The Black Warrant

The warrant of trade, held by the Black Dynasty in a stasis-locked vault in a secret location on Malfi.

Description:

AGE OF APOSTASY
Ship Points: 8
Profit Factor: 6
ASCENDING
Ship Points: 10
Profit Factor: 8
PRIZE OF WAR
Ship Points: 6
Profit Factor: 8
HALO ARTEFACTS
Ship Points: 4
Profit Factor: 10
One Xenostech Component may be purchased.
MERCHANT HOUSE
Ship Points: 6
Profit Factor: 8
UNKNOWN
Ship Points: 10
Profit Factor: 8

Bio:

AGE OF APOSTASY
During the Age of Apostasy, the Imperium was plunged into anarchy when the insane High Lord of the Administratum Goge Vandire took absolute control of the Senatorum Imperialis and the Ecclesiarchy. For decades, the galaxy was split as Vandire’s armies sought to enforce his mad rule across the Imperium. Many worlds were razed, while others resisted. Still more sought to bide their time, unwilling or unable to commit to one faction or another. The Age of Apostasy culminated in an assault upon Vandire’s stronghold on Terra by a combined force of Adeptus Astartes and Adeptus Mechanicus, but it was only when Vandire’s own guardians turned upon him, executing him at the height of the siege, that the civil war was finally ended.
A Rogue Trader House established in the midst of this turbulent period will have been forged in the fire of adversity, for many charters granted at that time were, often literally, reduced to ashes within scant decades. Vandire was an unstable and paranoid man, prone to fits of anger and contradiction. A recipient of a charter he himself granted days before might be declared a heretic before even undertaking his mission, or a favourite promised the highest of rewards executed upon the day of investiture. As such, very few of the Houses that came into being during the Age of Apostasy are extant in the 41st Millennium, and those that are keep the details of their founding far from prying eyes. Some have disappeared entirely,
though even millennia since, rumours of far-flung empires established by Vandire’s favourites continue to surface. In the immediate aftermath of the Age of Apostasy, it is said that the Houses established by the hand of Vandire were required to renew their oaths, in person, to Sebastian Thor, the figurehead of the movement that overthrew him. Some of those charters were revoked, it is suggested, for they were judged to have been granted for deeds later found contrary to the good of the Imperium. Others were ratified, the recipients bending knee before Thor and pledging
the fealty of their Houses for all eternity.

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.

PRIZE OF WAR
Many Warrants of Trade have been granted over the millennia as prizes of war. In such cases, a powerful and successful lord militant might be promised the charter as inducement to undertake a crusade otherwise considered impossible. Such a crusade might take decades to conclude and cost the lives of millions of the Imperium’s servants, but by its conclusion the lord militant will have earned his Warrant and will be free to pursue his ambitions out amongst the stars.
Occasionally, the prize is not won, but taken. A powerful servant of the Imperium might have manoeuvred himself into such a position as to demand the Warrant of Trade as reward for service, and he may be too powerful to refuse.
Or perhaps an existing Warrant has been prized from an established Dynasty, a new line taking control of an ancient Rogue Trader House as the culmination of years of plotting and scheming.

HALO ARTEFACTS
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
utterly enamoured.
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.

MERCHANT HOUSE
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 buy any service, from repair facilities for a damaged vessel to the services of the merchant house’s indentured mercenaries

UNKNOWN
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.

The Black Warrant

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