Sector Report VII

+From the Blind Scribes of the Prosperitas Conclave+

+ Thought for the Day +
«Peace is an inimical state for humanity; the cycle of conflict and conquest drives us ever forwards to greatness.»

++ Begin Data Inload
++ Pending…. ++
++The current date is 4-934.593.M41++
++ Report Begins ++

++ Major Events ++

4-648.593.M41 – The Tide Turns on Persephon IV
After years of war, the arrival of a crusade of willing citizens begins to turn the tide on Persephon IV. Raised by Soror, Sister Osana, and bolstered by the arrival of the banner of St Leonidas in the hands of a Preacher named Argento Vern, the faltering Imperial lines regain their footing and rally. Elements of Fleet Arm Mostoller and Battlegroup Diomedes, under the prominent Crusade commanders Admiral Sarina Khan and Lord-General Militant Ruprecht Janus, arrive and take orbital control of Persephon back from the Greenskin marauders in orbit. For the first time in the campaign, the Orks and their ‘Konskript’ human xenocultists are on the back foot as orbital bombardments make light work of their larger war engines and bases on the open planes. Talk on Persephon begins to turn towards futures that involve winning, rather than merely holding against the tide.

The hero of the hour is Major Giancarlo Firenze, who has driven much of the effort to secure Crusade support for the retaking of Persephon from the Greenskin menace. In recognition of his efforts the Major is awarded a two step promotion to the rank of Colonel and the Emperor’s Star medal for services to the Imperium, and there are rumours of future promotions – perhaps to the rank of Brigadier or Major-General. This comes with the usual array of propaganda appearances for the former medic, which see him peppered across the news-sheets as the current hero of the hour.

Bloodied but not defeated, the Orks withdraw from the scrap-field before the barrier mountains. Leaving only the odd skulking war machine or commando ambush to delay Imperial advances , they fall back into fortresses within the dormant volcanic mountain range of the Scarbacks. This is an oddly strategic move for the Orks; despite the inactivity of the Scarbacks, Imperial ships daren’t engage in bombardment as a major faultline runs beneath the mountains, and even light bombardment risks tectonic disturbances. A major volcanic eruption would make Persephon’s recovery nearly impossible.

  • Admiral Sarina Khan comments to Crusade commanders: Persephon is not won yet, too often we have made the mistake of underestimating the greenskins and their “Prophet”. The Orks have prepared for this mountain war we will have to burn them out of their fortresses and they know that – to retreat and defend is not an Ork tactic – if this war has taught us anything it is that they are planning something.

4-803.593.M41 – A Red Star Rises in the East
Known in whispers across the Sector l as the ‘Night of the Red Star’, for a single night a crimson glow shines in the night sky above the Prosperitas Sector – its apparent source a baleful Red Star shining from the general direction of the Nemean Gulf. With the uncanny light comes sudden eruptions of violence across the Sector. Frenzied citizens riot, and mob violence peaks beyond controllable levels; the further away from the ‘Red Star’, the less this effect is, but it rips across Subsector Primus and Subsector Secondus in a single bloody night. Then – just as suddenly, and little more than twelve hours after it began, the building crescendo of violence falters and fades. Rioting citizens falter and break before enforcement effects; people wake, covered in blood amid the wreckage of their homes, and find no answers for why.

When the fighting dies down, Arbites forces estimate the bulk of casualties targeted are members of the ‘Ashen’ Doom Cult that has arisen in recent months across the sector. Even after the Star fades, some effects linger: Blood Cults long believed repressed by the Ordo Hereticus continue a brutal campaign of violence against the Ashen.
Meanwhile, reports of new Archenemy irregular forces under the name of the Red Hand begin to emerge from Ordo Hereticus Agents across the sector. Cultist demagogues proclaim an unholy ‘Red Crusade’ to purge the ‘taint’ from the Prosperitas Sector – falling upon known areas of Ashen activity and massacring them where Imperial authorities fail to intervene in time. These forces appear to avoid direct engagement with the Imperium for now, though civilian collateral is high.

The demagogues proclaim the rise of a ‘Red Saint’; in response, the Ordo Hereticus deploys kill teams drawn from the Sorors of the Order of his Sanguine Tears, local Witch Hunters and their own militant acolytes.

  • Inquisitor Nasser comments: I hear some suggesting that we should let the two forces fight it out, on the principle that this can only weaken both. Wrong! Do not forget that we are dealing with powers of the Immaterium; their physical resources and personnel are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to their corrupting influence. This massive outbreak of violence, the fear it inspires – it can only feed the hidden forces behind these cults. It is the searing light of the Emperor which must ultimately b-b-burn away the Darkness, not the barbarous blood-soaked hordes of a Ruinous Power!
  • Inquisitor Astria comments: I agree in the abstract, but … we are clearly facing two ideological structures with points of difference and conflict: they want different things, and want to fight over them. If we can work out what their strategic priorities are – especially where they mesh and overlap – we can better understand how to frustrate both parties and bring maximise returns on our efforts. If the Conclave don’t do this, then who will?

