Additionally, on the same date For the Emperor was released as an audiobook, narrated by Stephen Perring and Penelope Rawlins. Character[ edit ] This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Commissars are charged with maintaining the morale and loyalty of Imperial troops, an important matter when one considers the horrific odds and staggering casualties of the "grim dark future" of the WH40K setting. Despite holding no standard rank and being outside the chain of command , commisars have wide discretionary powers, including summary execution or even decimation , in pursuit of their duties.
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Additionally, on the same date For the Emperor was released as an audiobook, narrated by Stephen Perring and Penelope Rawlins. Character[ edit ] This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Commissars are charged with maintaining the morale and loyalty of Imperial troops, an important matter when one considers the horrific odds and staggering casualties of the "grim dark future" of the WH40K setting.
Despite holding no standard rank and being outside the chain of command , commisars have wide discretionary powers, including summary execution or even decimation , in pursuit of their duties. Cain, having observed the tendency of many members of the Commissariat to fall victim to "accidental" friendly fire , prefers to lead by example and encouragement instead of fear, and has gained a reputation for charismatic leadership, self-effacing heroism and concern for the common trooper.
The truth, as presented in the novels, is that Cain is the sort of person he himself is supposed to execute: self-serving, incredibly paranoid, a truly skilled liar, and happy to put as many bodies between him and the enemy as possible in order to save his own skin.
The author has stated that the character of Cain was inspired by both Harry Flashman and Edmund Blackadder. His memoirs are completely self-centered, containing nothing on the context of his adventures, forcing Vail to intersperse his narrative with secondary sources. Vail must also add occasional footnotes to some of his recollections to point out that Cain has just glossed over something another man might take pride in. Likewise, Cain views himself as a cowardly figure of little worth, often wondering why various enemy generals are so fixated on defeating him—leaving us completely ignorant until Vail points it out of the morale boost caused by the mere presence of a genuine "Hero of the Imperium", much less any acts of heroism that may be forthcoming.
Even though Cain has always sought to find some safe, quiet post it could be argued that is in fact all he has ever wanted , he is one of the most combat-experienced commissars in the Imperium. Some of his many notable exploits include being a liaison to Space Marine chapter which involved various first hand contact to Genestealers that killed various Terminators of The Reclaimers who were clearing a space hulk of Tyranids ; visiting and surviving two different Necron tombs; fighting and bringing together the scattered PDF from a world and then driving off the Orks, and escaping on a Dark Eldar slave ship.
He frequently refers to such experiences as invaluable as they taught him to fight or more frequently, run away from the enemies of the Imperium. Inquisitor Vail believes albeit with a certain amount of irony that it is precisely this quality that has made him such an effective leader and agent of the Imperium.
He is aided in these exploits by his martial skill, which is quite significant, as demonstrated by his ability to temporarily stalemate a Chaos Space Marine in melee with his chainsword. Cain maintains his reputation of heroism primarily for its benefit to him; most soldiers around him obey his orders without question, and he is constantly invited to parties and upscale social functions. He is also humanitarian in his dealings with Imperial Guardsmen.
Cain notes that he has tried to teach commissar cadets this alternative style of morale-boosting, with only marginal success. However, from his writings, it can be inferred that he was raised on a hive world and his parents both served in the Imperial Guard. The situation is exacerbated by his habitual lying; so accomplished a dissembler is he that even nearby telepaths felt no urge to distrust him when he lied in their presence. He has become so good at lying that he is sometimes unsure of where the lies stop and the actual Ciaphas Cain begins, and it is possible that no one ever truly knew him.
The closest to doing so would probably be Amberley Vail, not only due to her stewardship of his memoirs but through over a century of both professional and romantic entanglement. Passing away of natural causes, he was buried with full military honours—though, due to the many false allegations of his death, there is a standing order that Cain remain listed on active duty at all times, which has not been revoked even though he is documentably dead and interred.
The series has many similarities with the Flashman series of books by George MacDonald Fraser , in both style and content. Though of course with a marked change in setting and the fact that Cain is considerably less despicable. Notable Associates[ edit ] This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Jurgen has complete loyalty to Commissar Cain, and his unwavering dedication to him has helped both of them through many dangerous situations.
Jurgen also makes an excellent secretary, as very few people are able to get past him to see Cain unless it is very important reducing the amount of office work done by Cain and allowing him to take "breaks" without his absence being noticed.
He has never been able to find a uniform that fit him properly, maintains a shabby beard which he has medical dispensation for due to his skin diseases and believes hygiene is something that happens to other people. In the novels, it is strongly suggested that their relationship is a romantic one,  and Cain appears to care for her a great deal.
However, like all inquisitors, Amberley takes her job very seriously and would not hesitate to kill Cain if he posed a threat to the Imperium. They are introduced in the first novel of the series as former company commanders in the th and st Valhallan, respectively, both of which fought in the defense of Corania against the tyranids and sustained such heavy casualties that bureaucrats in the Munitorium decided to simply merge the two units into one.
Amongst other actions, Cain integrates the regiment at squad level, putting men and women side-by-side, and renames it the th the sum of and Despite earlier animosity, Kasteen and Broklaw develop a respectful and functional working relationship, not only with each other, but with Cain as well, who becomes deeply integrated into the command structure serving almost as a third CO and remains with the th for a good third of his career. Jenit Sulla — Sulla is a Lieutenant with the th Valhallan Regiment during the novels, and rose to become a general.
Divas is probably the closest thing Cain has to a best friend. He is an enthusiastic Imperial Guardsman and is always eager to fight the enemies of the Imperium head on, traits that Cain finds annoying and dangerous.
Cain fights off heretics alongside Zyvan, saving the Lord Generals life, and enhancing his own reputation. Caractacus Mott - A savant with numerous bionic augmentations who frequently suffers logorrhea on any number of subjects, often at inopportune moments.
They appear again in Caves of Ice being led by Cain in search for missing miners. She appears in all the books dealing with the Valhallan th and seems to be a magnet for accidents, gaining her the nickname "Jinxie".
It is noted in Caves of Ice that other soldiers believe having her nearby would redirect their own bad luck to her. Sergeant Grifen and her squad first appear in Caves of Ice. She and her squad accompany Cain on an expedition into the tunnels beneath the mining facility, where they encounter a series of hostile animals, Ork "Kommandos" and a force of Necrons.
In The Greater Good, Sholer appears as a regular, if somewhat reclusive character studying tyranids on Fecundia.
Hero of the Imperium, fighting the grim-derp since "Courage is not the lack of fear but the ability to face it. John B. Putnam Jr. He spent most of his career in active service attached to Imperial Guard regiments from the ice world of Valhalla —most notably the th, and accompanied by his aide Jurgen. He retired to become a professor at a Schola Progenium later in life, but this did not mark the end of his exploits, being recalled into active service during the 13th Black Crusade. He was also called upon at many points throughout his life to assist the Ordos Xenos Inquisitor Amberley Vail , who is almost certainly his lover. Contrary to the heroic image he cultivated to the Imperium at large, Cain described himself as a self-serving coward in his memoirs, spending most of his time trying to ensure his own comfort and survival, only becoming a hero by accident.
Ciaphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium