Ceridwen Lothringen was an inquisitor who lived in mid M41 and acted mainly in the Iox sector. She was known to be of the Lothringen family, descending from the line of Velgram d'Ark and Naomi Lothringen all the way back from M40.
Ceridwen was widely known for her fierce and fiery nature. She was notorious member of Ancalyan's Cabal, being one of the only monodominant-inquisitors in it, and later of a cabal of her own, Blessed Poet. Rightfully feared by her radical colleagues, she had a sinister reputation as an inquisitor-hunter.
In her later career she was first nominated as Master Hereticus and shortly after that as Grand Mistress of Ordos Iox. She died at the age of 145 years, possibly due the physical stress her body had gone through her violent career.
Born into an ancient family, Ceridwen was branded from her birth with an unfortunate surname that carried the name of heresy on it. Even if those many generations between Ira d'Ark (later Ira Lothringen) and her had mitigated the name's connection to the heresy, it was still Lothringen, name of the Usurpers of the Saint's Rift.
Ceridwen was born on An Romos Prime, capital of Iox Marches sub-sector where her ancestors had settled in after the Lothringen Heresy. Like many other men and women of her family before her, she was introduced into the Schola Progenium Heios at the age of six. Her parents wished her good luck and passed the little girl to the Abbot of Schola, never seeing her again.
Schola Progenium Heios
During the first night, Ceridwen was led into a chamber where fifty other cadets slept, played cards, smoked, wrestled and gossiped. Little girl, walked in by Abbot himself, made everyone silent... for a while. After Abbot had left, Ceridwen crawled on her bed sobbing constantly. After hours of sobbing, three older cadets of ages between ten and twelve, took Ceridwen of her hair and beated her until she stopped crying. As a warning, the older cadets took a stolen kitchen knife and cut Ceridwen's right ear off. With her blood they messed her books and finally took her prayer-beads and broke the chain, leaving her trembling, too afraid and shocked to even cry.
On the next day, one cadet was missing of the morning count in the citadel's inner square which caused an all-out alert inside the Schola. As cadets stood firmly in rows in the inner square, squads of Schola's private army were dispatched all over the citadel and to the mountain area surrounding it. They turned over every table, opened every closet, wardrobe, drawer, ripped every curtain and sheets of every bed. A sobbing little girl was finally found, locked in a locker with an ear in her hands, in one of the living chambers. The little girl was brought in the square and with Schola's reeve, she walked before every line of cadets until found the two boys and one girl who had cut her ear off, messed her stuff and locked her up in the locker.
- "As long as I still draw breath, no cadet of this Schola shall ever harm another cadet in purpose! In the line you three! Guard! Ready, set.. FIRE!"
- —Reeve Eckart of Schola Progenium Heios
Three cadets were taken by the guards, their hands were tied and set into line. Reeve Eckart said few words after what the mutilators were executed in front of every other cadet.
Ceridwen's ear was never fixed, which left an ugly scar for her whole lifetime.
Being still too young for serious physical training, Ceridwen, with the others of her age, studied High Gothic, Imperial Creed and weapon types. Soon they were introduced with behavior-models and technology. At the age of eight, anyone in the Schola could take any of the fifteen most usual lasgun models, take it in parts and assemble it back. At the age of ten, anyone in the Schola could take any auto- or stubgun, including machine-gun and pistol variants, take them apart, assemble them and shoot with them from the move. Those who got left behind from the fast pace of learning were introduced in to the other areas in Schola. One girl, being at best average in shooting, was introduced into Medicae wing, a boy who had lost his legs during grenade trainings, was quickly introduced into wing where strategists were made. In Schola, people were forged to be something and only one out of fifty (1/50), at most, were totally left out and put into Heios's PDF or other similar duties. Ceridwen did well, her certain area of strength was the Imperial Law, Dictates Imperialis.
Last years in Schola
At the age of eleven, Ceridwen was introduced into the jurisprudence wing. That was the wing from where most of the Iox's Adeptus Arbites were from. She got rigid training of close quarter combats, including numerous martial arts and apprehending situations. For a short period she was introduced into Heios Prime's police to take her training on the field. She was quickly returned due the fact she "used too much force".
Ceridwen was taken back to Schola for further training. In 444.M41 a new boy was introduced in the same chamber where she lived. He was a pesky little bastard who quickly got few "enemies" inside the chamber. When five older cadets tried to beat the boy up, Ceridwen tried to protect the little boy by cracking one cadet's hand and other one's knees, before guards noticed the racket and stopped them. Reeve Eckart, who had become maybe a bit soft in his late years, only flogged those who took part in the fight, including Ceridwen.
- "May the justice be done."
- —Ceridwen Lothingen to reeve Eckart before her flogging
After that, Ceridwen enjoyed clear respect and fame within the walls of Schola and was favoured by reeve Eckart.
Out of Schola
Phillip Ancalya was a respected inquisitor at those times. He had failed to train any pupils during his career and by the request of Ordos Iox's High Council in 446.M41, Phillip was introduced in the Schola Progenium Heios.
Ceridwen Lothringen was fourteen years old then and was quickly earning her way into Adeptus Arbites. Her sense of what was right and what was against the Law was absolutely remarkable and her professors were going to mold a judge of her.
Phillip wandered with the Abbot around the Schola, judging cadets and progenii alike. Abbot of course led the famous inquisitor only to the wings where he knew the most promising students were. After couple days, Phillip took couple of the most promising cadets into an interview and promised to weight them carefully. It was then, when Phillip bumped into Ceridwen.
- P - Ceridwen... Lothringen?
- C - Yes, sire.
- P - I've understood that your ear was cut by your fellow-cadets earlier.
- C - That is right.
- P - You think it was correct to execute the mutilators? According to law of Schola?
- C - I think that is a question for our honoured reeve Eckart, if you wish, I can bring him to you.
- P - It was a question for you.
- C - My thoughts are irrelevant, justice was done.
- P - ...mm-hm? I've understood that you got into fight because... you were protecting a younger cadet?
- C - Yes, sire.
- P - You don't think you should've been executed back then?
- C - My thoughts remain irrelevant.
- P - So you think that reeve Eckart's judgement was... inappropriate?
- C - I think that is a question for Abbot of Schola, if you wish...
- P - Don't beat around the bush! Tell me, why you think reeve Eckart flogged you instead of shooting?
- C - Because I'm special.
- P - In what way?
- C - Every way.
Phillip Ancalya left the Schola day after the interviews, accompanied by his new pupil, Ceridwen Lothringen.
Ceridwen, spending time with Phillip, started to loose her official (some might say; political) way of speech. Her overall image became a bit more freed but she still preserved her just nature and in her early years she was dubbed as Ceridwen "Just" Lothringen by Phillip's colleagues.
Ceridwen gained the rank of an explicator when she was took by Phillip from Schola in 446.M41. To Phillip's disappointment, Ceridwen couldn't manifest any kind of psychic powers and actually had a bit negative psychic level, sigma. She was able to communicate only via vox which made some operations more difficult. Phillip himself had a gift of telepathy which he regularly used during investigations. Ceridwen became ever able to talk telepathically with Tearlach Rosenstein due his unnaturally high psychic aptitude.
To make her flaws off, she proved herself over and over again to her master. In 447.M41 she received rank of interrogator after terminating Trio-Judges of Vidar who controlled over the frontier world Vidar with laws of their own. She disliked the nature of an assassination operation and when she started to investigate the black market of rogue psykers with Phillip, she asked for more straightforward way of investigations. This Phillip however denied and Ceridwen was forced to act undercover.
