The Murder of Crows
Port Wander: Gateway to the Expanse
“A stinking, painted harlot who would see your blood flowing for a few coins, that she may be, but who cannot say that they love the light that is known waiting for the traveller returned from the void.”
–Rogue Trader Cortin Blaine, captain of the Astra Veritas
+++SYSTEM DATA FILE – Port Wander+++
SUBSECTOR: Drusus Marches
SYSTEM: Rubycon II, red supergiant star
POPULATION: Approx. 5 million on station, 5 million in system
CLASS: Battlefleet Calixis Orbital Station
TITHE GRADE: Aptus Non
PLANETARY GOVERNOR: Commander Larius Sans (Imperial Navy)
ECONOMY: Throne Gelt is the primary currency, with moneychangers offering services for the major currencies of local worlds, usually at high rates of exchange. The economy thrives because of the port’s use as a waystation for goods passing in and out of the Koronus Expanse, as well as the lucrative trades of merchant provenders catering to the needs of Rogue Traders and Chartist Captains.
PRINCIPAL EXPORTS: Refined metals and ores from Rustrock, ship components and naval manpower, numerous goods and commodities from the Koronus Expanse.
PRINCIPAL IMPORTS: Trade goods from the Calixis Sector, luxury goods, foodstuffs, raw materials.
DEFENCES: Well-maintained static defenses including macrobatteries and lances, squadrons of defense monitors, frequent presence of Battlefleet Calixis warships.
Port Wander is a void station on the uttermost edge of the Drusus Marches of the Calixis Sector, rightly regarded as the last bastion of the rule of the Emperor this side of the Koronus Expanse. A place of desperate hopes and vain dreams; Port Wander teems with a transitory population of traders, spies, merchant factors, pilgrims, and missionaries amongst which move Administratum functionaries and minions of the Mechanicus, all feeding on the riches that flow from the realms beyond the warp storms in the Koronus Expanse. All who travel into the Expanse share one common experience in that they pass Port Wander. Be they the pious bringing the Emperor’s Light into the darkness beyond the Imperium or black-hearted monsters searching for the keys to forbidden dreams, many will stop in the last place where the rule of the Golden Throne keeps the horror and possibility of the unknown at bay.
Port Wander was founded by the Imperial Navy in 917.M40 as a staging ground to investigate the loss of many vessels on the fringes of the Drusus Marches. With the discovery of the Koronus Passage in the late 40th millennium, the station grew in importance owing to its close proximity to the Passage. Its original role as a base for military operations was slowly forgotten, and Port Wander became a way station for those daring passage into the Koronus Expanse. Merchants and mercenaries began to choke the once-deserted corridors of the station, and strangers shook the dust of distant stars from their boots while trading wondrous things from beyond the Great Warp Storms.
The station itself is a heavily modified Xerxes-class Mark IV naval station, originally established as a depot for the Imperial Navy. Over the centuries it has fallen heavily under the influence of both the Mechanicus who manage the upkeep of the station, as well as the many mercantile factions that have grown rich from the expansive trade passing through the Koronus Passage. After a failed attempt by the Administratum to govern the station as a commercial port, the Imperial Navy was again given formal control and ownership of Port Wander, though it must balance its official power with the informal influences and demands of the stations numerous civilian factions. It continues to serve as a naval depot, defensive stronghold, central marketplace and launching point for every serious expedition into the Koronus Expanse.
+++The Structure of Port Wander+++
From a distance, the port resembles a small cityscape, with spires and cathedral towers arching upwards and a huge aquila marking its allegiance to the God-Emperor. Numerous long piers protrude from the sides with spider-like docking fixtures, ready to bring in a ship and anchor it to the station. Smaller shuttle bays dot the station where numerous small craft carry cargo and people between ships and the station.
Deep crevasses run along the station, showing the slow layers of expansions through the many decades and the somewhat patchwork nature of many of them which includes parts from small vessels such as the nearly intact hull of the Solstice Imperialis, grafted onto one side of the station many centuries ago. Further construction and external maintenance is constant, with servitors crawling over areas of damage or expansion like flies over a bloated metal beast.
