The Naevus Heresy

Interlude - Back in Ostia
A series of reports discovered by Octus from trawling the Ostian Data Feeds

Pict recording of Channel 987 news report:

“This is Paula Greives of the Ostian Hive Channel 987 News. I am here outside a Hab block in sector 5691 downtown Jarrow where Cohortes Urbanae are responding to a shooting earlier this morning. Eye witness accounts report that a group of armed men in dark grey suits entered this building at 3:12 a.m.”
“Yeah, they went in that door there, I thought it was some defence drill or something, a few minutes later there was a deafening noise, like fire crackers on liberation day, but much much louder.”
“Francis Ursman of the Cohortes Urbanae is on the case, Francis.”
“Thank you Paula, yes we have an illegal entry into the building by at least twelve armed men. They went through the service staircase upto the apartment on floor 14. There was a fight there and eight of the attackers were killed by a heavily armed defender using an assault cannon, a highly illegal weapon. The man with the cannon was also killed in the attack and has been identified as a Gaius Magnus Marius an ex soldier working as an illegal mercenary. The whereabouts of the other assailants is unknown but we are following a number of leads.”

Illegal Post on UThrone, briefly up until authorities take it down and arrest the poster:

A sketchy video of a wavy hand held scene shows an attractive woman sat at a bar stool in a busy pub. “Have you got the documents?” she asks the barman “Yes of course, I always come through for you Sura.”
The barman passes something over to the woman, she flicks through them “all in order I hope?”
The woman then freezes as if sensing something, “You set me up you bastard.” A flash of panic crosses the barman’s face, but is soon replaced by an expression of triumph. “They offered a lot of money to meet you. How could I resist?”
The first knife is thrown and seems to curve around Sura’s head into that of the barman right in the eye socket. The second and third both hover in mid air before reversing and flying back towards their throwers, pollaxing them to the ground.
Five of the men rush her but she jumps up six feet, seeming to hover in mid air for more than a moment while a flurry of kicks and blows level the attackers.
But another attacker grabs a leg, a second gets purchase on an arm and a pile of them pin her to the ground. A single shot to the head ends it.

Security Pict footage logged with Precint 3 sector 8147. Commercial district economy rating CCC:

The men approached Schlok’s One Stop Bod-Mod Chop-Shop and entered. Schlok addressed them “Can I help you?”
The leader turned to the second man in the shop, tall gaunt and covered in thick clothes. “Are you Medicus, previously a worker for Cornelius Masters?”
“No no you have mistaken me for someone else”
“You performed genetic tests, surgery, replacement limbs?”
“Eyes, eyes, I do only eyes.”
“It’s him” said the leader to the other men. “Torch the place”

Cohortes Urbanae Report of incident in Hightown, Sector 84432 District 2 Ostia Hive:

The suspect was sighted leaving a commercial district (economy rating EE) with a large bag filled with what appeared to be heavy objects. Facial recognition confirmed the fugitive Min Davide and the Urbanae moved in to apprehend the criminal. From the bag the suspect produced a large illegal firearm which she took aim and fired at the approaching cohorts while backing away on foot through the traffic. The cohorts team returned fire, but the suspect retreated into an alley. As the Urbanae team approached and cut off the alley we heard a revving of an engine and the suspect on a motorbike jumped over the heads of the team and fled through the traffic into the hive under tunnels. Pursuit was impossible with the level of traffic and a cordon was set up at the exits of the tunnels, however no matching motorbike left the tunnels in the 17 hours since the incident, and there has been no sight of the suspect. No officers were injured, the suspect remains at large. A search of the undertunnels is now in progress but as yet has turned up no evidence of the suspect.

Obituary of Lord Fredrick, OStia Herald

… The circumstances of Fredricks death are still the subject of a cohortes Urbanae investigation. The explosion that destroyed an entire level of the Fredrick building was caused by a highly advanced melta device. Police are trying to trace the explosive. In addition to the Lord 14 workers and Fredrick’s personal bodyguard a Sister of the Adepta Sororitas named Willow also perished…

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Nadir
Mission 16 - The one where the acolytes almost chose to release the stupidly powerful Psyker.

