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Dark Heresy: The Oremor Affliction IC

Game Master Rookseye

On the agri-world of Oremor, at the very fringes of the Malfian sub-sector, acolytes of the Inquisition and their allies must confront a sinister conspiracy that threatens to shake the very foundations of the Calixis sector.


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Ahmazzi wrote:
Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent pulls the chair back from the console and sinks into it, placing his fingers over the cogitator's waiting keys.

He calls out to the others.

"See if you can get that door closed."

Turning back to the cogitator, his fingers fly across the keys.

>>access: root/
>>display: *all


Vincent Sepheris wrote:
Ahmazzi wrote:

Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent, Ryuk, what will you do?

Vincent walks carefully into the room, choosing each step with care, and leans over the solitary chair to inspect the dusty cogitator.

Ryuk follows closely behind Vincent.

Ryuk then moves to close the door behind them to delay any pursuers.


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

The denouement of the violence comes over the crowd slowly, and as Wardja crosses against the grain of the milling throng surrounding the fighting-pit he notes how many have had their appetites stoked by the bloodshed. They soon move as he does, toward the waitstaff for liquid refreshment and the hors d'oeuvres tables, while some favor lighting lho or partaking of the elaborate hookahs the Gran Pallazzar has made available around the circumference of the room.

It feels good to get away from Leprade's stifling scrutiny, and he again opens the vox-channel to speak with Gereos.

Savalos stalks away, the disgust and anger welling up within him almost to the point that he cannot control the measured facade he portrays. He stops before a table holding a perfectly arrayed sampling of spiced estuary shrimp, their transparent carapaces dyed across the entire spectrum of colors; tiny, moronic black eyes staring up at him in death as if to taunt his already shaken psyche.

Looking up he meets Einhardt's gaze across the table, eye to eye, and there is little to disguise the simmering hatred in the weary guardsman's face.

Savalos is surprised when he speaks, his tone measured and calm.

"Can I interest you in a delicacy, lordship?"

Through subvocalization on his microbead, the Legionaire speaks something else entirely into Thul's ear, almost as surprising:

<<<"Get a hold of yourself, or Hurchal's sacrifice means nothing. No one craves satisfaction for this more than me, but outing ourselves to these monsters won't bring us any closer to vengeance. The next bout is scheduled to begin in less than thirty minutes. They intend one more before the preliminary hands of the tournament, with the final bout coming during the first scheduled intermission. Let's make effective use of this time, unless, that is, the servants of the almighty Inquisition see fit to disagree with a lowly guardsman's perspective.">>>

The last, scathing comment wounds Savalos deeply, perhaps deeper than the death of Hurchal, but it serves it purpose, and the ganger regains his focus.

Swinthosa Wardja, overhearing everything over his own microbead, considers what options they have at their disposal before reconnecting his link to Gereos.


Male Human Outlaw

Low over the microbead almost coming across as a growl. Using the action of eating the delights to cover my talking.

Its clear that Einhardt said the wrong words.

"I know my role."

I continue scanning the room. All the players will try to scope out there rivals before the first deck is shuffled. Looking for the other pieces of the Regicide Board. I know they are here.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

The satisfying tactile sensation of the dusty plas keys of the cogitator clicking away beneath his fingertips is immediately calming to the senior clerk. With each keystroke Vincent feels as if he has regained a trusted weapon at his disposal that has serendipitously returned after a long absence.

>>access: root/
>>display: *all

Even before the dim green characters fully spool across the pict-display, he mutters, "Never mind", and cascades down a series of operational security sub-directories under t e first entry he sees in a deft flurry of typing.

The door closes slowly of its own accord, even as Ryuk draws near to it with the tech-priest, sealing with a hiss of pneumo-actuators.

Returning to the previous screen following his initial command, Vincent scrutinizes the output.

>>>ERISHKAGAL-77 SOLITARIUM OPERATIONAL INDICES [1,377 subdir]
>>>ERISHKAGAL-77 SOLITARIUM AUTHORIZED USERS [15 subdir]
>>>SECURITY//CONTAINMENT [67 subdir]
>>>LOG FILES [4,399 subdir]
>>>PROXY ASTROPATHIC COMMUNIQUE PROTOCOLS [3 subdir]
>>>DATA FILES//YLESIUM CLAUSTRUM INFRASTRUCTURE [11,799 subdir]
>>>DATA FILES//PRISONER DOSSIER: VLINST VULST [13 subdir]
>>>DATA FILES//GHOLEM 77 PROJECT [379 subdir]
>>>ARCHIVE/ARSENAL [7 subdir]
>>>CONTINGENCY PROTOCOLS [4 subdir]
>>>HELLO VINCENT [1 subdir]

Please choose one of the directories at a time, Vincent, and I will proceed.


Ahmazzi wrote:
Solitarium Erishkagal-77

With a resigned sigh, Vincent taps out a few keystrokes and leans back into the musty chair.

>>access: HELLO_VINCENT


Arbite Investigator
Ahmazzi wrote:
Swinthosa Wardja, overhearing everything over his own microbead, considers what options they have at their disposal before reconnecting his link to Gereos.

