After getting a night of rest, (and after I woke up from a weird dream about pirates and asteroids), the group collectively moves outside the church to the now desolate ruins. I again see the rusted bodies of ancient knights around, and a question pops into my head. "Do you leave your dead to die after combat?" I ask the captain of the knights, Wilhelm. He replies "The land was forsaken long ago immediately after a battle fought here. No one has been here since yesterday when we arrived for shelter." Satisfied with his answer, I wait for our transport to arrive.
I didn't have to wait long, the transport comes out of the sky and lands into the city's center fountain. This startles the knights greatly. They gaze in wonder of our vessel, taking in its alien design.
I hear Captain Vandal speaking over his microbead. I look over and see a stern look on his face. "Our base isn't responding to us." He tells us in a hushed tone, so not to disturb the currently awestruck knights. I ask him "Why not contact our 'ship' and see if they can contact them?" After a second of thought he replies, "An excellent idea!". He tells our crew onboard the Zanzibar to scan the temp base.
Meanwhile, the transport's doors open. We hear a dull thunking sound come from within. Next thing we know, an ork dunning a helmet, buzzing with energy, and carrying a staff clambers out of the ship. The knights reach for their weapons, but Vandal assures them that the beast isn't a threat. Red Ded on the other hand runs up to the new ork and immediately gets chummy with his fellow oddity. I also notice a psyker exiting the vessel at a safe distance from the new ork. (I'm so glad Victruss decided to stay onboard the Zanzibar, he would have raised hell if he saw the new ork.)
Vandal goes back to talking to his micro bead. He tells us in a hushed tone, again, that our base's southern wall had been melted down and there were no signs of the soldiers we left behind.
After some debate between the leaders of our group, we all head off in the ship to the knight's kingdom, leaving their horses behind. Our new void mistress, Solaris, takes over the pilot's seat.
The knights' first time in flight proves to be a challenge for them. Each one has their gauntlet-clad hands on their harnesses, and are sharing a collected look of unease. The orks sit next to each other chuckling at the "pinkies" quandary. Kalei sits down comfortably, eating parts of his seat. (We really need to bring something to curb that appetite for future missions.) Vandal sits at the front of the ship, doing who knows what.
We approach the line of mountains, and notice that they are coated in a strange metal. After an initial scan we discover that the metal is actually adamantium. (How odd.) We eventually cross the other side and land at the first village we spot.
A Land At WarEdit
The feudal age city was exactly as one would expect from it. The buildings are made of wood and stone, instead of gravel they had a dirt road, and the awestruck commoners smell worse than the backside of a dumpster. As the knights greet the people of their realm, several of my teammates go about exploring the place. I stay inside the ship to avoid attracting any attention to myself. The, no doubt, superstitious lot outside would probably come at me with pitchforks. (Some might go after the orks though. Wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if they did.)
That's when I overhear the conversation between Kalei and Captain Conningham. They are in the middle of debating the best method for introducing the new world to the Imperium. Conningham ponders if it is better to unite the people, or keep them separated, and help one side secretly. Kalei however suggests "We should just conquer these guys. Guns v.s. swords and crossbows? It's no contest! We'll crush them and save ourselves alot of trouble!"
"That's a bad idea." I say, making myself known. "They might not have our technology now, but eventually they will understand our weapons and use them against us. It's far better to cooperate with them, than to make enemies of an entire world." To make things short, Kalei and I have a rather heated debate which almost escalates to arms, but is averted due to Conningham's quick thinking. "How would you deal with them?" He asks me. I suggests that since the kingdom's war is being caused by famine, that we should bring food to the starving world. "That wouldn't work." Vandal interjected. "We don't have the supplies necessary for something of that magnitude." I then state, "It doesn't have to be us! Tell the Imperium about this land's plight. I'm sure they can provide plenty for this world." Vandal thinks for a moment. "True, but I doubt that will happen, since Damos's family is spending most of its money on the crusade." (Gah. Yeah I forgot about that.) I take in his words and at the end of the debate, I say one last thing. "Let's keep in mind one thing; We just got on this world. We have no idea if we can trust these knights, nor do we know if we picked the right side of this conflict or not."
