Captains Personal Reflections

+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System
+Thought for the day: An Eldar walks into a bar… a Squat walks under it

Shortly after leaving real-space from Port Wander, Sarvas received a powerful Astropathic summons from a registered Imperial vessel "Hand of Redemption", requesting our immediate course re-direction to the Svaard system, courtesy of a Captain Keel. Hades predicts that the route will take us approx. 14 days to complete. The Cadre and I decide that it is best to send a reply message to the Hand of Redemption, informing them that our trip will take closer to 21 days, all the better to keep this Captain Keel on the backfoot I say.
The sudden de-translation and re-direction seemed to throw Navigator Vulcanov off his game somewhat, with the proceeding warp travel being rather… turbulent, to say the least. I hold nothing against him however, the curiousity is still coming to grips with his gifts and the Navis Nobilite aboard the ship reassure me that he has much potential. Nevertheless we enter real-space in 14 days as predicted. What was un-predicted however was that we would do so within half a void unit of the Hand of Redemption. I tell you, nothing gets the blood pumping like staring into the broadsides of a Heavy Class Cruiser, so close that you could almost see the shocked faces of the bridge crew desperately performing evasive manouvers. (I find myself wondering if Hades did that on purpose in what I could only interpret as a sick and tasteless joke. I should speak with Sarvus about teaching him some proper humour. For instance, did you hear the one about the Tech Priests? There are two Cog-boys monitering a cogitator. One turns to the other and says "Have you heard about this new techno-virus going around? Apparently it can cause havoc with your personality core" The other says to the first "Im not worried. Im a servitor!")

We are hailed by the Hand of Redemption and informed that they are sending accross a shuttle with officials aboard to handle the negotiations. The shuttle takes approx. 40min to dock with the Ark. I great them with the Cadre and a squad of Guard about 20 minutes after that (had to make sure my boys were dressed in their best), Im sure the officials dont mind waiting. I am greeted by a narrow young woman who introduces herself as Ensign Flem. I find myself pondering the reason the sent an NCO to perform negotiations, perhaps because a Comminssioned Officer fetches quite a tidy ransom… We exchange pleasentries before she informs me that her Captain wishes to meet. I agree to make my way to the Hand of Redemption within the hour and thank her for delivering the message with such professionalism and efficiency. She seems taken aback by the compliment (perhaps they are few and far between in the Battle Fleet Calixis) and departs shortly thereafter. The Cadre and I discuss how we shall play this one. Arthis suggests taking the squad of Guard with us and have them mingle with the Hands' crew, hoping they might be able to glean something we may miss. I concur and make sure each soldier is provided with a sum of thrones, some lho-sticks and mild-quality amasec (grease the proceedings you might say)

We are greeted aboard the Hand of Redemption by the Ensign Flem, who directs the Cadre and I to the officers mess. Reth's perculiar servo skull flitted about like a wounded pidgeon, seemingly ecstatic at all the new information it was absorbing through the ship data-sphere. A few crewmen avert their eyes nervously at the sight of Hades. In all fairness he attempted his best "Im really not going to murder you" smile but to no avail. As expected the officers sections of the ship are lavish beyond all means (even greater so than my own quarters, the next time we make planet-fall I simply must hire a new interior designer). Ensign Flem departs at this point, stating that the mess is no place for an NCO. I thank her again and inform her that her efforts will be reported to the Captain along with a reccomendation from myself. She tries her best to remain stoic but I do believe I saw the hint of a smile creep onto her lips. Food and drink are served while the Cadre and I wait for the Captain to call us over. He is brief and dismissive but I expected no less, he is simply trying to maintain poise after our near collision earlier that day and keep me off-guard. After dinner has been served (all bloody 9 courses of the stuff, really I have no idea where Sarvus puts it all, the man weighs but 100pounds! Reth stared impassively at each course brought forward, the serving girl oblivious to the fact that he hadnt touched his food at all) the Captain invites me to his quarters to discuss business. The invitation states that only myself is needed but I opt to invite the Cadre aswell. Captain Keel is surprised to see my full command but recovers well and we shortly fall into small talk about the status of the ships, past battles and glories long lost. Keel eventually reveals the reason for my summons. An Imperial Envoy, last seen on route to the Svaard System, has gone missing. The job of finding him (or her) fell to Captain Keel. According to past logs the Arkaidos Dynasty founded the Svaard system some 4-5 thousand years ago, hence Keel's request for my assistance. Keel wishes for my crew and I to find the missing Envoy and bring him back to the Hand of Redemption, in return, he will turn a blind eye to any profit we make along the way. I dont feel the need to point out that because I technically own the system I do not need his blessing to act as I see fit. I agree to assist him in his endevours and the Cadre and I return to the Ark.

