Rogue Trader Campaign Log – Session 21 : Return of the Ancient Enemy [Endgame]

As Oberlieutenant Jurgen Borsch hung motionless in space, only the cockpit of his fighter craft separating him from vacuum his comrade Navigator York Benetec was sat in the meeting room of the Venerus, in conference with Captain Ajoku of the Imperial Destroyer Vigilance and Polaris Black (cousin to Admiral Fortunus and acting captain of the Venerus. Ajoku produced a data stick and plugged it into the display that squatted in the centre of the large table, a flickering scene showing an Imperial Satellite under attack by vast pyramidal ships sprang into hazy life in the air above the display, “As we left the system we came across some of the outer defences that the enemy had only disabled rather than destroyed, we were able to remotely link with them and pull this footage” explained Ajoku.
In the same system, aboard the Clanship Rod Hant, Enginseer Prime Pak (now captain) had learned his lessons well, still sore that his ship had been very nearly snatched out from under him, the Enginseer began the construction and installation of a remote kill-switch that would enable him to shut down the vital functions aboard the ship should anyone attempt to take it from him.
Below on the asteroid known to the local inhabitants as the “Eye of Byggmeister” (and which had been discovered to actually be the ruined remnants of the Adeptus Astartes vessel that had originally bought humans to this sector) Admiral Black was leading his men through the maze of twisting metallic corridors and vents that comprised the damaged shits interior, ahead of them they could hear the unsuspecting Clan Klok party that they were following continuing their exploration. Suddenly, the thin air was filled with the sound of gunfire and screaming for a few moments before falling silent; moving cautiously ahead the party discovered the butchered remnants of the Clan Klok party in a secure chamber, two weaponised combat servitors hung ominously from the ceiling, their heavy bolt weapons still smoking. Admiral Black realised that they would no doubt lose a lot of men trying to get past the servitors but that whatever lay in the chamber beyond them must be a worthy prize if it required so much protection; searching the area he eventually discovered a ventilation tunnel that appeared to lead into the chamber and would circumvent the need to pass by the servitors. Ordering his men to holster their weapons Admiral Black lead them into the ventilation system.
A few moments later, Admiral Black found himself staring down into a chamber the likes of which he had never seen before; a strange assemblage of technology head what looked like a golden urn bearing the markings of the Space Wolf chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, there also appeared to a be a member of the Astartes there, frozen in the act of reaching towards the golden urn. Assuring himself there was no-one else present the Admiral pushed the grating free and it tumbled down towards the floor of the chamber, however, Fortunus was surprised when, instead of hitting the floor with a clang, it stopped in mid-air and hung their silently as though frozen in time. Realising that the time effect must be connected with the urn the Admiral threw his personal vox device onto the urn and (using a vox from one of his men) contacted the Venerus to have the teleportarium lock onto his vox and transport the urn directly to the teleportarium chamber aboard the Veneurs; a few moments later there was a bright flash of light and the urn disappeared.
In the meeting room York Benetec spoke into his personal vox following a communication from the teleportarium chamber where he was aprised of the object that now resided within; with Polaris needed on the bridge (since apparently the energy readings from the asteroid had intensified) Benetec invited Ajoku to accompany him to the chamber.
Standing outside the glasscrete isolation bubble of the teleportarium Benetec explained to Ajoku and the technicians manning the machinery that they may have just saved some ancient Adeptus Astartes geneseed, the genetic material used to create humanity’s finest warriors. Ajoku opened his mouth as though to replace and a torrent of metallic silver insects began to pour from his body as it spasmed and quaked; recognising them as similar to the devices used by the ancient enemy, Benetec sealed himself within the glasscrete bubble (with the golden urn) whilst the technicians struggled to escape, sealing the exits behind them (although some were dragged down below the rising tide of beetles.
“Give us the new host” said the thing that used to be Ajoku, metallic fibres sprouting from it’s once human flesh, Benetec’s only response was a sneer, his brow creasing in concentration as he used his psychic powers to communicate the danger to the ships astropaths from the otherwise isolated teleportarium chamber. A few moments later a red alert began to sound across the ship.
Back on the asteroid, Fortunus was surprised when, with the urn removed, the time freeze effect ceased and the large Astartes began to move; he seemed satisfied (after a moment) that the people he saw were members of the Imperium, although it was obvious from his questions that Gunnar had been frozen whilst the battles of the Horus Heresy were still in full flow. With energy levels spiking across the vessel, Gunnar agreed to accompany them back to the Venerus in order to save the precious geneseed.
