Shadows Over Calixis

Battle Royale!
House of Dusk and Ash part 4

Inquisitor Marr,

I regret to inform you that the auction ended in failure. While you instructed us to let as many of the attendees go free, This proved untenable as the auction was a trap designed to kill the descendants of Haarlock… But I suspect you already know this.

Before the Auction started, Trantor had asked for a demonstration of the guilded Widow. Apparently the head mourner Greel wanted to show it off too… The Gilded widow turned out to be a trap, which pontificated about the return of Haarlock, and demanded the blood of the descendants of haarlock or it would kill us all!

Upon delivering its ultimatum, Head mourner greel pulled out a Massive Power Scytthe, and split Provost Hiram in two (no, I dont know where he hid it)

A split second later at the mental command of Silon, the Auto cannon had spooled up, and began firing into the crowd. Sartha Garn (Erya Nepthys) moved towards me, presumably to finish what she had started many years ago.

Novus however was faster. Within mere moments, Sartha’s body was no longer her own. much like the Autocannon gunners, She moved to another mans tune. She summoned a Force sword to her side, and engaged Greel.

Trantor began firing a Powerful Nomand Hunting rifle he had acquired at the Auction towards Silon. Despite the remarkable quality of the rifle, the short range, and Silons lack of movement, the bullets just seemed to stray wide, deflected by his will alone.

Despite Silons Supreme telepathic might, he was unable to cause severe enough damage to either Novus or Tranntor. Novus simply healed any damage he caused, and Trantor finally hit him with a Toxic Round.

Novus then slammed Greel, and the Auto cannon gunners to the ground, incapacitating them all. He then used Sartha to finish Greel off with her Force Sword.

By the time I had taken cover in the stairwell, it was over. The auto cannon gunners had managed to miss nearly everyone. Magnus had control of it now.

Perhaps in a moment of arrogance, or failure to recognize the intense danger he was in, Novus made Sarth close her eyes, sink to her knees and put her face to the ground.He then walked up to her to restrain her physically instead of smashing her unconscious with his mind.

She released a ranging inferno around her, incinerating Novus. Clearly the emperor was with him for both Magnus and myself opened fire on Sartha, killing her instantly before Novus was consumed entirely.

After searching the dead for the artifacts they had purchased, we moved onto Greel, and were pleasantly surprised to find he had a Rosarius. and a blacksun amulet. This must have been a key for the lower chambers where we killed Abbot Tamas.

We made our way back to the crypt of Solomon Haarlock. inserting the amulet into the wall revealed a control center. We didnt know it yet, but the Gilded Widow had locked us in with a void shield. The void shield could be lowered completely, or for five minutes at a time.

Magnus had decided to cover the controls while we made our way back to the top to try and remove the auction pieces from the site, and save some people.

When we returned the auction floor, one last surprise awaited us. Master Nonesuch. He was no man, but a worm that walks! after a short but bloody fight, I was able to hack him to pieces with my chain sword. trantor delivered the final blow with the simple sledge hammer he had acquired from Crackmarrow on Quaddis.

Try as we might, we were unable to loose the remaining auction items from their cases. The key had been stoeln, so we tried force. Plasma shells reflected off of them, my missiles did not crack the glass. Novus was unable to shake them loose.

We moved to the exit, and Novus intoned for Magnus to open the doors. He did so, and we stepped outside. Our plan was to search everyone before they left, however Haarlock had one final trick. Adjacent to the void shield controls, was the crypt of Solomon. It opened at some point and spewed forth endless amounts of creatures we had come to know as children of the Kingdom.

Magnus , vymer and quill ran for it, abandoning the autocannon. and just made it out before the shields went back up, keeping the monsters within.

The only survivors of Note were: Olivia Nile, a logician agent. Magyar Mashrek, a man of unknown occupation, Lanus Cystern, sage and well to do son of a wealthy guilder house, and the inseperable Vymer and Quill, whom Magnus has become enamored of.

I have decided to let Olivia keep the Greyskin Psalter. She is infatuated with me, and I’m sure we will be able put her to use later infiltrating her organization.

Magyar had a thunderhawk gunship waiting for him. and a ship in orbit capable of launching lance strikes from orbit. I suspect him to be a Rogue trader. He escaped with a daemon sword and a relic made of saints teeth.

Lanus, had nothing save for the key to the cases containing the auction items. I took it from him, considering that it is quite possible (and probable) that if the cases were able to resist plasma blasts without a scratch, that they might be able to resist the heat as well. I would like to keep him around perhaps induct him as an acolyte, he is very knowledgeable. I have some doubt however about his true motives… after all, he did abscond with the key. Investigation will be required.

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Old Enemies
and Eldar Surprise!

The abridged version Here

Notes:

I was pleasantly woke pleasantly this morning by Olivias lustful caress, My thoughts were elsewhere as she satisfied me. Erya Nepthys… Despite the fact that she was possibly the most wanted Criminal in the Calixis sector, I still wish I bed her back on the Bulk Transport ‘Emperors Light’. It seemed unlikely I would get my chance now.

I psychicly attuned myself to my Plasma Blaster this morning. On the auction floor, no weapons were permitted. I would have to leave my Missile launcher in my room, which made me feel a little more than uncomfortable.

On the way, I watched Vymer and Quill doing their usual testing on the the attendees. Bumbling into people drunk, blood sampling as they went. They informed me they be ‘heading in later’, so I gave them my Gun-belt with my blades and Trantors.

We head in shortly afterwards.

the Auction preview Vymer and quill go hunting Magnus buys a rock for 500k thrones Constantine buys 2 Eldar Pleasure slaves

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Murder in the Crematoria
Dont pick fights you cannot win

Except from the Personal Log of Constantine.

The Burning Isle

We landed on the burning isle. Not a place I would want to call home. I can see the small shanty town down the path from the crematoria. I’m not sure how anyone can survive here… without regular trips here, I dont know where they would get their supplies from. They must be pirates. Multiple lava flows dribble down he side of the caldera where the crematoria hangs from.

I inform Lady Nile we will be heading to ‘dead town’. She nods, and she and her adept make their way up the steep stone path towards the house of dust and ash. I look at her well formed buttocks and sigh. I will miss having to turn on her when I have collected enough information to infiltrate her organization and bring her to ruin. It is even more unfortunate that I happen to agree with much of her organizations beliefs.

Deadtown was a dismal place indeed. Most of the ‘buildings’ were shacks made of discarded sheet metal. Trash filled almost all untraveled paths. The slightly green water washes up into the trash in places, causing it to float around, and appear as if the ground was alive.

Magnus managed to acquire some information from a local ganglord to whom we had paid off. It would appear the head mourner was up to some no good with pirates recently. It would seem he is the one that set the wreckers against us… This auction seems to have attracted the worse sorts of people. I fear there is nobody here with noble intentions, or w/o pretense. Perhaps Lanus Cistern is the only honest one here. I find myself wishing I brought more Krak missiles.

The Reception

Despite the Auction Reception being filled with nothing but the worst humanity offers (and the worst that xenos offer for that matter, as I would learn later), I found myself pleasantly satisfied. Emperor forgive me, but these criminals can certainly throw a party!

As I look around, I identify many of the new arrivials.

Captain Rubio/Flubian Core – A boy pretending at being a rogue trader. Another innocent in a pack of wolves. His games may work in more civilized corners of the world, but coming here was a grave error. My lies are better than his. Unfortunately for him, I have many stories with a ring of truth, and have been all over the sector. His voice irritates my own. Perhaps my vanity. I must endeavor to resolve that flaw within my self. I could see him scowling at me as I took the crowds from him. There would be trouble.

Master NonesuchVymer and Quill, Emperor bless their corrupt, blackened souls… during their rounds to find their mark, They managed to shake Master Nonesuch’s hand. They drew no blood. When Magnus went to investigate, he felt an aura of overwhelming evil… not in the way a daemon feels, but a horrific Xeno… Perhaps he is some sort of Tyranid or something.

