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Inquisition and Morals

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#1 ]N[



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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:03 AM

I know that living in Imperium is like living under cruelest and bloodiest regime imaginable.

I know that Inquisition is above law, and serving the Inquisition is not about serving humanitarian ideals… But the things our cell did last night… are quite atrocious even taking into account all of the above. The question is - how would you judge our actions - and do ends always justify means?

Anyways, here's the situation. Our cell is working under quite Radical Inquisitor Soldevan. It consists of a Verispex Adept, Metallican Gunslinger Scum, Tech-Priestess and freshly recruited Mind-Cleansed Assassin. Our latest mission is about establishing a base of operation in a upper-Middle Hive region of Hive Sibellus, where my Adept has miraculously inherited a mansion. 

In the mansion we have found a secret passage, leading into a small but advanced Servitorium - a lab perfectly suited for servitor construction. Now, acquiring Thrones and amassing wealth has always been an issue in our group (being piss-poor describes our situation quite well), so I decided that we must get creative with ways to fund our mission.

This decision was also reinforced by the fact that our safe-house is partly owned by the Bank of House Krin, as part of my grandparent's credit deal. It means we need to get around 165 000 Thrones to pay the debt.

Anyways, my Adept is quite skilled in the ways of bureaucracy and forgery, so I have cooked up a complex document, that allowed us to requisition 25 serfs from a slave-gang, to be delivered to Adeptus Arbites Precinct Fortress for target practice.

Instead, we took them to our mansion, where they were put in cages in the basement. After a day or so, when the preparations were finished, we cold-bloodedly executed 12 of them, by shooting them at point-blank range, through the cages. The other dosen had to watch us do it, and has also seen what followed.

After the execution we disembowled this dosen (using our advanced servitorium equipment) while listening to upliting marches played by our Vox-Phongraph, and than sold their organs through our contact in Adeptus Mechanicus. Each member of the cell had a part to play in this bloody endeavor.

We made around 3k Thrones on organs (poor quality alas), and plan to make another 3k very soon.

Although quite disturbing - it was also very fun, but the moral side of this business keeps bothering me - what must my character (Tainted Blood of Malfi Verispex Adept) make of himself, after doing this? For now I resorted to corporal mortification of flesh, backed up by Flagellant talent, but I feel that only this might not be enough…

(On the game mechanics side - two of us had a Jaded talent, so we didn't even roll, and the other two rolled quite well - 03 and 04 on a Willpower test, so no one even got an insanity point).


#2 Clutch_Halthos



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Posted 06 August 2012 - 04:42 AM

 Well the way I see it… you already asked the important question. do the ends justify the means? Was this the only way of circumventing the obstacle? or was it a creative use of the resources at your disposal. The imperium, as you said, is a cruel and harsh universe where death is not only an inevitability, but a certainty. Since i normally play mind cleansed characters and sorts who are "morally grey" I dont see this as a problem. Plus ou were saying you were working for a radical inquisitor, so i think they would be pleased if not proud with your decision. 




#3 ItsUncertainWho



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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:19 AM

]N[ said:

… what must my character (Tainted Blood of Malfi Verispex Adept) make of himself, after doing this? For now I resorted to corporal mortification of flesh, backed up by Flagellant talent, but I feel that only this might not be enough…

You are Tainted Blood of Malfi…..you wouldn't care. You and your family might have done this for fun after dinner when you were growing up. 

Embrace what the Tainted blood of Malfi means!

You are free from the shackles of lesser people, everyone not of your family being lesser.

#4 ]N[



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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:26 AM

 Well yes, but I feel that we are treading such a fine line between good and evil, I'm not sure anymore if the heretics are worse than Inquisition. The whole scene was just so surreal - slaves in cages getting shot at point blank, servitorium equipment humming and buzzing, like a busy bee-hive, blood spewing everywhere, wounded screaming, survivors cursing and praying, vox-phonograph playing imperial marches. Felt like Breaking Bad WH40k style)

I think human being is essentially a human being, no matter how Jaded you are - one must have consciousness - at least some degree of it. How does one deal with guilt in a grim and brutal world of 40K? 

I've already mentioned mortification… maybe some charity could help too?

