The expedition to Hera proper

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The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Designer Bloodstain » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:39 am

Fellow members of the Iron Star Consortium and associates.

I hope that you are all recovered from our initial battle to gain entry into the Iron Star and thus Hera itself.

By now I am sure you have received the intelligence updates from our associates within the SPECTREs with regard to a number of interesting locations and potential objectives located within the Iron Star.

Now, we are great, together all the more so. But I do not imagine that we have sufficient resources to fully take and hold each location. As such I feel it would be wise for all of us to review the available intelligence here and pick a selection of locations to focus upon. Naturally, I do not intended to dictate where individual Dynasties and their associates do or do not go. However what I do imagine is that what we do now will have some impact upon our later actions upon Hera and as such we should choose carefully.

As such the locations listed as currently accessible by the SPECTREs are as follows;

1. The Mobius Gardens

Scouting reports from the upper portions of the northern polar spire report an anomalous construct
with unusual space-time signatures. One vessels navigator was restrained from carving out their own third eye
upon inspection of the location, reporting afterwards that the structure was ‘impossible’.

Investigation reveals a large silver sphere that seems to hang in the air unsupported in the middle of a
vast plaza. SPECTRE scouts report that inside vast tiered hyperborean shelves overhang one another in all
directions extending off into the distance. If it were that simple it would beautiful but fundamentally
comprehensible, nothing on the Iron Star is that mundane. As the distant shelves rise up further and further
away they stack impossibly, reaching over and through themselves climbing in a loop that wraps around itself
until it fills the sky itself.

Pics of the sweeping grassland that seems to be the entrance to the place is as much a shelf as any
other, show a cliff above an abyss as full as the sky. Verdant pastures stand above taiga forests of dark snowy
pines, and the lianas that fall like waterfalls of vibrant flowered green from various tropical garden-shelves
almost brush the tops of the forests below. The colours of flowers and trees change into seasonal variations as
each shelfs biome caters to all of the various biospheres within.

Scout reports indicate that this area contains immense biological resources from almost every
recorded planet as well as the possibility that this seemingly impossible garden has other entrances or exits than the one the Consortium has found.

Threats at this location seem likely to be geared towards the environment and the numerous different
flora and fauna found within.

SPECTRE Five reports that one of the visible bio-plateaus appears to be Arborian in nature.

SPECTRE One advises that in the sacred words of Lord Admiral Ach’bahar: ‘it's a trap’ (probably).

2. Silver Canton Judiciary
Scans of the northern polar hive spire have detected what we believe to be a centre of law enforcement,
and a potential location of weapons and/or high level security access.

Where the bastions of law of the Imperium are towering, monolithic shapes the region identified as the
Silver Canton Judiciary almost seems to blend into the surrounding urban landscape. Spread over a reasonable
area the low series of linked buildings could be anything, it is only after SPECTRE scouts penetrate the
building’s defensive perimeter via melta charges that its purpose becomes clear.

Pics and reports from the interior of the structure show that all of the chambers are well lit with a
warm gentle radiance, seemingly extruded from the floor and ceilings, and the rooms themselves have low,
intimate ceilings without any obvious signs of observation. Record rooms and administrative offices give way to
the correctional chambers, but this is indicated only by the few readable signs within. What must have been cells seem to contain a level of comfort far beyond many law-abiding Imperial citizens, only the fact that they are clearly operated from the exterior marks this a bastion of law enforcement.

SPECTRES Eight through Twelve report that the vast Man of Iron ‘population’ seem to avoid this
structure and anything within a one mile radius.

Known threats are unclear, but are likely to be significant and anti-personnel in nature.

3. The Third Fractal Plaza

Orbital scans have detected an immense plaza on the surface of the southern polar urban
agglomeration, it stretches for miles open in all directions as it sits atop on of the many urbanised surfaces
alongside the interior of the Iron Star itself.

Pic reports from scouts show a vast and crowded plaza, with nothing above it, the interior of the sphere
is visible stretching off and away into the half-darkness and the star at it’s centre burns gloriously light years
distant, the view unimpeded by any obstacle. Across the plaza itself are hundreds of permanent structures that
are reminiscent of the street markets one would expect to find in any Hive spire, empty stalls rise from the plaza
floor.