When Fortunus and Gunnar arrived aboard the Venerus (followed shortly by Jurgen whose fighter squadron, the Void Krakens, had escorted them back) the did so into the middle of a red alert; quickly heading to the teleportarium chamber they found Benetec still trapped inside with the tide of beetles beginning to eat through the floor. Admiral Black quickly issued an order for the remaining personal staff of Captain Ajoku who were onboard to be rounded up and checked for signs of infection by the ancient enemy whilst Jurgen collected some fragments of metal that Enginseer Prime Pak had salvaged from similar creatures that they had encountered before and rigged them with melta-bombs. Opening the door quickly they threw the make-shift bomb inside and watched as it tore apart the gantry, cleared a path for Benetec but also removing much of the floor; nodding the Space Wolf Gunnar leapt across onto the glasscrete bubble and with comparative ease hurled the bulky Navigator across the gap before leaping back himself.
With the excitement seemingly over, Enginseer Prime Pak contacted Admiral Black via ship-to-ship link from the Rod Hant and said that he’d registered a power comms signal from the Venerus giving their location that had been beamed out of sector; it appeared as though some of the beetles had re-routed and boosted the comm systems on the Venerus and had used it to send a message out of system, no doubt to their masters currently attacking Port Wander. Realising that their only hope against such an enemy would be to secure allies, Admiral Black gave his permission for Benetec and Gunnar to travel to the Rod Hant, from there they would attempt to jump to a neighbouring sector and send an astropathic message in the hope that some of Gunnar’s space wolf brethren still lurked in this area of space after all this time.
Fifteen minutes after the Rod Hant had departed the astropaths registered a disturbance in the warp as three sleek and alien spacecraft entered the system; Admiral Black felt his heart sink as he recognised Eldar vessels and anticipated a swift vengeance for the death of their emissary aboard his ship, however, the Eldar vessels moved away to a location on the outskirts of the system and broadcast a single message “They are coming.”
Admiral Black was cursing the cowardly xenos, no doubt they hoped to let the two sides exhaust each other and then dispatch the survivors, when the helm began to pick up strange pyramid craft emerging from behind the shadow of the moon, green blasts of energy flashed out, destroyed several score of the escort fighters on patrol outside the Venerus; swearing vengeance Jurgen leapt into the cockpit of his own vessel and lauched, with the rest of the Void Krakens behind him. Weaving between two of the larger craft Jurgen was able to cause most of their blasts to go wide or hit their own allies, but the superior firepower and numbers of the ancient enemy vessels was beginning to show.
With an almost audible tear the Rod Hant burst from the warp back into the system, following it was a huge Astartes battle-cruiser and ragtag fleet of partially damaged Imperial Vessels
“Venerus, this is the Space Wolf Cruiser Ice Dagger, we are picking up a larger enemy craft still behind the moon, we will deal with it and are transferring command of the Port Wander survivors to you – in the Emperors name!”
With battle joined the previously black void of space grew bright with the stabbed of lance fire, the sickly green bursts of energy from the enemy and was filled with the thudding of macro-battery firing; seeing the battle turning around and not willing to let the Mon-Keigh claim all of the glory, three of the Eldar vessels even broke ranks, carefully placed lanced fire helped reduce one of the pyramids to floating wreckage. Freed of the need to navigate a vessel through the warp York Benetec turned his considerable psychic might to discovering the weak points of the enemy ships and relaying that to those fighting for the Imperium.
“I’ve got one on my tail, I can’t shake them, I can’t…” shouted Lieutenant Schultz of the Void Kraken squadron as his ship exploded in flame; Jurgen shook his head sadly as his vision of the future came to pass and then he jabbed at his fire controls, small explosions stitching across the flank of the vessel responsible.
As the last of the pyramid vessels exploded, the Space Wolf vessel emerged from behind the moon having dealt with the final enemy craft and a crackling voice came over the vox link “The enemy is defeated, the Space Wolves will not forget what you have done here for us today Admiral Black, nor the precious cargo that you have returned to us.”
THE END

Epilogue:
(or where are they now?)
  • Admiral Black, still wary of the plans that his father had for him, accepted a commission in the Imperial Navy, retaining command of the Venerus but fighting more directly for the glory of the Emperor.
