We touched our shuttle down on an island and disembarked. Up close, it becomes even more obvious that this world is incredibly beautiful and healthy. My mind feels sharper when I breath the pure, untarnished air. Out of curiosity, we try the fruit from the trees, and it makes us feel younger, stronger, more clear-minded.
As we explore, Lumi discovers a small, glittering stone on the ground. After a minute of further investigation, we discover them everywhere – lying around like chocolate in a candy shop. They seem strangely familiar, and after spending a little while studying them and trying to recall where I’d seen something like this before, i remember.
Eldar soul stones.
Inessa is examining one closely. “These would fetch a really good price,” she says. “And there are hundreds of them.”
“They’re soul stones.” I shudder and drop the handful I’d gathered. “The souls of dead Eldar are contained within them.”
Nobody else seems terribly bothered.
As we tramp deeper into the forest, we get reports here and there of other Rogue Traders arriving. I don’t pay much attention, preferring to explore and examine the curious wildlife and foliage. Not to mention, there are Eldar structures and ruins everywhere, built of the familiar wraithbone material.
A ways in, I discover something strange: a fire pit. A fairly recent one. I call over the others and as a group, we decide that we should find whoever created it. It doesn’t take long to discover a small village, perhaps two hundred people. Baffled and curious, we approach with some caution. Somebody points out a piece of fabric with the symbol of the first Rogue Trader to ever exist. These people must be descendants of that ship, which was lost thousands of years ago.
The people welcome us with open arms. They’re all decked out with the Eldar soul stones. They’re strung on their clothes like beads, or in their hair or around their necks. They’re friendly and their language is understandable, for the most part.
There are a lot of interesting, amazing things, such as this young girl I discover: a child named Tibbs, with a birthmark on her forehead reminiscent of a Navigator’s eye. She spoke to me of the light of the God-Emperor, and that she could feel his “light,” but that it was far away. And how could this be paradise when it’s so far from the God-Emperor. She asks me to take her with when we leave, to take her closer to the light. I agree, interested in her potential.
We sit down to dinner with them, and explain where we came from. We omit certain things, like the fact that we’re probably going to take as much of their planet as possible in order to make money off of it.
When they hear that we’re just visiting, however, they instantly become cold. Their leader insists that we leave immediately, for if we are unwilling to accept paradise as the god-emperor has given it to us, we don’t deserve it.
After a short time, ships began to descend into the atmosphere. Feckward. Blitz. The other Rogue Traders had arrived. After some discussion, it was decided that we should take as much as we can and get out, so as to avoid direct conflict with the other dynasties. I suggested we create a controlled environment in our arboretum where we may grow and breed the life from the planet, as a source of ongoing profit.
We begin the process tomorrow. As it was my idea, I hope it goes well. The fruit is amazing, and the creatures will fetch great prices as exotic pets.
Thus far we have avoided any severe conflict with the other Rogue Traders. I hope this continues.