Rogue Trader – Halcyon Rising
Launch Date: 4432 809.M41: The grand Calixian noble families Pikkofule and Drogar merged after the year-long hidden war with Hereteks sect called ‘Mechashades’ with the assistance of the Inquisition itself, emerging victorious they were granted with uncharacteristic alacrity a Writ of Trade after the merger, the sudden bestowing of such a potent document unheard of, given by Marius Hax, Calixis Sector-Governor but created the Arcadia Dynasty.
Setting sail from the new Space Station Oblitus Locus orbiting Scintilla mere days after another Dynasty, the Barathon Dynasty maiden voyage, heading to the Rubicon II system, last stop to the Koronus Expanse, their Writ of Trade clear, find the veritable treasure trove of natural resources, a system called simply LV-2, somewhere in the vast endless space between nightmares and death in the Expanse, and exploit it for the imperium of man, a ludicrous requirement to any sane man.
Date: 4010 810.M41: Having arrived at the Rubicon II system and journeyed past the glittering comets to weight anchor at Port Wander to resupply and prepare for the Expanse the explorers learn of two pieces of intrigue, it seems there is a shortage of basic supplies, mainly food due to pirating and ‘shortages’, and stories of the ‘Conjunction’ a chance waning of the gravimetric forced between the Ruby Sisters, two huge gas-giants, the stories surrounding the temporarily accessible space awash with plunder and danger, an specifically the treasure trove ship ‘Terra in Excelcius’, filled with anything from a preserved Primarch to a working STC, but those that journey there tend not to come back, rumours of course….
Not letting the enticement of the ‘Conjunction’ pass them by they delve into the chaotic asteroid belt, remnants of a moon, passing an old abandoned miners station that loomed in the darkness, leaving a buoy behind. A strange and tiny Mechanicus Probe Ship, an old abandoned hulk once owned by the Fel Dynasty, complete with preserved corpse of a Rogue Trader and looted gear.
But they were not alone, a hunter of the Void, a Cobra-destroyer ‘Dark Portent’, sensing easy prey and clever use of mines descends upon the explorers ship, but thanks to accurate gunnery and outstanding discipline wreck and board the ship, executing the pirate-captain before his own command throne, calling in the Navy to claim one of their lost ships back, earning the gratitude of the fleet, the body of a pirate-captain Vaun Slite, an added bonus.
And finally, fate would have them discover the ‘Terra’ herself, boarding it with a select few armsmen they searched the ship, finding strange preservation pods and even stranger accounts, even signs of human life years ago, around the last Conjunction.
And they found death, living organisms that were breeding within the life-sustainers took all but one armsmen, the explorers fighting a hasty retreat through the ship, desperate to get to the Lighter, hurling themselves to safety in zero-G and blowing the organisms away, the Explorers ordering a Ordinatus-Strike on the ship, the only way to be sure, wiping the creatures and their potential profit away.
After this phyric victory the Arcadia Dynasty accepted employment to haul food, a vital commodity of great value to the slowly starving station, sailing to the edge of the system and voyaging to the first safe harbour within The Maw, the swirling dual-warp storm cutting the Koronus Expanse from the galaxy, the ‘Battlefields’ a place of lessons for new Captains, this place was rife with the shattered carcases of void-ships, picked clean by those who came before, and as the explorers found out a perfect ambush location.
They came upon a stricken transport ship, a ploy, a specially outfitted strike-team boarded the explorer’s ship and went about disabling her, a tactic only just failing as the valiant defence was headed by the command staff.
The foes mission failed as the unnamed transport ship, assumed an ally of the ‘Storm Troopers’ inexplicably exploded, the explorers detecting signs of another ship, a small but fast beast, slinking away into the black.
The explorers discovered the mission to get food was indeed a trap for those able to supply, making it a monopoly for the those in control… one Gilliam Mordechai, not a shred of solid proof of course, but the opening salvo of a feud.
But they returned, earning an invitation from the alliance of Mechanicus Exploration Fleet and the Navy Fleet by Acting-Commodore Ervard Pellew, of course they were expected to host this wonderful evening.
Gilliam Moderchai was also invited, and dined with the Explorers to the music of high Imperial and Navy traditional Orchestra. Played a high stakes game of Spaceship-chess and won against their erstwhile enemy Mordechai but lost to Janella, Lord-Admiral Karina Janella, master of the War-Trader Voyeur, but Lucius Pikkofule Arcadia the Seneshal and brother to Gabriel Gideon Pikkofule Arcadia soon found out that in the theatre of war, Janella has a habit of taking what she wants.
After a good party, several burn victims and the snubbing of a life the Explorers have earned the faith of the Imperial Navy leader as well as Errant-Fabricator Pompeii master of the Explorator Flotilla.
Having joined forces the Explorers journey into the, destined for Footfall, the station through the breach and the first step into the Koronus Expanse, a retched thing, full of the lost, the damned and the wealthy.
Date: 4099 810.M41: Exit the warp at footfall
Exiting warp and saying goodbye to their escorts the Halycon Blade docks with Footfall, setting about completing a map for the warp jumps they need to plot, investigating their leads, 3 last known locations of the Cruiser Explorator Y-01 ‘Singularity’, the advanced Mechanicus ship, promised to the explorers if they can retrieve Adjutant V, and return him to the Mechanicus, as anybody knows, Mechanicus ships are the most advanced found in the Void.
One lead led to Deep 6, a Kasballica front and flesh-Club, finding the deal set to them distasteful to their heightened morals and affront to their style they declined the information offered, the price too steep to consider.
