Taming Dark Stars

Sawyer in Footfall

Footfall was bustling as always. All matter of people were milling about. I spied some of our Kroot walking around.
They were always good for a smile.

For some reason my attention was drawn to the left and my gut told me to find a shadow. As I stepped into a shadow and took a small glance to my left I see the symbol. My heart starts to race and my palms start to sweat.

House Harklen, the adjuct house that serves my brother. They would be in many ways his right hand. They dispense his justice and root out his enemies. My only thoughts are that of prey running from the one that will devour them.

Steeling myself I take the time to watch, thankfully noting they had not seen me. To make matters worse it was the Lord Captain Franko Harklen himself with his retinue walking thru the spaceport. He had sat at my father’s table toasting and boasting for years. He would recongnize me in an instance if he caught sight of me. His personal guards were the ones that took my youngest brother out of his crib and smashed his skull into the nursery’s floor. Hell, it might have been ol’ Franko himself that did it.

I shrink further into the shadows as I watch them move on. It is fortunate that the world of Franko Harklen is not complex. Follow orders till death, theirs or his. He didn’t see grey areas, he just saw death, and he dispensed it with gusto. Hmm… maybe his death could lead a way back to my families providence. Of course my brother’s heart will have stopped by then, but Franko might be a single step on the road to providence. Or at least revenge.

As they moved to thier ship, I wondered, could the Lament take that ship? Would the Lord Captian allow his ship to do used that way? We will have to see what profit there would be in it.

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Cornelius Personal Log

In are first adventure out we are looking for a ship to salvage called the Emperor’s Bounty. Our command staff uses our contacts to locate this ship. I develope a contact with a Lady Youngdale. After we get the nessisary information we set off. We find the ship in a ships graveyard/battleground and it is tainted. After docking and boarding we make our way to the command center and find the ships navigator there with something attched to his 3rd eye. We engage him and after a tough fight we pull back to regroup. Most of the crew has been tainted and turned into mind zombies but we do find some of the crew that has been hiding out. With the information we learn from the survivor we develope a strategy to defeat the crew and the navigator. We learn that using the Gellar field will weaken the taint and we can then destroy those creatures. We make are way back to the bridge using a different route lead by a survivor named Ernhart. We engage thje navigator again and defeat him and the thing attched to his 3rd eye fall off and it appears to be a machine. The navigotor was from House Benatech.

Second Outing: We are in Port Wander and Lincoln has a meeting in the Courts of the Dead. Lincoln has a meeting with an older guy named Orbus. During the meeting Orbus was going to hand something to Lincoln and was attacked. I pulled my gun and shot the birdlike shadow that attack them. Then Lincoln moved off into the crowd and after the bird got out of sight I followed him into the crowd to back him up. 2 guys step out of the crowd and start firing to at us with burst weapons. We kill them. Station guards get there and ask us what happened. I found out that some kind of crystal data nemalyst (it is gene coded to Lincoln’s gene) was stolen. The crystal has information on the Righteous Path Ship and it was filled with treasure. It was a ship of the Emperor’s. It was a holy ship. The treasure was from Crystalian; a planet of alien’s and was 2.5 thousand years ago (pg 385). The ship disappeared after it was loaded with all these treasures. That data crystal had the location of the ship. We start looking for information about who stole the data crystal. They guys kill were last employed by the fell dynasty. Are master of spies get the crystal back. We need more info on this area. Sawyer is working on it.
We get a map to the ship we are looking for but in trade we have to take some books to Winterscales realm. We start are jumps.
In route we get a distress signal and go to investigate. We get attacked by 2 raider ship. We almost destroy 1 ship and they run way but they have a mine tracking us. We open parley with them and we agree to meet Loris at the Reach (a bar at Port Wanderer). We now investigate the Penitent traveler. It is a small bartered transport vessel. I lead a boarding party. They are headed to the world called Hope. Their engines were damaged and we are looking into it. They left from footfall. So we take the 1200 missionaries and we gut the ship of it valuable stuff.
We get to the system with the ship we are looking for. We start scanning the system for the ship. Sawyer and I take a boarding party down Magaros Minor. We lose 1 tech guy but get the data from a downed transport. The data talks about a crazy telescope on Magaros Prime where the crazy storm is.

