Monday, 4 July 2022

The Hathor Campaign Part 3: Bore IV Pacification Level 2


I managed to play out the second level of the Bore IV pacification game this evening which sees Inquisitor Fisher delving into the main prison level of the Imperial facility in search of the cause of the outbreak of violence and attempt to find clues as to how the convicts managed to escape the supposedly secure fortified prison.


Fisher has secured the upper level of the prison and her security teams are spreading out, looking for survivors and pacifying any prisoners they encounter. 

Before proceeding down to the second level of the prison, Fisher interviews the prison warden, John Parliament. He states that he was awoken in the middle of the night when the prisons alarms began sounding. Rushing to the control centre on the upper floor he says that the systems went down across the whole prison, the Cyclo control unit that all the prisoners are implanted with failed to activate and for the next 72 hours chaos reigned as the incarcerated criminals ran amok. 

Fortunately only a small number managed to get up to the first level but their sheer ferocity overwhelmed this guard force by sheer weight of frenzied numbers and he was forced to lock the control centre down with his personal security code which still seemed to be somewhat effective as it not only locked the security doors on the upper level but also sealed off the elevator. He further claims that his next step was to send out a distress call and await rescue.

Despite his insistence that he doesn't know what caused the near complete breakdown of the security systems, Fisher suspects that Parliament is concealing something and orders Vash to begin a technical diagnosis of the prison systems. Vash soon reports that while the environmental and power systems are online, he cannot gain access to much of the system without going to Engineering on level 3.

Further interviews with Parliament reveal that during the riot six individuals managed to escape the prison aboard a supply shuttle and as yet he cannot confirm who was aboard until the security systems go back online.

Fisher turns her attention to the other inhabitants of the room. The first is a prison guard who identifies himself as Thornton. He wears a thousand yard stare and quietly answers Fishers probing questions. He doesn't know what happened but was stationed on level 2 when all hell broke out and the prisoners turned on the guards and one another. Fighting a desperate retreat, Thornton and his colleagues managed to reach the elevator and make a run for the safety of the control centre but only Thornton made it. He perks up when he learns that Fisher intends to travel down to level 2 to seek answers and volunteers to accompany her.

Turning her attention to the final person in the room, Fisher sees a blue skinned and heavily cyborgised individual. He appears to be almost catatonic and will only mutter "I want to go home" over and over. Parliament identifies the man as Covenant, a mind wiped prisoner who is used to communicate direct with the prisons systems but the man has been in this condition since the opening moments of the chaos.

The interviews complete, Fisher decides to relieve Parliament of his duties and confines him to his quarters. Whatever else, the man has obviously been derelict in his duty to the Imperium and Fisher has a niggling suspicion that somehow he is connected with the prison riot and the escape.

Ordering Vash to stay in the control centre and begin a full diagnostic search for any information she sets off to the great elevator that will take her down to level 2 of the prison and hopefully to the answers she seeks.

The Game

Geralt, Fisher and Thornton

The scenario requires Fisher to investigate the level in search of clues which will reveal what happened in the prison, who escaped and what caused it. 

There is 20% chance of any room the party enters being trapped by the as yet unknown authors of the violence but she will also have to deal with Thorntons shaky mental state as he has a death wish which will require him to roll to see if he suffers a breakdown each time he enters a room.

Level 2 of the prison is laid out in a T shape with Fisher and co entering from the south from the elevator into the entry hall. North of the entry hall is the main communal area of the cell block and connected to it to the west lies a storage area and shower block while to the east is the sleeping quarters.

