If you're a potential Other, it's possible for a sufficiently powerful Other to take a peek at your aura and tell whether you're more likely to become a Light One or a Dark One. Which way you actually turn in the end - Light or Dark - depends on your mood during your first entry into the Twilight.

But what about Inquisitors? Although each individual is technically either a Light One or a Dark One, the organisation as a whole is neither Light nor Dark, but stands between the two. In a way, Inquisitors are different from both Light Ones and Dark Ones. But I don't remember reading about anything early in one's career as an Other (e.g. during one's first entry into the Twilight) which determines whether or not one is going to end up being an Inquisitor.

Is there any way to tell whether an Other is going to end up as an Inquisitor before they actually make that choice?

  • Many Others were able to predict future events if no power greater than themselves were influencing them.
    – Mithoron
    Apr 23 '16 at 21:28
  • @Mithoron - that is correct. But it's also said that Inquisition has virtually no Others below high levels (I think 4th rank was considered a bare minimum, and most are higher); therefore not all that many could predict the future of a future inquisitor. Apr 25 '16 at 0:34

Not quite.


  • No, it's impossible to predict who will become an Inquisitor by their innate magical properties/aura, the way you can predict who will tend to become Light or Dark Other.

  • However, it's possible to predict who might become an Inquisitor, based on personality, psychology, or (as is possible to predict anything in Watches universe) via reading probabilistic lines.


There's no special "Inquisitor" side of the Force, in a technical sense (that's not quite true, technically - their auras change to be slightly different from either Light or Dark, turning more gray, but at the fundamental level an Inquisitor remains Dark or Light Other magic-wise - and only obtains the graying of the aura once they become the Inuisitor).

Here's the lecture that Witezslav gave Anton in "Day Watch":

– У вас, вероятно, есть некоторые иллюзии в отношении того, что такое Инквизиция и кто такие Иные, работающие в ней. Так вот… давайте я дам необходимые разъяснения. Инквизиция не является третьей силой, как считают многие рядовые сотрудники Дозоров. Мы также не становимся каким-то особым видом Иных, не относящимся к Тьме или Свету… Мы – просто Инквизиторы. Набранные из тех Темных и Светлых, кто понял, в силу различных причин, жестокую необходимость Договора и перемирия между Дозорами.
– Я – вампир, – негромко повторил Витезслав. – Самый настоящий высший вампир, неоднократно убивавший юных девушек… это наиболее правильно энергетически…

You probably have some illusions as to what the Inquisition is, and who are the Others working in it. So ... let me give the necessary explanations. The Inquisition is not a third force, as many ordinary Watches' employees think. We also do not become any special species of Others, unrelated to Darkness or Light ... We are - just Inquisitors. Gathered among the Dark and Light, who realized due to various reasons, the cruel necessity of the Treaty and the truce between the Watches.
- I am a vampire - quietly repeated Witezslav. - A real Higher vampire who repeatedly killed young maidens ... this offers the most effective energetics ...

A further confirmation of them being "gray" is from Svetlana, Anton's wife, in book 6:

“They’re guarding her.” Svetlana chuckled. “One of ours, two from the Day Watch, and a gray one, from the Inquisition.”
“Gray?” I asked in surprise.
“He’s a Light One originally,” said Svetlana. “But all of them have that grayish shade.”
... a really young-looking guy with the fading aura of a Light Other (and this time I did spot the tone that Sveta had called gray—as if the general light tone had been dusted with dark speckles).
("Sixth Watch", Andrew Bromfeld translation; Part 1, "Mandatory Actions", Chapter 2)

... but Yes

What makes one become an inquisitor is a combination of personality and opinion/viewpoints and circumstances - not something innate to their Otherness.

Continuing the same lecture from Witezslav:

... Дело Света я считаю наивной, опасной, а зачастую и преступной доктриной. Дело Тьмы, наоборот, мне очень симпатично. Но... я хорошо представляю себе альтернативу нынешней ситуации. И поэтому я состою в Инквизиции. Поэтому я караю тех, кто нарушил Договор.
– Я понимаю, – сказал Антон. – Разумеется. Но меня всегда интересовало: может ли возникнуть ситуация, когда Инквизиция поддержит ту или иную сторону? Опираясь не на букву Договора, а на истину...
– Возможно все, – неожиданно сказал вампир. – Да… допускаю. Если начнется открытая война Тьмы и Света, не просто схватки Дозоров, а прямая война Тьмы и Света. Если каждый Иной встанет по свою сторону фронта… какая будет тогда нужда в Инквизиции? Тогда и мы станем просто Иными…
Он кивнул и добавил:
– Но только к тому времени скорее всего Инквизиция уже погибнет. Пытаясь предотвратить эту ситуацию. Нас ведь не слишком много. И поступки нескольких уцелевших Иных, носивших когда-то плащи Инквизиторов, ничего не изменят.

... I consider the cause of Light to be a naive, dangerous, and often criminal doctrine. The cause of Darkness, on the contrary, is sympathetic to me. But... I can clearly imagine an alternative to the current situation. And that is why I am a member of the Inquisition. That is why I punish those who violate the Treaty.
"I understand," - said Anton. - Of course. But I always wondered: could be a situation where the Inquisition will support one side or another? Based not on the letter of the Treaty, but the truth ...
"Everything is possible" - suddenly said the vampire. - Yes ... I suppose. If there will start an open war between Darkness and Light, not just a fight between Watches but a direct war of Darkness and Light. If every Other will take their place on their side of the front ... why would then there be a need for the Inquisition? Then we'll just revert to be simple Others ...
He nodded and said:
"But by the time the Inquisition probably will already be destroyed. Trying to prevent this situation. There aren't many of us. And the actions of a few surviving Others, who once wore Inquisitor's cloaks, will not change anything.

