- “The endless dark of the universe is yours, if you but reach out to take it. Yield nothing — the void respects only strength.“
- — Serren Travius, Rogue Trader
Magos Buer – Nightsiders
Aboard a Deathworld Company Rogue Trader frigate, the lower decks wreaked with the scent of oil and sweat. Two of laborers on the lower decks began to whisper about the strange robed men who’ve recently made quarters there.
“Jobe, what are the freaks goin’ on about?”
Jobe said hushed, “I don’t talk to any of those green florescent freaks!”
“But I know you hear from everyone else…”
“Well Endon, if it’s rumors you want, Tyra claims she spoke with them. Said that priest convinced them he saw some vision of the Thorn Moons…”
“What!? Ain’t no way no fraggin Nightsider is a psyker!!”
“Shhh… anyways, liar or not, the Dynasty is lettin’ him round up as many nightsiders as he can before we get to the Thorn Moons. I assume for bullet-shields–”
“Fascinating theory.” Endon and Jobe both yelp. Neither of them noticed a looming figure approach them while in their gossiping. Even though this green, eerie prophetic creature seemed to address them, the pure black eyes looked distant. He spoke once again.
“Fear not my brothers. Soon, our pilgrimage will be fulfilled, and on that day, we all will be equals in the eyes of the God Emperor.”
Cody Taylor/Magos Buer
Krugatansky – House Ainfaust Explorator Fleet H3X-138
The clandestine Rogue Trader House of Ainfaust has once again launched an Explorator Fleet with the most feared and trusted Arch Magos Ramik Ungol. Known for his maniacal obsession with prolonging life through the apprehension of ancient technologies, Ramik “The Immorta” has served House Ainfaust for thousands of years after leaving the Forge World of Fusilios IX to search the stars for knowledge.
Now that the Path to the Thorn Moons lies open, Ramik and his Skitarii Legions along with the Ainfaust Lancers will hunt down the Green Mechancvm and all who stand in their way. The Arch Magos believes that the Key to Eternal Life lies upon the Thorn Moons and he will stop at nothing to claim that information for himself and the House he owes allegiance to.
High Ranking agents and House Retainers were sent with the Fleet to ensure the Arch Magos stays true. Highest on that list is Lakoda Thamuz, a powerful, sanctioned Psyker and one time Gang Lord of Hive City Orinsreich.
Second to Lakoda but just as dangerous and respected is Raef Osvald, Chief Retainer to House Ainfaust in all off world affairs. Raef was raised in one of the many death cults that operate in the Rygaan system from which House Ainfaust rules, he is more than capable of commanding small units of recon fighters to whole companies of warriors.
Where Raef leads, Kardo Tierrez watches and executes from a distance. A superb marksman and tracker, the cybernetic enhanced hunter killer will not rest until the objective is gained.
Last but not least, Lord Stalos Ainfaust personal Tech Adept, Gol-Gol-1 has been sent to monitor and report all that transpires and also to learn more from the Tech Priests of the Omnissiah. Gol-Gol-1 may yet be the most important individual in the Fleet, but only time will tell.
Rob Grit – Illud Virae and the Pointemenne
What bought Marius Petipa, ‘the Lion of Sheol’ and his legion upon the flagship Li Sylphidae to the Ficidae region of the Thorn Moons and Naticidaur is a secret known to only himself and his damned council. Tyrant merchant, butcher explorer, corsair and radical, a rogue trader who answers to him upon the throne alone.
The Pointemenne landed first upon the shell-form moon Naticidaur, its globeose umbilicate articulation led ever inwards upon a gigantic curve to some unknown core and centre. Growing ever wilder, the insane fecundity increased as the legion descended into the stygian depths.
Small squads of Pointemenne scouted ahead of the main forces, often with indentured local twists as guides and translators negotiated by the attached concillators. These would prove invaluable within the vast inwards spiralling wealding cave. The tribes and beasts of the internal forest quickly became more hostile and voracious, where the skill of the pointemenne in undermining traps and blunting ambushes saved many lives. The steel toecap of Marius’s jackboot, the Pointemenne are recruited for their stoicism and initiative, acting as scouts, sappers, pioneers and rangers.
Here we see Illud Virae leading his men on the meandering shell curve down to the infernal core.’
Mounty Chris – The Myrthyne Conquidors- 754th Myrthyr infantry
Hailing from a backwater Feudal world of Myrthyr Pedwar IV , the 754th are nominally part of the imperial reclamation force dispatched to the Thorn Moons. However their Commander, Captain Zaláquez has designs to use them as his personal army of exploration, to indulge his passion for treasure hunting.
Captain Falláquez styles himself as an explorer and he speaks keenly of his ambitions. He hopes to recover some archaoetech and secure fame and fortune, and his dreams of the future even fancifully include become an imperial governor of one of the conquered moons.
He has managed, quite deliberately, to lose contact with high command. This allows him a great deal more flexibility in his explorations, including the ability to trade with the wide variety of locals, rather than following his standard orders of shooting on sight.
There is a tradition in the ap Quéllat family to honour one’s servants by allowing them to continue their service post mortem. Falláquez is accompanied by his childhood butler Hughes, mounted onto an ornate antigrav chassis.
The Captain’s retinue includes: Regimental standard bearer Fellaq, Vox operator Hasselcwrt, Markswoman Quenelles, Quartermaster Shuckell Munitorium pioneer corps turned diplomat.
