Author Topic: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background  (Read 5990 times)

Offline Dexter

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Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« on: August 11, 2010, 06:24:20 PM »
Hello all, I'm new here and am happy to find a place with such a wealth of knowledge on the Inquisitor fluff.
I am creating a cast of characters for a webcomic, that will focus on a Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, and I wanted to do a check with you guys to make sure it all makes sense.
My Inquisitor is named Andreas Grundvigg, a former Commissar in the Imperial Guard.  While serving in the Guard, the unit he was attached to was fighting a war against a planetary PDF that had rebelled.  During the final push towards the planetary capital, the tide turned against them when it became apparent that the planet's population was in the grip of Chaos, and the Guard were slaughtered by hordes of mutants and spawn.  Grundvigg was the last man standing, fighting to death against the Chaos army, when an Ordo Malleus force swept in and decimated the cultists.  Grundvigg was inducted into the Inquisitor Lord's retinue for showing bravery in the face of Chaos.  It was during his initial training as an Acolyte that it is revealed that his psychic rating is Chi according to The Assignment, which would explain his resistance to the forces of Chaos, as well as the general aura of fear that he inspired as a Commissar.
Upon being elevated to the rank of full Inquisitor, Grundvigg's own philosophy was in line with the Solarian sect of the Instaanvian faction.  As a Commissar he saw that men rise to their finest while fighting the enemies of the Imperium, and believes that by constantly hunting and fighting the enemies of mankind, one can distinguish themselves in the eyes of the Emperor.  Those that showed weakness in the face of the enemy were, of course, executed by Grundvigg, which fueled his contempt for those too weak to stand against the foe.  He is, however, in no way a Radical.  The Inquisitor Lord he served under was a staunch Monodominant, and those ideals have had a profound impact on his own methods. 
Grundvigg believes that one should use the best weapons available to fight the enemies of the Imperium.  To this end, he uses a master-crafted bolt pistol and carries an ample supply of Psycannon bolts in addition to the standard bolter ammunition.  His gun was created by the weapon masters on Mars.  Later in his career, he loses his right arm, and has a highly advanced bionic arm created for him by a Tech Magos, which greatly increases his strength, but not to the levels of a power fist.  The close ties he maintained with the Mechanicum throughout his career is what earned him the honor of having such a masterwork of bionics gifted to him.  In addition to his wargear, Grundvigg also considers his body itself to be his most powerful weapon, and keeps himself in peak physical condition.  He abstains from alcohol and narcotics, keeps his mind sharp by reading tactical and philosophical works by great generals, and is an extremely talented pugilist. 
I am toying with the idea of giving Grundvigg a greater understanding of the role of the Emperor, perhaps even introducing a bit of Imperial Truth into his personal dogma.  He would believe that the Emperor had not been a god all along, but that the devotion of the followers of the Lectitio Divinitatus following his sacrifice is what really elevated him to godhood.  Though he is not in favor of removing religion from Imperial society, he does have an innate dislike for the Ecclesiarchy, feeling that they waste too much time preaching and don't spend enough time fighting.  This philosophy leads him to approach problems with a cold, logical determination.

What do you all think?  Does this work in terms of fluff?  I still have supporting characters to get to, but I'd like to see reactions to this first to make sure it's solid before I start writing their back stories here.
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2010, 06:57:01 PM »
Picking out problems - No Commissar would ever believe that the Emperor is not a god, not while in the Commissariat. Afterwards, maybe. But if you mean while he was a Commissar, he was  an Atheist of sorts, no. Also, how does he come across the Imperial Truth? Thats a major heresy now - the only holders are hidden libraries of ancient knowledge, and a few Chapters.

All Commissars come from the Schola, where extensive testing for psychic ability, bluntness, and any other mutation is standard. However, exposure to Chaos can trigger or create properties that were either hidden or not there.

Other than that, he seems pretty good. I like the mention of him being a pugilist - I imagine him having a flat boxer's nose, reshaped cheeks from punches, giving him a harsh and tough look.
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Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2010, 07:32:11 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  The bit about the Schola screening for psychic ability is especially helpful, since that's just a quick change to make.  

I see what you mean about the Imperial Truth.  I have an idea for him to come across someone that had been alive when the Imperial Truth was being preached, and this individual is sort of the deepest darkest secret of the Ordo Malleus.  I have to wait and see how the Horus Heresy novel series pans out though, to see if this character will still be alive at the end.  It'll be a stretch, sure, but I think it would be fun.  My thoughts on his "religion" is that he had the standard reverence of the Emperor while serving as a Commissar, and it was only after his induction into the Inquisition that he learned about how twisted the Ecclesiarchy can be, the events of the Horus Heresy, and the dogmatic views of some of the Space Marine chapters, which do not revere the Emperor as a god, but rather as the pinnacle of humanity.  

