The primary intelligence-gathering agency of the Lendosan Confederation is known as "the Panopticate", or simply as "Lendosan Intelligence". The term "Lendosan Intelligence" was the official name for the organization after the founding of the second Lendosan Confederation, while the term "the Panopticate" has been used (both officially and unofficially) by the organization since the days when it was founded as the State Security Enforcement Agency under the old Empire. When the Empire fell, the name "the Panopticate" was officially abandoned, but nevertheless remained in general use. As such, the term was officially restored (as one of two possible choices) in 303 AP.
The emblem of the Panopticate is below. Two other emblems have been used for the organization in recent times, both connected with the attempt to drop Imperial-era imagery, but this symbol, used by the Panopticate under the Empire, is now the sole emblem for official use.
The Panopticate is charged with gathering and analysing information related to Lendosa's national interests and state security. The Panopticate's range of interests is varied, but it mostly focuses on collecting information about possible threats to Lendosa from foreign countries, about internal threats to the government, and about organized crime.
To assist in its mission, the Panopticate is given a number of powers. These include powers of police (that is, the right to make arrests) and powers of surveillance. The Panopticate also has the ability to issue directives to other parts of the government (particularly security forces) regarding internal threats to the state.
The Lendosan Confederation pays a great deal of attention to intelligence, and the Panopticate is extremely well funded. The exact details of this funding, however, must be kept confidential for security reasons. The Lendosan government believes (although cannot prove) that the Panopticate is the largest and best funded intelligence agency in Vexillium.
The Panopticate is divided into units known as Programs. Each of these Programs has a different function. There are presently five Programs in the Panopticate, with three being responsible for intelligence-gathering and two having support roles. Each Program is generally known by its number.
Under the Empire, two additional Programs existed. These are now disbanded. Program Six was responsible for influencing and manipulating public opinion, a function it took over from the disbanded Imperial Information Management Bureau. This role was abolished when the Empire fell. Program Seven operated in secret even from the rest of the Panopticate, with all its members pretending to serve as part of other Programs - it's function was to spy on Panopticate officers themselves, ensuring loyalty and obedience. Internal policing is now conducted on a significantly smaller scale, and is handled by Program Four.
- Program One: Domestic Intelligence
- Program Two: Foreign Intelligence
- Program Three: Counter-Intelligence
- Program Four: Internal Security
- Program Five: Infrastrcture
Occasionally, it is claimed that the Imperial-era Panopticate also maintained a Program Eight, one which was never revealed to other branches of the state. It was allegedly dedicated to direct manipulation of the Imperial government itself. While it is often difficult to obtain information on the Panopticate during that era, it is generally considered unlikely that such a Program existed. Today, it is only mentioned in obscure conspiracy theories.
Ranks and Uniforms
Because much of the Panopticate's work is secret, officers will often not use uniforms or display identifiable ranks. However, there is nevertheless a uniform to be worn when Panopticate staff are not required to go undetected (including by staff whose roles never require undercover work, such as administration officers and technicians). This uniform is black and gray, and dates back to the founding of the organization. (Its use was briefly interupted by a black version of the standard military uniform, but this has been changed). It displays the emblem of the Panopticate both on the front of the uniform's coat and on an armband worn on the right sleeve. Rank insignia are displayed at the top fastening of the coat. The unform is the same for both men and women.
There are six distinct ranks within the Panopticate, although each of them is divided into a number of levels. The most basic rank is that of Osturo ("Scout"). Above that are the ranks of Desavoro ("Tracer"), Entuero ("Spy"), Intedreo ("Watcher"), and Monitoro ("Monitor"). All of these ranks are divided into various grades (these are not marked by insignia, and relate directly to the functional role of the holder). There will always be seven people holding the rank of full Monitor - these people collectively make up the Monitorate, generally regarded as the Panopticate's governing body. Above the Monitors is the supreme head of the Panopticate, known as the Ubiquitoro. Because no adequate translation of this title exists, it is generally simply translated as "Ubiquitor". It is related to words such as "ubiquitous", and began (like many terms in the Panopticate) as a nickname. The most senior Monitor is often known as the Sububiquitoro ("Sububiquitor").
. Rank Insignia Rank Name Scout Tracer Spy Watcher Monitor Ubiquitor
The organization now known as the Panopticate was originally founded in 215 AP as the State Security Enforcement Agency. The SSEA was founded shortly after the elections of that year, when a number of suspected Communist Party members attempted to assassinate several prominent politicians. The Imperial Council, the Lendian Empire's highest elected body, ordered the creation of the SSEA primarily to counter the supposed Communist threat, although its mission soon broadened to include other enemies of the state.
