The Darkest of Heresies
Hetiareia Lexis Second Mission
Hetiareia Lexis Second Mission
Thought of the day: “Idleness leads to heresy”
We received a letter with the mark of Hetiareia Lexis today, telling us of strange happenings in the Executeria district. While it contained little information, their last mission was so profitable we decided to begin our investigation.
On arrival I asked the local enforcers if anything strange was happening in the area. They denied it, but I could see in the way they acted that they were trying to hide something. We asked around in the streets and in a bar, and learned that the nobles where up to something mysterious, and that many workers had been receiving more money. We decided to visit the owner of a local plantation.
His secretary tried to keep us out, but we entered anyway, and found there a nervous wreck of a man aiming at us with a stub revolver. I prepared myself to negotiate with him, an possibly disarm him, but then Loothas disarmed him with his powers. But something must have gone wrong, for suddenly i heard horrible voices in my mind, screaming at my sanity! The horror passed quickly, but I still feel tainted from the experience. The owner, Mr. Slouch, was also marked by the experience, and quickly revealed all he knew about the happenings in the district. He claimed that many of the other plantations had had their owners replaced, and switched productions from food to something else. He also claimed that the nobles where secretly increasing wages in the area, through the templar calixis agent Hermann Schöll. To get attract more people to the area?
We decided to investigate the plantations, and to pay Hermann Schöll a visit.
Hermann Schöll did not wish to share any information, and our two assassins were unable to infiltrate the plantation, even as I, Loothas and the new intern caused a distraction on the other side. They claim to have been chased away by cyber mastiffs and heavy weapons. I hope they are exaggerating…
Thought of the day: “Heresy begets retribution”
We decided to try once more to infiltrate the plantation.
Khorrl managed to convince a local youth to attack Plantation Beta with a grenade, while we infiltrate Plantation Gamma. I managed to convince the group that we would also need to turn of the power to the district.
At first I tried to trick the local techpriest, but I soon realized my folly, and decided to ask for his help honestly. He agreed, convinced by my argument that the local populace was loosing respect for the gifts of the Omnissiah. With the power down and many of the guards drawn away by our distraction, we entered the crypt under the plantation, hoping that it would lead inside.
The Assassins snook ahead, while I and Loothas lead the rest of the group down the corridors of the crypt. The walls were covered by a strange flower, and as I lent forward for a closer look, I could feel it pulling my mind closer. I shook it off, and decided to take a sample with my knife, but the plant attacked me, and I must have been knocked unconscious. As I awoke, Khorrl told me he had detoxed me, so the plant must have poisoned me. We then extracted a sample more carefully, but the flower dried up into powder in the container.
As we advanced deeper we came upon a body lying in the corridor, completely covered in the mysterious plant, and the passage was blocked. Loothas pulled it out with his powers, and we exited the crypt, intent on bringing the flower-covered body to the techpriest’s temple. But as left the crypt, Khorrl tried to attach it with his grapple gun, and the body exploded with pollen. From it a massive bundle of the plant grew forth! We destroyed it with a firebomb, but as it died it emitted a terrible scream in our minds.
I must admit my will failed, and I fled to the Mechanicus temple.
When I arrived there, and waited for the doors to open, I was surprised to see one of the emperors holy Inquisitors and his retinue arrive. Surprised, and horrified, for what does this say of the gravity of the situation? And inquisitors are not always known for letting witnesses live..
We were scanned by the techpriest at the inquisitors order, and all were declared clean. All except me! They claim I am infected by the plant! What could this mean? Is there a cure? Neither the adept nor the inquisitor will say, they require more tests. It seems I shall have no sleep this night…
Thought of the day: “Life is the Emperors currency, spend it well”
As the rest of Red Steel gathered in the Mechanicus temple, the priest told me that would live at most a week, and that to create a cure we would have to acquire the seeds of the original plant. He is sure that it can be found in this district, but he does not know where, and neither do we.
Will this be the last entry in this log? Emperor protect me, my faith must hold!
The root of this evil lies with the nobles, but we did not know which ones, so I suggested to our group that we asked [[:reginald rex|Reginald Rex]], who seemed to have something to say about everything, and who dressed like a nobleman.
But as we knocked on his room, he used a grapple hook to escape into the next building. Strata, our only female member, kicked in the door, and we ran inside, but were quickly stopped by Khorrl and Loothas, who pointed to the trip-mine in the room. Avoiding it, Khorrl pursued him with his own grapple hook, while Loothas used his powers to run down the wall.
I’m not sure what happened, but we soon hear Khorrl on the micro-bead telling us that he was making his way down to the sub levels. Nevertheless, Loothas caught up with him, later telling me he had knocked him unconscious with a door.
Note to self – Never mess with Loothas while in a corridor, doors are dangerous.
After magnaceling Rex and tying him to a chair, we started to interrogate him. It was quickly established that he only escaped because he thought we were his mother-in-law, or some kind of bank employees. He proved quite cooperative, and told us what he knew (which wasn’t all that much), only that the nobles met in the theater, and that they had hired a special actress to perform for them.
We decided to scout out the theater, and soon saw that entering through the main entrance was the simples route, no guard were stationed there. The whole building is overgrown with those horrible plants, but Loothas told me he doesn’t detect any warp presence in them. We walked through the entrance area and into the main auditorium, and descended to the stage. Down there, a strange chill was present, the temperature dropping to well below zero. I walked up to the stage, and lifted the curtain to look inside. The others quickly followed after hearing me swearing. On the stage was a huge version of the plants that had infected me! This must be the original plant.
