The God-Emperor's Inquisition

Mission: Harbinger of Sorrows

Ref Inq/93638857-284:409
Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Harbinger of Sorrows
Location: Border of Malfian Subsector and Halo Region
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

Basic outline:

  • Arrival

After several weeks of transit aboard a comissioned Rogue Trader vessel, the acolytes dropped out of warp near the legendary Space Hulk: Harbinger of Sorrows. Also in the system, requested by Lord Inquisitor Constantine himself was a significant force of deathwatch space marines. Together, they were tasked with several retrieval missions while aboard the hulk. However, their first task was to secure a landing site and in order to do so, they were to be accompanied by the Astartes themselves.

They arrived via Thunderhawk Gunship through an active void bay with atmospheric preservation shields intact. When the hatches blew open, the Marines were immediately scanning and securing a perimeter, but all was silent. The acolytes developed a deep understanding of the phrase “quiet as the grave”. With the perimeter of the void bay cleared, the acolytes were able to begin their task. They would soon discover that their given tasks were going to become far more complicated than they believed.

  • Aggamand
  • Vengeance of Terra
  • Lance of Khaine
  • back to the Vengeance of Terra relatively briefly
  • extraction

[REMAINDER OF RECORD RESTRICTED]

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus

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Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

Mandatory Rest

Upon completion of their tasks aboard the Harbinger of Sorrows, including predefined mission objectives in addition to enacting measures above and beyond what was required. The acolytes were thoroughly tested and while low levels of corruption were detected in most of the members of the team, purification efforts were successful and they were deemed worthy of continued service to the Inquisition, narrowly avoiding termination. Due to their condition, they were forced to go through a period of mandatory leave presumably to allow their bodies to recover from such intense warp contact.

They arrived aboard a commerce vessel and disembarked in high orbit on a transfer shuttle. When they arrived, they first secured a place to stay with the outright purchase of an upper spire mansion by the newly unlocked funds of Lady Odessa. With additional funds given to all of the acolytes, they were able to afford to live a higher lifestyle for at least a short while.

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-2

Ref Inq/93638857-284:409
Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

Selian-17 Primary Hive

Selian Primary is a bustling hive like any other located about one lifter flight from the nearest ocean floor gas mines. However, the Throne Agents soon discovered that the moon was only home to two hives and that most of the world was left to a more natural state. Once their residence was secured, they arranged for new (and much needed) clothing from the best tailors of the hive.

Praetus investigated the cathedral at the top of the spire while Zarkov was able to speak with the adeptus mechanicus foreman of a local manufactorium about a particular worker who was approached by the group upon arrival for directions. This worker [Ref. 00288456538-G24] had experienced degradation of his physical form during a refinery accident and was relegated to stationary manufactorium duty as an alternative. His deformities included skin and bone weakening as well as internal organ failure to the extent that the augmetics required for replacement were well beyond his pay grade and would have required significant biological regeneration before such cybernetics could even have been attempted.

Upon hearing about the healing pools, and the difficulty of reaching them, the agents began their preparations for the journey and arranged for a lifter to take them from the Spire to a landing field on the western outskirts of the hive where they could facilitate travel to the mountains and hopefully to the pools themselves for both recreational and research purposes. (Though for the techpriest, the research was the recreation.)

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-3

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Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

The Healing Pools

Once the agents arrived at the landing field, they were able to meet with the worker who they agreed to take to the healing pools on the chance that they did have curative properties and it would be able to help him. They soon discovered, however, that finding a pilot willing to take them to the pools was much more difficult than they had hoped. Due to the constriction of the mountain passes and the unpredictable weather patterns at higher altitudes around them, the lifters normally only dropped passengers at the much more stable foothills, but from there it is generally several days of hiking and climbing with a guide to be able to reach the entrance to the pools. Since they were unsure of how long their mandatory leave would last, the agents wanted to ensure reliable travel to and from the pools.

The normal lifter pilots were not allowed to take passengers up to the entrance using company vehicles, nor would they be willing to risk their own on such a risky task. They did, however, recommend a pilot without a name as far as they knew. He owned his own flyer, a decommissioned Imperial Navy heavy fighter/bomber designed for VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) capability. Its maneuverability allowed it to reach where standard lifters are unable to compensate for rough weather patterns.

