Departing Footfall for Port Wander to check on the progress of the Abs Innocentina, as well as replenish their crew and minor damage taken during the skirmish with the Rak’Gol vessel. Lord Captain Jequin Hos first stopped in at The Hermitage to try and get his recovered power axe and golden power armour further sanctified by the Cult of the Divine Flame. Contacting Confessor Todd, the Explorers learned that their little deception in getting the Chaos Axe blessed had not gone unnoticed, and he demanded the destruction of the Axe of Mahr before any further negotiations could be conducted. Fortunately for the Explorers, Cleric Carotento of the Ministers of Pure Benediction was listening in on this conversation and offered to perform the conversion in exchange for continuing their discussion on joining the In Purgatio Lumen as onboard missionaries. Infuriated, Confessor Todd quit the channel, and Jequin Hos turned down Cleric Carotento with yet another stalling excuse, feeling that the calm, serene atmosphere projected by the Cleric could hold nothing good for the Explorers. Relying on Deacon Yauz to perform the blessing, they continued on to Port Wander.
At Port Wander, communication with Seneschal Leopold Phipps revealed that the recovered Transport has been successfully overhauled, and was awaiting relaunch by the Rogue Trader. Naming it the Abs Innocentina, all that was left to do was find a crew. The first thing that had to happen though, was Arch-Militant Caine was practically sprinting down to the medicae bay to get his new Augmetics installed. Placing him out of commission for at least a month while this was happening, his disciplinary measure and gentle cry of telling people to listen while slamming tables would be a void the crew could never really replace.
Lord-Captain Hos and Artifex Felicis also visited Magos Toronos to return two extremely rare Adeptus Mechanicus components recovered from Emperor’s Bounty – an Omnissiah Rod and a suit of intact Caraphract Armour. Explorator Felicis initially attempting to wait to see what the Mechanicus would provide for this return, but Lord Captain Hos reasoned that the good will of the Priests of Mars would be more valuable in the long-term and returned them both without issue. The Magos was extremely grateful, almost showing emotion in her flat, synthesized voice and pledged to personally see to the Arch Militant’s Upgrade, as well as guaranteeing them a Good Reputation with the Adeptus Mechanicus.
Navigator Maturinus visited the Navis Nobilitae quarters in an attempt to learn more about Benetek’s Device. Unfortunately, he found that Navigator Primarus Dionisio was already there, and had ingratiated himself with the resident navigators. Dionisio still did not believe the stories of the magical “moving worm”, and dismissed the young Secundarius’ concerns with a laugh and a wave.
While preparing for the maiden voyage of the Abs Innocentina to join the In Purgatio Lumen in recovering the Emperor’s Bounty, the Lord Captain Hos now required a crew for his transport, and wished to avoid press-ganging both for the reputation and the low class of personnel it might acquire. both Lord-Captain Hos and Seneschal Phipps drummed up a crew for the maiden voyage of the Abs Innocentina at the Voidfarer’s Rest. Although they did not reach full crew complement, enough retired or non-deployed Imperial Navy personnel agreed to join that the crew was brought up to skeletal status. As well, Dionisio used his contacts within the Navigator houses to secure two House Ortellius navigators for the voyage.
Visiting Commander Larius Sans, Captain Hos informed the station commander of the success of the mission, and the location of the Emperor’s Bounty. Inquiring as to rumours of the Inquisition that he had heard earlier, the station Commander most emphatically assured Lord Captain Hos that there was not an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor aboard the station, even if there was they would not be also investigating the corruption he’d been looking into and he’d NEVER even heard of Linetta Res before. Understanding his meaning, Jequin also inquired as to if there was any way the Imperial Navy could help tow the Emperor’s Bounty back to Port. Commander Sans had just such a solution to this problem, as he had contacted Commander Daniel Keel of the Battlefleet, currently on extended patrol in Foulstone. Apparently he had asked for the Dynasty by name, and if they would complete whatever favour the Battlefleet wanted, then the Battlefleet might be able to help them out as well.
Before leaving, the last order of business was finalizing trade negotiations with Erasmus Boldt, who agreed to supply a portion of his world’s foodstuffs in a regular route to Footfall. Believing all matters were concluded, Captain Hos was surprised to receive a message from Dante Balthazar, who had a business proposition for the Captain. Agreeing to put the bad blood behind them, he revealed that the Warp Storms around Grace were in fact abetting, and that soon the world would be open again. The Ventan Iron Hounds had lost a transport, The Widening Gyre in the system when the Warp Storms were closed. In exchange for the recovery of the Cogitator and all onboard cargo, unopened and unexpected, the Hounds would formally cede control of the Star Clipper, and even pay for any repairs and retrofitting the Explorers required. When questioning this deal, Balthazar pointed out this was as much a proof of the Explorers capability of trusting him, and his organisation’s ability to trust the. Negotiating a crew of midshipmen officers for the Abs Innocentina, Rogue Trader Hos eventually accepted the mission, and the Explorers pledged to head to Grace after a brief stopover in Footfall.
Leaving Seneschal Phipps to captain the Innocentina on this mission, the Lumen stopped in at Footfall only long enough to complete their trade route in the Hab-Fanes. Meeting with Konrad Boethius, Captain Hos was unmoved by the request to lower his prices so that the poorest could afford his prices, and instead struck what he felt was a fair balance between affordability and profit. Moving swiftly on to Grace, the Explorers handily reached False Hope, where they were caught in the wake of a dissipating Warp Storm, which Navigator Maturinus easily avoided. Believing that this was a sign the storm from Grace was departing, once they dealt with another Astropathic Message from False Hope, they proceeded along the previously known Warp Route to Grace. Although the ride was smooth, upon transiting into the system they “collided” with the spiritual remains of those trying to flee Grace who had been caught in the Warp Storm. Although they posed no physical harm, crew morale was heavily impacted by this event.
Arriving in system, they found that there was a vast ship’s graveyard which was presumably where those exiting Grace attempted to enter the Warp. The vessels had been completely destroyed, although Josette Nichols confirmed that the damage was more than simple Warp Storm damage would account for, and many components were missing from the hulks of the ship. Setting a course for the super-massive Gas Giant in the planet’s Outer Reaches, the Void Mistress detected an unknown vessel lying in wait for them in the shadow of the Gas Giant. Hailing this ship, the Dynasty was contacted by Cap’n Hammertoof, who was surprised that the “Dum Humiez” could see through his cunning ambush. Believing that this was a sign, he proposed negotiations with the Hos Dynasty so that they could work to take down the Ork Warboss deeper in system.
Dressed in his finest clothes and carrying his biggest weapon, Arriving on the vessel, Cap’n Hammertoof was pleased to see what a new ship he had acquired for himself, and generously offered the position of captaining his old Frigate to the Lord Captain. Unprepared for the strange Xenos mindset, Explorator Felicis attempted to come up with an excuse saying the captain had an emergency to deal with. Unfortunately, Cap’n Hammertoof believed that HE was the captain of this vessel, and set off to deal with it. Refusing to allow Orks any further on his ship, the Explorers launched into combat with the Ork menace. Giving in to the rage from his axe, Rogue Trader Hos easily dispatched three Orks, including Hammertoof. Astropath Eckhart and his fearsome Psychic powers accounted for two more, whereas House Troops brought down one final Ork, though suffering casualties in the process. Seeing the ferocity of Rogue Trader Hos’ Chaos-fueled rage, the surviving Orks quickly recognised that THIS was a Warboss worth following, and after a brief inter-xenos battle with one casualty, a new Ork Captain was appointed, who pledged his ship in the service of their new Warboss.