Shadows Over Calixis

The Joyous Choir Affair

Location: Hive Sibellus, ambulan

After landing in Hive Scintilla, I realized how different Zilmans domain is from the modern worlds of the empire. Normally I would have gotton straight to the matter at hand, and solved your problem. Were this Ioconthas, I would rooted out the problem immediately. Unfortunately the Joyous Choir has many more people to hide behind.

After being debriefed by the Strophies family, we decided to contact their PI and see what he had found out himself. Ironically, his name now eludes me. I believe getting shot with an autogun at point blank range may have caused temporary amnesia. Perhaps after my recovery I will remember. In any case He claimed to have damning information on the Choir, and we agreed to give him 2000 credits in exchange for that information and for a piece of flesh that we could use for to obtain a bodyguards permit. The meet was to be the next day in the middle hive.

After we returned we submitted the flesh in lieu of Isaacs own so that the Abite might better bring our heavier weapons in the city for us. This ofcourse alerted the Choir, who thought him to be the PI. Aside from the unfortunate side effect of having to turn him in the the authorities, this also gave us a glimse into the scope of the Choirs operations.

clearly there is signifigant corruption in the administratum, and I reccommend and immediate investigation and purge of them.

After getting the matter cleared up with the local police force, we detected a man (and I use that term loosely) who we later learned was named Theodosius. He wanted to know where the PI was. He then Threatened us and after nearly gutting Kyra and the Arbite with his powerblades, I was forced to put him down with a Krak Grenade. Its funny, they teach us in the military that Krak grenades are most effective as anti vehicle weapons, due to the small, focused blast they put out. I find them much more effective in City environs. With such little need to worry over hitting innocent bystanders I was able to quickly disable the android-man thing Theodosious.

This landed us all back in prison only hours after we had left it! before we were apprehended I was able to secret away some keycards that he had on his body. Kyra evaded escape (which perhaps was for the best considering the condition that Theodosius had put her in), and came back later to see to our release. Unfortunately as time was pressing she revealed her rosette to the Lead investigator in order to assure our immediate release.

I wanted to search over Theodosios’ corpse more thoroughly, but we needed to make it to a party hosted by the Choir in order to learn more.

We were fortunate I keep myself in good shape, for the affairs the the nobility once again differ substanntially from Scintilla to Zilmans domain. Where I would have shown up with clothes, and a large weapon. I must present myself here in lingerie and small lights hi-liting my manhood!

it was this well groomed presentation of myself that in fact won over the hostess of this small party and got us an invitation to the alabaster court.

The Alabaster court was a gathering of the Joyous choirs’ elite. it was held regularly at their headquarters. in the upper hive.

Kyra and I attended this party, and after watching a dissapointing display of violence on a poor lower hiver, we learned that the Androids named was Theodosius and that he had somehow escaped alive from the administratum morgue! We also learned of the Choirs activities on ambulan.

After seeing him, this was all the reason I needed to arrest all these people and interigate them. I made my way to the imperial navy garrison to requisition weapons more effective at dealing with Theodosius, as only heavy armor piercing rounds were sufficient.

While we were returning, the Strophies manor had been decimated by mercenaries in the employ of the choir. I have submitted the video evidence to this effect. Later conversation with the administratum and subsequent failed raids of the mercenary companies headquarters leads me to once again point out the importance of an immediate investigation and purge of the administratum. I find it frustrating that these people refuse to cooperate with the will of the emperor. Lord Strophes was slain in the altercation.

Shortly after, the Alabaster court was also hit and destroyed, and so we quickly made our way to ambulon to catch the choir before they were able to fully cover their tracks.

The oracle was able to teach us about the devices that the Lord strophes had retrieved for you. They are ancient Xenos tech that originated from Ambulon! their purpose is to detect psychic energy in beings.

After learning what we could from the oracle, we made our way to the Joyous choir temple, at which point their guards opened fire on us and we were forced to cleanse all of them. It is here that Theodosius made his second appearance. This time I made sure he was dead, as I vaporized his head with a grenade. After a furious fight with the choir, we learned what they were using these psychic detectors for…

The people they find with psychic ability suitable for their processes are harvested and have their brains removed and with some other components, form a highly addictive drug. they then turn the bodies into servitors.

They did all this in an extradimensional drug lab. Despite the supposedly mundane nature of this operation. I find it extremely odd that these people would a) use xenos tech and murder people to make drugs, and b) have an extradimensional space to make it in. Perhaps something else is going on….

