The Alien in the Imperium

To call the Imperium of Man xenophobic is something of an understatement. The Imperium believes in the manifest destiny of the human race to rule the galaxy; the preachers of the Ministorum tell the unwashed masses to abhore and fear the vile alien, and Crusades to purge planets, star systems, or even entire sectors of xenos races are common-place. Whether this attitude is abhorrent or laudable is debatable—there are many xenos races who are just as eager to destroy the Imperium as the Imperium is to destroy them. In any case, non-humans are manifestly unwelcome in the Imperium. The Imperium is not a cosmopolitan society, and the few xenos that interact with it live on its fringes: on Frontier worlds, far-flung void stations, and amongst the crews of certain Rogue Trader vessels.
This isolation generates ignorance—both the Imperium’s ignorance of xenos physiognomy, civilisation, and culture, and xenos ignorance of the details and minutia of the Imperium. When combined with the very ‘alienness’ of a xenos (sentient though it may be), it imposes certain limitations between a xenos player character and Imperial society.
SANCTIONED
XENOS
“Caves of steel… have your people no
pride in their ability to survive the elements? No
matter. The man you seek is that way; even in this
place, I can discern his trail quite clearly.”
– Renshar Vak, Sanctioned Kroot
Mercenary, on his first visit to Port
Wander
In the broadest of terms, no human
may interact with a xenos creature in
any way except violently—such creatures
are inherently blasphemous against the
God-Emperor and must be eliminated on
sight without exception. From a young
age, citizens of the Imperium are taught to fear and hate the
xenos, and innumerable legions of Imperial Guardsmen are
taught of the superiority of Man over all inhuman things as
they are drilled in the use of lasgun and bayonet. The number
of xenos who have set foot upon human worlds peacefully
and survived is small indeed.
But this is not always the case. Though the Imperium was
founded upon a creed of intolerance towards non-humans,
peaceful contact with a variety of xenos species actually
happens frequently. In most instances, these are short-term
alliances or matters of temporary mutual convenience. Just as
frequently, illegal contact with xenos cultures is sufficiently
commonplace that the Inquisition and the Adeptus Arbites
keep a constant watch for potential contamination through
contact with xenos; in spite of such vigilance, the “Cold
Trade” of xenos goods on the black market still exists. A
number of xenos species hire themselves out as mercenaries to
a number of other species, for reasons all their own, and there
are more than a few unscrupulous Imperial Commanders
willing to hire such creatures to bolster their forces, seeing
them as the ultimate expendable mercenaries and caring little
for their fate.
Rogue Traders, and a few other individuals, have the power
to do more, and do so legitimately. These men and women,
freed from the normal strictures and feudal requirements
of the Imperium, have the influence and authority to make
peaceful contact with xenos species for trade, temporary
alliance or even to hire them as mercenaries. In some cases, an
allied xenos may almost become a trusted companion, highly
valued for its skills. Individuals with trusted xenos allies may
find that the normal laws and doctrines against consorting
with xenos hamper their operations, and in
regions on the fringes of the Imperium,
like the Calixis Sector, a method of
sanctioning xenos allies has come
about to ease these difficulties.
To Serve Another Species
These Sanctioned Xenos are still
regarded with caution and hostility
by most, but this is unsurprising—
even the Sanctioned Psykers of
the Imperium are still subject to
the prejudice against witches
that is so readily promoted in
the Imperium. However, so long
as they remain in the company
of an ally who can vouch for their
service (assorted documentation
in copious amounts is provided
for this purpose), and agree to be
visibly marked to prove that they
are Sanctioned—this mark is
typically a brand or tattoo on
the face or hands, where it
can be clearly seen. The
permanence of such
a mark is of no concern—without a human employer to vouch for the xenos,
the mark is essentially meaningless, and should the xenos
cease to serve the Imperium, its life is forfeit anyway, and the
creature is slain as soon as possible.
Within the Calixis Sector, obtaining such Sanctioning is
an expensive and challenging matter; there are few who will
even concede that such a practice exists, let alone perform
it. A handful of Administratum Ordinates in Port Wander
provide the service, having been recruited for such a purpose
by interested Inquisitors, whose purity is tested on a regular
basis to monitor potential contamination. Their identities are
not widely known, and the service itself must be specifically
requested, as they will not offer it otherwise.
As rare as Sanctioning is, it is recognised in many of the
more well-travelled parts of the Calixis Sector and the settled
worlds of the Expanse. As the required mark is very similar to
that which identifies Sanctioned Psykers, it quickly becomes
apparent what the mark means to those with any knowledge
of the structure of the Imperium. It is still wise to be cautious
in bringing even a Sanctioned xenos to a human world;
those who will understand the nature of the mark and the
notion of Sanctioning are still a minority, and a xenos creature
will spread only fear and anger by its presence amongst the
common masses of mankind.

The Alien in the Imperium

The Murder of Crows Skampaw