Raiders of the Lost Quark

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Trazyn's adventures in the Eridani sector.

Initial Contact

+++ TO: [RECIPIENT_NOT_FOUND_ERROR]
+++ FROM: Office of Archeology, Pitrivos, Saedran sub-sector, Eridani sector
+++ SUBJECT: Read Me

My esteemed and mysterious colleague,

Imagine my surprise, upon infiltrating a data intercept into the Archeology department on Pitirivos to find another entity has already done the same; and quite deftly done as well if I may say so. Evidently we both have a reason to monitor the department discreetly, and neither of us would benefit from said department becoming aware of our covert presence. No doubt the next time you check in you would discover my infiltration as well, so we find ourselves equally threatened by the prospect of mutually assured destruction of our operations should either of us choose to reveal the presence of the other.

On that basis, I propose to begin peaceful diplomacy to avert such an unproductive event, and perhaps we might even cooperate. Since I have taken the bold step of approaching you directly with the Oleaceae Ramus of Peace, perhaps you would be prepared to introduce yourself? You may respond to me through the same medium I am using here, simply insert a new message with a corrupt recipient and it will sit in the outbound buffer where either of us can see it but poor Techno-Archeologist Hangden will remain blessedly ignorant.

In keen anticipation of your response,
T

P.S. I’m sure you’ve already spotted this, but if you correlate the last rotation’s expense reports with the accounting ledger and the loading bay dockets I believe our good Techno-Archeologist Hangden may be embezzling a small portion of his budget to fund an alcohol habit. It would track with the increasing stress he appears to be under.

+++ MESSAGE ENDS


+++ TO: [RECIPIENT_NOT_FOUND_ERROR]
+++ FROM: Office of Archeology, Pitrivos, Saedran sub-sector, Eridani sector
+++ SUBJECT: Read Me

Bold indeed.

And attentive to have uncovered me. My felicitations. Sure enough, the trace of your own interference is present when viewed with a more discerning eye. There is a considerable delicacy to your work, a delicacy I find difficult to imagine originated within the Imperium of Mankind. For these transgressions, you have my curiosity.

My name is Taliesin, and I am a hunter of ancient relics. My associates and I were given reason to believe that such an item would be found on Pitrivos, in a place known to the locals as Reaver’s Rest. When we arrived, Hangden’s dig was already underway. We have been tracking his efforts since.

Now unless the young Techno-Archeologist is infintessimbly more interesting than I currently suspect, one can only assume it is the same excavation which has drawn your attention too.

What do you seek? And perhaps more importantly: To whom do I owe the pleasure?

With Curiosity,
T

P.S. This is to be expected. Intercepted communications suggest his reputation within the department is less than desirable and he ‘could really do with a win’.

+++ MESSAGE ENDS


+++ TO: [RECIPIENT_NOT_FOUND_ERROR]
+++ FROM: Office of Archeology, Pitrivos, Saedran sub-sector, Eridani sector
+++ SUBJECT: Read Me

Honourable Taliesin,

It is wondrous to converse with a colleague in my own field, or thereabouts. I would not choose to describe myself as a hunter, I think of myself more as a collector. I keep an eye out for items of note, and do my part to step in when I can and protect things of academic value from this harsh galaxy we find ourselves in.

I fear we have run into a slight cultural misunderstanding, but I hope we can, with good intentions all around, work through it. I asked you to introduce yourself and I choose to think that you believe you did. Perhaps by the etiquette standards of your own people you have. You gave me a single name, but in a galaxy as vast as ours, what is one name? You have given me no knowledge of your people, your lineage or your rank.

I am nothing if not an educator however; there is no point preserving knowledge if you are unwilling to share it. Allow me to show you a proper introduction by the standards of my people. I am Trazyn; called by some the Infinite. Chief Archaeovist of the Prismatic Galleries. Overlord of Solemnace. Honoured Noble of the Nihilakh Dynasty. Master of Scattered Moments. Lord of the Great Library.

Now you know me, young Taliesin. I dare say if you are, as you say, a hunter of ancient relics, then perhaps I am an ancient relic you recognise by a single name alone. Will you attempt to hunt me now, or can we continue with civility? If the latter, perhaps you will share with me your full identity?