Prologue Mission 16

Thaddius craned over the workbench and studied the array of tiny parts. Servicing a plasma pistol is not trivial. He should have turned in four hours ago but decided in a moment of madness to start this task. The term “task” was a misnomer, It suddenly developed into full blown project when the sub armature sprung open flinging sprockets and pinions across the workshop. Three hours later he still cursed himself for such an amateurish mistake. Though it was unlikely that Xantius was going to use this relic again he had to tend to the machine spirit. A spirit should never be starved completely of energy for a long time and it affects older spirits worse than newer ones. The weapon had been drained of power to support Sacrifice while it was adrift. Of all the devices tapped, The revitalisation of the acolyte’s personal effects was the highest priority. This poor pistol from Harlock’s Hoard was very old and He could not let it suffer any longer. Thaddius hung his head, closed his drying eyes and inhaled deeply.
“The flesh is weak” He muttered.
Exhaling, he lifted his head and sent the manipulator mechandendrite to gently grasp and lift the main body of the gun. With a pair of tweezers he attempted to fit the small valve lever for the seventh time.

The workshop door hissed open and interrupted Thaddius in his work. He quickly took stock of his exact point in the operation and looked up. Before him stood Inquisitor Marien. Marien was a tall woman with large brown eyes and blonde shoulder length hair. Her jawline was strong and she peered under her brow as she addressed him.
“Adept Thaddius” she uttered sternly.
“Lady Helena” He responded.
Marien had been introduced to them as Lady Helena by Captain Ovidia of the ship Pyromancer. The Pyromancer had picked the acolytes up from a space hulk in the aftermath of the Zothrain City explosion. Marien was running an undercover operation, the acolytes had to play along.
“It’s ok Thaddius, drop the act, I’ve scanned the room for bugs and we can speak candidly”
“Yes Inquisitor, what are your orders?”
“I need your full account of what happened to you aboard the Nadir Hulk.”
“As you wish. We were set adrift in space after the Zothrain city exploded, all of the spirits had to be drained to keep our ship alive. It saddened me to my core to see all those lovely beings frozen in place. One by one I had to shut them down and remove their power packs. The acolytes had me do it too, may the omnissiah have mer….”
“Thaddius!” She interrupted. “The main facts please, I can’t be away for long!”
“Ah…very well…We were intercepted by a band of mutants and thrown into individual cells aboard a derelict ship. We were greeted by Xantius’s floating pet Ico, I’m not sure what exactly it said to Maxim but it appeared to make some kind of deal. It floated over to me and assisted in opening the electronic locks on the cells. With relative ease we overcame the guards and set to taking the derelict ship. The ship was populated with all kinds of mutants and heretics. We dispensed with a fairly savage ‘family’ of mutants and found they had butchered a crew member of ours called Lance. You may remember him from Solent House”
“I do” she concurred “Its a shame to hear he suffered such a death.”
“Quite. We continued through the ship and found the bridge. We discovered that it was part of a space hulk with no hope of moving at all. The crew of the ship seem to have been killed hundreds of years ago by a massive, intense solar activity. There is nothing to worry about however, the radiation was long gone. Issak noticed that one of the imperial officers had a power fist, so we picked it up hoping to attach it to the stump of his right hand. Me and some of the other priests are going to try and fit it tomorrow afternoon and…”
Marien fixed him with a stare
“…and is not at all pertinent…We managed to wipe out the rest of the mutants aboard and set the ship up as a base. Pointing the scanners towards the hulk we discovered the presence of another mysterious ship. We made our way towards it and found it to be an ancient Black Ship. Most of the stasis booths were empty save two. The first one held an Alpha Primaris psyker and the second held a strange device that I could not deduce the function of. The psyker was immensely powerful. We realised that if this being was to die, a ripple of energy would be sent across the warp. This ripple would surely alert the presence of some ship, meaning that we could ask whoever appeared for salvation. We took the artefact from the stasis pod and loaded it aboard Sacrifice. We managed to disable the life support systems of the psyker and set up a secondary fluctuation in the stasis generator to create in inverted temporal ossci… sorry… we killed the psyker. Then it was simply a case of returning to the safety of the first ship and waiting. We surrendered willingly to the Pyromancer’s crew.”
“And that is all?”
“Yes Inquisitor.”

