The Citadel of Skulls

The Long Spring

Timeskip fluff


It was in the year 960.M41 when the Tetrarch council would reunite, some 10 years since their last endeavour as a group. Aboard the Lazarus they would raise glasses in a long silent small council chamber, Torius glad to welcome the return of his friends. With the rising tensions in the Expanse moves were made towards an alliance with House Chorda. It seemed an inevitable pairing, with Chorda's grip on the 'Cauldron' and alliance with House Quinn making them natural allies. All that was left was for the writ to be signed. Aspyce Chorda had assigned her nephew to oversee the alliance, a man long made bitter by his exclusion from house business. Gerome Chorda was governor of the small colony of Chorda's Folly, just rimward of the God Emperor's Scourge. In his arrogance he had demanded at least three sitting Tetrarch's attend him to forge the alliance. And so the council would find themselves forging a path to Chorda's Folly, far beyond the safe routes the Lazarus had plied in recent years, to meet with a fool.

Part 1- Lost World

Entry 1.1- No War Here

[[House Redwynn troops explore Chorda's Folly]]

"It is a wild place," scowled Captain Gamar of the Gethsamane. "Lawless."
"Less so of late though, as I understand," answered his Senschal, failing to notice his commander's black look.
"A few new settlements does not make it Imperial ," he stressed. "The Expanse remains the playground of mavericks like Winterscale and deviants like Chorda. The better for humanity if they wipe each other out."
Peering over his dataslate, the Seneschal wondered quietly whether the millions of colonists in Koronus would agree.
"Our vital duty is here," Gamar continued. "Holding the breach. Whatever may happen beyond, this is the true border of civilisation."

Holding their centuries-long picket, the Gethsamane, Sirius and Warspite drifted on, silent, waiting and watching.

[The Empty City]
The slate-grey sky spat sleet, and a howling wind was up. But the folk of Coldharbour turned out into the streets nonetheless, bustling with excitement and anticipation. Thousands of colonists, bundled up in furs or ageing thermo-suits, lined the roads and raised their eyes to the heavens. Seafoam flags whipped and billowed along the Procession Road, as a bruise in the clouds resolved into the long-absent form of the Lazarus. With the descent of shuttled, a cheer followed the motorcade on it's path towards the Governor's Palace, whose immense brass doors swung open to admit the Tetrarch Council. Ascending to the cavernous Reception Chamber, Torius, Scion of Redwynn was warmly welcomed by Governor Godwyn. They toasted Godwyn's establishment of a great and worthy capital, and discussed the many alliances forged by Torius in his years of travel. Haloed by bristling servo-skulls, Magos Giger came bearing gifts, product his of long-study in his research outpost on Aviary. Lastly came Rook, carrying news of the advantageous deaths occurring across the Expanse of late. Sharing tales of their exploits as they looked out upon the snowy city, the talk turned to the business of the House. Though concerned by her somewhat turbulent reputation, it had long been agreed that an alliance with the powerful Aspyce Chorda should be sought. Preparing to take the plunge into sector geopolitics, the Tetrarchs set out for a defining meeting with her nephew, Gerome Chorda.

Whitewashed by the glare of a violent star, the broken landscape of starship hulls and planetary dust hung like a ghostly fog across the outer reaches of Chorda's Folly. Sailing forth from the void, the Lazarus found a silent space-station drifting at system's edge. Donning a voidsuit, Rook finds it's darkened corridors seemingly abandoned, and perplexed, the Council seek out the titular planet beyond the veil. Chorda's Folly itself is rocky and ashen, covered in mineral-rich mountains and moss-forests. With nothing revealed by augur-sweeps, the Explorers venture to the planet's surface. Their easy camaraderie rekindled after a decade, the Council eagerly cover ground in search of answers. Though it's towering structures are visible from a great distance, as they close upon the colony, they find it likewise devoid of life. Canvassing the city from it's rooftops, Rook finds no sign of a single body, while Giger recovers only blurred security footage of screams in the darkness. Nearby ratings are forced to steady themselves as the blush of Godwyn's awareness rushes out across the city, yet his powers find nothing at even a bacterial level of of existence. At last, in the darkness of the Precinct-Fortress, the colonists are found. Mounds of the dead, locked in mad, clawing combat, are piled thick in the corridors. Governor Chorda, locked in his office, had long put a gun to his head, and piles of unused weapons and supplies lay scattered about. Discomforted by the display, the Explorers withdraw to the ship and dedicate a further night to micro-scanning for life. As dawn broke, their efforts were rewarded.