#5 jabberwoky



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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:57 AM

Welcome to the Inquisition.

The Inquisition is undeniably cruel, vicious, and depraved, usually more than the heretics they're fighting. They are this way because bad things will happen otherwise. If the Inquisition has to kill 100 innocent men just to kill one Chaos Cultist, they will kill a thousand just to kill nine more.

Remember their maxim: "Innocence proves nothing." The goals and missions of the Inquisition take precedence over everything else, including innocent lives. As such, raising the money by any means necessary, was the primary goal. Using resources such as Hive City labor was a smart idea (although exceedingly gory), as the few dozen people who suffered to net you 3,000 Thrones was a very small part of the overall population- probably even smaller than the amount of people actually murdered in Hive Sibellius every day.

Now there are hundreds of ways to raise the money you wanted, but considering you had Imperial Hymns blasting as you cut up organs, and did it only for the money (and not say, sacrificing the helpless sods to the Dark Gods), what you did was in-line with the Inquisition. Some Puritan Inquisitors probably would have commented that you should have used criminals from Sibellius's jails, and your actions are not going to be that pretty if the Adeptus Arbites learn about it, but your inventiveness paid off. If you can justify the expense of a few dozen slaves towards the glory of the God-Emperor and the Holy Ordos, then there's not much to worry about.

If you still feel guilty, you can always pay a Inquisition-backed cleric for confession, and receive some sort of penance for your actions. It's what most Inquisitors do after they've had to perform Exterminatus on a planet- doing such without remorse is a sign of either insanity or corruption. I believe Blood of Martyrs has more on the subject.

#6 Nearyn



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Posted 07 August 2012 - 02:06 AM

Aaah yes! God vs Evil. Oh how ill fitting this perspective is in the grim darkness of the 41st millenium.


To me, what your group did, was not only perfectly in line, but also something I'd like to see more of in the games I play in.


You are Inquisitorial Agents. You will likely have to do far worse than this if you are going to pursue this particular career. Things that will do way more harm to your fragile, imperial mind than a mere organharvest. Human life is is not held in particularly high regard in the imperium, at least not among its warlike institutions, the inquisition included. The lives of certain individuals, sure, but not of Joe Everyman.

How your character reacts to these actions can (and sometimes should), of course be very different from the views of these organizations, and personal limits and idealism is a great charactertrait to play. One that carries a great deal of risk of being branded a heretic, and a threat to the imperium.


I have said it before and I'll say it again: The closest you get to a classic understanding of "Good person" in the Imperium, are the people the Ordo hereticus are hunting. Rebels who fight the tyrannical imperium, because they don't want to see their families suffer. Advocates of human rights. Scientists trying to break new ground. People who want democracy. These people are your enemy. They are threats to the stability of the Imperium and must be dealt with quickly and decisively.

While the saviors of humanity, the Inquisition, is the largest body of heretics, murderers and psychopaths the galaxy, outside the Eye of Terror. Only this one has Imperial mandate to BE heretical, murderous and psychotic, or they can't do their job properly. 

Radical Inquisitors employ dregs and scum, poison and smiles. Tries to use the weapons of the enemy against them, forges alliances with xenos or traitors, to further their agendas. Puritans kill millions of innocents, to root out a few guilty. Because "Innocence proves nothing", and employ their psychotic clergy or worse, the Redemptionists, and make them torture and burn their way through city upon city, in pursuit of their goals.


A lot of bad stuff is going to happen during your career, and what you did was not only perfectly reasonable, but very smart and resourceful. Not only that, it was actually helpful! You worked on gaining money to establish your base of operations, killed off a few dregs that noone is gonna miss anyway, and helped the local mechanicus.

If you want a shortcut next time, and wanna avoid mopping blood off the basement floor, just aquire more people, then gas the weak ones, or those with weaker physique, and sell the rest as parts for servitors. … or slaves! Buy low, sell high, that sorta thing. Maybe grind the ones you gassed into paste, and sell it as rations in a lower hive, in return for favours with local gangers.

