The Murder of Crows
Have Warrant, will trade
WARRANT OF TRADE
Resolved henceforth in the name of the Most Beneficent God-Emperor of Mankind, the High Lords of Terra grant this Warrant of Trade to:
And to all of his line, from now until the end of time.
The Bearer of this Warrant of Trade is granted the inalienable right to go forth beyond the sacred borders of the blessed Imperium, to contact such benighted civilisations as he may encounter, and to make war for the glory of the Emperor as he deems necessary. By the authority of the Senatorum Imperialis, this Warrant places the Bearer as a peer to the great powers of the Imperium, inter alia: Imperial Commanders, Chapter Masters of the Adeptus Astartes, and the masters of the Holy Orders of the Emperor’s Inquisition.
The authority this Warrant grants begins where the Imperium ends. Beyond the extent of Imperial rule, the bearer of this Warrant speaks with the voice of the Emperor Himself.
It is the bearer’s right and his responsibility to claim whatever worlds, resources, or priviliges he may obtain in any manner he chooses.
By writ of Seal of Holy Terra
THE WARRANT OF HOUSE COLE
Warrant Age – The Waning
As the glories of the Age of Redemption recede into a bloody present, the Imperium is slowly descending into another dark age of anarchy and war. So depleted were the defences of many worlds by endless crusade that internal strife soon erupted into outright rebellion, and small-scale alien raids escalated into full-scale invasions. Most dreadful of all, as the grip of the Adeptus Terra weakens across countless thousandsof worlds, psykers have been left to come into their powers before they can be culled, and soon their errant powers are creating gateways into warp from which a legion of daemonic horrors erupt. Within a comparably few generations, the Imperium has lost untold numbers of worlds to the traitor, the alien and the daemon and humanity’s future seems bleak. Yet even in such a turbulent age, the High Lords have continued to grant new Warrants of Trade. As war and strife has claimed more and more worlds, so the need to redress the balance has grown all the more apparent, and nor is the weakening of the Imperium’s fabric by any means universal or irreparable. Many Rogue Traders have been granted their charters in recent centuries with the express condition that they undertake missions of to re-conquer worlds lost to anarchy and invasion.
Many of these charters are little more than political tools, granted in the hope that the Rogue Traders will have the drive to succeed or at least wear down an enemy where depleted local forces either had failed, or been redeployed away to more vital duties, leading some Rogue Traders of more ancient pedigree to mockingly name them “suicide notes.” Countless Rogue Traders lost all they owned, including their lives and souls, in the attempt to satisfy the nigh impossible demands placed on them in the granting of these Warrants. Yet, some do succeed and claw back both territory and millions of lost souls from the darkness. The most exceptional of these individuals have gone on to found the mightiest of the Rogue Trader Houses active at the present time. Though young in comparison to the ten thousand year old Imperium of Man, these upstart houses now rank above many older lines, for they were forged in the fires of adversity and driven by a will to endure rarely seen before or since.
Ship Points: 4
Profit Factor: 2
Fortune & Fate – Ascending
Most Rogue Trader Houses undergo significant fluctuations in their fortunes, and a firm hand on the tiller is required to safely navigate the peaks and troughs. A dynasty said to be in the ascendant enjoys an upturn in its fortunes and an increase in its influence and prestige. Such a house proves itself a worthy investment to any who would join it in its endeavours, and its head will have little difficulty in attracting allies and backers.
The only real problem a Rogue Trader in such a position may find is that of jealous rivals. Few dynasties survive long without attracting the ire of their peers, whether they become engaged in bitter trade wars or actually exchange broadsides out in the void. A successful House may find its position coveted, with hidden hands at work against it. The most successful Rogue Traders are those who learn to anticipate, and deal with such enemies before the fortunes of their House can be affected.
Ship Points: 10
Profit Factor: 8
The most coveted of Rogue Trader Warrants are those that
have been granted in genuine recognition of great deeds
performed in service to the Imperium. Often, such a reward
is not consciously sought and as such may come as a surprise
to the recipient. A Warrant of Trade granted in this manner
will be gifted to the recipient in a lavish ceremony, attended
by the great and the good of the Imperium’s highest offices.
Many great men and women will attend, often in the hope
that some of the glory and prestige will rub off on themselves.
