The Chronicles Of Soloss

Chronicle VII Chapter VI
Funeral Bell

Drake Mallear lies dead. Killed in the tunnels beneath a desolate mountain range upon ‘Perdition I’. This system had yet to be given a name and this planet – in fact the second largest in the system – was discovered first.

A daemon, a Herald of Khorne took the life of the Psyker which in turn was destroyed by Severas in a blazing hail of bolter rounds.

The body of the Acolyte lies in shredded gore, now carried aloft by the hands of wary Guardsmen upon a medical stretcher beneath a tarpaulin stencilled with the aquila he fraught to uphold so dearly. It and was carried back to the waiting Valkyries for return to spearhead base then prepared for burial with what scant honours can be given in a forward position at a time of war.

The search for the missing Lord Admiral Attellus Recht continues, his abandoned drop pod from the stricken flagship Salvation has been discovered upon the high slopes of a desolate mountain range East of the drop zone upon the dusty wastes below.

For now the Acolytes mourn their loss yet also give thanks for the blessing bestowed by the Undying Throne that with Strang’s final round to the skull of the leading beast, it’s pack of lesser fiends returned to the void from whence they emerged. Their thoughts dwell on the fact that Drake Mallear, their companion upon many adventures and a decorated Acolyte of the Holy Inquisition lies dead, his battle with the rogue Sorcerer Marius that had brought him to such heights has finally ended.

Now the thirst for vengeance builds in the hearts of the surviving members of Codename: CEPHRAS as they prepare to say farewell to their gifted yet strange ally.

Upon the red dust of the plains, amongst the sweeping lines of the gargantuan makeshift flak-board encampment and countless rows of hastily constructed billet-tents they lead the funeral procession toward a field-shrine to prepare their colleague’s corpse for it’s final journey.

The sky spits a hot rain. Red with dust and laden with the clouds of ash kicked up by the passing of small ships, the sky cries red tears. Bloody rain falls upon the figures that track through the softening mire with their grim cargo.

An outcropping of stone has become a shrine to Holy Terra. It’s vicinity now bedecked with the trappings of worship. Missionary apprentices busy themselves with the matter at hand, burning incense in huge steel censers and lighting the fallen’s path with holy fire. Beneath the boiling storm clouds the funeral’s route is lit in defiance of the downpour by great ornate casks of scented flame. Along the final steps Guardsmen are led in songs of devotion by ragged Preachers screaming the Litany Of The Martyr as the rain hits their faces like blood from a wound. A rumble of male voices bark the furious urgency of the Imperial Creed as the squelching boots of the party reach the foot of the stone escarpment.

The Guard pall bearers set down their burden before the stone and a robed Ministorum Priest alights the crest of the shrine. The sky a knotted storm behind him…

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Chronicle VII Chapter III
The Beast Unleashed.

There is an Temple Assassin loose aboard The Salvation. The ship is lost in the warp without the Navigation Cognitor necessary to bring it back into reality safely.

The Acolytes lie horrifically wounded. Thaddius Constantine is almost welded to the floor grilling after being hit by the full force of a Melta Bomb thrown by the creature set loose aboard the stricken vessel. He lies almost dead, his skin crisped and his right leg stripped almost to the bone. The skin cauterised but he remains in terrible, unyielding pain.

Beside him the smoking form of Drake Mallear also horribly maimed in the blast but still conscious after saving his companion’s life.

Their assailant has moved on. Perhaps he thinks them dead?

In a stairwell a matter of yards away, the Assassinorum Acolyte, Imperator Mortis Strang lies bleeding from a leg wound. His pride hurt more than his body but his soul has been hardened like steel after seeing an opponent of such terrible proficiency in action. Something died in Strang a few moments ago.

What remains is as yet unseen.

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Chronicle VIII - The Council's Edict
The Findings Of The Council (Communique VIII)

“…and may the Golden Throne bless your path,
no matter where it may lead"

After three months of tense waiting without a word, a message is sent to you via a secure channel.


- + + + Eyes Of Callsign: CEPHRAS + + + -

- + + + EDICT COMMENCES: Sector Princept + + + -

Your efforts to drive the foul minions of the Arch-Enemy from Hive Golgotha have been noted and we commend you for your actions. It is our decree that all members of Callsign: CEPHRAS (Oc/ftr/debt0||) be awarded Seals Of Purity inscribed with the Prayer Of Sanctity, bestowed by the most Holy Ordo Hereticus.

