Mission Log

++Ref: The rise of Heretic Cell "Omega", designated "EVENT 862"++

Data-Packet Retrieved: Historical fragment - "EVENT862, 862m41"
+Inquisitorial Clearance Required…
+Welcome Inquisitor.

Item 1: A roughly scratched and hand written note, five of which were found upon the corpse of Renkard Copax when exhumed.

I am pleased to inform you that a mysterious and rare event has recently occurred and although it is not yet apparent, it is an event which involves you directly. I am the Mendacious Oracle of the Temple of Lies. My forebears and I have for many centuries, foretold the destinies of a great many fortunate souls - and some unfortunate ones…
It is our responsibility to receive visions from the Dark Gods and dispense them to those worthy of the knowledge the gods have chosen to impart. Consider yourself one such individual.
A vision, unlike any other I have received in my great years, has been given to me and cannot be ignored. I would even go to so great a length as to demand you come to me on Kymerus, rather than merely extend my invitation. I say this because to fail to impart my vision would be to damn the both of us in the eyes of the great master of magic and fates, and the other Ruinous Powers as well. Were I able to tell you on this parchment what I have to say, you would readily understand, but it is only safe to speak with you in person.
Your transportation and living expenses have been arranged for. Furthermore, you will be granted access to the entirety of the temple's services and vast libraries after you arrive, and for ever after.
Be assured, what you will learn from me greatly outweighs any concerns you may possess. I look forward to making your acquaintance.

Till me meet,
Renkard Copax

Praefector Julius Ghrond, Mission Log [Fragment 1]

I - Arrived on Chimaeris in the spaceport of Carrion Corpse. Air breathable, gravity 1.3 Terran standard. There is another Astartes on board the lander-shuttle, Orias, formerly of the Dark Angels. We are sure to receive a shared audience with the Oracle, so I strike up an easy alliance. Our skills are a good match, as his equipment suggests a preference for close-quarter fighting. I am displeased that the reason for our presence is already known among the mortals who inhabit the station. A woman-servant blurts our identities for all to hear. Copax is little graced with discretion.

II - Subtlety then, is to be of little use; I bear my armor forth into the settlement and obtain directions to the Temple. Orias accompanies me to aid in my reconnaissance. We meet briefly with the others whom the Oracle has summoned, a psyker, an adept and a temptress. They seem wary of us. The woman is swiftly bedded by one of the males from the complex. The others go into the town in search of supplies. Tributes are offered by the townsfolk as we pass, but the distraction is fleeting. We make easy progress across the Broken Desert.

III - The Temple sits atop the control spire of a downed Imperial Cruiser. The wreck is heavily fortified and protected by daemonic servants of Tzeentch. I perform a routine sweep to identify threats; the 'Inevitable Guard' resist categorization and may pose an obstacle to us if we allow our presence to cause too much of a disruption. The prophet is well protected. Orias makes a comprehensive effort of mapping the site but leaves before me. As the sky darkens, I engage my autosenses and begin the return journey.

IV - Gravity variability still causing problems for my armor's compensators. I misstep and am cast into a deep ravine while trailing Orias back to the settlement. Further superficial paint damage and a 15 minute ETA delay suffered. I crest the hill at Carrion Gap to see the end of a scuffle with a Khornate barbarian, Crox the Marauder. I watch through the scope of my rifle as Orias carves apart the brute's chainaxe and crushes his skull. The female, who had apparently stirred the townsfolk to resist the marauder, seems to take especial pleasure in his defeat.

V -We are ferried to the Temple grounds in a carrier, admitted to the Inner Sanctum and told to await summons. Praetus hurriedly ensconces himself amid the bookshelves. I casually follow Cassius' research, hoping to catch word of my secret objective. He soon becomes curious however, so instead I accompany Eliza in her search for a coven of fortune-tellers. She quickly ferrets out their hideout and turns her considerable skill at manipulation against them. They speak at length, and she seems pleased when she exits the chamber. I wonder what she has learned. I have less luck, as the rock-prophets do not answer my questions. I grow tired of their demands for fealty and head out into the Gardens in to make a manual search for the Flesh. I find a middling scribe who knows the location of a refrigerated shrine where bodies are kept of display. I kill the scribe, and reassure myself from his blood that few will take serious note of his absence. I decide to risk taking a choicer cut of the Flesh, but doing so seems to unleash a daemonic watchdog. I make to slaughter the creature but am disturbed to find my armor no proof against it's warp-imbued claws. Finally, I bury my chainweapon in it's maw. I conceal my vandalism and emerge deeply wounded but secure with my prize. Orias arrives and grows suspicious at my condition. I quickly seek out a medicae, brushing aside his questions. I see no reason for him to object or interfere, but this is a strange place, and I intend to take no chances.

Praetus the Erudite, Traitor Psyker, Personal Recollections. [- Fragment 2]

Finally. I have forged a stable telepathic with the others, though the effort has been vexing. Their thoughts are now mine, and I summon them to council. Orias petulantly declines to attend me. I suspect he is off somewhere, scheming up a way to betray us. No matter.

