Dark Sun


As word of the reconstruction spread, thousands flooded to Damaris. Fabricators, fraudsters, merchants, mercenaries and labourers; all came to take advantage of the great, wounded hive-city. A tide of offworld produce and products flooded Damaris' streets, and the Tetrarchs of the Lazarus took great pleasure in walking the sprawling bazaars that sprang up like mushrooms after rain. But along with this bounty came also the worthies of House Redwynn, and the call of responsibility. Harlon Tavius formally submitted his resignation, electing to take up a leadership role within the Damaris Mechanicus. Stepping into seat on the Council was Mordechai, a broker and seneschal from the House's Footfall holdings. Xaver also reluctantly vacated his seat as Tetrarch, summoned back to Scintilla to oversee a number of complex House matters as Augustine's agent. A farewell dinner was hosted, with toasts and genuine warmth and camaraderie shared. It was there that Artorias announced a summons from his father, Governor of the nearby Bethany system. In recognition of their sudden improvement in fortunes, the Tetrarchs of House Redwynn were invited to meet a number of esteemed individuals in service to House Quinn, with a view to a formal alliance.

Part 1- Open Skies

Entry 1.1- Gravity Flux

[[The lost cities of Bethany V]]

Amasec is poured and vox-scramblers enabled as the Council of the 'Lazarus' meets in her council chamber. Behind them stand the banners of the Redwynn dynasty, with one new addition. The image of a Carnadon mauling an ork sits emlazoned on the freshly made green banner. At the head of the table Gieger sits in his resplendent red power armour, to his right Godwyn, now second most senior member of the Tetrarchy. On his left an empty seat, Artorias' daily medical routines make his attendance of Council unreliable at best. The newcomer, Mordichai, taps diligently into his data-slate, preparing his notes before the meeting begins. As is customary a toast to the lost begins the council meetings, but these formalities quickly devolve into heated planning and discussion. There is profit to be made after all

[Necroforms on Bethany V]
Though freshly packed with a full complement of crew, the battle-hardened vessel Lazarus felt strangely quiet as it forged anew into the Warp. Absent the steady thunder of the cannons, the raucous voices of the lost veterans, and the turbulent debates of former Tetrarchs, the ship slipped silently through the void, returning to nigh forgotten Bethany.

The few day's journey was untroubled, and the bounteous worlds of Artorias' birth soon resolved into view. While the Councillors had never visited the system, the Lazarus was well-known in Bethany; though the initial hail of the naval frigate Medusa was cool, warm greetings were received from the planets and stations themselves. Welcomed as a positive omen of prosperity and renewal, the Lazarus was afforded priority docking and a choice anchorage. Yet to their surprise, the Governor was not yet ready to meet them.

The Tetrarchs instead prepared to meet with Magos Boothe, commander of a research facility and SMC installation on Bethany Secundas. Received in a spartan steel chamber, the Council were contracted to travel to Bethany V, to investigate the fate of a research colony there that had gone quiet. The Magos - an entombed form bristling with cables and arcane devices - introduced Enginseer Vendigroth and an enigmatic alien named Rook, explaining that they were operatives of the Mechanicus and familiar with the facility. He explained that tension between the Navy and Mechanicus sometimes necessitated missions be undertaken secretly, so the Tetrarchs embarked for the high-gravity world aboard the xenos' ship Blackbird on silent running.

The rocky, sandswept landscape of B5 masked the many tomb-towers of the preceding xenos civilisation, the legacy of the extinct Yu'Vath breed. The Explorers had used the long hours of flight to study planetary reports, and by the time the first flyover revealed wreckage of aircraft on the landing pad, they already expected trouble. Heaving the burdens of weapons and armour, the Tetrarchs trudge from the landing site up a mild incline to reach the research pod. As they pass thorough a decompression chamber, the party is greatly relieved by the normalisation of gravity.

Inside, the bodies of slain, decomposing Adepts and Skitarii are scattered about. Though there is evidence of a struggle, it is unclear to the Explorers who the assailants might have been. Boots crunching on the gravel floor, they move from corpse to corpse until Giger rolls over mutilated Sergeant and blue light erupts from his glassy eyes.

Mordechai gives a shout of fascination as the bodies of the slain shamble to their feet and advance on the Explorers with awkward, jerking steps. Animated by glowing crystals protruding freakishly from their flesh, the necroforms' blows scrape ineffectually off the glossy, crimson power-armour freshly acquired by Giger. As the Council counter-attack, a ricochet hits the stabiliser hanging overhead; with gravity wildly fluctuating - even reversing direction - the battle becomes a madcap tangle of limbs and stray fire. Godwyn duels a knife-armed creature as he hangs one handed from a vertical support beam, and Rook vaults from wall to ceiling as gravity shifts, smashing aside wriggling necroforms as they hurtle about. Finally, with a creaking groan, a mass-hauler vehicle heaves off it's tracks and smashes into the malfunctioning generator, ending the gravity flux. Bruised and battered, the Council scour the ruins until they discover the last survivors sealed within a secure room of the laboratory.

