Against the Grain, A 40K Story.

Game Master BoggBear

The Carsis sector, on the very edges of known space.
For centuries,it has been the off and on focus of imperial interest, but very little expansion has taken place there to date.
Some say the sector is cursed, for each time an overlord of some kind have been placed in charge of the sector, for the glory of the imperium, he or she has seen a quick and complete reversal of fortunes for the worse.
The last such "lucky" individual was the heir to the Catalan Rogue Trader dynasty, who end up finding himself in front of a firing squad charged with the crime of "unnatural conduct with a xenoform".
But the imperium is ever in need of growth, and as such, the Carsis sector WILL be brought into the fold and made stable and productive at last.
As such, the sector is now up for grabs, and a call for a new overlord has been sent out.
Aside from the Ecclisiarchy and the Admechs, three Rogue Trader dynasties have answered the call.
This is the story of one of those Dynasties.

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Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota is very intrigued by this "University" thing. It sounds neither like the basic education the imperial citizens receive at a schola nor like the tech apprenticeship favored on the worlds of the Omnissiah.

Still - he has duties to the ship that must be observed first.
He activates the Hololith and it slowly crackles and fizzes into live, revealing the expected form of Iotas second in command - simply called "Second"
"Omnnisiahs blessing, Second. The ships maintenance is on schedule, yes? Of course. Any delays beyond the expected parameters? Very good. Keep up the Machine Gods work up there.
Daily status report ends with this but I have one more task for you. I will conduct a new experiment to measure whether or not 'Luck' is a quantifiable resource unevenly allocated to specific personel. No I also do not believe it is but the Omnissiah expects us to find the truth in all things and recent events down here have caused me to investigate this matter.
Procedure shall be that you offer test subjects the following conditions via announcement: standard pay for time served. Bonus pay for those that can be statisitcally shown to be quantifiably 'lucky' or 'unlucky'. Testing shall be done by repeating a simple dice game until sufficent attempts are provided to categorize as 'large numbers'. I'll leave the exact numbers to you"

It's perhaps not surprising that Archibald rides in style.
It's more surprising when he sees the transport for the first time.
It's quite a rugged vehicle, certainly not looking like it would offer a comfortable ride, but the inside is nicely furnished, burnished wood rims, plush seats, and with plenty of refreshments on offer.
Rugged on the outside, soft in the inside in summary.

After about an half hour, you arrive at your first stop, the northern Orchards.
Here they farm the local equivalent of ploin, which you are tacitly informed are the source of the juice you drank.

A large bluff looking fellow approaches you, his large beard split by a massive grin.
"Ah! So you must be one of the candidates for the governorship, my lord?
Well, you might not be the governor just yet, but since you are a candidate, not to mention the only one here, I'd like to invite you to sample the traditional morning feast we do when visited by the toffs."

Taking you by the arm, the large man who is easily head and shoulder taller than you, leads you into the grove, where a large table is set out in the open.
It is clear that SOMEONE is expected to partake of the rather large collection of fruits and other delectable that must surely be making the table groan under it's weight.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald allows the man to lead him. Honestly, hrs not sure No is an available answer at this moment, so he goes with it. The space is bewildering. His mind, having grown in ship's corridors, can barely comprehend a horizon. The trees and the earth smell like life itself and the soft give off the earth feels like the most magnificent of carpets.
The table is a wonder. But so is the lack of other people.
All this, just for me? And this is a tradition, you say? he asks with a genuine hint it disbelief. These were supposed to be agri-workers. How did they procure all this!

The man, who has not yet introduced himself, shrugs with seemingly little care.
"Well, not for you specifically of course, we didn't know who was coming, or even if ANYONE was.
So we prepared for the possibility of EVERYONE coming, after all, if you're serious about wanting to rule, shouldn't you see it all?
Guess you've got more sense than the rest of the fancy-pants m'lord."

Archibald get's the feeling he might already have scored a few points by this seemingly salt-of-the-earth type just for being here.

"Anyway, this first thing here is a pie, made from local produce, a sweet little number my own grandma made. Have a slice m'lord."

