Monday, June 10, 2024

Vastarian: Child of Vastarian

Inquisitor Lucrezia Beltano and acolyte Severine of the Ordo Sanctorum.

Over the last month or two, we have been sharing all of the wonderful Vastarian Cults (Entries 1, 2, 3) that were created for our Vastarian Contest. While we still have one more upcoming post with the last few entries, we wanted to create a post showing a unique entry into the contest, one that didn’t involve a cult, but instead two Inquisitors embroiled in a conflict surrounding a powerful newly emerged psyker from the Cathedral World of Vastarian. This psyker, the “Child of Vastarian,” and associated characters were created by Moritz Schuessler (Herr.sobek). With this post, we wanted to showcase his creation via two stories from the perspective of two inquisitors: Lucrezia Beltano and Aesa Valerian.

Moritz Schuessler (Herr.sobek) Child of Vastarian

Aesa Valerian and their retinue of the Ordo Malleus.


"Stop recording."

The scratching and clicking stopped as the Lexmechanic seized its monotonous task of transcribing anything Lucrezia Beltano said or did for the records.This was the Ordo Sanctorum watching the watchers, but Inquisitor Beltano could not risk being seen now. She had been a humble servant of the Ecclesiarchy her whole life, being taken under the wings of Inquisitor Valdez at the age of only 16.He had shaped her into a loyal soldier of the Imperial Creed, patrolling the home front on Imperial shrine worlds like a secret police, always on the lookout for cults and splinter groups, any sort of deviants for that matter, for even tiny cracks in the foundation could bring down His giant church, given enough time.

Inquisitor Sandor Valdez had dreamed of His return and every morning they had included Saint Sebastian Thor in their prayers. Many years later, Lucrezia Beltano still shared his dreams. She was what the scribes would later refer to as Thorians, united in their firm belief that the Emperor of Mankind would one day be freed from the shackles of the Golden Throne on Terra to lead humanity into a golden future.

The smell of burning incense took her back to the present. The censer-bearing Cherub was a necessary amenity, following her every step on Vastarian. Cheap theatrics to remind everyone of the superior power of the institutionalized Imperial Creed, blinding the masses with His eternal light bouncing off fine silk and polished gold. Inquisitor Beltano wore a beautiful fur-lined dress in pastel colours. It was too large and heavy for a lady of her status to have to carry on her own, so tiny servitors and cherubs hovered about, equipped with various sensors and digi-lasers for emergency threat-response.

"We are the firebreak, not the firestarter", she mumbled. Inquisitor Valdez had said that many times. She owed the old man so much. He was gone for a little over fifteen Terran standard years now, though it felt much longer to her. Every morning she prayed to Saint Thor that he, too, might return one day.

She carried her old master's power-sword, the master-crafted weapon as much part of the show as the oversized dress that primarily served to hide a powerful refractor-field generator. It made sneaking around the holding cells a lot less covert, but an Inquisitorial Rosette could close mouths and open doors.

Her feline companion hissed and directed her attention to one of the holding cells to her left. The Gyrinx Cat had been kindly given to Beltano on her 116th birthday, which correlated with her being in service of the Ordo for a full century. She could tell that the Xenos creature was scared of whatever was locked behind these doors.

"We need to hurry, Mylady Inquisitor, Captain Apollinaire will not be waiting for us if we are late. It cost a small fortune to even convince him to accept any passengers at all. To them, we are a waste of space. The only god this man acknowledges is worshiped in the halls of the Adeptus Financia... I... I am sorry milady, I beg you to forgive my blasphemy. But we really need to go now."

Her Acolyte gave a tired look from under her magnificent ceremonial headdress. Severine was already redacting the records the Lexmechanic had taken before she had directed them to stop. This story would be about them, so why not tell it themselves, she thought to herself?

Severine was right however. The Vastarian Child, free from its holding cell, was half asleep and stumbling forward from muscle memory alone. No doubt it had been heavily drugged by agents of the Ordo Malleus so it could be safely taken aboard one of the Black Ships that was approaching the cathedral world of Vastarian. If not for the sedation, the act of absconding with The Child would be undoubtedly more difficult. She was not exactly overstepping her authority, but abducting an unsanctioned psyker was not a petty offense. Still, she was convinced she was doing wrong things for the right reasons.

