Despite the range and quality of the sensors, the helmsmen of the Rogue Trader’s vessel did not detect the Corsair vessel until it was nearly on top of them. Shimmering out of its holo-fields, the vessel slid silently towards the space hulk, now dubbed by the crew to be Shipgrave.
Boarding craft detatched from the Eldar ship, arcing towards the hulk. The Rogue Trader had guessed correctly – the Dawnbringers were unable to resist recapturing the soulstones of their kin. It also seemed that in their haste, they had not discovered the Rogue Trader’s ship. Powered down, the Adventure Capital was nestled in the dark recesses of the hulk.
As expected, the Eldar boarding craft docked with the space hulk and flashed with light as they cut their way into the hull. The Rogue Trader’s mercenaries had collapsed the surrounding passages, aiming to funnel the xenos into their trap. Within minutes, the Corsairs would arrive.
The ambush was not fully successful. Something had alerted the Eldar before the trap could be sprung. Strands of monofiliment and shurikens shrieked down the hallway, sending sparks flashing from the walls and maiming the pitiful men caught in their path.
Sprinting from the darkness came a terrible figure, followed by her fast and lightly armoured retainers. Moving so quick that the eye could barely follow, blades flashed and armsmen fell, their thick void suits ineffective against the Alien weaponry.
The Rogue Trader stood in surprise. The creature before him, slaughtering his men, was none other than Janriss Ulthuan – the Corsair Princess herself. He had expected this ambush to bloody the Corsairs’ nose, but they had presented him their neck.
Ambition and urgency grew within him, and he urged his men forwards, striding alongside them with blade drawn. It was time to test his sword against hers. Corsair against privateer, pirate against merchant. Age old enemies from the dawn of man itself.
Her flashing blade was impossibly fast. Her skill impecable. Though the Lord Merchant was able to strike down her retainers with little effort, the Princess was relentless. In skill, speed, strength, and ferocity – she outmatched him in every way. Into the melee ran his House Guard, holding boarding shields, shotguns, and powerswords. She cut them to ribbons and scattered the remainder, forcing them back in a panic.
Turning to the Rogue Trader, she pressed her advantage. Searching for every bit of skill he possessed, the Trader strained to hold her off. With a skillful flick of her wrist, his ancient sword clattered across the deck plating, and her blade sunk into his breast. Slumping to the floor, with blood pouring from his nose and mouth, the princess raised her sword for the killing blow. Hatred was in her eyes. Hatred at the ambush. Hatred at the bait. Hatred at his ambitions.
But before the blow could fall, the Princess was blasted from her feet. Another squad of mercenaries emerged from the darkness of the corridor bearing shotguns and meltaguns. The fusion weapon had shattered the Princess’ personal shield and thrown her violently into a bulkhead. Before she could stagger to her feet, the veterans grabbed her – pulling her weapons from her hands and knocking her senseless.
Rogue Trader Marcus Antonio Polo Polaris, Heir to House Hippu-Tippalus and Captian of the Adventure Capital staggered to his feet. His blood stained his ornate armour. His father’s weapon was chipped and battered. He was wounded, nearly fatally. But he felt very much alive.
Princess Janriss of the Dawnbringers was now a prisoner of the Dynasty. And its most valuable bargaining chip.