The Licenian Heresy

Return to Port Echo
Port Echo

700 + GE
(all present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

Upon the conclusion of Inquisitor Gaius Vallenti’s trial and execution, Inquisitor Promethea and her throne agents conferred about what to do next. The acolyte cell led by Callidon Rees had been given enough help to put them well on their way to tracking the Cold Trade Emporium. Lyza Blue’s location on Ichabarr was public and known. That left, among the Managers of the Amaranthine Syndicate, the pirate lord Garvus Slynt. They had no idea how to go about tracking him down however.

They decided that they needed to check in on their other acolyte cell on Port Echo, and perhaps while there, to arrange a “pirate ship” upon which to install that cell in order to get them close to Slynt. They arrived under their previous well-worn guises as the entourage to Lady Dido. Gallus Rees, owner and operator of the casino they had set up under their cover previously, was happy to see them and put them up in a vip suite of rooms. They then made contact with Kayleigh Vandilus, leader of their local acolyte cell.

They learned that their cell had been doing excellent work. Operating in tandem with Lady Captain Surma of the station, they had instituted a “clean streets” program where the poor and disenfranchised of the Gray Holds would be granted weaponry and basic training to form a general militia with the aim and purpose of cleaning the station of “undesirables” (namely mutants) in order to earn a place as useful and functioning members of the station’s society. Those who excelled in this task would be prime recruits for those naval ships now passing through with greater frequency. The hope that life aboard a warship as a common rating would be better than life in the slums of Port Echo was sufficient motivation for many, and the Pale Throng had been quite successfully beaten back. The mutant leader had been assassinated by Acolyte Birbo, and only the powerful renegade psyker Annabelle was left to kill or take into custody before the acolytes could consider their ask complete.

Inquisitor Promethea took control of the operation and they cornered Annabelle in the Black Holds. There, they sought a somewhat unusual resolution. Promethea revealed herself as an agent of the Inquisition and offered Annabelle a place at the scholastia psykana on Rubrica if she would surrender. Seeing no other option, the potent unsanctioned psyker placed her life and her future in the Inquisitor’s hands.

Aside from this last matter of business, Acolyte Toby had new information for the Inquisitor from Elizabeth Starling. Knowing the Inquisitor’s interest in the Syndicate managers, Starling had been tracking pirate movements and had data that Magos Attilan was able to use to discern the general part of the Sector that Garvus Slynt would likely be haunting, as well as his likely movements from there. It seems that Slynt would be spending some time at the Spinward edge of the Sector near the vast and lawless regions of space separating it from the Calyxis sector. This region has a poor reputation, of course, as the vicinity of the Merides cluster evokes memories of the Meritech War, but it continues to be a haven for pirate clans. This location had the good fortune to be relatively near to Rubrica, the Inquisitor’s homeworld, where she was honor bound to return the remains of Gaius Vallenti.

The only remaining question was how to ingratiate either herself or her cell as pirates. Fortunately, Lady Captain Surma herself had some aid to render. It would appear that the Meritech Shrike-class raider the Azure Rose that Lord Captain Finn had retreated to when transforming into the creature that the Inquisitor and her agents ultimately destroyed was still docked to the underside of the station. When Lady Dido had shut down the plasma drives, killing the crew of 15,000, the ship had remained, a sealed tomb, difficult to sell or otherwise dispose of. The Lady Captain indicated that the ship could be theirs. All they had to do was clean it out, install new crew, find a way to restart the plasma drives, and procure the necessary specialists, navigators, and astropaths for it to be spaceworthy.

The Inquisitor and her agents were able to procure astropaths, navigators, specialists, and even ratings (to be dredged from the aforementioned Clean Streets Program), but finding a Tech Priest with the particular knowledge of ancient plasma drives proved more difficult than expected. Fortunately, Surma’s Master of Commerce, Roan, was able to point them to the Rogue Trader, Lady Captain Evelyn Lin. The Lin dynasty was immensely powerful, with holdings across the Segmentum Obscurus. Her presence in the Licenian subsector was a cause for much speculation, but generally explained by the presence of the massive, salvaged Grand Cruiser belonging to her distant ancestor, the Arch-Missionary Vargas Lin. It would appear, to all viewers, that her sole interest in this sector of space was the recovery of this ancient vessel belonging to her family, and that her ongoing interest was in its repair and refurbishment at Port Echo. With Roan’s aid, the Inquisitor was granted an audience with Lady Captain Lin aboard her light cruiser the Star Heron.

Lady Captain Lin was the essence of etiquette, diplomacy, and regal grace, as befits a woman of her vast wealth, power, and status. She accorded the Inquisitor all due deference, and granted to her, as a gift, a referral for one of the Tech Priests engaged to aid her in her own refurbishment operations.

Having secured all they needed to theoretically get the Azure Rose functioning, all that remained was cleaning out the tomb of a ship, dealing with any strange or unusual alien technology that Finn may have stashed, and making the ship safe for all these new employees. They gathered their weapons and their resolve, and prepared to enter the ship they themselves had made a tomb.

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The Trial of Gaius Vallenti
Rashan / Ichabarr

700 + GE
(Doug, Jane, Peg, Randy)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

On Rashan, Inquisitor Promethea met with the six acolytes recruited by Callidon Rees to infiltrate the Emporium. Two of them were star-crossed lovers of rival minor noble houses who had kept their love a secret for seven years. Such skill and subtlety made them most effective at navigating the treacherous climate of Rashan’s ruthless politics. One was a member of the lower classes, convinced of his noble legacy, who was actually a low-level employee in the Emporium already. One was a dull but intimidating woman more muscle than brain. One was a misused Administratum adept who spent his spare time investigating crimes for the Adeptus Arbites, and the last was a young cleric of impeccable breeding who sought valuable service in the Emperor’s name.

The Inquisitor inducted these six officially into her service. In the process, the talents of her own throne agent, Lady Dido, detected a greater than usual degree of spiritual corruption in the female noble, one Lydia Dao, that prompted greater investigation.