I'm also fond of the bit about him being a pugilist.  Naturally a Commissar needs to know how to throw a good punch, for offenses that don't warrant a bolt to the skull.  When he receives his bionic arm, obviously he becomes a real terror in close combat, as he is able to burst heads with a right hook.  Here is an early developmental sketch of him:



I've made some changes to him since then.  His bolt pistol is more in line with what an actual 40k bolt pistol looks like, although it is still a revolver.  I've made a few changes to the arm, bulking out the forearm a bit.  I wanted it to look distinct, not like the skeletal bionic arms that you see in Imperial Guard kits, and not over sized like a powerfist, but something in between, so that it looks like a powerfist-like device had been built over one of those skeletal bionics.  Like I said, I have a more up-to-date sketch, I just need to scan it, which I will do later.
And for those of you that are going to ask "why in hell does this former Commissar have a beard?  And what's with the hair?  He should have a shaved head!"  Shortly into his career as an Acolyte he realized that his career as a Commissar is behind him, and he no longer had to adhere to the strict grooming regulations of the Imperial Guard.  Now he's in a different kind of army, and he gets to enjoy certain privileges.
Also I'm thinking about making him a frequent patron of brothels.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2010, 07:35:50 PM by Dexter »
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2010, 08:02:19 PM »
I am creating a cast of characters for a webcomic
Just so happens that I've finally started drawing a "webcomic" myself to go in the fiction section here. I've not got anything like the artistic talent you seem to have - but that's half the reason I'm doing it. I've seen enough webcomics where an artist goes from pretty poor to pretty awesome over time as a result of all the practice, and that's what I'm hoping to cash in on.

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Grundvigg was inducted into the Inquisitor Lord's retinue for showing bravery in the face of Chaos.
You might need to work on this one. You could just as easily write: "And the Inquisitor Lord executed him on the spot to avoid any possibility of the taint of Chaos"

And indeed, as his master is supposed to have been a Monodominant (not normally noted for their restraint), that's a pretty likely outcome. When "single survivors from a fight with Chaos" are involved, you usually have to explain why they weren't executed rather than them getting an automatic "promotion".

Also, bear in mind, single survivors from any massive fight are a huge cliché.

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It was during his initial training as an Acolyte that it is revealed that his psychic rating is Chi according to The Assignment, which would explain his resistance to the forces of Chaos, as well as the general aura of fear that he inspired as a Commissar.
Negative psionic levels inspire dislike, distrust and disrespect in those around them... not fear. It usually hinders leadership, not aids it.

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He is, however, in no way a Radical.
Well, this depends on how exactly you define "Radical".

Normally, Puritan and Radical are defined by whether or not your beliefs fit within Imperial sanctioned views or not. In this case, Istvaanianism is automatically radical.

I personally go by a slightly wider definition. Whether or not what you DO is sanctioned by the Imperium.
That is, a Thorian (while nominally a Puritan) would be considered Radical if they had a daemonhost (which more than a few do, as the study of this may be useful to them).
However, in the same way that I have different views on what it is, the Puritan/Radical divide is very much in the eyes of the beholder. To use an example Kaled brought up, Eisenhorn was called Radical in the novels for using cover identities and such like - when most would have simply considered he was a pretty moderate (and Puritan) Amalathian at that point.

For this reason, a better wording to use is that he's a "moderate" Istvaanian. That is, he holds radical views, but he

A good topic to read on the matter would be this: http://www.the-conclave.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=592.0

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Grundvigg believes that one should use the best weapons available to fight the enemies of the Imperium.  To this end, he uses a master-crafted bolt pistol and carries an ample supply of Psycannon bolts in addition to the standard bolter ammunition.
So I'm guessing he's not exactly big on subtlety? Bolt weapons are big. They're hard to conceal. And seeing someone carrying one would immediately give them away as either an important Imperial servant or a very lucky criminal.

Obviously, in a fiction, you haven't got the concerns of the weapon overpowering the game, but it is still worth thinking about such things.
Also, even an Inquisitor would have to work to get hold of Bolt rounds in many places. Usually, when I write characters with bolt weapons, they're usually pretty short of ammunition. Just a thought.

