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Janus Darke

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Janus Darke[1a]

Janus Darke was a Rogue Trader. He traveled with Eldar Farseer Auric Stormcloud to the Crone World Belial IV.[1b]


Janus Darke was born on Crowe's World,[1g] about a thousand light-years from the Eye of Terror.[1f] He was an orphan, apprenticed to the trading houses, and attended Mission Schools on the planet.[1g] Darke grew up with tales of the Great Crusade and the Age of Exploration, which filled his head in his youth. He was obsessed by the idea of frontiers, and hungered to transcend limits, and see places shunned by the Imperium. By nineteen years old, Darke was a clerk in the office of Imperial Trader House Sansom & Sansom when the planet was attacked by Orks. The planet's corrupt Governor died while attempting to flee, and the Planetary Militia's officers were killed, so, despite only having basic Militia training, Darke rallied the Milita, and then the defenders of Crowe's Town, holding off the Orks long enough for the Blood Angels to arrive and break the siege.[1f]

He became a hero, and his talent for leadership was recognised by the senior partners of Sansom & Sansom, who quickly gave him successive promotions. Darke felt driven to overcome his lowly background,[1f] and painfully learned to imitate the accent of the Imperial upper class.[1e] He soon convinced Sansom & Sansom to give him command of a trading ship and a force of Mercenaries, and they underwrote his application for a Rogue Trader's charter, and the cost of his first voyage. This was a sweep through the Draconic Arm, with Simon Belisarius as his ship's Navigator. During this voyage, he brought ten new worlds into the Imperium, agreeing monopoly treaties with their rulers, which, together with trade goods, allowed him to repay Sansom & Sansom more than ten times their investment. Darke made enough to buy a 50% share in the ship Star of Venam, and impressed Simon Belisarius enough for him to become Darke's business partner, and raise the remaining money from House Belisarius.[1f]

Darke had a long career in the darker corners of the Imperium, and made many enemies. He gained the backing of the Medusan Syndics and one of the big Navigator Houses, which prevented his enemies from interfering with him, and his services were sought out by half the wealthy merchants of the Medusan Sub-sector. He had a decade of success, becoming known as an explorer who always delivered a four to five hundred percent return on his backers' investments. During his time working with the Syndics, Darke became privy to all manner of disturbing knowledge.[1c]

However, Darke became overconfident, and his greed and arrogance led him to travel to the Quarantined World of Typhon. While there he lost more than half his crew, nearly his entire complement of mercenaries, and almost died himself. He returned to Medusa, but did not have enough money to pay to refit his ship, the Star of Venam, leading the Syndics to impound the ship. Darke still owed the Syndics a great deal of money,[1c] and his Charter was revoked by the Planetary Governor pending inquiries into his finances.[1d] Rumours started among sailors on Medusa that he was cursed, and he began to hear voices and see visions, which he blocked out using Doomberry for a few months, before they broke through, leading him to start using Golconda mixed into Firewine instead.[1c] One day, while drunk, he decided to try to recover his fortune by gambling on credit at the gaming tables of crime lord Fat Roj. He was not successful, and ended up owing Roj as well as the Syndics.[1e]


Darke was tall, with a white streak down the middle of his hair. By the time his ship was impounded on Medusa, he was known to wear a long red trenchcoat.[1c]




  • 1: Farseer (Novel)
    • 1a: Front Cover
    • 1b: Chapter Twenty-Five
    • 1c: Chapter One
    • 1d: Chapter Two
    • 1e: Chapter Three
    • 1f: Chapter Four
    • 1g: Chapter Sixteen