The guardsman's words strike a chord. My master would not hesitate to sacrifice an entire system to thwart the Enemy. Should we hesitate now? I could order a unit into the gladiatorial staging area. Perhaps rescue Ahmazzi's people and substitute them with the Enemy's own? Undoubtedly that would lead to shooting and disruption. Best to let this play out... for now.

I turn, nod to one of my bodyguards, and beckon that he lean towards me. I act as if I whisper something in his ear and use a glass to cover my mouth.

In actuality I vox Gereos, "Hack the arena sub-level. Contact Dunkan and find out what's going on down there. Clandestine assistance only. Priority is maintaining cover."

I put the glass on the tray of a passing wait-servant and turn towards the arena. I close my eyes to meditate and center myself. Before closing the vox I speak a single word. It is an admonition for myself and the team in its entirety.

"Focus."


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Uriah Trantor wrote:
I don't remember if Uriah is using a cover name. If so I will make one up. I just got home from work.

Uriah, we'll presume the cover for the Malfian entourage is spent, so Uriah elected to use some of his inside knowledge of the Astropathic Choir of Orcut VII and is posing as an astropathic observer for the Revered Dirge Nicodemus.

"Mulsipher Mol, eh?"

Tikeen smiles as if you are sharing a secret that she is the more privy to than yourself.

Noticing your slight grimace at the bloody outcome of the bout, she follows your eyes to one of the pict-screens suspended above the tiered seating of the balcony level and her voice becomes more sympathetic and less teasing.

"A waste of life. I cannot abide such excess. The dirt-born and their amusements are truly mystifying to me. These displays of violence are nothing more than crude precursors to the true entertainment of the evening. This tournament will be legendary in time, my cards have told me such, even if my master is not destined to prevail."


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent's sigh catches in his throat when the lines of text scroll across the screen.

Hello Vincent.

Do you remember your Mother?

Do you remember your Father?

Do you remember Mara?

Do you remember the Guardsman?

Do you remember Me?

Are you truly the Orphan who longs for the scent of pine needles?

Or are you Another?

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased;
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow...

Serve me and I promise to deliver unto you the Truth you seek.

Do what must be done.

>>>[+++AUTHORIZED SIGNATORY BLOCK: INTERROGATOR DESIUS KRADE+++]
>>>[212.768.M41]

Upon reading the last line of the message, Vincent can feel the air in his lungs begin to stagnate, trapped by his deeply held breath, now straining against his chest like a bird in a cage. He watches in the dust speckled curve of the jet black cogitator display as Ryuk and Launce look on, the latter bowing his head as if in remorseful understanding.

The message is nearly fifty years old.


Male Human Savant Militant (Rank 4)
Ahmazzi wrote:

The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Uriah Trantor wrote:
I don't remember if Uriah is using a cover name. If so I will make one up. I just got home from work.

Uriah, we'll presume the cover for the Malfian entourage is spent, so Uriah elected to use some of his inside knowledge of the Astropathic Choir of Orcut VII and is posing as an astropathic observer for the Revered Dirge Nicodemus.

"Mulsipher Mol, eh?"

Tikeen smiles as if you are sharing a secret that she is the more privy to than yourself.

Noticing your slight grimace at the bloody outcome of the bout, she follows your eyes to one of the pict-screens suspended above the tiered seating of the balcony level and her voice becomes more sympathetic and less teasing.

"A waste of life. I cannot abide such excess. The dirt-born and their amusements are truly mystifying to me. These displays of violence are nothing more than crude precursors to the true entertainment of the evening. This tournament will be legendary in time, my cards have told me such, even if my master is not destined to prevail."

"I have found the ground pounders to be hard to understand in their motives and actions."


Ahmazzi wrote:
Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent stares at the screen for a long moment, shaken by the decades old message; by what it means. His vision blurs and he reaches one gloved hand up to wipe away the salty discharge.

Vincent's mind seethes with half-formed thoughts and feelings. Then, in an instant he wrestles it back into order, certainty cutting through the chaos like a razor. He turns to Launce.

"I need the information on this terminal, but we have little time. The Logis imprinted information from his cogitator banks into my mind, would it be possible to repeat the process?"


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Swinthosa Wardja wrote:
In actuality I vox Gereos, "Hack the arena sub-level. Contact Dunkan and find out what's going on down there. Clandestine assistance only. Priority is maintaining cover."

The arbitrators loaned to you by Ruvos Halleon are consummate professionals, and as you feign whispering into the ear of the closest, he responds with well-acted mutterings about the 'security assessment' he has made of the Pearl. You ignore the deceptive blathering, instead listening intently to Gereos' response.

<<<"Your request has been anticipated. Thirty-four seconds ago I began probing the Vermillion Ring's security infrastructure through the compromised cogitator hub's tertiary nodes. It is not an inherently complex system, but has numerous redundant fail-safes and countermeasures hard-coded for an extensive amount of contingencies."

There is an uncharacteristic pause in Gereos' usual stream of droning, run-on, speech.

