1.1 - Enter Acreage: Team of Akolytes makes touchdown on the middle ages world Acreage. The agents roam through Emperor Island, Imperial landing zone on the planet, gain first impressions and are looking for the harbor for traveling to the main city Olrankan.
1.2 - Oversea: Traveling on a boat and improving the equipment, the Akolytes have to cross an embargo zone around Olrankan. They fight their way through the ships and enter the city fast and silent.
1.3 - Shadows of Olrankan: After a short and brutal incident in which the Akolytes execute a kid for his larcenous intentions, the team ventures deep into the city to find traces of ritualistic murders. The ongoing siege of Olrankan makes travel and investigations difficult. Nevertheless the Akolytes make it over the grand wall to one of the murderous sites where they find a grizzly scene of slaugther, cannibalism and possibly xenos-activity.
1.4 - Drusian Knights and the White Lady of the Tower: While investigating the murder house the Akolytes make contact with agents of the Knightly Order of Saint Drusius. They are brought to a hidden headquarter where they reveal themselves as agents of the Holy Inquisition to Master of the Order Sir Engert and Lady Calahir, advisor to Baronesse Faratrish. They enter an uneasy alliance to stop an old evil and learn about a ruthless Xenos race called Slaugth who come every 100 years to feast upon the dead and the living.
I have met my companions on the ship, I have never met them before and yet, I have to trust them.
Anyway, I passed on Inquisitor Gallowglass' orders and information. To summarize:
He had informed us that strange murders are being committed in the city of Olrankan on the planet of Acreage. Apparently, there is talk about a cult of some sort.
He also gave us scarce information on the planet itself and the people there. One of the aspects of this planet which I ... am not too fond of, was the fact that they are technologically far behind.
Our orders are to move silently and try to find out more about this supposed 'cult'. He was very keen that we do not attract attention or bring up the inquisition, this is exactly why we were brought to Acreage on a small civilian craft. He also made it clear that he wants the cult destroyed, if we happen to find one.
After boarding the civilian craft and landing on Emperor's Island (the space port) most of the group were appalled at the smell of fish. Emperor's Island is basically a space port with a primitive city built around it. At this point it is probably of interest to know, that most of the planet consists of water. Apparently a lot more than on Terra. Even the cities are partially built into the water, and the space port is built onto a tiny island, putting most of it in the water.
We decided to split the group up and send pairs of us to different places on Emperor's Island with different tasks. As we had to find a ship to cross to Olrankan, a place to stay for the night, and gather information.
This turned out to be a mistake. Each one of us was attacked by scum and a few of us were even wounded. Not a smooth start to a quiet mission. At least most of us removed these pesky lowlifes, Miss Mary did an especially thorough job. I was also able to see Sirhan al Zufar's talent.
At least Sirhan found a tattoo on one of our attackers which may be of interest to us, I will attach a sketch to this file.
Most of us did gain information though (except for Azrael and Miss Mary). One of the noble houses is basically besieging the main city of Olrankan, probably to pressure the current prince. There is a sea blockade to stop anything coming to Olrankan, which means we will not be able to reach the city as easily as I had hoped. We also found out a few more details about the murders such as that the bodies are never or hardly found.
Despite all of this Sirhan and I have found a young man who apparently knows someone at the docks who might be able to bring us over to Olrankan. We will be meeting him tomorrow at noon.
By the Emperor I do not know how the people here can drink this... stuff.
The barkeeper has just informed us, that we may sleep here, on the floor of his tavern, for just one Throne... A little too much for my taste but I am not in the mood to discuss with these people as I am wounded and require rest.
While we are waiting for our contact to show up, Azrael and Miss Mary are busy getting their shabby clothing clean.
[Begin Log - 14:16]
The contact did not show up. He also had some weapons which we wanted him to sell and now he just vanished. It seems we cannot trust anyone in this place. We have decided to move on on our own and find someone in the docks who is prepared to take us to Olrankan. But we will not forgive this act of deceit.
We were finally able to find a captain brave enough to take us. I had some trouble talking to him at first, he wanted quite a lot of money from each passenger. His plan was to bribe his way through. We were able to convince him of our technological superiority and we offered him our protection. We made him believe that through some method of ours we can avoid any ships of the blockade. We obviously did not mention that these are the psychic powers that Miss Mary possesses.
While we are boarding the ship, Sirhan and Kardan are stalking the city for the young man who betrayed us.
