"Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst. Of all created beings the wickedest is one who originally stood in the immediate presence of God."
- – C.S. Lewis
"Innocentiae Nihil Probat: Innocence proves nothing."
- – Inquisitorial motto
"It does not follow that because the devil has been given power over someone on account of his sins, that power must come to an end on the cessation of the sin."
- – Malleus Maleficarum
MP jokes aside, the Holy Orders of the Officio Inquisitorus, or just Inquisition, are the "secret" police, spies and internal Intelligence Agency of the Imperium of Man; hunters of the alien, the mutant and the heretic. The inquisition is a semi-omnipotent organization that has authority over every other organization and watch every single life in the Imperium for the slightest signs of heresy 1984-Big Brother style. Guilty until proven innocent. Think of an insane combination of the CIA/FBI, the Men in Black, the Soviet KGB, the Nazi Gestapo, Jedi Order(how are they like the Jedi you say ? Snazzy robes and psykers that's how !) and of course its namesake, the Spanish Inquisition.
The Emperor and his guards are the only people in the Imperium beyond their jurisdiction, although it's not clear if the inquisition realise this as an Inquisitor tried to use his rosette to get a Custodian to disclose information to him only for the Custodian to simply laugh pointing out he only answered to the throne. Even the High Lords can be (and were) subject to Inquisitorial investigation. Plus they're FUCKING ASSHOL-*BLAM* They have an unfortunate but justified tendency to be the secret plot-twist antagonist/instigators in a lot of Black Library works, mainly because simple fights between two diametrically opposed foes tends to be rather boring. Their ≡][≡ symbol seems to have originated from Malcador's Sigillites, a secret order of chroniclers and history-keepers that guided humanity from the very beginning through their knowledge of the past.
The sheer variety of the Inquisition and it’s lack of structure and co-ordination, like the inefficiency and almost randomness of the Administratum, really puts a bullet in the head of the idea that the Imperium is a dictatorship. Dictatorships keep extremely tight control on their governing parts whereas the Imperial government seems to be made up of bajillions of cliques making shit up as they go with just a vague idea of what they’re supposed to achieve.
So when it became obvious that the Emperor's plan to starve the Chaos Gods with atheism was a failure due to the Horus Heresy, the Big E ordered Malcador the Sigillite with the formation of the Inquisition. Charged with finding "men of character" to seek out the traitor, the xeno, the daemon, and the unexpecting, the Inquisition serves as the secret protectors (or murderers) of the Imperium of Man, guarding it from those who would destroy it from within, from without, and from beyond. The founders are: Kyril Sindermann, once the Iterator of Horus's fleet and one of the first believers in the Emperor's divinity, Lemuel Gaumon AKA Promeus, a former Remembrancer of the Thousand Sons and the first person to successfully be exorcised AND Morianna the Seer, a handmaiden of the Emperor that later became a Chaos worshipper (No surprise that Inquisitors like Quixos defect to Chaos when ONE OF THE FOUNDERS was corrupt from the start!).
The Inquisition began with the Knights-Errant, a group of proto-Grey Knights drafted from Loyalist Space Marines (including those formerly from Legions that had turned traitor) that were active during the Heresy and would include the first Grand Masters of the Grey Knights, forming the beginnings of the Ordo Malleus (the Ordo Malleus wouldn't form proper until the Inquisition also made the Ordo Xenos). Over time, the other ordos were added; the Ordo Xenos after the War of The Beast (partly to manage the brand new Deathwatch), the Ordo Sicarius after the Wars of Vindication, and the Ordo Hereticus after the Age of Apostasy, and so on. Over time, the Inquistion's overall mission became less about fighting the machinations of Chaos so much as preserving the Imperium's integrity as much as possible; as deviance was to be interpreted as disloyalty and therefore Heresy, this also meant they took a more active approach in Imperial affairs.
As part of their duties, Inquisitors have damn near unlimited power, up to and including the destruction of worlds. If they have good cause, they can demand service from anyone, from lowly citizens to the High Lords of Terra. The only people officially exempt from this are the Adeptus Custodes, who can legitimately say they have a more important job in guarding the Emperor on the Golden Throne, not that this has stopped a couple of irredeemably stupid Inquisitors from trying to throw their weight around with them. Messy deaths resulted. The Inquisitorial Representative in person has a tiny bit more leeway with them but this is more of a courtesy and not a subordinate relationship.
