"He that knows the future, controls the present; He that controls the present, owns the past."
- — Maxims of the Sigilite, Cantos CXII
Of all the factions of the Inquisition present in the Calixis Sector, the Ocularians (literally "they who see") are among the strangest and most unfathomable, even to their peers. They are united not simply by doctrine but by obsession -- knowledge of the future; of predictions and omens, patterns of events, divination and destiny, and above all, in keeping their own secrets.
The faction's detractors range in their accusations from charges that the Ocularians waste their attentions on meaningless and futile attempts to predict future threats to the Imperium of Man while blithely ignoring present dangers, to attempted witch hunts raised by hardline Puritans against Ocularians they believe have courted damnation in their desire to know the unknowable.
Ocularians are a sect whose provenance, exact origins and age are shrouded in a tangle of myth, apocryphal data, and outright contradiction. Those few that know of the Ocularians in any detail consider them to be a paranoid faction of diviners and scholars -- Inquisitors whose obsession with prophecy and prognostication has long skirted outright heresy. Ocularian Inquisitors and their tightly-knit coteries of Acolytes, (who feature a preponderance of Adepts and Sanctioned Psykers among their ranks) are generally regarded by the Conclave Calixis' powers-that-be as a useful if often erratic resource.
The Ocularians' abilities and skills make them asset enough to remain tolerated despite their eccentricities and adherence to internal secrecy. This status quo does not, however, sit well with many of the Conclave's Puritans and over the centuries internecine strife has occurred on numerous occasions. The Ocularians often emerge as the victor, much to the shock of the firebrands who have challenged them. The true nature of the Ocularians' power, their history, and goals are more subtle and more terrible than even the most rabid Witch Hunter would dare believe.
- 1 Fate Foreshadowed
- 2 Organisation
- 3 Current Conspiracies
- 4 The Ocularians and other Inquisitorial Factions
- 5 The Acolytes of the Ocularians
- 6 Notable Ocularians
- 7 Sources
The principle dogma of the Ocularian faction of the Inquisition is that foreknowledge of the future or at least the likely variable paths of what is to come is the single greatest power in the universe. As such, the Ocularians pursue this foreknowledge with a fanatic's zeal and leave no stone unturned and no avenue unexplored in pursuit of this goal. They glean their knowledge from a myriad of sources, ranging from the intimate and arcane study of history and the circadian rhythm of the Imperium's daily life, to the divinations of the Imperium's own Sanctioned Psykers and the reading of the Emperor's Tarot.
They also use more esoteric analysis of the eddying Warp time-echoes picked up by Astropathic choirs and the threads of ancient prophecies disentangled from myth and falsehood. For many Ocularians even this breadth of study is not enough, and they seek more direct and malign sources of information in their obsessive quest for knowledge of what is to come: delving into forbidden lore, studying the works and knowledge of the Heretic and the alien, and torturing blasphemous revelations from the mouths of xenoseer and corrupt Warp-dabbler alike.
The most extreme go as far as to become baleful practitioners of sorcery themselves, wheedling the truth from a daemon's whispered lies. All knowledge found within this treacherous sea of fact, supposition, and falsehood is compiled and correlated, and the data sifted by the faction's oath-bound savants and logisters in search of pattern and relevance. The results of these occult permutations are the meat and drink of the Ocularian Inquisitors, who guard their hard-won secrets jealously and draw their plans and intrigues with a spider's cunning and knowledge that allows them to stay several steps ahead of any that would oppose them.
The Long Game
If the future can indeed be predicted within the variance of possibility, time itself holds patterns that can be manipulated and fate can be changed. The Ocularians also well know that they are far from the only players at the table of human destiny, and while for now, their efforts have been largely limited to the Calixis Sector and the dark space beyond it, the Parliament of Whispers dreams of the day its reach extends across the length and breadth of Mankind's domain. Just as they feverishly acquire knowledge and prediction, and jealously guard such foreknowledge they can obtain, the Ocularians also strive with merciless intent against those that would master the future to their own ends. Their principal opponents in this long game are manifold, and range from rogue psykers to rival Imperial factions to the manipulations of the accursed Aeldari.
