The House Of Dust And Ash

Arrival on Solomon

Somewhat unexpectedly the Acolytes found themselves arriving on the heavily polluted hive-world Solomon where they were met by Lorelii Dekanta, a senior Explicator in the service of their Inquisitor. She informed them that they had been temporarily reassigned to work for Inquisitor Marr who was resident on Solomon. In short order they found themselves whisked off to the the Halls of the Chancellery Court, a vast Administrator legal complex that dominated the Jargan Prefecture of the city.

Inquisitor Marr proved to be a withered elderly man with long, lank hair and a narrow, sharp face. He was encased in several layers of threadbare and soiled looking clothes, and a moth-eaten fur shawl covered his shoulders. He succumbed often to wracking fits of coughing and has blood dabbed from his mouth afterward by a gaunt young woman who attended him.

Handing each of then a writ issued by Inquisitor Gaius, Marr informs the Acolytes they have been summoned to his service as he needs them to attend the unexpected auction of effects belonging to one Erasmus Haarlock - unexpected as Haarlock has been dead for over a hundred years. The Acolytes will be undercover at the auction. They are expected to gather intelligence, bid at the auction to establish their bona fides, monitor who buys and bids, guard themselves from harm, and exercise their own judgement as to more direct methods, but to be wary of the consequences of doing so.

The Acolytes spent some time after the interview with Marr's staff,  constructing plausible covers for themselves eventually deciding that they would pose as representatives of a Rogue Trader - House Daviss. Plax was to become Lady Olivia Falkenstein, the Rogue Trader's High Representative; Carie became Lax, her assistant; Marla and Rabalius would fill out the role of the Lady's administration staff while Mercutio and Phrenz or rather Octus Farr and Julius Dascus were bodyguards.

Marr provided the Acolytes with the relevant identity documents: an auction invitation, respirators, corrosion resistant vapour cloaks, a medi-pack. He also gives them a data-slate detailing numerous wanted heretics suspected to be in the sub-sector, a thousand Thrones each in petty cash, and a credit block drawn on the Chancellery Bank valid for sums up to one million Thrones. Transportation to The House of Dust and Ash has been arranged for bidders by the Haarlock estate on the Cygnan Martyr, an airship .They were then bundled into a speeder.

The trip to the Airship terminal took most of the night and dawn was rapidly approaching as the speeder touched down on the landing pad of the air dock. The ever-present smog and acid rain fell over a turbulent, green-black sea which stretched out southward. The wind blowing from the sea was heavy with acrid vapour, and twisted masses of corroded metal and the upper floors of decayed buildings jutted out from the dark waters like the bones of titanic skeletons. The Cygnan Martyr was easily located, and the crew were already preparing to depart with the dawn.

Cygnan Martyr

The Acolytes were ushered aboard by the Steward, Nahun Grist, and shown to their cabins (shared apart from that assigned to "Lady Olivia". When asked he advised that the trip would take around 30 hours weather permitting. He also informed them that apart from their cabins only the upper and lower observation decks were open to passengers. After settling in, the Acolytes headed to the Observation decks to see who else was aboard.There were thirteen other passengers on the flight as the airship departed, divided into four distinct groups.

  • Lanus Cisten, and his manservant Whent. Phrenz decided that Whent looked like a likely route to more information and headed over to join the pale-looking manservant.
  • Vymer and Quill, although nondescript, looked like competent professionals who, Mercutio and Phrenz noted, watched every move of the other passengers.
  • Octavia Nile, an attractive young woman, dressed in formal business attire, with fine manners and a cool, easy charm, accompanied by two bodyguards and an assistant who Carie noted moved with unnatural grace.
  • Abbot Tamas, a heaving, sweat-stained cleric with blotchy skin and fingers like writhing meat-worms, Tamas was a loud, highly-strung missionary who repeated loudly at length to any that will listen that he has received a divine vision that has led him here to bid on a holy saint’s relic.

The Wreckers of the Shard

Apart from Rabalius, who retreated to his bunk, the Acolytes spent much of the next few hour mingling with the other guests, though in actuality they pretty much left the actual mingling to Plax while the rest watched the other passengers warily. Plax managed to find out that Octavia Nile was the representative of one of the local guilds, although the young woman was coy about which actual one. Plax also spent some time in conversation with Abbot Tamas, although the "conversation" was pretty limited to Tamas posturing and exclaiming about his "Holy Mission". She did note however that whenever Tamas's theology seemed somewhat shaky in certain areas!