In practice, though, Inquisitors tend to at least say "please" and "thank you" when they require service from the more powerful Imperial organizations, especially Space Marines, since they tend to get turfy about taking orders from any non-Space Marine save the Emprah. Those who don't tread lightly tend to get a close encounter with a chainsword. Inquisitors can also be attached to large campaigns like crusades as ancillary advisors, in which case they work nominally within the command structure of the Guard and even take orders from senior figures (so long as they feel like it anyway). So whilst they do have practically unlimited temporal power, an Inquisitor using it for frivolous or petty reasons would swiftly get called up for abusing their authority, and an entire Ordos department exists for providing oversight on Inquisitor's who call an Exterminatus. So an Inquisitors can't just flash their rosette to skip the bar queue or exterminatus the planet because their grox burger didn't have pickles.
With the resurrection of Guilliman, they are having to tread very carefully around him due to him being the son of the Emperor, therefore utterly above their jurisdiction, and generally not being happy with their standard operating procedure, or the fact that he introduced several new organisations whose goals fly in the face of much of the Inquisition's previous work at censoring and blacklisting history and records. As of the most recent fluff, they've already started a secret war with Guilliman's new organisations, namely trying (and failing) to stop the Imperial Regent from acquiring a copy of the Lectitio Divinatus dating from the days of LOYAL Word Bearers. The delicious irony that the Inquisition's greatest weapon had been turned against them: the sheer weight and scope of the Imperium.
On the Tabletop
In the past, the Inquisition was represented by three different armies, that being the Daemonhunters, Witchhunters, and
Alienhunters Okay that last one didn't have any genuine tabletop representation back then. However, these armies ended up being split apart, with their chambers militant effectively becoming independent armies with their own codices as the Grey Knights, Sisters of Battle, and Deathwatch respectively. The disadvantage to this move was that these new armies suffered from a lack of unit choices, especially the Sisters of Battle, who lack the variety in vehicle and infantry support normally enjoyed by other factions such as the Space Marines. Realistically, unless you're up against an equally under-equipped enemy, allying up with another force is practically a necessity.
As for the Inquisitors themselves, you could still field them, but only as an allied detachment to a mainline army, such as the Imperial Guard. And like the factions mentioned above, they lost not just their chamber militants, but also their basic troops in the form of Inquisitorial Stormtroopers (in fact the Inquisition can't field troops at all, only elites in the form of henchmen). They do have a few unique units like Jokaero and Crusaders, but without some cheap units to help screen the enemy you'll end up with an expensive and easily outnumbered army, as you can only take 36 henchmen at most per inquisitor. However, they do come with a number of transports (including the nominally Space Marine-only Land Raider), which can be a boon to armies lacking in vehicle options. And if you want to bring assassins with you, you'll get them through the inquisitor. Besides, fluff-wise an Inquisitor would normally want plenty of meat-shields to do the shooting for them anyways.
After getting reorganized into Codex: Imperial Agents, Inquisitors can now play closer to their original incarnation if you so choose. Inquisitors can now easily call upon detachments from other organizations, including Grey Knight Terminators, Sisters of Battle, or Deathwatch, depending on the Inquisitor's Ordo. They can also utilize astropaths, enginseers, assassins, etc.
With the recent release of 8th edition, the big ≡][≡ has taken quite the hit. You no longer have access to those astropaths, enginseers, assassins, AND the crusaders, ministorum priests, arco flagellants, and death cult assassins. But possibly the biggest blow to both casual inquisition players and neckbeards longing for the old witchhunters and daemonhunters days, the chambers militant special rule is gone. You can also no longer mix what you have into henchy squads, or upgrade the armor on any of your units. Despite this the inquisition is still useful, but VERY situational. Probably the best use for Inquisitors these days is relatively cheap Psykers and buffing the Leadership of your other units.
The Inquisition is unique among Imperial departments in that it has no formal definition of a hierarchy or structure. However, Inquisitors with common interests tend to band together to tackle issues too large for a single Inquisitor, and over time, these coalitions have coalesced into bodies called Ordos which specialize in handling a particular class of threat to the Imperium. Joining an Ordo isn't mandatory, but most Inquisitors are "raised" in an Ordo as an interrogator, or gravitate towards one over time. Inquisitors will also form looser, smaller groups called conclaves to handle specific threats -- for example, a single Tyranid invasion, or threats pertaining to a particular planet. Conclaves usually include members of a single Ordo, but there's no rule against having multiple Ordos represented, and some Inquisitors actively form conclaves with experts in diverse fields. Similarly, individual Inquisitors of a different Ordo are hardly likely to turn a blind eye to gribbly things happening just because it doesn't fall into their particular box.
There are three Ordos Majoris in the Inquisition:
- Ordo Malleus - They are guys who hunt daemons. The Grey Knights are the Malleus' Chamber Militant.
