Heretic Hunt

Gordon's Thoughts - 5
An Unexpected Sacrifice

This was supposed to be the fulfilment of a dream. Captain of an ancient battlecruiser. My first voyage with my own ship, into the great unknown. I understand that like all dreams it was to be a fleeting thing, a vision of something I don’t deserve but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that it turned into a horrific nightmare. Even while I am awake I cannot escape these terrors. The first sign was our attempt to jump into the warp. I’ve never seen so many things go wrong at once. My first voyage and I fuck everything up. By the Emperor I’m useless. Still, we managed to salvage something out of it by pinning it on the Dark Eldar. The combat with the Dark Eldar went better than I expected, casualties were minimal although Hermes will need a new leg. The Mandrake tried to weasel out of it by pledging his service to me. Xenos bastards, not once has Sliscus shown mercy. He tortures and enslaves and maims and murders for his own twisted pleasure. There can be no mercy for his kind. I saw to it that they were all put to the sword.

Unfortunately, that fight was also where everything went wrong. Karroleen saw Kil’Thal. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Shouldn’t have told her about daemons, should have just told her to ignore it and follow orders. Maybe it was inevitable. In any case, she promptly flipped her shit afterwards and I could feel panic gripping me. This was it, I was done, found out, doomed to die a heretic’s death. I tried to play it off as the results of blood loss and adrenaline but she wasn’t having it. It was only by the grace of Kil’Thal’s subtlety under psychic examination that nothing came of it.

Or so I thought.

I addressed the crew, congratulating them on their steadfast defence and stellar performance in a time of crisis and treachery. They truly had performed far above my expectations in regards to repairing the ship and their eagerness to finally end the xenos threat. Afterwards I retired to my quarters to relax and unwind after a very stressful day. Imagine my surprise when I saw Perrin. I would have been pleased to see him if it wasn’t for the look of sheer panic on his face. He told me Silvanto knew about the sword and he was coming. That familiar terror began grasping me, I could feel it now, he knew where I was, the nightmares were coming true this was it this was it thi-.

Perrin, that stupid, brave bastard saved my life. He took my place. I sat and I listened to what they did to him. I heard him scream until, for most likely the final time, he died. Before he died he left me a letter. Inside was an Inquisitorial ID. He was an Interrogator under Drake. Well, he certainly had me fooled. Crafty bastard, keeping an eye on us were you? Never could make up my mind on you, but you showed your true colours in the end.

I guess this means I’m dead. Yet it is everyone around me that dies in my stead. Rimwena, Canto and now Perrin. Sabbanth is in the warp somewhere. Noctine is just a voice over the comms. I’m all alone again. I’m not sure I can take this anymore. That terror hasn’t left, it just grips me tighter. I’m struggling to breathe. But I have to endure this, can’t give up, won’t give up. I can’t let those bastards win. How many more will die in screaming agony if we fail? I don’t know what a ghost like me can do but you can bet I’ll live on to haunt these monsters.

For Rimwena, Canto, Perrin and everyone unlucky enough to have crossed their path I will end this.

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Karroleen's Thoughts - 2
And it just gets weirder

I’m not surprised Rimwena and Ratcliffe died.

Day started off normally. Asked Gordon why Ratcliffe was dead, mostly wanted to know if it was the team’s doing or if someone was out to get at the team. Turns out it was the former from what he told me, apparently he was “incompetent and unreliable”, good to know.

We headed down to the planet’s surface, turns out while I was making friends Ventium and half his crew were trying their luck against the orks. While this was happening Gordon and his friend Canto, the Arbites who was very willing to shoot other Arbites, decided to go ‘investigate’ a church. I had no idea what they wanted to investigate but it seemed important to Gordon that we both be there. This took some arguing as Canto wanted quite dearly to fight a horde of orks by himself (he said something about rolling dice?), nevertheless he caved eventually.