We send a landing party down to Magaros Prime consisting of our command staff and 3 guards, a medic and a tech guy. We land just outside the storm area. The fucks up are sensors. The area was settled by aliens that were bigger than us but they have been gone for 2500 years. Once into the storm we have no communications with the landing craft or ship. We hear gunfire in front of us. The gunfire is from Orcs and another group. We get in the fight. After the fight we get into the telescope building and Sawyer sticks his face into the machine and we get the information we need to find the Righeous Path. A second group, larger than the first arrives and we leave out a back door.

Lady Ash is a psycher and Lord Captain Hadarak Fell is the rogue trader of the other group from House Fell. The Fell soldier gave the layout of his ship whish was a raider craft called the Fell Hand. When we got off planet Lady Ash was attacking our main ship with 2 frigates and a pirate ship.
We head to the location where the Righteous Path is in our little ship and crash. The ship is totaled but we survive. We head to the Righteous Path and get inside. We get inside and get to the bridge and open up the engineering area. While we are there we find an insignia on a corps from House Asmodian and the character name is Lady Astriana, the navigator. We head to the cargo hold and find boxes of treasure and then head to engineering to see if we get power to the ship. The engines work but we would need fuel but it can’t fly and no gunship. The other group from House Fell shows up and we try rig the ship to blow and fail but bluff it. We make a bargain to get off the iceberg with treasure and safety.
While we are waiting I go to the captain’s quarters and find dataslate and some personal items of the captain, while in there I hear whispering which I think is from the warp. After searching the captain’s quarters, I go search the chapel and high priest’s quarters and find his Aquila baton and a few small items.
Are ship arrives and we start transferring gear to are ship. Our psych’s are acting like something is wrong and checking are guys to out. It has to do with the whispering. It takes like 40+ hours to load the stuff. The original ship’s crew was attacked and killed by demons from the warp and they were still on the ship but dormant. They are attracted to life and were starting to wake up because of the people on the ship, that was the whispering. We head back to the Port Wanderer.
After we get back to Port Wanderer are tech guys crack the dataslate and find the location of the 73rd Planet that they get the treasure from called The Dread Pearl. The dataslate also talks about a foretelling of the seven witches that determines the location also. About 2 days after this a case of natural wine show up from Lady A.

11/11/12 We are all messed up pretty good so we decide to head to a medical facility to recover. We get back to Port Wanderer so we can heal and I am also looking for someone to repair my armor. We go to the Dr at Port Wander to get some cybernetic upgrades. We meet a new guy that is an Explorer his name is Vir Holt and he is going to fix my armor. He also informs us that the Dr is under investigation by the Inquisition. I also found out the Sawyer gave him some stuff that might be considered heresy. Sawyer is trying to go behind my back on this so I need to start watching him and the 2 telepaths. I have a feeling they are hiding more stuff. We go see the Dr the next day and find out about the DNA Sawyer gave him. It is a mix of human and xeno DNA. Inquisitor Abbot is the man pursuing him. The Dr was unable to save Abbot’s daughter and Abbot has been chasing the Dr ever since. The Dr heard of several legions of Empirical Soldiers coming. The DNA is Ternid Technology. It is mainly human DNA but has a mix of some alien DNA as well. We give him most of the DNA we have for payment for the surgeries. Gantz goes first. It will take a few days to regrow his arm. Sawyer goes next and then it is my turn. We get done with surgery and just recovering in the hospital. Our new guy is able to talk with the probe and its mission was complete and if it is fixed will just head home. It scouted 25 star systems. He is working for someone else. We get on a data pad with the procedure that the Dr performed on it and his name was Dr Killian. Someone stole the Dr’s Medical Servitor. I think the new guy took it but no proof. Inquisitor Abbot gets there and locks down the station but we think the Dr got out beforehand. Our Capt. has to go meet with Abbot to get permission to leave. We start heading out to the location. Vir fixed my armor so it is whole again. We are almost attacked by some ships in the warp but drop out and they don’t follow. We get to the system we are supposed to. We find a crashed gun cutter by where we need to go. On this planet there are 30 walking city in almost constant warfare. The people here are human. We land next to a ravine in the middle in a radiation storm. We find the Eldar Temple. We finish learning what we need to but a couple of the walking cities are heading to the down cutter. We head to the crashed cutter because the 2 cities start fighting each other and we needed cover plus our cutter had to leave the area to avoid the attacked. I have to perform first aid on Vir because he got shot with bullets. We find a crystal data pad on the cutter. We learn that the probe had received this message but that he hadn’t been able to relay it to anyone yet except Vir. We have information on who to talk with in one of these cities.

