Dogs of War- Mission Log

Prologue

Four figures, faces obscured by individualised masks, sit in a blackened room together. The Serpantface speaks.
"The situation on Kalto is finalised - she is returned to the Imperium once more."
The Skullface replies.
"As predicted. Kalto has served its purpose for now. It will be ready when the time comes."
The Owlface interjects.
"We move too slowly. They draw nearer every cycle we waste."
The Clockface asserts.
"The numbers cannot lie - all is within acceptable parameters."
The Skullface states.
"Our attention is required elsewhere, and our timing must be impeccable."
Each mask, seemingly floating in inky blackness, nods in unison. The room dissolves as if it never were, and indeed, it never was…

Aboard the Fury Untold the newly recalled members of Alloy Cell prepare to be formally inducted into Inquisitor Grendel's warband. Gallach steps forward first, clad in his navy whites and bearing his new bionic arm proudly. The veteran of the group, he had served Grendel in almost a half dozen missions already, and the Inquisitor had been surprised when he had turned down the offered rank of Interrogator. That rank had gone to the Arbitrator Raynard Castus, an acolyte of Inquisitor Sabela's who had transitioned smoothly from the Juno Arbites undercover unit to the Inquisition. Grendel had claimed him now and would continue his tutelage, and Castus wore a handsome face for the occasion. He would wear a different face when the Cell was deployed, and many more after that. He was a dozen men and none, but today he was a handsome golden haired noble born. Gnaritas Seculis had also once served Inquisitor Sabela, but after his success on Kalto he had officially transferred to Grendel's service. He still bore the scars of his new bionics, his augmented brain processing thousands of calculations even as his red robed form bowed in deference. The formalities out of the way the actual purpose of the meeting is revealed, Captain Drake returning to the bridge of the Fury Untold and Inquisitor Grendel psychically warding the meeting room in the Hub from outside interference.

Long kept in the dark, Grendel's acolytes were now allowed to know their master's mission in the sector. Inquisitor Grendel had travelled from the Calyxis sector in pursuit of a heretical Inquisitor named Wrex Golspire, a radical implicated in the Haarlock Affair. The Affair had rocked the Calyxis sector to its very core, and Inquisitor Grendel had pursued him out of the sector and to Askellon. After reaching the sector Golspire conspired with a heretic called Inquisitor Caprican Malachi, a beta-grade diviner who had turned from the Emperor and been declared diabolis by the Witch-Hunter Spiron Hark, a Lord-Inquisitor himself. Golspire and Malachi had used their formidable resources to form a heretical organisation called the 'Patternari', a collection of seers and witches that use warp magic to predict future events. The Patternari are believed to be using the Arleen Diamonds to communicate, a connection Inquisitor Grendel established after joining forces with Inquisitor Sabela, who was investigating the diamonds on behalf of the Ordos Xenos Askellon. Their forces combined Sabela and Grendel had managed to stop the machinations of the Patternari on Desoleum and Kalto, but still know little of the cabal's intentions.

The sages of the Fury Untold had performed the calculations and found the rebellion on Hulee V to match those on Desoleum and Kalto almost exactly, and so the eyes of Inquisitors Sabela and Grendel would now fall upon Kapex Hive, where Spire 6 had fallen to a group of rebel Imperial Guard. Cell Alloy would be deploying here, hoping to find any evidence of the Patternari and return the Spire to the service of the Emperor…


Part 1: Fallen Spire


Entry 1.1: Off the Grid

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[Spire 6, Hive Krakex]

"Blacksmith, this is Gold. Access arranged, we are going dark. The Emperor Protects.
Last transmission of Alloy Cell

[Infiltrating the Spire]
Aboard the Fury Untold the newly formed Cell Alloy gather to plan their insertion. As the ship burns through the warp towards Hulee V the Cell pours over maps of the Spire, output reports and ancient decaying blueprints retrieved from the data-stacks by a diligent Gnaritas. Gallach prepares a dossier on the Desoleum 2nd Recon, the Imperial Guard unit that had strayed from the Emperor and currently occupied Spire 6 of Hive Krakex. Days later on the flight deck of the Fury the Cell strips down to bare essentials, bolters and carapace left behind in favour of infiltration gear, silenced weapons and bodygloves checked and rechecked as the Cell boards their arvus lander and descends towards the planet. For all their research the Cell was going in blind, the exact nature of the heretical forces in the Spire and their intentions unknown. Their goals were simply to establish what was occurring within the Spire and to stop it. Rogue Psykers are known to be at work, so the technologies of the Inquisition had been brought to bare to dampen transmissions in or out of the Spire. The Cell would be, for all intents and purposes, truly alone.

Landing far outside the scanning range of the Spire the Cell makes their way on foot towards it through the baking hot sun. Clad head-to-toe in radiation resistant gear the march is tough, the sun burning down overhead and even the stripped down packs a horrible weight in the high gravity of Hulee V. The group manages to avoid the ash-wasters of Hulee, feral techno-barbarians that ride around in souped-up hectin's and fight wars amongst themselves, and arrive at the Spire two days after landing. The Spire stands tall out of the sands, it's exhaust vents sealed tight and its base surrounded by a molten tide of steel and production refuse. Unable to spot a point of egress the Cell approaches a nearby settlement, entering under the watchful eyes of the ash-waste hunters. The locals are standoffish, Gallach accidentally insulting a few as he tries to hire their services for entering the Spire. Gnaritas on the other hand abandons all subtlety and stands in the middle of the makeshift town, proclaiming his intention to hire a local to help enter the Spire. After several hours of awkwardness the residents of 'Spireshade', as they called their settlement, approach Gnaritas. One of the hunters who had rejected Gallach's offer would take the Cell into the Spire, his price the survival anti-rad suit that Gallach wears, a gift from Davrus after the mission on Desoleum. Following their guide, a rough local named "Tam", the Cell head out of 'Spireshade' and towards Spire 6.

Clambering along the mega-highway that links Spire 6 to the rest of Hive Krakex the Cell are led by Tam up to the side of the Spire. Dangling over the molten hot steel below Gnaritas loses his grip, managing to engage his internal anti-grav but not before his hellgun falls into the mess below, where it erupts as power cells overheat and explode. Waiting for nearly an hour the Cell hangs from the bottom of the mega-highway before suddenly a vent opens. Hidden from the outside the vent expels toxic super heated gas before falling silent. The Cell releases their grapples, falling into the vents and sliding downwards as the air gets warmer and warmer. They land with a sudden thump. The bottom level of the Spire is an open dome, heaps of iron and rocks split by rivers of molten liquid metal running from higher up in the hive. There air itself is toxic, and the Cell moves with speed towards a turbo-lift that leads into the hive proper. The lift is held by a gang of mutants, foul and hideous creatures that lift weapons as the group approaches. Gallach responds, drawing his side arm and proceeding to blow out the skulls of half the creatures before they can even respond. Gnaritas lashes out with his internal hellpistol, sending the mutants reeling into cover, while Castus' needle pistol makes the hulking scaled brute leading the gang to stumble as toxins overcome him. The creatures are finished easily, the Cell too skilful for these mutant gangers, and the turbo-lift is soon trundling upwards towards the hive-proper.

At the top of the lift the Cell are surprised to find a cordon. The members of the 2nd Recon stand above the lift in their grey and black camouflage, levelling heavily modified autorifles at the group as they ascend into view. The group are quickly arrested, their weapons confiscated as they are separated to be interrogated by the squad sergeant. The pre-arranged story holds, as the guardsmen seem to accept the group as scavengers looking for technology in the slump below the Spire. Grenades are confiscated, and each member of the Cell is scanned and documented by the 2nd Recon troopers. The archeotech vox which the Cell had planned to use to contact the Fury Untold is taken, and the group are released into level 6 of the Spire. While Gallach finds a hold-out to store the group's heavier equipment, Castus changes his face, his twitch-mask rippling as he takes on the scarred complexion of a Spire 6 local. He visits a local bar, the Morlock, and makes subtle inquiries with the locals. He discovers the location of 'the Pit', a local fighting ring that had existed for centuries but flourished under the lax control of the 2nd Recon.

The following day the Cell moves up the Spire into district 4, finding the people higher in the Spire going about their lives as if nothing had changed. They see workers enjoying leisure time, and 2nd Recon troops interacting peacefully with the locals. At the Thirsty Boiler moonshine house Castus, now wearing the face of an administratum adept, discovers that most of the Spire now supports the rebellion, their increased quality of life having overridden their loyalty to the Imperium. Also in district 4 is what was once the Enforcer Precinct, now occupied by the 2nd Recon. Noticing locals being conscripted to serve in the 2nd Gallach and Castus head in, their items stripped as they are conscripted to serve in the 2nd Recon Irregulars, a newly formed regiment of soldiers. Their trainer, a Sergeant Major named Darrius Sarrat, informs them that they will be part of the force set to attack Spires 5 and 7. Unable to withdraw at this stage, Castus and Gallach go through a brutal initiation ritual and officially become members of the 2nd Recon Irregulars.

During the days of initiation Gnaritas roams the hive, collecting data on the 2nd Recon occupation. He discovers the existence of a group of locals who continue to work to fulfil their tithe, as well as the name of the leader of the 2nd Recon. Murdoch Gastellum is the former Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Recon, and their leader in rebellion in Spire 6. He was being pronounced a saint by a local preacher, Father Diego Hyden, and a small following had started to venerate him as such within the Spire. Gnaritas wanders to the highest reaches of the Spire, where the commoners live in the ruins of noble manors as if nothing had changed. Moving through the 7 levels of the Spire Gnaritas records evidence against the inhabitants of Spire 6, noting the changes to their demeanour and increased standard of living under the 2nd Recon. He weighs the loss of production against the happiness of the Spire's inhabitants and comes to a conclusion: Spire 6 must be returned to purpose as soon as possible.


