Emperor Preserve

Evacuation of Three Stakes' Rest
A good exit is one where there's functional members to evacuate the infirm

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TO: Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla, Ordo Xenos
FROM: Acolyte Karpath Rommulus, Ordo Xenos; Hive Goriana, Solomon System
SUBJECT: Mission Update
PRIORITY: Moderate
MESSAGE FORMAT: Submitted to Inquisitorial Locus in Hive Gloriana, Solomon

After vanquishing the foul servitor Odessa and I proceeded to search the offices for the information we needed. I failed to find anything relevant but Odessa discovered some documents and a few data slates that we shall inspect at a later date to determine the contents. She also found a strange weapon magazine that I expertly determined was a shotgun magazine. Odessa also searched under the rugs, in the plants, and between the couches finding a few mags for an autopistol and a key to an unspecified door.

We continued to look around until we found a corridor with a large hole in it we determined that it would be best to go back and check on the other acolytes. Coming back to the main room we learned that the warp whirlpool thing was growing bigger. We decided that letting the two poor schmucks out of the cell would be advantageous to use seeing how Intios and Arion were down for the immediate future. After a short conversation we discovered that they were Port Gyre hanger guards and had been there for a few weeks. One was named Iacopo Salucci and the other was named Tilusch Kaunitzer.
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Just as we were unlocking the two in the cell and arming them, the void whirlpool moved over a body and created this foul zombie warp monster. The zombie chased Kaunitzer after he put a full auto burst into the monster and Kaunitzer decided it would be prudent to run away. As Kaunitzer ran away Odessa and I fired on the monster until we downed the creature. Odessa identified the whirlpool as a direct portal to the warp. We decided that it would be best to evacuate the unconscious acolytes before the warp whirlpool got worse. On our way out Odessa discovered a strange box that showed obvious signs of the warp taint. We decided that it would be a good idea to take it with us.

Going the only way we thought we could get out we went to where the large gap in the floor was. As we looked down the corridor at the very edge of our vision we spotted a large hammer from those large hammer gangers. Deciding that I would be the best for crossing the gap alone due to my past training I hooked up to the grapnel and line and made the jump across. After landing on the other side I unhooked and sent the harness back over. I proceeded to check around the corner finding only the hammer and not the ganger that usually carried it. Taking turns swinging across the gap we got the entire cell across the gap but unfortunately we had to leave the magnetic grip of the grapnel and line behind. We carried Intios and Arion down the hall and sent Odessa forward to scout ahead to make sure we didn’t run into any unexpected surprises while we carried the other acolytes to safety.
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Odessa reported that she heard sounds of a melee going on ahead in the path. Odessa and I scouted forward and saw that the large hammer guys were fighting with these very shady characters. Taking advantage of the fight between the two groups we took the unconscious acolytes down the hallway until we encountered a group of five people two of them hammer guys, the other three were the other gangers. They were in our way and we don’t tolerate people that get in our way. I threw a grenade down the hallway into the middle of them killing a few of them and kicking off combat. I tried to stop one of the gangers from running away and maybe see if they weren’t hostile but they failed to heed my commands and ran anyways. During the combat Odessa exploded out in a huge wave of electricity disabling my weaponry and arm. Soon enough I regained the use of my arm and weaponry and we made our way out of the manufactorum.

I remembered my way back up to the Arbites stronghold and after some careful navigation we managed to escape the manufactorum with everybody intact and some of the information that we needed.

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In Control of the Three Stakes Rest Manufactorum...for Now
Can't an Acolyte loot in peace?

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From: Intios; Adeptus Administratum & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus

When we last left our Sciscitatio Task Force, Arion had taken a snipers bullet and Intios had taken a point blank blast from a shotgun. Karpath only hearing their last muffled screams through the vox decided to investigate after taking care of his immediate foe. Odessa was guarding the roll-up door entrance.
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There were multiple Deathskin gangers at the entrance but Odessa was keeping them at bay. Karpath was able to reach Intios’s last position where he spotted one more attacker. Karpath took him out with a few careful Las shots but not before seeing a mysterious figure escape through a trap door in the ground. Karpath deciding that it may not be a good idea to go down the trap door alone, he proceeded to gather up Arion and Intios’ bodies. He then started looking around the manufactorum and discovered a body count of 10 attackers.
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One of the snipers had an ID named Arbalon Cusher as well as a key card. The other sniper had a tattoo on his neck saying Grygiel. A micro bead was taken off of the sniper but there seemed to be no current communications. Another ID was found on an autogun carrying attacker with the name of Garret Biever. While Karpath was taking inventory of the bodies, the blood from the grates was still pouring out. He also discovered a cage with two live prisoners in the north east area of the manufactorum.

Karpath then sees a small passage leading away from the east side. He takes a quick look and first smells food and then what appears to be an area with multiple sleeping cots. Again, deciding that searching this area on his own may not be the best idea, he steps out and relays what he discovers to Odessa via their vox line.

Moments later, Karpath sees what he describes as a blue funnel cloud appear 30 meters away from him. The cloud is about 3 meters wide and maybe 4 meters tall…and appeared to be growing. As this unusual cloud starts to make Karpath uneasy, he quickly calls Odessa for her opinion on this possible warp phenomenon. Karpath and Odessa soon switch places, with Karpath guarding the door while Odessa investigates the cloud.

