Gideon Ravenor

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Spoiler.gifThis article contains spoilers! You have been warned.
The titular character is a chair. This would not be a very interesting cover, so they went with a suitably GRIMDARK logo instead.

One of the few prominent Alienhunters we've actually seen, Inquisitor Ravenor of the Ordos Xenos is a motherfucking badass who got strapped to a force chair after some Chaos punk burnt the shit out of him on Thracian Primaris. But that's (mostly) okay, since Ravenor was a powerful psychic, and only got stronger when he was locked into the chair; and it being Inquisition hardware, it has all sorts of extras built in. He's also a paranoid ass who gets suspicious of an innocent (if psychic) boy just because his name sounds somewhat similar to Slyte, the daemon who possessed his drug addict interrogator. Ravenor is actually the second trilogy in a trilogy of trilogies (Eisenhorn, Ravenor, Bequin). It's written by Dan Abnett so you know its fuckawsome.

He began his service as an Interrogator under Gregor Eisenhorn, but got promoted to Inquisitor and was an incredibly powerful psyker even before his ass got immolated. Not to mention he was an incredibly gifted warrior as well as apparently -fucking handsome- (basically seduced a space-amazon with a mixture of being a legit badass with a sword and aforementioned handsomeness). His psychic abilities naturally developed with age, experience and increased use after his immobilisation.

He fights the Eldar, allies with the Eldar, and fights the Eldar. It's a weird, twisted love affair. Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt reads and often quotes his works.

Unfortunately, Ravenor shines much more as an intellectual sherlock and leader than as a psyker, which is kinda ironic given that's kinda of supposed to be his shtick. Despite being talked up (both by others and himself) as being a monstrously, invincibly powerful psyker as a result of his condition, the most impressive things we actually see Ravenor do are go incorporeal and possessing people. Every psi-duel Ravenor gets into over the course of the books, he loses, having to either run away or be bailed out by somebody. Granted, one could argue that every psi-duel we see Ravenor get into is against foes more powerful than him, but that's the problem right there. We never see him confidently show off the supremacy he's supposed to have. Just once it would've been nice to see Ravenor casually turn some wannabe unsanctioned psyker inside-out, or get put through his paces by someone powerful, but ultimately win with his superior skill. But nope, and Ravenor ends up looking just a bit toothless as a result, especially when compared to old Eisenhorn, who was almost always perfectly capable of doing all his own ass-kicking. Just goes to show that even the mighty Abnett is not entirely above dropping the ball.

Dramatis Personae

Ravenor is basically Professor X in Space, and his retinue consist of the basic fanservice, fuck-ups, and Fett-clones that you'd expect from an X-Men knock off (especially that shitty phase in the 90s when they forgot they were a Civil Rights allegory and fought aliens and space wizards):

  • The previously mentioned interrogator and sidekick, Carl Thonius, possessed and eventually destroyed by Slyte. SPOILER ALERT He didn't do shit anyway, and acted like a hacker in a universe of sword-and-pistol combat. Barring that thing involving the glue, the grenade, and the dreadnought. Described as a 'pussy' THREE times in the first chapter he is in.
  • Wystan Frauka, a porno-reading pothead pariah and psychic blank (untouchable). He also fat and horrible, and used to scare the shit out of Eldar witches. Equipped with standard issue erotic novels and brass balls.
  • Kara Swole, a voluptuous acrobat(even though "voluptuous" bodies aren't really good for acrobatics. This is, however, pointed out more than once) who fucks an old Imperial Guard doctor.
  • Patience Kys, a sexy pale flavoured telekinetic chick who wants to fuck Ravenor even though he's a gross burn victim in a coffin. It helps that he rescued her from a corrupt orphanage when she was a child - no wait, that just means she wants to fuck an old gross burn victim in a coffin that's also a FATHER FIGURE.
  • Harlon Nayl, an old bounty hunter with shit ton of equipment (over 100 points! OH NOES) who fucks a girl that looks like Inquisitor Boxy's dead ex-girlfriend. He won't fucking die and used to work for Gregor Eisenhorn.
  • Zeph Mathurian, another ex-bounty hunter, the Silent Bob to Harlon's Jay, with a rotator cannon mounted on his forearms. He was killed by a daemon and then Zeph was a zombie.
  • Zael Efferneti, That boy above, also addicted to drugs and a fine line of Italian sports cars. He is a 'mirror,' able to hear telepathy but not use it himself, and can copy and spam the psychic powers of those around him. Like a fucking X-Man. That little twat later became a fucking Grey Knight with some help from Inquisitor Lilith and destroyed Angron's Black Blade during the First War for Armageddon.
  • Maud Plyton, an ex-Magistrum marshall, a hardass with adorable little facial features. Has a nice car and is claustrophobic.
  • Cynia Preest, captain of the Hinterlight, Ravenor's primary ship. Has no combat abilities making her kind of a pussy. Her description puts her as kind of hot but super old '200+ years old'
  • Patrik Belknap - ex-Guard medic with balls of steel and super-faith, now back alley doctor. Loves the Emprah. Saves Kara's life via surgery and then gets to fuck her.
  • Sholto Unwerth, another captain of another ship, the Arethusa. everyone grows to love her. Is actually a Squat. Which is weird, because if Squats were eaten by Tyranids and Tyranids weren't around yet in Ravenor's time...).
  • Already a powerful telepath (he has been described as "between high-level delta and low-level gamma" and an "Alpha plus psyker" at different times), Inquisitor Boxy-Burny makes his followers wear wraithbone pendants so he can possess their bodies in a process called "waring" that makes his host sick and dizzy, but Ravenor at the helm can do ridiculous Matrix bullshit.

