Q and A with Severus Hunt
Sunday 23rd June 2013
I've had a number of friends and readers ask me if the characters in Servants of the Imperium are based on the friends that I play Dark Heresy with. While I have taken inspiration for some of the jokes, situations and plot from previous Dark Heresy games, I can honestly say the characters aren't based on my friends. This sometimes comes as a surprise to the people who asked me.
The truth is that each of the main characters in SotI; Severus, Krin, Brianna, Lyle and Aki (and even Bob) are all created from facets of my own personality.
Severus Hunt is probably the closest to the real me than the others; like me Severus is focused (to an extent), likes to be in charge and, at the end of the day, cares deeply about his compatriots. He and I even share a goatee, although thankfully not a hairstyle.
Severus definitely isn't a cold and remote inquisitor who uses his acolytes like tools. To him the people under his command are also his responsibility and he takes their safety very seriously, even though some of them may fray his sanity to an alarming degree (Krin, I'm looking at you).
When I first started drawing SotI Severus was just the straight man of the group; the stiff and slightly inept leader that the others used to make fun of the 40K universe. As the strip developed and I started to think of each of the characters as a distinct entity, Severus changed into something else entirely. He's snarky and sarcastic at times, logical and level-headed most of the time and on occasion extremely passionate and even a little gung-ho if riled up.
At his heart, Severus is a man who believes deeply in the God-Emperor and the divine right of the Imperium, without being a fanatical hate-blinded zealot. In a way, Severus is what I imagine the Inquisition could be like in the very best of situations. Perhaps that makes him (and me) a little naive as well.
That's not to say Severus isn't without his darker side. It might not have shown through as yet, but Severus is definitely not someone who shies away from doing what needs to be done, even if it means doing some questionable things.
Although I seldom think of him this way, Severus is the hero of Servants of the Imperium. The story is about the whole team, but Severus is the guy at the front and ultimately he has to display the qualities of a classic hero. Bravery, loyalty, intelligence and the occasional snappy one-liner.
So on to your questions! I'd like to thank you all for writing in, I had loads of responses which made picking a few questions to put to Severus really difficult. Luckily it seems that a lot of you all want to know very similar stuff.
So, over to Severus.
Q: Severus, who trained you and how long have you been an inquisitor?
A: My master was Inquisitor Valdus Clay, a highly respected witch-hunter. He picked me up from my homeworld of Garalat while he was hunting a rogue psyker and decided I had 'the right stuff', whatever he meant by that. He made me his interrogator and started training me in the ways of the Inquisition.
As for how long I've been an Inquisitor? It's been nearly ten years since I was given my rosette. Before that I was with Clay for nearly twenty years. Yes, I am older than I look; thank the Emperor for rejuve treatments. However, it never seemed to work on my hair.
Q: What is you previous experience with the Inquisition? What is your best memory? Also, what happened to make you so unfazed by the crazy stuff Krin and the others get up to?
A: Well, as I said above I was with Clay for nearly two decades; in that time I saw a lot of weird stuff. As members of the Ordo Hereticus my cases during that time, and after I became a full Inquisitor myself, have mostly related to heretics, rogue psykers and other such individuals.
I have had my encounters with xenos and the forces of the Archenemy from time to time, but generally I leave that stuff to members of the Ordo Xenos and Ordo Malleus.
My best memory? I think it was probably either being given my rosette by my former master or taking down my first heretic as a full Inquisitor.
As for why I'm so unfazed by stuff; you try working with someone like Krin for an extended period and see how you cope! I swear that Lyle's picking up some of Krin's bad habits as well, and now with Aki and Bob in the group it's getting even worse. I think I'm going to need a double dose of rejuve before this mission is over.
Q: Where do you come from and what is your background? How did you gain the title 'Lord'?
A: I was born on the Imperial world of Garalat, one of the primary worlds of the subsector. My father was an Imperial noble, so I was actually born to the title of lord. Most people tend to call Inquisitors 'lord' anyway, just to be sure. I'd say it's out of respect, but I think it's more because they're afraid of us.
Q: Where did you pick up Krin and Lyle?
A: Lyle has been with me ever since I first became a fully-fledged Inquisitor. While a lot of Inquisitors are psykers themselves I'm not, so I wanted some psychic back-up if I was going to be hunting witches. Lyle was fresh out of the Scholastica Psykana back then; I'm not sure he knew what he was getting into when he joined me.
Krin I met only three years ago, while I was hunting a particularly dangerous arch-heretic named Taigir the Bloody. Krin and his partner were also hunting Taigir for the bounty on his head, and we kept running into each other until I pointed out we'd be better teaming up than getting in each others way. Looking back, I'm glad we did; taking down Taigir was a lot of hard work. After that Krin just sort of... stuck around. I'm glad he has. Sometimes.
Q: Have you ever had any other acolytes? Only four seems quite few for an Inquisitor.
A: I'm a great believer in quality, not quantity. I have had other acolytes in the past, but never more than three or four at any one time. Lyle has been with me the longest; others have either left after a while or sadly died during the course of our missions. That's another reason I tend not to have too many acolytes; losing them is hard to deal with.
So, hopefully that's answered a few of your questions! Next week I'll be talking about everyone's favourite bounty hunter; Krin O'Kar. Send in any questions you want me to ask him!
Good to be back
Sunday 16th June 2013
So, that was a fairly long hiatus, huh?
I think I needed it, however. Drawing SotI is no longer a chore I dread each week; in fact I'm pretty excited about some of the strips to come!
Well, as well as drawing new strips I want to post content in this blog that's entertaining as well, so starting next week I thought it would be interesting for you guys (and myself) for me to do a breakdown of each of the main characters of SotI; what inspired them, why they act like they do, stuff about the characters you might like to know.
I'll start with Severus, so if you have any questions you'd like me to answer about the bald-headed Inquisitor, or any of the other characters, email them to me before next Sunday.
Also, if any of you have any suggestions for reviews or other articles you'd like to see me post here, or if you've written any yourself and would like me to post them on your behalf, let me know!
Thanks again to everyone who emailed me over the last few months with messages of support; you guys really helped me get back into writing this comic again.
Sunday 9th June 2013
So five years ago this month I sat down and drew a silly little one-panel comic, inspired by the game of Dark Heresy I was GM'ing for my friends, and posted it on DeviantArt.
Little did I know that it would be the start of my very own webcomic and that five years later I'd still be drawing it.
So, firstly I want to thank everyone who's kept reading all these years and everyone who's sent me emails of encouragement over the last few months while I've been on hiatus.
Secondly, I'm pleased to announce that as of next week I will resume regular updates of Servants of the Imperium.
I hope you guys continue reading and enjoying my work.
In Nomine Imperator!
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