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Verispex

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"There is here such a wealth of evidence, that the perpetrator has all but signed his name to the crime. One needs only the proper knowledge and tools to find it. Your culprit will be condemned presently."

–Adept-Officer Kilvarek at a murder scene on Vaxanide

Every criminal act leaves its track, and the Arbites must lay that track bare. The Chasteners reveal it running through the confessions of the prisoners in their cells. The Detectives see it running through the furtive actions and words of citizens who think themselves unobserved. But there are times when the Precinct Fortress on Scintilla needs more than a heavy hand and a riot shield to bring noble suspects to justice. There are times when the Adeptus must find a criminal before they can arrest him. Indeed, there are times when the actual hand behind a crime is so far removed from the act itself that only the barest of clues can connect the two. In circumstances like these, the clues are often all but invisible to even the most highly trained Arbitrator. It falls to an entirely different sort of operative to not only find these clues, but to analyze them and wring from them what information they have to offer.

Many Calixian Judges maintains the usefulness of physical evidence, often debating its viability with those Precinct commanders on the outskirts of the Calixis Sector. Taken from the Calixian Ordos, where individual Inquisitors maintain a variety of specialized adepts for their own purposes, the highly specialized knowledge of these adepts lends itself to inter-agency co-operation. These Verispex Adepts are the ones who see the track in the most literal way; it is they who piece together the physical traces of crime, to weight the hammer of the law with irrefutable evidence before it is brought down on the head of the criminal. During the first purging of House Thrungg, Inquisitor Archtulus found it necessary to work closely with the Adeptus Arbites as the fallen noble family used their vast resources to escape capture. Decades of work was required in the purge, and in the process Inquisitor Archtulus worked closely with Adeptus Arbites Judges to train Adepts in a variety of detection arts.

These agents are known as Verispex Adepts, a rare instance of Adeptus Arbites and Ordo Calixis collaboration. It is the Verispex who use their own immense knowledge, both learned and implanted, to follow the minute traces of physical evidence left by even the most careful suspect, in service of the Imperium of Mankind. The Adepts saw minor use in the Tricorn palace, their training carefully overseen by trusted Sages. With the resurgence of House Thrungg in recent years, Lord Marshal Goreman has requested aid from allies within the Inquisition, training additional Verispex Adepts for a variety of purposes, in the hopes that their skills will prove invaluable across the sector.

The path of a Verispex begins much earlier than that of a typical Adept, often during the first two decades of life. This is due to the extensive education the specialized program requires of its Verispex Adepts. From an early age, potential Adepts are taken from the Schola Progenium and drilled in the specifics of Imperial doctrine that will apply to their task. As rigid loyalty and dogmatic obedience is instilled they are trained in identity capture techniques by skilled Arbitrator population monitors. Next, they are drilled in the customs and mannerisms of citizens from all walks of life by well-travelled Inquisitorial Acolytes. Lastly, they learn to interpret the data that a wide range of detection servitors and auspex scanners are capable of uncovering.

The Verispex specialists are the Calixis Sector’s forensic scholars, their charter covering material evidence rather than the human intelligence collected by the Detectives. It is they who will track a weapon from the spent slug, determine the exact pattern and temperature of the las-burn or the tear-pattern of the chainsaw blade, filter out and separate the tiny organic traces clinging to a burgled Adeptus shrine so that the cyber-mastiffs can be put on the scent, or identify the print-mill three systems away whose stolen inks were used on underground pamphlets full of incitement and sedition. Such is the breadth of these techniques that Adepts often specialize in one specific aspect of their work, such as the chemical composition of plasteel manufactured on specific worlds, at specific manufacturers throughout the Calixis sector, or the genetic legacy which marks the members of different houses on Prol IX from one another. Such minutia takes decades to collect and catalogue, and few Verispex are put to work on active cases before their fourth decade of service. Due to the extreme investment the Adeptus Arbites and Holy Ordos must make in order to train a single Verispex, these scholarly agents are highly valued and often kept far from the front line of Imperial law-keeping. This is, however, not always a possibility. Whenever a Verispex Adept is sent into the field they are accompanied by an Inquisitor or Judge's most capable retainers.

Individual Inquisitors maintain a vast array of agents, many of whom possess skills so specific that they may never see practical use. It is these Acolytes that a Judge will occasionally conscript, just as an Inquisitor might make use of an Arbitrator when his duties require someone of singularly rare knowledge. Such broad work means that the Verispex themselves are recruited by the Inquisition from a bewildering variety of specialties and sub-hierarchies that even other Arbites can find impenetrable. A Verispex may spend years of their career on cataloguing the unique signatures of the artificial atmospheres aboard every starship in a sub-sector fleet so that a suspect can be traced by the tiniest residue trapped in their hair or lungs. Another might pour all their effort into a treatise on the differences in blood-spatter between a wounded native of the slightly higher-gravity Sepheris Secundus and one of the infinitesimally lower gravity of Malfi, both on their own homeworlds and on each other’s. The Verispex who routinely work in the field with Arbitrator and Detective teams tend to have very specific skill sets, but without the work of these painstaking specialists to draw upon, the Inquistion would likely find themselves at a dead end. Verispex who specialize in exotic weapon wounds and toxins are especially sought after by Inquisitors heading into the Koronus Expanse, who often need to trace and combat the most unusual of enemies.