So there we were, edging towards the front of the crowd so we could sit at the front pew, no one challenged us, guess we did look pretty official. Then all of a sudden the room got cold…. the doors at the back slammed shut as Ventium’s underling ‘Envico’ walked in. I was told by Porter that he wasn’t very well liked by the crew and I think I can see why now. As he made his entrance Gordon looked to Canto and told him to steal his hat, before turning to me and telling me, very intently, to pray. I had no idea what in Emperor’s name he was planning but it seemed important and he does technically own me so I complied.

A few minutes of praying and one stolen hat later and I was staring at…. something. The horns should have stood out more but his face was absolutely horrifying in its…. perfection? It almost seemed to draw your gaze as if it were pulling out your soul. The only thing running through my mind was Gordon’s command to pray, and pray I did but I certainly wasn’t going to give this… thing the privilege of living.

So I ran forward, chainsword in hand and swung with as much force as possible, it was clear pretty quickly that he didn’t need armour as his skin took on this sort of… scaly quality and began knitting itself back together. This helped less than he needed it too though as Canto proceeded to send several shotgun shells into his chest.

I think it was because of that that the thing aimed at Canto, drawing a sword that had teeth and seemed to sing and curse as it was wielded. With this and some kind of profane symbol he killed Canto with ease, but not before he managed to prime a grenade. Between this, another stab to his chest, a holy lasbolt and several shots from Tapt and his crew the thing fell to the ground and his sword was sent skidding. I tried to pin it with my foot not knowing what to expect from such an abomination of a weapon. At which point the handle curved round and took a chunk out of my ankle with a new set of teeth it had grown.

Thankfully Gordon got to it quickly, presumably using some kind of litany on his blade to break the damn thing. One of Tapt’s crew was made a hero for dealing the final blow and Canto was cremated to purge the corruption, we even celebrated afterwards given two of us were now celebrated as heroes (admittedly one of which was dead but I guess he can’t complain).

Now, though I had fun drinking and playing poker it didn’t quite deal with the nagging questions. Such as: what the fuck was that thing? How did Gordon know it was a thing? Why did Gordon go out of his way to fight that thing when there’s a fucking inquisitor on the damn ship who would be more fucking suited?! Why was I dragged in without being informed of the anything?! Why and how did the sWORD FUCKING BITE ME!?!

Generally speaking I try not to be too inquisitive when I’ve been given a job but as far as I was aware my job is to help these idiots pick up artifacts for a narcissistic captain, not fighting mutant/daemon/heretic/whatevers. It didn’t help that Gordon was so evasive, well with most of the questions anyway. He did inform me that it was not in fact a daemon, just a very corrupted mutant wielding a daemon, which I can only assume is better.

As for “should I expect this shit in the future?”, I got a resounding “meh”, only with more words. I can only hope to become better at killing things, that thing was able to heal itself after every wound I inflicted. Maybe I should learn to strike more quickly rather than focus on pure force? I’ll have to get to training.

Anyway, this team now has 3 members dead including the one who died as I was hired, and if the past 2 days was anything like what this ‘family’ usually deals with I’m surprised there are any left standing.

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A new vacancy
An new beginen

“So da word is the forward teem gone lost sumboody”. mok thought as he nursed his beer. Mok had kept himself uncover in the lower decks where he knew he would fit and had manged to avoid attention. He was waiting for his signal which would be his notification for taking the fallen acolytes place. As he sat there the bar tender came over with a drink that mok hadn’t ordered. Mok raised his chin at the bar keep “was this barmang?” “A worried friend on the vox ordered it for you described you perfectly said you had lost a friend at work, you work on gunnery?” “ya mon, i know who dat is tanks mang” Mok replied.

Mok downed his new drink and rapidly drank his beer. “Well den looks like i bettar go meet da Kidds” thought mok as he left the bar to go to a ball. He didn’t know what lay ahead but he knew it would be fun and full of challenges.

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NOW this is A PLAN!!

