"They're all around us, they number more than us. They don't understand how this Imperium works, or they don’t care, or they do understand and they’ve made a conscious decision to turn around and start fighting against the order of things. Our work is unending. And it gets more unending every day. What? Shut up, you know what I meant."
— Attributed to Senior Arbitrator Kae Drusil
Senior Arbitrator Kae Drusil

Senior Arbitrator Kae Drusil

Kae Drusil is a Senior Arbitrator of the Adeptus Arbites and the Marshal-in-Chief of the Divisio Immoralis within the Calixis Sector. She was recruited into the Arbites following the assassination of her great-aunt and the rest of her noble household at the Universitariate she was attending at the age of fifteen. She remembered the Universitariate Enforcers and the interrogation by an unknown Arbites Judge. The Judge, whose name she never learned (and never sought), saw Kae's faith in the law, and her anger. He believed that these two traits would make her a fine recruit for the Arbites, and he was correct. As far as Kae Drusil could tell, the interrogation was her recruitment examination. Her belief in the incorruptibility of the Arbites and the inevitability of a future rule of perfect law had been demolished beyond repair by the things she was forced to do during a mission that was conducted under the auspices of the Inquisition. Approached by Lord Marshal Luthir Veremonn Goreman, Drusil agreed to command the Divisio Immoralis, the Lord Marshal's new experiment in Imperial law enforcement in the Calixis Sector.


Senior Arbitrator Kae Drusil, Marshal-in-Chief of the Divisio Immoralis, was destined by birth for the other side of the law, born into a long line of Imperial scholars and Adepts and apprenticed to a great-aunt at the Universitariate in the trailing marches of the Scarus Sector. The family had a distinguished history of close ties with the Adeptus Terra, even boasting a scattering of Adept initiates among its numbers, and Kae was told from a young age that she was to embrace a proper and prestigious field of study: theology, or maybe poetry and literature of the classical, inner-Segmentum traditions, perhaps the history and lineages of the better-known aristocratic families of the sector. Twelve-year-old Kae arrived at her new home planning only on making the next ten years as painless as possible, until the inevitable family-enhancing marriage was arranged and she was given somewhere else to go.

Mere days shy of her fifteenth birthday, Kae was working on a performance piece: a recitation from memory of the names of the first six hundred Arbites Judges to be assigned to the Segmentum Obscurus and their most notable accomplishments. She had retreated to a sealed cell in the Universitariate polis originally built for anchorites, so that she could declaim at full voice without any mistakes being overheard. Her self-consciousness about her oratorical style saved her life -- the cell was defence enough against the threadneedle bomb that murdered her great-aunt and her noble household.

Threadneedle worms are a potent bioweapon, used by the most expensive assassins for their most prestigious contracts. When the capsule was popped, the wire-fine gene-woven fungus tendrils grew with sickening speed, seeking out the human pheromones that had been encoded into their stimulus matrix, seeding the air with invisibly tiny neurotoxic spores when they were close enough to feel the warmth of a body. It was a filthy, ugly way to die.

Kae Drusil remembers the Universitariate Enforcers, with their frock-coats, silver staves, and wire-lace hoods, and she remembers the looming, black-armoured Arbitrator that replaced them. She remembers the Judge with the green augmetic eye and the soft voice, telling her that this crime was part of something larger that she was too young to understand, something that had endangered the Adepta and the practice of the Lex Imperialis. Kae barely remembers her interrogation. Hours spent at the hand of the Judge and his staff, recalling every detail of her family's affairs. She recalls calling for the God-Emperor's justice, not for her family, but for the Imperium, whose tithe would suffer without her family's efforts.

The Judge, whose name she never learned (and never sought), saw Kae's faith in the law, and her anger. He believed that these two traits would make her a fine recruit, and he was correct. As far as Kae Drusil could tell, the interrogation was her recruitment examination.

