"We are the bold and rakish crew of the good ship Manatee, They say that we’re the strangest bunch to sail the starry sea, Oh, rev up your engines, match our warp, and catch us if you can. We’ll drink your brew when journey’s through, and it’ll never end"
- – Good Ship Manatee, Leslie Fish
These are what could generously be called "Setting Notes" for the All Guardsmen Party's unbelievably horrible ship.
This is very much a work in progress. Be patient and feel free to add stuff, I'm not going to claim that I own every little aspect of this.
If you're just here for the Tables, here they are: Occurrence Border Random Encounters
- 1 What's an Occurrence Border
- 2 Ship Stats and Pics
- 3 The Nature of the Occurrence Border and its Repairs
- 4 Inhabitants
- 5 Features, Aspects, Oddities
What's an Occurrence Border
Welcome to the least spaceworthy ship this side of the screaming vortex.
As a reminder, the Occurrence Border has been a spacefaring deathtrap for decades, maybe even centuries. Long before it was acquired by the Inquisition it was the ship of an impressive series of lazy, incompetent, or just plain unlucky Rogue Traders. Presumably there was some point where its downward spiral from relatively-normal Imperial vessel to glorified space-hulk began, but no one documents shit around here, so who really knows. The point being: despite the fact that most of these notes are focused on its recent service in the Inquisition, there are numerous times and places where an unlucky party could find itself aboard this vessel.
It's also a pretty obvious reference to Event Horizon
Ship Stats and Pics
Original ship length: 2km
Current ship length: 1.2km
Notes on the Gellar Field
Since it has changed so often, here's the history of this critical component
Original: 1 normal generator, badly damaged by doing something stupid
Replacement: 7 refurbished micro-generators. 4 along the ship's length, 1 on the bridge, 2 acting as widespread covers on the top and bottom of the ship. The foremost field immediately failed and was removed.
Inquisition Refit: 2 normal generators, one primary, one backup (Guardsmen HQ set up across the hall from main entrance)
The Nature of the Occurrence Border and its Repairs
The Occurrence Border has been repaired with scrap parts so many times that no real organization remains. Corridors twist and turn without clear reason, the construction style wildly changes, and nothing works at it was originally intended. Kludges have been kludged on top of other kludges, to the point where any change to a system is likely to result in several others failing. It's become easier to rig a new system on top of another, than to try and fix the original, because fixing the original would cause a dozen other systems to stop working… AND NO ONE KNOWS WHY.
I mean for instance, imagine Gravity plates in one hallway might be at a thirty degree angle, which causes some difficulties, but fixing them means that the sewage pipe in the next hallway starts flowing in reverse. So a solution might be to weld new floor panels in at an angle, or steal a few grav plates from another hallway that totally doesn't need them and use them to counteract the force of the angled plates. Of course a few months later the original plates fail, and a new fix for the sewage problem is devised involving trained marmosets or something.
So now the old fix is purposeless, and may actually be causing problems, but you've already built three other fixes into that, so you can't really do anything about it. So fuck it, you throw up a sign that says how the hallway is fucked up and move on with your life, promising to come back and just redo the whole thing when you have time. Then you get killed by a freak accident involving a servitor, a minor daemon, and a crate full of novelty toilet seat covers, leaving nothing behind but a note that says "The gravity in this hallway is fucked, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO FIX"
Then a mutant krootoid wanders in and eats the note.
Anyway, the point is: it's probably best to leave anything that's even marginally functional alone. And if you see a note that says "Do not do X" or "Messing with Y will break Z", it is generally better to follow the advice and work within those limitations than to try and figure out why that actually happens.
The most noticeable feature of the Occurrence Border is its length, or lack there of. The reason for this is that, well, the front fell off. Repeatedly.
Honestly it's what probably started the whole downward spiral that made the ship what it is today.
- First Time
The Captain attempted to latch onto a space-hulk and drag it out of the warp, ended with the spacehulk being slightly larger and the ship being shorter.
