Emperor Preserve

Underhive Roadtrip
They need more road signs

Scene_-_Headlights_in_the_dark.jpgThe Cell drove past the military-like checkpoint down into the near darkness of the Underhive. These lowest reaches of the hive are notoriously difficult to navigate, typically lacking reliable geographic landmarks. It wasn’t long before the Emperor’s hunters felt unsure as to their whereabouts. Multiple lights in the distance were elusive, sometimes two appearing & sometimes three.

They came across half-eaten bodies & what appeared to be large swarms of what might have been some kind of rodent-like creature…onwards they drove. The acolytes came across a couple of wanderers, who spoke what seemed to be some primitive and guttural version of Low Gothic. Fortunately, Intios’ familiarity with languages enabled him to usually decipher what they were trying to communicate. The Cell “hired” the duo as guides promising them food in return. Terlian established a rapport with the one, who quickly felt like he was part of the team.

At times their new geographic counselors seemed as confused as their employers. Arion seemed attuned to the semi-rancid smell of the stale water of the nearby marshes. They found this wet sodden land they had been smelling and followed its edge, remembering that their desired destination was near it. After a short detour avoiding what appeared to be a thick opaque mist, and traversing quite a ways westward and then south by their reckoning at least, they started ascending a large bluff. One of their guides seemed to recognize it, repeatedly stating, “Esmer. Esmer.

They saw fires in the distance & reached a wall of stacked stones that the fires were atop. Arion negotiated with someone behind the wall for directions…but they couldn’t come to terms.

On the way around the bluff they ran into a man on foot, who tried to run from them, but whom they chased down in the truck. They came to terms withScene_-_man_in_headlights.jpg this man & he told them what he knew of the surrounding area. He told them he’d never heard of “Noma”. The marshes they’d been smelling were the Althea Marshes. The Crumbling Tower lay on the other side of it some 15km North of the Midhive portal. At the top of the bluff lay the Esmer ruins. The settlement the acolytes had run into on the bluff didn’t have a name, that he was aware of, but he traded goods with them from time to time. There were some ruins located near the marshes to the Northeast. There was a good sized settlement near the marshes to the SouthEast that went by the name of Holt, which was also the name of the guy in charge there. If you kept going East around the Marshes there was a narrow valley that would take you between the marshes and an area known as “The Hole” – literally a deep cavernous hole that spanned for kilometers to the South.

The Cell decided to first check out the ruins to the Northeast. From a distance they could see two lights there. Upon approach the light turned out to be two fires, seemingly maintained at the mouth of the only road still identifiable of the ruins there. They stopped the truck some three hundred yards from the Scene_-_bonfire_in_distance.jpgfires, figuring they’d been obvious spotted due to their headlights. Arion determined to scout ahead, creeping around from West to see who was watching to those watchfires. Terlian & one of their locals stayed in the cab, while Intios, Odessa & the other local were on the flatbed.

The structures had been razed on both sides but the one street had standing structures – though in terrible shape with no visible walls intact. Taking his time, Arion carefully snuck up to the structure at the end of the road from the West and made his way into a hole in the wall on that side. He spotted a small pinprick of light through some buiilding wreckage near the corner nearest the fire. oh so quietly snuck towards the pinprick of light…but just as he was one interior building corner away from it his foot errantly stepped on a sliver of wood, which audibly cracked under foot. With that, he crept back the way he’d come, waited & listened. His trained assassin ears detected someone walking from his right to left, farther into the town probably on the street. He again snuck in the same way he had & this time viewed where he’d seen that pinprick of light. There was nothing there now but a small pile of discarded Lho-sticks.

Peering out a gap in the ruined building he saw the back of an individual, some distance away now, hugging the walls of the building going away from Arion farther into the ruins. Arion trailed him, seeing the figure duck into what turned out to be an alley. Adjoining this alley was the most intact building of the ruins and it looked to be an old Magistratum office. Arion, seeing no sign of who he was following, checked the two doors in the alley and then proceeded past the front of the building to the next one. There he egressed in the hole in the wall and climbed up the delipidated structure to its roof. He jumped to the roof of the Magistratum building which was half intact and half somewhat ruins. He tried a door he found there on the intact side, but it was locked.