This ceremony will be held 8.788.808.M41 at the Chapel of the Martyrs and will be performed by the Sisterhood Of The Lambent Flame.

May the Emperor’s light shine upon you that you may continue to do his will.

Given the evidence presented it is our majority decision that we, the rightly ordained Council Of Twelve, do decree that the whereabouts of the Sorcerer Marius (all curses rain upon the heretic and his warp-cursed kind) must be sought with all haste.

Hereafter Callsign: CEPHRAS is tasked with the destruction of this creature and the forces under his command.

A joint force from the Imperial Guard, Adepta Sororitas and Naval Skyborne Battalions will accompany you in this venture. They have orders to commit to the eradication of all hostile forces found within the system.

Hereafter Callsign: CEPHRAS is tasked to advise and council the forces undertaking this mission in leading them to victory over the Arch-Enemy.

Overarching command of all forces will be held by the Warmaster himself and then the heads of Military Forces. The formal military command structure will consist of:

Warmaster Dar – Imperial Guard, Elysian Skyborne Forces
Lord Admiral Attellus Recht- Imperial Naval Battalions
Mother Canoness Canoness Lynett Peaque – Adepta Sororitas ~ Order of The Lambent Flame, Orders Militant.

The Adeptus Astartes have been advised of our venture and have given assurances that, if our hunt for the forces of Chaos is fruitful then a contingent will be despatched to the sector with all haste to support our actions there.

The Ordo Malleus are currently investigating the artefacts recovered. It is thought likely that some support may be given from this quarter. As yet no confirmation has been given at this time.

We note with disappointment that the heretic’s specific location has eluded you. However the Adeptus Astronomica were able to surmise from the given records that a nebulae matching it’s description does indeed lie on the spinward arm of the Cadian Gate, (vide: Eye Of Terror). This position, Point: 010.668.45X – the planetary system hereafter referred to as Perdition has been previously noted to contain items of interest to the Inquisition.

Our colleagues from the Adeptus Mechanicus have noted a vessel travelling in the vicinity of the Nebulae, the Explorator freighter Engine Of Deliverance, was declared missing some 50 cycles hence whilst searching the quadrant for rare mineral deposits. They seek to recover this vessel and have committed to accompanying a military force into that region. It is not a priority of the Holy Ordos that this ship is recovered but a reasonable amount of assistance to the Tech Priests is expected from all acolytes provided that it does not hinder the primary mission.

Bring the truth of the Emperor’s word unto those that doubt.

Signit:
Council Of Twelve,
Hive Golgotha
Ferran
System Soloss


View
Season VII. Epilogue II
The Council of Twelve
Mission Parameters:

Purge the taint from the hive.We have cut a bloody swathe through the hive, we have smashed the power base of the cult that once dwelt here by killing the majority of it’s members.

We have destroyed the focal point of the cult – the Deamon that dwelt in the very foundations of Hive Golgotha – and have thus helped restore productivity by returning the Manufactorum workers to their duties and removing the threat. We have also removed several tainted artefacts from the cult’s place of gathering, this evidence was collected personally by the most Holy Grey Knights, as is their purview.

We believe that further clues to the where location of this central command structure lies within the evidence we discovered in the upper chapel which was collected by the Grey Knights. Further to this physical evidence we have the priest who, being in charge of the local chapter, would have received orders from Marius.

Bring it’s leaders publicly to justice.We have captured the cowled mutant who has been identified as one of the leaders as a visible focus of public outrage and information. We have also dragged him through the streets showing the citizenry that heresy will not go unpunished and brought him before the council because we have a case that our mission cannot be completed by us with our current resources. He kneels in custody even now awaiting the Emperor’s Justice. Contained within his head are potentially many secrets about the cult and the possible location of Marius, who we know to be a heretic with a far-reaching influence.

We have encountered several leaders – including a Psyker who identified Thaddius by name – sadly due to the extreme resistance of their forces we were not physically able to capture him, but managed to stop him from completing his foul deeds.

We have learnt that the Children Of The Abyss are part of a far larger network of Chaos activity that takes it’s leadership from a planet far from Ferran.