- Second Time
The jagged new front section is left exposed during subsequent warp travels. Without it's original forward shielding, or the installation of any replacements, warp contamination quickly builds. After it becomes apparent that the problem will not go away if ignored, the contaminated area is cut away and walled off into a new prow.
- Third Time
In a hurry to get somewhere, the Captain attempts to push through some warp turbulence by turbo-charging Gellar field generator and flooring it. The ship gets about 1/5th of the way in before the field flickered and an emergency de-warp was triggered. The front section does not de-warp cleanly, and the Gellar field isn't in good shape either. After a long, slow voyage to a shipyard, the contaminated area is once again cut away and walled off into a new prow.
- Fourth Time
The damaged Gellar field is replaced with seven small refurbished models. The front-most one goes out on the ship's first journey after refit. Since repeatedly having a shipyard cut off then reseal the tainted bow has been a major drain on funds, an alternative is proposed. The ship is brought close to a star, and the void shields are lowered, melting the tainted section away and forming a sort of forward shield at the same time. Despite the incredibly blinding stupidity of this idea, it winds up working fairly well. This event left the ship with its trademark squashed-butter bow.
- Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Etc. Time
Hasn't happened. Yet. Give it time, it's practically inevitable.
Tech-priests and the Occurrence Border do not get along well. This is primarily because the Ad-Mech likes to do things by-the-book, and things on the Occurrence Border are so fouled up that the book's only real recommendation is that the whole ship should be scrapped. That said, there are usually a few of them around, since they are undeniably wizards when it comes to fixing things that fit within their doctrine, but the more unorthodox systems of the vessel are maintained by the Engineers.
The Engineers are unordained crewmen who have been living on and repairing the Occurrence Border for so long that they've gotten a knack for it. They aren't tech-priests, and don't have their near supernatural tech-affinity, but they are the living repository of all the slap-dash fixes that have kept the ship running. Within the limits of their expertise, which may vary from man to man, they are better than anything short of a Magos. This does not endear them to the stodgier members of the Ad-Mech. Anyway, consider it the difference between a lifetime of specialized on-the-job experience and a significantly higher level of education. Also the Engineers are a lot more flexible when it comes to fixing things due to their rather lax attitude concerning what is and isn't tech-heresy.
When the Occurrence Border was sold to the Inquisition most of the younger Engineers left the ship, but the oldest ones stayed on out of stubbornness and fear of change. After the events of Discount Spaceship, the surviving elderly Engineers were all given Juvenat treatments, and set back to work. However, the loss of their apprentices and the ship's partial refit meant that the Engineers handle a significantly smaller amount of the ship's maintenance than they used to, they wound up acting more as advisors than they used to.
Of course that all changed again when the Occurrence Border's entire priesthood (save Jim and Hannah,) was fired and replaced with wet-behind-the-ear tech-acolytes. Now the Engineers have a sort of alliance with the tech-priests, and are raising some of them up as apprentices alongside the more promising non-ordained members of their work crews. It's all a mess really.
The point is, the Engineers are generally in charge of the older systems since they know how things work, and have a tradition of putting up little notes about the oddities of those systems and how to deal with them. They have a complicated relationship with the Ad-Mech, but get along well with chief Enginseers Jim and Hannah.
Oh, and remember that most of the Engineers are over seventy years old, but have been alchemically rejuvenated to what might be called an active forty. Their hobbies include: staying alive, complaining about how things aren't as good as they used to be, referencing events and people that no one else can remember, staying alive, tinkering with things, ridiculing younger people (or people that just look younger), and STAYING ALIVE.
In the old days the Occurrence Border was manned by the usual sort of crew you find working for Rogue Traders, except worse. Aside from those who developed an inexplicable love for the horrible deathtrap of the ship, every crewman's greatest desire was to get OFF the Occurrence Border at the first available opportunity. Crew turnover was high to say the least, it was a constant battle of desertion and horrible ship-related death versus false-promise-based recruitment and press-ganging. Most of the crew was all too glad to leave when the ship was sold to the Inquisition.