The Child had been the most promising candidate in over a decade, discovered by mere chance during the uprisings on Vastarian, and for now it was her best kept secret. Severine had bribed the Rogue Trader into being discrete, but the greedy man insisted on taking a detour to Terra, via the Hive World of Necromunda, to get rid of several dozen containers worth of parchment paper and definitely-not-fake relics for the Thane of House Cawdor in exchange for candles and fuel, amongst other things that were nowhere near as precious as a potential vessel for His second coming. But it was not like they had much of a choice. Captain Apollinaire was probably well aware this was no official mission, else the Inquisitor could have simply requisitioned ship and crew and would not have traveled with such a small retinue, one member of which had been hidden in the guest quarters immediately.


Days later, this Vastarian Child was dragged down the corridors of the ship, after being raided by pirates with undisclosed allegiances, shortly after their arrival at the Eye of Selene, Necromunda's only orbital spaceport. Beltano did not know who these assailants were or why they had taken The Child, and only The Child. Did they know what it was?

The boarding and kidnapping was over within minutes. Everything about it seemed strange, but she could not risk her holy mission to fail. They remained on the bridge during the attack, watching the events unfold, including their exodus down to Hive Primus, on a large screen. It took all her patience to remain calm, watching these people taking her most prized possession with little resistance. They simply didn’t have the resources to oppose two dozen highly trained ex-militarum soldiers. But keeping her secret was more important than keeping her prisoner - for now. Once again, she questioned her past decisions. "We are the firebreak," she thought.

She imagined what The Vastarian Child might unleash down in Hive Primus when it was fully conscious and aware again. She stared at the screens and recognized a familiar signature of a nearby vessel - a Black Ship! They would not dare to question her request, and with maybe a squad of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers she could rescue The Child...

When Inquisitor Aesa Valerian answered the call, however, Beltano immediately regretted her decision. The pieces were not exactly hard to put together, she realized. Valerian must have had some connection with the Black Ships visiting Vastarian; they knew one of their psykers had gone missing. But could they have traced that to her and followed her here? She doubted it, she had been careful. Regardless, if Valerian knew, or even suspected, she had been harboring an unsanctioned psyker and refused to disclose this “vital information,” her damnation was sealed in the radical’s eyes. Even just calling a Black Ship for unofficial assistance in retrieving an undisclosed passenger in the first place was treachery enough.

Of all things, it was a twist of fate that a radical Ordo Malleus Inquisitor was now heading to Hive Primus, suspecting an unsanctioned psyker was about to wreak havoc in one of the Imperium's most densely populated Hive Cities. Maybe it would all work out, Beltano thought. Everything happened for a reason, right? Was Inquisitor Valerian the Emperor's way of telling her that she was wrong about The Child? What if she WAS wrong about The Child? And what if she was right? The Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, Aesa Valerian, would not hesitate to execute The Child on the spot. She had invited a wolf into their home. A dangerous beast. They had to find The Child before Valerian did.

"Severine, we need to get down there as quickly as possible." If this was indeed a mistake, it was hers alone, and she would fix it herself. At all costs.


"She is not going to cooperate, M'lady."

"I know. Send Interrogator Brunner, he is used to talking to people not willing to cooperate."

"Special instructions?"

"Just keep her on that orbital space port for as long as possible. No overly threatening behaviour, no violence. She is an Inquisitor after all, albeit from a minor Ordo that seems to entertain weird ideas. She won't be of much help anyway. If The Vastarian Child is what she thinks it is, the Eye of Selene will be the safest place on Necromunda. Have my shuttle prepared for immediate departure... and let the planetary defense forces know they are not to attack our landing ship or the Holy Inquisition will burn this place to the ground. I am not in the mood for tedious discussions with important looking people that only waste my precious time, Nestor. I want you, Hellmann and... Damien. Get him aboard the shuttle. We may need him this time."