Upon emerging from the elevator into the entry hall, Fisher is struck by the sheer wanton destruction. The floor it littered with bodies of prisoners and guards, lying twisted and broken and mute witness to a scene of utter carnage. Geralt stirs beside her and tilts his head to listen. Someone is in the room with them and almost on cue, a pair of ragged and feral looking convicts stagger towards them, teeth bared (the first room had D6 convicts)

Before they can react, Thornton lets out an inhuman cry and they turn to see him looking ashen faced at the bodies of his co-workers. With an inarticulate scream, he launches himself at the convicts, his bolter forgotten. Seeing the man is at his wits end, Fisher and Geralt spring into action, quickly subduing the convicts but Thornton rushes to the control panel at the door and uses his ID to open it, rushing through into the darkness beyond. (As part of the course for these games, I managed to roll poorly and Thornton immediately went mental and his much needed firepower was discarded as he will move towards any convict he sees and try to kill them with his bare hands, his sanity well and truly broken).

As Fisher and Geralt rush to the doorway after Thornton, they see more signs of destruction and violence, blood streaking the walls and floor but their attention is drawn by the sizable group of convicts who are in the room waiting for them (this room contains D6+1 convicts and D6 armed convicts)

Rather than let the unhinged Thornton meed his end in the room, Fisher and Geralt spring into action rushing through the doorway into the midst of the mob, swords swinging and pistols blazing. 

The ensuing melee was indeed bloody, seeing Thornton flailing ineffectually at the convicts while Fisher and Geralt try to do as much damage as they can in the initial charge to whittle down enemy numbers but poor damage rolls saw the convicts largely unhurt. While Thornton continued his tussle with a pair of burly hard cases, Fisher managed to gut her opponent who staggered away from the combat before slumping lifeless on the ground. 

Before she can take advantage of the gap in the scrum, shots bark out from a pair of armed convicts and Fisher snarls as she starts taking hits from the pistol rounds. Seeing his boss taking fire, Geralt goes a bit mental and kills two thugs in short order rolling first a critical hit and then a 12 point damage roll for the two.

Fisher takes further damage from the pistol toting cons but Geralt's frenzy has given her the space she needs and she dives under the fire from her opponents and comes up swinging killing both pistol toting bad guys in an impressive display of skill.

Whilst Thornton continues to ineffectually flail, Geralt goes to work and kills the last remaining convict in the room and at last the frantic fight is over. Approaching the wild eyed Thornton, Geralt tries to shake some sense into the man but Fisher tells him to leave him be as he's beyond help and begins searching the bodies of the slain for clues (I rolled a D6 after each room to see if he recovers and every time I did he rolls a 6 which means he keeps flinging himself at any convict he sees, screaming unintelligently).

At this point I used three random Rory's Story Cubes and rolled them to see what clues she found and got the following result:

Fishers investigation of the corpses shows her that the Cyclo pacification units fitted to the skulls of the convicts appear to have burnt out, almost like an electric charge has passed through them and she surmises that this in part has been the reason for the over the top nature of the rampaging as the discharge seems to have fried their brains.

Completing the sweep of the room, Fisher then leads the group towards the next room and attempts to open the door but it is securely locked and she prepares to take her power sword to it.

Before she can, a second door slams open and a pair of convicts rush in, the first wielding a pistol starts blazing away at Fisher, wounding her (this convict rolls more critical hits and high damage than any other character in the game!) whilst the second rushes Thornton and begins pummelling him. 

The trap has been sprung that I'd mentioned at the start of the battle report which resulted in D3 armed and D3 normal convicts appearing. Fortunately for the adventurers, I rolled low but even so, these two would cause considerable mayhem!

As Geralt sprints toward the gunman, and Fisher reels following the shot, the convict spins and opens up on the Wolfbane and sorely wounds the clansman but he grits his teeth and responds with a bolt pistol shot which drops the gunman where he stands.

Fisher regaining her composure, rushes the last convict and following a brief struggle sends the large woman crashing to the ground.

The fight now over, Geralt uses the first dose of his Med Kit to heal some of his wounds and Fishers before they carefully approach the now open door to the main cell block. What they see inside worries both warriors. The room is full of convicts who stir from their cells as they see the party at the doorway (this room contained D6+1 convicts and D6 armed convicts. Fortunately most were unarmed but their sheer numbers would be problematic for the duo, especially as Thornton is still incapable of using his gun!)