Entry 1.2: A Few Faithful Men

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[the cramped confines of the Spire]

The pale man crouched in the soot-strewn ground, bare fingers pressed into the mostly-dried patch of blood where the body of a mutant once lay only days before. The corpses had long since been stripped of belongings and sequestered away, but the signs of a gun-fight were evident to those of a keener eye. Turning back to the wretched creature behind him, the pale man speaks.
"Three of them, you say? Professionals? Non-mutant?"
The stunted woman, body clearly wracked by the curse of mutation, nods earnestly, her bulbous eyes quivering in their sockets.
"Y… Yesss, Yesss. Good fightersss, they were. Clean killsss. Gunsss that didn't make a ssssound. Gilly sssaw them drop in from the ventsss, I did. Messsed up Sssten'sss gang sssometin' bad."
The pale man grunted as he stood to his feet, narrowed eyes piecing together the scene before him.
"Interesting…" he murmured.
Gilly shuffled nervously from foot to foot, her stumpy and misshapen feet thickened by years of heat exposure.
"Gilly did good, yesss? Reward asss promisssed?"
"Of course"
The las bolt left no more than a tiny burn the size of a coin in Gilly's forehead, a look of excited expectation forever etched upon her face. With a soft rustling of rags and bones the body crumpled to the ground.
Holstering his laspistol, the pale man sniffed in derision and waved his hand to an unseen group.
"Toss that thing in the slag-river, and be quick about it. Looks like we have some competition to contend with"

[Assimilation]
Fully inducted into the 2nd Recon Irregulars Gallach and Castus spend their next few days on patrol, getting to know the Spire. Gnaritas uses this time to do research on the local Adeptus Mechanicus facility. Built around the Spire's generatorum, it is led by an Electro-Priest named Megaloss. Hacking into the Spire records Gnartias discovers that the food supply of the Spire should have run out weeks ago, and yet the 2nd Recon continue to provide food to the local populace. He tracks the supply back to a series of packed store-houses filled with Imperial Guard grade food-stuffs and corpse rations. The Cell meets every night at the Wrecking Ball kaf-house, sharing their findings and making plans. During one of these visits Castus discovers that the Adeptus Arbites squad that had gone missing in the Spire had resurfaced, attacking the 2nd Recon forces protecting the Adeptus Mechanicus at the generatorum. With 12 hours until they are due back on duty the Cell moves to the site of the attack, eager to track the missing Arbites.

Gallach's keen eyes easily find the Arbite tracks, finding that the boots lead directly to the Slag. Unable to gain access to the Slag due to the 2nd Recon cordon Castus reaches out to a local gang leader to gain access. The price of their freedom of movement is the fixing of a local pit-fight, and the Cell moves quickly to find the location of the Pit for that night. They sneak into the Pit grounds, finding their way to the camp of Khul, a techno-gladiator who is set to fight Slick Jim, the chosen fighter of their new employer. Gnaritas sabotages Khul's stasis pod, injecting him with subdual agents and setting him to deactivate not long into the fight. The Cell stays to watch the fighting, sitting among the crowd who revel in the bloodshed of the illegal combats. Finally Khul and Slick Jim's fight comes up, and the crowd watches with eager anticipation. Just as planned Khul is drugged, and indeed does die…roughly thirty seconds after his massive chain-axe claims Slick Jim's head. Unwilling to speak to the angry gang leader the group subtly makes their way away from the Pit, looking for another method of egress into the Slag beneath Spire 6.

In the early hours of the morning Gnartias has an idea, and soon the Cell are in disguise as a local group known as the "Boilers". The Boilers are a group of men and women still doing the work of the Spire despite the 2nd Recon coup, and are allowed basically unlimited access to all parts of the Spire out of respect. As part of a large group the Cell makes their way down into the Slag, Castus wearing the scarred and dark skinned face of a veteran forge-worker. Breaking away from the Boilers the group makes their way to a mutant settlement, cornering one of the creatures and bribing him into talking by trading their pick-axes. Gleeful at his new treasure, the mutant nevertheless does not know where the Arbites are or know of their movements in the Slag. Thinking they may have gone undercover as well, Gallach describes the Proctor 'Knight' and finds that the mutant does recognise the description. Further into the Slag the Cell trudge onwards, skin slick with sweat from the overbearing heat. They barely escape the molten metal as a bridge beneath their feet gives way, and begin to think the mutant may have tricked them before they are met by a half dozen men in hazardous environment suits levelling shotguns at them.

The Arbites are far from friendly, their leader Knight unrelenting and swift to order the Cell executed. Castus tries as he might to make up a cover story, but Knight is unwilling to even consider his perfectly reasonable lies. Finally Castus reveals his true rank, giving Knight codes that reveal the Cell as Inquisitorial agents and himself as an Interrogator. The formalities over with Knight is more than happy to talk to the Cell, revealing that her squad had done battle with the heretical psykers known as the 'Silence' in the Slag before the actions of the 2nd Recon had caused them to go to ground. She does not know where the Silence are now but is happy to help the Cell in any way they see fit. Their first request is the use of the Arbites vox-caster. Gnartias rigs the machine to transmit to orbit, sending a message to the Fury Untold and filling the Inquisitor in on all they had discovered thus far in the investigation. Thanking Knight for her help, the Cell move back up into the Spire.

Back in the Spire-proper Castus attends the sermons of Father Diego, while Gallach goes back undercover within the 2nd Recon Irregulars. Father Diego is a local priest who preaches the holiness of Murdoch Gastellum, commanding officer of the 2nd Recon. He preaches that Gastellum is a Saint, chosen by the Emperor to throw off the shackles of the Imperium. Outraged by this Heresy Castus senses that there is corruption at work in this temple. That night Gallach and Castus make their way into the Temple of His Benediction. Armed with silenced weapons that Gallach had smuggled into the Spire the pair make their way pass unaware guards, breaking through a locked door and arriving at the sleeping quarters of Father Diego and the rest of his priests. Sliding past dozens of Fraternis Militia Gallach sneaks forward and slits the old man's throat. Sure that justice was done the pair sneak out as quietly as they came in, Gallach returning to the 2nd Recon Irregulars and Castus to a warehouse in District 6 that he had surreptitiously hired to use as a staging post of the Adeptus Arbites.

The next day Gallach is back on patrol with the Irregulars, the Spire on lock down after the death of Father Diego. He encounters a local gang, the Astral Pilgrims, and discovers that the 2nd Recon are allowing criminal gangs access to the Spire to serve as enforcers. Later that day Gallach stops as he begins to feel ill. Looking around he notices that his squad-mates are vomiting up black bile, and soon finds himself on his knees retching up bile as well. Suddenly a red and gold tear seems to open in the air before him and a hideous creature spills out. Seemingly made of a dozen different coloured flames the creature dances out of the portal, reaching out its hand and incinerating half of the Irregular squad in an instant. Many of the squad flee in horror, while others start screaming and wildly firing their weapons. Gallach is hit by stray rounds, blasted off his feet by panicking shooters. Steeling his mind, Gallach fires at the creature as it looms closer before with a flash it disappears from where it came, leaving him singed and bloodied surrounded by the bodies of the 2nd Recon Irregulars.


Entry 1.3: Resurrection

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[Within the Temple of His Benediction]

In his spartan chambers, the revolutionary commander sat brooding in a simple folding chair. The assumed Imperial assault had not occurred as the 2nd had expected - so unlike the Imperium to let a coup go unanswered. The Arbite raid on the generatorum was an act of desperation by trapped and cornered wolves rather than a full-blown effort to retake the spire, and the murder of the Father could have easily been the work of a disaffected citizen. Nevertheless the commander knew that they must be prepared for the eventuality that a navy from Port Lokhart would encircle the world, limiting their options for secession, not to mention intervention from the more clandestine elements of Imperial authority.
A knock on his door brought the commander out of his reflection. An NCO enters, throwing a salute and handing forth a message-shell. Returning the salute, and accepting the message, the commander dismisses the NCO and returns to his simple chair. The small scrap of paper inside the shell bears a coded message in the cyphers of the 2nd Recon.
"The Toad has cracked. The god-hammer is revealed"

[Matters in the Spire grow worse]
Gallach makes a full report to the rest of the Cell, huddled in a privately rented room in the fourth district. Gnaritas identifies the daemon in question as a "flaming horror", a minor daemon. It seems that rather being summoned directly the creature had simply appeared due to the weakening of the veil here. Returning to the Arbites the group discusses this matter with Knight, as she had reported a similar red and gold tear in reality some weeks back. The Arbites had fought a similar creature at the time, losing over half their men to its flames before it was driven off. Gnaritas and Castus stay with the Arbites, recording a full report to send to the Fury Untold in the daily communication window, while Gallach returns to the 2nd Recon Irregulars billet. He speaks directly to the Sergeant Major about the event before being marched by 2nd Recon guards to a confinement cell, once one of the enforcer fortresses' holding cells. On a hard mat on the floor he fades to sleep, dreams wracked by multi-hued flames that pursue him wherever he goes.

Convinced that the fanatical 'Choir' are involved in the psychic phenomenon within the Spire Castus sets to infiltrate their ranks. He attends the chapel, waiting days and days on the pews as thousands mourn the death of Father Diego. His protégé had taken over his flock, and many more come to the church than even before his death. Castus starves himself waiting in the chapel, a show of false devotion that he hopes will get him initiated into the fold. Meanwhile lower in the Spire Gnaritas approaches the Adeptus Mechanicus forces of Sigma-Omicron-117. Impressing the Enginseers with his knowledge of Metallurgic processes Gnaritas is soon allowed a meeting with their leader, Electro-Priest Megaloss. As the two red-robed mechanical figures face across from one another the air is filled with a high pitched beeping. After a few seconds Gnaritas leaves, having had a full day of conversations with Megaloss within seconds of binary chatter. They had discussed the state of the Spire as well as the nature of energy itself, before settling on the decision that greater utility would be gained if Gnaritas became a member of SO-117. He leaves wearing new robes, the data of their work across the Spire sorted into his internal cogitator.

Confined to quarters during the day Gallach soon finds himself visited by Brother Guil, a member of the Choir tasked with analysing if any taint was left on Gallach's soul. Vigorous discussion fills the next few days, as Gallach and Brother Guil discuss the Imperial Creed and the nature of the 2nd Recon's occupation on Kapex. Gallach is careful with his words, but soon finds his dreams and nightmares about the many-hued flames growing worse. He receives from flaying tool from Guil, and straps the pointed chain to his leg as a form of penance. When not in quarantine Gallach roams the streets of District 4. Retrieving his psy-occulum from its hiding place he uses the arcane and ancient device to try to spot psykers among the population of Spire 6. He doesn't spot any beyond the most basic level, but keeps up this activity night after night in hopes of finding a clue that leads to the heretical psykers of 'the Silence'.

After days of starvation and prayer Castus is noticed by the members of the Choir and asked to meet them beneath the cathedral. Walking halls he had only before walked during the execution of the father Castus is brought before a Father of the Choir and asked if he is truly loyal. Castus' humble face gives truth to his words, and soon he finds himself in a simple white robe sitting amongst the members of the Choir as they hold vigil around the body of Father Diego. Some days later Castus is inducted more formally. Stripped to his skin, he is ritually shaved by a cruel faced man with a dangerously sharp curved knife. Next he is soaked from head to toe in holy oils, before a member of the Choir brings a golden flame thrower to bare. Panicking for a second Castus steals himself as the flames wash over him, burning off the holy oils but otherwise leaving him unharmed. No officially one of the flock Castus is given white robes with a golden trim and his first duty, a tour of the 2nd Recon Irregulars base in the enforcer fortress.

