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 extended Inquisitorial mission on the planet of Desoleum in the Askellon Sector.
Updated Mission brief: Continue investigation into xenos or archeo technology located at scene of high body count skirmish in a charnel house of Desoleum’s lower hive. Safety of population at risk is an auxilliary concern to the discovery and extraction of 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: Escalated
Report begins after the investigation of Gantry landmarks Sanctuary Gallows and Endish Manor:
Proceeding to the Red Skyship, the warband are shown no resistance when seeking an audience with Vornus Crimson. The leader of The Red Walk gang humours the warband’s apparent pursuit of employment as enforcers, revealing his knowledge of their killing of his lieutenant Facebiter. Vornus, demonstrating admiration, desperation and indignation volunteers the warband into trials for their employment.
Stripped of equipment, armour and weapons, Stav is cuffed to a knife-wielding Red Walk ganger, and forced to fight to the death. Grappled and slashed from behind, Stav took a negligible strike to the back of the head, delaying his response a few moments, before dispatching his foe with little apparent danger.
Lox, lithe and lightly equipped, is tasked with a race uphill along the highly precarious Rust Raceway. With only a hasty assessment of the track by Vel as an advantage, Lox enters the trial with valour and, despite dirty tactics by her opponent, she too is victorious.
Perhaps displeased with a lack of vengeance upon the warband, Vornus has Vel’s equipment taken, much the same as Stav, and placed upon an arena of a single balancing board resting on suspending cables and chains, over the enormous Sump pit itself. Tasked with her own fight to the death, armed with a dagger against a Red Walk thug equipped the same, Stav is able to combine the experience of his own trial, his history in the gladitorial ring and insight into Vel’s negligible combat talents, to coach her approach to the trial. Failing to fling her opponent into the abyss, Vel instead braves her opponent’s slashes to box him into concussion and a plummeting death.
Satisfied with their participation in the challenges, Vornus inducts the warband into the gang, and a night of carousing and careful inquiry follows. Lox is able to determine that the bodies within Endish Manor are the last of many shipments that were sent down the sump lifts and the river itself by guarded ferry. This last shipment has not yet been requested for transport and, as such, will remain there until Vornus sees payment. No forseeable transportation leaves the warband without a subtext to descend into the Sump and find the temple.
The following day, with relative acceptance by The Red Walk, the warband moves to reconnoiter the Sump Lift itself, but a rolling mist bodes ill for the warband, as the bodies typically left rotting in the streets begin to rise and attack. The decision between returning to the safety in numbers of the Red Ship, and their own more lethal armoury at Gantry’s main gate is met with fleeting debate, with Lox’s objections to the main gate cut short by attack from the risen dead.
The main gate of Gantry is being assaulted by less than a dozen animated corpses, with the Red Walk guards offering a brave defense in the face of horror. The warband, and a growing trail of foes, are able only to save one of the guards, who herself shows impressive skill. Vel and Lox close the main gate and attack the dead respectively, while Stav arms himself with a heavy stubber and demonstrates great skill in its use, cutting many down.
Preventing external attack to Gantry requires more than closing the main gate, as vox reports from the Red Skyship reveal that the Ratlines (cables into the sump) and Endish Manor itself are each flooding with walking death. Again the warband deliberates and agrees that large but finite horde at Endish Manor is more controlled than the unknown throngs ascending the Ratlines, and thus they head to the cables.
With Lox grinding away with chainaxe, Stav spitting fire with his new heavy stubber and Vel manning a mounted heavy bolter at the prow of the Skyship, the warband is able to sever the most overwhelmed Ratlines within a few chaotic minutes.
Endish Manor now looms before them.
Vel’s notes are rolled up and stuffed into a heavy bolter casing as if as a document reel:
- Flesh alone is weak, but give it an edge, a plate or enough force and it can humble even the greatest of men
- I do not like separation from my weapons. Nor do I like daggers as anything other than a tool of trade
- I owe Stav and Lox each a debt, in both wisdom in adversity and courage at my side