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Rogue Trader - Chronology: Invictus Aeterna & Amphaels

 
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Montresor
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Rogue Trader - Chronology: Invictus Aeterna & Amphaels Reply with quote

CONSTRUCTION

611-625 M.36

The Age of Apostasy at an end, the forge world of Tidranicus Prime begins an ambitious plan to commission fifteen new Firestorm class frigates to supply the battlefleets of Segmentum Obscurus, and replace losses incurred in the wars. Head tech-priest and planetary governor, Autarn Granic, directly oversees the construction of the first two vessels, a process which takes eleven years, and is conducted at an orbital shipyard above the planet’s atmosphere. A third vessel, intended to be part of the first squadron, is delayed because of a lack of raw materials. This vessel, the Invictus Aeterna, is only a basic frame before rebellion flares up on the Forge World below.

630 M.36

Work on the Invictus Aeterna is completely halted after the government of Granic is overthrown. Led by a cadre of revolutionary tech-priests, workers dissatisfied with the escalating number of deaths from lack of proper nourishment rebel and place Granic on trial. Thousands of loyalist troops and tech-priests are put to death, and the universal support of the planet’s astropaths for the rebellion prevents word reaching the sector governor. The shipyards in orbit remain loyal to Granic and dispatch a transport to summon the Imperial Guard. A warp storm, later thought to have been somehow linked to the rebellion, disrupts the Geller Fields of the transport, and the vessel is never seen again.

Tidranicus Prime’s relative isolation in the sector, combined with pressing concerns elsewhere means that contact with Imperial administration is lost.

677 M.36

The tithe ship, Watch of Barradon, investigates the space of Tidranicus Prime, discovering that the ship yards in orbit are completely abandoned. No trace of the personnel is to be found, and the skeletal hulk of the Invictus remains untended. The crew of the Barradon send a shuttle to the surface of the planet to investigate and are at first warmly greeted by the new governor. Although the tithe vessel is slowly filled with the required resources, the crew of the Barradon become concerned with what they feel are unusual patterns of life upon the planet. The government, and a small but influential portion of the population, appear to have neglected the rotes of the Machine Cult, and many of the core-deep factories and mines seem to have fallen into disrepair. Although many of the population express great happiness at what has become a care-free existence, no longer governed by ceaseless toil below the surface, the Barradon’s crew are approached by numerous fearful citizens who claim that the government are systematically silencing all resistance to what they term the Rapture Crusade.

Prior to the Tithe ship’s departure, the administration of Tidranicus Prime attempt to seize the command staff of Barradon. Although the captain and first mate are slain, most of the officers escape in a Guncutter, boarding the Barradon and escaping the system.

678 M.36

Vessels from the Sector Battlefleet arrive and demand the immediate surrender of the planetary government, which refuses. The demand is deemed a grave mistake, as the vessels lack the capacity to depose the government, instead returning to their Fortress World to consult High Command for a proper course of action.

684 M.36

Delayed by a system wide plague in the Sector Core, an invasion fleet is not mustered for years, finally arriving to the Tidranicus Prime almost too late. Planetary government, having established a firm powerbase over their own dissenters, uses the time between the battlefleet's arrivals to prepare their defences for a prolonged campaign. A planetary invasion is launched by five regiments of the Imperial Guard, however, having vastly underestimated the capabilities of the rebels, all but one beachhead is overrun in the matter of a week. The Imperial Guard, having suffered enormous losses, withdraws from the planet. A blockade of the system is begun.

Fleet command restores power to the Shipyard in orbit and uses it to act as a forward monitor of the rebels. Officers and staff stationed on the shipyard report that the vast structure is deeply unsettling. Although no life is detected on the docks, or on the frame of the Invictus Aeterna, those stationed here cannot discount the feeling that the cavernous halls echo with activity not of their own. The section holding the Invictus is avoided after numerous staff report hearing the hull resound with clanging, almost as if under construction.

688 M.36

Redeployment of much of the blockade fleet is required in order to counter Ork incursions in a nearby Sector. Damage sustained to ships involved in this relief requires extensive repairs.

The docks above Tidranicus Prime are crewed by a skeleton staff to keep watch on the rebellion.

703 M.36

The core warships of the Sector Battlefleet arrive transporting nineteen regiments of the Imperial Guard. A heavy bombardment of the planet by the Battleships Spite of Saint Vire and Fury, and the Battlecruiser Ingressus, devastates many of Tidranicus Prime’s planetary defences. Eight divisions are embarked onto the planet in the largest recorded military landing in the last 1,700 years of Sector history. Although the invaders are met with fierce resistance from planetary militia, tanks, and Murder-Servitors, a solid beachhead is established and fresh divisions are fed into the growing apocalypse.

The invasion stalls after two months of rapid advances, necessitating the opening up of a secondary offensive by the remaining four divisions still waiting in orbit. Lightning advances by this smaller army, supported by hundreds of bomber craft from the fleet cause enormous casualties in the rebel army. Civilian casualties are also inordinately high, as fleet command are forced on numerous occasions to bombard the planet’s surface to pave the way for armoured thrusts.

704-5 M.36

With much of the Forge World’s central areas in ruins from the war, the government is no longer capable of manufacturing machineries of war to resist the Imperium. Imperial Guard casualties are so high that new campaigns are stalled until reinforcements arrive, although rebel and civilian casualties are estimated at exceeding twenty million. In order to protect the valuable resources of the planet, as well as the mysteries of technology, the fleet is directed to cease any further planetary bombardments. Admiral Lerond expresses his displeasure at this directive. Civilians surrender or seek refuge with the Guard in the tens of thousands, eventually creating a logistical nightmare for the invaders.

The rebel government recalls all battle worthy troops to defend the capital, and refuses any offer to negotiate their surrender. The Guard establish a perimeter around the capital and lay siege.

706 M.36

The year opens with a shattering offensive by three divisions of the Imperial Guard. Rebel troops fight with suicidal determination, but are swept aside by the terrifying power of the Imperial Warmachine. A veritable slaughter in the central city begins, with death becoming almost indiscriminate. As the Guard close in on the tech-priest’s palace a terrible truth is uncovered. Gardens heaped with the dead – civilians and captured Guardsmen – tortured and sacrificed, and adorned with strange and bloody sigils, are discovered everywhere. Tech-priests cavort openly with the lifeless forms, almost oblivious to the soldiers about them. Fear grips the warriors of the Imperium as stories of unnatural things lurking in the grottoes begin to circulate. High Command responds to the sudden crises with panic.

The horrid taint of the Ruinous Powers is unmistakable, and fleet command makes the controversial decision to withdraw all troops from the surface. The civilian population is left behind, and the entire planet is firebombed with every warhead remaining. Three billion people are estimated to have perished by the end of the Tidranicus War. Battlefleet Command is court-martialled and removed for having shown excessive zeal; the lack of solid evidence of daemonic infestation can not possibly justify the loss of the planet’s factories and technology. The Machine Cult of Mars expresses their extreme discontent and successfully petitions to save the shipyards from destruction, and have Admiral Lerond executed.

In the aftermath of the war, the system blockade is retained. Although the fires from the bombardment last for three months, it is later discovered by naval staff that the destruction of the planet’s infrastructure and population was far from complete. Reconstruction begins on a scale which dwarfs the invasion itself.

358 M.37

Tidranicus Prime, having returned to a sufficient level of resource extraction and manufacture once again becomes a major hub of industry.

Abandoned for centuries, work on the construction of the Invictus Aeterna is recommenced. Planet and Sector authorities deem that the Invictus is a lasting symbol of the planet’s - and the Imperium’s - resilience. As soon as construction on the vessel begins anew, the otherworldly echoes of activity around the ship’s frame cease.

381 M.37

The Invictus Aeterna, now fully constructed, is launched from the dock. The first two vessels of its squadron are now part of another Sector Battlefleet, so the Invictus is re-assigned, and begins its career as a heavily-armed naval escort vessel.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EARLY SERVICE, AND ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNBIDDEN

390 M.37

The Invictus Aeterna sees its first action in battle. Imposing a blockade upon a plague infected system, the frigate is one of a score of other escort vessels given instructions to patrol for ships attempting to break the blockade.

Unregistered vessels run the cordon and attempt to ferry citizens off one of the quarantined worlds. The Invictus and the sister vessels in its squadron give chase and open fire upon the ships. Not wishing to risk the spread of plague to other sectors, the escort patrol does not cease fire until their quarry is obliterated. Command on the Invictus deems this a necessary but inglorious beginning to its military career. Within months, after the plague is discovered to have been non-lethal, the blockade is lifted.

407-580 M.37

Lawlessness, unregistered vessels, and a general rise in piracy in the neighbouring sector of Madia sees three frigate squadrons permanently transferred to Battlefleet Madia. The Invictus forms part of Inferno Squadron and is subsequently transferred, along with the frigates Kerreptus and Precision.

During this period, the Invictus sees much action patrolling the less-inhabited regions of the sector. Fighting in a score of minor engagements, the Invictus acquits herself with honour, notably assisting in the apprehension of the pirate frigate Conviction.

During this period, the first recorded mention of the family name Sarust is noted, in the person of Communications Officer August Sarust. It is unknown whether this has any direct connection to the Sarust Clan.

633 M.37

Service records indicate that Inferno Squadron carries on with routine patrols of old pirate haunts in Sector Madia, having no occasion to ever fire their weapons in anything more than training manoeuvres since the sixth century of the millennium.

The first concrete archival reference to the Sarust Clan is dated to this year. Purporting to be the oldest void family on board the Invictus, they receive mention in the captain’s log in a routine entry concerning various clans forming amongst the ratings. Other clans mentioned in the entry can no longer be directly traced to families or groups still existing in the 41st millennium.

642 M. 37

A stellar based mining vessel reports the emergence of the Space Hulk Unbidden from the Warp near the gas giant Kortro-Selet III. Inferno squadron’s relative proximity to the system sees their frigates as the first group to arrive to investigate. Squadron Command decides to investigate the Unbidden, in case the lifeless conglomeration of starships slips back into Warp Space before troops arrive.

Officers and ratings from all ships of Inferno squadron form boarding parties to explore the vast hulk, whose length exceeds twenty kilometres. Much of Unbidden is barely navigable or traversable, corridors crash into corridors from various wrecks, and life support systems function nowhere but within the impenetrable depths of the hulk. The crew report a sense of foreboding, and an unreality to many of the twisting structures they investigate. Contact is lost with the boarding parties for nearly an hour, before scattered bands return to their frigates. Medical reports indicate that those who returned are of unsound mind – some complain of constant whispering in their mind, others see ant-like processions of men crawling all over the Unbidden.

The decision is made to await further ships from the fleet before proceeding with investigations. Over one hundred crewmen are missing on board the hulk.

Preliminary data retrieved by the survivors of the first boarding parties indicates that many of the wrecks which make up the Unbidden date from before the time of the Imperium, some even date as far back as the Dark Age of Technology. Archival sources hint that the last known sighting of the hulk was in Segmentum Pacificus, over fifteen centuries ago. Unbidden is deemed of extreme value to the Imperium, and Inferno squadron waits with nervous determination for reinforcements.

Three days into the watch, systems suddenly start to come online all over the hulk. Lights pierce the darkened frame, and rusted cables lazily intend to the frigates. The frigate Kerreptus is momentarily ensnared in one of Unbidden’s metallic tendrils and is slowly dragged towards the vast bulk. The Invictus Aeterna and Precision open fire on the hulk, attempting to free Kerreptus from the snare. Kerreptus takes some damage from the barrage but manages to draw free, accelerating sufficiently beyond the reach of Unbidden.

Weapon systems upon the various vessels which make up Unbidden begin to come online, and millennia old batteries ponderously open fire. Inferno squadron returns fire, and the frigates use their speed to evade many of the deadliest avenues of the hulk’s vastly superior firepower. Salvoes from Invictus, Kerreptus, and Precision barely manage to scratch the surface of Unbidden. Although the barrages of the hulk appear uncoordinated, the growing intensity of its firepower forces Inferno squadron to withdraw.

One day later, Unbidden drifts towards the orbital mining platform above Kortro-Selet III and begins to ensnare any small vessel and tower its tendrils can reach. Inferno squadron returns to engage Unbidden and, at great risk to their own safety, the frigates attempt to buy time for the miners to escape in their own ships. Survivors of the boarding parties report that they can hear the whispering of the hundred lost crew, as if wailing in agony in the lightless depths of the Unbidden.

In a three hour battle, Invictus takes heavy damage, losing power to its Titan-Forge Lance. Kerreptus is finally crippled and, rather than be drawn into the orbit of the gas giant, the commander orders the frigate to ram the Unbidden. An immense explosion tears across the surface of the hulk, seemingly stalling the systems on board Unbidden long enough for the remaining squadron and mining vessels to escape.

When a dozen vessels of Battlefleet Madia arrive two weeks later, no trace of Unbidden is found in the entire system. As mysteriously as it arrived, the nightmare wreck had vanished into the Immaterium.