Now with access to the Adeptus Mechanicus records of Spire 6, Gnaritas moves around the Spire fixing problems dictated to him by Megaloss. As he does so he secrets away information about power usage, attempting to find the elusive base of operations of the 2nd Recon. While investigating a massive power signature in District 1 he discovers something quite more dangerous than he had expected. Looking in on a massive warehouse heavily guarded by the 2nd Recon Gnaritas finds plasma casks the size of buildings and a cooling array large enough to belong on a starship. At its centre, a massive cannon. His records indicate the weapon is a 'plasma annihilator', a weapon most often used by the massive Titan Legions and certainly out of place in the nobles district of a spire on Hulee V. He inspects the weapon as best he can, finding that it has been altered to make it usable as a stationary weapon array. Reporting this to the rest of the Cell the team gathers once again after their private assignments, all preparing for the following day when a massive event is due to take place.

All across the Spire bells ring in mourning as the 2nd Recon and their prisoners prepare for the internment of the body of Father Diego. Thousands gather in the Temple of His Benediction and many more outside, jostling for a view of the body or even the cathedral itself. Gallach watches from amongst a line of 2nd Recon Irregulars helping to keep the peace within the Cathedral, while Gnaritas stands in the polite spattering of Adeptus Mechanicus adepts sent to show respect. Castus watches the proceedings from near the stage with his fellow Choir members. The internment takes most of the day, dozens of speeches and hundreds of songs sung to honour the late Father Diego. Finally the time for his internment approaches, and the crowd reaches a respectful silence. The silence is suddenly broken by a thunderclap from atop the stage, the officers of the 2nd Recon recoil as light bursts from the ceiling and glows down upon the body of Father Diego. Gasps are heard across the room as the body of the Father suddenly sits erect, his eyes glowing golden white as he stands up, casting off his funereal robes and revealing a neck still marked by the knife that took his life. He stands, golden and resplendent before his worshippers and the Acolytes of Cell Alloy can only look on in shock as the citizens of Spire 6 fall to their knees in reverence.


Part 2: Out of the Shadows


Entry 2.1: The God-Hammer

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[Servo skulls patrol outside the Comms Array]

A wisp of fleeting emotion tumbling in the turmoil of the immaterium and buffeted by the roiling currents is snatched from the sea of chaos and flopped onto the banks of reality like a landed fish. The meager spirit, left gasping on the banks, perceives a fisherman of pure, golden light, its features hidden by a rough cowl of foggy energy.
"Oh little one, so faithful and pure of heart. Thous't passing were tragic to beholden. Tell'st me - does thous't still wish to serve?"
Unable to speak, unable to even nod, the wisp of emotion flares briefly. The golden fisherman reaches down to cradle the wisp, cooing gently.
"Little one - you have'st much to do. May'st you find your worth in the waking world…"
An eternity away, a dead man opens his eyes, and the world is bathed in resplendent beauty.

[Disabling the God-Hammer]
The 2nd Recon troops withdraw as the thousands of faithful surge forward to get a glimpse of their new 'saint'. Castus stays at the dias, while Gallach and Gnaritas subtly withdraw from the chapel and regroup at a kaf-house in district 4. They discuss the occurrence, with Gnaritas unwilling to engage with the concept of faith, stating instead that the Father is now a helpful distraction for the Cell. Gallach argues at length, claiming to be sure that the heretical psykers of the Silence are involved, but through a few logically presented points Gnaritas points out that the massive plasma weapon is a far greater immediate risk than even a figure that would cause as much strife as a false-saint. Castus returns some hours later, having used Gallach's psy-occulum to gaze at the form of Father Diego. He is, as the Cell suspected, a figure of powerful psychic energy, confirming their suspicions that his 'resurrection' is a psychic trick. Castus soon cedes to Gnaritas' argument as well, and the Cell prepares to sabotage the 'god-hammer' plasma device.

With all three party members engaged during the day in duties, the planning for the mission to disable the god-hammer takes place most in the evenings in a hired back room of the Wrecker's Ball kaf-house. A secure vox-transmission is sent to the Fury Untold, but without a reply Castus takes the lead. Gallach moves into district 4 to secure an explosive device off the criminal gang Astral Nomads, while Gnaritas accesses the Adeptus Mechanicus servers and pulls up all the information he can on the weapon. The Astral Nomads rebuff Gallach, but in the alley outside he meets a crew who are more than happy to help him. Cordell and Grice are abhumans, the former a diminutive ratling and the latter a hulking ogryn. They are deserters from the 2nd Recon and run a gang of former Recon members that they call the 'Steel Toes'. Cordell, the brains behind the operation, is looking to muscle in on this territory and promises Gallach the supply of a melta-bomb if Gallach helps the Steel Toes with one small favour. Minutes later the Steel Toes flood the Astral Nomads facility, their back door left open by Gallach. Their silenced weapons chatter as they mow down the colourfully clad Nomads, and soon the Steel Toes are in possession of the facility, leaving Gallach to return to the Cell with a melta-bomb in a duffle bag.

The plan is a relatively simple one, but requires many moving parts to work well. Gnaritas will approach the god-hammer facility with a falsified work-order from the Adeptus Mechanicus. Through diligent observation the Cell had noted the exact procedure when one of these work orders comes through, and would countermand the guards attempts to check Gnaritas' identity. The first message that is sent out by vox will be blocked by Gallach using the archeotech vox-caster. Once the message fails a runner will be sent, who will be intercepted and assassinated by Castus. Castus will then assume the mans identity and return to the guards, notifying them via encrypted message that Gnaritas is to be given access to the god-hammer facility. The melta-bomb will be placed on the cooling vents, a target that should disable the gun without causing undue harm to the Spire or, on Gnaritas' insistence, to the weapon in the long term. However for all of this plan to work the Cell needs to retrieve the archeotech vox-caster, which was seized by the 2nd Recon upon entrance to the Spire.

Gnaritas and Castus return to the outpost where the vox was first confiscated, and posing as an Admech Adept and his bodyguard they gain access to the item requisition records. They find that the vox was reassigned to District 1, its final location unknown. Gnaritas engineers one of the Cells data-leeches to track the signal of the unique vox and the pair set out into District 1. They soon find the signal emanating from the comms outpost, the Spires communication building that is currently being occupied by the 2nd Recon. Donning his camo-cloak and a stummer Castus makes his way into the comms building, stealing a set of 2nd Recon fatigues and disguising himself as one of the building's guards. He follows Gnaritas' instructions and reaches the main communications unit, watching as a tech adept and two 2nd Recon soldiers attempt to integrate the vox-unit into their larger array. Gnaritas approaches the gates, instructing the guards to vox the tech adept. The tech adept and one of the guards make their way down to speak to Gnaritas, while Castus uses the distraction to enter the room. The guard looks at him warily, but is nevertheless caught unaware as Castus tackles him to the ground and punches him in the throat. As the man chokes Castus strikes him again and again in the head before finally his eyes roll back into his head. He fires his rifle as he dies, bullets ripping through Castus' leg at close range and spraying blood against the communication consoles.

Rappelling down the outside of the building Castus lands with a jolt and meets back with Gnaritas. Bleeding profusely Castus grows pale as his lifeblood flows onto the ground. Gnaritas quickly seals his wound and the pair make their way slowly down the districts back to the safehouse, vox unit secure. Castus' leg is ruined, and the warehouse lacks the facilities to remove and replace the leg. Using Gallach's underworld contacts the group comes into contact with one Dr. Ocano, who runs a clinic in District 5. Ocano is an ex-guard medic, long retired and serving the citizens of Spire 6 for free since the 2nd Recon's occupation. With Gnaritas' help he attaches a bionic to Castus' stump. Gallach talks to him as Castus recovers, learning that he is still loyal to the Imperium and wishes the 2nd Recon to be gone. It takes a day before Castus can walk again, and it will be many more before he is at full strength. The Cell says their goodbyes to Dr. Ocano and make their way back to the safehouse, eager to complete their mission the following night.

The next night the Cell take their positions around the god-hammer facility. Gnaritas approaches the gate, while Gallach climbs up a nearby building and crouches on a gantry high above. Gnaritas announces himself at the gates, and as planned the 2nd Recon troops send out a message to verify his identity. The message comes out, and the vox-caster pulls it in. But to Gallach's shock the machine reacts too slowly and the message passes through. Altering the settings he fumbles through the dials in desperation, just managing to catch the reply from the Adeptus Mechanicus minutes later. As predicted, a runner is sent and half an hour later returns. Castus wears the face of the now dead runner, as well as his uniform, and carries a coded message forged by Gnaritas earlier that day. The message allows them both access, and soon they are walking among the city block sized weapon's many bronze internal workings. The pair easily find their way to the cooling stacks, massive tubes filled with blue liquid that bubble and fizz as super-heated air is run through them. An hour later the melta-bomb rips through the cooling tubes, sending a burst of air outwards with incredible pressure. Men are pulverised hundreds of metres away from the machine, and the front gate of the facility is blown outwards. Dozens of 2nd Recon and tech adepts are eviscerated as machinery explodes from the pressure, and a still disguised Castus limps away from the explosion. The god-hammer had been disabled.


Entry 2.2: That Which is Forgotten

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[In the Slag]

The three figures stood out in the waste and haze of the Slag. Walking beside a river of molten metal their clothing was dark, one the dark red of the Adeptus Mechanicus, one the grey of the 2nd Recon Guardsmen and one wearing a simple black flak coat. They sweated profusely from the extreme heat, but led by the guardsmen they trampled onwards over rusted metal and broken pieces of ferrocrete towards their objective.
In his hidden sanctum a man leans back from the glass plane, the image of the three hunters still present for an instant in the smoke that dances across its surface. Suddenly it is gone, and the man turns to face his fellows. He speaks, not with a mouth long fused closed, but with his mind. And when he speaks the dozens of other men and women sitting robed in the room speak back to him. Their eyes glow a pale purple as their minds link into a single massive psychic presence. In all of their minds the same phrase intones over and over until it reaches crescendo:
"They come. The hunters. They come".

