Tier 3 Ascension
This is a short story to flesh out my character’s transition from tier 2 to tier 3 in the 40k TTRPG, Wrath & Glory. They are an acting Interrogator under the command of Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor Krazius, taken into his warband for their latent psyker abilities and skills developed in high society growing up. After proving themselves, they are now being fully initiated into the mysterious Ordos and becoming a full Interrogator.
Jarlan stared at the imposing black structure dominating the surrounding coastal landscape through the viewport of the Inquisitorial guncutter, speeding its way through the light clouds with a soft hum.
“The Ironwatch,” Inquisitor Krazius added helpfully, “is the most secure location in the Gilead system. Its where the Governor keeps-“
“Psykers,” muttered Jarlan.
The Inquisitor gave Jarlan an appraising look, then nodded. He returned to his seat behind the pilot, whose augmented hands moving deftly over the controls, ears deaf to their conversation.
“Great place to take me then, Lord. Won’t the Governor want to lock me up?”
The Inquisitor waved a hand dismissively, “Of course, but the Ordos answers to only one, and that person is far away right now.” He winked at Jarlan and grinned. Jarlan grimaced. The Inquisitor’s grin faded again and he carried on more seriously, “Jarlan you are perfectly safe within the Ordos. Our headquarters is by necessity within the Ironwatch but we have full authority to take on any Imperial citizen, and that includes the warp-tainted. And in any case, look how useful an asset you’ve already been.”
Jarlan had to wearily agree, although their faith in the local powers and factions within the Imperium such as the Ministorum, Adepta Sororitas, even the Administratum and Astartes had them rather hoping the Ordos headquarters was situated beyond the Heartworlds. They had already had to sit out one mission to Enoch for fear of being sent to the Ironwatch under very different circumstances.
The cutter landed smartly on the ferrocrete landing bay, surrounded by cargo transports buffeted by the coastal winds. Jarlan and Krazius descended the landing ramp breathing in the clean, salty air, and were met by a squad of Inquisitorial storm troopers. As they walked towards the cover of the hanger bay, Krazius had to shout above the roar of the vast and wild ocean, “Interrogator Jarlan Kendreth, meet Sergeant Helios, he’ll be in charge of your training regime!”
“My…what?!” Jarlan spluttered, they’re long hair whipping their face, “I thought I was here to learn to be a proper Interrogator?”
The Inquisitor grinned ruefully again at Jarlan – the same way he had done when they asked if the Inquisition really existed on the night they first met – when they were pressed into lifelong service on behalf of the Emperor of Mankind. “Of course! But unlike most of the recruits from the Schola Progenium, Kendreth, you have not had a life filled with combat drills and mental fortitude training,” Krazius swept his hand through his black and grey hair, “what you’ve had is extensive subterfuge and espionage training from what I remember of when I met you, and some practice in controlling your abilities in combat situations over the last few months.”
They had reached an elevator now, the storm troopers lined up around and outside of it expertly, not a hair out of place despite the wild weather outside. Jarlan wiped their stinging face with their sleeve and glanced up at their Inquisitor. “Yes, my childhood had made me good at manipulating others for personal gain,” they said, burning slightly with that familiar feeling of bitterness, “but surely there’s more to being an Inquisitor then that.”
At the word ‘Inquisitor’, Krazius raised a bushy grey eyebrow at Jarlan. Jarlan could also sense more than see several of the nearest storm troopers focus on them with incredulity. Helios’ helmet stifled a snort of laughter. “Inquisitor now, is it?” Krazius said, the grin returning to the corner of his mouth, “yes you’re right, there is more to being an Inquisitor than that, but all in due time, Kendreth, all in due time.”
Jarlan burned again with embarrassment, the last thing they wanted to let slip was that they’d been actually surprised at how…good they’d been serving the Inquisition. At least doing this they were following a purpose and helping others; unlike securing more assets and wealth for the Kendreth Mining Combine. Actually that was not quite right – what Jarlan wanted to let slip even less, was that they felt more at home with his ragtag band of operatives and ship crew then they ever did with their own blood.
The elevator dropped into the planet’s surface smoothly, Jarlan had no idea how fast they were travelling. Helios and Krazius waited either side of them patiently. Jarlan spoke up again after they were convinced their cheeks had returned to a normal colour, “So…what sort of training am I to go through then?”
Helios spoke up as he removed his helmet, “As the Inquisitor said: combat drills, hand to hand as well as firearms, ambush and other field tactics, usage of special gear including camoleoline cloaks, needle weaponry, combat command and mental fortitude, target prioritisation, assessment and asset manipulation,” Helios listed off his fingers as casual as reciting a shopping list, “among others that escape me at this time. The freaky stuff will be someone else’s purview however.”
The elevator stopped, and the Inquisitor led them along a polished hallway, “Myself and our Telepathica agents will assist you in controlling and enhancing your psyker capabilities, Kendreth. It seems you learn best when under pressure so we’ll put that to use to make you more effective at field interrogation. This, you might like to know, will be key to your path to Inquisitor.” He winked again, but Jarlan merely nodded. Helios grunted a laugh again.
“As long as I don’t put anyone else in danger whilst being put ‘under pressure'”, they said, probably a bit too sternly.
“Don’t worry,” the Inquisitor said, waving his hand again, “the benefit of being within the Ironwatch is the inordinate amount of anti-psyker material available. You’ll be free to do what you like and those above would be none the wiser.”
They reached a doorway, hissing open to reveal luxurious fixtures and comforts beyond. The Inquisitor stepped in, and beckoned Jarlan to follow. Helios saluted sharply, turned on his heel, and continued down the corridor. Jarlan stepped towards the far wall that held a large pictscreen showing, Jarlan guessed, a live view of the top of the Ironwatch fortress, imitating a panoramic view. Krazius headed to a side table and poured two glasses of amesec, and started to drink his appreciatively. “Fret not, Kendreth, you’re a skilled operative, you were instrumental in stopping the Ork threat on Ostia. Most who take this training haven’t left their home planet, for Throne’s sake!”
Jarlan watched the waves crashing over the cliffs down below the pict screen feed, and a mental image of roaring orks surrounding and overwhelming Eddu, the Cardinal and Dzzek came abruptly into their mind. As the sea swept back, they could imagine their bodies, broken and dying on the ground among the rocks. They then thought of a single guardsman, standing alone in front of the same tide, sent to death by them for having similar abilties, but no sheer luck of a passing Inquisitor pressing them into their warband. Jarlan breathed out a breathe they didn’t know they were holding.
“Alright Inquisitor, let’s get on with this, shall we?”