You seek to endure and, in enduring, grow stronger. You welcome opposition, risk, setbacks, injury, and pain as old friends—for these trials are but a stairway by which you will climb to greater heights. Endure, and you shall be made mighty in the God-Emperor’s eyes, and a power of the Imperium.
The virtuous welcome the storm, the Imperial Creed teaches, for its fury guides humanity upon the path to strength in body and soul. Just as a mighty tree sheds its weakest limbs before the tearing winds, and stands the greater for it, so too is humanity made sturdy by struggle and want. Others would put it more simply: the weak die and only the strong remain, and you choose to be the latter.
Effect: + 1 Wound.
You seek wealth beyond measure, countless Thrones with which to purchase the fulfilment of your every desire. You understand that all things begin with the clink, clink, clink of worn Throne coins dropped upon a finely crafted counter. That is the sound that carries into the hearts of men and compels them to your will. Perhaps your ultimate goals are admirable, perhaps they are despicable—wealth cares not, and wealth causes others to care not. So it is that everything
you have ever wanted, everything you could ever need, all comes down to Thrones. You must have them and the great wealth they represent. That is your quest, and you can only hope that you are still the same person at the end of it, having evaded the myriad ways in which single-minded fortuneseeking twists the mind and the soul.
Effect: + 1 Fate Point.
Vengeance burns within your heart, flaming afresh in your veins each time you wake from dreams of knives and murder. You seek revenge against those who have wronged you. That desire gnaws at you, haunts your sleep, and shadows your every action. All must toil to live, but with each step you take, you ask yourself: “Is this a step closer to my revenge?” The need rides you, and it will do so until the day you stand above the bloody corpses of the last of your enemies. And what then? It matters not, now, for that day is far yet, and the path long. If retribution consumes you entirely between now and then, making a ghost of the man you once were, then that is a price you are willing to pay.
Effect: You gain the Hatred (choose one) Talent.
The Imperium is undying and uncaring, and every day countless billions toil and strive and die unknown, nameless, unremarked, and unthanked. But there are a rare few whose names echo through eternity in glory: Macharius, Solon, Haarlock, Land… And it is amongst their company you will
one day be counted, or such is your most fervent desire. You have grand visions and the burning desire to make them real. Through your actions and victories, you will ensure that your name will be spoken on the lips of the multitudes yet to be born in the millennia ahead. You will gather the best and brightest to your banner, secure the allegiance of Imperial potentates, and then achieve such great deeds that those who come after you will one day bow down to statues cast in your image.
Effect: You gain your choice of the Air of Authority or the Peer (choose one) Talent.
Above all else, you want respect—the admiration of allies and the grudging esteem of foes, and will countenance no insult to your honour to go unchallenged. You suffer none to be so ignorant as to deride you as unworthy of your name, unfit for your legacy, or lacking in talent. When you seek to prove yourself, it is for the sake of your own high standards, or perhaps out of frustration that the mighty do not yet recognize your true worth. Regardless, it is for you to lead and demonstrate your worth by your actions and your bearing, and any that doubt or disparage you had best have the steel to back up their words.
Effect: You gain an Heirloom Item (see Table 1–2) or +3 Toughness (your choice).
The Imperium of Mankind is a grand hierarchy, and that, to your eyes, is a ladder reaching from the least peasant to the blinding heights of the God-Emperor’s own Holy Terra. You have dedicated your life to climbing that ladder in search of the highest station you can reach: the greatest power, the most important position of leadership, the utmost influence. Wealth, renown, and relationships with the powerful are only important insofar as they enable you to reach that next step. All too many fools never reach upward, but you bear them no ill-will. The position they might have ascended to will be yours, and they will be your loyal servants in the years ahead.
Effect: You gain your choice of the Talented (choose one) Talent or the Peer (choose one) Talent.
Devotion may be selected in place of the Endurance or Renown entries on the standard Origin Path table.
You go into the unknown not for yourself, but for something greater. You believe, and whether your belief is a religious one, a matter of personal loyalty, an absolute dedication to duty, or something else entirely, it gives you the strength to persevere when all seems lost. You will not rest, nor will you falter, while your faith remains intact. Others may question your devotion, unable to understand how someone could cleave so tightly to something as distant and abstract as duty, loyalty, honour, or faith, when other paths grant so much more…but you know better. You will not be swayed by those who comprehend nothing beyond themselves and their own ambitions.
Select one of the following options:
Faith is your shield and your sword, it is the strength in your muscles and the life in your veins, and the power that drives you ever onwards. While stars exist beyond the reaches of the Emperor’s light, there can be no rest, for it is Mankind’s destiny to rule the stars and you will permit no exception to that. You look with scorn upon those who crave material things, for their deeds are tainted by their impure desires, no matter how great those deeds may be. If you seek any remembrance or legacy of your own, it is as an implement of the Emperor’s will, the blade in His right hand and the mouthpiece for His voice. You seek to inspire and rally others to your cause, to instil fervour and zeal and drive your fellow man to righteousness.