At the end of 448.M41 Ceridwen managed to uncover the origins of the black market onto the world of Prosphorant and finally to the inquisitorial cabal known as Conclave of Prosphorant. Gathering all available data and records from conclave's computers, she tranferred them to Phillip and confronted the conclave by herself. Wearing the power armour gifted by Canoness-Superior Amelia Exonos of the Order of White Maiden, she took rights in her own hands, assaulted the conclave's headquarters with a band of storm troopers that were hidden on the planet. Assault lasted eight hours and ended in the executions of 53 rogue psykers, inquisitors Lala and Orell Napier, Tibor Knox, Gaetano Vidal, Rajmund Fusco, Judge-Commander Ignacy Dwyer and planetary governor Urbain Yost. This was met with a great outrage and at least inquisitors Angir Fex and Karr Dunian declared Ceridwen Excommunicate Traitoris and went after her.
Ceridwen was soon apprehended and captured alongside her storm trooper squad's leftovers on Prosphorant. Inquisitor Angir Fex was the first to reach Ceridwen and put her into custody before they left the planet for Heios Prime, where inquisitorial palace of Ordos Iox was located. High Council of Ordos Iox gathered and scrutinized Ceridwen's log-marks, information and data that was retrieved from the Conclave of Prosphorant's computers. Joseph Ancalya as an acting Master of Ordo Hereticus declared the case in halt before inquisitor Phillip Ancalya, his brother, was apprehended due his interrogator's acts. Three months later, Phillip Ancalya was brought in front of the High Council by inquisitor Corey "Crow" Nemes. Many long hours were spent inside the inquisitorial palace's courthouse before the case was concluded.
As a result, Excommunicate Traitors declarations were lifted off of Ceridwen Lothringen's head and she was given a status of full-fledged inquisitor by High Council of Ordos Iox.
Before apprehended, Phillip Ancalya was leading investigations of what he refused to talk about to anyone when he and Ceridwen stayed in the Inquisitorial Palace. Corey Nemes had however ruined his leads and so he had no work to do. High Council of Ordos Iox requested that Phillip and Ceridwen would take a look upon the Velgram's World, frontier world inside Ferghost Colonies sub-sector, of which local authorities had requested some investigations to be set upon the ruins of Rosenstein City.
Devil of the Rosenstein City
It was early 450.M41 when Phillip Ancalya and Ceridwen Lothringen set their feet upon the Velgram's World. The two inquisitors set down in a city of Port Royal, the major (and only) space port on the world. They started their investigations and with the help of Primaris Psyker Hugh Hanson, an old friend of Phillip, they managed to uncover the dark menace inside Rosenstein City.
The investigations revealed that an uncontrolled psyker had lived within the ruins of the city, propably for many years by then. With careful and, for Ceridwen at least, ponderous planning Hugh Hanson and Phillip Ancalya came to an agreement how to act with the psyker. Ceridwen, possessing a slightly negative psychic level, was chosen to capture the psyker. To secure Ceridwen's body and mind during the procedure, Hugh and Phillip painted her skin full of hexagrammic wards and enchanted her power armour with the best possible protection available.
Crawing for action, Ceridwen took up with the challenge that Phillip and Hugh offered and covered with purity seals and other litanies of faith, she armed herself with a shock maul, webber and a shotgun as a back-up weapon. As Phillip and Hugh were left behind, outside of the city's borders, Ceridwen ventured inside the ruins. Soon after she got into the ruins the vox contact with Phillip was cut off and after one or two hours she started to hear and smell all kinds of strange things. A veil of darkness started to surround her and she was unable to get any readings out of the psi-tracker or psyocculum she had used, she pushed forwards. After a while the veil started to lift off so she walked back, completely sure that the source of the veil was there where it would completely close around her. Determined to find her price, she ignored the sounds that resembled a coarse flute playing and all the strange, shrouded creatures of green and violet that came to her only to disperse when touched. As Ceridwen walked to the way the veil started to close in again she could see her parents impaled on spikes, and it all felt so real to her that she was almost losing it. More people emerged from the darkness, some flayed from head to toe, some without head or limbs, they all screamed in agony and ran in dismay. Amidst the running and screaming humans there were tall, slender figures with horned heads, their forms shrouded in shadows. All of them had fierce burning eyes of green flames and Ceridwen could feel how their infernal gaze burned through her skin into her heart and thoughts. The whole world seemed to go mad, she had never witnessed such violence that surrounded her then and there, and never would. Crows of black and white ripped the hearts of opened rib cages as the corpses themselves ate other mangled humanoids.
It was then, at the brink of madness, when the young inquisitor stumbled in her own feet and fell through the veil of darkenss into the daylight. Carefully looking around, she found herself inside a chapel with a fallen roof. Wide altar of white marble stood firmly in front of her, Imperial Eagle carved upon its front and the light of a setting sun flooded from the holes in the wall. Behind the dust covered altar peaked a small boy, coated in filth, his plain grey hair were of arm lenght, nails overgrown and infected. In his blood-stained hands he held a dead, blue-feathered bird. Ceridwen was left amazed. On Prosphorant, just a year ago, she had slaughtered over fifty psykers, all of them covered in mystic tattoos and scars, every one of them demonic in their own right, trying to pierce her mind and body alike with bolts of feral energy of the Warp. A small boy was not something she had expected. Taking a look in psyocculum she still held in her hands, that bird holding boy clearly was a psyker, but was it one she was looking for? How could she know? Cautiosly she offered her hand for the boy, who clearly was curious above all else. Not a hint of hate or aggression was left upon the boy's dirty face and after a moment the boy came, crawling on all fours, to Ceridwen who did not hesitate when the chance came, taking the shock maul from her belt, and smashing the boy unconscious with it.
Ceridwen delivered the boy for Phillip and Hugh, who took him and after days of talking and planning, the boy was taken by Phillip on An Romos Prime where Ceridwen's former master's estate was located. Hugh Hanson returned to his duties within Astra Militarum regiments of Exerces.
Failure on Phoens
The destroying of the Conclave of Prosphorant prior her assignment to an inquisitor was left to be the greatest achievement of Ceridwen. She soon noticed that as her former master took his time with the boy found on Velgram's World, Tearlach Rosenstein, she was left quite lonely. For months she tried to figure out new jobs and leads or anything. It was not her nature to be doing nothing and so she travelled on Heios Prime in the Schola Progenium to seek some advices from the Abbot of Schola. Abbot, carrying thrice as many years as Ceridwen, was pleased to have a chance to meddle with the Inquisition's business and gladfully gave some advices for his former cadet.
After long conversations the Abbot pointed Ceridwen towards a ring of drug smugglers that were known to operate on the industrial world of Phoens. How the Abbot came to know of such band of criminals remains unknown. After the meeting, the Abbot gave Ceridwen a broadsword, the Moonfall, that was wielded by her ancestor Velgram d'Ark.
Ceridwen had never enjoyed other people's presence and even if the Abbot asked her to take a cadet or two with her, she refused. She made her way on Phoens and in couple of months with the direct aid from Phoens's Arbites, she tracked down at least dozen major dealers. Acting rashly, she assaulted one of the slum areas with the planetary enforcers and handful of Arbites that acted as her personal retinue. Quickly learning the well-earned untrustworthiness of planetary enforcers, she was betrayed by them and a full scale battle flamed in the streets of District 8-9. With her Arbites bodyguard she cleaved a path of blood out of District 8-9 after what she quickly gathered the mobilised Arbites forces who with Repressor APCs destroyed blocks of District 8-9 and killed almost five thousand citizens before the revolt settled down. All leads to the smugglers were lost and Ceridwen was left ashamed. Her rashness had costed a lot.
