"Faith. In the right hands, it is Humanity's greatest weapon. Yet even the finest blade is rendered fallible by its wielder. In the wrong hands, the mighty sword of faith can do more hurt to the Emperor's Realm than can all the treacherous daemons of the Warp combined. This is why those who profess to be the most holy amongst us must be put to the sternest test."
- —Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax
Katarinya Greyfax was a Puritan Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus who played a crucial role in the last days of the 13th Black Crusade before the fall of Cadia and in the resurrection of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman during the Terran Crusade. Later, she was tasked by Guilliman, now the Lord Commander of the Imperium, with hunting down the artefact known as the Eye of Night which the Primarch believed could be used to help seal the Great Rift that had cut the Imperium of Man in two after Abaddon the Despoiler's triumph at Cadia.
Since her escape from the clutches of the Necron Lord Trazyn the Infinite on Cadia, Inquisitor Katarinya Greyfax has become a figure wreathed in shadow and fear. Even those amongst her own Ordo Hereticus rarely speak her name above a whisper, and with good cause. Utterly uncompromising, devoid of mercy or remorse, Inquisitor Greyfax acts as the self-appointed executioner of any she names Heretic. She is a psyker of some power -- a fact that has led more than one of her peers to ironically brand her as a dangerous Radical -- and her telepathic abilities allow her to detect any lie. Such a talent is an incredible boon to Greyfax's investigations, and allows her to hunt with impunity, knowing that those she condemns have already damned themselves with their own tainted thoughts. Furthermore, Inquisitor Greyfax is able to weaponise her hatred of Chaos, projecting it as a crippling pall of fear and weakness that forces her victims to their knees. Armed with the ancient Power Sword Tyrantslayer and her masterwork Condemnor Bolter, Greyfax is a terrifying and iron-willed warrior.
The Fall of Cadia and the Celestinian Crusade
At some unknown point several standard centuries ago, Katarinya Greyfax and her bodyguard of Tempestus Scions drawn from the 55th Kappic Eagles were trapped by the Necron Lord Trazyn the Infinite within one of his Tesseract Labyrinths on his homeworld of Solemnace because he considered them an interesting addition to his "Imperial collection." At some point before and after this capture, Trazyn infected Greyfax with Mindshackle Scarabs that altered her cerebral functions so that she was compelled to never injure the Necron Lord, no matter how hard she tried or how desperate her desire. As Abaddon the Despoiler began his final assault upon the Fortress World of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade, Trazyn made the decision to lend his aid to the defending Imperials, as the victory of Chaos was not in his, or the Necron, interest. Among the assets he brought with him to Cadia was a small portion of his collected Imperials, including Inquisitor Greyfax.
It was the Adeptus Mechanicus Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl, who explained to the Imperial defenders of Cadia that the Despoiler's real goal was to destroy Cadia and the xenos pylons that were scattered in concentrations across its surface. The pylons kept the Warp from bleeding into realspace and maintained the only clear passage out of the Eye of Terror known as the Cadian Gate. With their destruction, the Forces of Chaos would be able to launch themselves out of the Eye and overwhelm the defences of the Imperium at the same time that they would be able to summon an endless legion of daemons until Terra itself had fallen, the Emperor cast down from His Golden Throne. Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed, the commander of the Imperial forces on Cadia, ordered that the catacombs beneath the pylons on the Elysion Fields be reinforced to serve as a last line of defence to hold back the expected Chaos assault while Cawl worked to explore the pylons' systems and discover a way that they could be used as a weapon against Chaos.
Unknown to Creed and Celestine, Cawl had secretly been contacted by Trazyn the Infinite. With Trazyn's knowledge, Cawl was able to determine how to use the pylons to cut off the local area of space-time from contact with the Immaterium. But as he worked, the Archenemy launched its expected assault against the catacombs, and Creed and Saint Celestine, a Living Saint, who had herself only recently arrived on Cadia with reinforcements from the Adepta Sororitas, led the defence. What was not expected was that Abaddon the Despoiler, frustrated beyond reason by Cadia's continuing defiance, led that assault himself. Pushed to the breaking point by the Black Legion's assault, Trazyn decided to once more aid the Imperials, and released the contents of one of his Tesseract Labyrinths into the catacombs to aid the Imperials. Among those time-lost defenders were Katarinya Greyfax and the Tempestus Scions she had long ago indentured as her personal bodyguard.
But even the reinforcements provided by Trazyn's Tesseract Labyrinths, including Lieutenant-Commander Cerantes and a unit of Ultramarines Legionaries dating to the era of the Horus Heresy, proved unable to stand against the full might of the Despoiler and his Chaos Terminators. Once Cervantes fell beneath Abaddon's foul Daemon Sword Drach'nyen, it seemed the Imperial defence of the catacombs would not give Belisarius Cawl the time he needed to understand the pylons' full workings.
