Evil is unearthed, and Chaos is its name. The world burns.
The Explorers immediately intimidated Charles, the Gascoigne coach driver to press into the woods after the Black Coach. Being a thoroughly non-descript fellow, he complied and drove somewhat speedily through the rough terrain, bumping and jostling all those in the coach. It quickly became apparent that the Black Coach was easily outdistancing them, so Vendigrath sent his servo-skull in pursuit as well. Through a flurry of communication with the main house, it became apparent that no one really knew what was going on, and that they would be on their own. All of a sudden, the Black Coach activated its jump jets and blasted off through the tree canopy and off to the east. Solar’s servo-skull continued its pursuit, while the Gascoigne coach shuddered to a stop, with moderate damage caused by the pursuit.
Charles called in for assistance, and the household said they would send aid soon. In the meantime, the Explorers disembarked and found a wide river blocking their path. Splitting their forces (always a solid idea!), Remi remained with Charles and the coach while the others followed the river upstream. Charles produced a holdout laspistol, which they convinced him to let Mordechai borrow while Remi and Charles waited for the aid to arrive.
While following the river, Mordechai noticed distinct greenish wafts of smoke coming down the river. Inhaling deeply, he noticed a sweet scent, and pointed it out to his companions. Vendigrath pointed across the river to his servo-skull, where a silhouette of a humanoid stood, its shoulders hunched, perfectly motionless. A quick voicecom to Remi had him running to them in anticipation, when the thing spoke and warned them away from the area. Attempting communication, they found it was most unresponsive, until it gave an ultimatum: Leave or die.
The humanoid figure straightened up, and it was easily 8 feet high and very solidly built. It was also covered in fur as it extended its right arm and a nimbus of arcing blue power surrounded a massive axe. Bellowing, it charged towards the Explorers, who readied themselves. Gaining more and more momentum, the Beast jumped and leaped over the river, landing behind them. Vendigrath and Max charged it, and battle was joined. A grievous wound was given to Max, who collapsed to the ground in a crumpled heap. Vendigrath and the Beast were exchanging blows, but it was Cornelius who laid the Beast low by gazing upon it with his lidless stare.
The Explorers, flush with victory, debated over what to do with the Beast, while Max performed emergency field medicine upon himself, staunching the loss of blood. He climbed to his feet to examine the corpse, and immediately declared it a spawn of Chaos, igniting his chainsword and beheading it before his friends could respond. Leaving the headless corpse there, Vendigrath carried away the head as a grisly trophy.
They all noticed the green smoke becoming more and more prevalent the further upstream they went. All of a sudden, all the smoke floated back upstream and they saw it forming a wall of smoke. They heard a great exhaling sound as the wall of smoke rushed forward and broke over them. A cloyingly sweetly-sick smell filled their senses as they noticed the smoke drift harmlessly by, but some would form tendrils around their limbs as they walked. With the smoke completely covering the ground, they became disoriented, but their search and analytical abilities kept them on the right track.
They came upon a large clearing in the woods, in which there was a rough circle of 8 stone columns with a large slab in the center. Braziers glowed green upon them, and it was the source of the smoke, which split into tails, each leading from the ground to a column. Around the stones were figures dancing counter-clockwise, and all around the clearing, most hidden by shadows, were more writhing figures and silhouettes.
As they snuck closer to the ring itself, they are able to make out 8 humans dancing around the ring, clothed only in cloaks. Finger cymbals adorned their left hands and a freshly-cut switch from branches was in their right. They danced suggestively around the circle, making obscene gyrations with the stones and whipping the person ahead of them or themselves. The slab was covered with rust-colored moss, which you realize was dried blood. The writhing figures around the circle were engaged in carnal activities. The Explorers horror was compounded as they noticed the shadows of horns, tentacles, claws and other mutations in the bizarre firelight.
Two figures stepped forward, one holding a drum and the other a set of pipes. A beat was pounded out by a mutant with knobbed hands while his partner blew a strange suggestive melody that offset the primal beating and chanting.