4-824.593.M41 – Midsummer Stands
Astropathic contact with the vital Agriworld of Midsummer was cut off during the ‘Night of the Red Star’, prompting concern that the world has been lost to Madness in the middle of its annual ‘Harvest Festival’. Several units of Imperial Guard are rerouted from the Persephon Front to reinforce the planet, but when they arrive they find only the aftermath of rioting, and are turned back by the unexpected presence of the entire House Majid Trade Fleet in high orbit around the planet.

The incident sparks confusion across the Prosperitas Sector, as House Majid has apparently forsaken some of its traditional holdings in the western regions of the Sector. Speculation runs that House di Firro has won a major battle against them, but it is House Vilas-Lobo ships which are shortly sighted in former Majid holdings.

  • Inquisitor Corvinus comments: The conclave commends the agents that made this possible. The long-term strategic value of this cannot be discounted; had Midsummer been consumed by the warp storm it would have been devastating for the sector. Unacceptable numbers of people would have starved; the Crusade would have faltered; and the Fly Lord would have regained power from the spread of despair.

4-835.593.M41 – The Capture of Duroverum
The sudden and unexpected translation of a fleet of vessels over the Sector Capitol of Duroverum heralds the return of Lady-Captain Hermione Durovera. With her brother the Warmaster no longer present at the capitol and the House Durovera holdings on the planet in disarray, the Lady-Captain can seize control of the capitol – and does so. Any signs of resistance from the Nobility and Imperial Authorities on the planet melts away when an Adeptus Astartes Cruiser bearing the heraldry of the Void Hounds, an Imperial Fists successor chapter, translates into the system and drop pods rain down on the Planetary City.

From the throne room of the Sector Governor, the Lady-Captain crowns herself in a direct contravention of Imperial procedure. She and her supporters argue that her brother’s ‘long sickness’, and utter absence from events on Duroverum, are signs his office are simply keeping up the pretence of his survival from the terrorist attack on Crusade High Command several months ago. She declares – with the full force of her fleet and allies behind her – that her brother is dead.

Lady-Captain Autokrator of the Prosperitas Sector Hermione Durovera goes unchallenged in her claiming of both the title and control of the Ecclesiarchy, Nobility and Administratum on Duroverum. The only opposition comes from the Warmaster’s Office, which continues to issue statements condemning her actions right up until the Astra Militarum Headquarters are invaded by Void Hounds forces and they are stood down by the Astartes. The Adeptus Arbites deliver formal censure for the breach of Law, and are expected to present a firmer opposition – but Protector-Marshall Vox, a notable ally of the former Warmaster, has apparently taken leave of her post. In the final reckoning, the Arbites do no more than issue a condemnation and confine their forces to Precinct-Fortresses.

Terra officially revokes the titles, but in condemnation of Hermione Durovera’s breach of protocol refuses to acknowledge her regency over the Prosperitas Sector without review; agents of the Adeptus Terra are dispatched to the Prosperitas Sector. The titles of Warmaster and Sector Governor remain officially vacant from this point though the Lady-Captain Autokrator effectively controls the heart of the sector’s administration and thus the balance of power.

Upon receiving the news of the High Lord’s delay of her official sanction as rule, Hermione Durovera’s fleet moves to interdict several routes into the Duroverum System as well as reinforcing several worlds vital to House Durovera, anticipating reprisals from the other Houses.

Former Warmaster Armelius Durovera remains unaccounted for.

  • Inquisitor Valtrois comments: I’m not aware of any prior alliance between the Duroveras and the Void Hounds – whatever strings Hermione has pulled to guarantee their support, the presence of a Void Hound cruiser this far from their current Chapter deployment in the Juno Oversector in Segmentum Solar goes a long way to completing the picture of Astartes movements in that sector over the last few years; this has been a move some years in the making.
  • Lady-Captain Autokrator Hermione Durovera comments to Conclave: My dear Inquisitors, I am most grateful for the aid and support you have provided me – but at this stage I must forge my own destiny, without too many debts hanging over my head. Of course I will support your operations to clear out the last of that thing that was pretending to be my brother, more so than any other House in this sector. But you don’t tell me when or where to act. Remember that.

4-835.593.M41 – The 3rd Battle of Henlock Begins
Battlegroup Diomedes languishes without a commander too long; Lord-General Militant Ruprecht Janus took several ships and regiments to join the ‘glory’ of the new battle for Persephon IV, and his protégé General Stahl is killed by an Archenemy ambush not long afterward. In the absence of direct orders from the Lord-General Militant, command of the front falls to General Adora Astara, a popular Guard Officer with the support of the Battlegroup’s surviving Naval and Guard Officers. With the Lord-General Militant out of contact on Persephon thanks to emerging conflict lines between the Noble Houses, Adora Astara does something rare for the Battlegroup and seizes the initiative by sending envoys to the Naximan Warfleet under Magos Secutor-Navpati Amytis-yâzdah, proposing a coordinated push against Henlock. The Magos Secutor-Navpati considers her Imperial counterparts request for only a short time, before agreeing to General Astara’s terms.

On this date, a combined Imperial-Mechanicus fleet breaks warp above Henlock and devastates the Archenemy fleet in orbit – the Talons of the Way are unprepared for this sudden assault, as the Magos Secutor-Navpati and General Astara act soon after their agreement – all too aware that there were spies of the Talons within their ranks that would report back to their leaders if they delayed. Imperial Guard drop troops, supported by a rear-guard of Skitarii, secure landing sites before the Titans of the Custodii Incudum begin landing operations. Shortly afterward the Knights of Anaximund Alpha, re-routed from the Strayvian Gateway, descend upon the world. Accompanied by hordes of Techno-Barbarian bond-troops, House Qureshi Walks.

On the open plains of Henlock, amongst the ruins of the ancient war-engines and the detritus of the last two Imperial forces destroyed on the planet, the Archenemy meets the Imperium in battle. A force of Traitor Titans and Dark Mechanicus War Engines deploys, supported by barbaric cybernetic monstrosities blaring Heretikal music and barbarous cries through augmented vox-grills – and by regimented Talon units in the old uniforms of the Regency. A relentless wave, their confidence high, they smash into Imperial lines.

From his orbital command above Persephon IV, the Lord-General Militant seemingly takes responsibility for the actions of his subordinate General, openly commending the actions of General Astara and praising her for her initiative. Privately it is believed the Lord-General Militant is fuming, and rumours suggest that his endorsement of General Astara follows only after he couldn’t convince the Commissariat to arrest her for being in contempt of his standing orders.

As of latest reports, the battle looks set to be a hard-fought one and is unlikely to reach a rapid conclusion; the Imperial line is holding and the Anaximund forces are fighting with particular ferocity, though some of the irregular forces supporting the Dark Mechanicus seem to be making a particular point of springing ambushes and atrocities on the Anaximunders. The situation is undeniably a major step up from the humiliating defeat inflicted on Imperial forces during the 2nd Battle of Henlock, but there is no guarantee of victory yet. With neither side on Henlock being able to count on receiving extensive offworld reinforcements, both forces seem to be trying to avoid getting caught up in a drawn-out war of attrition. Instead, they are undertaking complex manoeuvres planned out by strategic cogitators, in the hope that sooner or later one force or the other will make a fatal mistake. Until that opportunity for checkmate arises, Henlock is witnessing the biggest machine war the sector has ever seen.

  • Magos Bring-the-Machine-Spirit-To-Rest-and-Then-Arouse-It-Once-More, consultant to the Inquisition, offers this analysis: +++STRATEGIC SITUATION CRITICAL.+++ Permitting Talons of the Way unhampered access to Henlock resources and infrastructure was increasingly unacceptable. However, should this assault fail, Naximus and associated domains will be effectively surrounded.

4-871.593.M41 – Lines are Drawn
After considering their position in the wake of Rogue Trader Durovera’s coup, the Noble Houses of the Prosperitas Sector begin to make their moves and draw lines. First to act are House Vilas-Lobo, with Śikārī Vilas-Lobo declaring himself Dominatus and reinforcing the House of Jackals’ control of the region. With House Majid forced out of Subsector Tertius and Vilas-Lobo control of Korimesta assured, the House of Jackals effectively interdicts the eastward arm of the vital trade route of the Sol-Prosperitas Passage – along with the Cadian Corridor, which it seizes control of from House Majid unopposed. It only deepens the insult to House Majid when House Sarandeen, a former vassal that has been locked in a secession war with it for several months, declares its allegiance to Dominatus Vilas-Lobo.

Numerous skirmishes erupt between Korimesta and Duroverum, as the probing fleets of Vilas-Lobo clash with Durovera’s defense ships over the vital trade route. Vilas-Lobo denounces Hermione Durovera’s irregular seizure of the Sector Throne and imposes heavy taxation on Durovera-aligned vessels attempting to make use of the trade route when they make the vital stop at Korimesta. Analysts agree they are effectively seeking to starve Duroverum, by denying it access to the vital kelp farms on Kydos that are rendered into ration produce for the planet.

The Lady-Captain ‘rewards’ House Roshan-Fikran for its loyalties to her House, and grants more prominence to the educators of the House over the holy seminary at St. Sebastian’s Redoubt. The Redoubt remains firmly under the control of Cardinal Grulge’s faction of the Ecclesiarchy – and Grulge has not, as yet, expressed any opinion as to the legitimacy of Durovera or Vilas-Lobo’s claims to power over the Sector.

House di Firro, the only other bearers of a Warrant of Trade in the Sector besides Durovera and Majid, assert their control over much of Subsector Secundus regions of the Sector. Unwilling to ally with either Durovera or Vilas-Lobo, they entrench their control of the Prosperitas Trade Spine, and their trade ships sail accompanied by numerous escorts where the Spine travels into territory nominally controlled by House Vilas-Lobo. A surprising and unexpected di Firro assault on Kydos topples the weakened House Sarandeen governor there and takes control of the vital agriworld. Di Firro then strengthen their alliances with the Crusade Salient Commands in the region by ‘securing’ supplies of vital food rations from Kydos for the feeding of vital fortress worlds and Crusade forces – including the fronts at the Strayvian Gateway, Polarnus Nebula and newly opened Henlock front.