Odessa discerns that the cloud is of definite warp nature but with her sanctioned training, she is able to resist any effects. Odessa quickly questions the two prisoners before heading into the east tunnel. Neither Odessa nor Karpath were able to use the controls to close the roll up door. As Karpath did not want the Deathskin gangers interrupting their investigation, he throws a couple of grenades and along with a few well-placed Las shots; he is able to collapse the roof of the entrance.
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Karpath quickly joins Odessa along the eastern tunnel. With the key card found, the two were able to open a door that lead into what seemed like a private office. There were documents detailing older Trade Sable transactions. Some of the documents even had a few names, with Lans Guljian being one of them. Moments later, a lone combat servitor comes to life. Unable to deactivate it, the servitor charges Odessa with its chainaxe. Odessa is able to run out of the room and find cover. While doing so, Karpath unleashes a semi-auto burst of Las fire into the servitor. While effective, it does not stop the servitor. The servitor wheels around onto Karpath and connects with its chainaxe.

Unable to keep his feet, Karpath reels back and drops his Las gun. Odessa is able to summon her bio-lightning and hit the servitor square in the body. Still the servitor is up. With Odessa being the only cell member on her feet, she knows she needs to put an end to this servitor and get out alive.

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The Battle in the Old Manufactorum
The Emperor requires much from his servants

Symbol_-_Red_I_black_background.jpg The unofficial Sciscitatio Joint Task Force continued its battle with the heretics in the vast dark reaches of the old manufactorum located in Three Stakes’ Rest…an underhive region masquerading as the midhive.

The brave killer that separated Emperor’s foes from their life-giving fluid had fallen to a sniper’s round just a minute or so prior. His fellow Acolyte was trying to convey his still form, mangled blood-soaked leg and all, off the scaffolds & to relatively safety. Determining to move Arion with all of his gear, the best Intios could do was to lift Arion’s torso and drag him while walking backwards towards the nearest scaffolding steps…which was slow going. One of the denizens of this old forgotten place, who had heard the firefight had run for these same stairs. Reaching the top before the Acolyte duo, he peeked over the top of the steep stairs and commenced firing with shotgun blasts directed at Intios’ approaching back.

The Adept dropped prone, unslung his sniper weapon of choice & returned fire. The two filled the air with potential death, the Adept having the superior skill & weapon, but his shotgun-wielding foe having the tactical advantage of cover. With both the smell of gunpowder & the peculiar burnt oxygen of lasfire hanging in the air, the shotgun suddenly disappeared from sight over the edge of the stairs. After pausing a handful of heartbeats Intios boldly rose & charged. The Acolyte crested the top of the stairs at a run to find his foe having crawled just a few meters below the edge to reload. Intios deftly maneuvered past & hit the brakes a couple meters below his target on the steep stairway, wheeling to fire. The darkness, however, is not so easily defeated. As the Emperor’s warrior-Adept was spinning, his foe had just chambered his reloaded weapon. After the concussive shriek of their weapons subsided, Intios’ leg was shredded, as the point blank shotgun blast ripped the flesh off the bone & blew the Adept off his feet. Intios could be heard screaming as he careened down the steep metal stairway twenty meters to the ground below, turning them red with the spray from his mangled leg.
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Elsewhere in the manfactorum’s dark depths, Karpath Rommulus was dropping foes with precision Guardsman shooting from his backpack powered lasgun assault weapon.
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Odessa charged into the fray, letting the warp course through her & boiling the very blood of multiple heretics. At one point, the trails of her warpish attentions passed close to a grate in the floor…and suddenly an unending torrent of blood fired through the grate, shooting up in the air and causing a red downpour for twenty meters all around. After dispatching multiple foes via flame & smoke, she was struck & knocked unconscious.

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The UnderHive Masquerading as the MidHive
Precious little rest in Three Stakes’ Rest

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The unofficial Sciscitatio Joint Task Force have been pursuing an investigation of dangerous warp-tainted xenos artifacts in the Solomon System of the Markayn Marches. Such an item had cost the life of a noble, Lans Guljian, who had obtained it from a dangerous midhive gang known as the Babyfaces. The Cell, after having delivered some of the Emperor’s justice, had obtained through interrogation the name of their source. Zax Holthane was a purveyor of offworld goods for a trading house called the Trade Sable, and operated out of an area located in the lowest levels of the midhive known as Three Stakes’ Rest.
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This level of Hive Gloriana, as they’d been warned, was essentially the Underhive masquerading as the Midhive. The acolytes had successfully avoided any unwanted dangerous entanglements getting there through the canny navigating of Karpath Rommulus, his Guardsman basic training coming in handy. However, now deep in the thick of their destination, dealing with the lawless refuse of the vast Hive above was unavoidable.

The Cell tangled with a group Acolyte Arion believed to be a group of gangers of the “Deathskin” ilk. They were huge males in essentially loincloths, their skin covered in what Acolyte Intios identified as a lard of some kind. They weren’t too fast, but they swung huge mallets that looked like they could pulverize in a single blow. There was evidence there that they were cannibals. It looked like they had set up shop in a few rooms of the area & didn’t take well to the Acolytes visit. The superior armor & armaments of the Emperor’s soldiers proved victorious, but not before Odessa had some ribs caved in by one of the giant clubs.