Rabalius emerged from the shared cabin to join the other for lunch, after which he decided he needed some "fresh" air and, respirator and corrosion resistant vapour cloak firmly closed,  stepped out onto the air balcony. So immersed was he in his own thought was the psyker that he didn't notice the sudden squall, the presager of a storm, that almost tossed him over the side! Wisely, he returned inside as the storm worsened, throwing passengers and their gear about rudely.

The storm probably only lasted a couple of hours but seemed to last interminably when suddenly it lapsed. Their relief was short-lived as abruptly an alarm sounded. The passengers had barely time to react as the crew present startedWrecker running from the observations decks, when a series of explosions raced across Cygnan Martyr as the hull was breached at several points by rocket-propelled grenades. The skyship shuddered as another vessel slammed side-to side with it and it's occupants launched a frenzied boarding action.

The attackers wore ragged stitched together chem-suits with insect-like goggles and crude breathing tubes jutting from their masks, and swarmed in through the breaches firing indiscriminately. Pockets of fighting broke out across the ship. On the lower observation deck Plax, Mercutio and were attacked by one group of wreckers, while at the far end Octavia and her entourage faced off against another, Abbot Tamas and his men meanwhile, immediately fled, presumably to hole-up somewhere! Carie alone on the upper deck except for Cisten and When, who immediately hid under a table, faced of against a small group of her own. At first the Acolytes seemed outmatched but then Rabalius began unleashing his powers.

Mindful of operational security and the fact they were undercover, Rabalius tried to keep his use of this psychic power unobtrusive, unfortunately the fact that it began raining blood and then all guns in the area simultaneously jammed, as wreckers began exploding around them was a bit of a give away. Fortunately only Vymer and Quill were close enough to see everything as Plax and Mercutio finished off the survivors before heading up to help Carie.

Upstairs,  Carie was facing off against one wrecker sword against boarding axe, while two others desperately tried to clear the jams on their weapons. As Mercutio charged toward them, one abandoned his gun  drew his own boarding axe and charged back. The other wrecker managed to clear his jammed  weapon and launched a wild burst of fire towards Plax. Plax fired back then suddenly found herself floating up to the ceiling as gravity suddenly reversed itself as Rabalius  came up behind her bringing up another psychic power.

The remaining wreckers on the upper deck were swiftly dealt with and it seemed that their sterling resistance had bourne fruit as they could head the sounds of battle ebbing across the Martyr. Suddenly the other vessel cut the grappling lines and veered off erratically, smoke belching from it, and disappeared into the clouds.

The House of Dust and Ash

As night feel, most of the passengers retreated to their cabins, Carie and Phrenz decided to hang out in the bar area where most unexpectedly they came under an insidious attack. Phrenz, noticing a sudden temperature drop suddenly leaped to his feet drawing his weapon before suddenly going blank-faced, dropping the weapon and heading for the exit toData Slate the Air Balcony -  without respirator or corrosion resistant vapour cloak! Carie was able to stop him at the last minute, by clubbing him unconscious, and hoisting the unconscious Guardsman over her shoulder took him to Plax. Plax, on being told what had happened, with some help from Rabalius,  worked out that Phrenz had been possessed! Rabalius used his power to confirm that the area around the bar had a faint warp-taint which, as it was fading rapidly, was probably not a powerful warp-entity. Fortunately,Plax was able to expel the unclean spirit possessing their friend in the name of the God-Emperor! The Acolytes spent some time in discussion which of their fellow passengers might be allied with the Ruinous Powers.

next morning at breakfast the Acolytes regarded their fellow passengers with suspicious eyes.Plax talked to several of them with not much result, but when she was talking to Abbot Tamas she noticed one of his followers had a tattoo of a bird that seemed troubling - and strangely familiar. Plax called the others together and thrashing things over, she Rabalius and Mercutio finally recalled where they had seen the symbol before. It was the sign of Tsyiak, an ancient and scheming Daemonic entity known as the Crow Father.They spent the rest of the voyage keeping a close eye on Abbot Tamas, bet decided against any direct intervention.

