Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Inquisitor Ziegfried Daubenton, Ordo Malleus – what we know or are able to surmise part 2.

+++Accessing Ordo Abstruse Datacoils+++

+++Sub-designation: Ordo Malleus+++

+++Ident code: 4612 Alpha Epsilon+++

+++Access granted: Welcome Interrogator Ignatius Basildon+++

+++Thought for the day: It is better to burn one hundred innocents than leave one heretic left standing to corrupt the Emperor’s faithful.+++

Log entry: 2379ZD

Subject: Inquisitor Ziegfried Daubenton, Ordo Malleus – what we know or are able to surmise part 2.

Upon the aforementioned parting of ways between Inquisitor Lord Heinrich Griswald and Inquisitor Ziegfried Daubenton, it is extremely likely that select volumes of forbidden lore that had been confiscated during the purges were commandeered in secret by Daubenton, along with other general resources of a less esoteric nature. It has been noted by {name redacted} that upon their parting, Daubenton had become a very preoccupied and troubled individual. He is thought (with the benefit of many years’ hindsight) to have been wracked with guilt over his meddling in the forbidden and sorcerous dark arts, and that this must have been in direct conflict with an urge to delve deeper into the mysteries and rituals of the arch enemy.

Based upon verbal testimony from various of his Ordos peers, including {names redacted}, who came into contact with him sporadically in this period, there is a strong indication that Daubenton’s obsession with forbidden lore grew over time from roots in good intentions. I regret that I cannot say ‘pure’ intentions, as the pure are incorruptible. Only in the impure of spirit can the insidious nature of Chaos find succour. Regardless, during this period, I would hypothesise that Daubenton wanted to study the items he was searching for; to learn how they might be applied in the defence of the Imperium, and to potentially gain knowledge of how to pierce the raging warp storm that had kept the sector cut off from its core-ward neighbour (it is a fact often ignored or overlooked by the wider Imperium that the Abstruse Sector has only one border with another sector, being limited to a galactic spiral-arm). As it stands, it is still unknown why the warp storm receded recently, restoring access to the galaxy at large, although there is plenty of theorising on this matter throughout the Ordos. I digress, but for interested parties, this matter is being separately researched by {name redacted} and can be accessed at directory {redacted}.

Over the subsequent 9 years, little relating to Daubenton can be confirmed with any degree of accuracy.  It is a matter of record that within days of leaving the service of Griswald, that Daubenton (accompanied by a hunched individual obscured by a hooded robe) came into contact with a rogue trader by the name of Lady Demelza Halifax and secured passage on her ship, the Bounty of Croydius. This seems to be a professional relationship that (to the best of Ordos knowledge) continues to this very day. I can only speculate as to what Lady Halifax is gaining from this arrangement. Doubtless she must gain access to certain sanctioned arcane and Xenos items that fetch vast sums on the black market. Lady Halifax has a certain reputation as a thrill-seeker, a libertine and as something of a deviant. Coupled with her widely documented eccentricities, I have no doubt that she will eventually come to a bad end, whether this is in the company of Daubenton or not.

From what I have managed to piece together, Daubenton seems to have been travelling the hinterlands of the Abstruse Sector during this period.  It seems that he put some initial time and effort into building and expanding his own entourage of operatives, which even by typical Ordos standards seems to include an unusually varied, yet highly skilled selection of individuals.

I would surmise that he also seems to have taken on a triple–purposed campaign in the less-travelled regions of the Sector during this time. From what I can gather, asides from expanding his pool of operatives, this campaign had also consisted of purging heretics with blessed blade and purifying flame in the best traditions of the Holy Ordos, and yet also appears to have been focussed on tracking down books of forbidden lore and various esoteric paraphernalia. I am unable to state with complete certainty at this time which of these purposes was foremost on his agenda.

