I'm reading through the published adventures available for Cubicle 7's Wrath and Glory Warhammer RPG. Lord of the spire is the third book in a quartet of adventures, including Bloody Gates, On the wings of Valkyries, and Affliction Ascendant. The books aren't exactly sequential, and instead each adventure occurs during the same military campaign to liberate Tora Armis.
This review contains spoilers.
Being the third book in a four-part series, Lord of the spires is a Tier 3 adventure. That means player characters are likely to be some of the most iconic archetypes available, which includes a Space Marine, a Tech-Priest of Cult Mechanicus, a Commissar, a Crusader of the Ministorum. With the Forsaken System player's guide, there are several Adepta Sororitas archetypes, as well. Regardless of the archetype, the framework is based around the Inquisitors.
In this adventure, Inquisitor Tytrona Dikaisune (profiled in Forsaken System page 74) of Ordo Malleus sends the player characters to Tora Armis to uncover why the spire was sealed off in the first place. She suspected heresy from the moment the spire withdrew from communication, and now that it's been cracked open by the Astra Militarum (in Bloody Gates), she needs a team to move in, investigate, and purify.
Has a company ever done anything so reprehensible that you just want to go and give the CEO a stern scolding? That's this adventure.
Sure, Tora Armis fell to the powers of Chaos through the combined actions of its thousands of inhabitants, but the Inquisition knows that ultimately it's the leader to blame. Like the captain of a ship, the leader of a spire is ultimately responsible for what happens, and so Lord van Staten is the subject of the player character's investigation.
The problem is that the Lord's palace itself has been altered by the energies of the Warp. The walls are fleshy, with polyps and digestive acid and "pendulous organs". There are rivers of blood and waves of Nurglings and several other randomly-generated threats. It's a sort of dungeon crawl, only the dungeon is alive and wants to digest you.
At the centre of it all is Lord van Staten, who has melded into his monstrously fleshy palace and has been providing corrupt "palacefruit" (don't ask) to the hungry masses of his spire. Player characters have the opportunity to put Lord van Staten out of his misery, putting an end to Nurgle's incursion into Tora Armis.
This is a repulsive adventure, with what I'd describe as internal body horror throughout. If you're excited about that kind of horror, then this is an adventure to try. It's disgusting and really satisfying. There's lots of fighting against the environment through sheer force of will (or dice, anyway) and lots of fighting against daemons through brute force of the Imperium. It's not quite as direct as this blog post makes it out to be, but only just. All in all, this is a pretty straight-forward story, but that's one of the things that makes it exciting.
I imagine that this is the kind of story most appropriate to Tier 3 and above. Sure, you could play an investigative story at a high Tier, but then again why bother? Realistically, your Adeptus Astartes character probably isn't going to default to social intrigue to solve a problem. When you've been called in to solve a problem at Tier 3 or 4, you've been called in for a specific set of skills, so it only makes sense to use them.
All images in this post copyright Games Workshop.