We have successfully reached Olrankan.
Right now we are in a sick bay because the ladies managed to hurt themselves. We are able to stay here without payment and the people seem generally friendly. It is my shift to guard our Tent so I have enough time to write this log, it also helps me stay awake. A lot has happened today but I will try to recall as best as I can:
We have discussed with the captain when we should set sails, and when we should try to cross the blockade. Sirhan was able to convince him to leave during the day and try to sneak past at night. Something he was reluctant to do because we would never be able to bribe them then. I think he misunderstood what we meant with technical superiority.
What I may have forgotten to mention, is that all the ships here are primitive wooden sailing boats. The boat we are on has 6 cannons and a crossbow for hunting fish on the bow. And it has sails. How unbelievably primitive, the people here surprise me with their way of life.
On our way to Olrankan we made preparations. Kardan took position in the crow's nest as a lookout. The primitive people here do not even have scopes... Praise the emperor, Kardan has one. I prepared a great weapon so I do not know exactly what happened in the time I was busy working on it. Basically I modified the crossbow so we would be able to fire our hand grenades with it. Tanisha lent me her scope for the crossbow and I was able to improve the range and reliability of the weapon. Not a surprise really, considering the simple mechanics this device consists of. Nonetheless, this was probably by far the strongest weapon that this world has ever seen. I have named it "Wrath of the Emperor".
I am a little worried about the captain and crew of the ship. Well, not about them but more about their actions. When I explained what I did to their crossbow they praised me like a deity, chanting my name. This could easily be understood as heresy, and I hope that they understand this. Otherwise I will be forced to eliminate them for my own protection. I have absolutely no intention to be accused of blasphemy on false charges. They even dared to tear parts off my robe and remove parts from my body, but this is not the worst to happen.
Before we reached the blockade Miss Mary made an uncomfortable experience with the warp, something bad happened. The bow of the boat aged, quite a lot. It seemed very brittle and rotten when I first looked, and this was confirmed when she and Tanisha fell through the deck. This of course brought us into a very bad position to fight.
During the night we reached the blockade, by now it had started to rain heavily and sight was limited. Kardan managed to blind two ships by shooting the lookouts. We headed almost directly for one of the ships in the chain as me and Azrael prepared the "Wrath of the Emperor" for action. But we had to try not to make our attacks to obvious. Sirhan took out the ship's rudder with one slug from his shotgun. But another ship came looking for trouble. I remember Kardan trying to fool them into thinking we were on their side, by this point I had realized something was very wrong with my Mechanicus Robe, and I later found out why.
Kardan's tactic didn't seem to work, so we attacked the ship. I cannot recall exactly what else occurred during the battle, but I know that Azrael took out the main mast of the opposing ship with one shot from the "Wrath of the Emperor". Shortly after that they fired back, three of their cannonballs hit the ship we were on, but luckily none in the bow, which Miss Mary had ruined. As we were going by fast, the battle did not last much longer than this and we got through alright. Except that both Tanisha and Miss Mary managed to fall through the rotten wood on the deck and into the hull of the ship. This is how Mary broke her leg, and Tanisha her ribs. Just perfect.
Now to return to the subject of the robe, Tani[EOF]
I had to end the log before, a thief managed to enter the tent! Guess I missed my duty. I was able to wake the others and we shot him to death. He wasn't worth being alive anyway.
Up to now this day has been very eventful, I will try to recollect the most important points only.
After having breakfast in the tavern we slept in we checked on the scene of the slaughter. It was with great discontent that we saw the guards that Sirhan had ordered to observe the house were guarding it instead. They even tried to keep us away from it at first. Obviously we got no information about anyone checking on the things in the basement.
Mary once again tried to see the trail she had found the day before but started acting strange as always. She produced a very foul smell and strange burping noises, and after that she would not answer, once again something seems to have gone wrong. These psychers cause nothing but trouble. In the meantime Kardan walked away from the group and into a sidestreet, being the assassin he is he was probably trying to get a better view.
The rest of us noticed someone strange stealing away, so Sirhan, Tanisha and myself followed him. Well I followed him and they tried to walk around to meet him. I was on my way around a corner when I heard footsteps coming towards me quickly from the direction the suspicious character was going. I reacted quickly, tripped him with my staff and tried to beat him. Faithful Sirhan came running and almost shot his hand clear off. Tanisha was on a roof holding some woman with a hood hostage using her blade, I would never have seen her. And now the strangest of all things happened: Kardan comes walking along with Mary's axe, and Mary is aiming at the woman on the roof with Kardan's rifle. How very peculiar.
