As previously discussed here – http://periloustales.net/2016/07/18/lore-spotlight-the-palisades-writing-in-new-lore/
I thought I’d go into more detail concerning the Palisades, their ‘moral’ compass if they have one, and the general operation of the organization.
The Palisades operate using cell groups that are scattered throughout the empire. The majority of these cells are located within the Imperial Capital. The compact localization of this allows the Palisades greater efficiency than would assume for a splintered organization that prides itself on secrecy and independent cells that are cut off from one another.
Here’s a diagram showing how the Palisades is structured:
- Office of the Cullis: The Cullis is the head of the Palisades whose identity is only known by 3 people; the Chancellor, the Bastion and the Moat. The Cullis reports directly to the Chancellor (aka, Spymaster) who in turn reports to his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor. The Palisades have very little oversight – technically, the Chancellor governs their use and is responsible for their activities and affairs. Truth of the matter is that the Palisades operation independent from the Chancellor and simply report any findings worth reporting to him, in addition to receiving orders. The Cullis operates the cells using cell leaders called Bastions. The Cullis is not aware of the lower echelons of the cell group, only the Bastion is aware to him/her. This is done to avoid the Cullis compromising the entire cell group should he/she get put into a compromising position.
- Bastion: The Bastion is the cell-group leader. They are responsible for maintaining their cell and for recruitment. New recruits are known only to them, not to the Cullis; as such, they need only to seek permission from the Cullis to engage in recruitment. Bastions operate with a lot of freedom, and because of this, the Cullis is very careful about who leads a cell. They need to be loyal without question, a true patriot to the Empire. The Palisades are not looking for Sigmarite fanatics, Ulric worshipers or Karl-Franz fanboys. They want patriotic souls who care about the Empire as an entity more so than any individual. The Bastion receives their orders from the Cullis, and it is up to the Bastion to dictate those orders to their cell members.
- Cells: Individual cell members are simply called Palisades; these are the foot soldiers of the organization. Each independent group operating under a Bastion is only aware of the Bastion. Cell members do not have access to the Office of the Cullis nor do they know who the Cullis is. They will also be unaware of who their fellow cell members are from other groups operating under their Bastion; so if one gets captured, the whole group is not compromised. Usually cell members operate in pairs or fours. It is rare to find a Palisade operating on their own.
- Moat: Keeping up with the tradition of naming themselves after defensive fortifications, the Moat is perhaps the second most important position within the Palisades. The Moat acts as a liaison between different groups; the Moat has direct contact with the Bastions of the other groups. The Moat has two purposes. First, should the Cullis ever be compromised, the Moat is well positioned to assume operations having knowledge of the Bastions. Second, the cell groups operate independently from one another and are discouraged from making any attempts to try and contact the other Bastions; but from time to time, a great threat may emerge that could threaten the Empire, when such a threat emerges the Palisades may attempt to pool resources by trading security for efficiency. In such a case, the Moat’s secondary purpose comes into play acting as an intermediary without sacrificing the identity of the other Bastions, leaving the Cullis free to perform other duties.
As explained in the previous lore post about the Palisades, the purpose of this secretive group is to safeguard the Empire from internal threats, and being aware of external ones. When Mandred re-formed the criminal group that operated under Boris Goldgather into what it is now, the Palisades, he gave them an incredible amount of power and self-oversight. The original purpose was to keep watch for Skaven incursions, and secondary focus was to maintain purity on the throne, as Mandred Skavenslayer was very much aware that the threat of the Skaven only emerged due to the sheer incompetence and outright greed of the previous Emperor, who hid away in his palace while his subjects were torn apart by teeth and claw. As such, the Palisades have an oath to never allow that to happen. The Palisades have to walk a fine line between treason and duty; should a corrupt incompetent Emperor take the throne, the Palisades have a duty upon themselves, as originally mandated by Mandred, to insure that such incompetence, greed and corruption does not threaten the Empire. In some cases, that may mean stirring up trouble between the Elector Counts to remove a blight upon the Empire; such methods are a double-edged sword.