As the Cygnan Martyr docked beside three other skyships at the berth at the foot of the volcanic mound that made up the Burning Isle, they were taken aside by Captain Shadrak who after thanking the Acolytes once again for helping save the ship warned them, that although he had been paid to transport them there, as far as he was aware none of the skyships had been hired to take anyone back! Debarking from the skyship the Acolytes noticed that most of the other passengers had headed off apart from Lanus Cisten who accompanied by Whent was hanging around the near near some PDF troopers who were idly watching the  unloading of the skyship. They moved out heading for the central building of three enormous domed structures that dominated the island. They were met by Hiram Brand, the senior provost of the Adminstratum who, after checking their invites and handing them a dataslate that held a map and an auction catalogue,  advised that accommodation had been provided and that the first scheduled event was a reception at eight o'clock local time. He also told them that they were  free to ask assistance of any of the adepts, or the troopers who confine themselves to the auction area marked on the map. Apart from those here for the auction, there are others present. The main ones, dressed in black shrouds, are the "Sorrowful Guild" the caretakers of this place A few others are around also, visitors, pilgrims and such.

After checking in to their somewhat spartan rooms, it wasn't long before their contact, Locutor Mayweather got in touch. Mayweather was a nervous sort who seemed on the verge of hysteria. He told them that there had been several strange event on the last few days, people disappearing or being killed. He also told them that several expected skyships had not arrived and that, at the last minute, several additional items had been added to the auction!

The Viewing

The Inquisitors still had some time to kill before the formal reception that evening, so they made a quick trip into Deadtown along the twisting cinder path that somewhat perilously rounded the edge of the volcano. Set back in a series of caverns along the shoreline, the settlement turned out to be a ramshackle place and home to various scavengers and dregs. There were a few shops selling gear and a single alehouse  with skull painted black hanging outside above the door.

After returning to the House of Dust and Ashes they prepared themselves for the reception,dressing in their new finery. Arriving outside the venue they were somewhat disconcerted to discover that no weapons were permitted and somewhat reluctantly handed over their considerable armament to the care of the PDF troopers providing security. The reception was a somewhat surreal (and not a little sinister) social event where drinks and food were be served on silver platters by Mourners in formal black robes and blank white ceramic masks, while funeral choral and organ music drifted in from some unseen source.

Aside from those who had arrived on the Cygnan Martyr with them, they made the acquaintance of the other bidders. 

  • Captain Rubio of the “Ozmandius”. A Rogue Trader surrounded by a group of sycophantic hangers-on at least some of whom the sharp-eyed among the Acolytes determined were actually bodyguards
  • Elias Criese, a hulking figure with an acid-scarred face. Finely dressed, his accent still has traces of the Underhive and his manners are somewhat coarse. Accompanied by two very obvious Scum bodyguards.
  • Grenda Fayrudune  a tall, slim, elegantly dressed and seemingly vacuous noblewoman obsessed with clothes. Strangely she does not appear to have any bodyguards.
  • Lanto van Kane of the Scolarium of Solomon, tall and ascetic clad in the robes of an academic, accompnaied by two "students".
  • Magyar Marshrek  also attending the auction alone and without entourage, had the lethal air of a stalking beast. He wore battered looking but functional armour with an old xenoDataslate - Greater Itemss beast pelt across his shoulders
  • Master Nonesuch. A charming, patrician man of indeterminate age, Master Nonesuch dresses in the high quality but sober clothes of one of Solomon’s Guildmasters and walks with an ornate cane. He was accompanied by his secretary, a young woman and two guards.

During the event Plax, trailed by a watchful Phrenz and Mercutio, mingled. She chatted with the other bidders finding out what she could for their report. Rabalius, meanwhile, spent much of the time studying Vymer and Quill whom he noticed seemed very focused and appeared interested in the movements someone, but he was unable to work out exactly who.

Towards the end of the evening, Hiram Bland gave a short speech detailing the events of the next couple of days. Auction items would be available for viewing from midday the next day and the auction proper would commence  at midday the following day.

The Acolytes returned to their quarters but, after an uneventful night's sleep,  were woken early by the arrival of a yet again distressed Locutor Mayweather. Mayweather informed them that there had been more trouble overnight. Lanto van Kane's body had been found in his room, shot  in the head and Vymer and Quill had seemingly vanished into thin air! Following Rabelius's hunch, most of the Acolytes headed off to Deadtown in search of the missing men. As they went, they noted that the storm they had outrun the previous day had finally caught up with them. They asked around in The Black Skull about Vymer and Quill for a bit, but came up empty handed.

