The Crimson Falling

Canaries in a Coal Mine

Document: 01-A359268-CC-3277 Crimson Cell Penolpass Report 7.dat
=-=-= Security Level Five =-=-=
=-=-= For Internal Use Only =-=-=
Date of Submission: 3.548.000.M42
[Accessed Post-Humously -Techpriest K-3829541-XKK {3.546.000.M42}]
To: The Right and Honourable Captain E. Connery
Author: [Level-1 Acolyte] Virrus Quintos
[Affiliation] Imperial Inquisition Crimson Cell
Subject: Mission Report

Attachments:  DSC_0275.pic; DSC_0276.pic; DSC_0277.pic; DSC_0278.pic;
 DSC_0279.pic; DSC_0280.pic

Following the successful recapture of the weapons cache on 47-Kapella, Crimson Cell proceeded to base to report our success. General Nolan informed us of orders to return to the ship, and personally accompanied us to the launch zone aboard his own vehicle. Be it misfortune or some device of the enemy, our route was known in advance and an ambush caught our lightly armoured vehicles off guard. General Nolan’s own truck was caught by an unidentified explosive. There remained little to no chance of the General’s survival as his vehicle was incinerated completely. May the Emperor bless his soul.

Thanks to the careful driving of our host engineer, Crimson Cell arrived at the launch site unmolested. While the engineer and Acolyte Erikson fueled up the Lander, the rest of the cell took up positions in preparation for the likely follow-up ambush. A small skirmish in this forest clearing resulted in five confirmed enemy kills, at the cost of our esteemed engineer, who valiantly persisted under the barrage of fire to complete his job. [Note to Capt. Connery – I would like to personally nominate this soldier for posthumous promotion. Unfortunately we never learned his name, but his mates should be able to identify him. ~V.Q.]

Aboard the Lazarus, Crimson Cell learned of the Commissar Yvonne’s KIA status. Commissar Yvonne was previously suspected of having similar ties to both Inquisitor Darius and the late Inquisitor Rhogan, meeting each in much the same way as the nobleman Remus on Cyprian’s Gate. Her Junior Commissar is reportedly active, and efforts are being made to track him down.

In the meantime, Crimson Cell was dispatched to investigate questionable activity found via remote imaging of a thought to be abandoned mine on Thuranshush. I am personally anticipating this visit, as Inquisitor Darius’ known ties to Thuranshush have long made it a location of interest in the ongoing effort into carrying out the late Inquisitor Rhogan’s posthumous wishes.

Approaching the mines. Acolyte Thule is at the wheel of the Chimera, while I on the top-mounted stubber. No signs of life detected as of yet.

We have entered through the gates. There don’t seem to be any tracks in the snow, but this blasted weather could likely destroy any such tracks while they were still meaningful. We are leaving the Chimera near the doors and proceeding into the main facility. While it seems abandoned, I hope to find some managerial office with maps and documentation.

There is a large map of the main facility. It seems to be a mining and refining plant, extending ten floors below ground. If the mines have been active, that would certainly explain the heat signatures that were reported. The security office is on this floor. Moving to examine.

Security office empty. Unless those occupying this place have made other precautions, or feel no need for security, it seems this aspect of the building’s infrastructure remains unused. Picked up a decent shock-baton, though. It will be useful if we can find anyone at all in this place.

A combined search using my Auspex and Scarlet’s IR visors yield no signs of life. We will do a brief search of every floor on the way down. We have not found any stairs, so it seems we will need to use the freight elevator. I pray it will not alert our enemies.

No signs of life on B1.

No signs of life on B2.

No signs of life on B3.

No signs of life on B4-8. Tension has been rising. There must be someone on B9.

The elevator has opened up to what seems to be an administrative office. We have found documentation discussing B1013, presumably a refining laboratory or mining shaft, given the facility. Mention of recent discoveries there; a utopian future and great power that it will lead to. There are also some weapons schematics and designs strewn about, each appearing to be of Xenos technology. I will take stereograms using my Auspex and attach them to my report. Notably one was a chainsword wrought of some Xenos bone. These look oddly similar to Mathias’ new weapon he got from Remus…

I have found a piece of documentation regarding research into teleportation technology. It seems whoever is here has managed to make it work on an individual scale, and that they are investigating expanding this technology to teleport more at once. What heresy. I pray this does not corrupt any of the Techpriests we have on board, but I must take a stereogram and include it anyhow.

B10XX designations seem to be of tunnels. We are moving to examine each tunnel now.

B1001-1006 empty. B1007 and 1008 have bones embedded in the rock, as if they were minerals. Clearly this is where they are getting their materials.

B1009 is a manufacturing room where these bones are being made into weapons. More schematics have been found and seized.

B1010 is an armoury. I grimace at the thought of touching such abominations, but the ship does need a specimen for examination.
Mathias has grabbed what seems to be a Xenos power-sword. So long as he surrenders that later, I feel no need to touch one for myself.

B1011 is an unlit cavern. We will investigate further later. Small mineral deposits are in sight, and I have heard a skittering sound. Nothing else in sight, however. I must be getting tired or claustrophobic.

B1012 was only dug into slightly. There appear to be some glowing runes on the wall. I’m uncertain if they were made after the digging, or if the digging stopped because they found the runes.

B1013 is emitting a faint glow as we approach. I can detect asynchronous beeping of bioelectrical activity on my Auspex.