Crowd: “Yhrak tu amat Slaanesh! Yhrak tu amat Slaanesh! Yhrak tu amat Slaanesh!”
As the chanting gets louder, they see the mutants off to the side stand up and pump their fists, claws, tentacles in to the air and start yelling the chant. Just when they thought the chanting cannot possibly get any louder, they noticed the Black Coach pull up behind the ring of stones. In a few moments, a figure robed and cloaked in grey walked up to the altar and raised its arms and called out in a deep strong voice: “Amak tu amat Slaanesh!”
The crowd chants back: “Ygrak tu amat Slaanesh! Tzarkol taen amat Slaanesh!”
Speaker: “Amak tu Slaanesh!”
The crowd chants: “Amak klessa! Amat Slaanesh! Amat Slaanesh! Amat Slaanesh!”
They noticed as the chanting gets even louder, the green smoke pouring from the braziers twists and starts pouring and collecting at the altar, taking a vague form. Suddenly realizing that this could be A Very Bad Thing, Vendigrath charges from his hiding place towards the Speaker and slices his chainaxe across his chest.
The cultists and mutant outcasts stare in horror, as the Explorers continue their surprise attack. Mordechai is firing the borrowed laspistol, dropping cultists and angering outcasts. Max supports him, swinging his chainsword at those who get too close. Remi charges into the fray with his own poweraxe slicing through outcasts. Cornelius yells a warning and reveals his third eye as cultists and mutants fall lifelessly to the ground.
A bright light is seen on the southern horizon, followed quickly by a massive explosion. As the Explorers gain the upper hand against the cultists and mutants, they hear the sound of gunships racing across the sky, followed by the sound of smaller explosions.
The Speaker brings his hands up to his temples and focuses for a moment before dropping to the ground. Two mutants appear on the edge of the stone ring, dragging a naked and bound woman towards the Speaker and the altar. In addition, four mutant abominations step forward, bellowing their challenge and their defiance.
Mordechai sears off the arm of one the mutants holding the woman, causing her to fall to the ground while Vendigrath charges the other mutant. Remi fights to keep mutants off Cornelius while he unleashes his eye against the abominations, dropping all four of them. With their Speaker on the ground and their mightiest mutants down, their morale breaks and they run. Three human cultists flee into the dark woods, sobbing and screaming. The remaining mutants are killed without mercy by Max and Remi: Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean.
The Explorers search the Speaker, finding a sacrificial dagger that writhes with dark energy. Strange glowing runes that seem to constantly shift run along the blade itself, while the handle seems to be wrapped in unknown leathers. One cannot look directly at it without feeling uneasy, as it seems to shift and bend before their eyes. They quickly wrap it up in the cloak of the Speaker, revealing him to be Torvald Rossi, the lord who had asked them to procure a suitable bride in exchange for a contract. They free the woman and cover her up, and learn that she’s a 4th grade technician aboard the Kestrel, Lady Sun Lee’s ship.
The night sky was lit up again by several lances of bright light from the heavens, followed shortly by the sound of more explosions. They quickly realized that someone was firing on the planet from orbit.
Searching the cultists, they discover a small religious symbol in the form of a necklace on one of the lads killed by Cornelius’ power. They slowly realize that they found Gunter Gascoigne.
They loaded Gunter and Torvald into the Black Coach, along with Ingrid Zauberlich, who was also among the dead cultists, and headed back towards the Gascoigne manor. The communications channel were alive with activity, emergency broadcast frequencies and well as various news blurbs. They called the estate to make sure they were not fired upon by the mass of PDF guardsman and household troops everywhere.
The meeting with Lord and Lady Gascoigne went as anyone would expect who discovers their only son not only dead, but involved with Chaos as well. The Explorers then went to deliver Ingrid Zauberlich to her parents. After that, a trip back to their guncutter, where they armed themselves as well as filling in Cassandra and leaving the Ma’Kao woman for safekeeping.
Next stop was to visit Governor Keppler, who heard their story, told his, and the pieces slowly started to fall into place. The Explorers took up rooms at the embassy to ride out the crisis.