Saturday, 27 October 2018

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse: The Crew Experiences Wash's Wild Ride

Rogue Trader: A quest for profit in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium. But dying in mediocrity and misery is for poor people and losers, and a Rogue Trader's retinue is anything but.

It's Always Heretical in the Kronus Expanse is bought to you by:

Lord-Captain van Hohenheim - Rogue Trader. Hero. The last of his line. Possibly insane, although a holiday has done much to soothe his agitated mind. Questionable epicurean delights have left him unreasonably muscled.
Magos Abigail von Thannhausen - A Magos Explorator-Chymist who possibly takes too much pleasure in the craft of Servitors. Accompanied by her servo-skull. Ever since doing warp-eel shots, she seems more insightful somehow.
Archaius "Boosto" Wash - A gunnery sergeant with a now less-irritating artificial voicebox and a jetpack. We are all amazed by his apparently-infinite agility, and his recent ability to just shrug off pain.
Sebastian LaMarck - A seneschal with a silver tongue. Spymaster and king of Human Resources. One hell of a butler, even when he's on autopilot.
Winter York - Astropath Transcendant. Monstrous willpower. Notorious advocate of psychic power pissing matches, and freshly endowed with wings, somehow. Your glorious narrator and remembrancer.

We're on our way to the Dread Pearl. It takes a couple of weeks, there's a lotta chop in the warp.

On the way, I get my second cybereye installed; I now have two eyes lensed with eldar gemstones, one red and one blue.

The Navigator buzzes us directly. There's a Warp Storm right where the planet should be. We can't get close enough for subluminal speeds, so we're parking up just one jump away.

I check our voicemail. One message for the Magos, and four for the Lord Captain.

Lady Sun-Lee sends a flowery response of supicion, but acceptance.

Blitz would like a drink, and is glad to meet us there.

So would LeFrancois, but we never really invited him for a drink, so...

Charlabelle sends a missive similar to Lady Sun-Lee's, but far more informal.

It's a party!

Through the front Vistaports of the ship, we can see the warp storm, and deep inside, the Dread Pearl, our deeply-sought prize. At the center, a path of calm appears! I sense the warp storm will sufficiently abate within the day for us to actually make an approach.

The Magos and the Lord-Captain both try the Augers; looking for knife-eared fucks, but we pick up long-range contact, ships arriving. I detect psykers, our guests have arrived. They accept the invite and make for us with all due haste. (Like, actual haste.)

Before they arrive, I do question the Lord-Captain's goal in inviting them. A four-way alliance over what results from the Pearl might be the only way out, if we misjudged Sun-Lee's strength.

Sun-Lee arrives, on the condition that she can bring ~15 Armsmen. LeFrancois shows up on his lonesome. Charlabelle shows up with birdlike mercenary bodygyards - Kroot, and five of them. Blitz has a plus-one.

They're escorted to the dining room where we're waiting for them. They get drinks, satisfy themselves it's not poisoned, and we make introductions. Wash and LeFrancois get less respect than the rest of us.

Sun-Lee gets to it. A gambler, a charter captain, and a broke bitch. This is the company the Lord-Captain keeps?

The Lord-Captain tries his charm and botches it. Sun-Lee remains unconvinced and threatens to walk.

The Lord-Captain warns that she walks, and she'll not just fight xenos from the front, but every other rogue trader from behind. A five-way split stands to benefit even Sun-Lee. Slightly more than a fifth for most of us.

LeFrancois objects, but is made to sit the fuck down.

Charlabelle is in, as is Blitz.

Sun-Lee wants to think about it.

In the meantime, we gamble against Blitz for a bit. He's cleaning us out, his luck is extradordinary. And I am certain he is not using psychic powers to cheat.

Meanwhile, Wash goes up to the bridge to check the Auspex out of paranoia. New contacts, here any moment now. Time's up for Lady Sun-Lee. Time to shit or get out of the alliance.

She's in. The warp storm has abated enough for an extremely risque passage.

We'll take the chance. All are escorted back to their ships; they're going to follow us in.

I look at the storm. I see dozens of twisted faces, some human, some xenos, and all writhing in pain.

A lot of things have been said of Wash in the last few years. Many of them conflicting. But sometimes, he seems to reveal his true self -- he is truly one of the greatest pilots in the imperium, and he takes us straight into the warp storm. The ship bucks, rocks, and feels like it's tearing itself apart. I see and hear voices. People are praying like fuck.

Wash is doing this all manually. Analog. No MIU. My knuckles are white as I hold onto the guardrail.

The Lord-Captain makes a rousing speech.

Wash: "If you look out the port viewports, you will see the God-Emperor protecting us. If you look out the starboard viewports, you will see the God-Emperor protecting us."

The Magos gets a hard PING on the auspex; a ship is headed straight for us. Wash hauls the wheel around, and we just barely scrape past it.

We make it through, and emerge into the eye of the storm. The bridge is dead silent as we recover from what we've just done. We get Vox from Blitz.

Blitz: "I've never seen anything like that before in my life. And I've seen some shit."
Hohenheim: "I, too, am also at half-mast."

Outside the storm, our unallied rivals arrive, and begin fighting each other. Time to make hay while the getting is good.

We gear up for landing on the Dread Pearl, an Eldar "Maiden" world. I load up with a shot of spook / geist.

Getting closer, the planet is everything  you could want in a planet. I psychically scan for eldar. I get the faintest of echoes, tainted by an underlying bitterness, but otherwise nothing.

We touch down with the Scots -- the other five landers spread out and scout. As we touch down, we feel a sense of peace as we step onto the pure sand of the new planet.  The sky is brilliant and azure, and the air truly fresh.

The Lord-Captain steps on something hard and sharp -- a brilliant orange gem. Worth a lot to nobles. Wash confirms it's of Eldar construction. I can tell it's weakly psychic, a lot like the gemstones in my cybereyes.

The Lord-Captain finds some sort eldar rune / psy-focus and tosses it to me. Some sort of charm. I pocket it.

We check out the forest beyond the beach. Strange white cubes. Definitely crafted, not natural.

Something moves, and I spot it; I snatch for it with my TK, but get nothing but air.

The Scots fan out to look for it, but find some sort of overgrown structure in a clearing. A statue. An eldar female, or a very beautiful eldar man.

I still feel at unease. Something is here.

I search for it.

I find it wedged into the vegetation at the foot of the statue. I pick it up, and hold it up. Everyone sees a sword, much like

I see a fantastic blade, with the edge that is blurry and indistinct. I feel a connection with the world around me, and a deep sorrow. This is a Witchblade. (Best craftsmanship power sword, penetration 0)

Wash throws a fruit at me. I try to slice it, but I whiff.

I expand my area of awareness with the sword. I can sense something nearby, like it's been following us while I was looking for the sword. The Lord-Captain doubles back, circling around, and finds it -- a small, blue, cat-like creature. He Disney Princesses the fuck out of it, pets it, and puts it on his shoulder without any problems.

The captain returns to us -- he has now made a friend.

"Captain, you need to see this, on the beach"

We hasten to the beach. We find gemstones, in the deeper part of the shallows. Hundreds, thousands.

"Captain, we're going to be rich!" a Kevin reports.

"Yes, I am."

No comments:

Post a Comment