We believe from our extensive investigations that the rogue Psyker Marius and his cult is hiding in a ‘Red Nebula’ – possibly near the Cadian Gate using the warp storms of the Eye Of Terror to cover his movements.

Additional evidence from Drake Mallear from his time spent on Kranak III while attached early in his career with the Death Korps of Krieg when dealing with a Traitor Guard insurrection. Evidence showed that Marius had indeed been sewing the seeds of mutiny among one of the Emperor’s glorious legions. Several survivors were interrogated by Drake, and consequently hanged by his superior Lt Perelnikov Waffejaeger – Known as ‘Roper’ to his troops for his singular methods of discipline.

Marius was also seen during our smashing of another cult, which resulted in the Red Jester Deamon appearing in the heat of battle. A Deamon we defeated by virtue of our training and faith in the Emperors mercy.

How much longer will the council allow this unsanctioned and dangerous heretic loose within the quadrant? If his influence in the areas we’ve seen can do this – there’s not telling at what else he keeps by his side. This cult may merely be an offshoot of his greater goal if he’s still amassing a following. Causing an insurrection of an entire legion of Guard isn’t easy – influence could definitely be viewed as infernal. What if he’s feeding his numbers only to further swell the ranks of Chaos?

We humbly note that those who are tasked to do so should identify key areas in the quadrant that would be vulnerable to a large assault if a large Chaos force were to attack now.

Having been asked to purge the taint of the Hive we have discovered that the problem is off-world and of far greater scope than we can deal with as just three Acolytes with minimal resource. We can serve the Imperium by taking out small pockets of heresy as we have proven ourselves ruthlessly efficient at, but the most effective way to combat widespread corruption is to strike at it’s very heart.

We are the best people for the job as we have vested interest in pursuing this ‘half-breed’ as we have triumphed in previous encounters against him. We have gathered evidence, had frequent encounters and are familiar with the deeds and methods of the cult and it’s leader, the foul Sorcerer Marius.

Callsign: CEPHRAS feels that in order to honourably fulfil their remit they have to take this step to pursue this course of actions to crush the enemies of The Holy God-Emperor!

______________________________

Upon hearing the evidence put forward by the Acolytes the Council then withdrew into closed session to debate what action is to be taken.

The Acolytes were thanked and ordered to remain ‘near at hand’ until a final decision was reached.

View
Season VII. Epilogue I
The Crucible Of Faith

Events subsequent to the conclusion of Chapter 7. Concerning Hive Golgotha and Communique VII.

  • Killed the Daemon Fish – it’s mangled corpse too big to dispose of but remains as evidence. Destruction and processing of the beast was handed over to the Mechanicus Magos Biologis. Initial reports that it is a massive, ancient mutant of some form that had lived in The Sump for countless years. They fear that as the apex predator it’s absence may mean other foul creatures may soon learn to thrive down there, in the dark.
  • Search the small chapel for signs of life and evidence. A few small sundry items were found to support CEPHRAS’s findings. These were handed over to the Judiciary during the hearing. The cultist chapel was thereafter cleansed by the Holy Flamers of the blessed Sisters of Battle.
  • Exit strategy: Leave the hive Manufactorum levels dragging the priest:
Prisoners:
  1. A cultist wounded to the foot eventually died of a blood borne infection on the long walk/drag through the Hive City. His body was then burned on a processional dais by the Ministorum as the crowd cheered and cursed the heretic. The charred bones are on display in a square upon the Manufactorum strata as a warning to those who fall from the true faith and to the faithful to shield themselves from taint with righteous hatred of those that turn from His light.
  2. A cultist who had his nose broken and teeth smashed out by Thaddius Constantine was somehow able to survive the harassment of the baying masses on the long torturous walk to the upper spires. He was given over to Inquisitorial Interrogators for processing. He currently is held in The Gulag and undergoing ‘tests’.
  3. The ‘Celebrant Of the Dark Gods’, a red-robed mutant cultist leader who’s mind was almost destroyed by the Psyker Drake Mallear was handed over to a coterie of Inquisitorial Psykers under the auspice of the Ordo Hereticus during the hearing and has been transferred to an undisclosed ‘facility’ for further inquiry.
  • Proctor Flavion Deloque survived his capture, battered and traumatised but otherwise unharmed. He was summarily stripped of his rank and sentenced to a term of service in the Penal Legions for his “lack of vigilance against the heretic”.
  • Renown The arduous public procession through the blackened bowels of Hive Golgotha raised the names of the Magistrate Thaddius Constantine, an Inquisitional Stoom Trooper Lazarus Maloric and their strange Psyker companion Drake Mallear to the public conciousness. Naturally all evidence of the Assassinorum Agent (Imperator Mortis) Severas were expunged from the public record as per the tenets of the Officio. However those select few who are aware of his part in the operation make note of him and a man to watch.

