The Grundig Affair Edit
The Grundig Affair rocked the Carthax sector in early M42.008. Inquisitor Kor Grundig initiated a schism in the Conclave Venixian, a long standing group of Ordo Hereticus Inquisitors based on the hive world Venix, as a result of his Fratricidian views. His killing of Inquisitor Solomon Stoker was the catalyst for a war within the ranks of the Inquisition whose effects ran far beyond Venix.
The Beginning of the Schism
In M42.005, a number of unprecedented events drew the Conclave Venixian together for an emergency discussion. The outbreak of an unidentified virus that had decimated the Ogryn population on the high-gravity world Varga had whispers of Chaos attached to it, and the inexplicable disappearance of the chartist vessel Honour’s Fortune had caused much public unrest, and impending doom was preached within the temples and churches. With talk of revolt on the feudal world of Graf Quintus already a hot topic within certain circles within the Ordos, every member of the Conclave was requested to share any information they had on all three matters. Unsurprisingly perhaps, there were few who spoke up. One who did was Inquisitor Harkan Somerkin. Standing proud in his old Arbitrator uniform, Somerkin turned to face the chair-elect of the meeting, Inquisitor Solomon Stoker and laid the blame of the Varga plague squarely at his door. Amongst cries of dissent, Somerkin told the Conclave that his agents had tracked a vessel to Varga eight months previously, and that his people had detected dangerous levels of psychic energy from an abandoned settlement. Somerkin’s explanation was the summoning of a daemon that had then laid waste to the population. The meeting had dissolved into a barrage of arguments and counter-arguments, and had ended abruptly with no resolution to the problems they had been called together to debate.
The Assassins of Inner Biersgate
Merely two months after the Conclave, Inquisitor Stoker was dead. On the mining world Echteberr, rumoured to be the base of Stoker’s operations, the inquisitor was gunned down in the workers’ slumtown, Inner Biersgate. In retaliation, Stoker’s agents set fire to the town, killing indiscriminately in the misguided hope that the assassins would be amongst the dead. Somerkin became the focus of their hatred, and on Derun, the sector’s capital world, the Inquisitor was almost caught up in a trap that destroyed the Taian Bridge and 6000 civilian lives. Somerkin’s acolytes became increasingly martial, and began to hunt out Stoker’s agents, and minor battles began flaring across the sector’s worlds. Undoubtedly, these fights interrupted the plans of other inquisitors, and many sent their agents to intervene. The war was spreading across the Inquisition, and four months later, a second member of the Holy Ordos was dead. Inquisitrix Josephine Ducroix was a veteran of one-hundred-and-thirty years of service to the Ordos, and was a prominent member of the Ordo Hereticus. On many occasions she had worked closely with Somerkin, and many saw it as an act of retaliation against him. Stoker it seemed had reached out from the grave and taken his revenge.
The Schism Takes Hold
Both Stoker and Ducroix had been very well respected members of the Conclave Venixian, and had many allies. It was obvious that Stoker’s agents, no matter how numerous, could not have started the war against Somerkin and propagated it for three years. Former allies of Stoker surely had to have taken it upon themselves to take revenge for him. The murder of Ducroix had drawn many inquisitors into the fight, all eager to hunt out her killers. There were many old disagreements that had festered for years that had suddenly been reignited as inquisitors of opposing philosophies decided to use the conflict around them as cover to eliminate their old foes. The Inquisition was at war with itself, and all the while their work went undone. On Graf Quintus, the dissident merchants that had threatened revolt for so long had declared themselves independent of the King and Governor. Mutants on Seria Beta had rebelled against their captors and formed a sizeable liberation army. On Altisan, a sectarian war was brewing between the supporters of a new movement preaching self-mortification and the followers of the “old” Creed. Xenos raids are on the increase in the Varleki Archepelago. The sector was on the brink of collapse, and it was only then that the Inquisition began to realise the error of its ways. A few, enlightened individuals began to concentrate on exposing the propagators of the violence and find out who was behind the killing of Stoker in the hope that the madness would stop.
After an initial investigation period, the number of suspects narrowed to six. The six were all well-known members of the Conclave Venixian. The following report came from the personal files of Inquisitor Lex West:
Inquisitor Harkan Somerkin: Possibly the most obvious suspect. Somerkin is a former Arbitrator, and is known as a man to be taken seriously. His persecution of witch-cults is near-legendary, and he has many cells of operatives across the sector. His views are regarded as Amalathian and he is one of the most respected members of the Ordo Hereticus in the sector. His outburst against Stoker demonised him with some, but many were reluctant to think he would speak out without strong evidence, and the respect he had gained over the years held him in good stead. He has been seen little since the Taian Bridge incident, and is rumoured to be laying low on Altisan.
Inquisitrix Terra Segund-Icas: The daughter of one of the most wealthy conglomerate owners on Derun, Terra was disowned by her family after psychic powers blossomed in her as she neared her twelfth birthday. Her ensuing trip aboard a Black Ship brought her into the embrace of the Imperial Creed and she counts her visit to Terra as the first of three pilgrimages to the seat of the Emperor.