On the underside of the station are the main repair yards, where damaged ships can contract out for refurbishment and mending. The yards include entire sealed dry-dock bays, where smaller ships can be totally enclosed for more intensive work. Also along the station’s keel are a variety of elaborate and mysterious arrays and probes used by the Adeptus Mechanicus in their arcane research into the nature of the warp passage leading through the Great Warp Storms to the Koronus Expanse beyond.
Across the length and breadth of the station are lance emplacements, weapons batteries, torpedo launchers, and void shield generators, all placed for maximum efficiency and kept in readiness. In addition to these static defences, squadrons of heavily armed monitor craft are stationed near Port Wander, and warships from Battlefleet Calixis pass the port on regular patrol. Port Wander may be the gate to the Koronus Expanse but it is a gate that is guarded.
At any given time there are at least a half-dozen Rogue Traders docked at the station, as well as other merchant vessels, enormous transports, and numerous smaller craft moving into and out of docking stations like swarming insects. Other vessels move through the area, offloading raw fuel gases mined from the two larger planets or minerals and ice from the further reaches of the system. There are also numerous asteroids sharing its space, most of which have been turned into fuel depots, palatial manses and estates, crude habitats, storage facilities, ship yards, and other more useful installations.
+++Locations of Interest+++
Port Wander has a population of roughly five million, and the
majority of these are civilians, all of whom must be housed
within the port. From elaborate state rooms, simple berths,
bunked quarters, or doss spaces near the outer hull all are
available and all cost. For those not choosing to live in the
station there are of course their own ships, if they are moored
within a short distance and accessible by shuttle.
In the most ill-repaired and dangerous portions of Port
Wander, small colonies of destitute scavengers live in desperate
and wretched conditions. They prowl the waste-ejection areas
for whatever they can reclaim, be it organic matter or scrap
salvage. Anything not secured or stowed is fair game, and the
stalls of the Gilt Processionals are kept supplied by the skill
of these scavenger-thieves.
For the wealthy there are many estates and huge apartments
on the Port and surrounding asteroids, owned by Rogue
Trader family lines and maintained well during their absences
into the Expanse. The rich have large quarters on the port,
the richest have their own asteroids, hollowed out and turned
into lavish estates.
It is not surprising that a station as large as Port Wander has numerous places to purchase food and drink. The station’s
taverns run a brisk business, both as public meeting houses and as places to grab a hot meal.
• The Blind Eye is a small-but-popular tavern near the station’s sunward shuttle bays, frequented by void travellers
looking to do business. Many Rogue Traders use it as a meeting place for recruiting new comrades for their next
voyage, especially those with prior experience in the Expanse.
• Bloodstone is a much more dangerous place, a lowdecks tavern that lies off the Gilt Processional and is uncomfortably
close to some of the passages leading to the station’s Black Holds. Only the toughest will ever gain the respect of the
regulars; those who do not will rarely survive their second visit. To become a regarded as a regular here is a mark of
true respect among the scummers and heavies on the port.
• Voidfarer’s Rest is a larger tavern near the Basilica, frequented by Navy officers. Operated by an ex-Navyman, it is
covered with military decorations and battle prayers inscribed on yellowed parchment. By custom, the senior captains
and command crew remain away from the place, and the mid and lower officers see it as somewhere to relax away
from the pressures of the service. Civilian captains and their officers are exempt from the custom however, and friendly
rivalries have resulted in some legendary brawls, leaving most with bruises—but also new drinking companions.
The Gilt Processionals
Though there are small markets located all throughout the station, particularly amongst the civilian quarters, the Gilt Processionals are the major centers of trade. The Chamber of Gold is the financial sector, where the Gelt brokers, money changers and bankers do their business. On the other side of the station are the Courts of the Dead, a bazaar and marketplace selling nearly everything imaginable, from cybernetics to star charts to food and drink, and populated by entertainers, beggars and con-men.
