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Note: I have listed the most recent report first.

Intel Report #5 - Mission Briefing

Zhoradis felt the ripple in his mind. The blessings of Tzeentch made him sensitive to the warp beyond the comprehension of the mewling cattle that called themselves Astropaths. He reached out cautiously. Such a ripple could be the aura of a communicade just as easily as the disruption of an Eversor assassin nearby.

Zhoradis, hear me.

It was Korin, the "High Seer". The pretense of titles was not befitting a true follower of Tzeentch. The path is all.

Zhoradis, hear me.

Zhoradis sat in a dim round room, cross-legged, levitating over a simple rug. Across from was robed and armored figure, sitting cross-legged somewhat clumsily due to its armor. Zhoradis' voice flowed from him like a sluggish river. "Korin prepares to speak with me. Give me your hand if you would hear my thoughts."

The armored figure pulled the gauntlet from his left hand and reached out to Zhoradis.

Zhoradis, hear me.

Zhoradis felt the startled jerk in the hand he grasped, telling him that the connection had succeeded.

"I hear you Korin. Speak."

The coalition of the powers has made it decree. The tactical priests have spoken. Prepare your mind for recording and transmission.

Zhoradis began to chant low and deep. The words were unintelligible, but the words did not matter, it was the resonance that was key. It always felt strange, like a suction cup pulled from the surface of his thoughts as he unlocked the part of his mind that he had trained to retain verbatim information. Then he shifted the chant's tone slightly and reached out. One by one, he reached the others he had been assigned. There were dozens of followers of the path hearing these thoughts. Undivided and dedicated alike.

Remember well the words we told you of Theodus. Hear now your battle orders.

Assemble your forces.

Divide them into two detachments.

Send them forth into Chinchare, to the planet known as XV/428 by the Imperial cattle.

Have them search for the keys and portal Theodus spoke of. Do not bother with any less than six keys. Our portents have told us that multiple keys will be needed.

The detachment that locates the portal is to secure a tactical assembly area and send out any scouts it might have to identify and find enemy troops, then position them at your best discretion. Contact the other detachment and await their arrival. You may have many allies in this task as the forces of Disorder seek the same prize at your side.

The detachment that locates an adequate supply of keys is to secure them and fall back in spite of any personal agenda. The devices must be recovered. Given what Theodus has discovered, the troops must secure the devices and retreat immediately. We are suspicious that our webway-capable allies, the Dark Eldar, and the Thousand Sons may be able to activate the devices without risk.

Once the key detachment has left the field of battle, they are to rendezvous with an impromptu transport fleet we have arranged . This fleet will deliver the key detachment to the field of battle. Commanders must account for the uncertainty of this transport method, but there is no question about it. Your orders are specific, they must be used. Our seers have determined that these...deep strikes into the battle zone will need to be targeted some distance from the portal. Their visions have shown that passing near the portal while landing would be disastrous.

That is all.

Remember well the words you have heard.

Be strong, be victorious, cull the weak, and subjugate the worthy.

Intel Report #4 - Xenoarchaeology Conference

A middle-aged man pushes his spectacles back up onto the bridge of his nose and straightens his cassock. "Welcome back, I trust the afternoon meal was adequate. Hopefully the Emperor will give us the strength remain alert as our meals try to tug us down into Morpheus' embrace."

The audience chuckles lightly.

"Our next speaker is Xenomagis Theodus, who will be speaking on Evidence for an ancient warp-capable culture on XV/428."

The emcee is replaced by a lean weathered man wearing academic robes, heavy boots, a machete, and a holstered pistol.

"Thank you, brother. I have some exciting news to report today. I hope you will forgive the lack of a finished presentation, but things are moving quickly. Instead of pictures, I have brought the artifacts with me. Now, let me position the camera over this...hmm, what, I think that's it...no...uh, yes."

An image flashes onto the main monitor, an image of an aged green rock with white stripes. There are very faint runes carved into the stone.

"Here, you see a find from a dig in the Chinchare subsector. Notice the material. I have yet to categorize it, but it is unlike anything I have found. I have yet to ascertain if it is naturally occurring or manufactured. Spectral analysis shows a residual energy signature as if the rock itself was capable of storing energy. One of our brothers suspects it might be a naturally occurring battery or perhaps power crystal. It was everything I could do to prevent the weapons priests from appropriating it."

