Dark Heresy: Weapons of War

On the Trail
Excuse me, have you seen a ship of heretics pass this way.

After discussion, teh Acolytes have opted to pursue the Voidwalker, hoping to either capture the ship and interrogate its officers, or to track its movement and reveal more of the organization behind the weapons production and trafficking. Among the information they gathered was that the Voidwalker has a limited charter, and its last entered flight plan indicated that it would be following its usual route to Fenksworld. There is a chance that the crew thinks they have gotten away from the capture of the factory clean, and is not truly on the run.

The first leg of the trip was taken on a hauler to an Orbital station in the Saphano System, a waystation along diverging routes. After an uneventful trip, the Acolytes are left to work out the rest of their trip themselves. Tolan spent time surveying the docks and asking questions, and eventually succeeded in arranging their transport to Fenksworld on board the Vaahkon’s Fury, a small and fast messenger ship. The Captain, Don Brake, is happy to take their scrip on the promise that they will keep their heads down and avoid hassling any of the other passengers – the Acolytes look like a grimy lot and only their money gains them forbearance from the prickly Captain.

While the Fury is refueling and preparing to travel, the Acolytes have a few days on the station. Saphano Secondus 4 is an unremarkable station that ekes out its survival furnishing the ships that pass through the system – Saphano Secondus itself is a gas giant, and ancient gas wells process fuel from the planet for passing ships. Other than that, there is little industry besides the shady, dockside entertainments for crew lucky enough to gain shore leave.

During his inquiries, Tolan has made contact with a barkeep named Clyde, who has promised them some quick work while they wait. Unsure of what he will be offering, the Acolytes have a meeting with him in the evening to get the details of the job.

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Debriefing
All in a good day's work

The Acolytes have managed to trace the contraband weapons to their source, and successfully shut down the secret factory producing them. In the battle at the factory a number of potential informers were killed, but the Acolytes did succeed in capturing one of the organizers. With their mission concluded, the Acolytes, their prisoner, and the evidence all returns to Hive Sibellus for examination. In addition, the Acolytes the chance to rest, recover, and prepare for whatever the Inquisitor has in store for them next.

The Factory

The Magistratum officials in Gunmetal swept through the secret factory, although they were limited in what they could learn and recover due to the damage done in the fight. Most of the equipment used seems to have been salvaged from closed or abandoned factories in and around the Inferno, patched together in a haphazard fashion. The captives who were working in the factory have been detained and interrogated. Most of them seem to be dregs, lower-class hivers who were hoping to find enough work to earn a living and instead found themselves chained to a factory machine. A handful of more experienced and skilled workers were kidnapped or coerced into working – a few had substantial debts that Octus promised to take care off in exchange for their work, and others had emergencies that he likewise promised to help with. The Magistratum is punishing these individuals as appropriate, but no one seems to know more of the operation that what they saw at the factory.

One of the dead men was identified as Gord Freel, the weapons engineer. The other captives were able to testify that he had been providing the primary technical knowledge and skill for assembling the factory and operating it. It appears that Octus leveraged his debts to get control over him.

The Captain

During the fight at the factory, the Acolytes were confronted by (and killed) a heavily armed and armored man. Although his dataslate had wiped itself during examination, the Magistratum has been working on discovering his identity. Based on his appearance and a few other clues about his possessions, they currently believe that he was the Captain of the merchant ship [i]Voidwalker[/i]. The ship is a small, lean trader that regularly makes deliveries within the Sector, and its registered flight plans include stops at Hive Sibellus, Gunmetal, and Hive Tarsus. It could be the ship that was dropping weapons at Hive Sibellus.

Suspiciously, the [i]Voidwalker[/i] abruptly changed its flight plan and left Scintilla one day after the raid on the factory – before any connection had been caught. It’s registered flight path was to take it offworld.

