Tiberius Dynasty

New Beginnings

As with every story this one has a new chapter, this chapter begins with captain Aheron returning from the interview with the Inquisition. With his warrant of trade back, empty ship and a big dose of fear of the unknown and optimism they have started a trip to Foot-fall. Unfortunately Alaric has taken his whole crew due to the information regarding Geberic’s involvement with deamons , forcing our heroes to take the help of pirates, promising them spear parts and money in return. Course charted they started the travel, but navigator told them that the journey will take about eight months, so they changed their route to Port Wonder. During the travel captain had rode the elevator and for some reason started to run away from a female voids-men and losing his way on the new ship. The geller fields have flickered for a second, and our lost captain got a visit from an unknown entity and an abomination, fleeing for his primal fear made him hallucinate voices and after some time he got expunged into the space, dying for the second time. Fortunately that happened in real space not warp. Echo Notch and Duncan got the captain in a sealed room and tried to resuscitate him but to no avail. Lien joined them and they decided to take the captain to his room and pretend that he is alive but hurt so that the crew doesn’t lose moral or something worse. They used Echo’s capability to reproduce captains voice and managed to fool the crew. Upon arriving to Port Wander as if they had little trouble so far they managed to damage a part of docking station while docking. After that they bought a morgue and put the body in there, after that the officers began equipping the ship and themselves for the time to come. But as their track record shoes troubles follows them always and the newest edition was an old contract on captains head made to the Officio Assassinorum. In weeks to come ship and crew grew and improved but on one of the tour of the morgue Echo and Duncan found that the body of the captain was missing. That was the second time captain has cheated death. The ship finished equipping med bay and getting voids-men and troops and started traveling towards Foot-fall. Lien Ryn was promoted to the officer status and a bodyguard for the captain. And the list of their problems just got a new line. The captain told his crew about the visit of his late wife while he was in the interrogation chamber, and the deal “she” proposed and captain accepted

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Old memories

After reaching a safe distance from their former homeworld, Alaric and Aheron Tiberius with their ships The Emperor’s Will and “freshly acquired” Irae Juste, decided to randez-vous before making the warp jump out of the now hostile system. An urgent officers’ meeting was proclaimed and therein was decided that they are greatly understocked with food and should figure out a way to replenish their supplies without going to a major port. Alaric fortunately advised counseling with a crewmember of his who is a former (or current) pirate.

There was the minor detail of initializing the warp engine of Irae Juste and checking if she is in such a condition as to safely warp travel at all, which would require the attention of Alaric’s Tech Priests who assisted Echo Notch in diagnosticating the Gellar fields and both Engines’ condition. Incidentally it was the Senechal who finally managed to gain them entrance through the heavy bulk door locked with a missing and probably inexistant key that lead straight into the Warp engine control room.
Inside was a network of methusalean machinery in center of which hung a coil-suspended servitor that granted Echo Notch interfacing with the ancient vessel’s moody machine spirit.

Upon initial inquiry, the Explorator deduced that in order to gain access to the ship’s system, he would need to remember the last ship’s commander’s name. Contacting Aheron seemed to do the trick as he had immediately remembered this as being Lorchanus Ryn, to their mutual horror, possible ancestor of their new mercenary Lien Ryn. Quickly Echo deleted the old officers from the log and input new names, his, Aheron’s and Duncan’s into the system and thought to be giving them exclusive access to the ship’s machine spirit.

The tech priests repaired the void engine as best as they could so that the ship would be capable of facing and defeating pirates. Echo proceeded to install the Almanach Astrae Divinatum into the war room next to the ship’s bridge during that time, as per Aheron’s orders. Thanks to Alaric’s “backup” navigator, they were able to warp jump to a location suspected to be rich in pirate activity and set up an ingenious trap for the greedy pirates. It was Duncan’s know-how of Raiding parties’ inner workings that gave wake to Irae Juste being the bait, since in her current state she could easily seem to be a bountiful wreckage with no guns and defenses installed. The Emperor’s Will would of course run silent in the Grand Cruiser’s shadow until it was the right time to attack by teleporting the apostate marine and Lien Ryn onto the bridge of one of the enemy ships and shooting macrocannons at the other.

Two ship rammings later some intimidation attempts were made by both Aheron and Echo on the pirate crew, and when those tactics failed Duncan suggested looting the food quickly and leaving the pirates afloat in their damaged ship. But Aheron made another attempt, this time using his silver tongue to negotiate directly with the enemy ship’s captain. And he did manage to make a good deal with him to lend him his navigator, astropath and some crew to help with a very important mission to Port Wander in the other undamaged pirate vessel that had almost been cleaned out by the savage brute let loose earlier via teleportation. The foolish pirate asked to claim Irae Juste in return in case the Rogue Trader perishes on that journey, disregarding the fact that his brother’s light cruiser would obliterate them from existence before they could ever set foot on her.

And then another officers’ meeting was called. The fate of Wulfaz Stormsson was finally to be woven and sealed. It was decided that Alaric’s astropath would notify the Inquisition that the heretic is going to be delivered by Aheron to Port Wander in the aforementioned pirate vessel. Duncan was to accompany him and no other crewmembers or fancy equipment was to be taken, just incase the Inquisition would have proven to be impossible to reason with. Also precautions were made at great expense of the Senechal’s and Rogue Trader’s health, to put in dementia-inducing psychic wards around all memories of the apostate items, daemon sightings and questionable dabblings, since they were sure to be questioned and mind probed by the Inquisition.

Aheron made haste and the pirate navigator managed to get them into Port Wander in about 7 days. They were immediately hailed by the Inquisition. Luckily Wulfaz had never stopped rampaging aboard the vessel as there were still some entrenched enclaves of the former pirate crew all over the place. A perfect hunting mission to preoccupy him while he was being brought into the mouth of the beast. As he was resting from the battle in the cargo hold, the ship had docked under Inquisition’s commands. Aheron was ordered to join Wolfaz and meet the Inquisitor, whom hadn’t come alone.

The Ordo Hereticus squad consisted of two Deathwatch marines, several soldiers in power armour, a sanctioned psyker and the Inquisitor himself. Upon seeing them, Wolfaz gave one stern look that conveyed a plethora of really horrifying emotions to Aheron and charged with a deafening roar towards the Inquisition. The marines were quickly disposed of, one even lost his head, after which the apostate’s attention turned towards the human members of the party. Unfortunately his anger blinded him to the fact that he had previously been dominated by psykers, and as he concentrated on a horrific smiting blow to the Inquisitor’s head, he found himself once again unable to move, as little rivers of blood trickled down the psyker’s nasal orifices. He was forced to disarm himself and step onto the stasis field platform, followed by the cold Inquisitional eyes and a look of utter terror in Aheron’s eyes.

Aheron and Duncan were apprehended, separated and taken to the Interrogation rooms. The Inquisitor asked Aheron many intrusive questions and hurried him when he was speaking a tad bit slow for the Inquisitor’s taste. A finger and a kneecap suffered during the interview and Aheron strained himself to act as if in pain, lest his mutation be discovered.
Unsatisfied with Aheron’s story, the Inquisitor left the room to have him mind probed. But when the miserable and desperate Rogue Trader was left alone in his room, he was granted a peculiar visitation.

The sight of Rushana Saiid, his deceased wife and Senechal chilled him to the bone. As she started speaking of a deal they are to make and favour he is obliged to do, he reluctantly asked himself what would happen if he were to repudiate the apparition and give himself to the mercy of the Inquisitor’s judgement. But the words were too strong, and the thing that was intruding his mind managed to make him accept the terms, lest he suffer the loss of his life-saving mutation and his name forever be deemed heretical, although they didn’t seal it with a kiss as the creature had suggested.

The Inquisition disposed of Aheron and Duncan very quickly, clearing the Tiberius dynasty name in the process and giving Aheron a replacement bionic hand and leg of best craftsmanship. Despite that, they found themselves on a heap of trash in the middle of the Port Wander underhive. Luckily there were just enough rags and shady corners around to save the newly acquired bionics from being detected by the indigenous rascals. They met a man who helped them navigate to the docks and Aheron decided to repay him by taking him aboard the vessel, since he was a retired member of the Adeptus Arbites. His name is Durak (the Fool).

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Out of the frying-pan into the fire
"How long have we travelled?"

The heroes of our story just can’t have a break; some higher power must be meddling with their affairs. But we’ll get to that, first thing’s first.

Ah yes the beautiful warp and our heroes in it, well the journey began as planed and everyone was happy to finally leave the desert planet of Zayth and go back home, well everybody except captain Aheron, for he knew that the wrath of his father was waiting for him at the end of this journey. The trip was rather pleasant until the final stretch when the ship ran into a warp-storm. Luckily the crew was calm and collected and managed to get our heroes out of it without any problems, or so they thought. The first thing they saw was a familiar planet, the second was a big ship docked at the station, Alaric told our captain that it was a present for him and that it will be his new ship. The jaw dropping was interrupted by a hail from the planet asking them to identify themselves, which was the first clue that something was off since they should recognize the ID of the Emperors will. The second clue came in the form of old lady Ash, who greeted them and asked them to come to the planet surface to discuss everything. They got a retinue of five guards in the uniforms of house Tiberius, and a guide who told them that one hundred and sixteen years have passed since their entry into the warp. Still shocked they landed on the surface where they were greeted with a barrel of a cannon and a lot of soldiers. Lady Ash came in person as well and ordered the guards to arrest the heretics. Since no resistance was put they were escorted to the dungeons, while walking captain noticed that there were no flags of his house even though the soldiers were in the uniform of his house. Deep in the dungeons of the castle our adventurers were stripped and put into separated cells, while Echo Notch was put into a stasis field, fortunately he managed to rig the field to let him out in half an hour. While changing into their prison uniforms captain tried to hide a knife but failed, this resulted in the kick from the guards that broke his ribs. Mad with pain Aheron jumped the guard and started attacking, and Mordechai understood that it was a signal to start fighting. He pushed his powers to their limits shouting: “God Emperor protect me, and if you do not then chaos I give myself to thee”, that resulted in a demon appearance and utter chaos started once more, Duncan managed to free Echo and they started running towards the exit, unfortunately Duncan was so shocked that he was unable to talk, while the captain tried to escape but the sight of a daemon was so shocking that he started to convincing himself that everything was going to be alright. They managed to get to the landing-pad and while captain and Duncan were starting the flier, Echo got into the canon and fired upon a deamon. They managed to escape the surface, now they had to find a way to get out of the system. Contacting Alaric, they devised a plan to get to the new ship and get out of the system with both ships. Luckily they had an ID card from the jailer and managed to fool the radio operator, but unfortunately no one was blessed with wait so they had to pump Duncan’s suit with nitrogen from the fire-extinguisher so he would gain some “weight”. Unfortunately the guards caught on and a fight started, luckily they had some help from a strange white haired girl who told them that she is coming with them, and managed to get to the ship somehow. Pushing the ship to its limits they managed to get of the station and started going to a safe distance, but another ship blocked their way, luckily they managed to intimidate the crew and it retreated. Safe from the defensive fire our heroes had a meeting with the new crew member and started discussing on what to do next. When the girl asked what was the plan from now on, still a bit shocked and without thinking captain told the her: “Adapt and overcome bitch” witch resulted in him being punched and unconscious and her put into a room and locked.

