“This is an age for the godless. Better to die a without faith beneath a darkening sun than bend one’s knee to those who would have us call them gods and devour our blinded souls.”
–words of the apostate Lucius Greer
The Heathen Stars are a diffuse region of old stars that burn with a darkening light and whose worlds have been inhabited since times long past. Human societies and communities long separated from the greater body of humanity dwell in the Heathen Stars. These communities know nothing of the divine light of the God-Emperor, and some strange cultures harbor strange technologies from Mankind’s lost past. It is possible that these scattered human domains are the remains of one or more greater empires that have long since vanished, leaving these fragmentary enclaves like detritus left behind the retreating tide.
Tenuous routes have begun to be established from Winterscale’s Realm to Naduesh and Zayth of the Heathen Stars, but the remainder of these fallen worlds are a matter of mystery and rumor. Rogue Traders have barely touched upon the treasures of the Heathen Stars, and have yet to bring the word of the God-Emperor to the human communities. A billion heathen souls await the coming of missionary zealots and great auto-temples dropped from orbit. Some speak of great treasures upon dead worlds, whilst others lust after the myths from a lost age kept secret by those who dwell in the baleful light of the Heathen Stars.
Cardinal Fortis, overseer of the Ministorum's efforts in the Periphery and the Halo Stars, is naturally very interested in bringing the Ecclesiarchy to this region and has petitioned the Sector Synod for more resources to try and reclaim these wayward planets in the name of the God-Emperor. His efforts are impeded by Cardinal Kregory Hestor of the Drusus Marches, who does not want to relinquish control of the trade that comes through Port Wander. It does not help Fortis that the Rogue Trader Jonquin Saul is actively attempting to make trade between the Heathen Stars and the Drusus Marches; the man himself has many powerful allies within the Drusus Marches Ministorum.
Also known as an assassin’s belt, these weapons are formed from a polymorphic material discovered on several planets near the Heathen Stars. Normally flexible like thick cloth, when stimulated by an electrical current the material will stiffen to the consistency of strong metal. Explorers who desire a more unassuming appearance (or a hidden weapon should all their obvious ones be removed) wear belts, sashes, bandoliers or other lengths of the material along with an activation grip. Once readied, the weapon can act as a staff or a short sword (if the material is honed to a sharpened edge). While it does offer the element of surprise, should the power cell in the haft fail, surprise quickly turns the other way.
Melee, 1d10, R, PEN 2, Balanced, WT 1.5kg, Rare
These flattened, dark-red bowls were first discovered in the drifting xenos-palaces orbiting Stanx, and seemed yet another unusual but unprofitable discovery of the Expanse—until a crewman used one to collect dripping bilge water from a leaky ceiling pipe. To his dismay, what looked like waterproof stone was actually very permeable, slopping bilge water all over the floor. Strangely, though, that water looked crystal clear, while that in the bowl was still foul and riddled with effluent. A quick check showed the bowl had indeed filtered away all contaminants, allowing only utterly pure water to pass. What had been a worthless curio became a highly sought-after relic, probably of deliberate xenos manufacture as more were found in a variety of other shapes. The sieves can filter any liquid from blood to promethium to amasec easily, inexpensively and nearly flawlessly. Since their initial find, they have turned up on a surprising number of worlds throughout the Heathen Stars in a variety of forms, from huge urns that create potable water supplies for hundreds of colonists to smaller barrels for fuel refinements or liqueur distillations.
WT Varies, Extremely Rare