The salvation pod had been dragged into a nearby cave, littered with half-empty bottles and ration-wrappers. Its inhabitant was a filth-covered reaver, his naval coat battered and his armament rusty. Startled by the Explorer's arrival, he welcomed them to his campsite, bartering eagerly for passage offworld. He introduced himself as Skar, formerly of the pirate-ship Dark Lancer; mutinied against by his former crewmate Brakkus, he had been marooned for some months on the planet, after years before playing a role in driving Orks towards Damaris. Though he succeeds in charming Torius, Skar reads undisguised scepticism and contempt on the faces of Godwyn and Rook. Seeing the Council weight his life in the balance, he hurriedly played his trump-card. As one-time lieutenant to Karad Vall (an infamous looter and chaos-lord) he was privy to the location of the most legendary treasure-hoard in the Expanse, the infamous Vault of Secrets. Having kindled the naked fires of greed, he is frogmarched at gunpoint into the Lazarus brig. During the long return journey, Skar is plied with further questions, bargaining his life for cooperation. As the weeks at Warp blur by, a plan begins to take shape for the heist of a lifetime.

Entry 1.2- Lock, Stock

[[The 'Silent Forge']]

A pale shaft of light shone down upon the crumpled figure, illuminating motes of dancing dust. His robes and hands were covered with the grime of the pit, and his flesh was bruised and bloodied. A distant clash of protesting iron echoed in the darkness, jolting the man awake. Scrunching his eyes shut as if to deny the noise, he began moaning to himself. "No, no, no, not again," he panted, as encroaching footsteps rang out. Torius awoke, tangled in sweat-drenched sheets, the shriek of metal ringing in his ears.

[Thieves Tools]
The Lazarus burst free from the Warp into open space, spearing towards the beleaguered ship Wanderer and it's assailant. Releasing it's grip at first sight of the frigate, the Wolfpack Raider lurched away, hounded by the Council's cannon-fire. For some weeks, the Prasinus system and surrounding stars had been troubled by Reavers, with the Wanderer's distress call just the latest of many. Seeking to drive off the threat to their capital, the Lazarus returned to Coldharbour apace, accompanying Captain Noal. Glad of the protection, he agreed to undertake a prospecting mission in thanks to House Redwynn. They were loudly vox-challenged on arrival, but concern turned to open relief when the outpost recognised the Lazarus' outline. Going ashore, they learn of the Winterscale Raider lurking in the system's inner cauldron.

The vessels Bronze Knight and Blue Maiden were ill-prepared for the merciless onslaught of the Tetrarchs at the height of their anger. Burning into the cloud of planetary dust and radiation, the Lazarus leapt upon the Knight and savaged it with a furious bombardment. Shuddering under the cannonade, it attempted to form up with the Maiden. But wrenched into an overhand arc, the Lazarus pilots unharmed through their retaliatory blow, resuming it's attack. Belching unnatural flames from multiple hull breaches, the Knight limps to a standstill. Torius teleports aboard and obtains the Captain's submission at sword-point, with the Maiden attempting the flee. Her retreat is cut off however, as Giger guns the engines to impossible speeds, and her officers surrender to a growling Rook. Taken captive, the Captains reveal that they had been hired to harry, delay and inconvenience the Tetrarchs, on the order of a mysterious buyer. Discharging the mercenary leadership, the Tetrarchs leave the vessels to repair and train new officers, the Tetrarchs depart, making their way to Trailing to make final preparations.