<<<"I must communicate to you that I was not the first to interface with this system. Another initiated a similar intrusion seventy-four seconds prior to my own, also preemptive of your request. I had suspected that my probing had been discovered by our adversaries until I realized that my precursor had already begun disabling various systems within the security infrastructure---utilizing a most disturbing methodology that bypassed and irreparably damaged the sacred machine components of said system in direct contradiction to all that is preached by the Adepta on such matters---while I cannot deny the effectiveness of this forced unraveling of the component code, it is anathema to my sensibilities. The heretek, Danicos, spouted forth a vulgar stream of binary to assure me of his presence and then continued his work. While I have endeavored to render assistance in his task, I must make my official objections known to you...his tampering is effective in its brute force, but is nothing short of sacrilege to a true worshiper of the Omnissiah, and I strongly urge that he be reported upon conclusion of this mission.">>>

The sounds of the gruesome chain weapon in the pit below slowly recede as Dohor the Harvester strides back into one of the adjoining tunnel doors, replaced by gentle strains of music coming from a string quartet not too far from where Wardja stands.


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Uriah Trantor wrote:


"I have found the ground pounders to be hard to understand in their motives and actions."

Tikeen offers Wardja the hint of a smile, and inclines her head to her empty carafe.

"It seems we have something in common then. Whilst my master is not the typical dirt-born, he does possess a certain vexing unpredictability that seems endemic to their natures. Although I would expect nothing less in the way of eccentricity from someone possessed of a Warrant of Trade, he more than makes up for the shortcomings of his terrestrial birth by being one of the most capable ship's masters I have had the privilege to serve."

Seeing that you don't immediately take her hint that she would like another drink, still seated, she flicks her head inquiringly toward one of the servers passing to the left of you.

"So, what interest does the Choir have in the outcome of a glorified card game, Mulsipher Mol?"

Uriah, please attempt either a Charm, Deceive, or Blather test, depending on your desired means of interacting with Tikeen. I'll provide a sliding bonus to the roll depending on what Uriah says/does in response. Remember, you need not subtract the -5% for Interaction tests as she is also a voidborn.


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Although Savalos overhears Gereos' response, his mind is still elsewhere, the suddenness of the guardsman's death still gnawing at him like the single, scolding word uttered by Swinthosa Wardja moments ago.

Focus.

Old instincts kicking in, the acolyte turns his attention toward the raucous laughter of a trio of painted smile girls encircling a tall, ostentatiously dressed figure clad in a gold embroidered greatcoat framed by a long, flamboyantly-cut cape of blood-red silk. One of his supple, black leather calf-boots almost conceals the bulging hilt of some manner of power dagger, and twin, gleaming chrome bolt pistols, hilts of polished ivory chased in mother of pearl hang jauntily from either hip. Although his clothing appears well-worn, there is no question as to the expense of his ensemble, nor is there any doubt that he carries himself with rakish confidence that suggests he has a very high opinion of himself. You watch as he picks up on your surreptitious gaze, locking onto it, smiling with perfectly white teeth all the while with his company, even though you suspect his eyes are telling a very different story beneath the circular lenses of his designer augmetics.

He pulls two fingers together and brings them to the brow of his cleanly shaved pate, flicking them off to you in a mock salute that draws the attentions of the three voidship armsmen standing attentively around him.   

Sav, Scrutiny test, please.


Male Human Outlaw

Scrutiny Test (1d100=18)


Male Human Savant Militant (Rank 4)

Charm test(14) = 1d100 ⇒ 98 spent fate point. do not want a critical failure. 1d100 ⇒ 62 At least it is not a critical failure. Sorry this is late I could not get on to Paizo yesterday.

"The cards told us that one of us needed to be here. I was the one chosen."


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent Sepheris wrote:
"I need the information on this terminal, but we have little time. The Logis imprinted information from his cogitator banks into my mind, would it be possible to repeat the process?"

Launce stares at Vincent and the screen with a look of undisguised confusion, as if the young tech-priest had fully expected the senior clerk of Ylesium claustrum to utter something completely different from what he has just said. He just manages to bite off what begins as a terse reply steeped in a tone of resigned inevitability, like a player in a pict-drama prepared to recite a repetitive line of a script that has long lost its significance through over-rehearsal.

Even Vincent feels the vague deja vu of the temporal complexities wash over him, as if, impossibly, this was a conversation he has had on several occasions before with the tech-priest.

Launce does not cover well, and fails to improvise very convincingly following his aborted answer. Vincent and Ryuk cannot help but notice that the response has given Launce some measure of renewed hope, but regarding exactly what, neither can be certain.

"I---that is---yes, well, of course, we can attempt the process, particularly given that you have weathered it before with the Logis, but I cannot guarantee it will proceed without complications. You are a remarkable individual, Vincent Sepheris, my time with you has made this abundantly clear, but you are not a tech-tech priest, either, your mind is almost fully organic."

Seeing you are resolute, he says nothing further, instead working hurriedly on the cogitator's electro-graft shunt with his mechadendrite. When he has completed his ministrations he utters a droning warble of binary from his vox that sounds like a whistle of trepidation, and flips his reddish topknot over his opposite shoulder. He gestures toward the input slot.

Without hesitation, Vincent slides his own electro-graft into the slot, and almost immediately he feels the familiar, but still unnerving kinetic jolt of the circuit joining, followed by the disorienting flood of binary data upon interface. The pain is neither as intense or as long lasting as his communion with Logis Blakswann, but he is sweating, disoriented and winded when it is complete a few minutes later.