Tribune Victrus reports the strange behaviour and eventual madness of the other staff, leading him to bunker down in hope of rescue. He mentions the influence of a mysterious alien liaison, a Dark Eldar scholar whose body is found in the wreckage with a shot to the brain-pan. The Explorers speculate on his presence and fate, but their efforts to translate the indecipherable contents of his dataslate and books yield little success. Returning to the Magos, the Council report their concerns about the fragments of Yu'Vath crystal collected from the bodies and hand over the data recovered from the station. The Council accept the Blackbird as payment for their efforts, and cautiously welcome the associateship of it's reptilian pilot. Finally receiving the invitation of the Governor Nugen as they leave, the Council board the Lazarus and make for the Amethyst Palace.

Entry 1.2- Taken

[[Bethany mercantile district]]

The vast Amethyst Palace dominated most of the hillside in the centre of Old Bethany city. Sourced from quarries many systems away its opulence and rare purple marble stood as a testament to the people of Bethany Prime of the power of their rulers. But it is not the palace that interests the man watching from the roof of a nearby building, but those visiting it. The shuttles had born the mark of the 'Lazarus', the visiting Rogue Trader house, and had been welcomed with open arms by the government of Bethany. Some hours had passed, the visitors were leaving now and as his eyes track them through his scope the watcher gives a start. The face barely visible in the hustle bustle of figures is painfully familiar to him. Even after all this time he would recognise that face anywhere. Yes, the Inquisitor would want to hear of this at once.

[A Kidnapped Councillor]
A formal reception awaited the Tetrarchs at the soaring Apex of the Amethyst Palace, where the beaming Governor Nugen gave a warm personal welcome. The cambridge blue of the Tetrarchs hung alongside the magenta phoenix of Quinn, and toasts were shared to the fruitful legacy of the Lazarus on Bethany. It was Dynastic Minister Sevanna Quinn however, wife of the Governor, who had command of the meeting that ensued. Deferring often to his partner, the Governor explained that his intervention was being demanded by a rival political interest in House Sebastion, apparently to investigate a missing house agent. As an opponent to the Governor could not be seen to have commanded the administration directly, the Tetrarchs were enlisted to resolve the matter on his behalf. Heller politely negotiates for satisfactory payment, and the party depart for Baron Sebastion's manor-house.

A short magnet-carriage ride away, the offices of Sebastion directly overlook the Capital building. Lord Sebastion himself is looking hungrily up at the Amethyst spire when they arrive, and with little ceremony launches into his tale. His only daughter among many disappointing sons, Flur Sebastion had been granted a crew and luxury space-yacht for her 18th birthday, with which to explore the nearby stars of Winterscale's Realm. She had vanished, along with the old voidfarer, Captain Roland Able of the Dragonstooth and the crew who had piloted the vessel. Their last transmission was 2 weeks old. Agreeing to reconvene on the Lazarus in 24 hours, the Council go their seperate ways in search of further clues.

Giger ventures into the middling district of Caine, where the voidfarer's wife remains in mourning for her missing husband. The quailing old woman tearfully admits that this cruise was to be his last voyage, as they planned to retire into the Benthany countryside. The Explorator downloads copies of the Dragontooth's possible route, and departs without a word. Godwyn is admitted without question to the Needle, choir-chamber of the Astropathica, where he is met by the Choir-Master General. Godwyn is granted access to the psy-records, and draws out the rough broadcast location of the Dragontooth's final transmission. Far overhead in orbit, Heller conducts a vox-conference with the Imperial ship Medusa, learning details of the infamous void pirate Blackhand, his modus operandi and his vessel the Jezebel. As the Council compare notes over glasses of local amasec, preparations to restock and launch the pursuit are afoot.

For several days, a stream of shuttles ferry back and forth through the clouds, dispensing crew on their precious shore-leave terms, and returning to the ship with crates of vac-sealed protein, fuel, water, repair stocks, macro-shells; the Lazarus' appetite is endless and varied. In a dingy bar in downmarket Salamund, Rook strikes a bargain for a number of self-contained drop-facilities for planetary exploration, and Giger purchases a new fleet of drone-servants from his new ally Magos Boothe. But as the days wear on, nothing is seen of the Seneschal Mordechai Heller. At first his staff's concern at his long absence is waved away by the Tetrarchs, his affection for week-long, drug-fuelled benders a poorly kept secret, politely overlooked by Council. Yet as the scheduled departure approaches and formal duties go unfulfilled, real suspicion begins to percolate. His favoured bars, whore-houses and injecting rooms turn up nothing, and the Council soon focuses on the last recorded contact between Heller and his drycleaning service providers. The investigation leads to an empty rental property, an unmarked vehicle and a well-known thug known as Slim Jim. Through the subtle use of telepathy, Godwyn gleans the final location of Heller's kidnappers, and a plan is hastily sketched for his urgent rescue.

