"To wrest human souls from the grip of the Daemon; to defeat the temptation within our own hearts and minds... There is a grace and a grandeur to the work of the Malleus and Hereticus. But the Ordo Xenos? It has no more gravitas than hacking away weeds in one’s garden.
By all means pursue your grace, grandeur, and gravitas then, sir. And in your prayers tonight, ask that your temptation to those things be lifted from your weak and sinning mind, so that you might feel some humility in the presence of those who ensure your garden remains safe to parade all your fine qualities in."
- — Apocryphal exchange between Inquisitors Byphon and Merrinus
The Ordo Xenos (Alien Hunters), together with the Ordo Malleus (Daemonhunters) and the Ordo Hereticus (Witch Hunters), is one of the primary sub-divisions of the powerful and secretive organisation known as the Imperial Inquisition.
The Ordo Xenos is served by its Chamber Militant, the Deathwatch Space Marines, who draw on Veteran Astartes from Chapters all across the Imperium of Man to form the Deathwatch's Kill-teams and destroy the many foul xenos threats to the survival of Mankind.
Armed with the best Human and alien technology available, extremely knowledgeable about their foe, and filled with the xenophobic hatred for non-Human species that drives so much of Imperial culture since the Horus Heresy, the Ordo Xenos can respond to any alien threat.
Their tactics vary depending on the situation and the level of alien taint revealed. Where the threat is subtle, they will use guile and stealth, wielding their power as if it was a scalpel used to cut out a growing malignant cancer. When the alien menace is great, the Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos can commandeer the aid of entire regiments of the Astra Militarum and the Deathwatch.
The Ordo Xenos was created in the mid-32nd Millennium, though in fact the Inquisition had been founded over a thousand standard years earlier in the early 31st Millennium at the express order of the Emperor after the great betrayal of the Horus Heresy had begun.
The Inquisition was initially a relatively small and highly secretive organisation, comprising only a group of skilled Imperial agents drawn from all of the Imperial adepta and nobility as well as select Loyalist Space Marines from both the Loyalist and Traitor Legions who were tasked by the Emperor and chosen by Malcador the Sigillite with uncovering and destroying every threat to the Imperium of Man, from both without and within.
The exact origins of the Ordo Xenos and the Deathwatch are uncertain, but its inception can be traced to the period known as the Time of Rebirth in 544.M32, and the arrival in Imperial space of the largest Ork WAAAGH! seen since the Ullanor Crusade during the closing years of the Great Crusade.
Led by the mysterious Warlord known only as The Beast, this greenskin invasion threatened the very Throneworld of Terra itself. During this conflict, remembered as the War of the Beast, it was the newly-elected Lord Commander of the Imperium, Chapter Master and sole surviving member of the Imperial Fists named Koorland who devised the concept of utilising small elite Astartes Kill-teams to eliminate vital strategic assets of the encroaching greenskins and eventually, The Beast itself.
Though reluctant at first to acquiesce to the lord commander's plan to approve the creation of such a force, desperate times called for desperate measures. Therefore, the High Lords of Terra consented to Koorland's proposal.
The original recruits for this newly created elite force were drawn from the survivors of the various Chapters who took part in the initial invasion of The Beast's capital world of Ullanor. These Chapters suffered severe losses during the invasion. Thus standing in vigil over their fallen brethren, the seeds of the Deathwatch were sown.
Lord Commander Koorland eventually came to an agreement with the Inquisitorial Representative Wienand to assuage any doubts by the rest of the Senatorum Imperialis that this force, named the Deathwatch in honour of those brethren who had died in battle on Ullanor, would fall under the purview of the Inquisition, but an Astartes would ultimately serve as Chapter Master.
It was in the wake of the War of the Beast that the Inquisition itself was formally divided into the first two of the Ordos Majoris, the Ordo Malleus and the Ordo Xenos. The Deathwatch was chosen to be an integral part of the newborn Ordo Xenos and serve as its Chamber Militant the way the Grey Knights served as the Chamber Militant of the Daemon-hunting Ordo Malleus.
The Ordo Xenos could also be said to have gradually evolved before its formal recognition in the wake of the War of the Beast from that group of Inquisitors who were primarily interested in investigating and studying the alien species of the Milky Way Galaxy and eliminating any threat to the Imperium that these xenos represented.
The Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos accept responsibility for protecting Humanity from the predations of hostile aliens. To most of the Imperium, the alien is an abomination, a heathen who desires Humanity's destruction and who must be slain for the good of Mankind. Most Inquisitors share this view and pursue the alien to the point of extinction if they can. Some aliens are a threat to the Imperium in a military sense, invading large swathes of Imperial space, ransacking planets and killing or enslaving the inhabitants. The green-skinned rampaging Orks and voracious Tyranids are chief among these large-scale threats.
