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The witch rubs her chin examine the three of you.
"You will each give me something in return for your answers."
She looks to Sister Revanche first.
She turns to look at Auraxis.
Lastly she turns to Graki and scrunches her nose.
"Do we have a deal?"
She laughs menacingly for a while while watching you all as if she was looking into your souls.
"He came to me when everything else he tried failed, and even then, his pride would not let him beg. No, not that one. Will of iron enough to overturn the universe if he could, heh! He’d walked the past and found he could change ‘nuthin, walked the future and found nothing that wouldn’t turn to dust in his hands.
‘What can I do?’ he asked me ‘Where can I fi nd the power?’ Hah! ‘Hag tell me!’ he demanded!
"He paid my price," she says, tapping the canister beneath her nails before carrying on, "So I told him. I told him the only place that would end his desires would be the black star, and that’s where he went and that’s where he’s reckon’ to return from. Only what’ll walk back wearing his face, not even I knows."
"But he needed someone on this side you see, needed a link of blood and desire to turn the key of his machine, a beacon to light his way across the abyss beyond the Warp, to come back where no-one had come back from before, and you lit that beacon up for him! You an’ the others with your murderin’ and your lying and struggle, all callin’ him back across."
"Now the dark star is rising over this world, blotting out its own sun, just as it did the day he walked into its embrace, and on that hill his foot’s gonna fall again."
Your team follows Ephraim and the party and after a few short twists and turns through the mist-shrouded swamp land the tangled swamp opens before you into a moss-strewn clearing centred around what appears to be the ancient wreck of a space craft. Its belly is torn open and a strange dwelling bedecked in all manner of hanging totems and trinkets has been created within. The shadows of this place are utterly impenetrable, like a rip torn open in the world to an abyss beyond, and a heavy silence rests upon the place.
At the centre of the open-fronted dwelling on a rickety chair sits an immeasurably old woman of imperious bearing, her withered skin the colour of dirty ivory and her hair wild and matted. Under one hand lays a broken servo-skull and a narrow steel canister which she is caressing absently with her long black fingernails, while behind her chair something reddish-black and sinewy coils too deep in the shadows to make out.
"We brought them as you asked Ol’Lady." Ephraim calls out nervously.
The old woman nods slowly and pronounces in a voice that sounds like broken glass over a tombstone, "So you did, Ephraim Ryder, so you did, now go back to your kin."
"So," the old woman speaks "That blind fool Haarlock finally found himself some more fools to walk in his path, eh? Well congratulations, you made it through the corridors of time alive, and ahead oh’him coming back, the choice is yours now."
As you rest above you the ominous shadow behind the clouds is slowly moving ever closer to the sun.
After about an hour passes a lantern light appears at the edge of the forest and a party of a dozen men and one woman enter the clearing at the foot of the hill. They all appear to be tribal people but are well armed. As they approach they do not appear to be aggressive.
A man walks forward who appears to be their leader.
"My name is Ephraim and we have been asked by the Ol' Lady to bring you to her."
Sister Revanche picks up the bolt pistol and extra bullets reloading and the three of you head through the mirror door once again.
As you walk through the shimmering gate, you know something is different immediately. You shudder at your core as if something has trodden on your grave, and the hot air hits you like a gust from a furnace. Your find yourself on a blasted, withered hilltop where nothing grows, while at the hill’s foot is a dense forested swamp that goes on as far as the eye can see through the dim hazy light. In the heavily clouded sky above you, a sun burns faintly as if setting, although it is clearly at the height of noon on another world, while nearby it lurks a deeper and unsettling shadow.
Behind you, you realise with a shock that the mirror-door has not disappeared but now remains imprisoned between two rough posts of deep black stone that jut from the hill’s crest. The mirror-door shivers and fluxes angrily, pale arcs of ghostly force rippling across its surface. Beyond it you can faintly make out the shape of the Blind Tesseract, Haarlock’s machine, and the Iron Daughter, her hands covering her face as if she were weeping.
You all realize once again are fully real. Tiredness washes over you (everyone gains a level of Fatigue) and you become acutely aware that
All objects you may have taken from your travels quickly begin to rust and tarnish and then turn to dust in the wind. (Bolt pistol, ammo and that cylinder that Auraxis took).
You can hear ominous animal sounds from the swampland below the hill.
Fihad shoots at Graki again before he can engage in melee.
attack: 1d100 ⇒ 16
Graki please dodge and then your up in melee range if you survive :)
Auraxis bolter goes click click but can't seem to unjam the bullet.
Graki is up! You won't make it to Fihad this round but you can start your journey to him and by next round you will be upon him.
Auraxis you may attempt to unjam again or do another action.
You need to make BS test to unjam.
Graki finishes off the one that was on him!
Revache attempts to finish off the one on her.
attack: 1d100 ⇒ 37
The last stalker is cut in half by the sisters wrath!
Fihad growls and turns his direction toward Graki and shoots a semi-auto burst at him.
Please dodge Graki
Revache will attempt a swift attack on the creature in front of her again.
stalker dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 17
Fihad takes a shot at Auraxis again semi-auto even though he got some cover now (-20 attack)
Stalker4 attacks Revache again.
sister dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 48
Graki is up!
stalker1 dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 29
Stalker1 lunges at Graki again
Auraxis and Revanche up. Auraxis you need to take full round BS test to unjam gun or you can run for cover. There are some suitable spots where it would be harder for him to shoot you but won't be unjamming your gun this round.
Auraxis is able to step aside as the bullets nearly turn him to shredded meat.
