- "I saw my face. The face I had once had. Gideon Ravenor, young, strong, determined. How I had missed that face..."
- —Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor
Gideon Ravenor was an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos of some renown and one of the Inquisition's most powerful psykers. During his time as an Interrogator for the Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn he was severely wounded during a terrorist attack on the world of Thracian Primaris. Thanks to the technological marvels of the Adeptus Mechanicus and Ravenor's own unbending will, he survived his injuries, but due to extensive tissue damage and burns, he was doomed to spend the rest of his days in a life-supporting Force Chair.
The sensory deprivation caused by his injuries and the chair's built-in psy-boosters allowed Ravenor to continue in the Emperor's service with significantly enhanced psychic abilities. As an Inquisitor he won many great victories that helped to preserve the Imperium and at one point he actually helped save the material universe itself from destruction.
Ironically, Ravenor gained much greater fame amongst the Imperial elite as a philosopher than he did as a warrior. His esoteric philosophical book, The Spheres of Longing, is generally considered to be his greatest work.
Gideon Ravenor was born in 304.M41. His planet of origin is unknown, though due to the Inquisition's stringent recruitment standards for psykers Ravenor was likely indoctrinated at the Adeptus Astra Telepathica's Scholastia Psykana from childhood. As a young man Ravenor was assigned by the Ordo Xenos as an Interrogator to the (in)famous Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn. In time, Eisenhorn came to regard Ravenor as his foremost pupil and the ideal Inquisitor.
One of his early missions was his effort to silence Zygmunt Molotch, a Heretic from the dangerous Cognitae, a Chaos Cult disguised as an academy in the Scarus Sector. Molotch was appointed, by the Cognitae's Madam Chase, to be part of Cognitae Ordion's team to help with a venture involving setting up several arcane mechanisms on the Sleef Outworld in 336.M41 intended to capture and control Warp energy. The planet was covered in thousands of plasma vents that contained the energy of the Warp and which the Cognitae devices could capture and store. Ravenor and his team caught up with the Chaos Cultists and stopped them. Ravenor assumed Molotch -- who was the lone remaining survivor of the Cognitae operatives -- was dead after he threw himself into one of the plasma vents. What Ravenor did not know was that Molotch had been teleported to the starship Oktober Country moments before his death, though he had been burned very badly by the plasma and his face had been largely disfigured by the burns. Although Molotch was silent for many years, this incident would not be the last time he threatened the Imperium.
During his time as an Interrogator in Eisenhorn's retinue of Acolytes Ravenor enjoyed a long relationship with the Carthaen swordswoman Arianhrod Esw Sweydyr. This love affair came to a swift halt when Arianhrod was slain by a Dark Eldar Haemonculus from the Kabal of the Fell Witch, during the cleansing of a xenophile cult on the world of Lethe XI in 338.M41.
Shortly after this grave personal tragedy, Ravenor participated alongside his master in a great triumph on the world of Thracian Primaris, to celebrate the success of the Ophidian Crusade. Due to the machinations of the Radical Inquisitor Quixos, the triumph ended in blood-soaked horror when the parade was attacked by Chaos-influenced aerospace fighters and 33 Alpha and Alpha-Plus rogue psykers whom were freed from their holding tanks. Eisenhorn escaped unharmed thanks to the daemonic intervention of the Warp entity Cherubael, who saw future potential in Eisenhorn's existence. Ravenor on the other hand was horrifically crippled -- suffering third degree burns over the entirety of his body, and he was reduced to a barely animate shell. Unable to move or speak he had to be consigned to an enclosed Force Chair, unable to survive without the chair's elaborate life support systems to sustain him, and incapable of physical interaction with his environment except through the chair's auto-senses and voice synthesisers. Though physically incapacitated, Ravenor's psychic abilities flourished, despite (or perhaps because of) his injuries and sensory deprivation. Thanks to his psychic power Ravenor was still able to continue his service to the Inquisition, and after his health had stabilised he was promoted to full Inquisitorial status in 346.M41 on the recommendation of Gregor Eisenhorn.
