Puritans & Radicals
Observations on Agent Dafydd Illian, DOGA
"... some inquisitors are puritans and some are radicals. Puritans believe in and enforce the traditional station of the Inquisition, working to purge our galactic community of any criminal or malevolent element. Anything that clashes with the pure rule of mankind, the preachings of the Ministorium and the letter of Imperial Law is subject to a puritan inquisitor's attention. Hard-line, traditional, merciless... that is the puritan way.
"Radicals believe that any methods are allowable if they accomplish the Inquisitorial task. Some, as I understand it, actually embrace and use forbidden resources, such as the Warp itself, as weapons against the enemies of mankind.
"I have heard the arguments often enough. They appal me. Radical belief is heretical."
-Gregor Eisenhorn, ca. 240.M41
"In the course of my hunt for Quixos, I learned several dark things. Chief among these was the means to control a daemon. It is knowledge that I would have chosen never to use. But the Titan was too much. It couldn't be allowed to survive. I had nothing left in my arsenal except dark lore."
-Gregor Eisenhorn, ca. 386.M41
Like all PPC Agents, Dafydd Illian, sometimes called Maglor FŽanorian, is - or rather was, since he is now retired, but we'll use is - a Purist. He has a deep and abiding hatred for the UnCanon, for Mary-Sues and invented countries. Indeed, his first recorded activity in HQ after his recruitment is a conversation in which he advocated the purging by fire of entire 'Sue-infested worlds. [This account is reproduced in the Appendix as Jihad]
However, to be a Purist is not necessarily to be a Puritan. As with the Inquisition of the Warhammer 40K universe, members of the Canon Protection Initiative can fall anywhere on the spectrum of Puritan to Radical - and many, as did Inquisitor Eisenhorn, change dramatically over the course of their careers. This analysis deals specifically with Agent Illian, but the basic principles could likely be applied to all Agents; at least, that is what I believe.
A glance at Dafydd's very first mission report with DOGA shows just how Puritanical he was, and this despite the fact that he had already been with the PPC for five years at that time. His very first recorded line is when he tells his partner that they 'need to have a reasonable charge sheet'. He is seen to be completely obedient to the written rules of the PPC, despite the fact that, due to his over-zealous burning of various Mary-Sue created locations, he had recently been shunned and almost fired. In the first few minutes of the mission, he expresses his desire to kill the current 'Sue - Amariel - several times, but still dutifully takes down a charge list, going so far as to get a CAD reading on an obvious Mary-Sue. Some might see this as reluctance to complete the mission, but when the time comes, he is efficient in charging the UnCanons, and positively eager to destroy (by fire) the village of Hasland.
This trend continued through his next missions. In Eledhwen, he showed a great deal of concern over the fact that his partner might be a former Mary-Sue. It is well known that there are many ex-Sues in the PPC, and that they are sometimes discriminated against. One can only imagine what might have occurred had Selene answered in the affirmative, but it doubtless would not have been pretty.
Eledhwen is also the first mission in which we observe Dafydd's habit of collecting 'Sue-forged artefacts, something which he would later come to regret, and which was either the cause or at least a symptom of his descent into radicalism. Notable, the same could be said of Gregor Eisenhorn - his adoption of more radical views was heralded by his acquisition of a forbidden text (although he had earlier urged that all such be destroyed - we can imagine that Dafydd may have had a similar attitude during his time with the Department of Mary-Sues) and his forging of several Warp-channelling weapons, one utilising a highly tainted piece of stone. This latter case, particularly, has a strong resonance with Dafydd's history.
In his third mission, Daughter of Desire, Dafydd came up against SairalindŽ, a witch from Angmar (who claimed to be the Witch-King's daughter). Among many other offences, she bore a ring into which she had placed all of her magical powers - an imitation of the One Ring, of course, bearing a black stone. This ring was Dafydd's second acquisition, and his most dangerous. The following exchange between him and Selene is very telling:
Dafydd looked over. "I want that ring," he said.
Selene rolled her eyes. "Dafydd, it's a 'Sue weapon. Itís a total canon-distorter. There is no way Upstairs would let you keep it."