[Seeking Psykers]
Their mission successful, Gallach returns to the 2nd Recon Irregulars while Castus and Gnaritas make their way down to their rented warehouse for a well earned rest. The barracks are a hubbub of gossip, and Gallach discovers that a squad of 2nd Recon soldiers had been slain in the Slag early that night. The next morning Gnaritas and Castus make their way down below District 6 to investigate, Gnaritas easily falsifying documents that allow them access to the site of the slain patrol. Five 2nd Recon troopers lie dead, nailed onto pieces of metal fashioned to look like cogs. Each man has a sign burned into his forehead, a broken cog branded on each man. Most were killed by precision las shots, but others were tortured to death by an expert hand. Their fake passes allowing them access, Gnaritas and Castus discuss the meaning of the broken cog brand. Gnaritas identifies the mark as that of an oath-breaker from Desoleum, the men clearly marked as having broken their oaths. Evidence of another party working against the 2nd Recon in the Spire is welcomed, but of this mysterious group little else can be determined. Castus and Gnaritas head out into the oppressive heat of the Slag, asking local mutants about the slain patrol. Most are unhelpful, and eventually after fighting off a massive feugo fire-lizard the pair return to the Spire-proper.

The God-hammer disabled the Cell moves onto their next priority: Tracking down the heretic psykers known as "the Silence". Castus returns to Dr. Ocana to get a check up on his new bionic leg, and subtly plies him for information. Knowing that the Silence are telepaths, he inquires as to people who had lost their memory. He discovers that more people had been losing their memories of late than usual, with almost all having ventured into the Slag at some point. Realising that the Silence never left the Slag after their conflict with the Arbites, Castus decides it would be best for Gallach to leave the 2nd Recon Irregulars. Mapping the Irregular's patrol route the following day, the Arbites lay in wait for Gallach's patrol. Rushing from nearby habs the Arbites smash into the unprepared Irregulars. Shock mauls crack skulls as the elite Arbites utterly obliterate the Irregular's, Castus joining the fray with expert unarmed strikes and within 12 seconds the patrol have been silently slain. The bodies are loaded into a truck and dumped in the cinder, burning them to ash. The Cell regroups at the warehouse, preparing to head down into the Slag to search for the Silence. With Gallach in 2nd Recon disguise and Castus wearing the face and garb of a simple scavenger the Cell climbs down an abandoned chute to the Slag, the oppressive heat hitting them at once as they rappel down.

The mutants who dwell in the Slag are reluctant to the talk to the group, but eventually a particularly hideous creature named Imk steers the group towards a local mutant who performs soothsaying services for the mutant population. An old seer known by the locals as the "Crystal Crone". The Crone is a powerful psyker who lives beneath a half melted Aquila, the wings of the holy bird protecting her from the majority of the heat. The Crone is well named, her body half crystalline from a mutation that threatens to take over her entire form. She speaks in riddles, talking about things "long forgotten" and a "daemon that once walked the lands". The group tries to solve her riddles, but even the logic centres of Gnaritas' bionic brain cannot decrypt her mad rambles. Eventually the Crystal Crone offers the group an alternative. She would psychically implant the location of the Silence into the mind of one of those present, but she warns that the process would not be painless. Gallach volunteers, stepping forward and having the Crone put her hands around his head. His eyes roll back into his head and he dreams a terrifying dream. He flies over Hulee V in an age past, watching as the armies of the Imperium clash with fearsome Xenos. He dreams of a titan walking the earth and finally of the titan's head sitting above a lake of molten metal here in the Slag. Gallach staggers to his knees, the knowledge of the Silence's hidden location now revealed to him. He nods to Castus and with a crunch the Interrogator puts his hands around the Crone's neck and twists.

Not much time later the Cell makes their way across the slag, crossing the molten metal delta of the Cinder and arriving at a smouldering lake. In the middle of the lake sits a massive metal head, more in common with a skull than a human head it stands on a pair of massive metal shoulders that once held the most dangerous weapons that humanity has ever created. It had long since been stripped of valuable parts, dumped in the Cinder and forgotten centuries ago. Putting on his bronze psy occulum Gallach observes the titan for some time, noting a strong psychic signature emanating from the place, most of the glow from below the surface. The Cell decides to do some scouting of the interior of the Titan, and a well aimed grapnel is fired across the some fifty metres of molten lake, making contact with the titan's rusted steel with a clink. The Cell crawls across the line, slowly but steadily going hand over hand, each man aware that a single slip would have him plummeting into the molten metal below. An auspex scan finds an entrance in the titan's head, and the Gnaritas' mechadendrite opens the locked chamber with a click. Within are a half dozen men clad in rags, each with tattoos of stitching over his mouth. Gallach identifies the men as psykers, and with silenced shots the men are killed by the acolytes.

There are no exits from the titan skull, and a search finds another entrance through the destroyed gun-mounting. Moving through ruined corridors the Cell moves deeper, slaying guards without a sound as their stolen Spectre rifles spit death at the psykers. Eventually Gallach has to take the psy occulum off, the presence of over a hundred psykers below nearly blinding him with their light. Making their way deeper the Cell reaches the core of the titan, where over three dozen psykers stand in concentric circles in the hollowed out chest cavity. Gnaritas and Gallach fire immediately, two underslung grenade launchers causing explosions that blow a dozen psykers into bloody pieces. The rest ignore their losses, turning to face the intruders with eyes glowing. Voices speak into the minds of the Cell, the psykers present speaking in a single echoing voice. The Silence knew the Inquisition were in the Spire, and had foreseen the acolytes arriving at the titan that very day. Unperturbed, the Cell leaps into action, guns cutting down more psykers before the Silence casts out their minds with unrelenting force. Gallachs eyes begin to glow the same purple as the psykers as his mind is overridden by their overwhelming psychic abilities. The remaining psykers act as one, possessing Gallach even as Gnaritas' bullets rip into their fellows.

Castus and Gnaritas keep killing psykers, but soon Gallach is overwhelmed and under the control of the Silence. He turns, firing on full automatic at his allies and causing them to duck back into cover behind the hatch mounting. One enemy puppeted the Silence cast their minds further, blasting past Castus' mental walls and taking over his mind. As they struggle to take control of Gnaritas, his logic processes fighting back against their psychic force. Their powers split, Gallach attempts to retake control, pulling out his side arm and putting it to his temple. But the Silence are too powerful, and Gallach soon passes out from the strain. Castus' natural willpower fights against the Silence control, giving Gnaritas enough time to engage his bionic legs and lope back through the titans cramped corridors. As Castus and Gallach fall unconscious Gnaritas makes his escape, using his internal power source to power anti-grav generators that shoot him cleanly across the molten lake, hovering half a metre from its deadly surface. He floats back through the Slag, up through the hidden passage and back to the safehouse. Meanwhile back in the Titan the two capture agents are carried deep below, where the heart of the Silence lies…


Entry 2.3: Breaking the Silence

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[The 2nd Recon cordon off the Slag]

Deep within the belly of the warlord-engine, the mind-flayer delved into the psyches of his captives. Both were stalwart and brave men - foolishly loyal to a totalitarian state which had strayed far from the God-Emperor's divine light. It gave them little strength, but much comfort to cling to such ideals. The mind-flayer sat quietly before the trussed-up men, who writhed and cried out as their thoughts were forcibly extracted piece by piece, his eyes shimmering with a murky violet glow. From behind him, silently, steps another figure, their form obscured by a roughly spun cowl of ashen cloth. Through eyes which no longer saw the material world, the mind-flayer perceived the figure bathed in pure, golden light. Words are not exchanged, for they need not be. In an instant the mind-flayer knew that the time had come for them all to ascend - for the curtain to fall. Pulsing his thoughts throughout the warlord-engine, the mind-flayer sent a single command.
"Let the willing and the faithful consign themselves - our Gilded Father commands us so, and by His Holy Light we shall obey"

[A Rescue]
Two men stand over Castus and Gallach as their minds are plundered by the hundreds of linked psykers that make up the Silence. One is masked and robed in purple finery, the other a hulking wretch in ashen grey rags. Neither of he acolytes are sure which wields the awesome psychic power that is rummaging through their minds at that moment, learning every detail not locked by Inquisitor Grendel's psychic walls. Castus resists the attempts, his psychic conditioning too complex even for the power of the Silence, but Gallach's mind is ripped open as he screams in agony. Back at the Safehouse Gnaritas warns the Arbites that their location is compromised, sending them back down into the Slag to hide out. In the meantime he travels to District 6 and meets with the members of the Adeptus Mechanicus there. He shows their leader, then Electro-Priest Megaloss, pictures of the ruined Titan and convinces him to mount an expedition into the Slag to analyse the venerated war-machine.

It is such that hours later a group of fifty tech-priests descend the turbo lifts into the Slag. Red robed figures accompanied by bronze armoured skitarii and servitors make a large group as they trek across the Slag towards their objective. Halfway to his destination however Gnaritas begins to feel the psychic presence of the Silence, and the location of the ruined titan is suddenly wiped from his memory. He discusses the phenomenon openly with Megaloss and the Electro-Priest convinces Gnaritas to use his archeotech vox-caster to track the implants in Gallach's cerebral cortex. With a lock on the pilot's mind impulse unit Gnaritas can once again lead the Mechanicus contingent across the rubble and steel of the Slag. Soon the group arrives at the Titan, the tech adepts marvelling at this piece of lost technology. Servitors begin to construct a bridge across the lake of molten metal, while the tech adepts begin to set up analysis and observation equipment. However their observation is short lived, as with an unholy ethereal shriek tears of red and gold energy appear in the air. A shocked few seconds pass before from the tears burst dozens of multi-hued creatures made entirely of flames, cackling to themselves in otherworldly voices as the daemons are summoned into the material plane.

The daemons fall upon the Adeptus Mechanicus forces, lashing out with flames and beams of energy that cut through even the thickest armour. The tech priests fight back, melta weapons and hellguns ripping through the daemons with utter precision. But when one falls two take its place, and soon the Adeptus Mechanicus forces begin to retreat closer and closer to the massive molten lake at their backs. Realising the situation is too dire, Megaloss orders the remaining tech priests to move across the lake, engaging their grav-boosters as the surviving skitarii and servitors form up to die in defence of their masters. With their prey escaped, the daemons spread out into the Slag, cackling as they go and dancing along the surface of the boiling metal rivers of the under-Spire. In the relative safety of the titan's shadow Megaloss voxes the Spire for help, contacting the 2nd Recon and organising for a relief force to be sent to reinforce the Adeptus Mechanicus position. Of the fifty tech priests in the expedition only a dozen remain, the dead burned to ash metal bionics and all by the flame daemons. Eventually after nearly an hour of anxious waiting the 2nd Recon force arrives. One hundred men in the grey and black of the Recon arrive, led by a pale man with a massive red beard. Clambering across the half constructed bridge the 2nd Recon take up a defensive position as their leader, Major Helsing, prepares an assault team to move into the Titan itself.