Cleaning up most of the mess left behind, she tried to uncover the smugglers again in couple months but the ring had sniffed out the presence of the inquisitor and gone underground. Furious about this, Ceridwen led full-scale investigations upon enforcers of Phoens and personally hacked off the heads of 155 planetary enforcers.
Crow and Lioness
After her failure on Phoens, Ceridwen banded together with an older inquisitor, Corey "Crow" Nemes, who was more or less part of Ancalyan's Cabal similar to Ceridwen. Corey, known of his repulsive manners and tolerant nature towards mutants and abhumans, took a great pride when given a chance to work with Ceridwen who was in a way a legend already. Corey Nemes was gifted with remarkable skills of finding people and other things and so Ceridwen, even if disgusted by Corey's unorthodox methods, agreed to work with him.
In the following years Corey helped Ceridwen to track down the smuggling ring. They ventured deep into the Bassenheim Expanse, wilderness space behind the Gateway of Necareth and Saint's Rift sub-sector, finally reaching the origins of some of the narcotics dealed by the ring. Huge amounts of obscura and spook were manufactured on a remote space station, scratch-built around an old cruiser class ship. Now as Corey had tracked down the criminals, Ceridwen played her part in the show and with heavily armoured boarding squad, she assaulted the station. Two Black Ships had silently crawled in range of the station and when the boarding assault started to make some progress, many smaller ships left the station only to be shot apart by the Black Ships. Over 500 tons of obscura were taken by the Inquisition and fifteen leaders of the ring captured while 28 were outright killed during boarding. Fifteen leaders were taken upon the world of Siracia and by the holy whips of Adeptus Ministorum they were flogged to death in front of a cheering crowd.
In 454.M41 Ceridwen returned on An Romos Prime and took her time with some paperworks. During that time she met Tearlach who was already almost human. Creative and dexterous of his hands, Tearlach gave Ceridwen a headband made of long, blue feathers.
As a counter-favour for Corey Nemes, Ceridwen accepted to help him to acquire a relic. Silent about the relic's contents, Ceridwen grew vary of her sly colleague. After visiting countless worlds and gaining little to no information from her colleague, Ceridwen started to sleep one eye open. Finally she took rights in her own hands and went through Corey's dataslates, tablets and notebooks after giving him sufficient dose of tranquilizers to keep him unconscious. Of all what she understood, it seemed that Corey had been slowly uncovering a mystery buried deep within the Twin Colonies in Bassenheim Nebula. Ceridwen, uncertain of what to do made contact with Ordos Iox and demanded that further investigations take place concerning Corey's acts. Doping Corey until she reached An Romos Prime's Inquisitorial Palace again, she arranged a meeting with inquisitors Angir Fex and Karr Dunian, who she knew to be pure of their heart.
High Council of Ordos Iox took the matter of Corey Nemes and confiscated his Inquisitorial Rosette. Angir, Karr and Ceridwen headed on the planet of Otropha, second one of the Lost Twins and beneath the surface they found a great tomb of a sort. Inside this tomb hundreds and thousands immobile humanoid figures of gleaming metal stood still in an eerie blue glow. Small spider-like constructs crawled the floors and high walls. None of the three inquisitors could tell what the tomb was for but they were dead certain, that it was not made by human hands. Corey Nemes was interrogated for fifteen days, both physical and psychic means and tortured beyond normal human's imagination but he gave no information about his project with the tomb. Inquisitors Ceridwen Lothringen, Angir Fex and Karr Dunian declared Corey "Crow" Nemes as a traitor and heretic and Ceridwen Lothringen took his head off before High Council could ask for further investigations to take place.
All three inquisitors were made to vow not to say a word for any living person about Corey or the tomb and all records regarding Corey Nemes were suppressed after that. The Lost Twins were put under quarantine, all further knowledge about the case was so well suppressed that Ceridwen never heard anything about the Tomb of Iron Men.
Taint in Nightshores
It was year 457.M41, when Ceridwen decided to take a vacation by the request of his old master Phillip. She stayed with Tearlach in Phillip Ancalyan's estate when Phillip was on some secret mission he refused to tell about. During this time Ceridwen came to know many people associated with Ancalyan's Cabal. Even if she was formally part of it, she had never really made any contacts within it. Now as she stayed in Phillip's estate, to keep things in order and record the raports of her colleagues, she met many people. Primaris Psyker Hugh Hanson was an old friend of her and he visited the estate from time to time. There was inquisitor Janna Napier, cousin to the twins Lala and Orell Napier who Ceridwen had executed before she became an inquisitor. Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya, who was Phillip's older brother, Master Malleus and Grandmistress Olga "Pureheart" Volak of Ordos Iox's High Council. Even one of her own, though distant, relative Kjeld d'Ark, the acting prefect of Iox Marches. She became to understand the vast network of connection that Ancalyan's Cabal offered when she had to answer messages from rogue trader Cornelius von Gundrad and pass birthday wishes from High Cardinal Iox himself to Phillip. When Phillip returned 460.M41 Ceridwen had already had long conversations with the acting Commander Jaak Andres of Bosen Grenadiers about the golden beaches of Lothringen Primus and with Arch-Deacon Watse Anjema of Canacorka fortress world about the joy of having children. Not that he had any but for Ceridwen it seemed like he would've wanted some.
When Phillip returned, he asked Ceridwen to take Tearlach on Heios Prime to Schola Progenium Heios. She did as she was bid and took Tearlach to the Abbot and left for Saint Seren's Hope to visit Amelia Exonos with whom Ceridwen had been in contact while watching over Phillip's estate. When Ceridwen finally reached the Saint Seren's Hope she had heard stressing news of the condition of the planets in Nightshores. Petty heretics and all kind of warp-mongers had spawned upon the worlds of Exerces and Rigobel systems. Ceridwen rushed to the shrine of Saint Seren and the massive monastery built around it and looked Amelia in her hands.
Amelia Exonos expressed her worries about the state of Nightshores to Ceridwen. She soon realised that many deacons and preachers had died of all sorts of poxies and other diseases with common citizens and the cardinals and other high ranking members of Ecclesiarchy had shut themselves inside their own households to stay safe of the raging diseases. Before departing the monastery, Ceridwen visited the shrine of Saint Seren that was located in a windowless, round hall, where only single black candle burned, surrounded by the snow white feathers that were said to be the feathers from Saint Seren's wings. There, confirmed by Shrine Guardian Aliya Rose, Saint Seren appeared for Ceridwen and though the true words said by Saint Seren are lost in whirl of rumours, it was said that after that the Flame of the Lightbringer was carried by Ceridwen. Soon after this the inquisitor raised the Sororitas preceptory from Saint Seren's Hope and led a new crusade over the Nightshores. Order of the White Maiden followed her with zeal and respect and after burning the chaotic cults on Exerces and Rigobel systems Ceridwen tracked in great fervour the origins of them to the feral world Vermillion Rock and killed the Vermillion Preacher, a chaos space marine of Berserkers of Arnkorn warband, who had started the cults. Vermillion Rock was purged from the chaotic filth brought there by the Vermillion Preacher and after that the Purge of Rigobel system took place.
- "Innocence proves nothing! Burn them all."
- —Ceridwen Lothringen during the Night of Flames
Purge over Nightshores lasted for nine years in total and the Sororitas of Order of White Maiden pledged to be ever-loyal servants of the Lightbringer of their Saint.