The people of Ferran have proclaimed the group ‘heroes’ and throughout the Hive prayers of thanks have been offered to the Emperor for sending champions of such purity to deliver them from the clutches of the Dark Gods. Priests, Missionaries and Confessors now shriek the Word Of The Emperor from every pulpit, proclaiming “A new age of purity and redemption”. And thusly the masses have become more fervent in their worship, fearing further pogroms by the Inquisition.

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Season VII, Episode VII
The thwarted sacrifice

The Sump. Approx fifty feet above the black chemical waters of The Sump itself on a wide but broken elevated walkway. Many bodies of former cult members lie scattered in a charnel house of bloody horror. A swathe of carnage surrounds the Acolytes. Cooling piles of entrails, scattered organs, severed heads and limbs makes walking tricky. All feel relieved that as the pitch darkness means that all have to rely on optical enhancement equipment which makes witnessing the true gruesomeness of the spectacle thankfully impossible.

A few of the burning firebrands still burn where they lie atop the bodes. The flickering flame makes the shadows dance.

Four cultists lie at Thaddius Constantine‘s feet, having been heavily ’suppressed’ by blows of his Justifier Gavel, bruised and a little bloodied but still able to speak. The grim visage of the Arbitrator maintains a vigil over the cringing figures that squirm in the vile muck in which they lie.

A lone cult ‘priest’, dressed in red robes edged with gold kneels praying to whatever foul gods as the Psychic Power of Drake Mallear had broken his already deranged mind. The Psyker, having narrowly escaped death at the hands of a crazed cultist, watches the priest warily as he contemplates his lucky escape from the jaws of the gargantuan beast that dwells in the toxic waters below.

The massive creature has not been seen since Mallear eluded him.

Largely responsible for the bloodbath, Strang stalks about the murder. With studied efficiency he moves amongst the dead, ending the lives of the dying and wounded and whispering a benediction to the Golden Throne for doing so. Impassive to the bleating cries for mercy from those beneath his Power Blade.

Maloric stands a little apart from the party, his Boltgun smoking, watches the other Acolytes. His Inquisition Stormtrooper Carapace Armour reveals nothing of his thoughts.

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Season VII, Episode IV
Aftermath

The chamber is littered with the corpses of cultists. Offal and viscera lie strewn across the floor’s steel grating.

The frag grenades thrown at the Heretek Ogryn ignited the unstable chemicals within it. The resulting explosion plunged the beasts carcass and many bodies through the floor of the chamber and into the depths of the underhive far below.

The corpse of the Renegade Psyker was also destroyed by the explosion. His troubling concern around killing Thaddius Constantine as yet undiscovered.

Now in a smaller corridor leading Throne knows where. Maloric, Strang, Constantine and the Psyker Drake Mallear shaken and wounded continue their investigation into the origins of the cult. They must formulate a plan to halt this pestilence before it spreads out to the populace.

Strang – severely injured by the Psyker. His internal organs all but cooked by the bio-lightning rained upon him.
Mallear – heavily wounded, stabilised by Maloric.
Constantine – miraculously barely harmed.
Maloric – Auto Pistol round to the left wrist is now wrapped in rag bandages.

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Season VII, Episode III
Into the belly of the beast.

Having dropped 30m from a cracked drainage pipe into a steel-clad floor, Drake Mallear, Maloric and Strang have landed in what seems to be a lower sanctum for The Children Of The Abyss.

Strang and Maloric stand poised for battle.

Startled by the sudden intrusion and not a little surprised by seeing Mallear’s struggle with the Warp creature that he banished with a death-defying fall the ragged horde of maniacal cultists hungry for blood and mayhem momentarily waver.

Bleeding and broken, Mallear lies gasping yet somehow alive not far from the others. A swirl of Octarine haze hanging in the air around him is all that remains of the Deamon.

