Rogue Trader - The Annals of the Khan Dynasty
Established in 410.M41 by the Rogue Trader Parsimus Dewain, Footfall is a void-port located on the far end of the Maw, the vast warp-passage linking the Calixis Sector with the Koronus Expanse. It orbits the immense star Furibundus, a collection of haphazard structures built into a clutch of asteroids, and protected from the star’s fury by layers of void shields. It is a rough and uncivilized locale, where the mighty rule by force of arms and the weak scrabble to survive. However, it is also the beginning of uncountable adventures into the Expanse.
Footfall is a big place, and much larger than the scope of this adventure. Regardless, the GM should feel free to flesh out the Explorers’ time here if he so desires or introduce them to the variety of nefarious characters and organizations that call this remote, forsaken waypoint home. Presented here is a brief overview of the major locales and inhabitants of Footfall—though far from exhaustive, it should provide the players with a sense of the squalor and grandeur of this most unusual of ports.
The Lay of the Land
Footfall is an irregular growth of towers, domes and docking gantries that hangs in the void like a lump of jagged stone. From its founding, Footfall has grown by the unplanned accumulation of structures built by the various groups and cults that have made it their home. As further structures are grafted on, the previous structures may be partially rebuilt or repurposed and so the internal and external layout of Footfall shifts and changes with the decades. Some structures have endured for long enough that they remain firm features that define this strange place even as Footfall grows and changes, and the means by which irregular visitors may gain some sense of permanence between visits.
The Pit of Voices
Claimed by the outcast astropaths of Footfall, the exterior structure of the Pit of Voices looks as much like a collapsed dome as anything else. The interior is a steep tiered arena and maze of cells beneath, gravity plated at an unsettling angle, and set with gargoyles pillaged from the frozen exterior stonework. Incense burns constantly, and a litter of occult devices is strewn about the floors.
The waste of Footfall—along with quite a few unlucky murder victims—all end up in the Boneyard, an open, frozen midden in the void beyond the structures. The Bonepickers of Footfall, clad in paltry or improvised voidsuits, pick through the debris and corpses in search of what little value remains. Useless waste is propelled away from Footfall by human effort, drifting slowly to pass through the weak void-shields and away into Furibundus’s embrace.
The Chape l of the Third Congregants
The Chapel of the Third Congregants is an imposing, voidpitted structure of spreading bastions and leering gargoyles that floats unconnected to the rest of Footfall. Within, every surface is crowded with statues, sepulchres, and saints’ shrines. Worshippers come and go in a procession of gigs, cramped passenger craft that are little more than a seal-gate and gas expeller for propulsion.
The largest hab-structures in Footfall look like ornate temples, their crenelated exteriors encrusted with crystal mosaics of Imperial saints and grimacing gargoyles. Open spaces within are divided haphazardly by cloth and metalwork, uncounted masses packed close in an ever-changing three-dimensional
maze. Here are the poor, the menials, and the lesser outcast factions.
One of the oldest structures in Footfall, these regal transepts and pillared, ornate halls are where the Liege receives those of sufficient importance to warrant a formal welcome. The Liege’s throne is beauteous alabaster, an ancient masterwork engraved with a hundred scenes of the God-Emperor’s victories, said to have been looted from the wreck of a warship during a longago war, and equipped with embedded field generators to shield its delicate surface.
Macrostatue of the God-Empe ror
The stern visage of the God-Emperor watches over Footfall. His vast statue floats at the very centre of the community, close to the size of the greatest vessel of Battlefleet Calixis, linked to twenty structures by massive void-steel chains. The statue and its plinth are hollowed by chambers, but no-one dares dwell within. The macrostatue is a point of pilgrimage for the faithful who yearn to see the God-Emperor stare out across unclaimed voids that will one day be His.
The Red Schola
A monolithic slab without decoration, the Red Schola is the slave-hold of the Tutors, a cabal of mysterious slave masters who have made Footfall their base of operations. Within their sealed edifice, the Tutors create slave servants using a variety of cruel and esoteric methods: noetic induction, the breaking
of self, torture, ritual branding and hypno-conditioning. Few know what horrors lie behind its void-steel portals, but few who can afford them question the quality of the slaves produced by the Red Schola. Whether one requires a delicate courtesan assassin sculpted in the image of an Imperial Saint or a cohort of mute, slab-muscled stranglers, the Red Schola can provide.
The void shields that protects Footfall are projected from three Shield Shrines. Each is a cubic, metal Machine Temple marked with the raised cog of the Mechanicus upon each face and linked to Footfall by a coiling umbilical passage. The Shrines are well-defended inside and out by servitor-crewed weapon systems.
The Spire of Intoxicants
The Spire is the only location in Footfall where narco-tribe gangers are willing to trade their drugs and allow outsiders to participate in their rituals. It is a trade-space, laden with chemical fumes and strange artefacts, some carried from the far reaches of the Koronus Expanse and given to the narcotribesmen in payment.
Considered accursed by many, the Xenosium is a dwelling place intended for the alien. Great upheaval attended the construction of the Xenosium, built at the order of Parsimus Dewain near the end of his life. It is made in the fashion of a prison-fortress—thick-walled and psy-warded. Voidweathered statues with stern faces look inwards at each corner. Often is said that no human has set foot inside for centuries, but on several occasions, Rogue Traders have brought xenos representatives to Footfall—sentient alien beings, not the beast-traffic intended for circuses and xenosepts—and housed them within the Xenosium. No one seems
Persons of Interest
Vladim Tocara – claimed to be a friend of Jarrion Khan. Employed the party to remove an item from the Xenosium. The item in question happened to be an Ork Mercenary by the name of Long Fang Silber. Stated that Marcus Khan would be owed a great debt should this item be removed.
Liege Tanthus Moross – Moross was an ill-tempered, machine-enhanced recidivist until he abruptly murdered the last Liege during a confrontation between factions in 808.M41. Moross is now almost a vehicle in human form, a strange sight indeed amidst the silks of his audience bedchamber, surrounded by fearful slaves. Suspicious minds wonder what is hidden behind this brute of a figurehead—and whether he is truly as simple as he seems.