Having prepared for the coming journey but lacking the warp lanes come across Samael ‘Nails’ Man-Hunter, who happily at a price hinted about a ‘Prophetess’, earning his reward and thankful for the generosity they set to find ‘Prophetess’ Attar Soloket.
Astropath Ascendant Solar Holt joined with them, Attar asking only for Solar, hours later emerging with a haunted look on his face, he knew the coordinates, and would assist Navigator Mia with the plotting.
And so the Halcyon Blade journeyed into the black, following the bread-crumbs exited warp in the middle of a nebula, a caustic gas cloud that eventually eats away at solid matter, no evidence here then of the Mechanicus Cruiser.
The next coordinate proved more interesting, a System with a Black Sun, casting its dim eldritch light over the system, incredibly dark for those with traditional sight, here then they found signs of life,
A huge planet, later named Mercy’s Fall, abundant with a vast array of life, tainted with a thin toxic atmosphere and possessing one macro continent with multiple inland seas, home to ancient Xeno’s ruins that begged investigation, around this Planet are two moons, the first a small dense moon with a stable but corrosive atmosphere, and signs of life, the other needing further investigation. Around this planet and it’s moons sat quiet in the night are Eldar Stations of some kind.
The rest of the system consisting of broken rocks, asteroid belts and a single Gas giant.
And so the Dynasty began looking for signs of the Explorator Cruiser, boarding the Xeno stations, tracking down faint energy readings from the planet, deep in the north of the planet, in an Ice forest and beneath the frozen glacier they found an excavation, Mechanicus in origin, below they found an ancient but unmistakably human building, after a skirmish with the local wildlife, inside they found some sort of advanced Cogitator, there they were gifted with miraculous technology and old star-coordinates, one of these matching their next destination, they had found signs of the Mechanicus ship, at last.
They investigated the Ruins, identifying them as Eldar in origin and sacked them for curious bone-white statues of lithe aliens, here Gideon was set upon by his own search party, assassins! Unfortunately for the wood-be assassins they were slain to a man, they were dressed as the SAS, the elite soldiers of the Halcyon Blade, leading to an inquiry, but Gideon knows his killer, Mordechai!
With one last investigation near a Mega-Volcano they found an abandoned Mechanicus watch-station, a modular base with no signs of life, but some old-encoded logs, this proved they were with Adjutant V, and hinted at their possible location.
Date: 4620 810.M41: Leaving the Black Sun Solar System Food reset (Year after launch)
And So the Arcadia Dynasty send their ship to the Lerange Point and prepared for warp, Solar Holt avidly taking the command staffs armour and scribing strange symbols upon them all, Hexagramatic wards, but for what reason?
They found out why….
The ship exited warp, too early, a sinking feeling filling it’s crew, the fore-portal on the bridge suddenly lighting up as macro-cannon fire eat away at the front of the ship, the deck shuddering more and more as they cut a swath through the ship, critically hitting the bridge, First Officer Ramirez uttering his last words as the entire bridge crew is slain….
… Then the ship exited warp, a sinking feeling filling it’s crew, the fore-portal on the bridge suddenly lighting up as mecro-cannon fire eat away at the front of the ship, the deck shuddering more and more as they cut a swath through the ship, forewarned of this impending doom Solar Holt threw the command staff behind the armoured portals of the bridge and begged them to prevent this, and he was no more, slain with most of the command crew, the Arcadia Dynasty nearly decapitated.
And so they journeyed through their ship, watching their crew slaughtered as giant monsters come out of the bulkheads, the portals, everywhere, watching ‘Bug Hunter’ sacrifice himself to slow them down, ‘Mali’ impaled upon a monsters forearm blade, they fled to the mustering deck, eager to exit their dying ship.
And so they fled, watching the grim sight of their ship being torn apart, eventually the hostile vessel, pointed, hateful arching around and ploughing into the Halcyon Blade, tearing it into two, the sheer horror magnifying at the sudden realisation of what that multi-hued tear in reality is, watching it devour their ship, the enemy ship and Emperor save them, their shuttle…
The Explores stood aboard a bridge, not their own but much larger, surrounded by Navy men, this was an Imperial Navy ship and the Captain, stood stock-still as he looked them over and their sudden arrival “Lord Captain, it’s you!”
Their First Officer, much older, bearing the uniform of an Admiral watched them, waving off the armsmen, the bizzare reunion not lasting long as the ships Auspex arrays and hololithic displays show them.. the apparent enemy, their ships silvered and sleek, smaller than the Grand Cruisers, the Cruisers and numbering less, the Explorers watching the battle carry on, call-signs of ships blinking out of existence and the red runes of hostiles undimmed.
They watched the enemy fleet lay waste to the Imperial fleet, then the world they were in orbit over slowly being wreathed in a circular flame, consuming it all in long moments, that world was Scintilla, the Capital of the Calixis Sector, Admiral Ramirez died with his ship.
And our explorers find themselves on solid ground, the hateful sky wounded, bruised even with multi-hued lightning, the epic structure before them hazy in the light, across it’s mega-structure bears the name ‘Y-01 Singularity’…
… And they were aboard the Halcyon Blade, final preparation almost complete for warp translation at the lerange point, the explorers in unison crying out ‘Abort!’, things were different, though they still in the Black Sun system, things were different.
Grymm Byrke was no longer a Servo-Skull, but their Prime Enginseer, intact, and he has always been like that…. only the explorers know the truth, things were different…