Follow TV Tropes

Following

Roleplay / Embers In The Dusk

Go To

It is the 43rd millennium and the Imperium is on the verge of dying. Necron forces are waking in ever growing numbers and scouring entire sectors clean of all life while the Black Crusades of Abbadon the Despoiler come ever closer to breaking thorough the Cadian Gate. Most ominous of all is that the Holy Light of the Astronomican has started to flicker and recede, giving rise to fears that the Golden Throne is failing and the God-Emperor will soon die. The Ecclesiarchy quickly crushes all who claim the Emperor is dying but many among the higher reaches of the Imperium secretly believe it to be true.

Advertisement:

Embers in the Dusk is an ongoing Quest started in 2014 by Durin on Sufficient Velocity.com and beginning during the end of the 43rd millennium in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It is played from the perspective of Fredrick Rotbart, an Administratum Adept and unexpected military genius who found himself the first Governor of Avernus, the galaxy's most dangerous Deathworld due to an administrative error.

Can be found here.

On April 21st 2020, the first part, Embers in the Dusk, was officially declared complete, and the second part, Sparks at Midnightnote  was started at the same time.

Advertisement:

Embers In The Dusk contains examples of:

  • 100% Adoration Rating: Governor Rotbart has reached this at several points, with even several Chaos Cults having the aim of converting him and then following him having been found.
  • Angelic Abomination: A good number of Tjapa's daemons. The flaming wheel with eyes all over the place is brought up as an example of what an angyl might look like.
  • Animal Stampede: Thundabeasts, large herbivorous lizards native to the Elysium region of Avernus, are prone to destructive stampedes. Since they possess psychokinetic shields, these stampedes can destroy almost any obstacles in their way, including the armoured vehicles of the local PDF and the cities they're protecting.
  • Anyone Can Die: Numerous named characters die during the quest. Of the major characters, presently Deacon Markus Aurilian, Captain Adrienne Volkiss, Magos Biologis Tertius Saren, Lady Freya, General Kenneth Drago, Henry Volkiss, Fabricator-General Britton, Archmagos Biologis Quintus Saren, Administrator Caroline, Admiral Parnell, Administrator Edvin, Primaris Zhukov, Major Ajax, Assistant Thaddeus, Lord Marshal-Sigurd, Assistant Antoni, Administrator Signe, Admiral Freyr, General Richards, Knight Baron Sigmund, Saint Lin, Lord-Marshal Hrothgar, Commodore Syr Rotbart, Prince Tormod Rotbart, Chief Administrator Isaac Gros, and Inquisitor Marcus Klovis-Ultan are among the deceased.
  • Advertisement:
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: One sidestory is from the viewpoint of a Jotunheim rebel who joined because his wife was sent to the concentration camps by the old governor, and he was given no news of her. The Avernite questioning him explains that his wife died... a month after giving birth to their daughter, and while the rebel will be shot in any case, cooperation means the child won't be growing up in the crowded facilities of a rebellious planet, but the comparative luxury of an Avernus orphanage.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Generally how promotions work for Avernites, with a person's position being decided from their competence. Some other parts of the Trust find this to be unsettlingly meritocratic.
    • Averted with Champions, who have the Asskicking, but not the mindset for Authority. Instead, they are assigned to combat units as elites.
  • Badass Bookworm: Anyone with a combination of high Learning and high Martial/Combat.
    • Techpriests, particularly on Avernus, tend to be very capable in personal combat thanks to their augmentations.
    • Saint Lin was a very knowledgeable man on matters of religion. He was also one of the deadliest individuals in the Imperial Trust.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Anyone with high Administration and Martial/Combat.
    • Governor Fredrick Rotbart, a Administratum Adept who turned out not only to be a military genius, but personally killed a Chaos Lord with a Power Knife before he acquired any augmentations or much combat training.
    • Avernites in particular have earned a reputation for making these, helped by the fact that their Governor started off as one. There's even a trait named "Avernite Bureaucrat", which gives bonus to Administration and Combat.
  • Badass Bystander: Avernite civilians are always armed and all of them are members of a militia with a skill level above that of the stormtroopers of most other human forces.
  • Badass Normal: All Avernites are this, since they come from a world where a good year is one where "only" around a million soldiers are killed by the native flora and fauna.
