Characters / Ravenor

Characters of Dan Abnett's Ravenor trilogy and associated tropes

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     Ravenor and his retinue 

Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor

The eponymous Inquisitor, Ravenor was Eisenhorn's Interrogator until the Thracian Atrocity left him a shadow of his former self. Ravenor was left to a life largely of contemplation and passive investigation. In spite of his injuries, and even a little bit because of them, he had become a successful Inquisitor and author.

  • The Ace: Before becoming a burnt husk, Ravenor was quite the skilled individual. He was also quite handsome, as well.
  • Body Surf: Often how his mind reading works. He once exploits this when by hiding in the mind of a civilian from a rival psyker when he couldn't afford to fight.
  • Disability Superpower: Ravenor's psychic potential was already impressive before becoming crippled; it has only increased after he went into the chair.
  • Genius Cripple: He was already a genius, but being confined to his force chair made him turn to contemplation more than before.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's permanently on life support, but with his Psychic Powers and the technology in his force chair, he's far from helpless.
  • Machine Monotone: He can speak to people in their minds using his psyker abilities, but his force chair is equipped with a voice box for normal communications, or for use with someone he can't communicate with psychically. He rather hates being forced to use it, since it renders his voice in a flat, emotionless monotone.
  • Mind Rape: Ravenor is capable of this, and won't hesitate, particularly in interrogations where he can easily read somebody's mind (provided they don't know ways to block him out), forcefully enough to do some permanent damage or destroy their sanity if he is so inclined—likely due to a failed attempt at blocking the probe. Also see the People Puppets entry.
    • At one point he's forced to "ware" Angharad and has no time to ask her permission, and she accuses him of Mind Rape, using exactly those words.
  • People Puppets: "Waring" is basically possessing somebody and overriding their mental control, and also apparently a more refined and elegant method than simply bodyjacking somebody and controlling their bodies with brute psychic power. It's perhaps Ravenor's trademark ability. It's handy when somebody needs to take a few levels in badass on the fly, and Ravenor can do it to several people at once.
  • Power Limiter: Inverted. Ravenor has a power amplifier he can use to boost his psychic power enough to astral project to observe and aid his retinue from orbit.
  • Psychic Powers: Ravenor is in the upper tiers in terms of psychic power, and like most sufficiently powerful psykers in Abnett's literature, his power includes Astral Projection, telekinesis, and telepathy. He's strong enough to telekinetically crush a person (presumably with little effort) or read the minds of an entire city.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: Despite the fact that his psychic power more than compensates, Ravenor often laments how he isn't able to feel with his own senses any more. It becomes barely suppressed anger when Harlon Nayl sleeps with someone greatly resembling his ex.
  • State Sec: Naturally, as a member of the Inquisition.
  • Super Hoverchair: Ravenor's force chair is basically what's keeping him alive, and is completely self-sufficient unless damaged. Beside that, it has an impressive array of sensors, an electronic voice box, armor like a tank, a number of items he can use to interact with machines, and a pair of psycannons. Also, it floats.
  • Turn in Your Badge: He has to do this after the end of Ravenor Rogue. He's not incarcerated or executed, because he did manage to prevent an attack the Imperium, but he had to destroy a large area of Gudrun to do it, not to mention going rogue. He also had to give up using the majority of his psychic powers, save for what he needs to operate his forcechair. He later spends his time writing and gets relegated to a desk job for a while. He eventually resolved many of his issues by time Pariah takes place, as he had took to the field once more.