The Svaard system lies in a dense cloud of gases and debris, caused by the death throes of one of the planetoids. After a breif scan we find an active station and make planet fall. The place is a frozen tundra and the people are hardy miners. We are greeted warmly by the cheif spokesman named Tal. It appears they see my return as the dawn of a new age and an end to their struggles. Tal reveals that in the last few decades that a large portion of the system has turn against the Arkaidos rule, refusing to work and rising up in revolt. These people are known as the Whisperers, and their ability for infiltration and insurgency knows no bounds. As a result the mining has come to a complete standstill. The last tithe collection of the system was almost 1000 years ago, meaning that a large stockpile of minerals are waiting to be appropriated. Apparently the Envoy was interested in the Cathedral, a floating monastary that houses the Astropaths of the system. The co-ordinates of the Cathedral are locked inside a facility on the Asteroid of Silence, a large chunk of space debris in orbit around the dying planet. The Cadre and I decide to first investigate the missing Envoy before dealing with the problems of the system, and make headway for the Asteroid.

The rock has a single structure, a large tower in the shape of the Imperial Aquila. The tower seems to project a force dome that provides a stable atmosphere and gravity for a small localised area approx. 10km in diameter. The dome contains hundreds upon thousands of statues in various states of completion. We decide to investigate before ordering the troops down. In hindsight we should of brough them with us. Shortly after landing the tower shot beams of purple light at the statues, causing them to activate like some fantastical servitor. They prove difficult but not impossible to destroy. We retreat to the cutter and are forced to rapel down closer to the Aquila tower. Inside we find artisan quarters and libraries containing dessicated corpses (possibly the designers of this place?). A spiral staircase leads to the top of the tower and is the next logical step in the mission. Upon reaching the summit we are halted by a mysterious lavender flame that blocks our passage. Reth bravely attempts to pass through, only to have his carapace come alive once touched by the flames. Yes you have read that correctly dear reader, his armour came alive and attempted to run off still attached to his body! We managed to free the Explorator but unfortunately his carapace… ran away… Further attempts to pass through the flame met with failure, I myself was knocked unconcious for a moment trying to cross the threashold in naught but my under-roos. Arthis successfully navigated his way through (in the nude I should add, he did not wish to lose his rather expensive gilded carapace armour) but was then at a loss with what to do. Hades too lost his mesh when the sorcerous flames contacted him. The woven suit swam through the air like some water serpent before perching on the ceiling and hissing at us. We realised that with each touch the flame became weaker, until after some time it was low enough for us to pass safely (some kind of defence mechanism that requires sacrifice to pass?)

The top of the tower held no relief however, as shortly after we made the summit we were set upon by a statue of the glorious saviour of man-kind himself! Through an act of sheer bravey and balls Reth climbed the back of the might construct and smote its head from its shoulders in a shower of stone (Im not entirely sure he didnt enjoy it too…). I along with Sarvus felt in no small way disgusted with having to destroy such a beautiful benediction to the immortal god-emperor, but alas some things must be done…


+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System; Land Miner
+Thought for the day: A Rhino with 4 Traitor Astartes falls off a cliff. Why is this a tradgedy? Because 6 of the seats were empty!