His consciousness probes at the data/memory hesitantly, like a fresh wound, the ghostly directories of the cogitator blinking before him now duplicated in the vault of his mind, expectantly waiting to be perused.

Launce, places a reassuring hand upon his shoulder.

"Are you alright, Vincent?"

Vincent, you suffer no ill effects from the data transferrence, the directories in the post above are all available and complete for when you wish to query them.


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Scrutiny test successful, Savalos, by multiple degrees.

You can see with certainty that the armsmen in question are fiercely loyal to the well-dressed voidsman, who carries himself with a confident swagger that exceeds even the most arrogant of Chartist captains.

There is no question in your Ordos-trained mind that the man before you holds one of the Imperium's coveted Warrants of Trade.

However, it is your hive-child's gut-instinct that tells you that he will be one of your competitors in the coming tournament.


Uriah Trantor wrote:
"The cards told us that one of us needed to be here. I was the one chosen."

Charm test fails, Uriah.

Tikeen considers your answer for a moment, her wides eyes gazing into your own somewhat disarmingly, as if gauging your truthfulness. You suspect her rather indulgent and overly polite reply is an indication that she does not entirely believe your reason for being at the Pinnacle of Pearl.

"So, it seems you are saying that the Imperial Tarot has compelled you to bear witness to a card game. Is prophecy always so rife with irony, Mulisipher Mol?"

She sips her drink, giving you a grateful nod for providing it.

"I am here merely as a spectator to my patron's enormous ego. There is not a high-stakes card game that convenes in the entire Malfian sub that he is not privy to, and he has no need of portents to sniff them out, it is something of an inborn talent of his."

Uriah follows her gaze to a void-captain standing amongst bodyguards at the opposite side of the casino floor. If he is not mistaken, Savalos himself loiters directly in the man's eye-line.


Male Human Savant Militant (Rank 4)
Ahmazzi wrote:
Uriah Trantor wrote:
"The cards told us that one of us needed to be here. I was the one chosen."

Charm test fails, Uriah.

"So, it seems you are saying that the Imperial Tarot has compelled you to bear witness to a card game. Is prophecy always so rife with irony, Mulisipher Mol?"

"It can be."


Male Human Outlaw

I return the Void Captains salute with a nod, and continue on my business. While the man's ego is apparent by his stature. There is something comforting about his demeanor. His roguish charm is something I can count on as a constant in the match. If I can learn to read his actions. Then he will be a good baseline to gauge the abilities of others around the table.

It will also tell a lot about the man if he wishes to engage me in conversation, or chooses to study me from afar. Guess I will see soon enough. Either way I know he is sizing me up. Fools aren't awarded Warrants of Trade....


Ahmazzi wrote:
Solitarium Erishkagal-77

As his vision clears from the sudden flash of pain, Vincent casts his gaze about the room. Seeing noting the lack of exits, he delves into the still throbbing data-wound.

With only a few moments searching, of he finds the folder he seeks:

>>>CONTINGENCY PROTOCOLS [4 subdir]


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Using the eidetic techniques drilled into him at the Schola during his youth, Vincent peruses the contents of the directory now embedded in his mind with a practiced ease.

***********************************

>>>CONTINGENCY PROTOCOLS [4 subdir]
******>>>[SOLITARIUM PURGE PROCEDURE]
******>>>[YLESIUM CLAUSTRUM CONTAINMENT PROCEDURE]
******>>>[ASTROPATHIC BEACON EMERGENCY ACTIVATION]
******>>>[EVACUATION PROCEDURE]

Ryuk watches in apprehension as Vincent's eyes roll smoothly into the back of his head as he sits before the terminal, showing ghostly translucent whites that reflect the green text still blinking on the screen.

For the senior clerk, the data contained like a separate kernel within his memory flows outward into his consciousness, and brings with it knowledge.

The salient details of the first subdirectory instruct the Inquisitorial operative in a convoluted series of ciphers and code phrases used to activate a self-destruct mechanism contained within the cogitator to reduce it, all of its data-loom files, and the small Solitarium cell to slag via an in-built melta-bomb.

The second subdirectory contains various Ordo protocols for dealing with everything from minor breaches in the security of their secret prisoner, such as unauthorized claustrum staff becoming aware of the Oubliette's dark truth, to the procedures to follow during a complete Warp incursion scenario similar to what you are experiencing at present. The ruthlessness of the Inquisition is abundantly clear in each and every contingency, but Vincent grows troubled when he realizes that the otherwise brutal directives laid down by this Inquisitor Ahmazzi of the Ordo Malleus for some reason preclude the wholesale destruction of the facility, instead placing an emphasis on the extermination of witnesses and containment of the Empyrean breach.

The third subdirectory comprises activation codes for astropathic emergency beacons in high orbit over Oremor. Both re-route priority encrypted messages to the Astropathic Choir of Orcut VII, one of which is explicitly meant to notify Inquisitor Ahmazzi on Scintilla of the Prisoner's escape, while the other is one encoded word, 'Righteous Dawn', designated to be broadcast sector wide.