Canot liked this plan, i mean he loved this plan.
Pull the hat off a daemon that wasn’t really real cause nothing was pffft sure sounds like a blast.

as enviso came past his pew canto sprung to action expertly grabbing the hat and tossing it gingerly into the air to be grabbed by khirpy. thats when he saw the face “dam you ugly!” shouted canto as enviso slashing strikes landed canto grunted in pain. “HA! thats it? you must of rolled bad!” Canto leveled his shotgun and pulled three times at point blank range. Enviso staggered back under the blasts and was clearly injured “i must of crit” canto muttered under his breath. Thats when karroleen came in chain sword roaring chopping left and right her bravery was of good stuff judging by her attacks good die rolls.

Canto didn’t see it till it was too late his injured body being to slow to dodge. He briefly saw a hand with a bright mark glowing on it milliseconds before it hit this face. Canto fumbled for a grenade……………..

It was unbearably hot canto felt his feet leaving the ground. Canto tried to scream but could only manage an awful strangled muffling. The pain was immense and canto mind was assaulted by cruel whispers. Cantos legs began to thrash and then began to spasm as his brain started to cook its arteries bursting as the blood flash boiled to steam within them. Toward the end there was a faint popping sound followed by the roaring boom of a fire bomb and then a secondary explosion as a frag grenade detonated.

that was much like canto always having the last laugh and in it too the end.

FANZ CANTO

May the emperor forgive his sins and may he be remembered.

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Gordon's Thoughts - 4
Evinco

Holding off on my research was a good call. After all there will be plenty of time while we are in the warp for that. Observing how the cults are established on Harlocke planets seemed a much more practical use of my time. Taking Karoleen and Canto with me, we arrived on world and immediately made our way to the grand cathedral. Thankfully we managed to race ahead of Evinco and prepare ourselves. The cathedral was packed wall to wall with the faithful and the archbishop was screaming to be heard over the zealous throngs. Slowly but surely, we made our way to the front and waited. Then a thought came to me. If we stopped Evinco before the cult was established we’d be saving an entire world and Drake would have one less planet to root out heresy from. Of course, we couldn’t just shoot the man in broad daylight, but he was heavily mutated. If someone were to take his hat and reveal these mutations, well, as good Emperor-fearing citizens we’d be obliged to purge such heresy. Canto, the brave sod, volunteered himself for the task. With that determined, we steeled ourselves for the inevitable. We didn’t have to wait long. Soon everything grew dark and cold. The massive doors to the cathedral were thrown open. Our quarry had arrived. Given the nature of what we were about to fight, prayer seemed the best preparation and I strongly recommended Karoleen repeat after me. I don’t think she quite understood at the time but she was about to.

As Evinco boldly strode down the aisle (no honour guard, arrogant, stupid, vain) Canto ripped the hat from him and tossed it to Chirpy who safely stowed it away somewhere high in the cathedral’s spire. Then we saw his true face. It was awful, yet in a sense hauntingly beautiful. Everyone around us started losing their minds and Karoleen was praying a little more intently than before. Didn’t slow her down much though as I heard the roar of a chainsword and she charged forth towards the monster, smashing him with such force that even if it were blunted it would crush lesser men. But this was no mere man, his skin was hardened and daemonic. His wounds, no matter how grievous, began knitting themselves back together. Such is the power of the warp. Then the real target revealed itself as Evinco drew his sword and a horrific siren song echoed throughout the cathedral. What little sense the mob around us had was gone as brother turned upon brother. Evinco then began his assault on Canto, his sword cutting deeper than mere wounds if it truly is similar to my own. Then Canto provided his retort, to the tune of three, point blank shotgun shells to the chest. It’s a testament to the toughness of the daemonic that there was a torso left afterwards, as Evinco was blown backwards onto the floor. Even his prodigious regeneration was having issues with this and he was bleeding profusely. It was obvious after seeing this that my las would not be enough so instead I trusted in my faith. I ran to the font, dipped my pistol in its holy water and told the archbishop if he wanted to live to bless my gun. Litanies were chanted and hymns to the glory of the God Emperor were sung. Karoleen continued her assault with surprising grace, her superior swordsmanship besting her foe. It was then something curious happened. Evinco’s sword swore at him and began biting him for his failure. The downsides to partnering with a vindictive, psychopathic perfectionist. Unfortunately, Karoleen’s assault was not enough and after removing a glove Evinco pressed his hand onto Canto’s face. The poor bastard had the symbol of Slaanesh branded onto his face so hard it melted his brain. I don’t think anyone realised he had primed a grenade, as shrapnel and fire exploded right in Evinco’s face. There was no more time to waste, I strode forward, raised my pistol and prayed that the Emperor was truly with me and the archbishop actually consecrated the font. Instead of the red glow I have come to love there was instead a blast of pure white light which pierced straight through him and Evinco screamed.