- Ordo Hereticus - Guys who like to hunt witches, heretics, and mutants. While lacking a Chamber Militant of their own, the Hereticus frequently rely on the Sisters of Battle.
- And the Ordo Xenos - The guys who fight aliens. All the time. The Deathwatch are the Xenos' Chamber Militant.
Barring those Chamber Militants they could also call upon the Red Hunters Chapter and their very own Stormtroopers to help out. Several Ordos Minoris exist as well, although their exact number is uncertain (especially because an Ordo is only as big as the number of Inquisitors who care about its particular issue -- the factor that separates the major Ordos from the minor ones is that there are always plenty of daemons, heretics, and xenos to go around, while other threats rise and fall in prominence). The best-known (relatively speaking) are as follows:
- Ordo Aegis - They help with keeping the Cadian Gate secure (given the fall of Cadia their jobs just got exponentially harder).
- Ordo Astartes - They try to keep some degree of control over the Space Marines, with "try" being the operative word. Some recent breakthroughs have been made with the introduction of Ork Sharpshooters and dickery.
- Ordo Astra - They keep stellar maps up to date. Given that there are about 50 of them and shit's fucked, they have a lot of work to do.
- Ordo Barbarus - They watch over pre-industrial worlds to make sure Chaos cults can't spring up on them. Essentially, a specialist branch of the Ordo Hereticus.
- Ordo Chronos - They specialized in the possibility of time travel (particularly because time in the Warp doesn't flow normally), and they sought to deal with temporal anomalies, such as a ship reaching its destination before it actually left its starting point. Unfortunately for them, they just up and vanished without a trace. Nobody knows where they went, and as a result, this Ordo has been essentially forgotten by the rest of the Inquisition. They may or may not have recently come back, and at least one of them was very interested in interrogating the Legion of the Damned.They also have a more mundane division that deals with the various heresies, inconsistencies, and general galactic level idiocy surrounding the dating system - to the point where the current year could be inaccurate by a margin of 200 to 1000 years. Recent fluff has also hinted that they also study the time shifting effects of warp travel, along with various means of stabilising. Several members of the Ordo were part of the opening movements of the Indomnitus Crusade to ensure that all elements arrived at approximately the same time.
- Ordo Custodum - They make sure Holy Terra stays secure and devoid of heretics; another Ordo Hereticus sub-Ordo. Given how overpopulated Terra is, they have their work completely cut out.
- Ordo Desolatus - Purpose unknown. For some odd reason it only has one member.
- Ordo Excorium - They make sure nobody tries to call in an Exterminatus without having a good reason for it first. The Imperium could probably use more of them, seeing as Exterminatus seem to happen all the time for things that could probably have been resolved in other ways. They are doing their job since by official statistics, over 90% of Inquisitors who declared a single Exterminatus were stripped of their rank and declared heretics for this exact reason. But they really need to put some effort to prevent such kind of behaviour. Print some guidelines or something.
- Ordo Machinum - They ensure that the Adeptus Mechanicus properly integrate STC variants (and the occasional piece of xenos tech) into Imperial technology, while also trying to keep their hoarding tendencies to an acceptable level.
- Ordo Maledictum - Seek any means to drive back or close the Great Rift.
- Ordo Militarum - Their role is to ensure that the Imperial armed forces remain loyal. The Commissariat is presumably their child organization.
- Ordo Necros - Nobody's entirely sure what they do, but since they apparently needed an entire Ordo to supervise them (The Ordo Vigilus), it must be really important. Something to do with the Necrons, maybe? Looking after the Void Dragon? Something to do with a nature of death and the afterlife? In any case, someone was and is really fucking worried about them and whatever the hell they're doing, since the Ordo Vigilus' only job is looking into this Ordo's business.
- Ordo Obsoletus - Only mentioned in the fluff a few times, the Inquisition's official department of What The Fuck just happened here? Tends to chase up inexplicable events like the Legion of the Damned turning up. Basically the 41st millennium's X-Files. Tend to be suspicious about miracles.
- Ordo Originatus - They act as the Inquisition's historians, attempting to sift through ten thousand years' worth of myths and legends for the few grains of truth that remain. Polar opposite of the Ordo Redactus.
- Ordo Redactus - The Inquisition's equivalent of the Ministry of Truth, which makes sure that the secrets of the Inquisition's past stay secret, and that history books say what they ought to say. Naturally, this can be quite a problem for the Ordo Originatus if the two don't work together. They probably do work together, though, as the Inquisition of all groups would definitely want accurate records and the High Lords at the very least would need such a thing.
- Ordo Sanctorum - This branch keeps a close eye on the Ecclesiarchy so a second Reign of Blood doesn't occur.