When the Occurrence Border entered the Inquisition's service, a new crew was mustered from a wide selection of merchant and naval vessels. Aside from being generally better at their jobs, this new crew's view on the ship isn't that different from their more piratical predecessors, which is to say that they want to get off Mr. Border's Wild Ride. Unfortunately, deserting from the Inquisition is rather inadvisable to say the least, so for the most part the crew has adopted a rather stoic attitude and is focussed on living long enough to be transferred to another ship. Some crewmen are little more impatient, or have less faith that they'll ever be allowed to leave the ship, and have decided their only chance of escape is to OUTLIVE the Occurrence Border. There haven't exactly been any cases of sabotage, after all it's a suicidally bad idea to damage the ship you're currently riding on, but sometimes maintenance procedures are neglected and reports are misfiled....
The attitude of the crew towards their Inquisitorial passengers is one of disinterest. They have their own problems, and do not want any part of the Inquisition's. Similarly the crew will try to avoid the tech-priests, and have a tendency to take refuge in the Chain-of-Command when asked to do something they don't want to do. Exceptions to this rule are the armsmen who patrol the tainted section of the ship, and the medical staff.
The Occurrence Border has had problems with warp taint for a long time, but its recent brush with Gellar Field failure has made things much worse. Several of the most-tainted sections have been removed, but it was not economically feasible to remove them all (I mean after a certain point you're just rebuilding the whole ship). The standard operating procedure is to just seal off any warp-tainted sections. The lack of anything living to mess with kept the number of manifestations to a minimum, and anything that did appear usually faded before it could claw through the sealed bulkheads. Sometimes that doesn't quite work though, and that's where the Watch comes in.
The Watch is a general term for the armsmen and ship's clergy that keep an eye on the tainted sections. They patrol the area looking for signs of warp-shenanigans, and apply violence and prayer as necessary. It is not a safe job, it is not a glorious job, and it is definitely not a fun job, but when the Navigator hits a bump in the Warp and a daemon manifests, someone's got to kill it. To say that these guys see a lot of shit is an incredible understatement; you haven't had the real Occurrence Border experience until things start to get unreal.
While the Watch is mostly made of priests, armsmen, and whoever gets called in to patch up the place after the warp-shenanigans are over, there are a few more esoteric members. The wonder-team of Nubby, Twitch, Fumbles, and Aimy are more-or-less permanently assigned to the Watch as the "Inquisitorial Liaison". Relatively little liaising is actually involved in this arrangement; mostly they wander around pestering people and trying to avoid work, but when things get weird, they Handle It.
The rest of the Watch doesn't actually hate the three guardsmen and their psyker companion, and will tell anyone who asks that they're the best problem solvers around, but they do tend to avoid their "Inquisitorial Liaison". It's not that they're a cretin, a paranoid, an accident-prone psyker, and an antagonistic bitch, the problem is that they seem to be an absolute magnet for dangerous warp-phenomena. Every man in the Watch has learned that the farther away from the four they stay, the longer they'll live.
The Occurrence Border's Medicae are very good at their jobs. At first this may be surprising, but given the amount of injuries the ship causes, it really shouldn't be. Aside from the matter of practice makes perfect, if the ship didn't have an incredibly competent medical staff and well-stocked medbay, it'd run out of crew before long.
The Medicae are led by a former Sister Hospitaller with experience in everything from trauma, to pathology, to cosmetic surgery. She is regarded with fear and awe by her patients and deep respect from the team that works under her. Her one incongruous soft spot seems to be for the ex-Guard medic that hangs around medbay between his Inquisitorial missions. The rest of the medical staff regard their boss' boyfriend as a valuable member of the team (if a little inexperienced when it comes to anything but field-medicine), especially because of how much calmer their boss tends to be when he's around.
