The Haarlock Legacy Campaign
Author: Inquisitor Achiel Gedeliah
Subject: Mission Briefing
Location: Segmentum Obscurus
Tithe Grade: Exactus Median
Notes: ref – Ghostfire Pollen
Mission Details: The Inquisition offices on Scintille have been formally issued with a request for assistance from the settlement of Stern Home on Iocanthus. The report, while vague, suggests suspicious disturbances, possibly psychic or warp-based, occurring in the area of a new cathedral raised to honor Saint Drusus. The cathedral lies at the heartr of the remote outpost and its successful completion will do much to further the Imperial faith on this troubled world, a laudable goal and one that the Holy Ordos share.
You are requested and required to proceed to the planet Iocanthus where you will assist a Senior Inquisitorial Agent, Aristarchus the Seer, in investigating the incidents and ensuring that the consecration of the cathedral goes as planned. Your principle tasks are to gather data about any phenomena encountered and, where needed, eliminate any threats that you find. For the duration of the mission, Aristarchus has the honour of command over you in my name. Assist him and afford him the same loyalty as you would give me. In the God-Emperor’s name.
Passage for you has been arranged on the trade-hauler Brazen Sky for immediate departure to Iocanthus. Make yourself known and familiarize yourself with your fellow Acolytes on board.
Landing close to the site of the incident is impractical due to its geographical location in a mountain range and the potential hostility of the natives. Instead you will make planetfall at Port Suffering (Iocanthus’ primary Imperial outpost) and meet Aristarchus there. From Port Suffering arrangements have been made for your journey to Stern Hope.
Addendum 1: The Cathedral Mission
Missionary-Abbot Orland Skae successfully petitioned for the first Iocanthus cathedral to be built in the settlement Stern Hope two years ago, and since then reports indicate that he has gathered a sizable congregation of native converts and worthy off-world pilgrims to his cause. Skae himself, a very distant scion of Scintillan nobility, has managed to garner both off-world donations and considerable local support to his mission, so far succeeding where other have failed.
Addendum 2: Reported Phenomena
As the cathedral structure has neared completion, unusual phenomena have been evidenced both at the site and in the surrounding area. These include strange lights in the hills, animal attacks, missing persons, an upsurge in accidents and unexplained deaths. These incidents have culminated recently in more serious and obviously unnatural events such as manifestations of phantom sounds, walls weeping blood, telekinetic disturbances and other such phantasmagoria.
Addendum 3: Planerary Briefing
Society: Iocanthus is an anarchic pseudo-feudal society, where all power-relationships are based on violence or its threat. A war-torn and brutal world, the control of the planet rests with various warlord and clan factions that compete to harvest or steal the planet’s only tithed material, Ghostfire pollen, in order to turn it over to the Imperium in exchange for supplies. The most powerful warlord is currently King Vervai Skull who is currently acknowledged as Iocanthus’s de facto planetary governor. Iocanthus boasts a single fortified Administrator-controlled spaceport settlement, Port Suffering, where the tithe is collected and trans-shipped.
Founding: Iocanthus was taken by General (Saint) Drusus’ 2nd Army Group during the first great crusades through the sector. As the planet lacked any significant technology, Drusus’s forces defeated the indigenous people, known as teh Ashleen, in a single week of bloody fighting. Drusus later remarked in his memoirs that the only memorable aspect of the planet was the vast fields of wild flowers which resembled “Shimmering fields of rippling explosions, caught at the fleeting moment between beauty and destruction.” [Ref. pg. 526 – Breaching the Darkness]. As ever, the general was perceptive as the Ghostfire would become central to the world’s future.
Additional Notes: In times past, Iocanthus served as a penal dumping ground for undesirables that Scintillan authorities for various reasons did not wish to execute or expatriate further afield. Such exiles were given minimal supplies and allowed to thrive or falter without interference. The current population is largely a mixture of their descendants and the native Ashleen.
Imperial xeno-botanist Mogren Thunt was the person who discovered that the pollen of the native Ghostfire flowers contained powerful psychoactive properties and refined their use.
After being graced with a powerful vision telling her to build a temple, “Where the flowers burn”, Sister Semberle of the Adepta Sororitas came to the world and ordered the building of the Abbey of the Dawn in one of Iocanthus’s flint mountain ranges. The Sororitas facility is forbidden to outsiders.
Ref. Ghostfire pollen: Iocanthus sole tithe. It is a powerful psychoactive substance used as teh base for a considerable number of combat drugs used by the Imperial Guard’s penal legions throughout the Segmentum Obscurus.
Past Inqusitorial Involvement: To the average Iocanthan, the Inquisition is merely another half-legendary power from beyond their world, and while there are records of several Inquisitorial missions to Iocanthus in the past, they are all classified beyond your clearance rating. I have reviewed them and judge none to be currently relevant to your mission.
The planet historically registers a slightly higher per capita level of psyker birth, but not significantly so.
The Sisters of the Abbey of Dawn regularly report any unusual heretical activity to the Conclave. Other than this, the Holy Ordos retain no standing presence on Iocanthus.