This is it.

=][=

As per the reports of Acolytes Thule and Crowe, the Cell had just come across a Necron Tomb. They did what they could to fend off the attack. Acolyte Erikson is horribly hurt, and Acolyte Quintus was KIA by the hand of Acolyte Thule. There was reasonable doubt that Acolyte Quintus may have fallen to Darkness, and his untimely end was a necessary one. The remainder of the cell has safely returned to the Lazarus, and I have ensured the destruction of the tomb on Turanshush.

Note: A new member from another one of Rhogan’s cells wishes to join Crimson Cell. He served aboard the ship that reported the activity on Turanshush in the first place, and I have no doubt that he will be a useful addition to the team.

=][=

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By That Sin Fell the Angels

=5A88 LAZ INQ CR=
=3.518.000 M42=
=CPT CONNERY =

As we progressed through the tunnel, the floor beneath our feet eventually turned to soil. The walls opened up to an enormous cavern, tall enough for trees to grow, and deep enough to house a small village. The architecture of the village seemed to resemble that of Penolpass. It extended for a few miles, and by our estimation housed approximately 500 people.

From the people that we could see, all were dressed very raggedly. They walked slumped, aged, and perhaps in tired manner, but all of them still seemed very strangely content. We managed to take two elderly gentlemen captive, and after interrogating them, discovered they seemed much more fragile than they should have been. They had heard of Remus, but didn’t know much about him. They had no knowledge of who Darius was. Regardless, we took their heads to bring back to the Lazarus for identification purposes.

At this point, bells rang from a structure at the far end of the village. They came from a building that appeared to be a church, but had no clear Imperial symbols or otherwise devotional markings. From every house, people began to make their way to this structure, and gathered in front of its doors. We followed from the rear. Upon arrival, we noticed that the people seemed to be viewing something. A man at the front was preaching sacrifice, and worship of a “Great Gramdfather”. Following this, he selected Virrus to be sacrificed for these heretical rituals. In an attempt to stop him, Arl, Mathias and I pushed through the crowd, but could not reach the church before the doors were closed. Mathias began cutting through the doors, and I looked for an alternate entrance through a window. Arl provided us with cover.

Shortly after, we heard the sound of marching. I spied four armed men approaching the church, and opened fire. They fired back, but the three of us managed to deal with them quickly enough. Virrus had managed to stab the priest, and we were reunited with him. Incidentally, Venris was also inside the church, pending as another sacrificial victim. However, he was terrified out of his senses, and was not much help to us. We continued with a quick look-over of the church, then proceeded to clear the town one house at a time. I will point out that all the dead bodies showed severe signs of internal decay and disease, well beyond that which a normal human would be able to survive. After clearing the town, we made our way back to the trap door, which resealed itself behind us.

By this time, Mathias was due to meet Remus to begin his employ. Virrus returned to the Lazarus in search of new information, and I spent my day searching for Burwin. Virrus returned, with news that the map in Rhogan’s safehouse was tied to co-ordinates in the immaterium, and that Remus was indeed the first target in Burwin’s contract. The next day we finally managed to get in contact with Burwin, who was in the process of finalising Remus’ death. He explained that Remus was considered a loose end that needed to be tied up.

Apparently Remus was once considered as a member of the Inquisition by Rhogan himself, but had been rejected due to “medical reasons”. Following that rejection, he was approached by Darius, who has a vested interested in new and experimental technology, such as the Tyranid bone swords Remus uses. Someone by the name of Commissar Yvonne, stationed on Facrast, was approached by Rhogan in similar fashion. Coincidentally, Yvonne is the next target listed in Burwin’s contract, along with someone by the name of Cornelius.

We returned to the Lazarus, and for extreme and irreparable heresy, decided it was necessary to orbitally bombard Cyprian’s Gate. From there, we left for 47-Kapella, where the situation had grown dire, and backup was being requested.

It was no surprise as to why the guard was suffering so much. Their poorly trained, juvenile soldiers and shitty camps would not have been able to achieve very much. In fact, after consulting with General Nolan, we learned that the rebel force had managed to seize a gas weapons cache, and that the guard had been unable to reclaim it. Feeling we couldn’t let the enemy keep its hands on this cache, we decided to take it back.

After a day and a half of marching, we reached the bunker, and picked off all seven guys guarding it. Now we are waiting for Nolan to send a new station of guards to replace us.

I am the avenger of the Saints past slain.

=SCARLET CROWE=
=5S88 VR IMP PD=
=UD=

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We Came Here to Kick Ass and Chew Bubble Gum...

Document Name: =I= report to Captain Connery of His Divine Majesty’s Imperial Inquisition Document number: 02-846392
Date: 3.473.000 M42
Authorization: Acolyte Mathias Thule of Crimson Cell
Thought of the Day: Heresy grows from idleness.

To Captain Connery,

As you no doubt know, the techpriests discovered several non specific findings in regards to the bodies that were found in the Scintillan cell hideout. The toxins and machine were all things that could be cobbled together from common components. All other details regarding the findings can be found with the cogboys and their own report.

