Sins of the Past
Themes and Inspiration
These are the four themes that I will be focusing on in this game:
A mythic betrayal marked the birth of the Imperium and laid low its architect, and countless more have followed over the millennia. Treacherous acts litter its history, be they from individuals sincerely believing they were acting in the best interests of humanity or those brutally acting only for their own selfish benefit. Factional strife plagues all levels of the Imperium and its many agencies, each certain of its correctness and holding others as a suspect. The Inquisition, the final defense of Mankind, trusts no one.
The Imperium is bloated edifice, stretching over countless stars and worlds across the galaxy. Is it also the desperately besieged bastion of a near-doomed species, assaulted on all sides by every manner of enemy imaginable. Even the strongest Imperial holdings are surrounded by countless light-years of Wilderness Space containing an unknowable number of threats and perils, while at the same time being undermined from within by treachery, corruption, and the shirking of duty. Every Acolyte is a candle lit against this tide of darkness, every Inquisitor a burning brand pushing back the endless shadows.
The citizens of the Imperium are largely ignorant of anything that might resemble the truth of the galaxy. Their only instruction on such matters comes from their local preachers, shamans, and other leaders. If the general populace truly understood their precarious position in the galaxy, or the brutal necessities that are required to secure even that much for Mankind, the stability of the Imperium would collapse. However, this same ignorance that protects the Imperium makes it vulnerable. The safe falsehoods that comfort its citizens are easily supplanted with traitorous or heretical lies. Populations could be schooled that xenos are a mythical threat, leaving them ill-prepared for an invasion. Such threats might draw the attention of Inquisitors, but once they are dealt with with, the next foe becomes the civilians whose only crime was to bear witness to truths men are not ready to face. Death is a welcome comfort for many, their minds forever destroyed from the sight of a daemonic summoning, though an Inquisitor might obtain a new Acolyte from a soldier who managed to defeat such a foe.
The Inquisition is a mighty and powerful establishment, but by no means omniscient. Even the mightiest Inquisitors get their information from reports. These reports are written by subordinates, some worlds away. No one man can be anywhere at anytime. The Imperium, as well, is a massive and unforgiving place, quick to punish or kill those who commit crimes. Chances are, in the course of the game, you will make a mistake. Something bad enough to be punished or killed for… but no one saw exactly what happened. And at this point, you are left with a choice: Do you tell the truth? If you are punished, you may be killed, and the Inquisition loses one of the rare souls willing to fight against the darkness. Or do you lie? In doing so, you take a little bit of that darkness into yourself, and continue to fight on….
In more practical terms, a good deal of this game is Spin Control. Awful things will happen. Awful information will come to light. And at the end of it all, what story will you tell? How did events unfold? As dead men tell no tales, you can either be a hero, or a villain. What will it be?
While there is a good deal of fiction and setting information, there are a few that I will highlight as being my main sources of inspiration for this game. I would highly suggest reading these, but you do not have to read them to enjoy the game.
- Eisenhorn (Omnibus) by Dan Abnett
- Ravenor (Omnibus) by Dan Abnett
- Emperor’s Mercy by Henry Zou
- _Titanicus_ by Dan Abnett
- Over ten years of 40k Codices…
- Cowboy Bebop
- Mass Effect