Over the weeks of travel, the Tetrarchs rake over and refine their plan for the heist. Hiding the Lazarus in a nearby hollow moon, the Council plan to go ashore at 'Skaarsdelve' to find a guide or otherwise locate the Citadel. They plan to scout the fortress from afar, and airlift a specially made drilling machine to a safe location to begin tunnelling toward it. The Council and a blitz-team would make dynamic entry, carrying a locator beacon and fighting their way to the Vault. Using charges to gain final entry, teams in armoured transports would deliver an atomic bomb to the heart of the Citadel through the tunnel. Refilling the holds with bounty and escaping up the same tunnel, the convoy would retreat back to surface for pick-up. The atomic would be the final blow, to weaken the forces of Chaos in the Expanse. Collecting mining charges, detonators and locators from Coldharbour, the Council proceed to the irradiated warzones of Quinn V. Welcomed to a fortified research preserve, they accept a gift of rad-proof Crassius transports and the transfer of their Warmaster the colony of Aviary. At Bethany, Commander Locke of the cruiser Kingfisher agrees to source an atomic from Naval Outpost 572. At last they reach Fellholm, where Archmagos Boothe exchanges plans for a Hellbore Siege Drill and access to the Silent Forge, for the secret truth behind their mysterious acquisitions.

Before they leave, Boothe warns that Inquisitor Acturos had taken an interest in the planet and the explorers generally. Made uneasy by the revelation, the Council makes sail for Iniquity, but are stopped on the open seas by the Precinct-Cruiser Intervention. Forced to surrender nigh two thousand crew by Primus Arbite Durantis, the Council are further delayed by the unexpected onset of a warp-squall. Growing ever more suspicious, the Tetrarchs investigations of the senior crew reveal a traitor in their midst. Rook delivers the dead body of a Cartofex officer who had been leaking the Lazarus' position to parties unknown, and knowingly steering them into trouble. The Council lay in wait for any pursuers, but are left chomping at the bit as the gale blows out.

Part 2- Heart of Darkness

Entry 2.1- Wretched Hive


Reductor Error leaned low over the cauldron of toxic oil, breathing deeply of the acrid fumes. His vision swam, filling with disparate images as his filters wheezed. An Exemplar of the Adeptus Mechanicus, prize above all others, had appeared somewhere in Skaarsdelve, inspiring a mildly frenzy among the local code-daemons. The Reductor redoubled his focus on the scrying ritual, knowing that it would surely be he who corrupted the paragon, and claimed him for the Children of the Pattern.

[The Reaver Port]
Eclipsed by it's black hole twin, Dioskouri belched great gouts of star-fire into the void. From these clouds, the attack ship Gift of Despair would prey on unwary vessels, extorting a steady bounty of slaves. But on the arrival of the Lazarus, it's captain thought better of leaving it's hiding place. The heavily armed frigate sailed on, vanishing behind the cored moon of Gibberslieb. A flight of five craft broke Iniquity's orbit, loaded with explosives, men-at-arms, and the mighty siege-excavator forged by Magos Giger. Four of them made for the Serrated Waste, where a hidden camp was established to stage the dig and final retreat. Weaving the manic air-traffic over Skaarsdelve, the Blackbird bore the Tetrarchs into the heart of the accursed hive.

Donning rough cloaks and blackened armour, the Councillors spread out in search of equipment and information. The streets were a gallery of horrors, with murder and gunfights breaking out without warning, and slave-cages and ugly carrion hanging overhead. Avoiding a procession of sinister censer-bearers, Godwyn obtained tokens to conceal his powers from notice. Confronted by a chain-gang, Torius refuses to submit, challenging the slaver-captain to 'just try' to take him in. Enraged by Torius' taunts, the Captain lashes out with a snarling chainsword, but his every blow is met and parried by the whistling blade Juliette. Bled by Torius' whip-quick counterstrokes, the slaver is finally pierced through the heart, his crew bolting for the spaceport. Rook walked the streets openly, given a wide berth even by mutants and lunatics. At home among the many alien cut-throats, he learns of the assassin 'Marsque', known to have previously infiltrated the Citadel. Hearing that Marsque is now the captive of Crimson Skull slavers, plans are laid to hijack the barge that would carry him to his death in the distant Pits.

