|The Clockwork Shadow|
From the Desk of Stover Delft, Asst. Chief Inspector, Royal Homeland Constabulary, Flint branch
To the Office of Margaret Saxby, Lady Inspectress, RHC, Flint branch
Re: Ravissant Wolf Cell
Esteemed Lady Inspectress, I have been charged by your office par my duties as Cell Director of our Flint branch to evaluate the junior agents of our most recently formed operating cell, officially designated Ravissant Wolf, and to determine whether or not its seven members are fit for duty as official representatives of our King and Country, able to hold full legal authority as deputies of the Crown, assuming all responsibilities thereby.
Before I discuss the individuals who currently form Ravissant Wolf (dubbed: “The Wolves” by senior agents who have the pleasure opportunity to work with them) it behooves me to discuss the christening ceremony that precedes the formation of every and all new RHC cells.
I have in the past expressed my displeasure concerns in respect to the involvement of the ministers of the Old Faith in the complex affairs of law enforcement and state security. I need not repeat those opinions here. I am a loyal man of Risur, and as such, acknowledge that our national identity is inexorably linked to our land, its spirits, and its ancient magic. More importantly, it is the will of our King that such rites be retained in the halls of officialdom, and that the skyseers who perform them be respected.
Suffice to say in the case of Ravissant Wolf, the ambiguity of the astrological visions regarding their lot, infamously interpreted as a wolf with a lamb in its jaws, has complicated the training of this band of recruits. Not a few senior agents have candidly refused to work with the Wolves, and the presence of Ifris Lanvaldan and her unnatural abilities (more on her below) does nothing to quell their concerns. The ramifications of the symbol weighs heavy on certain of the Wolves as well; they are decent if flawed men and women who I cannot believe capable of causing deliberate harm to the citizens of Risur.
Were it not for the passionate words of respected senior Skyseer Wrethu, the christening ceremony might as well have led to the cell’s immediate dissolution and the termination of our latest enlistees. Her argument, in short, maintained that a deeper look at the portents showed the wolf carrying a lamb, yes, but to presume the beast’s intent to devour the lamb, or that our new recruits were fated to cause harm, betrayed a lack of conviction. Was not each trainee magically scrutinized? While they differed wildly in temperament and morals, each had passed a battery of tests designed to assess their patriotism. Wrethu saw the wolf, while a symbolically dubious character, bringing the helpless lamb to succor in the only manner it could.
A few cynics among her order believed that Wrethu was dissimulating on behalf of her longtime contact among the Flint police department, Inspector Reginald Filby, who was assigned to provide investigative expertise for the newly formed cell. While other Skyseekers vowed to hold Skyseer Wrethu responsible should the Wolves ever betray their oaths to King and Country, the majority were swayed. I must report that I myself, though I might wish to reduce the role of these archaic mystics in our government, could not but help but be moved by the elder Wrethu’s speech.
So because or in spite of the matter of their christening, I must assure the Lady Inspectress that what follows is a sober and secular assessment of the seven men and women who, for better or for worse, go by the cell designation of Ravissant Wolf. Additional details concerning them may be gleaned from their individual files, which I have included along with this report. (See attached)
Case File 971030: Anya Landreth
Case File 982133: Devinn LeMont
Case File 002413: Rhegalion Arbalistre
Case File 987134: Alastair Rayne
Case File 814498: Ifris Lanvaldan
Case File 765899: Inspector Reginald Filby
Case File 961334: Talyssa Dane
There are a lot of negatives in play as it concerns Ravissant Wolf: Their dubious christening, Lanvaldan strange powers, Dane's lost memories, the mysteries and events surrounding Arbalistre, the unseemly connections to dissident movements by LeMont and Landreth's political connections. In fact the only two agents I can fully give a fully measure of faith and credence to are Police Inspector Filby and Mr. Rayne. Discounting once again the idea that our agents are at all beholden to the superstitions of an obsolete order of backwoods fortune-tellers, I believe I have adequately outlined the checks and balances to these admittedly egregious downsides.
We are then left with an operating cell with a vast amount of potential. The classic roles of the four- or five-man action team are each filled with distinction, with the most important—such as healing and front-line combat—covered by more than one Wolf.
It is often been said that the command personnel of our august body has a job akin to shepherding kittens, as our agents are so diverse, independent, and colorful. I don’t doubt that that having Ravissant Wolf under my onus will be an ongoing exercise in aggravation, but it is a challenge I would take willingly, and enthusiastically. Whatever might be said of them by the seers, the Wolves are loyal, extremely capable men, and I see them accomplishing great things for King and Country.
I thereby implore my Lady Inpectress to approve Ravissant Wolf and its members for full operating jurisdiction.
From the Office of Margaret Saxby, Lady Inspectress, RHC, Flint branch
To the the Desk of Stover Delft, Asst. Chief Inspector, Royal Homeland Constabulary, Flint branch
Re: Re: Ravissant Wolf Cell
I still believe you are taking a severe risk by ignoring the clear and obvious portents relayed to us through our Skyseeker contingent, but I formally give my acceptance and full measure of approval for operational status of Ravissant Wolf.
By our King,
Lady Inspectress Margaret Saxby, RHC, Flint branch
Z E I T G E I S T
T H E G E A R S O F R E V O L U T I O N
I S L A N D A T T H E A X I S O F T H E W O R L D
It is spring of the year 500 A.O.V. (After Our Victory). Seven years after the end of the Fourth Yerasol War, the shipyards in Flint have completed the first Risuri warship powered solely by steam engine, not sail. Your monarch, King Aodhan, has come to Flint to witness the official launch of this mighty vessel. Woodenhulled but with a heart and skin of iron, the Royal Naval Ship Coaltongue will act as a deterrent against future aggression from Risur’s enemy across the sea, the nation of Danor.
The Royal Homeland Constabulary unit Ravissant Wolf Cell has been called upon to provide security, and you have spent the past several weeks working to make sure this event goes off without a hitch—canvassing the docks, performing background checks on the guest list, coordinating with the local police to set up a perimeter around the royal docks, and following various directives of your superiors.
Now, as a warm breeze off the sea mingles the scents of elaborate floral decorations with the pervasive coal soot that always hovers over Flint, you’re at the first of two checkpoints, working with Flint police to let in a crowd of local citizens who just want to line the streets and cheer their king.