Led by Major Helsing hefting a chrome grenade launcher the 2nd Recon move into the tight corridors of the titan. Silenced weapons chatter as rogue psykers are cut down piecemeal in the corridors, and gas grenades break up large groups as they prepare to resist the guardsmen. From time to time troopers fire upon their allies, eyes glowing purple as the Silence seize their minds. Eventually the 2nd Recon assault stalls, the Silence able to bottleneck the guardsmen at the chest section of the Titan. As bullets fly back and forth Gnaritas gathers the remaining tech priests and comes up with a plan. Linking their twelve internal power sources together Gnaritas does a hard-tap into the titan's defensive systems, powering up internal circuits not used for centuries. Within the chest section the psykers fall as the internal defences of the titan are activated and soon the 2nd Recon execute the stunned psykers without mercy. Deeper into the titan Gnaritas comes upon Castus and Gallach, bound and stripped in the bowels of the titan. The pair speak to Major Helsing, using their 2nd Recon Irregulars cover stories and joining the fight with borrowed pistols.

Gnaritas and Castus break off from the main assault group, searching the psyker armoury for the Cell's seized equipment. All the gear is there but the psy-occulum, and the pair move to follow the main 2nd Recon assault, which had split in two to force their way into the leg sections of the titan. Gallach is with one force, going deeper with his squad before suddenly the men around him burst into flames. Before him stands the most hideous creature he had ever seen, an amalgamation of a dozen hideous beasts melted together to creature a hulking monstrosity with fire bursting from its nostrils. Steeling his nerve Gallach raises his rifle and fires, emptying the full clip at the beast as it lumbers towards him. Miraculously, every bullet fired hits the creature, each shot blasting off purple blood. Gallach dodges flames as the creature breaths fire from its fanged mouth, but is knocked prone as the creature gores him with its horns. His arm is ripped from his torso as the creature gives out a hideous shriek of psychic energy. Bleeding, Gallach draws his side-arm, half empty from the hallway fighting. As the creature looms over him it opens its mouth to consume him. A full clip of pistol ammo rips into the bottom of the creature's skull, ripping through its brain with an explosion of purple blood and bone. It falls to the ground next to Gallach. Gnaritas and Castus find him here minutes later, eyes wide and shaking from the horrors he had experienced.

Eventually the 2nd Recon fall back, unable to crack the Silence entirely and unwilling to lose more of their men. Daemons run loose across the Slag, and after the ten remaining tech priests and twenty five remaining guardsmen move up the turbo-lifts they are sealed shut to contain the outbreak. As chaos reigns below so too does it rear its ugly head above, the massed members of the faith suddenly swarming on mass and throwing themselves into the Cinder. The massive molten metal pillar at the centre of the Spire had already burned thousands to death as the followers of the false saint Diego Hyden sacrifice themselves for some unknown purpose. Taken back to the 2nd Recon barracks Castus and Gallach are tortured for information, their tormenter Captain Drayton giving up only when the pair are too bruised and bleeding to talk. Realising the clock is ticking in the Spire Castus and Gallach prepare to escape. Feigning sickness Castus lures a pair of guards into his Cell, knocking out the pair with expert blows from his fists. The remaining guards round on him, but somehow after the smoke clears not a single bullet had hit him. The 2nd Recon guards don't have time to recover from the shock as Gallach cuts them down with precision head shots from his hold-out pistol. The unconscious guards are executed and the acolytes don their armour, simply walking out of the barracks and returning to the Safehouse. A message is sent to Inquisitor Grendel aboard the Fury Untold, but a reply is not received. The Slag had fallen to daemons, the Silence were bloodied but still half a hundred strong after the 2nd Recon attack and the false Saint Hyden was at the core of it all. Hopelessly outgunned and seemingly without external support the acolytes of Alloy Cell prepare to stand alone against the horrors of Spire 6.


Part 3: Lords of Cinder


Entry 3.1: A World Removed

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[A 2nd Recon patrol in District 5]

Perched over a hefty stack of papers and data-slates, the revolutionary commander weighed the choices before him. With the faithful consigning themselves to a fiery death in the Cinder, the witch-cult revealed in the Slags, and the disabled God-hammer still days away from being repaired, the coup was faltering and the situation spiralling beyond his control. The next few days would be the ultimate test and require the most the commander had ever asked of his men. Absent-minded, he fingered with the jewelled gorget about his neck, the only ostentation he wore.
"A pox upon him" cursed the commander. "For being handed such a cruel and taciturn fate. Askellon asks much of me and mine, and it is not bravery found wanting, but faith"
Interlacing his thumbs over his chest, the commander bows his head.
"God-Emperor, who sits upon the throne of mankind, lend unto me your strength in this my hour of need. To save your people, good men must do wicked deeds and blaspheme in your name. If my soul is the price for doing what must be done, I pay it gladly. Ave Imperator."
A single, tiny scrap of parchment, still coiled like a scroll from its journey in the message-shell falls from the commander's hands.
"The Toad is finished. The Binary Stars have been located. We move on your orders"

[The Spire Falls]
The Arbites had managed to escape the Slag before it was sealed, but half their number had fallen in the process. They are instructed to wait in the Safehouse as Gnaritas attempts to rally the Adeptus Mechanicus forces and Castus and Gallach put a plan in place to locate and assassinate the false saint Hyden. While Gallach visits Dr Ocana to have a bionic installed Castus resumes his disguise as a member of the Faith, taking on a face he hadn't used for several days. He travels back to the Cathedral, finding the area still heavy with faithful and locals. But unlike the frenzied zealotry in the past these people seem crestfallen, sapped of light and demoralised. Within the church Castus follows the booming voice of Father Hyden, lying his way through the few members of the Choir still present within the cloister. Speaking to the men he passes he learns that they are all eager to "consign themselves", sacrificing themselves to some unknown force. The pews of the cathedral are filled with bodies, corpses of those who died of starvation waiting to see the 'Saint'. Castus finds the Father in a glass observation dome at the top of the Cathedral, and paces back downstairs to sneak Gallach into the Cathedral.

The pair approach the Father across the tiled roof, sneaking towards the glass dome, deafened by the Father's preaching blasting out of mega-voxes on the roof. As they get closer they realise the 'Saint' had changed, his golden form bloated and disfigured and his radiance tinged with a fell green glow. Around his feet lay the bodies of dozens of Choir members, leeched of their life by the abomination they worshipped. Unable to breach the glass dome Gallach and Castus edge around the outside, mindful of the crowd of faithful hundreds of metres below them. As Gallach reaches the centre of the dome Castus' grip slips and he begins to tumble, only just catching himself on a mega-vox. Bringing his rifle to bear Gallach hoses the glass above Castus, and the Interrogator clambers up onto the ledge even as the False Saint turns. Ignoring the horror that the creature presents the pair rush forward, Castus hitting the abomination with body blows as Gallach's precision shots narrowly avoid his ally. The Saint lashes out with dark magic, but the Acolytes duck and weave around him. Daemonic voices call out as a fell wind lashes the rooftop, Castus smashed backwards and only save as he throws out a hand and grabs the broken edge of the glass. As his friend hangs on for dear life Gallach opens up with his rifle, dozens of rounds smashing into the Father at close range and blowing him into pieces.

Even as Castus is pulled back onto the rooftop the remains of the Father begin to glow, releasing hundreds of beams of light that scream in a thousand unholy voices. Finally his body falls down into ash and the screams seem to coalesce into laughter. Hideous mocking laughter that no human mouth could make, a sound that chills the acolytes to their very bones. Far below the Faithful begin to lose their minds, frothing at the mouth and attacking each other with frenzied abandon as the laughter breaks their fragile minds. Castus and Gallach rappel down off the building, pushing through the crazed locals and moving through a Spire gone insane. As the laughter spreads through the Spire the people of Hulee V simply lose their minds, killing each other with whatever is at hand. Mothers strangle their babies, children bite and scratch at their siblings and everywhere the hideous laughter revels in the bloodshed. The 2nd Recon fire upon the crazed locals, orchestrating a fighting retreat and gunning down hundreds of psychopathic locals. Castus and Gallach eventually reach the Safehouse in district 5, meeting a reduced Arbites force there. Some of the Arbites had fallen prey to the laughter and after nearly an hour the sound dies down and the people of Spire 6 stop their violent rage.

Realising that the death of the False Saint had unleashed something the Cell decides to make their way back to the Slag to deal with the Silence once and for all. Men are sent to guard key points around the Spire, and the remaining Arbites don their black carapace armour and join Castus and Gallach's mission down to the Slag. Passing through the streets the acolytes notice the massive vid screens of the Spire lit up. Usually used only for the yearly tithe announcements, the screens now bear the face of Gallach, as well as a number of Castus' disguises. A reward is offered by the 2nd Recon for their capture and the pair pull their cloak hoods high as they make their way through the Spire. Before they reach the bottom of the District the group pass an observation station, a massive glass panel installed by the Spire government to increase morale by allowing the people of the Spire a view of the outside. But now it holds the view of the Arbites as they pass, many openly gaping at the vision beyond the heavy glass. The normally burned skies of Hulee V are gone, replaced by an inky black sky devoid of stars. Sitting dominant in the sky is a red planet that seems to shimmer and move. Gallach brings up his magnoculars, but soon recoils with a grimace. The surface of the planet is a hideous sight he refuses to describe to the others, but it soon becomes clear that whatever the death of the Saint caused that Hulee V was now situated outside of the material realms.

Getting to the edge of District 6 the Cell are finally caught by the 2nd Recon, bullet fire ripping into the Arbites as a strange silver shards bounce off Gallach's armour. The shards come from the crossbow of a large blue skinned man, his feral tattoos at odds with the tactical grey and black of the 2nd Recon around him. He goes down to a single sniper round from Gallach, and the Arbites spread out to fight off the 2nd Recon ambush. Castus rushes forwards, breaking necks slaying Recon with expert strikes with a borrowed shock maul. As the 2nd Recon move to react to Castus' brutal and bloody path through their ranks the Arbites capitalise, moving forwards with shotguns raised and blasting the 2nd Recon. Eventually the traitor guardsmen turn to retreat, some gunned down as they flee but a few escaping into the Slag. Their numbers and ammunition depleted by the ambush the Cell retreats back to the Safehouse, rethinking their approach to focus again on the 2nd Recon. Rather than wait to be hunted Castus and Gallach decide to take the fight to the 2nd Recon, gearing up to infiltrate their base of operations in District 3 within the Spire.

