Rogue Trader - Orthesian Legacy
“Footfall is a fine place to do business and conduct trade — far from the pointless rules and needless taxes of more ‘civilised’ ports.”
–Hadarak Fel, Lord Captain of the Fel Hand
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.
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 Balance of Power in Footfall
No one rules Footfall, not truly. The masters of the most successful of Footfall’s concerns nominate an individual who is referred to as the Liege. By tradition the Liege disburses offerings of stone and supplies brought by Rogue Traders. However, traditionally a Liege is subservient to any who bears a Warrant of Trade. This makes even the least Rogue Trader higher on the pecking order than the Liege of Footfall, though in practice, this can prove difficult to enforce. However, a Liege is only Liege for so long as he can defend his position, and many have been leaders of murderous scum, employing cruel guards and ruthless enforcers to make their will known. Each was the latest criminal to have killed his way to what he thought is the top of the heap, realizing too late just how wrong he was.
The true powers of Footfall are shadowy organisations, any one of which will murder a Liege who strays beyond his traditional role. Prime amongst these are the owners of Footfall’s gambling dens, bordellos, and the wealthiest traders and smugglers whose wealth and position is created by the traffic of explorers and the treasures they return with. Beside these are other, more secretive powers such as Crew Brotherhoods who spy and who report back to the Administratum, Navis Nobilite, Ministorum, or Battlefleet paymasters. Others include agents of the Drusus Marches, crime barons, and gossip mongers. Their trade is information, and they are largely the reason that Footfall still exists.
A hundred groups and individuals make their home in Footfall there, each with its own goals and purposes. If there is one constant in Footfall, it is that power is fragile and can be quickly overturned. The wise of Footfall remember that the victors of today are the slaves of tomorrow and the vengeful assassins of the day after: memories are long, and misdeeds repaid in kind.
Leaders, Rogues, Fools, and Prophets
When a Rogue Trader holds court in Footfall, some faces naturally stand out from the crowd: the agents of powerful factions, providers of goods and services unavailable within the Imperium, and representatives of rival Rogue Traders.