The rest of the Medicae is made up of a small handful of doctors of various specializations, and a larger handful of nurses. The medbay is outfitted with all sorts of medical cogitators, servo-whatevers, and pretty much everything else short of an organ-cloning facility; there's even a machine shop next door for patching up tech-priests and making augmetics. It may seem a little odd that this part of the Occurrence Border is in such better condition than the rest of the vessel, but anyone with half a brain could see it was going to be needed. Also, the old medbay was torn apart by daemonically possessed servitors, so everything there is brand-new.
The Tribals in Hydroponics
So at some point the forward hydroponics bays were having trouble and needed constant low-level maintenance to keep the crops growing. This problem was solved by more or less enslaving a bunch of tribals, throwing them in there, and making it their job. After the initial period of unrest, the actual enslavement part sort of fell by the wayside and a sort of symbiotic tribal community has more or less flourished in the massive bay.
They keep the plants growing, and make sure food gets into the output area on schedule. In exchange no one bothers them and they live a rather uncomplicated life in the bay. There's something like two hundred of them, and the population is held steady by individuals and groups occasionally splitting off to join the ship's official crew or settle on a world. There's a fair amount of story buried in there, especially after the bay next to them was filled with krootoids and their duties were expanded to hunting down escapees from it, but that's the gist of it.
During the events of Discount Spaceship, the Tribals' bay was exposed to the warp and had to be abandoned. A significant percentage of them died during the exodus, but the majority survived to resettle in a newer bay towards the middle of the ship. They've resumed their role of food providers to the ship, and everything is more or less back to as-normal-as-it-gets on the Occurrence Border.
The end result of all this, aside from there being a bay in midships full of Tribals with a religion based around growing food and feeding it to the Emperor, is that the Occurrence Border is actually very well provisioned, and a small but significant portion of the ship's armsmen are of Tribal descent. They are best left un-fucked with, as their knowledge of the ship is second only to the Engineers, and it's their HOME damnit.
Coming Soon™... okay, Eventually™
Eventual TL;DR: Go completely nuts twice, with one of the chiefs building a daemon possessed servitor-titan which merges with a knarloc. He got smashed through several floors and half of a wall after Nubby cranked the gravity at an empty elevator shaft to 200g.
The first instance of Crazy was when a handfull of brave, loyal Guardsmen in the service of the Emperor found hidden bombs in the Gellar Feild. Instead of sending the squad's demolitions expert to handle the bombs, however, the Captain-Magos esscorting the ship back to yet another refit decided it'd be a great idea to tell everyone. This ended with most of the ship's multiple Gellar Feilds blown up, the warp drive getting damaged, and getting stuck in the Warp on a shitty ship untill said Guardsmen fixed it. Yes, this is the magos who got possessed and built a Servitor Titan and promptly sent down the elevator shaft.
The second instance of Crazy was due to the building of a potential Schiscm. It turns out, putting a bunch of extremely devout techpriests on board a shitty abomination of a ship is enough to cause a minor mutiny, ESPECIALLY when 1. a bunch of uninitiated engineers know more about the ship then most of the Admec approved scans and 2. They get wind of a Inquistorial misson that uncovered soem ancient technological archeotech. This was solved by the brave, loyal Inquisition team assigned to the Occurance Border blowing up the artifact with a nuke the Admech prepared (to prevent Titans going for walkies in Imperium space), and uniting the Tech Priests under a noble cause: blowing the shit out of a enemy Heretek Fleet. Magos Juris solved this crazy situation from further future escalation by just replacing all the Techpriests onboard.
