Having escaped the destruction of the Burning Isle, on Solomon, the Acolytes thought they would get a nice break to sort through the rare artifacts and weapons rescued from the Haarlock auction. Instead, all the items were sent to Inquisitorial inspection and the Acolytes were sent to luxury suites, awaiting reassignment.
Xinthia was sent to the Solomon Mechanicus temple, to return the Sollox energy blade and datachip to the Cult of Sollox. She was to receive her reward from their Magos.
Burfert, Calliden, and Sid were informed that they were bound for the pleasure planet, Quaddis. A friend of Inquisitor Holmes, Inquisitor Nazauth Karkalla had gone missing. Karkalla had been following the trail of an xenos smuggling ring known as the Beast House headed by a man called Marcus Vulpa, his last known location was Quaddis.
While traveling to Quaddis, the Acolytes were attacked by slavers, hidden amongst the crew of their transport. They successfully killed their initial assailants but were poisoned by unknown beasts with venom tipped tails. The toxins rendered the Acolytes unconscious.
The Acolytes awoke to a far from promising situation. They found themselves in a pit surrounded by razor wire and facing iron gates. They were physically fine, but were wearing only rags, and missing their hard won gear. Burford ranted and raged about losing his fine mesh vest and precious glass knife. The group began formulating a plan. Working with a few other captives, Calliden was able to climb out of the pit.
Just as he crawled out, one of the gratings opened. Skinless beasts struggled to get loose and devour the captives. Luckily, the grating got stuck and only one animal escaped to feast on the nearest wailing captive. Burford and Sid tried to fend off the beast with bones and shards of glass. Meanwhile Calliden caught sight of a Heron masked figure who signaled him towards a pig masked slaver sitting at a console. Calliden successfully throttled the slaver and lowered a ladder in to the pit. Both remaining Acolytes escaped just in time as the grating fully withdrew, allowing a host of beasts to fill the pit.
They interrogated the slaver and tossed him into the pit when he refused to answer all their questions. The Acolytes did learn that they were in the Red Cages, beneath the capitol city Xicarph on Quaddis, and that they had been kidnapped by the Beast House. They made their way through the nightmarish, industrial maze of the under works.
They found a note from the Heron Masked man, along with a knife of the highest quality. Knowing a good weapon, Sid took up the knife.
They came upon a rent, leading to what appeared to be an abandoned home of some lost nobleman. Burfert instinctively pocketed anything of value, much to the protest of his teammates. He later payed for his thieving ways when he tried to remove a demonic looking idol, which instantly tried to possess him. Obviously the dead body and the bowl of blood in front of it weren’t clues enough.
Sid, being the stealthiest, scouted ahead and led the group to a dark cargo bay. While hiding behind the cargo containers, the Acolytes spied on a Jackal Masked figure yelling at his lackeys about being tricked by the Heron Mask. The Acolytes deduced that the Jackal Mask was Marcus Vulpa. He ordered that the Heron Mask be found, he also mentioned that an Inquisitor was in the medical pod behind him. After watching Vulpa exit via a central cargo elevator the group snuck into the medical pod, and killed the lone torturer inside. They found Inquisitor Karkalla mutilated and near death.
Sid was so disturbed, he soiled himself and ran out of the pod.
Karkalla recognized the Acolytes as fellow agents of the Inquisition. He revealed that he and his companions were on the trail of Vulpa and the Beast House, when his retinue were ambushed by the Pilgrims of Hayte. The Pilgrims of Hayte are a known apocalyptic, chaos cult and appear to be using the Beast House to unknown ends. Karkalla ordered the Acolytes to stop whatever dark plans the Pilgrims had for Quiddis. With his dying breath, the Inquisitor stated that one of his companions still may yet live. His operative would be undercover as an adept, known as Septimus Dexter, the White Scholar. Armed with this one lead, the Acolytes looked to escape.
Despite the number of slavers, the group chose to charge for the elevator. Burfert noticed that one of the bastards had his expensive mesh vest. He made to get it back till Sid got his nose blown off by a shotgun blast; realizing that they were on the losing end of a gun fight, the Acolytes dashed into the elevator. As they ascend, one of the slavers tossed a frag grenade into the elevator cage! With a quick hand, Burford threw it back before it had a chance to paint the walls with their innards.
As the elevator passed through levels of the Red Cages, the group steeled themselves for combat. Not knowing what horrors would come at them next, they readied their weapons as the top of elevator opened up.
The Acolytes were assaulted by bright daylight, sounds of large crowds, the smell of perfumes, and the blaring carnival music. Standing with mouths agape at the scene before them, the Acolytes took in the fine marble, onyx, and gold opulence around them. A silver masked woman, covered in silks and jewels called up to them, “Have you come from a revel? Looks deliciously bloody!” With a flourish she and her escorts disappeared into the costumed crowd.
Bloody with no allies or resources, the Acolytes entered the Festival of the Tattered Fates, hoping they were not fate’s fools.