  • Blind Seer: High Grandmaster Munstrum Ridcully, The Oracle Of Avernus. He lost his sight after witnessing the birth of Ynnead and his battle against Slaanesh. He is a diviner on par with Eldar Farseers and probably the most skilled human diviner ever.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: What the Governor's Own and the Life Guard Regiments are for.
  • Beneath the Earth: The Caverns under Dis. Almost as insane to navigate as the Warp, but at least there is a chance to get rewards and loot out of it.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Most Primaris Psykers. Since they only get their position after proving they're competent, and almost all psykers have some kind of quirk, Primaris Psykers tend to have various oddities that get tolerated because their usefulness is more than enough to compensate for it. For example, Tamia can be ditzy or absent-minded, while Aria is a bit OCD. Perfectly normal individuals like Xavier are the exception.
  • Cassandra Truth: One sidestory during the attack on the Dark Eldar has an Archon flaying his aide alive for reporting a million and a half Power Armoured soldiers among the invaders. The guy survives long enough to say "Told you so" once the reports are confirmed.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower:
    • One (apocryphal) sidestory has the description of all the near-superhuman feats an Avernite is capable of.
    • The Paragon abilities. A blademaster cutting down anything smaller than an Emperor Titan on a crit, a commander sending out a force the turns out to be whatever is needed against the foes encountered once they are...
  • Church Militant: Saint Lin is actually trying to defy this trope in the Imperial Trust. That said, he himself is one of the most dangerous people in the Trust, especially when facing Chaos.
    • The only militant church order that still exists, Avernite Witch Hunters, are used specifically to engage Beta and Alpha psykers and are some of the most elite and deadly combatants in galaxy, with only Khornate forces capable of matching their psyker-killing abilities. It's noted at one point that on other planets, they would be considered an army, but for Avernites, they are merely an elite police force.
  • Composite Character: Apparently, servants of Chaos tend to blend Aria and Jane together, sometimes with a touch of Areatha added in. They pass scary stories among each other about an Aria Oakheart, the Witch of Nothing, who can drain and cut through any psychic powers.
  • Cool Starship:
    • The Well of Urd, a Dark Age Exploration vessel bigger then a modern Battleship with several strange and powerful technologies arrives in orbit of Avernus.
    • The various Dark Age starships in the rings around Cocceio, the largest of which are even larger and more powerful than the Well of Urd.
    • Later, an expedition brings back the blueprints for the even bigger Deus class starship... unfortunately, the current situation places it firmly in the Awesome, but Impractical area for the next few centuries.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Space Marines have a mechanic where they are considered to fight as though they are one unit size larger than they actually are. For example, a Space Marine squad fights on the same scale as an Imperial Guard company.
  • Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story: When dealing with infiltration attempts, Jane complains at one point how on a planet like Avernus, "no surviving relatives" is a status unlikely to raise any eyebrows.
  • Crossover: one of the biggest human polities is based upon Callamus from Deus Ex Mechanicus Reboot
  • Cultured Badass and Cultured Warrior: Practically every Avernite, thanks to their school system, governor, and military tradition. "The stereotypical Avernite [is] cheerful, friendly, well organized and above all, deadly."
  • Death by Irony: Overlord Garkill, a Genius Bruiser Ork who had always relied on unpredictable moves when attacking Avernus, is killed after triggering an out of the blue Old Ones' defense system.
  • Death Seeker: The Black Irons are primarily composed of soldiers with death wishes.
    • Their commander, Lieutenant-General Viktor Mineyev, stands out in particular. Despite all the crazy shit he has been throwing himself into, he has yet to die. He did have to get large chunks of his body replaced with cybernetics though.
  • Death World:
    • Avernus itself is a Deathworld where over a million soldiers a year are killed by the native flora and fauna. On a good year.
    • Muspelheim is a different kind of Deathworld, where the terrain itself is the danger rather than what lives there.
  • Desk Sweep of Passion: When Freya tells her husband in one of the apocrypha that he "could take a break" from all the paperwork, it is stated that "Frederick was wise to her ways, and cleared a space on his desk just in time for Freya to land."
  • Destructive Saviour: The first Alpha Plus Psyker born upon Avernus was eliminated by the local wildlife... along with the city they were in, and the island upon which the city stood.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Nearly everyone in the galaxy is blindsided by the Green Awakening. It turns out that Gork and Mork are much more powerful than what people believed them to be. What was seen deep in the Warp prior to their awakening was just their astral projections (compared to a thumb war) rather than their actual selves.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: The Imperial Trust is a polity with technology half the galaxy would pay anything for and a number of other advantages besides. Unfortunately, it's only sector sized or so, therefore, it must avoid drawing too much attention from the big players.
  • Dumb Muscle: Warboss Headcrusha is extremely bad at commanding, but makes up for it by being an absolute monster in personal combat.
  • Elite Army:
    • Avernite troops are better pound for pound than most of their counterparts, but there generally aren't as many of them.
    • Space Marines are even fewer, but their augmentations make them even better individually.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • For the Imperial Guard, Stormtroopers/Grenadiers and their local equivalents, elite troops a cut above the ordinary Guardsman.
    • The Avernites in general compared to most other Imperial forces (for comparison, their militia have a skill modifier higher than the average Grenadier). Up to Eleven with their Grenadier equivalents, the Helguard, who are capable of matching Space Marines.
  • Energy Weapon: The standard weapon of the Imperial Guard. More advanced Neutron Lasers were the standard for elites in the Dark Age.
  • Epic Fail: Natural 1 is this for actions with varying possible degrees of success. The most Epic, in all senses, Fail (or Win depending on point of view) in the quest was when Slaanesh rolled nat 1 twice in a row against Ynnead. Followed by Ynnead rolling a third nat 1 against Slaanesh, netting her a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Elysium region of Avernus has dinosaurs, including T-rexes with biolascannons in their mouths. Also, psychic pterodactyls are common everywhere on Avernus.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Most of the native species (plant and animal) of Avernus can and will kill you, even the grass you walk through.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The Necrons, once they awake fully, muster their full power and go to extragalactic space to eliminate the main Tyranid swarm. The few splinter fleets that do manage to slip through are largely taken out by Abaddon.
  • Explosive Overclocking:
    • During the first Ork invasion, a decision is made to hold back the fleet and sacrifice the orbital defenses in a last stand. Naturally there is little point to keep all the safeties which prevent the need for repairs after every battle when this is the last one.
    • Jane's Last Hunters. Without the Emperor's expertise, the only way you can match Astartes augmentations is at the cost of two thirds of one's life expectancy.
  • The Federation: The Imperial Trust, a union of the Nine Worlds of the Asgard subsector created after the fall of the Imperium. They are one of the few Sane polities in the neighborhood, and seem to genuinely care about their people, far more than the Imperium had at least sinceits earliest days.
  • Feed It a Bomb: Warboss Headcrusha was finally killed by a vortex grenade going off in his mouth.
  • Festering Fungus: The Life Eater Fungus, the greatest danger in the Everglades region and a weaker analogue of the Life Eater Virus. It can rapidly transform organic matter into an explosive mass before exploding.
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: the Ultramar region and the Tau are in a state of near constant war, but they did agree on a set of rules limiting damage. Both are aware, after all, that there is a good chance they will find themselves in an Enemy Mine situation tomorrow.
  • Flanderization: In-Universe, the Abomination societies are effectively a Flanderized Imperium without the occasional Only Sane Man around.
  • Friend to All Children: Saint Lin. He says he would've spent his life running an orphanage if he hadn't gotten his job as a Deacon, and even with the demands of his position, still enjoys the times where he's assigned to helping young psykers about to take their trials with improving their wills.
  • Gargle Blaster: One sidestory describes the various types of Avernus-made booze. It includes a wine which, under certain conditions, make one's arms melt off. Some people do it deliberately, because the resulting liquid can be processed into an even better wine, a black market good fetching more that enough to buy replacement limbs.
  • General Failure:
    • Surprisingly, the Necron leader during the Necron Invasion. He seemed to think that slowly marching your troops in the general direction of the enemy is a good tactic. Durin rolled a natural 3 on a 100-faced dice for his skill.
    • Warboss Headcrusha was so impressively stupid that the Trust was actively trying to keep him alive as any replacement would be much smarter.
  • Genius Bruiser: The Jotun of Jotunheim are smarter than their regular Ogryn brethren, but just as strong.
