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 Clear As Mud

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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Clear As Mud   Tue 18 Aug - 10:45:26

Mission Report

Sierra Five One Zero Niner Alpha

Threat Level November Red Eight

We bumped our way north on the Pilgrim Road. Thorny weed Sam Vimes was having some personality issues whilst our resident Psyker was unusually quiet. Aristarchus meanwhile seemed increasingly withdrawn and fatigued; it was almost as if his energy was being sapped by the tarot cards that were his constant companion. Out of his hearing, we nervously discussed the possibility that our employer was being controlled/ manipulated or destroyed by them.* The fact that they were a gift from Abbott Skae only made our fears worse.

*Or any combination thereof

We camped in one of the many ruined settlements that were scattered throughout the arid barren plain. During my very watch I espied a visitor approaching and roused my comrades whilst Vimes intercepted the intruder. Vimes and Driver Kellog challenged the apparition as it nearedÖonly for it to crumble into dust. I was pretty traumatised I can tell you. In the morning Red Sparrow and Grey Crow tracked its steps back into the hills where they found a mound of corpses. Our best summation is that the Ghost fire pollen generates psychic phenomena around scenes of death. We wondered if this applied to the Cathedral site?

We travelled onward and stopped to check out another mysterious figure. Aristarchus, after seeming unconcerned about the previous eveningís encounter to the extent that he had threatened to leave us behind rather than investigate, now insisted we delay and scale a rocky outcrop to check what he described as a serious distortion in reality. After a climb that saw several comedy falls including a twisted ankle for our leader, we discovered a freshly produced bird/skull motif, still warm after being burned into the rock. Our tarot fixated friend showed pleased surprise about the incident, but was tight lipped as to its meaning. Why was he hiding information from us?

We reached Stern Hope without further occurrence to be greeted by the delightfully obsequious Brother Severus. He passed us to the one eyed ex Guardsman Brother Laymark. We noted the cathedral dominating the town but Aristarchus had eyes for nothing else. Ensconced in the Coy and Cutter we speculated on Aristarchus. He seemed in thrall to his cards and the cathedral. I wondered if the symbol we had seen was that of St Drusus as he seemed to have reacted to it as a good omen more than anything else.

Enquiries around the tavern revealed more stories of disappearances, lights, people acting strangely as if under external influence. Talk too confirming that Seth the Voice had parted from the Abbott over the construction of the cathedral. Surely an important threat then? We did discover that the symbol is not the normal Insignia of the saint.

A discussion with an apparently near exhausted Aristarchus in the morning did nothing to improve the situation and we went to meet the Abbott. Prelate Skae seemed helpful enough though evaded enquiries about the tarot cards he had gifted Aristarchus and skated over the details of the early days of the construction of the cathedral. He seemed happy to talk about Seth seeing him as a long term problem rather than immediate threat.

He confirmed that the locals saw Stern Hope as an ill omened place and that the symbol we had seen was an early version of St Drususí insignia. Asked about recent incidents he threw in manic laughter, the sound of flapping wings, bandits with bones picked clean, disappearances and sickness especially in animals. He also mentioned that local warlord Kokay would be attending the ceremony with the Death Singer and agreed to have Brother Severus give us a tour of the cathedral.

So what do we surmise from all this? Letís look at it from the point of view of looking at suspects:

Theory 1
The Abbott is behind everything
He has deliberately constructed his cathedral in a location and or manner so as to trigger the mysterious phenomena, no doubt as part of some sort of pro chaos agenda. He is manipulating Aristarchusís behaviour through the gift of the tarot cards. He has been evasive about the construction of the cathedral and glossed over his relationship with Sethís Voice. For all we know Sethís voice works for him in this plot.
Weaknesses: Why would he then call us in?
Credibility Rating: 3

Theory 2
Aristarchus is behind everything.
Although he tries to pretend he is being manipulated in fact he is in control and his fatigue is caused by the fact that he is manipulating the strange phenomena. He knew we were coming and arranged the ambush which should have wiped us out before we even contacted him. He has withheld vital information, only raising Sethís Voice when we discovered it independently. He has tried to direct our attention away from the strange chaos phenomena and has tried to steer us to the local witchcraft theory, though he is very reticent about sharing suspicions in general.
Weaknesses: Everything about him screams that he is under some sort of malevolent control, possibly he believes it is something mystical and benign associated with his ancestor St Drusus which is why he is holding back from us. If he wanted to stop us he could easily have caused more delay by getting us lost or setting us up as he is in command.
Credibility Rating:5

