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“Recording date 6.378.008, forty-second millenium. We had just exited the Warp outside Port Wander when it was discovered that the engines were failing. It would seem the previous owner, despite generous overhaul of the ship’s weapons and defense systems, failed to see the value of a sufficient drive. Lacking materials and tools aboard ship, and taking advantage of the Port’s opportunistic lack of Imperial presence, the ores liberated from 47-Kapella were used to barter for machinery and parts, as well as docking fees. See supplementary report 3892085a later for itinerary. Through O’Brien’s wit we were able to maintain our privacy as well, keeping secret the seed of Chaos aboard this mixed craft. [Note to self: must find some way of curbing Kar and his faction’s destructive ways] Repairs shall commence at once.
“Recording date 6.384.008, forty-second millenium. Repairs complete. We were able to obtain enough material to upgrade subsystems as well, at the cost of a few hundred menials who died while at work. Scanners revealed the Port to be significantly understaffed. Evaluation: most likely due to war effort. Cost-benefit statistical analysis revealed unfavourable probability of successively assaulting and capturing the port at this time. Location noted for retrieval at later date.
“Recording date 6.468.008, forty-second millenium. Ship combat detected at edge of sensor range. Closing in for verification. Imperial light cruiser and two escorts in combat with Black Legion ship Excrutiation of Martyrs. Assistance will be recommended.
Contact established with Warleader Furian the Blessed of Black Legion ship Excrutiation of Martyrs. See supplementary report 3892088 detailing conversation and combat logs. Furian has expressed intent to participate in Blood Tournament.
“Recording date 6.558.008, forty-second millenium. Ship entering Gloaming Worlds region of Screaming Vortex. Encrypted Dataslate of Mordecai sacrificed as payment. Several hundred crewmen claimed by daemons on entry. Crew capacity still sufficient at the moment.
Ship entering Kurse space. See supplementary report 3892109 for planetary data. Party sans Hastus land with small retinue: Dantilus + 150 guardsmen, Kar’s remaining mercenaries, and Brother Tormund and entourage. Warbands representing each Ruinous Power present, camping out in factions around the main city of Curse. Apart from insignificant and minor warbands are Furian the Blessed, Orianna of the Battleclans of Tallax, Vorasha the Betrayer, Big Boss Grogar [Ork], and Brekash the Kroot. The Ruinous Powers are represented by Morgana the Red Fury, Gargaloth Herald of Nurgle, Vessarian Prince of Pain, and von Haffen, who has taken up the moniker The Exalted. While I have no personal vendetta against von Haffen [it was thanks in part to his actions, after all, that I was able to find the true Path], Kar’s actions should be observed and monitored.
“The tournament itself proceeds in stages, with each warband deciding the level of challenge between a duel between Champions, Retinue versus Retinue, Beast fights, or Army battles of equivalent force. Lacking the manpower or resources for an army battle, the party has elected to proceed in the following order: Beast fight with the party of three, Retinue vs Retinue, Champion’s Duel, and Retinue vs Retinue. The Beast fight will serve as a warm-up while we allow weaklings in the tournament to be weeded out, while saving a retinue battle for last increases our chances at least three-fold. I am somewhat doubtful of Kar’s chances in the Champion’s Duel, however. This will be resolved tonight.
“Upon further reflection I have come to the conclusion that Kar is free to risk his life in a Champion’s Duel. He has proven resilient of late, and he appears to have an unknown Ruinous benefactor at his side, as well. Despite his outward reverence of Khorne, I cannot help but note the Nurgle alignment of his unique physique. Should our warband lose and be subsumed into another’s, it will matter little to me anyhow so long as I retain the freedom to practise my art. If all else fails, being in the Screaming Vortex, I can always default back to Polix.
“Recording date 6.579.008, forty-second millenium. The first battle was against a Fenksworld Pit Thing. I am content to log the success of my machine adaptations. Today they demonstrated great resistance against a point blank frag grenade explosion. I look forward to obtaining the resources to improve this boon.
“Polixian bretheren have set up shop to take advantage of the Blood Tournament. After some negotiation it has been decided that they will lend aid in exchange for our warband’s assistance against Castir, on the condition that we make it to the final match. I calculate our chances to be favourable at this point in time.
“Recording date 6.600.008, forty-second millenium. The second battle was against Orianna and a small retinue. Despite Kar and my falling into traps, Molly’s previous befriending of Orianna proved successful as she yielded following her underlings’ incapacitation. Note to self: blind grenades quite the worthwhile investment. Note to self: further research into fleshling sociology and psychology recommended for most efficient use of resources. May require outsourcing.
“Recording date 6.627.008, forty-second millenium. The third battle was a Champion’s Duel between Kar and Vorasha the Betrayer. It seems Kar was once again able to call on his Ruinous benefactor as I had predicted.
“Recording date 6.648.008, forty-second millenium. This will be a short recording for log purposes only. The party has been to a local Teller who forsaw our destinies intertwined with von Haffen’s. As a devout follower of the all-knowing Illustrious One Tzeentch, her talk of fates is, while difficult to include in calculation, difficult to overlook. Between the five of the party [plus von Haffen], she revealed the cards Chosen [Kar], Strife [O’Brien], Destiny [Self], Betrayal [Hastus], and Victory [von Haffen]. It may be important to note her blindness, such that the order of the cards may be immaterial. It appears we five are charged by the fates to conquer the Heart of the Vortex. By her words: “Where the hearts are coldest; the blades are sharpest.”
“Analysis: Chosen, Victory, and Destiny have null semantic value for the purpose of analysis; each imply set, immutable paths decided by a higher power, therefore discard all context. Strife and Betrayal are both descriptive of the past and probable of the future. Total semantic value of this telling = 0.
“I do not question the Master Architect, but from an engineering standpoint this seems quite an inefficient operation. As with all things, however, time will tell.”
+++End of Recording+++