"You may have the power to force my actions, but only the God-Emperor has the authority to do so. If you continue on this course, you shall know His justice."
As Rogue Traders venture across the Koronus Expanse, and beyond, they often travel in the company of missionaries. Faith and Coin , an upcoming supplement for Rogue Trader , explores the complex relationships between Rogue Traders and Missionaries, as both parties work to further their own ends—and of course, carry out the will of the Emperor. In today’s Designer Diary, contributing writer John Dunn introduces Saint Cognatius, and sets the stage for The Sacred Heart , an adventure included in Faith and Coin .
Traders and Missionaries
The activities and agents of the Missionarus Galaxia within the Koronus Expanse offered a great opportunity to explore some of the region's ancient secrets and sacred legends. As Rogue Traders journey the vast expanse of the galaxy beyond the Imperium of Man, they often encounter lost splinters of humanity. Many of these lost children of Terra do not know the grace of the God-Emperor, nor do they recognise the authority of the Imperium—and both of these facts must change if the Imperium is to prosper and reclaim its rightful domain amidst the stars of the Koronus Expanse. Missionaries, in the service of the Adeptus Ministorum, exist to address such problems. These able stalwarts eagerly accept berths aboard Rogue Trader vessels in the hopes that they can serve His cause by converting some of these benighted souls to accepting their faith in the God-Emperor. These devoted souls embrace their responsibility to reunite the long lost relatives with the Imperium of Man, so that they might know salvation in His light—and so that the Imperium can dominate these worlds much more easily once it reclaims the Koronus Expanse.
In spite of the vast reach of the Imperium of Man, there remain huge numbers of worlds beyond its reach. Countless among these have been colonised by descendants of Terra. Within the unknowable environments of these alien worlds humanity has developed in a huge number of different ways—both physically and culturally. Many of these colonies have succumbed to corruption in some form, whether it be in the form of uncontrolled psykers dominating the population or wicked pacts with things beyond reality. However, even among those populations that have not fallen to the temptations of the Warp or other malign influences, only a very few are immediately ready for the Imperium of Man to arrive demanding tithes.
For the vast majority that are unprepared for the Imperium’s return, Missionaries work to ready the populations to accept the Imperium’s dominion centuries or even millennia before the Imperium truly reaches these worlds. This requires a concerted effort to subvert the local faiths to fit within the grand and varied tapestry of the Imperial Creed while purging elements that cannot be tolerated. Of course, different missionaries have very different approaches to fulfilling these duties, and even radically varied definitions of what can be tolerated and what must be destroyed.
Rogue Traders and their subordinates play a critical role in the work of missionaries. Beyond merely ferrying missionaries from world to uncharted world, Rogue Traders often become involved in the task missionaries strive to fulfill—though whether their support comes from genuine piety, raw avarice, or something in between depends on the individual Rogue Trader. A Rogue Trader and his crew can stand to make a great deal of money by backing the right missionary at the right time, and the skills that a Rogue Trader and especially his Seneschal can bring to the missionary’s effort can be invaluable.
The Ways of St. Cognatius
Many missionaries have worked among the human-held worlds of the Koronus Expanse over its history. Some among them are linked by the legend of an ancient figure, a fierce devotee of the God-Emperor remembered as St. Cognatius. As one of the very few saints recognised by the Ecclesiarchy and associated with the Koronus Expanse, many have sought out his patronage while they travelled through this region. Dozens of devotees have undertaken missions of conversion and faith with the legends of St. Cognatius at the forefront of their minds. Many missionaries have hoped to emulate the success he enjoyed in the region, millennia ago. Others hope that they might find his final resting place, so that they can discover the miraculous archeotechnology and ancient relics that legends associate with his triumphs.
The first chapter of Faith and Coin focuses on the legends of four different missionaries, who all served within the Koronus Expanse. Each encountered a range of different challenges, but each also followed a distinct methodology as part of his or her mission. All were loyal and true servants of the Ecclesiarchy, but each chose to follow a distinctive means to convert worlds unknown. St. Cognatius and his legend served as the one additional link that each of these missionaries shared. All sought to uncover his legend, in the hopes that they might gather further glory for the Imperium by recovering his sacred Tomb.
The broad range of different approaches serves to illustrate both the differing philosophies that are active within the Ecclesiarchy, but also some of the variety of responses possible to those beliefs. As the missionaries interacted with the various worlds of the Koronus Expanse, they faced a number of different challenges—both from the dangers implicit on the worlds and from the agents of the Imperium who sought to destroy them rather than offer them support. Their stories can be part inspiration and cautionary tale to a missionary operating in the Koronus Expanse in their wake. Now, centuries later, the organisations and relics they left behind for their successors pro vide resources for those with the drive to seek them. And some whisper that these legends, logs, and clues even contain the secret location of the final resting place of St. Cognatius and his relic ship, the Sacred Heart...
Check out the following pages (pdf, 5.5 MB), excerpted from Faith and Coin , for more on this upcoming supplement. Then, keep checking back for more news about Rogue Trader: Faith and Coin!
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.