Mission Log

Codename Impact Winter

+Incoming Missive.
+Decrypting…
+Message Received.
ACTIVATION NOTICE
C8-2CC-GE - Operative Gamma

Operative. Your time has come. Mission type; [undisclosed]. Mission duration; [undisclosed]. Collect a materials package from locker CCZ-11, Barth Starport. Familiarize yourself with the content, prepare for departure and await further instructions.

+Message Ends

KREUTZ [RESTRICTED]

Calixis Sector, Drusus Marches, Trailing

  • Large habitable moon, Frontier World Tygress I
  • Gravity; Standard, Atmosphere; [Standard], Climate; Dry/Alpine
  • Established: Colony (x6), -123 years.
  • Population ~10,000,000. Mining, Agricultural, Industrial Infrastructure
  • Features: Industrial viability, meteor showers/ stratospheric impact-winter.

Notes; Hett-Forge terraforming technologies initially successful
at cleansing heavy carbon-monoxide content from atmosphere. House
Saul's sub-lease of these devices has been suspended for ~2 years due
to matters before the Solomonese Chancellery Courts. Private investment
has increased significantly due to recent changes in tax-status, private/
corporate presence increased commensurately. Some friction evident between
privately employed workforce, House Saul's indentured workforce, Imperial
citizenry.

686/3000, Block IV, Olganna, Biodome Quadrant 85.
Be cautious

Destroy this missive after reading


Head-Scribe Valentus scrolled through the communicae with merely a thought, his second mechanical brain hardwired into the cogitator and processing the displayed information at phenomenal speed. He was barely even aware of the dark metal room surrounding him nor the dozens of data-slates sitting on his desk. His mind was focussed only on the work, every few minutes pausing for a moment as data was transfered wherever it needed to go. Barely visible through the slit grate of the door robed and armoured figures bustle past, the other agents of his master's will. Despite his incredible brainpower Valentus spent a few moments on every case, correct and precise allocation of resources was key after all. The wrong team to the wrong location could be disastrous. And the Inquisitor certainly did not enjoy losing assets due to their mismanaged application.

[Strange lights and nightmares in upper Scintillan district; Arbites request assistance] ++Assets Allocated++.
[Personal letter to Inquisitor, Noble believes his ex-wife is a witch] ++Assets Denied++
[Soothsayer in Barsapine lower hive showing signs of nascency] ++Arbites Notified++
[Gunsmith dealing in Xenos weaponary] ++Assets Allocated++

Of the millions upon millions of reports of varying validity the Inquisition receives per day it is only a fraction that warrant action and of them only a small percentage that require actual boots on the ground. It is the role of Valentus, and hundreds others like him serving different Inquisitors in the palace, to sort through these reports and apply their master's will accordingly. At the start of his day the Inquisitor receives a data-slate that shows the allocation of his assets, delivered from Valentus' desk to his own by one of his junior Interrogators. Valentus served with the Inquisitor in his younger days, when the wizened scribe still had limbs. A secessionists frag grenade saw to Valentus' time as a primus agent but his vast knowledge does not go to waste. With a blink he allocates a kill-team to Malfi to quell a cold trading ring, then a liaison to listen to the complaints of an upper Scintillan too powerful to openly ignore. He stops. A peculiarity? A personal message from the Inquisitor's office;

+The Kreutz incident bears further scrutiny. Activate Cell Gnosis. It's time they were blooded."


Gallus Dolor Mission Log.

Entry A:

+Our drop-lander successfully secured itself into the cold earth of our target planet and we began to thaw after our long journey. I had barely had time to meet my companions before we were entombed in the cold embrace of cryosleep but was surprised to note they were men already of my acquaintance, although we had been separated for many years. Tarsis Kovenicus was a mystery as always, seemingly unarmed yet undoubtedly lethal he merely looked me up and down and muttered “satisfactory” before climbing into his tube. His time as a bodyguard at Trifury had not brought him into my contact often but from what I remember this constituted a warm response from the Skitarii. My data-slate comes up with REDACTED when I try to research the Tech-Warrior and I heed it's warning. My other companion is another familiar face, although Macharius had changed since I last saw him. We took ‘Introduction to Drop Assaults’ together back at the Scholarium and I remember him as a cheerful, if overzealous, boy but he neither laughed nor smiled at my quip about history repeating itself. His equipment already neatly packed into its container I noted the deep scarring on his torso beneath his shining Aquila and noted to myself that I should check his combat record once I had access to the proper facilities. A note on the dossier informs me a fourth would meet us in the biodome, although no information other than his name and a location were provided. It seemed that they, like I, had been activated out of the blue by a simple transmission.

Entry 1:
588_stream.jpg
[Pict Cap: Dig-Site Gamma- Hegemonic Industrial Settlement]

+The planet we had landed on was Kreutz I, first moon of frontier world Tygress I. We were given very little information on the planet and only an address in the biodome as a target for the assignment. As I understand it, this is not uncommon. Given that that the Inquisition attracts trillions of tip-offs and other alerts each day, it is nigh on impossible to determine the veracity of each. Foundation cells often find themselves fulfilling this function, a convenient means of following up and identifying possible threats, and a relatively low-risk way of providing a taste of fieldwork to new operatives. Though my companions are a little put-out by the lack of operational parameters and mission statement, I simply suspect that the case is too fresh (or low priority) to have warranted attention thus far. All we know is this; something has triggered an Inquisitorial alert, and we are expected to sink or swim in the investigation on our own steam. I relish the opportunity.

+Before us lay a sprawling desert work town, it’s backwardness jarring with the giant bio-dome that reached to the clouds behind it. The earth was pockmarked with craters, and a churning mist of fine dust cast the grumbling machinery in a permanent overcast grey. Our first challenge was gaining entrance to the dome which - as we were informed by the armour clad private security that ran the town - would be difficult. After sharing one of my Lho with the standoffish guards Macharius learn that only ‘Company officials’ were allowed access to the city-proper. It was fortunate then that we encountered such an official minutes later at the local tavern, a man who was being berated for his promotion by his peers. Kovenicus and I attempted to gain the man’s trust to allow us entrance but our manipulation was cut short by a bullet to his head from Macharius. He apparently had misinterpreted my frustration as a kill order. Hiding the body, we attempted to recon the front door to the dome, an attempt that was waylaid by it’s increased security due to civil disobedience that was occurring there. I was tempted to tell the men present the percentage of such actions that are successful in the wider Imperium, but I resist (It is less than 0.0001%). Despite this setback we endeavour to pass into the dome via the Company trucks that delivered ore from the mine every few hours to a conveniently lightly guarded side entrance. Tracking the path back to a point where it crossed underneath a rocky outcrop we waited and when the time was right leapt atop the vehicle, a perhaps overly ambitious move that nevertheless allowed us to kill the driver at the next stop and assume his identity. With a little creative vocalisation of the local dialect by myself we successfully passed the security checkpoint and were admitted into the dome itself.

+Within the dome the contrast with the outside town was even more extreme. Giant skyscrapers reached to the top of the dome so high that a speckling of clouds seemed to form around the top of them. Around these towering metal giants an mag-rail system extensively mapped the city, the bulbous shapes of magnetically powered taxi's alongside the chrome bullet train. It was now that we began to attempt to clean up the mess it had taken to gain entrance to the city. Dumping the truck in a local side street I called in a false emergency, claiming to be under attack by a local gang. Macharius fired a few shots at the driver’s side door to add credence to this tale and when we later encountered a pack of hive lowborn, we framed one for the crime. Although saddened to say goodbye to my solid projectile revolver it was simply the only weapon we had that could reasonably be used in the gang shooting. Kovenicus dealt with the young man in a most auspicious way, a blade sliding from the bottom of his wrist to slash the man’s throat before sliding straight back into the tech-adept. It would seem I was not wrong when I noted a hidden lethality about him. From the hiver’s pockets we recovered a shabby firearm, some local currency and most interestingly a small grey ball in a plastic box. Early we had observed the same man holding another ball in his bare hand, his pupils completely dilated and a look of ecstasy on his face. This is undoubtably a local narcotic, I shall test it the next time I have access to a proper chymistry laboratory.

+Our cover now mostly intact we set about establishing a presence in the city, creating a hard link to the city's data-wire and downloading a local map amongst other information to my data-slate. Using this we procured a room for the night at perhaps the most dilapidated and unsavoury non-permanent residence I have ever seen. Securing new accomodation the next day and a set of local clothing for each of us we go to meet our contact in the city, a man named Gavriel.