The Papers

Among the documents recovered from the Captain were packets of apparently encrypted documents. The Magistratum has had very little luck breaking the cypher. They have managed to extract a few pieces of information, mainly what seem to be dates and quantities. These can be matched against some of the known deliveries of weapons made to Hive Sibellus, but the level of encryption makes drawing too many conclusions precarious. They will continue working on the encryption but are not confident they will be able to make any significant progress in a useful timeframe.

Octus Silon

The Acolytes were able to capture Octus alive, a great benefit as he appears to be one of the primary organizers of the weapons smuggling. Octus proved to be extremely resilient to questioning, and it has taken weeks for the Magistratum to convince him to share what he knows. Ultimately he has been prepared to answer questions and assist with the encryption of the documents he was carrying.

Octus claims to have been a relatively small-time fence for some time, regularly assisting the criminal element of Gunmetal with finding or offloading questionable items, as well as trafficking in information on individuals and organizations. A few years ago he contacted by someone with a few minor tasks; locating some quality weapons, finding a skilled technician who could be discrete, moving some contraband around the city. These proved to be tests, and when Octus passed them he was approached for a much larger project – to assemble and operate the weapons factory. He was hesitant, but the amount offered was staggering, and so he agreed. The project has been underway for the last year, and only recently came to full operation.

Octus has revealed that his instructions were to prepare large batches of weapons for transport; he would receive instructions on what was needed and in what quantities. While Octus arranged to produce the weapons and smuggle them to the docks, the client arranged for the transport out of the city. His most recent orders were to continue to scale up the production of the weapons, and he had been instructed to begin stockpiling the extra weapons that were not immediately shipped out. Although the Magistratum has been monitoring his message drop, no further instructions have come – it appears that the client is aware the factory was compromised.

Most of the communication has been handled remotely, but Octus did meet his client once at the outset – he can provide those details as needed.

The Symbol

Both Octus and the Captain were marked by the same symbol, a central circle with five surrounding ovals. Octus has indicated that he received the mark when he met with the client, who indicated that it was a requirement for the job and that it would identify him as part of the ‘Syndicate’. The first time that Octus encountered the Captain they both revealed the symbol to confirm their involvement. The Magistratum doesn’t have a record of the symbol as related to any gang or cult, but has requested assistance from other branches to try and locate similar marks.

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Gunmetal City
If you didn't bring a gun, one will be provided for you

Having gotten a lead on the weapon source, the Acolytes made their way to Gunmetal city to pursue the investigation. After checking in with Commander Hagan, they began to make their rounds.

Their first stop was to visit Shala Orn, a prime suspect in the fabrication of the contraband guns. However, some careful talking revealed that she was not involved in the work, but was able to identify it as the handiwork of Gord Freel. Unfortunately Freel had vanished, and the Acolytes were leery of trying to follow up with the loansharks and gambling pits where he owed money at the time.

Their next stop took them to the shipping yards, to try and backtrack the crates of weapons. A talk with the shipping boss sent them to speak with Octus Silon, a Gunmetal businessman who purchased crates for prefabricated buildings. A little bullying got him to open his books, but the information he provided didn’t match what the shipping office had said. The Acolytes decided to revisit the shipping yard, but were attacked by some Gunmetal toughs. A brief firefight ensused, leaving them a little battered but in decent shape.

The shipping yard promised that they had been given good information – on pain of Inquisitorial interest. The yard boss referred them to the shipper that was used, a man named Eli, to collect and deliver the crates. The Acolytes found his business and turned the screws, finding him quite willing to cooperate. He revealed that Octus had a number of crates delivered to a second location, on the edge of the Inferno.

The Acolytes converged on the location and discovered it to be a secret production facility for the contraband weapons, where Octus and an elaborately armored man were holding Freel captive. The Acolytes decided to do things the old fashioned way, by driving one of Eli’s trucks right through the front of the building and opening up on everyone they could find. Freel and the armored man were killed in the fire fight (along with a handful of grunts) and Octus was captured while trying to escape. They Acolytes were also able to capture some papers Octus was carrying, but lost information on the second man’s dataslate to a carefully prepared datatrap. Having found the weapon source, the Acolytes called in and were picked up. Mission success!