But of all their foes, the first and most hated among the Ocularian's rivals are the servants of Chaos, and those in particular bound to the Great Ruinous Power known in many blasphemous texts as Tzeentch, the Weaver of Fates. To the Ocularians, this entity and its myriad servants are liars, hungering to mislead humanity and devour the future whilst offering empty promises of freedom and false knowledge. The servants of Tzeentch are anarchic influences that mangle the threads of time and destiny into obscene and destructive forms by their mere presence.
Whilst the Ocularians sometimes allow a recidivist element or even a Chaos Cult to flourish temporarily under observation in order to serve some greater goal before being culled in due course, this license is never given to any cult or conspiracy where the Archlord of Change's servants or influence are suspected to be involved. Tzeentchian minions are a serpent too dangerous to be safely watched or put to the question, and must be destroyed as immediately and thoroughly as possible when discovered, and if the tools used to carry the termination out are several stages removed from the Ocularians themselves, so much the better.
The Price of Knowledge
The path of the Ocularian is one strewn with dangers both subtle and direct. Quite aside from the perils that any servant of the Inquisition must face in their sworn and sacred duties, the Ocularian must fear discovery as well. Exposure brings the risk of censure, suspicion, and potential destruction from fellow members of the Inquisition, the attention of the faction's enemies, and any Ocularian deemed a potentially sufficient security risk can also expect the Parliament of Whispers to order their deaths without hesitation or qualm.
The greatest danger facing any Ocularian, be they Acolyte or Inquisitor, is without doubt the consequences of the quest for foreknowledge they undertake. Knowledge of what is to come is a perilous thing itself, slippery and treacherous even in the hands of those wise and experienced enough to understand its implications. No mortal mind can fully predict all the outcomes and consequences of the actions they may take in pursuit of some destiny or prediction that may be no more than twisted lies. Even the act of merely sifting the sea of data the Ocularians have access to risks madness through its sheer maddening vagueness and surfeit, and many is the fine mind that has succumbed to lunatic obsession over the fulfilment of some obscure prophecy or been driven to utter insanity by patterns in the world around them that are no more than the fabrications of a deluded and damaged psyche.
Worse still than the danger to an Ocularian's sanity their path entails, is the slow corruption of their soul. Although the swift, bright burning fall of the Xanthite or Oblationist into the grasp of Chaos is rare in the ranks of the Ocularians, slow corrosion by the Warp is an all too common hazard. This threat is particularly dangerous if the Ocularian is themselves a psyker, and even more so if, in fulfillment of their desire to know what is to come, they turn (however reluctantly) to the dark arts of the Sorcerer. In these cases the path to damnation may be slower and more winding, but is usually no less certain for that.
The Well-Worn Mask
The face the Ocularian faction presents to the rest of the Inquisition is a lie, but like all the best deceptions it is one that is founded on elements of truth. Few in number, and all but unheard of outside the Calixis Sector of the Segmentum Obscurus, the core of the Ocularian faction is made up of a small group of seemingly disparate and unconnected independent Inquisitors, relatively few in number and without close allegiance to the major Ordos.
These Inquisitors' private organisations and personal talents are specialised in the fields of information gathering by "unconventional means" as well as matters involving prophesy and divination. Given their insular nature and tendency to rarely operate directly in the field, even the term "Ocularian" on some lips is used more as a label or insult than as a given term for a coherent faction.
These open members of the sect are usually exactly what they appear to be, and are very useful for disseminating such knowledge deemed expedient or critical by the wider faction to give the Inquisition as a whole. These "open" Ocularians often endure the suspicions and scant regard of their peers without complaint, but few even in the Holy Ordos guess that as far as the Ocularian faction goes they are the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
Secrets and Lies
To the Ocularian mind, it is not enough to possess knowledge of what is to come, that knowledge must also be slavishly guarded if it is to retain its power and advantage. To that end, secrecy becomes a way of life and death among Ocularian Inquisitors and their servants to an extent that makes them appear paranoid and evasive even to other members of the Holy Ordos -- itself quite a feat in an organisation that thrives on secrecy and intrigue. Ocularian Inquisitors soon learn to shroud their activities through intermediaries and pawns, and where needed obscure their own goals and concerns -- even against their fellow Inquisitors -- with elaborate cover-stories, blackmail, and deliberate misdirection. They are not afraid to resort to callous murder and contrived accidents where they feel the mere threat of exposure is present.