They discovered that House Dao, as well as a few of the other minor noble houses, were involved in a sinister cult dedicated to a chaos entity known as the “Dark Hierophant,” a being summoned by dark rites of debauchery, degradation, and sacrifice. Lydia herself had left the cult, perhaps for love of her secret beau, but the mark of those black rites had stained her soul. She confessed all to Sister Castita, and was shriven, knowing full well that such confession might bring low her entire family.

Callidon promised to keep an eye on Lydia, and to alert his own secretive associates to the existence of the cult so that it could be traced and culled. The Inquisitor and her agents spent a week aiding their acolytes in various subtle ways before returning once more to Ichabarr.

The black cells aboard the Cromwell’s Fury were nearly complete as promised by Inquisitor Purusha. In thanks, Inquisitor Promethea informed her Ordo Hereticus peer of the cult discovered on Rashan. Lady Purusha had, apparently put a similar cult to the sword on Rashan merely fifteen years before. The was most grateful for the news that it had regrown or flowered anew in such fertile soil.

They discovered that Inquisitor Gaius Vallenti of the Ordo Malleus had been brought to the Solemn Hall to face charges of Phaenonite heresy in a formal hearing that might well result in an edict of Excommunicatus Traitoris. Upon speaking with Inquisitor Distaff, the formal accusor, Inquisitor Promethea discovered that Distaff had utilized Rogue Trader assets to procure the means by which to rob Vallenti of his daemonhost companion. In so doing, Vallenti had attacked Inquisitor Steendahl and his agents before ultimately being apprehended through extreme violence. Distaff also conveyed to Promethea the proxy of Inquisitor Steendahl, and a dataslate containing much greater detail of Vallenti’s crimes.

While they waited for the trial, Sister Castita spent the time well making connections among the Ecclesiarchy of the Capitol, including a meeting with Cardinal Alahr. Magos Attilan spoke with Magos Biologis Fortran and discussed the methods whereby Gaius Vallenti was kept alive and functional, as well as arranging a bargain for the construction of a potent combat servitor. Inquisitor Promethea and Lady Dido spent their time researching Inquisitorial precedent in anticipation of the trial.

The day of the hearing came. Only Inquisitors were allowed within with the exception of specialists necessary for evidence or service to the hearing itself. Sister Castita was named Ecclesiastical officiant. Magos Attilan was brought in as a technical specialist. Lady Dido was included as having material information relevant to the proceedings.

In all, 15 Inquisitors made it to the first hearing of Excommunicatus Traitoris in 120 years.

Inquisitor Distaff formally accused Inquisitor Vallenti of adherence to the Phaenonite Heresy. Inquisitor Vallenti, missing an arm and visibly weak from his recuperation, employed the unexpected tactic of openly acknowledging such adherence, but claiming that the philosophy should not be deemed heretical, and should rather be embraced as an accepted, if Radical, viewpoint within the Inquisition.

This put Vallenti’s foes on a back foot as he proceeded to make an impassioned defense, citing the existence of Neumos, and calling it the culmination of all the lore and power of ancient humanity, a psychic machine capable of elevating an individual to power equivalent to that of the Emperor himself. To counter the accusation that his Phaenonite beliefs precluded worship of the Emperor, he claimed that the Emperor himself had never desired worship, that the Emperor was a great and powerful man, the greatest psyker ever produced by humanity, but that he never claimed to be a god. Vallenti claimed that his philosophy was not a disrespect to the Emperor, but rather one of emulation. Vallenti, in short, sought to follow in the Emperor’s footsteps and bring about another Great Crusade, a renaissance for the Imperium.

The question and answer that followed tread on dangerous ground. Inquisitor Promethea and Inquisitor Distaff did not want to reveal too much about Neumos to all assembled, but Vallenti seemed insistent that the planet was central to his plans, and one could not rightly accuse him without understanding why. Vallenti also broke with precedent and summoned his own former daemonhost to testify on his behalf, an act that condemned him in the eyes of many.

Nevertheless, it was clear that there were some, particularly among those Inquisitors who claim the Recongregator faction, that some of what Vallenti said struck home. Although all assembled adjudged him guilty of Phaenonite heresy, some few saw merit in aspects of his philosophy.

It was not enough, however, to come even close to saving him, and it appeared as if he fully expected that it would not. He accepted his judgement with admirable calm, and when given the option to name the method of his execution, opted for beheading by Inquisitor Promethea according to the ancient customs of Rubrica.

This she did, in her role of priestess of the Fire Temple, militant, and executioner of her people.

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The Emporium
Ichabarr / Rashan

(700 + GE)
(all present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

After her meeting with the High Inquisitor, Inquisitor Promethea was troubled by matters of Inquisitorial politics. She gathered her people who, in turn, brought together their own gathered information on a variety of subjects.

Lady Dido continued to puzzle over the inconsistencies in the tales surrounding halo devices while Magos Attilan perfected the arcane adjustments that would permit an auspex or other scanner to detect the malign energies of slaugth technology.

A hale and intimidating agent of Reliquary 23 arrived with forbidden tomes, granting them to the Inquisitor to peruse on the subject of the banned and excommunicated Phaenonite philosophy. Inquisitor Promethea studied them with some care.

Ultimately, after conferring with her Throne Agents, the Inquisitor opted against confronting Lyza Blue in her offices on Ichabarr, and the group boarded the Cromwell’s Fury intended to sail the empyrean to the hive world of Rashan, there to find their former companion, Callidon Rees, and see what he had learned of his cousin, the Amaranthine Syndicate manager Cordelia. They were concerned, having not heard much from their former associate, that he may have been in trouble or compromised and so they opted against sending a detailed astropathic message. They did, however, alert him to their arrival via commercial astropath once they arrived at the planet.

They secured a suite of rooms at a hotel suited for visiting and wealthy nobles. Shortly they found themselves disturbed by a pair of individuals who rapidly proved to be acolytes to the Inquisitor, recruited and sent by Callidon to ensure that his “friend from Rubrica” was, in fact, the genuine article before Callidon himself appeared.

Callidon debriefed the Inquisitor on his efforts thus far to untangle the web that was the Cold Trade Emporium on Rashan.