House Vilas-Lobo forces remain common around the Strayvian gateway as they seek to maintain access to the Spine and keep their trade routes open with Forgeworld Naximus Prime, with which they maintain a vital relationship. With neither House willing to upset either the forges of Naximus or be seen as unholy by disrupting the re-secured Polarnus Nebula, a trade deal is agreed between di Firro and Vilas-Lobo for mutual access of supplies from Kydos to reach Polarnus and for House Vilas-Lobo to maintain trade. It is not known how long this fragile agreement will last, as Śikārī Vilas-Lobo makes no secret of his intent to ‘reclaim’ Kydos on House Sarandeen’s ‘behalf’.

Lord Gaedren Ruttyer, the ‘Rat King’, remains neutral, declaring for no House and unwilling to accept the authority of the Durovera, di Firro, or Vilas-Lobo ‘petty regents’ of the Sector. House Ruttyer’s leader makes clear that he prefers to treat all of them equally in his dealings and earn the ire of none of them, studiously neutral in the middle of his web-like empire built on the waste of their worlds.

House Globex’s illusive ‘Chairman’ Rufus Scorpius Globex remains detached from Noble affairs, as ever more focused on open trade with Forge Castellum.
House Caerlyn and House Palamyr declare for no side, maintaining control over Merewald and their vassal-planet of Gaudium.

House Monforte, its own assets nominally within the territory ‘claimed’ by House Vilas-Lobo, looks at the House of Jackals’ presence near its holdings on Lubyanka and its numerous holdings on Monacus – and remains nervously neutral.

House Majid are strangely absent from proceedings; on 4-887.593.M41, mere months after it was confirmed stable, all contact with Midsummer is abruptly lost again.

  • Inquisitor Nasser comments: Someone get me in Astropathic contact with the Majids! We cannot afford a civil war between the houses at this stage, and the Majids control Midsummer – one of the last breadbaskets of the sector. If we can stop it falling under the sway of one of the factions, we can bring the Houses to the negotiating table – those who do not keep the Emperor’s Peace have no right to eat the Emperor’s harvest bounty! Let me see if…

4-897.593.M41 – The Fall of House Majid, the Rise of House Volkov
In the absence of communications from Midsummer and with the planet’s abundant food production ever more vital to the survival of her control over Subsector Primus, the Lady Captain Autokrator Durovera deploys the Void Hounds along with a detachment of Imperial Guard to investigate the sudden silence. The expeditionary fleet finds the crippled and disabled remains of the majority of the House Majid fleet free-floating in orbit, the ships deactivated. The Mechanicus Enginseers investigating the orbital graveyard return, horrified, to report finding the vessels’ machine spirits wiped clean.

Imperial forces make landfall, and find that the population on-world had deactivated comms arrays due to an attack on the fleet by ‘carnivorous scrapcode’. Thanks to the low technological level of the majority of Midsummer, very little harm has come to the planet itself as a result, and Imperial order has been maintained – enabling the investigators to quickly build a picture of events.

A renegade scion of House Majid, Erydia Majid, is said to have challenged Lady-Captain Khadija Majid to a duel for control of the House after refusing to accept a reprimand. When it became apparent that she could not win, she unleashed a digital nightmare which ravaged the fleet. In mere minutes, it was clear the Majid vessels were lost. Some merely floated dead in the void; others sustained casualties as life support systems (particularly the lower-priority ones for non-bridge crews) and other crucial components malfunctioned. Four ships were destroyed outright, their drives having undergone meltdown as their systems ran out of control. In those four brief flashes alone, some 250 thousand crew died. In the rest of the fleet, thousands of additional deaths were sustained in the scramble to handle the crisis. Many captains had to make difficult decisions, based on incomplete damage control reports (due to the deaths of their ships’ machine spirits), when it came to which decks of their ships should retain life support. In all, a further 50 thousand crew died of collateral reasons in the aftermath of the scrapcode attack, and nearly a million sustained some form of injury, many of a life-changing nature.

Forced to evacuate to the planet, the Lady-Captain made an agreement with her former vassals, House Volkov-Majid. The Governor agreed to risk the entire planet’s orbital shuttle assets in order to effect repairs on her flagship, the Torchbearer – plus the Light Cruiser Fort Briggs and an escort group – before departing in pursuit of the renegade: unsurprisingly, the former Scion Erydia has been officially stripped of her title, declared Renegade and her name expunged from the family line.
In her rage and fury, the Lady-Captain made a bargain with the Volkov-Majid which sends ripples of shock across the sector. Firstly, she emancipated them from their vassalage to her house, functionally creating a new House of Midsummer, House Volkov. Taking only those she deemed most useful to her quest for vengeance, the Lady-Captain abandoned the remaining members of her extended family on Midsummer, to the mercy of the House of Wolves. Lacking a choice, the marooned nobles swore fealty to the planet’s leaders, becoming the vassal House Majid-Volkov.