The Gilt Processionals are the vast and labyrinthine markets
of Port Wander in which one can barter for strange and exotic
wares or lose one’s life to a thief ’s blade. The Gilt Processionals
stretch for nearly a kilometre in a wide arc across the port,
meandering between levels down wide holds that have long
lost their original purpose, and twisting through cramped
compartments thick with the scent of burning spices and heady
narcotics. This ragged arc houses thousands of traders, whose
stalls compete for space with criers hawking theirs dubious
wares. Almost anything can be found in the Gilt Processionals
if one has enough coin and knows who to ask.
The Chamber of Gold
The Chamber of Gold is a great colonnaded chamber that
opens off the Gilt Processionals. Here, beneath a painted
ceiling showing Drusus the Warrior, the Gelt Brokers and
money changers do their business. Vast loans may be
negotiated from the rich robed factors of House
Krin, and treasure from strange worlds bartered
into Throne Gelt. On brass walkways above
the factors and their scribbling scribes stand
plate-armoured guards, their weapons and eyes watching for
any attempt to interfere with the business of the Chamber.
The Court of the Dead
The Court of the Dead is the largest of the open holds that
make up the Gilt Processionals. Some three hundred metres
across, it forms the heart of the Processionals. Along its sides
sit clusters of stalls from which spiced food and drink can
be bought, and amongst the thoroughfares the greatest of
Rogue Traders may exchange crude jests and rumours with
void-crazed pilgrims. In the centre of the Court of the Dead
one can find letter writers, watch displays of swordsmanship,
pay to have one’s limbs or organs replaced with prosthetics,
and give coin for charts that claim to show passage to the
untapped reaches of the Halo Stars. Above this swirling
confusion of people, the faces of Rogue Traders stare down,
etched into the metal of the ceiling and covered in precious
gilt, each one the likeness of one who died seeking their
desire beyond the Great Warp storms.
Most Rogue Traders are gamblers at heart, and it is
only natural they would frequent such facilities while
on the port. There are scores of basic games of chance
to be had in almost any bar, but Rota Fortunae is the
finest dedicated hall for gamblers of all types, from
high rollers wagering thousands of thrones to smaller
types pushing single gelt coins at a time. The décor
rises with the stakes, and the rooms in the rear are
dedicated to exclusive, invitation-only games. Here
entire fortunes may be lost or made, and even entire
ships are wagered on the turn of a card.
At the other end of the spectrum is Last Chance. It
has no fixed location and it moves from place to place
each night, with games where the stakes are not always
measured in mere thrones. The regulars know where
to look for it based on word of mouth and hidden
runes left by the enigmatic operators. For novices who
stumble across it or rollers desperate to try their luck,
it may be their last chance indeed.
The center of command and administration for Port Wander, this is the Imperial Navy’s headquarters and operations center. At the base of the Central Bastion is the Adeptus Arbites Precinct Complex, housing the Arbitrators and the Imperial courts which enforce law and order for the station’s civilian population. The Central Bastion is essentially the center of Imperial authority on the station.
Though the entirety of Port Wander is technically the
dominion of the Imperial Navy, their stronghold in this den
of rogues and wanderers is the Command Bastion. It sits at
the heart of the station, separated by code-sealed hatches,
isolation bulkheads, and sentry weapons. Behind these
defences are the staff and systems that keep Port Wander
functioning and safe.
The Command Deck
This cavernous room rises above the upper reaches of the
superstructure, forming a grand deck house with dozens of
consoles and displays, dimly lit and filled with the smoke of
purification incense. The station weaponry is directed from
here, along with other vital systems. Usually the centre is
manned by junior officers unless there is a major docking or
military operation ongoing.
One of main spires reaching above the central axis of the
station houses Port Wander’s Sensorium, in which vast auspex
displays watch over the movement of all vessels of interest
throughout the area and ships in dock, logging them when
they arrive, and monitoring them until they leave.
