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Blessed Enterprise (73 SP, Dictator class cruiser)


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#81 Marwynn

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 07:36 PM

Happy Victoria Day! Well, okay we had a long weekend and we spent it playing. Hence the really long update. Sorry for the delay for those who await these, it makes fretting about it worthwhile.


If you wonder why there’s always eating, well, there’s always dinner or lunch in our play sessions. As to why here and not in the FanFic area... I'd have to write everything from before Damaris and that'll probably kill me.

 


=========================

 

GODFALL


We had killed their gods. For days after the betrayal, only the thought of vengeance fuelled the crew. We buried our dead, consigning them to the void, and worked hard rebuilding the ship that had suffered to keep us alive. Deck after deck sang the praises of the Emperor and even I lead them in battle hymns. I did not think I would be robbed of justified bloodshed.


I expected threats, curses, litanies of vile hatred. I did not expect them to sing thanks to their god for us.


Thankfully, there were still people left for us to kill.


----


Asme met us on Balapito Station, handing it over to us in a grand reception. My assault force quickly became an honour guard--luckily the Stromgard were able to switch mid-stride--and we were feted like conquering heroes. Perhaps we were.


Unfortunately, the party did not consist of over-eating and debauchery. There was a grand retelling of their wondrous history. I paid little attention to it, too intrigued by the erudite young lady to focus on much else.


Thankfully, my senior staff were around to steer our conversation on track. Idris very calmly asked if there had been any people like her captured, and what became of them. Asme knew none with three eyes, though if any were captured they would’ve been kept at Baladal, the second world.


Trelany asked next, about any of her kind, and Asme nodded. The ones without eyes were taken to Balalima, the forge world, and put to sleep in the alcoves there. On that topic, Binar pounced, having digested all he could of the industrial output of the planet below us. There was little that Balalima did not produce, it was their industrial heart, and had a great many manufactoria. Macrocannon were made there, as were other void ship components.


Bain was too busy socializing with other, equally beautiful women as Asme, and the dinner ended with rather sombre abruptness.


Even parties finish on a schedule with the Balas.



BELOW THE WORLD


We descended to the planet below, steering clear of a greyish, black wound on the northern hemisphere. The last loyal servants of the W’Lang Tayan, the rulers that had cloned themselves to lead generation after generation, had seized the planetary capital. It was called the Third Gift and it felt like something I should’ve learned last night.


Our barges followed us in and readily took on the waiting sheets of plasteel and bars of ceramite that we could feed to the Blessed Enterprise’s own manufactorum. Not wanting to seem ungrateful, and with Thraves’ prodding, we shared the last of the dragon-whales we had and our plentiful supply of Nadueshi provender.


Judging by our feast’s fare, fresh fruits and vegetables were rare for these people. The Balas accepted the food with stunned expressions, some falling on their knees in thanks. They had tried to hide their food shortages from us, a shameful state Asme conceded, that they couldn’t even feed themselves.


Balapito’s dimpled frozen surface denuded mountains with high winds and filled valleys with ocean ice. The volcanoes were constantly erupting on the ocean floor, flooding the water with heavy metals, compounds, and all sorts of toxic but industrially useful things. When the heat became too much, fissures broke on the surface and gave birth to new crystalline mountains as steam erupted into the chilly atmosphere. It explained the strange, jagged formations we saw flying in.


Sea creatures, having evolved in the toxic seas, were edible but had become very dangerous creatures to survive in an ocean of predators. They fought for a few minutes of sunlight, for what purpose only a biologis can explain.


All this Asme explained as we took one of the auxiliary elevators down to the mines below.


The city was in squalor. Smoke poured from fires in spires that were still guttering, masses roamed the streets looking for food or shelter, and flying vehicles hovered above them, opening fire seemingly at random.


This was Soomra, the first free city.


It was understandable than an underground city would be dark, but it seemed that there were fixtures high above us in the ceiling to provide warm, indirect lighting. Binar asked about this, and we diverted from our meeting with the city’s new rulers. The Magos does like civic engineering projects, especially ones that made use of void ship components. Even I recognized it, by its squat but compact nature, and its similarities with the Blessed Enterprise’s own plasma heart.


This was much larger.


Binar’s quick survey revealed many, many problems. It was a miracle--of the Omnissiah--that the Balas had been able to get it up and running and maintain operations for all of these years. Still, I saw evidence of radiation burns across the city and hints of glazed bedrock when the generatoria lost containment.


The Magos did what he could, adjusting some magneto-locks, and depressing several runes that I couldn’t read. Mostly, I inquired about the robed individuals who looked upon Binar with fear and awe. They were the city’s engineers--just engineers--and they oversaw all technological concerns of the city, separate wholly from the mining engineers, a different guild altogether, who looked after mining technologies.


Binar returned and asked for several enginseers to be brought down to take over the generatoria. I tensed, knowing how prickly these technological-types were, but the city engineers merely knelt down on one knee and began praising their god. The Magos ignored them, utterly uncomfortable with the whole thing.


I nodded and Bain made it happen.


As we boarded our hoversled, the suns of Soomra began to shine again.


-------


The meeting with the rulers was full of pompousness and the circumstantial. They were useless to me and I looked around throughout the ceremony to see who the people were deferring to. They were the younger ones, in the crowds, in the entourages, that were in power.


I mouthed off something about being sent here by the God-Emperor--a title I only use to impress the impressionable, Emperor save me from his true believers--and that their cooperation with me would see them join the Imperial fold. I left it to Idris to explain what the Imperium was, and how it was joined together. Trelany followed, explaining the role of her kind, then Binar, as a separate ally of the Imperium delivered a brief summary of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ role.


The young Mr. Iosef shuffled his feet when the attention turned to him. Finally, he found his voice and spoke about the dynasty. He may have overlooked some details, but in general what he said was true.