The Cell came across some crates that appeared to be rerouted shipments. Much was already removed, but there was some ammunition, Ecclesiarchal holy oil & various food stuffs.
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The acolytes found a large abandoned manufactorum. It had a structurally unstable look to it & they found it to be full of rusted equipment & machinery of all shapes and sizes. Crates, chests and lockers were there…most of them empty, but showing signs of recent use. Acolytes Odessa & Karpath were assigned to guard the large entrance the Cell had used, making sure that none escaped, while Acolytes Arion & Intios explored the huge warehouse. They had made their way through perhaps half of it when a shot rang out & a ballistic round struck near Intios. Lighting was low here; their optics allowed them to see reasonably, but the cavernous darkness of this old manufactorum made it hard to know where precisely the shot had come from. Arion & Intios determined the attacker was above on some catwalks that criss-crossed the area. Another shot came their way & both acolytes sprinted for the nearest stairs they could see that would get them up there.

The assassin’s speed was on full display as Arion, in a blur, was suddenly running at full speed on the catwalk thirty meters above. Intios followed behind and took a shooting position at the top of the steep metal stairs. The second sniper on a neighboring catwalk targeted Intios, but the shot hit the scaffolding. The Cell’s assassin is quite difficult to target, especially when at full speed. However, this sniper Arion was charging kept his cool and put a round on target…Arion was badly bloodied, but did not fall. He stepped to the side, knowing that Intios was behind him, waiting for his view of the target to clear. Intios’ shot goes wide & Arion completes his fifty meter charge, striking down the sniper foe with his sharp hungry blade.

But alas, the second sniper had repositioned himself where the catwalks connect and, like Intios, was waiting for a clear shot. When Arion struck down the sniper’s comrade, the sight did indeed clear & he fired…badly disfiguring the swordsman’s leg, bone jutting out and blood erupting like a fountain over the catwalk all around. Arion collapsed to the ground, involuntarily yelled out & clutched his wrecked limb…instinctively trying to stop the gushing red liquid escaping from his body.

Through the Cell’s circuit, Intios called for Karpath to rush to the catwalk’s stairs on the opposite side of the massive chamber. Odessa dashed across the nearby open expanse and took the cover of some crates still very near the entrance the Cell had come in. She strained to see up in the darkness but couldn’t manage to see the action, while still being able to ensure none escaped through the door. Intios & the sniper exchanged errant shots, while Karpath raced to a flanking position – the ex-Guardsman noting how unstable the stairs were. Soon Karpath & Intios had the sniper targeted from both directions. Karpath hit the scaffolding near his target. The already old, rusty platform gave way when the las bolt hit, sending a few meters of it – and the sniper – plunging to the darkness below.

Another foe opened fire on Karpath from a neighboring catwalk, putting an autogun round in Karpath’s midsection; but his armor blunted its penetration & the injury was a flesh wound. Karpath returned fire, the accurate lasbolt setting his doomed opponent aflame.
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Down to the Lower Levels - Down to Three Stakes' Rest
Leaving a mark on the Babyfaces

Skinner__2_.jpgWhen we last left our defenders of the Imperium, they were trying to make their escape from the Screaming Wheel with their prisoners from the Babyfaces gang, the most notable being Skinner. The smoke had cleared on the Causeway above, where Intios & Odessa had fought a couple of Babyfaces gangers who had individually come to the scene. The crowd at this point had, for the most part, succeeded in getting out of the way of the suddenly erupting deadly skirmish.

Arion sent up a prisoner & followed closely behind. In the meantime, Intios saw the smoke & dust of the midhive swirling far down the causeway, indicating a rapidly approaching vehicle in the distance. The Adept took the opportunity to do a bit of quick looting…err, rather, checked the bodies of the felled foes. The vehicle arrived even faster than he anticipated, causing he & Odessa to grab Skinner & drag him as quickly as they could to the nearby alley mouth.Babyface_Vehicle.jpg

It was a sedan, painted in the bright colors of the Babyfaces with a large skull on the hood. It came in at velocity & screeched to a halt in front of the alley that Intios & Odessa had dragged Skinner.

Bullets, grenades & las bolts flew. When the dust settled the gangers lay still & the Acolytes endured. At the end of the skirmish in an attempt to escape, a ganger had slammed the vehicle into the alley mouth. Despite the damage, the Cell loaded their prisoners & themselves inside and drove to the level’s stairway. It was going to be a few hours journey to the main Arbites precinct fortress in the upper level of the midhive, so here they saw to the wounded. Even their captive Skinner received treatment; can’t have him bleeding on the magtrains, much less dying on them before “Q&A”. Intios tried to diagnose their wheeled trophy’s smoking ills, but it was damaged beyond his rudimentary mechanical knowledge – so they abandoned it there.
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Some hours later they were in the interrogation room that Arbitrator Haug Godgrafen had provided for their use. Unusual for an Inquisitorial Cell, none of the acolytes were particularly skilled at the art of interrogation, but Odessa knew the basics…and she got to work. Without permanently scarring him, she gathered from their captive Lino that he worked with the Babyfaces in their extortion racket. While the gangers insisted on collecting the money, Lino kept up communications with many of the establishments in the Pasterkamp area that purchased “protection insurance” from the gang. Odessa was satisfied that he didn’t know anything about the gang’s Cold Trade activities.

