The Licenian Crusade

Negotiation and Obligation

Port Echo / The Webway

(700)
(Julie, Kevin, Matt, Miguel, Tyson)

Personal Cipher Engaged

Subject: Complex Military Negotiation
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “The Emperor speaks through truthful tongues”

We arrived in the vicinity of Port Echo, outside of macrobattery range thanks to the skill of our Navigators, whereupon Cousin Roland entered into initial negotiations with High Admiral Silas Starbourne of the Licenian Regency. Our speculations as to his intention to defect to the Imperium were not dashed as he invited Cousin Roland and an entourage to dine with him aboard his flagship.

We arrived, bringing with us the “Ecclesiarch” of the Licenian Regency, our passenger, as well as Robar Calyx, similarly associated with that regime. The High Admiral met us with all due formality, making it clear in his greetings and speech that he considered Roland to a “cousin” Rogue Trader, notwithstanding his own high military rank. With him was another member of the Regency Council, Orison Calyx, the Patriarch of that house, a number of flag officers, and finally Lady-Captain Surma of Port Echo.

I sat beside Cousin Roland, prepared to offer my subtle aid should it prove necessary. It didn’t. Roland was in excellent form, having recovered somewhat from his unfortunate daemonic encounters. Roland explained that the attack by Darrius Starbourne was not an official act of the Imperium, but rather the attempt by a misguided Rogue Trader to accomplish long-held ambitions. He furthermore indicated that he, Roland, on behalf of the Imperium, and empowered by Commodore Tyrian, was there to negotiate terms of reintegration with the Imperium.

I noted this subject caused some consternation among some of the flag officers. The conversation wended its way around this subject with a certain amount of politesse before, at the conclusion of the sorbet that started the dinner, four of Starbourne’s flag officers choked and keeled over dead, apparently by poison. At this point, the High Admiral spoke plainly. He told Cousin Roland that it was his intention to join the Imperium, bringing the loyal elements of his navy with him, provided he could be assured of the rank of Admiral of the Licenian Subsector within the overall Naval hierarchy. He furthermore indicated that he planned on passing off his Warrant of Trade to his eldest son to continue to the Starbourne Rogue Trader Dynasty while he personally served the Imperial Navy in his new capacity. He indicated that he and Patriarch Calyx were of one mind on this matter, and that it was also his belief that the head of the Regency’s Adeptus Mechanicus also favored re-integration. He outlined the political obstacles, namely the Regency’s Ordo Psykana, whose entire power base relied upon the continued existence of the Regent and the beacon he represents. The Veiled Mask, who leads the Regency’s secret police and propaganda arm, would likely also resist, as would the majority of the planetary defense forces under the command of the High Marshall.

The High Admiral did not sugar-coat the obstacles ahead, but indicated that Cousin Roland should take his offer to the Commodore and higher up the chain of command as necessary while he continued to “protect” Port Echo.

The conversation went on rather longer than that, of course, but those were the salient highlights. After returning to the Sovereign of the Void, Cousin Roland, his senior retainers, and I discussed matters. I offered my extensive connections in Sector government, the nobility, and the Administratum to spread rumors of High Admiral Starbourne’s capability and military might, as well as willingness to bring it all under High Admiral Aldred’s command with the notion that these rumors would reach Aldred and prepare him to receive such a proposition favorably. Cousin Roland accepted my offer and I worked with the Astropathic choir to send a number of messages to this effect, as well as to my contacts within the Ecclesiarchy on behalf of the Licenian “Ecclesiarch” who is aiming for the title of Cardinal within the greater church.

Cousin Roland decided that it would be more politic to bring this offer to Commodore Tyrian and permit him to bring the matter to High Admiral Aldred, thus saving face and permitting him to turn his apparent defeat into a victory. This excellent idea, coupled with Roland’s silver tongue, made the Commodore deeply indebted to House Aguirre, promising extensive resources should Cousin Roland need them. He sent a return message for Starbourne, and we returned to Port Echo to deliver the Commodore’s provisional acceptance while we awaited his own report to Aldred.

We spent a day or two at Port Echo whereupon Uncle Svenya discovered that multiple factions were scouring the station for the elusive Darius Starbourne, who had failed so spectacularly to bring the Licenian branch of his House under his control. Despite these searches, nobody had yet uncovered any evidence that he had returned to the station. Lord-Captain Lazar Starling, however, once again demonstrated his… quite unusually effective sources of information and offered to reveal to Svenya the location where Darius Starbourne was hiding in exchange for House Aguirre’s intercession with High Admiral Starbourne to permit ships of the Starling Dynasty through the blockade, granting effectively a monopoly in the import of badly needed supplies. This Lord Captain Roland did, convincing High Admiral Silas Starbourne on the basis of Port Echo’s need, not mentioning the lead on his rival. Having delivered on his promise, Svenya received the news that Darius Starbourne was apparenly hiding aboard the “Star Heron,” flagship of Lady Captain Evelyn Lin, currently in orbit around the Hedge.

We set off, now, once more, to that remote planet, this time to see if we can untangle whatever threads of obligation and alliance that may exist between the Lin dynasty and Darius Starbourne’s branch of the Starbourne Dynasty. In preparation for this departure, Lord Captain Roland met and spoke with High Admiral Starbourne’s son, Nicolas Starbourne, Lord-Captain of his father’s flagship. In this meeting, they learned some of the details of the altercation at Starbourne’s world, and got Nicolas’ assurances that should they convince Darrius to emerge from hiding, Nicolas will treat him well in exchange for House integration under Nicolas.

We shall see what further complications we discover once we arrive at the Hedge.

Cipher Lock Disengaged

Personal Cipher Engaged

Subject: Strange Meetings
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “Faith Brooks No Blasphemy”

We have arrived at the Hedge. Lord Captain Roland invited Lady Captain Lin to dine aboard the Sovereign of the Void, but put off the dinner itself until after he and his retainers had descended to the surface. He had decided that it would be a good idea to keep the Consul informed of ongoing political developments lest the terrorist leader undermine our efforts. After that, he determined to enter the complicated negotiations alluded to in my previous entry.

They have just returned from the planet ill at east. All I have thus far learned is that the Consul is more than he seems, and unlikely to be a Primarch. Nevertheless, his agenda aligns with our own, and he is willing to coordinate his terrorist network with our own interests going forward. If I were not so busy putting the final touches on the formal dinner for Lady Captain Lin, I would press for more information. Perhaps after dinner once Lin and her people have departed.

Cipher Lock Disengaged

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