"The Emperor shall come again. Once more, His mortal shell shall be invigorated by His Divine Will. His great spirit can be brought back from heaven and He shall throw away the shackles of Golden Throne and step forth once to finish the Great Crusade to make the galaxy Humanity’s forever."
- — Anonymous Thorian Inquisitor
The Puritan Thorian faction of the Inquisition takes its name from Saint Sebastian Thor. This hero, venerated across the entire Imperium, overthrew Goge Vandire, the tyrannical High Lord of Terra who plunged the Imperium into the Age of Apostasy in the 36th Millennium. The Thorians believe that Thor was divinely inspired and that he moved with the Emperor’s light burning bright within him. To many Inquisitors of the day, it was obvious that Thor was imbued with a measure of the Emperor's will and charisma. They believed that it was not the first time that the Emperor had acted in such a way, citing such heroes as Saints Capilene and Josmane as previous vessels of the Emperor walking amongst his people.
The Thorians believe that the Emperor's near-death at the hands of Horus allowed him to break the final bonds between the crude matter of corporeality and ascend to assume his true nature as a deity. His spirit wonders the void, travelling as a whisper in the warp, flitting from place to place and perhaps even time. Thorian dogma holds that the Emperor has manifested his spirit through his chosen vessels many times when his people needed him, but that these bodies were able to contain only the barest fraction of his power and soon withered and died. They await the day that he shall be reborn and lead his people onwards in a second, and final, Great Crusade. To this end, the Thorians closely study the interaction of consciousness, energy and the warp, believing that if they can manipulate these energies correctly they can channel the Emperor’s spirit into a suitable vessel and effectively resurrect the Master of Mankind. There have been many attempts to create a body suitable for such an important ritual, but so far none have succeeded. Followers of the Thorian philosophies constantly scour the galaxy for beings they call Divine Avatars, individuals of such power that they may able to contain the Emperor’s soul once more -- or be turned to evil by the Ruinous Powers.
While the Thorians as a faction have only grown in prominence since the 36th millennium, the heart of their philosophy is one that dates back much, much further. Resurrectionist cults and philosophies have waxed and waned throughout the history of the Imperium, and can be traced back to the earliest days of the Inquisition. Now considered to be one of the more puritan factions, the chequered history of those who believe in the Emperor's rebirth has not always been considered to stand on the right side of heresy. The history of the Thorians is, at its heart, the history of the battle for the Emperor's soul.
The First Hour
The ideal of restoring the Emperor to the Imperium in mortal form is at the heart of the Inquisition's formation. In the dark days that followed Horus's final campaign of the Horus Heresy, during the Battle of Terra, and the Emperor's internment in the Golden Throne, the empire he had created was reeling in the aftermath of the civil war and the Emperor's ascension. Four individuals, trusted servants of the Emperor during the building of his galactic empire, gathered together to discuss what was to happen. They were divided in opinion, with two believing that the fledgling Imperium could not survive without the Emperor to directly lead Humanity, while the other two were adamant that the Emperor has ascended to a higher plane and that it was folly to interfere with the course of events as they had unfolded. The two resurrectionists, known only as Promeus and Moriana, left Terra to begin their quest of bringing back the Emperor, while the two that remained acted quickly to establish themselves with the newly formed Senatorum Imperialis. Known to the Primarchs as loyal servants, these two began to lay the plans for the formation of an organisation that would combat the efforts of the two dissidents. Thus were the seeds of the Inquisition itself sown.
With the backing of the Primarchs, the two first Inquisitors made themselves known to the High Lords and began to recruit like-minded individuals from amongst the adepts and warriors on Terra. Their dream of an organisation dedicated to the protection of the Emperor would not be realised in their lifetimes, even extended as they were by arcane technologies, and the Inquisition as it is seen today did not fully come in to existence until the 32nd millennium, by which time the Imperium itself and its many institutions were beginning to grow and spread across the galaxy. Promeus and Moriana were not idle during this time, and in the wake of the news of the Emperor's ascension gathered together a following of their own, particularly amongst those cults and sects that were now appearing on many worlds claiming the deification of the Emperor. At some point Moriana and Promeus split, their goal still the same but Moriana determined to use whatever means necessary to achieve her aim.
Fearful that Moriana would unleash unspeakable powers of Chaos to achieve her goal, Promeus created a small army of dedicated followers to combat the menace he believed she posed. These two factions clashed many times until Promeus's disciples prevailed and Moriana disappeared, probably into the Eye of Terror. As the Inquisition grew and its presence was felt further and further from Terra, it came into contact with the Promeans. Several hundred years had passed since the fateful first conclave, and even then the Inquisition, ever a confederacy of individuals rather than a single body, was pursuing several different agendas. The original intent, to prevent the reincarnation of the Emperor, had been diluted over the centuries, and when the Promeans were discovered fighting against an ill-specified Chaos threat, they were brought into the fold. Neither the Inquisitors that contacted the sect nor the Promeans themselves were aware of the irony of their cooperation, and thus the first resurrectionist Inquisition faction was created.
The Rise of Horusianism
For nearly a millennia the Promeans continued on their quest, combating threats to the Emperor while seeking a means by which He might be brought back to a mortal body. The research of the Promeans rivalled the greatest libraries of the Imperium, but it was dispersed across the galaxy like pieces of a puzzle scattered over a wilderness. By the 33rd millennium the Inquisition boasted several thousand Inquisitors and hundreds of thousands of agents, but was still little more than individual bands of dedicated men and women pursuing their own goals, with little or no organisation amongst themselves. Thus were the seeds of heresy allowed to take root once more. It is not known whether Moriana herself was still alive at this point, unnaturally sustained perhaps by the energies of the Eye of Terror, but her legacy was to make itself felt again. Over a period of several centuries, those Inquisitors that had once claimed to be Promeans began to pursue a new philosophy. Amongst the great number of texts compiled over the millennia by their predecessors was a growing body of information concerning musings on the nature of Horus and his possession by Chaos. Considered by many to be unholy tomes whose secrets were best left forgotten, these texts once more began to be rediscovered and entered circulation and debate.
As the resurrectionists took greater note of these works, a splinter philosophy began to form, eventually to be dubbed the Horusians. Unwittingly, they were continuing the work of Moriana, investigating the possibility of using the power of Chaos to restore the Emperor to a mortal form fit for his psychic presence. The nature of their works took them to some of the most uncharted areas of the galaxy, in particular around the Eye of Terror, and unobserved by most they grew in numbers and influence. A few true Promeans still remained, and as they became aware of what was happening they were horrified. Only a handful had ever read the first teachings of Promeus, or had been recruited by Inquisitors that had seen his works, but they immediately recognised the hand of Moriana in the beliefs of the Horusians. Now a dwindling factions, spread across the Imperium, the few Promeans that remained did what they could to thwart the efforts of the Horusians, but there was little they could do and by the end of the 34th millennium the Horusians were a dominant part of the Inquisition agenda.
It was a woman named Stalia von Dressen that stood against the tide. She had been inducted to the Inquisition by a man named Lord Phoran, who had in his possession a second generation copy of Promeus' original works. This had been passed from master to apprentice for nearly two and a half thousand years, and the keepers of the book were all dedicated Promeans. Inheriting this mantle, von Dressen was still young and idealistic. Warned by her mentor of the threat posed by the Horusians, von Dressen made it her life's work to combat this menace and see the Horusians' power broken. Abandoning her normal Inquisitorial duties, von Dressen embarked upon a lifetime of travelling, contacting as many of her fellow Inquisitors as was possible. With the Book of Promeus as her guide, she began to recruit to her cause, particularly amongst the oldest and most respected Inquisitors, as well as creating anti-Horusian cells in the worlds that she visited.
