You are Rhea Silvia.Explaining all the weird twists and turns your life as taken over the past year is a pretty tall order at this point.However, your current situation is one of the most dangerous you have been in in recent memory.Feeling perhaps a bit too confident in your abilities and position, you agree to help lead a landing party made up of crew members of a shady Rogue Trader’s crew, your even shadier Drukhari and Corsair masters, and a few other shifty hanger-ons. Unfortunately the mission isn’t exactly a resounding success, and after a few misadventures you, your loyal companion Namara, and a rookie crew woman named Audrey have somehow teleported yourselves into an ancient ruin over a thousand kilometers from your last known position.According to the vox channel you are eavesdropping on, a handful of enemy soldiers have also been teleported in a scattered fashion into the ruin, and are currently trying to consolidate their forces.Not all the enemy soldiers have access to vox beads, but there are at least two groups of six, and one group of three with at least one vox bead, and perhaps a few stragglers without them.It sounds like most of them are regular Thorakara infantry, basic fodder in the service of the Iron Warriors, easily identifiable by their grey uniforms, bucket helmets or short-billed caps, wire-framed autocarbines, and impractical jackboots, but there is also at least one Colonel and a mercenary archaeologist in the group, and they seem to be working on ways to bring in more reinforcements.Although you have yet to encounter any, according to your eavesdropping, there are also hostile natives in the area, some human, some strange mutants with animal and/or plant like traits.No word on your other three companions, perhaps they are still back at the other ruin, over a thousand kilometers away, or maybe they are here and have thus far evaded detection.Your first priority is:>Finding a good hiding place, you may be here for a while, so you should probably make some plans with the others.>Finding an enemy patrol to ambush, a few pistols and improvised weapons isn’t going to cut it for long if more enemies show up.>Try to make peace with the Thorakara, they seem to be a fairly rationale sort, and you have worked with (and work with) worse.Next you will:>Try to get in touch with your allies elsewhere on the planet.>Lie low and hope your enemies kill each other.>Explore the ruins and try to locate treasure, old traps, ancient weapons, and anything else that may be of use.Previous threads here:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4878085/http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4926394/http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4979125/http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/5015461/https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5074164/https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5125693/
Are you still torturing these poor women QM, haven't tuned in for a couple threads but every time I just feel worse and worse for them. Everything coming up Millhouse then bang, down again, along with my penis.Good on you tho, started with the first. I'll catch up.
>>5185262>>5185324It's not that bad.Mentally, Rhea's doing much better than in threads 1-2/3.Physically, we're powerful, she's finally integrated that holsters are useful, and the number of posts in-between head trauma scene transitions has been steadily rising. She's mostly stopped crying and drinking herself to sleep, and even has a stable relationship. For 40k she's doing great. Yes, she stills winds up naked often, but at least there's less itchy bikini bottoms.Last thread didn't have any concussions, and beyond a small fuck up from trying to bluff people into believing she's her evil clone (which has proven to always be a bad idea, let's not do that again please) her and Namara have been doing a lot of killing and a lot less getting bailed out by more competent allies.Overall, considering it's been a single year, she's doing quite well, I think.>Finding an enemy patrol to ambush, a few pistols and improvised weapons isn’t going to cut it for long if more enemies show up.Let's make sure they can't tell their superiors we're here. With any luck, they'll pin it on the natives. Also, don't swipe any more combeads, otherwise they'll switch channel and we'll be fucked.>Lie low and hope your enemies kill each other.It should be clear now why doing tomb raiding inside Slaneeshi ruins is a terrible idea. I say we keep monitoring channels and move whenever they find something. I trust Trys'ta and co are monitoring their comms, so they'll be here if the Thorakara find anything fancy.
>>5185262>>Finding a good hiding place, you may be here for a while, so you should probably make some plans with the others.>Try to get in touch with your allies elsewhere on the planet.
>>5185262>>Finding a good hiding place, you may be here for a while, so you should probably make some plans with the others.>>Try to get in touch with your allies elsewhere on the planet.>>Lie low and hope your enemies kill each other.I'm not opposed to making a deal with the Thorakara if one presets itself.
>>5185262>>Finding a good hiding place, you may be here for a while, so you should probably make some plans with the others.>>Try to get in touch with your allies elsewhere on the planet.>>5185324We haven't done anything horrible for a while... yet
>Finding a good hiding place, you may be here for a while, so you should probably make some plans with the others.>Try to get in touch with your allies elsewhere on the planet.You decide your best option is to lie low for now.It doesn’t take you too long to find a small ruined building that looks like it will provide decent shelter. Like the ruins you explored before your teleportation, the ruins here are made of dark stone, and decorated with even darker gems and metallic plating. They are also quite overgrown. The building you selected is an empty one room structure with a small entrance on either end partially buried in tree roots. You can’t help but be reminded of a similar occasion when you took shelter in a small ruin, but thankfully this one doesn’t seem to have any sarcophagi containing dead that may reanimate, or statues with giant genitals that may come to life with Chaos magic. Maybe it was once worker housing or storage, who knows.You briefly take stock of your companions.Namara looks regal and determined. As part of a failed attempt to trick an enemy noble into thinking she was her evil clone, Namara stripped down to her black lace undergarments and boots, but still retains much of her gold jewelry, gold and blue body paint, and henna. She has a large revolver (Audrey’s) and a telescoping shock baton. Realistically, Audrey is probably a better shot with the revolver, but you trust Namara to watch your back much more than Audrey. Taken together, it is definitely a good look for her, you make a mental note to tell her later, but unfortunately now is not the time.Audrey just looks very nervous. A slight woman with pale skin, a sullen face, and long red hair, you pressured her into joining your small band of survivors after encountering her hiding following a major fire fight. After she lost all her clothes during your failed attempt to impersonate your own evil clone, you gave her an undershirt and boxer briefs from a luggage case you looted, but the clothes is clearly to big for her, clearly the owner of the luggage was a large male. From what little you know of her, she is from the Lucky Wench’s large caste of junior officers, most of whom are descendants of the Rogue Trader himself (and his large harem). This was her first mission, prior to this she mostly did accounting and supply management, not unlike yourself prior to your own adventures (but unlike you received a broad education, basic combat training, and had a better standard of living). For now you plan on assuming she is borderline useless, not unlike yourself during your earlier adventures, which is why she only carries a machete until you can find more guns.
>>5186188You are not looking great yourself. Having ditched your own attire during your failed impersonation of your evil clone (after spending so much time picking it too), you are down to just your Aelderi laspistol, a tire iron, looted briefs, and a long sleeved shirt that you wear with only one button closed and the sleeves rolled up, since the humidity here is even worse than where you originally landed. You also of course have the vox bead you stole, which seems to have ten default settings, several of which are in use by the enemy. The scratches and bruises you have taken during the past few fights are already healing themselves thanks to your enhanced body, but you still have a lot of grit clinging to you from when the Kijeck noble psychically sand blasted you. You and Namara discuss strategy for a while in hushed tones, while Audrey stares blankly at nothing (it belatedly occurs to you that the ruin is poorly lit for someone without enhanced eyesight like yourself and Namara).You decide your top goal should be to make contact with your allies.There were about a dozen initial landings done at the same time as yours, but none of them are nearby (based on the rough estimate you have on your current location based on eavesdropping on the Thorakara). Now that von Krasman knows enemies are present on the planet in large numbers, he is probably dropping additional waves of junior officers, armsmen, and perhaps even levees from the enlisted crew. However, he doesn’t have many shuttles, and the enemy possibly have as many as several regiments worth of soldiers on the planet (albeit generally low quality ones). With the shuttles tied up, your best bet is to try and reach your Aelderi allies and masters and hope they send some skimmer vehicles. At the speeds such vehicles are capable of, it would only take an hour or three from even the most distance landing sites, and even one or two Aelderi could make quick work of the Thorakara currently present in the ruins.Unfortunately, your vox-bead doesn’t nearly have the kind of range to reach a landing spot hundreds of kilometers away. And although Trys’ta has occasionally hinted she has some way of eavesdropping on you no matter where she is, you doubt she uses it very often given how often you have been in mortal peril without her taken any action despite being nearby.As far as you can tell, your only real option is to ambush the group of Thorakara that has the command model vox caster. It is abundantly clear from your eavesdropping that it has global range, as you have heard them talking about communiques received from the far side of the planet via said device.