First to board the lighter was Sergeant Anders Hellmann, 5th Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. Aesa Valerian had been working with these elite shock troops for quite a while now. At this point, the number of heretics who had been unsanctimoniously terminated at their hand was beyond counting.

They suspected a powerful cult of heretics operating in the shadows of Hive Primus had gotten involved in The Vastarian Child debacle, likely controlled by their old friend Dayan Eisenstein, a tainted magos. They feared Eisenstein might attempt to tear open the thin veil that shrouds the terrors of the Immaterium by sacrificing The Child to his gods on a bloody altar. If that "Child" was as powerful as Nestor Saburo had suggested... she could not let this happen. Hellmann's hellgun might not be potent enough to banish what was lurking behind the veil, but it would be perfect to deal with the heretic scum Eisenstein would no doubt attract.

Nestor Saburo was the next to board the lighter. The Mystic. She had never asked him to remove his strange helmet. She knew he never would. He carried a modified laspistol and was often seen with a humming servo-skull by his side. But his most valuable talents were hidden from plain sight: he was a powerful psyker. His cane, easily mistaken to only support his tall stature, concealed a null-rod - the handle protecting the Mystic himself from its devastating effects.

Saburo had eyes and ears everywhere, a vast network of spies and inquisitorial agents all over the galaxy. When Inquisitor Beltano hailed her for assistance, she did not have to mention the identity of the mysterious passenger she lost to space pirates.He already knew. And Inquisitor Valerian did not have to mention how she intended to find Eisenstein and his cult amongst the countless billions inhabiting Necromunda's largest arcology. Or the daemon she expected The Vastarian Child to become a host for if they were too late. He already knew. He was the bloodhound. He was the bait.

Then Damien was led in. A mindless slave. A lobotomized servitor. Half of his body was metal. Half of his name was a number. 1427. She had never asked Inquisitor Blane what that number meant. She did not care. Blane had seemed rather glad to get rid of the Arco-Flagellant, whose arms had been turned into shock whips. Said he was probably insane. Hard to control, even with extensive conditioning, which effectively made him a shambling corpse unless he heard the trigger word. Then he burst into savage rage, his body a mere vessel for mindless destruction. He was the perfect tool. Immune to the whispers from the warp, the allurement of the daemon, the corruption of Chaos.

Aesa thought about The Child again. A yet to be classified psyker, potentially plus-alpha. Too powerful to be left alive, for what would happen if it could not be controlled. The Vastarian Child was no special snowflake. It was a security risk. A sweet delicacy for the creatures of the Warp, a ripe and juicy fruit for a hungry daemon to sink their sharp teeth into. And when the Black Ships had arrived on Vastarian, it was gone.

Damn those Thorians, she thought. Did Lucrezia Beltano really think this creature might be a suitable vessel? For Him no less? Was this why she fled Vastarian on the rogue trader ship? To bring The Vastarian Child to Terra in secrecy? If Lucrezia Beltano really believed it was to become a vessel for a godlike entity trapped in the Immaterium... was this any different from what Magos Eisenstein was likely attempting down in Hive Primus?

She could tell why some considered her a radical, though she did not care. She fastened her belt, breathing heavily from the heavy armour, let alone the respirator covering her nose and mouth. It was custom power armour, and with the boltgun attached to her wrist and the power spear she resembled the superhuman warriors the Ordo called when bad things got even worse.

They had a rogue psyker running wild in one of the most densely populated Hive Cities of the Imperium. And that was the best case scenario. If The Child was who... what...Beltano - or Eisenstein - believed...

She touched her Inquisitorial Rosette and sent a quick prayer to Him, hoping He was listening. May He on Terra forgive her blasphemy. She was the final passenger to enter the lighter, which immediately departed for the vast arkology below.

She was Aesa Valerian, Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus. The first and last barrier against the arch-enemy of mankind.

The Daemonhunter.


We hope you enjoyed these Inq28 yarns as much as we have! Make sure to Herr.sobek on Instagram. Expect to see the final post of Vastarian entries soon!

- Adam, Eric, and Greg Wier

1 comment:

  1. I love Sobek's stuff. So cool to see it explored more thoroughly!