The Inquisition's origins lie in the reign of Que-Hegan Zebulon I. Zebulon had launched a reformation of the Church, seeking to align it with its more ascetic and humble origins. Despite the efforts of the Zakarum High Council, Zebulon's movement gained support from the populace. The Council long sought to undo his efforts, made no headway. However, with the ascension of Que-Hegan Karamat, in the year 1225, the High Council had its chance. The archbishops manipulated the new Que-Hegan into launching a stricter system of worship, with harsh punishment for non-conformists. Missionary work took on martial overtones. The church began a purge of various sects of the faith, and brutally suppressed other religions such as Skatsim. Non-believers were judged as corrupt, and subjected to horrific interrogation and "purification" techniques.
During the Inquisition's height, the Church launched a campaign of conversion against the West. This wasn't the first time that such a crusade had been dispatched to bring the word of the Light. This time however, those who could not be converted were deemed evil. The Zakarum Inquisition spread through the lands like a tempest, laying waste to all suspected of demonic possession or corruption. Leading this crusade was a new generation of Paladins, known as the Hand of Zakarum These cavaliers of righteousness swept through the lands, expunging the taint of demonic contamination wherever they found it. It is known that the Askari were affected by this "Time of Troubles."
In the year 1247, a group of these Paladins broke away from the Church, unwilling to continue the Inquisition's heinous methods. The rebels condemned the methods of the Inquisition, proclaiming that the new Order of Paladins should protect the innocent, and that the evil corruption was rooted in their forebear's failure. And so, these rebellious Paladins left their Zakarum brethren and ventured west. However, the number of Paladins who broke away from the Inquisition were still outnumbered by those who remained, who continued to propagate the horrors of the Inquisition until the movement finally faded away. Years later, Deckard Cain wrote that he considered the Inquisition to be one of the darkest periods of human history.
- The Zakarum Inquisition appears to draw inspiration from the historical inquisitions of Europe, as well as the Crusades.