Magyar Marshrek – a Giant of a man stomping slowly around in power armor. Every time I have tried to converse with him, I have been rebuffed. He hides in the shadows and avoids conversation at all costs. I know not what to think of this man.

Silon Ferrundus – has made his way back into the ground. I will hunt for him tonight I think, and put an end to him once and for all.

Erya Nepthis – How she has survived the ordos, and how she evades me, I do not know. I regret not bedding her. Even with her mechanical arm, I am sure she would have been a pleasant diversion for the year I spent in travel with her. I may have even forgiven her for trying to incinerate her in my lander. SHE is the reason I am cursed with the Psykers ‘gift’ I believe. Being in close proximity to her for so long, and the failed gellar field and consequent warp incursion, or the daemon that has plagued me since Mara, I know not. but I suspect it was her. I think it was her plan to cause the gellar field to collapse so she could summon her daemon.

I looked for her in the crowd, but I cannot see her. Magnus tells me she was disguised, and looking very pleasing with electric blue hair now. Perhaps I can wrench some of her secrets from her before I end her life.

The After Party

We make our way back to our quarters. I rush ahead, my desire to Take Olivia in my arms and ravish her overshadowing my perception around me. I nearly missed it… a trip wire across the floor, with high explosives attached! I take a step back and draw my Pistols.

2 men with Autoguns fire at me with cover at an intersection in front of me. The trap was well laid… Impressive. Their bullets bounced off my armor leaving me nearly unscathed. I thank the woman whom we attempted to rescue in the chancery hall before we left on the voyage here again. That kill team sent to kill her provided us with much needed protection. Magnus had declined to wear his… what a mistake. When he and trantor finally reached me. He was nearly cut down within an inch of his life by their weapon fire.

2 more men ran up to reinforce the other 2, one of which was dead, and the other bleeding out on the floor. I disintegrated ones head from a hit with my plasma blaster. The other was quickly terminated when Magnus hit him full on with his combat shotgun.

One last person was hiding during this fight, and they ran after we finished his guards off. Magnus himself was bleeding out, but he ran after him regardless. I am impressed by his grit, although I will have to heal him soon or he will surely perish from bloodloss.

It turns out Captain Rubio orchestrated the attack on us… Clearly jealous of the attention I had garnered. “Please, please I have money!” he begged “Perhaps you should start with dropping your weapons,” I counter. he fumbles with his belt, and blathers incoherantly. and somehow he distracts me long enough to draw his power sword and swing at Magnus, nearly ending his life right there! Magnus however, was not in the mood for insolence. in the Time it took me to draw my own blade, He had pumped his shotguns entire clip into him, pulping his head like a ripe melon, and bisecting his torso in two.

Fortunately he missed the Credit chit with 1.5 Million thrones on it! Rubio also possessed an invaluable Xenons Pistol… I’m sure Olivia would love to have her hands on this… My invitation to the Logicians should be forthcoming soon I am sure.

the lone surviving member of Rubios party informs us he is not in fact a rogue trader captain, but a spoiled child of a chartist captain, who owns a Yacht called the Ozmandius in orbit, and that the only space he has seen were the routes his father slowly plodded along with his slow moving chartist ship. His real name was Flubian Core. I will see to it he serves the Imperium well in death. His credits and his Yacht will go along way for me, and many proscribed artifacts will be denied to this gathering of high end criminal scum. In exchange for his life, I recruit him to my service in the inquisition. He was a competant marksman, and could certainly set a trap well.

Night Cap Olivia welcomes me into her quarters. I cannot tell what excites her more, me or the Xenos pistol I took from Flubian Core. In truth I cared not which.

The Librarium

While I was in the arms of Olivia, Magnus went to the librarium. He discovered a great deal about The Haarlock warrant. Where the Typical rogue traders charter gives him the right and authority to contact, trade, and make war beyond the Emperors Light, the Haarlock chater goes further.

It charges the Haarlocks to “Bring the truth of the God Emperor of Manking and punish th foes of man in the darkness beyond.” It authorizes the raising and maintenance of a private fleet and army, going so far as to grant title to request arms, vassals, and support from the “Emperors Servants”

I can see now why this warrant is most coveted. The military power alone to punish your foes with impunity would give one power enough to rival that of a Sector Lord.

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The Cygnan Martyr
Shoot Figments first, ask questions later

Ref: Inq/0453434502/BI
Author: Acolyte Constantine
To: Inquisitor Van Vuygens
Subject: Mission Briefing
Location: Solomon– Segmentum Obscurus
Sector: Calixis (Scintillan Sub)
Tithe Grade: Exactus Median
Notes: ref – Silas Marr
TFTD: Ignorance is a blessing not to be disdained by the wise

Gathering on the Observation Deck

The Cygnan Martyr, <insert>. We were greeted by Captain Elias Shadrack, and his steward Nahun Grist. After a Brief introduction he Indicated Grist would show us our quarters. Seeing that Inquisitor Marr had purchased only single room, I elected to bribe him for a separate 1 in the case I found need of feminine company.

As we entered the Observation deck, I glimpsed a cast of criminals with as many varied backgrounds as their were used up nutri slurry cartons in Trantors Private quarters on the Primarchs Hope.

My eyes were drawn instantly to a beautiful, smartly dressed young business woman. One look at her blond hair, large blue eyes and inviting smile, I knew she was clearly some sort of vile cultist, and that I would bed her repeatedly before the night was out. She stood out of place with the other assorted guests. She introduced herself as Olivia Nile. With her were 2 Body guards and an Adept. Her guards seemed proficient enough, but I couldn’t get a read on her Adept, not that I had tried too hard anyway. She knew what was she was looking for at this auction. Of that I am certain. She also wanted to know what I was after, presumably everyone for that matter. I hope she has a large pocket book.

From what Magnus tells me, the two thugs over by the bar are Vymer, and Quill. They were here for their ‘anonymous benefactor’, what they were looking for, Magnus was unable to discern. Heavily armed, they had the look of professional killers. They’d been blood sampling all night with phony hand shakes and pats on the back. They are really here to kill someone. Crude, and yet so effective it seems. Heh, my kind of scum. They have been unable to sample mine yet. They will disappointed when they do.

Despite Trantors Surly Nature, he can be quite personable. He spent part of the night talking with a odd looking man named Silon Ferrundus. I believe he was mistaken for a Tech priest by Trantor. Heavily augmetic, and 4 Servo Skulls orbiting, him, I would have been fooled too. His personality was one of frustration, of having difficulty dealing with ‘normals’. When he came back, Trantor was quite certain he was in fact a Psyker, and that he’d further tried to probe his mind! Obviously We’d have to terminate this one.

Magnus initiative seemed to stall with Vymer and Quill however. He was determined to discern their plans, however while he’d been interrogating them, they’d been doing the same. So I decided to provide a distraction for him so that he could get another shot. I took Olivias supple hand and dragged her to the dance floor. She was putty in my hands… So was the crowd. With a flourish I had all eyes on us. I selected a tango to dance to, and with enough dips and spins, had the passengers, nearly all male, yearning to see under her skirt or inside her blouse.

Magnus quickly rose to the occasion and tried to gather some clandestine insight from the 2 Heavies, but alas he found himself unable to get close enough without attracting attention. So he moved on to some Apparently low ranking clergyman, an Abbot Tomas Shale I was later to learn.

As he approached, Abbot Tomas saw Magnus, and gasped. When he questioned him further about this, he blathered something hastily and before Magnus could inquire further, scurried off below decks! The Abbot seemed a despicable sickly thing of a man. I’m not convinced he is a priest, he lacks conviction, or any sort of courage at all. He isn’t even the scheming or conniving type.

An Adept Lanus Cistern, seems to be the only person here with any sort of legitimate business at all. He and his servant Whent, seem to be completely flabbergast at the spectacle before them. They are unused to the scarred underbelly that is Hive solomon. Even Olivia, as innocent seeming as she is, is protected by guards, and was obviously sent to purchase something in specific. These two by contrast simply want something ‘interesting’. I am immediately suspicious, for none are innocent… and if they are, then they are guilty of wasting my time. I will watch them closely at the auction so that I may discern their true intent.