>>5186190Luckily, your eavesdropping reveals the vox caster works best when used outdoors from a high point. A team of three is apparently operating the device from the top of a large ziggurat while the others explore the ruins. It shouldn’t be too hard to sneak up, capture the device and maybe capture an operator as well, before finding somewhere else to hid. And as an added bonus, it will disrupt the enemy’s ability to coordinate with the reinforcements they are trying to bring in.Namara agrees with this plan, and Audrey voices no opinion either way, so you head out in search of the largest ziggurat you can find. This is harder than it sounds. The ruins seem to stretch on forever, and the trees and buildings block lines of sight.Periodically you hear gunfire, and reports on your vox-bead that the Thorakara have taken a few loses to skirmishes with wildlife and tribals.After about an hour or so, you spot some figures on top of a large ziggurat, and use the trees growing on the south side to reach the summit undetected.Perhaps thinking they are protected by their high elevation, the three Thorakara aren’t particularly aware of their surroundings, with two fiddling around with the vox caster while a third heads in your direction while preparing to relieve himself. Seizing the initiative, you rush forward and catch him in the groin with a wicked swing of your tire iron before more gently hitting him on the head (you aren’t sure how strongly you can hit someone in the head without killing them). As he falls, you level your pistol at the other two and demand they surrender as you advance. Namara also approaches while triggering her shock baton menacingly.Suddenly you stop in your tracks.You recognize the two by the vox caster.It is your former servants Vance and Delores from your brief stint as a senior cultist.Then you hear a gasp from behind you.You turn and see the Thorakara you initially disabled has somehow righted himself and is aiming a pistol at Audrey.Then you hear a soft curse to your right.You turn again and see a pair of women (perhaps twins) wearing loincloths of spotted fur and carrying low end civilian hunting rifles are approaching from the west, having apparently scaled the ziggurat from that direction undetected.They are pointing their guns at Namara.>Fire on the two women targeting Namara.>Fire at the man aiming at Audrey.>Command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help you.
>>5186192I'm frankly wondering whether those rifles can even pierce Namara's skin.Let's maybe avoid a shootout still. >Command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help you."Fuck it, truce ! Tell your guy to point that gun elsewhere !"With any luck, either their subservience to authority or their trust that we aren't immediately going to flay them alive should sway them.Namara can probably work something, and the tribals may be convinced to retreat. Frankly, if anyone starts shooting and attract attention, we all loose. Let's hope no one here has an itchy trigger finger.Also, I predict Audrey will dissolve into a very familiar type of mental breakdown very soon. I don't suppose we have any booze around ?
>>5186192>>Command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help you.
>>5186192>>Fire at the man aiming at Audrey.
>>5186192>>Command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help you.It should at least confuse them enough that we can get some breathing room.
>Command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help you.You command Vance and Delores to grab their guns and help out. It seems to work, and as they grab their weapons, you spin around and draw your Aelderi laspistol, aiming it somewhat southwest so that you can pivot towards the tribal twins or the third Thorakara on short notice.A slender weapon resembling the offspring of a bone wand and an old fashion flintlock pistol, the Aelderi version of the laspistol lacks the firepower of a shuriken pistol, or the versatility of a splinter pistol with its wide range of toxins, but is a popular back-up weapon for Corsairs because they are small, easy to craft, and can be recharged from a wide range of power sources. Some of them have a wide range of power settings and rates of fire, but yours fires shots on par with a typical Imperial laspistol, albeit with far more shots between reloads.The twins open fire on Namara almost simultaneously, but somehow both miss. No doubt both rifles were in dire need of some recalibration.As they struggle with the bolt actions trying to get ready for the next shot, Namara shoots one with her revolver, knocking the tribal over the edge, but also causing you to miss your own shot. The other tribal dives over the edge before you can line up another shot.Everyone pivots over to the other Thorakara holding Audrey at gunpoint.It seems he is in too much pain to speak, but the fact he hasn’t fired on Audrey yet make his intentions somewhat clear, he is probably trying to indicate that no one can fire on him without Audrey being shot.Or maybe he is stalling in hopes Vance and Delores side with him.You never find out.A sudden rustle from the trees covering the south side of the temple cause him to aim his pistol in that direction.A large pig-like mutant comes bursting out of the trees and splits the Thorakara nearly in half with a huge axe, drenching Audrey in blood.Audrey ducks aside as pig man rushes past her towards you and the others.You, Namara, Vance, and Delores open fire on the creature, slowing it down, but only after it absorbs a considerable around of firepower does it finally die. You and Namara reorient on Vance and Delores, not sure how far you can trust them.They were borderline corrupted by Slaanesh back when you knew them, and who knows what they have been up to since then. At minimal, they were probably given some sort of basic indoctrination when they joined/were conscripted into the Thorakara. No sign of obvious mutations, but most Thorakara don’t.Part 1:>Let them keep their weapons for now.>Disarm them.>Disarm and constrain them.Part 2:>Try to get them to send a message to summon friendly reinforcements right away.>Get them to bring the vox-caster somewhere safe, chat with/interrogate them on what they have been up to in order to determine their loyalties/extent of corruption.>Knock them out, try to figure out how to use the vox-caster yourself.
>>5190562>>Disarm them.We might give them back later but Namara could probably use something better than a pistol (if indeed it is better) and Audrey can have her gun back in that case. We might give them back later if Vance and Lolita are cool. >>Get them to bring the vox-caster somewhere safe, chat with/interrogate them on what they have been up to in order to determine their loyalties/extent of corruption.Chatting with them might be the most important thing. We have to gauge their corruption and it is maybe our only opportunity to find out what the fuck is going on since we fled Archipelagia. Also if we're going for maximum damage route on Audrey's fragile little mind, I can only imagine how she'll feel about this. Maybe we should give Audrey a literal pat on the back and tell her that she's doing as good of a job coping with all of this as anyone could reasonably expect her to.>"Vance, Lola, this is Audrey. She really shouldn't be here. I mean, none of us should be here but Audrey *really* shouldn't be here. Let's try and get her home in one piece so she can find new ways of disappointing her father that don't involve dropping into an active combat zone."(Assuming she's one of the Rogue Trader's numerous offspring)
>>5190584Sounds good. I mean, we've had worse working relationships in the past.Audrey really needs a breather. We've been there and it'd be nice to not lose her completely for a few hours.
>Disarm them.>Get them to bring the vox-caster somewhere safe, chat with/interrogate them on what they have been up to in order to determine their loyalties/extent of corruption.You holster your pistol, lower your tire iron, put on a friendly smile and lowly approach Vance and Delores, hoping to deescalate the situation.Vance and Delores hold onto their weapons and seem unsure what to do. Fair enough, they know no more about what you have been up to for the past couple months than you know what they have been up to. They even may think you are Evil Rhea, if they even know Evil Rhea exists.Of the two, Vance seems a little more on edge.“Hey everyone, we are all friends here, you can lower your weapons now” – You say, closing in on Vance.Delores holsters her pistol, but Vance only partially lowers his autocarbine.He is caught off guard though when you take several steps quickly forward, knee him in the groin, pull his gun from his hands, and cross check him to the ground.“Sorry” – You say, shrugging semi-apologetically as you cover the two while Namara slips in to take Delore’s pistol.You get Audrey to grab the vox-caster while you and Namara order Vance and Delores at gunpoint to head into a nearby ruin. Hopefully that will keep your many enemies guessing where you are.You take shelter in a one room structure on top of stone platform. It has several doors and no occupants, so it is probably as good as anywhere.You really aren’t sure where to begin.Vance and Delores look terrified and bewildered.Audrey just looks miserable. She managed to wipe most of the blood off her skin, but her looted undershirt is now a vivid red.Well here goes nothing...“So, uhm, Namara and myself are now pirates, the non-Chaos kind, because we are uh, clones of the original Rhea and Namara, who are still with Chaos and maybe even here on the planet, but uhm, well, I see you are still with Chaos, just a different kind now, which is cool, fine, no problem, we aren’t the judgmental type of pirates, but we do have some Drukhari on our crew, so unless you want to be anatomically rearranged in the most painful way imaginable, you should probably just do what we tell you to. Anyways, that is what we have been up to, how about you?” - You ramble out.It is moments like these that you wish you still had your “pirate attire” instead of just looking like you stole a few select items of a boyfriend’s clothes during/after sex for the fun of it.But the fact you are gesturing with the autocarbine seems to be enough to intimidate them.Vance and Delores blurt and stutter out their story once they realize you are expecting them to talk.
