The Chronicles Of Soloss

Interseason Developments between 1 & 2

Upon returning from the quest Strang reconnects with the Assassin’s Cult temple on Terra. Stashes the Xeno technology for the next time it needs to be called on. The purity seal and the works done by the group are well noted by the Officio and Strang is returned to his unit to essentially go back to the day job.
However unlike in the past where it was a matter of a few weeks at a time that Strang would be missing for it has now been many years years (4 in the warp etc) and many of his comrades have fallen and there is a sense of disconnect from the unit and many are now suspicious of this man but tolerate him due to the skills he brings to the fight.
Strang retreats into himself becoming almost monastic in his pursuit of being the best Assassin he can be, undertaking several military campaigns over the course of the next few years but very much as a ghost.

However he is commended for deeds done by a member of the Senate of the High Lords Of Terra who offers to take him under his wing. Strang tries to shy away from this attention but through political maneuvering the Senator convinces him that an Assassination is to be undertaken, playing on Strangs emotional vulnerability about the alleged corruption that betrayed his father and the corruption of the backwards religious types encountered on the Inquisition missions that he has returned from.
Strang, unwitting that he has been manipulated, undertakes the assassination with ruthless efficiency and the kill is a beautiful exhibition as to the fate that should befall heretics… with the exception that the person executed was set up by the corrupt member of the Senate.

These facts save him from a certain death at the hands of those he serves:

  • Any assassination order requires a two-thirds majority vote of assent from the Senate of the High Lords of Terra.
  • All assassinations are followed by a detailed report of the mission, subject to Inquisitorial inspection at any time.
  • All assassins, with exceptions of those of the Eversor Temple, undergo regular repeated psycho-doctrination under the eye of the Inquisition if deemed necessary.

The paperwork agreeing the assassination was forged and to all concerned was legitimate, assassins don’t generally report until the mission is done so by the time all the reports were filed it was too late to correct the corruption. The assassination was regarded as an exquisite piece of death dealing, but Strang is arrested and tortured until the truth comes out.
Viewed as a loose cannon after the way he came to the attention of the Assassins Cult in thje first place and this latest act, he is subjected to many ‘inspections’ at the hands of the Inquisition to establish that he was merely a pawn in the game. Strang is consumed with the shame of executing someone who was actually pure on the behest of a corrupt betrayer whilst rotting in his cell and the further disenfranchisement of the concept of organised religion, seeing the church as a fat, decadent, corruption of the God Emperor’s will.

Finally released Strang returns to the temple to discover the Senator has been found guilty of heresy, but escaped justice and a sanctioned hit has approved if he can be found. Strang is welcomed back to the temple on the condition of penance.
He takes the Purity Seal from his locker and heats it on the temple braziers before branding himself with the seal onto his chest in front of his assassin brothers, leaving a large and lasting imprint, before surrendering the seal to the temple director asking him to give Strang the chance to prove himself worthy of winning it back and vows revenge on the Senator who tricked him…

Essentially Strang returns having basked in the glory of several military campaigns and then being betrayed and shamed and thrown in Prison for a time with people who have been previously judged as heretics (hand to hand improved?). Much more of a loner than previously encountered, almost monk like in devotion to the Assassin’s Cult and the internal views of the Emperor, viewed with suspicion by his own kind, weary and hardened after service and imprisonment and torture, the one thing the now drives him is revenge and the purging of heretics.

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Starring Into The Eyes Of Chaos
What Happened to Drake & Strang on Bosuul

Propelled by pure adrenaline the acolytes haul themselves clear of the chasm that appeared following the demise of the Hound Of Khrone, Strang somehow finding the strength to pull the prone Roth up the ladder and out of the destructive vortex.
Staggering down the tunnel towards the ladder, the sound of the assault on the town became clearer as the Orc horde, angered by the loss of the Killercopters, begin to attack in earnest from the ground.
Using seemingly superhuman feats of strength they drag their lifeless comrade up the ladder and out into the technicolour pandemonium erupting in the market place.
Having signed up for the militia earlier Kane and Thadius feel duty bound to help the disorganised and rag tag locals defend the battlements as the Orc threaten to over run the settlement. With Roth a burden to them all and extremely vulnerable in this situation, Thadius hands the key to the confessors chamber over the Assassin and the Pysker. With a parting salute to the Emperor they leave for the gates as the bombardment begins to rain fire on the wooden buildings.

Strang and Drake hoist the hulking Roth between them and make for the safety of the church, dodging the debris exploding around them. They make it to the heavy dock providing safety for Confessor Low, shouting for him to stand down; they stagger through the door with the fallen guardsman.

Strang instructs the confessor to look after Roth and tries to quiz the frightened man on the nature of the cultist activity the acolytes have witnessed in the tunnels. The Priest believes that the only people who stand opposed to the Church would be found in a tavern in the merchants quarters called the Angel where Lilly works as a barmaid.
Meanwhile Drake receives a vision of a sickly Death Light and the bombardment of the Spaceport by Necron ships and realises that this message must be relayed to the High Command and goes in search of a radio in the militia headquarters.
He finds an antiquated piece of equipment, constructed of valves and wheels that he has no idea how to turn on yet alone operate and heads back towards the church to find his grey companion.
Having gleaned all he can from the Priest and locked him back into the room with Roth, Strang encounters a distressed Drake in the courtyard who tells him of his vision. With his keen eyes sight the assassin can see the deadly light crackling through the clouds, explaining they must find a radio operator and relay the message.
Whilst they are both starring at the sky, an Orc on a jetpack goes over the courtyard firing on the town’s people below. The two men exchange a glance and break simultaneously in opposite directions – Drake heading back to search for anything that may be of use.