The plate holding the slice of pie seems to be fairly simple, the pie itself, less so.
The crust is golden and looks delightfully flaky, the filling is a deep, rich purple, and looks incredibly juicy as it glistens in the sun.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald takes a bite and his knees almost give out. An invoulentary gasp escapes him as he chews. Wallet. You have to try this. he orders and practically shoves the plate into his steward's hands.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

After his mind recovers from the sensory experience that is the pie, Archibald coinciders the staggering amount of food and the inability of his stomach to handle more than a bite of each dish. He looks to the man. I'm sorry, I failed to ask your name.
After he gets it, Archibald says, Well, [insert name], there's no way I'm finishing this. There's enough here to feed my entire retinue many times over. Why don't you call some people in and we can work on finishing off this feast together? As long as they have Ident we can verify, of course. I must at least observe the fundamentals of safety or I may lose my ever vigilant Master at Arms.

Bright and early, after having fortified himself on his choice of nutrients, Iota is met with the representants of the local chapter of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

The first thing Iota notices is that they are wearing white robes with red trimmings.

The second is that they do not have many obvious augmentations.

Third is that he realises they do have SOME, but they are quite well crafted to look mostly biological.

And the fourth is that he is not familiar with the title of the leader, who refers to herself as "Magos Magister".

"Explorator, greetings in the name of the Omnissiah, our lord of metal and cogs.
I am Magos Magister Sseretah, and welcome you to our world and it's chapter."

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota is once again quite intrigued to find a high ranking member of the Adeptus Mechanicus that looks quite similar to himself. His only obvious augemntation being his utility mechadendrites despite his extensive head implants.

Still - nothing to do except go with the flow.

"Greetings, Magos Magister, may his pure logic guide our meeting. I am Iota Signus and althought I am the Explorator attached to Rogue Trader Thunderblossom I still go by my mechanicus rank of Magos.
It seems you have deviated from Mars doctrine somewhat as I neither recognize your rank nor your colors. Do you recognize these deviations and have a mapping available for me?"

The Magos Magister bows her head in acknowledgement.
"Of course Magos, what is your speciality? Or have you yet to pick one for yourself?
If you and your Rouge Trader remains here, perhaps one day you shall join our order yourself.
As for the deviation, most shall be revealed once we enter the university.
You will be able to see our function as we perform our duties."

She then motions towards a vehicle close by, which seems to have been built from the chassi of a Chimera transport vehicle.

"If you are ready to depart, Magos?"

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota nods and joins her in this vehicle. But noticably raises an eyebrow as he inspects it. He notes that it also deviates from established norm by modifying the STC of the chimera with... is that perhapts a hint of their own inventions?

Either way he continues the conversation while getting in - and riding in this strange new vehicles.

"I used to specialize in Xenologi. Freeing technology perverted by alien races from its perversion and returning it to the Omnissiahs glorius principles. But I have returned to being something more of an allrounder since I joined the Rogue Trader. Necessity you see.
As for staying and joining... We shall see what the future holds. I am not against joining you if it is the logical thing to do once we get to know eachothers circumstances and it is likely as a high amount of cooperation will be required either way. But a Rogue Traders mandate is to push the borders of the Imperium and so it is unlikely that he and thus by extension I will be able to stay here indefinitly.
Enough about me and the future thought. What is your own speciality? Magos ranks are usually very busy with their own efforts - from what endeavor have I drawn you by making you come greet me today?"

"My speciality is education, Magister is a title for one who provides higher education for the masses."

"One of the previous governors was a woman who had spent a long time living in various hive cities, amongst them the Hive of Necromunda.
It is common to initiate members of the lower hives into the lowest secrets of the divine machine and send them down to repair and maintain the infrastructure as well as reclaim lost tech.

The Governor realised that on a world in constant flux like ours, the small contingent of Adeptus mechanicus would not be enough to maintain all of the holy secrets if they are too busy with day to day maintenance.

After consulting with the Magos at the time, and debating (sometimes hotly) with many of the upper classes, she decided that the logical thing would be to take as much pressure of the Omnissiash chosen, by instituting mandatory classes to teach people how to properly respect the machine and the machine spirits.

Thus the university was born, and the Adeptus Mechanicus were tasked to craft a curriculum that every able bodied inhabitant of the planet must pass through.

In essence, every adult inhabitant of this world has been given a refined version of Reclamator training, for the good of the world and the Mechanius.

And, it has worked, overall productivity has improved by 57.234%, regular maintenance is up 65.345%, and breakdowns, stops in production and similar problems have decreased by 67.5%"

Heinrich is informed as his breakfast is served that a list of the people he requested is being compiled, and he will be able to interview the people on it after the festivities that evening.
Meanwhile, just as a precaution, they will be monitored more closely until that point, to avoid anyone scarpering or doing something suspicious.