>>5195919It seems that once you and Namara deserted, they got reassigned to the ambassador to some minor territory run by a cult affiliated with the Daughters of Peace. Then there was a regime change and the territory got taken over by the Iron Horde. Vance and Delores went to ground for a bit but then joined one of the Iron Horde’s vassal organizations for food and protection, which ultimately backfired when most of their group was absorbed into the Thorakara. After only a few weeks of basic training, their regiment got loaded up into a ship and brought to this world.You don’t see any obvious signs of corruption. Vance and Delores say the Thorakara don’t care much whether the lowest ranked members of the regiment worship the Dark Gods, though the more useful soldiers are given basic indoctrination, and those selected during certain rituals gradually move up the ranks to units where much more time is spent being trained by “priests” of one of the four Dark Gods.They also mention that their superiors have captured three prisoners, likely Jones, Hurk, and Paula based on the description.>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence in this temple complex.>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence on this world.>Launch rescue mission for your other party members (also pick who to bring).>Get Delores and Vance to call for Aelderi/Rogue Trader reinforcements via the vox-caster.
>>5195922>>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence in this temple complex.
>>5195922>>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence in this temple complex.Looks like we're going in. We still need to let Audrey know she's going to be okay.
>>5195922>>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence on this world.
>Ask them for more information on the Thorakara presence in this temple complex.You decide to ask for more information on the Thorakara presence in the temple complex.Delores and Vance confirm, that has you suspected, there are probably around twenty or so Thorakara in the temple who somehow got teleported here from the other temple complex.The leader is a colonel, and some of the NCOs are also experienced members of the Thorakara, but most are new recruits from Archipelagia, of whom, many were recruited from the Iron Revolution, the main recruitment cult of the Iron Horde, but some are conscripts, or recruited from other allied cults.The colonel goes by the name Ella Meyer and Vance and Delores have some past history with her. She was a senior member of House Meyer, the Slaaneshi-affiliated House that Vance and Delores took shelter with when the Daughter allied government they were working for got overthrown. Ella was instrumental in formalizing House Meyer’s alliance with the Iron Horde by allowing large numbers of their servants and vassals (like Vance and Delores) to be conscripted into the Thorakara. She has since then become a senior member of the Thorakara’s Intelligence Branch.Vance and Delores aren’t sure whether Ella has any particular combat abilities, but note she is always accompanied by a heavily armed and armored bodyguard.The only other noteworthy member of the opposition seems to be their archaeologist Eileen. Much like your own group’s archaeologist Deborah Jones, she hails from Ravenholm, where the local elite seem to have an insatiable appetite for old, potentially dangerous artifacts, and are willing to pay quite handsomely for them. Even Trys’ta’s Kabal sometimes does business in the so-called “Cold Trade”.Although Eileen may seem like just a harmless academic, Vance and Delores feel she knows far more than she should, and always carries one or more strange trinkets that could be potentially dangerous (no doubt they were thinking of a certain ring as they said this).Paula, Hurk, and Jones are being held in a central temple where Eileen has focused her efforts. Apparently she thinks she can open a stable portal to ruins near New Nysmouth or one of the other ruins being investigated by the Thorakara, which would obviously be bad news for your group as it would allow the enemy to flood the site with reinforcements.>Launch rescue mission for your other party members (also pick who to bring).>Get Delores and Vance to call for Aelderi/Rogue Trader reinforcements via the vox-caster.
>>5199772>>Get Delores and Vance to call for Aelderi/Rogue Trader reinforcements via the vox-caster.
FYI, I made another IG themed quest on Damnatum Lutum to replace the one that diedI will run this quest and the other quest in parallel>>5200115
>>5199772>>Get Delores and Vance to call for Aelderi/Rogue Trader reinforcements via the vox-casterMight want to report what we know. Can we use the vox without lighting ourselves up?
>Get Delores and Vance to call for Aelderi/Rogue Trader reinforcements via the vox-caster. You decide to get Vance and Delores to call for reinforcements.Audrey proves useful for once since she knows some of the frequencies used by the Rogue Trader landing parties.After quite a bit of trial and error, trying to persuade people you are legit, and being put on hold for long periods of time, you eventually get in touch with Trys’ta, who promises to reroute a few Aelderi to your position. No doubt even a few Aelderi can make quick work against the Thorakara currently in the area, but you hope they show up before more Thorakara reinforcements show up, or the strange jungle raiders reappear, or someone inevitably rouses some ancient evil poking around where they shouldn’t.Unfortunately you can convince Trys’ta to send a larger force, and instead decide to sit tight and wait for the few reinforcements Trys’ta has deigned to send you.You pass the time eavesdropping on enemy vox traffic (inconclusively) and trying to cheer Audrey up (unsuccessfully).Eventually reinforcements do so up, in the form of a single Venom with four occupants.Naph’thala is there with her combat skyboard, though at some point she acquired a many-pocketed ganger vest for some reason.Pelvic Thrust is also present, as is the strange rotund ursid xenos known as Snorlax.Your heart sinks a bit when you see the fourth figure is Trys’ta’s younger sister, half-sister, fellow vatborn with similar genetic material, whatever, who goes by the name of Dren. An ace pilot and heavy weapons specialist, Dren moves frequently between the Kabal and the Corsairs, even more so than her sister. Too contrarian to follow anyone’s orders for long, whimsically cruel, and fond of making others uncomfortable for the fun of it, Dren is definitely the kind of wild card you don’t need in a situation like this.>Try to convince Dren to rescue Paula and the others (pick how you convince Dren and who you want to bring on the rescue team)>Get your current group to safety before enemy reinforcements arrive>Get some people to safety (pick who), organize rest for rescue mission
>>5204219>>Get your current group to safety before enemy reinforcements arrive
>>5204219>>Try to convince Dren to rescue Paula and the others (pick how you convince Dren and who you want to bring on the rescue team)Assuming Dren knows Paula even casually she'll know how irksome it will be for her to be rescued by a foul xenos and how much fun its going to be to tease her about it later. Venom is like 5+1 and Paula has two friends so let's do Dren in the cockpit, Rhea on the Splinter Cannon and Naph as a wingman on the skyboard.
>Try to convince Dren to rescue Paula and the others (pick how you convince Dren and who you want to bring on the rescue team)You head over to greet Dren and others, but Dren promptly ignores you and heads over to look at Vance and Delores instead.“Oh, you captured a breeding pair! I always wanted mon-keigh puppies, but none of them ever lived long enough.” - Coos Dren.Unsurprisingly, Vance and Delores seem both confused and afraid. Time to defuse the situation.Hopefully... “Uhm, these are Vance and Delores, they are....old friends of mine...” - You start saying.“Yeah I got the basics, I am psychic remember.” - Replies Dren.True enough. Despite being a vatborn, Dren left the Kabal at a young age and hasn’t completely repressed her psychic abilities like most Drukhari, though as far as you know, she mostly limits herself to plundering the thoughts and memories of her victims.“Hmm, let’s see, moderate exposure to the Taint, but nothing permanent, aside from a wide range of psychological issues and drug dependencies. They are fine, we can bring them back to the ship, Trys’ta’s still got some of your old slave clothes in a drawer somewhere I think.” - Continues Dren.You start to interrupt her, but you realize you never really gave any thought of what to do to Vance and Delores long term.Too late anyways, Dren moves on to Audrey.“The one in the bloodred shirt is just sad and boring, we should give her back to the Lucky Wench if we get the chance, no point in alienating allies over nothing.” - Adds Dren.Audrey is too lost in her thoughts to even notice Dren is talking about her.It looks like Dren is expecting everyone to get in the Venom, so you quickly pipe up and point out you have three more companions who are captured.“As much as I would love to hang around, this place is emitting some serious negative energy. Not quite a Taint, but something similar.” - Says Dren.You scramble to think of a reason for Dren to help you out. You don’t think she particularly cares about the mission, but maybe if you offered her something a bit different...“I think you will like one of them. Ex-Imperial, stick-up-her-ass, real prude. If you help rescue her, it will make needling her twice as fun.” - You suggest.Dren seems to think about it, then her mouth transforms into an alarmingly wide lascivious grin.“Deal!” - Dren says, and you nod, though you aren’t entirely sure what you just agreed to.“Me, you, and Naph should take the Venom while the others seek shelter.” - You suggest, but Dren is already heading to the Venom, and you hasten to follow her.You hop in the back and hold on for dear life as the Venom rapidly accelerates, then just as quickly comes to a halt, just over top of what you assume is the right temple.You jump out the back, and Dren takes back off, apparently searching for sentries to pick off with the Venom’s underslung weaponry.