For those requiring in-system communications between ships
and the port on commercial business, the Vox Centre Office
will route messages as needed for a nominal fee, usually
included with routine docking charges. For longer-range
messages outside the system, the port’s Astropathic Choir-
Sanctum can provide psychic communications—though since
they are servants of the Navy, they may not give such requests
priority without reciprocation in Thrones or favours.
Port Wander has several top-notch medicae amenities for
those who can afford premium care. For the rest, there are
smaller back-room offices that provide more basic services,
such as setting bones or staving off infections. Most visitors
rely more on the care their own ships provide, while Naval
personnel have official care facilities for their treatment.
The Ministorum operates a crude hospice to the rear of
the port, where they tend to those with no other hope of
care. Service is free to all, and often the last place many
unfortunates spend their days.
All Naval personnel are quartered in the Central Bastion;
from the commander’s lavish quarter to the fetid bunkrooms
for lower ranks. Visiting Naval officers are quartered in
fine cabins. Ratings and enginarium workers exist in huge
barracks where dozens rest from the long day’s labour in
Imperial Guardsmen are usually sequestered in these Spartan
quarters when their transport ships are in dock. Like most
naval installations, officers on both sides of the Aquila know
the less the two intermix the better for everyone’s health.
Many Rogue Traders who employ fighting brigades as part
of their ship’s complement also use these facilities for their
warriors, but grant them more leeway in travelling through
The Stockades and Pressment Centres
Discipline for the crewmen on any Naval vessel is harsh,
and violators of regulations are sent to the stockyards for
sentencing, assuming summary judgements are not carried
out on the spot. The kiss of the lash, gruelling days in the
stockade or void-pillory, or even a swift round to the head
are all punishments that can be meted out without trial for a
myriad of crimes should the officer class see fit.
Located next to the stockades, the pressment centres house
those hapless souls who have been impressed into service
either at the port or by a visiting ship in need of ratings. All
ships require untold bodies toiling in unending labour for
them to function, and the pressmen do their best to fill these
needs from wherever they can find warm bodies.
For affairs of honour there is The Circle, located not
far from the stockades, where offended parties can settle
disputes through trial by combat (or more frequently have
their seconds fight for them). Crowds often gather as these
are considered great sport (and free to boot), with numerous
side-wagers conducted on everything from first blood to last
punch (or strike if blades are used).
There are many dark places throughout the station, walled away
by new constructions, powered only by flickering, half-exhausted
lights and forgotten by almost all. These are the homes of the
wretched refuse of the port, those who have escaped impressment
or slavery, run from the law or debts, or simply fallen through the
cracks of the station. Housed literally underneath the main decks,
they rarely venture outside their lairs, unless in packs to pilfer food
or other easily stolen items, only to vanish back into the depths
of the dark tunnels when pursued. As the station builds more
and more layers, older sections often lose power or airways are
blocked, forcing the denizens of the underdecks to move
elsewhere in search of new dwellings. Clashes with other
groups are a frequent result, or worse still clashes with
“civilised” areas unprepared for such encounters
out of the darkness.
Adeptus Arbites Precinct Complex
At the bottom of the Central Bastion, separated by Arbitratormanned
blast doors, the Adeptus Arbites watch and judge
those who govern Port Wander. Here is where the servants
of the Emperor’s Law reside and His Law is faithfully
adjudicated. Heavily fortified like all Arbites precincts, it can
withstand almost any assault if needed and will stand as the
last bastion of the Imperium should the rest of the station
fall. There is rumour that the Arbites also maintain a hidden
asteroid precinct-fortress as well, which they will neither
confirm nor deny.
Halls of the Mechanicus
The center of the tech-priest’s presence on Port Wander, the Halls are located on the central keel of the station, in close proximity to the Main Enginarium. In addition to research labs and a manufactorum, this is also the location of the Port’s Altar to the Omnissiah, the main nexus of worship for the Mechanicus.