Entry 2:

+Yet to be contacted by this Gavriel we headed straight for our target location [686/3000, Block IV, Olganna, Biodome Quadrant 85], changing our off world Thrones into the local currency to access the city's extensive magrail system. The location lies deep within a middle hive hab district and on arrival we notice our access is blocked by an armoured transport vehicle, it's matte black a match to the fully armoured man standing just visible within the foyer of the building. Two similarly armoured men patrol the exterior of the building, these ones wear a badge that Kovenicus informs me is that of the Frumentarii, a brutal and secretive branch of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Using my knowledge of turn of the 40th architecture and with a little covert lockpicking we gained access to the building, narrowly avoiding the Frumentarii enforcers. Once inside we make contact with Gavriel Zane after a slightly awkward standoff between the newcomer and Macharius. He informs us that his mission was to track down one 'Magos Calligos', the man who lives at the address we were given. The apartment in question is guarded by another pair of enforcers but thankfully our newfound companion already has a plan. Tarsis makes his way down to the basement to shut off the power while Gavriel, Macharius and I attempt to gain access via the air ducts that run throughout the building. Whilst the two riflemen get through without issue I lose my grip and fall, the noise of which attracts the guards. Just as the enforcers would have spotted me their advanced visual augmetics seem to fail, a convenient malfunction that seems just too coincidental. In Calligos' room we are met by a horrific sight; a pool of blood on the floor drips from the "Magos", hanging from the roof filleted by a large meathook. He appears to have been tortured extensively and his body is carved with strange geometic symbols that I roughly identify as a strange form of visualised High Gothic. I transfer the symbols shorthand to my writing kit a strangely trying ordeal that takes all of my mental strength to accomplish. As these symbols clearly have some arcane power I instruct the others to not focus on them, lest they suffer the same agonising headache as I. After a quick search we find the Calligos' journal (uncommonly it is written by hand) and a number of important looking data-slates, although his dwellings are still very strange for a high ranking member of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

+Returning to the safehouse I transfer the data we collected onto my cogitator and begin to analyse the Magos' personal belongings. The symbols I identify as an ancient dialect of Kreutz spoken by the native culture here. A preliminary search shows me that Calligos is no Magos, but rather a Company employee. The Company I finally identified by their characteristic silver sunburst logo as the Skaelen-Har Hegemony, a massive manufacturing influence in the sector. I have collated a small dossier for the others to keep them up to speed.

Person of Interest: "Magos" Calligos Kreutz I

  • Former mine overseer for the Skaelen-Har Hegemony [See Reference: 1.1]. Located at the area known as the 'Whisperscape'
  • Founder of a minor Mechanicus Cult, the "Parliament of Constructivism". [See Reference: 1.2]
  • Disappeared 6 months ago. Discovered dead and ritually tortured in hab-unit.
  • Cuts on body were a mathematical language, script of the native culture "the Skybloods"
  • Death an interest to the 'Frumentarii', Mechanicus Secret Police

+The cell engages in a discussion and we agree to venture to this Whisperscape in an attempt to discover what may have led to Calligos' murder. To this ends I deconstruct the pass card we lifted from the manager Macharius killed in the outer township and through a little creative programming I create four copies, each with the rank of Line Manager and with an allocated alias. I find a hidden pathway within the microchip to add a higher rank to it's owner but knowing so little about The Company I am unwilling to risk a higher rank. Macharius procures us a treaded overland vehicle and we start out towards the Scape through Kreutz's blue-grey desert wasteland. It is common for the natives to raid convoys and the insectoid avians of the wasteland are large enough to threaten a vehicle the size of ours but fortunately we make it safely through the wasteland to the Whisperscape.

+Arriving at the Scape we find a similar situation to the exterior of the Dome, with workers picketing The Company gatehouse. The number here is larger than the capital however, with the tattooed faces of the native Skybloods littered amongst the ashen faced workers. We are admitted into the facility and notice immediately that with the exception of Company security troopers the mine is mostly abandoned. A surprisingly friendly Company employee gave us some basic information about the facility and Overseer Calligos before showing me to a data-bank. Apparently it is the policy of The Company to have total information sharing amongst Company employees, a policy I greedily take advantage of. Meanwhile my companions tour the mine, questioning their guide as they go. As I continue to search the data-stacks my companions return and venture out into the camp of the disaffected workers. It would appear the site is set to mine for industrial metals although recently they have discovered biological resources. The biological resources are contained within 'pocket ecologies', areas beneath the waste containing temperate fauna. The mine is run by the Halen Skar Hegemony, an interplanetary company of some infamy, although they are currently in conflict with a new religion that has taken hold at multiple mine-sites. Additional information about both the Hegemony and the Parliament is included below [Reference 1.1, 1.2]. Within the Parliament camp Macharius claims to have met an offworld patron, a nobleborn using the name of Graff Priori, a lead we endeavour to investigate further the next day.

Reference 1.1
Skaelen-Har Hegemony:

  • Sector wide corporation that deals mainly with heavy manufacturing, focussing on starship parts.
  • Based on a series of comprehensive philosophical theories known as 'the Conchordium'
    • Emphasise the realisation of a perfect personality, one of obedience and ambition.
    • Higher members are expected to alter their personalities to fit these principles
  • When gaining membership one is expected to replace a bodypart with an augmetic to show their commitment.

Reference: 1.2
Parliament of Constructivism:

  • Based on the ideas of the Skaelen-Har Hegemony's Conchordium crossed with those of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
  • Thought to have been founded by Overseer Calligos, although he claims some of his workers followed it's teachings before himself.
  • The Parliament blames The Company for the murder of their holy founder
  • Believe the Emperor is a vessel of the Omnissiah, rather than the Omnissiah himself.
  • Claims to have cursed The Company. Backed by rumours of malfunctions and disappearances.
  • Skyblood natives call the Parliament a 'perversion' and claim the curse is a myth.

Entry 3:

+It would appear we are spoiled for choice. With no orders to speak of and so many potential leads my companions and I spend most of the night after arriving at the Whisperscape sharing amasec in our quarters and discussing our next move. We eventually come to an accord, however as the Speaker of the Parliament has moved on to a new mine site and the nearest Skyblood encampment is a full days drive away both of these ideas are promptly dismissed the next morning. Instead we attempt to gain more information about Calligos before continuing. In doing so we discover he is not the only missing employee of The Company but rather one of a swathe of disappearances, many of whom served with him in his journeys into these pocket ecologies to research the biomatter found there. In order to find more information about his interest in the planet's cave system we venture to the Undertown, the mining colony at the bottom of the impact crater that forms the Whisperscape. Here the moss and mushrooms of the ecologies sits side by side with a shanty town, the dust and debris of the planet above almost forgotten. We speak to the security personelle about one of the missing Skyblood mercenaries who disappeared around the same time as Calligos named Valar. A rather characteristic receptionist tells us the man went missing along an ore route from a science station deep in the ecology back to Undertown, a route that had registered a number disappearances as well as strange power outages and noises. There was general consensus that this was a solid lead and Macharius hired us an armoured track vehicle for the journey through the under dark.

+On what I believe to be the fifth day under the surface of Kreutz I am fairly sure I will die here. We drove through giant mushroom forests without end, our path lit only by the headlights of our ATV and flickering glow lamps along the route. Macharius and I take turns driving the vehicle, switch every 6 hours so everyone maintains a decent amount of sleep, but after my chrono gives out on the third day we change to a more haphazard approach. The interference that has caused smaller devices onboard to malfunction is a possible side effect of the radioactive material present this far under the core, a theory The Company was using to justify the disappearances. But even radioactive rocks cannot make entire convoys vanish into thin air. We were about to discover what could.

