(500 + GE)
(Julie, Leigh, Matt, Miguel, Tyson)
Personal Cipher Engaged
Subject: The Throne of the Sky Father
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “Chance Favor’s the Emperor’s Own”
The wreckage from the fragmented space hulk rained down upon the planet below. Storms and fires raged out of control. Fortunately most of the more valuable salvage sites escaped direct hits. While the planet burned, we considered what we had salvaged. The primitives we rescued began integrating into the crew-clans under the careful eye of Missionary Tyrian’s lay-priesthood and the more covert eye of our shipboard death cult. Marduk, their high priest, was another concern. Interrogator Svenya of the Ordo Xenos considered him a real and present threat more for what knowledge he may possess than for any hostile intentions, as Marduk seemed more than happy to be aboard a still-functioning “gift” of the Sky Father, on his way to meet his deity. Svenya arranged to sedate Marduk’s acolytes, although the sedative failed to work on Marduk himself. Svenya then invoked Inquisitorial authority to commandeer this vessel to deliver Marduk and his acolytes to Inquisitor Steendahl, which would presumably have taken us weeks back to Ichabarr and more weeks back.
I was hesitant to leave this world so quickly after we had opened up its riches for salvage, but Svenya was adamant that these psykers represented a real and present danger. Before we could depart, however, we detected a faint transmission from the planet’s surface. We were being hailed by a Frigate-class vessel calling itself the Silver Crescent, commanded by Lord Captain Aasif Haram of the Haram Dynasty. Apparently the ship had crashed upon the planet two weeks before our own arrival, having appeared out of the warp nearly atop the planet just as we had. Only now had they been able to repair their vox-caster, and only now that the shroud was dropped could their transmissions leave the planet in any case. As Lord Captain Roland was still unavailable, Svenya asked my counsel. I told him that we had two clear options: 1) destroy the vessel and all aboard and hope that Dynasty Haram never discovered it; 2) Render aid to Dynasty Haram’s vessel and reap the diplomatic and monetary rewards, but also risking leaving a rival to plunder the planet while we urgently departed.
Svenya opted to promise food, water, and medical aid to inhabitants of the trapped ship while communicating their location to Lord-Captain Aasif Haram’s brother, the bearer of the Warrant, Ali Haram aboard the Golden Sparrow. Aasif believed that Ali was merely a few days by warp travel away. This plan was altered with Navigator Primaris Soteris, utilizing the sight of her kind, noticed daemonic and xenos infestations growing from the impact craters of the shattered space hulk. At this point, Missionary Tyrian engaged in negotiations with Lord-Captain Aasif Haram, utilizing the force of personality that only the truly faithful may summon, to compel truth from him. He offered a service, namely the fact that we could not adequately protect our claim to the planet if we’re leaving so quickly. He offered to guard our stake in the salvage against third parties in exchange for 20% of the total salvage value of the planet below. In my estimation this would permit Dynasty Haram to recover their losses from the crash, but little more. It seemed a reasonable bargain, and we reached an accord. Svenya then agreed to delay our departure for a few days until the Golden Sparrow could arrive with its Lance battery to excise some of the daemonic and xenos encampments that were flourishing below. Our new nova cannon is far too blunt a weapon and would destroy much of the very salvage we could profit from.
Since we were waiting in-system anyway, we evacuated the Silver Crescent. Cousin Roland entertained Lord-Captain Aasif Haram. Dynasty Haram, it would seem, has close ties to the Ecclesiarchy and access to… interesting resources. Overall, however, their philosophy seems well-aligned with Cousin Roland’s piety. A few days later Lord-Captain Ali Haram arrive and was similarly courteous and grateful for our succor of his brother and his niece, the Lady Fatima Haram. He regaled us at dinner with the current news from Licenia, including the bounty placed on the head of the Consul by High Admiral Aldred, as well as current events out of Port Echo. He was overall a very congenial dinner guest. He and Cousin Roland retired to have a more private conversation which I was not privy to.
Having confirmed the friendship between our two dynasties, we left the Haram to survey the salvage on the planet while we left to deliver Marduk to Inquisitor Steendahl. In the interim, Astropathic communication revealed that Steendahl was in the vicinity of Neumos. We had a somewhat rocky passage, encountering a brief warp storm that our Navigator Primaris handled quite ably. We arrived at Neumos and noted the presence of Inquisition satellites and a fairly stealthy Grand Cruiser. After Svenya communicated our bona-fides, we were permitted to dock at the lunar base formerly belonging to the Mechanicus where the Inquisition had their base of operations.
I am given to believe there were some tensions between Marduk and Inquisitor Steendahl that were ultimately resolved. Marduk, his acolytes, and one of the artifacts recovered from the Throne of the Sky Father were delivered into Steendahl’s care. I noted that Svenya’s gait seemed slightly more… authoritative when he returned. I hesitate to speculate as to why.
We departed almost immediately to Craftworld Aletheia. Once again, Cousin Roland and his entourage boarded the massive vessel to confer with its mysterious Farseer. The sooner this Eldar artifact, as well as this massive war machine full of Eldar souls, is delivered the happier I’ll be.
Cipher Lock Disengaged