After rejoining his bridge crew from an ill-advised venture to steal another Rogue Trader’s ship, Lord-Captain Nestor set about finally rebuilding his fleet from the fateful loss of the Fell Hand during the Ork invasion. Having met on a suitable trading port the Star Reavers investigated their options and determined their profits would allow them to easily acquire a Raider hull that could be suitably outfitted. She was christened The Artful Revenge.
This done where could the intrepid Explorers turn their sights? Nestor determined that ere loftier goals be pursued, he must first rebuild his fleet. To do so he needs must build more profit. Thus determined, he sent the Blood Specter to run trade routes and returned to Damaris to claim his rights as Lord Governor and set the system to rights.
First, landing unopposed, the Star Reavers called all the leading families of the planet to recognize Nestor as their new lord. Half the noble houses disagreed and were singled out to clear the way for Nestor’s ascendance. Then came the purge, effectively ending those family lines. Thus end those who oppose the Star Reavers’ will!
Unfortunately, this left a gaping hole in the management of several key industries vital to the system’s productivity. The Star Reavers promoted several lesser houses thirsty for advancement to fill these gaps. Naturally, this left the nobility in need of some stability. Unfortunately, the Star Reavers’ efforts to provide that stability ultimately failed.
Nestor turned his eye on the other issues requiring attention. Namely, these included traders requesting access to the system, and a group of cults that had emerged among the populace. The traders easily investigated, Nestor heard their initial proposals before concentrating on the invidious cultists in his midst.
No less than three separate cults had taken root, some generations old, one created in the wake of the WAAAGH. Investigating these groups, it was found that one worshiped a peasant from the underclasses who both low and high born alike had unduly credited with saving them from the xenos! Did these fools not know to whom they owed their devotion? A purge was immediately commenced to teach them all a lesson in fealty and this nascent personality cult was crushed.
Next a cult whose mysterious nature evaded even the Master Engineseer’s intellect was found to be devoted to mutilation and hedonism. These are the foundations of Chaos! Should a worshiper subvert this group to rending the veil Damaris would perish. The Star Reavers bent to the task, but the nature of these warped creatures meant that any pain visited upon them was welcomed. This presented an insurmountable obstacle, as the purge teams were greeted by temptations they could not endure and the Lord Governor ordered a tactical retreat.
This left one cult to be dealt with. The Lord Governor, in his wisdom, recognized it for the horror that it was – a genestealer cult, meant to herald a Tyranid invasion. Notch, deemed the fittest member to infiltrate this particular cult, tracked the one cultist they had recognized from their previous surveillance. The Arch Militant shadowed the target, until he met another figure he greeted with deference. Immediately, Notch changed targets, waiting until the right moment to abduct the higher ranking cultist.
Bringing him back for interrogation, Notch tried his best to interrogate the cultist to learn what the Governor needed to destroy these genestealers before their cult could further infect Damaris. Unfortunately, this case proved beyond his skill, so Barsk took over. Stretching out his Will, he raped the subject’s mind and quickly plundered it for secrets about the cult. He learned that the cult had lasted 6 decades and spread throughout the noble houses of Damaris, high and low alike. The purge had removed half their number, however, all the noble families had their younger members in the cult. He also learned the cult was meeting a month hence and that their lair lay beneath the industrial center of the capital in a massive cistern. A maze of tunnels concealed the greater abominations the cult had managed to spawn.
All of this necessitated a plan. First, they needed to conceal themselves from the pheromone sensitive mutants who single out the non-cultists brought for this purpose to the gatherings. Surmising that the scent would be produced by glands within the mutated cultists, Notch ruthlessly ripped the prisoner open, sifting through the corpse’s organs for the glands he needed. The gore this precipitated sickened all within sight who had not been jaded by their time spent among the stars. Unfortunately for Chief Engineseer Orin, he was of the latter stamp.
Their scent disguised, the Governor and his men began to plan the purge upon the cult itself. Organizing the stormtroopers under Lieutenant Hawkeye Dan, they were armed with flamers and bolters and positioned in key areas to clear the undermaze of its infestation. His features hidden behind eyepatch and a false moustache, the Governor’s presence went unnoticed. Meanwhile, the cult leader stepped to the dias above the crowd and began to chant. It swept over the gathering, but none but the cultists themselves could decipher what it meant. As it ended, Nestor stepped forward and pulled away both moustache and eyepatch, declaring, “NOW, SILENT BOB!” The prearranged signal for the attack to commence.
Utterly surprised to find the Governor in their midst, the cultists were stunned into inaction. This left an opening for Notch who drew his Inferno pistols and unleashed a torrent of fire at the Leader. The gout of plasma burned away the thick robes that concealed the Leader’s frame covered in engorged biomass and third arm. The arm reached out and a ray of sinister energy lashed out at Notch, who quickly dodged. Then Nestor drew his Inferno pistol and fired and Notch fired once again, destroying the Leader.
This left the aberrations who gathered in a mass of flailing limbs and tore across the floor of the cavernous cistern. The melee joined, it was left to sword work for the Star Reavers to destroy the mob seeking to tear them apart. Barsk unleashed the fury of his Force Sword, the weapon won him by his gracious Rogue Trader. The Governor himself hacked away with his monosword. Eventually, all the enemies before them lay slain on the floor. Meanwhile, the sounds of combat echoed from the tunnels leading into undermaze, evidence of Lieutenant Dan’s swift work on the hidden menace elsewhere in the complex.
So utterly complete was the Star Reavers’ victory that the only survivors of the cult would be those who had no knowledge of the secret hidden in their genes. This fact well known to Nestor, he ordered a genetic screening of the Damaris population. The screening was spectacularly successful, allowing the genetic lineage of the planet to be steered according to the Lord Governor’s whim. The first thing he decreed was that all the women should be physically well proportioned and that their fellowship characteristics should be enhanced. He wanted the future generations of Damarisans to be talented bargainers.