+Macharius is driving when it hits us, a burst of light that fries our internals and forces the vehicle into a screeching stop. I admit I saw the muzzle flash but was occupied by theorising on it's weapon of origin too long to inform the others of the danger. After the initial salvo there is silence and we take this opportunity to don respirators and draw weapons, the adrenaline of the situation pushing me to keep up with the routine efficiency of my three companions. Kovenicus offers to scout the area and leaves the vehicle only to be met by small arms fire from the nearby mushroom forests. I make note of the burns on his armour and determine the weapons to be hi calibre las rounds of a high-burn primitive manufacture. As the tech-warrior checks himself for damage Macharius steps out and is immediately thrown on his back by a pair of slobering hounds. The creatures stand shoulder height with strange quills protruding from their skin and they throw their full weight down on the guardsman, segmented jaws ripping clothing and flesh as he struggles to reach for his sidearm. I attempt to blow one of the creatures off him but my gun jams, alerting one of the dogs to my presence. I look to Gavriel for support but see only Kovenicus levelling his modified-las at the beast. The pinpoint blasts of the tech-priests weapon succeed in both blow the creature off me and mortally wounding Macharius' attacker, the guardsman standing and finishing the beasts off with a burst from his now assembled hellgun. We exit the vehicle to find Gavriel engaged with the owners of the dogs, wild Skybloods riding formidable beasts. A number of corpses sit atop a rocky outcrop, proof of Gavriel's masterful marksmanship. As I fire on the riding beasts I hear las fire from the other side of the vehicle and Macharius and Kovenicus appear, apparently having swiftly eradicated their own enemies. The surviving raiders attempt to flee but are mercilessly cut down by Gavriel's high calibre rounds to their heads.
Contact Report

  • Enemy Forces: Miscellaneous forces numbering 9 [2 indenture Fauna, 4 Laslock Cavalry, 3 manning unknown EMP weapon
  • 9 Enemy Deceased. EMP weapon destroyed, cavalry mounts destroyed.
  • Ammunition expenditure: [Low]
  • Casualties: All Heavily Wounded but mobile.

As the other's search the area for more ambushers I search the bodies of the barbarians, finding very little aside from Laslock cartridges and native fetishes. On what appears to be a chieftan however I find a small sack containing 3 balls of grey stone, rough cut and crumbling to the touch. Based on their colour and composition I propose these are the same items as the grey ball we recovered from the Biodome ganger, albiet unrefined. At the gun position we also find an unconscious man in Imperial Guard fatigues [22nd Tigress Rifles], heavily burned by the explosion of the unknown weapon. I see to his wounds as I can and use a medi-pack he himself was carrying to administer a heavy sedative. As I see to the wounds of the party with this newfound equipment we forge on towards the science colony, now almost sure of the fate of the missing convoys.

+After a few more hours of the dark underground ecologies we arrive at the science colony, a jutting metallic gate behind which we see flashes of green amongst other silver structures. The gate is manned only by weapon servitors and after flashing our falsified ID's we pass through into the vibrant ecosystem within. A large mushroom forest greets us, denser and more colourful than any we had passed through before. Above it sits a glass and steel viewing platform, the elevator to which we board carrying our prisoner. Greeted by a Company scientist Gavriel and Macharius take our unconscious cargo to the med centre while Kovenicus and I are granted access to the local data system.

Investigation:
Localised Hack: Scribe Dolor & Venteranus Kovenicus: Company Data Stacks
Science Station Beta-3-Alpha-453

  • Colony founded by Overseer Calligos. Intended to drill the nearby tunnels for ore even though all reports indicate greater productivity gained by cultivating biomass.
    • Biomass is due to Eco-Rampancy. Refined to make a fuel source.
  • Discover security report by Security Officer Valar hidden within the system
    • He found it suspicious Calligos cared so much about staff issues, with a particular interest in Skyblood personelle.
    • Calligos also overrode requests to switch resources away from ore mining to cultivating biomass.
    • Some disappearances went unrecorded
  • Doctor's logs report large staff turnover due to widespread insomnia, acts of aggression and depression.
  • Crosscheck reveals only two staff were present at the time of all of the disappearances
    • Both are now deputy speakers of the Parliament of Constructivism.

Investigation:
Field Interrogation: Gavriel Zane & Guardsman Trifury: Captured Offworld Medicae
Science Station Beta-3-Alpha-453

  • Served as part of Imperial Guard tithe regiment [Thical 41st Rifles, 7th Company] before retiring to private military work for Skaelen-Har.
  • Was part of an underground Company caravan that was ambushed by barbarians in a similar way to ourselves.
  • Staff with obvious skills and Skybloods were taken captive, the remainder were killed.
  • Whilst a prisoner of the tribe seems to have witnessed a ceremony in which offworlders in robes and masks led a "fearsome ritual". Allegedly the natives were afraid of these off worlders.
    • Seems to have blocked out the event due to intense trauma but does remember that some of the Skybloods were marked with blood and taken by the masked men, who returned with body parts slowly turning to dust.
      • Dust seems to be the same consistency as the drug balls the chieftain was carrying. This is consistent with the off world cultists paying the locals with bags of these stone spheres.
    • Recognises the name Graff Priori, not as a cultist but as a prisoner

+After a few more hours at the science facility we decide to travel back to the biodome and investigate the source of these strange spheres, clearly the bioproduct of some heretical cult. Before we can do so however Gavriel does some research of his own, surreptitiously taking a dosage of the drug despite the rest of us willing him not to. He reports a feeling of euphoria and intense emotions, although the look on his face implies there was more to the experience that he is sharing with us. The journey back to Undertown is thankfully uneventful, although we notice the bodies of our ambushers have been removed from the ambush point. Arriving back at the Company depo at Undertown we check our vehicle back in, only to find the Company pass we used had been denied. Only the pass used for the vehicle was decline but it was reasonable to assume all of them had been tagged as suspicious if one was decline. It was such that I spent the return journey to the biodome recalibrating the passes so that by the time we passed into the giant metal demi-globe we were each memorising a new alias. I used my newfound knowledge of the Hegemony to give my own alias a higher rank, adding some legitimacy to our investigations. As we still had a saferoom hired for a number of days we returned there, Macharius lagging behind somewhat and returning later with information that he had established a criminal contact within the city. We have a meeting with the dealer tomorrow but for tonight we stop and gather our thoughts.

Current Party Theory: Off world cult is using the Skybloods as some sort of ritual sacrifice. They are then using the biproduct to bribe the locals.


Entry 4:

+Kovenicus and I stay in the room during Macharius' meeting, hoping to gain access to a local security camera to observe the encounter. Unfortunately however despite our best efforts it would appear every possible camera in the area is either depowered or had been destroyed, the downside I suppose in meeting in such an impoverished area. We do manage to use this time to establish a link to the hab security system, allowing us unrestricted access to all of it's security centres. With the recent compromising of our ID's it never hurts to be more careful. Macharius and Gavriel return some time later with plentiful information. Apparently the original target was killed in a shootout but they managed to question his friend, Gavriel showing a true talent for extracting information once again. It would appear the man was recently kicked out of a gang [The Devil Dogs] but had continued to sell drugs on the side, a habit that had brought him some wrath from the gang. He gave Gavriel the name of his friend the dealer, Grout, as well as his home address and the location of his supplier for the drug. I do not know what the marksman did to find this information out but he certainly seems to have a nack for it. Poor Grout must have suffered at his hands. Nevertheless with the location of the supplier we packed up our gear and made for the old part of town. The old part of Kreutz Prime was from the pre-dome city, a large area of stone buildings with a huge retractable roof. It takes up about 10% of the city proper and has primarily be repurposed as an industrial district, the retractable metal slates allowing noxious fumes and waste to be expelled. Unfortunately this has left much of the area open to the ash clouds of the moon and a thin layer of grey dust sits upon the ancient stonework. Our quarry was found within a collapsed train tunnel on the edge of the area, it's old purpose to lug ore in from the mines in the countryside. The tunnel had collapsed at some point in the past century, trapping a number of train cars under the mass of rock and dirt. It was here that we would find our supplier, our path lit by a ramshackle mag lantern Gavriel found in a hidden alcove.

+When we arrived at the location Kovenicus and I hid whilst Macharius and Gavriel approached the door, dressed in the gang leathers they took from the men they killed. They attempted to use this cover to purchase drugs and find out more about the man who sold them, but the hired muscle who answers the door seems strangely perceptive. I notice an unfamiliar tone to his voice but am too far away to identify it properly. It is not long however before Kovenicus points out the fact we are not as hidden as we hope, as there is a minute video camera observing us hiding just outside the guard's eyesight. The tech-priest destroys the camera but we decide the jig is up, so to speak, and join the others outside the crashed train car. The muscle returns with a pistol and we ready ourselves for combat, only for him to invite us in. Apparently his "boss" wanted to offer us a proposition. Seeing no reason to force confrontation we lower our weapons and follow him. After two vertical shafts the cars level out and we enter a flat lying chamber within which sit another two heavily muscled men of the same skin tone as the first and a heavily augmented older man with a hooked nose. The men exchange a phrase in High Gothic, "Pedibus Primum", which roughly translates into "Feet First", a phrase I recognise as the catch phrase of the elite Adeptus Mechanicus drop tooper Scholarum on Odus IV. Strange that such elite troops would serve as hired muscle on such an out of the way moon, let alone three of them. This added with the chymistry set and personal cogitator I see in the carriage makes the figure who begins speaking even more intriguing. He has numerous augmetics, including a cortex implant of common manufature, and seems to have a strong will that he exudes as he speaks. We attempt to create a lie to justify our investigating the Devil Dogs but the man simply laughs it off, seeming to not care what the truth is but be slightly insulted we didn't come up with a better lie. He himself gives us no personal information but rather offers us a deal, he has a small operation in the city investigating the drug but hasn't the personelle to properly protect himself and investigation simultaneously. He doesn't say why he is investigating the drugs but we do know he intercepted a supply transport from outside the city, hence his supply. We discuss the situation as a group and decide it may be for the best, returning to the man with a proposed plan. Macharius will take the place of Grout on the streets selling the drug, which the Stranger will supply, and serve as bait to draw out the gang members that were allegedly tailing Grout. The man offers us a discrete servo skull to observe the area but Gavriel rather quickly turns it down. We leave the hideout and return to our room before setting out once again to set the trap.