It would appear that the Emporium was not a physical place, and so could not be visited or raided. Such a thing would be impractical on an Imperial hive world, even one as sprawling, tangled, and riddled with intrigue as Rashan. The Emporium was a complex network of blinds, counter-blinds, agents, and intermediaries all arranging for sellers to do business with buyers while maintaining all necessary protection and anonymity for both parties. To participate in the Emporium one needed to “know a guy who knows a guy” in the local parlance, and engage in a convoluted process of negotiation, all to protect the parties involved from the Inquisition.

Rashan is a world that thrives on intrigue. It’s dozens of noble houses have developed an elaborate dueling code. The Emporium had existed for centuries, although previous to Lord-Captain Finn’s rise, it had been a more diffuse black market effort. Finn introduced a significant cold trade element, and now, under Cordelia Rees, that element had come to dominate the Emporium’s profits.

The Inquisitor also learned that Cordelia Rees arrived at the top of this shadowy network through the usual methods… betrayal and assassination… all backed by Amaranthine Syndicate money and information.

The Inquisitor prepared to meet with the rest of her local acolyte cell to ensure that the suitable rituals of loyalty were upheld, and thenceforth to consider how best to deal with the Emporium.

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Inquisitorial Factions
Port Echo / Ichabarr

(700 + GE)
(Brian, Doug, Jane, Peg)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

Having secured the aid Elizabeth Starling, Inquisitor Promethea and her Throne Agents awaited Starling’s information by throwing another party at the House Rees casino for the power-players of Port Echo. They monitored the shifting politics and fortunes of the various Rogue Trader dynasties and Imperial functionaries and met Commissar Kenshi Ogawa who had been delegated the task of overseeing Lady-Captain Surma’s transition to respectable Imperial station-commander.

True to her word, Starling provided all the information she possessed on the Amaranthine Syndicate whereupon Magos Attilan and Adept Dido applied advanced data analysis to look for patterns and conclusions. It appeared to be true that the Syndicate had gone from nearly no presence in the Sector to a nascent but significant one in a frighteningly-fast period of time. The Syndicate was the one who purchased both ships used by the Starling dynasty, as well as funding their operations in the Licenian subsector. In exchange, the Starlings were to provide transportation for Syndicate personnel, as well as introductions to elements within the Cold Trade and legitimate trade.

The Inquisitor and her Agents were chilled to note that their own actions in demolishing the Council of Nine were capitalized upon by the Syndicate, who purchased Cold Trade assets at a steep discount from Council members, absorbed Lord-Captain Finn’s pirate and Cold Trade network, purchased outright Hiram Vain’s legitimate mercantile empire, and through the simple expediency of knowing the right people and picking up the pieces, had become in the span on months the pre-eminent brokers in the Ixaniad Sector Cold Trade as well as gaining a strong foothold in legitimate trade and piracy, respectively.

The Syndicate, it appeared, was run by anonymous “Directors” who give orders to various capable and individually powerful Managers who each have significant portfolios of responsibility. Due to the inconveniences of long-distance travel from the Calyxis Sector, it seemed highly likely that at least one Director was personally overseeing operations in the Ixaniad Sector. Starling knew for a fact that there were three Managers.

Garvus Slint was placed in charge of all the Syndicate’s pirate interests. He operates out of a raider-class vessel with significant technological upgrades known as the “Void Kraken” and interfaces with the various pirate groups who had once been loosely affiliated with Lord-Captain Finn.

Lyza Blue was the Manager in charge of Vain’s Mercantile Consortium. She operated openly out of Hiram Vain’s former offices on Ichabarr, and was now in charge of all the Syndicate’s legitimate trade.

Cordelia Rees was placed in charge of the Syndicate’s Cold Trade interests, operating out of the emporium on Rashan.

Inquisitor Promethea and her agents took into custody the two Pale Throng psykers who had surrendered, and they planned to depart. They made Ichabarr their first destination so as to drop the psykers off at the Scholastia Psykana, but also to look into the matter of the two Halo Devices now known to be present on the capitol world, and to see what might be learned about Lyza Blue. Their plan was to subsequently take the journey to Rashan to see if their associate Callidon Rees and the cell of acolytes he had been charged with building, had made headway, especially considering the fact that the Cold Trade was being run by one of Callidon’s relatives.

They arrived at Ichabarr where the Inquisitor opted to stop by the Solemn Hall, headquarters of the Ixaniad Sector’s Inquisition. There, she met with Inquisitor Purusha who offered to aid Inquisitor Promethea in procuring the necessary resources to have black cells installed on the Cromwell’s Fury. Inquisitor Promethea provided to Inquisitor Purusha the information on the Halo Devices, and left the latter to pursue that investigation.

While Acolyte Dido perused the Inquisition’s library looking into other reports of Halo Device usage, Inquisitor Promethea was summoned by High Inquisitor Alexandre Daro.

What was spoken of in that meeting is unknown to this humble scholar, but it involved disturbing political shifts within the Sector’s Inquisition which resulted in a more concerned and careful Inquisitor Promethea.

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The Mystery of Elizabeth Starling
Ymir-3 / Port Echo

(700 + GE)
(all present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

Although learning the ancient history behind the Yu’vath was of great interest, Inquisitor Promethea and her throne agents could not allow it to distract them from their most pressing concern, namely the enigma of the Slaugth and their allied (or, perhaps, controlled) human syndicate. They knew that the Starling Rogue Trader Dynasty was deep in the Amaranthine Syndicate’s pocket, and that Elizabeth Starling had visited Port Constance, that nest of Slaugth filth, and transported mysterious cargo to the Yu’vath controlled Promethium refinery known as Installation 23. What was the connection between these two vile xenos enemies of humanity? How much does Elizabeth Starling know? Why would the Slaugth, a deeply anti-psychic species, have any interest in the Yu’vath, a species that is nothing BUT a psychic gestalt-mind?