After the Battle of Silence (as it shall henceforth be known) the Cadre and I discussed possible sources of profit from the queer asteroid. After some time we decided upon allowing the excavation team to begin cataloging the mounds upon mounds of tomes within the tower, hoping to glean some shard of evidence as to the potential profitability of the system. Approx. half of the excavation team and a dozen priests made their way asteroid-side to begin the length process. I had hoped to speak with Confessor Marksis directly about what he may find in the upper levels of the tower but it appeared as tho Hades got to him first. Marksis regaled me with a tale of "sub-human warp-spawn" telling him the Emperors holy workings and "brutish canon-fodder" threatening him with bodily harm. It took some time to calm his clearly frazzled nerves (Im not entirely sure frazzled is a real word, I must consult the Librarium in due course to check its validity and if found wanting, add it to my collected list of "words to be added to Gothic") and smooth things over. I sternly reminded the god-botherer (sorry your Holiness, but you now how some of these priestly types get(priestly? thats definitely not a word)) that the Navis Nobilite are an accepted form of human mutation paramount to the expansion of His holy word, and that he should expect such a response from the Arch Militant, who like myself, has taken quite a shine to Hades. In any case, the Cadre and I leave the team to work and prepare to make our way to the next area of investigation, the Cathedral.

The Psyker Avery (Hades has taken to calling it such, reminds me far too much of a prison exclusively for fowl(that reminds me, grilled poultry for dinner with roasted tubers(I wonder if Sarvus has eaten all the stocks yet… If so the next re-supply is coming out of his pay!))) returns little information from our Auger Arrays. We decided that a small team would do best in this situation, and decide to leave the Ark in its current location, taking just the Vendetta and the Cadre. We enter the Cathedral in void-suits, something I never really developed a stomach for, Hades seems to enjoy himself immensely and must constantly be reminded that attempting to actually jump to the nearest star would result in a most untimely end. We are stood fast by an ornate portal bearing the Adeptus Mechanicus logo, and defer to the superior intellect of Reth who, as predicted, comes up with a dastardly simple yet decisively effective plan to open. Inside we find a long-dead Tech-Priest, his skin long since turned to parchment and dust. Much was our surprise when the Cog-boy lashed out, draining Reth's servo skull of energy and launching an attack! Brittle automatons spring to life, peppering the Cadre and I with auto-fire. In typical fashion, Reth blindly charges the rogue tech-priest, engaging it in single combat. Not so blind however, was Reth's plan to force the creature onto a shrine dedicated to the Savior of Man. Upon contact with the Holy Edifice, the creature hissed and burned as tho struck by fire, allowing the combined efforts of Reth, Hades and Arthis to bring it down. Reth reboots the stations systems long enough for us to check the most recent logs. Apparently a small ship docked here not long ago, but left shortly after. Perhaps our missing envoy? Further investigation leads us to the emancipated corpses of the Astropaths and their handlers, no evidence of the Envoy or any sign of attack is present on the bodies. The station still has purpose however, it could be salvaged into parts required to rebuild damaged mining equipment we are sure to come across as we delve deeper into Svaard, I must remember to discuss such possibilities with Tiberius…