The Captain is absent at this event. He seems preoccupied with attentively commanding his crew… I am satisfied.

Dinner Party

As the night wore on, and a goodly amount of liquer had passed our lips, Captain Elias Shadrack made an appearance.

"Honored guests, I would be overjoyed to have you as my guests for dinner"

How could we refuse? Dinner was a fine affair, and affored me a way to keep Olivia nearby but engage other passengers. As we supped, Silon seemed intent upon finishing his interrogation of Trantor, however as luck would have it Olivia interjected, pleading with him to tell her of Xenos Technology. Trantor immediately objected, deeming it heretical and inappropriate for public knowledge. I took the opportunity to take control of the conversation however, and guide into my more experienced hands.

My advantage was twofold… First, keep this predator Silon away from Trantor. and Second, it allowed me to discover the motives of Olivia Nile. As it turns out, she had a fixation with advanced Technology in much the same way Trantor did. Only his desire to acquire and utilize such technology ended after the current mission we were on. Olivia on the other hand, had a desire to dissect it, and put it to use… Not a common quality in your average imperial citizen. It was the sort of quality that got you put on the Ordos watch lists. So I told them about the wonders we had seen. Truthfully. The best tales are true ones. I told them of space hulks filled with Eldar, Tyranids, and ofcourse ancient archaeotech that far surpassed todays scanner technology. Technology that allowed you to find specific people among a population of billions on a planet.

At some point during the dinner, Vymer got up and began shaking hands and patting backs. I offered him a napkin when he went to shake mine, derailing his attempt. He then ‘tripped’ and attempted to grope me as he fell… only he missed and ended up touching Olivia instead. He hasnt made any moves yet, and I am certain I am one of the last people he has not touched yet. This gives me pause that I am the person he is looking for.

Penetrating her Defenses

Constantine ‘penetrates’ the logicians cult. Magnus discovers he needs more practice with his shot. Trantor puts on his running shoes. Constantine once again is caught with his pants down.

Boarding Action Part 3 Raiders. Constantine has a rambo moment. Magnus realizes the other heavy stubber is facing the wrong way Trantor plays Nurse Ratchet. The End.


Cygnan Martyr

Captain Elias Shadrack -Steward Nahun Grist

Olivia Nile -2 bodyguards deceased -“adept”

Silon Ferrundus (Magus Daddy)

Abbot Tamas of Shale (fruit cup) -4 underlings

Vymer and Quill

Lanus Cistern -Whent

Our Contact : the burning isle … The house of dust and ash , Great Crematoria Locutor Mayweather

Ezekiel Sunder – ship unknown, The scarrus Sector

Erya Nepthis, logicians,serrated, pilgrims of hate

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Best Intentions
and Bad Samaritans!

Ref: Inq/0453434499/BI
Author: Acolyte Constantine
To: Inquisitor Van Vuygens
Subject: Mission Briefing
Location: Solomon– Segmentum Obscurus
Sector: Calixis (Scintillan Sub)
Tithe Grade: Exactus Median
Notes: ref – Silas Marr
TFTD: Ignorance is a blessing not to be disdained by the wise


Lords. I apologize for wasting paper, however not knowing to whom I am ultimately reporting to, I have written this document to both, I pray my good humor and engaging writing style is remains good enough that you dont kill me the next time we should meet!

As you know, Primarchs Hope had been diverted from Scintilla to Solomon without warning or notification to any on board.

We discovered we were not on scintilla when working the controls to the lander, in order to assist in making it space worthy. At first, we thought it was another ambush, much like the beast house on Quaddis. Having to wake up naked again in a bloody pit of sand wasn’t very interesting to us today however, So I pulled my Plasma Blaster on the poor pilot Scrogg (who seems a decent enough, if dim witted chap) and demanded to know where he was taking us to. He said ‘Scintilla’, although Trantor was clearly able to determine that was in fact not where we were going (for that matter, looking out the window into the smog filled depths of Solomon was enough to know).

It appeared as tho Scrogg was unwittingly leading us into a trap! I sent Magnus back to check the passengers and ship, in the event that someone else was the target of the trap. He reported back to Trantor and I the passengers, but did not investigate them further. All seemed pretty clear, except for the Lovely thin young girl with MASSIVE breasts. I should have you know, being somewhat of connoisseur of breasts, that these were well outside of the norm. and further more Magnus didn’t investigate. AGAIN!

I took it upon myself to place her into my custody. She is now ready to submit to my vigorous inspection at my quarters immediately following debarkation from the shuttle.

We were met by another acolyte, a pretty young woman with black hair and nice assets, who seemed to have forgotten some of her clothes. Her name was Lorelii… She was fetching us on behalf of our long lost friend Kiarra!

(at this point, I must apologize. you may get a bill for the Aquilla lander, as we decided to keep this one for ourselves, by changing the lockout codes and security protocols on it. Knowing kiarra however, she may have simply told them it belonged to her now, and should they press the matter further, that she would dismember them)

I was now faced with a dilemma : Do my duty and inspect my large Breasted charge, Balderia, OR succumb to my lusts and desire and take this Songbird Lorelii?

Unfortunately, Kiara had plans to prevent both, she informed us That inquisitor Silas Marr has work for them to do immediately. She said she would ‘take care’ of Balderia while I was gone. I’m sure she wanted to perform some ‘inspections’ of her own.

She made one fateful mistake however; Thinking I could not seduce and bed Lorelii in a car full of prying eyes and a remarkable lack of hygiene from certain Arbite turned acolytes! She was WRONG!!! (this is included in another file, video attached ‘compliments’ of Trantor)

Silas Marr has sent us to an auction of The haarlock estate. The very same Haarlock in control of the Tyrant star it seems. My relative.

The Ship leaving for the Auction left in 1 hour, which left us about 30 minutes to spare.

As we didnt have combeads (I regret to inform you the gilded Powerarmor and Holy Power Great sword you gave me, and the squad of space marines, are all dead. Dissolved by the Acid Beasts of Velcor IV… I would note however, the acid beasts ARE dead too!), I bought some from passerby in the chancery hall.

I heard a woman begging for help on the combead, apparently her help had betrayed and abandoned her to a kill team from the cloth Guild.

Feeling slightly bad about buying her cowardly partners combead. We intercepted the kill team, and save the woman. But I accidentally told her the Omega Death squad had saved her. So I was forced to kill her too! (it was painless, the .54 trantor made her head explode like an overripe melon falling from a 4 story hab stack)

While I should have been Mortified at what we had done, Trantor and Magnus were not. They waited around impatiently so we could ‘get on with it’

However I would like to point out a few things: 1, we didnt have combeads, and we certainly do now! 2, These kill squads have some nice gear, especially some decent carapace armor in a stylish matt black. 3, The kill squad also donated to us some very nice photvisor, combead, and respirator helmets! 4, and this is the best part, I didnt have to wait around at the Ship terminal for 30 minutes inhaling the leftovers of last nights bean rations that trantor had been farting out all day!

I doubt the cloth guild will come looking for us, since we did the job for them and killed the woman. I’m sure they will consider the small price of some gear a fair trade for not having to pay the 3 we killed anyway.

We arrived a the Space port with time to spare

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Dark horizon

I lay awake, brushing Musa Pa’s glossy hair. She is leaning against me, sleeping fitfully. I don’t think she has slept well since I took her from Elros. How alien must all be. She came to me tonight needy for companionship. I must admit I was surprised, for I am normally the one to take my due.

As I gaze out the port window over xi-carph, I cannot wonder about what has transpired… Kidnapped, brought to this planet, and forced to flush out the vile minions of the rogue trader Erasmus haarlock. Flush them out we did, and discovered haarlock has some control over the tyrant star…

The man who brought us here, a pilgrim of hayte, I know him only as “heron mask.” he brought us here to flush out haarlocks servant, the “widower.” we ended this fell beings life, unfortunately for heron, he died in the process!

