After stopping the vile experiments of the wicked heretechs in the lower hives, the heroes of Red Steel waited several months without any new great adventure, barely making ends meet with the small jobs they could acquire.
They were also joined by a new member, who signed up as the new junior intern assistant: The former guardsman and heavy weapon expert Jethro “Stubber” Tull.
But suddenly one day, a mysterious note was passed under the door to the Red Steel Bastion!
The note bore the mark of their former employer, Hetiareia Lexis, but offered little information other than that there had been some strange happenings in the Executeria District, the center of many of the Hive’s temples, plantations and necropolises.
The mercenaries, hoping for a chance to win gold and glory, set out for the district, and arrived later that day, ready for anything. They encountered a hive district seemingly undisturbed, but after questioning the locals, they discovered that many had been receiving more money than usual. A quick visit to the employer of one of the workers they interviewed showed that he was not the source of his employees new wealth! The man, who was the owner of Plantation Alpha, said that he thought a band of nobles was paying the money to attract more people to the district for some nefarious purpose through the Templar Calixis agent Hermann Schöll. Additionally, they had been replacing several other plantation owners with their own goons, and switched production there from food to some other mysterious product.
The Red Steel split into two groups, one to visit the Templar Calix, and the other to infiltrate one of the plantations. However, as the Templar Calix refused to cooperate, yielding no information except a vague suspicion of secrecy, they regrouped near Plantation Beta, waiting for the nighttime. It was decided Mac and Khorrl would sneak in through the roof while the others created a distraction at the opposite side. Despite approaching the roof stealthily, they failed to notice the alarm systems, leading them to being attacked by several guard patrols and their cyber mastiffs. However, they made a daring escape combining athletic finesse and exceptional marksmanship, regrouping at their local hideout, The Necrotic Rose.
The next day the group awoke with a new plan dawning in their minds. They hired a local youth to attack one of the other plantations with grenades, while The Red Steel persuaded the techpriest running the local power station for Plantation Gamma to shut down the power. The mechanicum adept agreed, feeling that the locals had lost respect for the gifts of the Omnissiah. With the power down, and many guards rerouted to the attacked plantation, the heroes descended into the crypt under the target building.
As they descended the stairs and walked through the dark corridors, they noticed that the walls were covered in strange red flowers, similar to those they had glimpsed inside the plantations. Additionally, it seemed as if the veins was drawing nutrition from the bones of the dead. The noble Solomon Demeter, ever observant, took a closer look at the plant, but was almost transfixed by its mysterious allure, which called to him. But his iron will was not so easily conquered, and realizing its strange properties, he tried to cut a flower from it for sampling. But then something unexpected happened. The plant struck out at him, and its terrible poison filled his veins till he was struck unconscious.
Thankfully, Khorrl was quickly there to inject him with detox, quickly reviving him. Then a sample was more carefully extracted from the plant with longer reaching implements. But as soon as the flower was separated from the whole, it dried up into powder. Nevertheless, Solomon managed to catch it in a container.
As the heroes crept deeper into the crypt, the vegetation grew thicker until they closed the passage, growing through a bloated body, held suspended in the air. To prevent further contamination, Loothas used his powers to pull it out from the grasp of the veins, enabling them to bring it out of the crypt for a closer study as it contained enough plant material for it to remain alive.
After exiting the crypt, Khorrl thought it would be a good idea to use the grappling hook to drag the body. But as he jammed the hook in, the body burst with pollen, and a great growth grew forth from it, soon growing to the size of a room. A firebomb was thrown at it, killing it, but also releasing a psychic scream that sent three members of the group running in despair to the techpriest’s temple. As the plantation looked like it could burst at any time, releasing more warp plants, the rest threw a firebomb down the crypt to hopefully burn it all. However, this proved barely mildly effective as the fire could not reach down to the center and only the stairs was cleared.
Reaching the temple, they sought the techpriest’s aid and knowledge, but instead they were met with an Inquisitor and his retinue, who had heard of the local flora situation. The rest of the group arrived shortly, and they were all scanned by an intricate apparatus. It indicated to the Inquisitor that all the heroes where clean, except Solomon, who had been infected by the plant. He remained in the temple over night for further testing, while the rest of The Red Steel returned to The Necrotic Rose.
The next morning, the group was presented with the results. Solomon would live at most a week. To cure him, the seeds from the original plant would have to be found and brought to the techpriest. This could be found in the local district, but where inside the heroes did not know…