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The Ordos and their Chambers Militant

Inquisition chambers militant

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#1
Brother Tyler

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This is a subject that has come up as part of a side project that will, hopefully, see the light of day soon.

Earlier this year we discussed the twilight of the chambers militant. Looking beyond the exact nature of the relationship between the various Ordos and their "chambers militant," this discussion focuses more on who those chambers might be for a number of the Ordos. I don't have a big stake in a number of the Ordos - those whose interests are least likely to result in them being engaged in major battles.

The lore regarding the various Ordos and the chambers militant has evolved and shifted over the years. I'll use the Ordo Hereticus and the Adepta Sororitas as my example:
 

 

THE ORDO HERETICUS


At the end of the Age of Apostasy, the Inquisition formed a secret order within its ranks to watch the Ecclesiarchy more closely. While the Inquisition as a whole monitors every aspect of the Imperium, the Ordo Hereticus is primarily concerned that another Plague of Unbelief does not occur. Although the Ecclesiarchy regulates itself and its followers closely (the Adepta Sororitas are most active in this task), the Ordo Hereticus provides another line of defence to ensure that those in power do not abuse their position to such an extent that it threatens the stability of the Imperium again.

These Inquisitors monitor Wars of Faith closely to ensure the objectives laid down by the Ecclesiarch are both justified and not exceeded by those actually fighting. They ovesee the Frateris Militia to safeguard the spirit of the Decree Passive (if not its letter) and to ensure its prohibitions stay enforced. They also regulate the amount of wealth and territory claimed by individuals within the Ecclesiarchy and halt attempts by Cardinals to amass more power than the Ordo Hereticus deems appropriate.

 


...Rising from the ashes of the Age of Apostasy, when the insane Lord Vandire plunged the Imperium into one of the bloodiest periods in its already bloodstained history, the Ordo Hereticus are the guardians of Humanity's future. In conjunction with their Chamber Militant, the Adepta Sororitas - also known as the Sisters of Battle - the Ordo Hereticus hunt down and destroy the most insidious threats to Humanity, the enemy within: witchcraft, heresy and mutation.


A shadowy branch of an organisation already swathed in secrecy, the Ordo Hereticus is the guardian of Humanity, the watcher at the gates that protects Mankind - as much from its own weaknesses as any threat from without. The Witch Hunters of the Ordo Hereticus are sinister, feared individuals. Their skin is pale from long days spent in the excruciation chambers of Inquisition fortresses or poring over ancient texts that speak of the heretic and his machinations.

For the first few millennia of its existence, the Ordo Hereticus was but a rumour even to other Inquisitors, so fanatical was its secrecy guarded. All this came to an end following the Age of Apostasy, when it was decided that the Ordo would serve better by casting an intimidating shadow, rather than existing as a myth too easily ignored. As the Ecclesiarchy flourished, so too did the Ordo Hereticus grow with it, for nothing piques an Inquisitor's suspicion more readily than a holy man claiming to speak with the Emperor's voice. Often, its againts pose as servants of the Ecclesiarchy, feigning subservience to a Cardinal's will until they have sufficient proof of the man's guilt - it is a rare priest with whom a member of the Ordo Hereticus cannot find fault.

...In addition to monitoring the Ecclesiarchy - ensuring that Wars of Faith do not exceed their mandate or that its many Cardinals do not amass more power than is deemed appropriate - the Ordo Hereticus keeps a close eye on many other Imperial organisations...


The 6th Edition Codex: Inquisition also shows that the Ordo Sanctorum, founded in M36, is responsible for monitoring the Ecclesiarchy.

This leads to an interesting overlap/duplication. The Ordo Hereticus was, per the original 2nd edition lore, founded specifically to watch over the Ecclesiarchy. That shifted in 3rd edition, when the Ordo Hereticus watched over witches, heretics, and mutants (not the Ecclesiarchy). It shifted back again in 6th edition, combining both versions of the Ordo Hereticus (watching over the Ecclesiarchy and witches, heretics, and mutants). And that edition also gave us the Ordo Sanctorum, which watches over the Ecclesiarchy.

So it appears that we either have two separate Ordos that watch over the Ecclesiarchy, or the Ordo Sanctorum is an Ordo within the Ordo Hereticus. With the Byzantine nature of the Imperium, and especially within the Inquisition, both cases might apply concurrently (don't think too hard about it or you'll get a headache msn-wink.gif ).

