The Old Ones
“So great has been the calamitousness of these times, and such the inveterate malice of the heretics, that there has been nothing ever so clear in our statement of faith, nothing so surely settled, which they, at the instigation of the enemy of the human race, have not defiled by some sort of error. For which cause the holy Inquisition hath made it Its especial care to condemn and anathematise the principal errors of the heretics of our time, and to deliver and teach the true and Imperial doctrine; even as It has condemned, anathematised, and decreed.” – Declaration of Inquisitorial Mandate, Vornheim
The Holy Pope had ordered the Sigillite to find a group of men and women of an “inquisitive nature” to search out the enemies of the Imperium, whether they lay within or without. Every Imperial citizen, from the poorest non-human scum to the highest and wealthiest of nobles, has heard the tales of death and destruction, of the all-seeing eye that condemns or absolves with impunity. Those who have crossed an Inquisitor’s path and survived to tell of it are seldom eager to invite his attention again. Inquisitors are as varied in appearance and manner as the myriad threats they face. They range in age from fiery young zealots to hoary old veterans who have fought in the darkness for bitter years. Some wear ostentatious robes and symbols of their allegiance, whilst others shun the trappings of status.
“Heresy is like a tree, its roots lie in the darkness whilst its leaves wave in the sun and to those who suspect nought, it has an attractive and pleasing appearance. Truly, you can prune away its branches, or even cut the tree to the ground, but it will grow up again ever the stronger and ever more comely. Yet all awhile the root grows thick and black, gnawing at the bitter soil, drawing its nourishment from the darkness, and growing even greater and more deeply entrenched.
Such is the nature of heresy, and this is why it is so hard to destroy, for it must be eradicated leaf, branch, trunk and root. It must be exorcised utterly or it will return all the stronger, time and time again, until it is too great to destroy. Then we are doomed."
-Inquisitor Bloatfoot, Prelude to the Abominatus
Inquisitors themselves care little for morality, and nothing at all for the Imperium’s many laws and procedures, except when they choose to make use of them. They stand in judgement over all the Imperium’s organisations. Indeed, an Inquisitor is apart from the rest of the Imperium in every way that matters. By ancient tradition, his authority comes directly from both the Emperor and Pope himself; there is no hierarchy to which he must answer, and he is beholden only to his fellows. More than this, a bearer of the Inquisitorial Seal can requisition any servant in the Imperium to assist in his mission, from the lowliest of clerks to entire Imperial Legions, as well as the arcane powers of the The Order of Kites
“While Vile abhumans still draw breath, there can be no peace. While obscene heretics’ hearts still beat, there can be no respite. While faithless traitors still live, there can be no forgiveness.”
– Adeptus Excoriator Heinrich von Alptraum
Survival is the only goal for which Inquisitors strive; not personal survival, for they, more than any, understand that one life is meaningless when set upon the Imperial scale. An Inquisitor labors for nothing less than the endurance of Mankind. This is a cold-hearted pragmatism, so unyielding and fervid that it eclipses the faith of even the most devout of the Ecclesiarchy’s adepts. The Inquisitor is an arbiter of absolute truth. In his or her eyes, tradition is irrelevant, decades of blameless existence count for nothing, and ignorance matters not one whit. The deeds of the hour are the Inquisitor’s obsession, and the consequences spiraling from the most seemingly insignificant acts his burden.
Where a local noble or military commander might perceive only an insurrection to be crushed, an Inquisitor will recognize the heresy of which that rebellion is but a symptom. He will have the contacts and resources to root out pagan conspiracies, bureaucratic corruption and abhuman deviances festering within hitherto blameless Legions and Knightly Chapters.
There are no lengths to which an Inquisitor will not go in pursuit of his duty, no sanction too extreme. He knows that it is better for a thousand blameless souls to perish alongside a single guilty fugitive, if it ensures the threat is ended. Most Inquisitors grieve for the murder they wreak in survival’s cause; they mourn every death, and forge on only through the knowledge that the act served a greater purpose. Others have become so emotionally cauterized that they give the matter no more thought than they would when sweeping the pieces from a gaming board. Yet there are occasionally acts of mercy to balance those of murder. Inquisitors are not blind to the possibility of redemption. Virtue in the present can sometimes outweigh the evils of the past, though such reprieves are rare indeed.