Im running a RT campaign for 4 players and one of the pc's has been keeping a log of what happens.
I will post the first session and if enough interest is shown I will continue to post the logs.
The crew consists of....
The Dureen Rogue Trader Dynasty
Current Profit Factor: 49
Name: Rico Dureen
Role: Rogue Trader
Name: Patronius Proscesu
Name: Nicandar Hak
Role: Enginseer Prime
Name: Kilgrim Hartek (Squat)
Name: Lucius Spence
Rank: Void Master - Gunnery
Furnace of Redemption Firestorm Class Frigate
The Great Fortune Wolfpack Class
The Revenge Wolfpack Class
Prologue: House Dureen; a new Dynasty
++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Tech-Priest Nicander Hak ++
++ LOCATION: HESH, THE LATHES, GOLGENNA REACH, THE CALIXIS SECTOR++
I had been in the service of the Omnissiah for fifteen standard years, and based in the Lathes for almost ten of those, when I was given the opportunity to achieve greatness for myself, the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the Omnissiah himself. It started as being my most important duty to date, the refit of a Firestorm Class Frigate that was to be assigned to a new Rogue Trader Dynasty. The Inquisition had procured the ship, and although it had abandoned for years, it was of high quality. Why they were willing to give such a wonderous gift to this new Rogue Trader, the Mechanicus heirarchy were unable to fathom.
The vessel was ancient, and magnificent, and I wanted to give my best for the machine spirit that resided within her, and fortunately was left to do so by both the Rogue Trader, and the Inquisition. Indeed, the only time during the refit that I met the mysterious sponsors was when it came to fit the ship with her weapon systems.
I was in the process of looking for the standard loadout for a Firestorm, a lance weapon and a macrocannon battery when two visitors were shown into the workshop. One introduced himself as Inquisitor Attelus, a name I recognised from the work order specifying the refit, but my attention was immediately drawn to the figure that flanked him. He was introduced simply as Castagir, and he was huge, dwarfing even my heavy lift servitors, I had never met one of his type before, but I knew instantly, even though he was all but hidden by his plain robes, that he could be nothing other than an Astartes, although his rank or Chapter was never disclosed. I discussed the progress of the refit with the Inquisitor, while the Astartes sat back and listened, and it was only when the weapons were discussed did he lean forward.
In a deep, rumbling voice, he asked some suprisingly pertinent questions regarding mass, power drain, and destructive capabilities, before leaning back. I thought that would be it, but after a few minutes, he made two suggestions, which I almost laughed at, before catching myself, after all I did not want to anger him. And then I thought about his suggestions more seriously and realised that they would work. With the space available, and the power from the high quality archeotech plasma drive in the hull, the Firestorm could mount a Pyros melta-cannon turbo-weapon battery in place of the usual macro-cannon battery - a potent upgrade in its own right, but we would be able to replace the lance weapon with a Titan Forge lance battery. I looked at the Astartes in shock, a lance battery on a Frigate! I am sure that I could see a smile from within his cowled head.
"There are Tech-Marines within a Chapter," his voice quite, "I believe that they spend three decades on Mars before returning to the Chapter. Spend time with them, and some of their knowledge, and their respect for the machine spirits passes on. And as a fighting force we do have the reputation to have a greater impact than size or numbers would suggest."
I nodded mutely as they got up to leave. It was at that point that I vowed to the Omnissiah that I would never discount an unusal approach to a problem again, or indeed be afraid of an unusual solution.
The refit was almost completed when Magos Scall summoned me. I was shocked by the offer he made. A Rogue Trader Dynasty needs an Enginseer, and relies on the Adeptus Mechanicus for support, and apparantly the Magos was impressed by my work on the vessel, and by the unusual configuration of the ship. (I did not tell him where that idea had originated). Accordingly he felt that I would be suited to becoming the Enginseer Prime for the new Dynasty and would be assigning me as such. He left me with the thought that a Rogue Trader goes to many unusual places, and the technology uncovered would always be of interest to the Adeptus Mechanicus.
It was only after I left the meeting that I realised that my "unusual approach", which he appeared to praise, may have caused him worry, and he was effectively sending me into a place where I would be of little threat to the mainstream Adeptus Mechanicus methodologies... Still little matter, I found myself excited by the thoughts of the new challenge.
I made a few minor changes to the vessel prior to completion, and as a result was able to fit a well equipped workshop into the space remaining. After all, I reflected, I would need to keep her sailing, and no-one would begrudge me the ability to do so, or realise that this was not exactly standard on such classes of ship.