Gaining covert entry to the eerie, windswept hangar, Godwyn and Rook launch a sudden and ferocious assault from the shadows. The kidnapper's severe, robed leader and several startled mercenaries are dropped in short order, before the roar of thrusters overhead announce the arrival of Giger and a force of Lazarus armsmen. As they engage the grizzled, gene-wrought hulks leading the mercs, a nude, battered form emerges from a nearby room. Caked in dry blood, bruised and almost unrecognisably swollen, the missing Heller lurches out of an interrogation room and mercilessly executes the unconscious torturer. His eyes ablaze, he gives the Council a lopsided grin before joining the battle. Rook blurs unscathed through the streaking gunfire, leaving a trail of pummelled human wreckage and crumpled metal in his wake. His fists raise clouds of pink mist with every impact, as he clinically culls a path of withdrawal for his employers. But as the Tetrarchs move to follow, an armoured counter-assault force comes crashing through the hangar doors. With the sizzling fire of heavy machine-guns cutting off their exit, Giger and Heller retreat across the complex to the kidnapper's guncutter. Grenade-fire and bullets clatter off the armour as Giger hurriedly flares the engines for takeoff, scattering their pursuers. Sheltering behind the cockpit, the pair weather a hailstorm of suppressing fire down the open aisle of the craft, before finally lurching skyward. Following the trail of engine-smoke, the remaining Councillors find the ship in an empty field, where Heller discloses his history with the Inquisition and the identity of the kidnappers. Concerned at the lengths the Inquisition had gone to pursue the new Councillor, the Tetrarchs prepare to leave Bethany far behind.


Entry 1.3- Derelict

[[Vid-Cap of the Xenos attack]]

Hunched in the darkness, Rook and Godwyn held themselves deathly still. The slow, irregular click of weighty claws on the decking sent an echo around the jumbled corridors, the groan of strained ironwork shuddering up through their feet from just around the blind turn. Their lungs burning, blood pounding in their ears, they felt the vibrating clawfalls advance closer, encroaching upon their position. Rook raised a scaly hand to signal his readiness, stirring the merest breath of stagnant, fume-filled air. The echoes cut instantly short, and the ululating screech was answered by other voices, howling a chorus in the depths of the derelict.

[Rak'Gol infestation]
The Lazarus strove into the unknown - at once fleeing and chasing – delving the unmapped darkness of Winterreach . Cloistered in the Armoury, Giger and Godwyn meticulously crafted and consecrated the components of a force-weapon, while the Seneschal laid plans to evade future capture. The Tetrarchs had diligently overseen the final stock and repairs, aware that their journey could lead them to Warp for many months. Their caution would prove well-founded.

After a week at full sail, the ship’s senior Navigator approached Rook at the helm, warning of ill-omened patterns on the horizon. Having heard rumours of freak storms flaring in the region, the Explorers opt to surface for a time and check their course. Breaching into reality, the Lazarus drops anchor in the vast, starless gulf between systems. As the routine checks are cycled through, a warning is raised by the new augur-master Aesteban. At the dim edge of the scanner’s range, a flickering signal is detected. The wreckage of a Raider, surgically crippled and shorn of it’s power, drifts helplessly through the void. The ravaged hull of the Heedless Omenshows only flickering navigation lights and emergency backup life-support, it’s crucial systems expertly severed by pinpoint shrapnel-strikes. Barbed xenos attack-craft cling like barnacles to the pod bays, cutting off any hope of escape for those within. Approaching on silent running, the Lazarus’ new addition the Blackbird slips stealthy past their patrol corridor.

In search of survivors or plunder, the Council infiltrate the rusting corridors of the Heedless. The air within is heavy and oily, too often scrubbed, rebreathed and scrubbed again. Cloying moss grows in the damp corners of the halls, and evidence of the wanton slaughter of civilians paints every wall and walk-way. As Godwyn and Rook advance the command area, silent and invisible, they hear a nightmarish snuffling and a hooting screech. To their horror, they realise that the creatures they face must hunt by scent. A towering hulk of cruel ironwork, flaring scales and thrumming arachnoid limbs thunders down the corridor towards them. The Rak’Gol Marauder unleashes it’s hunting-howl, the echo summoning more of its kind to the fray. Several stealth-team armsmen were butchered in the sudden onslaught, forcing the Councillors to withdraw and defend. Doubling back, evading and cornering each creature, the duo fight a determined retreat, ambushing and slaying the beasts one by one with whistling sword-blade and piston-quick fists. Yet they could not outfox the monsters forever.

When two massive bulkheads heaved open in a shower of rust and sparks, the pair found themselves trapped between advancing packs of the Hunters. Godwyn held several at bay with a blinding torrent of telepathic force, while Rook deftly ducked and weaved through a scything hailstorm of attacks. As the Councillors urgently retaliated, the thunderclap report of axe-blows announced the timely arrival of Giger and a detachment of beast-wranglers. As the last creatures fell, drizzling molten organic pulp, the corpses began to explode. Rigged with suicide devices, their last defiant acts demolished large sections of decking and collapsed the Command bridge upon their defeated forms. His bionic eyes aglow, Giger shoulder-charged the last surviving creature, slamming it dazed against the jumbled wreckage and carving off the activation device. Bellowing his defiance, the Explorator wrestled the thrashing reptile into position to be netted and trussed. Restrained by Rook’s superhuman strength and cowed by Godwyn’s telepathy, the creature was dragged frothing and thrashing into Giger’s clutches.