Marien looked furtively over her shoulder and back to Thaddius. She was wary of how long she had been away from the opulent quarters of the ship. Being stopped and challenged in the machine sectors would warrant questions she would rather not have to blather answers to.
She stood straight and made the sign of the Aquila across her chest.
“Emperor protects.” She spoke, eyes level.
“Glory to the Omnissiah” Returned Thaddius
She turned and left the workshop. Thaddius picked up the plasma pistol valve lever again…attempt number eight.

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The Pillars of Zothrian
Mission 15 - The one where Jael has to tread xeno blood after a fight

+++Inquisitorial Report+++
+++Subject: The Pillars of Zothrain+++
+++From: Acolyte Adept Thaddeus Pompeiius+++
+++To: Lord Inquisitor Cornelius Masters – Holy Ordo Hereticus +
+++Date: 4 120 978M41+++
+++Report+++
Lord Inquisitor
Our situation is grave and it is my hope that this heavily encrypted log file will shed some light on our fates. It has been a month since we left the zothrain city. Our supplies are nearly done and our oxygen is low. Our only hope now is for the Omnissiah to show mercy and let this beautiful metal ark carry us to salvation. The machine spirit of the Sacrifice has a strong caring resolve but I believe that we may be become too weak and slip from her sheltering embrace. I will tell thee how we came to this.

We were with Cardinal Hector for his last candlemas when the Pillars of Zothrain appeared before us, just as Kerza predicted. Talus ordered us to the Sacrifice where we embarked immediately for the pillars. On arrival we found these aligned asteroids formed a colossal and mind bending entryway. The gap between each pillar was an individual docking bay which seemed to overlap infinitely over the next. Space layered upon space like the city on Piraxis 4.

We picked one of the docks and set down upon the alien mass. It was a flat plain of the green crystalline structure with what appeared to be a gate way. When disembarking we found a wonderful carved victory totem. It was pleasing to see an imperial presence on this chaotic Xenos plain, and it showed us a nice video of some Adeptus Astartes. The whole city appeared to have been cleared out and conquered by the Astartes some thousands of years prior to our visit.

Talus ordered us forwards, controlling and activating the abominable Xeno tech with blood to open gateways deeper into the structure. Once inside we found signs of fighting, shell casings and spent stimm packs of imperial origin. There seemed to be a number of warring factions present. There were Imperial mercenaries, automatons that looked like they had come from the Misercord and the Lat. There was also evidence of a live Xenos presence too.

We battled our way through to a central control room, fighting small pockets of Lat, Mercenaries and robots. For the record, If this gets back to the Magi on Ostia Endurance, I would like to say that I did not interact with this hideous system at all. The other acolytes took care of the controls and found the equivalent of an internal camera system. How they could bear to touch the thing was beyond me, but they managed to find the central effort of the mercenaries. The mercenaries were loading up an APC trailer with powerful weapons. At this point we split the team, Xantius went with Talus to the main core and the rest of us went to face off with the mercenaries.

Again, the route was frought, but the light of the Omnissiah shined upon us and we got to the APC loading area. The Mercenaries were being controlled by the Coterie members Dolan Albor, Dr Duro Albinius and Verantus Strabo. There ensued a bloody battle, some more robots appeared and a Zothrain predator like beast attacked us. We were victorious over all. Albor, Albinius and Strabo lay slain, all dying a heretics death. Albinius especially, he was shot in the back, an exceptional heretic’s death. The Zothrain predator beast was also slain, Our battle sister showed extra-ordinary courage and zeal in dispensing with it.