The vessel was redesignated the "Furnace of Redemption", and with my new staff, and a skeleton Adeptus Mechanicus crew, we made the short journey to Malfi in the Malfian Sub-sector for the cermonial granting of the Rogue Trader's Warrant, the final loading of equipment and supplies, and the embarkation of the crew.
++ End of record ++
++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Rogue Trader Rico Doreen ++
++ LOCATION: MALFI, THE MALFIAN SUB-SECTOR, THE CALIXIS SECTOR - THE PALACE OF THE SECTOR GOVERNOR++
After returning from my infiltration of the Agents of Khoros, with there hired assasin following closely behind, I had hoped for a chance to lie low, to rest and recuperate, at the expense of the good old interrogator of course. With my thoughts in the boudoirs of Malfi and the beds of any lucky noblewomen I could find. I was looking forward to a goodly period of sojourn. Unfortunately this was not too be. Immediately upon my arrival back to Malfi, a genecoded message was delivered to my quarters in my covername.
I got the feeling that this wasn't for an ordinary meeting so hastened to meet with "A". How did he break this identity, how did he even know it existed, worse still how long did he know about it, damn him.
It was with some trepidation I went to the meeting, and lo and behold, when he said where we met he literally meant where we met, an interrogation chamber in the underhive of Malfi. With a shudder I sat in the only chair, trying not to flinch as I remembered the cold adamantine shackles clicking around my wrists and ankles. Seeing my discomfort one of the robed figures removed his hood, chuckling to himself quietly "Just a little reminder my friend of how things may have been". It was Attalus, by which it was safe to assume the other was his pet assasin.
I was a little disturbed, there was something about Attalus demeanour which seemed darker, over recent months he'd seemed more positive, something must've happened to have caused him to relapse to his old way. My thoughts went again back to my first visit here and the information extracted from me and my eventual execution. How I'd prayed for death, for it's final release only to have it snatched away just as the welcoming darkness engulfed me.
Attempting to pull myself together and to put on a show of bravado; "Interrogator, how may I be of assistance to you?"
Again that chuckle, "I am a mere Interrogator no longer my friend, you are behind the times..."
He turned to a scanner on the wall which read his optical and fingerprint. "Greetings Inquisitor Attalus, identity confirmed". Indeed things had changed.
Attalus turned back to me "Now Rico, you had recently come to my mind, I wondered why my good friend Rico had not made his regular reports. He must be very busy, thought I. So, imagine my surprise when I casually came across a familiar name one Jeron Dahlschmidt. My good friend Rico could not be upto his old tricks again could he? Anyway I had need of your attention so summoned you here to remind you of your duty to the Emperor. I'm sure you couldn't have forgotten."
I again felt that strange pressure in my mind, that unwanted link, that link that I believed had been disrupted by Attalus' loss. Is it back, is this something else something more insidious?
I started to talk, but Attalus continued "I have another job for you, one which would be of great interest to you with your shall we say unique skills. I have a need for an operative to infiltrate the Koronus expanse. One I can trust implicitly."
He again chuckled as if at his own private joke, "I have arranged for you to be granted a ship." He consulted a datapad, "The Furnace of Redemption, an appropriate name considering it's new Captain, Captain."
"But, but what ho..." I started to stutter.
"You will be operating under the name Rico Doreen, of the newly granted "Doreen Rogue Trader" dynasty. An old dynasty that has fallen to bad times I believe..." Could it be was he referring to my great grandfathers line? "Anyhow time is awasting your Ceremony of Instigation will take place in two days at the Governors' palace. I will take you now to your command staff."
As we walked away, he kept talking; "I have reasons for needing you to be in the Expanse, I need you to prepare to assist this Sector in a battle for all our souls. We don't know where or when this is coming but trust me it is coming. Your nature will cause you to seek your own power and profit, in fact it is this I am counting on, but when I call in my marker I expect a quick response, you don't want me looking for you. What the Inquisition grants we can just as easily take away..."
Then, almost as if a switch had been flicked, something changed and Attalus’s face lit up again, and, in an almost friendly manner he continued, "Look Rico, this is a great opportunity for you. Yes it's a double edged blade, one that could cost you as much as it gains you but for the right person a Rogue Traders license and ship is the route to fame and fortune. It’s taken a lot of favours and influence to swing this for you, but I'm sure you won’t let me down, and, be assured the "Furnace of Redemption" is no ordinary ship - I've seen her. Can I count on you?"
