Valdane's Chronicles

The Oath Unspoken - Part 3

Fire in the heavens

After a lengthy debate, the acolytes decide to leave the Corpse Holds, figuring that their best chance to stop the cultists’ plan lays in warning the Lord Captain Anzaforr of the growing threat. First, however, they seek to discover what the Inheritor was transporting before he got away.

Amador manages to interface with the door’s ancient machine spirit and bids it to open. On the other side of the door, the Inheritor’s crate sits empty. Inside, the crate’s dense padding shows indentations from some kind of heavy object. The acolytes suspect that whatever was inside may be used to compromise the vessel.

Empty handed, the acolytes depart the Holds.

Rounding the last corner toward the ancient doors they entered through, the acolytes encounter two large spotlights shining directly at them. Shadowed by the lights, more than a dozen silhouettes obstruct the exit.

Soon, they reveal themselves to be Anzaforr armsmen. They enter the holds, asking the acolytes to relinquish their weapons and accompany them to the Lord Captain. Begrudgingly, the warband agrees.

After a long, tense ride up a servo-lift, the acolytes reach one of the Oath Unspoken’s upper decks. Still surrounding by armsmen, they make their way down a large, ornately decorated hallway. Surrounded by many paintings, sculptures, and fine tapestry, it is evident that they’re in the company of incredible wealth.

As the acolyte approach a final set of large wooden doors, a gilded servitor acknowledges their presence and opens the passage ahead. Within, a chandelier of gold plated skulls and electro candles casts a glittering luminescence across the massive chamber. Even more varied works of art line the walls or sit atop pedestals about the room. The centerpiece of the chamber is an ornate banquet table, carved from the finest hardwood oak, each of the table legs ending in an elaborately carved lion’s foot. Already, numerous dishes and decanters cover the table top. The table appears to seat at least fifty guests, but currently only a few are present, with an additional place setting for each of the party.

At the far end of the table, a man in red and gold stately garb stands. He gestures to the table, greeting the acolytes excitedly. Finally, the acolytes have met the enigmatic Lord Captain Anzaforr.

A second figure, a man seemingly in his fifties also stands and bows, greeting their arrival.

The third figure stays seated, looking up with unsettling alien eyes. The humanoid xenos acknowledges the party’s presence with only a faint nod. Still, even her smallest motions occur with a bizarre, unnatural grace and disturbing fluidity of movement. She quickly returns her gaze to the table.

Anzaforr informs the acolytes that he has some idea of who they are and what they have done aboard his ship, but not why.

Through a heated discussion, Anzaforr admits that like most merchant or chartist vessels, he can only assume that some shady dealings occur aboard. However, he does not know the true extent of the current events plaguing his ship or how his vessel has become involved.

Mainly, his armsmen have been pushed to their limits; understaffed, with too large of a vessel to monitor completely. He claims to operate purely under the confines of Imperial Law, and that his pilgrimage voyages are endeavors of legitimate penance for past transgressions.

Furthermore, Anzaforr calms down Grax and Uziel who are clearly upset by the presence of the filthy xenos. He explains that his Eldar companion, Morrinoe, is officially sanctioned. Anzaforr explains that Morrinoe came to his aid many years ago, and has since “stuck around” for her own cryptic reasons. Like all Eldar, he explains, Morrinoe’s relationship with fate and time is simply beyond his capability to understand. He asks no questions, and she asks no question of him.

Somewhat convinced that Anzaforr may be operating on the level and is actually genuinely unaware of the greater threat, the acolytes explain the danger posed by the Inheritors. They quickly explain that the cultists plan to seize and scuttle the ship as a sacrifice to their ancient xenos god, Izumat. Anzaforr explains this is only truly possible from the bridge and the most likely time they will strike is when the vessel translates back into real-space.

Still, Anzaforr remains skeptical. Eventually, Amador presents a few of the xenos artifacts that they had recovered from the Inheritor and the Sable traders. Surprisingly, the Eldar Morrinoe reacts immediately, telling Anzaforr to heed the party’s warnings. As such, Tybs insinuates that Morrinoe must be involved in some way. Morrinoe becomes infuriated, quickly departing the chamber and cursing the ignorant “mon-keigh”.

Anzaforr agrees to let the acolytes aid him in the defence of his bridge, seeking to leverage their expertise in combating the Inheritors. His seneschal, Gaius Heln aids them in their preparations; securing them armsmen, weapons, barricades, and rebreathers to use in repelling the assault.

