Re: Imperial / Lunar intelligence agencies

From: Peter Metcalfe <metcalph_at_if7CFXSxYBpu4tKe47_rG1fcyaS5S_PZWCc8SScPQ3e1qtXrxvMJjTDEjOgimtCghjl>
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2008 00:06:50 +1300

At 02:13 p.m. 22/12/2008, you wrote:

>Does anyone have anything more concrete or - failing that - some good ideas
>about the current intelligence agencies of the Empire?

The Lunar Empire does not have a vast bureaucracy of security police - it is far too disorganized for that. Whatever agencies it has are unlikely to be comprehensive or cooperate with each other. They have a wide variety of motivations, whether religious or secular, and some have wandered so far from official control that they are more like criminal organizations such as the Thuggee or the Ku Klux Klan.


The primary source of internal unrest in the Empire is the Dart War. So each clan of note has its own stable of assassins, patrons who contract out killings to freelance assassins and player heroes and a wider network of scryers, informers, double agents and triple agents within rival clans. Their focus is the security of their own clan and the subversion of other clans.

Imperial Bureaucracy

The only politics the Emperor really cares about is whether his taxes get paid. Everything else is trivial. His tax assessors rely on scryers and informers to discover who has been skimping on their taxes and when the Emperor wants to make an example of a particularly egregious tax defaulter, he sends in the demons. Rather than make up a new immortal, I always think the tax demons are actually a subcult of Jajagappa, which gives them the right amount of fear and ferocity.

Dara Happa

Dara Happan religion has a star known as the Spy which may or may not be the same as the Conspirator. Every city of Dara Happa has at least one spy who reports on unYelmic going-ons to the Yelmic Nobility.

Lunar Religions

Danfive Xaron's cult has a network of prison-monasteries and they do have a Black Army of informers. But their cultists are more like criminal police in that they seek out the worst types of criminals for enslavement in their monasteries. Also these monasteries have no real incentive to co-operate with each other so you could escape their attentions by fleeing to another city and staying out of trouble.

Irripi Ontor's cult has no policing function although they teach magics that are useful for security; such as scrying and mind-reading. Their cultists will thus be found working for many other agencies in a paid capacity.

Although the Blue Moon Assassins are secret and scary, they simply kill whomever their goddess demands. Their concern would be anybody that seeks to damage the Lunar Mysteries or who has the knowledge of doing so.


The Forces of Darkness and Servants of the Lie (ie the local peasantry) are always seeking to overthrow the Good God. To forestall this, an order of viziers (known as Watchers?) monitor the lie with a variety of methods, magical and mundane. They have no real need of covert operatives as simply informing the Hazars that so-and-so is a servant of the lie is sufficient to thwart him.


The Provincial Government and the Provincial Army will have their network of spies and seers to monitor their subject populations. These groupings would be largely ad hoc and dependent on the effectiveness of the official or officer involved. Visiting nobles such as Tatius would use their local security apparatus for intelligence gathering. I doubt that anybody maintains assassins in the area - if the lunars want somebody dead they could crucify them without major problems..

Other Cults

Krarsht teaches many useful magics and in some places (ie Pavis), her cultists function as the local secret police. What could go wrong?

--Peter Metcalfe            

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