Carie meanwhile headed to the Cygnan Martyr to confirm arrangements with Captain Shadrack, who confirmed he was planning on departing at dusk the following day - weather permitting. On her return to The House of Dust and Ashes she met up with Locutor Mayweather who, somewhat furtively, handed her a dataslate saying they had managed to find out what additional items had been added to the auction at the last minute.

The Viewing itself proceeded more or less uneventfully, the Acolytes along with the other bidders spent several hours wandering round perusing the various, sometimes disturbing, artefacts displayed in glass cases.

The Auction

The Acolytes dressed themselves in their finery and headed off to the Auction of Lesser Items at midday. The bidding was fairly intense but the Acolytes managed to obtain a few items (mainly weaponry) without breaking the bank.

After a light lunch they reconvened in the auditorium but before matters resumed, there was some commotion between the Mourners and advocates, and eventually a troubled looking Provost Bland returned to the podium to speak advising that Before bidding was commenced on the greater lots, several parties had requested…and the High Mourner has insisted…that a demonstration be carried out, before its sale, of the oracular device known as the Gilded Widow.

Carried reverentially on a litter by six Mourners, the Gilded Widow on her throne was brought to the dais beside Bland. Greel, the Head Mourner, removed a heart-shaped ruby crystal that pulsed slowly with a crimson inner light from within his robes and fits the “heart” into the Widow’s chest. The transformation was sudden and remarkable, and the gilded figure shuddered to life. Elegant metal fingers cut and spun the cards from the tarot deck, as Greel and the Mourners backed away from the dais, bowing as shocked gasps and murmurs escape the crowd. The Gilded figure lifted her face and eyes of uttermost cold darkness to study the crowded auditorium. “ASK AND BE ANSWERED,” the gilded Widow statedin an empty, mocking voice.

People began shouting out question, to most of which they received cryptic answers until someone shouted out "Is Haarlock truly dead?" to which the response was

“The traveller and the scion both do live, one without and the other within. 

Blood of his blood, born of his line, flesh so frail caught in this web, death shall be their inheritance.

Haarlock returns and hell follows with him!”

At this last pronouncement, the Mourners fell to their knees wailing and screaming as the whole structure started to shake and a roar echoed up from the bowels of the earth. The lights flickered and distant explosions could be heard, servo-skulls dropped from the air, and servitors collapsed lifeless. After a few moments, the complex stopped shaking and the roar steadied down to a continuous low rumble. Into the silence the Widow spoke again.

Know this, the traveller has set our course and the ship cannot be turned. Thirteen hours you have, thirteen hours until his wrath drowns you all in fire and ash, sealed here in the tomb
that has been prepared. Fitting punishment for you who would take from him what is his. Never do you learn the lessons of the past, doomed to repeat history’s sins. But first you will suffer, first you will be shriven!
“You have but one chance and one chance alone to placate the traveller. One gift will assuage his just fury: Give me the blood of the scion of Haarlock, let it flow to fill this chalice and you shall live, but if my cup remains empty the Children of the Kingdom will gnaw your flesh and darkness will bury your bones.”

There was be a few moments of shocked silence, followed by Master Nonesuch smiling and slowly applauding, whilst some of the more quick-witted attendees, including Phrenz began heading for the exit to flee, and a lot of people picked themselves up off the floor, dazed and confused by the shocking turn of events. Provost Bland staggered dazed to his feet and cried out, asking what it all means, at which point Greel rears up behind him screaming, a power blade sprang from his staff to form a scythe and he cut Provost Bland in two in a welter of gore. His brethren drew silver blades from beneath their robes and fell upon the bystanders and guards, attacking indiscriminately.

The Acolytes found themselves in a frantic melee, arming themselves as they could with the items they had won they defended themselves against frantic attacks by Mourners who were seemingly uncaring of death. They managed to fight their way to one of the side rooms and then out through a side exit into one of the ancillary rooms to the auditorium where they began to make their way back towards their cells to retrieve their gear.

The whole area around them echoed eerily with distant gunfire and screams, and indeed it was not long before they found signs of violence here. It seemed that Master Nonesuch and his people had fled this way too as they found the body of his secretary, the back of her bead blown off, where a semi-insectile “mass” swarmed in the brain cavity. Recognising that this meant the presence of Slaughth who were flagged as Xenos Horrificus Maxima, the Acolytes recognised to their dismay that there was more than one threat to the Imperium in play.