Meanwhile, a short list of places he is suggested to visit during the day has also been presented.

It seems to consist mainly of different local watering holes, with suggested drinks to try and people to speak to or ask for if not present.

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota is taken back by the thought for a moment. Granting access to the secrets of the Omnissiah to the masses is not something that comes natural to the priesthood of Mars.

"That... is suprising. I can see the logic behind doing this and how it would make a world run smoother. After all most people on a forge world have at least some level of knowledge and it is what makes things run smoothly. But what about Abuse of the mysteries? Tech heresy? Accidents because of improper enactment of the rituals? What are the numbers on those?"

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

For a brief moment, Heinrich considers whether to follow that advice or not.
Then laughs out loudly and claps into his hands.
Hells, a literal bar rally and he could write it off as "investigation"???

He tabs his com-bead and raises every flight crew member currently planet side to meet him at the first location on the list, ready for some socializing, light drinking and general sightseeing.

If one might think he just goes onto a bar trip with his fellow pilots however, would be quite wrong.
He uses his rowdy, younger comrades as a distraction for some very pointed questioning and the fact that he is only drinking the bare minimum required to not stand out.
Main topics of inquiry:
- How liked is the governor by the common people?
- What do they know/think of the other interested parties, in particular the other Traders?
- Heard any rumors about an attempt on the lives of the interested parties? Maybe to keep independence?

At a later stage, his will also "let slip" during an intense round of gossiping away, that Lord Thunderblossom was poisoned by an as-of-yet unknown assassin. He will growl and curse at this, really turning up his anger at this cowardly act to get a vivid picture across what would happen if he were to be found - and what the Rogue Trader might offer for whoever might point him in the right direction for a round of sweet, sweet revenge.

General Socializing Fel43: 1d100 ⇒ 58

There is a tone of humor in Sseretah's voice as she answers Iota's query.

"Virtually none-existent, within the range 1.456%.
The curriculum only offers the basic understanding of the mysteries, not enough for anyone to build on without further education, which is not offered without true induction into the Omnissiash graces.

No true secrets are taught, only respect. Enough tech knowledge to know how to not abuse the gifts, enough rituals to perform basic maintenance on everyday machine spirits, enough understanding to breed proper respect and awe."

Meanwhile, Heinrich MAY have gone slightly overboard in the merrymaking, accidentally imbibing more than his cover required and thus might have lost a little of his edge.

At the same time, people seem to be pretty willing to talk, it seems most of the common folk are eager to make offworlders feel at home.

The man currently talking to him is a big bear of a bartender, polishing a tankard to a truly impressive sheen, and not really looking at Heinrich, but clearly paying attention.

"Well sir, the lord mayor is well respected, which if you ask me is not very surprising.
I myself have not yet seen fifty years, and we've already gone through eight different governors, leaving the lord mayor the stabilising presence.

Most people are looking forward to having a new proper government in force, but...
To be honest sir, it will probably be some time before they allow themselves to respect it TOO much, as it is when people relax, the next run of bad luck usually happens." 'bout that awareness check eh?

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich smirks knowingly at the bartenders words, and also because he noticed some shady person hurriedly leaving after his words about the attack on the Lord Trader.
He probably should have managed to get a better look at the fellow, but seriously, what was he: an inquisitorial agent or a dogfighter?
"I know that sentiment. Always telling the young pilots under my wings that an enemy attack or at the very least a surprise drill is coming the moment they start to fall into a relaxed routine.
But eight governors in less than fifty years ... that sounds quite excessive to me.
Was there a lot of political backstabbing involved or what?"

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota slowly nods but remains somewhat unconvinced.
"Still even those are subject to the decree of only passing knowledge to those who follow the Omnissiah. Your vision and approach seem admirable and quite frankly groundbreaking but I will be required to thoroughly check the authenticity of those numbers myself... But let us see your institution first. I suspect you have come personally to show me so I can see it in the best light possible, to address exactly those concerns"

The Lord Captain spends several hours being ferried around the rich fields, orchards and pastures of the land he hopes to claim for himself eventually.

Towards the afternoon, a few hours before the event that evening, he ends up at the seaside, at a restaurant called "The Ulysses" where he dines on a form of shellfish the locals recommend, together with a white wine.

All in all, even though he had tried his best not to overindulge, he still have a feeling that he might not have a lot of room for the feast at the banquette.
However, it's hard to imagine the food would be better than what he has already enjoyed,


Heinrich finds that he didn't quite manage to pace himself as well as he had originally intended, and towards afternoon, he is quite "merry".

However, you don't get to where he is by being unable to keep a clear head, which means that it stops at that.

Having travelled all over the city, and spread his honeyed "poison", planting his seeds and generally setting the board for a long term chess game, he finds himself fairly confident in his opening moves.

He HAS also learned a few things he might be able to use at the banquette, to either embarrass the opposition, or get closer to the local celebrities of note.


Meanwhile, Iota finds himself on a guided tour of the university.
The building is clearly showing it's Adeptus mechanicus roots in it's very utilitarian build, but it's also somewhat "softened", probably to accommodate the large crowds of he uninitiated.

Corners are smoothed and rounded, colours are calm and inviting, and there are soft music playing here and there.
The explanation is that it calms the students minds, increasing their efficiency.

The curriculum has a mixture of hard facts and more general knowledge, and Iota quickly realises that the lessons seem to be build around a binary system, with "hard" ones and "soft" zeroes, which is explained that it helps the human mind retain knowledge by varying the things being learned.

Eventually, afternoon comes, and Iota is cordially invited to continue the tour the next day, if he is still interested in seeing the manufactoriums.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

That's it. I love this planet. Archibald decides. It's not quite the same as the bridge of a proper starship, and that horizon is still far too far away for my liking, but still. This is a close second.
The fact that he was most satisfied already didn't bother him. Why was wasn't hungry was easy to brush off in conversation.
Please make sure the leftovers are distributed to the staff. He asks his guide. I would hate to see all this go to waste just because I was the only one who thought to see the world before I fought for her hand in partnership.

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich feels quite happy with himself as he starts a strategic withdrawal to his quarters to catch a short nap before the banquet starts.
He grins as he notices a few of his men making seemingly good progress in charming their way into the hearts of a remarkable collection of beautiful local ladies. He doubted that many of the men would stay in their quarters alone tonight.
"And so, the conquest of a new world begins...", he muses to himself with a grin as he leaves and heads to the small ground car he had commissioned for this bar rally.

For the banquet, Heinrich dresses up in full Navy dress uniform with all the medal he is due as well as a freshly shaved face and high-sheen boots.

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota still can't shake the uneasy feeling that teaching the masses about the Omnissiahs secrets even in passing is against the creed. But such is indoctrination - it does not come off easily.

Still he enjoys his time in this "University". It is a place of learning and of the Omnissiah despite its strange non-utilitarian design. He tries to strike up quick conversations with a student here and there to gauge their understanding and their intentions on what they want to do with the gained knowledge. He also attends a lecture or two and talks with the instructors about it afterwards.

In the end he feels quite taken in by the concept but in dire need to verify the numbers given to him by the Magos Magister so he can calm his concerns and focus on the concept itself.
If the numbers prove true then his new perspective is to broaden the range of apprentices under him if possible - more people working on experiments would generally mean faster and better results after all.

And he will of course continue his inspection the next day unless some more "accidents" happen.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

In the space of time between departing the farms and attending the feast, Archibald is busy. While his attendants prepare his dress uniform and its embellishments, he busies himself tracking down a buyer for the miscellaneous parts of bolt gun they retrieved. The Emperor is clearly with him. He manages to get into contact with a military surplus distributor who points him to a broker for several local militia organizations who are able to give him a lead on some grey market contacts that would be able to handle the volume he had to move. Within a few hours he had made a few encrypted calls and greased a few palms and the boltgun parts were sold, for a hefty price as well. Apparently he had just filled a rather huge hole in demand.

Eventually, the evening comes, but it's not particularly dark, as the night sky is lit up by fireworks and twenty gun salutes.
It's a very festive spirit all around, and it's easy to tell that it extends to the whole city, rather than just the palace.

The three of you, together with Solonius are escorted by your freshly equipped honor guard.
They do look quite resplendent in perfectly fresh and crisp carapace armour, with boltguns held at the ready.

Even Solonius seems somewhat satisfied with how they turned out.

As you are escorted through the halls and streets, you are getting impressed glances, and not a few ladies swooning at the dashing figures you cut.

