Let me know what your buying when you get a chance.
You all prepare yourselves and head to the starport to prepare to leave Hive Tarsus. Your greeted by Inquisitor Marr's Psycher and she grins at Huntarr as you all prepare for boarding.
"I will not be joining you but you have your orders. Be careful and may the Emperor's light guide you."
The transport takes you to the Frigate, The Tarsus's Pride, and you are finally off to Sinophia. Your days traveling through the warp are a bit unnerving. Every night you have nightmares and when you leave the warp the nightmares stop as the ship has to make a few hops in and out to get to it's destination. None of you remember what happens in the nightmare just that you wake up sweating horribly.
It takes two weeks to reach the planet. Once the ship reaches orbit your team is deployed to the surface without delay.
The small shuttle bucks and vibrates as it descends through layers of gun-grey cloud cover. Through view ports smeared with thick runnels of rain, you catch glimpses of a soaked landscape revealed in the half-light of a cloud-shrouded dawn. You are the only passengers in the cramped cargo compartment, and the door to the cockpit swings back and forth with every shudder and roll, allowing you to hear the pilot’s curses and oaths. The shuttle banks sharply, sending stray equipment skittering across the floor. Through the viewports, you can glimpse the outline of a jagged looking city of greyish green buildings the colour of corpse flesh by an iron-black sea.
With a series of jarring twists, the shuttle settles into a vertical landing on roaring thrusters, skidding in the air like a leaf on a storm wind. A sudden thump vibrates through the floor as the shuttle settles onto the ground. The pilot shouts something inaudible and the back hatch and ramp hiss open. A chill wind gusts in, and you feel the wet spray of rain on your skin. Out of the open and beckoning hatch you can see impression of low buildings beneath a solid layer of dark clouds: rain is falling in thick sheets. “Welcome to Sinophia Magna. May the Light of the Golden Throne shine on you!” sneers the voice of the pilot.
There does not appear to be anyone here awaiting your arrival. Once you leave the shuttle with your belonging it takes off immediately leaving you behind in the cold drizzle on a seemingly deserted landing platform atop a twenty metre rockcrete column partly covered with mildew and moss. There are about a dozen such platforms seen clustered about in your area.
Population: No reliable estimate (estimated to be fewer than 150 Million, from a recorded previous height of 2 billion).
Tithe Grade: Exactus Minoris (planet unable to maintain regular tithe and placed under special measures as of 017.M41)
Geography/Demography: Temperate but unstable climate, remaining habitation centred on northern continent (Sinophia Magna: capital/starport, Karib City: lesser hive and industrial zone; population levels failing, Hive Argopolis: abandoned/unsafe). Sinophia also possesses extensive fertile wetlands and plains formerly cultivated but fallen to wilderness, lawlessness and widespread disuse. Sinophia’s southern continents are currently evidencing extensive volcanism and seismic activity, leading to a planetwide increase in precipitation over the last several centuries.
Governmental Type: Oligarchy (Quorum of Noble Families)
Planetary Governor: The Judiciary Evandus Idrani, Seventh of his Name
Adept Presence: Adeptus Administratum, Adeptus Ministorum, Adeptus Arbites—All Minor (presence much reduced from former levels)
Military: The Provost Defence Army (Organized as a PDF or Planetary Defence Force, low/medium, declining, not considered fit for purpose under most recent sector strategic review), private armed cadres of the noble houses (small/medium)
Trade/Economy/Addendum: Legitimate off-world trade with Sinophia is limited. There is a long-standing boycott of the world by the Calixis Chartist Captains, although dealings with minor cartels and independents are frequent, if erratic. Thanks in part to its dwindling population, Sinophia is largely self-sufficient in terms of food and industry, particularly in scavenging resources of its former sizable infrastructure, although the heavy tax burden imposed on the population by the local government has led to rampant criminality and corruption, further undermining civil and economic stability.
Auraxis grunts in response, "If getting blown up did not earn me my stripe than nothing will". The Arbite loads hellfire rounds into his shotgun and checks disgnostics on his new Cyber Mastiff "Terror".
Before making it to a public transport someone finally comes to greet you. He waves his hands a bit as he rushes toward you, he is dressed in robes of the grey robes of the Administratum and is utterly soaked beneath a wide uumbrella riddled with holes.
"My name is Charon apologies for being so late. It appears your scheduled arrival at this time was not provided and was not expecting you today."
Raising a curious brow, Nihil shifted in his position, at ease with the rain that poured from the sky.
"Now hold on a minute... And who sent you, exactly? Because the report stated nothing about meeting any sort of escort, and quite frankly, I've never seen a bloody Adept running around as an errand boy for Arbites..."
Illidan grabs his autogun strap ready to sling his gun into position, on the same uneased wave length as Nihil "Further more if you didn't know we were coming why are you here, why apologize for being late if you weren't expecting us. Why does your umbrella have so many holes. I don't like this one bit"
He looks a bit nervous and says "We were not expecting any crafts to arrive this day, very few ships land craft on Sinophia these days, and things being most irregular and out of my hands, you understand? I am no errand boy for the Arbites this is my station at the star port you see? But the Arbitrator Adjutant did ask for your lords assistance yes?"