After the mouthpieces and figureheads were sufficiently awed, by the Imperium and the Strom dynasty, I began to talk specifics.


The very same people that I had marked earlier perked up at that and leaned in. I made eye contact with each one.


The God-Emperor does not fight everyone’s battles for them. But he does give you the strength to do so. We can help, with arms, armour, vehicles and supplies. Though it would be up to every single Bala to rise up and defeat the W’Lang Tayan forever.


Several figures conferred even as the elders spouted their thanks. They were handed sheafs of paper, their requests which were easily filled. Food and medical help were first and foremost, a good sign, in my books. The second was continued technical aid, which was up to the Magos to negotiate. Finally, was a show of the God-Emperor’s strength.


Or rather, proof of his favour. The Third Gift had to be returned to them.


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


Asme knew I had no idea what they were talking about. I thought it was just a city. It was more.


Their god had delivered three gifts to the Bala, a sign that their ancient home had not forgotten them. The first gift was the head, full of wisdom and knowledge, it allowed them to leave the second planet in the system within a few generations. The sword was the second gift that gave weapons, armour, and other things that granted them the ability to defend against thieves. Wings was the third gift, fiery and massive, it would take them through the void between planets and then the stars.


It was their holiest relic.


Asme had seen it herself. It dwarfed the Blessed Enterprise, she claimed. And the city that had been built around it did not lack for power like Soomra did. They had shared their gift with those on Balalima and while they were not given macrocannon they had a thick array of smaller weapons.


Bain was pushing for an orbital bombardment to crack open the Third Gift’s frozen shell. I was inclined to agree until Idris pointed out that the Bala may not forgive us for maybe damaging their sacred artifact. Trelany and Binar had wandered off earlier and returned just then.


Our young astropath had lead the Magos on a search to find out more about the tunnels. They discovered numerous ones that had been abandoned in and out of Soomra. The Third Gift was the same.


Asme was privy to all of these conversations and I chose to trust her a bit further. I asked for a meeting with the true council. She nodded and returned later.


ATTACK THE CLONES


We met with the men and women who were the power behind the thrones, as it were. They did not like each other much, products of caste systems, conjoined only by a violent coup, I’d seen it before and they played easily against each other.


I would lead the assault to retake the Third Gift, but I would not do it alone. In fact, I would not use my own soldiers--I had kept the fact that I still had several thousand perfectly capable armsmen aboard. Some assumed I was weaker for not having soldiers, others assumed I was holding back.


It did not matter. They were too divided and desperate to turn away my offer. After all, I could simply leave.


They scoffed at that. Why would I leave when I was practically worshipped here? I made the biggest bluff I’ve ever made in my life up until that point: I simply said this wasn’t the only place in the galaxy. They took it to mean other worlds were just as thankful as theirs until their own mistrust played against them. There were other worlds in this very system who may be just as grateful.


In the end, I had all of their soldiers under my command.


-----


Trelany lead the scouting runs on the ground, her senses making her keenly aware of ambushes and blindspots. Over the weeks she began to earn a fierce reputation, no doubt helped by letting some W’Lang Tayan slave soldiers return home with stories of her wrath. I did not enquire as to how liberally she used her talents.


Our Navigator seemed enamoured with the twisting ice tunnels that ran through the planet’s surface. Some bore through rock and precious minerals, others through the frozen oceans, with the glint of the volcanoes underneath. She charted the tunnels and soon came to own them, knowing them better than the very men who had carved some of the tunnels. She left no survivors and the slave patrols ceased altogether.


Bain did what he did best, and that was destroy things in the controls of a fighter craft. We had precious few reasons to ever take his Thunderbolt out of deep stasis, and this seemed a good time as any. It had remarkably more agility than our void interceptors, and the man was willing to chart the network of turrets that surrounded the Third Gift--by flying close enough to have them fire at him. He killed several command posts in turn.


Binar and I focused on Soomra. He was cautiously prodding the various engineering guilds’ knowledge. I made several requests of the other Mechanicus priests who had joined him, installing air filters and diverting some of their output to producing much needed medicines. The sheer adulation they received from the Balas seemed to offset their annoyance.


I prepared for war. With several Damarand and Stromgard armsmen with me, I began training the best fighters of Soomra in tunnel fighting. At first they scoffed, until the Damarans wiped out every single one of them in a training run. They were capable and quick learners. Once they were trained, they taught their own units and the process began again.


The puppeteers had given me bands of rebels, each fighting only with the people they knew. I had no time to break and remake them, so I merged and whittled as needed. They came together, and Thraves had already begun recruiting several to join as armsmen when this was all over.


The true attack began yesterday.


Idris had mapped enough of the tunnels for us to proceed with our plans. Each tunnel company proceeded with servoskulls and auspexes under their control, easily spotting traps and ambushes and laying their own. Above, the air campaign began and Fury Interceptors systematically brought down the defense rings for the Starhawk bombers. Central command stations were obliterated, sometimes dozens at a time by a single Starhawk.


Then our few combat-servitors advanced above ground. This, the loyal slaves were willing to charge en masse and die just the same.


Throughout all of this, no one noticed one single cutter landing north of the Third Gift. There were no patrols, no remote-auspexes nearby. Melta drills were brought down and soon we were in the tunnel.


We emerged into the heart of the enemy city just an hour later and we saw the holy relic with our own eyes.


The battleship’s engines were still hot.


-----------


So much for the Emperor’s gifts. When Asme claimed the Third Gift was larger than the Blessed Enterprise I did not believe her. She was wrong, of course. In the void, you lack reasonable points of reference.

The aft section of a battleship, a third of its bulk, was probably half of the Blessed Enterprise side-by-side. The city itself, which Asme could have meant, certainly was larger than our cruiser.