PiratePizzaDog – Magus Vasili, Ermil Straton and the 12° Balkarian
Flag captain Straton was nervously tapping his foot on the deck, he always hated the unknown, going nowhere, to reach some ‘moons’ that no one have ever heard of, moreover, with men that he never even met, what was this, some kind of joke? And all this because Magus Vasili ‘politely asked’, a word from him, and everyone is ready to do the stupiest things a man can imagine, “never trust a man of faith, he talk shit and he doesn’t know shit, if even one thing will go wrong, i don’t care, i will go away and i will leave them here to rot” he thought, just before the magus stepped in. “Are you a little nervous, captain?” the magus said, with his subtle voice “this his is not a war, captain, there is nothing to worry about, we are here to see these moons, to learn evrything we can, and…” ” I have already saw enought shit magus!” Straton suddently interrupted “and i don’t need to learn anything else, so, once you and your ‘precious men’ have finished whatever you need to do here, i will take what you promised me and leave” ” There is no need to be so rude captain, i ‘m fully aware of your intentions captain, but i also know that at the end, you will beg me to stay, because what we are about to see trascends life itself, that in this universe, there is something far more beyond our comprehension, that there is much more than just human, alien, demon, or machine, and that we are nothing but frightened beings wandering in an ocean full of terrors”.
The guys arguing in the story are: Magus Vasili, the mind behind everything, and the Flag captain Ermil Straton, the owner of the ship and the person who is transporting the 5 soldiers from the 12° Balkarian: ‘Cherno Bill’,’Sly’,’Head’,’Fly’,’Smokey’.
Progenoid – Void Saints
(Excerpt from the journals of Unwin Daniher, primary chronicler, Void Saints.)
As the assault boat pushed through the final gate and shot out into space, I looked back out the rear port and saw my home, maybe for the final time.
Home, for myself and my brothers around me, was Terra Nullis, a Lunar-class cruiser, the flagship of the Rogue Trader Neapol Herringer. He is our father.
Chosen of tens of thousands, we are his children. We are Void Saints. Born between systems, raised on hard steel decks, sworn to the Void. We drank of the chalice on the night of our founding, deep in the hull of our world.
The atmosphere in the crew compartment is cold and tense. The twins, Anteg and Oleg are whispering to each other. Our sergeant, Toli, is making final adjustments to his equipment, I’m not sure if he’s truly confident in our mission or just setting an example for us.
We’re hurtling towards one of the Thorn Moons, previously cut off from the known Imperium of Man, they came to our attention months prior, via the screams of our Astropaths.
Our Father hopes amongst this wide spread of isolated rocks will be our new home. Or at the very least, ancient STC to fund our eternal excursion.
A klaxon rings out, we’re breaking through the atmosphere. I strap myself down in my seat and look in the eyes of my comrades. There is a metallic taste in my mouth. I’m full of fear.
Thomas Venner – Incursion Group 3
Remains of Incursion Group 3, field reclamation operatives in service to Rogue Trader Licinia Ordovici
The front line was gone now. No surprise. Overflow stock from servitor production lines, condemned men bulk-bought from a human scrapyard, cheaper than the guns in their hands. They were never going to live. The forest chewed them up in unpredictable surges of activity at a rate of fifty an hour from landfall onwards. But that was their job, an extra layer of life to wrap around the professionals and do the dying for them. Expected losses. This was always going to be a more intensive engagement than the usual ram-raid. Immaterial next to the potential profits. She’d seen entire manufactoria cabals bankrupt themselves scrabbling over the rusted fragments of an automated paint applicator, anything they brought back from this place would spark a bidding war between Forge Worlds where the eventual payout would likely measure in entire planetary systems.
Major Haiduk put aside the discomforting knowledge that on the balance sheet her own specialists currently factored as an acceptable cost of doing business too.
Silence gave way. The forest was churning again.
It was going to be a long night.
The Last Analogician – Death World Company
++FLEET WIDE BROADCAST++
++COMMAND SOURCE AUTHENTICATED: AVENGER CLASS GRAND CRUISER OBLIVION’S TRESPASS++
++VOX-IDENT LORD CAPTAIN HALIAETUS, COMMANDER, DEATH WORLD COMPANY++
++MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE STAND AT THE PRECIPICE OF THE GREATEST HUNT IN TEN MILLENNIA. THE PATH TO THE CRATAEGUS FRAGMENTUM LIES OPEN. THE LORDS OF TERRA REQUEST OUR ASSISTANCE IN GUIDING THE GOD EMPEROR’S HAMMER TO THE GREEN MAN’S HERETICAL HEAD.
MANY WILL DIE. YOU WILL DIE. YOU DO NOT FEAR THIS HONOR. YOU ARE NO STRANGER TO DEATH. YOU HAVE KNOWN IT YOUR WHOLE LIFE, FROM THE PLANETS YOU ONCE CALLED HOME, TO THE ENDLESS CARNAGE THAT EVERY STAR THE EYE CAN SEE HAS HAD TO OFFER. OBLIVION CALLS YOU. IT CALLS US ALL.
AND YET OUR NUMBERS SWELL WITH EACH STOP, DRAWING CLOSER TO OUR DESTINATION. THE MUTANT. THE XENOS. THE ABHUMAN. WE CARE NOT WHAT OR WHY YOU FIGHT, ONLY THAT YOU DO SO. AND YOU WILL. WE SHALL ALL PAY THE EMPEROR’S PRICE WITH OUR LIVES IN THE END.
AS WE APPROACH THIS VALLEY OF IMMINENT ANNIHILATION, I HAVE BUT A SIMPLE REQUEST:
JOIN ME IN GLORY. JOIN ME IN DEATH.
We are thrilled to showcase a new category of Thorn Moons Regiments in the Invitational focussing on Rogue Traders in all their diverse glory.
From Tyrant Merchants to Explorator Fleet Commanders these entries show that Rogue Traders have arrived in Crataegus Fragmentum in many shapes and sizes and with different backgrounds, which emphasize that the Thorn Moons Crusade is a massive undertaking counting an untold number of crusaders!