PrologueQuintus Severus paced restless in front of the void-window of his quarters aboard the Cobalt Snake. Something was wrong, down in Mancunius Dome. He coud feel it like a shifting shadow at the edges between his physical and psychic senses. He went at his desk, opened a small leather bound chest and pulled out his deck of Emperor's Tarots. He started laying the cards in front of him. The first three, for the past.
In the inverted Astronomica he saw the confusion and lack of knowledge surrounding the Guardian and the search for it. With a cynical smile, he recognised both him and Lenk in the upturned Inquis. Two misguided Inquisitors entangled in an open conflict, there represented by the righted Militarum. He paused for a moment, focused his thoughts on the Hive below and turned the next three cards, these for the present.
They matched the reports from the Underhive. The righted Navis, herald of new arrivals, and the righted Scrivener, symbol of changes ahead, clearly spoke of these rumoured newcomers, the Scuttlers. Some sort of heretech gangers, they had just arrived at the Sulfured Quays with a mysterious cargo. But the Scrivener also spoke of another change, this time in the behaviour of crime lord Pa'smond Massoonan. There he was, represented by the inverted Judgement, a perversion of the right rule of the Emperor's agents. Pa'smond Massoonan had been 'granted' the title of Lord Mayoris of Sal's Ford by the Guilders in 'recognition' of the Enforcement services provided across Mancunius Dome. A meaningless title outside Mancunius Dome, but still a perversion of the laws governing the Imperium. And yet, he had not, like he had always done, bound the services of the Scuttlers to his criminal enterprises. Clearing his mind from questions, Quintus turned another three cards so that they could tell him what was to come.
The Inquisitor gasped. The inverted Morte and the righted Telepathicum only meant one thing: unlawful killings brought about by creatures of flesh and bone in the Materium. And then, as always since he had taken an interest in the Guardian, the last card was the inverted Deus Imperator, a dreadful omen of the approach of an enemy of Humanity.