Within their own ranks the secrecy only deepens, and within an Ocularian Inquisitor's retinue and organisation, there will be innumerable levels of code and clearance and invisible webs of alliance and allegiance. Cells will be formed within cells, and even the most mundane information will be conducted through a system of impenetrable ciphers and secret ritual more akin to the workings of a mystery cult than an agency of the Golden Throne. Paranoia and distrust, even of one's comrades, are virtues Ocularian Inquisitors value and seek to instill in their most promising Acolytes. It can also be a survival trait as most seek to test their own servant's reliability through crisis and temptation (better a dead servant than a treacherous one). Often, Ocularians privately instruct individual Acolytes to watch and report on their fellows and their master's other agents.
The Parliament of Whispers
The uniquely tangled and secretive organisational structure of the Ocularian faction makes it impossible even for the Ocularians themselves to know their own full disposition, number, and strength, let alone for an outsider to possess such knowledge. For every open Ocularian Inquisitor or one guessed to be such by their peers, there is perhaps another who holds their true allegiance in complete secrecy, acting either as an Independent or even as a seemingly loyal member of one of the other Holy Ordos or other Radical faction.
In truth, these Inquisitors are fanatics to the Ocularian cause, whatever livery or mask they wear. Even taking into account their hidden membership, the Ocularian faction is small in proportion to the Inquisition itself, accounting perhaps for considerably less than one in a hundred Inquisitors within the ranks of the Ordos, but its power and reach is surprisingly great for all that. Knowledge truly is power, and knowledge is something the faction has acquired in great abundance over the millennia. Indeed, so great is the amassed lore the Ocularians possess, their greatest challenge can sometimes be sifting and processing it successfully to a given end.
The faction's eyes are everywhere in the Calixis Sector (and perhaps even beyond it) and though scattered, its members -- particularly those whose true allegiance is hidden -- often hold positions of considerable influence. These Ocularians sit like spiders at nexuses of information flow and political power both in the Holy Ordos and the Imperium's temporal authority. Particularly favoured haunts of the faction's agents include attachment to battlegroups of the Imperial Navy, oversight of astropathic temples, and covert identities taken up at the heart of prominent worlds for just these reasons.
Given the paranoia and secrecy favoured by Ocularians it is no wonder then that the relations between the faction's membership of Inquisitors are at best labyrinthine and subject at worst to secret internal bloodshed and rivalry, with relative power within the wider Calixian Inquisition little indication of status within the faction itself. The most powerful Ocularian Inquisitors are skilled at the arts of blackmail, manipulation, and hidden patronage, and often influence others outside the faction while leaving no clue as to who they truly serve. Between these shadowy Ocularians, matters of interest -- dark lore and the details of future history yet to pass, or dire prophecies to be thwarted or controlled -- flows via forbidden and occult means. This system of correlation and dreadful design is known by those initiated into the Ocularian's fold as the "Parliament of Whispers."
Wheels within Wheels
It is not enough for the Ocularians to know the future. They must control it, for what use is such foreknowledge if it is not exploited? The purpose to which the Ocularian's accrued esoteric knowledge and prognostications are put is a central issue for the faction and indeed the most common cause of rivalry and discord within its ranks. For some, particularly the diverse covens of mystics and secret colleges of Adepts that populate its ranks, the quest for knowledge is a goal in-and-of-itself; the revelation of the patterns of the future and past a higher calling than any other.
However, for their masters the prime goal is the use to which the revelation is put. To the Ocularians the future is mutable, containable, changeable, and sacrifices must be made so that the Imperium prospers. To the Ocularians the superiority of their way as opposed to that of other Inquisitorial factions is self-evident; the likes of the Recongregators and the Thorians are trapped in the blind dogma of the present or the remembered sins and glories of the past, all engaged in the folly of trying to fight fires already blazing, or worse, demolish the burning house to extinguish the fire, rather than the wise course of crushing the spark before the flame can catch.