We destroyed a clockwork device used to summon the tyrant star, and kept a strange black rock in the heart of it… I secretly hope this will end it’s appearances entirely, yet sonehow I doubt it…

The surviving pilgrims of hayte made off with the talking remnants of the widower, its face. I sincerely hope it is of little consequence, though I know in my heArt this is not the case. Alas nothing can be done now… I’ll save some bullets for when I catch up with them.

This Rogue Trader Haarlock… apparently I am related to him, one fucked up individual. Warp involvement, Xenos involvement, Murder of all his kinsmen that he could find, sacrifice… A Rogue trader gone rogue… He has the might of a battle fleet behind him. This explains many things, like why I grew up on a Imperial backwater like Zilmans Domain…. A perfect place to hide, change our name and try to rebuild. This lunatic must be stopped before he causes any more damage.

Musa Pa starts crying again… I suppose some horrible things happened to her while we were interned with the beast house on xi-carph. I comfort her as we drift farther into into deep space and wait for warp translation back to Scintilla.

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Shootout at Gabriel Chase

Gabriel chase

Acting upon a tip from the ‘spider bride’,  we sought out Obediah Salter. A man who seemed to have first hand knowledge of heron mask. He said the Heron mask had corrupted his followers and defiled a temple to the God Emperor of mankind. 

Indeed he was right, inside the temple we did find it had been defiled. Dispatching the Daemons inside was easy. hardly a footnote. Perhaps they may have been dangerous to a normal Acolyte, but with my Strength and The psykers Warp spawned might, they were dispatched almost immediately.

Inside we found maps of Gabriel Chase, astronomical charts, and a list of names… of which listed my name on it as well. after a brief lookover, this list confirmed what the white sage had already concluded: All the names on the list were decendants of the Haarlok Rogue Trader family line.

The Star charts seemed to indicate a conjunction of sorts, I believe the coming festival of darkness. Clearly whatever this heron mask intended involved Haarlock descendants, the Festival of darkness, and Gabriel Chase.

Having already ‘earned’ our tickets from the spider bride,  we gained entry to the opulent seat of Haarlock power. The Haarlock line seems wealthy… wealthy beyond even the mightiest of houses, planetary governers, and maybe even an entire sub sectors. It may be something worth throwing my hat into later into the future for right to claim this prize. I am sure the inquisition could use these resources! Everywhere in the house lie trophies to conquered planets, and souvenirs from broken heathen empires. There are even a number of Xenos artifacts… presumably leftovers from their destruction. 

One of the pictures we saw, was of a dead planet tanis… A world destroyed for the most heinous of crimes…. [CHRIS FIXUP]

Thanks to the half burnt maps we found in the defiled chapel, we were able to make use of the numerous secret passages with the estate. In one of corridors we found an aged painting of a regal noble woman. Due to it’s advanced state of decay, Magnus’ keen eye spotted a door concealed behind it. 

It was in this room we discovered Erasmus harlocks darkest  secret: his beloved wife and child, both murdered in ages past by rival family members, have driven him mad with grief. His journal described how he sought a means to revive his lost family members, using warp magics or xenos technology. Furthermore he’d been embarked on a bloody path of revenge… Killing not only his rivals,but also anyone with title to the harlocks name!  

As we ventured deeper, we came across a dead noblemen, wearing  xeno mesh armor. And other assorted finery. Wanting the added protection of the armor, I removed my clothes to don his armor… Just as I had started to pull it on, four cultists who had set this As a trap rushed around a corner further on, grenades in hand,  and murder in their eyes! Knowing my death was at hand, I reached out through the warp and called forth my rocket launcher! The krak missile that was designed as an anti material weapon, vaporized the cultists, and took a good portion of the wall! The nobles attending the party, already nervously anticipating the violence to come, opened fire on the hole! Realizing  our hideaway was no more, we beat a hasty retreat and made our way back to the clock room.

The giant clock chimed 13 times, and all went silent, and then the suns light was instantly eclipsed by a black sun, blotting out most of the natural light with blackness, leaving only the thin corona around it to illuminate the world below. 

The baleful glare of the tyrant star beat down upon us, causing those around us to go insane, and kill each other, tear at their own eyes, and even mutate the blessed form of man. Having felt the effects of the tyrant star first hand, I knew not to look at it.

But before I could warn them, Tranter looked up, and I could tell the warp spawned light of the star worked it’s way upon him. He shuddered, but before he could be warped by it’s light he turned away from the abyss.   

A tense moment passes, then the unbridled orgy of slaughter begins. Generations of pent up rage and rivalry is released as the nobles wreak their cruelty and violence as few of their non elevated kin can.

-widower and heron mask show down, widower wrecks heron, but Constantine interrupts. [CHRIS FIXUP]

The widower. This being of fell power, supposedly immortal, and awesomely strong.  I witnessed it’s strength. But immortality? No I think not. I took aim with my twin hand cannons, and fired 2 rounds into it’s face. I must admit I was stunned! Awed even. The widower reeled, but refused to die. I watched it heal before my eyes. It looked me, a sudden hope in it’s eyes. This being WANTED to die! It came at me with abandon. My trained hand turned it’s claws aside. Not losing a step, I drew my chain sword and chain axe , and buried them in the widower, bisecting it in two. This time it did not heal. Its remains fell to the ground and immediately began to disintegrate to dust…all but the face. It lay there gibbering, somehow slithering away much in the way a slug would crawl across the ground. I was unable to give it further attention however as the cultists continued their assault on the partygoers and ourselves.

Heron mask, now seeing an opportunity to escape with the remnants of the widower, ordered some of his cultists to retreat with them while the remainder to screen their getaway. Unfortunately, as warp worshippers oft do, heron made a foolish mistake; he attempted to pit his sorcery against novus’ will. While he managed to wound the psyker with a lance of telekinetic power, novus’ retort was instantly fatal. Herons head exploded in a deluge of psychic power, causing panic among party goers and cultists alike.  

Magnus now free from the melée, saw the pilgrims of hate making off with the widowers face! He and Novus gave chase, running through the now bloodied halls.   

Everything I understood about this festival of darkness, was that it was supposed to end… Something was wrong, the tyrant stars dark light was not fading. Having lived through this nightmare on zilmans domain, I knew full well what would happen if it did not end soon…the bloodlust and insanity ran through these nobles would grow worse… Even if their bodies survived the chaos, their mimes would not! It would eventually run throughout the city and indeed the entire planet, man would become savage mutants and animals would become warp spawned predators. They would then proceed to slaughter each other in an all out battle royal! 

Trantor looked at me, his time in the service of the emperors most holy inquisition had taken it’s toll on his soul. Yet I saw no yielding in those tired eyes. With unwavering resolve he went to the clock, out under the baleful light of the black sun once more, and proceeded to try and smash the doomsday clock. First with a meat hook, and then with grenades… The ancient technology that had withstood eons, predating even the imperium was impervious to these primitive devices. He tried with a chainsword too, yet his strength was not enough… 

I grimaced. I had no desire to bask in the light of the warp again. Yet I must. I could feel the massive amount of kinetic energy wound up in the furiously whirring gears and pistons. I was certain releasing it would end the life of everyone in this room. I grimaced again! Had I not fired my only krak missile earlier, I might have destroyed it from, a distance. Such a fate was not to be…I strode up to the leftover bits of heron mask, took up his power sword and drew the butchers chain axe I found in the lair of the beast house.I motioned for trantor to run, but he stood his ground beside me as only a true friend would till the glorious end. 

The power field from the sword warped and weakened the masterpieces rods and gears, and my strength cut them from their bindings. The mono edged saw blades at the end of my axe cut through from the opposite direction. 

