Warhammer 40K:Rogue Trader: Series 2 Episode 1:Wait, he did WHAT?
The time has come to move on to ventures anew, with the ruined husk of the crystal fortress planet before them, the crew of the Vengence of Saint Druses contemplate their next move.
Now, finally with time to get to know the newest ship in the fleet, Xanatov decides to spend some time upon Linaras’ Tradeship – finding it a craft dedicated to trade in its entirety. Antiquated and elaborate rituals have built up within its artfully decorated corridors, and posts of ceremony and intricate etiquette mark each carefully considered exchange.
Within this craft Linara reveals an artifact that she had been keeping secret as an ace in the hole. It seems the Penance Of Iocances has no Navigator, relying instead on an archeotech device, the void abacus that allows it to compute its route through the warp. Before leaving Xanatov leaves a sealed set of orders for Linara, instructing her to return back to the Empire to resume trading and set up trade routes, since Xanatov and Aviner are still considered to have attempted an assassination of a high ranking tech priest.
Pandareos takes amusement in finding that the seemingly undefended craft has a battery of concealed close range weapons, capable of crippling many a ship. Useful information if ever he finds himself back on the side of the pirates once more.
Meanwhile Aviner remains chained to the workshop, preparing replacement mechanical limbs for all those lost in the battles of the past weeks, joyed to be bringing more closer to the machine spirit. Meanwhile, crafts return with the data Voyen managed to save before the destruction of the Deus Mechanicum. Finding the data to be beyond just automation, but even lost Standard Construction Templates, Aviner cannot help but be overwhelmed, promising to dedicate a template in the name of his fallen ally. Similarly, a few words in the right place ensures a open route of progress for Takinsha through the ranks of the Tech Priests in thanks for his work to save the data on Automation.
After returning to the Vengeance, Xanatov speaks with his advisor Godwin Blake, discussing how best to prepare for their return to the Imperium, and clear their name. but before that they decide that their first destination must be the harbour of criminal enterprise known as Footfall, its loose dealings with the Imperium will allow recruitment and repairs without any unwanted attention.
Preparing for the jump, the two massive ships are bound together, tying their fates in the warp together as one. Massive loops of chain are slowly looped around the craft as the crew of the Bismark rejoice, wondrous ceremonies and celebrations run across the ship as promotions and the assumption of new roles bring good spirit to the crew.
The celebrations are much needed as strange phenomena still plague the Vengeance, voices haunt the crew, and strange light and visions are oft reported. Godwin Blake whispers in the Lord Captains ear of things that should be kept between the two of them, In the past when the Vengeance was the Bismarck, there has been no less than six occurrence where the ship disappeared and all crew was lost. For the crews piece of mind this information is kept close.
The good will is short lives though, as it is discovered the Immateria Mallifica, the Necron wonderwork of the heretical tech priests survives still, disappearing from view as it warps reality, moving with forbidden lore faster than light on to unknown evils.
The final order is ready to be given, and Xanatov, grants the honour to Linara, allowing her to lead a prayer before ordering Aviner to initiate the jump. The crew gather thousands strong in the temples of the Lord Emperor, praying for safety as they face the hazards of the warp. It seems their faith is strong, the warp is placid and welcoming against all odds.
As the craft returns to real space, the Vengeance is bombarded by thousands of applicants, begging, trading, and all wanting the eye of the Rogue trader – under the harsh light of the Red Star, the ship has arrived at Footfall. Xanatov offers his Seneschal Godwin his old quarters, bugged of course. Godwin is to take up those duties a Lord Captain must be able to deny, to set up places of trade for the forbidden Xeno artefacts they have “found” over their travels, and to work the gossip mongers to establish a reputation worthy of his stature. As they finish they find that Missionaries of Druses, a militant group wishing to continue Saint Druses campaigns to claim the reaches for the Emperor are amongst the applicants, drawn by the tales of dedication to the Saint that the Lord Captain has found built up in his wake.
The first to officially set food upon the planer, are Sente, Pandareos and the Lord Captain Xanatov. The boarding having been negotiated by Gabriel. If negotiation is the correct word for responding to requests for bribes with threats of destruction at the Vengeances cannon. The first unofficially however was Godwin Blake.