THE HALLS OF THE MECHANICUS
The Halls of the Adeptus Mechanicus occupy a large, blisterlike
extrusion of metal and sensor spines at the base of the
station. Here is where the tech-priests conduct research into
the strange objects brought out of the Koronus Expanse,
and monitor the data sent from their many stations scattered
throughout the solar system, only some of which are known
to the Navy. The cavernous interior also hosts the altar to
the Machine God, where hundreds of priests chant in binary
rhythm with the station’s cyclic bass rumbling. The Main
Enginarium is located not far from the Mechanicus Hall,
and its enormous reactors provide power for the station’s
various systems, station-keeping thrusters, weapons systems,
shielding, life support, and more. Extensive backup systems
are in place in case of emergencies. With so many demands
on its limited capabilities, however, large power drains such
as void shield activations cause lights to dim across the port.
PLACES OF FAITH AND DEVOTION
Faith is the essence of the Imperium, and on the edge
of the unknown faith in the Emperor is one’s strongest
shield against what waits beyond. Pilgrims on fool’s
quests, crusaders, missionaries, and fanatics are drawn
to Port Wander like predators to a bleeding wound. The
Port is thick with shrines and chapels tucked away in dead
spaces, tended by ragged flocks who murmur prayers and
light candles for hope. In the Central Bastion the formal
cathedral echoes with entreaties of protection for those lost
on the Sea of Souls. The chaplains and ministers who watch
over the port’s spiritual level are zealous in their task, for
each day they see the signs of xenos corruption brought
back from the dark places. Many believe the Emperor sealed
off the Expanse for a reason, and any who would defy His
actions are heretics who deserve the pyre. Others view the
Expanse as an opportunity to reclaim untold numbers of lost
souls, and eagerly await their chance to make the journey.
Internecine clashes between these and other differing
views amongst the Ministorum are usually kept away from
others, but outbreaks on holy days do occur where only the
Arbitrators’ truncheons can restore calm.
The Solstice Imperialis
The Solstice Imperialis is a derelict pilgrim ship that once
ferried Pilgrims to the station for many years, until their
plasma drive failed to ignite. Despite the catastrophic
implosion, no one was injured and the pilgrims took it as a
sign of the Emperor’s grace. Over time the vessel was worked
into the fabric of Port Wander itself and is now given over to
chapels and sanctuaries of a hundred different branches of the
Imperial Creed. Missionaries wishing to recruit militias of the
faithful to accompany them beyond the Great Warpstorms
often come to the Solstice to find strong souls willing to
follow their faith beyond the circle of Imperial rule.
The Solstice Imperialis
Originally an interstellar transport carrying the faithful along a pilgrimage route, the Solstice Imperialis’ drives simply failed while passing through the Rubycon II system. Calling it the will of the Emperor, the crew decided to stay. Over time the vessel’s hull has been incorporated into the fabric of the station itself, and is now home to shrines and major chapels to every major Ministorum sect of the Calixis Sector.
THE VOID DOCKS
Numerous docking ports line the edges of the station,
managing the off-loading of hundreds of ships, from small
inter-system ships to gigantic mass conveyors. The docks are
also where most minor overhaul work and replenishments
occur as ships take on all manner of provisions. Here,
overworked Administratum adepts are also charged with
checking cargo, levying tariffs, and detecting contraband and
proscribed goods; though as any smuggler will tell you, they
are far from universally successful. A purse of Thrones works
wonders in removing any bothersome questions amongst the
Port Wander has shuttle bays located in roughly equidistant
notches around the station. Given the multitude of ships
nearby, there is constant traffic into them. While most craft
are dedicated to a ship or are naval vessels, there are many
for hire when short hops are needed. Some clans of shuttle
pilots have been operating the same shuttles or lighters for
generations, passing the ships from parent to child.
Port Wander has extensive repair yards located underneath
the station where skilled void wrights can rectify
damages caused by combat or accident. The station’s
repair facilities are varied—smaller ships such as
transports and frigates can be worked on in
cavernous, yawning zero-gee space-docks
that can be sealed against the void. Forlarger craft, there are yards on nearby asteroids that can
accommodate even the vast bulk of the largest Imperial
battleships and mass conveyors.
