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Calixian Conclave

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“Innocence proves nothing.”

— Inscription above the gates of the Calixian Conclave spire

The branch of the Inquisition that watches the Calixis Sector is known as the Calixian Conclave, the Conclave Calixis or the Ordos Calixis. Overseen by Lord Inquisitor Caidin, its High Council and Officio are based in the Tricorn Palace on Scintilla. It has many sub-officios and a grim fortified outpost can be found on or near most major or highly populated planets. Sub-officio administrators are known by the rank Planetia Inquisitor and control local conclavium councils that resemble the High Council in miniature.

The Calixian Conclave has troops, spacecraft and acolytes at its disposal, but its most valuable commodity is its Inquisitors themselves, who possess skills and authority beyond the imaginings of most Imperial citizens. The Calixian Conclave watches over the whole sector and there is no limit to its jurisdiction. It should be noted that, despite the governing hand of Caidin and the High Council, the Inquisitors of the Calixian Conclave are not all of the same mind. They are independent souls, set on individual missions and enterprises. Each one has very strong ideas about the way the Inquisition should conduct itself and the length to which they must go to preserve the Imperium. Some become outright enemies and no two have exactly the same agenda.

Should they ever pull together they would form by far the greatest power block in the area, eclipsing even the great noble families in the resources they can muster. Until that happens, the Inquisitors of the Calixian Conclave are their own worst enemies, scheming against one another or pursuing their goals in secret, using their acolytes as playing pieces in games of superiority. Some of the Calixian Inquisitors are noble and pious, exemplars of Imperial values, others are more free-thinking or, as a Puritan would put it, corrupt. Any one of them could be the Calixis Sector’s greatest saviour or its most notorious villain. Caidin and the High Council do their best to keep the scattered Inquisitors moving with a unified purpose, but sometimes they have to arbitrate disputes.

As with many others throughout the Imperium, the Calixian Conclave has a long and labyrinthine history. This ancient establishment has gathered many resources over the years, ranging from small safe houses on distant planets to mighty fortresses like the Tricorn officio on Scintilla. Troops, secret libraries, ancient pacts and even entire merchant companies are in the control of the conclave---though many would be hard pressed to find any evidence of such a thing. There are also numerous hidden heresies and forbidden episodes buried within the annals of the conclave.

The symbol of the Calixian Conclave is a golden chalice. At Inquisitorial gatherings, an ornate version of this chalice is often displayed upon a table, plinth or other prominent position. Tradition holds that it should be filled only half-way with clear liquid. The mythology of the conclave holds that this is either a draught from the well of knowledge or the waters of forgetfulness. The original charter in which this detail was recorded has been lost and copies of the tattered manuscripts seem to contradict one another. Darker whispers from the more Radical elements of the conclave whisper that the symbolic cup is in fact the Chalice of Corruption, a warning to those who would taste the mysteries locked within the Calixis Sector’s apocalyptic fate.

OverviewEdit

The structure of the Ordo Calixis, the term by which the Inquisitorial Ordos active in the sector are known, is a response to the nature of Calixis itself. While other sectors are riven rebellion, invasion, or anarchy, Calixis seethes with intrigue and conspiracy, and so the nature and number of Inquisitors operating there, and the manner in which they organize themselves, reflects this.

Unusually for many sectors, the Ordo Calixis operates visibly, and maintains the imposing and fearful Tricorn Palace on Scintilla as its base of operations. Within the palace, members of the Ordo come together to coordinate and debate their actions in the body known as the High Council of the Calixian Conclave. The chair of this august body is Lord Inquisitor Aegult Caidin, an individual who keeps his true identity secret from everyone, even his closest aides, and is rarely seen outside of the council Chamber.

Calixian Factions Edit

”You do not need to look to the stars to find the greatest obstacle this Conclave faces, my brothers. Simply gaze around this room and you will find such a sea of discord as to make our foes cackle with glee.”

