It has been months since the fleet arrived in the Andorheim Compact, but little had been accomplished.
The Dawnbringer Corsairs remained elusive. Every time the Rogue Trader imagined he had entrapped them, the fleet came up empty handed, finding derelict ruins on a desolate world, or trading blows with Dark Eldar raiders.
All the while the Corsairs grew stronger. Tales of their fleet grew common, with marvellous stories detailing the skill of their captains, the wealth of their leadership, and their ferocity in battle.
These tales only served to compound the Rogue Trader’s frustration. His captains were becoming restless, seeing his obsession with defeating the corsairs as an impediment to their profits. His men were losing morale, forced to fight the Dark Eldar in meaningless battles, pitted against a cruel enemy who left horror and devastation in their wake.
The Lord Merchant knew that despite their superior airs and noble reputation, the Corsairs were ultimately arrogant and impulsive, and could be goaded into combat by a large enough prize.
But what reward could be great enough to entrap such an ancient and experienced foe?
Strange and terrible warp storms had begun to plague the Galaxy, and communication with the larger Imperium had become nearly impossible in recent years. These warp storms brought Chaos, Daemons, and instability to all they touched.
However, warp storms sometimes spew forth the ruins of ancient battles, ships, stations, or even entire worlds. At some point in the distant past, these hulks had been sucked into the terrible maw of the empyrean, disappearing from mortal eyes.
And so, in the corner of the Andorheim Compact, a warp storm cracked and rumbled, vomiting forth its grisly prize. Rolling out of the tear in reality came a gigantic space hulk, tens of kilometres across. A mishmash of asteroids, ships, and space stations of unknown origins, the space hulk appeared dark and ominous. A terrible omen of death and decay for the ongoing crusade.
Curious to discover if the hulk had brought anything of value or portent, the Rogue Trader directed his outriders to search the monstrous creation.
Amongst the celestial detritus of the space hulk shone a single and shining opportunity. Wedged on the flank of the hulk was an ancient Eldar craft, crushed between an asteroid and the ruins of a space station. Away parties found the craft to be a graveyard, full of Eldar corpses in lifeless struggle with an unknown Xenos assailant.
Here was the ideal trap for the Corsairs. Like all Eldar, they would be unable to resist the chance to recover the soulstones of the slain and discover the fate of their kin.
The Rogue Trader ordered his most skilled mercenaries to board the hulk and set up an ambush in the ruined space station. All that remained was to wait for the Corsairs to arrive. . .