I tore my eyes to study the sprawling shrine city only to find it very familiar. These W’Lang Tayan had studied Imperial void ship design, internal architecture, and used it to plan their cities. Impressive. Binar certainly appreciated it, though was puzzled by its seeming illogical patterns.


Stealth was necessary and I had to leave Lyza’s gift behind, though I still festooned myself with all my pistols. The enginarium would be our primary target, but I wanted the core cogitator as well. Even a transcript of its passage would prove useful.


Our diversions proved exceptionally effective. We watched as the city guard emptied their posts to rush at the front lines and then shrine guards emerged from within the relic. This went on for hours until even the last contingents were sent, save for a few protecting the entrances.


Trelany sent the signal and the first bombs fell directly on top of the city. Massive chunks of ice fell to the streets below, setting off fires and explosions. Our weapons fire was lost in the commotion: none of were particularly stealthy anyway.


The fighting inside the hulk was cramped and confusing. Much of the decks had been refurbished, embellished, and simply redecorated as its original purpose was long lost. Why would the Balas and their slave masters continue to revere this machine even after capturing their own void ships? I never thought to ask Asme that, it seemed rude.


Of course the W’Lang Tayan would make the enginarium their throne room. The bridge and command spires had been ripped off, I’m assuming forming the head that was the First Gift. There was some talking with the clones until we all had enough of their rambling and opened fire.


They unleashed large beast-things, perhaps they had been men before but they seemed like pets to the clones. I met one blade to claw and its strength nearly knocked me down. Its claw disintegrated and all it did was take a swipe at me with its other arm. Binar dashed in, his mechandrites poking and slashing at the poor creature.


It’s eyes. By the Emperor, they were human eyes. My plasma pistol ended that creature’s life and Binar hissed at me. I had forgotten where we were and holstered the volatile weapon.


Bain lobotomized one with a shot from his own archeotech pistol, but Trelany and Idris unleashed their full powers at the beasts.


When they were dead, the W’Lang Tayand lost their minds. They drew daggers and plunged it all into their hearts. Fearing some vile Warp ritual, we didn’t allow most of them to complete it and slew them hand to hand. It was, perhaps, thin justification for the visceral need to hurt those that had hurt us.


Binar needed help removing the ornamentation that had been fused onto the enginarium’s controls. How could they revere it so and still modify and embellish so much? Power flowing from the Third Gift stopped. So too did the guidance its remaining augury spines provided, even deep below the surface. The vox was the last to go out, though by then the slaves were in a full panic.


We collected the core cogitator’s logs in peace.


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


I knew there would be no peace with the W’Lang Tayan’s slaves. It was a call neither council could make. I left the tunnel companies to finish the work, I did not need to see them butcher home after home.


Asme had joined the companies. She died hours before, and I never did get to take her to Stromport as I had promised.


The elder council threw us a parade. Unnecessary, the celebrations had not ceased since victory was declared. The other cities came to Soomra, offering their own thanks and portions of their output. Tithes for their god.


As the representative of the God-Emperor of Mankind, I took stewardship over the Third Gift and the void station in orbit. It was open to all, as a place of faith and commerce, and would be the Strom dynasty’s foothold on Balapito and in Bala as a whole, respectively.


The Swift Sunrise arrived exactly when it promised it would, a rarity with Warp travel. She came laden with food from Naduesh and various other goods the Bala needed. She also brought more precious cargo.


Sevia joined us again. The missionary was altogether not too enraged at our meddling with Ecclesiarchy matters, and she quickly positioned herself as a teacher from the God-Emperor. She brought with her two rather annoying officials from the Missionaria Galaxia, one of whom we left behind on the station to begin his own broadvox sermons to the rest of the system.


Here, unlooked for, was the first true world of the Strom Dynasty. Not just in the Heathen Stars, not just the Koronus Expanse, but in the galaxy. Damaris was not ours. Vaporious was gone. Naduesh is just a trade post and Salvator would never be tamed again.


This will be one of the cornerstones of the Strom dynasty. Just as soon as we finish killing the rest of the clones.


 


Edited by Marwynn, 21 May 2014 - 07:38 PM.

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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


#82 Marwynn

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 09:09 AM

++PROJECT REPENTANCE++
++ENCRYPTION: SIGMA-ULTIMA (Accepted)++

 

 

Lord-Captain,

 

Mistress Sevia has brought with her updates on Project Repentance which you will find attached. It seems your cousin Lyza has seen fit to accelerate the seeding stage, “recruiting” several cloudminers to haul the cometary fragments we have previously identified into Salvator’s orbit. The comets have no doubt crashed into the Liberator continent by now, cooling many of the open magma pits.

 

As long as 72% of the comets land on the continent, then I believe we would have achieved this stage of the project ahead of schedule. The dust particles thrown up by the impacts will force the humidity in the air to precipitate, and the reduced solar energy will force monsoons and thunderstorms.

 

The downpour will cool the molten continent significantly. We may be able to begin mining operations as soon as we return. I am in fact quite eager to begin extracting three vital ores necessary for us to refine and smelt an adamantium alloy. I would also like to once again express my gratitude for the acquisition of several suitable cast-furnaces from Balapito. I’m not certain what it cost, but I know what it will profit us.

 

Yours,
Magos Binar


Edited by Marwynn, 23 May 2014 - 09:10 AM.

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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


#83 Marwynn

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:39 AM

++To: Strom Dynasty Fleet++

++From: Lord-Captain Anton Strom++

++Subject: HAMISH S. CORDOVA++

 

KNOW that, having been found a good steward of the trust and responsibilities given him, and having been found to be possessing exceptional fidelity, wisdom, and leadership, I appoint Hamish S. Cordova the rank of LIEUTENANT COMMANDER in the Strom Dynasty Navy from this date.

 

HE, Hamish S. Cordova, is therefore required to diligently and carefully discharge all duties of a LIEUTENANT COMMANDER and I hereby charge all Officers, Crewmen, Ratings, and all under his command to be obedient to his orders.