644 M.37

With repairs on the Invictus Aeterna complete, the frigate rejoins other escort vessels on patrol duties.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OBSCURITY

650-70 M.37

After persistent investigation of Sector space, and the cooperation of the Inquisition, naval intelligence concludes that no trace of the Unbidden is detectable within Sector Madia. Although vessels assigned to the search are re-assigned, it is decided that Precision and Invictus Aeterna should be properly quarantined and investigated by the Ordo Malleus for any possible taint. Both ships remain in dry-docks above the planet Etrus, studied in detail by the Inquisition, as well as the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Although no taint of the Warp is found to conclusively reside in either vessel, Inquisitor Lor Maccharius notes that the Invictus is rife with reports from the longest serving crew members that she is haunted. Crew members report having seen shadowy figures in corridors, or having heard sounds of work where nothing was to be seen. Maccharius deems the tales concerning enough to order extensive tests to be conducted on the vessel. Naval High Command, eager to please the Inquisition, is compliant to all of Maccharius’s demands.

671-703 M.37

Maccharius takes the Invictus on an extensive series of long-range Warp Drive tests. At one point, the Invictus spends five months travelling through the Warp without once dropping into Material space. The stress levels and morale of the crew are pushed to extreme limits, although the iron-will of the Inquisitor manages to hold everyone together. No incident of Geller Field failure or unacceptable fluctuation is recorded.

The Inquisitor then uses the vessel almost as a personal transport for the business of the Ordo Malleus, travelling to regions in the Sector he deems worthy of investigation. The crew are privy to very little of what Maccharius and his staff achieve and, after 32 years, they are relieved to see the Inquisitor end his trials.

The Invictus is deemed free of any taint of the Ruinous Powers, although the Inquisitor is rumoured to have kept extensive notes regarding the possible haunting of the vessel to himself.

705-987 M.37

Despite the excellent service the Invictus gave to the Ordo Malleus, Naval High Command is reluctant to redeploy the Invictus to regular patrols. The crew of the vessel are disheartened when they are told the ship will be assigned to accompany tribute vessels on journeys to Segmentum Solar.

988 M.37

After numerous long journeys between Sector Madia and the interior systems of Segmentum Solar, the Invictus is discovered to have been mistakenly de-registered from Battlefleet records. As a formality, the Invictus is impounded under heavy-security, pending verification from the Segmentum Obscurus Lord-High Admiral that the vessel is legally an Imperial Navy vessel. A request is despatched to planetary administration to begin the necessary paper-work.

996 M.37

After having been misplaced, the initial request is acted upon, and sent for verification to Segmentum Obscurus Battlefleet Command. In order to cut costs and more effectively use manpower, seventy percent of the Invictus’s crew are transferred to other vessels. Only those crew members holding a rank higher than Midshipman, or having been born upon the vessel are permitted to remain on board.

997 M.37 – 104 M.38

Word finally reaches the Invictus that a clerical error was made in 984 M.37 which accidentally de-registered the vessel from Navy records. Numerous bureaucratic hurdles, combined with errors and the general lethargy of many planetary administrations meant that final reversal of this error took an inordinately long period of time.

The Invictus Aeterna is refitted and staffed with a largely new crew. However, many of the crew who were permitted to remain have now formed distinct and powerful clans and interest groups. The most influential of these outside of Bridge staff are the Sarust Clan, a group of labourers who toil in the lower decks. Sarust members all claim to be related to one another. Smaller gangs form in the crew, and successfully begin to extort new ratings who join the Invictus.

125 M.38

The Invictus Aeterna returns to Sector Madia, and is re-assigned to patrol duties. The end of a small war in a neighbouring sector sees an overflow of piracy in Madia space. The Invictus sees some small-scale action hunting raiders almost immediately. However, the disturbance is short-lived, and patrols soon become uneventful.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WAR

130-566 M.38

For reasons unknown, archives covering this period of the Invictus Aeterna’s service are classified as restricted. Generational knowledge of the longest serving clans and families on board on vaguely hint at events which may have transpired in this period.

577 M.38

The Invictus is recorded as being re-assigned to Escort Squadron CXXVIII. The squadron consists of four other frigates – one firestorm and three swords – with squadron command being relegated to Knife’s Edge. Escort Squadron CXXVIII immediately assumes long range patrols covering the coreward region of Sector Madia.

614-17 M.38

The relative peace in the sector sees Escort Squadron CXXVIII transferred to Sector Erront - three months Warp space travel closer to the Eye of Terror. Squadron command takes the unwise decision to make the entire three month journey without dropping into Material space until the destination has been reached. Despite protests from the various frigate captains, the journey is attempted.

One month into the journey, crews report detecting strange signals on their scanners, reporting that other ships in the formation appear to be projecting Vox-echoes from three or four different positions. The Invictus, in particular, gives a very weak signal, though seems to be steadily outpacing the other frigates in the Warp currents.

Two months into the journey and mistaken readings are hourly occurrences. The crew of one frigate sends a strange relay to the Knife’s Edge, requesting navigational assistance. When Knife’s Edge obliges, the frigate denies ever having sent the request. Five hours later, the Knife’s Edge receives exactly the same request, only to discover the frigate has gone. Squadron command gives immediate orders to return to Material space.

Long range scanners fail to detect any sign of life, and it is apparent that Escort Squadron CXXVIII has emerged in an uncharted system. A spluttering sun gives a dim and lifeless glow across barren and cold planets. No sign of the missing frigate Decisive is detected. Squadron vessels are sent on long-range missions through the Void to discern the location of the system.

The ship’s navigators collude and determine that the squadron is roughly three weeks off course. After two months of searching, and with supplies beginning to run low, the Decisive is written off as lost. When the squadron eventually reaches their target, they discover that the two months journey in the Warp took more than two years in Material time. Morale on all vessels suffers as a result of the voyage.

618 M.38

Escort Squadron CXXVIII arrives in Sector Erront to discover the sector in the grips of a civil war. The Invictus begins its involvement in the thirty year Erront Conflict (begun in 615 M.38).

619-625 M.38

The Great Reversals. Governor Teleb Tharden, having declared his independence from the Imperium (but conversely pledging his undying loyalty to the Emperor), and having been joined by a quarter of the Sector’s planets, opens up a lightning offensive on numerous worlds. His aim is to strike at the major Forge Worlds and shipyards of the Sector, and thus eliminate his opponent’s capacity to repair damage to their fleets. Although Tharden’s rebels lack the numerical superiority of those loyal to the Imperium in the Sector, he has many important advantages. His control of the Sector Capital, as well as half of the Imperial Guard regiments gives him an important resource edge. Although his fleets are small, he has the support of the fearsome Emperor Class Battleship Domination of Spirit, as well as many commanders used to hit and run warfare.