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Also I'm thinking about making him a frequent patron of brothels.
Most Inquisitors would probably see that as an unnecessary risk/weakness... still, that kind of thing helps makes characters interesting, so go for it.

~~~~~

Also, looking at that picture, I'm getting a very "Hellboy" vibe. Huge revolver, right hand of super strength death... intentional, or not?
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Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 09:18:58 PM »
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Just so happens that I've finally started drawing a "webcomic" myself to go in the fiction section here.
Very cool.  I'd like it if we could bounce ideas off each other.  I'm a pretty talented artist, and make my living as a painter.  This will be the first project I've done with a comic book theme, so my learning curve will be mastering the anatomy of figures in really dynamic poses, and drawing the settings and equipment of the 40k universe from various points of perspective.
What I am not, however, is a writer.  I'm a clever guy and come up with really cool ideas, but I have been running into snags with my general outline of this comic, where I have trouble lacing the ideas together into a flowing plot that is convincing and easy to follow.  I'll probably take to posting a lot of storyboards up on deviantart or something to get feedback.

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Also, bear in mind, single survivors from any massive fight are a huge cliché.
Good point, I'll figure something out there.  Something along the lines of there being plenty of survivors, but Grundvigg being the only one who stood his ground.  I won't depict him standing atop a mountain of slain enemies, fighting them off as the city burns in the background, but perhaps he is able to get to a heavy weapon position that had been abandoned, and held off the enemy long enough for the Inquisitor Lord to see.
The bit about Monodominants being predisposed to killing and not saving is an interesting snag.  I was thinking something along the lines of the Inquisitor Lord seeing him resist an attack from an enemy rogue psyker which peaked his interest, and upon seeing he survived, decided he would be a valuable asset for fighting Chaos.

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Negative psionic levels inspire dislike, distrust and disrespect in those around them... not fear.
I had read this on the Lexicanum:
"Those at an Omega level of psi-negativity can easily be distinguished by others, as Imperial science has shown the dead-area surrounding the subject interferes with natural electrical-mental functions. This often results in irrational fear and loathing of the individual for normal humans."
Clearly he isn't Omega, but I figured his negative psychic levels would inspire less severe versions of those effects.  Some psykers have their abilities manifest in specific ways, such as the Pyromancers of Necromunda (has GW retconned them out of existence yet?).  I just wanted Grundvigg's to manifest as an aura of fear, that can intensify as he focuses his attention on you.

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Well, this depends on how exactly you define "Radical".
I guess my definition of "Racidal" is their willingness to employ methods that don't fit into Imperial sanctioned views.  So, daemonhosts, Chaos weapons, xenos technology, that sort of thing.  Grundvigg firmly believes that Chaos cannot be defeated by directing it against itself, and feels that doing so just feeds it.
His position as a Solarian Istvaanian is, in my opinion, a fairly moderate standpoint.  He is not one of the Istvaanians that will create conflict between Imperial factions, but believes that leading the Imperial forces to war is the best way to better mankind in all aspects.

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So I'm guessing he's not exactly big on subtlety?
Not at all.  He is extremely direct when dealing with investigations.  While he does not always flaunt his Inquisitor status, he does use his large physique and negative psychic aura to intimidate people into complying with his wishes.  After losing his arm and gaining the bionics, he abandons all notion of discretion when in the field.

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Obviously, in a fiction, you haven't got the concerns of the weapon overpowering the game, but it is still worth thinking about such things.
The lack of ammo is definitely something that I want to touch upon.  I have no intention of drawing his as some Rob Liefeld-spawned nightmare with ammo pouches covering his body.  He won't be much of a gunslinger in the comic.  In combat he will prefer to get in close and beat the snot out of his enemies with his bare (well, one of them is metal) hands.  The shooting role will be taken on by a small squad of Inquisitorial storm troopers.  When it comes to using his gun, his Commissar roots will show.  I am imagining scenes where cult leaders are tied up in front of a local populace, and Grundvigg shoots them dead, execution-style, in a fantastic show of gore to set an example. 

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Also, looking at that picture, I'm getting a very "Hellboy" vibe. Huge revolver, right hand of super strength death... intentional, or not?
I honestly can't remember where the idea for his bionic arm came from, but I can say for sure the revolver was not Hellboy-inspired.  I actually got the initial idea when I was playing Borderlands, and having tons of fun blasting the heads off people with my revolvers.  I wanted to translate that to 40k, so there you go. 