With a long suffering sigh, Geralt pulls himself upright and stalks into the room towards the convicts and raises his pistol to fire but rolls a misfire! As expected Thornton launches himself into the room and barrels towards the convicts past the swearing Geralt. As the convicts begin to rush the two, Fisher enters the room and calmly drops one with a well aimed pistol shot, pausing to smirk at Geralt, she calmly raises her sword and prepares to meet the horde.

The convicts rush in and quite a few pile into Thornton, and he disappears under a horde of kicking, punching and biting crazies but Fisher and Geralt have problems of their own as the swirling melee continues and the two warriors hack and slash at their foes but for every enemy they kill, another seems to take his place.

Eventually they do manage to clear the scrum and turn to aid the stricken Thornton but too late as the unhinged guard lies dead at the feet of the remaining prisoners. With a bestial yell, one of the convicts carrying a length of bloodied pipe launches herself over the prone form of the guard and strikes Geralt a fearsome blow to the head.

Geralt drops lifelessly to the floor and Fisher screams in grief and outrage. Swinging her sword wildly, she cuts the leering convict she is facing down and rushes towards the prone Wolfbane. It cannot end here! She has come half way across the Imperium with the stalwart Geralt and she refuses to believe he is going to die at the hands of some scum wielding a pipe but as she stands over him, sword raised and the remaining convicts edging closer, she begins to worry and mutters a quiet prayer and braces herself for the final rush.

Suddenly there is an explosion of light and sound and the doorway behind the convicts flies back into the room and Vash strides in, his thunder hammer glowing dully as it charges up for another strike. Unbeknownst to Fisher, the Mechanicus has managed to get the security cameras back online and seeing them enter the prison block and facing stiff opposition, he rushed to the elevator and has arrived in the nick of time!

Two of the convicts fighting a badly wounded Fisher turn to face the new threat, one of which leaves himself open to a thrust from Fishers power sword which drops him dead before he can react but the other rushes the heavily armoured mechanicus who calmly brings his hammer round in a swing which pulps the convict.

Gasping with relief at the sudden reversal of fortunes, Fisher redoubles her efforts to bring down the scarred woman who knocked Geralt out of the fight (at this point Fisher has about three hit points left and as she's badly wounded has a 50% penalty on all her stats and the combat between her and the convict sees the convict repeatedly hit her but her armour saves her each time and finally I managed to get a decent damage roll, despite the wounded penalty!) With a shout, Fisher swings her crimson power sword and the convict raises the pipe to try and parry the wild blow but her sneer freezes as the keen blade cuts cleanly through her weapon and severs her head. The body stands upright for a moment before crumpling to the ground, the head rolling to a halt several yards away. The combat is over!

At this point, I rolled another three story dice to see what happens and got the following result:

Fisher drags herself over to the prone form of Geralt as a worried Vash rushes to join her and as she feels for a pulse, she is relieved to find one. It is faint and reedy but the Wolfbane isn't dead! With Vash's help they drag Garalt onto a table and begin applying medical aid and the mans eyes snap open as the adrenaline injection Fisher has just pumped directly into his heart kicks in and he sits up with an inarticulate bellow before being cuffed around the ear by a relieved Fisher. "Really Geralt, there's no time to be lying around sleeping while we've got work to do!". 

The stunned, and rather concussed Wolfbane can only look on as Inquisitor begins searching the room and discovers one of the cells is decorated with some form of hieroglyphic text. It is unmistakably her quarry Murdoch Foyles handiwork and she now knows that he is involved with the breakout in some way. Vash helps the bloodied Geralt to his feet and they trade sympathetic stares before the mechanicus goes to join Fisher in the disgraced Xenoarchaeologists cell. Looking at the pictographs, Vash notes that it resembles some form of ancient machine script he's seen before on some of the machines on Farpoint but he's only able to decipher a small fraction: Beware He Who Smites From the Deep.

