As we entered the Nephael system, we were greeted by a call from a woman who made us welcome and told us that the planet was expecting us. Moments after ending the call with her, we received another call, from none other than Lord Admiral Bastille. After determining that he’d essentially abandoned our partnership because the battle was “too messy” and he showed up late, got anxious, then turned and ran like Lumi at a dinner party, he requested our help with something odd.
Apparently the other half of the planet Nephael, the “Far Side,” was under attack by Orcs. He asked for our assistance in turning the tide, mentioning the possibility of hefty profits from the natural resources there. We told him we’d consider it.
On the way, we examined the planets and stars in the system. Once we landed, we were greeted by a certain Delan Min, the planet’s ambassador to the Imperium. He answered our questions about the planet’s history, including some questions about the cult that used to control it. He then took us on a tour of the city, which was absolutely gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve felt quite so uncomfortably at home since last time I was on Terra.
Years ago, now.
Two buildings made of the center of the city – the Librarium-Vault, and the Sanctophant’s palace. The Librarium had a psykic resonance, and Hitomi gathered that it was the source of the planet’s guard against chaos. She asked if we could go and study it, and Delan obliged. We only got as far as the front door when we were stopped by a stunning woman, Battle-Sister Lysara Vade, who looked as though she could kill me. She told us we could not go in, and seemed suspicious of our purpose. We informed her that we were here to follow the path of Cognatius, and told her some of the things we knew of him. Hitomi had a rather overwhelming wealth of information to dump.
Satisfied, she allowed Hitomi to inspect the markings on the outside of the Librarium.
After the tour, we retired to the rooms prepared for us – finally, lavish comfort and style, something the Orthesian Dynasty seems to severely lack.
The following night, we attended the welcome banquet, where we were approached by several individuals – Chayne Rastrak, a man from the Far Side, reiterating Bastille’s request for assistance. A man who served the merchant king Diago de Dastarra, who offered to set up a meeting so we could discuss tunnels underneath the city and perhaps learn of Yu’Vath ruins on the planet. A man who simply offered to become a chef on our vessel. Tyrus Moulde, the High Judge of Ma’ene, who seemed nervous and wished us to come to his city-state so he could tell us something.
We were certainly the popular bunch that night. I got drunk and made some friends.
The following morning, we visited the merchant Diago, who gave me a map of the extensive underground ruins, which, he said, labrynthed the entire planet. Then we went on our way to Ma’ene, to the home of Moulde.
We found him dead, his house filled with blood and people torn to shreds, and demons in his room. The battle was bloody and horrific – Hitomi took a near-fatal blow to her chest, and both Lumi and I lost an eye. In the midst of the fighting, I noticed a demon take a token out of Moulde’s pocket and throw it into the warp. The token had the star symbol on it. The cult symbol.
Once the demons were dispatched, the two cultists in the room slit their own throats, but not before parroting that “The Zandaran will rise again!”
The High Judge must have been affiliated with the cult, had second thoughts, and been taken out. What had he wanted to tell us? What was going on here?