Rogue Trader: The Volkite Dynasty
The settlement that was once Dewain’s Footfall, and now simply Footfall, is a tethered network of hundreds of stone structures floating in Furibundus’s voids. It is a mass of buttressed temples and plasma-pitted fanes whose towers jut out at all angles into the void. Most are linked by enclosed stonework tunnels and arch-bridges, in addition to huge steel chains. At the very centre is tethered a huge macro-statue of the God-Emperor, larger than many warships.
Many of Footfall’s buildings would not look out of place upon a planetary surface, while other spiral mazes and winding tunnels of unsupported stone would fall apart under the tug of gravity. Sections of Footfall have no gravity, and many have fluctuating levels of generated gravity. The few structures that have their own stable grav generators are highly desired prizes and are fought over by the most powerful factions, changing hands over the corpses and regrets of their prior occupants with alarming regularity.
Over the centuries since its establishment, Footfall has become a lair of villainy and intrigue, the descendants of its original population of stoneworkers and Rogue Trader vassals now far outnumbered by less-reputable newcomers. Here, religious fanatics rub shoulders with assassins, spies, fugitives from Imperial justice, narco-tribesmen, rowdy crew on furlough, and a wide range of disreputable merchants. Beneath this tumult of lawlessness can be found and an even more shadowy world: hereteks, cultists, unrestrained criminals, unsanctioned psykers, and worse. Here a thousand forms of deadly intrigue can be found, and anything from a starship to a human soul can be bartered in Footfall—for a price. It is for precisely these reasons that many great powers and factions from the Calixis Sector maintain secretive agents in Footfall: the Administratum, Battlefleet Calixis, the Great Houses of the Imperial Nobility, the disciples of the Dark Gods, the Ministorum… and perhaps even the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition as well.
For the Rogue Traders and their agents, Footfall has many uses beyond those of a simple port. These individuals come to learn about competing interests, find an array of illegal services unavailable on Imperial worlds, send forth trusted crew to carouse, gather new recruits to replace those lost to the void, and participate in deadly intrigues to gain an edge in the exploration of the Koronus Expanse. It is also a place where a vessel can shelter to refit and repair damage in relative safety, provided a Rogue Trader can abide the thousand assorted scum who might float about, or the dubious strangers who will swarm their injured vessel and toil upon its hull for a few thrones apiece—or the hereteks whose price is far higher but whose “no questions asked” expertise makes them worth the daemon’s bargain to hire.