  • Good All Along: Some canon and a lot of fanon hint at how screwed the galaxy will be if the Krork come back, considering what Orks are like. Then, we hear that it happened. Well, it turns out the Orks we know are actually the Krork analogue of Feral Children, and it might have been bad - possibly - had they reached Krork level. However, what actually happened is that an army of Krork was rescued from Trazyn's collection, and these guys are actually what 40k considers a "good" faction.
  • Great Offscreen War: The War in the Void, fought between the Necrons under the Silent King and the main Tyranid hive fleet. We don't see much of it due to it taking place outside the galaxy, but the Necrons made use of their most destructive superweapons that they don't dare use inside the galaxy for fear of wrecking the place, and the Tyranid hive fleet was a few dozen times larger than the galaxy at its height.
    • Also, the War in Heaven in the backstory. It lasted thousands of years, and things were crazy enough that according to Word of God, the Primarchs, some of the most powerful individuals in the galaxy present-day, would only be second-tier heroes if they were around back then.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: As far as the public knows, Seamus Lin's death came from natural (under the circumstances) causes. The Trust can't afford drawing attention by revealing to everyone that he healed Primarch Guilliman at the cost of his own life.
  • Had to Be Sharp:
    • The reason why the Avernites are so dangerous is that they had to survive Avernus.
    • Any Imperial loyalists that are still alive in the centuries after the fall of the Imperium would have to be tough.
    • The Cavers of Avernus are people exploring the Eldritch Location Beneath the Earth cavern network the planet has. Sometimes, they take a break by serving in the regular Helguard.
  • Hellgate: Avernus has open Warprifts at the poles, but the wildlife there is so dangerous that any Warp entities that get through tend to get eaten. Literally. Of course, every century or two, a full scale Daemonic Incursion comes through. That's when the planet truly shows what it's like.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Lampshaded in one hilarious sidestory, where Rotbart promises that anyone caught without a helmet on duty will be assigned to venom milking.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: No one noticed Dalv Sepet is Vlad Tepes backwards for years in real life and centuries in-universe.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Many members of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Sufficiently bad injuries can also require mechanical replacements.
  • Home Field Advantage: Avernus is filled with terrifying wildlife, which have often inflicted major casualties on invading forces.
  • Home Guard: Each individual planet's PDF fills this role, with some also training up civilians to serve as a militia.
  • Hover Tank: The Dark Age's Diamondbacks. An Anti-Grav vehicle made in the last years before the civilization collapsed, it's capable of 300 kph. The armor is a bit light for its weight, of course.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • The Imperial Knights of Asgard are on the small side as mecha go in this universe, but are still nasty superheavy-scale combatants.
    • The Forge World of Atlas supplied Avernus with several Titans.
    • The Ork Overlords neighboring the Asgard subsector after the Warp Storm dissipates have quite a few Gargants on hand.
  • It Will Never Catch On: A Turn 26 sidestory features an Inquisitor who used to be opposed to the whole idea of settling Avernus, believing that nothing will come out of people upon such a lethal planet. Now, he's sending a Grey Knight team to investigate the reports of utterly unbelievable success.
  • Irony: The most expensive STC find on Avernus before the Emperor's death was a type of Rejuvenat twice as powerful as the best known. The discussions stated that one of the reasons it is so valuable (twenty times the cost of a cheap Astartes-killing rifle, and enough to nearly buy out the nearby Forge World) is that even the High Lords of Terra will want to live twice as long. Considering the events in the Solar System, it is unlikely this particular group got to enjoy the increased lifespan.
  • It's All Junk: Turns out the Eldar Gods have left a good amount of their personal gear on Avernus due to painful memories connected to it.
  • Large and in Charge: Exploited. Saar Handerson, a particularly tall Astartes, isn't actually in charge, but is often used as bait for Ork Warbosses who believe he must be.
  • Laser Blade: Dark Age Plasma Foils, which come in infantry and Knight-Titan sizes. Advanced Power Armor also has optional Blade Below the Shoulder variants.
  • The Last Dance: Inquisitor Klovis-Ultan's final project before his death, which involved clearing out all the Alpha Legion in the local region, and then recruiting the loyal ones. It was successful.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The main method for the Empire of Ashes to keep enemies off their back is manipulating a large Ork WAAAGH! to form near their territory
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: While Rotbart never grows insignificant by any measure, Ridcully is a far more significant figure on a galactic scale.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of the technologies brought from the Roskilde expedition (and the only one immediately usable) one-shot torpedo launchers which can be attached to any ship for a massive alpha strike.
