So, I’ve been playing a fair bit of the 40kRPG’s here lately. While the system is possibly one of the most convoluted percentile based games I have ever seen, it’s sum ends up being much greater than it’s parts in my opinion. Mostly cause its 40k and I’m a huge nerd for that universe. So, I thought I’d share the backstory for my Rogue Trader’s Dynasty.
I present to you. House Drax.
House Drax is what long established Rogue Traders refer to as “New Money”. A mere four generations ago a successful but rather nondescript inter-system Grox Baron by the name of Percival Sigismund Drax was informed to great fanfare that his family was the beneficiary of an ancient Trade Administratum Mandate. Apparently sometime in the hallowed past, when the Drax ancestors accepted certain contracts of trade with the Administratum there were goals and requirements to be met, upon which time a newly minted Warrant of Trade would be issued and a new Dynasty founded. In addition to this the Mandate also stated that the Administratum would provide a vessel but beyond that the new Dynasty was responsible for crewing and funding any endeavours as it reached for the stars in the name of the God Emperor.
Percival Drax was quite a wealthy man already, but the promise of extending his lineage to the stars was irresistible. Unfortunately despite his vast wealth, he was in the grand scope of the Imperium not much more than a well to do ranch hand. From his home world of Epso Prime in the Satex segmentum he began to call in favors and debts to crew and arm his new Firestorm Class Frigate. One of the debts owed to his merchant clan was from the Adeptus Mechanicus themselves. The Magos local to the system had always highly prized the rendered Grox fat from his herds as a supplement for the standard Mechanicus approved lubricants for their machines you see and had gone to great lengths to secure a steady flow of the viscous goo in perpetuity. Drax knew he would need a proper Engineseer to maintain his new prize and was quick to call in his markers. At first the Mechanicus were… less than willing to commit an experienced Magos to a newly minted Dynasty, however once they learned of the origin of the ship provided by the Administratum; an ancient and revered support vessel that had once served in the Explorator fleet of Magos Thule, the Adeptus Mechanicus decided that they could not allow such an ancient and venerated vessel be led into the void without a proper representative of the Omnissiah on board, purely to watch after the best interests of the surely troubled Machine Spirits of course. Some short months after his request was made Percival Drax welcomed his new Engineser Prime, designation: Octavius Orca aboard ship.
Sadly for Percival and his budding Dynasty, even after liquidating all of his assets and calling in his favors he was still short on funds. He had a fearsome vessel, a proper Magos to maintain it, Astropaths from the local systems but he lacked the finances to secure a proper Navigator. To remedy this he turned to some of the shady folks he had encountered during his time in the Grox Trade. At this point, the only thing left to offer as collateral was the ship itself; which Percival, madly lusting for the inky beyond did so gladly. With his ship outfitted and crewed he set off for the Koronus Expanse.
Tales of daring and trophies of conquest from the time when Percival, now known as “Mad Uncle Percy” led the Dynasty are boundless. For a Grox Trader he turned out to be a quite competent if drunken explorer. The tale of his demise at the hands of Xeno raiders is legend among his home system. The little known true story of him passing out in a gutter on Footfall and drowning in a pool of his own vomit is a very VERY well kept family secret.
Legitimate Businessmen, no really…
Upon Uncle Percy’s heroic demise, the Writ of trade passed to his nephew, one Barnabus Drax who being a less adventurous sort did little to expand the Dynastys holdings or fame, he did however discover a previously unknown strain of Grox feed during his limited travels that increased the reproductive rate of the family herds by 37.268%. It is widely held, especially among competing mercantile families that the new Grox feed contains Xenos taint and that the Drax family is guilty of Xeno-Heresy, however slander of that sort is commonplace among the traders of the Satex systems and no one paid much mind.
Barnabus passed the Writ to his son Augustus upon his death and then things got interesting… During his time as Lord Captain, Augustus Drax was known to deal in all sorts of shady business. To most outsiders it appeared that he was simply taking the easy route seeing as at the end of the day the Drax family was nothing but a bunch of smelly Grox herders.
The truth of the matter, also a well kept family secret is quite different. While Uncle Percy was out exploring the expanse, the debt he had accrued in order to launch his Dynasty had been acquired by some rather unscrupulous fellows. These fellows approached Augustus early after his ascendency to Lord Captain and informed him in no uncertain terms that they were owed a massive sum of Throne Gelt and that in order to pay it off the Dynasty was expected to undertake certain tasks and transport contracts of a less than legal nature for them.
The group in question was a Cold Guild whose preferred means of income was as suppliers for the Beast House. Naturally a Rogue Trader with experience handling animals made sense and fit their needs perfectly and thus they spent no small effort to secure the writs to the loans that gave them leverage on the house. Over the course of his tenure as Lord Captain Augustus fulfilled the contracts given to him by the representative of the Cold Guild known only as “Father”. Thousands of feral and dangerous Xeno Beasts were delivered to the Beast House, bribes were paid, profit was acquired. The decades of exploration and excess of Augustus Drax ended abruptly when he over reached. A death world the Trader chanced upon had several rare and valuable species of Xeno predator, the captain struck on the plan of filling his barracks with the things and leaving his regiment of Dynasty troops on planet to establish a colony/beast wrangling beachhead with the logic that with only a few trips from the world to the Beast House the writ could be out of hock to the Cold Guild and free to pursue its own interests.
On the trip back the barrack pens were compromised and the beasts released, flooding the ship with feral Xenos, overrunning the crew and leaving the Deliverance adrift in the warp. Ship records indicate that the failure of the pens may not have been due to mechanical error…
Under new Management
Several hundred years later the ship was recovered by the Imperial Navy adrift and lifeless, the Xeno forms dead from starvation the crew long since dead. The Deliverance laid silent for decades being refitted and repaired while both the Administratum as well as the Dynasty’s shady “investors” searched for the heir to the Writ of Trade. In fairly short order to the pleasure of the Administratum and consternation of the Cold Guild they tracked down one Horatio Aloysius Drax.
Horatio is a well known and respected independent lawman (bounty hunter) and notorious gunfighter in the Satex Sector, he has ties to the sector Arbites as well as managing his family’s vast Grox trade. Needless to say his first meeting with representatives of the Cold Guild did not go well. Unfortunately for Drax all of the Writs of Debt against his house are completely legitimate so for the time being and to re-outfit The Deliverance and get her space worthy, he has agreed to the same terms as his anscestor Augustus. Horatio however is not waiting for the criminal association to tarnish his sterling reputation and is putting plans in motion to free himself and his house from the debt and God Emperor willing make himself a system tug full of thrones in the process and if all goes well maybe do some justice unto the criminals as well…