The Astra Militarum and Imperial Navy are the main weapons against these xenos hordes, and the Imperium's war zones are constantly ablaze with battles against them. The Ordo Xenos is instrumental in leading the Imperium's military forces against major xenos invasions, gathering intelligence and deploying troops. An Inquisitor in this position makes decisions that can cost millions of lives and he or she must be prepared to go further than even the most hard-hearted Imperial Guard general or Navy admiral in stemming the alien tide. Some of the Ordo Xenos' greatest Inquisitors, such as the legendary Inquisitor Kryptman, have sacrificed entire worlds to deny them to alien forces.
Armed with the best human and alien technology available, extremely knowledgeable about their foe, and filled with the xenophobic hatred for non-human species that drives so much of Imperial culture since the Horus Heresy, the Ordo Xenos can respond to any alien threat. Their tactics vary depending on the situation and the level of alien taint revealed. Where the threat is subtle, they will use guile and stealth, wielding their power as if it was a scalpel used to cut out a growing malignant cancer. When the alien menace is great, the Inquisitor can commandeer the aid of entire regiments of the Imperial Guard. As well as having the capacity to command the Imperium's military forces, the Ordo Xenos also have access to the Ordo's Chamber Militant, the Deathwatch Space Marines. The Deathwatch is an unusual Space Marine Chapter that draws its members from the other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes, with Astartes serving in the Deathwatch for a set period of time before returning to their original Chapters. Most Space Marine Chapters are a part of this ancient agreement, sending Space Marines with the most appropriate skills to be trained and equipped for a term of service as specialised alien hunters under the command of the Ordo Xenos. A Kill-team of Deathwatch Space Marines is invaluable when an Inquisitor comes to exterminate an alien infestation, investigate a potentially deadly alien world or eliminate a particularly loathsome xenos creature. Some Deathwatch squads are placed at the disposal of an entire Inquisitorial conclave dedicated to the protection of a single Imperial sector, but most of them are appointed to the retinue of a particular Inquisitor until his mission is complete.
While many Ordo Xenos Inquisitors believe that all aliens must be killed, this is not true for all of them. Some believe that if an alien species does not wish the Imperium harm and does not move against Imperial interests, then cooperating with them is not out of the question. Some aliens possess technology that far surpasses the Imperium's own, such as the elegant Digital Weapons made by the ape-like Jokaero, and trading for such technology may be to the Imperium's benefit. Furthermore, the Imperium shares common enemies with some species, and alliances between Imperial and alien forces are sometimes a necessity. Some Ordo Xenos Inquisitors actively foster these alliances, believing that their superior knowledge of alien methods and mindsets negates the risks of collaborating with xenos. These beliefs are considered Radical among the Ordo Xenos and their adherents can be shunned or even hunted down by their brother Inquisitors. Nevertheless, the contact an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor has with alien species can impart a belief that some of them can be used, not just destroyed, by the Imperium.
"The void is an unutterably vast and inhuman place, a place of ancient dangers and unknown perils. In this cold darkness have bred things as obscene, terrible, and dangerous as any daemon of the warp… In the face of such dire knowledge, you must hold onto this single truth: it is mankind’s destiny to rule the stars and rule them alone."
- — Lord Inquisitor Knael, A Discursive Primer for Initiates of the Ordo Xenos, Vol. I
The primary remit of the Ordo Xenos is to defend the Imperium against the threat of the alien, a duty that goes far beyond merely confronting non-human creatures in open conflict alongside the Imperial Guard or Astartes. In order to oppose the xenos threat, the Ordo Xenos must undertake the dangerous task of investigating and studying alien races with a mind to destroying any that is deemed to be a threat to humanity. It must learn the nature of its inhuman foes, seek out their weaknesses and learn how to counter their strengths. More than this, it must be ever watchful, not only against what lies in the void beyond, but against other, often more subtle and insidious threats that arise much closer to home. Such threats are often posed by renegade humans, some corrupt, others merely opportunistic. Such individuals are known to trade in alien technology, or seek to hide alien species within the Imperium’s midst -- often for the purposes of experimentation, profit, or bloody entertainment.
