Dark Heresy narrative (number two in a series).

Here is the second in the series of the character backgrounds that I've written for the PCs taking part in my current Dark Heresy campaign. This is for an active character in the campaign, so I would ask the other PCs that if they visit this blog, not to read on after the page break. 

The following is the story of the Tech-Priest Garvel Nicodemus and his requisition into the service of our Inquisitor. I'm fascinated by the relationship between the Inquisition (and the Imperium at large) and the Mechanicum, and was intrigued by some of the myriad ways that these two viciously independent organisations are sometimes brought together. I'm also interested in the Mechanicum's relation to themselves (as organisation, and as corporal beings) and wanted to bring some of these issues to the fore. 

The narrative follows after the break:
The Technographer muttered to himself as he scratched at the pock marks scattered on what remained of his eerily white skin, his coarse red Mechanicum robes irritating the sores further as he shuffled his weight from one foot to the other, sighing audibly. He had been waiting in the cold room for what felt like aeons and was becoming increasingly more agitated; the Arbiters who had found him on Illithris had refused to allow him to sleep on the long flight here and now the indignity of not even being given a stool to sit on was making him curse his vile, fleshy legs as they struggled to support his tired, doughy weight. Letting out an anguished grunt, which rasped through the filters of his respirator unit, the tech-priest turned and kicked out at the wall to his side, as much in frustration at his own weak human appendages as in anger at his captor's games.

With a low hiss an arched door slid open at the furthest edge of the room, momentarily blinding the monk as his eyes failed to adjust to the strong white light which burst in, silhouetting three figures. The trio's footsteps made sharp thuds on rockcrete floor as the strangers stepped forward and the door once again slid closed returning the room to the cool, blue-black darkness. 

"Light," a woman's voice spoke out, and immediately electro-wicks flickered eight dim, white fuses to life. The room was much deeper than the technographer had imagined, and a long, slim table stretched out between the two parties with three high-backed, wooden chairs at the furthest end where the newly arrived now stood. The first of the men the Technographer recognised: his brown moustache and piece-nez sat almost comically on his scarred, battered, bulldog face, as familiar as the Arbitration uniform he wore; the deep black steel of the body armour a cold reminder of the sharp pain the priest had received momentarily before blacking out on Illithris. The offending power-maul swung weightily at the man's side. 

The woman he had not encountered; preternaturally tall, she stood a full head and shoulders higher than the stocky Arbiter, her blonde hair cut into a short Imperial parting, denoting some kind of military role the tech-priest was unfamiliar with. At her side she held a curious weapon of some kind: long and slender, the upper tip finishing in a crescent blade, like a vast silver moon, the flickering lights danced off it's cruel surface and on to her ornately etched silver plate armour.

At the centre of this unlikely duo stood the third man. A striking vision: tall and well built, he stood in a deep blue-black Naval officer frock-coat, it's gold and red frogging glinting in the light, his face was covered by an etched golden mask and his head was framed by a large golden halo, adding to his already extraordinary presence. One hand rested on the top of a silver cane, it's head fashioned into that of an eagle, his thick, white fingers, horribly scarred, drumming at it's beak. 

"You may remove your hood, Nicodemus," the man spoke out, his voice amplified from within his mask. In spite of himself, the monk found his hands rise and push back the hood exposing his balding white pate, patches of red hair dotted about in between metal plates and wires fused into the monk's skull. He frowned, feeling exposed: the man was using the gift on him, and he was not impressed.

"What is the meaning of all this? What do you want with me?" He shouted out in frustration.

"I am Inquisitor Lord Severus Iacton," the man boomed out, "and you, Nicodemus, are now in my employ."

The monk gasped and trying to compose himself in the presence of an agent of the throne spluttered  his retort:

"I am a humble servant of the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Great Agents of Mars, Inquisitor; your authority over me is minimal. You shall hear from my superiors on this, and then we shall see who is in whose employ."

"Go then, machine thrall,"  the Inquisitor snapped, "yet ensure that you show your superiors this." He tossed a data slate down the long table with a great clatter.

"Wh- What is this?"

"Come now, you are a humble servant of the Adeptus Mechanicus, Nicodemus, surely you know a Mordia class data slate when you see one? It's contents should be quite revelatory for your masters." Without moving, the Inquisitor ordered his lieutenants to leave, turning on their heels the duo strode out of the arched door, the tall woman, who Nicodemus realised to be inordinately beautiful, turned and gazed at the monk with something approaching disdain.

The Inquisitor stepped forward and banged the head of his cane with a great thud on the table making the data slate jump, 

"Read it, Nicodemus!"

Muttering the prayer of illumination, Garvel powered on the slate. Scanning it quickly, the information contained within appeared to be a file on his life over the past ten years, including all his whereabouts and activities. 

"You have been spying on me?" the monk questioned.

"The Emperor has eyes everywhere, Nicodemus. What say your masters if they knew of your Heretek? Interesting business you were engaged in with these, so-called, Malgrysians, no? Flesh engineering? The fabrication of Silica animus? Corpse vivication? Robotics?!"

The monk shifted in his habit and looked at the floor, such knowledge made him apostate from the brotherhood of the Mechanicus and the Inquisitor had him completely at his mercy.

"What... what do you mean to do with me, Lord Inquisitor?"

"I shall do nothing with you, Nicodemus. Unlike your cult, I care not for your foolish dabblings - indeed, you may continue with your work for all it concerns me, I can no doubt assist you. I shall give you shelter and ensure that the Mechanicus hear nothing of your blasphemies provided that you are now at my bidding."

"And if I refuse?"

"If I am to be merciful, then I shall kill you. If not, I shall give you over to your superiors and they should no doubt render thee a Servitor; perhaps you would enter my employ after all, yet instead of a laboratory, refuge and sanctuary, you would be a shambling nothing."

"You have an hour to think on the matter. Lieutenant Officer Ephese will see you to your cell," and with that, the great man turned and marched from the room.


  1. Fantastic. Love it. Absolute top drawer.

  2. Ah, thanks - I'm never sure if anyone reads these, they're very long, so thanks for taking the time. I'm proud of this one, I'll admit.

  3. This is brilliant mate , a shambling nothing , best line ever, great stuff.

    1. Aw, thanks Neil. You've been digging deep into the vaults!

  4. ha ha , I seeks the wisdom of the ancients...
    Go to say mate , all these older posts are brilliant I feel sad I missed them first time around.

    1. Hey, no problem Neil - just glad that you're enjoying them. I think this and the narrative of Octus Oran are probably my most successful in-setting writing.