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So I wanted some fluff for an Inquisitor but didn't want to go down the normal Burn the Heretic route. i thought building up the idea of an Inquisitor who was more akin to the Inquisitor found in Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose might be interesting.....
Here is a bit of a story to get the idea behind the character.
Comments thoughts etc welcome.....particularly on what sort of army this guy would actually command.
This is only the first part
Bartholomew sampled the wine with satisfaction. Rolling it around his mouth, it was just the right blend of sweetness and spice. Perfect.
“An excellent vintage Inquisitor Kois”, commented his guest, Cardinal Harndar.
“It’s a pleasure Cardinal.” replied Bartholomew “Today I have two reasons to celebrate, two reasons to share the splendid bounty of this table”. He made a wide gesture with his hand indicating the table the two men sat at, opposite one another. The table was decked with a variety of exotic dishes, from a dozen systems, and representing the first of many courses, each expertly prepared by the finest chefs the world of Grendril had to offer.
“The first is merely being able to be in the presence of one of the most astounding theological minds of the Imperium.” Bartholomew raised his glass in a toast “Cardinal Harndar your spirit of devotion should serve as an example to all”.
The aged Cardinal smiled modestly. “You are too kind Inquisitor. It is a shame that Governor Rorstien could not join us.”
“Yes. He said he had important matters to attend to.” replied the Inquisitor “For my part I think he is merely nervous in my company”
The Cardinal frowned “I am sure the Governor has no reason to be nervous of you Inquisitor. He respects your position to be sure but…”
Bartholomew put up a reassuring hand “I jest of course, Cardinal.”
The Cardinals’ craggy features lightened and he looked down at his food slightly embarrassed. He made a start on the appetiser. A delicious selection of fishes from Grendrils famous Yellow Ocean. Inquisitor Kois reached for the decanter of wine, waving away the waitress who moved to perform the task herself. Refilling his glass he began speaking again
“The other reason I have for celebration is because it is the anniversary of my greatest victory, if I may be so bold as to phrase it that way.”
Cardinal Harndar looked up curiously
“The defeat of the Zachis cabal” said Bartholomew. He paused, meeting the Cardinals puzzled stare.
“I must confess, I have not heard of it Inquisitor“. said the Cardinal reaching for his own glass.
For a moment Bartholomew said nothing but simply kept his gaze level, his expression passive. Then he continued.
“That is of no particular surprise Cardinal. The events of that incident, took place nearly three decades ago on a rather backward planet in the Segmentum Pacificus. Neran III.”.
The Cardinal put his drink down. His curiosity clearly aroused “I would be most intrigued to hear the story Inquisitor. It is rare to be given the chance to examine the detailed formulations and execution of an Inquisitorial investigation.”
“Indeed Cardinal. Most Imperial citizens are rather glad of the fact.” commented Bartholomew dryly “None-the-less I would be a poor host if I did not provide appropriate entertainment. And the story is a good one”
The Inquisitor settled back in his chair his wine in one hand. He let the waitress clear away the dishes of the first course and bring in the meat course, Roast Dervhog from Try’ko, supplemented with minted vegetables.
Once the waitress had once again departed to the recesses of the chamber he began.
“As I said, the incident in question occurred some thirty years ago. I can remember the most pertinent details with a sharp clarity which I put down more to the peculiarities of the events that followed rather than to the re-juve drugs that have supported my memory these last three centuries.
We, that is to say my comrade, Inquisitor Trandell and I, had been called to the planet of Neran III by one Rodriguez Ven a merchant baron of some repute. In truth I thought little of the man. He was a rouge trader who had no scruples in dealing with Xenos when it suited him. Profit rather than any kind of devotion to the Imperium drove him. He was however, in those days at least, a useful source of information. He had sold arms and equipment to traitors and heretics on more than one occasion only to turn them over to the Holy Inquisition. Keeping the profits for himself as a fee for his services.
We met Ven on board his vessel the SunFire which lay in orbit above Neran. Over dinner he explained to us the reason for his call. There was he told us a dark force present on the planets surface. It required our immediate attention and intervention.
