Nonpareil Rank/Title in Cairne | World Anvil


The highest seat of office achievable within the rank and file of the Bechtlarite Intelligence Bureau. This seat of power wields tremendous influence over the security and military actions of the Empire as a whole, and is expected to stand above the common civic principals as an embodiment of Becht ideals and purpose. The training required to achieve this status, as well as the professional record, is one that makes it accessible only to the top percent of performers within the order's prestigious elite, the Wraith Guard.


The primary requirement to be made a potential contender for this singular position is to have risen through the ranks of the Wraith Guard and achieved one of the executive officer titles of Exemplar, Vindicator, Upholder, or Paramount, depending on the paths they have pursued during their tenure. There is no application process, as the potential candidates are measured constantly through the oversight of the Order of Objective Representation and the Sovereign themselves as a means of not only balancing power, but to assure no corruption or outside influence can affect the decision of selection. These potential successors are never informed that they are under scrutiny, and the previous Nonpareil's voice is considered heavily in the selection process, though in the end they hold no voice in the final vote.


The overall requirements vary depending on need and preference of the currently standing Order representatives and the demands of the sitting Sovereign, but the track record of the potential and their standing within the Bureau is always taken into account.


The final coronation of a new Nonpareil is done in a private ceremony that includes the successor, the Sovereign, and the other potential agents. The ceremony is a short one, and intentionally lacking fanfare or celebration, as the mantle of Nonpareil is one of tremendous weight and responsibility. This is done in this way to remind the new head of the Bureau that they are just as much a leader as they are a servant of the greater good of their people, and the potential successors that did not get selected are included to show the new head of office who their most competent agents are, honoring the fact that they are still the most talented and capable among the rank and file. Following the leaked Airtam documents, these proceedings began being held with a small number of attending journalists as a show of transparency, removing the secrecy of the process to encourage public trust.


As the head of the Intelligence Bureau, the Nonpareil is charged with maintaining the sizable clandestine and civil obligations needed to secure the Empire from threats both domestic and global. They monitor the operations of all of their departments on some level and are held accountable for all of them on an executive level, answering directing to the Order of Objective Representation and the Sovereign.


The Nonpareil is in full command of the elite Wraith Guard units, and while they generally tend to delegate authority to lower ranking executive officers, the defense against any potential threats of arcane power or Void related incursions remains one of their more paramount obligations. These are seen as instances requiring the full attentions of the Nonpareil and there is no room given for failure when these threats surface within the borders of the Empire.


This position is a coveted one among the Wraith Guard, as there is only one. They are viewed as second only to the actual ruling positions of authority within the Empire and given a fair amount of autonomy, despite the constant oversight. For their efforts, they are gifted a private suite of rooms in the upper reaches of the The Ocularium which provides a secure and safe location for them to rest, study, and live while they perform their duties. They are also granted a significant personal stipend of credit through the The Bechtlarite Financial Depository and virtually unlimited resources for Bureau related operations.

Accoutrements & Equipment

While so specific uniform is required of a sitting Nonpareil, there is a specific badge that denotes the position that is worn on the collar or lapel of their clothing depending on personal choice. Aside from that, there is a service pistol and shield that is passed down from one Nonpareil to the next as a ceremonial symbol of their role. While both are meticulously crafted and functional, the Nonpareil seldom engages directly in combat aside from training and the most extreme of conditions.

Grounds for Removal/Dismissal

A vote of no confidence ratified by a two thirds majority of the Order of Objective Representation and the the Sovereign can initiate the removal of a sitting Nonpareil should their performance be viewed as inappropriate, incompetent, or to have endangered the Empire either directly or in terms of the public view of the Empire overall. To date, however, this has never happened.


Throughout the existence of the Bureau the Nonpareil has played significant roles in the majority of the inner and global aspects of the Empire's evolution. While some Nonpareils have been seen as heroes and exemplary and upstanding paragons of Becht values and virtues, it cannot go without noting that there have been cases where the opposite was unfortunately true. Regardless of conspiracies as in the case of Geraldine Fulton and the shadier dealings of Candor Ralech in the early days of the Bureau's inception, others such as Barbara Graves and Milton Pearl hold impeccable track records, at least within the public eye. The majority of the Nonpareil's work, as well as the work of the Bureau in general remain classified for the security and safety of the Empire.

Cultural Significance

This is a highly respected position within Becht culture and viewed as a significantly powerful and even potentially dangerous position without. The Nonpareil holds the unique position of being the sole individual tasked with maintaining a public working relationship with The League of Steam and The Black Hand , while at the same time defending against them and other lesser known agencies involved in espionage. Many wild stories and legends circulate around the position no matter who holds the title, and while the majority of them are fictional imaginings of the public, the Bureau has been known to seed many similar stories themselves in order to keep the true dealings and nature of the Nonpareil and what they Bureau is doing masked behind a web of fantasy.

Notable Holders

Though there is no actual way to vet the implications of the position being compromised by an unknown group known as the Sanguine Epoch according to the leaked journals of Airtam Morenthall, Geraldine Fulton may be a unique case where the position was infiltrated by an outside power and manipulated for unknown purpose for decades. 
Civic, Military, Commissioned
The founding of the Bechtlarite Intelligence Bureau in 55 PR and the ratification of Order 41 in 56 PR set forth the precedent, procedure, and responsibilities of this position.
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