Dark Pursuits

Warband Offworld: Holding the Bridge

If you are reading this then you have acquired and decrypted a dataslate intended for an Inquisitor, the dangers of which, if they are not already apparent to you, are incredibly dire.

What follows is a report entry for an extended Inquisitorial mission, currently in multiple-week warp transit from Desoleum to the planetary system of Thaur. Occuring aboard the void craft Oath Unspoken.

Updated Mission brief: Continue investigation into proliferation and trade of xenos or archeo technology by Trade Sable. Source of newest lead located aboard Oath Unspoken, between the ash-covered ruins of Desoleum and the hallowed spires of Thaur. Safety of population at risk is an auxilliary concern to the discovery of conspirators and extraction of technology.

Need for anonymity by acolytes: Absolute. Exposure as extension of the Inquisition will result in extreme endangerment of warband members and attainment of mission.

Report begins during preparations against the Inheritors’ plan to take the Oath Unspoken’s bridge. With the Lord Captain’s limited security measures, the acolytes moved to acquire intelligence on their amassing foe, and tactical resources for the looming battle.

True to their usual behaviour, details of the inheritors’ numbers and assets were limited. Lox’s contacts could only determine that a minimum of 15 cultists were still active on the void ship, that at least half a dozen mercenaries had accepted employment on board, and that an indeterminable number of underdeck scum were bragging of their important mission (the honesty of which is independently dubious).

Vel had each of the acolytes’ weapons delivered for sacred inscription to bolster their determination in combat. Vel also acquired extra munitions for their current complement of weaponry. Days before the Oath Unspoken’s scheduled return from the warp, Stav rightly proposes a thorough assessment of the bridge as a platform for combat. Unfortunately any plans to bolster the defenses of the bridge were insisted against by the Rogue Trader’s representative bridge crew.

The acolytes ensured their readiness on the bridge as the Oath Unspoken left the warp. As sounds of gunfire roared up and quieted beyond the heavy bridge doors, moments of silence passed. As expected, an explosive breach through the doors was greeted by a phalanx of ship security with shotguns and a readied Stav; the captain, his retinue and Lox secure atop the Captain’s chair podium, and Vel in an alcove aside with rifle raised.

The first wave fell quickly, a small incursion of underdeck thugs shot to pieces. The second wave, backed by charging mutants, closed the distance. A portal opened at the opposite end of the bridge, spewing forth Inheritor cultists. Even with Vel and the Sanctioned Xenos (perched above the navigator’s alcove) eliminating key targets, the ship security forces quickly began to fall. By the arrival of a second unit of guards, the enemy forces had numbered 18 cultists, 7 mercenaries, 1 psyker, 11 underdeck thugs and 4 mutants. All but 4 of the 20 available guards died forcing the heretics back, many falling to frag grenades, but the captain, his retinue and the acolytes would cut the last heretic down with no casualties.

The damage to the bridge and advance to Thaur remain to be determined.

Vel’s personal notes, absent from recent reports as she prepares a more complex and effective encryption algorithm, are buried deep within the report under the same encryption:

“Lord Inquisitor Jocasta. I am not in possession of means to provide you with these reports, nor the means to decode this purposefully hidden text. This may be one of many messages not included in the official reports that you will read when a means to do so is found.

During the assault on the Oath Unspoken’s bridge, I sensed an unfamiliar energy moments before the filthy psyker’s portal opened. At best, I am simply becoming sensitive to the immaterial energies. At worst, I fear, I am become that which I despise: a psyker.

If the former, let my sensitivity serve our righteous work. If the latter, I will deny the witch within. I know little of the procedures of the black ships and the testing of psykers, lest that it takes a great deal of time. The many heresies of man do not rest, thus the only rest I will see is death in duty."

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