A numbing pain floods the link from Ghrond, who is evidently concealing a terrible wound. I dispatch Eliza to secure him medical attention, before the sync-ache gets any worse. The Temple healer is a multi-limbed snake-woman, and Eliza's open admiration boils down our telepathic link. For a blunt, her mind is surprisingly receptive to connection. After some practice I manage to dampen the link to limit this sort of feedback. Ghrond's wound will keep him in the infirmary for some time, and in his delirium he broadcasts strange and vivid fever-dreams about daemon-machines. I deduce that he will soon ask me to help him forge a plague-bolter, and set out to do some research on the matter. I instruct Cassius and Eliza to occupy themselves, and they disappear off towards the aft section.

- irritation - My research is being disrupted by the errant thoughts of my comrades. This will not do. I have decoded a stream of consciousness from both, and refined the link further to tune them out. Here follows a typical snippet -

from Casius:

• Servitor hanging from ceiling. Speaks. Too much personality for servitor. Perhaps a modification?
• Issue resolved. Solution: It contains the machine spirit of a Magos.
• Challenged to archaic game of strategy by aforementioned Magos. Success achieved in minimal time using the Atra-Delvon Left Flank maneuver (ref: 20192-31231-312349 Tactica Imperialis).
• Acquired item of interest. Exiting room. Reviewing primary objectives….

From Eliza:

He really is quite a fine man under all those robes. Fit, I'd imagine. Although augmentations sometimes limit proper flexibility. Why is he talking to that machine? This is so boring. Maybe I was wrong about him. Difficult to find someone to satisfy me in this 'Temple'. Must go back to the Halo. What was his name? Jon? Bur? Well, never mind, he'll do for now…

Thankfully the torrent stopped there. Between Cassius' binary nonsense and Eliza's foulness, the hostile, shark-toothed Librarian seems a pleasant distraction. At any rate, I have secured a suitable ritual template for Ghrond's weapon. It will be more dangerous than I predicted, but a favor from an Astartes will be worth the trouble. The next morning we are greeted by the servant of Copax, Elika, with news of Copax's summons. His minion leads us upwards, through a nightmare tower of seemingly endless stairways. The higher we get, the greater the press of the Warp on the doors of my mind. What manner of man must Copax be, to dwell all these years amid such a tempest? Outwardly he seems unremarkable, a small and crumpled man.

The Prophet dismisses Elika with a desultory wave, turning to us with a weighty tome in hand. He begins to speak to us each in turn, probing and asking questions about our pasts. Throughout the trial, he flicks through the pages of this strange and battered book, referencing dates and muttering to himself. I awed by the presence of such a powerful seer, and it seems even Ghrond is resentfully cowed by his presence. Although reluctant to share my secrets, I find myself compelled to do so. I suspect we are all under the sway of powerful hypnotic suggestion. The process confirms most of my speculation and suspicion about my peers; Cassius is indeed a rebel tech-priest of the Hett IV Lathes, Ghrond a veteran of the Babab War, and Eliza the despoiler of a Soritas Sect. In the end, Copax appears to make up his mind: "they are indeed the ones," he mutters beneath his breath. The book - he reveals - is jumbled prophetic prose, opaquely revealing some skerrick of our collective destiny in the form of an ancestor-myth. Before we can ask more of him though, he leaps to his feet, screaming with laughter.

The roof explodes in a cloud of spinning glass, as Inevitable Guard pour into the chamber from above. Their massive forms stomp inexorably forward, their humming vibro-staves held low to attack. The Prophet disappears in a flash of purple smoke, and a pair of cackling wyrds leap out in his place. Before we recover our senses, Ghrond whips off a shot at one of the Psykers, but he bends the bullet harmlessly away. The Legionnaire is quickly mobbed by the eerie daemon-hybrids and battered fiercely with crackling, rune-encrusted staves. His armor seizes-up under the assault, servos whirring and struggling to shift his mass. Eliza looses a blight-grenade in desperation, and I retreat to marshal my powers. I force one of the creatures to take its' own life, but am quickly placed on the defensive by a barrage of enemy Doombolts. Eliza and I are forced to retreat into cover, nursing terrible, necrotising burns. Cassius leaps into the fray but becomes locked in a furious contest of strength with one of the automatons. We seem sure to succumb to the Prophets' traitorous servants, but with a final, desperate effort we manage to cling to life.

I unleash the full fury of my powers, rattling the tower with vicious earthquakes, my face rippling with daemonic expressions. I grapple with the mind of the Wyrd, turning his powers back on his allies. Cassius vents radiation from his potentia-coil, unlocking Ghronds armor and grounding the lightning from our enemies' weapons. In this moment I am cast from my body in a swirl of colors, as our dueling minds are temporarily displaced. After a moment of confusion, I gleefully attempt to kill the Psyker's body from within, while Eliza restrains mine. Bleeding lifeblood, I look up to see the barrel of Ghrond's bolter. I get a remote sense that this is how a great many people have died, before my torso explodes. Disconcertingly, I feel the bullet hit, hurling me back into the void. In that moment of freefall I sense that my mind is in the balance. I am dead, yet faintly sure I still live. I struggle to retain my identity, chanting my own name, focusing fiercely on my personality. Praetus, Praetus, Praetus. I can hear another voice chanting with me, but it is chanting something else. I know the voice. I think it may be my own, or perhaps my fathers'. The voice is chanting my true name. When I fall heavily back into my body I feel flush with the blessings of the Fatespinner. But with Cassius nursing a shattered arm and the others grievously burned, the reality of our situation settles on me. We stagger to our feet, grit our teeth and prepare to escape the Prophet's maddening tower.

