“Yes, you were right to call me in Lord Marshal. The runic symbols are indeed of xeno-origin, yes the dying ones... but the inscription is not in their usual form... this rune here, for example, does indicate a warning, but not against trespass as one might expect but... oh... I say... ahem, I must consult some texts, erm, off world, very important---if my passage could be arranged quickly... perhaps now?”
— Xeno-Arcanist Xoth Lyncarte, Prior to the loss of expedition: Seedworld-Gamma-9
A specialized scholar in both a privileged and a dangerous position, a Xeno-Arcanist specializes in obscure lore and knowledge concerning the works of the alien. There are few sources for such knowledge, but among them are the Rogue Trader families, the explorators, and the annals of Imperial History itself, which are rife with stories of war against the aliens that have surrounded and beset mankind since time immemorial. The most exhaustive and prohibited records, however, reside in the archive of the Holy Inquisition itself and the vaults of Ordo Xenos Calixis, whose remit extends out to the very edge of explored space. These contain a veritable treasure trove of terrible knowledge and perilous artefacts from alien races known, unknown and, in some cases, deemed to be so dangerous that even use of their names is forbidden on pain of death. Such a vast wealth of fragmentary, disparate and often contradictory knowledge requires both skill and vast insight to organize and apply. For this reason, Xeno- Arcanists Acolytes are considered a necessary evil by Ordo Xenos, although, always the subject of the closest scrutiny less they succumb to the foul temptations of the alien. Some serve as cloistered academics and savants, while others are utilized as agents in the field to put their skills to more practical (if perilous) applications.
Outside the Holy Inquisition, Xeno-Arcanists hold a far more precarious position and must often conceal their knowledge to avoid persecution. Many are driven academics whose lust for knowledge outstrips any misgivings about their ultimate fate, while other Radicals believe that by studying the alien they can better learn to defeat it, or even replicate alien technology and achievements for their own ends. Some, blinded by the potential discoveries and benefits involved, are foolish enough to secretly disbelieve the Imperial doctrine that the xenos and their works are fundamentally evil. Some even live long enough to regret this misplaced conceit.
The Calixis Sector, bounded as it is by the vast and terrifying expanse of unknown space, is a place where knowledge of the alien is in high (if secret) demand, with many mercantile guilds, explorers and even noble houses, quietly circumventing the Imperium’s ban on such knowledge either through desire for profit, power, out of fear or simple, damnable curiosity. To the chagrin of Ordo Xenos, by simple virtue of the sector’s location, time and exposure, many private libraries and collections on Scintilla, Malfi and other established worlds are known to hold their own xenos artefacts and secret lore---although often useless or forgotten without the knowledge of how to interpret them. The Hetaireia Lexis’s collections have been the source of several scandals and even a few armed raids in the past. Unsurprisingly then, a rogue Xeno-Arcanist can charge a high price for their expertise if they are willing to enter such a dangerous game. Many do so with their own agendas, some not realizing until too late the true nature of those they find themselves working for.
Alternate Career RankEdit
Becoming a Xeno-Arcanist is more a matter of inclination and opportunity than anything else. Conceivably any adept in the service of the Inquisition could be tasked or driven to study the alien, particularly if, in the past, they have encountered the xenos themselves or acted as curator for xeno-lore or artefacts. This is particularly the case of adepts in the service of Inquisitors from Ordo Xenos, for whom the pursuit of the alien and the destruction of those who have truck with their works is their central quest.
Required Career: Adept
Alternate Rank: Rank 4 or higher (2,000 XP)
Other Requirements: Intelligence 40