-FANTA~1.JPG
[Pict Cap: Kreutz 1 Biodome Commercia District]

+In South West Square in the old part of town Macharius smoothly takes up Grout's old post, despite initial arguments about wishing to wear his armour. The tech-priest had purchased covert communication devices for the party at great personal expense, claiming it was for "increased efficiency". Kovenicus, Gavriel and I set up lookout posts in buildings all around the square, hoping to spot any would be attackers before they reached our bait. Gavriel claims that the men tailing Grout were dressed in gang attire, so they should be easy to spot amongst the overalls and adepts robes of the local workers. It is a few hours later that we notice one of these robed workers acting somewhat suspiciously. The man had crossed the square twice within five minutes, trying hard each time to look distracted by the holo-mag he was reading. Macharius seemed to have noticed the same man as he left his post and went into a nearby alley, obviously hoping to ambush the man in the relative seclusion there. The man follows him into the alley and Kovenicus and I hurry across the massive square, hoping to spring the trap. This walk becomes an all out run when we hear the loud bang and echoe of a shotgun being let off in an enclosed space. When we reach the underpass in which Macharius had hidden we find him slumped against the wall, bleeding heavily from a number of bullet wounds. Across from him lies the administratum agent, his arm mangled from the strength of Macharius' shotgun blast. While Kovenicus gets busy binding the injured man I see to Macharius' wounds before signalling to Gavriel, still in overwatch in the square, that it was all clear. I begin seeing to the man's wounds as well but Macharius wisely points out gunshots would attract the enforcers and we ready the man for transport. His wounds lightly bandaged we bind and gag him, hiding his face with his own grey admin robes. Realising our accomodation is a bit inconspicuous we head further into the old town until we find an abandoned building, the land around it deserted and from all appearances in disrepair for some years. While I set off to bring back the medicae to heal our prisoner Gavriel attempts to gain some information from him.

Investigation:
Field Interrogation: Gavriel Zane: Captured Mercenary [Deceased]
Kreutz Prime Safehouse

  • Believes himself to be named 'Gunner' but actually called Octus. Proof of some hypnotic indoctrination.
    • Off world mercenary. Discharged from Imperial Guard for inappropriate conduct.
  • Followed Grout for a few hours then after seeing the party dispose of him tried to find us.
    • Planned to kill Chris quickly before reporting back, didn't expect much opposition.
  • Hired by local gang via instructions at a spaceport on Tigress. Given instructions via a vox device with the vocal passphrase "Lotus".
    • First job was to find and kill Calligos and set up his body according to a set of instructions given to him.
      • The gang is responsible for both Calligos' death and the strange manner of his death.
    • Never saw the gangs base but has heard rumours about a place called 'Murray Hill'.
  • Has a hideout across town.

+Unfortunately before I return with the Doc the prisoner expires. Perhaps I should have left the medi-kit with someone else to maintain his dressings, a fact Gavriel seems to relish bringing to my attention. A happy biproduct of the interrogation is that we finally found a secure safehouse, the previous hab accommodation had started to feel very unprotected. To this end we set about securing the building, while Macharius returns to the old room to fetch our spare gear. Kovenicus boards up open windows and makes the building light containing while Doc buries the prisoner in the yard, an act he swears calms him down. I cannot imagine being so accustomed to death that burying a man eases my will. Gavriel also leaves the safehouse for some time, returning with a series of items from Octus' apartment. The would-be assassin's prized knife he rightly gives to Macharius, in honour of the wounds he took in our service, whilst the data-slate goes into Kovenicus' capable hands for decoding.

Investigation:
Localised Hack: Scribe Dolor: Search for 'Murray Hill'
Kreutz Prime Oldtown Sector 2-B-67

  • Old women's and fertility hospital in the city
  • Shut down many years ago by administratum
    • Number of complaints about pregnancies not reaching full term reached unacceptable levels.
  • Complaints hidden within the system of old patients being pressured or forced by hospital staff to give up their newborns
  • Majority of patients were Skyblooded.

Investigation:
Localised Hack: Kovenicus: Octus' Data-Slate
Kreutz Prime Oldtown Sector 2-B-67

  • Details for specific instructions for torture and mutilation of Calligos
  • The machine spirit of the slate seems to relish the symbols being deleted off it's data-core

+With the location of this incredibly suspicious 'Murray Hill' now available to us we decide to gear up and scout it, with the intention of a possible raid taking place. First we let the Stranger know we might have a lead via a simple data transfer. Passage to the area is uneventful and we arrive at the hospital without detection, the old three story building partially burnt down at the top. Two guards stood out the front armed with some sort of solid projective rifles, with a ladder leading up to a balcony overlooking the street. Kovenicus and Macharius jumped a fence and snuck up on the guards from the side, Macharius hosing the men with silenced auto fire. Both the men went down before their heads impacted against the walls behind them in a spray of blood and bone, Gavriel apparently not convinced the hail of bullets had done their job. We regroup at the door and consider entering from two floors at once but before a decision can be made the ever headstrong Macharius opened the front door, riddling another ganger with bullets as the man tried to stand. The decision apparently made we entered the antechamber and stacked up on the door in standard Imperial Guard formation, a sudden uniformity that surprised me. The room beyond is a long hospital ward that held a number of surprised gangers, most not even drawing weapons before being blown apart from searing las rounds from Macharius or the high calibre of Gavriel's rifle. Kovenicus charged headlong through stub fire that bounced off his heavy red carapace before simply punching his attackers, a bright burst of energy leaving his fists and incinerating anyone foolish enough to get near him. The gangers returned fire but were quickly overwhelmed by our superior firepower. Even I registered a kill, winging a man that was already falling from Macharius' shots. I must admit the rush of this close quarters combat is truly something, even more interesting than the firefight in the under dark.
Contact Report

  • Enemy Forces: Local Gang members numbering 8 [Assorted stub pistols and rifles]
  • 8 Enemy Deceased.
  • Ammunition expenditure: [Low]
  • Casualties: Macharius, Kovenicus lightly wounded [Addressed].

Our searching of the room is interrupted by the sound of enemies stacking up on the door out of the ward but after a minute of standoff we realise they are holding their ground and begin to get suspicious. Leaving a confident Macharius to overwatch the door Kovenicus, Gavriel and I attempt to flank the attackers by scaling the exterior balcony. The enemies appear to have the same idea as we bump into a pair of them on the outside balcony. Gavriel executes one with routine efficiency while I managed to get a kill shot on the other. I wish I could stop to contemplate the important psychological aspects of someone achieving their first kill but as I scale the ladder and attempt to approach the men I am distracted.

+Heavy las fire rips through the upper level door as I pass it and I feel a sharp burning on my leg as a lance of fire sears along my thigh. I duck into cover as Kovenicus returns fire with his own las and Gavriel lopes off around the end of the balcony to flank the enemy. Kovenicus calls for my fire support and having put coolant gel on my burn I swing around to fire through his doorway. Out combined fire drops one of the darkly armoured men but one of his companions hefted a large bronze weapon attached to a backpack and in a burst of and pain I passed out as the flamer washed hot promethium over me.
Contact Report

  • Enemy Forces: Offworld mercenaries numbering 4 [Steelburner Assault Lasrifles, Unknown Flame Weapon, Xenomesh Manufacture Armour with Insectoid styling]
  • 4 Enemy Deceased.
  • Ammunition expenditure: [Medium]
  • Casualties: Gallus, Kovenicus, Gavriel Heavily Wounded.

I awake inside the room, a common room of some kind with tables and chairs riddled with bullets. Kovenicus had dragged me inside and now saw to my wounds whilst Gavriel and Macharius scouted the building. The two riflemen report a group of gangers from downstairs fled off down the street hefty weapons, obviously demoralised by the speed a ferocity of our assault.

