The Naevus Heresy

Mission 20 - The Hive (in the Hive)
The one where Jael forgot she had +2 damage against Xenos. And Niall was moved by Arrimun's death.

Epilogue Mission 20

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Mission 19 - Capturing Crassius
The one where brother Texaco flailed three storm troopers to death with his one remaining good arm, but was brought low by a luck strike to his head.

Mission 19 Prologue

This mission we used miniatures and my Expurgamus rules to fight through a couple of scenarios with the Ghost Raiders in support of the Ostian Legions.

The capturing of Crassus was the final scenario.

Mission 19 Epilogue

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Mission 18 - The Silent Guns

The Acolytes investigated a battery of guns in the North Western district of Ostia. Although a vast horde of enemy approached the gates, and these guns could have punished them on the final two to three hundred kilometers of their march, the guns were silent.
The Acolytes discovered the reason for the silence was a lack of ammunition. They then discovered the dead body of Min Davide who had an unusual metal object on her, a simple flat brass disc. Min had been killed not by bullet or knife. The only evidence on her was damage to the back of the throat and all her internal organs had been mashed up to a paste. The acolytes found no more information on what could have caused such a death. They located her hideout and found another such disc.

The acolytes compared the discs and found them to be identical in origin, stamped out of the same sheet of metal. They were believed to be parts from artillery ammunition.

The enemy had breached the walls by this point and were flowing into the city. Bitter street to street fighting was now occuring and the acolytes had to fight past some of the green eyed foe to return to the city proper.

The acolytes then discovered a warehouse with tons of brand new military materiel all packaged up ready to go, but an unusual discrepency that most was from one manufacturer and others were from other manufacturers. After analysing the records in the offices they came to the conclusion that brand new reserved military gear was being stolen from depots, reforged under a new companies name (Axel Syndicate) and then being sold back to the city. It was this corruption that had led to the silence of the battery and Min had discovered it and proved it with metalwork analysis.

The parties responsible revealed their hand when Decimus Facilis attacked the group almost killing Gauis and his new investigating companions.

The acolytes persuaded Major Maximus of the Legio IV to assault the main base of this corrupt activity, by giving him the keys to the warehouses full of extra equipment. This facility was now in enemy hands or at least on the border and was being bravely defended by Cohortes Urbanae forces. It was mostly surrounded but the Legio IV forces managed to punch a hole through and take over the facility. The Acolytes discovered at the heart of this corrupt activity was none but Aulus Petronius Pulcher. In a fierce battle they managed to slay Pulcher.

Inquisitor Viktor Aldermann then arrived with a full detachment of his 43rd Battalion “The Emperor’s Scourge” where upon Sister Lobelia Sorcha, a Hospitilar in his employ, removed Pulchers eye and from behind it removed a small dark object that appeared to be alive, like a tumour or a maggot from Pulchers brain. This was carefully stored and taken away.

Aldermann then left with his crew without even passing a word to the dumb struck acolytes. The acolytes then vacated the building quickly as they already knew Aldermann’s SOPs, and indeed his drop ships proceeded to level the entire structure using melta fire, destroying all traces of what remained.

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Mission 17 - Port Laton and the return to Naevus

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.

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Mission 17 – Addendum - Coterie rolecall!

Ovidia helped us to fill in some of the blanks of the Coterie role-call:
-Cassia Sula Victor apparently went her own way after the Tycho mutiny, and apparently hasn’t been much heard of. Ovidia described her as making a living on the streets, which (judging from the success of the Coterie as a whole) suggests she became a major player in the Ostian underworld. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear she remained in contact with the Coterie in a very unofficial capacity.
Octavius Titus Fidus, whom we knew to have deceased three years following the mutinty, we were told had suicide following the storm of media attention.
-Callidius Brutus Pius, of whom no records were available, has never left the side of Domitius Asinus Macro, the Ostian Consul, and now serves as his Lictor (personal bodyguard).
-Drenis Gaius Pius, whom was known to have deceased seven years ago, was described as making his own way, and very little further is known.

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Mission 17 – Breadcrumbs - Intelligence summary
Following discussion with Lady Marian and Captain Ovidia, some lines were drawn and connections made...

Upon the Pyromancer we had the opportunity to confer with Inquisitor Marian – currently under the guise of Lady Helena, and Captain Ovidia separately. We established the following facts. For the sake of building up an accurate view of the situation, I’ve made no effort to separate our findings from either conversation – rather listed what we found out in a hopefully logical order. It’s worth noting that while we perhaps didn’t learn a great deal that we hadn’t been exposed to previously, our overall grasp of the wider picture amidst the grand scale of the conspiracy was vastly strengthened.