It was then that Saint Celestine arrived in a burst of golden light as the ceiling of the cavern ripped open, the Living Saint once more coming to the aid of Cadia's ever-beleaguered defenders. Fire streaming from her wingtips, she swooped to confront the Despoiler. Daemons pounced, but a sweep of the Ardent Blade cast them, broken, to the ground. Winged Possessed soared, talons clawing at limb and blade, but the Geminae Superia clove them from the air. Soon they faced one another: spiritual daughter of the beneficent Emperor, and heir to the greatest Traitor in the history of Mankind. No words were spoken. None were needed. Soulfire roiled as the Ardent Blade struck Drach'nyen, the wail of hope and despair shivering the spirits of all who heard it. Abaddon was the mightier by far. Alone, Celestine had no hope of triumph. But she was not alone. The Geminae Superia were ever at her side, the three fighting as one against the Despoiler of legends.
At the cavern's edge, Katarinya Greyfax beheld Celestine's arrival with revulsion. How long had she been gone that such heresy could take root? Battle-Sisters suffused with the power of idolatry? Warriors of the Adeptus Astartes revelling in the corruption of their own mutations? Spirits wreathed in hellfire? And yet the loyal soldiers of Cadia and Ultramar, known across the galaxy for their unswerving devotion, their purity, embraced these evils in the name of victory?
It was a cornerstone of Greyfax's Puritan certainty that evil had no shades, no lesser forms that could be tolerated in service to a larger goal. Purity was perfection, uncompromising, ideal. She had killed thousands for lesser sins than this. She had killed her own kind, other Inquisitors, for wavering from the path. What victory could there be if adamant precepts were torn asunder?
The shadows reformed around her. Green eyes blazed. Greyfax aimed the muzzle of her Condemnor Bolter squarely between them. "Abomination."
"That word again." A metal hand gestured lazily across the cavern. "Stop me if this sounds familiar, but I suspect your priorities require re-evaluation."
"You sow corruption wherever you tread. Your reckoning is overdue." She pulled the trigger. Or she tried to. Her finger didn't respond.
Trazyn opened his palm, a ﬂood of microscopic machines ﬂowing over his fingers. "I'm not a fool. The Mindshackle will not let you harm me."
Bile ﬂooded Greyfax's mouth. Anger seared it away. "You've corrupted me! As you did Valeria!"
"A precaution only. As for Valeria ... She had a remarkable brain. You robbed me of the opportunity for study."
Again Greyfax tried to pull the trigger. Again nothing happened. Useless.
"I brought you here out of common cause," said Trazyn. "I am not yet done with this world, and nor is your Imperium. If you seek to save it, I suggest you focus that formidable certainty of yours elsewhere. Our reckoning will wait."
With a snarl, Greyfax turned away.
As the ground battle between the Despoiler's invaders and Ursarkar E. Creed's defenders reached its climax, Cawl activated the pylons. The Necron technology operated precisely as had been expected, cutting off Cadia from the Warp, banishing the daemons of Chaos, actually shrinking the Eye of Terror and giving Cadia's defenders a chance for yet another unlikely victory. However, the loss of access to the Immaterium also affected Celestine, whose own extraordinary powers of faith were also fuelled by the psychic currents of the Warp. Meeting the Despoiler head-on, in her weakened form she was defeated by the Warmaster of Chaos. Even as she sat at his feet, she promised him that Mankind would one day be free of his vile masters.
"There is no freedom," was his only reply.
But Celestine was saved at the last moment when Greyfax psychically assaulted Abaddon, forcing the Despoiler to back away, despite her deep suspicion of the Living Saint she considered little better than a common witch and betrayer of the Emperor's trust. But desperate times made for strange bed-fellows, even for the Puritan Inquisitor.
Agony exploded behind Abaddon's eyes. Searing pain arced across his synapses. Neurons flared and died, consumed by an attack channelled through the fading skeins of the Immaterium. His daemon-blade, meant to pierce Celestine's heart, froze mid-strike.
Katarinya Greyfax gritted her teeth, channelling into her psychic assault all the rage she had known since her reawakening. Though she was loathe to admit it, Trazyn had been correct -- her priorities had strayed. An Inquisitor's duty was to the Imperium, not to her own slighted being. Moreover, while all heresies must be purged by flame, some clamoured for its caress more urgently than others. Retribution would find the false saint -- of that Greyfax was certain -- but Abaddon's sins held the prior claim.
Blinded and staggering, the Despoiler fought back, his indomitable will meeting the psychic fire with some of its own. Strength already sapped by her constant battle against the pylons' pull, Greyfax's hold on his mind snapped. But she wasn't yet done. As the malediction faded, the Inquisitor's Condemnor Bolter roared.
