Author Topic: A Rogue Trader  (Read 3577 times)

Offline Nash

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A Rogue Trader
« on: September 11, 2009, 02:13:26 PM »
First, I hope this is the right place for this... If it's not let me know where I should have posted it and I will correct my mistake ASAP.

Here is the basic fluff for one of the bands I developed for a campaign of Inq28 in which I was asked to create not an Inquisitorial war band, but a Rogue Trader's...

Since I've translated the text from its original French, instead of writing it directly in English like I do for most of my pieces, some parts may be less well formulated that in my usual works (for those of you who know me from other boards) but since I intend to regroup all the fluff bits I've written over the years on a single website both in French and English any help, comments and criticisms with the text itself is more than welcome.

Elijah Memnon VI, Lord Evène, Duke Atreus, Rogue Trader

The family tree of the Evène lineage can be traced back to the legendary times of the Great Crusade. While there is no record of the name or acts of the very first Lord Evène remaining in the Imperial archives, other sources teach us that he was granted Warrants of Trade in reward for his services, making Rogue Traders out of him and his descendants.

There are very few remaining records of the Evène family history pre-dating the Age of Apostasy. Probably because of the confiscation of all family possessions soon after this troubled period. The contemporary Lord Evène, Luther Chryséis II, was a close relation to Goge Vandire before he turned completely paranoid, and had used this relation to secure juicy trade contracts.

But Vandire dragged the Evènes along in his fall and, if Chryséis escaped death penalty thanks to the few political supports he still possessed (*), the majority of the family possessions were confiscated and all running contracts cancelled. Bankrupt and his fleet reduced to a single vessel, he went as far from Terra as possible, where the news of his demise wouldn't yet be known. And in the northern confines of the Ultima Segmentum, at the heart of the Atlarian Sector, he found the planet that would save his lineage, Sigüris...

One of the major Houses of Sigüris, the Atreus family, was craving to forge an alliance that would allow it to earn the little prestige it lacked to be able to accede to the throne of Planetary Governor. In this union, the Evènes would gain the exclusivity on Sigürian exports...

Everything went as planned by the Evène-Atreus and for the next millennia, with each new generation, the first-born of the line would get the title of Duke Atreus and become Governor, while the second-born became Lord Evène and took the reins of the family fleet.

It wasn't until a little bit more than a century ago that the situation changed, because of the untimely death of Lord Evène Obadiah Memnon III, brother of Duke Atreus Elijah V. Obadiah was childless and Elijah V only having one adult child, he found himself forced to place his son, Elijah VI, legitimate heir to the Governor Throne, at the head of the family fleet while they waited for his newborn sister to reach the age necessary to be granted the title of Lady Evène. Elijah VI thus left for a trip that would last fifteen years.

But the Evène-Atreus had enemies on Sigüris. On one hand, the jealous Count Andrek, young head of a minor House at the time of the merging of the two lines, who had made his way at the top of Sigürian nobility by a number of intrigues, murders and other political manoeuvres. On the other, Cardinal Giancarlo Gianus, a fanatical fundamentalist who, aware of the Evène line's past and their ties to the Heretic Vandire, had sworn to himself to cleanse his world from the taint the Atreus House had brought to Sigüris by allying with the Evènes.

The Cardinal and the Count, seeing in the temporary weakness caused by Obadiah's death an opportunity for one to see the taint cleansed and for the other to increase yet again his power, united their forces. They set up a coup, framing Governor Elijah V, who after a parody of a trial was deposed, him and all his family sentenced to death, before confiscating and sharing the Atreus riches among themselves.

When Elijah VI came back from his long trip, still unaware of the fate of his closest and dearest, he almost fell in the trap set by the conspirators. But a vassal, still faithful to his vows to the Evène-Atreus, warned him just in time, bringing him the ducal ring stained with blood as proof of his allegations, saving Elijah's life.

All the family possessions, except for the few vessels of the fleet under Elijah's direct command, having been confiscated by the Andreks, he found himself unable to raise a sufficient force to reclaim his throne by the power of arms. Thus, in the first time in millennia, he traced back the steps of his forefather and went to Terra where he asked for an audience with the Master of the Administratum, hoping to get the help necessary to reclaim his due. But he was turned away, the Administratum refusing to meddle with the political affairs of a planet as long as the Imperial Tithes were paid in due time... Elijah left, furious, swearing to amass enough riches to be able to overthrow the Andreks and avenge his murdered family.

During his peregrinations, Elijah met with a number of exceptional individuals who became his personal retinue, among others: Sage Tufikh Volta, Master at Arms Ivor Hanako (former  Schola Progenium teacher), Medicae Yu-i and the semi-ogryn whom Elijah rescued from the gladiatorial pits of Ströndum Prime*, Conrad Tin. He travels in company of his concubine, Dame Brienne, and their teenage son, Ahab.

(* - Some texts in the De Historia et Structura Res Navis Nobilitæ point to the very close ties between the Evène line and the Navigator House of M'edici. That the Paternovial Envoy holding the see at the High Lords Council by the end of the Reign of Blood was a member of this House has certainly played a part in the leniency demonstrated towards Luther Chryséis II.)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 02:57:23 PM by Nash »

Offline RobSkib

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 09:30:56 PM »
Personally, I would have put this in the Rules and Discussion section and stuck the stats underneath, but that's just me.

