Following the attempted assassination of Lord Captain Jequin Hos, the Inner Council decided that events on Svard had to be dealt with immediately, before the situation would descend any further into chaos. After appraising the Lord-Captain as to their investigations, Maturinus of Navis Nobilite House Pazzano and Astropath Eckhart rejoined the others to plan their next course of action. The immediate priorities were establishing a solid orbital defense, securing the Citadel of Psykers around Svard, and ensuring that the political situation was amenable to their presence and would defer to the Dynasty’s judgment.
Explorator Felicis and Arch-Miltiant Caine were escorted to the Svard orbital facility by Saira Nelken, in order to inspect the only still-functional Svard Defense Force vessel. Boarding the Bastion-class vessel, Caine was watchful for any further ambushes as they found on the planet, but instead found ship personnel loyal to the planet, and were escorted to the Engineerium to meet with Chlorus Kremple, one of the few Tech-Priests left in the system. Working with him for repairs, Explorator Felicis believed that instead of repairing the one vessel they had, it would be possible to use the In Purgatio Lumen’s supplies to get two Frigates up to effective strength, thereby increasing their capabilities. He was also able to decrypt the logs from the destroyed System Ships, which showed an assault in the Hollow Worlds by strange, agile Xenos craft and human-like creatures that survived in the Void and attacked the hull of the vessel. Though he feared the machinations of Chaos, his intuition led him towards a Xenos threat, though not one he could determine.
Meanwhile, Astropath Eckhart led the Death Bastards on a raid to the Citadel of Psykers to determine why the facility went out of contact, and if the situation could be salvaged. Reaching the door, they were met by Mathieu Riek, who had boarded himself in the lower levels of the facility and who informed Eckhart that the Psykers who ran the facility had fallen to madness, and had assumed control of the support staff and were even now conducting a bizarre ritual above. Eckhart and his troops did a sweep of the facility, and finding no one alive in the lower levels swept their way to the top. On the second floor there was a barricade of Administratum personnel holding the line, but the massed fire of the Death Bastards and the Wardens easily swept them aside.
During the fight there was one Astropath visible during the fight who left for the security of the inner chamber. Making their way to the top, Riek informed the group that they were to kill any they found inside on sight. Eckhart attempted to point out that this may still be premature, but his warning was not heeded as Riek opened the door and immediately gunned down an Astropath at the top of the stairs who seemed on the verge of speaking. Realising that not all was as it seems, Eckhart ordered his troops to cut down the remaining Wardens, who revealed themselves to be under the same corruption as the assassin on Svard. The remaining Wardens were cut down by Jenna Vasquez and her fire team, while Valencia Mercutio and his group seized the upper levels, finding the Astropaths there to be chanting the Emperor’s prayer over and over again, and no sign of the Warp Corruption they were expecting.
Demanding his troops leave Riek to him, Eckhart managed to incapacitate the Warden and attempted to look into his mind. While doing so, he touched a force far more powerful than what he had expected, and was quickly rebuffed. Going to the upper levels, he astropathically contacted Astropath Johan Verdan to cause him to slowly break out of his trance. Astropath Verdan informed Eckhart that the revolt was caused by the Wardens, and only when he noticed that the Astropaths who prayed to the Emperor appeared to unnerve the Wardens that he began a similar process in the hope to slow them down. Whether or not that had any success is unknown. Though a few surviving Wardens attempted to use this distraction to cut down the captured Riek, they wounded him with frag grenades but did not finish him, and were cut down by Reynard Tybalt, though not without a few casualties.
As all this was going on, Captain Hos met with the Crystal Council on Svard to gain support for his own endeavours. Apart from Speaker Hermiod Tal and Councillors Kvist and Kusinen, they were joined by Shelley Rhea and Tiberius Kane representing the Merchant’s and Miner’s guild respectively. The Council sought many assurances from Captain Hos, who adeptly charmed and negotiated them into allowing him to take action and requiring briefing on the situation of Svard. Though Councillor Kusinen appeared to push for joining the Imperium over the Hos Dynasty, his position was weakened by Eckhart reporting the success of retaking the Citadel, and Felicis believing he could get another vessel up and running.
With his position undermined, Kusinen stormed out of the council meeting, leaving Hos to once again bask in the success of him and his crew.