After burning the body, they returned to the now quiet though body-strewn Auditorium still overseen by the ominous presence of the Gilded Widow made their way down a stairway to the lower level, where they could see out into the. Phrenz confronter the Widow, asking who and where the "scion" was, but received the answer "That was for you to determine". Rabelais noticed that the Mirror of my Blood.” portrait which had been blurred the day before now seemed more defined - and familiar. Mercutio came over to look, conspicuously avoiding the doll in the glass jar, but it was Phrenz who realised that the portrait now looked strikingly like Lanus Cisten.

The Acolytes warily wade their way downstairs to the ever present echo of gunfire and looked across the body-strewn Entrance Hall. Both the Adminstratum Cells and the Private Chambers were streaming acrid black smoke. The huge double doors were still open however any hope of egress that way were dashed  the purple haze of a Void Shield which now blocked any exit. Plax opened the door of one of the nearby rooms in search of something, only to suddenly reel back as a hail of bullets came towards her.

The Grand Staircase and Beyond

Their assailants turned out to be more Mourners, this time armed with hand-cannons. Phrenz, Carie and Mercutio took cover in a nearby office while Plax retreated back to where Rabelais stood. The Mourners, seeming uncaring of their own lives, charged out into the corridor and one of them managing to shoot Phrenz in the head before they were all slain. A second group foolishly attacked Rabelais, who retaliated using the power of the Warp and destroyed them.

The Acolytes looted the bodies acquiring several hand-cannons, but the supply of ammunition unfortunately was was limited. Phrenz suddenly recalled the PDF troopers who had been killed outside the Auditorium and resolved to see if any useful equipment could be gained from them. Dashing out into the body-strewn entrance hall, they headed for the Grand Staircase. They came under sniper-fire from the upper levels of the burning Administratum Cells, but fortunately no one was hit. Dragging bodies of troopers into the cover  of the Auditorium, where the Gilded Widow looked on impassively, still randomly shuffling her tarot deck,  they managed to loot a couple of flak jackets and a single lasgun from the dead troopers.
Gun Drones
Unsure what to do next or where to go, they eventually decided to head off and try to find Lanto and, if possible, discharge their duty to the Inquisition and eliminate the threat of Master Nonesuch. Phrenz also added a personal objective of dealing with Abbot Tamas.

Without the benefit of knowing where any of their targets might have fled to, they pretty much resorted to wandering the area randomly through a seemingly endless endless, curving white marble corridors that wound and snaked along, lit by a dim, omnipresent white radiance. Stretching out seamlessly from the rest of the complex and disappearing into the rock below, without rhyme or reason within this white labyrinth were living chambers, crematoria, mortuaries, tombs, reliquaries, and sepulchres, many of widely differing forms,decor, and function. 

Some were covered in dust and others were spotless as if newly furnished., occasionally they came across bodies and signs of battle in dark corridors and dusty side-rooms.
Suddenly, Phrenz and Mercutio called a sudden halt as they heard the barely-detectable high-pitched whine of servo-motors. The Acolytes took what cover they could as two Tau gun-drones, swept round the corner and fired at them. Fortunately the Acolytes managed to destroy the drones, although several were wounded.

A Farewell to Phrenz

The Acolytes wandered the labyrinthian corridors for about another hour or so, heading back to retrieve the portrait of the Scion, which they believed might help them find Lanus Cisten. They suddenly came under attack by unclean spirits, which were successfully repelled. Suspecting that Abbot Tamas was once more the cause and likely nearby, Phrenz began searching the area and found the Abbot and his followers lurking in a nearby room.

As combat was joined, Phrenz concentrated his fire on the Abbot. Tamas cast a force bolt at Phrenz that burned through his flak jacket throwing him against the far wall of the corridor but somehow, Phrenz survived what should have been a fatal hit.The rest of the Acolytes targeted Tamas's followers who fell one by one. Rabelais, though his psychic powers initially failed him, soon began casting  force bolts of his own! Eventually under concentrated fire the Abbot fell, as he did, his corpulent flesh split open and a flock of murderous Shale Crows poured forth attacking them. Their ranged weapons seemed to have minimal effect against the flock, but Plax and Mercutio resorteGun Servitord to melee weapons which seemed marginally more effective. Especially the sword Mercutio had won, which when drawn seemed to murmur to him and fill his thoughts with images of battle and slaughter.

