“We are at war with forces too terrible to comprehend. We cannot afford mercy for any of its victims too weak to take the morally correct course. Mercy destroys us and saps our resolve. Put aside all such thoughts. They are not worthy of Inquisitors in the service of our Emperor. Praise His name, for in our resolve we only reflect His will.”
–The Book of Exorcisms, The Verses of Inquisitor Enoch
The Scholariate at Arms is a Chamber of the Ordo Malleus Calixis, and its members are amongst the most driven and successful of all of the many Inquisitorial cells active in the Calixis Sector. The Scholariate has existed since the foundation of the Calixis Sector. It operates from an extensive complex in the Tricorn Palace on Scintilla, as well as other facilities across the sector. The current Proctor of the Chamber is Inquisitor Lord Ghankus Dhar, a man who has served as a Master of the Council on at least a dozen occasions, and is said to be as close to Inquisitor Lord Caidin as it is possible to be. Lord Dhar is a highly militant Inquisitor and a veteran of numerous battles against the Ruinous Powers; he rules his Chamber with a will as hard and unyielding as granite. Though a renowned servant of the Ordo Malleus, Lord Dhar has never revealed which, if any, of the factions he supports. No outward clues of his allegiance can be discerned, and it is not even clear what side of the Puritan/Radical divide he occupies. Some have suggested that Ghankus Dhar is a member of an otherwise unknown faction, and that he always leads his Chamber in such a way as to advance his creed. In truth, the Scholariate has always been led by men and women such as Dhar: truly rare individuals able to cast off the shackles of factional adherence and place the Ordo above all.
What makes Dhar’s Chamber so unusual is that it appears to consist of Inquisitors drawn from many different factions, both Puritan and Radical. Ordinarily, Inquisitorial cells and the Chambers of the Ordo Malleus Calixis are drawn from individuals of the same broad doctrinal leanings, yet this is not the case with the Scholariate at Arms, and never has been since its inception a thousand years ago. While it might appear that such an arrangement could only succeed if Inquisitors of the same mindset as the Master in Chamber can be pooled together, this is not the case. The members of the Scholariate are in fact bitter rivals, ever striving to outdo one another even in the face of impending doom. Some say that this arrangement creates a dynamic tension that is the source of the Scholariate’s strengths. Others believe the Chamber is some bizarre experiment, or even worse a plot to undermine the Ordo by setting the factions against one another in the worst possible way. Whatever the truth, the results are undeniable---the Scholariate at Arms has been counted amongst the most successful Chambers of the Ordo Malleus Calixis since its inception.
Roots of the Scholariate at ArmsEdit
The Scholariate appears to have been in existence in a nascent form at the foundation of the Calixis Sector. Much like the earliest of Inquisitors moved in the shadows of the Emperor, the Scholariate followed in the wake of the Angevin Crusade, descending upon the peoples it had defeated and purging them of any Warp taint they discovered. This self-appointed task was truly gargantuan, for many of the worlds of the Calyx Expanse had been blind to the light of the Emperor for countless millennia, oppressed and corrupted by vile xenos overlords. When Drusus was appointed the first governor of the Calixis Sector, the Scholariate’s leaders made themselves known to him, and told him of the true state of many of the sector’s human worlds. For millennia, Drusus was told, these worlds had been beyond the attentions of the Black Ships and entirely at the mercy of Warp incursions brought about by the existence of un-culled, unsanctioned psykers.
With the birth rate of psykers rising, all of the crusade’s great works might collapse to nothing unless Drusus took control. The Scholariate’s leaders knew Drusus to be a stalwart of the Imperial Faith, who would not flinch at doing what must be done, and in this they were correct. Drusus began to take total Imperial control of the worlds in the Sector, and the Scholariate moved with impunity amongst the newly cowed populations, seeking out the deep, twisted roots of a taint that had been allowed to grow for countless generations.
In its earliest form, the Scholariate was a cell of Inquisitor- Savants, supremely learned men and women dedicated to the task of tracking down and uncovering signs of Daemonic taint. Once they set themselves to the task of purging the newly-conquered worlds of the Calyx Expanse, the Scholariate assumed a more militant form. Corruption, the Scholariate discovered, was everywhere, and they needed more resources to destroy it. Their ranks swelled with Daemon Hunters and zealots, well-equipped for the deadly business of facing daemons in combat and banishing them back to the Warp.