Next subject for her exceptionally strong will was Skinner. He clearly wasn’t happy about revealing his xenos source, but after some effective persuasion he told the psyker the name & “address” of where he got his most expensive wares. Zax Holthane of the Trade Sable, who maintained an office of sorts in the lowest reaches of the midhive. Skinner told them Holthane tended to conduct business in Three Stakes’ Rest. It was the unofficial name given to an ill-delineated area of forlorn, decaying habs, forgotten chambers and structurally unsound passages and roadways. He helpfully offered that, though it lied above the generally accepted boundary, Three Stakes’ Rest was in many ways an extension of the lower hive. Skinner had met Holthane there once, when they were starting to do business together. The acolytes had Skinner leave the Sable Trader a message, to try to schedule a meet, to which Holthane was amenable. The acolytes once again contacted GlorAuthority Captain Gaston Bernotas to see if he’d ever heard of this Three Stakes Rest. That lower level of the midhive is thousands of square kilometers large, with countless regions & areas – practically none of which are well defined or officially named. However, to Captain Bernotas’ surprise, it did ring a bell. He confirmed what Skinner had told them about Three Stakes’ Rest. What Karpath, the only member of the Cell with any navigational abilities, really wanted was some kind of directions – something that can be quite elusive when talking about levels that low. Bernotas had never been there, but after a few calls he was able to sketch a poor map of where it should be. They were looking for a waterfall, one that came out of a monstrous piece of forgotten tech known as “the Consolium”. While Karpath focused on the ‘where’, Intios worked on the ‘how’, by persuading the Arbites to lend the Cell a vehicle for the lower midhive. He also asked Godgrafen to provide for the storage of the dangerous xenos statuary they had obtained in the Screaming Wheel. The Cell’s tally to the Arbites continued to grow. Acolytes with las weapons took the opportunity to charge them using the Arbites equipment – and off they went once again to the midhive’s lowest reaches.

Several hours later, Karpath was hopefully driving them towards the Consolium in an unmarked Arbites sedan with decent wheel clearance. The ex-Guardsman’s sense of direction surprised even him and it was no more than three hours after they’d reached this level of the hive that they started to hear an avalanche of falling water. This huge tech landmark was quite a sight – as advised, you couldn’t miss it since it was the size of a large building. The machine & surrounding area was covered with the rich verdure that copious amount of water can bring – but Arion’s keen sight spotted movement to the right of the giant machine, as the Cell approached. They circled the area, for they’d been told there was rumored to be more than one portal, all of them near the Consolium.

Off a ways on the opposite side of the giant device from which Arion had seen movement a bit earlier, they spotted a lone individual who then reentered the treeline disappearing from sight.

The group then investigated the area Arion had seen movement earlier, driving right into the encampment they found there. There was a ruin in a clearing & a few individuals showing obvious scars and wearing skins went into the structure upon their vehicle’s approach. The Cell dismounted and asked for directions to Three Stakes’ Rest. They wanted to barter for any information, but the Cell decided they didn’t really have anything they were willing to part with – and so drove on.

The acolytes went in search of the lone individual they’d seen & came upon some tracks they presumed to be his. The assassin tracked these human footsteps to the base of one of the huge pylons around the perimeter of the Consolium. There he saw footpegs leading up about five meters, where there was a rope, hidden in the foliage. Up he went, finding markings of a path of sorts all they way up to the giant mouth of the machine, where the water came flowing over the edge. Back at the vehicle, the rest of the group removed a small part of the engine, worked to camouflage it & joined Arion. Inside the device’s huge orifice was the deafening roar of the waterfall & the darkness deep inside where the water was coming from. They also saw the reason why there were so many avians, that Intios had identified as scavengers, flying around the machine’s mouth. Some flotsam-looking material was hooked on some tendrils of foliage growing near the water’s edge & there were two corpses tangled in it. The avians had no head as per se but squirted out a liquid that seemed to partly emulsify what it hit; then the creature would hop over and slurp up the partly liquefied feast. There was a large brass plaque covered in wording along the top of the machine’s mouth, but none recognized the words. Lastly, there was a square shaft that descended into the darkness & a metal cable hanging down.

Led by Arion, one by one they climbed down deep into the blackness – some 70-90 meters was the consensus. The shaft descended further, but it was at this point that they came to a corridor they could walk out into, either North or South, and they egressed the shaft to the South. Odessa detected the stench of the warp wafting out of the shaft farther below.
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Task Force Sciscitatio Meets the BabyFaces Gang
The Acolytes show their expertise in aggressive xenos negotiations

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From: Intios; Adeptus Administratum & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus

While in the Shiny Goblet, my conversation with Lord Gabriel Kantor went quite well. I inquired if he had a relative that may have fallen fromThe_Shiny_Goblet.jpg the ranks of the nobles and disappeared into the mid-hive. He started fuming and stating something about wanting to duel. I leaned in close and quietly said, “You do not want to do that. It will not be in your best interest to proceed with your rant!” Kantor stepped back, shaken. Arion then stepped in and said that we are just looking for some information and we are always discreet with information garnered. With his guard finally down, Kantor told us that his cousin, Varden, had recently disgraced the family name and disappeared into the mid-hive. He had someone look for Varden but did not find any information. Kantor suspected foul play. I asked for a description of Varden and then told Kantor I’d let him know if I see him.