And further, to his motivations:

– Я понимаю, что заставляет Ночной Дозор соблюдать Договор, – сказал Антон. – Мы боимся за людей. И я знаю, что движет Дневным Дозором – страх за себя. Но что заставляет вас, Инквизиторов, идти против собственной сути?
Витезслав повернул голову и тихо сказал:
– Вас держит всего лишь страх, Антон Городецкий. За себя или за людей – не важно. А нас держит ужас. И потому мы соблюдаем Договор.

"I understand what makes the Night Watch to comply with the Treaty," - said Anton. - We are afraid for the humans. And I know what motivates the Day Watch - fear for themselves. But what makes you, the Inquisitors, go against your own essence?
Vitezslav turned his head and said quietly:
"What forces you is just fear, Anton Gorodetsky. For yourself or for the people - it does not matter. And we are held by terror. And because of that we keep the Treaty.

As such, Geser was able to predict that Maxim would make a good Inquisitor in "Night Watch" - not through magic properties of Maxim but through experience and psychology (and possibly, reading future probabilities that most Others are able to do to an extent).

– Почему? – спросил Максим. – Ну почему, а? Ты Светлый, он Темный… Впервые за все время и он улыбнулся, пускай и невесело:
– А кто тогда я? Скажи?
Полагаю – будущий Инквизитор, – раздалось из-за моей спины. – Почти уверен в этом. Талантливый, беспощадный, неподкупный Инквизитор.

Why? - Maxim said. - Why, huh? You're of the Light, he is of the Darkness ...
For the first time he smiled, albeit sadly:
- Who am I? Tell me!
- I suppose, the future Inquisitor - came Geser's voice from behind me. - Almost certainly. A talented, relentless, incorruptible Inquisitor.

Similarly, VItezslav discussed with Edgar becoming an inquisitor with him before he made that choice.

This is covered in more detail in sequel books, especially "Black Palmira" and others that deal with Kiyev Watch and the School Watch series.

The one "rule of thumb" that I especially liked was "the person will become an Inquisitor if/when they start valuing the balance more than their side or the struggle".


And here's an explanation for who joins the Inquisition from Shindje, the Shadow of Darkness, the Judge of the Dead (who is one of the most respected Others, and is generally considered "neutral" although technically he was Dark Other). From "The Face of Black Palmira" (which is part of a spin-off arc dealing with Kiev Watch), his explanation to Swede:

"Озхара берут в Инквизицию? ... Но .. Озхар ведь предал Тьму..." - Какое до этого дело Инквизиции? - пожал плечами Шиндже. - Тьма, Свет... Все это не более чем условности. Свет легко становится Тьмой, когда начинает преследовать собственные интересы.
- А Тьма?
- А Тьма так же легко становится Светом, когда не преследует свои. Просто интересов у Иных, помимо своих собственных, куда больше, нежели у обычных людей.
- А Инквизиция...
- А Инквизиция просто следит, чтобы этот раскрученный волчок не прекратил вращаться. Если прекратит - упадет, и это будет действительно страшно. Только это и держит Инквизицию, а через нее и Дозоры, на плаву. Если так называемое добро прекратит сражаться с так называемым злом - мир закончится. Просто закончится, как фотография, застынет. Инквизиции интересно, чтобы мир выжил. А кто в текущий момент именуется добром, кто злом - какая разница? Вопрос только в том, чтсбы волчок вращался, а так называемая борьба - происходила. Ты поймешь это.. потом. Когда повзрослеешь. И если тебе покажется, что волчок падает - станешь инквизитором.
Почему же вы инквизитором так и не стали?
- Потому что я уже достаточно взрослый, дабы понять: этот волчок никогда не упадет. Он просто не умеет падать. И когда ты в очередной раз повзрослеешь, когда поймешь, что волчок не падает, ты уйдешь из Инквизиции.

Ozhar will be allowed to join The Inquisition? But ... Ozhar has betrayed the Darkness ...
- What does that matter to the Inquisition? - Shrugged Shinje. - Darkness, Light ... All this is nothing more than a convention. Light easily becomes darkness when it begins to pursue its own interests.
- And Darkness?
- And Darkness just as easily becomes Light when not pursuing theirs. It's just that Others, in addition to their own, have far more interests than ordinary people.
- And the Inquisition ...
- And Inquisition simply ensures that the spinning-top does not stop spinning. If it stops - it will fall and it will be quite scary. That is the only thing which keeps the Inquisition, and through it the Watches, afloat. If the so-called good stop to fight the so-called evil - the world will end. Just stand still, like a photograph, the end. Inquisition is interested in the world surviving. And whoever are currently referred to as "the good", or "the evil" ones - what's the difference? The only concern is, that the spinning-top keeps spinning, and the so-called struggle - was taking place. You will understand it .. later. When you grow up. And if you star thinking that the spinning-top is falling - you will become an Inquisitor.
- Why did you not become an Inquisitor then?
- Because I'm old enough to understand: the spinning-top will never fall. It just does not know how to fall. And when you grow up again, when you understand that the top does not fall, you will take your leave of the Inquisition.

  • There's no special "Inquisitor" side of the Force - deliberate reference or Freudian slip?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 23 '16 at 23:12
  • @Randal'Thor - quotes completed. Apr 25 '16 at 0:32
  • @Randal'Thor - Yodan slip Apr 25 '16 at 0:33
  • Nice! The TL;DR (and original version) looks like a perfect summary; I'll read through the quotes in detail tomorrow :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Apr 25 '16 at 0:38

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