As the defenders of humanity, Acolytes embark on hazardous adventures into the dark heart of the Askellon Sector, in the grim, far future of the 41st millennium. They take their lead from one of the Imperium’s Inquisitors – supremely-powerful agents dedicated to preserving Mankind at any cost.
Inquisitors travel to the far reaches of the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man to detect and destroy the manifold threats to mankind, and they are relentless in the pursuit of these threats. While they wield tremendous power, Inquisitors are still but men; they cannot be everywhere, and so they rely upon their Acolytes to augment their efforts. To be an Acolyte is to possess more power than most men dream of. Still, this power must be wielded wisely, for its misuse can prove even more damaging than not using it at all. Were an Acolyte to fail in his duties, entire worlds, systems, or even entire sectors may fall to endless night.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and these are the darkest times that humanity has ever known. The Imperium is beset by enemies, from within and without and beyond. Humanity is but a heartbeat from extinction, and it an Acolyte’s job to ensure mankind survives another day…
The 448-page, full-color Dark Heresy Second Edition Core Rulebook contains everything you and your friends will need to serve the Emperor in the Askellon Sector. Rules for character creation, combat, and adversaries are supplemented by informational source materials that will help Game Masters bring the Askellon Sector and its horrors to life. The Dark Heresy Second Edition Core Rulebook can be used to enjoy standalone adventures and ongoing campaigns in the grim future of the 41st millennium.
Dan Abnett, the bestselling author of numerous Warhammer 40,000 novels such as the Gaunt’s Ghost series, and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor trilogies, has written a short story about Acolytes in the Askellon sector specifically for Dark Heresy Second Edition!
Dark Heresy Second Edition introduces a new sector for Acolytes to explore, and even more vile and insidious heresies to discover and destroy.
Askellon is an ancient region, pre-dating the Imperium itself, and its history is filled with secrets and lies that have stained every generation of its inhabitants. As if to compound its woes, the sector is cursed with a seemingly unending Warp storm known as the Pandaemonium that has raged for millennia. With each passing century, it has grown ever more intense and dangerous, devouring all in its path like a hungry beast.
On Askellon’s many worlds, from lordly Juno to the lawless asteroids of Port Aquila, and from the devout population of Thaur to the red forges of Cerix Magnus, fear runs rampant as the Pandaemonium’s rising ferocity heralds the sector’s fall. Many claim that humanity has reached the prophesied Time of Ending, and it will take the mightiest deeds of the Acolytes to forestall this terrible doom, if only for one day.
The Askellon Sector is a major part of this new edition, and it allows players to explore utterly unique cultures and peoples, and it also houses a wide range of original, new adversaries. Within the sector, players will encounter a wide range of characters, organisations, and cults. Their Acolytes will have no shortage of heresies to investigate and eradicate.
While Askellon is the setting for Dark Heresy Second Edition, fans of the Calixis Sector can rest assured that all of the background and source material created for that sector can still be utilized to run campaigns set there using the Dark Heresy Second Edition ruleset with minor effort. The addition of the Askellon Sector does not invalidate the Calixis Sector material. Rather, the creation of Askellon simply gives players a whole new sector to explore, and new heresies to eliminate.
Dark Heresy Second Edition provides a deeper look into the Imperium’s Inquisitors. Each Inquisitor is an individual empowered with the means, the will, and the authority to face any threat that might assail Mankind, whether that threat emanates from within, without, or beyond.
It is within the purview of an Inquisitor to take command of mighty armies in order to combat an enemy only he knows how to face, or to order an entire world burned that the taint of heresy might not infect a whole sector.
Inquisitors are unique in that they alone understand the terrifying truths of Mankind’s enemies, and they alone have the will to endure and fight these threats, no matter the means or cost. Each Inquisitor fights for Mankind in his own manner, with his own approach to deal with the most dire of enemies, and this means every sector has a unique Inquisitorial presence.
Very few Inquisitors exist within Askellon’s haunted regions. Thus, many Acolytes might know of only their own Inquisitor, and they might operate under the belief that theirs is the only Inquisitor in all of Askellon. Even so, at any given time, Mankind faces innumerable threats within the sector, so the Acolytes must constantly decide which heresies are paramount, knowing for each one they investigate, countless others fester and corrupt Askellon’s future. Often acting with little or no outside support, the Acolytes know that, if they fail, there is perhaps no one else to keep the sector from falling to darkness.
It is the Acolytes’ duty to shepherd Mankind from the manifold paths of damnation, with smoking boltguns or world-burning virus bombs, if necessary. Acolytes cannot shirk from their noble calling, harsh as it might be, for the only thing more horrific than the lengths to which they may go to eradicate heresy is what might occur if they fail to act.
Their investigations take them into deadly combat against twisted mutants, powerful psykers, and deadly abominations. Acolytes must face the horrors of Daemons and ancient aliens dedicated to the eradication of Mankind as a species, and they must battle for survival amidst webs of conspiracy and betrayal. Perhaps the greatest threat they face, however, is their fellow man, as the human soul is fertile ground for corruption. Foul cults and insane heresies permeate all areas of the Imperium, and no one is beyond suspicion.
Through their actions, players and the Acolytes they bring to life create epic tales where it is always a minute from eternal midnight, and only their combined efforts can defeat humanity’s foes and stave off the Imperium's destruction, if only for one more day. Their Acolytes can never rest, for the multitudes of terrors desiring humanity’s extinction are ever-present. There are always heresies to be uncovered, aliens to be vanquished, and Daemons to be banished. To be an Acolyte is to know these terrors exist, and possess the strength and will to combat them, no matter the sacrifice. Take up bolter and chainsword, and enter the world of Dark Heresy Second Edition!
Dark Heresy Second Edition is perfect for new and seasoned Acolytes alike, even those who aspire to become Inquisitors themselves one day!
For those courageous and worthy enough to root out heresy in the Emperor’s name, the Askellon Sector awaits. Purge its worlds of heretics, and put down any threats to the Imperium that stand in your way. Shine the holy light of the Emperor into the darkness, and make a name for yourself as one of his mighty and loyal Acolytes in Dark Heresy Second Edition.
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