  • Mage Killer:
    • The Psyker Hunters and Witch Hunters are specialized anti-psyker troops.
    • Jane Oakheart and Grandmaster Aria are particularly adept at fighting psykers.
  • Magical Girl: Areatha. Yes, really. She has a claim to that archetype and everything.
  • Magic Knight: Battle psykers generally avoid being Squishy Wizards. Named characters, like Gerald Xavier, a powerful pyromancer and expert swordsman, who is one of the strongest combatants in Imperial Trust, deserve special mention.
  • Magnetic Weapon: The Dark Age's Impaler series of railguns, which are overall more effective than their bolter counterparts at a fraction of the cost.
  • Master Swordsman: Characters with "Master Of The Blade" trait, like Fredrick Rotbart. Some characters, like General Leopold Schwarz, are Grandmaster Swordsmen. Arbitrator Jane Oakheart takes it even further, being a Paragon Swordsman. This level of skill allows her (and anyone else at or above her level) to perform outright physically impossible feats, which in Jane's case is the ability to cut Warp effects. (It even works with things that aren't her sword, like random kitchen knives, as long as they are sharp enough)
  • Mini-Mecha:
    • The Imperial Guard has its Sentinels, whilst the Space Marines have Dreadnoughts.
    • The Orks have Deff Dreads and Killa Kans.
    • The Dark Age has the Goliath and Crab walkers.
  • Mirror Match: Jane has to fight some Chaos doppleganger (possibly The Changeling itself) at one point. There are two omakes describing the fight, neither is canon and both are awesome.
  • Money Spider: The Black Crystal Jewelry you find on the wildlife leaders. Out of the first four, only two were actually worn by the enemies (due to these being sapient and somewhat humanoid ones). The other two had the artifacts stuck in their teeth.
  • The Mourning After: Frederick, with his deceased wife Freya.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Children born of Psykers have a higher chance than normal of being Psykers themselves, but not by that much. Considering the amount of Psykers born on Avernus, this doesn't make the trope uncommon
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: One omake describes Abaddon finally grinding through the defenses of Cadia after a thousand years, and extremely disappointed that by then, the soldiers are so ground down and exhausted they cannot even offer a proper Last Stand. He is so disappointed, in fact, that he gathers the survivors and offers them to buy their lives by giving him a proper fight that'll impress him in some way surpassing those of their ancestors. He even swears an unbreakable oath he'll follow his word. They do manage to match the older fights, but not surpass them... until during his final rampage, some teen manages to nick him with her sword. While it's a scratch he barely feels, it is still a feat no Badass Normal had ever managed, only supersoldiers and Xenos, so he is forced to follow his oath - the survivors are given a ship and a Navigator, and are sent to find as safe a place as they can in the galaxy.
  • Odd Job Gods: Most of the members of the Aetheric Concordat. Such as Zahhak the goddess of the idea that evil is a choice, Zaeed the god of mercenaries, and Faust the goddess of friendship.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Not much is known about the circumstances of the Emperor's death, but presumably it was this. Word Of GM is that the players, due to sheer luck, inadvertently avoided both the devouring of the Emperor by the Abomination and it acquiring power over human souls like Slaanesh had over the Eldar's.
  • Off the Rails: There were quite a few player decisions in the quest that Durin didn't see coming which threw off his plan for parts of the story. These include the Grand Conclave, Operation Hecatoncheir, and the idea of having Lin's final act be healing Roboute Guilliman.
  • Old Master: Pretty much anybody who survived on Avernus long enough to count as old, most notable example General Schwarz. Over half a thousand years old, he is a military genius and a Grandmaster Swordsman, one of the three most skilled swordsmen in the Imperial Trust. Also Quartok leader First Councilor Aryz and the Ultramarines, though they don't age and only become more experienced with time.
  • Old Soldier: Many characters are this, some examples are General Aelfric of Midgard and General Schwarz, who both are over 500 years old. Captain Julius and his veteran Ultramarines have survived nine hundred years after the Emperor's death, time spent in near constant battle. Also, First Councilor Aryz who is 1500 years old.
  • One-Man Army: Stronger psykers, and to a lesser degree, other characters with a high Combat skill.
