Taming Dark Stars

Hammerfist Legacy

Lord Captain Lincoln Hammerfist had us taking advantage of a small down time to refit and replenish the stores of the Emperor’s Lament. So the whole ship was on light duty and the Emperor’s Lament was in tip top shape.

The Captain had gotten a message from one Orbest Dray. We later found out that Orbest was a Master of Arms for the Captain’s Great Grandfather, Gregorian Hammerfist. The Captain was asked to meet Orbest at the market of Port Wander.

Since most of the crew was on light duty or was already in Port Wander spending their shares of the last haul, the Captain only went with the command crew.

We entered the Courts of the Dead in Port Wander’s market. The Captain later recounted that he discussed with Orbest the fate of his great grandfather’s fleet and another legendary treasure ship.

Seems that a part of Gregorian Hammerfist’s fleet got blow off course and ended up in some system in the Calixis Sector. Upon entering the system it was reported that an ancient distress beacon was heard. Further investigation revealed that the treasure ship Righteous Path had crashed in this system. Lorcanus Ryn, a great conqueror, who was part of the
Angevin Crusade that had just conquered the 73rd planet and discovered an immense amount of treasure on this planet. The planet was Krystalian, the race was Talisar. They were destroyed in 3 days. They were reported as being purebred humans from the Dark Age of Technology.

He stripped his ship, the Righteous Path, to the bones and put as much treasure as he could. In hindsight it seems that was a poor choice.

Now, Gregorian’s people were disconnected from their main fleet. They had found something they did not intend too and had no leader. So they marked everything carefully (in a data crystal) and went to Port Wander to wait for their leader. After a time and Gregorian had not returned, they decided to go looking for him. Leaving Orbest behind with the data crystal they set out looking for their leader. That was 115 years ago. Orbest has been waiting faithfully for a Hammerfist to return to Port Wander.

Note: When we leave someone with information that is important, we need to leave them enough credits to move to get back to our trader world.

I guess Orbest bargains with Lord Captain Lincoln Hammerfist for his service. Similar agreement to bury him like many of our people. He is now part of our crew.

Now in the handoff a dark bird comes down and snatches the data crystal. We shoot at it, and other assailants. About 20 Wanderer’s get mowed down. We deal with the officials that come to police it. They leave us alone so we can start looking for the data crystal.

I bury myself in Navy Administratum trying to find out about Rogue Trader’s that are leaving Port Wander. I also put feelers out there in the Underworld. Nothing really pans out, but I think I can work with a gentleman in the Navy Administratum.

Master of Whispers Remi brings us the data crystal. It was open as soon as the Lord Captain touched it, as it was keyed to his gene sequence. We then find out that the Trader House Fel left recently and we suspect them of stealing the data. The ship that has recently departed is the Fel’s Hand.

With the star charts that in the data crystal, I head off to Magnet Scribner Journ, the best map maker on Port Wander, at the Chambers of Gold. In discussions with him, I barter a map at a third of the cost if we would deliver a load of books to Footfall. After a few hours he delivers to me the books and the map. I a little worried because the system this is pointing too is in Winterscales realm. We will have to tread quietly, but I think we can do this.

We gather the crew over the next few hours and depart as quietly and fast as we can. The Navigator plots a course to the Battlegrounds to start with to get better bearings.

Never having reacted this way, the void made me sick. I could report to my post, but was not that effective.

On the bridge they note a distress beacon from a ship named the Penitent Traveler. Suspecting a trap many suggest we ignore the beacon. I remind the Captain that we are commanded by the Emperor to aid those in real distress. The Captain rightly moves the Emperor’s Lament to aid the Penitent Traveler. Ever vigilant, the Captain puts the whole ship to general quarters as we move to aid.

After a short time we see two pirate ships moving towards us in an aggressive posture. Our gunners ravage one of the ships as it approaches. Luckily we are not even touched by their guns. We discuss terms with them as they run away from our superior firepower. Like cowards they dropped a mine and then asked us to leave them alone to remove the mine from our tail.

We agreed and since we always need new recruits and ships for the House we asked them to discuss more terms. They gave us a contact called Loris on Port Wander. We can talk to Loris at the Reach. He seems to be the brother of the Pirate we savaged.

Moving on to the ship under duress, we find the Penitent Traveler covered in religious glyphs and beat up pretty bad. Inside we find several of the Emperor’s holy men and women. They were on their way to Hope. The Emperor’s will had led them this far and we agreed to take them aboard. They wanted to go to Footfall. I was never sure of whether they started at Footfall. If they had they had travelled very far. Especially with no navigator.

With the Missionaries and their items stowed, we plot a course for the Magoros System.

The Magoros System has five things that hold our interest. The Flickering Eye, Magoros Prime, Magoros Secondus, Magoros Minor, and the Shard Halo are these objects.

The Flickering Eye is the systems pulsar that pulses and sends radiation out thru the system and hammers shields and blinds sensors of most ships.

Magoros Prime is a planet of alien technology and ruins. We see a huge electrical storm going on that is clouding our ability to see the surface.

Magoros Secondus is a planet of alien spore towers. It looked utterly alien and horrible down there. We found absolutely no signs of life.

Magoros Minor is a satellite of Prime. There was a crashed landing craft on this. This is a charred and destroyed planet. It becomes clear later why this planet is charred and destroyed. We move down to the lander and lose a tech crewmember in retrieving its data core.

The Shard Halo is where we eventually find the Righteous Path, after we contend with the inhabitants of Magoros Prime.