The event is going to start in the large palace garden, so that's where you are escorted.

The air is filled with a fragrant scent, and also a large number of appetising aromas.

Eventually, you reach the designated area, with is placed between two large crescent shaped hedges, which is filled with tables, packed with food and drink.

The centrepiece is a large fountain, which by the looks of it, is filled with some form of wine, rather than water.

The area is bustling with activity, everything from serfs rushing around making sure everyone is well attended, to other guests.

The Lord Mayor is making the rounds, making sure everyone is properly welcomed.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald looks only slightly fancier than a Naval captain in his dress uniform. Every metal piece is polished until it glitters and not a single thread is out of place even after his walk through the palace. He makes his way to the fountain to fill his empty hand with a drink and then seeks out the most familiar people here to begin: The Ecclisiarchy Delegation.
Ave Imperator! he greets them, deftly making the sign of the Aquila in spite of the glass in his left hand and gives them his most inviting smile. We haven't formally met. I am Lord Captain Archibald Benedict Thunderblossom, Rogue Trader.

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich in his navy dress uniform looks the part of Archibalds first officer - slightlymore serene and less flamboyant yet courteous, especially so to the serfs and present ladyfolk he offers a nod and that military half-bow that is a echoing social memory from the times wheere humanity has fought wars in heavy, immobile armor preventing any great gestures.

He does stay close to Archibalds side and makes a show of keeping an eye on him as well as the surrounding, taking particular care in looking for anyone too focused on "his" rogue trader.

Heinrich does sample the provided food with delight and much praise but keeps away from any drinks unless etiquette demands it, where he does make sure to only drink the bare minimum. Instead, he finds himself rapidly warming to a local sort of leaf brew, aromatized with various fruits, herbs and spices.

The oldest of the three priests turn to Archibald and Heinrich and his pleasant old grandfather face breaks into a smile which you note doesn't quite reach to his hard eyes.
"Greetings to you Captain Thunderblossom, and to your companion.
I am father Darhurst, and with me are brother Gregoi,
the large, middle aged looking priest with the face of a thug nods, and brother Flarn, a smaller, decrepit looking man makes the slightest bow, causing his long beard to brush against the ground briefly, and in the name of him on earth, we offer blessings."

"This is quite a festive occasion, certainly rich in respect for us visitors, but lacking in reverence for the emperor I do feel.
This is something that will need to be addressed at some point.

Fringe systems like these often fall by the wayside, by enough confessors and excrutiators will soon have that sorted out, mark my words."

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

The ecclesiarchy is most adept at such a task. Such is your domain. Archibald grants. I my self have some history that arena. I don't claim to be your equal, surely, but my family, as guardians of Regulos Vi VI's local volume, regularly engaged in operations to bring wayward groups back to the Emperor's light. I was even lucky enough to participate in a purgation operation against a cult. But I won't bore you with the details.
Tell me, how was your voyage in? I wasn't aware of an Ecclesiarchy holdfast in this region.

After some mingling (and enjoying the truly excellent food) the mayor takes the stage and holds a short speech, once more welcoming you all
to the planet.
He makes sure to greet each representant by name, though he is careful to avoid giving any preferential treatment to you, playing his cards close to his chest.

He is not quite as capable of keeping a little disdain for the Stahlfachers from bleeding through, which some people seems to pick up on.
That SHOULD not impact on you, hopefully.

"As you all know, this planet is registered as the heart of the Carsis Sector, and currently, the sector lacks a governor.
You have all come here are representant for a faction wishing to take over that position, and to guide the sector into the light of the emperor.
Three Rogue trader dynasties, as well as the Ecclesiarchy and The Adeptus Mechanicus.
As neither of you have a claim stronger than the others, and it would be unseemly for you to fight between eachother, it has simply become something of a competition.
And so, the leader of the faction that has created the strongest claim within one standard year shall be granted the post."

The Mayor raises his cup high and the people around you all answer his toast with a cheer.

"Today, we celebrate this grand competition in the spirit of fair play and friendship, tomorrow, the games begin!"

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald is the first to raise his glass with a hearty, Here, here! The room is abuzz with excitement and opportunity to his ears. He turns to Heinrich. Time to see who's here. Spread out, make friends, gather gossip. This place is a gold mine and I intend to extract. His smile never wavers as he begins to sweep around the room working his way among groups of high ranking nobles to see who's willing to be friendly, or at least not hostile.