The crawler's tracks are fouled by explosives, commissioned by Torius with a hasty payment of slaves. Poised at the roadside, Godwyn sets the dracolisk upon their riders, triggering a feeding frenzy from which few emerge. The panicking survivors flee into the desert scrub, butchered by the waiting Councillors. Locating Marsque amid the iron-masked slaves, the Tetrarchs promise him a chance for revenge against the Citadel's Commandant, in exchange for his help infiltrating it. Upon their return, Giger enlists his fellow Councillors to the task of slaying key Hereteks who had sought to recruit and corrupt him. Plied with heretical data, he had learned of their research and resolved to collect their cerebral implants in repayment of Archmagos Boothe's favour. In the warrens below Skaarsdelve, Rook walks through the flames of an Exterminator to rip off the head of the apostate beyond. The others make for Hellforge, where one of the foremost researchers of the Dark Mechanicus has his lair.

Deceiving the tower's guardians, Giger barters the Centurion Servitors and their operator Godwyn in exchange for entry. Passing beneath immense autocannon turrets and other defences, the psyker is ushered into the inner sanctum where he meets the spider-like villain. Drawing Talon and activating his praetorians, he swiftly destroys the Heretek and claims the severed head. But as they withdraws, the Tetrarchs realise that a disembodied mind still commands the fortress. Stirred like an ants' nest, the swarming aggressors embattle the Council, who are forced to scale walls and risk the fire of the auto-turrets in order to escape. Ready at last to brave the Citadel of Skulls, they make their way south to rendezvous with the stormtroopers.

Entry 2.2- Route 666

[[The Serrated Waste]]

Dripping with bile, oil, blood and ash, the Tetrarch Councillors squared off. The fog was clearing from their vision, and the maddening images receding. At their feet, the barbed dagger lay smoking on the stone, emitting a thin black smoke and a high, reedy tone.

Named for it's gnarled, heaving rock, the Serrated Wastes assailed the Explorers with acid rain, sandstorms and frequent earthquakes. Clad in dust-coats, goggles, and rebreathers, they laboured through the hellish desert for many days, finding shelter in blackened caves and among skeletal trees. The very wind stank of flesh and rot, and the travellers frequently fired off rounds to scare away the carrion-feeders who dogged their trail. In the dead of one evening, a stormtrooper sentries vanished while on picket, saved only by the heightened awareness of the Lord-Astropath. Wading into a hidden quagmire, he and his Centurions severed the lashing coils of a tank-sized Bog Octopus, impaling it and fishing out it's insensate victim. Their path also ran afoul of mutant reptacnid infestation, which nested beneath an old mining complex. Forewarned of their presence, the Explorers clinically culled the swarm, but were forced to delay when their weapons were damaged by acidic bile. After nearly a week on the march, they crested a barren hill and beheld the Citadel.

Soaring over it's defences, the tower's every surface was paved with the sun-bleached bones of Vall's enemies. Massive vents belched taupe-coloured smoke from below ground, and the sky above darkened with circling carrion-birds. Creeping though the foothills, Marsque pointed the Council to an out-of-the-way vent, and one by one, they held their breaths and leapt down. Crawling through the slimy warren, they emerged into a knee-deep broth of blood and offcuts. The abattoir was a nightmare landscape of towering animal bones, rust and gurgling machinery. Spotted by the first of the overseers, the Council embarked on a riotous slaughter, leading them in a downwards spiral into the bowels of the Citadel.

