Black Crusade: The Damnation Rises

Chapter 4

Coming to their senses, the team meets with the Dreadnaught and with diplomacy and guile, they explain that they are the last Chaos Marines left. The Dreadnaught itself is Brother Valafar, of the Grey Knights Chapter, who fell in the 13th Black Crusade – now a servant of Abaddon. He is welcomed on the Damnation Rises.

And as the ship is finally refuelled and rearmed, they prepare to leave the system. Frei Flamberger Snr. warns them that there are two ships incoming, Emperor and Retribution class Battleships. Wrack suggests that they rig the station to explode, while Kor Arzor creates a distress video.

The Damnation Rises leaves the system for Cerberus, never looking back at what really happened. The Cerberus system has one sun and two planets. Cerberus One, which is a mining world with a moon, and Cerberus Two which is a feral world.

What better way to get troops for their ship, but to conquer the feral world? Frei Flamberger Snr. scans the surface and reports that the north continent is a huge forest and that the only way to reach it is to land on the clearing in front of the ancient forest and proceed on foot. The Thunderhawk lands, and the team steps into the forest. As they move deeper, it becomes clear that the trees are hundreds of meters tall and that the only light down here comes from green mushrooms. Acid rain falls from time to time, forcing them to hide beneath the trees. All around them is a swamp and they have an uneasy feeling that leaving the marked trail would be deadly – even for them.

After a day’s walk, they notice an old man, wrapped in a cloak made of leaves and a sheep covered with green fungus walking near him. Lun decides to kidnap the old man so the team could get some info about the place. He quietly grabs his target and as he turns around, the sheep spews acid on his armour – damaging it in the process. After dispatching the sheep, Lun takes the old man back.

The information they get is staggering. The old guy’s people live in the villages on the ground and they are called ‘The People Below’, whereas there is a network of cities in the trees above, with its inhabitants called ‘The People Above’, who often kidnap ‘The People Below’. As they walk towards the first village, they decide to convert the warriors and kill those who are unable to fight.

In the village, the party moves into a building belonging to the village Chief. The Chief is easily impressed, but Lun notices a Shaman who isn’t swayed by honey-coated words coming out of Kor Arzor’s mouth. The party opens fire at him and the Shaman, using some sort of magic, enters a wall. But nothing fools Wrack. He is too quick – and he catches Shaman, who in turn is corrupted by Chaos.

As they prepare for advance on the People Above, the slaughter in the village begins. Wrack orders villagers to fight; the ones left standing will be spared. Lun activates his jump-pack and flies up.

The fight is short and brutal, as the Chaos team overpowers the People Above. As the slaughter begins, only the strong ones are left standing. Elakai visits the Library and figures out the truth. A couple of hundred of years ago, an Imperial battleship landed on the planet. The Marines inside divided up the population into Below and Above worlds and left to disappear in the swamp. Over the years the original teachings of the Astartes were forgotten and the people became more and more savage.

The team hails the Damnation Rises and Frei Flamberger levels a portion of the forest so the ship can land. The team moves deeper in the swamp.

A huge ship, half under the surface of the murky waters come into their view. Lun notices a minefield in front of the ship…

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