Following the dismantling of Karsus Har’s network of informants, the Explorers set out for The Koronus Expanse and the hidden prize of The Emperor’s Bounty rumoured to lurk therein. Before departing, the Lord-Captain Hos made a decision to supply as much foodstuff as possible on his ship to better bargain once he arrived inside of the Expanse. Meeting up with a local trader, Erasmus Boldt, he acquired a supply of grain from Humboldt at rock-bottom prices, pledging to sell it in Footfall on the other side of the Expanse.
Entering the Warp, Navigator Pazzano quickly deciphered the basic Warp route information he had been given and reached The Hermitage in what felt like a matter of minutes. There they made contact with Confessor Animus Todd and Carmine Carotento, the apparent leaders of respectively the Cult of the Divine Flame and the Ministers of Pure Benediction, two rival Ministorum factions in The Hermitage. Having pledged to remain neutral in this conflict, the Rogue Trader appointed Navigator Pazzano and Arch-Militant Zacharya Caine to deal with Todd, and Explorator Artifex Felicis and Astropath Eckhart to deal wth Carotento.
The Ministers of Pure Benedictions seemed initially open to the idea of blessing the crew and providing a staging point for operations, but they were quickly revealed to only agree to this plan so long as the Explorers agreed to take a half-dozen of their preachers with them on their journeys into the Expanse. Despite having no concrete evidence to reject this proposal, the soft-spoken Cleric was viewed with suspicion, and after some unconvincing excuses the Explorers returned to their ship.
The Cult of the Divine Flame were much less pleased to see a Navigator step foot on their station, but recognising House Pazanno as one of the Noble-Born houses they were prepared to tolerate their presence. Their request was simple: To prove themselves loyal members of the Imperium, they would head to The Battleground and recover a lost Transport that had been bringing members of The Cult into the Expanse to try and reclaim lost worlds. Navigator Crayne, a brow-beaten wreck of a young woman provided a more direct route that would not involve going to The Temple, and after a tense stand-off between the Confessor and Arch-Militant Caine, the Explorers returned to their ship with a new quest.
More excellent Navigation later and the Explorers found themselves in The Battleground quite close to the damaged Holy Promethium, whose engines and augur array appeared to have been damaged. Adrift in a graveyard of wrecked hulls, the Explorers were on approach until Void Mistress Nichols alerted them that lying in wait were two Chaos Raiders. Not one to refuse such a worthy target for the In Purgatio Lumen to claim as its first target, the Explorers quickly rallied the crew and unleashed a devastating volley from their Star-Flare Lance, completely obliterating one of the Chaos Raiders.
As the other Raider turned to flee its just vengeance, a Transport also emerged from the wreckage and very slowly attempted to escape. Crippling both vessels, the Explorers then closed in on the Transport after learning that the raiders may have captured some of the Pilgrims from the Holy Promethium. Crippling its engines, the Rogue Trader and Astropath personally led their troops to secure the Transport. Though the Rogue Trader was driven off, the Astropath stormed the bridge and led his troops in slaying the Chaos Champion, though heavily injured by the Champion’s axe that they eventually sanctified and safely removed.
Having rescued the Pilgrims and captured the Transport relatively intact, Explorator Felicis attempted to commune with the central cogitator to learn more about this vessel. Informing him that the transport was until recently in Imperial hands and that the bridge was the corrupting influence, the Explorers made some quick field repairs and divided the crew to transport the captured vessel back to Port Wander for an extensive retrofit. Saying their goodbyes to Void Mistress Cornelia Drake of the Holy Promethium, the Explorers set out for retrofitting.
Arriving at Port Wander more than less uneventfuly, they left the Transport in the hands of the Battlefleet and instructed Seneschal Leopold Phipps to do whatever is necessary to restore the ship. The Lord-Captain was also summoned to meet with Commander Larius Sans, who informed him that the body of Karsus Har had been found. He had been badly tortured, but his head had been left intact so there could be no mistake.
The new leader of the Ventan Iron Hounds on Port Wander was Dante Balthazar, who had delivered the body of Har that morning. Indicating that he was aware of the Explorers’ roles in Har’s downfall, the Lord-Captain decided to meet with Balthazar, and attempt to hire him as protection for their new Transport while it was being retrofitted. Seemingly caught off-step, Balthazar informed him that the Hounds was “restructuring”, but would have time to deal with the Explorers soon.
Armed with this knowledge, but unsure if it would be better to move against the Hounds or wait to get a better grip on the situation, they left Seneschal Phipps and a small contingent of their guards to deal with the retrofitting, and set out for Footfall. Arriving in no small part due to the excellent mapping skills of Navigator Pazanno, they had a rude introduction to the lawless port when some men posing as Imperial Officials attempted to extort a ludicrous docking fee, but only received a broken nose out of the deal.
Negotiating a respectable profit for their store of grain, the Explorers were encouraged by this possible new trade route, and proceeded back to his ship to fully explore the new Expanse and the treasures hidden within.