The Deadlands Chronicle
Ordained Order of the Inquisition
Known commonly as simply, “the Inquisition”, this knightly order was ordained by the Church of the Holy Seraph to act as the hand of God in the affairs of mortals.
Origin and Purpose
Though no records survive from the chaotic period immediately following the Profound Disjunction, the Church of the Holy Seraph must have been founded shortly afterward, as its followers took an active hand in reconstruction efforts early on. According to legend, a wandering theologian named Ferdinand was visited one night by an angelic messenger of God who he claimed chose him to herald a new age of peace for mankind. Ferdinand immediately began to accumulate loyal followers who were drawn to his charisma and zeal. Supposedly, Ferdinand possessed the ability to perform miracles, including healing the injured, purifying the sick, and exposing the guilty. He claimed in his sermons that the Profound Disjunction was a divine punishment from God, who cast down the heathen Empire of Kalesh-Tar and sentenced their blasphemous so-called “Godking” to eternal damnation. According to the words of the angelic messenger who appeared to him, God was angered by the widespread use of magic as a means to elevate mortals to deific status, and so revoked that gift from the world.
The Ordained Order of the Inquisition was founded by the church some years later in order to defend the Cathedral of the Holy Seraph and to enforce the doctrine of the Church by destroying all remaining vestiges of magic in the world. Tasked with collecting and sealing-away magical relics, as well as hunting what few magical practitioners yet remain, the Inquisition has become a symbol of the might of God in the world and an inspiration to the faithful.
The Inquisition is a knightly order, comprised primarily of nobility and clergy. Since it is not affiliated with any government, it generally does not take interest in foreign affairs of law enforcement, and usually does not cooperate directly with local leaders. Instead, the members of the Inquisition are commanded by the High Cardinal of the Church of the Holy Seraph (a position currently held by Cardinal Ferdinand III of Valice). Membership in the Order is granted exclusively by invitation, and is generally extended only to noble families of good standing. Initiation of commoners is not unheard-of, but is reserved only for those who demonstrate unsurpassed heroism or faith.
The Order is funded primarily by tithes and its members are not paid. Being a member of the Inquisition is considered to be an honor and a blessing, and since most members are wealthy land-owners in their own right, lack of monetary compensation is generally unnoticed. However, according to church doctrine, it is sinful to deny a crusader of the Inquisition food, lodging, or basic supplies while they are on a mission, allowing members to effectively eliminate their living expenses when performing their duties.
Ranks and Leadership
The highest ranking member of the Inquisition is the High Cardinal, who is the supreme commander of the organization. However, the High Cardinal’s duties are many, and day-to-day operation of the Inquisition is generally delegated to the Arbiters, who enact his will.
Except in matters of dire importance, the Arbiters are rarely called upon to leave the Holy City of Valice. Instead, they assign Ordinators to specific regions, whose responsibility is primarily the organization of local Inquisitors. An Inquisitor is usually deployed alone or in small units, though the exact number varies depending on the needs of the specific mission.
Enemies and Allies
The Inquisition is a branch of the Church of the Holy Seraph, and is therefore closely tied with its goals. Enemies of the Inquisition include all practitioners of the occult and any who would aid them, including the Magewrights of Shai’il or any “prospectors” hired by that organization to collect magical relics and magicite. The Inquisition also strongly disagrees with the Imperial stance of neutrality in regards to religious practices and occult studies within the Empire, especially the Imperator’s worship of Aeons. Because of this, political tension between the Inquisition and and Imperial Legion is high, and rumors have begun to circulate that some within the Order would see the Imperator overthrown and the Empire turned into a theocracy ruled by the High Cardinal and his Arbiters.