 

AND, he is to obey orders and directions which he shall receive from the WARRANT HOLDER of the STROM DYNASTY or his superior Officer according to the Rules and Discipline of the Strom Dynasty Navy.

HE is ordered to depart the SWIFT SUNRISE and to proceed to the LIVELY as its Master and Commander.

 

THIS commission is to continue in force during the pleasure of the WARRANT HOLDER of the STROM DYNASTY, under the Authority The EMPEROR Himself and Him Alone.

 

 

 

Anton Strom, Lord-Captain of the Blessed Enterprise, Warrant Holder of the Strom Dynasty

Lyza Strom, Lord-Captain of the Daring, Scion of the Strom Dynasty

Goddard Thraves, Lord-Commander of the Blessed Enterprise, Lord Seneschal of the Strom Dynasty


Edited by Marwynn, 27 May 2014 - 11:40 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


#84 Marwynn

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Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:18 PM

WATERWORLD

 

 

Balanim fell with a single shot. It was not from a lance or even a macrocannon. I did not have their leader assassinated, I didn’t make an example of anyone. All I had to do was kill a dragon with a silver stick.


The dragon-whales the people of Balanim hunted were docile for the most part. A mass extinction thousands of years ago left them with few competitors and the more aggressive ones simply died off when they attacked another dragon-whale. Their very forms were built for land-sea combat. All this from the biologis--Namori, I believe--who specialized in marine life that we had brought along. Our Magos’ specialties lay with the more rockcrete sciences of killing and exploding.


The chief of Balanim’s scattered fishing fleets had been chosen by the W’Lang Tayan and given a simple quota to meet. I had feared that the dragon-whales would be hunted to extinction until I realized how so many of them simply starved to death, unable to edge in on another dragon-whale’s feeding grounds. Life was not so easily exploited here. Even the common seafood staples were jagged things that took a lot of killing. Blunt trauma was the best, so as odd as it was, the fishermen carried long-handled hammers and swung them as the fish leapt.


It was the oddest way I’ve ever seen any fish caught.


These Bala were just as pragmatic as the ones on Balapito. They had no slave masters here, even the chief was really just a spokesperson who spent most of his time sewing together scales to sell. We entered into negotiations and discovered that they could export more, much more according to Namori, without harming the ecosystems.


I had no intention of simply delivering food to Balapito. Already, the unused thermal vents have become sites for agridomes to grow Nadueshi crops and Soomra itself has enough room to grow and cultivate fish farms. It would be a different kind of fishing, one that Namori was here to teach, and it would make Balapito less reliant on imports. I am no slave master that I need to force a world’s obedience with the threat of starvation. Still, our dynasty’s transports will have to make up a significant portion of the world’s food requirements for decades.


But the hunter-fishers were just as bound by tradition as anyone else. We had to prove our worth as cunning hunters, else we would be unworthy of further contact. I suppose my collection of Orkish warboss heads was not suitably impressive.


We were given one longboat with enough supplies for a week and told to kill a dragon-whale. I was handled a single stick, with a tube to stick it in and fire at the creature.


-----


Despite the cool temperatures Balanim was far from a dreary world. The ice floes had magnificent patterns of colours, from all sorts of organisms and chemicals I’d imagine, that transfer to the larger ice formations. The water was not a single deep blue, but changed according to their location. Currents of various mineral-rich waters and of different temperatures made the ocean world come alive.


I focused on this instead of the carcasses of dragon-whales we saw on the icebergs, easily able to swallow the massive ship I was on and several others.


Idris sought to master the tides and currents. She was a natural at navigating by sight and following the streams, but understanding where they would take her was a challenge. We helped her to approach the wisest navigators of the fleets, accomplishing menial tasks to get their help. Also, I believe I united two fishing fleets together through marriage. Not mine, of course.


Bain had his heart set on learning how to pilot the longship. The Bala were advanced enough to have some rudimentary plasma drives for their larger ships and solar plates for their smaller ones. But the longships had neither, relying instead on long thermal vanes that feed it power--through some sort of thermal exchange, ask a tech-priest--and propelled the vessel to amazing and dangerous speeds.


Binar wanted to build the longship himself, but instead we performed even more menial tasks to acquire one. Trelany won a fistfight as well, and Sevia taught a whole new generation of hunter-fishermen how to use a chainsword. Incidentally, that’s an untapped market for Balanim.


Once the longship was ours, Binar set to work understanding its mechanisms. I believe the Magos found people approaching him and asking for technical advice to be exhausting. Trelany, having earned a bit of a name for herself, began questioning the most successful dragon-whale hunters on techniques. We all did, but she was the most successful.


What no one was able to explain was how a single spear could kill a dragon-whale on its own. Practicing with it was not allowed, under pain of immediate evisceration. In fact, the generally disrespectful way in which I held the thing was an issue with many we spoke with. It was difficult, but I was eventually told to aim for the head to get the quickest kill. Any hit was a lethal one, but the lethality mattered when the creature needed only a few seconds to smash apart a whole fleet, let alone a longship.


We were given a small feast on the eve before we set out. The primary’s solar winds blew across the night sky and proved calming. At least, it would’ve been had not Mr. Iosef and the Magos decided it was a fine time to test our longship. Their whooping and generally dangerous speeds forced many fishing ships to blare their horns.




DRAGON SEASON, WHALE SEASON


We set out at dawn. Our guns were taken from us, though we were allowed to keep our various swords and staves. The sun had been up for hours before Idris found the trail she was looking for. Krill, or what appeared to be krill, followed a current that they normally didn’t take. Larger predators followed them, gobbling up entire clumps at a time, though the krill-things were not defenseless themselves.