As for what I seek; simply knowledge. If I recall my geography correctly, and I have to say there has been some shocking climate change since I last visited Pitrivos, this Reaver’s Rest sits atop what was once a settlement of the Aeldari Exodites. I cannot say I have visited it as such, but I did observe much of the planet when it was still inhabited by Aeldari. If you tell me what relic you are looking for, perhaps I can be of assistance to you?

With beneficence,
Trazyn

P.S. Bless the poor man. But I do love an underdog. Perhaps if we can find something that will not be damaging to either of our objectives we could nudge him in the right direction?

+++ MESSAGE ENDS


+++ TO: [RECIPIENT_NOT_FOUND_ERROR]
+++ FROM: Office of Archeology, Pitrivos, Saedran sub-sector, Eridani sector
+++ SUBJECT: Read Me

Your reputation indeed precedes you, as do the tales of your collections. Tell me, is it true your halls contain the last high council of the craftworld Idharae? And as for your quarry: simply knowledge? From an individual so fond of detail I find this answer exceptionally vague. Should I assume you intend to trick me, or do I simply bear witness to the fabled eccentricities of Trazyn the Infinite?

I confess for a first introduction, blind of intent, my own people would have found that a suitable answer. Transparity is not often discussed as one of our foremost qualities. Nevertheless, with good faith in your apparent diplomacy, and good manners, I’ll proceed: I am Farseer Taliesin Dis’ar Rhianthari of Iybraesil. Is this to your satisfaction? I trust you will forgive my lack of titles, for I have not lived nearly so long as you in order to acquire them.

You are accurate in your historical estimations of Reaver’s Rest: It was once the seasonal home of an Exodite colony. The site appeared to hold great significance to them and there they kept a cache of carrecenad, soulstones, buried within the earth in a structure of wraithbone. A cache that I have foreseen was not disturbed during the Imperial taking of their world and that I am eager to liberate.

And so you see, I have no desire to hunt you. My business is with the humans and the treasures they are unwittingly about to unearth. Does this assuage your fears, Overlord of Solemnace? And now that you have my name, my rank and my purpose, maybe you will indulge me: What knowledge does The Lord of the Great Library seek on Pitrivos that cannot be procured in any other sprawling corner of the galaxy? Perhaps we may reach an accord.

Ina Xias,

Taliesin.

P.S. The workers do not appear to understand what they have found. I suspect a few shards of wraith pottery and a hut would satisfy this end, if you are truly moved by the tragedy of his plight?

+++ MESSAGE ENDS


+++ TO: [RECIPIENT_NOT_FOUND_ERROR]
+++ FROM: Office of Archeology, Pitrivos, Saedran sub-sector, Eridani sector
+++ SUBJECT: Read Me

Greetings Farseer Taliesin,

What a pleasure to know who you are, and what an honour to be addressed by a Farseer no less! I’m so sorry you were not able to foresee Hangden’s dig interfering with your quest, but your loss is my gain as it gave me the chance to make your acquaintance. And from Craftworld Iybraesil no less. A relic hunter amongst relic hunters. You have come far from the Crone Worlds, but perhaps not so far as I have come from Solemnace. I suppose that is the nature of our little hobby.

Truly it was a tragedy what happened to Idharae. What a loss. I’m sure you would agree that anything that could be salvaged from such wanton destruction would be a great victory for all the sentient minds of the galaxy. But if you are interested in learning about my collection I would welcome you to visit my on Solomance sometime. I have a Dolmen Gate, I could connect directly to your webway if that would be convenient for you, or we could meet in realspace and I would welcome you aboard my ship, the Lord of Antiquity.

The knowledge I seek is in the form of a cartouche, an engraved tablet, created by your more primitive cousins. I saw it perhaps a dozen millenia or so ago on Pitrivos and although it was excellent work I had other pressing matters on my mind and paid it little attention. New information has recently come to light that recontextualizes it and I find myself keen to find it again. The tablet itself is not precious to me, simply a recording of the runes therein would suffice.

I understand the cultural and metaphysical significance of the soulstones to your people. Indeed I understood that the Aeldari of Iybraesil were famous for acquiring spirit stones from the Eye of Terror itself. I take it then that the cache you seek is special in some way? Perhaps they are, forgive me for not knowing the proper terminology, already occupied?