Upon our return to the Ark I dive once more into my records, searching for clues relating to the system. Huzzah! (again, not a real word) I finally find a shred of information that could help us unlock the mysteries of Svaard. According to family history, my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great ,great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, grand father, Sir Archivald Arkaidos, hid a Xenos artifact of great power within the system. I share this new found information with the crew, hoping to pick their brains as to the nature of the item. Many appear taken aback by my revelation (surely their minds were merely glossed over at the thought of what profit could be had from such an ancient relic) but I pay it no heed, as we soon come to our next location, the main industrial planet of the system. The blighted planet is heavily irradiated, the only source of power being a defunct land-miner the size of a Hive city. Our reconnaissance is cut short however, when the Halo Lander containing a contingent of soldiers is struck down by an unseen enemy fighter. We can only listen in silence as their screams echo over the vox and reverberate in our minds. I take up the vox to give the men their final benediction, before being gently reminded by Reth that whoever shot them down could be monitoring the radio waves. By gently reminded of course I mean he smashed the Vox with his hammer, before apologizing for his outburst and offering to fix the unit. The Cadre and I decide it be best to land in the lower reaches of the Land-Miner, coming in under the radar as it were. We take some anti-air fire on our approach, thankfully none strike the Vendetta. I make a mental note to recommend the pilot for a promotion once we are safely back aboard the Ark. The landing is a hurried affair, with Hades barely off the skid before the pilot banks away. The acidic atmosphere makes short work of our void suits, leaving us just enough time to cut our way in before they slough off our bodies like a serpents skin. A short while later Reth deciphers a binary code, detailing the possible location of loyal servants in the lower holds of the Crawler. The message goes on to reveal that the Whisperers have control of the majority of the Land-Miner, enforced by the brief combat we had with a patrol of the traitors. Arthis and I stage a brilliant ambush, making short work of the deviants. Reth displays his typical forward thinking approach, barging up a narrow flight of stairs shield-first, securing and subduing a prisoner for questioning. Hades power comes to the fore, eliminating a counter assault in a few brief seconds of hellish screams and violent light. With the enemy dead (or in Hades case, reduced to a gently bubbling pile of human broth) we begin our interrogation of the captured Whisperer…


+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System; Land Miner
+Thought for the day:

The interrogation goes as predicted, the captured Whisperer either unwilling or unable to give up any information of real use. Apparently they control over 90% of the population of the Land Miner and that "the orders came" instructed them to seek the Cadre and I out upon our arrival. Arthis soon tires of this repetition and ends the wretched creatures existence. Upon closer inspection of the corpses we find that they all poses a similar genetic trait being coal black eyes with no iris. Perhaps as a result of mind control we speculate. We continue to follow the instructions laid out by the binary code discovered by Reth, which soon leads to the oil sump, a vast ocean-like well of viscous fluids. We find a working cogitator that grants us our first look of Arch Magos Killaware. As is my preference I perform the majority of the negotiations with the Magos. Apparently the Whisperers gained control of the Miner approximately 200 years ago, forcing the Magos and his loyal servants to go into hiding. The Magos concurs with our speculation of mind control, an insect like collective if you will. After some verbal dueling we agree to meet face to face with Killaware, in the hopes of finding a solution to freeing the Miner of the taint that the Whisperers have brought. The Magos' directions allow the Cadre and I to avoid any more Whisperer patrols and we soon find ourselves in his presence. Typical of the Ad Mech, Killaware is protected behind a void-shield and flanked by a pair of bolter-toting servitors. To be honest I really expected nothing less of the Explorators in the Koronus Expanse. They are a secretive and under-handed lot. The Magos implores (by implore I do of course mean outright ordered) us to cleanse his Miner (his miner?!) of the Whisperers and presents us with his plan. I reject it outright, reminding him that I will not squander the resources of the Arkaidos Dynasty simply to please his precious ego. At some point during the discussions he notices the sullen face of Hades, notably the jet-black eyes that the navigator possesses. The Magos shudders with barely contained rage, claiming that we brought "one of them" to his refuge. It takes the efforts of Reth, Hades and myself to calm the irritated bag of cogs and to return to the more pressing matter being the reclamation of the Miner. Wishing to speed things up, Hades offers the efforts of Captain Keel and his cruiser, something which I had wished to keep the Magos unaware of (I must remind Sarvus to continue his etticate teachings as soon as possible, we cant afford outbursts like that in these diplomatic situations) After much debating, arguing and a fine flinging of threats we agree to send a message to Keel requesting support. I try my utmost best to bend his ear but without substantial proof that the Envoy is aboard the Miner, Keel is unwilling to provide much assistance. He offers to send a fighter wing to protect our troop carriers as we perform the assault, but denies the request of specialists to aid the corridor to corridor fighting we are sure to endure. I graciously accept his offer, and instead organize 1000 of my own arms-men as well as 500 PDF from the ice moon at the out rim. The ensuring battle is a bloody affair, our 1500 men up against almost 30,000 Whisperers. Our goal is it shut down the main air supply unit, causing the Whisperers aboard the Miner to suffocate in their heresies. The Cadre and the arms-men make good work of themselves, but I feel we drastically underestimated the resolve and response of the Whisperers. In total we lost close to 750 men, but the job was done. We leave the stricken Miner and its inhabitants to their fate, promising Arch Magos Killaware to return in a weeks time to clear out any stragglers. Reth receives a binary burst moments before departure, thanking us for our efforts, and a gentle reminder that the Miner will need promethium and a skeleton crew of 3000 if it is to begin its holy work once more. Scouring through the data received from the Asteroid of Silence, we learn that the gas giant at the center of the system houses a large promethium refinery, however all attempts to auger the planetoid are fruitless due to the ever expanding cloud of debris. Our only option is to take the Ark in for a closer inspection…


