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Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium: Holy Orders Of The Emperors Inquisition

Battlefleet Gothic 2010 Compendium: Holy Orders Of The Emperors Inquisition

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Published by: Spammalott on May 11, 2012
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Far underneath the bedrock of Antarctica on HolyTerra exists the citadel of an organization that acts asthe secret police of the Imperium of Man, huntingdown any and all threats to the stability of the God-Emperor's realm. The most shadowy and mysterious
of the Emperor’s organizations,
it is responsible fordefending against perils of heresy, possession, aliendominance and rebellion. It is they who standbetween all mankind and the phantoms of fear andterror lurking in the darkness between the stars.
From beginnings shrouded in mystery and datingback to the Horus Heresy, it is believed that theInquisition coalesced into the beginnings of itscurrent form by the beginning of M32, 800 yearsafter the Heresy, although its essential componentsand apparatus, such as the League of Blackships andthe "Witch Hunters" of the Sisters of Silence wereactive before the Heresy began. While it is believedthe Ordos were riven with various factions almostsince its inception, as a whole it existed as a singleunified organization charged with examining andhunting down all the myriad threats to the Imperium,from the corruption caused by Chaos, heretics,mutants and rebels, to assaults from vicious alienspecies like the Tyranids, Orks or Dark Eldar, withonly the Ordo Malleus existing as a separate entity topolice the Inquisition itself. Though not expoundedupon even among other Inquisitors not so initiated,its other, secret purpose was dealing with the threatof Chaos to the Imperium as a whole and inparticular to those within the Inquisition that may bedrawn to it for whatever purpose, whether malign orwith the best of intentions.
It was only after the Age of Apostasy brought aboutby High Lord Goge Vandire and his Reign of Bloodearly in M36 that significant changes came about tothe Inquisition. The Ordo Malleus was rent in twounder a powerful new mandate, becoming one of what became three Ordos Majoris in its own right,each one tasked with a specific area of concern indefense of the God-Emperor and his Imperium.
Rather than serve merely as the internal investigatorsof the Inquisition itself, the Ordo Hereticus wasmade responsible for protecting the Imperium fromitself and guarding its future so that never againwould it be threatened by those entrusted with itsprotection. Hereticus Inquisitors are the most fearedmembers of the Inquisition, as their focus is onmankind itself against the witch, the heretic and themutant, and they are pitiless with those who fail theEmperor. The arrival of an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitoron a world is met with fear and awe, as no one butthe Inquisitor himself knows where his attentionswill fall. As part of this mandate, it is to this Ordofalls responsibility for investigating the psyker taint,and it is in this capacity that they arouse the mostfear and suspicion.
The dread starships that make up the fleet of theLeague of Blackships are under the express jurisdiction of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, but thevery
nature of a Blackship’s mission makes strict
oversight by the Inquisition a necessity. As thesetitanic barges ply the atramentous void on routesbetween heavily populated worlds and Holy Terraseeking out psykers for examination, it is commonfor Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus to travel onboard, as this gives them the opportunity toinvestigate a planet's potential for psychically-basedcorruption. To this end they are also captained bysenior Inquisitorial agents and embarked by a ship-based defense force of Inquisitorial Storm Troopersor Sisters of Battle.Those few found strong-willedand sane enough to undergo the rigorous training andindoctrination required to become a SanctionedPsyker or Astropath are selected, with a number of these eventually coming into the services of theInquisition itself. Far more are found unfit forwhatever reason, and these are taken from theirhomes and worlds whether willing or not, bound forHoly Terra and the soul-binding that draws awaytheir life force to feed the ravening maw of theAstronomicon, the artifact upon which the entireImperium depends for its very survival.
