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Gideon Ravenor

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Imperial Inquisitor; for the Novel by Dan Abnett, see Ravenor (Novel).
Gideon Ravenor, shortly before the Thracian Atrocity[10]

Gideon Ravenor was a renowned Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos in the 4th century of M41. Initially a protege of the infamous Gregor Eisenhorn, Ravenor suffered crippling injuries during an ambush on Thracian Primaris, and was confined to a suspensor chair for the remainder of his life. His confinement only boosted his already formidable psyker abilities, and he continued his Inquisitorial career.

Despite Ravenor's success in dealing with numerous xenos, heretic, and daemonic threats to the Imperium, he was best remembered for his philosophical writings, including The Spheres of Longing, for centuries after his death.[1][3a][8] His mentor, Eisenhorn, commented on the irony that Ravenor would not have become such a renowned intellect had he not been confined by his injuries.[2e]


Early Service

Ravenor began his Inquisitorial career as an Interrogator for the renowned Gregor Eisenhorn, who privately noted that Ravenor excelled at every assignment he was given, and predicted that the young man's promotion to full Inquisitor was not far away.[2a][2b]

His last assignment, before the Thracian Primaris atrocity, was on Lethe Eleven in 338.M41, where, at age thirty-four, he proved instrumental in helping Eisenhorn locate and apprehend the xenophile heretic Beldame Sadia.[2a] Ravenor was badly wounded in the encounter, both physically and emotionally, taking a nearly-eviscerating stroke from a Dark Eldar haemonculus's glaive, which claimed the life of his lover, Eisenhorn's retainer Arianhrod Esw Sweydyr.[2c] Nevertheless, Eisenhorn was heartened to see him mending rapidly, when Eisenhorn and his retinue received their invitation to the triumphal parade on Thracian.[2d]

Thracian Primaris

In a surprise attack on the Holy Novena - the triumphal parade on Thracian Primaris celebrating the end of the Ophidian Crusade — Ravenor was caught at the edge of an explosion from a crashing Lightning fighter plane, suffering third-degree burns to his entire body. It was largely for Ravenor's sake that Inquisitor Eisenhorn swore to hunt down the renegade psyker Esarhaddon, and identify the conspirators responsible for the attack.[2e]

In spite of his crippled body, Ravenor's intellect and dedication to his duties remained undiminished. From his confinement, he analyzed the reports received from Eisenhorn during the latter's years-long search for the rogue Inquisitor Quixos, and identified a vital clue that directed Eisenhorn's strike team to Quixos's secret base on Farness Beta, rather than his fortress headquarters on Maginor.[2f]

Inquisitorial Career

Ravenor was later promoted to full Inquisitor, on Eisenhorn's recommendation, in 346.M41.[3b]

One of the longest hunts of Ravenor's Inquisitorial career was for the heretic Zygmunt Molotch, a "graduate" of the Cognitae cult active in the Helican subsector. Ravenor tracked Molotch to an archaeological site where he had found ancient carvings that allowed him to build on his growing lexicon of Enuncia. Ravenor called in an air strike, and believed Molotch perished.[5a]

Several years later, during 401-404.M41, Ravenor and his team were smuggled onto Eustis Majoris to investigate the illegal trade in flects, an addictive new drug becoming very popular among the under-hivers. This investigation led Ravenor and his team off-world as stowaways on a flect-trafficking ship, where they were almost killed when the team of civilian aides from the sector governor's office accompanying them turned out to be psyker assassins. They survived only by a slim margin, and returned to Eustis Majoris several months later.[5x] Since Ravenor suspected that the sector governor himself was involved in the flect trade, and possibly much worse, he and his team had to move in secret, without the weight of the Inquisition behind them.[6]

After escaping several assassination attempts, Ravenor and his team finally confronted the sector governor, recognizing him as none other than Molotch - disfigured for life, but very much alive. Using the resources of the sector, and the illegal goods smuggled in from the Mergent Worlds, Molotch had slowly been reconstructing his Enuncia lexicon from scratch. He was close to completing a ritual that would allow him to heal his body and possibly ascend to daemonhood, before Ravenor stopped him.[6]

Molotch escaped, and Ravenor was so convinced that he had to be stopped, immediately, that he disobeyed the Ordo Xenos' order to stand down, and went rogue to track Molotch.[7]

Near the climactic confrontation with Molotch, disaster struck when Ravenor realized that his own Interrogator, Carl Thonius, had been possessed by the daemon prince Slyte on Eustis Majoris, after Carl became secretly addicted to flects.[6][7] Ironically, months before the start of the mission on Eustis Majoris, Ravenor had been warned in secret of the daemon prince's manifestation by Eisenhorn, who had observed the Divine Fratery predicting the event.[4]

Ravenor was forced to join forces with Molotch to banish the daemon back to the warp, after which Molotch attempted to flee again, but was stopped and summarily executed. After returning to Imperial space, Ravenor and his team were held by the Ordo Xenos for interrogation. Ravenor was fully prepared to shoulder the blame for the near disaster, and prayed that his team would escape the worst of the punishment.[7]

According to the Inquisitorial annals, Ravenor was formally commended for his banishment of the heretic "Thonius Slyte."[3a] Despite this, Ravenor was given a choice after the Inquisition's inquiry, retire from duty and refrain from the use of psionics, or hunt down Eisenhorn. He would choose the former.[12]

