Faith and Betrayal
The Haarlock Warrant
Rogue Traders are all but unique in Imperial culture in that they are given licence to travel freely between the stars, both within the Imperium and without. A Rogue Trader’s charter gives him the right and authority to contact, trade, and make war beyond the Emperor’s Light. Outside the fringes of mankind’s domain, each Rogue Trader is a law unto himself.
The Haarlock warrant goes further, charging the Haarlocks to “Bring the truth of the God-Emperor of Mankind and punish the foes of man in the darkness beyond.” It authorizes the raising and maintenance of a private fleet and army, going so far as to grant (with certain caveats) title to request arms, vessels, and support from the “Emperor’s Servants.”
In Imperial terms, this degree of power in the hands of a single individual is staggeringly rare. The value of the Haarlock warrant is almost incalculable, and many would do any deed to possess it.
Much of the four millennia history of the Haarlock line is lost, and what does remain shows a repeated wax and wane of their power as they fade in and out of Imperial history.
Recently, however, Albrach Haarlock was slain at the Battle of Bitter Reach, casting his bloodline into conflict. During this, an unusual scion rose to prominence.
A nephew of Albrach Haarlock by his long-dead sister, Erasmus is recorded in the Abulon Chronicles as being without ambition, remarkable only for a sharp wit and a valuable talent for the mysteries of technoarcana and xeno-lore. He was granted the captaincy of a scout frigate, The Spear of Destiny. During the conflict, Erasmus was lured into a trap by Mathias Haarlock, an outcast family member who turned to the Ruinous Powers for aid. Assailed by warp fiends, Erasmus was terribly injured in the attack and lost his beloved wife and daughter. Certain sources believe this incident drove Erasmus insane.
Ten standard years passed before Erasmus appeared again, and he had become a changed man, gaunt and terrible, possessing dire weapons and incomprehensible knowledge. In less than three years, Erasmus Haarlock succeeded in hunting down and systematically destroying every rival claimant to the Haarlock Warrant. Familiy members, allies, contacts, and anyone that stood between him and his vengeance were all considered forfeit by Erasmus. With his rivals destroyed, Erasmus was declared the Haarlock by a convocation of Imperial authorities from Solomon, Scintilla, and Ophelia VII. In the year 703.M41, Erasmus vanished without a trace.
The Haarlock Legacy and the Current Campaign
Inquisitor Sand has no interest in investigating any of the Haarlock mysteries despite the intriguing legends surrounding Erasmus Haarlock and his acquisition of powerful xenos and archiac technology. It is only by the exposure of one of Sand’s Acolyte Cells to the mysterious murder-fueled conspiracy on the planet of Sinophia that appeared to be related to strange mirror fragments that were looted from an ancient Haarlock structure on the planet known as “Haarlock’s Folly” that Sand has given the Haarlock topic attention. This incident on Sinophia would set the stage for the acolytes of Red Cell to become deeply involved in the Haarlock legacy.
Shortly after the incident on Sinophia, the acolytes of Red Cell were specfically involved in further investigation of the Haarlock Legacy when temporary authorithy over their Cell was given to the command of Inquisitor Silas Marr (despite Inquisitor Sand’s objection) to attend an auction of items from the Rogue Trader’s estate at the House of Dust and Ash on Solomon. This auction proved to be a death trap created to kill any scions of the Haarlock line and while all the Acolytes but Rasar escaped death, they were captured by the Wanted criminal Tobias Belasco and given to the custody of the Beast House for transfer to the planet of Quaddis during the Festival of Tattered Fates.
On the planet of Quaddis, the Acolytes were able to escape capture and became involved in a deadly investigation involving the Haarlock Legacy, the Chaos Cult known as the Pilgrims of Hatye and a deadly creature that served the Haarlocks called the Widower. In order to save the planet from destruction, the Acolytes confronted these foes in deadly battle at the Haarlock manse of Gabriel Chase during the “Grand Conjunction,” during which the Tyrant Star, Komus, caused madness and death. It appears that whether they want to or not, the Acolytes of Red Cell and the destiny of the Haarlock Legacy are intertwined.
Several years later, Red Cell would would again be involved continuing investigation of the Haarlock Legacy and take direct responsibilty that will determine the future fate of the Calixis Sector and perhaps beyond. Placed again under the authority of Inquisitor Marr (this time with official backing of the Inquisition’s highest authority in the Calixis Sector- Lord Inquisitor Caidin), Red Cell and squad of Maccabian Janissaries proceed to the Forbidden World of Mara in a deadly race of other factions, that include the Pilgrims of Hayte, Armathine Syndicate and the Tyrantine Cabal, to get to Haarlock’s creation know as the “Blind Tesseract.” The faction that completes the trials of the Blind Tesseract first will make the decision of whether or not to free the trapped Rogue Trader- both decisions having potential deadly consequences for the Sector and beyond. In the end, the members of Red Cell and Inquisitor Herrod decide to release Eramus Haarlock and the Rogue Trader has since left to the Kronus Expanse. For what purpose it is unknown and whether or not this was the right decision remains to be seen.