Barely escaping the closing jaws of the Rak’Gol fighter group, the Blackbird and the loaded Barge flee into the cover of the Lazarus’ guns, eagerly undergoing the cleansing quarantine process. But as they collapsed elated in the Council lounge to recount their triumphs, the Tetrarchs could scarcely guess that they were about to plunge into the region’s most violent warp-tempest. In years to come, it would be known as the Cresting Terror. A howling, hungry, inexorable wall of encroaching nightmare, there was simply no avoiding it. The storm front engulfed the whole horizon, screaming outwards and subsuming the Lazarus in its fury. It ceaselessly battered the hull, clawing great gouges in the mighty exterior plates. For weeks the helmsman tirelessly wrestled the wheel, steering the vessel through the violent gale. When the Lazarus retched back into reality at last, the harrowed crew wept in open relief.


Entry 1.4- To Boldly Go

[[The Lazarus encounters strange new worlds]]

"The Expanse is not a beast to be tamed, as a Grox, nor an enemy to be conquered, as an Ork. My dear boy, the Expanse is a lady to be courted. She may rebuff your advances however well meaning, or she may accept you with welcoming arms. The Expanse gives and it takes away, and not always in equal measure. Our lot is but to ride this crashing, fickle and whimsical wave for as long as the Emperor intends. So to answer your question; yes I shall be leading the landing party personally." Lady Augustine Redwynn

[Hunting Yorgen Blackhand]
The Prasinus system was a dazzling haven, dimly remembered in records recovered by Godwyn and Giger as they delved the Lazarus' librarium. Forging toward the pale blue star, the Council scanned and catalogued each planet they passed, searching for signs of the Dragontooth’s fate. Their exploration of a fog-shrouded garden-city was challenged by a cryptic Eldar outcast, whose hissing threats were dismissed by the Council. Enraged, the xeno rained blurring attacks against Giger’s armour, but Godwyn put an end to its acrobatics with a crackling force-weapon blow. Elsewhere, the charge of a tusked Megadon was halted by the Blackbird’s autocannon, and the Explorers claimed a valuable cache of the xeno-tech.

Deeper into the system, habitable worlds of frozen peaks, ashen wastes and vast giga-forests awaited. In orbit of Prasinus V, the Council found the annihilated ruin of the Dragonstooth, adrift like a spectre. While forensic teams swept the wreckage, the Tetrarchs pursued the lone, guttering life-sign located on-world. The towering trees – colloquially called Godwoods – enclosed whole weather systems beneath their canopy. Under a steady downpour, a rain-drenched Rook hunted the solitary figure through the jungle. Having found only insectoid life-forms in the faintly toxic environs, the lone survivor of an attack-run on the Dragonstooth had turned to cannibalising his former comrades to survive. The emaciated pirate was overpowered and dragged back to Godwyn for questioning. His derangement and brutal psy-conditioning made him nearly immune to interrogation, but he finally revealed the Jezabel’s stalking of Flur’s star-yacht and capture of her crew as slaves. Their destination was the Triumvirate of the World Within, a bandit –haven in the dreaded system Fellholm.

A lone, mysterious planet remained to explore, and the Council debated whether to seek to uncover its secrets. Abandoning caution, they dashed within the star’s embrace, in the hope of finding clues or further bounty. For 20 days they searched the inner cauldron, but found only burning wastelands and the strange, charred sky-jellies of Prasinus VI. Outraged at the intruder’s presumption, the turbulent star ravaged the Lazarus with unrelenting solar bombardment. The Lazarus whickered defencelessly, as the week-long bombardment excoriated the hull, shredded and corroded its vital systems and drove the people to hopelessness. In the face of the mounting thousands dead, the Council finally risked a warp jump from within the system’s gravity. Barely void-capable, the Lazarus retreated, limping back to the shipyards for repairs.

The journey was beset by turbulence, malcontent and insurrection. Rallies were openly held in the Clankin quarters, with agitators declaring that the Tetrarchs had failed to honour the vision of beloved Lady Redwynn. Rumours abounded of outright attacks on Bethanese Imperials; word of a priest being tortured in the ship’s bowels; even hysterical myths of an alien vampire being harboured aboard. The demagogues declared open rebellion against Council leadership, and the Tetrarchs were forced to respond. When the camps were roused the next morning, only blood-spattered sheets and broken weapons remained of the rebel leaders, spreading terror of the rumoured underworld figure known as Manhunter. While panicked and confused, the rebels were mercilessly assaulted by Commander Lestrade’s loyal armsmen, with the dead carried off by a seething swarm of pincered servo-drones. Dread gripped the ship, and as the last of the rebels quailed and died, Giger activated the vast servitor repurposing array within his shadowy lab.

Returning to the shipbuilding yards of Damaris, the Tetrarchs observed a world on it’s way to recovery. Exchanging warm messages with the Governor and Commander Reynolds, the Council arranged a replenishment of crew and express –service repairs for the ship’s ashen hull. Refreshed from their time ashore, the crew of the Lazarus left the Bulwark in their wake, carving a new path towards forbidden Fellholm . The storm-beset system bristled with mine-laden asteroids, and as the frigate crested into harbour, the vile slave-raider Jezebel was sighted. Assailed by plasma-fire and the hateful vox-sorcery of the Triumvirate pirates, the Lazarus weaved through the deadly fields and slammed into Blackhand’s fleeing vessel. Trailing shattered armour, the outmatched vessel vanished into the surrounding storms. The Council turned their frustration on the pirate’s base, strafing the station for hours on end, crippling their shields and guns and relentlessly boarding their vital systems. As the day of vicious combat wound down, the Council withdrew to lounge on the command bridge, waiting for the pirates to burn and suffocate within their fortress.