The ensuing blast killed nearly everyone in the clock room. Trantors small body was flung against the wall, crumpling the floor where he lay unmoving. I too was blasted, only into an adjoining room. My flak coat was in tatters, apparently doing it’s job. The xeno mesh underlay that I had pilfered from the dead man earlier still held up, and it’s hood had hardened to protect my head. My leg was broken, and I used my mind to repair it.  I’m nowhere near as powerful as Novus, or even a average grade psyker, but it was enough to knit bone and abate the pain. Unwilling to test my weight on my tender leg, I crawled to trantors body and checked for life… I found it barely… Reaching deeper into the warp then I have since the last I healed trantor, I healed him fully expecting to be immolated in a pillar of lightning… And was relieved when I opened my eyes feeling myself alive, and trantors heartbeat steady.

   

 

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The Wheels of Misfortune

Log entry 314-84788

Thoughts of Acolyte Novus during the Quaddis Affair recorded on thought stone and archived in the Inquisitional Vault on Scintilla

My new found companions and I had managed to find the White Scholar that the dying Inquisitor had mentioned.  Before we could usher him out and to the safehouse, four masked individuals blocked our path.  Three wore fine clothing stained red at the sleeves, while the fourth wore dark voluminous robes.  The robed man demanded we hand over the old man to them. 

We felt no need to negotiate with the four men.  

Constantine drew his weapon in a flash and ended one man's life before he could react.  At almost the same time the autopistol I had found earlier was in my hand and barking hot lead into the robed man.  The flurry of bullets left him reeling and his arm in ruin.  Another of the assailants fell to Trantor and Magnus.  I noticed the robed man pulling strands of warp to himself in an attempt to manifest some psykic power, however the wound must have sapped his strength as nothing materialized.   The other remaining assailant attempted to shoot one of my companions but his shot flew wide as the fury of our attack and the quick loss of many of his companions flustered his attack.  Quickly Constantine ended the wretched soul's life with a quick shot.  Taking a mental count of how many shots I had left, I took quick aim and let loose with the last remaining bullet in the crude weapon.  The shot hit home and the robed individual fell to the floor.  Quickly we gathered what we could from their bodies and made haste to the safehouse.  

I and my three companions collapsed into a deep slumber, the aches and pains of the last hours falling away to silent nightmares of what we had witnessed below.  Awaking I found my head clearer.  I once again tried to summon the power to heal my wounds… Alas!  It worked.

I once again was able to wield my fel powers.  I quickly cleaned up and donned the dark robes I had recovered from the fallen psyker.  As I walked to the door of the bedroom I summoned "Deathtouch" to my hand and secured it inside my robes.  It was a remarkable weapon, worth every penny I spent on it.  A las rifle only barely larger than a pistol and as accurate as a long las.  With "The Finger of Death", my monosword, attached to it, I was prepared for any problem I couldn't solve with other means.

As I entered the room, my companions flinched slightly, quickly realizing it was me, and not an agent of the Herron Mask.  We went to work at finding the Jackal Mask, Markus Vulpus.  It seems to me, more out of vengeance than an honest attempt at accomplishing the purpose we had been tasked with.  We had decided to head to the main fighting arenas.  Perhaps Markus would be there.  

When we arrived we could not find Markus amongst the crowd.  Constantine thought to try to deceive one of the local beast slavers into helping us find Markus' location.  We underestimated his intelligence as he almost immediately recognized us.  He alerted his four friends nearby to our presence.  Once again, we found ourselves in a fight. 

It is curious to see these acolytes in action.  I had thought the inquisition was more subtle than they, perhaps the mysterious workings of the Inquisition are nothing more than propaganda to spread fear amonst the worlds of the Imperium.  

My musing was cut off by the weapons fire from Constantine.  His shot cutting down two of the men in front of him with his pistols.  Magnus and Trantor couldn't accurately bring their weapons to bear and missed, due to the unexpected fire fight no doubt.  Before the remaining two could react, Deathtouch was in my hand.  A quick aim and the las bolt punched a hole clean through the slavers armor and chest.  The Emperor is with me today!  The slavers corpse fell backwards.  The remaining man dropped his weapons and ran down a tunnel towards one of the fighting pits.  We pursued hoping to capture this one alive.  

Constantine lurched forward outpacing us by many meteres over.  Magnus and I flew past Trantor.  The poor Techpriest seems to have little nimbleness.  Yet he makes up for it in strength of personality.  Shortly Magnus started to fall behind as we rounded a corner.  Ahead I could see Constantine charge through a sheet of light, beyond which I couldn't see anything.  I didn't look behind me, I couldn't let Constantine get out of site, the last time it happened, we didn't see him for hours.  I burst out of the darkness and came to a halt a few meters from Constantine.  I could see his muscles tighten.  I recognized this from the previous fights we had been in together.  He was preparing to fight.  His gaze was not towards me, or even the man we were chasing.  I traced his sight line till I saw it.  A 4-meter tall slavering beast.  It's claws and fangs glistened red from fresh kills. 

We needed to get out of here as soon as possible.  I quickly scanned the arena for our runaway.  I saw him climbing a ladder up towards the stands.  With a thought I seized the muscles in his body causing him to fall to the ground.  A glanced over at Constantine to see the great beast charge across the space between them with an agility it's great mass belied.  Constantine expertly evaded it's attack.  He drew his chain axe and knife an surged forward, carving out chunks of flesh.  His arms disappeared into the beast when suddenly a gush of hissing liquid washed over him.  I could see him wince, he would never scream out, so I knew the liquid was causing him immense pain.  Quickly I seized control of the beast slavers mind and body.  Together we walked out of the stadium the same way we came.  

I could hear the stadium half in cheer and half in dismay.  The various cheers and boos reverberating through the tunnel.  Soon Constantine was sprinting out of the arena covered in open sores and slime.  While maintaining control of the simple minded slaver, I reached out and knitted Constantines wounds together.  The mess, however, I left for him to clean.  

Constantine tried to get some answers from the slaver, but he was too terrified, uneducated and superstitious, he couldn't answer.  With a half sigh, that no one else could have perceived, I made him approach me.  Extending my hand to his head I placed my middle finger on one temple and my thumb on the other.  It didn't take long to break through his feable attempts to resist.  I sifted through his mind like a magazine, for it was only that complicated.  

He wimpered "I don't want to die like the others." 

I retrieved knowledge of his life, but was only interested in knowledge of the Jackal Mask.  He had heard him say he was going to the theater district a few hours earlier.  With that I released his mind, but not his body. 

"You won't." I replied. 

I walked down the tunnel, I felt his life extinguish as his mind and soul erupted painlessly.  His suffering was over.  

We continued on to the theater district where we deliberated where would be the best place to find Markus.  We finally decided that the main amphitheater would be the best place to start.  Apparently Markus was coming here to meet with a contact regarding the Herron Mask.  Upon entering we looked once again for Markus to no avail, when we spied a shady looking individual selling wares surreptitiously.  When we approached him to ask him questions he took off running.  Once again, we gave chase.  Trantor decided to take a short cut and was off on his own.  I gave a half sideways glance with a raised eyebrow.  I wonder if this techpriest knows what he's doing.  Magnus got held up when he ran into a crowd leaving a theater.  It was just Constantine and I.  We would catch up, only to fall behind because of a vacant minded reveller wandering in our way.  One such individual caused Constantine to fall over him.  Constantine let out a curse, I could see him punishing the individual while trying to get to his feet.  I could see the rogue, he was just within my grasp.  He turned a corner, when I followed I ran into a street merchant's stand.  I could hear him cursing at me and demanding reparation as I kept going.  I saw him ahead, he was almost to another intersection when I saw an opportunity.  The street he was headed down was the same that a nearby alley lead to.  I ran through the alley with all my energy.  I came out of the alley just in front of the man.  

With a start he almost fell down.  He drew a knife with dexterity and thrust it at me wildly. 

"We just want to talk to you," I told him in earnest. 

