W40k: Rogue Trader

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1: "Totally-Not-A-Mutant" makeovers
A stone and a shootout.

Date Created: 816.M41


Today we arrived at Port Wander after another hellish, though uneventful journey through the warp.
As the engines hum back to their normal pitch and reality solidifies itself outside the thin skin of a hull I release my grip from my axe, standing to my full height as a message is relayed:
’We’re going ashore, get ready.’

Answering my summons I head off to get disguised, a task so common it was almost part of my daily routine.
Once the disguise was complete I donned my helmet and pulled the hood of my robe over my face too, further obscuring my appearance before reporting to Magnus and accompanying him out.

We swiftly arrived at our destination, passing through busy streets (thankfully people either did not notice my…. ‘unfortunate’ appearance, were not too shocked or passed it off as yet another Mechanicus experiment)
we were greeted by an old man.
I was too busy looking for signs of fellow Adeptus Mechanicus members or new technology and didn’t pay him too much attention,
although talk of a treasure ship did gain my interest.
(…perhaps it is new tech that I can use to purge myself of this weak flesh, or better yet, tech that will bring power to the throne.)

As Magnus took an item there was a commotion, I was too engrossed in my thoughts of what may lie in the depths of the lost ship to pay much heed till this point.

Looking around from my self imposed daze I noticed that a woman dressed in white signalling to what appeared to be a servitor as it dropped something and flew off. Almost instantly she took flight herself.

The following 18 seconds were loud and fast,
Bullets mowed into the crowd as a group of six fired at them, quickly realising the bullets were intended for us I readied my trusty power axe and advanced towards the hail of bullets, standing beside our honourable missionary, Morpheus as he was yelling a warning about his impending purge.

I heard my allies fire behind me, a civilian fell, another, and another, who was shooting who was hard to tell but I did recognise the cries of Dara, hopefully not too injured.
I advanced slightly past my missionary friend as he readied his flamer, a bullet tearing through my armour but doing no noticeable damage to my true flesh.

Another few shots and more civilians fell, followed by Morpheus stepping beside me and screaming at the top of his lungs ‘I WARNED YOU!’.
A sea of cleansing flame engulfed those foolish enough to still be standing in the way, civilians fell or scattered in the opposite direction, three of the six assailants were too slow to evade and were set alight.
This gave me enough room to do what I had been gearing up for, pulling up my power axe I charged with my full speed towards the nearest assailant and brought it down on their head.

FOR THE THRONE’ is the last cry my target heard before I removed them from the shackles of their flesh.
The blood spattered everywhere and they burst aflame, I stepped to the side as their headless body moved forward on impulse, a fleshy puppet of a machine without commands.

2: A New Enemy and Some Heretical Texts

*Lord-Captain Magnus Blackstar
Personal Log

I’ve been in the sector for less than a day, and I already have a new enemy. A Rogue Trader, by the name of Haderach Fell.

A handful of his men made a failed attempt on my life this morning; no doubt his sights were set on this mnemolith I’ve recently acquired. A simple enough task to dispatch them – between Nautilus’ frontal assault and Morpheus’ liberal use of flame, I barely had to lift a finger. The Arbites were quick to sweep in and clean up the mess, once we had dispatched the would-be thieves.

From there I had the patrol-officer, Tarkas, escort my retinue to the Arbites precinct HQ. I had hoped to interrogate the assailants, but it turns out they’d been collected rather quickly. This is where I first heard the name; Haderach Fell, Lord-Captain of the Fell Hand. A ship of some renown, supposedly. He had collected his men in short order, and his ship was already on its way out of the system.

I had intended to make chase immediately, perhaps cut them off before they’d even left the sector, but my seneschal’s wisdom prevailed. Dara pointed out the dangers of chasing off after the Fell Hand without proper information of where we’re heading; for that, we’d need maps. I dispatched the lot of them – save for Nautilus, who is best off on the ship where nobody will get too disturbed by his appearance – to gather up what intel they could.

