From your first steps upon the Path to Glory, you and your fellow Heretics have worked to attain your highest ambition: to become a Daemon Prince in the service of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos. In The Tome of Blood , The Tome of Fate , and The Tome of Excess supplements for Black Crusade , your journey led deeper into the insanity and darkness of the Screaming Vortex. Now, your final test awaits. In The Tome of Decay , you venture into the heart of the vortex to be judged by Grandfather Nurgle.
Today, Andy Hoare, the author of the Tome adventures, recounts the story of the Heretics’ journey into the Screaming Vortex and reveals some of what awaits you in The Heart of the Vortex adventure.
Andy Hoare on the Heretics’ Journey
The Tome of Decay features The Heart of the Vortex , the fourth and final adventure in a series stretching across the four Tomes . Each of these supplements adds details to one of the Ruinous Powers, and offers an adventure that tests the Heretics' ability to please a Chaos God. If you haven't yet taken the plunge and begun your own Black Crusade campaign, here's an overview of the challenges you might face and the rewards you might earn along the arduous Path to Glory.
Be warned, however: for every mortal that sets out upon this route, only one in a generation achieves the desired end, earning apotheosis to the ranks of Daemon Princes. Heretics might be driven beyond madness by the raw insanity of the Warp, while others attain the brink of ascension, only to be overwhelmed by the limitless gifts of Chaos. These unfortunates are transformed into beasts of thrashing tentacles, razor-edged teeth, and hideous Daemon-flesh, doomed to spend the remains of their lives as mindless Spawn of Chaos. If you’re determined to continue, read on to see the horrors and tests of worthiness that await you in the Warp!
There Was Blood
The Tome of Blood is the supplement dedicated to the Chaos God of blood, battle, and rage. Within this adventure, a group of Heretics sets out upon the Path to Glory, seeking a means to leave their indelible mark on the interminable wars and rivalries within the bounds of the Screaming Vortex. An incomparable opportunity to prove themselves arrives in the form of the Axe of Khak-Aksha, which they may uncover on the war-torn world of Messia.
The Heretics’ only hope of claiming the Axe of Khak-Aksha lies in brutally conquering or uniting the disparate Drill-Clans of Messia, before facing a millions-strong migration of bloodthirsty mutants. Success in these brutal battles affords the budding Heretics the chance to claim a powerful weapon, as well as distinguishing themselves in battle against some of the mightiest warlords of the region.
Vagaries of Fate
After obtaining the bloody blessings of Khorne, the Heretics' journey takes them still deeper into the Screaming Vortex, to the unnatural world of Q'Sal. Here, they have the chance to attract the patronage of Tzeentch, Master of Fate and Lord of Lies, by exploring the schemes and plots of this duplicitous Ruinous Power. During this adventure within The Tome of Fate , the Heretics become deeply embroiled in these cunning intrigues.
Upon this unnatural planet, the Heretics must cooperate to seize dominance in the labyrinthine rivalries between the sorcerers of Q'Sal. Whether they ally themselves with the sorcerers or attempt to defeat them at their own deadly games, the Heretics have a chance to gain the dark blessings of Tzeentch. Successfully drawing the attention of Tzeentch allows the Heretics to progress further along the Path to Glory and deeper into the dread Screaming Vortex.
The Six Sins
In The Tome of Excess , the Heretics' next port of call is the Ragged Helix, an anarchic body of Screaming Vortex asteroids. A myriad petty pirate lords haut these asteroids, dedicating their conquests to Slaanesh, the Chaos God of Excess and Transgression. Slaanesh and its decadent servants carry countless sinful obsessions, and in this adventure the Heretics must show that they can master each of the Sins of Slaanesh.
The challenge of surmounting the Sins might appear simple, but in truth, few can sample even one of the Sins without being consumed. The souls of the devoured are held forfeit and their journey along the Path to Glory is brought to an ignominious end. If the Heretics can master the Sins, however, they gain the respect and allegiance of the Pirates of the Ragged Helix, alongside the eternal blessing of Slaanesh, the Dark Prince of Chaos.
Death and Rebirth
In the adventure within The Tome of Decay , the Heretics have already risen to high status among the warlords of the Screaming Vortex, proving themselves worthy of a final judgement by Nurgle. The Heretics have mastered war, intrigue, and excess, yet on the foetid, deathly world of Mire they must face their greatest challenge yet.
On the planet Mire, at the heart of Screaming Vortex, the Heretics are granted the chance to be weighed in the balance by Nurgle. If judged worthy, Nurgle grants rebirth to the Heretics, inviting them to rise to become the mightiest lords of the Screaming Vortex. Heretics blessed in this way have the opportunity to lead a Black Crusade into the hated Imperium, or to ascend to the ultimate state of Daemonhood. But at the end of things, within the heart of the Screaming Vortex, the Ruinous Powers can be more harsh, uncaring, and fickle than ever as they judge the Heretics’ Warp-blasted souls. The Heretics must master death itself, and for many, their final steps on the Path to Glory will be the last they ever take.
The end of the Heretics’ journey approaches. Demonstrate yourself worthy of the Chaos Gods’ blessing, or else plummet to excruciating death or mindless servitude as a Chaos Spawn. The judgment of Nurgle awaits: begin the adventure in The Tome of Decay and take the first steps to apotheosis.
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Black Crusade is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, a setting in the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Disciples of the Dark Gods, working against the rule of the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man and in pursuit of personal glory.