The Licenian Crusade

Return to the Void

Ichabarr System / Throne of the Sky Father

(500 + GE)
(Julie, Kevin, Leigh, Matt, Miguel, Tyson)

Personal Cipher Engaged

Subject: An Overhaul and Refit
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “The Emperor’s Voice Whispers in the Smallest Detail”

We have spent the last month and a half enjoying the fruits or our arrangement with the Inquisition over the matter of Neumos. The Sovereign of the Void has been in dock at the Calveren Naval Shipyards in the Ichabarr system receiving a fairly boggling number of upgrades. The ship’s antiquity meant that there was a lot of unused space, empty decks, unpowered segments, and empty crawlspaces full of the rusting detritus and half-repaired bulkheads of centuries past, some crawling with long-forgotten mutants. Our time in dock has permitted a team of thousands of technicians to overhaul the ship, installing new systems to increase our ability to profit from our endeavors. Amidst the new cargo holds, salvage systems, defensive countermeasures, etc. cousin Roland opted to turn a large segment of little-used space near the Temple-Shrine into a full-fledged arboretum. He arrange the import of pleasant trees, bushes, landscaping, water features, and the rest, at great expense, to be installed under plasteel domes looking out upon the stars. I have spent time in this new park and I find it soothing… certainly more so than the melodium that was also installed. While I enjoy music as much as the next person, having it piped throughout the ship constantly does get a bit aggravating.

A number of personal items were purchased as well. Our armsmaster has a shiny new set of light power armor and our Navigator Primaris has a quite-unusual new weapon of xenos manufacture. Most disconcerting, however, is Astropath Darrius’ new cybernetic eyes. It is clear that his soul-bonding to the Emperor has rendered him utterly incapable of sight, even by artificial means. I gather he had them installed for cosmetic purposes, but as he has not quite figured out how to operate them effectively, it gives him a vaguely leering countenance. I shall have to give him some gentle suggestions on putting people at their ease.

As our upgrades neared completion, Commodore Tyrian and Task Force Litany returned to the Ichabarr system, having been the first group of ships to be rotated out of the Licenian subsector. The Commodore came to dinner aboard the Sovereign where he conveyed the Lord-Sector’s personal gratitude for the service of House Aguirre in recent months, conveyed the formal honor of “Lord-Captain” rank upon cousin Roland, and more importantly, rendered due payment for our services in reconnoitering the subsector for the Battlefleet’s arrival. It seems like so long ago that this task was first given us that it was nearly possible to forget the contract that brought us there in the first place.

After the formal honors were concluded, the Commodore introduced us to his daughter, an attractive young redhead named Noemi Tyrian, who had apparently recently returned from an extensive sojourn at the edges of the Scarus sector as a Sister of the Missionaria Galaxia. The Commodore was well aware that cousin Via had stayed behind on Licenia to aid the former “arch-ecclesiarch” in his ambitions to become Cardinal of the subsector, and more importantly, to aid him and the former Regency in integrating into the proper Imperial faith. Realizing that the Sovereign of the Void may be lacking in a Ship’s Confessor, the Commodore informed cousin Roland that he would take it as a personal favor if Roland were to accept his daughter aboard to serve in that capacity. Missionaries often find common cause with Rogue Traders, and I personally was delighted that all the structure and elaborate schedules of religious services that cousin Via had instituted among the crew would carry on with minimal interruption under the stewardship of another of Via’s order.

I gave the dear girl some time to settle in before approaching her. Underneath the red hair, freckles, and cute, slightly upturned nose there seems to be a fairly cunning mind and I was overall quite pleased with my impressions. I sought to bring her into my confidence by revealing certain matters regarding Svenya and the history of the ship upon which she now serves. While I do not anticipate betrayal from Svenya, it is always best to take precautions, and having a solid ally of a fellow Sister of the Faith is never a bad thing.

I noted she seemed more suspicious than cousin Via of the Adeptus Mechanicus, asking quite penetrating questions as to the extent of that cult’s flock aboard the ship. I think she was somewhat pleased to note the… fervency of our crew’s faith, reinforced by the constant presence of the Emperor’s mercy should they fail in their devotion. I don’t know what issue she may have with the Mechanicus aside from the usual rivalry. She is not highly ranked enough in the Ecclesiarchy to have an active role in the “War of the Empty Cathedrals” played out by the Cardinals of the Ecclesiarchy and Magi of the Mechanicus. Perhaps it’s something personal.

After Missionary Tyrian settled in, we departed for the Licenian subsector once more, aiming to conclude the errand asked of us by the Eldar of Craftworld Aletheia. The journey through the warp was a long one, stretching out some few weeks. Near the end of it we encountered a most disturbing apparition… a fabled space hulk hurtling through the Empyrean. Such things are rarely encountered in the warp itself, and I could see cousin Roland desperately trying to conceive of a way to salvage or profit from it while still warp-bound. We received signals of all sorts, most of them insane gibberish. Of note, amidst the aggregated wreckage, were two capitol ships of the Children of Thorns, a truly antique Battle Cruiser dating from the time of the Horus Heresy, the light cruiser “Serena’s Grace,” a ship of the Adeptus Sororitas, lost in the warp during the Meritech Wars, and an assortment of blasphemous alien ships that seemed to greatly disturb Astropath Darrius, who has made a study of such things.

While I was personally quite interested in the “Serena’s Grace” there did not appear to be any way to dock with the hurtling hulk or salvage anything while still enveloped in the safety of our Gellar field. There was the notion that perhaps research in old records might identify this particular hulk, and perhaps predict when it might emerge from the warp once more and where, but such speculation remains quite tentative at best. We had to, somewhat reluctantly, leave it to continue hurtling through the void.

Through some error of astromancy, we emerged from the warp practically on top of the planet we sought. This is somewhat of a mixed message when it comes to the admittedly significant talents of our Navigator Primaris. She pinpointed a single planet that had not been visited in millenia based on old charts to the point where we were practically on top of it… yet arriving that close was incredibly dangerous. Fortunately Svenya’s piloting skills apply to cruisers as well as shuttles, and the calm demeanor of cousin Roland and our new Ship’s Confessor kept the crew from panicking, and we fled the seething energy fields that have been the deaths of so many other ships.

We are now parked at a safe distance, contemplating this dangerous world while damage-control teams put out plasma fires. The damage appears to be minor. We would have lost more crew if not for the new servitor-reclamation facilities installed aboard the ship. The Enginseer Prime and her people are doubtless quite pleased that such… raw materials… have not gone to waste. Personally, I will say a prayer for the souls of those who have now been given over to the Machine Cult’s graces.

Cipher Lock Disengaged



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