Digging Upward

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Chronicling the trials and travails of a misfit group of acolytes and their struggle to prosper in the service of the Imperial Inquisition, and run by Alex B.

XP Totals

  • Mike S: 7800
  • Eric S: 7760
  • Prince: 6150
  • Eric Z: 6150
  • Alex R: 3500
  • Jon: 6780

Active Characters

  • Alex R: ? A stowaway assassin discovered in a container aboard the group's transport vessel, she remains a peculiar enigma, although much commentary has been made about her passionate love of nutritional yeast.
  • Eric Z: Techpriest Hazal a native of THX-1138, she was introduced to the group by Reynolds in order to assist in accessing the reclusive techpriest enclave of that planet.
  • Mike S: Scholar Arcanum, 6th Class Ephese Imperial Psyker A deeply troubled woman whose faith in the Emperor remains unshaken despite her many trials.
  • Prince: Mythos An arbiter of the imperial creed, reassigned under somewhat unfortunate circumstances far, far away from his initial posting. he tends to have an eye for his pocketbook and an insatiable lust for vengeance if wronged. Carries the Shield of Koss.
  • Eric S: Adalaise An adept who is closer to Reynolds than most of the other Acolytes, being as he was directly involved in crippling him. This adept prefers not to sully his hands in combat, being specialised mainly in driving over foes in a variety of stolen vehicles. And occasionally clubbing them to death with an illuminated tome
  • Jon: Veteran Sergeant 2nd class Darl of the Duke of Anjou's Fighting MMMCCCXCIVth A feral world levy with only limited experience in the wider empire, she follows the dictate of the Duke who once said "when you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow". She carries deep trauma from her past, and more recent trauma from a self-inflicted headshot, which seems to have her hearing voices. Is also in no way a follower of Khorne.

also see category:Group 57 Members

Defunct Characters

  • Alex R:
    • An Assassin from a rogue trader who assisted the acolytes at the battle of horke; little is known of him apart from his love of fire.
    • F.A.P. A courageous claymore clutching cleric who laid down his life fighting the Beast of Yassir
  • James:
    • Cleric Malboch of Crudhole. The newest member of the group is Malboch, a feral worlder whose albeit somewhat heterodox faith in the Emperor is unquestionable. His ability to manage doors and other aspects of high technology is less so. He was sucked through a portal to some demonically infested plane called Hamaerika.
    • Logos A techpriest of the adeptus mechanus and seemingly one of a highly orthodox bent. His presence on the ship with the rest of the acolytes was as much a mystery as his continued association with them. Clearly his masters had plans for him, but what they are is as yet unrevealed. He helped the party in surmounting their inevitable mechanical disasters, before vanishing shortly after the conclusion of the Battle of Yassir.
  • Eric Z: Nicodemus A lightfingered inquistorial liason with a penchant for trouble and a convenient resemblance to certain appointed officials.

Also see Category:Defunct Group 57 Members

Scenic Locales

  • Koss The first planet where those who would become group 57 fought the forces of Chaos together. It is a feral world backwater with a somewhat unusual environment. The Inquisiton is currently engaged in building a base here.
  • Yassir The subsector capital of the region, Yassir is an agriworld with a few very densely populated arcology cities crammed in between thousands upon thousands of leagues of farmland. Recently freed from chaotic influences due to the actions of the group.
  • Crudhole An as yet unnamed swampy planet where the group accidentally found themselves, this world's human population consists of the remnants of a lost Imperial Guard legion who have degenerated into savagery.
  • Transhipment Point Theahtus An asteriod in the THX system, know to the Techpriests as THX-DLA-HD750, this hollowed-out rock serves as a shipping point and a hub of commerce not only for the forgeworld THX-1138 but for many of the smaller systems in the surrounding region.
  • Thx-1138 The capital forgeworld of the Techpriests in this subsector, THX-1138 consists of a highly stratified society where the priesthood lives in enormous construction facilities in the shape of step pyramids, while the general population lives on the edge of disaster in their shadows.
  • Munchenson's Folly

The Story So Far


For various reasons several of the characters found themselves assigned to an unarmed transport ship- the Baychimo, carrying a large stone casket. As the ship neared its destination disaster struck, leading to a devastating crash that killed most of the people aboard. Upon recovering it was discovered that the natives of the planet had made off with "the box" and were on the point of executing the survivors of the flight when two guardsmen, Darl and a Guardsman Rickards managed to drive them off. In the crash and the chaos that followed Reynolds, an old scholar who was to prove to be not exactly what he seemed, was crippled by a combination of a poor landing posture and a truly incompetent stretcher. Reynolds informed the group that since the box had been taken by the local savages, the entire planet was under sentence of exterminatus, pending the arrival of the inquistorial fleet, approximately seven days away.

