Here Be Dragons

Part IV: The Nightmare Mirror
The fate of those who came before our heroes...but do our heroes share this same fate?

Our intrepid explorers continued through the maze of the space hulk “Twilight” after hopefully being freed from the Beast’s wrath yet again. After negotiating some lesser traveled tunnels they came to a rusted blast door They tried to listen at the door before opening but nothing was heard through the heavy sound proof screen. Akiro, despite his puny physique managed to open by himself in an amazing show of non-character physical strength.

What awaited on the otherside was a gantry above a combination of fire, smoke, and a surprise assault by some Chaos raiders. A voice through the burning storage room screamed “Get down you fools!” as a flurry of bullets rained about them wounding them all with heavy stubber fire. The tech priest went down flying backwards through the open blast door and our heroes scrambled for cover. Two, Akiro and KArina made a dash (Karina firing her plasma rifle all the while) for the ruins of some stairs…Akiro fell down the stairs while Karina deftly navigated them. Captain Jarrion and Crysipus made the mistake of jumping for the floor some 20 feet down injuring themselves in the process but landing behind some boxes set aflame by the conflict.

Below two of Seventus’ Black Armsmen fought madly against a group of Chaos raiders nested in an overseers box on the opposing side of the room. They offered some suppressive fire allowing Karina and Akiro to advance to the second row of crates for cover. Jarrion blared away with his laspistol to no effect as beside him Chrysipus noticed the contents of the box in front of him “Live Munitions” things looked very bleak…and would look bleaker shortly.

A roar amidst the smoke signifed the return of the beast as it crawled along the ceiling towards the raiders. Chrysipus dubbing the creature “Cherry” and “Goldie” from it’s ability to cherry pick their kills and because of the flash of the golden object in it’s rapidly moving body tried to push flaming box ahead as cover but to no avail. Jarrion continued to fire failing to spot the beast managing to wound a raider but not take him down. Karina in her usual bravada pulled out her pistols and began to attack the raiders despite the creature. The armsmen continued to provide fire support. Akiro however opted to try and open the main door a similar large blast door as the one they entered…as he scrambled to it he heard a voice in his mind “Psst Over here!” but could not find its source.

As Karina advanced killing a pirate, Chrysipus noticed a child’s hand signallying him from a grate near to where Akiro first hid. When Karina looked inside she saw the Child Navigator Ghost signalling them to open the grate before disappearing. Akiro in his attempt to open the door was screamed at by the Armsmen “DON’T THERE’S MORE OUT THERE!!!”.

Meanwhile the beast entered the heavy stubber nest and amid shots that actually seemed to damage it began to make short work of the raiders. The armsmen too fired a few shots that seemed to cause a wound on the beast from their position. Our heroes, however, had decided to take the hint and in a cooperative effort wrenched the sealed grating from it’s rusted housing and dove down the hole one after another as the beast turned its attention to them.

First Akiro then Chrysipus as the beast began to near their position, then Jarrion as the creature dismanted the Armesmen. Finally in a few sheer seconds of evading the beast’s razor sharp talons Karina dove blindly into the narrow chute after her companions with the beast’s growls of anger echoing behind them as they slid into the darkness…

The chute terminated into a dark sump room with pipes eminating from all angles and bones along the floor. Stange scribbling writing was etched onto every possible surface. Quickly Karina spied a dusty figure in the corner and slowly advanced upon it while Chrysipus found some saint figurines in a nitche and Akiro bumped into a makeshift hotplate. Jarrion read the writing with his lamp “Anything to survive” was etched thousands of time with some sharp implement.

Karina knocking the dust away from the prone figure in the corner revealed the mummified corpse of an old woman with teeth filed needle sharp wearing power armor fashioned much like her own. The writing on the wall nearby mocking the credo that has allowed her to make it this far in life. In this moment of horror some people minds would have snapped…Karina, ever the unflapable one, took the corpse’s mumified head with her citing that it must be a future version of herself and the she would need to study it closer. If only one could have seen the looks on her companions’ faces.

Crawling through tunnels while losing valuable time our exploeres came to an open area and a ladder leading upwards. Jarrion’s directional prognisticator indicated that they were within .5 Kilometers of the ship’s gellar field but time was running short. Despite this Karina took the time to apply some medicae to her fellow explorers…in the end only giving Chrysipus a slight bit of help with a painkiller/vitamin injection to stave off some of the pain and infection.

The ladder went upwards terminating in an empty hanger missing a section of wall…beyond it stretched a huge cavern formed on the interior of the Twilight…the floor strewn with rusted equipment, powerful spot lumens now dark, and bones…many bones. Across it through the dark was spied a ships hull exposed and forming the far wall of the cavern. As Jarrion’s lamps traced over it the golden letters were spied “San Jose”. Moving forward at a brink but cautious pace a tell-tale tingling passed through the explorers signifying their movement through a gellar field. Perhaps this would stave off the demonic beast should it find them again!

