The Pyromancer, while damaged by asteroid near the Zothrian city, was able to make short, four ligh-year, warp jumps without the aid of a Navigator. Each jump it was then able to halt, gain it’s bearings, and align itself for another jump. Thus we made it to Port Laton in just four months. The irony of such a return on the Pyromancer was not lost on us, as on our last trip here we were searching for sign of the Angry Jester itself.
Upon entering local space we were sure to make radio contact, and Octus checked for any messages Masters might have sent us. We were disappointed to find none, but some hours into our approach Octus delivered some disturbing news from Naevus. Local Ostian reports mentioned various murders of our colleagues in Masters’ primary team. Marius, Sura, Medicus, and Willow were all confirmed dead. Min Davide was reported as having escaped, while Selonius was left unsurprisingly unmentioned. This news hit us all hard – we realised that the timing could easily have coincided with how long it would have taken Talus to get back to Naevus. We later discovered that the State of Play had gone through the Port some time previously, further strengthening this hypothesis.
Shortly after our arrival at the station, we suffered another loss as Steiner was picked up by the Navy for desertion. He was quite subdued and willing to go with them, but I would have fought tooth and nail to continue our mission to rejoin Masters, bring down the Coterie and get revenge on that bastard –Selonius- Talus.
We also received a patently fraudulent message from an “Inquisitorial Astropath” making some spurious claims about Lord Masters being taken down by some lowly heretics. That Inquisitor Alderman was reportedly first on the scene is slightly troubling – I suppose it could be a ruse to draw the enemy out of hiding, but I have never been able to follow the master’s schemes. Obviously I will treat the claims with the appropriate skepticism.
However, lacking a deep space transport option (the Sacrifice had enjoyed full repairs in transit but remains only a short range solution), we opted to join our efforts to those of Lady Marian. Hopefully this would allow us to build up some more leads for when we returned to Ostia and resume investigation with Lord Masters.
We uncovered some Cultists on Port Laton – disease worshipping scum planning on contaminating the water supply with some Xeno plague. They didn’t last long under our attentions. We did some work with Captain Ovidia’s first officer Travis in rooting out smugglers in the area – some with Xeno connections, possible Coterie affiliations and so on. Very little of this work seemed to further our own line of investigations, there was always another nest of scum to clear out, another traitor to question. Our time seemed very filled with this menial, though admittedly worthwhile work – in very little time at all it was the new Candlemas. Had Hector really been so long ago?
Travis came to us with another seemingly mundane tip about a notorious smuggler known only as The Captain, due shortly to leave the Laton system. As always we suited up and prepared for another capture.
Travis’ team boarded first and took the bridge. He reported a surprising level of coordination among the smuggler’s crew, as though they had received military training in the past. That said, the crew were regardless vastly outnumbered and soon overcome. Once the crew were subdued and the officers shot, we boarded the ship and joined Travis to investigate.
We were shocked to discover the identity of the late but mysterious Captain was none other than our Captain Movern, head of Baron Ulbrexis’ household guard back on Egitra. There was more to this case than originally thought.
We searched the ship from top to bottom, and discovered that Movern was moving stolen weapons from a Munitorum to an unknown location. Movern being the unprofessional scum that first impressions had suggested, had been dealing in small quantities of contraband, unlicensed Amasec and the like. This had tipped off Travis rather than the more significant cargo. In whatever illicit endeavor Movern was caught up, he’d betrayed himself with simple greed, the fool.
No record of their origin or eventual destination was stored in flight computers, rather there appeared to be some automatic device hooked up to the engines that, when activated would pilot the ship to an unknown rendezvous point. Thaddeus conferred with it’s machine spirit and determined that the device needed to be activated within our own Naevus system in order to reach it’s destination. With no further leads ordered Ovidia to plot a course home.
The Captain’s ship was a sub-warp vessel of course, comparable in size to our own Sacrifice. Both small ships were packed into the Pyromancer’s hold for the journey. Upon arrival in the Naevus system, we transferred to the Captain’s ship and set off on autopilot, closely followed by and in communication with the Sacrifice.
Some hours and one atmospheric re-entry later, we were somewhat less than surprised to arrive in a clearing a few miles from Baron Ulbrexis’ mines on Egitra. A small fleet of haulage vehicles and an army of workers swiftly descended upon the ship to unload the arms shipment. With Graccus just out of view we sat and observed the ship being unloaded. A small squad of Movern’s men oversaw the operation, the ship’s apparent abandonment giving them cause for alarm.
We took the risk of confronting them, and were pretty much welcomed with open arms. Initially suspicious, we were escorted back to the Baron’s residence and fed and watered before he appeared to welcome us. Some confusion ensued but he eventually described the events on Naevus in the year of our absence.
-Talus had returned to Ostia (was he on the State of Play with Masters? Bit unsure of this NIALL)
-The aforementioned purge occurred shortly thereafter.
-Marius was murdered first, and managed to send out a warning to the others – saving Min and Selonius at least.
-The coterie then openly took over the Ostian Hive, commencing with Aulus Pertonis Pulcher (Ostian Cohortes Urbanae Legate) declaring martial law, and Consul Domitius Asinus Macro taking over the Senate. They now have a controling majority on the senate enabling them to totally wrap up the city.
-Selonius, Min and Vigo Linden (Captain of State of Play) have organised underground resistance, armed by stolen weapon shipments supplied by the Baron.
-This shipment is due to be delivered via cross-continental vac trains.
That evening we shared a glass or five of the Baron’s finest Amasec, and drank to the memory of our fallen comrades. Ulbrexis himself span a powerful tale of his time in the military.
The next day we accompanied the shipment to Ostia, and rendezvoused with Linden, Min and Selonius.