The Emperor's Horn

Secrets of the Golden Mountains

It was an Ambush! The four officers of the Emperor’s Horn, the only survivors of the landing team, quickly made their way across the icy landscape back to their guncutter. The Golden Mountains, Grace Prime’s equatorial mountain range housed dozens of lavish mansions inhabited by Grace’s colonists. Their manors still stand on the slopes of mountains, their halls now empty, their gilded statues gazing onto the manors’ withered gardens with dead diamond eyes. The valleys are riddled with the Shadowkilth – the feral madmen hunting for their human prey, always hungry. Luckily for the bottom line, the team was able to load their hull from one of these estates before losing most of the team to the Longlases of these mutants.
Inside a ruined manor a great number of worm-like statues of apparent xenos origin were found. Upon closer inspection, one seemed to be a potent energy weapon of unknown type. Decorating the main dining room was a star chart, with several worlds marked with red. One of them was crossed off the map. Gathering these items, along with stacks of papers nearby, the crew was loading the lander when The Explorers were alerted by sounds of anguish echoing in the rocky landscape. Following the sound, they discovered a man in ragged clothing with a gaping wound on his leg, desperately attempting to crawl to safety on a patch of open ground on one of the slopes. Seeing the Explorers land, the Shadowkilth injured an unwilling member of their own party to attract the offworlders and opened fire with their long las weapons from a distance when the Explorers approached the wounded man, attempting to kill the Explorers for their next dinner.
Making it back to the gunship, the crew returned to the ambush site, Vorgen and the others brought the landers long barreled autocannons and heavy bolters to bear on the ravenous as they were retrieving their victims, sending them scurrying back to their hiding places. Feeling they have regained the upper hand, the crew set out to find what else these reclusive estates had to offer. Overlooking a beautiful view of the stormy seas was a manor which housed an underground medical complex. Leaving a heavily wounded Datcher behind, Captain Grinalt, Thanin and Voygen searched the hidden laboratory, finding valuable medical supplies and deactivated medical servitors. In the manor’s librarium, several volumes of a book called “A Logical Discourse: In Defense of the Future” were found. Curiously enough, many beds in the complex had iron restraints. Loading what they could from this second manor, the explorers returned to Port Chorda.
Things had changed in the months since the explorers had last been in the main population center on Grace Prime. The landing platforms and storage facilities had been rebuilt, but curiously the Temple to the God-Emperor had been burned to the ground. The most notable addition was 300 house troops of the Manchenko dynasty. Finding Lady Faluci, the crew learned that what had looked to them to be a temple, was actually a food processing plant of the cannibalistic Director Giallo and Manchenko had the Distillery operating as close to full capacity as her resources currently allowed.
Seeking what options were available, Captain Grinalt made contact with the still orbiting Explorator XVII. The vessel’s captain, Brother Ferdinand, revealed they were part of Explorator Fleet KX-557.V, but he had broken off to pursue a personal mission. A Tech-Priest under his command had his mind poisoned by exposure to the insidious technologies of the alien. So much so, that the explorator fled to this planet before the isolating warp storms to pursue his blasphemous research. Captain Grinalt realized that the statues and and notes they took were what the Explorator captain was looking for. Grinalt created a rouse in which he informed Brother Ferdinand that Captain Manchenko was in possession of the heresy he was seeking. The Emperor’s Horn used this distraction to abandon their nearly completed dream of owning their own planetary system to discover the secrets the Explorator captain wanted kept hidden.



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