(700) (+1 Fate Point)
Personal Cipher Engaged
Subject: A House Reunited
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “Fortune Favors the Righteous”
Dinner negotiations with Lady-Captain Evelyn Lin went swimmingly. Cousin Roland was in top form in charm and grace and rapidly elicited from our guest confirmation that Darius Starbourne was her guest about the Star Heron. It would appear that the Starbourne Dynasty is in significant debt to the Lin Dynasty for monetary and logistical aid in the former’s botched attack on Starbourne’s World and that the Lady-Captain wants to make sure she recoups those losses.
Cousin Roland gave his assurances that he would personally give his word of protection over Darius so that he could come with us and attend negotiations with his long-estranged relative Nicolas to reunify their fractured dynasty. Lady-Captain Lin delegated her ship the Firestorm to convey Darius to Port Echo along with Lady-Captain Lin’s own representative.
During dinner, our Navigator Primaris had her own private dinner with other Houses of the Navis Nobilite serving the Lin dynasty as well as our passenger Robar Calyx. I am not privy to the inner workings of the secretive Navigator Houses, but I got the subsequent impression that House Calyx, whose own estranged branches serve both sides of this conflict, decided to push strongly for the Starbourne reunification.
We arrived at Port Echo to discover a significant battle-group of Battlefleet Ixaniad present, along with the Imperial Battleship “Cataclysm,” flagship of High Admiral Aldred. Apparently the Licenian High Admiral Silas Starbourne was already aboard the Cataclysm and engaged in ongoing negotiations. Cousin Roland set up his own negotiations on Port Echo, bringing Darius and Nicolas together. House Aguirre and its retainers went all-out in working for the success of these negotiations, and eventually, after a mere two days, all the details were hashed out. Nicolas would retain the Warrant as Lord-Captain of the Dynasty, and Darius would become his Seneschal, and perhaps subserviant Lord-Captain of one of the Dynasty’s remaining ships. Darius would lend his knowledge of the Dynasty’s commercial empire and Nicolas would lend his legitimacy and military honor. The reunified Starbourne Dynasty made their appreciation for Aguirre’s aid clear in the form of favorable trade contracts and other intangibles which can only improve our own position in the long term.
As part of the signing and sealing of this agreement, both Starbournes asked our Astropath, confusingly also named Darrius, to enter their minds to assure that no intentions of duplicity were present. I don’t think they understood just how much of themselves they would be revealing. In the course of reading Nicolas Starbourne’s mind, Darrius discovered that the Licenian Regency has, for all seven hundred years of its existence, fought a defensive war against successive waves of twisted chaos mutant raiders. These mutants, apparently the sad victims of the warp storms that swallowed a legion of Imperial Guardsmen, come from a world orbiting “Sabine’s Star,” a location to Rimward of the core Licenian worlds at the edge of the region of space known as the Birth Stars. It would appear that the “threat from the birth stars” that we have been told of in somewhat mystical terms is an actual, physical, military threat in addition to a spiritual threat to the person of the Regent. This explains why an isolated polity felt the need to have a significant standing navy.
Nicolas Starbourne renounced his commission with the Regency Navy immediately, and stayed on Port Echo to establish his control of Starbourne resources on that station while Darius returned to the Firestorm. Cousin Roland dropped by the Cataclysm to determine the state of military negotiations where he discovered that Silas Starbourne’s bargain to become Imperial Admiral of the Licenian subsector was essentially a done deal, and the extended discussions were mostly about tactical logistics going forward. Seeing that all seemed to be going according to our desires, we prepared to return once more to the Hedge to fulfill a promise to aid Lady-Captain Lin in her efforts to recover the Grand Cruiser hulk from the surface of the planet.
The Sovereign of the Void was the largest ship present, but it appears that the Lady-Captain had procured a dozen archaeotech graviton grapnels and an equal number of cargo-hauler ships to mount them in. With the Sovereign of the Void as the backbone, her small fleet, aided by the active plasma drives on the hulk itself, managed to drag it into stable orbit around the Hedge. We discovered the name of the vessel, the “Angevin’s Fire,” a Grand Cruiser owned and operated by the distant ancestor of Lady-Captain Lin in Angevin’s Crusade. It would seem that in the aftermath of that glorious time, this ancestor abdicated his Warrant to his daughter and took the Angevin’s Fire on an extended pilgrimage. This ancestor, Vargas Lin, ultimately became an Arch-Missionary of the Ordo Missionaria Galaxia, the same Vargas Lin who founded the University of the Imperial Creed on Tria. He and his ship apparently came to rest on the Hedge under circumstances mysterious.
Cousin Via, realizing this connection to her own Order, made a request for any data that might have survived two thousand years on the planet’s surface, hoping that the fate of this famed member of the Missionaria might be determined, but also that his travels and research on the native Licenian religion and culture might be ascertained. A session of bargaining ensued, and Lady-Captain Lin provided the data. It was fragmentary and corrupted, but the three Missionaries aboard the Sovereign eventually deciphered enough to make the planet of Neumos an attractive next step in our explorations of the Licenian subsector. Apparently Neumos held a prominent place in the ancient religion of the Licenian Republic as the “birth world” of that civilization, and upon an ancient cataclysm and the death of their “Emperor” they fled to settle the Licenian core world. All of this was steeped in ancient heretical beliefs, of course, but even in heresy might lie seeds of potential profit.
Cipher Lock Disengaged