Now well respected amongst the higher circles of the Inquisition, she met Lord Inquisitor Ardlan Baigdan. Between them, they spent two decades on Terra itself and using references and clues from the Book of Promeus they found some of the texts created by the original founders of the Inquisition. Though these were truly ancient and terribly incomplete, the two of them pieced together enough information to show them the original schism between the Inquisition and the Promeans. Aged one hundred and twenty years old, von Dressen reached a harsh decision. For her entire life she had been dedicated to the Promean cause, and now had to search deep in her heart to admit that it had been a fool's errand. It is a testament to her conviction that Horusianism had to be stopped that she destroyed her copy of the Book of Promeus and, with Baigdan, initiated a pogrom of pro-resurrection Inquisitors. By the time she died, aged three hundred and four, this new order was beginning to establish itself and the Horusians were embattled and dwindling. By the start of the 35th Millennium, the Inquisition had turned full circle and resurrectionism was once again all but eliminated from the Inquisition's goals.
The Reign of Blood
With all but a few Inquisitors having abandoned the resurrectionist agenda, the Inquisition enjoyed a period of relative stability for several hundred years. However, during this time a new threat was emerging that would focus the attention of the Inquisition to external forces menacing the stability of the Imperium. Thus it was that when perhaps the Inquisition was most needed, its eye was focusing on new alien races discovered on the Eastern Fringe and events on Terra were rapidly turning to anarchy. The 361st High Lord of the Administratum, Goge Vandire, used a combination of blackmail, bribery and murder to establish control of the Senatorum Imperialis, including taking the mantle of Ecclesiarch. Using the power of both positions, Vandire set about establishing a galaxy-wide tyranny subservient to his insane demands. A few Inquisitors had tried to warn of the impending catastrophe, but to most of their comrades the seemingly petty machinations of a single High Lord had appeared inconsequential when compared with the threat arising in the Halo Stars. With his Frateris Templars, a corruption of the Imperial Fleet and Imperial Guard, Vandire attempted to impose strict rules of behaviour on the populace of the Segmentum Solar and beyond. Deviation in ritual and belief was ruthlessly crushed, while dogma was enforced proclaiming the semi-divinity of Vandire himself.
Many that have read of these terrible times have wondered how the Inquisition could have allowed it to happen. To understand this, one must look at two things: an oversight of the importance of the Ministorum and the temporal power it wielded, and a resurgence in pro-resurrectionism around the world of Dimmamar.
A New Philosophy
For the first millennia of the Age of the Imperium, certain Inquisitors had become fixated upon the resurrection of the Emperor by restoring or strengthening his crippled mortal body. With the purge initiated by von Dressen and Baigdan, resurrectionism had become an isolated, almost extinct philosophy. However, as the centuries passed, those Inquisitors that were intrigued by the possibilities of resurrection but wary both of the dangers associated with and the prohibitions placed upon pursuing such an agenda, a different approach was taken. These scattered individuals carried out their works in secret to begin with, wary of anti-resurrectionist sentiments throughout the Inquisition. However, as the studies of several progressed and they came into contact with one another, a tangential philosophy was born – the Incarnationists.
The Principles of Incarnationism were simply, yet eloquently, penned by Theodre the Questioning in the works titled "Musings Upon the Will of the Emperor":
"The Emperor walks among us. He chooses his vessels to do his work, as he has done so since time began. The rotting carcass maintained in the Golden Throne is not the Emperor, for he travels abroad, tending to his Divine Will, instilling his power into those that have been chosen. But what if the Emperor could be granted a body that does not wither and die, that could be his vessel for all eternity to come? I believe that such a thing is possible, that the Emperor yet waits for his new body to be found or created. In essence, a new Emperor will be created to lead Mankind to its destiny and conquest of the galaxy."
Though the Incarnationists were but a fledgling faction, their numbers included not only several well-placed and highly respected Inquisitor Lords such as Theodre, but also a number of young, dynamic Inquisitors that were keen to be pro-active in an organisation that had become increasingly dogmatic as it had grown and become more established. Thus it was that before he came to prominence amongst the rest of the Imperium, Sebastian Thor was well known to several agents of the Inquisition. Ever interested in tales of sainthood and remarkable individuals, a number of Incarnationists were drawn to the world of Dimmamar, even before the rise of Vandire and his Reign of Blood. At a young age, Thor was noted not for his physical size or skill, but for his presence, charisma and oratory ability; talents, some Inquisitors believed, that verged on supernatural.
As was usual in such circumstances, Thor was closely observed to detect the taint of Chaos or alien influence or mutation in his remarkable skills, but was found to be resoundingly pure. Totally pure, which in itself raised eyebrows amongst the Incarnationists. The excitement of the Incarnationists was felt by other members of the Inquisition, and so it was that those who were not perturbed by growing stories of ancient pyramids at the galaxy's edge were caught up in the growing interest in Dimmamar. Though few would ever realise it, the rise of Sebastian Thor not only halted Vandire's reign, but was also partly responsible for it being allowed to start.
As the Reign of Blood continued and Sebastian Thor spoke out against Vandire, the Inquisition were content to aid him by shadowy means but otherwise left him be, interested to see whether this potential Divine Vessel would provide some kind of key to them. As evidence of this marked fate grew, such as Thor's astounding ability to generate such great faith in those around him that it could conjure or quell warp storms, the Incarnationists had found themselves a new focus. While before they had looked for all manner of vessels that the Emperor might inhabit, they began to focus on the saintly, human beings that might provide the final answer. They became know as Thorians.
With their emphasis on finding a natural human receptacle, close work with the burgeoning Ordo Hereticus and their own devout policies of daemon-hunting and anti-possession rituals, the Thorians were regarded as stoic, pro-Imperial Inquisitors, and thus gained wide acceptance, even if their number was relatively small at first. The Principles of the God Incarnate were written in mid M.40 by Inquisitor Helsten, and were the compiled dissertations of several Thorian Inquisitors from the Tiberias Conclave. Though not widely known amongst even the Inquisition, these principles can be said to be part of the foundation of the Inquisition and its mission. With this knowledge under their control and a great determination to destroy the Emperor's enemies, the Thorians have come to be regarded as one of the most puritanical factions, even though their philosophy was once perhaps the most heretical of all.
The God Incarnate
The Principles of The God-Incarnate
The Emperor really is a god, His ascension after the fight with Horus is very real. Like the other gods He exists within the Warp and in essence He is the god of Humanity. The one limitation to any god is that to have power over the physical world, they must rely upon mortals to do their work. The Emperor is in fact the greatest example of this – the galaxy spanning Imperium is merely the material instrument of the Emperor. In a similar fashion, the Chaos gods must have Champions, possess worshippers or temporarily create physical manifestations in the form of Daemons. At the bottom line, the Warp is merely a reflection of the material world, and without mortals, none of the gods would exist. All of the existing background points towards the gods, and other Warp entities, craving after the physical universe. However, what if a god could become a physical incarnation? As a man (the Emperor) can become a god, it stands to reason that a god could become a man. This is the idea of the God-Incarnate, the physical vessel for a god in the material world. The idea of the God-Incarnate is that there will be a certain individual (or individuals) who will allow this to happen - a god could invest their power into the mortal body and literally become a living god (commonly known amongst Thorians as Divine Avatars). Without being restricted to the Warp, and therefore restricted to the manipulation of crass, mortal pawns, what power would a god have?