He slashed at me again.  I projected into his mind "That's enough!" and took control of his body.  Together we walked back towards where my companions were following.  Eventually we met up with Constantine.  Luckily this individual had a slightly more complicated mind and could hold a reasonable conversation.  Soon Magnus arrived and a few minutes later Trantor.  The man agreed to take us to his "boss" on the conditions that I stayed away from him.  That was a reasonable deal in my opinion.  

He led us to a guarded building and took us inside.  There we saw a grisly individual that fancied himself an important person.  The many muscled guards around him spoke of his paranoia and weakness.  He introduced himself as Kalkula. We asked him about Markus Vulpus, which he implied he knew information about.  After a few rounds of a verbal fencing match between Constantine and the man I grew bored and pulled a credit chit that the White Scholar had given me to spend on equipment.  I fingered the chip obviously, which drew his attention.  I slid the chip over to him at which point he verified it's contents.  He offered to have one of his lackys guide us to a house in which Vulpus had entered but had yet to leave.  

The guide led us through the winding streets of the district until we arrived at a building.  He pointed at it and made some sort of comment, at which point he left.  We cautiously approached the front door, Magnus leading the way keeping a keen eye out for a trap with Trantor following, hit utility arm twitching slightly in preparation for work I can only assume.  Upon giving the all clear, Magnus also mentioned that he liked to bird watch.  Constantine responded with an equally cryptic answer.  The acolytes grow stranger by the minute.  

We entered the house with care.  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, just a seemingly empty house.  We found our way to a bedroom.  Upon opening the door, a grisly discovery assaulted our senses.  A human body lay on the bed with every inch of its skin flayed off, leaving only muscle and fat beneath.  The body was missing an arm and not clothing could be found.  Blood was splattered all about the room.  Even though the body was missing skin, we could not find a trace of where the skin had gone.  We looked for clues as to the identity of the individual but could find none.  Magnus noticed that there were footprints in the dust and blood on the ground.  Apparently two sets of different prints, one large and set that was slender and slight, were in the room, both approached the bed but only one left.  However, it seems the prints that left, were made by the same size foot that would have been left by the corpse on the bed, had it had skin and boots on.  It looks as though Markus Vulpus is a dead end. 

We left the house, and paused in the street.  My companions exchanged additional cryptic remarks, supposedly some form of cryptic launguage they have developed between themselves.  I noticed several glances that they made across the street. 

"Someone's watching us or the house" they finally tell me. We decided to approach the individual to question him.  As soon as we got close he started off down an alley.  When he saw us continue down the alley he took off running.  We follow him down a maze of streets.  Trantor fell behind and we lost sight of him.  Magnus got held up by more revellers that had left the back entrance to what I can only assume was a bar.  Constantine was almost out of sight as I kept getting held up as well.  Finally I lost sight of him completely.  After searching around I found him with the man passed out and half-naked on the ground with a broken nose and bruised jaw.  Constantine was going through the mans belongings when I approached.  I took one knee beside the man and reached into his body and reduced the swelling in his brain. 

"What are you doing?!" Constantine said alarmed.

"We can't ask him questions if he's unconcious," I spoke into Constantines mind. With a nod I assume he agreed.  Soon Trantor and Magnus arrive on the scenee.  The man began to stir and lept to his feet.  Before he could start running I seized control of his body. 

"We have some things to discuss," I project into his mind. As I stepped aside the man's terrified eyes passed to Constantine approaching from behind me. 

"Who do you work for?" Constantine asked calmly. 

The man refused to speak. "This would be a whole lot easier with an excruciator," Trantor piped in. 

"That can be arranged," I responded inside Trantors head. With that I reached into the man's body and activated all of his pain receptors simultaneously.  I kept my control over his body and clenched his mouth so he couldn't scream aloud.  After a few seconds I released his nerves and his jaw.  I could sense Trantor's uneasiness about what he had just witnessed.  Once again Constantine asked him the question. 

Between sobs he confessed "Kalkula had me watch the house." 

Constantine continued, "Who came out of the house after Vulpa entered?" 

"N-n-no one did… p-please let me go," he stammered. 

"Someone left, we saw the footprints, who was it?" Constantine answered back. 

"I swear, no one left!  Please don't kill me!" the man pleaded, almost histerical now. 

"Fine, tell Kalkula we let you live out of professional courtesy only, we don't appreciate being spied on." Constantine warned the man.  With that I let go of my grasp on the man.  He stumbled as he frantically ran away looking back to make sure we weren't going to kill him.  

"Well, looks like we're back at a square one, perhaps the White Scholar could give us some insight on where we could go to get information on what the Herron Mask is up to, since it seems Vulpus is a dead end." I state in my companions minds. We all agreed and we headed back to the safe house. 

After a discussion that probably should have taken place before we had left the first time, the White Scholar informed us of the events that were unfolding and the Conjunction that was about to happen.  He also mentioned that there are two sources of reliable information in Xicarph, but each will cost more than just credits.  Papa Grist, a smuggler, or businessman, possibly one in the same can be found running his gambling house, The Fate's Wheel.  He trades in everything, including information.  The other source is the Spider Bride.  A mysterious, ancient figure who seems to know more about Xicarph than anyone, almost as if she lived here for generations.   After arguing the point, we decided that we would see both, but we would see Papa Grist first.  

After we checked our heavier weapons at the door, we entered the room.  We noticed many noblemen and their guards in the Fate's Wheel, as well as a small "fighting arena" within the Fate's Wheel itself.  It appears private matches were held here as well.  We noticed an individual in the corner that seemed to be the center of attention.  Before we could approach, however, a beast of a man stepped in our way. 

"What do you want?" He asked.  "We have business with Papa Grist." Constantine responded.

I noticed a gaunt individual in the corner who seemed to be psychic.  I relaxed my gaze slightly as I have learned to do in the past in order to perceive the flow of the warp.  I only look at it through my peripheral vision, for if I try to gaze directly, without the training that the Navigators go through, unspeakable and terrible things can happen, least of which is death.  The warp flow around him was chaotic, indicating a rogue psyker.  He possessed a significant knowledge of power, but his power was much weaker than mine.  Not unusual, as only the most advanced Psykers at the Scholastica Psykana possessed higher power than I.  I sensed him attempting to glean information about me as well.  I let him get all the information he needed and noticed his face pale ever so slightly.  

Eventually the Grox Brained brute let us past to see Papa Grist.  "Crackmarrow tells me you have business with me, odd since I am unaware of such bussiness," said Papa Grist. 

"We seek information, regarding the Herron Mask, the Jackal Mask…"

"Markus Vulpus you mean," interrupted Papa Grist. 

"Yes, we wish to contact these men to discuss business." Constantine continued. 

"Hopefully not the same business you have with me?" Grist replied with a smile. 

"Of course not." said Constantine. 

"I have the information you seek, but before I give it to you, I request a favor."

"What kind of favor" Constantine asked hesitantly. 

"I have a competitor that I would like removed.  If you do this for my I will tell you everything you need, in addition, I can get you an invitation to Gabriel Chase." 

"Who is your competitor and what is Gabriel Chase?" Constantine asked. 

"Gabriel Chase is the palace at the center of Xicarph.  It is where all the nobility goes during the Conjunction for safety and entertainment.  The greatest party in Xicarph happens there, but only those invited may enjoy it." Papa Grist said with a sly smile. 

He leaned forward with a stern look on his face.  "My competitor is tough, but you look as though you could succeed at the task.  I need you to end this vile creature.  My deeds pale in comparison to her evil.  If you can kill the Spider Bride for me, you would be doing not only me, but all of Xicarph a great service.  She can be found in the Twilight Gardens, beware though, she's treacherous and will lie to you, do not talk to her for long or she will trick you." 

Trantor rolled his eyes as he stood in the corner.  "Ah, the classic, each side wants to kill the other.  I've seen this before, agree to both and kill each one to collect both bounties."  Trantor blurted before he realized he had said it out loud. 

Grist narrowed his eyes at Trantor, "You wouldn't be threatening my life in my own establishment would you?  That would be very unwise." Crackmarrow stepped forward and cracked his knuckles as he stared down at the dimunitive tech-prist.  Trantor stands barely over one meter.  I must admit, he's the smallest techpriest I've ever seen, although he has the spirit of a giant. 

