Today I embark on a journey that will define my life, and with a little luck, honour my ancestors in whose wake I now walk. It is no small thing to have finally reached this position of honour within House Xanatov, though make no mistake it is honour alone that the position grants, unlike other roles within my house it does not come replete with planets or even systems worth of resources and, well, entertainments. No, the decadence of my youth is behind me (for the most part at least). Now is the time in which I captain The Bounty of Mankind across the distant, wild stars in search of riches and fresh personal influence. Now is the time in which I, in the name of my house expand the borders of the imperium as has been our task since the time of the scouring. Now is the time of fire and glory, death and retribution, weath and power. For Terra and the God-Emperor. May he watch over our endeavour and shield his servants from the darkness into which we plunge.
It has been many long years since my last entry into this journal, for the organisation which I have been assisting would not allow records of any kind to be kept. To be frank, I dare not even commit its name to the pages for fear of their wrath, for I have seen their holy work firsthand, and it…changes a man. I will speak no more of it. Tomorrow I begin the long work of rebuilding my holdings which seem to have disintergrated in my (most likely unexplained) absence.
Such work there is to be done! I had not imagined the sheer scale of my loss, in trade, in influence, even in ships! Those who captained ships in my name have variously in the time since my disappearance fallen victim to mutiny, pirates, rival houses (retribution shall be swift and severe, even if I haven’t heard of half of these upstarts) and of course, the warp, that ever present threat. If I am to rebuilt my holdings, I shall need new systems to exploit, new worlds to conquer, darkness into which I can thrust my torch and retrieve hidden treasures from. Of all the frontiers of the imperium, one strikes me as most promising, an area into which my great grandfather disappeared if I am not mistaken. Mark my words, I shall not suffer the same fate, he always was an arrogant old sod. I make for the Koronus Expanse by way of Port Wander. Let us hope naval installations are more welcoming than I remember.
Well now, isn’t this a remarkable coincidence! It seems that there is a servant of my family residing in Port Wander, tasked by my great grandfather (whom I still believe to be an arrogant old coot) with relaying a message, and more importantly, an astropathic mnemolith. This servant, Orbest Dray I believe his name is, has been waiting patiently here for a member of my family for nigh on 100 years (I must remember to get him some rejuv treatments), and seems a most loyal fellow. His story is thus. In his time in the Koronus Expanse, my great grandfather (or rather his astropaths) intercepted a centuries old warp echo of a message, a cry for salvation from The Righteous Path itself! Though I admit the connection between the name of the ship and its cargo eluded me momentarily, Dray was kind enough to fill in the details, which also saved me having to explain the story to the others. Were this the end of it and I could simply return to my ship with my newfound psychic map and be on my way I would be a very happy man, however fate is rarely so kind. Mere moments after the gene-locked contaminater of the mnemolith opened in my presence, an attempt was made by an upstart dynasty to spirit away my rightful property and claim it as their own. Needless to say I objected to this loudly and violently, however the thief was a cursed cyber raven and damned hard to hit (I really should get in some target practice on our next warp voyage). Luckily my faithful explorator was able to use his servo skull in a most unexpected manner, using it to ram the flying vermin out of the sky (and reminded me more than a little of the sports games of my youth). Thanks to Aephesius we were able to recover the mnemolith, and I managed to catch a glimpse of the true perpetrator of the crime, a slender lady who may have been attractive were it not for the thunderous look on her face and the eerie look in her eyes. She escaped before I could speak to, let alone apprehend her, but if that vile woman isn’t a witch I’m a simian’s relative.
Well, after a brief conversation with the local arbites that cleared up some of the mystery surrounding the bastard upstarts that attempted to steal my mnemolith, we managed to contact a mapmaker that could give us a true location rather than the apparently confusing visions and images that my astropaths described. He also entrusted us with a rather suspicious looking package, but I am not about to intrude on this mans privacy, I will leave such unpleasantness to the proper imperial authorities should they come into contact with it. After all, seeking out the heretical is not my purview.
We have journeyed to Footfall intact, though not entirely without incident. On one of our stopping points along the Koronus Passage, a place that has apparently earned the moniker ‘The Graveyard’, we came across a pilgrim ship of the Emperor’s faithful, damaged and without a means to continue their holy journey. I of course offered my assistance, after vanquishing some ill educated, boorish and frankly not-as-cunning-as-they-believed-themselves-to-be void pirates. For my efforts it seems I have won the devotion of these fanatics, whom I am retaining within a cargo hold until such time as I can make use of them. We also made a short stop to recover the more useful wreckage from the battle, which just about covered our costs of the journey so far. Not a bad little encounter all in all, one can only hope all our enemies will be so incompetent. This is no doubt wishful thinking, however.
We have finally arrived at the system described to me by my astropaths. It is a somewhat forbidding system, but I have seen worse. We shall explore the vicinity and eliminate any opposition we come across post haste. I will not have the rightful property of my family stolen by a delusional upstart rogue trader house that is little better than the pirates to whom we just laid waste.
An investigation of an imperial signal eminating from the first planet in the system, Magoros minor, has yielded useful information about the xenos ruins on the second planet, Magoros Prime. It seems fellow Imperials explored this system some time ago and left behind a ruined Aquila lander, crashed on this planet. The star is a dangerous pulsar however, and to attain the information contained in the ships cogitators we were forced to descend to the planets surface in the time between bursts, and due to disruptive atmospheric conditions, barely made it back alive. In future I believe unless such missions require my direct influence, I shall remain aboard the ship and allow Aephesius to get on with his work in peace. Regardless, the logs of the shuttle speak of an alien observatory at the heart of the ruins that has recorded the events in the space within the system for at least a millennia. Thus shall we find the final resting place of our quarry.
The landing of Magoros Prime was somewhat easier than that of Magoros Minor, shielded as it was by xenos technology from the radiation and violence of the nearby pulsar. The atmosphere above the star mirror (the term we currently understand to be the name of the xenos telescope) was more dangerous even than that of the first planet (damned cinderbox). We were forced to land at the edge of the maze, though it wasnt be difficult to navigate given that it has been blasted apart in several locations by either simple wear or the impact of celestial objects. Upon further cautious investigation we found a dozen orks attempting to overrun two rather apprehensive looking armsmen and one venomous looking slender female. The same female who escaped me on Port Wander. Mr Yorke was kind enough to do the lions share of ork killing (though I really must acquire the rest of the party some more dangerous weaponry), after which I had a conversation with the woman, who’s name is Lady Ash (though I have extreme doubts about her nobility). I wonder if her name was chosen by herself as an alias? If so it shows terrible taste and hints at heretical beliefs. I have half a mind to do some hinting to some old acquaintances about this woman and her master myself. We shall see how this turns out, I may yet extract vengeance in person. But I digress. I managed to negotiate a truce to our own advantage due to ‘Lady’ Ash’s means of transportation having most likely been overrun by Orks. The terms of the arrangement were that we both enter and acquire the location of The Righteous Path, but my party would leave the planet first, in return we would provide a shuttle for the witch to leave the planet herself. Upon reaching orbit, I decided a safer option would be to obliterate her most irritating presence entirely, however upon closer inspection of the planet she was not present at the landing zone, and had indeed seemed to disappear entirely, robbing me of a target (and Mr Yorke an opportunity to show off). Nevertheless, we have the location of The Righteous Path, and my ship is more than a match for that of Ash’s master, Hadrak Fel. On a side note, Who names these fools?