Thus, the cell became the Scholariate at Arms, combining the scholarly traditions of its founders with the aggressive zeal of its newer members. The result was, and still is a thousand years later, a cell of bloodhounds: Inquisitors capable of detecting the faintest scent of corruption from half a sector away, tracking it down, and destroying it utterly.
The Scholariate at Arms exists as an extended network of Ordo Malleus Inquisitors, operating under the firm, guiding hand of Inquisitor Lord Dhar as its Proctor in Chamber. Dhar himself spends most of his time in the Tricorn Palace, though he often has cause to travel to one of the Seven Cloisters and is thought to maintain his own, private citadel on one of the airless moons of Quaddis. Beneath Lord Dhar is the Chamber itself, consisting of twenty-three Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus. It is rare for all twenty-three Inquisitors to meet at any one time, but attendance at any given Chamber meeting is never allowed to drop below five as a matter of sacred duty. Most of the twenty-three Inquisitors are the masters of extended networks of Acolytes, servants, and contacts, and contact between the servants of different Inquisitors is extremely rare, and for a very good reason—they often despise each other.
The Chamber is as diverse a body of servants of the Emperor as it is possible to gather. Inquisitors of every creed and philosophy are brought together under the Proctor, and their differences set aside in the Chamber, under punishment of death. In the Chamber of the Scholariate, Radicals and Puritans face one another in grim silence, forced by circumstance to endure the presence of their most hated rivals. Factional debate is highly regimented within the Chamber, a rule which the Proctor enforces ruthlessly. Some say that even the presence of the despised and outcast Phaenonites is suffered in the Chamber, and if this is true, it is probably the only place in the Sector where this is so.
Exactly what compels the Inquisitors of the Chamber to serve alongside those they hate remains a well-kept secret. While some Inquisitors have left the Scholariate, most have not. Either the Inquisitors have been convinced of some truth so dire that they must set aside their differences, or the Proctor has coerced them in some way, essentially holding them ransom lest some detail of their past be revealed. To join the ranks of the Scholariate, an Inquisitor must take terrible, binding oaths, the substance of which he may never divulge to another.
When the Chamber is gathered, it is invariably to hear the pronouncements of the Proctor. Lord Dhar informs the Inquisitors in Chamber of their duty, assigning one or more cells to undertake a particular task to advance the Scholariate’s aims and those of the Ordo Malleus Calixis in general. When one or more Inquisitors are required to undertake a mission, the Proctor invariably chooses those of opposing factional doctrines. His choices appear at best capricious, and at worst intended to deliberately undermine the mission.
When multiple Inquisitors of the Scholariate at Arms undertake a mission together, their operations are invariably beset with internecine rivalries. While violent dispute is forbidden at the Chamber meetings, out in the field things are very different indeed. Each Inquisitor focuses as much on undermining his rivals as completing the mission. Perversely, this doctrine results in far more successes than failures; the constant and bitter competition only serves to drive the Inquisitors onward even in the face of odds others would balk from.
- Inquisitor Lord Ghankus Dhar
- Keramiah Tor, the Hollow Priest
- Maia Juno, the Blasted Angel
- Inquisitor Suresya, the Forsaken
- Inquisitor Octus Enoch
Titles of the ChamberEdit
Each of the twenty-three Inquisitors in the Chamber of the Scholariate at Arms is by ancient tradition granted a title relating to the role he is expected to play within the Chamber. There are in fact officially two hundred of these roles, but as the Chamber’s membership is fixed at twenty-three, only a portion of them are filled at any one time. These roles include the Armorer in Chamber, Archiver in Chamber, and Exorcist in Chamber, the responsibilities of which are largely self-evident. Many more, far less clear titles exist, including Inquisitor Pursuivant, Recaller, Writer of Names, and Master of Seals. While the holder of each appointment bears authority and responsibility in a specific field whilst gathered in Chamber, all members except for the Proctor are equal outside of it. Thus, an Inquisitor may be granted access to the Scholariate’s armoury-vaults by the Armourer in Chamber, only to turn his weapon upon the Armourer later on. It appears that this arrangement is understood and accepted, and the traditions adhered to, regardless of the doctrinal stance taken by the holder of each rank.
The holders of many of these titles have particular areas of responsibility. Often their own cadres assist them in their duties, but in many cases the Inquisitors are entirely unaware of their master’s role. The Armorer in Chamber, for example, is responsible for the maintenance of the Scholariate’s most potent relic-weapons (though only the Keeper of the Key is able to grant access to the armory-vault). Many of the Acolytes serving under the Armorer in Chambers are tasked with assisting him in his work. The Warden of Writs maintains extensive archives on behalf of the Scholariate, and his cadre includes a great many adepts and savants. Conversely, the Writer of Names is a lonely role, the holder responsible for recording the many names of the Warp entities the Scholariate has slain. This task is too dangerous to involve even the most skilled and trusted of Acolytes, and so is always performed in isolation.