=][=
The Mechanicus report suggests that the machinery and resulting extract are Heretekal in nature. The liquid is an ‘Essence of the Warp’, as they put it. Used to power various forms of machinery and equipment, all banned by the Mechanicus.
=][=

Seeking to progress forward in our investigation we chose to investigate the planet of Cyprian’s Gate. To prevent suspicion we chose to disguise ourselves as wealthy rogue traders with Virrus playing as the trader, Scarlet as his mistress and I as his body guard. Upon arrival we were quickly greeted by the staff and given a room. After which we quickly decided to do two main things. First we fought in the arena and established a connection with another nobleman; one named Remus who suspected himself to be the target of an assassin and was hiring many strong fighters. We speculate that he may potentially be the target of Burwin. Since he was talking specifically of hiring me, I decided to take up his offer and become one of his men. Upon discussing terms with him I found out that a good portion of his men are actually armed with blades made from some sort of xenos weapon (death to all xenos!), something that most definitely should be looked into.

The second thing we did was to investigate the bombed out room, but we didn’t get very far as there was too much security to pass which we did not have the proper tech support for. However an interesting event did happen in which our room was broken into and a note and deposit box key was left behind. The note was a riddle which detailed several challenges, among them being a door that only opens when exposed to “unwinding” drugs (i.e. alcohol), and a waterfall that rotted things away instantaneously (surely a foul monument to some chaos witchery). Now we stand before a portal in the dark. We do not fear though for faith is our torch and with it we will banish the shadows of the heretics!

In His Name,

Mathias Thule

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Elementary...

=3.353.000 M42=
Much has transgressed since our initial arrival on Scintilla. In accordance with the charge laid upon us by the Court of the Tricorn Palace to further investigate the Inquisitor Darius and his possible role in the demise of Rhogan we departed for the privately owned prison of Rikshuus, by the planet Klybo in the Markayn Marches. I met with the Warden Kaleb, who was willing to cooperate with our request to question the prisoner whom we suspected to possess knowledge of Rhogan’s prime safehouse. The prisoner, a man by the name of Del Rosa [No. 55-153], showed no signs of mental trauma and was physically healthy despite a number of burn scars covering his face and body. Under the effects of Halo he revealed his story.

Del Rosa was an Adept employed in various sectors until his sharp mind one day recognized a Tyrannid plot of controlling local politics through gene stealers. Thanks to his investigative skill and intuition he was hired by Rhogan, under whom he served for twenty years. It would seem he enjoyed a loyal and hardworking career until he recognized a pattern in Rhogan’s office for what it was – a map to his prime safehouse. Del Rosa made the mistake of asking Rhogan, and the latter was forced to throw him in Rikshuus to safeguard this secret.

Alas, while my heart weeps for Del Rosa’s internment that was caused by none other than his own intellectual prowess, the Emperor has truly blessed us in placing him in our path. While I pray that similar injustice need not occur to too many loyal Imperialists, I pray, too, that those possessing such skill are not too easily squandered nor too rare.

After our initial decryption of the map Del Rosa had tattoo’d on his own scalp, we moved him into our custody where, with his own cooperation, a psyker-assisted interrogation gave us the final piece in locating and accessing Rhogan’s safehouse.

Two weeks of travel later we worked our way into the safehouse. It is in the depths of Hive Sibellus, in the prohibited sector of C7. There was an unfortunate exchange of fire between our cell and an Arbitrator squad that had been designated to defend the safehouse at all costs. Crimson cell came out relatively unscathed, but our opponents, not recognizing our identification, forced our hand in causing their deaths. May their staunch loyalty find them seats by the Emperor’s side.

Rhogan’s safehouse contained a very intricate map, presumably where he had been keeping track of events he considered notable. We already know of Darius’ relatively recent seizure of control over Turanshush, reports of the new gaseous weapon being used on 47 Kapella, and Rhogan’s post-mortem contracts with Scarlet’s brethren Burwin and Edric involving Cyprian’s Gate. The map revealed to us Rhogan’s suspicions of Farcrast and Kulth as well. After some analysis of the layout of the map, it would appear that Rhogan’s own analysis led him to come closer to pin-pointing the cause somewhere in the centre of the map, as opposed to on the outer reaches. We later found what he had been searching for.

The answering machine in the safehouse held messages whose contents were rather disturbing given the context of recent events. They revealed a gradual loss of control, as well as systematic elimination of Rhogan’s other cells. Crimson cell should consider itself lucky to have been serving directly by Rhogan, a situation which no doubt led to our continued survival. We know now that we are the last of Rhogan’s functional cells, short of any lone survivors that may be out there. The desire for vengeance and justice burns ever brighter in my heart at the thought of this.

One such potentail survivor of the massacres is an Enforcer Palantin, whose messages indicated his location on Quaddis. An interview with the local Magistrate Baraspine confirmed Palantin’s connection with the Inquisition, as well as his last known location of Quaddis.

Aside from other forms of documentation that will be moved to the Lazarus, there was one final thing to note of the safehouse. Rhogan had a private room, locked behind a golden door. Our techpriests are working on it, but at the time of my writing they assure me that they cannot reasonably open it without setting off any self-destructing traps any sooner than seventeen weeks from now. I would expect nothing else of my late Inquisitor’s preparation.

The interview with Baraspine also revealed a similar Inquisitorial safehouse somewhere in Sector C8. The entrance proved to be through the wine cellar of a local inn. While staying at the inn, the cell ran into a techpriest by the name of Varryn, who appeared to be a regular. I immediately left for the nearest safe terminal to see what data we may have on this irregular regular, leaving the rest of the cell to investigate what they could and to keep an eye on our new friend. It is now evident that my departure was premature, a mistake I don’t expect to repeat.

