- "I shall not counsel you against fear of the daemon: the Emperor knows you have none. But even psycannon and daemonhammer cannot carry the day against such a foe, for what use is the bolter shell against disease, terror and madness? No, it is faith! Faith is our impenetrable shield and when faced with such belief the daemon becomes weak. Faith is our fiery sword and with it we burn out the diabolic cancer of Chaos wherever it is found."
- — Attributed to Lord Inquisitor Hephaestos Grudd
The Ordo Malleus, whose Inquisitors are often referred to as Daemonhunters, is the sub-division of the Imperial Inquisition tasked with protecting the Imperium of Mankind from the daemonic dangers of Chaos. Along with the Ordo Hereticus (Witch Hunters) and the Ordo Xenos (Alien Hunters), the Ordo Malleus makes up the byzantine organisation that is the Inquisition. Aided by the elite psychic Grey Knights Space Marine Chapter, who serve as the Ordo Malleus' Chamber Militant, it is the task of the Inquisitors and Acolytes of the Ordo Malleus to destroy the physical manifestation of Chaos, daemons, in the physical universe as well as any other agents of Chaos who threaten both the peace and the souls of the Imperium's people.
The Ordo Malleus was essentially the heart of the Inquisition, founded in the days just after Horus had launched the Battle of Istvaan III against the Loyalists within the four Traitor Legions of the Sons of Horus, Emperor's Children, World Eaters and the Death Guard that had already declared themselves openly for his cause and had fallen to the corruption of Chaos. At the request of the Emperor, in the days after the crew of the Imperial cruiser Eisenstein had brought the news of Horus' betrayal to Terra, the Emperor requested that his regent, Malcador the Sigillite, find him men and women of utmost loyalty who were willing to seek out threats to the Imperium from both within and without. Malcador eventually brought 12 individuals to the Emperor's notice, 4 Imperial lords and administrators of an inquisitive bent and 8 Astartes of the Traitor Legions who had remained loyal to the Emperor after the rest of their Legions had fallen to the temptations of Chaos. These 12 formed the heart of what would later be called the Inquisition. However, what would become known as the Ordo Malleus was not officially formed until the 32nd Millennium, centuries after the end of the Horus Heresy. The Ordo Malleus was one of the two original Ordos of the Inquisition, the other being the Ordo Xenos. Where the Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos concentrated on defeating the many threats that aliens presented to human domination of the galaxy, the Inquisitors of what slowly evolved into the Ordo Malleus were focused on the Inquisition's original mission of countering the insidious threat of Chaos and the daemons of the Warp. Since its inception, the Ordo Malleus has concerned itself with the constant threat of daemonic incursion and Chaotic corruption that faces the Imperium and for thousands of years has waged a covert war for humanity's continued survival against the insidious infernal forces of the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.
An Ordo Malleus Inquisitor is sanctioned to call on the aid of any organisation of the Imperium. The greatest threat to humanity in the galaxy, that of a daemonic invasion of a planet, can only be dealt with by the Grey Knights, the Ordo Malleus' own Chamber Militant. The Ordo Malleus - besides being the Daemonhunters of the Imperium - is the secretive inner order of the Inquisition. It is controlled by a council of 169 Inquisitor Lords called Masters, whose authority extends even to the Master of the Inquisition. The Ordo's organisation is divided into Chambers, each controlled by an Inquisitor Lord called a Proctor. The number of Inquisitors in each Chamber can vary from a few score to hundreds.
Being a division of the Inquisition, the Ordo Malleus consists of exceptional individuals who are involved in a covert war for Mankind's continued survival for the last ten thousand standard years. As every Inquisitor has sworn oaths to defend the Imperium from its worst enemies, the members of the Ordo Malleus are concerned with eliminating the physical manifestation of Chaos itself. They have pledged their existence to the discovery and elimination of the daemonic threat to humanity, no matter where it is found. The Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus have at their disposal every resource of the Imperium of Man and will not hesitate to requisition local troops at a moment's notice. The Ordo Malleus goes to great lengths to hide the existence of Chaos and its servants from the greater masses of Mankind as they fear such knowledge might only increase the number of individuals who fall prey to the corruption of the Dark Gods. As such, on those rare occasions when the Ordo Malleus is mentioned by name, it is referred to as the watchdog of the Inquisition itself, though its actual purpose as the Imperium's elite Daemonhunters is known only to those within its employ as Acolytes and Throne Agents.