Moving into District 3 the pair look every inch the 2nd Recon soldiers, and are easily allowed past the check points leading up to the 2nd Recon base. A massive hab tower is heavily guarded by the 2nd Recon, and the pair are heavily scrutinised as they pass into the tower itself. Travelling through the corridors the Cell see hundreds of men and women kept imprisoned, the until now unknown location of the Spire Enforcer's revealed. But Gallach's disguise had not been as efficient as he had thought, and soon the pair are separated as a dozen 2nd Recon soldiers capture Gallach. He soon finds himself at the top of the tower, once again under the knife of Captain Drayton, the 2nd Recon interrogator. Castus tries to find a way to free him, but the top of the tower is utterly locked down. For hours Drayton tortures Gallach, cutting and beating him but unable to get any information from the stubborn navy pilot. After some time Drayton stops, leaving Gallach alone in the room. But soon another figure enters. Tall and grey haired, the Colonel had so far eluded the acolytes, but now stands in front of Gallach of his own volition. He releases Gallach, giving him a message shell and allowing him to leave. Meeting with Castus the pair make their way at pace out of the 2nd Recon base, returning to the Safehouse before opening the message shell, utterly confused by what has just occurred:

"Tuchulcha awaits in the sky. The Gilded Father dreams no more as Errant the Schemer removes his masque - his bonds are sundered by the fallen Saint. The Binary Stars will bring the curtain's call.
Seek the Silence. Break the Cinder. Release us from Gurrios' carnival.
For the Emperor"


Entry 3.2: Enemy of my Enemy

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[Tuchulcha appears in the skies above Hulee V]

Under the soft green glow of a cogitator, Gnaritas worked in complete silence. His back-doors and logic-nets imposed fragment by fragment over the past three days had finally borne fruit in his quest for information. "The Binary Stars" A foolish mortal interpretation of a singular most holy artefact of the Omnissiah's might - the pinnacle of Mechanicus destructive technology. Buried beneath the surface, they were the first salvo of what was to be the execution of Hulee V, staved off only by the strength of those who refused surrender in the face of overwhelming odds. Dormant for centuries, neglected and decaying, within their still-hearts lay the power to sunder worlds, if only they received their spark.
With a final pulse of thought Gnaritas logged out of the cogitator, the interface a mess of clashing logistical errors and looped scrap-code. Already his sensors could feel the Generatorum swell with building energies, and moments later the once powerful downlights flickered and pulsed. He was reminded of an ancient Imperial proverb spoken by a long since dead hero.
"I am become death - destroyer of worlds"

[An unlikely alliance]
At the Safehouse Gallach and Castus discuss the situation with the 2nd Recon among themselves, waiting for Gnaritas to rejoin them. It seems that the 2nd Recon were trying to stop the heretical psykers of the Silence. This whole time the heretics in the 2nd Recon may have been trying to save the Spire, no doubt influenced by the Coven known as the 'Patternari'. Based on the message from the Colonel of the 2nd Recon it seemed that the planet in the sky was Tuchulcha, the mythical daemon world said to lurk within Askellon and used by mothers to scare their children. The phrases 'Gilded Father', 'Errant the Schemer' and 'Gurrios' are unknown to both them and to the Arbite Proctor Knight. Gnaritas claims to know the meaning of the phrase 'Binary Stars', saying it denotes weapons of some power that exist within the Spire. Gnaritas had done some research on this, and had promised to clarify matters when he arrived. All communication out of the Spire is dead. Not blocked. Dead. Six Arbites are still alive, with others allocated to protect Dr Ocano and the Safehouse against whatever might come. The Cell heal their wounds and check their weapons as they wait for their tech-adept to arrive, hoping that Gnaritas would have some information that would help them stop whatever was happening in Spire 6.

Arriving, Gnaritas does not speak, instead presenting his allies with data-slates containing information copied from the Spire's secret records, directly taken from the cogitators in the Spire Governor's personal quarters:

Centuries ago, during the Corsair Incursions in the Thule Sub-Sector, the war against the capricious eldar was going poorly for the citizens of Askellon. Several worlds had already fallen to the piratical xenos and the navies of Port Lokhart had established defence pickets around the fabrication world of Hulee V. Through unknown means the xenos managed to slip by the defenders and assault the surface directly, laying waste to Hive Krakex and its people. In scant days the defences of Hulee V were turned against the Imperial Navy, and a pitched battle for the world raged onwards. The Navy conducted innumerable assessments of the situation, but could never achieve a consensus on how to fight against an enemy which could seemingly appear at random and without warning. One Admiral, who had grown tired of the deadlock, took matters into his own hands and launched a pair of Cyclonic Torpedoes at the hive, reasoning that he was sparing the Imperials from a fair worse fate at the blades of the malicious aliens. Several officers of the command deck took umbrage with this extreme solution, and enacted a coup against the Admiral. Through pure luck the bridge crew managed to disable the torpedo primers and guidance systems, rendering them nothing more than inert lumps of high-velocity adamantium. The disabled munitions thundered into the surface of Hulee V, burying themselves many hundreds of meters deep. Fearing the political consequences of an unauthorised cyclonic launch, the Ordo Xenos covered up the event in typical Inquisitorial fashion. Years later, during the rebuilding process of Hive Krakex, it was decided that the location of the munitions and the codes to re-arm them would be psychically caged inside the minds of the spire Governors, in case another xenos incursion occurred in the future and the Imperium was forced to destroy Hive Krakex rather than lose it to a mortal enemy.

Gnaritas discusses the message from Colonel Gastellum with them, recognising the names 'Errant the Schemer' and 'Gurrios'. It seems that Gurrios is said to be the name of a daemon who rules on Tuchulcha, one of four massive daemonic presences that war on the place. Gnaritas spares his allies the details, but outlines that four great powers battle on Tuchulcha and one is led by Gurrios. Errant the Schemer is the name given to Erevan Rosh, the Rogue Trader who had first discovered Tuchulcha and whose family still has holdings in the sector. It is said Erevan fell to Gurrios' whispers and serves him still as a Herald. The Cell discuss amongst themselves, eventually coming to the conclusion that even if the Spire was to be saved the daemonic presence here would mean most of the billion people who lived here would need to be executed, and the technology ritually cleansed. In essence, even a saved Spire would be a lost asset to the Imperium. With this in mind the Cell decides to find and detonate the lost cyclonic warheads, the so-called 'Binary Stars'. Arbitrator assets from across the Spire are recalled and with them comes Dr. Ocana, refusing to be left out of whatever is going on in his beloved Spire. Using his knowledge of armaments, Gnaritas can retrofit the vox caster to track the signal of the warheads once he gets close enough and the Cell pack up their safehouse and prepare to head below.

The Arbitrators are sent higher into the Spire to find transport out of here, while Addison Knight, Dr. Ocano and the Cell head down to the Slag to finish their holy work. The Cell resists Dr. Ocano tagging along, but he stubbornly refuses to leave, hefting his old las-carbine. The group heads down to the Slags via an old turbo lift decommissioned by Gnaritas, the tech-priest having left a back door in case he ever needed to activate it again. Once again in the oppressive heat of the Slags the Cell follows Gnaritas' signal, tracking the warheads with the sound of laughter echoing all around them. After some time they realise the signal leads directly to the forgotten titan, no longer shrouded by the minds of the Silence. On the way there the Cell comes across a group of 2nd Recon. Although it is tense at first, Castus negotiates with their leader Major Helsing and discovers that they had been sent here by the Colonel to assist the acolytes in assaulting the Titan. Helsing is uncomfortable with the idea, but loyal to his traitorous captain to the last. And such it is a larger group moves towards the Titan than the acolytes predicted, their small force marching at the centre of a 25 strong force of 2nd Recon combat veterans.

Climbing across the half constructed bridge the 2nd Recon soldiers begin to assault the titan, as they had done once before. Silences shots ring out, cutting down outer guards until finally the Silence reacts and all out firefights begin in the narrow corridors of the titan. Men are possessed or burned to a crisp by psychic flames, while the 2nd Recon fight back with silenced rifles and anti-crowd grenades. It is bloody going, but under covering fire from the Recon the Cell soon make their way into the depths of the Titan, following the tracking device imbedded in each of the lost warheads. They pass the area where Gallach slew the rat-king, and cutting through the walls with a las-cutter drop into the bowels of the titan itself. Squeezing between gears and servos the group clambers downwards, eventually coming out in a tunnel seemingly cut from the slag itself. The walls here are unnaturally smooth, psychically cut and cooled to allow someone…or something…access. Moving slowly down the corridor the Cell soon discovers who that is. A masked man stands over the bottoms of the two warheads, his hands moving quickly over open panels. Above him stands the puppet master in this whole affair, Errant the Schemer in all his horrible glory. Standing over seven feet tall, he brushes off his robes to reveal a not unhandsome man, his dark skin marred only by a golden glow from within. With six arms he begins to laugh, a recognisable laugh that had all but destroyed the Spire and draws a massive golden scimitar in two hands.

The daemonic face of their enemy revealed the Cell reacts, Castus rushing forwards with a prayer to the Emperor on his lips. Gnaritas stands stunned, his data-processes overloaded by the sheer horror of the creature in front of them. Gallach and Knight leap to action, the former spraying the masked man with bullets as Knight draws from her pouch a brass grenade inscribed with holy runes. A shield of psychic energy leaps up to protect the masked man as the grenade bounces along the floor and lands next to the daemon thing engaging Castus. A white mist envelopes the creature as the anti-psyker grenade does its work. Flailing with six arms the creature tries to manifest its powers, flames burning from his body as he struggles to overcome the power of the grenade. And in his moment of weakness on of the other lords of Tuchulcha strikes. A massive figure appears out of a red slit in reality, bronze plated armour covered a red furred body. With a roar that chills the soul it leaps forward, swinging its bronze great axe down in a single motion. The daemon creature stumbles back, two arms rent from its body, as the new daemon lashes out again and again. Heavy blows rip into the daemons flesh before finally with a whip crack the axe cuts him cleanly from the top of his head to his groin.


Entry 3.3: Sacrifice

Titan%20Core.png
[Within the titan]

By the power bestowed in me by the Holy Inquisition, and in the Emperor's name, I do so sentence you. The inhabitants of Spire 6 are sentenced to death, to be burned in the Emperor's light and in doing so absolve them of their sins.
Interrogator Castus, upon the destruction of Spire 6

[The Spire's fate is decided]
In scant second the suicidal attack on the Silence had been won, the capricious nature of chaos having been its own undoing as daemon lords turn against each other. The brass armoured brute simply removes the head of the Errant the Schemer, picking up his sword and leaving the material realm in an explosion of blood. Shocked the Cell are thankful for their lives, but rattled at having been saved by a daemon. Castus begins to chant the litany of protection, while Gnaritas' logic sensors recover. Gallach moves forward, rounding on the masked figure and blowing off his head and shoulders with a close range round from his sniper rifle. Gnaritas moves forward, quickly undoing the work done on the warheads and installing his own software with a few chanting litanies. Scrutinising the body of the masked man Castus opens his data-slate and strikes through the name Ruto on his list, the heretical mastermind of the Silence finally discovered and destroyed.