I had no choice. He was right, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Attalus knew I knew it, he knew he held all the cards at this time. So I accepted, taking the Inquisitors proffered hand and shook it. At the same time, I couldn’t shake a thought from my mind; who was this Attalus, the friendly Attalus of the last few months, or the darker soul I first met, I couldn't help but shudder at the realization that I had no idea whom I served.
Attalus hurried me to an antechamber where five figures stood. "This will be your command crew. Trust them well for they all posess unique abilities that will be useful to you in this task. Listen to their advice and you may succeed, and make a huge profit for your dynasty."
To the others . "This is Rico Doreen. He will be acting as the Rogue Trader during your sojourn into the expanse. I will leave you know to get to know each other. Please be at the Governors Palace for the ceremony in two days time."
And with that, he turned on his heel and left.
++ End of record ++
++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++
++ LOCATION: MALFI, THE MALFIAN SUB-SECTOR, THE CALIXIS SECTOR++
Well, I have met the Rogue Trader. I am not entirely sure what to make of him, the man does appear to have a history, and he appeared to be nervous around the Inquisitor, although that is probably good - it shows he has good survival instincts which will benefit us all in the long run. Anyway, enough of that, back to the pertinent facts.
There was great excitement around the hives of Malfi on the day of the Granting of the Warrant. The hivers and under-hivers, I feel, would use any excuse to throw a party, whilst middle and upper-hivers saw the creation of a new Rogue Trader as an opportunity to create new trading links, to make Thrones, or to gain political influence. All the stories about the intrigue and manoeuvrings of the nobles of Malfi were exemplified here, and I think I prefer the simplistic outlook of the under-hivers.
Having said all that, the parade, and ceremony were very impressive, with the command staff and senior officers in their formal Dureen Dynasty uniforms, and a smartly presented cohort of house infantry marching through the streets. The Warrant was presented by the Sub-Sector Governer himself, and just behind him I saw Inquisitor Attalus, and the Astartes, Castagir, who I must say looked far less comfortable in these surroundings.
Once the official ceremonies had completed, we were free to roam, and many individuals took the opportunity to speak with the Rogue Trader, no doubt angling for some sort of exclusive deal for the supply of goods, or to act as his representative in some capacity or another. I, fortunately was left alone, and took the time to introduce myself to the Senior Adeptus Mechanicus representatives on the planet. Not being entirely politically ignorant, I asked whether there was anything in particular they wanted me to watch for on my pending journeys, however they simply echoed Magos Scalls words, stating that the Mechanicus was interested in the discovery of technology. They wished me the guidance of the Omnissiah, and effectively dismissed me from their presence.
I was about to head back to the ship, when I noticed the Rogue Trader and his abhuman Warmaster (Squat, or Homo Sapiens Rotundus as I am told, is the correct biological designation) in a somewhat uncomfortable discussion with a man in the uniform of an Imperial Guard General. Intrigued I dispatched my servo-skull, Yorrick Gar, to listen in, and fortunately as it later turned out, to record the conversation, both in audio, and video. Effectively the General was attempting to elicit bribes from the Rogue Trader, telling him that he could make our lives very difficult, or very easy should he so wish. It took our diminutive Warmaster great self control to stop himself murdering the General there and then. The Rogue Trader stated flat out that bribes would not be forthcoming, so the General replied that we should expect a ship inspection the following day.
At that, the Warmaster growled low threats of violence at the General, who hurried off, and Rogue Trader Dureen recalled us all to the ship, where we gathered for a command meeting. He described the actions of the General, and we began to formulate a plan to deal with this. I called everyones attention to the holo projector, and instructed Yorrick to play back the recording of the meeting. Whilst they were digesting this I proposed that we contact the General, suggest a quiet meeting, show him the recording and then offer him a deal - we would make him responsible for suppying all our military hardware whilst on Malfi, and he could then take a fee for his services. This, I reasoned, could be couched as a legitimate business deal, and change his focus from working against us, to working for us. This met with approval from those in the room, and I was given the benefit of an evil little grin and a nod of the head from our Warmaster, which I chose to take as a compliment.
Interestingly, while searching through the ships cogitators I came across the Rogue Traders personal records, and "accidently" decrypted them. It is perhaps useful to consider his view of the same events;
+ + + "The ceremony was a pompous affair, extremely formal and very overlong, and during the procedings the Governor made a not so veiled reference to the expected brevity of my tenure as Rogue Trader. The parade afterward was even worse, sycophants and wellwishers crowding the street trying to press the flesh. All the time all I could think of was how the Agents had vowed revenge and this would be the perfect place for an attack.