Effects: Gain Charm and Common Lore (Imperial Creed) as trained Skills. In addition, gain the Inspire Wrath Talent.
To labour is human, to serve divine. You find strength in duty and eagerly embrace the strictures and dictates such duty requires. To see obligations fulfilled and assume a role in the vast structure of the Imperium is your greatest desire. So strong is that desire you will stop at nothing to see it done, and fear only failure. To others, your rigid discipline and obsessive focus may seem disquieting, but you do not share their doubts. You pity them, for they will never know the contentment and satisfaction your purpose gives you, nor the purity of life your conviction provides.
Effects: Gain either the Armour of Contempt Talent or the Unshakeable Faith Talent. In addition, gain +3 Willpower.
The ship is home, the crew is family, and the captain is its ruler. To those who ply the void, this is an indisputable truth, a notion so strong that in some people it provides a sense of purpose great enough to brave any risk. There may be disputes between different parts of the crew, but such things are all in the family, not for the concern of outsiders. You would do anything for your captain, and will go anywhere the ship goes. You burn with pride at the sight of her and at the triumphs of her crew, and to shame or mock the her is the gravest mistake an outsider can make. You care not where you go or what you face, so long as you do it with that familiar deck plating beneath your feet, surrounded by men and women whose abilities you trust without hesitation.
Effects: Gain Trade (Voidfarer) as a Trained Basic Skill, and gain a +5 bonus to all Willpower and Fellowship tests made while aboard the ship the character lives on.
Knowledge may be selected in place of the Vengeance or Pride entries on the standard Origin Path table.
You crave understanding, desire comprehension, and value knowledge above all else. It is not something to be shared or given freely, but something to be unearthed and drawn close, held secure within the vaults of your mind. In a very real sense, knowledge is power, for those who possess it have the means to overcome things against which the ignorant would falter. It can be a shield against the greatest of foes, or a tool to uncover yet greater secrets, or even a holy thing in its own right… but it can also be damning. Those who seek knowledge must be wary, for their greed and curiosity can lead them down treacherous paths. Some things, after all, are not meant to be known.
Select one of the following options:
Knowledge is Life, Life is Knowledge
Lore is all-important to you; it is your purpose and your reason, it is your goal and your desire, and it is the one thing above all else that you aspire to possess. There is no ulterior motive to your drive to understand, no hidden purpose to give that curiosity a focus. You simply crave knowledge with every fibre of your being, and you cannot stand the idea of not knowing or not understanding something. Though new insights and revelations cannot hope to sate this bottomless urge, new understanding brings with it new power and new means with which to find yet more knowledge. Each answer leads to still more questions, and every new vista promises a variety of secrets yet to be uncovered.
Effects: Gain any two Scholastic Lore Skills as trained Skills, and the Total Recall Talent. You may purchase a third Scholastic Lore as a trained Skill for an additional 200xp.
Know Thy Foe
You consider knowledge of your enemies to be the best defence against their machinations and assaults, and work hard to collect any insight you might find about those who might threaten you. Fear of encountering a foe about which you know nothing drives you to seek out the most obscure lore; even that which seems composed entirely of unfounded rumour and hearsay is not beneath your attention. You suffer with the burden of your knowledge, for you are never truly free of that fear of the unknown and your obsession means that you shall never again find solace in ignorance as so many in the Imperium can.
Effects: Gain any one Forbidden Lore as a Trained Basic Skill, and the character may purchase a second for an additional 200xp.
Knowledge is Power, Guard It Well
There is no worth in knowledge if everyone possesses it; if knowledge is commonplace, then it bestows no power upon its keepers. You understand this better than most, because you possess much knowledge. It is a tool to greater power, a means of fulfilling other ambitions, brsinging ruin to enemies and elevating allies, and in all ways an advantage over those less knowledgeable. You gather information to wield in these ways, bolstering your arsenal of insights with every passing
day and every new encounter. Few are those who think to cross you, for you are knowledgeable and willing to use that to your advantage in all things.
Effects: Gain any one Common Lore or Scholastic Lore as a trained Skill, and gain the Foresight Talent. Additionally, gain + 3 Intelligence or Perception.
Fear may be selected in place of any entry on the standard Origin Path table.
It is not the future’s promise that drives you, but the nightmares of days past. Something haunts you, and you dare not speak of what it is that makes you so eager to press on. Only by going forward can you hope to elude whatever it is that you seek to escape, but no matter how far you go you cannot escape it completely, for the memory of it remains with you always, stealing away your sleep with dreams of terror. You know that others may see the haunted look within your eyes, and that they guess at your motives when your back is turned, watching for that tell-tale twitch or grimace that surfaces when your fears come unbidden to the forefront of your mind.