"No… no… I was just joking." Trantor said with a feeble mechanical laugh that resembled static more than laughter. 

"Good… I would hate to have to end this arrangement prematurely with your death." Grist said as he eyed each of us. 

"Don't worry Papa Grist, we will take care of the Spider Bitch." Constantine said cheerfully.  With that we all turned to walk out.  Constantine gave Trantor a sharp jab, causing the tech-priest to glance up at him with a smile.  

After a brief walk we entered what must have been the twilight gardens, for every step we took, the light became dimmer, until it was as though it were twilight under a fading sun.  All around revellers were laughing, almost histerically, most assuredly enjoying some form of chem.  Not long after we walked down one of the avenues a dark pale beauty approached us. 

"You have business with my mistress?" she asked.  before we could answer she turned and said "follow me." 

She led us through the streets and eventually we found ourselves walking down a vast tunnel system.  Just beyond our vision things were skittering and moving along the walls and ceilings, but when we turned to look, nothing was there.  Along the way we saw more of the pale, lithe, women.  At some point we were led into a chamber with a strangely alluring woman, laying at the center of a weblike latice of some kind. 

"Ah, my acolytes, welcome.  I know why you are here, please listen to me despite the warning you received." she said, the words oozing from between her lips like honey. 

All of us… even I flinched at the mention of my companions true identities, all except Trantor.  He seemed to be using, as only one can guess, his poker face.  If someone with a rebreather built into their face could have one. 

"We were told that you had information that we were interested in.  We would like to make a deal in order to obtain such information." Constantine said confidently. 

"Is that truly the reason you came?  If so then what information do you seek?  I have the answers, but you must form the correct questions." she said honily. 

Constantine paused briefly, "We wish to know where to find the Herron Mask?  Do you know anything about the Widower?  Does it exist?" 

An eerie sound issued forth from the being that could only be a laugh. 

"There is always truth in myths, be it a tiny fragment or whole truth.  Yet you still have to ask the correct questions.  Prehaps you should think about it more.  Find Obidiah Psalter and listen to him.  He is a servant of the Emperor and you may learn something that will help you.  Before you visit him, I would ask a favor of you.  Please deliver this gift to Papa Grist." she motions to one of her pale beauties.  From out of the shadows a lithe figure approaches holding a medium sized chrome box.  "Deliver this gift to Grist and make sure only he opens it, and when you return with your questions formed, I will answer all that you desire." 

"Why do you wish him dead?" Constantine asked defiantly. 

"Your intuition serves you well.  Yes, I wish him dead because he wishes it upon me." 

Her answer was one that none of us could argue with. "Are you able to get us into Gabriel Chase?" Constantine asked.  

"Oh yes, don't worry, I will give you everything Papa Grist promised you and more, if you perform well." she smiled seductively.

We exchanged knowing glances, either way we were going to get into a fight, and we realized we had a better chance at killing Grist than this enigmatic being.  We agreed to her terms and handed the box to Trantor. 

"Why do I have to carry it," he complained.  "Because you're the demolition expert." we respond.  With that we headed back to the Fate's Wheel.  

We checked our weapons like we had previously and entered the Fate's Wheel.  Everything appeared normal except for the silver hatbox Trantor was carrying.  We approached Papa Grist.  He looked up.

"You're back already?  Did you kill her?  So many have failed before you I can't believe you have already destroyed the vile creature."

"You underestimate our abilities Papa Grist, we have indeed killed her and we brought back her head as proof in this box." Constantine said sharply.  With that Constantine motions Trantor to give the box to Grist.  Trantor stepped forward and gingerly slid the box onto the table in from of Grist.  Papa Grist considered the box and Trantor.  "You come closer, right here when I open this."  Trantor hesitated and looked at Constantine who motioned for him to go ahead.  Trantor eased in to get a look at the box, only half a metter from Grist's face.  Assured of his safety, Grist opened the box. 

From inside, an arachnid-like servitor wrapped its legs around Grist's head and in a flash and a sickening wet snap, Grist's head was free from it's fleshy anchor.  A nearby noblewoman screamed in terror.  Everyone lept to their feet in horror and surprise.  We could see this wasn't going to end nicely.  Magnus and Trantor drew their weapons.  Magnus fired several shots at Crackmarrow striking him in the leg. A laser on one of Trantors arms let off a crack like a miniature whip and struck him in the chest.  Another arm drew a chain knife and Trantor fired a pistol off from his "meat" hand that struck him in the other leg.  I turned to find the gaunt figure across the room.  I attempted to seize control of his muscles as well as the muscles of Crackmarrow and three other guards.  The three guards fell to the ground causing their weapons to discharge.  Crackmarrow and the Pskyer were harder to affect, much more resistant than the other dregs in the place.  With the shots fired off, the rest of the room erupted into in-fighting and more precisely attacks against us.  Crackmarrow hardly phased from the previous weapon hits, drew his two-handed hammer and swung it to strike Trantor like a tent stake.  However the previous wounds to his legs prevented him from landing a devastating blow as he struck the table next to Trantor.  I felt the Psyker attempting to affect me with warp energies, but I swept the attempt aside like a gnat.  A man with an autogun unleashed a flurry of bullets at point blank range with a grin on his face.  Before they could reach me I stopped them with my mind in mid air.  All six bullets hung in the air spinning lazily.  I tried to warn Constantine but two autoguns let loose on him.  One barrage struck a devastating blow to him.  He managed to dodge out of the way of five of the bullets, but the five others struck home, and that was just from the one of the attacks.  The other also struck him.  Even wounded and against all odds, Constantine managed to dodge even more bullets, but alas he couldn't dodge them all.  The bullets knocked him to the side, but he spun around and drew both his guns.  He fired one at each, both shots took the men's heads off.  He continued his spin and rolled to the ground behind cover badly wounded. 

Magnus and Trantor again attacked Crackmarrow.  Taking multiple hits Crackmarrow continued to swing his weapon desperately, but striking nothing more than air.  I reached out with my mind, I made the bullets leave Constantine's flesh and tried to knit his flesh back together.  Again the autogunner fired at me.  This time I reacted too slowly and one of the eight bullets struck me in the shoulder.  The other seven hanging lazily beside the previous six.  I notice the Psyker looking at me with a smile on his face.  Sensing the window of opportunity he struck.  I could sense the warp energy pulling towards him, but it didn't feel right.  His face suddenly turned from elation to pure horror as a rift opened behind him.  I turned away as the clawed hand of a daemon reaches through the hole and grasps him around his torso pulling him towards the rift.  His screams gurgled out as his body bent and snapped unnaturally as it was forced through the small rift, before it finally closed leaving nothing left of the man. 

More men attacked, shooting at us.  The loud reports of their handcannons drowning out the chaos swirling around us momentarily as their payload was ejected.  The shot at Magnus strayed wide, barely earning his attention as he continued to attack Crackmarrow.  Another shot hit Trantor almost knocking him over.  One of the two shots at Constantine grazed him, adding insult to the injuries I was unable to heal before getting shot.  Constantine returned fire with his pistols at the attackers, striking them dead. 

It seemed for every one we killed, two more replaced him.  Trantor fired once more with the las on his arm, the blast was more than Crackmarrow could take, he fell and crushed a table under his massive weight before he died.  Magnus turned his gun on the unnamed assailants with hand cannons, wounding one.  Neither Magnus nor Trantor are use to wielding weapons of such calibre, they're use to larger faire.  I can feel the wet blood seeping through my clothing beneath my robes, I turned my attention to my shoulder, and pulled the tissue together.  I looked up at the man with the autogun in front of me, he looked concerned as we both knew he had only one more chance to kill me.  I grinned imperceptibly to myself from under my hood and stepped back, facing him.  The bullets which had previously been floating fell to the ground like miniature gambling dice.  I could see the concern turn to desperation as he realized I was too far away to fire as accurately before and he knew I could stop many more than just one bullet.  He fired again, expending what was left of his ammo.  The impotent bullets stopped once again in the air as most of the shots missed completely.  He frantically released the magazine on his gun and grabbed for another.  Constantine fired both of his weapons into the poor soul that grazed him, ending his life in a spatter of gore and blood. 