Segund-Icas believes that the future of mankind lies with psykers as only they have the force of will to affect the warp; the biggest threat to humanity in her eyes. Her views are considered Recongregationist in nature by some, but she is undoubtedly dedicated to the Imperial creed. Her dislike of Inquisitrix Josephine Ducroix was well known amongst the Conclave Venixian after Ducroix had launched a venomous attack on her for her petty use of Telekinesis at the Conclave of 998.M41.
Inquisitor Kor Grundig: Raised by a tribe of headhunters on Solonius, Grundig has known warfare and violence since he was a child. He was nearing his 70th year before he was ordained as an Inquisitor in his own right, and in the few years since then has initiated many bloody pogroms at the slightest rumour of heresy. The recent raising of an Imperial Guard regiment on Derun was rumoured to have been initiated by Grundig, and there are many within the Inquisition that say he is ready to begin a crusade into the Ork-held system, Ivar.
Grundig is regarded as an upstart who has let his new power go to his head. Undoubtedly brave, but quick to anger, he has been branded an Istvaanian, and is not a popular figure amongst his fellow inquisitors. Who is to say that the deaths of Stoker and Ducroix were not part of one of his purges?
Inquisitor Donovan Prius: A resurrectionist since birth, Prius served as a confessor on Derun for two decades before being seconded to an inquisitorial investigation by Solomon Stoker. Prius worked with Stoker for twenty-five years before being elevated to the rank of inquisitor himself, and undertook many co-investigations with his mentor. However, their paths went different ways around two years before Stoker’s death, and it is rumoured that Prius had objected to some of Stoker’s methods. Prius therefore lies between both camps – it is possible that he may have killed Stoker after discovering some unsavoury truth, or he may have taken revenge on Ducroix for his mentor’s death. Unravelling his story will aid the investigation either way.
Inquisitor Rajkaran Minhas: Zealot, murderer and psychopath are just some of the names Minhas has acquired over the last thirty years. Minhas is a strict adherent to the Goldoan philosophy, and sees heresy in every man, woman and child. A one-time priest of the Red Redemption Minhas came to be inducted to the Inquisition many sectors away, and since then has administered countless purges as he seeks to rid the Imperium of the cancer within. The Carthax Sector is simply the latest part of the Imperium that lies in his bloody path. Minhas arrived in the Carthax sector five years ago at the head of his own Redemptionist Crusade, and immediately set about purging the outlying systems of sin. His hatred of mutants saw him attempt to depose the Governor of Seria Beta for letting them live under his rule, but Inquisitor Somerkin vetoed his move, forcibly defending the Governor’s palaces from Minhas’s militia. Minhas has never forgiven Somerkin for that insult, and it is entirely possible that he took it upon himself to kill Ducroix in revenge. That said, the merest hint of heresy in one of his fellow inquisitors would surely have sent Minhas to hunt down Stoker, would it not?
Inquisitor Baliol Hurd: A one-time card-shark in the depths of Hive Luriel on Derun, Hurd’s rise to the position of an inquisitor of the Emperor’s Holy Ordos has been nothing short of incredible. Allegedly, Hurd came to be an agent of the Inquisition after losing a game of cards to Inquisitor Stoker. Hurd had provided the link with the underworld that Stoker had needed in order to recover a number of archeotech items. For whatever reason, Hurd had stuck with Stoker and after forty years of service, Stoker decided that the former card-playing scummer was ready to serve the Imperium as an Inquisitor. Since then, Hurd has continued to seek out archeotech in the dark places of Derun’s underhive, working closely with the Adeptus Mechanicus.
It is the very reason why Stoker employed him that he has fallen under suspicion again. Hurd has innumerable contacts within nearly every community in the sector. If any man could initiate a rebellion, or provide footsoldiers for a private war, or hire a couple of hit men in a slum on Echteberr, it would be Hurd. Did he have some long lasting grudge against Stoker? Just what were the terms of the contract he entered into when he lost that card game all those years ago?
The Final Reckoning Edit
Through months of investigation a number of Inquisitors came to eliminate many of the most likely suspects until it was clear that Kor Grundig was behind the murder of Inquisitor Stoker and the following war. He was cornered in the depths of Sol Hive on Venix along with a number of his associates within the Inquisition and was seemingly brought to justice by the blade of Inquisitor Jakart. Some months later he reappeared on Fina, leaving it clear a double had been assassinated in Sol Hive.
The Inquisitor who goes by the alias 'Red Queen' was one of a number of members of the Holy Ordos drawn into The Grundig Affair by the machinations of the infamous Istvaanian, Inquisitor Kor Grundig. During one of the early confrontations, a figure believed to be 'Red Queen' was eviscerated by a foul mutant in the employ of one of his rivals. Since then, the activities of Red Queen have continued across the sector, and it must be concluded that the figure who was killed was an agent of the Inquisitor.
During the Grundig Affair Necris was reported to have used excessive force when dealing with civilians, after suffering a betrayal at the hands of Inquisitor Nemesov he dedicated his time in both pursuing Nemesov to bring him to justice, Nemesov however escape after setting off a reactor meltdown which prevented Necris from pursuing him. Red Queen also came into conflict with Necris on several occasions during this affair.
Real World Notes Edit
The Schism of the Conclave Venixian was the Spring 2008 Inquisitor event run by members of the Conclave forums. It was a one day event run at Warhammer World in March 2008 by Ruaridh "Van Helser" Dall, Euan "Heroka Vendile" Forrest and Eoin "Magos Exarratus" Ravensdale