It seems to me that we share sympathetic goals and a common adversary. I speak not of Techno-Archeologist Hangden, but of the Imperium at large. I have a planet to search, and whilst I have little to fear from the settlers on-world, if I simply ventured down there and started looking myself, I fear it would attract more attention than I would want. I’m sure you are aware that some of these new breed of Astartes have recently taken up residence in nearby Thonis. If they were to involve themselves it would become tiresome in the extreme. Interesting specimens though, I’d like to take a closer look at some point. They remind me of their early forbears from the dawn of the Imperium.

The data I seek could be under Reaver’s Rest, indeed there may be multiple copies, but I cannot say. My intention was to wait and see what Hangden discovered and if he didn’t find anything, point him at another potential site. Personally I can afford to wait, as long as nothing serious happens to the planet my information should be safe for another few millennia, but I am assuming a brief mortal such as yourself might not have such a patient perspective. Do you have any suggestions?

Indulgently yours,
Trazyn

+++ MESSAGE ENDS

Opening Hostilities

Trazyn's Last Stand.jpg

Trazyn and Taleisen came to blows on Pitirivos, fighting over a relice the archeology team had uncovered. Trazyn managed to escape with the prize, and also the soul stone of a Swooping Hawk Exarch who attacked him in melee.

Searching through Imperial records

My dearest Taliesin,

Forgive me for not writing to you sooner, dear colleague, but I lost track of time somewhat. Please take it as a sign of my fondest regard that I forgot, for a moment, about your fragile mortality. A year or two can be but a brief pause in a discussion between Necrons. Plus of course I had to return to Solemance and secure my prize. You will of course be most welcome to come and study it there. I’m sure you must agree that it will be safer on Solemnace than aboard one of your fragile little Craftworlds. Just look at what happened to poor Iyanden.

As it happens, I find myself back in what the humans call the Eridani sector. In my last missive I mentioned these new Astartes, but I fear our surprise face to face meeting and friendly rivalry somewhat disrupted the conversation. Plus poor little Techno-Archeologist Hangden ran away and it took me a while to work out how to contact you directly. As it happens, I have now run into these new Astartes in person. I did think I might take a souvenir, and get to know them a little better, but they took my attempts to acquire their pretty little battle flag with poor sport. Still, no harm done that I can’t buff out.

I’m not sure how much you know about Imperial and indeed Astartes heraldry, but they appeared to wear the colours of Guilliman but the fist of Dorn. I haven't spoken to my good friend Belisarius Cawl since we were on Cadia together, so with you being something of a local, I wondered if you were familiar with them? I haven't yet had much time to attend to Cawl’s new improvements, but so far as I can see they appear to be here to stay. Having met some face to face, perhaps this is my opportunity to study them better.

If there’s anything you’ve learned about them that you’d be willing to share, I will of course return the favour as I uncover more. So far I know little, their leader seemed quite charming but we spoke so briefly I could not even learn his name.

Your colleague,
Trazyn
Overlord of Solemnace etc. etc.


Dear Taliesin,

I suppose you’re being kept terribly busy with the ‘mon-keigh’ as you call them. They really are awful. A fascinating culture of course, surprisingly successful despite their incredible dysfunction. But you know, I was on Acanthum recently, I don’t know if you’re familiar? A rather primitive little spinward world right on the edge of what the Imperium would like to think is their territory. Anyway, I needed some information from their archives, so naturally I do the polite thing and drop a few drones in to tap into their network. Don’t want to cause a scene. And the drones report back that _there’s nothing there!_

I tried a few nodes, all the same story. So of course I had to go in and take a look, not best practice of course disturbing the local wildlife, I do so try to be low impact. You wouldn’t credit it, but they were recording everything on paper! One communications hub was actually hand writing on vellum! Oh how I wished I had more time, it was fascinating and the craftsmanship quite excellent, but of course by the time I had rummaged through a few of their archives the entire planet was up in arms.

Eventually those blue Astartes turned up. Quite fast actually, either they happened to be nearby or I’m near one of their little castles. It was a lot simpler when there were just a few different Legions, so much easier to keep track of which was which. Naturally this rather put a damper on my activities. I’d brought a few troops along to deal with a spot of local colour, not fight a whole war. They did their usual thing, smashing in all dramatically, and I sent my soldiers in to slow them down whilst I sorted through the blasted paperwork.

