Homeworld: Voidborn

Solar nomads and planetary outcasts living out lives in the inky blackness between worlds; touched by celestial winds and their closeness to the Warp, they are often shunned by all but
their own kind.

“Of course I want walls. How can you possibly live with all that nothing around you?”
–Unjo Re’Asmulle, after stepping onto the plains of Attila

Voidborn spend their lives in the expanses of space, growing up on ancient orbital stations, generation vessels, merchant freighters, or remote asteroid outposts. They spend much of their lives without the stability of a real world beneath their feet, knowing the cold, deadly grasp of empty space is only a few metres of bulkhead away. This makes them exceptionally skilled
when it comes to living on voidships and space stations, more so than any who have spent their lives crawling around in the dirt of a world. It also often makes them strange even amidst other Imperial subjects, tall and willowy, hairless, or with large dark eyes.
Living so close to the still blackness of the void also touches their souls. There is something deeply odd about the voidborn, something intangible that lurks below the surface, writhing in the dark like the Warp lurks below space itself, waiting and watching for its moment to surface.

Life in the void
For the Imperium to emerge, Mankind has conquered the stars, and so space travel is a constant across the galaxy. Billions cross the void as they travel from one world to the next or safeguard
the shipping lanes. Over the millennia, more and more of the Imperium’s infrastructure and control has extended into the depths of space, until many worlds boast dozens—if not hundreds—of transports, voidships, and orbital stations. Generations are born and die here, never setting foot on the surface of a planet. Even those that spend long periods in space, such as the crew of a Rogue Trader’s ship, cannot compare to the natural affinity the voidborn has with life between worlds.

Much like a hive city or the factories of a forge world, a voidship or space station can become a completely closed society for its inhabitants, and some voidborn might never consider what
lies beyond the sealed walls and bulkheads. More than a few might not even know that they are in space, growing up seeing the interior of their ship as the limits of their world and never questioning what lies beyond. It is possible for primitive civilisations to thrive here, living by an intuitive understanding of how the ship’s life support systems function. Even voidborn acquainted with the stars are indoctrinated into the ritual of maintaining their floating home, from an early age made acutely aware of the price that negligence can cost their family. Death is the constant companion of the voidborn, the blackness of space a reminder of its finality.
While others might have the comfort of high blue skies to protect them from the dark, the voidborn has only the honest plasteel and sturdy airlocks of their home. Living so close to the cold embrace of space makes men very conscious of their own mortality and the mortality of those around them. All know that a broken seal, fractured bulkhead, or failed radiation shield could wipe out their society in a matter of minutes.

Voidborn characters
Living in outer space brings with it more dangers than the mere lack of gravity, oxygen, or warmth. It also brings one closer to the Warp and the malign touch of the dark powers that live just beyond the sight of man. Travel across the stars means travel through the Warp, and each journey leaves the soul one small step closer to daemonic perils. This grants the voidborn unique advantages over their fellow man, beyond just an intimate understanding of life aboard a ship or station. Voidborn are naturally touched by the Warp, and many seem more sensitive to psychic powers and the stain they can leave upon the material universe. Voidborn also often have an innate sense for their artificial surroundings. With just a sniff of the air or a moment’s attention to the myriad creaks and hums within a vessel, they can usually tell everything from the state of the air scrubbers to how well the plasma reactors are faring.
Voidborn often find themselves in spacefaring vocations, such as in the Imperial Navy, the Adeptus Mechanicus, or civilian merchant vessels. A lifetime spent aboard stellar craft can make
the gravity of a world feel too heavy, the air too rich, and the sunlight too bright for sensitive eyes and pale skin. Fortunately, the Imperium has a significant presence in the emptiness between worlds, and there is always a need for humans to serve without ever descending into the gravity well of a planet.
Voidborn can be counted among prominent organisations like the Imperial Guard or Administratum. They are more naturally Outcasts, though; it is far easier for them to work those
areas which exist outside the structured classes of the Imperium.
Voidborn also know how to walk within the shadows, operating as criminals, pirates, and scavengers. In many cases, the voidborn find acceptance hard to come by, as the people of their home ship or station are the only ones who will ever truly understand them and welcome them without suspicion or prejudice.

Sample voidborn setting: Echonis Augury
Drifting along the sector’s rim and away from regular traffic, this ancient station originally served as a major Adeptus Mechanicus research site. Hundreds of Tech-Priests and servitors worked here to info-scour the surrounding parsecs in a secretive quest. Several centuries ago, a supply vessel arrived to find the station empty and barren. Since then it has become a popular trading post for Rogue Traders and common merchants alike. Thousands live on it, with extended generations working to maintain and expand it, all with occasional concerns over the fate of the previous occupants.

Voidborn rules
A voidborn character applies the following benefits during character creation:
Characteristic modifiers

  • Intelligence, + Willpower, – Strength
  • fate threshold 3 (Emperor’s Blessing 5+)
  • home World bonus
    Child of the Dark: A voidborn character starts with the Strong Minded talent, and gains a +30 bonus to tests for moving in a zero gravity environment.
  • Home world aptitude
  • A voidborn character starts with 7+1d5 wounds.
  • Recommended backgrounds
    Adeptus Astra Telepathica, Adeptus Mechanicus, Adeptus Ministorum, Outcast