"I'll spare you the linguistic details, but the stone has two clearly translatable phrases. the first of these reads as follows:

Amongst the waste of empire
Amid offal and filth
The keys lie therein
To spill the warp’s wealth

Six of entropy battle six of accord
Six keys tipping the balance of war
Flesh and fury
Hunger and hate
Sacrificial lambs for the portal of fate

Theodus replaces the large stone with a collection of stone tablet shards, seemingly made from the same stone material.

"With minimal extrapolation, we can see..."

He taps a console and a glowing overlay of light traces out a pattern that includes faint pictographs in the stones.

"...that a message forms. Given the linguistic theory of Voxmagis Lado and his xenovoco corollaries, we can conclude one of two possible scenarios. The first, that this is a recipe for a very poetic wedding vow and ceremony. The second, that this describes a technology for controlled webway travel."

Theodus allows for a dramatic pause. A hush falls over the audience, followed by excited murmuring.

"And if this is true, then we may have discovered a heretofore unknown race with a technology rivaling that of the Eldar."

The murmuring in the audience intensifies. From somewhere in the crowd a person blurts out, "Preposterous!"

Theodus smiles as though he is a patient father hearing out a petulant child.

"Yes, I expected such a reply. Dramatic revelation is often an emotional experience. However, as you can see, the data does not lie. Let me explain further."

Theodus cues up hazy images of cylindrical green stones.

"I have acquired images of cylindrical monoliths scattered about VX/428. It is difficult to make out because of the picture quality, but the stone material appeared to be identical to that of the tablets. I mounted an expedition of local freelancers to investigate more closely."

"My dear colleagues, we managed to find one of these devices."

The audience quiets down once again.

"I don't have adequate time to go into detail, but previous translations had suggested to me the nature of these monoliths. They are some sort of energy source or bomb. The culture of these beings make no distinction in their language, so perhaps their energy technology was so advanced that their power sources contained devastating amounts of energy. An interesting discussion with a colleague of the physical disciplines led to a hypothesis that their power supplies are essentially one or more perpetual controlled explosions. But I digress."

"The devices have what I can only guess are fail safe mechanisms in them. They are protected by a self-generated force field. Anything short of planetary bombardment will likely bounce off."

"However, they are meant to be handled and relocated as necessary for power consumption. The pattern etched here is a biometric pad. A living being can activate the device by touching this pad. There is a catch though. Without a working command of the language, a security device is activated that delivers a very nasty shock which can subdue or kill, depending upon the health of the would be tender. This is the term the culture used. They call the devices keys in this context and I shall use that term for now. Nota bene, the language on the devices seems to be a more common set of symbols that are closely related to those used by other webway cultures."

"I had hypothesized that a tender would be protected by an extension of the field and as this field data shows, that was the case."

A man from the crowd speaks out, "It looks as if you were shooting that man with the intention to kill."

"Ah, heh, well of course, it looks that way, but rest assured the gentleman was in no danger from my weapons. However, you do remind me of a good point. The field extended to the tender is not as strong as that around the key. An occasional stray shot might penetrate the field, especially if the person in question is armed with the remarkable battlefield technologies of the Emperor's finest."

"There is another wrinkle. I would caution any of my colleagues that would follow in my foot steps. There is a powerful site-based failsafe device. Once the security perimeter is penetrated, a countdown begins until the site self destructs in a remarkably controlled explosion that vaporizes the site but leaves anything beyond the perimeter completely untouched."

"We still had one surprise facing us, one that was not mentioned in the tablets and one that I had not foreseen. The force field. of the key greatly disrupts vehicles and starships. I am sure this alien culture did not have this problem as their technology was built around these power source, hence the lack of mention. I am no techpriest, so I cannot explain further, but I did note that simple machines were fine. I suspect a certain sophistication of propulsion system or perhaps the machine spirit within the more complex machines. Alas, I do not know, but be sure to bring along some sturdy motorbikes or a team of laborers if you have to move very far with a key."

"And now for the final piece of the puzzle. The portal of fate. This still remains somewhat of a mystery to me. As I mentioned earlier, my best guess right now is that it would be some sort of controllable gateway to the webway. As any techpriest can tell you, having access to a webway and using it successfully are two very different things, which is why webway travel is still generally restricted to the noble Eldar, the vile Dark Eldar, enigmatic Necrons, and those abominations known as the Thousand Sons. Would this gate hold the promise of webway travel for humankind? I cannot say, but I can say that funding from the military should be much easier to secure."

