++++Journal of High Factotum Narcia++++Excerpts Concerning Ronin Aristarchus and Ophilus++++
++++Qualified Eyes Only++++
++++Note: I would include accurate date-stamps, but with all the Warp travel our ship does, I have given up on the attempt. I know that Grish seems to manage it, but he just retroactively edits his logs to include the proper dates. Instead I organize my journal by event.
+ Begin Selected Excerpts
+ A Naval Imperative
-While in the Furibundus system dealing with the aftermath of our encounter with the traitor Atellus, our Rogue Trader Shandra Zephyr was contacted by Admiral Horne, who sought to collect upon her owed debt to him. The Battlefleet officer wishes for us to deal with a piratical voidship which had been terrorizing shipping in Winterscale’s Realm. The Admiral had information that this ship, the Ronin Aristarchus, was currently somewhere within the Furibundus system, likely hiding in the outer reaches, but the ship had thus far evaded his detection. He suspects that the vessel has informants within Footfall and the surrounding stations that keep the crew of the Ronin Aristarchus apprised of his vessel’s movements. Accordingly, he wishes for us to hunt down the piratical voidship with our ship, which is not so closely monitored.
+ Locating the Ronin Aristarchus
-While it would be possible to survey the outer reaches of Furibundus, this would be time-consuming and conceivably complicated if the Ronin Aristarchus was mobile, so our wise Lord-Captain figured that she should first locate one the ship’s informants, for they may know the ship’s location. She was able to covertly locate such a person, a rating on shore-leave I am told, and was able to tease the desired information with little more than conversation. As it turns out, the ship was located within the system’s outer reaches.
+ Confrontation with the Ronin Aristarchus
-Our information was correct, for the Ronin Aristarchus was there. It is not surprising that the Imperial Navy had difficulty finding this vessel, for it has multiple technologies that enhance its stealth. But with confronted with a real fight that the ship cannot flee from, though the cowards did try, they found defeat as easily as a heretic finds rejection. Their captain, charismatic as the most dangerous heretics are, surrendered to the Lord-Captain under the condition that she spares the lives of his crew. She accepted these generous terms and claimed both crew and ship for the dynasty. With their captain now in our brig, she has given the order for us to return to Footfall, so that we may turn him over into naval custody.
+ Turning the Pirate Captain into Naval Custody
-We have met again with Admiral Horne’s vessel, and the Admiral was surprised to hear that the pirate captain still drew breath. Our Lord-Captain teleported the prisoner to the Admiral’s ship, so as to turn him over into his custody. The Admiral made it a point to have the pirate brought onto this bridge, and while in vid-vox contact with our Rogue Trader, shot him in the head with a naval pistol to communicate the folly of mercy. After this we parted ways with the Admiral to see to the dynasty’s most recent acquisition.
+ Discovering the Heathen World Ophilus
-In inspecting the Ronin Aristarchus, we discovered upon surveying the ship’s logs that the vessel had often orbitally moored around the unknown world Ophilus, a human world lost to the Emperor’s guidance. Our Rogue Trader decided that we should investigate this world, and using the information from the Ronin Aristarchus’s logs, set a course to it. The warp voyage was long, but uneventful, for Plath seems to have become better at her job since her previous failures. We have found the world right where our information should put it.
+ First Contact with Ophilus
-Upon approaching the world, Trix detected a great deal of vox broadcasts coming from it, and these were placed under a great deal of scrutiny before we contacted the locals. This had revealed to us that Ophilus has a technically advanced and convolutedly complex society. Power on the world is distributed between a series of powerful states, corporations, and syndicates, though it also seems some sort of aquatic xenos called O’ashins placed in a role of significance in the power structure. These xenos, judging from Ophilian picts, are tentacled, gargantuan, radial crustaceans. Our Lord-Captain made contact with one of the world’s corporations, OCAS Heavy Industries, and while they were aware of spacefaring humans beyond their world, they were ignorant of the Imperium, the God-Emperor, and Holy Terra. Apparently it is the heretical belief of these people that they were created by the O’ashins.