Nearing the “San Jose” the cargo door was spied in the same location as the one on the “San Diego”. Moving up to it via rickety platform made of rusting scafolding and rocks Karina fell through but our adventures’ oversight in roping themselves up saved her a nasty fall. The dataslate next to the door retracted when Akiro blew the dust from it causing a momentary questioning from our explorers before an anchient servo skull emerged to analyze them. After a few moments of silence a voice intoned “Oh Captain, it’s you. Welcome back aboard.” and the blast doors to the cargo bay opened after years of being sealed showering our explorers with frigid cold. Before it sealed back up the howl of the beast roared again from the far side of the cavern. It had found them…but could it pass the Gellar field and enter the sealed ship?

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Part III: The Twilight
Aboard the Space Hulk Twilight a race for treasure becomes a nightmare dash for survival.

The Twilight according to scans by Bastil, Seventus’ crony who chattered over the taunting message of his master, held several ships of interest including one “The San Jose” which contained an active gellar field in the “Head” of the space hulk “Twilight”…mentioning that it was a treasure ship of legend owned by Jarrion’s ancestor. Seventus after battering Bastil threw down the proverbial gauntlet to Jarrion in challenge to ’race to the treasure holds of the San Jose". He launched a few gunships loaded with his men before Jarrion could even speak.

Jarrion, not to be outdone, gathered his officers rapidly as well as a few armsmen, a medic, and an enginseer that Azrael approved and jumped aboard the “San Diego’s” single gunship to get to a route that Azrael ascertained as a possible trajectory through the morass of metal and stone. Before departing Azrael detailed the following:

•The hypothetical route he has planned out will take them slightly out of the way but it will shield them from rad poisoning and structurally instable areas.
•Communications will not work well due to the warp instability.
•The teleport machine will not work well. Extraction can be ascertained to be from any area on the exterior of the hulk that the PCs can send a flare from.
•He will be monitoring with Jessica to the best of their abilities.
•The salvagers should work as FAST as possible to locate the “San Jose” and to leave. Time is not a luxury. Most likely 20 hours.

After departing into an exposed cargo hull leading to an airlock, the gunship it detailed that it would be maintaining a constant circle around the “Twilight” if they should be able to signal it for emergency pickup. The entry was relatively uneventful but the warp nature of the hulk seems to have given it a haunted feel to it as it well carried over small warp taints of varying degrees.

•Gravity is still an issue for some parts of the hulk.
•Most of the ships are imperial.
•There are no light sources detected. Nearly all of the ships in the “Twilight” have no power remaining and most light filaments are most likely well beyond repair.
•Most of the exterior ships seem to have possible air problems. The inner contents seem to have a decent amount of stale, yet breatable air.

The airlock led to a series of tunnels and the dataslate carried by the captain led the crew on a relatively easy to follow path though the first hull and into a cavern. The cavern was marked with stange chalk markings that only Karina recognized…as a game played by mostly young girls: “hop-skip”. Out of the darkness skipped a incorporeal apparition of a child navigator who told the PCs “You’re not supposed to be here. You’re not the one’s we’re expecting” The Captain ignored the waif ghost who melded back in wall before warning “The living thing is hungry.”

Through wrecked ship after wrecked ship our explorers briskly forged. Finding the ruins of a battle from long ago and soon hearing the sounds of fighting nearby. They did not pursuit this directly but continued along their path, eventually coming upon a lavish ballroom inside a richly appointed merchant vessal. In the center of the ballroom they found the devestated remains of a squal of Seventus’ men. Crow, the loyal tracker found tracks among remains the torn to shreds and tossed onto a chandelier high above. Beside the obvious spent shells and blood lay below the corpses there were tracks of men and those of a three toed clawed beast. Two men had ran off to the stairs exiting the room and one had been gutted at the first tier.

What most likely was the survivor was discovered further down the line in the center of the ruins of a Navigator’s tower. As the armsmen lay gasping in a small indentation at the bottom of the pit a hooded figure comforted him in his anguished moments with a medical kit nearby. As Jarrion moved forward to address him he raised a hand…then the Arch-Militant Karina noticed that she and soon the others joined her had red dot laser sights all over them…they were surrounded by chaos raiders tittering with laughter.

The hooded figure jabbed the dying armsman with a filthy syringe infecting him with diseases and poisons beyond the ken of any common man before revealing himself as a filth laded envoy of Nurgle. His men laughed as he taunted the captain and his explorers…assuring a quick death and to let them be food for “the children of Nurgle”…as the explorers moved to react in a last ditch stand against horrific odds the huge lumen lighting up the ceiling of the tower exploded in a shower of glass and with the raining glass came a roaring carapaced monstrosity that began to rip the filthy leader of Nurgle to shreds despite his best effors to fend off the beast.

Akiro and Chrysipus understand the odds better than anyone else. They both bolted for the door opposite to their entry at full speed amidst a hail of bullets. Jarrion, Karina and the troops opted for a running attack moving toward the door…the result was a few chaos raiders being obliterated by grenades as well as one fellow dropping a grenade at his own feet leading to his incapacitation and assumed death. The hail of fire dropped the medic, grazed Akiro’s head, and poor dear Crow who had helped out intrepid explorers so well that they had begun to ask for him by name.

