Tane Massata is an Imperial Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus, the holy Ordo of the Inquisition charged with safeguarding the Imperium of Mankind from the daemonic servants of Chaos. Once considered a rising star within the Ordo, Massata's latest actions have branded him a dangerous Radical, but so far none of his colleagues have called for his censure.
Massata is best known for his hunt of a powerful daemonic entity of the Chaos God Tzeentch, a daemon known only as "That-Which-Dwells-In-Darkness." Massata's obsession with defeating this foe has been a matter of some concern within the Ordo. His covert operations against the daemon's mortal agents have been directly responsible for two major conflicts over the course of a solar decade: the near-loss of the Industrial World of Donatos Primus during the Donatos War and the invasion of the Knight World of Adrastapol by the Orks of WAAAGH! Killfist during the Second Ork War.
Most of Tane Massata's past remains a mystery. It is unknown where Massata was born or even whose apprentice he was before reaching the rank of Inquisitor.
However, the Inquisitor and his retinue repeatedly clashed with a powerful ally of That-Which-Dwells-In-Darkness, the Dark Apostle Varakh'Lorr, leader of the Scribed Blade warband of Word Bearers Heretic Astartes which ravaged eight separate Imperial worlds in the late 41st Millennium. On the Industrial World of Donatos Primus, Inquisitor Massata delayed the response of Donatos' Planetary Governor until the Word Bearers and their local allies had sparkled a planetary revolt, with almost half of the world's Planetary Defence Forces turning Renegade. Unable to prevent the rebellion from gaining momentum, Inquisitor Massata let Segmentum authorities order the Imperium's armed forces to reconquer Donatos Primus, initiating the Donatos War.
Inquisitor Massata's interest was drawn when two previously loyal Houses of Knights from the world of Adrastapol -- House Chimaeros and House Wyvorn -- joined the rebellion and betrayed their allies, nearly causing the collapse of the Imperial effort to reclaim Donatos Primus. For House Chimaeros, it seemed that they had been corrupted by another, unknown servant of That-Which-Dwells-In-Darkness, the Witch Alicia Kar Manticos.
The victory on Donatos complicated Massata's mission when Varakh'Lorr was killed by the newly elected High King of Adrastapol, Danial Tan Draconis, and the Freeblade known as the Knight of Ashes. Worse yet, the daemon's agent was able to flee the planet, leaving Massata with nowhere to begin his investigation save for the witch's homeworld, Adrastapol.
As an Inquisitorial survey of the purity of the remaining Knight Houses of that Knight World was required, Massata used his influence and his proximity to the planet to have himself appointed as the inquiry's inquisitorial envoy. This official mission would serve as a cover to further his own secretive goals.
Mission on Adrastapol
Traveling to the nearby Majestis System at the head of a small fleet led by the Oberon-class Battleship Light of Truth, Massata infiltrated the Knight World, spying on the remaining Loyalist Knight Houses even as they tore down the seats of their traitorous brethren and purified their lands with the help of the Adeptus Ministorum.
Upon the High King's order, the lands of the Renegade Houses were shunned and armed men drawn from the household armies of the three loyalist Houses patrolled the ruins of the Renegades' fortresses. It took four Terran years for Massata to create enough contacts to gain entry to the ruins of the Chimaerkeep, House Chimaeros' bastion, a location where the Inquisitor rightly suspected a hive of Chaos Cultists lay. Before the Inquisitor and his retinue could investigate the ruins any further, they lost all contact with their local partners, who were killed by the Mutants and Beastmen eeking out a living in the subterranean barrows under the Chimaerkeep.
Forced to reveal his presence to the loyal Knight Houses, Inquisitor Massata sought a way to make the High King more inclined to help him. The solution presented itself when the Ork horde of WAAAGH! Killfist began pillaging Imperial worlds. Thanks to an efficient campaign of hit-and-run attacks, the Light of Truth and her small fleet rerouted the WAAAGH! to Adrastapol, deliberately initiating the conflict known as the Second Ork War.
Having secretly already condemned Adrastapol to Exterminatus, Massata staged his arrival as fate's messenger, warning the High King of the Orks' imminent invasion and using his official status to secure a small escort and means of transportation to travel to the Chimaerkeep. Goading the Knights of his escort to remain behind, Massata battled the Chaos Cult established in the ruins of the Chimaerkeep and was able to retrieve a blasphemous tome of arcane knowledge which he believed contained hints to the true name of That-Which-Dwells-In-Darkness.
Leaving his escort behind on a fake surveillance mission, the Inquisitor's planned extraction back to his flagship failed when his Land Crawler came under attack by a roaming warband of Orks, who trapped the Inquisitor far from the Aquila Lander his retinue had hidden in Adrastapol's wilderness. Saved by the arrival of the Imperial Knights under First Knight Jennika Tan Draconis of House Draconis -- a Knight Massata had betrayed and left for dead in the burrows beneath the Chimaerkeep -- the Inquisitor was forced to reevaluate his position.