The members of the Ordo Hereticus also monitor theWars of Faith inspired by the Ecclesiarchy, to ensurethey remain within the objectives assigned by the
Ecclesiarch and the other High Lords of Terra. Theyensure that the teachings preached by priests of theImperial Cult remain true to the spirit of theEmperor's will. They regulate the wealth andterritory claimed by members of the Ecclesiarchy, toprevent higher members of the institution fromgaining more power than is appropriate. Recognizingthat no one was infallible and even a High Lord
could turn away from the Emperor’s Light, the
OrdoHereticus is also called upon to monitor otherImperial organisations for internal threats, includingthe Adeptus Arbites, the Space Marines, and eventhe other Ordos of the Inquisition itself. Only theEmperor himself is beyond the gimlet gaze of their jurisdiction.
Vandire’s “Brides of the Emp
 became the Adepta Sororitas, in keeping with theletter of the law (if not its intent) set down by
Sabastian Thor’s
 Decree Passive
stating theEcclesiarchy would not maintain an organization of 
“men under arms.”
Their mandate and goals in thismanner are congruent to that of the Ecclesiarchy,
and as a check against the Priesthood’s
ability tosubvert the Imperium's delicate political balance, itwas natural that the Adepta Sororitas would becomeits Chamber Militant.
The beginnings of the Ordo Xenos harken back to a
time at the very beginning of the Emperor’s Great
Crusade when the threat posed by the myriad racespopulating the greater galaxy had to be ascertainedto mitigate their ability to interfere with the
rapid early expansion. It was not untilafter the Horus Heresy that this function wasintegrated into the then-nascent Inquisition, where itsmandate continued to be the investigation and studyof alien races to eliminate any alien threat to theImperium they identified. Armed with the besthuman and alien technology available, extremelyknowledgeable about their foe, and filled with hatredfor non-human species, the Ordo Xenos can respondto any alien threat. Their tactics vary depending onthe situation and level of alien taint revealed. Wherethe threat is subtle, they will use guile and stealth,wielding their power as if it was a scalpel used to cutout a cancer.The Ordo Xenos is well known for either beingextremely ponderous or extremely quick to act. Amajor example of their slowness to act was when theTau first made contact with Imperial planetarygovernors on the eastern fringe of the galaxy, andthese aliens' technology was allowed to penetrate allthe way to Holy Terra itself. However, at times theOrdo Xenos can truly bring the hammer of theEmperor down on the foul alien, a prime example of which was seen during the Damocles Gulf Crusadein which an Ordo Xenos-headed Imperial Navybattle group penetrated deep into Tau space,although progression slowed to a halt when theyreached Dal'yth, one of the core sept worlds of theTau Empire. It is worth noting that, with the arrivalof Hive Fleet Behemoth, the Damocles Crusade wasforced to withdraw from their siege of Dal'yth toattend to other matters.When the alien menace is great, the Inquisitor canenlist the aid of entire regiments of Imperial Guardand the special contingent of Space Marines drawnfrom every existing Chapter who are specificallyattached to the Ordo Xenos and are known as theDeathwatch. The Deathwatch are squads made up of elite Space Marines from all of the Space MarineChapters. All Deathwatch members wear black power armor except for one shoulder plate whichbears the colors of their original Chapter (so as not todishonor their power armor's Machine Spirit) and theother is emblazoned with the Icon of theDeathwatch. Certain Chapters make for great Xeno-hunters, like the Ultramarines with their experienceagainst Tyranids, or the Crimson Fists with theirexperience against Orks. Deathwatch teams mayspecialize in defending or attacking any known alienrace, including the Tau, Tyranids, Necrons, Orks oreven Eldar; it depends upon the experience of theteam. When a Battle-Brother leaves the Deathwatchafter his term of service to return to his originalChapter, he gains the honor of keeping his armoredleft arm plate with the symbol of the Deathwatch.