—Inquisitor Eistus Gracker in address to the Calixian Conclave

In addition to the six most well known factions, scores of others are whispered to exist across the Imperium. These are rumored to be splinter groups of the larger factions, fractured from their parents by extreme views or differing beliefs, such as the Puranthius or Antus-psykeer who seek to cleanse the Imperium by targeting specific foes or practices.

Alternatively, they may be a result of local phenomena, such as the Clavianus of the Eastern Fringe, dedicated to the understanding the unique philosophies of the Tau.

In the Calixis Sector, there are several of these splinter factions. Some are mere shadows of greater schools of belief, while others are genuine organizations in their own right, with no small amount of power and influence within the boundaries of the sector.

Customs of the Calixian ConclaveEdit

The Calixian Conclave has many traditions and rites unique to its organisation. These have grown up over the many hundreds of years that the conclave has watched over the sector and serve to bind the Acolytes and Inquisitors together through common custom. Whilst some pay little more than lip service to these habits, others treat them as seriously as the Imperial Creed.

When they are new to the Inquisition, Acolytes are unlikely to be party to the mysteries and traditions of the conclave. They are likely to find the unwritten rules of the group inexplicable at first. Their first encounter with such things might be to attend a consecration of a temple as an honor guard or to stand outside the door of an Inquisitorial gathering, knocking three times and being refused access. Others might be sent to collect an annual tithe of thanks, only to discover it is naught but a slap in the face and a sack of grain.

As they become accustomed to the ways of the conclave, Acolytes may be invited to take part in the cycle of gatherings and rituals. They may also get to know the unspoken laws of etiquette and behavior common to the conclave. Their master, for example, may instruct them in the Scintillan Dictates, or else an elder cell of Acolytes may decide to take them under their wing. Acolytes may choose to reject the trappings of the conclave, indeed, if their Inquisitor is of Radical tendencies, they may be encouraged to ride roughshod over the “proper way” of doing things. They are, of course, free to do so but such behavior will mark them out as “strange”, “difficult” and “unreliable”. Particularly trusted or valuable acolytes may be made into Legate Investigators.

There are countless rituals and practices used by the Calixian Conclave. Some are highly obscure, attended only by a few or only taught to those with the proper level of initiation. Others are widely known by Acolytes and Inquisitors alike. Some of the most common customs are presented below.

Petitioning — An Inquisitor expects much of his Acolytes, however, as with any feudal master, he holds some obligation to his servants. Acolytes have a right to request things from their master. This may be as simple as a shot of amasec and a ten minute briefing or as grandiose as an entire moon. The Inquisitor may not always grant these petitions, but cleverly made, apt or amusing requests may be heard. Experienced Acolytes know only to ask for things that cannot be had in any other way and to ask for them in an unusual fashion. Those that ask for too much too often are considered to be somewhat foolish and are generally ignored. Many Acolytes spend some time sizing up their master’s foibles before making a petition.

The Emperor’s Grace — Acolytes and their masters see and do many things that the mortal mind was not meant to witness. Faith is all too easily tested by the horrors of Daemons, mutation and corruption. The Calixian Conclave offers its servants indulgence, grace and confession via Inquisitor-Priests skilled in the arts of absolution. Acolytes may be offered forgiveness for the deaths of innocents and for heresies gone unpunished whilst undercover. Preparatory funerary rites can also offer the Emperor’s grace to those about to embark on tasks where death is likely. These Inquisitor-Priests also form a vital part of the Exterminatus ritual, in which they cleanse the soul of the murder of a world.

The Calixian Conclave also has a small and secret number of Imperial saints ordained and worshipped in a furtive manner by blind, mute priests of the Ecclesiarchy. Acolytes often call upon these saints to intercede on their behalf, bringing prayer and confession before the eyes of the Emperor Himself. They also swear oaths by the saints, particularly when in a tight spot.