Opportunity abound :)

And it would be far worse if the agents of an inquisitor could not properly conduct their investigations and properly equip themselves, than it would be if one or two… or ten or seventy people didn't come in for work the next day. It's all a matter of perspective :P



Just make sure you remain pure of faith, adhere to your characters principles and steer clear of the arbites :)


Rambling, so I'll stop here…




#7 Ghaundan



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Posted 07 August 2012 - 03:29 AM

 Considering you're doing this to prisoners I doubt most hardened inquisitorial agents wound find it morally wrong even. You're killing two slaves with one bullet so to speak! You're executing the enemies of the imperium AND furthering your own cause.

Someone more…sheltered from the imperium might have issues though.

#8 Snidesworth



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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:12 AM

You shot them? That sounds like a terrible waste of ammunition and, more importantly, you probably damaged valuable components you could sell later. Inefficiency is detestable, but I don't think it's a moral failing. Really though, you should have killed the lot of them at the same time. Do you lack storage facilities for harvested organs? Was it a question of limited demand? I get the feeling that your cell was being needlessly morbid, unless you felt the Emperor-given need to put fear into the hearts of those criminals.

The real sin here is that you deprived the Adeptus Arbites, a branch of the Most Holy Adeptus Terra, of some quality target practice, possibly illegally, for personal profit.

#9 DarkWinds



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Posted 08 August 2012 - 03:39 AM

Sure the Inquisition needs funds to carry out its holy mandate and getting in the way of that is a crime in itself, as mentioned earlier, but this seems like an unnecessarily gruesome option. I don't think anyone would be opposed to the method per se either, but it must seem odd that this would be the first 'go to' option out of all the potential methods. I wouldn't even go so far as to say it'd be a last resort but there are certainly less convoluted ways to make a living that do a lot more in furthering the Emperor's will. What's wrong with a little honest blackmail?



#10 HTMC



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Posted 08 August 2012 - 07:18 AM

I'm gonna disagree with everyone else here a bit: while the Inquisition is decidedly evil, it's decidedly evil while pursuing a (theoretically) good goal, that of fighting the mutant, the heretic, and the xeno. 

Is killing slaves for personal profit helping to advance any of those causes? From my reading: no. And even a radical inqusitor, while perhaps not caring, would probably encourage you to spend your time more usefully.

I think my bigger question is that out of character, that's what you guys are spending your sessions doing? 0_0

#11 Magos Seqvirin

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 08:00 PM

I believe that the actions of your cell are nowhere along the lines of the Inquisition. Sure, there are acts committed by members of the Inquisition that cost the lives of a lot more citizens of the Imperium, innocent and guilty alike, than what you have described, but those choices are often in extremis, i.e. when there are no other alternatives to maintain the safety of the Imperium.

I think the main misconception is about Radical Inquisitors. Yes, they do employ resources (allies, items and powers) that are forbidden, but they do this in order to fight against the enemies of the Imperium. Alright, so sometimes they go overboard and turn into heretics, but that is from the long exposure to all those forbidden things and not always their choice, which means they get excommunicated in the process, not because they turn heretic on their own. There are probably quite a lot of ex-members of the Inquisition (or other major Imperial institutions, like the Adeptus Mechanicus) who believe that their actions are justified by their goals of fighting the enemies of the Imperium, but they get excommunicated for a good reason. (If they get found out, that is … if not, well, that's a different story.) 

To go into a bit more detail about your actions.

First of all, I do not believe the Adeptus Arbites needs slaves for target practice, there's more than enough crime in a Hive City to offer a target-rich environment in case such needs arise. Otherwise, a regular target range and a few combat practice servitors should do the job nicely. Thus, acquiring slaves from worker gangs for target practice seems a bit far-fetched, especially since if the Adeptus Arbites finds out that someone made such an order in their name and the slaves didn't even arrive, there will be more than just a simple investigation (not because of the slaves, but because of illegally issuing orders in the name of the Adeptus Arbites). 

The whole procedure employed by your cell seems like an unnecessarily cruel and inefficient method of gaining profits. Not to mention the fact that the whole procedure reeks of heretical rituals. If you want to take apart a human being, there are many efficient and relatively "painless" ways, especially if you have an appropriate Servitorium at your disposal. There was no need to perform summary executions of the slaves, while listening to blaring Imperial hymnals. It also seems a waste of resources to just disassemble the bodies and sell them as spare parts when you have a Servitorium and a Tech-Priestess at your disposal. Just build those servitors yourselves and make a larger profit. (Sure, you might need to acquire the mechanical parts required to make a servitor, but I'm sure your Tech-Priestess is resourceful enough to acquire the materials.)

