Edge of the Abyss, a detailed guide to the Koronus Expanse for Rogue Trader , has been on sale for more than a month. But for those who have yet to explore the dread mysteries beyond The Maw, we’re pleased to present a guest designer diary from Benn Williams, one of the writers assigned to this remarkable supplement!

Greetings Rogue Trader Fans! Beyond the light of the Astronomicon, the Koronus Expanse is home to many star systems and ancient evils that are far older than mankind. It’s the perfect place for the myriad of Rogue Traders to explore, conquer, and exploit.

Aside from worlds and locations, this book expands on races unique to the Koronus Expanse: the savage Rak’gol and the enigmatic Stryxis. These races help shape and define the Expanse as a place of danger and sinister intrigue, and both GMs and players should find encounters with them to be memorable ones.

Brutal Savages

The Rak’Gol are a brutal race who haunt the darker reaches of the Koronus Expanse. Those who dare speak about them do so in hushed tones; making the sign of the Aquila for protection, as if the mere mention of them draws the attention of these monsters. The Rak’Gol are remorseless killers and hunters, but are all the more terrifying because of their voidships and other relatively advanced technology—while not at the Imperium’s levels, it still makes them a match for most Rogue Traders.

The Rak’Gol are intended to be a “boogie-man” race, something that lurks in the darkness and strikes without warning. One thing that reinforces this is their utter lack of communication. They don’t bargain, they don’t deal, they don’t even acknowledge when someone tries to communicate with them. All this makes them that much more alien; players can’t relate to them on any level. Their vissage—large, eight-limbed creatures covered in pebbly scales and crude armour bolted directly to their flesh—only reinforces this. The Rak’Gol are tough and strong as well. Getting into melee with one is something to be avoided.

Their methods of combat also help reinforce this. The Rak’Gol strike without warning or announcement, their ships springing from asteroid fields or their landers screaming in over a helpless colony to disgorge hordes of bloodthirsty marauders. GMs can use the combination of surprise and sudden, “in your face” brutality to give their players adversaries they won’t forget in a hurry!

Edge of the Abyss also contains interesting information about their society and caste structure, gleaned at great expense by those who have barely survived Rak’Gol assaults. All in all, it provides enough for a GM to craft adventures about a dangerous foe.

Strange Travellers

The Stryxis are a race of nomadic traders who ply the space lanes in caravan-like vessels scavenged from other races. Traversing the Expanse in these ramshackle ships, these xenos ply their wares and peddle secrets and lies. These robed, four-eyed and vaguely canine creatures are shunned by most Emperor-fearing travellers. However, they have travelled the Koronus Expanse long before the coming of the Imperium, and if it’s one thing they will always do, it’s bargain and trade.

The Stryxis fulfil a role almost exactly opposite from the Rak’Gol. Where the latter are brutal, bloodthirsty warriors with whom one cannot negotiate or deal, the Stryxis prefer to do nothing but bargain. They help fill an important role in the Koronus Expanse, a race players can interact with outside of combat. In addition, they can provide players with valuable items, information, and secrets they might have trouble finding elsewhere. Many adventures involving smuggling xenostech could begin with encountering a Stryxis caravan.

However, in their own way, the Stryxis are just as dangerous as the Rak’Gol. They lie and dissimulate endlessly, and are canny and cunning negotiators. If one makes a deal or purchase from the Stryxis, he should never be sure that the obsequious aliens haven’t secretly come out on top. In addition, while they fear strength, they are ever vigilant for weakness. More than a few of their erstwhile trading partners have found themselves suddenly attacked, robbed, or even sold into slavery when they inadvertently made themselves vulnerable. The Stryxis use esoteric weaponry backed up by vat-grown servitor slaves in combat, and many a Rogue Trader’s last mistake was underestimating them.

Thanks Benn! With adventure ideas, location guides, and much more, Edge of the Abyss is an invaluable resource for GMs and players alike. Head to your local retailer or our webstore , then profit from the secrets of the Koronus Expanse!

Rogue Trader is a roleplaying game set in dark gothic far future of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 universe. Players take on the roles of explorers aboard a Rogue Trader's ship, searching for profit and adventure while discovering new alien cultures and threats in the uncharted regions of space.

More News [+]