected way. There have even been sporadic attacks against this facility, originating from the supposedly-pacified region. As it is not a vital location, the slow progress of revitalisation and ongoing minor skirmishes has not troubled anyone - until now.

Requests for further records to gain more access meet with misdirection and obfuscation. After several delays, the Acolytes gain limited access. Navigating the information is laborious, and on more than one occasion they are pulled from the search to aid local defences in repelling assaults on the facility. Though minor, these continued assaults are aimed at stymieing any progress in researching the cult or its current activities. The revealed data is still incomplete, but hints at deliberately-buried tales of horrific possessions and other daemonic activities.

Act II : A Trail of Corruption

Now possessing evidence that the cult was greater than official records indicated, the PCs begin investigation in the field. Further research and questioning of those who purged the cult reveals where it was most concentrated, and the Acolytes make their way to a small settlement in an underhive or beyond the city's borders.

A series of interrogations and minor skirmishes (with enemies wielding powerful, Warp-tainted, and toxic weapons) leads to a tunnel connecting the cult's old headquarters to an underground cave system. It is filled with plant and animal life, all thriving despite showing clear signs of disease and decay. Flies of unnatural shape and size buzz through the dank air in thick clouds. As the Acolytes travel through the tunnel system, they encounter increasingly warped resistance. This could include shambling, infectious humans or even animated corpses (see page 23 of the Dark Heresy Game Master's Kit) and Nurglings eager to greet their new playmates.

Act III : The Foul Garden

At the end of the winding caves, the Acolytes discover the final lair, where a fat Plague Drone buzzes contentedly with devoted humans. This Daemon was summoned years ago, and has sustained itself on sacrifices and spreading diseases since then. It is also the source of the tainted weaponry the cult members wield, as well as why the region never recovered after the battles against the cult.

The lair is on the other side of a toxic pool of bubbling pus; at least one Acolyte might need to swim through the foul muck to reach the Daemon and risk almost certain Corruption and mutation. The creature awaits them, planting festering heads and rotting limbs with its foul proboscis to create a pestilent garden which Father Nurgle can use to share his gifts. The Acolytes must fully destroy it and its diseased disciples if this world is to ever fully recover from the attentions of the Lord of Flies.

Possible Complications