The Emperor Protects!

"The Burning Skies"

Solomon Haarlock and Silas Marr

<<<[Awaiting Censure]>>>

When last we saw our heroes…

They were on a Steam-Punk anti-grav airship. Fighting Sky-pirates. In the midst of a mystery similar to ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. Oh. Yes.

The very last of the Airship Wreckers collapsed to the decking, a look of abject horror upon his features, his comrades – still, silent, and split open all around him – some still screaming as they plummeted to the Balemire sea’s toxic embrace thousands of feet below.

Victory was won.

As the remaining crew of the Cygnan Martyr began to interrogate the surviving wrecker, and Confessor Vittorious saw to the wounded, Lex went below decks on the piratical vessel.

He found a charnel house.

Human remains hung from every beam and stanchion, and were strewn on almost every surface. The walls were all but indistinguishable, as they too were plastered with carcasses in varying stages of dismemberment. The stench was overpowering – spoiled meat, offal, sour blood, and other indescribables blended to form a wall of horrific scent.

Lex paused on the fo’castle stairs – but resolutely carried on. The Moritat Reaper, Vindex, seemed utterly unfazed by the slaughterhouse below decks – a sight that would unman all but the strongest, or most damaged minds; perhaps he is both.

Picking through the meat below – for that is all that it had been rendered into – the duo found meagre supplies of fetid water, various abattoir instruments, a small magazine for the vessel’s armaments… and a brand-spanking new plasma reactor connected to the vessel’s ancient thrusters. No wonder it had gained on the Cygnan Martyr with such shocking speed in the chase before the engagement. Perhaps the survivor could shed some light on this particular conundrum. The plot thickens.

To summarise:

All but three of the Martyr’s crew have been saved by Vittorious’ ministrations (the others fell over-board…) – though some may yet never walk / have two-arms / breathe easily again. Captain Elias Shadrak and Nahun Grist, the first mate, owe you great thanks for your help in saving their ship.

Whent, the junior scribe accompanying Lanus Cisten, has expired – you believe that poison is the cause. Lanus is suitably distraught, and is meekly helping Vittorious with the wounded men of the Martyr.

‘Abbot’ Tamas of Shale, and his dodgy Iocanthian cohorts, have holed up in their cabin below decks.

Octavia Nile has also presumably gone to her cabin. Her guards helped in the attack, and her adept – whilst appearing to view the attack in place of her mistress – has also vanished from the observation deck. The decapitated body of a wrecker splayed beside the chair in which she was sitting.

Vymer and Quill, the bounty hunters, have both suffered flesh wounds in the attack – but are very grateful to Vittorius for the medical attention they have received.

The Martyr, though damaged, should be able to limp to The Burning Isle in under five hours…

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Grimnar

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