Emperor Preserve

A Simple Exchange with Vorlin Orday
Forget the case, get the weapons!

From: Trantor Severus; Adeptus Mechanicus & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus

Tech priest

My investigation Notes:

LADY BORELLA’S SOIREE’
Laurent Strophes – ex-military guy, niece disappeared.
Sorkat Authwaite – from Gunmetal City, gun factory owner.
Malene Trun, middle spire, Joyous Choir member & fund-raiser.
Counsellor Cort Abroag – JC, Operations, is at the Alabaster Court a lot.
Lord Raephen Verence – Our party host Borella seems quite taken with him, he is a member of the court of Sector Boss Marius Hax, from Lucid Palace. A dandy.
Siprit Daneen – Androgynous, he is a long-term traveller who has never been to Fenksworld, and also a new member of the JC, lowest level.
Caros Shoal is the founder of the JC, and the Alabaster Court is where the most intense classes are held. Alabaster Court is mid-tier in a neighboring spire.

The 3 drink samples we have are analyzed. 2 are regular cocktails as far as we can determine, the initial cocktail was warp-tainted according to Odessa. We get the chemical composition of some. We sleep that night.

In the morning, Intios and I have lost the good effects, have a hankering for the same drink, and am having the shakes.

Purge_the_Unclean_-_Vorlin_Orday_big.jpgThe next morning we are invited by Strophes to meet with the PI just past noon we meet in a middle-hive area called ‘beneath the broken moon’ (under the guardsman statue) in The Hustle marketplace. Bring the funds in a small reinforced case and he’ll exchange the data slate in a similar case.

We go early and scout and set-up. Vorlin takes a headshot. A black robed figure drops from the ceiling and takes the box and heads away.Black_Robed_Figure.jpg Odessa swoons. Intios takes a shot, Arion closes, I hit him with 3 shots causing him to drop his pistol, but he still has the case. The black robed figure runs up the side of a building and across the roof. I move and sees him on the other side, then shoot him, almost hitting him in the head, but suddenly misses. I tell the others the BRF’s new position and Intios runs to catch, but collides with someone in the crowd and falls to the ground. Arion makes it almost to the BRF. I aim and take another burst, hitting with a good shot to the now useless arm. BRF runs further away, followed by Intios and Arion. A pitched battle ensues with me firing while Arion tries to close for melee, he does get a good cut in to one of BRFs legs. Eventually I lost sight of them and have to run after them to catch up. I lost them temporarily, then see Intios headed back in the direction of Odessa, ‘probably feared’ he thinks to himself, as well as 2 guys in brown trench coats with shotguns headed toward where Arion must be. I follow and round a corner in time to see Arion in combat with BRF, the case on the ground at BRF’s feet, a power sword in BRF’s single good hand, and the trench coats between me and Arion. Arion shifts positions and I fire once, the shot is on target but low and strikes a stall between me and BRF. Just then someone from the crowd grapples Arion…
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The Sibellus Nobel Life
"Lord" Intios & his entourage are set loose in the Spire

Vaarak’s Cell having been seconded to Inquisitor Karkalla, they completed Julia Strophes’ crash course in nobility comportment & began the investigation. Concerned that “Lord” Intios’ inclusion would jeopardize their cover, the Cell sans the adept-militant ventured down to the middlehive for their rendezvous with Laurent Strophes’ hawkshaw, Vorlin Orday.Purge_the_Unclean_-_Vorlin_Orday_big.jpg

The_Barking_Saint.jpgThey rendezvoused with him in a private booth at The Barking Saint. The bounty hunter warns them to turn down whatever job Strophes is offering them. After some cajoling, Orday relates to the Emperor’s men-at-arms that it seems the Joyous Choir is distributing an extremely expensive & potent narcotic known as “Farcosia”. He’s pretty sure Strophes’ niece was hooked on it, as are probably many of the Choir members. He theorizes that Saia Strophes overdosed on Farcosia and either died in one of the Joyous Choir’s churches, or perhaps during one of their workshops, and they got rid of the body & covered up the incident to prevent a publicity-causing scandal.

He knows that normally the Adeptus Arbites would normally care less about any drug, no matter how powerful or illegal (locally), so the rumors of their interest in this drug makes what’s on their dataslate that he took all the more curious. He’s pretty sure these Joy Boys have found out about his acquisitions from one of their senior members & are on his trail – and have some well-placed allies in the Magistratum…so he’s bugging out.

The Acolytes strike a deal to buy the dataslate from him for 1,000 Thrones. He says it’ll take him a bit to retrieve where he’s stashed it but will contact Laurent Strophes to arrange another meet shortly, again in the middlehive.

On the way out of the bar a gunfight erupts between various patrons. The Acolytes retreat back into their private seating until the smoke has cleared & the winner decided.

The Cell then finds the middlehive location of the Joyous Choir they were told about by Julia Strophes. It was getting later on in the evening by the time they found it & it appears the last gathering was just getting out for the night. They spoke to an officiant there & an older female attendee named Dania. They were given a brochure & encouraged to come back for a ceremony.Arion.jpg

They returned to the Strophes’ estate in the Spire and shared their activities with Laurent. That night members of the Cell encouraged Arion to quietly explore the Strophes’ estate after everyone had retired for the evening. Reluctantly, he started having a look around the 2nd floor, where the Acolytes individual guestrooms were. After a short while, despite his cohorts encouragement, he thought better of it & retired for the night.

The next day was spent largely in preparation for the soiree that evening being thrown by Lady Borella. The Strophes had been invited to the party. Julia knew that Lady Borella was an influential supporter of the Joyous Choir & had arranged for her “cousin” and his retinue to attend. It appeared to be a perfect opportunity to meet nobles possibly involved with the Choir. She carefully picked out appropriate attire & gave them a refresher on key points of Sibellus noble behavior.

The party was in a large open courtyard high in the hive spire. The northern wall of the room was a single massive window that gave a magnificent view of the setting sun & the restless sea that swirled about the granite cliffs below the western reaches of Hive Sibellus. The room was dark, lit by a few evenly spaced candles, the luminous garments of the assembled nobles following the fashion demands of aethyr weaving and the beverage containers. Lady Tanae Borella’s party was underway.

Laurent broke off to join some old faces he recognized in the corner. “Lord” Intios, his mechanicus bodyguard, his tall bodyguard & his eccentric looking entertainer made the acquaintance of some of the guests:
their host Lady Tanae Borella, Sorkat Authwaite of Gunmetal City, Malene Trun of the middlehive, Gloria Feist, Gia Albor, Sturm Mamano & Lord Raephen Verence, among others.

Intios was conversing in a group with Lady Borella, Gia Albor, Sturm Mamano & Lord Raephen; he asked Lady Borella for an invitation to the Alabaster Court, which she seemed possibly receptive to. At that time, servants circulated the room with trays of a drink for toasting. Intios, Odessa & Trantor joined in the festivity that their host encouraged taking a glass and listening to her toast to the Emperor, happiness & prosperity. As soon as the liquid passed Odessa’s lips her mind savagely revolts as her warp-senses tell her there is something alive in her mouth….!

Warp signatures are generated only by living beings, though they can be left on objects due to intense emotions…but this was no residue. It seemed to be alive…. The psyker started shuddering & it was only through her years of training that she regained control – but not in time to stop her fellow Acolytes from drinking it. She yelped a warning but it was already down their hatches, leaving them wondering at her sudden alarm & pallor.

