The Crimson Falling

How dreadful knowledge of the truth can be when there's no help in truth!

Audio log: AIDU-X9327-274

Thought of the Day: And they shall know me, through fire and sword they shall know me.

+++++Begin Recording+++++

As I record this we stand upon the edge of redemption. I will continue where my last log ended. Continuing our journey with that filthy rogue trader, we agreed to meet at a place called the “slimy shit pit” which apparently was an inn of disrepute. On the way down however, we were separated and we seem to have each gotten a pilot that we knew earlier on in life. By the throne was it good to see Theo… He didn’t seem to recognize me though. It must be whatever caused our identities to be erased.

When we get to the “inn” we stay the night. I chose to stay on my own. It was then that we were ambushed by an imperial kill squad. They were unusually well armed. More than one of them were equipped with some sort of power weaponry and as far as I know, that is not standard armament.

Regardless we slew them, and pushed forth to a place called Gwalior to search for Rhogan the betrayer. The imperials also seemed to be pushing in that direction, but fortunately we weren’t spotted by them. What was also weird was that the bunker we decided to stay in had a guy who had the same name as me. He was dead, but I carry his arms now.

In the morning we pushed forward again; this time into Gwalior. It was a deserted town. My comrades and I pushed forth and wound up at the cathedral. There we encountered guardians of some sort. They didn’t look too tough, but Gerard and Scarlet wanted to avoid a fight so I acquiesced to their demands. They spewed some nonsense about our righteousness but they had the look of the traitor about them.

Pushing into the cathedral we met this lady. By the emperor was she a whiny old hag. If i were not forced to sit there and listen to her idiocy, I would’ve gutted her like the swine she was. She prattled on about some riddles, and other such abominable nonsense. The only important thing that came out of her mouth was the fact that there were 3 tests. Old bitch was knowledge, despite spewing out nothing of import. The other two are strength and wisdom. I bet they will just be as idiotic as her. We are almost at the end of our quest now. Rhogan is almost within our grasp.

Mark my words, I. WILL. KILL. RHOGAN.

View
The Phoenix or the Flame?

I thought I had been on the tracks of glimpsing the truth behind the Emperor’s mysteries and His enigmatic Will, our cell having been led to some deep-Warp location where Darius had been in hiding.

Now I know it was purely arrogance and pride to think so.

We had walked straight into a trap, a cage in which dangled the sweet, succulent bait that was Darius, saliva frothing at our mouths as we strained against the bridle of better judgement to attack – when the floor was thrust away and we found ourselves in a steel coffin, falling, yet weightless, into the open Warp.

We should have been torn apart. The Lazarus certainly was. As were its captain and crew, ripped asunder and swallowed into the infinite depths of the Immaterium. We fell, weightless, adrift in the currents of the Warp until we found ourselves positioned above some unknown planet. Our futile and pointless efforts seemed all the more superfluous in the face of this overwhelming defeat, yet they weighed a thousand times a thousand tons against my very soul, crushing my mind and spirit as my body was by the pressure of atmospheric re-entry. Recognizing that we faced imminent death, my thoughts were drawn solely to the condemnation that awaited us for our now-apparent traitorous acts in obeying Rhogan. I knew, not just as a Moritat but as a proud citizen of the Iimperium, that we were destined for eternal damnation.

I don’t know what would be worse: eternal damnation or the fact that I was to be killed without shedding blood – without even a chance to fight! The very core of my soul, shivering in rage at how we blindly obeyed the commands that led us to such a fate.

Yet we were reborn.

Despite Rhogan’s evident betrayal and his attempt to leave us to the perils of the Warp, the Emperor saw and smiled upon us. Well, no, to say ‘smile’ would perhaps be too presumptuous. Rather let us say He pitied us.

After an eternity of darkness, I did it. I saw Him. I met He who sits upon the Golden Throne, our Lord and Emperor, and He said unto me: “Go; redeem your soul by killing the Traitor with your own hands.”

I then woke up to the feeling of pain.

No. I was pain. Every fibre of my body screaming in wretched agony; whether it was from the stress of re-entry or some infusion of Warp energies, I shall never know. I found myself next to Scarlet and Mathias, lying on the side of a road in what appeared to be a shanty town of sorts. The Emperor protects. Passers-by gave us only the most casual of glances, the careless look one gives an inanimate object in one’s path.

As we slowly regained control over our near-lifeless husks, a man calling himself Azul approached us. Apparently, he and his people viewed us as a sign of divine intervention in their fight against what he called “foreign invaders”. We were on the planet of Zel Tertius, and the date was 700.998 M41. We had been thrust into the past.

After picking up Arl and reviving him from his catalepsy (using a method I hope never to find necessary again – though even I was pleased with myself at the quality and craftsmanship of those impromptu dolls, given the materials at hand), we made a tentative agreement with Azul and his people, bargaining our support in his war for their support in getting off-planet. The cell had decided unanimously that the only meaningful road left to us would be pursuing the note Rhogan had left for us on Kulth, to find the Immortal on Faldon Kise.

