King's Dark Lanterns

King's Dark Lanterns

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Hosuth Intelligence Agency

Score 555

06/01/24

“Your brother was a thief who sold secrets to Amarillia. He betrayed the crown, so I killed him. That’s what happens to traitors.” - Aron “Sharpsword” Fainn, a King’s Dark Lantern

 

The King's Dark Lanterns is one of the finest intelligence agencies in Argones, rivaled only by House Qosa and the Trust of Kibosh (and to a slightly lesser extent, the Baccus Group).  The dark side of these aptitudes is a strong streak of cynicism, which allows crime and corruption to flourish in Hosuth's cities and temples.

 

The Dark Lanterns serve the crown of Hosuth as spies and assassins. Collectively they form the intelligence division of the King’s Citadel, a much larger organization sworn to defend Hosuth from its enemies and dispense justice in the name of King Boranel. More than any other division within the Citadel, the Dark Lanterns tend toward intelligence-gathering missions that extend beyond Hosuth’s borders. As the secret servants of the crown, members of the organization are granted the authority to conduct intelligence operations on foreign soil, execute covert missions across the globe, and prevent national secrets from falling into the hands of rival intelligence agencies. The Dark Lanterns also have an unwritten license to eliminate any creature that threatens their Nation, its sovereign, or its citizens.

The Lanterns were vital to Hosuth’s defense during the Last War; however, conspiracies abound in the aftermath of war as nations struggle to rebuild and reclaim what was lost. The Thronehold Accords have done nothing to end the secret conflicts being waged across the Five Nations - conflicts steeped in espionage and subterfuge. With the threat of another war looming on the horizon, Hosuth needs its Dark Lanterns now more than ever.

The King’s Dark Lanterns, one of two secret divisions operating under the auspices of the Citadel, gathers intelligence and performs espionage missions for the crown. Captain Vron (LN Male Changeling Rogue 8) commands the Dark Lanterns, and he keeps in close contact with Lord Kor and King Boranel about many of his division’s ongoing activities.

 

Headquarters.  The King’s Citadel is based in Hosuth’s capital city of Wroat, under the command of the king’s brother, Lord Kor ir’Wynarn. A changeling named Captain Vron serves as the leader of the Dark Lanterns, with four subordinate knights marshal leading branch offices across Hosuth, in Sharn, Starilaskur, and Xandrar. A much smaller branch office keeps an eye on Hosuthian interests in the city of Stormreach, on the continent of Xendra. Small, temporary field offices are sometimes established to coordinate missions outside Hosuth; these offices double as safe houses for agents in trouble, and they are designed to be wiped clean at a moment’s notice if discovered by local authorities.

The Sharn office of the King’s Citadel is in Andith Tower in the Ambassador Towers district. Though a knight marshal commands the office, most of the King’s Citadel members in Sharn are Dark Lanterns, and thus under the authority of a scheming and ruthless Gnome named Talleon Haliar Tonan.

Agents.  The King’s Dark Lanterns includes more than 500 agents operating within Hosuth’s borders and roughly one-fifth that number stationed abroad. They often work in teams, and also work closely with the other divisions of the Citadel. Sometimes they recruit local talent, often under false pretenses, to help them accomplish their missions in foreign lands.

 

Allies.  By their nature, espionage agencies must be cautious in choosing their allies, and the King’s Dark Lanterns is no exception. Its most trustworthy allies include the following facets of the Hosuthian government:

King Boranel.  The King’s Dark Lanterns, as one would expect, serve the king of Hosuth, and he is their greatest advocate and ally. The king views loyalty as mutual: as long as an agent’s loyalty is irreproachable, Boranel is willing to exercise his considerable power on that agent’s behalf.

The King’s Citadel.  The Citadel has three branches besides the Dark Lanterns. The King’s Swords are elite special combat forces. The King’s Shields protect the king and his closest family members and associates. The King’s Wands provide magical support to the other branches of the Citadel as well as other Hosuthian forces. Some Dark Lanterns might think themselves superior to members of the other branches, but even so they recognize other Citadel agents as players on the same team. When your group needs a little extra help, the other branches of the Citadel are there for you.

 

Enemies.  Rare is the espionage agency that is loved. Even within Hosuth, the populace views the Dark Lanterns with suspicion, and powerful people outside the royal family harbor resentment at the influence of the Citadel. Many people and institutions outside Hosuth view the Dark Lanterns as a hostile force. As a result, the following groups account for just a few enemies of the Dark Lanterns:

Hosuthian Populists.  As much as King Boranel is loved in his country, many Hosuthian voices argue that the era of monarchy is at an end, and the throne of Hosuth should be replaced by a government democratically elected by the citizenry. When these forces grow restless enough to plot and riot, the Citadel - and often the Dark Lanterns - work to bring them to heel. As a result, those who question the authority of the king are the most likely of Hosuth's citizens to mistrust the Dark Lanterns or view them with open hostility. According to rumor some of those people even hold high positions in the Hosuthian government.

Foreign Nations.  Every nation knows the King’s Dark Lanterns serves as an espionage force and do their best to track the movements of Dark Lantern agents within their borders. Foreign governments treat Dark Lantern agents with care to avoid sparking an international incident, but they are quick to arrest Dark Lantern agents suspected of wrongdoing.

New Verdun.  One of the world’s largest concentrations of Verdunian refugees settled in eastern Hosuth under the leadership of Oargev ir’Wynarn, the last prince of Verdun. Many voices among the Verdunians, possibly including Oargev himself, call for the establishment of an independent nation in what is now Hosuthian territory, but Boranel is determined to hold on to every acre of his land. The Dark Lanterns actively infiltrate the Verdunian refugee community, rooting out those who would act against the king.

Connections

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