Harlan Nayl

Patience Kys

  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Her scholam uniform in Playing Patience, which describes her backstory.
  • Green Eyes: Possesses these and they're one of her more memorable features.
  • Ice Queen: A cold-blooded, albeit humorous assassin. Later becomes a case of Defrosting Ice Queen.
  • Femme Fatale: One in the vein of Good Is Not Nice. Patience is arguably Ravenor's deadliest agent, and she'll exploit her good looks without hesitation, but not without reservation.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Her trademark weapon are kineblades: six inch, handleless blade alternately described as needles or as knives, designed to be wielded telekinetically.
  • The Lancer: The most dangerous character of Ravenor's retinue.
  • Meaningful Rename: We know that she was given the name "Patience" when she and her sisters were taken in by a local scholam (the Imperium's equivalent of an orphanage and boarding school), and her last name was taken from its abbreviation. She never reveals to her friends what her real name was.
  • Only Known By Her Alias: Patience keeps her birth name as a personal secret, from almost everyone including the reader. Ravenor knows, but he isn't telling either.
  • Psychic Powers: A very capable telekine, specialising in the use of double-ended "kineblades" as short-range weapons. Also good at "feeling" her surroundings for a considerable distance.
  • Sensual Spandex: She's almost never seen without a revealingly tight bodyglove.
  • Waif-Fu: While tall, Patience is a slight, physically unimposing woman, yet fully capable of killing a trained soldier barehanded without using her Psychic Powers. The narration introduced her along with the line: "Anyone shy of an Adeptus Astartes in full Terminator plate was a pussy compared to Patience Kys."

Kara Swole

  • Boobs of Steel: Unlike Patience Kys, Kara is, and looks, very strong due to her former occupation as an acrobat. She is also curvy enough that her speed and agility surprise some people. The fact that she has a heavier build than the average acrobat is lampshaded when she infiltrates the Carnivora in the guise of a performer.
  • The Chick
  • The Combat Pragmatist: Kara avoids flashy moves and any sense of fair play, in favour of unexpected strikes and quick takedowns.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: with Belknap.
  • She-Fu

Carl Thonius

Ravenor's interrogator, a foppish computer expert with a dislike of fighting. In Ravenor Returned, he becomes the host of an extremely powerful daemon called Slyte.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Thonius never shows obvious attraction to anyone, but his companions occasionally joke that he is attracted to men, and his emphatic disinterest in women points at either homosexuality or asexuality.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Midway through the first book Carl's right arm gets hacked off with a chainsword during a mission gone wrong. It gets reattached, but the loss of perfect motor control (which makes the stuff he normally does with ease much more difficult) drives him to depression and flect use. And by extension, his possession.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Carl tries desperately to invoke this after getting possessed, seeing the powers this grants him as a boon to the Imperium. He fails.
  • Body Horror: Whenever Carl draws upon Slyte's power, his body lights up from within with a hellish glow so that his skeleton is visible, the flesh of his right arm peels back up to the elbow to expose the bones, and the fingers of his fleshless right hand elongate into razor-sharp talons.
  • The Dandy: To the point that he dreams of endless racks of fine clothing.
  • Demonic Possession
  • Evil Hand: Carl's right arm has shades of this after it's severed and reattached, especially after he's possessed.
  • Evil Makeover: Carl starts wearing less foppish clothing after getting possessed, to the point that he's died his normally blonde hair black by the start of Ravenor Rogue. In particular, he starts wearing a ridiculous number of rings on his right hand—sometimes thirty at once. To Ravenor and those unaware of the true cause, it seems like an Adrenaline Makeover instead.
  • Phrase-Catcher: The stuff he knows...
  • Playful Hacker
  • The Smart Guy
  • Red Right Hand: He loses an arm and the loss of perfect motor control following its reattachment is what drives him to drug use and ultimately his possession.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After getting possessed, Carl starts acting far more aggressive, slovenly and condescending towards his compatriots than the meek dandy he usually is. Ravenor, his mentor, is understandably surprised by the change, but writes it off as Carl finally growing the backbone an Inquisitor needs.
  • Waif-Fu: An unusual male example. Thonius is extremely thin, and looks weak, but is frighteningly capable in unarmed combat.