The current theory posited by the Agents was that in the era of the Yu’vath empire, before the coming of the Angevin Crusade, the Slaugth found easy hunting. The enslaved human populations that served the Yu’vath were excellent sources of ready food for an extra-planar species that was effectively invisible to the Yu’vath themselves. The Inquisitor and her agents decided at last to return to Ymir-3 to procure the only piece of extant Slaugth technology they knew about, the Royal Sceptre of Praxia, in hopes that studying it might permit Magos Attilan to develop the means to detect such devices in the future.

They traveled to Ymir-3 where they discovered that the unification of the planet under the new Imperial Governor, Lady Nadir of the House of Fera, was progressing well. As a culture that fetishizes their political leaders as religious figures, converting the populace was reasonably easy after rival houses, kings, mayors, and whatnot were eliminated either politically or by force. With the might of the Imperium backing her, only a single Kingdom on the continent of Abraxus was still holding out.

Governor Nadir met the Inquisitor and her Agents, remembering them merely as a band of Imperial witch-hunters under the leadership of Sister Castita. Still, she remembered them well, as potent friends who avenged her mother’s death and set her on her current path to rulership of her entire planet, and so did them the honor of meeting them informally in her chambers. It was clear that notwithstanding a certain discomfort at the pomp and stage-management of leadership, she was doing quite well, and she demonstrated effective Imperial etiquette due, no doubt, to Sister Lyra, a member of the Ordo Famulous who rapidly became acquainted with Sister Castita, promising to maintain ongoing correspondence. Governor Nadir was presented with a facsimile of the royal sceptre created by Magos Attilan, but she politely refused it. Apparently she had retired that symbol of office, not wishing to contaminate her new role as the Emperor’s servant by continuing to utilize a piece of xenos technology. She would have destroyed it had her Prime Minister not cautioned her to, instead, store it in a vault against future need.

The Agents recollected that the Prime Minister, Trice, had been a somewhat shady fellow when last they were there, and it may well be his motives in this were also somewhat shady, but they were useful, and so they said nothing as the Prime Minister was summoned to fetch the sceptre from the vaults. Guardsman Davos ensured no funny business. For once, a seemingly innocuous errand proved to be just that, and the Inquisitor and her agents departed with the Slaugth object.

Careful study by Adept Dido, the Inquisitor, and Magos Attilan revealed some astounding details. The sceptre had no internal mechanisms or apparent power source, being instead a rod of solid matter incorporating seemingly incompatible base elements bound together by a mysterious energy that did not seem to originate from any particular source. Activating the object apparently required contact with bare, living flesh, and drew somewhat from a body’s natural bioelectrical field to activate the yellowish energy blast that seemingly disintegrates all it touches. They developed a darker theory that the matter is not disintegrated, but rather transported to whatever alien reality the Slaugth inhabit. Magos Attilan began the long process of learning how best to use this knowledge to detect more and greater Slaugth technologies.

The Agents opted to return to Port Echo to check in with their Acolyte cell and other assorted matters. Their acolytes reported progress with the Pale Throng, having successfully recruited two of the Throng’s rogue psykers away with the promise of legitimate training, and having organized and armed the poor, destitute, and criminal who live in the Gray Holds to stand firm against an enemy that the acolyte’s propaganda painted as a horde of subhumans who hate all legitimate humanity. Their plan was wait as support for the Pale Throng eroded, and the strength and resolve of their rag-tag force increased. They also hoped to successfully assassinate either of the Throng’s leaders, the rogue psyker Annabelle, or the hulking mutant Mog.

The agents also opted to procure, using their various contacts and resources, some upgrades for their ship, Cromwell’s Fury. They build and installed a glorious Temple Shrine to the God Emperor, featuring small shrines to Saint Serena the Conscripted, Saint Castor the Obviate, and various others. They also procured, via an assortment of means, the mechanisms and forbidden information necessary to make an in-depth study of esoteric artifacts such as the Slaugth sceptre. Guardsman Davos bought a higher-quality cyber-arm.

The Inquisitor’s agent aboard Lord-Captain Lazar Starling’s ship, known to her only by reputation and the name Sparrow, managed to contact her via clandestine means. It would seem he had attempted to file a number of reports, but the Astropaths aboard the Starling vessel may well not have sent them. He managed to smuggle a datapad into the Inquisitor’s hands which detailed Starling activity. He had found no overt cold-trade or Slaugth related activity. Both Lazar and his rather more mysterious sister Elizabeth seemed to alternate stays at Port Echo with the exploitation of the distant planet of Phyrr. It would seem the Starling Dynasty had laid some claim to that world, using derelict Adeptus Mechanicus satellites and equipment to attempt the safe exploitation of this extremely deadly world. After some discussion, the Inquisitor and her Agents decided that the time had come to act decisively to plumb the mystery of Dynasty Starling once and for all.

They waited for the limited window when both siblings’ ships were in port at the same time. Adept Dido once again utilized her feminine wiles and contacted Elizabeth Starling for another romantic and intimate evening while Inquisitor Promethea and the others waited silently in the other room. They arranged for Lady-Captain Surma to confound any attempted departure of either Starling vessel, and took all manner of precautions against the potential for exotic poisons procured from Phyrr.

Lady-Captain Elizabeth Starling arrived to what she clearly expected to be another session of initimate carnality with her noble and decadent acquaintance, whom she expected her subtle perfume of xenos substances might continue to place under her influence. Adept Dido did not disappoint her in the intimate arts, however in the aftermath, as Starling attempted conversation, the Adept utilized the exotic implants and talents trained in her by the Data Redacted to attempt to plumb the very depths of Starling’s mind.

At this point, Elizabeth Starling revealed a stunning display of acrobatic prowess, nimbly crossing the room unclothed to retrieve her power-rapier to defend herself. The Inquisitor and her other agents burst into the room and an altercation ensued. Starling revealed herself to be a consummate swordswoman, as well as the recipient of many top-quality biological augmentations. Ultimately, however, a ruse by Magos Attilan, mimicking Lazar Starling’s voice, coupled with Inquisitor Promethea taking his physical form, prompted Elizabeth Starling to surrender herself to the custody of the Inquisition.