Further search turned up a crawl hole with a light at the end. Exploring it, he found himself looking into a crack in the ceiling above a corridor in the Magistratum building. No one was visible but there was a strange low-level steady humming noise he couldn’t identify. Just then he could see through the crack two individuals run down the corridor. He noted they weren’t wearing uniforms. It wasn’t possible to go farther in the crawl space & there was the crackling of initial interference in his microbead, probably from the structure. So he crawled back out and reported in everything he’d see to his comrades.

Terlian scooted behind the steering wheel, honked the horn and blinked the headlights – so as to make absolutely certain he didn’t startle anyone with his approach. Then he started the truck forward towards the fires. A shot rang out and a bullet pierced the windshield but hit no one. None of the acolytes Bullethole_in_windshield.jpgsaw exactly where it had come from among the ruins. Terlian punched it and the truck suddenly lurched towards the mouth of the street some 250-300 yards ahead…but he quickly lost control of the truck as it pitched violently going across the deep ruts of the on the broken choppy dirt. Fortunately, he was able to get the car back under control and he brought the speed down to ensure that would continue to be the case…but another shot was directed at them. From the back, Intios couldn’t identify the shooter.

From the ruined part of the Magistrate roof Arion witnessed a figure, armed with a longarm, climb up over the lip of the roof on the South side, go to the edge overlooking the roof and start to keep watch. The Inquisitorial swordsman left his cover and sloowly crept towards this lookout, who was fully alert but whose back was to him….

Finding the Rolando Trail
The one where everyone became a cyborg at the same time

The 12-month survival of a campaign is nothing to sniff at – an atta’boy to all acolytes of the Emperor, past & current!

From: Terlian Cascius; Adeptus Arbites & Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition, Ordo Hereticus

My Investigation Notes
Scene_-_reloading_shotgun.jpgTaking a defensive position in the room of Inquisitor Karkalla’s group, I reloaded my shotgun. I was bleeding heavily from grenade shrapnel, but the will of the Emperor drove me forward. Blessedly, the lights had returned in House Strophes just in time for us to make a stand. The door crashed open, and Arion quickly ran into the hallway, weapon in hand, and the sound of the striking blade echoed in the room. Trantor lay dying in the corner, as two intruders edged around the doorway, exchanging gunfire with Intios, Odessa and myself. At some point in the melee, Odessa was struck down by a shot to the chest, and I ran out of shotgun shells. I ran toward Trantor and grabbed the autopistol off his seemingly lifeless body, but never had time to use it. My last recollection was seeing a grenade land in the room as I covered my eyes with my arm. While Odessa, Intios and I were mortally wounded, Arion dispatched the remaining intruders with his quick blade.
I awakened in a hospital room, with my right arm replaced by a seemingly well-crafted mechanical substitute. I soon learned that Odessa and Intios had received similar accoutrements. While we were recovering from surgery in the hospital, Arion recovered more information to plan our next move. He learned that the intruders were likely from a mercenary group known as Pressure Point, but we were unlikely to find out who had hired them or for what purpose. He had also learned that Laurent Strophes would likely be able to provide us cover stories as facilities inspectors should we choose to pursue our lead to Ambulon.
Rather than make the arduous journey to Ambulon, we chose to follow a closer lead that Arion had investigated. He had a contact with additional information on the black-robed figure, Theodocia, but who wouldn’t provide the information until we’d dispatched a figure named Rolando, who was down in the underhive. We traveled to the underhive, with me traveling separately so as to arouse minimal suspicion as to my connection to them.