With this clue, Fisher and co move towards the last room of the level. As the door slides open, they are confronted by the sight of John Parliament and a group of prison guards. Sneering at the Inquisitor, the rogue warden tells her he is going to join his master and orders his guards to kill the meddling woman and her lackeys before disappearing towards the elevator.

With a howl of outrage, Fisher launches herself forward but the riot armoured guards meet her with shields raised and a shock mall to the ribs sends her stumbling back. A strong hand catches her and stops her fall and Geralt raises his pistol with the other and even the heavy armour of the guard isn't a match for a bolt pistol at close range. Geralt empties the clip into one guard, sending the man reeling to the ground while a now enraged and slightly frazzled Fisher avoids a second clumsy swing from the guard and carves through his shield and into his torso with her sword.

Once again I rolled three random story cubes to see what clues were discovered and got the following:

Kicking the corpse off her sword, Fisher stalks into the room but there is no sign of Parliament. The man has fled but one of the guards is still alive, if sorely wounded and she curtly demands to know where he has gone. The guard, knowing he faces death, admits that he accompanied the Warden down from the upper level using a previously unknown elevator that transported him from the Wardens private office to the main prison level. He claims that the Warden told him and his colleagues, who had just been rescued from the barracks by Fishers security teams, that the perpetrators of the prison riot were on level 2 and needed to be stopped and he was unaware that he had crossed the forces of the Inquisition.

With this admission, the guard breaths his last and Fisher says a brief prayer over his body, Geralt closing the mans staring eyes. 

The Warden will pay for this. Not only is he involved with the uprising in the prison but has obviously aided Foyle in his escape and has corrupted loyal Imperial servants with his nefarious deeds. Justice demands a pound of flesh and Fisher is determined to collect.


Geralt, still a bit woozy following his close call with death turns to Fisher with a questioning, "Shall we?" while gesturing back to the elevator. The Warden, John Parliament is a traitor to the Imperium, betrayed by his own words and deeds and the only way he can go is down to the third level to the dark core of Bore IV where the worst of the worst were kept securely locked in solitary confinement. 

Down on the lowest level also lies the Engineering section where the security files that will finally reveal who escaped the facility and what has caused the utter breakdown of order in the prison. Parliament is a dead man and Fisher nods grimly at her companions. They will descend into the depths and bring the righteous might of the Inquisition unto those who broke Imperial law and betrayed the oaths they made!

Whee! Another rather nail biting session which saw my characters once again almost die a the hands of a horde of scum and only Vash's timely arrival saved Fisher and Geralt from certain death! I must admit I bodged things a little to get it to work but I figured it would be a sad tale if my whole crew got wiped out in only the second mission of the campaign!

Once again I used playing cards to determine initiative and it worked out really well resulting in some properly cinematic moments and genuine panic from me as I willed Fisher to make her saving throw and Geralt not to die from a lead pipe to the head.

The next mission will see Fisher venturing into the lowest (as far as she knows!) level of the prison complex in search of answers to her questions and the duplicitous Warden.

I'm hoping to get the next report played out tomorrow on my day off and will update it when I can but I've also got a fair few miniatures painted that I want to show so until then, All the best!


  1. Absolutely love the use of the story cubes to advance the campaign. Time to dust mine off (and add a few themed sets).

    1. I recently picked up some Rory's Story Cubes and am an absolute convert to them as I've discovered they're brilliant for developing character backgrounds and motivations, moving on storylines, setting up scenarios and unexpected events and so much more!

      I currently have the base set, Mythical and Detective sets as well as the Harry Potter one. I've also got the Actions and Journey ones on order.

      The only disappointing set I've had has been the Harry Potter one as the art isn't very good and is gold on a white dice so not as instantly recognisable as the other sets.

      I suspect that I'm going to end up with pretty much every set as they have so much creative potential!