+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System; Gas Giant
+Thought for the day: I could of sworn I left my slippers in the overhead locker…

Finally we were brought face to face (hull to hull(auger to auger?)) with the offending vessels that struck down one of my landers on the industrial moon. They are sleek, crystal-like machinations, reminiscent of Nekuli warships cross-bred with Eldar Pirate skimmers. They strike from the gas clouds surrounding the planetoid, lightning-quick hit and run raids, one taking down the Arks' void shields while the others pepper us with strange propulsion-less warheads. The battle is short lived however, our much heavier guns making short work of the crystalline constructions. Sadly nothing can be salvaged from the stricken vessels, as once they disintegrate before our eyes once suffering sufficient damage (perhaps reaching a critical mass in regards to damage? Once they take a certain degree of impacts the structural integrity fails?). Re-invigorated after our minor space-scuffle we choose to investigate some of the smaller moons that had until this moment escaped our attention. Sarvus and I agree we should at least confirm the suspicions that the moons house the foul Whisperers before we condemn the system to the Emperors holy fire.


+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System; Gas Giant
+Thought for the day: Still no slippers. Have employed the Master of Whispers to begin investigations.

We scan the closest planetary bodies for signs of power, finding a significant return from a moon registered as Selene-004-Svaard. The cadre and I land with 20 arms-men to investigate the populace. The habs are quite… The scuffle of footsteps or the cough of dusty lungs not once reaching our ears. After several hours of searching we decide to return to the lander. Not a moment later are we set upon by a disorganized rabble, wielding all manner of mining tools and home-made projectile weapons. Confident in the arms-men ability to procure a victory I order the men to stand their ground in the fashion befitting the Britons of ancient times. The crowd are scythed apart by volleys of accurate las fire, punching through their emancipated bodies like a needle through paper. A few of the buggers make it close enough to taste my blade. They leave this mortal plain with satiated appetites I can assure you. Surveying the carnage, I am surprised to see Hades saunter out of a near by alley, unscathed and unbloodied by the recent combat. It is a strange turn of character for him, for one so fulfilled by the trial of battle to hide in between dank mortar while others fight on. I note to have Sarvus perform a pre-emptive psychological once we are aboard the Ark. With the rest of the moon as barren as they come, we decide to return to orbit, but not before those buggers toss a few incendiary devices our way. We make it back aboard the lander with singed coat tails I can tell you.

The Cadre and I decide that further investigation is un-necessary. We contact Commander Keel and begin preparations to assault the refinery within the gas giant. Arthis advocates a swift bombardment, annihilating the facility along with the heretics onboard. Sarvus and I convince him that there is much profit to be made if the facility could be kept intact, as all records point to it being chock-full of refined promethium. Hades believes that if we could somehow secure the Envoy first, we would be in a much better position to bargain will Keel for assistance. Hades also makes note that the Whisperers rarely strike first, usually responding to a hostile advance into their territory before clawing back like a cornered feline. Keel agrees to strike in tandem, both warships staying out of range of the stations guns until all space-faring enemy craft have been neutralised before performing a co-assault.