Saint Uthur the Cataplast — Known as “Uthur the Unfortunate” or “The Cursed”, Saint Uthur is said to accept misfortune and suffering upon the behalf of others. Acolytes insist that he was once one of their number, where that official canon states that he was an Inquisitor-Priest. Uthur is usually invoked to guard against injuries. Tradition states that if one screams to the Saint loud enough before looking at a wound, he may be convinced to take some of the injury upon himself. Devotees burn bandages in his honor or smear statues of him in medicae balm. Saint Uthur is usually depicted as a weeping middle-aged man clutching an imbalanced scale and a lightning rod. Images of Uthur traditionally have ninety-nine wounds, each caused by a different calamity. It is a point of pride amongst statue carvers to ensure that no two icons of Saint Uthur are the same.

Saint Castor the Obviate — The remover of obstacles and patron of truth. Legend has it that this missionary endured all manner of undignified public punishments upon the feudal world of Maccabeus Quintus, including five attempts to cut off his head. Each one failed until he pointed out an error with the guillotine’s mechanism. According to the legend of his beatification, the people of Maccabeus Quintus were so impressed by his pious devotion that they rose up in support of the Imperial Creed, casting down their government to much rejoicing. Acolytes call upon Saint Castor to watch over interrogations, smile upon investigations and speed answers to the minds of researchers.

Saint Aret the Lethecant — Saint Aret is a martyr. The nature of his death, and indeed his true name, has been lost over the ages. At the time it was generally agreed that his miraculous death was truly one of the most spectacular cases of martyrdom ever seen. However, it seems in the centuries between the petition for his beatification and the eventual granting of the sainthood, his legend was forgotten. When the scribes of the Calixian Conclave searched their archives, they found that the only book of his deeds was damaged, his name half-erased and his achievements moldered away. After much debate, it was decided that Saint Aret should guard over that which should not be remembered. His shrines are dust-filled archive rooms where forbidden scrolls are abandoned and data is sent to decay and die. Statues of Aret usually have large ears, so that Acolytes may whisper their fears, deeds and memories to the Saint, who will bear them away, to trouble them no more.

Death — Acolytes and Inquisitors of the Calixian Conclave are offered a great honor upon death that many Imperial citizens could never dream of attaining. When death in service arises, the name of the departed is passed along to the script-savants of the conclave. This ancient brood of lexiconographers record the names of the dead in vast tomes, bound in creaking leathers and smeared with preservative oils. The skulls of especially honored servants are ground within mortuary pestles and the bone dust used to set the ink upon the vellum pages. Once full---a regrettably frequent event---the tome is sealed with gold and lead. These golden ledgers are then sent to Terra, where the books are interred in vast subterranean data-crypts, there to rest for all eternity near the Emperor Himself. This practice is known as “descripting”, and many Acolytes say that a dead comrade has been “written up” or “gilded”.

Secret Tongues and Hidden CiphersEdit

The Inquisition has many secrets to hide and many subtle and terrifying tools with which to preserve them. One layer of secrecy comes from the thousands of coded languages and cipher methods used by its servants. Here are but a few of the tongues, ciphers and codes used within the Ordos Calixis.

Augustinian – Created by an Inquisitor of a neighboring sector, this simple series of phrases and pictograms has wide use throughout the Segmentum Obscurus and is part of the so-called Augustine Protocols, a set of Inquisitorial practices and training methods dating back at least four millennia. Augustinian uses phrases and simple hand drawn pictograms to stand for particular situations or threats. “Lidless brother”, for example, means “you are under surveillance by other agents of the Inquisition” and can be said, written or represented by its pictogram of a crude eye with a diagonal slash across it.

Cryptos Cognos — A relatively recent addition to the canon of Inquisitorial codes, this subtle means of covert communication is based not only on phrases, but voice cadence, inflection and accompanying body language. Exclusively used by graduates of the secretive Tenebrae Collegium, it is so subtle that even sharp-eyed observers could see and hear an entire conversation held on some seemingly innocuous subject and be completely unaware of what was truly being said.

The Gimel Progression — Aside from the standard Imperial and Inquisitorial codes, the Ordos Calixis use an ultra-high security cipher for transmissions sent via astropathic chorus, courier and vox. The Gimel Progression varies in security depending on the importance of the message with the lowest being Gimel-Ardent, progressing to Gimel-Amethyst, and finally Gimel-Obsidian. The Gimel sequences are based on seemingly random substitution code words based on a rotating encryption rumored to consist of all ten thousand volumes of the Codex Administratum and several other noteworthy texts.