+ Interactions with the Ophilians
-While we wait to speak one of the world’s two councils of ruling bodies, one for the states and one for the corporations, Our Rogue Trader, the ork, and the kroot have received invitations to participate in something the Ophilians call “talk shows.” The Lord-Captain conducted herself admirably and even the ork managed to not kill anyone, at least in the talk show. On the planet, the ork decide to pursue Ophilian weapon wares in a city called Expol, part of the Casian state. There, he angered something called a cyberknight, a bionically enhanced warrior sworn to a code of honor and feudal service to one of the world’s powers. Apparently, this cyberknight, affiliated with a corporation called the Wykoiva Consolidate, sensibly took offense at the presence of xenos on a rightfully human world. He challenged the ork to a formal duel… that he unfortunately lost. However, since the ork killed him within the rules of the duel, it was allowed to leave unharassed.
+ Meeting with some of the World’s Leaders
-The Lord-Captain has met with the Intercorporate Council, an assembly of Ophilus’s most powerful corporations’ appointed representatives. There she was examined and questioned by them after speaking about the God-Emperor and his Holy Imperium. Afterwards, the representatives for two corporations contacted our vessel. Wykoiva Consolidate seemingly shares many values with the Imperium, and desired to ally with us and take the world for the Imperium, with them ruling the planet of course. Our Rogue Trader thought them touched by madness and so declined. Another corporation, Zecrys Global, was interested in contacting the Adeptus Mechanicus, for they too shared a belief that the human body was improved by incorporated machinery. Though… some of their other views are questionable. They seek to transfer their souls into cogitators or some such insanity, and shelter abominable intelligences that are regrettably present on the world. The Lord-Captain did agree to put them into contact with the Adeptus Mechanicus, introducing some of our enginseers to them.
+ Ophilian Intruders
-A team of infiltrators from the world below snuck onto our voidship. It seems their plot was to gain entrance into our warp drive and detonate an explosive there, which could have very well opened a warp rift and doomed both the Dragon Song and Ophilus. They had a snake-tongued confidence artist with them, who attempted to talk the ork into allowing them access, and nearly succeeded, until the ork concluded that the Ophilian should be doing what the ork told him, rather than the other way around, because he was smaller than the ork. A fight broke out, and though the con artist was defended by a rogue cyberknight, but both were slain by the xeno quickly. They also had some sort of spy or infiltrator, who attempted to break into the Enginarium, but was caught by the tech-priests. He was dealt with harshly for violating their sanctum. We attempted to discern who they served, but could not discern whom.
+ Meeting the O’ashins
-The aquatic xenos of the world, the O’ashins, had requested to meet with the Lord-Captain upon a small inland in one of Ophilus’s oceans. She agreed to the arrangement, and went to see the enigmatic aliens. I was not there, but I am told that these events occurred. First, the O’ashins, revealed to be psykers, probed the depths and our Rogue Trader’s mind and plundered all knowledge she had of the Imperium. Then they disclosed the existence of a Tzeentchian Chaos cult on the world that was perpetually kept in check by the O’ashins who opposed them and their influence, and that it was the cultists who had sent the team of infiltrators. Lord-Captain Shandra inquired as to how they were able to be psykers, face the followers of Chaos, and yet be protected from the corruption of the Warp. The O’ashins demonstrated that they can, through a ritual involving the ritual sacrifice of a human witch, grant themselves something akin to the sanctioning that Imperial psykers possess. The O’ashins then expressed their desire for Ophilus to join the Imperium, so that it may be protected by the Imperium’s strength, and that they would aid in this endeavor if they were declared sanctioned xenos. Our Rogue Trader returned to the ship without giving them a definite answer.
+ An Inquisitorial Message
-Approximately two weeks following the meeting with the O’ashins, the Emperor’s Mercy, the renamed Emperor’s Pride, unexpectedly arrived in the system. Apparently, the ship bore an urgent missive from Inquisitor REDACTED, who requested that Shandra destroy the O’ashins as a subversive threat to the Imperium. The Inquisitor also chastised the Lord-Captain for allowing the xenos to so freely pillage her mind, and communicated that such a lapse in judgment would not be tolerated again. Why the inquisitor chose to deliver this message by ship rather than astrotelepathy is a mystery to me, but it is best if one does not inquire into the methods of the Holy Ordos. The Emperor’s Mercy then left the system to return to its Footfall berth.