The audience erupts with mild laughter.

"I am unclear about the operation of the device, but I am certain that a prerequisite is the assembly of multiple keys at the portal of fate. These pictographs are only iconic in nature of course, but the portal is shown with a dome over it. I have to hypotheses for this. One, that the dome represents a stealth technology that masks the dome from unwanted spectators. Two, that the operation of the portal of fate generates a large force field akin to that generated around the keys. If I can locate the portal, the question will be easy enough to answer."

"As to the portal, it is probably a stone ring approximately 15 to 20 meters high. If I have interpreted the pictographs correctly, the portal is composed of a different material which harnessing energy differently. I can only guess what technology theses beings possessed to create such materials that appear to act as though they have operational devices throughout them at the scale of atoms. The dome should be on the order of 50 meters in radius, or perhaps diameter. The translation of that has been difficult and these numbers should be seen as highly uncertain."

"Future work will be focused towards locating a number of these keys and finding the location of this portal. Those of you that are interested in this work should contact my assistant, as the military research council has locked down access to Chinchare and I am the only researcher granted access at this time."

"So, in summary, we have identified and conducted field research on artifacts from what appears to be a heretofore unknown webway-travelling culture. We have identified their power sources and tales of what may be a webway portal. The power sources, or keys, contain a devastating amount of energy, are controlled by biometric devices, and possess a powerful force field. The force field protects the key and the tender, though to a lesser extent, and wreaks havoc on complex machines."

The emcee steps up to the podium, "Let's thank our speaker and then we will entertain questions."

The clapping of the audience is interrupted as the door of the lecture hall is thrown open violently. the crowd looks back to the familiar uniform of an Inquisitor, accompanied by two squads of marines.

"Esteemed citizen-scientists, I regret to inform you that you cannot be allowed to roam freely with your information. I am sure Xenomagis Theodus will help ease your transition as you join him in his research. Troopers, escort our esteemed guests to their quarters on the cruiser. The Emperor guides us. Good day."

Intel Report #3 - Loose Lips

Overheard in a shady bar in the Chinchare sector...

"The Green Stone of Sabbatorus? Yeah, I heard the tale. You keep my mug full and I'll spin it for ya."

"Well, now, there was this pirate, by the name of One-Eared Johnny. Him and his crew had set down amidst the debris of that trash heap XV/428, you know, the one where Sabbatorus dumps their garbage. My, you are wet behind the ears. Every pirate knows that planet. When things are really tough, a smart pirate can find a trinket or two to sell by turning the rubbish there and if you're trying to hide for a while, that trash makes nice camouflage."

"Anyway, enough Pirate Survival 101. Give me that pitcher, my mugs empty."

"Ah, that's better. All right then, so old One-Eared Johnny settles down on the planet. He's just waiting for things to cool off so's he can get back on his merry way. Seems a patrol ship was on the hunt for him and he didn't want to be found. They was especially intrested on account of his 'cargo'."

"Heh, seems old Johnny had kidnapped himself some high mucky muck perfessor type from an imperial lab ship that he had plundered. He were researching himself alien artifacts. Now you know as well as I that 'alien' plus 'artifact' equals 'profit' nine times out of ten, and a waste of fuel the rest of the time. So Johnny figgers them's good odds, an' I can't says as I blame 'im."

"Well, while he was settled down, his cargo gets all excited, talking about some power source nearby. Johnny can't get him to shut up, but when his cargo starts saying how rare and precious it might be, Johnny gets intrested, see. So Johnny, his first mate, and two crew take the cargo outside for a walk."

"The cargo leads them to this clearing. Smack in the middle is this big green stone, shaped like a can. It was about twice the height of a man and about the height of a man across, give or take. The cargo tells us to...huh? Oh, uh, I think his name was Theodus. Sure. So Theodus tells us to stop because one of his machine spirits is telling him there is something strange. Anyway, after a while of looking around with his machines, he tells us that the big green stone can is incredibly valuable, but he thinks there is some sort of security measure in place because of something his machines told him."

"Who was he? Well, to have him tell it, Theodus was the golden child of artifact perfessor types. He'd go on and on about his ranks and honorifics and such, if you let him. Johnny knew that he was high up in the rank, which is why he kidnapped him. So Johnny's convinced that Theodus knows what he's talking about. Theodus has the first mate man some box and the rest of them get ready to move out. I'm a little fuzzy on exactly what happened between Johnny and Theodus next, but them and the two crewmen went racing toward the can. The first mate was yelling out how many green lights the box showed, just like Theodus told him. More and more lights came on."