Within the next turn the carapaced thing ripped the servant of Nurgle into pieces like a child shredding a paper doll…it’s clawed hands tearing his body in raining the world around it with filth. The raiders poured every bit of firepower they could into the thing but as our fleeing heroes and the remains of their shipsmen saw it shrugged off heavy stubber/boarding shotgun fire as if it were rain as it lept 20 feet into the air and onto the staircase and began to tear into the pirates. Our heroes wasted no time and beat a sprinting retreat continuing to their goal with all possible energy. After they had run nearly an hour they heard the telltale roar of the beast letting them know it was in hot pursuit and gaging from its previous speed would soon be upon them.

One of the remaining crewmen stopped to plant a metabomb which caught him partially in it’s radius throwing him forward as he ran. Karina and another crewmen helped the wounded man sprint along as the barrier created would no doubt only slow the beast down. Coming to a hollow vertical cylinder shaft on their path with only an I beam to cross would present and obstacle…the clattering of an overhead grate behind them followed by the roar of the carapaced fiend let them know that they did not have the luxury of time in this endeavor. As a slow howling wind began to pick up the techpriest accompaning them wasted no time and sprinted across the beam and onto a platform on the opposite time…succeding due to his training from the illustrius Azrael no douby… The growing downwind howling into a cacophony, he turned and threw a rope across to help Akiro, Chrysipus, and Jarrion while the wounded crewman used his boarding shotgun to hold the beast off. Karina fasted the rope last and fell from the beam. Her fellow crew and officers held tight (at least the techpriest and captain did…) as she dangled below them…catching her hands on the walls and using a sense of survival and inner strength none but her possess, Karina pulled herself onto the ledge aminds the screaming wind ringing with laughter of a crone. As the beast tore into the wounded armsman the final crewman on the beasts side ran across the beam only to fall out of vision.

With a roar the beast tried to cross but it’s massive bulk combined with the wind made it falter and fall into the darkness howling it’s insane rage as it plummeted. As the beast fell into the blackness and screaming downwind out of vision Akiro noticed a golden flash from the beasts chests…he shot his pistol at it to no success…they seem to be safe for now.

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Chapter II: Part 2 Gavin's Run
Transit Period from Footfall to Gavin's Run, Winterscale's Realm

Strange dreamlike visions/walking nightmares seem to stalk our intrepid band of voidfarers. First, upon navigating to the first steps through the Maw towards Footfall, Karina was attacked by a warp-possessed cleaning woman whose warpfire embrace brought back flashbacks of her survivals and what seems have become her default credo.

Rapid memories of her defilement and training as a pirate, surviving the inquisitorial space attack, and planetside desperate scramble to remain alive at all costs seemed to bring back the words of Vorgen, the pirate who she enlisted with and betrayed willingly as an act of revenge. The words still seem to ring in her mind: “Anything to survive.”

When arriving to “The Temple” waypoint we met “Maxim’s Gambit” and it’s friendly captain, Rogue Trader Abel Garritt. Abel voxed friendly but the communication was cut off by an angry Seventus who disdained “chit-chat”. This left a wary mark on captain Kahn. To boot our astropath Akiro both received a warning from Farseer Seranon and established a professionally friendly raporte with Seventus’ telepath. The former and the latter were both about Seventus, a warning that he “is and is not what he seems” from Seranon and a note that his crew both fears and disdains him.

The journey to “The Graveyard” was just as eventful as Chrysipus met with what appeared to be a full fledged witch-hunting Inquisitor who pursued him briefly before pinning him to the wall with a stilletto that seemed to null his powers. After delivering a taunting warning of possession and displaying knowledge of his mother the inquisitor seemed to put a bolter shell into Chrysipus’ skull. The effect was only partly a dream and as he woke up he realized that he was indeed attacked but by the assassin haunting the corridors dressed as an offficer. It appeared that Chrtsipus’ fleeing triggered fear of discovery and that Chrysipus’ “inneffective” psyattacks truly did have effect melting the assassin’s mind before he could deliver the final blow.

At “The Graveyard” we met up with a pilgrim ship flaunting a distress call. The Kahn seemed to be wary to act but his astropath and crew encouraged him to ask Seventus who was barely cooperative and only so because of the successes of Chrysipus and Akiro as superior examples of their kind. As the “San Diego” both quickly and carefully moved in to rescue the pilgrims they found that the beacon was in fact quite real and the stranded pilgrims were the result of a pirate attack that scuttled the ship after killing the crew and taking any useful passengers and cargo.

Lest to bring the wrath of Seventus’ ship down upon them Jarrion moved the crew quickly into the Warp with a brilliant plan by his Navigator they set a record in arriving to Footfall. Seventus bode them to continue to Winterscale’s realm without pause and the captain took the time to get to know his new charges (the pilgrims.)

Several simple things were learned about the Pilgrims and of the Cargo that Seventus loaded them with: 1. The cargo is non-warp tainted. 2. They were both pilgrims and farmers from a Feudal world. 3. They are essentially uneducted idiots incapable of much beyond farming and religious vigor. 4. Three of them are latent psykers. (young and not yet presenting capable talents). 5. A few of them have some martial capabilities Karina may be able to use them for some melee troops.

