I'm rather new to Dark Heresy - would the Inquisition get involved in fighting a Xenos threat instead of your garden-variety Chaos-cult?

I'm looking to GM a slightly wider range of campaign-arcs, and my core-rulebook hasn't arrived just yet.


4 Answers 4



The Inquisition are the secret police of the Imperium responsible for guarding the souls of humanity. They fight against all threats. There are 3 major orders within the Inquisition:

  • Ordo Malleus, the daemon hunters who protect mankind from the daemonic dangers of Chaos
  • Ordo Hereticus, the witch hunters who protect mankind from themselves (treason, mutation, heresy, unsanctioned psykers, etc)
  • Ordo Xenos, who are dedicated to countering the threat of alien species

Ordo Xenos will get involved with any threat to humanity from aliens. They will also get involved any time humans try to deal with the xenos. For subtle threats where they don't want their interference detected the Ordo will guile and stealth.

For more open threats the Ordo is served by Deathwatch Space Marines and will send them in for violent fighting. For extreme threats to humanity or when the xenos scum are too entrenched on a planet they can call in Exterminatus.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That seems kinda limiting - as a GM, I'd rather be able to throw a variety of threats at my PCs. Thanks for the answer. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2014 at 1:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ How do you view it as limiting? \$\endgroup\$
    – briddums
    Sep 3, 2014 at 5:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @briddums also don't forget the ordo malleus has its own chapter of space marines against demonic threats. As for limiting I guess that they have so "narrow" proficiencies with 1 inquisitor going against daemons while another going against xenos,.... could be seen as limiting (although one has to keep in mind there that even for an inquisitor it is at first often not clear WHAT the threat really is. It could look like xenos until he finds out it is a demon) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Sep 3, 2014 at 11:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @briddums - it's a minor quibble from a standpoint of writing adventure hooks. If my home gaming group is Ordo Hereticus, I need to get thing started with Heresy, or find some kind of in-universe justification for why a group of Ordo Hereticus would go after a possible daemon threat. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 3, 2014 at 15:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Capt.Pantsless - Don't forget that the Inquisition is far-reaching, but limited in number. It wouldn't be too unusual for an Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor to pursue a Daemonic threat if no-one else is nearby, or otherwise indisposed. Plus, Cults (Ordo Hereticus's primary concern) can worship Daemons or Xenos or whatever, so that gives them a lot of overlap. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Sep 3, 2014 at 20:07


There exist many orders within the inquisition that handle various threats to the Imperium of man, and Inquisitors are not tied to any one specific order.

Typically the Ordos Hereticus handles the rise of cults within the Imperium, while the Ordos Xenos handles the rising threat of the Xenos. However, it is not unheard of (rather common really) that the Ordos Hereticus finds Genestealer cults or cults led by eldar psykers rather than the gods of chaos.


Here is a link to a wiki that has a lot of information about the Inquisition in general. It also has links to information on the Ordos Hereticus and Ordos Xenos.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Slight quibble: typically Inquisitors do belong to a given Ordo, but they're free to switch Ordos if they see fit to do so (with the appropriate social repercussions). But being in a given Ordo doesn't preclude an Inquisitor to pursue whatever threat they want to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Sep 3, 2014 at 20:09

Yes and No. As already mentioned, the Inquisition is based on the three major orders. Your Inquisitor belongs to one specific order and will send your warband to an incident it suspects to be caused by the threat his order is fighting. However, suspicions can be wrong.

The guy suspected as a chaos cult leader may as well be

  • an absolutely normal mafia don (doesn't pay taxes to the emperor. HERESY! BURN HIM, CLEANSE HIM!)
  • a genestealer cult magus (Xenos threat)
  • a free psyker (heretic threat)
  • an actual chaos fanatic worshipping a demon (demon threat)
  • innocent (this adventure is about telling your Inquisitor that innocents exist and survive. Better create a new character.)

There are three orders of the Inquisition, one of them being Ordo Xenos (alongside Malleus (Demons) and Hereticus (Heretics)). Ordo Xenos is specifically for weeding out the alien influence from mankind's galaxy.


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