A few hours later, we depart from our transport to explore the kingdom by horseback. It will take a far longer time for us to reach the capital this way, but we will be able to get a better view of the situation, and see what the right course of action to take is. Solaris, and the cat stay onboard the transport back to the Zanzibar. The seneschal (Or as I finally know him as, Zickle) the new astropath, Vandal, Kalei and I get on horses to ride on alongside the knights. Red Ded and the weird ork get into a cart being driven by several horses.
A few more hours later, we see smoke in the distance. According to Wilhelm, it seems that a village on their border is being attacked by invaders. Without any argument, we all divert from our path to save this place. Well most of us. The astropath and I both have trouble with our horses and get bucked off of them. I get back on mine and pick up the new psyker on my horse to save us some trouble.
The two of us get there a little too late though. The fighting is over before we even caught up with our group. It seems that the guns that were brought in with us broke the invaders' spirits. I get off my horse and join the rest of the party in interrogating the soldiers.
Since the enemy captain died in the battle Kalei talks to the second in command: Lifting him off the ground with one hand. The soldier states that the king has oppressed their freedom, and that their cause is righteous. Kalei angrily points to the remaining civilians and asks him if they had taken freedom away from the soldier's people.
That is when the new ork shouted, "TIS IS TAKING TOO LONG!". Mysterious green energy leaps from his head and envelops the soldier. After a green cloud of smoke disperses the officer soldier has disappeared, and a strange alien creature has taken its place. Flash backs from my own personal experience came back to me. I feel dread and anger fill up my conscousness, but I can't move pysically to act apon them. I..I..I.. I can't believe my eyes! The ork has single handedly changed a human into what he calls a squig. It required no chanting, no magical runes, just pent up frustation. I cannot trust this ork for a second. If I leave my guard down, I'll be next.
People from all sides are shocked at what happened, save for Red Ded who is clapping his hands as if he has witnessed a good play. Kalei decides to move up to the next guy and ask him what they are doing there. The soldier seems to be tight lipped however, and doesn't say anything. Then our new astropath gently pushes Kalei to the side and asked him the same question. The man starts to say everything. How, in a week the main force would attack the castle and take back the land from the king. (I imagine that the psyker must have used his power to compel him into telling us their plans) Next thing we know, the sorcerer ork lets out a large sneeze, and his energy bursts out and hits the remaining enemy soldiers, lighting them on fire. (Like I need more proof that this....THING is a deathtrap waiting to happen.)
We let the last soldier go, and direct our attention to the civilians. The seneschal Zickle tells them to leave the village, and seek shelter at the castle. After they leave, some of the crew go to the village for some reason. I decide to see if there is anything left on the bodies of the soldiers and see if I can find anything that can give me a better view of the situation. A journal, battle plans, etc. Unfortunately I find nothing of the sort. I do see a hooded cloak that strikes my fancy on a non-charred soldier corpse. It has chain-mail woven inside of it, though this wouldn't be of any real use to me combat-wise. I can still use it to cover my face though, so I take it. I later decide to collect all of the swords the enemy has dropped when they surrendered and put them on my horse's saddle.
Oddly enough, when Zickle comes back he has a metal mask on. I don't know where he found it, but ever since, I noticed that all the knights keep their distance from him.
We ride off to the castle, and spend about three days on horseback. On the third day, the dirt road path leads into a forest. Everything seems fine at first. A few leaves here, dead tree over there. Another boring day collecting saddle sores. (I swear, I'll never ride a horse again!)
Then the forest seems to explode as several men on horseback charge at our group from the left, right, and behind us! We hoofed forward with no other alternative to go, right were they wanted us to. Ahead we spot archers standing upon a raised platform, cutting off our escape route. Kalei leaps from his steed and barely gets a hold on the platform's edge. An archer aims his bow at him.