"Upstairs wouldnít have to know," he replied, eyes gleaming.
Note how the ring - similar to Sauron's, with its known corrupting effects - has already taken hold of Dafydd. Due to his ancestry and history, he might be expected to be somewhat more susceptible than most to such influences, but this is still a remarkably rapid fall. Or would be, if not for one thing: he did not, immediately, begin to use the ring. In his fifth mission, he states to Agent Vemi Fincaran that he wishes to add Death's sword to his collection. While he seems to be citing their use as weapons, he mentions both Saira's ring and the sword obtained from Eledhwen, which sword was twisted out of shape and useless. It is impossible that it could be used in an active capacity.
It is likely not a coincidence that the first mention of wearing the Ring of SairalindŽ occurs in the mission Not So Simple. Here, Dafydd does not in fact have the Ring with him, but thinks before the mission begins, I knew I should have worn the Ring. It is clear that even knowing that he has possession of it is enough for the Ring to affect him with its taint, and nowhere is this seen more clearly than at the end of that same mission. Historically, Dafydd was very reluctant to admit to his FŽanorian heritage - he didn't tell his partner, Selene - but in this mission, Agent Vemi is injured. Dafydd's immediate reaction, rather than opening a portal and bringing in the professionals from the Medical Department - an act that would take some ten seconds - was to use Elven magic, and a song of healing. While entirely pure in both motive and application - no one can claim that the magic of the Noldor is in any way tainted - this act is still symptomatic of how far he had fallen. To use magic is always a last resort, as seen by the incredible draining effect it has on Dafydd, but he uses it here in a situation where - despite his protests to the contrary - there are clearly other, faster and safer means of achieving his goal.
In his very next mission report, Brown DragonRider of Pern, Dafydd wore the Ring of SairalindŽ in action.
Simple observation of Dafydd's actions over his last few missions shows how far the Ring had taken over him. In the course of the mission on Pern, he involuntarily unleashes its power, almost calling the dragon Heth down on the Agents. While forced to remove it temporarily, he is seen wearing it again during the next report, Woodsprite of the North. Here, displaying the paranoia common amongst radicals - for nothing makes it harder to trust others than having a guilty conscience - he almost attacks his partner Selene with the Ring, which would doubtless have had fatal results for at least one of them. His control has improved by this point, and he is able to competently use it as a threat.
In the following report - his penultimate one - the Ring is not used, but Dafydd has clearly grown deeply attached to it. It is stated that Dafydd, as ever, [slipped] the Ring of SairalindŽ onto his finger. It is clear that this artefact, once seen as so innocent, has had a powerful effect on the elf's mind. The beeping of a console causes him to reach for his sword, heedless of the damage this will cause to the PPC's equipment. Gone are the days when he stopped his partner from killing too early, when a charge list was his only thought; now, his response to Selene's suggestion that he start such a list is "Do I need to?".
And so we come at last to his final mission, Celebrian. Now the fall into radicalism is complete; his first solution to any problem is 'Sue-tainted magic, proposing that the Ring be used to annihilate the orcs that make up the majority of the characters in the story. When the time finally comes to kill them, no formal charge list is read out, no last words are given, there is no respect for the traditions of the PPC, but only the burning desire of a committed radical to see off the taint of UnCanon, in any way... at any cost.
The dramatic tale of Agent Dafydd (retired) can be seen as a cautionary tale for all field Agents. Many of you collect jewellery and other artefacts from Mary-Sues you kill on missions; even the great Jay and Acacia were not immune to doing so (and they, too, found themselves slipping into radicalism, with charge lists being forgotten, 'Sue powers being harnessed to their own ends). But if you are such an Agent, and you feel the urge to make use of these tainted and cursed objects, please think again. The PPC is in place to put an end to the corrupting influence of the UnCanon, not to multiply it by making use of it. Be wary in your associations, Protectors, and hold fast to the truth of the Canon and the PPC. Let the lessons of Dafydd's life teach you to resist temptation, for down that path lies radicalism, insanity and death.
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