Prominent in all pic-reports however are the obvious signs of struggle, conflict and the tens of
thousands of human bones, as well as the patrolling groups of Men of Iron. The centre of the plaza appears,
from orbital scans and pic reports, to have been converted into a vast obscene techno-altar of unknown purpose
which is giving off wide spectrum radiation with high resonant frequencies.
SPECTRE One reports that the resonant frequencies are similar in nature to the ‘noosphere’ and
consultation with Magos Biologis has revealed that they are similar to human neural patterns.

Psyker observation reports a high warp disturbance in this area.
Known threats: Men of Iron. Thousands of them. This appears to be a primary locus of Man of Iron
activity and a muster point for one side, although as both sides are otherwise identical it is impossible to
determine which.

4. Steele Fields
Scans show that swathes of the interior of the Iron Star are covered with what look from a distance like
spines, needles reaching out into the space within. They tower over neighbouring structures in vast
continental-fields and void-ships could potentially maneuver between them, or hide among them.
Sensorium-pings are devoured by them wholesale and no responses come back, leading representatives
of the Adeptus Mechanicus to theorise that they must be covered in highly absorbent materials, and thus
perhaps they are means by which the true star feeds its iron prison. Adeptus Mechanicus records indicate these
spines are a lost STC design.

Prolonged observation of the star itself seems to corroborate this possibility as solar flares form more
regularly than would be entirely natural, but always reach out towards these steele fields, their energy being
consumed and spread in flashes of captured nuclear fire between the tops of the spires.
Exploration of this area will require voidships, with the attendant risks. The spines and background
radiation make maneuvering difficult, while the energy discharges are on orders of magnitude ranging from
nuclear strikes to nova cannon detonations.

SPECTRE Four reports that the area is devoid of life, however some specialised Man of Iron
constructs appear to be maintaining the spines. This implies human-size access passages, for individuals brave
enough to enter, but the personal risk would be considerable. The conflict raging throughout the rest of the
structure appears completely absent here.

5. Shimmering Gates of Liquidity
Scouts dispatched to the northern hive spire to investigate unusual energy readings return with reports
of banks and banks of what look to be immense cogitators lie in ordered rows hundreds of kilometres long. They
rise up to the height of most hab-blocks, and their tops are studded with crystalline data-wafers sparking with
data that are visible from a vast distance.

Responses to exotic-etheric and astro-telepathic scans that marks this area as more than the
cogitator-hubs it seems to be, however. The region is redolent with the energies of the immaterum. The choirs of
psykers aboard your vessels describe it as a sea of incorporeal flames and bolts of lightning, leaping between
the ‘cogitators’ and arcing through the two columns that stand at either end of the region, forming a single
gigantic gateway that the ‘cogitator-banks’ lie on the threshold of.

Following the guidance of your psykers and navigators auspex sweeps are able to reach deep within
the region and find lifesigns, hundreds of thousands of faint human lifesigns characteristic of individuals in
stasis storage.

Exploration of this area can be done by anyone, but will be improved by individuals who are
psychically active.

Known threats appear to be environmental, the entire structure is heavily active on a psychic level. It is
controlled and does not represent a warp breach or other uncontrolled phenomenon. SPECTRE Eight also
recommends that there may be active defences, given the still-living humans in what is otherwise an immense
tomb and monument to human folly.

6. Gilded Iron Heights
SPECTRE Team Gamma is has been assigned to locate and survey possible sites of human habitation
within the sphere in the hope of finding hold out pockets of humans or vital intelligence from their remains.
Where the hives of the Imperium are sloping, stacked spires, fighting for space and with the lower
regions crushed beneath the oppressive bulk of the rich levels above, they report what registers as likely sites of
former habitation within the sphere are completely different.

Cliff-like rises that dwarf continents yet are practically wafer thin when viewed from initial augur
scans jut towards the centre of the sphere from numerous seemingly random points throughout the immense
structure. Layers and layers of them, separated from each other by slivers of atmosphere or void and
criss-crossed by travel-tubes granting practically every resident access to that most precious thing on the hive
worlds of the Imperium, a view of the sky.

Augur sweeps have come back showing the significant damage throughout these structures, where the
glassed and gilded skins of entire habitations have been ruptured spilling their contents in cascades of the
strange technologies that the people of the Iron Star used forming a beautiful, glittering ring-like structure that
orbits the inside of the sphere.

