Rogue Trader: Totally NOT Space Piracy

Albane Log IX
The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.

I continue to tell myself that he is lying, but I cannot shake the question about whether he is.
Doscimael came to me, and promised me that he would return Alexis to life if I did something for him.
All he wanted was for me to read the book- something which I had intended on doing anyhow. His desire for me to do so was quite alarming actually, and
made me re-evaluate my desire to go through with it. I knew very well that he could not return to me the woman I’d lost… or… could he?

He described to me that her soul was being slowly torn apart, just as were the souls of all man-kind. The holy writs tell us that the God Emperor is protecting their souls, and I knew that even Doscimael, powerful as he was, could not hope to challenge the Emperor. When I told him this, however
he only seemed to grow more smug. It was unsettling to say the least. He told me that the Emperor was overstretched and could no longer defend the souls of men, that Alexis’s soul was going to be torn apart if I did not act.

I had never felt such indecision before. I had always prided myself upon being decisive and clean, yet this daemon found a way to tempt me in a way I’d not thought possible. I had nothing but this Daemon’s word to go on, and I knew that he had every reason to lie to me and yet some part of me believed him. I knew that the ship was stuck in the warp for the reason that Doscimael was going to hold us back until I gave in to him and read the book.

I deeply wanted Alexis back, and if he was being truthful about her soul being in jeopardy, then I couldn’t just stay still. Even so, I ended her in the first place to spare her the horrors of corruption. Even though he promised me that she would be returned to me entirely without taint, I could not believe him. She would not want this.

I asked the Daemon to bring the book to my room, I did not want to include the rest of the crew in such a decision… and part of me knew that Lady Castus would not approve. However, I could not betray her trust. I left the Daemon and went to discuss with Lady Castus and told her everything.
She was… surprisingly open to the idea. I had not anticipated that she would want me to read the book, and that she would want Alexis returned in such a way. Even so, I could not return Alexis in that way, it would be too great a betrayal. I could not take the risk that her soul would be put to harm however, so I negotiated with the Daemon that her soul would be safe. I hope it can be kept with me somehow for safe keeping, but I’m not certain how these things work.

I returned to Doscimael and told him I would take his bargain, and that he would have to ensure the safety of Alexis soul. He accepted, and I began to read. It was… difficult. I have a burning headache and I felt as though I could almost physically feel my sanity slipping as I read, but it’s now done.

The ship came out of the warp finally and we now are back on our way.

Perhaps it is a good thing that Alexis was not returned to this life… I love her deeply, and I always will, but… I am not the man I was when she knew me.
That man died along with her, the moment he pulled the trigger that ended her. The man I am now I’m not so certain she could love like she did.

Log concluded.

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Log 8 - Augustine H. Castus

I am beginning to wonder if this will all be worth it? Not in a profit sense of course, but in the greater scheme of the Imperium. I have a xeno bodyguard, I’ve made deliveries of human slaves to Dark Eldar, and now I’ve made a deal with a Daemon who I now owe more because I wanted to change the terms. Have I gone too far? Perhaps allowing Vahn to read the book to gain some leverage over Doscimael wouldn’t be a bad idea… Regardless, I now have the Fury under my command, even if only through the Daemon’s influence. The sheer destructive power on this ship, on closer inspection, would enable it to stand toe-to-toe with even a battleship. My main quandary at the moment, is how to outwit a daemon into giving me full control of the ship, even if I have to populate it with mortal crew. The less I have to rely on him the better.

I do not know what would have happened if we had let the horror continue aboard my old ship, but surely this deal was inevitable.

I am glad, however, that he was amenable to the change of terms. This will allow Meseri to reestablish contact with his people. It could be many hundreds of years before such an opportunity were to arise again for him. Who knows, we may even be able to get a peek at this “other group” of Eldar.

The crew are having nightmares. Undoubtedly from Doscimael’s influence or the book’s. Either one, it matters not. I want that book off my ship as soon as possible. Though with the 2 week journey ahead of us, we will be spending much more time with it that I would like. I hope that an astropathic shield will be enough…

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Albane Log VIII
Thee, form of flame, shall I then fear? Yes, I am Faust: I am thy peer!

