With Kas and the other Reaver youths leading the way, the D’Stayn party left the Reaver homestead and began working their way through the warped corridors of the raider vessel, trying to make their way into the Imperial light cruiser. Originally, the D’Stayns considered leaving the raider and venturing outside, which would be easier to navigate, but Kas warned against that route as apparently the Iron Takers has functioning augers and turrets and fired upon anyone approaching from the outside. Instead, Vesper suggested traveling along the crushed wreckage of the raider’s forward lance battery and exiting directly inside the center of the Imperial ship, where the prow of the raider had penetrated the ship’s hull.
Unfortunately, the so-called “Daemon Storms” that the Reavers referred to continued to twist and warp the ships’ hulls, making navigation and travel a tricky proposition. The D’Stayn party got itself turned around a number of times, stumbling onto an ancient and long-unused sacrificial chamber to one of the Ruinous Powers as well as finding the ship’s bridge. They investigated the bridge, finding an ancient battle site where Chaos Reaver bridge crew appeared to have been slaughtered by a small and precise force operating from the center of the bridge. With some tactical discussion, Tryft and Eurydice deduced that a group of warriors had teleported into the center of the bridge and begun firing precision shots in all direction. Eurydice suspected that the attackers were the Holy Giants that Malchiah mentioned, whom she believed to be members of a Space Marine chapter.
The D’Stayn party finally found their way into the forward lance, the only distraction being the psychic presence of an angry intelligence somewhere near the enginerium decks that Pulveria sensed and encouraged the party to ignore. Instead, the party crawled through rents in the barrels of the lance and began making their way down the quarter-kilometer long tunnels. Before long they heard the sounds of many somethings approaching from the darkness ahead. Illuminating as many lights as they possessed, the D’Stayns were shocked to find a slavering pack of gigantic Flesh Hounds, a ‘minor’ Daemon of Khorne, rushing toward them!
The sight of the Daemons proved too much for most of the party. Janessa was paralyzed with horror. Tryft’s nerve broke and he fled the battle. Lady-Captain Morgan went momentarily insane and started attacking her own Black Lancers bodyguard. Vesper barely managed to keep her cool. And Pulveria, Eurydice and Meretek drew on their faith to drive them into battle. Fortunately, fate was with the D’Stayns and they were able to vanquish the Daemons, with only Vesper suffering any serious injury.
The party continued and as they neared the end of the lance weapon barrels, the sounds of heavy work echoed up from ahead. Janessa, along with a few Black Lancers and one of Meretek’s servo-skulls, crept forward to have a look. They discovered a half dozen Tech-Priests directing a number of labor-servitors in what looked like a mining process. The Tech-Priests were literally mining the reinforced ramming prow of the Chaos raider for its metal. As they watched though, one of the six combat servitors that were standing guard spotted Janessa’s group. A Black Lancer pulled Janessa away from the edge and out of the line of fire but took a heavy stubber round through the head. Other battle-servitors opened fire with rockets and automatic fire, forcing Janessa’s group to retreat from the barrage.
As explosions rocked the edge of the lance barrels, Tryft quickly organized a counterattack. Feigning death from the heavy weapons barrage, Eurydice, Janessa and a number of the Lancers lay still or hidden near the edge as the combat-servitors climbed up to survey the damage. When they reached the top, Tryft and the other Black Lancers sprang out of hiding and opened fire on the servitors. The tough cyborgs weathered the fire for a while, dealing out casualties to the Black Lancers, but eventually fell before the overwhelming fire.
Eurydice, Morgan, and Vesper then vaulted over the edge, Eurydice using her archeotech jump pack to bring the women in close, to deal with the remaining battle-servitors and Tech-Priests. They dealt with the servitors first then closed in on the Tech-Priests, who had ducked for cover when the firing started. From the lance edge, Meretek detected binary vox traffic, indicating that the Tech-Priests were calling for help. He did his best to jam the communications but feared that some message got past him. Meanwhile, any Black Lancers with heavy weapons set up firing positions from their elevated location and rained down death from above on the concealed Tech-Priests. In the end, the Mechanicus attempted to flee but none survived the attempt.
While the industrial servitors continued mindlessly mining away, Eurydice, Tryft and Meretek looked over the battlefield and discovered two of the Tech-Priests that were not mortally wounded. With some effort, they stabilized both men and took them prisoner.
Now they could get some straight intel about the so-called “Iron Takers…”