The Shape of Things to Come

Infection

On board the HIMS Vindicator Solates and Joslyn were put in touch with an old colleague of Josyln’s – Gold.

Briefed that they were on route to the feudal world of Aryus One near the end of Imperial control in the sector, they were instructed to escort and protect Sister Hospitaller Physician Lucilla Freya and a Magos Biologis Makail – they are investigating the outbreak of a plague and were to meet with the leaders of the Empire that controls most of the northern hemisphere of the planet to work with them in curing it. Only a few select leaders know of the Imperium so the team were instructed in local dress and custom during their voyage.

Aryus One could be a strategic point for expeditions into the Halo Stars. The Imperium wants to build a space station there and install a Governor who will rule through the ‘Empress’ of the Northern Empire, whilst missionaries slowly change the dominant faiths to the Imperial Cult then the world can openly pay tithes and be protected by the Imperium.

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Tempest In A Tea Cup

Mr X/Suzannah stood there gloating as she clung to the collar of young Keturah, bloodied and defeated. Unexpectedly the riot alarms sounded and the room emptied of all but a few guards. Seizing the moment the team attacked and within a few brutal seconds had dispatched Mr X, several guards and saved Keturah.

With a full blown riot going on outside they realised that the most secure place would be the Governor’s offices, and also the place they were likely to find the most answers.
The Governor’s offices turned out to be quite well guarded as expected. Prison defences are designed around the concept of prisoners escaping though, and they didn’t factor a team of ‘smugglers’ led by a seasoned Arbiter armed with a Bolt Pistol.

With Keturah and Hak on watch, the Arbiter attempted to hack into the prison machine spirit system and pull up files. This took longer than expected and a wave of guards were held off by Solates whose liberal use of grenades saw the final guard wisely retreat. Arbiter Josslyn managed to get a signal to her boss via the prison comm systems.

Governor Rodriguez decided to make a bold entrance in his favourite suit of power armour. Quick reactions from the team and a liberal amount of bullets dropped him faster than expected and he quickly surrendered. Investigating his office yielded a case with a lot of cash, a tray of valuable gems and a data slate that resisted all attempts to hack it.

A commotion down the corridor and a lot of bloodied guards and prisoners running towards them led them to a nightmare creature of legend.

Genestealer

Filling the entire corridor and making short work of the security gate the team let loose with the best they had, and despite a close shave with a Genestealer claw managed to prevail – no doubt in part to their faith in the God-Emperor.
A few hours later an Inquisitorial shuttle arrived and they were introduced to their real employer, the enigmatic Inquisitor Locarno. Agreeing to continue their work for the Left Hand of the Emperor they were take off site for debriefing…and at least one of them was hopeful no one would notice the case of cash was missing…

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Return to Faldon Kise

It’s been almost a year since the events on Settlement 228 and even longer than that since Arbiter Josslyn was last in Corvus City on Faldon Kise. Giving Hobson’s choice to a disparate group of strangers who agreed to go undercover for the Adeptus Arbites, Abitrator Josslyn led them to Tempest Penal Colony to spy on a suspected smuggling ring that might be dealing in Alien Artefacts.

Instead they found evidence of not only widespread abuse of the female prisoners but a suspected Xeno in the catacombs of the prison. The session left off with the hardened leader of the prison guard capturing an escaped female prisoner named Keturah, whom the team had been trying to protect while they figured out exactly what is going on in the facility…

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Revelations - The Shape Of Things To Come

The ‘end of season’ finale saw a brutal fight with Orks in the sewers, a battle of wills (and power weapons) between Gold and an enemy pysker and a showdown with the Bishop in the Imperial Cathedral which was rudely interrupted by a frightening beautiful Necron-Hybrid woman who regarded Quintos’ team thoughtfully as she trapped the Bishop in some sort of rift in time/space akin to the Warp before the team saw her off with a few well placed grenades.

With the threat of the Heretical Bishop over and a clear indication that the Necrons have different sects of which at least one is attempting to blasphemously meld with humans for as yet unknown reasons all that remained was to find the missing Arbiter Chief and Sister Raganna whilst the city cleaned up and returned to normal.
The necron human hybrid woman

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Plans within Plans

Not quite knowing what to expect with Lady Esh the team armed up and proceeded by police armoured car to the huge neo-deco hotel and casino tower in the heart of the fashion district of Terminus Prime. Gaining entry quickly and with some spectacle as agents of the Inquisition they managed to avoid violence and were escorted to Lady Esh’s rooms.
Lady Esh turned out to be a shrewd, articulate and stunningly attractive help, appearing co-operative. She added more to the unpretty picture that the nobles have been blackmailed with dark secrets from the past. Based on this the team posed as Administratum weapons inspectors and headed for the island estate of House Fandor.
A well planned and executed deception resulted in them not only being able to speak to the Duke himself but also to scan him. A dark plot involving a ghastly apparition appearing to him which knew all his secrets was revealed. Pressuring him into diverting smuggling resources into bringing in unmarked containers from off world they concluded Saren either has or is a pysker who can project to people.
Heading to the drop off point in the south polar region with a Naval forensics team they uncovered evidence supporting the Duke’s testimony and that the containers were shipped back to Terminus Prime by sea.
Facing sheer exhaustion from the journey and bitter arctic conditions the team returned to Terminus Prime for much needed rest.
A tip off from Lady Esh via coded servitor skull alerted the Acolytes to the fact that the Imperial Cathedral overlooking Victory Plaza has at least one surveillance camera which is not connected to any known Imperial Authority network. Deciding they might be able to get a hook over Saren they had the idea of using the sewers to reach the Cathedral. Local police provided maps and they headed off, looking to come out through a back alley manhole cover a block away from the Cathedral, avoiding the possibility of prying eyes.
The session closed with the Acolytes on a walkway looking into the flowing waters of the storm drain only to spot a large container and dozens of …it would seem Orks can swim after all!

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The Bishop Strikes Back – Part 2

The session opened with the Acolytes discussing the situation in the Arbiter station. Plans within plans became more apparent. Much conjecture and fact was brought into play with each member of the team offering their own insight.

Recalling their dealings with a low level Serrated Query smuggling months before they had him tracked down and brought in under the pretext of questioning for illegal trade. They also had the Magistrate second them an armoured van with a heavy stubber turret.

After an exhaustive day of investigation and questioning the Acolytes concluded that the major noble hours are being bribed or blackmailed into reducing or stopping their shipments of contraband items (drugs, xenos art and curiosities, certain alcohols, etc) but couldn’t fathom why exactly. They link this with the Bishop and his bank robbing activities. House Esh came up more than once in their inquiries.

A sudden and completely unexpected Ork attack in the suburbs of Terminus Prime followed by the dark realisation that the bishop has somehow brought in possibly hundreds of Ork spores and left them in containers around the city gave the team a distraction which led to Sister Raganna being kidnapped from the docks area despite her and Eli putting up fierce resistance.

Upon arrival Gold’s momentary lack of focus and growing powers led to a terrifying and mercifully brief encounter with something from beyond. Quintos’s calm control of his fears and Tristan’s growing heroism and teamwork saw the Emperor’s light shine favourably upon the Krak grenade which dispelled the bestial creature back from whence it came.

Unfortunately this led to Gold becoming unbalanced and they were forced to sedate her. Even more concerning was the news that the Magistrate had also gone missing. Luck saw the capture of the two “bishops”. Intense questioning and extremely direct methods by Regis revealed little bar that the Bishop wants them to give themselves up for trial in Victory Plaza.
Not wanting to play into his heretical hands the Acolytes decide to pursue the possible corrupting of the nobles by planing the capture and questioning of a senior member of House Esh, the Lady Elnora Esh – whose reputation for carnal excess precedes her…

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The Bishop Strikes Back - Part 1

Confirming that the area of space they are looking for is The Threnos Zone, the acolytes contacted the Abby of the Dawn for permission to keep the Adeptas Sororitas with them. Not only was this granted but an unofficial supply drop was arranged for them.