Persistent raids across loyalist space takes a crippling toll on merchant shipping, and an early engagement with the Domination of Spirit sees three Lunar class cruisers damaged so badly that they are pulled from the system for major repairs.

Tharden’s stratagem works with frightening efficiency. Always retaining the initiative, Tharden’s rebels conquer five worlds in the Sector core and almost completely dislodge loyalists from the crucial Forge World of Kagra-Majoris.

626-635 M.38

The Kagra-Majoris Campaign. The Imperium reluctantly intervenes in the civil war, citing Governor Tharden’s record as a loyal servant of the Emperor, and a distinguished record as a general, as reason enough to be cautious in damning him. However, extra vessels and Guardsmen are assigned from neighbouring sectors, and a desperate bid to supply and retake Kagra-Majoris is begun.

The Invictus Aeterna, and the rest of Escort Squadron CXXVIII join what becomes known as the Storm Run. Owing to fluctuations in Warp storms in the system, the Imperium is able to risk running the gauntlet of Tharden’s fleet about once or twice a week. Escort Squadron CXXVIII is one of many squadrons which escort troop and supply vessels through gaps in the Warp storms, and then through the predations of Tharden’s ships. Every attempt at the Storm Run sees frequent small engagements with attack craft and fast escort vessels. A trail of ruined ships is soon to be found throughout the system.

Loyalist troops on Kagra-Majoris hold on desperately against determined attacks and nightmare bombardments. Nightly, casualties on both sides number in the hundreds. Loyalist battleships are sometimes able to bombard Tharden’s armies before withdrawing from the approach of Domination of Spirit and its support cruisers.

Slowly, and while men die in the thousands, the Storm Run re-supplies Imperial forces on Kagra-Majoris to a level where they are able to launch a counter-offensive. Simultaneously, on a raid in another system, Tharden’s fleet loses the Dictator cruiser Prosecution. Unwilling to risk his fleet any further, Tharden withdraws his warships to the Sector Capital, to refit and repair. Imperial loyalists use the opportunity to land further divisions upon Kagra-Majoris and retake the planet. Over a million lives are lost in the campaign, although High Command deems this a necessary price to pay.

636 M.38

The Tide Turns. The loss of Kagra-Majoris deals a terrible blow to the reputation of Governor Tharden. Inadequately informed by his commanders, Tharden is unable to grasp how such a reversal could have come to pass. Panicked and sensing his tacit support from other Sector Governors may be waning, Tharden goes on the defensive, never again seizing the tactical initiative. Domination of Spirit is held in reserve at the Sector Capital for the rest of the conflict.

637-644 M.38

The Imperium, reinforced and now heavily supplied launches a series of devastating offensives against Tharden’s planets. Ignoring the conquest of all his worlds, they simply by-pass the most heavily defended and begin to planet-hop to the capital. Tharden’s rebels vainly try to re-supply their beleaguered divisions although, without the Domination of Spirit in active service, they steadily lose the edge in the struggle for naval superiority.

Escort Squadron CXXVIII performs with merit at the Battle of Outpost Rell-V. A score of Imperial vessels are met with a desperate defence by a dozen rebel ships, including the Battlecruiser Exterminatus. The battle near the monitoring post lasts for eighteen hours, as ships manoeuvre through a nearby asteroid field, and hundreds of fighter and bomber craft duel in the Void. The Invictus Aeterna is nearly eliminated when it is caught in the path of seven torpedoes, although the frigate’s timely shift to within the asteroid field itself protects it from destruction. Vanishing from all ship’s detection systems, the Invictus patiently manoeuvres through the field to a position at the flank of the enemy cruisers. The Invictus emerges from hiding and fires its Mars Pattern Macro Batteries at close range upon the Dictator class cruiser Yalust Guardian. Overloading the shields of the cruiser, the Invictus’s salvo coincides with a wave of torpedoes from the main fleet which tear through Yalust Guardian. The ancient cruiser lists and finds itself in an inexorable spin into the asteroid field. The cruiser impacts with numerous larger asteroids, and the mighty vessel is torn to pieces.

The Battle of Outpost Rell-V ends shortly thereafter when the remaining rebel ships limp away. The captain of the Invictus Aeterna is decorated highly, commended for having swung the course of the engagement and contributed to the effective end of Tharden’s fleet as a serious threat. The battle is considered the Invictus’s finest hour, and “Outpost Day” is still celebrated by her modern crew, though few are aware of the full details of the story.

By the end of the year, the invasion of Tharden’s stronghold is ready.

645 M.38

War’s End. Domination of Spirit and the last few ships deemed battle worthy are launched on a final mission to disrupt the growing Imperial armada on the system’s outskirts. A truly awe-inspiring vessel, constructed over 5,000 years ago, the Domination of Spirit prepares for its final engagement. Imperial vessels, aware of the ship’s illustrious history, as well as the terror it caused in the early years of the war, go to meet it in battle with both veneration and unease. Although the Invictus Aeterna is present at the battle, it is assigned to assist other frigates in the protection of transport vessels from bomber wings launched from the battleship.

Domination of Spirit fights valiantly against hundreds of bombers, watching in vain as its own interception craft are torn to pieces. Constant waves of torpedoes and batteries tear into the battleship as numerous fires alight in her interior. The crew die in droves, though they fight with a determination which is later used to defend the innocence of Tharden’s cause. Domination of Spirit finally manoeuvres herself into the very midst of the Imperial fleet, attempting to reach the enemy transports and inflict as much harm as possible. However, damage to the vessel becomes overwhelming and the plasma reactors begin to overload. Battlefleet Erront withdraws to beyond the Domination’s blast radius, firing off a volley to salute the ancient battleship. Moments later, an immense explosion sunders the vessel, ripping her into shreds.

One week later, citing his desire to protect the civilian population from extermination, Tharden negotiates his surrender. Most probably offered the chance by a Guard Commissar, Tharden takes his own life. His reasons for inciting rebellion against the Imperium are never made clear.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

INTO THE CALYX EXPANSE

657-8 M.38

The Decisive emerges from Warp Space, her crew barely aware that they had been travelling so long, or had been given up as lost. The crew of the frigate describe being lost amongst a series of uninhabited systems, constantly re-entering the Immaterium in an effort to find their bearings. Eventually, and almost without any serious incident, the Decisive arrives in the Erront Sector.