Adept Dido’s mental interrogation, confirmed by verbal interrogation, discovered that nearly a century ago, a member of a distant branch of the Aguirre Dynasty named Dorothea made dark bargains with the Children of Thorns to recover the lost Warrant of Trade of the Starling Dynasty, wiped out by those self-same aliens. Dorothea changed her name to Dorothy Starling and embarked on a very long-con to resurrect the Starling Dynasty and ensure the wealth and power of her descendants. Her daughter, Elizabeth, became the instrument of Dorothy’s intentions, studying all manner of exotic arts of warfare and commerce, working with her mother to cement alliances and funding so that when the Dynasty made its comeback it would have the ships and resources to defend itself. Elizabeth Starling was 83 years old, preserved via arts chemical, biological, and xenos in her current youthful form and figure. Lazar Starling was not her brother, but rather her son, taking on the face of the “head” of the Dynasty while Elizabeth, and behind her the even more shadowy figure of Dorothy, continued to plot and manipulate.

They learned that the Amaranthine Syndicate has long supported and funded the rise and return of the Starling Dynasty, and that neither Elizabeth or Lazar had any inkling of any links to the horrific xenos Slaugth until the Syndicate asked Elizabeth to sail into what was thought at the time to be impassable warp storms to the lost Port Constance. The storms had, of course, abated, and Elizabeth’s ship was perhaps the first to discover this fact. It was aboard the derelict Port Constance where she came face to face with the horrors of the Slaugth, and realized the potential error of her path, and the danger into which her fledgling dynasty was plummeting. Nevertheless, she knew that she could not disobey or she and her son would be destroyed. She transported the mysterious cargo for the Slaugth to Installation 23, where it was expected, implying an active alliance between Slaugth and Yu’vath that the Inquisitor had hitherto not expected. Elizabeth Starling then claimed, and her memories supported her, that she had no further direct contact with the xenos. She did, however, continue to aid the Amaranthine Syndicate in their expansion into the Ixaniad Sector, but simultaneously began forging alliances and contracts with other, more upstanding Imperial organizations, in the hope that she may someday be able to extricate herself and her Dynasty from Syndicate control.

No amount of ignorance or good intentions can fully excuse collaboration with xenos like the Slaugth, nevertheless, Inquisitor Promethea offered Elizabeth Starling her life, and her continued operations involving Phyrr, which were apparently a legitimate attempt to exploit a resource and sell the product to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Imperial Guard. The secret of her false lineage would also be maintained. In exchange, however, Elizabeth Starling was to provide all information about the Amaranthine Syndicate that she possessed, and continue to provide more as it became available. Starling seemed genuinely grateful for the leniency and the opportunity to preserve her son and the future of her family. She accepted the deal and promised the first encrypted data-drop with a few days.

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Cosmic Communion
Aleron's Rest / Neumos

(700 + GE)
(all present)

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.

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A Deep Rooted Conspiracy
Entheo / Aleron's Rest

(700 + GE)
(all present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

After their epiphany in the grotto of the Yu’vath, Inquisitor Promethea and her agents returned to find an invitation to speak privately with the Arch-Cardinal. What was said in that chamber remains obscure even to a scholar such as I, but it doubtless was a discussion of the dangers facing the souls of all men and women of the sector and mutual assurances of aid and support.

After some discussion with her throne agents, the Inquisitor decided to return to the Licenian subsector, specifically the spinward quadrant, to wrap up some potential loose ends in the Aleron’s Rest, Ymir-3 and Embers systems. They opted first to return to Aleron’s Rest to see how the colony world was faring after the destruction of the Yu’vath dreadnought known as The Whisperer. Magos Attilan also wished to curry favor with the ancient Magos Genetor in the system by giving him a cutting of the forbidden xenos plant-species known as the Zamarkand Rose.

They found the world recovering well. The Governor was aided by a new Imperial representative, Administrator Keiko Yamamoto, who had been sent by the newly-appointed subsector Governor Reginal D’rien. Administrator Yamamoto had clearly deduced that Inquisitor Promethea and her associates were, in fact, agents of the Inquisition and not Administratum representatives as they had claimed when first they came to Aleron’s Rest. She offered to aid them in whatever way they wished.

They sought to discover if there were lingering effects of Yu’vath infiltration, and furthermore sought an answer to some of the tantalizing clues they had learned of the activities of one Lady-Captain Elizabeth Starling. They knew that Dynasty Starling was working with the Amaranthine Syndicate who were, in turn, controlled by the Slaugth. They knew that Elizabeth Starling had delivered… something… to the prometheum refinery known as Installation 23 just as the Whisperer was once again awakening. The agents sought clues to discover what the Slaugth’s aims and goals might be.

Administrator Yamamoto introduced them to Missionary Via D’oro, the “personal secretary” to the new Cardinal of the Licenian subsector. Missionary D’oro was a scion of the Rogue Trader Dynasty Aguirre, a name which had popped up frequently in the Inquisitor’s investigation. This caused some pause, but they had no cause to complain about the Missionary’s aims and methods. She was the one who was tackling the immense job of rehabilitating the Whisperer’s former thralls. She had developed a method separating the thousands of people who had fallen prey to the Yu’vath construction into “saveable,” “potentially saveable,” and “lost cause.” It had much to do with how much of their original psychological state was preserved through strength of will and strength of faith and how much was lost to the Whisperer. Veteran Sister Castita took it in hand to work with the Missionary on interrogating these lost souls for potential clues.

Magos Attilan underwent his own secret methods to learn secret information on the colony while Adept Dido pored through records both social and financial.

Of greatest concern, however, was what became of those pieces of the Whisperer that had fallen to the surface of Aleron’s rest. Even a small fragment of such a ship could contain shards of a Yu’vath mind and could be immensely dangerous. Furthermore, much of the crystalline structure of the ship was, itself, an engineered microscopic xenos colony-species that could infest and grow upon a world until reaching enough mass to achieve sentience. The Throne Agents took a shuttle to the known impact sites where, to his credit, the local governor had posted quarantine forces. Their investigation revealed, however, that others had excavated at least one of the sites already, subverting the quarantine forces and making off with whatever they recovered.

