The Emperor's Horn

This Tunnel Leads to Death You Guys
A couple of us died. Oops

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Having secured a map to where alien artifacts were supposedly hidden, the crew of the Emperor’s Horn set out to a bunch of planets that were just full of radiation, space cows, Communists, and big crazy corn. Before heading to the last planet on the list—a hive world—they loaded up some corn for trade.

Upon arrival at the hive world, they were put into bureaucratic limbo, waiting for their turn to sell the goods. Sarvus, Vorgen, Datcher and Thanin gave their crew ship leave and the four of them headed down to the surface by themselves like a bunch of CHUMPS. Little did they know that two of them would never see the Horn again because they’d be DEAD. (It’s totally Datcher and Sarvus, you guys).

Thanin helped narrow down where the alien artifact might be, and it was in the middle of nowhere, beneath some mutants. So they just shot up the mutants with the guncutter because that’s apparently how this group solves 99% of their problems.

Anyway, then there was a sign on the tunnel that read something like, “DEATH IS IN HERE,” or “HEY STAY OUT YOU WILL DIE IF YOU GO IN THIS SCARY TUNNEL,” or “WHAT YOU ONLY BROUGHT FOUR GUYS WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU WHAT ARE YOU DOING C’MON.”

The team bravely ignored the sign and found themselves in a narrow tunnel with black oily walls and floors. Then a big tremor went through the place and the entrance was sealed off and Vorgen’s psycho powers made him feel like “thousands of souls were just snuffed out” or whatever that Star Wars quote is.

So yeah they pressed on and got to this crazy intersection of eight tunnels. Datcher spent a lot of time being very nervous that they’d get lost and that the floor would eat the rocket launcher they set down to mark the entrance but he’s kind of crazy and that never really happened because BAM these statues in the room got filled with swarms of bugs and then they shot Datcher to within inches of his life holy crap.

The rest of the party tried to take the swarms and golems out as Datcher writhed around on the floor kicking and screaming. Vorgen blew a hole right through one of the golems which was pretty neat. Sarvus stood by his downed comrade and fought back valiantly, getting severely injured. Thanin also did things. Shooty things.

Then, Datcher got up and mowed down one of the golems before a fatal shot blasted him in the face. R.I.P. Datcher. We hardly knew ye.

After the threat was taken care of, the three remaining crew members of the Emperor’s Horn dusted themselves off, grabbed the valuables from Datcher’s body, said “See ya,” and explored the hallways. They found like, closed off passages and stuff, then went down this one passage where they found these giant guns attached to hands? Like the hands were holding them I think? I remember the hands were attached to them and it was like how, but they just were. It was weird. The trio all said in unison, “This is weird,” and ran around until they found another exit.

Then there was this crazy bridge over a big chasm. Picture that invisible bridge from The Last Crusade except instead of being invisible, it’s…not? Well, the bridge from The Last Crusade wasn’t really invisible, just camouflaged in a fancy way. But yeah, this bridge wasn’t either of those things. You could see it fine, it was just really narrow.

As they went across the bridge SCARABS attacked! They charged at their faces as the three men ran for their lives. Sarvus wasn’t as fast so he lobbed a nice grenade and took a few of them out before booking it to safety down another passage. There were a lot of passages in this place, guys.

So then it gets REALLY CRAZY. They find a room with two big spider-like statues with a gem between them, and a mechanical spider-like thing etching junk into the jem! And it didn’t notice them! However, Vorgen got a feeling that there was some other big power that would protect this mechanical spider, so they needed to take advantage of a surprise attack!

Then there was like, about ten minutes of talk about how far glow sticks work and what you have to do for silent moves and if there were wires and cords in the statues and then they scanned for energy sources and there weren’t any which seemed really weird to them and man they were so cautious. But then Vorgen missed a stealth check roll and the spider totes knew they were there and as Vorgen aimed to shoot the spider it moved around then like a giant crazy metal centipede thing rose up from the darkness and was like “yo guys sup” and the three men were all “aw hell naw dawg” and Vorgen killed the mechanical spider because he’s heartless and then Thanin shot at the crazy huge Tomb-Thingy (it had a name like this I don’t really remember it was scary) and he actually damaged it and then he was all “yay guys I hit it guys” and yeah sure you took like four of its 90 HP good job but you know what they say it’s the small victories in life that keep us going and stave off the reality that our death is a certainty and every second we move closer and closer to a dark abyss we will never come back from.