In 402.M41 Ravenor and his team investigated the illegal trade in Warp-tainted glass, so called “Flects”, which had surfaced as a drug on the Hive World of Eustis Majoris. After a long and perilous inquiry Ravenor discovered that the Flect-trade was just a by-product of a far greater conspiracy. The government of Sub-sector Angelus had hired a cartel of Rogue Traders to illegally import high-powered Cogitators (computers) from the desolated and heavily Warp-tainted Vinicies Sub-sector. These Chaos-infused machines were then used to crack Enuncia, the fundamental control code of the universe. With the right command words and the empowered patterns he had laid down in the architecture of Eustis Majoris' hive cities, the condemned Heretic Thedor Cadizky, the Lord of Sub-sector Molotch, planned to make himself into a god-like daemonic being. The Lord Governor of Sub-sector Oska Ludolf Barazan -- also known as the Diadochoi -- and Chief Provost Jader Trice were in charge of the plot and they made use of Magistratum Interior Cases to enforce the plot's security and make sure the truth of what they were planning did not reach unwanted ears. In truth, Barazan was actually Zygmunt Molotch, Gideon Ravenor's old enemy. In the attempt to activate Cadizky's mechanism that was actually the city of Petropolis, Molotch used the Enuncia to restore his ravaged body. Ravenor once again thwarted him, but not exactly as planned.
Ironically the Flects, which spread only because of the greed of the government’s hired traders, was what made Molotch's masterplan fail. Ravenor's vain Interrogator, Carl Thonius, who had become addicted to Flects during the investigation, happened upon a Flect which contained the essence of a unimaginably powerful daemon named Slyte. Step by step, and without Ravenor's knowledge, Slyte manifested itself through Thonius, a process that granted the Interrogator terrible powers. Only the intervention of the possessed Thonius allowed Ravenor's team to foil Molotch's plans and the Heretic was forced to flee. Thonius successfully contained the daemon within himself for a long time but during Ravenor's final confrontation with Molotch on Gudrun in 404.M41 Slyte finally manifested itself fully and thereby destroyed the body and soul of Carl Thonius. Only the combined powers of Ravenor and Molotch, aided by a stable Warp Portal and psychic sorcery, allowed the team to banish the daemon back to the Realm of Chaos. Afterwards Ravenor executed Molotch for his crimes against the Emperor and turned himself over to the Inquisition, confessing everything. After a long and thorough interrogation and purification process, Ravenor was acquitted of any Chaotic taint, but his good reputation was forever soiled and he was for the rest of his career as he was labelled as a Radical by his Puritan peers in the Inquisition. He was retired from the Inquisition for a time, though he eventually was placed back into active service to hunt down and sanction his former mentor, Gregor Eisenhorn, on the planet of Sancour in the Angelus Sub-sector. Whether he has succeeded in this endeavour is still unknown.
In his early years as an Inquisitor Ravenor subscribed to the more Radical Inquisitorial philosophical sects. He has been known to cooperate with “worthy” aliens and to use his psychic abilities to predict the future. Some years after the disaster on Thracian Primaris, Ravenor even apprenticed himself to an unknown Eldar Farseer to learn divination. The knowledge and allies he gained through this pact made it possible for him and Eisenhorn to defeat the Arch-Traitor Pontius Glaw on the planet 5213X in 345.M41 and thereby, according to the Farseer, save the galaxy and the Imperium of Man from utter destruction.
In time, Ravenor's stance towards divination seems to have changed. During his investigation of the Contract Thirteen Cartel on Eustis Majoris in 402.M41 he claimed to loathe farseeing because of the confusing and madness-inducing aspects of the resulting prophecies. It is unclear when Ravenor changed his view, but his newfound aversion did not stop him from using Eldar artefacts or from trusting prophetic visions when they present themselves.
Despite his often unorthodox methods and powerful psychic ability, Ravenor was for a long time seen as a Puritan by the political factions within the Inquisition. This view was probably a product of Ravenor's published philosophic works and his reclusive lifestyle. In the end, Ravenor's own conscience was what destroyed his reputation. In 404.M41, after the Slyte incident, Ravenor turned himself and evidence of his sorcerous activities over to the Helican Conclave. Ravenor was acquitted of possessing any Chaotic taint, mostly due to the help of his master's old friend Inquisitor Lord Rorken who at the time was the Grand Master for the Helican Conclave. Even though he got away with only a warning, Ravenor was, like his master before him, labelled a Radical.
