Personal Cipher Engaged
Subject: Uneasy Foundations
Cipher-Lock: Sister Minerva de Liire – Ordo Famulous
Thought for the Day: “The Foundation of the Imperium is Faith”
I’m not entirely sure what to think of Cousin Roland’s new retainer. Julius Zora has found both origin and destiny, and can not be reliably said to be human, notwithstanding his appearance. He has instantaneous access to knowledge I’m not even remotely equipped to evaluate. I fear that Roland has played midwife to the birth of something monstrous.
We departed the Eldar Craftworld none-too-soon with the intention of following up with reports from Port Aguirre. It would seem, however, that the direct route would have taken far longer than routing our journey past Neumos. When we arrived in the vicinity of that world, we encountered a chaos invasion force.
The Void Star, captained by Interrogator Marigold, alongside Angrom’s Fury, captained by Astrid Flamel, fought alongside our old ship, the Sovereign of the Void, commanded by Elder Soros. They opposed a fleet of six chaos ships consisting of four raiders, a planetary-invasion cruiser, and a carrier.
The battle was vicious if brief, by the standards of such things. In the end, only the chaos carrier escaped. The planetary-invasion cruiser completed its task, albeit probably not in the way it intended. The burning hulk continued on its trajectory to crash into Neumos in pieces. The Forgehammer took significant damage, but not enough to unduly threaten it. Of our allied ships, only the Sovereign of the Void was destroyed as chaos raiders boarded it and detonated the nova-cannon magazine. I admit, it gave me something of a pang to see this vessel, the first ship I had the honor of commanding as First Officer under Roland, burning in the void.
The battle was, apparently, a defensive action. The Consul and Inquisitor Steendahl had already transported themselves to the surface. We brought the wreck of the Sovereign of the Void to a halt so that Marigold of the Void Star could engage in rescue or salvage operations. Flamel took up picket duty against possible chaos reinforcements, and Roland and his retainers took a shuttle to the surface to try to track down the Inquisitor and the Consul.
When they returned, some hours later, it was on the heels of a dark bargain. Julius Zora had achieved his created destiny by joining with the planetary mind of Neumos, but Inquisitor Steendahl had, of course, expressed certain reservations about permitting such a walking heresy to roam freely through the galaxy. Cousin Roland brokered an agreement. Zora would join House Aguirre and would harbor under the protection of our Warrant of Trade, providing to us wonders of archaeotech to make our dynasty’s fortune and future secure. In exchange, he, through our dynasty, will slowly seek to bring a technological renaissance to the Imperium. Inquisitor Steendahl would have Marigold bonded to Neumos as one of the Consul’s peers, alongside our Confessor, Sister Tyrian, who would stay on Neumos to bring the light of the Emperor to the inhabitants, and guide them as another bonded soul. Navigator Primaris Soteris managed to get one of her own embedded on the planet as well, creating a “Council” of individuals to monitor the heretical planet, and hopefully act as a check on the Consul’s power.
We now act as guardians, shepherds, and beneficiaries of a font of ancient knowledge with the potential to revolutionize the Imperium… or get us all killed. We have a tentative alliance with the Inquisition, and access to technology no-one else can match. It may well be that we will thrive on this bargain. I worry, however, about the impact it will inevitably have on our souls.
Cipher Lock Disengaged