Footfall is one of the busiest ports of call in the Koronus Expanse, but now that the In Purgatio Lumen had begun announcing its presence following their clandestine delivery of Xenos, they became aware that there was far more going on than expected. Hailing Liege’s Court to request the traditional first meal with the Liege, they were greeted with fanfare and music, welcoming them to the Sanguinala celebration inside of Footfall, and that all were welcome to attend the week-long festivities held at the Court – sponsored by Hadarak Fel! They were reminded upon arrival to present their tribute for their guest of honour, Battlefleet Captain Sylvia Locke!
Scans of the area did not reveal the Aegis anywhere in system, although a Battlefleet frigate named the Pugnus Imperator was identified as in-system, and confirmed that it was under the command of Sylvia Locke, currently attending at Liege’s Court as a guest. The Battlefleet was reticent to divulge any more information than that, so the Explorers decided to land on Footfall itself to acquire a fitting tribute for the Captain prior to their arrival.
Footfall itself was greatly transformed. The normal chaotic swarming marketplace had been quieted down, and stalls now openly displayed goods for commerce, while grey-clad guards patrolled keeping order. The source of the increased revenue and uncertainty were all due to Hadarak Fel, who had contributed his private security force for the duration of the event, and was voluntarily giving out a set allowance per day to every person on Footfall. Captain Hos and Astropath Eckhart immediately gave authorization to the crew to organise regular shore leaves with which to spur the morale of their exhausted crew, and further drain the coffers of Hadarak Fel.
Finding an appropriate tribute for a Battlefleet captain wasn’t easy, but the captain decided to find an appropriate military weapon. Though most merchants wouldn’t carry something so appropriate, a petition to Baxter Abhay to pry himself away from the current “celebration” he was enjoying did result in the Dynasty acquiring an antique boltgun certified to have been used in the times of the Great Crusade by the Dark Angels crusade. Despite Explorator Felicis’s attempts to hold on to such a rare piece of archeotech, and Captain Hos very persuasively insisting that he was really looking for more a Blood Angels boltgun, the Dynasty contented themselves with what they had found, and set off for Liege’s Court to present their prize.
The Court itself was thrown open, with wealthy merchants and chartist captains in attendance, and holo performances and strange musical accompaniments far beyond what was seen on Footfall-proper. Meeting Vladaym Tocara, the Dynasty elected to present their gift in person, and Captain Hos made a great speech praising the Battlefleet and their actions at Damaris, and the honours paid to him and his Dynasty – hoping that the antique weapon would be accepted as proof of his appreciation for their continued joint efforts. Captain Locke throughout this speech did not make any significant reactions, and at its end flatly refused the gift, which was met by uproarious laughter from the assembled crowd, and a set of jeers.
Confused, the Dynasty attempted to get further information out of the Captain, but she was unwilling to further expand on the point, and the Liege seated next to her on the dais was equally unforthcoming. With no other information, the Explorers mingled amongst the crowd to figure out the theme of that evening. Astropath Eckhart and Arch-Militant Caine gathered enough information from the crowd that Captain Locke had been recently appointed to perform interdiction for smuggling in the Koronus Expanse, and assigned as a liaison to the Liege’s Court. Resenting the intrusion of the Imperium, the people of Footfall gradually began disrespecting her more and more, until this festival was formed where their mocking became open – many theorized that was the entire point of the event in the first place.
As this was occurring, Captain Hos and Explorator Felicis found Lady Sun Lee among the crowd and discussed Hadarak Fel’s role in all of these events. The other Rogue Trader suspected he had spent a not inconsiderate amount of his personal money on ensuring the event went off, and that he must be after some sort of goal – especially since it had now resorted to insulting the Imperium, which not even a Rogue Trader should sanction. Seizing the initiative to turn the event away from Hadarak Fel, the Captain caught wind that there was a group of players about to perform the Ultimate Failure of Sanguinius, a play purporting to show Sanguinius’s final confrontation with Horus as a comical failure on all levels for the Primarch, and was something that would definitely not be allowed in the Imperium.
Clad in his golden power armour, Captain Hos persuaded the group that he should take the role of Sanguinius, and proceeded to “act” in the play, following the script of failure, but making numerous asides to the audience questioning the factual basis of this play. His asides were initially aided by Navigator Maturinus, until the Navigator’s loud, derisive mocking of the entire play got him thrown out. Captain Hos’s performance culminated in the confrontation with the actor playing Horus, whereupon the Captain took out his power sword and, despite not engaging the power field, neatly skewered that actor through the stomach.
