Constantine Novus

Gray Trader


The Novus family is steeped in honor, power, and secrecy. It is believed that Thaddeus Novus, the family’s progenitor, fought along side Lord Militant Angevin a thousand years ago to secure the Calixis sector for the Imperium, and in exchange for his service, the lords of Tera signed his writ of trade. Though so much has been lost in even such a short time that no one truly knows how the Novus dynasty began. Their actions however have earned them fame and accolades from their peers. Each generation searches for a way to make the Calixis sector better for the next generation, so that Thaddeus’ legacy could live on till the end of time.

Constantine’s father was the exemplar of the family’s virtues. He worked tirelessly to privatize the systems orphanages so that consistent care and education could uplift and enlighten the next generation. His thread was cut short however when a food riot broke out on Sepheris Secundus and was killed as he was distributing the very aid the people of the city so desperately needed. It was a dark time for Constantine. For as the saying goes, “A mind without purpose will wander in dark places”.

He started to hear voices, and what they poisoned his already wounded soul. “You father would still be alive if not for his kindness” “Your family give the common folk all, and look how they repay you? “ “Don’t you and your family deserve some rewards for all the good they have done, all they have given?” “Mercy is a sign of weakness only the strong survive!” Over time he came to think them his own thoughts, and the wheels of heresy began to turn.

A string of petty crimes and pleasures did not sate the thirst. The authorities marked his transgressions off to a misbalance of humors and sent him on his way. This would have been the extent of his misdeeds if not for that fateful journey. On a routine trip from the Malfian Sub-Sector, they encountered a terrible warp storm, and the navigator saw only one safe route, one that brought then straight into the Screaming Vortex, the spatial anomaly in which nothing lives, and no one escapes… All aboard the vessel, Saber of Exuberance, learned that day that nothing could be further from the truth

That day he found a new market for even the most basic of goods. Who paid in the most exotic of currency imaginable. Once he had discovered the route they took was in fact stable, Constantine could do nothing but salivate over the potential throne this new route would bring, regardless of the consequences. Somewhere, in the depths of madness, could be heard the laughter of beings both dark and terrible.

Upon his return to real space, he took stock of his resources and began to move them all to exploiting this new route and its people. His contacts in both government and the church allowed him to gain more orphanages and massive grants for their improvement. Little did they know they were unwitting participants to their own demise. A few short years later, nearly every orphanage in the sector was secretly producing small arms and ordinance in their shielded sub basements. Every inspector was either bribed or didn’t both to inspect, relying solely on the Novus name as all the proof of propriety they needed.

Every month enough war material passed into the vortex to supply an entire Imperial Guard Regiment. Not a single chaos raid into Calixis takes place without a plethora of Novus weaponry in arms reach. Despite what he has seen, and what he subconsciously knows, he feels no remorse. Any time he feels down he visits any of Scintillan pleasure domes of which he is on a first name basis. As far as he is concerned, life is good. Even now he constantly itches for that next big score, that next opportunity to gain the Novus dynasty the reward for more than a thousand years of selfless service.


The Trial of Constantine, Novus

“The Emperor is nothing but smoke and mirrors. A tool to keep the sheep in check, the factories meeting production goals, and untold trillions fighting the Imperium‘s wars. I know a scam when i see one. Oh this all powerful all knowing being no one has ever seen, and even if he did exist, has done nothing in 10,000 years, all he wants 20% of everything?! Where do I sign?! It is enough to make me sick, only because I did not think of it first…”

-Audio recording, evidence file N150.352, trial of Constantine Novus, 888.M41

“A most queer man the captain be. At all times of day one could hear him talking to himself in his own quarters. Not that I was eaves dropping I tell you! It’s just the corridor is so long and his door was a good a place to rest as any other”…

a second voice Mr. Lazerus, tell us the tail you came to tell, and not tails of your “sloth”

“Yes my lord, as I was sayin, a most queer man he be. After any major deal or at the first sign of any trouble he would go to his quarters and talk to someone. No one ever went in or went out besides the captain. No additional food stuffs were brought for the lady callers we first assumed them to be. The older seamen told us he talked to the ship, as any good captain does. I knows better though! It was always a good spot to rest because the captain’s room got so cold when he talked to himself. I never thought twice about it”

a third voice I doubt you thought much at all…

second voice SILENCE!

“Anyway, the crew started to talk of holy icons, tarnishin when left near the captain for too long, for his humors changin for the worst, and for his lack of outside contact. We all knew he be talkin to the creatures of the warp. To the foul things that claim men’s souls”

third voice Objection! Speculation

second voice Sustained. Witness speak only what you know to be fact 

-Sworn testimony of Sawney Lazerus, Boson of Sword of Exuberance, evidence file N150.378, trial of Constantine Novus , 888.M41

First Voice

“So my friend, you tell a good tale, but is that it? Is that all the Novus house is, past glories and half truths? Surly you must have a grand scheme for your future?”

Constantine Novus Ah so true you are my new friend. You know in one of my most costly and rare tomes, a great man once said, “If a man dedicates his life to good deeds and the welfare of others, he will die unthanked and unremembered. If he exercises his genius bringing misery and death to billions, his name will echo through the millennia for a hundred lifetimes. Infamy is always more preferable to ignominy.”

I have plans in the works that will shake the very foundations of the Calixis sector. Soon, very soon, All will know the name Constantine Novus. Mothers will threaten their children with it, and old men will drink to fortify their will before speaking of my many deeds. That is the kind of infamy money cant buy, and as of this movement, the only thing I do not possess.