Within hours of loading the supplies and getting back into orbit HIMS Vindicator arrived and picked up the Lady Veer before heading off to Settlement 228 – one of several warp jumps needed to reach anywhere near The Threnos Zone.

The few weeks it took to jump to Settlement 228 passed quickly with the acolytes engaged in training and further forging their working relationship with Lord Drake and his senior crew.

Upon arrival they found themselves called upon by the planetary Magistrate Granger for aid. Several Ecclesiarchal banks have been robbed and most recently a bizarre serious of events occurred at the Black Gate Prison just outside of Terminus Prime.

Some serious investigation over the following four days pieced together that it was like the work of the Heretical Bishop Saren. They know he is involved with the Serrated Query in some way, that he is a capable, proficient and dangerous opponent.

They also know he knows something about them…thanks to an ominous note left on a pile of high explosives beneath the Imperial Cathedral just off of Victory Plaza in Terminus Prime City…

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Gods of War

Quintos and Gold manage to overcome Dr. Skae with liberal use of a Krak grenade. A wise choice given the delicate tunnels beneath the earth. They find and liberate what is believed to be the Spear of Ares from a ancient planetarium and rout the remaining Mercs with a combination of grit and putting the fear of the Warp into them.

On the surface things take a turn for the worst and Joslyn, Sister Alexandra, Tristian and Eli are ambushed by the Mercs and a terrific fight ensued. A prolonged melee between Eli and the Merc sergeant showcased how two trained and experienced men with the will to kill don’t go down so easily. The group eventually overcome the Mercs and realised The Dawn Searcher was also under attack.

A short trek through the jungle and prolific use of bolt pistol, shotgun and a near-fearless Eli and his chainsword see the team through. Sister Raganna, Kovacs and one of the Ashleen were the only survivors – holed up in the cockpit.

After repairs The Lady Veer sat in low orbit whilst they went over the Spear, the Star Charts and other evidence to work out where exactly it points to…

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Getting Somewhere

After a short planning session the Acolytes managed to trick Branus and four of his guards onto the Lady Veer and neutralise them without too much effort. With the Lady Veer safely away and a few thousand feet up they began questioning Branus – his resistance to Gold’s psychic probing proved just above the non-existent…

Working out Branus was a barely literate pawn of an off-worlder named Kiran Skae they disposed of the unwitting heretic who had to die for orchestrating attacks on Imperial Servants despite this being due to manipulation – but he was given a merciful drop from a few thousand feet up above the prairies of the Badlands before the party moved south to an increasingly tropical area until they found the dig that Skae was operating from as per Branus’s information.

The Dig turned out to be a Cenote in the middle of light tropical forest/jungle with around 8 Ashleen labourers / craftsmen and around 20 very professional looking soldiers – clearly experienced off world Mercs.

A lot of fasting talking and a lot of luck saw the acolytes given passage into the main camp, just near the edge of the Cenote just as Dr. Kiran Skae emerged from the water…

Being smart and civil the Acolytes seemed to convince Dr. Skae they were representatives of the Serrated Query and became guest of his, in no small part due to Gold’s Psy mind tricks.

Convinced that Quintos is an Archaeological expert Dr. Skae has invited him and Gold down the Cenote to the underwater cave to help him break though to the next part of the complex. He believes the site is significant in relation to the Spear of Ares – an unknown artefact that supposedly points to the Adranti home world in the Calxis sector.

The session ended with Skae and two mercs preparing Quintos and Gold for a line dive down. The other Acolytes were left cautiously hanging around. As they entered the water they realised there were fewer Mercs in the camp than the day before…

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Prodigal Daughter

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’s debriefing:

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.

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