The SSEA quickly met with a number of spectacular successes, arresting a large number of radicals and subversives linked to illegal organizations. Its success caused it to be nicknamed (first by the people it was hunting, and then by the general public) "the Panopticate", based on a word meaning "all-seeing". The SSEA initially ignored the nickname, but it quickly became common enough that even senior SSEA officers began to use it when speaking to people outside the organization. Eventually, the SSEA adopted "the Panopticate" as its official name, and since then, the organization has always been known to the general public as such.
In addition to identifying internal threats, the Panopticate also turned to foreign intelligence work. Initially, this was merely an off-shoot of its primary mission - the Panopticate suspected that a number of subversive groups were using neighbouring countries as a base of operations, and determined a need to keep watchers in those countries as well as in Lendosa. Gradually, the Panopticate began to monitor the activities of the governments of those countries (rather than just the activities of Lendosans residing there), concerned that hostile states might give support to Lendosan subversives. As this monitoring of foreign governments allowed the Panopticate to provide the Lendosan government with valuable information, the role was formally incorperated into the Panopticate's guidelines of operation.
For the most part, the early Panopticate was apolitical, serving the government without concern for ideological struggles. The Panopticate did not take a side in the occasional disputes between the Imperial Council and the Emperor, and also ignored any disputes between the various parties of the Imperial Council. This began to change, however, towards the end of the 30's, when a particularly nationalistic group of Panopticate officers began to achieve high rank. As the Empire began to get involved in wars in Caboteniasa (officially, to help ethnic Lendians living along the northern coast), the bulk of the Panopticate advised caution, but the nationalists did their best to encourage Imperial involvement. A number of sizable rifts were created inside the Panopticate during this time, and these rifts grew as the fighting intensified.
As Emperor Carigo gained more and more power, and as the Imperial Council's power declined, the nationalists in the Panopticate began to give their backing to Carigo. While the bulk of the Panopticate stayed neutral, individual officers began acting in support of Carigo's doctrines. In particular, officers responsible for assessing the war in Caboteniasa (championed by Carigo, but opposed by the Council) began slanting their reports heavily in favour of Carigo's arguments. On several occasions, Panopticate officers directly criticised statements made in the Council, calling them "inaccurate and misleading" despite the Panopticate having evidence which supported the Council's point of view.
In 244 AP, a year after control of Caboteniasa was secured, Jurio Irigo, one of the Carigo supporters in the Panopticate, became Ubiquitor. Almost immediately, "protection of the Emperor and support of his beliefs" became an official (but internal) goal of the Panopticate. Considerable efforts were expended on projects to bolster the Emperor's position. The extent to which the Panopticate was willing to act is debated, but many allege that Irigo's Panopticate was responsible for the disappearance and intimidation of many prominent opponents of Carigo's views.
In 251 AP, a number of Panopticate officers hostile to Irigo's policies as Ubiquitor organized an internal coup while he was out of the country. When Irigo returned, he was met at the airport by Panopticate officers who told him that he had been stripped of his rank and relegated to indefinite detention. Four of the seven Monitors (the other three being the primary organizers of the coup) were also sent to detention. Irigo refused to accept the legality of his dismissal, but was refused contact with any of his supporters within the organization. The three Monitors who oversaw the coup later released information about actions taken by Irigo which were outside the role of the Panopticate, using this evidence as justification for removing him.
At the same time, the armed forces were also experiencing a change in command. With neither the military nor the Panopticate backing him, Emperor Carigo was forced in 252 AP to surrender supremacy to the Imperial Council once again. When the Council's power was secure, and laws protecting Carigo's supporters were revoked, Irigo and his four loyal Monitors were put on trial. This was the first (and, so far, the only) time that senior Panopticate officials had been tried by an authority external to the Panopticate.
In 269 AP, however, pro-Carigo members of the Panopticate had staged another takeover, gaining control of most of the agency. Ubiquitor Carlo Delcaro, who had led the 251 AP coup to remove the pro-Carigo faction from power, was forced into retirement. He was replaced by Iltirio Juo, and the Panopticate once again began intervening on Carigo's behalf. A number of prominent opponents to his rule are thought to have been killed by the Panopticate during Juo's reign as Ubiquitor.
