Monday, November 7, 2016

Curse of the Alabaster: Game 1A - The Cursed Isle

52 days after the Alabaster Incident...
Anyone who has visited this site in the past two months or so will know that we were invited to participate in a narrative-focused Nercomunda/Inquismunda event in Los Angeles, curated by Shibboleth. Adam built a small group of Adeptus Arbites that had been sent into the chaotic Tarantus Hive to quell the psychic maelstrom around the wrecked Alabaster vessel. Furthermore, Eric built the psychic dinosaur Dreadwhisper to rampage through the hive.

The event took place this past weekend, and we are excited to describe many of the great gaming moments that took place over its course. The event consisted of two simultaneous games following different occurrences taking place in the devastated hive, followed by one larger game that brought everyone together for one climactic battle. We plan to have a series of posts documenting these games, starting with one of the smaller games, "Fate of a Family/Library of the Damned."

Shibboleth wrote some background for the game to properly set the scene:
It’s been 52 days since the Alabaster emerged into realspace within the Tarantus Hive, unleashing madness and devastation in its wake. The hivespire is already changing, with elements of the Alabaster popping into and out of reality as the power of the warp grows stronger.

A cursed Library within the Alabaster has materialized onto an isle within the Sump. Its secrets tempt those in need of power, as well as taunt those that need to hide their past.

Within the area a strong psyker has emerged, a navigator family member trapped in stasis within a cryotank. He functions as a beacon  to other psykers and Chaos worshippers, who openly venerate it as a totem.

The local sumptown gangers who live in this district have taken it upon themselves to rescue the cryotank and bring it to their hab block to install it within their Chaos shrine.

As their Chaos powers grow in strength they have gained a new ally, a terrible creature unleashed in the destruction of the Alabaster... Dreadwhisper!

The game board is in place, the cursed isle amidst a harbor of polluted water.
The Navigator cryotank, surrounded by a portion of the Alabaster’s library filled with heretical knowledge. The different factions in the game were all vying for the island and it contents. Some wished to acquire the cryotank for themselves, or to destroy it. Since the library and the cryotank are from the cursed Alabaster, anyone who set foot on the island was struck by a collection of miseries. This was represented by drawing a card from a deck of WOES, all of which imparted some penalty on the faction’s units on the island. This deck of WOE cards was beautifully illustrated by the legendary Thistle.

There were four factions battling over the isle:

Navigator House Akuhm - by Weirding Way. House Akuhm wishes to destroy the remnants of the library to remove any evidence of their research, and to silence the navigator in the cryotank.

House Leviticus assembles in all of its resplendent glory - by Shibboleth. House Leviticus wishes to claim the cryotank hoping to salvage some of its medical technology, and to capture the contents of the library for personal gain.

Inquisitor Ivaard Locke with a collection of enslaved psykers and Black Wardens - by Reasonfish. Inquisitor Locke's rentinue were killed in the destruction of the Alabaster, forcing him to create a strike force consisting of the Black Ship's null soldiers and a few psychic prisoners. He desires to obtain the knowledge in the library, and also capture the navigator in the cryotank.

The skeleton of late Abbott Heggeres, possessed by a lesser daemon of Slaanesh, leading a band of mutants/Sumptown gangers - models by Shibboleth, but played by Greg Wier.  The gangers are attempting to capture the cryotank, to use it as a beacon to attract more followers to their flock.

At the onset of the game, the Sumptown gangers have some envoys on the isle, ready to escort the cryotank to safety.

Inquisitor Locke uses his psychic powers to control one of the Sumptown gangers like a puppet, compelling them to open fire on their own kin. Poor Gothor Henrikson is shot by his own brother, and plummets into the sickly harbor below.

House Akuhm sets foot on the cursed isle and are immediately struck by a palpable malaise. The fickle malevolence of the Alabaster had certainly found a way to the island, but such discomforts would not dissuade them from their mission.

Inquisitor Locke and his forces advance toward the Sumptown gangers’ stronghold, looking for access to the isle and its treasures.

The nimble gryph-hound Grendyll from House Leviticus advances ahead of his companions, eager to prove its worth. 

The Arch Custodian charges forward with his devastating bionic legs, alongside the hulking Pack Valet, ready to make short work of the Sumptown gangers escorting the cryotank. Navimancer Thanerrat Akuhm stays back to begin to set fire to the library.  All the while, woeful anomalies begin to afflict the navigators in greater numbers.

High above the developing chaos, an Ashgali veteran in the employ of House Akuhm scans for threats through the sights of his longrifle, as an Arch Voidwalker readies its gravitic thrusters to soar into combat.

Mad Duke Leveticus uses his psychic prowess to materialize atop the watchtower to silence the annoyances of the Ashgali veteran.

The drug-addled gryph-hound drives the warriors of House Akuhm away from the cryotank, as some of Inquisitor Locke’s Black Wardens set foot on the isle via a transient portal. House Akuhm and the Inquisitor form a temporary alliance to drive the gryph-hound from the isle.

Dreadwhisper appears out of nowhere and lends aid to the beleaguered Sumptown gangers, gnashing her teeth viciously at Inquisitor Locke and Sister Persephone.

Having completely set the library blaze, House Akuhm terminates its temporary allegiance with Inquisitor Locke and his Black Wardens, hoping to prevent them from transporting the cryotank through the portal and to safety. 

The melee between the Black Wardens and the Navigators is joined by the mechanical construct of Alexander Leviticus. He is desperate to acquire the cryotank, hoping it might provide some key medical secrets to help repair his ruined frame.

The game ends as Inquisitor Locke’s Black Wardens are able to escort the cryotank through the portal, while Locke is still engaged in deadly combat with Dreadwhisper.

That brings us to the end of the first of two smaller games before the final cataclysmic battle for the Alabaster.  We hope you enjoyed reading it, and got a sense of the unfolding narrative.  Let us know if you have any questions, and make sure to check back soon as we cover the remaining games!

- Greg Wier


  1. Normally burning down libraries is deplorable, but now it was done in style! ;-)

    1. He he. yeah, burning knowledge is usually frowned upon. But not in the Imperium!

  2. Great write up. I wish I still lived IN LA - this would have been fun to watch in person. That store doesn't look familiar to me - where did you guys play?

    Dreadwhisper looks amazing.

  3. Thanks for giving the write-up a read. I hope that it gives some sense of the occurrences of the game. It would be hard to capture them all!

    We were playing at Next-Gen Games, not far from the La Brea tar Pits.

  4. Dreadwhisper is totally my fav character so far :D

    1. I am a little biased, but Dreadwhisper is my favorite character from the event, too! Who wouldn't love a psychic dinosaur?

  5. Enjoyed that - great game guys and enjoyed the group close ups! :)

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to read though it. I am hopeful that we will have coverage of the other games in the near future!

  6. Great stuff boys!! I really enjoyed the pictures and loose form story.