After the Purge over Nightshores Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya asked Ceridwen to come on Heios Prime. After showy parades on Saint Seren's Hope, Ceridwen bid farewell to Amelia Exonos and left for Heios Prime.
Master Hereticus, already closing the age of hundred Terran years, he had grown patient and longsighted plotter. He and Ceridwen had long conversations about Ceridwen's recent acts in Nightshores and Ceridwen's ability to raise such zeal amidst the ranks of Sororitas. Giving complete reports about the purge, Ceridwen left the Inquisitorial Palace for Saint Seren's Hope to see Amelia and Tearlach. Contents of the conversations between Joseph and Ceridwen were never leaked to anyone else but after that Ceridwen took a long vacation and got some distance for the life of inquisitor. During this time she trained in the monastery of Order of White Maiden alongside the Sisters of Battle and gained personal influence on Saint Seren's Hope. More than twice she visited the Cardinal Broen Dulf and took part in great parties of noble-born where her name was already familiar even if she knew very few people there herself.
Growing tired of such inactivity, Ceridwen started to gather information in her own way. In 473.M41 she traveled into Ferghost Colonies and during the first months she gathered information about mercenaries and more-or-less-renegades that resided on the sparsely populated worlds of the sub-sector. She eventually bumped up to rogue trader Cornelius von Gundrad, who willingly shared some of his informants with Ceridwen in order to gain some inquisitorial favour.
- "I only wish my mistress had her fire..."
- —Cornelius Amadeus von Gundrad about Ceridwen Lothringen
For two years Ceridwen roamed the Iox sector under name of Jozefa Ulysses creating a vast network of informants and spies, until finally she received information about plans of massive outbreak in Dorsova system's prisons. She quickly headed to Karles system where she raised three brigades of Karles Grenadiers and when she finally set her course to Dorsova system, reports of massive revolts and outbreaks reached her ears.
Sending astropathic messages to her former master Phillip Ancalya, she organized brigades of Karles under the most prominent leaders found within and deployed whole three brigades upon the planet Dorsova Pi. Somewhat 36.000 heavy infantry troopers formed Strike-Viper force and started to systematically cull the prisoners that had run hiding in the marshes of planet's northern territory. It took three weeks, when Phillip Ancalya arrived in the system and deployed by the Ceridwen's orders on Dorsova Pi-2, under codename Strike-Cobra, where escapees were reported to break in to armouries.
The most psychotic killers and sociopaths of Iox sector were formitable force to fight against and before Karles Grenadiers's managed to break the prisoners that had broken into Dorsova Pi's northern armoury, the task force suffered great losses from heavy bolter and auto-cannon fire unleashed by salvaging prisoner forces. After reclaiming the armoury, Ceridwen ordered all troops to change their special weaponry to flamers and heavy flamers found in great numbers within the vaults of armoury.
- "Let the justice be done! Burn them all."
- —Ceridwen Lothringen during Kindling of Prisoners
When more requested troops arrived on Dorsova Pi, Ceridwen led half of the reinforcements upon Dorsova Pi-2 where Strike-Cobra's progress was stalled by organised prisoner bands. Deployed via Navy's Valkyrie AACs, Ceridwen smashed right into the armoury breaking the escapees's morale and driving them off only to be shot later. Three months later the penal worlds were put under Imperial rule again and Karles Grenadiers formed the new PDF.
Gaining taste for war, Ceridwen asked permission from Ordos Iox to be stationed in the raging warzones of Gregora sector where chaotic cults had denounced Imperial Law and Order and established an empire of their own. Informing mostly destroyed Gregoran Conclave, Ceridwen made her way to Gregora sector and was quickly introduced into the staff of Lord Militant Corentine Ezekiel as a supervising member taking the post of the couple months earlier assassinated General-Commissar.
Ceridwen acted in the Battlegroup Eta during the Great Gregoran Rebellion all the way to the 484.M41 when the sector was introduced under Astra Militarum junta. Now tired and sick of war and blood, her fire had burned out and when she returned in Iox she kept by herself much more than earlier.
Ceridwen spent the first years after the wars inside a hermit monastery on Saint Seren's Hope until in 487.M41 Amelia Exonos pushed Ceridwen on her feet again. Contacting Cornelius von Gundrad, Ceridwen started to remake her network that was left unattended after she had departed into Gregora sector. Carefully regrouping all of the old associates of hers, she created the network again and started to follow a trail of unsanctioned weapon deals. After a while she found the Blessed Poet Cabal which was then merely a cell within the Ancalyan's Cabal.
She shunned the works of her half-brother Tearlach when they were published in 488.M41 and was left out of the court held by High Council to decide the matter whether they were completely heretical or only partially. Ceridwen however acquired thesis "Psyche of Living Beings" when Tearlach sent the original manuscript to her to keep it safe from the High Council. After inner conflict of many days, Ceridwen finally took the manuscript and red it from cover to cover. The potent of the thesis was mostly overlook by her colleagues, and the theses were shunned from public and hidden beneath the locked labyrinth of forbidden tomes under Inquisitorial Palace. Ceridwen however learned the many ways to capture and hold a psyker properly, without harming the "subject", as Tearlach wrote, and how to keep oneself safe from mind probing. When finished the book, Ceridwen grinned for Tearlach's hand-written comment on the last page: "...of course, there is no safe haven from my mind and even the deepest secrets and removed memories can be regained by my glorious powers that the Emperor on the Golden Throne has given to me in His Most Holy Grace".
Ceridwen acted undercover under her alias Jozefa Ulysses for numerous missions where she tried to apply Tearlach's studies to field work. More or less of the thesis's content was true enough to keep Ceridwen safe from psykers and so she brought further info to the High Council of Ordos Iox in 490.M41 to reconsider theses's fate and Tearlach's position in the ranks of the Inquisition. Tearlach was nominated as an inquisitor half a year later when he took and left to the Ordo Xenos.
Ceridwen kept her little secret hidden from prying eyes and ears and continued to follow the million leads and billion hints about the weapon smugglers. In 490.M41 it appeared that more or less of one particular human slave market was involved in the smuggler's ring and when she finally got a hold on one of the key members of the ring, she found out what was going on. On the next day she departed to the cardinal planet d'Anglos Prime and on the day after that she received a distress signal from Tearlach who was captured by the Ecclesiarchal witch hunters and was being held on d'Anglos Prime. As fast as the warp let her, Ceridwen ventured on d'Anglos Prime and made her way to the chambers of the High Cardinal Iox. Had she not grown some patience during her years away in Gregora sector, High Cardinal Iox would have lost his head without the second thought but now Ceridwen tried to act politically.
