Dark Pursuits

Warband's First Mission: Desoleum

Days 1 & 2

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 the first report entry for an Inquisitorial mission on the planet of Desoleum in the Askellon Sector.

Paraphrased Mission brief: Investigate potential links between xenos or archeo technology and a series of deaths in Desoluem Prime’s nobility. Safety of population at risk is an auxilliary concern to the discovery and extraction of this technology, as well as the destruction of any further dispersal of the material in question, and cleansing of all associated with it.

Need for anonymity by acolytes: Indeterminate (Assumed: reasonable)

Events occur as follows: The investigating Acolyte Warband arrive at the Transfer Station of Desoluem by independent means. Warband consists of three members, henceforth referred to as Stav, Lox and Vel respectively.

Acting on leads provided by mission brief, warband agrees to travel to the lowest levels of “The Apex”; the bordering hive layers joining rich habs and exotic bazaars.

Lox, assuming the role of a motivated but reasonable debt collector to justify the liberal sharing of key lead: The name Lans Guljian, a noble reported to be showing the same erratic behaviour as previous victims.

Lox’s approach produced results, with a residence for Guljian and more current information on his behaviour: reclusive, spending excessively and leaving his residence strictly to visit far lower hive levels.

The residence, Hesenstanz Manor, showed extensive external disrepair in contrast to all other residences in the area. The warband opted to immediately approach and enter the home, with Lox utilising the tried debt collector persona to mixed effect. Ultimately the warband was granted an audience with Guljian at his next availability.

Accomodated waiting proved unproductive, but conflict with Guljian’s bodyguard (assumed, later confirmed) would not be necessary. Loud cries from the floor above created appropriate panic amongst the manor staff to allow Stav and Lox easy access to Guljian’s location in the upstairs study. Vel would remain downstairs to cover the main entry, but only for a moment as her medical skills would be required upstairs.

In the study, clearly under great distress, Guljian had inflicted grievous injuries to his eyes with a letter opener. Lox, having taken the room in, quickly identified an active and highly suspect device on a desk nearby, quickly acting to obscure its potential influence with a flung cloth.

With Stav barely holding the thrashing, delirious Guljian to the ground, another quick idea came to Lox. Suggesting the use of the desk as a high, stable place to provide medical assistance, Lox seized the opportunity to steal away the unidentified artefact while clearing the desk. It would take Stav, some manor staff and a sedative from Vel’s medkit to successfully move Guljian to the desk.

Despite effective field treatment from Vel, Guljian did not survive, though cause of death was indeterminable as the visible injuries were not lethal and pain suppression had been administered. Between Guljian’s fevered ramblings, accounts of travel from his bodyguard and largely incoherent entries in Guljian’s personal journal, leads were identified for a Spyrers gang called The Babyfaces and a regular visitation of the group called The Screaming Wheel, in the depths of the main hive.
Further searching before departure found the warband a damaged oath cog, obscuring the names associated beyond the Guljian family, but still being within Vel’s abilities to repair back to functionality as a key.

In anticipation of escalating circumstances, the Warband moved to requisition microbeads and weapon modifications, the latter of which were installed by Vel during the night. Stav and Lox reported visions during the their sleep, with Lox being particularly affected by the experience, despite having familiarly lavish accommodations.

The second day took the investigation to the main hive. General directions became exact ones when Stav intimidated a passerby into describing the Screaming Wheel’s exact location. After brief discussion the warband chose not to enter the Screaming Wheel altogether, but with Vel a reasonable moment behind Stav and Lox. This was largely unnecessary as the target Babyfaces, while present, were distracted while assaulting a hive citizen. Acting quickly, as if to spare the citizen further abuse, Lox approached under another persona, one of a noble, sent at Guljian’s recommendation, to acquire what the Babyfaces have to trade.

Negotiations were proceeding well until Lox, likely affected by the unidentified artefact still in the warband’s posession, fled from the bar, visibly shaken. Stav attempted to proceed with the interaction but it descended into combat. Vel and Stav each took injuries and successfully inflicted some before Lox returned. Two of the three targets were killed, the last, also the leader, instead being severely maimed. Resigning to defeat, the leader provided new leads: Zax Hothane and Three Stakes Rest. Vel vengefully executed the last Babyface, administered field aid to herself and Sta and stowed away dropped munitions before the warband returned to the market district and their lodgings.

[Veleda’s personal notes are efficiently printed on papers beneath the dataslate:
- Let Lox do the lying. Never call her Loxley. She likes it too much.
- Let Stav do the killing. He can actually hit things that are a metre in front of him. Just be ready to sew his pieces back together.
- Never be the one to touch artefacts. Unless you can attach them to a gun.
- Don’t try to help strangers. They just die on you.]

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