The Implications of the God-Incarnate
One can imagine that Humanity would be doomed if one of the Divine Avatars were to become the incarnation of a Chaos god. Similarly, the idea of the God-Incarnate is not restricted to Humans - the Eldar are striving to create a new god to defeat Slaanesh, while a God-Incarnate of Gork or Mork would be terrible. However, possibly an even greater threat to the Imperium, and the reason why the God-Incarnate is such a secret that only the Inquisition know of it (not even the High Lords of Terra know) is that it would be possible to reincarnate the Emperor into a living being again. As far as the many of the Inquisition are concerned, the 'second coming' of the Emperor would be a bad thing. This is quite an understandable position really, and springs from uncertainty. If the Emperor were to become a God-Incarnate, what would happen to the Astronomican? What would be Humanity's reaction to having their god walking among them? Would the Imperium be torn apart by war, as believers and unbelievers in the second coming clashed. If the Emperor were in physical form, could He be killed again, and if so would He be destroyed forever, exposing Humanity to the many perils that the Emperor protects them from? Would the Emperor be destroyed if things went wrong, if the Divine Avatar was unsuitable? All in all, many of the Inquisition would rather see the status quo sustained.
The Inquisition and the Magi
It is the real task of the Inquisition to seek out possible Divine Avatars and either kill them, control them or study them according to their personal philosophy. Over ten thousand years they have gathered information about what to look for to indicate a possible Divine Avatar. Under the cover of rooting out heretics, witches and mutants, some Inquisitors are searching for individuals that show signs of Divine Avatar-like properties. The Magi (the original philosophical descendants of Moriana) are doing the same thing, only rather than wishing to suppress the God-Incarnate they want to bring it about. Some of the Magi may be trying to create a God-Incarnate of the Chaos gods, out of selfish hope to either be the Divine Avatar themselves, or by earning eternal favour of their god for being the most loyal of servants. Others may be trying to reincarnate the Emperor, seeing this as the true way forward for Humanity. So we have the Inquisitors and the Magi both questing after the same thing, but for very different reasons - an eternity of secret conflict.
Signs and Portents
The myths and legends surrounding the God-Incarnate tell of the coming of the new god amidst great upheaval, strife and war. Just as Revelations lays down the horrors of the second coming, or Ragnarok heralds the end of the world, so too will the God-Incarnate's arrival be proceeded by momentous events. There are many Inquisitors that believe the end of the 41st millennium is just such as time with such tumultuous circumstances -- Ghazghkull's biggest WAAAGH! the multiple hive fleets attacking the Imperium, the reawakening of the Necrons, and a growing Adeptus Mechanicus schism -- all indications of growing turmoil and strife.
Similarly, there are indicators that point towards who the Divine Avatar/s will be; shrouded in myths and legends as you'd expect, some of them as simple as "Ten Ways to Recognise the Divine Avatar":
"He shall have a great doom upon his brow, he shall be a witch of great power, he shall be altered in the physical form, he shall be able to talk and walk with the animals"
Nobody knows all of the signs, and part of the reason for the Inquisition hunting down all the psykers, aliens and mutants they can is to study them, to find out what they can about these individuals so that they might better understand the type of person who would become a Divine Avatar.
Thorian Related Factions
As one can see from the history of the Thorians, the beliefs that have built into the Thorian philosophy can be manifested and acted upon in a number of different ways. As well as the Thorians there are other resurrectionist/incarnationist factions, including splinter groups within the Thorians themselves. Here are a few examples of such groups:
Despite the pogroms of the 35th millennium, Horusian ideals have waxed and waned in popularity ever since the founding of the Inquisition. The Horusian ideal is quite simple, and yet also unpalatable for many Inquisitors, even those with a resurrectionist outlook. Their assumption is that somehow the powers of Chaos that manifested themselves in Horus might be harnessed for the creation of a Divine Avatar, or perhaps in the process of transferring the Emperor's soul from its current form into the body of a living god. Considered radicals except by themselves, the Horusians are few in number but fanatical in their cause. They tend to be older Inquisitors, frustrated by the lack of answers provided by other resurrectionist theories and therein lies the danger. Chaos and its power can never be viewed as a quick route to success, for in that direction lies damnation.
Quite apart from the normal anti-resurrection arguments, many Inquisitors view Horusians with suspicion, out of fear that their dabbling with possession and Warp intrusions endangers those around them and the Imperium in general. However, the most experienced Horusians are well versed in the perils of the Warp and Chaos and so are numbered amongst the most proficient and dedicated daemon hunters in the entire Inquisition. Like all such philosophies, the Horusians must tread a path along a precipice of dedicated service to the Imperium and the fulfilment of their researches. It is a path that most have trodden wisely, but not all Horusians have remained faith and, perhaps like Moriana ten thousand years ago, succumbed to the lure of the Dark Powers.
While other Incarnationist Inquisitors believe that it is their duty to bring about the Emperor Incarnate, the Anomolian Beholders believe that such thoughts skirt with hubris. Instead, they are perhaps the most conservative of all the Incarnationist factions, their goal being not to create the Emperor Incarnate, but to observe Humanity and await His arrival. They see it as their job to prepare for this momentous event and to stand ready to offer whatever assistance may be needed at this great time.
The predominant activity of the Anomolian Beholders is locating potential Divine Avatars and observing them. Only if they are convinced that the vessel is tainted will they destroy it. Much like the original Thorians they are content to examine and research remarkable individuals for signs of potential or corruption. They are more zealous than most to follow up any sign or omen of a possible Divine Avatar, and are amongst some of the most travelled Inquisitors in the galaxy. Anomolian Beholders tend to be pragmatic, down-to-earth individuals, after a lifetime of seeking wisdom and enlightenment, only to have their hopes thwarted time and again. They tend to take a longer view of matters, and despite numerous setbacks to achieving their goals, are always optimistic that the future may hold the answers. This has garnered them a reputation for being level-headed and reliable, and other Inquisitors will often happily overlook their foibles in return for these better qualities.
Though not truly following a philosophy of resurrectionism or incarnationism, the Ardentities are best discussed alongside such factions. Their somewhat quirky belief is not widespread amongst the Inquisition but had been persistent in various guises for several millennia, either within the broader Thorian ideals or as a distinct faction in its own right. The Ardentities firmly believe in the basic principles of the Emperor Incarnate, but their the similarity with the Thorians end. Rather than a single Divine Avatar, the Ardentites feel it is more likely that the power of the God-Emperor is likely to manifest through a group of people, or more likely the entirety of Mankind.
Given Humanity's evolution towards being a psychic race, evidenced by a gradual but perceptible increase in mutation and psychic ability, it is the belief of the Ardentites that the ultimate plan of the Emperor to protect Mankind during this vulnerable stage was to disseminate his power throughout Humanity. So it is that the Ardentites do not concern themselves merely with remarkable individuals, but rather attempt to locate evidence of the Emperor's presence in any person expressing proof of talent or psychic ability. This is a vague, unsure process, for none can say what defines evidence of the Emperor's presence, though certainly there is no end of accounts of miraculous events that might be accounted for by intervention by the Emperor.
Known sometimes by the rather derogatory title of miracle-chasers, much of the disdain for Ardentites stems from the erratic behaviour of Inquisitor Voragian Thex, who spent two centuries during the 39th millennium attempting to prove the Ardentite theorems, but was unable to produce a shred of evidence. Having presented his findings at a conclave of his fellow Inquisitors, he was censured for dereliction of duty for devoting time and resources to his baseless beliefs. It is perhaps this defiance of defeat and a rebellious streak that characterises many Ardentites. They are widely regarded as eccentric individuals who see the work of the Emperor everywhere, but they also make great investigators for they will often delve deeper and for longer than others, unwilling to make obvious conclusions from their discoveries but to seek inner meanings and hidden motives in what they encounter.
Saint Casophili was a missionary with the Missionarus Galaxia in the early 41st millennium, spreading the teachings of the Ecclesiarchy to worlds in the southern Segmentum Pacificus. It was on the world of Alena Three that he discovered minions of the Dark Gods at the heart of several of the feral societies on the world. With few resources to hand, Saint Casophili did what he could to counter this endemic threat and laid the foundations for a full Ecclesiarchy task force to continue his work. However, as he moved from settlement to settlement preaching the word of the God-Emperor, his foes began to take notice. Unable to bear such a threat to their power, the council of priests that ruled the world moved against him and had him captured and tortured, to recant his errant beliefs.