Initially the audience didn’t know what to think of this, although the actor began loudly screaming and cursing until the Rogue Trader pointedly thumbed the activator for the power sword, and the actor followed his script and “struck down” Sanguinius with his completely not-real sword. The audience was spurred to applause through careful manipulation from Eckhart and Felicis’s actions spurring the crowd to applause, and Caine menacingly threatening anyone who thought to object to the performance. Taking his bow, and ensuring the actor got some medical attention, the Inner Circle left the court to thunderous applause, and swiftly before anyone started asking inconvenient questions.
The next day, the Captain agreed to attend a Rogue Trader-only event aboard the Righteous Zeal, captained by Maximus Caughran. a minor Rogue Trader bequested a warrant by the Adeptus Mechanicus and had used his Warrant to enter the Koronus Expanse and sell what he could find to finance a life of indulgence. The upside of this is that the party was fantastic, and apart from Lady Sun Lee and Abel Gerrit being in attendance, there were a number of other Rogue Traders with minor warrants, but it was still an excellent chance for the Captain to network and pimp his two colony worlds. Unfortunately the party was somewhat spoiled by the arrival of Hadarak Fel, who was much less pleasant towards the Rogue Trader, and after some initially hostile and baited words, the Captain soon after made his exit from the rest of the group.
The remainder of the Dynasty spent the day on Footfall attempting to discern what Fel’s endgoal for Footfall was, but were unable to reach any consensus. The day ended with the Captain yet again crashing the performance of Pride Begets the Sin of Damnation, where the Blood Angels attempted to board a space hulk only to fall victim en masse to the Tyranids. Captain Hos again took a role as the first Space Marine to fall to the Tyranids, and after delivering an exceptionally inspiring speech as to the virtues of the Space Marines ultimate sacrifice, he broke down the “door” to the Space Hulk with his power sword turned on, easily disintegrating the cheap plywood structure and vaporizing the door beyond. After reassuring the Tyranids that he knew his role was to die in the name of the Emperor, he was “killed” and the play proceeded as expected.
The last day before Sanguinala had the Explorers split up to accomplish a few more goals before the big event. Captain Hos and Astropath Eckhart arranged through Calcus Calinnicus to meet with representatives of the Footfall Cold Trade to discuss finally unloading their Dark Eldar gear. The person they met with in the depths of Footfall was not receptive to their meeting. Captain Hos was unwilling to reveal the full extent of what they had salvaged, and felt the amount offered for the weapons they had provided as a sample was far under what they had been worth. The meeting ended with dismissal by the Cold Trade, and words from the Captain not to insult, nor underestimate him.
Navigator Maturinus and Arch-Militant Caine went to Warpsbane Alley for another session with Astropath Attar Soloket. Although the aged Astropath was not immediately present, she soon returned and pleasantly greeted the two, giving them some homemade soup, and a warning that they had to immediately leave or they would be killed with everyone else. After some prodding, the pair believed her words, and issued a general withdrawal to all Dynasty forces, and Arch-Militant Caine also attempted to grab the Astropath and leave.
The residents of the Alley may have been the detritus of Footfall, but not even they could stomach a kidnapping. Blocking the exit of Arch-Militant Caine, the mutated strength of a few of them were enough to contain even his robotic frame, and after Soloket reluctantly informed them that there was no longer any time, they returned to her tent for a briefing as to the situation. Explorator Felicis thankfully was still investigating Rogue Trader Fel, and was among the first to reach the asteroid and escape. Shortly after the Explorator’s exit, a message came over the internal vox systems that Footfall had been locked down, and everyone inside of it was to die to properly mourn the death of Sanguinius. Captain Hos and Astropath Eckhart were unfortunately still in their meeting at the time of this alert, and having missed this message were unable to reach the docking bay in time.
Exiting the meeting, the group were informed of what had transpired by Callignius, and they departed for the Black Brotherhood’s stronghold to make a stand. En route, they were followed by a red-robed figure who Captain Hos attempted to negotiate with, but found that she was unwilling to listen, slowly stalking towards the Rogue Trader, before lashing out with a pair of exquisitely crafted swords. Eckhart attempted to use his psychic powers to pin her down, but found she was somehow able to shrug them off, and proceeded to attack the pair with frightening efficiency. Though her blades shouldn’t have been able to penetrate Eckhart’s psychic armour, they managed to bite deep enough to draw blood before she went down, and the Astropath required emergency aide to prevent himself from bleeding out.
The Navigator and Arch-Militant were equally unlucky in their attempts to avoid. A large number of these figures swarmed Warpsbane Alley and began slaughtering the inhabitants. The pair took Astropath Soloket to hide in one of the buildings nearby, but they did not evade detection and the Navigator was badly wounded in the ensuring fight before Caine managed to bring their attacker down.
The Dynasty was now separated, and sounds of violence and death began to echo through the corridors of Footfall…