The Acute Threat of the Alien
Many of the Ordo Xenos’s operations are not focused outward, but inward on the Imperium itself, and with good cause. The Ordo’s records are littered with bloody atrocities and vast losses of life that have resulted where the alien has taken hold of an Imperial world via stealth, infiltration, or slow taint, as well as countless incidents where the influence of alien technology, misunderstood artefacts, and xeno-lore have resulted in unintended disaster and tragic consequence. Within the Calixis Sector, the job of the Ordo Xenos is a particularly complex and difficult one. This challenge is in no small part because the sector itself lies on the very edge of the Imperium. It is a borderland flanked for much of its perimeter by the uncharted void of space beyond the Emperor’s light. No complete or even meaningful control can be kept over this vast, open border, and human and alien vessels can pass largely unobserved and unchallenged despite the best efforts of Battlefleet Calixis and the Imperial listening stations. This dark horizon is crossed regularly by Rogue Traders, the explorator fleets of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and even by smaller independent merchant and prospecting vessels quite legitimately. Where such legal traffic ends and outlaw traffic (such as smugglers, renegades, non-compliants, and pirates) begins is often a blurred line. Each one of these is a vector, a means by which the alien and alien influences can flow like poison into the Imperium’s veins, and the eyes of the Ordo Xenos cannot be everywhere at once.
Although all aliens are (officially) viewed as anathema by the Imperium, some are tolerated to a lesser degree. Such races tend to be primitive in technology and culture or constrained to a backwater planet far from Imperial space. In many parts of the Imperium contact with starfaring alien races is not uncommon, and on some Frontier Worlds trading with aliens is a fact of life. Such dealings are usually overlooked by the authorities and would certainly not warrant censureship or intervention. Other races, however, represent such a threat to humanity that the Ordo Xenos brand them with a stigma, the Xenos Horrificus, marking them as high-priority targets who must be hunted down and purged at every opportunity. The brand does not merely apply to the xenos themselves, but also to any who have had dealings with them. More than one Rogue Trader has been branded with the Xenos Horrificus, marking him out as an enemy of the Ordo Xenos, the Deathwatch, and Mankind itself.
When the alien threat is too great for even the requisitioned Imperial Guard or Planetary Defence Force troops of the Inquisition to handle, the Inquisitor will call on the elite Battle-Brothers of the Deathwatch, the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Xenos, who operate in Kill-teams made up of elite Space Marines from all of the Space Marine Chapters in the Imperium. All Deathwatch members wear black Power Armour except for one shoulder plate which bears the colors of their original Chapter (so as not to dishonor their power armor's Machine Spirit) and the other is emblazoned with the unique Chapter badge of the Deathwatch. Certain Chapters make for great Xeno-hunters, like the Ultramarines (with their long and infamous experience with the Tyranids during the Battle of Macragge) or the Crimson Fists (with their experience against the Orks during the Battle for Rynn's World).
The Ordo Xenos is well-known for either being extremely ponderous in its operations or extremely quick to act. A major example of their slowness to act was when the Tau first made contact with Imperial Planetary Governors on the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy and these aliens' technology was allowed to penetrate all the way to Terra through the Imperial trade routes as their technology was bought and sold by Imperial merchants. However, at times the Ordo Xenos can truly bring the Emperor's justice to those alien races who seek to challenge human domination of the galaxy, a prime example of which was seen during the Damocles Gulf Crusade in which an Ordo Xenos-led Imperial Navy battle group spearheaded an Imperial Crusade deep into Tau space, although its progression slowed to a halt when they reached Dal'yth, one of the core Sept worlds of the Tau Empire. It is worth noting that, with the arrival of Hive Fleet Behemoth in the galaxy from the intergalactic void, the forces of the Damocles Crusade was forced to withdraw from their siege of Dal'yth to attend to that first massive Tyranid invasion.
The Deathwatch Kill-teams may specialize in defending or attacking any known alien race, including the Tau, Tyranids, Necrons, Orks or even Eldar; it depends upon the experience of the team. A Kill-team can be composed of groups of 5, 10, or even 20 Astartes in rare cases depending on the size and scope of the alien problem. In extreme circumstances, they will operate alongside other armies of the Imperium, including Imperial Guard Regiments under Inquisitorial control or even elements of other Space Marine Chapters that have responded to the Inquisition's request for assistance. When a Battle-Brother leaves the Deathwatch after his term of service to return to his original Chapter, he gains the honour of keeping the Deathwatch's silver badge on his Power Armour's left shoulder plate.