>>5209470A few seconds later, Naph arrives on her compact skyboard. She slings her skyboard onto her back, readies her glaive, and hits several buttons on her wrist mounted glop gun.Then she takes a brightly colored amphibian from one of her vest pockets, and licks it with an alarmingly long tongue before putting her mask back on.Sigh.Still better than Dren though.You head into a tunnel leading deep into the temple.You aren’t quite sure how Naph knows where she is going, perhaps she is picking up the locations of vox beads somehow, or can see through walls, or can pick up heat signatures on recent footprints. Your knowledge of Drukhari technology is still very rudimentary.Or maybe she is just very high and wandering aimlessly.Twice Naph hits sentries with her glop gun before you are even aware they are there.Then naturally you have to waste a bit of time so she can watch them suffocate and poke them in sensitive body parts with a small, many hooked knife glistening with poison.It is times like this you question your choice of allies, although some of them seem harmless enough, even humorous at times, Paula is right, they are sadistic psychic vampires that feed off suffering, and you are at best a favored pet.Lost in thought, you barely notice when you arrive in a huge chamber, surrounded by tiered benches, and lit by window slits high above.Paula, Hurk, and Jones are chained to pillars in the centre of the room, while about a dozen or so nervous looking Thorakara stand guard or patrol the stands.A handful of important looking individuals are examining a fresco on the far side of the chamber.>Do a quick rescue, probably involving flying in and out on the skyboard with Naph.>Call in Dren to blast a hole in the ceiling and join the fight.>Just kill everything that moves, there isn’t THAT many of them, Naph can probably take most of the group on her own.
>>5209471>>Call in Dren to blast a hole in the ceiling and join the fight.And>>Just kill everything that moves, there isn’t THAT many of them, Naph can probably take most of the group on her own.Might as well just go for it, right?
>>5209471>>Just kill everything that moves, there isn’t THAT many of them, Naph can probably take most of the group on her own.
>Call in Dren to blast a hole in the ceiling and join the fight.>Just kill everything that moves, there isn’t THAT many of them, Naph can probably take most of the group on her own.You tell Naph that she should call in Dren for support, but she just shrugs and makes some vague reference to Dren hunting for pigeons.You don’t bother hasn’t what a pigeon is, you were surprised you even got a semi-coherent response from Naph.You decide to just rush in and shoot anything that moves instead.You instantly wish you had asked Dren for a better weapon, but trying to exercise some measure of control over Dren had taken all your focus. Your Aelderi laspistol is accurate for a pistol and has plenty of ammo, but is semi-automatic, and your accuracy isn’t that great either at long ranges with a pistol. Luckily no one is paying much attention to you as Naph zips around the room painfully killing or disabling the sentries one at a time in painful and/or humiliating manners, causing the rest to flee for cover.It takes you three shots to hit the nearest sentry, and after missing the next closest five times in a row, Naph evidently decides to take pity on you and unexpectedly picks you up and drops you off near the pillars the prisoners are chained to.You immediately open fire on the nearest Thorakara soldier, only for all three shots to dissipate harmlessly as they hit a nearly translucent energy bubble.Refractor field of some sort probably.Before you have time to adjust strategies, someone incredibly strong, fast, and quiet grabs you from behind and wrenches the pistol out of your hand.The soldier with the refractor field saunters forward and points her rapier tip in your face.“Real Rhea has a message for you. Go to Oasis City. Assuming we don’t just bring you there for her.” - Says the woman, who you realize must be the Ella Meyer who Vance and Delores mentioned.For a Slaaneshi-affiliated noblewoman, her appearance is surprisingly mundane. Just the sword and the refractor field really set her apart from other front-line Intelligence officers you have encountered in the past. Probably some of the symbols and markings on her jacket mean something to, but Thorakara iconography isn’t your strong suit.She seems remarkably confident given Naph is tearing through her forces like wet tissue, but then portals begin opening up throughout the chamber, and Thorakara and House Kijeck troops start pouring through.>Stall for time, wait for Naph to rescue you.>Try provoking Ella to release you.>Try to struggle free.
>>5211039>>Try provoking Ella to release you.
>>5211039>>Try provoking Ella to release youShe obviously needs us alive so let's try to rile her up
>Try provoking Ella to release you.“What’s the matter, too afraid to fight me?” - You say, hoping to maybe provoke Ella into getting her henchman to let you go.“Not particularly, no.” - Replies Ella calmly.Then a second later, Naph zips in and knocks the rapier from her hand, while almost simultaneously cutting both arms off the man holding you.Suddenly free, if now covered in blood, you rush forward, grab your tire iron off the ground, and take several wild swings at Ella. However, she is more adept at combat than she looks, and dodges them all.Suddenly something kicks you hard from behind, sending you sprawling.You turn around, and realize that the now armless bodyguard is attempting to fight you with just his feet. You recognize from his thick armor and hazard stripe markings that he is one of the elite Thorakara Grenadiers, seen as worthy of fighting alongside the Iron Warriors themselves.Naph suddenly appears again and smashes the armless Grenadier into Ella, then traps them both with her glop gun.A particular hapless Thorakara conscript is the last enemy on platform, but as she turns to flee, Naph grabs her in a vicious wedgie and launches her out of one of the window slits high above.This ends up being a signal of sorts, as moments later, a nearby section of wall implodes onto itself, and Dren’s Venom enters the arena.The recently arrived Thorakara and House Kijeck troops scatter as Dren does a quick loop of the arena, gunning down some enemies, running over others, and knocking aside many more with the force of the Venom’s anti-grav generators.You use the distraction to grab your laspistol and blast the chains holding the prisoners.Dren pulls up just as you free Paula (the last one, but only because she was the furthest away)“Everyone come aboard, but if you do so you will owe me a favor.” - Calls out Dren.Paula naturally protests, at which point Dren raises the number of favors for Paula to get in the Venom to three, and then eight, and then twenty-three.Jones and Hurk get in quickly as the argument unfolds, but you aren’t so keen on owing Dren favors either.But the Thorakara and House Kijeck troops have started to recover their senses and are now laying down covering fire from all directions. The pillars and the Venom shield you from most of it, and many others are probably not shooting just because no one ordered them to, but with the amount of firepower aimed in your general direction, something is bound to hit sooner or later.>Get in the Venom.>Convince Paula to get in the Venom, then get in yourself.>Try to get Naph to give you a lift out instead.>Try to flee on foot.
>>5212257>>Convince Paula to get in the Venom, then get in yourself.