Within the Inquisition, the Ordo Malleus forms a secret order that is tasked with the very specific role of serving as the Imperium's primary Daemonhunters. As such, it is their duty to root out all sources of daemonic activity and to combat such forces in whatever form they take. This means that only the most mentally stalwart and physically able of Inquisitors are tasked to this duty. Their missions can see them engage their foes either in hand-to-hand fighting or battle them in the realm of mental energy which requires special abilities and powers. This means that the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus are usually psykers and those who lack such abilities must possess tremendous mental resolve. As they are a highly secretive group, the identities of Ordo Malleus Inquisitors are kept secret. When members of the Ordo must appear in public in the course of their investigations, they are allowed to adopt the uniforms of various other Imperial Adepta that hide their features and allows them to keep their true identities a secret.
Only the Emperor and the cyber-libraries of the Ordo Malleus possess a truly accurate recounting of the events of the Horus Heresy. Among the targets of the Ordo Malleus are the Chaos Space Marines of the Traitor Legions, covens consisting of Chaos worshippers and Renegade psykers and the Sensei who are seen as a threat to the Imperium. It is known that certain Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus have been allowed entry into the Eldar's Black Library and have gained more knowledge of the Archenemy than almost any other human save for the Emperor Himself.
The power and authority of the Ordo Malleus extends beyond the nominal boundaries of the Inquisition, a jurisdictional extension known as the Malleus Remit. In events of grave emergency concerning potential daemonic threats, a Malleus Inquisitor may demand the services and resources of any Imperial servant or organisation, a request which may not be refused on pain of death. Even the High Lords of Terra and the Adeptus Astartes are beholden to follow the Malleus Remit without hesitation when it is invoked, a responsibility laid down at the end of the Horus Heresy by the Emperor's decree.
Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus are also permanently seconded to the Cadian military due to that worlds proximity to the Eye of Terror making its inhabitants susceptible to the influence of Chaos.
In normal circumstances, the Ordo Malleus focuses its investigations toward two primary threats:
- The Daemon Without: The most obvious threat is that of daemons who have physically manifested in the material universe and those mortals dedicated to the service of Chaos in all its forms.
- The Daemon Within:The less obvious threat is an internal one, including Radical Inquisitors who have been declared Extremis Diabolus for heretical actions in which they adopted the use of the tactics and artefacts of Chaos to fight the servants of the Archenemy.
The Ordo Malleus is led by the Inquisitor Lords known as the Hidden Masters. Unlike the other Ordos of the Inquisition, the Ordo Malleus has a more rigid and formalised hierarchical structure. It is controlled by a council of 169 Inquisitor Lords known as Masters, all of whom have the right to have a direct audience with the Emperor Himself within the inner sanctum of the Imperial Palace if they so request. Their authority even extends to the Inquisitorial Representative to the Senatorum Imperialis, some of whom have been tried and executed by the Masters of the Ordo in times past. Below the Masters are the Inquisitors known as the Proctors and Proctors Minor, with each being responsible for the leadership of a Chamber Practical of the Ordo. The Chambers Practical themselves are named after their founding Proctor and serve as the basic unit of the Ordo Malleus. Inquisitors Ordinary form the rank and file of the Ordo whilst there exists a parallel organisation called the "Chambers Theoretical and Historical" that consist of agents known as Inquisitors Historical. Inquisitors Historical are drawn from the older members of the Ordo who are unable to continue their active service either due to ill-health, injury or infirmity. Instead, they are assigned research and data collation projects at the Inquisitorial and Administratum Libraries. Within the Chambers, there are perhaps only a few hundred Inquisitors Ordinary and Historical in total across the galaxy. The Chambers Theoretical and Historical for their part possess in total only a few score members that are engaged in research and disputation whilst the Chambers Practical are comprised of hundreds of Inquisitors who are responsible for operating the various sector conclaves of the Ordo Malleus in the field.
