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Ordo Malleus

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Ordo Malleus (Daemonhunters)
Parent Agency Inquisition
Headquarters Moons of Saturn, Sol System
Leader None (represented by Inquisitorial Representative)
Armed Forces Various Retinues
Inquisitorial Stormtroopers
Grey Knights
Established End of the Horus Heresy (informally)
546.M32 (officially)

The Ordo Malleus (literally meaning Order of the Hammer in Low Gothic) is one of the three major Ordos of the Inquisition. Based on the moons of Saturn[13] it is tasked with the responsibility of investigating and destroying the physical manifestations of Chaos throughout the Imperium.

An Ordo Malleus inquisitor.[17]

Known colloquially as Daemonhunters, the members of the Ordo Malleus are individuals of great strength of will, able to face the agents of Chaos without flinching. Due to the highly secretive nature of its mission and the great mental strength required to combat the forces of Chaos, the Ordo Malleus is by far the smallest major Order of the Inquisition.[6] However, the strength of the inquisitors of the Ordo is bolstered by their Chamber Militant, the Grey Knights.


The Ordo Malleus is considered one of the oldest and most ancient arms of the Inquisition that was created by the decree of the Emperor prior to his internment and ascension to the Golden Throne of Terra. It was originally established to police the thoughts and deeds of the Imperium itself which meant it was charged with the purity of other Inquisitors.[2b] In the hours following the defeat of Warmaster Horus, and understanding the severity of his own wounds, the Emperor believed that others must fill his role guarding humanity from the Warp, to thwart the designs of the Chaos Gods. [Needs Citation]

They shall be My Hammer, the sword in My hand, the gauntlet about My fist, the bane of My foes and woes of the treacherous. When no others may stand beside them, they shall fight. Only the greatest shall enter their ranks, for unto them do I entrust stewardship over the Gates of Hell.[Needs Citation]

However 1,500 years later during the Imperium's near destruction in War of the Beast, the Inquisition's Daemonhunters based around Saturn were still a closely guarded secret, so much so that not even the High Lords knew of their existence.[14] During the war the Inquisition was formally split between the Ordo Malleus and Ordo Xenos so that humanity could better prepare to face new threats. Following the death of one of original Inquisitors, Veritus, Inquisitorial Representative Wienand succeeded him and oversaw the formal founding of the order. To do this, she met with the first Grey Knights Supreme Grand Master Janus on Titan.[14]

The truth however is skewed, and historians and savants point to the Emperor's original declaration, known as the Charge of the Malleus, as the Ordo's founding moment. The Charge is written in gold over the Ultimate Gateway of the Malleus Fortress on Titan, and is reaffirmed by every Malleus member upon elevation to the rank of inquisitor. It is known that during the Great Crusade, the forces of the Emperor encountered many worlds that worshiped foul daemonic beings as gods. Such worlds were either cleansed or cast into the warp though those that were not were instead had their daemons imprisoned by psychic wards on that planet. Following this task, the Ordo Malleus created the Brotherhood of the Watch to guard these prison worlds.[8]

After 034.M38, the Hidden Masters of the Ordo Malleus knew the true name of the Daemon Prince Kernax Voldorius and seven of their number fell before his blade.[9] During the notable Nexxas Exculpation, in M40.561, the Ordo was involved fighting against an incursion by the Emperor's Children Chaos Space Marines where they were opposed by an Imperial Guard Army corps. The corps successfully managed to fight off the invasion after which their forces suffered from orbital bombardment by the Ordo Malleus warship, which intended to eliminate anyone that had faced the forces of Chaos. Later Imperial records were altered to show that a renegade faction of Eldar were responsible for the destruction of the Imperial unit.[2c]

Following the creation of the Great Rift and subsequent Psychic Awakening, the Ordo Malleus now faces Daemonic threats and incursions on a scale previously unseen. To try and contain the mayhem, they have overseen the annihilation of billions of citizens.[23]


Being a division of the Inquisition, the Ordo Malleus consists of exceptional individuals who are involved in a covert war for Mankind's continued survival which has been the case for the last ten thousand years. As every Inquisitor has sworn oaths to defend the Imperium from its worst enemies, the members of the Ordo Malleus are concerned with eliminating the physical manifestation of Chaos itself. They have pledged their existence to the discovery and removing the threat of the daemonic, wherever it is found. To aid them, they have at their disposal every member of the Imperium and will not hesitate to requisition local troops at a moment's notice.[1a] They serve as an inner college within the ranks of the Imperium with its activities and very existence being shrouded in secrecy. The Ordo goes to great lengths to hide the existence of Chaos and its servants from the greater masses of Mankind with the Emperor as well as his advisors fearing the dangers of such knowledge. As such, when the Ordo Malleus is ever mentioned, it is referred to as being the watchdog of the Inquisition itself though its actual purpose as the Imperium's elite Daemonhunters is a much more serious and sinister matter.[2b]