So then Vorgen books it out of there and so does Thanin and Sarvus hesitates because he knows that gem is worth hella cash but decides to book it instead but guess what he’s slower and can’t make it out before he’s hit by the Tomb-Buddy’s lasers. Tomb-Buddy dives underground then comes up and crushes his face in. Captain Sarvus Grinalt of the Emperor’s Horn is dead. Tomb-Buddy food. He was too good a guy to go that way.

Vorgen and Thanin find a way out and hop on the guncutter and fly out of range just as Tomb-Buddy lunges for them, and they call up the Horn and are all “yo guys make it RAAAAAIN” and a surface bombardment kills Tomb-Buddy dead.

The two shed tears for their handsomer but deader comrades and return to the Horn with the sad news. What will the Grinalt Dynasty do with the Horn now? Who will become captain? Why are aliens such d-bags?

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Are we there yet?

Captain Grinalt gave the order and for the next hour, as had happened a dozen times before, hymns boomed out through the ship’s vox-casters while the crew stood alert and fervently sung praises to the God-Emperor. Meanwhile, deep in the belly of the ship, work-teams prepared to bring the great Warp Drives on-line.
On the Captain’s command, the Emperor’s Horn left reality and instantaneously plunged into the immaterium, while not as disconcerting as the experience once was, the event still causes that sicking feeling in the pit of the stomach no one ever truly gets used to. Avoiding the aetheric reefs and other dangers of this realm was largely on the shoulders of the Navigator, so the explorers spent their months during the voyage to Footfall trying to figure out just what it was exactly they had found.
All of the artifacts retrieved from the manor appeared to be Yu’vath in nature. The statue that Thanin had detected an energy source in was first suspected of being some sort of weapon, but careful testing found it to be a sort of protective cask. When opened, it projected a 3D hologram of odd hieroglyphics consisting of circles and lines that did not look at all consistent with known Yu’vath imagery.
Many of the books and papers that the explorers took along with the statues were notes and notebooks of the tech-priest. Bits and pieces of the information needed were scattered throughout the stacks and stacks of papers. The explorers were able to put together that the hologram image was found thousands of years ago by the warp worshiping Yu’vath and predated them by untold millennium. It seems the dark sorcerers of the Yu’vath had also tried to unlock it’s secrets and the tech-priest dedicated his years on Grace Prime to discover what the Yu’vath had learned and obvious from his notes, driving him increasingly more insane.
The break through for the explorers came when Thanin discovered sheets put aside by the others as as scribbles made by a madman were actually representations of sounds made in the Tecna-Lingua language of the Adeptus Mechanicus! The tech priest believed part of the hologram to contain a map of an area that is now in the Calixis Sector, unrecognizable because it predates even the formation of some of the stars. He narrowed down the maps Terminus to an area of five stars and had since eliminated one possibility, Acreage. The remaining possibilities were: Kudrun, Solace, Tsade and Zumthor. The purpose of the map remains unknown but being of a nearly incomprehensible age, it must be of staggering value! A major obstacle this map presents is that it leads in the Imperium, where a Rogue Trader is merely another subject of the God-Emperor (albeit a powerful one) and can not do as he pleases. Secrecy and cover would be needed as best case scenario getting caught could forfeit a warrant and worst, their very lives!

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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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Popsicle Delivery

The Emperor’s Horn pulled out of The Dagger of Fate’s turret range. The head officers of the ship gathered around Captain Grinalt’s bed in sickbay and decided it would be best to meet with Cobolt at Grace Prime, then head back to Footfall and deliver the cryogenic container to Lady Chorda.

The ship weathered the warp well, only falling into one little temporal anomaly just that one time. Luckily the crew was able to reenter the warp easily and make to Footfall, only adding a few months’ time to their journey.

Lady Chorda was glad to see the cargo she requested come into her possession, and a title for the Grace system was drawn up in Captain Grinalt’s name. Despite their curiosity over just who the popsicle was, the head officers of the Emperor’s Horn left the halls of Chorda with a satisfied business partner and hope of more lucrative propositions in the future.