Now that you make the Hellboy comparison I'm kicking myself a little bit.  I'll have to do what I can to make the similarities end there.  I was considering having him still wear his Commissar greatcoat, and hope that won't tip things too far.  At least he isn't red.
The sad thing is Ron Pearlman actually looks a little bit like what I have in mind for his face.
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Offline Molotov

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 11:11:35 PM »
Welcome to the Conclave! Your art really is very nice, and a comic from you would be a sight to see!

I think that a Commissar would be a powerful force for an Inquisitor to have in his retinue anyway. Having been raised in the Scholam (and there was fluff at one stage that many Commissars were ex-Storm Troopers) he would be a highly disciplined, exceptionally faithful combatant. He would have an in-depth knowledge of the Imperial War Machine, and likely an insight into the mind of the Imperial Guardsman. Probably a good judge of character, able to inspire acts of bravery, lead by example, and yet strong enough to administer the punishments that are harsh, but necessary? They would likely be an asset.

This is 'grimdark', after all, where faith in the Emperor can be as much a weapon as a bolter - especially in the service of the Ordo Malleus.

I would say that the idea of the "single survivor" is cliché. It's entirely possible for Grundvigg to be one of many survivors, but perhaps the only one that wasn't executed. This is grimdark - the heroes of the Imperium are exceptionally driven men and women, able to make those harsh decisions and take the consequences. Men must die so that Man can survive!

It's possible that Grundvigg's experiences would help shape him in his career - the knowledge that many good men died whilst he did not. Did they die unnecessarily, or is the daemonic such a threat that extraordinary measures must be taken? Could it perhaps plant that tiny seed that would lead to him taking a different path to his master? His experiences could be the cornerstone of his philosophies.

I'd say that the idea of the Imperial truth is really unnecessary - it does seem that you've got the basics of a strong and compelling character - I don't think you need to weigh him down with baggage that would detract from the narrative of your story. Whatever the Emperor (and the Imperium) may have been ten thousand years previous, it is a very different beast now, and I think tracing the journey of Grundvigg is far better than trying to launch into something else.

If you're interested in help, there are many here and elsewhere who'd be willing to do so (Me for one!)

I look forward to seeing the progression of your concepts - if your art is anything to go by, it would be a real treat for 40k fans. :)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 01:40:58 AM by Molotov »
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Offline MarcoSkoll

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 01:23:21 AM »
Very cool.  I'd like it if we could bounce ideas off each other.
Sure - If there's any way I can help, feel free to ask.

I, like quite a few others around here, would love to see a more serious 40k webcomic. I'd say most webcomics based around 40k are either humour based - which is fine - and/or run roughshod with the background - which... well, it's their comic, I suppose.
So it would be nice to see a more "realistic" take on things, particularly from the perspective of the Inquisition.

But, do bear in mind, I'm personally of the school of thought that thinks things* can be too "dark and edgy", so don't feel that humour is outright banned. After all, while the game has got "darker and edgier" over time, a tongue-in-cheek vibe still exists. Not as much as when I got into the hobby about a decade ago, but it is still there.
Part of the reason I like it on these forums is because people remember that 40k doesn't have to be "Grimdark" all the time.

*Four words starting with "TH" in a row. Not that that's important.

Anyway, as far as what I'll be doing, I'm still fairly sure I've gone mad - given the length and intricacies of the story I've chosen to illustrate, it's going to be quite a bit of work for an amateur such as myself. But if I'm not pushing myself...

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Good point, I'll figure something out there.  Something along the lines of there being plenty of survivors, but Grundvigg being the only one who stood his ground.
That's a definite improvement. Not to say sole survivors can't exist, but there should be more explanation than "they were just really badass", which is overdone.

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I had read this on the Lexicanum
Well, yes - when you get to Omega level (or worse, Omega-Minus, like in the Culexus temple), then it can manifest as fear, but we're talking about things that appear to be aberrations of nature.

Still, that's not to say an intelligent and crafty Commissar couldn't use the natural dislike and distrust others have to their advantage.
I guess "fear" isn't a completely unreasonable end result - the concept that psi-negativity might manifest in slightly different ways has I suppose a bit of a precedent in the varied ways psychic talents arise.

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I guess my definition of "Radical" is their willingness to employ methods that don't fit into Imperial sanctioned views.
Fair enough. That's loosely the same as I tend to think of it, but many people have different ideas - so I'm usually cautious whenever someone says that a character "isn't a Radical". As one common misconception is that Radical means "almost evil" (possibly without the almost), it's very easy to misinterpret what people actually mean by that statement.

