Dark Pursuits

Warband Offworld: The Clinging Cold

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 as the warband decide to make their way to the corpse holds. A quick conversation with ship Seneschal H’len provides the warband with a list of recent disappearances reported from the corpse holds. After brief scrutiny, Vel determines a pattern localised to a certain area of the holds and the acolytes begin their journey there. Armed and ready, the acolytes make short work of the locks on the heavy corpse hold doors. The densely stacked bodies, dimly-lit corridors and frost-bitten workers would only slightly hamper the warband’s ability to find their destination. Moments after finding a stash of narcotics sewn into a number of corpses down a particular corridor, the acolytes spot an Inheritor Cultist moving swiftly into another chamber.

Following Stav’s stealthy lead, the warband follow the cultist into a trap. Beset by inheritors, mutants and a psyker, each of the acolytes comports themselves with valour, striking down many foes while taking minimal damage. Here Vel is first exposed to the influences of the psyker she so dreaded.

The warband move through the ambush site to a network of ancillary chambers that the cultists had been using for resting and ritual, the walls caked with indistinguishable, shifting runes of an unknown origin in an unknown substance. Gunfire was heard in a chamber serving as a mess, but on first arrival the warband found only the dead and dying. A smuggler of the trade sable, rueful of the inheritors’ doublecrossing, cursed them with his dying breaths, revealing a plan to take control of the Oath Unspoken and give it to their god, Izumat. A young, hiding inheritor, more arrogant than afraid under duress, revealed their intent to take the ship’s bridge after it drops out of the warp on approach to Thaur.

Acquiring appropriate evidence and testimony, the warband return to the upper decks. The next day they meet with and inform the Lord Captain of the revelations and insisting that, beyond a greater ship security presence on the bridge when returning from the warp, he do nothing to expose their knowledge of the Inheritors’ plans.
His Seneschal, H’Len, passes all scrutiny and is no longer suspected of involvement in this activity.

A brief visit to narco smuggler Jarrad Cincayd strongly suggests his part in the narcotics stash in the bodies within the corpse holds, though any word of co-conspirators or employers is not forthcoming and Jarrad seems largely unintidated by the acolytes.

Preparation for the impending Cultist attack is the agenda for the following week, including gathering intelligence on the volume and nature of the opposing force.

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.

Something is happening to me. Perhaps it was through the direct action of an ill-willed psyker or from proximity to the cultists’ profane language and obscene unguents.

Whatever the source, I feel ailed. As if the air is just a slight thinner with breaths today than yesterday, to make room for energies I have never felt before. I know not what or why but something in me has changed.

Regardless of this, I pledge my continued service. That I will continue to excel beyond my capacity and station, continue to lay waste to the enemies of the Imperium. Continue to enforce the will of the Inquisition in your name."

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