Born out in the darkness between the stars, the Void Born are an odd collection of misfits, strangers, and ill-omened folk. Perhaps birthed in the belly of a Pilgrimage ship, or aboard an ancient orbital satellite, these people are often considered to be somehow touched by the taint of the Warp. The Imperial Fleet is a vital factor in the maintenance of the Imperium: without it human worlds would be isolated from each other and the protection of the Imperium. Trade could not exist, weapons could not reach the Emperor’s armies and world after world would grind to a halt.
Space travel throughout the Imperium is dangerous and arduous. Most interstellar travel is undertaken using powerful warp engines. Within the Warp, a ship can cover many thousands of light years in a relatively short time, dropping back into realspace far beyond its starting point. Some parts of the Warp, however, act as power vortices, pulling helpless vessels to their doom. There is also the constant danger of turbulence, warp storms, and loops. Ships can be sent thousands off course, or trapped in stasis forever. In the warp there is no time or distance – only a constant streaming flow of Immaterium. On board a ship in the warp, a single month of perceived time may pass, yet in the material realm anything from six months to several years may have elapsed. Fleets responding to distress calls, or supply vessels on long voyages, have been known to arrive months or even years too late.
Those who live their lives on spacecraft must become used to reality-altering process of warp space, of living in low or even zero-gravity environments and of never knowing the feel of solid ground beneath their feet. Quite often a ship conducts its business in an endless cycle. Trade or mining vessels may never make berth, instead raising generations of families in the cold depths of space. Gravitational pressures, inbreeding, and warp anomalies take their toll. What effect the warp has on these void born is uncertain, but there is something strange about them for all to see. Their features are drawn and their skin pallid. They may have some minor deformity, or oddness about their speech, gait, or general appearance.
Some void born are raised upon huge space stations – asteroid mining bases, battlefleet refit stations or research platforms. The rest come from a variety of backgrounds: the crew of merchant vessels or warships, miners, prison guards (or prisoners), or even the servants of Rogue Traders. The largest ships are vast, city-sized constructions, many of which are thousands of years old. Lobotomized Servitors and tech-adepts scuttle about their business, while menial crew, passengers, and merchants co-exist in cramped conditions and tiny quarters. At the head of the ship’s crew sits the Navigator, a strange breed of Psyker who expertly guides the vessel through the immaterium, following the psychic beacon of the Astronomicon. Those void born raised in the service of the Imperial Navy or among the crew of a Rogue Trader know first-hand the horrors of space and the sheer multitude of the Emperor’s enemies. This knowledge often forces ships’ crew to form insular cliques, too afraid to look up from their duties or mini-societies for fear of what might stare back from the void.
Worst of all are the Black Ships of the Inquisition. These vessels are part of a large fleet travelling the Imperium in a huge circuit, visiting each Imperial World on their route once every hundred years or so. Their mission is to collect the psychic levy from each world – hundreds of psykers rounded up and handed over to the authorities for some unknown fate. Only when the vast holds of these ships are full of psykers do they return to Holy Terra. Some may display strength and potential to serve the Imperium, however most are sacrificed to the God-Emperor and the Astronomicon, their gruesome deaths ensuring the survival of the Imperium. Life aboard the vessels is particularly harsh, as the psykers are over packed into huge holding cells, treated little better than cattle.
Void Born Skills:
Void Born gain the Speak Language (Ship Dialect) (Int) Skill.
Void Born Traits:
Charmed: Whenever you spend Fate Points (though not if you burn one), roll 1d10. On a roll of 9, you do not lose the Fate Point.
Ill-Omened: You take a -5 Penalty to all Fellowship Tests made with all non-Voidborn humans.
Void Accustomed: You are immune to space travel sickness. In addition, zero or low gravity environments are not considered Difficult Terrain for you.