That was the first meeting with Lien Ryn.

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Chevalier

After eight long months the rescue has arrived in the form of captain’s older brother Alaric, and our adventurers were finally able to get of the dead rock of a planet. Gathering their possessions and crew they boarded the ship and left Zayth behind them. Alaric’s ship was marvelous both outside and inside, with facilities that were only a dream for our adventurers. Transport tubes, arboretum, cathedral, manofactorum and med-bay were just a few thing on-board the mighty ship. The ship was composed of female crew only and among them were members of Adepta Sororitas. After they were placed in their room and given new attire, they were summoned to a meeting to discuss what to do next. Alaric was different than our captain remembered him, wearing a mask and having his crew composed of only women, but that was a conversation for another time. Aheron was informed that he will have to give something of value to his brother by the order of their father because eight months have passed and no profit factors were made. The second and more pressing matter was Wulfaz, Alaric contacted the inquisition asking about him and found out that he was deemed a heretic and the Inquisition wanted him, now they were waiting for them at their home planet. They had until Foot-fall to decide what to do with Wulfaz. Echo, Mordechai and Duncan were for extradition of Wulfaz, but Aheron was against it, and so the time passed while Aheron tried to decide what to do. Alaric informed his guests that there will be a tree day debauchery and that they are all invited to join but the officers were of limits to all. And so the first night has come, they all went to the tower of pleasure and Mordechai, Echo and Duncan entered it first while Aheron came fifteen minutes later. They had VIP room for themselves while Aheron and Alaric were at the main table. Before the party started Aheron revealed his gift to his brother, a statue of God Emperor that was over thousand years old. And after that the party has started, conversation between brother was short but Aheron managed to learn that the reason his brother has all female crew vas due to his inability to get along with males, what happened exactly he never said. It was the first time they saw male crew members and it was explained to them that they work to death in the press-ganged part of the ship just so they could be here. Duncan was busy that night as well as Echo Notch while Mordechai went to the library, and Aheron convinced some girl to visit Duncan and play a prank on him. In the morning, with a new meeting was arranged to finally decide what to do with a heretic, and Aheron prank was reviled when Duncan asked them what does “faas nasruhr” mean, barely holding his laugh in Aheron asked: “what do you mean wrong hole?” and so it was reviled that Aheron convinced some poor girl to go to Duncan and have “fun” with him and at one point start shouting faas nasruhr confusing poor Duncan, it was a night full of bad decisions.

The meeting hit a wall again since only Aheron didn’t want to give Wulfaz. So Alaric told him that if he doesn’t get off at Foot-fall he will be given to the Inquisition. The remaining days were spent in relative peace, Duncan was studding with Alaric’s seneschal while Echo Notch and Mordechai were observing sororitas and trying to learn more about them and Aheron spend his days reading and writing his journal. One day in the gymnasium Aheron decided to challenge one of the sororitas to a duel, one of them accepted on the condition that his crew stops following them all around the ship. So the duel started and it was a fun thing to watch until Aheron managed to land a punch on the sister, that’s when shit hit the fan and she went into frenzy beating him without stopping and without care for his safety. Echo jumped in the ring and other sisters took the silver eyed away from the gymnasium, and so the Captain was forced to go to med bay again.

They jumped out of warp at Foot-fall to resupply and sell some items, and the time to decide was upon them. But first they went to the auction house to sell their Dread-claw drop pod and AI, they managed to place the Dread-claw for a price of eight profit factors, while the AI was to be sold to a traveler for a bountiful system. Echo was very sad and a bit mad that the AI was gone. Next order of business was to settle accounts with the Kasballica commission, they were greeted by cold attitude but that changed when they showed them Tau armour and rifle, but unfortunately Aherons sword was sold do to his late appearance. And so they started their cooperation again from a clean slate. When they returned to the ship final meeting was held and it was decided that Wulfaz will be handed over to the inquisition, and so their journey home began.

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Dread times

The officers realised that there was a hidden danger in their melta being stolen as they joined forces to decipher the SD card transmission. It warned of the gangs desire to use the melta technology to annihilate each other and the OTHER land ship as well. Yes, the thing that the hive city had been shooting upon loudly and running from hastily was another such marvel, and the two were literally fighting over territory in a non-stopping mindless people-grinding war. The Elder Tactician gang were the ones who drove the ship and decided where it goes, while the Gun Masters operated the enormous macrocannon arrays.