My concern, though, resides with the chambers militant of those orders. The original lore for the Inquisition and the chambers militant of the various Ordos was something along the lines of each ordo having a Space Marine Chapter at its disposal as its chamber militant. The easy examples of this are the Grey Knights, we serve as the chamber militant of the Ordo Malleus, and the Deathwatch, who serve as the chamber militant of the Ordo Xenos. Codex: Witch Hunters shook things up a bit when it told us that the Adepta Sororitas were the chamber militant of the Ordo Hereticus.

Oddly, more recent works have downplayed the relationships between the chambers militant and their respective Ordos. Where the 3rd edition lore implied that the chambers militant were subordinate to (and potentially part of) their Ordo, the more recent lore has re-established the relationships on more of a peer basis, where the chambers militant serve with and alongside their Ordos due to the alignments in their interests, without being subordinate to them. The Adepta Sororitas, as part of the Ecclesiarchy, were never truly subordinate to the Ordo Hereticus, so this shift in lore didn't really affect them much. The most telling issue, though, is that the current lore doesn't really mention the "chambers militant" much.

So for the purposes of this discussion, when I refer to "chambers militant" I mean those military forces that serve alongside the various Ordos. Based on the current lore, I'm assuming they're separate from their Ordo, but strongly aligned with them.

With the original lore about the chambers militant being Space Marine Chapters rendered inaccurate (due to the Adepta Sororitas), the question then becomes: Of the known military forces of the Imperium, what would be the most appropriate chamber militant for each of the Ordos of the Inquisition?

Two somewhat ubiquitous choices are the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers (or perhaps some Inquisition variant of the Militarum Tempestus Scions) and the Adeptus Astartes (i.e., not a dedicated Chapter, per se, but any Chapter or a number of Chapters whose interests align with the Ordo). The Red Hunters are a ready example of a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes with strong ties to the Inquisition as a whole (apparently). For my purposes, if we can't identify a specific force that would be suitable as the chamber militant of an Ordo, I'm assuming that it's either the Adeptus Astartes (either a specific Chapter or simple reliance on the various Chapters when force is needed) or the "Inquisitorial Storm Troopers."

And we also have to keep in mind that an Inquisitor is empowered to commandeer the aid of any individual or group within the Imperium.

My initial interest is about the Ordo Hereticus/Ordo Sanctorum. If we assume that the Ordo Sanctorum has specific responsibility for the Ecclesiarchy, then would the Adepta Sororitas shift over to the Ordo Sanctorum as their dedicated chamber militant? It wouldn't be inappropriate for the Adepta Sororitas to fight alongside the Ordo Hereticus when the situation allows/demands. A counterpoint (regardless of who has primacy in responsibility over the Ecclesiarchy) is that the use of an element of the Ecclesiarchy to enact military action against the Ecclesiarchy might seem a bit ill-conceived. In this, I could see the Ordo Sanctorum having some military force other than one aligned with the Ecclesiarchy as their chamber militant.

I'm going to look at a few other Ordos for which we have little information...

The Ordo Custodum, founded in M35, is stationed on Holy Terra for some undisclosed purpose. The name and location present the possibility of some Ordo that watches over the Adeptus Custodes (good luck with that job). If that is indeed the case, the only military force I can think of to deal with the Adeptus Custodes is the Adeptus Custodes themselves. Perhaps this is an aspect of the duties performed by the Eyes of the Emperor. Regardless, this isn't an Ordo that I think has much play in the game (assuming they are confined to Terra).

The Ordo Machinum watches over the Adeptus Mechanicus. I could see them using Skitarii, Inquisitorial Storm Troopers/Militarum Tempestus, or Adeptus Astartes (especially since they often work closely with the Ordo Xenos).

The Ordo Militarum, founded in M35, monitors the Astra Militarum. It would be easy to envision this Ordo having Inquisitorial Storm Troopers/Militarum Tempestus, with an Ordo Militarum Inquisitor posing as a Commissar or other officer.

The Ordo Sicarius watches over the Officio Assassinorum, so it might be logical to assume that the Inquisitors of this Ordo make use of Assassins as their chamber militant. We can look at history, though, when large forces of the Adeptus Astartes had to deal with Assassins (those turned out be very bloody and costly affairs for everyone involved).

Oddly, there is no Ordo listed that watches over the Imperial Navy. I can't imagine that there isn't such an Ordo, however. If such exists, I imagine that, as with the Ordo Militarum, that Ordo would make use of the most highly trained examples of the military forces of the Aeronautica Imperialis, with both pilots and infantry (veteran examples of the Voidsmen from Kill Team: Rogue Trader, perhaps) acting as their chamber militant.

