The Secret Chamber and the Exceptionals

Some things never change, regardless of comets, nuclear war or the rise of unnatural beasts. One of these things is the need for intelligence and counterintelligence. Here I will present two organizations created to fill these needs.

The Secret Chamber

Since the death of Henrik I, Peimar has realized that the creation of an intelligence network to collect information is of utmost importance, if Peimar is to control the Baltic in the future. Under different monarchs, different solutions have been used, ranging from the primitive to the sophisticated. The Secret Chamber is a more sophisticated solution.

Of course, the official name isn’t The Secret Chamber. The organization takes it’s nickname from the central office being situated next to the Queen’s bedchamber in the Peimar Royal Manor, making it a literal secret chamber. From there, the organization is run by the ever so competent lieutenant colonel Birger Elofs.  In more official contexts, the organization is known by the name Inhämtning Birger (Acquisitions Birger) or IB.

Queen Anne felt attraction to the idea of having a secret intelligence organization operating purely on invitational basis, and thus the existence of the Secret Chamber has never been revealed to outsiders apart from a few individuals. The Royal Treasurer, Duchess Björnfara, has been let in on the secret and via her network of fogdes, she collects domestic intelligence and keeps tabs on foreign spies in Peimar. Lt. Colonel Elofs runs foreign intelligence collection via multiple sources and contacts. The shadowy part of the Secret Chamber is also run by Elofs without no one else knowing about it except those working for him: Elofs has an operations office that does assassinations and sabotage whenever Elofs deems it necessary.

The Exceptionals

While the Republic of Hanö has never had a national system of law enforcement, the Chairmen did see a need for a secret police, since the Republic has always had both internal and external enemies.

The Exceptionals are a brute-force solution to counterintelligence and counterrevolution. They are run by Director Carolina Malax, who uses the Exceptionals as her private army. The Exceptionals operate under no actual laws, instead they detain, execute and torture whoever they see fit. The Exceptionals wear grey uniforms and as their insignia, they carry a copper emblem of a dog’s head.

In general, the Exceptionals don’t care about what the peasantry does. They’re not too concerned with treasonous talk either, as long as people talk treason in private. Malax might be a brute, but she isn’t a stupid brute. Her opinion is that if the common people must vent their feelings, let them do so in their own homes and inns. Never in public though. When it comes to the upper classes and the small middle class, getting dragged out of bed at midnight and hung from the nearest tree is much more likely than for the penniless farmer.

Of course, if you’re connected and don’t engage in literal treason, the Exceptionals will not touch you at all. Malax tries to keep a balance between making examples and keeping the patronage of rich politicans and traders. A purse of coin does wonders when arrested, if Malax sees an opportunity to make a friend out of you, or if she wants to curry favor with a powerful friend you happen to have.

If you have money or connections, you might get dragged out of bed and get locked up in a manor somewhere until someone gets you out. If not, you’re probably dead by morning.

 

 

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