Barachiel and I have been stationed on Perditus Causus for near 8 months now. Covert recon attempts have recently revealed ancient remnants of The Rock from Caliban. A curious phenomenon. How the tower came to be here remains a mystery, but it is our sworn duty to investigate further and reclaim any and all lost artifacts that belong to the order. The tower proper was enveloped by a large Ork encampment, so we carried out a lengthy and careful campaign to lure the bulk of the population well away from the tower.
After the successful completion of the op, we sought to make contact with allied forces for extraction. Our built-in Vox communicators proved insufficient to relay a signal into deep space, so we commandeered a primitive Ork communications tower. We had no choice but to engage with the Ork army surrounding the tower. After dispatching of the enemy combatants, we recovered a curious Annulus Unifex that resembled a 12-pointed star. The artifact appeared to channel some sort of energy, as it glowed red in the hands of the Ork who wielded it. Curiously, upon taking possession of the artifact, a strange sensation washed over me, not unlike the lingering, all-encompassing feeling of terror present on Malus Terra. I suppressed the feeling, but remarked how possession of the artifact seemed to enhance my strength. Barachiel warned the object might be chaos infused and attempted to destroy it. It resisted the shot, and I decided
- felt compelled, more like - to hold onto it for further study. It seemed to… beckon to me.
Shortly after clearing an LZ, the transport ships arrived. Among the crew members were severely augmented tech priests, a small company of armed soldiers, and a group of civilians interested in studying the natives. The entire lot showed a suspicious interest in the Annulus. This reaffirmed my decision to hold onto it
- better I suffer its influence and protect the others. After relaying information regarding the location of the tower, Barachiel and I scouted ahead of the transport party. We arrived at the tower without event and proceeded to rid the outer encampment of the remaining Ork populace. While engaged with an Ork piloting a dreadnought, I unwittingly began channeling power through the Annulus. Reflecting on the battle, I realize that I was channeling some sort of energy, akin to the psychic phenomena I experienced on Malus Terra. All the while, I felt the Annulus’ influence growing, seeking to corrupt me. Increasingly the evidence suggested an artifact of chaos, so Barachiel needed little effort to convince me the object needed to be destroyed. However, almost as soon as I agreed, the object invaded my mind. It whispered to me, seduced me with thoughts of glory and power; I couldn’t let it be destroyed. Besides, it imbued me with far greater strength than I had previously known. Surely I could bend it to my will and force it into the service of the Emperor. Barachiel asserted once again it needed to be destroyed, and he reached as if to wrest it from my grasp, but to no avail; I kept him at bay and convinced him I would not succumb to the object’s power. Reeling from a blow I had not realized I dealt, he backed down.
We continued into the tower and then into an adjoining room. The floor had collapsed; the result of an explosion perhaps. As I ventured forth into the chamber, an incorporeal form manifested, appearing to be clutching the Annulus that hung at my side. The form resembled a Techmarine, albeit clearly warped by chaos. It uttered words about reclaiming the artifact, and then proceeded forth, launching a psychic attack. Somehow I suppressed it, and then backed into the doorway to avoid the fire of a servitor-controlled auto turret in the corner of the room. I began reciting various Litanies to the Emperor while Barachiel lit up the the room with plasma fire. Together, I launching psychic attacks and Barachiel firing well-aimed plasma bursts, we dispatched of the figure before it could wrest control of the Annulus. Still more evidence of the artifact’s danger, and yet I was now firmly in its grasp. It was as though the artifact itself rebuffed any thoughts that arose in my mind to consider its destruction. Yet still I resisted the corruption that seeped from it.
The landing party arrived at the tower shortly after. I led a portion of the soldiers to investigate the rest of the tower, which concluded without incident. Barachiel queried the servitor in the adjoining chamber about the tower and its history. After learning as much as we could, we charged a Tech Priest who had accompanied the landing party with opening a door inside the chamber. Inside we discovered troves of Dark Angel treasures, as well as other materials, adaptations made by a Techmarine. A computer inside had a message;
listening to it revealed that a Techmarine Tellexus had come to this tower with the Annulus. His message warned that the artifact was dangerous and that it had been slowly corrupting his mind, but that he could not rid himself of it. We discovered that he had in fact severed his own arm in order to relinquish the object.
After hearing the message, Barachiel insisted the object be destroyed. I warned him that I could not do that, and nor could I even let the object go. It was as though the object clung to me, channeling my own strength so that I could not physically release it. So Barachiel sought to wrest control of it from me. After a brief altercation, he succeeded to take the Annulus, and in one swift motion he dropped it into the groove of the open doorway.
Free from its clutches, I was no longer blinded by a desired to possess the artifact. Barachiel instructed the Tech-Priest to close the door, thinking to use the piston mechanism in the service of the object’s destruction. However, we had underestimated the corrupting power of the object; the Tech-Priest, a look of horror and sorrow entering his eyes, instead instructed the auto turret to begin an assault on us.
We leapt to action. I moved to take down the Tech Priest and shield Barachiel from the turret fire, while he took aim at the artifact with a vengeance. The object, under fire, rose into the air, and began glowing a deep red. And then it was over, almost as fast as it began. Barachiel unloaded a final burst of vengeance bolts, and the physical artifact shattered, leaving behind a pulsing, red orb floating in the air. We instructed the then unpossessed Tech-Priest to close door on the orb; doing so created a massive explosion that destroyed part of the tower. Barachiel and I remain uncertain as to whether any of the others survived the blast. We will make a quick sweep for survivors, but any nearby Ork parties will surely be drawn to the explosion. At least the artifact of chaos was no more.
In his message, Tellexus indicated the artifact had originated from Nyx Infernus. Perhaps our quest will now take us there to root out the evil the planet currently shelters. But first we must report back to HQ the events that occurred on Perditus Infernus, and I must investigate the psychic abilities I seem to have manifest since my time on Malus Terra.