Dark Heresy: Gunmetal Blues
It is the 41st Millennium. For more than a hundred centuries the Emperor of Mankind has sat immobile on the Golden Throne of Earth. He is the master of mankind by the will of the gods and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the vast Imperium of Man for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day so that he may never truly die. Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Mighty battlefleets cross the daemon-infested miasma of the Warp, the only route between distant stars, their way lit by the Astronomican, the psychic manifestation of the Emperor’s will. Vast armies give battle in His name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defense forces, the ever-vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few. But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat to humanity from aliens, heretics, mutants — and far, far worse. To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times. Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be relearned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
The Hive World of Scintilla – a dusky jewel in the tarnished crown of the Segmentum Obscuris. Over 25 billion souls call Scintilla home, and its tall spires climb for miles into the sky. Built upon industry and intrigue, the noble houses of the mighty Hive Cities scrabble for power while miles below them, the common folk scrabble to survive on the scraps left behind. Scintilla is a world of opulence and desperate degradation, where power and privilege are commodities worth dying over. To be a man living in Scintilla’s towering Hives is to dance to the tune of madness and corruption, to live on the cusp of heresy and damnation.
Gunmetal City – the youngest and most ambitious of Scintilla’s mighty Hives. A six-mile high edifice to industry and human endurance, her spires clutch like steel talons for the skies, while her labyrinthine lower levels delve deep into the stygian blackness of the planet’s substrata, to deep vistas where the light of day has never shown. High atop the loftiest towers of the Spires, the nobility reside in great palatial apartment-mansions. Here, the rich dwell in opulent decadence, heedless of the woes of the lower levels. Clean air is a valued commodity, and every palatial estate utilizes powerful air filters to cleanse the air of the smoke and pollutants belched out by the mighty factorums below. The most opulaent go so far as to pump air imported from cleaner planets into their magnificent mansions. The middle levels of the city are dominated by immense foundries powered by the geothermal heat from the heart of Mount Thollos. Almost all of Gunmetal City’s middle class work in these foundries over cauldrons of molten metal or blazing furnaces the size of tenement blocks. . Her forges and foundries produce millions of weapons every day, to feed the ever-hungry flames of war. The foundries are sweltering, filthy places where accidents are common and even a fortunate worker’s life is shortened by decades thanks to the choking air and cruel environment. The middle classers’ homes are clustered around the foundries and often fashioned from cargo containers. People are an afterthought in Gunmetal City. The foundries and the weapons they produce form the real purpose behind the place.
The Metallican Underhive – A sprawling wasteland beneath the monstrous city. Formed of old service tunnels, sewers, abandoned mines, and the ruins of collapsed factories considered no longer habitable, the Underhive is an inhospitable labyrinth of urban decay. Here, amid the ruins of half-collapsed tenement b locks and great abandoned warehouses and foundries, vicious creatures, mutated by centuries of exposure to pollutants and waste, prowl the darkness in search of prey. Entire sections of the Underhive are flooded with toxic gasses, both from industrial pollutants as well as the angry Mount Thollos. Only a madman would chose to live in such a place. But the Underhive is far from uninhabited. Thousands of desperate souls call the Underhive home. Among them are those who have nowhere else to go, the wretched who are forced to live beneath the Hive due to poverty. Some are simply unfortunate enough to have been born in the Underhive, and will spend their lives and eventually die there, having never seen the light of day. Here, where not even the law dares to tread, the castoff refuse of Gunmetal City accumulates like human pollutants. Heretics, mutants, the insane, and those who worship the Ruinous Powers all flock to the lawlessness of the Metallican Underhive. Gang life is rampant in the Underhive, where the law of the gun is the law of the land. Armed gangs wage eternal war over the meager resources of the Underhive, be it clean water, a working power conduit, breathable air, edible food, or the scant merchantable debris left here from past generations, or found among the discarded waste of the huge city. Rarely, a gang who discovers such a treasure trove can find comfort and wealth, even more seldom, they may live long enough to spend their fortune. Life in the Underhive, they say, is worth the price of a bullet, and only the quick and ruthless survive. For even here, in the depths of the Hive, the 41st millennium is an age of endless war.
Gunmetal Blues is a campaign for FFG’s Dark Heresy, set in the crime-rampant depths of the Metallican Underhive. It follows the lives of a typical Metallican Hive Gang, struggling to survive in the grim depths of the Underhive. Amid the wyrds, mutants, apostates, cultists, and outlaws of the Hive, they forge bonds of brotherhood, which transcend the simple needs of survival. Along the way, while vying with other gangs for survival, they will encounter all manner of blasphemies against the God-Emperor, and strive to hold on to sanity and purity in the most brutal and unforgiving of settings.