Shells scattering off his armour, Abaddon started towards Celestine once more. A rush of bayonets blocked his path. The Guardsmen of the 8th Cadian Regiment of Cadian Shock Troops leading the defence of the catacombs were determined to preserve their beloved saint, even at the cost of their lives. And die they did, by the dozen, by the score, hacked apart as the Despoiler strove to reach the wounded Celestine. With their blood, they bought the saint precious moments.
Before he could resume the advance, the pylons' strike upon the Immaterium intensified, banishing the Despoiler's daemons and weakening his forces. A massed attack on the Despoiler by Creed and his 8th Cadian failed when Abaddon and his Chaos Terminators broke the charge and badly wounded Creed, severing one of his arms. But just as the Despoiler moved to put an end to the Lord Castellan by cracking his spine, Celestine, though much diminished, managed to stab him from behind with the Ardent Blade.
"The Emperor protects," Celestine promised the wounded Despoiler.
Abaddon lurched away from Celestine, her blade ripping free of his flesh. It had been millennia since he had last been so wounded, and his spirit boiled with vengeance. But as the remaining troops of the Cadian 8th surged to reclaim their beloved general, Abaddon realised he had no time for the luxury of pride. The last vestiges of the Warp were retreating before the pylons' arcane energies. If he were to depart, it would have to be now. Reluctantly, his eyes never leaving Celestine's, Abaddon gave the order to withdraw.
As his flagship's teleport anchors engaged, the honourable warrior Ezekyle Abaddon had once been so long before acknowledged the feat Cadia's defenders had managed. They had lost, though they did not yet know it. But they had also won. He had sought to break Cadia's spirit, send the vanquished souls of its garrisons screaming into the Warp. He had not done so.
Unfortunately, the Despoiler would not be denied the prize he had sought for millennia so easily. Foreseeing the need for a fail-safe, Abaddon had the damaged bulk of the Blackstone Fortress Will of Eternity, its systems disabled by an assault from the Imperial Fists' star fort Phalanx, hurled from orbit as an artificial meteor into the surface of Cadia. The massive kinetic strike destroyed what remained of the world's defences, ensuring its envelopment by the now rapidly-expanding Eye of Terror. Perhaps the only positive outcome was that the destruction of the pylons also restored Celestine's own strength and vitality as her connection with the Empyrean was re-established.
The badly wounded Lord Castellan Creed ordered an evacuation of the dying world. The Imperial survivors of Cadia -- led by Cawl, Saint Celestine, Greyfax and Marshal Marius Amalrich of the Black Templars -- now calling themselves the Celestinian Crusade -- used every voidship at their disposal, including Cawl's massive Ark Mechanicus, the Iron Revenant, to ferry the three million survivors off Cadia. Unable to enter the Warp because of the roiling instability of the Immaterium near the Cadian Gate, the Imperial fleet was forced to flee through the Cadia System at sub-light speed, and the Chaos warfleets gave chase. The largest and most powerful remaining Imperial capital ship, Cawl's Iron Revenant, heroically sacrificed itself in battle against Abaddon's flagship the Vengeful Spirit so that the Celestinian Crusade could escape to Klaisus, the nearby ice moon of the world of Kasr Holn. It was Celestine who explained that she had experienced a precognitive vision that their salvation -- and that of the Imperium itself -- lay on that barren, frigid planetoid.
Celestine's vision proved prophetic, for the surviving Celestinians were rescued from Chaos attacks and the unforgiving arctic environment at the last by the arrival of the Eldar Ynnari through Klaisus' hidden Webway gate. Though his flagship was lost, Belisarius Cawl had rescued its most precious cargo -- the Armour of Fate, key to the resurrection of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman.
The Terran Crusade
The Reborn Eldar guided the Celestinians through the Webway to the Realm of Ultramar in the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy, now also under ferocious assault by the forces of the Despoiler. After some initial distrust, the Celestinians were ultimately taken by the Ultramarines who called Ultramar home to the realm's capital world of Macragge from their arrival point on the Shrine World of Laphis. On the journey from Laphis to Macragge, Belisarius Cawl purged Greyfax of the Necron Mindshackle Scarabs that had enforced her captivity during her time with Trazyn the Infinite. This process was effected over several solar days, and wracked the Inquisitor with terrible agonies as the invasive cyber-parasites were strained from her blood stream.
Despite the pain that she endured, Greyfax's iron will never faltered, nor did she show any but the most minor outward signs of pain. Instead, she concentrated on keeping a wary eye on Saint Celestine. In private, Greyfax was beginning to suspect that Celestine's apparent divinity was more than a sham. She had seen the Living Saint battle against Arch-heretics and twisted Traitors; she had seen her predict events about which she could not have known in advance; she had seen how the light of Celestine's faith repelled the wicked and brought new strength to the righteous.
