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“The universe is not a puzzle-box that you can disassemble and reassemble to solve its secrets. It is a shifting uncertain thing which is changed by the very act of observation.
A powerful man is not one who dissects the universe like a puzzle-box, examining it piece by piece and measuring each with scientific precision. A powerful man need only look upon the universe to change it.”
-Explorator-General Xenia Forlorn to the first convening of the Omni-Synod
From far enough away this great celestial body is a shimmering crucible of light in the Onus night sky, squatting in a halo of stars. Draw closer and you'll find Sorrento V is far from angelic. It is a sprawling blackened mass of industry, its vast forges vomiting sickness into the heavens and blotting out stars with a choking shroud of poison.
Life on Forlorn Hope Edit
As a result of past wars long forgotten and current experiments too terrible to speak of, the surface of this moon is a hellish irradiated wasteland, swaddled in pollutants and lashed with acid rain. Life here exists at the whim of the Forlorn Priests. Either you are bred and augmented to endure working in these murderous conditions or you take refuge in their awe-inspiring shielded temple-factories.
The Ten Thousand Masters Edit
It is here that the Omni-Synod have chosen as their headquarters. A defensible yet inhospitable and political neutral system of worlds where the heads of each Adeptus Mechanicus sect in the Onus region gather to settle disputes, sanction research and exhibit new findings.
Hundreds of eager young Techpriests flock to Forlorn Hope every day with their discoveries, clamouring to do battle in the political arena and have their projects approved. Each must stand alone in the Synodrome, a gargantuan amphitheatre filled with the thousands of cold, calculating eyes and quivering metal tendrils of the Omni-Synod. There they make their case, supported with evidence, character witnesses and cross-references to similar projects that were sanctioned.
The Omni-Synod was originally set up by Explorator-General Xenia Forlorn to counter the stagnation that she saw was eating the Adeptus Mechanicus like a cancer. There were only five members then and were sanctioned by Mars to make decisions in its stead. Over the centuries, the roster of representatives swelled with the increase in sects in the region until they numbered in their thousands. They convene for weeks, months, or even years before coming to a conclusion, as they must pore over every conceivable detail before reporting their findings back to the Fabricator-General on Mars, who may take decades to reach a decision. Every agonising, shuffling step forward must be analyzed, counter-analyzed and recorded in triplicate before deciding whether another step forward is the best course of action.
Although sanctioned innovations do happen, they are exceptionally rare, and most original proposers do not live long enough to see its eventual approval. This lead to the rise of megaconglomerate of sects who are 'represented' by dozens if not hundreds of Omni-Synod members but pushing the agenda of a single entity. They construct massive open-ended proposals that give them considerable freedom with their research, and force it through the decision process by sheer weight of numbers.
One of the most famous is Varnstrom Industries, rumoured to make up almost half of the sects in the Omni-Synod. They are powerful and cunning, as any branch that gives off even the faintest hint of weakness is cast out, it’s funding pulled or declared Hereteks, and left to the mercies of a vindictive Adeptus Mechanicus and a righteous Imperial Inquisition.
Forlorn Hope PCs Edit
Servants of the Forlorn Priests are process-orientated and driven by protocol. They are focussed and passionate about their work, although they find it difficult to avoid excessive micromanaging to ensure a job well done. Born in the fire-glow of mighty crucibles and relentless industry, few spectacles impress them as the superiority of the Machine God is evident and absolute.
Creating Dark Heresy PCs from Forlorn Hope Edit
In order to create characters from Forlorn Hope, use the Forge World template from The Inquisitor’s Handbook, but replace the Credo Omnissiah trait with those described here.
Omni-Synod Protégé Edit
The stultifying levels of stagnation and bureaucracy inside the factory-temples is as deadly as the radiation outside them, and being unprepared for either is a slow and painful death sentence.
Benefit: Gain the Scholastic Lore (Bureaucracy) skill.
Bathed in Light Edit
Servants of Forlorn Hope are bred for resilience to the withering radiation and acid rain storms, albeit at the cost of some of their sanity - any loss of bodily function is embraced as testament to the frailties of flesh.
Benefit: The character gains +10 to resist radiation and any contact-based acids or toxins.
Penalty: Roll twice on the Malignancies table (page 239 in the Core Rulebook), pick one result and apply it to your character.
Deodate of Steel Edit
All those born here are augmented with gifts from the Machine God so that they might walk the surface of Sorrento V without disintegrating into cancerous pools of flesh.
Benefit: Characters start with a pair of bionic legs dependent on their career:
- Techpriest and Assassin - Good Quality,
- Guardsman and Adept - Common Quality,
- Scum - Poor Quality