- Ordo Scriptorum - Like a grimdark version of the NSA, they examine and investigate written records and communications and try to cut through the Administratum's red tape when doing so would keep the Imperium safe and secure. Occasionally referred to as the Ordo ISO 9000.
- Ordo Scriptus - Oversees official historical records on Terra. Since they only have 6 (Inquisitorial) members, they most likely make use of great amounts of administratum resources, and even then they are constantly and horribly out of date.
- Ordo Senatorum - Unknown purpose. Perhaps it has something to do with the Senatorum Imperialis and their staff?
- Ordo Sicarius - They watch over the Officio Assassinorum to make sure that they don't try to repeat The Beheading.
- Ordo Sepulturum - They're dedicated to fighting plagues and diseases, but mainly the Zombie Plague and the zombies that result.
- Ordo Thanatos - Unknown purpose. Considering though they are named after the Greek God of death, it points to their purpose having some relation to death, perhaps investigating means of immortality?
- Ordo Vigilus - Their purpose is to keep an eye on the Ordo Necros. Someone must have been really concerned by Necros to make an Ordo for the sole sake of keeping an eye on an Ordo.
And nice red uniforms OH DAMN.
Most of the Ordos are very straightforward, doing jobs that are necessary to keep the Imperium running and acting as checks and balances to other powerful organizations in the Imperium, making sure at least most of the various factions play nice while they're around to do important things. (Rather strange there's no Ordo for Navigators given how keen the Inquisition are on them, though it's likely that the Ordo Hereticus handles them due to the whole 'being mutants' biz.)
Dark Heresy gives us a look at the inner workings of the Inquisition in how they operate and recruit people. Many of them come from nearly every other organization of the Imperium, with a few criminals and death cultists thrown in.
- Acolyte - these are the guys who get recruited (or press-ganged) into the Inquisition's service, for the long term that is. While an Inquisitor can commandeer anyone they need for a particular mission, these agents officially belong to the Inquisition and have received training for their part in the organization. Reasons for recruitment can vary between a person's skills being seen as valuable, to the person in question has seen too much but can be put to use instead of purged, or if the person in question is simply expendable. Acolytes are often servants or meatshields for inquisitors, but if a particular agent shows a high degree of resourcefulness, they may be selected for becoming an inquisitor's personal retinue.
- Throne Agent - An Inquisitor's trusted aides, they tend to be more experienced than acolytes and aid in investigations. Throne Agents who are especially talented with a history of success may be recommended to become Inquisitors themselves.
- Explicator - Apprentice Inquisitors, they train directly under an Inquisitor on how to investigate.
- Interrogator - Inquisitors in training sent out into the field. They have their own rosettes and can order people around, but still lack the authority to perform independently. Once they have enough field and leadership experience they get promoted by the approval of three Inquisitors or one Inquisitor Lord.
- Inquisitor - The full monty. These are the guys who get to root out Heresy, order Exterminatus, rope entire armies into service, and so forth.
- Inquisitor Lord - Not a rank per se, rather a title that recognizes the power and influence of an individual inquisitor. Invitation-only and requires the agreement of three existing Inquisitor Lords. They tend to be the overseers of a particular conclave.
- Master - One of, if not the, Head Honcho for a sub-sector.
- Grandmaster - Like the master, but for an entire sector.
- Inquisitorial Representative - The elected representative to the High Lords. Oddly, it's not considered a desirable final career stage for an Inquisitor, and tends to be a figurehead for whatever shadowy conclave is on Terra at the time. Serve 5 year terms to prevent a single faction from gaining too much power. Elder veterans tend to use the post as a sabbatical, which really says something about Inquisitorial work because being a High Lord who is not incompetent/a prick is quite possibly one of the most stressful jobs in the galaxy.
The Inquisition is a big and complicated place, and many have different philosophies on how to protect the Imperium and stop Chaos. While there are dozens of doctrinal and philosophical disputes, the two important branches are either Puritans or Radicals. Both are fucked up assholes.