Before he was panicked. Now he was afraid. He was right to be.

Then came the shout of “READY. AIM. FIRE.” I looked up to behold Tapt, Dalton and Karpath-6319 unleashing a torrent of lasgun fire into the prone monster. Admittedly, most of these shots did absolutely nothing but Karpath’s found its mark. A shot clearly guided by the Emperor himself, it landed square on Evinco’s head, causing it explode in a fountain of gore and fire. With the wielder dead, the sword fell from his grip and slid across the floor, helpless. I strode forth and cleaved it in two.

It was over but I wasn’t sure how to feel. We had actually saved a world, destroyed some hideous mutated monster and a daemon. I couldn’t be prouder of Karpath for his truly inspired killing blow or of Tapt as his drilling kept them together. Yet, Canto was dead. I suppose it was inevitable, he was getting more reckless by the day. I can’t help but feel that going out in a hail of gunfire and explosions, fighting something truly terrifying is the way he’d want to go. At least he’ll be forever remembered as a hero and a martyr by this planet. As Evinco’s body was incinerated, light and heat returned to the room. I could have sworn that, for a brief moment, I felt the grace of the Emperor and all was right with the cosmos.

Then Karoleen rather forcibly enquired what exactly was going on and how I knew that Evinco was rather daemonic and other awkward questions of that nature. She was rather insistent so I gave her the briefest, vaguest outline I could on what daemons are, trying to strike a balance between stuff that needs to be known but also minimising moral hazards. Awful curious that one, a dangerous trait. I should know. Anyway, the evening afterwards was quite amazing. Daemon-slaying heroes make the best wingmen.

After that however we had to inform Ventium. We had come up with a story that essentially just had us happen upon the scene afterwards, with us not involved at all. He didn’t really buy it though. Fortunately, he jumped to the conclusion that we were lying because Silvanto was involved. Ah, being able to blame our actions on someone less subtle than us is such a refreshing feeling. Even more so for the irony that it brings us ever closer to ending him. It was at this point that Ventium promoted me to captain of the Redeemer of Illumination. I won’t lie, I know my actual purpose here and I intend to see it through, but I was genuinely honoured. Three decades I’ve pursued such a position and now I’m a captain of a ship far greater and older than any that I’ve ever dreamed of commanding. A shame it will be a temporary position.

Not much of import happened after that. Came across another one of Drake’s men the next day, at a ball. Judging by his musculature, extensive scarring and that the first thing he asked me was if we had any bigger guns I’m going to assume he’s a combat specialist. We certainly are lucky to have such a steady stream of highly skilled new recruits.

Well, one down, five to go.

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Karroleen's Thoughts - 1
New Beginnings

Well things have taken a particularly strange turn. After that job went bad I was captured and bought by a man named Ventium Harlocke. An odd note: Ventium seemed to only buy slaves that had some other skills, as if they’d have some function other than feeding the engines.

But just before I had time to take in my great new job of shoveling coal with a pulverised arm Ventium gave me to a group of his underlings. Thankfully one of them was a tech-priest, which dealt with the arm issue.

Apparently I have just joined a group of specialists whom specialize in generalisation and come from the most strangely diverse backgrounds I’ve ever seen. Shortly after making introductions and getting my new arm I found that Ventium had given me some basic equipment: an armored bodyglove, a chainsword, a laspistol and…. drugs… okay.

About a week later, I was looking through the underbelly of the ship, looking for like-minded fellows that I could pull some strings for, get some better equipment from. In doing so I found Tapt, a guard who works for these specialists, shoving one of said specialists into a giant bullet after he apparently had been decapitated…..