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Backwater cousins from Fenksworld - just what the Acolytes have always wanted
Arion can't believe he wasn't chosen to be the noble

Orbiting_Iocanthos.jpgInquisitor Nazauth Karkalla continued the mission briefing after Inquisitor Globus Vaarak’s departure. Inquisitor_Nazauth_Karkalla.pngHe told the Cell that the burned book with Harvest-Prelate Manus Barahona’s initials on it had been analyzed by Inquisitorial specialists. They’d partially saved twelve pages, eleven of which described typical Ecclesiarchy business. One page, however, had observations involving Viceroy’s Chief Counselor Colm Maleth; that Maleth and Garden-Predicant Maglin were like oil & water…and Barahona had no idea why. After Maglin passed away from a sudden illness, Maleth seemed to be very tight with Garden-Predicant Talus.

Karkalla informed the Cell that the Strophes were completely trustworthy. He gave them false identity papers that could be completed with the names that would be decided on with the Strophes. The Strophes might be able to give them more information about this Joyous Choir. Then he gave them a last clarification on their mission. They were to investigate The Joyous Choir. Find out what there was to know about this “Harmony Meter” that Laurent’s associate had acquired from them, containing xeno-tech of a suspiciously similar nature to that found in the broken tarot card. Uncover any connection between the cult and Hesiod’s Wake. While doing this, keep your eyes open for any information on the matter with the High Sortileger & Scintilla’s unexpected decline in psykers. Finally, if possible, try to ascertain what might have happened to Laurent’s niece.

The Inquisitor told them he would be off-world likely following-up on the smugglers that had brought him into this investigation. He therefore gave them the name and picture of an emergency contact, Septimus Dexter, a Senior member of his retinue that remained under permanent cover on Scintilla as a professor of Vexophilogist with the Sibellan University in the Spire. When they found Dexter they were to say to him, “What can be found in the ninth stack on Prol.” If it was he, he would reply, “Emptiness”.

He told them to stop by the ship’s supply locker for what items they thought they would need on their undercover operation and then to report to the ship’s shuttle bay, where transporation was waiting for them. He left them suggesting caution, for on Scintilla corruption was a way of life.

Ship_4_-_shuttle.jpgThe Cell made the picturesque descent to the Spire’s spaceport, a fraction of the overwhelming size of Hive Sibellus in relief before them. Some of the Acolytes got their first look at the legendary Lucid Palace, the seat of Lord Sector Marius Hax’s government of the Calixis Sector.

In the midst of a light rainfall, faintly smelling of gunmetal, Julia Strophes greeted them at the spaceport, gave them appropriate but nondescript cloaks to wear and told them that discussion should wait until they got somewhere warmer. She led them through part of the Spire. The corridors were ornately decorated, with no surface untouched by artifice of some variety or another. Bas-reliefs covered the walls and ceiling, while darkly sombre cracked tile mosaics covered the floor. Some of the artwork depicted recognizably Imperial figures, but the majority were worn away by the passage of time. The Cell were on full alert in this new unfamiliar territory they found themselves in & quickly noticed they were seemingly being watched by the majority of those they passed.

They finally found themselves standing in front of large metal door covered with a silver and blue pattern pierced by a single red dagger, which opened inwards at their approach. After dismissing the servants, bringing the acolytes into a richly appointed room & closing the door – she finally introduced herself and told them she would be right back with her father Laurent.

Laurent_Strophes_big.jpgLaurent Strophes was a broad man, resembling a large stump with legs. His left arm and right eye were graceful prosthetics of adamantine and silver, clearly worth a fortune. He wore naval attire, befitting his decorated Imperial Navy retirement with honors…and kept his head shaved. Strophes spoke with a forceful ringing tone and stands with an erect posture that instantly gave his naval lineage away. His demeanor was very straightforward. He seemed genuinely honoured to be helping the Inquisition – and, after asking about his old friend Inquisitor Karkalla, got down to business.

He informed the cell that his niece, Saia, was an even-tempered girl but given to frequent melancholy. Last year she had come upon this group, this so-called ‘Joyous Choir’, and joined soon after. It seemed harmless enough. His daughter Julia had gone with Saia once or twice. Saia had continued going, saying that she finally felt that she was becoming “true”, whatever that entailed. Then one day she vanished with no traces. The Magistratum could find nothing. There was no sign of struggle in her dwelling and none of her friends knew where she’d gone. Happens every day in the Underhive, not in the spire. He’s heard since of others going quietly missing.

Laurent had set an old associate looking into the Choir’s affairs. He came up with those meters that he’d passed along to Inquisitor Karkalla. He fears that she has gone to the Emperor, but he would know for certain. He tells the acolytes that The House of Strophes was at their disposal.

An acolyte requested an audience with Laurent’s associate that had been looking into the Choir. Laurent said that, since his quiet activities, Vorlin Orday was keeping a very low profile to be on the safe side. He noted that Orday will only be willing to meet with them somewhere in the middle hive, as he has had past “difficulties” with the Magistratum. He gives them a picture of his niece and tells them that he’s fairly knowledgeable about Hive Sibellus law, as it pertains to weaponry and their task. With that, Julia suggests showing them to their rooms on the second floor.

Tech priest

[Trantor Severus: Karkalla tells us that Septimus Dexter will be our emergency contact and provide a passcode to confirm our/his identity. “What is in the night stack in Prol?” “Emptiness.”

1. Infiltrate Joyous Choir,
2. Find out details of harmony meter which contain xeno-tech (at Tricorn Palace),
3. Uncover any connection between the cult and Hesiod’s Wake.
4. Look for any information regarding causes of the diminished psyker harvest,
5. Lastly look out for the missing niece.

We board the shuttle and arrive at Hive Sibellus, ~8,000km in diameter. We are greeted by a young, small, red-headed woman who rushes to Intios’ arms and exclaims her pleasure to see her cousin again. We enter the spire under the watchful gaze of many crowds and armed guards. We enter a nice chamber where the servants are dismissed and she introduces herself as Julia Strophes, Laurent’s daughter, and great Uncle Thalus (whose head is empty, and used as a coat rack). There are artifacts, an intricate timepiece, Jokaero light-sculpture! Laurent’s missing niece is Saia, a melancholy girl who came across the group last year. Went with Julia at first, Julia lost interest, Saia suddenly disappeared. Magistratum found no information. An associate was sent, he returned with the Harmony Meters. We are to be subtle because we hope to identify the players before scaring them away. Julia thinks the Alabaster Court may be their HQ, but she doesn’t know where. A photo is provided. There is a worship hall in the middlehive. The higher levels of The Choir are only accessible by nobles (possibly with a bodyguard). Our cover is to be distant cousins from Fenksworld, as an uncouth off-world noble. There’s a party tomorrow night which we’ll use as an introduction to the group. Laurent will help us with Sibellus law and outfitting us.

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Our Enemies Are Mortal No Longer
Did I miss the training class on killing incorporeal phantasms?

The Inquisitional soldiers-at-arms, accompanied by two Strictionist officers, decided to ensure the Emperor’s light still illuminated the Temple of Recompense. All seemed in order until they came upon a sign identifying a room as restricted for Living Saints only. Suspicious of the heavy reinforced door they faced, the Hereticus soldiers, with the help of a local builder named Harden & his assistant Phend, gained entry by going through a neighboring wall.

Before long, Harden had knocked a hole through the rock plaster. Following a brief surveil by Trantor’s optical mechadendrite, Arion boldly utilized the improvised ingress. Besides a small open tome on the counter & a pile of Ecclesiarchal robes on the floor, there seemed little amiss in their enemy’s haunt. That is, until the assassin peered into the half-open vestiary against the far wall…where he was met with incorporeal serpentine physiognomy.AS.jpg

The sight of this malefaction turned Arion’s blood to ice , causing his legs to heedlessly carry him away at speeds testing human bounds. He fled past his comrades in the neighboring room wide-eyed & less than articulate. The vile visage exited the now exposed vestiary, causing the watching Mechanicus Acolyte to suffer a severe overload in his cogitation centrifuge…and now reeling…followed the footsteps of the fleet assassin acolyte as quickly as his locomotive flange would permit.

