Following the disappearance of the 4th Company – in reality our hdyra cell – Toreaux decided it was time to take action. The loyalist elements of the Sable Specters Chapter and the Order of the Veiled Lily attacked the fleet of the Secessionists, which numbered four ships – the Firefly, the Imperial Fist, the Leering Doge, and Spiteheart, the ship of the Kabal of the Flayed Talon’s archon, Vyorla Mikaeliss. We hired her to ally with them, under the pretence that the hameonculus Dhurzha was a rival of hers in Comoroaggh, and her services as a reaver constuted the xenos’s dark perview of repayment. Our motives for this were to act as a double agent should any of the Secessionists become too unpredictable or chaotic – a hidden dagger we could deploy without revealing the truth of our hydra cell.
The battle was less than successful for the servants of the Emperor. The Sable Specter captain Antellox was outmaneuvered by the Eldar pirates. Toreaux’s battle sisters were demolished by Nixios’s demonic abilities. Some success was made in the initial hours, however – Toreaux personally butchered the heretic king, Venini Belarus, using lightning claw and bolter. Additionally, Tobias Satter was incapaciatated, nearly killed, but our Mechanicus agents within Toreaux’s ranks revved him, under the excuse of a through, brutal interrogation.
]The second wave of attackers hit the Inquisitorial fleet in full. Satter was sequestered away, and they were forced to withdraw, their ship left as a burning husk far from the Good Protectorate’s capital world, Acrides, which had been their intended target. The defeat was especially crushing, as Nixios’s ascendancy was near at hand – this was of concern to us. Using records and heretical tomes stolen from the Inquisitorial librarium, Nixios discovered the potential key to his ascendancy – the Heartstrings of Mortarion, the daemonic flesh of the Daemon primarch who did battle against the Ordo Malleus’s champion, Kaldor Draigo. The fragments of flesh sliced away in that battle would be more than enough to grant Nixios his power. Nixios took command of Venini’s ship and rechristened it the Bot Fly in his death.
Rhaegar, ever-faithful to the crumbling Imperium, warned Toreaux that Nixios and Baltro were rapidly en route to the Heartstrings’ last possessor, a Pirate Prince known as Taradiel the Everliving. A worshipper of the Chaos power Slaanesh, Taradiel had hoarded many a vessel and had accumulated a collection of occult artifacts. Taradiel, Nixios, and Baltro tracked the Heartstrings to their final resting place – the space hulk, Woe’s Blossom. A fitting stab in the gut by the Runious Powers, is it not? The time for brute force was lost – Toreaux had only time to dispatch a cadre of Death Cult assassins to intercept them, but the effort was moot.
Right at the point before Nixios’s ascendancy, the daemon Ptolimo appeared before him and attempted to destroy its former client, knowing full well that Nixios and his now-expansive cult would attempt to take control of Ptolimo’s daemonic legions should Nixios become a daemon prince. Ptolimo was slain by Nixios’s hand, and Nixios became translated into a vile thing of distended entrails, bleeding eyes, writhing tentacles, a daemon true in name and form. Rheagar and Tobias began constructing defenses on Acrides to repel Nixios and keep the Good Protectorate free of his daemonic tent. Lydia Toth assembled Irtaufe’s renegade Skitaari aboard the Wrath of Numerology. Our hydra cell mobilized. Soon the two sides of the coming battle were arrayed – one side, Tobias Satter and the plaidclads, Captain Rehagar and the Imperial Fist, Lydia Toth of Irtaufe aboard the Warth fo Numerolgy, and the Kabal of the Flayed Talon and the traitors of the Sable Specters 4th Company aboard Spitehart. On the other side was Nixios Morrowgrave and his Malignant Concordant aboard the Bot Fly, Baltro D. Baltro and his reavers upon the Leering Doge, and Prince Taradiel the Everliving aboard his ship, Passion’s Darkness.
In the battle, Taradiel was slain. Baltro ascended to daemonhood and became a daemon prince of Malal, the God of Anarchy. Nixios disappeared, with the intent of seeding his cult throughout the galaxy. Mikaeliss fled into the shadowy realm of Aelindrach, seeking refuge. Satter and the survivors returned to Acrides, with the intent to begin their new lives. Our hydra cell monitors the Good Protectorate even now, keeping a close eye on Lydia Toth.