Duncan had the idea to take Aheron and the others to one of the security rooms on the level to check the pict feeds and see if there is a recording of the melta thieves. But this proved to be a dangerous task as someone had made a trap for the officers and they found themselves fighting for their lives again in a room full of hostile guards, and hallucinogenic vapours. After a few minutes of comic drugged behaviour, the heroes were able to subdue the guards and come to an agreement with those who chose to cooperate. They checked the tapes but the evidence of the theft was missing. At this time Echo inquired of the usefulness of the security system and found out that the majority of the cams don’t even work or don’t work all the time. The hive has too many security rooms and people of questionable morale to keep everything smooth running and safe. Bribes and intimidations were obviously the tools of rule in this place and Aheron’s crew had to learn to adapt to those conditions fast.

Echo was previously astonished that Wolfaz didn’t have his bionic arm fixed and decided to make use of the large manufactorum present on the land vessel. He and Bessy and all of their servitors were spending every idle moment of time slaving away for the Lord’s glory, replicating a large mechanical hand to be given to Wolfaz, with his permission. Alas during the labours, while Echo was elsewhere, some gangers attacked Besse and the officers were forced to go rescue her once more. The usurpers were dealt with in a matter of minutes and both the bionic hand and Besse were retrieved. The Arm was mounted onto the existing grafts on Wolfazes shoulder and he seemed pleased with this. IT looked like he was warming up to the Rogue Trader and his men, even honouring Aheron with a “duel”. The human surprised him by not falling unconscious from his first blow to the head. But that was the extent of his enduring. Aheron thanked the honourable brute and they made a pact to wait for Aheron’s brother to retrieve them from the planet of Zayth back to the Tiberius homeworld, after which Aheron would commission a new vessel and proceed to do Wolfazes bidding.

On the other side the melta was still missing and they decided to take serious action by asking around, even involving the Gunmasters in the offensive against the Elder Tactician’s guild. Duncan‘s insight and the Gunmasters’ personnel lead to an astonishing plan for storming the Tactician’s inner sanctum. Even a shady barkeeper La Roix was involved in acquiring some explosives that were carefully utilised to gain access to the fortress. For his service, La Roix was sweet talked by Mordecai that he’d be given a place among Aheron’s voidsmen once he was ready to depart from Zayth, which he took very seriously, maybe due to the fact that he instantly had a crush on the Rogue Trader as soon as he laid eyes on his… supposed net worth.

The infiltration of the Tactician fortress was to be the first mission, since the doors that lead inside their sanctum was heavily guarded by numerous security systems and infantrymen. La Roix was consulted on matters of trade and what could possibly assist in this task but yielded no useful data. Echo had a strike of courage when he chose to use his 20-year faithful servo skull to set a trap for the security guards on the inside of the big pressure door. Duncan acquisitioned a hallucinogenic grenade especially for this purpose.

While Echo made a distraction the servo skull silently flew over the guards heads into the security room’s vent and planted some explosives in crucial areas of the complex. Then when Aheron’s crew and Wolfaz were ready to storm the sanctum, it released the hallucinogenic vapours into the room, effectively disabling the security guards. An offensive ensued in which many Tactician’s guards were obliterated. Wolfaz refrained from lethally damaging the men and suggested everyone do the same whenever possible. They easily dug through some heavy machinegun tourette-guarded rooms thanks to the explosives in the walls and used an elevator shaft to go into the habitation and study area of the guild above.

There they found the melta as it was being fired upon them by one of the Tactician members. But it didn’t hinder the offensive much. In the study area there had been one boy who decided to spill the guts to the invaders and thus share with them the secret of the landship’s innermost workings – there is only one Elder Tactician who is being cloned over and over again and given his skills and knowledge each instance through a learning pod machina! This being was genetically suitable for such performance and for that reason his “life” had been perpetuated through centuries. He wasn’t in the habitation area at that time tho, and so they had to go down through the aforementioned elevator shaft into the command bridge of the landship.

There, Aheron managed to find out the reason why the war between Zayth worlds is being constantly waged, population control. He opened the Elder Tactician’s eyes to the possibility of ending the war and instead granting the excess manpower to the ever understocked ranks of the Imperial Guard, for the glory of the Imperium of Man. It took some convincing but a deal was finally struck, with all parties satisfied. The rest was just bureaucracy.

Satisfied with his new deal, Aheron decided to pursue some new ventures as he heard from Duncan and other inhabitants of the hive that there are places of interest on the planet surface which may have been great airports and manufactorums, before the big war. The promise of marvelous Archeotech and the delusion that he could find therein the parts to even repair his wrecked ship made him once more seek assistance from Wolfaz. They made another exploring party and ventured into the collapsed base deep under the sands of oblivion.