The final subdirectory is of the most immediate interest to Vincent and the others, as it provides cartographic guidance along the remaining length of the hidden Inquisitorial shaft, out of the prison proper and then across nine kilometers of Ylesium Claustrum's territory to a location within the tertiary fallow fields of Plantation Zone 7 where an Ordos guncutter lies hidden beneath the fields in a subterranean hangar. The files provide precise instructions on locating a false stone in the field that contains an integral control panel wherein the specified security ciphers can be entered to raise the craft.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

How long is the timer, if any, on the melta-bomb?

Having found his primary objective, Vincent opens a second folder:

>>>ARCHIVE/ARSENAL [7 subdir]


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Rolling Disguise skill test for Savalos: Untrained = half Fellowship (42) so target is 21, 1d100 ⇒ 15, successful.

Savalos and the haughty Rogue Trader simultaneously break eye contact, and the acolyte turns to walk away, but his gaze is suddenly arrested when he notices that one of the smile girls has looked at him curiously before finally turning her attention back to her wealthy patron.

At first Thul does not recognize her, as the once green hair is now a subtle shade of lilac, and much, much shorter. But, the lovely young face with its lightly freckled cheeks is unmistakable, the dancing eyes unforgettable. It is Srina, the helpful smile girl you met in the Gear Box at a time that, after everything you have experienced since returning home to Oremor, seems so very long ago now.

It doesn't appear she recognized you, however.


Ryuk hovers behind Vincent.

The premonition of impending doom heightening his anxiety.

He grips the metal sliver in his hand tighter.


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Uriah Trantor wrote:
"It can be."

Tikeen looks at you with a half-grin on her milky-hued lips.

"You sound like one who knows this from past experience."

She returns her gaze to the ostentatiously dressed man looking at Savalos, watching as the pair break eye contact and Thul moves on into the throng of milling patrons.

"Hmm, it seems my master is already making new friends. So tell me Mulsipher, and forgive me if I am being too forward, but why exactly does the Astropathic Choir have a rooting interest in this little game of cards?"


"Vincent, are you sure about this?"


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Swinthosa Wardja half-listens as Gereos drones on about the sacrilegious ways that Dunkan Danicos is singlehandedly tearing into the Vermillion Ring's security subsystems, all while trying to keep a watchful eye on the prominent players gathered in the casino around him. He notes how both Leprade and Trizo keep a cool distance from one another, no doubt a mutual understanding agreed upon beforehand, as neither desires the negative attention that being observed conversing would create. The wealthy dowager Savalos was speaking to earlier, another player, is carefully picking her way through the various nobility, chatting amiably to everyone who approaches her, while the one that Uriah spotted, the bloated mass of flab reclining in the suspensor couch, the Fulcusian agri-business magnate, samples every morsel his stubby arms can reach from the refreshment tables.

A quiet word over the microbead from Savalos reveals that a likely Rogue Trader on the other side of the chamber may be the elusive seventh player, leaving only two more to be revealed.

Wardja please attempt either a Difficult [-10] Inquiry test or a Hard [-20] Scrutiny test.


Male Human Outlaw

Its with mixed emotions that my gaze temporarily locks with Srina. On one hand I am happy to see she is safe. Remembering the look in her eyes. The risk she took, and the absolute trust she put in me. In that instant I knew it was total and complete.

On the other hand. There is the tangible fear that her eyes may betray me to her Yelloback Masters. I need this charade to last just a bit longer. At least till I am allowed to bear my fangs and hunt Leprade and his fellow traitors proper. Let the Intelligencer build his case so we can close the net.

All the while I wonder where Johnnie and Sunshine are. It would make sense that they are also watching Leprade.

I continue my way through the crowd.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent Sepheris wrote:
How long is the timer, if any, on the melta-bomb?

Vincent, the timer on the melta-bomb is long enough for you make a hasty ascent to escape the cylindrical tunnel that pierces diagonally into the heart of the Oubliette. From your recollections of the Logis' schematics of the facility, and a comparison to how far you have already traveled upward, there is probably only another three hundred meters left to the climb. The melta-bomb can be set for a time delay of your choosing. Moving hastily, a delay of ten minutes or so should get you out of the radius of any immediate danger, as the melta-bomb is only large enough to incinerate the small, barely closet-sized Solitarium you presently stand in.

Ryuk watches in apprehension as Vincent's eye begin to quiver, his body convulsing slightly from some force unseen to him.

Vincent Sepheris wrote:

Having found his primary objective, Vincent opens a second folder:

>>>ARCHIVE/ARSENAL [7 subdir]

>>>ARCHIVE/ARSENAL [7 subdir]

******>>>[ARSENAL ALPHA]
******>>>[ARSENAL BETA]
******>>>[ARSENAL GAMMA]
******>>>[ARSENAL DELTA]
******>>>[ARSENAL EPSILON]
******>>>[ARSENAL ZETA]
******>>>[ARSENAL ETA]

Vincent tries desperately to focus as the flood of newly revealed data spills into his mind from the next memory/directory. He feels his body straining under the effort.

Although what is revealed by the ARSENAL directory is useful, it is only partially so, as many of the secreted stores of weapons are without a doubt out of his or his companions immediate reach. Arsenal GAMMA is located in a hidden bunker in the sublevels of Sorichaul Claustrum on Unduz I, DELTA in an isolated Solitarium in the jungle wilds of the Wastes, the sector-wide dumping ground cluttering Oremor's equatorial band, and EPSILON in a Ministorum chapel in the Uphive of Fulcus Prime. He peruses the inventory without much interest as it is all inaccessible.

