Imperial Arrest Warrant
The activities of the Imperial Inquisition mean that hundreds of thousands of people across the world of Kelbonnar are apprehended every single day, and brought in for questioning on a myriad of potential charges ranging from accusations of speaking ill of the Emperor to involvement in illegal activities, right through to suspicion of being involved in plotting to kill or overthrow the Imperial personage. As a result hundreds of thousands of Imperial Arrest Warrants are produced and posted every year. A copy of each arrest warrant is kept on file in the Imperial safe-house where the investigating Imperial Agent is based; another is sent to the Provincial Headquarters the investigating Agent reports to, to be and added to the Inquisition’s voluminous records; one is kept by the investigating agent for production on demand and many hundreds of other copies are liberally spread around the area where the suspect in question is thought to reside or be hiding. The process for issuing an Imperial Arrest Warrant is fairly straight forward. All an Inquisitor has to do is write one up, or more likely get a Cadet Inquisitor to write up a warrant, following a standard format, and then sign it and seal it with the unique seal that each Inquisitor is issued with. The ability to create and self-authorise Imperial Arrest Warrants is regarded as a key and standard part of an Inquisitor’s role, which is part of the reason why so many of them are, often rather arbitrarily, produced.
An Imperial Arrest Warrant is created first and foremost to provide a record of the activities of Imperial Agents, and even if the named suspect in question is eventually released without charge or further repercussion, old arrest warrants are kept to provide profiles on individuals that may prove useful to the Inquisition in the future. Secondly, an Imperial Arrest Warrant is used directly communicate to the named person on their apprehension by the Inquisition that they are currently regarded as an individual of interest, a status that in the eyes of the Inquisition cannot be cleared until an Inquisitor has cross examined them, and that any attempt to flee will be taken as an automatic admission of guilt. Thirdly, Imperial Arrest Warrants are widely distributed to provide the local population with the knowledge of who is wanted, with the implicit threat that they too will come under suspicion if they help the named individual or hinder the activities of the Inquisition. In addition, the circulation of the warrants provides a convenient way for the Inquisition to notify their networks of unofficial informants of who they are looking for, thus adding to the number of eyes that are searching. In reality, the Imperial Inquisition does not have any real need to cover their backs by producing these pieces of parchment, as they known that as an organisation they have the ultimate backing of the Emperor. However, the Inquisition has always valued and always will value a paper trail, to the point where some joke that the Emperor’s Eyes would produce a file on every living being if they could.
Imperial Arrest Warrants are actually quite simple documents and they almost always only list the following items:
- Warrant issue number
- Title of the document- the wording of the title is almost always:
- Date of issue
- Name of issuing Inquisitor
- Provincial Headquarters the issuing Inquisitor reports to
- Name of person or persons the warrant applies to
- Reason for issue (this is almost always incredibly vague, but depending upon the nature of the suspected crime, or the message that the Inquisition wish to send, it can be incredibly specific)
- Signature of issuing Inquisitor
- Seal of issuing Inquisitor
As the Imperial Inquisition acts on behalf of and for the protection of the Emperor, an Imperial Arrest Warrant is regarded as being thoroughly watertight from a legal perspective. Though the legal pretexts of many of the warrants issued each year could certainly be regarded as tenuousness at best, it is theoretically possible to have one overturned, though most of the few law practitioners who would be willing to fight such a case in the Provincial or Imperial courts are currently being held at the pleasure of the Inquisition anyway.