It is here, in the playing of the Ocularian's long game, in their strange intrigues and obscure interventions spurred on by shadowy foreknowledge, that the nature and personalities of the individual Ocularian Inquisitors come to the fore. Most remain steadfastly loyal to the Inquisition's first rule; the defence of Mankind, and use the knowledge they glean of things to come, true or false, (or potentially either) to combat the Imperium's enemies. In this, they believe they are following the direct example of the Emperor Himself, who tried to use His own precognitive powers to shape a better future for humanity.
To this end an Ocularian master extends their hand and on a distant world a child dies who one day may grow up to raise revolt, or a voidship's course is changed to take it out of the grasp of a pirate attack and save the life of the great-grandsire of a potential future Imperial Saint. While at another's contrivance a series of grain shipments are diverted and starvation scourges a world, cutting back a burgeoning overpopulation that would otherwise have bred a plague that would have spread to ravage a dozen other spheres. There exists, however, a handful of Ocularians whose pursuit of power and foreknowledge has taken them into far darker territory, and whose obsessions have turned into madness and megalomania.
To act on such knowledge of things yet to come can corrupt the strongest soul. Ocularians choose who lives and who dies on a grand scale, not merely in response to a direct threat as many Inquisitors must, but by simple expediency and in accordance to the ebb and flow of possible events. In short, Ocularians shepherd what is to be. Such individuals, particularly those who have succumbed to the temptations of sorcery and made their own deals with darkness, can swiftly become tyrants more akin to spiteful and petty gods than Inquisitors, deciding the fates of untold millions according to their own insane whims or as a part of some plan to further their own twisted personal vision of human destiny.
The Ocularians are themselves well aware of this danger, and have fought shadowed conflicts with each other in the past to bring down such "renegade elements" in their ranks. In truth, the risk of any single Ocularian growing to wield too much power is one of the reasons the Parliament of Whispers cultivates such secrecy and paranoia both within and without the faction's own ranks.
When the faction moves to act it does so with appalling callousness and casual brutality that belies its popular reputation within the Inquisition as a group of hidebound scholars and inveterate entrail-gazers. The secret arm of the Ocularian faction by which it chooses to carry out its red-handed work the Ocularians refer to, not without justification, as "The Dead."
These elite destroyer cells are commanded by a secret cabal of Inquisitors either believed lost by their peers or operating far from their assumed territory incognito and in absolute secrecy. They have no interest in glory or show, only in the efficient and where possible secret destruction of their targets. These cells operate with no regard of rank or station, or the collateral damage their target's death might entail. Their chosen weapons are mind-cleansed assassins, infiltrators, enslaved witches, psychic puppets, saboteurs and whatever ignorant and disposable "assets" might be best manipulated for the task at hand, and often prefer to arrange "accidents" wherever possible to destroy their targets.
Although few in number, they are backed by the Ocularian's extensive knowledge and the faction's predicative powers and long reach. "The Dead" are a force that has covertly toppled whole worlds into destruction and brought down the great and the powerful in the past in order to enact their master's occult designs.
"The inability of the human mind to correlate all of its contents is Mankind's saving grace and most potent weapon, for the truth is indeed a terrible thing to know."
- —Attributed to the Arch-Remembrancer Hasred Wedlore
The conspiracies and concerns of the Ocularians within the Calixis Sector are many. According to their secret fractal-ciphered records, the Ocularians stood shoulder to shoulder with the sector's founders, worked their patterns of destiny in the shadow of the man who would become Saint Drusus, oversaw the fall of the ten Traitor captains, and by their own lore have long stood sentinel over the dark marches of the Hazeroth Abyss to ensure things were not disturbed there that otherwise would one day set a thousand worlds burning.
Regardless of the truth or falsehood of these claims they make within their own ranks, the Ocularians continue their vigils and their machinations in the Calixis Sector to this day. They take care to work as far as possible in total secrecy, their actions hidden even from their fellows in the Holy Ordos, standing outside and aloof from what they see as the petty squabbling and infighting of their peers. Given to intrigues than might last generations, long-distance interference, and seemingly random interventions that may preempt or nudge the course of events one way or another, much of the Ocularians influence in the sector is hidden or hard to detect simply by its disconnected and often bizarre nature. Few but the Ocularians are able to glimpse the pattern among the confusion.