As a matter of course, the navy conducts a routine investigation. Nothing suspicious is uncovered about the Decisive, but the whole affair attracts the attention of the Inquisition which, in turn, becomes once more interested in the Invictus Aeterna. Inquisitor Kright-Hervene conducts an extensive series of investigations of the ship’s crew, systems, and decks. Although he can find no conclusive fault in the vessel, he recommends the Invictus be de-commissioned from service. As he does not make this anything more than an informal recommendation, and as losses in the recent war have put a strain on ships in active duty, High Command retain the Invictus in service. However, they deem it inadvisable to have the frigate operate on long voyages and, thus, relegate it to escort duties in the Prost Mining system.

658-987 M.38

The Invictus Aeterna begins an inglorious career of protecting mining vessels on their journeys between the moons of the Prost system, and the Forge World located therein. No combat encounters of note are recorded in the entire three centuries.

988 M.38

For reasons no longer extant in the archives, the Invictus makes its first journey into the Immaterium for centuries. Records indicate that all systems on the Invictus remain optimal, and that the vessel has an unerring ease of passage through the currents of the Warp.

989 M.38 – 202 M.39

The Invictus is recalled to patrol duties, this time assigned to deep-void patrols in regions otherwise designated as lacking any potential to support life. Patrolling the dark regions between official sector space, the Invictus and her sister frigates find little of note except barren and lifeless worlds, or systems whose ancient suns stand alone.

Throughout this period, the Invitcus is referenced numerous times as having taken part in multiple small-scale battles with pirates, forgotten xenos, and an occasional Ork incursion. Reports indicate that the Invictus still retains the excellence in combat for which she was constructed, although she is often noted as lacking endurance for engagements with vessels of a higher class than frigate.

Eventually, the Invictus is recalled for refitting and repair, having suffered significant damage in a battle with a now nameless and extinct xenos species.

210-319 M.39

The Invictus resumes a diverse series of duties, from long-range patrols, to inter-system escort duties. Her crew is reported to have taken part in a number of small and inconsequential naval strikes through this period. Records indicate that the Invictus is rated as above average for incidents of minor sedition and insubordination. Persistent rumours about black holds aboard the vessel, as well as the low quality of the frigate’s life support systems are cited as major causes of discontent.

320 M.39

Vessels from Battlefleet Erront are permanently assigned to the growing Angevin Crusade, originating from Segmentum Solar, and travelling to the Calyx Expanse. One of a dozen ships from Battlefleet Erront to be re-assigned, the Invictus Aeterna once again prepares for war.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE RISE OF THE AMPHAEL DYNASTY

322-384 M.39

The Angevin Crusade, originating in Segmentum Solar, sets out to bring the Calyx Expanse into the fold of the Imperium. Peopled by forgotten human empires, and mysterious alien beings, the Calyx Expanse presents the Imperium with an opportunity to continue the mission of the God Emperor. Numerous noble families join the crusade, providing a gargantuan army of nearly twenty million soldiers, battlefleets from Obscurus and Solar, as well as detachments of the Astartes, and some Rogue Traders.

Charun Amphael is but one of the nobles who joins the crusade, contributing numerous vessels and twenty thousand private soldiers. Little is known of Charun’s origins, except that he founded the Amphael Dynasty after splitting with his own family. Charun named the Amphaels after the planet of his origin, somewhere deep within Segmentum Solar. Sources disagree over whether Charun was a disaffected son seeking his fortune in the stars, or whether he was a great crusader who gave up his position as a planetary governor for the furtherance of the Imperium. Charun specifically forbad the cataloguing of Dynastic pre-history, always insisting that the family began with him.

The Angevin Crusade opens with spectacular success; the enormous fleets and armies take world after world. Human empires are either brought into the beauty of the Emperor’s Light, or cast down and purged for heresy. Numerous xenos civilisations are swept aside, and many are eradicated.

Although great reversals of fortune undo many of the early conquests, the arrival of General Drusus (later canonised), sees the entirety of the Calyx Expanse brought into the governance of the Imperium. The Warp-worshipping xenos - the Yu-Vath - are cast into the Halo Stars, and never seen again.

Charun Amphael - for services deemed worthy of a great servant of the Imperium - is granted a Warrant of Trade by Saint Drusus himself, just prior to the creation of the Drusus Marches.

In the last ten years of the Crusade, Charun’s own ship is almost destroyed by the heretical followers of Lord Ulteen Krath. Just as Charun was giving orders to abandon his vessel – the Mandragora’s Wake – a patrol of battered frigates from Battlefleet Obscurus arrived. A well-timed battery from the guns of the Invictus Aeterna tore Krath’s destroyer, Scion of the Warp, almost in half. Mindful that his life (and future Dynasty) had been saved by the Invictus, he pledged in the Emperor’s name to return the favour should destiny empower him to do so.

385-652 M.39

Charun Amphael establishes the Dynasty on the planet of Malfi, the political contender to the Sector capital, Scintilla. Having lost most of his army in the Crusade, Charun is nonetheless possessed of a great wealth and enormous influence. Very quickly, the Amphael family name becomes one of the most famous on Malfi.

Charun dies in 417 M.39, leaving behind him many legitimate heirs to his wealth. The Warrant of Trade, barely exploited by Charun, passes to whosoever is deemed to be the rightful head of the Dynasty. In theory, Dynastic heads are chosen on the basis of blood and ability. In practice, most Amphael Dynastic heads are selected from first born sons.

Dynastic archives often reference this period as The Consolidation. During this time, The Amphaels exerted their influence aggressively, seeking to place members of their household, or those they favoured, into positions of power. The strategies work with stunning success, leading to numerous appointments in the local Adeptus Administratum, the Ecclesiarchy, and a number of planetary governors of growing settlements. Furthermore, the Amphaels make fruitful efforts to expand their financial interests on Malfi and some neighbouring worlds. Although family members usually consider it beneath themselves to be completely aware of the extent of their fortunes, they are ably represented by a multitude of agents, only too capable of finding the right investments.

Meanwhile, the Invictus Aeterna is permanently assigned to Battlefleet Calixis, and operates extensively throughout the Drusus Marches.

703-788 M.39

With the ascension of Kelos Amphael to the position of Dynastic Head, a new wave of expansion is begun. Wishing to capitalise on the opportunities available with the Warrant of Trade, Kelos takes Mandragora’s Wake on extensive journeys into uncharted regions of Segmentum Obscurus. Little is known of his exact findings, or of every venture he attempted or established, though he returns with vast wealth. Due to the spiralling costs of running the Dynasty’s holdings in Calixis, however, there is little actual growth of Amphael influence in the sector. Kelos Amphael, grown jaded from the absolute power he enjoyed on the frontier, dies a weary and indolent man. The treasures he brought into the family have a detrimental effect on his heirs, and an era of over-indulgence begins.

