The Free Company: Dark Heresy

End of days

The Cathedral was a scene of utter carnage.

Mordeci slapped another magazine into his autogun and cautiously approached the altar scanning for movement. Not that much could have survived the explosion. The feedback caused by the death of the abbot had somehow overloaded the tarot cards orbiting Aristarchus and ended the twisted ritual. The seers’ blackened corpse was dark evidence of the heresy that would have been unleashed at Stern Hope.

Rourke started rounding up the townsfolk that stood about, their eyes wide and coming to terms with the horrors they had just witnessed. He would relish “interrogating” each and every one and extracting the truth behind the Abbots plans for his “flock”.

Regulator Van examined the remains of a tarot card that had landed near the altar. A strange circuit was secretly hidden inside the card, clearly this was technology of Xenos origin and a blasphemy in the eyes of the Mechanicus. Something Inquisitor Hassen would need to look at immediately.

Head still buzzing from the psychic feedback, Redpin rested on a pew and thanked the emperor for deliverance. Gazing up through the shattered cathedrals domed roof he could make out the first stars of Iocanthos’ evening. The sky seemed calm however he wondered to himself how many more zealots and heretics like the Abbot were out there plotting there next move against the Imperium.

Cast out the mutant, the traitor, the heretic. For every enemy without there are a hundred within..

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Mordeci

Mordeci threw his guns down in disgust. He had always been a good shot but at the moment he couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. He thought back to his time in prison when he had that fight with Kallis. Maybe the big lump had caused some permanent damage when he smashed Mordeci’s eye.

Then it dawned on him – who had given Mordeci the guns – it was Rourke, after he had been escorted out of prison. Mordeci picked up the guns and examined them. It quickly became obvious that they had been tampered with, the guns lacked power, the recoil was weak. Mordeci then looked over his autogun and again it had been tampered with. Maybe Rourke had done it because he didn’t trust Mordeci, or maybe the sanctimonious Arbitrator was just following orders. Or simply Rourke had been given the guns in this state and didn’t know…unlikely. All this just after Mordeci had developed a begrudging respect for the arbitrator.

Mordeci looked towards Van. The guns weren’t beyond repair and maybe Van could temporarily get them working just to get through the next fight. After that Mordeci was going to get himself armed – properly this time!

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Port Suffering - Afternoon
Aristarchus The Seer

“Welcome! Welcome everyone to the refectories. Make yourself comfortable.”

Aristarchus smiles and claps his hands, a blank faced servitor appears with a serving tray of refreshments and food.

So this is your contact on Iocanthos. He wears charcoal grey robes and has a small smile on his lean handsome face. You suspect he is of noble blood. As you enter the large dining hall you notice he holds a set of large Ivory cards in his hands which he replaces in a silver case and returns to the pocket of his robes.

He stands, comes round the table and offers each of your in turn a hand in greeting before gesturing for you to sit. Close up you notice he has curious gold-grey eyes and the sanctioning eletoo of the Scholastica Psykana imprinted on one cheek. Redpin is the first to notice these marks being a psyker himself and is keen to discuss Aristarchus’ background in more depth.

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Port Suffering – Evening

The area known as “The Pits” in Port Suffering is definitely living up to its name. It is a crowded area with tattered looking traders and junk peddlers at every corner. Mordeci moves quickly through the crowd being well used to herds of humanity from his hiver days. This settlement is nothing compared to the conditions back home, a holiday camp. Gathering information is his speciality and it is easy to come by in this place through numerous loud mouth vagabonds who have ended up here through misfortune or necessity.

“Stern Hope? I’ve heard of it. They say some priest is building a cathedral up there, attracted a couple of hundred lost souls to his flock too. I’m just surprised some clan hasn’t just ridden in and butchered them all by now…”

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Illumination : The Story So Far.

After an uncomfortable two weeks aboard freighter Brazen Sky the party has finally arrived at Port Suffering on the planet of Iocanthos. After an attempting mugging at the hands of some locals shortly after landing (and a few hours behind bars) the players finally meet there contact, a psyker by the name of Aristarchus. He details there mission:

-Investigate strange Psychic disturbances involving the Cathedral at Stern Hope.
-The Cathedral is due to be concecrated in five days so we must make haste.

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New Orders

Drellic paused as he leads the four acolytes towards the spire and Inquisitor Hassens offices. Placing his hand to his ear it is clear he is receiving a hurried Vox communication.

The communication ends and he turns to face the party.