+The hospital appears to be primarily empty, the notable exception being four large metallic cubes in the bottom ward and a matching bronze cube in the uppermost chamber. Each of the cubes has a cogitator attached and after hacking into what he rightly assumed was the primus machine Kovenicus managed to open the cubes. Within each lay a human of varying ages inside a large glass sphere filled with green fluid, a number of tubes protruding from their body into the machine around them. The figures all bore the tattoos of the Skyblooded. In the sphere in the bronze cube lay not a body but a large mass of red blood-like liquid. Kovenicus attempted to gain further access to the machine only to realise it had no machine spirit, a realisation that seemed to shock the normally emotionless Skitarii. Eventually he reaches a point where he can only activate or deactivate the machines and without hesitation he chooses to activate. In the lower spheres the machines activate and the people inside begin to decrease in size as their attached tubes suck the lifeblood from their bodies. At the top sphere a readout appeared claiming the formula was now 47% complete. We gather in the common room and discuss the implications of these machines. In the end after weighing possible information gathered from them with their apparent purpose and their lack of machine spirit we agree to destroy the machines, an act that Macharius seems to relish with the creative use of las packs and the captured flamer. Ultimately unsure of the machines purpose we take a diagnostic readout from the primus machine and limp back to our safehouse.

+We return to our new safehouse, battered and bruised and frankly holding no more understanding of the situation on Kreutz than we did going there. Understanding less even. We do however have a box full of offworld weapons and strange armour and our local gang disguise has reached a new level of authenticity with the numerous curios we collected off the dead gangers. And I have a sear on my leg, burns on my chest and the memory of the face of the first man I have ever killed to make sure I always remember my first taste of true combat.


Entry 5:

+En-route to speak to the Stranger, we encounter a congregation gathering to hear a Constructivist preacher in an ash-swept park. He rails against the Company’s lack of support for outlying settlements, inspiring the mostly frontiersman crowd. They seem concerned mostly about wild animal attacks, machine malfunctions and damage from eco-rampancy, none of which the Company has moved to avert. We leave before the Enforcers can break up the assembly. This is a minor incident compared to those rumored to breaking out in the fringe territories.

base_2_by_cloudminedesign-d67naei.jpg
[Vid Cap: Dig-Site Omega Food-Riots, Enforcer Surveillance Division]

We return to the Stranger’s base of operations, which has moved out of the ruined traincar and now spans a small underground complex. Due to our aid, he no longer feels the need to maintain his ruse as a dealer. He offers us expert analysis of the trappings of the Murray Hill raid;

  • The content of the master-device is confirmed as Skyblood sanguinary fluid. There is some genetic similarity between the powdery narcotic and the blood, but they are by no means identical.
  • The Readout from the master-device map the DNA of the blood contained within.
  • His guards confirm that the strange armour is xeno-mesh of human manufacture, possibly from one of the Lathe Worlds.
  • The Stranger asks us to investigate a number of disappearances in an outlying township called “Grish”, but we have other matters to pursue at present.

+Returning to our safehouse we notice a number of figures leaving the area. At first suspicious, Doc eases our minds, informing us they were just a few old patients of his that he was checking up on. While I believe it to be a security risk, Gavriel reminds me it is a far better reason for this house to be occupied than anything we could make up on the spot. The journey has thrown open my burns and while the others clean and maintain their guns after the firefight, I sit with Doc as he applies a new dressing. Kovenicus plugs into my cogitator, using it's processing power to augment his own onboard unit and together we conduct the tedious task of sifting the calls from each of the ganger’s mobile voxes.
After some time we note a pattern of calls from a pay-vox in Government Square. As I still need hourly bandage changes from the Doc, I stay behind while Macharius and Kovenicus go to the Financial District try and access the security footage of the pay-vox. Meanwhile, at my suggestion, Gavriel has returned to the Murray Hill facility to watch for gangers or other parties returning to the site.

Recon and Observation:
Operative Zane: Murray Hill: Raid +3>+7

  • Two black vans with tinted windows pull up. Half a dozen men exit and make their way into the building. Leaving quickly after observing carnage within.
  • Plates of vehicles noted [Registered Black Resources Company- Owned Skaelen-Har, previously House Krin]
  • No further disturbances

+Please collate this part of my report with that of Macharius or Kovenicus, as I was not present for the recorded events. I have recorded these events by vox-contact.

+The two warriors had no difficulty entering the upper hive, passing through a heavy Magistratum blockade. Macharius reported relief at seeing the dark armoured figures of the enforcers, the inner-dome much alike his Hiveworld home. The enforcers took larger weapons from those that passed through their checkpoints, although honour-bound pistols and one handed melee weapons seemed to be allowed. The pair passed up the wide streets of the wealthier districts to Government Square, the public plaza that was bordered by the Company, Administratum, Imperial Guard and Ecclesiastical headquarters for the moon. Kovenicus reports complications as the public nodes are nearly impossible to locate beneath the white marble of the square. He formulates a plan to access the city blueprints via the Administratum building, requesting my assistance in gaining access to the oppressive, black stone building. Aware of some ongoing legal grievances between the Skaelen-Har and the Ad-Mech, I am able to falsify a file pertaining to an impending breach-of-contract case. It allows Kovenicus to bypass the usual process and enter the building without incident. I also prepare a governmental memo, explaining that a Mechanicus representative would be investigating the use of their proprietary technology in 20 minutes. Kovenicus plays the part of imperious Ombudsman with great finesse. Five minutes later, he leaves the building with extensive municipal blueprints and several hours of security footage in his possession. The man making the noted calls was identified as a thin man in purple robes with a flamboyant red trim. A quick data search shows these robes to be that of the Krin Banking Clan. Kovenicus and Macharius slip surreptitiously out of the inner-dome boarding a grav-train back to Old Town. As Krin has now come up twice in our investigations, I gain collate more information on it, thanking once again the relatively easy information gathering services on this moon.

Reference 1.3
House Krin Banking Clan:

  • Dates back to Angevin Crusade ◦One of the oldest houses in the sector
  • House colours are purple and red.
  • Despite a near religious reverence for money are vocally critical of new money. Considered aloof even by noble standards.
  • Large influence in the sector through smaller purchased companies. Building in the bio dome: 'Goldenhand Banking'.
  • Renowned web of agents
  • Also own Black Resources; Prospecting firm, (Recently purchased by Skaelen-Har)

+Thoroughly sick of walking to the end of the street to access the data node, I contact Kovenicus and gather from him the location of the data cable that runs to the node. Doc is more than happy to dig it up for me and with a little jury rigging I have a hardline connection to the data node from inside the house. Such is it that from the reasonable comfort of the safe house I discover the Black Resources company's main headquarters are a prospecting outpost near the frontier. Hoping to investigate the company away from the confines of the dome, we make arrangements to once again head out into the Whisperscape. The Doc decides to remain behind and watch the safe house, and I reluctantly take the medi-kit with us, lest we be wounded on the journey. Macharius leaves the house to hire a private vehicle for the trip, a rugged Landcrawler that he puts on our non-existent company accounts. I hobble down to the vehicle lot back to remotely wipe his ID from the record, which should buy us a little time to return with the vehicle. Macharius also loads into the crawler the box of surplus and captured weapons. "You never know," he says. The sun setting over the giant dome behind us, we set off once more into the wasteland.

+Our investigations into the peculiar matter of Kreutz are becoming more and more expensive and in order to maintain this I find myself doing something I never thought I would; dealing illegal weaponry. We pull into the frontier town of Heartstone, a dust-covered collection of plasteel and rockcrete buildings arranged haphazardly around a central square. The borders of the town are patrolled by armed men on quill-steeds, their respirator-clad faces observing us closely as we pulled up outside the local saloon. The aptly named inn, The Heart, was the centre of the town and within we found locals willing to purchase our Volg Auto's at premium price. My attempts at showmanship are laughed off by the assembled men, but they nevertheless hurry to purchase the items with trade and local thrones. From our various deals, we each gather a respirator, while Macharius and Kovenicus manage to trade for flak coats after the local fashion. The Skitarii seemed particularly pleased to find an armoured duster coat in a dark red. Gavriel and I have the local seamstress strip the ganger symbols from our flak coats, the weathered black a far better look than the bright symbols of the Devil Dogs. Heartstone had been good to us, though even as we leave the suspicious eyes of the locals remind us we were never really welcome there.

+A few more hours journey through the grey waste and we spot the dark metal shape of the outpost ahead of us. As we pull up at the prospecting station, I access the government file on its’ layout. The buildings are not labelled, so I have sketched a label in on my data-slate.

