The Saviours of Mersadie Hive: Third Mission, Part 2

The Saviours wasted no time in executing an amphibious assault on the rebel camp where the submarine was being held, exploiting their superhuman physiology and the superior engineering of their power armour to simply walk through the rebel’s labyrinth of sea mines. Before the rebel cultists could form up to protect their gauss weapon-toting leaders, Erec devastated the rebel leadership with a terrifying eruption of psychic power, and the Saviours were swiftly able to mop up the rest of the rabble.

Incredibly, despite being burned to a crisp by Erec’s powers, Surbryte still clung doggedly to life. Under Kyme’s attentions, he was interrogated, and claimed to be a mere innocent forced to do the bidding of Chaos by the unfortunate circumstances of his birth (being a citizen of a Chaos-ruled planet). He confessed to have Inquisitor Vincent prisoner in a pit on the base, and mentioned that the Alpha Legion had indeed deployed him to forge the Reborn from a rag-tag network of minor cults into a threat to Imperial dominance on the planet. The Alpha Legion had provided supplies to run the submarine with, but so far they’d only asked him to use it to ferry groups of cultists down to the underwater city, where the cultists committed suicide by throwing themselves out of the airlock in an apparent bid to rouse the sleeping city into wakefulness. He also mentioned that the Alpha Legion hadn’t contacted him for a surprisingly long time, and that he had a teleport key for the city in his chambers, just before he expired.

The Saviours retrieved the key with ease, but extracting Vincent proved to be more difficult – he was starved, half-crazed, and seemed convinced that the Imperial Fists were actually his Alpha Legion captors come for another interrogation – and naturally, anything the Fists tried to convince him that they were the genuine article only got him more convinced it was an Alpha Legion trick. It was apparent that his mind had been broken under Alpha Legion interrogation and he had given up what he knew about the sunken city to them. After Nicolai was finally able to coax out Vincent, Inquisitor Quist was invited down to examine him and, judging that he’d a) betrayed the Imperium and b) would never again be the man he used to be, summarily executed him.

With a crew provided by the Inquisitor, the Saviours took the submarine down to the underwater city. As they approached its proximity there was an alarming moment where the submarine’s systems – and indeed all powered devices, including the Marines’ power armour – powered down momentarily, but eventually they came to the vicinity of the sunken city – at which point the teleportation stone began to glow and the party took immediate advantage of it to transfer into the city.

From within the city, they could see that the waters of the deep ocean were kept away from the city by a powerful force field, and also realised that the architecture of the city was undoubtedly Necron in origin. Luckily, the Necrons did not appear to be awake – if that had been the case, they’d have made it very, very obvious already – but one central pyramidal structure seemed to have active power going to it. Entering, the party encountered a battle where the Alpha Legion and some cultists had apparently taken on a gargantuan spider-like construct – some sort of Necron machine for the maintenance of the pyramid, evidently – and under the heaped-up corpses of the cultists the Marines found a heretical tech-priest, putting them in mind of the signs of tech-heretic activity they had discovered on Kyme’s homeworld.

Advancing into the pyramid, the party were attacked by an Alpha Legion squad, who were swiftly dealt with thanks to the potency of Erec’s Librarian powers. Deeper inside, the party found an apparent exit-teleporter – a raised circular dais, at the centre of which was a plinth with an indentation shaped to accept the teleport key. Slumped against the dais was the dying Alpha Legion leader, who – either mistaking the Fists for his colleagues or maintaining the Alpha Legion pretense of being loyalist Marines – opened up to explain to the Fists what was happening. Apparently, after removing certain devices from the tomb-city (triggering its awakening procedure), a certain “Dahzak” had betrayed the Alpha Legion before the Legionaries could put their own plan to take down Dahzak into effect.

Evidently, the mysterious Dahzak had betrayed the Alpha Legion and took the teleport key with him when he escaped the tomb-city, leaving them stranded inside – and whoever this person was, he must have been a potent psyker, for the Legion leader bore the telltale scorchmarks of a psychic attack. Slowing the awakening procedure by destroying a device which seemed to be responsible for sucking the souls out of sacrificed cultists (as well as causing the power drain that had caused the glitch on the submarine and had been sapping the Marines’ devices whilst they were inside the pyramid), the Marines headed towards the city’s power core to try and derail the awakening process. Battling their way past another of the spider-like constructs (thanks mainly to Iacomo’s heavy bolter), the Marines were able to destroy the power core and escape via the teleport circle as the city was destroyed under the incredible pressure at the bottom of the ocean trench.

After teleporting out, the Saviours found themselves back in the cult headquarters they’d found beneath the Cenotaph. Reporting their findings to the Inquisitor (as well as relaying a warning to the submarine), the Saviours heard from her that Dahzak was a name known to the Inquisition, being an infamous Chaos Sorcerer hailing from the Thousand Sons Legion, believed to have been part of the cabal led by Ahriman. The Alpha Legion had mentioned that Dahzak could be found at the world of Samech, and the Inquisitor said that she may ask for the Fists’ assistance again to tackle this apparent stronghold of the Traitor Marines.

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The Saviours of Mersadie Hive: Third Mission, Part 1

The Imperial Fist team known as the Saviours of Mersadie Hive were visited aboard theĀ Phalanx, the spacefaring fortress-monastery of the Chapter, by Inquisitor Quist of the Ordo Xenos. Quist had come to supplicate the aid of the Imperial Fists; she explained that she and Inquisitor Vincent, one of her colleagues, had an arrangement whereby they would correspond with one another concerning their investigations and come looking for each other if these communications ceased.