After the the Parade I noticed a solitary figure striding purposefully to our group. He introduced himself to the Warmaster as Sector General Seth Sinclair and apparently had a business matter he wanted to discuss with myself. It appeared the good old General had a desire to muscle in on my newly created Dynasty, hoping to better his current situation however his attitude grated upon me as he attempted to blackmail me as he became aware of the vast amonts of Thrones being spent by my colleagues to equip the Furnace of Redemption. My nervousness and desire to get off the street must’ve come through in my demeanour as I brusquely brushed the General off, after what I had been through over the recent months no petty bureaucrat was going to blackmail me.
With hindsight this was a bit of a mistake as the General could make life more difficult for us on Malfi. However unbeknownst to myself the Enginseer Nikander had recorded the events and gave us leverage to get him to consider our counter proposal. We proposed the General would be our go-to man for legitimate imperial goods which would obviously make him a lot of profit but in return gave us access to those materials we may not otherwise be able to acquire." + + +
Personally, I like the fact that the Rogue Trader realised his mistake, at least it's less likely to happen again...
The next meet with the General, whose name I discovered was Seth Sinclair was scheduled for that evening, so I retired to my workshop, downloaded a copy of the recording into one of my private cogitators, and worked on setting the parameters of my new combat servitors which I intend on using to defend the workshop, should the need arise. I also deployed units of Tech-Guard which had been assigned to me to defend the Plasma Drives, Warp Engines, and Gellar Field.
Shortly afterwards, the Warmaster contacted me, stating that he had a problem that he would like my help with. Apparantly, members of our crew had been assaulted while loading equipment onto the shuttles in the docks, and he wanted to put a stop to it. We both surmised that this was an element of General Sinclair making life difficult for us, and decided to take a detachment of troops down to the docks the next day in an attempt to catch the culprits.
That evening, the meeting with the General went well. He took one look at the evidence we had, and agreed to our proposals, as long as I deleted the recording, which I did, safe in the knowledge that there was a copy in my workshop. Hoewever, he had no idea who the men assaulting our crew were. As expected, the inspection of the ship the next day passed off without incident.
With all that settled, the Warmaster and I left the rest of the crew making final preparations for the voyage, and headed down to the docks, with his men, to deal with our mysterious attackers. If they were not Guardsmen, it was evident that someone else was upset with our new Dynasty. With a commendable eye for small unit tactics, he set the soldiers into ambush positions, and we settled doen to wait. Less than a standard hour later, a dozen rough looking men appeared and began to cause trouble, so the Warmaster sprang his ambush, and the ruffians were quickly subdued.
I left the questioning to the Warmaster - he was very, very good at it. He asked the self appointed leader who he worked for. The man cursed and spat at him, so the Warmaster shot him in the head with a bolt pistol. He moved to the next man in line and repeated his question.
Apparantly this man was named Sergio Nico, and worked for an underworld boss named Don Mario Fenducci. Don Mario moved around the hives regularly, so was difficult to contact, but Sergio was willing to do everything in his power to find the Don, and contact us when he did. He told us all this without pausing for breath. The Warmaster and I smiled at each other, and marched the men, at gunpoint into our shuttle, taking them with us to the ship, throwing all of them, except Sergio into the brig. Sergio was taken to the Chirurgeon, where a micro-bomb I had created was attached internally to his spine. It was explained to him in graphic detail waht would happen if he did not do as he promised, and then we returned him to the docks and released him. I sent Yorrick after him to shadow his every move, and although the man made a couple of failed half-hearted attempts to shake off my trusty familiar, he was as good as his word, and two days later we had the location of Don Mario.
Not entirely trusting the word of Sergio, we returned him to the brig, and the Warmaster and I returned to the surface of the planet, with a platoon of his best men. We quickly reached our intended destination, a restaurant in one of the more exclusive areas of the hive, and left our men in hiding, listening in on the vox.
As we attempted to enter the restaurant we were stopped on the threshold by a large, heavily muscled man, who demanded to know our business. The Warmaster loudly gave a formal reply, stating his many titles, and introduced me in the same manner - I had now idea how important I am - and requested a meeting with Don Mario. After a brief pause, as messages were passed to and from the rear of the room, we were granted entry, as long as we relinquised our weapons. I handed over my hellgun, but protested that I must retain my Holy Symbol, and they allowed me to do so. I smiled inwardly, Holy Symbol, Omnissian Axe, they are the same thing really...! The Warmaster growled as he handed over his bolt-pistols.