Dara informed me in great detail about the harrowing pile of red-tape she had to work through to acquire her map. I didn’t really listen. The map will serve.

Morpheus’ searching bore fruit as well; he acquired a masterful map of the sector where this Treasure Ship supposedly lies. “Magoros”. I’m not sure what he had to do to get the thing, but he did bring on quite a collection of books before we departed. Seemed religious in nature. No matter.

Our next stop is Footfall, on the other side of the Maw. From there we head into Winterscale’s realm. If we can beat the Fell Hand to Magoros, we’ll be set. And if we can’t… Well, the Fell Hand will make a nice addition to my fleet.

Either way, Haderach Fell is a dead man._

3: Warp Travel, Raiders, and Riddles

*Lord-Captain Magnus Blackstar
Personal Log


There are few things in life that I hate more than warp travel. Orks, and traitors. Unfortunately, warp travel is something I encounter more often than either. I can kill an ork. I cannot kill the warp itself.

I have been putting my reservations behind me, however, and have been taking the riskier routes that Holic offers. Dangerous, yes, but with the risk comes reward. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off this time.

Morale was touchy this time, and it wasn’t helped by the lead missionary – Morpheous – falling into some sort of fugue state. He was ranting and raving at anyone nearby that we’re all doomed, only to awaken later with no memory of his actions. He seems fine now that we’re out of the warp, but the crew looks on him more warily now.

Of note, during our passage through the Maw we encountered raiders, assaulting a pilgrim vessel. They were likely lead there – as we were- by the salvation signal the pilgrims put out, hoping for rescue. In a straight-up fight they would stand no chance, but their ships’ speed and mobility allowed them to prove quite a nuisance. However, between the work of the Explorators below deck and Dara’s communication jamming, we were able to confuse and even sometimes out-maneuver them.

The pilgrim vessel was grateful for rescue, of course, but I should have instructed Nautilus to remain on the Exchange. His presence nearly started a riot. Hopefully they believed me when I told them of the Crusade. I didn’t even have to lie.

Holic seems to have handled the route well, but the warp simply didn’t favour us this time. She— HE, I forget sometimes. It’s hard to tell— spoke of some sort of… Riddle. I didn’t quite understand it, but the navigators have always seen the warp differently from normal people.

We’ve arrived at Footfall sooner than we would have otherwise, but our ship suffered a nearly catastrophic loss of power during our second jump. We may be in port for longer than I’d like.

Still, that means I’ll have time to investigate other avenues of… Income.-

4: Landfall in Footfall, almost killed by a room.

Head Missionary of The Frank Exchange of Views.
Morpheus Marellos
Personal Log


After the most relaxing warp travel I have ever had we finally arrived at Footfall. The others seem to have had a rather trying time through the warp though, they look at me like I’ve told them their Doom approaches (which it might well be here in the Koronus Expanse).

Anyway, I made sure the books we agreed to transport in exchange for the maps reached their recipients and we said goodbye to the pilgrims we picked up earlier. May the Emperor watch over them in this inhospitable and lawless land.

The Lord-Captain was hailed by an old acquaintance of his, a pilot with the name of Reg. Seeing as our current pilot had some problems manoeuvring in our fight with the raiders, a new pilot seems to be welcome.

Reg’s previous ship got blow up when they were attacked by some filthy Xenos called Dark Eldar and he narrowly escaped to Footfall. One of the Xenos had managed to follow him aboard his escape ship, but Reg was apparently able to overpower the creature. When we went with him to secure the body, however, it seems the creature was not quite as dead as he thought. Several dead bodies were found in the docking bay along with the burning wreck of a small ship. Sadly one of our crew got blow up by a grenade that was left behind as a trap when he investigated a body. A trap that also started the venting of the docking bay. Dara somehow managed to halt the de-pressurisation of the docking bay for a short time, just enough for that that horrible abomination Nautilus to open the door. We were not quite out of harms way yet, because the room was still de-pressurizing and had it not been for the strength bestowed upon me by the Emperor, I would not have been able to hold on to the Lord-Captain and his companions when they were almost sucked back into the room. Fortunately Nautilis managed to get the door closed just before our newly acquired pilot was sucked back into the room.