The new cogboys probably won't go nuts a third time because they are all Interns/trainees, Jim is the Head Engiseer thanks to Magos Juris now, Hannah is in charge of making sure they don't do something stupid like try to fix the Occurance Border's problems in the tainted sections, and Old Bill is looking out for them with yellow notes. Also, they are all banned from going anywhere near the Inquisition's quaters on the grounds of probable Tech Heresy, a definite ammount of explosives, and the possibility of all thier stuff becoming as second-hand as the Occurance Border. Third Batch is still doing well so far, and even lived through a huge clusterfuck involving Tyranids without going crazy, and are currently looting a Inquistorial facility to attatch it all to their ship (the Inquisition said it was okay, so it's not stealing).
The inquisitorial denizens of the Occurance Border consist of a group of 6 angry, cynical guardsmen, a tau captive, and their drug-addicted psyker. They have their own section of the ship, which is constantly under surveillance by the squad's demolition trooper, who has the entire region rigged with explosives. The door to their "quarters" is controlled by a data-slate rigged to a claymore mine and the door, and a security question is displayed on the data-slate. Answering the question incorrectly activates the mine, which will blow up the person if they move even an inch. After about 15 servitor deaths, the ship's tech-priests stopped sending them down to do maintenance in that part of the ship. The inquisitorial portion of the ship is also a secret armory of tau weaponry, complete with a stealth drone and a said captive tau scientist.
It is also important to note that the ship is owned by the inquisition, and was acquired by a member of the inquisition team currently on board; thus, that team is pretty much stuck with the Occurrence Border.
The Inquisition has also recently requisitioned an entire Ordo Xenos research lab onto the Occurance Border, so now there are even more deadly creatures aboard than just Krootoids waiting to break free and start roaming around on this hulk.
Features, Aspects, Oddities
Okay this is why you're really here, and honestly I've got jack until I nail down my GM and make him cough up what he's got. Honestly you should feel free to add in your own stuff, its a big ship and there's more wrong with it than any one person can imagine.
Shitty Ship Problems
All the little quirks that come from a lifetime of misuse, slap-dash repairs, and terrible luck. Insane layout, spotty gravity, exposed high-voltage wiring, and millions of cryptic notes are just the start.
(notes will be added to each entry eventually)
Gravity (weak, strong, upside down, angled, sideways or wobbly)
"DO NOT TOUCH"
Generally incomprehensible corridor layout
Xenos Waste Processor
Plasma routed through corridor
Other things routed through corridor
Corridor routed through other things
BEWARE OF KNARLOC Deprecated - see also: Discount Spaceship.
Psyker Zoanthrope DAEMONTHROPE Containment Cells!
The Warp Drive is slightly damaged and has a important piece of the Psyker Containmet Cells welded into it so nobody gets stuck in the Warp. Significantly strong Warp monstrosities can make sure it actually does get stuck in the Warp, however.
Refurbished Gellar Field Generators - Yes, these have been removed, but you never know - you could always find another one to install at a low, dicount price, or maybe the ones onboard already will slowly begin to qualify as this.
Having a entire Ordo Xenos facility fitted onto the ship for transport, Xenos included. Here be Orks, and also lots of Squigs.
All the little oddities that have been caused by the ship's repeated tainting, and problems with the Gellar Field.
Ghosts of the previous unlucky crew haunting areas
Random pangs of emotion suddenly hitting you
That Tentacle thingy
Daemonettes tempting you to enter the room
The Poo Door (full of poo, also nurglings)
Doors opening into giant room full of fire
Doors opening into Twitch's minefields (wouldn't be unusual at all if said minefields weren't at the opposite side of the ship)
The Screamy Cogtain Crater - Sort of fixed ever since the Bug problem happened.
The Cell where the BIG Daemon first manifested
The Spooky Poker Room of the Damned
Bay full of Warp Fungus
Tyranids manifesting in certain corridors (currently Zoanthrope-only)
If you for whatever reason want to let the dice decide your fate, here are a number of lovely random tables, intended for use with Dark Heresy 1e. You can let the dice entirely decide your fate, by rolling to see how many rolls you make on which tables, or you can pick a table that meets your specific needs and roll a few times.