The chronicles of Casophili tell of his arduous ordeal at the hands of the twisted priests, to the point at which he died from his wounds. Here the tale of Saint Casophili may have ended, unknown and unrecorded, another pious missionary whose life had ended in the pursuit of his calling. Though Casophili died at the hands of his tormentors, something remarkable happened. Five days after his death, the body of the missionary was to be burned upon a sacrificial pyre to the Dark Gods. As the flames took hold of the tarred wood, Casophili roused himself and jumped from the fires. Miraculously brought back from the dead, Casophili confronted his tormentors and the gathered crowd. The story of Saint Casophili's return spread quickly and he led the people of Alena Three against the priesthood.
Such an occurrence would naturally attract the attention of Resurrectionist Inquisitors, but the faction that have dedicated themselves to the study of Casophili's story focus on one particular aspect of the saint's tale. In his later works, Casophili writes of his experiences over the fives days between death and resurrection. During this period, the saint tells of a bodiless floating sensation in a gulf of sound and colour. He writes of a clamour of myriad voices, some whispering and others bellowing, swirling around him. He also speaks of a great light that suffused everything, which he believed to be the Emperor.
The fact that Casophili's soul returned to his body is not so much of a concern for the Casophilians, for the basic assumption of all Thorian and related beliefs is that the psychic energy of an individual can pass to the Warp and back. The fact that Casophili's writings tell of a place within the Warp where these souls reside is the province of the Casophilians. Knowing that daemonic entities can broach the barriers between Warp and real space, the Casophilians dedicate their study to the transition of a human soul to their universe. They are profound experts of daemonology with regard to ritual summoning, as opposed to accidental or malicious possession. With this knowledge they seek to devise a way to bring forth the soul of a deceased man or woman, and if this proves successful, it will be a major step towards creating the means by which the Emperor's soul can be invested into a suitable mortal form.
Rather than the general and rather isolated studies of other Resurrentionist factions, the Casophilians openly embrace new ideas on their theories and work closely with Inquisitors of different leanings, gleaning what they can from the experiences of others. In particular, they are often found working in conjunction with an Inquisitor who follows the philosophy of the Anomolian Beholders, for the Casophilians focus on the souls of the dead, while the Anomolian Beholders study the souls of the living.
Unusually for a resurrectionist cult, the Revivicators have few ties with the Ministorum. Their focus is directed towards the transition of the soul to the Warp at the point of death. In particular, they study the means by which this can be slowed, halted and, ultimately, returned. This study takes them to battlefields and plague areas, to conduct their investigations on those close to the death. They are also frequenters of tombs and mausoleums, hence a certain amount of disrespect for the practices of the Ecclesiarchy. Known as ghouls or ravens for their somewhat morbid practices, the Revivificators are also known to have learned much from the capture of various Eldar over the centuries. In particular, they find the principle of the Eldar spirit stone intriguing, and have on numerous occasions attempted to replicate the practice of capturing a departing soul. So far, such attempts have proved wholly unsuccessful, for Mankind's psychic technology is far inferior to the psychic-engineering properties of Eldar wraithbone.
There are also those that have read Van Hinkel's Treatise on the "Soultheft Methods of Eldar Pirates", penned by the Inquisitor Lord in the late 39th millennium. This detailed manuscript contains Van Hinkel's report on interrogations of captured Dark Eldar, as well as collating information from many other sources previously scattered in various libraries and data-files throughout the Inquisition's fortresses and stations. The least scrupulous Revivificators have attempted to repeat the torturous practices of the Dark Eldar, usually on heretics and other criminals, though not exclusively so. Few amongst the Inquisition know of the grisly dungeons staffed by telepaths and wired with arcane machinery for the detection and extraction of psychic energy.
Ultimately, it is the goal of the Revivificators to study the Golden Throne itself and perhaps alter its working so that the Emperor's body might be restored. To this end, it is not only the passage of the soul to the Warp that the Revivificators study, but also the processes by which a corpse may be maintained in a state ready for such a reinfusion of the soul. Access to this knowledge and technologies means that Revivificators often leave far longer than even other Inquisitors, the oldest being Inquisitor Lord Verinath, who was shot and killed whilst hale and hearty at the age of seven hundred and sixty three.
Thorians within the Ordos
The Thorians, with their particular areas of expertise and interest, are naturally drawn towards certain aspects of the Inquisition's role within and outside the Imperium. In their pursuit of the Divine Vessel, the Emperor-Incarnate or research into the ways in which these might be brought about, the Thorians are naturally inclined to specialise their activities towards not only the Warp, but also the Ecclesiarchy and its many saints. However, the Thorian philosophy has always trod a fine line between orthodoxy and heresy, and so many Thorians prefer to work alone and so do not have access to the higher organisation and resources of any of the Ordos. Any cooperation they enjoy, either with other Thorians or Inquisitors of a different philosophy, is quite often on an ad-hoc and temporary basis. This situation is quite often reciprocated by other Inquisitors. Although Thorianism is now a widely-held and accepted faction within the Inquisition, Inquisitors have long memories and records that go back even longer, to a time when the predecessors of the Thorians were not so welcomed. The Thorians themselves are always awaiting a change in feeling towards them, and thus do not enter into confidence lightly with others.
These factors mean that integration of a Thorian into one of the Ordos, which are hidden organisations within the Inquisition not known to the uninitiated, normally occurs only if a Thorian already within the Ordo actively seeks out others of a like-minded philosophy. Thus the Thorians form a sub-group within the Ordo, clustered in scattered locations where they have identified each other and feel more confident in discussing their work with others. Even allowing for this, the focus of the Thorians in certain areas means that they can rise to positions of considerable prominence within an Ordo, as several have done since the Age of Apostasy. There are even records that show that Thorians have been nominated to the position of Inquisitorial Representative - on of the High Lords of Terra sitting on the Senatorum Imperialis. There are those that have been worried in the past that giving the Thorians such potential power - on Terra itself, the seat of the Emperor - is not only dangerous for the Inquisition but the Imperium itself. Thus, such positions have generally been shortlived as opponents have gathered support and opinion has swayed against the Thorians.
On the whole, the Thorians are less disposed towards the prosecution of their duties within the Imperium itself, and are more concerned with external activities such as daemonic possession and alien technology. In the past, the divergence of an Thorian's activities and pursuit of knowledge have caused friction and even conflict within the Ordos, though perhaps no more than those of Inquisitors of other beliefs. The somewhat broad approach that many Thorians have in attempting to find the Divine Vessel or the Emperor-Incarnate means that should a Thorian Inquisitor become inducted into one of the Ordos, it is not unusual for him or her to swiftly move into another Ordo as well. In this way, for example, a Thorian may spend a few years as a daemon hunter of the Ordo Malleus before his research or investigations lead them to some alien technology used to protect against daemons, and the Inquisitor is drawn into the organisation of the Ordo Xenos.
A Thorian that does access one of the Ordos is fortunate, for their self-appointed task requires knowledge of many different disciplines, from techno-arcana to daemomancy, Ecclesiarchy history to xenos psychic abilities. As the Ordos exist as a means of sharing knowledge and resources, a Thorian that can access the accumulated wisdom and manpower of one or more of the Ordos, is much more likely to interconnect the disparate strands of the Thorian philosophy and make a meaningful step forward in theory, or uncover some hidden clue to the nature of the Emperor-Incarnate:
Most Thorians that enter one of the Ordos will be daemon hunters in the Ordo Malleus. Their predisposition towards the interaction of the Warp and Humanity makes them natural candidates, as well as accomplished experts in the field of daemonic possession and summoning. However, Thorians can also be at odds with the greater goals of the Ordo Malleus, sometimes bordering on radicalism. While no Thorian would ever condone the use of Chaos and its powers to bring about the Emperor-Incarnate, not since the conflict-filled days of the Horusians, it is not uncommon for Thorians to wish to study their adversary.