Also, there isn't an Ordo identified as scrutinizing the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. If there is such an order, I imagine that the Sisters of Silence would make a suitable chamber militant.

Do you agree or disagree with any of these assessments? Are there other Ordos that you think bear examination?


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#2
Bjorn Firewalker

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I'd love to know more about the Ordo Astartes, which watches over Space Marine Chapters. The Lexicanum article describes it as the smallest, with approximately 100 Inquisitors- a great deficiency, as there are 1000 Chapters, i.e., each Inquisitor has to watch over 10 Chapters and their 10,000 Marines. If Ordo Astartes' Inquisitors notice a Chapter turning renegade or even traitor, where do they go for the muscle necessary to put down 1000 insubordinate Space Marines?

I also wonder if the Inquisition has a formal internal affairs unit, or if it just lets individual Inquisitors accuse each other of wrongdoing and then waging wars against the suspects, like a useless schoolteacher standing by as his students beat each other up.
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#3
librisrouge

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I'd love to know more about the Ordo Astartes, which watches over Space Marine Chapters. The Lexicanum article describes it as the smallest, with approximately 100 Inquisitors- a great deficiency, as there are 1000 Chapters, i.e., each Inquisitor has to watch over 10 Chapters and their 10,000 Marines. If Ordo Astartes' Inquisitors notice a Chapter turning renegade or even traitor, where do they go for the muscle necessary to put down 1000 insubordinate Space Marines?

10 chapters doesn't actually seem like that much, particularly when you consider that most chapters are basically above reproach and just need some casual monitoring. Plus, it isn't like the inquisitor in question is doing monthly mandatory searches of the fortress monastery. VERY FEW marine chapters would allow themselves to be suborned to that degree. I imagine most oversee such things as rumors of inappropriate activity, active investigations into chapters accused of overstepping some limitation or law, or simply monitoring astropathic messages to/from chapters.

 

Some chapters don't really need regular checks, such as the salamanders or ultramarines. Can you imagine the cushy job it is being the guy who assures the Imperium that the salamanders are loyal?!?

 

"Checking in. Yep, still bros. Doing bro things. A little obsessed with fire but less so than most sororitas so we've decided to continue to let that slide. I'll report again in the year" 

 

*Goes and sips a margarita*

 

As far as enforcing the will of the Imperium on marines, there are, ironically, a few marine chapters that help with this. If you, Inquisitor Muckitymuck, find the Crimson Penguins guilty of some heresey, you call a conclave of inquisitors, who inform the High Lords of Terra of your findings, and then you have a couple dozen IG regiments support the Grey Knights, Minotaurs, Red Hunters, or a few others in bringing the offending chapter to heel. If the Crimson Penguins are guilty of something truly bad, then other marine chapters will probably volunteer to bring them to heel, if just to protect the reputation of space marines everywhere.

 

I also wonder if the Inquisition has a formal internal affairs unit, or if it just lets individual Inquisitors accuse each other of wrongdoing and then waging wars against the suspects, like a useless schoolteacher standing by as his students beat each other up.

All inquisitors are, in theory, of equal rank, thus every inquisitor can oversee any other inquisitor. In practice, sector inquisition offices have their own degrees of organization, with more experiences and respected agents being dubbed Lord Inquisitors. A rogue inquisitor seems to be, based on the Eisenhorn novels and the Inquisitor minigame, only really accountable to another inquisitor who is welcome to, eventually, bring their evidence to a conclave to render judgement. Given the inherent danger a rogue inquisitor represents, judgement for even minor heresy is probably swift and lethal.

 

Now, given the somewhat informal nature of the inquisition, you can't just go accusing other inquisitors willy nilly. Once, it'll probably be tolerated and you might be some slap on the wrist. Twice, expect eyes to start really looking your way and asking some uncomfortable questions. More than that, without the accusations having merit and evidence, well...I wouldn't want to be you. Inquisitors often have to work together and these are not bridges you want to burn. Ironically, the whole organization runs on a bit of trust. Break that trust...don't break that trust.


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#4
Bjorn Firewalker

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As far as enforcing the will of the Imperium on marines, there are, ironically, a few marine chapters that help with this. If you, Inquisitor Muckitymuck, find the Crimson Penguins guilty of some heresey, you call a conclave of inquisitors, who inform the High Lords of Terra of your findings, and then you have a couple dozen IG regiments support the Grey Knights, Minotaurs, Red Hunters, or a few others in bringing the offending chapter to heel. If the Crimson Penguins are guilty of something truly bad, then other marine chapters will probably volunteer to bring them to heel, if just to protect the reputation of space marines everywhere.