We went back to the Inquisitorial safe house to get fully loaded and geared up. I put a call into Arbitrator Godgrafen inquiring if he had any contacts with the GlorAuthority in the Tourachon & Pasterkamp neighborhoods in the lower mid-hive. Godgrafen gave me the name of Gaston Bernotas, who may have some experience with that area.

I then called Bernotas, who claimed that he hadn’t talked to Godgrafen in years. I asked him if he had any experience with the Pasterkamp area. Bernotas didn’t want to divulge any information to new “associates” of Godgrafen so I sent him our signed and sealed letter of Sciscitatio. The sealed letter seemed to be good enough for Bernotas. He asked how he could help. I told him that we were planning on visiting the Screaming Wheel and if he could provide any further information about the area or the BabyFaces gang. Bernotas confirmed that the BabyFaces controlled Pasterkamp and that they are quite violent. With directions in hand, we set off for the Screaming Wheel.

Through various modes of transportation, we made it to the Screaming Wheel cantina within 4 to 5 hours. We walked into a tightly packed bar with the distinct smell of Lho smoke and tinny music blasting from a speaker within the room. The bartender identified himself as Kruger and proceeded to take our order. We noticed a group of 4 younger and well-dressed men in the back corner of the bar. I noticed that they were talking and laughing at a man on his knees just besides their table. I draw the attention of my team towards the man on his knees. Then a solid projectile round goes off and the kneeling man suddenly collapses.

Arion then walks up to the four young toughs in the corner. I follow a step behind. Arion asks if one of them is Skinner. They say who’s asking. We tell them that we heard that Skinner is the one to talk to about obtaining rare artifacts. We also mention that we received this information from Lans Guljian. Whether they believed our story or not seemed inconsequential as the opportunity for them to do more business was too hard to resist. The one who identified himself as Skinner told us to come back in 24 hours.

Arion then went to take a look at the backroom and discovered that there was a ladder that led up to the main concourse area. Arion also spent some time following the four BabyFaces we talked to as well as another associate that later stopped into the bar. Arion followed the 4 gang members to some sort of restaurant and then to a communication den. Apparently one of the gang members sent a coded message to another communications den. Arion was also able to find out the possible dwelling of the fifth associate which was located in a twelve unit hab block.

We stopped by 24 hours later to find the BabyFaces waiting for us. They were quite jovial when Skinner pulled out a box from underneath the table and told me to take a look. I step in for a look as Skinner pulls the cover of the box aside. What I see resembles the statuette that Lans Guljian had unopened inside his doorway. I involuntarily take a step back as Odessa states she can feel the warp taint on the statue. I say to Skinner and the rest of my team, “It looks good.” Skinner said this was a new shipment but he doesn’t always have control of new products received. He said he could keep an eye out for particular items if we wanted. He also said the price of this statue will be 35,000 thrones. Since Skinner said he would prefer an untraceable form of transaction, I told him it may be a few hours to get that sum.
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Arion and I stepped away from the statue and returned back to where Odessa and Karpath were seated. The four of us debated on our next course of action. It was decided that we would take down the BabyFaces here and now. We each had our assignments on who to take out. Our plan triggered when Arion walked up to the BabyFaces ganger standing next to Skinner. Arion made quick work of him by slicing him in the chest. Karpath shot the confiscated web pistol at the fifth associate that was standing at the bar. Odessa unleashed her bio-lightning at the ganger standing at the opposite side of the table. A shot from my heavy las pistol ended the life of the ganger that Odessa hit.

Unfortunately at the same time Arion cut his foe down, Skinner was able to unload a volley from his autopistol. It seemed like four shots hit Arion. With Arion reeling, Odessa quickly acted and used her warpish powers on Skinner and stunned him. There were two more gangers at their table and they quickly fired off their solid projectile weapons at me and Karpath. Karpath was able to dispose of the ganger to the far south by shooting him under the table. The ganger I was trading fire with eventually got out of his seat, seeing that Skinner had Arion’s knife to his throat. This ganger ran up to Arion and put his pistol up to Arion’s head and said, “Let Skinner go or I’ll blow your head off.”

Seeing this, I squeezed my trigger and by the grace of the Emperor, the ganger’s head immediately exploded all around and onto Arion and Skinner. Arion tilts his head towards me and as I have become accustomed to saying to the assassins I’ve worked with, “You’re welcome.” Karpath notices that the one hit with the web pistol has now escaped. He didn’t get far as he was just behind the bar. I walk over to Arion to help him with his hold on Skinner. I then hear a woman scream and run towards me. I told her to stop and when she didn’t, I shot her once in the body but it didn’t drop her. She runs by me and yells, “Oh no, Varden!” She stops at the now dead body of the one that was cut down by Arion. I quickly remove Varden’s mask and take a quick photo for evidence. We quickly strip the gangers of their autopistols and their concealed mesh armor.

We begin to make preparations to take both Skinner and Lino out of the Screaming Wheel. Karpath says he has spotted a few people on the ramp leading into the front entrance. We decide to take the ladder up from the back room and onto the main concourse. I would be first to go with Odessa following. Arion is tying up both the gangers with just enough rope slack for them to walk and climb the ladder with their own strength.