Villains

Note: This list will only contain the BIG villains of the series. As it stands, there are a LOT of villains. Most not worth mentioning.

Zygmunt Molotch - The Moriarty to Raveneor's Sherlock. Trained by a special Chaos school (Literally. It trained people to be the bestest heretics ever), Zygmunt Molotch is a gigantic Mary Sue. He was "killed" by Ravenor twice before the series, and does some pretty ridiculous stuff in the books. Examples include hypnotizing someone with tiny finger movements, taking out an entire Inquisitorial hit squad ALONE, beating an armed Carthaen Swordswoman (pretty much the best swordspeople in the galaxy) one on one UNNARMED, and other feats. He even has a signature move. With a literal flick of his finger against your arm, your gun will go flying away. He is NOT a psyker, but is very knowledgeable on Chaos lore and rituals.

Orfeo Culzean - A "fascilitator". Basically someone who is smart enough to not be a complete balls-out heretic but able enough to help them with their rituals and any trouble-shooting that may be needed, hence his eventual involvement with Molotch. Orfeo collects trinkets he calles "deodands", basically whenever someone dies on accident, he takes the thing that caused their death and enshrines it as an object of fate (such as a slippery stone that caused someone to fall down a flight of stairs and break their neck). He's fat, but suave, intelligent, and surprisingly charming. Next time you read his parts, imagine him as John Rhys-Davies. It's awesome.

Leyla Slade - Orfeo's bodyguard. She's surprisingly disdainful of Molotch, his schemes, and other heresies, but extremely loyal to Orfeo.

Lucius Worna - A bounty hunter that has worked with Nayl in the past, and possibly a renegade Space Marine. He wears pearl-coloured power armor and is FUCKHUEG. Luckily for him, he isn't wearing a helmet, which lets his badassery shine through (and causes somewhat of a problem later). Completely and utterly ruthless and literally only in it for the money (and maybe some revenge on Nayl). He's pretty much the most unkillable bastard in the history of the Imperium, taking grenades, knives, bullets, lasers, ACID, fire, and a fucking lightning strike like a boss.

Overall Plot

Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor, who in his interrogator days had an unfortunate run-in with an exploding Lightning fighter and got burned to a charred lump of meat, is now confined to a floating life-support chair. However, this does not prevent him from being an awesome psyker, and the book opens to him and his group of hardasses investigating a rogue trader cartel supplying the populace with warp-tainted superdrugs. After picking up the tweaking child psyker Zael on the capital world, they chase the leader halfway across the subsector, during which time Thonius loses an arm and gets all angsty despite it being reattached. It turns out all their leads were a trap and the cartel almost drives their ship into the local sun, but the traders conveniently forget about half the group, and the inquisitor's employees manage to retake the ship and blow the shit out of the cartel leader.

Suddenly everything gets more complicated: The drugs were just a side operation, and Ravenor finds out the cartel's real purpose is to smuggle abandoned Imperial machinery off daemon worlds and onto the subsector's capital world. The highest levels of subsector government have some sort of sneaky secret agenda, so Ravenor and his group covertly head to the capital world to try and unravel all of this nonsense. Somewhere along the way, Thonius dumbassedly tries to cure his angst with leftover warp drugs, with predictable results. They also have a run-in with Eisenhorn, now a million years old and still chilling with Cherubael, who reminds them how fucking badass he is and warns them of a daemon manifestation that's likely to occur in someone close to Ravenor within the next few months. Who could this be, really.

When they get to the capital world, they have to deal with both a cult trying to help the aforementioned daemon make his appearance, and various government officials working on a secret project to decode a pre-human language, Enuncia, that will allow them to royally screw up reality with a simple sentence. The Chaos-tainted machinery provided by the cartel allows them to translate the language without their equipment blowing up. In the meantime, the local Department of Special Crimes uncover a diagram hidden in a false ceiling in an Imperial temple. Immediately afterward, their division is promptly shut down by a higher level of the police force, and all the members are assassinated except the one that escapes, Maud Plyton, who vows to get to the bottom of this shit.