Originally formed to serve in the role nowundertaken in large part by the Ordo Hereticus, ittraces its roots to the Horus Heresy. It is the specifictask of the Inquisitors and their acolytes of the OrdoMalleus to destroy the physical manifestation of Chaos, Daemons, in the physical universe as well asany other agents of Chaos who threaten theImperium's worlds. The Ordo Malleus concernsitself with the daemonic threat that faces theImperium and for thousands of years has waged acovert war for humanity's continued survival againstthe insidious forces of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.Besides being the Daemonhunters of the Imperium,
they yet remain a secretive inner order of theInquisition, controlled by a council of 169 Masters,whose authority extends even to the Master of theInquisition. The Ordo's organization is divided intoChambers, each controlled by an Inquisitor Lordcalled a Proctor. The number of Inquisitors in aChamber can vary from a few score to hundreds.They maintain at their disposal Inquisitorial StormTroopers, tasked with security of their primaryredoubt on Holy Terra as well as the Inquisitionsstring of Fortresses scattered throughout the galaxy,some hidden, some extremely well-known and theobject of numerous dark legends.
While their Inquisitional Storm Troopers serve as ahighly trained and heavily armed ready securityforce for the Inquisition as a whole, the ChamberMilitant detailed specifically to the Ordo Malleus arethe Grey Knights. Their founding is unique of all theSpace Marine legions, and like everything else aboutthem, much of their past is shrouded in secrecy.Some say their gene-seed is not based on a Primarchbut from the Emperor of Mankind himself, whileothers postulate that they are created from a cocktailof the eight loyalist Space Marines from the TraitorLegions rumored to have been among thosepresented to the Emperor by Malcador the Sigilite as
 part of the Inquisition’s founding. Unlike other 
Space Marines Chapters, they are permanentlyattached to the Ordo Malleus. While their FortressMonastery lies buried deep underneath the frigid
wastes of Titan, Saturn’s moon in the system of Holy
Terra, their duties take them throughout the
Emperor’s Realm
. The Grey Knights maintain small,secret redoubts throughout the galaxy, and it can bemany decades, if ever, before a Grey Knight returnsto that hallowed place where he first donned hisaegis helm and took up his nemesis force halberd. Of all Space Marines Chapters, they are the only onemade up entirely of psykers. Only they areindoctrinated in the knowledge of the dark secrets of Chaos - they alone completely know of andunderstand the existence of demons and of theirappearance in the real universe, and they alone arebest equipped to battle and defeat mankind's mostterrible enemy. While other Chapters and Imperiumforces have
knowledge of daemons and how tofight them, only the Grey Knights are privy to thedarkest, deepest secrets that the Ordo Malleuspossesses on these creatures and how to defeat them.Despite this immense and terrible burden, in theSpace Marines' long history the Grey Knights holdthe highest honor of all: Not one Grey Knight hasever turned to Chaos or betrayed the Emperor.
The three Ordos Majoris serve distinct roles withinthe Inquisition, but they are not mutually exclusive.It is not unheard of for an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor andhis Deathwatch Space Marines kill-team to assistone from the Ordo Hereticus that discovered a groupof mutants have collaborated with foul aliens tobolster their weaponry. Inquisitorial Storm Troopersare at times charged to complement the protectionand security force of the infamous Blackships,accompanying an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor aboard asshe makes her purity checks for the taint of Chaos onworlds along its route. An Ordo Hereticus Inquisitorand his retinue may investigate a well-placedgovernment official suspected of collusion with dark forces drawing Chaos demons against a deployedGrey Knights squad.
The Inquisition’s
shroudedhistory is replete with such examples.
For recurring threats or missions of grave import, anumber of minor Ordos were created, such as the
, tasked with investigating andcontrolling the Officio Assassinorum, and the
, one of the smallest of the OrdosMinoris. Formed during the 13th Black Crusade,their particular focus is the relatively new threatpresented to the Imperium by the emergence of theNurgle-spawned Zombie Plague. There are a numberof other such minor Ordos, some so deeply secretivethey are known only by their members and theInquisitor Lords that lead them. Individuals and evengroups of Inquisitors may be of differing and insome cases even conflicting philosophies andfactions with names such as the Thorians or theIstvaanists, and these allegiances as often as notcross the already ill-defined lines between Ordos.Because of this and the enormous authority eachInquisitor wields, such collaboration andinterdependency is the only manner an organizationbeholden to no-one is able to police itself.

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