Following on from our successful attack against the outlying camps of Xenos, our guides led us further on the hunt.
We were searching for an enormous warband of the Xenos that the New Terran scouts had identified recently.
The journey was fairly uneventful, as we travelled through an area where the trees grew in straight rows (some sort of arbouritum, built on the remains of farmland). Our guides revealled that they used to have a profitable trading relationship with the Xenos about 20 years ago, but then the Emperor arrived in the guise of an ugly man. Who prophesied the return of the Emperor and demanded that people return to the old ways of fighting the Xenos, tormenting the heretic and sacrificing the witch before the Golden Throne.
When the armies of men stood against the xenos, outnumbered, the stranger revealed himself as the Emperor, standing 7 feet tall in golden armour and wielding a golden hammer that struck down the xenos and nearly single handedly routed them.
The tale seemed suspicious especially as Fox was adamant that the Beacon of the Emperors Light, the Astronomicon was visible only yesterday, but I wisely kept quiet and listened.
After a few more hours of riding, we came to an area of woodland that began to thin out. Having experienced the complete ineffectiveness of the primitive hunting bows and spears Colonel Walker approached brashly and when the xenos noticed us, she charged straight into the camp of the enemy as we followed behind.
The fighting was fast and brutal but also woefully one-sided, as I took down or injured a couple with every burst and Walker likewise tore through them with her blades we were soon in the center of the camp at a large pavilion where we guessed their commander would be.
We were not disappointed as the hulking beast came out from the tent and armed with a vast steel blade began to swing wildly for the Colonel. The rest of us let her have her sport, although the hunting party we came with had suffered quite nasty wounds.
She quickly ducked under its blade and with a pair of clean strikes she struck its head from its body.
The Captain wanted to examine the interior of the tent, so I demonstrated the effectiveness of a Medicae kit and helped the injured. He found a map inside which he shared with us later. I nosed around and found a small gemstone that looked like a nice keepsake.
We travelled back to town where Fox voxed us. He couldn't re-open the portal. Myself and Gears rode out to meet him and we could not find any reason for the change in the gate's behaviour. However after a while we realised that the Eldar weapons were not with us, and perhaps they were the key to the gate.
So we rode back into the city, where I stopped by the Tailor, asking for a couple of more modern sets of clothes to be made up for myself and the Colonel before getting ready for the banquet.
As I arrived, the inquisitor was there, summoning us, the "Emperer" wanted to see us and would not be kept waiting. Fortunately we did not have time to change out of our combat gear as a result.
We arrived at the magnificent Cathedral and were shown to a room at the rearmost area of the building, nearly 40 meters on each side and guarded by men in gold and black armour with solid blades. These "Imperial Guard" parted before the inquisitor and let us in.
The Emperor sat upon a golden throne exactly as had been described, glorious, proud but also kind in his visage. I felt somewhat suspicious so kept my weapon handy. Beneath him a metal grate which was blackened by fire, presumably the method they used to execute witches.
Fox asked if he should perceive the man sat on the throne with his third eye, when the captain nodded, Fox let out a muffled whimper of fear and muttered "Deamonhost", which put us on out guard. When I looked closer I could see the truth beyond the illusion, a grotesque person with a huge demonic hand and a jaw that was barely connected to its face with eyes burning with red horror. I was so shocked, I could barely move, but my guns fired all the same.
We lept into attack, my guns barely scratching the beast, Gears secured the doors to keep the guards out, the inquisitor retreated in fear and the others lept into combat to kill it. I had to take time between dodging gouts of flame and extinguishing Gears to take what shots I could.
However eventually we managed to slay the beast and the captain impaled it with his ghost sword.
Then he started laughing, softly at first and then with a rising mania and lashed out at Walker with his paired blades. They slashed back and forth for a while, whilst Gears was occupied with the door. Finally Fox stared at the captain with his third eye and he recoiled in pain. Whilst the captain was momentarily stunned, walker grabbed him and kicked his weapons away allowing him to recover his senses. Just in time, as the door was beginning to give way to the possessed guards outside.
We killed them in swift order and took a moment to compose ourselves in the face of these horrors.