In earliest literature, we read again and again about the temptations and the dangers of dealing with the devil.
Even now as I look out the bay window at the mighty Fury of Terra floating beside us, I shiver as it cuts through the void beside us. Without a doubt, it’s an enviable ship- mightier than nearly any I had served upon, save only the very few, but the price for the ship was far, far too high. A discount in comparison for our lives I suppose though.

I feel quite certain that it would serve us well, and would be more than happy to use it to obliterate those Dark Eldar back on Primus. Doing so, I would even hope that we might see the ship disabled or hulked in a more permanent fashion. I feel so agitated and put on edge making deals with this Daemon.

After communication was lost, the Capitalism was evidently boarded by what could only be described as hordes of the dead. We were largely unaware of the extent of the damage and the reality of our imminent defeat as we tried and tried to learn what had transpired. I pulled out my pict-recorder and found that through the lens, we were quite surrounded by what was perhaps a scene of the past, or perhaps something that was even currently transpiring in some alternate realm. I have no real knowledge of such things, but it was clear this was the doing of the Daemon that had been summoned. When I tried to interact with one of them, the woman was pulled away and tortured to death, having her eyes pulled from her like the others. It was the same woman I had seen twice before now; at three times, she cannot be a coincidence, but her mystery will have to wait.

I observed them for some time, but there seemed no useful information to be attained until I made an experiment. Through my pict-recorder, I could still see the Daemonic Script clearly upon the wall. I began to wonder if the pict-recorder was showing me a more accurate picture of what was around us rather than my senses that were more easily manipulated by daemonic entities than were our tech. I took a cleaning brush, borrowing it from the remaining techpriest (the other one Malakai brought sort of exploded…) and attempted to clean the bloodied marking from the wall. Some brief scratching did little to remove it, but it certainly got the attention of everything around me. All the eyeless creatures stopped what they were doing and turned to me, somehow watching me with those empty sockets. I got Stubber’s attention and had him look about as well at them. Unbeknownst to me, one of the once-men was approaching me from behind. Stubber gave it a shove and surprisingly it felt the blow and stumbled. He drew me back into combat formation with the Karskin, who had engaged electronic optics. The creatures began to advance and one of the Karskin delivered a blow from his knife which made it fade away. All at once, they all did. I scanned about the room as quickly as I could but couldn’t see anything more, but was still left with the feeling of dread like something was about to happen.

There was little else we could do now without more information. I knew I would have to read the rest of the summoning, would have to try to hold onto my sanity as I did so. I told Lady Castus my plan and she gave me the go-ahead and I began to read. It was a… violent read… but an enlightening one. I will not write all the things here that I learned from the reading, but I learned the Daemon’s name. I recorded the runes with great care, separating their elements in my notes for future reference- the information may be invaluable sometime to come. Against my better judgement, but by Lady Castus’ command, I called the creature to us. He appeared, disgracing the body of the fallen Karskin and morphing it grotesquely as he spoke to us. I had to bite my tongue to keep myself in check around it, part of me wanted to assault the creature then and there, but I knew it would do no good to do so, and in all honesty would probably result in my own immediate death- its power far outweighed anything I could possibly muster against it… for now…

Lady Castus struck a deal, the Daemon gave us his ship in return for our destroying, or at least making impotent the mystery cargo item. After the deal was struck, the crew reappeared, although were still quite less than human. Power returned and the ship returned to much of its former glory. I tried to bargain to have its crew back, but the creature wouldn’t have it- perhaps there would be an opportunity later. The Capitalism was restored, which was extremely relieving. The Daemon seemed visibly perturbed be me… something which I quite relished; and when he pushed each of us into unconsciousness, I was thrilled that he had to work a little harder to do so with me.

Upon our return to the waking world, we set out to secure the cargo that Nixios wanted delivered and the Daemon wanted destroyed. I was surprised, but not greatly, to find that inside the crate was a simple looking book. At first glance, it appeared to be a holy writ of the Emperor. Moments after Stubber began reading however, it appeared to deeply effect him. I was very suspect of the book, it appeared to be what brought ruin to the Fury of Terra 5000 years previously, and was very concerned for Stubber as he went to go and read. Several hours later, he was rocking back and forth in a barely conscious state. It’s as I feared, the book is Daemonic somehow. Lady Castus ordered it brought to the Capitalism, but I didn’t want it brought in without knowing what it was, for fear it may do to us as it did to the Fury. I needed more information, and I knew that besides a now unresponsive Stubber, only Meseri was qualified to tell me what was in this book. With the corporeal sanctification, I knew I would be more resistant to its power than most on board, and tucked it with me for safe keeping until I could attain some sort of protection or assurance of what it was. I was tempted to read it, but feared too much what it may do to me. Admittedly, part of me still wants to open it up and see what I may learn- perhaps something very useful could be in those pages… but I don’t know if it’s worth my mind to learn.