The Ordo Malleus works directly under the Emperor's Warrant and thus has a completely free hand in its operations. This means that an Inquisitor Ordinary of this Ordo is able to demand anything he sees fit from any Adepta or armed service of the Imperium in order to accomplish his duty with no explanation being offered. Any Imperial servant that meets with an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor must comply and obey their command. The most common demand made by Malleus Inquisitors is for troops to support their operations though such forces rarely survive in the service of an Inquisitor Ordinary. This is not necessarily viewed as a problem by the Inquisitor, however, as he would be forced to mind-wipe or otherwise eliminate those troops who have served him and been exposed to the realities of Chaos. However, high public honours are given to those units that are attached to the Ordo Malleus should they die in the service of the Inquisition, though the campaigns upon which these honours are earned remained sealed in the archives of the Ordos.
Members of the Ordo Malleus tend to favour simple yet sinister uniforms with black, loose-fitting habits over their armour along with large hoods that hide their features in shadow. Graphic electoos are an unofficial yet traditional addition to this uniform for many Malleus Inquisitors as their glowing appearance beneath the skin adds a disturbing quality to the appearance of these Inquistors which they find useful in seeking to intimidate outsiders with an air of menace and mystery. By tradition, Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus tend to have one electoo for each coven of witches or Heretics that they have discovered and cleansed. As such, for the oldest Malleus Inquisitors it is not uncommon for elaborate electoo designs to be enscribed all across their body. The designs of these electoos have been fixed for generations, with the symbols intended to recall in a stylised manner each of the various daemons and other Chaos foes that the Inquisitor has faced and defeated. The rarely seen or used badge of the Ordo Malleus takes the form of the Imperial Aquila holding a rod and an axe which is worn either on the shoulder or on the right breast. Masters and Proctors of the Ordo Malleus are always psykers who carry Force Rods as a symbol of their authority, though in combat engagements this is often supplemented with a Power Weapon of the Inquisitor's choice.
The direct military forces employed by the Ordo Malleus are small, as only a select few individuals are trusted by the Inquisition with extensive knowledge of Chaos. Daemonhunter strike forces usually consist only of a Malleus Inquisitor, the Inquisitor's personal retinue of Acolytes and Throne Agents, and as many Grey Knights as can be spared if the threat is unusually potent. In battle, the greatest advantage of any Ordo Malleus force lies in the specialised and consecrated weaponry available to it. Utilising techniques and metallurgy lost to the rest of the Imperium, Malleus savants and allied Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-priests produce and maintain immensely powerful arms and armour specifically designed to combat daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Chaos Sorcerers, rogue psykers and other Warp entities. In addition to this equipment, the Malleus Remit allows any Daemonhunter strike force to be bolstered by units from the Adeptus Astartes, the Imperial Guard, and the Officio Assassinorum.
Only the ranks of the Grey Knights are expected to survive in the service to the Ordo Malleus. All other troops that are seconded to the Ordo Malleus often see their lives expended so as to better prevent them from later being corrupted by Chaos. Even seconded Space Marines will be subjected to a mind-wipe if no other sanction is taken. Those troops seconded to the missions of the Ordo malleus inevitably become privy to one of the Imperium's most closely guarded secrets -- the existence of Chaos as a potent, sentient force within the Warp and of the entities rightly called daemons who serve the Dark Gods. As their duty is to keep this threat contained and hidden from the citizens of the Imperium, the Ordo Malleus will often execute any troops that survive an encounter with daemons or other tell-tale Warp entities. At a minimum, such troops will be mind-wiped and even sterilised to prevent the taint of Chaos from creating mutants from amongst their offspring. Those slain in battle or even as a result of the Inquisition's orders always receive full honours shortly after their death or execution. Ultimately, all other servants of the Emperor, including other Inquisitors, are seen as expendable in the pursuit of the destruction of the Archenemy.
