Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant, Gustaf Adolf von Illinoix und Novaja-Riga, begs to report:
Master, Your decision to trust this crucial assignment to me warms my heart and with this letter I intend to prove that Your trust was well merited. Even before our arrival to this God-forsaken (I mean this literally, as you will discover, my beloved Master) place, I had begun collecting and analyzing information of the area and discovered the following facts:
The unusual Celestial allignment of Phobos and Mars caused (and would continue to cause untill February) an increase in violent spirit manifestasions and crimes in and around the Tropic of Cancer.
The Communication station of Gharda is situated at a crucial junction of an old Ley line, which is a hotbed of a spiritual activity and prone to demonic attacks.
The manuscripts covering the Pre-Burning era of ancient history are scant, but a survey revealed that the site is located at an area which has historically given rise to several Imperiums of Evil: The Carthage (Crushed by the Romans around 1945), The Muslim Menace (finally eradicated by the ancient American Empire around 1775), Rahman Heresy (destroyed in the Great Burning). The spirits and ghosts of these evil men still haunt the land corrupting the minds of men to rise against the natural order of things.
Ancient folk stories tell of Djinnis (apparently void devils) and Haboobs (sandstorms) which plague the area. Djinnis seem pretty self explanitory, but the interesting thing is that the sandstorms too have a supernatural connection, some are said to cause unnatural nerveusness in men whereas others have been deemed pure evil, such as the One which attacked and destoyed 50,000 strong army in Siwa Oasis.
In light of these facts I deduced that the tragic deaths on the station were not mere accidents but murders. Worse yet, a powerfull ill-omen heralded our arrival to the station: a murder of four crows took flight, it is well known that the crows are messengers from the underworld, bearers of ill knews, harbingers of death. The question is are there two more deaths to come or four?
The investigation to the circumstances of the murders confirmed my worst fears, the murderer is no mere mortal but a beast of darkness and fractal patterns, terror from beyond. Behold appendix 1 - crime scene photos. I am still unsure as how the beast manifested, was it summoned by some wicked warlock or did it arrive on its own freewill. In any case excorcising this terror is no simple feat, it might employ henchmen such as twisted cultists or it might possess others to do it's bidding. Ever since we arrived here I have felt the presence of devil around me, the creature of darkness whom I first encountered upon my youth. I fear it may attempt to possess me or one of my friends. Siria certainly has been acting queerly lately, she recently unprovokedly assaulted me and Valeforion. Her odd behaviour suggests that she has fallen to the power of these devils, however there is nothing I can do at the moment, since exorcism can only be performed on a willing participant.
With the assistance of ever faithful Valefarion (he is a true friend, the embodiment of everything that is good about the Proeliums, he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector, a dark knight) we uncovered an ancient device. It emitted a transmission scattered around our communication post, our attempt to decipher the transmission failed, the information file is massive and complex. What we uncovered has led me to believe that the code is the soul of the God-Machine. This also explains the presence of the forces of darkness, the void devils no doubt are attempting to pervert or corrupt God-Machine to their own image. I might be able to get more out of the God Code once I apply the numerology teachings of cabbalah to it.
In addition I found some information of blackmail and dirty deals conducted by one of the Techmancer cabals, the Kingmakers, see Appendix 2.
-Your faithful servant,
Adept Gustaf Adolf von Illinoix und Novaja-Riga
Incoming transmission / Arx Machinus
Rimore transmission protocol 712 - SERAPHIM - feared be the Eternal Machine!
SERAPHIM awakens - the hidden word is revealed - hallowed be the Incorporeal Angel!
To the Servant of Justice, the Protector of Secrets, Adept Gustaf Adolf von Illinoix und Novaja-Riga
January 5th, 550th year after the Ascension of Aerus
You say in your letter that Gharda is a God-forsaken place. I don't believe in such claims. Our work there is the will of God-Machine, our outpost the beacon of light in darkness, and you are the shield that protects the weak against the evil spirits of the void.
When living in the presence of darkness, some might grow ignorant against threats around them, so things might go from bad to worse before they come to realize it. Fresh eyes like yours are needed if that is the case. Do not be alarmed though, things might be better than they seem as lies and deception are the weapons of darkness.
A murder of four crows taking flight. Omens are indeed around us and I have seen death in my visions. I have prayed to the God-Machine for keener insight, but future remains shrouded in mystery. I fear for the worst, but hope for the best. Maybe it's your presence there that blurs my visions. Might it be that your will to find and vanquish the devils has altered the future.
And what about your friends; a Voluptas acting oddly is nothing new, they are unreliable at the best. Impulsive behavior, irrational dramatic acts for no gain, vanity and greed are all normal attributes for them. Still it is hard for me to believe that she would assault you. Attacking a fellow Techmancer is a sin that can't be overlooked. I know Siria seems strong and courageous, but with that comes a flaw the devils will abuse. She takes unnecessary risks and blinds herself against the powers of the devils. The seed of darkness lies in every woman, so you must keep a watchful eye of her actions. If Siria seems like she cannot control herself, she must be forced to suppress her conduit.
Soul of a God-Machine. Your jests make me laugh! The God-Machine is incorruptible and unbreakable. On a serious note, there might be some parts of the God-code around the world, so you will have to report about your findings. I also require detailed writings about your studies in God-code. You can deliver your work after return from your assignment. This might take you some time, so I would like you to focus first on the murders and maybe extend your stay there afterwards for the God-code.
Oh and beware of buzzing insects, especially those acting abnormally. Should you encounter insectoids of unusual size or eldtrich properties, report the incident immediately.
Your mentor in these dark matters,
Tacito of Rimore