Though the Autokrator could easily seize control of Midsummer from House Volkov, the campaign would take time she can ill-afford, and the destruction would damage food production. Instead, Hermione Durovera makes an agreement for the free flow of supplies from the agri world. In the resulting trade she gains control of the disabled Majid fleet. She arranges for the hulls to be recovered and transferred to Ferraeus for reconcescration and restoration, and grants House Volkov control of thirty vessels to act as defence and trade vessels for Midsummer. This sudden growth in power and prominence will eventually mean that House Volkov will be recognised as a new primus house of the Prosperitas Sector, and, thus, a new Major Noble House.

The Harvest Cult, the local sect of the Imperial Cult that is prominent on Midsummer, declare this to be the first Plentiful Bounty festival in celebration of the planet’s good fortunes.

  • Inquisitor Nasser comments: …oh by the Throne! Thank the Emperor that the Red Hand didn’t undertake another try at Midsummer whilst the Majid fleet was helpless! Still, even if the Volkovs are scrupulously even-handed in passing out food, there’s no way they won’t be seen as Durovera clients now; our best chance for enforcing peace is ruined. We should make sure that the power struggle is resolved quickly and decisively in favour of whoever will use their power to serve the will of the Emperor.
  • Inquisitor Vetanori comments: Ultimately, this Conclave has agreed to place it’s faith behind House Durovera, and indeed we have done our best to back that option. House Vilas-Lobo are secretive and imperious and have never had a kind thing to say about the Inquisition, and the Di Firro similarly have proven difficult.

4-904.593.M41 – The Word of Despite changes hands
The Warmaster’s flagship, the Word of Despite, emerges above the Kuatis system bearing an Arbites voidship prefix. The HMJS Word of Despite, under command of Marshall-Protector Drusilla Vox, assumes orbital control of the planet which remains under severe Arbites lockdown since it’s wayward secessionist movement was put down by the Marshall-Protector. Unlike the other senior Arbites in the sector, the Marshall-Protector takes a less studiously neutral stance by making use of the Despite to move Arbites strike teams around the sector and ruthlessly suppressing rebellions. This wins her considerable support amongst hardliners within the ranks of the Arbitrators in the Prosperitas Sector, who move to support her brutal suppression operations of wayward Imperial forces.
Despite her rank being granted by the former Warmaster, the High Marshals and Provost Marshals are bound to respect her powers within what can be considered a time of crisis. That leeway allows the Marshall-Protector effective free movement to carry out her brutal suppressions of local populations.

  • Inquisitor Corvinus comments: Inquisitorial emissaries have been dispatched to the High Marshals and the Provost Marshals to inform of them of the unique threat that Marshall-Protector represents and encourage the Provost-Marshall to move to remove Vox’s rank.
  • Adjutant-Intelligencer Mordecai Nalen comments: Vox – and I should more properly use Objective COASTAL – is a frustrating wild card in play. Her situation as the Warmaster’s puppet is almost secondary: her actions make the name of the Imperium synonymous with fear across the Sector, and feed the thing growing in the shadows – yet bringing her down will feed instability. It is difficult to say if she is acting on her own inclinations – the brutality does fit her attitude – or if she is simply Inquisition-bait. Perhaps it is both. Either way, Inquisitor, I suggest you ask your Acolytes to be careful to work together and deconflict plans against her. She knows too much already, and Kuatis’ strategic importance to long-term recovery of the Sector’s fleets is substantial.

4-917.593.M41 – Pursuit of Voss Continues
Inquisitor-Militant Voss, having been declared excommunicate traitoris by the Conclave and having declared them the same in return – remains at large. It is believed that he had been working closely with the Warmaster; in particular, official propaganda on Duroverum continued to mention him as the Inquisitorial representative in the Crusade right up to Lady Captain Hermione’s attack.

Intelligence obtained from the Warmaster’s palace included data on Voss’s whereabouts which appeared credible. A mission was dispatched to Carthusia involving three teams of acolytes – a group of intelligence operatives to perform corroboration of the data, stake out Voss’s supposed headquarters (a mansion about 15 km outside Vecchio), and interrogate any captives, a team of combat specialists to undertake the raid itself, and a diplomatic team to ensure the cooperation of the local authorities. Given Voss’s apparent use of forbidden sorceries, the three teams were given appropriate training and countermeasures.

The raid appears to have been a spectacular failure. As of the last report of the intelligence team, the data seemed good and the green light was given for the raid. None of the combat team have reported back or been seen since they entered the mansion. Only three members of the intelligence team have been seen since; one was spotted leading a team of Voss-loyal Inquisitorial Stormtroopers in a raid on an Inquisition safehouse on Korimesta, another was discovered dead in a warehouse on Castellum, and a third was photographed in the company of Inquisition assets who had dropped out of contact with the Conclave chain of command at around the time of Voss’s split. The two ones known to be alive are to be regarded as excommunicate traitoris and their Inquisitors are taking the lead on resolving their situation.