The Widening Gyre
To some observers the Calixis Sector might seem as a relative realm of stability in a wider Imperium riven by star-spanning wars and endless bloodshed, but the Ocularians have long known the truth of the many sins and terrible dangers that fester here, a fact that they see as central for their faction's very cause and existence. The Parliament of Whispers has seen a steady increase in the number and potency of the threats than have risen up in Calixis over the years. They have seen a spreading, devouring stain of unknown cause that they have come to refer to as the "Widening Gyre."
With each day, it seems to consume more possible avenues of the future. By their divinations and esoteric researches, there is the indication of some coming darkness that threatens to engulf far more than a single sector of humanity's domain, an event that many prophecies and shadowed visions of what is to come reflect as a total blackness in which nothing, even light survives. Conspiracies and cults, daemon visitations, and xenos infiltrations have seemed to intensify at a startling rate in the Calixis Sector over the last two Terran centuries -- perhaps as part of this threat, or simply an unhappy coincidence. The Parliament of Whispers -- whose power extends across this reach of space -- has been blindsided repeatedly or seen events move simply too fast for them to control. Caught off-guard, the Ocularians have seen their predictions fail and their vaunted wisdom prove inadequate to the threats that have appeared like thunderbolts from a clear sky -- a situation they refuse to tolerate.
In response to these failings and the growing threat, the Ocularians have recently sought to greatly strengthen their covert and martial assets in the Calixis Sector. They have accelerated plans for expansion into neighbouring sectors and are actively supporting ever more drastic means to ensure they may influence events more rapidly than they have been elsewhere accustomed, bringing with it a new militancy and willingness to kill that few can guess at. The Parliament of Whispers has decided that the entire Calixis Sector is expendable, if needs be, in order to safeguard the fate of the wider Segmentum and perhaps the Imperium itself, and it is laying its plans accordingly.
The Shadow of the Hereticus Tenebrae
The interest of the Ocularian faction in the baleful phenomena known as the Tyrant Star predates the foundation of the Calixis Sector, and over the centuries, it has amassed in secret a store of information, prophecy, and direct evidence on the subject that the Tyrantine Cabal cannot guess at -- and would kill to possess. As to just what "Komus" is, the Ocularians do not claim to know, at least not fully. But they have some very terrifying suspicions indeed, and for many in the faction's ranks, it is the prime suspect as the so-called "Widening Gyre" that threatens this area of space.
To this end, the Ocularians have further focused their attentions on the Tyrantine Cabal of the Inquisition and the secret Collegium Tenebrae in particular, and they have not liked what they have found. Formerly dismissing the Cabal as hopelessly divided by factional infighting and better suited to cleaning up after catastrophe than averting it, several of the Ocularian's hidden masters have more recently come to see the Cabal as a risk factor in itself, a fertile breeding ground for dissension, plot, and corruption. A force that in the future could itself become as great a threat to the sector as any it attempts to counter.
For the moment, the Ocularians are making inroads into the organisation's structure and operations, and have already succeeded in having several of their hidden Inquisitors join the Cabal's ranks whilst its more open members have made use of a few minor revelations from the Ocularian's store of knowledge -- which has led to the Cabal slavering for more. As for the Ocularian's ultimate purpose for the Cabal, only time will tell whether they will seek to manipulate its destiny into something more fitting with the faction's purpose or lead it unknowingly to destruction. Perhaps the Ocularians are playing with a greater fire than they know.
The Child of Midnight
Within the Ocularian faction, there are numerous smaller splinter groups varying in size and influence who have taken up their attentions and manipulations in the pursuit of a particular pattern of foreshadowing, or more rarely the fulfillment or thwarting a single prophecy. Once such splinter group is based around the elderly Inquisitor Katuwe Orne and his former Acolytes, several of whom have since risen to the rank of Inquisitor or occupied other positions of power themselves.
For nearly three Terran centuries, Orne's obsession has been with averting a prophecy he first learned of amid the deep vents of the Warp-touched world of Sleef while battling a necrophagic witch-cult that had travelled there after foretelling of the birth of a prophesied child. This so-called "Child of Midnight" would be a true abomination, an Alpha-plus level psyker with the power to enslave millions and carve an empire of its own out of the Imperium's bloody carcass.
