In the hive city Mondus Centurium upon Alfa Secundus, there is a thriving community around the illegal fighting pits of the upper parts of the underhive. Several parts of the underhive of Mondus Centurium is totally beyond imperial control, despite the fact that the whole hive world of Alfa Secundus plays an important role in the administratum itself. The seething underhive of Mondus Centurium is mostly controlled by local crime lords and more or less illegal cartels, that mostly keep each other in check in between gang wars. The poverty of these areas is immense. The imperial authorities keeps the situation under control by isolating these parts of the city from the rest, performing a whole border control, just for moving from one unlawful part of the hive city to a more lawful one. They can not control what is going on in these parts of the hive, but they can certainly control who comes and goes and any trade in between parts of the hive city. It kind of keeps everything in a stalemate in between outright wars in an effort to regain some control, with more or less success.
The Iron Cartel, descendants of the old great industry of Hive Mondus Centurium is one of the greater powers of the underhive. They are quite wealthy from selling old industrial equipment and scrap iron, which the underhive has an almost unlimited supply of. They trade this old iron uphive in vast amounts in return for selling drugs downhive in alarmingly large amounts as well. The Iron Cartel keep the peace in their part of town by providing entertainment in the fighting pits. The fighting pits are highly illegal, yet they form the cultural backbone of Iron Town, the part of Mondus Centurium underhive controlled by the Iron Cartel. Many people train and pay to enter the pitfights in the hope of winning large prizes, freedom and salvation. Very few succeed, because the Iron Cartel have their own pit slaves. The pitslaves get modified and drugged , they get first class weapons and first class combat training, they get combat stimms and drugs. Few are the warriors, that can overcome one of the Iron Cartel monsters, but many try.
Some time ago there was a very bloody slave revolt where a bunch of the Iron Cartel pit slaves managed to escape from the pens. They went at first on a killing spree through Iron Town until the Cartel guards and warriors started to close in, then they broke out of Iron Town. The Iron cartellers followed the escaped pit slaves into the neighbouring part of the underhive and crossed into the territory of the Tech Mafia, their greatest rivals in the iron trade. That started a territorial underhive war, as such transgressions do and the pit slaves made their escape further downhive in the mayhem. In time the adeptus Arbites went in with a large force and stopped the infighting.
In the meantime the pit slaves had made their way to the swamps of Axxos, where they could escape notice and lie low. They soon started preying on the weak little swampgrubbers, bullying them and robbing them blind. The pitslaves had the time of their lives, not only free at last, but also with a whole village of cowering slaves to do their every bidding. None of them any kind of threat. Then came the inquisition and it all ended!
A band of inquisitors, warriors and soldiers with servitors and combat robots among them came to Swampgrubber town and ruined everything. Their business seemed to be deeper into the swamps, but they kept asking questions of the swampgrubbers and kind of rousing them to action and at some point, the swampgrubbers told one of the inquisitors about the pit slaves.
The brothers Bolg and Golg and the Chronogladiator attacked immediately, hoping to either fight their way out of the swamps or to kill the whole inquisitorial retinue. The two remaining pit slaves Khorgor the Bloody and Kull the Unwashed could clearly see that they did not stand a chance, well Khorgor could see it, Kull had not seen anything since they plucked out his eyes and sewed them shut, not realising that he could fight quite well by sound and feel… Then again they always listened to Bolg, he had become kind of a leader of their little band even though his brain was addled by his extensive use of combat drugs, from his auto dispenser systems. This was a bad decision and Khorgor and Kull silently slipped away and hid inside the swamps.
The Inquisition made short work of the pit slaves and moved out into the swamps to do whatever it was, that they was there to do. After a few days that horribly psychic screaming, that had always been in that place stopped. Kull and Khorgor kept lying low until they saw the inquisitors return, make their way through Swampgrubber town and uphive.
