Negotiations with Ember Nostromo were hardly how the Dynasty wanted to spend the day, given that they were still flush with their spoils from raiding Maleziel and that the defense forces of Calligos Winterscale were bound to catch up with them eventually. Nonetheless, a Grand Cruiser piloted by a Navigator sworn to the Chaos Powers has a way of forcing your hand in the matter.
Perhaps a strange fortune shone on them, for she seemed quite amenable to talking and securing an alliance against their so-called “mutual foe”. Captain Hos and Navigator Maturinus met with the Chaos-touched Navigator while secreting Astropath Eckhart under the care of Arch-Militant Caine as they knew that Nostromo was interested in him most of all. The conversation was confusing and self-contradictory, but Rogue Trader Hos eventually realised that the Navigatrix was afraid of the legendary Erasmus Haarlock, or at least forces belonging to him and suggested she investigate this avenue. Nostromo eagerly agreed and quit the ship, before threatening that she would return at the earliest opportunity.
With the Monarch disappearing into the Warp, the crew made back to Damaris and unthawed Anastasia Chorda, welcoming her back to the Imperial fold and non-cryogenic life. The young heir of the Chorda warrant was surprised that her sister was missing without being confirmed dead, and cautiously asserted that without the Warrant there was little she could offer. Apparently Aspyce had frozen Anastasia so that the latter would take over the dynasty upon the former’s passing without the hassle of an immediate war of succession. Without her position being clear she was unable to swear her unbridled support, but she was grateful for the rescue and remained behind on Damaris to “review” the situation and see what help she could provide without weakening herself.
Turning the Fallen Hand over for repairs, the crew happily switched back to the In Purgatio Lumen and spent a little bit of downtime in Damaris acquiring new information and, in the case of the Rogue Trader and Seneschal Sarvus reassuring people that they were in charge and not to waver in their dedication. Before heading back to Svard they made the decision to stop in at Inti and perform the same sort of morale boosting as well as checking in on Magos Isabella Stein as the Captian noticed that her personnel recruitment greatly exceeded what could be thought of as reasonable.
Meeting the Magos in orbit around the fauna planet Inti Tertius, she apologised for the increase in “resource expenditure” as her experiments had proven more hazardous for a period, but that she expected the needful deaths to reduce from this point forward. Sensing that she wished to be left alone, the crew made for their flora planet of Inti Quatrus to meet with the personnel there, who seemed equally enthused and receptive towards the Hos Dynasty, but mentioned that they had been denied visiting Magos Stein’s research facilities on Tertius for several months now, and the Magos herself had not left. Despite all the signs of something going wrong, Navigator Maturinus passionately insisted that this was a threat that could wait, and the crew departed for Svard.
In orbit around their home base the crew found both Magos Commodore Gnothis Trannarch had arrived to answer many incoming messages from the Rogue Trader, especially concering the possibility of war. Though grateful for the Rogue Trader’s many contributions, he expressly forbade intruding on the private territory of Magos Haugaard as that would be intruding on Mechanicus domain, although thankfully he had extracted a similar promise regarding Winterscale and Inti. Although he had received several promising leads from the Hos Dynasty, their unfortunate lost time in the Processional of the Damned cost them five years of inactivity, and the loss of the opportuniy on Zayth particularly rankled.
Swearing that he would redouble his efforts, the Dynasty debated heading to Zayth to attempt to raise themselves up in the eyes of the Mechanicus, or conduct raids in Winterscale’s territory in general, but a chance comment about the loss of reports from Magos Stein continued to percolate inside their minds until they decided the mysteries had to be answered and broke for Inti. Before leaving however, Fist of Dorn had arrived answering Hos’s summons, and he managed to broker a deal where they would focus their efforts on the more piratical sectors of Winterscale’s Domain in an attempt to stir up trouble in exchange for several promising mining contracts in the Calixis Sector.
Heading back to Inti, the crew emerged with a distress call from Quatrus, and ominous silence from Tertius. In their absence, a Kroot Warsphere had arrived in orbit and began assaulting Magos Stein’s forces. Confident in his ability to parlay with the mercenary Xenos, Captain Hos extracted a truce and attempted to learn the truth from the Kroot on board. Apparently Magos Stein had contract herself with this Warsphere to address a plague among their members, and the Xenos had run out of patience and come to exact vengeance. Chillingly, the Xenos battle reports revealed strange, possibly mutated humans of extreme lethality defending the research base below, and the Warsphere decreed that either the Hos Dynasty bring them Magos Stein dead or in chains, or else they would have to contend with the wrath of the Warsphere on top of all their other problems…