Notable Ordo Xenos Inquisitors
- Inquisitor Al-Subaii - Al-Subaii was recently elevated to Inquisitor status after serving as an Interrogator in the service of Inquisitor Van Vuygens. While Van Vuygens combs the very edge of Imperial space for alien civilisations, Al-Subaai’s role is to search for alien influence in the populated worlds of the sector. Probably the youngest Inquisitor in the cabal, Al-Subaai is deeply pious, and he looks it, usually attending gatherings in a monastic habit worn over sturdy, practical carapace armour. Al-Subaai believes that everything in the galaxy is connected and that the various alien species and their depredations are part of a larger web of hostility generated by the galaxy. The galaxy, Al-Subaai believes, is reacting to human occupation like a body reacting to a disease. To him, aliens (as well as all creatures of the warp) are symptoms of the galaxy’s enmity towards mankind. Al-Subaai therefore advocates the destruction of all aliens, especially those who influence humans. He considers his remit to cover not only alien-influenced cults and corruption, but also the trafficking in alien creatures and their technology. Anyone dealing with aliens or their artefacts is an enemy of humanity and nothing gives Al-Subaai greater satisfaction than to hunt them down and subject them to whatever punishment the cabal decrees. To Al-Subaai, the Propheticum Hereticus Tenebrae is the handiwork of alien manipulation.
- Inquisitor Vils Andarion - Inquisitor Andarion is one of several Ordo Xenos luminaries drawn to Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach since the Jericho Maw Warp Gate opened. His primary interest is in the gate itself but the dangers in the Well of Night have driven him to Erioch to pursue his investigations. Here he can at least study data gathered about the Warp Gate in its dormant state throughout the Age of Shadows. Andarion keeps a substantial retinue of adepts, savants and servitors at the Tower of Brass for this very purpose. They work night and day seeking after some elusive piece of data Andarion apparently needs. Inquisitor Andarion has also expressed a keen interest in xenos legends throughout the Jericho Reach, the older and more obscure the better. He has made several expeditions to the planets Jove's Descent and Karlack following in the footsteps of Inquisitor Vincent. Andarion's interest in the local myths of a city beneath the sea brought him to Karlack prior to Vincent's disappearance and the two co-operated in the investigation for a time. Andarion has resolved not to let the matter of Inquisitor Vincent's disappearance drop until Vincent, or more likely his slayer, is found.
- Inquisitor Staven Arcturos - Inquisitor Arcturos is one of the alien species scholars of the Xeno Hybris faction, serving within the Inquisition's Calixis Conclave. He was initially drawn to the Calixis Sector during his lifelong study of the Eldar and their influence in the Segmentum Obscurus. For decades, Arcturos tracked down any trace of this enigmatic alien culture, ranging all the way out to the Gothic Sector and back. He uncovered tantalizing hints and rumours, but rarely anything solid. His first true breakthrough occurred after a battle with an unidentified xenos vessel in the Hazeroth Abyss Sub-sector. The Inquisitor's ship was crippled, helpless before the enemy craft's weapons, but Arcturos was rescued by the timely intervention of an Eldar Cruiser. This ship belonged to none other than Ulthyr Ellarion, an infamous Eldar Corsair who prowls the space lanes of the Calixis Sector. It is rumoured that Arcturos learned great knowledge from a Seer aboard Ellarion's ship. What happened later is shrouded in mystery. Some claim that Arcturos became a guest of an Eldar Craftworld, whilst others say he roamed distant stars, transported by alien witchery. Whatever the truth, upon Arcturos' return he was a deeply changed man. Arcturos swiftly became one of the Xenos Hybris' faction's most fervent members, and he is reputed to have a number of aliens amongst his retinue. Those who have spoken to Arcturos report that he is now obsessed with the Eldar's means of viewing the future through a series of psychically-active Runestones, and that he constantly practices this vile form of divination, basing every act on what he sees in the patterns of the stones.
- Inquisitor Ark Ashten - According to apocryphal tales, the legendary Ordo Xenos Inquisitor was the first commissioner of a specialised Cadence Promethium "Destroyer" Inceration Device. Crafted by the artisan-masters of the world of Cadence, the Destroyer is a highly advanced pattern of Hand Flamer that uses force-compression technology similar to that of a plasma weapon to create a superheated thermal-incandescent blast that burns far hotter and with greater fuel efficiency than that of a usual Flamer.
- Inquisitor Horosa Barnabas - The tales of Inquisitor Horosa Barnabas date back four centuries and none of them reflect on him any great credit. The current generations of servants in the tower of Brass, for example, are mainly descended from his prisoners, trapped in bureaucratic limbo once they were exonerated by evidence uncovered after his death. A trail of lost artefacts and botched missions followed his retinue that was so dismal and persistent that some suspected a cunningly-hidden secret agenda was being played out. If so, it was being done beneath the very noses of the Ordo Xenos and surely with the collusion of many of their most highly placed members. The majority of Baranbas' contributions to the Ordo's knowledge are now sealed away inside quarantine zones in the catacombs, allegedly too dangerous and toxic to approach. Inquisitor Barnabas was always fond of bold gestures and cut an impressive figure to the masses, very much fulfilling the commonest conceptions of what an Inquisitor should be. His sweeping pogroms were always a terror among the noble classes, and that gave him a good deal of popularity with the workers. Unfortunately, Barnabas's billowing cloak and impressive armour failed to impress the Eldar in a skirmish on Adronicus and he met his demise there on the end of an Eldar Fire Lance.
