The XO's Personnel Dossier

Being the outline notes on the senior officers, as maintained (primarily for personal use) by Cymbry Jaiden Petraeus din Alt van Toeval, in the role of Executive Officer and Second in Command of Lord Sebastian York's fleet of warrant

Astra - Navigator Primaris

Merits: One of the handful whom I would be inclined to say that I trust, Astra has consistently proved herself to be one of the most intelligent and insightful people involved in our grand venture. She has from the start demonstrated that she possesses exceptional gifts as a navigator, and has - most notably with Blitz and her wives - shown occasional flashes of unexpected diplomatic accomplishment.

She is also, of course, quite significantly dangerous in battle - and not solely thanks to the wyrd nature of her third eye. Her particular interest in matters xenological has thus far shown a rather usefully martial bent.

Weaknesses: Worryingly enthusiastic about warp travel for its own sake. Her response to our initial translocation to gribbly wotstis lives long in the memory. She has also, more recently, shown a marked inclination to become obsessed with mysteries - at least those that relate to the Warp. There is a marked risk of her duties being significantly neglected should such puzzles seize her attention. She is also not routinely comfortable in the elevated circles in which we are increasingly often finding ourselves, though one can hope that a member of her particular branch of the nobility might learn to broaden her ladylike accomplishments.

Crimson - Master Helmsman

Merits: Of all the large ship pilots I have seen in action, she demonstrated the most visible talent and flamboyance. Lightning reactions in person were mirrored by a remarkable 'feel' for the maneuvering characteristics of a vessel thousands of metres in length. Without a doubt, her skills were a major asset to the fleet.

Weaknesses: Her apparent addiction to adrenaline would probably be the most noteworthy. Arguably even more so than Astra, she seemed to revel in dramatic events unfolding around and to any ship on which she was present. Along with Cymbry, she was formally "of interest" to the Inquisition.

Cymbry - First Officer; de facto High Factotum and Master of Whispers

Merits: Complete impartiality and a natural gift for introspection, of course.

The loyalty of the Hollow Oracle. The ability to operate at least some Haarlock devices and security systems. A certain degree of competence with matters financial and mercantile, though significant room for improvement remains. Considerable, though not paramount, capacities as a covert operative.

Weaknesses: To the long-standing issues relating to upbringing (a case of the classic talented scion of a fallen noble house combining envy, a chip-on-the-shoulder sense of superiority, and a desire to join the ranks of those secure in their aristocratic status) can now be added the ambiguous benefits of possible Haarlock ancestry. Even if it is not genuine, hints might all too easily be spread that it is. In theory, those could lead to vast wealth and influence. In practice, there is more chance of them leading to the hiring of assassins by those with vast wealth and influence.

Compared to our colleagues, I also snap like a twig in combat. I suspect that even Hack is rather more durable and talented as a warrior than am I. Thus far, the lethality of my inferno pistol has given me a disproportionate appearance of competence in the few situations in which it has had to be fired.

Update, after Port Wander: My apparent connection to the Haarlocks is now known to Reinhardt Haarlock, Lord Verrens, and the mysterious 'Valerius' - as well as anyone that any of them might have told. With moves afoot to claim the Haarlock heritage, it seems that I might find myself more politically relevant (in the 'inconvenient obstacle' kind of relevance, I fear). And the Light of Destiny might become so, too. I need to work out quite what I wish to do with regard to all this - though Rack's actions are crystalising my inclination to ensure that no one else claims the Oracle or the Light of Destiny for themselves.

Dashkit - Captain's Kroot

Merits: Even by our standards, exceptional competence in his chosen fields. A readiness to risk life and limb for his employer and crew - and the ability to choose how best to do so. His track-record in intervening to save others is remarkable, and he has worked extremely well both on his own and in close cooperation with Gorbaz in particular.

Weaknesses: The potential of him receiving a better offer. Some of those against whom we might most need his assistance are likely to be those who can stand most chance of out-bidding us. We must hope that we are forming sufficient bonds of association - even friendship - that he will at least warn us if such a situation arises. More minorly: an apparent lack of competence in ranged combat.

Gorbaz - Chief Boatswain

Merits: Brave, remarkably loyal, far smarter and more personable than he looks, and truly astonishingly durable in combat. I suspect that he is also exceptionally talented in the martial skills, but much of what he has achieved has seemed to involve fighting the unkillable to a standstill, then either polishing it off or forcing it to withdraw in exasperation.