ARSENAL ETA is equally vexing, and altogether more mysterious. Its contents and function are restricted even to the high Inquisitorial clearance that Vincent presently utilizes, and upon transference of this subdirectory of the cogitator, its access code was instantly encrypted, erased on the system, and simultaneously uploaded to the orbiting astropathic beacon tasked to broadcasting to whatever the Righteous Dawn may be. It is apparently for someone else.

ARSENAL ZETA is located in an abandoned florist's shop in the Geltdown region of Orcut VII hive, near the convergence of Canting Court and the Dolmen-Rue. It is marked by a neon-lumen sign depicting a seven-petaled, indigo colored flower. Scanning the contents of this cache, Vincent sees it appears to be a veritable treasure trove of Inquisitorial weaponry and equipment.

ARSENAL BETA is much closer, but still, in all likelihood, out of reach. Located in the upper levels of the Ylesium Claustrum itself, just beneath the Aerie level in a hidden armory, Vincent can only imagine what horrors have filled the complex by now from the Warp Rift and the chaotic events of the violence outside.

The most important of the seven, for he and his companions, at least, is ARSENAL ALPHA, which is, quite literally, right under their noses, hidden beneath the floor plating of the Solitarium itself. Vincent gleans the access code with little effort, but will need the cogitator interface to open it.


Male Human Outlaw

If I could I would kick myself in the head. If I am suspecting Johnnie and Sunshine in the shadows because of all the Yellobacks and corrupt Arbites. Then it means Iacton and Sigmunt should be here as well.

Remembering the exchange of information I had at the Gearbox. I know Dorsaunt is also here watching. As is Srina. With so many questions ending here, and her telling me about Mollene. Yeah this is going to be a long night. Guaranteed once the cards are dealt she will know its me sitting at the table. Just have to have faith everything turns out right for us for once. Glancing over to the pit.

Even though I know she is not there. I still subconsciously look up beyond the rafters looking for Kalaziel, Maia, my guardian angel.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

"Whatever do you mean Ryuk?"

Vincent activates the hidden armory in the Solitarium.


Male Human Savant Militant (Rank 4)
Ahmazzi wrote:

The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Uriah Trantor wrote:
"It can be."

Tikeen looks at you with a half-grin on her milky-hued lips.

"You sound like one who knows this from past experience."

She returns her gaze to the ostentatiously dressed man looking at Savalos, watching as the pair break eye contact and Thul moves on into the throng of milling patrons.

"Hmm, it seems my master is already making new friends. So tell me Mulsipher, and forgive me if I am being too forward, but why exactly does the Astropathic Choir have a rooting interest in this little game of cards?"

"That is what I will find out, when the time comes."


Vincent Sepheris wrote:

Solitarium Erishkagal-77

"Whatever do you mean Ryuk?"

Vincent activates the hidden armory in the Solitarium.

Ryuk points at the scrolling data. "That. Is that good?"


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Ryuk wrote:
Ryuk points at the scrolling data. "That. Is that good?"

"Just watch."


Arbite Investigator
Ahmazzi wrote:

A quiet word over the microbead from Savalos reveals that a likely Rogue Trader on the other side of the chamber may be the elusive seventh player, leaving only two more to be revealed.

Wardja please attempt either a Difficult [-10] Inquiry test or a Hard [-20] Scrutiny test.

Yes, Gereos, I get it. Dunkan is violating prescribed protocol. Watching our quarry, I wonder when Leprade and Trizo will converse. I thumb the vox-bug in my pocket, waiting for an opportune time to activate it. In the meantime I circulate the crowd, rubbing elbows with Oremor's elite as well as the regular staff. Offering to buy a drink here, handing out some free chips there, asking about the clientele and hoping for some name-dropping.

Choosing Inquiry (45) - Hard Test (10)
Rolling, 1d100 ⇒ 61


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent taps away at the cogitator before finally stabbing down on the execute key with a flourish. For a long moment, nothing happens, and then, with a peal of metal grinding on rusted metal, the recessed circular depression in the center of the oval-shaped floor begins to iris open with a tired hiss of aged pneumo-pistons.

Vincent, Ryuk, and Launce slowly step away, watching as a short, steep ramp extends downward from the edge of the floor into the dark below. As if on cue, as the circular opening finishes blossoming, twin rows of flickering green luminen strips light up from below, revealing a hidden armory comprised of parallel shelves with an aisle in the middle. The entire area is roughly two meters deep and wide, and three meters long, and looks for all the world to Ryuk like a root cellar from his home world built of dusty metal.

Stablight in hand, Vincent wastes no time, descending below as the others watch. Making his way into the secret Inquisitorial arsenal, he begins to take stock of what manner of armaments are contained within.