The note was dated 850 of this year, giving us just under two Standard months to act. Clearly we could not afford to waste time in a prolonged campaign for these backwater people. Their area of control had been largely reduced to the rural sectors of the planet, whereas their conquerors lay claim to almost all the industrialized and urban centres. We sketched a quick plan to infiltrate the spaceport, commandeer some vessels, and fly out, using what ships we could lay hands on to support the frontal assault against a defensive wall that had been erected.

I am personally glad this plan became obsolete.

The ‘invaders’ turned out to be the Imperial Forces. We should have suspected something when we woke up to find that all our possessions had the Aquila removed – as if they had never been emblazoned to begin with. I’d assumed it was something warp-related, but hindsight is always 20/20. The paramilitary, agrarian people we had woke up amongst turned out to be some population of psykers, wielding ethereal blades into battle and capable of quickly boring tunnels deep in the earth with their bare hands. We’d surrendered ourselves to the Imperial authority, claiming to be, as we’ve a right to, agents of the Inquisition.

Whatever had dissolved the Aquila from our equipment worked its poltergeist magic on our Inquisitional ID’s as well. Instead of burning the air blue as their security features were meant to, our badges burned up in an orange flame, like some common newspaper.

I don’t know whether it was indifference in a busy time of war, or if it was simply his overwhelming sense of self-superiority that prompted the decision, but this man, Tiberium, allowed us entry into the city anyhow. In exchange for the intelligence on the psykers that we offered, as well as our assistance in the defense of the city, Tiberium gave us quarters and a promise to aid us in establishing our identities. (As a security issue, this may have been a matter of necessity on his part; I shan’t speculate any further, but I do hope to investigate these strange events in more detail if given the chance)

Faced with no other choice, we accepted his offer. I spent the day praying at the altar, hoping desperately that some agent of the Emperor might appear before me and give me direction. None appeared, but my time was not wasted – it is thanks to this time of contemplation that I am able to organize my thoughts and put them to this record.

At any rate, the psykers bore their tunnels under the wall that night. Contrary to what we had been told by Azul, their tunnels were many, as were their numbers. We managed to all but close one such tunnel opening, withdrawing to the spaceport where a smuggler known as Yurik, whom Scarlet had met during the day, had arranged our passage to Faldon Kise for the price of one of Scarlet’s pendants and Mathias’ xenos-bone chain-sword that he fancied.

In our fight to buy time for the dropship’s preparations, we once again faced the unexplainable threat of flesh meteors burdened with Xenos life-forms. Having been reborn as instruments of the Emperor’s holy wrath, I (and the others, I’m sure) knew no fear as we slew the vile creatures. Were it not for the opportunity of escape and the importance of our sacred mission, I am of the firm belief that I, and possibly Mathias and Scarlet, would have happily waded into a bloodbath of heathens and Xenos in the name of the Emperor.

Ahh well. There’ll always be bloodshed to look forward to.

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Morituri te Salutant

=BEGIN TRANSMISSION=

(soft hissing)

FALLING?! OF ALL FUCKING THINGS, FALLING???! Seriously, how did I end up here of all places? If anybody manages to find this in whatever wreckage we leave behind, here’s what you need to know, and URGENTLY.

(rushed speech) After Turanshush we made our way to Maccabeus Quintus. We met with some Captain, and a cartographer/grand master Cornelius. We had gone there in hopes that Cornelius would be able to find a warp map for us, which he did. We had a good and holy mass attended by Father Jonah, when xenos rocks, or maybe they were eggs, began to fall from the sky. There was a huge fight, but we managed to destroy the Xenos before too much damage was done. There was no Xenos ship in orbit, so they came from Emperor knows where.

On the Lazarus, we had word from the Tricorn Palace that Darius had been in contact with high authority on Kulth, where there was an ongoing war with the orks led by Elias Karr. When we got there, we received news that Karr had been isolated up at the front, and that troops had been ordered by some idiotic Commissar not to go after him. Since we couldn’t care less about the Commissar’s orders, we went after him ourselves. Once we found Karr and started questioning him about our investigations, he recognised (brief and sudden pause) Rhogan’s name. He had a message for us from him, dated over a year ago, stating, “Seek the one they call immortal”. We didn’t KNOW him that long ago. How did he write us that message?? (brief pause)

(deep breath) We left Kulth after a quick skirmish with the Orks, and headed for the location we now surmised was where we had to go. It was a location embedded in the Immaterium, and we had to reach it through a specialised boarding tube.

It was some sort of cylindrical vessel. We entered a room and mechanical voice spoke over a comms system of something called Project Darius, referring to both Yvonne and Remus. The door shut behind us and we were locked in, unable to cut our way out. Hundreds of mechanised tubes were then revealed to us, each containing an identical……person? And then….then the voice said, “Care to do the honours, master?”

And Rhogan’s voice came over the comm. Rhogan’s voice, which I had hoped to hear since that day on Penolpass, (intense choking up) came over the comm to dismiss us.

(crying) And now I’m stuck in this horror room, hurtling toward who knows what planet, and I’m going to die. Dear god, dear god. Why is this happening? I just want to go home.

click *

=END TRANSMISSION=

View
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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