As they drew closer to the depths, bypassing crafts, hangars, shafts and buildings, they landed on a level that was probably a street, and soon enough Mordecai picked up some psionic emanation again. It was coming from a spherical shaped, highly decorated piece of Archeotech. The Astropath evaluated and probed it with his mind, only to find that there is something malevolent inside, but he also got the immediate idea whom they could sell the thing to for an enormous amount of wealth. So they decided to take it. Unfortunately, at that moment they noticed a familiar swarm of undead closing in on their location, and sounded a retreat. The horde had appeared out of nowhere and was about to overrun our heroes, but something strange happened and Duncan, Aheron and Wolfaz fell into a mindless frenzy due to it. Echo, already heavily augmented in mind and body was somehow able to resist the frenzy. The three berzerkers dug a way out through the mangled corpses and almost cleaned them out. Or at least one wave. But the bigger problem was making them run away and not slay Mordecai and Echo. So Mordecai decided to attempt dominate Wolfaz and Duncan, and amazingly it worked.

After they had cooled down and escaped the collapsed ruin, they regrouped on the landship with their bounty in hand. Too bad it was useless to them on the forsaken planet, for there was noone there to trade it to, and ships just weren’t coming. They were ready to start the long wait for Aheron’s brother Alaric who’s Astropaths they had notified of their demise, when a sudden explosion occurred in the cargohold outside their troop carrier. Afraid for their profits, they searched everything, only to find that there had been a ton of explosives rigged onto every valuable thing in their possession, including the dreadnaught they hid inside the dreadclaw drop pod.

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The Waring Worlds

Aheron’s heart started to tremble as the menacing Astartes descended from the landspeeder and demanded his cooperation in a grizzly voice. The Marine was asking about Aherons ship and demanded immediate off planet transport, but Aheron stuttered as he was explaining that he could not oblige because his crew is not present and his ship is in dismay. They came to a reluctant agreement that Aheron would take him to get the crew and then be on their way to repair the ship and leave. Aheron was using the excuse about his copilot not being present and how he can’t fly on his own, which only served to agitate the newly met short fused persona.

Both of them descended into the sand-covered ruins to gather Echo, Mordecai, Sarge and the men, unaware of the gang ambush they had fallen into. Luckily the Marine was particularly good at descending into rough terrain and disposing of staggering amounts of gangers with his trusty poweraxe! So good that Aheron didn’t even get one chance to fire his melta gun which he was so proud of, but he fired it anyway. The shock of battle was nothing compared to the shock the officers felt as the hulking creature disposed of their enemies and sternly diverted his attention to them, hasting them in going back up to the surface. There was no time for pleasantries.

Back on the surface Besse and some voidsmen noticed that a really large moving mountain was coming straight at them and would soon run their troop carrier over if the didn’t move, so they tried to contact the officers. They were blinded by the sight of an enormous macrocannon that fired towards the sky with such bright explosion of power that the air would be crackling with energy for kilometers after the shot. The feeling of dread had caught up with the officers as well as the Marine had brought them back to the surface. They were commanded to board their vessels, and the driver of the land speeder also boarded the averus with them. It was a tall slender man with an unremarkable but yet pleasant face and short dark hair. Aheron and Echo dreaded what would happen if the Astartes inspects their cargo inside the carrier, but they soon found out that he wasn’t interested in anything but his own mission.

They went straight for the big moving mountain and soon realised that it was some kind of archeotech-driven land ship hive city with exceptional defence systems. It was huge in comparison to their vessel and soon it had opened the cargo hold door to let them park their carrier inside. The officers were going to a separate landing platform along with the tall man and the marine. They were incarcerated in a nearby room and disarmed, after which the Marine demanded they join him for a drink. Everyone inside the landship seemed to listen to the Marine’s commands, and then he introduced himself as Wulfaz Stormsson, and his companion as Duncan. Aheron quickly explained to his officers that Wolfaz was a “Lord of War” and “Lord” is how he is to be addressed. Wolfaz didn’t seem to have any objections and he explained that they were going to be in serious trouble if they don’t find a way to fix their ship and be on their way.

This is the point where Aheron’s negotiation skills really shined as he cleverly swayed the Lord into believing thet he should not slay them where they stood but instead told him of the quest they were on. Chasing a bounty with several other Rogue Traders on the same trail, chances were that some of them would shortly turn up in search of the same thing Aheron had come to retreive, which would mean a potential ship to get Wolfaz off the planet. Wolfaz was convinced and inquired what does Aheron suggest they do while waiting. The clever Rogue Trader thought of a way to keep his quest going by nudging Wolfaz into going with them in search of another beacon his trusty astropath Mordecai had sensed. It could have easily been another eldar tower containing yet another astral map to guide them onto the next location in the rat chase. Wolfaz allowed this, while completely ignoring the Explorator unskillfully trying to hide himself “fiddling” with his data slate. In fact, Echo was trying to decipher what the transcript of a message the dead tech priest received had meant, but unfortunately missed the point.

The moving city had come closer to the location from which the psychic presence had been emanating. It was an uneventful and seemingly deserted area in the radioactive desert. The sun was high on the horizon, adding to the already unpleasant glow of the irradiated sands under their feet, as they stepped out of the colossal cargo bay. The Astartes wasn’t wearing any helmet, the colour of his armour rendered indiscernible by countless blows of unnamable weaponry, yet he strode vigilantly in the direction Mordecai had previously described. After an hour of walking and searching in the inhospitable atmosphere, everyone but the Marine had been stricken by sweat and dizziness… except Echo Notch, whom probably just wasn’t showing the symptoms. Finally they noticed something glowing in the sands, a bony conic shape, a tip of some alien structure.