We quickly returned to the ship, longing to get away from this terrible station before more horrors come by. At least the warp out here in the Koronus Expanse is much quieter than any other system I have travelled in.

6: Death to the Navigator

Reginald Starza
Pilot of the Frank Exchange of Views
Personal Log

I don’t remember that Warp journey very well. I don’t think any of us does. I only pray to the Emperor that it never happens again. All I know is I got stabbed in the back by some daemonic poisonous thing and wound up in Medical just as our journey came to an end.

And what an end.

It’s always a welcome sight to look out your window and see a lush, fertile, welcoming planet passing gracefully by. It’s a lot less comforting when you realize you’re looking out the side window and see that same planet steadily getting bigger. That idiot Navigator must’ve taken us out of the Warp right on top of the thing! I raced to the bridge as fast as I could to try and find a way out of this situation but it all seemed hopeless. Our reserve pilot couldn’t break away before we got swept up in the gravity well and Magnus, try though he might, couldn’t quite get the ship aimed anywhere except straight at the planet. There was pandemonium all over the ship, even on the bridge. We weren’t sure how we were getting out of this one and were all ready to break for the escape pods. Ship this big wasn’t designed to go anywhere near an atmosphere let alone land planetside. It would’ve been suicide.

Never been much of a pious sort, no more than the average citizen, but I’m rapidly becoming a believer – Our missionary is clearly blessed by the Emperor himself. I’d have never thought to try a gravity slingshot maneuver. Those are difficult even with smaller ships, and require a lot of careful preparation and coordination. We had precisely none of that, and doing it in a full-sized cruiser would be insanity. But I calculated our odds and it was still the best chance we had. Through the skills of our techpriest, the inspiration of our Captain and missionary, and, I suspect, intervention from the Emperor, we managed to pull the ship into orbit from a straight nosedive by slingshotting off the planet and bouncing off its own atmosphere. If I hadn’t done it myself I’d have called bullshit on anyone who said it was possible. The ship isn’t in great shape, of course, but it survived, which is more than any of us expected.

I thought for sure the techpriest was gonna kill the navigator. Once the fires were under control and what’s left of the ship was stable he came stomping in here with a mission in mind. Went up and banged on the Nav’s door and everything, axe in hand. Wouldn’t blame him, after the utter disaster of a travel that took us to wherever we are. Must’ve decided the ship needed more attention though because he came out, with the axe unbloodied and the navigator still alive. Captain then gave us the order to prepare to disembark and go planetside while the ship got patched up enough for us to go somewhere else. Everyone came, except the navigator. Lazy fucker. So we conscripted some guy we passed on the way to join us. Bob, I think? One of the underdecks crew, so he probably fights better than that drug zombie anyway.

Wasn’t expecting the EMP blast that hit our dropship. What even fires an EMP from an uninhabited planet? Or maybe it is inhabited and they’re blocking our sensors somehow. Unfortunately I couldn’t make a clean landing; I’m just not as used to atmospherics. I still know how to brace for impact though; didn’t get banged up nearly as bad as anyone else. Looks like we’re going camping for a while, whether we want to or not – Only hope we can find and shut down that EMP so we can get off this rock again. Don’t feel comfortable being planetside…

7: Of Critters and Men

Reginald Starza
Pilot of the Frank Exchange of Views
Personal Log

Spent the night in the landing craft playing cards with the big guy and patching up everyone else who got roughed up in the landing. It wasn’t that bad, bunch’ve pansies. Then again I do have a lot more experience at getting roughed up than these guys. Suppose it’s something I shouldn’t be proud of. We set off in the morning to see what all was out there, though the missionary and the random guy opted to stay behind and secure the ship.