While I was gone it would appear Acolytes Crowe and Thule took it upon themselves to gain entry into the [then suspected] Darian safehouse. Detail of the horrors found there are described in a separate entry, but suffice it to say that they discovered rather convincing evidence that Darius has been behind the Calixian Pattern Killings. Acolytes Crowe and Thule valourously charged and brought down the Darian cell members who happened to be on site, two unknown Techpriests along with Varryn whom we had already met. As a fellow member of Crimson cell I do not believe it necessary for any formal disciplinary action as their own actions were purely in the interests of the mission and loyalty to our cause, but out of concern for both their own wellbeing and the success of future missions, I hope the Captain will spend some time in levelling their heads. Their actions are certainly praiseworthy in their pure valour and bravery, but such methods belong in the war zones and not in Inquisitorial investigation.

Attached please find my supplementary report on the details of Darius’ victims found at the site. The victims conditions are identical to those of the Calixian Pattern Killings, and evidence strongly suggests that the procedure was necessary to research being done by these techpriests. May the Emperor give us strength to smash these enemies and bring their leader to justice.

=][=
I have included the following excerpt from Acolyte Crowe to provide further details on the events that Acolyte Quintos was not present for.

- Captain Connery
=][=

In the wine cellar of the establishment [the local inn], I noticed an aberrant Mechanicus symbol etched upon a loose brick. Pulling on the brick caused the wall to open up, exposing a hidden elevator. Under poor judgement, we decided to take the elevator down, and follow the hallway it led to. It was immediately evident that this was a place meant for cult activities, as we faced severed body upon severed body, splayed and displayed upon a cross in star-like formation. We approached a set of double doors at the end of the hall, and after throwing them open, were forced to engage the two heavily armed, heavily armoured techpriests behind it.

Despite the fact that we were not wearing any armour, and had the foul chance of experiencing multiple gun jams, the Emperor graced us with His divine protection, and we managed to exterminate the two techpriests. The resident techpriest from the bed and breakfast decided to also join in on the festivities, but we were fortunate enough to exterminate him too, without severe injury.

It was not clear exactly what the techpriests were attempting in their cultist rituals, but it seems important to note that Virrus found particular interest in relation to his research of the Calixian pattern killings. It also seemed significant that the techpriests had been collecting some sort of cranial fluid.

The owners of the establishment have been placed under custody. Reasons as to why this location was being guarded by the Arbites remains unclear.

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We All Fall Down

=5A68 LAZ INQ CR=
=4.233.000 M42=
=CPT CONNERY =

In a previous mission to the Raes palace, we had discovered the whereabouts of back-passages, and took these to avoid further confrontation with the guards. Mathias took the responsibility of locating Commander Volkov while the rest of us looked to secure an escape vehicle. Locating the garage was easy enough, but finding an exit from the palace proved to be more difficult. After splitting up, we finally found a way into the stables, and cut through the grounds to the garage.

Inside, we found six tanks. After rigging one to act as a distraction, we took the other and fled the town for Domegis. It was not long until we managed to contact Rhogan, who informed us to turn south instead, and head to the city of Skrall. We were met halfway by a scouting valkyrie around midnight, and were flown the rest of the way.

Upon reaching Skrall, we were brought to the Tabulae Maximus where Rhogan awaited us. He informed us that shortly after we had been out of contact, Raes took over as king, and wanted to break from the Imperium. War had been raging as of four months ago, and full engagement was expected within the week. Domegis had been utterly destroyed as the capital, and as such, the base of operations had been relocated to Skrall.

Our cell, along with Arl, Ezeroth, Commander Volkov, four accompanying stormtroopers, and Rhogan himself, were to move behind the line of assault to the command tent, and capture Warmaster Cain. It was suspected that Raes had recently hired Cain as his new general, and that Cain was in fact primarily in charge of the assault. We left by Valkyrie in the early morning and made for the flying island. As we scouted for a place to land, a terrible feedback came over the vox system, and several of us had to discard our microbeads in pain. We were deposited to one side of the island along with Rhogan and Ezeroth, while the stormtroopers force looked to engage elsewhere. When we landed, a strong vibration shook the ground, and a loud, booming voice spoke to us. Six hostiles appeared out of nowhere, dressed in red and brass with horned helms and giant axes. As we fought them off, the voice continued to speak, claiming to be Inquisitor Darius, and telling of his plans to gain power through heretical means and contracts with false gods.

Once our defences became strained, Rhogan ordered the cell to return to the planet surface to rescue Burwin Gallagher and Keeno. We were told to then evacuate the planet, and purge it of heresy. Following these orders, we parachuted back to the surface. There we were surrounded by dozens of cultists, and as we fought them away, they seemed to burst from their skin into fleshy, rabid creatures. We managed to salvage a pickup truck, and drove furiously toward the Tabulae Maximus, all the while being chased by these vile creatures.

Upon reaching the library, Mathias and Arl went to secure a transport vessel while Virrus and I searched for Burwin and Keeno. Virrus and I were slowed by some light resistance, and reunited with Mathias once he had located a shuttle. The three of us headed toward the library basement to look for Burwin and Keeno. However, we soon noticed that they were joined by a third figure, Warmaster Cain. After confronting Cain, he agreed to come with us peacefully if we were able to offer him “a cure” for a condition he would not specify. It was evident that he was mentally unstable, and we agreed to his terms so that he would cooperate.

