Although many are overwhelmed by the hallucinogenic gas, scores of Inheritors continue to pour through the blasphemous portal, firing at the bridge crew and defenders.
Joined by the two surviving Anzaforr armsmen, the injured Uziel begins lobbing frag grenades into the advancing waves. Pieces of foul cultist and machinery are blown about the lower command pit as sparks and blood paint the floor and walls.
The ferocious Inheritors fire back – a few rounds manage to find their target, blowing off a few of Uziel’s fingers from his left hand. Dropping his weapon, Uziel dives for cover, cradling his shattered, bloody appendage.
Grax, prone, unleashes torrents of lightning at the marauding mutant, unsuccessfully attempting to stop the beast’s frenzied rampage. The creature’s blades rip deeply into Grax’s chest, shattering his armour and rending his flesh. His blood spills to the deck, quickly pooling around his body.
Another, lesser mutant leaps over the barricade, firing automatic bursts towards the beleaguered psyker. Thankfully, Grax’s shimmering telekine shield deflects the majority of the blows.
Hearing the gunfire and explosions from down the hall, Tybs injects himself with Slaught, a powerful combat drug. With inhuman speed, he rushes forward to the shattered blast door. Acquiring new targets, he quickly directs punishing fire into the massive mutant warrior assailing Amador. A single round from Tybs’ plasma pistol obliterates the beast’s head, peppering Amador with semi-molten brain matter and skull fragments.
Now mostly free from danger, Amador quickly switches guns and continues his uninterrupted firing. Directing his hand cannon toward the mutants attacking Grax, he delivers a devastating blow. The high-caliber round removes a fist-sized chunk from the wretched, hulking creature, and knocks it prone.
Uziel sees the beast fall, and quickly makes a crouched run through the upper command pit. Rounding the command dais, he unleashes a superheated blast from his meltagun and vaporizes the bezerker.
Grasping his chest, Grax feels his life drain out between his blood-slicked fingers. Temporarily safe, he reaches out into the Sea of Souls, calling forth unholy energy to stabilize his dying physical form.
Throughout the chaos, Anzaforr and his chief armsman Hessial leap from command dais and charge the Inheritors. Morrinoe too continues her assault against the intruders.
Wounded by one of Uziel’s frag grenades, the Inheritor’s leader is overcome by the hallucinogenic gas. Seeing the carnage around him, he knows that his fate is sealed. He opens his mind to the warp, drawing arcane power from the wells around him. In his weakened state the psychic force overwhelms his abilities, blowing his body high into the air. With a sickening crunch, his head and neck impact an ancient cogitator, shattering the life from his wretched form.
Anzaforr, the acolytes, and Tybs’ mercenaries finish off the remaining wounded and still-hallucinating foes. The defenders manage to quickly collect themselves. More armsmen show up to secure the bridge and Anzaforr orders his seneschal to quickly take account of the damaged systems and crew. The Oath Unspoken has survived, but now limps along through space, directionless.
Uziel and Grax drag themselves to the upper medicae bays where Anzaforr’s finest chirurgeons await.
Meanwhile, Amador and Tybs search the assailants, searching for any clues.
On the leader’s body, they find a simple map as well as a series of ancient, blasphemous scrolls.
The map appears that it was torn from a much larger tome, possibly an atlas. Amador and Tybs recognize that the map is definitely from a planet’s surface, but they do not recognize the topography. Anzaforr informs them that he believes that the map is of Thaur, however nothing is labeled or marked except for a single circled location.
The scrolls appear to be written partially in High Gothic with the addition of numerous unfamiliar runes and occult symbols and glyphs. Although the Inheritors claim to worship an ancient xenos god, Amador successfully deduces that some of the runes are in fact daemonic in nature, highlighting the true nature of the threat.
Anzaforr arranges a meeting with one of the high-ranking preachers aboard his ship. Although all members of the ecclesiarchy are intricately familiar in High Gothic, the preacher notes that the scrolls are written in an incredibly ancient, almost indecipherable dialect. Furthermore, the scrolls appear to have numerous authors. The rambling texts also likely point to authors on the edge of crumbling sanity. The preacher’s face fades of colour as he explains that the scrolls outline some bizarre ritual involving weakening the barrier between realspace and the Warp.
On one of the bodies of another high-ranking Inheritor, the acolytes also find a secure dataslate. Amador quickly breaks the encryption and plays the single vid-file contained within. A lone shadowy figure addresses the vid-recorder – the same Heretek that the acolytes encountered in the underport on Desoleum.
Greeting someone he addresses as the “Arch-Rector”, the Heretek speaks about having finalized the process of refining the xenos artifacts into the purple fluid he calls the Blood of Izumat. He claims that this fluid should be able to draw forth “the Awakened One”. He also claims that he shall be seeking retribution against those that disrupted his previous business with “the divine host.”
Over the next two days Grax and Uziel stay confined the medicae facilities, trying to regain their strength as quickly as possible before making planetfall on Thaur. Meanwhile, Amador continues his work on the bridge, helping to repair and restore the Oath Unspoken’s vital systems.
In the hours before reaching Thaur, Tybs and Amador dine with Anzaforr again. Like before, Morrinoe chooses to join them to discuss their options. Tybs and Amador show her the recovered map, which seems to concern her greatly. Once again, the Eldar seems like she knows more than she’s willing to divulge.
She does, however, reveal that the circled area on the Inheritors’ map is the monument to Saint Merusaad. The monument is located on a large square near the Great Ossuarium. The celebration of her martyrdom is set to begin soon. She informs the acolytes that they should search not the surface of the square, but rather under it.
Tybs convinces Morrinoe to accompany the party to the surface, asking for her help against whatever awaits. Anzaforr again thanks the warband for their aid, offering them a shuttle to take them to the surface.
The acolytes convene amongst themselves once Uziel and Grax are released from medical care. They contact the Reliant Dawn and brief them on the recent events aboard Anzaforr’s flagship as well as the Inheritors’ planned massed sacrifice. They discuss their next steps as well as their possible options should the situation planetside turn unfortunate.
The acolytes ask about the feasibility of orbital bombardment should the need arise. The Reliant Dawn informs them that although possible, the threat would need to be truly grave to warrant the massive destruction and loss of life that an orbital bombardment would entail. Bombing a venerated shrine world would have political ripples throughout the ecclesiarchy, the Inquisition, and the entire Askellon sector. However, should the need arise, the Reliant Dawn’s guns will be ready.
Entering one of the Oath Unspoken’s many docking bays, the acolytes witness Anzaforr’s crews beginning to load the scores of bodies up from the Corpse Holds and onto large cargo landers for the voyage to their final resting place on Thaur.
Boarding one of Anzaforr’s lighters, the acolytes prepare their weapons and gear, wondering if Thaur will claim them too.