As for the diplomatic team, they too have disappeared. When contacted by the follow up investigation, the Carthusian authorities claimed that they had received the diplomatic team, had acceded to all of their requests to ensure that no local forces interfered with anything happening at the mansion on the intended night of the raid, and then hadn’t had word from the diplomatic team since. The Carthusians assumed that, having completed their job, the Inquisition team had left. The follow-up investigation has corroborated that the meetings between the diplomatic team and the Carthusian officials had happened. They have been unable to find definitive evidence of whether the Carthusian government – or forces within it – leaked information to Voss.

A visit to the site of the mansion discovered that the entire building was gone – apparently demolished so completely that no sign of it remained except a deep hole in the ground, a vast gulf whose size suggests that the mansion had extensive underground workings.

No further intelligence on Voss’ whereabouts has yet been obtained, but the continued activities of rogue Inquisition elements across the sector suggests that he – or someone acting on his behalf – is still directing them.

  • Inquisitor Voss has commented in intercepted propaganda: It is clear that there are forces in Prosperitas who want to complete their derailment of the Crusade by eliminating the last survivors of its High Command. Someone made the Warmaster’s own sister turn traitor and attempt a coup. Someone sent death squads to kill me in my own home. These cowards will not succeed. Do not worry, citizens: as always, I have a plan…
  • Inquisitor Nasser comments: What happened here??? Was the Carthusian mansion an intentionally-set trap? Did Voss get tipped off before the raid? Are his dark masters simply that good at protecting him? Whatever the truth, only extraordinary faith in the Emperor and the best use of the gifts he gives his servants will resolve this in our favour.

4-930.593.M41 – The HMVL St Sanguinius launches from Monacus
House Monforte’s recent history has been marked by an encroachment of House Vilas-Lobo on their once-monopolised labour markets. Monforte-transported slave labour does not command the price it once did, and an ailing and unpopular fleet of Void Liners are quickly being deserted by once-loyal Noble customers in favour of different pleasure-pursuits and private void transport.

Lord de Monforte has staked much of his family’s wealth on completing the centuries-long and well over-budget renovation of the Void Liner HMVL St Sanguinius, one of the few vessels granted Ecclesiastical blessing to carry the name of the Emperors’ most tragic son. The success of the St Sanguinius is directly tied to the survival of the De Monforte Charter – should it fail as a venture, it will leave the House all but stripped of its wealth and forced to sell off its physical assets to survive. That situation would make it possible for the Adeptus Administratum, if petitioned, to revoke its exclusive rights to the transport of live human cargo – opening its crowning monopoly to its would-be competitors. The result would be a rapid and brutal fall from grace for the House.

The launch of the St Sanguinius is well attended, and her initial passengers contain an array of high ranking Imperial citizens curious to see the renovated vessel. By all accounts, the launch is a complete success. Lord de Monforte seems relieved, and announces that the vessels first tour of the Sector shall see it serve a message of ‘unity’ to the fragmented powers of the sector, with an exhibition of fine art pieces honouring Saint Sanguinius’ life and martyrdom.


++ Current Affairs ++

++ Be aware that this information is provided only to your clearance level and should not be discussed with Citizens. The penalty for perversion of ignorance is one hundred lashes at a public corporal square. Repeat infractions will result in execution ++

On Agrial III a general conclave of Priests and Sorors are expected to convene under the auspices of Canoness Asenath Dinah. Among the issues believed to be up for discussion is the recent conduct of Cardinal-Emissarius Grulge, who remains entrenched on the shrine world of Nivalis. The conclave is expected to attract members of all factions of the Ecclesiarchy within the sector, though it is believed the Cardinal will not attend.

  • Inquisitor Astria comments: For all that the Canoness can muster a majority of the membership of the Prosperitas Ecclesiarchy, she will have trouble reaching a commanding majority to the point that she could move against the Cardinal Emissarius. This strikes me as a test of loyalty and flexing of political muscles – I’m guessing she’s not going to move directly against Grulge until she has the weapon she needs to make this Conclave a hammerblow he can’t recover from.
  • Adj-Int Nalen comments: The Cardinal despises loss of control above all else. I imagine he will find it very convenient that all of his enemies are going to one very well-advertised gathering, on a planet with little in the way of native security forces. I will be surprised if he does not act – nevermind anyone who is supposed to be the enemy.

The Void Hounds remain largely deployed on and around the Duroverum system. The Astartes are believed to have arrived in the strength of an augmented company – over one hundred of the Emperor’s Angels. Just a fraction of their forces would be a great aid on any battlefront if their commander, Trierarch lyssasménos Skýlos, could be convinced to lend their support to the Crusade.

The Tain Twins appear to have retreated from the Strayvian Gateway and pulled their forces back to their holdings on the edge of the Warp Storm in subsector Tenebris. Deep space auspex arrays estimate heavy casualties on both Weeping Eye and Creeping Death forces as the twins appear to be consolidating their forces.

Fleet Arm Geryon has all but disintegrated. Group Captain Beaumont is doing his best to reconstitute the Fleet Arm’s voidships by begging, borrowing or stealing the resources he needs to replace and repair his crippled fleet. His counterpart Captain-General Brianna Twine is currently MIA, believed killed or captured by Weeping Eye forces during the Fleet Arm’s disastrous counter-attack during the occupation of Polarnus Station. The majority of the Fleet Arm that is functional remains in volume around Polarnus itself.