+ Slaying the O’ashins
-Our Rogue Trader sensibly began to create a plan to eradicate the O’ashins immediately. She contacted our business partners, the Footfall Thulians, imploring them for their aid in creating a virus bomb tailored to kill O’ashins only. For a discounted cost, they agreed to send a team of genetors, though we’d have to send the Sword of Tallarn to transport them here and acquire a sample of O’ashin biomaterial. With the Sword of Tallarn sent on its voyage, while we inquired into the world’s criminal markets to acquire the needed sample. By Ophilian standards, the sample was not cheap, but we managed to afford it. The Sword of Tallarn returned some weeks later with the genetors on board, and they began their work with haste. Soon, several virus bombs were prepared, and we teleported them onto the planet, activated them, and teleported the spent casings back to the ship so as to leave no evidence. Within a week, signs of its lethal spread amongst the O’ashins became apparent.
+ Preparations for War
-Though we left no evidence of the virus bombs on the planet, the O’ashins seem to be aware that we are responsible, and began using their considerable influence to mobilize forces with which to drive us from the planet and eliminate our allies on the world. Initially, the forces arrayed against our allies, the Barad-Gildire Union, the Democratic People’s Republic of Rawic, The Rawican Sot, Wykoiva Consolidate and Zecrys Global were overwhelming, but we were able to buy the allegiance of Nanelec Multinational, and the dark eldar was able to sway the leaders of the Casian Federation to our cause, and with them came OCAS Heavy Industries, for it was heavily tied to the Casian Federation. All in all, on the O’ashin’s side are the Arenmer Republic, the Garcha Cartels, the Kossima Rings, the Kingdom of Nakila, and Takach Unlimited against us and our allies. The Dorova-Fathid Corporation has been crippled, for its primarily O’ashin leadership has been substantially thinned out. It will be too busy dealing with this internal crisis to participate in the war.
+ An Inevitable Xenos Incident
-The orks and kroot on the ship have had some sort of violent confrontation, which left one of the orks and three of the kroot dead. The Lord-Captain was upset by this, I suppose for losing mercenaries, but I think she needs to remember that when aliens kill each other, it is humanity that wins. Our Rogue Trader with Pa’ka and Gorukk were able to make peace between the kroot and the orks. I am told the kroot had some sort of old enmity with orks, and that the orks simply enjoyed fighting.
+ The War for Ophilus
-As war was now unavoidable on Ophilus, and the Lord-Captain was determined to end it as quickly as possible. Troublingly, the REDACTED. However, this was dealt with by REDACTED. Our Rogue Trader decided to lead an attack to slay or capture the Kingdom of Nakila’s leadership, figuring that since it was closely tied to the owners of Takach Unlimited doing so may disable both. Surveying the Ophilians’ laughably penetrable communications networks, it was quickly ascertained that they had taken refuge in a remote mountain fortress. The Lord-Captain, the Kroot, the ork, and a mixed contingent of armsmen, kroot mercenaries, and ork mercenaries teleported into the installation, and a battle was soon born. Guarding the facility was a number of cyberknights, common soldiers, and an O’ashin. The kroot was nearly downed, his conversion field overloaded by mass stubber fire. The ork was made a puppet by the O’ashin’s sorcery and tore the Lord-Captain’s legs asunder, incapacitating her and almost killing her. The ork then did shake off the O’ashin’s control and laid it low. We then teleported the unconscious O’ashin into our cargo hold. The defenders, having seen their false-god defeated and stolen, surrendered to our forces, sadly now lead by the ork. The ork forced a formal surrender from Nakila’s royalty, and Takach Unlimited, owned by a Nakilan noble house, surrendered as they were customarily obligated. It took another three months for the Arenmer Republic to surrender. The syndicates left to fight alone, ceased hostilities in the face of such odds and we could claim victory; victory for the Imperium of Man. However, bringing salvation to the Ophilians will take more work.
