Augustus Clawface


Augustus Clawface was born the 3rd child of a well-to-do noble family from the temperate frontier world of Ganf Magna. The Clawface dynasty had fallen on relatively hard times in comparison to its distant past, however the assets it retained around the Calixis Sector and within the Ganf Magna system still provided it a measure of respectability and a position on the advisory council of the Planetary Governor of Ganf Magna.

Augustus’s early years were spent learning the family trade of interstellar commerce, touring the family owned asteroid-belt mining facilities and gas-refineries hovering in the atmosphere of Ganf Magna’s local Gas-giant and of course putting on the traditional family carapace armour and riding into battle on the War-Bears of Ganf Magna to do glorious battle against the feral Orks that infested the dense forests of the planet.

Being the younger child Augustus was not to be the successor to the leadership of the Family, instead his elders intended for him a career in the Imperial Navy, where they hoped he would someday become the Captain of his own ship, or even Admiral of the Fleet. However events were not to transpire as they intended.

It was a day like any other; the family were together, visiting the asteroid belt and their central mining facility when disaster struck. While out touring the belt their shuttle-craft suffered a catastrophic engine-malfunction, crashing to the surface of a barren airless minor planet. By luck or accident of fate Augustus was not on board that shuttle, at the last minute deciding to take the facility’s one-man scout-ship for a joy-ride, which he soon crashed. It was while he was in the hanger of the mining scow sent to pick him up that he received the news of the accident, and commandeered the vessel to rush to the location. But it was for nothing. There were no survivors of the crash.

All he could do was oversee the grim task of collecting his family’s remains for burial back on their estates on Ganf Magna and come to terms with the fact he was the sole-remainder of his entire dynasty. It may have been the need for answers that caused him to collect the black-box cogitator from the wreck of the shuttle-craft after his family were interred in cryo-stasis back in the recovery ship.

On the long journey home Augustus went over and over the recordings, trying to recapture his family’s final moments in any way he could. But the data he found made no sense. From his scholastic preparations to join the Naval Academy he was familiar with data-reports from space-craft, and the readings indicated a sudden melta-blast in the engine compartment at the time of the accident. His family had been murdered, killed by sabotage, and there was no doubt the assassins intended for him to be dead along with them.

So Augustus added an extra casket to the ship’s stores, and his name to the list of the dead, with instructions for a grave with his name to be made along with those of the rest of his family. Then he travelled under a false-identity back to the Mining Facility, searching for anyone who had access to the shuttle while it had been docked there. His investigation turned up several names, all arriving recently to Ganf Magna from different locations to work at the mining facility but all leaving on the same charter vessel, which had remained stationed in the system before going to warp minutes after the time of the accident. The vessel had reported its destination as Scintilla.

Still travelling under his false-identity Augustus arrived at Scintilla aboard the next charter vessel leaving Ganf Magna. There he took up mercenary and enforcement work in Hive Sibellus to make contacts and follow up the leads he had found. Eventually he learned from a middle-management Administratum Clerk working for the Adeptus Arbites that 4 of the names on his list were known aliases of operatives working for a crime-baron believed to have ties with the enigmatic Beast House. Augustus’s next act was to join-up as a pit-fighter in the Red Circus gladiatorial arenas of Hive Sibellus with the goal of getting close to this Baron.

His history fighting the Orks and familiarity with the assorted Bear-wildlife of Ganf Magna including the Bear-Hawk and the subterranean Bear-Shark served Augustus well in the battles in the arena teamed up with other fighters against vile dangerous xenos from across the sector, and he soon rose high among the ranks of fighters in the arenas. It was after another high-billing fight Augustus was offered a job on an off-world hunting expedition organised by a group of major investors in the arenas, including the man he was after; Lord “Baron” Byrant. He accepted.

Soon the whole party was aboard the Vermillion Dawn, a Havoc-class merchant-raider hired for the expedition, heading to the feral world of Fedrid in the Markayn Marches. After several months of warp travel without incident, the expedition finally arrived above the skies of the jungle world. They immediately began launching hunting bands across the surface of the planet, touching down in the bunker-like hunting lounges in the northern hemisphere. From there the hunting bands would range out further into the jungle for days at a time, trapping and capturing trophy kills and some of the world’s most entertaining predators to be brought to the arenas back on Scintilla.

It was on one of these hunting parties that Augustus finally had his chance of getting at the Baron. The Baron was in charge of the party of roughly 60 hunters, followers and guards. The party had discovered in clearings the remains of bands of local hunters savagely butchered to a man. The Baron insisted the party follow this bloody trail to its source, but all except those closest to the Baron grew uneasy at the number of bodies they were finding.

Finally one night as the party was climbing the ridge of a dense valley they were attacked. From the canopy above 6-limbed mantid-creatures dropped silently among the ranks of the hunters to scythe at them with their bladed fore-limbs. After much fighting and at great cost the hunters managed to fight off the waves of attacking bladed fiends, though there was now less than 20 of them left.

Augustus figured now was as good a time as any to take his revenge, with most of the party now turned against the Baron for leading them to this ambush. The Baron was standing alone in a clearing, surrounded by the smashed corpses of the bladed mantids, their ichor staining the ground. The Baron however remained unmarked, and seemingly unarmed.

“Baron!” announced Augustus, his gun pointed at the back of the Baron’s head “My name is Augustus, of the Clawface dynasty. You murdered my family, and for that I will kill you.”

The Baron turned to face him, a smile of unconcerned humour on his face.

“Clawface?” He said “I admit I am glad you at least are here. I thought the rest of your kin died much to easily.”

Augustus’s face twisted, barely contained his rage, instead forced himself to ask:

“Why? My family had no dealings with you, no contact of any kind. Why did you have them killed?”

The Baron abruptly laughed. “No contact? Nothing of the sort! I was in fact one of the most trusted lieutenants of your grandfather: the good Rogue Trader Clawface.” He spat.

“My grandfather disappeared along with his crew in the Expanse more than a century ago” replied Augustus, keeping his gun levelled at the Baron’s face. It didn’t seem to be concerning him.

“Of course. It was there I discovered this wonderful gift” the Baron held up his open hand, staring at it with pride. There was nothing in it. “But so had your Grandfather, and he didn’t desire for me to have it as well, and so we had our… disagreement.”

“So I left them behind, Him and what was left of the others” he grinned, then went on “And I returned here. But I couldn’t have anyone going looking for them, least they too stumbled across my property. All records of our Ship’s existence were removed easily enough, but your kin remained, and I knew they would never give up searching for your Grandfather, and so I removed them as well.”

Augustus said nothing. He just shot the Baron in the face.

Augustus Clawface

Errant Traders JamesHall