Seventus pushed our intrepid heroes past Footfall and to the final destination of “Gavin’s Run” an asteroid laden system which left them on their own and defending from 4 raiders and a light cruiser inbound. Due only to the heroic maneuvering of our intrepid crew they evaded the chaos pirates for 3 hours sustaining no damage themselves while dealing a small amount in return. At the end of the third hour Seventus and his escourts arrived and proceded to tear everything up making a beeline for the “Feast of Crows” Light Cruiser.

While our heroes made a hit and run attack on a heretic raider “King’s Folly” setting it ablaze, the “Shining Hope”‘s escorts routed the remaining raiders. Seventus had a greater target in mind: with a heavy salvo of torpedoes the “Shining Hope of Cadia” caused the heretic capital ship to lose control and careen into an asteroid field with no chance of evading the rocks it hurtled towards. With one final explosion it tore open reality in it’s death throes…unleashing a monsterous warp gate that poured forth a titanic space hulk over 20 kilometers long: the space hulk designated code-name “Twilight” and memorable due to it’s bearing of ill omens whenever spotted.

It is a monster amalagam of rock and dead starship wrecks still pulsing with the power of the warp. Seventus’s monsterous battlecruiser dwarfed by this new entry to reality managed to evade it, but what does this titan of the warp hold?

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Chapter II: The Brat
Footfall - Inbound Return to Footfall

Returning from Cygnus 9 with the Tech Priest Temple salvaged from the temple deep in the hold things appeared to be looking up for the captain, crew, and officers of the "San Diego. The voyage had resulted in several notewothy items as detailed below:

  • Moderate damage to the San Diego with no critical system affected due to a warp beast’s attack. Crew numbers were down but not to critical levels.
  • The discovery of a forgotten system dubbed “Eden” that included an inhabitable moon base with extensive mining capabilities and a planet that was roughly 1/3 ariable and settleable (the other 2/3 being radioactive ruins.) The friendly inhabitants of the moonbase were transported from their generational home on the moon to the planet along with the cult that was living in the hold. This small settlement will need to be developed and has potential regarding agro-development and archeotech salvaging. Although the captain needs to send additional supplies he had not had the opportunity to as of yet.
  • The destruction of the Cygnus 9 space station after discovering that Dr. Reinhart had converted all the populace into servitors and captured a “warp seedling” within a gellar field. Riehart was slain after taunting Jarrion one too many times with his haughty attitude and the beast was destroyed by a hail of heavy bolter fire from that amazingly destructive techpriest Azrael Durst. Afterward a Jarrion destroyed the station by sending in demolition units.
  • The tech priest temple was miraculously unscathed from the demolition and despite it’s size fit snugly in the cargo hold of the San Diego. In transportaion back to Footfall immmidiately noticed was the affect on the astropaths of the San Diego. The very presence of the temple caused a warp corruption that caused the poorly trained junior astropaths to lose their minds and effectively “burn out”.

Upon retuning to nefarious Footfall and in seeking minor repairs as well as a replacement atropath who had moderate enough training to withstand the simple but constant warptaint of the salvaged temple Jarrion’s immense luck and charism caused him to meet a repair chief by the name of “Jagan”, a new comer to Footfall from other parts and perhaps one of the few honest and capable repair crews. Jagan’s crew would,in a week, manage to repair the San Diego and they were rewarded with a more than modest tip.

The hunt for an astropath was anything but easy as the Atropath’s official guild was not amible to the request and had no quality astropath’s to spare. Indeed the rumors were that even unsanctioned atropaths were nearly impossible to find at the moment. After meeting and charming a local merchant “Simon” Jarrion and company learned a few simple facts regaring Footfall and were told to look for a halfway house and bar for the unsanctioned and rejected psykers of Footfall called “The Sanctuary” past the habs and into a darker portion of Footfall.

Meanwhile a shanghaid Astropath by the name of “Akiro” was pouring somberly over a tea bought with his last few coppers in that very place. Sickened (emotionally) by the constant psychic wailings of those more pathetic (for the present) than himself he went outside to gather as fresh as air as Footfall’s worst quarters can offer. On the way out a fortune teller asked for a throne too tell fortune, the old woman refused to be denied and grabbed Akiro and cause the room to fade to a strange warp nightmare. Her dark fortune told of a new master and dark things to come…it ended as soon as it began snapping back to reality and the soothsayer was replaced by a senile woman selling lho sticks and tinders. Akiro’s solid training kept him from being fazed too badly but a dark warp taint seemed to be following him as he went outside to releive himself from the fright.

Once in the alley and releiving himself Akiro found himself cornered by 5 thungs looking to beat a “mutie” to pulp and if not for the timely and fortunately interuption of Jarrion (and more vitally Karina and her bolt pistols). The thungs were reduced to pulp themselves. Akiro seemed to have instantly found his new “master” as Jarrion his much needed Astropath. All did not settle well with Chrysipus who detected the strange warp taint on the newly aquisitioned astropath…and in the return journey (excellently plotted by that same navigator) to Port Wander to relay needs to Kahn family that dark warp taint manifested itself in a dream that visibly upset Captain Jarrion.