Part 2- The World Within

Entry 2.1- Pteradon

[[The crew combs through the ruins of Custodite Station]]

Solid slug rounds and the searing trails of las fire scorched overheard, pinning the oncoming troops behind rocky grey-brown outcrops. The pirate forces had dug in, and now laid fire upon the advancing 'Lazarus' forces with practiced brutality. Armsman Icharo watched as his squadmates, friends and brethren all, were mowed down like barley by the seemingly endless stream of munitions from the enemy position. Veterans of Damaris and countless shipboard actions, now laying still in pools of blood on a world no-one had bothered to name. Icharo enjoyed a few brief moments of respite before he heard the familiar crackle of the vox. "The landing forces will advance. The Tetrarch's will it done"…

[Assaulting the pirate base]
Emerging from the deep places of the Lazarus, the long-absent Heller bore forth vital information from the interrogation cells. Several slaver pilots had been captured during the day's onslaught, and under intense questioning, had revealed the existence of a pirate base on the world below. Hoping to discover the location of their quarry, Council boarded their station and slew their way past the few piteous survivors to the Bridge. Digging his mechadendrites into the bowels of the Command Cogitator, Giger extracted information on the pirates remaining aeronautica, as well as flight-paths to the elusive base on the surface of the World Within. Leaving the crewmen to cleanse and reclaim the one-time Custodite facility, the Council boarded the stealthy Blackbird to reconnoitre the ashen planet.

Moisture from the sweltering atmosphere gathered on the vessels' canopy, beading as they broke the thick, heavy clouds. The world was clammy, covered in muddy plains, harsh fields of spindlefex grass and ochre foothills. As they cautiously probed each new territory, faint returns would blur and vanish at the edge of the auspex. Finally, with a thunderous roar, an immense figure resolved into a creature diving towards their craft.

The Pteradon impacted against the hull with a shriek of tortured metal. Great rents were opened in the hull by it's gripping claws, and the Council scrambled for rebreathers as faintly chemical air whistled in. Paint-smeared figures leapt from the creature's howdah, igniting bombs that tore the hull breaches even wider. Techno-barbarians wielding crude spears and firearms swarmed in, and were met by the clashing blades of Giger and Godwyn. As Rook gunned the engines, corkscrewing to dislodge and pursue the hooting Pteradon, the floor rocked beneath the fighters' feet. Hurled about with the cabin, the Councillors slashed and fired at the tumbling attackers, until streamers of blood trailed from the aircraft's riven hull. Pulled into a nosedive to hound the wounded creature, the Blackbird spat a spiralling arc of autocannon fire. The rolling duel ended when a hissing tracer round snagged the beast's outstretched pinion, casting it to the earth as the battered craft levelled out mere handspans from the terrain below.

Settling the damaged vessel down a few clicks from the base, Rook set out to scout the perimeter. The cave-mouth was defended by rock-pile pill-boxes and heavy weapon turrets, and small watchtowers made from sparse local wood were manned by pirate snipers. Cursing as he triggered a motion sensor, the mercenary retreated under longlas fire. The Council resolved to respond aggressively, arranging a deployment of armsmen. A handful of pilots were assembled to man the few freshly-repainted Lightnings, and as dusk fell, the order came to storm the defences.

Landing under heavy-weapons fire, the Council swept into the midst of the pirate brutes. Shrieking missiles detonated heavily against the armour of the landing-craft, and as wreckage fell burning to the earth around them, the house troops surged into the face of a hailstorm. Giger's unstoppable advance smote deep into the heretic formation, enabling the troops to breach the outer defences. Heller easily deciphered the enemy's battle cant, flooding their frequency with confusing and contradictory orders. It was into this disarray that Godwyn swept, killing the heretics as they fled and beheading their loathsome leader. They were butchered to a man, leaving the warren-walls splattered with blood and bullet-scars. But the Council could scarcely celebrate; nearly a hundred las-riddled corpses lay strewn about the field, proud Cambridge-blue uniforms muddied, blood-stained and trodden upon. On the surrounding plains lay the smoking ruins of all bar one of their fighter-wing, and around them, the hateful symbology of Chaos was slowly revealed. All to dispose of a mere two dozen or so of the enemy. Rook vented his wordless rage on the corpses of the pirate dead, and in their anger, the Tetrarchs raised no objection. Bowing their heads and gripping their weapons fiercely, the gore-covered Council strode forth into the yawning darkness of the caverns ahead.

