"Strike Hot Iron And Call Forth Sparks / Strike A Man And Call Forth Fury / To Shape Man Or Metal To Thy Will / Thou Must Strike With Force" (Collected Sermons of Karras).
Karras (voiced by Stephen Russell) is the founder and leader of the religious organization known as the Mechanists, who broke off from the religious order known as the Hammerites. (These are religious orders in the Thief universe. Each of them worship the Builder, their god who they believed created the world. As his followers, they believe they must create as the Builder would want them to). Karras and his followers create security robots and cameras which he sells to rich citizens in the City ("The City" is simply what everyone calls the location of the Thief games. It is a steampunk, Victorianesque city). The player, as Garrett the thief, must sneak past these security robots and cameras throughout Thief II. The robots and cameras are somewhat frightening, as they have for a face odd masks and "talk" by playing pre-recorded phrases and speeches by Karras.
Karras is in cahoots with corrupt sheriff Gorman Truart. Karras and the Mechanists, in part of their plan to win the support of the wealthy citizens in the City, create servants. These servants he sells to the rich, demonstrating that they perform household duties and such. The servants are beggars and vagabonds who Karras' followers have killed and converted into the apparently robotic servants. Sheriff Truart supplies Karras with beggars and vagabonds (as well as postitutes and such) by arresting them on flase charges and then secretly handing them over to Karras. In return, Karras pays Truart.
Karras and the Mechanists also persecute the Pagans, another group of people in the Thief universe, who live in the woods outside of the City and worship the Trickster and other gods. In one Thief II mission, the player (as Garrett the thief) witnesses a village of pagans that have been slaughtered by the Mechanists.
Karras is corrupt, as has been explained. But he is more than that; though he appears as a visionary and prophet to his followers, Karras is really a madman who seeks to destroy all organic life. (His belief that flesh is evil drove him to this extreme). The servants placed in the homes of the wealthy have inside of them a container filled with a certain gas that will, when released, slowly turn all plant and animal life into rust. Karras, holed up in the Mechanist Cathedral, would have activated the servants had it not been for Garrett the thief foiling his plot at the end of Thief II.
- "But lo, how easily evil is felled, when the righteous hold the mace! Thou art transparent to me, Garrett, even now I can see thou seeking to stop me, but there is naught you can do."
- "I know not why you oppose me. In one act, I will end all human suffering, and clear the path for the Builder to walk again on earth, history will move forward! My tireless children will build in his name, creating advancements beyond our understanding. Now, it is the dark time before the days of light! Why dost thou oppose me?"
- "Soon all will be blessed with the breath of the Builder, the Necrotic Mutox that I created. And all the souls... the rich that spurned me, the City Watch that betrayed me, the loathsome pagans, the mindless commoners, even the loyal followers of Karras, all will receive the blessing... and the cleansing. But will they lift up their arms and praise Karras, as the vapours make them pure? Nay! They will wail, and scream, most ungrateful!"
- "What hast thou... built, Garrett? When the time comes to review thy life, with the Master Builder afore thee, and the question is asked: what hast thou built, what will thee say, poor Garrett? For thou art a man of... destruction, not construction. Tis the biggest sin of all. Build thyself today a good house, that would please Him much!"
- "And Karras said, ‘Lay down thy hammer, friends, 'tis yesteryear's trappings.' And so we laid them down, and seeing this, Karras spoke again: ‘Now raise up thy mace, The Builder shall fuel thee...and all the followers of Karras.'"
- "Strike hot iron and call forth sparks. Strike a man and call forth fury. To shape man or metal to thy will, thou must strike with force" (Collected Sermons of Karras).
- "He who keeps his work in disorder gives home to chaos. Let him be struck with stone and iron to forge away his flaws." (Collected Sermons of Karras).
- "The Builder has gifted thee with the greatest off all treasures - the future! But thine own will forges the key that opens the lock."