Black%20Resources%20Prospecting%20Map.png

Our crawler grinds through the front entrance, the entire outpost seeming abandoned, dust covered gates swinging eerily ajar in the wasteland breeze. We pull the vehicle up behind the warehouse and make our way towards said building, Gavriel offering to stay behind to watch for any incoming vehicles. This whole place has an uncomfortable empty feeling to it, and we draw our weapons as we enter the warehouse.

+Within the warehouse we find overturned and disused boxes and machinery, sprawled throughout the place with little of the care for organisation we have come to expect from the company. In one corner of the warehouse we find the large stain of caked on blood, most of it reasonably fresh. Some stains however have the lighter shade of older bloodshed and the four sets of manacles we find in the centre of the pool seem to have rusted entirely from extended exposure to the liquid. Nearby playing cards on a table and rations left half open suggest whoever recently occupied this place was not long gone and left in a hurry. Macharius uncovers a strip of leathered human skin behind a pile of chains and walks outside with it, returning a minute later laughing to himself. I genuinely worry he may be deranged sometimes. The warehouse cleared, we make our way across the dusty clearing to the admin block, revealed on closer inspection to be some sort of office and management area. Within its’ dishevelled paper records we find prospecting reports going back 15 years. It would seem the outpost was set up to prospect for ore until the order came 10 years ago to start looking for seismic activity, in particular deeper breaks in the ground. Once again, these ecologies are at the forefront of our suspicions. If The Company had been mining to find them for ten years, who knows how extensive the network might be. An attempt has been made here to map the breakages of the moon’s surface, something evidently impossible from orbit due to the permanent dust-cover. Over these maps, notations have also been made as to the regular trading routes and holy sites of the Skyblooded savages.

+My study is interrupted by a vox-whisper of “got casualties here” from Macharius. In the outer hab he has been scouting, corpses in workers’ overalls have been gruesomely pinned to metal spikes. They appear to have been heavily beaten and burned before being hoisted on their final perches. As we move to investigate, we stumble into an encounter with new foes.
Spindly figures, wrapped head to toe in soiled bandages are shambling about the chamber. Armed with long-barrelled lasguns with vicious bayonets, they give chittering hoots upon sighting us through spooky glare-goggles. Macharius sights and fires full-auto on the nightmarish creatures immediately. I give support, but we are both driven back by their whipcrack return fire. Kovenicus charges, scattering old furniture and detonating several assailants with his crackling fists and energy shield. Frilled, insectoid attack-dogs burst out of nearby corridors at their master’s call, followed by several burly mutant heavies. Battle is truly joined. Macharius and I are heavily wounded as acidic spit, high-discharge las-bolts and hooked blades arc in our direction. I suffer a terrible gut-shot as I attempt to drag a maimed Macharius free from a swirling melee, his severed leg hosing the dusty tiles in blood. Finding scant cover, I struggle to stem his bloodloss, fighting the agony of my wound. The tell-tale bark of Garviel’s silenced Nomad sounds out in the swirling ash-cloud, and he sprints past our bloodied forms to assist Kovenicus; the skitarii is sparking, leaking and tottering alarmingly. Peering around a doorframe - through fogging vision – I watch as the last of the mutants are scythed down by the pair. Thereafter Macharius and I succumb to our wounds, falling unconscious.
Waking some time later Kovenicus is moving me carefully and methodically on a makeshift stretcher into the back of the vehicle. Macharius already sits there, sullenly staring at the bloodied mess where his leg used to sit. The agonising pain of my broken rib pushes me into a state of muscle memory and my training comes to the fore as I begin compiling status report and dossiers on our attackers. Similarly Macharius expertly strips and cleans his Hellgun, his eyes never leaving his bandaged stump.

Contact Report

  • Enemy Forces: Mutant Ash-Nomads (6), [Long-barrelled Waster Lasguns, “Sawbones” Hand-Cannons, Meteoric-Iron Cleavers] frilled Dilophopedes (5) [ insectoid Acid- Hounds]
  • Enemy mutations included weeping, scaled skin and milky, sun-sensitive eyes.
  • 11 Enemy Deceased.
  • Ammunition expenditure: [Medium]
  • Casualties: Kovenicus Heavily Wounded, Gallus, Macharius critically wounded [Loss of Leg]

+Gavriel returns several minutes later, saying he had scouted the area. While I would like to search everything myself I am in no state and simply copy down what information he gives me. I record it here for posterity as he spoke it to me, numbered and flavourless. (With my own annotations).

1. Find four more sacrifices: Men had been ritually cut, symbology akin to the marks on Calligos’ corpse.

2. One woman with similar marks upon her skin, written in the blood of the corpses. She is drugged but otherwise unharmed. Hung over pit to the under dark. Likely Sacrifice. Parallels between this arrangement and Murray Hill setup cannot be ignored.

3. Wasters had ridden in on Quill-Steeds, which are corralled nearby.

4. Mural of clawed, bearded figure. Old Man of the Earth of Skyblooded mythology?

+While I try to insist we explore this under dark entrance, I know we are in no state to do so. Macharius cannot walk and at the least deserves a few days off after his ordeal. Kovenicus is also heavily wounded, his normally commanding presence seeming dimmed since his wounding. He also informs me that my rib is broken and drifting, an injury neither he nor I have the ability to treat. We must make the long, dusty journey back to the bio-dome to see Doc. As we speed through the wasteland I look at my companions and note the changes our short time of Kreutz have wrought: Macharius has lost his leg, his dark violent streak popping up more and more as our mission progresses. Kovenicus' subtle lethality seems more refined, despite, or perhaps because of the fact he no longer carries a weapon. Gavriel is a mystery and enigma as ever, his strangeness appropriately paired with his borderline sociopathic nature. And myself, a month ago I had never fired my weapon at a live target. I have burns on my leg and chest courtesy of a ramshackle flamer, a bruise on my chest the size of an Astartes' head and the blood on my hands of a man whose gut I held in while dragging him from a swirling melee. I have killed men and beasts and broken numerous Imperial laws and yet I have the feeling Kreutz is not done with us yet. Emperor protect us from it.

Entry 5.1:
+The dusty drive back to the dome was a sombre one, the monotony broken only by the hourly re-bandaging of Macharius' injuries. The Tech-Adept spent the days meditating, seeing to his own wounds alone at night while the rest of us sleep. I would think his behaviour peaceful had I not seen him punch a man into a blood pulp not 12 hours before. Less than two days after we left the city we pass back through the vast iron gates of the bio-dome and into the city proper. Eschewing the usual secretive approach we drive straight up to the safe-house, pulling the vehicle into the ramshackle garage Doc uses for healing locals. The Doc sees to Macharius first and although I know the pain must be excruciating I hear only dulled grunts from the guardsman. Out of the corner of my eye I see as the dead and infected flesh is meticulously stripped away and a metal baseplate screwed on, facilitating the augmetic that would theoretically later be attached. Mere minutes later I find myself on the Doc's makeshift operating table, partially anaesthetised and having my broken rib realigned. Within a day I am walking again and although Macharius has elected to stay behind the rest of us get back onto the task of untangling Kreutz's web.


Entry 6:

+It takes several days of intensive care for us to recover from our wounds and as we rest the situation in the city around us gets worse. More and more of the wasteland was spilling into the biodome, frontiersmen and Skyblooded gaining access despite security restrictions. Scanning vox frequencies we note a marked increase in gang violence and a subsequent increase in Magistratum patrols to compensate. One gang is even foolish enough to try and strongarm Kovenicus and I in the street. Needless to say Gavriel’s bullets make short work of the street roughs. As the situation in the city worsens Doc asks if some of his regular clients could stay in our shed and although hesitant, we agree. Our wounds fully healed and the situation worsening we decide to start a more vigorous investigation into House Krin.

+We make our way into the upper district with the aim of location and infiltrating the Goldenhand premises, Krin’s primary business on Kreutz. Where in the past there was a small security checkpoint between the lower city and the commercia district there was now a full enforcer blockade. A line of citizens slowly made their way through the checkpoint, showing identification and having weapons removed. When our turn came up we noticed they were taking all weapons, a revelation that caused some concern when Gavriel refused to give up his pistols. Kovenicus and I passed through regardless and voxed another access point to Gavriel to assist him in bypassing the checkpoint. We met up with the sniper a few minutes later as he exited a rusted sewer grate, the local clothing I had lent him thoroughly drenched in excrement and wastewater. We purchase some better quality clothes in a nearby salon, conscious of the fact that the Goldenhand customers were unlikely to be dressed in frontiersman’s dusters or sewer stained clothes.