We find out from the data core that there is a alien telescope reported to be on Magoros Prime.

Heading to Magoros Prime, we take Chief Chirurgeon Symonne “Doc”, a tech, and 3 soldiers into the lander. Our Captain volunteered the rest of the command staff to head down to the surface.

The alien artifact, that has been described as an alien telescope, called the Star Mirror was at the center of this electrical storm. Leaving our 3 soldiers to guard the lander we set off into the Egarian Dominion ruins. The Egarian Dominion were a race that dwarfed. Their dead city loomed above us as we moved thru it. The sun is occasionally hidden from us as we move down the wide avenues. Though they would be comfortable for an Egarian, but they were wider than many peoples domiciles.

We travel every direction as we pick our way thru this dead city. The city stank of death and anticipation. Like there was supposed to be more to this city, but it was not ready to show itself.

Faint gunfire is heard by our party as we move futher into the ruins. Sensing it is not near, we continue towards our target.

Finally as the signs of gunfire continue to grow we come to a intersection where several avenues pool around what looks to be the building we are looking for. This damaged edifice rises up into the sky and at its front door are two guardsmen firing on Orks. Orks! I hated Orks. I had read about Orks and how tough they were, I had no idea. I hit that one Ork enough times to put down a squad of human troopers. He kept coming.

Wading into this fray we start supporting the guys guarding the tower. Orks are tough. Interestingly enough the Fel guardsmen (we found that out later) were covering the retreat of Lady Ash. Lady Ash is a witch of House Fel. And by witch I mean witch, unlicensed psyker. So we were parleying with Lady Ash while fighting these Orks. She is pretty powerful a psyker.

We finish off these Orks as we hear more coming. We all get into the building, and I see that wonderfully interesting thing. I wanted to use it. The helmet fit like it was meant to be on my head. I was not sure what I was looking for, but it had been used before so it showed me what it had showed Lady Ash. Seeing the Righteous Path come out of the void sideways made it apparent that it was mortally wounded. If I had doubts they were dispelled as it smashed into the ice asteroids and started to be covered in ice. Seeing the universe from a thousand years ago made my mind reel thinking of all the possiblities. What a wonderful sight it was. Breaking away from that display was one of the hardest things I have done in my life.

As we leave this world we are reminded as part of our parley to stay away from our ship, we see that we are beset by 2 frigates and a raider class ship. We do, and head directly for the Righteous Path. We are on a foot race now, so we spend the next 18 hours talking with the Fel guardsman about the Fel’s Hand and Lady Ash. The Fel’s Hand is captained by Lord Captain Hadarak Fel.

It is not discussed, but Lord Captain Lincoln Hammerfist destroyed our lander once we got there. I would like to think he planned it that way. He motivated us to come up with solutions that we would not have normally come up with. The Fel guardsman was the only casualty in the crash. The Captain could not have accidently done all that.

The luck of the Emperor must have been with us, since we beat the Fel’s Hand here in a lander.

After poking around what is left of the ship we find that we can open the cargo bay doors and find it all. The cargo bay is packed floor to ceiling, wall to wall crates of treasure and archeotech. The value of the treasure is astronomical, I even lost count.

While I am ogling the crates, the others go to engineering and try to light the engines. If we can get them lit we can threaten to blow up the whole stash, a bargaining chip in any “negotiations” we have with the Fels. Lack of any plasma is the primary problem with our engines, otherwise they work. Grabbing a few naval torpedos and rigging them to command detonate was our next plan, and in the middle of that plan we hear from Lady Ash.

Negotiation with them goes smoothly due to my help, and we agree to let them have the rest of the treasure after we bring in our ship and take our fill of the first pick.

The numbering system of this treasure trove, though old, is easily determined. I selected a balanced share of %50 treasure and %50 archeotech to be taken to our ship.

We found all kinds of personal effects of the command staff of this historical and once great ship.

The Navigator was Lady Astrianna of House Asmotten. We find a symbol of that house on the bridge.

The Lord Captain was Lorcanus Ryn of course. Leader of the 3rd Crusade. We find his dataslate and some medals.

First Officer Cornelius was gone a long time and came back looking like he had found something, but he said nothing that I overheard.

Using a Fel lander we cart all of our treasure up to the Emperor’s Lament and turn it back over to them once we had filled every space that I could place things.

Once under way we learn that there were angry spirits and demons on the Righteous Path and we were best to be on our way quickly. I left that problem up to the Lord Captain as I was focused on the treasure.

Port Wander was a sight for sore eyes I will say. I felt relieved to be back in the Emperor’s territory. We unloaded and sold most of the treasure, and it was a good day to be on board. There will be some drunk sailors in port for the next week. I have dispatched a few soldiers to keep the men safe and make sure the only one relieving them of their pay are the vendors and whores. Not sure what Lord Captain Lincoln Hammerfist wants to do with the archeotech, but he will tell me soon enough.

The tech boys finally got something out of Ryn’s dataslate. Seems it has the location a planet. It is not clear as to whether it was a planet already plundered or was this to be the 74th planet of the Crusade. The location was called the Dread Pearl. I guess it talks of a forttelling of the 7 witches of Footfall which determines the location of the Dread Pearl. What the hell that means we will have to see.

After a few days a case of natural wine gets delivered to the Captain. Seems Lady Ash sent it with her regards. The Captain graciously shares it, giving a bottle to each of us in the command staff. I wonder if I can bribe a Navy Official with one of these. How big a favor can this bring?

By the favor of the Emperor we have not only survived our endeavor but profited from it. The Emperor’s favor shines on us.

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