Entry 2.2- Mutiny

[[Within the caves of the World Within]]

"There is no place for the weakwilled or hesitant. Only by firm action and resolute faith will mankind survive. No sacrifice is too great. No treachery too small." Liber Doctrina Ordo Hereticus, Chapter XXVIII 'Exterminatus'

[Exploring the Warrens]
Below the earth, the air was disconcertingly chill, tasting faintly artificial as through re-scrubbed and conditioned. Avoiding brackish pools and slick, jutting crystals, the Explorers pressed downward, Giger's drones swarming out ahead to map the winding passages. The tunnels honeycombed the world's crust, an ancient labyrinth scattered with mining rigs, abandoned facilities and maddening chasms and corridors. As the Explorers trekked from site to site - digging up defunct generators and other faint energy returns - they uncovered a Mechanicus expedition, long swallowed by the treacherous caverns. Their ruined, crimson vehicles gave little clue of their purpose. After many unnerving days below ground, the Council spiralled down to the lowest, dankest coillery. In a circular cavern, overgrown with outcrops of amethyst, they ambushed a coven of purple-robes figures. Between the flickers of gunfire, these were revealed as flagellants, scarred and self-mutilating witches dedicated to some abominable pain-deity. A nightmare scene of impaled human forms - gaunt and writhing in agony - cascaded down into a fiery pit below. Hundreds of tortured souls shrieked in the firelit darkness, fuelling the broil of psychic miasma at the heart of the shaft. Retreating in horror, the Council left the impassive Magos Giger to put rank after rank of slaves and captives out of their misery, to end the Chaos ritual. As his gory work was wrought, Godwyn reached out through the haze of ruined minds and called for retrieval by the Lazarus.

When they returned, blood-soaked to the surface, they carried with them the marred body of Flur Sebastion, barely clinging to life. Above, they found only ruins and the scars of battle, and the men of the Lazarus missing. Though they searched the scene, they found no evidence of pirate attack or signs of the techno barbarians from the wreck of the Eternal Radiance. As they gradually realised the shuttle would not arrive, they grimly discussed the possibility of mutiny. Finding a functioning vox among the downed astro-fighters, contact was finally achieved with the frigate. Discarding the mess of conflicting messages, the Council ordered a priority teleport, and set out immediately to reassert control of their ship.

Rook slithered unseen down the airways of the ship, listening in for the comms-chatter of passing patrols. From his whispered reports, the Tetrarchs gleaned that the ships' armsmen and security teams had asserted control of the ship, locking down and targeting Mechanicus and Astrotelepathica aligned sections. Interrupting an assault team as it attempted to breach Magos' chambers, the Council vented their outrage against the mutineers. Amid the spattered remains, instructions from Commander L'estrade were discovered, painting him as the chief conspirator in the insurrection. Butchering their way past the few patrols who crossed their path, the Tetrarchs seized control of the Bridge and employed their control batons to reassert authority over the ship's systems. Inputting a command lockdown, the insurgent elements were isolated and targeted one by one. Heller's voice boomed over the intercom, commanding the mutineers to surrender on pain of death. Quailing within their locked chambers, many complied. Those who did not were depressurised, channelled gasping and tumbling into the merciless embrace of the void. But the sense of triumph was quelled when Skitarii Tribune Victrus reported from the chambers of Commander L'estrade. The Commander had been slain at his desk, mutilated by a barrage of close-range lasgun fire. He had been slain before the uprising even began, his door forced open by the the command-baton code of Tetrarch-Confessor Artorias Severus.

The chapel was lit only by candles when the Council arrived, and reverberated with heavenly choir-song. The scarred Tetrach was bowed in prayer, and silver-masked Redeemers, veterans of Damaris, stood resolute at his flanks. As his black-armoured form arose through the coiling incense smoke, his chant of denouncement echoed to the vaulted ceiling. Giger, Godwyn, Heller and Rook strode towards him, charged as Abomination, Traitor, Heretic and Xeno in turn. Arcs of sanctified flame jetted towards them, but Godwyn's electrified blade struck a clear path through the burning sheet. The psychic shockwave hurled a Redeemer from his feet, splashing lifeblood against the pure gold of the chapel's aquilla. Heller's pistol spat molten bolts into the faithful, while Rook blurred between them dashing traumatised brain-matter to the floor. But at the centre of the chamber, the marble cratered beneath the feet of the clashing Tetrarchs Artorias and Giger, as they battled for the soul of the Lazarus. Reaving Eviscerator teeth ground sparks and lighting against the Omnissian Axe, the deafening screech blasting through the chamber and shattering the chapel's stained-glass windows. Veins bulged, sweat poured and servos whirred as the the pair strained, locked together by their hungry, gnashing blades. Cracks spiderwebbed through the great mosaic of the Emperor, his sword raised over the head of a coiling serpent, and the faintest quiver went down Artorias' knees. With a final shearing shriek, the Magos' snarling blade carved off several chain-teeth and clattered aside, sinking through the bionic leg he himself had affixed to the Confessor mere months ago. Shorn of support, Artorias thundered to the ground, his armoured form cracked and smouldering from the clash. Giger loomed over his defeated foe, eyes ablaze as the candles snuffed out.

Entry 2.3- Feud

[[The 'Golden Mask' bar, Bethany Prime]]

His tongue flickered to taste the air, slowing his breaths as the guard passed his hiding spot. They were on high alert, but within the storage cupboard he was safe for now. He savoured these slow moments. Listening to the heartbeats of armed men patrolling. The shuffle of booted feet. The tapping of fingers on firearm safeties. Soon there would be the panic on the face of the prey, the dull eyes of the hunted and the warm blood of the dead. But for now there was but the hunt. And he so enjoyed the hunt…

[A rival emerges]
The tiny, prone figure of Artorias finally vanished into the windswept desert, lost to the augur as the Lazarus withdrew deeper into boundless space. Having plundered what they could from the mountaintop monastery - and carefully avoiding techno-barbarian airspace - the Tetrarchs left the World Within behind. Their passage through the Warp was furious, as though its tides and denizens shied in the face of their rankled temper. They finally reentered Bethany space at speed, the rupture disgorging an unusually violent cloud behind them.