These stung predators would rise from the water, sometimes leaping aboard our ship. The krill-things’ poison drove them rabid, and we tested our various weapons against their chitin or scales, depending on the predator. I was surprised by their resilience, even though a handful got a bit too close. I could not wear my power armour, not without holing the longship the moment I stepped on it, and had grown too accustomed to its protectiveness.


The pain was good, it kept me alert. The poison, however, countered that. I began to hallucinate and apparently had become quite a philosopher calling Balapito the Ice Nation and Balanim the Water Tribes, and threatening to take the Fire World and the Earth Land by force if need be as the Last Air Bringer. When my senior staff were no longer amused, they administered the anti-toxin.


I came to with corpses of humanoid-like creatures on the deck. Nagow, the Bala called them, semi-sentient fish people. They had been a threat in centuries past, with a true army, until the W’Lang Tayan introduced sea creatures that fed on the Nagow young. We had been boarded, and I had spent most of the time on the vox apparently.


I had recovered enough to help with the second and third waves. They were strong, these Nagow, but they lacked skill and sheer brutality. They were only desperate creatures. They backed away when Binar chose to immolate a handful with fire. We then spent a few minutes putting out the promethium flames that clung to the wet ship’s metal hull.


Bain had enough of the Nagow and took us on a different course, against Idris’ wishes. Instead of Nagow we faced shelled amphibians that swam on the ocean’s surface, forcing Bain to use every bit of skill he could muster to not have us dash against the heavy looking beasts. The shelled creatures then quickly dispersed as a spout of water rose in front of us.


The dragon-whale was hungry.


Namori said that it digested these hard-shelled ones as a means to digest food much more easily. It also had the benefit of being food as well, and the dragon-whale swallowed them whole.


The panic caused on the waves, and not a small amount on the longship, made it difficult to aim the harpoon. Trelany reached out with her mind and caught the beast’s attention. It turned to look at us squarely before bellowing a deafening roar.


I aimed and fired, but the creature rose up just as the harpoon hit. Instead of puncturing its fleshy nose it lodged in its exposed throat. I could see a fountain of blood pouring as the dragon-whale’s eyes grew maddened. It tried to roar but couldn’t, shaking its head as the pain became too much.


It knew it was going to die, and it wanted to take its killers with it. Bain had turned the longship around already and we were already moving. Ordinarily, the longship should have enough speed to get away from a dragon-whale, but this one was too enraged and knew how to displace water. We were thrown aside, our ship’s thermal vanes leaving the currents that propelled us, and we were becalmed suddenly in the raging sea.


There was another roar, one farther off. I didn’t bother looking away, I wanted to stare at the death that was coming at me. The dragon-whale’s neck disappeared, leaving behind ash that smelled of blood. The fanged and horned face fell into the water as the rest of the body swayed uncontrollably. Blood begun to gush out from the wounds all over its body, secondary damage from the impact of whatever had killed it.


The ocean churned with frenzied marine life. We left the carcass behind as the ocean feasted on one of its kings.


--------


Our second feast was far more enjoyable. Trade agreements were signed, some families between the fleets exchanged husbands and brides, and I got to eat some of the creatures we killed and didn’t throw off the decks. They weren’t particularly tasty, or nutritious, but there’s something to be said devouring your fallen enemies. Our biologis confirmed that the samples we brought back could have industrial applications as well.


The morning of the fifth day came, and we made ready to depart. Only there was still the small matter of what killed the dragon-whale.


It was not the harpoon that I fired. Binar had run tests on it before I used it and he detected several weak transmissions coming from a supposedly solid piece of metal.


What we had not noticed, especially in my poison-fuelled haze, was that we had been followed by one of the fishing ships. A massive turret, that I mistook for a mast-exhaust, had lowered and fired a single solid slug. We took a closer look at the fishing ships then, realizing that what we had dismissed as primitive technology may very well not be.


The staff was more than willing to undergo more trials and perform menial tasks to secure one. I bought one of the smaller fishing ships outright and boarded the damned cutter. A barge can pick it up and bring it with us. I wanted to be back in the void where I belonged.

 

DEAR DEPARTURE

 

 

Thraves’ seneschals-in-training did a remarkable job in organizing the fishing fleets’ scheduled deliveries. For now, a Strom transport ship would have to make the rounds until we can cobble together a system freighter. The Swift Sunrise had its holds packed to the brim with refined metals and fresh seafood. It would offload some of the seafood to Balapito in exchange for some special equipment the Magos requested.


I was not happy to leave the Blessed Enterprise behind, even for the two weeks it took us to secure Balanim, though I was satisfied by the work they had accomplished in that time. Only the adamantium components of the ship had not been repaired or replaced. Ceramite and plasteel would do but even bonded together they lacked the sheer stubbornness of that alloy. Magos Binar has a plan to begin refining and casting adamantium in Stromport, but that is still months away.


Inspections of the repair work took up another week, I had every reason to rush but no real desire to. It was not just nitpicking, many of the repairs were shoddy and would fail in battle. Some tech-priests were under the illusion that these would be temporary, that somehow we wouldn’t face combat until after we had uninterrupted months at Stromport.


The refit bothered me. We were able to save one combined battery on the mauled starboard side and that was not enough of a threat even against most raiders. I merely made sure the fittings were of a more permanent nature. Trelany and Idris descended below decks to hunt the clone troopers of the W’Lang Tayan, still scrounging, still surviving. Bain focused on training the new pilot crews while Binar devoted his time to research. Sevia was the one who made the rounds with me, and it filled me with relief and concern that the crew looked to her so.


We set out with little fanfare; the deeper mysteries of Bala would have to wait.

On our way out of the system, I ordered our starboard guncrews practice on the dead transport hulks.

 

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


The Magos repeated what he said three times before I nodded my head for him to continue on. His continuously disrupted research of the fragment we recovered more than a year ago now had lead him to believe that what we had retrieved was not a new STC. At least not a completely new one.


