Royal Intelligence Service
The Caledonian Royal Intelligence Service is the "spy" agency for the Principality of Caledon. Its director, the "Minister of Information", is an advisor to the Cabinet.
While the RIS will maintain some sort of presence on virtually every world in Reaver's Deep - even as little as someone on a small, sparsely-populated system to coreward that sends periodic updates of happenings in a home system - there are a number of areas where the stations are well-staffed, the operational security is especially diligent, and the information gathered particularly important:
- The Khan World League - RIS stations in and around around the "reaver kingdom" are busy, given the instability of the League and the historically brutal emnity between the League and the Principality.
- Marlheim - Monitoring the Grand Duchy of Marlheim and its plans is a traditionally vital, and difficult, job. RIS stations in the area are hard-worked, and moderately dangerous.
- The Imperium - the decay of the imperium on the driftward side of Reaver's Deep has led to a vacuum of authority - and a flood of information needing to be processed.
- The Aslan Clans - Intel about Aslan activities, trends and intentions is especially hard-sought.
Referee's Note - An enterprising group of PCs can find all sorts of employment and opportunity in sport of the RIS, especially in the areas above - provided they can prove trustworthy.
Alternatively, player characters can frequently be used, behind the scenes, by the RIS for their own means.
The RIS has ten major branches. They are universally referred to by their numbers.
Also called the "Star Chamber", this is the high-level clearinghouse of all intelligence activity in the Principality.
"One" is in charge of recruiting and training agents, analysts and support personnel.
"Two" is the Analysis wing. Operating out of a large room at the RIS' headquarters, analysts from Department Two try to synthesize the flood of information coming in from the other info-gathering departments - especially "Three" - and turn it into actionable conclusions.
Each area of vital interest - whether a system or a specific threat area - is represented by a "desk", which is manned (depending on its tension and level of importance) either during normal working hours (the Duncinean Desk) or around the clock (the "Imperium/Nightrim Subsector" desk). The analysts are responsble for processing the information coming in from the other departments, analyzing it and developing conclusions (sometimes with the help of the "Funnies" over in "Eight", or Technical Services).
"Three" is the "Operations" wing - the agent-running arm of the Service.
"Three" runs agents out of embassies and consulates in friendly areas, and from extemporized locations in denied territory. It is by far the biggest department in the RIS. . A typical "Three Station" involves a station chief - an experienced operative - and 2-5 "case officers" or junior operatives who run the actual agents (who are usually locals who are painstakingly recruited to provide information).
While intelligence agents always try to avoid combat - it tends to blow covers - stations in "denied territory" are often accompanied by a team of 2-3 "minders" who handle security and any "dirty work" that needs doing. "Minders" are generally former soldiers, guardsmen, Marines, and former members of the Phantom Regiment, who are given extensive intelligence training to go with their combat skills.
"Four" is the Administrative department.
"Five" gathers intelligence from commercial sources.
Part of "Five" gathers information from Caledon's huge sector of well-connected trading houses and well-travelled traders - they are a huge, largely open source of information. "Five" develops, maintains and works these links both openly and covertly; "agents" in Five often do their best intelligence-gathering over dinner, drinks, or playing pub games with traders just returned from long expeditions, or with merchant executives over dinner and golf.
Five also gathers information covertly from foreign traders, who are ubiquitous at Caledonian ports. Starports in Caledon and in affiliated states (like the Confederacy of Duncinae) are often frequented by agents from Five, who ply unwary foreign merchants and traders with drinks, drugs, prostitutes and other emoluments to get their insights on happenings in their parts of the universe.
Many young nobles, enthralled by the thought of a tour in intelligence work involving socializing, golf, bar-hopping and attractive members of their preferred gender before going into commercial or government life, gravitate toward "Five"; most wash out of the selection process. But of those that remain, the ones who combine an incisive, investigatory intellect with the social skills (and expense account) that is most often associated with the department, often succeed in "Five".
"Six" handles direct action assets. The department includes:\
- "Six Three", which trains and provides teams of "Minders" to "Three"
- Close links to the Caledonian Special Service,
- Staff who maintain close elationships with numerous mercenary firms
- An operational link - including judicious cross-posting - with the Phantom Regiment for the serious dirty work.
"Seven" manages counterintelligence operations.
"Eight" is the technical services branch. "Eight" develops all manner of equipment for "Three", "Six" and "Seven" to use on operations, and to help "Two" analyze incoming data.
"Nine" handles liaison with the Caledonian military. Its operatives do everything from debriefing warships and members of the Prince's Corps of Guards' "Steno Pool" (diplomatic security unit) to riding along on intel-gathering missions with the scouts and researchers of the Royal Caledonian Expeditionary Service.
Note: It's not a typo: while Departments 0-8 are written numerically, "Nine" is always spelled out. The tradition is as obscure as it is universal. It is because it is. Nobody questions it.
Unlike the Imperial intelligence organization, there are many paths to a career in the RIS.
- Traditional Intelligence operatives, obviously, find employment in any of the Departments - but are the dominant career path in Departments 1,2,3,7 and Nine; extremely senior operators also staff Department 0.
- Combat-Arms Soldiers, Guardsmen, Marines and Commandos with aptitude in intelligence work are found in Department 6.
- Technicians, Engineers and Scientists are found in Department 8.
- Nobles, Social Climbers, Businesspeople and retired Diplomats with high degrees of intelligence and investigative curiosity are often found in Department 5.