The impervious Magos Giger weathered a hailstorm of gnashing mechadendrites, his armoured bulk thundering through the battle-servitors of the Genatorum. With an immense thunderclap, his axe carved into the villainous Magos, claiming a last, charred head for his collection. Torius darted among Vall's handmaidens, cutting, parrying and counter-striking as their grotesque talons snapped. With a flick of the wrist, his quicksword severed the throat of a Slaaneshi herald, just as she anointed the Altar Room's dais. The freakish creations of the Homunculus-Doctor's Surgery could not match Rook's fury, ripped apart or smashed into pulp as they blundered into his path. And when his companions faltered beneath the screeching light of the Beacon Room, Godwyn mounted the steps to the Warp-Witch's throne, obliterating them both with a two-handed swing of Talon. The other Tetrarchs broke away from their combat with one another, realising that Skar had vanished in the confusion. Laying explosives through the fortress as they went, the assault-team at last reached the fanged, obsidian archway that would lead to the lowermost level, and the legendary bounty beyond.

Entry 2.3- The Heist of a Lifetime

[[Beneath the Citadel of Skulls]]

The stormtroopers pressed their shoulders to the barricade while the Council prepared, sighting down their rifles at the scree-slope beyond. The charges were primed, the defences readied, and the Centurions poised to flank anything that sought to brave the treacherous slope. Positioned around the chamber, the Psyker, Swordsman and Assassin nodded to the Magos. "Start the clock," he boomed, throwing the switch on the powerful mining beacon.

[Smash and Grab]
Wind moaned through the fissures beneath the Citadel, as hot and humid as the breath of a beast. The earth was dank and spongy beneath the Council’s boots, as though they walked upon sweating, hirsute flesh. In certain places, bones ribbed the tunnels, which would lurch and shift like a swallowing throat. No guards resided so far down, but dead, wet hands grasped at them in the gloom. At a near-constant jog, the team kept close to Godwyn as he smote through the nameless daemons and monsters that bulged forth from the walls, carving a path towards the black heart of Vall’s lair.

Battered and slick with grime, the Explorers approached the Vault Chamber. An obsidian cube was buried deep into the marshy earth, a circular door dilating before them. A hunched shape lurked in the anteroom, revealed as the Vault’s sinister Archivist. From beneath his hood, he scoffed at their ‘poor offerings’, and the Tetrarchs felt their weapons suddenly snatched away as he waved a talon. But as his grip closed around Giger’s axe, he hissed as though stung, screeching for his guardians. Towering suits of power-armour leapt suddenly from plinths around the Vault, guided like marionettes by apparating sorcerers. Bolts of liquid darkness splashed down amid the Councillors, forcing them to take cover among the chamber’s weird, curving shelves. As the cackling Archivist took flight on leathery wings, the constructs advanced. Enraged by the loss of his staff of office, Giger crashed his massive form into their ranks, tackling several to the ground and letting his thrashing mechadendrites dismantle them. Jumping out to cover his back, Torius whirled a bladed chain, raising sparks as he lashed and whipped at the legionnaires. Noticing that only fine, grey sand poured forth from the gashes, Torius was momentarily distracted. Smashed from his feet by a wicked kopesh, he was saved when Godwyn hurled the full force of his will against the puppeteers, causing the suits to falter and the sorcerers to explode one by one. As the constructs juddered and fell to pieces, Rook took a vaulting leap and tackled the Archivist out of the air. Ruthlessly squeezed by his scaly hands, the daemon's skull crumples, spattering him with ichor and sending it back into the Warp.

Rocked by the sudden detonation of its genetorum, the Citadel was startled into action. Chasing garbled reports of an incursion, the mutant enforcers uncovered compounding blasphemies against the Gods, from smashed altars, to the slain bodies of priestesses and dark Magi. In rage, they stormed into the depths, finding enemies bunkered down at the mouth of a freshly dug tunnel. A wedge of armoured transports and siege-craft sheltered the intruders as they plundered the vault, and the enforcers died in droves as they blundered over det-charges or were sawn apart by crossing fields of multilaser, autocannon and hellgun fire. In mounting fury and desperation, the heretics pushed the invaders back down the tunnel, swarmed by mutant brutes and summoned daemons. The thieves vanished down the tunnel, collapsing it behind them.

