+++Incoming Astropathic Transmission+++
Greetings, Dark Heresy fans!â€¨Some of the entries for the 2009 Dark Heresy Adventure Contest have already begun to come in, and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the great ideas from the community this year.
The theme of this year’s contest is Radicalism in the Inquisition, in honour of the upcoming release of The Radical’s Handbook for Dark Heresy . Thus, I thought it would be good this week to talk a little bit about Radical
Inquisitors in the three main Ordos of the Inquisition, and how that knowledge can apply to a Dark Heresy campaign.
“Heresy is never seen as such by those under its thrall. It masquerades as necessity, obligation, and duty.”
–Inquisitor Deliko Konrad
Many Inquisitors and their agents who serve the Ordo Hereticus spend a great deal of time monitoring the body of the Imperium itself, from the makeup and organisation of the various Adepta to the toilings of common farm labourers upon an agri-world. There are many kinds of heresy to be found in such surroundings, from misguided cults of the Imperial Creed to the machinations of sly sorcerers and recidivists who rely upon psykers to warp the minds of Imperial citizens.
Radicals of the Ordo Hereticus may also become involved with tech-heresy, a particular thorn in the side of the Adeptus Mechanicus. However, the temptations of tech-heresy may lead even a devout servant of the Omnissiah astray...
Known Aliases: Master Sevensins
Known Associates or Organisations: The Logicians, the Children of Nomen Ryne
Preferred Methods of Operation: Scayl runs his operations from afar, trusting his instructions to special bionically-enhanced couriers or specialized cogitators locked with a gene-coded seal. Few have seen Scayl in person since his withdrawal from the Ordo Hereticus, but his agents can be found on many a hive world throughout the sector. There are other Tech-Priests of the Lathes who claim that Scayl is merely misguided and should be returned to the blessings of the Omnissiah rather than struck down.
In your Dark Heresy campaign, the temptations of tech-heresy may involve returning a fallen comrade to life with vile warp-machines (found in Disciples of the Dark Gods). Perhaps there is a particularly secure meeting place for cultists that the Acolytes must access. One tempting option for gaining entry may be the services of a Heretek who possesses a murder-cogitator and is willing to slay the security system’s machine-spirit for a price.
Technology alone is not the only lure that can turn a once-Puritan Inquisitor to the ways of the Radical. Those of the Ordo Xenos are often involved against the pernicious influence of alien cultures as well, for the minds of humankind are fickle and are sometimes easily led into treachery by an alien’s soothing beguilement.
However, occasionally the Inquisitors who are charged with rooting out such influence fall under its sway.
Known Aliases: He Who Seeks, Hound of Seven Sorrows
Known Associates or Organisations: Ulthyr Ellarion of the Twilight’s Edge , the Screaming Silence, the Narrow Shade Troupe
Preferred Methods of Operation: Arcturos studies the future using methods he learned from alien mystics of the Eldar and bases every action upon the outcome he divines. So far, his methods have proven only fitfully accurate, and he has had to retreat from a dead end more than once. Nevertheless, he perseveres with the faith of a zealot in the xenos techniques.
In your Dark Heresy campaign, Acolytes who serve a Radical Ordo Xenos Inquisitor may find themselves working directly alongside an alien being, perhaps helping smuggle an Eldar diplomat to a waiting ship or escorting a communications servitor into an alien lair in order for it to record a forbidden tongue.
The Ordo Malleus are daemonhunters and are most often found directly confronting the servants of the Ruinous Powers and Chaos. To set oneself against such formidable enemies is to place oneself in deadly danger for mind, body, and soul.
Radical Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus are infamous for seeking to turn the powers of Chaos against itself and place the tools of sorcery and daemon-weapons into the hands of those who hunt the daemons. Some do so fully aware that they are damning themselves in the process...
Felroth Stasius Gelt
Known Aliases: Lord Slyknife, the Haunted Hunter
Known Associates or Organisations: The Black Regiment, Lord-Captain Laomyr of The Triumph of St. Drusus , Rogue Trader Serren Travius
Preferred Methods of Operation: Gelt prefers to work with an extensive network of Acolytes and former associates. A charismatic and inspirational man, Gelt can call on the services of many agents throughout the Calixis Sector. He has been known to use captive psykers secured inside grav-suspended nutrient vats to provide a modicum of protection from the powers of the warp. Gelt is not afraid to get deeply involved in person, and prefers a “hands-on” approach to his investigations.
In your Dark Heresy campaign, a Radical Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus may involve his Acolytes with the dark arts of sorcery. This could include sending his Acolytes to retrieve tomes of forbidden lore, seeking out a particularly cursed artefact, or assisting in the forging of a mighty daemon weapon.
Radicals and Rogue Traders
Now that Rogue Trader has been released, there are plenty of opportunities to cross over with Dark Heresy. For example, many Radical Inquisitors would be very interested in the activities of a Rogue Trader. A Radical of the Ordo Xenos would want to discover what the Rogue Trader knows about ancient alien civilisations beyond Imperial space, whilst an Ordo Malleus Radical would have more interest in smuggling some dark or tainted artefact into the Calixis Sector. A Radical affiliated with the Ordo Hereticus, by contrast, would value a Rogue Trader’s insight into the heathen cults of human colonies within the Koronus Expanse, perhaps to harness such blasphemous beliefs for themselves...
2009 Dark Heresy Adventure Competition
Don’t forget that the 2009 Dark Heresy Adventure Contest is going on right now! You have until November 30th to write up your adventure, and this year’s theme is all about the Radical factions of the Inquisition.
Dark Heresy is a roleplaying game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the grim darkness of the far future. Players take on the roles of Acolytes serving the Inquisition, rooting out heresy and corruption from within the galaxy-spanning Imperium of Man.