As soon as Felix notified von Burga of Mersini’s treachery all outbound travel from Ritammeron was banned, including the Stalwart Venturer and the Hand of the Emperor.
In lieu of such a disaster at his mansion von Burga politely asked the team to leave the mansion and, in spite of travel ban, the team was given special privilege to return to their spaceship under the condition that the spaceship would not leave Ritammeron until given notice.
About a week after Mersini’s flight the Inquisition arrived upon the planet. They met with the team briefly in order to get the explorer’s version of events and were since closeted with von Burga.
During the month since their departure from the mansion the team had been idle upon their ship. During this time the team became engaged with their own personal pursuits except for Felix and Vulgrim. Felix tried to contact von Burga and Ritammeron often in order to secure their release from the travel ban but was unsuccessful in his attempts. Meanwhile Vulgrim took the time to start whipping the crew of the Venturer in to better shape.
After the month had passed the ship was suddenly visited by von Burga himself who explained that his absence in communication was due to investigations of the Inquisition and the responsibility of running Ritammeron without the help of his two aids. von Burga was noticeably dishevelled and seemingly spread thin on this task.
von Burga however did produce a Contract of Favour and partnership for the team to consider. After reading the clauses and finding them fully in the team’s favour the team questioned why von Burga was willing to give them so much support.
von Burga’s response was that they were the only team he felt he could rely on and that the events of Ritammeron and Trail of the Terrorax, particularly the death of Senisa, had given him a desire to see the Circle of Knives and Mersini destroyed. The team, having already proved themselves capable and with one link to the Circle already were the only choice of partnering.
With the signing of this contract the team was gifted a number of items:
- Felix received Mersini’s Longsword and the White-Bladed Knife that marked him as a Circle of Knives member.
- Callidon received a small Psycrystal Charm.
- Vulgrim received a cloak made from the Cat Skins he collected from the jungles of Ritammeron.
- Mordechai received an ornate Hellpistol with inbuilt scope from von Burga’s personal collection of armaments.
- Blur received a Ripper Pistol but with very limited ammunition.
- The team as a whole also received Acquisitions of Good Auspexes and Advanced Medikits.
After this von Burga gave the team leave to travel onwards as the ban has now been lifted over Ritammeron (although heavy security is still present). The lifting of the ban was due to the lack of leads towards Mersini and the Circle of Knives and that Ritammeron and its colonies rely on goods coming in and out of the system to survive.
Due to these lack of resources in his colonies von Burga asked the team whether they would allow him to use The Hand of the Emperor to transport large quantities of necessary freight to a mining colony and The Stalwart Venturer to take a delicate and small auger array to a research facility on Kirtin a planet nearby the Charnel Stars. The auger array has been specially designed to be powerful enough to pierce the abnormal warp storms within that region.
The team agreed to the use of their ships in this way and gave commands to both ships to get underway as soon as possible.
The trip to Kirtin was uneventful excepting some strange dreams.
Upon arriving at Kirtin the team were able to see in person the terrible warp storms of the Charnel Stars, so powerful that they can be seen in void space with ease.
Within the Kirtin facility the team met with Bo’en, the head of the facility and his daughter Lanni. Lanni and Stone worked together to install the new auger array which then Lanni and Bo’en used to survey the storms. After some time they managed to discern that there was a hint of stable structure within the storm – seemingly planets. This should be impossible as planets within warp storms are usually destroyed by the chaotic forces or, more disconcertingly, moved about within the storm. This suggests that the storm maybe in fact a shell or hollow which should be impossible by the changeable nature of storms.
However the researchers were unable to get stronger readings on this phenomena as the new auger array was still not powerful enough. Lanni suggested that they move the auger array to a closer outpost to the storm which was vehemently forbidden by her father.
When questioned Lanni explained that before she was born the outpost was the original research facility but it was suddenly enveloped by the Charnel Stars’ storm and thus abandoned. As far as Lanni knows the storm’s range has not changed that severely since.
Lanni then proposed to the team that they move the array themselves in secret to which the team, after some discussion agreed to. With Lanni and Stone’s quick mechanical skills the team were able to take the array back onto the Venturer with Lanni and exit the facility just as Bo’en became aware of this.
The crew have now begun to settle into and plan for their risky trip to the abandoned research outpost in the hopes that the data they collect from there will allow the region to be finally charted and allow them to have first claim on the worlds found beyond the Charnel Stars.