So, no, by my yardstick, he's probably not radical - but that doesn't necessarily mean that characters within the story would agree with me.

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Now that you make the Hellboy comparison I'm kicking myself a little bit.
Sorry. :P

If you've changed the bolt pistol from what it is in that particular drawing (as you've suggested you have), then the similarities should be less so. It's really that which got me thinking of Hellboy in the first place, so with that being different, everything should be gravy*.

*Oh, bloody hell. I've started talking like my characters.
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Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 03:45:21 AM »
Just a quick thanks to Molotov.  I've been following INQ28 for a little while now and it inspired me to work on 28mm models of my characters here in my free time.  I'll upload pictures when I have pictures to upload.  And in the proper forum section, of course...

The comic is definitely going to have it's moments of comedy.  I don't want it to be so dark and gritty that reading it is actually mentally draining on you.  There will be moments of humor, and lots of inside jokes.  I am going to have it begin around 600M41, leaving a few interesting bits to work with.  I'm considering having Grundvigg encounter a Squat and getting into an argument with him, saying he hopes that he hopes his entire race gets eaten by a swarm of alien bugs.  The majority of the conflicts in the comic will be conflicts of personalities, with the main plot, the hunting of a Tzeentch cell by Grundvigg, more of a plot motivator than the focus.  I hope this will keep things from getting too heavy, and provide me plenty of opportunities to insert plenty of lighter moments.

Now, here's a quick rundown of some of the supporting characters:

Micah Trejo
The Inquisitor Lord that intervened in the battle that would have seen Grundvigg dead, and subsequently trained him as his Acolyte, eventually raising him to the full status of Inquisitor.  I'm not too interested in spending a lot of time on his time as an Acolyte, since I hate it when plots take too long to really get rolling.  I'll spend a few pages showing Trejo teaching Grundvigg, and probably do it montage-style.  After Grundvigg gets promoted to Inquisitor, he'll pretty much fade away.

Izri Amalasand
Tech Magos of the Mechanicum, specializing in weapons.  What would the term for that be?  Magos Weaponis?  The Magos' always have pseudo-Latin surnames denoting their specialties.  Anyways...
Izri is a supporting character that is not part of Grundvigg's warband, but has frequent run-ins with him and they maintain a strong relationship.  Not sure I can say friendship, since the Magos don't seem to be the type to do emotional crap like keep friends.  He builds Grundvigg's bolt pistol, and later works with several other Tech Priests to build his bionic arm.  Like every other Magos, he is hunting for any remnants of a STC, and believes that a printout may be in the possession of a Chaos cult.

Erik Morkai.
Yeah, that Erik Morkai.  During an early stage of his hunt for the leaders of a Tzeentch cult, Grundvigg and his retinue fight a small battle alongside a detachment of Space Wolves, against a small coven of Rubric Marines led by a Thousand Sons sorcerer, and hundreds of mutated cultists (deja vu?).  Erik Morkai, at this point in time, had been relieved of his rank as a Grey Hunter and moved to the scout company, due to his highly individualistic, headstrong and cunning nature.  After the battle, Grundvigg manages to speak directly to the Wolf Lord (or perhaps Logan Grimnar himself), and requests the aid of a single Space Wolf in his hunt for the sorcerer, seeking to appeal to their ancient hatred of Magnus the Red.  More as a punishment on Erik than a favor for Grundvigg, Erik is assigned to accompany Grundvigg to seek out and destroy the roots of the cult.  Erik will be a bit of a bully to Grimnar at first, and find a fair deal of enjoyment in intimidating him.  Grundvigg is a big man, but he's no Space Wolf.  Grundvigg will eventually earn a bit of respect from Erik when he reveals that he has read all of Leman Russ' works, viewing him as one of the greatest tactical minds of the Great Crusade.  Later, Grundvigg will finally snap at Erik's taunts, and put him in his place.  Erik will act with a great deal of loyalty and respect after Grundvigg had "finally started to act like an Inquisitor".
I picked Erik Morkai for this because in the Space Wolf Codex, he is described as a Wolf Lord who makes use of plenty of Wolf Scouts in his company.  I wanted to illustrate his own history as a scout to provide a base for this.  He will also be the ONLY character not of my own creation that will appear as a regular character, and not as a cameo.

Antoni Jesaiah Moretti
This guy is going to be the token thorn in Grundvigg's side.  He is of the Ordo Hereticus, although I have not decided which faction yet.  Since Grundvigg is sort of a "puritanical radical", I think it would be fun to have Moretti be a "radical puritan".  Admittedly I have not read the Thorian sourcebook, and the Amalathian sourcebook is still a WIP, so I'm at a bit of a loss for how to categorize him.  I could make him a Monodominant who is so zealous that he believes everyone whose goals are not directly parallel to his own is a heretic.
Moretti runs into Grundvigg during his hunt for the cult leadership, and is actually on the trail of the same cult.  However, Moretti falsely believes the cult is not associated with Chaos, but instead simply an anti-Imperial Creed movement.  Or, if I cast him as a Thorian, he could believe the cult is actually worshiping an avatar of the Emperor, and seeks to find the leadership of the cult to bring the "avatar" into the Imperial fold.