Those still in that access room noticed that Phend yelled out as his head tilted and his eyes rolled back, causing his boss Harden to turn at the sound. The rest of the room emptied in the direction of Arion and Trantor as they realized the horror they faced. The last out saw Phend take Harden to the floor in a cacophony of rending flesh sounds.

As the Acolytes recovered from their terror, a running combat with the vile apparition ensued. It could move through walls, blade strikes & ballistic rounds but was able to envelop and crush those who were close and lash out with sharp extensions of its amorphous form for those at range.

Odessa engaged it with her warp-induced powers but which seemed to have insufficient effect. Arion attempted to attack it with a holy symbol, even going so far as leaping into the dark abyss of the closet of where it was first discovered – gravely blackening his spirit…but to no avail. He also attempted to quickly research ways of its possible demise in what turned out to be the taint-filled journal of Talus, lying open in the Living Saints lair. As his soul darkened, his frantic skimming uncovered suggestions of Hesiod’s Wake’s secrets…but he did not discover the specific secret he sought.
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The Cell, unable to find a weakness in their foe, finally determined escape the better part of valor. They soon returned with flamers obtained from the Sworn Protectors, the planet’s PDF, as well as a Fire Team of flamer-wielding SP infantrymen. The horrific visage was not to be found and they torched the vestiary and the Living Saints room it was located in. When they burned the door an odor filled the air, a smell that the Protectors identified as resembling a poisonous plant native to the planet. When the embers began to cool, they observed that the unnatural darkness had seemed to recede & they determined they had done what could be.

They ordered the Temple sealed & guarded and set out to locate Ignis, a name that had surfaced repeatedly in their investigation. Flying in the shuttle to the frontier of farmland, their discussions revealed a number of adolescents who professed to know Ignis, but claimed she had bid some of them a permanent farewell in the last 48 hours, her destination undisclosed. One girl also claimed that Ignis was leaving with her best friend, Esta Fartumm.

Inquisitor_Nazauth_Karkalla.pngThe Cell returned to The Emperor’s Light meeting Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla, of the Ordos Xenos, for the first time. He had received an update from Captain Jerak & were reviewing the evidence amassed by the Acolytes. He explained that interrogation of the captain of a smuggling ship, the Profitable Chance, intercepted in the Scintilla system by the Imperial Navy, led him to this system. He’d learned that the smugglers had been hired by an unnamed organization for periodic cargo runs. The route was mainly between Hesiod’s Wake and Scintilla, but included others including between Scintilla & Iocanthos. Smuggler Captain Berwic Fintel also “volunteered” a passphrase used by his employer, that Inquisitor Karkalla thought might be useful: “Sonum efficit, qui excubant in Infernus est, et vultus illius” (Low Gothic-“Watch for the sound that makes none and the visage that is faceless”).

Indeed, it unlocked the hard drive the Cell had recovered from the forest base, adding more light to past shadows:

  • Footage showing Adept Kerred Smyk putting the previously discovered wooden box containing psy-foci in the base storage area.
  • A memo intended for “A.H.” regarding keeping an eye out for the Inquisition, who continues to interdict their shipments (Inquisitor Karkalla commented upon viewing that, besides the recent single captured smuggling ship he is unaware of any past interdiction)
  • Footage of five individuals boarding a ship, the Dark Heart, in the forest base, dated in the dark very early morning of the same day the Acolytes discovered the base. The 5 were Jaleb Samtoll, Kerred Smyk, an older man in local garb and two females, possibly in their 20s, in local garb.
  • Footage of restrained humans in the forest base cargo area dated a month ago. Some were manacled and others had strange solid metal boxes, covered in glyphs/runes, affixed over their head; a item Karkalla identified as a “Witch Cage” that is used to restrain psyker powers.

Karkalla said he was going to the planet’s surface to view things for himself, but suggested they all soon reconvene on Scintilla, along with their master Inquisitor Vaarak. The Cell filed their report via the ship’s Astropath & returned to Scintilla.

Upon arrival they were ordered to a meet in several days aboard the Verdant Glory, an Imperial Naval ship in orbit. There they joined Inquisitors Vaarak & Karkalla. Vaarak asked questions about the Cell’s report. He remarked on his respect for Inquisitor Karkalla, a personified backbone of Imperial Illumination_-_Aristarchus_The_Seer.jpgstrength. He ordered them to continue to run to ground every possible lead on the corruption of his trusted senior acolyte Aristarchus. Vaarak told them he would be dealing with the continuing developments on daemon infested Iocanthos – so he was seconding them to the authority of Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla. He remarked it unusual, most especially so outside of ones Ordo, but Karkalla was a trusted ally with similar beliefs to his own & this investigation came before any questions of jurisdictional details.

At that point Vaarak asked Karkalla to inform the Acolytes of the latest developments. Karkalla said he’d received a communication recently from an old contact, Laurent Strophes, regarding xeno-tech discovered during Strophes’ quiet inquiry into his missing niece, Saia. The device had come from an Imperial cult called The Joyous Choir. The Inquisition had found that the xeno-tech Strophes turned over was eerily similar to that found inside the broken tarot card discovered in the cathedral of Iocanthos settlement at Stern Hope. Nobleman Strophes was open to assisting the Inquisition in penetrating this cult to investigate the proscribed device (and hopefully Strophes’ niece). The Acolytes were ordered to go undercover as the Strophes visiting off-world noble cousins. Their remit was to investigate the Joyous Choir and to run to ground on the planet all leads thereby discovered and to report back to Inquisitor Karkalla within a month’s time. This was a fact finding mission, however, clear heresy should be dealt with at their discretion. In the interest of maximizing their information gathering, they were not to expose themselves as agents of the Inquisition to anyone other than the Strophes unless they have absolutely no other choice.

Vaarak informed the Cell that Ordo Hereticus had received a formal request from High Sorteliger Lethe Tarriacta of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica for an investigation into a continued unexpected decrease of psykers on Scintilla; a very unusual development for the sector’s capitol. Such a request required prompt attention; since their investigation had them operating on Scintilla and involved psykers, they were instructed to keep their eyes open for answers to the High Sorteliger’s inquiry.

Lastly, Vaarak told the Cell he had looked into reports of any landings of a ship anywhere in the sector by the name of Dark Heart. He received word much sooner than expected, for the ship landed on Scintilla itself several days prior. The ship name was immediately identified by the spaceport for it suffered a severe fire soon after landing that spread to much of the hanger. Eleven burnt husks were discovered, of which five were identified as hanger crew from their dental records on file.

Intios

[Intios: With the help of two Strictionists, we entered the temple to investigate further. There were two doors in the back corner. The first door led to a storage room. The second door was labeled “The Sanctuary of the Living Saints” and had the word “Halt” on it. The door seemed reinforced and our psyker, Odessa, told us that she could feel warp presence around the room.

Instead of going through the second door directly, we decided to get the construction master to punch a hole through the wall of the first room into the second. Master Harlan with the help of his assistant was able to use his pickaxe to bore a hole through the wall.

Arion crawled through the hole first and a few seconds later, we heard a scream from Harlan’s assistant, Phend. This was followed by Arion running out of the room and Trantor just behind. The two would not stop running which could only mean that there must be some malevolent force within the Living Saints sanctuary.