"Stop we mean no harm to you!" A psychic shout echoed from the astropath's mind. Surprisingly, the horsemen and the archers cease their attack, allowing all of us to take a moment to talk things out. It's a good thing we were able to. The ambushers turned out to be soldiers of the realm as well, and were trying to target thieves when they spotted our suspicious group. After a brief exchange of words, we are able to pass peacefully and proceed to the castle, which is closeby.
The King of AiramEdit
As we make our way through the castle town, we notice evidence of the famine currently plaguing the land. Several people are on the streets begging for money and food. I see Zickle give some of his rations to a young girl and old man in front of me. I won't lie, I would've done the same thing. It's too bad that we can't do anything for these people right now, but we must forge ahead and complete our mission. Once we end this war, and introduce this world to the Imperium, they will have a better chance at living.
Our group is led inside the castle's inner wall with some fanfare. Soldiers put on airs saying that the Great Captain Willhelm has returned from the badlands, and such. We dismount our rides and walk into the interior of the grand castle. When we finally go into the highly decorated throne room, we finally meet the esteemed King of Airam, King Bailen Talonhart von Airam. He greets us and welcomes us to his land.
Captain Vandal talks for our crew to the King. He makes claims that our crew from overseas possesses powerful wizardry and are willing to help them in their cause. The King raises his right hand and says "You mean like this?" Lightning shoots from his gauntlet striking the ceiling above. At this point Kalei tries to convince the king that his gauntlet was indeed from space where we had come from. Not quite understanding he said "You mean from the heavens?" Kalei, getting frustrated, reaches for his shotgun and says, "NO I mean from space!".
I reach out and grab his shotgun before he did something incredibly stupid. Kalei shoots me an angry dirty look, but I keep my hold on his weapon (Somehow). I then step in front of Kalei and greet the King. I humbly bow before him and ask him, "King Talonhart, does any other noble possess a weapon such as yours?". He replies, "No, only my family owns this weapon. It has been passed down through generations ever since my ancestor came from the old kingdom south of the mountains. He made this land and used this holy gauntlet to guide the people. There is no other like it."
The conversation carries on. Eventually the king asks for a demonstration of our might. In a foolhardy move, our new astropath tries to use one of his abilities on the king. I only know this because the King counters it and commands all of us with his own psychic capabilities to bow. Immediately my body moves on its own accord, and I once again bow before the King. For the second time on this mission I feel fear and anger well up inside me. I hate being forced by psychic powers to do anything. Fortunately for us, Captain Conningham smooth talks our way out of being further humiliated by the King.
"SIRE!" A soldier yells from the throne room's door. "Strangers from the heavens have landed outside the castle!" With most of the party confused (including me) all of us move outside to find the source of the new disturbance.
What we see is a transport ship. In front of it stood a beautiful Imperium woman officer with a pair of wings on her back. "Ah Erika Damos, so nice of you to join us". Vandal Conningham says out loud. My entire being fills with dread at that one moment. Here is the heir to Tarron's planet. The one who is spearheading the entire operation on her father's behalf. The one that can have me skinned and wear my fur as a coat. I move to the back of the group as quickly and smoothly as possible.
I don't hear the conversation between the the groups, but somehow though we end up walking into the chapel at the castle. Inside we see several busts of the previous Kings of Airam. They all seem to be exactly the same, save for a freckle that seems to be in a different spot on each bust.
The King keeps talking saying that our arrival has been foretold in a sacred book held in the chapel. He takes a rather large book from a pedestal situated at the far end of the room, and places it on the altar. I can't read the text written on the pages, but Vandal and a few others seem to be able to confirm what the King says. The book even has brief descriptions of all of us! (How could something of this nature exist?) We inquire if we can see what would happen next in the book, but the King forbade it, saying that doing that can rip apart the reality of the world. (Whatever that means.)
I take a brief glance at Erika's crew. Among them is the eldar my crew met at the worm world. There is one intoxicated fellow with a streak of white hair talking to a wide-eyed girl; whom seems to only say desu for some reason. Lastly, there is a voidmistress who says "Hey wolfie" along with a small wave and a smile.
All three groups went back to the castle to further discuss what the next step was going to be.
Logs and Links:
Greaves View: The Land of Airam 2