The ground began to quake, and we raced out of the building soon before it collapsed behind us. However, in the centre of the rubble remained a solitary, black figure, floating above the wreckage. A fuzzy haze surrounded what was identifiable as a little girl, who then proceeded to hurl pieces of the wreckage at us. While we ran around the massive crater dodging debris, Mathias managed to contact Arl, and directed him to target the shuttle’s las cannon at the girl. On impact the girl was defeated, and the debris of the library exploded after imploding upon itself.

We reached the shuttle and evacuated the planet just in time to see the ground open up, and release hundreds of the skinless cultist creatures. Mathias made contact with the Lazarus to confirm orbital bombardment, and Penolpass was destroyed.

=SCARLET CROWE=
=5S68 VR IMP PD=
=UD=

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Great Scott!

Document: 01-A359268-CC-3277 Crimson Cell Penolpass Report 6.dat
=-=-= Security Level Three =-=-=
=-=-= For Internal Use Only =-=-=

Date of Submission: 4.119.000.M42
To: The Right and Honourable Inquisitor Rhogan
Author: [Level-1 Acolyte] Virrus Quintos
[Affiliation] Imperial Inquisition Crimson Cell
Subject: Mission 6 Report

Attachments: [none]

Greetings and highest respects to milord Inquisitor Rhogan.

Firstly, I must apologize for what must appear to be several consecutive months without a single report from Crimson Cell, let alone any sight of hide or hair. From what I gather, milord likely has much on his plate right now, and with little time to spare for the trivialities of what seems like a failed mission and a missing cell, so I will cut right to the chase, for there is legitimate reason for our disappearance this past half-year.

If milord would grant me the favour of recalling back to the message we sent immediately following my reinforcing the rest of the cell after my separate duties, in the accompaniment of two storm-troopers. That was due to our newest encounter with the previously reported phenomenon of an otherworldly cycle of growth and decay in vegetation sped up to an extreme. Once again there existed a sort of “bubble” around the cell wherein both growth and decay were halted, as if sentience alone were immune to the miasma of warp-fuelled distortion that was the foliage. The reason we sent that message was that we discovered that not only did our surroundings change, but this time, time itself was proceeding at differing rates.

We immediately retreated back to the beach where the storm-troopers and the individual known as Keeno were waiting with the submarine. The time discrepancy we noticed was negligible and impossible to verify at the time. The party was then to split up while Acolytes Crowe, Thule, Erikson, and myself were to head in land on foot, while the storm-troopers would escort Keeno, the only capable pilot, as the submarine searched along the coast.

As we made our way deeper into the new continent, we had two encounters with enemy aerial patrols, including one failed attempt to take it down. An indeterminate amount of time later, we came across a sudden change in landscape, as the warp-infested forest ended on a distinct border with what seemed like completely artificial terrain, both grass and trees. This division and the new landscape stretched beyond our vision to either side, so the party decided it was worth the risk to enter it. At worst, we felt, we would be considerably harder to spot in the dead of night than back in the mutated forest, with the empty bubble around us.

Not long after the change in scenery, we came across what appeared to be a small forward outpost, encompassed within a simple shoulder-height fence. The single visible guard-post at the main entrance was occupied by an inattentive guard. After some difficulty and debate, we infiltrated the perimeter and made our way to the large stone building. Within the camp there were also a small number of box-shaped silo-like structures lacking windows and with a single visible door. At the back of the stone building we entered was an airfield with three valkyries parked, and a large door suggesting the building also served as a hangar. Inside, the ground floor appeared to be mainly dedicated to serving as a loading bay, where a techpriest was herding servitors to load large barrel-like canisters by the door. We incapacitated the techpriest and proceeded to the second floor.

The second floor at first appeared much smaller than the first, due to one wall of what seemed like glass. At a table against the glass, facing inside, were two techpriests at work. The party attempted to trick these workers into believing we were dispatched from their headquarters, in order to steal some data on their research, which they were obviously doing. Unfortunately, before they compiled the full report, they caught on to our deception, and before expiring opened the (presumably) pressurized door, unleashing the deadly gas we are all too familiar with. Out of the gas charged some warped being, hardly human, and given the uncertainty of the encounter we fought a retreating action.

[I must take acknowledge Acolyte Thule in his stalwart courage for holding the beasts back at the door, as well as Acolyte Crowe for her dedication in protecting the party when she forced her aid on me when I was hit by the gas]

We gathered what little evidence we could, then fled the camp to make our way back to rendevous with the sub. En route, the storm-troopers reported trouble, but we soon lost contact. We located the sub along the coast, and after disposing of a combat servitor acting as sentry, made our way in, clearing the quarters as per doctrine. On reaching the mess hall dividing the control room and the stairs leading to the decks below, the party split as Acolyte Crowe and I would search the control room and Acolytes Thule and Erikson for Storm-trooper Volkov.

The control room door opened up to the sight of a techpriest bent over the machinery, mumbling to himself and repeating the words “Nobody betrays Keeno.” Contact had been established, but negotiations appeared to lead nowhere. Some combat ensued, but once the opponent had calmed down he was willing to re-engage in negotiations, and a ceasefire was worked out. It became clear that this person is the true Keeno, and the one previously referred to as Keeno simply a fraud. The terms of the ceasefire was simply that he would accompany us back to Domegis to see milord, and in return we would not molest his body or work until he has had a chance to discuss with milord in person.