Her leads concerning the weapon and slave market had ultimately led to the very room she was standing in with Tearlach Rosenstein on the next day. Pontifex Urba Gotthard being one of the key members in the smuggler's ring, according to her sources, was part of the High Court alongside High Cardinal Iox, Judge-Commander of d'Anglos and many other members of Ecclesiarchy, Arbites, PDF and some minor factions' representatives. After hours of ranting and useless bush-beating, Ceridwen rose up and declared the Court ceased as she and Tearlach would go off planet and leave the hypocritic zealots in their own lot. This didn't however go as planned, as someone had revealed to the Cardinal and others who were part of the smugglers, that Ceridwen was closing their tail. Armed thugs assaulted Ceridwen and Tearlach with autogun fire and was it not for Tearlach's psychic powers, both of them would've been slain then and there. Psychic sphere of protection emerged around the two inquisitors and while Tearlach held the sphere together, Ceridwen tried to reach Arbites forces only to figure out that the Judge-Commander d'Anglos was acting with the Cardinal. It took no more than couple of minutes before one bullet slipped through Tearlach's psychic field and hit him in the shoulder. Instantly shockwaves of raw psychic power bursted out of Tearlach burning their attackers into bonedust leaving nothing but smoke behind them. All members in the courthouse were set in the flickering purple witchfires. Pillars of ancient concrete were smashed into ground and the thundering clouds gathered around them, shooting flaming lightnings and spewing abominable bolts of warp upon the ground. Psychic shockwaves travelled kilometres in each direction laying waste the blockhouses and palaces alike. Shrines of long-dead saints and cardinals were grinded into dust and smoke. Buildings set on the world of d'Anglos before the Age of Apostasy were cracked like twigs, statues splintered, windows turned into sand and screaming people were set on fire. Warpflames covered the razed buildings and ruins. Ceridwen, protected by a sphere of light looked upon the devastation and her half-brother whose whole body was twitching. His skin was bubbling and the form of once little and wretched man was changing violently, his hair growing into thick bush of black hair and turquoise feathers and his bony hands turned into claws.
Holding her hand on the grip of her broadsword, she fought against herself, finally giving up and running away, tears in her eyes.
Ceridwen, after leaving the planet with her private lander, tried to contact local authorities, but mostly in vain. Demonic cacophony manifested itself in the manner of fierce lightning storms that slashed their unholy bolts to the upper atmosphere, breaking evacuating carriers and landers alike. Only orbital space stations were evacuated succesfully, everything else was lost.
When Ceridwen finally reached Cornelius's ship, they quickly departed the solar system. Suddenly emerging warp storm however denied their attempts to make a jump to the nearby systems, so they were forced to travel in real space for months, before reaching a point where their navigator agreed to make the jump to Prosphorant.
After seven months of travelling, they finally reached the Carollon system where Cornelius's ship was searched from top to bottom and its whole crew including Ceridwen and rogue trader himself, apprehended and sent to An Romos Prime. When they reached the system, Ceridwen was taken by her old associate, an old but intimidating, dead-serious and just to the end, Bloodhound of Iox, inquisitor Karr Dunian. Seeing him made Ceridwen vary, her own reputation had long since overcome Karr's, whose amalanthian beliefs made him work in secret, mostly, and so unnoticed and unrevered. Ceridwen however, as an old member of Ordos Iox, knew perfectly well that was it not for Karr Dunian, the Crow could still be alive, and that was just one of the cases in Karr Dunian's long list of achievements. Ceridwen was however stripped of all her weapons or anything that could be used as a weapon, her rosette was taken away by Karr, who grinned unpleasantly while taking it.
Ceridwen was taken in front of the High Council of Ordos Iox. The hustle and bustle that grew when she entered the round room told her that something had been going on. Ceridwen was interrogated as part of the trial that took place there and then. The court was gathered in its full strenght, something she had never seen before. Grandmistress Olga "Pureheart" Volak and Master Malleus, Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya and Master Xenos Drupada Anupam formed the heart of the council, when other Ordo representatives were Markel Frantzisko of Ordo Sicarius, Asier Argider of Ordo Astartes, Pellum Nerses of Ordo Sanctorum, Ari Dominik of Ordo Bassenheim and Vera Branca of Ordo Militarum. Ceridwen was soon informed that a warp storm had emerged inside the d'Anglos system and the former cardinal planet was tranformed into daemon world, Tearlach Rosenstein, now Excommunicate Traitoris and Extremis Diabolus, was lost and number of operatives were hunting him and any survivors who had escaped from the system's devastation down. High Council took their time with Ceridwen and three days of interrogating led to a conclusion that she needed to be tested for her purity for being so close to the source of an unholy energy of such magnitude.
- "Hit harder! Taint of the Warp is washed away with the blood of the innocent!"
- —Ceridwen Lothringen to Angir Fex, her punisher
Ceridwen was tested for her faith as she was whipped for seven days given nothing but water to drink. Even if she had to spent the next fourteen months under medical attention, as most of her skin was rended away and it had to be replaced to prevent any further infections, she gained reputation like no other living person in Iox. Angir Fex returned from his journey to trail Tearlach just to apologise himself for being the one to commit Ceridwen's punishment. Angir Fex was one of the few inquisitors in Iox that wasn't part of Ancalyan's Cabal and now as they formed a bond of a kind with Ceridwen, he became the second member of Blessed Poet Cabal as Ceridwen shared her informations with him.
Even if she was under rehabilitation for over a year, she did not sat idle. Many agents worked for her then and they continued right from the point they were left when d'Anglos was consumed by warp. Ceridwen's sources and informations had finally reached such magnificent point where she wasn't really sure if she could share them but she was completely assured that she could not solve the knot on her own. That was why Ceridwen was more than happy to take the old inquisitor Angir Fex into her league. By silent recruiting, she managed to acquire with the help of Angir Fex, Angir's only pupil, Gerhard Uffe, that had been working in Kjipr sector for decades. Trying to keep it small and hidden from prying eyes, only inquisitor Vivian Volan of Ordo Sicarius was recruited from the bureaucratic depths of Heios Prime. Alongside this trio of inquisitors there were at least one rogue trader; Cornelius von Gundrad, and Canoness-Superior Amelia Exonos of Order of White Maiden, who were part of the Blessed Poet Cabal, though many more were more or less part of the cabal but their names were never said outloud.
Ceridwen's faith was in ordeal when inquisitor Karr Dunian was found dead in 281 Alkopa space station in Pilgrim's Passage sub-sector. That was, however, crucial to Ceridwen's success and for the search for Tearlach. Many sightings of an unknown rogue trader Undrad Ulysses were confirmed around Pilgrim's Passage in 500-504.M41 and the Inquisition moved to counter it believing this rogue trader to be Tearlach Rosenstein. How, when and why had Tearlach acquired Warrant of Trade, a ship and left the d'Anglos Prime from the midst of devastation was and still remains unknown. Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya with his brother Phillip led the extensive hunt for Phillip's late pupil through the Saint's Rift sub-sector. In 506.M41 the Howling of the Saint's Rift occured as even the most formitable and stable warp route, Gateway of Necareth, got distorted by psychic cacophonies and the worlds of Aurigae, Crowmere and Necareth system were attacked by demonic filth. Collective power of grouped inquisitors in that area ensured that the incursions were quickly put out, latest in 508.M41 when Pox-Gate of Crowmere was shut by Master Malleus Olga Volak herself.
The hunt for Tearlach led to the outer reaches of the sector and to the lowest parts of the galactic plane, Menegron system, previously known as Planet of Phantoms. As the Black Ships of Inquisition reached the planet's orbit it was already quite clear that the planet was lost, seeing from the orbit how warp-lit hurricanes swiped over the rugged landscape. Task forces however made planetfall, Ancalyan's Cabal was deployed on the former frontier world and Ceridwen's league followed them swiftly afterwards.