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Debriefing Kiyra - Iocanthos Affair

Ref: Inq/04568356/BI
Author: Acolyte Kiyra
To: Inquisitor Van Vuygens
Subject: Mission Debriefing

The journey to Iocanthos was uneventful.  Upon arrival we were approached by a cherub servitor that beckoned us to follow to our contact in Port Suffering.  As we followed the flying servitor we were attacked suddenly and without provocation by the local populace.  A half dozen individuals attacked us and engaged our guardsman.  I moved in to support him with my blade.  Unfortunately the situation escalated quickly and several of the attackers were purified.  We were unable to capture any of the attackers alive, but deemed the incident to be minor and of no consequence to our investigation on Iocanthos, so we moved on to meet up with our contact.

Our meeting with our contact in Port Suffering was as expected and he provided ground transportation to the outpost.  The passage to Stern Hope was far from uneventful.  While we were not directly threatened we noticed an unusual concentration of odd, eyeless birds.  We heard reports that these birds had been growing in numbers recently.  We were not able reach Stern Hope in a single days travel and were forced to make camp until the next day.  That evening we were awakened to find a grisly totem of a dead native without eyes displayed at the edge of our camp.  Further study found no explanation of how the body got there or who did it.  Time was of the essence, so we had move swiftly to reach Stern Hope.

Upon arrival we met with Abbot Skae and Interrogator Aristarchus.  After the routine pleasantries we were shown to our rooms where we formulated a plan.  At first we found no clues or evidence that anything was out of the ordinary.  We decided to investigate the reports of the lights in the hills surrounding the settlement. 

We set off early the next day as we arrived late in the day.  As we hiked through the outlying area, we were once again attacked, but this time our assailant was a wild feline-like animal.  Something was odd about the animal, something not normal.  Even though nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the outpost, the wilds around the site certainly seem to be warp-tainted. 

Not far from where we were attacked, we noticed an unusual rock formation in the hills.  As we approached it looked at first glance to be nothing more than the animal's den.  We found the remains of what may have been five individuals.  Identification of the exact number was impossible as the bones were scattered and our only guess came from the skulls we found.  As we looked around the den, we noticed that it looked like it could be a crude altar.  Further examination proved that it indeed was being used as an altar of some sort.  While we searched for more clues as to the purpose of this altar, one of our members keenly spotted something in the remains and rubble.  When he pulled it out we all recognized the holy symbol.  It belonged to the Abbot. 

We made haste for the Outpost.  Night was closing in on us, but we knew we couldn't stop to rest.  The christening ceremony was the next day and if anything was to happen, we knew it would happen then.  We had to get back.  When we arrived back at Stern Hope, we learned that the Abbot and Aristarchus were in the Cathedral.  We moved swiftly to confront the Abbott but noticed the entrance was being guarded.  Before moving in, we needed to know what was happening inside.  The rest of our team remained on lookout while I stealthily scaled the side of the Cathedral.  What I saw was Abbott Skae and Aristarchus opposite each other in front of the altar in the Cathedral.  Something seemed wrong about the situation.

I reported my findings to the rest of the group and we decided to confront the Abbott about his holy symbol at that point.  When we approached the guarded gate, our suspicions were further confirmed by the odd behavior of the guardsmen.  We insisted on seeing the Abbott as we had information important to the safety of the Cathedral and everyone in the Outpost.  Instead of letting us pass, they continued to bar our entrance.  We finally had to coerce them into letting us in with force.

When we entered the door the Abbott confronted us from across the chamber.  Aristarchus however did not seem to notice us.  We informed the Abbott that we had information for him, but he insisted it wait till the morning.  Throughout our exchange with the Abbott Aristarchus continued.  We became concerned when the Abbott ordered Aristarchus to dismiss us.  At that point we asked him about his holy symbol, he claimed it was stolen from him.  We did not believe him.  When we directly accused him of heresy he changed.  At the same time Aristarchus pulled out a deck of the emperor's tarot and began to lay the cards one at a time in front of him.  Suddenly a wave of terror erupted from the Abbott.  Warp tainted power overcame myself and our techpriest.  We both retreated from the encounter, but the arbiter and the guardsman remained.

Fortunately we were able to subdue both the Abbot and Aristarchus, however, neither survived the altercation.  At that point we contacted you.

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Iocanthos
Not all is as it seems

Ref: Inq/045678499/BI
Author: Inquisitor Van Vuygens
To: Interrogator Aristarchus
Subject: Mission Briefing
Location: Iocanthos – Segmentum Obscurus
Sector: Calixis (Scintillan Sub)
Tithe Grade: Exactus Median
Notes: ref – Ghostfire Pollen
TFTD: Ignorance is a blessing not to be disdained by the wise

Mission Details: The Inquisition offices on Scintilla have been formally issued with a request for assistance from the settlement of Stern Hope on Iocanthos, its from an old friend of mine Abbot Skae. The report, while vague, suggests suspicious disturbances, possibly psychic or warp based, occurring in the area of a new cathedral raised to honour Saint Drusus. The cathedral lies at the heart of the remote outpost and its successful completion will do much to further the Imperial faith on this troubled world, a laudable goal and one that the Holy Ordos shares.