In the meantime, Acolyte Thule had succeeded in his objective of rescuing Storm-trooper Volkov.

Crimson Cell then proceeded to make the journey back to the Northern continent and report to milord. Upon landfall, we immediately made contact with headquarters and milord, and set off as fast as we could. Along the way we were picked up by a troop transport of the Rhaes Faction, not knowing the political situation. As a result, we were unknowingly brought to Nilka and ushered in to see the late Nobleman. It appears he wished to corrupt, interrogate, or hold us ransom against milord, and spoke of working for a purpose greater than his life alone, or anyone present. It was at this point that we terminated him, and armed ourselves with cutlery and chairs to face the guards that we knew would be coming in.

Practically unarmed against heavily armed palace guards, we were able to overcome the defenders through a combination of teamwork from myself and Acolyte Thule, as well as Acolyte Crowe’s quick thinking in dodging behind the enemy to retrieve the weaponry we were stripped of before entering the hall. Keeno also proved to be a worthy ally, stepping in to deliver the final blows and quite single-handedly ending the encounter. He did, quite honourably in my opinion, express a strong wish for us to avoid the shedding of blood, but accepted our refusal to be incarcerated in the end.

As I am writing this, we are currently gearing up to storm our way out of the castle. We hope to break past the defences in a captured transport and speed our way back to Domegis, so, milord Rhogan, please extend to us your blessings.

May the Emperor guide our path.

-Acolyte Virrus Quintos

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Let Slip the Dogs of War

=5A48 HQ IMP PD=
=3.489.999 M41=
=INQ RHOGAN =

There is much to report, as much has been discovered in the last day that urgently needs your attention. It would seem as if the situation on the planet is much worse than we originally perceived. At this point, it is not very clear how to proceed, though we are trying our best.

Despite having been guarded without activity for the last two weeks, the mines were certainly not empty. We came across a significant number of miners, mindless and seemingly having gone unnourished for an impossibly long period of time; we were unable to pry them for information. Footsteps were also heard in the passageways, but there were never any people to accompany them. Clearly, these mines were not of holy association. However, this is far from the greatest of our concerns at this point.

As we continued to explore, we discovered a laboratory in which a yellow liquid was being developed. Out of suspicion, I released a sample of it, and a gas not unlike the gas we encountered in the recent raid began to form. We spent some time gathering what information we could. We took a technician captive and whatever notes and samples that happened to be lying around.

In the depths of the mines, we faced an unexpected change of scenery. The mines we entered acted as a back door to Nillus Steel Co.. Hidden in the backs of their shipping containers were hundreds of units of unauthorized guns and ammunition—it would seem as if we’ve uncovered the main player in the illegal weapons trade. Feeling that we needed to know exactly who was behind this operation, we continued our exploration.

However, the illegal weapons trade no longer seems to be of great importance when compared to new discoveries. Hidden far below the surface, a facility is currently developing and perfecting the potent raiding gas. In a demonstrative experiment, I fired a shot off at a group of people who had been exposed to the gas. Similar to what happened at the raid, some of them vanished instantly. One was left in a hysterical fit, muttering heretical phrases. The rest were completely unresponsive, fearless of the gunshot.

We learned that the facility is currently trying to decrease the potency of the gas in order to achieve more results like the unresponsive few. I suspect that they are attempting to build an army of fearless soldiers. Apparently, the gas is meant to “open the mind up to the warp.” If this is true, and my suspicions are correct, then we face an incredibly daunting force.

In fact, it would appear as if this suspected army has already begun to form. Led by a man referred to as ‘Warmaster Cain,’ a force roughly four to five hundred strong is fully armed and currently on the move. I can only hope that their numbers are not greater than those we observed. There are four very distinct divisions in this force. They seem to be of separate origins, and there is tension amongst them. Cain directed them in some incomprehensive language, but his final words were very distinct. “Remember, we will work together and this planet will be ours. Then you can go back to bickering.”

Outside of this information, there was not much else we could gather in regards to the research they were conducting. There was mention of other experiments on people they referred to as the ‘touched ones,’ who never ate but seemed fine in appearance. It was not very clear what exactly these ‘touched ones’ were, or what significance they held.

Following the rally, we trailed Cain into a large submarine. We swept the entire ship, but could not find him aboard. Instead, we encountered a peculiar tech priest by the name of Keeno. He revealed to us that he is the original developer of the potent gas, known as gas 24-3, and that its research was commissioned by a man named Lord Darius. We secured the submarine with the assistance of a storm trooper force, then proceeded to pursue Cain using the submarine’s escape pods.

Suspecting that he had escaped to a nearby archipelago, we decided to split up and search the islands separately. Several of the islands were overgrown with cyclically decaying forests, exactly as we have encountered before. We finally managed to locate the island we suspect Cain to be hiding on. Entering through a hatch in the ground, we discovered what appeared to be a mechanical control room of sorts. While gathering information, we were discovered, and evacuated the island.

As we escaped back to the submarine, the island rose out of the water, and began to pilot itself toward the southern continent. We are currently in pursuit, but as we will soon be reaching land, it will become necessary to continue on foot. We left Mathias’ micro-bead on the island as a slapdash tracking device, hopefully it will do well enough.

