OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Expand on Firemane.
Image Credit: Found it here on Twitter, but the creator is unknown. It appears on a number of other sites, but there's no mention of the original artist.
Role: Internal security.
Group Name: Truthseekers
Classification: Investigative agency, internal security organisation, inquisition.
Headquarters: Arx Aeternaea.
Group Sigil: See here.
Description: The Truthseekers are a sub-division of the General Research Unit, Firemane's premier counterintelligence and security agency. All Truthseekers are Force-Sensitives who specialise in investigation, interrogation and information gathering. Rather than display the flashy powers that are commonly associated with Force-users, their esoteric training focused on empathic and mind-affecting abilities to sway, terrify or mentally dominate others, conduct mind probes and separate truth from lies. Several Truthseekers are skilled in psychometry and can manipulate memories, though their skill level varies. Incredibly few Truthseekers are proficient in the use of a lightsabre beyond knowing the basics and many of those would have never used one in a combat situation. Agents receive training in self-defence and marksmanship, but they are not soldiers. Their job is to investigate, not fight or participate in duels. They receive thorough training in a broad variety of interrogation methods. Use of various drugs is common in interrogations. Many Truthseekers are polyglots and can speak or understand several languages. This is pertinent because Firemane has often operated on rather remote worlds in the Outer Rim or Wild Space, where few if any natives would know Basic.
They are responsible for detecting, investigating, analysing and eliminating threats to the security of Firemane Industries and House Kerrigan-Alcori. However, they do not operate in a vacuum. Instead they answer to the Director of GRU and ultimately to Siobhan Kerrigan, the overall leader of Firemane. They are a special branch of the Order of Fire. The Truthseekers are rather secretive by nature. Candidates tend to be identified from early on and approached by Truthseeker recruiters after being monitoref for their suitability. They are vetted thoroughly and undergo a rigorous training programme to weed out potential moles and corrupt or incompetent elements. Their training includes being exposed to a whole battery of mental attacks and simulated interrogations. All Truthseekers sign comprehensive non-disclosure agreements.
The Truthseekers are skilled in interrogation, threat detection and analysis. coercive techniques, manipulation, intelligence gathering, mentalism and psychology. They also perform counterespionage duties, weeding out spies and moles. However, they need a warrant from Siobhan or Vice President Kaylah Danton to investigate a high level employee. Their usual monitoring activities can uncover things, but they cannot act without direction from someone senior.
Due to the nature of their work, the Truthseekers are one of the Order of Fire's most secretive branches. They do not advertise their work, wear special uniforms or suits of armour that set them apart from other Firemane forces. After all, flabomyant outfits do not just tip people off, they are expensive. Only a fraction of the prisoners in Firemane's custody - or its employees, for that matter- will ever get to see a Truthseeker face to face. Their credo is 'be more than you seem' and so they do their best to blend in, wearing Firemane military uniforms. To quote one of their operatives:"You don't keep order with gaudy displays of violence. Real control is surgical. Invisible. It interferes only when necessary".
Hierarchy: The hierarchy can be compared to a spider web, with each strand connecting to others in neighbouring areas all leading eventually to a central, single point. That point are Ziva and her staff. She reports to the Director of GRU and ultimately to Lady Siobhan Kerrigan.
Membership: Though the Truthseekers utilise plenty of informants both within and without Firemane, becoming an actual member of the organisation is a difficult process. The Truthseekers are a branch of the Order of Fire and thus recruit many of their members from its ranks. Potential members must pass a series of tests to prove their capabilities and loyalty. All agents undergo a thorough screening process to weed out the disloyal and potential infiltrators. They must go through a ruthless mental battery with Order of Fire mentalists to learn how to steel their minds against mental manipulation and intrusion. When it comes to recruitment, there are no racial or gender barriers. However, the agency has many Falleen employees. Their natural resistance to mind tricks and ability to emit pheromones make them skilled interrogators or spies. Epicanthix and Toydarians are also valued due to their natural unconscious talent for shielding themselves from Force-based mental manipulation. All members of the group must be Force-Sensitive and loyal to Firemane.
Dogma/Doctrines: The Truthseekers regard themselves as instruments of Firemane policy and House Kerrigan-Alcori. They see themselves as an elite within the elite, cultivating a self-image of calm professionalism and ruthless competence. It is regarded as a matter of principle not to talk about one's work. After all, loose lips sink ships. Trust is good. Control better – and real control is surgical. Due to the nature of their work, few Truthseekers are Lightsiders. Grey and Dark Side Force-users predominate. However, the agency dislikes sadists, as it regards violence as a means to an end, not an end in itself. Interrogators prefer more 'refined' methods than crude, physical violence, though they will resort to those if needed. 'Death of personality' is regarded as a valid punishment for particularly heinous criminals, traitors and the like – especialy if the agency can still make use of them. Firemane is seen as a force of order and stability, though how ideologically committed the members of the organisation are varies. After all, they work for a corporation.
Goals: To ensure the security of Firemane, obtain valuable information and detect, analyse and eliminate threats. Also expand its influence and increase its budget, like every bureaucratic organisation.