SPECTRE Three’s team have reported movement throughout these structures and throughout the
beautiful ring of detritus as intermittent patrols of Men of Iron stalk (or fly) through the remains of their former
master’s abodes engaging in a conflict across orbital and ground structures. It appears they are intent on
harvesting the resources this detritus ring provides and transporting them to further their own war efforts. The
possibility of salvage or valuable intelligence is high, however SPECTRE Three has confirmed that void-suits
will be required to scavenge the ring and also to gain access to the many the levels that have not had their
contents jettisoned into the celestial ring. SPECTRE Three also reports that the undisturbed lower levels are
likely to contain unknown, stranger threats.

7. The Arteriole Calculance Array
This location is almost missed by the Consortium fleet, only a chance sighting of the elusive eldar
vessel sharing the vast space of the Dyson sphere leads the fleets scouts to this location.
Almost invisible to augurs due to their proximity to the star are multiple interconnected rings which
slip on and off the sensors as they rotate past each other and through the heliosphere of the star. It was the
reflected the light from the star against the glittering hull of the xenos vessel which caused the ring array to first
appear on scans of the interior of the sphere, as it spins slowly around star with such perfect precision that the
entire gyroscopic construction is always in motion.

Sensors have reported energy spikes from the immense silent gates that ring the star, floating alone in
the void that seem to be caused, or are perhaps even predicted by motions in the ring structure. These seem
somehow connected to energy drains recorded at Site Five. It seems that these surges whatever the complex
arrangements rotating around the star is, it is likely to have some direct involvement with the multiple silent
gateways that exist within the sphere as well.

SPECTRE teams have had more success approaching the gateways themselves thus far and reports
have come back that they seem to be some form of artificial ‘wraithbone’ with many constructions reminiscent
of those reported by the Consortium on previous contact with Eldar. The obvious marks of humanity however
are stamped with precision across them and while these power spikes have been detected within there seems to
be no operational mechanism on each gateway, indeed, they seem to be completely dormant.

SPECTRE Team Alpha has been dispatched to the ring-array itself and reports that the structure
appears to be constructed of both ‘wraithbone’ and human-descended technology, and that while approach is
exceptionally risky due to it’s proximity to the star, the structure itself contains habitable passages. SPECTRE
Team Alpha and SPECTRE One report they are now stranded on the structure and request evacuation. The
structure is occupied by Men of Iron forces and they are under fire, but it appears that the limited number of
Men of Iron are engaged in an internal conflict of some description.

A voidship is required to approach this location, it will be damaged to such an extent that it may be
used only on this location, regardless of its speed.

Known threats: The approach is obviously exceptionally risky. The Men of Iron present a hazard, but
not a significant one due to their fractured nature and the impossibility of them being reinforced. The likely
dangers of the structure are from it’s combined xeno-archeotech nature.

8. The Kappa Genesis Factorum
Adeptus Mechancius investigation of the noosphere within the Iron Star has pin-pointed what
SPECTRE teams believe to be the location of a primus-level standard template constructor. This invaluable
relic appears to be as intact as several major constuctor-recoveries over the last millennium, if not to be the
original constructor dispatched with the Iron Star Explorers in the Dark Age of Technology.

SPECTRE scouts report that the STC constuctor appears to be buried beneath or contained within a
factorum of prodigious size, which is notable for retaining the majority of the structure it likely had prior to the
fall of the Empire of the Iron Star.

The production line from the structure extends into the plateaued plaza beyond, where one can assume
completed units were loaded onto transports and sent to their intended destinations. The wall of bodies visible in the plaza indicates quite clearly what this facility produced. Men of Iron.

The twisted and mangled remains of units that must have stepped from the production line into the field
of battle against their human masters practically split the square in two, almost covering the large x identi-sigul that marks its surface.

The structure is active and is producing Men of Iron units at a rate believed impossible until it was
witnessed, it is presumed to contain highly advanced construction mechanisms.

Known threats: The structure produces one Man of Iron every minute at peak output. While these units
are being used in the sphere-wide war, an assault upon the structure would first have to defeat its considerable
defence force - which include airborne defence units and Men of Iron that resemble combat servitors in strength
and bulk, it would then have to suppress the production lines - likely destroying them in the process. While the
Adeptus Mechancius would dearly like to capture the constructor intact, it is likely beyond the scope of the
Consortium’s resources to apply such a level of force delicately enough to prevent damage. However, even a
damaged constructor will contain numerous unknown STCs, given the apparent hyper-technology level of the
Iron Star Empire.

