Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 12 July 2013

By the Authority of the Immortal Emperor of Mankind

This might seem a little bit obvious, but stay with me; its another of my projections into the governance of the Imperium of man:

In a galaxy full of aliens, within which Deamons from the warp can materialize, there would seem to be a clear reason d’etre for the Ordo Xenos (hunting for and protecting the Imperium from, aliens) and the Ordo Malleus (protecting the Imperium from the denizens of the warp).

Gregor Eisenhorn - the Quintessential Inquistor

Implicit in protecting the Imperium from the denizens of the warp would seem to be the suppression of such conditions as might lead to warp incursions.  Unregulated psyker activity being the prime cause (as demonstrated in the case of Vraks).   But the Ordo Malleus does not do this.   They are there to deal with incursions that already underway.

So someone has to keep an eye out for nascent psykers, as a preventative measure, hopefully.  And to suppress the activities of unsanctioned psykers  when necessary.   This is the link in to the Imperial Creed - this is where the ‘Heresy’ comes into the Ordo Hereticus; the Creedo  Imperialis is a vehicle for the governance of a star spanning empire that places defined limits on psychic activity in a galactic empire held together by psychic activity within which the greatest threat is psychic activity.

We are told that the Inquisition’s Black Ships regularly transport thousands to feed the Corpse God of the Empire.  Setting aside the mechanics of this, as the Black Ships come to a planet, it stands to reason that the empire would (should) be able to load the unsanctioned aboard in good order.  Which means that planetary authorities must have a way of apprehending them. 

Muscle for any related activities could come from the Adeptus Arbites, Imperial Guard or even, in extremis, the gentle Adeptus Sororitas.  Or perhaps the Black Templars.   But these instruments, be they skilled discrete Arbites snatch squads or the ever so slightly more obvious interventions of the Sisters or Templars, all need direction.

Now, I would not be one to show any disrespect to the Adeptus Sororitas or the Black Templars.  Not me, no sir.  But their talents in relation to the activities of the Ordo Hereticus are more or less in a similar vein to those of the Grey Knights – when an outbreak has occurred and what it needed is a purge, either of Deamons from this reality in the case of the Grey Knights, or a group or groups of individuals violating the Creedo Imperialis in the case of the Sisters and/or Templars.   This may need some direction at the outset, but once unleashed they will only stop when they themselves are satisfied with the results.  Which will make those directing them either very cautious or gung ho, depending on circumstances.

The majority of Ordo Hereticus operatives on the majority of worlds are almost certainly Interrogators with a small staff who undertake surveillance and detective work.   They might have a specialized resource on hand to conduct their arrests, be they secret abductions or arrests by ‘plain clothes’ operatives or louder events.   Or they might rely on sequestering assistance on a case by case basis.   A team will make an assessment for each arrest; it is entirely probable that most of those apprehended are only just beginning to manifest their psyker powers.  As such, the team may well feel that they are able to make their arrest themselves.

Judge Dread would be proud
Of course, what makes it easier for these teams is working in a Police State like environment, with a large secret police and a community where individuals are predisposed to denouncing one another.  In such a situation, the watcher teams are likely to be embedded with the other enforcing authorities.

Of course, given the length of time that might elapse between visits by actual Inquisitors, the team, whilst remaining focussed on their task, might not view itself as a part of the Ordo Hereticus, but might organisationally see itself as a part of whatever local arrangements are in place.  An example of this is the Cadian Interior Guard; themselves organised like the Imperial Guard, with Shock Troops and Kasarkin, controlled by rosetted Inquisitors who nonetheless are unlikely to ever do anything else than oversee the Interior Guard.   In the same vein, in some areas the Ordo itself may not recognise this function as a part of their work, seeing it as a purely local matter; nonetheless, it remains an activity that needs to happen in order to comply with the Codex Imperialis.

Regardless, the Ordo Hereticus or local authorities will have as many of these teams as they think they can get away with, given that the teams have to resource this from somewhere.   So on a sparsely populated argiworld, there might be one team, possibly based near the starport.  On a Hive World, there might be multiple teams in each Hive, possibly with overlapping jurisdictions, perhaps on trade or filial lines.

So the majority of the Ordo Hereticus, in terms of their manpower, has to be the watcher teams on (in so far as is reasonably practicable) every world of the Imperium.   How does this sit with the Ordo Hereticus’ actual Inquisitors ?  Those who opposed Hector Rex in conclave, those who deal with and call on the militant arm of the Ecclesiasty ?  In part then, in the absence of any other mechanism, they must be there to manage the watcher teams, to represent the watcher teams to other bodies, to use their Inquisitorial Mandate and hopefully assist the watcher teams keep a lid on the emergence of psykers.

"...the fool questions our right to take those lives, the wise man knows we have no right to let them live."

Returning briefly to the Creedo Imperialis;  the Creedo Imperialis has to cover such parts of the Imperium as both govern and pose a threat of some kind.  This is why the Ordo Hereticus needs to be aware of the activities and intentions of both on those who govern (through the activities of its rosetted Inquisitors) and the governed (through the watcher teams).   The only way to maintain adequate focus is to have this two tier organisation. 

The ranking inquisitors also maintain their watching brief over the activities of the Ecclesiasty, the Adeptus Sororitas and other bodies (Arbities, Astartes or Guard) who cross their path; the specialist skills of the watcher teams who detect emerging psykers are not well placed to provide checks or balances to the escalating power of ambitious Cardinals, Canonesses or Chapter Librarians.   It needs to be full status Inquisitors who take on the role of policing the higher functions of the Administratum in all its forms.

The other two major Ordos are clearly there to be called upon in the event that one’s path is crossed is by aliens or deamons, the Ordo Hereticus on the other hand, are the Empire of man’s big brother – it is implicit in their mandate that they are watching everyone, all the time.

She is watching you
Pictures robbed from the internet without permission. 

1 comment:

  1. In my pursuit of Guard fluff, I often end up skipping over the more obvious parts of the Imperium and take the vanilla fluff for granted, without really challenging it or thinking it through in detail. This is good stuff, thanks for sharing.