Inquisitor Cynole scenario – background

The ‘thopter was a local model, ancient and noisy, the dull beat of its engines drowning any attempt at conversation. Dr Moenkhaus gestured to the ground.

‘That’, he said ‘is the main logging zone. You can see the loggernauts if you look closely’.
Inquisitor Cynole peered from the cabin window. Far below he could make out the brown patches where the forest had been cleared. Pinpricks of black betrayed the presence of the giant machines.

‘How far are we from the place?’, he asked.

‘About twenty miles. It’s impassable overland of course, but only a few minutes in a ‘thopter’.

Impassable – Cynole thought – how ready this doctor was to dismiss possibilities. Moenkhaus was either a fool or trying to conceal something.

from Chapter Approved – Book of the Astronomicon

At Bring Out Your Lead 2016, I’ll be running a scenario based on this intriguing snippet from the 1st Edition 40K supplement Book of the Astronomicon. In the old traditions of Rogue Trader, it’ll be very much a scenario that requires a GM; The players, a motley collection of human factions,  will  face an alien mystery. Below is the background – players will also receive an individual briefing.


The Planet Ardenjungle_planet

Located on the outer reaches of the Imperium, the planet Arden’s land masses viewed from orbit are pure, lush green; ancient terraforming has run wild in what is now shore-to-shore jungle. The only signs of human life are a few major cities where what passes for civilisation in this remote place can be found, but the majority of the planet’s people still live in the jungles. These wild and warlike tribes date from the Dark Age of Technology when life on the planet degenerated to Stone Age subsistence, with many significantly diverged from ‘human standard’. Although the planet has been re-contacted, the process of civilising its inhabitants has barely begun.

The city dwellers and the jungle natives are suspicious of each other, and many city dwellers consider the natives to be little more than animals.

Civil War

Power resides in the hands of many factions and cults, each with their own private armies. Only a few years ago, the power struggles had developed into open warfare with these factions grouped into a few alliances, and several of the cities were severely damaged. This war only ended with the arrival of Imperial forces who intervened and imposed a peace deal on the rivals, who have been forced to form a collaborative government.

Imperial Involvement

Inquisitor Cynole is participating in a new Imperial drive to drag this anarchic and backward place into the 41st Millenium. While Army training teams are developing their forces, and Adeptus Mechanicus tutor their technicians in the litanies of maintenance, his own role is to root out some of the decadence and corruption in the ill-disciplined and superstitious ruling classes. The widespread tolerance on this planet for mutants, aliens and psykers is also a concern.

Logging Operation

The Tcynole_junglerading Guild have been granted a licence to clear this area of the forest with their giant loggernauts. They have set up a base at a local landmark – a massive ruined temple built into a natural cave system. They are employing local native tribes to assist in the clearance, which has been broadly successful, although there are tensions and the occasional violent incident.

Discovery of the Artefact

Three days ago, accidental damage to a temple wall led to the discovery of a hidden chamber. Inside the chamber was an ancient and mysterious object, possibly of alien origin – an artefact of potentially great power and value. The Trading Guild declared the find, and brought in mercenaries to supplement the base security and secure the site. The government has dispatched a technical team from the Society of Mechanists (the planet’s equivalent of the Adeptus Mechanicus) to investigate the artefact further. Inquisitor Cynole has accompanied them, as this is potentially a find of importance at planetary level.

Also arriving at the temple is a noble’s hunting party, which has come to see what the excitement is about. He has no reason to be there, but his family rule this area and nobody has the authority to exclude him. Finally, word seems to have spread among the local tribes, and a large crowd of natives armed with primitive weapons has turned up in a state of some agitation.


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