the ancient Roman god of sleep, a son of Night and brother of Death.
The airlock chimed its acceptance and the metal hatch slid slowly sideways, its motors slow and sluggish, reluctant to wake and work after so long in the void.
Out of the darkness the stale air fell out, gritty to taste and cold, it carried with it the heavy scent of wet rockcrete as if this led to some dank underhive den. The hint of hysterical exhaustion, regret and loss. A silence that seemed to echo laughter and weeping
At the Inquisitors command, Servo-skulls plunged into the darkness, stab lights dissecting the claustrophobic landscape as they floated ahead to clear the way into the derelict vessel. Red lights gave dark illumination as ships Armsmen followed the Servo-skulls deep into the decaying labyrinth in search of the source of the siren signal that had called to them.
The Spire of Somnus was an ancient System Carrack that traded in the Agripinaa Sector. The last registered log recorded it had been hired by an private Archeotech Expedition and was bound for the planet Barant. The Spire itself resembled a tall clocktower or great towered keep, watchful gargoyles and grotesques reached out from star worn sides and its buttressed flanks rose up to an ornamental capstone of tarnished gold and marble.
Deep within the abandoned tower the hibernation caskets had been found, a last refuge for the crew and the remnants of a story played out. The servo skulls slid through the rusted remains of torn bulkheads and barricades. Sensors highlighted damage from weapons fire and impact craters.Time and decay could not hide the violence the ship had struggled to contain.
Barely one casket remained intact from the ancient worry, the rest uprooted and torn aside or pulled down to lower decks through rusted holes. But one was enough; one was all that had been expected. The Sergent-at -arms and veteran Armsmen fanned out into the chamber and the Inquisitor stepped in to check his prize. Armoured hands touching the pitted metal almost reverently as eager eyes took in the dim readouts from the cracked Pict Screen.
“Its weak but its still there. Signal The Anvil of Stars to bring the Spire aboard” he voiced towards the nearest Servo-skull. “The Captain is still here but its too delicate to wake him’
He could have said more but instead his hand reached down and touched his side, feeling the outline of the leather pouch and the weight of the book within it.
“De Marche was right” he forced himself to say under his breath as he turned and moved back through the Spire, as if realising the words would make his decision more real and the path ahead more certain.
The Deamonhost represents the body of Captain Piter Ellek, possessed by the Tzeentchian Deamon Menethaal, Lord of the Cold Marches.
The Spire of Somnus had been carrying demonic artefacts found on the planet Barant when one of the bound Deamon’s had been released and slaughtered the crew and Archeotech team.The last man standing, the Captain had taken the ship out of warp and trigger the distress beacon before placing himself in Stasis as the Deamon possessed him.
Both the Deamonhost and a refitted Spire of Somnus now serve Inquisitor Belisarius