The Nephilim Cipher — There are some records that are not just secret but dangerous to any that would access them. For such material, a cipher that is not only unbreakable but can also bind what it is used to code is needed. The Nephilim Cipher is one such cipher. It is based on sacred mathematical translations and ancient symbols of binding, most commonly employed to encode material relating to the nature of Daemons and the warp. Legend has it that this code dates back to the very founding of the Holy Ordos.

The Tantalus Fractal — Highly unusual, the Tantalus Fractal is a tech-code, a construction of binary incantations and data-djinn locked one on top of another in seven-dimensional formula with potentially infinite combinations and deadlocks. The Tantalus is used by the highest-ranking tech-priests in the service of the Inquisition to encrypt the most dangerous of data, often referring to blasphemous works of tech-heresy and xenos artifice. It is said that the Tantalus holds numerous hidden traps within its makeup more than capable of overloading and destroying cogitators and driving mad or even killing savants attempting to unlock its secrets.

The Inquisition War of M39Edit

The Calixis Sector was unfortunate enough to experience a full-blown Inquisition War early in its founding. The Inquisition War erupted over the excommunication of the powerful Inquisitor Cerdius, who was one of the most influential figures in the Calixian Conclave’s history, and all of her many followers. No fewer than 13 Inquisitors and their entire retinues were excommunicated and declared traitors by a power bloc of Puritanical Inquisitors seeking to destabilize what they perceived as Radical elements within the conclave. The excommunicated Inquisitors did not go quietly, however, raising entire regiments against what they saw as the usurpers. Three systems within the Malfian sub-sector were consumed in the war, the surfaces of their worlds razed by virus bombs and planetary bombardment. The war itself lingered on within the subsector for close to a century before Cerdius and her cabal were eventually hanged after the betrayal of one of their number. Parts of the Malfian sub-sector remained in turmoil for the next millennium, and it is said that the war is one of the reasons why Scintilla remains the dominant world in the sector over Malfi itself. This shroud is one of many reasons why the nobles of Malfi remain resentful of the Tricorn Palace and the fate that its politics denied to them.

MembersEdit

Rogue MembersEdit

Unique EquipmentEdit

The Calixian Black Grimoire

Thought to have been first penned by the Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Lord Quate’maz Knael in the in the aftermath of his expeditions into the Hazeroth Abyss, and substantially added to a century later by the infamous Inquisitor Kol Shek, the Black Grimoire is no less than a field manual detailing many forms of xenos creatures they had encountered in their long years of service—explaining how to identify, combat and destroy them. Kol Shek’s numerous later entries, often considerably briefer and laid down in his distinctive and somewhat sensationalistic prose style, widen the work’s scope to include xenophile cults, warp entities and a host of other unconnected horrors. The very existence of the Grimoire is a point of contention among the Calixian Conclave as most in the Ordo Malleus feel that such information should never leave the heavily guarded libraries of the Ordos, while more Puritan factions of the Hereticus claim that the work is far too dangerous to be allowed to exist at all, and all copies should be hunted down and purged (although this might have something to do with the somewhat disparaging remarks that Kol Shek makes about the witch hunters throughout).

The Grimoire takes the shape of a small black data-slate made of high-impact polyflex that opens in the fashion of a clasped book and also has a short-range audio and pict recording and a playback function. Their owners, in addition to numerous other safeties built into them, personally encrypt all copies of the Black Grimoire and the Grimoire self-immolates if opened by an individual not specified by its gene-lock, or if tampered with.

The Black Grimoire provides a +10 bonus on Research Tests involving Ciphers (Occult), Scholastic Lore (Legend) and Forbidden Lore (Cults, Daemonology, Warp and/or Xenos).