Vincent, what follows is a list of the contents of the armory that you can readily identify:

Solitarium Erishkagal-77 Armory:
Conventional Equipment:
  • Auspex/Scanner x 3
  • Cartograph Dataslate (Oremor Variant)
  • Combat Ration Packs x20
  • Combi-Tool x3
  • Blank, Unpowered Dataslates x5
  • Guard Issue Field Packs x5
  • Guard Issue Medpacks x3 (Contain Antibiotics, Cast Spray, Counterseptics, Painkillers, and Synth Skin)
  • Lamp Packs x5
  • Magnoculars x3
  • Inquisitorial Microbeads x5
  • Multi-Key
  • Compact Pict Recorder
  • Weapon Maitenance Kits x2
  • Writing Kit x3

Armor and Protective Gear

  • Flak Greatcloak
  • Guard Flak Armor x5
  • Hardened Environmental Bodygloves x5
  • Mesh Combat Cloaks x3
  • Mesh Cowl x3
  • Respirator/Gas Masks x5

Ranged Weaponry and Armaments:

  • Good Quality Laspistols x5
  • Good Quality Lasguns x5
  • Charge Packs x30
  • Hot Shot Charge Packs x5
  • Oremor Penal Legion Guard Issue Autopistols x10
  • Autopistol Clips x50
  • Oremor Penal Legion Guard Issue Autoguns x10
  • Autogun Clips x50
  • Combat Shotguns x5
  • Combat Shotgun Clips x20
  • Hunting Rifle with Red Dot/Telescopic Sight, Silencer
  • Hunting Rifle Rounds x50
  • Hand Flamers x2
  • Hand Flamer Promethium Flasks x8
  • Flamer
  • Flamer Promethium Flasks x5
  • Case of Frag Grenades x12
  • Case of Krak Grenades x12

Melee Weaponry and Armaments:

  • Guard Issue Combat Knives x10
  • Guard Issue Machetes x10
  • Iron Staff
  • Chainswords x3
  • Arbites Issue Shock Mauls x3

In addition to the listed equipment, each of you should attempt an Easy [+30] Search skill test. Depending on the success of the roll, you will find additional equipment; either exceptional versions of the equipment listed, items that were otherwise hidden or concealed, or something extra special for multiple degrees of success.


Search 1d100 ⇒ 28


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Search = 44 / 2 + 30 = 52 : 1d100=17

"Take what you need, the journey ahead is likely to involve significant danger."


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

When you each have decided what standard gear you are taking from the armory, please list it and I will add it to your character sheets.

Ryuk, Search test 43/2 = 22 +30 = 52 is successful by two degrees.

As Vincent probes deeper into the musty arsenal, Ryuk follows along, looking in astounded bewilderment at the amazing cache of weaponry. There are firearms the like of which he has never seen on his homeworld; great gleaming metal tubes that the techpriest claims can breathe beams of burning light, or open flame, muskets that can fire scores of shot at a time---it is all almost too much for him to take in.

As he passes a narrow alcove in a gap between the lines of shelving on the right, he pauses, looking past the barbed edged swords smelling of oil, to spy a battered foot-locker propped against the wall, set well back from the aisle. Something pulls at him, a strange longing tinged with memories that are somehow his own and not his own. As he approaches the locker the sensation grows, until his mind is singing with the energies of the Hag's gift.

He can almost hear her voice...chiding, beckoning...

Looking more closely at the dented locker, he can see a battered brass plate with the eerie skull icon and Gothic "I" rune, below which is engraved the following in Low Gothic:

Vlinst Vulst

Ryuk traces one thumb over the faded name, struggling to remember why it holds such significance to him. The clasps on the forlorn and forgotten locker are unfastened.

Vincent, Search test is successful by three degrees.

Hearing Ryuk come to a halt behind him, Vincent glances backward once before pressing on into the gloom. Reaching the end of the narrow aisle, he stops before a slender, basalt pedestal of non-indigenous rock, covered in a dusty throw-cloth of dark red velvet. The cloth bears a faded liturgical imprecation to the Emperor of Mankind in gold thread, many of the spidery Gothic letters fraying with the aged stitching.

Pulling the cloth slowly aside, Vincent finds a circular plinth upon which rests a quarto-sized volume, bound in chapped black leather, the spine adorned with seven golden buttons replicating the Inquisitorial seal, connected somehow by uniform parallel bands of silver. The cover is missing an engraved frontis-piece, obvious by the darker rectangle of leather beneath. A piece of aging parchment has instead been appended to the middle of the cover by wire stitching upon which is written in a prominent calligraphic ink in black script:

"Being A Discourse on the Enemy Beyond: A Pathology of Corruption As Pertains to the Fydae Strain"

~Inquisitor Herrod~

Beside the book is a small wooden plate holding three, pinky-sized crystalline flasks. Two are stoppered with silver caps adorned with angelic Ministorum motifs, and contain a perfectly clear fluid. The third lays spilled, the cap to one side, it contents long since dried to a faint, tear-drop shaped discoloration on the ancient wood of the platter.


Ryuk opens the locker.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Rusted hinges creak, piercing the quiet of the hidden armory, and Ryuk pushes the dented door to the locker open.

What he sees within sends a tremor of fear through him, but also a sensation of longing, loss, and a thrilling feeling of rediscovery; as a man who has found something thought lost forever.

As surely as he knows he has never held the blade before, he knows, without hesitation, that it is his.

