We shot to Haarlock's Folly aboard a loaned Rhino, and to my dismay, were subjected to the sight of men and women of the Imperium cut down in the street by Enforcers and others, during a time of civil unrest. It tore at my heart to see these Imperials treated in such a way when there are less lethal means to handle riots. I implored Nico to stop the Rhino, so that we may intervene on these citizens' behalf, but he chided me harshly and reminded me of the importance of the information we ushered to Haarlock's Folly.
Once there, to meet with our ally Constantine and Precinct Marshal Skarmen to reveal the Enforcer General's dark ways and connections with the murders in Sinophia Magna, we were rebuffed when we attempted to gain audience with Skarmen and then made to end Khan, ourselves, but were met at the door by the sight of an Enforcer barricade and many a troop bedecked for heavier combat than riots. On reverent display before the amassed troops was the body of Enforcer General Zabius Khan, seemingly slain in a similar manner to the other murder victims.
Then, the Emperor's wisdom shone upon us as if a glow globe off in our heads. We had focused so much attention on Khan, and we got the signs right, but followed them to the wrong person. Precinct Marshal Skarmen was the fiend responsible for these horrendous acts!
We rushed to Constantine and informed him, pleading with him to trust us, which he reluctantly did and gathered a few men to humor us, more than anything. He offered aid in the form of some light explosives, and we were off to the morgue cellars below the building, where Constantine believed Skarmen had last went.
At the opening of the passage leading down, our band encountered a grip of evidence. A squad of the unliving shambled out, blocking our way, and high in the air appeared a misshapen face in grand size, mocking us as we began to struggle against the dead. Fortunately, from the opposite direction from us came another group of combatants, all kitted out like some veteran command squad. The best gear and all.
We used them. Though appreciative of the aid, Skarmen was the real threat, and if he was summoning forth whatever in the Hell that mocking face was, we had no time to spare. We left the newcomers to take on the shambling corpses and rushed to confront the Precinct Marshal, who appeared to be on the cusp of finishing some dark ritual to bring a daemon into His world. I believe that the only thing stopping the slave of Chaos was our possession of two of the fragments of the mirror by which he appeared to be trying to perform the act.
Our newly gained Inquisitorial allies had been separated from us, but Rhia, Xantippa, Nico, and I made to engage with Skarmen and some of his own Arbites, whom it appeared he had twisted into corpse beings, as well. Rhia and Xantippa performed exemplary displays of literal firepower by way of explosives and warpfire, which tragically led to the deaths of all of my band, save myself.
I collected the mirror for the Ordos and was contacted by the waning power of the daemon when attempting to do so, but fought the thing off with thoughts of Him strengthening my will. Constantine helped me carry the thing down and we made to transport it to the spaceport so that Sinophia would be rid of its malignancy.
Our progress was halted and we set the mirror down to speak with the group of combatants that had appeared before our assault on the higher floors of the tower. They demanded I turn over the mirror, which I flatly refused and then showed the Rosette, declaring my holy duty to see that it finds its rightful place. A member of their squad also produced a Rosette, which surprised me, but my task was my own, and I challenged them to use force, if they felt they had right to interfere with my sworn duty. Needless to say, I was shocked when they took me up on the suggestion.
The battle was fierce and up close. Though I prefer to engage from moderate range, I am a Cadian, and was trained to defend myself in tight quarters at point blank. I was happy to see that Fihad Constantine seemed just as happy with this order of combat, and we won decisively, with not a wound to our persons. Though they may have outgunned and outclassed us, tenacity, grit, and a fair amount of righteous fury is often enough to make due.
I was awarded, then. Fihad had been named the new Precinct Marshal and our work for the Ordos had come to an end on Sinophia. I was given a golden mace and the Sinophian Bloodlaurel, both among the highest honors granted on the planet, for the deeds my band had performed. It was hollow, however, as those honors should have been shared equally by those who deserved it, though the Emperor decided their time. I gave Marshal Constantine the two fragments we had gathered on our own, for his discretion to hide or dispose of, and took the mirror back to my waiting Inquisitor, and likely, a reassignment to another band.
Cast of Characters
Rhia, Gunpoint (Hive World) Investigator (Arbiter 5) - Angela (deceased)
Xantippa Thebe, Son of Nightmare (Void Born) ?? (Imperial Psyker 5) - Paul (deceased)
Nicodemus, Regulus (Imperial World) Scholar (Adept 5) - Taylor (deceased)
Mohrdecai, Cadian (Fortress World) Veteran (Guardsman 5) - Me
I know that David made many an allowance for us in this adventure. As mentioned in previous posts, none of our characters were really investigatey. I suppose we could muddle through stuff, but it would really be no better than what we did here, and so David made this adventure play more like an action-cop movie, and it worked really well, at least in my mind.
The end, especially, when we finally caught on to things, was especially dramatic and very fast paced. Even the deaths of most of the band didn't feel like a low-point, because the execution was so dramatic, and it gave us a win that felt like it needed a sacrifice to achieve.
Good stuff all around.