The recipient is likely to have gathered about them many
powerful allies who others wish to be associated with—some
might even have forged connections with Space Marine
Chapters, sector lords, Admirals or Inquisitors.
The deeds for which a Warrant of Trade will be rewarded are
many and varied, and there are no set definitions or conditions
set. Military service is a common route by which such Warrants
are gifted, but so to is mercantile or political success.
There is a darker side to a Warrant of Trade rewarded
for such deeds however. The sponsor of the granting—the
individual who lobbied the powers that be for the recipient to
be rewarded in such a manner—will often expect some form
of recompense, some favour that might not be called in for
many decades. But called in it will be, and almost certainly at
the most inconvenient time for the Rogue Trader.
Ship Points: 16
Profit Factor: 2
Artefacts of alien manufacture are proscribed the length
and breadth of the Imperium, yet demand for them in
certain circles is high. The punishment for possession of
even a harmless artefact could be terrible, ranging from
penal servitude to public execution. The upper echelons of
the Imperium’s nobility produce the most demand, by the
jaded scions of ruling houses, seeking illicit distractions
from the lives of luxury to which many have become
Halo Artefacts are a particular class of xenos item. None
know for sure who or what created them, and they are far
more dangerous than the exotic curios most collectors covet.
Halo Artefacts are arcane devices, invested by the power
of long lost alien civilizations, and able to grant an owner
powers undreamed of. Yet, such powers come at a terrible
price, condemning the body and soul of the user. The grim
fate and dangerous power of these artefacts means they have
been placed under the highest prohibitions in the Calixis
Sector by the Calixian Conclave of the Inquisition.
There are those Rogue Trader Dynasties that are built
entirely upon the acquisition of such artefacts, who go out
into the dark regions specifically to track them down and
smuggle them back to the Imperium. They are incredibly
rare, so much so that a Rogue Trader would be fortunate
indeed to discover more than a handful over an entire
lifetime, and even then he would have devoted his every
waking moment to doing so. The fortunes of these dynasties
are built upon the discovery of such artefacts. Even if only
one or two are discovered in a single generation, the profits
are potentially so vast that the Rogue Trader can fund a life
of luxury, outfitting his vessels to the highest standard and
engage in any pastime he can imagine.
Of course, the risks are as great as the rewards. Though
Rogue Traders exist outside of the mainstream of the
Imperium’s laws, they can nonetheless make powerful
enemies in the Inquisition and other bodies should their
activities be discovered. Many such Rogue Traders have met
with an unpleasant end at the hands of an Inquisition kill
team, far beyond any hope of aid, while others lead a life of
paranoia and distrust, looking over their shoulder whenever
they return to the domains of the Imperium.
Ship Points: 4
Profit Factor: 10
One Xenostech Component may be purchased.
Those Rogue Trader Dynasties whose fortunes are built upon
the acquisition and generation of vast sums of wealth will
have dealings with commercial combines across entire sectors
and beyond. They will have bonded scribes and factors
operating in the courts of the greatest of commercial concerns
and these will have the ear of the most influential merchants
in the region.
It is important to remember that the great merchant houses,
particularly those who span several worlds, let alone whole sectors are powerful institutions, and not ones to be crossed
lightly. Organisations with vast wealth and a long arm are
dangerous; more than one Rogue Trader has been brought to
ruin by a merchant house they thought dirt-bound and limited.
Merchant contacts have a great many uses, for they allow
the Rogue Trader to tap into the vast web of influence and
power of the merchant houses in question. This network will
extend to the major settlements on almost every major world
in the Calixis Sector and in many cases beyond. For a price,
the Rogue Trader will be able to any service, from repair
facilities for a damaged vessel to the services of the merchant
house’s indentured mercenaries.
Ship Points: 6
Profit Factor: 8
For many Rogue Traders, the thought of their name going unremarked
upon would be a terrible insult, while others prefer
to operate that way. Most Rogue Traders belong to the former
group, for they have not become the all-powerful servants
of the Imperium they are without promoting themselves and
their abilities to some degree.
For many Rogue Trader dynasties, the condition of
being unknown is likely to be only temporary. Most seek
fame, even if, despite their best efforts, they ultimately
earn only infamy.
Ship Points: 10
Profit Factor: 8