[DH2nd] Lectures of the Tech-Witch (Part 2)

Rite of the Skull-Minion (Maletek Summoning Ritual)

To the dismay and terror of the Followers of the Omnissiah, the Machine-Spirits can be the target of daemonic subjugation and warp-craft as any mortal soul does. Over the time, the Holy Ordos and the Secutors of Sollex became aware of Servo-Skulls that were desecrated by and bounded to Tech-Witches and Dark Magi. Through foul means those traitors to the Imperium created an unholy union with the Servo-Skulls, subjugating them to their tainted conscious and turned them to extensions of their own self.

The ritualist needs a number of Servo-Skulls (see Conducting the Ritual) and has to mix his own blood with machine oils (see below). He further needs to link himself to the the Servoskulls via an Electro Graft (Talent: Electro Graft Use is required; any bonus the Talent would give during the ritual is already taken into account). The GM should feel free to invent further mandatory material requirements. Some optional components are listed below, which of them are known will vary from version to version of the ritual.

Conducting the Ritual:
First, the Machine-Spirits of the Servo-Skull(s) need to be opened up & prepared for the acceptance of a new set of orders. This calls for a difficult(-10) test for either Trade(Technomant) or Tech-Use (+20; if the Servo-Skulls are already under the command of the ritualist). Then, the ritualist needs to connect himself to the Servo-Skull(s) via the use of his Electro Graft and perhaps an EG-Hub if multiple Skulls are used in one ritual (Routine(+20) test for either Trade(Technomant) or Tech-Use; -10 for every Skull above the first). All of the Skulls need to be anointed with a mixture of the ritualists own, freshly drawn blood (1d5 wounds; +1 for every servo skull above the first one) and machine oils. At this point, a ordinary(+10) test for Scholastic Lore (Occult) needs to be passed. Besides the needed blood, all of these steps can either be done by somebody else and/or can benefit from Assistance (see DH core rules). This preparations will take about an hour per Servoskull.

After all is set up, the ritualist attempts the binding of the Skulls to his self via a perverted mix of regular Tech-Rites [Trade(Technomant or Tech-Use)(+10)] and invocations to the forces of the warp [Forbidden Lore(Daemonology(-20)]. If both are successful, he has infused the servo-skulls with minor unclean spirits and can now attempt to subjugate those desecrated skulls to his will. This is an opposed Willpower test. The Unclean Spirit has a Willpower of 35 and the ritualist suffers a (-10) for every Servo-Skull above the first. The whole ritual will take 1d5 hours.

If successful, the tainted machine-spirits are now permanently subjugated to the self of the ritualist. A Tech-Witch can never subjugate more Servo-Skulls than her INT or WP bonus (whichever is lower). A psyker might sense such a bound with a hard(-20) test for Psyniscience.

The Skull-Minions cannot leave the Tech-Witch´s presence further then (WKB x 5m). If they do, they will spend their full action each and every round to return to their master (whose direction they are always aware of) until they are in her presence again. As long as they are with the Tech-Witch and their sensors are functional and they not occupied with complex tasks, the Tech-Witch will receive a +10 bonus on Awareness tests for every skull. In addition, the Tech-Witch will receive a +1 Initiative Bonus in combat for each skull minion in her presence. Further, the Tech-Witch immediately gains the Binary Chatter Talent or (if she possesses this Talent) the effects of said Talent are doubled.

The skulls will otherwise function normally and in adherence to their programs. As long as the Skull Minions are within the presence of the Tech-Witch, she can issue any orders mentally as a free action to each and any of her Skull Minions. In combat, the Skull-Minions will act on the same Initiative step as their master. If the Tech-Witch spends a full action, she can exercise full control over each and any of her Skull-Minions, regardless of program. Exchange the Skulls INT and WP with that of the Tech-Witch. If the Tech-Witch uses “Defensive Stance” as a combat action, the Skull Minions will try to put themselves into harms way to negate a successful attack. Each Skull Minions thereby gets a Dodge(-10) test each round; if the Minion is successful, it dives in to take the blow and takes the damage instead.

If the Tech-Witch is stunned, her Skull Minions are stunned as well. If the Tech-Witch is taken out, so are any Skull-Minions. If a Telepathy power is used upon the Tech-Witch, add +10 to her Insanity score each Skull-Minion to determine the chances for Mind-Rot.

Costs of the Ritual: The Tech-Witch will suffer 1d5 points of Corruption plus 1 for each subjugated Skull-Minion and 1d10 points of Insanity +1 for each subjugated Skull-Minion. All of this is regardless of whenever the Ritual was successful or not.

The Price of Failure: If any test during the setup is failed, the ritual will simply fail since the Servoskulls where not prepared correctly. Same is true if the tests for the “regular Tech-Rites” (Technomant / Tech-Use) where failed. If the Willpower test to subjugate the Machine-Spirits is failed, the Rite is a failure and the ritualist will gain a further 1d5 points of Insanity (+1 for every level of failure).

Optional Ritual Components/Modifiers
One of the anointed Skulls was smashed into pieces with a tool (i.e. a hammer) during the Invocation (+10 on the Willpower test to Subjugate the Servoskulls)

The ritualist prepared his mind with Numerology formulas; (+10 test for Scholastic Lore (Numerology)) ( -1 point of Insanity; reduced by one additional point for every two levels of success).


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