Within the Inquisition, the Ordo Malleus forms a secret order with a very specific role as daemon hunters. As such, it is their duty to root out sources of daemonic activity and combating such forces in whatever form they take. This means that only the most mentally stalwart and physically strong of Inquisitors are able to conduct this duty. Their missions can see them engage their foes either in hand-to-hand fighting or battle them in the realm of mental energy which requires special abilities and powers. This means that the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus are mostly psykers and those who lack such abilities have tremendous mental resolve. As they are a hidden group, the identities of Ordo Malleus Inquisitors is kept secret though this not an easy task when fighting against daemons. When members of the Ordo must appear in the course of their investigations, they are allowed to adopt uniforms that hide their features which allows them to keep their true identities a secret.[4]

Only the Emperor and the Cyber-libraries of the Ordo Malleus have an accurate recollection of the events of the Horus Heresy.[2a] Among the targets of the Ordo include the raiders from the Traitor Legions, covens consisting of Chaos worshippers and the Sensei who are seen as a threat to the Imperium.[2b] It's known that only certain Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus have been allowed entry into the Black Library of Chaos and they are always accompanied by Harlequins who keep a close eye on these visitors.[5]

The power and authority of the Ordo Malleus extends beyond the nominal boundaries of the Inquisition, a jurisdictional extension known as the Malleus Remit. In events of grave emergency concerning potential daemonic threats, a Malleus Inquisitor may demand the services and resources of any Imperial servant or organisation, a request which may not be refused on pain of death. Even the High Lords of Terra and the Adeptus Astartes are beholden to follow the Malleus Remit without hesitation[Needs Citation].

In normal circumstances, the Ordo Malleus focuses its investigations toward two main threats[Needs Citation]:

  • The Daemon Without: daemons that have physically manifested in the material universe and mortals dedicated to the service of Chaos.
  • The Daemon Within: inquisitors declared Extremis Diabolus for heretical actions.

Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus were permanently seconded to the Cadian military due to that world's proximity to the Eye of Terror which made its inhabitants susceptible to the influence of Chaos.[3]


Unlike the Imperial Inquisition as a whole, the Ordo Malleus has a more rigid and formalised hierarchical structure. It is controlled by a council of 169 Masters, all of whom have the right to have a direct audience with the Emperor. Their authority even extends to the Inquisitorial Representative who has been, in the past, tried and executed by the Masters of the Ordo. Below the Masters are the Proctors and Proctors Minor with each being responsible as well as in control of a Chamber of the Ordo. The Chambers themselves are named after their founding Proctor and serve as the basic unit of the Ordo Malleus. Inquisitors Ordinary form the rank and file whilst a parallel organisation is the "Chambers Theoretical and Historical" that consists of Inquisitors Historical. Inquisitors Historical are formed from the older ranking members who are unable to continue their service either due to ill-health or because of infirmity. Instead, they are assigned research and collation projects at the Administratum Libraries. Within the Chambers, the numbers of Inquisitors Ordinary and Historical to only a few in number to hundreds. The Chambers Theoretical and Historical has only a few score members that are engaged in research and disputation whilst the Chambers Practical has hundreds who are responsible for sector establishments of the Ordo Malleus in the field.[2b]

The Ordo Malleus works directly under the Emperor's Warrant and thus has a completely free hand in its operations. This means that an Inquisitor Ordinary of this Ordo is able to demand anything he sees fit in order to accomplish his duty with no explanation being offered. Any Imperial servant that meets with an Ordo Inquisitor must comply and obey their command. The most common demand is for troops to support their operations though such forces never survive in the service of an Inquisitor Ordinary. However, honours are given to units that are attached to the Ordo Malleus should they die in their service.[2c]

Members of the Ordo tend to favour simple yet sinister uniforms with black, loose-fitting habits over their armour along with large hoods that hide their features in shadows. Graphic electoos are an unofficial yet traditional addition to their uniform with their appearance beneath the skin being a disturbing quality to outsiders. By tradition, Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus tend to have one electoo for each coven member that they have discovered and cleansed though its not uncommon for some of their number to be covered with elaborate designs all across their body. The designs of the electoos have been fixed for generations with the motiffs being variations of the Ordo Malleus's enemies namely daemonic in nature. The badge of the Ordo takes the form of the Imperial eagle holding a rod and an axe which is worn either on the shoulder or on the right breast. Masters and Proctors are always psykers who carry force rods as a symbol of their authority, though in combat engagements this is supplemented with a power axe.[2c]