Yet Greyfax was an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, a Witch Hunter whose first duty was to doubt and to suspect all that seemed fair in case it concealed foulness at its heart. In Greyfax's long experience, true miracles were few and far between, and that which seemed a gift from the Emperor was, more often than not, a tainted temptation laid by the Dark Gods. Thus, even as the seeds of hope grew in her heart that Celestine might be uncorrupted, and even through her own agonies, Katarinya Greyfax kept watch over the Living Saint, alert for the slightest hint of duplicity.
Once in the Ultramarines' Fortress of Hera, Cawl revealed the identity of the artefacts in his accompanying auto-reliquary. He declared that they were intended to resurrect Primarch Roboute Guilliman from the mortal wound that had seen him trapped in stasis in the Temple of Correction for the last ten millennia. While the Celestinians and the Ultramarines were under potent assault by the Forces of Chaos within the Primarch's final resting place, Cawl worked with Yvraine, the Daughter of Shades and priestess of Ynnead, the Eldar God of the Dead, to restore the Primarch's life force while Cawl's technology healed his grievous wound.
The resurrection of the Primarch was held to be a miracle brought about by the will of the Emperor. Celestine's unrelenting faith in the Master of Mankind had been spectacularly rewarded, and this resulted in the end of the rift that had existed between her and the Puritan Inquisitor Greyfax, who had believed the Living Saint to be a fraud and dupe of Chaos. But the return of a living Primarch, one of the Emperor's own sons, revealed the depth of Greyfax's own errors of faith. She, too, now came to believe that Celestine was a true servant of the Emperor and instrument of His will.
In her own way, in the midst of the battle in the Temple of Correction after the Primarch's sudden resurrection and dramatic turning of the tide against the Chaos attackers, Greyfax even apologised to the Living Saint.
"I erred," shouted Greyfax over the roar of her Bolter. "And I shall do penance. You truly are an instrument of the Emperor's will."
"Vigilance is not a sin, Katarinya Greyfax," replied Celestine, slashing her blade through the enemies before her. "You serve Him as surely as I."
"Indeed," said Greyfax with a curt nod. "Then let us serve him together, as true warriors of faith."
With Guilliman resurrected, he drove the invaders from Ultramar before deciding to make his way to Terra through the Warp anomalies roiling the galaxy to an extent not seen since the Horus Heresy. Greyfax joined the Primarch on this Terran Crusade, her combat prowess and unwavering faith aiding the Imperial forces of the Crusade in all their trials and tribulations in the Warp rift known as the Maelstrom.
The survivors of the Terran Crusade finally arrived in the Sol System at Luna through the Webway after being freed from imprisonment in another Blackstone Fortress belonging to the Red Corsairs. Following the Crusade's rescue by the Fallen Angel Cypher and a troupe of Harlequins, Celestine was one of the few Imperials present at the fall of Cadia to survive both the Celestinian and Terran Crusades. After aiding in the defeat of the forces of the Thousand Sons Traitor Legion and the Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red on Luna, Celestine and her allies were finally ferried to the Imperial Palace on Terra. There, before the Eternity Gate of the Inner Palace leading to the throne room of the Emperor where Guilliman would meet his father for the first time in ten standard millennia, Greyfax chose this time to depart and report to her Ordo Hereticus superiors for the first time in many standard centuries. Guilliman emerged a solar day later from the Palace and was soon restored to his former position as Lord Commander of the Imperium. As Guilliman prepared to launch a massive counteroffensive against the gathering forces of the Ruinous Powers, there was no doubt that Katarinya Greyfax would stand at his side and face the enemies of the Emperor.
The Quest for the Eye of Night
Not long after his installation as Lord Commander of the Imperium, Roboute Guilliman summoned Katarinya Greyfax to the Hall of Glories in the Imperial Palace. She found him studying the records of the Inquisition, and he explained that there was much that was not yet understood about the Great Rift, the massive Warp rift that had cut the Imperium in half in the wake of the 13th Black Crusade. The Primarch noted that it was very similar to the Ruinstorm that had been summoned by his brother Lorgar Aurelian during the time of the Horus Heresy, though the Great Rift eclipsed the size and scope of the Ruinstorm by several orders of magnitude.
