The Acolytes of al’Subaai’s cell that took care of Sophano Prime have been dispersed slowly over the years 815.M41 to 817.M41. While in the midst of meetings they receive a comminique from their master instructing them to drop what they are doing and return posthaste to Scintilla where they will be able to construct a coded location to meet their master at. Their initial instructions are to meet in the vicinity of a restaurant and drinking hole in the upper mid portion of Hive Sibellus.
The Acolytes arrive over the course of 5 weeks. Titus arrives first, looking a bit pale and thin from whatever experience he has had. He will say that he was on Dusk, but little more than that. Dorn arrives at the same time as him, sporting a new scar going down the right side of his face. Augustinius is third to arrive, telling tales of a mysterious device called the “Sylex” and encounters on the Pleasure world of Reth in the Adrantis Nebula sub sector. Bones arrives sometime in the next two weeks, looking healthier than he ever has, without some of his bone tattoos which have obviously been removed. Cortez arrives with a new mechandendrite on his back. He is looking more and more like a Tech Priest as the years go on. Gallus, last to arrive, tells a fantastic tale of killing a Genestealer in Hive Tarsus, ON SCINTILLA! Cortez calculates that Gallus’ chances of surviving an encounter with a Genestealer as roughly 3%.
After combining each of their pieces of the code, Titus decrypts it and the group continues to…
The Outside of Inquisitor al-Subaai’s Hive Sibellus Temple Manse
The directions you received from your Master take you down from the upper hive area deep into the lower sections of the middle hive, near the black cliffs that make up Hive Sibellus’ 500 kilometer coastline with the ocean. This section of the hive is filled with decrepit mansions, abandoned temples, and the decaying symbols of thousands of years of wealth and power at the center of the Calixis Sector. The roadways are littered with broken columns and fallen statues of saints and lords from long ago. Faded frescos memorialize forgotten heroes and forgotten victories over long dead foes.
In the middle of what once must have been a great plaza stands a large temple to the God Emperor of Mankind. The temple is in better condition than the great mansions in the area that surrounds it, whose gutted insides have all been converted into protective shells around multiple ramshackle hovels of the workers and their families that live there. A statue depicting Him with his sword held aloft stands in front of the temple, standing out due to its fine condition and a hint of recent restoration work.
The hinges of the large 20 foot tall double steel doors of the temple creak and moan as they grudgingly swing open just wide enough to allow admittance. The room inside the entry is cloaked in darkness, making unaided sight difficult or impossible. Faint hints of old wet ash, promethium, and sacred machine oil hang in the stale air. A soft red glow of a light globe pushes back the blackness just enough to make out a secured door that is obviously not a part of the original architecture.
A mechanical voice echoes coldly into the room, “Please step forward for biometric verification. Unauthorized persons will be cleansed.”
Gallus steps up to the security door, which scans him once from top to bottom with a pale green horizontal beam of light that goes from his head to his feet, then back up again. “Gallus Verified”. Titus steps up to the door, the beam scans him down and up again, “Titus Verified”. Cortez steps up to the door, the beam scans him down and up again. “Transmit Unique Code Now” The screech of Machine Dialect fills the air of the entryway for a brief moment before the machinated voice of the security door system responds “Code Verified. Cortez Verified”. Dorn steps up to the door, the beam scans him down and up again, “Dorn Verified”. Augustinius steps up to the door, the beam scans him down and up again, “Augustinius Verified”. Bones steps up to the door, the beams scans him down and up again, pauses, scans him down and up again, “Attilus Verified”. The security door opens with a hiss, allowing entry into the ruined temple.
h4. The Inside of Inquisitor al-Subaai’s Hive Sibellus Temple Manse
Inside the security door is the great central chamber of the Temple to the God Emperor, illuminated by the soft amber light of unseen glow globes. Paintings and statues glorifying him and his saints line the columns and adorn the vaulted ceiling far above. The great altar stands directly in front of you, awe inspiring in its magnificence. Other than those features, the rest of the inside has very obviously been converted to a new purpose. Tables fill the areas where worshippers once sat, filled with stacks of books, data slates, and scrolls of various shapes, sizes, and ages. Antechambers for unknown purposes head off to both sides both on the ground floor and off a crenellated walkway higher up towards the ceiling. Doorways can be seen ahead to either side of the main altar.
Echoing down from the walkway, raised voices are arguing about something. The voices move slowly towards the back of the Temple, and eventually emerge from the back left corner starwell.
Voice #1 (Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla): “I don’t see how you can brush off this information so easily.”
Voice #2 (Inquisitor al’Subaai): “I’m not brushing it off, Naz, I simply don’t have acolytes that I trust in high enough numbers to lend any to your efforts right now. We’ve all been …”
Karkalla: “Yes, yes, we’ve all been losing Acolytes. I heard you the last time; you don’t need to keep repeating the point ad nauseum. Well then if you don’t have any then how about von Vuygens? Have you heard from him recently?”
Al’Subaai: “No. I haven’t heard from him since he declared that he was going into a Special Case in the Hazeroth Sub-Sector.”
Karkalla: “That was over a year ago! If he isn’t careful the conclave might declare him a rogue agent.”
Al’Subaai: “That’s not what I’m worried about. His last communication with me was regarding some large scale infiltration he was tracking. He wouldn’t go into details, but seemed troubled by the size and scope implied by something he had found.”
Karkalla: “Well, let him worry about infiltration from without. I have sworn to find Marcus Vulpa and learn who his superiors are in the Beast House and I mean to do it. If you can’t aid me, then I shall simply need to make do with what resources I can put together myself. Hmmm. I know one thing I’m lackikng that you might have an abundance of old friend. Is Dexter still in your employ?”
Al’Subaai: “Dexter? Septimus Dexter?”
Karkalla: “Yes. Does the old Adept yet draw breath? You always were one to collect bookworms. He would be helpful to me in finding out who is coming and going, so I can put those I will have to more efficient uses.”
Al’Subaai: “Yes, he still draws breath. I suppose I do have enough ‘Bookworms’ to spare one for you. I can send him ahead under an alias and have him start gathering information to provide to you when you arrive.”
Karkalla: “Thank you, old friend… wait, who’s this? Ah, the ones from Sophano Prime.”
A grim look falls across the face of Inquisitor Nahun Karkalla. “How much did you hear?”