Hours later, panic would break out in Skaarsport, at the appearance of a light-storm and mushroom-cloud on the horizon.

Part 3- Fallout

Entry 3.1- Prodigal Sons

[[The wreck of the 'Iron Titan']]

Waves of radiation had long since blasted out the automated systems of the 'Blackbird', and the hulking pilot flew entirely by sight through the broiling cloud of dust. The three landers flew in tight formation behind the lithe stealth ship, their servitor pilots struggling to push their fat vessels in the dust storm that had been kicked up by the destruction of the citadel. Behind the landers, filled to the brim of all manner of artefacts from the, in the cloud dark shapes fell into an attack formation…

[Escape from Iniquity]
Vall’s forces were in open disarray, as panic over the atomic attack spread across the face of Iniquity. Ships lurched free from their orbital moorings, spreading out in anticipation of a strike against Skaarsdelve. An ugly scar resolved in the planet’s boiling atmosphere, exposing the ruined marrow of tectonics below. Frenzied by fear and outrage, the handful of surviving chaos aircraft quickly zeroed in on the glimmer of energy given off by the Explorer’s staging post in the desert. Drawing fire away from the seafoam cargo-landers, Rook gunned and wheeled the Blackbird in a dizzying aeronautical display. Screaming nuclear winds buffeted the stealthcraft as it weaved through tracer-fire, pinning the Tetrarchs to their seats. Gouged by retaliatory lascannon fire, Vultures exploded, broke formation and fled, enabling a clean getaway.

The chase began almost immediately, the Lazarus’ shields blooming to life the moment the convoy was aboard. Explosions began to rock the hull, with the Council sprinting to the bridge as Vall’s fleet set a course towards them. Flung like a dart with a single burst of the engine, the frigate vanished into the surrounding clouds of planetary dust and warp radiation.

The Lazarus avoided the pursuing cruiser, Promise of Torment, for many days, taking refuge in asteroid clouds and braving warp-shoals to baffle it’s scanners. Unable to Warp-Jump due to the Storm’s disruption, the Council turned in desperation to the treasures of the Vault. They were astonished by the multifarious haul, not least by the discovery of a caged human within. A slender man in the robes of a priest is unlocked by Torius, claiming to have been imprisoned for a decade. Upon release, he casually reveals his true nature as an unbound daemon-host, and the Council draw away in horror. Unperturbed, the creature immediately offers it’s assistance by hinting at the existence of a Warp-Gate in a nearby starship graveyard. Drawn to the hulk of the immense cruiser Iron Titan, the Explorers discover an arcane xenos device marked with growing green circuitry. Sacrificing a number of crew, the daemon empowers the machine and rips a hole in reality; remembering legends of the Eldar race’s hidden warp-highway, the Lazarus flees eagerly into the reaches of the Webway.

Two years would pass before the Tetrarchs remerged, long given up for dead by their vassals and allies. Within the vault, a Dark Eldar corsair had been discovered in a sealed sarcophagus, and after initially crossing blades with the Explorers, had agreed to lead them out of the Webway tunnels. Battling their way free of a shadow-bleeding maw at the heart of a cored planet, they would discover their capital of Coldharbour in the hands of chaos reavers. Elizabeth Orleans had seized control of Damaris spurning Torius’ efforts to reach out for aid. Meanwhile, the Adeptus Mechancius had taken command of Aviary as recompense for unpaid Tetrarch tithes, and the fleet of House Quinn had suffered a loss of it's primary fleet, withdrawing to defend their own borders. Rosalind was nowhere to be found, long returned to the Calixis Sector. Though initially dismayed, the Explorers quickly arrived at a plan to reassert themselves in the Cauldron region.