Upon reaching the Confessors chamber once more Strang informs Low that he must not open the door again until he hears one of the acolytes voices. However if the battle becomes too intense then he must fall back, taking Roth, to the most secure part of the Church – the Crypt – and they will find them. He swears to protect the helpless gaurdsman and himself at all costs. Imploring the Emperor for protection, he hands the priest the key to the door and runs to joining Drake, looking for ammunition in the militia stronghold.

Having ransacked the already depleted rooms they head out into the street at full pelt, in their hurry forgetting to take adequate precautions and encounter an Orc struggling out of it’s jet pack some 50 yards in front of them. The three figures freeze in a comedic tableau – framed by the fire and explosions of the battle now raging inside the walls, so much so that they two followers of the Emperor fail to notice a second Orc dropping in from the sky on a jetpack. The Orc, chainsword in one hand and blaster in the other opens fire – the bolt flashes past Strang’s head and as it lands it swipes at Drake but the momentum of the jet pack means the sword merely cuts air as the other Orc begins to ready itself to charge.
Reacting first Strang pulls his Mono filament sword from his side and swings a two handed full out attack that connects with the Orc’s helmet but the heavy armour absorbs the full power of the blow enraging the creature as the second Orc arrives at the melee. Drake fires a shot at the first Orc which also bounces off the heavy armour, but distracts it long enough for Drake to disengage, straight into the path of its incoming comrade who catches the assassin in the ribs with its own chainsword. Drake receives a Las blast to the chest for his troubles and is knocked off his feet as the first Orc roars in victory.

Meanwhile the second Orc starts to lift Strang off his feet using the chainsword, it takes all his will power to overcome the pain as he pulls his Auto Pistol and places the barrel into the eye slit of the helmet. With a ragged animal like scream he empties a six round burst into the Orc’s eyes. The helmet lights up like a Halloween Pumpkin as the two figures collapse.
Crawling back from the hulk looming over him Drake shakily raises his Las Pistol and prays to the Emperor to guide his shot. He too finds his mark and the fourth figure in this microcosm of violence hits the ground.

Realising the foolishness of their actions the acolytes stagger back to the headquarters in search of anything that will aid their quest to the wall. Trying to bind the wounds as best they can, they find no impact weapons that would be of any use in close combat, but Drake finds a helmet that looked as if it was previously raided from a military commission – its technology redundant but the protective qualities intact.
With a resigned look they head out once more into the carnage – Strang taking point with his trusty Long Las drawn and they creep across the square sticking to the shadows of the buildings avoiding the pitch battles occurring between the town’s people and the incoming Orcs. As they reach the half way point a movement so fast it almost seems like a trick of the eye catches their attention.
Dancing in the centre of the square, cavorting gracefully through the flames is a large red creature wearing what looks like a Jesters mask. Its movements are unnatural and lithe as it skitters here and there decapitating Orc and human alike with a wicked curved knife. Its speed and elegance is such that the even quick reacting assassin cannot track it through the scope of the rifle. As a building explodes on the other side of the quadrant it seemingly disappears.
“What the fuck was that thing?” Strang screams over the deafening noise of the battle, but the Psyker is seemingly mute with fear and with grim resolve they press on until they reach the ladder leading up to the wall.

Scaling it as quickly as possible Strang reaches the top and swings round to cover the Psykers painful climb. As Drake reaches the top and the two of them duck below the cover of the wall a large metal grappling hook lands between them as the Orcs try and scale the wall. The darkness below is so dark and the randomly fired Las shots make it impossible even for the keen eyed killer to make the first shot, but it illuminates the lead Orc below and his second shot blasts him off of the grappling hook. Moment’s later Drakes Las Pistol melts through the chain and with a dull ‘clunk’ it separates; screams of rage and the sound of falling bodies emanate from the darkness below.

Crawling carefully along under the protective wall they reach the heavy artillery that passes for the town’s defense where Kane and Thadius are holding the position with a scared looking militia captain, firing over the wall in shifts.
Not wanting to add to the fear factor Strang greets Kane and simply conveys the urgency and importance with his eyes.
“We need a radio operator. Stat”
Kane shrugs, he could see the assassin was wounded and agitated, not being one for social convention he could only assume that this was some other part of the mission and, should he need to be told he would; he turns to the militia man and echoes the request. The captain’s eyes widened in amazement,
“What? I need my men? A radio operator? You are kidding me!?!”
Kane reiterates the seriousness of the request by punching the captain and advancing on his sprawled body. Thadius, the diplomat of the pair steps in front of his Arbite colleague, hauling the shocked man to his feet, firmly explaining that if his colleagues needed a radio operator it was of the up most importance and must be given to them.
As the captain runs off down the battlements looking for a man with the necessary skills Strang motions with his head towards the Spaceport, now lit with a dull green light and that made the eye recoil and said,
“Necrons, attacking the Spaceport. We must send word.”
The Arbites acknowledge that they have seen this silently, as the captain returns with a frightened looking man in uniform barely out of his youth.
“Go with these men’

Strang and Drake acknowledge their companions with the sign of the Aquillia and a curt ‘Emperor be with you’. Kane is already firing over the battlements, but Thadius pumps another round into the chamber of his shotgun and nodding to the other Acolytes screams ‘In His Name’ and unleashes it’s fury on an ascending Orc.

Reaching the ground once more Strang grabs the petrified militia trooper,
“You. Stick between us and for fucks sake stay safe”
The radio operator nods his agreement.

Proceeding back across the town square staying in the shadows the trio see severed heads on the ground and headless bodies piled in front of the Church where the town’s people had been defending. Drake feels a sense of dread that this town is being turned into a magnification of the ritual taking place down below and the town square itself is becoming a bowl of blood, seeping down to something rotten and evil. In his concern to safely relay the message he conjures distort vision to hide their progress.

