Thursday, 17 April 2014

M is for Marienburg Secretariat for Trade Equity

If the Black Caps are Marienburg's equivalent to a police force, then the Marienburg Secretariat for Trade Equity is its FBI. They are cold, calculating, and hell-bent on enforcing free flowing trade throughout the city.

The Secretariat, more commonly called the Excise, are a coalition of three important branches of Marienburg's vital law enforcement. Firstly, they contain the members of the River Watch - the water-borne guardsmen of the city who hold jurisdiction over crimes committed in relation to or within 100 yards of the harbour or canals. The River Watch and the Black Caps have often come to blows over disputes relating to jurisdiction, with some crafty River Watchmen claiming that the sewer system counts as the canals.

Second among the Excise's duties is that of Tax Collection. Whilst they are not the sole tax collectors, they are used to audit and enforce larger cases of tax evasion, smuggling and matters of that nature, and as such are often called in to forcefully impound property. In conjunction with this duty, the Secretariat hold weekly auctions where impounded goods are sold for revenue.

Third and final of the duties of the Marienburg Secretariat for Trade Equity is that of espionage and investigation - above and beyond all other facets of secular law in Marienburg. The Secretariat's higher officers are tasked with intelligence gathering on foreign dignitaries, wealthy merchants, and really anyone of interest in the city. Whilst they are less ruthless than the infamous Chekist of Kislev, they are indeed capable and willing to kill for the Directorate at the drop of a pin.

One can always tell the first two branches from the throng of people in Marienburg. The first of their kind have orange and blue striped boats hung about with lanterns, each manned by up to seven officers and one pilot, and the second wear garish half-coats of orange and blue, trimmed in ermine, with suits of chain mail underneath.

As for the secret service of the Secretariat, there is nothing that distinguishes them from anyone else - and that is just the way they like it. Indeed, few enough among their number know the identities of any other member, except their personal handler. In truth, it is hard to say if anyone really knows who is and isn't in the service - nor indeed which of them are loyal or even sanctioned...