Its application was esoteric, which was a rarity for the usually practical STC patterns. A complete one had never been found, whatever it was. However, the recovered fragment had sections that were only theorized and had already improved the Magos’ understanding of several other things. I’m not quite sure that was permissible for him.


In short, it was not a Warp Compass, an archeotech attack craft, or anything else practical and useful. At least, for us. The Magos was showing physical signs of wanting to leave the region and head all the way to the Lathes to return it. I was inclined to agree.


Idris continued the meeting, presenting us with her estimates for our trip to Stromport. Our repairs were holding despite the turbulence, and she was maintaining her sidereal factors well, meaning we wouldn’t lose as much time in the Warp as we normally would. Trelany followed , presenting once again the strangled astropathic calls she had been receiving for the last few days.


We knew the renegades in the region had no qualms about using distress signals to ambush would-be rescuers. But Trelany had established contact with one of them but was only able to decipher a small fragment of the message. I recognized them instantly: Navy ident-codes.

That one I couldn’t ignore.


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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


#85 Marwynn

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 03:47 PM

For everyone reading this, and keeping up with the updates, thanks.

 

I'll be posting future updates in this topic: Gathering Strom

 

A new Captain's Log is there, and hopefully the "Chronicle" portion will be written out this week. We had a game yesterday, and a game later tonight to finish things up. It's the summer so we're taking advantage of the weather.

 

I'll post ship stats here, however, as I don't want to litter this board with more of my dynasty's designs.


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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


#86 Marwynn

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 08:44 AM

Posted an update to the other topic and also wanted to dump this here:

 

--------

 

Trident-class Raider

Dimensions: 1.4 km long, 0.4 abeam at fins approx.

Mass: 6.1 megatonnes approx.

Crew:  Unknown

Accel: 4.7 gravities max sustainable acceleration.

 

First encountered and named by Anton Strom in the Heathen Stars region, the Trident-class Raider shows remarkable similarities with STC components. STC technology has been in widespread use throughout the galaxy for over ten millennia, so it is no guarantee that humans are in command of these vessels.

 

The ships displayed remarkable speeds but only moderate agility. The three prows seem to be highly reinforced weapon mounts. The macrocannon installed there had great arcs of fire but analysis indicates that the raider concentrates most of this in the fore arc. This same analysis has also revealed numerous potential tech-heresies in the design: the life sustainers are far too centralized to provide for a crew of ten thousand and the macrocannon located on the prows seem to lack gun crews.

 

Upon their destruction, the Tridents seemed to have suffered a leak with their Warp engines, flooding the decks with energy from the Empyrean.

 

Speed: 9

Manoeuvrability: +10

Detection: +10

Hull Integrity: 30

Armour: 15

Turret Rating: 1

Space: 40

Weapon Capacity: Prow 1, Dorsal 1, Keel 1

Prowed: Tridents come pre-equipped with a Power Ram and 2 Power must be provided for this hull when it is constructed. It cannot mount lances or torpedo launchers of any kind.

 

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

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


#87 Annaamarth

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:40 PM

For a raider, that's not great speed.  That's about normal.  Manoeuvrability is poor, detection poor... gunmounts are "holy crap Batman" levels of good.

 

All in all, 8/10 would use as a primary vessel.


RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#88 Marwynn

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Posted 06 June 2014 - 02:27 PM

Yeah, it seems pretty neat. Too bad it started leaking "Warp Stuff" from hits that weren't near where its warp engine should be. 

 

I don't know when we'll get the opportunity to take a look at it--if ever--but it's one of the throwaway designs I gave my GM. The idea was that the guns were very much focused forward and the limited arcs represented that. 

 

RAW it will murder things good. Math Hammer? It scratched our armour. 


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

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


#89 Marwynn

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:09 AM

After nearly six months of gaming we are at 39 PF! The Strom Dynasty's almost a Weak Rogue Trader House!

 

Now is the time for us to celebrate and wrangle with the colony rules. 


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

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


#90 Marwynn

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 12:50 PM

In exchange for allowing the GM to experiment with the crazy pills, he's allowing us to replace some of our damaged ship equipment relatively easily. We decided to run the Svard adventure after I ran it with our separate "real Aesperanza" group and this was just the best way to do it. Go read the latest update, it's long and not much happens.

 

Well... not quite true.

 

In any case, we have the option to either install Hecutor-pattern Plasma Batteries in the broadsides, GQ to have Strength 4 or just look for replacements for the Sunsears and GQ those. The Hecutors' Range 11 really is making me feel very warm, but since we have Storm broadsides it does mean we'll get less hits now. Not sure it's worth it. 

 

What else could we replace the Blessed Enterprise's broadsides with? 


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

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


#91 Kasatka

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 06:19 AM

Best Craftsmanship-Turbo upgraded Best Crafstmanship Pyros Melta Batteries - good range with no penalty for long range macrocannons that always generate Fire! crits :D


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#92 Annaamarth

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 12:35 PM

Well, I think my advice would have to at least partly depend on how you've been handling small craft damage in Mathhammer. Does each bomber hit apply against armour separately, or do you handle it some other special way?  If bomber damage output has been particularly useful and you have sufficient profit factor to support it, and the GM might allow you to "roll ship", I might suggest throwing another hangar bay into one side, then going with the off-side construction I so often recommend.  This would give you a heavier 'throw weight' one your primary broadside, while still allowing you to engage with a Macro+Lance combo.

 

Otherwise, Hecutors, Meltas and Sunsear Broadsides all seem good to me.  I think I'd lean more towards the Sunsears or the Hecutors, for range control coupled with that lance- turbo-upgrades notwithstanding.


Edited by Annaamarth, 21 June 2014 - 12:36 PM.

RIP AND TEAR THROUGH THE TIDE OF BLOOD WITH BATTLESUIT PILOT. SUPLEX HIVE TYRANTS. DO WHATEVER, YOU'RE PILOTING A HUGE-ASS MECHA.