Our glory was short lived as we checked on Xantius’s eye camera. Xantius was lying on the floor bleeding, In the background was shadow of Talus working the colossal core. He extracted a small sharp rock like object and took flight. We rushed to the core room to collect the body and investigate. It appeared that the artifact Talus made away with was critical to the stability of this whole structure and it was collapsing fast.

We moved quickly to get back to the Sacrifice, navigating the maze of rooms as they came down around us. As we emerged, we caught a glimpse of Talus boarding a Misercord vessel. We tried to shoot him with the heavy stubbers but he seemed to have the ability to control the green tesselated floor to deflect our shots. We abandoned the gunnery in favour of escape. Just as I got to the pilot seat, the structure below us began to explode issuing shock wave after shockwave of twisted space. Graccus and I wrestled with the ship’s controls but could not stabilise it fully. Sacrifice took heavy damage and we found ourselves floating through space.

This is where we find ourselves. Our only hope is with the Omnissiah now. The hope that He will deliver Talus to a traitor’s end.

Glory to the Omnissiah
+++MESSAGE ENDS+++

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Hector's Last Candlemas
Mission 14 - The one where a engineer is worth a fate point or three

We get the message for the State of Play to rendezvous with Inquistor Masters on Pyron.

At the same point we get a distress call from the Corpus Inpirator – Cardinal Hectors ship lost 300 years ago.

We locate board the Corpus Impirator – a huge space cathedral lost in a warp storm only to have come out 300 years in a asteroid field in the Helium Belt.

Talos orders us to investigate rather go with the State of Play, as this is to good opportunity to miss.

As we board we engage in full on Late attack while being bombarded with asteroids.

  • Thaddius fixed the engines and headed the assault to re-take the communication post and scan the ship
  • Gaius headed the command center and co-ordinated our counter-attack
  • Xanthis lead the engineer crews to seal the breaches
  • Jael and Isaac valiantly lead the 10th drop company and anyone else they could find on the front-lines.

Many were promoted after the attack was repealed.

The Hector led his last Candlemas, as the clock stuck 12 the asteroids formed to together to form a Boulevard of Pillars that would led to who knows where. We run onto our ship with all haste, leaving the Corpus Inpirator floating with one repair crew left alive…

Important Information

  • The Late stole a artefact from the Cathedral vaults, we know not what
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Piraxis IV
Mission 13 - The one which no Inquisitor will believe

Mission Summary
We landed on Piraxis IV within the region of space called the Helion Belt – Piraxis IV is an entirely Jungle planet (about the size of Mars) with only ice-caps to fulfil the same functions as oceans on more civilised planets. It orbits a bright new star (Piraxis) which is only a few hundreds of millions of years old.

We quickly located and were shot down by a Imperial base. Crashing a few klicks from the base.

We found the few survivors of The 11th Imperial Huzzars 3rd ‘drop’ company – most tried to shoot us but we found a few loyal soliders. The ones that shot at us all had Imperial crosses on their backs that were pumping a virus into their blood to make them fanatical.

In the command center of the base we defeated Inquisitor Herrod (of the Ordos Xenos) and his acolytes with ease. They had been using this base to research and test out various modular viruses on the local fauna and evidentially the imperial drop company.

We found a Zothrian (Tchee) city built using non Euclidean geometry that been sealed off. It seemed to sap psychic energy as we stepped on it to grow. We found it was a entire city all stacked in on its self, with sets of twins pillars giving access to other parts of the city in the same three dimensional space. The city is many times larger than the cavern it was in yet to get a full idea of its size would take much longer than we had.

