Sola Gratia

Session 4
An Invitation, part 4
  • A luxury lighter docks at the Inegalee carrying officials from Footfall to welcome the explorers to the “station”. Also aboard is an important looking seneschal with the Chorda family named Cromwell. Cromwell bids the explorers to attend his mistress, Lord-Captain Aspyce Chorda as soon as they are ready, given the lateness of their arrival. When ready, the explorers (sans Lord-Captain Grossaileur, who is absent) board the shuttle and are transported directly to the Implacable Flame, the flagship of the Chorda family for the meeting with Lady Chorda.
  • Lord-Captain Chorda wastes little time on friendly conversation and quickly lays out a proposal for the explorers: the system of Grace, a star system that is a part of the Koronus Expanse known as the Foundling Worlds, has been cut off from warp travel for more than 30 years. Recently, the warp storms have finally abated and the Grace System is again reachable. Her family first colonized Grace Prime, the only habitable planet in the system and therefore the Chordas have historically had an interest in the system. Lady Chorda then spells out an offer to the shocked explorers. In return for retrieving a specific cargo container from the orbital station known as The Dagger of Fate, the Chorda dynasty will transfer all rights, claims, and ownership of the Grace System to the Grossaileurs.
  • After recovering from the shock of such a crazy offer, Aspyce leaves the explorers to discuss amongst themselves. Relying upon “Saahab” Goyal and his knowledge of the Expanse, they know that efforts to explore the Foundling Worlds have almost always been outright failures and most endeavors there by rogue traders have been labeled as “cursed”. The Chorda’s colony in the Grace System is one of these cursed endeavors. They also know that the Foundling Worlds lie on the other side of The Cauldron, a massive warp storm that sits astride the warp pathways to and from Footfall. It is the Cauldron flaring up that has cut Grace off for the last 30 years.
  • Finally realizing that despite the bad reputation of the Grace System, the opportunity to acquire a colonized system in the Koronus Expanse is too great to pass up and the explorers cautiously accept Lord-Captain Chorda’s offer. She then cautions them that others know that the Grace System can again be travelled to and are gathering crews in Footfall to plunder the exposed system. If the Grossaileurs wish to defend their claim to the system that the legal documents will grant them, they should move quickly and arrive in time to fend off pirates and unscrupulous rogue traders.
    • The explorers learn that three rogue traders in Footfall are quickly departing for Grace: Jeremiah Blitz and the Ordained Destiny, Adalbrechta Edelhaven and The High Risk Venture, and Brother “Ferdinand”, a Mechanicus Explorator, and his ship Explorator XVII.
  • Upon departing the meeting with Chorda, the explorers quickly set out preparing for the long journey to the Grace System.
    • Séverin DeGrossaileur takes charge of hiring a company of mercenaries to strengthen the ship’s ground forces. After 4-5 days of legwork and negotiations, a platoon of light infantry is hired. He also sends a number of spies and scouts out onto Footfall to seek out additional information. This is how the group learns of the other three rogue traders en route to Grace.
    • “Saahab” Goyal handles a request from a Vladaym Tocara, a known representative of the Kasballica Mission, an organization that dominates the Cold Trade to the Calixus Sector through Footfall. He travels to Tocara’s mansion and somewhat rudely turns down an offer from the Mission to broker any and all trade in forbidden items (xenos artefacts or any other controlled/illegal substances) for the Grossaileurs. He leaves Tocara with no doubts that the Grossaileurs are not interested in engaging in the Cold Trade. At least not with the Kasballica MIssion.
    • Vitus Voclain spends time amongst the crowds of missionaries and pilgrims on Footfall and meets an Abbot Krisofer Bosowski, a missionary with a large following that is seeking a planet in the Koronus Expanse to bring the light of the Emperor to. After some negotiation with Vitus, it is agreed that he shall bring a portion of his followers aboard the The Inégalée and that they shall be settled at the colony of Port Chorda on Grace Prime. Others will follow once the Inegalee can return to Footfall to transport them.
    • Finally, the explorers have a meeting with another rogue trader, Lady Elizabeth Orleans, a successful rogue trader with large business interests on the planet of Damaris, a successful imperial colony on the edge of the Foundling Worlds. She wishes to establish a trade agreement with the Grossaileurs to ship Grace Gyn, a desirable liquor fermented from the native fungi of Grace Prime, to Damaris. Despite initial hostility(?), Séverin DeGrossaileur deems her offer a fair one and agrees to give her first right to negotiate a contract for purchasing gyn with Lady Orleans, providing the Grossaileurs can secure a gyn production facility on Grace Prime!
    • Other rumors gleaned from Footfall about Grace are:
      • The only profitable product to come out of Grace Prime was Grace Gyn, a much sought after liquor in Footfall and the wider Expanse.
      • A Chorda family freighter called The Wydening Gyre was the last ship to travel to Grace before the storms cut it off. The ship’s fate is unknown, though it was rumored to be piloted by a Nostromo family navigator, and the Nostromos have a sterling reputation.
      • The Chorda’s cut deals with wealthy political refugees from the Calixus sector and transported they and their estates to Grace as a refuge from whatever it was they were fleeing from in Imperial space (the law, political enemies, the Inquisition, etc.). Grace Prime is rumored to be dotted with the estates of these super-rich Calixian reprobates.
      • Lord-Captain Aspyce Chorda has a viscous reputation in the Expanse. Stories tell that in order to acquire the Chorda family warrant, she forced each of her legitimate and illegitimate siblings to sign over their claims to her and then enter cryo-stasis. She has also been one of the most successful rogue traders in the Expanse in recent times, challenging even the mighty Winterscales for dominance.
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Session 3
An Invitation, part 3
  • Fight with the band of mutants in the Resplendent Wanderer. Severin breaks his arm, but others are ok.
  • Balthazaar pillages a mutant’s mind and learns of a “scary” place with golden light and an imposing shadow-man
  • The explorers make it to the command section and then the bridge, where they find a twisted worship service happening there. The congregation appears to be the bridge crew, though looking quite dead. The service is being led by a man(?) in House Yeshar navigator’s robes that looks quite wrong. Strong psychic energies come from the navigator.
  • A decision is made to retreat and blow the ship apart from the safety of the Inegalee. The information in the data banks is deemed not worth the risk of tangling with the twisted navigator.
  • On the way out, the explorers locate the former captain’s quarters and pillage it as best the can, recovering data slates, books, and a portable, non-functioning cogitator. They then beat feet back the way they came.
  • Once the lighter is away, the Inegalee opens fire on the Resplendent Wanderer and pounds the hulk mercilessly. As the macrocannon broadsides are landing, a tear in the Warp draws the ghost ship back into the empyrean, perhaps forever?
  • After a few more days of impatient waiting, the Inegalee resumes its journey to Footfall and arrives after three more days in the Warp.
  • A hail arrives from Asypce Chorda’s vessel. The Grosailleur’s are expected.
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Session 2
An Invitation, part 2