- Inquisitor Hezika Carmillus, Inquisitor of the Chamber - Inquisitor Hezika Carmillus of the Ordo Xenos has served the Inquisition for over three standard centuries. In that time, she has led pogroms that have scoured xenos infestations from a dozen worlds, condemned and executed Lord Commanders and Admirals, broken influential and traitorous Rogue Traders, and denounced radicalism amongst her own kind. Tall and blade-thin, she wears exoskeletal enhanced armour at all times and keeps a court of diverse and deadly warriors, collected from dozens of worlds, at her beck and call. Her voice is silken honey at one moment and unyielding steel the next as she desires. She will not, under any circumstances, allow herself to be perceived as anything other than what she is: a warrior savant in the service of the Emperor of Mankind. She is undaunted by the super-human killers whose company her duty now bids her keep, and she will brook no challenges to her authority, in particular by other Inquisitors, although she is ever-conscious of its limitations. Inquisitor Carmillus has been the Inquisitor of the Chamber and mistress of the Tower of Brass of Watch Fortress Erioch in the Jericho Reach for sixteen Terran years and has executed her sworn tasks with precise dedication and utter ruthlessness. While possessing a warlike temperament, she is also highly intelligent and subtle. These traits make her an ideal emissary of the Inquisition to the domain of the Deathwatch and well-equipped to deal with its Adeptus Astartes masters. She has voiced the opinion in the Chamber that, although she is in favour of the Achilus Crusade, a contingency plan should be drawn up to destroy the Warp Gate should the Crusade suffer catastrophic failure. She believes that the Warp Gate possesses a vast threat if it is no longer under the Imperium’s direct control. Much of her other motivations, however, remain a tightly-held secret.
- Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn - An Amalathian member of the Ordo Xenos, Eisenhorn was the infamous Inquisitor who orchestrated the downfall of Quixos the Bright and Pontius Glaw using a stolen daemonhost named Cherubael, a former tool of Quixos. He seemingly vanished soon after the downfall of Pontius, having been declared a heretic by Inquisitor Osma of the Ordo Malleus and this bad reputation stayed with him despite attempts to clear his name by other Ordo Xenos members.
- Inquisitor Ezu Ghraile - Only one thing brought Inquisitor Ezu Ghraile to the Jericho Reach -- Tyranids. Ghraile sees the Tyranids as the biggest single threat facing the Imperium today and it's matter she will expound on at great length given any opportunity. Ghraile has based herself at Watch Fortress Erioch for the express purpose of lobbying for more action on the Orpheus Salient and her clashes with the resident Inquisitor of the Chamber have been loud and public. As a result she's chose to take suites far removed from the Tower of Brass and direcly over the Bestiatrium, distilling her bile and vitriol and lengthy reports to the Chamber of Vigilance. Ghraile has a sympathetic ear from members of the Deathwatch as they fully appreciate the exponential threat a hive fleet can become with access to enough biomass. however, it's been a harder job convincing officers of the Crusade and her fellow Inquisitors of the need to divert all reinforcements coming through the Warp Gate to the Orpheus Salient. Ghraile clings to hopes that the Omega Vault will open to reveal some weapon to stop the Tyranids -- not just within the Jericho Reach, but across the entire galaxy.
- Inquisitor Lord Parnival Grundvald - Parnival Grundvald is a notable Puritan Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos who faithfully served the Imperium for over 200 Terran years. He was an accomplished expert in the field of Xenology. One of his most notable actions was the discovery and subsequent persecution of the deadly xenos known as the Lacrymole. Grundvald created a conclave, the Conclave-Conservati, and appealed to his fellow Inquisitors on the deadly menace the Lacrymole posed to the Imperium. He soon earned the title of the Xenoscourge of Helschen for his successful persecution of these foul creatures.
- Inquisitor 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 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 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.