To all witnessing him, he appears to be ten feet away from his actual location, but somewhere in the plaza, something red and unnatural notices the party.

They reach the militia headquarters unscathed and Drake leads the radio operator in, with Strang covering the doorway. As he steps in last the long stick shape of a Frag grenade bounces through the door and into the outer room in where they are stood. Strang failing to grab the grenade has no choice but to dodge out of the doorway he is stood in.
In what can only be described as a divine feat of agility, Drake grabs the operator and dives into the room housing the radio and slams the door shut as the blast rips past Strang’s turned head.
As the blast settles he steps back into the room and barks ‘Get it working’ to the shaken young man before kneeling down in the doorway, rifle covering the entrance. He lets out a sigh that simply says “that was too close” as Drake slumps against the wall next to him.
As the radio operator begins to warm up the dials, a large shadow appears in the doorway. The Orc who threw the grenade steps in to view the chaos. He finds himself starring down the barrel of a sniper rifle, Drake goes for his pistol and the creature is propelled backwards into the street as a Las bolt strikes his chest and another blows out the back of it’s helmet.

Moments later the radio sparks into life.
“Get me military command” Strang instructs.
“Identify yourself? Who is using this channel?” A voice barks out of the speaker.
“This is Severus, of the Elysian Drop Troop battalion Alpha requesting immediate contact with High Command,” the assassin counters.
“Severus? What is your call sign?”
“Cephras”
Upon mention of the call sign Strang is put straight through to High Command where he relays the information about the Necron attack on the Spaceport and the Acolytes current position. He omits the Red Jester and the Inquisition’s business, stating only that they are in Bosuul and will require assistance and evacuation when possible.
Upon conclusion of communiqué he calmly slits the throat of the young man and hacks off his head with the Orc sword to cover the murder. Drake understands that their cover cannot be blown, but the combination of more fuel added to the carnage and the cold blooded and casual manner that it was dispatched with leaves him visibly shaken.

“And now we wait” intones Strang breaking the silence, “We cannot go anywhere without our companions and we cannot stand the wall effectively in this condition. We have leads on the Cult but there is little point pursuing them as two and the others are needed.”
Drake stirs himself, the horrors of the day fresh in his mind, but deep down in the Psyker’s heart something hardens.
“That thing out there… the thing cutting of heads… It is doing it for a reason. It is feeding off the chaos and the chaos is feeding off it. It needs to be stopped”
Strang shrugs, knowing that they stand little chance given the state they are in.

“I know” replies Drake as if reading his thoughts, “But if I am going to die today, it’s not going to be by a fucking Orc grenade, if we can distract it or stop it, then in the Emperor’s name I am willing to die trying.”
Something flickers in the killer’s grey eyes and a thin smile cracked across his lips, the Psyker had come a long way from the flamboyant dandy who screamed during space travel he had roomed next to many years ago when they were first called to the Inquisition.
“That is a death I can live with. What do you have in mind?”
“There is a quadrangle of buildings across the way, you position yourself on the highest roof and I shall call the beast to me by channeling the warp” Drake replied levelly.
“Bait?”
“Bait.”

Half an hour later Drake had rested, gathered his thoughts and prepared himself for glorious death. He walks out into the center of the quadrangle. Looking up he couldn’t see the assassin, but then the acolytes often couldn’t tell where Strang was they just had to trust in his deadly accuracy.
High on the ledge of the overhanging building Strang lay prone under the Eldar cloak with his exotic rifle poised. He could see the Psyker perfectly and he breathed slowly and deliberately, his eyes flicking over the surrounding buildings looking for signs of movement.
Drake removes his helmet and places it on the ground with his Las Pistol and sat down cross-legged to meditate unfettered. Moments passed like the eye of a storm, as the quadrangle seemed to be immune form the battle in the town. Finally the Pysker stands and tarot deck in hand, summoning his powers, he calls his staff from across space.
A dull ozone crack split the air and suddenly the staff is in his hand, high above, unseen to the eye, the sniper gave a little start at this. ‘His powers are greatly increased’ Strang thinks.

Suddenly an Orc on a jet pack crashed down through the flimsy wooden porch roof of one of the buildings forming the quadrangle, Strang unable to see the intruder, has no choice but to let the events unfold. As the Orc struggles out of its pack, it spots Drake and began to charge. Channeling his powers the Psyker uses the power of his mind to inflict terrible pain on that of the dumb beast.
It staggers, screaming in agony, only pure blind rage and instinct driving it forward towards the source of the pain. Drake stands his ground, starring the creature down. There was a flash from the building above and a bolt from the Eldar rifle fused the spine of the attacker and dying it crashed into the ground in front of him.
As he looks up to acknowledge the shot he gasps in horror as the Red Jester grabs his Grey eyed companion and turns his face to its mask.
“I see you” the thing intones to Strang and the two Acolytes hear its voice slithering inside their brains like a leech, unsure whether the words were even spoken out loud in this world. Drake reacts first and immediately once again tried to cast inflict pain on this warp-spawned creature.

Something goes wrong.

The resulting backfire of physic energy ripples out from the Psyker causing the building the creature and Strang are on to collapse. As the roof caves in, the warp spawn drops the assassin and crashes into the rubble. It emerges almost instantly from the dust and debris. Only Strang’s quick reactions saves him from breaking bones and tearing flesh. He lies winded scrabbling for the rifle, the adrenaline of the fall jolting him out of the paralysis he had been in.