And in addition to his straight-forward combat prowess, he's more technically accomplished than many of the command staff, is a truly gifted scout, and has a surprising knack for leadership.

Weaknesses: There's the obvious. And while he's a lot better than his appearance might suggest, he's still neither a genius nor a diplomat. Given his accomplishments, there can be a temptation to accord to him more breadth and depth of competence than might (yet) be justified.

Havelock (a.k.a. "Hack") - Chief Chirurgeon

Merits: A member of the Mechanica who is safe to let loose on wounded and unwell men even when he has a supply of cyber parts ready to hand. He appears to be genuinely human and interested in humanity, while also sharing my own enthusiasm for xenology. Possessed of a readiness to branch out into unconventional areas (e.g. perfume creation) as circumstances require.

He has demonstrated a capacity for discretion in matters of some considerable sensitivity: I regard him as fundamentally trustworthy in most ways, not merely those relating to his specific role.

Weaknesses: An apparent addiction to Wide-Awake. The misconception of himself as a skilled and tasteful taxidermist (vide the corpse of that unfortunate Tau 'Fire Warrior', now gilded and… otherwise 'improved').

Orthesian - Enginseer Prime

Merits: Innovative, competent, and imaginative in his chosen role.

Weaknesses: He's rather too unconventional for the Mechanicus, to put it politely.

Rack - Imperial Naval Captain and Inquisitorial Liaison / Minder

Merits: I struggle to think of anyone else in the whole fleet who so well embodies the visible virtues of the Imperial officer class. Rack has the ability to walk, talk, fight, and lead like an officer from popular fiction. He also enjoys worthwhile connections, and is one of our more socially competent and intellectually accomplished associates.

Weaknesses: His loyalties are assuredly not to the crew, unless we have done a far better job of winning his adherence than I think we have. Quite who his genuine masters are, I cannot claim to know - but I am worried that he is along in part to ensure that when the time comes, we are expended as the pawns we are seen to be.

Update, after Tranche: He appears to labour under the misapprehension that he is with us in order to gain personal power. He seems to be attempting to claim the Light of Destinty as 'his' - quite regardless of the little matter of its origin, and the total lack of ability he has to operate the Hollow Oracle. Our Inquisitorial liaison seems to be exploiting Sebastian's weaknesses in order to build himself a fiefdom. Whether his acquisition of a hold over Torque was deliberately sought or merely a result of happenstance, I am not certain. I would like to think that Rack was merely saving us from losing our Flight Marshal in the only way available - but I fear that, even if that was the case, he will now seek to exploit his position. With a hold over Torque and his new 'claim' to the Light of Destiny, he might feel that he is building a coherent power-base.

Rush - Twist Catcher, Imperial Naval Lieutenant, Inquisitorial Agent

Merits: If anything, he might be even more lethal than Gorbaz. In combat, he certainly seems to be considerably more unhinged. I rather doubt that he is remotely as durable, however. He also appears to have a number of rather useful connections to the underworld, perhaps as a result of his past as a penal legionnaire and his origins on a prison world? Not that I am quite certain about any of the details of either of those.

His role as a hole in the psychic continuum has also proved useful at points. At the least, it gives him obvious advantages in combat against the paranormal.

Weaknesses: The man is a freak - and I am not at all sure that he counts as being one 'of nature'. There is something fundamentally wrong with him on a spirtual level: he feels like a hole in the world, to that sixth sense the Inqusition dislike. Other people can also sense it, on some level, but it goes beyond generating a primal discomfort - he has the capacity to interfere with the abilities of our psychically gifted crewmembers simply by standing close by.

On a personal level, he has apparently taken a significant interest in me - and has made at least some effort to be romantic. That was unsettling, to say the least. Still, it has helped to induce me to spend more time on my duties as Master of Whispers. The undercover work has done me good, and helped with the security of the Cleansing Light's crew.

He also has close ties to at least one faction in the Inquisition. It might be personal bias, but that does not exactly instil a great deal of trust in me - quite apart from the impact of his presence.

Sebastian - Lord Captain (and would-be Commodore)

Merits: Perhaps the primary one is his knack for - somehow - choosing wild, improbable gambles against the odds… and then scrambling a result. His entire career as a Rogue Trader is founded on such things, though between the madcap activities there tends to be a good deal of competence and organisation, however little most people will notice such mundanities when the Lord Captain's wilder adventures are available for discussion.

Weaknesses: He can make me look like a strong-willed ascetic: in fact, he often does.