Orne's vision on Sleef has led him to spend his life's work defending against the coming of this dark future. The relentless path he has taken has seen thousands put to death. His detractors argue that Orne's actions were without just cause or recourse to saving souls for the Black Ships' due. Now laid low by advanced age and infirmity, he has been forced to give over much of his body to augmetics in order to survive. Orne seldom strays now from his private estates in Hive Tarsus on Scintilla and can work now only through intermediaries and those few of his former servants that share in his fanatical purpose.
But despite his eccentricity and infamous bile, he remains an acknowledged authority on Calixian witch-lore and the sector's prophetic cults past and present. He is also known to keep one of the finest coteries of mystics and diviners in the Segmentum. Orne is an open proponent of the Ocularian doctrine in the Calixian Conclave and (unknown to his often deriding peers) one of the masters of the Parliament of Whispers. In secret, the hidden strength of his faction still travel from world to world at Orne's direction, their hands dipped in blood, ensuring the Child of Midnight is never born.
The Legacy of Blood
A name mentioned in whispers even among the Holy Ordos is that of Inquisitor Silas Marr. Attendant on Solomon's notorious Chancellery Court, Marr is a mysterious figure who seems to sit entirely outside of the power structure of the Calixian Inquisition, and follows no known dogma, faction or sub-Ordo. Whilst some high in the Conclave accord him the respectful title of "Inquisitor Lord," others refuse to even acknowledge his existence, at least publicly -- some hint darkly of the near-mythical Ordo Sicarius and worse.
Nor is Marr a member it would seem of the Ocularians, hidden or otherwise, but he does know them, and has long entertained an alliance of sorts with the Calixian arm of the faction. Like a spider at the heart of a vast web of agents, Marr possesses a seemingly limitless resource for information gathering whose true extent and backing remains a mystery even to the Parliament of Whispers. Marr trades facts and figures, correlations and covert murder with the Ocularians in return for the more esoteric services of their diviners, and it seems, his tolerance.
One of Marr's key concerns in recent times, and one use to which he has extensively tasked the Ocularians to aid him, is in the matter of the bloodline of the infamous and long vanished Rogue Trader House of Haarlock. The matter of the Haarlock Legacy is a truly dark one, and already several of the Ocularians' finest diviners have gone mad or died simply by bending their gifts toward its end. The Legacy seems to be a whirlpool that is rapidly drawing in cults and conspiracies that it touches, and it is spreading death in its wake on ancient worlds across the Calixis Sector. It is an affair in which Marr himself is interfering through various cat's-paws within the Inquisition itself, but to what end even the Ocularians do not know and await in dread to discover.
The Ocularians and other Inquisitorial Factions
Outside of their infiltration of other Inquisitorial factions in order to monitor and study them (with an eye on maintaining its own secrecy and uncovering information of interest to its foretelling of the future), the Ocularian faction prides itself (rather speciously) on having little to do with the internal politicking and dogmatic wrangling of the wider Inquisition. The Ocularians see themselves as above such petty matters and consumed in pursuit of a higher calling than their brethren, content for the faction's more open membership to be underestimated and even scorned by their more shallow minded (as they see them) peers.
This having been said, the faction's own intellectual tendencies make them more naturally inclined toward a broadly Amalathian perspective. Most Ocularians see themselves, on the whole, as preemptive protectors of the Imperium's future, rather than being akin to the more revolutionary elements such as the Recongregators or Istvaanians who advocate massive and destructive change. There are, however, exceptions within the Ocularian's ranks who would wield their foreknowledge of what is to come to more radical and dangerous ends. These individuals often conceive of plans and deeds that would make the most firebrand revolutionary baulk in order to achieve what they believe is needed to command the path of human destiny.
Where the Ocularians are most at odds is against those Radical factions who tamper with dark forces or turn their hands against the Ocularians themselves. In particular, they single out those of the Xanthite (and to a lesser extent Oblationist) persuasion as dangerously blundering into matters they cannot control or comprehend. Ocularians, perhaps arrogantly, believe that only their own measured and self-limiting approach can safely handle the powers of the Warp in the Inquisition's service. Unless it is a deliberate deceit to hide their affiliations, few, if any, Ocularians are thought of as part of the mainstream by any means by their peers in the Inquisition.
