Presented with the horrible news of Solomon‘s impending demise due to the wretched plant’s infection, Red Steel saw the need to pick up the pace of their investegation. Armed with the knowledge that the root of these heretical acts resided somewhere within the noblemen, Solomon suggested a confrontation with Reginald Rex.
They approached his room at The Necrotic Rose, seeking only a friendly conversation, but there was no answer as they knocked on his door. However, Loothas heard the faint cling of a grappling gun being loaded from the other side. Void of the option to let any valuable information escape from within their reach, Red Steel breached the door.
Entering his room, they could barely catch a glimpse of the man before he disappeared through the window, swinging across the street and into the ajacent building. Carefully avoiding a trip wire set in their path, Khorrl pursued using his own grapping gun, while Loothas ran down the outside wall, using vox communiqués from Khorrl in combination with his psychic powers to track the fleeing coward.
While diving down a stairwell, Reginald Rex managed to blind Khorrl with a photon flash, effectively incapacitating him. Luckily, Loothas managed to intercept him in one of the dim sub level corridors, using his telekinetical powers to slam a heavy door in his face, rendering him unconscious.
After regrouping, Rex was magnacled to prevent any more daring escape attempts, and the heroes started their interrogation of the disgusting coward. It was quicly established that the failed escape attempt was made because he thought his mother-in-law or a repo man had managed to track him down. Once made certain the heroes were either, he proved quite cooperative, reavealing what little knowledge he possessed.
Apparently, Content Not Found: lord-cibellius, tiring from the luxuries of his noble life, had renovated the Grand Theatre and aquired a new famous actress for a play that had proved an instant hit among the nobles. A few weeks later he had shut down many of the plantations. Pleased with the value of the revealed information, they allowed Rex to go free.
Red Steel decided to waste no time and immediately scout the Grand Theatre, discovering the whole place was overgrown with plants. Luckily, a check by Loothas revealed they had barely any warp presence, proving they were harmless. The heroes entered through the great unguarded main entrance and proceeded down towards the stage. There they felt a disconcerting chill, as the temperature dropped below zero and everything was covered by a thin unnerving layer of frost.
Peering behind the curtains, Solomon discovered the being of his nightmares. On the other side, at the center of the stage, was an overwhelmingly oversized version of the heretical plant, the stem being several meters thick. The sight of this great horror disgusted most of the Red Steel, except Khorrl and Loothas. Instead, their eyes gleamed as if mesmerized, and the plant’s corruption could be felt spreading through their minds and bodies as they started to worship it. Witnessing their heresy, Solomon acted quickly, stunning them with Old Shock, before restraining them and having Stubber escort them off the premesis.
With the solution to his problems within reach, Solomon used Khorrl‘s grappling gun and clip harness to ascend up to a walkway, before descending over the plant. He then used a sturdy shovel to extract a sample of it’s pollen. The plant, seemingly aware of the situation, tried to defend itself by lashing its thorny tentacles at him, but Solomon managed to retract quicly and avoid them.
While returning the sample to the Tech Priest’s Temple, Loothas was overcome by the urge to make the heretical warp plant complete again. Still magnacled, he used his brain powers to pull the container from Solomon’s hands, taking it and running off back to the theatre. Solomon quickly pursued, staying at his heels. But suddenly, the blanket that had clouded Loothas’ mind faded, and as he began to realize the wrongness of his actions, he slowed to a gentle halt, before being brutally tackled by Solomon and his shock maul.
Returning once again to the Temple, they had the Tech Priest analyze the sample. After a battery of tests, he enlightened Red Steel with grave news. The plant had a powerful connection to the warp, its corruption forged by a powerful warp entity in close proximity over an extended period of time. The only way of stopping it would be to destroy this heretical entity.
They returned to the theatre, content that the entity had to reside somewhere within. But as they reached it, they saw it was filled with nobles and their guards. Apparently, a show had started in the time they were gone. They tried to sneak in the scene workers’ back entrance, but had to give up after a few failed attempts, as it was apparent to the workers that they didn’t belong there and threatened to call the guards.
Realizing they needed a new strategy, Loothas ascended to the roof, finding a ladder to a service entrance high up on the wall. With the power of Khorrl’s grappling gun, they soon entered the door. It lead to a catwalk high above the rear of the scene, from which they could barely make out a beautiful Content Not Found: joya-tory on the stage, singing and dancing. The great plant however, was gone.
Following the catwalk around the edge of the building, they found a door leading to a long corridor reaching straight across the building. On the other side was an access to the upper gallery which was abandoned and overgrown with plants. However, at the center of the corridor was a door leading to a room above the stage with a good view of the whole audience. Deciding to wait until the theater was empty before continuing their investigation, they agreed on a watch schedule and rested. Meanwhile, the noise of impure ecstatic grunts could be heard as the nobles entered a great disgusting orgy, smoking parts of the heretical plants like some sort of drug.
Once the disgustful acts had stopped and everything had been cleaned up, Red Steel descended to the stage, before continuing down to the actors’ quarters. The temperature fell as they delved deeper beneath the stage, and they could hear the unnerving sound of female laughter as they reached a corridor. Scanning for life-forms, Loothas detected one man-sized entity further below, but none in any of the adjacent rooms.
Safe to proceed, they worked their way through the actors’ rooms one by one. First was the room of [[:bob-karsten:|Bob Karsten], small and plain, he had to be a minor and unimportant actor. Then came the room of Content Not Found: joya-tory. As Solomon opened the door and led them into the room, the laughter grew in strength, clinging with terror. Suddenly, they were attacked by vicious creatures from all angles. The creatures appeared like beautiful women, except corrupted with mutations, phasing in and out of existance.
A swift combination of Strata‘s chainsword and Solomon’s shotgun took out the first, but the rest lashed back and nearly chopped Strata’s leg off, leaving him immobilized. Khorrl threw poisoned knifes at them while jumping and rolling around like a madman, yielding nothing except having his gut cut open by the beasts, forcing him to hold on to his intestines. But Red Steel managed to hold on to their wits, slowly taking them out one by one, until Loothas, using his lasgun, evaporated the final creature that had jumped onto Solomon’s shock maul.
While badly wounded, Red Steel had come out victorious. But this was no time for rest, as they knew that more beasts could lurk around the next corner…