789 M.39 - 12 M.40

A succession of weak and disinterested family heads squanders some of the influence of the Amphaels. Assassination and division becomes a tool used by those vying for authority within the Dynasty. Although the House retains great influence on Malfi, and throughout the surrounding systems, the Amphaels lose some of their edge and allow lesser merchant houses to take advantage of them.

The Invictus Aeterna continues to patrol the extent of the Calixis Sector, fighting some minor engagements with pirates seeking to take advantage of the increased attempts to penetrate the Halo Stars. Rumours of vast wealth lurking within the unreachable Koronus Expanse lures unscrupulous and unwise privateers by the hundred. Very few are seen again or have any real success. The Invictus is one of the ships tasked with policing the regions of the Drusus Marches through which many opportunists travel.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FAITH; THE REBIRTH OF THE INVICTUS AETERNA

13-29 M.40

Autarn Amphael ascends to dominance within the family. Adopted into the Dynasty, Autarn proved himself reliable and capable in service to the Household. Reluctantly accepting his adoption, Autarn professed regret that he had risen so high, believing that greater power would only make his vices flourish. The temptation of absolute authority proves too much for Autarn, who uses bribery and assassination to install himself as Dynastic head. Almost overnight, Autarn changes from a serious and efficient servant to a cruel, jealous, and corrupt tyrant.

Murder becomes commonplace within the Dynasty. Numerous legitimate heirs are imprisoned on the remotest of charges. Many more simply vanish. The Amphael family becomes heavily involved in Malfian politics, aggressively displacing its rivals, while indulging every private whim. The hedonism and perversion of Autarn grows to legendary proportions. Autarn writes the book My Recollections, based upon every perversion he explored and, although possession of this volume is decreed by the Inquisition as punishable with death, numerous copies become collector’s items.

30-38 M.40

Bored and desirous of new sources of wealth, Autarn choses to use the Dynastic resources to fund a concerted effort to find a navigable path through the Halo Stars and into the Koronus Expanse. Lured by stories of untold wealth, Autarn becomes completely consumed with the exploration of the Drusus Marches. Like numerous Rogue Traders before him, Autarn plunges again and again into the maelstrom of the Halo Stars. Each time he risks the lives of his crew and the safety of his vessel. Fatalities are frequent, and the strain upon Amphael resources is great.

Attempting no less than seventeen voyages into the Halo Stars, Autarn succeeds at nothing; at one point his vessel flounders in a savage Warp Storm for 87 days, the ship almost torn asunder, and the crew half mad with terror. Under threat of mutiny, Autarn turns back for Malfi. Almost as soon as he has returned, Autarn claims that he has had insight into a way through to the Expanse. Taking the Mandragora’s Wake into the Void Dancer’s Roil, Autarn, the ship, and the crew are never seen again.

39-107 M.40

The uncertainty of Autarn’s fate sends the Amphael Dynasty into confusion. Numerous factions vie for complete authority, though most are too timid to claim it, in case Autarn returns. Vast wealth is spent on private wars between claimants, and many of the family’s holdings are lost.

When Autarn is declared legally deceased (through virtue of his extended absence), a vicious war almost destroys the family altogether. Through the confusion, Calligos Amphael seizes control by virtue of his magnetic appeal. Deeply religious, Calligos inspires a virtual army of faithful to support his claim to supremacy. Swiftly, and with unflinching zeal, Calligos liquidates his opposition. Those he deems as hedonists are turned over to the Inquisition, though in many cases there is no real evidence of heresy.

108-121 M.40

Calligos consolidates the Amphael holdings and strikes mercilessly at rival families which he suspects hold blasphemous views. With the backing of the Inquisition, the Amphael Dynasty is able to repair a great deal of damage suffered in the last hundred years.

122 M.40

While responding to a distress call from the Lunar-Class Cruiser Adulation, the Invictus Aerterna and half a dozen frigates and destroyers find themselves in a pitched battle. From the darkest reaches of the Immaterium, hideous battle barges have emerged to strike at whatever vessels they may find. Unholy Reavers and servants of the Dark Gods, travelling in ancient ships of Imperial design; black hulls carven and twisted into blasphemous visages, ships bearing names which had not been seen since the Horus Heresy, unleash devastating firepower.

The Imperial escorts are savaged – torpedoes tear apart one Cobra-Class Destroyer almost the instant it arrives. The Adulation, struck grievously in her engines, is barely able to turn and bring its superior firepower to bear upon the heretic’s fleet. The captain of the Invictus Aeterna, now promoted to squadron command, gives orders to flank the foe and draw them into the firing line of the Adulation. With minds resolved to sell their lives dearly, the crew of the Invictus and her squadron charge for one last battle.

Macro Batteries, Titan-Forge Lances, and torpedoes arc through the Void. Shields overload in almost every quarter, and hulls buckle under fiery salvoes. The Chaos fleet seems infuriated with the bold and suicidal offensive of the Imperials, and they counter-charge into the trap. The Adulation opens fire with a full broadside, smiting the Infidel-Class Raider Desolation. Yet the damage suffered by the Imperial escorts is serious, and few are able to make a second pass to keep the heretics in the firing arc of Adulation.

Captain Davian, of the Invictus Aeterna, gives the other escorts orders to protect Adulation from torpedoes and other ordnance, while the Invictus makes a solitary run against the enemy raiders. Routing as much power as possible to her shields, the Invictus’s sole aim is to survive long enough to keep the raiders in place. Batteries pound into her, crashing through the decks and shattering the hull in dozens of places. Fires blaze within the Invictus, and Davian takes the terrible necessity of venting the flames into the Void, scattering crewmen by the hundred, just to preserve the vessel for minutes longer.

A maelstrom of death is unleashed upon the Invictus, who is barely able to avoid most of the barrages. The bridge is struck and Davian and all the senior officers perish. The Invictus comes to a halt, her engines dead, and systems failing in almost all sections. Yet, her sacrifice was not in vain, and the batteries of the Adulation take retribution for the Invictus, shattering the Raider Triumph of Sin. The other raiders, shocked by the sacrificial bravery of their foes, and stunned at their own losses, flee into the darkness of the Void.

Casualties on board the Invictus are calculated at nearly 60%. Her crew refuse to abandon the vessel, and the Adulation signals for the Invictus to be town back to the nearest major system to be scrapped.

123 M.40

The story of the battle against the Chaos Raiders becomes a major piece of news in the Rimward regions of Calixis. As fortune would have it, Calligos Amphael notices the name of the Invictus as one of the casualties in the engagement. Remembering the sacred pledge of his ancestor Charun Amphael, Calligos negotiates with Battlefleet Obscurus to purchase the wreck of the Invictus from them. The surviving crew of the Invictus are also retained by Calligos.