Trouble soon befell them and from the poisonous evaporating sands rose a creature of sharp talons and insect-like features. It was quick, smelly and engulfed in horrible sounds of chitter and shriek, and it lunged at them as soon as they drew close to their target. Wolfaz quickly pounced back at the creature and buried his axe blade into its chitinous armor. The crew was astonished by his bravery and this served to motivate them to try and help by shooting at it. It was an indecisive fight as the creature seemed not to get scratched by any of their weaponry but the marine’s power axe. SO they sounded a retreat even before the creature fell dead to the ground. It had managed to get Wolfaz pretty banged up. He was pretty handicapped by having only the remnants of a bionic arm and thus swinging his axe with only one hand.

Sarge came with the averus to extract them just as other similar creatures started rising from the sandy landscape. More of them would have certainly overrun even the Lord of War, not to mention the crew. So they bid them good riddance and came back onboard the land ship, only to find that their melta had been stolen in their absence. Wolfaz allowed them to review the rest of their cargo that had during that time been scrutinized along with their crew in the cargo hold near the troop carrier. They found that nothing was missing, but since Aheron was becoming more and more scared for his profits, he demanded the equipment be put back inside the carrier and some of his loyal troops be allowed to keep watch over it. The huge hive city was no friendly place as they were soon to find out. It was crawling with thieves, murderers, narco-dealers, gangs… the whole hierarchy was lead by two major gangs which Echo had failed to decipher from the message on the Tech Priest’s SD card: The gunmasters and the Elder Tacticians. They realised at that point that Wolfaz wasn’t the lord of this place, but he only was untouchable because of the fear his battle prowess instilled in the hearts of all these men that inhabited the colossal technological wonder.

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Planetfall

AftermathAheron Tiberius’s view on the happenings after entering the material realm.

The half-obliterated crew of what was now the wreckage orbiting the planet of Zayth, was fighting to survive. The lucky 100 voidsmen that boarded the troop carrier along with the officers and sarge’s men would be spared of the horrible fate that the rest of the crew suffered. Captain Aheron knew that whatever they left behind probably wouldn’t survive to be rescued later but he fooled himself in thinking that somehow when they’ve found shelter on Zaith, they would send the carrier to get them. Aided by Echo’s projections of loss of their own lives and those of the 100 voidsmen if they stay any longer in the wrecked ship convinced him and they were ready to depart.

Sarge, being the only other remaining pilot in the crew, aside from Aheron himself, proceeded to scout the planet surface in an Arvus, while Aheron sat behind the steering dashboard of the troop carrier. The planet atmosphere was ridden with radioactive sandstorms and maybe thanks to sheer luck, Sarge managed to find a good landing zone. The troop carrier landed near the arvus and the officers were discussing their future advances when suddenly Mordecai detected a psychic beacon somewhere underneath the surface, not far from where they were. It seemed to be the same kind of signal that he’d sensed before, on their hunt for the dread pearl. A team was quickly assembled and sent on an exploring mission, despite the crew’s growing anguish.

Echo and Mordecai were to go with Sarge and a few others to retrieve whatever was giving off the beacon. Aheron stayed behind to provide quick rescue with the averus in case they run into hostiles. Beside that purpose, he was strongly advised by Echo to stay back and mind his injuries as at this time he hadn’t yet recovered from his “death”. This would soon become a very common plea from Echo to Acheron since he had lost touch with his pain receptors and often withstood much damage, yielding only when his body was already heavily damaged and in need of weeks of recovery and medical treatment.

They found the way to the beacon through an apparently dilapidated building, almost completely buried in the sands of Zayith. Along the way they found a few people, indigenous folk that scavenged in the ruins and were afraid that the officers were a gang or other hostile types. But after not that many bolts fired and some negotiation the female scavenger agreed to lead them to the thing that was supposedly the source of the beacon. She said it was a vessel and that she and her partner were trying to get inside for some time. But when the crew got all the way down to the small clearing in the deep sand and concrete abyss, they discovered it to have been just a converted xeno craft, supposedly of dark eldar make. Echo detected that the machine spirit of the craft was probably very unstable or corrupted and refrained from interfacing with the craft, but instead searched the body of a Tech priest found inside. His SD card was still present and the explorator stashed this deeming it for later research, once they were out of the dangerous pit. Unfortunately, at that moment they were ambushed by a huge local gang, counting even a couple of hideous ogryns and some big creatures that Aheron’s crew hadn’t seen before.

Back on the surface, Aheron and his two vessels were surprised by a visit from a quickly aproaching land speeder. To his horror the Rogue Trader noticed a hulking black figure inside the vehicle – immediately he knew that must be what the Emperor’s finest look like, although he had never hoped of meeting one on such terms.

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Mutiny at High Waters
A small problem

Upon leaving the Qupa Psi 12 – Verdant Eldar world, Aheron shared a few moments with his wife, telling her all his woes and how he was to discipline Vorian for these actions. She was pregnant 6 months now, carrying their little bundle of joy, so she paid no mind to his words, apart from talking about where the baby was to be born. He stormed out ready to deliver his vengeance upon the disrespectful officer. Meanwhile Vorian was being treated for broken ribs, earned from a fall from the ivory tower.