+Despite Gavriel taking it upon himself to insult one of the guards outside, Kovenicus and I find ourselves inside the Goldenhand vault in a private room across from a house representative. I was posing as a would-be client, a member of the illustrious Garlock Trading Conglomerate, and while I speak nonsense to the Goldenhand representative Kovenicus uses my cogitator to remote hack the bank network. He downloads his findings while subtly implying we should leave soon.

Investigation:
Localised Hack: Kovenicus: Goldenhand Banking clan
Kreutz Prime Commercia District

  • House Krin has 100+ employees on the moon
  • A plot of Black Resources prospecting sites.
  • Recently made payments to Tigress school or archaeology to uncover 3 particular sites.
  • Unusual Black Resources was sold considering how well it was doing. Sold at below market value just after the three sites were uncovered.
  • Another hacker

On our way out Kovenicus whispers to me that there was another presence in the system without proper clearance, none other than the man we know as ‘The Stranger’. He apparently had the same idea as us as we bump into him and his three companions in the foyer. He identifies us by our false name claiming to be old friends and suggests we adjorn to a nearby kaf house, an offer we accept.

+We walk across Government square just behind ‘The Stranger’ and his allies, the black clad forms of Magistratum enforcers the only people pacing back and forth in the usually bustling square. We take seats at the kaf house and our acquaintance begins to fill us in on his purpose in the city. The conversation went for some time but the essential details are as follows:

  • He is from the Frumentarii, the Mechanicus secret police and was sent here to investigate mathematic and ritualistic killings in the city. His team was suspiciously murdered in an industrial accident and when another team arrived to investigate and found nothing he went undercover, suspecting people higher up were compromised.
  • Krin sold Black Resources to distance themselves from their finds.
  • House Krin has funded the Parliament of Constructivism.
  • Man who ordered hit on Calligos is none other than Graff Priori, infamous heretic and disguise artist. Ex-Frumentarii went rogue.

+During the conversation we are momentarily distracted by an announcement on the vid-box, the Trade Minister standing in front of a large crowd of frontiersmen and Skyblooded. The Minister, the Imperial representative on the moon, appeared to be declaring for the Parliament of Constructivism and the values they espoused. The uproarious cheers of the crowd just managed to drown out the sound of a gunshot, but the red mist exploding out of the Minister’s head was unmistakable. The bullet smashed straight through his refractor field and entered his skull as the crowd and the customers in the kaf house both sat in stunned silenced. We respond quickly, packing our things and leaving the establishment just as its metallic blast shutters came crashing down. This appears to be the case all across the commercia district, with magistratum troopers shutting down businesses and creating cordons. We manage to slip out through a warehouse in the lower commercia just as the announcement went out on the info-net that martial law had been declared. It would seem the frontiersmen and Skyblooded were being blamed for the death of the Minister and as we make our way through the city in ‘The Stranger’s hidden vehicle we see them being rounded up by magistratum and company troops.

+’The Stranger’ drops us back at the safehouse and as his vehicle begins to pull away he informs us that two days hence a Magistratum observation order had been called on this address. The exact hour and day that Doc brought his families to us for protection. We had given these people sanctuary and they had betrayed us, the thought of it made my blood boil. So much so that when Gavriel and Kovenicus begin threatening the families to find the culprit I do not even speak against their violent actions. As they question them I search the two father’s personal voxes and find one with suspicious calls from that day. We take him to the basement and begin to vigorously interrogate him, my anger at the turn of events in the city compromising my judgement as I put my gun to his head. Gavriel urges me to finish what we started but in my heart I know this man was just an Imperial citizen doing his job for a legal Imperial body. It is not his fault the Magistratum was interested in us, after all how were they to know we were about the Emperors work. A cry of “incoming” from Macharius and the sight of a red APC rolling up the street interrupt my revelation.

Interrogation Manifest:
Person of Interest: Frumentarii Enforcer Osiris
Reference: Kreutz Incident
>Targets were four off-worlders living down in the old district. One Administratum adept, one tech adept and a ganger were the primary targets. Secondary was their off world hired muscle.
>We started the assault by approaching the target building along the roadway. Movement was spotted inside and we began suppression. Gas was deployed through windows and suppressive fire was commenced using pintle mounted auto rifles. We heard screaming from the primary building and Team One was deployed.
>Team One came under fire from secondary building, las fire searing through One-Beta’s left thigh. Assault continued regardless with photon flash and breaching charges being utilised to gain entrance. Team Two deployed to clear secondary building. They report only civilians within and no signs of the shooters.
>Team Two report gunfire from above the containment wall as two of their number fall. Team One had problems of their own, with the health monitors in the rhino dead lining one by one. I looked through the side hatch and saw as One-Delta was punched in the chest by a man in red robes and promptly exploded in a flash of blue energy! The three surviving members of Team Two piled back into the vehicle, apparently chased by a slight man in a flak coat blasting away with a handcannon. I put one slug into his shoulder and close the ramp as he falls, speeding the vehicle away from the target buildings.

+They came in an armoured vehicle bearing the cog of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the timing of their arrival too convenient to be anything but premeditated. The incapacitate Doc and Macharius with grenade fire but we manage to repell them in the end, primarily due to Kovenicus’ slaughter of a half dozen of them single handedly. Unfortunately however the fight opened my old chest wound and the pain keeps me out of most of the fight. Macharius has a wild look in his eyes and is fervently muttering the Imperial benediction under his breath as he carries what remains of our supplies from the safehouse. While mainly under Docs care as the cleanup takes place I do however manage to procure for myself one of their heavy bore shotguns, complete with an underslung grenade launcher, and a full set of their crimson carapace armour. We are met by ‘The Stranger’ some minutes later and load what remains of our possessions into his armoured vehicle. Amongst the chaos of the city we manage to slip out, rioting and burning buildings everywhere in the once calm biodome.

+Although I wish to stay in the city and aid in the Imperial effort to re-establish order ‘The Stranger’ wisely notes the fact that this unwise, as the civil unrest seems to be orchestrated by those behind the Parliament of Constructivism. We note that with House Krin’s resources they could easily unbalance a moon as small as Kreutz and that the Imperial crackdown must be a means to an ends, not the ends itself. To this ends we leave the city and set up an observation post a few klicks outside the dome limits, endeavouring to observe the events occurring within the city. Over the next few days we witness the efficiency of the Imperial machine in full effect as thousands of Skyblooded and frontiersmen are rounded up and detained. Giant metallic structures referred to as Detention and Concentration centres were erected in the wasteland and the many Skyblooded who had flooded into the dome in previous days were housed there. Finally the Imperial crackdown made sense, with the ever-elusive Skyblooded now conveniently stored close at hand for any who might wish to access them. An intercepted communicae the following morning give us further information, with sector renowned archeologist Polit getting in contact with house Krin about the moon. He tells him about a ship or ‘Barge’ that passed through this area some thousand years ago (circa M40.712).

+With the new information we sit down with ‘The Stranger’ and a hot pot of kaf and try to put the pieces together. After our bouts of stagnation throughout the investigation our ideas seem to flow with passion, our minds finally beginning to understand what is happening here. It would seem that the aforementioned ‘Barge’ had crashed here 1000 years ago, with the survivors devolving into technobarbarism after many years and forming the Skyblooded. The Impact of this ship also seems to be the cause of the Kreutz’ wasteland, with the moon pre-crash described as a verdant forest world. The only trace of this is found in the pocket ecologies, ancient forested caves protected from the ash fall. It would seem the goal of the Krin group was to find these Skyblooded and harvest their blood into a purer form, explaining both the ritual at the Black Resources base and the strange machines found at Murray Hill. To what purpose they are distilling the blood is unknown, although as some spacecraft are blood and gene locked it could be a means by which to access the craft.

+With this new information we begin searching the three primary dig sites uncovered by Black Resources before their untimely repurchase. The first two we search, designated Alpha and Constellation, are completely abandoned. We see the signs of older digging but no recent work or personnel can be found. Site Beta on the other hand is teeming with scientists and digging machines. At the centre of the site is a Skyblood ruin, now easily identifiable as a standard issue Imperial drop structure. We drive easily into the complex in our unmarked vehicle, the guards visible intimidated by our repurposed Frumentarii armour. We claim to be here for an inspection, with the intent of cutting off their communication to the outside world and seizing the facility. Our guide is cooperative and informs us that everything except the Sarcophogus has been removed, the latter awaiting the arrival of the ‘Archoform’. He says the name with some measure of awe and fear, as if the arrival of this object was something majestic in and of itself. At the comm-relay Kovenicus begins to download the dig site history to my cogitator while simultaneously wiping the sites communication capabilities. Unfortunately his efforts do not go unnoticed and the scientist who is leading us around accosts him. I knock the man unconscious while Gavriel, Macharius and Kovenicus see to the rest of the men in the camp, cutting them down as they run. The brutality of this display is chilling, although with events on Kreutz as they are I suppose urgency is paramount. The Frumentarii dump the bodies in the desert while we interrogate the survivors.