Puritans, simply put, are those who refuse to employ the measures of the enemy, such as xenotech or the Warp. They believe that associating anything with the enemy will inevitably bring corruptible influences that will only lead to damnation for all of humanity in the end, which isn't so far-fetched given the circumstances humanity faced throughout the millennia, although it has the inevitable drawback that the more zealous Puritans will eventually start to see everything as alien and Chaotic influences, which only leads to even more problems down the line. Hardcore puritans even consider Inquisitors who act covertly or with any degree of subtlety as being radicals, preferring to solve their problems as brazenly and fear-inducingly as possible. Most Inquisitors start out as Puritans or on the spectrum of Puritanism, but it's fairly common for some to fall into Radicalism eventually (which can be classed as lesser heresy in its most extreme forms). Puritanism can fall among three major philosophies:
- Amalathianism: The most conservative form of Puritanism in the Inquisition and the most common of the Inquisition's factions in general, Amalathians (named after Mount Amalath, where its tenets were first set down at an Inquisitorial conclave) believe that the Emperor has some sort of divine plan for the Imperium, and the Inquisition's purpose is to protect the Imperium as that plan becomes visible. Change is considered the greatest enemy (which may have some sense to it…yet also be counter-productive), with the exception that they seek to overcome the factionalism so common within the Adeptus Terra. The irony that the Amalathians are themselves technically a faction is not lost on them. You'd think that a group which holds the Imperium at present is perfect would be off its rocker, but they're actually a fairly reasonable group who prefer to get shit done rather than bicker and bitch over territorial disputes. Gregor Eisenhorn was once a staunch Amalathian, but he eventually fell into Radicalism in his later years.
- Monodominant: The most extreme form of Puritianism in the Inquisition, Monodominants are basically Humanity Fuck Yeah taken to its illogical extreme. They believe that humanity, and only humanity, should be allowed to continue to exist. Given that the average inhabitants of the galaxy are space pansies who would abandon you in a heartbeat, space pansies who would torture and rape you in a heartbeat, green hooligans who would fight and kill you in a heartbeat, giant spacebugs who would eat you in a heartbeat, undead robots who would atomize you in a clock tick and things much worse, this is an understandable worldview. Unfortunately, the Monodominants take things a few steps further, wanting to eliminate all mutants, including the Psykers (Astropaths and Navigators) that humanity needs to keep functioning, as well even Space Marines. This means they are both heretics, blasphemers, and outright traitors. Monodominants might be behind the problems the Celestial Lions are enduring.
- Thorianism: The most radical form of Puritanism. While the resurrectionist concepts that make up the philosophy had their beginnings with Promeus (one of the founders of the Inquisition), it remained rather obscure as a faction until after the rise of Sebastian Thor, the hero of the Age of Apostasy. They believe that Thor held part of the power of the Emperor within him, and thus believe that it is possible to reincarnate the Emperor of Mankind into a new body, allowing him to rebuild the Imperium and launch a new Great Crusade. As a result, Thorians closely study the nature of the human consciousness and the Warp, while also keeping a close eye on individuals that show enough power to be potential hosts for the Emperor's soul (such as Living Saints). They are extremely close to the Ecclesiarchy.
- Anomolian Beholders: A conservative branch of Thorianism which takes a more passive approach to the resurrectionist ideology; they are more content with observing humanity for signs of the God-Emperor's return than actively trying to bring him back.
- Ardentites: A variation of Thorian belief that claims the power of the Emperor was dispersed throughout humanity as a whole rather than being concentrated in any one individual. Derisively referred to as "miracle chasers" by the rest of the Inquisition for their many failed attempts at proving their beliefs, but they tend to be good investigators precisely because of this.
Radicals are those Inquisitors who believe in fighting fire with fire--specifically, using the weapons of the enemy against the enemy. According to Gideon Ravenor, Radicalism is an inevitable product of an Inquisitor's ideology being tested, as the more one learns about the nature of the enemy, the more they realize that the enemy has a lot better toys than the Imperium. However, given that most Inquisitors will face Chaos at some point, and given the inherently corrupting nature of the Warp, Radicalism may lead to one hoping to fight the Archenemy with its own tools before brought into the service of the Chaos Gods instead; consequently, an accusation of Radicalism is only slightly less serious than an accusation of outright heresy. Radicalism can fall into a lot more branches than Puritanism, and the following is merely a list of the most common forms it can take:
- Radical Thorians:
- Casophilians: Another branch of Thorianism interested in learning how to summon a deceased soul back to the Materium in the hope that doing so could be the first step to resurrecting the Emperor. (In practice, this would probably resemble a form of "reverse daemon summoning".) Relatively conservative by Radical standards, they are one of the few factions that can be considered open to new ideas and are known to work especially well with the Anomolian Beholders. The Heresy novels reveal that summoning deceased souls back from the warp is possible but is seriously bad Chaos juju and risks creating fate warping immortals who REALLY don't want to be alive again after what they've been through.