All Inquisitors believe that knowledge is power and often the best weapon against their various foes, but Thorians have been known on occasion to endanger their mission and those they are sworn to protect, in pursuit of gleaning some extra nugget of wisdom regarding the interaction of the Warp and real space. This is counteracted by the exceptional wealth of knowledge that a single Thorian can bring to the Ordo. In regards to daemonhunting, the study of summoning rituals and the signs of possession, the Thorians are unequalled masters. Not only this, but more psykers are drawn to Thorianism in comparison to any other philosophy, and though psykers are vulnerable to daemonic intrusion and manipulation, they also form the best defence against interlopers from the Warp. The combination of these two factors makes Thorians impressive, and very successful, daemon hunters.
It is not perhaps for the power of the Grey Knights that a Thorian is drawn to the Ordo Malleus, but for access to millennia of daemon-lore. The archives of the Ordo Malleus, hidden in secret libraries and collections across the Imperium, are a treasure trove for any Thorian. With some records dating back to the establishment of the Imperium, the knowledge of the Ordo Malleus, should any one individual ever be able to access it all, contains invaluable information regarding the relationship between mortals and the Warp. Though dedicated to the destruction of daemons, the reports of daemonic possessions, summoning arcana and banishments are, to the Thorians, merely links in a complex mesh of data that contains important revelations on the Divine Vessel and the Emperor-Incarnate. While other Inquisitors delve into these archives with a view to expanding their armoury against the immortal entities of the Warp, the Thorian approaches them with an eye to weaving them together into a coherent series of theses that may provide the final link in that mesh of knowledge, and allow them to create or discover a Divine Vessel.
The Thorians also scour these records with another purpose, to rule out a horrifying possibility - that the Emperor-Incarnate has arrived and been destroyed, mistaken for a daemonic manifestation. Though the thought of such a thing occurring terrifies the Thorians, they are not so confident that the misguided zeal of others would have endangered the Emperor's divine will. Even within the Ordo Malleus, the activities of Thorians are closely watched by others. The line between noble vocation and the perils of radicalism is notoriously thin. The history of the Ordo has several occurrences of Thorians, or members of earlier Ressurectionist factions, that have strayed over the line. The quest for wisdom is always susceptible to self-interest, and for Thorians with access to the vast repositories of knowledge that the Ordo Malleus holds, it is a constant discipline to maintain their Inquisitorial duties whilst furthering their personal cause.
In comparison to the Ordo Malleus, there are very few Thorians within the ranks of the alien hunter of the Ordo Xenos. The vast majority of alien races, above and beyond their physical threat to Mankind, hold little interest for Thorians. However, there are a few that have specialised in the alien menace, where these Thorians see possible answers to the questions posed by the possible existence of the Divine Vessel. Of those alien races that attract the attention of the Thorians, the Eldar undergo the most scrutiny and investigation, by far. As master of psychic technology, the Eldar may hold secrets to the method by which the Emperor's soul may be returned from the Warp into the real universe. This alone makes the enigmatic aliens worthy of attention.
Once a Thorian can make the mental decision that alien influence might be important to the creation or location of the Emperor-Incarnate, the Eldar become a natural field of investigation. Throughout their history, what little is known to the Inquisition and society, the Eldar's knowledge of the Warp and it inhabitants far surpasses even the gathered wisdom of the Ordo Malleus. If he is of a mind to look at the Eldar, a Thorian Inquisitor can find the answers to many of the riddles that confront him. The existence of spirit stones prove that, given sufficient knowledge, souls can reside out of Warp space. The method by which this transference takes place, and the materials from which a waystone is made, has eluded Thorians for centuries, yet there are those that endeavour to uncover these secrets.
If spirit stones were not motive enough to dedicate a lifetime of research to this advanced race, then the existence of the Avatars is an even greater lure. If the legends of the Eldar are to be believed, these daemonic manifestations are each a part of the ancient Eldar war god, Kaela Mensha Khaine. Each Avatar is, it is believed, a soul-fragment of the Eldar god, and though they are not possessed of the magnitude of power that the Emperor-Incarnate would hold, they may provide the proof needed that a Divine Vessel could indeed house the soul of the Emperor in the corporeal universe. With such possibilities open to them, some Thorians see the resources of the Ordo Xenos as invaluable to their studies. It is believed, though has never been documented, that the great Inquisitor Lord Bronislaw Czevak was once a Thorian, and it was this that led him on his quest to penetrate the secrets of the fabled Black Library of the Harlequins. That he succeeded is no small testament to his resolve. However, given Czevak's more xenophobic behaviour and philosophy after his admittance to the Black Library, it seems that some questions are best left unanswered. It is certain that Czevak no longer has any time for Thorianism and has, in typically enigmatic fashion, spoken out against the aims of the philosophy.
It is not just the Eldar that can lure a Thorian into the Ordo Xenos, as rewarding as the possibilities they present. Within the Warp there exists alien creatures that are neither mortal nor daemonic. Investigation of these aliens is not as alluring as the daemonic, but the methods by which they can influence and breach the barriers between Warp space and real space are an obvious source of knowledge for the Thorians. Enslavers, Psychneuein, Vampyrs and other Warp creatures are able to exert their will into the real universe, and many of them are capable of transgressing the boundaries that separate the two. If only to avoid intrusion by these creatures on a Divine Vessel, some Thorians have dedicated their lives to a greater understanding of these hideous creatures.
Both Enslavers and Psychneuein manifest physical influence over hosts in the material universe. Unlike daemon possession, the pulsing, fleshy Warp gates of the Enslavers are an actual break across the barriers of Warp space. Similarly, the eggs laid into the brains of their victims by the wasp-like Psycheneunein are a physical form teleported across those same barriers. If physical objects can be displaced across the dimensions in this fashion, perhaps they hold the key to how the Thorians might be able bring forth the Emperor-Incarnate. As well as the creatures themselves, the Thorians are interested in the properties of the hosts they pick. A strong psychic connection, as with all Warp manifestations, is the single linking factor, but Thorians within the Ordo Xenos believe that other traits that make a host suitable for Enslavement, for example, may aid in understanding the nature of the Divine Vessel. No Thorian Inquisitor has so far been able to retrieve for study a living specimen mid-infection, but the resources of the Ordo Xenos may yet provide this vital piece of the evidence.
It is the threat posed by the creatures to a Divine Vessel that also occupies the minds of alien-hunting Thorians. Wards and technology that prevent against psychic infection are under constant research by the Ordo Xenos, amongst their many other fields of study. If reliable, portable containment fields or other technology can be constructed that could protect a Divine Vessel from Vampyric corruption or Enslavement, then the chances of the Emperor-Incarnate manifesting are greatly increased. Or so say the Thorians.
Many Thorians believe that the secret of the Emperor-Incarnate exists beyond current human knowledge, and though their duties may deal with the threat of the traitor and heretic, there is little for them to study to further their cause. It is for this reason that the Ordo Hereticus is a rare choice for a Thorian Inquisitor. Most of those Thorians that are part of the Ordo Hereticus exploit the position for one particular reason -- the Ordo's relationship with the Ecclesiarchy. The history of the Thorians is inextricably linked to the Eccelsiarchy. They are, after all, named after the most prominent Ecclesiarch in the history of the Ministorum.