The exceptions to this secrecy-by-extermination policy are units seconded by the Adeptus Astartes since the execution of a Space Marine is a terrible waste of Imperial resources due to the sheer difficulty of creating these superhuman warriors. Those Astartes serving with the Ordo Malleus are mindscrubbed immediately after their service is completed in order to remove any memory of the Ordo Malleus' existence and operational protocols. Ultimately, only the Grey Knights are allowed to retain their memories of their duty with the Ordo Malleus as their centuries of service have proven again and again that they are incorruptible in the face of the temptations of Chaos.
Inquisitorial Storm TroopersTrained from their youth by the Schola Progenium in the arts of war, Storm Troopers are, perhaps, the finest soldiers ever to serve in the Imperial Guard. Armed with their trademark Hellguns and Hellpistols, these soldiers take combat to the heart of the enemy with blinding speed and deadly precision. Their accuracy is aided by their highly-protective Carapace Armour's integrated targeting system. Equipped with the finest weapons and wargear in the Departmento Munitorum's arsenal, Storm Troopers are trained to carry out missions beyond the capabilities of the rank-and-file Guardsmen. Should a sponsored candidate survive the gruelling regime of harsh training, he eventually becomes an Imperial Storm Trooper. However, Storm Trooper candidates sponsored by the Inquisition are not meant to join a proper Storm Trooper unit, nor to deploy with the Imperial Guard. Instead, these Storm Troopers, with their training complete, are taken by their sponsor to serve a higher purpose -- a permanent place on an Inquisitor's retinue of Acolytes and Throne Agents.
The Inquisition maintains a string of fortresses scattered throughout the galaxy, some hidden, some extremely well-known and the object of numerous dark legends. Inquisitorial Storm Troopers are also used by the Inquisition to guard their fortresses and the Black Ships as they make their purity runs across the Imperium's sectors, as well as to augment an individual Inquisitor's personal forces with reliable and effective soldiers. Inquisitorial Storm Troopers are selected from families with a record of unwavering faith in the Emperor and prior duty to the Inquisition. They are trained and equipped in a manner similar to standard Imperial Guard Storm Troopers, albeit lacking the rapid insertion and infiltration skills, as they are not expected to undertake such types of missions. Such activities are more often carried out for the Inquisition by the Officio Assassinorum.
The Grey Knights are a mysterious Loyalist Chapter of Space Marines specifically tasked with combating the dangerous daemonic entities of the Warp and all who wield the corrupt power of the Chaos Gods. Legend has it that the Grey Knights were Founded on the order of the Emperor Himself, in the early days of the Horus Heresy. Though the Chapter's origins are uncertain in many details, it is known that the Emperor ordered the creation of a force specifically mandated to fight Chaos after the onset of the galaxy-wide rebellion. This organisation, which was eventually named the Imperial Inquisition, was to include a branch of specialised warriors, as the onset of the Heresy demonstrated that a powerful military force was necessary to fight the daemonic minions of Chaos. The Grey Knights act as the military arm or Chamber Militant of the Ordo Malleus, the Daemon Hunters who form the oldest branch of the virtually omnipotent Imperial Inquisition. The Grey Knights' fortress-monastery is based on Titan, the largest of the moons of the gas giant Saturn in the Sol System, that is kept as a private preserve of the Inquisition. The existence of the Chapter is virtually unknown outside of the Inquisition and the highest echelons of the Imperial Adepta, and is a well-guarded secret. Unlike other Astartes, every Grey Knight is a potent psyker. Yet, in the 10,000 standard years of Imperial history, no Grey Knight has ever been corrupted by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos, so potent is their psychic conditioning and faith in the Emperor.
Notable Ordo Malleus Members
Below are listed individuals notable for directly serving alongside the Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus. For notable Grey Knights please see the Grey Knights' own page.
- Inquisitor Lord Torquemada Coteaz - Torquemada Coteaz gained his reputation for being a fearsome Daemonhunter through years of action against the Forces of Chaos. He is now known as the High Protector of the Formosa Sector. With his power and popularity, he is served by literally thousands of Acolytes and Throne Agents, and he arms himself with rare weapons like his Anointed Daemonhammer, Artificer Power Armour, a Glovodan Eagle, and various potent relics of the Inquisition.