- Horusians: One of the most dangerous forms of radicalism and a splinter of the Thorian philosophy, Horusians (named after Horus Lupercal and founded by Moriana, once one of the first Inquisitors and now an infamous Chaos witch, as in "personal diviner of the Despoiler and only non Astartes or Cyborg in the Black Legion Command") believe that the power the Chaos Gods imbued Horus with to fight the Emperor can be used to create a new body for the Emperor. Mostly consists of older Inquisitors who have become angry with the other resurrection theories failing to get shit done. Notably gave their name to a factional struggle within the Inquisition itself, almost back from it's founding days. Inquisitorial archivists note that the goals and methods of each Horusian group seems to differ, suggesting that it's a loose set of ideas with similar aims, rather than a formalised faction.
- Revivificationism: Another radical form of Thorianism, Revivificators believe in studying the effects of death and dying so that they can reverse the process and revive the Emperor of Mankind. Revivificators have a deep interest in studying the Eldar as a result, and have less ties to the Ecclesiarchy. Also occasionally try to summon angels (daemons) of the Emperor, with predictable results.
- There are a number of strange phenomenon occurring among the faithful in the Psychic Awakening. While it's a bit early to say for certain that these fellows were right the entire time, it is a good time to be a Revivicationist.
- Istvaanism: One of the most violent forms of Radicalism, Istvaanians (named for the virus-bombing of Istvaan III, which began the Horus Heresy) believe that conflict is desirable, and mankind only grows in a state of violence (while it is said that "necessity is the mother of invention", the culture in 40k minimizes technological advancements). In practice, this leads to various conflicts that would otherwise remain minor suddenly becoming unmanageable because an Istvaanite was covertly funnelling resources to one or both sides. Possibly the only group in the galaxy who views the Imperium's biggest problem as too few wars.
- Might actually have a point as industry on most Imperial worlds is not militarized. By and large, it focuses extremely heavily on civilian technologies which may or may not be part of the Imperium's attempt to convince everyone that everything is all great in the galaxy and the space monsters are totally harmless and easily slaughtered by the Imperial Guard. No one will believe it if they're living in a military economy. Or, the Imperium really does mostly kick the shit out of everything and Istvaanites realized the Imperium kept getting its own shit pushed in whenever major threats showed up and so needs to be forced to go full Cadia on a galactic scale.
- Essentially, they think that constantly punching yourself in the face and testicles is a good way to become stronger. Like many things in 40k, this is debatable and depends heavily on the context (because, y'know, actively causing more wars when you're barely hanging on is a very bad idea).
- Libricars: An extreme version of Amalthianism that insists that even the smallest deviations from the status quo warrants purging. Unlike the Amalthians, they will do absolutely anything to ensure the status quo. Needless to say, the Recongregators hate them, and the Amalthians consider them to be a perversion of everything they stand for. They may actually be the second most dangerous radical faction of the Inquisition, due to the fact that they indirectly show their support to Nurgle through their actions causing stagnation. Not only that, but if the Emperor wanted the status quo to remain, then the very change they fight against wouldn't be happening, right? So they may be a bunch of heretics too far up their own asses to realise it.
- Oblationists: Bizarro Monodominants that insist that the truly righteous (i.e. themselves) must allow themselves to be damned through the use of the Warp, the xenos, and the unclean to keep humanity safe, like the Xanthites below. At the same time they believe that anyone else using these things will be hopelessly damned and ought to be purged. The sheer hypocrisy of this is lost on them and their extreme intolerance of other Radicals makes them easily the nuttiest bunch that aren't out and out traitors, only beaten out in evil by one other group.
- Ocularians: A minor faction obsessed with learning how to predict and divine the future, no matter the cost of doing so.
- Antiquarti: A subgroup of Ocularians that seek to predict the future by discovering patterns within events in the past. That wouldn't be hard if anyone allowed them to see the few books on the past, since no one teaches history in the grimdark future, or if the Ordo Redactus weren't going full 1984 every time someone coughs at them.
- Plutonians: A faction of the Ordo Malleus that made their debut in White Dwarf 462; the core of their philosophy is that HEALTHY EXORCISM is an Imperial part of a complete soldier's training. After the Chapter Master of the Exorcists (who were retconned into being just an Imperial Fists successor Chapter at first, not daemonhunters) was possessed by a daemon, they guided him through the exorcism process. After he seemed to be almost as resistant to Chaos as a Grey Knight without massive amounts of psychoindoctirination that makes you into a serial killer, the Plutonians transformed the Exorcists into an entire (mostly) Codex-Compliant Chapter of Warp-camouflaged daemonhunters.
- Their ideas seem to have been successful; after all, the Exorcists have managed to be a Chapter of Astartes daemonhunters without going batshit insane. A logical next-step would likely be to create a rainbow of Successor Chapters like the Exorcists to ward the Great Rift. But then again... when did the Inquisition and logic go together?
