Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Heralds of Nurgle #4

++++data packet rec'd++++
++++code verified++++
++++recommend immediate attention++++
++++messenger = Ronayne, F++++
++++designation = Ordo Malleus; Interrogator 1st Class++++
++++access granted++++

Septicemius of the Shroud

I fear I am the bearer of grim tidings indeed.  My researches at the Administratum and the central Ordos were interrupted this day by a message of grave importance from our Rogue Trader associate, the Lady Dremelza Halifax (please see below). With but the vaguest shadow of uncertainty, it is my opinion that this ties into both the Thrixis Matter, as well as the recent daemonic incursions plaguing (no pun intended) the coreward fringes of the sector.  Not only this, but more worryingly still, it points toward the recent entanglements the Death Guard traitor legion (may the Emperor strike them from existence!) seen in both the Abstruse and Seriphos sectors over the last several years.

The rest is exactly as I received it.

++++cypher decrypting++++
++++code verified++++
++++messenger = Halifax, D++++
++++designation = Agent; code name "Modest Mouse"++++
++++flag = red/urgent++++
++++access granted++++


I do apologise for the rushed message, but thought it best to dispense with the usual frippery and niceties given the circumstances.  Our latest run took us through the Odelisk system, where we called in to collect some cargo. The details are unimportant. While taking some refreshments I met with an old acquaintance from the trade, with whom I exchange the odd spurious folk tale and bit of news etc. etc. He related a strange tale indeed, which I suspect had already been retold several times, and thus may have lost detail through so called 'Oolian Whispers' (which reminds me, I have a related bit of Olde Terran trivia for you next time we meet - 'Chinese Whispers').

It would seem an ancient wreck has been discovered on some barren back water world after a tip off. It would break the unspoken rule amongst the Trading Class to name the individual that subsequently went to see what they might salvage in terms of archaeotech and general resalable scrap. For argument's sake, we will call him Basil.  

The crashed vessel was heavily corroded and carried pre-Heresy identifiers and colours of the Death Guard traitor legion.  It was clear that the vessel had lain planetside for millenia. On closer inspection, the impact damage itself appeared minimal, which is suggestive of a well controlled crash landing. There did not appear to be any sign of catastrophic weapons damage to suggest the vessel had been shot down. In summary, the external hull was effectively intact.

Once an entrance had been cut with melta beams (the actual traditional means of ingress were all too heavily corroded to open), it was clear that the internal systems were more or less functional, although it would appear that life support had either been disengaged, or had failed at some stage. Auspex readings indicated no signs of life even down to bacterial level.  However, even the most dim-witted schola pupil knows the reputation of the Death Guard, and boarding was undertaken with all due caution - afterall, what good is salvage if you don't live to profit from it?

As it turned out, there was allegedly very little portable materiel of much worth to be found (although this may be a tall tale to discourage other opportunists!), and little evidence of what had become of the crew and legionaries themselves. Which is not to say there were no intriguing discoveries.

On following an auto-repeating vox pulse the medicae deck there was a hermetically and magnetically sealed laboratory, clearly marked out with biohazard warnings and stroboscopic light sequences. A large armaglass viewing window showed that inside was a hulking yet  heavily corroded suit of terminator class plate and a huge powered weapon in appearance much like a primitive scythe. Little else was in evidence apart from a large, greasy looking stain on the laboratory floor, and a red, blinking light on a data terminal.

Basil had had the foresight to bring with him some kind of data-junkie (he'd discovered from some Hive or other on some Emperor forsaken world) who was able to hack into the on-board datastacks to extract some valuable information. 

It would seem that the vessel was the flag ship of a member of Mortarion's inner circle (infamously known as the Death Shroud).  This particular individual had been known as Gideous Voyen, and had also served time in the ranks as an apothecary to the 7th Company of the legion.  Upon elevation to the Death Shroud, Voyen had maintained an interest in the matters of the medicae on a more experimental basis, and spent much time in the study of pathogens and poisons, and the application of such as weapons of war. 

There are also notations of interactions with an individual named as 'Necrosius', apparently a former member of the Legion's Librarius prior to the edict of Nikaea. Necrosius, the data states, was (or is for all we know) a human student of numerology and ritual.  There are reports of an attempted summoning of some foul creature of the aethyr which went, er, wrong. At least as far as I can see.  The tale as I heard it indicates that they got more than they bargained for, and some kind of plague daemon psychically and physically attached itself to the unfortunate Voyen who had innocently been passing by (realistically, how innocent could he be? We've all read our history at the schola, Thrice damned Barraban filth!).  Showing an unimaginable amount of willpower, Voyen had made his way to the medicae deck and sealed himself within his lab. There he injected himself with all manner of pathogens and venoms, in an effort to rid himself of the daemon, trusting to his Astartes physiology to keep him alive and filter out the harmful tinctures. Needless to say, it appears his efforts were for naught, as his body and mind, weakened by the toxins coursing through his veins ultimately saw his resolve fail, and the daemonic entity was thus able to possess him body and soul. 

Apparently what followed was unclear, but seems to indicate that the daemon then disappeared back into the aethyr, taking Voyen's physical body with it, leaving behind his terminator armour.

As I mentioned earlier, Fergus, this may all be spurious nautical twaddle of the type often bandied about between grizzled old space-dogs. If you do choose to investigate, I wouldn't open that laboratory up if I were you...

Whilst I remember, a nice case of the finest Vostroyan Cigarillos has found it's way into my possession... the usual arrangement when next we meet, I assume?


Lady Dremellza Halifax
Rogue Trader of the Abstruse Sector
By Imperial Decree

Master, I will leave it to you to make of this what you will. However, in the unlikely event that you have forgotten, with everything else that has been happening of late, Necrosius is listed as an alias of Thrixis.  Just how old is this Thrixis character anyway? It all strikes me as rather odd!

I remain your servant,

Fergus Ronayne
Interrogator First Class
Ordo Malleus


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