Few Imperial Citizens truly understand the Inquisition. All Imperial Citizens know that it exists, the Inquisition makes no secret of its existence, but very few understand it’s true purpose – and this is exactly how the Inquisition operates. If heretical thoughts never stray beyond thoughts, and acts of rebellion die in the planning because would-be rebels are too terrified of the idea that anyone might be one of their agents, then the Inquisition is doing at least a small part of its job.
Four Things That Citizens Know About the Inquisition
- The Inquisition has eyes everywhere, it can take over Arbites and Enforcer security monitors, it can pull thoughts from your head with the aid of psykers, it has agents who appear like common citizens, constantly reporting to it.
- They answer to no authority save the God Emperor’s, no Imperial Citizen Highborn or Low is beyond their reach when it comes to enforcing their unknown will.
- They have unlimited resources, their reach as an organisation stretches across the galaxy and there is no place they cannot go, for they are the agents of the Imperial Throne.
- They need no evidence of lawbreaking to act, if they deem an individual to be a threat to the Imperium they will simply take that individual when they least expect it. Nobody expects the Inquisition when it comes for them.
This document presents a public-facing overview of the Inquisition, if you wish to remain uninformed of how it functions and therefore play a more innocent character you should stop reading now.
The truth about the Inquisition beyond the carefully cultivated fear and lies that it has developed around its stated purpose of protecting the Imperium. Is vastly more terrifying than the visions of black-hatted spectres that swoop down upon unexpecting citizens for straying but an inch from the acceptable norms of the Imperium that most citizens believe to be their core purpose.
Anyone who has had the unusual duty of serving as an inner circle servant of the Inquisition will quickly learn a very clear fact – that the Inquisition is comprised of individuals with wildly differing ideologies, tactics and even goals. Invested with the ultimate authority of the God-Emperor to act in His name as his holy tools in a shadow war that has stretched over milenia their power lies in smart politicking, dire threats, and reminding others in positions of Imperial power the consequences of failing to let them carry out their work.
It is that work that is the most terrible secret any individual can learn, because once the purpose of the Inquisition and the truths of the universe are known, then an individual can never again return to being innocent.
Four Things To Know About the Inquisition
- They are individuals, every single Inquisitor and Inquisitorial Agent can be said to be different from the norms of Imperial citizenry, they are chosen for their talents and those talents cause them to be outsiders from the Imperium. No one Inquisitor is alike another, truly.
- The only unlimited resource they have is Authority, anyone who has spent time with the Inquisition knows that the resources of an individual Inquisitor differ wildly, their wealth is not guaranteed but they can gamble upon their immunity from prosecution by any save another Inquisitor and their granted Authority, to convince most other Imperials into giving them what they desire.
- They go to extreme lengths to protect the secrecy of their true mission, those that serve alongside the Inquisition often find themselves subjected to forced conscription into the Inquisition, summary termination to protect their souls, or are subjected to mind-wipes by Inquisition psykers to remove the memory of what they witnessed in their service.
- They fight threats that would shatter the peace of the Imperium to know they were real, warp-born daemons, heretics, traitors and monstrous xenos, and many more threats are the specific duty of these individuals to counter – this is the purpose of the Inquisitions secrecy it’s true mission.
Rank and Status in the Inquisition
The Inquisition has but one rank, Inquisitor – often an Inquisitor may assume a myriad of titles in the manner of a member of the Imperial Nobility, but these are rarely representative of any temporal power unless granted to them by some other arm of the Imperium, nor do they represent any formal superiority within the Inquisition itself.
Inquisitorial Agents have no formal rank structure, an individual Inquisitor may arrange their Agents in ranks according to their own whims, but these will not recognised by agents of another Inquisitor. The only title and role of note amongst Inquisitorial agents is the position of Interrogator. Though this does not denote authority amongst Inquisitorial agents not in service to the same Inquisitor, it is usually a mark that an Inquisitor has evaluated the agent to be potentially worthy of being granted the title of Inquisitor.
The method by which one is granted the position of Inquisitor is unknown beyond the tight inner circle of the Inquisition.