When we got back to the state of play, the captain informed us he had found a 300 year distress signal from Cardinal Hectors ship – “Corpus Impirator” (body of the emperor)

Important Information
- We knew the Angry Jester had spend much time here, presumably escorting the Doctor
- Their were links between the Misercord and Inquisitor Herrod
- Clearly Doctor Duro and his team had been here and had taken everything not nailed down
- We found and unplugged a Navigator called Nostro from the stellarium of the city

The Viruses
- The first virus Herrod was developing was to kill creatures. The main idea was a self perpetuating virus that would control the host to maximise how it spread. Though it was tested on humans it was clearly meant to be adjustable for any DNA profile and thus affect Aliens
- The second was to use virology to control people. Make them push harder and go beyond their normal limits, and to give them a singular purpose and determination.
- Herrod’s Research files indicated he was trying to not only develop weapons, but also to create more powerful soldiers to fight for the Imperium.

The Navigator
It appears there is a reference to Navigator Nostro in Inquisitor Herrod’s databanks. It seems he managed to activate some of the Zothrian tech and transport himself. He was lost. Now you figure perhaps he travelled in time or he made a return trip later. Either way it looks like he has been sat in his tank for a long time

They tried again with another navigator and had some success. When they finished on the site they demolished the tunnel.

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Interlude - Towards the Helion Belt
The acolytes push on in the _State of Play_ deeper into the Helion Belt

After the acolytes traveled through the Piliades sector and stopped at Port Layton, a free port at the edge of the Helion belt, and Solonius claimed some strange events occured that he has never really been able to explain (though he is now truely excellent at scrabble having memorised all the two and three letter words in the dictionary), the State of Play comes into the belt proper.

The acolytes are joined by Talus and it is decided that a two pronged mission into the Helion Belt is in order. Masters, Solonius and Sura’s team will be hunting for the Misercord and any evidence of the Angry Jester AKA Tycho’s Endeavour. Talus and Gaius’ team will head for Piraxis IV and investigate the trail of Dr. Duro.

Masters instructs a nearby regiment of the Imperial Guard to head straight for Piraxis and land a detachment to sieze any sites of interest before the Acolytes arrive. The 11th Imperial Huzzars 3rd drop company have been dropped off in the system ahead of the State of Play.

The journey to Piraxis system is a long one, made longer still by the irregular warp activity of the turbulent Helion Belt. It takes several months to get to the system. During that time Thaddius spends quite a bit of time with Enginseer Le Foundry learning about how the very fast engines of the State of Play work. Xantius and Talus spend the entire time together studying the various texts.
Gaius has been practising with his new gavel, and the rest of the crew have been getting on with their various duties.

The Helion Belt
Eagle nebula 1280x800

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29,298th time's a charm
Mission 12 - The one where Solonius learns dressage

+++Inquisitorial Report+++
+++Subject: Investigation at Port Layton+++
+++From: Acolyte Adept Thaddeus Pompeiius+++
+++To: Lord Inquisitor Cornelius Masters – Holy Ordo Hereticus+++
+++Date: 4 902 977M41+++
+++Report+++
Lord Inquisitor at your behest we have investigated possible leads in Port Layton. We conversed with the local scum and dredged some morsels of information from their weak minds.

We discovered that the Tycho Endeavour and the Angry Jester are one and the same ship. An interesting part of this is that it was inquisitor Victor Alderman who signed the writ to release it from auction moments before the sale. It was released to Captina Ovidia who we know to be Sulpicia Fabia Romana of the coterie.

In a matter of both inquisition and personal importance we discovered how to find the Misercord. It is patrolling somewhere around the helion belt. We have a contact in Port Layton who will set us up with someone on the Misercord if we can find something of value to trade with them. They do not seem to be interested in Throne Geld, they trade in evil illicit relics and twisted technology for passage and lodging space.

Lastly, we have questioned some ex crew members of the Angry Jester. It appears to have spent much time around Piraxis IV.

We await your command on how to follow up these leads

Glory to the Omnissiah

Acolyte Adept Thaddeus Pompeiius

+++MESSAGE ENDS+++

+++Administratum Report+++
+++Subject: Curiosity Within Warp Anomaly Archives+++
+++From: Adept Faraimus Scytho+++
+++To: Lord Inquisitor Pertinius Corusta – Holy Ordo Xenos+++
+++Date: 3 163 377M42+++
+++Report+++

Glorious Inquisitor, Emperor Protects. May his glory shine for another millenium, and all that shall follow.