9. Palace of the Final Atonement
SPECTRE teams dispatched initial survey sites reported a remarkable absence of human remains,
reporting ruins that appeared abandoned, even when damaged by obvious signs of conflict. Detailed auspex
scans for human bio-signatures in the hope of finding survivors have proved mostly fruitless, however they have
revealed a vast mass of deceased biological material in one location.

The structure is broken shell of a vast warehouse factory hive, it’s ruined bulk exposing the vast heat of
slag-foundries to the void, a corona of machine-fragments and debris hanging all around it. Data-corpses ghost
through the noosphere and auspex returns fill the scanning vessels with hushed staccatos of binary, the death
screams of unnumbered machine intelligences hissing away into the either. But it is not just the final breathes of
the Men of Iron that hang on open vox channels, but those of their makers too. Panicked transmissions,
testaments to those who would not survive long enough to enact them and pleas for rescue.

The structure is the centre of a raging conflict between the two sides in the sphere-war, they appear to
take great pains to avoid damaging the structure or the human remains within, but it is apparent it is a site of
importance.

This structure at first seems valueless, but further exploration reveals that the unnumbered corpses
interred here were brought with both their personal belongings or anything that happened to be attached to
them at the time of their death. It seems likely that a detailed exploration will recover anything from
gene-fragments to archeotech relics. Several of the clerics of the Consortium have put forward requests that a
mission be launched to purge the site in fire and give the dead humans a final, just burial. They were heretics
and the children of heretics, but they were born in an age without His light, it seems unjust to let soulless
machines desecrate their corpses.

Known threats: Given the apparent importance of the site to the Men of Iron, it seems likely both sides
will attempt to defend it, however their conflict will greatly hamper them and this will not the primary threat.
Further, the internal structure is haunted with warp and machine ghosts from the vast slaughter, both human
and machine, that took place here. Once penetration of the structure has been achieved, it seems likely the
blessings of the Omnissiah and the Emperor will be needed to put a rest to these damned souls. Recovering
artifacts of value from the site will be aided by appropriate exploration skills.

10. Master Engram Effigus Locality
Reports from initial SPECTRE scouting groups consider the auspex returns from this gigantic structure
to be akin to the ruins of many ancient tomb worlds, where it is said the necrontyr sleep across the galaxy. A
pyramid the size of most mountain ranges lies at the heart of a series of circuit-like pathways, its black
hexagonal bulk gently sloped and festooned with balcony openings with seemingly no pattern or method to their
placement. The capstone rotates once every 21.2594 terran hours and surveys by the Consortium’s navigators
insist that the reflection in it’s oil-sheen mirror like surface is of stars and nebulae from all parts of the galaxy,
known and unknown.

Further psychometric scans confirm that this structure appears to be some form of miniature
astronomicon, powered by unknown but likely mechanical means deep within the pyramidal structure. Your
existing engrams are all brought out of stasis storage and immediately react with resonance to the structure,
providing guidance down towards it. Each of them has also begun to reflect images of the star system from
which they were obtained to the third eyes of your navigators.

This is no known technology to navigate the warp and without navigators to assist it reports indicate it
would have been painfully slow, if reliable. However the artificial beacon is of potentially incalculable value to
explorers and the principles behind the technology perhaps even more so. The Navis Nobilite have indicated
they will be insisting on proprietary ownership of new discoveries in stellar navigation, however they have also
indicated to every single Lord-Captain that they would share the bounties such technologies would reap with
any dynasties involved in the recovery.

Known Threats: Spatial navigation appears extremely unreliable within 1000 kilometers of the
structure. Energetic discharges and auspex scans of the surface structure indicate that there are considerable
environmental hazards contained within. No one can answer the precise nature of the threats, so adaptive
responses may be required.

11. The Reality Cantos

Deep augur scans reveal that beneath the surface of the Iron Star run a vast web of mass conveyance
and transit tubes. However one section of the sphere stands out in the sheer number and density of these
conveyance tubes which all terminate within few hundred kilometres, forming a series of stacked cylinders
beneath the surface. Unlike the long distance system the exact contents of this section are shielded. Constant
movement of large material along and between this separate network is detectable as is the constant thrum of
energy readings.