Select one of the following options:
Enemy in Ascendance
You have made a number of enemies in your life, as does anyone with power and the will to use it. However, some of your foes are particularly threatening. Perhaps they know something of your past you would prefer not to have revealed, or perhaps their power eclipses your own and they seek to eliminate a potential rival, or perhaps you have crossed them one too many times and they now seek every means possible to cast you down. Whether voluntary or not, you have fled the Imperium to escape them, entering exile in the unknown darkness. Your time beyond civilisation may be one of preparation, steeling yourself for the day you must return, or you may simply believe that you can never truly go back. In either case, you are constantly watching your back for the enemy who drove you to this.
Effects: Gain the Paranoia Talent, and gain + 3 Perception.
Haunted by Thy Own Sins
Blessed are the repentant, for they have seen the face of damnation and yet return to His light. You know you have done wrong, but in sacrifice you can be redeemed, and that distant chance gives you the courage to achieve anything. The sins of your past give you insight into corruption, and with that hard-won knowledge you can strike out against it, to cleanse your soul with the deaths of the enemies of Man. Should your life be the cost of your success, then so be it, for it is a far better thing to die a martyr than live on as a monster.
Effects: Gain the Dark Soul, Frenzy and Flagellant (see sidebar) Talents. In addition, gain any one Forbidden Lore as an untrained Basic Skill. However, the character also gains 1d10 Corruption Points from his past sins.
Tormented by the Unspeakable
There is something out there, a nightmare given substance that you may have glimpsed for only a moment, its horror, if not its visage, burned forever onto your mind. That it is coming is enough to drive you to desperation, whether or not it is coming for you, because you know, deep down, that when it arrives, it will spell doom for everyone. You have borne witness to one of the unspeakable horrors of the universe, an entity or presence so awful that you will attempt anything to escape it, though no escape seems possible. This vision was so dreadful that the things which terrify lesser men hold no fear for you, so tame are they by comparison.
Effects: Gain the Light Sleeper, Jaded, and Resistance (Fear) Talents. However, also gain 2d10 Insanity Points to represent the mental scars left from mental torment.
Exhilaration may be selected in place of the Fortune or Prestige entries on the standard Origin Path table.
What joy is there in the mundane? What pleasure can be found in experiences already oft-tasted? To your mind, there is little if any excitement left in civilised realms. For you, the unexplored is a source of endless amusement, the rush of battle a sensation to be relished anew each time. New horizons and thrills are your aim and your goal, and everything else is simply a means to that end. But you grow worried, in the quiet moments, for what will you do once you’ve had it all? What joys remain for one who has seen and done everything?
Select one of the following options:
To see the stars, the suns and the moons of worlds already claimed by Man is of no interest to you. Only the hidden promise of strange and distant worlds entices you, and you desire only to push on and see as many new horizons and unique skies as possible. To mark unknown worlds with your presence and see things the likes of which no man has ever seen before is what drives you, and such a desire leaves no time for laxity, nor any room for complacency. You must go forward, for there is nothing unseen in your wake.
Effects: Gain Common Lore (Koronus Expanse) and either Scholastic Lore (Astromancy) or Trade (Explorator) as trained Skills.
The Thrill of War
You live for excitement, and no greater excitement can be found than that of battle. You yearn for the din and mayhem of conflict, the tests of skill, wits and courage, and eagerly seek out fights wherever they can be found. Others may condemn you as a warmonger or find your belligerent ways off-putting, but your heart craves the rush of battle and such a thing should not be denied. Even in times of peace, you prepare for war, duelling for sport and honour, honing your skills and musing through countless theoretical strategies in anticipation of wars to come.
Effects: Gain Scholastic Lore (Tactica Imperialis) as a trained Skill. Additionally gain the Nerves of Steel and Quick Draw Talents. Finally, gain + 3 Weapon Skill or Ballistic Skill, but suffer – 3 Fellowship.
No Joy Unexplored
Whatever the pleasure, you have indulged in it. Your hedonism defines you, your reputation is dark and sordid, and you are not sated yet. Amongst the unknown must be sights and sounds and experiences as yet undreamt of by mankind, and you cannot stop until you have found and sampled them! The world around you grows dull and grey as you begin to exhaust the possibilities of pleasure, and even the strictest taboos of your culture are becoming increasingly tempting in your desperate search for something new to satisfy you. Whatever you find, you may not escape it unscathed or unchanged.
Effects: Gain the Decadence Talent, Carouse as a trained Skill, and gain + 3 Toughness or Fellowship. However, diverse and possibly ill-advised experiences have left their mark, tainting the character and making him incautious of further risks. Gain 1d5 Corruption Points and reduce suffer – 3 Willpower.