>>5212257>>Convince Paula to get in the Venom, then get in yourself
>>5212257>>Convince Paula to get in the Venom, then get in yourself.Maybe call her an idiot once she gets in
>Convince Paula to get in the Venom, then get in yourself.“Into the Venom you go, anything is better than sticking around here to see what these heretics have in mind for us!” - You shout, trying to push Paula up into the Venom as you say this.Maybe not entirely true, you have seen what Drukhari can do when they are feeling creative, but with the Corsairs around they are usually better behaved.Paula resists at first, but then gets clipped in the shoulder by a stray round, and you manage to push her in while she is distracted.The Venom accelerates out of the arena and is airborne in seconds...-- Two Days Later --You wake up in the bizarrely named “Fortress of Awesomeness”. Apparently being near immortal doesn’t lead to an increase in maturity, particularly when you are lead by the likes of Trys’ta and Lou’sissara.Once the palace of a regional governor, located on a high ridge overlooking the rest of Turtleshell Island, it is now home to many of the several dozen or so Aelderi that are a part of the Malrog Expedition.Namara has already left to get breakfast, so you slip on a light dress and head down to the main dining hall, where things are always rambunctious, and assemble a meal from the wide range of exotic food the Corsairs always seem to have ready.You make yourself a sandwich from some sort of scone, fried eggs, and a cheese like substance, with a side dish of fruit and some Wonka chocolate bars.Not seeing anyone else you particularly enjoy being around, you sit down next to a low ranking Corsair named Bunni and chat for a while on the nature of “favors” as you eat.Among the anarchistic Corsairs, favors have many different meanings. Within this particular group they are used for everything from securing support for raids, to forcing a shipmate to do something humiliating after losing a couple rounds during a dice game.There are countless written and unwritten rules around favors, based on the social status of the respective parties, the circumstances under which they were made, etc., but at minimum, favors can only last one week, they can’t be used to force someone to deliberately harm themselves, and they can’t be used to force someone to give out more favors.The fact that you owe Dren a favor still worries you a bit.Dren let Hurk and Jones pay out their favors on trivial requests, and she didn’t even ask for any favors from Audrey, Vance, or Delores when you circled back to pick them up and flee the ruin complex.Paula on the other hand...As if summoned by your thoughts, Paula arrives in the room and heads in your direction. In exchange for just one favor, Paula is Dren’s maid/jester/errant girl for the week. For today, Dren has her wearing a tie dye shirt, thong, one stripped sock, an oven mitt, a dog collar, and a valet’s cap. Her hair has been dyed back to its natural black, but is unkempt and matted, and she she looks like she hasn’t slept in ages.
>>5213461But she still has the energy to glare at you. Apparently she blames you for her ongoing humiliation and doesn’t give you an ounce of credit for convincing Dren to rescue her in the first place. “Dren wants to see you.” - She says, then departs without another word.>Go see Dren.>Go see Trys’ta and see if she can get Dren to drop the favor.>Go find Namara, she is probably sunbathing on the roof somewhere, Dren can come get you herself.
>>5213462>>Go see Dren
>>5213462>>Go see Dren.She can't do anything too bad to us, we belong to her sister.
>>5213462>Go see Dren.
>>5213462>>Go see Dren.
>Go see Dren.You decide to go see what Dren wants.Dren has claimed a small library near the main hall as her quarters, so it is not a far walk.Just outside her quarters, you encounter Delores passed out naked on the floor.You sigh at this. Vance and Delores were claimed by yourself and Namara as personal servants, but mostly as a way to protect them. However, many of the Aelderi and their associates treat them like everyone’s servants. Ironically it is usually the Corsairs who cause the problems. Many of the Drukhari are under strict instructions to avoid upsetting the Corsairs with their typical cruel behavior, but the Corsairs see servants as just low ranking neophyte crew, and are therefore subject to the usual ritual hazing.Vance got spared the worse of it since he is now the boytoy of two felinid members of the Corsair crew, but Delores consistently poor judgement, alcoholism, and exhibitionism have made her a mascot of sorts of the late night drinking crowd. This is the second night in a row she passed out somewhere strange while streaking. So actually not that different from back when they were your aides on Archipelagia.Not for the first time you wonder how they avoided being corrupted while working for the Daughters, and later the Iron Horde.Dren appears, and having evidently read your thoughts (or perhaps just your facial expressions, you actually aren’t sure whether she can read your mind given the nullstone embedded in your bones), launches into a bit of a speech.“Different chaos factions have different ideologies. For example, HYDRA IX are elitists, they believe only the best and brightest are worthy of joining their cause, while they treat their fodder callously, sometimes using mass corruption rituals just to create expendable distractions.” - Explains Dren.Having barely survived a “mass corruption ritual” during your brief service with the Guard, you shudder at this.“The Daughters of Peace on the other hand are oddly evangelical. Whenever possible, they try to convert new members fully with persuasion rather than sorcery. They also like to keep a low profile and only corrupt those who are unlikely to interact with the public in the Imperial cultures they hide within. High ranking members are an obvious exception, but they are skilled at hiding their true nature.Then there is the Iron Horde. Despite being a Daemon Prince himself, their leader the Warpsmith distrusts the Warp and only uses it when it serves a purpose. Furthermore, he has large conventional armies and rules over huge swathes of recently conquered territory, but has comparatively few trained psykers and demagogues. He therefore focuses his occult resources on bolstering specialized military formations, while much of his army and civilian population are kept in line by more conventional means.” - Continues Dren.
>>5221804“In conclusion, your servants just weren’t important enough to corrupt, and their behavior is mostly due to existing personality flaws combined with minor exposure to psychic compulsions from the Nethian magics back at that resort island.” - Concludes Dren.“Uhm, thanks?” - You reply, not entirely sure what to do with this information.You enter her room, where you are surprised to see several other individuals.Trys’ta is lying down on Dren’s bed, playing with a large, fat amphibian she claimed as a pet.“Look at how fat and stupid it is, it looks just like you!” - Says Trys’ta as a greeting.Naph is leaning against a bookshelf, licking small frogs again.Trav’vis standing apart from the others, doing his usual surly silent thing.Audrey is sitting on a footstool, sipping tea. She is wearing a fresh uniform and her shoulder markings indicate she has been promoted, but she looks both miserable and highly nervous. You had heard she was promoted to being one of the Rogue Trader crew’s primary emissaries to the Aelderi, but this is the first time you have seen her since your group of survivors were retrieved from the jungle ruin a few days ago.Dren provides a rather pointless briefing, perhaps for Audrey’s sake because everyone else here has already heard it.The fighting has reached a stalemate of sorts, with the Aelderi-Rogue Trader alliance holding some cities, and the Thorakara-Kijeck alliance holding others. The Kijecks have also recruited some of the planet’s indigenous inhabitants, but little of known of them other than they mostly seem to have fallen to Chaos. So far, neither side has found the ruin containing the legendary treasure vault, but some other interesting discoveries have been made, such as a localized webway network (the one that teleported you from one ruin to the other), as well as hints that the malicious spirits still haunt some of the ruins.And then it gets to the new part (at least for you).As Ella had hinted during the fight at the ruin, Evil Rhea has set herself up as a warlord of sorts in the equatorial desert colony of Oasis City.She commands a mix of Thorakara, Kijeck, and indigenous forces, and there is strong evidence she no longer answers to anyone other than herself.She has found a ruin that is a possible location for the treasure vault, but apparently needs a pseudo-null like yourself to help open it.Long story short, Trys’ta and Dren want you to go be an emissary of sorts to Evil Rhea’s court, and try to persuade her into an alliance with the Aelderi/Rogue Trader group.Dren, Naph, Trav’vis, Audrey, and Professor Jones will accompany you, though they are open to any additional members or other changes to the plan.>Agree to plan as is.>Agree to plan, but ask that additional people join (pick who you want)>Try to come up with some sort of alternate plan (write what you want)
>>5221805>Agree to plan as is.
>>5221805>>Agree to plan as is.Is Namara coming as well, or staying behind as a spare null?
>>5221805>>Agree to plan as is.
>>5221805>>Agree to plan as is.>>5222952Staying. She's one of only two people on the planet that can open the vault.We can't negotiate if she has either of us, so better focus on guarding us and leave her in a safe place, in case Evil Rhea tries anything. Which I don't think she will ? It depends on what this alliance means, and why she stopped obeying orders in the first place.
>>5223875Maybe she stopped obeying orders because she stopped receiving them. You know, because she's bungled most of her assignments and spends her time and energy trying to exact pretty revenge on blank Rhea, giving lie to her own claim to be the Real Rhea. She didn't go rogue, it's just that her services are no longer required.
>>5224064I'm not sure she's that incompetent. And we keep running into each other, sure, but I don't think she expends that much energy on that. Not anymore, not after she figured out a couple threads ago from getting some memories back from us that we weren't that much more competent than her.Also, if she's been left on her own instead of going dark, the briefing would have been worded differently. Here, it makes her sound like a local warlord.