Ravenor has on occasion been referred to as an Alpha-Plus psyker. This claim seems to have originated after the canonical introduction of the psyker assessment scale but before that hierarchy of psyker power had been strictly defined. Ravenor is later described, after the psyker assessment scale was better defined in the lore, as a high Delta or low Gamma-grade psyker, a claim that corresponds well with his described abilities and the fact that Ravenor is weaker than the rogue Gamma-grade psyker named Lomer Kinsky.
Ravenor's psychic abilities are most potent in three areas: telepathy, telekinesis and divination. He can mindskim whole hive cities in a search for specific persons, crush individual enemies with his mind and, with great difficulty, see faint images of possible futures. To strengthen his abilities, Ravenor uses several psychically-attuned artefacts. His anti-gravitic Force Chair is equipped with technological Psy-Boosters that increase his raw psychic strength. Some of Ravenor's Acolytes also wear Eldar Wraithbone amulets that allow the Inquisitor to more easily contact or possess his servants telepathically.
At the time of the death of Beldame Sadia before his injuries on Thracian Primaris, Ravenor was tall and handsome, with long black hair pulled back in a long pony tail, high cheekbones and a finely-sculpted face. He possessed a noble and ageless quality in his eyes faintly reminiscent of the Eldar. After being horrifically crippled on Thracian Primaris, his physical body was reduced to a charred, barely animate husk, unable to move or speak, and with his limbs and physical senses scorched away. Now he can only survive through the use of the life support systems of a specially-designed Force Chair; its elaborate systems enable him to move, speak and breathe. It also is incredibly strong, much like the power armour of a Space Marine. The chair practically carries its own cogitator, and as a weapon, it is mounted with paired psycannons. Physically, Gideon Ravenor is but a shell of his former self, but psychically, his mind has vastly expanded the wealth of experience available to him.
Acolytes and Allies
- Carl Thonius - Thonius was Ravenor's highest-ranking principal Acolyte, and held the rank of Interrogator in the Inquisition. Before the Greater Daemon Slyte manifested in him, he was a rather prissy man and did not enjoy combat, although he was perfectly capable. After the daemon manifested, Carl was much rougher. He covered his right hand in rings, and he was less hesitant to enter combat. At first, he controlled Slyte, but eventually Slyte took him over and Thonius was slain after Slyte used his body as its entry into realspace.
- Harlon Nayl - Nayl was once a bounty hunter who was employed as an Acolyte by the Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn. He is known to carry a vast array of weapons and is one of Ravenor's senior Acolytes. He is known to have worked with Ravenor for a long time.
- Kara Swole - Swole was a former dancer-acrobat and a fantastic performer from the world of Bonaventure before joining Ravenor's team. She is very agile, as is characteristic of her background, and she is quite good with blades. She is considered a voluptuous beauty, a trait that she often uses to her advantage. Along with Harlon Nayl, she served under Ravenor's master, the Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, before joining Ravenor's team.
- Patience Kys - Kys is a telekine, a telekinetic psyker with a shady past. She is incredibly skilled with kineblades, which she levitates with her telekinetic powers. Because of this, she is also able to mind-whisper with Ravenor and sense psychic activity. She was rescued by Ravenor from a corrupted Imperial orphanage and has been trained to use her abilities into adulthood by her foster father. Patience Kys is not her true name, which remains unknown.
- Wystan Frauka - Frauka is an Untouchable, a psychic Blank. He is a valuable asset to the team not only because he is resistent to any psychic activity, but because he also has a psychic inhibitor in his neck which he can turn on or off to release or hide his master's mind, respectively, and which can be used to turn off his own potent anti-psyker emissions. He is often found passing the time by reading pornographic Data-Slates or staring at the female members of the team. Frauka is a large man who is given to chain-smoking and is greatly disliked by nearly all of Ravenor's other Acolytes, in no small part because of the feelings of fear and revulsion that all Untouchables create in other people.
