As the Achilus Crusade is waged to reclaim the Jericho Reach in the name of the God-Emperor, a Deathwatch kill-team is dispatched on a mission vital to the continued existence of the Crusade.
The planet Aurum’s soil is lush and fertile making it an ideal location to grow foodstuffs to feed the forces of the Crusade. Its inhabitants, hardened by a life of hard toil and fighting fierce local wildlife, would also make ideal recruits into the Imperial Guard. Unfortunately for the Crusade’s High Command all attempts to woo the planet into the Imperium’s fold have failed miserably. In the midst of negotiations with the local populace, hideous murders have occurred leaving victims eviscerated with wounds that couldn’t have possibly been made by any local creature. These murders have culminated in an apparent suicide of a Sister Hospitaller in an Ecclesiarchy shrine in Aurum’s capital city of Haistand.
Having exhausted all other alternatives at a peaceful solution, Crusade Command has sent Rogue Trader Diaz Lan to petition the Deathwatch to intervene. After considering the situation carefully, Watch Captain Uziel of the Blood Reavers orders a newly inducted kill-team to accompany Lan to Aurum. Once they have arrived they are to secure the support of the Aurans at any cost while also investigating any potential xenos involvement in the mysterious murders that have been occurring.
While en route to Aurum aboard Rogue Trader Lan’s light cruiser Horizon’s Pride, the Kill-team encounter Brigadier General Archibald Heth, who has been sent by Crusade High Command to command the small Imperial Guard garrison stationed on the planet, and secure his aid in their endeavors. As they near Aurum the kill-team is ambushed while separated from each other by berserk servitors. As they fought throughout the ship to dispatch the crazed cyborgs each member of the kill-team displayed the very skill and valor that lead to them being picked for duty in the Deathwatch in the first place. From Brother Ventris dispatching a three opponents in a blitz of full auto bolter fire leaving only one alive “because he felt like it”, to the Space Wolf Skyclaw who used his bare hands to pop a servitor’s head off straight into the Rogue Trader’s birthday cake, they beat off their attackers easily. Investigating in the aftermath of the attackers and finding only evidence of violent activities caused by a now deceased tech-priest our kill-team now find themselves arriving at the planet Aurum itself.