Moving on from them though (something I take so much pleasure in) I came across some people who could hook me up with more functional armour, hopefully. Will have to talk to someone about what is happening with the anything in this little “family”.

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Disappointing notes

yes yES YES!!

The vault contained a trumpet! Canto never cared for brass instruments before but it was great!

He immediately snatched it up and began playing probably to everyone disgust but they didn’t matter he didn’t matter who cared who cared if it was a combat mission pfftt.

Now for the second vault before any one could discuss what the plan was Canto just rushed in. Oh great chaos symbols whatever that means pfft. thought canto as he unzipped his uniform and openly peed on one of the 8 candles. He chuckled briefly as he did so and once the deed was done he kicked another candle over. HA! nothing happened! this was really a game among giants. Canto wondered what other silliness he could get up too so many doors opened when you knew that life a joke he never felt this good in years. now where can i get a drink ? thought canto

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Gordon's Thoughts - 3
Treachery

That’s the good father seen his last night. Frankly I’m glad to see the end of him. Although ultimately it wasn’t up to me or how I felt, the man was a liability. Still, he can yet serve for death is not an end to duty. From what I understand Noctine intends to turn his skull into a means of illumination so that he can “draw as much attention to us in death as he did in life”.

I’m also glad to be out of the Warp, even if it meant landing on an Ork infested planet run by heretics. I was expecting sedition out of some misguided sense of loyalty to their planetary governor. I wasn’t expecting everyone from the guard to the domestic staff to be screaming “Death to the False Emperor”. Well, attempting to at any rate. Didn’t take us long to cut them down and make our way to the two vaults we discovered. Accompanying us was apparently one of Drake’s men who was sent ahead. A bureaucrat more interested in paperwork than practicality. Still, someone who knows their way around the labyrinth that is the Administratum will be of great use. Not to mention that a great deal of investigatory work is mind numbing data processing. I almost feel sorry for the two sods we murdered as cover for bringing him along. Almost. Anyway, the vaults. The first was defended by a hastily thrown together garrison augmented by Nurglite priest. They were dispatched with relative ease, although the Nurglite true to form refused to die for a while. I blew his damn leg off and he got back up! Wish I could have stopped Noctine from mutilating the corpse and completely tainting his mechadendrite. Nothing terribly interesting in there, lots of material wealth but nothing of use.

The second vault was a different beast altogether. Seems the Inquisition had been storing an altar to the Ruinous Powers here. Noctine has noble intentions but trying to simply blow it up was never going to work, Ventium arriving just made convincing him not to easier. I’ll move those candles we found to that room that’s off the grid, it’s unlikely that Quin will find them there. With any luck, we’ll have kept this artefact out of everyone’s hands and when Drake shows up he can deal with them. From what I understand everyone will be watching how the Harlockes institute the new regime. I’d love to help but I’ve got too much work here that needs doing. Most pressingly I need to identify what exactly Quin took. Then there’s researching the sanctification ritual so we can bring specialist firepower when we move on Quin. Also, how exactly one kills or banishes a daemon. The list goes on. I’m sure they can handle themselves fine without me though.

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Sobering epiphany
hahahah-HAHAHAAAHAAA!

Canto burst into the room he had to find out how HOW?! he must of missed some thing he never thought to check the rooms. IDIOT! he chastised himself he had to look harder he had to try harder. Canto felt his new senses humming in his head his vision started to distort. He started to feel like he was being flung across a vast distance and with an elastic slap he stopped..

Canto looked about him with immediate concern. Before him stood a large storage box filled with some sort of large brown cubes. Beyond this in the distance towered a large blue mountain. Canto took a step back casting eyes back and forth this wasn’t where he was. His retreat was stopped by some thing he turn to find a strange orange cube with symbols on it. but that was not what stole his attention before stood a great wall with the most beautiful mural on it. it was the walls of the imperial palace he thought Canto fell to his knees at this sight he must have been getting and message from the emperor him self praise be his power!