 -Errant, on how Rogue Trader ought to be played


#93 Marwynn

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Posted 21 June 2014 - 05:05 PM

The Meltas sound good, but its long range is still within the Sunsear's short range. I've been reliant on that extra range, it's proven very useful so far.

 

The Blessed Enterprise was rolling with just one broadside for the last bit, until the port Sunsears were critted out too. It's fine, but I can't always guarantee I won't be surrounded, and a broadside with Storm can still shred a non-cruiser without a lance to deliver the killing blow.


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

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


#94 Marwynn

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:06 AM

1) I had forgotten Good Quality Turbos give +1 Range. That's awesome. I can totally see GQ Turbo + GQ Something as a viable alternative. 

 

2) We're running the GM Toolkit Svard adventure, which we'll be doing for a good year of game time. Unfortunately, the GM neglected one little thing: the Void Wasps all have Turret 0. Granted, I only have 3.5 Starhawk bomber squadrons operational now. But the Void Wasp that was supposed to greet us was swatted away without too much fuss. 

 

Let that be a lesson to all y'all GMs. If we weren't in such bad shape I think we'd crash the entire campaign. 


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


#95 Kasatka

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 06:09 AM

1) I had forgotten Good Quality Turbos give +1 Range. That's awesome. I can totally see GQ Turbo + GQ Something as a viable alternative. 

 

2) We're running the GM Toolkit Svard adventure, which we'll be doing for a good year of game time. Unfortunately, the GM neglected one little thing: the Void Wasps all have Turret 0. Granted, I only have 3.5 Starhawk bomber squadrons operational now. But the Void Wasp that was supposed to greet us was swatted away without too much fuss. 

 

Let that be a lesson to all y'all GMs. If we weren't in such bad shape I think we'd crash the entire campaign. 

Yup, so you get +1 to the listed range and take no penalties for firing at long range. It makes Meltas viable and turns long range weapons into ridiculously long ranged weapons. You will run into issues of being able to shoot further than you can use your auger arrays, however, if you put them on something like sunsears or culverins etc.


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#96 Marwynn

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 07:26 AM

Yeah, I've been thinking about the Meltas. If I somehow managed to get GQ Turbo upgrades for GQ +1 Range Meltas, I'll be sitting at 12 VUs of range. But it's only Strength 3, best I can do is knock down one or two void shields then maybe hit with one 1d10+16 hit. It'll hurt, but so would a broadside of Sunsears.

 

The Ryzas could give me 14 VU range, Strength 4 hits at 1d10+16. Three hits against a raider is going to hurt badly. Against cruisers, it can do some damage and still get double crits.

 

I hate that the Sunsears are the logical choice in almost any situation. They do very little against cruisers though, which is upsetting. 


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

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


#97 Marwynn

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 08:23 AM

Hand of Redemption

ARMAGEDDON Class Battlecruiser

 

Like most Armageddons, the Hand of Redemption began life as a Lunar-class cruiser. Part of the first generation of newly built Lunars in the 36th Millennium, the hull was well-formed and considered thrice-blessed. It has drifted from one Segmentum Fleet to another, even participating in the Angevin Crusade’s later years. A century ago, the cruiser was savaged in the Calixis Sector with almost all hands lost; a sad day for Battlefleet Calixis. There are whisperings of mutiny and worse regarding the event.

 

The ship was towed into the Lathes and was left in near tatters for decades as the yards were always redirected to more pressing concerns. The launch of the rebuilt Hand of Redemption is a surprise to many, including the Calixian Admiralty who are unsure of what to make of a new battlecruiser.

 

Unlike other Armageddons, the Hand of Redemption was carefully wrought to include extra cargo and stowage bays throughout the ship. This gives it an unexpected longevity on par with some light cruisers, though it’s unlikely that the ship can engage in long patrols without a dedicated fleet tender in tow.

 

Its armaments are also unique for its class; most rebuilt Lunars super-charge their macrobatteries and retain their STC lances but the Hand of Redemption was left with no broadsides to enhance. The gun decks have been rebuilt completely, with the power requirements in mind, resulting in more reliable power relays and virtually negating the primary complaint most captains have of the upgunned “revenant” class. The plasma batteries work well with the new massive lance turrets, both having double the standard range of a Lunar’s arms. The dorsal lance battery adds its ship-killing fire as needed, and in the Hand’s decades-long shakedown cruise which is still ongoing, it’s been proven that the ship can sustain fire from all its batteries and lances for seventeen straight hours without suffering any faults or failures.

 

By comparison, the rare Fortris-class torpedo launchers are almost mundane. Two of the distributed cargo bays lie in parallel to the torpedo vaults, suggesting quick reloading is possible once the ship is docked. During its cruise, the cargo bays housed extra torpedoes, enough for two full launches.

 

Strangely enough, there are rumours that the Hand of Redemption is engaged in its own patrol in the Koronus Expanse. While it could be part of its ongoing shakedown trials, the vessel was not transferred to Passage Watch 27-Est’s command as is tradition. The battlecruiser lingered over Footfall for a month before setting off. There are reliable reports that the battlecruiser has rooted out pirate nests on its own, at least those boldly operating in the deep voids between warp transfer points. It has returned to Footfall several times since.