- Inquisitor Covenant - Covenant is one of a new breed of Daemonhunters who hunts down traitorous members of the Inquisition itself and their Daemonhosts. He trained the Inquisitor Ivixia Dannica. Covenant is equipped with a Power Falchion, a Psycannon and limited psychic powers.
- Daemonhuntress Ivixia Dannica - After her father Colonel Dannica was murdered by a daemon summoned by Chaos Cultists who wanted revenge for the purge he enacted on them and their brethren, Ivixia was trained by Inquisitor Covenant. She had her father's skull fitted with an Autogun and embedded within her armour so he could serve the Emperor beyond death. She wields a Power Halberd made from the shards of Saint Josmane's armour. The weapon is filled with the power of the Imperial Saint and has sent scores of daemons screaming back into the depths of the Warp.
- Inquisitor Jaq Draco - Jaq Draco was a secret Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus, active in the late 38th and early 39th Millennia. He purportedly uncovered a widespread conspiracy involving numerous high-ranking members of the Inquisition known as the Ordo Hydra, as well as highly sensitive information regarding the Emperor. Draco proved instrumental in stopping a plot by the Ordo Hydra to psychically enslave Mankind in the hope of striking a blow that would eliminate Chaos from the galaxy forever. In reality, the plan very likely would have spawned a fifth Chaos God who would have guaranteed the ultimate victory of Chaos over the Imperium of Man. In the course of his mission Jaq Draco became one of the few individuals in the galaxy to have entered the Emperor's Sanctum Imperialis to have an audience with the Emperor of Mankind since his internment in the Golden Throne at the end of the Horus Heresy. It is also said that he was the only human to ever penetrate the fabled Black Library, their secret Craftworld within the Webway, that contains the entire race's knowledge concerning Chaos, without the Eldar's consent. He was declared Renegade by the Inquisition, and he was reported to have died within the Webway in the early 39th Millennium under mysterious circumstances. Draco was known to have a retinue consisting of a Navigator, an Assassin and a Squat. He was reported to be a formidable psyker.
- Inquistor Ahmazzi - Ahmazzi is the Spectarians’ sole Ordo Malleus Inquisitor. He is a grizzled and ancient veteran, close on three hundred standard years old, whose career has taken him from Titan to the very edges of the Imperium, hunting down daemons and the corrupt humans who summon them. Now all but decrepit, he has come to the Calixis Sector to, as he puts it, “bask in the radiance of the Tyrant Star and learn its secrets.” A long career has left Ahmazzi intensely cynical and pessimistic. He has come to believe that the Emperor is dead, Chaos cannot be stopped and the human race is doomed. The Imperium, Ahmazzi believes, is a grotesque symptom of the fact that the human race is currently living through its inevitable and drawn-out extinction. He has dabbled with Radicalism in his career, even being declared Excommunicate by Puritan colleagues for seeking out daemonic knowledge but no one in the Tyrantine Cabal other than Zerbe knows this. Ahmazzi has no friends and does not particularly care what people think of him, angrily refusing to tell any stories of his astonishing daemonhunting career, although an Acolyte who displays great courage in the face of a daemonic foe might win Ahmazzi’s grudging respect. Ahmazzi was a martially-minded Inquisitor in his prime and secretly would love nothing better than to mount up on his mobile war pulpit, don his armour and take up his Daemonhammer to ride into battle once more against a horde of daemonic foes. He believes that the Tyrant Star maybe the harbinger of Man’s inevitable doom and he wants to be at ground zero to witness the great day when it happens.
- Inquisitor Octus Enoch - Octus Enoch is an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor of the Calixian Conclave of the Calixis Sector and a member of the Scholariate at Arms. He holds the title "Prognost Pursuant", and his primary mission is to hunt down prophesies relating to future daemonic incursions. Once he has found a true prophecy foretelling an incursion, and has interpreted it, he dispatches a cell of Acolytes to ensure that it does not come about; whatever the cost in doing so. To this end, Octus employs a huge household, with a mix of Imperial Adepts and more militant Acolytes. The Adepts, drawn from the Administratum and the Adeptus Mechanicus, are tasked with poring through thousands upon thousands of tomes of prophecy, prognostication, and sometimes pure gibberish, and the others work in the field according to their master’s instructions. The Inquisitor rarely takes to the field himself, although he has done so in the past, most notably when he bound the daemon Nahterus into a Daemonhost and imprisoned it within a shuttle orbiting a dead star. Instead, Octus presides over his many Acolyte cells, dispatching them across the entire Calixis Sector to disrupt the dark prophecies identified by his Adepts.