SPECTRE Eight has reported that contrary to initial assumptions, these tunnels are not actually for the
conveyance or movement of raw materials, as the tubes appear to be filled with gigantic structures floating or
running along rails as they move throughout the sphere, and are in some way relevant to the purpose of this
place. Men of Iron of a construction similar to servo-skulls float through these tunnels, interfacing with open
sections of complex circuitry present on the moving structures and walls alike.

The scouting teams have also identified numerous pict-sensors linked to highly sensitive automated
defensive systems designed to eradicate invading forces without damaging the tunnels themselves. Whilst this
region seems to be operating entirely correctly and without external guidance, all SPECTREs present reported
a sense of some larger awareness or purpose lurking within the moving data-stacks.

12. Relativistic Biosphere
Scans reveal a monolithic domed structure the size of most hive cities which rises from the inside of the
Iron Star, the structure appears to be covered in the slivers of metallic alloys and white ceramic tiles which are
suspected to be something to do with why it blocks and reflects all active auspex and sensorium interrogatives,
while the vast amount of information filling the void around it occludes anything that might bleed through to a
passive scan.

The dome is surrounded by fields of power storage chambers, computational engines the size of
void-ships and other stranger devices that return complex and seemingly impossible sensor data. Access to the
dome is possible via a single gateway akin to a void-dock half-way up one side and the docking system identifies
itself using ancient but standard codes as the Relativistic Biosphere, with a slew of risk warnings referring to
gravitational, chrono-density and positional-perspective dangers. A brief query of the docking cogitators
explained that contained within the dome is a compressed, self-contained, hyper-dense galactic event that is
fully navigable.

The SPECTRE team sent to investigate were somewhat incoherent in their descriptions of what was
beyond the docking bay, those long-standing allies of the Consortium seemingly lost for adequate words in the
face of the contents. The following however was clear, the entire domed hive structure is a single open space
hundred of kilometres wide and high, stretching beyond the visible range. Auspex readings are useless as the
contents of the chamber obliterate any additional signals in the cacophony of emissions within. And the
cogitators of the void dock were not false in their description. Stars, nebula, gas clouds and asteroid fields fill
the interior. Smaller than they should be and perfectly in scale, perfectly in motion. Solar systems rotate around
their suns in visible real time, and it seems unlikely that this is merely a hololithic projection.

Known threats: Unreasonable as it may sound, likely threats seem to be falling foul of celestial phenomena.
Comets through small could conceivable punch through flesh with the power of solid slugs, supernova will still
burn and irradiate and the prospect of falling into an accurate micro-scale rendition of a black hole is not to be
considered.

13. The Union Sovereignty
Scans show this structure as some form of cathedral-like communication nexus, sitting at the centre of
a data net that stretches across the inner surface of the sphere. Visible cabling and piping that could fit a
division of marching guardsmen enters the lower levels from all directions and the entire upper spires are
covered with signal receivers of all kinds. Arched and vaulted crenulations are oddly reminiscent of the
architectures of Ecclesiarchal worlds writ even larger, and yet there is something undeniably off with all of
them, even ignoring the lack of aquilas, saints and similar.

Initial SPECTRE reports on the ground have come back with descriptions incongruous to the highly
technological place of worship that long range scans seem to imply. The entrance chambers that have been
breached show all the ostentatious wealth one would expect in a palace of the Imperium, but neither obvious
devotional spaces nor signs of technology are clear in the vaulted marble ceilings. The fact that the place
obviously used to receive transmissions and information from across the Iron Star implies that cathedral-palace
should have some function, and that is was certainly important to the regular functioning of the sphere, but what
that was is not clear. At least not at first.

SPECTRE seven’s team ascended to the upper regions and found that the data feeds were linked to
layered serieses of hololithic projectors throughout the massive chambers in the building. Triggering a section
of them caused flashing images to leap into motion on the floor below, whether it was a record or a data-ghost
was unclear, but some complex debate with serried ranks of participants staccatoed below them.
Pict-recordings of what was seen are being analysed and current theories are that the site may have been
somehow involved in the governmental proceedings of the Empire of the Iron Star.
Known threats: Seemingly none. But if this was a seat of the Iron Star’s ruling castes then there will
almost certainly be security protocols at the very least.