Upon returning to the nearest settlement, the small town of Horke, the characters decided to pursue the possibility of eavesdropping on a war meeting of the clan chiefs by following a loyalist chief to said meeting. Instead they wound up saving him from an assault perpetrated by native riflemen and a spearman, carrying the Shield of Koss, who seemed to be inspired by devilish fury. It was at this time that the techpriest experienced his first brush with the afterlife and the adept with the joy of vehicular homicide. Interrogating a near-dead prisoner, it was determined that the box had been taken to the dark side of the planet, a place of hellish, or rather un-hellish, cold.

To follow it the characters converted their vehicle into a moving heat tent, drove through a field of bore-worms and had repeatedly terrifying and increasingly bizzare experiences with a strange hot-backed beast. It was at this point that they began to notice that otherworldly powers were taking an unusual interest in the characters- offering them all sorts of assistance and even a chance to cheat death itself, an opportunity that several of the characters leaped at.

To recover the box, a horde of lava-backed beasts was lured across the native's campsite, burning them wholesale, and then following a brief drive-by battle with a mutated giant they were able to take the box back to Horke.

Horke's Drift

Arriving at Horke the characters discovered it to be not at all a safe haven, as the tribes had (unsurprisingly) declared war on the Imperium and a sizable segment of them were marching on horke, while the main force headed to the capital, having already exterminated the largest force of imperial guardsmen on the planet. The characters managed to rally the locals, and were bolstered by the arrival of the remnants of the loyalist tribes. The treachery of Rickkards nearly cost them the box, though it did cost him his arm. The attacks of camouflaged assassins nearly killed Reynolds, who proved, however to be quite adept with a knife, despite being paralyzed from the waist down.

Then battle proper was joined, and due to the heroic efforts of the characters, some surprisingly effective walls, and the application of an illuminated tome to the visual pickup of a vox, the natives were largely destroyed before the arrival of the inquisition, although at great cost to the defenders. Almost immediately after the battle Inquisitor Brennos and his aide-de-camp Quintus Varus landed to take stock of the situation. The characters were able to portray their recapture of the box as being worthy of rescinding the exterminatus order, and they were offered a chance to work under Brennos as acolytes. Being as this was the kind of choice the inquisition gives (where only one option doesn't involve an immediate and agonising death) the characters were overjoyed to serve.


The characters were enlisted as Inquistorial Group 57, and their actions at the Battle of Horke's Drift were recast as heroism of the highest order to give them a solid cover for their next assignment, which involved investigating possible corruption on the Subsector Capital, the planet Yassir. Upon reaching Yassir they discovered that a great deal of the planet was suffering under some sort of mind control, that some sort of psychic-enhancing drug was making the rounds, and that the Governor of the planet was an idiot. After securing the assistance of the Governor's Administrative assistant, who was protected from the psychic influence by a peculiar alien relic, they tracked the source of the mind control through the leaders of the resistance group to an enormous underground network of fleshy tentacles. A large section of the city was destroyed in an explosion targeted at eliminating the inquistorial group, but this only enhanced their resolve.

The Beast

Main article: Beast of Yassir

Fighting through the beast they discovered a mysterious barrow, which may be associated with the primarchs, and using an ancient knife found therein managed to neutralise the beast's main body. Unfortunately a significant quantity of the Beast had already been transferred to the so-called colony ship with the collusion of the local techpriest chapter. The Inquisitorial group acted swiftly to contain the beast on board the ship and to prevent the techpriests accessing their offworld communications, in the process cleansing the heretical techpriest Archbishop of that world. Following this action the characters were assigned the task of Assassinating the sector's Techprimate Archbishop, who they have been told is shielding the techpriests of Yassir from their rightful punishment. With this task in mind they boarded a commendeered transport ship headed for THX-1138, the capital forgeworld of the techpriests within this sector. Their arrival at this planet would be much delayed, however.

The Ship

The attempt of the group to have the infected colony ship towed into the sun met with a snag when the tentacles of the beast destroyed the towing ship (as seen on the DRAMATOVIEWER), necessitating a pod-borne insertion into the ship. After a mighty battle and some tragic losses, the group discovered (now former)Acolyte Rickards on the bridge of the ship, and set the ship on a course for the sun of the system and prepared to evacuate. Before leaving the ship however, the party engaged in a low-g battle on the hull of the ship with the intention of divesting Acolyte Adalaise of the knife he recovered from the barrow on Yassir, which was suspected of exerting an unhealthy influence on him. That done, the characters escaped the ship shortly before it plunged into the sun to be utterly destroyed, leaving only a final psychic promise of revenge from the beast in the material plane.