Another regular activity that the Palisades engage in is blackmail. Their agents particularly love getting dirt on local nobles, because dirt is currency to them that they can use later for leverage for any number of purposes. If it serves the core purpose of the Palisades then they’ll likely do it; as such they’ll go out their way just to collect information for the purpose of storing it should they have need for it.
The Palisades are not a large organization. They are greatly underfunded, undermanned and they have the burden of protecting the Empire from all sorts of nasty threats, not to mention their original purpose; to keep watch for giant hairy rats… As such, they are confined mostly to the Capital, with perhaps a small cell operating in a neighboring province. They do not have a long reach, and due to the structure of their organization, the further out, the less efficient they are. Because of this, the Palisades often rely on recruiting outside help. The Bastion of a cell would give responsibility to a Palisade to recruit someone on the outside to aid them in whatever task they see fit. The benefit of this is that whoever they recruit, should they betray the Palisade in question, the whole group is not compromised as the Bastion has chosen to keep their identity safe. It is important to note that affiliates are not Palisade members. Getting recruited to do the dirty work of the Palisades is very different in becoming a member of the Palisades.
Becoming A Palisade
Palisades are extremely careful about who they let into their group to become a Palisade. There are a few traits that stand out in particular that they look for in new recruits:
- Patriotic Duty: Showing a sense of loyalty and patriotic duty for the Empire. State soldiers of renown or those who show their patriotic duty on the battlefield are often good candidates. Declaring ones love for the Emperor is certainly welcome, but the Palisades duty is to also protect the Empire from the Emperor should they be a corrupting influence; such bias could be regarded as a conflict of interests. As such, any declarations of love for the Emperor should be made in modest sums.
- Abhors corruption and the unseen dark forces of Chaos: The Palisades are schooled on the dangers of Chaos. They ‘know’ their names, but do not speak it. They know of the hidden threats. They know that vampires are real. They know that the skaven lurk beneath the sewers. Anyone possessing knowledge of this and shows their hatred for such things is definitely a prime candidate for the Palisades, should they possess other qualities as well.
- Gets the job done: Palisades do not necessarily recruit from the lawful citizenry of the Empire. You could be a patriotic murdering scumbag, but the Palisades may see a use for you, as long as you’re not a liability to them. As such, anyone who shows that they can get the ‘job’ done no matter the cost, is worth looking at. There are more than a few ‘former’ criminals who make up the numbers of the Palisades, simply because they may have a particular skillset that the Palisades desire.
However there are also traits that the Palisades do not want, and possessing any of these is likely a sure-way for them to lose interest:
- Zealous Nature: The Palisades don’t recruit from the Sigmarite order or any of the other cults for one particular reason; they don’t want a priest or priestess in their organization mouthing off about divinity and the wrath of the god/gods justice. While being patriotic obviously entails that you may love Sigmar, for it’s his Empire after all that future generations have inherited, there is such a thing as modest faith. Religion can… complicate matters for the Palisades, especially when it gets in the way of making tough decisions that could potentially collide with ones faith. As such, the Palisades grueling initiation process roots out such zealous beliefs to determine where ones loyalty really belongs; to their god, or to the Empire? The Empire comes first for a Palisade. Anyone who puts their god before that isn’t welcome. It goes without saying that the likes of a Witch-Hunter, a Knights Panther or a Knight of the White Wolf would make a terrible Palisade. While a Witch-Hunter may seem like a good candidate (rooting out Chaos, corruption), in truth the Palisades are looking for level-headed grounded individuals who will try not to put a torch to everything they touch or to burn someone just because they have a rather nasty looking boil on their cheek.
- Foreign Nationals: The Palisades try to recruit within the Empire. Only rarely have they ever recruited from outside that pool, and candidates would have to be exceptional to be considered an exception. So if your a foreign national, then your likely out of luck.