Military forces

Daemonhunter in full battle regalia.[1b]

The armies of the Ordo Malleus are small, as only a select few individuals are trusted by the Inquisition with extensive knowledge of Chaos. Daemonhunter strike forces usually consist only of a Malleus inquisitor, the inquisitor's personal retinue, and as many Grey Knights as can be spared. [Needs Citation]

In battle, the greatest advantage of any Malleus force lies in the specialised and consecrated weaponry available to it. Utilising techniques and metallurgy lost to the rest of the Imperium, Malleus savants and allied Tech-priests produce and maintain immensely powerful arms and armour specifically designed to combat the daemonic. In addition to this equipment, the Malleus Remit allows any Daemonhunter strike force to be bolstered by units from the Adeptus Astartes, the Imperial Guard, and the Officio Assassinorum. [Needs Citation]

Only the ranks of the Grey Knights are expected to survive in the service to the Ordo Malleus. All other troops that are seconded to the Ordo end up dying in this duty. The simple reason for the high rate of deaths within military units attached to the Daemonhunters is due to their exposure to the daemonic. Thus, they become privy to one of the Imperium's most closely guarded secrets namely the existence of Chaos and of Daemons. As their duty is to hide this threat from the Imperium, the Ordo Malleus has any surviving troopers being executed following a campaign or battle. Those that are killed receive full honours shortly after their elimination. Ultimately, all such regiments and corps are seen as expendable which means that they are terminated after the completion of their duty.[2c]

The exceptions to this secrecy-by-extermination policy are units from the Adeptus Astartes which is the case only because the execution of a Space Marine is seen as being wasteful. Those Astartes serving with the Ordo Malleus are mindscrubbed in order to remove any memory of the Ordo's true purpose. Ultimately, only the Grey Knights are allowed to retain their memories of their duty with the Ordo Malleus as their centuries of service has shown that they can keep the secret of the hidden war against the daemonic forces of Chaos.[2c]

Grey Knights

Main article: Grey Knights

Extensively trained to fight the daemon, the Grey Knights alone bear the full knowledge of the nature of Chaos. They are the most powerful force the Ordo Malleus can bring to bear, above even Exterminatus, and may only be deployed at the command of a Malleus Grandmaster, as the life of a single Grey Knight is considered to be an infinitely precious resource. [Needs Citation]

Millennia-old aegis armor inscribed with wards protects the bodies and souls of the Grey Knights against physical, psychic, or daemonic assault. The faith of Grey Knights, combined with their innate psychic talents, is so pure that it can cause daemons physical damage and pain and weaken their ties to the material realm. A Grey Knight's standard weapons include thrice-blessed Storm bolters and Nemesis force weapons. [Needs Citation]

Notable Members

Inquisitor Lords




Modern Imperial Organizations
Adeptus Terra Adeptus Administratum (Adeptus AstartesDepartmento MunitorumAstra MilitarumOrdo TempestusImperial FleetImperial NavyMerchant FleetPraeses MercaturaNavis NobiliteOfficio AssassinorumEstate ImperiumTemplars PsykologisOfficio SabatorumOfficio MedicaeOfficio AgricultaeOfficio LogisticarumDepartmento ExactaAstra CartographicaLogis StrategosDepartmento ColoniaDepartmento ProcessiumDepartmento of Final ConsiderationDepartmento ContagioDepartmento GradioQuestio LogisticusRogue TradersImperial Commanders) • Adeptus Astra Telepathica (Sisters of SilenceLeague of Black ShipsScholastica Psykana) • Adeptus AstronomicaAdeptus ArbitesAdeptus CustodesQuestor Imperialis (House Guard) • Adeptus FidiciusSynopticon
Adeptus Mechanicus Cult MechanicusCollegia TitanicaLegiones SkitariiQuestor Mechanicus (House Guard) • Centurio OrdinatusOrdo ReductorLegio CyberneticaAuxilia MyrmidonPrefecture MagisteriumBasilikon AstraDivisio LinguisticaExploratorSect Missionarius MechanicusCollegiate ExtremisAstynomia
Adeptus Ministorum Holy SynodAdepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) • Schola ProgeniumMissionarius GalaxiaCreed TemporalFrateris Militia
Inquisition Ordo MalleusOrdo HereticusOrdo XenosOrdo Minoris