Warrior, mutant, a man in search of salvation and lost honor.
A tall and sturdily built feudal world man, Garak Horst looks to be in his 30s, though the wear and tear of rough living probably adds an additional ten to the total. For someone who grew up on an arid and hot planet like Hrax, his choice of attire seems perhaps a bit counter intuitive, because he constantly covers himself with loose and heavy robes or cloaks. The main reason is to hide the mutations that ruined his life in the first place, and which would be very obvious otherwise. Underneath the layers of clothing, much of his torso, arms and legs have become fused with the clan armor he once carried with pride. Scar tissue marks spots where the combination of flesh and metal has been removed, either through self applied surgery, or in combat. Places where the skin is not yet corrupted are filled with the faded remnants of tribal tattoos that tell the stories of glory and victory, now long gone.
“When you’ve hit rock bottom, the only way is up… Not that I would know anything about that though, because if there’s a rock bottom, I hit it hard enough I went straight through to only Emperor knows where.”
To fall is a terrible thing, and Garak has fallen from higher than most. Once a respectable warrior of clan Horst under the command of Warlord Tarvalk, he was one of many similar young men, eager to prove their worth in a fight. It’s possible that had he not been unfortunate enough to turn into a mutant, Horst would most likely have eventually joined the ranks of the Hraxian Bloodknives, to be shipped off to fight the Imperium’s wars. But such was not his luck.
Instead, his lot in life was to be among those that had to fight the heresy that had found its way to Hrax. Though only a minor problem at first, the cults somehow managed to gather enough strength to pose a credible threat to even the biggest Warlords on Hrax, Tarvalk among them. And not too long after this, a major outpost between two major Bastion’s fell silent. Fearing a hostile takeover, Warlord Tarvalk was quick to mobilize a strike force of several dozen soldiers, Horst among their ranks.
What exactly took place in the cult compound is unclear even to Garak, though from time to time ragged memories of death, warp shadows and madness swim to the surface of his mind. But whether these are his actual memories or something else entirely, he can’t say. The aftermath was crystal clear, however: reinforcements arrived to find the compound in ruins, both cultists and Hraxian troops slain to the last man. A more extensive search turned up one survivor, however: Garak Horst, heavily mutated and lying confused in a pool of blood among the countless bodies.
Now, men who normally would have congratulated him on a job well done, refused to even look him in the eye, as though they feared that doing so would make them share his fate. Still, perhaps some little speck of respect remained among those that had found him, because he was not executed on the spot. Instead, he was dragged back to the Bastia of Golden Light in chains.
Though now an abhorred mutant, he was granted the final honor of dying with a blade in his hand. Thrown into the gladiator arena of the Bastia of Golden Light, he was made to fight both men and beasts for the amusement of his betters, which at that point included everyone he’d ever known. Though obviously intended to meet his end in the arena, Horst was determined to last and win back his honor and position, one fight at a time, no matter how long it took.
And somehow he survived, though not in a way he could ever have expected.
On that fateful day, instead of walking into the arena like he’d done on countless days before, Horst was instead chained again, and led upstairs by people he had never seen before, though he did recognize the I-shaped emblem they carried on their robes and armor. Tossed into the cramped hold of a shuttle headed into orbit, he was told that he had a new master now: the Inquisition.
Getting turned into an Acolyte of the Inquisitor certainly wasn’t what Garak had expected, or even wanted to happen in the first place. Still, that very decision was responsible for saving his life from the certain death of Hrax’s gladiator arenas, and extending it into the unforeseeable future. If nothing else, his loyalty towards his new masters stems from that debt, a leash as good as any to a man brought up on the absolute hierarchy and honor of a feudal society.