After interrogation, they learned that the local quarantine forces had been subverted through the simple expediency of cash bribes and nothing more sinister. Their other resources rapidly narrowed down the list of suspects to the son and scion of one of the First Families of Aleron’s Rest, Remus Leshar. The Leshar family controlled much of the mining and industrial capacity of the colony and, it was said, was descended from the very first colonists two millenia ago.

Donning once more their guises of Administratum agents, they paid a visit to the Leshar estates carved into one of the many mountains overlooking the valley of the primary city. Young Remus Leshar, used to power and obedience, was disinclined to be cowed by these off-worlders, and did not recognize the authority of the “Administratum” to question him. He imperiously demanded they depart. Inquisitor Promethea and her people were similarly unused to such blatant defiance.

Ultimately, many Leshar men-at-arms were slain and Remus himself captured as the Inquisitor revealed her true authority. Sadly, Remus’ father, Solus Leshar, the patriarch of the Leshar family, was forewarned and his mother, Cynthia Leshar, fled the estates during the violence.

Governor Tal of Aleron’s Rest called them in a panic, wanting to know what they were doing with such a rich and powerful family. Inquisitor Promethea revealed herself to the Governor as well, eliciting instant obedience and deference.

Interrogation of Remus revealed the shocking truth that the Leshar family has led a hidden cult devoted to the Return of the Yu’vath masters, and the ascension of their glorious elite priesthood to immortality. It would appear that this cult had infested Aleron’s Rest since the beginning. The very first colonists were former Yu’vath slaves who had fought in their own liberation and were rewarded with a distant world rather than extermination at the hands of the Angevin Crusade. It would seem that some of the elite priests of the Yu’vath had infiltrated and hidden within the rebellion, and found themselves on the colony world. Over the millenia they had kept hidden, recruiting carefully and in small numbers, keeping alive the heretical hope that the Masters would return and reward their faith. The cult was centered around a crystalline amulet-artifact, and had a hidden temple somewhere on the planet, carved deep into the heart of a mountain.

Inquisitor Promethea and her agents set about the plan of exterminating this heretical cult once and for all.

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Epiphanies
Port Echo / Entheo

(700 + GE)
(all present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

Inquisitor Promethea and her Throne Agents pursued loose ends in Port Echo. They procured from a mercenary gang in the Gray Holds an assortment of xenos weaponry and a couple of Vain-pattern here-tek rifles and resupplied them with proper Imperial weapons and delegated them to their acolyte cell to help in investigating and combating the Pale Throng. Inquisitor Promethea also hit on a tactic of blandishment, asking her cell to spread the rumor that there was a school for psykers on Rubrica, and that if the rogue, untrained talents hiding within the Pale Throng wished to become proper, sanctioned Imperial subjects, there was an option available other than the Black Ships.

Recognizing that such a propaganda tactic might take a while to take root, they continued their investigations into the Rogue Trader Dynasty Starling. Noble Dido Caracalla successfully seduced Elizabeth Starling, conveying the impression that the seduction was the other direction, and while feigning her ongoing cover of underworld-connected noble, was able to learn a great deal about Elizabeth’s recent activities.

Magos Attilan found a tech-priest who once worked for Hiram Vain but now served aboard Elizabeth Starling’s vessel. After some dance of code and counter-code, the Magos realized that the otherwise innocuous priest was, in fact, an Acquitor Tech-Assassin, whose target was Hiram Vain, and who served the Starlings in hope of finding Vain’s trail once more in the Licenian subsector. This assassin was able to smuggle one of Attilan’s cyber-creatures aboard the Starling vessel to plunder its data caches.

The story they pieced together was troubling. It appeared that the Starling Dynasty, along with the Amaranthine Syndicate, were well aware of the abatement of the warp storms before nearly anyone else in the Sector. Elizabeth Starling collected a cargo-hold’s worth of unusual equipment from the Slaugth-held Port Constance, leaving behind the crew used to package and transport it, and delivered this cargo to Installation-23 just as the Yu’vath construct was starting to awaken. The Amaranthine Syndicate also had taken over Lord-Captain Finn’s entire smuggling, piracy, and Cold Trade network, along with purchasing outright Hiram Vain’s entire mercantile organization. The Syndicate was investing heavily throughout the Ixaniad Sector, focusing in areas that had once been important Yu’vath worlds.

Why an inscrutable species like the Slaugth, anathema to the Warp, should be interested in a blasphemous species whose very existence was dependent on the warp was utterly unknown. Similarly concerning was what Hiram Vain did with all the money he got for the sale of his entire mercantile empire, and where he, and his logician tech-heresies, had disappeared to.

Sister Castita received a response from her Sisters in the Ordo Famulous indicating that the genetic information on Dynasty Starling that she requested could be procured at the Chapterhouse on Entheo. Inquisitor Promethea and her people left Port Echo to the hands of their acolyte cell and departed.

Upon arriving on Entheo, they saw for themselves the vast beacon that was the crystal cathedral, immense tomb of a Saint, and shining light of the Ecclesiarchy. They were granted an audience with Arch-Cardinal Doran who received the new Inquisitor with suitable words and formalities. Sister Castita got access to the Famulous records and discovered that, in fact, Lazar and Elizabeth Starling were not of the Starling lineage at all. Certain genetic markers were, however, in keeping with a distaff branch of the Rogue Trader Dynasty Aguirre. It would seem, then, that the siblings were imposters. How they found the Starling Warrant, or whether that Warrant was even genuine, was now open to question.

Guardsman Davos, finding himself at the heart of the Ecclesiarchy in the Sector, and the planet upon which his patron saint, Serena the Conscripted, had experienced her theophany, decided to hit the pilgrimage sites. He flew, with thousands of other pilgrims, to the battlefield where Saint Serena had fought at the moment of her vision. There were pillars upon which priests prayed and exhorted the pilgrims at all times, and the clerics intoned the tale. The sands still held a dull red sheen, which the priests explained was the blood of millions that had soaked into the very earth itself.