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Infodump
What was going on with that thing again?

Having returned to the midhive to report to Commander Drusil and hand over their prisoners and information, the Acolytes have some time to catch up on information that might be waiting for them and pass over all that they have learned so far.

In their absence, the conflict has continued to escalate. There have been more Drune strikes against House Orn holdings, many of which the Magistratum were not able to intercept or capture. At the request of House Orn, a number of Orn groups have been formally deputized and given authorization to respond to the attacks with equal force, as long as it is restricted to Orn holdings. Even so, there have been reports of House Orn counterstriking against Drune warhouses and holdings. All this is heightening the need for Arbitrator intervention, which is now anticipated in two days.

Missing Factory Workers

At their request, Commander Hagan from Gunmetal City has done his best to follow up with the different individuals that the Acolytes had shown interest in. His report is waiting for them:

Jorn Bekala

A senior member of the lay staff for the Hellgun plant, Bekala had an impressive career that spanned fifteen years of work. He was badly injured while trying to refit the production line, losing his vision, one arm, and his mobility. Magistratum agents visited the address on file for him, and were able to interview him. Although he has received simple prosthetics for his injuries, he seems restricted to the house and had very little interest in talking to the Magistratum. The officers reported that he was disheveled and seemed to be disoriented, possibly drunk or overusing his medication.

Shala Orn

A mid-level technician at one of the lasgun factories. It was discovered that Shala was selling excess components from the factory to finance the work. She was immediately disowned by House Orn to avoid implication in the offense, and she branded as a thief. Magistratum’s officers have been at work trying to find her – her last known address was empty, with little indication where she had gone. After some legwork they think they have found her operating a gunsmithy in the warrens of Gunmetal, but haven’t approached her yet – with her history, they’re concerned she might bolt. They’ll follow up and try to bring her in if needed.

Gord Freel

Freel was an accomplished engineer who worked in several different factories during his career – he began in the projectiles plant and was transferred to a heavy weapons facility when he showed considerable aptitude. His record was spotless until roughly five years ago; there are a handful of notes that suggest he had personal problems behind his collapse. Hagan’s men visited his last address, and found it seemingly abadoned – msot of his possessions and property were still in place. Further investigations show that Freel had accumulated significant debts to loan sharks and casinos. The Magistratum has some of those names but has not located Freel yet.

Shipping Codes

The Magistratum is able to check the codes retrieved from the shipping containers at the House Drune weapon depot. The information available indicates that the crates were originally brought to Hive Sibellus containing foodstuffs from a nearby Agriworld, and from there they were routed to Gunmetal to supply the factory workers there; that was almost a year ago. As a Voidborn, Tolan knows that most crates are sent one-way – when they reach their final destination they are frequently cut apart for scrap, resold to local industries, or recycled and recoded for new shipping. The shipping center in Gunmetal will have some idea what would have happened to the crates once they were unloaded at Gunmetal.

Regulas & Vox Calls

Regulas is still in holding and has not provided any more interesting information to the Magistratum. At this point, they have managed to decode the first call he made from teh Vox system; it matches to a personal line for one of the House Drune lieutenants. Drusil has just received this information and has not decided how to handle it – he’s waiting to hear how the Acolytes raid has gone before making any further moves.

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In the Underhive
I didn't know rats came in XXXL

The Acolytes descended into the Underhive with the assistance of a hand-picked lunatic wildman expert tracker and guide. Their guide succeeded in leading them past and around the worst of the dangers between them and their goal, and the party reached the block that Drune has been using to prepare weapon shipments.

