Many days (100+) have passed since the Praedor dynasty was tasked with the singular honor of exploring and colonizing this previously unknown expanse. We have discovered much. Much that has confirmed my long suspicions and much that has enthralled my crew and myself and much that has horrified and threatened to end us.
So far, the only system we discovered in this lonely Expanse has been one I’ve dubbed the Risus system. Found in sector Gamma © 7-5 it comprised 4 planets: Prime, Risus 2, Risus 3, and Risus 4.
Only Risus Prime had a breathable atmosphere and harbored vegetation. We set our Kroot companions down on its surface to explore while launching Chiropterean Scouts to survey the topography. They reported native bipedals they identified as Kroot and a varied terrain with a surprising abundance of natural features (mountains, forests, wetlands, corals, etc.).
Having surveyed the rest of the system, I decided to found the first Praedorian colony on a fitting archipelago and dubbed it Ithaca. Then, it was agreed with the Kroot that these colonists were to be left unmolested.
Our attention turned back to Risus 3 and the mysteries discovered on its surface. There we found a Maze Planet from the Egarian civilization (one of only 5 known to the Imperium of Man) and a human mining complex which dated back to before the founding of the Imperium. Markings found within the complex denoted its origins predated the deification of the G—— Go—- God-Emp—- the G-E.
Exploring the complex, it was found to contain promethium in abundance – a worthwhile claim. Chiropteran Scouts were immediately dispatched to survey the rest of the planet. Shortly thereafter hidden anti-aircraft missile batteries opened fire on the reconnaissance craft, shooting some down. Sentries on the walls of the mining complex spied a massive mobilization from the surrounding terrain mostly observing the incredible dust cloud thrown up by their passage. Non knew who or what this new threat was. Our infantry staition beynd the camp was quickly ordered to make a fighting retreat to the Arvus Lighter landing craft and return to orbit. Casualties were suffered as reports of contact with this enemy came through the vox channels.
Returning to the fleet, evaluation of the reports revealed this enemy to be the Rak’gol, a vicious space-faring xenoform with the tenacity and viciousness of the Tyrannids and the cunning of the Eldar. I abandoned my pans for this Maze Planet but was soon told of a psinoscience presence felt on the surface of the toxic world. Telepathic contact was made and a meeting with what turned out to be an Eldar was arranged at the insistence of the Cannoness Superior.
At the meeting, the Eldar female revealed she had lain dormant since the departure of the last human inhabitants, awaiting the arrival of someone who could aid her. She sought an artifact long hidden in the Maze City; an artifact which would reveal the location of the bearer’s desire.
Why hadn’t she acquired the thing in all the many years since then and now? Apparently, another artifact had interfered with the original human settlers, here. A conflict arose between two men. One had discovered a jewel which granted him incredible strength and rapid healing, but it mutated him into a monstrous beast and as this creature he hunted his fellow men in the mining camp before retreating into the Maze. She needed allies to help to defeat this monster and in return she would allow us to use this artifact she sought to find the human home worlds in the Handar Expanse.
Considering the cost of our lives and the benefit of coming that much closer to one goal of this endeavor, I gathered my forces and my crew and descended to the Maze City. We were unaccosted by the Rak’gol blight plaguing this poisonous rock. Entering the city, we tracked the Monster to its lair, finding there a hulking brute with claws that seemed to cut the very bonds of reality itself, so touched was it by the chaos leaking from the glowing jewel embedded in its chest.
Attacking it, we found that its blows ignored our armor, cutting through it as if it were not there! Cleverly, we realized that its strength lied in the Jewel encrusted at the center of its torso and so unleashed hell upon the artifact. Once the thing was shattered after a lucky shot, the Monster was sent to its long deserved death.
We then turned to recovering the Eldar’s artifact. It was a simple matter of negotiating the Maze into its very heart and my Engineseer Prime’s logical mind quickly scryed the way for us. I took possession of the thing and bent my mind to the home worlds of humanity within this unexplored expanse. A picture of the void opened to me, showing the paths through the Warp through the many star systems in what turned out to be four sectors of the expanse. Then, it focused on a cluster of systems tucked into the corner of the neighboring sector to the one we were in. Pic-casters captured all this and would be uploaded into our Navigation banks for future study. Each of my officers were given a chance to hold the relic before handing it reluctantly to the Eldar as agreed.
We then returned to the Minerva but our triumph was short lived. The Augurers soon spied vessels numerous and deadly entering the system. They were of types unseen by any of my crew and we soon learned that they were of Rak’gol design and outnumbered the Praedor fleet at least 2:1.
It was then I ordered us to transition to a neighboring system through the J-drives, knowing this system had no warp gate for the foe to follow us.
Safely arrived, we found a system with one planet orbiting a dim star. Upon this planet was found a hulk buried in its crust. The scout ships we launched reported it to be the **********, the long lost flag ship of She the Cannoness long sought.