Stowed safely aboard the Dawn Searcher the Acolytes were greeted by a knowing Adrianna Leng. She informs them that Locarno has already been in contact and that they have arranged for the Necron artefact to be sold to Adira Tyree, who will see it gets back to the Inquisition.
Leng also brings a message from Locarno – as they are already on route to Iocanthus that they are to track down Sister Adepta Raganna, who sent a message from the Badlands area of the planet that she had located an operative of the Bishop Saren.
An uneventful few weeks on the Dawn Searcher passed and they arrived at Iocanthus. Tristan piloted the Lady Veer safely to Port Suffering and they quickly made contact with their contact, a newly reformed Kovacs who agreed to escort them along with three Ashleen (tribal natives) to the Badlands.
After a trip halfway around the planet to the southern Australia-like continent known as the Badlands and a couple of days pattern sweeping the area, avoiding local skirmishes between warlords and raiders they came across a small settlement and reports of a ‘witch’ who was chased out of town – a witch with a chainsword no less.
Heading out to search for her they camped out near a huge rock when they were approached by possible bandits in the night. Not wanting to risk a fight against superior numbers they laid some surpressing fire with the ships PD weapon and moved the ship to the top of the rock. As morning broke they discovered several bodies left next to the ship by Sister Raganna, who was standing atop their ship quite collected and calm despite a serious eye injury and obvious malnutrition and exposure symptoms.
Seeing Regis she could only offer up that she lost his Bolt pistol before being debriefed, fed and watered in the ship.
Raganna reported that she arrived in the Badlands as part of an three Sister escort for a Cleric Missionary whose remit was preaching to the lost. They were actually there to find out if Seth the Voice and his followers (The Voicers) are really preaching the Emperor’s word or heresy, as the Voicers are growing to be a serious challenge to King Skull.
Things didn’t quite go to plan as they were captured after a furious battle with King Skull’s forces under the command of someone called Branus Peg-Leg. This is unheard of: King Skull is the de facto and de jour Governor and is sponsored by the Imperium. His forces normally give a very wide berth to Imperial servants for obvious reasons. Branus accused them of being in league with the Voicers despite their clear Imperial insignia.
The Cleric died quite quickly but bravely. The Sisters faced a longer death as sport for the locals – being made to fight in a primitive gladiatorial pit for sport. Raganna managed to escape, learning that Branus, the leader of skull’s forces in the area are working with an outsider named Kiran Skae. This Skae is also forming workers to a site some 100km to the south for some kind of dig. She managed to send a message via Branus’ personal vox to the Abby of the Dawn before being forced to retreat and live off the land, picking off any of Skull’s men or Voicers who strayed near the cave she used as a camp until found by the Acolytes.