He charged a significant fee, but the group paid and were quickly aboard and on their way to the healing pools. Upon arrival, they were met with icy winds in a high mountain pass that chilled them to the bones. There was an enormous standard Imperial bulkhead door set in to the mountainside. The pilot activated the door and they ground open on ancient gears. Upon entering, they arranged for rooms and then went in to the cave springs. Overall, it was relaxing and the worker was incredibly thankful to be granted this honor. Zarkov and Zir were busy analyzing the waters, though for drastically different purposes. Ultimately, they discovered something unusual with the pool in the far back of the cave, the pool in which the worker was soaking. Nanobots.

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-4

Ref Inq/93638857-284:409
Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

The Black Sarcophagus

Not long after the nanobot discovery, the wall next to that very pool collapsed, revealing a peculiar sight. Around the edges of the opening, a different material was seen, one that exhibited traits of both stone and metal and it was a solid matte black. Some of the group, the techpriest among the first, entered this room and noticed the massive, rectangular object in the center of the room as well as the inset almost circuit-like patterns in the walls.

When the pilot had very little reaction to the wall collapse as well as his general nonresponsiveness to questioning by the temporarily attached psyker, she threatened him. This was the wrong course of action even without knowing his previous military service record. Upon being assaulted, he responded by throwing one of his concealed knives and making a light gash in her side. When she persisted, she wound up with another knife snagged in her flesh, though it was still only a slight wound. After this point, she seemingly learned her lesson.

Meanwhile, Zir, the cell’s primary psyker, came to a very disturbing conclusion about the room. Every area he had ever set foot in had a residual psychic reading from where humanity or even xeno races had left an imprint or felt some emotion. This area had none whatsoever. The feeling was so jarring to him that he backpedaled out of the room and into the main chamber that housed the springs. Praetus and Zarkov, on the other hand, had taken to conducting a closer examination of the sarcophagus and the nine hemispheres on its surface.

One experiment the techpriest initiated was to feed a slight bit of energy through his frame and see how a globe would react. The result was startling. The first hemisphere seemed to feed on his energy and began to glow a dull green, but when he attempted to draw his hands away, he found that he could not. The thing was siphoning off his power and another globe began to glow. Eventually, he was able to pull away with the help of the cleric, but against his better judgment (or not; the minds of those devoted to the Mechanicus are foreign in their workings to mere humans) he repeated the process, being pulled away if he were to lose consciousness, until all nine of the half-globes were glowing, their light providing a dim, eerie illumination of the matte black chamber. At the instant the last globe was powered, the entire sarcophagus lifted approximately 3cm off the floor and was able to be pushed with little effort. Another peculiarity soon showed itself when moving the object about, and that was that it seemingly lacked inertia and stopped immediately when Zarkov stopped pushing.

Of course, they reached the conclusion (Zarkov mostly) that this would be of great value to the Adeptus Mechanicus for further study and they hovered the box out of the black room to move it for transport. The pilot, however, had made himself scarce without a word to the group and was heading to his aircraft when the assassin noticed his absence. Rushing out into the freezing temperatures from the hot springs, her assassin’s training took hold and she barely felt the biting cold as her body followed a preprogrammed subconscious routine of circulation. She managed to get the pilot to stay for a few minutes more, though it was going to cost the group significantly per person to allow the “cargo” aboard. There was a storm coming as well, and this delay only increased the risk of being caught in it. The pilot knew more about the storms than the agents; rumors told of strange things that dwelt in the massive mountain storms that occasionally hammered this region of the planet. Things that scoured the mountain peaks and valleys. Outrunning them was going to be no easy task, but then again they were just rumours…

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-5

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Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

The Magos

The flight back to the lifter field was quite rough, be it turbulence or something else. The Thunderbolt landed intact and the agents unloaded their curious cargo. Their next task was to secure transportation for themselves and the black sarcophagus. Zarkov immediately contacted the Adeptus Mechanicus representative on planet and notified him about the discovery. Needless to say, the Magos was interested in securing the artifact; Zarkov accompanied the object to the Mechanicus facility where the Magos and his team conducted a cursory inspection and interview before taking it inside for further study. An arrangement was made to enable the Mechanicus to share the information with the Inquisition upon discovery. Also, the Throne Agents were to accompany a Mechanicus team to Scintilla in several days. Their facilities are much more advanced and some dedicated to technological “research”. In the meantime, however, the Agents had a few days to enjoy the remainder of their mandatory rest period; the rest period which was to be cut short by their escort of the Adeptus Mechanicus Magos and the Black Sarcophagus. One of the more interesting events of their down time was the upper spire noble’s gala.

