Sitting in his private chambers, Lord-Captain Cornelius Orthesian reviewed the contents of the dataslate one last time. This dataslate, badly damaged, was all that remained of whatever had been stored in the sealed chest they had found aboard the Light of Terra — the rest had been stolen by that traitor, Pol.
Cornelius cursed his own foolishness. The chest had been marked with the seal of the Orthesian Dynasty — why hadn’t he opened it sooner? Instead, his obsession with finding the Dread Pearl had distracted him, and now he would never know what else had been in there. Pol got away with it all, leaving behind only this damaged dataslate.
Three documents were all that could be salvaged from the dataslate — and even those were fragmented.
The first document read:
004013.131.G | 055871. 862.C | 1X37X4.R
Warp coordinates, Nebula had confirmed. The last portion of the coordinates were damaged, but Nebula and her apprentice, Reymalon, had managed to narrow it down to one of three possible locations within the Koronus Expanse — an asteroid field near the Rifts of Hecaton, a planet marked as forbidden by the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the Ork infested planet, Tusk.
Yet, would it even be worth it to pursue any of the three possible locations, when there was no indication of the actual significance of the coordinates?
The next document was a message with large portions of the information missing:
From: Ador Corphus, Factotum, Glaeser Foundry
The order from //REDACTED// has been received from Magos //REDACTED//. Progress will begin following the initial payment, and pending the timely arrival of //REDACTED// from //REDACTED//. Given the experimental nature of the program, expect a number of potential delays. Nonetheless, the Glaeser Foundry shall do all within their power to complete the program before //REDACTED//.
On a personal note, I must express my concerns that //DATA CORRUPTED//
Once again, this document left more questions than it answered. Inessa had done the research though, and she informed Cornelius that the Glaeser Foundry was actually a former business partner of the Orthesian Dynasty, in the early days following the Angevin Crusade. However, the only Ador Corphus she could find that had ties to the Glaeser Foundry had lived four hundred years earlier — long after the disappearance of the Orthesians.
The final document intrigued Cornelius the most, perhaps just due to their recent brush with the Eldar at the Dread Pearl, but perhaps there was more to it than just that. The document appeared to be a personal log belonging to an Inquisitor, of the Ordo Xenos, Inquisitor Staven Arcturos.
Subject: Concerning Farseer Naiara
This is third time we have crossed paths with the enigmatic Farseer, and I fear it may be the last. Captain Roth, ever faithful to the Imperium of Man, insists that he won’t hold back his macrocannons if the Whispering Blade is ever in his sights again.
But the message she left — I struggle to comprehend. It had the sound of a riddle, but the weight of a dire warning.
Would that I could master their art, to have the truth unfurled before me, as she does.
The mind of the Farseer is utterly inhuman in its depth and complexity. Without mercy or moral feeling, her consciousness stands upon the edge of spiritual destruction. That she does not fall must be a result of constraints and balances that only an Eldar could understand. To a mere Human it is yet another reminder that we are but children in comparison to that ancient and powerful race.
I am but a child — yet I feel I am on the precipice, so close to something greater.
Caiaphas would scoff at my interests in foresight, feign indignation that one of my station should seek such an intimate understanding of the Xenos, but he recognized its importance. Without it, after all, he would never have begun his crusade for the Shattersphere.
When one truly understands fate as it is, myriad branching paths, then one can truly see that duty is cleaving to a particular fate, and glory is the accomplishment of duty’s ends. I believe that Caiaphas understands this principle, but fears to do so openly.
Here I go on about Caiaphas, yet I don’t even know that he still lives. More than two-score years have passed, and neither myself nor my contacts among Xenos Hybris have found even the slightest trace of the Blessed Vanguard.
I care not what Captain Roth says — I would like to encounter Naiara again.
Inquisitor Staven Arcturos, records suggested, had last been seen embarking on the Blessed Vanguard, the flagship of the Orthesian Dynasty, not two years before their disappearance. And yet, the date on this log — nearly one thousand years later.
The Inquisitor mentions Captain Roth — no doubt Captain Drakken Roth, captain of the Light of Terra, God-Emperor bless his soul. The Light of Terra disappeared in 471.M40, four years following this log. From the sound of it, the Inquisitor had been travelling aboard the Light of Terra. What was his fate? Had he still been aboard the grand cruiser when it suffered the damage that had left it drifting for a millennium? Was a remnant of his seed to be found among the degenerate crewmembers that remained aboard that ancient vessel?
And who was this Eldar farseer?
Cornelius didn’t like it. Everything seemed to tie together, yet none of it made sense.