The Chamber maintains dozens of holdings across the Calixis Sector, most of them falling under the category of Solitarium. The largest and most visible to the greater Inquisition is to be found in the Tricorn Palace, but these holdings are only ever used to conduct the most inconsequential of Chamber business. In truth, the Scholariate considers its mission of such importance that not even other members of the Ordos Calixis can be fully trusted.
The largest of the Scholariate’s holdings is the armory-vault maintained by the Armorer in Chamber. Often referred to by the members of the Scholariate as the Sepulchrum, it lies ten kilometers beneath the lowest levels of Hive Sibellus on Scintilla, and is accessible only to those granted access by the Keeper of the Key. Those allowed to enter the Sepulchrum step into an armored blister, and the moment the hatch closes behind them a stasis field activates, capturing them like a fly in amber. The blister descends into the silent depths with its passengers frozen in time, and the stasis field is deactivated once the descent is complete. The Sepulchrum is a vast, armored storage facility, lined with shelf after shelf of relics and artefacts, as well as hundreds of sealed vaults, within which the most forbidden objects are stored.
The Sepulchrum is staffed by several hundred soul-cleansed servitors, whose sole reason for living is to watch over and maintain the contents of the armory-vault. Some servitors spend their entire lives, which can last for centuries, polishing sanctified armor and holy blades. Others renew the faded text on faded prayer scrolls, mindlessly tracing and retracing script written by the most holy saints. A cerebral charge is implanted into the cranium of each servitor, linked to wards that burn out at the first sign of Warp intrusion, tripping the charge and destroying the servitor utterly.
The Pandaemonia are a number of hidden facilities scattered across the Calixis Sector, some within the Seven Cloisters, others elsewhere. Each is an impossible hybrid of techno-arcana and psychic engineering, a great infernal machine within which the Scholariate binds daemons too powerful to banish. Some daemons, the savants claim, are able to return to the real universe after a set amount of time has passed since their banishment; by binding the daemon within a Pandaemonia the fiend might be kept at bay forever, or so the Scholariate hopes. Each of the Pandaemonia is maintained by an Inquisitor and his staff and often guarded by a substantial retinue of household troopers. Most of the Pandaemonia are located where the members of the Scholariate can easily get to them, but not so close to densely inhabited centers of population that should the facility be compromised great damage would be done. For example, a Pandaemonia is maintained on Scintilla, the capital world of the Calixis Sector and seat of its government, several hundred kilometers out into the ash wastes and well hidden from prying eyes.
Other Pandaemonia are situated in interplanetary space, on otherwise barren worlds, or in the trackless depths of a Death world jungle, all distant and hidden, yet easily accessible to the Scholariate due to their locations along key Warp conduits. Unlike the Seven Cloisters, the locations of the Pandaemonia are an ‘open secret’ within the upper echelons of the Ordos Malleus Calixis, and even within the wider Ordos Calixis.
This is because any Inquisitor or Acolyte may be faced with a daemonic incursion, regardless of which Ordo he is a member of, and may therefore have need of the ability to bind the daemon within a Pandaemonia. This is generally achieved by way of a temporary binding, where the daemon is locked within some form of vessel, either an object or a being. The vessel is then transported to one of the Pandaemonia before being interred within the infernal engine. The process utterly destroys the physical body of the vessel, whatever form it took, and the thing within is released into the engine’s arcane binding matrix. The devices are also used to destroy tainted relics such as daemon weapons. The weapon itself is shattered and the fiend within it trapped.
The Hall of Canon is another facility maintained by the Ordo Malleus Calixis under the auspices of the Archeaognost in Chamber, an Inquisitor and holder of one of the Chamber’s few permanent appointments. The Hall is located in Hive Ortak on Malfi, though its existence is kept secret from the local government and its subjects. The purpose of the Hall of Canon is to gather any and all possible references to the activities of the archenemy, and to use that information to predict future incursions. Most of the missions that the Inquisitors in Chamber undertake are the result of some vague piece of intelligence from the mighty cogitation stacks of the Hall of Canon. These data-mills are attended by Tech-Priests seconded from the forge world of JXMA18Z according to ancient and binding pacts, and have by all accounts been continuously active since the facility was built soon after the founding of the Calixis Sector itself.