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-6

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Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

The Gala

Before they left, the group had their measurements taken and formal clothing created for them. The garments were ready shortly after their return, just in time for the gala. Needless to say, it was important for Lady Odessa to make an appearance, as her purchase of such a significant property indicated (to the local nobles, at least) a sudden potential for rivalry, or at the very least someone with an interest in the rich and valuable gases from the mining facilities in the oceans. While at the gala, they had an opportunity to meet and mingle with various nobility, mostly local but a surprising number of off-worlders were present.

One surprising attendee was the pilot, but looking at him it was difficult to tell it was even the same man. He was announced as Colonel Atellus Castus; a retired Imperial Navy officer who, as it was later discovered by Praetus, was a highly decorated war hero of several crusades known throughout the Imperium. He acted nothing like the sociopathic, near-silent pilot they knew from before, but an eloquent and social nobleman. Something that some of the agents were severely lacking.

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Mission: The Black Sarcophagus-7

Ref Inq/93638857-284:409
Author: [RESTRICTED]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

In Transit

After a couple more days of luxury and some more tailoring work, the time had come for the Throne Agents to depart from Selian-17 and escort the Magos to Scintilla on orders from Inquisitor Constantine. The group left Selian-17 and boarded an Adeptus Mechanicus explorator vessel designed to be able to conduct research while on the move. Their quarters aboard the ship were…efficient to say the least; the Mechanicus does not invest much effort in making things comfortable as comfort is inefficient.

The vessel left orbit and entered the warp on schedule after all normal preparations had been made. This was not to be an easy trip, however; they rarely are when the Inquisition is involved. Not long from the transit to warp travel, the cogitators in various places on the ship registered power fluctuations and outages. When there was no response from the Magos, this drew suspicion from the Throne Agents and some went to the laboratory-vault to check on him.

When they arrived on site a midst power outages, a brutal scene awaited them. The Magos was dead and from the appearance of the body and the damage to the surrounding area, he was vivisectioned (dissected while alive). What was worse, it turned out that the half spheres were actually whole spheres that had been inset into the black box. Even worse news than that: one was missing. When the lights turned off again, there was a metallic scurrying noise that went out the door. The lights came back on moments later to reveal two spheres gone without a trace; with power fluctuating throughout the ship and the Magos dead, unexpected problems were adding up.

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Journal 1 - Solaria

Ref Inq/93638857-284:410
Author: [Solaria]
Subject: Mission Analysis
Name: Black Sarcophagus
Location: Selian-17
Sector: Calixis
Access Grade: Inquisition Classified

While in the warp Zarkov has found an army of Tech Servants that will obey his every command. While ordering them around the little Scarab Necrons are creating holes in the some sort of pattern. They were trying to find the power and cut it off. We are running around trying to avoid the little ones and get to the armory, because when we boarded the ship that did not allow us to have our weapons on hand. As we are running there, there is an anomaly with energy spikes. We need to get to the astropath and tell him to get us out of warp. We see a video feed of the thing that just vaporized a good number of the Tech Servants. Send out a distress signal for any sort of assistance.

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What is a "Necron"? - Haxta Odessa
We arrived at Selian-17 to partake in a long needed rest and we were assured that we would be met with a great amount of relaxation. I acquired a new home there: after my hiatus from my monetary funds, I feel that it was a good expenditure and am looking forward to visiting there often. The main attraction on Selian-17 is their healing hot springs that are located up in the mountains. During our visit to the springs, a rock wall came tumbling down and we came across a suspicious black box.

We brought the box back with us and loaded it on our ship. However while in the warp, we encountered a humanoid-like creature and what appeared to be mechanical beetles. Hostile. And destructive. After retreating to the navigation helm and shutting bulkheads on our way, our techpriest was able to assess the damage: real-space engines were completely shut off and the warp engines were not far behind. We directed our psykers to send out SOS messages and asked our navigator to get us out of the warp as soon possible.

On our exit from the warp, we were intercepted by a Xenos ship — Eldar — and they informed us of what we had brought aboard: a Xenos species that I, and my colleagues, are unfamiliar with: the Necron. They are destructive and are capable of extreme regeneration. The box, which they called a sarcophagus, was destroyed with the Eldar equivalent of a melta-gun. That is the only way to destroy these monstrosities.

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