Over the past few years you have bestowed the righteous task of investigating the data from the millions of detected warp anomalies gathered by the Imperium ships. Many of these anomalies have turned out to be nothing more than scanner malfunctions, but the log I looked at today is highly interesting! It is a 400 year old log from a ship called The State Of Play. I have been able to get some time on the new Administratum cogitator and processed it. To my surprise I discovered a number of encoded messages the most telling seems to be this last one:

“Thaddeus, it is imperative that you heed this message as soon as the you detect it on the bridge. You and your faithful and dedicated acolytes along with Solonius are trapped in a warp anomaly. Time is looping around every three hours and culminates in the heart wrenching destruction of this beautiful ship. You must have the team do three things:

  • You need to tell the captain to immediately drop out of warp. He will not believe you so you will have to show him this key XXHX0373730DJFH88DH3883-HH77D0 along with this message.
  • You need to tell Magos Mackem LaFoundry that there is an annular feedback loop in the tachyon generator is causing a cooling system node to spike and exponentially pressurise. This pressure will blow the main conduit for the geller field flux and incapacitate the ship. He will give you some grief and understandably so, however he will take the captain’s word. You will know how to fix the issue, it is elementary!
  • It appears that the captain of this ship is holding a heretical and downright distateful metallic debauchery from a disgusting Xenos race. This “thing” is down in the gallery and is causing the time loop. Its unholy task is to reset time to three hours before it is destroyed. I can only assume this is some sort of malign machine spirit which is not intent on seeing the deaths of a thousand of blessed metal beauties just once. No, it must bask in this atrocity over and over again. I must have smited it many times before and it has not worked. It must be…deactivated, I shudder to think how hideous that will feel, may the Omnissiah walk beside you. There is also something chaotic in there that could probably do with being discarded too.

You will need to explain this to the other team members, though you will not have too much trouble, they are as loyal a you are. Master Solonius is another issue however, in the last few hours when I have spoken to him he seems to have had an air of disaffection about him. I believe that he is retaining knowledge from one iteration to another. He also seems to be a lot more learned, and has improved his vocabulary though it is mostly obscure swear words to chide gaius with. I’m sure to have a good talk to Solonius after all this, he seems to have been less than helpful on more than one occasion. A fact that Gaius will have much joy informing Inquisitor Masters of.

Good luck, and may the Omnissiah’s sacred oil always fill your sump.

P.S. attached is the text from each previous iteration of this message and a picture of the Xenos abomination in a binary heap for future reference”

As you can see Inquisitor Corusta this is most interesting! Seems like Eldar Temporal Repair Technology!

As always, ever faithful to the God Emperor of Mankind (May his sanctifying light shine through the Aquilla for eternity)

Adept Faraimus Scytho

P.S. I hoped that at some point you may forgive me of my mistake and consider taking me back on as an Acolyte again. I am truly truly grateful of the mercy you have already shown me by giving me this fine position in the Administratum but my heart yearns to serve the Emperor with the Inquisition. Thank You
+++MESSAGE ENDS+++

+++Administratum Report+++
+++Subject: Curiosity Within Warp Anomaly Archives+++
+++From: Lord Inquisitor Pertinius Corusta – Holy Ordo Xenos+++
+++To: Adept Faraimus Scytho+++
+++Date: 3 164 377M42+++
+++Report+++
Adept Scytho

Your “Mistake” cost us dearly and it is still well remembered.

You do seem to have found your place in the Administratum though.

Keep up the good work…

Lord Inquisitor Pertinius Corusta
Emperor Protects
+++MESSAGE ENDS+++

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Interlude - New Weapons
Thaddius responds to a Team Leader's Request

Gaius,

Firstly, while I understand you might not have a similar reverence for the machine spirits, I would rather you not use the term “knocking up”. Crafting new technology is delicate work and I will be breathing life to a new machine spirit. Speaking of the spirits in such a way is quite disrespectful. Though I forgive you.

