Most of our new acolytes met each other on board the cargo hauler Brazen Sky, having been placed together in a newly formed inquisitorial cell. Although they have each presumably performed well enough in their individual trials to become agents of the throne, now they have been put together to see how they work as a team.
Sent to the backwater dustball of Iocanthos to assist another throne agent Aristarchus the Seer in investigations of some disturbing psychic phenomena surrounding the consecration of a new cathedral, we briefly learned about the native Ashleen people, the ‘political’ situation on Iocanthos, and Imperial presence before heading out on the two and a half day truck ride across the dust wastes towards the mountainous site of Stern Hope. Along the way the party encountered a few strange events themselves, including a walking corpse with it’s eyes pecked out, being ‘watched’ by Shale Crows, and finding a strange sigil mysteriously burned into a rock-face by what appeared to be an apparation that vanished into the setting sunlight. The party successfully fought off the attacks of a poorly armed band of lunatic fanatics of some sort, capturing one that led to a fruitless interrogation as the captive swore, screamed and gibbered at the party, calling them heretics. He was promptly bathed in purifying flames by our resident sister and uh… released from captivity.
The party arrived in Stern Hope, met with the Abbot’s second (Brother Lamark), mingled around the forming town a bit, and bedded down for the night in what served as the hotel, The very weary looking Aristarchus ordered that the acolytes come meet him in his room at dawn before they all go meet with the abbot together.
The party met with the rest of the acolytes, a mechanicum tech-priest, and a colourful man by the name of Decimus, They talked with the abbot, and investigated the chapel itself before attempting to set out in search of the Deathsinger, Esha Raine but encountered a warp-touched beast and had to return to the compound to recouperate. At the morning of the consecration ceremony, a contingent of fanatic voicers assaulted the compound, and the party was barely able to fend them off. shortly afterwards, there was a disagreement between Esha and Aristarchus which ended with Esha no longer backing the temple, and leaving with most of the locals… An attack on the Abbot shortly thereafter had Aristarchus send the party out after her to interrogate her, and kill her if she resists…
Bringing the House Down
With a lack of options, the party decided to trudge into the wilderness a second time towards Esha’s camp. They made quick time to the small camp, slowed down only once by a fierce sand storm. Once at the camp the acolytes met with Esha to discuss the odd happenings in the area. It was during this time that a swarm of shale crows were spotted quickly approaching the camp, followed by a dust cloud. The quickest to act was Sister Brutila, who dispatched an alarming number of the birds with mighty swings of her hammer. After the anti-climatic attack the acolytes determined that Esha was not an immediate threat and that more than likely there was some taint from within Stern Hope. The tech priest had the co-ordinance of the witch if she was needed further. They quickly began the trek back when communications were lost with Stern Hope.
Upon arrival back at the hill it was noticed that guards were not manning the posts at the gates. As the acolytes rushed in past the wall they found deserted streets that people once filled. Further searching of the camp found dead villagers in huts, the remnants of a gun-fight with priest and a few survivors who were merely shells. The party rushed to the Cathedral, preparing for the worst.
Kicking the doors open found a floating Aristarchus on the podium with the entire village standing frozen around him. Something was not right. After a few well placed shots disappeared on impact with the psyker, the party began to charge the hall. It was no sooner than when the tech priest reached Aristarchus when the Abbot appeared from the back. Rearing back, the Once-Abbot and now Daemon rushed the group. A heroic battle ensued which was filled to the brim with pew swingin’ sister singin’ action. The battle was finally won when Sister Brutila decided that she had enough and dumped a mag full of holy bolt rounds into the foul creatures grill. The top blew off the Cathedral and the day was won; well, sort of. Aristarchus lay dead from psychic backlash, the techpriest was in a bloody/oily mess on the floor, and nearly everything the party was sent to guard was destroyed.
An interesting discovery in the wreckage, however, one of the Tarot cards was not what it appeared to be, filled with some sort of xenos tech.
The party returned back to the Inquisition to give their full report. Each acolyte was poked and prodded until it was determined that they were each without taint. During this month of downtime, a report from a noble on scintilla showed that his daughter had gone missing. Normally this would not be something that the Inquisition would get involved with, however, the resourceful noble investigated and discovered a strange cult using devices that measured the “trueness” of a person. Some of the confiscated devices proved to have the same sort of Xenos tech within them as the ill-fated tarot card from Iocanthos…
It was now time for the groups next mission, Given by a high ranking member of the Inquisition itself… a Cloak and Dagger run through high society and a twisted Emperor’s Cult. Will the smooth talking “front-man” be able to lead the advanced combat unit though the game of subtlety and subterfuge?
Caught Up in the Hustle
The party arrived in Hive Sebellis and were quickly “conformed” to the upper hive’s standards . . . at least to the expectations of an upper hiver from a backwater planet. Laurence Stroffe, the party’s on world contact, and “cousin” dropped a name to contact in the middle hive, Vorlan Ordai. Grimm and Magnus took it upon themselves to check out the bounty hunter in a seedy bar. Ordai offered Grimm and Magnus a datapad recovered from the Joyous Choir. A data pad belonging to the Magistratum. he also offered to recover the encryption code to access the data pad. After subduing a local ruffian the two returned with information they had.
Mean while Lord and Lady Facade were learning the ins and outs of etiquette. Polishing themselves up and prepping for the following evening’s party at Lady Tenne Dubrella’s Estate. Information regarding Lady Dubrella had her mentioned as a member of the Joyous Choir, a group suspected in the disappearance of Saiya Stroffe. After an evening of rubbing elbows with the upper crust, and watching the reactions of high society as they partook of the narcotic Farcosia, it was time to return Lady Facade back to the estate before fiery penance released the souls of the sinners back to the Emperor.
the party then received word that the encryption drop would be made the next day in the Hustle. A market area of the middle hive. Though Brutila felt under-dressed without her hammer of thumping forgiveness, and Decimus nearly naked without his newly gained wardrobe, the whole party slipped quietly down to the Hustle. The party drew little attention, until the drop that is, as Vorlan Ordai’s head popped like a balloon and chest exploded with assassin rounds. The assassin descended from the ceiling and promptly grabbed a case and made for the nearest exit in the busy marketplace. His escape was short-lived as Sister Forgiveness filled the last thoughts of the assassin with lead.
Upon retrieving the encryption key and returning to the estate the party learned what was on the datapad. Hundreds of candidates names matched with their psychic ability potential. Some already marked processed in the datapad, and curiously missing from society. Further analysis of the Farcosia narcotic also revealed that one of the ingredients is Boraxis, a controlled xenos substance.
With that the party prepped the torches. Whoever was behind this would soon feel the warm forgiveness of the Emperor.