Ceridwen's long investigations and information concerning constant outbreaks in Iox sector had led to the point where she believed someone was behind it all. In 491.M41 she finally got to High Cardinal Iox and his league of criminals that ran a human slave market inside the heart of Iox. It was not all and after small recollection of informants after d'Anglos Incident, Ceridwen got on the trail again and discovered a far more inferior group behind everything she had fought against during her career. Conclave of Prosphorant, Trio-Judges of Vidar, Taint in Nightshores and the Vermillion Preacher were all part of the master-plan orchestrated by, who else than, Ancalyan's Cabal, who controlled most of the Iox either directly or by their influence. The Istvaanian beliefs of Phillip Ancalya had tainted all his associates and to forge a stronger Imperium by the blood of martyrs was a small price for him and his allies. For Ceridwen's disappointment, there were far worse beliefs within Ancalyan's Cabal, most notably the Grandmistress Olga Volak who followed the Seculos Attendous faction and had performed the d'Anglos Incident from beginning to end. Most of the rest of Ancalyan's Cabal followed the doctrines of recongregationism and istvaanism, including the prefect Kjeld d'Ark. Ceridwen's rash nature and lucky prowess in her attempts to overcome everything her enemies had thrown against her, had served the cabal more than well. Above all this in Ceridwen's mind was to condemn these heretics but also to have a revenge of her own for being puppet to those wretched enemies of the Magnificent Mankind.
No records were made on Menegron and everything that relates to Ancalyan's Cabal or its heretic nature is based upon Ceridwen Lothringen's stories and reports. It is however believed, that Ceridwen apprehended the Ancalyan's Cabal and her former master who refused to give up their beliefs and submit themselves to the Blessed Poet. Battle over the truth about Ancalyans was short-lived and bloody, when the enigmatic Vivian Volan was able to deploy Imperial Assassin into the fight.
Tearlach Rosenstein was, according to all sources but Ceridwen's reports, on the planet during that time but was not found. Medical officials believed that Tearlach's psyche had finally took over his body and at those times his body had fully degraded and his spirit left the realm of Men. Menegron was however left into full-scale war when demonic incursions and warp-anomalies hit the planet. In 515.M41 Menegron system was declared lost and it was removed from the Imperial maps leaving its final fate unknown.
The Blessed Poet Cabal left the Menegron and systematically cleansed the Iox of the filth the Ancalyans had left behind. Ceridwen, being touched by the saint, Lightbringer of Saint Seren, her taint flogged away with her skin, Hero of the Dorsova Revolts, Lioness of the Rift, Daughter of Velgram, favoured by Schola Progenium Heios, Malleus Maleficarum and the Incorruptible, had no hard time to overcome the Ancalyan's Cabal. For who could suspect the purity of one who was touched by Imperial Saint? After a short period of collecting all her associates, she took over the Black Ships of Inquisition that were deployed by Ancalyan's Cabal and with the Inquisitorial Stormtroopers she stormed the Inquisitorial Palace on An Romos Prime taking dozen inquisitors and their acolytes as captives and finally took over the Ioxian Conclave.
Records of Corey Nemes were dug up and anyone that had anything to do with him were captured within months. Prefect Kjeld d'Ark was imprisoned and he was replaced by the High Court Marshal Iox of Adeptus Arbites who supported Ceridwen's cause when he was presented with the material related to the Ancalyan's Cabal. The vast influence of Ancalyans was far more than anyone would've ever thought and most likely even those in it didn't know each others. Ceridwen, having a sense for theatricity, burned lord inquisitor Phillip and Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya, Master Malleus Olga Volak and prefects Kjeld d'Ark of Iox Marches and Illiam Kermode of Heios sub-sector, just to mention few, in the Clearing of Cleansing as to remind the Imperium about the Mad Lord Vandire and all other abominations that had been burned at stakes in the clearing.
Organising many operations to hunt down every member of the Ancalyan's Cabal, Ceridwen spent her whole late career to clean up the mess that was spread across the Bassenheim Triangle. The most desperate cabalites escaped her grasp into the Storm of Tears which is the only legacy still remaining of the Ancalyan's Cabal to this day in 999.M41.
Ioxian Conclave was reformed in 514.M41 after the worst of the mess was cleaned away from public eyes. Ordos Iox emerged again as the venerated Master Xenos Drupada Anupam was elected as Grandmaster Iox, he personally tasked Ceridwen to lead the investigations to root out all dead ends and missing persons of Ancalyan's Cabal granting her the title of lady inquisitor for her outstanding efforts to clean the Iox sector. With the aid of Angir Fex Ceridwen managed to root out some of the most dangerous escapees, most notably the Flamer, rogue psyker that wrecked havok in Lothringen-Eta's hive cities by controlling huge mobs of people and using the dark arts to burn the city. Angir Fex was lethally wounded by the warp-fires of the Flamer in 519.M41 and died shortly afterwards. Blessed Poet Cabal came to its end when Vivian Volan was dismembered in 564.M41 by the last known associate of Ancalyan's Cabal, former primaris psyker Hugh Hanson, before was caught and sawed in two. With her cabal, Ceridwen's own purpose became lost and in 564.M41 she left the field duty to the younger inquisitors as her health didn't allow her violent operations anymore.
Ceridwen was elected as Master Hereticus in 519.M41 to take Angir Fex's place in High Council. Later, in 566.M41, she was elected as Grandmistress Iox. Having played a major role in in the fields of politics and religion, Ceridwen enjoyed the fame of an inspirer amidst the younger (and older) inquisitors. She was also granted a honorary rank of Palatinus Lux by the Order of the White Maiden.
Ceridwen Felina Lothringen died at the age of 145 standard Terran years and was buried in the holy ground of Tessagamil cemetary world, forever to be remembered as the Heroine of the Imperium.
Personality and traits
Before her years in Gregora system, Ceridwen never enjoyed the time by herself. Not that she really enjoyed the time spent with other people either. You see, all those long years she spent in Schola Progenium chamber, she was always with someone. In the Schola, there was no such thing as privacy and she grew into that someone always watched, talked and that there was no real silence. When she left with Phillip Ancalya, as the inquisitor's acolyte, it took many years before she got used to the silence and that she actually had to speak to other people in private. This is generally the reason why Ceridwen started to follow the more radical puritan philosophy, monodominantism, because as a result, she didn't need to hide or do sneak around.
Unlike some inquisitors, who work mostly undercover and anonymously, Ceridwen had a habit of taking credit about everything she did or said. When that habit was augmented by her vainglorious nature, the packet was ready. During the Purge over Nightshores in 461-470.M41, after she was touched by the Saint, it was not at all uncommon to hear her talking about her heavenly nature or about the fact that she was chosen by Saint Seren amongst the billions who had visited her sacred shrine. This was the particular reason why Ceridwen was forced to give her reports personally to Master Hereticus Joseph Ancalya, who requested her to take a bit easier. The vain girl however couldn't get over the "touched by the Saint" -thing and always wore the Aura of Lightbringer which emitted an aura around her head, similar to those used by some ostentatious cardinals of Ecclesiarchy. Ceridwen, through her whole life, had complete and utter loyalty and devotion to Saint Seren. So strong, in fact, that she might have actually been touched by the saint.
Even if most of the recorded quotes and speeches by Ceridwen are mostly zealous preaching or filled with condescending metaphores and hate driven accusations, Ceridwen was talented in the arts of rhetorics. This is clearly visible, when considering the impact she made with her words. By her harsh and sometimes seemingly humiliating tone of voice and choice of words she managed to create an image of herself, a reputation with such magnitude, it made the men and women of lesser spirit to crawl from her way and keep silent. This was a hard road to walk which might have been the reason she was never attached to any particular person, if not for Tearlach. Also her exaggeration of her feats, such as killing the Vermillion Preacher with a piece of rock after losing her sword in the fierce fight against chaos space marine, might have been just a way to create that fierce picture out of herself... on the other hand, it might just be that she had an unsatisfied hunger for glory and self-praising was part of her ever-attractive nature.
