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Blessed Enterprise (73 SP, Dictator class cruiser)


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#21 Marwynn

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 10:26 AM

As I was down and out of it this past weekend, the group had a game without their RT. The rascals were barely a month out of Damaris and attacked a Stryxis "caravan ship" that was messing about with the relays.

 

We lost 7 Crew Population... which is insane. A Dictator has 85,000 + 15,000. I was carrying an additional 1000 for the Manufactorum and Small Craft Repair Deck each, plus the 10,000 extra in the Barracks. 

 

That's 7840 dead crew, at least. In the entire Damaris campaign we lost maybe 500 crew (and a lot of the soldiers on the ground, of course). 

 

I now hate Stryxis vessels and their damned crew-killer weapons. The officers will be suitably chastened this weekend for failing to ambush something that should've died in one salvo. 

 

In any case, the silly astropathic relays are done and the ship's heading back to Damaris for repairs and replenishment, and the Astropathic Choir-Chambers will be fitted into the the Blessed Enterprise for the next few months. We're now almost done one year in game time. 

 

I suppose I should be happy that they managed to salvage (a lot) from the Caravan Ship. There's a transport and a Cobra destroyer that can be pressed to service, but I'd rather not worry about what those Xenos hid in those two, so we're selling them off. Big haul in xenotech as well, which the Mechanicus on Damaris should appreciate. I know I'm pouting over some imaginary crewmen when the entire endeavour seemed to be very beneficial, but dagnabbit, I like keeping my boys and girls alive. 


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The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#22 Vandegraffe

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 05:04 AM

Oh, the Stryxis aetheric weapons are fun... to inflict on my players.  Muahahahahahaha!!!  Your attitude, Marwynn, appears to be quite common amongst voidmen in the Expanse.  The only other thing that gets as much hate are disruption weapons.  Funny how crippling weapons can be more feared by players than ones that simply do damage.

 

Cheers,

- V.


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#23 Marwynn

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:38 AM

Good to know I'm in good company then.

 

After being presented with the specs of both ships, we've decided to keep the transport and sell the Cobra... to some people that sound like Frodo Zeroes, if you catch my drift. We're getting paid in PF, woohoo, and more importantly, contacts and favours. 

 

Since our group is surprisingly large (we're 9 now) so we're splitting into two groups to make it more manageable. They're not hardcore RPGers. for most this is their first game, so we're keeping the dice rolling light and making it much more of a narrative game. 

 

The second group will command the Aesperanza's and along with the Fair Trade will work as a sort of rear-guard, keeping our shipping safe (and making others' unsafe). The group is made up of those who want swashbuckling fun, lots of action and pirate intrigue, and I'll be their GM. Which works out since I'm the RT of the other group and I can pass along my character's orders for them to ignore. 

 

Our current GM will stay with our campaign aboard the Blessed Enterprise to continue our mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to crush and exploit them in the name of a Corpse God. Ahem.


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The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#24 Marwynn

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 01:10 PM

So, we've arrived at Vaporious and accidentally killed a Priest-King and usurped his throne. Mind you, I was aiming for Naduesh, but we made the most of it. How were we supposed to know a gift of megatons of ice (water) would be seen as an insult?

 

There's some sort of pro-Imperial revolution happening and we, as a group, have decided that we're going to "discover" a relic on Vaporious as well. One, it'll fulfill our requirements to the Ecclesiarchy and get them off our backs. Two, I'm going to have to ship water and food in to this place in exchange for their trinkets which should fetch a good price: I can ship in pilgrims and ice, somehow spin it to get these pilgrims to hack away at ice for the fee... too cynical?

 

Our GM was actually quite proud. He somehow ascertained that the Priest-King would face an untimely end and is fashioning quite the story of intrigue about it. We weren't railroaded in either, our Navigator rolled horridly and this was a pretty okay outcome. I mean, any warp journey where your soul isn't feasted upon is a good warp journey, right?

 

 

EDIT:

Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 


Edited by Marwynn, 24 February 2014 - 01:29 PM.

The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#25 Traejun

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 02:29 PM

Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 

 

There are shipyards in the Rubycon II system - which is where Port Wander is.  Whether they are capable of handling the construction/modification of such a large vessel isn't clear, to my knowledge.  So, perhaps that should be left to the GM to decide.

 

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say no. It's one thing to repair a large ship after sustaining "normal" combat damage.  Converting (read: constructing) something as large as a Battlecruiser should generally be restricted to Forge Worlds - of which there are none in the expanse.



