Heretic Hunt

Alistair's Conclusion
The End

Well that’s it over then. Despite our preparation and righteousness being on our side I wasn’t certain any of us would make it. I certainly wasn’t expecting all of us to make it, especially given Noctine’s best efforts to get himself killed. Although I can hardly fault such bravery, such loyalty. No hesitation in throwing himself in front of that corrupted shard. If only I was capable of having such virtue. He’s gone now, off to make an inquisitor of himself I imagine. He got what he wanted, at Drake’s side at long last. Tapt and his lot went off with him as well, although his choice in the matter was rather limited. The bureaucrat and the primitive went off to the Inquisition as well. Can’t see them getting as far as Noctine but this adventure has been full of surprises, maybe they will prove me wrong. Not that it affects me much I suppose. The zealot witch goes back to her convent but not before telling me that if I am ever need of assistance she will help. I don’t doubt her effectiveness, not after hearing what she did to Avund, but I think I’ll pass. I don’t want her to attempt to “use my corruption as kindling” to burn my soul. Mordecai has stayed on with the Harlockes. A sensible decision as ever. He’s been through sheer insanity and came through the other side his normal self. I couldn’t ask for a more reliable and stable right hand. Although when it comes to “specialists” like him I prefer to let them act as they will, let them use their skills to their best effect.

As for me well, it scarcely could have gone much better. The traitors are dead. I have returned to captaincy and have moved back into my quarters. No more vents for me. Now that I don’t have to worry about secrecy or the investigation I can spend more time with Sabanth, which is… nice. I couldn’t ask for better officers either. They may be rather eccentric but they get the job done. Not to mention that out here, on the edge, under a Rogue Trader’s authority, I’m much freer than ever before. There’s no end to our adventures, challenges to overcome and or loot to plunder. Although pure material wealth doesn’t terribly interest me much, especially given that whatever I can’t get on my own initiative is provided by the Harlockes. However, every now and then there will be something that catches my eye, something that Ventium wants safely secured. My already expansive collection grows little by little and I have no end of research projects. I’d say there wasn’t enough time in the day given how much needs done but that isn’t strictly true is it? The nightmares are worse than ever, even with the Quins dead and buried but my… sleeping aid always makes it fine in the end.

Best of all, I can be Alistair again. I can sit down with a fine whiskey and read a good book. I have a home. I have friends and loved ones. I have wealth, power, entertainment and adventure. I’ve had my adventure, the plot has concluded, loose ends tied, we all go our merry way and a happy ending for all, right?

Most days I end up staring at the pendant. I should probably get rid of it but I can’t think of an appropriate way so I just kind of hold onto it. I know Rimwena would not approve of what I’ve become, of what I do. I tell myself that I do what needs to be done, what no one else can do but it all feels a little hollow. True, but hollow. Some days I ask what was even the point but I’ve come too far now to allow my own doubt and self-pity get in the way so I ignore it. Although I’d argue I don’t really have any choice but to commit. It could be said I’m not wise, but I am certainly not stupid. I know exactly what I’ve done. I know the fate of others who have followed this exact same path. I know that my time is limited. I intend to make the best of it, to live and fight without reservation, so long as I still stand. I don’t know how, when or where I will finally fall but not a day goes by that I don’t prepare for it.

It’s funny, I always wanted to be a swashbuckling heroic pirate type like in those tales I used to read as a bairn yet I’ve set myself to be the villain of this sordid tale. Although, if you allow me to paraphrase an infamous fanatic, in this galaxy the difference between heroes and villains largely depends on where one is standing at the time.

All you need is a change in perspective.

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Mok Frakka 1
Now this is a job

Xeno’s! Finally some thing mok could shoot. Mok worried that all his months Stowing away in the under decks may have may have made him rusty. But he was wrong he decided as he ran about the blast resisting a look at the bright light of it he liked his eyes unbrunt. As he came to the corner an monster with a face of green flame burst though a doorway. Moks Feral world reactions kicked in and he leaped into a tight back flip landing low and Las pistols raised he smiled and let loose with the triggers. Hash colored Streaks Materialized across the gap between him and the monster he never saw if he hit Mok was already looking to move knowing movement was life in close encounters.