Huntarr chuckles at the paranoia of his associates. Of course Charon was not going to lead them into a trap. It's not how things were done. If someone wanted to eliminate them at this stage, they had already sacrificed the perfect opportunity to do so, in the wide open spaces of the landing zone.
"Harangue the man after we're out of the rain. Tell me, Charon, have you thoughts on the matter that brings the likes of us to your world? You may speak freely, by the authority that we bear."
Charon looks around cautiously as if someone was watching them and then says "Well, there have been three deaths in the last week and the circumstances were so horrible they defy imagination!. Apparently the last fellow ripped himself apart, and the Adeptus Arbites are trying to cover it up. But you didn't hear that from me."
"I'm not quite sure as the Arbitrators are keeping things under wraps but I heard it was horrible..."
As you guys leave the port area you can see the city streets from where you stand. This place was probably a paradise at one time but now it's a city falling to pieces. Garbage litters the streets, the walls of buildings are peeling and a slight mist of fog covers the city. Doesn't look like there has been any upkeep on this city for quite some time.
"I'm assuming you wish to go to Haarlock's Folly to meet with the Aribtrators? Unfortunately the streets are blocked by collapsed arteria bridge. We can loan you one of the starport's motor skiffs and a pilot to take you to the city proper by water if you would like. Of course your free to walk across the foot bridges on your own if you wish."
"Let them wait. They have requested our help not the other way around. Let's get something straight here, one of us has to be the leader and call the play, if we work individually we are not going to make it very far. I have been on the beat handling cases like this for years. What makes you more qualified then me to deal with this situation?"
At the moment Auraxis is finished speaking your dataslates beep indicating there is a message on them.
CLASSIFICATION: DARK OMEGA
SUBJECT: Recent Occurrences in Sinophia Magna
Continued from previous transmission...
Data lost in transit...
Due to the nature of this mission I am placing Auraxis Auralious in charge of the cell due to his experience with these type of situations during his tour as an Arbitrator. Take his word as if it was coming from me. Any questions please feel free to come see me before you depart. May The Emperor guide you to the truth of these matters.
Illidan snaps a picture of both Charon and Reginald with his pict recorder."Incase I need to find you."Illidan speaks to Reginald "If you are worried about the weather Charon has a wonderful umbrella that wil shield you from the rain." Illidan walks off into the rain laughing amused by his joke, not fazed much by the downpour.
while walking Illidan will question the Guide "Reginald how long have you been in service and how well do you know know these streets and the locals?"
You all head into the city following your guide Reginald. He makes small talk with you and has lived here all his life. He's of common birth and does what he must to server the Imperium.
As you make your way through the almost ruined city you are confronted with a scene of ongoing battled. A rusted crane arm has crashed into the water across the canal in front of armoured cargo barge, which is now being attacked and boarded by several smaller craft, and snipers are firing down from nearby rooftops at the crew defending it. A fierce gun battle, drowned out until now by the sound of the manufatorum is, raging between the barge and its attackers, and as you watch a firebomb explodes on the barge's rear decks, sending a plume of red flame and oily smoke into the air.
For those of you with auspex:
The crew on the barge are wearing some sort of uniform faded powder-blue flak vests whilst their attackers are a ramshackle lot of festooned in tattoos, crude cobbled-together body armour and mismatched weapons.
"We are here for a specific mission not to get involved in every fracas we see Illidan. Besides it is the military's job to handle rebels. If our investigation leads us in that direction then woe to those who oppose the will of the Emperor".
You continue on leaving the battle to finish on it's own and see your destination in the distance. Haarlock's Folly is a tall, squre-sided tower of black stone with a needle-like roof of tarnished bronze that points at the leaden Sinophian sky. It exudes power overlooking the city. Its form is much at odds with the mute colours and ornamented architecture of the rest of Sinophia Magna.
Haarlock's Folly sits on a promontory of rock a short distance away from the cliffs overlooking the dark waters of the Satin's Mouth and is ringed by newly raised wall made up of prefabricated rockcrete slabs topped with armoured walkways, barbed wire, and a gate watchtower mounting a heavy stubber and searchlight covering the approach.
As you pass through the gate, you see a tall figure in a black armoured greatcoat with a low-slung bolter. He has the rank insignia of a junior marshal and moves toward you with purpose. He draws close and introduces himself as Fihad Constantine, Adjutant to the Arbites Proctor Marshal of Sinophia, saying:
"Welcome, honoured ssrvants of the most Holy Ordos, to Sinophia Magna. I can only offer my regrets that I was not able to meet you in person with delegation at the starport, but miscommunication and operational emergency here prevented it. The Marshal has appointed me to be your contact here and offer you whatever assistance in this matter I can, my pressing duties permitting. I am honoured to play what part I cna in your divinely appointed work to root out heresy and purge the unclean."
Constantine is a slim, vigorous young man with dark eyes and blonde hair.