The meeting with Don Mario was successful. He was a likeable, and jovial character, and it appeared that there was nothing that went on in the criminal underworld that he did not have a stake in. He had been given the impression that we were attempting to muscle in on his business, and was reassured that we were in the process of buying weapons, not selling, and that we would soon be heading off world in any case. He nodded, and we made a proposal for him, offering to make him our Malfi distributor of some of the more "interesting" items that we may discover on our travels, and sensing the opportunity for profit here, he readily agreed. He then asked about his men, and we informed him, with regret, that one had died in our initial confrontation, but that the rest were aboard our ship. He described one man in particular, who it transpired was his nephew (thankfully not the one who had spat at the Warmaster), and asked for him to be returned, which of course we agreed to. It was then that the Warmaster asked Don Mario whether he would like for his nephew to gain some off world experience, and offered to train the young man, and guide him through a career. Don Mario smiled broadly, and agreed, telling the Warmaster to make a "Proper man of him!" As for the rest of his men we held, he told us to keep them as crew, or to do with them as we would. We thanked for his time, and left him to his business.
Once again, it is perhaps interesting to take a look at the "accidently" decrypted Rogue Traders personal records, and in relation to these events;
+ + + "The Warmaster and Nikander went to pay the Don a visit, upon arrival at his place of business, the Don did not even appear to recognise the reason for there visit, and claimed that he wasn’t aware of any ambushes on our men. However it turned out that there was an issue that the Don had been mistakenly informed that we were mass selling illegal weaponry, and therefore treading on his trade. However when the Warmaster explained that our desire was to purchase said weaponry the Dons demeanor changed considerably. Even to the point where the Warmaster has a new boot boy, one Antonio, the Dons nephew. Strange how these things work out. I must remember to thank Nikander and the Warmaster for there quick thinking as they have successfully defused a difficult situation and gained us a strong contact in the shall we say seedier side of Malfi.." + + +
It is nice to be appreciated, and I must let the Warmaster know that our efforts have been noted.
After the end of our meeting with the Don, we returned to our ship, and assigned Don Marios men to various posts, their turn in fortunes accepted with remakable equanimity, and then I took Sergio back to the Chirurgeons, and has the micro-bomb removed - to say he looked relieved was an understatement. I then told him that we were going to return him to the surface, on the understanding that he would act as our go-between with Don Mario, and as our fixer whenever we returned to Malfi. As an incentive, I reminded him that we were friends with Don Mario now, which focussed his mind, and then I handed over a few hundred Thrones as his retainer fee, and the man looked overjoyed with his change in status, promising to be there whenever we needed him.
With that business completed, and all our stores and supplied loaded, we were ready to embark on our journey, and the Furnace of Redemption left port, and headed to the outer edges of the system, charting a course for Port Wander and the Koronus Expanse.
++ End of record ++
SPOILER WARNING FOR INTO THE MAW
++ Excerpt taken from the personal record of Enginseer Prime Nicander Hak ++
++ LOCATION: PORT WANDER, THE KORONUS EXPANSE ++
The Rogue Trader informed me that we would be leaving the vessel to visit the Port Wander Space Station. I had no great desire to visit the station itself, although I felt I should pay homage to the Omnissiah in the Halls of the Mechanicus, so decided that I would accompany the group. The remainder of the command staff had also been selected, and, so as we made the short journey from the docking arm to the port area itself, I was accompanied by Rogue Trader Dureen, his Warmaster and First Officer - the biologically interesting abhuman Kilgrim Hartek along with four of his Armsmen who I assume are good at what they do, the Navigator Patronius Proscesu, who seems to take every opportunity to leave his bubble on the ship (I must speak with Dureen about this, Navigators are hard to find, and it is illogical to risk such a valuable resource this way, although I doubt he'll listen to me, the man can't seem to shake his early, rebellious life...), and the Gunnery Void Master Lucius Spence - a man I'm told is an excellent shot, as befits his position, and frankly needs to be, as I have yet to have a stimulating conversation with the muscle-bound flesh-sack! Most importantly, as always, the Skull Servitor Yorrick Gar, my closest confident, accompanied me. I felt he deserved to feel the presence of the Omnissiah in the Halls too, and anyway, he rarely leaves my side.