It is not just this historical connection that draws a few Thorians to seek out the Ordo Heresticus, for there is a much more practical purpose. The ancient connection between the Ordo Hereticus and the Ministorum grants those Inquisitors in the Ordo access to the Ecclesiarchy's records. There is a vast wealth of information contained in the annals of the Ecclesiarchs, original copies of the Book of Saints, various incarnations of the Litanies of Faith and other doctrinal material. In particular, theological musings on the nature of the Emperor, and accounts of the activities of saints and living saints are all fuel to the Thorian fire. On the whole, Thorians do not necessarily agree with the Ministorum and its multitudinous sects with regard to their view of the Emperor. Inquisitors are, by their nature, pragmatic and not given to fanciful ideologies, whereas the dogma of the Ministorum has in the past caused grief to the Thorians. Inquisitors, should they work openly, attract fear and suspicion even from the innocent, and in an organisation as large as the Ecclesiarchy, there will always be those that would rather the Inquisition were not operating in their vicinity. This hidden resistance can often be avoided by members of the Ordo Hereticus, as many of the Ecclesiarchy see them as allies rather than foes.
As with the Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos, the resources of the Ordo Hereticus allow a Thorian Inquisitor a vast sum of knowledge and expertise. In conjunction with the studies of Thor himself, the tales of other famous members of the Ministorum are scrutinised and checked in the search for signs of the Emperor-Incarnate or a Divine Vessel. By cross-checking these records with the findings of Thorians in other specialties, an Inquisitor can determined if such remarkable individuals were simply gifted, perhaps possessed of psychic powers, or influenced by other, darker entities. If these avenues of investigation are exhausted or prove inconclusive, there remains the possibility that these saints were indeed Divine Vessels and perhaps partook of a portion of the Emperor's power. It is not only those that have been loyal and faithful that attract the attention of the Thorians. The Ordo Hereticus is, after all, devoted to rooting out corruption and disloyalty, not to the praising of martyrs and saints. It is the belief of some Thorians that exceptionally gifted individuals may have been mistakenly prosecuted as threats to the Imperium when in fact they were actually showing signs of potential divinity.
In many long centuries, Ressurectionism or Incarnationism was suppressed or even heretical, and in these periods, the beliefs and learning of the pre-Thorian factions was destroyed or declared Perdita. It is the belief of some Thorians that during these times of ignorance and denial, Divine Vessels, or at least potential Divine Vessels, may have been mistaken for psykers or the possessed. The Ordo Hereticus itself is as old as the Thorians, dating from the Age of Apostasy, but the vocation of the Witch Hunter dates back much further. The records of the Ordo therefore predate the investigations of the Thorians themselves by several millennia, much of it contributed by Incarnationists and Ressurectionists from bygone centuries. To gain access to these old accounts and reports is reward enough for Thorian willing to balance his studies with the investigation of heretics and witches.
And it is also, of course, the duty of the Ordo Hereticus to hunt down psykers -- they are the Emperor's Witch Hunters. Psychic ability is closely linked to the Divine Vessel by the Thorians, for it is psykers that are closest to the Warp and therefore in contact with the Emperor's soul. The Ordo Hereticus therefore provides valuable information of psykers and their powers, and its network of agents can be used by a Thorian to locate psykers that also display other traits associated with a Divine Vessel or the Emperor-Incarnate. Being assisted in the investigation of these individuals allows a Thorian Inquisitor a greater chance of actually discovering one or the other, should they actually exist.
Thorians who themselves do not have psychic powers may therefore enter the service of the Ordo Hereticus in order to gain a greater understanding of these mystical abilities, perhaps the better to predict where the Divine Vessel may appear, or just to have a better level of empathy with those they are seeking. In particular, the most powerful psykers -- those graded as Alpha-level -- are the greatest threat the Ordo Hereticus faces. They are also the most likely candidates for Divine Vessel status, for if a body can contain the power of an Alpha-level psyker -- individuals capable of destroying Battle Titans or controlling whole worlds -- then it follows that the Emperor's divine essence my also be contained within such mortal bodies.
One of the Ordos Minoris, the Ordo Sicarius is responsible for investigating and controlling the Officio Assasinorum. By ancient decree, no Imperial Assassin may be deployed without the consent of the High Lords of Terra. This is, of course, immensely impractical and quite often an Inquisitor of the Ordo Sicarius will sanction the Officio Assassinorum under the guise of an edict from Terra. While some believe this to be an abuse of their power, in a galaxy-spanning civilisation, such measures are essential to maintain a level of response required by threats to Mankind. Every Assassin is selected from a young age, often from Feral Worlds or the Schola Progenium, and trained for many years. The selection process is even more rigorous for Assassins than it is for Space Marines, and perhaps only one in several million candidates will finally fulfil their training an become and Officio Assassinorum operative.
It is this perfection of mind and body that is the lure of the Thorian. Not only does the Ordo Sicarius, through the Officio Assassinorum, have access to the historical records of such remarkable individuals, but also is formed in such a way as to allow the identification of possible recruits. A Thorian in the Ordo Sicarius can monitor such activity and, if he or she feels it appropriate, investigate potential subjects for signs of Divine Vessel suitability. There is another, much less manipulative reason for Thorians to operate within the Ordo Sicarius. Thorians are often drawn to powerful individuals, who may well turn out to be daemonically possessed, Alpha-level psykers or Warp-infected. Such people are dangerous adversaries and an Inquisitor that can draw upon the Officio Assassinorum is much better positioned to deal with these threats. Many a Thorian has ordered the assassination of an important leader having discovered that they are not a Divine Vessel, but in fact something more menacing.
The last reason why a Thorian may well end up within the Ordo Sicarius is one of opposites. They believe that to achieve greater understanding of the Divine Vessel, one can study the most repulsive, unholy aberrations within Humanity - those with the Pariah gene. Pariahs are individuals that not only have no presence within Warp space, but actually have a negative impact. They are psychic leeches that absorb Warp energy, not only from psykers but also from normal humans and other creatures. This ability to draw out psychic energy is central to the Thorian cause, and an understanding of the Pariah gene may well assist in the creation of a Divine Vessel, or at least further knowledge in the pursuit of the means to bring the Emperor back from the warp. The Ordo Sicarius is responsible for overseeing the Culexus Temple of the Officio Assassinorum, whose operatives are uniquely Pariahs. Between the Ordo Sicarius and Culexus Temple, a Thorian Inquisitor has a much greater chance of encountering, and perhaps even studying, an Untouchable. The chances of coming across a Pariah, who occur once in several billions amongst Humanity, and virtually non-existent. However, a member of the Ordo Sicarius can gain access to such individuals every few years and study them at length.
One of the smallest and most specialised organisations within the Inquisition, the Ordo Sepulturum operates around the Eye of Terror and is dedicated to investigating a specific threat -- the Zombie Plague. Although occurrences of Plague Zombies have been recorded across the Imperium for many millennia, it is in the wake of the Plague Fleets of the Chaos Champion Typhus that they have grown in number to the point where they present a threat to the Imperium in their own right. Before Abaddon's 13th Black Crusade, the incidence of Zombie Plague around the Cadian system dramatically increased. This was noticed by several agents of the Inquisition who were soon in communication, and within a few years several more Thorians, most notably Inquisitor Aghastri, were investigating the Zombie Plague and the Ordo Sepulturum was formed.
As a combination of both a Chaos infection as well as a physical malaise, the Zombie Plague has always been on the agenda for Thorians to study, but its unpredictable nature and sporadic occurrences meant that it took luck or a tremendous amount of patience to capture Plague Zombies for investigation. With the advent of the Eye of Terror-related epidemic, Inquisitors that had previously been thwarted in their missions to achieve specimens were suddenly confronted with a plethora of test subjects. The Zombie Plague physically degenerates those it infects -- and infection can occur in many ways, including psychically -- but maintains a portion of the life essence of the victim even after physical death occurs. The parallels between the Zombie Plague and the operation of the Golden Throne have not been overlooked.