Furthermore, many, perhaps owing to their embracing of divination and other esoteric arts, are not overly concerned with the trappings of the Ecclesiarchy's dogmatic approach to the Imperial Creed, preferring more personal styles of worship. This has left some of the faction's membership (open and otherwise) subject to accusations of witchery, corruption, and sorcery. As a result, events have marked several notable Puritans (such as Witch Finder Rykehuss) as Ocularian enemies, to be dealt with when a suitable opportunity arises.
The Acolytes of the Ocularians
The Ocularians choose their Acolytes carefully. Secrecy, deception, and deniability are all bywords to live by, far and above the subterfuge rife in other parts of the Inquisition. Ocularian Inquisitors rarely reveal their full goals or plans even to their most trusted servants and comrades, and most maintain an impenetrable web of conspiracy, counter-plot and falsehood to mask their true activities. Also, they will take great pains to hide the extent of their own organisation and resources even from their own followers. As a result, it is possible for an Acolyte to serve an Ocularian master, prosper and rise through the ranks -- perhaps even gain the Rosette of Inquisitor themselves -- and never once suspect their patron's true allegiance or creed.
Within each retinue of Acolytes, the Ocularian Inquisitor will maintain a core of agents and servants who they believe are worthy of sharing at least part of the truth with, and indeed sometimes seek to subvert Acolytes from the retinues of other Inquisitors covertly to their cause. Although the faction has use for members of every calling, the nature of its dogma and its bias towards esoteric learning and the diviner's gifts has a natural tendency to bring more Adepts and Sanctioned Psykers into its ranks than say, clerics or initiates of the Cult Mechanicus. The Ocularians prefer to control other, more disposable or direct servants with blackmail or psychic puppetry if necessary.
Chosen Acolytes will have the Ocularian's mysteries, ciphers, and true calling revealed to them slowly over time. Like the pieces of a puzzle, it is up to them in no small part to arrange into order. Those that show promise -- and most importantly embrace the doctrine of foresight as ultimate power -- will have new avenues of power and knowledge slowly opened up to them. They will be tested and watched at every stage for any hint of disloyalty, incipient weakness, or corruption. Those Acolytes who pass this trial and embrace the Ocularian's higher calling will join the faction proper and become players of the long game. These Acolytes will serve either in secret or in the open, depending upon where the Parliament of Whispers deems their talents lie. Many will find themselves placed as double agents, hiding their true allegiance behind the mask of another Inquisitorial faction, and that behind perhaps another mask, and so on. Such deceit is a vital need in the secret war to control the tangled web of Mankind's future history.
- Thaddeus Hakk - Thaddeus Hakk is an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and a veteran of almost a century of service to the Imperium. Very little of Hakk's early career is known to his peers, as he came to the Calixis Sector already in possession of the Inquisitorial Rosette. Soon after joining the ranks of the Ordos Calixis, Hakk became embroiled in the machinations of the Ocularians, a Radical faction of the Inquisition obsessed with divining the future and thereby learning what enemies must be faced before they become too powerful to defeat. For over a solar decade, Thaddeus Hakk moved amongst the unseen and silent courts of the Ocularians, mastering many of the arts of divination and uncovering many dire threats to the future of the sector. One such divination took Hakk beyond the Calixis Sector, through the Maw and into the far reaches of the Koronus Expanse. In a cold tomb on a dead, windswept planet on the verge of the Egarian Dominion, Thadeus Hakk faced the phantom of a long dead race. In so doing, he defeated his foe and undoubtedly saved many lives, but he was changed, his powers of divination gone, torn from him at the climax of that dread combat. The Inquisitor wandered the Expanse for several Terran years, descending into a madness born of his inability to see into the future. He could not return to his fellow Ocularians or to the Calixis Sector, and so he fell amongst the lowest of the low, the so-called "Footfallen" of the Koronus Expanse. Some say that Hakk forgot that he was an Inquisitor for a time, or else was conducting such secret missions that his filthy, ragged countenance and the black light of insanity shining from his eyes was a highly convincing charade. Whatever the truth, Hakk strayed into places few have ever returned from, and came back possessed of dark knowledge gleaned from carvings pre-dating the birth of Humanity itself.
- Dark Heresy: The Radical's Handbook (RPG), pp. 104-110
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 77