>>5224078That's definitely possible. The daughters might have also splintered after recent events. It sounds like they were pretty small before Archipelagia and really big really quickly, and are maybe shedding certain assets so they can be a more agile and dynamic organization. It just seems unusual for Evil Rhea to go rogue without the tacit permission of the daughters. Also, she might be a long leash asset, answering to nobody because Endee knows that she'll work independently towards the broader goals outlined by their ideology. She's still a Slave to Darkness and ultimately beholden to Endee's will, and if the Sexy Librarian is still in her Retinue we'll know she still has the daemonic favor of her patron even if she's not acting as part of a broader organization.As far as being a local warlord goes, we know she isn't working with the Iron Horde because she likes their company. If their goals diverged from the Daughters, she would part ways.
>Agree to plan as is.You decide to agree to the plan as is.You don’t push for Namara to join for several reasons. Firstly this mission has very strong “trap” vibes to it, and you don’t want to put Namara in danger even though you know she will be furious about being left behind.From a more pragmatic point of view, you hope leaving her behind will make it less likely that Evil Rhea will try to spring some sort of trap, knowing she will only get one, not both of you. Also, Trys’ta may be able to leverage Namara’s null-like abilities during a rescue attempt somehow.Or not...you suddenly recall that the Frozen Heart Kabal has made extensive use of Necron warp negating items in the past, somehow you doubt there is truly anything that unique about you and Namara that they couldn’t replicate by other means.Dren is an impatient sort. You barely have time to go back to your room, get dressed, and have a brief, tearful argument with Namara before Dren comes and herds you over to her Venom.Surprisingly, Dren lets Trav’vis drive, probably so she can torment the human passengers in the back. Travelling in a Venom is always a harrowing journey. Typically there isn’t really much to do other than huddle in the partially sheltered passenger area, and hope that a sudden change in direction doesn’t send you flying off the back. However, Dren insists on carrying out shouted conversations with yourself, Audrey, Jones, and Paula (a last second addition to the group), revealing all sorts of embarrassing personal details gleaned via her telepathy.She leaves you alone for the most part, other than to callously reveal that a psyker friend of hers pegged your chance of success as low, and that Trys’ta has the means to replace you with another clone if needed. But the most shocking surprise comes just as the Venom arrives in Oasis City, at which point Dren reveals her, Trav’vis, and Naph (who was riding separately on her skyboard the entire trip) were just escorts, and that the four of you are on your own.She then unceremoniously pushes all of you out of the Venom and onto some sort of plaza (from several feet up) before flying off at extreme speeds.As the group dusts itself off, you notice your not alone...Quite a few civilians are about, generally either nude or partially clothed in white linen. But the real focus of your attention is the large approaching gold plated palanquin carried by nude slaves resembling either yourself or Namara. Prior to your adventures, you would have found this humiliating, but now you are mostly just worried about the deeper implications. This isn’t the first time you have noticed Evil Rhea’s tendency to use her flesh shaping magic for this purpose. You once thought it was a reflection of her obsession with yourself and Namara, but now figure it is indicative of some weird self-bondage fetish.The palanquin stops, and is lowered to the ground.
>>5227160To your surprise, the occupant is Evil Namara, and even more surprising is her appearance. She retains the long black boots and gloves from the last time you saw her, but has lost the corset, most likely because somehow in the past month she somehow managed to become massively pregnant. She lost most of the piercings too, giving her a warmer, softer appearance than last time.Or maybe it is not just her physical appearance that has changed...Although you are immune to most psychic trickery, Evil Namara has messed with you in the past using just the chemical pheromones she produces via unnatural means. You were honestly kind of expecting this, just not so early or so subtle.However, you decide to play along for now and introduce the others. Audrey as the Rogue Trader's representative, Jones as the knowledge expert, and Paula as a servant, though you are vague on whose servant. You honestly aren’t sure why Dren lumped you with Paula. Probably just to torment her you suppose.Evil Namara offers the group seats in her palanquin, in order to bring you to the banquet at the palace where Evil Rhea is waiting.>Accept palanquin ride, play along with the pomp and ceremonies for now.>Come up with some sort of excuse to walk to the palace instead.>Come up with some sort of excuse to walk to the palace instead, then get the hell out of the city.
>>5227161>>Come up with some sort of excuse to walk to the palace instead.Probably don't need a massive dose of pheromones from the doppelganger of the only person we've ever loved. It might cloud our judgement
>>5227161>Accept palanquin ride, play along with the pomp and ceremonies for now.That's why we're here. It doesn't do us any good to refuse their hospitality.Let's keep the pheromones in mind, maybe smack some sense into everyone else when we arrive at the palace if they look too enthralled.But in the meantime, make small talk. And try not to wonder where that pregnancy came from. Because considering what our Rhea and Namara go up to with the ring, it must have been freaky. Small talk about small things. Avoid talking military numbers, give news about Vance and Dolores and ask about the people we worked with during the Krampus incident back in Groxbridge. We're all friends here, that's the motto.
>>5227161>>Accept palanquin ride, play along with the pomp and ceremonies for now.
>>5227592She might be glad to hear Dolores and Vance are doing well, it's actually kind of odd they didn't end up as a part of evil Rhea's retinue. We might ask about that.
>Accept palanquin ride, play along with the pomp and ceremonies for now.You decide to accept a ride in the palanquin.Mostly by luck, you manage to get the seat furthest from Evil Namara, with Jones across from you, Audrey next to you, and Paula across from Evil Namara.The trip to the Palace is very awkward to say the least.Audrey’s face is bright red for the entire trip and she does her best to look at anything other than Evil Namara.Paula tries her best to look steely and disdainful, but the elaborate yet revealing dress that Dren has her wearing isn’t really meant to be worn sitting down, so she is constantly adjusting it. You honestly have no idea how Dren has managed to keep her in line these past few days, and even more surprised that she didn’t try to flee or launch a suicidal attack the moment she realized she was being sent to parley with Chaos tainted sorceresses.Jones seems to be the most jaded in the group, perhaps because of all the odd folk she has contact with in the Cold Trade. Her and Evil Namara have several short conversations about the history of Oasis City, which sound important, but you are too weirded out by the whole pregnant Namara thing to really focus on the details.In fact, you don't really say much the entire trip, and mostly stare out the window until you arrive at the PalaceThe Palace is a temple-like building with many stone sculptures and gold frescoes. As you exit the palanquin and are guided through the Palace to the dining hall, you notice in addition to the flesh-changed slaves and the local servants, there is also some House Kijeck soldiers and converted Thorakara serving as sentries, as well as what you assume are some furries.You notice some of the Thorakara have Slaaneshi type mutations, and all have bared torsos to expose the gold collars, piercings, and the runic brand that they all have, though some still wear their old trousers, boots, hats, helmets, and/or goggles, and all still carry their old weapons. You wonder if they underwent some sort of mass forced assimilation.Interestingly enough, the Kijeck soldiers and servants look pretty much the same.Dinner is served at a large table with about a dozen attendees other than your party.Aside from Evil Namara, you recognize several of them, though not always right away. The Sexy Librarian has switched her usual attire for a basic local white linen dress. She says little at the dinner, and spends most of her time poring over dataslates. The House Kijeck noble you thought you killed a few days ago is also there and seems to be a guest of honor. And then there is Sandra X, aka Rabbit Mask, one of several flunkies that Evil Rhea seems to have brought with her from Groxbridge. You probably wouldn’t have recognized her if it weren’t for the elaborate gold rabbit mask patterned in the local style she has hanging of the back of her chair.
