There are Radical Inquisitors amongst the servants of the Ordo Malleus who believe they have the right and the responsibility to use every weapon at their disposal to fight the daemonic, even weapons and methods that might earn them the disdain or hatred of their peers. One such method, postulated in many tomes of forbidden knowledge, is the notion that an individual can be made immune to daemonic possession by deliberately inviting a daemon in and then exorcising it. This process, its proponents claim, renders the subject’s soul an impenetrable fortress that no daemon could ever breach again. In truth, such doctrines have never been proven effective, and countless innocent (and not so innocent) souls have been cast into damnation as a result.
The daemonhost known as Kapeth-Shem is an example of the process, and a dire warning against following such obviously radical doctrines.
Kapeth was once a proud Imperial Guardsman who served his master, Inquisitor Selech of the Ordo Malleus, for many years and with great distinction. While Inquisitor Selech started his career as an adherent of the Amalathian philosophy, the dire events he witnessed over the course of his duties set him on a very different path, one that led ultimately to him discarding his old philosophy and turning to the Xanthites. Selech came into the possession of various ancient texts describing in detail the process by which a virtuous servant might be possessed and then purged in order to create an elite cadre of holy warriors. The texts even claimed that such a cadre existed already, operating beyond the rules of the Inquisition in the direct service of the Emperor himself. Inquisitor Selech was all but blinded by this new vision of the Imperium, and he devoted the next decade of his life to studying the process by which he and his followers might join the ranks of this elite.
Having absorbed every scrap of knowledge that he could find, Inquisitor Selech determined that his most loyal servant, Imperial Guardsman Kapeth, would be the first to receive the honor of “illumination”. Some say that Selech feared the process would fail and therefore selected one of his servants to undergo it first, but Selech himself wrote just prior to undertaking the rite that Kapeth was his most valued of followers, and the most deserving of the honor. Unfortunately, the rite failed horribly.
In a blasphemous ritual, Selech called upon the Ruinous Powers to enter the body of his servant, and an entity that called itself “Shem” responded. Bound by holy wards, Kapeth-Shem raged and sought to escape, but could not cross the intricate holy glyphs etched across the floor. Then Selech proceeded to the culmination of the ritual, commanding Shem to leave Kapeth’s body and return to the Warp that had spawned it. This Shem did, or so Inquisitor Selech believed.
Despite every one of the Inquisitor’s precautions, the daemon had tricked him. It was not cast out, but lurked within the very deepest recesses of Kapeth’s soul. When Inquisitor Selech announced the process complete and his servant cleansed, Shem regained control of the vessel, transforming it into a hideous parody of a man, and struck his summoner down.
The thing that became known as Kapeth-Shem slaughtered Inquisitor Selech as well as his Banishers, and broke free of its bonds. Three dozen servants of the Ordo Malleus died before the daemonhost was finally cornered and bound, deep within the Inquisitor’s fastness in the wastes of Scintilla. Selech’s retinue determined after much debate that the daemonhost was too powerful to destroy outright, and they could not transport it one of the Pandaemonia without great risk. However, after some experimentation they found that it could be controlled for short periods of time and compelled to serve them. The soul of Kapeth still remained, subsumed beneath the will of the raging daemon, and could be called forth to assert control over his body. In time, other Inquisitors allied to the slain Selech came, and assumed ownership of his former holdings. To this day, these individuals maintain Kapeth-Shem’s imprisonment, bringing the daemonhost forth to undertake their bidding when an enemy must be confronted or forbidden knowledge sought.