Revelations is a story that, for me, was actually a lot of fun to write. Not so much because of the story, but more because of the way it ended up writing itself.
When I first thought up Revelations, it was from a stray thought about what had really happened to Tallonius' father. I knew how he was going die (or, rather, had died), but not much of a back story. So I drew up a story about him being mistaken as a prophet by a cult, and being killed as a possessed danger to the Inquisition.
However, as time and the writing of the story went on, this expanded outward. I had the cult and their story, and I knew what happened. I needed a way for Tal to find out about it, and so it was that he had actually witnessed the death of his father, but had the memory blocked. Through the story, the "revelation" of what happened to his father is foreshadowed by Tal's dreamt memories. In the end, he remembered what happened and confronted Mandius.
But, since this is the Inquisition, there had to be a twist. There always was. And thus it was learned that the cult had really not been against the Imperium, and Kevyn Zhent's death had been for naught.
The other part of the story that sort of wrote itself was one of the main characters. Originally, Shannon Noritake wasn't even planned into the story - she was a last minute throw-in that added some interest and also reflected more of Tal's thoughts and emotions. However, the character was too good to let go, and managed to get herself set deep in the story, her own story ("Waking Up"), and plays a bit of a role in the sequel ("Prophet"), and likely some more stories beyond that.
Another enjoyable aspect of this story was the ability to get into one of the characters' minds in a big way, and to study some of the others through dialogue. For so long, people have thought of Inquisitors as these superhuman warriors who go around fighting aliens and daemons and killing in the name of the Emperor, with nothing else to them. I didn't see this as being the case with all Inquisitors. They should be three dimensional, fully living, thinking characters just like everyone else.
Tallonius Zhent (Tal)
Tal is, of course, the main character of the story. He's a member of the Ordo Hereticus, having followed in the footsteps of his father. After his father's death, Tal was raised by Mandius Narel, his father's closest fried (and killer). Tal has been an Inquisitor for only a few years now, but has managed to bring down many rebellious cults and organizations, including one led by the enigmatic Trell Harvick. He is currently twenty nine years of age.
The character came about as a character for Inquisitor, but he became so much more when I began writing stories about him. So far he's learned a lot about his emotions, his drive to help others, his desire for a love in his life, his regrets over his father's death. In the future, he's definitely going to learn a lot more about himself.
Ferrus is the head of the Ghevin HQ. He assigns tasks, and reviews the work of the Inquisitors based there. He was originally a member of the Ordo Malleus, but stopped doing jobs for it a while back, and currently works behind a desk. His age is officially listed at seventy two, though his young face and dashing smile don't show it. There are rumours he is much older, backed by records of a Ferrus Danth that date as far back as 594.M37.
Ferrus started out as a bit character. But, while doing sketches for the different characters, Ferrus came out being much more than that. He'll see his share of action in the future, but he's not giving up his job at GIHQ either.
Mandius was Tal's father's closest friend, and also Tal's mentor, raising him from the age of ten after being forced to kill Tal's father. Mandius works for the Ordo Xenos and has worked many odd cases, some of them involving making deals with the aliens that the Ordo Xenos is officially tasked with destroying. He watches over Tal to this day, helping him whenever possible while still doing his own work. He is currently hoping to track down and capture Trell Harvick, who is believed to be a Necrontyr in disguise.
Mandius was another Inquisitor character, but before that he "starred" in some of the Index Necrontyr reports (http://www.geocities.com/kaptingavrin/necrons). He's going to be by Tal's side in a few future stories, but he might see his own tales (such as his run in with the C'tan known as the Trickster, and the story of how he got a pulse rifle) in the future as well.
Kevyn, Tal's father, worked for the Ordo Hereticus, and was one of their best Inquisitors. However, one day while on assignment to Sudin, something went wrong, and he went mad. He was killed by Mandius when he drew his sword and attacked Mandius.
Shannon, still young at twenty four, is a woman who is still naive to the galaxy around her - though that is changing rapidly. She has always been quick to become a friend for those who need one, and helps those in need.
Shannon started as a side character and has grown into a character who will play a major role in the future. See the notes above for how she came into existence.
The Lok'teth were started when one of their members had a vision that an evil man would declare himself Emperor, and could only be defeated by a certain person, known as Yurl'tesh (the Prophet). They are Imperialist to the core, but this was not known when Kevyn Zhent was first sent to destroy them. He failed to destroy them, they failed to get him to see what they really were, and in the end Sudin was lost. The Lok'teth moved on the Hurn II and tried to stop the governor there, but the new Yurl'tesh - Tal - would have none of it. They are now organizing a resistance against Governor Selz.
Hurn II is a beautiful planet that has long been inhabited by Imperials. It has never been involved in a major war, and so its pristine landscape remains intact. Governor Selz rules the world from the city Tenem, the capital of Hurn. Trenton, one of its grandest cities, lies four hundred miles to the southwest of Tenem, and has grown into a popular city.
Recently, Selz has declared himself Emperor, and the Lok'teth, now diminished thanks to Tal, are trying to stop him with the aid of loyalist forces.
Sudin was a grand world, rife with people and teeming with life. It resembled Terra in its size and geological makeup. When the governor turned traitor, and the Lok'teth could not stop him, the world was to be taken back by a massive force. No one had known, however, that the governor had complete control of the populous, and in the end the majority of Sudin's citizens, as well as most of the invasion force, were dead. Sudin was left a smashed, broken world. Its cities were flattened, its people slaughtered, much of its forests burnt.
In the process of writing a story, sometimes you have to invent terms for modern devices that may not be called the same thing in the future. In the case of this story, the following terms were used, and their use is described after the word.
I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. There are three follow-ups, listed below: