Tiberius Dynasty

The Pilgrimage
Exploring the potential new homebase

Written by Echo Notch
On the way to the Reaches.

The Crew had come victorious out of the short Ork war on Barsuvian, the forge world. Duncan and Echo managed to pack Aheron’s “corpse” from the pile of other fallen soldiers and orks into an Arvus lighter, and Sarge piloted them back onto the Satyricon. Lien shortly followed with the remaining troops and her trophy warboss’s Power Claw and warboss head. Duncan set Aheron’s broken legs and they smuggled him into the secret refrigeration compartment of his quarters. They knew it was just a matter of hours before he rises from his “death” state for the third time.

They started to approach the Tech-Priests’ orbiting station, to negotiate the repairs they need. But along the way they found that a vessel had docked in their hangar demanding their attention. The new guests were greeted by Lien and Duncan accompanied by many soldiers and the Astropath Flyol Corpos. Since Aheron had only recently awoken and was unable to walk, he observed the arrival from his quarters over a pict feed where he was comfortably set in a wheelchair and guarded by Echo Notch. Out of the new Arvus flier came a short tan armed woman in flight officer’s fatigues and a slim tall figure in a black robe, wearing a mirror mask on their face. They introduced themselves as Um Nama Narayan, a female navigator working for the highest bidder and her assistant Saab. They had been involved in spearheading the attack on the ork fleet but their ship and crew had been lost to a perilous tactic that no one could foresee the orks using – they detonated one of their own ships and wiped out the defending fleet. They were allowed to stay under watch and would come to see the Fabricator General with Aheron if they so desired. Soon enough Aheron found that Um might prove to be a better navigator than “The Screamer” as they so aptly named their current one, and so he offered her a contract.

They were all welcomed in the AdMech station and allowed an audience with the Fabrcator General. For their help they were each offered free equipment and ship parts. They even agreed to fabricate the borderline heretical auto-loader macrocannons, Zayithian pattern, but demanded they surrender the blueprints and not share the design with anyone. Echo petitioned the Fabricator to upgrade Satyricon’s essential components as this could only be done on a well-equipped Forge World. The Fabricator General warned Echo and the Crew that it is not uncommon for such a ship as the Repulsive Grand Cruiser to fall to chaos as they are all very susceptible to the warp. If such a thing would come to pass, they would be obliged to destroy it, at the cost of their lives. Echo also asked for a permission to pull data out of the AdMech librarium for his personal research. They then humbly surrendered the Dreadnaugt they had been hauling from the far reaches of Koronus.

After extensive ship repairs, upgrades, acquisitions and implantation, they continued on their way to address the issue of their new bountiful system in the Unbeholden Reaches. The Spyridon, their background endeavor ship had reported seeing plenty pirate ships just before they turned their tail and fled from exploring the system. Aheron and the others knew they would have a battle on their hands, they just couldn’t have divined the scale of it.

Um Nama asked for a peculiar ship component from the Fabricator General, the Astrarium Koronus, but instead only received the precise location of the thing. It was in the Outer see of The Processional of the Damned, a place she had accidentally visited before and knew firsthand of its perils. They could only wonder how she knew of the existence of such an ancient Archeotech device and especially how it came to be lodged in that cursed place.

Thankfully, she plotted an excellent course towards the Unbeholden Reaches, but continued to petition the other officers to drop by the Processional to get the Astrarium, to witch they all voted nay except for the captain, who upon hearing that there would be abandoned eldar crafts in the region thought he could at the same time use the strange obelisk device he found many years ago on the then wreckaged Irae Juste. The device would arguably provide a map of unknown treasures if used on an eldar vessel’s bridge properly. Also combining that knowledge with the Astrarium Koronus would definitely deem profitable, but the dangers of the Processional were just too great. So the officers voted to explore this venture after liberating their bountiful system from the foul pirates.

During their warp journey they had a mishap which caused many of the crew to go about madly, rampagng, killing eachother. The missionary whom they had previously persuaded to come along with them instead of remaining in the Winterscale realm, made good use of his chanting and Emperor gospel and managed to calm the minds of the crew somewhat. Thankfully Aheron had acquisitioned an Autotemple and this had proven to be a good investment because many of the crewmen needed guidance and prayer after the crazy things they saw during the warp jump.

Upon arrival to their yet unnamed system the Navigator noticed a derelict space station orbited by several transport vessels, the dauntless light cruiser Ex Infernis, and a Lunar Class Cruiser The Queen Chorda’s Revenge. They remembered previously encountering Ex Infernis and how they thought their talk of a scary grand cruiser of the captain Chorda were mere empty threats. From their current point of view it seemed like the threats did have merit and were faced with a very difficult decision.

The officers called a meeting to try to decide what action they should take. First, a silent infiltration mission was suggested that would disable the cruiser so that they could battle just the other ships, but it would have to be executed by the officers themselves and it would be extremely dangerous and leave them vulnerable for the other pirate ships in the following battle. So a crazy idea had been thrown onto the table named after its proposer – The Um-Na-Maneuver.

The navigator would attempt something unspeakable, she would jump the ship through the void for a relatively short distance within the system, namely from their current position to the direct position between the Chorda’s cruiser and the station to make use of their new Power Ram, the pride of the Satyricon. This would become the ship’s most famous maneuver… if it succeeded of course. Careful planing was necessary to pull it off and every crewman and officer would have to do their part in the grand attempt to quickly and bravely surprise and annihilate the pirates in this system. It was so out of this world that it had to work! And the officers soon all agreed to go with that plan.

Everything was set in motion, everyone was on their posts. The navigator had taken every precaution to prevent damage to herself and used the Screamer as her scapegoat for the awful thing of the immaterium that would scratch alongside the hull of their ship, hungrily wanting to punish them for such an outrageous attempt at unsolicited warp abuse.