- Zeph Mathuin - Mathuin was a large, strong man who was also a former bounty hunter. His right arm was able to cybernetically connect to a large Autocannon. He was killed in 402.M41 when the secretists in Petropolis on the world of Eustis Majoris launched an attack on Ravenor's hideout. The Incunabula -- a.k.a. the Brass Thief -- which was an ancient daemon enslaved by the mercenary Orfeo Culzean, was sent to kill Ravenor. Zeph was killed when he tried to hold it off with his Autocannon, which exploded when the Incunabula cut into it.
- Zael Efferneti - Efferneti was a boy, about 14 years old, addicted to the Warp-corrupted drug known as Flects when he was first discovered by Ravenor. In the wake of Ravenor's investigation to uncover the source of the Flects, Zael got taken along as he was a psyker who was able to "hear" the telepathic communication between Ravenor and Nayl. He was believed to a psychic "mirror," with no real psychic capabilities of his own. As well as his precognitive abilities, he was able to use the psychic powers of others in his vicinity but not for an extended period of time. In time, the boy was handed over to the Inquisition and taken to Titan, the moon of Saturn, where he was inducted into the Grey Knights and eventually became a Grey Knight Prognosticator. Taking on the new name of Hyperion after undergoing a mind-wipe that eliminated all memory of his past, he would prove to be a crucial player in the events of both the First War for Armageddon and the terrible civil conflict between the Inquisition and the Space Wolves Chapter known as the Months of Shame.
- Maud Plyton - Plyton was an ex-Magistratum Marshall who during investigation of a suspected suicide stumbled across a secret that was central to the plans of a worldwide conspiracy on the planet Eustis Majoris to recreate a powerful Warp-based language. She joined Ravenor after she and her family were targeted for assassination by the conspirators. She is noted as having attractive facial features that clash with her no nonsense appearance as a Marshall.
- Cynia Preest - Preest was the Captain of the Hinterlight, a Rogue Trader starship regularly employed by Ravenor. The Hinterlight is equipped with a custom-built stealth device partly comprised of alien technology, and partly powered by Ravenor's own considerable psychic powers.
- Sholto Unwerth - Unwerth was the Captain of the Arethusa, a Rogue Trader starship that Ravenor employed as a transport after leaving the Hinterlight.
- Patrik Belknap - Belknap was once a field medicae in the Imperial Guard. After he left the service, he came to the world of Eustis Majoris, where he served as a community medicae, and eventually a backstreet illegal medicae of the sort that does not ask questions. For this reason, he was hired by Ravenor's team to take care of Kara, who suffered a large wound from a vampiric blade that caused an extreme loss of blood. Belknap became emotionally attached to Kara for unexplained reasons, although it may be in part because he discovered a cancerous growth in Kara while repairing the wound. He encouraged her to nourish her religious faith in the hopes that this would give her more time. Eventually, the daemon Slyte, who at the time Carl Thonius could still control, destroyed the cancer. Belknap saw it as a miracle of Kara's faith, as he did not know of Slyte's manifestation in Carl. After this chain of events, Ravenor took Belknap as an Acolyte as his team needed a skilled medicae.
- Angharad Esw Sweydyr - Angharad was a Carthaen swordswoman, like Arianhrod, Ravenor's long-lost lover and principal agent. As her last name suggests, she was in fact related to Arianhrod, who was her aunt. She joined Ravenor's team after Ravenor's fellow Inquisitors came to debrief him following his hunt for Zygmunt Molotch. Angharad soon found herself in a relationship with Harlon Nayl, which they tried to hide from Ravenor. Unfortunately, this only made him more enraged once he discovered the truth. Ravenor found himself in deep emotional distress because of this complicated relationship between one of his principal agents and the woman who reminded him of his former lover. Angharad was slain when Slyte entered realspace through Carl Thonius' body on the planet of Gudrun in 404.M41.
- Hereticus (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- The Inquisition (Background Book), pp. 72-73
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- Ravenor Returned (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Ravenor Rogue (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Pariah: Ravenor vs Eisenhorn (Novel) by Dan Abnett