Kae Drusil served out her basic training in a half-dozen unremarkable postings around Thracian Primaris, and then enrolled in the Judicial cursus. She was quick-witted, well-read, and loyal, and rose through an orderly series of promotions. That ended when she was assigned to enforce quarantine on a refugee fleet that had surged out of a cluster of star systems adjacent to the Eye of Terror, broadcasting frantic messages about planet-engulfing Warp Storms and dire omens. The quarantine flotilla was itself broken up by those same storms. Her ship reunited with its squadron-mates to find that they had lost eighty standard years to the Warp, in a voyage that seemed to last only six storm-tossed weeks. The sole ship that had broken through on time had been absorbed into the madness of the refugee enclave it had been sent to contain. The refugees had succumbed to their taint and become a wolfpack of corsairs, cutting a path of frightening and seemingly random atrocities across the Scarus Sector, heading for the Calixis Sector border. The Arbites commander who had been sent to take control of the quarantine had slid into desperation, had seen the massacres of the loyal Arbites and the still-sane refugees, and left only a few badly damaged pict records of the events. He never gave up hope that reinforcements would arrive, his guerilla actions intended to slow the corsairs until help could arrive.

This was a dark moment for the crews of the other voidships. Drusil's immediate superior took over command of what was left of the flotilla and they began a pursuit of the wolfpack, grimly aware that their own lives would be forfeit for incompetence if they failed to destroy the threat. As the pursuit whittled down the pack's numbers, and scrutiny from the Imperial Navy's Battlefleet Scarus and the Inquisition grew harsher, the fleet's methods grew more ruthless, and more unorthodox. Drusil found that her role as the new chief Judge aboard the fleet was less to cite, interpret, and lay down the law for her Arbitrators to enforce, and more to find ways to pick, choose, and twist the Imperial Edicts to allow the pursuit to act as it wished: to tear the taint out of every star system the wolfpack fleet had assaulted, leading not only the delegation of Judges who would land and bully the planetary Precincts into co-operation or extort assistance from the local governor and Adepta, but teams who would round up, denounce, and summarily execute swathes of locals among whom wolfpack refugees might have scattered or whom they might have influenced. Although she had never formally cross-trained in the detecting arts, she began to command investigators; by the time the last of the Pursuit crossed the border into the Calixis Sector she was being treated as a Detective-Commander rather than as the Praetor that was still her substantive rank.

She was also fed up and burned out. Her devotion to the purity of the law had been tarnished beyond recognition by what she had been forced to do to keep the tattered cloak of legality over the pursuit. Her belief in the incorruptibility of the Arbites and the inevitability of a future rule of perfect law had been demolished beyond repair by the things she had been forced to do in pursuit of the wolfpack, all in the name of the "law." After the pursuit ended at the Battle of Cyrus Vulpa, she asked to remain in the Calixis Sector once the year-long investigative tribunal was over. Exhausted and bitter, she waited in the gardens at Solomon for her next assignment. What she got was a visit from Arbitor Luthir Goreman.

Goreman had watched the pursuit and its methods carefully as it came into Calixian space, and unlike Drusil he had not been shocked by the legal interpretations of its discipline and methods. Goreman faced Heretics that threatened planets with taint, and it was his way, and that of his Precinct Fortress, to do what they must to preserve the law. Talking with Drusil about her experiences, he began to think he had found the person to command the Divisio Immoralis, his new experiment in Imperial law enforcement in the Calixis Sector. Drusil was too exhausted to refuse.

These days Kae Drusil tells herself that her earlier shiny idealism was a self-delusion. There is taint in all things; rather than provide proof against it, the law simply provides a handhold by which the Imperium can avoid being immersed in it. She believes now that the best the Divisio, and the Arbites in general, can hope for is to blunt the worst excesses of lawlessness and hope that those they protect are strong enough to do the rest of the work themselves.

Kae Drusil is a thickset woman with a heavy-jawed, mournful face under a cap of slicked-back grey hair. Her skin is a dark copper-tan and her sleepy eyes a startling bright blue. Her body language is unassuming and she usually converses in a sighing mutter, but she has a powerful, ringing orator’s voice when she chooses to use it. Drusil is unsympathetic to the Calixian Judges and continues to wear her Praetor’s uniform, adorned with a red collar and the one medal she will wear, the one she was awarded at the end of the pursuit.


  • Dark Heresy: Book of Judgement (RPG), pp. 14-15, 22
  • Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pp. 84-85