The creature advances on Drake, holding a staff with a grotesque head on the end in front of it. This head could barely be distinguished as male or female, but it chatters horrors as it is raised towards the Psyker. This proves too much and his mind opens up completely to the realities of what is confronting him. He staggers and only his staff stops him from completely collapsing on the floor in terror, he slumps to the ground, the tarot deck spilling from his hands. As it reaches him, the Jester like creature places it’s staff on him so Drake is forehead to forehead with the chattering head and it begins to babble the insanity of the warp straight into his brain, filling his head with dark thoughts and horrors no man should know.

Preoccupied by the fallen acolyte the creature has failed to notice Strang now lying prone on a fallen slab of building, Eldar rifle baring down on the back of it’s mask, with a final prayer to the Emperor for one last good shot he pulls the trigger. It was true. If this was any other being and there would not have been a head left at all, but it merely clangs off the mask with a dull metallic sound.
It’s concentration broken the Jester wheels round and begins to advance on the sniper. It once again raises the staff, Strang still calm in the face of the unspeakable demon starts to take aim on the chattering head, but from some deep reserve of will power Drake reaches for his Las Pistol and fires another shot at the back of the thing’s head.
It stops, tilting its head to one side as if listening for something and, almost laughing blinks out of existence, leaving the two of them alone in the quadrangle, an electric smell of burning and a wisp of blue/grey smoke in the air.

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Strang's Season 2 Epilogue

Season 2 – Strang’s Epilogue

Later in the day with Bosuul purged the troops began to make their way to their assigned extraction points.

A lone grey figure carefully picked his way over the rubble and smoking debris of the town square.
In the flurry of activity around the chapel his languid movements should have caused him to stand out, his tattered trench coat, flapping dully in the wind like some war torn flag, was a direct contrast to the shiny, aerodynamic, hardened armour of the Space Marines, but they had their orders and were duty bound to obey them without hesitation or delay.

Strang reached the top of the stairs at the chapel entrance, the purifying flames of the Emperor had not quite managed to cleanse the building of the blood and gore that the daemon had dowsed it with some hours earlier. He paused by the great doors and ran his hand casually over a dark orange stain on the near by wall, wondering briefly about the life that had yielded the splash of colour, before ducking inside.

The chapel was empty; the Confessor was out bestowing blessings on the departing troops, praising the Emperor for delivering his flock from Heresy. Soon there would be more settlers along to restock this grave yard of misplaced faith but for now all his prayers would be spent on the pure.

Strang reached the door to the Confessor’s chamber and paused, he could detect no movement in the corridor or sounds from inside the room. Roth had been cleared out by the medical team an hour earlier and was bound back to Ferran in the hope of rescuing his mind from the horrors of the Warp.
He turned the door handle and slipped inside. The room was dark and shadowy but the assassin had been here several times before and quickly moved toward the bed. Kneeling, he quickly searched beneath the preachers bed for the Xeno rifle hidden there, but in vain found nothing.
He blood began to run cold as he imagined the potential damage this could cause if stumbled upon by a Space Marine or Sisters Sororitas…

“Looking for something Acolyte?”
A voice rasped in the darkness, startling Strang. Fighting to keep control he turned slowly towards this person who managed to get the drop on him, this person who he had helped fight a daemon no longer than a few hours ago and had awarded him a Purity Seal.

“My lord Hiron”, the assassin knelt before his Inquisitor knowing that any foolish move could see him turned inside out by the powerful man, “I believe you know what I am looking for or you would not be waiting for me”.

“You mean this?” Hiron stepped into the light holding the long elegant Xeno rifle, the light from the room seemed to dance away from the metal and the stealth weapon remained dull and cold looking, "Why, when you, a decorated Acolyte who has won my favour, have been given your orders to leave would you be skulking around a chapel looking for such a thing?’

Strang stood and met the eyes of the tall figure of the commander with his own grey ones and replied in a level voice,
“I came to make sure this weapon does not kill a man of purity”
Hiron’s eyes narrowed slightly, “You are aware Acolyte that possession of such an item is heresy? I could have you burning outside with the rest of the miserable shit hole for even looking for this.”

Lowering his gaze in what he hoped would be conveyed as humility the replied,
“I am aware my Lord, just as you are aware when you requested me for this mission that I am an assassin of the Officio. My creed requires certain flexibility in order to get the job done. This weapon maybe Xeno in original but it has killed many Xenos and heretics since it came into my possession. My loyalty to the Emperor is unquestioning… I am”, he paused and leveled his eyes once more to meet the gaze of his superior, (in High Gothic) "The point of his spear. I am the gauntlet about his fist; I am the bane of his foes and the woes of the treacherous. I am the end!”

Hiron took a step back, caught off guard for a moment hearing his words from earlier spoken back to him by a man whom he could scarcely believe had the nerve to be so bare faced in his perceived defiance. Indecision seem to hold him for a moment as he wrestled with the knowledge that this dangerous, non descript man was effectively admitting to heresy in the Emperor’s name.
“Are you a Xanthist, assassin?” He asked, his stern features giving away nothing of his thoughts.
“I have read the works of Master Zaranchek Xanthus, my Lord, but then I am also schooled in the teachings of Lord Solar Macharius. My training has taught me that there are many ways the Emperors will can be twisted given the right orator, but I know in my heart that I am pure however I bring death to his enemies, ‘We serve the Emperor, and through him we serve mankind.’”.

Once again the commander paused sizing up this strange creature that had quoted him first a curse and second a Chaplin’s battle litany, “You could be killed for uttering such things when you have no place to”.
Strang shrugged and spread his arms open in a gesture that offered up all defense, "My fate will be as the Emperor wishes, my Lord.’
Hiron smiled. “You are not afraid assassin. You are fool hardy and at times reckless, this much I know from reading your file, but I also know that I would not be here of sound mind talking to you without your divine skills. I too know what it is to do what is necessary to win the battle.
I shall not forget you Severas – I will even vouch for you, however heed this advice… there are many weapons with which we can kill the enemy, but you have been ordered back to Ferran which means this rifles shooting days are over. If you are seen with it or caught with it again, it is your death it will bring.”