With my lasgun drawn, I took cover behind one of the pews. The next thing I saw could only be described as a vile ethereal shape. This creature seemed to walk through walls and solid objects. I could instantly feel the corruptive nature of this creature but was able to fight the urge to run away. I hit the creature with multiple shots from my lasgun but it appeared to pass straight through it. Odessa even tried to invoke her warp powers onto the creature but to no avail. This ethereal being would try to suffocate us in melee combat, but it also was able to lash out at us with some sort of tentacle attack from a distance. With its attacks, it was able to rip through the front plating of my flak cloak.

When Arion and Trantor were able to snap out of their stupor, the two joined Odessa and I in confronting the creature. Arion ran back into the Living Saints Sanctuary to try to find more clues while the rest of us kept the creature distracted. Arion ran out of the room with what we discovered to be Talus’s diary. We hastily retreated back to the Strictionist precinct to get more help.

We returned with eight flame weapons to try to close the portal of this vile creature. We set fire to the original closet it was hiding in and also the front door to the sanctuary. By this time, there were no more signs of the ethereal creature. We had the Strictionists lock down the temple and to allow no one in until further cleansing was done.

With the clues we found in Talus’s diary, we decided to head to the frontier to find Sampson’s bluff and Ignis, a possible psyker. While some local youngsters said they knew Ignis, we could not locate her whereabouts. With our leads exhausted, we flew back to the Emperor’s Light to meet with Inquisitor Karkalla.

After a detailed debrief, Karkalla said he was able to decrypt the remaining portion of the hard drive we recovered in the forest base. Apparently psykers were being transported through Hesiod’s Wake from Scintilla. Karkalla also informed us that the tithe on this planet will be turned over to the Cestelle Alliance.

From previous readings regarding the Cestelle Alliance, I know that they were founded on the Agri-world of Regulus in the Hazeroth Abyss Sub-sector. Now they are in charge of tithe collection across a wide band of planets within the Hazeroth sector. While I am sure that the tithe under Cestelle will remain the same or even increase on Hesiod’s Wake, I would like to see for myself if rumors of their traditions are true. I will do my part to make sure that Hesiod’s Wake does not disappear from the Administratum records in the future.

We adjourned from the debriefing and were told by Karkalla to meet him and Inquisitor Vaarak within orbit of Scintilla aboard an Imperial naval vessel. Upon arriving in system, both Inquisitors briefed the group on our next mission. We were to go undercover on Scintilla to look into a new cult calling themselves the Joyous Choir. Nobles and highborn being infiltrated by a possible heretical cult? Sounds like my kind of investigation. When do we begin?]

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Battle of Recompense
Did the Acolytes take on the planet or just the capitol city?

We left Vaarak’s Cell engaging the town of Recompense in combat, a development of pursuing the rogue psyker Talus to the last. The acolytes dispatched their prey, laudabo imperatore, though were subsequently compelled to Hesiod_s_Wake_-_Agriworld-2079.jpgsurrender to Recompense’s guardians.

From their cell, they convinced the concussed & deflagrated Viceroy of their righteous intentions, despite their unfettered wounding & killing of civilians.

Freed & empowered by the Viceroy of the Harvest, the inquest’s focus moved to Harvest-Prelate Manus Barahona, whom the Inquisition’s soldiers suspected of warpish malfeasance. The search didn’t last long, finding the top Ecclesiarchy official in his own bed with his throat cut. Trantor discovered where something might have been hidden in the back of a dresser.

They questioned Everlast Kathrinka’s four main counselors in the Infirmary: Klavius Ehinger, Quina Allanson, Rachell Mortz & Angelika Pemelton.

The Cell then canvassed the living quarters of the Living Saints, animas damnari. They found a key in Corus’ room & found that something had been burned in the trash can of Talus’ room.

Tech priest

[Trantor Severus: Trantor and Intios kill a few Strictionists running toward the building they are on the roof of, then descend the ladder and run toward the rest of the acolytes. Arion parleys with some Sworn Protectors while Odessa deals the death blow to Talus, confirming his identity, and comes under attack from a shotgun wielding Strictionist while obeying a Sworn Protector’s orders to fall. She is wounded, then suddenly all the Sworn Protectors and Strictionists near her suffer serious wounds from an invisible blade, she scrambles to her feet and takes cover, miraculously uncut.

Once the group is reunited we surrender to the authorities and the Viceroy comes to visit us in the Strictionist building. He tells us that the Overseer suspects the Ecclesiarchy of reducing the efficiency of the crop growing. We believe that the Harvester-Prelate is a psyker. Between these two circumstances, we need to bring her in. The Viceroy informs the civil and military authorities that we’re working for him, and should be cooperated with, and we’re released and our belongings returned. We’re provided with a Strictionist patrolman named Letscher as a liason. I return to the scene of the attack (4th floor) to recover my staff.

The Overseer tells us that the crop yield is not what it could be. Blames the Ecclesiarchy for planting at the wrong times, and that the lack of efficiency has been increasing, with the result that there are increasing hunger in the fields. Doesn’t suspect that crops have been stolen. They don’t use machines for harvesting because they are not working.

We go to the Harvester-Prelate’s home and find him dead from a cut throat about 2 days. We search his home and the food storage/preparation areas, find a place on the back of his dresser where something 10×12″ had been suspended, and a list of foodstuffs and the names of the Prelate, 5 living saints, 2 of Everlast’s councilors, and two other councilors. The recovered murder weapon has the planetary Ecclesiarchy symbol on it. All 4 councilors are staying at the Governor’s palace, so we go there. The girl councilors tell us that they sometimes order from the Ecclesiarchy’s kitchen, but not recently.

Infirmary.jpgWe take those 2 and go to the infirmary where we find the other 2 councilors. We talk with the 4 of them, and are told that the Harvester-Prelate seemed to let Talus take control over the past 4 years. Samtoll arrived on the scene rather suddenly a few years ago and seemed extraordinary competent — last seen 2 days ago in the Governor’s area, keeps very much to himself.

Ignus: she is an angel who protects or burns the the crops of the rural farms according to legend. Most recent word has been a couple of months, eldest report is 5-10 years ago. Holy visage of the country folk.

We are radioed that a ship from Inquisitor Nazauth Karalla has arrived in orbit and the Inquisitor is coming to the surface, he’ll be here in an hour.

We go back to the Living Saints lair and find that each photo is signed by the Living Saint Trapdoor.jpgdepicted, as well as a door key inscribed “HPMB” (Harvest Prelate) (Corus’s room). In one trash can we find a book with the spine name “HPMB” (Talus’ room).
Everything else is the same as how we left it, including the Living Saint’s body at the bottom of the ladder.]

Intios

[Intios: From our rooftop vantage point, we can see a small group of Planetary Defense Force soldiers coming towards the town square. At the same time, there are still four Strictionists coming toward us on the rooftop of the Overseer’s office. Both Trantor and I take shots at the Strictionist carrying the long arm weapon. Trantor hits with multiple shots while the other three were able to reach and enter the building.

I reload both my las weapons and decide to go down the ladder to ground level. Odessa and Arion are beginning to be surrounded by Strictionists and PDF members. As I make the long run behind the buildings towards to town square, I can hear Odessa invoking her warp powers once again. There are muffled screams, which Odessa later described as invisible tendrils reaching out and slashing at everyone within a fifteen meter radius. Apparently it was warp powers gone awry again.

When I reach the corner of the town square, Arion is speaking with a Sergeant Makulik of the Sworn Protectors. The Sergeant is asking the entire cell to show ourselves or else he will open fire. While it was against my judgment for Inquisition members to surrender to local forces, being surrounded and outnumbered meant no other choice but listen to the Sergeant’s commands.

