“With the Emperor’s Grace, old traditions may yet prevail over new Heresies.”
The squad makes a decision to investigate a civilian settlement with possible connections to the vox black-outs. They encounter an old man, who takes them to his village. There are many people gravely ill with some sort of disease, though the origin of which is unknown. It is only said to have arrived when the secessionist forces prepared a ‘shrine’ housing a holy artifact which promised to protect against the Imperial invasion.
Severan Ducal Legate and de facto supreme commander on the world, Lucius, is strongly suspected to have resorted to odd devices and strange forces to attempt to break the guardsmen fighting to regain Imperial control over the planet. The concerns of powerful psykers grow every day, and the squad is one group tasked with a search-and-destroy mission, with the Sanctioned Psyker Animus by their side.
Animus can indeed sense there is warp energy, while Gru has suspicions that an archeotech device may be at play.
A reluctant chief agrees to combine forces with the squad after his wife’s symptoms are relieved by Corporal Yonova, and the group sets out to find the settlement housing the shrine. Fighting past patrols, upon arrival they walk into what appears to be the active device. Their approach is compromised, however, when the chief charges at the enemy guarding the device, enraged by the knowledge that it was in fact this artifact which caused the ailment threatening his wife’s and his village’s lives.
Combat breaks out, and the squad holds its own, until the Chief, blinded by anger, attempts to destroy the pulsating artifact. A blinding light emits from it at that moment, the servitor known as ‘Meat’ has its circuitry fried, and everyone falls into unconsciousness.
One by one, the squad members wake up and come to the realization that the town is being cleansed by stormtroopers lead by a commander with an overwhelming air of authority. Animus probes into the mind of this commander, only to realize that he, too, is a Psyker. In fact, he is a significantly more powerful Psyker, and likely the powerful presence reported to be on the planet.
The unknown powerful Imperial force claims the artifact, and any evidence it can find, and orders the squad to make no mention of what’s occurred, and to return to quarters. Further, they are told that the Auxiliary company is no longer theirs to worry about.
As the squad prepares to leave, they find the bodies of the comrades who fell during the assault and also quite likely, during the cleansing. Finally making back to the outpost, the town is set alight, and the mysterious group encountered leaves.
Unable to reveal anything, Sergeant Eberstark calls in the missing auxiliary troops as casualties of war.
XP AWARDED: 600