  • Oberlieutenant Jurgan Borsch accompanied Admiral Black into the Navy, following his heroic deeds in the Battle of Endeavour, the war-sins on his record were sealed and the Void Krakens went on to become an official elite squadron.
  • York retired to the homeworld of the Benetec Navigator family where he helped trained the next generation of Navigators from his house, cautioning them all against dabbled with the Ruinous Powers or trusting in the fickle attentions of primitive navigator-like shaman.
  • Enginseer Prime Pak went on to help the primitive iinhabitants of the Endeavour system become fully integrated as a thrall-house into the Space Wolf chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, working with them as the chapter to help set up a joint venture with the Adeptus Mechanicus in the Endeavour System.

 


Rogue Trader Campaign Log – Session 20: Visions of Future-Past

The group stared at the flickering holo-recording of the Adeptus Astartes captain as it reached it’s end and froze, the static image of the space marine lingered, hovering over the broadcasting device; Enginseer Prime Pak took away the device, promising that he was going to study it and work out an approximate age based on the metallic particles within it’s surface so that they could more accurately date when the people of these system had first been deposited on the moon of Strive by the doomed Space Wolf Captain. Oberlieutenant Jurgen Borsch speculated that the geneseed spoken about in the message must be used to grow something; meanwhile Lord Admiral Black had remembered that they had a member of Clan Klok aboard the Rod Hant (Sjomann Amelie) and that Clan Klok supposedly had their clanship base around the inner asteroid cluster of the Endeavour system where potentially the last resting place of the Space Marine vessel was (assuming, given Lorgar’s previous interest, that it had not been destroyed). Sending for the Sjomann he bought her aboard and questioned her regarding the ancient legends of her people, Amelie seemed dismissive, saying that they were just legends and that her people’s clanship was moored near a large asteroid that they called “the Eye of Byggmeister” and viewed as a part of their god.
Enginseer Prime Pak re-entered saying that he had aged the device and that, it seemed to originate within the era known as the Horus Heresy; he suggested that perhaps they could open peaceful negotiations with Clan Klok who had remained aloof from the system conflict thus far and had not declared for Lorgar or against him. When the Sjomann enquired why they were asking so many questions about her peoples legends, Lord Admiral Black said that there may have been a real person behind the legends and that they were seeking for the truth of it; Amelie agreed to open negotiations on their behalf but said that they would have to travel to the centre of the system and make psychic contact since solar flare activity made electronic communication unreliable, Lord Admiral Black sent her back to the Rod Hant.
A few moments later the Rod Hant began to pull away from the Venerus and would not respond to any attempts at communication; making his way to the teleportarium chamber onboard the Venerus Enginseer Prime Pak transported himself into one of the storage lockers adjacent to the engineering department aboard the Rod Hant. Peering out from his hiding place the Mechanicus tech-priest could see that the crew seemed to be under some form of unholy influence, the ship servitor’s eyes glowing with a baleful green light. Meanwhile Oberlieutent Jurgen Borsch launched at the head of his Void Kraken fighter squad and moved into the void of space, spreading out to blockage the Rod Hant and attack should it attempt any hostile action.
Onboard the Venerus, Navigator Benetec was scrutinising the warp and could feel it’s malign presence rife on the Rod Hant; Lord Admiral Black received a communication from his security staff and, upon running out of his chambers, witnessed glowing green runes springing up on the bulkheads around the Venerus where Sjomann Amelie had once drawn blood runes (allegedly to help solve a demon infestation). As Benetec struggled to repel an ancient and evil presence that stared at his psyché through golden eyes he managed to advise Admiral Black that if they conducted a short warp jump to the opposite side of the system it may be enough to disrupt the treacherous Sjomann’s sorceries, seeing little choice Admiral Black agreed and gave the order, first contacting Borsch to apprise him of the situation and to tell him to sit tight.
“If only Cornelius was here” – Lord Admiral Fortunus Black
With a blinding flash the Venerus disappeared to reappear moments later on the opposite side of the system, seemingly free of sorcerous influence; Jurgen’s fighter wing used maneuvring thrusters to approach the Rod Hant unseen and magno-grapple themselves to it’s hull. Inside Pak was attempting to interface the ship and lock out the bridge when he spotted the fighters attaching themselves, he cut off the sensors so that the bridge wouldn’t pick up their presence. Over in the corner of the room was a servitor that Pak had disabled and examined, there seemed to be no problem with the mechanical components so the sorcery must be infecting what little biological processes remained in the servitor.