An inclination to over-estimate the need for him to lead heroically from the front against dire opposition. He is indeed a highly talented warrior, but his tendency to parry with his forehead has become proverbial. Somehow, he survives every time, but I am not convinced that repeatedly being hammered, cut, burnt, cooked, clawed (and everything else) to the head is doing him much good in terms of stability of thought.

And worth noting here: he is my friend. This is not exactly a weakness on his part, but it might mean that I misjudge situations involving him. I want to trust him, and at times should perhaps have taken more precautions to cover ourselves against misadventure when Sebastian was assuring us that all would turn out for the best. Our Lord Captain has a proven record of grabbing an apparent opportunity first and only considering the consequences when they hit him. We should allow him his gambles - but providing some cover in case of adversity might at times be rather sensible.

Update after Port Wrath: His mental deterioration has continued, unfortunately. When the dancing girls approached me with concerns about his mental health, I was surprised by the source rather than the fact. Discussions with Hack, Astra, and others had led me to conclude that I was not alone in my own impressions - but the girls could provide me with new information. He proved amenable to seeking assistance, but sadly seems focused solely upon the path of metal as a solution - it took effort to persuade him to agree to even speak to Hack, to get a second opinion on Mechanicus doctrine and alterations.

His obsession with xenos artefacts was made further evident when he cut some sort of deal with Rack. Hints are that Sebastian's agoniser was removed from his possession, winding up in the hands of our Inquisitorial liaison - who then traded it for command of the Light of Destiny. I fear that the trade speaks very poorly of the priorities of both men, though I must be aware that my friendship with Sebastian doubtless inclines me to give him more leeway and forgiveness than others might.

Torque - Flight Master

Merits: Astonishing gifts as pilot of a small craft. Though not infallible (as he has at times demonstrated all too painfully), he has accomplished things I would not have thought possible. Having seen him in action, it is easy to understand why the Imperial Navy hold him in high regard. He also appears to be well able to handle himself in person, and seems to lack major vices - at least ones on a scale that might inconvenience our operations.

Weaknesses: He's a bigoted xenophobe. To me, that is rather a larger problem than it would be for most, I confess. To many, it would be a positive merit, of course. But given our requirement to work well with Eldar at various points, it can be distinctly problematic. More dramatically, he has a tendency to push himself to achieve the near-impossible simply because others are doing so. Perhaps he feels he must push himself; perhaps he hates to be 'beaten'. Either way, he has shown a willingness to take things quite literally to the point of crashing and burning.

Update, after Port Wrath: Having apparently gone AWOL and been declared "missing, presumed dead" by the navy, he was identified on Port Wrath - and rescued from being returned to active Imperial service by Rack. Unfortunately, this involved claiming Torque as having been 'acquired' by the Inquisition for its own classified purposes. I fear that Torque might come to view this arrangement as worse than having been sent back to the front… and that we will likewise regret it.

Vectis - Master at Arms

Merits: Not one of those with whom I have had extensive dealings, it is clear that we have not often given him the chance to best shine in the areas in which he truly specialises. Most often coming to the fore as a ship's gunner - a role he has fulfilled admirably - his primary focus appears to lie in rather more personal forms of combat. The limited opportunities he has had to demonstrate that have suggested that he might be compared to Dashkit and Gorbaz.

Weaknesses: Until Rush joined the crew, Vectis was perhaps our primary exponent of unempathic barely-human killing prowess. But perhaps I am simply unduly biased against metallic killers. Rush can, however, make Vectis look like a shining example of a good-natured and warm-hearted man.

Update, after Tranche: Vectis demonstrated once again that he appears to be our strategic and grand tactical expert. Myself and Sebastian can inspire men; Gorbaz can lead by his (astonishing) example; Rack is an experienced officer - but Vectis appears to be the one who best masters the art of formulating a detailed plan that will yield us the desired results.

Xanatov - Choir-Master Telepathica

Merits: The routine operation of his talents is simply less impressive than guiding thousands of souls in safety through the primal storm-wrack of the Warp - but he is in truth rather more versatile in his paranormal gifts than is his cousin, and at times his fortune-readings in particular have proven to be of remarkable assistance. Similarly, he has turned out to be a surprisingly gifted cryptologist.

Whether he is genuinely accomplished with his force blade, I do not yet know. If he is, then that could certainly be another significant string to his bow.

Weaknesses: Prone to over-anxiety and to feeling that he ought to be able to make relevant contributions in every situation, he can seem rather unaware of quite how dependent we often are upon the proper fulfilment of his defined role.