The Station itself is reasonably well maintained, however has an air of the frontier about it - all on board seem to be armed in some manner, and it is not the cleanest of places, and neither was the individual that met us in the quaintly named 'Court of the Dead'. He had given his name as Orbest Dray in the vox message he had left for Dureen, claiming he had an important message for the Rogue Trader. In all honesty, even with my standard human senses, I could smell him before I saw him, it seemed as though he hadn't washed in years, had filthy matted hair, and was wearing the ragged remains of ships coveralls, covered with broken trinkets. He was very greatful for us meeting him, and told a story that in his younger days he had served as an officer aboard the Emperor's Testament part of the fleet belonging to a Rogue Trader named Vos Karlorn, and after being caught in a Warp storm, they had discovered an uncharted system. On arrival, their Astropath had picked up a distress call from a lost Imperial vessel, however, it was soon ascertained that this was an old echo from a ship named the Righteous Path. This ship dated from the days of the Angevin Crusade an the creation of the Calixis sector, and legend had it that her Captain had filled the ship with great wealth and treasures, going so far as to strip the vessel to make it all fit - I pitied the machine spirit of such a noble vessel, tortured in such a manner. After the re-discovery, Vos Karlorn felt that he didn't have the resources to exploit his find, so returned to Port Wander to try and raise an expedition to salvage the Righteous Path. Not willing to risk the loss of his hard won knowledge, he left Dray on Port Wander with a map of the location of the treasure ship, and headed out on his recruiting mission, never to return. Dray has been waiting for a century for someone to return to complete the salvage operation, and it appears that our Rogue Trader has a link to his old master. Dureen praised the man for his commendable loyalty, and offered him a place on the crew, which was accepted with an almost ecstatic joy. I just hope the Rogue Trader has the good sense to get him deloused first.
As the story unfolded, I became aware that we were in a crowded public place, and my sense of paranoia that has served me so well over my life caused me to send Yorrick on a high sweep of the area, and with my attention half on his sensorium feeds, I turned back to the meeting in front of me, in time to see Dray hand a small, sealed container to Dureen, which opened at Dureens touch. I surmised this to be a gene-coded stasis casket (correctly as it turned out), and it contained what looked to be smooth black stone. I was about to step forward to take a closer look at the casket, fascinated, as always, by the technology, when a warning chime from Yorrick forced my attention skywards, and I caught sight of a cybernetically enhanced bird swooping from the shadows of the chamber ceiling. I shouted a warning to my companions, however "Beware of the bird" appears to have been too little for their fleshy brains to comprehend, sometimes I wish I had stayed with the Mechanicus fleets, there, at least, the crews understand simple Gothic phrases!
As the bird swooped down and seized the stone, I unslung my Hellgun and tried to draw a bead on the villainous cyber-avian while the slack jawed flesh-bags stood unmoving, however, at this time the rest of the trap was sprung, and a number of armed men stepped from the shadows and opened fire on us, and this seemed significant enough to galvanise the others into action. Fortunately for us, the first salvo of fire seemed to be interdicted by a number of unfortunate bystanders, and our superior skill and training allowed us to quickly turn suprise into offence, and to win the gun battle, forcing the attackers to retreat, the few remaining healthy ones dragging their wounded with them leaving four of their number dead on the deck. The civilians hadn't be so lucky, with nearly twenty dead or severly wounded.
Understandably, I had been distracted during the shoot-out, focussed on killing our assailants, so I missed the avian thief dropping its stolen booty and our Rogue Trader, ably protected by the Warmaster, recovering it. As the others gathered to assess our situation, I walked over to the bodies of the assailents that I had killed, to look for clues as to their identity, or indeed that of their master, however was unable to discern anything of use. I did however notice that one had an almost perfectly shaped skull, and so claimed his body as a spoil of battle. Once again, a warning chime from Yorrick alerted me to some new arrivals, and an Arbites squad arrived, having already scooped up two of our assailants. The Arbites requested our presence at their Precinct, a request that Dureen refused, but did arrange to speak with their commanding officer from the Furnace of Redemption where he told the Sergeant in charge we were heading next. Strangely, Warmaster Hartek seemed more relieved to be clear of the Arbites presence than worried by the attack itself.
Safely back onboard the ship, I headed back to my workshop, to begin the process of creating my new servo skull, putting the unneccessary parts into the protein recycling tanks. Our wounded were delivered to the Chirurgeon for treatment, and Navigator Proscesu worked with the Astropath Choir Master Santoro Golgotha, together they were able to decipher the message on the stone from the stasis casket - it presented an astropathic mind image detailing a stellar location, and although noone aboard was able to identify that location, it gave us a starting point. Rogue Trader Dureen spoke via the vox to the commander of the Arbites, Precept-Marshall Kyra Valkyran, and arranged for himself and the Warmaster to visit here to present our perspective of the ambush. I have been informed by the Tech Priest maintining the vox that the good Warmaster did not look particularly happy with this arrangement, but acquiesced to the request of the Rogue Trader. I must try to find out where Kilgrims aversion to contact with the Arbites stems from...