Foremost among the vault’s treasures was a fully intact Standard Template Construct for the production of a synthetic biomaterial. Releasing the Tetrarchs from their obligation to the Mechanicus, promoting Giger to an Archmagos of Fellholm and giving over the use of three armed frigates, Magos Boothe accepted this kingly gift. For turning over the darkest artefacts, including a still-sealed Eversor assassin attack pod, the Inquisition stronghold at Footfall gratefully cleared House Redwynn of any alleged wrongdoings. Finally, the gift of a fortress-cathedral and attendant priests was granted to the Tetrarchs in exchange for a handwritten copy of the Levitio Divinitus, first treatise on the Emperor’s divinity. Arming themselves with choice weapons and equipment from the haul, the Explorers departed for Coldharbour, ready to seize back control of their hard-won domain.

Led by Halion and Rook’s clade operative, the Coldharbour Resistance was poised for action when the Tetrarchs returned. Rocked by sudden insurgent bombings, the presumptive reaver-governor Slade Mortia and his lieutenants scrambled to respond when the cruiser Debaser suffered an abrupt four-pronged bombardment. Barely intact, the vessel was unable to stop the Lazarus crashing past the picket-ships to strike at the shielded palace. Leading the mass-landing of House troops with a teleport-insertion, the long-absent Council strode the halls of Coldharbour once more. In a lightning-fast exchange of parries, thrusts and ripostes, Torius left a power-armoured foe dying on the palace tiles, purplish blood glinting on his sword. The Dark Eldar Maothi unleashed the darklight weapons of his people, scything apart an onrushing horde of armoured heretics and exulting in their death-screams. The reaver’s final guardian was disarmed, stunned and ripped apart by the rib-cage, as Rook mounted the steps to the throne. Reclaiming his colony, the rightful Lord Governor Godwyn cleaved through the Captain’s weapon and body at a stroke, his force-sword spitting arcs of blood and lightning.


A parade was held to recognise the suffering of the people of Coldharbour, and the glory of House Redwynn's reclamation of the planet. Many citizens openly weep in joy, their time under the thumb of the Chaos Reavers at an end. Governor Tavius is reinstated, and although his physical form will long bear the marks of his time in captivity he would launch himself into the job of rebuilding Coldharbour with his typical nuance and skill.

Over the next year, as the city rebuilds, the items taken from the Vault of Secrets are studied and divided up. Academics and technicians from across the Expanse rush to Coldharbour to study and identify the items, and many hundreds of smaller items are donated to their various institutions or museums as payment for their services.
The many heretical books, bound daemons, daemonic weapons and artefacts of chaos are turned over to the Inquisition. The Inquisitorial Light Cruiser Vigilance arrives in orbit, and the civilians cower as a procession of black armoured rhinos transfer the hundreds of heretical and dangerous items to their vessel for cataloguing and containment. Most are returned to the Tricorn Palace on Scintilla, and their ownership and fates are argued and fought over for decades to come. Some are destroyed by puritans or locked in the Tricorn Deep Vaults, but many more find their way into the hands of radical Inquisitors and their acolytes.
Many items are turned to the advancement of the house itself. The Tetrarchs take items from the Vault that greatly increase their personal abilities, and their personal wargear becomes part of the legends being spread about them across the Koronus Expanse. Meanwhile the unique lasgun variant found is reverse engineered to create the 'Redwynn Pattern', a powerful laser weapon that would give the House Redwynn Guard an edge in future engagements. The many warp maps found within the vault are turned over to House Oscilla and with this influx of new routes and passages they quickly rise to become on of the premier Navigator Houses in the Expanse. The remaining items, or all that are deemed safe to do so, are put on display in the Coldharbour Museum of Antiquities. A hit among the populace, the museum also draws visitors from across the expanse to view the strange ancient and eclectic items taken from the Vault of Secrets.
The final items to be claimed are a box of massive purity seals, bearing what the Tetrarchy would discover is the sigil of the Storm Wardens Adeptus Astartes chapter. Putting a call out through their contacts in the Calyxis Nobility the Tetrarch's broadcast their intention to return the holy icons. The Astartes Battle Barge Storm's End arrives at Coldharbour within the month, and a small party of hulking armoured figures land in Redwynn Palace. The party treats with Lord-Captain Shult of the Storm's End, and are rewarded for their reclamation of the artefacts with tokens of friendship from the Storm Warden armouries. The Astartes depart with little fanfare, but those present are fully aware of the honour that has just been bestowed upon them.