Resupplying in Port Wander
For captains looking to fill their empty stores, Port Wander is
a welcome sight. The merchant provenders of the station can
usually supply whatever may be needed provided the captain
has money. Weapons, ammunition, shuttle fuel, promethium,
food, water, apothecarium supplies, servitors, and more flow
constantly out of Port Wander in exchange for Throne, Gelt
or bartered goods from the Halo Stars: thus is the wealth of
Port Wander maintained by this simple exchange.
As it is a fairly isolated station on the edge of the Calixis
Sector, Port Wander must be able to defend itself. In this
regard, the station is quite capable. Batteries of macrocannon
dot the outer edges of the station. Interspaced between
them are multi-laser, autocannon, and Vulcan mega-bolter
turrets for point defence and ordinance suppression.
The station’s main offensive weapons are the dorsal and
keel long-range lance batteries in the central bastion. In
addition, the station has a dozen orbital weapons platforms
in close attendance. Together, Port Wander’s defences rival
a Naval cruiser squadron.
For offensive operations in the Rubycon II system,
Port Wander maintains five defence monitors—slow but
heavily-armed intersystem vessels—and the starfighter
and bomber squadrons of Vanguard Wing. Although
under-strength compared to most Navy wings, Vanguard
considers itself an elite formation—with good reason.
Fighters and bombers can operate where larger ships
cannot, such as Rubycon II’s dense asteroid belt, and the
Furies and Starhawks of Vanguard have launched many
vicious (and successful) attacks against pirate vessels since
the Navy returned to Port Wander.
AROUND PORT WANDER
The space around Port Wander is filled with a clutch of
asteroids that share its stable orbit. Nowhere near as large
as the asteroid belt that girds the system, the asteroids
have been extensively mined and developed since Port
Wander’s founding. Some of the larger asteroids
have been converted almost entirely into vast
shipyards and drydocks, while others have
been converted into habs, low-gee farms,
foundry stations, refineries, and sustenance processors. The
population of these asteroids is roughly equal to that of Port
Wander, though spread out over a much wider area. Some of
the more notable stations and asteroids are as follows:
• S/914 R IX: This asteroid-turned-repair yard and
its attending hab-stations are largely left unbothered
by Imperial Authority. Led by Foremistress Rhaelee
Mahvorn III (see page 246), the yard has a reputation for
reliable and fast repairs with no questions. However, the
yard does not suffer those who cannot (or will not) pay
their debts, and are rumoured to have contacts among
some of the pirate vessels that drift outsystem.
• B/017 C III: The largest shipyard in the system, B/017 is
a gigantic gothic-tiered scaffolding almost twelve kilometres
long, designed to house all but the very largest Imperial
warships and mass conveyors. It is controlled jointly by the
Imperial Navy and House Krin, and its clients are a mix
of military and civilian vessels. Although there is little new
ship construction in the Port Wander system, B/017 does
turn out a new heavy transport every half-century or so.
• Hab 21: Amongst the numerous drifting hab stations
around the port, Hab 21 is far more infamous than its
modest 500-metre size would suggest. The small station
is a critical node in one of the Cold Trade smuggling
operations, and a steady stream of unregistered shuttles
constantly enter and depart its docking bays.
• The Bounty Ring: A chain of mined-out asteroids
turned low-gee farms, the Bounty Ring provides half the
foodstuffs for Port Wander and the surrounding space.
All aboard the station recognise just how important the
Bounty Ring is to Port Wander’s existence, and the Navy
keeps an intersystem defence monitor and two orbital
weapons platforms on station at all times.
THE RULING FACTIONS
Port Wander is a domain of the Imperium of Mankind ruled
in the name of the God-Emperor of mankind and divided
by the desires and ambitions of His servants. Port Wander
was originally built by the Imperial Navy and technically
remains in their control to this day. However, as Port
Wander grew fat on the riches of Rogue Traders, wanders
and explorers returning from beyond the Great Warpstorms,
other parties took interest in the station and its governance,
and its rule is now a complex interplay between factions
whose interests intersect and conflict in an ever-shifting web
of power. These battles for dominance are commonly waged
with deceit, lies, and diplomacy, but sometimes descend into
assassination and sabotage.
