(700 + GE)
From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae
Inquisitor Promethea and her Throne Agents prepared the loyal servants of the Imperium on Aleron’s Rest for the potential of a cult-outbreak before taking charge of a local atmospheric craft and traveling to the played out mines within which this cult had built a deep-rooted bunker. Utilizing subterfuge, they sought to approach this well-fortified position without activating the defenses against them.
The Inquisitor used her psychic arts to craft her flesh into the form of Remus Leshar, the heretic-son they still held prisoner, as well as Magos Attilan’s talents with subverting surveillance and technological defenses. The group’s skills were tested to the limit as they descended past turrets and gun-emplacements. As they went deeper and deeper into the earth, they started hearing strange psychic whisperings. Some noted the mines were permeated with a psychic static that began interfering with their own ability to perceive what lay ahead.
In the heart of the mountain was a large room, decorated and appointed in the fashion of this Yu’vath-worshiping cult. In niches in the wall were the recovered crystal chunks of the Whisperer. There was an assemblage of men and women, cloaked and masked, and before the altar stood a being that strongly resembled the transformed Lord-Captain Finn. The strange crystal amulet of which they had been told was centered on the being’s chest as he welcomed his “son” to receive his birthright.
The Inquisitor and her group attacked. The masked men and women wielded power swords but had little else in the way of martial protection. The star-eyed creature that had once been Solus Leshar was, however, a stronger being. The group’s experience putting down Finn, however, proved its worth, and Leshar was rapidly wounded to the point where he deliquesced into a pile of rot, the amulet left gleaming in the viscera. The surviving masked individuals were captured and interrogated.
The roots and extent of the cult were traced from the minds of the captives, and the matter left, ultimately, to the local authorities to clean up. The economy of Aleron’s Rest would suffer, but the souls of its people would rest safer. An Inquisitor’s work is never done, however. They looked at the mysterious amulet, clearly a relic akin to the legendary “halo devices”, one of which had granted Finn his “immortality.” Agent Dido touched it with her mind and found herself communing with the Yu’vath in a manner similar to when they entered the grotto on Entheo. She came to the realization that the Yu’vath were not so much a species of many individuals, but rather a psychic gestalt, connected over vast distances by the psychic-resonant properties of the crytals mined on Entheo, supplemented by the microscopic crystalline species engineered by the Yu’vath to create an alternative source. In this way, they were able to ascertain the locations of similar “halo devices,” including two on the capitol planet of Ichabarr.
After some effort to aid the locals in cleaning up the cult, they left the matter in the hands of the local Administratum, who saw an opportunity to “nationalize” many local industries. The Inquisitor and her retinue then departed, seeking to consult with Inquisitor Steendahl.
They found him on a base on the moon orbiting the mysterious planet of Neumos. They reported what they had learned, and consulted with him. He had been studying the origins of the Yu’vath, how they had evolved from an ancient society of humanity. It would seem that Neumos itself held the secrets of this inscrutable race’s origins. According to Steendahl, Neumos was an artificial planet, created by a human civilization from the Dark Age of Technology. In the depths was vast machinery powered by the warp and governed by a gestalt world-mind. When some of Steendahl’s agents first found the planet, it was insane, poisoned by fragments of Eldar psyche from the time of the Fall and the Age of Strife. As a result, the primitive tribal human inhabitants of the world stay in the rural plains, avoiding the massive ruined cities where the world-mind’s mechanisms could touch them. According to Steendahl, his agents managed to cure the planet’s madness, but it is still an ancient inhuman mind from an unimaginably ancient era. It was Steendahl’s theory that the technologies of Neumos were prototypical of what eventually developed into the Yu’vath’s crystalline gestalt-mind.
Inquisitor Promethea, being new to the Rosette, and willing to take risks older Inquisitors may not, volunteered to take her agents to the planet’s surface. Once there, she and her agents found communion with the planet’s world-mind. The records say little of what secrets of ancient and bygone days they learned, but it did appear to confirm that an ancient civilization of humanity built the planet long before the coming of the Emperor, had commerce and trade with the vast Eldar empire, bastions of which were nearby in what are now referred to as the Birth Stars. Seeing the Eldar’s facility with the warp and psychic technology, these ancient humans experimented, ultimately developing the mechanisms of Neumos which could preserve the minds of all the planet’s inhabitants in eternal existence. The planet became the repository of this civilization’s knowledge and wisdom, a place where honored ancestors could be consulted. Ultimately it became a preserve where only the wisest and most respected elders could come and retire after a life of service to this ancient realm. When the Eldar’s empire fell, however, birthing the Great Devourer and starting the Age of Strife across the Galaxy, the civilization of Neumos fell, Eldar refugees poisoned the world mind, and, it is presumed, the survivors fled in great ark ships, ultimately founding the Licenian Republic which would not be discovered by the rest of humanity until the Angevin Crusade a mere two millenia ago.
Magos Attilan was the first to realize that the ancient philosophies of this culture, as embodied by its world-mind, would be wildly dangerous if permitted to enter greater Imperial culture. He cautioned his fellows to depart the planet rapidly. Ultimately, Inquisitor Promethea and the rest did depart, and returned to Neumos’ moon to report their findings to Steendahl and consider their next move.