The building in question was an old hab block, probably decent housing at one time but long since fallen into disuse and ill repair, swallowed up by the underhive until now. After some quick reconaissance, the group decided that the front door was too heavily defended, and circled around to enter through the damaged North side, where a fire had burned out many windows and interior walls. Picking their way through the building they ran afoul of a underhive rat pack, but managed to dispatch the beasts with silenced weapons and hand to hand combat.

Coming out onto a balcony overlooking the central lobby of the old block, the Acolytes could see that they had found what they were looking for. Having the advantage of surprise and elevation, Flex gunned down two of the guards while Tolan disabled the apparent leader. Reinforcements came in, but were cut down by the group in short order. After the brief engagement, the group had captured a signle Drune ganger and Marcus, a mercenary hired to manage the logistics.

With a promise of being handed over to more pleasant authorities, Marcus revealed that the weapons are entering the Hive through disused tunnels on the ground level. The large containers of weapons are dropped their by a merchant ship on its way from Gunmetal, and Marcus and the gangers would pick them up and transport them to this block in the Underhive using old transit tunnels. From here, they would be prepared into smaller shipments and sent out to arm different groups of Drune gangers. He was able to provide times and dates of the shipments, as well as the information from his broker on who contacted him for the job. In addition, the group recorded the identification of the shipping crates on sight, as well as the serials of many of the weapons.

Taking their prisoners with them, the group decided to fall back and report to Drusil with this information before making any further plans.

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Results at Last

The Acolytes questioned Regulus seeing the name of his supplier. The first session garnered them no information, and the prisoner was left in the interrogation room unconscious thanks to the heavy hand of Severous. The Acolytes proceeded to follow up their other lead with Gunmetal City. The contact at Gunmetal returned with a list of names of recently retired or terminated technicians with high levels of skill. Only two stood out in the list, and warranted possible investigation. The Magistratum has been asked to seek out the whereabouts of these individuals.

The second interrogation session with Regulus was much more fruitful. Unfortunately he did not know the name or face of his superiors or the weapons supplier, being only in the know for a month. He did reveal the location of the weapons pickup, a warehouse in the Underhive in Drune territory. The Acolytes decided a personal visit is necessary. Unfortunately Commander Drusil was unable to provide backup due to already stretched forces, and the fact the Underhive is generally ignored and too dangerous for the magnistratum. The Acolytes attempted to acquire support from both the Tech priests, and from House Orn. Neither efforts bore fruit. Flex found a guide through old friends who would be able to help them navigate the treacherous alleys and territories of the Underhive. Thus the three ventured to the Undercity alone.

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The Stakeout (Part II)
Finally people are getting shot

With the weapons on site, the Acolytes continued their stakeout of the contraband operation. The cyber skull provided them with solid intel of the interior of the warehouse, able to monitor and record the assembly of the weapons and the conversations of the Drune gangers.

The surveillance continued while more gangers arrived, and the leader of the operation – Regulas – distributed weapons and instructions. The Drune gangers were told to target a House Orn warehouse to make an exmaple of its staff, with the promise of more violence to come if House Orn doesn’t see the error of opposing Drune’s new power. Ready for action, the Drune gangers left the warehouse, while Severus reported their movements to the Magistratum to arrange an unpleasany welcoming committee for them.

Once the weapons had been passed on, Regulas left the warehouse on foot. The Acolytes opted to follow him, managing to tail him to a publix vox system where he placed several calls. From there, he ducked into a run-down bar. At Flex’s prompting, Severus was able to extract some information about Regulas’ calls, including a general idea of where the call might be connecting to. Not enough to act on immediately, however.

The Acolytes abandoned the chase, and returned to the warehouse, intending to ambush Regulas when he returned to meet with Flex’s alter-ego. Stron-arming the warhouse operator, Steve, into cooperating, they set up a trap for the Drune ganger and waited. When sprung, things initially weny smoothly – Tolan disarmed Regulas and Severus was able to subdue him, but they were stuck for transport. The magistratum sent out a transport, but the unusual activity drew the attention of some clueless Drune gangers. Unable to talk their way past the dogged questions, the Acolytes gunned them down and made a break for it. Escaping in a hail of gunfire, they have delivered their captives and their information to the Magistratum. But what is the next move?