In this dream Jarrion was a child again and relived his fateful moments with his “Auntie Lucretzia”, a woman many others despised and the only child of black sheep Rodrigo Kahn. In the end Jarrion woke up in cold sweats after Lucretzia revealed a portrait of her father…all he could remember were Rodrigo’s eyes…and how similar they were to Lucrezia’s and his own.

Arrival at Port Wander and the delivery of the was cut short. Station Commander Larius Sans requested immediate presence in his office. The gruff commander revealed that his uncle, the previous station commander despised Jarrion’s father…which endeared Jarrion to himself prior to meeting him. More importantly the son of the grand high admiral had arrived, one Seventus Wintermount. Seventus, an obnoxious but powerful naval captain demanded a local rogue trader as an “escourt” and “guide” in his quest to destroy a troublesome sorcerer. As the sole rogue trader Jarrion was forced to take on the job all the while suffering constrant insults from the pompous Seventus.

On one positive note was the delivery of Jarrion’s birthright: his writ of trade given from Vignar Loave. This means that Jarrion is now a full Rogue Trader and capable of all that lays before him.

After the obnoxious insults of Seventus ceased and the crew rapidly readied the ship. Upon being given coordinates for their first waypoint Chrysipus made a fantastic navigational charting and our intrepid crew was off towards Footfall and beyond…

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Port Wander - Exodus
Scum

Karina and Azrael Durst met with Mikkel at the unerworld tavern, Scum. She recognized him as being the leader of the blue sleeved gangers when Lord Jarrion and his crew stepped into the customs area. He had positioned himself in a private booth with his back to the wall facing the entrance. Seated beside him (and on the floor) was a scantily clad human with a shorn head. A collar and chain connected him to Mikkel’s mechendrite hand and throughout the interview he would whisper nonsense to Mikkel while staring at the Karina and Azrael.

Shortly after introductions were made Mikkel made it apparent for such an item the Arch-Militant was looking for certain favors would need to be made. He was relatively blunt with what knowledge he desired, information about who His Excelsior Magnificense Jarrion Khan, what his intentions in the expanse were, or anything that one in Karina’s position was privy too. In short, a spy would find Mikkel’s own captain very appreciative and offered that Lord Drago had considerable connections in the Expanse.

The meeting ended with a veiled threat that one outfitted such as Karina was, typically marked themselves as a prize worth vying for – if only for her armor. Implied was that Mikkel had the means of inhibiting or perhaps kidnapping her on the lower decks.

Transmission

Azrael had managed to gleam some further information after pouring over the data slate provided by Magos Vinar Loave.

Included were requisition orders for various warp engine parts encoded within the original signal and a commentary from a [classified source] over concern about that status of the presence of the God-Machine onboard the Cygnus X-31. Standard protocol is to keep this information from non tech-priests. (This information is shared only if Azrael wishes to divulge this)

  1. Request for Interstellar Tugs indicate that Cygnus is to be relocated but no location is given as to where the transportation will take place.
  2. Such transportation is usually conducted under the auspices of the Imperial Navy to ensure its safety. Usually a Cruiser class ship and it’s supporting units would be used for such an endeavor – no such request was made/mentioned.
  3. A Deep Void Auger Array was also requested, something the research station was not designed to carry
  4. Cygnus X-31 was not fitted with any form of Astropathic Relay for such a transmission to take place.
Introduction of a New Rogue Trader

His Excelsior Magnificense Jarrion Khan made a rousing speech upon his introduction of the crew. The arrival of a new Rogue Trader is a rare occurrence for many aboard an interstellar vessel who tend to maybe only witness one such arrival. Jarrion’s speech inspired loyalty and profit to the crew whose duration at Port Wander had been limited to the confines of the San Diego. New officers were also introduced, Azrael would take overseership over the Teleportarium and would be Jarrion’s authority on all things Machine-God related. Arch-militant Karina would take over security of the ship and expressed the need of training ship personnel in military tactics. Chrysippus retained his position as the San Diego’s Senior Navigator and Jessica Ambrose was determined to replace the old Seneschal, Oryx Graves.

Mendicant Order of Saint Jormin the Eviscerated
Friar Z’Tang sat down to a private dinner with Jarrion Khan once he was permitted an audience. Z’Tang pressed the desire to gain passage aboard the San Diego with the ultimate aim of colonizing a new world in the name of the God-Emperor. Jarrion acquiesced and provided for Friar Z’Tang’s followers to be bunked in within the barracks.

Warp Storm

Chryssipus retained his position as Senior Navigator and resumed his place within the Navigator Pod once the San Diego was ready to leave Port Wander. His familiarity with the ship and the local warp became apparent when he announced that the first leg of the journey, to Footfall, would take a mere 15 days. On the third day, however, the ship encountered a minor warp anomaly which jarred the San Diego during its passage. Once the warp anomaly had been passed, routine systems and safety checks stumbled upon a dead body of a crew member that had been strung up and feasted on.