We all surrender and are taken to the Strictionist’s precinct. We are initially interrogated by Lt. Furian Haddaway of the Strictionists. We ask to speak to Viceroy Kathrinka in person. One of the Viceroy’s councilors meets us and tells us that the Viceroy needed to stop by the infirmary before meeting us. Upon the Viceroy’s arrival, he did not seem too worse for wear considering he was put on fire by a rogue psyker just hours ago. The Viceroy believes our evidence of rogue psykers and allows us to be released and continue our investigation.

We are assigned a Strictionist officer Geta Letscher to act as our guide through Recompense. We first speak with Overseer Drachenstein. The Overseer tells us she is wary of the tithe yield and that Sodality has machines that could help with the harvests but none are operational because they lack the technology to repair them. Her suspicions do not shine a good light on the Ecclesiarchy of this planet.

Our next stop is to check in with the Harvester-Prelate Barahona. We discover him dead in his quarters with his throat cut. The body seems to be 2 days old. We do a thorough search of his room and discover a hook behind one of the dressers which used to hold something. Next to Barahona’s quarters is the kitchen used by the living saints. In the kitchen, we find the names of the living saints on a menu but also a few more names of councilors to both the Governor and Viceroy.

We go to the Governor’s office to meet with Mortz and Pemelton, who were the new names on the menu. Between the councilors in the Governor’s office and the infirmary, there did not seem to be any new leads. At this time, we get a call from our transport in orbit telling us that Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla has arrived in system and will be in Recompense within an hour.

We returned to the Living Saints’ quarters to search for further clues. We found a key with “HPMB” inscribed as well a burned book with the same initials inscribed. Could these have been used by the rogue psykers against the Harvester-Prelate?

Our last lead to follow-up on was regarding the local legend of Ignis. We may have to return to the frontier regions to get more information. The immediate decision we need to make is whether to stay for the Inquisitor Karkalla’s arrival or continue with our investigation.]

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Which one is the psyker?!
Antonius has a reasonable complaint

As requested, Hesiod Wake’s Viceroy of the Harvest arrived at the Agri-Harvest Sodality Overseer’s spacious & brightly lit office. The Cell’s blade man explained the status of their investigation to Governor Everlast’s younger brother & sought his support. The confabulation appeared constructive until Martein Kathrinka…

burst into flame.

A large Strictionist Captain threw open the door and, seeing the Viceroy burning, battle ensued. In combat, the Captain is revealed to be severely mutated. The Emperor’s assassin cuts down his Strictionist foes, though suffering multiple gunshot wounds. Arion feels his heart beating at unnatural speed & his blood simmering in his veins. A heavy tray catapults at him, seemingly under its own power.

Intios successfully extinguishes the Viceroy’s flames. Then he looks for the psyker in the room, firing his Laspistol into the unarmed Antonius to see his reaction. The Viceroy flees, as does Overseer Drachenstein, who orders all TitheGuard to leave with her. With what must’ve been the Emperor’s inspiration, Intios looks to the skylight & discovers someone peeking through. The acolytes open fire peppering the ceiling. Odessa ignites their roof attacker, who disappears from view.

The Acolytes give chase. Intios opens fire from the roof and, on his third attempt, is able to wound the fleeing figure below with laser fire. The figure cuts through a building and into the town square. Intios & Trantor open fire from the roof, sending the figure to the ground. Many in the busy square, including a trio of Strictionists, rush to the figure’s aid and begin to carry this wounded one towards the Strictionist precinct.

Determined to dispatch this unchecked doorway into the immaterium, the two acolytes continued to pour rounds into the scrum of civilians carrying their charge. They dropped a number of Recompense’s residents, before hitting their target in the arm.

Arion found himself pinned by Strictionists when a vilesome burning daemon strides into view preceded by the vox’d words, “Look away”.

Intios

[Intios: Arion and I show up at Drachenstein’s office at noon the next day. The Overseer had two additional counselors as well as Antonius. A few moments later we are joined by Viceroy Kathrinka as we had hoped. Arion requests additional tithe guard for added security. After two additional guards show up, Arion begins to relay the story of rogue psykers within Recompense.

It was not but a few moments later that Martein Kathrinka bursts into flames in front of our eyes. At this moment, three Strictionists come through the door. At the sight of the Viceroy aflame, the Strictionists draw their weapons and try to detain us. Arion quickly draws his own weapon and is upon the Strictionist captain immediately. Upon wounding the captain, he starts to mutate as he is no longer able to keep us his disguise. I run towards the back of the room and rip the curtains off of the window. I smother the Viceroy with the curtain in hope of extinguishing the flames.

At this very moment, the two counselors with the Overseer hide for cover behind a desk. The Overseer herself, wide eyed, backs up against the window as her tithe guards surround her. Antonius seems to have fainted at the sight of the mutant transformation. Gunfire rings out through the room as the Strictionists fire at Arion for taking out their captain. I see a refreshment tray fly through mid-air and hit Arion. Arion yells out, “Find the psyker!” I tell Trantor and Odessa that we are engaged in combat and need their immediate assistance.

I look about the room trying to find this rogue psyker. Antonius wakes up from his daze and I take a quick shot from my laspistol. The shot hits him squarely in the body but the psychic phenomenon does not cease. I then pull out a grenade thinking the psyker may be one of the counselors or possibly the Overseer. Not seeing any reaction from the Overseer or her counselors, I focus my attention on the Strictionists attacking Arion.

By the time Odessa and Trantor arrive at the Overseer’s office, the now extinguished Viceroy and Antonius decide to flee the office. Drachenstein also orders her tithe guard to leave the office as she departs. At this moment, I look up toward the skylight in the office and see a hooded figure looking in. I immediately shoot at the window with Trantor following my lead. We both miss the figure but Odessa decides to invoke her warp powers to inflict damage upon the hooded figure.

Arion is now shooting his grapnel hook through the window to get up onto the roof. I climb the rope to get up to the roof and see Arion giving chase to the hooded figure, who has now climbed down the ladder. With the hooded figure running towards the town square and Arion running after him, I pull out my lasgun and begin opening fire.

Sniping_-_Recompense.jpgI hit the hooded figure in the body with two shots and then with shots to the body and leg. He’s still running and Arion is still giving chase. Trantor joins me on the roof. The hooded figure runs into a building but comes out the other side and into the town square. By this time, there is a small crown forming around the hooded figure. I look at Trantor and a simple unspoken message is conveyed, “He needs to go down!” Trantor and I begin opening fire at the crowd that has now picked up the hooded figure. It was Trantor’s shot that seemed to stop any movement from the rogue psyker.

During our firing from the roof, Odessa ran down the stairs to join Arion in his chase. We can now see several Strictionists come out through their precinct. Two of them have long arms and drop to a knee and begin firing on us at the roof. Their weapons were inconsequential as Trantor and I disposed of each. There are now 4 Strictionists coming towards to Sodality building and a small crown has formed around the building where Arion and Odessa ran into. The last thing I heard over the vox was Odessa yelling, “Look away!"
Odessa_-_fiery_warp_entity.jpg

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Off-Worlders' Base Discovered
Looking forward to hanging with the Viceroy

The Emperor’s Adept noted a significant security presence in Recompense’s town square, Recompense town squarewhich was not surprising given the death & mayhem of the last 24 hours. Intios noticed for the first time a tarp attached to the side of an upper-story wall of the Governor’s buildings.

Two Strictionists finally investigate the reported individuals in the Strictionists’ own back filing area. The filing door now unlocked, the blade worshipping assassin manages to slip by them & the Cell runs out the back of the precinct. They manage to outrun most of the pursuing constables. Those able to sustain chase, as well as a couple of mounted officers, fail to sustain their courage when Odessa transforms into warpish hell flames, fleeing as fast as they previously chased.