Guilliman explained that in the birth of the Great Rift he had seen a pattern. It was similar to that of the workings of the ancient servants of Chaos such as the priests of Davin, the world where Horus had first been turned to the service of the Dark Gods. The Primarch explained that he had followed the spoor of this pattern back through the Inquisition's records, and though he had found no solution to the problem of the Great Rift, he had discovered where to begin looking -- to the era of the Gothic War, almost a thousand standard years before. One of Greyfax's counterparts from that time, Inquisitor Horst, believed that two xenos artefacts were taken from worlds of the Gothic Sector just before the start of the Gothic War to aid Abaddon -- the Hand of Darkness and the Eye of Night. Greyfax recognised the names, but cautioned the Lord Commander that Horst was considered a maverick within the Inquisition and that these suppositions were nothing more than undocumented speculation. Guilliman countered, somewhat pointedly, that Horst's speculation was the only real clue they possessed as to how Abaddon seized control of the Blackstone Fortresses in the Gothic Sector during his 12th Black Crusade. The Primarch explained that he needed to know more about what Horst had found.
Guilliman ordered Greyfax to go to the Gothic Sector, to the remains of the Cardinal World of Savaven which had been destroyed along with its 14 billion inhabitants by Abaddon's Planet Killer during the Gothic War. Greyfax protested that the secret Inquisitorial fortress that had lain below the cathedrals of Savaven had been destroyed along with the planet and it was unlikely any records remained. But Guilliman believed that Savaven's destruction had been no random accident. It was likely that the Despoiler had learned of the existence of the Inquisition base on that world and that he had deliberately destroyed it to prevent Horst from moving against his plans in the sector. The Lord Commander cautioned Greyfax that he was not sending her to Savaven to recover Horst's records -- she was to bring him the Eye of Night. When she asked about the Hand of Darkness, the Primarch responded only that he had other plans in motion to secure its recovery.
Greyfax arrived in the Gothic Sector over the fractured ruins of what had once been the Cardinal World of Savaven in the Imperial warship Malleus Rex. The vessel was commanded by the Justicar Genhain and his accompanying squad of Grey Knights, a necessary honour guard for the Inquisitor as the Gothic Sector had been almost swallowed by the Great Rift. From the moment they took up position over the planetary fragments, Greyfax sensed the presence of an old psychic beacon among the shattered rock fragments of Savaven. Opening her mind to Genhain to boost her already potent psychic abilities with those of the Justicar, Greyfax determined that the psychic trace had indeed been left by Horst, though it contained no message other than an old taste of great haste and fear.
Just as Greyfax broke her contact with the beacon, another voidship, a frigate, burst into realspace from the Warp above the fragments of Savaven. Greyfax ordered the Malleus Rex to attack the much less powerful newcomer and destroy it, while she, Genhain and the rest of his squad of Grey Knights teleported down into the ruins of an Ecclesiarchy cathedral on a mosaic-covered rock approximately a half-kilometer across. As soon as the landing party appeared on the fragment of the lost Cardinal World -- the Grey Knights sealed in their Aegis Armour and Greyfax in an armoured void suit -- the Inquisitor sensed that Horst's psychic beacon was stronger and that its source was located somewhere beneath her feet.
But the Imperials were not alone. The ruins of the cathedral were also being investigated by Chaos Cultists who had teleported down from the frigate, and whose void suits were outfitted with imagery intended to mimic the forms of daemons who were known to be servants of Tzeentch, the Lord of Change. Greyfax, seeing no point to negotiation, ordered the Grey Knights to eliminate the cultists, who quickly fell to their Storm Bolters and Nemesis Force Halberds and to Greyfax's use of her potent Aura of Oppression ability. The few remaining cultists were ultimately purged by the flames of one Grey Knight Battle-Brother's Incinerator.
With the cultists eliminated as competition for whatever lay beneath the ruined portion of the cathedral, Greyfax and her Grey Knights proceeded down a flight of winding stairs into the devastated structure's undercroft, where they discovered that a portion of it was protected by a force field that sealed in a breathable atmosphere. Within the breathable bubble of the undercroft was a mausoleum dedicated to the Imperial Saint Carthage, but a sudden psychic pulse from within its walls matching the beacon convinced Greyfax to have the Grey Knights force an entryway through the stone.
Within the mausoleum, the Imperials discovered an ornate sarcophagus inscribed with the symbol of the Inquisition on one end. The crypt was otherwise bare. Within the sarcophagus lay an armoured suit, the battle-plate of a Grey Knight Paladin. As soon as the sarcophagus was opened, a psychic blast overwhelmed Greyfax, and to her utter astonishment, the armour within sat up, introducing itself telepathically as Inquisitor Phaedus Falconet Horst! But Horst was no longer alive; he removed the Paladin armour's helmet to reveal an undead, fleshless skull with glowing eyes, the jaw working silently as he communicated mind-to-mind.