In the middlehive, we procured a flat-bed vehicle by promising to return it in good condition, with only a little bit of coercion on my part. We also procured a weeks worth of provisions, including food, water, batteries and ammunition. We knew that our target was in the Noma quarter, 50 miles west of a location called the crumbling tower, and began our journey through the darkness.
I couldn’t find a warp daemon blowing out the cake for Emperor’s Preserve

The Assault on House Strophes
It has been said in Inquisitorial quarters, that acolytes without enemies are useless

Man_with_stablight_in_dark_room.jpgThere were noises in the still early hours in House Strophes. They roused Arbitrator Terlian Cascius, who rose to investigate. He found the power out in his room so, grabbing his service stablight & shotgun, he left his room to investigate. Seeing that the power was out on the whole floor, he entered an unlocked room across the hall in search of staff. He woke & instructed the one he found to awake the noble from Fenksworld & his retinue. The servant reluctantly complied, preferring to awake his colleagues to see what the trouble was with the power. Arbitrator Cascius followed the man, not knowing where the acolytes’ rooms were but wanting to be joined with them. Las_fire_in_dark_room.jpg

Upon egress from the servant’s quarters Cascius came under las fire from the darkness off to his right. Sustaining a wound to his torso from the searing bolt, he raced back into the servant’s room that he had just left, looking for cover. The wounded Arbitrator took cover behind a dresser cabinet in the back of the quarters & there ensued a gun battle between he & two unknown foes armed with las weapons…and grenades. Despite a heated exchange of fire & multiple small explosive devices tossed in his direction, the heavily injured Terlian held his ground.

The sound of the las fire was notably muffled but the explosions and shotgun fire of Terlian was far more difficult to sleep through. Down the hall some distance, the various members of the Cell awoke. The acolytes were not aware of Terlian’s presence in House Strophes & eventually, over their micro-beads, seemed to find their numbers accounted for unharmed in their respective rooms. They variably prepared defensive positions or began strapping on armor.

Sensing he could not hold out forever in his current position, with his stablight in one hand & shotgun in the other, he made a sudden break for it, dashing out of the room past surprised foes. A foot chase ensued down to the next level & then, using another staircase, quickly back up to the very same level. Abitrator Cascius managed to stay in front of them long enough to find the room that the Inquisitorial Cell had holed up in.

Simultaneous with the Arbitrator’s efforts to stay alive, two invaders overcame the simple interior lock of Trantor Severus’ room & began a feverish automatic-fire firefight at 3-4 meters. The Omnissiah’s servant acquitted himself bravely but before long fell to his attackers’ onslaught.

Arion, Intios & Odessa all followed the sounds of combat through the darkness of the hallway to Trantor’s guestroom, in time to see their comrade fall. Arion cut down one of the foes and the other, now badly outnumbered, raced out of the room.

Stablight_in_dark_room_2.jpgThe Cell’s warpish maven, Odessa, very shortly thereafter stepped out into the hallway. It was pitch dark, except for a stablight some 15 meters (45 feet) away pointed at her, or at least in her direction, and being held by an individual running down the hall at her. Emperor be praised – she introduced the fleeing gunner, who was behind the individual sprinting at her with the stablight, to two crackling bolts of bio-lightning…sending his sprawling form into the stairwell a few meters in front of him.

That happened just as Terlian, staying just ahead of his multiple persuers, ran up the stairs back to that floor and rounded the corner into the hallway where Odessa had unleashed her destructive energy. The Arbitrator seeing allies, headed for the room Odessa was standing just outside of & ducked inside. Odessa, undoubtedly greatly surprised at seeing the Arbitrator run past her, then steps back inside the room herself, but peers out into the darkness in the direction Terlian came from.

The acolytes in the room administered first aid to the unconscious Trantor and any others that needed it. Others tried to find cover, anticipating an attack. At that point a frag grenade settles & explodes just outside their open doorway, fragments hitting both Odessa & Terlian. The acolytes slam the door close & lock it.