We took both of the spies into a courtyard and started questioning them. It turns out that they are a part of the Order of Drusian Knights who protect Acreage and are also trying to solve the mystery of the ritual killings, the master of this order of knights is Sir Engert. Mary, at first, tried to overhear my command to heal the man whose hand we had mutilated and then decided to knock me out using her powers. It was only because I am already used to strange things happening around her that I did not ask Sirhan to kill her on the spot, next time I will try not to stand too close. Kardan, for some reason, was smiling broadly all the time for no apparent reason.
Slowly I was starting to feel strange about my companions. Especially after I found out that one of them had cut the rope which had tied Mary's hands together. We reached the Headquaters of the Drusian Knights where we met Sir Engerth and his counsellor Lady Calahir, a very - different looking woman who at first was hiding in a corner and has an indescribable aura. It soon became apparent that she had more information to offer than Sir Engert and also more power than him, if not over him. She, like Mary, is a psycher.
In order to find out more we had to show the Rosette of the Inquisition. We questioned both of them separately. Sir Engert makes the impression of a man of honour. He is the master of the Knightly Order of Saint Drusius, which is an 800 year old Order of Knights named after Saint Drusius who came and showed them the rituals to forge the special metal which falls from the sky in form of what they call meteors. His sword (which incidentally has Drusius wearing power armour engraved on it) is made from this special metal which they call the holy sky metal or metal of the sky. This metal is forged in the fabricators district. Looking at his sword it seems lighter than regular steel, darker and more flexible. Sadly, I could not tell more as my mind was bothered with thoughts about the two women who went to interview Lady Calahir.
Lady Calahir is not so easy to place. She belongs to the Ladies of the Tower. An incidentally also 800 year old Order of Ladies which used to live in a white tower. This white tower was ruined 400 years ago (by another civil war according to her) and now the current white lady's 'home' is the white ship. She also said that she is a descendant of the old gods. (The old gods were the Gods that the population of Acreage believed in before they were enlightened by the Emperor) According to Mary (who can supposedly tell these things) she has very strong [psychic] potential. In other words she is a threat. Sirhan described her as 'too good to be true', meaning her looks and general presence. Apperantly she swore an oath to rid the planet of the Slaught.
It seems that she is really in control of much of what happens on the Planet, she counsels the Drusian Knights and the Baroness Faratrish who is currently besieging the City. She also seems to know - too much, especially for a person on this planet. In conversation one always has the feeling she knows more than she is saying and that she leads it on the way she wants. She also offered Tanisha and Mary some strange sword if they find and kill a certain being and said other things which are suspicious.
All of us have an uneasy feeling about her but we also do not want to execute her. We are pretty sure that she might have something to do with the ritual killings, or at least that she follows her own interest and is using the people here as puppets. Even if both these things are untrue, she is an unsanctioned psycher and should be executed. But I am not able to decide that at this point because I am not sure about what might happen or what she might be useful for. To say the truth, I am not sure about her at all. There is also something strange about the fact that she exists just as long as the Drusian Knights, that her tower was destroyed at the same time the Inquisition was first here, and that she already knew that we were of the Inquisition when we came.
To return to the subject of the ritual killings: Apparently they happen every 100 years, 2 weeks or so after meteor showers. Bodies have sometimes been found wrapped alike to the ones in the basement of the murder house. Once a whole silo full was found. The wrapping of the bodies is common practice on Acreage because it helps to contain the smell of death whereas storing the bodies in silos is not common. There have also been ritual killings where glyphs and drawings were found on the scene. The drawings showed hound-like creatures, which could refer to the "Orlocks" which some inhabitants have talked about. Lady Calahir gave us information about creatures called "Slaughts" which have some sort of technology and are able to camouflage themselves in some way (blend in with the night). Apparently these are what are causing the problems. I am still finding it hard to believe a lot of what she is saying, but we will soon find out how much of it is true once we get to look at the archives of the Drusian Knights.
The plan is to make sure that Lady Calahir is not left unguarded, which means either splitting the group or taking her with us. It would be easier to eliminate her, but something is keeping me from deciding on her fate. Is it her knowledge which makes me hunger for more? How do I know that she is not lying to us?