Despite her distrust of Horst's undead form, Greyfax explained to him how the galaxy had been divided by the Great Rift and that the Imperium was under assault by the Forces of Chaos and the xenos as never before. She explained their mission was to recover the Eye of Night as one small step on the road to defeating the foes of the Emperor. Horst proved vague as to exactly how he had come to his present state, claiming no memory of what had happened or for how long he had been trapped in the sarcophagus, though it had been at least several standard centuries. Horst also didn't know the location of the Eye of Night, but he did know who did -- Moriana the Crone, an ancient human seer of the Chaos Gods who saw all that transpired in the Realm of Chaos from her lair within the Eye of Terror. It was Moriana, Horst claimed, who had guided Abaddon to the Eye of Night before the Gothic War and would also know its current location. As Horst finished his explanation, Justicar Genhain recognised the armour Horst was inhabiting as originally belonging to Paladin Bellicus, a Grey Knight known to him. The undead Inquisitor hastily dismissed the Justicar's observation as they had more important matters to attend to, and Greyfax agreed. They had a journey into the Eye of Terror to undertake.
Horst lead Greyfax and her Grey Knights escort aboard the Malleus Rex to a swamp-covered world on the edge of the Eye of Terror. As they trudged through the stinking decay of the marsh, Horst explained that Moriana served the Chaos Gods directly, and possessed no mortal ambitions of her own, which left her untrusted even by Abaddon and the other Forces of Chaos. Greyfax noted that it was rumoured amongst the Holy Ordos that Moriana was once of the Ordo Malleus, but Horst shook his skeletal head. He explained that Moriana was older than any of the Ordos of the Inquisition, and dated back to the time of the Horus Heresy.
The Imperial party suddenly came under assault from Moriana's daemonic guardians, who had taken on physical forms shaped from the stone and plant matter of the swamp itself. The daemons proved little hindrance to the Inquisitors and Grey Knights, though Horst cautioned that the entire Daemon World they now walked upon was nothing more than an artificial reality sculpted by Moriana's whim from the frothing psychic energies of the Warp. Suddenly, from the miasma of the swamp ahead of them rose something that looked much like a giant stalagmite decorated around its circumference with many of the symbols of the Traitor Legions, all given to Moriana as tribute by those warbands of Chaos Space Marines seeking the crone's guidance from the Dark Gods. A gash-like opening a few metres above the swamp water provided a wary entryway for the servants of the Emperor.
Within the small cave created by the opening, they found Moriana, a wizened crone dressed in ragged green robes who was busy scrimshawing a wand made of two entwined Eldar figures whose mouths were open in frozen terror. The Chaos seer promised to tell the "servants of the Corpse-Emperor" whatever they wished to know. Greyfax, as was her way, immediately threatened the ancient priestess with death, but Moriana replied that she did not possess the Eye of Night, but could tell the Imperials where it could be found. When Greyfax suspiciously asked why the crone, a servant of the Ruinous Powers, would help the servants of the Emperor, Moriana replied that she did so for the obvious reason -- it served her own purposes. Mischieviously, the old priestess noted that she was surprised to see the undead Inquisitor Horst, expressing disbelief that the servants of the Corpse Emperor had become prone to taking up necromancy! Greyfax was incensed by the accusation and promised Moriana in a fit of pique that it was not a question of whether she was going to die, only of how.
Justicar Genhain found Greyfax's increasing threats of death to be counterproductive for their mission. Through the Vox, Genhain argued with Greyfax, telling her the crone would quite willingly die before she gave up the necessary information, and that she should stop wasting their time with threats. Instead, Greyfax should simply ask what the priestess wanted from them in return for her cooperation. When Moriana slyly responded that she would only answer the Imperials' questions if Greyfax asked nicely, the Puritan Inquisitor nearly killed her on the spot before Horst telepathically reminded her that her duty to the Emperor came before her own righteousness, and that if she acted otherwise she would be a disgrace to her Ordo. Greyfax responded that she was disgusted by the idea of sacrificing the ideas that held the Imperium together and kept its people pure for the sake of momentary gain, but Horst only mocked her self-righteous pretension in turn. The undead Inquisitor explained cynically that nothing now held the Imperium together; it was but the tattered remnants of what the Master of Mankind had forcibly welded into a single entity ten thousand standard years before. It was their purpose, as His servants and Inquisitors, to seek to build something better, rather than just prop up the Imperium's rotting corpse.
Somewhat chastised by her fellow Inquisitor, Greyfax realised that Moriana wanted her to attack to give the hag a reason not to cooperate. So Greyfax swallowed her pride and asked Moriana, very politely, to tell her where the Eye of Night was located. The crone responded that her companion, Horst, had already recovered the Eye of Night while he was still alive!