14. Anti-Entropic Labyrinth
Initial augur responses caused relative panic amid the Consortium fleet as what was believed to be a
defensive orbital structure of prodigious size was noted transitioning into a firing position upon the arriving
fleet. As the fleet began to break formation and beat to quarters more detailed sensor arrays scanned the
surface of the ‘void-station’ and the myriad esoteric signals that it was emitting. The moment that the likely
weapons envelop of such a battlestation passed over the first vessels came and went without incident, and
chatter on the vox sprung up as to it not being operational.

As it closed with the fleet more and more strange readings were picked up from the object and
topographical scans identified that the large crater on the northern hemisphere was natural in origin and not a
continent-sized defense laser. The structure was reclassified as more likely to have originally been a moon or
planetoid of some kind before it was repurposed to an unknown purpose by the Empire of the Iron Star.

SPECTRE teams dispatched to the surface reported a natural crust open to the void, and pitted with
obviously artificial openings that descend down into the body of the moon. They reported void-shields around
each aperture with breathable atmosphere within. All contact was lost with the SPECTREs sent to the surface
from the moment they entered the tunnels within the planetoid. Then several hours later looped vox messages
started being received from multiple vessels within the fleet with little to no coherency between them. Responses
to questions that hadn’t been voiced were the first indication that simple vox disturbance was not the cause. As
the communication window extended it became clear that the Consortium fleet was receiving the SPECTREs
signals out of sequence, and the theory has become that there is a lack or a difference in temporal-consistency
within the moon. Attempts to piece the messages together into a correct temporal narrative indicate the
high-likelihood of a vast tunnel labyrinth beneath the surface with constantly changing directional gravity.
SPECTRE Team Bravo (sans SPECTRE Two) are now lost within the the structure and likely require
recovery (although other messages indicate they are finding their own way out), however several of their
out-of-sequence messages indicate that in at least one temporal possibility, the Consortium has uncovered
significant high technology related to controlling temporal flow to a degree unknown to the Imperium within, as
well as information vital to the success of their mission. Other messages however imply that everyone sent
within the structures dies a horrific death due to temporal destabilization, indeed some of Adeptus Mechanicus
with expertise in Gellar field manipulation theorize that in a variant future, you have already all died there and
always will. The argument rages and no definitive answer is forthcoming without further investigation.

Direct threats within this location are likely to be minimal, however the risk of becoming lost within the
maze of near-identical tunnels is high, and as yet there is no indication whether the risk of complete temporal
destabilisation could occur deeper within the moon, it seems likely that a high technological proficiency will be
required to avoid this event however.

15. The Perfidy Basin

Augur-sweeps picked up what seemed to be a crater at the first pass, and considering the damage
across the inner surface even the size was not questioned initially. When more detailed scans began, the
anomalous nature of this estimate was revealed. The ‘crater’ was smooth, not a perfect hemisphere but all the
hills and fissures within it are curved, rolling and elegant, too clean to be damage but too perfect at both the
macro and micro scale to be crafted by hand. Specta-flouretic responses indicated a skin of metal across the
entire inner surface, but one that implied a liquid like surface tension, even as it was held at impossible steep
parabolic arcs. At the touch of high intensity scans the skin rippled like water, rising of it’s own accord into
shapes that slumped back into the basin as the augur-waves passed on.

Close observation by the Spectres have reported that the basin’s metallic surface is solid and remains
so until sufficient energy is passed through sections of it, at which point those regions flow into shapes as if
under the control of the energy itself. They have been unable to maintain or direct the movement of the
semi-liquid metal intentionally as yet, but there are reports that partial views of some form of control system
have been seen.

Opinion within the Adeptus Mechanicus is divided as to whether this must be the work of another
heretical fusion of xenos and human engineering, or if the construction of semi-liquid metal is in fact an ancient
STC design believed to be little more than a myth. Further debate rages as to whether the correct way to study it
is via high intensity void based experimentation on the entire region, or close range and localised testing with
more portable experimental techniques.

Known threats: Risks are unclear, though there is the possibility that errors in experimental practice could be as deadly as any external threat here, and forward observation from the SPECTREs has indicated that a distant
part of the basin seems to have started acting of its own accord.