The background you've written is very lush in extraneous detail, which some people like and some people will just breeze over. I love it, but as a GM I would like to see more of the 'practical' backstory of the Rogue Trader, ie more of how he acquired his retinue - you have a very well fleshed out story of his life, but only a brief word or two about each of the people who now follow him around.

My only problem with the backstory would be questioning the practicality of 'just popping over' to Terra, a trip which takes decades, if not a lifetime for most pilgrims, and then to just pop back home again. But hey, I'm just nitpicking now in an otherwise great backstory ;D
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Offline Nash

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 09:42:30 AM »
[...] as a GM I would like to see more of the 'practical' backstory of the Rogue Trader, ie more of how he acquired his retinue - you have a very well fleshed out story of his life, but only a brief word or two about each of the people who now follow him around.
In fact, I have separate pieces for each character, just a paragraph or two for each one, I just haven't translated and posted them (yet?) ;)

Quote
My only problem with the backstory would be questioning the practicality of 'just popping over' to Terra, a trip which takes decades, if not a lifetime for most pilgrims, and then to just pop back home again. But hey, I'm just nitpicking now in an otherwise great backstory ;D
Nitpicking is a good thing in this case... :P It's true the way the trip to Terra is told it may appear like he's simply "just popping over" back and forth... It's clearly not the case in my mind.
However, it takes decades for pilgrims because there's numerous stops on a pilgrim's road to Terra. The captain of his own vessel can plot a course straight for Terra and thus make the trip as short as possible (which would probably still mean he'd still spent about a year in the Warp...)

I imagine the trip to Terra and the wait for the meeting to get the administratum's refusal to have taken him a handful years... But cannot find an elegant way to add that in the text.

Well, while it may not be clearly stated, if you look at the paragraph describing why Elijah VI became a Rogue Trader instead of Governor as his birth should have made him, it says that these events took place almost a century ago... Remove the fifteen years of his initial trip and there's still about 85 years for 1) the round trip to Terra and 2) meeting with all his retinue.

====

I'd like to ask: Is there any part of the text that's not in "good english"? Any sentence that is too obscure? Or which "sounds weird"?

Offline RobSkib

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 11:12:52 AM »
I'd like to ask: Is there any part of the text that's not in "good english"? Any sentence that is too obscure? Or which "sounds weird"?

Not at all. In fact, your english is much better than most natives speak it anyway, with people replacing 'should have' with 'should of' and typing 'your' instead of 'you're'. Really grinds my gears :P

I think the only thing that needs re-wording is, like you said, the trip he takes to Terra. It only mentions that he 'went to' Terra, in comparison with the 'long trip' he made back to his home planet. Still, it's a minute issue that could be fixed with an extra word or two.

Are you ready to post his stats up? He's a pretty fleshed-out character now, I'd love to see what he looks like in combat.
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Offline Nash

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 08:33:56 PM »
Not at all. In fact, your english is much better than most natives speak it anyway, with people replacing 'should have' with 'should of' and typing 'your' instead of 'you're'. Really grinds my gears :P
Well, I'm very careful when I type (or translate) so I'm pretty confident with my grammar/vocabulary (even if once in a while a "brain fart" may occur).
However, it's the "idiomatic" nature of my sentences, the respect of the natural structure and flow of english speech, which I'm not really at ease with... I'm doubly so when the text I'm posting was initially written in french, because the flow of both languages is very different. But if there's nothing "shocking" then I guess it's all good ;)

Quote
I think the only thing that needs re-wording is, like you said, the trip he takes to Terra. It only mentions that he 'went to' Terra, in comparison with the 'long trip' he made back to his home planet. Still, it's a minute issue that could be fixed with an extra word or two.
Yeah, it shouldn't be a big issue, except I'll have to find a way to fix it in both languages, which makes it a little bit harder ;)

Quote
Are you ready to post his stats up? He's a pretty fleshed-out character now, I'd love to see what he looks like in combat.
I didn't post it because there's nothing "spectacular"... He's quite close to the standard Rogue Trader template from the rulebook:
WS BS S  T  I  Wp Sg Nv Ld
76 64 58 56 67 82 79 86 88
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 08:36:11 PM by Nash »

Offline Adlan

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 06:04:40 PM »
When we say Stats, we generally mean both the profile, and the equipment, abilities and such.

I'd like to see more details of his crew, and the relationships between him and them, and between the crew. But the backstory is nice. I don't see the trip to Terra as a quick jaunt. The way I read it is he's picked up his crew on the journey to there, and the story now picks up with him swearing to get his planet back.

Offline RobSkib

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Re: A Rogue Trader
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 01:58:42 PM »
I'll echo Adlan's sentiments - I was kinda hoping for the whole shebang; abilities, equipment etc. As it stands, there's not much to comment on with what you've provided, but I will say before anyone else says it that the templates in the back of the rulebook are generally viewed as excessively overpowered. The only thing to say about the stats (without the abilities and equipment) that the mental stats look a little high, maybe drop them all by about 5-10 across the board.
An Inquisitor walks into a bar - he rolls D100 to see if he hits it.
                                     +++++++
Gallery of my Inquisitor models here.