Rodriguez Ven, for all his faults was not prone to exaggerate, and the worn and haggard look upon his face served to push us to inquire further.
Ven had apparently made planet surface about two months ago. He had stayed on the planet a mere four days, concluding what business that he could before leaving and contacting us.
Inquisitor Trandell, a man who often seemed more interested with the tangential details of a case than with the real mystery, asked Ven what the nature of his business was. Ven replied that he was presently in the business of acquiring human product to supply Drakmor, a nearby feudal world.”
Bartholomew paused as the Cardinal looked at him curiously.
“Human product Inquisitor?” Harndar asked.
“Slaves” replied Bartholomew casually glancing at the time piece on the wall. He gave an almost imperceptible nod to the waitress who left the room
“Ah I see” said the Cardinal mildly “please carry on”
“Very well. Where was I? Ah yes, Ven went on to explain that while the planet he was supplying had a plentiful stock of labour, Neran III was able to supply a more specialised workforce. I knew from some research on the planet that he meant mutants. The transportation of such undesirables is of course frowned upon though we were reluctantly prepared to make an exception in the case of Rodriguez Ven.
He said that his inquires into this matter had led him to be introduced to several traders on the planet that apparently belonged to a group calling themselves the Zachis Brotherhood. Their membership was made up of traders, merchants and guild masters who had come together to form a sort of cartel to increase their own profits.
Ven was apparently informed that he could indeed be directed towards certain discreet venues where he could purchase the particular brand of slaves he wanted. But the Brotherhood could also offer so much more
Rodgriguez Ven, as I mentioned before, was an unprincipled man not easily given to passing up an opportunity to increase his wealth. He accepted this offer. Presently he was taken to a secluded part of Ferrai, Neran III capital city. His description of what he found here was particularly haunting so I shall quote it directly.
‘I met my contact on the edge of a shanty town. A refuge for the poor, the outcasts, the desperate detritus of society. My contact was a hooded man that kept his face concealed. He told me he would be my guide and to stay close for I would not find my way back with out him.
He took me through the winding streets of the ghetto, here and there street children, with emaciated faces and distended bellies would lurch out of the shadows, begging for money or scraps of food. Women, their condition no better than the children stood on the steps of the huts and shacks and watched us pass with sullen interest. It occurs to me now that I saw no men on that first journey.
As we journeyed further into that dark place I began to get a desconcerting feeling that I was being followed. A shadow stirring, always on the edge of ones vision, tempting you to turn and confront it. I held my nerve though and continued on.
Eventually my guide took me to an unassuming hut in the centre of the shanty town. We were far from anything resembling Imperial control and I realised that if this was a trap of some kind I had only my laspistol for protection. We entered, my contact ushering me in first. I resisted the urge to place my hand on my side-arm. I don’t know what I had expected, perhaps a witches hovel or a meeting place for heretics, replete with an alter and shrine to some dark and twisted god. What I was met with has an empty room. A plain wooden trapdoor lay in the centre of the hut while a rickety fan reluctantly whirred overhead.
My contact spoke for the first time since we had set off. Gesturing to the trapdoor he said “Down there” he paused for a moment noting my hesitation “It is where we keep the product” he added by way of explanation. I cursed myself for a fool as I walked over to the old trapdoor and flung it open. I was surprised that it opened so easily, its hinges were well oiled. It was obvious it was used often.
There was a short flight of metal steps that led down into a well lit corridor. The walls were thick plasticrete. Now that we were away from the street my contact opened up a little
“This whole complex is an old military installation, dates back to the Styx wars, nearly a thousand years ago. Built in case of orbital bombardment. It was never used though”.
We walked down the corridor side by side. We passed numerous metal doors, each numbered with the same austere gothic typeface. My contact told me that they were ancient dormitories, that this base was designed to hold hundreds, thousands of men. And yet I wondered.
After about five minutes of traversing the seemingly abandoned complex I caught the sound of faint scratching ahead, soon I was able to faintly pick out voices and other sounds as well. Shouting and screaming. Incoherent gibbering and crying.. The sounds got louder and my apprehension grew somewhat until we turned a corner and I found myself on a balcony walkway overlooking a hive of activity.