- Inquisitor Kalistradi - Kalistradi was an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and a specialist in Genestealer infestations. After months of investigation on the world of Avalos, she tracked the source of a infestation from its origins out in the great southern farmlands and into Lordsholm. Initially, she believed that the Lord-Governor Thorsholt was complicit in the spread of the infestation. However, she later came to realise he was merely incompetent. What she didn’t know was that ever since she set foot upon Avalos, she had been watched by the Broodlord and his minions, and when her path finally led her to Lordsholm, the ancient Genestealer chose to act, igniting an uprising and plunging the city into chaos. The Inquisitor dispatched some of her team to deal with the uprising, while she took the rest and sought out the Broodlord, fearing aid from the Deathwatch would not arrive before the city fell. Unfortunately for her, she did not survive her encounter with the Broodlord and his children.
- Inquisitor Lord Quate'maz Knael - Inquisitor Lord Knael was a former member of the Calixian Conclave, who in the aftermath of his expeditions into the Hazeroth Abyss Sub-sector, penned the infamous Calixian Black Grimoire, which takes the shape of a small black Data-Slate made of high-impact polyflex that opens in the fashion of a clasped book and also has a short-range audio and pict recording and playback function. The Grimoire was substantially added to a century later by the infamous Inquisitor Kol Shek. The Black Grimoire is no less than a field manual detailing many forms of xenos creatures they had encountered in their long years of service, explaining how to identify, combat and destroy them. The very existence of the Grimoire is a point of contention among the Inquisitors of the Calixian Conclave as most in the Ordo Malleus feel that such information should never leave the heavily guarded libraries of the Ordos, while more Puritan factions of the Ordo Hereticus claim that the work is far too dangerous to be allowed to exist at all, and all copies should be hunted down and purged.
- Inquisitor Lord Kryptman - Well-versed through hard experience in knowledge of the Tyranids and their infestation techniques, Inquisitor Kryptman was responsible for first identifying the Genestealer infestation preceding Hive Fleet Leviathan. He later authorized the largest single act of genocide the Imperium has ever inflicted on itself by abandoning or destroying all worlds in Hive Fleet Leviathan's path. For his actions he was issued a Carta Extremis and was stripped of his title and position in the Inquisition. However, this did not stop him and he soon led his loyal Deathwatch Astartes to capture live Genestealers, place them in stasis, and use them to lure the Hive Fleet into the worlds controlled by the Orks of Octavius, slowing down the Hive Fleet's progress towards Terra while it sought to digest that massive Ork empire.
- Inquisitor Solomon Lok - Solomon Lok was an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and a veteran of the Hrud infestation of Chincare who was tasked with investigating the sudden loss of contact from an Imperial research facility on the world of Beta Anphelion IV in 850.M41. Lok, the Elysian Drop Troops 99th "D" Detachment, a force drawn from the 226th Cadian Shock Troops Regiment, an Adeptus Mechanicus Biologis Exploritas force headed by Magos Biologis Arthon and a task force of Red Scorpions Space Marines went into orbit above the clouded and hostile moon. The Imperial task force soon learned the horrible truth; the Mechanicus Tech-priests on Beta Anphelion IV had been conducting biological research upon captured sub-species of Tyranids. Their containment of the savage xenos had ultimately failed and the Tyranids had escaped into the wild, rapidly increased their numbers and then wiped out the small population of the Imperial research station. Solomon Lok's task force now faced a similar overwhelming population of Tyranids. The Red Scorpions received orders to withdraw from the hopeless situation, but they refused to take any of the other Imperial survivors on their transports. In a last stand, Lok succeeded in slaying a Hierophant Bio-Titan, only to see two more stride out of the ammonia fog of Beta Anphelion. Lok was able to transmit a record of his last days from Beta Anphelion IV to his fellow Inquisitors in the Ordo Xenos, and his final fate is unknown though he is presumed dead.
- Inquisitor Jena Orechiel - Jena Orechiel has been in the Inquisition’s service for many decades, first as an acolyte to the famed Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Dargasto and, on his death, as an Inquisitor in her own right. Upon inheritance of Dargasto’s position, Orechiel gained not only her master’s Inquisitorial Seal and followers, but also a mission of the utmost importance – to prevent a second dawn for the ancient star gods known as the C'tan. Orechiel is fascinated by alien species and technology, much to the distaste of many of her Inquisitorial colleagues. Her blatant use of xenos weapons and technology has been frowned upon by the more conservative members of the Ordo, as has her use of aliens in her retinue. Rumours state she has, on occasion, cavorted with the enigmatic Eldar – even to the point of having one in her service. Nevertheless, Orechiel's record speaks for itself, and none can deny that she prosecutes the Inquisition’s war against the Daemon, the alien and the heretic with consuming fervour.