This planet is slimy and disgusting. It’s gray, ugly, raining, and everything squishes underfoot like the whole planet were covered in mucous. Didn’t find much on our travels, though we did find some sort of dome made entirely out of the bones of the local wildlife. Definitely xenos construction, but we declined to go inside. Time for that later, according to the boss. The structure was huge, made of dozens of tons of bone, which I guess means I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when an enormous horde of, things, decided to attack us. Nothing I’ve ever seen before. Small, fast little fuckers with claws and probably venom as well. Wonder if this is what Catachan is like, hordes of slavering bastards swarming out of snot-forests attacking anything that looks edible. The big guy and the chick were off climbing a big pile of crap when they came, so the boss and I had to defend ourselves.

The big guy had the presence of mind to both bring a rope and throw it down to us, and I’m thankful for that. We got out of reach of the drooling hordes without so much as a scratch. The chick even showed she isn’t just a bridge bunny, either – She took a few shots with a Hellgun and got one of the vermin right in the skull. Brain popped like a smashed grape and the flaming corpse took off running all by itself before it fell over twitching. Best shit I’ve seen on this expedition so far; I owe her a drink when we get back to the ship. We climbed up alright while the little bastards fought over the pre-cooked corpse of their dead friend.

Sat at the top for a while wondering what to do. Looked at the mountains for a while; couple people said there was something funny about ‘em but I didn’t see it. Threw some rocks at the little bastards instead, but eventually the chick found a cave system on the far side of the cave. Decided we were going to go there. Well, beats sitting on this cliff waiting for the little vermin to figure out how to climb, amusing as it was watching them fight each other and roll down the cliff again. Decided to go first for a change. Not sure why, just felt like a good idea. Something interesting ahead of us now, though; a cave going into the hill we were sitting on, full of lush green plants and no slime whatsoever. I’m automatically suspicious, but, where else is there to go right now? Looks like we’re going to see where this goes…

8: A Cave Story


Lord-Captain Magnus Blackstar
Personal Log

Unknown Planet
Unknown System


This planet is much more valuable than previously thought. Having fled the horde of beasts into a cave (a well-timed appearance from Missionary Morpheous and his blessed prometheum allows us to hold them off), we discovered the planet is home to a massive system of caverns. The surface would be hospitable, if it weren’t for the monsters, but these caves are /lush/.

It’s too good to be true. Naught’s auspex scans determined the water is clean- /pure/, even- and there are fish. The plant-life is green and appears edible enough, though Naught is not the one to ask about that. I have ordered the crew to use their canteens as long as possible; if we need to drink from this ‘pure water’ we will, but I won’t take the risk just yet. The Guardsman- Bob? Bill?- drank from the river before I had the chance to stop him. I suppose he’ll be our test case; if anything happens to him, we know not to touch the water.


Unknown Planet
Unknown System
Later That Day


Sword spiders. We have encountered a species of massive spiders with swords for forelegs. I retract my previous statement about this place being “too good to be true”.

We left the river, following a set of humanoid tracks that Reg(?) found, into a much larger cave. It’s unsettlingly large; the ‘sky’ is a thousand tons of rock above us. The cavern could hold a voidship!

Encountered the one that likely left the tracks; A tribal, living in the caves.

Being chased by the aforementioned massive spider. We had to kill two of the things; we’ll need to return later with cages, see if we can capture a sample.

The tribal, though… Is interesting. He rattled off some numbers; a heathen chant in low gothic, the ID number of an exploratory crew. He seems to believe we are that crew returning. With a bit of effort, I convinced the feral to lead us to his people. After taking the time to gather the spider’s bladed legs (I ordered Bill to assist. We might as well impress them with our generosity.) he lead us on a long trek to his village.

As I thought, they’re tribals, but Nautilus and Reg were both excited by the idol at the centre of their village. It appears to be a damaged ship power core. It gives off some sort of energy, that the ferals are using to grow crops. Interesting, and exactly what we need. If it can be repaired, their god is our ticket off this rock.

Something worries me, however. The tribals are here, with their voidship-born idol. Where’s the ship it belongs to? The ship is likely what brought our shuttle down, meaning its defenses are still active, but we’re going to need to risk it if we’re going to repair the Exchange.