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich is seeking out the (ex-)military personnel of the Odenatius trade dynasty - they are rather easy to figure out after all, as they more than likely have the same air of "what am I even doing here" as he does.

He goes in with a smile conveying a little bit of his "not used to this s&++" feeling ans offers a hand to any of them he would consider likely to be on equal rank to him, in Navy attire if possible.

"Heinrich von Bastillion, Commander of Rogue Trader Thunderblossom's Rising Sun. Shall we try to friendship thing the mayer was talking about? I'm curious how others of our kind got to work with a Trader - I feel like if you ask two, you will get three different stories: all of them worth telling and hearing."

Fellowship: 1d100 ⇒ 59

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota is a bit more reserved, not joining the cheer but answering the salute with his own glass.

A good speach, all the information, very little of the bombast.

If the speach is indead over then Iota has a bit of a list of targets to talk to.

The AdMech delegation for one.
Senior tech personel - but they won't look straight up "AdMech" on this planet. He'll instead look if any of the senior magister he met at the university are around and make note ob who talks to them.
And of course Magister and Alumni of the university.

He'll have Variable look out targets while he is currently talking with someone.

The evening moves into night, a night lit up with many differently coloured lanterns, many which are attached to small kites, floating through the sky, and creating something like a tapestry against the background of the night sky.

The three of you have managed to meet and greet quite a number of people within your particular sphere of influence.
Iota converses with the Magisters present, as well as a number of Alumni, finding them quite different.
They are a strange mix of "normal" people, meaning for example more emotional than the typical Adeptus Mechanicus, and yet, more learned and capable of following Iota's thought process and have a genuine discussion.

Heinrich meanwhile find himself trading old war stories with various members of the Odenateus dynasty's soldiers, finding himself warming to the situation, partially due to being in his element, and partially due to the glow of the good booze.
The only slight hitch is when Solonius temporarily joins the conversation, and kind of brings the mood down.
He doesn't stick around for long though, and the mood returns.

Finally, Archibald find himself corralled by the priests, who bend his ear for quite a loooooong time.
Though, after a few glasses, the discussion turns more pleasant and less dry.
And while the smile of the crinkly old leader never truly reaches his eyes, he does posses quite a bit of "grandfatherly" charm, making it difficult to resist him in the long run.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

fellowship: 1d100 ⇒ 43
Archibald eventually makes his excuses and manages to slip away from the priests to continue about the room before he wastes the entire night on a single group of contacts. He purposely avoids the other Rogue Traders beyond polite acknowledgement of them, preferring to mingle from the top of the locals on down. He knows next to nothing of this region and tries to take this opportunity to learn as much about the region as possible including what the political and economic landscapes look like. If he were to make a few friends along the way, even better!
fellowship again: 1d100 ⇒ 12 - A whopping 5 DoS, Gents!

Archibald eventually finds himself in conversation with a genial older man who introduces himself as one "Mario Batateli", a man of "no fixed abode" and who is cagey about what exactly he does.
Judging by his clothes (and his presence) he is a man of some means at the very least.

One of the stories Mario relays to Archibald is about a defunct Navis Nobilite house that ha set out to chart the unknown space further into the sector.
Apparently, they were quite ostentatious with their displays of wealth, but the expedition never returned.
Mario speculates that if someone could find what happened to the expedition, it could lead to great riches, and/or possibilities of gratitude from the Navis house, if it still exists.

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Archibald listens with rapt attention and agrees with Mr. Batateli. Of course, any house of such esteem as the Navis houses deserves to be followed up on, no matter their rank among their peers. I will look into this and, if it amounts to anything, you will be one of the first I contact with the news, sir.

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

"Reliable as a battered old lasgun...
...but just as fun loving, merry-making and well-placed on a party,
We all know his type, right?"

Heinrich comments after Solonius has left them again.

During a round of refilling and resupplying their shared food stock, he will make an attempt at drawing in the local SDF and PDF representatives to their slowly growing circle and (if successful) brings up the topic of the pirating, raiding and that peculiar treaty with mercenaries they had heard about before.

Mario Batateli, seemingly quite an exuberant man, pulls Archibald along to introduce him to a group of people he describes as "delightfully adventurous".
It seems to consist of Mario himself, as well as four others

One man simply known as "Gull", who has a face that looks like it's seen two centuries at least, and a body of a man who has seen only four decades at most, build like a professional wrestler.