Strang nodded in understanding and bowed forward making the sign of the Aquilla.
Hiron held out the rifle with one powerful arm and simply replied, “Get rid”.
Wrapping the rifle in one of the confessor’s bed sheets and taking the exit leading onto the street Strang slipped into the night.

Some hours later the last ship is readying for departure, the Sergeant is overseeing the manifesto recording the names of the fallen and adding on the names of the Acolytes. A second count reveals a discrepancy, his count last time was either short or this time there is an extra man. With a sigh he counts again.
The Acolytes waiting patiently in the drop ship smile, knowing that they often forget the grey haired man with the quiet voice in tattered gang leathers, some times they don’t even notice him until his rifle speaks for him, but this time he is more noticeable to them due to the absence of a second rifle, the one that had to be wrapped in sheets to hide it’s true nature.
As the door closes on the ship and the retro jets fire for take off Strang casts a glance over the ruin of the tavern they had stayed in for a few brief nights, deep in the chimney wall recess of the room from which he made that perfect shot, a disabled rifle sleeps, it’s work done.
Strang smiles, he can finally rest peacefully.

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Interseason Developments between 2 & 3
The Nightmares Begin

Strang hitches a ride to Ferron with the rest of call sign Cyhras.
From there he returns to the Order who greet him like a brother once more.
Purity seal is returned and stored i a locker with the newly acquired one.
Stores weapon and submits the report.
The report impresses the Order who cannot believe the confrontations survived given the training and skills Strang has.
There is promised talk of advanced help.

The training begins and he learns more about cults and the weapons of employ whilst honing skills.
He is asked to choose a career path.
Does he want to be stealthy or a full on madman.
Given the choice and his natural acrobatic abilities Strang opts for the path that would eventually (survival permitting) lead to Imperator Mortis and duly begins training with due dilligence.
This training determines from this point on skills that Strang can take.
For example movement based skills – reflexes, weapons, armour or all determined for this.
For example, dual weapon wielder, heavy bolter would not.
Strang given the choice between having an armoured suit with limited movement, would have the hardened body glove and Swift Attack to enable movement.
Strang from now on choses to rely on ability rather than armour.
Risky but it is the nature of a stealth assassin.
Over the next 3 years Strang dedicates himself to the practices of improvement of his basic skills – shooting, melee, and movement.

Naturally he must return to his regiment and carry out a tactical assassination to aid the nearest conflict.

This assignment lasts 7 months during which Strang has an increasingly graphic and violent reoccurring nightmare almost kick started by time away from the temple, which begins to cloud his time off duty. Starring down the scope of a rifle he is at peace, but casually drinking in a bar he beats a man to within an inch of his life over a simple misunderstanding.
Data slate report1

He begins to see the faces of his wife, the mayor and the Jester in dark corners and is avoided by his team until the moment they step into battle.
On completion of the mission he is sent for a period of examination where the doctors try to eradicate the dreams and eventually giving his a chemical dream suppressant to allow him to function again.
Medical report
The leader of his order tells him that the demon will haunt him if he cannot find away to fight it, even if it is dead.
Goes to Hiron who has been struggling since the Jester for more information.
Aligns himself with Hiron in the hope that more information will be forthcoming.
Equipment and training.
Battling nightmares.
Learning about chaos.

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The Request

The Chapel is dimly lit.
Servitors go about their business with a detachment that seems unnerving to those who knew their faces in another life.
Hiron enters the Chapel respectfully but with purpose. He is here for more than just prayer. It is his turn to battle to save a soul.

Ahead at the front left hand pew he spots what he is here for.
A cowled figure kneels, arched forward over the rest. Hiron draws near and he can see the silent shakes of stifled sobs. This is a proud and dangerous man he is approaching.
He gets to within a few footsteps of the front row and the figure stiffens. They make no movement, for this should be a place of sanctuary and safety for all the loyal followers of the Emperor. The figure relaxes, possibly knowing that any attack would have begun by now and appears to wipe their face on the sleeves of the long cowl that disguises the shape beneath.
Hiron draws level to the assassin as he takes the hood down revealing his face streaked in tears, hollow and haunted.
He takes his place in the pew next to the distracted Strang and in High Gothic addresses him,
“It has been a long time since you visited a Chapel for prayer Severas”.

Wiping away the last of his silent tears the assassin stares at the formidable altar where the clergy are preparing for the next service,
“I fear I am not worthy my Lord, I am beginning to question myself. I need guidance.”
The Inquisitor places his hand on his shoulder and forcibly pulls him round so he can gaze into the cold grey eyes.
“You have been given two Purity Seals, trusted by the Assassinorum when you by rights should have not been accepted; I have personally vouched for you and brought you onto my staff when I could have left you burning in Bosuul. People have shown faith in you so why now do you question yourself?”

Tears well in the corners of Strang’s pale eyes and he blinks them away angrily,
“I am troubled my-”
“I know that”, Hiron snaps back, “I have reports on my desk, some detailing extra-ordinary feats of skill that will greatly help the Emperor and then others of you brawling in bars with your own men. You have been taught to be discrete and you risk attracting attention to yourself in such a cheap and trivial manner? You have a skill set above the average grunt which makes you extremely valuable to the cause and you disgrace yourself in such a manner? Why Severas? Why?”