#26 WeedyGrot

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 02:38 PM

 

Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 

 

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say no. It's one thing to repair a large ship after sustaining "normal" combat damage.  Converting (read: constructing) something as large as a Battlecruiser should generally be restricted to Forge Worlds - of which there are none in the expanse.

 

 

I have to agree, unless you happen to be Orks (and can just cram more parts on the ship until it is significantly larger) Tyranids (and can just grow the ship) or potentially Stryxis (and can just caravan the ships together to make one large ship) then you're out of luck. Your best bet would be to have the ship taken apart and start from scratch but that could take decades.



#27 Traejun

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 03:15 PM

 

 

Question - Are there any reliable shipyards in the Koronus Expanse that can handle modifying a Cruiser to become a Battlecruiser? I'm totally asking for a friend. 

 

If you want my 2 cents, I'd say no. It's one thing to repair a large ship after sustaining "normal" combat damage.  Converting (read: constructing) something as large as a Battlecruiser should generally be restricted to Forge Worlds - of which there are none in the expanse.

 

 

I have to agree, unless you happen to be Orks (and can just cram more parts on the ship until it is significantly larger) Tyranids (and can just grow the ship) or potentially Stryxis (and can just caravan the ships together to make one large ship) then you're out of luck. Your best bet would be to have the ship taken apart and start from scratch but that could take decades.

 

 

The conversion from Cruiser to Battlecruiser could definitely work.  I believe all/most Armageddon-class Battlecruisers are essentially constructed from the hulks of crippled Lunar-class Cruisers.  Part of that is because the Lunar is such a simple design, but it does show that it can be done.

 

Like the Armageddon-class, I think you'd end up with a VERY cramped and compressed ship that doesn't have much room for "extra" and quality-of-life components - it would be a PURE combat vessel.

 

Best option, have it sent to a Forge World in the Calixis Sector.  Perhaps a middle of the road one with a shipyard.  Could create a whole endeavor out of dealing with the AdMech to get it done faster in exchange for services or a "simple errand" (that isn't as simple as it was described).



#28 Marwynn

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

Thanks guys, thought so myself.

 

Traejun, it was a longshot anyway since the Lunar hull belongs to another dynasty. Keeping it is unlikely enough as we have ~35 PF and can't maintain the fleet as it is, and I had hoped to keep the development in the Expanse to limit the news.

 

I'm just going to suggest selling it off to the Breaker Yards actually. 


The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#29 Traejun

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

If it belongs to another dynasty, then, yeah... probably not a good idea to keep it.  They might reward you for its return, so could end up being a swap out - i.e. give them the Lunar, they give you another (likely smaller) vessel; or perhaps even other assets/PF and a favor.

 

Otherwise, yeah... longshot.



#30 Marwynn

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:09 AM

Well, the thing is, the dynasty was engaged in some illicit trade of Vaporious' "holy" water. That and slaves.

 

We met them on the ground. Words were exchanged. Then fire was exchanged. More heated words and finally the Blessed Enterprise dealt an "alpha strike" with a full broadside, lance, and bomber attack that crippled their Lunar in one turn. 

 

Had to do some fancy flying (well one of the players did, my RT just sorta yelled) to grab the thing before it fell to the planet. Luckily, they were newly arrived and had only made the run a few times before. 

 

It's essentially a corpse we want to hide. (Hello, NSA!) I figure we might as well chop it up for parts. 


The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#31 Traejun

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:29 AM

Well, if that's the case... then they can go suck a lemon.  Take the cruiser.  Repair/refit it and name it "[Insert that Dynasty's name]'s Folly"


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#32 Marwynn

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:31 PM

That's what the group wants to do, damn the consequences. Except that this dynasty and its former head were really big with the Cold Trade and various slavers. Big enemies for a tiny dynasty like mine to take on. Did I mention they have their own fleet too? 

If we keep it, we may have to use the Inquisition's goodwill toward us to redirect their fury. All to keep a second cruiser that we won't be able to field for a few years. It comes with -5 PF too, according to our GM, as our resources will need to be permanently drained to repair, crew, and fit the vessel. 

 

The decision isn't wholly mine, but I wanted to offer some options for the group. 


The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#33 Erathia

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 02:05 PM

That's what the group wants to do, damn the consequences. Except that this dynasty and its former head were really big with the Cold Trade and various slavers. Big enemies for a tiny dynasty like mine to take on. Did I mention they have their own fleet too? 