- Polypsykana: A group that believes humanity is evolving into a fully psychic race (which appears to be true) and that it is a good idea for them to do everything they can to accelerate this process (which is clearly arguable). They do this by trying to protect nascent psykers from their Puritan and radical colleagues alike, though they have also been known to harbour witches and other rogue psykers as well.
- With the Psychic Awakening, it is probably a pretty good time to be a Polypsykana. You can talk down to your fellow Inquisitors about how you were trying to prevent a scenario like this from happening, that the organic transition into a psychic humanity that you advocated for was clearly better than the scenario which nature eventually threw at the galaxy. Whether or not that gets you a bolt in the face is anyone's guess, since in this hypothetical situation you're an Inquisitor.
- Recongregationism: Radicals who believe that the Imperium has become stagnant and corrupt, and needs to be rebuilt lest it collapse further. Unfortunately for them, they aren't entirely sure about how to do this, or how it should be rebuilt after tearing down the old order. Some of the more extreme Recongregators end up like Lilean Chase, an Inquisitor who fell to Chaos and founded the Cognitae (or at least its 40K incarnation). These Inquisitors may be the closest thing to the modern views of western society, considering that they're Inquisitors giving a crap about ordinary people. Some of them apparently have some interesting ideas about the way to fix the Imperium, as shown in a small story one of them used a cadre of Xenos Hunters composed of Space Marines from chapters that Puritans aren't too fond of (Black Dragons, Flame Falcons, etc) to simultaneously stop a Necron incursion and topple an oppressive planetary government with the hope something better will go out of the consecutive population uprising.
- Seculos Attendous: Reddit atheists. A minor faction that views the Ecclesiarchy as an obstacle to mankind's progress and seeks to weaken it wherever they can. A shame that they can't agree on what to replace it with on the absurdly tiny chance they succeed. Also complete idiots, considering that this would deny the Imperium the likes of, say the Sisters of Battle and their ability to combat Daemons with their faith (a major concern at the present, what with the Great Rift and Abbadabbadoo's latest party).
- Xanthism: The most overt and well known form of Radicalism, Xanthians (named after Lord Inquisitor Zaranchek Xanthus, executed for heresy in M32) believe that using Chaotic artefacts such as possessed swords and Daemonhosts are viable weapons against the Archenemy which should be used whenever possible. They hold that only by controlling the power of Chaos can Chaos be defeated (which is like thinking that the solution to being stabbed in the gut is to push the blade until it comes out through your back). Eisenhorn eventually followed Xanthism after being forced to use Cherubael to save the lives of his retinue. Most of the time, this ends up spectacularly backfiring when their tools rebel at the worst possible time - or worse, corrupt the Xanthite using them into the service of Chaos. The Ruinous Powers hate each other, but they aren't always complete idiots about it, and when you play with fire, you only have to drop it once to set the whole house ablaze.
- Phaenonism: The only group worse than the aforementioned Oblationists, in so much that the Oblationists are at least loyal to mankind. To put in perspective just how batshit insane these assholes are, the Xanthites consider them to be utterly off their rockers. Their dabbling with tech-heresy alongside the traditional Xanthite methods led them to openly deny the Emperor's divinity and begin creating blasphemous Warp-machines in a mad attempt to rebuild the Imperium in their own image. While they were declared Excommunicate Traitoris and are presumed to be wiped out by the rest of the Inquisition, there are still some Phaenonites that survived the purges, although they have taken great caution to conceal their allegiances from their fellow Inquisitors until they can rebuild their power base.
- Xeno Hybris: A small group which sees strict anti-alien policies as being counter-productive to the Imperium of Man. They feel that sometimes Xenos can be useful or be learned from, especially when working against chaos. Many inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus in particular will do this to deal with the forces of chaos every now and again, but the Xeno Hybris makes seeking said cooperation their hat. At the very least, these guys are not tempting fate to the same extent by as other Radicals since their toys are much less likely to eat their souls. Even so, this position would most likely be more popular if the aliens the Imperium deals with on a regular basis were less of a bunch of dicks themselves or consists of humanoid maggots and other horrors that not even the Tau will try to convince to join the Greater Good. That said: given recent events with the Eldar, this faction is likely gaining power and influence at the moment, in spite of some high profile fails.
- The eye that sleepeth not.
- The Inquisition (Let's begin)
- The Inquisition (Look out, sin)
- We have a mission
- To kill all the Heretiiiiiics~ (Heretics, He-he-he-heretics~)
- We're gonna teach them (Wrong from right)
- We're gonna help them (See the light)
- And make an offer that they can't refuse.