As the time of Mourning was approaching, Governor Severus was to be found at a gala ball. Donning their finery, the Council were soon received at the Amethyst Palace, and showered with delicacies as they awaited their long-anticipated reward. As the dinner progressed, Godwyn ran foul of an ill-tempered lording named Matthais Feckward. All but swearing vengeance for the imagined slight, the nobleman stormed out of the ball as the Council withdrew to meet with the Dynastic Minister. Keen to capitalise on the growing power and success of the Tetrarchs, House Quinn offered them a formal alliance partnership, which Heller eagerly clinched. Trusting Mordechai to the details, the Councillors ventured to House Sebastion, to convey Flur to her howling father.

By the next morning, preparations were afoot for the final hunt after the infamous pirate, Yorgen Blackhand. While the Explorers recovered, their minions hurried about the port, filling provision orders, overseeing repairs and requisitioning vital equipment on their masters' behalf. It was not until some days later, that the sabotage became apparent. Ship's ratings had vanished, or otherwise died in a variety of awful 'accidents' including shuttle-crashes and bar-fights gone wrong. Prices were doubled or tripled when the Lazarus was mentioned, and munitions shipments were embargoed by the Port Authority. Finally, Magos Giger flew into a rage, when an experimental cocktail of macrosteroids and slab-muscle failed to arrive at his lab. The Council dispersed into Bethany Prime, hounding out the author of this trickery.

Word on the street revealed the complicity of the local criminal element, with a fixer named Elias a key player in the conspiracy. Heller and Godwyn followed his trail to a grubby cantina, where they encountered Rook on the trail of a bounty of his own. Through Godwyn's sorcery, they learned that Feckward, scion of a powerful Rouge Trader lineage, had unleashed his underworld contacts against the Lazarus, accounting them rivals to his lofty position on Bethany. Meanwhile, Giger bullied and forcefully hacked his way through every obstacle, uncovering his old comrade, Lictanex Remi, as the aggrieved nobleman's co-conspirator. Though petitioning aid from their ally, the dominant Archmagos Boothe of Secundus, the Tetrarchs were ultimately forced to rely on their own resources to settle the brimming dispute.

In the blackest hour of night, Rook scaled the hab-wall of Elias' complex. Slipping past the guards, he sifted through comm-data, computer files and diary entries, but found nothing to hint at the Lictanex' location. Waking Elias with a choking grip, he left a terrifying warning for the scion of Feckward. In light of this frustration, Heller now favoured a confrontation - a man-to-man with the slighted heir. Gathered in orbit, the Councillors debated their options, finally agreeing to seek a resolution with the rival House. Travelling by autocarriage, Godwyn and Heller were refused at the gate, directed to meet with Matthais back at the Golden Mask cantina. As Giger and a flight of Skitarii sat ready on the launchpad, the pair were received by the sneering nobleman and taunted over their impotence. As the conversation devolved into threats and name-calling, the bar was poised in teetering disbelief at the overt clash of powers that threatened to break out. Then, with a howl, Feckward's legs were shredded by toxic darts, as the Seneschal pulled a gun and fired beneath the table. Panic broke out, as several patrons bolted for the doors and the nobleman's heavies pulled sawn-offs from beneath their coats. Heller's booth disintergrated in a storm of wooden shards and shredding shot, as he scuttled into cover. But he was impaled through the back, vomiting blood and igniting as Matthais' powersword speared through the heavy table.

Haloed in crackling power, his visor aglow with the flash of gunfire, Godwyn burst through the doors of the Mask. With a sweep of his hand, Feckward's thugs were smashed from their feet, a telekinetic wave blasting through the establishment, scattering bodies, furniture and half-finished meals. Before the return-fire could sputter to life, the Astropath whipped his fingers, and the smouldering form of Heller slid out from beneath the ruins and sailed into the waiting autocarriage. With bullets crenellating the just-slammed door, the pair rocketed down the road, Godwyn absently steering with his mind.

As the days passed and plans were lain in the Medibay to rebuilt the Seneschal's melted visage, a package was received by the Council. With the compliments of a mysterious ally, the severed head of Matthais Feckward was delivered, as well as news of the successful signing of an alliance with House Quinn. In the days to follow, the impassive Rook informed the Tetrarchs of the tragic death of Lectanex Remi in an industrial accident, and took a meeting with the enigmatic 'Saintly Man'. Master of the underworld, the Saintly man would put to rest their days of speculation, and wished them all the best on the journey they were strenuously urged to undertake from Bethany at their earliest convenience.

Entry 2.4- A Mirror Darkly

[[Xenos facility orbiting Leegar's Pit]]

In the cold darkness of space the giant war-ships danced a deadly dance. They moved back and forth across the face of Leegar's Pit, ever watchful of the Black Hole that dominated the system. The two moved seemingly at random as the smaller ship attempted to make for the edge of the system, only to be rebuffed time and again. After all, The 'Lazarus' had come a long way for its prize…

[A cornered foe]
For days, the Tetrarchs bore through the void, reviewing rumours, reports and half-heard myths about the movements and sightings of the Jezebel. They sifted through the ashes and scorched earth that Yorgen Blackhand so often left behind, but found only echoing ruins and scattered bones. Undeterred, the Council hounded after the infamous pirate, until at last, they came upon a barren and solarwind-swept desolation of space. Edging imperceivably towards the hungry maw of a black hole, a small space-hulk of mashed vessels was silhouetted against the event horizon. A marker buoy named the place Leegar's Pit, and claimed it in the name of the Triumvirate.