A Small Detour

Having destroyed the beast and safely escaped to their ship the characters expected a smooth voyage to THX-1138 but an unexpected stowaway, problems operating the craft, and a series of increasingly dangerous psychic mishaps in the warp culmulating in Acolyte Ephese takinga dangerously high dose of Epiphany and blasting an enormous hole in the hull contributed to the ship crashlanding on an as-yet unnamed feral world. Trading the nutritional yeast that was the cargo from Yassir to the locals the group managed to ingratiate themselves, only to discover that a group of chaos folk were also at large on the planet.

After a near lethal encounter with a flying poisonous hippo and with the heavy stubber emplacement of some chaos cultists, the characters discovered a crashed cathedral ship, and onboard met a seemingly helpful 'completely official' prospector and salvager named Pappy Douglas, and his daughter Malinda. Pappy offered them transport offplanet in exchange for their help in getting back to his ship. The deal was struck, and on the way to the ship the characters encountered a Chaos sorcereror (who escaped largely unharmed) and a Scout walker (which the characters damaged heavily and captured for their own use). Upon arriving at Pappy's ship the characters discovered that what the prospector had salvaged from the Cathedral ship was an STC.

The Plan

Using the STC the characters lured the regional leader of the techpriests to transhipment point theta, with the intent of cleansing the infection of the sector's techpriest hiearchy at its highest point.

Though successful in their assassination, the characters had some difficulty in fleeing the planet, and were unexpectedly, and rather suspiciously aided by Rickards, who convinced them that the only option was to hide in a tank of lubricant that was supposedly being launched offplanet, at a cost of an oath not to kill him. Mythos believed the oath to be invalid once he saw Rickards accept Epiphany from Ephese, a capital crime. Rickards didn't give them any sort of paddling instrument, on the (correct) grounds that Mythos would have beaten him to death with it at the first opportunity.

The group was finally released by Rickards, although without equipment, only to find that the ship was returning to the scene of the crime! Much panic ensued, and things got only worse when they were called over the intercom by name to the captain's quarters. The ship's guards verbally abused them too when they turned themselves in. They were given certain instructions--discover who murdered the Archprimate! Furthermore, to aid in their investigation, they were given the power of life and death over everyone on the planet (except probably the techpriests). They were admonished not to abuse this power.

They took over the captain's quarters, and Hazel found and removed a bunch of bugs. The group was annoyed by the constant ringing of the gong, mainly by an irritating servant, leaving them little time to discuss matters. As this happened, the unnamed assassin noticed a spy watching them through the portrait of the captain's mother. Chasing after them, she noticed the spy had actually cut off their own leg to escape, but the assassin fell on them, crushing them and leaving her with some body weight issues. This also showed them a hidden well-locked door leading to who knew where.

Some ship's techpriests made repeated attempts to "repair" Hazel, eventually kidnapping her. Darl and the nameless assassin went to rescue her, not only fearing for her life, but also because they could read her hard drive, thus implicating them in the murder of the archprimate. The battle was difficult, but one of the techpriests was such an incompetent killer that the group was able to prevail.

Rickards took just a little too long to return the group's weapons. (He wasn't dumb enough to return them himself, nor would he let them know where he was.) However, Mythos and Darl sent him to be tortured, only to relent when they realized he'd probably spill the beans. Mythos elected to send himself to the torture room to find and question Rickards, as he wanted to get some info out of him, but mainly to gloat. He had trouble even identifying Rickards, due to facial injuries and the common presence of severed arms. Naturally Rickards didn't want to reveal himself, since Mythos wanted him dead. He revealed himself anyway, but hatched another deal with "oathbreaker" Mythos; let him escape in the ship's gig to an unidentified planet in return to information on a threat to the ship. Foiled once again, Mythos had to accept. A techpriest named Otto was going to blow up the ship, but threatening his children would put pressure on him. Rickards left in the gig... and Mythos had him cruelly murdered lawfully executed for the crime of smuggling chaos by the ship's guns. Then he rounded up Ephese and Adelaise and the three put pressure on Otto (he really liked those Omnissiah action figures) and saved the ship.

The Verdict

Finally Group 57 returned to Transhipment Point Theahtus where, making use of their inquistiorial powers in an entirely responsible way, they intimidated the local law enforcement into destroying pertinent files, bullied the local guard into hunting down people who might have been witnesses to the murder of the archprimate and came fairly close to going to war with the adeptus mechanicus, threatening THX-1138 with exterminatus in order to recieve custody of the man who they believed to be the single surviving witness of their actions against the archprimate.