After returning the book to the coffin, I set the astropaths to keeping it contained and then returned to find Lady Castus waiting for me. From the look she had, she knew that I had taken the book from the cargo area before and demanded an answer as to why. I knew how it looked, and I answered her as best as I was able, although I left out the part about my temptation to actually read the tome. She informed me of its contents and origination, and knowing it was of daemon writ did put an end to much of my temptation to read it. We had dinner with Meseri for the first time following that, although all he ate was a strange coffee sort of drink. Even so, I was glad that he was well. I was able to speak to him for a time following that, and found far more understanding in what I learned.
I also came to learn that the book could help him repair his relations with his people. Frankly, I don’t know much about what transpired or how Eldar society works, but Meseri has been invaluable in his service to us, and is perhaps the only xenos I would consider calling a friend. If we could help him by giving the book to his people, I am far more inclined to do so. When we met with the Daemon, he seemed… partially agreeable to the compromise. Frankly, I do not trust the Daemon at all, and I dislike that the true command of the Fury lies with him. If I didn’t already know that the Daemon stood to gain something by using us rather than killing us, then I would worry that the looming battleship at our stern might open fire at any given time based upon the Daemon’s whims and obliterate us point blank. I am quite… uncomfortable with the situation.

After we were preparing to get underway, I went to meet with Meseri in his quarters. I felt I owed him a few apologies, presenting him with the book and his being so seriously injured as a result of my commands. I was relieved to find he held not grudges and entertained some of my questions. The idea that I may be able to learn Eldar pilotry is quite exciting for me, hopefully Lady Castus will be amendable to the alterations Meseri suggested to make it possible. Now, it’s time I return to the CIC and report for duties, we’re about to get underway. Log concluded.

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Malakai - Koronus Expanse Log 111

Current status is questionable. Location: command bridge of the space hulk dasignate: purity of insanity.

Before i set foot on this cursed ship, i was confident in my abilities. I had just helped van implant his new sub-dermal armor, and had obtained a new combat shotgun for myself in anticipation of boarding the insanity. I was… content. I was not aware of the forces at work on this ship. The forces that had dragged it away from the imperium of man.

Boarding the ship was easy enough. Although capable of warp travel somehow, it showed on our auspex as dead and cold as the void itself. Reactor offline, no life signs. We were able to enter the ship without problems. We brought a small force onboard to take the bridge and ascertain the ship’s status. It was easy goings at first, we met no resistance, and saw no signs of life. Then things started happening. Van claimed to have seen someone on board the ship. I saw nothing myself. Only more unpowered doors that i had to open.

After several hours of exploring, i must have grown weary. I lost consciousness for a minute, and when i regained it i saw that my third arm had scratched words into the bulkhead. “We see you” trailing off in a had that was not my own. In addition to this, it appears my mechadendrite is somewhat corroded. I have been trying to cleanse it with what rudimentary tools i brought with me while we explore this cursed ship, but to no avail. I will have to have all my parts checked on later.

Also of note in the list of disturbing phenomena is that of the entry hall to the bridge. Myself and van saw eyes. Thousands of them, nailed to the corridor walls near the bridge. After a while, this apparition vanished, but holes remained in the walls. I’m not sure what to make of that. We were, however, able to reach the bridge. It was guarded by two ceiling-mounted autoturrets. I was able to approach the control panel and disable these without a problem. I think that if they served no purpose to the last inhabitants of this ship, they will do us little good as well.

once we finally gained access to the bridge, i was able to access a few systems. I found a terminal with a vidlink. The strange thing about this is that nothing else was powered, and that the vidlink was to the chief tech-priest serving aboard the ship. The oddity of this notwithstanding, I was able to gain instruction on how to continue the startup process that had been interrupted millennia ago. By some miracle of the omnissiah what I did managed to get the core started again. The results of this action were… interesting. The ship seems wrothful, more so than any ship i have been upon. However, more power has been restored and we were able to view the ship’s logs. It appears that the previous captian of this ship was driven mad by something. His final log showed him drawing something in blood on the walls. This does not bode well.