Vorian was summoned to the observatorium, at the topmost deck of the ship. In front of the heavy bulkhead door were two loyal guardsmen, Kunz and Walter. The observatorium was a spacious ballroom-like hall, illuminated by dimmed lumen candles in sconces across the hall and adorned with beautiful digitized window ports that were displaying a view into the vast mysterious void (although the ship was engaged in warp travel at that time). The middle of the room was dominated a heavy wooden table, on which sat two monoswords, two powerswords, two glasses, a bottle of whiskey, a lit candle and Aheron stood beside it.

Aheron offered a drink to Vorian, and wanted to talk about Vorian’s insubordination.
Vorian was not in the mood for a talk. Aheron insisted on Vorian hearing him out, and that they should settle their misunderstanding with a duel, while all that wine business and the talk of the duel in such injured state angered Vorian to the point that he didn’t even listen to Aheron to the end.
The young captain, was trying to explain that he would wait for Vorian to heal up so that they could duel properly, onto which Vorian replied “If you want to duel, lets do it.”, pulling out his bolt pistols and firing a couple of shots at his captain’s head. They grazed the flesh, and one bit deep, blowing apart Aheron’s right side of the jaw, and mutilating the right eye, leaving Aheron a mess. But thanks to his mutation, Aheron did not feel a thing. He grabbed the swords and tried to duel the wounded Arch Militant, but his injuries stopped him from landing a successful blow.
He dodged over 12 shots, and missed Vorian six times. The last four bullets got Aheron in the leg and chest, dropping him dead. To be safe, Vorian pumped a couple more shots to his heart.

Vorian left the Observatorium in a mess, which caused dumbfoundednes in the two guards in front of the door. Behind Vorian’s back their Rogue Trader lay dead.

He ordered them to dispose of the body, which they obeyed under fearing for their own lives.

Vorian proceeded to his chamber and, in fear of reprisal from the crew, had summoned his love interest to seek consolidation from Mia.
When she heard what had happened she hit the bottle and gotten drunk.
Meanwhile Vorian invited Mordechai to his chambers to explain to him what has happened. Upon hearing the news, Mordechai negotiated carefully to get away from the troubled man, and put himself in such a position that even if Vorian succeeded to take over the ship, Mordechai would still be considered a friend. He explained to Vorian that they never had this conversation, and left Vorian and Mia bolted up in Vorians room.

Over a flickering pict feed Rushana saw Vorian leave the Observatorium, but Aheron was nowhere to be found. Moments later soldiers were carrying a black bag out of it. Mordechai was moving towards Vorian’s room. Through tears she was barely hearing Echo Notch who was asking around on the officer’s channel where Aheron was, since he had fixed his armor and iron halo and was looking to deliver them to him.
She told him to ask no questions and just come to the bridge immediately. Upon arrival she took Acheron’s repaired protective items and ordered Echo to locate him.

Calculated and calm, Echo Notch regrouped with Mordechai and they left to find the Captain.
In the meantime Vorian rallied 5000 newly hired soldiers, scoured up from Narco-Tribes on Footfall. He tried to contact the loyal soldiers that disposed of the body, and ask them where they have hidden it, but to no avail. They would not answer, so he gathered some of the narco-tribesmen and headed for the bridge, where he tried to talk to Rushana, who was emotional and blamed him for the Captains murder. She warned him not to come any closer, but he didn’t even let her finish her accusation, and decided to storm the bridge with his men, gunning down theVoid Master, and her in the process.

During that time, Mordechai and Echo found the body of a deceased Aheron Tiberius, and heard gunshots ringing faintly throughout the hull of the ship. They contacted the Bridge to what Vorian answered and said that he has taken over the ship. Echo and Mordechai split up, one heading to the enginerium and the other to the cargo hold.

For in the cargo hold was an Abominable Intelligence that could have influenced the machine spirit of the Ship itself. Echo Notch, has made contact with this creature before, and they have grown to understanding of one another. Something deemed highly heretical by the AdMech and the Inquisition.
Communing with it gave him a way to access the ship’s functions without being physically present on the bridge.

While Mordechai went to the ship’s engine, in an attempt to gain leverage over the madman on the bridge, this only made Vorian respond by planting a Melta Charge on the navigator’s bubble during the already difficult warp journey.
Echo Notch locked down each of the bulkheads on the ship, disabling troop movement, and leaving them scattered all over the voidsmen quarters.
After a dozen of hours Vorian and the men had grown hungry, and he demanded that the way to the cafeteria be opened. The explorator obliged, opening only a few doors which lead directly to the mess hall. Vorian sent two armsmen to bring food for 400+ people in the officers quarters and the bridge, but his requests didn’t stop there. He requested that a way to the armory be opened, he wanted his men armed. Echo Notch would not comply with this during warp travel, saying that he will give him the guns, his men and everything he wants, as soon as they hit planetside, so he can leave them in peace. Vorian, by that time already greatly dissmayed by his ill fate, disagreed very quietly, and DETONATED the melta charge, killing the Navigator by burning her alive in the bubble.

Without the ship navigation and the ship bit deep from an empyreal eddy and a warp intrusion happened. Not before long, possessions were happening all over the ship, and all this tomfoolery and blood spilling had attracted a rather large beast. After shedding its mortal flesh, the Deamon started roaming the lower decks and killing everything in its wake, to a wailing sound of klaxons.

