Arriving at Footfall after their previous journey in the Magoros sector, the Explorers immediately set out to have their treasure from the Emperor’s Bounty appraised, as well as look into the identity of the mysterious Xenos vessel that had previously attacked them. Navigator Maturinus took the time for the journey in-system to consult with Astropath Breia Poe regarding the strange device recovered from the Emperor’s Bounty, as well as the conduct of both Astropath Eckhart and Navigator Dionisio. Both parties agreed that their respective charges had to be watched, and events have left them convinced that the Warp is not as friendly as it once was.
Once on Footfall, bargaining with the Obsidian Emporium, Jequin Hos and Explorator Felicis learned that they would be all too happy to sell this fabled treasure, and at prices that they would be unlikely to approach on their own, but that the collection would require the majority of the collection and only a scant few items would be left for the Explorers themselves. Deciding that this proposition was ultimately to their benefit, they tentatively accepted pending the delivery of the remaining treasure from the Bounty.
While debating their fortune and the optimal course of action, Arch-Militant Caine decided to track down more information on Krawkin Feckward. Reaching out to the Black Brotherhood, peddlers of information on underworld dealings on Footfall, the Arch-Militant, Explorator, Rogue Trader and Navigator Secundus set out for their stronghold on Footfall. The initial foray was initially stalled when the Black Brotherhood detected several prohibited devices on Navigator Maturinus. Further diplomatic failings resulted in all but Rogue Trader Hos and Scribe Barnard Kroon being expelled from the meeting.
Proceeding inside, they met with the closest thing that the Black Brotherhood has to a leader – Calcus Calinnicus. This vat-grown muscle headed brute proved himself to be a fierce, yet ultimately reasonable leader, after a brief exchange of Thrones bought what information was available on Krawkin Feckward. The man himself was an unknown quantity, having arrived in the Expanse shortly before the Strangling, and has made himself a large number of enemies in that time. Confirming Astropath Eckhart’s suspicions that Feckward engaged in slavery, they learned that Feckward has betrayed many people in his time in the Expanse, and that many parties gun for his death should he ever visit Footfall proper. Unable to gain any more information, Rogue Trader Hos attempted one final act of assertion with the Black Brotherhood, resulting in a heavy steel door nearly crushing him as they sealed the entrance.
Not willing to suffer further humiliation at the Black Brotherhood, Arch-Militant Caine proceeded to Warpsbane Alley to try and find information on the crystals recovered from Magoros. Despite confirming their unusual properties with light, no real progress was made. However Navigator Maturinus met the fallen Astropath Attar Soloket, who interpreted an odd dream that the Navigator had recently. The only thing that Maturinus learned is a cryptic statement saying that Jequin Hos is not one man, but three.
Following the Black Brotherhood excursion, Explorator Felicis decided to investigate the local Asteroid Hopping track, with the vague intention of making a bet on one of the races. Accompanied by his Rogue Trader who wanted to see what all the fuss was about, Felicis began inspecting vessels in the second heat to see if he could find a “good one”. Not really able to aid in this gambling, Rogue Trader Hos instead decided to swagger around and strike a mean pose. His swagger did not go unnoticed, as Hadarak Fel, holder of the Fel Warrant of Trade and ancient enemy of the Hos Dynasty noticed this swagger. engaging in a duel of charm with the young Captain Hos, he acquitted himself much better than the last person to try it, but still fell victim to the Lord-Captain’s wordplay and accepted a bet on the next asteroid race that his racer would lose to someone.
Inspecting some of the craft, Explorator Felicis came across a young pilot who had just had her Enginseer quit under unusual circumstances, heavily suspected to be bribery. Unwilling to resist, the Tech-Priest quickly wowed the pilot with his prior knowledge in this sport, and was hired as a replacement Engineseer for the upcoming race. Suspecting the possibility of sabotage, Arch-Militant Caine and personnel remained behind to guard the ship, along with a complement of ship troops. With no activity in the night, the next morning the RACE WAS ON! Except it would be on in the afternoon as it was the third race. None the less. IT WAS ON!
Leaving the Explorator to work on his vessel and get it up to running condition, Captain Hos visited the Bounty Office to see if the Xenos vessel he previously destroyed was a Rak’Gol Cruiser. Although there was no official bounty posted for that vessel, as few Rak’Gol ships are well-known enough for bounties to be put up. The information would have to be a reward in itself, and Captain Hos departed still having yet to claim a bounty for destroying a vessel. With nothing else to do before the race the next day, Captain Hos retired to attend the RACE WHAT WAS ON.
Before being on though, Navigator Maturinus decided he would not be in attendance and visited Hopko’s Firearms, to retrieve his staff from Kadin Hopko who had been upgrading the edge into a weapon worthy of a Navigator. The proprietor mentioned a possible business deal with the Hos Dynasty in the near future. He also visited House Dwemer, where he managed to turn his maps into licensed routes that others could plot against granting the Dynasty another boon to their struggling Profit Factor. The Dwemer representative also asked that if they would be returning to The Foundling Worlds soon if the crew could attempt to chart a route to Grace and report on the Warp Storm activity, as there were rumours that lost world would soon be accessible again. Feeling a great sense of accomplishment, he set out for the race track to fill the Rogue Trader in on the news.
Joining Dale in the Brave Zipper, Felicis was up against the Long Shot, the Calixis Fury, the Fel Dagger, the Crazed Missiler, and Lathimon’s Grace in this competition. Right out of the bat, the Long Shot leaped ahead attempting to out-race its competition to the finish, taking a number of pot-shots in the process, but basically holding together. The Fel Dagger however focused its fire on the Zipper, and in one mighty salvo nearly destroyed it. Approaching the first “asteroid”, the Long Shot again held onto its lead despite heavy damage. The Fel Dagger ignored the Zipper, choosing to focus on its turn… and disastrously overcompensated, resulting in it smashing head-on into the asteroid, destroying the vessel instantly. The Lathimon’s Grace, attempting to mimic its turn also was destroyed, and Hadarak Fel suddenly got very quiet. The Long Shot eventually fell to the combined fury of the surviving ships, followed shortly by the Calixis Fury. With only the trailing Crazed Missiler to worry about, Explorator Felicis put everything he had into coaxing one last burst of speed from the engines… and failed. As the missiles closed in, he believed himself to be lost, only for the slightest of miscalaculations resulting in the final salvo going wide. The Brave Zipper, and the Hos Dynasty representative in the race took the pot!
The next morning, nursing a hangover, Explorator Felicis waited on the ship whereas the rest of the Explorers visited Hopko’s Guns to learn more about the mission that the arms merchant had spoken of earlier. It seems that several weapons shipments to Seldon’s Folly had failed to arrive, and he wanted the Hos Dynasty to make the next shipment in their much more intimidating ship. Agreeing to think it over, on their return to the ship they found themselves ambushed by Kroot mercenaries, who tore into the Explorers both figuratively and literally. Using their wicked Xenos beak on Arch-Militant Caine, Rogue Trader Hos and Astropath Eckhart, the fighting was initially fierce. Things did not go as planned for the Avian Xenos, as the one attacking Rogue Trader Hos fell victim to the Captain’s power sword destroying its beak, and the one attacking the Astropath panicked when tasting “Tainted Meat”. Attempting to flee, Astropath Eckhart brought down the one that had injured him, while Rogue Trader Hos restrained the one he had mangled with the other two making it into the crowd. Interrogating the Xenos assassin, in exchange for a swift death to cope with the shame from defeat and losing of its beak, the mercenary revealed the man who had hired them. Krawkin Feckward.