Alas, i think we may be dealing with forces beyond our power here. Our best course of action may be to find this fabled cargo and to transport that out of the ship. That will satisfy nixios’ demands and may not be as hard to acquire as the ship itself. Hopefully i can escape the wrathful eye of whatever sees us here.

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Log 7 - Augustine H. Castus

Hulked vessels have a strange effect on people. My father once related a story of a dear friend of his in the Inquisition once was tasked with exploring a conglomerate hulk known as “Harbinger of Sorrows”. She told my father of some of the terrible things she saw aboard, the literal stuff of nightmares. I met her several times in my youth before father vanished for many years. She regaled me with all manner of stories, and until I actually set foot aboard the Purity of Insanity, I had thought they were just stories. Until I set foot aboard, I had some hope that we might just get out of this intact. That hope has been shattered. The fractured communications have made it impossible to transmit back to the ship, and what communications got through in the last few minutes worry me beyond all else. What happens when a Rogue Trader loses her ship and everyone under her command? I fear that more than anything else and the forces at work seem intent on stripping me of all of it.

Hopefully this record survives, even if I do not. This ship is infested with…something. There have been strange occurrences plaguing us since its arrival at the designated coordinates. It even seemed to pop out of warp travel antagonistically, nearly colliding with my ship. It just loomed there before us, like a massive corpse, no running lights, no engine power signatures at all. We pulled up to the keel and docked. We took a group of Kasrkin with us and it took nearly a whole day to navigate the internals without any power to reach the bridge. Visions were plaguing some of the others the whole time, and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling of unease that crept down my spine.

We had already been on the bridge for a few minutes when one of the kasrkin dropped dead. His vitals display reported he had been dead for 8 hours. The most disturbing thing was that his eyes were removed. Later, after we got the generators jump-started, we all saw the woman Vahn described earlier. She also had no eyes, and she shrieked. I’m not sure if it came through the vox channels, or we heard it in our minds, but it shook us badly. Then we noticed the ship powering to full. Communication systems are offline now. What came through from Vauntus fills me with dread. Apparently, he has used his override code, and there are things over there on my ship.

Emperor save us all.

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Albane Log VII
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

The Xeno-mesh feels surprisingly good. I had been worried about the subdermals, but the change in design to favor the Xeno-mesh has turned out to be rather nice. I had a long recovery period, and I probably should have checked out footfall a little more before I went in, but done’s done. Still, each time we visit I find myself hoping I may meet Lady Elenora again… but that is perhaps my infatuation speaking.
I was glad that I recovered when I did, we were nearly to the Insanity’s rendezvous point by the time I was out of bed. I hit the medbay for a bit and patched up the rest of it without too much problem. I still feel the burn inside my body, but my skin is growing back, no longer so angry and burned, and falling off of me in patches. I had forgotten what it was like to not have any open wounds on my body… it’s improved my mood after my last log, but not by much.
The Insanity was late in its arrival, and as we gathered for dinner I could feel the tension between myself and Lady Castus. She began to speak to me, and at first I was not very receptive. It felt as though any reasoning she might have would not be sufficient to justify the monstrosity we’d agreed to. She told me about how the Imperium threw away thousands more lives every day, it was simply a fact of life, and she’s correct in saying so… but those men and women died with weapons in hand and honor intact. What we did to those people under the guise of friendship… that held no honor for anyone.
She did little to convince me of the moral worthiness of the act, but she was correct. Right or wrong, it was necessary. I cannot know what conflicts she fought with before making the choice, and perhaps even though she does not show it, some part of her is deeply pained over their fate.
I can do little but accept it for the time being, and there are more pressing concerns at hand.
The Insanity has appeared now, and we are to suit up to enter. I will continue my log upon my return.