We enter the debris cloud, streamers of dust and rock trail from our hulls, resplendant in their finery, one a vessel wrought of pure destruction, the other, a masterpiece of design and functionality. We open vox channels to the refinery and are greeted by the visage of a thin man with long dark hair. His eyes are black as the void, and he speaks with an otherworldy presence, as if struggling with unfamiliar vowels and syllables. The man indicates Commander Keel, and speaks words that chill everyone aboard the Ark…

++transcript… Ark of Palinurus… Bridge Log… 817.M41

"Hello brother. I am glad you found me" ++identify… unknown voice

"Please, Jurian, what has happened to you?" ++identify… Commander Keel

"Brother? Captain did he just say brother?" ++identify… Arch Militant Arthis Tybalt

"Indeed he did Arthis. Keel what is the meaning of this?" ++identify… Rogue Trader Captain Leo Arkaidos

"I dont see the family resemblance…" ++identify… Navigator Superior Hades Vulcanov

"Please Hades, this is not the time. Keel! Answer me! Is this man your brother? If so you have withheld vital and dangerous information, potentially risking the lives of me and mine" ++identify…Rogue Trader Captain Leo Arkaidos

"Ah, Leo Arkaidos. I can smell you from here… How long has it been? 4000… 5000 years?" ++identify… unknown voice

"What madness do you speak creature? I have never set eyes upon you" ++identify… Rogue Trader Captain Leo Arkaidos

"Not you directly dear Leo, but your forbearer and I, we had a little misunderstanding…" ++identify… unknown voice

"Uh Captain? Keel has provided firing solutions and is making full steam for the refinery…" ++identify… Helmsman Lieutenant Corvarus Icythios

"What!? All hands to stations! Arthis get on the guns. Reth, make your way to the genetorium. Hades, begin primary augers. Helmsman, engage void shields and prepare for righteous fury! Mark my words boys, Svaard will be ours once again!" ++identify… Rogue Trader Captain Leo Arkaidos

Spewing forth from the gas cloud come our adversaries. A pair of weaponised transport ships and a handful of the crystal fighters begin their cosmic ballet, lance-strikes and high caliber macro rounds tearing through the void. Keel ploughs the Hand of Redemption through the blockade of enemy ships, scattering their formations, allowing the Ark to quickly disable one of the transporters with a highly accurate salvo of broadsides. With Arthis on the guns and Tiberius handling the bridge I take it upon myself to lead boarding actions against the remaining transport. Over the next few hours the arms-men and I slaughter close to 90% of the enemy crew, the mindless Whisperer hordes falling like wheat to a reaper. With the second transport out of action, listing aimlessly through the battlefield, we turn our attention to the crystal raiders. Their superior speed proves troublesome for Arthis, the ships guns barely able to track the evasive maneuvers of the smaller vessels. Without warning, Hades detached himself from the Augers and attended to a vacant console adjacent to Arthis. There, he fell into a trance-like state, and began to spit forth a collection of targeting solutions, drool running down his chin, almost faster than the mind could comprehend. Arthis began firing at Hades coordinates and much to the surprise of the crew, was able to rapidly destroy the preternaturally agile vessels. (Hades later explained to the bridge that he was tapping into the warp currents surrounding the battle. He could for lack of a better word "predict" the maneuvers of the enemy, and place targeting solutions in the appropriate locations) With the last raider exploding into crystal fragments we received a hail from Commander Keel. He reported that his men killed a predicted 98% of the inhabitants on the refinery, and that only minor promethium stores were damaged. Standing beside Keel on the Vox-Screen was his black-eyed brother, curiously un-restrained. Keel shot down our questions and hastily made his departure from the system, all to eager to be back in Imperial Space I believe. Sarvus comments that Keel would be one to watch later down the track, his motives being more than suspicious the last few weeks. Nevertheless dear reader I *alarm* I… *alarm*

"Captain! We need you back on the bridge!"

What the devil is going on? Command Override; shutdown recording…


+Log - Captain Leonidas Arkaidos
+PPT : 817.M41
+Current Location: Svaard System; Gas Giant
+Thought for the day: Slippers found. They were under my display of Gulshrakian warrior armour. The crew are allowed back on normal rations.

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