Polarnus Station and her defences remain firmly under the command of Admiral Chandier, who maintains command over the various scattered Crusade elements based there – as well as remnants of Fleet Army Geryon limping home, defence ships from Kydos that refused to surrender to Di Firro rule, and many others. A considerable (if ragtag) fleet has gathered there.

Admiral Sarina Khan seems to be making sure not to claim the ragtag fleet as part of the command of Fleet Arm Mostoller; such a thing would create a significant imbalance of power in her favour should she wish to weigh against her potential rivals and claim the vacant post of Warmaster. For the moment, the Admiral seems more focused on unity then feuding; the same cannot be said of her rivals.

Battlegroup Hesperidus, under Admiral Ridea Holz, seems to have removed itself from affairs. There is widespread speculation as to where the Admiral’s forces are currently based, with none reporting in to any known and monitored Naval yard in the region of the Strayvian Gateway. The Admiral informs the ad-hoc Crusade ‘council’ that she is continuing operations in the region, and is not forthcoming with further details.

  • Magos Bring-the-Machine-Spirit-To-Rest-and-Then-Arouse-It-Once-More, consultant to the Inquisition, offers this analysis: Admiral’s rebuff of Crusade council undermines council’s authority. ERROR – critical data not found re: Admiral Holz motivation. Probability breakdown: Admiral conducting independent operation for personal benefit 32.5%, Admiral facing unknown danger she believes she cannot trust council with 34.3%, Admiral pursuing hitherto unknown motive 33.2%.

++Rumours++

++ Be aware that the veracity of this information has not be ascertained and carries with it a class-2 warning of unreliability [class-2.information is gathered via un-enhanced interrogation or state surveillance]++

From the Mouth of Heretic-2435-Gamma: “I dun’ know what the sign means! It’s everywhere, coiling crushin’, but it’s nothin’ to do with us! Who knows what the three headed serpent means? The Withered Angel don’t!”

Recorded on Monacus: Individual 1: “They say the Circle is completed and the thorny vine bears fruit.” Individual 2: “Then let it be harvested swiftly.”

From the Mouth of “Skids” noted Chem-Pusher on Letifer Secundus: “Look, I know the stuff you’re talking about, but I ain’t seen none for months, guv, and my stash is dried up! Bloody shame n’all – now the clientele know the difference between stimms and when it’s cut with suspensor liquid it’s going to be bloody hard to wean them back onto the crap supply now the good stuff is harder to get our hands on again.”

Recorded on Duroverum: Sewer Worker: “I swear to you I saw it, pale thing, terrifying, fled when I got too close saw something else out there, pale…scary looking, I swear it’s eyes glowed, but I’m not certain, fled before it could get me.”


++List of Wanted Individuals ++

Be Aware: This list is drawn from Arbites and Bounty Hunter Guild records. Unlicensed pursuit of any of these individuals by someone not an Arbiter of the Lex Imperialis, or a deputised and sanctioned representative [Cit.Ref Enforcer or Bounty Hunter], is strictly prohibited.

The Honourable Consortium of Bounty Hunter Guilds kindly reminds citizens that unsanctioned bounty hunters are criminals, and subject to the harshest penalties by Guild Law.

The law is for sanctioned professionals. Taking the law into your own hands is against the law.

The Honourable Consortium of Bounty Hunter Guilds would like to remind all Hunters that it will continue not to honour any bounties on any individual operating under the name Klaus Hendrickson until further notice…

++Formal Declaration of Guild War++

Harken to this proclamation of the Honourable Consortium of Bounty Hunters:

We note that a renegade, outlaw association calling itself the League of Elite Bounty Hunters has been established. Its founders are Guilds and individual Bounty Hunters excluded from this Honourable Consortium due to their acceptance of commissions from discredited and disreputable figures, including but not limited to ex-Warmaster Durovera and ex-Inquisitor-Militant Voss.

We note that several members in good standing of this Honourable Consortium, including legends of our profession such as Bloodshot Rachel, Three-Finger Joe, and the Garotte Family, have been sent in an untimely manner to the Emperor’s protection by the treacherous actions of members of this League. In some cases these killings took place at venues accepted by all legitimate Guilds as being neutral places of business.

We note that, far from being “Elite” Bounty Hunters, the League see nothing wrong with stooping to artless and clumsy techniques. We regret to inform the League that none of our leadership were at the Honourable Consortium headquarters when the truck bomb went off; we cannot, unfortunately, say the same for innocent bystanders.

Considering the above outrages, it is clear that simply placing bounties on those Guilds and individual Bounty Hunters whose accreditation has been pulled is not sufficient to bring them to account.

THEREFORE, BY THIS PROCLAMATION WE DECLARE THAT A STATE OF GUILD WAR NOW EXISTS BETWEEN THE HONOURABLE CONSORTIUM OF BOUNTY HUNTERS AND THIS LEAGUE OF COWARDLY, TREACHEROUS, INCOMPETENT DOGS.