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A Daemon.  I'm not sure which, or how powerful, but judging from what it's done, it's nothing to sneeze at.  After the power returned, the ship came back to life, but somehow even the engine sounds... angry.  We were able to access the captain's log, but every entry but the last seemed normal.  In the final entry, the captain was the only one still on the bridge alive.  He was writing something on the wall using the bloodied stump of his finger.  As I looked at it, I realized I was reading Daemonic script.  I looked away, knowing how dangerous it is to read such things, the mind cannot take it.  Still, it appeared to be a summoning incantation.  Only moments after the video log ended, one of the Kaskin dropped dead.  I rushed to his side, but he was unresponsive, his biometrics were all negative.  We removed his helmet to find that his eyes were removed.  His biometrics reader showed that the man had been dead for hours.  Emperor help us all.  I've given the order for all men to pair up and monitor one another's biometrics to see if we can prevent this from happening again.  I feel as though I've lost one of my own.  Wait, something's happening...
 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕͏ ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ͏ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏ ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̅
We are getting some activity from the main monitor... dear  ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ͏ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏ ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̯̙̚ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕͏ ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̛̛̜̼̆̇̇̇̇̚.d, it's the woman from before. I cannot -- ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕ ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̞̟̠̠ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏ ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕͏ ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ͏ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏. ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕͏
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 ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊.­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ͏ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏ ̰̯̮̭̮̭̬͂́̀̿͏̧̧̛̯̙̮̯̰̜̜̙̮̮̚̚­̮͏ ̛̙̙̭̇̆̀̿̿̚͏̭̬̫̬̭̭̲̳͇̳̀̀́͆ͅͅ­̴̨̛̝̱̜̮̙̙̘̘̫̪̩̼̻̅̕͏ ̱̮̭̬̫̈́̓͂̿̾̽͑͐͏̛̱̜̙̬̫̖̖̝̆̉̊­̴̵̴̞̟̠̠͏̛̰̭̭̘̫̚ͅ͏ ̛̞̝̰̮̭̙̗̖̖̩̼͂̀̿̄͐͏̝̜̯̊̅̚ṫ̝­̙̘̫̆̾͑̚͏ ̧̧̨̛̛̜̼̻̻̩̼̆̇̇̇̇̔̽̚͏.
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ERROR.  CONNECTION WITH RECORDING DEVICE LOST.  LOG DISCONTINUED.

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Log 6 - Augustine H. Castus

They just doesn’t understand. A few thousand lives in exchange for a system able to live in peace is nothing. Such is the way of the Imperium of man. The Imperial Guard throw untold billions of lives at threats every day, this is hardly so much a sacrifice as a property tax. Though I do not agree with the Dark Eldar’s methods, there is more to gain from this than I care to admit to the others. Meseri warned me against dealing with them, and has spoken little since we made the agreement. From what he tells me, the Eldar have a means of travel unlike any we humans even conceived possible. I must learn more of this “Webway”. Though the increase in power is worrisome, to say the least. He has recently emerged from his chambers to speak a warning:

“I have been unfair to you, Augustine. I have spoken a mistruth. I have encountered the Dark Eldar before, though I do not care to go into details any more than I would about my less hedonistic craftworld kindred. I can help you, though. Expect betrayal. If you insist on dealing with the Fallen Ones, then you must be aware of a few things. They are an unforgiving foe and do not respect for long any they see as week or of feeble intellect. They live in a world within the webway called Commoragh. They live lives of plots and betrayal like you or I breathe the air in this ship. A saying I once heard goes: ‘A day without death is a day without sunshine’. It sounds better in Eldar. In any case, remember that unless you are able to demonstrate that you are worthy of respect in their eyes, they will simply hunt you down and kill you one way or another. Be careful not to slip too far into the darkness, some find that it is difficult to get out again if you lose your way.”

Odd words, but at least he was straightforward for an Eldar. I may have to note that saying, “A day without death is a day without sunshine.” It has a ring to it, I’ll give him that much. I am unsure of where this little pact with Archon Toleyn will go, but I need to concoct a backup plan that doesn’t revolve around brute force. If I can gain the respect, however grudging, of the Dark Eldar then they will be less likely to attempt to cross me. I f I were to engage them with brute force, they would undoubtedly be able to outmanoeuvre us in naval combat as well as on the ground. If I demonstrate my superiority in such a way that doesn’t leave me open to military counter (when I have no real military to defend with), I may be able to secure the system more permanently against the Dark Eldar threat.