Accompanied by an entourage of Drusian Knights, Lady Calahir and Sir Engerth we made our way to the Archives of the Drusian Knights. We took a secret underground passage which led us outside the city of Olrankan, directly to the entrance of their so called temple "Mandol". It quickly became obvious to us that this Temple is not a wonder but that it is Imperial Technology and that the word "Mandol" (which is written onto the wall in the first room we entered) is actually the part left of Commando 1.
It is absolutely horrible what this Order of Knights have done to this machine! They have painted everything in horrible colours, they have let it rust, they put in wooden doors where the original doors broke, they changed the electronic library into a hall of primitive arms, and worst of all, the reactor is leaking. They think it is some kind of blessing when "the light takes" the scholars which tend to the reactor.
When they led us to the "heart room", which used to be a commando bridge, I was able to link myself to the ship and converse with the machine spirit. At this time I wished I had paid more attention when learning machine language! It took me a while to manage to communicate properly but it paid off. The machine spirit made available to me the information of the structure. It is an old command bunker which, looking at the designs, probably was shot into the ground from orbit. I felt much more comfortable here where the air is cleansed, the light is pure and where the presence of the Omnissiahs is great. Some day I must come back and rid this structure of these primitive decorations and awake the machine spirit once more.
The spirit showed me that there is an orbital cannon at our disposal, it also showed us where to find a proper armoury. I gained information on Commander Drusius' landing and there was much more information to be gained but time was short.
It was also hard to concentrate as the rest of the group was having a heated discussion on whether or not to trust Lady Calahir. The atmosphere was not good, I think they were close to fighting each other. The discussion calmed down quickly when Lady Calahir... [ENCRYPTED INFORMATION] ...and drew us a sketch of a Slaught. The group reunited, Kardan and Sirhan made their way to the armoury under my guidance through the bunker's speaker system, there Sirhan almost killed them both if I wouldn't have closed the doors in time. Later on Sirhan would explain his actions with only one word "Spores". Well the trip was not utterly useless, we gained a few standard issue las rifles which required some repair and a very beautiful bolt pistol, which our best marksman Kardan was going to use against the Slaught.
The Slaught come to the planet in a stealth ship, hidden inside a meteor shower according to [Lady Calahir] there should be 2 out of the 3 leftover Slaught on board. The third one is probably somewhere in Olrankan, amassing bodies for the arrival of his kin.
Because I had identified a leak in the reactor I decided to send all the Drusian Knights into Olrankan to look for a place where bodies are being stored and I also decided to keep the shortest exit of the bunker open. I hoped deeply that the reactor would hold but I knew the risks. I radioed the space port, telling them to send us a small craft which would later bring us into Olrankan.
Using the orbital cannon I shot down the Slaught ship while entering the atmosphere. It was an awe inspiring moment, the cannon is truly a wonder and then the reactor died. I could feel the machine spirit's cry for help but there was nothing I could do. It was at this moment that I promised myself that I would come back to extract this wonderful but abandoned piece of machinery.
We moved quickly and thanks to our craft we quickly reached Olrankan. Since we did not want the craft to land for fear of the Slaught attempting an escape, we all climbed down ropes. Except for Kardan who thought he could slide down the rope or something. He hit the ground hard. Sister Mary and [Calahir] did their best to heal his malled body but there is not much left to save. We left him with [Calahir] and moved on, we had to act quickly because we did not know whether or not the Slaught knew about the fate of his kin. Now Azrael Umbra had to use the boltpistol. I know he is a reliable marksman and I am glad that we found this great weapon!
We were led to the place where the Drusian knights found the Silo of bodies. It was an abandoned windmill and from the distance we could already smell the stink of foul flesh.
The Slaught was also there, I have never seen anything so horrifying in my life. It was a creature made of worms, wearing a strange cloak and it went straight for me! I now need to get some connections on my left arm repaired, I cannot feel it properly anymore. After killing it we laid fire to the windmill, confiscated the Slaught cloak and moved on.
I am currently on my way to report to Inquisitor Gallowglass, whatever is left of Kardan is with me. He is currently being kept asleep but nobody here thinks he will make it. I must try to find a way. This again shows how weak the flesh is. The two ladies in the group stayed on Olrankan in order to... [ENCRYPTED INFORMATION] ...make sure that the Emperor's will has been fulfilled.