Most imperial firearms disassemble down quite nicely, the devil will be in creating a special briefcase with hidden compartments and neutralising any signatures. I could create such a vessel quite happily. I could install an electromagnetic stummer to avoid metal detectors and a X-Ray repeating material to the outside of the hidden compartment to fool X-Ray machines. If you are disassembling the precious shotgun then I will have to teach you the disassembly and reassembly rites. They are spoken in Technica Linguis, you will find the language quite eloquent.

I will visit my fellow priests in the Adeptus Mechanicus and search through the database of patterns. If I can find some UV sights with ocular interfaces I will take the time to craft them. I would suggest however that you would be better off having your eye removed and replaced with an ocular implant. The implant could be interfaced into a sight on the gun and provide feedback directly into your brain. Consider this well, I judge the members of this team worthy of being married to glorious machine spirits, an honour bestowed on few. If you need any further convincing, look at the work that Medicus performed on Xantius, beautiful!

The grenades should be possible, I’ll have to look at the catalogue in the temple. They might require special crafting though. Creating a hidden compartment in the heel of the shoe is a triviality.

Glory to the Omnisiah
Thaddeus

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Heresy is only skin deep
Mission 11 - The one where the laws of magnetism are used to strange effect

Prologue Mission 11

Epilogue Mission 11 – Loose ends and a review of Zothrian Tech

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Tarot Reading
Interlude

Jael’s Walk in the Market

As you pass through the market place on your morning walk after your flagellation you pass by a small stall. You hear your name called from the stall. Wearing just your plain sisters habit with hood you know not how anyone would recognise you. Curiosity gets the better of you and behind the simple cloth door you see a venerable woman stood by a high table shuffling some cards. This seems ironic as you were just thinking about defying Sister Superior’s instruction not to speak with the seer of the order.
“How do you know my name?”
“I don’t. They do.” she says indicating the cards. She gives the cards a final shuffle and cut and deals ten cards face down onto the table. “You know your question” She begins to reveal them one by one.
“Card one, the Ace of swords. This card represents you, your pursuit of ultimate truth victory and success.
The second card is the Assassin, the force opposing you, this card means that it is hidden, obfuscated. The nature of the opposing force is not clear to you.
The third card, the foundation card, ahh the Astronomicon, but reversed. A lack of trust, self doubt the inability to adapt to changing circumstances and accept the opportunities it may bring. Your doubt could undo you.
Card four, the recent past, the five of swords, the lord of defeat, there is a failure or at least a dishonour in your past.
The fifth; the future, the moon Luna, danger but an opportunity too. Potential for great success or great danger. Psychic work or illusion or perhaps things not being as you first thought them.
Card six, your higher power, ahh the Cardinal, one who commands respect, but not love. A born manipulator, who has arrived in his position though brain and not brawn. The one who works in secret behind the scenes, a seeker of power with hidden motives.
Card seven the issue, the seven Aquila but reversed. Lack of decicivness that causes the challenge to be lost. Missed opportunities, failure to use all the tools at ones disposal.
Eight the place for allies and supporters, hmm… the ten of skulls again reversed. This means the damned, or the enemy, mutable or changing.
Card nine a strategy, the King of swords, the Space Marine. Clever skilful strong and direct. The space marine picks his battles and always venerates the Emperor above all others. There will be battle but the space marine is a diplomat too, an arbitrator and a builder. The marine is also a skilled leader in war, a powerful card.
Finally the outcome card, ten. The Voidship. Success, but hard won, triumph but at cost.”
As you make to leave the old woman stumbles, knocking the table, you help her to a seat, but in the stumble a card has fallen from the deck in her hands. It lies face down touching card eight and six. Her face is ashen. “You must see what it is!”.
You turn it over, it is the warmaster, the betrayer, a card forbidden in normal Tarot Decks. She quickly scoops up all the cards, snatching the 11th card from your hand and claims that the reading was already over and the final card had no significance. As she tidies up the cards you notice the outcome card also was knocked and now lies horizontal on the table.

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