Either way, Moretti believes that he has jurisdiction over the hunt for the cult, and constantly accuses Grundvigg of heresy and obstruction of Inquisition work, while simultaneously riding his coattails and attempting to step on Grundvigg's toes to compensate for his inferior investigative skills.  
Moretti will essentially be a douchebag of the 41st millennium.  He will think very highly of himself, cast blame of his failures on the incompetence of others, and maintain a very flashy appearance.  Whereas Grundvigg's retinue will be very militaristic and trained, Moretti's will be much more along the lines of a Redemptionist gang.  Preachers, Dialogus', Confessors, Repentia (which he will probably force himself on as a means of "penance"), and zealous acolytes will serve in his retinue, making its colorful, undisciplined nature a stark contrast to Grundvigg's band of professional soldiers.
I don't want him to be pure comic relief, or to be a blundering fool, but I definitely want to portray him as someone much less intelligent than Grundvigg, without strict military training, who achieves his goals mostly by causing lots of noise and flaunting his status, expecting the galaxy to bow down to his every whim.

That's enough to discuss for now.  I have some info on villians, and the overall plot arc itself, but we'll get to that when the main characters are out of the way.  So far all the feedback I've been given has been really
helpful.  It's great to be at a forum where people know their stuff and are willing to help :)

Edit:
Here is an updated concept of Grundvigg.



The shape of everything is where I want it.  However, I am going to simplify the detail of the armor a great deal.  Not only is it way too jumbled for me to draw hundreds of times from different angles, but also I feel like it looks too much like it was built by the Tau.  I feel that if I remove most of the surface detail, and leave it as simple armored plates over fatigues, it will look a lot more Imperial. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 04:45:11 AM by Dexter »
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Offline Molotov

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 08:13:00 AM »
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Just a quick thanks to Molotov.  I've been following INQ28 for a little while now and it inspired me to work on 28mm models of my characters here in my free time.  I'll upload pictures when I have pictures to upload.  And in the proper forum section, of course...

I'm looking forward to it! I'm always keen to see new INQ28, and if your miniatures are anything like your artwork, they should be really very good!I am working on a new INQ28 website slowly, so hopefullly I'll have something new to show soon.

I think comedy does have its place within 40k, and if done well it can enhance the work. I suppose my personal stance is that such comedy should enhance the setting, rather than trying to alleviate it. I don't believe that 40k should be draining, but 'grimdark' is the defining feature of the universe. The shades of grey, the idea that mankind is on the brink... these are all themes that the Inquisition exemplifies. It's one of the reasons that the Inquisition is so interesting to most 40k players.

I'd suggest that a montage of Grundvigg's early life might not be the best beginning for your story. It would be far better to start in media res and go back to his early life, if necessary. Some of Grundvigg's early life won't be necessary for the reader. Indeed, giving him an air of mystery, getting the reader hooked and wondering what happened to him for him to turn out this way - that's really what I think you should be aiming for. Narratively, it makes your work a little stronger too, I think.

I don't have any problem with Morkai joining the Inquisitor on his operations - I do think Moretti needs some work, though.

I'd echo what you said about about making his armour less busy and slightly more Imperial.

I'd add a bit more but SWMBO is arriving imminently! I'll be back later. :)
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INQ28, done properly, is at least the equal of its big brother - and Mol is one of the expert proponents of "done properly".
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Offline DapperAnarchist

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 01:41:50 PM »
Morretti sounds gloriously unpleasant as a character... if you haven't read Daemonifuge, do, there are some very dislikable Inquisitors there...

I'd suggest, for parts for Grundvigg, look at Halo minis - they have a similar armored look to the Bionic you've drawn. There are 54mm~ (more like 58-60, but whatever) action figures, and 25-28mm HaloClix (or there used to be, at least...).
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Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 04:01:39 AM »
Agreed that Moretti needs some work.  I think with a better understanding of the puritanical factions I could give him the character depth of Grundvigg without making him into a class clown.

Another character I forgot to put in is a Culexus assassin, that will appear during the final act.  His mission will be to kill the Tzeentch sorcerer, and his coven of rogue psykers.  
An idea I had for this guy, and all Culexus in general.  I haven't been able to find much info on them in the fluff, but I did read that they are essentially soulless.  I feel like this is a great ticket to providing these guys, who are essentially the most horrifying thing the Imperium has in its arsenal, a very interesting twist.