Before he knew it the monster was trying to surrender mok looked to where the others had gone while covering the monster to his left he saw a badly injured mouse bank missing a leg in fact. Caroleen look bad and bleeding badly. But most importantly in the center of them was a badly injured eldar that looked like it was in charge.

The monster was asking the wrong people and no one was to be spared which suited mok fine.
Mok then helped rush the injured to the med bay. That was when Caroleen went missing little digging later it looked like the cat might have been out the bag for Gordon and he was killed. mok wondered if he was on too a looser here with this lot But he had lived through worse right?

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Mok Frakka Log 2
Mouse tank

Paper pushers……… It was something mok had never Savored him self. sitting with their scribbley pens and tippy tap keyboards sounded like a bad way to pay reverence to the skygod. He had until this point had very little to with Mouse bank until today he unwittingly got involed……

When the tech priest asked for help he didn’t really have an excuse not too so he tagged along. He followed the tech priest though many corridors until they found there prize. It appeared to be to be some sort of tank tracks for a small tank presumably. Mok first wondered as to why the tech priest needed them…. but tech priests had there reason much like he had his. so he help the man with his comrade with them all the same. Mok didn’t find out till the next morning.

Mok was enjoying a caffeine on working side of the communal bar when the ruckus started. As he leaned on the bar he heard the raised voice of badly injured mouse bank and the louder but mono tone stable pitch of the tech priest. the tech priest retreated though the door quickly and was followed by a now tracked mouse bank. Mok started wide eyed as mouse bank new on his new leg- …….. wheels gunned to hard and managed to do an almost 360 standing flip and land on his face. Coffee sprayed out of moks mouth as he began too laugh out loud. Mok then managed to get coffee all over the bar as he tried to pour another while laughing.

Mok retreated to his room to let that one play out by his self and chuckled quietly to him self as he cleaned his guns. The humor left him as he considered his gun selection and how poor is was. HMMMM he thought how an i going to fix this problem.

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Gordon's Thoughts - 6
The End Draws Near

Living in the vents has been a much more comfortable affair than I had imagined. A bit cramped but Sashan has made it much more liveable and I’m eating much better than I expected thanks to his efforts. Not to mention that having Ventium’s schedule lets me make use of his shower and extensive range of cleaning products.

That’s the upside, everything else has been a bitter disappointment. Karroleen has been taken away by Silvanto. Presumed dead but I’m not so certain, seems wasteful even for him. Kolden is working for Silvanto. I am very disappointed in her. I must give her some credit; her records were better put together than Perrin’s. I was hoping to have her dealt with but she’s nowhere to be found. In retrospect, I should have cut the bitch down when she was focused on the safe. Nothing terrible much of value has been lost anyway, they already think I’m a heretic and they are such monsters it should be no surprise that people are plotting to murder them, I’m just better at it.

Backup has arrived and it is none other than Inquisitor Drake himself. He’s brought a small retinue with him, one of which will be joining us. A psyker. A zealot psyker. Of course. At least she seems competent, she finished putting together the daemon’s true name and she’s specialised in destroying the corrupt so with any luck she will purge these monsters. If she is competent and consistent though, well that’s still a problem for me. I’ll have to be careful, I don’t want to end up on the purge list.

Noctine tried his best to rally Ventium but the coward went on about how it’s not the right time and so on. Why don’t you just surrender the ship Ventium, it sure as warp isn’t yours anymore. Not that it’ll be yours much longer in any case, your end is near as well. In fact, all of this is drawing to a close. I haven’t actually considered what to do when all of this is over. I guess I’ll try and throw in my lot with the Inquisition, seems like the only place my knowledge would see use and not get me killed. Also, can’t get much higher on the ladder than Inquisitor. I don’t know. Depending on how things turn out I might join the Harlocke fleet under Sabanth, I always did want my own ship and I can’t imagine a better commander than Sabanth. I suppose it’s useless to speculate when the future is so uncertain.

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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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