>>5229272And then of course there is Evil Rhea. Aside from some dark eyeliner and some new gold jewelry, she looks the same as always, but still extrudes a sense of power and control that marks her as different from her many lookalike slaves.Dinner conversation is strangely banal, the food and drink is of high quality, but not particularly intoxicating, and despite the outlandish and lewd attire you have come to expect from Evil Rhea’s associates, there are never any hints that anything weird or sexual is about to happen.It is almost like they are on their best behavior for some reason (though Audrey and Paula are clearly still way out of their comfort zone).However, they aren’t very forthcoming on practical matters either...There are some brief acknowledgements that your party includes emissaries from both the Krasman Rogue Trader clan and the Drukhari/Corsair alliance, as well as some vague proclamations that Evil Rhea’s “Nation of Peace” is open to working with any and all parties if it allows all involved to reach their goals. There are also some worrying hints of trouble ahead. A party led by Ella Meyer is arriving tomorrow on behalf of the Iron Horde, and it sounds like several ruins of interest are still weeks away from being dug out of the deep sand.However your attempts to steer the discussions in a useful direction prove fruitless. Evil Rhea and several others at the table are smooth operators who effortlessly redirect any conversations at don't appeal to them. Jones and the Sexy Librarian have some conversations at the far end of the table where you can't really hear them. Audrey and Paula say as little as possible.Eventually dinner ends, and your party is shown to separate bedchambers. You would have liked the opportunity to converse with your party members, but for now you decide to continue playing the role of emissary and not potentially rock the boat. You are pretty sure anything said in the Palace will get overheard by Evil Rhea’s minions anyways, and Audrey and Paula have proven useless so far, though Jones may have gleaned something useful.Your guest room is tastefully furnished and dominated by a large bed of high quality, and the windows are open, bringing in a relaxing warm breeze that is significantly more pleasant than the roasting daytime temperatures. Within no time you drift off to sleep.And then get abruptly awoken as something tickles your nose...You jolt upright to find Evil Rhea lounging in a nearby divan. She is still holding the pole mounted feather duster she used to wake you.You have a feeling she is making an effort not to alarm you too much, but her faintly glowing eyes, and more visibly glowing magic ring sort of ruin the effect. The room is otherwise mostly dark except for moonlight from the three currently visible moons.
>>5229279“Hello genetic duplicate, I believe this is the first time we have ever had a conversation without an audience. We have so much we can discuss.” - Drawls Evil Rhea.>Ask about why she wanted you as emissary.>Ask what she wants from the Vault.>Ask why she is working with Trys’ta.>Ask why she has seemingly gone rogue.>Ask about Evil Rhea’s pregnancy.>Ask why she invited an Iron Horde emissary to the Palace.>Chew her out for all the adverse encounters you had in the past.>Attack her.
>>5229280>Ask about Evil Namara’s pregnancy.At this point I don't think our Rhea can avoid the topic, so that's probably the first thing she'll manage to blurt out, probably questioning whether it was ring shenanigans or outside "help". I'm also curious as to if the resulting offspring would be used as a diplomatic token, be it by its progenitor or as an heir to be married. She looks like she could be trying to make allies any way she can.>"Do you really need a vault opened or do you need us for something more specific ?"Not confrontational, just a way of knocking out the first two questions.As for the other questions, Trys'ta is a surprisingly reliable person when it comes to delivering goods and services, one outside of the ever-changing dynamics of the local chaos factions.Her going rogue she'll explain to us if she feels like it, or someone will talk to us about it at one point if she doesn't. In the end, it doesn't matter.Likewise for the Iron Horde. She's playing political games, the same kind that pushed our Rhea to gtfo back then. Stands to reason we won't ask.And obviously chewing her out is a terrible idea. Also, hating yourself is exhausting and rarely worth it, better put that behind us. Honestly, apart from kidnapping Namara (ours) to get some memories back, and a frightening inability to communicate with us clearly leading to unnecessary kidnappings and concussions, she hasn't done that much to cause us trouble that I recall, so let's accept the extended hand here.
>>5229280>>Ask why she has seemingly gone rogue.>>Ask about Evil Rhea’s pregnancy.
>>5229419Supporting.>>5229280Also, ask her how she's doing.
>Ask about why she wanted you as emissary.>Ask what she wants from the Vault.>Ask why she has seemingly gone rogue.>Ask about Evil Rhea’s pregnancy.Your mind is still groggy from having just been woken up. Normally, or better or worse, you would have all sorts of questions to ask, but the first one that pops into your mind is the one you were just dreaming about.“So...how does the whole...pregnancy thing work?” - You blurt out without really thinking it through.“Oh, you know...When one girl really likes another, she uses her vagina tentacles to impregnate her, leading to an unnaturally quick pregnancy that may or may not drive the mother mad with pleasure during birth, and leading to a child which may be relatively normal, mutant, or quasi-daemonic depending on the whims of the Dark Prince. Basically standard stuff you should have learned growing up.” - Says Evil Rhea facetiously.“Uhm, yep...” - You response idly as you try your best to suppress your memories of said tentacles.“It is seen as being a Rite of Passage of sorts for the Daughters of Peace. Some people get addicted to it, I think Trish has done it at least a dozen times now. The kids mature pretty rapidly and generally go on to become high ranking members of the Daughters themselves.” - Continues Evil Rhea.“So, are you still with the Daughters then? Some people think you have gone rogue.” - You ask, wanting to change topic.“The Daughters are a patient sort, generally willing to give a lot of freedom to their chief operatives as long as results are delivered. They know that sooner or later most will see things from their point of view.” - Replies Evil Rhea cryptically. “Uhm, so what is it like running things here then? Will the contents of the Vault somehow help solidify your rule here? Or did you just want me here for other reasons?” - You ask, trying to probe further.“Haa! Now that is the sort of question I would expect me to ask me.” - Laughs Evil Rhea.You briefly wonder if she shares your tendency to ask inappropriate questions. Was asking about the pregnancy inappropriate? You suppose if anyone would understand your compulsion to ask questions it would be her.“It all comes back to magic gems, and prophecies, and boring stuff like that.” - Says Evil Rhea after a moment of silence.
>>5233200“According to a prophecy, several actually, it is inevitable that a gem of great power will be located in this section of space, and used to create a daemon world, which will serve as the center of a new mini-empire. Unfortunately the prophecy is very vague on what gem, and what world. It is almost like these facts are hidden somehow, even the Aelderi Farseers can’t figure it out. But somehow certain psykers have worked out ways to determining how ‘close’ the prophecy is to happening. So a number of interested parties have been taking a trial and error approach of seeking powerful gems and seeing if capturing them increases or decreases the timeline for the prophecy. I bet that answers a few questions? No?” - Continues Evil Rhea.Surprisingly, it does make a few things more clear. On at least two occasions, Trys’ta has come into the possession of an item of great tainted power, only to lose interest and discard it. There was Slaa-Neth obviously, which Trys’ta seems to have outright given back to the Daughters, and also the black gemstone necklace which Trys’ta gave back to you during Kristoff’s “Hallowmas Revolution”, but later mysteriously disappeared. Come to think of it, Kristoff also had a ring of much power the last time you saw him.You can’t help but wonder why Trys’ta and Evil Rhea are working together on this though. Perhaps if the prophecy is inevitable, controlling the “who” and “where” is more important.You somehow doubt you will get a real answer from Evil Rhea though, so you switch topics yet again.“But why me though? What do I have to do with the Vault and the gems?” - You ask.“I guess a null is always potentially handy when messing around with Warp-imbued ruins and items. But mostly I wanted to demonstrate how expendable Trys’ta sees you as. It didn’t exactly take a lot of persuading to get her to send you out here, despite the time I tried to rape you, and the time I kidnapped you as leverage, and the time Namara drugged you for funsies. The idea of having a version of me I can’t bend to my will easily is intriguing, as is the possibility of recruiting you willingly.” - Muses Evil Rhea.You have a hard time picturing yourself willingly joining the Daughters, even as an unconverted associate. But it doesn’t hurt to be polite.“How is working for the Daughters? Do you enjoy it?” - You ask.“More than you could ever imagine. I mean there is the obvious stuff, the luxury, the hedonism, the raw power. But there is also the removal of fear and self-doubt, the freedom to do what you want, the ability to plot your own path and not be tied down by the need to obey authority figures, something which you still haven’t quite mastered yet.” - Explains Evil Rhea enthusiastically.“Anyways, I have given you more than enough to think about. Have a good night.” - Says Evil Rhea, then departs without another word.