I knew I should have brought explosives. Note to self; we need supplies. Once we’re off this planet, we’re going to need to resupply.

9: A plan comes together
In which the origins of the tribals become known.

Head Missionary of The Frank Exchange of Views.
Morpheus Marellos
Personal Log

Unknown planet
Unknown system

The indigenous people on this forsaken planet have been denied the light of the Emperor for millennia. I weep for them and long to show them the true path.

I managed to communicate with their leader, “LoreCapn” as they say, confirming many of my suspicions when I addressed him in High Gothic. It does seems as they are descended from a starship that crashed into the planet sometime in the distant past (Probably millennia ago). The datacube “LoreCapn” had embedded on a sceptre confirmed as much. This after our dear Lord Captain Magnus Blackstar nearly killed the poor scribe who thought him my subordinate. In retrospect I really should have made an example of him myself, but these were rather delicate negotiations, and I deemed it important enough to not stand up for the Captain. I shall not do that mistake again, the Emperor strike me down if I do!

The power core the tribals are worshipping is rather old according to Nautilus. Probably archeo-tech. If we could manage to salvage it, that might be what we need to get out of here. First we need to find out where the EMP-pulse came from so that we can get back up to the Frank Exchange of Views to call down reinforcements.

We slept in a “temple” where the crew of the original starship were entombed in sarcophagi. Strangely, the centre sarcophagi was missing it’s head. It is currently unclear what happened with it. I really should ask about it at some point.

Trying to figure out where “Starfall”, the place where the starship crashlanded, is, Ser Gant, visibly shaken, took us to a trophy hut and showed us the skull of a strange humanoid creature. Dara recognized it as a “Gene Stealer” and it is apparently very bad news as even Reginald recoiled in fear when he heard it named. Still, “Starfall” is where we must go shall we ever get off this damned planet. Perhaps we can persuade the tribals to fight for us. That would at least allow them to die in the glory of the Emperor instead burning for eternity as heretics. I must spend some time convincing them that the Path of the Emperor is the one true path.

10: Crusade to Planetfall

Reginald Starza
Pilot of the Frank Exchange of Views
Personal Log

Back in the Void at last. Couldn’t stand being planetside, even less when we’re surrounded by tribals and genestealers. Tribals were nice enough I s’pose, and it was a very pleasant surprise when Morpheous persuaded a bunch’ve them to come with us to the site they called Planetfall. Especially given the stories they told about it, how it was an evil place full of monsters and horrors. Regular tribal superstitious bullshit, right? Wrong. They showed us the skull of one of the ‘monsters.’ Sent a shiver down my spine seeing it. Genestealers! Fucking Genestealers! Well, guess that’s why the damn thing crashed. Always heard horror stories about them, but I guess it was time to actually meet one up close and personal. Had no idea then how right I was gonna be.

As I said, the missionary rounded up a couple guys to come help us. Six tribals, along with our guide Ser Gant (Sergeant I suppose) and the big angry mountain, Lu Tenant (Obvious). We marched on for a couple days, making camp as needed, boring stuff that ain’t worth talking about. But when we got there, what a spectacle. Didn’t get to see much of the ship, but I could feel setting foot into it that it was a big one. Cruiser-class, according to Nautilus. Size of ours, possibly bigger. And somewhere in this twisted maze of metal, debris, and barely-functioning rubble were thousands of genestealers just waiting to introduce their claws to our faces. But we had to go through it to get off this planet.

That map Nautilus dug up was Emperor-sent. We’d never have found our way without it. Fire control was our first target. Had to get rid of that EMP. We’d hit the main bridge after that, if we had time. Spoiler, we didn’t. We made our way to fire control without incident, barring the blood-locked doors. Surprisingly, Ser Gant was descended from the original Rogue Trader whose blood was needed and the malfunctioning lock considered him good enough, letting us in.