Eliza Tornum, Seductress of Domon, Tales for the delight of my Sisters [- Fragment 3]

After clearing the area from where the false prophet Copax had shown his foul treachery and tried to butcher us, we collected six of the arcane shock glaives and then followed the mind bending staircase downwards to the third floor of the library. It was in here, that I had located for Praetus, where Damon's Third Treatise was located. We moved quickly and cautiously at Ghrond's behest, lest more Inevitable Guard seek us out. Despite this attempt at haste it took us several hours to find the tome, wandering through the living hubris of the library.

The book itself seemed rather dull, if not deep and full of delightfully forbidden knowledge, and there was some intricacy involving the shark toothed librarian from before. My darling Sisters, you should have seen the delightful pattern on the ground during his decipatation by the Astarte's knife. Praetus's thoughts seemed to indicate he had wrestled with the mind of the librarian for ownership of the tome, before Ghrond had intervened. A mind war? How dreadfully uninspired, imagine the heights of sensation one could generate with two persons enmeshed so intimately. Ah but that is why i like Praetus so, his lack of sensual drive is a chance to practice social cooperation and intricacies I have rarely used since my Administratum career.

The book liberated from the tower, we met the other Astartes on the way down and we made haste for the exit. Leaving the temple we were accosted by Copax after his failed placations of four crimson clad Astartes broke down. He gave the most unartistic soliloquy before his Inevitable Guard attacked the crimson-armoured marines, who fought back with ruthless determination. Kopax engaged us, throwing a box to the ground which summoned two gibbering fiends, in fact Eldar daemonhosts as Praetus informed me later. I danced my way through the fight, and swayed in and out of the collapsing pilllars trying to best put my whip to use the wrangle the traitor prophet to the ground. I take no hits, and we survive the fight, but only just for Casius and Ghrond, who are badly injured, the marksman Astartes almost finishing off one of the daemons in close combat. Preatus's ensorcelled handcannon, liberated from one of the Inevitable Guards we slew upstairs, ends the life of the psychically insubstantial Copax. Orias during this combat, having finished a daemon with Casius, plows into one of the Word Bearers as it tries to shoot him down with his bolter. Two of the other Astartes fall to Orias before he executes the remainder, very unregally dragging their soiled and worthless corpses out from underneath the Inevitable Guard they had slain.

Another wave of the possessed guardians materialise before us and seemingly at the last minute my dear Orrek comes to our rescue on his half-track. Jumping aboard next to the loyal and grizzled voidmaster, I see that Orias apparently had collected the heads of the marines. He instructs Casius to interept a transponder reading in one of the helmets. Doing so we have Orrek take us to the coordinates to be greeted by the gift of a ship, left for the taking by the fool Astartes. Driving aboard we disembark to the startled faces of the crew. Orias gives a booming and warlike speech, and the crew bow and salute to us as their new masters as Orias throws the heads of their erstwhile lords at their feet. I greet the voidmaster and indicate to him that he now has a lieutenant, presenting my dear Orrek to him. We then proceeed to the bridge and after brief inspections, Orias orders take off. There are some communications problems, apparently engineering had yet to hear the news of our rightful coup. I smooth it over with navigation and engineering before Orias can make more bloodthirsty threats, and quickly and deftly the voidmaster confirms my tale. I nod to him and thank him for his loyalty. Orrek flies us out of system, avoiding the worst of the enemy cannon fire and a few days later we arrive at a space port.

After a month in port and various aquisitions we now have a 14 strong squad of armsmen for the ship the Dead Sea, that I have renamed 'The Space Bitch'. I have arrranged their equipment in light carapace and seen to ship repairs. Having commandeeered the most luxurious appartments in the ship left over (the captains having already been sullied by Orias' trophies and several of the other officer's quarters being adorned with filthy arcane symbols) I acquired for myself six personal armsman-bodyguard retainers. Their physiques are pleasing to my tastes and their loyalty, unlike others, should be assured. They are willing and eager to protect my person, and I have promised them rewards for their devotion and service, even the chance of their liberation should they serve my and the Dark Prince well. During this time I speak to the crew of the ship, I assure them of just rewards for their loyalty, and I intend to see them receive rewards for their services. Orias goes on about voiding those who are disobediant and unloyal. He can keep their fear, their love is mine. Their hearts and minds belong to Eliza Tornum, for the who could refuse a lady of the Dark Prince?

Oh we are going to a feudal world Sisters. Some wartorn planet to uniting barbarian tribes for Orias' shady patron Astartes. With luck I can acquire more well formed retainers.

++End Viewing: "EVENT862, 862m41"++

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