The report was brought to Karina’s attention by mBolo Kruuth, the ship’s chief Arbitor. The site of the gruesome murder even shook the experienced veteran as he informed Jarrion of what was found. Measures were taken to track down and find the killer and to try and keep the findings quiet.

Unfortunately, news did circulate that such a crime did happen with the investigation turning up more bodies as the security teams combed through the ship’s lower decks. Heightening the hysteria was the fact that the followers of St. Jormin saw the murder as a sign that the ship was cursed and staged passion plays throughout the ship’s passages in an attempt to purify it.

The Scalpers, the San Diego’s ‘shock troops’, also mentioned that they had often come across many strange creatures within the Tenebro Maze. The primitive hunters claimed that there were times when some of their number never returned from forays into the Maze and they believed a hunter of some sort lived within. Evidence finally presented itself when a group of Scalpers returned with a corpse of a mutant humanoid. The creature, they claimed, was immensely strong and slew a number of their party before it was brought down. This discovery gave Jarrion and his officer’s the evidence they needed to strike at those who preyed upon his crew.

Hullghast

The party was led by Crow, a Scalper tracker who had helped bring back the slain mutant. After roughly 2 hours of combing through the ship’s Maze the party came across evidence of recent activity. They surprised one such mutant but later drew attention to themselves which called upon a host of mutants. The party managed to secure a hallway and set up an overwatch as they waited for the mutants to make their way down the corridors towards them. Grenades and Azrael’s Heavy Bolter loosened the creatures up but after a couple of rounds the mutants were within melee combat of the party. This combat also marked the first time Jarrion and his officers had witnessed the power of the Navigator’s third eye as searing flashes of warp energy flickered about the crowded hallway, slicing into the mutants’ flesh and mind. Jarrion finished the last mutant off with a shot of his laser pistol to creature’s head. Once completed the officer’s took the heads of the mutants back as proof the ship had been freed from corrupt influences.

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Port Wander - Setting

The Koronus Expanse is the name given by Imperial authorities to an unexplored region of the Halo Stars beyond the Calixis Sector. The Expanse is accessed through the Koronus Passage, a treacherous but navigable route through the great warp storms that bar passage to the Halo Stars beyond the way station of Port Wander. The Expanse is a realm untouched by the God-Emperor’s Crusade many millennia ago and so it is a realm of fearsome xenos, treasures beyond imagining, heathen worlds of men and the echoes of ancient doom. (RT p. 336)

Port Wander resembles a small cityscape which acts as the last way station before one enters into the Expanse. Immense ship yards make up the lower half of the station, providing Rogue Trader’s with retrofitting and repair for their blessed warp ships. The upper half of the station is where the majority of the populous lives, where trade goods can be commissioned and sold, and where Rogue Traders and their crews can be found. It is a heavily defended structure sporting numerous weapons batteries, torpedo launchers, and void shield generators. The warships of Battlefleet Calixis also stop by the port on regular patrols making the gateway to the Maw a heavily guarded one.

Customs

Having docked into Port Wander and exiting the Phoenix, Jarrion Kahn and his party finally have their first taste of Port Wander. 3 large berths converge into a central Custom’s Area which operates as more as a crew processing area. The stench of unwashed bodies and the cacophony of noises from the various hawkers and petitioners is a vast contrast to the relative solitude that the Phoenix provided. From the Customs Area four exits provided egress into Port Wander, each being guarded by individual gangs or groups of armed men decorated by a common uniform, hair style, tatoos, etc.

Azrael noticed that one of the groups dressed in sleeves of blue had taken almost a personal interest into Jarrion. The assumed leader was a large, hairy man with an unkempt main of hair and full beard. The gang leaders left arm had been removed at the forearm which had been replaced with a rudimentary, mechanical claw. After notifying Jarrion of the stranger’s interest, the gang leader quietly saluted the Rogue Trader before other commotion interrupted the exchange.

The Kroot

8 tall humanoid figures pushed their way through the throng of people which had converged onto the Rogue Trader and his entourage. Their heads were decorated by a crest of quills and large beaks marked their face. They were armed with crude rifles that were decorated with sharp blades at various locations. Some of the aliens were using these rifles to force their way through the crowd of people. After a short time, it was apparent that the Xenos species were making their way towards the Rogue Trader.

Karina raised her plasma rifle in anticipation of trouble but the Xenos stopped roughly 5 meters away and spoke in a hooting version of Low Gothic. Out of the party, Jarrion was the most adept at understanding the alien accent and to the surprise of the group the leader introduced himself as Sherewll Widowmaker, of the Bonecrusher clan. Sherewll offered Jarrion that he and his clan brethren could be hired to be Jarrion’s Personal Guard.

Azrael’s hatred of xenos came out which one of the Kroot mistook for an insult. The rogue Kroot attacked Azrael in melee combat with startling agility. Jarrion’s party came to Azrael’s aid and after a few rounds the rogue Kroot was dead, his brethren watching dispassionately. Jarrion agreed to consider the Kroot’s offer and before leaving gave the Kroot permission to see to their dead brethren. The party saw each of the remaining 7 Kroot draw long jagged knives out and begin butchering their fallen brother, eating the creatures flesh raw.