Another man who introduces himself as "Master rancher Lenk Tiburoun".
He is a smallish man, who seems to have spent his life under the sun until his skin looks more like leather than anything else, and every unnecessary ounce of fat has been sweated away from that and hard work.

The third and fourth individual are a mother/daughter pair, although they look only about a decade apart at most, lovely ladies with pale skin, dark hair, long elegant limbs and crimson red lips.
And they both hang off Archibald within minutes, seemingly competing for his attention.


Heinrich meanwhile has been engaged in an animated discussion with one Major Brennan, who is apparently the one in charge of off world communication and planing the various expeditions around the planet to keep it safe.

Apparently, at the moment, he has a particular bugbear about a pirate crew that has been plaguing the system for over half a century.
According to him, it's not that they can't find the pirates, or don't have the resources, it's that every time the expeditions have been about to be assembled, the current ruler has been lost to some misfortune, and the expedition cancelled because suddenly there are more important things to handle.

"I tell you, I'm not sure if it's the rulers who have been unlucky, or if the pirates have just been THAT DAMN LUCKY!
Hmmph, probably both..."

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

Phew. I have a few seconds to post! Finally.

Archibald engages each with enthusiasm and an attentive ear. He asks all the questions he can to glean what nuggets of info about the world they drop and to get the measure of the group. They are all physically impressive so he follows the conversations where they go, no matter if they're clearly exaggerating their exploits or not.
With the ladies, he does a careful balancing act, giving each half of his free attention and charm. Thankfully they're both of similar size so they don't easily off-balance him as they lean. He leads them along as best he can and readily listens to whatever gossip they whisper.

Eventually, the festivities dies down as more and more people take their leave for different engagements, or just to get some shuteye.
It's fair to say that nobody really got good and sloshed, but some people did clearly imbibe just a touch more than what was strictly necessary.
(Which may indeed include one or more of you three)

Either way, you find yourself more or less alone with the lord Mayor and a few of the people you met.
The situation has gone from a feast to more of a social gathering.

You find yourself more or less paired up, standing around the large area which now seems much more open with only about a dozen or so people in attendance.

Archibald is still conversing with Mario Batateli, Heinrich is talking to the good Major Brennan, and Iota is conversing with Magos Magister Sseretah.

The lord mayor is busy doing the rounds between you and the other pairs, making sure you are still enjoying yourself, but clearly also looking out to see if any of you need "rescuing" from a conversation running long in the tooth.

Awareness checks please

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

vs16: 1d100 ⇒ 91

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Awareness vs 32/2 -> 16: 1d100 ⇒ 18 barely a fail

While Archibald remains blissfully oblivious, both Iota (never said there couldn't be a hidden bonus) and Heinrich do notice something.
There seems to be a small commotion going on at the outskirts of the hedge wall that encircles the party area.
The lord mayor, who is currently speaking with Heinrich and Major Brennan follows Heinrich gaze, and frowns, clearly not happy about whatever is going on.
He begins to reach for a small ornamental whistle around his neck.

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

Heinrich, who has seriously limited himself due to arriving at the party with quite a headstart, is still quite well fuelled at this point.

Which in his case means he currently is quite collegial and informal and soon will ve getting very tired indeed. So his address to the Governor may lack some of the decor and reference he would otherwise would have shown.

"Unruly neighbors, eh?
Just what is it with people hating on good parties?
After all, if not for the occasional party what are we even fighting for?"

The lord mayor pauses, the whistle hallways to his mouth.
"I fear that within seconds, we shall be fighting for our very lives."
He then blows a shrill tone from the whistle.

"To arms, this is NOT a drill!"

BS:43 | WS:32 | ST:28 | T:34 | AGI:52 | PER:35 | INT:44 | WP:30 | FEL:43 | Pilot (Space) +20 Wing Commander

THAT managed to somber up Heinrich, no doubt about that.
If the situation would not (apparently) turned sour so fast, the changes running over Heinrich's face might have been comical.
He blinks, twice, then looks the governor up and down as if hoping to detect a sign of a joke, then groans audibly.

"Against whom? And wouldn't it have been a good idea to inform us thusly?!"

Before the other can even reply, Heinrich has already stuffed the little earpiece comlink into his ear and starts calling orders over the priority link to the waiting house troops stationed nearby.