The Cell searches for the bandits they first encountered on the planet, thinking them rebels to Administratum adept kerred smykthe planet’s authority and therefore possibly a source of information and, under the circumstances, possibly even allies. What they discovered in an outback forest, however, was not Hesiod s wake   forest clearing 3rebels but a hidden base and landing pad. This installation had a warehouse, a lab, living quarters & a storage area. They found equipment, ammo, keys, strange items in a carved wooden box, Hesiod governmental memos & an Adepta Administratum tunic. They also came upon a data-console, in which Trantor discovered revealing footage of the Viceroy’s Counselor Samtoll entering the installation mere hours before. The real surprise, however, was who accompanied him – Kerred Smyk, an Iocanthos Administratum Adept that the Cell had searched for in Port Suffering.

After a brief visit to the The Emperor’s Light, they returned to their task in the planet’s capital. Arion snuck into the main offices of the Agri-Harvest Sodality in an attempt to meet with Overseer Evaine Drachenstein. Arion asked Drachenstein to set up a meet with the injured Viceroy. He returned the next day to her office awaiting the Viceroy’s answer….

Intios

[Intios: As luck would have it, we did not need to blast Arion out of his hiding place. It seems two Strictionists went looking into the storage room because someone within the main office heard noises coming from the hallways we were in. As the Strictionists came down the dark hallway, Arion, was able to sneak past them through the main corridor to the locked room with cots and closets. Arion broke through the door and joined up with Odessa and Trantor.

As the three of them sneak out through the shed door, I can see that there is one Strictionist standing under the lamp post and may need to be dealt with. My fellow acolytes are spotted so I decide to distract the single Strictionist by calling out to him. Just as the single Strictionist looks my way, others start coming out of the shed we escaped from. The others immediately start running towards me. I shot out the single lamp post that is illuminating the area. The Strictionists fire off a couple rounds but in the dark, they all prove useless.

The four of us all start to run down the open road leading away from the Temple/Precinct. We get a few blocks away and notice that there are still 3 Strictionists chasing us. Odessa tells us to run behind one of the houses and prepare for her invocation. As we turn the corner, Odessa steps out into the road and taps into her warp powers. I do not know what form Odessa took, but the next thing I hear is the three Strictionists running away in fear. The two mounted Strictionists also dismounted and fled in fear.

With the chasing Strictionists on the run, we walk back towards the town square. There is now a large tarp covering the third floor of the Governor’s building. It looks like the building was hit by a blast.

We decided to leave the capitol of Recompense and go towards the frontier in order to try to meet up with possible rebels. The rebels may have further information that could prove useful in our investigation. Flying 20 miles from Recompense, we found a frontier homestead owned by a man named Argus. He was friendly enough but did not have any information about the rebels we were searching for.

After flying another 20 miles out from the frontier, we noticed a clearing within the dense forest. The clearing was large enough for our shuttle to land. Upon landing, Odessa said that she could sense a faint warp presence. A large mound was covered by foliage but a door appeared within the cover. There was a smell of fuel, which was coming from a recently used pump. We also discovered 4 locked hatches outside. We opened each hatch to discover foodstuffs, clothing and even some solid projectile and Las ammunition. One of the hatches had a wooden box with strange carvings and some psy-focus material.

We make our way into the hidden bunker which turns out to be a warehouse and small laboratory. We find an operational computer screen in the living quarters. We turn on the computer to see video surveillance backdated to 3AM from the previous morning. The video is of the lab and I can recognize Counselor Samtoll and Adept Kerred Smyk, who I met on Iocanthos. The video shows Samtoll working on a circuit board with the fine tools similar to the ones we found in one of the hatches outside. After seeing the video, our team decides to take everything we can within the warehouse, lab and living quarters. With time, we hope to break the encryption that is on the computer.

With the techs onboard the Emperor’s Light unable to break the encryption and us not being able to locate the rebels, we decide to go back to Recompense for more answers. We land outside of the capital and decide to make it the rest of the way on foot. We hope to get aid or information from the Sodality Overseer, Evaine Drachenstein. The Sodality office is by the town square next to the governor’s office.

Arion uses his stealth capabilities to sneak into the Sodality office. Drachenstein’s office is on the 4th floor. Arion eventually met with Antonius, the operational head and Overseer Drachenstein. Arion tells Drachenstein of our suspicions of rogue psykers. We ask her to setup a meeting with Viceroy Martein Kathrinka. Whether she believed our story or not, we cannot be sure, but she did say that she would try to setup a meeting with the Viceroy for us. Now the only thing left to do is to meet back at the Overseer’s office at noon tomorrow.]

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Trapped Between Psykers & a Hard Place
Hotel California Hesiod's-Wake-style

Hesiod s wake   agriworld 2079The Emperor’s Acolytes believed themselves to be in a largely unused filing area of a Strictionist Precinct in the capital city of Recompense on the frontier agri-planet Hesiod’s Wake.

They were at a door that seemed to lead to the populated area of the office but they failed to defeat the lock & decided not to try to force the door. There was the sound of alarmed voices some distance behind it & they overheard, what sounded like, that Governor Everlast had been attacked. Odessa banged on the door & Trantor made the sound of an alarm to get someone’s attention. Someone indeed came but in the chaos of the apparent assault on the planetary governor their disturbance was ignored & seemed to be forgotten.

The Cell laid an ambush for their betes noires in the filing room at the top of the stairs but their adversaries didn’t arrive. However, they found their foes with some Strictionist officers in the underground hallways and were able to quickly dispatch both a Strictionist & one of the wyrds they were looking for.

The way back up to the Ecclesiarchy living quarters was blocked & defended – so they withdrew back to the Strictionist filing room. From overheard conversations they suspected that they themselves were the target of a manhunt.

Trantor found a ventilation duct in the filing room that he could fit into and through it gainedDusty strictionist file room access to another Stictionist backroom containing desks & some cots. He found a small very dusty filing room beyond that. Then went through a window and found a shed with water damaged files. Intios& Odessa joined him there.

Given the dusty state of the smaller filing room, they figured they would be undiscovered there for the time being & set about over the next few hours trying to uncover answers in the files they were surrounded by. Their trained sleuthing revealed quite a bit of what’d been happening on Hesiod’s Wake in the last twenty years.

Arion couldn’t fit in the ventilation duct so they set about figuring a way for him to escape. Intios donned a Strictionist uniform they’d found near the cots & exited the shed into an alley. He checked the temple & living quarters area as a possible getaway route for Arion – but he found Strictionist officers & Talus himself.

Tech priest

[Trantor Severus: There was static in the universe as the rulez were in flux, then the Omnissiah! took control and the universe steadied.

We continued to explore the unoccupied section of the Strictionist’s office then approached the lit office which had sounds of occupancy behind it. The sounds changed to concern and alarm, something about a murder. Meanwhile I overheard motion behind the door we’d come in through (behind the file cabinets), and Odessa and Arion went to hold the doors. I and Intios attempted to reach the Strictionists in the lit office but they were preoccupied by reports of an attack on the ruling Kathrinka family, and were fully occupied. We blocked the Strictionist door with filing cabinets and headed back to combat the psykers. Setting a strategic killing ground, this unit used my auger array to scan the platform and stairs, finding nothing. Arion stealthed poorly to the platform, this unit moved to the door and scanned the bottom of the stairs, detecting nothing. Arion moves the table to the top of the stairs for cover and turns on the lamp, I scan again, and detect nothing to the corner of the hallway.

