As with nearly all members of the Inquisition, the early history of Inquisitor Elam Vaarak is shrouded in mystery.
It is believed that his early education was acquired while a student of the Schola Progenium,the Imperial institution responsible for the upbringing, education, and training of orphans, predominantly those of officers and nobles who have died in the service of the Imperium,
At some point prior to this 20th birthday (all records have been expunged), Vaarak was “invited” into the cadre of acolytes working for Inquisitor Balthasar Von Dernbach, a senior member of the Ordo Hereticus (now deceased).
One of a score of acolytes of the colorful Von Dernbach, Vaarak spent three decades serving in a variety of supportive roles. The young acolyte proved particularly adept at information gathering, data analysis, interrogation, and torture.
Notable events in Vaarak’s career:
THE MALCONTENTS (694 .M41)—As a young acolyte, Vaarak was dispatched to the planet of Taxore to investigate cult activity in the hive city of Undulae.
Disguised as an underhive maintenance worker, Vaarak spent months wandering the underhive of the city in search of a cult that was seeking to undermine the Imperial government.
He finally managed to infiltrate this disruptive element of citizens, but it turned out that the organization’s name—The Malcontents—was all too accurate. The “cult” was little more than an informal social club where unhappy laborers drowned their sorrows in alcohol and drugs—and whose only active resistance to Imperial rule was to publish fliers and pamphlets criticizing the authoritarian policies of the hive city’s government.
Although disappointed that he’d wasted so much time on a relatively harmless threat, the young acolyte did his duty and had nearly fifty of the more boisterous members arrested and sent to a penal camp.
It turned out that the mission was a test by Von Dernbach to measure the dedication and investigative skills of his young acolyte.
REBELLION OF ISOLA (697.M41)—Vaarak accompanies Inquisitor Dernbach to the ice world of Isola. Years of internal strife and terrorist acts had finally erupted into full-scale rebellion, and the Inquisitor and his retinue accompanied a corps-sized Imperial Guard force assigned to to restore the planet to Imperial rule.
After executing the planetary governor for incompetence, Derbach assigned Vaarak the task of rooting out rebel infiltrators within the planetary government. After interviewing hundreds of civil servants and reviewing thousands of governmental communications, the young acolyte drew up a list of 122 possible suspects. All were subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” and 78 confessed to some level of support or acquiescence to the rebellion.
Varrak’s research ultimately guided Derbach to the leaders of the rebellion—all wealthy but corrupt members of the aristocracy—and, with their execution, the leadership of the rebellion was destroyed, and resistance to Imperial rule eventually collapsed.
PROPHET OF BELLIOSE III (705.M41)—On one of the most important worlds in the Corvus Cluster, a so-called “prophet”—a man named Zyghor Bastion—began offering prophecies of doom to the menial laborers slaving away in manufactorums across the planet.
Civil unrest rose to disturbing levels, and Vaarak was assigned to track down and stop this threat to Imperial order.
Over the course of several weeks, Varrak and a small team of acolytes and Inquisition storm troopers tracked Bastion in an attempt to arrest him. Such attempts usually ended in gunfire, as the prophet’s followers were extremely aggressive in fighting back until Bastion had escaped.
Finally, Varrak cornered the prophet in an abandoned factory. The heretic turned out to be a low-level psyker, capable of influencing those around him. Most of Varrak’s team succumbed to this witchcraft, but the psychic attack appeared to awaken some latent psychic ability in the acolyte. Fighting off Bastion’s mental assault, Varrak was able to bring his boltgun to bear and fire a round into the prophet’s head.
PATH OF A PSYKER (706-712)—To determine Varrak’s potential as a psyker—and to ensure he would not become a threat—the acolyte was returned to the Scholastica Psykana for evaluation and possible training as a sanctioned psyker.
Although much older than most candidates, Varrak managed to impress his instructors so, rather than be executed, he was accepted into a five-year course of instruction to harness his powers and ensure his strength of character. At the end of his studies, he was soul-bound to the Emperor in a formal ceremony—and eventually returned to Dernbach’s service.
THE FALLEN CARDINAL (717.M41)—Strange rumors began to circulate about the behavior of his Holiness, Jules Mazarin, head of the Diocese of the Four Worlds of Zar.
Exhuming the body of his dead predecessor, Marazin put the corpse on trial, propping the body up in a chair while the cardinal shouted out obviously unanswerable questions. After erecting a statue of himself in his home town of Clements, he was outraged when it was vandalized and ordered the inhabitants locked in a local manufactorum that was set afire.
Despite such signs of decadence—if not madness—removal of this powerful member of the Ecclesiarchy was a politically delicate matter, and Vaarak was sent to deal with the problem. After confirming the cardinal’s insanity, Varrak decided not to address the problem using normal channels.
Having immediately recognizing the political sensitivity of his mission, he had—as a contingency—brought along an operative of the Venenum Temple, an assassin cult highly skilled in the use of poisons. A subtle toxin that weakened the tissue of the circulatory system was added to the Mazarin’s food and, six days later, after the toxins had dissipated from his system, the cardinal died of multiple aneurysms.
His Holiness’ death was deemed of natural causes.
THE RED MUTANT (733.M41)—With support from the Knights of Altair Space Marine Chapter, Vaarak set out to hunt down a rogue psyker known as the “Red Mutant.”
This heretic had caused turmoil on half a dozen worlds. With brownish-red skin—no doubt an affliction of his mutation—the psyker was forced to live in the shadows of Imperial society, scorned by the citizenry and hunted by Imperial Enforcers.
Yet, overcome with bitterness at the prejudice that confronted him, this mutant was adept at identifying rebellious cults on any world he visited—and took great delight in using his psychic abilities to conduct assassinations, irrational acts of mass murder, or sabotage in exchange for succor. With time, he developed a network of supportive cults that would provide a safe hiding space, weapons, money, or illicit off-world transportation.
So potent was the Red Mutant’s witchcraft that Varaak realized he could not challenge him directly with his psychic abilities. But, by tracking him down to a safe house, he was able to approach unnoticed as the Red Mutant used his psychic powers against a team of attacking Space Marines. Several marines fell to witchcraft, but when the heretic eventually began to tire from the fighting, when Varrak struck with a psychic fireball that immolated the wretched creature.
It was the success of this mission that led to Vaarak being raised to the rank of Inquisitor.
THE HUNT FOR VOLOH GUDAG (742.M41)—When the Chaos sorcerer Voloh Gudag brought the Kassig Plague to Polarian, Vaarak enlisted the aid of the Knights of Altair to put an end to this heretical threat.
It was Vaarak and his team of acolytes that took the fight to the Death Guard protecting Gudag and, for a time, it looked as if the Inquisitor would meet his match. But an errant grenade landed in the midst of the traitor Astartes, their attack was thrown into turmoil—and a counterattack by Vaarak turned the tide of battle.
Victory was still in the balance until the Knights of Altair Arrived. Let by Captain Alaric Galba, the Space Marines rappelled from a hovering gunship and attacked the rear of the Death Guard force.Although Gudag managed to escape from the trap, his treacherous plans for Polarian were thwarted.
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