It is the dark future of mankind. The human race has colonised the stars to find that the vast expanse of the galaxy is utterly inimical to the grandiose dreams our forebears once held. Instead of peace and co-operation humanity has encountered only the ravening hunger and naked hostility of the Xenos, the Daemon and the unspeakable corruption of its own kin to powers which should-not, must-not, be. To live in such times is to be but one person amongst countless billions. In the cold dark of space there is an only an eternity of slaughter and the mad laughter of thirsting gods. To be a person in such times is to live under the most cruel and bloody regime imaginable, to be ground down beneath the relentless tyranny of the Imperial Creed and superstitious ignorance born from desperation. Ignorance is strength, for the human race is under siege from countless horrors that would break the minds of all but the strongest of mortal men. To live in such times is to shield oneself with blessed faith in the God-Emperor of Mankind, to whom a thousand souls are sacrificed each day so that the Imperium may continue to exist. This is the 41st Millennium, where the can be only war.
Yet within this bleak future, where the countless mass of humanity labours under back-breaking servitude and unthinking obedience to the Imperial Creed, are those few men and women who – by dint of daring, cunning or the capricious whims of fate – manage to rise above the common herd and find a measure of freedom in the dark millennium. These are the Rogue Traders, individuals who have either inherited or been granted one of the priceless Warrants of Trade, which provide them with the authority to voyage beyond the boundaries of the Imperium and bring the light of the Emperor to those who languish in darkness. Alone amongst the vast mass of humanity, the Rogue Traders have been granted the authority and means to venture into the uncharted voids which ring the blessed realm of the Imperium of Man and truck with Xenos, heathens and uncover the forgotten legacies of Mankind’s infancy. Assemble your armies and fleets, whisper your prayers to the God-Emperor and gird yourself for what treasures and horrors the cold gulf of interstellar space conceals. Amidst the laughter of thirsting gods and an eternity of war are riches and privileges undreamed of by lesser men and women. Go forth and bring the Emperor’s word into the blackest night, for you carry the sheltering light of civilisation into dark places. Wealth and madness await, for such is the destiny of those who cherish freedom above all, and such are the rewards of those who name themselves Rogue Traders.