Obvious problem: It takes time to send out a call for help, and yet more time for help to arrive. If too much time has passed, you'll get something like the Badab War. I STRONGLY doubt the High Lords of Terra were happy with how the Ordo Astartes effectively allowed the Astral Claws to deny them an entire sector's worth in tithes and other resources, for YEARS, before the war cost them yet more resources, the Astral Claws became the Red Corsairs and began stealing yet more resources the High Lords would rather use for something else.
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#5
Brother Tyler

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Actually, the lore for the Ordo Astartes is that it has less than 50 Inquisitors (per the 6th edition Codex: Inquisition). How the Ordo monitors the various Chapters is anyone's guess, but there's no lore to suggest that there is a constant vigil. Based on all of the lore we've seen through the years, it's much more likely that the Ordo Astartes is much more reactive, investigating reports of potential heresy rather than keeping an active eye on Chapters. The Badab War is the perfect example of how the Ordo's lack of constant vigil could allow for a Chapter (or group) of Chapters to slowly sink into heresy. Numerous other examples such as the Unforgiven, the scions of Sanguinius, the Soul Drinkers, etc. support the point.

Yes, an Ordo with sufficient human capital, procedures, and ready access to the target(s) of its scrutiny might better prevent Chapters from falling or punish them in a more timely manner, but the Ordo Astartes clearly is lacking in all three areas (and the last - access - is generally denied them as much as possible by the highly autonomous Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes).
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#6
sitnam

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It seems to me that the vast majority of the minor Ordos are, or should be, subsidiaries of the Ordo Hereticus. Suppressing the threats of the renegade, heretic, mutant, and witch are all within the remit of the Ordo Hereticus. As such, threats from within the Militarum, Ecclesiarchy, Assinorum, Astartes, etc could be taken care of. I envision the purpose of these minor Ordos as official task forces of the Ordo Hereticus. This should mean that the Sororitas would be the relevant chamber to engage such threats., alongside Inquisitorial Scions (who I see as the general purpose military response force). The Sororitas already police the Ecclesiarchy on their own accord, and they have been employed to purge Astartes as well. Deploying Sisters against the Mechanicus seems a little iffy, although it seems to me that the AdMech police themselves quite a bit.

 

That all said however, I could see every one of these minor orders having their own specialist forces and tactics in their own form of Chamber. This could be a paticular regiment of elite Astra Militarum, or a Astartes chapter bound by oath. The Gland Warriors are a good example of this, as they were made for the purpose of fighting Tyranids, which definitely seems like something the Ordo Xenos would have a hand in.

 

For the Ordo Militarum, as an example, I could see Inquistors establishing a network of commissars to serve as a heresy suppression system. Commissars already work in this capacity, no reason to not expect many to have Inquisitorial contacts. The idea of an Inquisitor going undercover as a Commissar is definitely a good one.

 

I myself don't think the Ordo Astartes is particularly undersized. Monitoring heresy among a million space marines is a much more limited task then monitoring a trillion souls on a hive world. I think the plot of Spears of the Emperor is a good example of how the Ordo Astartes would work: subversion, infiltration, and cooperation with other Astartes


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#7
Inquisitor Eisenhorn

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I think that the main reason for GW moving away from the sort of 1-1 ordo/chamber militant dynamic was that it just doesn't account for various organizations that act in tandem or under the authority of the Inquisition but in a much more flexible manner.  

 

In some cases, such as the Red Hunters, it seems that their work under the Inquisition is somewhat "equal opportunity", and would fight alongside Ordo Malleus or Ordo Hereticus, or possibly other lesser Ordos as they are requisitioned to do so.  Oddly, it's unclear how much of an independent agenda this chapter actually has beyond the various inquisitorial collaborations it undertakes.  

 

In other cases like the Sisters of Silence or Adeptus Sororitas, there is a natural confluence with the Ordo Hereticus but both organizations also maintain their own independent agendas as well, not to mention they both have a diffuse structure that mirrors space marine chapter organization.  So while it makes sense to include rules for them to be part of an Inquisitorial force, it seems reasonable that they might also exercise their own autonomy for non-inquisitional missions as well.  

 

Likewise, I've always imagined that "inquisitorial stormtroopers" to be a catch-all for any elite military force that a particular Ordo may personally maintain for their own purposes, if that ordo is large enough to be more than an ad-hoc formation of a few interested inquisitorial parties.  So the Ordo Hereticus maintains its own stormtroopers it can pull from, as would the Ordo Xenox, etc.  So I don't consider Militarum Tempestus (Scions) to be the same thing, per se.  