Down some fifteen meters below was what can only be described as a bizarre mixture of laboratory and abattoir . There were dozens of tables, on each a man lay restrained with thick leather straps. Looking closer I noted that most if not all bore abnormalities and mutants of some kind. Extra limbs, strange appendages, weird facial features.
Some lay quietly awaiting their fate. Others thrashed and writhed as best they could. All around doctors, if that is what they could be called, shuffled between tables occasioning administering to their unfortunate patients. Their administrations seemed completely arbitrary. A hand or a finger would be removed here an eye would be plucked their. Worse some had assistants carrying vast jars attached to great needles more akin to spikes. I swear by the Holy Throne I saw a man drained of blood before my very eyes. After the first ten or twenty seconds his feeble struggles stopped all together.
Witnessing such horrors I found it hard to restrain myself from retching up my stomach contents. My guide observed me curiously “These practices are unpleasant, but unfortunately necessary to produce specialised human product of the highest standards. If you would follow me I will take you to the holding area for the finished article”
I followed the cloaked man across the walkway and down several flights of stairs. Eventually the sounds of the ‘laboratory’ faded though the memories of that place still have not. The cloaked man took me into a large chamber with large arching roof as you might find in a cathedral in a cathedral or sanctiforium. Along the walls I could even see statues of various Imperial saints, while not exactly lovingly preserved, they had not been defaced with in some queer way gave me a little hope. As if reading my thoughts the cloaked guide said “ This chamber was the main shrine for the complex. I am sure you have guessed the Zachis Brotherhood is hardly a beacon for the Imperial devotion” the man said ‘Imperial’ as if he wanted to spit. “Still” the man continued “The Brotherhood respects the atheistic value of the place…..”
I was no longer listening to my guides explanations for I had noticed what lay along the far wall…….
"God is dead" Nietzsche- 1886
"Nietzsche is dead" God- 1900
Why are there scams? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q71FLDIMBc8
Well, if nobody else will say it, I will. This is a really good beginning.I agree. Although I'm not familiar with Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, I believe your Inquisitor is easier to read. All this "I must not fail" and "I must destroy a billion lives, so I'll brood and think about how I don't have mercy" is overdone.So I wanted some fluff for an Inquisitor but didn't want to go down the normal Burn the Heretic route. i thought building up the idea of an Inquisitor who was more akin to the Inquisitor found in Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose might be interesting.....
As far as what kind of army this guy would run I would have to say he strikes me as Ordo Hereticus all the way. I don't see Ordo Malleus or Ordo Xenos messing around with Cardinals too much, at least not in this sort of way.
I could see him commanding any number of troops. Just my opininon, but he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would have to many arco-flagellants or penitent engines though. Such things are fairly crude. I also don't see him owning his own private army. I think he's the kind of Inquisitor that would just recruit whatever's available. However, that is just my opinion from what I've just read. For all I know, there are secrets about this Inquisitor not yet told.
I am heading off to the Peace Corps. It is bery likely I will not be back. Good luck to all of you endeavors.
a most excellent read Q! I'm not sure what angle your taking this inquisitor, but please post more!
PM me about Aurora Prime Vassal fights! Willing and ready!
I think in general Inquisitors get a pretty bad press in the 40k fluff. Either they're self righteous over-achieving muscleheads or cackling daemon-hugging freaks.
This guy sounds much more like the standard Inquisitor as presented in the 'Inquisitor' game though, and to me it makes perfect sense. I don't see why you'd want crazy zealots in an elite secret society anyway.
If I had one criticism, the way he talks to the Cardinal is a bit too familiar. I think the Cardinal should be a hell of a lot less chummy and a lot more anxious about pleasing the Inquisitor.. The Inquisition opperate pretty much above and beyond any Imperial authority or restriction. Noone really knows anything about them, and yet they have virutally unlimited power, it's a pretty scary invitation..
Of course.. that could always be a part of the story..
Good stuff so far, I look forward to the next one.