“She would have been just a petty recidivist and peddler of harm, but then the warp found her and she became a true monster. I am just grateful that she is a monster loyal to me.”
–Inquisitor Soldevan, spoken of his Acolyte Lotus Zan
Warp Dabblers, sometimes referred to as warplocks and petty sorcerers, are individuals tampering often blindly with the malignant arts of the warp sorcery. Whether cultists, noncompliants, recidivists or even servants of the Inquisition, these individuals have had contact with forbidden knowledge and have decided to succumb to the possibilities it can offer. These are not true sorcerers or savants of the forbidden, but instead are dark-hearted warriors, soiled enforcers, spiteful adepts, and twisted killers who have acquired a degree of warp lore and have made the perilous decision to put it into use. Although they may never achieve the terrible heights of occult power and knowledge that the true masters of sorcery can, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This knowledge, in particular, makes most Warp Dabblers very dangerous indeed.
Warp Dabblers may have walked almost any path before they begin their dalliance with warp craft. In the case of recidivist heretics, they may be cultists, criminals, smugglers or even gang bosses. The intelligence and strength of will to study the forbidden is not something that all can do, but should one with the potential be presented with forbidden power, he will often seize it and put it to imaginative and horrible use.
The trick for the would-be Warp Dabbler, of course, is to find information on the immaterium, daemons, and warp craft in the first place. The Imperium is in general a closed and ignorant society---in fact, one of the Inquisition’s vital tasks is to censor and limit the spread of information deemed ‘dangerous’ or ‘corrupting.’ Meanwhile, the Ecclesiarchy constantly preaches rhetoric designed to inspire dogmatic obedience and abject abhorrence of the heretical in equal measure. To the average Imperial citizen, an education is an unobtainable luxury, daemons are distant horrors portrayed in morality plays, and the warp does not exist.
In this social climate, it is onerous to the extreme to obtain texts or information about daemonology, the occult, and the immaterium. However, it is by no means impossible. There are few things more consistent in human nature than the desire to possess the forbidden and unobtainable. In the darkest corners of Imperial society (and all too often, its loftiest heights), proscribed texts, forbidden tomes, and other instructions in warp craft can be bought, traded, and stolen by someone with the right connections or resources.
The sad irony of this is that due to the Imperium’s tireless efforts to suppress forbidden malefic knowledge, those who do manage to obtain such information often have no understanding of just how dangerous it can be. To them, the rituals and incantations are just another tool to obtain their goals, or worse, an amusing dalliance. Only when it is far, far too late, does the average Warp Dabbler realize how his actions has doomed him.
That is not to say, however, that Warp Dabblers are not formidable foes. On the contrary, the combination of low skill, resourcefulness, and ruthless cunning they need to obtain the forbidden knowledge in the first place makes them competent adversaries. In addition, the warp-fueled powers and daemonic allies they can draw on makes them even more dangerous. Warp Dabbling crime bosses may take down rivals with warp entities, while assassins may use sorcery to pass unseen and so eliminate the most heavily guarded of targets. Cultists may attract their followers with forbidden pleasures and dark rewards, while protecting their secrecy with hexes and malefic curses.
All this makes a Warp Dabbler an all-too-common quarry of the servants of the Inquisition. However, it also makes such an individual extremely useful to those Inquisitors willing to use the warp to their own ends. Warp dabbling Acolytes can call on their knowledge to bend the powers of the warp to pursue and defeat their targets, or use it to gain a better understanding of the motives and operations of their adversaries. There are few truer examples of the very nature of Radicalism than a Warp Dabbler Acolyte.
Becoming a Warp Dabbler Edit
Becoming a Warp Dabbler requires both motive and opportunity; the Acolyte must have a source from which he could acquire Forbidden Knowledge (Warp), Forbidden Knowledge (Daemonology) or Scholastic Lore (Occult). The Acolyte’s Inquisitor might be a source of such possibility, while contact with warp cults or forbidden tomes might be other possible routes. Once a character chooses to dabble in warp lore, he must spend an amount of time studying or being tutored, at the end of which he enters this rank and gains 2d10 Corruption Points.
Alternate Rank: Rank 6 or higher (5,000 XP)