This has now happened. Inquisitor Vincent had been following up information provided by the Imperial Fists concerning the tech-heretics who had been conducting a covert mining operation on the planet of Aurum, whose destruction by Genestealers infiltrated onworld by the tech-heretics had been averted by the Saviours. Vincent had followed the trail to the planet of Karlack, a major Fortress World that provided industrial shipbuilding and weaponsmithing capacity of the Imperial Guard and Navy. Vincent had reported uncovering disturbing signs of increased organisation amongst the cults worshipping the ancient xeno inhabitants of the world, as well as a mysterious underwater city beneath the southern oceans which Vincent believed was an ancient site of the xenos in question. As of his last report, he had been planning an expedition to this city, but he had not been in contact since.

Inquisitor Quist proposed to visit Karlack in order to try and track down Vincent, and was asking for the Saviours to accompany her in part as a courtesy, since she knew they had an interest in tracking down those responsible for putting the new recruitment world of Aurum under threat, and in part because if it turned out local elements had eliminated Inquisitor Vincent it would be good to have the Astartes along as a show of strength. The Saviours agreed to come, and were accompanied by Kyme, who had become a fully-fledged battle-brother in the time since the Siege of Mersadie Hive, and had in fact proven worthy of the responsibility of Apothecary.

Arriving at Karlack, the party was met by Lord-General Iacton, who told Inquisitor Quist that Vincent had left behind a sealed stasis box with instructions that it should be handed over to her should she arrive. Auspex scans once the statis field was deactivated revealed that the box contained a second security box whose locks and seals had been coated with a potent contact poison, so the Inquisitor allowed the Marines to open the interior box with her seal – only to discover that it was empty. Kyme’s analysis revealed that the poison was some sort of offworld formulation, and whilst the Astartes’ innate hardiness and their power armours’ antitoxin features would have meant it posed little danger to them, it would have been fatal for a human being, whose comparatively weak metabolism would not have been able to take the antidotes in the dosages needed to neutralise it.

The Inquisitor and the Saviours interrogate the Lord-General more closely, who insists that he and his subordinates haven’t touched the box – it was left in the Inquisitor’s chambers in the Imperial Citadel by Vincent himself, and was checked up on by the Inquisitor’s “escorts” – a band of Black Templars who had shown up claiming to be working with the Inquisitor. The Saviours realised that something was up because they knew that the Black Templars’ eternal Crusade was currently being fought way on the other side of the galaxy – which meant that whoever those stranger Marines were, they were certainly not their fellow Sons of Dorn. Having already received through the Emperor’s Tarot a warning that both the necrons and Traitor Legions were dangers to be faced on the planet, the Saviours found themselves strongly suspecting the involvement of the Alpha Legion.

The Inquisitor decided that since she had already been the target of one assassination attempt, it would be best for her to take a behind the scenes role whilst the Saviours worked the front line – specifically, she would try to track down any of Vincent’s remaining acolytes (at least one of whom, Mediator Dyne, was potentially not involved in the mission to the underwater city) and would try to get the co-ordinates of the underwater city, whilst the Saviours would make chasing the suspected Chaos Space Marines a top priority. This suited the Saviours just fine, not least because their superiors in the Chapter had told them that whilst exterminating alien threats is always a crucial duty of the Adeptus Astartes, facing down the Traitor Legions is a duty which overrides all other concerns.

Having established – both through evidence found in Inquisitor Vincent’s chambers and through analysis of the Citadel’s sensor data – that the false Black Templars had some interest in the city of Kar’thir – and, in particular, the Cenotaph of the Founders, a memorial to the planet’s first colonists – the Saviours began their investigations there. Entering the Cenotaph, they noted that the sealed doorway had been forced open at some point, and inside they discovered a pair of local ne’er-do-wells scavenging for grave goods. The scavengers said that they’d discovered that the doors had been forced a few months back, and had also seen strange robed figures coming out of one of the alcoves – but not entering and exiting through the main doors, suggesting they had another way out.

Investigating the alcove, the Saviours discovered a tunnel winding deeper into the hill the Cenotaph was built on, inscribed with ancient hieroglyphs which none of them were able to translate. As they followed the tunnel, they came eventually to a chasm, at the base of which some sort of cult meeting seemed to be taking place before a large statue of some sort of quasi-mechanical skeletal figure, which the cultists had decorated with flowers. Climbing down, the Fists managed to spot a couple of concealed weapons platforms overlooking the cult meeting, which they were able to occupy and use to surprise the meeting. Without access to the arcane weaponry on the platforms, the cultists were easy pickings for the Marines, who captured the cultist leader Oldreg.

Oldreg turned out to run the local tannery, where he had a stash of propaganda for both the xeno-cult – the “Reborn” – and local rebel forces against Imperial rule, the leadership of which appeared to have some overlap with the leadership of the cult. In particular, Oldreg seemed to be in contact with Feynir Surbryte, an off-world revolutionary-for-hire, who was depicted in some of the propaganda standing proudly by an experimental submarine his forces had recently stolen from a local naval facility.

Getting in touch with the Inquisitor, the Saviours relayed their discoveries; the Inquisitor agreed at their suggestion to arrange a coverup so that Oldreg’s disappearance wouldn’t arouse too much suspicion, and informed them that she had located both Dyne and the exact location of the undersea city. All the Saviours needed to do was to seize from Surbryte a vehicle to take them to the city – and hopefully also one of the green crystals which they believed were teleport-keys to enter it.

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