Around this time, Ravenor's cover is blown and Thonius has a really bad trip and (surprise, surprise) becomes the host for the daemon, Slyte. He keeps it a secret like a dumbass (seeing a theme here?). Patience Kys gets captured while working undercover in the Administratum, and the government nasties hire a man to send a daemon and a bunch of psykers after the inquisitor himself. Nayl is out dicking around and Kara is busy making moon-eyes at some doctor named Belknap, leaving Mathuin and Thonius to defend Ravenor from the attack. Mathuin unloads his rotator cannon on the daemon and stabs it in the chest for good measure, but gets killed anyway. Thonius, being a useless metrosexual, hides upstairs with Zael. However, Slyte takes over his body, kills all the psykers, boosts Ravenor's power so he can kill the daemon, and renders Zael comatose with fear. Somehow, Ravenor still does not suspect Thonius at this point. (he suspects Zael)

Patience then escapes from the prison after a fanservice-based fight, and Nayl and Kara finally remember they have important things to do, and they all get together again and find out just what the subsector governor is up to. Plyton shows up and provides them with the information they need. It turns out the entire capital city was designed by a mad architect to channel warp energy, and the temple with the secret diagram is the focal point of it all. The governor and his lackeys are going to perform a ritual that allows them access to the complete and unabridged Enuncia dictionary, likely killing a bunch of people in the process, then killing millions more once they can fuck with the fabric of spacetime. Ravenor decides he won't stand for all this, and his group launches an assault on the temple right as the ritual is beginning. They are joined by Plyton and Kara's doctor, for some reason.

Things go pretty well until the end, when the ritual is nearly complete and a bunch of people are, in fact, killed in the process. Only Kara and Thonius have managed to actually get inside the temple and are hopelessly outclassed, so Thonius manifests Slyte again and kills all of the governor's henchmen, destroys the dictionary of evilness, and saves Kara from the resulting giant explosion (curing the brain tumor she had gotten along the way as part of the deal not to tell Ravenor). Half the city blows up. Ravenor finds Thonius and Kara completely unharmed in the epicenter of the explosion that killed thousands, and STILL doesn't suspect Thonius, writing it off as a miracle.

The governor somehow escapes all this, and the inquisitor's group sets off after him, with the new additions of Plyton and that damn tagalong doctor. Oh, and the governor is actually Ravenor's old nemesis Zygmunt Molotch, who somehow survived crash-landing his ship six years before and is up to his old tricks.

(Hope you don't mind, different fa/tg/uy here finishing this article. Just finished the Omnibus! Let's get cracking, because things get whacky in the third book)

After a surprisingly boring and uninformative short-story where we learn Patience's backstory, the novels resume again. Now, Ravenor and his psychos have headed off to a different planet after months of trying to track Molotch. Despite almost no evidence AND the Inquisition itself telling him he's wrong, Ravenor believes Molotch is there, due to what he says is a "hunch". After Ravenor is told to back the fuck off, a different Inquisitor's group handily locates Molotch and is promptly and completely slaughtered by him. The only survivors are Angharad, a Carthaen Swordswoman of such beauty and skill that she can take entire SQUADS without a second thought, and Ballack, the interrogator of the inquisitor who just got his shit pushed in who actually set the whole thing up. Molotch blows up the building to make it look like he died, and Ballack is understandably pissed off at being so expendable.

Meanwhile, Carl is basically manifesting Slyte all over the place, and fucking with everyone's perception just for funsies.

Ballack and Angharad approach Ravenor and tell him that Molotch didn't actually die, but someone in the inquisition must be corrupt! Molotoch apparently has ways to change peoples memories within seconds despite not being a psyker, so after a brief mind-probe Ravenor happily accepts and decides to go rogue so he can hunt down his nemesis without the pesky Inquisition getting in the way. Sometime around now Nayl starts a relationship with Angharad, what with her being pretty much the same character from the Eisenhorn series.

Ravenor's search takes him to a new world, a world with oceans so deep they are literally unexplorable AND covered with ice caps hundreds of meters thick. Ravenor and the gang take a submarine to a giant underwater sphere with spider legs called The Wych House in order to use the house's scrying powers to see where Molotch went. It turns out all you need to do is use a simple wooden door and it shows you what you want, sort of. The door is kind of a dick, and likes to screw with people. Ravenor, Carl, Ballack, and Angharad go through the door a few times and eventually find Orfeo Culzean, Molotch's main man and a very smooth operator. He tells Ravenor (and only Ravenor) that Molotch wants to team up to take down Slyte. Ravenor flat out refuses and leaves.