125-222 M.40

Extensive repairs are begun upon the Invictus. Numerous unsalvageable sections of the frigate are stripped bare to make way for new components. Certain sections of the vessel, particularly in the prow, are sealed off to be considered for expansion later. Befitting Calligos’s devotion to the Imperial Cult, he has a Temple-Shrine to the God Emperor installed at the highest summit of the great vessel. Better quarters for the officers and ratings are built to replace the narrow and cramped bunks the Navy made standard. The weapons are repaired, and much time is spent simply waiting for the necessary parts to arrive from various forge worlds. A vast cargo hold is installed, though its placement on one side of the frigate permanently reduces her manoeuvrability.

223-6 M.40

After almost a century of work, the Invictus Aeterna takes its maiden voyage as the flagship of the Amphael Dynasty. On this voyage – ferrying pilgrims to the far reaches of Segmentum Obscurus – Calligos Amphael passes away. He bequeaths to the ship his bolter Faith’s Reach, which is kept and tended to by the Ecclesiarchy in the ship’s chapel.

230-773 M.40

The Amphaels resurge in power, almost regaining the influence they held under Charun Amphael. A succession of deeply religious heads of the family use the Invcitus Aeterna primarily for taking missionaries and pilgrims to new colonies, to help advance the cause of Man, and spread the Light of the Emperor. Yet, despite the faith of these men and women of Amphael, the use of the Invictus for religious purposes always seems to cast doubt on their cause. The Invictus is found to have a disturbing affinity with the Warp, and rumours grow more insistent that dark secrets lurk within her. Stories of apparitions and disappearances upset the crew, and the Amphaels do their best to deny that their flagship could be anything but a pure herald of the Divine.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NADIR

784-932 M.40

Preyd Amphael ascends to the position of Rogue Trader. A cunning and astute individual, Preyd is adopted as the Amphael heir and successfully acts the part of a devout missionary for decades. When finally ensconced in the position of Rogue Trader, Preyd makes no secret of his distaste for the Dynastic practice of transporting pilgrims through the Void. Arguing that a Rogue Trader’s true value to the Imperium is in expanding its borders, Preyd Amphael subsequently takes the Invictus Aeterna on far reaching expeditions, some taking decades in themselves.

Owing to a serious outbreak of plague aboard the Invictus, Preyd begins to vent the terminally ill out of the airdocks. Plummeting morale forces the Rogue Trader to compromise, designating a sealed section of the prow as a region where dieing crew may travel, should they wish to try and let their bodies fight the inevitable. The tradition is never discontinued.

Preyd is forced to expend vast sums of money employing spies to keep watch upon his enemies while he is gone. The Amphael Dynasty once again becomes prone to division and plotting.

Despite prolonging his life through expensive rejuvenation treatments, Preyd Amphael dies from an unknown sickness contracted upon a Death World in a remote region of the Imperium. His epic journeys achieve very little except to break the centuries long tradition of the Amphaels acting as defacto missionaries.

During this period, the Invictus Aeterna has a librarium installed deep within her interior. Numerous rare works are purchased at enormous cost, placing great strain upon the household’s resources. Rumours circulate that Preyd purchases a number of proscribed texts, including an original edition of My Recollections.

933 M.40 – 370 M.41

A series of short-lived Rogue Traders (some who abdicate from lack of confidence in their own abilities) steadily erode the fortunes of the Amphaels. In an attempt to continue the great journeys of Preyd, many Rogue Traders track his voyages on the faintest suspicion of riches. Over time, it becomes apparent that much of what Preyd observed was an outright lie, invented to flatter his own ego or to solidify his political backing. Vast sums of money dissipate in voyages to barren systems. Duels with rival Rogue Traders become commonplace as up-and-coming families shadow the journeys of the once illustrious Amphaels, hoping to steal their wealth.

Finally, under the command of Gabriel Amphael II, the Invictus Aeterna is forced to seek refuge in a lifeless system, in order to avoid a terrible Warp Storm. Cut off from the Astronomicon for months, the Invictus Aeterna’s crew become sullen and mutinous. The day after giving orders to continue on a journey the crew believe is a lost cause, Gabriel Amphael II is found murdered. The Invictus Aeterna returns to Malfi, taking three years to reach its destination. No investigation of Gabriel’s death is ever undertaken, although it is common knowledge that a member of the Eternals committed the deed.

The next Dynastic head, Lor Amphael, decrees that the Dynasty can no longer continue to invest all of its dwindling profits in journeys so far afield. Although by now a stable route into the Koronus Expanse has been discovered (in 997 M.40), the Amphaels believe that Rogue Traders who attempt to travel into the Halo Stars are infected with hubris and, thus, an early opportunity to explore the region is not undertaken.

380-700 M.41

A long and almost imperceptible decline begins. The Invictus Aeterna almost languishes in dry-docks, barely used for anything more important than raiding rivals or ferrying supplies. Eroding like a castle of sand in the wind, the holdings and influence of the Amphael Dynasty begin to vanish. No longer playing a direct part in Malfian politics, and with the descendants of planetary governors installed by the family largely ignoring them, the Amphaels teeter on the brink of obscurity. Some family members change their names and pursue their own endeavours, while progressively more insipid and weak-willed Dynastic heads watch idly.

The crew of the Invictus Aeterna cement themselves into more distinct factions. The Sarust Clan has long since ceased to be referred as such, now being colloquially referred to as The Eternals. The first archival reference to The Lower Decks 63 Through 70 Clan - named after the sections of the ship they are frequently seen on – is recorded. Akin to automatons, these men and women mingle only with each other and learn their duties through pure rote. Officers gradually learn to leave them without supervision.

Numerous petty incidents of disobedience, as well as a number of extortion scandals infect the ratings and the officers of the ancient frigate. Certain sections of the ship, particularly in the lower decks are avoided altogether by the crew. Black Holds are believed to exist on board the Invictus.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

THE TIME OF ENDING

710-35 M.41

Kellarn Amphael and her Chief Seneschal conduct a three year survey of the remaining family holdings. The few possessions held in distant sectors are written off as too remote to be of any more assistance to the family, and they are deemed of greater financial strain than benefit. Notices are sent to absolve all dues and to grant independence.

A large number of mercantile holdings are sold off, including the majority of the Amphael’s Stellar fleet. Property on various Hive Worlds is sold off, with the Dynasty retaining only their palace on Malfi, and permanent lodgings in the spires of Scintilla. A multitude of debts are repaid, and the overhead on many more is cleared. Despite suggestions to sell the Invitcus, Kellarn refuses, citing it as almost as important to the family’s heritage as the Sacred Warrant.