Magnus and Trantor openned up into the crowd of people that was forming to attack us.  Several more individuals fell to their withering fire.  A little disappointed at not being able to destroy the rogue psyker myself, I turned my attention to my wounded compatriots.  "Take cover fools!" I projected into their minds as I extended my mind to both Magnus and Trantor.  Channeling my power I made their bodies whole again as if they had never been harmed.  More individuals fired at us.  Several attackers, clearly frustrated by any attempts to attack me, turned their attention on Magnus.  Five rapid shots sounded out as the five men attempted to end the fight.  Magnus grinned as he didn't have to move an inch as all the bullets struck the wall behind him, completely missing him.  Constantine took another hit, making him even more angry.  More fools fell to his guns. 

Trantor contemplated briely on taking cover behind a chair, deciding otherwise he turned a table over and took cover behind it while firing off more shots at the attackers.  Magnus emboldened by his luck stood firmly with his pisols blazing.  I look at Constantine, "I got you", I project to him while healing the majority of his wounds.   The same five attackers fired at magnus, missing once again.  The rest continued to fire at us, adding more bullets to the ground at my feet.  Constantine, Magnus, and Trantor chewed through the crowd of attackers. 

The fire fight became an exchange of fire from behind cover.  I became bored with the whole affair, and knowing no "innocents" were still around I lifted myself into the air so that all may see me.  Instantly everyone fired at me, only to meet the same results as before. 

My companions kept firing from cover killing a few more attackers.  I dredged up an image from my nightmares, the nightmares a dare not speak of, the nightmares that tell of the future of the Calixis sector.  I pulled the image forth and formed a hideous visage as I pulled my hood back.  A dozen men fell unconscious right away.  Many others ran screaming from the building, and others still sat huddled, rocking back and forth, holding their heads. 

"That was pretty nasty Novus," Trantor said to me laughing,  "good thing we conquered fear a while ago."  

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Birds in a Cage

In our wanderings to attempt to escape this underworld hell, we came across several people locked in small cages. After a brief battle in which a great many of the incarcerated lost their lives as slavers fired their shotguns into them while hunting us, we finished them and freed the survivors from the cages.

Now with a fresh army of recruits, I set them off ahead of us! These prisoners worked well, triggering all manner of traps and killing the errant slavers. They made a wonderful mess of things, until thy came upon the Man-Bear-Pig!

This giant Bear thing appeared to have a mans head gorged within a bear-big body! As if that wasnt enough, it had a metal bomb strapped to its back to keep it in line!

Unfortunately for it; I had a shotgun.

Down the tunnels past this monstrosity, we came across a large storehouse. I climbed on some of the crates and detris to get a better look. I saw a vast crate-room, and at teh far end weas a lit area consisting of a few small buildings, a computer station, and perhaps some sort of lab. All illuminated with spot lights hanging from the roof, and protected with copius amounts of guards.

Thanks to Trantor and our new companion Novus, Some guards were alerted to our presense. one of them saw me hiding on the crates. Since I was covered in some slavers cast off clothes, they mistook me for them, and so I have played the part, to keep them away from our main group. They took me back to the main emcampment, making me help them subdue their crazed beasts and load them for transport. During my sojourn there, Jackal mask, the one responsible for imprisoning us (or so I assume), joined up with us.

I now ride an elevator shaft with him and some guards. the true Jackal in their midst…

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Where am I?
And where are my companions?

I awoke to find myself and about a dozen others nude upon blood drenched sands in a pit! the corroded blood slick metal walls around us were 6 meteres high, with barbed wire surmounting the top and inwardly curving spikes drove downward to hinder us from climbing out. around the base of the pit were several grates covering man sized tubes leading away from the arena. The rank smell , and the way the blood-soaked sand caked together in some places and was fused together in others made it obvious this place was no stranger to slaughter. We seemed to be in some sort of gladitorial pit. I tried to use my psychic ability to walk on the walls and climb out, but I couldnt focus enough. I feel drugged, intoxicated still…

Kyra, Magnus and my loyal serven Musa Pa were nowhere to be found… but Trantor was here. Probably the only Tech Priest I could ever call friend was here in this nightmare reality with me. The dim red lights made this place even worse… if such a thing were possible.

A man in a Heron mask (I can only assume he was a man, but who knows) appeared at the top to look at us. He looked like one of the beings I saw in my memories earlier, only he this ones mask was different. No sooner did he turn away did one of the grates start to open. With my strength I was able to prevent it from opening all the way, and for that , I was glad… For I heard , perhaps felt, the ravenous beasts beyond charging down the tunnel for their meals. I can only assume that we were, since nobody had come to watch us kill each other in an orgy of slaughter. No weapons were thrown to us, to make the blood sport more exciting, only whatever was rushing up the tunnels to eat us.

Try as I might, I was was unable to force the gate down. I am no small man. I am massive. While in the imperal guard I was given drugs to enhance my strength. My time in the inquisition gave me access to some of the gene enhancement drugs that they give to those who were too old to go under the Astartes transformation. That damnable gate should have went down.

I backed away from the grate before an onrushing tide of demonic dogs crashed through it. These beasts had no eyes, no hair, and their skin was so translucent that I could make out their organs beneath.

Fortunately, only one got through b4 the remaining pack caught them selves on the grating, none wishing to be last to the feast in front of them.

We set upon this dog-thing. We pummeled into the sand with our fists. Trantor finished it by snapping its neck with an upper cut with his robotic arm. No sooner than we executed it, did 2 more escaped through, and set upon Trantor and myself.

With rage filled Eyes I fixed my gaze upon its chest, hit the beast so hard I smashed through its ribcage and ripped out its still beating heart! I reached above my head with the heart in my hand and screamed in pleasure! Blood sprayed everywhere. covering myself and all those around me. Even the man in the Heron mask backed away from the railing at this point, shaken, and disappeared. Two more people, had engaged the dog on Trantor at this point, and in a cacophany of savage survival fueled desire in the hearts broke the back of this daemonic dog. I watched curiously as their repeated bludgeons cause the beast to whimper in agony and saw their innards become pulped, and their organs rupture from the trauma.

At this point a ladder decended down into the pit, stopping a couple meters from the ground. Why? I dont know. I started for it. Trantor , in his haste attempted to jump up and escape, only to slip back down the ladder, his hands slick with the blood that had sprayed from the corpse I had ripped the heart from. The two men that had aided us rushed towards it as well.

Meanwhile the grate holding the remaining dogs burst apart, and six more tumbled through. I almost went up the ladder as well, a moment of cowardice… until I looked upon the faces of the cowering people. The citizens of the Imperium that I am sworn to protect from Xenos, Heretics and Daemons. I turned away from the ladder in shame, gathered my nerves and upon the dogs beasts.

Trantor, Emperor bless his soul turned around and aided me, even tho he was badly damaged from the last two that we destroyed.

And so it was, we Acolytes of the Inquisition. Servants of the emperor of mankind set upon these beats Naked, unarmed with naught but our fists, and our desire to do them ill. While lesser man fled the scene below them. We strode fearlessly into the breach and did battle to protect the other innocents from death.

In the end, in a whirling dance of death, we brought ALL of them low… but at great cost. we were only able to save 2 of the cowering citizens, and one that had fled up the stairs.

In the end , I felt alittle more of my humanity flee me. I was becoming like Trantor, like Kyra, like Magnus. Perhaps I am now just as jaded as the rest. Perhaps we men do not deserve to stride the stars as Gods. We are no better than the animals that just tried to eat us… We are worse in fact. THEY attacked us out of hunger. whoever put us here did so for sport.

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