Several handfuls of seconds later they hear activity on their door from the other side. Not too long after the door swings open hard, hitting the wall, with no one visible in the doorway. Almost simultaneously a grenade lands & explodes in the middle of the room, catching Terlian & Odessa in its blast radius. Terlian tries but fails to gain the top of the table in time before the grenade, at ground level, explodes. Intios was quicker & heaved himself on top of the table before detonation, affording himself its cover. They both suffered injuries from flying metal fragments.

Arion ran out of the room, past their attackers and sprints down the corridor towards his own room. One of the attackers in the rear was watching with gun ready for anyone charging their way & let go an errant las bolt at the running assassin, as he passed by.

The Alabaster Court
Their hospitality left something to be desired

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

My Investigation Notes
I receive my invitation to the Alabaster Court after paying our 20,000 throne fee to Counsellor Cort Abroag. The invitation was for me and one guest and it was decided that Odessa would accompany me. We are in line to the Alabaster Court when we start to chat with Octavia Nile, who is in line in front of us. As we are chatting, a member of the choir holds a harmony meter in front of Odessa and immediately announces her as “True”. A nearby noble hears this and steps towards us and introduces himself as Eldagizio Glaive, from Sirus Volpa. He congratulates Odessa and tells her that he has been working on being True for 4 months.

As we enter the Court, Odessa is immediately feeling suppressed from within the hall. We are greeted by Lady Borella and Siprit Daneen. She tells us that entertainment will be arranged by Elsergi Krin this evening. A masked figure steps onto the stage and the crowd goes silent in anticipation of the performance. His mask lights up and he says, “Call me Chorus, prepare for a tale of woe.” There is an emaciated man staggering on stage. The masked actor yells, “Hail Cyperen!” The play goes on until the masked actor says to Cyperen, “What fate is suitable for such as you?” The staggering man says, “The Emperor will punish you.” The actor pulls out a power sword and impales the emaciated man from behind. Intios is taken aback from this apparent spurring that just occurred. [Aside: Intios takes two insanity points from this display. Really? A member of the inquisition is appalled by seeing someone stabbed through the chest?]

The actor takes off his mask and is revealed to be Elsergi Krin himself. The crowd applauds while Elsergi approaches me. He says to me, “Never seen such fine acting on your backwater world of Fenksworld?” I respond, “I’ve seen this play and your acting is the same as that on Fenksworld.” My response is calculated and meant as a mild insult. Nevertheless, I am challenged to a duel within the Bloodsquare by Elsergi. By this time, Odessa is feeling her powers suppressed from the floor and an intense disturbance from upstairs and to the right of the stage.

My idea was to have Odessa search the premises while the nobles are distracted by my duel with Elsergi. The duel is non-lethal and to the first wound. Elsergi is able to get the first hit but not necessarily a wound. I respond with an all-out-attack that hits Elsergi in the body and the nobles that seconded the duel immediately call for an end. We return the dueling blades to the aiding nobles and Elsergi says, “Not only do I need acting lessons, but dueling lessons as well!” The crowd of on-looking nobles applaud and cheer. As the duel is winding down, a member of the choir, named Quinto, approaches Odessa and hands her two pills and says that these will make you feel better.

Once the duel is over, we ask the serving staff to take us to our room. We are escorted to room 260. In the meantime, our new contact, Terlian, is weaving in and out of the party disguised as a member of the staff. He stops by our room with room service and then hands us a map of the various floors of the Alabaster Court. We tell Terlian to contact the rest of the team and have the two of them head out. As Odessa and I head back to the main hall, we see Caros Shoal being escorted in. He is obviously the man of the hour and the rest of the nobles settle in to hear him speak.

Terlian makes a call to House Strophes and tells Arion and Trantor to start their part of the plan to infiltrate the Court. They break into the lodge after hours and go through the access port in order to repel down to the Alabaster Court’s balcony suites. The two make it to the balcony and Trantor is able to bypass the security panel to get into the suite.

