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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the members of the Inquisition. For other uses of Inquisitor, see Inquisitor (disambiguation).
An Inquisitor[10]

Inquisitors are members of the Inquisition, the organization responsible for investigating and dealing with all potential threats to the Imperium and to humanity.[1a]


Potential Inquisitors come from all walks of life, from humble agri-workers' sons to highborn nobles' daughters,[5] but are usually drawn from the Progena of the Schola Progenium who show the most promise[3].

As is the case with all other aspects of the Inquisition, the power to recruit is not centralized, but left in the hands of individual Inquisitors. Some are known to not recruit at all and instead spend their years of service in pursuit of their enemies and dedicate their hours to duty for the rest of their lives. Others, however, feel that it is one of their many burdens to bring about the next generation of Inquisitors who are destined to carry forth the battle that the Inquisition must wage. Ultimately, the matter is left to the judgment of the individual Inquisitors, who are subject only to the scrutiny of their peers. A majority of Inquisitors typically leave matters to chance or perhaps to fate in regard to picking a suitable candidate from amongst the groups of individuals whose paths cross that of the Inquisition. There are a number of Inquisitors who are more rigorous in regard to the pursuit of apprentices and will spend a proportion of their time seeking suitable candidates - sometimes from the ranks of other Imperial organizations.[4]

There exist no set criteria in regards to physical condition for a possible candidate when being selected to join the ranks of the Inquisition. All that is required is proof of intelligence and loyalty, which are key factors in such a choice, though there is no proper method of judging these attributes until later in the candidate's life. However, there may exist extraordinary circumstances which leads to an Inquisitor choosing a boy or girl whilst they are still within their teens, though this is only the case if the subject shows exceptional ability. Generally, an Inquisitor will take note of an individual if they are a free-thinking person with willpower and determination, as well as unflinching principles. If a suitable candidate is found, they will become part of the Inquisitorial retinue where they may serve in a minor capacity whilst the Inquisitor continues their evaluation. Those that later prove their worth whilst working with the Inquisitor can be taken into the greater confidence of their lord or lady.[4]

Over the years that pass by, the apprentice will begin to learn what they can of an Inquisitor's knowledge and their many duties. Certain Inquisitors often refer to these semi-skilled individuals as Interrogators though they are more commonly known as Novitiates, Neophytes and as Approbators. At this stage, the individuals can undertake missions of their own or control operations in concert with their master or mistress though ultimately they are still subordinate to them until the Inquisitor fully invests in them. Under normal conditions, it is required that the consent of three Inquisitors or an Inquisitor Lord is needed to bestow the full powers of an Inquisitor on an apprentice as well as grant them the Inquisitorial Seal. Whilst this is typically done, there have been occasions which warrant an apprentice taking full Inquisitorial powers immediately. This is likely the case where the Inquisitor in charge has been killed and the apprentice inherits their master or mistresses' position.[4]

Apprentices may pass from one Inquisitor to another as fate dictates and through this way, the ideals their Inquisitors are passed and spread during the generational growth. This in turn allows the factions and institutions of the Inquisition to propagate across the centuries. In addition to philosophy, the student also learns what their teacher knows of the internal workings of the Inquisition. An important tradition amongst Inquisitors is to earn the knowledge that is theirs as well as the respect of their peers. However, such knowledge cannot be freely given and it cannot be taken without effort as that would devalue the knowledge itself. This goes in line with the saying "Knowledge is Power; Guard it Well."[4]

All Inquisitors begin as Acolytes, apprentice-Inquisitors given over to the tutelage of a more experienced member of the Inquisition. Acolytes accompany a fully experienced Inquisitor in his Inquisitorial duties. He may perform a number of tasks such as warrior, scribe, and interrogator. After a set amount of time, his master will give him a recommendation to the Ordos of the Inquisition to advance his pupil to full Inquisitorial rank. After this, the Acolyte is a full Inquisitor and begins his own agenda and operations. Although the Acolyte/Inquisitor is no longer bound to his old master, they will have formed a bond and may work together and help one another in the future.