 

This is what I've hinted to my players will happen if they piss off people allied with the Cold Trade, since they are powerful enough and rely on their reputation to want to discourage this kind of gunboat ship acquisition. It'll especially be problematic if they drop a Rak'Gol vessel through orbit and let the radioactive hulk destroy everything.

 

Also it will be terrible for your player's reputation if they start gloating about how they attacked another Rogue Trader and blatantly stole one of their ships. That's not the kind of action that inspires confidence in someone's business.

 

Edit: This also has to be the first group that's ever believed the Inquisition actually has the power to influence anything inside of the Koronus Expanse. I'm sure the fact that they're hoping to use the Inquisition to help them is completely irrelevant to this point of view, and they would be just as open to the Inquisition second-guessing and penalizing their more heretical actions.


Edited by Erathia, 25 February 2014 - 02:12 PM.

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#34 Marwynn

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 04:18 PM

I'm afraid our successes have so far given my group a false sense of invincibility. They are quite new to 40K, at least compared to the GM and myself, so they're not fully aware of what the Inquisition is. These are, thankfully, OOC discussions and I hope to enlighten the group further before next weekend.

 

I think there was a hope that since we helped out some Acolytes by turning in some Stryxis tech and augur logs that they'd "owe us one" and somehow look into the enemy dynasty and create problems from them. I don't know if that's likely, though the GM's own notes does list that the "Naro" dynasty has holdings mostly in the Calixis Sector whereas the Strom dynasty is mostly situated in Koronus now. 

 

 

 

(Also, Tearing Lances? Sheesh. It's like max damage all the time. We may change that but I think the GM wants to use it on us a few more times.)


The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#35 Erathia

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 06:52 PM

I think there was a hope that since we helped out some Acolytes by turning in some Stryxis tech and augur logs that they'd "owe us one" and somehow look into the enemy dynasty and create problems from them. I don't know if that's likely, though the GM's own notes does list that the "Naro" dynasty has holdings mostly in the Calixis Sector whereas the Strom dynasty is mostly situated in Koronus now. 

 

In this case, "Owing you one" translates as "Not asking why you have Stryxis logs to turn in". 

 

Also, does Tearing lances mean you're playing with precious Mathhammer? If so, hurray! That makes your one-turn victory over a Lunar Cruiser even more impressive!


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Citizens of Grace! We have defeated both the Dark Eldar and Ork menaces that threatened your system! We need no thanks nor payments, so long as you do not leave the atmosphere during our salvage operations under pain of death! - Jequin Hos of The Hos Dynasty


#36 Cultadium

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:17 PM

Does the storm quality seem necessary for the non-lance guns or not?  I still haven't had a ship combat with my group yet. (I probably should before long.)  

 

Personally I would have kept the transport from the Styrix caravan. I definitely wouldn't keep the lunar given your low PF.

 

Could you repair the ship enough to land the hulk on the planet, and use it to make an imperial shrine? You could put your 'relic' in it. That usage of the ship shouldn't cost any PF.

 

For the relic you could find(Throw together) a casket identical to the one that holds a relic on Damaris and simply have similar rules for not actually looking at what's inside the box.  Clearly this must have been the work of Saint Drusus.

 

The treasure troves of the Unquenched might have a relic though. If your gamemaster has the Koronus bestiary to use them.  I think most inhabitants of the planet would know the legends of the unquenched.


Edited by Cultadium, 25 February 2014 - 10:26 PM.


#37 Marwynn

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:28 PM

Yep, we've been using Mathhammer. The Storm quality for broadsides seems necessary almost. It's highly unlikely you'd land a decent hit with Strength 6 when you're such low level. It also helps NPC ships quite nicely.

 

We add +12 to all damage values except for Lances which ignore armour anyway. That means that my poor Sunsear Las-Broadsides only deal 24 damage maximum... and that's 4 damage against the Lunar, max. They did nothing at all, really. It's the Bombers that did most of the work. 1d10+16 x 3 hits x 4 squadrons adds up quite nicely, I split them up for individual runs and tests.

 

Lost some bombers, but thankfully the Small Craft repair bay reduced those losses significantly.

 

Good idea about the relic. Hmm...

 

 

EDIT:

The Lunar is void-worthy, as in the main areas are not open to the void. It's unknown if it'll be warp-worthy anytime soon, Vaporious lacks any facilities to make that happen faster. 