As the group recovers Gnaritas works his magic, finally turning to the group with a resigned look on his mechanical face. It seems the warheads cannot be detonated remotely, the only chance for destroying the Spire being for someone to remain behind and set them off manually. Gnaritas begins formulating a plan to drug the Doctor, forcing him to remain behind, but before he can put it into motion Addison volunteers. Gallach tries to talk her out of it, but the Arbitrator's mind is set. Reloading her shotgun she remains behind, the dead-man's switch in her hands and a chrono on his wrist counting down the hour until her death. Moving out of the titan the group finds the Silence dead, their minds overloaded after the death of their leader. The 2nd Recon also lie dead, with only Major Helsing barely alive surrounded by his men. He asks the Cell if their mission is done, smiling when they inform him that their mission is complete. He asks for privacy to end his own life, but a sniper rifle round from Gallach denies him this final honour. Leaving the Slag via a turbo lift the Cell makes their way up into Spire 6.

The Spire is a mess, thousands of dead civilians and 2nd Recon soldiers gunning down the crazed masses as they are overcome by the proximity to Tuchulcha. The planet sits full in the sky now, entirely filling all outer view ports and casting a red glow through all windows in the Spire. Pushing upwards the Cell fight off 2nd Recon squads and civilians, killing any who get in their way as they make their way up to District 1. At the top of the Spire they find Kiani, Addision's second, with his gun raised. The rest of the Arbite squad lay around him, gunned down by their leader as the daemon planet infected his mind. Without time to properly assess the situation Gallach simply puts Kiani out of his misery, a round through his head claiming his life as Gnaritas moves to police his gear even at this 11th hour. The halo barge he had secured was years out of service, but Gallach easily gets it moving, his deft hands manipulating the hulking vehicle out of the hanger bay and into the purple-red skies. Violent skies broil with energy as the daemon world enters the atmosphere of Hulee V, and Gallach barely holds on as waves of energy rack against the outer hull of the halo barge. Finally as flames wash over the vehicle it begins to plummet and those on board lose consciousness.

The Fury Untold collects the acolytes from the ruins of their lander on the surface of Hulee V. They undergo interrogation, Inquisitor Grendel ripping information from their minds for days on end to ascertain what happened in Spire 6. The ship daemonologist Hayl scours their souls for taint but after days of intense prayer none is found. Once they are cleared of any taint the group join the Inquisitor in the Hub, his normally pristine form looking tired from days of psychic activity. While they were within the Spire Hulee V had been coated in a thick purple mist, through which no communications could pierce. Over a year had passed, with no transport possible into or off the world. Munitions from the world had ceased, with the Imperium paying a heavy price across the sector as weapons and wargear simply were not available for those fighting the Imperium's enemies. The mist had finally lifted only days before, when the destruction of Spire 6 had cast off the warp presence tainting the planet. The Fury Untold sits among the navy blockade still standing above Hulee V, as imperial guard units are sent below to secure the planet and make sure the populace are not tainted by the lingering mist.

Over the coming weeks the Navy from Port Lokhart blockade Hulee V and are conduct strict enforcement of imperial order to restart the production of arms and armour. Without support, the war on Myros-Kappa, while not being lost, has taken a turn with all Imperial forces retreating into orbit while the Greenskins occupy the surface. Meanwhile the Inquisition sweep the site of the cyclonic explosion and gathering any lingering evidence. Aboard the Fury Untold the Cell are debriefed. Gallach is set to solitary confinement after his many daemonic experiences, and Castus' report to Grendel is read again and again as he tries to find a way he could have performed his duties any better. Meanwhile across the expanse the entire situation is being classed as a high-grade industrial accident. As far as the Imperium is concerned the Cinder leaked into the generatorum causing it to overload, while Inquisitor Grendel pours over the details of the mission, desperately trying to find links between the Patternari and the events in the Spire.

In the following months the members of Cell Alloy disperse once again, waiting for their master to summon them again. Gallach makes his way to the feral world of Rund, where missionaries of the Emperor were trying to bring his light to the savages there. Wanting time to renew his faith in the Emperor Gallach instead finds many of the tribes on the planet follow old gods and must be put to the sword. He struggles against this at first, but in the end sees it as a sign from the most holy that his true purpose is violence. Gnaritas also undergoes a pilgrimage, travelling aboard the ship Steel Embrace to the edge of Askellon to investigate an Adeptus Mechanicus space station that had recently gone dark. There he finds a strange biological agent that interrupts with technology, but his investigations are interrupted as he is called back to the Fury. Back on the Fury Untold Castus forms an extensive contact network across the sector, placing agents in criminal organisations and local enforcer units alike. His work comes to fruition surprisingly quickly with the discovery of a traitorous agent amongst Inquisitor Sabela's acolytes. He tracks the agent and confronts her, finding that when questioned a micro-chip in her brain explodes. He leaves her corpse and reports the events to Grendel.

M41.818 All contact is lost with the world of Hulee V for over an entire stellar year. Officially the world is embroiled in an unexpected warp-storm. The lack of war-resources reaching the spinward front force the Imperials to retreat from Myros-Kappa, leaving the valuable planet to the Greenskins for the time being. Unofficially Hulee V was the site of an attempted incursion orchestrated by a powerful Lord of Chaos supported by a coven of witches, wyrds and traitor guard.

Epilogue

"Curb your tongue, Miss King. You may speak freely to me, but never take that to mean you may insult my character or intelligence at will."
The Inquisitor sat deep in his high-backed throne of rich leather and shiny brass, his fingers steeped under his chin. His eyes were cool and narrowed, hiding the bristling anger he must be feeling. I stood on the opposite side of his luxurious desk, knuckles planted firmly on the peach-coloured wood, using my considerable height advantage to loom over him. I was not thinking. I was angry.
"We almost lost a world, sir. By the Emperor - the Cell killed a billion Imperials. A billion! This mission of yours, this misguided obsession with the Patternari, how many more lives is it going to cost before it's enough? How many?"
Losing all sense of decorum and calm Grendel exploded to his feet, slamming his fists upon the table, his voice booming like a vox-hailer.
"A billion more, Miss King! 10 billion! A sub-sector! I would sacrifice them all to stop him! If I had to choke the life out of every single one with my bare hands I would!"
The Inquisitor's considerable psychic force filled the small room like thick molasses, crushing my meager mental defences and sapping my will to argue and forcing me back into my seat. It was now Grendel's turn to loom over me, his short stature doing nothing to restrict the imposing presence his mind afforded him.
"You don't know the things I have heard, the things I have seen. Malachi's machinations for the sector spell doom for us all - maybe even for the entire segmentum. Years ago I asked you to trust me, to have faith in the mission."
With a resigned sigh his voice softened, the mental pressure ebbing away like the tide.
"I'm asking you again to trust me."
I stared at the man before me, bereft of all disguise and veil. The sparse and patchy beard, once deep brown, peppered with white. The long age lines across his forehead, the webbed crows feet by his eyes. Save for a thin half-circlet of hair behind his ears he was entirely bald. He was small, much smaller than he presented, and he was far older than any could guess. I had seen him like this only once before. Almost 6 years ago - the same day he invited me on this mission and asked for my trust and my faith in equal measure.
"You speak of trust, Carom. I know you found something else on that lander the Cell escaped from - what haven't you told them?"
In an instant the mask was returned, and the familiar face of Grendel glowered at me.
"Get out, Miss King. I have had enough of my motives being questioned for one day. You are dismissed."
Shivering despite the climate-controlled environment, I leave the Inquisitor to his brooding. Keying my microbead, I hail the Fury's dojo.
"Master Kellen. It's Chael. Please set the combat servitors to grade 10. I need to hit something."


Appendices

Persons of Note

The Cell:

  • Interrogator Castus: A noble born Adeptus Arbites who excels at infiltration and deception. Raynard Castus was trained in an elite Scholar Progenium on Juno and was recruited to the Inquisition by Inquisitor Sabela before being given the rank of Interrogator and being allocated to serve Inquisitor Grendel.
  • Lt. Gallach: Ex-Imperial Navy pilot who returned to Askellon after the loss of his wing in the Koronus Expanse. A skilled pilot and soldier, he is passionate about the removal of chaos corruption from Imperial space whatever the cost. The veteran of the Cell, Gallach handles the equipment and planning for the cell and is willing to face whatever odds necessary to complete the mission.
  • Gnaritas Seculis: Ex-Adeptus Mechanicus tech-adept and xenos expert. More machine than man, Gnaritas is seized by an insatiable desire for knowledge and had served aboard the Fury Untold as Inquisitor Sabela's personal sage in all things xenos. During the Kalto investigations he was assigned to Inquisitor Grendel and after his success in that mission was assigned permanently to the newly formed Alloy Cell.

Inquisitorial Persona:

  • Inquisitor Grendel: The Inquisitor in charge of Cell Alloy, a mysterious and powerful man who has only recently arrived in the Askellon Sector. Grendel is reclusive, doing most of his work through his Agent Interrogator King and his Acolyte Cells.
  • Inquisitor Sabela: A heavily bionic Inquisitor who owns the Fury Untold Destroyer. Once a pupil of Inquisitor Fallon, she has joined forces with Inquisitor Grendel in his investigations. A member of the Ordos Xenos, her research has focused on the mythological Necrontyr.

Dramatis Persona:

  • Dr. Porter Ocano: Known affectionately as Drock by his patrons, Dr Ocano has patched up the needy from around the Spire in his one-man clinic in District 5 for as long as most can remember. A veteran of the Hulee 223rd "The Headsmen", Porter served for over 40 years as a corpsmen before the regiment was disbanded due to extreme losses fighting against the piratical corsair Eldar.
  • The Crystal Crone: Most mutants of Spire 6 accept their lot as dregs of society and prepare themselves for a short and brutal life. On rare occasions few find a niche to fulfil, their usefulness extending their meager lives. The Crystal Crone is one such mutant – a soothsayer of some ability, she has served the Spire for longer than most can remember, providing fortunes for a fee. Her namesake derives from a creeping mutation which slowly hardens her skin to crystalline finish, rendering her dangerously brittle yet astoundingly tough.