"The four of them made it up to the can. One of the crew reaches up and there is this shimmer as he tries to touch the can. His body jerked once and he dropped dead right there!"

"So then there is this yelling and Johnny points his gun at the other crewmen, who reaches up to the can. Zap! He dies too."

"Meanwhile, this Theodus fella is banging madly in some machine of his. He yells something to Johnny and Johnny himself reaches for the can. Johnny always had more bravado than brains. Anyway, it pays off and Johnny doesn't drop. Instead, he gets his hand through whatever force field thing was there."

"They come running back to the first mate and then suddenly the lights on the box go off. Theodus goes on about how they all just averted disaster. Whatever, them perfessors always thinking they is saving the world. Well, this time he might have been right. The whole clearing went up. It was like one of those snow globes, except filled with fire and mayhem. A couple hundred meters across went from quiet clearing to charred wasteland in the blink of an eye."

"So, we start heading back to the ship and find out there's a catch."

"Johnny's got ahold of the rock, but he can't let go. The field around the can makes our truck go crazy when Johnny gets within ten meters or so of it, so we have to walk back. When we do get back, we can't get the airlock to cycle with him in it, so we take him in through the cargo hold. Theodus gets all excited and starts piling up machines at the edge of the cargo hold."

"The patrol cruiser is gone by then, so the ship gets underway, with the fearless captain in the hold, stuck to a big rock. Hee hee."

"Hmm, looks like the well's gone dry, so I'll finish this up. Well, we didn't get to trade in our big alien bauble. The field went crazy and Theodus starts screaming that it's unstable. A minute later and the cargo hold goes wacky. Then the engines start stuttering. Theodus says that killing Johnny might solve it, so some crew starting blasting away, but the field seems to protect him as well. Course he can't do anything himself; it's like he's in some magic bubble. We can't hurt him and he can't hurt us. Well, that ain't entirely true, one shot did manage to nick, him but most bounced off and when you're in the cold dark, you don't need holes him your ship."

"That left only one option - the first mate flushed old Johnny and his magic rock out the cargo hold. And just in time too; that rock blew up! Coulda taken out a small fleet with the explosion. Of course, you gotta find some idiot to grab onto it first."

"Me, I'll stick with the usual pirate fare."

"How did I learn about this? Well, my friend, I was the first mate. Now I'm a captain, and when you wake up, you'll be the newest member of my crew. Get him boys."

Intel Report #2 - Intercepted Communicade

My Most Mighty Lord, Connoisseur of Pain, Lord of the Night, Admiral of the Razor Fleet, General of a Thousand Knives,

I hope this letter finds you healthy and more aware of your enemies than they are of you.

With the assistance of your cruelly skilled Homonculi, I have taken the secrets from an agent of the Imperium. Their pathetic attempts at covert operation in the Chincharre sector have a more specific purpose, as I had suspected. Sites have been discovered containing alien artifacts, cylindrical monoliths roughly four meters high and one and one-half meters in diameter. Imperial spies sent to investigate failed to return from their missions initially.

Orbital surveillance of subsequent missions revealed the mystery. The sites of the artifacts appear to have a self-destruct mechanism that destroys the site a short period of time after one approaches within approximately 100 meters. The timing of the detonation appears to vary wildly, but sites with fewer stones appear to detonate faster. The prevailing theory is that there is a stopwatch of sorts that starts and stops with the coming and going of men and machines. The resulting explosion vaporizes everything within 100 meters of the site. It is a remarkably intense and controlled explosion.

If we could secure one of these explosive devices, it would be a great boon. As of now, it is unclear what the purpose of the stones is, but perhaps they are an energy source of sorts.

One thing is clear, if we are to retrieve one of these stones, we will need to find a large concentration of them and strike swiftly.

Humbly submitted by Vizier D'Lan T'Shar

My life is yours.

Intel Report #1




TO ALL UNITS: be advised of the following orbital images of anomalous structures found in the Chincharre sector.

This data was provided by external sources. The identity of the planets where these structures are located has not been determined. Unverified reports suggest that they are present on multiple planets.

Units have been dispatched to investigate. All Imperium vessels and settlements are instructed to raise their alert levels appropriately.

- Commander Vasgrade, Intelligence Branch, COMNAVFOR
The Emperor guides and protects the righteous