The Naevus Heresy

Mission 22 - Epilogue
The destinies of our surviving acolytes

Campaign Epilogue

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Mission 22 - The Nexus Stone
The Acolytes assault Amus Hive, and defeat the evil at the heart of the Citadel of Cruxiation

Prologue Mission 22

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Mission 21 - Rescue Masters & The Misercord
With new allies and new enemies the Acolytes must launch a daring mission to rescue Inquisitor Masters

Epilogue Mission 21 – Masters Cleans House

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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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