The King's Dark Lanterns
The Dark Lanterns serve the crown of Breland as spies and assassins. Collectively they form the intelligence division of the King’s Citadel, a much larger organization sworn to defend Breland 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 Breland’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 King’s Dark Lanterns were vital to Breland’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, Breland needs its Dark Lanterns now more than ever.
The Dark Lanterns serve as Breland’s eyes and ears across Khorvaire and beyond. Through a vast network of contacts that includes local constabularies, the Dark Lanterns watch for known criminals entering Breland. They spy on radicals, politicians, foreign dignitaries, and resident exiles that represent a possible security risk to the people of Breland. The organization has upward of 500 agents operating within Breland’s borders and roughly one-fifth that number stationed abroad.
Dark Lanterns often work in teams. They also work closely with other divisions of the King’s Citadel, including the King’s Wands and the King’s Swords. In addition, some Dark Lanterns join forces with adventurers whose goals happen to coincide with theirs; in such cases, they might choose to keep their allegiance to the crown of Breland a secret.
A Dark Lantern operating within Breland’s borders can expect cooperation from any Brelish citizen in the pursuit of his mission. That said, a Dark Lantern represents the crown. One who takes advantage of a citizen’s cooperation or endangers the lives of innocent Brelish does not serve the crown and may have to answer for his misconduct.
A Dark Lantern doesn’t make a lot of money and is expected to live a modest life, so as not to attract undue attention. The work he is called upon to perform can be as simple and straightforward as spying on a foreign diplomat for a few days or as dangerous and complex as buying information from a dubious source in a remote city while dodging rival agents and assassins. When not performing a service for the crown, a Dark Lantern can participate in private ventures, provided they don’t conflict with his allegiance to the Brelish crown.
The King’s Dark Lanterns represent one branch of a greater organization called the King’s Citadel, which is based in Wroat. King Boranel’s brother, Lord Kor ir’Wynarn, commands the Citadel, assisted by five Citadel captains, each of whom heads up a division of the agency.
Captain Vron appoints various other captains to oversee the four branch offices of the King’s Dark Lanterns. The ruthless Captain Talleon Haliar Tonan tyrannically leads the King’s Dark Lanterns in Sharn and spends much of his time building useful relationships with the city’s criminal elements. The leader of the King’s Dark Lanterns in Starilaskur is Captain Meryl d’Ravalas, a handsome man with a disarming smile, a keen strategic mind, and a fondness for changelings. In Xandrar, leadership falls to Amber Korranor, the widow of a well-known dwarf adventurer (Shekkal Korranor) who died in the Last War. Amber has no military record, but she’s a proven Brelish patriot of sharp wit and mind. The fifth leader, Jev, a changeling, leads a small team of agents in Stormreach on the continent of Xen’drik.
The common citizens of Breland respect and fear the King’s Dark Lanterns. They understand the purpose of the organization but sometimes call into question its methods, particularly when it turns its sharp eyes inward and begins spying on Breland nationals and resident foreigners. Although the Last War is over, most educated Brelish suspect that the Dark Lanterns still engage in acts of espionage and violence across Khorvaire, and they fear that one misstep could destroy the delicate peace set forth by the Treaty of Thronehold. Meanwhile, Brelish youth searching for adventure, intrigue, and the chance to explore exotic places dream of becoming Dark Lanterns when they grow up.