Horst immediately denied the allegation, and Moriana realised from his denials that the undead Horst did not remember a prior encounter between them several Terran centuries earlier. Greyfax interjected, somewhat gleefully, that if Horst truly held the Eye of Night, then she no longer needed Moriana alive. Horst was confused by the crone's accusation, however; he finally confessed that he had no recollection of how or when he had died. Moriana proved more forthcoming in the wake of this revelation. The crone explained that she needed Greyfax and the Imperials to reclaim the Eye of Night, for a Daemon Prince guarded the tower where the artefact now resided. A Daemon Prince who had taken from Moriana but had not settled his debt, and she now intended to use the servants of the Emperor as her personal executioners.
With her every instinct screaming not to, Greyfax reluctantly accepted the crone's bargain, and asked for the location of the tower. Instead, fearing that once she gave up the information Greyfax would kill her, Moriana decided to instead conjure up a guide to lead the Imperials to where the Eye of Night lay. Horst explained that while he had no memory of how he had died, he must have met Moriana before and cut the same bargain. But in that case, he had obviously failed to complete the mission and claim the Eye. As they prepared to leave, Greyfax promised to return and slay Moriana no matter what the outcome of their quest, but the old seer promised that if the Inquisitor tried, she would be the one to fall. Disgusted, Greyfax left Moriana's cave behind, realising that she had already crossed a line that had left a blot upon her once pristine soul.
The Pillar of Spite Fulfilled
Aboard a Thunderhawk gunship requisitioned from the Malleus Rex, Greyfax, Horst and the Grey Knights made their way to an unknown Daemon World. They were protected from the daemonic forces of the Eye of Terror by an Aegis bubble created by their own potent psyker minds, and were guided all the way by Moriana's daemonic familiar, an impish blob of green and blue flame. Greyfax found herself tortured by the idea that she was going into battle alongside a servant of the Archenemy, and could not think of a way to adequately purge her soul of the sin.
Once the Imperials passed through the upper atmosphere of the Daemon World their guide had directed them to, they discovered that its surface was dominated by a great, black thorn of a tower that seemed to briefly shimmer like crystal. The imp of flame called it Vastiagard, the Pillar of Spite Fulfilled, along with several other equally welcoming names.
The Thudnerhawk moved toward a spire lower on the tower, and the gunship came under attack by a mass of flying daemons clearly in service to Tzeentch. Moriana's imp directed the Thunderhawk through the horde of Neverborn to a parapet wide enough for the gunship to land. The rounds of the Grey Knight transport's Heavy Bolters had been anointed with the blood of Imperial Saints, which proved anathema to the daemons, blasting their flaming bodies into empyreal mist.
Once the Thunderhawk had touched down, Greyfax led the undead Inquisitor and the fully-armoured Grey Knights out into the waiting daemonic horde, bringing down Neverborn with each blast of her Condemnor Bolter and slash of her Power Sword. After carving their way through the daemons, Greyfax and her companions entered the tower through a nearby portcullis, led by Moriana's chattering familiar. The remaining daemons were happy to leave them be, as what lay within the tower promised a fate far worse than whatever their tender mercies could deliver. The interior of the Pillar proved to be a twisting labyrinth, the only reality within that which the Imperials brought with them and protected within their ever-present Aegis bubble of psychic energy. Horst confessed he had a vague familiarity with the tower, but could remember nothing concrete about it.
But the undead Inquisitor's memory was jogged as they entered a region of the Pillar that encompassed a vast space, a hall with a floor, walls and ceiling, yet clouds impossibly circled the countless pillars on high while purple grass lay underfoot. Horst finally remembered coming to the tower with Paladin Bellicus, the man whose armour he now wore, after his own squad of Grey Knights had fallen because Moriana had refused to give them any aid. At that moment, the vista of a hall sloughed off to reveal a hellish scene of human figures writhing in agony, tortured by horned daemons upon every device ever designed by the human mind to inflict pain. Upon closer inspection of the gruesome vision, Greyfax realised that her own image was among the agonised multitude.
Then they met the ruling daemon of the dark tower. And he was dressed in the armour of an Imperial Inquisitor.
There was one small difference, however. In place of his eyes, there were only black, festering pits.
The undead Horst, finally regaining the full range of his memories, explained that the Daemon Prince had possessed his body at their last encounter, and in desperation, the Inquisitor had projected his own soul into his accompanying Paladin's body to cast himself back to the psychic beacon he had left behind on Savaven. But the Daemon Prince claimed the undead Inquisitor was a liar, and that Horst was the true creature of darkness who had fooled Greyfax.
Moriana's fiery familiar suddenly danced above the Daemon Prince, egging the Imperials on to destroy Horst's eyeless, possessed body. The undead Inquisitor pleaded with them not to, claiming that if his companions destroyed the daemon, they would also destroy his mortal shell, condemning him to undeath forever.