Investigation:
Interrogation: Adept Dolor: Dr. Kaliah
Kreutz Prime Wasteland: Black Resources Dig Site Beta

  • Confirmation of space ship crash: ‘The Passage of Thule’
  • The Skyblooded belief system evolved from knowledge that certain structures and locations were important.
    • They now view them as holy and forbidden.
  • Sarcophagus is artefact of Skyblooded, needs captain of ships blood to unlock it.
    • Blood is indeed being distilled so as to access the sarchopagus.
  • He doesn't know what the "Archoform" is, only that it is due tomorrow.

+The Stranger's Frumentarii and the wounded Macharius stay outside the dig site while we go deeper through the pocket ecology within the ruins. We pass through the ecology for almost an hour before coming across another Imperial ruin, this one crumbling with disrepair and covered in vines and moss [See Attached]. In the centre of the area sits a sarcophagus, a blue glow coming from the gap beneath the lid. With the ‘Archoform’ a mere 12 hours away we begin to set a trap for those bringing it. Gavriel executes the scientist when he tries to run and we dump his body in the seemingly bottomless pits surrounding the sarcophagus chamber. As Kovenicus and I go up to the dig site to collect our gear Gavriel climbs one of the chambers many pillars to take up overwatch. By the time we return to take our own positions he is well and truly hidden atop the ruined pillar.

Sarcophohus%20Chamber.jpg
[Pict Cap: Sarcophogus Chamber- Black Resources Dig Site Beta]

+Some hours later as we duck behind what little cover there is a group of hooded and robed figures arrive through the passageway from the dig site. Several of the figures are hulking and shuffling, two such figures leading quill dogs on leashes. Leading the party are a man in the distinctive purple robes of house Krin and one in black, his footsteps not leaving marks in the dust coating the crumbling stone. The energy field surrounding the sarcophagus dissipates as the black robed figure steps towards it, taking from the sarcophagus a heavily inscribed glowing blue sword.

+With the sarcophagus unsealed we begin our assault; a grenade from my captured Frumentarii shotgun engulfing many of the hooded figures is swirling gas. The hallucinogenic gas within causing them to begin wandering aimlessly, their minds ripped asunder by the intense chemicals held within. Opening salvo’s from Kovenicus and Gavriel cut down more figures as the survivors begin to rush at our entrenched positions. The hulking figures cast off their robes, showing themselves to be the same hideous mutants we encountered in the Whisperscape. The assault our position with blades and claws but despite their ferocity Kovenicus laughs off their attacks. He discharges energy from his fists that rip them apart, even those that tower over him by many metres. Suddenly and without warning the fire from Gavriel that had pinned the main group ceased and the black and purple robed figures began to run for the exit, the strange loping strides of the black robed figure almost unnervingly graceful. I leap down to follow the robed men, harshly jarring my legs as I do so. I hear a grunt of pain as Kovenicus follows me, his leg pistons hissing at the exertion.

+I rush past the other robed figures and begin to chase the sword tottering black robed figure. We rush through tunnel after tunnel and across numerous crumbling bridges. Eventually I reach him and tackling him to the ground realise my folly. The Archoform is not the distilled blood of the captain; it is the form that the distilled blood is inserted into. The creature is a hideous mockery of a man, his bloody muscles and tendons not yet masked by skin. The creature screams at me with an otherworldly sound and leaps away again and collecting my wits I jump up to follow it. As we dash through crumbling tunnels and mushroom forests I hear over the microbead of Kovenicus and Gavriel clearing up the remainder of the robed enemies. Some moments later I chase the creature into an open bridge with a clear view of the sarcophagus area. I tackle the creature to the ground once again and shout at Gavriel to kill it. He claims to not have a shot but I tell him to take it anyway. I feel a sharp pain in my temple and darkness engulfs me.

+I come back to consciousness just in time to see the creature escape across the bridge Gavriel and Kovenicus reaching me but not being able to pursue the Archoform. The sniper apologised for glancing me but I knew the call had been mine and thought no more of it, thanking the Emperor for saving me from a near lethal hit. We round up the surviving member of house Krin and kill or run off the rest. A call to the local PDF carrying our Inquisitorial weight deals with the rest of the enemy forces outside, Kreutz’s few Valkyries decimating the cult forces as they try to flee. Of the Archoform, there is no sign.



Kreutz I Investigation Summary:

  • 1000 years ago 'The Passage of Thule' crashed on the moon designated Kreutz I.
    • Ship is of an unknown class but is believed to be Imperial.
    • The impact of the ship caused the then verdant Kreutz to be covered in a dust cloud, blotting out the sun and creating the wasteland that now covers most of it's surface.
    • Ship was rumoured to have a vault onboard containing an item of some importance.
  • The Ship's location was sealed in a sarcophagus beneath the earth that only the ship's captain or one of his bloodline could uncover.
  • Over time the survivors of the crash, now calling themselves Skyblooded, degraded into techno-barbarism. They began to consider sites of importance with religious fervour, considering the old captain a vengeful god that lived under the earth [Old Man of the Earth Mythology]. Important sites were abandoned and came to be feared and avoided as holy sites.

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  • At some stage during it's colonisation members of the Krin noble house heard of this myth and began to search for the vault, setting up prospecting firms with the intention of digging for the sarcophagus that was said to contain the key to finding 'The Thule'.
  • With no remaining members of the captain's bloodline left alive the house began to try to manipulate the blood of other Skyblooded to form a blood sample that would be accepted. To this end they used strange desanguination machines at the Murray Hill facility and other sites [See attached sketches].
  • Realising they couldn't round up enough Skyblooded within the realms of Imperial Law the house began to form the Parliament of Constructivism, a semi-religious cult that was sympathetic to the plight of the downtrodden and neglected on Kreutz.
    • Calligos came to believe in the teachings of this group but after he proved too meddlesome the heretic known as Graff Priori had him assassinated.
      • Assassination carried out by mercenary known as Octus [Deceased- Interrogation overview attached].
  • After discovery of three primary dig sites [Alpha, Beta, Constellation] the House Krin owned Black Resources company was sold at less than market price to The Skaelen-Har Hegemony, to attempt to distance the House from events to follow. Workers at Black Resources have since disappeared and the site ransacked.

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  • After exhausting the supply of appropriate Skyblooded in the wasteland the cult began to allow Parliament members and frontiersmen into the normally restricted biodome.
  • Krin funded gangs performed crime sprees across the dome to put pressure on Imperial forces to crack down on them.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus Frumentarii investigators were murdered and their replacements proved more easily manipulated, being used to eradicate threats to the cult without direct involvement. [Mechanicus investigators report may uncover more information].
  • Prominent Archeologists from Tigress are employed for the final uncovering of the dig sites.

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  • When the Trade Minister declared for the Parliament [Yet unknown if coercion was involved] he was assassinated, causing the Imperial Forces to enforce martial law and crack down.
    • Wayward factors are eliminated by Frumentarii hit squads.
  • Skyblooded were blamed by authorities and began to be rounded up for containment. This is a guise for detaining the natives and distilling the blood of those with captain's ancestry.
  • Dig sites are largely evacuated after discovery of Sarcophogus at site Alpha.
    • Blood to be transported from 'D&C Camp 3' outside Kreutz biodome to site Alpha for opening ceremony.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • Blood is distilled into single unhuman individual, referred to as the 'Archoform'.
  • Despite the capture or destruction of most known players in Cult, the Archoform escapes with the item stored in sarcophogus.

Based on the above I have compiled what I believe are a list of crimes of this Archoform Cult:

  • Dealings with a known Heretic [Graff Priori- Hereticus Majoris].
  • Illegal tampering with the human form [Creation of Archoform].
  • Contact with and facilitation of unhuman [Archoform].
  • Subverting Imperial authority [Parliament of Constructivism].
  • Murder of an Imperial Official [Trade Minister ??NAME??].
  • The creation of Occult symbols [Calligos murder site].
  • Numerous lesser offences to be forwarded to Arbite investigators, including but not limited to: Murder, Kidnapping, Sedition.
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[Pict Cap: My last look at Kreutz 1, as the PDF deploy to reassert order.]
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