With the Promise of Agony now cleansed of both Dark Eldar and Orkish threats, the vessel was towed away from the asteroid field and its location recorded so that it could be salvaged at a later date. Lord Captain Hos recommended that a buyer could probably be found on Footfall, but Explorator Felicis believed that the Explorator Fleets in the Koronus Expanse would be far more grateful for such a prize, as even with the hull integrity damage and the Orkish raiders, the vessel was still relatively and would be an excellent chance to see the blasphemous xenos technology firsthand. Captain Hos whole-heartedly approved this plan.
The next question of course was what the next action should be for the Explorers. Both Ork and Dark Eldar menaces had been neutralized, and the system of Grace was awaiting re-entry into the Imperial fold. Severian Tollak – the Iron Hounds representative – was against returning to the planet straightaway, as the In Purgatio Lumen lacked sufficient space to transport all of the crew down on the planet, and if other salvagers were to be coming then if they found The Widening Gyre first then the vessel may be lost to both parties. Broadcasting a message of victory to the planet, the Lord Captain departed for the location of the Gyre, and the Explorers set out.
The Gyre’s current location was determined not too far from their current location, so the Lumen was able to make it there in relatively short order. Void Mistress Nichols reported that there were no signs of life aboard and all primary systems on the ship seemed completely unpowered. Not taking any chances, Astropath Eckhart ordered a hundred armsmen and only a token force of Iron Hounds led by Severian Tollak to accompany them onboard to secure the vessel and restart its systems.
Explorator Felicis and his accompanying Tech-Priests were easily able to locate the Enginarium and begin the process of bringing the ancient cogitators online. After a few hours, primary power was restored and the ship’s life support and other normal running systems began to come back online. With power restored, Captain Hos headed back to the landing crew to pick up his new familiar, who had not yet had a custom void suit crafted for him as yet. However, the strange Xenos creature would not board the vessel, preferring to stay by his master and hiss at the assembled crew.
Both Astropath Eckhart and the suddenly enhanced sense of the captain realised that a number of their house troops had been corrupted by an unknown influence aboard the vessel. Unfortunately the power also realised this and a fierce firefight broke out inside of the ranks of the troops, as Dynasty troops turned on each other. Only the inspired leadership of Captain Hos managed to prevent utter chaos from descending, and despite heavy casualties the possessed crew members were killed, and morale was barely held together.
Unwilling to risk any more of his men, the remaining house troops were evacuated to the In Purgatio Lumen, and only Captain Hos, his familiar, Astropath Eckhart, Explorator Felicis, Navigator Maturinus, and Sergeant Tollak were left behind to re-engage the Gellar field and vanquish whatever threat was aboard the Gyre. During the fight, Astropath Eckhart had yet again employed his formidable psychic powers to banish the possessed crew members, which seemed to have weakened the force on the ship. Explorator Felicis managed to bring the Gellar field online, and the Astropath was confident that whatever predator was aboard would be returned to the Warp in short order. His theories were dispelled however by a knocking on the door to the Enginerium and a request to enter by a quiet, yet self-assured voice outside.
Navigator Maturinus and Astropath Eckhart approached to parlay with this voice, but refused its pleas to grant him entry. However, the pleas were merely a trap to draw them closer to the door for the being’s immense psychic powers to begin wearing down their resolve. Sensing that their Willpower was gradually fading to this enemy, they retreated from the door – only just making it before Maturinus fell to the seductive sway of their enemy outside. With no more ability to further influence those in the Enginerium, the door was opened from the other side and their foe stood revealed.
The pleasant and unassuming man in front of them nonetheless exuded an air that paralyzed Sergeant Tollak where he stood. As he advanced into the room, he moved at a calm, graceful pace that beguiled the immense speed at which he moved into the room. Captain Hos and Explorator Felicis opened fire with their equipped weapons, but the creature’s grace left him all but impossible to hit at range. Astropath Eckhart used his powers to reinforce his mind warding, but this had the unfortunate side effect of the Warp influencing Navigator Maturinus into succumbing to unfathomable rage and attacking the Lord-Captain’s familiar. This resulted in the horrifying defeat of the Navigator at the hands of the tiny creature whose claws were revealed to be surprisingly sharp for a creature of that size.
With an injured Navigator and covering fire so far proving ineffective, Astropath Eckhart trusted in the strength of his mind ward and charged in at the mysterious figure. Navigator Maturinus recovered from his rage and prepared to down the creature with a grenade, and the Captain inspired Sergeant Tollak to snap out of his shock. After a fierce fight where the Navigator fell victim to the creature’s rage, a series of combined bullets from the support gave Astropath Eckhart an opening that he needed to finally banish this being back into the Warp.
Though heavily injured by their adventures, the Gyre was finally delivered into the Hos Dynasty. Sergeant Tollak revealed the true function of the vessel as well as the Hounds interest in recovering the cargo – Aspyce Chorda had contracted with them to store in cold storage various persons at her request. The cargo bay had only two surviving pods as well as one open one – presumably the one that the Warp Herald had used to survive. One of the others was identified as Phyllis Bane, an ancient pirate and one held a young boy who was unknown to the party. There was also a missing pod that had been recovered aboard the Dagger of Fate containing – a sister and rival claimant to the Chorda Dynasty.
Tollak verified that the Explorers acted to the terms laid out by Dante Balthazar, and the Dynasty formally took command of the Widening Gyre. Splitting the surviving crew of the Lumen and the Gyre, a skeleton crew was able to pilot the vessel back to the Promise of Agony, and the Dark Eldar vessel was looted. Captain Hos sumberged himself in the Recovery Chamber found, and his grevious injuries were remarkably healed over the span of five days. Emerging from the tube, he found the Jokaero had also been healed. Attempts to communicate with the mysterious Xenos failed, but he did appear to happily grab a proffered data pad and leave to parts unknown in the ship. Navigator Maturinus recovered his mind without the use of xenos technology, although his injuries at the hands of the Gyrinx will take longer.
The Dynasty grabbed everything they could from the Promise of Agony, and stowed it aboard their newest Transport. Heading back to Grace, they learned that they were not alone in this endeavour. A small fleet of vessels was detected in orbit, including the Chains of Dusk captained by Krawkin Feckward himself.