The Foundling Worlds
“It is a place cloaked in storms, where the ghost lights of false stars lure you to a depthless nothing. It is a place that wants us not, and will see us dead for our daring its bounds.”
~Navigator Helias Yeshar speaking of journeying into the Foundling Worlds.
The Foundling Worlds lie beyond the Cauldron, a lesser warp storm whose baleful churning might be seen as a warning against further exploration. By strange accident of fate, the Foundling Worlds cluster, although relatively close to the Koronus Passage, was not visited by Imperial Ships until several centuries after the opening of the Koronus Expanse to exploration. Amongst voidfarers the Foundling worlds are described as a cursed place of sudden warp storms, temporal distortions, and strange stellar phenomena, and it is said that nothing will come to any good that is undertaken within its bounds. That is not to say that none have tried to probe the mysteries of the Foundling Worlds or tame it through colonization and exploitation- but even after a route into this storm-wracked region was established, most of its stars and planets remain unexplored. Those few endeavors that have been made to establish settlements or to harvest the wealth of the Foundling Worlds have met with disaster or misfortune.
Lost to the Storm
It is extremely difficult to navigate a course into the Foundling Worlds, even if one is following a charted route. The warp trashes and twists as if trying to throw a ship onto another course, and furious tempests suddenly appear and claw at a Ship’s Geller Field. At other times the cluster gives rise to strange pockets of stillness that hold ships becalmed. Even established routes are unreliable, sometimes appearing to vanish altogether or suddenly lead to different locations. Many ships have been lost trying to make passage into the Foundling Worlds, and with every craft lost, the evil reputation of the Foundling Worlds grows. The strange localized nature of the storms, and anomalies that enfold the Foundling Worlds, have let some amongst the Navigator houses to privately speculate that the region is hidden and protected by something that does not wish its worlds violated by human presence.
The Foundling Worlds are littered with the dead carcasses of hopeful attempts to wring profit out of its stars: derelict space stations not crewed for centuries, shattered outposts inhabited by the burnt and dried corpses of the dead, feral colonies of humans who have turned from the light of the Emperor. All are a testament to the belief among many who explore the Koronus Expanse that all endeavours in the Foundling Worlds are cursed. With each passing decade, a bold new generation scoffs at the tales of older and more wary explorers and set their plans amongst the Foundling Worlds. Some prosper for a time, but fate is inexorable, and the malignancy of the Foundling Worlds is patient; in time, all are undone and their fortunes with them.