Wounds = 0
Fatigue lvl = 2

Having be successful in navigating the broken section of the pipe above Thaddius Constantine had found a stairwell and is decending in near-darkness to the lower level where his companions are about to engage the baying pack of unfettered madness. His cybernetic eye allowing him to navigate without concern.

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Season VII: Episode II
Down amongst the dead men.

Involvement in silencing a civilian riot. What was causing this? What was the protest? Questions weren’t asked.

The Hab strata:
Having found a series of “hollowed out” habs the and followed them down to an old abandoned artisan strata. The Acolytes have found themselves in a disused linen mill. Dusty and decaying.

They have tracked numerous footprints in the dust to the main front doors of the mill which are large, plasteel, barred and locked.

XP

Character Awarded XP Spent On Banked
Drake Mallear 250 Sound Con, Forbidden Lore – Psykers, Sure Strike, Command 60
Thaddius Constantine 220 Sure Strike, Swift Attack 30
Strang (Severas) 220 WS+5 (40) 50
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Season VII
Scene One: In medias res

Narrative backstory Discussion

  1. Shopping: Ammo, clothing, weapons etc.
  2. XP and ‘rank’ confirmation.
  3. Any mid-season break backstory tweaks?
  4. Communique VII
  5. Requisition and Stipend?

Intro
Hive Golgotha, on Ferran.

Canticle Spaceport.

Drake Mallear
Arrives by Black Inquisitional Stormraven Gunship. He is heavily scarred across his now hairless scalp. Rivets of bluish silver are nailed into his scars and his skull is wreathed in tattooing. These seem to be some kind of tetragrammic wards, prayers of binding and purity.
He is flanked by Inquisitional Stormtroopers x5. Pic: pg.XX???

In similar uniform but clearly not a grunt is Maloric, a highly decorated and stockily-built Guardsman. He moves in a slightly less “ordered” manner than the others yet has three purity seals and extra webbing. He is Hiron’s man undercover. A “bodyguard” of sorts. Placed in theatre to ensure as much as possible that CEPHRAS are not betrayed further.

Thaddius Constantine
Arrives by Mechanicus Grav-Train. A golden/brass juggernaut wreathed in steam and promethium smoke. Servitors and Tech Magos bustle around thanking the beasts machine-spirit for their safe arrivial.
He sports a new cybernetic left arm with three fingered claw on the end. A simple prosthesis which is standard issue for wounded Guardsman amputees.

Strang (Severas)
Has been skulking around the spaceport for an hour or so and has been observing the crowds unseen. Steps out of the dockside shadows as if he’d been there all along.

Tinfoil hat time:

  • Scrutiny tests vs. other PCs:
    Constantine
  • No Arbites carapace chest plate (!)
  • Walks unsteadily. Seems like he’s been off his feet for a while, out of condition?

Arbites
An Arbites Waystation, presiding over the Docks District HQ Proctor Flavion Deloque is in charge.

Investigation:

  1. Manufactorum Foundry XXIII is a blast furnace pouring raw ceramite and Admantium to make hull platings for the Naval Fleet, the disappearances have happened here.
  2. 50+ Workers have gone missing in the last few months.
  3. Administratum Officials are now counting the shift workers on and off the factorum floors. Since this practice has started the disappearances have slowed somewhat.
  4. Mark of Chaos found scrawled on a walkway near Manufactorum XXIII.
  5. Rumours of a Cult living in the Underhive, of flesh-eating Mutants, Scavvys, and rat men.
  6. Meet a Ganger – stimm dealer.
  7. Beneath the Manufactorum level, in the no-mans-land between the Underhive and the Mid-Hive Hab-Blocks the walls have begun to bleed, some say there are faces appearing in the stone.

Ecclesiarchy

  • Ministorum Preachers, screeching out articles of faith at the workers entrances to Manufactorums. Much to the chagrin of Mechanicus Tech priests as they attest the Machine Spirits are disquieted by the rhetoric.

“A crisis of faith, carved by the foul hand of a maniacal cult has dripped the heady poison of fear into the hearts of the faithful and the blessed citizenry. Where there is fear there is always dissent. Trust bretheren, trust in the light of true faith in the Throne, in the power of His undying will. It is the only way to purge this toxin from the very flesh of mankind.”

Priest at the gates of Manufactorum XXIII

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