After some shopping and resupplying, the crew worked on some plans for Grace Prime. It was decided that there was no point in trying to return the hellhole to its former pleasure-planet glory; instead, it would be more profitable as an industrial planet. Supply routes were set up to bring food, water, and building supplies to the planet. More distilleries would be built and a new colony would be founded in the name of the Grinalt Dynasty.

Fortunately, buyers for the gin were secured as well. Unfortantely, they were already buying it: the narchotraders had just received a shipment of Grace Gin, courtesy of Manchenko. The captain of The High Risk Venture would prove to be a thorn in the side of the Emperor’s Horn yet again.

With supply lines set and the goal of setting Manchenko straight, the Emperor’s Horn left Footfall and returned to the Grace system without any warp distractions. A scan revealed that The Dagger of Fate was relaying with a servitor on Grace Prime to change its orbit. Alarmed at this, Captain Grinalt ordered silent running and approached the station to get a good reading of just how many Orcs had infested it. With the station too valuable to blow apart, the crew of the Emperor’s Horn readied for a possible boarding and purging of The Dagger of Fate.

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Fate Served Cold

While the horde of the Orks aboard the Dagger of Fate were occupied attacking the Emperor’s Horn, our heroes boarded their trusty guncutter and found (guided by the skilful logic of Thanin) the optimal place to board the station and get to the long sought prize. Once inside the Achaemenid Mark III Voidfarer station, the crew found a service console. After Datcher bypassed the security Thanin was able to patch into the pic-monitors and seal the pressure doors, keeping more Orks from being able to get into the section. The lighter bay was quickly located, but the search for the actual container was interrupted when six Orks, one even sporting a Rokkit Launcha entered the bay, excited at the prospect of being able to slaughter some humies. Datcher tried to take out the attackers with a frag grenade. The resulting explosions was more powerful than anyone anticipated and while it did not take out the Orks, it breached the hull, causing the bay to quickly depressurize.
The heroes now had to work quickly and dispense with the Orks before suffocating. Lead by Vorgen’s usual superior marksmanship, the resilient Orks were dispensed one at a time. The rokkit launcha proved to be as inaccurate as the are rumored to be, but still resulted in satisfying orky explosions for its firer. While a few of the guards from the Horn perished, the scariest moment for the crew was when a furious assault by an Ork with a big choppa cut open the abdomen of Lord-Captain Grinalt! Quick action by Thanin was able to stem the blood loss and save the Captain’s life!
The last ork was put down just in time for the crew to be able to don their void suit they had the foresight to bring along. Datcher was then able to identify the proper container, which Thanin found to be an active Cryo-vault containing a still living person who has been sealed inside for at least 60 years. Leaving the lighter bay, the crew found the pressure doors still holding and were able to safely transfer the vault to the Horn, disengage from the Dagger of Fate and head off to rendezvous with Captain Colbolt.

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Ork Scuttling with a Side of Warp-flavored Doom

Attempts to be sneaky around the Orkish raider were less than successful, and The Emperor’s Horn once again found itself in a skirmish. Tensions were initially high, but some outlandishly well-placed hits from Vorgen soon made it clear that the Horn would gain the upper hand. Crippling strikes were laid upon the raider’s systems, eventually turning the opposing vessel into a drifting box of agony and suffocating death (or, in Datcher’s eyes, a giant piggy bank to tow back to the collection).

Following the battle, the team hailed Cobolt, whose crew had had time to comb the remnants of the Toothkicker. She reported evidence that the now-depressurized Captain Bolger had been under the employ of the Tutors, who operate out of the Red Schola on Footfall. Ruthless slavers who are known to “customize” their captures for buyers’ various purposes, the Tutors no doubt had intentions for the people of Grace Prime and would surely take word of their failure jovially.

Cobolt also noted that the Toothkicker had detected the presence of another ship; one that the Horn had discovered as well. A decision to seek out this vessel led to the boarding of the Widening Gyre, a former transport and hydroponics ship of Lady Chorda’s fleet. The crew had a gnawing wariness as they explored its halls. Perhaps it was the eerie silence occasionally broken by sounds of etheral footsteps or laughter. Perhaps it was the detection of vile warp energy slowly leaking from a damaged warp core. Or probably it was the remains of the crew flopped about the decks after what appeared to be a mass festival of self-inflicted target practice. The troubling environment seemed to have a vague effect on both Vorgen and Captain Grinalt, the former clearly expressing a desire to destroy the warp core while the latter suggested not to. The pros and cons were weighed, with Thanin in a surprisingly non-eager mood to experiment with unknown energies, and it was ultimately decided to leave the ship be for now and merely abscond with its map showing the Dagger of Fate’s emergency orbit.

