Miron IV is a desert planet. The August Seas hangs low in the atmosphere so that there are no atmospheric entry problems for landers. When Eli opens the lander door he gets a big lungful of dusty hot desert air.
The team have landed on the crest of a sand dune, and can see the ruins of buildings in the sand. There are lots of servitors around, and at least 7 more landers have made planetfall. There are already servitors amongst the ruins.
Eli can hear insects and see birds, so there must be a water source near by.
The ruins are made up of blocks that are slightly larger than average human stone. The engravings are slightly unpleasant and very xeno. Servitors are dismantling pillars. The walls are ornately carved.
Mer-Sik is muttering a lot to himself. He is not happy that Sunday is being so greedy. He tells the team that they must not let Sunday’s men “take us”. They do not know the real significance of this place, not even Daegaarden. The team head towards a much larger structure, partially hidden by walls. A massive statue, part buried. At least 20 foot high, a Buddha like imagine, made of metal. Not quite human. The dimensions are a bit wrong. Sinister. Very corroded looking, especially on one side. The metal is similar to the alien gun we took from Cranmar.
Servitors surround the base, mainly combat servitors. A scattering of crewmen are present. Sunday is here too, elaborately dressed in white and sweating profusely. Daegaarden is also there, not sweating. There is also a third figure that the team have not heard before, a techpriest – Miklaes. He is heavily augmented, with a metal face, chrome skull, no nose, and no lower jaw. The eyes appear human. He has a voice box. The three are animatedly arguing with each other, about something they thought was here.
Sunday gets a bit threatening “we all serve the same master”.
Ish scans Daegaarden – he is a skin walker.
Mer-Sik knows the history of the planet and has been here before. He tells the team this is the third race to have lived here. The Crusades of St Drusus would have destroyed anything above the sand. He thinks Sunday is a complete fool. The idols are a ruse – it is not here. Mer-Sik gets frustrated as he cannot find what he is looking for. When questioned about what he is looking for, he lets slip it was a magical device that navigated them here.
The team are ordered to start digging in the sand. Before too long they find more of the alien metal. It looks like a well with a lid. The lid is creepy. It gets removed, and the well drops away into the darkness. Ish drops a torch down. Mer-Sik tells us to put hands on the altar and it should respond to our touch.
Maz and Eli go down the well. The tunnel is very low, and it is very hot down there. The altar is where Mer-Sik said it would be. Maz touches it, and a sphere of brass appears. It has a ring on the outside. It appears hollow, thin, ornate. Size of a large marble. It makes a strange tinkling sound when Maz picks it up. It looks like a globe, with continents on it. Maz and Eli start moving away, when they hear a noise behind them. They do not wait to look at first but pick up the pace. When Eli looks back, there is a big worm-like beast crawling out of the floor behind them.
The worm looks leech-like, with tentacles and teeth. It is very smelly. It chases Eli and Maz down the tunnel. They run as fast as they can to the well shaft. Ravi, who is at the top of the well shaft, can smell the bad smell. At the same time, everyone topside hears a grinding noise, which is coming from the idol. Mer-Sik finally mentions something about a guardian.
Eli and Maz have to shoot at the worm in order to be able to get clear of it.
The idol swings at Ravi and Gailman. It is very tall. It is almost on top of the well.
Ish starts to get a psychic headache.
The worm has started to grow arms, and hits Maz. Eli has managed to climb out of the
hole, and Maz shoots it again as he starts to pull the rope up. Maz suffers damage to her left leg.
Ish shoots at the idol – there are green flames. Ravi shoots the idol as well.
Suddenly there is a sonic boom and a number of drop ships appear. They begin firing at the oncoming servitors. They are daubed with sigils and bones, and look very tatty. They belong to a Chaos warband. There is total havoc on the ground at their arrival.
The colossal idol hits the worm monster. The warband has dispersed into the ruins. Then the renegade astartes appear.
As Maz gives Mer-Sik the artefact, he gets shot. Maz has to support him to start running away. The astartes are heading towards the team. Ish provides some cover with smoke grenades. Luckily Gailman arrives with a lander and everyone is able to get on it.
Maz is bleeding on the lander, having been shot a number of times and being attacked by the worm thing. Mer-Sik is lapsing in and out of consciousness, so Ish takes the opportunity to look at the artefact. It is a small sphere, filigree like covering, and can see right through it. It is in a holder, isosceles triangle shaped with three recesses (one recess holds the sphere). Alien material, same as Cranmar’s gun. It has a strong psychic residue.
Ish then examines Mer-Sik’s wounds. He has been critically wounded. The flesh has semi melted the cloth to his skin. His hunched back is mechanical. The apparatus across his back has been damaged.
Gailman has bad news – the August Seas has left without the team.
Ish uses his psychic powers to heal Maz’s leg. Gailman puts the lander down about 50 miles away from the dig site.
The team wake Mer-Sik. Mer-Sik seems amused that Cortez has left them. He says Cortez is a dead man. He knew who the renegade was – Morgad the Despoiler. Knows him by reputation only. Mer-Sik tells the team they will not need to worry about having warp drive, and he can get them through the warp with the right ship (one that has a geller field). He appears to have taken a shine to Ish, and says his powers are potent.
The team sedate Mer-Sik again and try to decide what to do. They find two caves – one to put Mer-Sik in, and one for the team to rest in. They send out a distress signal. There is disagreement about whether or not to go and look at the Chaos warband.
Ish and Eli go back to the cave to look in on Mer-Sik. Mer-Sik has not taken kindly to being abandoned, and shoots Ish in the arm.
Later that night, Ish is burned with demon fire whilst trying to use the warp near the artefact. His features are obliterated by burns. He has no nose, ears or lips. His skin is blackened. He has no hair. He is wrapped in pseudo bandages to protect the skin. He looks absolutely hideous.
However, a lander is spotted on the auspex – the team are saved.
Ravi and Eli go back to pick up Mer-Sik – they shoot him in the head and take the artefact. Gailman is not impressed he has been shot as he owes him and Telani money.