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Malakai - Koronus Expanse Log 110
In which we are horrible people.

Our latest romp through the void has led to some interesting discoveries. Discovery number one, the first planet in this emperor-forsaken system is inhabited by xenos. Dark eldar, to be precise. They seem to only possess limited-range ships, but they are dangerous nonetheless.

Our shipmates ventured down to the planet and found the eldar there. Their ground craft posess some kind of emitter which allows them to mimic the appearance of other craft. The numerous applications and advantages this sort of technology would grant us far outweigh any cost we would pay in acquiring a few working sets. I imagine with enough time, I could construct a device to the scale of our ship. WE MUST OBTAIN EXAMPLES OF THIS DEVICE.

Unfortunately, lady castus seemed only interested in trading some of the “volunteers” from the second world for xenos cooperation in our endeavors there. Not only would these souls have been put to superior use as murder-servitors, but I also fear that this could have dire repercussions should the inhabitants of secundus learn of our endeavors, or should the dark eldar learn of the proximity of other human colonies and ships. I will seek a way to extinguish these vile xenos from the world, so that we might lay claim to its riches. Perhaps a biological weapon? or perhaps we could convince other inhabitants of this sector to attack.

Regardless of the means, i shall join our voidmaster in consuming large quantities of inebriants while i calculate the best course of action in this endeavor, as well as our coming raid on the lost battlecruiser Purity of Insanity.

Note. Equip the adventure capitalism with a component of murder-servitors for future boarding actions. It strikes my memory now that they are less prone to incapacitation than this useless lot that need voidsuits and are capable of dying.

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Albane Log VI
Questionable Calls

My meeting with Meseri was chilling. I found that I liked him, he was far less repulsive than I had thought a xenos would be; but still the news he had brought me was disconcerting. I didn’t know the half of it.

As we approached Primus, Lady Castus was extremely cautious and ordered our withdrawl after fruitless scanning. We stood by for a time, but it began to seem apparent that Lady Castus was happy to simply wait in orbit for something to happen. After waiting quietly in orbit for some time, my patience ran out and I requested permission to conduct recon. Stubber took the opportunity to come along with, but no other crew members seemed interested. A few of the Kasrkin came along with as well and we did a fly over. It was pretty quiet during the fly by, and as we tracked one of the energy sources, I found a strange set of structures. It appeared to be a flight facility, but not one that I knew. The hanger stunk of Xenos but not a form I knew. My first impulse was to attempt to assault and damage the flyers inside before they could attempt a lift off, but caution and diplomacy won out. We set down a short distance away and sent a servo skull for long-range recon, keeping the engines primed for a quick lift-off.

Everything was all quiet until the servo skull was suddenly and swiftly destroyed. The images we captured showed what appeared to be imperial troopers but using xeno weaponry to destroy it. Power started cycling to life all over the surface and we were lifted off and on our way. We were engaged but imperial fliers that were pretty clearly nothing like imperial fliers- they flew like nothing I’d ever seen before. Still, I kept them from getting much of a bead on us.

It was fancier flying than I’m used to doing in the gun cutter, but it held together as we ducked through buildings and dodged that purple heat-goo they were spewing at us. The las-guns were at a high-point in their operation as well, and we knocked one of those fliers about, making it drop the illusion and shields it was flying under to show its very clearly xeno design but not one I knew. I learned in a hurry that they were bloody fast though. Even at my best, the gun-cutter was not an ideal craft for dog-fighting and they clipped us pretty good, but luckily not enough to bring us down. They fell back after we peeled off their concealment and we were able to make our escape. After docking with the Capitalism I went to report but we were already being contacted by the surface. The creature who contacted us was definitely Eldar, but nothing like Meseri. Looking about what we saw of him, the human slaves he had blank faced about him, I immediately found myself possessed of all the righteous hatred the Imperium taught me for the Xenos that I couldn’t find for Meseri.

I was preparing to go to battle, it seemed we held a tactical advantage with their fliers not able to touch us in orbit, and it did not seem terribly difficult to knock out their power-grid even with our inaccurate ordinance, or at the very least disable it so that the webway connection would fail, leaving them without any method of return. Seeing the way they live, I wouldn’t think they could rebuild it even if they wanted, slaves would be too unskilled and the rest too hedonistic and lazy; little pleasure to be had in the rebuilding of a blasted power-grid after all.
Lady Castus, however, took a different approach. She talked with the creature and before I knew what was happening or could make a move to object, we were brokering a deal with them. This wasn’t a deal about trading goods or services, we made a deal to steal people’s lives from them while pretending to be their friends.