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The Cursed Path

If you let me in, I can help you. A voice whispered.

Darius looked around the navigator quarters of the ancient ship. Lady Astrianna had guided this ancient hulk through the Warp centuries before. A thin film of methane ice covered the interior of her cabin long since dead and vacant.

“Who’s there?” Darius looked around, his hand gently resting on the hand cannon at his side.

I can help you. It’s all here for the taking.

Darius smelled, rather than saw, the taint that was becoming apparent on the dead ship. Opening his will to the Warp, his third eye opened to the preternatural visions of his surroundings. A once beautiful navigator stood before him. Lithe and tall, her undead eye glowed at him from the Warp. The false vision of flesh was decayed and withered, but still, she smiled at him. The friendly expression could not hide the malevolence behind her eyes.

She was hungry.

His eye open, the navigator’s presence in the Warp was a beacon to the spirits of the dead. He could see the crew of The Righteous Path stirring. Their rotted eyes opened and began searching through the veil for him. Whispers began to drift through the air. Deep below he could hear the soft snoring of a daemon tied to the bowls of the ship.

“Gantz to the Navigator quarters, deck 223, room N17.” Darius thumbed into the vox.

“On my way.” Gantz replied.

Close to an hour later, Gantz arrived. The curios and artifacts of Lady Astrianna had been catalogued and secreted away. Darius would seek to return those items to House Asmotten, the family of Astrianna. Perhaps a favor could be curried with that House, but at the least, a noble warp guide might be put to rest.

“What’s wrong Mr. Torian?” Gantz asked the Navigator.

“Open your vision to our surroundings. This ship is cursed and we are not alone.” Darius replied.

Gantz took a deep breath and entered a light meditative state. Darius watched his facial features first go calm, then a frown, and then a smile. He could faintly hear the whispers between Gantz and the spirits, but could not discern their content. After a long while, the whispers stopped.

“There are thousands of them, tens of thousands.” The Astropath concluded.

The Astropath and Navigator, brothers in spirit, began deliberating if the taint and stir of the undead spirits could be used to their advantage. After seeking out the slumbering daemons and watching the dance of the cursed ships crew, action was decided against. There were just too many of them. The curse was too great. For now, the spirits would be left to slumber.

It was a resource, though, that would not be forgotten.

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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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The Bounty's Demise

Darius crossed through the open airlock and back onto The Emperor’s Lament. One hand protectively placed upon a box holding the head of the Benetek bastard from The Bounty, he waved with the other to the grunts to hurry back and leave the Bounty for good. It would be some minutes before they crossed with all the crates and salvage from the dying ship.

Each creak and grown of the broken spine of the Emperor’s Bounty served as a reminder that it was only a matter of time before the ship’s drive began spilling fire and poison and killed anything near it. To punctuate the danger, the hulk shuddered and smoke began boiling out of her belly and into the open bulkheads. The Lament, tied as she was to her dead sister by grapples and a boarding lock, vibrated with her. Mildly worried about the crew, Darius waved again. “Hurry up piston-heads, unless you want to be a martyr for The Emperor today.”

The last of the engineers and fire teams pulled their spoils from The Bounty and cycled the airlock.

“Captain Hammerfist, our crew is onboard, we are clear to leave.” Darius thumbed into the comms in his helmet.

The stations horn sounded and the lights went a little dark in the halls of the Lament. Darius felt more than heard the grapples disengage from the space hulk and begin to retract back into The Lament. A slight lurch in the stomach confirmed the firing of navigation thrusters. Darius watched as what was left of The Bounty fell away into the void. A few minutes later he saw a silent, fiery flare in the blackness of space that attested to the warrior’s end of that fated ship.

“Navigator to the bridge,” Hammerfists’ voice sounded over the comms, “we are clear of the debris field.”

The three-eyed mutant sighed, still clutching his box as he began the walk to his navigator’s station. Opening his prize he ignored the dead eyes of the Benetek navigator and instead stared at the golden worm shaped device that had become inert. It rolled lazily next to the head it had empowered. Darius lightly touched its runed surface and could hear a faint whisper.

He smiled, there was power there to be sure. Power if he wanted it. But more than that, there was a way to harm his enemies. He slipped the golden worm into an inner pocket of his navelite robes. He took the time to spit into the dead Benetek’s face before closing the box.

The bridge door opened. Captain Lincoln Hammerfist, accustomed to the eccentric behavior of his navigator, ignored the smile that played across Darius Torian’s face. “Navigator, take us back to Port Wanderer.”

