The Inquisition moves amongst mankind like an avenging shadow, striking down the enemies of humanity with uncompromising ruthlessness. When he finally corners an old foe, Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn is drawn into a sinister conspiracy. As events unfold and he gathers allies - and enemies - Eisenhorn faces a vast interstellar cabal and the dark power of daemons, all racing to recover an arcane text of abominable power: an ancient tome known as the Necroteuch.
Part One: Hubris
240.M41: After years of pursuit, Gregor Eisenhorn has finally run Murdin Eyclone to ground on Hubris, inside the enormous cryonic vaults where the majority of the planet's elites spend the nine-month winter season. Eyclone manages to kill Eisenhorn's retainer, Lores Vibben, but Eisenhorn corners him in one of the vaults and shoots him dead with Vibben's pistol, though not before Eyclone has triggered a systemic failure of several hundred stasis cells, killing their inhabitants.
Eisenhorn is placed under arrest by the planet's regency government, accusing him of driving Eyclone to Hubris, but he archly informs them that Eyclone arrived on Hubris well ahead of Eisenhorn, and his sabotage of the cryonic cells was no spur-of-the-moment act of spite, but planned in advance. Both pieces of evidence clearly indicate that Eyclone had some higher purpose in coming to Hubris, and it is essential that Eisenhorn discover what that was. The acting governor relents, but insists on Arbites Chastener Fischig accompanying Eisenhorn.
Eyclone's trail takes them to a local tenement block, where they find the last of his hired thugs amusing themselves with a "pleasure girl", who grabs a dropped gun and shoots one of them with it in the ensuing firefight, fancying herself to have saved Eisenhorn's life. Eisenhorn is surprised to realize that the girl, Alizebeth Bequin, is a pariah, an incredibly rare variant of humans that have no psychic imprint, and nullify psychic attacks. Eisenhorn asks her to join his retinue.
Eyclone's communications logs reveal that he was planning on stowing away on a ship bound for Gudrun, the sector capital, and contain cryptic references to "the Pontius." Eisenhorn's savant, Uber Aemos, rattles off a list of people and places with that name, but one seems too much of a coincidence: Pontius Glaw, one of the sector's most infamous heretics, though he has been dead for centuries, and his family, House Glaw, is still one of the most prominent aristocratic houses on Gudrun.
Part Two: Gudrun
Eisenhorn and his retinue, still accompanied by Fischig, travel from Hubris to Gudrun aboard the Essene, captained by Tobius Maxilla. Upon reaching Gudrun, the Essene was inspected by Naval team, which attempted to kill Eisenhorn. [2a] Managing to find Tanokbrey, the Rogue Trader who had transported Eyclone, Eisenhorn attempted to capture him, but Tankobrey was killed during the chase. [2b] That night, Eisenhorn was ambushed by Commodus Voke, another inquisitor who had been investigating House Glaw. The two inquisitors ultimately agreed to work together, with Eisenhorn infiltrating the House accompanied by Voke's interrogator Heldane. [2c]
Disguising himself as a grain merchant named Farchaval, Eisenhorn and his team infiltrated House Glaw under guise of a trade deal. [2c] Sneaking around at night, Eisenhorn discovered the Pontius, seemingly an oversized uncut gemstone, but was captured immediately afterwards. Eisenhorn was tortured and interrogated, with the damage caused to his face making him physically unable to smile. The entire group was imprisoned by House Glaw, except for Betancore. Still badly injured, Eisenhorn and his team were forced into a pit fight against several carnodon Heldane was badly wounded, but Eisenhorn managed to release a carnodon into the crowd, causing a distraction, before the group was rescued by Inquisitorial forces under Voke who were alerted of the group's plight by Betancore. House Glaw was entirely destroyed in the aftermath, but the leaders managed to escape off-world. [2d]
Part Three: The Necroteuch
- Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, Ordo Xenos
- Inquisitor Commodus Voke
- Inquisitor Titus Endor
- Inquisitor Konrad Molitor
- Inquisitor Lord Plebas Alessandro Rorken
- In Chapter Seventeen, while discussing the lack of symmetry displayed by the saruthi species, Aemos makes reference to the tyranids, stating "All species - even the most obscene kinds like the tyranid - have some order of it."[2e] However, although tyranids had been encountered by the Imperium over the millennia, they were not formally classified under the name "tyranid" until after the destruction of the planet Tyran in 745.M41, well after the events of this novel take place.
- 1: Black Library (last accessed December 20 2018)
- 2: Xenos (Novel):
- 3: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 8