Their soullessness gives them a certain lack of some of the most basic human qualities.  They do not dream, have no true hopes or aspirations, and no desire to forge friendships.  They are fiercely loyal to their Temple, and this is due to their extreme training programs, and the constant feed of Imperial dogma through the Temple speakers.  Their lacking human qualities make this form of conditioning highly effective.
Despite their lack of hopes and dreams, they do find great thrills in one thing.  The destruction of psykers is the most enjoyable experience imaginable for them.  The sensation of their own null-energy consuming and destroying the mind of a psyker or daemon produces in them, for the briefest of moments, a euphoria so intense, it justifies their entire existence of pain and servitude.  The sensation is not something they long for, as after they experience it, it slips away like a dream you can't remember.  However, deep in their subconscious is rooted this primal need to eliminate the psyker and daemon, and it is this core urging that drives them to do what they do.
I want to clarify that they do not experience the euphoria in the same way a worshiper of Slaanesh feels excitement at extreme sensations.  They exhibit no outward signs of pleasure, but it is more of an instantaneous flash of joy, accomplishment, purpose and fulfillment.

What do you think?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2010, 04:10:02 AM by Dexter »
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Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2010, 10:28:59 PM »
I think Moretti's problem is that, as written, he's doomed to be more an annoyance than a threat. While people like that certainly exist, they tend not to make very good characters (even as antagonists). As a rule, annoying your characters is fine - but annoying your readers is a bad thing. I think increasing his level of competence while leaving his other less than savoury qualities more or less intact would improve his value as a character enormously.

As for the Culexus - I think you may be misunderstanding what's meant by "soulless". The soul, as far as we're concerned for the purposes of this discussion, is simply a person's presence in the Warp - a reflection of their mortal selves. It's the soul that psychic powers act on, which means those possessing the pariah gene and thus lacking souls are immune to them (and will obviously never develop psychic powers themselves). All humans are able to sense this soul to a greater or lesser degree, and find its absence profoundly disturbing (though they generally won't be able to explain why). There are varying degrees of soullessness, from those whose Warp-reflections are merely dim to those who represent a sucking black void in the Warp.

But none of that directly affects the pariah's personality. They probably do tend to be detached and inhuman, but that's more a result of being shunned and reviled by the rest of humanity than anything. That would hold especially true for the Culexus, who are at the very bottom of the psychic scale (the sucking black void mentioned earlier). Combined with their training, you have a cadre of sociopathic antipsykers who inspire abject horror by their very presence. So as you can imagine, they're generally not nice chaps.

I was going somewhere with all that...

Oh yes, the euphoria. I doubt the Culexus can truly feel the effect they have on psykers any more than a black hole can feel the effect it has on nearby stars. That said, I imagine they're psychologically conditioned to feel satisfaction in a job well done, which in their case means killing psykers.

In short, the concept works; it's just the reasoning that's flawed.
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper; only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane.

Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2010, 03:55:06 AM »
Agreed on Moretti.  I'm now thinking of making him still less competent than Grundvigg, but with his personality leaning more towards something similar to Eidolon of the Emperor's Children in the Horus Heresy books.  Proud and arrogant, but takes credit for the achievements of his underlings while simultaneously deriding them.
Another tidbit I forgot to mention about him: he's an expert duelist.  In addition to his characteristically over-sized war-time relic power sword and combi-flamer, he carries an ornate laspistol and rapier on him at all times.  These weapons appear to be ceremonial, but he is deadly effective with them, and I'm going to suggest that he rose through the ranks in the Inquisition so quickly by defeating those that would oppose his ascension to honor duels.

I get that "souls" in the 40k universe aren't the same thing as understood in modern-day religions.  However, since the Culexus is the most terrifying thing the Imperium has in the fight against psykers, I wanted to put more into their personality than the standard "live, die and kill for the Emperor" motto.  That works for the Vindicare, but let's face it, they're pretty dull compared to the other Temples.  I think it'd be fun to give them a much darker, sinister edge to their persona, and them doing things out of a sense of duty to the Emperor has just been done so many times in 40k, I want to do something more sadistic.  I can agree that they probably can't actually feel the psyker's mind being extinguished by their own, but I feel like the Pariah gene could have the side-effect of stimulating a massive endorphin flood when it crushes psychic entities.
I'd like to get some more feedback on this, and maybe some other ideas for giving the Culexus a dark twist.

Also, I think I'm finished with the conceptual phase of Grundvigg.  I think the armor and weapons look like something the Imperium and Mechanicum would produce, without looking like something we've seen before.  The designs and icons on his armor are a bit of a mix between Imperial iconography and the style of modern military tattoo designs and art from the sides of WWII planes.  I'll probably end up doing something small on his legs, like laurels, or maybe a single wing on each shin.



Now, onto the other characters.
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Offline Zakkeg

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 07:49:14 AM »
This may just be my opinion, but I do believe you're severely underestimating the darkness the Culexus temple already has built in. They're more monsters than men. They express the pariah gene so strongly that it's miraculous they weren't strangled at birth by their mothers. They know nothing but the fear and hatred of mankind; their only kin are their brother and sister pariahs. As for that "I kill for the Emperor" thing - there's darkness and horror to be had there as well. Fiery sermons and printed propaganda may be all well and good for the proles, but the faith and loyalty of Officio assassins must be beyond question or corruption. I expect those parts of their childhood not spent honing their bodies would look like A Clockwork Orange dialed up to eleven.

I think Grundvig's new armour design is a great improvement, but the whole look screams "I AM A BADASS" just a bit too loudly to be credible. He makes me think more of an aged 41st millennium John Rambo analogue than anything else. There was something about his face you captured in the first picture that had a very Inquisitorial vibe, but it somehow didn't translate to the latter two. Also - minor quibble - the gun's cylinder is far too small for that barrel.

Oh, and don't ditch the greatcoat just because you're afraid he'll look like Hellboy. Short of adding filed-down horns and a samurai haircut, I reckon you're safe. ;D
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Offline Dexter

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Re: Fluff-check on my Inquisitor background
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 06:14:43 PM »
I definitely get the darkness of the Culexus Temple, and that was something I wanted to work into their motivations.  Giving them some sort of personal motivation beyond their devotion to the Emperor, as if destroying psychic entities is the only true pleasure in their lives, would be an interesting twist.  However, it occurred to me last night that the whole thing was a moot point, since the assassin is barely going to speak during the comic.  One of the themes that I'll be exploring is not only the horrors that beset mankind, but also the horrors that mankind produces to protect itself.  And since the Culexus assassin is going to be the "last boss" when it comes to scary things the Imperium produces, exploring deeper into his personal motivations might be counter-productive.

I know what you mean about the difference in his face, and how in the first concept he has a very Inquisitorial look to him.  I think the main source of that look is the angle.  He's looking down at you in the first sketch, and in the second and third he is straight-on, and slightly below your eye level.  Since the first sketch I did was more to establish his general personality, I had him looking down at us.  The second two, I needed his entire body captured, so I had to change the point-of-view.  However, since he'll be around 6'5, there will be plenty of instances in the comic of him looking down on people.  Morkai will be about the only one he has to look up to.

As for the armor, I wanted to get across that he is a no-nonsense type of guy.  At first I had imagined his combat armor being gold with skulls and eagle wings molded onto it, but I then realized that would put him more in line with Moretti.  He's a soldier and disciplinarian at heart, and elaborate decoration is beneath him.  Every piece of equipment he brings to battle is specifically designed to do its job, not to look pretty.  The painted designs on the armor are there to display his rank and allegiance, without adding extra weight to the armor.

I'm definitely not ditching the greatcoat.  I figure that's one of the only ways he can walk around and keep his arm relatively concealed.  I know I said he isn't big on discretion, and he still isn't, but there are times when scaring the absolute piss out of the general public is counter-productive.  I may also have him wear a sleeveless version of the greatcoat over his armor when he goes to battle.  This would, I think, give him a more regal appearance, while still allowing him to wear his bulky combat armor.

Stupid mistake on my part about the revolver.  When I was doing my rough sketches of it, the cylinder extended down further, and the top chamber of it lined up with the barrel.  Sometimes when I do sketches I put down so many lines it's hard to tell which one is the right one.  I won't re-scan the fix, because my scanner is crap and I'd have to spend another 15 minutes in photoshop cleaning up all the mess it makes, but it'll be right when I go to do actual drawings for the comic.
Oh, something about the gun I forgot to mention earlier.  MarcoSkoll commented about the possibility of a bolt pistol being a bit overpowered.  I had intended for him to be right-handed, prior to him losing his right arm.  The bionic arm turned out to be too bulky for him to wield any gun in it.  Although he was able to bring his left-handed accuracy up to a decent point in a shooting range, combat situations are an entirely different matter, and he is not confident enough in his aim for any long-ranged shooting in battle.  His shooting is really limited to nearly point-blank range.  To compensate for this, a large portion of his retinue are shock troopers with ranged weapons.

Currently working on sketches for Moretti and Izri.  Hopefully at least one will be done by tonight.
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