I enter the cell room to find that it’s also clear. Odessa has been suffering from headaches but they suddenly seem worse. She examines the doorjambs and discovers some psychic-damping glyphs. While the others worry about an attack, I attempt to bring the machine spirits back to life with my luminen capacitor but the power is of a different sort and my power is not accepted. Odessa claims that the machine presents a hazard, and I am unable to confirm or deny this, and have some concerns of my own that the machine may be used (or designed) for blasphemous purposes. I remove the 26/62 important fizzik circut and add it to my tool kit, then scan the hallway on the other side of the door to reveal a humanoid standing in the dark hallway with slightly back-lit by the trap door behind him. I take 1 burst with the autogun and storm ammo . . . and drop him. Another heretic peaks around the corner and Odessa tried to set him on fire but the attempt fizzles, and the head pops back around the corner. I hold my action expectantly, and when a head pops out near the ground, I heroically use all actions to call a shot on the eye, shoot, and miss. The higher head pops back around the corner, and Odessa tries to burn the lower eye’s owner — she seems to succeed but Intios is suddenly subjected to some sort of ice attack. More firing, more misses, and I realize that the dead figure is wearing a uniform, probably a Strictionist, and the others are not using psychic powers against us. Arion moves down the corridor and confirms that the body is a Strictionist, and more light is coming down the ladder as additional Strictionists come down.

Intios demands that the Strictionists cease fire, but a familiar voice claims we are heathens. I reply “we are servants of the Omnissiah! eat hot lead” and shoot the upper eye with two bursts of Storm. The owner cries out and falls behind the corner.

We press the attack, I reload with standard ammunition and charge the attackers. Arion pursues a figure in robes climbing the ladder and stabs him doing huge damage, but the priest continues to scream and live. I round the corner and fire, but my shots strike the wall. As I run up to the ladder melee combat I see a Strictionist above preparing to shoot Arion with a handgun, and fire at him. I miss, and he returns fire at me, missing as well. Intios takes a shot at the same guy, I take a shot as well. The Living Saint on the ladder falls, living saint no more. The Strictionist upstairs slams the trap door closed. Being very slow, I head back to the Strictionist office while the rest of the group loots the body. Then they discuss plans and decide to press the attack through the trap door. Odessa says she detects warp poison above and the decision is made to pursue the witches. I head back and take a position around the corner (as grenades have been discussed) with my optical dendrite extended toward the machine room. Odessa becomes enveloped in flame and tries to open the trap door but it’s locked. She drops the scary flames and takes the key and swipes it. It clicks but she’s still unable to open it. She descends and she and Intios shoot at the door, which does seem to damage it. A hole is made, a shotgun comes through the hole from above and shoots, missing us all. We enter into discussion with Sanctionist Egan Dunfor who declares that we are guilty of attacking the governor as well as killing priests and Sanctionists. I’m convinced that this effort is not in the Emperor’s best interest and head back to the Strictionist building. The others overtake me before we get to the Sanctionist office.
We’re blocked again with no way past the Sanctionist office. In the bathroom I find a vent, remove the wicker grate, keeping the 2 half-used candles, then wriggle through the vents to a dark room with desks, cabinets and some cots. I cut through the grate and drop down. I take a Strictionist uniform. There are two doors out, one leads to the occupied office, the other to an unused, dusty file room with a window. I figure out the filing system but find no files related to Teliad, Gtol, or Fellisimo. Intios joins me and also searches, but finds no files either. I defeat the window security and pass through it, with Intios, into a dank shed of files and mildew. Using one candle’s light, I unscrew the lower hinge, loosen the top hinge, and discuss strategy with the Acolytes. Our best plan is to circle around to the Church and see what the situation outside the priest’s quarters is like.

About this time, Odessa and Arion hear that the voices in the Strictionist office have quieted except one, and it seems that the Viceroy is giving a speech about his brother and he seems angry. We decide to search the rooms while considering things and hope to get 3 hours of searching done. As a seeker, I use my last fate point to invoke the blessings of the Omnissiah! and find no information about any ships coming to Hesiod’s Wake. Find information about the Kathrinkas, but we already knew it all. Everlast has been in power for quite some years and is obsessed with keeping the tithe, and left most of the other duties to his brother the Viceroy, and his wife is strong-willed and doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the governor, but she suddenly took ill some years ago and is bed-ridden. Find that Gtol died suddenly of an illness which might have been similar to what’s wrong with the governor’s wife. Find a private report which seems to be Gtol’s hand, that he has concerns about the new harvest prelate, his age and the circumstances of his ascension after the death of Felissimo. Gtol’s office is near the entrance way to the psyker cells, he wore multiple hats though his main function was telepathic communication, but also detected emerging psykers and had security apparatus to hold them for the black ships, but his office had been transitioned into file storage since no new astropath had been found. Complimentary and respectful attitude in reports about Felissimo, and the file on Telad is empty. In the deepest place we find a misfiled file that claims concerns around the psyker cells stopping functioning, and there’s no astropath, and the authoring Strictionist is very concerned — it’s dated within 2 years of the death of Gtol, and laments that the psykers have escaped — almost feels like a journal, he doesn’t know what to do, but dearly hopes that the astropath will be replaced soon, and hopes that the Emperor will help hold back the forces of the warp. Find files on notable people like on the living saints, they suddenly came to power, loved by the people, Harvest Prelate loves them. Everlast has a couple of councilors whom he relies on, Klavious Enhinjer and Quiana Allanson. A file on Viceroy’s councilor Jaleb Samtoll, he’s powerful, has Felissimo’s ability of being extremely on it — no matter the subject seems to know what’s up. Another file talks about the Harvest Prelate and the governor’s family having an unidentified metal object, prayer foci, odd because the lead investigators think they don’t belong here. Governor Everlast’s symbol of authority is a large medallion which was made from part of a melted-down landing pod foot from first contact. I record all these files to my memory.

Intios dresses in the Strictionist uniform and leaves his stuff behind except his laser pistol which he wraps in a spare shirt and carries in his hands, while Odessa and I stay in the shed and Arion stays back in the former astropath’s quarters. Intios approaches the dumpster and hears something bumping inside, but safely makes it past both the dumpster and the dangerous tarp. He successfully makes it back to the front of the church and finds that Talus is there, and a lot of cops. We discuss diversionary tactics, then end for the night. Please send more Sacred Ungents.]

Intios

[Intios: After fighting off what turned out to be a combination of Strictionists and Living Saints along the hidden corridor underneath the trap door, our team decided it was not advantageous for us to continue up the ladder we initially came through.

We discovered that the office at the other end of the Cell room belonged to the previous psyker astropath Gtol. We found a vent in the ceiling of the bathroom, which three of us were able to crawl through into other parts of this office complex. Odessa, Trantor and I eventually all crawl through the duct to drop into another filing office. As we formulate a plan to try to get Arion to join us, Trantor is pouring through the records in the office. We were able to find writing from Eigen Dunfour, the head of the Strictionists at the time of Gtol’s death. There was quite a bit of information regarding the astropath Gtol, but not much regarding the tech-priest Ti-lad.

In the adjoining room next to the filing room, we find a shed that has a window to the outside. We find a Strictionist uniform and it is decided that I go out in disguise to scout the general vicinity. Although I strap on the standard issue stub revolver, I will not part with my Las Pistol, so I wrap my pistol underneath some clothing. The window out of the shed lead to a back alley of the office complex we were in. I walk to the front of the building and confirm that indeed, this is the main Strictionists headquarters. I walk further toward the church we initially entered and discovered that Talus was in the courtyard and directing some sort of search. Apparently the Governor was attacked this evening. If the fire fight underneath the trap door is any indication, we may be the targets of their manhunt.

Now we need to devise a plan to get Arion out of the back office and past the Strictionists. Do we setup a diversion or do we blast our way out?]

