The Ephesian Schism
A briefing on a well-worn but functioning dataslate
Author: Inquisitor Ravion Serghar
Subject: Mission Briefing
Location: Secmentum Obuscurus
Sector: Calixis (Scintillan Sub)
Tithe Grade: Exactus Median
Notes: ref – Ghostfire pollen
Mission Details: The Inquisition offices on Scintilla have been formally issued with a request for assistance from the settlement of Stern Hope on Iocanthos. The report, while vague, suggests suspicious disturbances, possibly psychic or warp-based, occurring in the area of a new cathedral raised to honor Saint Drusus. The cathedral lies at the heart of the remote outpost and its successful completion with do much to further the Imperial fail on this troubled world, a laudable goal and on that the Holy Ordos shares.
You are requested and required to proceed to the planet Iocanthos where you will a Senior Inquisitorial Agent, Aristarchus the Seer, in investigating the incidents and ensuring that the consecreation of the cathedral goes as planned. Your principle task s are to gather data concerning any phenomena encountered and, where needed, eliminate any threats you may uncover.
For the duration of the mission, Aristarchus has the honor of command over you in my name. Assist him and afford him the same loyalty as you would give me, in the God-Emperor’s name.
Passage for you has been arranged on the trade-hauler Brazen Sky for immediate departure to Iocanthos. Make yourself known and familiarize yourself with your fellow Acolytes on board using the codes you have learned during your training.
Landing close to the site of the incident is impractical due to its geographical location in a mountain range and the potential hostility of the Ashleen natives. Instead you will make planetfall at Port Suffering and meet Aristarchus there. From Port Suffering arrangements have been made for your journey to Stern Hope.
Addendum I: The Cathedral Mission
Missionary-Abbot Orland Skae successfully petitioned for the first Iocanthan cathedral to be built in the settlement Sten Hope two years ago, and since then reports indicate that he has gathered a sizable congregation of native converts and worthy off-world pilgrims to his cause. Skae himself, a very distant scion of Scintillan nobility, has managed to garner both off-world donations and considerable local support to his mission, so far succeeding where others have failed.
Addendum II: Reported Phenomena
As the cathedral structure has neared completion, unusual phenomena have been evidenced both at the site and in the surrounding area. These include strange lights in the hills, animal attacks, missing persons, an upsurge in accidents and unexplained deaths.
These incidents have culminated recently in more serious and obviously unnatural events such as manifestation of phantom sounds, walls weeping blood, telekinetic disturbances, and other such phantasmagoria.
Addendum III: Planetary Briefing
Society: Iocanthos is an anarchic pseudo-feudal society, where all power-relationships are based on violence or its threat. A war-torn and brutal world, the control of the planet rests with various warlord and clan factions that compete to harvest or steal the planet’s only tithed material, Ghostfire pollen, in order to turn it over to the Imperium in exchange for supplies (primarily weapons, water, and food usually in that order of importance). The most powerful warlord is currently King Vervai Skull who is the presently acknowledged as Iocanthos’ de facto planetary governor. Iocanthos boasts a single fortified Administratum-controlled spaceport settlement, Port Suffering, where the Ghostfire tithe is collected and trans-shipped.
Founding: Iocanthos was taken by General (later Saint) Drusus’ Second Army Group during the first great crusades through the sector. As the planet lacked any significant technology, Drusus’ forces defeated the indigenous people, known as the Ashleen, in a single week of bloody fighting. Drusus later remarked in his memoirs that the only memorable aspect of the planet was the vast fields of wild flowers which resembled “Shimmering fields of rippling explosions, caught at the fleeting moment between beauty and destruction” (Ref. pg. 526, Breaching the Darkness). As ever the general was perceptive as the Ghostfire would become central to the world’s future.
Additional Notes: In times past, Iocanthos served as a penal dumping ground for undesirables that the Scintillan authorities, for various reasons, didn’t wish to execute or expatriate further afield. Such exiles were given minimal supplies and allowed to thrive or falter without further interference. The current population is largely a mixture of their descendants and the native Ashleen.
Past Inquisitorial Involvement: To the average Iocanthan, the Inquistion is merely another half-legendary power from beyond their world, and while there are records of several Inquisitorial missions to Iocanthos in the past, they are all classified beyond your clearance rating. I have reviewed them and judge none to be currently relevant to your mission.
The planet historically registers a slightly higher per capita level of psyker birth, but not significantly so.
The Sisters of the Abbey of the Dawn regularly report any unusual heretical activity to the Conclave. Other than this, the Holy Ordos retain no standing presence on Iocanthos.