The encounter in the Garden of the Broken Saints left the Hos Dynasty on its guard, so in the peak of Silence when a giant statue of the God Emperor came to life, not only were the Explorers unsurprised, they nearly expected it. With a cry of disdain for the heresy witnessed so far, Navigator Maturinus let fly one of his Cataclysmus Devices, and for the first time their awesome fury was unleashed in the battlefield. Turning the area where the statue stood into an nova as bright as anything encountered to date, it seemed impossible anyone could survive. And yet, though heavily damaged, the statue was not destroyed yet. Its exterior cracked and broken, it revealed purple lightning underneath that somehow animated its form together, as it charged the group.
Astropath Eckhart was the first to face its fury, and a powerful swing of its sword was only barely deflected by the Astropath’s force sword, causing him to roll to the side. The combined firepower of the Crusaders could not damage the creature, but Zacharya Caine had better luck with his plasma arm upgrade. With the statue damaged but not destroyed, Navigator Maturinus turned the fury of his warp eye upon it, and though the creature reacted with a devastating sound that nearly deafened the group, Caine got in a massive blast with his plasma arm that felled the creature.
The Astropath and Navigator both confirmed that the warp presence in the tower fled at this destruction, and Captain Hos ordered that the tower be swept to ensure there were no survivors, nor any surprises still waiting. With the Pathfinders now reinforcing the group, a swift yet measured search turned up no survivors, although they did notice a gene-locked container of some import bearing the design of the Hos Dynasty. Reacting to the Captain’s gene-coding, he discovered inside the Svardic Testament of Victris Hos which contained a mention of the Yu’Vath, a race of Xenos that may have been behind the problems inside of the system.
With no further risks detected, the Captain then searched the Sculptor’s Nave, and found an exquisite statue of Saint Aesceline the Martyr of Sinophia Magna, apparently only recently finished and of exquisite quality according to Explorator Felicis. Taking it as a symbol for the people of Svard Prime, as well as the sword of the God-Emperor statue that was still in good repair, the Captain made to quit the tower and return to Svard. Before leaving, he was confronted by both his Astropath and Navgiator, who were for once united in their opinion that the Eris Transform be destroyed. The Captain had intended to turn it over to the Inquisition as a show of his piety, but at the urging of his two warp-attuned colleagues, as well as his Explorator once he could be convinced that there were no Xenos writings in there, the Captain relented and the book was destroyed.
One Svard Defense Force Frigate was dispatched from Silence to Cog for orbital defense, the remainder set off for Svard Prime. En route, Void Mistress Nichols reported that the augur array, which had been giving her trouble for the last few days had finally cut out. Looking into the matter, Explorator Felicis discovered that the Magoros Shards appeared to have been grafted into the array, and were currently not functional. Though most parties suspected the Jokaero, neither Captain Hos nor his Honour Guard could track the elusive creature down. Arriving at Svard Prime, brief negotiations were conducted with Councillor Rhea, who appreciated the fine statue that had been acquired, and could parlay that into Ecclesiastical ties, though she still requested help restoring Kybu.
Such a thing would have to wait though, as Captain Hos met with Councillor Kane in order to discuss the restoration of the Hollow Worlds. With only one functional mining transport, the Councillor wished the In Purgatio Lumen to personally lead this expedition for defense. Though a third frigate was now operational, one was left on defense and only the Frigate led by Captain Lindsay Garret – having previously fought these Xenos, accompanied the crew. While travelling to the Hollow Worlds, the augur array suddenly came back online – the Jokaero having completed whatever it was doing. It now steadily returned a contact from the gas giant in system, and was very clearly a Xenotech component on the Archeotech ship. Though questioned about this, the Captain and Explorator shifted the blame to the deceased Syros Yurth as part of his madness – which the crew appeared to believe.
Arriving at the giant asteroid field, the crew prepared the transport as best as possible, and then the ships went to patrol. Halfway through the operation, long-range scans detected three modified System Defense Vessels en route to their location. Leaving Garret on defense, the Lumen set forth and managed to personally destroy two of the vessels – receiving minor damage in return. However, during the battle three new contacts were detected by the Lumen, yet not by the Svard frigates. Warning Garret to stay on her guard, the unknown contacts soon resolved themselves into Void Wasps – the foe previously faced near Exclusion.
Out of position, the Lumen wheeled itself around to bring its guns to bear on both targets. Finishing off the two damaged frigates, its broadsides accounted for one Wasp, and Garret herself took out another. With one frigate and one wasp left to close in on an attack run, the Lumen took out the converted frigate’s augur array, and fortunately the Transport escaped damage on the first attack run. There would not be a second, as the Lumen and Defense Frigate drove down the middle of the enemy fleet, and finished them both off.
Though one enemy frigate was completed obliterated, and the three Xenos vessels faded into the Warp as before, two frigates were hulked, but theoretically salvageable. Dispatching the Svard Prime defense frigate to come and tow the vessel back, the crew had time to study their new foes. They had modified the lance weapon, as well as inserted strange components that increased the Frigate’s speed in exchange for some armour and hull integrity.
Still two days out from Svard Prime, the captain was surprised by Astropath Poe, who reported an incoming astropathic message. Reading it, the message was from Commander Daniel Keel of Battlefleet Koronus. Responding to a distress message from the Imperial Envoy that the Svard system had fallen to heresy, he had arrived to examine the situation, and would be in orbit around Svard Prime in three days, insisting on meeting the Hos Dynasty in person to answer these charges…