-Audio recording, evidence file N150.352, trial of Constantine Novus, 888.M41

First voice So my new friend, isn’t trading such dangerous work? Aren’t you afraid of pirates, warp storms, and stellar phenomena? Why it seems you are constantly on deaths door! Hardly seems fair for a man of your standing. Do you not fear death?

Constantine My my my, I am far to sober for such depressing subject matter. Madam if you please?

the door opens, the sound of glass canisters clanking fill the room

female voice I have brought you a little something from our private collection my liege

furious bubbling

Constantine Ah I love it when she calls me that. furious bubbling Ah this will surly cure what ails me! There, now I am in the “state” to talk about such philosophical matters.

chuckles emanate from around the room

Constantine I don’t know why, but I feel I can trust you new friend! Death, it is a specter we all must face. Even men of power like us! Treatments, augmetics, and surgeries will only prolong our lives a few centuries. I however have found the secret to true immortality! A secret I now share with you in the hopes of a profitable future together. Far rim-wards there is an “anomaly” called the screaming vortex. You are all learned men, you know of what I speak. I ask you this, what if it was no mere anomaly? What if its denizens were beings of unimaginable power? All they want in exchange for your immortality is that you ascend to greatness in thanks of their gifts. If only the lapdogs and common folk knew that such power was ripe for the taking, and all they want in return is to fulfill you wildest dreams!

First voice whispers Barb wishes hammer

Constantine What was that you said good friend?

the sounds of chaos erupt all throughout the room. Windows break, doors are smashed in and several weapon slides click

many voices DON’T MOVE!

First voice Constantine Novus, by the order of His holy Inquisition, I arrest thee on the charges of high heresy, and innumerable other heinous crimes. You will hence forth be brought to the tri-corn palace, be given a fair trial, then summarily executed. May the Emperor curse your thrice damned soul. Take him away

-Audio recording, evidence file N150.352, trial of Constantine Novus, 888.M41

Who has the most to gain from your success? Power is not a solitary thing. To gain power, one must take it from others. It is a delicate dance, and they’re always winners and losers. Though which is which often depends on perspective…

A man in a powdered wig moves to the podium “Here ye here ye. Let the trial of one Constantine Novus commence on this the 278th day of the year of our Emperor 41,888”

A portly man, in an elaborate black robe, sits high above the floor
Constantine Novus you stand here accused of violating you Writ of Trade and of Grand Heresy, how do you plead?

Constantine Novus stands from his table wearing a deep blue and purple suit of the finest silks. No defense counsel sits with him
Ha you dare charge me with crimes?! It is you who should be on trial here! I have done nothing wrong, save take what is rightfully mine! This trial is a farce! I have committed no crimes, I am a hero!

A women in carapace and leathers, inscribed upon her chest plate the Inquisitorial I, stands from her table with a smile on her lips
Ah finally something we can both agree on heretic. This trial is a farce! If not for your families standing in this sector, we would have brought you out back and shot you like the dog that you are. Instead, I Lady Inquisitor Ligea of the prosecution, have to show these mountains of evidence I have against you. Make no mistake Mr. Novus, by tonight you will be dancing on the yard arm!

Constantine Novus starts to laugh modestly

*Lady Ligea * Does the prospect of your own death amuse you so much Mr. Novus? Do you not fully understand the charges against you? Or the breadth of evidence I have to bear against you?

Constantine Novus starts to stifle his laughter No, no, it’s not that. It just amuses me to no end to think you can touch me. Regardless of the “breadth of evidence” you claim to have it will all be for not. I have friends in places you can not possibly imagine!

A light in the corner of the courthouse starts to flicker

*Lady Ligea * Bailiff, please repair that faulty globe! We are trying to conduct a trial here! Now Mr. Novus, as for your supposed friends, perhaps you will find the following picts of interest

multiple picts of countless men and women of obvious high station are shown on an over head picture. After each follows either an arrest warrant, or a writ of execution

Lady Ligea As you can see you allies are all dead or prisoners of Him on Tera. There is no one to save you this time Mr. Novus

Constantine Novus How many times must I tell you people! My father is Mr. Novus, may I forever curse his name! HE WHOME DWELLS IN THE FLESH, come to my call, I am done with this place and these people. KILL THEM ALL!

The light in the corner goes out and darkness grows in its place. It is as if the air itself is stained with age and rot. The visitors in the court start to panic and run as the rot spreads. Lady Ligea draws her inferno pistol and power sword before a beam of light emanates from the cloud and Ligea starts to rise in the air. She reaches her hands up as she reaches the ceiling and an audible crack emanates the room as her arms break in unison. She continues to rise as her neck and head bend against the immobile marble of the roof. Suddenly, her accent increases till she is not but a stain on the roof. A terrible form steps forth from the cloud and proceeds to laugh an inhuman laugh

Constantine Novus Well it has been fun ladies and gentlemen but we must be going!

Thing thing from beyond the veil charges to Constantine Novus and pins him to the wall. A voice hisses forth from the air

Lissssten here you misssssserable excussssse of a man! The plan moves forward now. The masssssterssssss planssssss will not be held off for any more of your gamesssss!

a light gradually builds to a blinding intensity. Constantine Novus and the creature are gone and the building starts to collapse all around. Footage fades to black

-Video footage recovered from camera 154A26, aftermath of trial of Constantine Novus, 888.M41

Constantine Novus

Hand of Corruption TimothyBrockway