- (That the heretics just can't refuse)
- Confess (confess), don't be boring!
- Re-peeeent~ (Repent), don't be dull!
- A fact you're ignoring
- It's better to ditch the skull throne than your skull (Blood for the Blood God)
- The Inquisition (What a show)
- The Inquisition (Here we go)
- We know you're wishing that we'd go away
- But the Inquisition's here and it's here to stay!
- The Inquisition (Oh boy)
- The Inquisition (What joy)
- The Inquisition (Oi oi)
- I was posting down in /tg/, I was minding my own business
- I was about to post some Loli Daemonette.
- Then these Ordos Hereticus plunge in
- And they throw me in a dungeon
- And they shoved a revved up chainsword up my ass.
- Is that considerate?
- Is that polite?
- And not a tube of Preparation H in sight.
- I'm sittin' flickin' daemons
- And I'm lookin' through the thickens
- When suddenly these guys break down my walls.
- I didn't even know them
- And they grabbed me by the scrotum
- And they started playing Ping Pong with my balls
- Oh, the agony!
- Ooh, the shame!
- To make my privates public by a game!
- The Inquisition (What a show)
- The Inquisition (Here we go)
- We know you're wishing that we'd go away
- But the Inquisition's here and it's here to-
- Hey, Torquemada!
- What do you say?
- I just got back from the autos-du-fe,
- Autos-du-fe? What's the autos-du-fe?
- It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway!
- Skit scat doodlebac doodle be bay
- Will you convert?
- NO NO NO NO!
- Will you confess?
- NO NO NO NO!
- Will you revert?
- NO NO NO NO!
- Will you say YES?
- NO NO NO NO!
- Now I asked in a nice way
- I said pretty please
- I bent their ears
- Now I'll work on the knees!
- Hey Torquemada
- Walk this way
- We got a new game you might want to play!
- Pull this handle, try your luck
- Who knows, Torq, you might win a buck! (All right)
- Put it in the ship.
- (In the ship In the ship!)
- How we doing? Any Heretics repent today?
- Not a one! Nay Nay Nay!
- We've flattened their fingers,
- We've branded their buns.
- Nothing is working!
- SEND IN THE NUNS WITH GUNS
- The Inquisition (What a show)
- The Inquisition (Here we go)
- We know you're wishing that we'd go away
- So come on all you Heretics and you Xenos
- We got some big news for all of yous
- You'd better change your point of views today
- 'Cause the Inquisition's here and it's here to stay!
Alternatively, there's this
They share a book with all the other Imperial Agents, and will probably receive a Codex in the future.
- Witch Hunters
- Ordo Sicarius
- Ordo Chronos
- Dark Heresy
- Tactics on how to play their current rules
- Their completely serious, (and more Noblebright by comparison) historical inspiration/predecessors
- A video showing one of the more feared inquisitors
- Excruciatus Cadre, who also roots out Heresy.
|Forces of the Inquisition|
|Command:||Inquisitor (Ordo Malleus Inquisitor - Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor |
Ordo Xenos Inquisitor)
|Retinue:||Acolyte - Arco-flagellant - Astropath - Banisher - Cherubim |
Chiurgeon - Crusaders - Daemonhost - Death Cult Assassin
Jokaero - Hierophant - Mystic - Sanctioned Psyker
Sage (Autosavant - Lexmechanic - Sister Dialogous)
Servo-skull - Servitor - Sister Hospitaler - Pariah - Penitent
Ministorum Priest - Militarum Veteran Squad - Warp-Seer
|Auxiliaries:||Inquisitorial Stormtroopers - Deathwatch - Grey Knights |
Sisters of Battle - Callidus Assassin - Culexus Assassin
Eversor Assassin - Vindicare Assassin
|Vehicles:||Chimera - Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader |
Land Raider Redeemer) - Razorback - Rhino
|Special Vehicles:||Throne of Judgement|
|Spacecraft:||Aquila Lander - Inquisitorial Black Ship|
|Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000|
|Imperium:||AdMech:||Adeptus Mechanicus - Mechanicus Knights|
|Army:||Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Imperial Navy - Militarum Tempestus - Space Marines|
|Inquisition:||Inquisition - Sisters of Battle - Deathwatch - Grey Knights|
|Other:||Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Ministorum - Death Cults - Officio Assassinorum - Sisters of Silence|
|Chaos:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Renegade Knights|
|Xenos:||Aeldari:||Dark Eldar - Eldar - Eldar Corsairs - Harlequins - Ynnari|
|Tyranids:||Genestealer Cults - Tyranids|
|Others:||Necrons - Orks - Tau|