As I am climbing the ladder, I can tell that there are faces looking down into our area. I get to the top and notice that there are a few people standing around the opening. They disperse when I climb through. As I look around, I see one figure around the corner with a similar BabyFaces mask on. I hear a burst of autopistol fire and one round hits me in the arm.
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I immediately draw my long las. The Inquisition finally found it prudent to agree to my requisition from 6 months ago and now I am eager to put it to use. With a smooth pull of the trigger, I see his right arm disintegrate. I run to the location of the gunman that fired at me. Moments later, I hear another round of autogun fire. I am hit again but I am able to return fire. I hit this second gunman in the leg but he is still conscious. After trading another round of las and autogun fire, Odessa reaches the top of the opening. I signal the direction of the second gunman and she immediately lets out a bolt of bio-lightning. The gunman is now lying face down on the pavement. I start to take out the ammo of the autopistol of the first shooter and then run towards to second shooter and also empty the guns of their ammo. I leave the guns aside but put away the clips into my backpack.

I now anxiously await our two prisoners as well as the rest of our team.

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The Dangers of Xenos - Search for the Source
Too Late for the Lord of House Guljian

Symbol_-_Red_I_black_background.jpgThe unofficial Inquisitorial Task Force, dubbed Sciscitatio by Inquisitor Karkalla, went to the 9th Floor of Whittich Spire and scouted Hesentanz Manse, the dwelling of Lans Guljian. While there, they witnessed a man hurriedly entering in the middle of the night, a man they ascertained was there to render medical services. Their primary interest was gathering information on the troubled noble with none the wiser. Clear to Intios was that the 9th level of the Spire did not inspire respect from the noble patrons of The Shiny Goblet…however even noble residences on the lower levels are reasonably well defended against infiltration & snooping. Finding that to be the case, they decided to track down this medical practitioner that made late night house calls.

Through Imperial sources, the Cell identifies the late night visitor to Hesentanz Manse as Chirurgeon Arnout Morillon. Paying a visit to Morillon’s office on the 130th level of the Whittich Spire, the Chirurgeon confirmed that he was there to see Lord Guljian, whom he found delusional & ranting about strange impossible landscapes & cyclopean cities. Hearing this, Sciscitatio decided they’d better speak to Lord Guljian while he could still be spoken to.
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Arriving again at Hesentanz Manse, this time they just knocked on the door. House servant Hertil tried to get the Cell to leave, but a scream from above sent everyone running up the stairs towards the sound. On the third floor in the noble’s private den was a scene of chaos – embossed books & fine quills strewn about haphazardly, while parchment, ink and a lamp had been knocked from the desk, leaving only a small black orb sitting atop it. Kneeling on the floor, a man in ripped and shredded finery screamed and babbled incoherently as he clawed at his own face. His lips were ripped to tatters and blood streamed from numerous cuts and tears across his face. Lying near him was a bloody letter opener and two pulped white globs – his eyes. Arion rushes to the noble’s side & works to give him a sedative, while Karpath dashes to the table and smashes the orb, but to no visible effect.

Odessa stopped briefly on the first floor to identify a man who had been watching from above as they arrived – Sank Strenwell, Guljian’s personal bodyguard. Satisfied, the Inquisitorial psyker quickly follows in the wake of the others – but when she arrives at the aforementioned den’s doorway, her psyker defenses are overwhelmed by the warp-tainted xenos artifact on the table. Odessa immediately starts involuntarily experiencing a vision of a strange planet with an impossibly large structure floating on the chaos of the warp…she calmly walks right up to the table, staring unblinking at the smooth black object. Karpath, recognizing trouble, drags the psyker to the den’s doorway, where Intios joins to see what their warp maven’s situation is.

At that moment, a small female on the house staff rushes screaming from out of the darkness of the hallway outside murderously staring at the back of the ex-Guardsman. Held over her head is a 5-foot metal rod, which she brings down on the surprised Karpath with unexpected strength. He’s tough, though, and it succeeds in only a glancing blow off his armor. Karpath wheels on his frenzied attacker and hits her with a las bolt at close range, instantly killing her. By that time, Odessa has managed to force the chaos back out of the door in her head & the psyker’s wits return.

Arion has sedated the maddened Lans Guljian & bandaged his ravaged empty eye sockets, to at least prevent him from bleeding out. Succeeding in that, Guljian is calmed and begins to speak of being witness to many great and wondrous things. The Cell asks him to elaborate, which provokes him to laugh madly & begin ranting about forgotten kingdoms and cyclopean cities. He asks whether they have seen his beautiful black orb…and relates that he obtained it from the pale child at the wheel that wails. With that, the mad noble begins to speak monotone in a language that none there recognize. A short time after that the master of House Guljian expires. Arion determines that his self-inflicted wounds, as horrific as they were, were not enough to explain his death – it was as if his brain simply shut down. They threw a blanket over the orb & the assassin put the wrapped xenos object in his pack.
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The Cell thoroughly searched the entire manse, coming up with an unmarked package by the front door. Hertil told them it had been there for some time, for he knew that his master would not have it touched. Upon opening it, they found a strange disturbing xenos-like statue inside that had a bit of lifelike blood on the axe that the strange figure depicted held. The Cell’s warp specialist could not smell the stink of chaos on it. The acolytes called the Arbites to secure the manse,and began to question the staff while waiting for their arrival. The bodyguard, Sank Strenwell, related that Master Guljian had started acting strangely about four months prior, after he’d obtained the black orb. Strenwell had been with Guljian at the Screaming Wheel Cantina in the lower midhive, when he’d purchased the orb from one known as “Skinner” in the Babyface Gang.