For reasons unknown, Aheron Tiberius, opened his eye. The other one was leaking on the side of his head, down to his mutilated right jaw. A hole in his chest revealed his beating heart, previously blown open.

He tried to contact the Seneschal but the link was dead. Then he contacted Echo Notch, who thought the warp was playing tricks on his mind, ignoring the first hail.
He tried one more time, and Echo Notch again disbelieved it, thinking someone had gained access to the officers’ channel, or it may be the deamon’s work.
Finally deciding it wasn’t of that nature thanks to seeing Acheron over pict feeds, he proceeded to guide him through the vents, away from the rampaging deamon that was chasing him through several levels, all the way up to the barracks, where Echo guided Aheron in such an inhumane way so the deamon became “preoccupied” with the newly hired soldiers.

Guiding Aheron all the way back to the Engine room, where Mordechai was entrenched.
Mordechai refused to let Aheron into the engine control room, fearing that a deamon has possessed him and brought him back to life.

After that, the Abominable Intelligence found a way to activate the warp engine and get them out of the warp on the planned location, following plans left behind by Wyn.
Although the warp exit succeeded, suffering critical damage, the ship was left floating in the orbit of Zayith.

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Tower of Bone

The first thing they heard from the outside of their drop pod was the sound of lasguns charging and readying to fire. They saw soldiers in what appeared to be Imperial uniforms, but it turned out they are just crew members of Admiral Bastille the VII. And behind them a massive ivory tower. Our adventurers were told that all the captains are gathered at the bottom of the tower and are discussing the next course of action. Eager to join and show their power they went there in their dread-claw drop pod, but the rest of the captains were not impressed. Young captain joined the fray and tried to establish himself as the leader but he failed. The captains that were present at the meeting tent were: Admiral Bastille the VII, Django Scourge, Madame Sharable, Lady Sun Lee and Jeremiah Blitz. After a couple minutes of discussion and a conclusion that there isn’t a way to enter the tower and that the prize must be at the top, every captain started running for himself and a mad race has started, which our adventurers joined as well. Everyone did what they could to stop the competition from reaching the top of the tower. Bombs were thrown, guns were fired, psychic powers were used and utter chaos started. Vorian was the first one to reach the top of the tower where he saw five elder warlocks and one farseer. Mordechai sensed that the eldars are trying to move the whole tower off the planet and if they were to succeed everyone who was on the tower at that moment would die. Django Scourge was the second to come to the top, and the fight between eldar and men started. The eldar farseer fought using his psychic powers and a spear. Just as Admiral Bastille managed to climb to the top, he was mortally wounded by the Eldar. Vorian fought the farseer and managed to wound him but in exchange suffered an almost critical wound himself. After a failed attempt to climb the tower and a dent in his armour, Echo-Notch came third and started firing upon the warlocks who were in a trance, killing one of them, while Django shot another. Seeing their brethren fall the Eldar retreated leaving the tower and its contents to the traders. What they saw on the top of the tower was a star map with seven planets on it; no one knew what it was or where it lead. Eager to have the information only to himself Django placed a bomb charge and activated it. Luckily Echo-Notch took a pic recording of the map. Meanwhile at the bottom of the tower the race turned into a battlefield. Everyone had forgotten about the tower and the only thing they tried to do was kill each other. Aheron stumbled across the dying Admiral Bastille and tried to help him, but failed. Luckily lady Sharable was there and the young captain managed to persuade her to help him using his charm, promise of cooperation and a silver tongue. After the first aid was given to the admiral and his soldiers came to guard him, Acheron went to the center of the battlefield to try to calm the situation. Suffering a couple of hits from all sorts of weapons but not even flinching one bit, he managed to cool off the heated situation. At that point the tower exploded, but our adventurer managed to survive. After the exchange of data every captain went on their way to try and unlock the secret behind the bone map.

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Fine Wine

Couple of days and few Gellar field flickers later, they emerged unto a verdant world.
Disembarking in their trusty Arvus Carrier, they shot for the orbit of the planet.
During descent Mordechai sensed a disturbance in the warp, and they were quickly washed over by unknown energies that disabled their ship, and left them crashed in the bog. The Captain was hitting the bottle hard that day for some reason, which in Vorian’s eyes had made him less then human.

The marshes were hard to traverse, jungle thick, and air humid. Thousands of small insects plagued the crew, and a large one was trying to eat their Arvus carrier.

Later that horrible day, the captain started emptying his third bottle of wine, to which Vorian objected by cutting an elaborate straw that lead through Aheron’s respirator on his helmet, and spilling a fine stock on the thick flora. Running out of water, they hailed the ship to send the Dread Claw Droppod, which they found on the Righteous Path. Apart from that Aheron had some more requisitions in mind and wanted to talk to the ship, trying to take the Vox Caster from Vorian’s hand. Vorian, responded with “You’re drunk!”, disobeying the order. In response young Aheron was so outraged that he pulled a pistol on his officer debating if he was to fire. Not being intimidated by sniveling threats, Vorian knocked down his Captain before Aheron could even pull the trigger. Aheron sat down in a bulk of a tree where something tried to bite him. A large centipede, broke the tension, making them forget and work out the excess anger on squishing some bugs.

In the end they found the Ancient Eldar Temple.

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