The Inegalee has exited the Empyrean to avoid the raging warp storms that assault The Maw, seeking shelter in the Station of Passage known as The Temple. Upon exiting the Warp and securing the ship, Balthazaar scans the cold, dead system with the ship’s powerful augur arrays and immediately detects another ship drifting in the void on the periphery of the star system. The ship registers as dead; a derelict vessel spewed forth from the Warp by the powerful storms currently raging. The databanks of the Inegalee’s main cogitator recognize the ship and label it The Resplendent Wanderer, listed as a cargo vessel lost in The Maw in 397.M41, nearly 400 years ago. Even more interesting, the ship was once registered to the DeGrosailleur family, captained by August DeGrosailleur, a distant relative of the Lord-Captain and Severin from their family’s past. Perhaps most interesting of all, the records aboard the Inegalee indicate that on its final voyage, the Resplendent Wanderer had departed the mining world of Sepherus Secundus in the Calixus Sector with 25,000 colonists aboard, stopping at Port Wander on its way through The Maw. However, the final destination of the vessel, presumed to be in the Koronus Expanse, has been redacted. Removed and purged from the data banks.

Curious to know more about the odd story of the Resplendent Wanderer, Lord-Captain Medard Grossaileur orders the Inegalee ahead full, though to be cautious, as the ship’s augur array has also picked up some transient signals near to the drifting bulk of the Resplendent Wanderer. Sure enough, as the Inegalee nears the space hulk, two lean and dangerous raiders that had been running silent power up and spring to the attack! The Inegalee immediately goes to general quarters and the crew is ordered to battle stations. A short, vicious battle erupts between the ancient but huge space galleon and the two pirate raiders, but after exchanging macro-cannon and las broadsides, one of the pirate vessels is gutted while the other escapes under full thrust.