After trying to secure the statue in a supply closet at the small unmarked Inquisitorial office back in the midhive, causing clerks to look on in puzzled annoyance, they decided to take another run at any nobles currently present at their favorite highborn bar in Whittich Spire. Arriving at The Shiny Goblet, once again “Lord Karel de Raaf” (Intios) & his bodyguard “Solar” (Arion) headed in, while “Darial Garghrophic” (Odessa) & “Canto Zarkov” (Karpath) waited outside. The Cell’s ex-noble finding Lord Travet Papon again present, checked in with him on the rumor The_Shiny_Goblet.jpgthat he’d shared the day before about an auction being held by a Rogue Trader…but Lord Papon had not heard anything further. However, ‘de Raaf’ was now armed with the name of the lower-midhive cantina, The Screaming Wheel, and used it here. It’s not unusual for nobles to gossip & perhaps Papon felt comfortable in doing so because ‘de Raaf’ was from far away Fenksworld. Upon hearing the bar’s name, Papon quietly shared that it was infrequently known to happen for a noble that had perhaps fallen from the ranks to disappear into the midhive, particularly the regions of Tournachon & Pasterkamp. Sensing Papon’s defenses were lowered, ‘de Raaf’ pressed the advantage asking whether anyone currently in the bar might…have some personal experience with this phenomenon. Papon suggested he speak to Lord Gabriel Kantor standing across the bar.

Papon had warned ‘de Raaf’ that this would not be a welcome subject with any noble and, as foreshadowed, Lord Kantor did not take kindly to someone he’d briefly met the day before asking about dishonored members of House Kantor. In a raised irritated voice Kantor expressed interest in a possible duel with the uncouth “Fenksworld noble”. To ’Solar’s’ surprise, not only did his protectee not back down, ‘de Raaf’ practically got into Kantor’s face. It obviously took Lord Kantor by surprise as well, as it was he who backed down. As a result of Kantor’s confusion from being mentally knocked off his mark in his own local bar, he ends up responding to ‘de Graaf’s’ bold interrogatory. Yes, in fact, Lord Kantor did have a cousin named Vardon that disappeared in the midhive some years back. Someone Kantor had hired to try to track his relative down had lost the trail in the Pasterkamp district.

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Investigation of Guljian
Nobles seem to have more fun than bodyguards.

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From: Karpath Rommulus; Ex-Imperial Guard & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Xenos

After acquiring undercover outfits to go into investigation of House Guljian. We proceeded to talk to Arbitator Haug Godgraffen to get our fake identification so that we could get into Whittich Spire and the The Shiny Goblet. Once we got our fake I.D.s we went to the portal to the Spire. There seems to be a large amount of unrest on the planet as the GlorAuthority have set up machine gun nests at the entrance to the Spire. There also seems to be a larger than normal amount of security at the portal. With our new identities of Lord Karel de Raaf of Fenksworld for Intios, Solar for Arion, Darial Garghrophic for Odessa, and Canto Zarkov for myself we were able to get through the portal without trouble.

The_Shiny_Goblet_2.jpgWe then proceeded to the The Shiny Goblet, as we were told that that was a common area for nobles to hang out. Odessa and I stayed outside as bodyguards while Arion and Intios went in to converse with the nobles. From what I could hear from the microbeads that we had, most of the information that we have gathered was fairly arbitrary and useless. The little information that we had received about our primary suspects at House Guljian seems to match up to what Cerrat Molia had said about his House. House Guljian is in a very rough spot economically right now. We learned that this most likely means that they fell out of favor with the planetary government. We also learned that the other nobles treat House Guljian as lower class and that House Guljian are barely even nobles currently. If we have to end up storming House Guljian this will work to our advantage. We also learned that there was an Imperial Guardsmen hall that most of the veterans from the Guard like to go.
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We got directions from some people at the The Shiny Goblet to the Veteran’s of the Imperial Guard hall and headed there to gather some more information. We gathered some more arbitrary information with little of it pertaining to House Guljian. We did learn that one of the family members of House Guljian is currently serving in the Guard.

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Lieutenant Karpath Rommulus log 3
Somebody needs anger managment

I had hoped to never encounter the Cold Trade again. Even though Karkalla knows my history with this he still put me on the task with the rest of the squad. Our mission is to escort four prisoners that were taken from a lodge on Scintilla that had made contact with the Stellar Furioso, a ship that was seized by the Arbites for Cold Trade smuggling, to an arbitrator on Solomon named Haug Godgrafen.
Karkalla said that he wanted us to get some information out of these four before the Arbites could get their hands on them. We are to make contact with Captain Tatyanna Verankov of the Veracium Ferit. After a few weeks of travel we will end up on Solomon. I pray to the God Emperor that nothing goes wrong.
Well that was unexpected. I’m starting to learn some of the ways and personalities of my new squad. Boy, does Odessa have a temper on her. Almost killed 2 of the prisoners before we even had time to ask questions. Hell, if it wasn’t for Intios and Arion being skilled in medicae they probably would have died. Turns out that House Guljian is the one likely dealing in Cold Trade material. I am going to find whoever the head of this is and put them down.
After landing on Solomon we visited Haug Godgrafen and informed him that we would be holding onto the prisoners for some time until our investigation of the Cold Trade on Solomon was complete. He informed us to talk to Sergeant Kitan Tauber of the GlorAuthority to look into House Guljian. Looks like we have to go undercover to get into the spire. Not too fond of leaving my guard armor and my las gun behind, but I will have to make do.
Solomon, what a shit hole. My regiment and I went through Solomon on our way to a warzone before we were redirected to Graia. It was bad ten years ago when we rolled through here. It has gotten even worse. People are almost in outright revolt and I doubt us showing up to the planet will make it any better. I don’t see the planet lasting another twenty years. Boy, did our regiment really raise hell when we were here. I’m surprised the GlorAuthority didn’t try to arrest me the second I stepped onto the planet. Thinking back on it, this was the last time our regiment was together. I miss them all.