And speaking of resourcefulness, there are a thousand and one methods of gaining larger quantities of Throne Gelts in far simpler, faster and efficient manner. For example, you just need to go bounty hunting in the city. With proficient killers in your cell, a few fugitives shouldn't be that hard to track down and eliminate within a reasonable time.

As for the major incentive of doing this: just get rid of the house, along with the huge debt. Sure, you need to establish a base of operations, but are the expenses worth it? 


#12 Luthor Harkon

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 11:54 PM

I have to disagree with most of the other comments. Many Inquisitors might approve of the tenet "the end justifies the means", but most of those are Radicals. Puritans normally do not follow that credo.

The Imperium is harsh and unforgiving and the Inquisition as such even moreso. But killing citizens in a gruesome manner just to get a few Thrones by selling organs to the Adeptus Mechanicus is not only weird and unnecessary vile (or the job of the Inquisition anyway), it is sort of absurd and not fitting with the background (neither Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Mechanicus or Inquisition). Not even real world Nazis acted like this. This sounds more like a B-movie parody of Warhammer 40K.

(Besides that I wonder how some people (or GMs for that matter) handle their gaming sessions. I expected most DH games are about investigations, interactions with all sorts of NPC and of course combat.)

#13 TorogTarkdacil812



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Posted 09 August 2012 - 12:16 AM

As a side-job to a normal acolyte work it´s quite grotesque and unnecessary, but if you are batshit insane heir of some Malfian nobility I think it could be in character, but don´t know what about other members of your cell. And yeah altough I´m all for over the top grimdark everywhere (with lot of skulls, children set on fire and puppies impaled on stakes) I think such actions need some realy good in-player justification.

What about using this operation as thrust into gaining contacts with underworld, hereteks and more radical Mechanicus elements? Having such flesh-buisness could be a good cover for cell in advancing their shadowy operations, you could get contacts, learn something about persons in trade. It just don´t feel that justified just for thrones (but on the other hand I hate Thrones and I rather abolish them in favour of Influence from Ascension or edited Infamy from Black Crusade).

For "moral" repercussions I think it realy depends on character. Is it Tained Blood of Malfi? No problem. Cold-hearted mind-cleansed techpriest? No problem. Jaded penal legionare from cannibalistic feral world? No problem. But with pious cleric, or savyy scum born in the have, well… Insanity points and if they go on with it, than change of their character with possibility of buying Jaded talent as Elite Advance

There is nothing as good as seeing rebel scum running out of a cave full of gas, right into the blasters of your battalion-–well, except sunrises, but for those you have to get up early.

#14 Ghaundan



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Posted 09 August 2012 - 01:04 AM

 Would depend on the world though, when I read slave I thought of the worlds (I can't remember exactly which) that condemn criminals to a lifetime of force labour, i.e. slaves for "minor" transgressions. Thus hardline Acolytes might just go for the good old 'They deserve to die for breaking the law' OR a more conveluted reason, that they can redeem themselves by sacrificing their lives in service to the emperor and his faithful servants.

I'd probably go for more hardline criminals though, heretics basically. Would lead for your agents to do some inquisitorial work as well, even though it would only be smalltime heretics.

#15 mrady



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Posted 09 August 2012 - 03:56 AM

I have a couple coments to make.

1: There are probably more effective ways of making money, ie. turning those slave in to serivtors and then selling the left over parts, or bounty hunting. Or since your working for a radical, you might get away with this, take over a underhive gang are start diping into organize crime.

2: shooting them is a waste of killing them, there are more effecent ways of killing them, and less damaging to the body, gas, cut there throats. waste not want not

3: my group and I dont belive that there is a good vs evil axis in 40k. only law vs chaos, if you think of it the imperium is the pinicle of lawful evil.

4:So with all my other comments done is it moral wrong. into days world yes, in the grim dark future possibly, but working of a radical the ends most likely justifly the means. So i could see this happening.

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