Echo had given the Satyricon’s Machine Spirit maximal aid to enhance its maneuverability. Acheron was behind the wheel, using all his force and several assistants to keep the attack straightly aimed at the Chorda’s cruiser center, for maximum ramming damage. Lien made sure to shoot the torpedoes and other glorious weaponry they acquired on Barsuvian from the second they exited the warp on the pirate’s side. Duncan was commanding the hit and run vessels and triaging the wounded. The horror in Chorda’s eyes must have been awesome at the moment that a gigantic warp rip opened right next to his prized vessel, from which the angry face of the Satyricon came spreading pain and destruction. The attack was a maddening experience and a grand success. In only a single hour our heroes had disintegrated the Lunar class cruiser and disabled the engines of the fleeing dauntless class light cruiser as well. The little transport vehicles were allowed to flee chased by the menacing message in Um Nama’s disturbing voice “Begone from here! And never return!!!”

Unfortunately during the few moments the Satyricon was plunged into the warp the gellar fields couldn’t take the strain and the crew was heavily irradiated by the maddening things that cannot be named. Thus many died, even the officers suffered great deteriorating of their psyches. Duncan even started to mutate as the corruption of the vile seeped into his muscles, permanently enlarging their tissue and strengthening them.

Gates of Hell, Log from Xavier Chorda

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To Forge Anew
My first Ground War

On their way to the forge-world when they jumped into the void to rest for a bit, while scanning they noticed a distresses call, as good guys that they are decision was made to go closer and see who is fighting. As it turns out it was an administratum’s ship that was attacked by some pirates in a light cruiser with lots of guns. So the plan was forged, ramming, hit and run tactic and hailing the enemy so they break their morale and surprisingly it worked. After the fight the pirates went cold and Aheron’s ship helped with repairs on the administratum’s ship so that both can go on. The meeting was arranged between to ships and the administratum explained that they are on their way to meet the rulers of this sector, and asked if Aheron could take a missionary and his entourage because their destination was closer to Aheron’s, of course they accepted. The missionary was an old man, totally different thanMia, and when he came on board they departed for the forge world. The trip took for the worse, the travel felt like they traveled for weeks, months and perhaps even years, but they managed to come out of the warp mostly unharmed. Arriving at the forge world in hopes of upgrading their ship, getting rid of the cargo and improving their gear, the crew of Satyricon was greeted by the Tech-priests and informed that the planet was under the attack of the Orks. The scan revealed one Ork ship in orbit, just out of range of the stations defenses. The officers agreed that Echo Notch and Lien Ryn will go down to the planet and help with the ground fighting, while Aheron andDuncan will stay in the ship and help with the communication, coordination and will keep an eye out for the Orks ship. Lien’s troops landed first and she started sweeping the grounds, while Echos troops landed not far from hers and started their attack as well. After a while the Orks came into melee and Liens troops started to lose, but with the help of Echo who ambushed the Orks, they managed to push them back towards their Warboss. Meanwhile captain Aheron came to the planet as well and took control of PDF forces, but was unfortunately ambushed and surrounded by enemy himself. Duncan managed to locate the warboss’s location and came down to the planet to help with the assassination of the boss. A hub base was put at the town square and was made to be HQ for the rest of the mission. Suffering some losses, Aheron managed to push through the Ork forces and came to the HQ but he was late for Duncan, Echo and Lien were already gone to face the boss. They managed to coordinate that Aheron will attack at dawn and distract the bulk of the Ork forces; meanwhile the rest will try to kill the warboss. Traveling through the sewers and without a sleep for a day, it was decided that they will rest for a bit. At Echos watch a gretchin came and almost raised the alarm, but was killed before he could do that. Coming to the building that was behind bosses tent they hid, Duncan and scouts on the roof, Echo in the basement and Lien at the door and waited for the attack to commence. When it started and the warboos came out with his bodyguards Duncan took the shot and the bodyguards went strait to his location while Echo and Lien started fighting the boss. Meanwhile Aheron was bored with only fighting the Orks and wanted to fight the boss, so he took a ship and went to stratosphere so he could avoid air defenses and land right at the boss’s tent. But his plan failed because the flyer was shot and lost control, he failed to activate his gav-chute and hit the ground from a 300 meter fall. Praying to the emperor he managed to only break his legs and passed out from exhaustion. After exchanging a couple of blows Lien noticed something in the sky rushing towards the location where she was fighting the boss, she managed to escape the impact location of the flyer that came from nowhere and it killed the boss on the spot, pushing him to the building. Orks have lost their leader and the killing was easier now, the three officers came to HQ only to find out that the flyer was under Aherons command. Echo and Duncan went to search for him while Lien stayed to command the troops, for she was pissed at Acheron for leaving his inexperienced troops to fight Orks while he went to kill the boss.

- Battle Log-
Lien’s Journal Entry

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Dry Dock

After the nice chitchat with the inquisition, Aheron and Duncan headed back for their pirate vessel for a trip home. The bridge of the Hezroth class raider was the most uncomfortable place to be, due to the new quirky navigator, whoms vocal chords were over stained during the warp jump.
Screaming atop of his lungs from the horrifying abominations floating through the warp, and the constant strain of navigating the ship.
After several days of constant cacophony, two headaches and twenty seven pain suppressant pills later they have arrived at their destination.
They were hailed by the former Irae Juste and the Emperors Will. After a lot of planning and talk with Alaric, the former benefactor of the wayward young Aheron, has departed in the upmost queer way. He has done so after Aheron mentioned the fate of their brother Geberic. Whom was expunged from historical records of the Imperium.

Left to their own they rushed to footfalls and port wander gearing as much as they could and burning profit factor in the process.

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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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