As always, Palmere Grath is smiling when you meet him. It is not the false smile of a salesman or the genuine smile of a friend. It is the self-satisfied pleasure of a man who savours every sweet breath of air and every step in his lacquered boots. He wears a plush velvet robe ornamented with polished bone. The robe has a long train, carried by an achingly beautiful human slave who trails behind him. Three ork bodyguards complete the procession, every inch of their battered and barbaric armour a stark contrast to Grath’s adornments.
Not everyone who does business in the Screaming Vortex is interested in climbing its ladder for dominance. Palmere Grath is an accumulator of wealth, not power. He is the master of a small merchant fleet that trades on both sides of the Great Warp Storms, and profits from the fact that there are very few others with the fortitude and audacity to do the same. Grath supplies forbidden relics to radical Inquisitors in the Calixis Sector and Imperial las weapons to denizens of the Screaming Vortex, scheming to ensure that neither side realises the other exists.
Some might guess that greed alone motivates Grath, but his enterprise also offers freedoms not even a Rogue Trader can imagine. In each region he has an appearance and persona suited to business there, but only the debauched countenance he shows in the Screaming Vortex rings true. Here, no act is taboo, and he can delight in indulgences unavailable even in the least civilised reaches of the Heathen Stars. Although Grath harbours a soul as black and corrupt as any aspiring warrior of Chaos, he trades on his reputation. If the merchant has ever sold a false relic or gone back on a deal, no one has lived to tell the tale. Only fools mistake his reliability for the fetters of morality; it is in fact a carefully cultivated asset more valuable than any possession he owns.