Instead, Horst believed there was another way. By combining the powers of their minds, the Imperials, psykers all, could drive the Daemon Prince from the body it was using as a shield and allow his essence to reclaim it.
Agreeing to Horst's ploy, the Imperials cast their minds out beyond their bubble of reality into the Immaterium, the Grey Knights merging their life energies into one as they faced the daemon purely on the psychic plane. Behind them came Greyfax, maintaining the potent Aegis shield around their souls, while the spectral Horst confronted the powerful Daemon Prince who had stolen his mortal shell.
But Horst proved unable to defeat his opponent and reclaim his body. He was cast, alongside the other Imperials, back into their bubble of reality, forced to become corporeal once more. The daemon still inhabited the corpse of Horst, while the Inquisitor remained trapped in the armour of paladin Bellicus. Defeated, Horst gave Greyfax permission to destroy his body and end the fight. Greyfax wasted no time in unleashing her Condemnor Bolter upon the Daemon Prince, even as it promised them endless secrets of power if they allowed it to live. Greyfax finally used her Power Sword to behead it and silence its insulting offers. At the same moment, Horst's own animate war-plate also collapsed to the ground, his soul apparently fled to the Warp at last with the loss of his tie to the physical realm. But within its broken skull, Greyfax discovered a black gem the size of her fist, surrounded by a haze of darkness -- the Eye of Night.
Moriana had been right, in her own scheming way. Horst had indeed carried the artefact with him all along.
Greyfax placed the Eye within a psychically-warded casket on her belt and left with the Grey Knights to return to the Imperium and present her prize to the Primarch. Moriana's daemonic familiar had already departed, and though the Inquisitor briefly felt a sense of victory despite Horst's sacrifice, it was quickly squelched by the knowledge of the choices she had made. There was a blot upon her soul that could never be erased, but she would continue to place her faith and hope of salvation in the Emperor despite her sins -- for the Emperor protects.
- Master Crafted Condemnor Bolter - A Condemnor Bolter is a Combi-weapon that couples the iconic might of the Imperial Bolter with a secondary launcher that fires blessed silver stakes, particularly deadly to Chaos-corrupted psykers. The Condemnor Bolter is the ultimate man-portable implement of judgement against those who wield the unclean energies of the Warp.
- Master Crafted Power Sword Tyrantslayer - A Power Sword is a Power Weapon that has been shaped into a sword of varying lengths and designs crafted from one of any number of different materials, though usually Adamantium. When its power cell is activated, often by touching a control located on the hilt, the blade is sheathed in a lethal corona of disruptive energy. This energy field allows the blade to carve through flesh, bone and most forms of armour plate alike, making a Power Sword a highly effective Imperial close combat weapon.
- Psyk-Out Grenade - A Psyk-Out Grenade is a very rare type of grenade used by Grey Knights Astartes, high-ranking Inquisitors and Assassins of the Culexus Temple as a potent anti-psyker weapon. Outwardly, a Psyk-Out Grenade looks much like one of the Frag Grenades in use by the many military forces of the Imperium. Its rarity and potency stems from the special additive that is laced within its explosive charge. The Adeptus Custodes reverently gather the dust that forms from the body of the Emperor of Man where He is entombed in the Golden Throne. This byproduct of the Golden Throne's arcane workings possesses a strong anti-psychic charge and can produce an effect in psykers and Warp entities similar to those produced by a psychic Blank, a being afflicted with the Pariah Gene. When a Psyk-Out grenade detonates, the sacred dust is spread over the whole of the blast radius. Any psyker caught within it will find his or her link to the Warp violently severed, and any psychic power active in the radius will be terminated due to its sudden loss of Warp power. This traumatic experience will prevent psykers from using any of their powers for a certain time, depending on the psyker's strength, and interrupt the action of any psychic power with potentially fatal consequences for the user. The severing of the connection to the Warp is also a potent tool to be used in the fight against daemons: Lesser Daemons will be banished from realspace outright, unable to maintain their physical form, and even mighty Greater Daemons will find themselves severely weakened and liable to easy banishment.
- Psyocculum - This strange device allows the user to see psychic emanations, lighting up witches with a halo of unclean energies in even the darkest or most occluding conditions.
- Frag Grenades
- Krak Grenades
- Aura of Oppression - Katarinya Greyfax is a powerful psyker. Among her abilities is the Aura of Oppression with which she can crush her foes minds with the unyielding force of her own will, leaving them paralyzed and unable to act.
- Gathering Storm - Part One - Fall of Cadia (7th Edition), pp. 65-89, 124, 132-133
- Gathering Storm - Part Three - Rise of the Primarch (7th Edition), pp. 4-93
- Eye of Night (Audiobook) by Gav Thorpe