The Khornate Cult

Vestitas encounters are a lot easier to write than Thar encounters, and we’re trying to rebuild our buffer in the eye of a convention storm, so you’re going to get a lot of Vestitas until this clears up. Also, since we have a buffer and all, by the time you read this convention season will actually be over for us.

Summary: A Khornate cult secluded in the mountains needs ritual sacrifices to complete their summoning ritual and bring forth a herald of Khorne. The players are the first visitors who happen across the place, so they’re the winners of this unfortunate lottery.

Hook: Khornates despise deceit and trickery, so if the players happen across the large, cleared, circular arena with a symbol of Khorne carved into it and ask the people nearby what it’s for, those people are going to say “it’s a sacrificial arena for Khorne and you’ve just volunteered to be part of the gladiatorial combat. To the victor go the spoils.” If the players ask about the spoils, the Khornate explains they’ve been raiding in and around Imberkavitas and have stockpiled treasure. If the intended sacrifices overcome the Khornates who were set to slaughter them, they inherit the treasure and will be immediately inducted into the Khornate cult with honors.

The Khornate will answer no other questions. If the players do anything else but immediately and willingly enter the arena for the glory of the Blood God, the Khornates will immediately attack and attempt to push them into it. The players may also come here by way of a random encounter for this hex, replacing the ordinary 1 result if rolled within this hex, wherein a single Khornate berserker finds them and offers them glory and treasure if they participate in the gladiatorial death match in honor of Khorne.

Exploration: Khorne doesn’t really do mysteries.

Confrontation: The Khornates need at least eight people to be killed in combat within the arena in order to summon forth their deity. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the intended sacrifices or any of the dozen Khornates themselves, just that a sufficient number of people die within the arena. Deaths outside the arena do not count, nor do deaths caused by someone outside the arena. Both killer and victim must be within the arena inscribed with the symbol of Khorne to qualify.

Keep track of which side of the fight has made the most sacrifices (i.e. successfully killed another creature within the arena). If all eight sacrifices are made, a herald of Khorne is summoned forth along with four bloodletters. They will help whichever side has sacrificed more of their enemies (or allies) to Khorne and will wipe out the other side. In the aftermath, the herald demands the loyalty of the survivors as they go and begin to pillage in and around Imberkavitas. If challenged or argued with, the herald will immediately demand single combat with the challenger to resolve the dispute. If any player successfully kills the herald in single combat, the remaining bloodletters will pledge their allegiance to the herald’s killer, provided the killer behaves in a sufficiently Khornate manner (killing lots of people in glorious melee combat, mostly).

Rewards:  The spoils prepared by the Khornate cult for the victor of the battle in Khorne’s honor are a cache of goods and treasure from raiding worth a total of 2d10 Influence, to be divided among the players, a best craftsmanship chainsword, a good craftsmanship bolt pistol, and an eviscerator.

There is additionally sorcerous woad paint. A Challenging(+0) Forbidden Lore (Heresy) test allows a player to apply the paint to themselves or another. When otherwise unarmoured, the wearer of the paint uses their WP or S bonus, whichever is higher, as the AP for the woad paint. Once a character knows how to apply the paint, they don’t have to make any more Forbidden Lore (Heresy) tests to apply it in the future, and they can show other characters how to apply the paint with no test. Applying the paint inflicts 1d5 Corruption, and having the paint applied on you causes 1d10. If a character applies the paint to themselves, they take 1d10+1d5 Corruption.

If the players end up serving the herald, he will lead them around the highly populated hexes in and around Echo Lake and the Grey River, avoiding major cities like Imberkavitas or Brandt’s Landing but attacking any small villages used as standalone hex encounters. The herald’s solution to all problems is straightforward and violent, no matter the odds stacked against him. He will attack any players he sees as insufficiently dedicated to the glorious melee (or at least close range) combat of Khorne. The herald has an aggressive personality and a starting Disposition of 25, or 45 for any player who is or successfully passes himself off as a dedicated servant of Khorne. Any Disposition check for things like avoiding combat come at a -40 penalty, and even then only if the one attempting to get the herald to back down can make a case as for why this will result in more bloodshed in the future (and no more than a few weeks in the future at that). Any attempt to convince the herald to engage in any kind of trickery or deception, and any failed Deceive check made against the herald, causes the herald to immediately attack the speaker.

If the players flee the herald, the herald will begin raiding with his bloodletters, as well as the surviving Khornate cultists if the herald didn’t help the players kill them all in the arena. Any random encounter result of a 10 is instead an encounter with the herald and his minions. The herald and his minions do not care about the treasure cache left by the Khornates, and will leave it behind at the arena after leaving it. After 1d5 weeks, someone else will happen across it and take it.

 

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