Ravenor vs. Eisenhorn

Later, he was tasked with hunting down his old mentor Eisenhorn, who was believed to have gone rogue.[9] He later reunited with Eisenhorn as the two happened to both be investigating the Cognitae and the mysterious King in Yellow.[13] Ultimately, Eisenhorn broke Bequin out of Ravenor's custody in order to use her in the fight against the King in Yellow.[14]

Ravenor was able to reestablish contact with Bequin on the world of Sancour, where they established a truce of sorts and shared with her the book of Lilean Chase.[15] Ravenor and his team helped Bequin enter the City of Dust, the supposed domain of the King in Yellow and was present when the name of the Yellow King was apparently revealed to be Constantin Valdor.[15a]


Ravenor's already-potent psychic abilities actually became more acute after his wounding, to compensate for his crippled body. His force chair contains built-in psi-amplifiers which further boost his powers, as well as a pair of psy-cannons that are deployed when Ravenor needs to support his team in other ways than through psychic combat. The exact grade of his powers is unclear; in one source, he is described as between high-level delta and low-level gamma[5x], while in another he is described as "Alpha plus," though this may be a deliberate exaggeration[7].

Ravenor is able to communicate telepathically with his agents over great distances, as well as temporarily take control of their bodies, a process called "waring", via the wraithbone pendants they wear. Waring allows Ravenor to see an investigation from his agent's perspective or, when that agent is threatened, significantly boosts his or her situational awareness and reflexes.[Needs Citation]

Ravenor is also able to read people's minds, and defeat all but the strongest psykers in single combat.[Needs Citation]

Ravenor's Team

In addition to his team, Ravenor has other allies that help him in times of need. Ravenor also allied with a group of Eldar for some time, a highly unorthodox occurrence among the Ordo Xenos, if not outright heresy. Unsurprisingly, Ravenor endeavours to keep this association a secret.

  • Interrogator Carl Thonius — Ravenor's pupil and protégé. While he is trained in the use of weapons and can hold his own in close combat, most of the time he chooses not to be involved in the more violent parts of Ravenor's business. He has considerable skill with hacking, data handling and retrieval. Thonius is possessed by the daemon Slyte. He is destroyed as Slyte takes physical form, after trying to take advantage of the daemon possessing him, and use its power to help in Ravenor's work. The fact that Thonius hid the daemon from Ravenor is undoubtably the reason as to why the daemon was able to manifest itself in the material world.[7]
  • Harlon Nayl — An ex-bounty hunter formerly under employment of Inquisitor Eisenhorn. Carries a vast array of weapons. Nayl leads most operations and seems to be one of the most senior team members.
  • Kara Swole — A former dancer-acrobat, trained in the use of deadly weapons. Regularly described as a voluptuous beauty. Formerly under employment of Inquisitor Eisenhorn. Swole's relationship to Ravenor was extraordinary, as Ravenor had feelings for her other than the protectiveness of a team leader and an employer.
  • Patience Kys — A telekinetic psyker with a shady past. Inquisitor Ravenor rescues her from a corrupt orphanage as a young woman and trains her abilities. Patience Kys is not her real name and it is never revealed.
  • Zeph Mathuin — Silent ex-bounty hunter. Ill tempered and heavily armed. Because of an apparent natural affinity he was Ravenor's favourite vessel for waring. Mathuin favoured a multi-barrel rotator cannon. He was killed by a daemon during the events of Ravenor Returned.
  • Wystan Frauka — An 'Untouchable', a man with the latent ability to block out psychic activity. Big, chain-smoking and disliked by pretty much everyone (in part because of his psychic blankness. It was mentioned in Xenos that the field untouchables project also creates a sense of fear, revulsion and dread in others.). An interesting difference to the Eisenhorn novels is Frauka's so-called inhibitor, a device allowing him to shut down his natural anti-psi field. He is often found passing the time by reading pornographic data-slates or staring at the female members of the team.
  • Zael Effernetti — A boy, about 14 years old, addicted to flects when he first appears. In the wake of Ravenor's investigation to uncover the source of the flects, Zael gets taken along for being able to "hear" the telepathic communication between Ravenor and Nayl. He is a psychic "mirror," with no real psychic capabilities of his own. As well as his precognitive abilities, he is able to use the psychic powers of others in his vicinity but not for an extended period of time. He also shared Frauka's attraction to pornography. After Ravenor was apprehended as a Rogue, Zael was eventually handed over to the Grey Knights as a recruit. As with all Grey Knights, Zael's memories were erased and he became the individual named Hyperion.[11a] As a Grey Knight, Hyperion's distinctions include surviving the First War of Armageddon, where he used his considerable abilities to shatter Angron's Black Blade,[11b] and being promoted to the rank of Prognosticar.[11c]
  • Maud Plyton — An ex-Magistrum marshal who during investigation of a suspected suicide stumbles across a secret central to the plans of a world wide conspiracy on the planet Eustis Majoris to recreate a powerful warp based language. She joins Ravenor after she and her family are targeted for assassination. She is noted to having cute facial features that clash with her no nonsense martial appearance.
  • Cynia Preest — Captain of the Hinterlight, a rogue trade ship regularly employed by Ravenor. The Hinterlight is equipped with a custom-built stealth device partly comprised of alien technology, partly powered by Ravenor's own considerable psychic powers.
  • Sholto Unwerth — Captain of the Arethusa, a rogue trade ship that Ravenor employs after leaving the Hinterlight. Develops a controversial relationship with Patience Kys, as seen in Ravenor Rogue.
  • Eldar Allies from multiple Craftworlds including Ulthwe and Alaitoc.[15b]

Other Known Associates