A year has passed – an uneventful, quiet year, filled with study, leisure, and the occasional ship inspection. But the Prometheus was recently declared repaired by the Disciples of Thule. With our flagship ready to depart, we sent the Argent Blade through the warp storms to seek out more people to hire and goods to stock up with, while our motley group discussed how best to proceed. It was decided that perhaps our best course of action was to head for Ilisk, the small, dead planet near the edges of the Hecaton Rifts. That was our best lead on Caiaphus Orthesian.
When the Argent Blade returned, we met several new and interesting recruits with potential – a new leader for our psyker choir, among others.
Once we were prepped to go, I prepared by painting the auguries, which ended up involving… some spaghetti.
The psychic tunes baffled me, and though I detected a great deal of profitable possibilities in our future, I simply could not tell what the mood of the Warp was. Nevertheless, we prepared to enter the warp, pulling up the Gellar Field and starting the warp engines. However, before we were fully ready, the ship was wrenched into the warp by some unseen force. Across the ship, systems went wild, servitors ceased their tasks and began screaming, and hallucinations abounded. Our systems proved unresponsive. Navigational and piloting powers were locked. Inessa managed to decieve half of the crew into believing that, and I quote, “Everything is fine!” Despite this, chaos still ran rampant, and I think a large portion of people were having hallucinations of Khorne.
While I remained on the bridge, snapping orders and trying to restore some semblance of sanity, the rest of our group worked to find the source of the issue. Apparently our new psyker, whose name escapes me, sensed an issue with the warp drives themselves – something locked on, controlling the drives. I hear they found some sort of warp maggot, which Lumi chose to grab with her bare hands and rip from the warp engines, so furious was she that the beast was hurting the Prometheus. It’s rather cute how she treats the ship like her child.
Either way, the shaking and screaming servitors eventually ceased, causing a calm to fall over the ship. When the crew returned, it was discovered that our instruments were still down, and that we were locked in a gravity field, unable to fly or warp away. At the center of this gravity field was a construct of what appeared to be Yu’Vath origin, and around it were some dozen ships – maybe still functioning, maybe not – and an asteroid, or small moon. Shortly after some peace was reinstated, we were contacted by a group of Eldar, also apparently stuck.
“We need your help,” the messenger on the screen informed us. “We have a way to get out, but we cannot achieve it. There are two civilizations here with components that we can use to infiltrate and destroy the structure causing this gravity field, but we cannot obtain them because… the people do not trust us. Because we are Eldar.”
“Dark Eldar,” I mutter.
The main portion of the crew is instantly suspicious, against helping the xenos. The Dark Eldar had never been anything but trouble to us before, so I understand, but still. Not even a little curious? Eldar have powerful technology, and they were stuck by a simple gravity field?
After some discussion with the Dark Eldar messenger, they decided to go to these two civilizations and find these items that may help in our escape, though the crew still wasn’t particularly interested in working with the xenos. I opted to stay behind, and jumped over to the Argent Blade to visit Josephine and make sure she was okay after what happened in the warp.
Later I heard that while the group that went to the Brotherhood civilization had virtually no issues, and basically went in and out, the other group accidentally summoned a demon, nearly died, and almost killed the man they were supposed to be bargaining with.
It seems that space grants us no kindnesses in our travels.
The Dark Eldar had offered us assistance in navigation the Yu’Vath Fortress and finding the thing to blow up, but it seemed the group who had gone to the Brotherhood ship had different plans – in order to obtain help from the God-Emperor fearing monks, they had promised to launch the asteroid into the Fortress, effectively killing off the entire civilization there. Apparently these monks hold a hefty grudge.
With little argument about the ethical implications of such a maneuver, we completed it, only bothering to save two people from the asteroid first – a woman who had apparently been helpful, and the leader of the civilization who had nearly burnt to death in the demon fight. Sometimes I question the choices my crew makes, but I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m out of my family’s reach, so I can’t be too upset, I suppose.
The destruction of the construct sent out a wave of psychic energy, revealing to us the Fortress’s past, from when it was destroyed backwards. Of great importance, it showed us a time when Caiaphus Orthesian got caught here and used some artifact to escape. Then, at the very beginning of the Fortress’s existence, it was shown to have housed an impossibly powerful artifact. The name resonated in our minds: Shattersphere. It was clear that the artifact was the fully constructed version of the pieces Caiaphus had later used to escape this same gravity field.
After the vision passed, we received a message from our other ship that the Prometheus had left without a trace, or a message. Simply vanished into the warp. This upset us all, especially Lumi, and the immediate consensus was that we had to track it down.
When the Eldar contacted us again, they didn’t seem bothered by our change of plans at all. This time, instead of the messenger, the captain of the ship greeted us.
“My name is Salaine Morne. And you,” she said, leveling her finger at the camera, “the Orthesian Dynasty, owe me a favour.”
“What’s that?” someone, maybe Inessa, asked.
“Long ago, when your ancestor… Clancy? Cognacious? Caiaphus! When Caiaphus Orthesian passed through the twin warp storms, he stopped on my Nexus of Shadows and stole something of great value from me: a piece of the Shattersphere.”
Shock rippled through the group. Feigning ignorance, Inessa asked what the Shattersphere was.
“It is of no importance. Suffice it to say that it is valuable, and meant a great deal to me. However, I will let bygones be bygones if you will assist me in taking back the Nexus of Shadows.”
After some deliberation, and realizing that we couldn’t possibly escape the Eldar ship in the Argent Blade, we decided to strike a deal – they help us find the Prometheus, and we help Salaine take back the Nexus of Shadows. She explained that if we took back the Nexus first, she’d have access to an enormous network of spies and allies to help us find our ship, and we begrudgingly agreed to her terms – Nexus first, then Prometheus. She accepted these terms, then left with an armada of ships – far more than had been around the Fortress earlier. We must not have noticed their arrival.
One small transport ship stayed behind, and Charlabelle hailed us, stating that once we had made arrangements and decided which ship to take, she would take us to Salaine’s location. Baffled, we asked what she was doing working with the Xenos, and she simply said, “Desperate times, desperate measures.”
Directly after, we were approached by a Disciple of Thule, who explained that he was responsible for the warp worm, and that his group had wanted to bring us to this Yu’Vath Fortress so he could discover clues about the Shattersphere. The artifact itself wasn’t on the Fortress, he explained, but there was a lead to another planet near the twin warp storms that has more Yu’Vath artifacts and ruins on it. This is a trail that could lead us closer to Caiaphus, and the increasingly twisted past of the Orthesian Dynasty.
We have decided to split up into two groups, each taking a ship to the two destinations, to try and cover more ground at once. I will be going to look for the Yu’Vath ruins – despite my interest in the Eldar, I do not think the Nexus will be a good place to find what I’m looking for. Besides, these Yu’Vath seem absolutely fascinating.