Temple of the Machine God – Magos Vinar Loave

The party met with Magos Vinar Loave, an ancient and highly revered tech-priest. Magos Loave asked His Excelcior Magnificence Jarrion Khan if he would aid the tech-priests investigate a rogue astropathic transmission which they received a few months ago. The transmission’s protocol identified the source as coming from Research Facility Cygnus X-31, a station that manufactured and tested Geller Field Technology. Cygnus X-31 had originally housed some ancient archeotech components which allowed the tech-priests to modify the standard Geller Field template that most Imperial ships carry.

Magos Loave provided Jarrion and party with data-slates which contained pertinent information regarding the research facility, its history, its staff, as well as a copy of the original astropathic transmission. In compensation for investigating the transmission and returning Cygnus X-31 back to the hands of the tech-priests, Magos Loave stated that Jarrion’s father’s accounts would be considered to be paid in full.

To Jarrion’s surprise, Jarrion’s father had gambled with the family’s Writ of Trade and passed it’s possession over the the tech-priests of Port Wander in return for preferential treatment and the ministrations of the tech-priests. This freed up resources to be used in various financial endeavors which eventually Jarrion’s father made good on, increasing the family’s fortunes to its present standings today. This ‘deal’ that Magos Loave has offered certainly seems one-sided and much to the Rogue Trader’s benefit.

Cygnus X-31 Mission Parameters
  1. Investigate the astropathic emanation at its source
  2. Veryfiy whether or not Research Facilty Cygnus X-31 has survived
  3. Search for any survivors or in-tact data records
  4. Inform the Adeptus Mechanicus of any findings, return any data records or archeotech components if Cygnus X-31 is not found to be in stable condition
  5. Destroy Cygnus x-31 if found to have been corrupted by any Xeno or Demonic influences
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    Phoenix - Witch's Warren

    Post-Session conclusion.

    The players managed to kill the witch and several warp entities that she had managed to summon and control. The bodies of the elders that the party was searching for was found to have been fused together with some sort of dark magic. The elders themselves had been driven mad, frothing at the mouth and chanting nonsense. Jarrion ordered that the elders be put to death so that their corruption did not spread into the rest of the ship.

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    Phoenix Formal Dinner
    Setting

    The room is huge, opulent and impressive. The gothic-styled ceiling is at least 20 meters above the floor, the parts of the wall that aren’t decorated with artwork, trophies, or various artifacts seem to be made out of gold plates. At the forefront of the room is a large painting of a squad of Space Marines stepping upon heretics with The Phoenix stylized in the sky above. At the rear of the room is another painting with Sindalar standing in front of humongous beast which he seems to have slain personally with a servant squatting next to him.

    Guillame Du Prieste, Marius Du Prieste and Isa Du Prieste are all in attendance. They are all dressed in deep red robes of exquisite quality and decorated with various priceless ornaments. All wear a cap that lies low on the forhead with a stylized third eye that is opened and colored the same red as their gowns. There are also servants which are dressed in black robes who have eyes tattooed on their forehead who seem to wait on the Navigator’s needs.

    Guillame Du Prieste is a tall thin man with a severe countenance. Even though when you enter he is in conversation with his fellow Navigators he seems detached from them. He stands over 7 ft. tall and as you enter he gazes across the party, nodding slightly to the RT and letting his eyes linger but a moment on the Navigator.

    Marius Du Prieste looks to have an athletic build. Dark hair and a thick beard mark his face though his eyes are sunken and red as if he suffers from a sickness. He also seems to be in an argument with Isa whose back is turned to you.

    Isa Du Prieste is an extremely beautiful woman with blond hair and lighter features. She carries herself with an air of authority and is quite adept in etiquette and conversation. She will also enter into conversation with those of status.

    Jessica Ambrose is dressed in the tans of a make-shift guardsman uniform (as is several of the servants in the room). She seems to get along with everyone equally well, most notably conversing with the servant staff comfortably.

    Rahu Nail enters once everyone has been seated dressed in a slightly altered naval uniform. He walks into the room in his ramrod fashion and once near the head of the table states to the table that Sindalar regrets that he will once again be unable to attend dinner or make an appearance. With that he hopes that their guests will enjoy themselves and the hospitality of Friederick Sindalar and that of his crew. Food is served afterwards with the notable exception of Guillame Du Priest who has his own servants bring him food seperate of the rest of the guests by his own men.

    Dinner

    Marius Du Prieste will attempt to start up conversation with the Navigator asking about his observations and experiences. He rarely gets to interact with others of the Navigator class as his junior status keeps him within the Navigator’s library, etc. Isa Du Prieste will take it upon her to entertain the RT with questions and small talk. She is very capable and pleasing to the eye. Guillame Du Prieste refrains from conversation unless addressed personally.