It was rather lovely though, they massed upon a hill, their proud banner fluttering at the peak, as my warriors surged up to meet them. The proud fierceness against the waves of foes, the light gleaming on metal, the yelled orders and exaltations. They had a priest with them, which was quite fun. Sadly the Wraiths picked him out quite quickly, but didn’t even gather him up for the collection. What a wasted opportunity. I’ve plenty of recordings of it, naturally, but I’d love to recreate it. One does try to avoid oneself in one’s exhibits, it just feels unseemly somehow, but I think if I could get my hands on the banner it would be awfully tempting.

Next time they come along I do need to try and pay them more attention, I did miss out somewhat, just dealing with boxes of blasted paperwork. Honestly paper? I know they can do better.

Well, I hope you’re keeping well. Do write and let me know when you get a moment. But I quite understand how busy you can be, so much you want to do and such a fleeting lifetime to complete it all in.

Warmest regards,
Trazyn
Lord of the Great Library etc. etc.


My friend Taliesin,

I must confess, I find myself more than a little irked at warp meddlers today. Not your fault of course, you are as you were made to be, but honestly what good has ever come of it?

I was innocently perusing an Imperial archive and was, frankly, quite upset to find myself interrupted. I’d hardly been there for any time at all, and the locals had wisely allowed me some peace and quiet, when suddenly Astartes! This time I was sure I would be too quick for our friends in blue to appear, so I was more than a little irritated. I perhaps should have paid a little more attention from the start, instead I simply directed a cohort of Warriors to delay them whilst I carried on with what I was doing.

I was rather quickly distracted, however, when I discovered that instead of the ordered ranks of disciplined fire from the blue fists (surely the get of Guilliman or Dorn) my troops were being blasted apart by thrice-cursed warp-powers. Who could have credited it, of the 11 warriors deployed against me, three of them were psykers. On top of that, a plasma firing artillery piece. Honestly it was quite artistic how quickly they demolished my forces.

Oh well, I did at least get what I came for, it wasn’t all that hard since it wasn’t stored on paper. I won’t bore you with further details of these psychic Astartes, I’m sure you’re far too busy for such trifles.

All the best,
Trazyn
Master of Scattered Moments etc. etc.

Webway of Doom

+++TO: My Infinite Master
[ENGAGE REDIRECT SCRIPT//PURGE RECORD AFTER SENDING]
+++FROM: Bernestia Falko, Holthorpe Manor, Falko Antiquities Acquisition, Saedra
+++SUBJECT: Found it

Almighty Sire,

I am now certain I have found the webway gate that leads to the Lost Trove of Kleptonius. The gate's on TAR-391 Secundus. I now see why we could not reach it hitherto; this section of the web is in poor condition, broken off from the rest of the network. This gate is the last remaining route, and you will need a psyker of considerable skill to open it, for technology appears ineffectual. I have been unable to breach the gate even with your gifts.

Ultimately my crew and I had to flee when a clutch of voidborne betentacled monsters were detected on approach to the planet. As to what attracted these monsters I cannot say; there's nothing here but forests and non-sapient fauna.

You will I'm sure be pleased to hear that I escaped without incident. Once again, I must thank you for your continued patronage. I wish you every fortune in finally acquiring the prehistoric cogitators, and hope they are everything you imagined. All the sources suggest they were indeed among a larger trove placed in stasis, so they should be comparatively unblemished by time's unkind touch. I'm sure the Orb of Euclydia's Lament will enable you to take the lot, assuming this trove is not overlarge. As to how to penetrate the stasis field, I leave that to your superior technical prowess. Beware: the sources tell of various traps left by Kleptonius designed to confound the unwary.

With reference and gratitude,
And great sincerity,
Your friend,

Bernestina

+++MESSAGE ENDS


My most esteemed colleague Taliesin,

I have stumbled upon a bit of a troublesome issue, but fear not, I think I can be of some assistance to you. I have discovered a webway gate that will immensely be beset by the IllMureead. It accesses a section of the webway that is currently in rather poor condition, so I have not been able to map out where exactly it might lead, but I know how much you treasure the integrity of the webway. The danger of having the Great Devourer loose amongst the secret ways cannot be overstated. For all I know there could be a route directly to great Iybraesil itself!