Knowing full well he had abused his power and marked loyal warriors of the Imperium for death, and further humbled by the actions of Jennika Tan Draconis who fell to her knees and submitted to his judgement as a loyal servant of the Emperor, Massata had a change of heart and countermanded his order for Exterminatus of the Knight World.
The Hunt Continues
In the wake of the Imperial victory over the Orks, Inquisitor Massata officially declared the warriors of Adrastapol to be pure and loyal subjects of the Emperor. Thanks to vital information gathered by the Knight of Ashes, Massata had learned the location of Alicia Kar Manticos, the only remaining servant of That-Which-Dwells-In-Darkness.
But with the witch having fled into the Eye of Terror, she was beyond his reach. Using his authority as an Inquisitor, Massata called for a full-fledged Imperial Crusade in his quest to finally destroy the daemon that had plagued the Imperium for so long.
Like many Inquisitors who do not shun battle, Tane Massata has used his status to equip himself with the best weapons and materials available to one of his station. The Inquisitor commonly wears an ornate suit of immaculate white Power Armour with many details inscribed in gold. His Inquisitorial Rosette is enscribed into his armour's breastplate. Other equipment is hidden beneath the folds of his wine-red cloak.
As an Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus, Massata's dark skin is also covered in golden tattoos which are actually hexagrammic wards designed to shield him from the corrupting effects of Chaos and prevent daemonic possession.
As a long-serving member of the Ordo Malleus, Inquisitor Tane Massata has gathered a sizeable retinue to support his work. This list includes those Acolytes who accompanied Massata on his mission to Adrastapol.
- Interrogator Nesh - The brutish Interrogator Nesh is Massata's protégé and diligently serves his master. In combat, the interrogator usually wears a suit of bronze Carapace Armour and wields a Bolt Pistol though his main task is to monitor an Auspex. A resilient fighter, Interrogator Nesh's face has been beaten so often that other members of Massata's retinue more or less openly refer to it as an Ogryn's punching-bag. While Nesh suffered a broken arm in the fierce fighting beneath the Chimaerkeep, he survived the mission to Adrastapol and continues to fight alongside his master.
- Kasrkin Sergeant Kaston - Formerly of the Cadian 85th Infantry Regiment, Sergeant Kaston met Massata on a joint mission on the world of Haelen where the Kasrkin Sergeant saved the Inquisitor's life. Kaston usually ventures into the field whilst being equipped with her thick Carapace Armour and her Hellgun. Kaston doubles as the retinue's pilot since she knows how to handle various shuttles and atmospheric aircraft, though has no experience at aerial combat.
- Shanema and Shemara - Shanema and Shemara were Death Cult assassins employed by Massata. Both women never displayed their faces and wore form-fitting, black bodygloves. While undoubtedly the most deadly of Massata's retinue in close combat, both assassins were killed on Adrastapol.
- Linguist Mortens - The oldest member of the retinue was Linguist Mortens, a Tech-savant specialised in the decryption of old and forgotten texts. His Cogitator-assisted brain also made Mortens a highly precise calculator of variables.
- Astropath Venquist - Usually clad in long robes of deepest blue and clutching his staff of office, Astropath Venquist was a tall, slender and pale figure. While being the weakest member of Massata's retinue in physical terms, Venquist's psychic gifts made him invaluable to the team's missions. Having served Massata for several Terran years, Venquist was not only in charge of the Inquisitor's off-world communication but had also learned how to channel his gifts to follow and track the corruption of Chaos, a faculty that proved particularly useful in locating the ritual spaces of Chaos Cults or tracking down items of arcane power. In the unmapped warren of caves stretching beneath the Chimaerkeep, the group relied on Venquist's abilities to guide them to their final objective. Whatever the Inquisitorial party encountered there left Venquist in a catatonic state so that the Astropath needed to be carried back to their Land Crawler as the Inquisitor tried to escaped the doomed world. Astropath Venquist was subsequently killed when the team's transport was attacked by Orks.
- D'bu'ko - The Jokaero known as D'bu'ko is Massata's technical specialist and carried numerous small technological marvels that could help Massata's team on their missions. Stronger than an average human, the Jokearo's technological skills vastly surpassed those of the Adeptus Mechanicus. In a firefight, D'bu'ko is more than able to defend himself thanks to the powerful Jokaero-built Digital Weapons he carries. D'bu'ko was severely wounded in the subterranean network of caves and crypts beneath the Chimaerkeep.
- Knightsblade (Novel) by Andy Clark