    • Warboss Headcrusha head-butted a psychic thermonuclear battle tiger out of existence, killed over 30 Regiments of Black Irons on his own and survived multiple Vortex grenades.
  • One-Note Cook: Sperge Squore, a minor god member of the Aetheric Concordat, used to be a Supreme Chef, but after an attack from a Slaaneshi daemon, only the power to make sandwiches remained. Since these were still sandwiches providing healing, it made him useful nevertheless.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Tjapa launches a full scale attack on Avernus for the last chance to kill the Last Saint before old age does.
  • Only One Name: Aria and Tranth. In Aria's case, it's because her family kicked her out when she was found to be a psyker, and she didn't bother remembering their name, only keeping her own.
  • Oxymoronic Being: Grandmaster Aria of the Telepathica, a psyker who is also a blank.
    • There's also the Emperor, worshipped as the god and pinnacle of humankind, who's part xeno by virtue of the very small shard of Void Dragon that got accidentally reincarnated alongside the shaman souls that created him.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Syr reacts to the mention with "GROSS."
  • Perspective Flip: The "Negaverse" omakes are hypothetical fragments of quests being run by other factions in the setting. It started with an omake for Valinor after their crusade having been smashed by the Trust (and right before they were wiped out), and currently also includes "threads" for the Eldar, Abaddon's Black Imperium, and the Tyranids.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Justified, since it's another planet. The penguins are high level psykers, the bears are blanks.
  • Power Armor: Many types.
    • The Ignatus Power Armor is not quite as capable as Space Marine armor, but it doesn't require the wearer to be a Supersoldier.
    • The Power Armor of the Dark Age of Technology comes in 5 variants, which are almost as capable as their (non-Space Marine) Imperial counterparts, but much cheaper and easier to make. Each variant also comes with an Advanced version that are superior to pretty much anything the Imperium had. The Advanced variants are made even better when modified for Space Marine usage.
  • Power Is Sexy: Combat prowess certainly is in this quest. One omake is about a sexy reporter interviewing an offworld Avernite who describes how he slew an Ork Warboss (because that's what the Governor would have done), and fainting as she begs to have his babies. Another is Rotbart's wife watching on TV as her husband performs a Colossus Climb to deal with an Incendiary Exponent mile-long Sand Worm, and having a major Soaked-Panties-Moment (her visiting friends do too, but she doesn't share).
  • The Power of Friendship: Far more concretely than typical, friendship has been shown to be one of the major advantages of the sane. The ability to work with others is incredibly potent, with many of the greatest defeats of the mad stemming from disparate groups coming together to oppose them.
  • Praetorian Guard: Governor Rotbart has the Governor's Own, who are equivalent to Space Marine Veterans in skill.
  • Primordial Chaos: The Primordial Sea, from which reality was born and is apparently related to the memetic corruption abilities of Chaos.
  • Prophecy Twist: Ausvan Medox, a champion of Tjapa, was the subject of a prophecy at his birth, which included the statement that "Nothing will defeat him". He was killed during Valinor's attack on Avernus by Grandmaster Aria, who is sometimes called "the Witch of Nothing".
  • Reconcile the Bitter Foes: What Saint Lin did with the warring lizardmen empires on Avernus, the Saurus and the Skinks, by creating a peace treaty. Their feud has been going on for longer than humanity has existed, and is said to have started shortly after the War in Heaven.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: This is at least in part based on Lord Lucan's The Shape of the Nightmare to Come, a Warhammer 40,000 fanfic. Also, there are hundreds of omakes. Some of them declared canon by Durin.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Operation Hecatoncheir, full stop. A very large Black Imperium task force (six times the size of the Imperial Trust's entire navy) is being sent to the local area to deal with Hive Fleet Grábakr, risking exposure for the already-battered Trust. To make things even worse, due to bad dice rolls, the task force is being sent extra early. So what does Rotbart do in response? Rather than just having HWWO assassinate the fleet's leadership and confusing the survivors with planted orders to delay it, the assassinations were be followed up by Vlad Tepes pretending to be a Khornate Chaos Lord (with a fake brass collar), allowing him to hijack the Chaos fleet and use it to lure Orks into fighting the Black Imperium. This gives the Trust plenty of time to kill off the Tyranids, makes it so that Abbadon will stop paying attention to the region, and nets a favor from the Eldar. Which basically turns a pressing existential threat into a windfall.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After Avernite creatures liberate Isha from Nurgle's mansion, the guy gathers an attack of an all but unprecedented scale against the planet. So much power is invested, in fact, that a failure risks Nurgle outright getting knocked out of the big player league, or at the very least facing the other gods as they intend to redraw the borders of their regions of influence at his expense.