- Inquisitor Silas Hand - Silas Hand was at first a Witch Hunter serving under the Ordos Solar in the Solar Segmentum who eliminated thousands of Heretics. After being approached by an important Daemonhunter, Inquisitor Lord Hephaestos Grudd, he was invited to join the Ordo Malleus. Inquisitor Hand was sent to Ophelia VII to identify if Battle-Sister Ephrael Stern was tainted by Chaos. Mysteriously, she was the sole survivor out of 12,000 Imperial Guardsmen who had been sent to the planet Parnis. His investigation led to no conclusion, and Hand was forced to return with her to the planet Parnis. During the journey, their vessel's Navigator was possessed by Chaos and destroyed their starship, the Hammer of Thor. Escaping, both Hand and Stern were able to land upon the surface of Parnis. However, they soon confronted the Daemon Q'tlahsi'issho'akshami. Once again, only Stern managed to survive the ensuing battle.
- Inquisitor Jason Hunt - Jason Hunt was an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor and Warden of the Stromgard Sector. Hunt is closely affiliated with Commander Marcus Flintlock of the Storm Dragons Space Marine Chapter, and has used detachments of that force frequently in pursuit of his missions. He is also a potent high-level psyker.
- Lord Inquisitor Hector Rex - Hector Rex is an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor and was the Lord Proctor of the Scarus Conclave of the Inquisition in the Scarus Sector during the Siege of Vraks. Inquisitor Rex is a highly regarded Imperial hero and bears the title Auditorii Imperator, having been one of the few individuals that has been admitted within the Sanctum Imperialis into the presence of the God-Emperor.
- Brother-Captain Arvann Stern - Brother-Captain Arvann Stern has served the Grey Knights for many long years and is a prominent Daemonhunter. His most famous act was the destruction of the Cult of the Red Talon and the banishment of its master, the Lord of Change M'Kachen, back to the Warp for one hundred Terran years and a day. When the vengeful daemon finally returned to realspace, he vowed to slay Captain Stern no matter the cost. M'Kachen appears on the battlefield to face Stern every chance he gets, and if unable to come personally, sends one of his most powerful daemonic servants to attempt the deed for him. Stern is approximately 400 standard years old and has battled M'Kachen three times so far. Each time, the Brother-Captain has proven his ability to withstand the power of the Greater Daemon and he has defeated the creature and its minions.
- Bloodquest (Graphic Novel Series), "Mausoleum"
- Codex: Daemonhunters (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition)
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition)
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition)
- Codex Imperialis
- Dark Heresy: Ascencion (RPG), pp. 173-174
- Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunters (RPG)
- Horus Heresy – Volume IV: Visions of Death by Alan Merrett
- Index Astartes II, "Purge the Unclean - The Grey Knights and Deathwatch Chapters"
- Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, pp. 240, 246-247
- The Inquisition (Background_Book)
- White Dwarf 279 (US), "Codicium Imperialis: The First Battle for Armageddon" by Graham McNeill and Andy Hoare
- White Dwarf 260 (AUS) (2001), "Index Astartes - Purge the Unclean"
- White Dwarf 259 (US), "Index Astartes: Purge the Unclean, the Grey Knights & Deathwatch Chapters"
- White Dwarf 114 (US), "Grey Knight Terminator Squads: Space Marine Chapter 666", pp. 11-14
- Grey Knights (Novel Series):
- Grey Knights (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Dark Adeptus (Novel) by Ben Counter
- The Hammer of Daemons (Novel) by Ben Counter
- Hunt for Voldorius (Novel) by Andy Hoare
- Malleus (Novel) by Dan Abnett
- The Chapter's Due (Novel) by Graham McNeill
- The Emperor's Gift (Novel) by by Aaron Demski-Bowden