A major duty of the Inquisition, alongside the primarily investigative role of the various ordos, is running the Black Ships. These craft, crewed and commanded in conjunction with the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, transport psykers from all over the Imperium to Terra. These psykers are given up by Imperial worlds as part of their tithe, and indeed surrendering psykers to the Inquisition is one of the most important rules of Imperial law. The skill of the Inquisition at finding the truth about a planet’s psyker population and the power of intimidation that the Inquisitorial Seal brings with it means that the Black Ships could not function effectively without the Inquisition’s help.
Some of the psykers transported to Terra are strong enough to be trained as Imperial psykers or astropaths. The rest are never seen again and as far as most people see it, what happens to them is a secret known only to a few Lord Inquisitors and senior Adepts of the Telepathica. The crews of the Black Ships come from both the Telepathica and the Inquisition. Adepts of the Telepathica test the psykers being transported, selecting those who are strong enough to shield themselves from possession by warp entities to begin their training. The Inquisition’s role is to scrutinize the tithe gathered from each world to make sure that there is no shortfall in the number of psykers given up, monitor the psykers being transported in case they pose a threat while in transit and (though not their official duty) pick the best psykers for training and use by the Inquisition itself. Indeed, many Acolytes with psychic powers began their careers as unwilling passengers on a Black Ship, where their talents were first recognized.
The Black Ships themselves are dark places of despair, for they are little more than spacefaring high-security prisons and many of the psykers being transported know full well that they will meet a grim fate at their journey’s end.
Long used by the masters of the Black Ships to control their harvest of charges, torpor is a chemical cocktail of neural-inhibitors and narcotics deigned to render the subject docile and, more importantly, negate their ability to use Psychic Powers. Likewise the Holy Ordos maintains it own supplies of Torpor for prisoner control and other uses, while hereteks and some cults have been known to manufacture their somewhat unreliable version for their own dark purposes.
A single dose of torpor lasts for 1d10 minus the subject’s Toughness Bonus in hours, during which time the subject is overcome by a grey anxiety-ridded haze in which he counts as Fatigued and must succeed in a Difficult (–20) Willpower Test to perform any Actions of his own volition. In addition, psychic characters have their Psy-Rating reduced by 4 while under this drug’s effects.
Cost 500ea, Very Rare