Zeph Mathuin

  • An Arm and a Leg: At one point, Ravenor visits each of his team in their dreams to ask them if they are willing to accompany him an the upcoming dangerous mission. In Zeph's dream, he's walking down a beach littered with flesh-and-blood hands, grabbing them and fitting them into his bare stump one after another, and throwing them back because they aren't 'right'.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Gets run through by Culzean's Brass Thief daemon in Ravenor Returned, being the first member of the retinue to die "on-screen".
  • Cyborg: Mathuin has red artificial eyes and a mechanical arm that can interface directly with his favourite gun.
  • The Big Guy
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Gatling Good

Wystan Frauka

  • Anti-Magic: He is fitted with a device called a "limiter" which dampens his blank-ness so that Ravenor and other psykers can still use their powers while in close proximity to him. When hiding from enemy psykers' scrying attempts, Frauka can deactivate it to make those around him effectively invisible to a psychic search.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Manages to save Ravenor from death at the hands of an enemy psyker by first turning off his limiter (yanking the psyker back into his body) and then snapping the confused psyker's neck.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Has this with a fellow blank who was under the employment of the drug barons hunting Patience. Said blank has Frauka and Carl at gunpoint, and after Frauka and the gunman identify one another as blanks, they have a very cordial conversation about their similar lines of work. The presence of the trope is justified by the simple fact that (as mentioned below) blanks are inherently disliked by those around them because of their natural abilities. The two know exactly what sort of life the other lived before finding a limiter and work. It doesn't stop Frauka from keeping him distracted long enough to be blindsided and killed.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: At one point he complains that no one appreciates him, even though his utility as a blank has helped the crew countless times. Justified in that his main asset, being a psychic blank, inherently causes others to dislike him. Patience even remarks (albeit internally) that he was reasonably good looking, but the simple fact that he's a blank, even with his limiter, is too much to get past, especially since she's a psyker.
  • Inter Generational Friendship: With Zael.
  • Non-Action Guy: Very rarely goes out on missions. The main reason he's in Ravenor's crew is because he is a blank.
  • Must Have Nicotine: Constantly smokes lho-sticks, which, while they contain a low dose of a more powerful drug, are implied to also contain a significant proportion of tobacco.
  • The Stoic: Is usually calm and collected, offering the occasional snark.

Zael Efernetti

A drug-addled street urchin that Ravenor picks up on Eustis Majoris in the first book. He has latent psychic abilities.

  • Fish out of Water: The first time Zael finds himself onboard a spaceship, he's utterly blown away. He also needs to be explained what things like gravity are.
  • Future Badass: After Ravenor's adventures in theis trilogy, Zael was handed over to other Inquisitors, and eventually put on a Black Ship, he was not only a major player in The Emperor's Gift, but he was also the protagonist. Needless to say, he was a very useful servant of the Inquisition well into adulthood.
  • The Nicknamer: he refers to Nayl as "the guy" and Ravenor as "the Chair".
  • Orphan's Ordeal: Zael lost his parents to a plague in his early years, leaving him to be raised in near-poverty by his sister and his grandmother. His sister was "decruited" by the munitorum, and eventually got hooked on flects (and it was slightly implied she paid for them in the bedroom), and she died on a trip shortly thereafter. Zael got hooked on flects himself sometime before his grandmother, already long addicted to sniffing glue, drowned in her own vomit. Averted by the time Ravenor starts, as he was too strung out to care too much about being homeless in favor of when he could get his next flect.
  • Psychic Powers: Described as a 'mirror psyker', Zael has latent psychic abilities that grow more powerful over the course of the trilogy as he was exposed to more psychic abilities over time. In the first book, he's able to 'hear' Ravenor holding telepathic conversations with his team; by the second book, he's able to start his own telepathic conversations; and by the third, he can telepathically talk to and even ware Frauka, a Blank.
    • He was also a Tagalong Kid: Despite being a drug-addict and an orphan, Ravenor found him to be useful and his psychic powers made him a potential asset, thus getting inducted int Ravenor's retinue

Sholto Unwerth

An eccentric dwarf of a rogue trader with a tendency to mangle his words. He ends up working for Ravenor from the end of the first book onward.

