This is an interesting look back through time to see exactly where these Rogue Traders come from and some of the lore that is bringing them up to today.

via the Warhammer Community

With Kill Team: Rogue Trader now available to pre-order, we’re looking back into the past for the origins of these mysterious figures.

Rogue Traders have been part of Warhammer for as long as Warhammer 40,000 itself – join us as we take a look at their strange and storied history…
This is where it all began – Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. While some of the details might have changed, the universe has grown and the grim darkness has become a little bit grimmer and darker, Rogue Trader saw the founding of the 41st Millennium as we know it today.
Appropriately, it was in Rogue Trader that the Rogue Traders themselves were first described. Rogue Traders at this time were privateers, pirates and pioneers tasked with expanding the borders of the Imperium and bringing back treasure from beyond the stars. While Rogue Traders of this time were influential, they were also described as renegades and outcasts, drawn from the ranks of “vociferous Space Marine leaders”, “liberal-minded Inquisitors” and “rebellious Imperial commanders”.
We also got a (potential) look at what these traders could look like with art of a renegade known as Myron JubalgunnWhether or not this art depicts a Rogue Trader is lost to the mists of time, but his piratical appearance, magnificent long coat and strange artefacts would seem to indicate that this figure is a cousin of the Rogue Traders of today…

Jan van Yastobaal, meanwhile, was the first named Rogue Trader to be explored in the lore – a former High Lord of Terra who tired of his life of leisure and became an adventurer instead.
Rogue Traders existed in the background in some form or another for years after that – but wouldn’t see the spotlight again properly for several years. Then came Inquisitor…
Inquisitor was a narrative skirmish game that pitted small warbands of models against one another in RPG-style campaigns. Inquisitor was a baroque setting and rich system that, while complex, helped popularise Warhammer 40,000 as a tabletop RPG setting in games like Wrath & Glory and inspired incredible projects like Blanchitsu. It also saw Eisenhorn, the Deathwatch and Watch Captain Artemis introduced to the world of Warhammer for the first time – and it was in Inquisitor that Rogue Traders would re-emerge.
Here, we can see the “modern” Rogue Trader – unique individuals offered ancient legal privileges of trade and exploration beyond the borders of the Imperium. Rogue Traders were described as being “highly charismatic, often charming and roguish, skilled diplomats” but also as potentially having “highly unstable personalities”.
Inquisitor featured a Rogue Trader model, and laid down many of the design cues we know Rogue Traders by to this day. Created by Gary Morley, the Rogue Trader von Castellan was portrayed as a buccaneer, wearing elegant, naval clothing:

Jan van Yastobaal, meanwhile, would also receive a model of his own, continuing a rich Warhammer tradition of high-ranking figures sporting magnificent facial hair:
After Inquisitor, Rogue Traders would return to the background of Warhammer 40,000, popping up in licensed games from time to time and remaining an evocative and mysterious piece of lore. At this time, Andy Hoare – master of Warhammer arcana and apocrypha and current head of the Specialist Games studio – wrote his acclaimed Rogue Trader series, following the adventures of Lucian Gerrit, a buccaneer from a family in decline caught between the Imperium and the T’au Empire

The Rogue Trader series is currently available in the form of a massive collected omnibus
 – you can grab it for yourself from Black Library.
And now, after over 30 years, Rogue Traders have returned to Warhammer 40,000 proper with the Elucidian Starstriders. Designed to reflect the exotic, mysterious and refined air of these privateers, Elucia Vhane is one of the most prestigious Rogue Traders of the 41st Millennium – you’ll be able to learn more about her and her crew in the Rogue Trader boxed set.
That’s not the last we’ll hear of Rogue Traders – it looks like we may be seeing another of these legendary pioneers before long…
For a more light-hearted look at life as a Rogue Trader, make sure to check out Vhane Glorious – a new webcomic from the Warhammer Community team following Buck Vhane, privileged son of the Vhane dynasty, as he attempts to avoid any kind of meaningful work in a universe wracked by war.
Have you been following our coverage of Kill Team: Rogue Trader? We’ve been previewing the contents of the set in detail, and we’re not done yet. We caught up with the people behind the set – from developer Dave Sanders to our miniatures designers – in order to learn more:
If you fancy owning a Rogue Trader for yourself, you’re in luck! You can pre-order one right now in the Kill Team: Rogue Trader boxed set – check it out online.

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