(700 + GE)
(+1 Fate Point)
(Julie, Kevin, Matt, Miguel, Tyson)
Personal Cipher Engaged
Subject: The Regent’s Fall
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “The Emperor Moves in Small Ways and Large”
As we cruise through the alien dimension known as the “Webway” with our cargo of a bound Chaos godling, I wonder sometimes at the strange twists that life in a Rogue Trader dynasty takes.
No sooner had Inquisitor Steendahl removed the daemonice “Conceit” from the minds of Orison Calyx and Admiral Silas Starbourne then an Eldar flotilla arrived making the naval arrangements above the planet of Licenia even more convoluted. The Eldar seemed content to keep their distance, although Darrius, communicating with them from afar, determined that they were there to bombard Licenia should their prophesied doom come to pass.
This coincided with a telepathic plea for emergency help. The situation as it eventually emerged was this: Markov, Primarch of the Licenian Ordo Psykana, was besieged in the throne room of the Regent. Forces loyal to the Veiled Mask, including a majority of the planetary defense force, were besieging the castle while a potent chaos entity sought to manifest in this reality via the conduit that was the Regent’s mind. Admiral Starbourne was somewhat stymied, as he had no significant ground forces of his own. High Admiral Aldred had ground forces, but they would have to fight through Hive Primaris to get to the palace.
Darrius considered orbital bombardment of the entire hive to be an excellent way to ensure this godling did not emerge, but Cousin Roland, recognizing the rarity and potency of his teleportarium, volunteered to lead a small strike team to the throne room to attempt to render aid before that final solution should become necessary. They took a half-dozen of the Murder Servitors with them and entered the archaic device.
What followed Svenya informed me of after their return. They arrived to discover Markov and four of his psykers engaged in a ritual about the stasis-vault containing the half-seen form of the Regent. Soldiers were invading the room, firing at the psykers when Roland and his team arrived. Making a quick survey of the scene, they opted to repel the soldiers, at least for now. Navigator Primaris, Lady Soteris opened with a blast from her warp eye that dropped the majority of the soldiers only to discover that each of them were possessed by minor daemonlings, and the blood sacrifice of their deaths permitted a sort of half-real tangibility. Two assassins, presumably of the Veiled Mask’s organization also appeared, and Cousin Roland’s party had quite a fight on their hands.
Amidst the combat, they sought some communication with Markov as they realized that the chaos godling had essentially taken up residence in the Regent’s body, and that the stasis vault was failing. Markov communicated that he was attempting binding rituals to keep the godling trapped in the Regent’s flesh, but if he was interrupted, the entity would be unbound.
Cousin Roland’s party fought daemons and soldiers and assassins alike until Markov completed his ritual, at the expense of the lives and souls of his four psykers. The vault failed, and what emerged… well…
When I was an acolyte in the Schola Progenium I studied certain texts that I imagine the Sister Superior would have been horrified to know that I had so much as looked at. They were intended for advanced students on the path of the Battle Sister and spoke of matters daemonological. There are whispers of a type of bound daemon known as a “daemonhost”, a warp entity trapped in warded human flesh, tenuously bound to the will of the binder. This is what emerged, and it appeared to obey Markov docilely enough.
Markov then threw himself on the mercy of Cousin Roland, explaining that a chaos cult known as the Starry Order had deeply infiltrated the Veiled Mask’s secret police, as well as the High Marshall’s command structure. It is the goal of these cultists to release the godling bound into the Regent’s flesh, and he needed the use of Cousin Roland’s ship to get him and his bound monstrosity off the planet. Seeing no other alternative, Cousin Roland agreed, but not before Darrius communicated to me the need to have Cousin Via and Sister Bast meet them at the Teleportarium to keep the daemonic creature in line.
We eventually esconced the beast in a meditation cell in the Temple-Shrine, where the light of the Emperor could keep it at bay. Markov, along with the former Licenian Ecclesiarch and Cousin Via, stayed behind to monitor it. The situation on Licenia changed once word of the Regent’s fall and Markov’s defection became known. High Admiral Aldred started dropping Imperial Guard detachments to Hive Primaris while the Consul’s freedom fighters, borne with the Eldar fleet, and supported by the Consul’s “Praetorian” Space Marines, entered the fray (against Admiral Starbourne’s will). The fight was no longer about an invasion of the Regency as it was the recapturing of the Hive from chaos-worshiping rebels.
Inquisitor Syrah Distaff, aboard the ship of Rogue Trader Aric Corbin, emerged from behind Licenia’s moon to attempt to sway the High Admiral into taking a harder Imperial line. Cousin Roland spoke stirringly about the need for all the children of Licenia to join together to bring peace in the name of the Emperor. Eventually the Inquisitor came over to the Sovereign of the Void to parlay with Inquisitor Steendahl and Cousin Roland. Both Inquisitors agreed on a need to return to Ichabarr to report to the Inquisition all of the events in the subsector, and Inquisitor Steendahl offered Cousin Roland the option to transport them. Unspoken was the assumption that Cousin Roland had a transaction to finalize regarding the value of the planet Neumos, as well as the assumption that the Ordo Malleus back on Ichabarr might be able to handle this daemonhost, the existence of which was not made known to Distaff.
Roland acquiesced, but recognized that transporting a daemonhost through the warp was a potentially disastrous move if the gellar field should fail, and so he, the Lady Soteris, and the Inquisitor Steendahl hit on a plan to utilize the Sovereign of the Void’s unique properties to navigate the Eldar webway. They invited a diplomat to visit from the Eldar fleet, who offered to take the daemonhost off our hands. After some consideration, Roland declined, but did get the cooperation of the Eldar in aiding Lady Soteris in navigating their esoteric dimension.
And so we have. We have just left the nexus of Craftworld Aletheia, and we are in the hands of Lady Soteris as she navigates this confusing network of quasi-real tunnels. It is my prayer that soon this daemonhost will be off our ship.
Cipher Lock Disengaged
Cipher Lock Engaged
We have arrived at an Inquisition fortress-station in the Ichabarr system. Cousin Roland and an Inquisitor Valenti, with a contingent of Gray Knights, have taken Markov and the daemonhost off our hands. I am informed as a preliminary matter that Roland has negotiated a sum for Neumos and all it’s related properties (including the 117 refugee Tech Priests) that is, frankly, staggering. We could buy a new ship or two with that sort of payout. I trust Cousin Roland may shortly put this cursed vessel aside for one more… wholesome.
Cipher Lock Disengaged.