 

While it'll cripple the Profit Factor I can't help but imagine what a second Cruiser would let us do. But alas, our GM keeps track of the crew's reliability and loyalty in addition to morale. So hiring tens of thousands of new crew isn't going to be ideal.

 

We'll probably scrap the thing for money.

 

Being a poor dynasty sucks.


Edited by Marwynn, 26 February 2014 - 08:08 AM.

The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#38 Marwynn

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:37 AM

DESERT ZOMBIES

 

So Vaporians really like their special water. They've been drinking it all their lives, even while in the womb, and they're more than just addicted to it. Our accidental overthrow of the local governments has turned into one massive aid effort, one that the Blessed Enterprise is ill-suited to maintain for long on its own. 

Luckily, the Ecclesiarchy's mission has been weaning some of the locals off their tainted water for years. It requires gradual changes, but the 'rebels' are clear-headed if not as healthy as they could be. 

 

The unintentional regicide and regime change had passed without much comment from the locals until our own Missionary demanded we cut off the warp-touched water supply and replace it with our own victuals. That's when the populace turned on us. They drank and drank the cleanest cloud water and spat it back out. Luckily, they were mostly unarmed and went about berating anyone in some position of authority with just their angry shouts and stares.

That gave us plenty of time to evacuate the former rebels, but it took several days for the warp water to be re-distributed. Until then, we had to face hordes of unthinking 'thirsters' who we promptly shot in the head (to be sure). Some had taken to drinking the blood of their own fellows for the taste of a trace of the warp water.


WANDERERS WHO ARE NOT LOST

 

A caravan ship from the xenos Stryxis wandered into the system after our Seneschal asked for an astropathic message to be sent. It seems that message had been intercepted. 

They expressed an interest in acquiring the vaguely warp-worthy hulk of the Illustrious Lunar class cruiser in exchange for several valuables. I expressed some hesitation in handing off a Lunar cruiser to xenos when even the Imperial Navy can press it to good use.

The senior officers agreed as well, and the Stryxis were rebuffed without any exchange of fire. This Stryxis "ship" was of the larger "Xebec" class, and had two cruiser-sized hulls already chained together. I have no doubt the Blessed Enterprise would've emerged victorious in a contest but it would've been a pyrrhic victory at best.

 

EX UMBRA

 

The Illustrious was sold to a scavenger the Seneschal had dealings with in the past, and indirectly will return to the Imperial Navy. The Blessed Enterprise had, in fact, been recovered by the very same ship and crew.

Months had passed in orbit of Vaporious in the meantime. Insurrections have been put down bloodily, and the Drusian Faithful consider it their duty to bring the Emperor's Light to this parched world. Meanwhile, the restless senior officers have been chasing rumours of these "Unquenched" and have so far uncovered numerous stashes of mundane treasures. Whatever vile sacraments the Priest-Kings performed on their water supplies seems to be waning, and the Vaporians are more clear-eyed and level-headed than they've ever been.

The Illustrious will ship out in the care of the Ex Umbra in a few more weeks. I hope to set sail along with it and leave this place to the Ecclesiarchy. We will rendezvous with the Fair Trade out of Damaris in Naduesh. I hope to take on some fresh supplies and use the Fair Trade to supply Vaporious' awakening population. The recovered, somewhat-heretical, transport will ferry members of the Damaran PDF to replace the Drusian Faithful who have chosen to stay on Vaporious as well as several items worth trading with the Nadueshi.

The trinkets amassed from Naduesh and Vaporious are in high demand in Calixis, but I've requested the Fair Trade to offload the goods in Damaris. From there, it will be sold to the Damarans who in turn will sell some to offworld concerns, adding greater value to the items. That, and it will keep the Fair Trade in a continuous, year-long circuit along fairly stable routes--that vessel and its technologies of "unknown" origin need not be sailing Calixian tradelanes.

 

-------------

 

TL;DR - We ran a compressed "The Frozen Reaches" style campaign on saturday for Vaporious. Much blood was shed, though not ours. It was a hotbed, and remains so, and mostly used as a backdrop for our shenanigans. 

Our "flight marshal" managed to recover a perfect skeleton of some thing, I forget, and has put it up in our trophy room. There's some random assortments of 'treasure' as well recovered from killing three Unquenched, but they seem to be dying off along with the taint in the water. 

 

Oh, and the fanatics are getting off our boats, finally! To soothe their egos, I've asked for reinforcements from Damaris as well as Sentinels and Chimeras. I have a feeling the Stryxis will return to that world. 