By this time, Odessa and I go back up to the suites to meet the rest of the team just as they exit the room and enter the hallway. There are various reinforced doors that we are not able to break into due to their high level of security. We start using las-cutters on some doors but are forced to halt due to various disturbances from servants and routine patrols of servitor skulls. It seems the guards may have seen one of our semi-cut doors and called for more help to investigate.

Our team heads down to the main hall and try to blend in. At this time, Arion decides to enter the door next to the Bloodsquare. He sees Shoal in a conversation with a hooded figure. When the Black Robed Figure turns sideways to look at Arion, there is instant recognition. This is the same person who assassinated Orday and got away with the data slate. Arion, knowing that he is not properly equipped for a confrontation, quickly steps out of the room.

After Arion quickly informs the team of his discovery, we get Terlian’s attention and ask if he has heard anything today about this BRF. Apparently the BRF entered through the kitchen earlier today. He is from the interdicted planet of Tranch, where the Pale Throng are fighting the Imperial Guard. He also heard Shoal say to the BRF that he has made the others a fortune on Ambulon.

Knowing that we may have been identified by the BRF and this may be our only chance to investigate the Alabaster Court; we leave the main hall and try some of the secured doors within this level. The only door we are able to break into seems to belong to the BRF. We find autopistol clips and a fueling receipt for an orlothoptor. Within the room we find various fuel bills, papers with code numbers and a rag with fresh oil drops within a drawer. Inside a small dresser was a tube of ungents.

With the Joyous Choir guards increasing their security sweeps, we decide to make our way back out through the balcony suite. After an arduous climb, especially for Intios, we all make it out and back to House Strophes.

Staying One Step Ahead of the Magistratum
Alabaster Court - The Hottest Ticket in Town

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

Laurent_Strophes_big.jpgLaurent thinks that the sword used by the black figure was a power sword.
Laurent can’t fix the Magistratum if they come after us, but has a contact in the Arbites (which don’t get along with the Magistratum).
We got permits for our weapons with fake DNA and fake names. When arrested we used our fake names. They collected us in The Spire later, but I wasn’t smart enough to clean my weapon before turning it over.

Chastener Castel Vizcania is the Abites contact. We tell him that we’d been contacted by Orday with a claim that he Arbitrator_-_Chastener_Castel_Vizcania.jpghad information related to the missing niece on an encrypted dataslate, and in going to meet him we saw him assassinated and pursued the attacker (the truth, etc.).

I am currently -10% to everything as a consequence of drinking warp juice at the party.

The shotgun people were from the Dailoth neighborhood (next to the Hustle).

I meet with a former associate AM (2 ranks of success) maintainer of HVAC in The Spire, give him a photo of the BRF, and ask him to look into whom/when the modifications were made. I will contact him in the future to retrieve results.

We’d hoped to be invited to a lecture at the the Alabaster Court, but we’re told that after the shenanigans in the marketplace our invitation will not be provided.

We make our way to The Alabaster Court anyway, and Intios meets with the Councillor, who tells him to make a Counsellor_Cort_Abroag.jpgdonation and come back in 3 days when Poobah Shoal is back. We don’t know where he is now. We can’t get in without paying/waiting.

Statue of woman from Flight of Fliteous, an ancient morality tale about Imperial Guardsmen who go AWOL and have trouble. His mother is the strong force, he denounces, leaves, but she is the unmoving, loyal, mentor. Wisdom of motherhood.

Intios met with a former colleague and asked for his help in throwing more paperwork at the local Administratum, a level 81/b2 requisition requiring that all contraband in the past 3 months be cataloged. Colleague wanted reimbursement, wavered for 5,000 Thrones. Wavered for introduction to Laurent. I left the room and a deal was struck that Intios would owe him a big one, no money, and no guarantee on how long the delay would last.

Arion investigates the Joyous Choir’s Alabaster Court employee entrance, but gives up without entering.

I ask Laurent whether his niece had any psychic talent. He responds that she seemed to be unusually lucky.