Starring hard back at his commander he replies, “The Jester. Oh God Emperor, the Jester. It haunts my dreams. I cannot sleep without seeing it. I can feel its claws around my neck, I can hear its voice crawling in my mind. I feel its eyes pierce my very soul.”
Frowning Hiron speaks carefully, “The Jester is dead. You helped me kill it remember? Why now does this trouble you?”
“I fear a storm is coming my Lord, one that I am ill prepared for.
In Bosuul I saw many things, creatures of the Warp and I was found wanting. They tested my faith and I held strong, I did not falter in my commitment, but the Jester… I shot it twice, with the most powerful weapon I had and it laughed at me… its strength was incredible and its speed defied the eye.
I cannot be called into the service of the Inquisition if I am so weak. I would not be here but for the psyker Drake… a man who I despised, who I wrote off as a witch, a dandy… a man who saved my life…”
The Inquisitor leans forward suddenly and slaps Strang across the face, the sound like a whip crack echoes through the peace of the chapel and the clergy give a little start, trying to go about their business as if they had noticed.
Strang recoils, his moment of hysteria broken and there is a moment where he pauses, struggling to control his reactions as a ripple of emotion floods into him and adrenalin courses through his veins.

He bows his head, “I ask your forgiveness my Lord”.
Hiron studies him for a moment gaging the turmoil inside.
“So what would you have me do Severas? You are too valuable to the Inquisition to toss aside. I didn’t have you down as one to turn and run at the first sign of difficulty like some spoilt child.”
The assassin’s head comes slowly back up and fixing the Inquisitor with cold eyes that dance with a renewed fire he speaks slowly and carefully,
“My current course is of no use to you my Lord. I can kill men without even having to break a sweat. I can shoot a man in the eye from a thousand yards; I can stab a victim in a crowd of people and vanish into the ether. This you know, but I feel that in the war to come it is more than heretics you will need me for.
I need you to tell me about these foul beings we are facing and I need you to give me leave to train so I can hunt and kill them.”

Hiron leans back in the pew, its ancient wood creaking under the strain and pauses for a moment considering the proposition. He glances at the assassin; his eyes steely with desire and says….

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Timelines

Timeline

Strang in pictures

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A Warning - Season 4 Opening

Here are the details of the text for the hand-written scroll left for Strang by persons unknown within the sanctum chapel.

_Brother,
The cruel xenos, The Dark Eldar are gathering a substantial raider fleet within the immaterium. It’s true purpose true purpose is unknown yet some suggest that they lie in wait for their fickle kin who approach the system in force from the galactic fringe.

Know this, no xeno must take that which is held in the ship you seek.

Be watchful, your path is hounded, tread carefully. _

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Interseason Developments between 4 & 5
Gearing Up

This is the bit almost immediately after the end of last session.

Following the debrief from Inquisitor _______ and the assignment of the next mission Strang relays the following thought to his compatriots drawing on his military experience in Close Quarter Combat:

We all have our personal preferences and potential avenues of requisition which I suggest we explore within our down time and reconvene.

In the meantime we have an Inquisitional Stipend for mission sundries and the option of going with the Mechanicus or making our own way.
Given the recent treachery on Hill 604 and several potential enemies without and within I suggest the best option is to go with hiring mercs to help us – their only loyalty will be to cash and as long as our offer is competitive we stand as good a chance as any.

There are currently two charter captains known to our group:
Mannon – I suggest Drake make contact in order to access her co-operation and potential.

Faulkner – Our old mate from episodes gone by…
Last seen in the Hive World trying to gather funds for an expedition into the very sector we are heading to – I will contact him, given our recent encounter a subtle approach may be required. I will approach him when returning to the Hive world to gather my things.

I recommend we use them both.
One ship (Mannon’s) meets us at the co-ordinates and supplies the heavies, Mannon should be open to salvage opportunities on top of the flat fee.
We travel with Faulkner for whom the potential to explore a now no fly zone with expenses paid should be a tempting fee and we can negotiate further payment depending on the salvage potential of the Hulk.
We all board Mannon’s ship and head to the hulk to dock, Faulkner is left to explore in radio contact as our back up.

We take into the hulk a minimum of 4 mercs – preferably 6 and (or can be one of them) a guy with medicare and a guy with Tech Comms skills.
Medicare in case we get ambushed and Comms.
Discounting the two skilled additions and heavily armoured, well armed party of four, back up or lead by us would be a perfect unit for close quarter combat and breaching attacks.

Tech Support – we all got vox mikes last time round I’d keep these in addition to any Comms we set up for the Mercs but have a line to everyone and a line to the ship (waiting) and a line to the Inquisition… this may result in the death of a radio operator but it won’t be the first and maybe not the last either..

The Mechanicus have their own mission and we don’t interfere with them unless they contravene the security. we are effectively in charge and have to make the decision… but thought we could offer the Mercs a flat fee (probably to the captain’s to hold on ship) for the job and offer a bonus of salvage to encourage loyalty.

Strang takes a shuttle back to the Hive world on Ferran to retrieve things from his quarters. Upon returning to the Hive he reports to Hiron the fact that he has returned from his Inquisitional mission (no details have been given, merely reporting it is completed – Hiron no doubt has details of this mission and would appreciate the discretion). He also informs him that he will not be available for duty due to the up coming mission.
Strang is aware that Hiron probably knows all this information, if not more, but this is a formal courtesy.
He proceeds to the armoury and submits a formal requisition for a Bolt Pistol, Las Rifle Over Charge Packs, Fire Grenades and Photon Flash Grenades.

Waiting for the results of the armoury he sends a coded message acting as a third party to Faulkner, contacting the Charter Captain about the possibility of a trade proposition. The communique comes back requesting a face to face meeting in an out of the way Hive World tavern.