16. The Time Tombs
An artificial mountain chain runs between the two polar spires, dwarfed by those primary spires
themselves, but still larger than most other structures across the surface. Obviously carved into a facsimile of
true mountains and then decorated further with grand mausoleum entrances, sensors indicate that the outer
shell has been constructed of rock and stone brought from other star-systems and then expertly carved to appear as natural formations. The entrances are similar, artfully crafted from the bare rock into columns and gigantic statues and then sealed with precisely machined stone slabs.

Detailed augur sweeps have been able to breach the rock facade and establish the intricacy and scale
of the workings within. Complex circuitry surrounds hundred of monolithic metal chambers stretching deep
within the Iron Star’s steel and stone spine, and the more advanced sensors have picked up the tell-tale
emissions of stasis fields. Data from these sensors tells a complex tale. There are hundreds of active fields and if
projections are correct there were many times that number originally, but battle and time have seemingly
reduced them to sputtering remains.

SPECTRE reports corroborate the initial scans, the tombs have been breached in numerous places,
and even now Men of Iron skirmish with each other in the foothills below the broken archways. The grainy
pict-footage on the interiors that was received back by the fleet in orbit shows dark vaults illuminated by the
flickering light of stasis fields. Moving slowly to avoid the few Men of Iron that had ascended the cliffs in their
attempt to outmaneuver each other, the SPECTREs were able to perform a thorough sweep of the region near
their landing zone. Intel was not positive. Men and women of the Empire of the Iron Star frozen in the moments
that their machines rose up and brutally murdered them as they tried to seal themselves away. Faded
bloodstains lying next to the perfectly preserved gobbets of human meat held floating and immobile in the
flickering light of the vaults, ancient and yet still fresh, still waiting to fall to the floor with the wet sounds of
death. Metal masks slick with droplets of gore, solid slugs in flight, a tableau of bloodshed and horror at every
turn.

The SPECTREs reported that sounds of movement deeper within the catacombs indicated that some of
the stasis vaults were flashing on and off with no clear pattern, so any further investigation should be aware that Men of Iron trapped in stasis may be released at any moment upon explorers.

Additionally though the interference of so many stasis fields cannot be completely ruled out, SPECTRE
Five is certain that a living, human biosign appeared and vanished multiple times from their auspex deep within
the structure.

Known threats: Beyond the obvious risks of malfunctioning stasis fields, Men of Iron and structural
collapse, there is also the possibility of completely unknown threats being released from more esoteric storage
vaults.

--

As such, let us discuss.

Lord Captain Tollman
(Still getting used to that.)
War across the stars...for every child...
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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby mindwanders » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:26 pm

I appreciate you letting me tag along on this one Inquisitor Tollman. Personally I'm keen to take a closer look at the The Arteriole Calculance Array as I think the the Milady's xenos shields and improved augur array give me the best chance of getting close enough to examine it properly.

Most of my Dynasty stayed behind so I'd welcome open minded company that want to examine the structure.
Gordon McDonald
Captain Bartholomew Noxof the Milady De Winter
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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Alliandra » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:36 pm

I reckon that the Mechanicus wid be interested in this one: 8. The Kappa Genesis Factorum.

Since I am bodyguarding a couple o them then I am quite willing to do so.

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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Artemis » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:13 am

"Whilst I have strong opinions on the subject I'm inclined to make sure I've considered wise council before getting too heavily commited? You got any particular steers based on your shittons of experience with the downright fucking odd, Ambo?!
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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Designer Bloodstain » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 am

Well Shane-O,

My initial thought is that this is going to play out somewhat like our time on Esramir the first time we landed. You remember, we had to pick our battles and the ones we didn’t do had an impact on how our battles progressed there.

So I’m thinking if we were looking at somewhere to send me or have me oversee, I’d be focusing on the Shimmering Gates of Liquidity, The Arteriole Calculance Array and/or the Anti-Entropic Labyrinth.

I feel that these are things that could potentially cause us some of our more…Exotic problems, so I figure it would be good to get a handle on them earlier on.