The increased study of the Zombie Plague has lead many Thorians believe that in its unaltered form it may well provide several clues to the nature of the Emperor's life-in-death, but all forms of the "faith virus" so far examined have undergone mutation. That the Plague Zombies still possess a Warp-reflection has been confirmed not only by psychic investigation but also by the fact that several psykers have been able to control these creatures -- psychic manipulation is normally only possible through the Warp-ego of a creature. The possibility that the Plague Zambie infection is an offshoot of Golden Thron technologies is not widely supported and the common theory is that it was spawned by Dark Mechanicus within the Eye of Terror. Much more rare is the Obliterator virus, which again is a Chaos-born contagion that combines elements of physical corruption with mental disruption. Allowing the psychic manipulation of technology, the Obliterator virus allows for humans to interact and meld with machinery, not only on the physical plane but also on the psychic and spiritual level. In combination with what has been gleaned from Eldar technology, the existence of the Obliterator virus lends hope to the idea that an augmented Divine Vessel could be artificially created, should a non-corruptible version of the virus ever be developed.
Thorians and the other Inquisitorial Factions
The particular beliefs and goals of the Thorians are more specific than many other factions, and so do not directly clash nor contradict the beliefs of other factions. Thus it is down to individual Inquisitors and their personal activities whether they find common cause or conflict with other Inquisitors. Since the formation of the Thorians, Resurrectionists and Incarnationists have endeavoured to be more open about their agenda. However, millennia of mutual suspicion and conflict leave their mark for a long time and the Thorians do not cooperate well with Inquisitors with a differing philosophy. This suspicion occasionally gives rise to conflict in itself, regardless of the actual motivations of the Thorian involved.
Similarly, Thorians are very likely to be secretive about their work, and may end up conflicting with the goals of another Inquisitor unintentionally, even when no direct clash of goals exists. A Thorian has an inherent degree of paranoia about their ideals, and so is quick to assume the worst of others. The theological connotations of the Thorian agenda can also give rise to conflict of another kind. The majority of Inquisitors are pragmatic with regard to the Emperor, viewing the Imperial Creed of the Adeptus Ministorum as a useful tool to control the Imperium at best, or a distraction at worst. However, there are a small number of Inquisitors, normally those inculcated into the Ecclesiarchy's beliefs through the Schola Progenium before becoming Inquisitors, that object to the aims of the Thorians on religious grounds.
These Inquisitors tend to form pro-Ecclesiarchy factions and promote the Ministorum as the best means for reinforcing the faith of the Imperium and using this as a defence against the wiles of Chaos. To them, the thought of interfering with the Emperor with any means, whether it risks Him or not, is a violation of the most fundamental kind. Such theological differences are thankfully few and far between, because they tend to run deep. The Pro-Ministorum Inquisitors feel it an obligation to protect the Emperor, while the Thorians will do anything to bring about the Emperor-Incarnate. Conflicts between those striving for these two goals are short and often very bloody and brutal.
The Thorians on the whole are considered a Puritan faction after casting off the last taint of the Horusians during the Age of Apostasy. To this end they are naturally opposed to the use of Chaos in any form. This, of course, runs counter to their goals of studying the interaction of Warp space and real space and thus they must try to observe such things as they occur over the normal course of events, as opposed to those that artificially engineer such situations to increase their knowledge. However, the Thorians are a lot more lenient when the matter turns to alien technology and contact. This does not sit well with some other factions, who see aliens as just a great a threat to Mankind as the traitorous and the daemonic. To Thorians, the higher goal and the greater gain of the Emperor Incarnate is far more important than any temporary weakness of will regarding the Xenos threat. They expound the idea that the ultimate threat is the lure of Chaos, and the only means by which this can be fully thwarted is to bring about the Emperor-Incarnate -- the petty machinations of aliens is little cause for attention:
Thorians and Xanthites
Though they expend great energy and devote much time to the study of Chaos, the Thorians do not believe that Chaos itself can ever be harnessed for the ultimate benefit of Mankind. Through their studies, they believe that the spirit of the Emperor may be brought forth once again, in order to destroy the threat of Chaos once and for all. This is in itself enough reason to cause conflict with the Xanthites, but is by far the lesser reason. The true enmity between the two factions can be traced back through the origins of both factions, and the divisions between Resurrectionists and Horusians. There are some that believe that Inquisitor-Master Zaranchek Xanthus was hunted down and executed not for his dabbling in Chaos per se, but for pro-Horusian leanings, although this was never proven.
The ongoing cooperation between Xanthites and the few Horusians that remain to this day is more than enough to create an antipathy towards the Thorians, a hostility that is reciprocated in full by the Thorians themselves. More than any other faction, the Xanthites distrust the Thorian motives, accusing them of simply hiding behind their new puritan outlook. Xanthites see the Thorian philosophy as a betrayal of the original Resurrectionists and a denial of their true goal. The Xanthites see the Thorian-Horusian conflict as an extension of the same divide that exists between themselves and most other Inquisitors. Such divisions can only be deepened by experience rather than lessened. The Thorians would see all Horusians eradicated and the philosophy buried once and for all, because the Horusians act as a constant reminder of the Thorians wayward past. Such conviction has been instilled into generations of Thorian Inquisitors to the point that many see any kind of purposeful manipulation of Chaos, rather than simply its observations, as a tell-tale sign of latent Horusian tendencies.
This vindictiveness is repaid in full by those that become Xanthites, for they see the burning of Xanthus as a martyrdom, made at the hands of the Resurrectionists. The believe the Thorians to be the latest in a long line of self-deluding, shortsighted meddlers that should share the vision of Xanthus to achieve their goals, rather than continue to destroy the great works of the Xanthite founder. So single-minded is this animosity that it is one of the few things that can distract a Thorian from the pursuit of his other duties. The merest hint of Horusian activity is enough to suspect the involvement of a genuine Horusian, and the Thorians hold many conclaves to discuss how to destroy this menace for the rest of eternity.
So opposed to each other are the Xanthites and Thorians that such conflicts almost always end in physical clashes. Given the long history of both beliefs, it is inevitable that the relationship between them is littered with internecine fighting, blood and death. Each further sacrifice made by an Inquisitor in his or her cause only serves to further reinforce the entrenched positions of the two faction. The worst case of this conflict was the Laskar Purge, where over a dozen Inquisitor's of both factions and their warrior bands had gathered over a course of time, determined to kill their foes. Many innocents were caught in the crossfire until kill teams despatched by the Inquisitor Lords, after notifying the High Lords of Terra themselves, wiped out both sides in the conflict. Large parts of the underhive populations of Laskar were also eliminated to prevent news of the internal strife within the Inquisition ever being known outside its operatives.
Thorians and Recongregators
Though much less imbedded in their philosophies, there is a continuing and growing enmity between the Thorians and the Recongregators. The cause of this contention is not the aims or differences in belief of the two factions, but rather their methodology. The Thorians expend much time and power in locating possible Divine Vessels that might perhaps be an avatar of the Emperor-Incarnate. In contrast, the Recongregators often spend much of their time manipulating important individuals, as well as numerous demagogues, agitators and rebellious visionaries.
There have been many reported occasions of the Thorians and Recongregators coming into conflict over these individuals, each wishing to observe of use them to further their own ends. It is a source of much frustration to the Thorians when they have spent much of their resources investigating a particular person, who might perhaps have shown innate leadership, foresight and charisma, only to find that their potential Divine Vessel has gained these abilities simply through manipulation on their behalf by an Inquisitor interested in Recongregation. On the other side, the Recongregators know that there are those amongst the Inquisition that think their theories of destabilisations and deconstruction are very dangerous, and prefer to work as secretly as possible. The unmitigated prying they suffer at the hands of the Thorians, as the Recongregators see it, jeopardises work and plans that have often been decades in preparation and execution.