  • Inquisitorial Representative - The Inquisitorial Representative is the voice of the Inquisition on the Senatorum Imperialis. Although the role does not bring any additional authority above that of Inquisitor Lord, it does put the holder in a position of unrivaled power and authority due to the influence he has at the highest levels of power. The Inquisitorial Representative is nominated from amongst the Inquisitor Lords of the sectors surrounding Terra, and Inquisitors that have filled this role are referred to as an Inquisitor Lord Terran. It is not unusual for several Inquisitor Lords Terran to share the role of Inquisitorial Representative at the same time. The maximum term that an Inquisitor Lord Terran can serve on the Senatorum is five years, after which they must stand down.[10]
  • Grandmaster - The title sometimes given to the Inquisitor Lord who runs a sector or sub-sector Conclave; the Inquisitorial authority for a specific sector of Imperial space.[3]
  • Master - Where an Ordo has a strong presence in a sector or sub-sector, the senior Inquisitor Lord of each Ordo may be given the title "Master". Their role is to oversee and guide the activities of members of their Ordo and provide counsel to the Grandmaster. Upon the death of a Grandmaster, a successor is chosen by secret ballot between the three Masters.[3]
  • Inquisitor Lord - Also known as Lord Inquisitors or High Inquisitors, Inquisitor Lords exist to help maintain the integrity of the organisation, and to watch over and guide its members. The title is a recognition of an Inquisitor's power and influence rather than an absolute rank, and is more a formalisation of a position enjoyed by the Inquisitor rather than an actual promotion. Promotion to the ranks of Inquisitor Lord is by invitation only; an Inquisitor must be nominated by an existing Lord and have his nomination approved by two others. It is an honour that is only extended to those that have proven their courage, ability, loyalty and integrity numerous times. Although the rank of Inquisitor Lord in itself brings no temporal authority, it is likely that such a respected and influential Inquisitor will have some measure of control over resources within the Inquisition or his Ordo and his control of those resources will give him some measure of authority over Inquisitors who wish to use them. For example a Lord Inquisitor may oversee the activities of all Inquisitors operating in the region covered by a regional Conclave; or he may orchestrate and monitor their activities of Inquisitors who are part of an Ordo or Cabal.[8][10]
  • Inquisitor - The Inquisitor ordinary. The vast majority of the Inquisitors are of this rank.


Main article: Acolyte

Inquisitors have the right to call on the services of any citizen or servant of the Emperor. Often an experienced Inquisitor, or one in need of specific services (depending on the current situation at hand), will have a retinue of henchmen that he has deemed most useful. These retinues are made up of individuals drawn from citizens with unique and useful talents, and from the ranks of all Imperial institutions, such as the Ecclesiarchy and Adeptus Mechanicus.

Especially helpful, competent, or attractive retainers may become permanent members of an Inquisitor's retinue. Note that this list is not exhaustive as many different kinds of individuals with many different personalities and jobs have been seen in the employ of Inquisitors in fiction, including Navigators, mechanical technicians, bounty hunters, daemonhosts and assassins. This allows for Inquisitorial Retinues and the Inquisitors themselves to be highly characterful models with different personalities, weapons, histories and attitudes.[1][2]


In Film

In 1996, for the 25th Anniversary Games Day, Games Workshop released (for limited sale) a short movie entitled Inquisitor.

See also


Forces of the Inquisition
Inquisitors Lord InquisitorOrdo Xenos InquisitorOrdo Malleus InquisitorOrdo Hereticus InquisitorOrdo Minoris Inquisitor
Acolytes Interrogator
Assassin Death CultCallidusCulexusEversorOrdo Sicarius InitiateVanusVenenumVindicare
Chiurgeon ExcoriatorSister HospitallerTorturer
Desperado Bounty HunterScum
Familiar CherubimPsyber-EagleServo-Skull
Hierophants/Fanatics BanisherCrusaderDrill AbbotEnlightenerHexorcistOblationistPriestRedemptionistQuestkeeper
Mystic AstropathDaemonhostDivinerNavigatorSanctioned PsykerWarp-Seer
Sage AutosavantLexmechanicMalefic ScholarSister DialogousReclaimatorServitorTech-Priest
Seeker ArbitratorCult-StalkerEnforcerJudgeMortiurge
Warrior Chrono-GladiatorCrusaderImperial Guard Veteran/Death World VeteranInquisitorial StormtrooperInquisitorial PyroclastPenal LegionnairePistoleerTempestus ScionCombat-ServitorGun-Servitor
Other Retinue Arco-FlagellantMutantPenitentRogue TraderSpace MarineXenos
Ordo Militants DeathwatchGrey KnightsSisters of Battle
Vehicles ChimeraLand RaiderLand Raider CrusaderLand Raider RedeemerRazorbackRhinoValkyrie
Fleet Inquisitorial Black Ship

Grey Knights Forces
Command Supreme Grand MasterGrand MasterBrother-CaptainBrotherhood ChampionLibrarianTechmarineChaplainApothecaryAncient
Elites Paladin SquadPurifier SquadJusticarsDreadnoughtVenerable Dreadnought
Troops Terminator SquadStrike SquadInterceptor SquadPurgation Squad
Vehicles RhinoRazorbackLand RaiderLand Raider CrusaderLand Raider RedeemerNemesis Dreadknight
Aircraft StormravenStormtalonStormhawkThunderhawk
Characters Kaldor DraigoCastellan CroweAldrik VoldusArvann Stern