Nox, sounds like that could well be a good call, hold that thought for now though, let's see how this discussion plays out first.
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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Jodikat » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:23 pm

Dunno if Mortimer's gonna have a strong opinion here, but either way we ain't big enough to take on one of these by ourselves I don't think? So there'll be at least two psykers, one of which also a Scout, looking for an expedition that can use that sort of firepower.
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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Bear » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:01 am

The representatives of the Adeptus Mechanicus amongst the Colbrand Dynasty has expressed an interest in site 8, the Kappa Genesis Factorum, both to reduce the enemy numbers, and to recover the site itself, intact if possible. Abila mentioned she was planning something special for the Men of Iron.
A war we can wage, but to capture the Factorum intact, I suspect we'd want quite some technical skill, as well as perhaps some scouting - Sorcha, let's talk.

It was also out intent to examine site 7, the Arteriole Calculance Array, site 14, the Anti-Entropic Labyrinth, site 10, the Master Engram Effigus Locality, and possibly site 13, the Union Sovereignty.
If you are taking the lead on the Arteriole Calculance Array, Lord Captain Nox, then that's good - it may be wise to investigate site 5, the Shimmering Gates of Liquidity at the same time, in case they are linked. This may yield more data than either site alone.

The Price of Freedom can assist at another four or five locations, and we may have a few other ships available to fight off Men of Iron or other threats.

Is anyone planning on looking into site 2, the Silver Canton Judiciary? It was not a site we originally intended to examine, but if it contains any clues as to why the Men of Iron avoid it, it could be a great boon to us.

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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Hazel » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:57 pm

I think we're interested in the following:

The Time Tombs (16)
The Union Sovereignty (13)
Third Fractal Plaza (3) or Mobius Gardens (1)
Gilded Iron Heights (6) or Palace of the Final Atonement (9)

In all cases if I end up leading on these I'm more than happy for others to come along if you are interested, or think you have relevant skills or assets.

Kappa Genesis Factorum (8) - totally agree this needs doing, happy for the Colbrands to take the lead, if we can lend some combat support? I think Shane would like to go stomp on Iron Men...

Arteriole Calculance Array/Shimmering Gates (7) (5) - Again, agree these need dealing with (especially as the SPECTRE team needs assistance) but on the whole my dynasty is not really set up to deal with them by the sounds of it. If the Colbrands take the lead on this with Nox's assistance, possibly some of Tollmans' expertise depending on where else he's committed? Spider, the Shimmering Gates sounds like your skills would be perfect here?

Anti-Entropic Labyrinth (14) I personally am interested in this one but don't think many of our resources would suit it, so how about Tollman leads on this, and the Tryskellan's and Colbrands supply skills/resources to back him up?

Finally - I am personally tempted to take a small team to the Relativistic Biosphere, because who wouldn't want to be able to say they've seen a mini-galaxy? But I appreciate on the surface at least it doesn't seem a strategic priority...


Of course, a lot of this depends on what the Kanites/Phoenix dynasty and the Trahernes wish to do, I'm happy to reshuffle my priorities if there's a lot of overlap.

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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby Alliandra » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:32 pm

Bear wrote:The representatives of the Adeptus Mechanicus amongst the Colbrand Dynasty has expressed an interest in site 8, the Kappa Genesis Factorum, both to reduce the enemy numbers, and to recover the site itself, intact if possible. Abila mentioned she was planning something special for the Men of Iron.
A war we can wage, but to capture the Factorum intact, I suspect we'd want quite some technical skill, as well as perhaps some scouting - Sorcha, let's talk.

Lord Angstrom


Lord Angstrom,

If by scout you are suggesting I am quiet and sneak about and that then ye hae the wrong lass. I am no scout, but I can introduce them tae my chainsword and it doesnae gie two fucks aboot their armour.

Though mostly I will be making sure that Isaac doesnae die and I am nae sure whit his plans are atm.

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Re: The expedition to Hera proper

Postby PartridgeKing » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:47 pm

I have been asked to put forward the assistance of the Pulchra Nimis to any endeavour that could make use of us.

To that end our aid entails:
  • Victrix Raltus of House Raltus, Navigator Primus of the Pulchra Nimis
  • Myself, Iepyinimies Raltus of House Raltus, Navigator of the Pulchra Nimis
  • Captain Nathaniel Cartwright III & Stormtrooper Detachment
  • The Dauntless Light Cruiser the Pulchra Nimis itself

My Navigator Primus has indicated that we have no specific desires as to where to lend our aid, merely that we wish to assist where we can be of most use to the rest of the Consortium.
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