    Conversation will undoubtedly go towards Edmund Cromwell‘s reason for being upon the ship. The senior staff of The Phoenix are more comfortable with their standing in the Imperium and therefore immune to the Inquisition’s arm (seemingly). They will press for details as to what exactly the Interrogator is present for believing that any reference to research is but a feint and trying to figure out who among them is the true target.

    Rahu Nail will eventually interrupt the conversation stating that Sindalar, himself, approved the presence of the Interrogator and that any business that he has aboard The Phoenix will be facilitated by that of its crew. He will then turn to the RT and request a favor on behalf of Sindalar. He’ll admit that Sindalar has been taken ill lately and has refused visitors for some time. Knowing how important the Interrogator’s investigation is, he asks that the RT and his staff assist the Inquisition on its investigation.

    He understands that they don’t have any ‘official’ authority, but he feels that their background in void faring will help the Interrogator cut through some of the customs and tensions that ship born clans often have of their planet bound counterparts.

    Rahu Nail, after some questioning, sheds some light as to the events that he has been trying to keep secret.

    1. Sindalar was found comatose after a scheduled meeting with representatives of the Gohl-Raza Consortium. Lucius Ambrose was also present and found dead at the scene though evidence of gun play indicated that the two managed to give some fight before being overcome. Sindalar, has remained comatose to date.
    2. Rahu Nail was given orders before the meeting that if anything went wrong to find out what exactly the Corporation was wanting transported for such exorbitant rates. He said if foul play occured to track down the shipment, commandeer it and if he were still alive then to take him to [[Dr. Porter]] (Sindalar’s personal doctor left behind at Port Wander).
    3. Jessica Ambrose was able to find out who contracted with the Gohl-Raza Consortium and placed the contract with a ship called the Illustrious Dawn
    4. The Illustrious Dawn was tracked down, resisted being boarded and was eventually forced to surrender. The prize was apparently a number of extremely decorated preservation chambers used to transport live fauna and rare seed goods. For the next 6 months The Phoenix pursued the route of travel the Illustrious Dawn was to make, making contact with those who were a part of the trade ring and trying to find out exactly why Sindalar was attacked.
    5. At this time Rahu Nail will admit that the morale of the crew of The Phoenix are at an all-time low. Standard ship rations have been lowered to counteract the lack of trade that The Phoenix has been able to make, things like orbital leave have been cancelled, etc.
    6. He needs the presence of a RT as well as the anyone associated with the clergy who are known to be able to sway crew to stay true until he can figure out what exactly is going on.
    7. The last purchase that The Phoenix was to make was for a number of Radiation Emitters to be shipped to some prison planets. He doesn’t understand the relevance of these items, only that they are a string in a long line of goods that leads back to the Gohl-Raza Corporations assault on his RT.
    View
    The Phoenix
    Arrival and Introduction

    The party is lifted up to the Phoenix via one of the Phoenix’s planetary shuttles. Secretary Lugan has been instrumental in organizing your personal possessions and having them stowed within the Phoenix’s cargo holds. He’s also made every attempt to make your wait comfortable while Friederick Sindalar’s business is being completed. Over the past weeks you have dined with the planetary governor of Furud and the planet’s nobility on a nightly basis. Entertainment of all flavors have been provided to you to the point that the sycophants have become to weigh on your patience and you look forward to taking up your reigns as Rogue Trader to your own vessel.

    Jessica Ambrose is present when the shuttle lands inside of the Pheonix. She is dressed in a form fitting costume of stately attire of dark greens and deep reds. A raised collar that rises above her head made of colorful feathers and exquisite ruby earrings. Her forearms are also decorated in gold weave and ruby ornaments. She is a young woman with auburn hair and good looks. Her youth, however, is a surprise for the position that she seems to wield upon Sindalar’s Flagship. She bows demurely and welcomes RT, his staff and the Interrogator (in High Gothic) to the Phoenix on behalf of His Illustrious Servant of God Emperor, Friederick Sindalar.

    Also present are 2 rows of uniformed servicemen who stand at attention and have a military bearing about them. Last is an officer who is standing ramrod straight until Jessica indicates him and introduces him to the RT as Lieutenant Commander Rahu Nail. She explains that Sindalar apologizes for not being able to welcome his guests aboard the Phoenix in person but he is currently trying to wrap up some final dealings before they set off into the Warp.

    [[b:Jarrion Khan]] will be given a state Suite that connects to a number of rooms which his staff will be placed in. Outside of the players personal belongings the majority of their property will be stowed away in cargo for the duration of the trip. Clothing and close personal items will, in essence, be all the characters need.

    Rahu Nail will turn to the Interrogator and apologize for the sudden change of plans. He claims that Sindalar must have a good reason for leaving orbit before schedule and he promises that every attempt will be made to make sure the Interrogator is comfortable. He is also aware that the Interrogator had business aboard the ship but he will allow him to conduct his research in transit.

    All in all, the cast introduction went well. His Excelcior Magnificense Jarrion Khan did manage to slightly embarrass himself coming off of the transport shuttle (botched roll) but this seemed to be overlooked by Sindalar’s crew (at least in the open).

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    Phoenix Outline
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