Whilst I would of course love to assist you purely out of altruism, I’ll admit to having my own interests. I only discovered this little problem on the trail of some ancient Mon-keigh academic detritus that I hope might fill a gap in my records. It seems to have been reprehensibly dumped within this stretch of the webway. But this will serve us both, I will get what I need and you will prevent a breach by the IllMureead and get some Mon-keigh garbage cleaned up.

Naturally it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to meet up in person. The last time we met I had to rush off so suddenly I was unable to return the carrecenad of one of your more excitable Exarchs. A sad misunderstanding all-round I think, and I’d love the opportunity to rectify it and have fresh start.

Your friend,
Trazyn
Chief Archaeovist etc.


Thank you for your correspondence. Truly it is unequivocal evidence that the 'infinite' within your title refers solely to your effrontery.

To clarify, the great travesty you present is the threat of a horde of witless horrors entering a space beyond their ken? And casting yourself as the prospective protector of this place in exchange for Cresistauead trinkets, conveniently of no interest to me? Tell me, are disappointing ruses a feature of having no soul? Or merely an affliction unique to you?

And to add to this insult, you seek to dangle the life of a fellow asuryani before me? A life taken by your own hand.

Allow me to speak plainly, Oghyr, in the hopes that your insipid protocols can produce something approaching truth in return: What do you want? And why should I risk losing a single further soul to you or your schemes?


My dear friend,

Whatever has been occupying your mind of late and kept you too busy to reply has made you churlish. It does not become you. Courtesy costs nothing. But I forgive you.

Trinkets you call them, but I am a collector and preserver of civilisations. You sneer at the humans but, and please forgive my bluntness, for better or worse their empire is far more relevant to the galaxy at large than the shattered remains of yours is. Their history is of interest to me and my collection. You find it convenient that they are of no interest to you, but you are falling for selection bias. I would not have asked you if I thought you might wish them for yourself. I don’t mind a little healthy academic rivalry but there’s always the risk that an important artefact may be damaged.

As for questioning my status as protector, I wonder what exactly it is you think my collection is for. I would never claim to be some heroic warrior from folk tales, but preserving and protecting the history of civilization is all I’ve been interested in and pursued since before your entire species existed. Mostly this is an academic exercise, but when necessary, I’m not unwilling to get personally involved. I was there on Cadia fighting to protect the entire galaxy from being ripped asunder. I don’t claim altruistic heroism, merely enlightened self interest.

I took a life, certainly. Your warrior chose to attack me, and, unwilling to be struck down, I defended myself. I won. I’m sure this is not a surprise to your storied warrior culture that the penalty of failure in the arts martial is death. I did not ask to be attacked, I would have preferred to be left alone. If there is blame to be had, it falls with whoever commanded the warrior to attack. But both our people have transcended death in our own ways. I am willing to return their immortal soul to you, well preserved, as a gesture of peace between us.

You ask that I speak plainly? I have, I have made my case honestly and simply. It is your race that is famed for riddles and deception. I wish to access the webway to remove something that should not be there. I want your help. Without your help, I will try anyway and I may fail. The IllMureead are already there, and without intervention may breach the webway. I would not like that, but you would like it less I think.

Does that satisfy your desire for plain speaking, or should I add some more? You are interested. Nothing I have written to you since last we met has interested you enough to respond to me, but this has. What do you want. Do you wish me to spell out that I would owe you a Favour?

Trazyn
Honoured Noble of the Nihilakh Dynasty etc. etc.


You will return the carrecenad before a single foot is placed through that gate. On this point I will not be moved, friend.

Where would you have us meet?


Best friends Taliesin and Trazyn met up on TAR-391. Trazyn returned the soul stone delicately wrapped with the Aeldari symbolic wrappings for sympathy. They held off the Tyranids and investigated the webway, discovering an ancient collection of early terran cogitators named "Tekken II" and "Pong", as well as the uploaded personality of Kleptonius. Trazyn recovered them all, at the cost of one of Huntmaster's prized skulls. In the conflict outside, Trazyn's forces took the brunt of the casualties with his immortal warriors, protecting the fragile mortal Aeldari from harm. Taliesin was interested in the knowledge Kleptonius possessed, but they did not have time to interogate him. Trazyn once again extended his invitation for Taliesin to come visit the Solemnace Galleries.