“A Rogue Trader lives and dies by the strength of his deeds.”
– Vos Karlorn, Lord-Captain of the Emperor’s Testament
The story of the Righteous Path begins over two and a half thousand years ago, during the time of Drusus and the great Angevin Crusade. The stalwart forces of the Imperium were sweeping across the region of space that would one day become the Calixis sector, pushing the enemies of the God-Emperor before them and bringing light to worlds lost for centuries to darkness. Among their number was Lorcanus Ryn, a great warlord and free-captain, flled with bloodlust and greed but also an unwavering faith in Drusus and the Emperor. At the helm of his grand-cruiser, the Righteous Path, he was the scourge of a hundred worlds, carving out a bloody path before him as the crusade conquered world after world.
One such world was Krystallian. Recorded as the 73rd world brought to the light of the Emperor by the crusade, it was (so the story goes) an ancient colony of man which had long ago fallen to the heretical worship of false gods and the teachings of treacherous prophets known as the Talisar. Covered in glittering cloud temples, raised by the Talisar to the glory of the Myriad of Faces, it was a world of immense wealth and blasphemous grandeur. It was, however, no match for the might of the Imperial armies led by Lorcanus Ryn. The warlord descended on Krystallian, flled with the righteous wrath of the Emperor, sweeping away a thousand years of civilization in three days of fire and blood. When the killing was done, and the corpse counters began gathering up the detritus of war, Lorcanus Ryn marvelled at the riches he had won. Never before had he seen such naked wealth; temples packed high with artifacts of rare and wondrous make, statues gilt with gems and glittering with gold, and shadowed vaults of forgotten and forbidden archeotech
Here the story varies from teller to teller. Some say the wealth of Krystallian was more than rare metals and precious stones, but that its people were also a prize; bred from a stock of pure genetic material and spared from centuries of warp-taint, they were bundled into stasis coffins and taken away to be trained as elite warriors or highborn servants. Others whisper that Krystallian was settled during the Dark Age of Technology and still harboured devices from that time within its cities and temples, secrets worth more than the raw mineral wealth or combined populations of a hundred worlds.
Whatever the form of Krystallian’s wealth, Lorcanus was not content merely to sample it, nor did he trust his fellow crusaders to carry it away. So he set about flling the Righteous Path from stern to ram. He tore out gun decks and launch bays, marooned thousands of his crew and stripped away the vessel’s innards until she was bursting with plunder. The warlord then vanished into the warp and from the pages of history.
Over the centuries there have been many expeditions to fnd the Righteous Path. At the time of its disappearance, members of the crusade quested after the lost vessel. Later, free-traders, adventurers and Imperial servants have all tried to fnd its resting place. Many believe the vessel is lost forever, sunken beneath the tides of the warp or smashed to pieces and scattered across space and time. Krystallian, however, was rumoured to have once existed on the trailing edge of what is now the Calixis Sector only a short span of light-years from the Maw. This has led some old void-farers to speculate that Lorcanus Ryn and his ship were caught in the tides of the storms that plague the Koronus Passage and dragged out deep into the Expanse. Many believe it to be lost forever…