His mistake, however, as Molotch had trapped the door just in case Ravenor said no. They get stuck on a world overrun with Tyranids (thus, the future) and get royally fucked up (though they prove their badassery and Mary Sueness by murdering dozens of Tyranids each). Carl ONCE AGAIN manifests Slyte and mind fucks the door into taking them back into the Wych house, where the rest of Ravenor's crew was captured by bounty hunters under the employ of Molotch. Ravenor once again fails to notice Carl.

Back in the Wych House, the door won't close and it's bounty hunters versus Tyranids. I mean dead meat versus Tyranids. A few bounty hunters manage to teleport away, and the Wych House begins to explode. At this point, Ravenor's group is split in half.

Ravenor retreats back through the door with Nayl, Angharad, and Ballack. Everyone else is with Carl.

Ravenor uses his vast power to force the door to take them to were he wants, but for a laugh instead of taking them to the SHIP Arethusa, it takes them to Listening Post Arethusa, 1,000 years in the past, but on the same day. There, Ravenor dies three times while Nayl tries to explain their situation. Eventually Ravenor convinces the base surgeon to help them and she springs them, helping them back to the door, which Ravenor uses again. Luckily this time he gets it right, as the surrounding trees were all psychically sensitive and boosted his power exponentially.

While this is happening, Carl's crew angsts around for a while and decides to try to go after Molotch on their own. Kys tries to kill Zael, believing him to be Slyte, and is stopped and thrown in the brig.

The crew of the Arethusa manage to find one of the ships Molotch uses (since it was in orbit above Water World to teleport the bounty hunters out) and Kara heads over and gets captured, but not before transmitting their destination, a planet Eisenhorn fans know well, Gudrun.

Kys endures 13 days in the ship's brig and the entire ship endures many unexplained psychic phenomena. This causes most of the crew to mutiny and leave the ship. Carl and the others (without Kys or Zeal and Frauka, who has been assigned his care giver) head to the planet to find out more. Kys escapes and regroups with Unwerth and the remaining crew members.

As Kys and Unwerth are deciding on what to do, the Hinterlight approaches. Ravenor had used the door to get them to the Hinterlight and had used his powers of deduction from his meeting with Orfeo to figure out the planet they were on. Ravenor then visits Frauka and Zael. Zael has SOMEHOW burnt out Frauka's blankness and uses him as a conduit. He explains that he had to induce a coma for himself so Slyte wouldn't kill him and feast on his delicious warp-soul. He then tells Ravenor that Carl was the daemons all the while. Ravenor seems legitimately surprised by this.

Oblivious to these developments, Carl, Belknap, Maud, and Ballack are infiltrating Molotch's castle. Ballack gets himself caught and executed, and Carl just gets himself caught. Turns out Orfeo knew Carl was Slyte, and wants to bind him when he transforms. Molotch, on the other hand, does not know of Orfeo's deception. Ravenor calls ahead and decides to team up with Molotch, causing Orfeo to betray them both. Luckily, Ravenor expected this and the rest of his team assaults the castle using the door.

After battling the goons and shooting Orfeo in the gut, Ravenor, Molotch, and the rest are confronted with the now fully unleashed Slyte. They have no idea how to stop the gigantic, tentacled, goo-monster until Carl's ghost appears and mentions that they brought a hole into the warp with them, duh! So Molotch gets to work turning the door into a warp-nuke while Ravenor and the rest run. Except for Angharad, who is apparently as dumb as a stick and decides to sword fight the stories high tentacle beast. In an unintentionally funny scene is simply picks her up and eviscerates her with one of its beaks.

Luckily, Molotch's warp nuke works and Slyte is consumed. The craft the gang is escaping in crashes, and Molotch goes about 30 yards before Ravenor finds him and explodes his brain in a terribly anti-climactic moment.

We are then treated to an animal house ending, where Ravenor is awaiting Trial and thinking about his group.

  • Harlon Nayl leaves Ravenor's service to go back to bring Angharad's sword back home. Ravenor doubts he will ever see him again.
  • Kara Swole is awaiting interrogation after Ravenor, due to her foreknowledge of Slyte.
  • Wystan Frauka is no longer an untouchable and is given over to the black ships so they can do what they will with him.
  • Patience Kys is awaiting Ravenor's release. (She's literally just kicking around the hive he's in.)
  • Unwerth and Preest go back to being a trader and a rogue trader, respectively.
  • Maud Plyton apparently stays in Ravenor's service and gives him a report she found about the surgeon 1,000 years ago. The Surgeon was executed for treason as soon as Ravenor left. They then use the tri-portal to ask said surgeon if she would like to go with them to the future, she said no.
  • Patrik Belknap goes back to being a back-alley surgeon, extremely pissed that Kara kept Carl a secret.
  • Zael Efferneti is also given to the Black Ships and becomes a Grey Knight librarian, goes on to break the sword of Angron as Battle Brother Hyperion.

The End