It leans in the corner of the locker, a long, curving blade of pale, orange-yellow crystalline material, that has the dull luster of hardened, polished resin. The sweeping blade is narrower at the base, broadening along its length until it terminates in a thick, chopping point; almost machete-like. Something black, many-legged, and barely seen, vaguely insect-like in shape, is suspended like a shadowy centipede within the weapon, trapped like a fly in amber. The hilt of the weapon is knurled cypress inlaid with wormwood, the curving, spiral-shaped quillon is wrought of lusterless pig-iron, peat-forged in the lowlands of his homeworld. The edges of the elaborate guard are decorated in the yellowed bone of a great, black, Dusk caiman.

It is a Witching-Blade, Hag-Forged, and it calls to him.


Ryuk grasps the sword and it feels natural, like a lost limb reattached. He makes a few practice swings.

From here on out I will play Ryuk less like an innocent but more like a man suddenly aware how vast the gap of what he is and what he could be. In this regard, I will improve Ryuk's Intelligence and Fellowship to the MAX before accepting Templar Calix training.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Vincent carefully replaces the stopper of the spilled vial and bundles all of the items in the velvet throw-cloth. Taking the equipment he has selected, he strides up the ramp and back into the solitarium.


Solitarium Erishkagal-77

Ryuk takes the force sword in hand, feeling the Weirding that flows within him pulsing in sympathy with the blade as he slowly cuts the air with it. Taking down one of the machetes hanging on the wall, he severs the shorter tip of one of the scabbards and cinches it to the hip of the supple, second-skin bodyglove he has donned at Vincent's request. The tip of the blade protrudes, but it is an easy draw.

Seeing the psyker's confusion regarding the other weapons filling the arsenal, Launce approaches Ryuk as Vincent makes final preparations to leave the hidden arsenal. He eyes the sword warily, but gamely conceals his apprehension at the strange weapon's presence, becoming a model of efficiency as he outfits Ryuk with a combat shotgun of his own, hand flamer, and ammunition bandolier. Reading the uncertainty on Ryuk's puzzled face, he gestures to the two weapons, and mimes pulling a trigger.

"They are simple enough to use; point them, and shoot. Trust me, with what awaits us out there, you will surely need them before long, sword or no."


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

Wardja, Inquiry test is unsuccessful.

Try as he might to obtain any intelligence pertinent to just who the final two players in the tournament might be, Wardja comes up empty. He finds that engaging in half an hour of alternately inane and socially excruciating interactions with Oremor's jaded elite have rewarded his efforts with only a nascent tension headache.

Gereos continues to provide updates on his and Dunkan's efforts to penetrate the security system of the Vermillion Ring, having dutifully refrained from any further diatribes about the heretek's methods upon the arbitrator's express request. You can say one thing for tech-adepts, they understand yes/no binary decision trees. Having to listen and feign interest in the pompous Adept-Subaltern of the Oremor Administratum's Genealogical Research Branch was hard enough without hearing the tech-priest's incessant complaints in his 'bead.

It is with some measure of restrained annoyance that he acknowledges Gereos' most recent interruption in conversation by turning away and sub-vocalizing, the word, "Go", rather testily.

<<<"Our concerted efforts have nearly penetrated the Vermillion Ring's central security cogitator, and, while unable to identify either of the final two tournament contestant's identities from context cues among the gathered elite in the Pinnacle of Pearl, we have been able to successfully obtain a positive identification on the Rogue Trader you specified as short time ago. He is...>>>"


The Gran Pallazzar Casino, The Pinnacle of Pearl

"...Jeremiah Blitz. He is a rake, a scoundrel, and and a degenerate gambler, but he is also a man of no small ambition, and he has proven his loyalty to myself and his crew on countless occasions. He inspires no small measure of respect in his subordinates for this very trait, and a near fanatical loyalty from his ratings for his willingness to distribute the wealth he gains in his endeavors."

Tikeen grins again, as if remembering a private joke, fondly.

"I have served him for a decade. There are worse masters plying the Expanse."

She then sighs.

"I have argued in vain with the rest of the senior crew to dissuade him from such frivolities as this, but what argument can be heard from such as he when his very Warrant of Trade was obtained at a card table."

Finishing her drink in one long sip, she regards Uriah again, concern crossing her face.

"Are you well, Mulsipher Mol?"

Uriah feels the Immaterium begin to stir and pull around him, it is more than the witch's probings this time, and he tries to determine the source, all the while trying to maintain a pleasant facade for the astropath.

Uriah, please attempt a Psyniscience test.


Male Human Savant Militant (Rank 4)

Psyniscience(40) = 1d100 ⇒ 93
spend FP for reroll 1d100 ⇒ 51
still fail, but not as much unless their was a bonus.


Arbite Investigator

So the Rogue Trader is not an apparent threat. But there is much to play out yet.

Too many variables left. Trying to look stoic but I'm uncomfortable. Trizo and Leprade loose on the floor, captured allies--how many more?--cannon fodder in the arena ring, two Deck players yet to be ID'ed. Taking another hit from the lho, I scowl inwardly at the menthol taste.

Ahmazzi wrote:

...the bloated mass of flab reclining in the suspensor couch, the Fulcusian agri-business magnate, samples every morsel his stubby arms can reach from the refreshment tables.

I flag down a passing wait-staffer. One who actually works here. Dropping several gelt-coin on his tray I ask, "Who is that fat piece of skeit over there with his snout in the food trough?"

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