Based on the limited evidence available (much of which is anecdotal), during this period, Daubenton is noted to have taken a particular interest in worlds classed as semi-feral, or having achieved a feudal level of societal and technological advancement.  As has been widely documented in studies conducted throughout the galaxy, such worlds tend toward a high incidence of ‘stable mutations’ of the standard Homo Sapiens genome.  The most common of these ‘abhuman’ strains being the ‘Ogryn’ and the ‘Ratling’, purposes for which have been found in the legions of the Astra Militarum, or construction industries for example. The Ogryn (and similarly the gene-bred Migou) are noted for their huge stature, stamina and strength, as well as it’s less developed brain which renders them for all intents and purposes, only a little above imbecility in the intelligence and reasoning stakes, but by virtue of this, they are very obedient and will apply themselves to simple, routine tasks with a high level of unquestioning diligence.  The Ratling strain has also been found to be useful in military applications – most notably in a scouting capacity, where their diminutive stature and keen eyesight are a real boon.  They are a hardy breed, despite their size, and are known for their capacious appetite and general belligerence when put within easy reach of opiates or alcoholic substances. Of course, there are other abhuman strains which are considered to be stable, and more than useful to Imperial society, such as the ‘warp-eye’ mutation, prevalent in the houses of the Navis Nobilite, and which contributes to safe interstellar travel via the very immaterium itself.

Seemingly of particular interest here, is another stable strain of abhuman entirely.  One which the majority of mankind finds abhorrent in the extreme based upon their physical appearance and general behavioural traits, not to mention the noisome stench that seems to accompany them wherever they are found. I refer of course, to the so-called ‘Beast Man’ strain. Daubenton is known to have recruited several of these to his team of operatives.  It is believed that these particular specimens originated from the heavily forested world of Olde Sydenham’s Wold. Looking past their quite appalling standards of personal hygiene, their propensity for heavy alcohol usage and fondness for foul language, the Beast Man typically possesses a number of worthwhile traits. Foremost amongst these, is an unswerving sense of loyalty (depending on their particular background and genetic predisposition to a superstitious nature, this could be loyalty to any number of things, be it the Golden Throne itself, one or all of the Chaos pantheon, a master to which they are indentured).  Secondly, they tend toward hardiness, stealth and agility, which tend to make them survival experts in any number of wild environments. Thirdly, they are possessed of a certain low cunning and adaptability which allows them to learn with ease how to use certain modern but basic energy or projectile weapons. On a fourth point, they are strong of limb, and are most ferocious when provoked.

Daubenton also appears to have carried out other rather more specific recruitments during this period from such worlds (i.e. classed as semi-feral, or having achieved a feudal level of societal and technological advancement). It is widely noted that many Inquisitors and other notable persons of import are known to consult the Emperor’s Tarot for purposes of attempting to divine the short term future, in relation to themselves and/or their activities. Daubenton is himself known to have a particular fascination with the art of Divination, and, following this 9 year period, had a very detailed thesis and accompanying research notes on the subject published to the Ordos library.  With particular reference to the art of Divination and this thesis, Daubenton is known (in the course of his research) to have consulted with various characters of a somewhat unusual nature on these backwater planets, such as Shamanistic tribes, witch-doctors, and village ‘cunning’ men. As previously hinted at above, in environments such as these, the indigenous peoples are often abhuman, and just as often a rather superstitious sector of Imperial society. It is little wonder then, that such peoples would put great store in the opinion of such individuals, whom they would perceive to possess magical powers, as they often seem able to make semi-accurate predictions by searching the entrails of small animals and interpreting the way the bones of small avians or seashells fall in patterns when scattered. Of course, given the benefit of more advanced reasoning and education, we are able to hypothesise that such individuals are either low level psykers or that they possess a latent psyker gene. Or, more rarely, are in fact rather cunning and convincing liars that have attained a level of respect in their society through the sheer will to succeed and survive. It is perhaps no surprise that Daubenton keeps a number of these ‘gifted’ individuals in his wider entourage.

After this 9 year sojourn through the hinterlands of the Abstruse Sector, Daubenton is known (from the journals of Inquisitor Lord Griswald) to have returned to the halls of the Holy Ordos to attend a synod. Interestingly, he did not return alone.

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