Investigators and Inquisitives in the Sea of Stars (A to Z)

10 April, 2021

Who is asking the questions?As it is in any world filled with people, there is crime in the Sea of Stars, from petty to the most serious.  Many places do not have organized group dedicated to solving crimes, keeping the peace and enforcing law, yes, actual investigation and crime solving as we have come to expect in the modern world, only very rarely.

Those who investigate crimes are usually known as Inquisitives or more rarely Investigators or Detectives (and occasionally other names as well), depending on the place they may be operatives of the powers that be, direct agents of the ruler, or even freelance professional, solving crimes for a fee (consulting inquisitives, you might say).  While these people are seek to solve crimes, they do so in various ways and with varying levels of support from the authorities.

The Empress directly employs a small number of Inquisitives, part of them are permanently assigned to insure that crimes in the Capital, Shel’lioc, are solved.  The Empress wishes the Capital to present an image of order and Imperial justice to all, so the Judge and the Imperial Judiciary oversee all investigation of high profile crimes bringing the full weight of Imperial power to bear.  Their success rate is quite high and wise criminals steer clear of the Capital.  Additional Inquisitives are assigned to the Gate Cities, nominally under the control of the Satraps assigned there but also reporting to the Empress.  Those assigned to the Gate Cities are rotated every few years to keep them from becoming too close to the Satrap.  A few others are assigned to Imperial holdings and loaned out to allies upon request.

The successes of professional Inquisitives in exposing criminals has lead to their use slowly spreading from city to city, court to court, though the Draconic Houses remain divided as to their utility.  Republics and other forms of (semi)popular rule have turned to their use more then the nobility as they give at least a veneer of impartiality to the investigations.  Those in service to royal, noble or Draconic houses are seen (almost always correctly) as tools of their master though sometimes they surprise everyone by finding the truth.

Among the freelance Inquisitives there is an informal network, though as most do not travel much, their ability to work usually being tied into knowing their home city both inside and out, this network consist mainly of occasional correspondence discussion cases, points of minutia and best practices.  There is a slowly growing genre of novels with Inquisitives as the heroes, some of which are based on actual mysteries.

There are also specialized inquisitives, such as the Ghostchasers of Taren Kost wh are tasked with discovery of the causes and perpetrators of occult and mystical crimes.  The Empress also has a set of specialist financial investigators, her feared Auditors, that insure that the Imperial treasury is getting every coin of taxation that it is entitled to.

Notes: Fantasy games tends to a very modern conception of crime investigation, I think it is more fun to play around with various sorts of investigative models.

Image “108c Spicy Detective Stories Sep-1942 Includes Speak of the Devil by E. Hoffmann Price as by Randolph Barr” by CthulhuWho1 (Will Hart) is licensed under CC BY 2.0 .

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