The Truthseekers were created to provide Firemane with an effective instrument to counter infiltration, industrial espionage and similar threats. Firemane's ruling couple has had trouble with infiltrators in the past. Tegaea Alcori was tortured and nearly killed by the Sith Assassin Kaelin Isandros. While she was rescued by Siobhan Kerrigan, her injuries made her unable to continue her work as Lady Protector of the Omega Protectorate. Firemane has also been targeted by Archangel, a genocidal machine cult that utilises infiltration droids. Darth Shadow conspired with Archangel to try and murder both Tegaea and Siobhan.
Thus as the Order of Fire took shape, Siobhan realises that she would need an organisation with the ability to weed out potential spies and double agents. Thus initially the Truthseekers were created to vet Order of Fire recruits and keep an eye on the Order, acting as a sort of internal affairs agency. Knowledge is power, after all. Or it can give power at any rate, provided one analyses and utilises it intelligently. Over time, the Truthseekers' responsibilities were expanded and they were charged with monitoring regular Firemane employees. To impose a check on the group and keep them from misusing their authorities, they were placed under the control of Firemane's in-house intelligence service.
While there were no racial or gender restrictions when it came to recruitment, two groups ended up being overrepresented among the ranks of the Truthseekers: Falleen and former members of the defunct Atrisian Inquisition. Falleen are a natural choice because they exude powerful pheromones, which can be helpful in rendering a subject compliant rather than resorting to more crude methods. They are also resistant to mind tricks. As for the Atrisians, Firemane recruited a number of Inquisitors who fled Atrisia after Empress Madeline initiated an Anti-Force-User Purge. Their background as former agents of the now defunct Atrisian Empire gave them plenty of experience. One example would be former Grand Inquisitor Mirien Valdier, who ran COAS, Firemane's intelligence service, which was the Truthseekers were subordinate to.
The organisation suffered a blow during the Netherworld, as several senior leaders were raptured. At the same time Kaeshana was engulfed by chaos and civil war, as Eldorai fanatics believed the end of days had come and rose up against the monarchy and all 'unbelievers'. The Truthseekers worked with Sergeant Freya Solveig, temporarily in charge of Firemane HQ due to the disappearance of so many senior leaders, and the Chimaera Squad black ops unit to strike back. Their campaign against internal traitors and external fanatics was ruthless, but helped restore order. After a cabal of reactionary Eldorai aristos attempted to assassinate Siobhan Kerrigan, the Truthseekers played a vital role in investigating this conspiracy and interrogating its ringleaders. Some time after the Eldorai Exodus from Kaeshana and the colonisation of Tygara, an energetic Falleen called Ziva Khalan was recruited.
Ziva was the scion of a Falleen noble family, but had experienced first-hand how treacherous the game of thrones was after her family was butchered at her wedding by their rivals. After going into exile for several years and honing her Force skills in the Unknown Regions, she returned to get revenge on the murderers of her family by manipulating them into destroying each other. Lacking an interest in becoming part of a system she detested, she left her homeworld to build a life of her own choosing. This eventually led her to Firemane, where she proved to be a capable agent and bureaucrat. After the conquest of the Underealm and the defeat of the Xioquo, the Truthseekers were involved in counterinsurgency operations on Tygara. Ziva herself was captured by Xioquo rebels, but managed to leave clues that enabled loyalists to find and help rescue her. The agency uncovered intelligence that helped foil a terrorist plot to murder Queen Liavondra, Firemane's vassal ruler of the Xioquo.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Kaeshana, Siobhan decided to reorganise Firemane's intelligence apparatus. During the course of the battle, a group of Firemane soldiers turned on their comrades, defecting to the enemy. While their desertion occured relatively late - in the midst of Firemane and Alliance troops - and thus did not affect the outcome of the fight, it alerted Siobhan to the danger posed by traitors within the ranks.
Her suspicions grew when Tarissa Cadalthor, an Eldorai Duchess who had once been her ally, tried to exploit the negative outcome of the battle. After returning to Tygara, the Duchess instigated anti-foreigner riots, blaming foreigners in general and Firemane in particular for the defeat. Her goal was to rally the mob and the Eldorai nobility so that she could seize the throne. Her plot was foiled when Firemane and Eldorai soldiers uncovered evidence of her activities. To make a point, Lady Kerrigan personally executed Tarissa in front of the entire Eldorai Council of Nobles, then warned them not to cross her. To provide Firemane and herself with a more effective instrument, Siobhan initiated a shake-up of Firemane's intelligence community. She created a new agency to take over counterintelligence duties. It was called the General Research Unit, or GRU for short. The Truthseekers were subordinated to it. At first it was a task force created to carry out a thorough screening process of Firemane employees, but it soon became a permanent fixture. Ziva was put in charge of the Truthseekers and became a Deputy Director of GRU. There is a bit of a rivalry between her and GRU Director Kuwahara, as both women dislike each other.
More recently, GRU and the Truthseekers played an important role in the Exodus from Tygara. The Eldorai and their Tygaran cousins were settled on Firemane ark ships so that they could find a new home in the stars. Obviously Firemane had to take precautions. So the investigators were charged with ensuring that reactionary 'troublemakers' were 'put aside', isolated or banished. The Truthseekers have increased its presence on the space habitats to monitor things. Lady Kerrigan has been expanding their ranks with space elves to ensure that she is kept abreast of things, so that measures can be taken if rogue elf factions fight each other or try to sabotage or steal Firemane vessels. Thus for the short term it strives to create an information network among the exodites Firemane has assumed responsibility for.
Edited by Siobhan Kerrigan, 08 December 2018 - 02:57 PM.