 

SPEED 5

MANOEUVRABILITY 15

DETECTION 20

TURRET RATING     2

SHIELDS     Dual Void Shield

ARMOUR     20 [ Prow 24 ]

HULL INTEGRITY     70

 

Crew Disposition:   Fanatical

Crew Max    100% Crew Quality  Veteran (50)

Morale Max  102% (Current)  100%

Normal Operations (Morale)

 

Skill Test Modifiers

Ballistic Tests 10, Navigation/Warp 10, Social 10, Command  10, Intimidate (Social) 10, CMD/Hit&Run 10, CMD/Hit&Run (Def) 10, CMD/Boarding Action (Def) 10, Charm 10, Active Augury vs Silent Running 15,

 

Achievement Bonuses

Trade + 100  Explore + 75  

 

Essential Components

Saturnine Pattern, Class 4A 'Ultra' Drive (Battlecruiser) [BEST], Strelov 2 Warp Engine (CL,C) [BEST], Warpsbane Hull, Bridge of Antiquity (CL,C, CB, CG) , Vitae Pattern Life Sustainer [BEST], X-470 Ultimo Array (Vessel is Easier to Hit, +5 Enemy BS Tests) , Pressed Crew Quarters [BEST]

 

Supplemental Components

Compartmentalized Cargo Hold, Armoured Prow (+1d10 Damage when Ramming), Observation Dome, Crew Improvements: Good (+3 Morale Max), Starchart Collection (-1d5 Days Warp Travel Time, Min. 1 day), Storm Troopers [x2HI Dmg H&R Attacks; +1d5Dam to Crew in DEF Boarding Actions],

 

Background Package

Veteran of the Angevin Crusade [ -40 Silent Running ], Cramped (Stocks only 3 mo. of supplies)

 

Weapons

PROW: Fortis Pattern Torpedo Tubes

DORSAL: Godsbane Lance Battery  [Strength: 2, Damage:1d10+2, Crit Rating: 3, Range: 12]  

PORT: Hecutor Pattern Plasma Battery  [Strength: 3, Damage:1d10+2, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 11] 

PORT: Godsbane Lance Battery  [Strength: 2, Damage:1d10+2, Crit Rating: 3, Range: 12]

STARBOARD: Hecutor Pattern Plasma Battery  [Strength: 3, Damage:1d10+2, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 11]

STARBOARD: Godsbane Lance Battery  [Strength: 2, Damage:1d10+2, Crit Rating: 3, Range: 12]

 

 

Using the Hand of Redemption and Special Rules

Vessel of Lies: The battlecruiser is full of secrets, the least of which are the Stromtroopers that function as the ship’s armsmen. The Hand of Redemption counts as having a Barracks and a Tenebro-Maze for all defensive boarding and hit-and-run actions only.

 

Going Turbo: The Hecutor plasma broadsides can be turbo-charged at the beginning of that ship’s turn. However, only one broadside may fire in the same turn.

 

Unproven: The ship has veteran crew and more, but its officers are unproven and generally unknown. Morale loss is increased by 3.

 
 
===================
 
My GM had me stat this out. His only instructions were "Go over 100 points" and this is at 111, plus all of the extras I added. 
 
I think we're about to make a really powerful friend. Or enemy. Or frenemy. 
 
In case it wasn't clear, this is an Inquisition-sponsored ship. 
 
 
 
EDIT: 36,812 views? Sweet merciful Kho--Emperor! What in the world? 

Edited by Marwynn, 02 July 2014 - 08:41 AM.

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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


#98 Marwynn

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 03:06 PM

Captain's Log
 
I have spent the last few weeks familiarizing myself with the Vivat, having ignored it for the most part save as a mobile carrier for our few attack craft. Binar's notes on the ship were thorough, nonetheless, and I was quite surprised at the ship's general state. 
 
The Svard defense stations did their best, but it's clear that the VIvat was more than just a hapless freighter. My men keep finding stashes of weapons in various parts of the ship as if it was meant to quickly repel boarders--or conduct its own boarding actions. Even the macroweapons we dismissed as merely for display proved to be advanced melta-cannon. Neither had the range of even a las-battery, but they used "inductive chargers", according to the Magos, to nearly reach the same distances.
 
This was a killer. Even the rushed empyrean mantle that is still being bolted on to its hull seems to suit the ship. I have dug into the records of its previous master and found it missing for the most part, save for a few scraps that have intrigued me further.
 
It seems to know we're about to weigh anchor. The ship is coming alive as more and more of the crewmen are brought aboard, hauling sundry supplies and filling half of our holds with goods that we can barter with.
 
Etherics has run continuous augury sweeps for the last few days, and we have made both the Hand of Redemption and the Blessed Enterprise envious of the resolution of our sweeps. 
 
The Vivat is eager to be away, and I am willing to share in its sentiments.
 
 
 
Vivat
LOKI Class Q-Ship 
 
SPEED 4
MANOEUVRABILITY -5
DETECTION 10 
TURRET RATING     1
SHIELDS     Single Void Shield [C:GOOD Power]
ARMOUR     13    
HULL INTEGRITY     40
 
Skill Test Modifiers
CMD/Hit&Run 20, CMD/Boarding Action 20, CMD/Hit&Run (Def) 20, CMD/Boarding Action (Def) 20, 
 
Achievement Bonuses
Achievement Bonuses: Trade + 300  Crime + 50  Military + 100  Explore + 50  
 
Essential Components
Lathe Pattern Class 1 Drive [C:GOOD Power], Strelov 2 Warp Engine (CL,C) [C:GOOD Power], Gellar Field, Commerce Bridge (T) , M-1.r Life Sustainer (+1 Morale Loss) [C:GOOD Power], M-100 Auger Array [C:GOOD Power], Voidsmans Quarters 
 
Supplemental Components
Main Cargo Hold x2, Barracks, Observation Dome, Empyrean Mantle (When 'Silent Running' it is 2 Degrees HARDER to detect this Vessel)(External), 
 
Complications / Past Histories
Adventurous,  Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (3 components don't show on scans OR appear as different Component of same type)
 
Weapons
Pyros Melta-Cannons  [Strength: 3, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 4 >TURBO<]  Location:PROW
Pyros Melta-Cannons  [Strength: 3, Damage:1d10+4, Crit Rating: 4, Range: 4 >TURBO<]  Location:DORSAL
 

 


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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