"Honor Guard: Code RED. Get to the Captain, NOW!"

With deft fingers, he switches to another frequency and calls:

"We need air extraction and close air support. Position is known. LZ will be hot!"

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

As the area very suddenly explodes into activity and comms leap to life in his ear, Archibald looks around as if someone had accidentally sneezed. His face drops into a kind of helpless sigh. Half of my days on this planet have ended with combat. And the other half with delight. What does this say about the world, I wonder...
But his wonder is quickly replaced by steel in his spine and rolls its way rapidly up to his eyes. But, live to fight another day, right? He gently removes the two ladies who have sought to become additions to his epaulets. Excuse me, ladies. It appears someone has chosen ruin to requisition.
He strides over to the Lord Mayor as Heinrich brings down the cavalry. My Lord. Is there something you wish to tell me? And as a secondary effect of him going to the Lord Mayer, his Honor Guard falls into place with the Lord Mayor's own, creating a more concentrated defense force.

Tech Priest Magos Explorator WS41 BS36 S43 T41 A32 I51 Per37 Wil35 Fel37 Wounds: 12/12 Fate: 3/3

Iota sighs - yes he is still human enough to do that naturally - and "invites" Magister Sseretah to join them: "Magister, unless you have your own arrangements for this situation please follow me."

Whether or not the invitation is actually accepted, Iota will turn to join the Lord Rogue Trader and the honor guard. He will send out "Variable" to take a closer look at the commotion while retrieving his boltgun and power axe from the youngest of the honor guard. His hands move in an age old ritual, checking the gun being loaded and safety off and the power axe connected to the power source and its power field calibrated to spring into action at the press of its button. His mind meanwhile processes the auspex and visual information relayed by Variable.

Surprisingly, the sounds of commotion dies down pretty quickly.
The signal from "Variable" as it scans the area reveals why.
Apparently, the attackers (whom you cannot identify as of yet) were in turn counter ambushed by men in red and black armour, bearing the planets crest on their chestplates.
In addition, Solonius and the majority of your new "special forces" seems to have had a hand in the swift destruction of the attackers.

Speaking of, Solonius himself comes around the corner, a look of grim satisfaction on his face.
Dragged between two of his men is one of the attackers, though by the state he is in, he isn't likely to last long.

"Looks like your instincts were right on the money, Lord Mayor Militant."
Solonius gives the lord mayor a nod, which is about as much respect he ever shows anyone not in the navy.

The lord mayor turns to you, looking more apologetic than satisfied.
"Yes, though by the looks of you all, I take it you were not made aware of our increased security protocols?
A regrettable oversight that I can only attribute to the stress of the situation."

Taking a moment to collect himself, the Lord mayor reaches for a piece of cloth and dabs his forehead.
"After already have had one assassination attempt under my very roof,
I decided to take as many extra precautions as possible, including stationing the small contingency of storm troopers at my disposal in ambush during the festivities.
And coordinating with your man here,
he indicates Solonius, for maximum protection."

Taking a moment to pinch the bridge of his nose, he exhales slowly.
"You'll note two pieces of information.
One, this attack did take place until only locals and members of your dynasty were present.
Two, I can all but guarantee that these attackers are not local."

WS 33, BS 38, S 30, T 31, Ag 36, Int 30, Per 32, WP 47, Fel 64; Wounds 5/5, FP 2/4 | +15 command on a ship | Currently:

In other words, someone has officially-unofficially started a war with me. A slow smile creeps across his lips. More than likely one of the traders. The ones who came in on ships. Very well.
Would you please inform me if you find any identifying markers on these incompetents.

He snaps a crisp salute to Solonius as he approaches. Master-at-Arms, you have once again proven yourself peerless at your post. You have my permission to do whatever you want to that one in order to get a lead on who did this. An assassination attempt is one thing. An actual assault on a party is something else entirely. Why, they've endangered the life of the Lord Mayor himself! The Emperor's own light upon this world and keeper of his Holy Writ! This is an outrage! He says with that smile still on his lips as he starts to spin up a propaganda campaign against their unknown foe.
Lord Mayor, I assume you have something like an information control department. If you decry this as an attack we can spin this into a critical error for whoever ordered it. At the very least they'll be forced to burn a scapegoat capable of this level of strike. At most we can eliminate their race for the planet and show our worth and faith to the Ecclisiarchy.

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