  • Riddling Sphinx: Inverted. The local Sphinxes are riddle solvers, and are quite willing to help the humans out with riddles like "what's the access code for this ancient data archive?".
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: For some reason, common enough in the GM's posts for "autocorrupt function" to become a local meme on the thread.
  • Rule of Cool: Being Warhammer 40,000, this regularly overwrites the laws of physics, especially when things like Orbital Bombardment are mentioned.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Rationality is a staggering advantage, and is the greatest edge the forces of the sane possess, being the only reason why they're still surviving. The rare few Chaos Lords or Ork warbosses who are even vaguely sane are staggeringly dangerous, far more than a typical foe of their power.
  • Sdrawkcab Alias: Commissar Dalv Sepet of the Phase Tigers is actually the famed explorer Vlad Tepes.
  • Sea Monster: The oceans of Avernus are full of them. Notable examples are Krakens, Island Turtles and the Deep Ones.
  • Serial Escalation: The first battle is Avernus fighting ofs a Chaos Warband consisting of ten ships, with the ground army being a million sodliers plus about five times that Cultists. Six years of real time and over five centuries game time later, you're trying to survive against a two-hundred-sector polity led by Chaos Primarch Perturabo. That's an enemy with millions of ships, with three hundred thousand sent to the first truly major battle.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Quite a few of the Dark Age's wargear and vehicles are based on the Terrans from StarCraft, though the integrated dual Plasma Foils on Advanced Power Armor and the "Khalai" fighting style developed to use them are a reference to the Protoss.
    • Ridcully is a reference to the Discworld series. So is the Lancre fleet.
    • The first Beta level Psyker born on Avernus is named Gerald Xavier.
  • Single Line of Descent: The line of Rotbart. It eventually leads to everyone in the family other than Frederick himself dying.
  • Spiders Are Scary: A very common phobia on Avernus, to the point where "Avernite" might as well be synonymous with "arachnophobe".
  • Stable Time Loop: Justicar Alarion's existence as a Grey Knight. While his squad visits Avernus to check for Chaotic corruption, they come across a young orphan, Markus Haanoc, who exorcises a daemon from his sister, displaying strong psychic abilities and somehow being able to recite the Grey Knights' litany. Alarion has him sent to Titan as a potential recruit. A few centuries earlier, the Grey Knights at Titan find a ship with a burnt out Navigator and a young boy in stasis. The boy withstands the trials, and is eventually renamed Alarion.
  • Stealth Expert: Generally, people with high Intrigue if they're not The Spymaster.
    • The Catachan 813th "Phase Tigers" are the masters of stealth in the Imperial Trust. Gerald Xavier has worked with them so often that he's picked up enough of their tricks to be considered an honorary member.
    • Admiral Sarnow is this with starships, even once pulling off an ambush with a 15km-long Command Battleship.
  • Supersoldier:
    • The Avernites, ordinary humans turned into some of the deadliest soldiers in the galaxy from surviving on Avernus.
    • The Space Marines and their Chaotic counterparts are still the gold standard for superhuman troops.
    • Muspelheim has the Fire Giants, who are second only to the Avernites in pure skill and are equipped with what is effectively Terminator Armor.
    • Svartalheim's Svartalfar Guards aren't the best in the Trust, skill-wise, but they make up for it by having everyone in Power Armor and easy access to relic equipment.
    • Jane's Last Hunters. Newborns trained and augmented effectively from birth for thirty-five years, with enhancements making them equals to Space Marines (at the cost of drastic reduction in life expectancy), the best equipment available to humanity and an about 80% washout rate (90% for the first batch).
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: An omake written during the Gilded Skies has a person reviewing the invasion as a video game campaign. Upon seeing the forces and tech available, the reviewer can't understand how one fails it... until the final enemy arrives; TWO First Circle Angyls. Mind you, even one is basically a Level 5-6 Apocalypse that shrugs off all weapon damage.