Stalker3 swings at Revanche again!
stalker3 dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 14
Fahid growls a bit and shoots another semi-auto volley at Auraxis.
damage1: 1d10 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15 pen 4
Auraixs please dodge.
stalker1 dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 93
The creature growls and tries to claw at Graki as it's blade is on the ground.
Auraxis and Revanche are up. Auraxis you have no one on you now.
Nice dodge thought we were gonna loose you there for a sec!
Stalker3 attacks Sister again.
stalker dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 70
Fihad shoots 2 rounds at Auraxis as he seems like a bigger threat with those holy rounds.
stalker4 dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 37
stalker3 dodge: 1d100 ⇒ 7
Fihad takes aim with his bolt pistol and shoots at Revanche.
Stalker2 attacks Graki again!
Stalker4 points it's strange web gun at Auraxis and shoots.
Stalker3 attacks Revanche again!
Graki you may dodge and do your attack the one on you looks very hurt from your last attack.
Stalker2 charges forward attacking Graki with a blade!
Stalker4 charges forward and attacks Auraxis with a blade!
Stalker3 charges forward and attacks Revanche with a blade!
Graki you may dodge and act now.
You make it to the bridge. The bridge is large and ornately decorated across the sea inlet is now covered with a tangled profusion of crude metal ‘X’ beams, on to which men and women have been bound with coils of barbed wire. Most of them are now dead, but a few still moan and cry out into the unforgiving night. At the foot of the bridge beneath a (literally) defaced statue of the Beati Saint Sabbat, between two great stone bowls that burn with white flame, a hooded and cowled figure awaits.
As you approach the figure loses the cowl covering his face, clearly showing his identity; a former ally now older by some decade, his features grown gaunt and deathly pale. Fihad Constantine. (He was the arbite from this planet that helped you fight off the demon in the mirror).
"The shades showed me who had come, but I had to see you with my own eyes to believe it. You died, all those years ago on Mara; at least so we all believed. But no matter if you are still Mara’s puppets, or if it is Haarlock you now serve!
Do you imagine that old spider had defeated us? That he had won? We shall have our revenge yet, we are not defeated! Look above you and see the dead stars circling at our will! But you will not live to see our victory!"
At this point, Constantine’s jaw opens impossibly wide and he lets out an inhuman bass roar. Twilight Stalkers scuttle up from the sides of the bridge and leap from the rooftops behind you. Their bodies resemble a frightening hybrid of a withered elderly human and an insect plated in black iron with multiple optic units glowing in the sockets of their eyes.
There are 4 stalkers and Fihad.
I'll give you guys a bite.
"Came in on a refugee ship from Baraspine. Fallen into heresy, damned all of them, damned apostates, turned their backs on the God Emperor and whispering to shadows, whole world gone over now. Started slow, war, rumour of wars, stars dying, lights going out."
Go to the bridge, the saint’s bridge, there you will see what becomes of those who remain loyal! Go if your faith is strong enough, you are needed there!"
He finishes by flinging his arm in the direction of a large bridge over a broad canal in the distance, before collapsing insensible to the ground in a mixture of exhaustion and mental collapse.
After some time wandering the streets and alleyways of Sinophia Magna looking for answers, you hear the sounds of a man’s voice shouting drunkenly in the night.
Following this voice to its source is an easy matter, and by the foot of an old statue to Saint Drusus, a ragged looking middle-aged man is shouting out doom upon the city, calling its inhabitants “foul heretics” and singing jumbled snatches of Imperial Psalms.
The figure wears the torn cassock of an Imperial preacher and has been badly beaten. He has a ragged, wild appearance and one of his cheeks has been badly burned very recently. He reeks of cheap spirits and a half-empty bottle of Gorsk Gyn is clutched in his trembling hands.
It appears that most of the activity to board up the buildings is recent. Here and there anti-imperial graffiti has been plastered and statues of saints and the sign of the Aquila has been recently defaced in many places, often with a strange scratched symbol like a downward pointing, three-pronged claw.
You also notice that there are not many stars in the sky when there should be.
The shimmering mirror-door opens and you find yourselves in a broad street, lined with cracking plaster-faced walls and gambrel roofs tiled in deep reds. Twilight is falling swiftly, the air is heavy with the scent of a salt sea, and up and down the street you can hear the echoing sounds of doors being bolted and shutters banged closed. The streets are empty and for all the seeming normality of the scene a heavy weight of palpable dread seems to fill the air.
Auraxis you immediate recognize this place as Sinophia Magna on the planet of Sinophia where you faced off against the daemon in the mirror.
The streets are devoid of any activity as far as you can see from where you entered.
Auraxis tries his own codes and they unlock the dataslate and you hear your familiar voice speak.
"I leave this recording, my last testament to whomever may find it amongst my peers in the Holy Ordos… the guilt was ours, the sins were ours… hubris… came to dust… We grew arrogant, grew complacent, after we stopped Haarlock on Mara, after the... Hayte were purged at last… Gallowglass we believed ourselves invulnerable… civil war… Tyrantine Caba… within… Haarlock, it all came back to the legacy, we were so blind… never realised just what he… dead now, all dead… city burning… I… from the deep vault.. but its too late… my legs are shattered I cannot get out… all that remains is to pass judgement on myself… cannot let the worms have my mind…"
Just after the recording finishes a loud drone fills the air as one of the huge black-disk vessels begins to draw down from the skies and a mirror door opens in a ruined arch of the Tricorn Palace wreckage.