With ‘nary a scratch upon it, the Lord-Captain discusses his next move with his bridge crew and it is decided that an away team should be assembled to board the Resplendent Wanderer and attempt to recover additional data from the ship’s main cogitator. Perhaps the information that has been strangely purged from the Inegalee’s database still exists aboard the hulk. Perhaps it will shed some light upon the strange last journey of the DeGrosailleur’s ruined ship?

Leaving the duty officer in command of the Inegalee, Balthazaar, Séverin DeGrossaileur, Vitus Voclain, “Saahab” Goyal, and Lord-Captain Medard Grossaileur board the captain’s personal Arvus Lighter and cross the void to the hulk. After finding a safe place to land on a pitted and wrecked docking bay the party disembarks and, with void suits on, makes their way into the bowels of the space hulk in search of the bridge in the heart of the vessel.

Despite being trapped in the Warp for hundreds of years, parts of the huge ship still maintain atmosphere and gravity, and before long the party is picking their way through the broken corridors and ruined avenues of the Resplendent Wanderer. After getting turned around a few times and having to backtrack through the wreckage, they near the bridge. However, just after a frightening moment where the ship seems to “bleed” back into the Warp, which almost seems to being trying to reclaim its prize, the party is ambushed by a pack of hideously deformed mutants, softly glowing with Warp-light! In a rush, the Lord-Captain is swept up and crashes through a rusted metal wall in the grip of a huge, charging mutant. Combat is joined!

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Session 1
An Invitation, Part 1

The story begins with The Inégalée at high anchor at Port Wander. The ship is finishing final preparations for its maiden journey through The Maw and the start of a journey that will carry the Lord-Captain and his ship beyond the reach of his enemies. The Koronus Expanse offers the last scion of the Grossaileur dynasty a chance to grow, rebuild, and strengthen itself with the hopes of one day returning to the Calixus Sector to visit some cold, hard vengeance upon its enemies.

Two short days before the anticipated departure for The Maw and the Expanse beyond, Balthazar, Lord-Captain Medard Grossaileur’s personal astropath, receives a message intended for the Lord-Captain. It has been sent from Footfall, on the other side of The Maw, by Lord-Captain Aspyce Chorda and it requests (in no uncertain terms) that Lord-Captain Grossaileur attend a meeting upon the Implacable Flame, the flagship of the Chorda family at the once to discuss an “opportunity for great profit for the Grossaileur and Chorda families”. The message concludes with a thinly veiled reminder of the debt the Grossaileur family owes the Chordas because of the failure of Medard’s great uncle to deliver a cargo of foodstuffs while subcontracting with the Chordas some decades ago. The debt incurred was substantial and, given the recent financial difficulties of the Grossaileur family, has not yet been paid off.

After some discussion with his most trusted advisors and friends, Lord-Captain Grossaileur decides that he has little choice but to heed Aspyce’s summons and to make best time through The Maw to Footfall and find out what her intentions and the “opportunity” may be. A short two days later, The Inégalée weighs anchor and begins the three day journey to a safe jump point where it can begin the trip through The Maw.

Prepaprations for the journey begin immediately, and immediately the news is not good. Navigator Primus Cassius Modar reports that the huge warp storms that surround The Maw are raging more fiercely than usual, with the Void Dancer’s Roil being quite active. But the pressure of Aspyce Chorda’s invitation drives the Lord-Captain onward and he makes the decision not to wait for a break in the void storms but to push on to Footfall. Rituals and worship ceremonies are performed across the ship in preparation for what is sure to be a difficult journey through The Maw and upon arrival at the jump point, The Inégalée activates its Gellar Field and warp engines and makes the transition into the Warp.

The journey is a difficult one, and the next three days are spent being buffeted by the chaos of the warp storms that loom on either side of The Maw. The crew of The Inégalée suffers dutifully but on the third day after leaving Port Wander, a viciously strong gale blows up and the ship looks like it may founder. Navigator Primus Modar warns that the ship must translate back to real space to avoid the raging storm and, fortunately, one of the Stations of Passage, the Temple, is near. Despite the wish to reach Footfall quickly, Lord-Captain Grossaileur wisely agrees and the Inégalée drops from the Warp a short time later, into the dead system called The Temple.

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