No quarter will be asked, and no quarter given. We will slay your members, seize your guildhouses, and give your coffers to the Ecclesiarchy that they may pray to the Emperor for our fallen comrades’ repose. All Guild-bonded Hunters are eligible to a twenty-throne bonus payment atop of any bounty they are collecting for the head of a member of the League.

++Rescinded Bounties++
Bounties have been rescinded for the following individuals.

Charon Constantius Jensch
The Consortium extends its apologies to House di Firro for any insult it may have caused. All Hunters are to cease pursuit.

Sister Angelique of the Order of the Holy Seal
The Consortium extends its apologies to the Order of the Holy Seal for any insult that may be caused and will accept the penance of donating to the Order’s mission in the Prosperitas Sector.

Ex-Inquisitor Mordecai Nalen
The Consortium thanks the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition for their honoured patronage, and relays to its members that the bounty has been revoked unclaimed.

++Active Bounties++
The following bounties remain active for collection.

Cadmium Redd [Remains at Large] [Wanted: Dead w. Evidence]
All right Hunters you know the deal with Redd by now: Sedition, Complicit in assaults by her ‘fans’ on Enforcer Officers and your fellow Hunters, Religious Offence, Theft of Guild Property, and vandalism of State Monuments. But we’ve got a new update, Redd’s charges have been updated to include Treason against the Throne that’s one step down from Excommunicate Traitoris and it means Redd is now clocking in at a bounty big enough to retire on.

She’s just a Flip Musician, Hunters, you’re better than this, how does one artist take so long to bring down? The Consortium is offering an additional throne bonus on this one to settle it as a matter of pride, go make yourself rich!

Administrator Second Class Jareth Quill & Adept Aemme Weaver [Remain at Large] [Wanted: Alive (Aemme) Alive or Dead (Jareth)]
For the crimes of eloping with governmental property [cit.ref. Jareth Quill], compromising the genetic integrity of humanity, unlicensed partnering with a non-compatible partner [cit.ref Aemme Weaver] and collaboration to distribute illegally published seditious romance novels on Administratum paper stock, conspiracy to corrupt a Hive Governor, theft of a Voidcraft, and defrauding the Trade Consortium of Monacus.These two lovers just keep on adding to their rap sheet, adding impersonation of Praefectus Imperialis, seduction of the Governor of Monacus and his husband, and defrauding the Worthy Guild of Dealers of one million thrones.

Despite every Hunter on Monacus scouring the planet for them these two continue to evade capture, leading us to believe they have gone off world despite Hunter watch stations at every spaceport.

Erydia, formerly Majid, Renegade Captain of the Plentiful Bounty [New Posting] [Wanted: Alive]
For the crimes of betraying the station of the Imperial Nobility; refusal to obey the orders of her Liege-Lady; the murder of one million, five hundred and ninety-four thousand and five hundred retainers of her house; the willing use of forbidden Heretek to murder the machine spirits of one hundred and thirty voidships; the sabotage of the House Majid fleet; and cheating in a duel.

Now it’s rare that the Guild’s involve themselves in the family affairs of the High Houses, but this bounty has been posted by Lady-Captain Majid herself – since the target has been stripped of her title and status, you don’t have to worry about backlash from going after a member of the nobility. We know there’s a lot of talk about the Houses’ ill fortune of late but the Lady-Captain has put down a sizable retainer directly with the Consortium, which means we can count the thrones. If you can bring this renegade former-Majid scion in alive, along with her ship you’re looking at not only enough thrones split amongst a whole posse of Hunters to retire on but the promise of a letter of merit from the Lady-Captain herself. Which, for those of you new to the hunt, means you’ll be able to seek contacts with the High Houses. Be aware this bounty has a crew, including but not limited to a psychopath, a Navy renegade, a backwater apostate and a robot – capture of any of these individuals will accrue additional rewards, and you can sell the robot to the mechanicus for a standard finders fee.

Sharre Ajax of the Rising Flame [Remains At Large] [Wanted: Alive or Dead]
For the crimes of Treason Against the Throne, Heresy, Recidivism, Incitement of Rebellion, Membership of a Heretical Organisation and Unlawful Resistance to Arco-Flagellation. Alright, Hunters, you know this one! Word has it that Ajax slipped his cell on Polarnus in the fighting, and just the rumour was enough to see his bounties reinstated. If he’s alive he’s lying low for now, if he’s alive out there, so work smart. We nearly lost out the first time; let’s not miss this payday again.

++List of Public Executions and Arrests [Recordings Available for Moral Purposes]++

Yrtalien Princeps [crimes. bribery, criminal dissension, corrupting the government, corruption of Ecclesiarchy agents, corruption of Inquisitorial agents, corruption of Arbites, corruption a member of the Militarum Tempestus, corruption of a member of the Officio Praefectus, corruption of a member of the Imperial Navy and general and widespread seduction of loyal citizens].

Captured by Sal Rahk of the Bone Speaker Clan and handed over to the Holy Ordos for full remuneration, fate unknown. Sal Rahk later found to be spiritually wanting by the Holy Ordos, and released to their custody by their Clan.