Monday, January 02, 2006

Letters of Marque and Reprisal

ROGUE TRADERS: fulfill a vital role within the Empire as freelance explorers, conquistadors and merchants. A Rog. Trad. is a trusted imperial servant, he is given a ship, a crew, a contingent of Mrns. and carte blanche to roam the worlds beyond the Empire. The Empire is a vast, scattered realm, extending over almost the entire galaxy, impinging itself upon the more compact areas of alien settled space. The Empire contains a million inhabited worlds, but even this is but a tiny fraction of the galactic whole. Then there is the eastern fringe, the remote area of the galaxy where the Astronom. does not reach, and where the only human settlers are renegades or pioneering groups whose ancestors were forgotten millennia ago. Most of the galaxy remains unexplored, unknown and dangerous. The potential of new worlds, alien ivilisations and unimaginable resources has stimulated the growth of free-ranging imperial agents known as Rog. Trad.

Licensed and equipped by the priesthood, the Rog. Trad. is free to explore the far regions of the galaxy, the areas where the Astronom. does not reach, and those areas within its range as yet unvisited. Rog. Trads. have even attempted to cross the void of inter-galactic space, but over such distances even the Astropaths' powers of communication are useless, and whether such missions have succeeded is unknown. Operating in isolation from the central authority of the Empire, the Rog. Trad. must decide how to react to alien cultures, new discoveries and threats. If he judges a race potentially dangerous he may attempt to destroy it, or gather as much information about it as he can so that others may do so. If he decides a race may be of use to humanity he may attempt to make contact and establish relations. If merely technologically or minerally rich, a planet may be plundered, and the Rog. Trad. will return to Earth laden with the treasure of space; alien artifacts, rare and precious minerals and undreamed of technology. Needless to say, the Rog. Trad. requires a fair compliment of spacecraft, troops and other staff if he is to complete his mission. His total responsibility may extend to a dozen spacecraft, often huge, lumbering cargo vessals crammed with a small army, a full crew of technicians and volunteer settlers to establish colonies on new worlds. Most important, however, are the fighting troops, for it is they who will have to deal with any potential threat.

Origins: Rog. Trad are individuals who have reached a position of power within the imperial hierarchy. They come from the ranks of the Adeptus T, the Inquis., Guard, Army or Fleet - a few are influential civilians, amongst whom the navigator families are the most famous. Politics sometimes obliges this course, for free of imperial command the Rog. Trad. is also conveniently out of the way, beyond the centre of real power. Rog. Trads. have a reputation as outcasts, many are people whom the priesthood deems better kept at a safe distance; vociferous Space Mrns. leaders, influential Navigators, liberal-minded Inquisitors and rebel Imperial Commanders. A Rog. Trad. is an experienced individual.

Powers: Rog. Trads. are frequently possesed of mental powers, Some are psykers compared to 5% of normal human characters. Non-psychic Rog. Trads. may be Navigators, there being a small chance of this.

Free-Range: The Rog. Trad. works under instruction from the priesthood - but his is a wide one. Furthermore, once contact with Earth has been lost, the Rog. Trad. is effectively independent. Equipment. Equipment can be of any type, often alien or otherwise unavailable within the Empire. In battle a Rog. Trad. would typically appear in powered armour and some sort of armour energy field. Weaponry carried at all times would be at least one pistol weapon, usually a bolter, and a power sword. Digital weapons are regarded with high favour too. A Rog. Trads. personal equipment is likely to be extensive. The equipment abord ship would include almost all possible things, including vehicles.

TypicalRog. Trad, Himedahl enjoyed a successful career in the Administrata before reaching the supreme position of Lord Victualler of Mars. It was old age that finally spurred this tireless warrior into the outer galaxy, where he quickly gained a reputation of being particuarly successful at finding and plundering alien worlds. His suit of powered armour is worn underneath a sleeveless tabard. His helmet is moulded into a Tau-like dome. He carries a stasis field defence, and his weaponry includes a bolt pistol, flame-pistol, power sword and 6 Jokaero digital weapons (1 each of laser, needler and flamer, on each hand). Additional equipment includes a long range crypto-communicator, bio-scanner, nose filters, photochromatic eye drops, an immune injector, infra-vision contacts, chemicals for the Jokaero needlers, a rad-counter, a stimulant chemical, a synthe-skin applicator and sufficient chemical for 3 uses, 3 suspensors, teleport homer, and web solvent.

Crew: Rog. Trads. do not take to the empty voids of space alone - each commands a small fleet, a contingent of warriors, settlers, and all manner of support personnel. With them go supplies to last for several years, vehicles, prefabricated research stations, housing, transport, weaponry, etc. A typical retinue would be an entire company of Space Mrns. (100 warriors) plus two companies of ordinary imperial troops all with the standard vehicles and auxiliary equipment.

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