Here Be Dragons
Warrant of Trade
For the most part humanity is fearful and untrusting of the alien and non-Imperial cultures. Taught from birth that Mankind is possessed of a manifest destiny to rule the stars. Contact with xenos civilizations are forbidden due to the view that at best it presents mankind with moral pollution and at worst world-razing devastation. Contact with xenos cultures is therefore strictly forbidden by ancient decree to be undertaken only at the very highest levels as sanctioned by the High Lords of Terra and their duly appointed servants.
Despite the general prohibition against dealings beyond the Imperium, the High Lords of Terra long ago recognized the value of expanding the borders of Humanity’s domains. The Warrant of Trade issued to all Rogue Traders grants not only the permission to go beyond the Imperium’s borders, but to deal with who or whatever might be out there with the full authority of the Senatorum Imperialis, the High Lords.
The Warrant of Trade elevates the recipient to the highest of ranks to which a servant may rise, granting him equivalent status with such men and women as Imperial Commanders, Inquisitors and Space Marine Chapter Masters. They are granted the power to deal with such peers of the Imperium as equals, and the Warrant allowing them to call upon what aide they can negotiate.
While the Warrant of Trade confers upon its bearer tremendous privileges, it is when the Rogue Trader passes beyond the borders of the Imperium that the true power of the Warrant becomes manifest. Outside of the Imperium, Rogue Traders define those structures themselves. It has been said that the Rogue Trader speaks with the authority of the Emperor Himself beyond the Fringes.
Furthermore, the Warrant of Trade grants enormous rights to the recipient, allowing him to claim by conquest whatever worlds and privileges he may obtain in whatever manner he wishes to do so.