Still, the acolytes find themselves short on manpower. Tybs and Uziel decide to return to the Drunnels to recruit any remaining mercenaries while Grax and Amador organize the bridge crew.

Tybs manages to locate a few remaining gunhands among the rabble. He convinces two of them to join the fight.

Uziel heads back to Terrace Del, hoping to convince him to strike back against the cultists that had originally tried to hire him. Unconvinced of Uziel’s sincerity, Terrace turns down the lucrative offer. He claims to not want to position himself into the middle of ship politics.

Uziel’s temper flares and he quickly seeks to obliterate the stubborn merc. Terrace dodges the first blast from Uziel’s meltagun and quickly returns fire with his own bolt pistol. After a few frantic shots back and forth, Uziel lays bloody on the ground. Terrace tries to finish him, but his pistol jams. Quickly drawing another firearm, he resumes his assault.

Feeling his own death is near, Uziel frantically draws a stun grenade, striking Del and rendering him unconscious. Bloodied, battered, and near death, Uziel draws a large blade and promptly remove’s the man’s head, taking a trophy from his worthy, yet stubborn adversary.

The acolytes return to the bridge and finish their preparations. With bridge defences set and armsmen in place, Tybs and his two new hires retreat down the main hall of the command deck, laying in wait.

After a few hours, they hear the sounds of muffled thumps, gunfire, and screaming down one of the adjacent halls. Soon, a large band of mutants and mercenaries round the corner, carrying some sort of large metallic object toward the bridge’s sealed blast doors. Tybs radios his comrades, informing them of the door’s imminent destruction.

With a shudder, the sibilant voices whispering just beyond the edge of perception cease, replaced by the familiar roar of the Oath Unspoken’s mighty plasma engines. The heavy shutters that protect the bridge’s occupants from the sight of the turmoil of the Warp slowly grind open, affording a view through the vista panels of the silent void beyond. The sounds of binary chatter and relayed orders pass back and forth among the crew and servitors with even greater haste and the Lord Captain smiles his relief to be back in reality.

Moments later, the heretics’ bomb detonates, blowing pieces of the door into the bridge.

The molten slag crashes into the armsmens’ barricades while mutants pour through the breach. Waves of gunfire erupt on both sides. The enemy’s ragtag fire is surprisingly effective, mowing down many of the armsmen. Three massive, heavily armed mutants also enter the chamber and begin to rampage toward the front line. One of the beasts wields a large anti-tank gun, shredding crucial systems and personnel alike.

Grax rises from his hiding spot and fires his living lighting toward the incoming wave. One of the bolts strikes a deformed assailant, blowing his legs apart and rendering his corpse into a charred husk.

From one of the command pits, the heavily wounded Uziel lobs hallucinogenic grenades toward the shattered blast door. The cloud quickly envelops the enemy’s vanguard. As a result, many of the pitiful mutants begin to turn on their mercenaries allies.

From his command throne, Anzaforr beckons more men forward, ordering them to hold at all costs.

The large mutants eventually wade into the barricades, cleaving apart the overwhelmed armsmen. Among the barricades, Amador tries to hold the mutants back, firing effective bursts from his bolt pistol. Grax, on the other hand, is overwhelmed by his frenzied mutant attacker. The hallucinating beast is trapped in an unholy rage, and smashes Grax into the ground.

Morrinoe’s long rifle manages to down many of the incoming foes. From the hallway, Tybs coordinates his servo-skull’s own accurate sniper fire.

Suddenly, just as the tide is turning, a swirling mass of energy rips open at the front of the bridge through which a full wave of well-armed Inheritors pour through. Inside the portal, a single figure stands in an unassuming cargo bay. Wielding a large staff, he wades in behind the Inheritors and begins to cry more foul prayers to his ancient alien gods, invoking the names of Izumat, Ordosar, and Behomat. He cries for his mutants and Inheritor cultists to kill the unbelievers.

His skin has a hardened, waxy complexion, colourless and unmoved by nearly any emotion
Like most of the Inheritors, he wears heavy robes ornamented with the pale ivory of polished human bone. However, his accoutrements are enhanced with several talismans imbued with the luminescent purple fluid

Uziel fires even more hallucinogenics towards the incoming reinforcements. The volley is strikingly successful, sending many of the foul, blasphemers into a frenzied, drug-fueled panic.

Surrounded now on both sides, the acolytes and remaining pockets of armsen fire back at their foes, fighting against the mutant and cult blades, bullets, and new psychic assaults.

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