Theory 3
The Death Singer is behind everything
Clearly a witch with great sway in the local population, a natural figurehead against the empire. The phenomena are associated with destruction or disturbance of a culturally important native site which has proved the last straw in the Ashleenís simmering resentment.
Weaknesses: The populace we have met with the exception of our attackers donít seem hugely bothered about the cathedral or political situation unless all rebels are in the hills, but A & the Abbott donít report any threat either. We have no evidence of anti Imperium feelings by the Death Singer, reports are to the contrary.
Credibility Rating: 3

Theory 4
Sethís Voice is behind everything
Dismissed by the Abbott and Aristarchus as not yet a power to be reckoned with our independent information seems to rate him more highly as a threat and can we trust information that says he is far away? His powers appear to be of command and charm so he makes an ideal candidate for being able to affect Aristarchus. This could be his big play for power, either through rebellion or manipulating the situation to put himself into top warlord slot by setting himself up as saviour, perhaps framing the king or his old enemy the Abbott. Perhaps Seth is somehow suppressing his enemiesí awareness or fear of him.
Weaknesses: It seems odd that the Abbott sees him as no threat when he should be ideally placed to judge and should have a grudge. Unless the Abbott is in league with him, but then weaknesses of theory 1 apply. If Seth I so powerful, why is he being so subtle?
Credibility Rating: 6.5

Theory 5
No conspiracy, just some sort of phenomenon being caused by the cathedral.
The Indian burial ground theory. Simplest explanation with a few reservations. Maybe some sort of chaos hot spot or something to do with the ghost fire pollen.
Weaknesses: There is a link with Aristarchus judging by his behaviour, he and the abbott have withheld information. The rise of Sethís Voice would be coincidental if this is true which seems unlikely.
Credbility Rating: 7

Theory 6
St Drusus is returning in some way and is behind it all.
The evidence here is Aristarchus and the holy symbol in the rock.
Weaknesses: Why would this be a threat to his own cathedral? Or indeed any threat to the empire of which he was a dedicated servant.
Credibility Rating: 2

Theory 7
Something else?
Someone else with an agenda? The king or a rival? A complete unknown? But none of the events have in any way hampered or directly sabotaged the cathedralís construction supporting the thought that the cathedral being built may have caused events but is incidental to them.
Credibility Rating: 4

A combination of the above
Credibility Rating: 9.5

We need to gather more info from the cathedral itself, the brothers. Can we separate Aristarchus from his cards? Should we try? The implication is that the cathedralís consecration is under threat but we have no actual direct evidence of that, not by a few shiny lights, sick animals and flapping wings any way. Sethís Voice seems a better candidate, and him acting alone or in concert with Aristarchus or the Abbott seems to me more of a real threat.

Letís face it: We donít know. Perhaps these jottings will inspire my associates to see some pattern in the chaos. Itís at times like these when we really need HIS guidance more than ever and must keep our faith strong.

Consecration Day -2

A Puzzled Cerulaean Condor Signing off.
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Lord Payne


Number of posts : 628
Registration date : 2007-05-01

PostSubject: Re: Clear As Mud   Tue 18 Aug - 13:45:49

Inquisitors Feedback

Imperium Date: 17th Calaxiun Solar Day from HIS year commencing 41,221

Mission: Enlightenment
Security Clearance Level: Alpha Omega High

Classified by Inquisitor Globus Varaak

I have to confess now that I am suitably impressed with the current feedback that has been given from the Seer Aristarchus via the Telpathica Astranomicum Psykana. This must place a huge metal and physical strain on our comrade, but he has endured worse in HIS Hoiy Duties.

Finally it appears that the Acolytes have found their skills and are more cohesive in their application of said skills. The CLeric continues to demonstrate his academic background will be of significant use ot the Inquisition and that he exercises caution in all matters HOLY. He seem sto have formed a good bond with Kelgorg, a skilled and comp[etent former guardsman, but then it is understandable that HIS Holy Warriors would be as such.

The Assassin, Quint, has not grasped control over his outbursts, perhaps this is a method used to entice his enemies out for the kill. We shall see.

I am impressed with their current theories and have passed on these to the Tyrantine Cabal for further investigation. I truly hope these are not incidents of Malign Intent related to the Star we fear. Indeed, we are in trouble if such a prophecy has come to pass

I will continue to monitor their progrees with interest.

May his Devine and Holy wisdom be with them
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Number of posts : 44
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Clear As Mud   Wed 19 Aug - 16:15:57

To do:
1/ Find out where Seths Voice really is.
1.1/ Find out who is behind Seths new ability to charm people.
2/Speak to locals, preferable a historian to discover why the site of the cathedral is ill omened, and how long it has been so.
3/ Discover the source of this prophecy and investigate.

Black Sparhawk shall investigate in earnest
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