Through astute leadership, Kellarn is able to keep the Dynasty alive and, through the culling of most Household assets, the Amphaels are granted the possibility of future growth. The unfortunate side effect of the auctioning of family assets is the Amphael name becomes far reduced in influence. Most of the wealthier nobles ignore them, even on Malfi.

740-766 M.41

Kellarn Amphael dies from a failed rejuvenation operation. Though her legacy is unspectacular, seneschals in the service of the family come to hold her as something of a saviour.

Kellarn’s cousin, Millent Amphael succeeds her to the post of Rogue Trader. Although he remains determined to begin a new series of voyages to distant regions, he refuses to consider the Koronus Expanse as a viable option for aggrandisement. Millent has difficulties receiving backing from merchants, who would rather invest in ventures to Koronus, and does not set off on a voyage for two decades.

News reaches this region of space that a new threat has come to torment the Eastern Sectors of the Imperium – The Tyranids. Far from Segmentum Obscurus, little is thought of the threat, especially when news of Hive Fleet Behemoth’s defeat also arrives. Others note stories of how Tyranid Hive Ships seem capable of consuming every living thing on a planet, and breathe a sigh of relief that they are far from the invasions of this alien menace.

767-789 M.41

The Invictus once more returns to journeying through the Immaterium. Millent Amphael travels afar in search of wealth, soon developing a reputation as a plunderer of worlds. Where human worlds are discovered as not being a part of the Imperium, Millent uses force to wrest some of their wealth from them. Touting himself as a devout servant of the Emperor, many within the family consider him little more than a petty warlord.

Yet, Millent’s gunboat diplomacy does net much needed wealth for the family. Enabling it to write off more debts, Millent adds to the slow regrowth of the Amphaels and their servants.

On a return voyage to Malfi, Millent Amphael inexplicably loses his mind. Raving incoherently about something he calls the Corpse Star, Millent is no longer able to command the vessel. On return to Malfi, with his condition deteriorated significantly, the decision is made for his son, Laurent Amphael to assume the mantle of Rogue Trader.

Millent is kept secluded in a tower of the Amphael palace, rarely visited by his relatives.

790-805 M.41

As one of his first actions as Dynastic Head, Laurent Amphael designates his nephew, Garrius Amphael as heir to the position of Rogue Trader. Laurent’s brother, Ducaste, is infuriated and eventually sends his son to cut his teeth as an officer in the Imperial Navy.

Andrea Chan-Gauthier and her mother are taken into the protection of the Amphael Dynasty after Andrea’s parents provide information on their own Dynasty, the Heroults. The Heroult and Amphael Dynasties become locked in a short but bitter war, whose origins appear to be removed from archival records. The Invictus Aeterna sees military action against a number of Heroult vessels. In concert with the Imperial Navy, the Amphaels manage to completely wipe out the Heroult Dynasty, though the cost to their own resources is high. Inquisition involvement is inevitable, and rumours circulate that a Halo device was somehow behind Heroult corruption.

Darius Zarkov, formerly of the Imperial Navy, first comes into service in the Dynasty. He quickly distinguishes himself commanding Mallear’s Wrath and, subsequently, he is employed in the long term.

808 M.41

Zarkov assumes the rank of first officer on board the Invictus Aeterna. Almost immediately, the normally insubordinate and suspicious crew of the frigate make it no secret that they do not trust or like him. Ratings claim that his position as a sole survivor from a previous vessel marks him as bad luck.

Laurent Amphael expresses every confidence in the abilities of his first officer.

809 M.41

Information leaked from an internal source makes it apparent that Garrius Amphael is involved in a scandal in the Imperial Navy. Numerous officers face firing squad executions, although Garrius is cleared of any wrong doing. The fact that the navy posts him to a remote region of space for the remainder of his short career casts doubt on his innocence, and suggests corruption in High Command.

811 M.41

Arch-Militant and accomplished killer of men, Drak-Kung, is hired by the Folmeini Merchant House to eliminate undesirable elements within their own organisation. Evidence is brought to the attention of Preb Folmeini that members of his household may be involved in a heretical cult, secretly distributing anti-Imperial propaganda. When it is revealed that some of these miscreants could be devotees of the Dark Gods, Preb Folmeini panics and hires Drak-Kung. Assassination is deemed more desirable than involving the Inquisition, and Drak-Kung performs his task with efficiency.

The killings are carried out on Malfi, where one cultist attempts to escape the system. Stowing on board the Invictus, the cultist forces Drak-Kung to do likewise. Once the cultist discovers the assassin is also on board, he loses his cool and attempts to hold Laurent Amphael for ransom. Drak-Kung intervenes and saves the Lord-Captain’s life, for which he is immediately hired and promoted to Master-at-Arms, in charge of the vessel’s security and contingent of Arms-Men.

814 M.41

Laurent begins long-winded negotiations with select merchant houses for a new business venture. The details are kept secret from all but the Chief Seneschal, Ibrim Faydra-Amphael.

815 M.41

Laurent Amphael announces at a gathering of the various money-men and Factors of the Dynasty that a journey into the Koronus Expanse is to be conducted in the new year. The announcement causes general fear amongst the most influential men and women in the Dynasty. A severe lack of confidence in the endeavour causes Laurent to divert attention from his scheme by bringing to the attention of his Factors evidence of gross-corruption in the financial arm of the Amphaels. He proposes an investigation, though some wonder if he is not responsible for the scandal himself.

816 M.41

As accusations of misconduct on the behalf of the seneschals of the Dynasty grow out of hand, Chief Seneschal Ibrim Faydra-Amphael is sent back to Malfi. As no other suitable candidate is at hand, Laurent promotes Andrea Chan-Gauthier to the position of Chief-Seneschal.

Laurent’s last act as Rogue Trader is to negotiate for the hiring of Praetus, from a powerful Navigator Magisterial House; as well as the loan of the Tech-Priest Explorator, Malachi. Two weeks later, Laurent Amphael is shot dead by a ganger in a public market on Port Wander. The ganger is killed in a resulting fire fight, and his motives are impossible to ascertain. Much talk is made of Laurent’s frequent isolation, as well the numerous charts and scrolls he took from the ship’s Librarium in the last months of 815 M.41.

Merchants from Malfi arrive in Port Wander, expecting to make final round of negotiations over a proposed endeavour to the Koronus Expanse. With Laurent’s murder, they are only just talked into remaining, although they refuse to discuss business without Laurent’s successor present.

Garrius Amphael assumes the title and authority of Rogue Trader, and immediately makes his way to Port Wander, and the Invictus Aeterna.
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