The story begins with The Inégalée at high anchor at Port Wander. The ship is finishing final preparations for its maiden journey through The Maw and the start of a journey that will carry the Lord-Captain and his ship beyond the reach of his enemies. The Koronus Expanse offers the last scion of the Grossaileur dynasty a chance to grow, rebuild, and strengthen itself with the hopes of one day returning to the Calixus Sector to visit some cold, hard vengeance upon its enemies.
Two short days before the anticipated departure for The Maw and the Expanse beyond, Balthazar, Lord-Captain Medard Grossaileur’s personal astropath, receives a message intended for the Lord-Captain. It has been sent from Footfall, on the other side of The Maw, by Lord-Captain Aspyce Chorda and it requests (in no uncertain terms) that Lord-Captain Grossaileur attend a meeting upon the Implacable Flame, the flagship of the Chorda family at the once to discuss an “opportunity for great profit for the Grossaileur and Chorda families”. The message concludes with a thinly veiled reminder of the debt the Grossaileur family owes the Chordas because of the failure of Medard’s great uncle to deliver a cargo of foodstuffs while subcontracting with the Chordas some decades ago. The debt incurred was substantial and, given the recent financial difficulties of the Grossaileur family, has not yet been paid off.
After some discussion with his most trusted advisors and friends, Lord-Captain Grossaileur decides that he has little choice but to heed Aspyce’s summons and to make best time through The Maw to Footfall and find out what her intentions and the “opportunity” may be. A short two days later, The Inégalée weighs anchor and begins the three day journey to a safe jump point where it can begin the trip through The Maw.
Prepaprations for the journey begin immediately, and immediately the news is not good. Navigator Primus Cassius Modar reports that the huge warp storms that surround The Maw are raging more fiercely than usual, with the Void Dancer’s Roil being quite active. But the pressure of Aspyce Chorda’s invitation drives the Lord-Captain onward and he makes the decision not to wait for a break in the void storms but to push on to Footfall. Rituals and worship ceremonies are performed across the ship in preparation for what is sure to be a difficult journey through The Maw and upon arrival at the jump point, The Inégalée activates its Gellar Field and warp engines and makes the transition into the Warp.
The journey is a difficult one, and the next three days are spent being buffeted by the chaos of the warp storms that loom on either side of The Maw. The crew of The Inégalée suffers dutifully but on the third day after leaving Port Wander, a viciously strong gale blows up and the ship looks like it may founder. Navigator Primus Modar warns that the ship must translate back to real space to avoid the raging storm and, fortunately, one of the Stations of Passage, the Temple, is near. Despite the wish to reach Footfall quickly, Lord-Captain Grossaileur wisely agrees and the Inégalée drops from the Warp a short time later, into the dead system called The Temple.