 

It took most of Saturday to play that through. Not a lot of action, but a lot of actual RPing between the group which was great. I left that out in the post above. 

We're off to Naduesh next! 


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The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall


#39 Nameless2all

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 10:57 PM

I like it!  Best of luck to you and your crew!

 

As for the event with the "WANDERERS WHO ARE NOT LOST," I believe you missed a prime opportunity to negotiate the trade of the Illustrious for another ship the Stryxis had, and possibly fabricate a story in where the Stryxis captured the ship in orbit over Vaporious (and not you).  Alas, it's easier to look back and fret than it is to be making a hard decision at the present, so just take my whimsical talk as future ideas.  :)

 

Food for thought, Naduesh is prime real-estate for a colony, especially in one it's many ruins of a city.  Though, there must be a reason why no other RT has done it yet...  Or maybe they tried, and the world "swallowed" them up?  *shrugs*  Anyhoot, wishing you and your Dynasty many fruitful Endeavors!


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#40 Marwynn

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:17 AM

Thanks! I think our crew was being a little xenophobic at the time, also a little guilty considering they attacked another Stryxis vessel in a previous game session. We dug into our backstory, the GM filled it out some more, and ta-da... space scavengers!

 

You're right though, no one in the group thought about that. There's also no guarantee that the Ex Umbra won't simply betray us... 

 

Anyway, here is the latest chronicle!

 

 

------------------------------

UNDERWAY

 

Repairs to the Illustrious were completed with the Ex Umbra's crew's help. They provided the skeleton crew to take the heavily damaged vessel away, with repairs to its Gellar Field requiring scavenging the Blessed Enterprise's emergency field generators. 

 

Luckily, my crew have yet to notice this as the repairs allowed for rampant--I'm not even going to gloss over this--looting of the corpse ship. By my order, any xenotech items 'discovered' were to be brought to the attentions of their commanding officer, and in turn the Magos or Enginseer in their sections. In return, they would be well compensated in throne gelt and other privileges. 

 

It went well enough, with the usual assortment of xenos weaponry to be found in the ship's various vaults. Only seventeen crew had to be executed for trying to smuggle the weapons on board--the fools. If they had simply surrendered the weapons they would have earned a year's pay each, plus some other advancement opportunities. Almost right after this, several more xenos weapons were turned over and while some were already on board the Blessed Enterprise I have decided that they are to be treated much in the same way as those that simply came forward.

 

Of special concern was the Illustrious's Navigator. House Remelik is ancient and decrepit but still has influence, I'm told. A scion was on board, claiming to have been forced into working for the Naro dynasty despite his richly appointed quarters and harem. His survival complicates matters--if he was in league with the Naro then it won't take much to point them at us. If he was coerced then he could reward us well. 

 

This Thandrik has already shared some secret warp routes with our own Navigator. She has corroborated some of the routes already with her own House's maps though others appear to be hidden routes traversed by the Naro slavers. It could very well be a trap, and it will require the Navis Nobilite's involvement sooner or later.

 

DISTRESSING SIGNALS

 

Favourable omens and a swift passage took us to nearby Naduesh in record time. Our Navigator has proclaimed that she has found a new, safer and faster route between Vaporious and Naduesh, though only time will verify her claims. She seems certain, however, and has charted the course through certain calm pools of nearby systems and used the 'gravimetric' pull of nearby warp phenomenon as a way to accelerate our passage. She is certain this is beneficial, though I don't foresee much trade opportunities between Vaporious and Naduesh besides the supplying the former with the latter's resources.

 

Several vessels were in the system already, some taking on supplies in orbit above the perfectly situated world. Others were anchored on nearby planets, keeping to themselves. I was content to keep our distance and head for the world proper as we decelerated, but our Master of Etherics raised an alarm over several bursts of vox communications.

 

Luckily, Explorator Binar was on the bridge at the time and was able to aid in deciphering the signals quickly. 

 

Naduesh, in many ways, offers the perfect place to expand into the Heathen Stars. An easily navigable system with an easily defensible world with plenty of fresh water and food... it was the perfect place to set up a colony. I had often wondered how it was not already claimed, and only recently discovered that it had been. Several times, in fact. 

 

The earliest had been established more than a few hundred years ago and had situated themselves in a portion of an abandoned hive city bordering a fresh water source. The locals did not wander too closely to the city, any of the cities, so the colonists used freshwater ships to conduct some limited trade across the vast lake. 