So it is that simple, human exasperation can set these two factions against one another, with disastrous consequences to both. Secrecy compounded by a clash of goals often turns into individual paranoia or vindictiveness, distracting Inquisitors from their important vocations. It is a dilemma that has no obvious or lasting resolution, for while the Thorians continue their quest in search of the Divine Vessel and the Recongregators continue to manipulate influential men and women across the Imperium, the two factions' paths will cross and lead to dispute and, almost inevitably, physical conflict.
Thorians and Amalathians
Though both espouse puritan ideals, the Thorians and Amalathians are frequently at loggerheads with each other, perpetuated mostly on the part of the Amalathians. The goal of the Thorians, that to resurrect or reincarnate the Emperor, is anathema to the maintenance of the Imperial status quo espoused by the Amalathians. The distrust of the Thorian agenda is propagated mainly by the Amalathians through the rest of the Inquisition, as any attempt to return the Emperor is diametrically opposed to the continuance of the Imperium and its organisations. The Amalathians respond vehemently, and often violently, to any enterprise that jeopardises the current state of affairs.
In Imperial history terms, the Amalathians are a relatively new phenomena, and the Thorians paint a picture of them as an upstart, reactionary philosophy, particular in comparison to the ages-long tradition and beliefs of the Resurrectionists and Incarnationists. This is seen by the Amalathians as arrogance, symptomatic of the general disregard for the Imperium perpetrated by the Thorians. With this in mind, the Thorians care little for the aspirations of the Amalathians and their intransigent attitudes regarding the Imperium. They see the perpetuation of the Imperium as a mere footnote against their grandiose plans for the resurrection of the Emperor and his restoration as the true leader of Mankind.
For the most part Thorians are keen to observe rather than to influence, gathering knowledge for future quests and finding answers it the eternal questions of the nature of mortality, the Emperor and the Warp. The actions of the Amalathians do little to contradict this agenda, and the Thorians are usually quite content merely to watch the efforts of the Amalathians in an amused, condescending manner. Thus most conflict is initiated by the Amalathians, whether the actions of the Thorians directly affects their aims or not -- it is a question of principle rather than substance that the Thorians must not be allowed to further their aims.
In turn, aggressive action by the Amalathians will garner a response from fellow Thorians, escalating the situation and increasing the instability and danger inherent in the Inquisition. By these unconscious means, the Thorians have been drawn into a centuries-long feud not particularly of their making, but one that attacks their fundamental philosophy and purpose.
Acolytes of the Thorians
Thorian Inquisitors often recruit those with a keen eye for investigation into their cadres. Sages able to research every branch of a family tree going back millennia, and Enforcers with their talent from the hunt are both useful allies. Many also maintain links with the Adeptus Ministorum, in particular the Orders Famulous of the Adepta Sororitas, whose task it is to monitor the bloodlines of those who rule the Imperium. Oftentimes, word of a potential Divine Vessel comes through a contact in the Ecclesiarchy, in response to an upsurge in religious activity based around the words of a previously unknown figure.
Thorians within the Calixis Sector
The Thorians' reach extends across most of the Calixis Sector, shadowing the influence of the Conclave and following in the footsteps of many Cabals. First and foremost, the Thorian’s gaze settles on places where the will of man is being tested, such as frontier worlds or those in states of strife. Here, they believe, they will find evidence of the Emperor’s presence in the hearts of men and perhaps even clues as to where his avatar may rise again. For many years, the world of Tranch has been of distinct interest to Thorian Inquisitors who have made it their special duty to champion any Inquisitorial business there. Whether or not this level of interest in Tranch is merited, the Thorians intend to be ready to act should the Emperor’s design manifest itself.
It is the Thorians' goal to seek out places and individuals that they believe are being "moved" or influenced by the hand of the Emperor, aiming to discover, aid, and understand them. This task is not as easy as it may seem, as sorting the merely miraculous from the divine takes considerable insight and skill. It is also a domain that the Ministorum claims to have a monopoly on, and thus they take a very dim view of others who would contradict them as to the will of the God-Emperor. Therefore, during their Inquisitorial duties, Thorians spend a great deal of time exploring records, following rumours, and trying to validate the deeds of Imperial heroes (often many centuries dead).
One such example of this type of ongoing investigation is the general debate currently among Thorians about the noted Admiral Forritar. Forritar was killed some two-hundred and forty-seven years past during the Battle of the Glittering Hallows in a sizable fleet engagement against Ork raiders deep in the Markayn Marches. Some Thorians believe that Forritar’s obsession to cleanse the Marches of the Ork menace (which ultimately led to his demise), is an indication of the will of the divine and should the admiral’s complete plans for the sector ever be recovered, a precious piece of the Emperor’s design will be revealed. Of course, there are also many who view Forritar as an old fool who didn’t have the good sense to prosecute a sound battle line.
The Calixian Conclave contains numerous advocates of the Thorians' faction. Perhaps the most influential of these is Inquisitor Orannon Helgaer, who often speaks for the Calixian members of Ordo Malleus and is said to have the ear of the Lord Inquisitor as well. Orannon is an old man who has given long service to the Imperium and, in the eyes of many, has earned his place within the upper echelons of the Conclave. He uses this power shamelessly to further the Thorians’ cause. Though he seldom leaves his estates on Quaddis, there is little that the Inquisition does within the sector that escapes his notice, especially if Thorians are involved—and all Thorians know (or soon learn) that the favour of Orannon is a very valuable thing.
Also counted among the Thorians of the Calixis Sector is the newly risen Inquisitor Maganon. Recently of the Ministorum, Maganon is an example of how far reaching and persuasive the teachings of the faction can be. Turning from the strictures of the Imperial Cult after becoming disillusioned with its prodigious bureaucracy and hypocritical practices, he was taken by the Thorians’ purity of purpose and their belief of the divinity within mankind. Having gathered a cadre of like-minded acolytes, he is currently striving tirelessly to make a name for himself within the faction, often coming to the aid of other Inquisitors in the hopes of passing on the Thorians’ message. Maganon is an intensely driven man, which can often be off-putting to those that first meet him. However, beneath the fervour and rhetoric lies an honest soul and a true servant of the Emperor. Given time, Maganon’s star may well rise very high.
While rumours persist of the Thorians locating individuals touched by the Emperor and even influencing the fate of worlds in the quest to awaken the divinity of mankind, there is very little hard evidence to suggest that any person or place that the Thorians have been associated with was in fact "touched" by the Emperor. As a result, many of those in high places pay little attention to the rambling of the faction or the actions of its Inquisitors -- as long as they fulfil the will of the Emperor and fight His foes, their loyalty need not be questioned.
However, unknown to all but a select few within the faction, its various actions over the past few years have been a cover to hide the Thorians' actual purpose in the Calixis Sector. There is evidence, some whisper, taken directly from the writing of Sebastian Thor himself, that soon a great darkness will arise within the Calixis Sector -- a darkness so powerful that it will threaten the very fabric of the Imperium with its existence. Many Thorians believe that the Tyrant Star is the herald of this darkness. It is also said that when this darkness arises, so too will an avatar of the Emperor. Born from the same womb, it is written, these two will tear the sector asunder in war. The Thorians believe this time is at hand and for the sake of the sector, they must find this avatar and protect "him" until he is ready to make his war.
- Codex: Inquisition (6th Edition) (Ebook Edition), pg. 9
- Dark Heresy: Ascension (RPG), pp. 161-162
- Dark Heresy: Disciples of the Dark Gods (RPG), pp. 175-176
- Inquisitor - The Thorians (Sourcebook) by Gav Thorpe
- The Inquisition - An Illustrated Guide to the Secretive Protectors of the Imperium (Sourcebook) by Nick Kyme, Lindsey Priestley & George Stirling, pg. 36