I gave the two of them a copy of Yorricks recording of the ambush to hand to the Precept-Marshall, and they went to keep the appointment. The Navigator had hit on the idea of tracking down a Master Map Maker on the station to help decipher the stellar location that had been gleaned from the stone, and had been told that the very best was Magnate Scrivener Journ in the Chambers of Gold. He took Void Master Spence, and they too left the ship, heading for the Chambers of Gold. I stayed in my workshop, pleased that I could continue removing the unnecessary parts from my new servo skull.
Apparantly the meeting between the Rogue Trader, Warmaster Hartek, and Precept-Marshall Kyra Valkyran was amicable, for the most part, with our account of the ambush being bourne out by the facts and the circumstantial evidence (and Yorricks recording), however the Precept-Marshall obviously was not enamoured with Rogue Traders generally, largely because they operate outside the normal range of Imperial Law, and with out very solid evidence she is unable to act against them. Unfortunately, although she promised that intervention would be swift should hostilities break out again, my interpretaion of that was this was as much a warning to us not to look for revenge, as it was reassurance. She was also candid enough to reval that our attackers were in the employ of Hadarak Fel, from the vessel the Fel Hand, another Rogue Trader. I have since discovered that the Inquisitor who was the driving force behind the granting of the Dureen Warrant of Trade has an interest in this Rogue Trader himself. Truly, the ways of the Omnissiah are wonderous indeed. As I understand it, the meeting ended on a sour note because of some perceived slight aimed at the Arbites by the Rogue Trader, who, I believe has no great love of the Arbites due to certain experiences in his youth. What was actually said, has not been revealed, and I believe that our Rogue Trader may be regretting his hasty words. Of course he'll never admit that...
Navigator Proscesu and Void Master Spence were successful in their mission (and far more diplomatic), and quickly located Magnate Scrivener Journ in the Chambers of Gold. He readily agreed to help, and quickly identified the location we sought as the Egarian Dominion in Winterscale's Realm. If we agreed to transfer certain texts to a contact of his named Cyrus, on Footfall, he would provide a map for us, and promised that confidentiality in all dealings with us would be kept. After promising that the texts were not heretical in any way, although proscribed by the more puritan elements of the Ecclesiarchy, and after the Navigator had a brief vox conversation with the Rogue Trader, the deal was struck, and Armsmen sent from the ship to carry the boxes of texts back to the vessel. I hope the Rogue Trader has the good sense to keep that part of the bargain a secret from the Ships Confessor, or things could get complicated! Nevertheless, I have seen the charts that Journ created. They are exquisite, and well worth the price paid.
On their return to the vessel, Dureen called the command staff together for a briefing - I am considered part of that, which is useful, at least in keeping abreast of the flow of information, and passed on all that he'd learned from the Arbites. I asked them to wait a while, and briefly excused myself, and after a brief vox conversation with some of the servants of the Omnissiah in the docking arms, learning that the Fel Hand had left Port Wander at speed, shortly after the ambush had taken place. Armed with this new information, Rogue Trader Dureen recalled any crew still ashore, and we set off in persuit, unfortunately, our rival had a 12 hour headstart...
++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, THE KORONUS PASSAGE ++
I doubt that there'll be many among you that are unaware of the dangers of travel through the warp at the best of times. It is fair to say that warp travel in the Koronus Expanse rarely fits the "best of times" designation, and to travel into the Expanse through the Koronus Passage, skirting two huge warp storms, is as dangerous a passage as there is, as the dozens of missing ships will testify. It was with knowledge in mind that when we approached the Maw, we chose to wait to avoid a particularly violent warp eddy, unfortunately the crew became unsettled by delay, muttering about missing the chance to make good on collecting the treasure we were chasing. We really should keep a tighter rein on the rumour mill...
The nature of the journey into the Expanse requires a vessel to drop out of the warp and into realspace from time to time, to prevent it being dragged too far off course and being lost for good. Accordingly, we dropped into real-space at the Battleground, near enough the half way point through the Passage. It is an area of space full of dead and stripped ships, twisted wrecks, and debris, and I made my way to the bridge for a better view. The sight of all those dead ships shook me, and I muttered a silent prayer to the Omnissiah, for all the noble machine spirits silenced for good.