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Interseason Developments between 4 & 5
Meeting With Faulkner

Faulkner sits alone on a table situated near the corner of the tavern nursing a drink with his back to the wall furtively watching the bar. Despite his intense scrutiny he doesn’t notice Strang until he slides on the bench opposite. He starts and makes to rise, the assassin reaches across and puts his hand on the arm of the top hatted Charter Captain,
‘Relax my friend, if you were in danger you would be dead by now and you would have never seen my face. Call your men off for their sake.’
Faulkner shoots a worried glance at the two burly henchmen approaching the table and shakes his head, knowing that his next action determined the three men’s fate.
Strang continues, ’ I appreciate the last time we met the circumstances were less than fortunate, but I assure you I mean you no harm’.
The man opposite him relaxes slightly and Strang removes his arm,
‘I always felt that your disdain for your estranged family had more to do with the irritating, spoiled, dilettantes who know squabble over the late ________’s fortune.
Your father’s death was regrettable but the Inquisition are immovable on such matters and the spread of chaos must be prevented at all costs which always involves hard choices and sacrifices.
You have dealt with me before, you are as much as indebted to my associates and I as we are to you with regards to our lives.’
Faulkner just stares back at Strang ashen faced and unreadable, the assassin continues,
‘Before that ill fated dinner party you were in the map room of the house Bafford attempting to interest the wealthy in funding the possibilities of a space exploration… an exploration of an area that has recently appeared as a void in space.’
The Captain flinches visibly at this, ’I’m sure I don’t know what you mean’ he stutters, clearly lying.
‘My dear Faulkner, your flamboyance can disguise many things but it also attracts attention and this was something I witnessed with my own eyes. It would be a slur on our continued friendship if you were to be calling me a liar…’
One of the body guard shifts his weight and out of the corner of his eye the Charter Captain reacts ‘STAY WHERE YOU ARE!’ he cries out, unconcerned of the attention that this outburst may gain from the tavern, swallowing nervously he turns back to Strang whose piercing grey eyes have never left his face, ’That’s not what I m-m-m-mean-I-I-I-’
Strang cuts him off, "No matter. That area of space has been designated as a no fly zone by the Inquisition. A private charter ship cannot be found anywhere near there, which is unfortunate for a man of opportunity such as yourself…
I appreciate that you have a talent for circumventing the laws when necessary, but trust me such a venture would see you, your crew and your ship… purged…
However I am uniquely placed to offer you a proposition… my associates and I require passage to this sector, converted (which I imagine would suit you) sanctioned and protected by the Inquisition’.
Faulkner fixes Strang with a look, What is in this proposition for me?’
‘For the price of your total discretion and safe passage and return I require you to you to take us to that sector and remain in radio contact. Once we reach our destination we can leave you to explore your abnormal charts, providing you are available for evac. Your expenses will be funded by the Inquisition and there may be a chance to recoup salvage, so dependent on your compliance this could be financially profitable as well as rewarding for your curious nature.
This offer is out of respect to your recent loss, requires your absolute discretion and is an extremely limited time offer. You have 24 hours to provide me with an answer, you can contact me through the same channel this meeting was arranged.’
Faulkner holds his gaze, mulling this over, he extends his hand, ‘I shall be in touch’.
The assassin shakes the Captain’s hand, rises and slips past the bodyguards and into the crowd, the man in the top hat reaches for his drink and notices his hand is still shaking…

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Interseason Developments between 4 & 5 part 3
Xanthia - the Gunsmith

Gunsmith

Known to Strang before this last encounter as Malla.

Real name: Xanthia
Description: A tanned and scrawny man with brown hair. He is wiry from working with hot metals and smelt all day. The tanned skin could be a result of the dirt or the heat in the forge. He has piercing blue eyes which are unnervingly bright in such a grimy casing and suggest more than his outward appearance would lead the casual observer to believe.
He has several tattoos that look military in origin but they are scarred by smelting burns. It is not clear if these are obscured by accident or deliberately.
He wears a spent bullet casing pendant around his neck that he refuses to talk about.

Background: Unknown to all he is of noble birth.
Father’s name is Rabalies – A Hive noble who follows the path of Tech Priest
Mother’s name is Tzanine – a noble lady
He has a sister called Xantippe who also follows the Tech Priest path and his brother’s name is Thaddius, a Hive World Cleric.

His divination was Thought begets heresy, heresy begets retribution.

