The Licenian Crusade
Cardinal Gerald Solaris
Cardinal of the Ilyari Subsector, Ixaniad Sector
Cardinal Gerald Solaris is an eldery man whose joints clearly pain him significantly. He uses his staff of office as support as well as for ceremony. Despite his age, his eyes continue to sparkle with wit and occasionally cunning.
Cardinal Solaris spends by far the majority of his time aboard his Ecclesiarchy voidship, Eye of the Aquila, floating in his zero-gravity quarters. The slow, trembling gait he exhibits when standing within planetary gravity is entirely absent should one gain the great honor to be invited to visit him within his own element. He is spry, nimble, and completely at home living in an environment without ups or downs.
The Cardinal is voidborn, and has spent far more of his life aboard ships than upon planetary surfaces. He made a reputation for himself as the captain of a Pilgrim vessel, carrying the faithful throughout the pilgrimage points of the three sectors liberated by the Angevin Crusade. Unlike many such vessels, which saw pilgrims merely as a source of money to be exploited at will, Captain Solaris charged only what he needed to keep his vessel functioning, trusting in his quiet piety and the Emperor’s Mercy that his ship would remain free of expensive mishap.
The Emperor did indeed smile upon Captain Solaris’ ship. Awed Pilgrims reported at least three verifiable incidents where pirate or xenos attack should by all rights have ended the career of Captain Solaris. In the first case, the pirates fled with the Captain activated the broadband Vox casters and flooded all channels with hymns to the God-Emperor. In the second case, the strange Xenos ships vanished after firing just a single volley of weaponfire. In the third case, Captain Solaris and the Pilgrims were the ones to vanish into the warp in time to ride a warp-eddy far from any pursuit.
The Captain received multiple Ecclesiarchy commendations throughout his life and had the proper intelligence to capitalize on them and on his good name. He was able to convince the Arch-Cardinal of the time to permanently deploy a small company of Adeptas Sororitas to his ship to protect traveling pilgrims. He also got his ship completely retrofitted with state-of-the-art defensive weaponry. The God-Emperor, after all, helps those who help themselves.
Solaris is one of those rare Cardinals to come to the formal ranks of the Ecclesiarchy late in life, joining the priesthood only after his useful career as a voidship captain had concluded. By this time he had accumulated so much prestige, influence, and favors amongst the Ministorum of the Ixaniad Sector that being appointed Cardinal to the politically unimportant Ilyari subsector sailed through with ease.
Now he constantly moves, the circuit-riding Cardinal, attending to the spiritual needs of the worlds and ships under his purview with a veritable army of priests, missionaries, mendicants, and Sororitas.