Davos realized that it was unlikely that real blood would still color the earth some two thousand years after events, but also realized that the pain and agony of millions of soldiers could very well have imprinted the psycho-active crystalline sands of Entheo. Subsequent inquiries revealed that most of the planet was off-limits to anyone unless escorted by a proper representative of the Ecclesiarchy.

Upon conferring with his associates, it became clear that the entire planet of Entheo, filled with massive crystalline deposits of psychoactive crystal, could very well contain within it all manner of horrific knowledge from the time when it was a central Yu’vath world.

Deciding to take such danger upon their souls for the sake of needed knowledge, the Inquisitor and her Agents made a request to venture into the wild and were introduced to Banisher Keramiah Tor, known to some as the Hollow Priest. He asked if they intended to undergo the “Crucible of Faith” and they assented.

Tor flew them into the wild deserts of Entheo to a massive mountain range that they could see, from the wind-blasted exposed faces, was likely made almost entirely of massive crystalline deposits. He led them into a crevasse, and ultimately to a grotto in the heart of the mountain, with massive planes of purplish crystal on all sides. The grotto looked to be an ancient gathering place, with a flattened dais of crystal. Tor mounted the dais and prepared to protect his charges as best he could.

The Agents places their skin upon the crystal, and experienced vast horror. The mountain, the planet, was filled with immense alien intelligences, trapped, angry, immortal, seeking to escape the slow-burning purge that was the Crystal Cathedral and the ever-present faith of millions of annual pilgrims. Of them all, Sister Castita cracked from the fear, but was prevented from doing too much damage to herself or others by the Hollow Priest. The rest of the Agents came face to face with the horrible truth of the Yu’vath, that they had once, in the unimagineable past, been humans, their psyches elevated, stored in crystalline matrices, become immortal and abandoning their humanity to lord it over those still cloaked in mere flesh, using their own former kind as slaves and pawns, mastering sorcery and the warp in blasphemous daemon engines.

The dark minds within the mountain offered each of them their heart’s desire if only they could possess them, ride them out of this place… all but Magos Bastian Attilan successfully refused such blandishments. Fortunately for them all, however, Keramiah Tor was there, his faith blazing, his hard eyes stubbornly refusing defeat. The power of Tor’s faith jolted the Magos from the near-damnation of his soul and he successfully cast out the mind that sought to take him.

The Inquisitor and her Agents left the grotto, not unchanged by their experience, and recognizing the wisdom of the Inquisition of two millenia past to destroy and suppress all knowledge of this blasphemous race.

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Building the Foundation
Port Echo

(700 + GE)
(All Present)

From the Archives of Archibald Fanning, Vanem Umbrae

It is always a struggle maintaining histories of those whose very natures make history, yet who obfuscate and confound the historian at every step. Nevertheless, those who will hold the standard of the Imperium in the future must needs plumb the wisdom of the past, and every fragment, half-remembered, is more than nothing.

Many details of the origins of the career of Inquisitor Tiberia Promethea Lunaris Sacrificula have been lost, but even upon her ascension to the Rosette, Inquisitor Promethea had the wisdom to keep at her side a number of agents of the Throne who value record-keeping and the preservation of knowledge. The Magos of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Bastian Attilan became a veritable storehouse of obscure data, as did the enigmatic noble Dido Caracalla Hiberna and the Sister Famulous Castita. Much can be pieced together, and much may seem mundane to our eyes now.

Let it not be said that the Rosetta makes life easier. Almost as soon as she was elevated, Inquisitor Promethea surrounded herself with capable people she could trust, namely those former Acolytes who had served with her under Inquisitor Steendahl, and began to build the foundation of her power and influence. Because an Inquisitor must balance such needs with the needs of the Imperium, much of this activity was done in the midst of ongoing investigations into a variety of troubling leads. Although the newly-minted Inquisitor had not yet formally declared an Order, her service under Steendahl had exposed her and her companions to a number of ongoing sinister Xenos threats, and the senior Inquisitor was more than happy to share the load with his erstwhile protege.

Much of her early activity took place under-cover on Port Echo, a naval port newly reclaimed from obscurity, no longer a haven for pirates and the cold trade, much of which was due to the earlier efforts of Inquisitor Promethea and her Agents. Due to those earlier efforts, the Lady-Captain of the station was deeply in her debt, and it made a suitable base of operations; close to the dangling threads of her investigations, yet safe enough for some recruiting of an acolyte cell of her own.

Five promising individuals were recruited. Kayleigh Vandilus was a noble-born newly sanctioned psyker, fresh from the Scholastia Psykana, and referred to Promethea’s attention by her Inquisitorial peers. Ilyana, a cleric of the Ecclesiarchy who had served her early years as a missionary on Dusk, and who was later attached to the Imperial Guard, was also snatched up, having lost her Guard unit on Caedicius. Birbo, a skilled assassin whose mind had been cleansed and who was a blank slate, was found in the gray holds of Port Echo, along with a cunning man of the lower classes named Tym Steek. Finally, Inquisitor Promethea plucked Toby from Port Echo, remembering his earnest service for the Council of Nine, and seeking to make a more honest servant of the Imperium out of him.

The Inquisitor and her Agents arranged a formal initiation and induction ceremony for the five, forging them into a cell of Acolytes, and tasking them with cleaning Port Echo of those Stryxis who continued to hide there, procuring the dangerous xenos artifacts from them, including a deadly Zamarkant Rose. This the cell did in the forthcoming week, whereupon they were turned to a longer-term goal of rooting out the Pale Throng who infested the underbelly of the station.

Having set their new cell of Acolytes to that task, they set to reaffirming their connections and allies. Sister Castita ensured that Mother Katalina continued to be a valued source of local information while famed Catachan Guardsman Davos continued to cultivate the military elements who came through the Port. Bastian Attilan reacquainted himself with the Enginseer Richmond, who was the station’s Omnissianic Congregator, and plumbed him for fragments of knowledge about the plans and connections of one Hiram Vain, a suspected member of the Logician cult, who remained a loose end from their prior investigations.