BOOM BOOM BOOM

Canto quickly looked to his right as he saw another orange shape tumbling across the ground the shape stopped. Canto looked up to see where the shape had come from. Thats when he saw it. Cantos hands started to shake. Before him towering over everything else was a massive figure with strange black rings around its eyes. He looked down at the orange shape an shape he now figured out was a dice. “Canto has passed with a natural one doubled by 1001 senses” a large booming voice announced " Canto sees five giants playing a role playing game" announced and voice that sounded like it was in charge. Canto looked over at the two die on one was 00 and the other 01.

Canto looked down at his hands then looked up at the beings around the table as they started to laugh at him. A small tear ran down his face as he realized his life was a joke a game already amounting to nothing before it started. Canto started to laugh, louder and louder he fell on his arse and started to roll over still laughing " I AM GOING TO GET SOOO DRUNK!!" he managed between fits of laughter. He felt reality well his reality pull him back he found him self on the floor laughing still he barged past everyone on his way out and drank the bar dry then moved on to Gordons stash canto stood on the bar and shouted “have you seen the dice!!! DO YOU know whats actually going on!” He shouted between swigs. He didn’t even care if anyone was listening it didn’t matter any more nothing mattered anymore his life meant nothing.

HE HAD SEEN THE DICE AND THEY DIDN’T CARE

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Gordon's Thoughts - 2
Progress

Finally, we are getting somewhere. I was sure that making the official line that Rimwena’s death was a suicide would be safer for us but Canto has proven himself to be an exemplary judge of character when he recommended we do otherwise. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, he was an Arbites after all. Slowly but surely, opinion amongst the elite of the ship is turning. That much was clear at the funeral. Ventium’s intense sobbing. Sabbanth’s fury. They might be Inquisition and terrifying examples even within their own circles but they are pushing this ship to its breaking point. I don’t expect a revolt against these monsters any time soon, but the potential is there. This sentiment has even spread to the Mechanicus sect on board. It’s almost amusing how that development occurred. There I was chewing out an honest to Emperor Magos Explorator for daring to fire upon my men so soon after I already lost one and somehow, we ended that day on better terms. I suppose I should thank Ratcliffe for not bothering to investigate Brax’s disappearance and leaving us to solve the mystery in two hours. Elythal was not best pleased about Inquisitors barging into his personal store rooms and “requisitioning” his things. So, good progress on plans to remove these murderers from this world.

Still, if things don’t go our way our last stand shall be beautiful. We spent near enough a week properly reinforcing our quarters into a defendable fortified position. Hardly perfect but I doubt our prospective enemies have ever picked up a volume of the Tactica Imperialis in their lives, so they are not likely to follow standard Navy boarding tactics. Also, we have an autocannon! Daemons and Xenos beware. If we are going down, we are taking them with us.

Then there’s the progress we made in evidence gathering. I decided to take up the lead that Rimwena never had the chance to. Using the vents to access Ventium’s unmarked room. Rimwena was right, we should have done this long ago. Although, I suppose that once again we were lucky to not pursue this lead. As I arrived there was Avund and Silvanto threatening a clearly terrified Ventium. I decided to scout ahead, record what I could find before returning to listen in on their conversation. Ventium certainly has some… interesting tastes. At a cursory glance, all I could find was Xenos relics which, while heretical, is not really what I was looking for. Then I noticed a cupboard in the corner which was almost completely covered in purity seals. I was tempted to open it, but it would make more sense to find out why Avund and Silvanto were here prior to opening what was clearly a heresy storage area. Another wise choice, they were here for something stored in that cupboard. Two items, one ornate chalice covered in rubies shaped like tears and a book covered human flesh. Really? To think that the Imperium is beset by heretics who go out of their way to be this impractically evil and despicable. They left soon after, leaving the cupboard open. Once again, my curiosity nearly got the better of me, but my limited time serving the Inquisiton has already told me that mind-rending moral hazards awaited and that I’d be far better off leaving. I better get these pictures back to Noctine to clear up and examine. With any luck, we’ll be able to identify everything and discern the true motives of these heretics.

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