Aux control was a disaster area. Must’ve been the last holdout of the surviving crew members. Bodies, papers, and lasguns everywhere. Poor bastards might as well have had rocks for all the good those lasguns would do against genestealers. While the bridge-bunny – Dara I think? – gathered up papers and everyone else sort’ve sauntered around poking at things, I picked up a lasgun to have a look at it. Then realized there was a broken vent in the ceiling. Stowed the gun, watched the vent… and saw it was watching us, too. Genestealer! Took a shot at it, don’t think I hit. Morpheous filled the whole vent with fire afterwards, and it either died or backed off because we didn’t see it again. We figured out where we had to go from here, I think – I was focusing more on the imminent death from above than on what everyone else was doing – and we moved on to main fire control.

Everything went down in main fire control. Barely had time to get inside and slam the door before a genestealer dropped down to say Hi. Amusingly, it decided to drop down and say Hi to Nautilus, who proceeded to bitch-slap it across the room with a power axe. Startled damn near everybody, especially the tribals who’d been hopped up on tales of how dangerous these things were. Surprised me, too – These things were murderous to Space Marines and it only took a few hundred to bring down a cruiser, but that guy just spanked it like it was a naughty child.

Wouldn’t last, though. To get out of here we had to access the experimental ship locked away in the hangar, and that required unblocking the hangar door… which was blocked by a mountain. As soon as Naut set to work raising the shields so the macrobatteries wouldn’t fry us when we fired them, more genestealers came in and this time everyone saw them. Gotta say, I’m surprised the tribals didn’t go panicking everywhere. Well, most of them. One or two of them wouldn’t fight… good company for Dara, who fled screaming to the door, and that random guy, Bob I think, who just fainted. Good thing Dara couldn’t actually open the door or we’d all probably be dead.

Nautilus graciously let Morpheous borrow his axe and I got to use his sword. Soon as the genestealers landed I channeled the fury of the Emperor and charged one, for death or glory… and cut its damn head off like I was slicing bread. Need to get one of these things for myself. And then the slaughter began. Slaughter of the genestealers, that is. Bitches kept coming in and we kept cutting them down – I think I led the kill count with four – as Nautilus got the voidshields online then fired the macrobatteries, rendering everyone deaf and permanently changing the world’s topography. What mountain? Unfortunately, a few of the tribals died in the fight and Morpheous took a huge blow from one. I got clawed pretty good myself, and Ser Gant got his intestines ripped out. Credit to him, he kept fighting despite the genestealer actively trying to eat his insides. We ganged up on that bastard and killed it before it could feast.

Once the hangar was clear, though, it was time to go. We could beat a few of them but we weren’t going to kill them all. The tribals helped Ser Gant out as we all fled, all except for Lu Tenant, who’d long since decided to seek peace at the Emperor’s side (apparently one of these things killed his wife) and another tribal who’d stayed to help him. They got ripped to bits, but bought us valuable time to flee. Lu Tenant got what he wanted, too – Even though he was in multiple chunks afterwards, he died with a smile. Brave, crazy bastards. Emperor give them peace.

The run to the hangar was just as dangerous, if a lot faster. We hit another blood-locked door and it became obvious we’d need Ser Gant to open it. Good thing he lived and we didn’t leave him behind. Had to fight a few genestealers at that door, too, while they all caught up. Nimble bastards, took us a while to put them down even with four of us piling on them. Morpheous filled the whole hallway with flame though, so we were able to barely hold the line despite their numbers and push on to the hangar.

What a beauty of a ship. Never seen anything like it; think this thing’s one of a kind! I’ll need to learn more about it with Nautilus when we get the time to sit down and look at it. Got it up and running in no time; despite its age and the beating it took it was more responsive than anything I’ve ever flown. Like second nature. Not much time to dwell on it now, though. Maybe when I get back to the ship. And spend some time in Medical getting this laceration patched up. And after I fix my voidsuit. And the gaping hole in my flak armor. Probably have to quarantine the tribals too, on account of genestealers. Always so much to do. But at least I’m alive to do it.

The Emperor protects.


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