As it drew nearer the asteroid cluster at the centre of the system the Rod Hant began picking up a strange tower-like craft located on the other side of the cluster; at this point Pak de-activated the life-support system to the bridge and re-routed comms to his own console using it to respond mechanically to the requests for communication that were incoming from the tower-ship. A few moments later as the bridge crew gasped out their last breath and Sjomann Amelie died, the green light passed from the eyes of the remaining crew and they slowly began to come to their senses, seizing the opportunity Pak reclaiming the bridge, turning back on the atmosphere and assigning his tech-adepts to clear out the bodies. The tech-adepts began scanning the asteroid and informed Enginseer Pak that they were getting strange readings reminiscent of a warp field from the asteroid cluster; meanwhile Lord Admiral Black boarded the Thunderhawk gunship that they had appropriated from Strive and began to fly towards the Rod Hant, leaving his cousin Tullius Black in command of the Venerus.
With a tearing sound a large craft exited the warp near the Venerus and, to their surprise, a damaged imperial warship identifying itself at the Vigilance appeared; soon Navigator Benetec found himself in a meeting with Captain Tullius Black and the captain of the Vigilance, a man named Armadeus Ajoku. It appeared that, since the Venerus had last visited Port Wander the imperial outpost had come under attack from strange metallic pyramid craft that had all but destroyed the outpost, the Vigilance had been on deep patrol and had been too late to help in the defence; Imperial authorities on the port had ordered them to seek help and the Navigator of the Vigilance (a member of House Feracci) had locked onto the strong psychic presence of Navigator Benetec, the poor Navigator had about burnt out her mind getting the ship here and was currently in their medical bay.
Onboard the Thunderhawk their was a flash and Admiral Black suddenly found himself tied down in a chamber that he recognised as being on his home world on Telec Prime, he was restrained and strapped to some sort of medical bed, a med-tech preparing him for an injection of some sort. Admiral Black was struggling to free himself when the bedraggled and ill looking form of his father Macharius Black who staggered forward saying “If it’s any consolation my boy, i’m genuinely sorry it had to be you, you were always my favourite, but gene-splicing and life extension therapy can only extend my life so far.” Before Lord Admiral Black could react further there was another flash and he found himself sitting back aboard the Thunderhawk, some of his men looking around in bewilderment all apparently experiencing strange visions.
A small ship from the tower-vessel carrying a party that was preparing to go aboard the large asteroid and look for the geneseed began to move through space. Oberlieutenant Jurgen Borsch saw something flash infront of his eyes and suddenly his fighter sensors were full of enemy craft of an unknown configuration, the blazing hulk of Port Wander zoomed past as he dodged incoming fire from a strange silver craft. There was a scream from the comms as his lieutenant Schultz flew infront of him, pursued by two alien missles; Borsch attempted to shoot them down but only got one, the other impacting with Schultz’s craft and destroying it.
“There’s two of them on my tail! I can’t shake them… I can’t…” – Fighter Lieutenant Schultz
As the flash of the explosion faded Borsch found himself back in the cockpit, his readouts now empty, many of his men (including Lieutenant Schultz) were swearing on the comms apparently their minds haunted by their own phantasms.
On the Rod Hant there was another flash and Enginseer Pak found himself standing in a strange featureless silver corridor, an expressionless silver skeleton stood facing him, it’s voice asking him strange things in his head. Attempting to respond in king Pak was lead to the bridge of the strange ship where he saw a screen that showed an attack by the strange machine men on Port Wander.
“Request – Repeat command stream”
“Query – Main command node malfunction”
“Query – Main command node malfunction”
“Order – Follow warrior unit for repair sequence.” – Warrior of the Ancient Enemy
As Pak watched he saw a disabled Imperial fighter, guns empty and engines failing hit it’s thrusters and gun itself forward on a collison course with the silver alien vessel, he had a moment to recognise the distinctive personalised paint job as belonging to the fighter craft piloted by Jurgen Borsch then an explosion engulfed his vision and Pak found himself back on the Rod Hant.
Navigator Benetec was busily explaining the ability of the Ancient Enemy to merge with other technology and to phase through solid objects whilst Lord Admiral Black landed his Thunderhawk on the asteroid and made ready (with a contingent of soldiers) to follow the Clan Klok exploration party into the Eye of Byggmaister.