The Misadventures of Ramirez Jove (and his minions)
Winterscale’s Realm is one of the most explored and exploited regions, and one that has delivered both fabulous riches and early death for the unwary in equal measure. Winterscale’s Realm is a region defined by the stars explored and charted by Sebastian Winterscale in the early centuries of the 41st millennium. It is composed of a few coveted worlds sitting like islands amongst the darkness of the unknown. Rogue Traders have traversed the Realm’s breadth a hundred times, but even so, its farther reaches and troubled warp regions remain unmapped. Though only a handful of worlds within Winterscale’s Realm have been even partially explored, these have proven to be fat with riches and treasures. It has lured those whose goal is only wealth, and has become a battleground between rivals for its bounty. Gems, precious minerals, exotic death world beasts, xenos artefacts, and many more rarities have poured into select coffers of merchant cartels and noble backers in the Calixis Sector and beyond, thanks in no small part to the Winterscale Realm’s tireless explorers
The Egarian Dominion
The Egarian Dominion was once a populous xenos domain that spanned a handful of close stars. Many millennia past, the alien civilisation that dwelt in this domain fell victim to a nameless doom that left only empty, desolate worlds and crumbling structures in its wake. The principal worlds of the Dominion are dry, cool desert planets, covered by tightlypacked structures that form a vast maze in three dimensions, walls and corners hundreds of meters high and extending in belts for thousands of kilometres across the desert plains. These claustrophobic xenos complexes are buried by windblown sand and dry soil, their borders ragged cliffs that mark the edge of lowland deserts. Egarian building materials glisten with rainbow light as though oily, even as they crack and crumble with age. They somehow channel the light of Egarian stars, and even the deepest regions of the xenos hives are lit with a disturbing, shifting glow. The passageways are cramped for humans, and the hive mazes are empty, as though the xenos and almost all their works simply vanished overnight. The only sound is the moaning of the wind as it blows through enclosed maze-spaces and across desert outcrops.
Burnscour is a death world of roaring storms, jungles, and strange beasts. It is no place for men, as the steaming rain alone eats at metal and breeds strange fungus on exposed flesh, and the sap dripping from plants is lethal or viciously toxic. Yet the beast trade has found a foothold upon Burnscour, carried there at exorbitant rates by Rogue Trader vessels and illegal, unsanctioned merchant craft. They come to Burnscour to stock the ever-hungry fighting pits of the distant Calixis Sector with saurian leapers, gargantipedes, and other horrors of fang and maw. Hunter retinues clad in bulky suits of vulcanised rubber stalk the jungles in search of exotic xeno predators for the fighting pits, ever watchful for creatures that will make the most lethal attractions on far-off hive worlds of the Imperium.
Jerazol is a desolate world of ash and charred bone. It is a world, tales say, murdered for greed and spite. Discovered by a pious Rogue Trader whose name does not survive, Jerazol was verdant, fertile, and supported a population of humans whose culture had developed to a primitive tribalism. The unnamed Rogue Trader was determined to bring the population back into the light and dominion of the God-Emperor. He began the process of tutoring and civilising the population, while purging it of any trace of deviancy or corruption. Not long after Jerazol was discovered, it was also found by other explorers, who believed that the primitive humans where hiding wonders of lost technology in warrens beneath the earth, built by their forgotten ancestors who first came to the world from across the stars. These machines, they said, were worth any price in blood and death, and when the nameless Rogue Trader stood against them, they destroyed his vessels, letting their wrecks fall to the surface of Jerazol like the burning tears of a god. Then, it is said the murderers bombarded the world, burning its surface to ash and choking its atmosphere with smoke. The tales do not agree as to whether the despoilers found the technological treasures they sought. Some say they unearthed such wonders that they rose to the highest tiers of power within the Imperium, others say that they only found ash, bone, and mud and that they cursed the dreams that had brought them through void and madness to murder a world for nought. No matter the truth of the tales, the burned and dead world of Jerazol exists as testimony to the price that can be paid in search of the riches of Winterscale’s Realm.