Organisations

  • 2nd Recon 66th Oathsmen, The Grey Walkers: A formerly highly commended recon and infiltration regiment who have since been disbanded and stripped of honours. Considered by many to be the very best urban combat-specialists in the sector.
    • Lt. Col. Murdoch Gastellum: Former Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Recon, Gastellum led his disbanded soldiers in a revolt against the Imperium and now controls Spire 6 of Hive Krakex.
    • Major Brandon Helsing: Major under Lieutenant-Colonel Murdoch Gastellum and leader of the Grey Walkers. Of average height, yet solidly built, Brandon fit the lifestyle of the guard well. A unique skin condition leaves Brandon with a ghostly pale complexion, no matter how much the suns radiation cooks him. Completely bald with a thick tangled mess of a brownish-reddish beard.
    • Adjutant-Captain Kendrick Drayton: With the 2nd so often being behind enemy lines and in deep cover operations, Commissars were simply not suited to the role the 2nd played. As such the matter of esprit decor was handed the the captain of the assault team, Kendrick Drayton. The unassuming thin man of excellent bearing with hawkish eyes is feared and respected in equal measure with stories abound of his ferocity fighting the Orks of Myros Kappa.
    • RSM Darrius Sarrat: A native of the death-world Gregorn, Darrius is a short yet stocky man with a booming, gravelly voice. A veteran of over 45 years in service to the Astra Militarum, Darrius has taken to training Irregulars to serve alongside the 2nd Recon in their fight for secession.
    • Corpseman Reid Nesheim: A young conscript, barely old enough to shave. A mop of unruly auburn hair perches on his head like some stray animal, constantly untamed.
  • The Silence: A cult of telepathic witches and wyrds present in Spire 6 who ritually seal their mouths with stitches or hot-irons. Have not been a cause for trouble until a recent thinning of the veil.
    • Ruto Berenk: Leader of the Silence. Little is known of Ruto - whether this is due to the exploitation of his witch-gifts or simply good planning none can say for sure.
    • The Rat-king: A hideous psychic abomination of unknown providence forged by the flesh-moulders and profane sorcery of the Silence.
  • Suppression Squad G36: Adeptus Arbites squad tasked with eliminating the Silence. No contact has been made with them since the Spire was lost to the 2nd Recon.
    • Proctor Addison Knight: Squad leader of G36, Proctor Knight has ruthlessly pursued witches her entire career - an anti-witch specialist if you will.
    • Arbitrator Trenton Kiani: Addison’s second-in-command, Trenton harbours a strong bond of loyalty to his commanding officer, to the extent of taking a bullet for her when the coup was underway. He is eager to strike back at the 2nd Recon and the Silence.
  • Sigma-Omicron-117: The tech-priests of SO-117 spend the majority of their time attending to the generatorum of Spire 6, providing the enormous amounts of energy required to power the Cinder. With the coup in place and the workload lessening, SO-117 have taken to addressing hundreds of years of backlogged requests throughout the spire.
    • Electro-priest Megaloss: Every generatorum requires an Electro-Priest to oversee and control the mysteries of energy production. For the first time in as long as he can remember, Megaloss is not pushing the generatorum to its limits and is quite content with being able to address centuries of work-orders and requests.
  • The Boilers: Workers-come-slaves of the massive smelting and fabrication facilities in Spire 6; The Boilers are a brotherhood of bonded men, twists and dregs whose loyalties to each-other know no bounds. They proudly wear their scars and burns without shame, and a given due respect no matter where in the Spire they may be found.
  • The Choir: A religious cult which has sprung up in the wake of the coup. Led by the enigmatic Father Diego Hyden, a firebrand preacher who sees divinity in the actions of Murdoch Gastellum.
    • Father Diego Hyden: A well-built man of advanced years, Diego arrived in Spire 6 recently along with a flock of 30-40 disciples intent on righting the errors in faith among the populace, but many more have joined his cause since then. Diego believes that Murdoch is a saint reborn in mortal flesh, and that he will lead the pious to the gates of Hive Krakex and tear down the corrupt magnates who pay only lip-service to the Emperor.
    • Brother Erich Sabine: A pious young man following his mentor, Diego Hyden. Fresh-faced and inspired, his devotion is without question. With the sudden death and resurrection of the newly dubbed Saint Hyden, Erich has taken his proselytising to a new level of zeal.
    • Saint Hyden: A resplendent figure infused with the power of the God-Emperor, Saint Hyden is the Father of Mankind's will made manifest. His eyes shine a golden light upon all who perceive him, and his words uplift the most skeptical of hearts.
  • Enforcer Cadre: Every spire houses its own force of Magistratum Officers commonly referred to as Enforcers. These men and women are tasked with upholding the unique laws and customs of their spire and protecting its citizens. Currently the almost 1000-strong Enforcer Cadre in Spire 6 are in detention, negotiating with the inner circle of the 2nd Recon for their release and return to duties.
  • Astral Nomads: A gang local to Spire 6, they had grown accustom to a certain uneasy truce with the Enforcers and other citizens, and their black-market goods have sometimes been a boon in tough times. With that said they are still hive-gangers at heart, and most are ruthless to a fault. The truce has thus far extended to the 2nd Recon, providing neither party interferes with the other.
  • Steel Toes: Every guard unit has its bad eggs, those who flaunt the rules and regulations to their own ends. The Steel Toes formed during the campaigns on Rund, as these things naturally tend to, in order to fill a need for black and grey market goods. Cordell Zephyr decided to keep his current line of work after the disbanding of the regiment, and entered the underground market of spire 6 with relative ease save for a few scraps with the Astral Nomads.
    • Cordell Zephyr: An NCO from the 2nd Recon, Cordell busies himself running arms and armour to paying customers under the noses of his former comrades. They don’t take kindly to this, as weapons are hard to come by already, and having a thief in their ranks compounds the problem. Adding to this Cordell’s status as an abhuman ratling makes him an unpopular person. Lucky for him he has the towering Grice to watch his back.
    • Grice Olpher: An abhuman monster cleared for service within the Imperial Guard, Grice Olpher is an ogryn through and through. Adorned with half a tonne of muscle the only one not put to use is the one between his ears. Scarred and weathered, Grice serves as a heavy for the business transactions Cordell performs.

Locations

  • 'The Fury Untold': An Iconoclast Destroyer requisitioned by Inquisitor Sabela to serve as her personal transport. It is captained by a man named Drake, who uses his Inquisitorial stipend to support a good trading practice.
  • Hulee V: Industrial world that produces armaments for the sector using its vast natural wealth of ores. Hive Krakex is its only true civilisation, with life outside the hive made miserable by the radiation from the nearby dying sun.
Spire%206-%20Map%20II.png
  • Spire 6, The Crucible: One of a dozen factory-laden spires radiating from Hive Krakex. Due to the extremely volatile nature of the fabricating process almost all industry is kept to the spires while the merchant guilds and magnates live in relative spacious-opulence in the sprawling main hive.
    • The Cinder: This giga-smelter takes up the central chamber of Spire 6 from top to bottom, and the heat of its industry is unforgivable. Every day tonnes upon tonnes of raw material is dropped from bulk haulers into the smelter to be melted down and refined into various quality alloys. Lighter alloys are skimmed in the first few stories, going on to become sheets of plasteel awaiting cold-presses, while the bottom stories produce dense liquid adamantium which is hot-forged into armour for machines of war.
    • The Pit: An infamous and highly illegal underground fighting arena that exists in an ever-shifting location within Spire 6. Contestants can compete for food, money, more luxurious apartments, or just for the sake of blood. All manner of contestants can appear in the Pit; smelt-rats, chrono-gladiators, even cyber-mastiffs. Strangely enough the Pit isn’t owned or operated by any single gang or entity. No-one claims ownership, and no-one can rightly recall how it all began, but it exists nevertheless.
    • District 1: Spire-Peak
      • Communications Array: A high-yield transmission tower of ancient design, the Communications Array has been mostly useless since the Inquisition's blanket jamming of comm-frequencies. Nevertheless the tower in District 1 is guarded around the clock on the off-chance a signal might break through.
      • God-hammer: More suited to a starship's broadside than a hive, the Plasma Ordinatus cannon in District 1 poses a mighty threat to potential targets of the 2nd Recon.
    • District 2: Officionorum
      • Nobles Quarters: In the upper reaches of Spire 6 are the positively luxurious quarters of the magnates and officials who oversee all manner of production. Most of these individuals have been detained or relegated to lower stations as the junta of the 2nd Recon came into effect. These offices remain ghostly empty in the wake of the revolt with Murdoch and his inner circle refusing to take such residences so far above their common man.
    • District 3: Temple District
      • Temple of His Benediction: A decaying and disused temple of the Emperor-Ascendant which now serves as the preaching grounds for The Choir and Father Hyden. The temple was originally constructed by the Ministorum in the efforts to bring the workers of Spire 6 back into the Imperial Cult several hundred years ago.
    • District 4:
      • Enforcer Precinct: The once-offices of the Enforcers are now home to the 2nd Recon who uses it as their staging ground for any operations conducted within the spire. Any who wish to join the 2nd Recon are housed and trained here and in the surrounding habs which have become a make-shift encampment. Irregulars are an increasingly common sight in Spire 6.
      • 'The Wrecker's Ball': Kaf-house, a favoured meeting place for District 4 locals.
    • District 5:
      • Drock's Clinic: Surgery owned and operated by Dr Ocano, a safe place for locals troubled by gang violence.
      • Steel Toes Hangout: Once belonging to the Astral Nomads, this area was "liberated" by the 2nd Recon when the Steel Toes set up shop.
    • District 6: 'Lower Spire'
      • The Generatorum: Surrounding the foundations of the Cinder in District 6 like swaddle around a child, the Generatorum is a mystery of dark age technology. Its donut-like shape hums with barely contained energies, encased behind layers of off-white adamantium and all manner of odd shapes and protrusions. The tech-priests of Sigma-Omicron-117 would work tirelessly around the clock, ensuring the output never dipped below acceptable thresholds.
      • 'The Morlock': A dive-bar in District 6. Home of many lay-abouts and criminals.
    • District 7: 'The Slags'
      • The Slags: The very bottom layer of Spire 6, almost entirely uninhabitable due to the hellish toxicity of uncountable tonnes of waste run-off from the Cinder. Despite the deplorable conditions some still eke out a living collecting whatever scarps are not burned to a crisp, giving rise to a numerous community of mutants and abhumans alike. Firewaves are a common occurrence – cascading fields of cooling slag rolling down the Cinder’s drainpipes. Any unlucky enough to be caught by the slow moving but unstoppable wave of molten steel suffer an agonising death.
      • The Burning Delta: A massive river of super-heated waste pours from the vents in the Cinder, producing a slow-moving but utterly deadly stream of fire which encircles the Slags.
      • The Smouldering Lake: Hidden from the minds of the inhabitants of Spire 6, a great lake of molten steel surrounds the sunken form of a Warlord-class Titan, long since retired from duty and consigned to scrap. Stripped of any useful or holy qualities by the Mechanicus, it is but a shell of its former glory, and still bears the wounds which felled in in battle against the Corsair Eldar many thousands of years ago.
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