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The Room with Prison Cells
Late for Dinner

The Acolytes were in the cleric living quarters with two in custody. The Cell’s psyker ended the life of one.

Arion went out in the temple courtyard to calm an agitated crowd of locals & for a discussion with Talus, the member of the so called Living Saints they’d met. The Cell’s assassin called for the Strictionists to be fetched & Talus attacked, hitting him with multiple dark clusters of cracking warp energy. The injured assassin quickly dashed back in through the door he’d just come from.

Intios & Arion pushed a bookcase up against the sprung door as the crowd tried toTrapdoor.jpg pile in. Trantor, continuing to be bothered by the existence of the one empty room, searches & finds a secret door in the floor for the Cell’s escape. With the assistance of their remaining captive, a key was found, the door opened and Trantor and Odessa went down the hole. Intios & Arion soon followed, the Cell’s last captive escaping in the mayhem behind a bizarre wall of faces.

The group discovered an underground room with cells in it and machinery connected to those cells. They found a hidden short list of names in one of the cells. While they were exploring the room & trying to unlock the one other door, they were attacked by a number of clerics. They killed two and went in pursuit but then decided to reverse course and go through the door finally opened by Intios.

That door led to stairs up and a messy room of desks and file cabinets. The acolytes went through some files for a short time & then decided to proceed deeper into this office.

Intios

[Intios: Upon settling into Recompense, we were invited to dinner by Governor Everlast. Prior to the dinner, our team decided to take a closer look around at a temple next to the quarters we were using. We could hear songs being sung by the locals as their service was in progress. There was a locked door leading into the back of the temple, which we broke in order to gain entrance. This seemed to be living quarters for the local clergy.

Our psyker, Odessa, sensed a high amount of warp energy coming from one of the rooms. We gained access to the room to discover one cleric within. Odessa could not pinpoint the location of the warp energy but it was most likely from this room. As my fellow acolytes begin questioning this cleric, a man opens the door from across the hall and demands to know what all the noise is about. We quickly grab the second cleric and head to the end of the hall, checking for anyone else who may be in their rooms.

The last room at the end of the hall opened up to be what the clerics called their shrine. There were portraits of 5 people who were described as living saints. Our tech priest, Trantor and Odessa continued their questioning of the two clerics. Our assassin, Arion and I decided to check on the front door we broke through. We could clearly hear sounds of a crowd outside the door. Arion walked outside and then a few moments later, he ran back in and told me to barricade the door. Apparently, Talus unleashed some sort of psyker attack on him. I went to the living room area and pulled a bookshelf towards the front door.

As Arion is trying to hold back people from coming in, Trantor said he found a trap door in the empty room. Apparently the interrogation did not go well because the first cleric was killed by Odessa. With the help of the second captive, we open the trap door and call everyone to drop through. We followed the dark tunnel into a large room that opened up into what looked like a prison. There were six cells within the room and in the middle, was a large machine with cables running into each cell.

Under one of the latrines, I found what looked like a manifest of six names. A seventh name was not discernible. This manifest had a date of over 20 years ago. As Trantor was trying to operate the large machine, two clerics come through the door and were quickly disposed of. Trantor told us to shut down all light sources so that he can use his infrared vision. A quick check of the original tunnels showed that we were not being pursued.

We decided to push forward into the new tunnel. After blowing off the lock, we walked into a room filled with documents, many spread out all over the room. We do a quick search of the room and it seems like we are in a Strictionist office. Without having much time to delve into the files further, we decided to keep moving.]

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Take Me to Your Leader
Ok, so who ISN'T a psyker around here?

The Emperor’s plain clothes soldiers were on an Imperial ship orbiting Iocanthos. Orbiting iocanthosScalprum Mazion, knowing the Cell had some new members & not having a lot of history with any, decided a bit of orientation was in order. He gave them a very brief overview of the Inquisition, what its purpose was & what their Inquisitor expected. Finally, he warned them that whatever their prior thinking – the Imperium was far more complicated & the threats to it far more dire than they were aware.

After the Acolytes rummaged through the ship’s supply locker, they were dispatched to the AgriWorld Hesiod’s Wake on the Trailing Frontier of the Calixis Sector aboard the Imperial Navy troop transport The Emperor’s Light. Intel indicated that the broken tarot card containing xeno circuitry that had been found in Stern Hope’s blood-soaked Cathedral had likely originated from there, of all places. Moreover, a routine inquiry with the Administratum had found that Hesiod’s Wake had somehow dropped off the Imperial grid – there was no record of any Imperial ship going there for over twenty years.

The Cell chose to go in under the cover of a joint Administratum & Mechanicus investigation regarding the loss of contact. The Acolytes met the world’s various leaders & pressed their investigation.

Hesiod s wake   agriworld 2079After agreeing to join the Planetary Governor “Bountiful Lord” Everlast Kathrinka for dinner later that evening, they chose to get a look at the Temple in the meantime. There was a service in-progress so they determined to get a look at whatever lay on the other side of a door near the Temple entrance. They gained access & came upon some living quarters…as well as a couple of inhabitants, whom they’re questioning now….

Intios

[Intios: Our entire team finally made it out of Port Suffering with Kosloff alive. We presented our findings to our prime, Scalprum Mazion, who debriefed us by saying that the daemon was on a path to return to Port Suffering. Two tech priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus then stepped in and showed us what looked like one of Aristarchus’s tarot cards. The odd thing was the tarot card had circuitry which they described as Xeno-tech. Apparently Esha Raine survived the incident at Stern Hope and went back to look for survivors after the daemon left. It was Raine, The Death Singer, who found this tarot card.

In the course of our debriefing, it was revealed to us that Aristarchus was a long descendant of St. Drusus. An investigation showed Prelate Skae had a meeting with a stranger from a different sector and received the xeno tarot cards. These cards were eventually given to Aristarchus. The origin of the xeno cards was linked back to the agri-world of Hesiod’s Wake. Hesiod’s Wake was colonized 4 centuries ago and until recent decades, was consistent in providing their imperial tithe.

While Administratum records show no ships travelling to Hesiod’s Wake in 20 years, there are records of high ranking Imperial officers at that time. Harvester-Prelate Felissimo was the highest ranking Imperial officer. Ti-lad, of the Adeptus Mechanicus, was shown to be on planet up to 25 years ago. Gtol Sorath was their Astropath psyker but there are no records of him for over 20 years.

Our mission is now made clear. Find clues to the origin of the xeno tarot cards and why Hesiod’s Wake has lost contact with the Imperium. Discovering the fates of the high ranking imperial officers may shed light on the loss of contact.

We boarded the ship, The Emperor’s Light, in order to make the warp trek to Hesiod’s Wake. Captain Jerak has given us the use of one of their light transports in order to land near the main city of Recompense. On our descent towards Recompense, we can see what looked like Imperial symbols in the crop formations. Upon landing, we helped breakup a confrontation between farmers and possible bandits trying to steal the recently harvested grain. The farmers were grateful for our intervention and first aid. In return, they offered to give us a ride to Recompense.

On our arrival into Recompense, we met with Governor Everlast “Bountiful Lord” Kathrinka and his brother, Viceroy Marteen Kathrinka. The Kathrinkas seem to have ruled the planet since initial colonization. The other leaders are Manus Barahona, the current Harvester-Prelate and Overseer Evaine Drackenstein, who heads the Agriharvest Sodality.

It seems the Governor has the use of his private guard as well as the Strictionists, who are in charge of enforcing the Imperial tithe. The Overseer heads the Sodality, who handles growing and harvesting of crops. The Harvester-Prelate heads what seems to be the Administratum branch of the planet. Now that we know who the major players are, we need to begin our investigation. How could a planet with such a vital Imperial tithe disappear from records?]

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