  • Canine Companion: Has a very peculiar one in Fyflank, his pet "elquon manhound".
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He appears briefly in the first book to bother the heroes at Bonner's Reach. By the end of the book, Ravenor finds himself needing to contract Unwerth's services.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Suffers this at the hands of Bertol Syskind and Lucius Worna in Ravenor Returned.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: His mangling of Low Gothic must be seen to be believed.
    “Mistress, what say we chivvy us up some appendable tenders, attire ourselves some disgustable comestibles, and revive to a private booth for interculation?”
    “I miss nothing, eaves-wise. Ears as sharp as pencils, me. No, no. All fair. If Mistress Zeedmund here finds me an abject increment to her affiliations, and wants no more of me, all she has to overtake is a word in my general. A simple ingratitude from her, and I will be, so to speak, out of your air. Without any requisite for shoving, slapping, or harsh language. On the however hand, if what I have so far expleted trickles her fancy, I would be most oblate to dispel some more, at her total inconvenience, on the subject of what I have pertaining in my cargo hold.”
  • Drives Like Crazy: He is an insanely good pilot capable of driving a jet car at super sonic speeds at roof top level. He is such an insane driver that he terrified Kys! This is after the cold-blooded torture which included Fingore!
  • Hidden Depths: Sholto may be a physically unimposing fellow that gets on everybody's nerves with his constant malapropisms and tendency to get underfoot, but he's unwaveringly loyal to Ravenor and his people and is a damned good pilot.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: He is heavily implied to be, or at least descended from, one of the Squats which partially explains why he mangles Low Gothic. He isn't a native speaker.
  • Undying Loyalty: He is tortured horribly and has four fingers cut off. The first thing he says when seeing Kys again is to apologize for giving in to his captors and to tell her he isn't worthy of rescue. She saves him for his loyalty even though he had previously annoyed her greatly. Also, his man beast servant is stated by Ravenor to be many times more competent than Unwerth, but it's very loyal to Unwerth for reasons unknown.

Patrik Belknap

A back alley doctor working in the slums of Petropolis that used to look out for Zael. He gets involved with the retinue in Ravenor Returned when Kara needs treatment for a grievous wound.

  • Back-Alley Doctor: His license was revoked. He claims it was for malpractice, but in reality it was because he committed fraud to make sure his department had enough medical supplies for the people who needed them, like children without registered parents.
  • Combat Medic: Belknap spent six years in the Imperial Guard before retiring to work as a civilian doctor. He may be a little rusty, but he knows how to handle himself in a firefight.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: He falls in love with Kara while treating her injuries, and they strike up a relationship.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: See Back-Alley Doctor, above.
  • Religious Bruiser: A firm believer in the God-Emperor of Mankind. This leads him to break up with Kara at the end of Ravenor Rogue, when he learns that she knew Thonius was the host of Slyte and never told anyone.

Maud Plyton

A junior marshal in the Petropolis Magistratum's Special Crimes unit. Her investigation of an archdeacon's death in Ravenor Returned leads her to get involved with Ravenor and his people.

  • Ascended Extra: First appears as a minor character in the first book, before graduating to a member of the main cast in Ravenor Returned.
  • Fair Cop: Downplayed. Maud is frequently described as having a pretty and youthful face, but she's otherwise plain in appearance.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Her weapon of choice.

Angharad Esw Sweydyr

A Carthaen swordswoman and the niece of Ravenor's late lover, Arianhrod. Initially introduced as a member of Inquisitor Fenx's retinue in Ravenor Rogue, she joins Ravenor's crew after her entire team is wiped out by Molotch.