The Great Fortune.Suddenly, one of the bridge crew called out that a weak signal from a salvation beacon beacon was being detected in a nearby debris field. On interrogation, the beacon was revealed to be from a pilgrim ship, the Penitent Traveller. As we closed on the stricken vessel, I called out that this would be a perfect place for an ambush, and something had clearly damaged the Penitent Traveller, so we ran a scan of the area, however, this turned up no threat. My sense of paranoia was still nagging me though, and I obviously was not the only one with feelings of unease as the crew were ordered to action stations. Our suspicions were well founded as soon two vessels appeared from behind larger pieces of debris, and we were hailed by a self styled Admiral, Bully Hayes, demanding our surrender. Needless to say this was dismissed in short order, and we prepared for battle.
As we were effectively bracketed by the two pirate vessels, we quickly made the decision to turn towards the ship that appeared to be reacting the most quickly. This was a raider class vessel identified as The Revenge. As we turned in it opened fire with both macrobatteries and laser weapons, and the enemy was lucky, hitting our vessel repeatedly with the hab-sized macro shells, overloading our void shilds and damaging the hull, although fortunately not damaging anything critical. The ships captain, one Grace O'Malley, chose that moment to hail us to gloat, and in common with her fellow raider Captain, demand our surrender. We ignored the ignorant woman. Rogue Trader Dureen wrestled the ship into an advantageous position, and we found ourselves placed to return fire. The void shield crew worked to bleed off the excess power that overloaded the shield, and, repsonding to their drills and training, raised it again. Each of us worked to give Gunnery Void Master Spence the best possible firing solution, and he more than lived up to his reputation with perfectly aimed shots from both our melta-cannon and lance batteries leaving the enemy vessel on fire, listing badly, and trailing atmosphere, shattered hull fragments and the bodies of unfortunate crew caught in the spaces opened to the void. Perhaps I had been somewhat harsh in my initial summary of the man, he does seem to be able to interact with the machine spirits of the great weapon batteries of the Furnace of Redemption with ease. I may have to research his background and see whether his genetic line has had any connection with the Adeptus Mechanicus in the past.
The other pirate, The Great Fortune accelerated towards us to try to rescue her crippled sister ship, catching us with another macrobattery salvo, overloading the void shild again, and causing more damage to the hull, however again, not damaging anything critical. As the damaged ship drifted past us, we were hailed once more; this time a man identified himself as captain of the vessel, explaining that Captain O'Malley no longer lived, and accepted our terms to remove himself from the battle. Once again, Rogue Trader Dureen exhibited excellent piloting skills forcing the ship into a sharp one hundred and eighty degree turn, putting us on course to go head to head with the The Great Fortune which had just fired at us. We exchanged fire with the pirate at extreme range to no real effect on either ship, but, then as we closed we were hit by what I deduced to be an energy mine, leaching power from the plasma drive, reducing its capabilities by nearly two-thirds. I headed down to the drive chambers to attempt to counter this attack, and so missed the end of the battle, but have since reviewed the recordings.
We closed to within teleportarium range, and the Warmaster led the Penal Cohort in a lightning boarding action, disabling the void shield generator and setting fires in vital spaces. This superbly led, critical raid, was sucessfully completed with a loss of just twenty-one soldiers who had earned redmeption in the eyes of the Emperor. As soon as the Warmaster and his men were back on board, the gunnery teams opened fire with everything the had, devastating the enemey, and Bully Hayes quickly hailed us once more, this time to offer his surrender, which we graciously accepted.
Eventually, by the grace of the Omnissiah, I was able to detach the leach mine from the vessel, and we were able to rescue the stranded pilgrims from the Penitent Traveller. We took control of the two raiders, and they are now vessels of the Dureen Rogue Trader Dynasty, their crews and captains throwing their lot in with us, recognising that they have a greater chance of fortune working with us on our Holy journey. We took the damaged ships under tow, and placed a Navigator on each vessel and made the final leg of the trip to Footfall.
++ LOCATION: THE FURNACE OF REDEMPTION, FOOTFALL SYSTEM ++
I have assessed the status of all three vessels. The two raiders will need months of repair and refit before they can be properly void-worthy again, but they are worth salvaging. Most of their systems have been damaged, but none have been destroyed, their crews have suffered grievously, The Great Fortune losing over 14,000 people or 57% of their complement, with The Revenge losing over 8,000 people or 33% of their complement.
The Furnace of Redemption has suffered 60% hull damage, and will require a week or so of repairs, depending on the skills of the maintenance crews here, however, if pushed, we could continue our journey without delaying to fix the vessel. We have suffered losses of slightly over 5,200 loyal crew, may the Omnissiah watch over them, but we will continue on our quest in rememberance of their glorius sacrifice.
++ End of record ++