Cost 2,500, WT 1kg, Very Rare (Ordo Xenos Only)

Hellax Infernus

In the dark history of the Conclave Calixis, one individual is spoken of with equal parts dread and admiration; Cassilda Cognos. Little is known about the mysterious inquisitor, save that she was the founder of the Tyrantine Cabal, and is now long dead. However, her legacy lives on in the deep data vaults of the Bastion Serpentis, in the activities of the Tyrantine Cabal itself, and in the rare artefacts associated with her that have been scattered across the Calixis Sector.

The Hellax Infernus is a weapon both elegant and extremely potent. In appearance, it is an antique inferno pistol, with a long thin barrel, sculpted handle, and barrel-basket with everflickering flame. However, the Infernus is constructed with strange, arcane technology. Its flames sear hotter than even the most potent melta-weapon; hot enough, it is said, to burn one’s very soul.

The Hellax Infernus ignores the defences from Fields and all protective benefits granted by psychic powers (including benefits such as bonuses to Dodge, as well as powers that specifically reduce energy damage or damage from melta-weapons). In addition, if a target is hit by the Hellax Infernus and survives, he must make a Challenging (+0) Willpower Test. If he fail, he permanently reduces his Willpower by 1d10.

The Hellax Infernus uses the standard ammunition for inferno pistols, and counts as a Best craftsmanship weapon.

Pistol, 10m, S/–/–, 2d10+6, E, PEN 14, Clip 5, RLD 2Full, WT 2kg, Sanctified, Unique

The Twelve Daemonhammers of the Crusade

Daemonhammers are more than simply a powerful and legendary weapon. When an Inquisitor wields one, he is wielding the very symbol of the Ordo Malleus. Daemonhammers are large, two-handed hammers made from rare ores and composites from humanity’s ancient past. Their hafts are covered in hexagramic wards and seals of warding, while their heads are emblazoned with the burning sigil of the Inquisition, from which emanates a crackling power-field.

Daemonhammers are extremely rare, and granted only to the most trusted and respected Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus. Although no details are known, it is rumored that the number of Daemonhammers the Calixian Conclave possesses is very small. It is possible the only Daemonhammers in the Sector are those known as the Twelve Daemonhammers of the Crusade; legendary weapons said to be wielded by the Council of Twelve. These heroic daemonhunters are said to have fought at the forefront of the Angevin Crusade, and their weapons are in great demand amongst the Conclave’s most powerful members.

It is said that there were actually 13 Daemonhammers, but that one has been long lost to the forces of the arch-enemy. If this is true, the person who could return such a weapon to the Holy Ordos would be lauded amongst its ranks.

When used against a creature with the Daemonic trait, the Daemonhammer’s wielder scores Righteous Fury on any damage die result of 8–10, instead of only natural 10s as normal.

In addition, Daemonhammers are always Best craftsmanship weapons, granting +10 to the wielder’s Weapon Skill Tests and +1 to all Damage rolls. That damage is included in the weapon’s profile.

Melee, 2d10+1(+SBx2), I, PEN 8, WT 5kg, Power Field, Sanctified, Unwieldy, Two-Handed, Extremely Rare

The Power Stakes of Witch Hunter Rykehuss

The Power Stake is another item in the Inquisitor’s arsenal that is designed to be as much a symbol as a weapon. It takes the form of a solid meter-long shaft of cold-forged iron, tapering to a wicked point on one end. The other end is fashioned into a handle, containing a power field generator. All along the shaft are thousands of etched runes, each a prayer against the psyker and an invocation against the warp. The power stakes of Witch Hunter Rykehuss were specially commissioned by that noted Inquisitor to be a bane against the witch and psy-user.

He has actually commissioned several dozen, which by now have been scattered throughout the Sector with his blessing, to do the God-Emperor’s holy work.

If this weapon strikes a target with a Psy Rating, it deals an additional 1d10 damage for every point of Psy Rating the target possesses (so a target with Psy Rating 3 would take an additional 3d10 damage). A Power Stake of Witch Hunter Rykehuss is always considered a Best craftsmanship weapon, granting the user +10 to Weapon Skill Tests and +1 damage, which has already been included in the profile.

Melee, 1d10+7(+SB), E, PEN 5, WT 1kg, Power Field, Unbalanced, Sanctified, Very Rare

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