The map turned out to be just the thing for finding the space station, but it was soon discovered Orks had already found it long ago. A plan was hatched to attack the station’s guns with the Horn, providing a distraction for a crew on a gun cutter to slip in and find Chorda’s precious container. And hopefully they wouldn’t blow the station to smithereens with those brave crewmembers still on board…

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Battle for Grace Prime

After reaching their ship, the elite bridge crew of The Emperor’s Horn quickly assumed battle stations. While they had been occupied on Grace Prime, Captain Helgred Bolger of the Toothkicker was fast approaching the planet. Determined not to let someone from the vile Black Brotherhood plunder the treasure before he could even claim it, Captain Grinalt requested, then demanded, and finally threatened the Toothkicker to leave the system at once. All went unheeded. Captain Bolger was bound and determined to abduct and sell the poor wretches of Grace Prime, and even staring down the torpedo tube of The Emperor’s Horn didn’t seem to phase him.

Now the two ships were joined in battle. Vorgen on fire control, Datcher running sensors, Thanin at the helm, Sarvus inspiring from the captain’s chair. The mighty behemoths traded blows, but despite the Toothkicker using a blasphemous xeno ghost field to confound their sensors, The Emperor’s Horn was victorious. A bit too victorious, as instead of surrending his vessel, Bolger and his entire crew were killed as the Toothkicker lost all life-support and the hard vacuum of the void claimed all aboard, and also doomed the ship to a space hulk. Sarvus had Captain Cobolt of the Penance of Iocanthos send engineers over to the Toothkicker to assess the damage.

The battle over, the crew turned their attention to the original task. Steering a course for the space station Dagger of Fate, they came upon empty space. Vorgen, with his newly awakened psychic powers, cast his mind into the future in an attempt to glean some clue to the space station’s whereabouts. His mind filled with ominous images of cold, Orks, and [missing footage].

Poring over the star system scans, the crew decided to investigate the Teardrop, a gas giant in orbit of the system star. Upon a stealthy arrival, a local scan revealed another ship in orbit around the Teardrop, Orkish raider in design, and seemingly unaware of the arrival of the Horn. The adventure continues…

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Getting out of Grace

After Vorgen blew the brains out of Director Giallo, guards loyal to the director fled the estate, leaving Lady Fulci, Adalbrechta Edelheven-Machenko, and the crew from the Emperor’s Horn in the mansion. Fulci warned everyone that people still loyal to the director had taken up positions around the building.

Upon learning of the director’s demise, Machenko begame upset, revealing she had been sent to start a trade route of Grace’s famous gin flowing to Footfall. The Grinalt crew assured her that that’d be taken care of later, since they would soon own Grace. Datcher and Thanin ran to the director’s office to scan what was left of the director and find out whatever information they could about the goings-on of Grace and the space station. Nothing turned up on the space station, but Datcher was able to find records from the distillery which included some ominous figures of undisclosed goods going back years that the director was tabulating.

Thanin ran an aerial scan of the area using his servo-skull, and found groups of people in the distillery and the temple. Each location also had a large heavy bolter mount that appeared to be in the middle of being set up, pointed at the landing pad where their cutter was parked. The crew also hailed Captain Colbalt, who warned them that a ship was approaching Grace and would likely be there in an hour. The crew assumed this was the Toothkicker, Helgred Bolger’s ship, closing in.

The group then devised a plan. They would sneak into the distillery next to the manor. Datcher (the stealthiest) made his way to the distillery and signaled for the distraction: Tom Servo dropped a Molotov cocktail at the other end of the mansion, starting a fire. The rest of the crew sneaked to the distillery building while Datcher took a position inside the storehouse area.

Lady Fulci was spotted before making it to the distillery, and all stealth was abandoned. Vorgen busted down the door and started killing indiscriminately. Machenko covered Lady Fulici, taking out a sniper on the second story. Thanin and Sarvus joined the firefight while Datcher hid among some crates, hoping for an opening to make a break for the second floor.

