Rykehuss is the terror of witches, a man for whom everyone is guilty of something and the only punishment is death. To him the Calixis Sector is a cesspit where witches breed like flies and the honest, pious Imperial citizens are besieged by sin on all sides. Rykehuss’s bouts of volcanic anger and impassioned sermonizing are well known at the Bastion Serpentis, and he constantly exhorts his fellow Inquisitors to descend on all the sinners to purify them with righteous fame or condemn them to damnation. Rykehuss wears ornate, heavily customized armour gifted to him by the Adeptus Mechanicus after he sought out a witch cult on a forge world in a nearby sector, and he is an expert with a veritable armoury of weapons.
The witch fnder’s methods are simple. He descends on a particular city, sees depravity everywhere and immediately sets up a Court of Ordeals where pious citizens bring accused neighbours and family members to be tried. When Rykehuss hears of a particularly foul heresy being perpetrated somewhere nearby, he gathers all the torch-wielding backup he can and marches there, trusting in his martial skill to help him put the sinners to death personally. Some who witness Rykehuss’s terrors consider him a hero, others a butcher, and both are right. Many innocents have died at Rykehuss’s hands but so have many rogue psykers and cultists. Rykehuss, however, is not as crude a man as his methods would suggest. He knows that he cannot kill all the sinners, but his bombastic and terrifying style ensures that Imperial citizens are constantly reminded that there are threats in their midst and bigger threats waiting to punish them for their weaknesses. Innocent deaths, while regrettable, are a small price to pay for Rykehuss to spread the fear that helps suppress the activities of witches—and in any case, the Emperor sorts them all out in the end. Rykehuss is obsessed with the notion that it is the widespread activity of witches in the sector that is bringing on the doom of the Hereticus Tenebrae.