 

Not sure if that lends any clarity, but it is my reading of why "chamber militant" as a thing have largely gone away.  It makes things less straight-forward but it also adds narrative depth and complexity which I think has been a good trade off.


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#8
Ryltar Thamior

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I was given to understand that the Chamber Militant of the Ordo Astartes was, in fact, an elite cadre of deadly-accurate Ork Snipers. 

[but seriously - that's probably how things work. It would be rare that direct head-one confrontation with an entire Marine chapter would be possible or desirable. As others have mentioned, there are dedicated Chapters that can be called in for such occurrences - the Minotaurs being Exhibit A (and the Flame Falcons' expurgation by the Grey Knights rendering the latter a conditional Exhibit B); yet particular because the Inquisition would be quite keen to *not* have the image of Space Marines being corruptible etc. being a broadcast thing ... more subtle mechanisms of confrontation and extermination would be strongly preferable. After all - this is the Inquisition, and a few 'Ork Snipers' plus an array of other 'accidents' managed to do to the Celestial Lions what would have taken a far larger toll in Imperial resources to achieve via more *direct* means.] 

 


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Vox Stellarum efforts:
The Unyielding Adamanticores [truescale Astartes, auxilia, and sectorial AdMech; M37/38]
The Haunting Harii of Hvergelmir [truescale Astartes ... and associates]
The Unification Wars [truescale Thunder Warriors, (Proto-)Astartes, Army of Unification, Aegyptian-style Proto-Mechanicus raiders, etc.]
Combat Archaeology [Tomb Raiding for Fun & Prophet]
Horus Heresy [truescale loyalist IVth, VIIIth; Agents of the Sigillite; VIth; and so much more; and Umbral's amazing Traitors]
The Worlds-Wide Webway [(Dark) Eldar, Imperial Inquisition, an a-maze-ing realmweave of fear and wondermeant]
Thorian Inquisition [some rather different Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, true-scale Fire Hawks, Black Dragon, Inquisitor and associates, etc.]
For Whom The Great Bell Tolls Thrice [attempts to put the 'priest' back in 'tech-priest' with more-medieval mechanicus]
InquisiNecronMunda [the log that incepted it all - at least two Inquisitors, truescale Deathwatch, local enforcers, cultists, etc.]

#9
Ioldanach

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I think that GW has moved away from the chamber militant being part of the ordo to it being a separate organization that is able to work closely with the ordo because their areas of focus are closely aligned. And the Inquisition can call upon any individual or group for help. And there are some units that have particularly close ties with either the Inquisition as a whole (such as the Red Hunters) or whose areas of focus are similarly aligned (such as the Sisters of Silence and their focus on witches aligning with the Ordo Hereticus focus on witches) without being the chamber militant for that ordo.

I also quite like the idea that there might be "Inquisitorial storm troopers" available to inquisitors, either a true force of the Inquisition or specially trained/conditioned Militarum Tempestus units that work with the Inquisition.

As for what this head-cannon allows for certain ordos, I can see how some ordos might differ from others. With the major ordos that we know, we have forces that are well suited to fighting against the foe in the Grey Knights and the Deathwatch. The Adepta Sororitas aren't especially effective against witches, mutants, and heretics in terms of training, but more so because of their attitudes and zeal (and fire works against pretty much anything msn-wink.gif ). The sheer scope of what the Ordo Hereticus is responsible for, though, means that they would need either one super force (the Adeptus Custodes are the only thing that comes to mind, unless you use the Red Hunters), or they would need to draw upon diverse forces for the different types of enemy - the Sisters of Silence would be ideal for witches, but less so for mutants and traitors.

For others, much would depend on how they operate. I could see Ordo Militarum inquisitors operating both in the open (i.e., "I'm Inquisitor Scarethehelloutofyou here to ensure that you do not fail in carrying out the Emperor's Will in this battlezone") or covertly (i.e., posing as a member of the Astra Militarum to root out heresy, incompetence, and cowardice, then acting when the time is right). While the most obvious choice for a disguise would be a commissar, I could see an Ordo Militarum inquisitor posing as anything from a senior officer down to a line trooper (which would be an especially brazen choice - much like Roz in Monsters, Inc.). For these, I could see such an inquisitor having Astra Militarum forces at their disposal. The "Inquisitorial storm troopers" seem like the most plausible (take the best), but perhaps there might be other special troops at their disposal.

With the Ordo Machinum, there's a lot of room. The Adeptus Mechanicus has its own "secret police" in the Prefecture Magisterium (assuming that still exists since it was mentioned in The Horus Heresy Book Three), so perhaps this prefecture sends its agents to work with Ordo Machinum inquisitors. The lore for the Ordo Machinum says that they often work with the Ordo Xenos, though, so the Deathwatch may occasionally work with them (though if they do, I would say that this is more of a common goal thing and not because they are the "chamber militant" of this ordo). Alternately, there are a number of Adeptus Astartes Chapters with close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus; and one of these might serve as an (unidentified as yet) chamber militant of the Ordo Machinum. Conversely, the Ordo Machinum might take the opposite tack, utilizing a force that is in opposition/non-concordance with the Adeptus Mechanicus - an uninterested third party that watches over the servants of the Machine God.

If there is some (as yet unidentified) ordo that focuses on the Imperial Navy, I would imagine that they operate in much the same manner as the Ordo Militarum, but with corresponding forces (i.e., voidsmen instead of Inquisitorial storm troopers, or perhaps Inquisitorial storm troopers trained and equipped in a manner similar to the voidsmen).

The most likely "chamber militant" for the Ordo Astartes (to me) is forces of the Adeptus Astartes, whether a specially trained chapter that focuses on observing and disciplining their erstwhile brothers, or from among Chapters that have cooperated with the Inquisition (such as the Red Hunters, Crimson Fists, etc.). Of course, "Sister Sin" comes to mind.
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#10
Lord_Caerolion

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My personal headcanon is that a bunch of these minor Ordos are more just "an Inquisitor and a few of their colleagues agree that this organization really really needs oversight, so they're now calling themselves Ordo X", as opposed to the "Big Three", Xenos/Hereticus/Malleus, who have far, far more resources and established history. There probably is an Ordo Neptunis watching over the Imperial Navy, but it's just Inquisitor Joe and his 10 buddies, all other Inquisitors just agree that it either comes under the Ordo Hereticus, or maybe the Ordo Militarum. Does the Ordo Astartes have a Chamber Militant? Sure, they've got the combined armed forces that 50, probably middling-ranked, Inquisitors can call on, so probably just Inquisitorial Stormtroopers. 

 

Chambers Militant exist (well, whether that exact term is used or not) because of the political strength and capabilities of a particular Ordo. It's not "thank you for registering your new Ordo here at the Adeptus Administratum, a Chamber Militant will be assigned to you in the next 5-10 Administratum business days, Warp-permitting". The Grey Knights are linked to the Ordo Malleus because they have 10,000 years of fighting the same foes, hunting the same quarries, and learning the same impossible lore. 

 

You've also got the fact that a bunch of the "subjects" of these minor Ordos are incredibly politically powerful themselves, so require a bit more caution than they otherwise would. Ordo Mechanicus? The Mechanicus are infamously independent, and almost certainly don't appreciate some Inquisitor nosing around in their business, given they're technically a separate power to Terra. If you start asking annoying questions in the course of an investigation, even for a valid reason, the Mechanicus might want to keep it in-house, so "oh no, would you look at that, the warp drive of your ship is malfunctioning, Inquisitor. Guess you're stuck here while leads go cold, and by the way, this Archmagos would like to politely ask that you let them deal with this, and maybe those repairs might go a lot faster."


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#11
Jareddm

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Minor Ordos are a passion of mine and I've got loads of theories and ideas for all of them.  For many of them I feel the key is in the state of the Imperium during the periods of their founding, and how that state has, or has not changed going into M41.  I also agree that many of them likely started off as Cabals, taskforces, or political cliques within one of the major Ordos, but worked to grow their power to a point where they felt strong enough to deem themselves an Ordo of their own.

 

Take the Ordo Sanctorum, for instance.  As was said, they seem to represent the "original" intent of the Ordo Hereticus.  I believe that as the Ordo Hereticus's reach continued to spread to encompass broader and broader definitions of heresy, there was an internal backlash that their reach had grown too far, or that they were slipping away from their original intent.  Thus, I see the Ordo Sanctorum as a clique of Inquisitors who wanted to return to their original purpose, "as the founders mandated."  I see their Chamber Militant (though I personally am happy to see the term gone) being a specialized host of the Cardinals Crimson, trained to be less as bodyguards of the Ecclesiarchy, and more as jailers and bounty hunters of those priests gone rogue.

 

The Ordo Astartes I see very differently.  My theory is that it started out as one of the Major Ordos in M32, back when everyone was constantly fearful of another Horus Heresy.  But as more and more foundings occurred, and perception of Astartes changed, they continued to lose power and jurisdiction to other entities.  Given their size, if the Ordo Astartes had a Chamber Militant, I believe they don't have one any longer.  Perhaps it is a great shame of those who remember because their Chamber Militant fell to Chaos themselves, or maybe it used to be the Red Hunters, but they lost exclusive rights to them.  A forgotten Ordo with little real power, but possibly desperate enough to use anything they can get their hands on.

 

People seem a bit confused about the Ordo Machinum.  They're not watching the Adeptus Mechanicus for heresy.  They're only interested in the integration of technology from discovered STCs or derived technology.  Their description makes it sound like they're one of the deciders in whether a new technology can be brought up to production scale, or divvied out to worlds by the Departmnto Munitorum to be assigned to regiments.  Like if a new lasgun STC were discovered that incorporates a mind-machine interface, they'd want to make sure it's not implanting some crazy AI in whoever uses it.  For that, I see them as being limited to Stormtroopers, for things like factory raids and grab and bag missions.

 

If I had to make the Adeptus Custodes a Chamber Militant of anyone, it would be the Ordo Vigilus.  This is because I believe the Ordo Necros is focused on protecting the Imperium from the death of the Emperor.  Studying what exactly will happen should the Emperor die, how the Astronomicon will react, how the warp will change, the specific areas most likely to be affected fastest, and so on.  But also the various ways the Emperor could die.  Killed by some weapon, poisoned through his "food" of psyker souls, starved of said souls, damage to the Golden Throne, some crazy contagion, either to Him or the Throne.  But when the Ordo Necros was discovered by other Inquisitors and the Custodes, the response was basically, "You're researching WHAT!?" Now the Ordo Viligus is there to make sure anything the Ordo Necros learns is never EVER used, and the Custodes are there to back them up.


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#12
alfred_the_great

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The penultimate voxcast has the Sisters of Battle as the militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy.


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#13
Lord_Caerolion

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I do like that interpretation of the Ordo Necros, but I just can't see the Ordo Machinum having the requisite understanding of technology to be able to fulfill that duty without actually being in the Mechanicum, as they are infamously protective of their knowledge.


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#14
Jareddm

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Oh the Ordo Machinum part wasn't theory. That's from Codex: Inquisition:

Just as the Ordo Hereticus pay close attention to the Ecclesiarchy, the Ordo Machinum scrutinise the Adeptus Mechanicus. Specifically, they are concerned with the reintegration of recovered STC variants into the Imperium’s armies and the rare adoptions of alien technologies into established Mechanicum protocols. The purpose here is twofold. Firstly, the Ordo Machinum ensure that laxness on the part of the Omnissiah’s worshippers does not permit a flawed technology to enter the Emperor’s service. More importantly, the Ordo Machinum ensures that no Magos is tempted to withhold vital systems from other factions of the Adeptus Terra with a view to increasing the Adeptus Mechanicus’ power within the Imperium.


Edited by Jareddm, 14 April 2020 - 11:14 PM.

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#15
Lord_Caerolion

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Hmm... How would they be able to judge that, though? I find it highly unlikely that the Mechanicus would provide training for any non-Mechanicus personnel, and that sort of duty would require high levels of knowledge of a wide range of fields. Making sure they don't withhold stuff, I get, but how the hell do Inquisitorial forces judge whether technology is flawed or not? That really seems like it should be an internal aspect of the Mechanicus that does that.


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#16
Jareddm

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That's a fair point. I imagine it involves a level of hubris and heavy use of the phrase, "I'll know heresy when I see it." There must be some prior knowledge, forbidden or otherwise, for someone to even get involved with the Ordo Machinum, let alone become an Inquisitor of them. I agree that the AdMech would have their own version of this on their side, but I doubt that, whoever they are, they're an organization the Imperium trusts.
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#17
Lord_Caerolion

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The thing is, the Imperium kinda has to trust the Mechanicus. They literally hold the monopoly on technology in the Imperium, and don't fall under the authority of Terra itself. If aggravated enough, the Mechanicus has the ability, theoretically, to sever their ties to the Imperium.


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#18
librisrouge

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Hmm... How would they be able to judge that, though? I find it highly unlikely that the Mechanicus would provide training for any non-Mechanicus personnel, and that sort of duty would require high levels of knowledge of a wide range of fields. Making sure they don't withhold stuff, I get, but how the hell do Inquisitorial forces judge whether technology is flawed or not? That really seems like it should be an internal aspect of the Mechanicus that does that.

I imagine they have a good number of experts on tech in their ranks. Inquisitors skilled in machines, ex-tech priests who found a new profession, tinkerers who’ve crossed one line too many and need protection in exchange for work, loyal enginseers who want to keep the mechanics clean, and even, GASP!, scientists who find some inquisitors to be of like mind. Nothing official mind you, that’s be heresy, but inquisitors have always been keen to skirt the grey zones when necessity dictates.
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#19
Lord_Caerolion

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Fair enough. I guess my headcanon of the Mechanicus is a bit too jealous in their guardianship of knowledge. 


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#20
sairence

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There's examples of non-Mechanicus personnel being trained, the main one being Astartes Techmarines. I would imagine there's plenty of ways someone could learn and not be tied to them forever.

Besides, the Mechanicum is just as dependent on the Imperium as vice versa. Neither can survive on their own. I would imagine it is that co-dependency that the Ordo operates in.
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#21
Brother Tyler

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Regardless of their role (identified in official lore), methods of recruitment (never identified beyond the normal recruitment methods of the Inquisition), and methods of operation (derived from their role, but open to speculation), the question remains - who might the Ordo Machinum utilize as their "chamber militant"?

 

An Inquisitor has the vast resources of the wider Imperium at their disposal, so an Ordo Machinum Inquisitor might literallly use anyone available. Are there specific go-to organizations that are frequently utilized, though? We could lean on our generic Inquisitorial Storm Troopers and the Adeptus Astartes (perhaps one or more Chapters with very close relationships with the Ordo?) as a given. Or might there be someone else?

 

Could there be some force that, as the Adepta Sororitas are the main military arm of the Ecclesiarchy and serve a dual role as the "chamber militant" of the Ordo Hereticus, serves both the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Ordo Machinum? We again fall into the conflict of interests, but the Imperium is a Byzantine place and it's not uncommon for the left hand to watch over the right hand. Does the Adeptus Mechanicus have its own internal policing arm that might also operate with the Ordo Machinum? The Horus Heresy Book Three - Extermination describes an element of the Mechanicum called the Prefecture Magisterium, which was charged with preserving dogma and persecuting techno-heresy. Could an organization like that still exist within the Adeptus Mechanicus?

 

Or perhaps if we look at non-Adeptus Mechanicus forces - interested third parties - we might look at any of the other main military bodies. The Astra Militarum and Adeptus Astartes have already been covered above. Would the Adeptus Arbites perhaps have some special arm that might serve in the role of a "chamber militant" for the Ordo Machinum? Or could there be someone else?

 

The official lore also mentions that the Ordo Machinum occasionally works with the Ordo Xenos when overseeing an Adeptus Mechanicus expedition to a world that may have been under xenos influence. Would the Deathwatch aid the Ordo Machinum, whether as a dedicated force or simply through their relationship with the Ordo Xenos?

 

All of the above is speculative, of course, since we don't have sufficient official lore to draw any conclusions with any degree of certainty.


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#22
sitnam

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The penultimate voxcast has the Sisters of Battle as the militant arm of the Ecclesiarchy.


I mean that has always been the case. Their role as the Hereticus Ordo Militant is secondary to the duties to the Ecclesiarchy. Just happens both jobs can overlap most of the time
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#23
Jareddm

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There's a handful of possible examples.  The position of Magos Juris, one who removes themselves from the Quest for Knowledge in order to enforce the will of the Machine God, would make a good ally.  There is also a Discordant, basically a Pariah, but for machinery instead of warp phenomenon.  An Ordo Machinum Inquisitor would likely find one very handy. 

 

There is also the Steel Confessors chapter.  Their history of transitioned pacts of loyalty might make them a good intermediary between the Inquisition and the Cult Mechanicus.  I had forgotten about the Ordo Machinum's relation with the Ordo Xenos, so a shared Deathwatch squad seems likely.


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#24
Lord_Caerolion

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While the Techmarines are an example of non-Mechanicus personnel being trained, it's worth keeping in mind that in most Chapters they're considered as having dual loyalties.

 

For a Chamber Militant, I'd see them as having almost a hybridisation of Stormtroopers and Skitarii, human troops outfitted with specialty wargear such as haywire rounds, making use of the higher quality tech that they'd have access to, but not quite as dependent on the Mechanicus for their literal creation. Alternatively, I could also see them playing on the desire for the Mechanicus to keep things in house, and so work alongside forces of other Forge Worlds. Magi on Graia playing up? Let Ryza know what shenanigans are going on, and oversee the subsequent cleansing.


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