I feel it is important to mention that while exploring the decaying forests, the daemonette’s voice returned to my mind, and I am currently effectuating this mission in an affected mind state, though I am doing what I can to combat it.

May my bullets be cold in the hearts of The Emperor’s enemies.

=A SCARLET CROWE=
=5S48 VR IMP PD=
=UD=

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Cry "Havoc!"

Document Name: =I= report to Lord Rhogan of His Divine Majesty’s Imperial Inquisition
Document number: 04-6983486
Date: 3.444.999.M41
Authorization: Acolyte Mathias Thule of Crimson Cell
Thought of the Day: Hatred is the Emperor’s greatest gift to humanity

To my esteemed Lord Rhogan,

The following report consists of two missions which we embarked on by your will, the first of which was the investigation of a village which was suspected of housing psykers, and the second the defense of a town from a raid.

After being briefed by you on what to investigate in the village, we regrouped with the recon team and went on our way in a salamander. Prudently, the salamander was discarded a short trip away from the town to east infiltration. Due to my quick thinking we were allowed to enter through the main gate under the guise of being mercenaries looking to stay a short while. Once there we were quickly told where the inn was, as well as to avoid the restricted area in the northwest part of town. Naturally we assumed the psykers to be in that area. Unfortunately due to the layout of the town there was no easy way to infiltrate without being immediately obvious that we were attempting to get in. The restricted area was surrounded by a solid stone wall, with no cover to obscure its lines of sight. Scarlet was not very helpful by being unwilling to pursue potential leads, and also being extremely unwilling to lend out her equipment to test potential leads.

However as the Emperor (may He shine in the dark) willed it a drunk had actually started flirting with Scarlet and told her all we needed to know with one important fact being that there was a well behind the wall, which likely meant that they were interconnected; a theory that Scarlet did not wish to follow up on because “it was stupid”. Armed with this new knowledge, we plumbed the depths and after a brief fire fight arrived right under the well behind the wall. Needless to say we ascended quickly and then stormed the building that housed the psykers. It was at this point my lord, that we established a vox link with yourself and updated you of the situation as well as called in the storm troopers to secure the town.

We hitched a ride from a Valkryie that brought in the storm troopers back to Domegis and presented the captured psyker to you. It was at this point that you gave us a week of rest and placed us under Ezeroth’s command to defend a town. We swiftly departed afterwards. Once there Scarlet and I were assigned to scouting duty to check the force disposition of the raiding force. We swiftly hit a scouting party which by the blessed will of the Emperor (May he smite the hiders in the dark!), we managed to eliminate without a sound as well as managed to capture their leader. With that being down we swiftly went back to Ezeroth to deliver our captive.

Soon afterwards we were attacked in force. The intelligence was not accurate in the slightest. The heretics were well armoured (with guard flak no less!) were equipped with autoguns, mono edged weaponry as well as mortars. Additionally they extensively used gas weapons with their flamers and with their mortar shells. At the start of the battle they launched some explosive shells but they soon started flinging the gas shells. Unprotected civilians were soon bleeding out of their orifices, collapsing, and then arising again. They were given the Emperor’s (May he smile upon the faithful) mercy.

A disconcerting effect that the gas had was that it teleported many people away. It was then that Scarlet and I received a distress call from Arl who was fighting close to an unfortified wall. The enemy had flanked us! Scarlet climbed up on top of a houses roof, but showed her true colours when she did nothing there but cower in fear! However it was when they finally blew a hole in the wall that our darkest hour came. Stout hearts and endless faith was needed, and Scarlet had already proved her worth here, so it was up to me to win the day. I was not found wanting. Quickly leaping into the breach, I singlehandedly held it long enough for support to arrive and drive off the enemy. Another raider was also captured.

It was then that I found Arl bawling and cradling the bodies of what I presume to be his family. With the fighting still ongoing I attempted to rouse him to turn his despair into hatred, but the man was weak and he could do nothing but weep. He failed in his duty as a guardsman; nothing more need be said. Scarlet reacted in a particularly womanish manner. It mattered not however as the battle was soon over with victory cries ringing throughout the town. A few days were spent patching up the town as best we could and soon afterwards we departed back to Domegis.

We eagerly await further orders.

The Emperor protects,
Mathias Thule of Crimson Cell

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Third on a Match

=5A46 HQ IMP PD=
=3.390.999 M41=
=INQ RHOGAN =

After a week and a half of time to ourselves we were called into your office with a critical assignment. The documents we had recovered from our last mission contained urgent information, and Arl and several supporting units had been sent as a forwarding team to investigate. At some point into the mission, casualties were reported, and a request for aid had been dispatched. However, the communication link with the team was severed, and details were lost. Our mission, therefore, was to both remedy the situation and rescue Arl should the option remain available.

Travelling by Salamander, the journey to Penolpass’ mining district took only a few hours. Conflict in the distance was distinctly heard as we neared our destination. As we approached, it became clear that a large projectile was headed toward us; fortunately, Virrus managed to quickly gun down the missile before it hit. Immediately after the first, a second missile was fired. Unable to deflect it, we were forced to abandon the vehicle only moments before its annihilation.

