The Founding of House Tharr
The Rogue Trader House Tharr is considered a Crusade Dynasty formed during the early stages of the Great Crusade by the Emperor himself.
After the reunification of Nostramo and the Primarch Konrad Curze with the Imperium in 857.M30, a number of large armed trade fleets accompanied the Emperors fleet upon their departure of the System. Vasile Tharr was the captain of one such fleet, a highly successful merchant who rose to power amidst the turmoil of the Night Haunters dismantling of the corrupt government. Vasile respected the Totalitarian rule that Konrad had put in place and worked hard to usurp the incumbent mercantile houses who resisted the new order. In less than a decade Tharr, still in his twenties, had carved out a huge trade empire for himself and amassed a tremendous fleet, with the coming of the Emperor and the Great Crusade he turned his eyes rimward.
Over the following decades Tharr established a huge number of trade routes initially snaking their way back to his home world of Nostramo but, quickly realising that there were far more profitable partners to be had, he soon established numerous trade posts throughout southern Ultima. His trade fleets grew and with them his wealth and power, however his respect for the rule of the Imperium never wavered; any requisitioned levelled against him by Imperial forces were fulfilled without hesitation or complaint. He acknowledged whenever asked that his fortune was built on the back of the Crusade and its expansion. In the closing years of the 9th Century of M30, this belief and compliance with the Imperial rule was put to the ultimate test.
On the, then, frontier a recently complianced System, Hyrtalios, had been opened up for trade, its worlds were rich in natural resources but its people were also eager to adopt the technologies of the Imperium. Trade contracts were lucrative beyond imagining and Thrall had ensured that he gotten the lion’s share of them. Less than a year into the Systems Compliance however Hyrtalios came under massive Xenos attack; the ferocity, speed and sheer size of the attack caught even the Astartes forces, still refitting, completely off guard.
Within hours, the Imperial forces were taking unsustainable loses and the commanding Astartes officer issued a System wide conscription of all vessels to aid in the defence of Hyrtalios. With such rich bounties in their ships holds, many Captains viewed the fight as a lost cause and fled the system, ignoring the order; Tharr did not. Without hesitation he mobilised his entire trade fleet and threw them into the fray, well-armed light cruisers and goods laden transport ships alike. As quickly as the attack began, the Xenos broke off once their own loses began to accumulate, unwilling to continue with what started as an opportunistic attack. Vasile’s fleet had been decimated; of the 72 ships he committed to the engagement, 3 survived, none of which contained any of the valuable trade goods. His own flagship was crippled beyond repair, but he and his family had survived. The monetary lose to his trade empire was staggering, upon hearing of the incident, most of his coreward business partners abandoned him and many of his trade outposts succumbed to hostile takeovers, further devastating his carefully network which he had crafted for nearly half a century. But the system had been preserved.
Within days of the conflict reserve forces arrived and warrants of execution were issued for all Captains who had fled the system, Vasile was ordered to remain in Hyrtalios. He had little choice in the matter while his remaining ships were awaiting refit, a task which was compounded by both the limited shipyard capacity and the fact that the Crusade vessels were at the front of the queue.
Nearly seven months latter a far larger reserve fleet arrived in system, led by a mighty Conquest Class Star Galleon, the Ascultair. The majority of the arriving fleet peeled off and assimilated themselves with the existing Crusade forces, but still leaving the Star Galleon with a significant, albeit significantly reduced, fleet.
Within hours of arriving a great bustle of activity began on Hyrtalios’ primary world, Hyrta, rumours of a great ceremony circulating amongst the upper class. Invitations were dispatched and, out of courtesy for his former standing and actions he believed, Vasile found himself in possession of one such Summons. Gathering his family, his finest accoutrements and his remaining loyal retainers he dutifully attended the ceremonies the following day.
The first hours of the event were filled with Officers both minor and senior receiving accolades and medals of bravery for their actions during the invasion. A short break was held before a closed vox announcement requested Vasile to come to the rear of the presentation podium. Once there a small crowd of administratum orderlies buzzed about doing minor adjustments to his clothing, attaching some pict and vox feed augmenters to his collar and finally bustling him onto the dais. It was there, on a distant world, without ship and watching his trade empire crumble, with only his family and a dozen friends, that Valise Tharr received the accolade of a Warrant of Trade in the Emperors own hand. Bequeathed through the Warrant was the Ascultair and its accompanying vessels and mandating the Imperium’s newest Rogue Trader to lead this fleet forth in Exploration and Settlement.
Thus the Rogue Trader House of Tharr was established.