The hooligans were no match for the elite head officers of The Emperor’s Horn. Blood pooled on the floor of the storehouse as Datcher and Thanin ran up to the second story, dispatching the remaining sniper and readying the heavy bolter. Meanwhile, Vorgen and Sarvus found a vehicle. Sarvus and Thanin switched places. Sarvus and Datcher provided cover as Thanin plugged into the truck and drove everyone else to the guncutter.

Surprisingly, everything was quiet, and no resistance was met and no shots were fired. Vorgen got the guncutter hovering, picked up Sarvus and Datcher, and high-tailed it out of orbit to ready themselves for the approaching Toothkicker.

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Chorda Encounter

The adventure began in Footfall where the Explorer’s ship was docked, when a man named Cromwell approached the Explorers requesting an audience. Cromwell requested the Explorers to join his mistress at Chorda Manor for a ”an urgent matter of great profit”. He refused to go into detail.
The explorers agreed, they were shown to the Chorda Manor, a majestic palace overlooking Footfall’s Longshore. Inside, Cromwell lead them through corridors guarded by Chorda’s mind-wiped servitor slaves and guards. When seated to the grand ballroom, the servitors proceed to serve them fine amasec. Finally, Chorda herself appeared.
Lady Chorda told them of her colony on Grace that had been cut off by warp storms. Others were moving in to exploit her holding. She stuck a bargain with the explorers to bring her back a cargo container currently located on the space station, the Dagger of Fate .
Chorda provided the Explorers with a warp route to Grace along with decades-old maps of the colony and the system. Also included was a map of the Dagger of Fate, with a location of Chorda’s cargo marked on it. Upon completion of their task, she will provide them a writ of
claim for Grace, along with a permission to recolonize it.
As the Emperor’s Horn readied to leave they learned that Helgred Bolger and his ship The Toothkicker were also headed for Grace.
The explorers encountered trouble along the way and their distress call was answered by Adalbrechta Edelheven-Machenko , yet another party interested in Grace.
The Explorers landed on grace and were met byDirector Giallo, the Port’s self-proclaimed leader, dressed in elaborate robes and flanked by a dozen armsmen. Giallo will fell on his knees, bellowing the praises of the Explorers and welcomed them with open arms as saviours of Port Chorda, insisted that he organize a feast in their honor. Giallo was followed by Lady Fulci, a stark-looking woman apparently in her forties. She did not speak unless spoken to, admitted to running the ”day-to-day affairs of the colony”.
At the feast the explorers were able to try the one manufactured resource of the colony, Grace Gyn.Vorgen was the only member not intoxicated by its effects and was approached by Lady Fulci who wanted him to assassinate the director and get her off the planet. Vorgen obliged, killing the Director.

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March and April Sessions

These months followed the events from the “Into the Maw” story arc. After facing off against malign influence of the Psycharus Worm, the Explorers found themselves in possession of both the Righteous Path and the fell Halo Device that led to its demise. Unfortunately for them, their actions had more far reaching consequences than they could imagine, and in defeating the thralls of the Worm, they had stirred up dark forces and ancient alien powers. In this adventure, the Explorers learned of the true power of the Worm and caught a terrifying glimpse into the legacy of its creators. Their vessel and crew were subverted by the power of a terrible xenos race known as the Yu’vath—an evil thought by most to have been long since extinguished from the galaxy—and they were drawn into an ancient trap from which they had to find a way to escape or become lost forever.
The Emperor’s Horm found itself locked in the grip of an ancient Yu’vath fortress, but they were not the only ones, there were other groups of survivors that met the same fate. The largest was a motley band of void-farers, ex-Imperials, and mutants led by an old naval midshipman named Martek the Just. Martek and his survivors had established base on the system’s only true planetary body: the nameless moon. The other settlement, known as the Brotherhood, was much smaller and led by a cleric named Palar. Marooned pilgrims, they had taken up residence in a space hulk within the debris ring and saw their time there as a test by the Emperor himself.
Another important person encountered was Lynara Cobolt, a pious free captain and commander of the Penance of Iocanthos—an armed transport ship.
With the help of Martek and Cobolt, the group was able to get past the Yu’vath Void Wasps, Shardspiders and diminished Bone Warden, set an explosive to destroy the power source locking them in orbit and get clear. Martek was killed in the battle while Cobolt and her ship joined the Grinalt dynasty and is now travelling with the Horn.

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