>>5233202Needless to say, you don’t get much sleep, as you struggle with the various implications of what Evil Rhea told you. Some parts of her offer are appealing, but even compared to Trys’ta, Evil Rhea lacks empathy and morality and you are not sure you could stand being even loosely allied to such an individual. Not to mention associating with those who serve Chaos just seems like an overall bad idea. The story of the gems is also troubling. You have no idea of what either Trys’ta or Evil Rhea’s goals are regarding involving themselves in the prophecy, but clearly Trys’ta has been holding back some information from you. You do remember at least one occasion where Trys’ta mentioned something like a prophecy though, back when she persuaded you to give her Slaa-Neth. At the time she mentioned someone who could potentially be Kerala as the source of the information, and you make a mental note to ask her about it if you ever see her again.Next morning, a Namara look-alike slave helps you get cleaned up and dressed and leads you to a (relatively) small balcony where your party has breakfast with Evil Rhea and Evil Namara.Everything is stilted and awkward to the extreme. You eventually pick up on the fact that neither Jones, Audrey, or even Paula is willing to make eye contact with Evil Namara, and strongly suspect that she somehow managed to bed all three last night, probably separately and without the others knowledge since there doesn’t seem to be any change regarding their behavior between each other.It would actually be mildly amusing if it weren't for the fact that pheromones and who knows what else was involved.Not to mention it just confirms you suspicions that you won’t get much help from any of them during your stay here.Evil Rhea makes no references to your conversation last night, even though she must know you are dying to ask follow-up questions.Breakfast ends with Evil Rhea offering to your group a spot in her court for today’s proceedings, and Evil Namara offering to give your group a tour of the city.>Accept offer to sit in on court.>Accept offer to sit in on court, but actually just use it as an excuse to try and get Evil Rhea alone somewhere where you can ask her more questions (pick whatever questions you want).>Accept offer to tour city.>Ask that you be permitted to consult with your party somewhere on events so far (even though you know you will be spied on).
>>5233205>>Accept offer to sit in on court.
>>5233205>>Accept offer to sit in on court.We can also just ask inappropriate questions whenever we think of them, Evil Rhea can't exactly blame us for it. Also I fully support asking Evil Rhea if she ever feels an irresistible compulsion to ask inappropriate questions even when she knows they're inappropriate.
>>5233205>Accept offer to sit in on court.But we should tour the city later, bring a gift back for Namara to smooth things over.So it was the tentacles ! It's good to be reminded of exactly why we didn't become a Slaneeshi follower.I suppose it is fitting that all this crap was a literal easter egg hunt after all.Also, I had to go back a few threads for that time she almost raped us, as I kind of forgot, considering everything else that has happened since.If Rhea was feeling confrontational, she might point out that Evil Rhea's freedom is basically her being set up as a highly disposable deniable asset. If she turns up something, good. If she pisses off the wrong person, she can disappear without any sort of political consequences, since she's officially a rogue agent. Quite the offer.This gives me an idea for the upcoming negotiations. If she doesn't get results from that vault, Evil Rhea's position might become...complicated. And that's before the Iron Horde gets involved. And if the Daughters decide she's not worth the trouble, she'd find herself a very small fish in a big pond.As such, it could be interesting to her to have Trys'ta as a guarantee, should she also become expendable. I suppose Trys'ta would need some convincing, but it shouldn't be that much.We help her open the vault pretty much free of charge, and she considers meeting with Trys'ta and co. to set up a fallback offer like we did on Archipelagia: if her position becomes untenable within the Daughters or on her own, her and a small retinue get picked up by the cabal in exchange for a few trinkets/people of interest/favors.It would be like setting ourselves up opposite the Daughters, as a panic button option she can press anytime. Of course, our Rhea has nowhere near the influence or knowledge to go into specific. I just think that, if we can show her just how unstable her current situation is to Evil Rhea, she could be tempted in a deniable alliance. It may not be what Trys'ta wants, but it's something, and it both gives us brownie point with Evil Rhea and Trys'ta, and get this problem out of our hands before we make a diplomatic faux pas.We'll see if we can even get to the negotiating part before something goes horribly wrong, this time.I'm also wondering what Trys'ta and her cabal's goal is in this, whether they want to use the gem, destroy it, or use it as a bargaining chip. I can't see what they would do with a demon world of all things. Unless the gem can be altered.
>Accept offer to sit in on court.You decide to accept Evil Rhea’s offer to sit in while she holds court.In some ways it is about what you expected.Evil Rhea lounges in a golden throne that serves as the focal point of a large audience chamber while various lackeys are brought before her to provide updates. Assorted advisors and sycophants loiter around the throne, or rest on couches or stacks of pillows around the edges of the room. There are also a healthy number of armed guards.The updates provided to Evil Rhea are moderately interesting, but are not exactly major revelations, particularly compared to your conversation with Evil Rhea last night.“Missionaries” discuss efforts to convert the local population. Foremen discuss ongoing projects to erect shrines or excavate ruins that possibly contain the Vault. And military officers report on efforts to purge the more savage of the mutants and bandits that haunt the region.The most interesting item on the agenda of course is the visit from the Iron Horde emissary, which as you heard last night, is none other than Ella Meyer.She arrives along with a few other Intelligence Officers, as well as few Grenadiers, including one with bionic arms, no doubt the one you and Naph fought in the temple ruin recently.“I have arrived to officially condemn you for your betrayal of this joint venture between the Iron Horde and House Kijeck, but we are all friends here, as I am sure everyone present is aware.” - Begins Ella.The House Kijeck representative in the room doesn’t seem remotely surprised by this. You wonder if she just represents a particular faction, or if all the Kijeck are still allied with the Daughters.“Are we really friends though? En’Dee is still most displeased with your decision to turn against us back on Archipelagia. That cost us a number of loyal servants, and a few close friends of mine.” - Replies Evil Rhea rather acidly.You briefly wonder if she means Vance and Delores. You never got around to telling her they are okay.“But I got you what you wanted! I persuaded no less than a senior Intelligence Director and an Iron Warriors Captain to launch this expedition!” - Cries out Ella, perhaps sensing things are going in a bad direction for her.“A few regiments of fodder tier light infantry? Some of them former followers of our allies pressed into duty on your recommendation? They are barely a match for the Rogue Trader’s forces, and we both know there will be bigger fights to be had soon. Not to mention your control of their leadership has proven insufficient. I had no choice but to reveal my true power early on and start creating my own army from the locals while investigating key ruins you have been unable to convince your leaders to look into. I believe your usefulness to us has come to an end. The rest of you may prostrate yourselves and pledge your loyalty to me.” - States Evil Rhea.
>>5237803After a bit of confusion, the rest of Ella’s party flops to the ground and beg silently for mercy while Ella says standing, defeated but still defiant.“Other Rhea! What should I do with this one? Do you think she will make a good Rhea? Or should I just turn her into spawn?” - Asks Evil Rhea.>Refuse to get drawn into Evil Rhea’s cruelty.>Try to convince Evil Rhea to let Ella pledge allegiance to her. Mention Vance and Delores are okay.>Recommend that Ella be lightly punished, but kept intact in case she is needed later.>Recommend Ella be turned into a duplicate of you, it seems the less harsh of the options Evil Rhea gave you.>Recommend Ella be turned into spawn, payback for betraying Vance and Delores.
>>5237804>>Recommend that Ella be lightly punished, but kept intact in case she is needed laterThread will get archived soon. Better make a new one.
>>5237804>>Recommend that Ella be lightly punished, but kept intact in case she is needed later.
>>5237804>>Recommend Ella be turned into a duplicate of you, it seems the less harsh of the options Evil Rhea gave you.Does this include mental enslavement? We wouldn't want to have a potentially hostile doppelganger running around trying to ruin our good name and flawless reputation. We already know how that turns out. Extra points if Ella's original personality is bound as a spectator within her body, helpless to watch as a bumbling, self serving ditz wanders around in her skin asking inappropriate questions at the worst possible moment.....then tell Evil Rhea that Vance and Delores are okay.
>>5237804>>Recommend that Ella be lightly punished, but kept intact in case she is needed later.Unlike some people here, Ella is still officially under someone else's protection. Best not do anything too drastic.And yeah, mention that we ran into Vance and Delores and brought them on board for old time's sake.