Everything about this feels wrong. I swore my loyalty to Lady Castus, and I will not sway from the mission but… well I never expected this. To say I have misgivings is an understatement, and what’s more bothersome is that it seems I am the only one on the crew that does. One thing is certain, Lady Castus is not very much like her sister.

After I had nearly bankrupted my family trying to help the poor of humanity, and gave up my wealth to serve the Imperium, doing something like this, such a willing betrayal feels so horrible with me that I don’t know how long I can abide it. I find myself dreaming of being able to blast those damnable creatures off the face of their stolen world once we have the Battle Cruiser to do it with.

Actually, I may be wrong about being the only one with serious misgivings, Meseri has been extremely withdrawn since our dealings with these “dark” Eldar. Knowing the truth about him, I worry for him. It seems terribly lonely, living with none of his brethren, isolated in this human ship. Seeing those like him though, I can understand why he wanted no part of it.

After brokering the deal, Lady Castus arranged the first ‘shipment’ and then we set off to keep our schedule and return to footfall. Upon landing, I went straight for the bar; I needed a drink. I don’t expect I’ll stop needing that drink in the near future.

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Log 5 - Augustine H. Castus

Well, if it weren’t for the damnable drug-haze, I would have been better able to participate in recent endeavours. Needless to say, I even missed out on our meeting with Nixios. For the most part I believe they bargained well, though I am concerned about this venture we agreed to. Why does he want a ship of that size? And with that kind of reputation behind it, why is he willing to risk such ill effects? At the very least, a 30% share for a specific item of cargo seems like a sound investment, but something to keep an eye on. And having him willingly offer 50% partnership for bringing back the battlecruiser is phenomenal. Though we must not allow profit alone to cloud our judgment.

After looking at the new data Vauntus has recovered about the Purity of Insanity, it would seem we are dealing with no ordinary ship, even among battlecruisers. Bombardment cannons? Including the rest of the armaments on the vessel, it contains enough power to execute exterminatus on an entire planet with more to spare. Though this is worrisome it is not overly so, as to crew such a vessel requires just short of 100000 men. And with its curse and rumors of hauntings (some of which may even be substantiated), maintaining crew morale would be an endeavour in and of itself. Speaking of crew, I am informed that we have people scouring Footfall for skilled spacers including specialists such as navigators and astropaths, bridge officers and tech priests. We will also be temporarily donating part of our crew, approximately 5000 men, and we will hopefully be able to acquire more in the Mikor 17G system, though it seems to have its own set of problems that need dealing with.

But the past 5 days have been good for my health. I am told that we will need to escort a mass transport vessel to and from the Purity, but it will provide us with crew transport that we need for the duration. So, all total, our travel times remaining are: 4 days back to footfall to link up with the Transport and the rest of the skeleton crew, and 7 days slow warp travel from there accompanying it to the Purity’s appearance point. With 5 days already passed, that means we have only 14 days remaining in this system to clear up their raider issue and get as many people as can fit in our makeshift cargo holds. I have a contingent of techpriests overseeing temporary conversion of our cargo holds with additional crew facilities and waste management. It won’t be cozy, but it will be functional. We may even be able to take on more than anticipated if the Lord Governor will allow for it. Especially since we promise to return commerce and trade to his system, he can certainly afford to break with a number of his population to enable that to happen.

The news of raiders in this system worries me. Seeing in our data that Mikor Primus was mainly in use as a mining and refinery operation before the evacuation troubles me. If the raiders have access to that grade of equipment, there’s no telling what we may encounter. Alternatively, what if the Mechanicus disturbed something with their mining? We will find out soon enough though. From what I hear over the ship’s chatter, we are preparing to raise grav anchor and head off towards Primus, which is on the other side of the sun at the moment. It should only take us the better part of a day to arrive, but I will order the gun crews to double their drills. I will inform them that the fastest gun crew will receive double their grog ration when this is all over. That should give them something to work for.

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