Ceridwen loathed all kinds of divination practises and everything that even hinted about heresy. During her years in Gregoran Warzone, she was known to crack Imperial Guardmen's fingers for using the Emperor's Tarot to foresee their battle fortune. Not that it was the only thing she hated, or loathed. Some, who knew her, even said that Ceridwen was Imperial Creed's hate manifested, and that if her fiery nature didn't burn the heretics out of the planet, she did it herself.
Ceridwen was practical person and couldn't stand superstitious beliefs of any kind, if they did not bear themselves from the Imperial Creed. Known to have confiscated all seven hundred good-luck charms of Karles Grenadiers she was propably not the most liked person within Imperial Guard. In ultimate, she was about to get rid of the wolf pelts that the Space Wolves space marines used, alongside the fangs and other adornments, only to be stopped by the sobbing plead of Lord Militant Corentine Ezekiel to leave the Space Wolves be.
- "I will not tolerate a talk like that from a petty preacher of some pathetic frontier world on the edge of the forgotten sector! You are only a band of big mouthed hypocrites that firstly have no right and secondly no real reason to scrutinize, not to even talk about judging, an agent of the Holy Inquisition, the only institute in this God forsaken sector that works even nearly properly!"
- —Ceridwen during the trial against Tearlach Rosenstein
Ceridwen also took, maybe a too big, part in Ioxian politics, especially those linked to Ecclesiarchy. She publicly denounced all cardinals and preachers of the Nightshores after the Purge over Nightshores and after the d'Anglos Incident and uncovering the truth behind Ancalyan's Cabal, she publicly critisised the current state of Ecclesiarchy in Iox sector. She also literally attacked the cardinal Broen Dulf by slapping him, because, according to her, the cardinal looked her "that way".
During the time she spent in Ancalyan's estate on An Romos Prime, Ceridwen actively sought to get herself in parties and celebrations just to remind the rich and powerful about the poor condition of the frontier worlds of Iox sector. This was all before she started to critisise the efficiency and deployment of Karles Grenadiers in 475.M41 after the Dorsova Revolts. These critiques were abruptly suppressed by High Inquisitor Vera Branca of Ordo Militarum as Vera called the High Council of Ordos Iox to gather and put an end to Ceridwen's fierce preaching about everything. That was part of the reason why Ceridwen left into Gregoran Warzone where she had not such "ridiculous" restrictions as in Iox sector.
When she finally crushed the heretics of Ancalyan's Cabal and gained the ultimate reputation and fame over Iox, she started to preach again about the flaws in rulership of Iox and the inefficiency of Adeptus Arbites, for example, forcing a period of eight decades of hateful arbitrary governorship on many planets in 519-602.M41. During her late career she also heavily invested to work on behalf the Ordo Sanctorum that watched over Ecclesiarchy.
Those who ever saw Ceridwen can all agree that she had an aura of pride and military carriage. Being 185 centimetres tall, she dwarfed most of her colleagues and any other woman she ever knew. She carried her tall figure with absolute pride and, literally, used to overlook other people. Spending hundreds of hours in a month to take care of her looks, her overall appearance was elegant and stylished.
Ceridwen had, prior she became an inquisitor, medium lenght hair that covered the scar in place of her right ear. After she gained the rank of inquisitor, she gained, or more like finally took, more rights concerning her outlook among other things. After that she had long chestnut brown hair that got lighter as she aged. It is also worth of mention, that she started to use juvenile-stimulants at the age of 35, which might have led to her premature death at the age of 145 standard Terran years.
Even if she from time to time used her power armour, she preferred more fashionable clothes and used power armour mostly at times when she was on battlefield. Favouring colours such as vermillion and matt gold, she gained her short-lived nickname "Lioness". Her vainglorious nature faded away after her whipping in 492.M41 as she was forced to use syn-skin and extensive amount of drugs to keep herself well and going. Being combat orientated, she started to use her power armour in her late years more and more until to the point when her state of health got worse and she left the field duty.
It is said that even in her death she managed to look proud, elegant and, even if the many years managed to draw few lines on her skin, young.
Like many inquisitors, who have power and right to draw any weapon from the vaults of Imperium, Ceridwen utilised many different pieces of wargear during her lifetime and was attached to only one particular piece of wargear; the Moonfall.
Her ever-favoured power armour was quite formidable weapon on its own against psykers and warp taint but for Ceridwen that was not enough. In her early career and most notably when assaulting the Conclave of Prosphorant prior her career as an inquisitor, she fancied the power stakes and was known to carry few wherever she went. Otherwise, during her early career, she was noted to wear heavy flak or light carapace armour and carry heavy lasgun or even a hellgun with her. Originally she was after the combat shotguns and bolters, but after destroying the Trio-Judges of Vidar she tried to take as much distance to the Arbites as she politely could. So she left most of the Arbites utilised armanent away but kept dreaming of her own bolter. Finally in 475.M41 she gained her bolter, but grew soon tired of its irrational loudness arming herself with flamers henceforth.
After her flogging in 492.M41 she started to arm herself from high to heel. It was also not uncommon to see her carrying a venerated tomes on her hips, such as Liber Heresius, Codex Hereticus, Five Saints and Litt Tenebras.
- Power Armour - Sororitas pattern
- For her close combat orientated methods, she was gifted a Sororitas pattern power armour by Canoness Amelia Exonos who had close ties to Phillip Ancalya and the Ancalyan's Cabal. Ceridwen however returned the power armour after gaining the rank of inquisitor and she requested a specially tailored power armour of her own.
- Power Armour - Type Leaena(c)
- Made upon the basis of Sororitas pattern power armour, Ceridwen's specially tailored power armour resembled much of the Sororitas pattern armour but was polished to be both presentable and protective. Most notable differences to the Sororitas armour were smaller pauldrons, lack of heels and skull-shaped helmet.
- Being specifically crafted for inquisitor's personal use, it also hosted much more powerful power source that was later modified to power the refractor field too. To enchance Ceridwen's prowess against witches and other warp-abominations, it was later inlaid with Hexagrammic Wards and the helmet was incorporated with psyocculum. Finally before departing to Gregoran Warzone, a shoulder-mounted drum-fed bolter was attached to the power armour making the final variant Sororitas pattern type Leaena(c).
- Refractor Field - Aura of the Lightbringer
- When Ceridwen was "touched by the Saint" on Saint Seren's Hope, the Vault Keepers of Adepta Sororitas granted her an artifact refractor field that traced its origins to the Crusade for Nightshores. The refractor field, Golden Aura or the Aura of Lightbringer was said to have been specifically crafted for warmaster Alois Carollon during the crusade. Originally it was powered by a small but powerful pack attached to one's belt. It was however slightly modified to be able to draw its power from Ceridwen's personal power armour's back-pack.
- This particular refractor field is as powerful as more common rosarii utilised by inquisitors. In addition, instead of having just a hazy aura around the user, Aura of the Lightbringer emits strong golden aura around its wearer reminding all around the user about his or her holy nature.
- Bolter - Mk III Hereticus pattern
- Ceridwen's shoulder-mounted bolter was one of the few ranged weapons she frequently used. Mk III Hereticus pattern is a bolter variant that was originally designed for the use of Inferno bolts as its ammunition, it also presents a larger clip size that was further enchanced by Ceridwen by replacing the clip with drum-magazine.
- Forged by long forgotten Master Artisan of Adeptus Mechanicus, this blade have been wielded by two most prominent inquisitors of Iox sector: Velgram d'Ark and Ceridwen Lothringen.