-Marian’s agenda, while separate to Masters’, ran parallel in the form of an investigation into widespread corruption within Ostian society and politics. This ties into our meeting her at Solent House, and actually spoiling a line of inquiry from her point of view.
-The Pyromancer/Angry Jester/Tycho’s Endeavour was indeed purchased by Captain Ovidia (formerly Sulpicia Fabis Romana of the 17 survivors of the Tycho Mutiny – known to us as the Coterie) upon the official order of Inquisitor Alderman. Had this order not gone through, the Endeavour would have ultimately gone to auction. Alderman was acting on orders from higher within the Inquisition, in order to acquire a useful ally of a Rogue Trader vessel than owed the Order.

-Marian was somewhat scathing of our view of the Coterie as a well-oiled and monolithic engine of manipulation. Rather, she expressed the view that they had gone about their own business while maintaining a mutually beneficial network of influence. This view was corroborated by Ovidia, who especially appears to have operated independently of the likes of Duro, or Kurtz, while running the occasional (presumably very profitable) errand for her fellows.
-Following on from this, Inquisitor Marian expressed a trust in Ovidia that she compared to us. Given that we are known to her as loyal acolytes of a fellow inquisitor, I find it somewhat odd that she would knowingly consort with an ally of the enemy.
-Again, here the scale of the situation betrayed my understanding – Marian was and remains quite happy to benefit from a relationship with a rogue trader known to work with heretics. The fact is that the activities at Solent House appear to (in her opinion) pale into insignificance beside the machinations of Magos Thulian upon the Miserchord. She also expressed satisfaction that any such ‘minor’ activities on the Coterie’s part were swiftly halted by the work of her fellow inquisitors such as Masters. We know full well this to be true.
-So then, her purpose in commandeering the Pyromancer and investigating the Zothrian city (at the apparently coincidental time as us) was purely to attempt to gain some significant alien artifact that she could then use as a bargaining chip to gain access to the Miserchord itself. Her view was that, at the very worst, the Pyromancer and all the heretics on board would be destroyed, and at best, she would have access to Thulian.

-Ovidia, upon questioning, was able to describe the events of the Tycho Mutiny almost exactly as is officially recorded. Her account of Alderman’s investigation and subsequent media storm suggests that she is well versed in it’s recounting.
-The survivors were surprised to be allowed to live following their potential exposure to an Alien contaminant, and appear to have gone on to live successful careers. This would only have been aided by their network of mutual benefit, as well as Magos Thulian’s gratitude, evidenced by their warp communication rings.
-She told us that she hadn’t heard from Thulian in quite some time, compared to the somewhat regular communication they’d had with him immediately afterwards, especially Duro.
-She described Duro Erebus Albinius and Archos Kurtz (Papirius Sectorius and Pontius Novanus respectively) as being the ‘driving force’ behind the Coterie in the early days, though later on this shifted more towards Invidius Galber Calpernius (our Nowhere Man) whom she flatly denied having any Psychic abilities whatsoever.

-Ovidia expressed admiration and loyalty to Thulian, and her fellows in the Coterie, describing them as doing the Emperor’s work in strengthening Naevus for defence against the Alien menace. Solent House she saw as a good business and method for building a network of allies to help this work.
-I’m of the opinion that, if informed about the more unsavoury aspects of the coterie’s indoctrination, heretical research, Daemon summoning and Xeno engineering, Ovidia would find it very difficult to believe or reconcile with her views. She is very much a peripheral player in all this.

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Breadcrumbs
Mission 17 - The Acolytes receive some dreadful news and follow a trail leading back to Ostia

+++From: Inquisitorial HQ; Ostia; Naevus; Naevus Sector+++
+++To: Naevus Sector Inquisitorial Command+++
+++Attention of Ordo Hereticus+++
+ Message Begins: Inquisitor Cornelius Masters Ordo Hereticus was found dead earlier today by Inquisitor Aldermann Ordo Xenos. His body has been returned by the Ordo Xenos to the Inquisitorial HQ for internment. The investigation is still open, but it appears Inquisitor Masters had recently returned to Naevus on board the State of Play and was investigating cult activity in hive Ostia when he was ambushed by heretics and slain. Inquisitor Aldermann was also working in the region and was first on the scene. He and his acolytes were able to neutralize the heretics. His investigations have initially turned up no evidence to show this was part of some larger plot. Investigations continue. Message Ends. +

The Baron explains how he Lost his Leg

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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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