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The Stakeout
Why aren't we shooting people by now?

After a brief – and generally unproductive – meeting with a foreman of House Orn, the Acolytes made arrangements to meet a more senior member the following moring. After a brief stop to wrangle some help from the local Mechanicus, they proceeded to their stakeout of the House Drune Warehouse. Tolan gained access to the roof of the building, while Flex lurked out front and Severus snuck his Servo Skull into the building to observe.

Late into the night, a Drune transport arrived at the building and began to unload crates. Able to watch the process from both inside and out, the Acolytes monitored a dozen boxes being moved into the building. Uncertain as to where the vehicle might go next, Tolan made the tricky descent and – with a bit of trouble – ended up clinging to the underneath of the truck.

Unfortunately, the truck was taken to a nearby parking depot to be left for the night. Illiterate, Tolan was only able to mark a few of the logos and graphics in the lot before trying to retrace his steps to the warehouse. Hugging the underside of a truck had tangled his direction sense, however, and it wasn’t long before he lost his way and decided to try and make for their rendez-vous point.

Meanwhile, Flex and Severus continued to observe the warehouse. Once unloaded, the crates were unpacked and revealed to by more of the dangerous contraband weapons. The head Drune began the task of preparing and assembling the weapons for use; it appears that they will be supplying another raid against House Orn soon enough.

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Tracing the Weapons
Serial Codes and Suppliers

Severus and Flex have been able to inspect the weapons seized by the Magistratum from House Drune. Those will ultimately be passed on to the Arbites when they take over the matter, but for now the Acolytes can study them as needed. Severus’ sharp eye for technology revealed that the weapons have been extensively worked on and rebuilt by trained hands – making this no mere matter of smuggling Imperial Guard suppliers, but potentially the work of rogue engineer or Heretek.

Tracking down the serial codes available suggested that many fo the parts were recently produced in Gunmetal City, a smaller city on Scintilla that is a primary weapons production center. Commander Drusil put you in touch with with his colleague in Gunmetal, Commander Harad. Lacking the information to help immediately, Commander Harad will be checking for any information on lasweapon engineers or factory workers that might be of use to you. Unfortunately such records are scattered among the factory files, so he will need at least a day to have them searched.

Interrogating captured members of House Drune did not yield much information, but a gang Juve was able to provide an address for where the group met and received their new weapons before going out to hunt House Orn. Investingating the warehouse in question did not turn up any leads, but Flex was able to talk to the Warehouse manager and find out that shipments had been coming in during the night. With some encouragement, the man agreed to see if he could set up Flex to meet this supplier.

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Gang War!
A battle between Houses spills over

Two Houses of Hive Sibellus have gone to war. While not unusual itself, the new conflict between old rivals House Drune and House Orn has spiralled rapidly out of control, bubbling up from the Underhive and dark warrens of the city into the Midhive. With skirmishes in the streets threatening the Middle Hive and even intruding on the Factoriums, the Magistratum has become involved.

The Magistratum enforcers clashed with bands of House Drune, and found them to be much better equipped than any low-rating House gangers should be. House Drune had gained ground on House Orn thanks to a supply of military-grade weapons at their disposal. This revelation has changed many perceptions about the conflict, and the Adeptus Arbites are already moving to stamp out what they perceive as the potential spark of larger unrest that would threaten the stability of the entire Hive.

Your Master, Inquisitor Drake, arranged a meeting with Magistratum Commander Drusil. The Commander explained that the Arbites will be ruthless about putting down any perceived rebellion, but in their zeal clues might be lost. Thereofre you are instructed to investigate as much as you can before the hammer of law drops on the situation – an estimated seven days or less. You must use that time wisely.

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