  • Bad Liar: Fenx certainly didn't recruit her for her quick wit. Case in point, when Nayl is trying to convince a Colonel of the Imperial Guard that they're escapees from a slaver ship:
    Nayl: 'Look at her. Built for fighting. That's why the slavers chose her. Good breeding stock for the arenas.'
    Angharad: 'I am not good breeding stock for-'
    Ravenor: +Shut. Up. Angharad.+
    Angharad: 'But the slavers, they obviously saw that in me.'
  • Barbarian Hero
  • Catch-Phrase: "Evisorex thirsts."
  • Eaten Alive: Devoured by Slyte in the climax of Ravenor Rogue.
  • Empathic Weapon: Her force sword, Evisorex.
  • Master Swordswoman
  • Spanner in the Works: Her dalliance with Nayl causes her to show up late to Fenx's raid on Molotch's hideout, letting her evade the massacre and rescue Ballack. This in turn lets Ravenor realize that Molotch has survived yet again, and go after him.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: She is the spitting image of her late aunt, Arianhrod. This causes friction between Ravenor and Nayl when the latter strikes up a clandestine relationship with her.

Gall Ballack

One of the interrogators of Inquisitor Fenx and also a Cognitae mole. He joins Ravenor's team in Ravenor Rogue, after Fenx and his retinue are killed by Molotch, to whom he'd sold them out.

  • An Arm and a Leg: Angharad is forced to hack off his hand to save him from Molotch's trap.
  • Boom, Headshot: Molotch executes him this way unceremoniously.
  • Revenge: His primary motivation for joining Ravenor. Ballack wants revenge on Molotch for leaving him to die in order to cover his own tracks.
  • Token Evil Teammate
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Much mention is made of his white hair, and then there's the fact that he's a Cognitae mole in the Inquisition who coldly stood by and let his team get slaughtered by Molotch...
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Ballack was on the receiving end of this when he sent his own team into a trap to be killed so that Molotch could fake his own death and get the Inquisition to stop breathing down his neck. Unfortunately for him, Molotch felt he was a loose end that needed to be tied up. He survived only due to Angharad's intervention.
    • Spanner in the Works: His survival clues Ravenor in to the fact that Molotch is still alive, setting the final book's plot in motion.]


Zygmunt Molotch

A Cognitae agent and Ravenor's personal nemesis.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Has this reaction when he believes that his trap successfully killed Ravenor near the end of Ravenor Rogue.
  • Arch-Nemesis: With Ravenor. The two of them have been trying to kill each other, on and off, for more than seventy years by the time the trilogy takes place.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Comes from his Cognitae training. He has Hyper Awareness of his surroundings, and his mind is able to use that information to plot or react with inhuman speed.
  • Big Bad: Overall.
    • The Man Behind the Man: To Jader Trice in Ravenor and Ravenor Returned.
    • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Orfeo Culzean in Ravenor Rogue, though their alliance is shaky at best. At several points Molotch even lampshades the fact that, because he and Culzean are both highly intelligent and charismatic villains, their partnership isn't going to last.
  • Compelling Voice: He can use what he calls 'the tone of command' to control people if he knows their names, or at least make them flinch if he knows part of it.
  • Enemy Mine: Ironically, he's forced to team up with Ravenor when Culzean turns against them at the climax of the third book.
  • Evil Genius: His most defining trait is his intelligence, and as an alumnus of the Cognitae school.
  • Evil Is Petty: Molotch, Culzean, and Ravenor concoct a plan to force Slyte through the tri-portal and thus back into the Warp. Molotch engraves the necessary runes into the door, but he then stands back and tells Ravenor to utter the blasphemous incantation to banish the daemon. He does this purely out of spite, all while a massive and hungry Eldritch Abomination is bearing down on them.
  • Expy: He is most definitely the Moriarty to Ravenor's Holmes, with all the grimdarkness added.
  • The Heavy: Much of the plot of the trilogy revolves around the twists in the conspiracy he set into motion in the first prologue, which takes place a few years before the novels.
  • Hero Killer: He has this reputation amongst Ravenor's crew, having killed four members of the retinue during the ambush at Majeskus.
  • Posthumous Character: He's dead by chapter one.
  • Predecessor Villain: Between Majeskus and the long history shared with Ravenor, he's certainly Ravenor's nemesis, until he's dealt with in the prologue. Subverted, however.
  • President Evil: Under the assumed identity which he was elected as Lord of the entire Sector. This is notably quite an achievement as most Sector Lords are hereditary.
  • Starter Villain: In the context of the novels, he only appears in the first before getting burned alive. Until he makes his reappearance heavily disfigured but otherwise intact.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Ravenor, he's brainy and evil, but almost a Non-Action Guy. In a flashback in Ravnor Rogue, and during that book, he displays many badass skills, and can hold his own in hand-to-hand with Throne Agents.
  • Two-Faced: Downplayed, his face is described as handsome, but completely asymmetrical.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The trilogy starts with him at an archaeological dig-site digging up something undoubtedly heretical. Subversion, since it ends with his plane, and him, going down in flames. Double subversion, when he turns out to have survived, and is behind much of the of the plot until events at the end of Ravenor Returned forces him out of power.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's practically a Posthumous Character when the first novel proper starts, but it becomes clear that he has a greater influence over Ravenor and his team as the story progresses.

