Game Prep: Imperial Envoys

In the course of my planning for this second adventure of our ‘fourth season’ of Traveller, I realized I needed an exterior … agent of the Imperium (without, you know, actually being that character from the novel.) Simultaneously, I had been reading a bunch of Dan Abnett’s 40K books and was greatly influenced by his Eisenhorn and Ravenor series, both of whom are Imperial Inquisitors. And then, long ago, I was a massive fan of Star Wars and their old EU introduced the notion of the Emperor’s Hand which I always dug. Finally, Altered Carbon came out on Netflix which led me to reading the first book … and from that whole mixed up marshmallow mess has come the Imperial Envoys.



The idea I have here is that, long ago, an Emperor or Empress realized that there needed to be specialized operatives who answer directly to the Throne itself. This agent would (in true Mass Effect Spectre fashion) be able to operate basically above the law for limited periods of time as they undertake specific missions that potentially threaten the stability of the Imperium. This is quite similar to the mission of the Agent (see Agent of the Imperium) but goes about it in a different manner; the Agents are basically an arm of the Quarantine Agency, whereas the Envoys answer to no one but the Emperor/Empress.

Due to the nature of their missions, Envoys are invariably issued an Imperial Warrant from the Emperor himself, so as a result, their numbers are by necessity quite low. An Envoy must, above all else, be single-minded and at least slightly obsessive since the Imperium is simply too large for them to be distracted by anything but their mission. As a result, they have a reputation as cold and callous.

My current thinking is that the Envoy program was eventually abolished or just phased out because it was too unwieldy since the Imperium itself is just too damned large to police in this manner. However, when reviewing the Imperial Warrant entry on the wiki, I note that “Imperial Edict 3097 allows archdukes to issue similar warrants of lesser scopes. Other statutes allow dukes to issue their own warrants, though the scope of such warrants is limited to the dukes’ respective areas of responsibility.

This works perfectly for me. Right now, the current duke of Rhylanor is Leonard Stephanos Kirgashii and he’s basically a blank slate so what I’m planning here is that he has established a ducal version of this program to handle internal security issues that his intelligence personnel can’t (or won’t) deal with like he would wish.

And then, I stumbled on this awesome manip on DeviantArt and bam, I have my first Envoy.

In GURPS terms, an Envoy would have:

  • Duty (to the Duke of Rhylanor, 15 or less, extremely hazardous) [-30]
  • Legal Enforcement Powers (within the Rhylanor sub-sector) [15]
  • Legal Immunity [20]