Dawn of the Expanse
The Righteous Path
This story dates back over two and a half thousand years, to the time of Drusus and the Angevin Crusade. The stalwart forces of the Imperium swept across the region that is now the Calixis sector, pushing the enemies of the 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, filled with bloodlust, greed and unswerving faith in Drusus and the Emperor. At the helm of his grand-cruiser the Righteous path, he was the scurge 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 (as 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 a the Talisar. Covered in glittering cloud temples raised by the Talisar to the glory of their Lords of Myriad Faces, it was a world of immense wealth and blasphemous grandeur. It was, however, no match for the imperial armies and the forces of Lorcanus Ryn. In three days of blood and fire, he brought the righteous wrath of the Emperor to the planet and swept away 1000 years of civilization.
When the killing was done and the corpse counters began to tally the cost of the conquest, Lorcanus Ryn marvelled at the riches he had won. Never before had he seen such naked wealth; temples packed with artifacts of rare and wonderous make, statues gilt with gems and glittering with gold, and shadowed vaults of forgotten and forbidden archaeotech.
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 fo pure genetic material and spared centuries of warp-taint, they were bundled into stasis chambers and taken away to be trained as elite warriors and servants. Others whisper that Krystallian was settled during the Dark Age of Technology, and that it’s data vaults held secrets worth more than all the mineral wealth of a hundred worlds.
Whatever the wealth was, Lorcanus was not content merely to sample it, nor did he trust his fellow crusaders to carry it off. So he set about filling the Righteous Path from stem to stern. He tore out gun decks and launch bays, and stripped away the non-essential innards of his ship, marooned thousands of his crew, and stuffed the ship to bulging. He then vanished into the warp and from the pages of history.
Over the centuries there have been many expeditions to find the Righteous Path. At the time of its disappearance, members of the Crusade searched for the vanished vessel. Later, free-traders, adventurers and Imperial servants have all tried to find 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, 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 void-farers to speculate that the Righteous Path was caught up int he warp storms that plague the Koronus Passage and dragged out deep into the expanse, drifting forever…