Rogue Trader - The Hos Dynasty
The Morgauth first came to the attention of the Imperium in the wake of the Angevin Crusade. Indeed, some xenological scholars have hypothesized that the Crusade may have inadvertently led to the technological ascent of this reptilian species. This theory states that it was likely the crash of a battle-damaged Imperial voidship upon the Morgauth’s (as yet unidentified) home planet which inspired the Xenos to construct their own spacefaring vessels. This theory is lent credence by the fact that nearly all Morgauth technology is built upon a base of salvaged Imperial components. Indeed, acquiring Imperial technology seems to be the primary pursuit of these xenos, whether by simply scavenging abandoned materials or through aggressive acts of piracy.
Little is officially known about Morgauth culture. Most of the Imperium’s information about their behavior comes second-hand from void-pirates who occasionally engage in trade with the xenos. These accounts portray the Morgauth as cautious, methodical, and pragmatic. While many of their kind have learned to speak Low Gothic, they seem to be incapable of understanding certain human concepts, such as humor and sarcasm. Those who have dealings with the Morgauth quickly learn to keep things simple and straight-forward; the reptilians’ innate pragmatism means they see nothing wrong with resorting to violence to get what they want if they deem another’s behavior to be too confusing.
Physically, the Morgauth are stocky bipeds, somewhat shorter than the Imperial average but much heavier, with hunched backs and short tails. Their reptilian ancestry is plain to see, from their elongated snouts and flicking forked tongues, to their scale-covered hides. Along their backs (from the top of their heads down to their rear haunches) the scales thicken into bony plates, every bit as damage-resistant as Imperial Guard flak armour. Morgauth are typically dark green in colour, fading to a lighter yellowish-green on their bellies- a clear indication that their species evolved from quadrupedal ancestors.
Technologically, the Morgauth can best be described as talented scavengers. Although their bestial appearance may lead some to assume that they must be quite primitive, the truth is that the Morgauth have an innate knack for deciphering Imperial technology, and, being wholly ignorant of the dogmas of the Machine Cult, can be quite creative in repurposing salvaged components. Naturally, this infuriates disciples of the Machine God: representatives of the Lathes have petitioned both the Ordo Xenos and the Calixis Sector government to undertake a campaign of extermination against these ‘blasphemous’ aliens, but neither organization has deemed the Morgauth a substantial enough threat to justify committing the time and resources required to eradicate them outright, when there are so many more immediate threats within the Sector borders.
Of course, those who have been on the receiving end of Morgauth aggression usually have a very different assessment of the threat posed by the reptilians. Their asymmetrical ships prowl the area around the Spinward edge of the Drusian Marches, searching for vulnerable vessels which they can loot with hit-and-run raids. Their boarding actions tend to be as methodical as they are brutal: drill-prowed boarding torpedoes burrow into defending vessels to deliver large numbers of Morgauth raiders, who sweep corridors clear of resistance until they have secured their objective. Although they are rather slow on foot, this rarely proves to be a major impediment in shipboard engagements: the Morgauth have taken to employing mantlets- large, wheeled shields- in the front lines of their boarding actions, making their advances slow but relentless. While shots ring off the Morgauth’s ‘mobile cover’, little can protect the defenders from the xeno’s preferred weapon: the dreaded ‘burn caster’, who’s thermic shells make a mockery of standard armour.
Having no known psykers within their kind with which to navigate the treacherous currents of the warp, the Morgauth rely solely on stable warp corridors to travel between systems. Over the last millennium, they have complied a series of extremely accurate charts of the warp currents adjacent to the Warp Storm separating the Koronus Expanse from the Calixis Sector. Presumably through the process of trial and error- just how many Morgauth lives and vessels have been lost in this endeavor is anyone’s guess, but the number is no doubt daunting. The fruits yielded by this painstaking labor now allow the Morgauth to travel unimpeded virtually anywhere within half an Imperial Sub-Sector of the Fydae Great Cloud. Rumor has it that the reptilians have even discovered routes through the extreme gravitic fluctuations of the pulsar clusters of the Great Storm itself, making acquiring a complete set of Morgauth navigational charts a goal of many within the Navis Nobilite, as well as certain radical Inquisitors. Translating them from the Morgauth’s bizarre hieroglyphic language may prove to be problematic, and there are those in positions of power who maintain that the tools of xenos can lead to no destination other than damnation…
Basic information on the Morgauth taken from here.
Image for the Morgauth taken from here.