  • Tank Goodness: Countless tanks appear, ranging from the simple Leman Russ to the Adjudicator, which is over a hundred meters long and has enough firepower to crush some cities.
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: It's discovered in-universe that the Warp has a Law of Narrative, which allows for things that shouldn't actually work to be accomplished if they're thematically and narratively appropriate, such as epic last acts before dying.
  • Time Abyss: A good number of charaters, given the setting. These include some of the Primarchs, certain Eldar, a lot of Necrons, Areatha, and Vlad Tepes. The biggest examples, however, are the Ancient One and the Silent King who are War in Heaven veterans who lived through all the time that followed (they're around 65 million years old).
  • Too Dumb to Live: One sidestory has Rotbart looking through papers and finding the amount of suicides suspicious. Turns out they list things like "leaving the city without a gun" as suicides.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Pretty much everyone after the fall of the Imperium.
    • The Imperium too, to an extent; according to Durin, an STC discovered a couple thousand years ago had boosted starship construction tenfold (century long shipbuilding projects don't work that well with the campaign's pace).
  • Training from Hell: The Last Hunter program. The first batch was a thousand newborns trained for 35 years, and only eighty-seven made it.
  • Trial Run Crime: In the aftermath of Garkill's final invasion, a Defence Cruiser was destroyed during the cleanup bombardments (crit fail). Later, it turned out Chaos Psykers were working out a way to teleport past ship shields. When you discover them, they're aboard your flagship and have taken control of your fleet commander.
  • Turtle Island: A turtle spitting psionic nukes at daemonic invaders, no less.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Jane's Last Hunters. A thirty-five year long training program using orphans three months at the oldest.
  • Underground City: Stygia. Since it's located in the caverns, things tend to get weird down there.
  • Unholy Holy Sword: The main reason behind Turoq's fall to Chaos. He started wearing a helmet that gave him insights into the souls of others, which allegedly once belonged to a saint. By the time he realized that said helmet was actually a Tzeentchian artifact, it was too late as its powers were transferred to Turoq himself and he couldn't stop seeing people's secrets even when he didn't wear the helm. The strain of the power itself and his attempts to not use it eventually drove him to fall.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Some characters had to get their body parts replaced with augments after injuries. Fredrick Rotbart had his left arm, leg and a big part of his chest replaced with artificial ones. General Schwarz has lost most of his body, and became more machine than man.
  • We Have Reserves: Midgard, being a heavily militarized Hive World, provides the Reserves (colonists and soldiers) for the Imperial Trust.
  • Weak, but Skilled: The Exemplar Minor Psykers. While their power level is low, their creative application of what they have (and narrow specialization) makes them very impressive fighters.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The late Tormod Rotbart, Frederick's grandson. He kept on getting into crazy situations all the time, and had a trait that makes him twice as likely to have an encounter. According to Word of God, he was five times as likely to either die or gain new traits due to this, eventually killing him on an unlucky roll.
  • A World Half Full: The Imperium fell and most of its remnants now are worshipping the Abomination, the fifth god of Chaos, uncorrupted human realms fall like ripe fruits to numerous enemies. But being more progressive and less dogmatic and xenophobic, the Imperial Trust is much more sympathetic than the old Imperium. Also, unlike in The Shape of the Nightmare to Come, the Abomination and the Emperor are different entities.
  • World of Badass: The whole galaxy is this since the quest takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. But Avernus is the World Of Badass in a Galaxy Of Badass. Muspelheim too, to a lesser degree.
  • Xanatos Gambit: A minor example with Abaddon. After Cadia is destroyed by Avernites, he sends Primarch Perturabo to destroy the Trust. If he succeeds, Abaddon gets vengeance. If not, a major rival is weakened at the least.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: When the Emperor died, the Asgard subsector was stuck inside a Warp Storm that caused time to pass more slowly inside. By the time it dissipates, it's been about a century for them, but a millennium for the outside galaxy.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: During the Tjapa invasion intended to kill Saint Lin, a First Circle Archangel enters the capital, headed for the vault where the Saint is. The Ancient One, the only warrior on Avernus who can reliably defeat it, is still a few hours away, so a good portion of the Avernus elites are given the order to slow the Eldritch Abomination down until he can arrive. Few survive.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report