This time, however, the Panopticate was less securely in the pro-Carigo camp. Juo was strongly loyal to Carigo, and most senior Panopticate officers were the same (dissenting officers having been purged), many junior Panopticate officers were unhappy at the new direction. As Carigo became more and more unstable, and as opposition to his rule mounted elsewhere in the government, junior Panopticate officers began to undermine the agency's efforts to support the Emperor. The most striking example of rebellion came when three junior Panopticate agents, having been given orders to assassinate a prominent Councillor, killed their commanding officer, released documents detailing their mission, and went into hiding. Damage to the Panopticate was considerable, and Juo was furious. Soon, the Panopticate was plagued by constant investigations and purges to eliminate dissidents, something which further alienated the lower ranks from the leadership.
In 271 AP, Juo was assassinated by a mid-level officer of the Panopticate. Less than a day later, Juo's second in command was assassinated by one of the aforementioned Panopticate officers who had deserted (with the assistance of his friends still inside the organization). The remaining leaders of the pro-Carigo faction, many of whom had been increasingly concerned about the collapse of the agency's internal stability, voluntarily resigned. Luis Danasta, the last remaining anti-Carigo Monitor, was made Ubiquitor. Ilaria Diasa, the rebel officer who assassinated Juo, was made a Monitor.
Under Danasta, the Panopticate ended its policy of supporting Carigo, and attempted to return to political neutrality. However, this was not enough for some members of the anti-Carigo faction, who demanded active measures against Carigo rather than mere neutrality. When Danasta was hospitalised with heart problems in 274 AP, Iliria Diasa was elevated to the position of Ubiquitor, and soon implemented policies that would weaken Carigo's position.
While Diasa's policies did not involve the violence or intimidation that Irigo or Juo had employed, they were still highly effective. By exposing many of Carigo's secret plots, the Panopticate foiled a number of attempts by Carigo to regain the advantage, and also caused further damage to Carigo's reputation. The Panopticate was also involved in the defeat of several assassination attempts arranged by Carigo's supporters against prominent Councillors. Diasa herself played a considerable role in organizing political opposition to Carigo.
The following year, Carigo accepted the Council's supremacy once again, and the Panopticate withdrew from politics. For some time, the organization concentrated on its primary goals of intelligence gathering once again. It was hoped that Carigo's death and his replacement by a more moderate emperor would end nationalist sentiment within the group. In 288 AP, Ilaria Diasa stepped down as Ubiquitor, and was succeeded by Mercutio Denario, a Monitor whose beliefs were similar to hers.
End of the Empire
In the early 290s, when protests arose calling for the end of the monarchy, Danario ensured that the Panopticate remained politically neutral. In the middle of 295 AP, however, Denario disappeared in mysterious circumstances (and is now known to have been killed). Adaro Lacademo, a mid-level Panopticate officer, forcefully declared himself Ubiquitor, claiming a "state of emergency" related to the Empire's troubles. Lacademo ordered immediate action to fight the "traitors" who were "subverting the Empire's very existence". This sudden realignment of the Panopticate was halted, however, when a group of senior Panopticate officers led by Aranezo Galazo and Lucius Drathe staged a counter-coup. Drathe became the new Ubiquitor, and the Panopticate took no action against the reformists. Soon, the Panopticate had declared many of the most fervent anti-reformists to be acting illegally, and played a considerable part in halting an abortive military coup attempt.
Galazo, supported by Drathe, entered into consultations with the reformist leaders. It was Galazo (and therefore, the Panopticate) which planned most of the transition from the Empire to the Free Confederacy (a federal republic which briefly succeeded the monarchy). The rationale for Panopticate involvement was the need to preserve order and stability. The Panopticate played a considerable role in encouraging cooperation from the monarchist factions, and in smoothing out many aspects of the transition. When the leader of the most prominent pro-reform party was assassinated, Galazo (with the blessings of Drathe) left the Panopticate and entered politics, rallying many reformist supporters.
The Free Confederacy eventually disintegrated, with the various components of the former Empire going their own separate ways. The Panopticate was not broken up in the same way that the civil service had been - as the organization was used by the Empire to help maintain control over its territories, its composition was almost exclusively Lendian, and thus could not realistically be taken over by non-Lendian states. The Panopticate was attached to Lendia itself, and consequently became a part of the Lendosan Confederation.
Initially, the organization was renamed Lendosan Intelligence, and given a new emblem and new uniforms. This was mostly an attempt to "de-Empire" it, just as was done with many other parts of the government. The general public, however, continued to refer to the organization as the Panopticate. In 304 AP, the government decided that attempting to "re-brand" the group had not been successful, and authorized the reintroduction of the old name, emblem, and uniform.