Shortly after some other imperial agents showed up in the swamps, this time they was clearly looking for escaped pit slaves. It turned out that there was a price on their heads from the Iron Cartel as well as the imperial authorities, who would bring the murderous pit slaves to justice. The noose was definitely tightening again and they could not stay in the swamps…
Kull and Khorgor made their way from the swamps real silent like and as peaceful as they could. They travelled through the underhive, only killing to survive, as rarely as possible. They went to great lengths to avoid calling attention to themselves, even livings as beggars from time to time. At one point they managed to steal aboard one of the covert iron shipments from the Iron Cartel and hitch a ride uphive. Normally such shipments would never be allowed to leave the underhive, without extensive control and the trade itself was illegal, so the shipment would have been found out and stopped. Bribes had been payed, the Iron Cartel had grown rich from trading with the nobles of the spire. The clear air breathers… This was such a trade, so the shipment went through without any control, no problems, nobody noticed the two stowaways.
Khorgor and Kull marvelled at the light and riches they saw at even the lowest levels of the hive city above the underhive. They also realized that they did not stand a chance to blend in and go unnoticed. They reckoned that it was only a matter of time before the imperial agents would follow them uphive.
They went for the World Trade Spaceport. It was where shipments of documents, cabinets and scrap iron was transported off system. What they found in Mondus Centurium was vast, but not really the spaceport itself. It was a huge ferry station where goods was transported into orbit and loaded on the starships laying at high anchor or docked at the orbital platform. Khorgor had never seen anything like it.
They constantly had the feeling they were being watched, that someone was following, closing in. Kull and Khorgor found an iron shipment from the Iron Cartel going off world and managed to hide in the cargo. Fortunately the shipment was a part of a mixed load off biological matter and agriculture as well, so the transit was undertaken in normal atmosphere, at least long enough for the two stowaways to find a part of a starship to hide in with atmosphere, reasonable for survival.
The starship was bound for Ionidas Prime. Another hive world. Khorgor and Kull soon found out that it was as hard to survive in the civilized Hive cities of Ionidas Prime. They found the way downhive blocked, they were not back in their home system anymore, no cartels to use, that they knew of.
In the end they snuck aboard a cargo hauler and made their way off world yet again, this time it was a smaller craft with a minimum of crew. Kull and Khorgor Hijacked the ship and forced the captain to steer a new course away from imperial justice.
At some point the crew tried to take back control from the hijackers and a brutal fight broke out. When the smoke cleared and the screaming stopped, only Kull and Khorgor was left alive, stranded in space. Fortunately they were near a dry desert planet and somehow steered the cargo craft into its gravity well. The small cargo craft crashed in the desert and miraculously the two escaped slaves survived unharmed.
They walked away from the crash site and into the desert. No inquisitors here, perhaps they could finally find some peace. They got picked by a band of scrappers who were out to grab whatever useful equipment they could find on the shipwreck. The scrappers took them to their leader, a weird lady, they called the Scrap Queen and she took them in, she said they could always use a little more muscle…
Fortune had taken them to Tor Megiddo.
“Yeah right thought!” Brutus, “How much of that story is true? How much can we trust two maniacs literally falling out of the skies? Maybe they did not have anything to do with that crash. Maybe they are spies from one of the tors? I had better keep an eye on them, they sure keep much to themselves and don’t talk much, well at least the one of them, Who can talk.”
In the mean time Inquisitorial agent Rogan Falk was investigating what occurred in the Swamps of Axxos and among other things, he got a whiff of escaped pit slaves…
I originally made the two pit slaves Khorgor the Bloody and Kull the Unwashed for the Swamps of Axxos inquisitor scenario, but due to some time pressure and the many miniatures i made for that story I did not manage to paint them for the game and I ended up using some other miniatures for the pit slaves. They came in handy as two big, brutish warriors for the Tor Megiddo game instead. So why not keep their identity and write a story of how they are on the fringes of what happened in the swamps half a year ago and how they made their way to another world entirely.
I hope you enjoyed the story.