Terlian, acting as a servant of the JC at the AC, comes to Laurent’s home and asks for an audience with us, revealing that he is an Arbites working for Vizcania. We exchange information. He tells us that several ex-Magistratum are now doing security for the Joyous Choir, and the Arbites believe that the Magistratum organization is involved in protecting the Joyous Choir. Says that Shoals seems to live at the Alabaster Court. He was embedded 3 days before we made our complaint to the Arbites. Magistratum corruption is not his primary mission, neither is the missing niece, but he will not tell us what his primary mission is other than to say there may have been violations of Imperial law and a possible threat to the empire. He tells us that he believes we are in over our heads. He will get me a permit for the Deloss Auto Pistol. He estimates a handful of people at the employee entrance, same at front entrance, always servitors and skulls at both. There are patrols, but they tend to be discreet. There’s a huge court, alabaster marble, in the center with skulls. The rooms where the harmony meters tend to be near the entry, and he’s seen a couple of other kinds. Sizable meditation rooms, many offices (most of which he’s not been in), there are at least 3 levels. Bottom is employee entrance and food preparation. The main level has a blood square (dueling location) and main court and entrances. 3rd is presumably the living quarters some of which have balconies. Food prep suggests about few dozen to several dozen. Also a huge library on the main floor, which has gigantic windows on one side. Communications from inside to outside don’t tend to work. There is a rumor of a holoroom, but Terlian hasn’t verified it — he wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true. Commotion in the middle of the night sometimes, people coming and going very late, or the councilors doing stuff. He is especially interested in the drugs and xenotechnology.

Intios finds 2 access panels out of the spire which are near our goal, one in a hunting lodge, one in a service provider. We are given one climbing rig, and one tourist climbing rig, that covers 3 of us and Arion has his own. He also has an amateur version of a device which may overcome door panel security.

We sleep that night and in the morning I was pleased to find my shaking had stopped [succeed in Willpower and Toughness Tests].

Our plan is to leave the hive via the hunting lodge access port, rappel down to the balcony, then I will be Arion’s bodyguard and we’ll walk boldly through the halls. My helmet is in a bag I carry. Terlian will map out where the forbidden areas are. As a pair of nobles, with a pair of bodyguards, we will investigate the forbidden areas.

Terlian calls and gets ahold of Arion, there’s going to be a big event tonight at the AC, and the founder will be giving a speech. I leave them to decide whether they will use the invitation to avoid climbing outside The Spire, and I go check in with my buddy. My buddy has ascertained that the BRF’s augmentation was not done through approved Adeptus Mechanicus means on this world. In exchange for a favor, my buddy gives me access to the huntsman lodge’s 26 digit security code for a single use.

I bring 2 autopistols (from the fight), silk gloves, 2 sacred ungents, microbead, backpack, 8 frag grenades, auspex scanner, lascutter, and no respirator. My armor is the bodyglove and noble bodyguard garb.

Terlian will be working the event tonight. Intios and Odessa go through the front door with their invitation. The 20,000 Thrones is transferred, a receipt given, then they head to the Alabaster Court courtyard with its big stage and singers. Odessa seems to be more suppressed the closer she gets to the Court. They meet several people, one of whom seems confused about where he is and what’s going on, but Lady_Tanae_Borella.jpgthinks there will be a duel, though he doesn’t know between whom. Siprit and Lady Borella are there also.

Purge_the_Unclean_-_Elsergi_Krin_big.jpgOn the stage is a masked figure who is cloaked in gray robes, the mask flickers to life and seems to be a hologram projector, and “call me chorus and prepare for a tale of woe”. The play begins and there is a strange emaciated guy up there too, but it’s not clear if he is part of the play. Lady Borella says she thinks he’s part of it, but there’s ‘probably going to be a spurring’.