As we ran toward the now wrecked Salamander for cover, we heard a sniper shot ring out. Mathias was hit, but we still managed to reach the vehicle safely. Both the missiles and the sniper shots had originated from a tower by the mountainside; Arl was taking cover behind a wall nearby. As he and Virrus provided covering fire, Mathias attempted to run for the wall. Unfortunately, he was shot down, and after disabling the sniper, I had to run in and drag his body to safety.

Engagement from the tower desisted, but activity at ground level increased significantly. The opposition was very heavily armed and incredibly well trained, tactically deceiving us on several occasions. However, we fought with His glory in our minds, and cleared both the outer vicinity and the tower building. It was during this encounter that we discovered the opposition’s access to explosive collars. As I mentioned earlier, the men we were facing were clever in their tactics; despite averting an initial explosion, a second blast came close to eliminating us, and would’ve killed Mathias had I not pulled his unconscious body out of range.

We found the sniper on the brink of death in the tower. I recognized him as Burwin Gallagher, guild member of the Sons of Dispater and fellow Brother. We thought it would be best to bring him to you, as it was likely he was in possession of valuable information. As I have mentioned in past, Burwin is a highly capable assassin. Should his motivations be holy and true, I humbly request he be made a new addition to your forces.

May my bullets be cold in the hearts of The Emperor’s enemies.

=A SCARLET CROWE=
=5S46 VR IMP PD=
=UD=

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Burn, Baby, Burn!

=5A44 HQ IMP PD=
=3.345.999 M41=
=INQ RHOGAN =

We returned to Domegis only to be met by extremely frustrating news. Even before entering the city, it was clear that our plans did not go as we had intended. As we soon confirmed with you, Raes is not the new ruler of Penolpass; King Judea has been assassinated, along with four of his personal aids. This provocative action has been taken every way but lightly. I personally find this turn of events particularly intriguing, and plead to have the honour of pursuing its research in any way possible.

Regardless, as The Emperor’s work must always continue, we were assigned a new mission: there was evidence of heretical activity to the north, and as dutiful servants, we were obliged to purge it. After a four month formal separation, Veronica Skivers was reassigned to our team for the purpose of assisting us. She provided us with a disjointed and confusing summary of her investigations, abundant in fairly worthless information regarding crazy people and random noises. We approached our task no better prepared than we would’ve had we gone alone.

After a five-day journey, we reached the boundary of the desert. Lush plant life greeted us like a passive army, approaching in line but avoiding us when it neared. As we continued onward, grasses dried beneath our feet, trees expired by our sides, and plants wilted with our wake—it was very clear that strange forces were at work.

We followed the tracks of evil until we reached the valley of the outpost. In our good fortune, it was conveniently shaped so that we could hide out until the opportune moment of attack. We waited for nightfall, and I began the assault with an explosive dismissal of the main guard. With him out of the way, clearing the area of all remaining heretics gave us no inconvenience.

We discovered that they had been guarding a large cavern, the bottom of which harboured a mob of people and mutants. They spoke in a dazed stupor, often referring to Skivers as if she were their deity. When they began to approach her, I sensed they would bring trouble, and suggested we distance ourselves. However, at the mention of leaving, the mob was quick to turn aggressive. Thinking like a soldier, Mathias lobbed a grenade into the unruly group.

I am yet unable to explain exactly what happened next. With the explosion of the grenade, darkness descended. We were there, and yet there was nothing. Everything that had existed only moments before was no longer. With our lamps we attempted to illuminate the darkness, but the light extended infinitely. It was then we met the enemy. Within the void, there were two forms chained to an inexistent wall: the first, a daemon; the other, a girl.

Virrus began to talk to the girl in an attempt to find a way to leave the darkness. However, she refused to give him an answer unless he neared her. Knowing to be cautious, I took aim at her from a distance while he made his approach. As it turned out, my suspicions were not unwarranted. She broke free of her chains, and began to attack him with blades that protruded from her forearms. Fortunately, I was able to gun her down before any real harm was done.

The darkness lifted with her death. We were once again in the cavern, although Mathias passed out on the return journey. We carried his body out of the cavern just as it collapsed behind us. The trip back to Domegis was relatively uneventful, the only occurrence of interest being Mathias’ return to consciousness.

After you returned from a brief trip to Nilka, we were told to retrieve a book from Skrall, reference number Z334-24-KR-72.126. As a simple two day journey, we weren’t expecting any resistance. Of course, we should have been. As soon as we reached the floor of the archives, it was clear something was amiss. I, along with Mathias, rushed to investigate what sounded like a scuffle, while Virrus and Skivers attempted to find the book and ensure its safety.

As Mathias and I ran toward the source of the commotion, a scribe fled from behind a bookcase. A shot rang out and he fell to the ground. We reached the scene just in time to see a table of books and records, alight in flames, and a man fleeing the scene through the stairwells.

Not wanting to lose the suspect, I chased after him; Virrus assembled a team to put out the fire, while Mathias organized a lockdown of the building. In order to get ahead in the hunt, I dropped past floors through the windows, and met the man on a lower level with a bullet to the face.

Z334-24-KR-72.126 was never found. We could only assume that it was lost in the fire. However, the dead man was carrying a page torn from another book, referencing Z334-24-KR-72.126. Virrus seems to think it contains invaluable information.

I apologize for our inability to complete the mission, and will accept all consequences for it.

May my bullets be cold in the hearts of The Emperor’s enemies.

=A SCARLET CROWE=
=5S44 VR IMP PD=
=UD=

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