Much of their efforts, however, went into investigating what seemed like a looming, insidious, if amorphous threat. They had encountered firsthand the horror of the Slaugth on the planet of Ymir-3, and came face-to-face with a newly-awakened Yu’vath Dreadnought near Aleron’s Rest. While these two species could not be more different, there seemed to be some strange threads of coincidence that bound the two seemingly disparate investigations together. One such thread was the mystery of Elizabeth Starling, sister to the Lord-Captain of the Starling Rogue Trader dynasty. Lord-Captain Lazar Starling had been co-opted by Inquisitor Steendahl, an acolyte infiltrated into his ship, and both of those assets handed over to Inquisitor Promethea. But it remained unclear whether or not the sister intended to be similarly cooperative. She was the one who had visited the fetid Port Constance, nest of the Slaugth, as soon as the warp storms had abated, and far before anyone else even recalled its existence to investigate. She also had been the first ship of the Imperium to arrive at Aleron’s Rest after the storms abated, and visited briefly Intallation-23, near the heart of the Yu’vath artifact. What had she been doing there?

Also, the evacuating Stryxis had odds and ends for sale, including salvaged ship parts of the Rak’gol, a species not generally known to be in the Ixaniad sector, but a species that, for all their ferocity, had been known to be seeking Yu’vath technology to salvage. Were the Rak’gol entering the subsector to scrounge the forbidden Embers, and other systems of former Yu’vath space?

And what of the Amaranthine Syndicate? Lady-Captain Surma had indicated that this vast, sprawling, immensely wealthy organization was riddled with corruption at the highest levels, specifically the maggot-men of the Slaugth. Why was the Syndicate encroaching from the Calixis sector?

Some of these questions had tantalizing answers. Bastian’s formidible intelligence couple’d with Dido’s wide academic correspondence and other hints and portents revealed the high likelihood that upon the collapse of Lord-Captain Finn’s Council of Nine, Finn’s network of pirates and cold-traders had been taken wholesale by the Amaranthine Syndicate, making them, overnight, one of the most influential criminal organizations in the Ixaniad Sector. The Agents learned of multiple investments across the sector, including a significant criminal port on the hive world of Rashan, heavy investments in the pilgrimage trade to and from the Ecclesiarchal capitol and shrine world of Entheo, and strong ties to the noble House Rees, especially their pleasure-planet Axinite. Bastian noted that one thing these three worlds had in common was that all three had been prize worlds in the Yu’vath empire prior the Angevin Crusade.

Inquisitor Promethea sent her associate Callidon Rees out into the Ixaniad sector tasking him to recruit a second cell of Acolytes to investigate the criminal port on Rashan, but stopped short of overtaxing her limited resources too heavily by recruiting any more than this second cell. Then, using once more the cover of “indolent noble allies of House Rees”, Dido arranged a party at the Rees family casino on Port Echo for the movers and shakers on the station, including the various Rogue Trader elements. The plan was to pick at the thread that was Elizabeth Starling.

And pick they did. Sister Castita learned from an inebriated representative of the Lin Dynasty the interesting rumor that the Starling dynasty had gone bankrupt and defunct nearly a century before, and that “Lazar Starling” and “Elizabeth Starling” re-appeared in just the last decade or so, bearing the Dynasty’s Warrant of Trade, but without any actual proof that they were bloodline descendants of the House. Sister Castita, as a member of the Ordo Famulous, immediately arranged a missive to her Order seeking bloodline and genetic data to attempt to determine the truth of this accusation. Magos Bastian was even able to procure a sample of Elizabeth Starling’s genetic material from the glassware.

Elizabeth Starling herself, however, proved an able socialite, and did not overtly implicate herself in anything more sinister than ongoing cold trade interests. Magos Bastian’s cyber-mastiff, however, noted some odd chemical compositions to the perfume she was wearing, and Dido’s knowledge of chymistry revealed that her perfume contained a certain amount of the notorious xenos-derived drug known as the Deluvial Tincture. Starling was apparently seeking to subtly influence those near her with the subtle euphoric effects of the tincture as well as her feminine wiles and slinky, night-silk evening gown.

Those early weeks of Inquisitor Promethea’s investigations on Port Echo were wide-ranging, and thus far little more than hints and threads, but now, at least, she and her throne agents had some leads to consider.

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An Inquisitor Arises

700 + GE
(All Present)

This game was mostly level-up montage as we worked through the Ascendance process:

  • Promethea was initiated into the Inquisition as a political move. Inquisitor Steendahl had blackmail on Dynasty Vallenti, and so Inquisitor Vallenti agreed to elevate a new Inquisitor from Steendahl’s acolytes, but chose the one most likely to have a cultural tendency to obey anyone named Vallenti, namely Promethea, who grew up on Rubrica, a planet governed by the Dynasty. There were other inquisitorial politics involved as well. Demetria met a bewildering variety of new colleagues.
  • Dido was initiated into the Temple Vanus, the most secretive temple of the Officio Assassinorum, who kill with information. She has been recruited by Inquisitor Promethea as one of her new Throne Agents. Promethea knows her new affiliations, but the others do not (yet)
  • Bastian Attilan finally cleansed his name and record of the taint of Logician association, and has ascended to the rank of Magos. He continues to associate with the Inquisition as part of his ongoing studies into the machine-spirits and fabrication patterns of cyber-mastiffs and other tools of Imperial law and order.
  • Davos had a “training montage” where he went to super-special-forces school to earn the rank of Stormtrooper
  • Sister Castita continues to serve the Inquisition on the role of Interrogator.

Inquisitor Steendahl and Inquisitor Tiberia Promethea Lunaris Sacrificula (Promethea) met to divide their ongoing investigations. As Promethea had been working on many of Steendahl’s ongoing affairs, it seemed reasonable to divide them so as to lighten the load on each, and avoid stepping on each others’ efforts. Promethea took the matter of the Slaugth and the mysterious, criminal Amaranthine Syndicate, as well as Steendahl’s asset, the acolyte known as the Sparrow, currently serving aboard the flagship of Dynasty Starling.

Inquisitor Promethea and her new Throne Agents traveled back to Port Echo via their new ship, the frigate Cromwell’s Fury, to further investigate and to begin recruiting acolytes of their own, with the full cooperation of Captain Surma of the station…

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