1. Missing niece.
2. Xeno-tech, harmony reader.
3. Psycher connection (suppression of)?

Purge_the_Unclean_-_Vorlin_Orday_big.jpgOrday’s loot:
2 data keys
a) magnetic key, probably for the data slate case
b) bank account from Golden Hand Bank, with ‘a couple thousand Thrones’
Pattern-7 Steelburner Heavy Las Pistol (to Intios)
Deloss Auto Pistol (to me)

The Scrutiny of the Magistratum
Taking shotgun-wielding thugs into custody is part of her act

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

My Investigation Notes
Purge_the_Unclean_-_Vorlin_Orday_big.jpgAlthough “nobles” do not usually enter the mid-hive, I decided to accompany the rest of the cell for our meeting with Vorlin Orday. We had made arrangements to put the money he wanted into a locked briefcase. We were to make an exchange for Orday’s data slate that he found containing information regarding the Joyous Choir.

We arrived at the Hustle a bit earlier than scheduled so that we could get an idea of the layout of this marketplace. We explored the surroundings andhustlemap.png prepared for Orday’s arrival. As we spot Orday turn the corner toward our location, we hear a shot ring out and Orday takes a direct hit to the back of his head. Orday drops to the ground with a briefcase clutched in his hand. Just as this is happening, a Black Robed Figure drops to the ground and picks up Orday’s briefcase.

I draw my laspistol and was able to hit the BRF with a shot to the body. He seems to have augmented legs and torso because as he speeds away, Black_Robed_Figure.jpghe is clearly running southwards but is able to face his torso west as he is running. The BRF runs up the wall of the marketplace and jumps down to the other side. Arion and Trantor give chase. I take a quick glimpse at Odessa and it seems that during the conjuring of her powers, something may have gone wrong and I see her collapse to the ground. Figuring that I will come back to Odessa later, I also run after the BRF.

In the chaos of the chase, I hear multiple shots fired by Trantor and can hear Arion saying that he is giving chase to the BRF. Arion was able to somehow dislodge the secured case with Orday’s data slate. I yell into the vox, “get the case and get out of there!” I decide to run back towards the initial location of Orday’s attack. As I am running back, I see Odessa pass me by. Whatever condition assailed her must be gone now.

I reach Orday’s body to see if he is still alive and possibly receive medicae treatment from me. Alas, the gunshot Weapon_-_Autopistol.jpgwound to the head was fatal. I was able to find a Pattern 7 Steel Burner Heavy Las Pistol on him as well as a data key and some documents. A couple of meters away, I was able to pick-up the weapon that the BRF dropped, a Deloss high quality autopistol. By this time, Arion was actually engaged in combat with the BRF. The BRF was able to disengage from Arion and some other thugs wielding shotguns came onto the scene.

When I get to their position, I can see Odessa engaged with one combatant wielding an autopistol and another one peaking around the corner. I take out the combatant around the corner with a couple of laspistol shots. When the smoke cleared, we discovered what looked like oil/grease trails that came from the BRF. Odessa was also able to apprehend one of the surviving combatants.

We started to follow the trail of grease around the Hustle. The trail went cold in a southern part of the market next to a construction site. By this time the local Magistratum had arrived and were trying to put order into the situation. One of the officers had spotted Odessa along with the apprehended combatant. From a distance I saw a couple of officers escort Odessa away. I decided to follow to see where they were taking Odessa while Arion and Trantor were investigating the trail of grease.

Odessa was eventually taken to the Magistratum precinct apparently for some questioning. I told the others that we should head Laurent_Strophes_big.jpgback towards to the Stairs because Odessa will probably be released back to the Strophes estate. We make it back to the Strophes estate and detailed our findings to Laurent Strophes. We show him the data key that we found on Orday. A short time later, Odessa was escorted in by some officers.

The officers decided to question each of us in regards to what we may have known about the commotion within the Hustle. I told them that I was visiting the mid-hive because my constituents on Fenksworld wanted all the information that I could gather regarding the Joyous Choir before donating a sizable sum of resources.

After our interrogation, we were told not to leave the planet and were also ordered to surrender our sidearms. We assumed they took our weapons to do ballistics tests on them. Now we just need to find an excuse to why our weapons may have been fired recently….

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:

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…

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.

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.

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.
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: 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?]