Darius settled into his chair. “Aye Captain.” He barely uttered. His glowing third eye opened and The Emperor’s Lament plunged into The Warp.

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Searching for the Emperor's Bounty

We had been in Port Wander for a few weeks and the crew had been getting antsy, which meant they were our of money. Our last haul had been mediocre, I can tell by where the crew lost their money in Port Wander. My usual cut of the proceeds from the clubs was light, due to our last haul and I have been considering that a reminder of our agreement needs to be sent to them again. Sadly you have to remind these establishments way too often for my tastes. It doesn’t take long for me to suggest places or restrict the crew from attending. There will be those that don’t listen, but those that do make money. A note in my datapad reminds me and off to other issues I go.

Word of the Emperor’s Bounty comes from many sources, but many would consider it fate that the whole administrative staff heard the rumors. I started to investigate the Bounty and where it was last seen. It seems that it was investigating the Battleground when it lost contact with the rest of the universe.

Our first concern was salvage rights. We had to determine if anyone had already staked their claim on the Emperor’s Bounty. The Administratum was extremely difficult this week and I could not determine if the Emperor’s Bounty had been claimed.

Corniellious reminds us that he can talk with Lady Youngdale, but we need a gift. After some deliberation we decide that I can talk with some of my “other” contacts and get a respectable gift. I owe a favor to these “other” contacts for a great bottle of champagne. Gotta love those “other” avenues. It was worth it since her contacts inform us that the Bounty is open for the taking.

We pack up and disembark within 48 hours, and we enter the Maw.

The Navigator got us to the Battleground without event in the Void. Thank the Emperor.

Seeing the Battleground from the command center was one of the most impressive and imposing sights of my short life. The shear amount of broken and destroyed ships and debris boggled my mind. Our pilot moved us carefully through the debris to the Emperor’s Bounty. It seemed to take forever to get to our target and as it loomed in front of us you can see the damage it had taken. It was obvious to me that this great ship would never fly again.

Docking and moving our troops that we start to move into the Bounty. Once we have established a secure fall back position (whatever that is, the soldiers called it that), we start carving our way to the bridge. It takes us several hours to get to the bridge.

Opening the doors to the bridge it immediately becomes obvious there is something wrong. Everyone in here is dead, except the Navigator. The Lord Captain of the Bounty is definitely dead, as he would have never let the Navigator sit in his chair, that and his remains are at the Navigator’s feet.

So, the Navigator has something attached to his third eye. This thing looks like some worm. He is pooring our void energy and is also a powerful psyker. His energy also corrupts and raises the dead from the command floor.

A battle ensues with this corrupt Navigator. He has a shield that we cannot shoot thru and he has more zombies than we can handle so we start to retreat.

As we are retreating the Bounty is hit or runs into another ship or piece of debris. A huge rent in the side of the ship opens in the hall we are retreating from. Being closest to the rent and in motion, I loss my footing and start spinning towards open space. My stomach and mind were reeling as I moved towards my ultimate death. Luckily for me the Astropath saved my life by grabbing a handful of my suit and deflecting me from the opening. I hit hard and cracked a few ribs, but it is genuinely better than spinning off into the darkness and wreckage.

Having to redirect another way out we find what remains of the crew hiding. They help us avoid the reanimated crewmen and hole up for a rest. It is in conversations with Bosen’s Mate Ernheart and 11 other of the crew who have survived that the corrupted Navigator is wary of the Geller field. We assume it has to do with the reduced contact with the void. This was all relayed from the Bounty’s Captain before he fell. Of the 65,000 normal crew aboard this ship, only 13 survive, and one is corrupted horribly by the void.

I was told by the Medicia that I came back to the Emperor’s Lament on my own power. I walked into the sick bay and collapsed. I have no recollection beyond finding out about the worm’s close ties to the void. The combination of hours of hard travel thru the ship, combat and adrenelin, and a few broken ribs took their toll on me.

When I woke up at Port Wander, I had cargo to unload and get sold. Seems we did well. My ribs are better and Captain Hammerfist didn’t even dock my pay for the sick time. We made money, and survived. The burial fees were a little high, luckily we only lost a few men. The soldiers took the heaviest hit. One man had a widow and a small child. I sent on his share to his widow, also where he was buried in case she wanted to visit. They rarely do.

Blessed be the Emperor for allowing us to live and profit. His blessings be on us and those that gave their lives for us.

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