As Sente and Xanatov stand under a four Kilometre high statue of the emperor gazing out into the void, Pandareos takes his “bonus” money sweet talked off the Lord Captain and takes it to the first gambling den he can find. The planet is filled with every blasphemy that the human mind could imagine, and Pandareos feels quite at home.
Pandareos’ goal is not quite as simple as just profit, swinging cards, chips and betting on roulette wheels he listens with a trained ear for information on his preferred target, Rogue Traders out without enough backup and with far too much lootable cargo.
Using certain slight of hand and a smooth tongue he manages to get quite the audience, most of which watch him with a wary eye, deciding how much he is worth dead. Pushing his luck with each bet, he finds himself looking down the barrel of a bolt pistol from a large tattooed individual – luckily it’s because the next bet is for the bolt pistol. Unluckily it seems this group is the Black Brotherhood, a group of criminals of immense power and influence. It seems Pandareos is swimming with sharks one more.
Smiling, Pandareos decides the bet should be on marksmanship – the gun should go to who can shoot it best. The learing criminal takes Pandareos to a shooting range, past a strangely familiar beggar whom Pandarous gifts with some small change. At the range terrified individuals are strapped to the targets – the message is clear, if he wished Pandareos could end up on the range and no one would blink. “What did they do to end up there?” “Asked too many questions” “Good thing I don’t ask many questions then isn’t it?” smirked Pandareos.
Pulling his antique duelling pistol from the holster Pandareos finds himself staring down ten gun barrels as they get the wrong impression, believing him to be there to kill them. “Who do you work for?” They demand. Talking fast, Pandaroes pins the blame on a much hated Rogue Trader, but no ones buying it. No matter which words he weaves the guns stay to his head. Unwilling to give up his newfound Lord Captain, Pandares continues talking, flipping a coin higher and higher into the air, until all but one eye is watching it, with a single movement he readies his bolt pistol, blowing the watching criminals arm sheer off with the explosive bullet killing him instantly, before fleeing laughing back into the establishment, bullet trails skipping at his heels.
Not so far away Sentes head snaps back as she turns to Xanatov, “Pandareos has got himself into trouble”. Within moments Xanatov finds the establishment, the scent of trouble a sure sign that the have found the right place. Bursting the door open, they find Pandareos pinned down with numerous angered criminal pouring fire on his position. Casting coinage onto the ground Xanatov demands “what’s going on here?”, but is met with nothing but a hail of gunfire. Standing unruffled amongst the hail of gunfire, backlit from the street, he is but a dark silhouette as his bolter is unslung, barking death. Four rounds leave the chamber in a single second and four figures fall crumpled to the ground –the final figures head exploding like an overripe melon.
Lowering the bolter in the silence that falls, Xanatov looks at Pandareos, and states “this man has stolen from me, do any of you wish to get between me and my vengeance” None take him up on this kind offer.
As Sente barrels a grinning Pandareos towards the door a calm figure approaches Xanatov. “Do you know who you just killed?” On finding out that they criminal gang is the immensely powerful Black Brotherhood Xanatov offers financial recompense to try and smooth matters, but it is not accepted. “You will pay, in the future you will do a deed for us at a time of our choosing” The gentlemen turns to the angered gang members. “The Trader has shown us respect, allow him to leave unharmed, for now”
As Xanatov leaves, he waves to the coins “take these anyway, buy yourselves some drinks on me”. As they leave Sente picks up a though strong at the front of Pandareos’ mind, a horrid urge to add “and since yer luckily down five members you have enough to buy everyone a drink now”.and quickly forces him out the door before he can cause more harm.
The rest of the week is comparatively quiet, with Pandareos confined to quarters Xanatov negotiates for the repair of the Vengence, and manages to acquire an archeotech force field for Aviner. The trader tries to play a scam, but Xanatov has too many years as Seneschal to fall for such easy ploys.
As the negotiating rounds off the trader speaks, “Don’t I know you?, oh sorry, I’m mixing you up with Sigmund”. Looking once more into the traders eyes Xanatov finally realises, that this figure is Alfonse Dere of family the Bountiful Beast Slaughterhouse Ship, a craft of ill memories for Xanatov. A family known for alleged connections to the ruinous powers, and this figure knew the usurped Captain of what was the Bismarck.
It seems nothing will be easy today.