Though starting to feel weary as they had been on the go for nearly sixteen hours, the Acolytes resumed their march, returning to the Auditorium and retrieving the portrait. Shortly after they left however they were ambushed by two Mourner gun-servitors. After dealing with the gun servitors, they decided on a brief rest conscious of the fact they only had five or six hours left in the time allotted by the Gilded Widow.

As they rested, Carie failed to notice a flattened, sinuous form snaking towards her till it grabbed her foot. She scream as necrotic fluid it exuded, filled with flesh-eating bacteria and molecular acids began to liquefy the flesh of her leg. As the other Acolytes leaped into action, the sinuous form withdrew and they heard the mocking tones of Master Nonesuch advising them that if they tossed out the body of their friend when she died, he would let the rest of them go.

As the Acolytes took up defensive positions in the room, Plax used her medicae skill to try and help Carie. Cauterisation seemed the best option, but they had nothing suitable to burn with sufficient heat, as the necrotic area of flesh began to expand, she resorted to her dagger excising the corrupted flesh while Carie bit down on the handle of her own knife!

Determined to break what was rapidly turning into a stalemate, Phrenz stepped into the corridor and fired the last remaining plasma round from his Hrud fusil at Master Nonesuch, hitting him! Unfortunately for the Guardsman, the Slaugth was not killed and  Master Nonesuch fired back with his necrotic sceptre striking Phrenz who was blasted into a cloud of ash and vapour, completely destroyed!

Unnoticed by anyone, in the corner of the room, the portrait of the Scion, suddenly became much clearer!


Nearby Venris, an Imperial Guardsman who have been visiting the House of Dust And Ashes for an internment and had got caught up in all the madness, paused as he heard the sound of gunfire nearby. He motioned to his companions, Lanus and Whent,  for silence and edged down the corridor spotting the firefight ahead of him. Hearing one of the parties call on the name of the emperor he edged forward, reaching for the pack of grenades he habitually carried, and tossed a fire grenade into the room.

Mercutio and Plax had gradually begun whittling down Master Nonesuch's companions, when Rabelias shielded (or so he believed) charged forward swinging a psychic blade at the Slaught overseer, only to instantly realise the error of his ways as his powers faded the closer he got.Carie, Plax and Mercutio, who somewhat reluctantly drew the black blade he had one at the auction charged in to support the psyker, and eventually they prevailed against the xenos horror.

After introductions were made and the Acolytes realised with glee that Venris's companions were in fact the very people they had been seeking, they headed back to the Widow. Somewhat reluctantly, Lanus allowed Plax bled him into the Widow's goblet. The Widow drained the glass then held it out for more. Realising the Widow meant to drain the blood of the Scion, the Acolytes backed off and began looking for an alternative, much to Lanus's relief!

It was Lanus who finally offered a solution. According to his researches, old Erasmus had apparently been a paranoid sort and had allegedly,in fear he was buried alive, built an escape route in his tomb. All they needed was the key to the tomb - which, as the symbol of his office, the Head Mourner kept on his person at all times him.

The Acolytes quickly hatched a plan to infiltrate the Mourner's quarters, who judging by the corpses scattered around had been severely thinned out in the last few hours. Initially relying on stealth, the plan quickly descended into mayhem, but in short order they had slain the surviving Mourners and retrieved the dark sunburst amulet. It took them a little while to discover how to use the amulet to open the tomb, and needless to say the tomb's guardians (a pack of nasty xenos who nearly killed Rabelais) got in their way. Eventually they found the exit after Venris suddenly worked out that if you were worried about being buried alive you might actually put the hidden exit inside your sarcophagus.

VolcanoNeedless to say, they were not at all surprised to find the sarcophagus empty and after searching, located the exit, which led through a tunnel to the administration block at the skyport. The Cygnan Martyr was waiting for them just offshore and they quickly scrambled aboard.

As the ship departed, behind them the volcano erupted spewing lava all over the ill-fated House of Dust and Ash, for a second or two the Void Shield held firm then flickered and died, as the buildings were buried. As they turned to leave the observation deck, both Plax and Mercutio thought they saw what looked like golden point of light spearing upwards through the smoke for just a second!