It is also believed that some form of ‘ætheric hyper-scribing’ connects the Hall of Canon with the Administratum archives in the Prol System, somehow allowing the Ordo Malleus to access the Decatalogues’ vaults from light years away. But the systems of the Hall of Canon are far more than cogitation engines---they are actually a hybrid ‘vaticination matrix’, an arcane device built millennia ago by a cult of insane psy-coders long since burned at the stake by the Ordo Hereticus. The matrix allows the Ordo Malleus to introduce elements of foretelling into the predictions of the device, combining data processing and psychic prognostication in a single machine that would be forbidden to anyone but the Inquisition.
The Hall of Vestiges is a vast chamber maintained by the Scholariate at Arms in Hive Tarsus on Scintilla. The chamber contains several thousand relics of the Scholariate’s countless victories over the daemonic. Some are seemingly insignificant while others are terrifying to gaze upon. The largest are the flensed and polished skulls of daemons, etched with warding glyphs and exorcised by the most potent Banishers in the segmentum. At the center of the chamber’s main wall are mounted the skulls of four Greater Daemons, one from each of the Ruinous Powers, sealed within a glittering stasis field. The Hall of Vestiges serves as a temple in which the Scholariate’s members perform their most sacred rites and worship the Emperor. It is also a trophy hall, where the greatest of past Daemon Hunters can be remembered and venerated. Most of the Inquisitors of the Scholariate at Arms hope that one day, one of their own kills will adorn the walls of the Hall of Vestiges.
The Crypt of the Nameless is a Scholariate holding known only to the Proctor in Council and his most trusted servants and subordinates. The Crypt is located at the heart of the First Cloister on the outskirts of the Threnos Zone, and it is used to contain those Inquisitors who have been driven beyond the threshold of sanity by what they have seen, but who must, for whatever reason, be kept alive. While most Inquisitors afflicted by such mental wounds are killed mercifully or mind-wiped, the Scholariate at Arms commonly spirits such unfortunates away to be held within the Crypt of the Nameless. The Inquisitor is announced dead, having laid down his life with great honor in the name of the Emperor and the mission of the Scholariate. Yet in reality, he lives still, ranting and raving in irons in one of the crypt’s warded cells. His every word is recorded by psychically dampened servitors and forwarded to the Hall of Canon for processing. Many a Daemon has been banished due to clues sifted from the words of their victims, and so the terrible price is deemed worth paying. It is said that as many as a hundred former Inquisitors are held within the Crypt at one time, as well as several thousand Acolytes. It is even said that several former Proctors in Chamber and at least one former member of the Tyrantine Cabal are locked within the Crypt, kept alive by forced rejuv treatments so that their screams and gibberings might provide weapons for the eternal war against the infernal.
These staves are popular amongst the Scholariate at Arms, feature a crackling electrical tip capable of delivering a highvoltage shock. Nothing quells a volatile situation quite like the sight of a would-be attacker writhing in pain at an Acolyte’s feet, ready for interrogation. In addition to the obvious martial benefits, the Shock Staff often finds utilitarian benfit in the hands of aging Banishers or other Inquisitorial staff that simply find walking long distances on foot exhausting. When not activated the weapon is almost impossible to distinquish from a simple iron or steel walking staff, imposing a -20 modifier on any attempts to identify it as a weapon.
Melee, 1d10, I, PEN 0, Shocking, WT 4kg, Cost 250, Scarce
Commonly given to Brontian Longknives inducted into the service of the Scholariate at Arms, this drug is a long-term mind-altering substance which inures soldiers to some of the horrors they might encounter while acting for the Holy Ordos. Typically given as an injection, it is also available in tablets although taking the drug orally reduces its duration by half.
Users of Imperium’s Fervor gain a measure of resistance to Fear and Insanity at the cost of their memories. While under its effects all Fear Tests are reduced by one degree of severity. Insanity points gained under the influence of the drug are reduced by 2 (to a minimum of 1). Perception Tests while using the drug have a –10 penalty, and users are prone to acts of insane courage and have little instinct for self-preservation. After the effects wear off, memories of any events that took place while drugged become hazy. It requires a Hard (–20) Intelligence Test to recall anything that took place while under the effects of the drug, increasing to Very Hard after a month. Each dose of the drug lasts for 24 hours and troopers seconded to the Inquisition’s service are typically drugged with Imperium’s Fervor before any missions.
Cost 20, Scarce