Many years after the attack on Iniquity, when the relics and artefacts have long since been locked up or traded away, in Coldharbour and the Koronus Expanse life goes on. For his efforts in the defence of the civilians of Coldharbour Halion is awarded the 'Golden Stag', highest honour in the Dynasty for bravery, and command of the reformed Coldharbour Rifles Defence Force. The Coldharbour PDF is boosted by a new formed Sanctioned Psyker regiment, and Godwyn oversees the formation of an Astropathic college in his tower. Their Tetrarch agreement resolved, many of the Adeptus Mechanicus elements of the Dynasty return to their original postings, while the Tetrarch council is reformed to serve the newly crowned Warrant Holder Augustine II, now a blonde haired beauty of 10.

In the year M41.964 the once-Tetrarch's sit for a meal in Redwynn palace, pleased with the prestige and power they had gained. They dine on pulled pork and Prasinus vintage wine, a new production from the colonists of Coldharbour. Far away on the world of 'Grace' the nobility enjoy the same wine with a meal of seared white meat. They talk amongst themselves as a storm rages outside their void-shields, unaware of the monolithic shape that had just entered orbit above their planet. A vast darkness drops across the planet, and in unison the nobles of 'Grace' raise their dinner knives and slit their own throats. The blood pools across the fine dining table as Rook spills his glass, and the group laughs at the assassin's attempt at social graces.
And the Pale Destroyer continues its slow march through the Koronus Expanse.



Dramatis Persona

Notable Persons:

  • Gerome Chorda: Nephew of Aspyce Chorda. Arrogant, entitled and ignorant. The kind of man the safety and wealth of nobility sometimes accidentally creates. Seeing he had no place in the Dynasty, Aspyce Chorda assigned him to a far away colony of little value.
  • Drexis Skar: Pirate Reaver, ex-captain of the Dark Lancer, a ship in Karrad Vall's fleet. A tattooed and pale man, rarely seen without a sneer on his face. Abandoned on Chorda's Folly by his treasonous First Mate Brakkus and attempting to get his revenge on his former allies.
  • Karrad Vall: The "Faceless Lord" of the Reaver fleets within the expanse. Rumour places his fortress of the Citadel of Skulls at the centre of the Reaver moon of Iniquity.
  • Master-Sergeant Logarius: Naval Storm Trooper in charge of the elite kill-team 'Angevin'. Assigned to the Dynasty to assist the mission to Iniquity.

Maps and Notes

[Inquity Orbit Diagram]
[Skaarsdelve Diagram]

[The Citadel of Skulls]
Citadel Level:

  • Abattoir: Many abattoirs dot the citadel level, churning out all the meat that sustains the Citadel, Skaarsdelve and the fleets of Karrad Vall.
  • Beacon Room: The Astranomicon cannot breach the maelstrom of Iniquity, and so Vall has found another method of guiding ships to the moon.
  • Secondary Void Shield Station: Projecting the Void Shields that protect the lower half of the Citadel.
  • Idol Room: Area dedicated to the worship of the gods of Chaos.
  • Secondary Cargo Bay/Shuttle Bay: Supplies delivered to the bottom half of the tower are dropped here. It is heavily defended.
  • Experimental Asylum: The Dark Mechanicus do their foul experiments here, sending their research to serve in Vall's fleet.

Forge Level:

  • Servitor Preparation Theatre: The servitors that serve in Vall's fleet are created from the bodies of dead or dying slaves, prepared within the Citadel of Skulls. This is a vast theatre, and it ships servitors all across the expanse.
  • Tormentum: Torture chamber.
  • Genaoriums: A number of genatoriums are littered across the Citadel, each powering a certain part of the tower.
  • Production Chamber ZV232: A massive area, starship components are constructed here to be fitted in Vall's fleet.

Catacomb Level:

  • A mass of hives and tunnels filled with monstrosities foul and fearsome.
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