(From the recorded journal of Lady Aulos of Ordo Rimore)
The Recounting of the Voyage of Retrieval of one Keinon Rolal, Year 551
This shall be the first entry of the personal log of Lady Aulos, acting agent of Ordo Rimore, that serves to record our journey to the Outer Rim to find and, hopefully, retrieve an old friend. As such, this is a purely personal pursuit for myself, and, to the best of my knowledge, for my motley companionship.
This journey started with a letter from a very concerned young woman. She wrote to me, asking to leave in search of Keinon, for she feared the worst.
I personally have known Keinon Rolal, of Ordo Hospetaler, for a number of years now. Indeed, he was but a wide-eyed undergraduate student in Arx Machinus when we first met. I had returned from my brief stay in Golden Dome, running odd jobs in official Rimore capacity, and was only settling back to my old life in Arx Machinus when I was met with an accident. I had retreated to meditate into an abandoned location which was of old familiar to me, a site I used to frequent. I vividly remember welcoming the relief, after a hectic few years, of my inner mechanism slowing to around 35% of standard activity, when a group of students chanced upon the place. They were smoking cigarettes, one even a pipe with a very pretty emerald flame, that is a perennial favourite pastime of the youth, and unfortunately one made the ill-advised decision to throw their cigarette on the ancient console on the wall. It had faulty wiring, I felt the strain in the machine, and the poor thing caught fire. A minor event soon occured, the students ran, quite scared, and while the situation would have normally been slightly alarming at best, I was at considerably reduced capacity. One of my legs was hurt, temporarily defunct, but not beyond repair. I limped out of the room, standing myself straight only by leaning upon the wall, until Keinon, just a student like any back then, almost fell me over. He helped me up, though a tiny one he was, and it turned out he, as a student of Hospetaler and an avid golemcrafter, was uniquely suited to hastily fix my leg so that I could walk with at least some dignity. We became friends, and I am proud to say I eventually became his mentor. I was always duly notified of his later exploits by way of correspondence, he was a diligent letter-writer, but on his lastest journey, a standard one it was claimed to be, I heard scant word from him. It worried me, of course, yet I was reluctant to act upon my growing unease until I received the letter from his friend. Having considered I knew I had no choice but to go. I quickly decided upon a small search-party whom I imagined would be likewise moved to search for Keinon by personal reasons.
It was an obvious choice to go for people who knew of Keinon beforehand – Fortunatus Wright of Ordo Navale, Siria Liam of Ordo Voluptas, Valefarion of Ordo Proelium, and one Gustav (I forget his silly title), an Ordo Rimore Adept. All except the last I got into contact with, who seems to have been spirited away. And a final member, Su-Mi of Ordo Nuntius, was strongly suggested by the female friend who contacted me, and it turned out she was willing indeed to join our hunt. I hope we may all escape the affect of the Gloom on our long journey firstly to Golden Dome, where Keinon's party was last spotted, and perhaps ultimately to the depths of Outer Rim, where their journey was supposedly headed.
My companionship, I discovered as I began looking for them, were scattered to all corners of creation. My history with Fortunatus has led me to being able to keep easy record of his whereabouts, as some documents passed through my hands that let me assist Fortunatus Wright on his career. This, added to the fact that he was the captain of the first gloomvessel Keinon served aboard, he was a natural choice for the journey. He presided in a far corner of known Gloom but agreed with minimum grudge. I believe him to be trustworthy, even if some might find him a little excitable. Valefarion was rather easily tracked to the Amerachoan capital, where he was engaged in the trade of Proelium – employing an insightful method of using different chymicals in the control of mundanes. The result, I might add, was most impressive as casualties were at a minimum, which I imagine being a great recommendation for his future career. I was not personally convinced of taking the third recruit, Su-Mi, onboard, but I was ultimately persuaded to ask her along. She presided in the Holy City, in circumstances perhaps not quite suitable for the status of a Techmancer. It is of course not a place for me to judge such personal decisions as the company one keeps, even if it is found to be of the mundane sort, as long as we can all call our hearts clear and spotless in front of Solus Mekanimus. Truly I personally do feel we may with ease of mind serve which Aspect of the True Trinity we feel most personally with, and be assured of our ways not going amiss – taking, naturally, into account that each has their rightful place in society and should act in accordance. Specifically I feel this is the God-Gift of the Techmancers, but, again, this is no place of mine to judge. And sometimes the most personal of connections manifests itself most publicly...
After a search, I finally located Siria Liam, who was in Ventharn. As we stepped upon the Ventharnian soil to retrieve her, the sun shone hot, the wind blew sweetly, the corn, full and golden, swayed gently in the breeze, and the people of Ventharn died by the mass in the war which seems never to stop. Siria Liam, I knew, would be the most difficult to find; to be frank, and for myself I must, it was with hesitation that I even contacted her. I knew she would be unwilling to work with us, not for any animosity towards Keinon, but towards... well, towards us. And, to continue being frank, I cannot blame her. The organization is larger than its human agents combined. What it deems good shall be so, no matter how difficult, if not – well, wrong –, it may seem to a humble servant. After a feat of olympiac measure I persuaded her to join the party. I had seen right, she was not overly eager, but she came along.
So gathered, we started our journey to Golden Dome, the scene of last sighting of Keinon's convoy, began in that charming ship of captain Wright's. The monkeys and labyrinthine layout of the ship are lovely; I am however somewhat concerned in regard the excessive portraiture of one Nikolai. Perhaps, in official Rimore capacity, I should frown upon such an admiration. I have a foreboding feeling this is an issue that will eventually be revisited if I leave it for now. Perhaps nothing will come of it.
Oh, we are now arrived at Golden Dome: the soft glow of the city upon the ice-hill can be glimpsed even through the perpetual obscurity!