You are requested and required to proceed to the planet Iocanthos where you will investigate the incidents and ensuring that the consecration of the cathedral goes as planned. Your principal tasks are to gather data about any phenomena encountered and, where needed, eliminate any threats that you find.

Landing close to the site of the incident is impractical due to its geographical location in a mountain range and the potential hostility of the natives. Instead you will make planet fall at Port Suffering (Iocanthos’s primary Imperial outpost) . From Port Suffering arrangements have been made for your journey to Stern Hope.

I realize that this mission falls outside of my usual province, not seemingly xeno related, but the Abbot is an old friend, and besides my gut is telling me there is something xeno involved in this affair, although no evidence supports this hypothesis. You also need to hurry Witch Finder Rykehuss is sending a cell to investigate, and you know his methodology.

Addendum 1: The Cathedral Mission
Missionary-Abbot Orland Skae successfully petitioned for the first Iocanthan cathedral to be built in the settlement Stern Hope two years ago, and since then reporst indicate that he has gathered a sizeable congregation of native converts and worthey off-world pilgrims to his cause. Skae himself, a very distant scion of Scintillan nobility, has managed to garner both off-world donations and considerable local support to his mission, so far succeeding where others have failed.

Addendum 2: Reported Phenomena
As the cathedral structure has neared completion, unusual phenomena have been evidenced both at the site and in the surrounding area. These include strange lights in the hills, animal attacks, missing persons, an upsurge in accidents and unexplained deaths. These incidents have culminated recently in more serious and obviously unnatural events such as manifestations of phantom sounds, walls weeping blood, telekinetic disturbances and otehr such phantasmagoria.

Addendum 3: Planetary Briefing
Society: Iocanthos is an anarchic pseudo-feudal society, where all power-relationships are based on violence or its threat. A war-torn and brutal worlk, the control of the planet rests with various warlord and clan factions that compete to harvest or steal the planet’s only tithed material, Ghostfire pollen, in order to turn it over to the Imperium in exchange for supplies. The most powerful warlord is currently King Vervai Skull who is currently acknowledged as Iocanthos’s de facto planetary governor. Iocanthos boasts a single fortified Administratum-controlled spaceport settlement, Port Suffering, where the tithe is collected and trans-shipped.

Founding: Iocanthos was taken by General (Saint) Drusus’s 2nd Army Group during the first great crusades through the sector. As the planet lacked any significant technology, Drusus’s forces defeated the indigenous people, known as the Ashleen, in a single week of bloody fighting. Drusus later remarked in his memoirs that the only memorable aspect of the planet was the vast fields of wild flowers which resembled “Shimmering fileds of rippling explosions, caught at that fleeting moment between beauty and destruction” [Ref. pg. 526 – Breaching the Darkness]. As ever, the general was perceptive as the Ghostfire would become central to the world’s future.

Additional Notes: In times past, Iocanthos served as a penal dumping ground for undesirables that the Scintillan authorities for various reasons didn’t wish to execute or expatriate further afield. Such exiles were given minimal supplies and allowed to thrive or falter without further interference. The current population is largely a mixture of their descendants and the native Ashleen.

Imperial Xeno-botanist Mogren Thunt was the person who discovered that the pollen of the native Ghostfire flowers contained powerful phychoactive properties and refined their use.

After being graced with a powerful vision telling her to build a temple, “Where the flowers burn”, Sister Semberle of the Adeptus Sororitas came to the world and ordered the building of the Abbey of the Dawn in one of Iocanthos’s flint mountain ranges. The Sororitas facility is forbidden to outsiders.

Ref – Ghostfire Pollen: Iocanthos’s sole tithe. It is a powerful psychoactive substance used as the base for a considerable number of combat drugs used by the Imperial Guard’s penal legions throughout the Segmentum Obscurus.

Past Inquisitorial Involvement: To the average Iocanthan, the Inquisition is merely another half-legendary power from beyond their world, and while there have been several Inquisitorial missions to Iocanthos in the past, as you are well aware, I have no need to commit those inquiries into writing as you are aware of those events.

The planet historically registeres a slightly higher per capita level of psyker birth, but not significantly so.

The Sisters of the Abbey of the Dawn regularly report any unusual heretical activity to the Conclave. Other than this, the Holy Ordos retain no standing presence on Iocanthos.

Addendum 4: A New Crop
I have dispatched a new and untried cell to your aid, alas, none other of my cadre were available and within reasonable reach of Iocanthos. They seem firm in character and capability, but only time will tell. There will be no special treatment for them, despite one among them you may recognize. I trust you will lead them in a successful investigation.

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