- Inquisitor Natius Osrinn - A former student of Inquisitor Van Vuygens, the man now known as Natius Osrinn began as a trusted and diligent Acolyte. Osrinn was chosen for his quick wits and aggressive nature from among the lower-hive scum of Solomon, and over time proved his worth to Inquisitor Van Vuygens many times during a career that spanned five decades of service. Eventually, Osrinn was promoted to the rank of Interrogator and thence to a full Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos. However, not long after his ascension, Osrinn's interests shifted, focusing more and more upon sorcery and the arcane. In time, his allegiance shifted away from his mentor and his Ordo, and eventually, he disappeared, claiming "special circumstances." The Calixis Conclave in the Tricorn Palace on the sector capital world of Scintilla received several reports indicating glimpses of the enigmatic Inquisitor Osrinn, including several that claimed he had been seen assisting Space Marines of the Relictors Chapter. Other reports indicate that Osrinn wandered far into the reaches of the Segmentum Obscurus, all the way out to Belial IV and back before he re-appeared in the Calixis Sector in 803.M41. Osrinn's return caused a stir in the Tricorn, for he bore with him ancient Terminator Armour of unknown origin and a sword that was unmistakably a Daemon Weapon. Refusing to account for his actions, Osrinn avoided a summons from the Tricorn and struck out alone into the Halo Stars. Some say he has gathered around him a group of unusual Acolytes: mutants, aliens, rogue psyker-witches, and even a Daemonhost of incredible power. What he intends to do with such an assorted retinue is still a matter for conjecture.
- Inquisitor Adrielle Quist - Adrielle Quist was first noted by Inquisitor Carmillus for her prodigious telepathic abilities. Her sharp, investigative mind distinguished her from her fellow Acolytes, and during her time as an Interrogator she was one of a select few brought to the Tower of Brass when her mistress became Inquisitor of the Chamber at Watch Fortress Erioch. Five short years ago, Quist earned her rosette, and remains Carmillus’ primary hand in the field. Quist has a deep fascination with alien technology that she keeps tightly concealed. She is all too aware that many around her would brand her a Radical or Traitor for her desire to see the Imperium match the technological advancement of races like the Tau. She is secretly one of the Crucible Resolviate’s principal sources of xenos artefacts. The fresh Inquisitor would like greatly to find Deathwatch warriors who share her open mind about the path to humanity’s advancement, as it would make procuring items of advanced alien technology from their missions far less laborious.
- Inquisitor Velayne Ramaeus - Velayne Ramaeus is an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos and the leader of the faction of the Deathwatch known as the Dead Cabal.
- Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor - Once a handsome and lean man, Ravenor was crippled on Thracian Primaris and is now little more than a lump of crippled flesh living inside a heavily armoured casing that serves as a grav chair. In his crippled form, however, his psychic abilities have strengthened, and with the help of Psi Boosters attached to his grav chair, he has become a much more powerful psyker, in the high-Delta, low-Gamma range. He once served with Inquisitor Eisenhorn, however since Eisenhorn's disappearance, Ravenor has taken charge of Eisenhorn's old retinue of Acolytes and Throne Agents to seek out and destroy all alien threats to the Imperium.
- Inquisitor Reynaard - Reynaard discovered a cult worshipping aliens on Mandall IV. Using a Deathwatch kill team, he attempted to destroy the cult, which proved to have taken over most of the capital city. After escaping, Reynaard returned with over 500,000 Imperial Guard troops and eradicated all in the city.
- Inquisitor Amberley Vail - Amberley Vail is an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos, featured in the Ciaphas Cain series. What is known of her missions comes from references in the Cain Archive, which she has been editing for Inquisitorial perusal. It has been suggested that her relationship with Cain is more than professional.
- Inquisitor Helynna Valeria - Inquisitor Helynna Valeria has always believed that the work of the Ordo Xenos, and the wider Inquisition, should be guided by the spirit and intent of the lore: to use the weapons of the enemy against the enemy. This she considers true no matter the source, and can require using Warp-tainted weapons against Daemons, or xenos archeotech against hostile alien races. For Valeria there are no lines that cannot be crossed, no edict that cannot be transgressed. The Emperor bade the Inquisition defend Mankind from both its own destiny and a hostile galaxy -- a task so important that Valeria demands that no methodology, however extreme, should be considered forbidden. In pursuit of this goal, Valeria became a collector of the archaic and arcane, of bibelots and fragments of technological lore, of ancient and alien technologies to be pressed into fresh use. She has spent many decades exploring the ruins of far-flung worlds, poring over age-crumbled documents in races the Psamathean Libraries, treating with Eldar, Ulumeathi, Draxians, Hrud and a hundred more in order to expand Humanity's store of knowledge.
