Rogue Trader - Orthesian Legacy
Legend of the Orthesian Dynasty
The Orthesian Dynasty is an ancient one, with a proud history. In 481.M33, the Warrant of Trade was granted to Lady Lorelai Orthesian. While the issuing of the Warrant was, initially, a part of an Administratum trade mandate to establish reliable routes through Segmentum Obscurus, the Dynasty was later charged with a more military task of expanding the influence of the Imperium of Man. For thousands of years, the dynasty embarked on crusade after crusade, spreading the might of the Imperium, and forging a path ever-deeper into the void. With such a long history, the Orthesian Dynasty was able to grow into great power and influence. They commanded a mighty fleet. and collected the tribute of a thousand colonies. They rose to heights that only the greatest of Rogue Traders could ever aspire to. Countless heroes and legends were born out of the Orthesian Dynasty, and voidfarers still speak, with reverent awe, the names of the most famous of these — Dagrest Orthesian, who conquered a hundred worlds during his time as Lord-Captain; Ventas the Bloody, who is said to have torn an Ork Warboss apart with his bare hands, or Natashya Orthesian, who saved an entire sub-sector from a cabal of renegade psykers.
Yet, their glory did not last forever.
Lord-Captain Caiaphas Orthesian was the last known Rogue Trader to bear the Orthesian Warrant of Trade. He led the dynasty through the great Angevin Crusade, assisting in the conquest of what would become known as the Calixis Sector. Caiaphas fought alongside the venerated Saint Drusus, in the extermination of the Yu’Vath, and assisted in the colonozation of dozens of worlds. With their success in the Angevin Crusade, the Orthesian Dynasty was at the pinnacle of their power.
Following the Angevin Crusade, Saint Drusus gave the Orthesian Dynasty a charge – what he insisted was the most sacred of duties – to find a path beyond the Great Warp Storms. Twin warp storms marked the rimward borders of the Calixis Sector, and prevented passage into the vast Koronus Expanse.
In the year 412.M39, while scouting the edges of the warp storms to fulfill this charge, the Orthesian Dynasty was ambushed by an Eldar fleet. It was a brutal battle, in which the Dynasty’s entire fleet was bought to bear against the xenos threat. It was a costly battle, but they came out victorious. Of their original fleet, only three vessels remained. A Claymore-Class Frigate, a Conquest-Class Star Galleon, and their flagship, the Grand Cruiser Blessed Vanguard.
At the end of the battle, Lord-Captain Caiaphas Orthesian sent an astropathic transmission back to the nearest station:
“The enemy is in retreat, the light of the God-Emperor, once again, leading us to victory. Yet, the battle is not over, not yet. I will not rest until the foul xenos have been exterminated. We are in pursuit of the last enemy vessels, who at this very moment sets a dangerous course straight for the warp storms. They will find no salvation. They are in our sights, and we will deliver to them the wrath of the God-Emperor.”
There were no further transmissions received from Caiaphas, until three weeks later:
“What sights, my eyes do now behold – what truths we have uncovered. We stand at the precipice, a breath away from destiny. Is my faith shattered, or made concrete? Emperor, sanction my deeds, for I loathe to abandon my duty.”
With that cryptic transmission, not a trace was found of the Orthesian Dynasty, for over two-thousand years.