Inquisitors and Inquisitorial Agents are usually aligned with one or more of the Holy Ordos the specialist divisions of the Inquisition. There are perhaps hundreds of specialised ‘minor’ Ordos comprised of a handful of specialists responsible for more complex threats – the only Ordos most outsiders to the inner circles of the Inquisition have any kind of understanding of however are the three so-called Ordos Majoris.
The Ordo Malleus claim to be the oldest of the Ordos’ of the Inquisition, their focus is upon threats born of the warp and the dark gods of chaos, their war and vigil stretches back though history and their secrets are perhaps the ones most damaging to the Imperium if they are released. They go to great pains to keep the Imperium ignorant in the belief that daemons are simply legends, and have gone to extremes to exterminate knowledge of them.
The Ordo Xenos were born out of the Imperiums fear of the xenos races of the wider galaxy, their duty is to monitor the other races, develop specialised methods to counter their strengths, and exterminate species that show signs of becoming a threat to the Imperium.
The final Ordo Majoris is the Ordo Hereticus which is charged at a higher level then the Adeptus Arbites to focus upon internal threats within the Imperium, from hunting down renegade psykers with specialised psi-hunters, to destroying rebels and hereticus before they can emerge as a threat.
The Inquisition in the Prosperitas Sector
The Prosperitas Sector has always been plagued by strife, and so long as there have been Imperial forces attempting to pacify it, there have been Inquisitors fighting in the shadows against the myriad foes that lurk there. For as long as the Sector has had a Crusade ongoing, agents of the Inquisition have remained in the shadows hunting down first the lingering threats of the Regency, and now the rebels and heretics the unstable sector is prone to producing.
For this reason the Ordo Hereticus is the most numerous of divisions of the Inquisition in the sector, though other Inquisitors are known to make the sector their area of interest for reasons private unto themselves.
The majority of Inquisitors operate from private residences, there are few sanctums that welcome Inquisitors in the Prosperitas Sector – tension between it and many traditional allies have forced Inquisitors to operate independent of support for many years. To make matters worse the Inquisition has suffered a series of attacks on it by unknown and highly skilled enemies that has left a good number of Inquisitors dead, and destroyed a number of sanctums and other bases in very public fashion.
With this in mind it is easy to see why the ‘authority’ Inquisition is weaker in the Prosperitas sector than other regions, many powers that would instantly bow to the fluid authority of an Inquisitor are more willing to stand up to it, knowing its resources are stretched thin and it relies more heavily on the cooperation of others.
The Prosperitas Conclave
It is said that a curse was placed upon the Inquisition, for the Prosperitas Conclave has been destroyed and refounded no less than three times now and perhaps more, each time as the result of a great tragedy.
The latest Conclave was founded in 592.M41 by mutual agreement of all the Inquisitors of the Sector – its number comprises of multiple veteran Inquisitors as well as a few younger faces eager to prove themselves. Not a huge amount is known about the organisation of the Conclave to ensure tight security and prevent it coming under threat from infiltration as it’s prior versions have.
The Conclave has several public-facing Inquisitorial Fortresses that serve as embassies to various factions within the Prosperitas Sector, but rarely have more than one Inquisitor resident, if any at all. The majority of Inquisitors look to their own security and the actual meeting location of the Conclave is a closely guarded secret.
People of Note
This heavily culled list represents only the servants of the Inquisition known about by the wider public
- Inquisitor Militant Alexandros Voss, the second Inquisitor to hold the position of Inquisitor Militant in so many years, Alexandros Voss is a hero of the Prosperitas Crusade, the mastermind behind a strategy that trapped the Ork Waagh! that now plagues Persephone IV. That he be appointed as the Conclaves official emissary to Crusade High Command is not surprising, a former Arch-Militant he is rumoured to have a strong tactical mind.
- Inquisitor Corvinus, the official mouthpiece of the Prosperitas Conclave is brusque, unforgiving and unnerves those who try to meet with him, making him somewhat representative of the cold attitude in which the conclave holds those who would question it.