 

A re-supply ship arrived months later to find no trace of the colonists. All their belongings were left in their homes with no signs of any battle or conflict. Further investigations by that ship indicated that the locals they were trading with regularly had been waiting on the lakeshore for the colonists to return. A month-long search was conducted and no trace of them was ever found.

 

This is repeated nearly a dozen times throughout the years. It seems my thoughts on colonizing Naduesh were not that original, yet it's curious that it doesn't have the same dark reputation as other worlds that have swallowed up millions of colonists in the Expanse.

 

The vox-burst was received by the Blessed Enterprise only because of its own ancient augur and auspex arrays. It included coordinates and a text message in garbled High Gothic that simply read "We are trapped."

 

SANDS OF NADUESH

 

I, however, did not come to unravel some ancient mysteries but to secure supplies firstly for my ship and then the starving wretches on Vaporious. The Fair Trade is due to arrive within a few weeks, charting its own course directly from Damaris to Naduesh and will bring with it replacement crew as well as trade goods for the primitive Nadueshi. 

 

The Fair Trade should also bring low-grade ores that Damarans have no use for. The Nadueshi, however, can make jewelry or simple weaponry from them and is something they cannot acquire without entering the hive cities.

Our Astropath noted that all the failed colonies we knew of all had situated themselves within the comforting shadows of the hives. Perhaps a trade station out in the wastes, near some fresh water, would allow for some semblance of permanency. Already the shifting sands have covered up our own tracks and despite the ready alert of several attack craft squadrons overhead I feel a strange hostility in its manicured environs.

 

Aerial surveys have identified a potential site for our use. The locals we have contacted have also indicated that several tribes pass through the region, some camping on the site as well from time to time. We will make use of this place and allow any visiting tribes to shelter from the sun and sand for free, as long as they enter under truce. 

 

Explorator Binar seemed eager to delve into the secrets of Naduesh's hive cities and we were eventually convinced to set out. The Mechanicus delegation was also eager and agreed to provide Desert-modified Combat Servitors for our new trade site's security. I'm thankful for that--the less firepower the Mechanicus has on board the Blessed Enterprise, the better. And of course, the site needed security.

 

Our first target to survey was a massive tower, built on a kilometre-long square. We gained entry to find ourselves in a gun deck. My senior staff commented that it looked like the inner workings of the Blessed Enterprise and I resisted the urge to correct them. Our Dictator class cruiser used las-batteries in broadside arrangements--it had none of the gantries to load macrocannon or motivators to raise and train the guns themselves. But I understood their meaning. 

 

I had served aboard the Prince Alfour, an ancient Oberon class battleship in my younger days. Its gun decks were very much like this, though of course, the Prince Al's were filled with guncrew not massive machines. Even the more experienced among my crew neglected to see one detail--there were no railings. No stairs. No guiding chains, let alone any spokes to turn the weapons sitting far above us. Men were not meant to man these guns. It took my staff a while to understand that implication.

 

A service lift did exist and with our Explorator's numbed silence we took it to the top level. I had expected the actual command and control section to be far off site, which a Magos agreed with in between bursts of unintelligble chatter amongst their kind. But there was an on-site control room dangerously close to the guns themselves. 

 

The weapons themselves were massive macrocannon, without a doubt. One massive shell was already pre-loaded into each of the two portals while the cannon itself seemed only waiting for orders to fire, though we could not discern any telltales to indicate a charge. 

 

Our sharp-eyed flight marshal found disturbances... in the dust. It seems the mighty macrocannon had moved, quite recently. 

 

I, rudely, interrupted the Mechanicus delegation that was too busy clicking to each other and demanded they calculate the macrocannon's target. I already knew.

 

The paired macrocannon had swiveled to track the Blessed Enterprise which had entered a geostationary orbit to provide local aerospace supremacy for the trade hub. There were seventeen other such towers nearby, each housing a pair of macrocannon that belonged on battleships. 

 

It took a few moments, but I made it perfectly clear to the red priests not to touch a single thing that didn't pertain to locating the macrobattery's control centre. The young flight marshal correctly understood my intent and ordered a ready team of armsmen to join us. 

 

That was when our Astropath screamed.

 

-------------------------

 

 

And that was how our saturday session ended. I'm very proud of my crew who didn't even engage in any combat at all this session, but we all found interesting things to do nonetheless. 


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The Gathering Strom  - A Chronicle of Intrigue, Space Battles, Planetary Invasions, and Dinner Parties

The Blessed Enterprise - Flagship of the Strom Dynasty / Reception Hall





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