- Inquisitor Globus Vaarak - Vaarak is an Amalathian adherent who serves the Ordo Xenos within the Inquisition's Calixian Cabal. Severely wounded as an Interrogator while boarding a pirate ship, Vaarak's body is broken, scarred and bloated. Both his legs were amputated and he moves by means of a robust mechanical vehicle with mechanical legs and an inbuilt life-support system. His face is horribly burned and pockmarked, with tubes running from his nostrils and mouth to help him breathe. One arm was also lost and has been replaced with an obvious bionic limb. Vaarak's clothing is a ribbed black bodyglove that barely holds in his enormous girth and which incorporates cooling and regulating devices to keep him alive.
- Inquisitor Scarman Ha’Vass - Following the promulgation of the Orphean Decree that effectively disbanded the Orpheus Sector following its scouring by the Necrons during the Orphean War, Inquisitor Sacrman Ha’Vass was tasked to investigate the full extent of this catastrophe and compile his search’s results to further the cause of the Imperium of Mankind. Vass’ account on the Orphean War therefor stand as the largest, most well-documented and most reliable soure on the organisation, tactis and methods of the xenos-entities known as Necrons.
- Inquisitor Van Vuygens - A disciple of the legendary Inquisitor Kryptman himself, Van Vuygens is an influential member within the Inquisition's Calixian Cabal. Rarely seen at the Bastion Serpentis, Van Vuygens represents the Ordo Xenos in the Calixian Inquisitorial Conclave. He is a quietly spoken man who is more of a scholar than a warrior and, though he can certainly look after himself if required, he sees more value in dissecting and studying xenos than exterminating them. Slender, bespectacled and dressed in an archivist's robes, Van Vuygens does not cut as imposing a figure as some of the Tyrantine Cabal's more dramatic characters, but he has the intellect and strength of will to delve into the mindset of the xenos and still retain his humanity. He leaves the human and daemonic threats to the other Inquisitors, focusing instead on helping provide the Imperium with its chief weapon against the alien: an understanding of what the aliens want and what they will do to get it. Though Van Vuygens seeks knowledge about aliens, he does not trust them and would never fraternise with them. He has not studied a single alien species that does not pose some threat towards the human race.
Ordo Xenos Relics
- Tome of Vethric - First inscribed by the famed Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Macavius Vethric, this book has ever since served as record of alien perfidy and nuance. In the millennia since Vethric’s death, the tome’s contents have been annotated and expanded, to the point that it now stands as the Imperium’s most complete treatise on xenos strategy, and contains a wealth of countermeasures for even the most innocuous of alien ploys. The only challenge lies in deciphering Vethric's almost illegible scrawl.
- Codex: Inquisition (6th Edition), pg. 57, 63, 129
- Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition)
- Dark Heresy: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 226, 262, 272, 320, 322, 346
- Dark Heresy: Disciples of the Dark Gods (RPG), pg. 70
- Dark Heresy: The Inquisitor's Handbook (RPG), pp. 58-59, 111, 192
- Dark Heresy: The Radical's Handbook (RPG), pp. 80, 88, 94, 128, 136, 198-201, 209, 212, 232, 235
- Deathwatch: Final Sanction (RPG), pg. 27
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 77
- Deathwatch: The Outer Reach (RPG), pp. 26-27
- Deathwatch: Rites of Battle (RPG), pp. 238-239
- Imperial Armour - Volume Four : The Anphelion Project
- Imperial Armour - Volume Twelve : The Fall of Orpheus, pg.13
- Index Astartes II, "Purge the Unclean - The Grey Knights and Deathwatch Chapters"
- Inquisitor (Specialty Game)
- The Inquisition (Background Book)
- White Dwarf 305 (US), "Chapter Approved: Deathwatch Kill Teams," pp. 94-99
- Xenology (Background Book)
- Ciaphas Cain Novel Series:
- The Traitor's Hand by Sandy Mitchell
- Death or Glory by Sandy Mitchell
- Cain's Last Stand by Sandy Mitchell
- Traitor's Gambit (Short Story) by Sandy Mitchell
- Ravenor Novel Series:
- Ravenor (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Ravenor Returned (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Ravenor Rogue (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Ravenor the Omnibus (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- Warriors of Ultramar (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- The Hunt for Vulkan (Novel) by David Annandale, Chs. 3-4, Epilogue
- The Beast Must Die (Novel) by Gav Thorpe, Ch. 3
- Watchers in Death (Novel) by David Annandale, Ch. 3
- The Last Son of Dorn (Novel) by David Guymer, Chs. 17-18
- Shadow of Ullanor (Novel) by Rob Sanders, Ch. 7
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