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Interrogation of the Detainees
Sciscitatio explores a core Inquisitorial activity & Odessa's temper is revealed

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From: Intios; Adeptus Administratum & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus

After our stop at the quarter master’s, our group was told that we were to escort four detainees to the planet of Solomon. Inquisitor Karkalla originally tasked Interrogator Fredilinus for this assignment but since Fredilinus was searching for Inquisitor Whitlock, it fell upon our group to travel to Solomon with the detainees.

The Adeptus Arbites, based on Solomon, had interdicted a ship by the name of the Stellar Furioso. This ship was a smuggling vessel involved in the Cold Trade, which is the market for xenos artifacts, curiosities, lore, science and even for dangerous xenos creatures.. The four detainees were rounded up during a raid on a mid-hive lodge called Milo’s Refuge. Our assignment was to take the four detainees to the planet Solomon and deliver them to Arbitrator Haug Godgrafen on Hive Gloriana. Karkalla provided his signed letter of Sciscitatio and arranged for us Cell_Interrogation_2.jpgto travel on the merchant ship Veracium Ferit under the command of Captain Tatyanna Verankov.

During our 13 week void jump, we were to interrogate the detainees to find whatever clues or leads we could. Our first detainee was a man named Lothar Leavigne, a local leader of the Welder’s Order. Unfortunately for him, Odessa’s not so delicate interrogation put him in critical condition within the first minute of questioning. I had to medicae him to stabilize him for future questioning. We did find a satchel of paperwork on him. The paperwork did have three names on it: Siman, Ermenrich Torpiner and Pesold Grenz.Interrogation_and_Llo_sticks.jpg

Our second detainee was named Otho Varus. In his luggage we found the Open Hand insignia on his clothing that was a sign of The DeVayne Corporation. The DeVayne Corp holds rights to menial labor in the sector. Their origins were from the Ecclesiarchy but there was an apparent schism and have now evolved into a corporation. The Corporation has made its money off of its labor force. While Varus was not initially forthcoming, we found out from his dataslate that he is a bounty hunter for DeVayne Corp. He looks for runaway “thrawls” and most recently, thrawls from the mining planet of NDOK4. We later found out that it was Lothar Leavigne from whom he was intending to get information for his current bounty hunting assignment.
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Our third detainee was named Cerrat Molia. He is a herald of the House of Guljian on the planet Solomon. House Guljian apparently owns many manufactorums on the planet. He was on Scintilla to meet with Marcus Hoff of House Krin. House Krin is known as “Drusus’s Bankers”. Molia arrived on a ship named the Knuzh. He was in the mid-hive to pick up a package but the Magistratum picked him up before the transaction was made. From Molia’s dataslate, we found out that House Guljian is now in debt. He claims no knowledge of the contents within the package he was told to pick up.

Our fourth detainee was Durhan Alrod. Unfortunately for him, Odessa put him in critical condition and it took a day to stabilize him. Alrod is identified as the owner of Milo’s Refuge. Besides the 4 detainees we already have, Alrod did confirm that a family of four, by the name of Saltz, did stay in his lodge and departed before the Magistratum roundup. While Alrod did not have any recollection of anyone using the comm system, we were able to piece together that the Stellar Furioso did call the lodge to ask if Cerrat Molia was present.
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After making landfall on Solomon, we went to visit the Inquisition office to pass the information that we had gathered during our interrogation. We set up our meeting in Hive Gloriana with Arbitrator Godgrafen. While signing over the detainees, we told him to secure them for the time being and to have no outside contact. Godgrafen told us that he just heard of another smuggling ship, the Fleet Alexei, whose current whereabouts are unknown.

We wanted to follow our lead regarding House Guljian without causing any suspicion. We asked for any contacts he may have in the Spires. We were given the name of Sergeant Kitan Tauber of the local GlorAuthority, which is what the constabulary enforcers are called on this world. Upon meeting Sgt. Tauber, we asked him about House Guljian. He said that the Shining Goblet on the 25th floor of the Whittich Spire is where local nobles will often gather.

Before deciding on how to enter the Shining Goblet, we headed back to the Inquisition office and asked Clerk Dankert where we could get supplies. He said that he is aware that Aexel Essing has been known to supply members of the Inquisition with armor from time to time. Since walking into the Shining Goblet with Imperial Guard armor may be suspicious, I decided on wearing a flak vest underneath my set of robes. I left it to the others on how they wanted to don themselves. Now we just needed a set of credentials to get us into the Spires in the Upper Hive. Looks like we are heading back to Godgrafen for another favor.

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