“A change of plan acolytes. Inquisitor Hassen has an urgent meeting with the local PDF commander in chief and has sent your mission orders via data slate”.

Drellic hands each of the group a data slate.

“Here are your orders. You are to board the freighter Brazen Sky immediately and set off for Iocanthos, that is all”

Drellic makes the sign of the Aquilla across his chest and storms away.

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Technographer Van

Passing the empty gurney as it is loaded back onto the ship the tech priest looks nervously up the corridor and begins to follow the others to the Inquisitors office. It has been a long journey from the LabComplex longer still since he found the technological construct. The founding showed that he was choosen by the Omnisiah and his calling now was to find more, this detachment could greatly assist his mission.

Slinging his Las Carbine and checking the Las pistol inside his flowing robes he cursed under his breath he was getting the itch again..

Half way up the corridor the he spots something move in the shadows by the wall. After a brief conversation in a strange language and the sound of whirring power tools he emerges from the shadows and walks back up the corridor leaving a slimey red trail behind him. He wipes him self down and pulls out a slim steel container from his robes. Surveying the scene he contacts the ships automated cleaning systems to hide all trace. Any evidence will be ejected into space within an hour.

Unscrewing the cap he drinks deeply, he feels smarter and more alert. Securing the flask about his person he strides up behind the arbitrator taps him on the shoulder and announces in a crackling electronic voice ‘Excuse me I believe you are my escort!’

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Rourke

As far back as Rourke can remember he has dreamed of standing at the left hand of the God-Emperor. The path that led to his becoming an Arbitrator was, in his own mind, pre-defined. A child playing where he shouldn’t be… a member of a nobel family meeting with an ambassador of an alien race in a secluded location. What he saw sparked a life long obsession to find the evidence needed to bring down a family who’s head is the governor of his hive world; the emperors world.

He joined the Adeptus Arbites as soon as he was able and served as hive population control during the day and detective with every single spare hour he could find. He pursued his goal with unatural zeal. He was commended many times and refused promotion from trooper at every opportunity; knowing that the governing family would watch the progress of everyone on lower and mid levels. He used his anonymity to forge a network of contacts, fashion disguises and employ all out skullduggery to achieve his goal.

Over 30 years later, achieve it he did. His own family had gone during that time, he had heard they where brutaly murdered by a hive scummer gang, he was away at the time, mascerading as a sanitation operative for a mid level family who worked in adminitration. He was angry that the local police forces hadn’t protected his familys district better, but this kind of petty crime happended all the time. His family would forgive him because the Emperor would forgive him.

Using a Psyker to transmit his lifes work of collected data towards the nearest known location of Imperial Inquisition he then employed his network of contacts for the last itme to find a path to the upper levels where he passed judgement on all of the heretics.

So here he was, following the man Drellic to what he felt was another stepping stone in his pre-defined path of total servitude in the service of his God-Emperor. Inquisitor Hassen had requested his pressence, which had came as no suprise; It is hard to pass under the radar when you execute a govenor of a hive world for herecy.

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The Rourke has landed.

Freman Drellic paced the cargo bay impatiently. As one of Inquisitor Hassens senior acolytes he was well aware his master would not tolerate any delays in assembling the new team of investigators. At that moment a klaxon sounded and a black Arbites transport roared into the hangar, touching down roughly and powered down its engines. Seconds later the boarding ramp lowered and two figures emerged. Drellic scowled as he saw the shorter of the two men pushing what appeared to be a restraining trolley containing a chained prisoner.

Approaching the party Drellic raised his Inquisitorial rosette.

“Well met, I assume you are Arbitrator Silence”. The tall man dressed in standard Arbites uniform nodded, lowering his double barrel shotgun to his side casually.

“And you must be Mordeci”, Drellic addressed the second man, who was dressed in rough serf overalls and pushing the restraining bench.

The serf looked shocked. “No sir, you are mistaken, this wretch is Mordeci” he said kicking the trolley he had lowered and gesturing towards the bound and gagged prisoner contained within.

Drellic could not help but notice the wry grin on Arbitrator Silences’ face. “Release the prisoner immediately! My master has requested an audience with both you at once.”

The serf looked confused at this order, Arbitrator Silence did not look amused but gave the nod and the serf began tapping in commands into the restraining bench control panel. Locking mechanisms sounded and the prisoner was slowly unpacked, restraining belts and chains slipping away. The serf raised the trolley up and allowed Mordeci to step out of his prison and dust himself down.

“This way” Drellic waved as he turned and marched out of the cargo bay.

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