Subject: OM-026 – The Emperor’s Nail
Threat Level: Majoris
Local legend on Dolmus V tells of the time that the Emperor caught a great devil known as Shaan by the tail, and nailed it to the ceiling of a great cave. Earlier versions of the legend predating Imperial contact depict the local god Hethal as defeating this same hostile entity.
As with many investigations, the first aspect of this creature that became apparent to the Holy Ordos was related to a string of deaths, during the excavation work for an open-pit mine on Dolmus known as mining complex 470. Indentured workers often die in accidents or quarrels and it was some weeks before this was reported.
Ordos assets arrived six months after the initial deaths at the Dolmus excavation site and found considerable disarray in the site, the work at the mine complex had come to a complete halt due to an outbreak of Corvian fever.
Although the region of the mining site most affected by disturbances had already been sealed by foremen at the mining site, it was plain that the area was still a site of much conjecture and superstition by the local population.
The affected area included a cavern broken into by the mining operations by its roof being opened by the equipment used on site, severe damage had been inflicted on the site.
The principal site of the Emperor’s Nail takes the form of a sixteen-meter wide cavern with some artificial dressing of stone on most of its walls, these walls contain inscribed patterns approximately three centimetres deep, and Ordos operatives were able to find traces of silver removed with hand tools in these grooves, suggesting that mine-workers or guards had already stripped down some protective workings.
Relief patterns in the walls show bulbous, anthropoid but alien figures, confronting what appears to be a daemonic entity similar to those of the ruinous power of decay. Some precious adornment had been used here as well and much of these structures had been damaged, including the removal of several large sections of stonework which are likely to have included key scenes. It seems likely that having removed obvious precious metals from the environment, scavengers removed inscriptions to sell these to cold traders.
We are fortunate that the principal artefact is both too large to easily move and without obvious value, consisting of a block of smooth black limestone is cut by periodic layers of seemingly processed iron. This central object is set into position within the chamber and extends several meters into both its floor and ceiling. Due to the impossibility of such an object in situ, it is likely it was placed by teleportation.
The Ordos sanctioned psyker attached to the investigating party reported a daemonic presence was to be found in this central pillar, though confined, while further analysis of the removed silver carvings suggested a geometric similarity to hexagrammatic wardings used by our ordos.
After questioning of several foremen, guards and indentured miners failed to identify culprits, the investigating cell primary was able to determine a rise in abscondment of guards and escape of indentures at the site in the months after the cavern’s opening, and planetary enforcers have been given details and bounties placed for all who are likely candidates.
Due to the pronounced effect on the local workforce and the presence of effluvia from the chemical treatment of mining, a release of toxic gas was used to eradicate all contaminated mine personnel and an exclusion zone set in place around the site.
This is only a temporary measure, however, as it is clear that with the removal of original fixtures at the site that served to contain the daemon within the Emperor’s Nail, a complete breakdown of containment is likely.
Although ordos agents have made an effort to replace the scavenged warding sigils with replacements of recent manufacture, subsequent site visits have confirmed a continued growth in the strength of the entity imprisoned at Mine 470, although now reduced in speed, suggesting that further wardings were originally present.
Actions to date & Recommendations
Picts of surviving on-site inscriptions should be circulated to all assets actively dealing with Cold Traders both in the hope of being able to restore the original confinement in place in the Emperor’s Nail, or even to allow the process used to originally confine the Daemon imprisoned there to be added to Ordos manuals.
Consideration has been made of destroying the site via orbital bombardment or atomic charges, but, likely, the confinement achieved of the daemonic entity in the Emperor’s Nail would be undone by this process.