The sight of this unnatural thing was horrible, but it seemed to affect Loothas and Khorrl differently. Khorrl quickly gained a dreamy look in his eyes, while I could see Loothas struggling for a long time before joining him. The plant must have mesmerized them, like the smaller plant had tried to do with me. They started to worship the thing, but before they could finish their heresy, I shocked them with Old Shock, restrained them, and Stubber removed them from the theater. It was obviously for their own good, for had they continued, the Emperor might never have forgiven them.
I decided to extract some pollen from the plant’s flower, and using Khorrl’s grapple gun and clip harness, I ascended to one of the walkways, and descended over the flower. I then used a shovel to take some of the poller. The plant tried to defend itself with tentacles, but I managed to get up in time.
We returned to the AdMech temple, but as I tried to give the sample to the techpriest, Loothas pulled the container from my hands with his mind, and ran of. I quickly pursued, and managed to overtake him, but only because the plants control seemed to lift from him and he stopped.
The techpriest analyzed the sample, and exclaimed that it was connected to the warp! Foul Heresy! He explained that we would have to break the plants connection to the warp, by destroying what had corrupted the plant in the first place.
We returned to the theater, but it was now occupied by nobles, and many guards were with them. We decided to sneak in through one of the back entrances, but after many failed attempts where we where turned away by the actors we encountered, we realized we needed another plan. Loothas then ascended to the roof, to look for an entrance there, but found a side entrance on the wall, probably used by cleaning crews to access the roof. We entered through that door, and looked inside. We stood on a catwalk behind the scene, on the side. I could just make out part of the stage, where a beautiful woman was dancing and singing.
Loothas walked on through the door at the end of the catwalk, and though it we found a long corridor, which must pass over the stage. In the middle of the corridor we entered through a door, into a expensively decorated room, with a perfect view over the audience. The nobles barely filled the first few rows on the first floor, and the upper floors and galleries must have been unused for several years. We exited the room and walked out on the gallery, where we had a good view down onto the performance and the audience, while being hidden from them. We decided to wait for them to leave, and went to sleep, after agreeing upon our normal watch schedule. Meanwhile the nobles got more and more exited, and the whole thing soon turned into an orgy. How low these nobles have fallen!
Thought of the day: “All Daemons are Falsehood. They are lies given the shape of creatures by the fell power of Chaos.”
The orgy lasted most of the night, and was followed by the cleaning crew. After they left, we descended to the scene, and I led the group backstage, and down to the star actors’ rooms. All the way we could hear female laughter, on the edge of hearing. Loothas told us that he could feel the presence of a human-sized life form below us, and I figured it probably was the actress we had seen on stage. I began to read the names written inside the stars painted on the doors, and after passing the door of Bob Karsten, I found a door with a female name: Joya Tory. I entered the room, but it was empty.
But as I walked into the room to search it, the female laughter grew stronger and more desperate, and several horrible creatures charged out of the other actors’ rooms! They bore the shape of beautiful women, yet twisted with horrible mutations, with claws where hands should be, and with horns and long forked tongues, tails and clawed feet! Their horrible forms, both attractive and repulsive, clawed at the purity of our very souls, but Strata’s strong faith kept us fighting. She cut deeply into one of the monsters with her chainsword Spinecarver, and I finished it with a blast from Fatebringer. But the other almost cut off Strata’s leg, and Stubber had to hold it off with his sword, his heavy weapon too unwieldy in the close quarters fighting. Two more of the creatures tore through the wall on our flank, one carving into Strata, the other cutting open Khorrl’s thorax, forcing him to fight on with one hand, while holding in his heart and lungs with his other hand.
The monster moved around us and jumped up onto the table next to me, out eyes locked, and the duel was on! I kept blocking it’s attacks with my shield, but was unable to land any blows with Old Shock. As I struck, it jumped up onto the mauls shaft, impossibly light, and i could barely block it’s attacks with my shield. It got in several hits, cutting deeply into my flesh several places. But suddenly it was hit by a las shot, which caused it to spin around, and disappear, as if it walked through an invisible door, while all the time keeping it’s opal eyes locked with mine. I get the feeling that our fight is unfinished, but the next time I will be ready for it…
After the fight we searched the floor, but found nothing of importance there. But in Tory’s room we I saw a trap door in the floor, leading downwards. I asked Stubber to open it, while I climbed down first. I came into a corridor, ending in a heavy metal door. We readied our weapons, and entered through the door.
The room we entered was large, 10×10 meters, and looked as if several corridors had been combined to make the room. Along the walls several instruments of torture were lined up: Racks and iron maidens, stretchers others. In the middle of the room stood several sofas, covered in pillows. On one of the sofas lay the actress we had seen performing during the performance: Joya Tory. She seemed to be sleeping, but as we approached her she seemed to wake. We spoke to her about the happenings on the stage, but Loothas warned me that she possessed great psychic powers. I confronted her with this, and as she failed to display a mark of sanctioning, I demanded that she surrender to imperial law. But she only began laughing, and started transforming into a monster! She was a daemon! And as she transformed, four of the daemons we had encountered earlier appeared in the torturing instruments!
We fought valiantly, but both I and Strata was severely wounded, and our attacks seemed to have little effect. We decided to withdraw, with Stubber carrying Strata out, unconscious from the blood loss. Khorrl held the daemons at bay while the rest of us escaped, barely escaping himself by pulling himself out with his grappling hook. He left a grenade for the unholy monsters, while Loothas closed the door with his psychic powers.
We left the theater, and decided to seek out the Ecclesiachy for help. We spoke with one of the abbots in the largest cathedral in the area, and he promised that the matter would be dealt with. As we watched the theater burn by the flamers of the Fraternis Militant, we heard the psychic death scream of the great plant. But still I did not feel any better, and Loothas could still sense warp presence in the plants in the plantations. They must not have managed to reach the master daemon itself! We would have to conclude it ourselves, after we had managed to get a new leg for Strata.