Dark Pursuits

Warband's Third Mission: Hand of the Sable

Second Extension Days 1 and 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 a report entry for an extended Inquisitorial mission on the planet of Desoleum in the Askellon Sector.

Updated Mission brief: Continue investigation into proliferation and trade of xenos or archeo technology by Trade Sable. Source of newest lead located at the scene of a gunfight in a warehouse 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: High, maintain forged identities

Report begins after the banishment of a grotesque daemonic being and its cultist followers, in the deepest pits of the underhive:

The dissolution of their filthy scion, as well as the bloodthirst of the warband’s own forces, saw quickly to the conclusion of The Blessed Flesh cult. The fate of their temple, however, was unclear. After deliberation, and no small amount of preaching by Lox, the Warband claimed the black cubic artefact before scorching the ritual site itself.

The remaining warriors of Gantry busied themselves with ransacking the temple for its worth, while the warband searched for value of a more purposeful nature. Ferrue Fayne’s bifurcated corpse carried documents pertaining to dealings with the trade sable beyond his own, documents suggesting the Blessed Flesh was a splinter group and a pict of three men. Scrutiny and some assumption suggested these men were the brothers Fayne before apparent corruption. Darnis, likely the youngest, differed little from his grinning corpse, while Ferrue had bloated and twisted grotesquely from his once lithe form. The last, and likely oldest, was Tormus, whom the warband recalled seeing as a clean, unassuming patron of the Sanctionary Gallows.

Hoping the events that befell Gantry had kept the older Fayne brother within its swaying streets, the Warband cut their search short as to board the barge for its return journey sooner. Fortunately the return trip would be much less eventful than the first.

Returning to Gantry, the warband found no sign of Tormus at the Sanctionary Gallows, and inquiries suggested he departed the lawless sprawl before the fog rolled in. Where he went from there is currently unknown but is not restricted to Desoleum. Instead of justice the warband returned to Vornus Crimson to both corroborate the identification of Tormus Fayne and show his gratitude through an evening of debauchery. While Lox and Vel comported themselves admirably, Stav fared poorly by the following day.

Departing Gantry for a more welcoming environment and to debrief Acolyte Davrus Wolfe, the warband travelled more hours through the trackless labyrinth to the Purity Gates, encountering no risen dead, perhaps suggesting their complete de-animation. Greeted at the purity gates by Oath Captain Kaytian Nils, the warband felt satisfied with Nils’ loyalty to preface their retelling of the events at and below Gantry by privately revealing their true titles as Acolytes of the Inquisition. Apparently impressed, Nils agreed to keep their station a secret, maintain their forged identities and facilitate any communication between the warband and the relevant channels.

Returning to the Apex of Desoleum, the warband made efforts to recouperate, requisition supplies and send the appropriate debrief to Wolfe. Their next mission would again be delivered by Nils, directing the acolytes to a bloody crime scene in an underhive warehouse, at which another black artefact shard was found.

Studying the scene and the investigative picts, Vel utilised some passing knowledge of detection to retell the events as the evidence portrayed them. 2 downhivers and 3 lightly armoured guards were ambushed by 4 robed assailants similar to the Blessed Flesh members. 9 blood stains suggested all were wounded fatally in the conflict, though a tenth participant may have survived injuries to escape with an artefact. Following blood trails to track the survivor became increasingly difficult due to wet conditions and poor guidance, ultimately being abandoned.

Physical evidence from the scene, including bodies and equipment, had been taken to the nearest mortuarium for autopsy. Once there, the warband scour the evidence for actionable leads. Vel identifies currency from the shrine world of Thor, Lox checks the voxes for comcodes and Stav finds sand on the boots of the armoured guards that matches samples found at the scene.

As the mortuarius-chirurgeon on duty begins the first autopsy on a presumed cultist, the corpse rises and attacks, proving to be a fast, tough and formidable foe. Experienced with reanimated bodies the warband successfully downs the abomination, and while Stav beheads the remaining corpses as a precaution, Vel takes to the task of autopsy in the chirurgeon’s stead. Little is revealed beyond the inconsistent colour and calcification of the cultists’ flesh and cause of death being precisely fired, low calibre bolt shots, likely from a bolt pistol. Upon reflection the warband recalls no bolt damage at the crime scene and that Zax Holthane was both equipped with such a weapon and had a reputation for extreme accuracy and skill.

Before the conclusion of their investigation at the mortuarium, a vox crackles with interference and a voice stating “Being followed, heading for lift”. Using the remnants of this signal and the comcodes, Lox is able to determine distance from the signal and the acolytes hope this can be used to complete the search for the survivor of the gunfight.

Back on the trail, the acolytes encounter a figure maintaining the appearance squalor who states that the warband are “on the right path”. When questioned the man gives the obvious pseudonym of “Krum” and a plain metal band the size of a ring, to be delivered to a certain landing pad beyond the wastes. Unwilling to divulge further to the acolytes, the warband continues on the trail ever further towards the outside of the hive and the desert beyond.

Vel’s notes are stuffed into a coin pouch with the currency of Thor:
- Tormus Fayne may have come to Gantry to see us. Arrogant.
- Stav can be drunk under the table by girls.
- I grow tired of the undead.
- I hope Zax Holtane is involved. I need more crosses on my ledger.

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Gir Adamania

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