Locking all weapons system onto the hulk, the Council boldly went aboard, making their way through crumpled, corroding corridors towards a flickering power-signal at the center.
Sizzling bolt-shells detonated against Giger's unnatural bulk, as he strode impervious through the hailstorm of heavy-weapons fire with his comrades sheltering behind. Constant power-surges crackled through the hull, scalding the Explorers as they struggled through traps and murder-zones before they erupting into the heart of the installation. At the centre of a playground of bent iron girders, tumbledown structures and alien wild-growth stood a heavily-armed group. Their glossy black-and-crimson armour marked them as officers of the Jezabel, their scarred faces and gaudy weapons speaking of rank and power. They seemed a foul reflection of the Council themselves, from corrupted Pskyer, rusting Tech-Priest, to snarling Ork mercenary. A high-crested figure sauntered forward and declared himself Captain of the Jezebel; but his introduction was cut short. A distorting roar reverberated to the ceiling, and the Magos charged into the enemy leader. After a moment of shock, the swashbuckling melee exploded across the chamber.

Godwyn deftly weaved as blurring slagmatter sped towards him, hurled from a shoulder-mounted cannon. His sword flickered out, severing mechadentrites and finally plunging clean through the gurgling Heretech's torso. Buffeted by scalding, corrupting winds, Rook vaulted through a storm of power. His cruel blows turned the astonished Psyker slowly to mush, as Heller guarded his back with expert pistol-shots. Of course, nothing survived long within reach of Giger. His many arms gripped and squeezed the enemy Captain, until his ineffectual struggles were ended with a vicious, intersecting axe-blow. Pausing only a moment to pillage and revel in triumph, the Council turned tail as word of the Jezebel's sudden retranslation crackled in their ear-pieces.

Coolly striding out of the teleportation surge, the Tetrarchs took their command posts aboard the Lazarus. The Macrobatteries groaned to life as immense warheads thundered into chambers. As the first detonations rippled through space towards it, the Lazarus lifted it's vast hunter's snout towards the viperous Jezebel. Though the pirate vessel was swift, it could not match firepower with the heavier vessel. It pin-wheeled and rolled, blurred out of range and expertly slingshot though Leegar's gravity-well, but always the Lazarus thundered after her. Pinned, she unleashed flights of boarding torpedoes filled with murderous Stormtrooper pirates, who butchered their way from deck-to-deck. Reeling from the unexpected blow, the Tetrarchs drew up to optimal firing distance, compensated for drift, and unleashed a devastating salvo of fire that totally crippled the Jezebel. Though forced to reclaim the lower decks inch by blood-soaked inch from the boarders, the Council had clinched a final, decisive victory over the pirates of Triumvirate.

The weeks that followed were spent making the captured vessel voidworthy again. The sloughing hull of the Jezebel had been the site of a clash between the surviving pirates. Half the Lazarus' crew was divested as the surrender was declared, accompanying the Council as they went to claim the prize. Wresting the command-rod from the corpse of a slain Reaver, the Council installed a new leadership and set about making repairs.


As the dust settled on the business of the Jezebel the officers of the Redwynn dynasty set about consolidating their new allies and assets. The journey back to Bethany was quiet, almost as if the Warp believed the crew deserved respite. Back in the system the Quinn Dynasty were true to their word, and payed for the massive repairs to the 'Lazarus' and 'Jezebel'. The newly indentured pirate crew were assimilated into the depleted Lazarus manpower, with hordes of new workers recruited on the worlds of Damaris and Bethany to swear fealty to Lady Redwynn and the Tetrarchs in massive ceremonies aboard the Lazarus.



Dramatis Persona

  • The Crew of the Lazarus: Brought to Bethany on the request of the Governor, then cast across the expanse to hunt their foes.

Notable Persons:

  • Governor Nugen: Father to Artorias, Governor of Bethany Prime. Husband to Dynastic Minister Alace, the house Quinn representative on Bethany Prime.
  • Rogue Trader Lady Alyxia Quinn: Current warrant holder of the Quinn Dynasty. Focused on trade and asset consolidation, currently inhabits a palace on Footfall.
  • Magos Boothe: Head of the Mechanicus contingent on Bethany Secundus. Known underlings include Enginseer Vedigroth, Chief-Enginseer Remi and Skitarii Tribune Victrus.
  • House Sebastion: Political rival of Govenor Nugen, Old Bethany noble house. Daughter Flur is the target of the pirate ship Jezebel.
  • Father Sigmund: Boss of the 'Brethren of the Saint' gang in the Spaceport district of Bethany Prime, Hierarch of the Bethany clergy.

Enemies of the Dynasty:

  • The Jezebel: Pirate ship, rumoured to be Destroyer class. Captained by the infamous Yorgen Blackhand.


Bethany System

Prasinus System

Fellholm System, within the Storm

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