Orfeo Culzean

Leyla Slade

Orfeo Culzean's right hand woman and bodyguard.

Jader Trice

The Grand Provost of Eustis Majoris' Ministry of Sub-Sector Trade, and a member of the Cognitae. Trice is the mastermind of a scheme to smuggle Chaos-corrupted cogitators onto Eustis Majoris in order to reconstruct Enuncia.
  • Big Bad: Appears to play this role in the first two books. In reality, however, it is...Molotch, relegating him to secondary position.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: The entire scheme to reconstruct Enuncia and use it to attain absolute power was entirely Trice's idea, and he spent twenty years working on it by himself. Then Molotch got involved five years before the events of Ravenor Returned and essentially took over the whole project. Trice still isn't happy about that.
  • Lean and Mean: He's described as having a slender build.
  • A Man Of Wealth And Taste: He's well dressed, and well groomed to boot.
  • Non-Action Big Bad
  • Villain with Good Publicity
  • Villainous Breakdown: He's reduced to tears when Slyte rips apart his precious Enuncia lexicon, and desperately tries to gather up its shredded metal pages. Slyte kills him seconds later.

Lucius Worna

A bounty hunter and former associate of Nayl's from his pre-Inquisition days. Ends up working for the villains from Ravenor Returned onward.
  • Ascended Extra: Went from being an extremely minor character that only appeared for two pages in the first book to a recurring adversary from the second book onward.
  • Bounty Hunter
  • The Brute
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: The man is strong enough to overpower and break the wrist of a cyborg who can punch craters in carapace armour. Due to absurd physical feats like this and his Made of Iron credentials, Worna is sometimes theorized to be a rogue Space Marine. Considering his size and what he's done, it wouldn't be too surprising.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His face is an almost solid mass of scar tissue.
  • Light Is Not Good: He has a shock of white hair and wears polished mother of pearl power armour. He's also a very unpleasant man; Nayl says Worna gives other bounty hunters a bad name, and he has no qualms whatsoever about brutalizing a helpless Sholto Unwerth.
  • Made of Iron: Worna is ridiculously tough, able to power through injuries that would have killed a lesser man and keep fighting. Reaches its zenith in the climax of Ravenor Rogue; see Rasputinian Death, below.
  • Rasputinian Death: First Nayl tags Worna with a magnetized grenade that sticks to his breastplate and blows up in his face, flinging him across the room and burning his face. He's able to get the upper hand over Nayl despite this. Then Kys impales him through an eye with one of her kineblades and stabs him in the chest with two more. He still hasn't gone down, so she starts choking him telekinetically and then lifts him out of a window into a raging storm, where he quickly gets struck by lightning three times. He still has enough strength left to taunt her, so she keeps him out there long enough for eight more bolts to hit him and finally set him on fire.


A terrifyingly powerful daemon, prophesied to manifest in the physical world through Ravenor or one of his associates. Ravenor is first warned about its existence in the short story Thorn Wishes Talon. Carl Thonius ends up being its unfortunate vessel when he looks into the wrong flect at the wrong time in Ravenor Returned.