"I consider the Burning One to be amongst my few but greatest failures as an Inquisitor. One day I will have the power I need to end his threat forever."
–From the journals of Felroth Gelt: 157.775.M41
There are those amongst the Holy Ordo Malleus who take the radical view that the forces of Chaos are too vast and too powerful to oppose with only the might of the Imperium. They believe that they must harness the powers of Chaos, the very thing they seek to undo, to even the sides in the conflict. To that end, they plumb the depths of forbidden knowledge seeking weapons to run back upon the forces of ruin. Chief amongst these weapons are the Daemonhosts, often willing and occasionally unwilling human beings into whom a powerful daemon of the warp is enticed and then bound with powerful wards. The purposes to which these hosts are turned vary, as do the levels of power and degrees of binding, but one thing is constant, they are incalculably dangerous and seek to regain their freedom at every opportunity.
One such escaped Daemonhost, feared throughout the Calixis Sector, is known only as the Burning One. The name of the Acolyte who became the Burning One is lost, as is the name of the daemon who resides within him. What is known is that he was created by the radical Inquisitor Kal Xorn as a way to store vast amounts of forbidden lore without tainting the minds of his personal retinue. Originally thrice bound, as only his mental faculties were required, the Burning One at some point acquired the knowledge of how to break his conditioning despite his inability to break the wards binding him inside his human host. The Daemonhost immediately slew Inquisitor Xorn and several of his retinue whose habits and weaknesses he had studied over a course of years. It is believed that his first victim was a young sanctionite who had been enticed to assist in his escape.
Unlike many Daemonhosts, the Burning One was never intended to participate in physical combat, but rather he was meant to be a stationary repository for information. To that end, the Burning One’s host was bound to a crucifix–sized Inquisitorial emblem with chains made of adamantium and psychoactive alloys. When he found a way to break free from his bonds, he shattered many of these chains, warping and desecrating his prison in the process. He carries the remains of his bonds with him to this day, though he is now able to travel in the manner of other Daemonhosts by levitating above the ground and simply flying wherever he wishes. His appearance is that of a wasted and emaciated human man chained to the shattered remains of his original prison with barbed chains. His eyes and mouth are riveted shut with straps of metal to contain the daemonic essence within him. As the Burning One grows closer to escaping his host, his physical form becomes more and more damaged. Flames of red, gold, and blue pour from his many poorly stitched wounds, and pinholes of cutting torch fire burn from the blinding strap over his eyes. For any not already given over to Chaos, the very image of the Burning One is enough to inspire madness and terror.
The Burning One has had three encounters with Inquisitor Felroth Gelt. The first was when the Daemonhost within the retinue of a college of Gelt's was immediately recognized by him, as he had read the Forbidden Tome of Xorn. The second was upon Scintilla, where Gelt assisted the Adeptus Arbites in tracking down an increasingly elusive cult that was led by the Burning One. The third and final encounter took place upon the tiny world of Faldon Kise. Gelt had been tracking a sorcerer for over two years only to find him dead at the feet of the Burning One. The sorcerer, involved in a conflict between three rival cults, each serving different daemonic masters, had attempted to bind the Daemonhost to his will in order to gain an advantage for his faction. After the ensuing battle with Gelt and his retinue, in which one of his clerics was killed, the Burning One vanished once more.