Battlefleet Calixis have formal primary authority over Port
Wander. Without their guns and warships Port Wander would
likely not exist today as anything more than a drifting shell
or Ork-infested wreck. They have the means to destroy ships,
enforce embargo and quarantines, and (potentially) bar the
Koronus Passage to a vessel. These powers are theirs by virtue
of the Imperial Navy’s duty in the Calixis Sector to protect
the domains of the God-Emperor of Mankind. These are
powers that they must exercise cautiously, however, lest they
risk antagonising other influential factions in Port Wander. As
powerful as the Imperial Navy is, its officers and men are by
no means beyond the reach of other Imperial factions.
THE ADEPTUS MECHANICUS
The Adeptus Mechanicus are the guardians and maintainers
of the secrets of technology. Without the Tech Priests and
their arcane lore, Port Wander would soon become lifeless,
defenceless, and blind. It is by the knowledge and consent
of the Mechanicus that the ships that flock to the station
are repaired and the spirits of their machines calmed. Their
shrines anoint the port in mysterious sectors, unremarkable
except to those who know the secret histories of the station
and its hidden mechanical pathways. Their presence is
always in demand to offer consecrations to newly-repaired
vessels, and for binary prayers as the ships depart for the
Maw. They operate the huge auspex arrays located below
the port, monitoring the Maw’s relative calmness and
surrounding warp storms, the better to advise the captains
who would make that passage. They are the foundation for
all operations in Port Wander.
For their part, the Tech Priests have a great interest in
the station, as it functions as a staging point for Mechanicus
Explorator expeditions into the Halo Stars. It also keeps
keen watches over the artefacts brought out of the
Koronus Expanse by Rogue Traders, its eye ever searching
for prohibited technologies or sacred relics of the lost past.
The Xenos Biologis and Technologis factions often engage
in a conflict hidden from all not privy to the aetheric
communication networks between Tech-Priests, with
data blasts and canted logic accusations wielded
as violently as swords in their desire for first
examination of all recovered items.
MERCHANT CARTELS AND GELT BROKERS
Representatives and factors of the merchant cartels, gelt
brokers and trade houses of the Calixis sector swarm to
Port Wander like ravenous predators. The flow of wealth
and goods of all variety is controlled by them, and they
have the ability and will to bankrupt nobles and strangle
enterprises. It is to these keen-eyed factors that treasures
from beyond the Great Warpstorms may be sold, and
from cunning provender merchants that a Rogue Trader’s
supplies are purchased. Of all the factions of Port Wander,
this loose grouping of cartels and merchants is the most
internally fractured and the most dangerously unstable; their
disposition is constantly uncertain and the limits of their
greed and spite are hard to gauge.
THE NAVIS NOBILITE
The Navis Nobilite hold the keys to the stars: it is only
with their consent and complicity that any can venture
from Port Wander into the Koronus Expanse. Without the
Navigators’ third eye—their ability to see and navigate the
tides and current of the warp—there could be no exploration
of unknown regions such as the Koronus Expanse, and so
it is that Port Wander (and all drawn to it) depends on the
families of navigators for its continued existence. For their
part, the Navigators are little concerned with controlling Port
Wander, but the station is a battle ground for clan struggles:
exploration into the Koronus Expanse offers priceless
insight into the process of navigating uncharted space. As
Port Wander is the gateway to the Expanse, many navigator
houses see a dominant presence in the station as vital in
securing contracts to explore the unknown. This knowledge
improve the fortunes of a Navigator clan, especially if a route
leads to a valuable world or is later designated for a crusade
or colonisation. In such cases, the exclusive knowledge of a
route and the skill of the clan navigators to steer it mean
that they can command a fortune in bonds from the
Imperial Navy or Merchant Cartels.