The Paradox Hammer

The Death, Yet Again, of Raven

Ship’s Log of the Rogue Trader Ship Hammer
Lord Captain Viktor Khal, Commanding

///Access File: 9-21-802M.41///

One of the more time consuming and often frustrating aspects of the piratical arts is finding an enterprising soul to aid you in off loading your ill gotten gain. This is especially difficult when that ill gotten gain has Inquisitorial rosettes and seals plastered on every bulkhead. At great length and with even greater reluctance I have turned to the only person I knew to be both foolish enough to risk Inquisitorial wrath and connected enough to ensure the dynasty actually turns a profit, Raven Darkwind. I’m fairly certain he stole that name from the narcotic dreams of a retarded vampire, though I doubt he knows enough about ancient Terran lore to know what a vampire is. Still, he’s too connected to ignore out right though I have it on very good authority that all the afore mentioned contacts role their eyes when he starts talking. I found Raven basking in the less than stellar comforts offered by Port Wander, I assume so he can be within running distance of somewhere not Imperial Controlled if, or more likely, when one of his “friends” decided he was too annoying to live. That man has faked his own death so often that Imperial authorities have given up signing death warrants for him. Still, we fetched a good price for the parts and had the weapons installed on the Anvil in good order, so all in all, I can’t complain. We had almost finished the re-fit and re-supply of my little flotilla when the noxious persona of Raven foisted itself upon my vox system. He wanted a face to face meeting….why in the name of the Primarchs do they always want to meet face to face?!? In Raven’s case I can only assume he wanted to admire my rakish good looks in person, poofter that he is. I endeavored to be as courteous as possible and then readied my best fighters to turn him into Kroot Kabobs should he prove traitorous…or worse…amorous.
I was rather surprised at how the meeting turned out. He was in rather subdued form from his normal over the top opera diva self, foot high platforms and Eldar inspired hair not withstanding. He told me that Alistair had been killed. While this was old news, the fact that it was a murder and by an acolyte no less, was defiantly of interest. The old fellow may not have been a Khal by blood but he was family none the less. Revenge is required. I’m staring to accumulate quite a list of Vendettas. Perhaps I’ll let Rojer mastermind this one, it’ll be good practice for the boy. I wonder if Damien knows yet…he takes after his father with the exception of the sense of humor and the alcoholism so I’d imagine he is already flaying the culprit alive in some Inquisitorial dungeon.
Raven’s other new was even more surprising. Apparently someone was trying to organize an expedition to find Roguerio’s Tomb. If any one would know where the Tomb was it would be a Khal, which means it would have been plundered long before now, so the idea that vast Khalian wealth is hidden somewhere in the expanse is laughable. This means that whoever is trying to organize this expedition is either an idiot with more money than sense or an enemy who is trying to flush the last of the Khals into a trap. Personally, I’m inclined to believe the later. The timing is far too convenient. My father always said, “the first step to avoiding a trap is bombarding the trap, the trap setter, and their immediate family from orbit” but then again that was also his standard response for everything from tax collectors to docking fees. While I have nothing against this approach, Alistair taught me that it leaves a little to be desired when intelligence gathering is a priority. Besides which, Bob sensed opportunity in the air. After all, a rich fool is soon parted with his thrones.
My command crew and I found an accommodating bar called, rather ironically, The Back and we proceeded to stack the deck. I filled it with armed crew and put them all on a one drink minimum until the matter was decided one way or the other, and I filled the back rooms with Kroot commandos. I was expecting to at least converse with the fellow before I sprung the trap, but he took the matter out of my hands, rather rudely, I thought. he yelled something about us trying to kill him, which was ludicrous as I had yet to make up my mind on that score. He then mumbled something and Raven’s eyes rolled up in the back on his head. Now, admittedly, I spent most of my time in Inquisitorial service aboard a heavily armed cruiser drinking normally illegal alcohol and misusing Imperial resources, but I had served long enough to recognize sorcery when I saw it. I ordered Bob to spring the trap and put an end to this before someone got sucked into the warp. Kalm tried to take out Raven before he could prove a greater threat only to be thrown like a rag doll. The witch was the key so I went for him while Ignatio blew poor possessed Raven’s leg off. Not the typical way of dealing with possession, but any port in a storm as they say. Needless to say the silly bastard did not survive his wounds…criminals everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. As for the caster, he shot his fucking finger at me….his finger! Not only that, after missing once the damned finger beam turned and shot itself at me again. For a second I thought I was on the damned cruise again. Bloody sorcerers… My crew, seeing that Raven was dead, the witch was shooting his bleeding finger at me, and the alien hunter/Merc who had his hands in the air and was running for cover, decided to shoot at the least threatening of our adversaries. So much for my one drink minimum order. Luckily, Kalm’s commandos were far more effective in dealing with the Witch and effectively ending the fight. My men had done enough damage that I had to buy the bar and talk/bribe my way back to my frigate where it’d take a full company of Arbiters to extract us. Even then, I’d put some unsightly holes in Port Wander before they succeeded.
Our interrogation of the hunter was very revealing. He claimed to have found ruins on the world of Daimios. This by itself would mean little but he also had in his possession an amulet with the crest of House Khal on it. Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye. It warrants investigation whatever the case. Unfortunately, the mage proved less cooperative. He ramble something cryptic as his kind are want to do and dissolved. Not the transportation sort of dissolving, more of the fuck-you suicide kind of dissolving. The only thing of use to be gained was that the emblem of the witch’ s clothes matches the emblem on my newly acquired power fist and the emblem found with the prisoner on the Inquisitorial Destroyer. Perhaps it is the symbol of these Physicians the ships log spoke of?
I strongly encouraged the hunter to join the cause of House Khal which he did willingly, smart man that he is, and I pulled our crew back for shore leave that we might set course to this Daimios as soon as possible. It seems in even this minor order I was to be thwarted by the laughing gods of the void. One of my engineers had Pertwee at….something point….and was babbling something about a ship made of love, Emperor help us. The crew dispatched of this addled idiot quickly but it serves as a reminder that this death cult I keep hearing of must not be forgotten. At least I have a shiny new servitor to put to work. Speaking of…I haven’t seen Bob for sometime. I hope the little bonehead hasn’t gotten trapped in the women’s locker vent again….so embarrassing.

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Khalys

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