Here there be witches and all must die — Creature FeatureInquisition dedicated and specialized in hunting down and destroying witches, heretics, and mutants in the name of the Empra but will also kill just about anyone who's an enemy of the Imperium if confronted. Commonly fields Sisters of Battle or Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, though a Witch Hunter Inquisitor Lord may call on the Imperial Guard, Space Marines and even Grey Knights to assist them in battle.
The Ordo Hereticus was originally created after the Age of Apostasy to ensure that the Ecclesiarchy could never go batshit insane again and stick to the Decree Passive; since then it has expanded into the rigid enforcers of the Imperial Cult, stamping out all traces of unorthodoxy among the populace, whether they are genuinely tainted by Chaos or not. This power creep from the Inquisition's original goal to mainly fight Chaos itself characterizes how far removed they've become from Malcador's original vision for the eternal watchmen of mankind.
All female Sisters of Battle players rage hard when you call SoBs 'Witch Hunters' or imply that they are the same group. Matt Ward apparently agrees because as of 5E they have been separated again. Fucking Ward. They have a WFB equivalent. Also called, unsurprisingly, Witch Hunters. Both flavors get bitchin' pimp hats and the fantasy counterparts have the only reliable guns in the world.
So what is heresy?
IF IT AIN'T INVOLVING THE EMPEROR, IT'S ALL HERESY!
This above sentence may seem an overstatement but really it is closer to the truth then you'd think. To the Witch Hunters anything that veers from the Emperor's light is to be found and purged and the purging is usually done in fire.
Unlike the Daemonhunters, Witch Hunters act as more of a police instead of a military force. While the Daemon Hunters search the stars for daemons and the chaos crazies responsible for them with the Grey Knights; Witch Hunters are instead more focused on rooting out heresy from within the Imperium's worlds, finding heretics that have infiltrated the Imperium already and purging any cults they may have formed.
Apostasy is also an extreme form of heresy and the one viewed most unfavorably by the Ordo. Thus, the name Witch Hunter. Apostates, for the purposes of 40k, are any psyskers who have not submitted to Imperial authority and specifically those that avoid said authority.
They are the firebrand Inquisitors which give the Inquisition its dark reputation and all you heard about them is very true.
Notable Members of the Ordos Hereticus
Lord Inquisitor Fyodor Karamazov
"There is no such thing as a plea of innocence in my court, a plea of innocence is guilty of wasting my time. Guilty."
Lazy bastard. Sits on a massive, dreadnought-esque chair and merely points to where the servitor should aim his triple-linked multi-melta while his trusty aide Dominique makes snide comments. He's a great believer in Just. As. Planned. but the Empy version. Jokingly called Lord Krazypantsoff by several immature (and hilarious) users of /tg/. Many Thorian inquisitors, and even the Ecclesiarch himself, hate this guy, thanks to an incident where he purged an innocent priest who had just reclaimed his world for the Imperium. Yeah, that quote up above wasn't an exaggeration. He's also bald due to an anti-aging cream gone wrong - all the workers for the company (called Dove) were subsequently purged and crucified.
As the quote states: even if your innocent he's gonna kill you anyway. So since you're fucked no matter what, go crazy.
Set that baby on fire.
G'wan. You know you wanna.
He's named after Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and his famous book The Brothers Karamazov - which is known for its chapter The Grand Inquisitor.
Witch Hunter Tyrus
This guy is so badass that all the motherflippin' ladies get PURGED when he enters the room. He was taken under the care of an inquisitor as a child after a Daemon Prince ripped one of his ears and eyes out for fun before razing the rest of his village. Years later, the same Daemon Prince killed his mentor in battle but Tyrus was able to banish the bastard back to the warp again. His favorite method for finding HERESY is forcing the accused to consume a jug of holy water. If they choke then they are considered heretic and crucified, shot, burned, then he lets a blind butcher loose on them, then they get shot again.
Plus he loathes psykers, even the ones in the Inquisition. So don't ask him if he wants to see your new magic card trick.
Adrastia is a lot like what you'd expect from a Witch Hunter. Suspicious, ruthless, uncompromising and utterly devoted to finding and destroying all things heretical for the Emprah. She has a haughty and cavalier attitude and frequently found herself in conflict with Sergeant Merrick who was convinced she only came to sub-sector Aurelia because she hoped to capture Kyras and net herself a promotion rather than actually giving a crap about the sub-sector's imminent annihilation. She doesn't really bother to confirm or deny his accusations instead telling him to quit bitching at her and get on with his work but when Kyras turns into a gigantic Daemon the option to capture him alive quickly disappears so who knows. Her personality is somewhat grumpy and harsh having very little time for anyone who is not a heretic or pointing her in the direction of one (then again being kind of a buzzkill is pretty normal for Inquisitors who are not Amberley Vail so we can't really fault Adrastia for that).
In Warhammer Fantasy
After Sigmar himself defeated the bone daddy Nagash, he founded an organization known as the Order of the Silver Hammer, a precursor organization which would then become the Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar under Emperor Magnus the Pious' reign.
They are the agents of the sigmarite church who specialize in hunting down necromancers, chaos cultists, and any other sorcerer who practice magic than the one allowed by the Colleges of Magic. They are about as ruthless and bad news as the 40k version. They also wear pimp pilgrim hats and are equipped with the best shiny pistols available. The witch hunter's job is to not only kill the evil sorcerer, but also spread propaganda among the populations.
Fun Fact: Archaon the Everchosen used to be a witch hunter under the name Diederick.
|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