+ Reconstruction, Part 1
-The aftermath of the war left much of Ophilus in a damaged state, for while the nations were localized, the corporations had fortresses all over the world and the syndicates knew no borders. As a result, every population center saw some amount a fighting. Fortunately, the corporations had a good amount of emergency supplies hidden away in secretive and secure locations, for industrial sabotage is apparently a common means by which they relate with each other and they were intelligently prepared to deal with that reality. The Lord-Captain combined the Intercorporate Council and the Ophilian States’ Congress into a single two house governmental body that collectively appoints a planetary governor for five year terms. The amount of the vote that each corporation or state has is to be dependent on how much it contributes to the planet’s tithe. It was apparent to us that the world was in need of spiritual and technological guidance, so we decided to take the Dragon Song to Port Wander to petition the Ecclesiarchy and Mechanicum while the Sword of Tallarn was to be left behind to oversee the world’s development.
+ An Unusual Encounter with the Kroot
-In traveling to Port Wander through the Maw, Plath missed the mark entirely. Instead of exiting in the Rubycon II system, we exited in an uncharted system near the coreward side of the Koronus Passage. An augury of the system revealed a long-crashed transport emitting the voidfarer’s prayer for aid. Our Rogue Trader and her xeno retinue went down investigate. What they found at first seemed to be feral descendants of those how survived the crash, still inhabiting the ship of their ancestors and still devout to Him on Earth. However, a closer examination revealed something quite disturbing. These things were actually descended from kroot mercenaries that this vessel had hired, which had so gorged upon the ship’s human crew that their descendants were almost indistinguishable from humans. These humanized kroot had then been converted to the worship of the Emperor by the ship’s still functioning autotemple, and had come to believe themselves human. They even called the Lord-Captain’s kroot, Pa’ka, xeno filth, for they failed to recognize one of their own kind. Rather than exterminate the sacrilegious abominations, the Lord-Captain, for reasons I cannot fathom, decided to bring them onto our ship. Xenos with an established taste for human flesh. Xenos that profane the Emperor’s name with their unworthy alien tongues. On our ship! …. We left the system and continued to Port Wander following that.
+ Acquiring Priestly Aid
-At Port Wander, our Rogue Trader met with the head of the station’s Adeptus Mechanicus, Magos Toronos. Given our exemplary reputation with the Priests of Mars, it was easy to secure a mission of their faith to accompany us back to Ophilus. Securing the aid of the Missionarus Galaxia required more effort. The clerics of the God-Emperor were reluctant to aid a mutant, but they recognized to the need to bring the Emperor’s holy light to the Ophilians, and so divined a test to ascertain the Emperor’s will. If Shandra wished their help, she would have to consent to have her wings, the sign of her spiritual corruption, torn off in the Emperor’s temple, and if the Emperor showed his favor by allowing her to survive, then they would send a mission with us to Ophilus. If she were to die however, this would be the sign that she and her endeavor did not have the Emperor’s blessing, and we would not receive their aid. Our Rogue Trader, freshly recovered from her injuries in the war, consented to this test. With the vice of a labor servitor, her wings were ripped from her back one by one, and though she passed out from blood loss, she lived. As she was clearly favored by the God-Emperor and her cause was demonstrated to be similarly blessed, the Adeptus Ministorum agreed to help us. It took a month for the Adepti Mechanicus and Ministorum to muster their missionaries, but we did receive them.
+ Reconstruction, Part 2
-With our Lord-Captain, blessed by the Emperor, in life support on the medicae deck, we departed for Ophilus. We arrived without any trouble with the warp, additional proof of the Emperor’s approval for our task, and soon deposited the missionaries to begin their holy work. While progress had been made in rebuilding Ophilus, there was much damage left, and many corporate shares of dead owners yet unpurchased. Our Rogue Trader with her vast wealth bought up these shares and invested heavily in all of Ophilus’ corporations, so now as the planet rebuilds we shall a good portion of its profits.
+ End Selected Excerpts
++++Thought for the day: There is no salvation without suffering.++++