The sort of trivium which Verispex are routinely called upon to examine requires an incredibly powerful mind to process. While they are, to a man, often the most intelligent and well educated Acolytes, many Verispex Adepts receive cortex implants and internal cogitation engines to aid them in their work. Scanners, pict-recorders, processing engines, and chemical and metaphysical analysis arrays are all familiar tools of the Verispex Adept. As well, the banks of cogitators and legions of technical servitors at the disposal of the Verispex corps are enormous on a scale rarely seen outside the Adeptus Mechanicus. Indeed, the ties between the Verispex and the Priesthood of Mars are many and varied. The technical skills required to become a Verispex Adept are sometimes considered borderline heretical, and it is not unheard of for an ancient Verispex to be "re-purposed' by a politically savvy Arch-Magos. For this reason, many forge worlds and Mechanicus enclaves have tenuous pacts of mutual alliance and service with nearby Arbites Precincts. The Martian Priests still guard their secrets jealously, but they are willing to share the barest insights in return for protection and privacy when it comes to Mechanicus affairs.

Many of the skills required by Verispex venture into scientific and technical fields, infringing upon the borders of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ traditional domains. While the Mechanicus draws the line at inducting Verispex directly into their own techno-esoterica (in the way that, for example, an Adeptus Astartes Techmarine becomes an initiate of the Martian Priesthood), each of the Calixian Precincts will have a treaty with their Mechanicus shrine whereby selected Verispex receive carefully vetted instruction in the lesser mysteries of the Cult---Biologis, Alchemys, and Physick are three of the common choices. These privileged few will sport a blue steel arm band, marking them as ordained laity under the eye of the Omnissiah. Essential as these initiates are, they represent perennial headaches for Precinct commanders who must balance the fact of their induction into another arm of the Adeptus with the need for rigid and incorruptible loyalty to the Arbites.

Unique EquipmentEdit

Verispex Armor

The Verispex Adepts on loan from the Inquisition are individuals with a unique perspective on the galaxy, a skewed outlook gained by years of focused study. These crime-teks do not require the same standard of protective armor as frontline Arbitrators, yet they are still operating alongside Arbites agents, and must be clothed in garments that express their standing. Verispex armor symbolically resembles Arbitrator carapace armor, but is far lighter and more comfortable. It contains a variety of special tools and scanners, including an auspex, chrono, combi-tool and data-slate. In addition, the armor has storage space for specialized tools, granting a +10 bonus Awareness and Medicae tests made to find information in the field (such as looking over a dead body or tracing the trajectory of a bullet).

Arms, Body, AP 2, WT 5.5kg, Cost 500, Very Rare

Verispex Helm

In order to comprehend the often mystifying scenes left behind by the galaxy’s killers and assassins, the Verispex Adepts employ a wide variety of tools, custom crafted by Calixian Manufactorums. Issued with the Adept’s Verispex armor, the Verispex helm is a diagnostic and detective device resembling prey-sight goggles mounted with a variety of eyepieces and lamps. The helm employs a number of polarized eye lenses and lume frequencies to locate bloodstains and other bodily fluids. The rare chemicals found in the oceans of Landunder also allow the Verispex helm to analyze scent and pheromone trails, an invaluable tool for the Verispex Adepts working beside the Calixian Arbites. Many Verispex Adepts will attempt to acquire a Verispex helm for their own use, especially when in the field with an Inquisitorial cell. The Verispex helm includes both infra-red goggles and a photo-visor (see page 147 of the Dark Heresy rulebook). In addition, the Verispex helm adds +10 to Search and Tracking Tests.

Head, AP 4, WT 2.5, Cost 750, Very Rare

Gene Printer

This compact piece of apparatus can be worn as a backpack, and will provide (with reasonable accuracy) confirmation as to whether two pieces of biological residue come from the same person. They are used by the Arbites Verispex teams to prove guilt based upon gene-spoor (hair follicles, skin, etc.) left at crime scenes. While many would-be criminals decry this “evidence” as suspicious at best, Lord Marshal Goreman asserts that the devices are serviced regularly by trained Adeptus Mechanicus personnel. Gene printers are relatively simple devices, and lack the nuanced power of the larger, holy Omnissian constructs stored within the great altar-templums of the Mechanicus. These legendary devices are said to be able to unspool a supplicant’s genome all the way back to ancient Terra, providing a wealth of genetic information about him and his entire line.

The gene-printer requires an Ordinary (+20) Tech-Use Test to perform the proper rituals of tek-obeisance. A success will confirm whether or not two gene-spoor samples placed within the device come from the same person. The machine-spirits of gene-printers are relatively simple, however, and at the GM’s discretion, complex genetic factors (genetic manipulation, twins, xenos tampering, etc.) may interfere with the result.

Cost 1,500, WT 15kg, Rare

Alternate Career RankEdit

Like many positions within the Adeptus, becoming a Verispex Adept is rarely a matter of choice. The skills required to stand among the forensic experts of the Inquisition are both extensive and specific, and demands lengthy education in the libraries of the Tricorn Palace. The vast majority of those who become Verispex Adepts begin their career at an extremely young age, though the rare candidate is taken after spending time among a cell of Acolytes. After a relatively brief span of years, the recruits are given a speciality based on their performance and accomplishment. These hopeful adepts are assigned to a senior Verispex Adept sharing their specialization for a lengthy apprenticeship in which their knowledge of esoterica and minutia is increased to proportions rarely witnessed. After this apprenticeship, which can last anywhere from several years to decades, the Adept is finally sent into the information cataloging halls of the Tricorn Palace. or into the service of an Inquisitor.

Required Careers: Adept

Alternate Rank: Rank 1 or higher (0xp)

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