- Though this long broadsword's origins are mostly lost in history, it was acquired by Velgram d'Ark in mid-M40 and after his death was left under protection of Schola Progenium Heios. As part of the agreement between the Lothringen descendants, every firstborn was to be sent into Schola and only the Schola's acting Abbot had the right to bestow the weapon for a member of the Lothringen family. It took almost a millennium before the Abbot of Schola recognised Ceridwen's acts and gave the sword for her. Ceridwen however died without children and so the Lothringen family died with her and the sword was attached to the statue of her, sculpted in the Inquisitorial Palace on An Romos Prime.
- The Moonfall, being 150cm long and having width of 15cm, is remarkable lightweight and easy to wield. This broadsword, or more likely a greatsword, is forged of light, durable and seemingly indestructable matter, truesilver. The blade's argent tip have retained its bright shine over the centuries and no oil is need to keep it in shape. Vowen inside the blade's structure, there is a powerful psi-conductor and power-field generator, hinting to the fact it is not a mere power weapon but a force weapon. Of course, when it was wielded by Ceridwen, that mattered little because of her slightly negative psychic attunement. Blade's surface is completely unadorned, having no inlaid scripture, mottos, icons or anything similar. The Moonfall's name is derivered from the great black pearl put in place of the pommel.
The Grandmistress's associates, informants, colleagues and contacts were so great in numbers it would be impossible to gather them all here in an article. Some of the most important characters are mentioned here.
Being only six years old when sent in Schola Progenium Heios, Ceridwen had only hazy memories about her parents. Not even once during her whole lifetime did she try to look for or contact her parents. Even if her parents tried to contact her from time to time, Ceridwen just rudely ignored them. Especially when the rumours about the Successor of the Lightbringer spread around Iox like wildfire, Ceridwen's mother tried to contact her long lost daughter by traveling to Rigobel system. If Ceridwen's mother ever saw her daughter remains unknown, but in the gravestone of hers there is carved words: "Mother to She who cleansed our name".
Of the other Lothringens and their descendants, Ceridwen ever knew only dozen. Most notably the Kjeld d'Ark, prefect of Iox Marches who was later killed by Ceridwen for being part of the Ancalyan's Cabal. The Lothringens were, in their time, a powerful and vast dynasty of governors and merchants, so it is not a big surprise that there are many families and trade houses that can trace at least some line right back to the House Lothringen. Ceridwen however despised her line and on the rare occasions she talked about her Lothringen lineage, her words were filled with spite. The only ancestor she ever spoke of with pride, was Lord Militant Governor Velgram d'Ark.
Cornelius Amadeus von Gundrad
A long-time associate and friend of hers, Cornelius was no less than 52 years older than Ceridwen. Before Ceridwen was sent into Schola Progenium Heios, Ceridwen was fiancee of Cornelius. The Lothringens, however, had an ancient pack with Schola Progenium Heios, that every firstborn of the line of Velgram d'Ark was to be sent for the Imperium's service, to ensure the lineage's purity. When Ceridwen's older brother died at the age of seven, just before he was going to go into Schola, the obligation to join Schola was moved to Ceridwen and so the engagement of Cornelius and Ceridwen broke.
Ceridwen however was not aware of the fact above and Cornelius never told her that. Reasons for this are various, but propably because they were good friends with each others. There was a certain short-lived rumour about this "friendship" between an old and lustful rogue trader and young and beautiful inquisitor, it didn't however get a much attention because after all, Ceridwen was touched by the Saint and her chastity was without question.
Cornelius von Gundrad served as Ceridwen's most trusted associate and informant all the way to the end and the statue of Ceridwen that stands in the Inquisitorial Palace on An Romos Prime was made by Cornelius himself as he didn't believe anyone else could capture the beauty and fire of the early passed inquisitor.
Ceridwen was the first living person that Tearlach Rosenstein met after his parents had died (or captured) in 450.M41 when Velgram's World was attacked by unknown faction. Some could say that Tearlach imprinted himself to Ceridwen in a way no other person could ever understand.
After the dreadful images Ceridwen had seen in Rosenstein City's ruins she had months of nightmares about the half-eaten black corpses on the streets and impaled people, she came to Tearlach who still was only a bestial being without much understanding about humankind. It was then, when Ceridwen formed a close bond with Tearlach, understanding that the illusions in the Rosenstein City were his horrific memories about the attack. She was the first person that ever got close to Tearlach and also felt pity for him. When Tearlach grew as a human being in addition to years, Ceridwen used to go to Ancalyan's estate and play with the wretched kid, never quite grasping the frustration of Phillip Ancalya, who cursed about Tearlach's muteness, as for the whole time that small boy had talked to Ceridwen about this and that.
Tearlach was the only person who managed to speak via telepathy with Ceridwen due her slightly negative psychic aptitude. At first Ceridwen was terrified about that but in time she grew fond of their, unique to her, way to speak to each others. To mention few traits, Ceridwen taught Tearlach to use firearms, even if Tearlach later begun to shun the use of firearm and it was Ceridwen who talked Tearlach out of the scandal about his theses in 488.M41. It was also the one and only single occasion when Ceridwen intentionally worked with material of heretic nature.
Tearlach's and Ceridwen's relationship was comparable to those of siblings, they equally hated, loathed, envied and loved each others and when Tearlach's psyche finally backfired on d'Anglos Prime creating a warp storm and transforming him into abomination, Ceridwen had no heart to kill his "brother" but fled the planet only to later get her skin flogged away because of the incident.
Not once after Tearlach Rosenstein was declared missing in 506.M41 Ceridwen said a word about him and none had the courage to ask her about him.
- About cadets: When I talk about "cadets" of Schola Progenium, I try to give a vision of younger students/cadets in contrary to the official "progena" word that is used for Scholas's students/cadets. This is to separate those that are still students of those that are already brainwashed killing machines of the Imperium
- About professors: When I talk about "professors" of Schola Progenium, I try to give a perspective to the "military school of zeal and loyalty"... who else than professors would teach the cadets (or progenii) in Schola? I personally find "teacher" as a bit inferior in such special school and as no better word came accross, I decided to use "professor". It is walking on a thin ice of canon friendliness, but I'll keep it before someone points me at the source for Schola's real methods
- Ceridwen's Head Count: Just to keep track of things, I also calculated the decapitations (and/or executions) Ceridwen performed during her career:
- 2 sub-sector prefects (Kjeld d'Ark, Illiam Kermode)
- 1 planetary governor (Urbain Yost)
- 4 planetary Judge-Commanders of Arbites (Trio-Judges, Ignacy Dwyer)
- 10 inquisitors (Phillip and Joseph Ancalya; Janna, Lala and Orell Napier; Vidal Gaetano, Tibor Knox, Rajmund Fusco, Corey Nemes, Olga "Pureheart" Volak)
- 55 rogue psykers (53 of the Conclave of Prosphorant, the Flamer, Hugh Hanson)
- 155 enforcers (155 of Phoens)
- Smugglers' Ring (43 leaders and cruiser-full of criminals)
- 1 chaos space marine (Vermillion Preacher)
- I am quite fine if you refer to Ceridwen Lothringen in any of your articles but I do not wish any deeper connection to other fanfiction.
- According to http://www.behindthename.com/ Ceridwen means "blessed poetry".
- Picture of Ceridwen is based upon an actress Brigitte Bardot and it serves as a reference to the never dying beauty of Brigitte
- Originally, when I was writing the "Rosenstein -story", Ceridwen had only a minor role in it. She wasn't in no way important character and appeared in only one paragraph throughout the whole story. How it become into this... I honestly don't know.