First meeting:
When Strang is brought to the Hive World of Ferran to be inducted into the Elysians to begin his military training (after being seconded into the assassinorum’s own training program) he needs an ‘off the grid’ weapon as he cannot simply simply disappear with an Elysian rifle from the armoury, especially being the loose cannon he is perceived as.
This is largely due to Strang departing from his home world with just the clothes he had on after shooting the Mayor which were burned upon being given his uniform (completing the purging process of leaving his old life behind). This explains why for the first couple of seasons he has a hunting rifle and no Long Las.
Resourcefulness is a key element to all assassins and he was required to get another rifle.
Using the skills he had picked up stalking the Mayor, he ghosted between bars and Cesspools using his anonymity to obtain information about black market traders and people who were outside the watchful eye of the Imperium which led to the mention of a forger called Malla.
Initally posing as a beaten bounty hunter Strang struck a deal for any kind of rifle to avenge his beating on a bounty worth as much dead as he was alive. There are plenty of people with formal training in weaponry and shooting on the dregs of the Hive world so this cover was easily brought by Malla. After several return visits for shells the two formed a relationship that was half business arrangement and half friendship – the respect for the maker of the craft and a true student…
Strang asks him to design a sword, under the guise that he was apprehending a fugitive in an environment where the penetration of a high velocity shell would destroy the integrity of the atmosphere and therefore wouldn’t allow guns of any description. This seemed to Malla to be an odd request and something of a lie, but the nature of their friendship meant that he could trust the cash and if Strang was hiding something or asking not asking for any information then he clearly wasn’t trying to set him up and as he was willing to pay handsomely for a master craftsman he sourced the monofilament materials to create the assassins Katan.
For Strang’s part the skills involved in making this custom sword far exceeded the brief and the capability of those found in common smithies which meant that Malla had moor to his story than he let on, but again there was no need to jeopardise the mutually beneficial business arrangement and the common respect meant a man was entitled to his privacy.
After this they became closer and would often share a drink and talk of common events – particularly after Strang returned from off world missions – local politics, unrest between the hive worlds, gangs, escaped prisoners, bounties etc but more enthusiastically weapon craft – platforms, precision verses impact etc, both skirting around exactly where they got their experiences and gained their knowledge but both appreciating the company.
After retiring from Drook Prime, having abandoned the Xeno Rifle Strang requested that Malla build him a sniper rifle. This was a watershed moment in their relationship – the excuse of taking down an extreme threat from a safe distance was accepted but both knew the other we all enough that the resigning was tenuous and a bond of trust between them and would be the last detailed query about the usage of weaponry between them; Malla knew that if the matter was serious enough for Strang to lie so blatantly about it he was better off not knowing.

Present:
Strang makes his way down to the mid level hive picking one of the more obscure routes – he never goes the same way twice in a row or uses these paths in a pattern, especially now, a healthy paranoia that only the assassinorum instills.
When he reaches the front door he hesitates. There is something wrong, the door is buckled subtly on it’s hinges and there is a strong smell of acrid smoke alien to the odour of smelt.
Pushing the door open slightly he slips inside; the room is lit by flickering lightened he sees various torched memorabilia that belongs to his friend. On the floor t the back of the forge lie s Malla prone and unmoving. The assassin quickly carouses the room and kneels besides the gunsmith, he is unconscious and his breathing is shallow. In the gloom a figure moves from the shadows, he is fast. A blades gleams wickedly in the firelight arching down, if not for Strangs quick reactions the blade would have slit his throat.
Snapping his head to one side the dagger carves a long deep cut from his jawbone up, his right cheek and almost to the temple. This will leave a scar.
Recoiling Strang springs to his feet as the attacker strikes again, with uncanny reactions he blocks the the unknown assassins strike and drawing his monosword he slices the enemies hand off at the wrist.
The shadow figure screams – the first sound in the whole engagement – and staggers; using his opponents momentum Strang smashes his head off the nearby wall and he falls limply to the floor out cold.
He quickly binds his feet and ties him to the gunsmith’s anvil leaving only the wounded hand free. He heats a large flat piece of metal in the fire and when it is glowing red he jams it on the end of the stump cauterizing the wound and rousing his assailant. The intruder is jolted awake and screams through the gap Strang has wrapped around his mouth. When the screams dull to a sob he rips the cloth out.
“Who are you?”
“Fuck you grey man, you don’t don’t what you are getting yourself into.”
“What do you want with this man?” he indicates to the prone Malla.
“I’m not telling you a fucking thing you anemic cunt” the man spits at Strang.
“That’s unfortunate for you then my single handed chum.” Strang smirks, “I haven’t had the opportunity to torture anyone for quite some time and cauterizing that wound has bought me a long time for us to get acquainted and to indulge plenty of techniques”.
He rises from in front of the man and begins walking the room, inspecting.
“A Gunsmith’s forge has so many tools at it’s disposal, more than enough to cater for the 5 major groups: Hot, Cold, Sharp, Blunt and Loud… once we get started it will be a shame to stop when you are pleading to do anything to make the pain stop…”

Fade up on sometime later..
The bloody mess of Strang’s former assailant is a mewling cabbage – his ears has been removed, his eye lids have been sliced off so he can’t avoid the sight of what is coming. He has passed out several times only to be revived with the skill of a true sadist. There are puncture marks, burns and bruises all over.
Stang stands from the corner where he has prepared a vat of freezing nitrogen used for supercooling metals into hardened form and walks over to the prone man and removes the glove on the man’s remaining hand, his victim stirs..
“Stop”, the ex hit man croaks, “What, what do you want from me?”
“I want answers.”
“they’ll kill me’, he protests.
“I’ll kill you, if you are lucky. If not I can make this last for days yet, maybe a week and I’ll end it with a gut shot. You tell me and I’ll give you sweet release.”

This bit is notes/abbreviated notes we can work on:

The man (Kalum) outlines that Mall’s real name is Xanthia. He was born of Hive World nobility and is the son of a Tech priest. He went through the academy, studying the arts of creating bigger and better weapons but just after graduating he became involved in a bar brawl over his girlfriends honour and killed a man. This man turned out to be the son of a rival and was condemned to death.
his father couldn’t bare to see his son punished so unjustly and used his influence to stage his execution using the body of a vagrant and banished Xanthia to obscurity to protect his son and his honour.

The secret was leaked by a disgruntled member of Rabalies’ household to gain political favour. Kalum was sent to gather evidence and kidnap Xanthia so they could exert political blackmail on the family when Strang stumbled in.

The assassin gets the name of the traitor and who else knows – a lower member of the rival household, Xanthia comes round from his drugged state and outlines his back ground.

His background continued:
The bullet casing held the bullet that killed the man and is a reminder of his penance.

Strang takes out Kalum, the underling in Rabalies’ household and the one in the rival household to preserve Xanthia’s secret.
There is

Things to develop/consider:
Sword upgrade.
Weapons?
Enemy?

Need for further development?

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