The Custodes are divided into many small groups that are scattered across the empire and are fully independent of one another. These groups are allowed to act freely and only answer to certain members of the state whose identities are kept hidden and are only referred to by code names, but are often called Overseers. They answered to no one outside proper channels and will continue to carry out their orders unless told otherwise. These groups are often number around a dozen individuals that are highly trained and sworn the utmost secrecy in ensuring the Custodies remain a secret. They often lead by an officer that leads them on missions, but if said officers are incapable or jeopardize it they are to be eliminated and a new officer is to replace them.
Being a MemberCongratulations, you are officially dead to the world and you no longer exist. Now as you know you have been selected due to your skill and loyalty to the empire for you have been a valuable asset in its defense. To be here is considered one of the greatest honors imaginable, though you will not receive glory or honor as no one can know you are still alive to ensure the security of this operation. This task is both thankless and difficult at times as you will be targeting any threats from within the empire that would see it torn asunder. It does not matter who they are or their station in society they are not beyond your reach as you will see that they do not live long enough there vile schemes come to fruition. You and your like-minded peers will be sent across the empire to carry out missions with your identity and purpose hidden for no one must know the existence or nature of your assignments as work such as this has been considered discontinued despite it being carried for many centuries. You will have an overseer to watch over you and you will only answer to them and them alone as they are the only ones that can be trusted. They will help you carry out your assignments and give you what you need to get the job done. It's best to know those you work with as well as you will need them to succeed as every wolf needs a pack to hunt with. But don't get too attached to them either as they are expendable as much as you are and if they need to be sacrificed to ensure success then so be it. But if any one of them shows a sign of faltering with their duty, even your overseer, you have permission to dispose of them immediately as they could jeopardize everything we have built to protect the empire from harm. You are one of many links of a chain keeping a crumbling statue from falling apart, it best finds the weak links to fix them so it does not become undone. But be sure not to get caught either to avoid revealing secrets, but if you have no way out it's best you use the vial that was given to you as your final opinion. It will be quick and painless once you take it and everything you know will be taken to the grave, for no one to use them. Though you will be forgotten, your services will ensure the safety and prosperity of the empire for years to come.
What People Think of YouOnly a few people know of your existence, the rest considered nothing more than a long-forgotten remnant of the past. Though some still consider them as malevolent beings that lurk in the dark when no one is looking behind closed doors. But most of those are just stories to scare people into not going against the government. But as for actual imperial government, only those who are trusted with the existence of the Custodes are considered friends. Believing what they are doing is for the best for the empire, as some people believe they are above the law and whatever they want. No one else has an opinion as they do not know the Custodes exist anymore until they came after them that is. Then that is the moment when they should be afraid as their time is drawing near.
To remove any internal threats that may jeopardize the safety and security of the empire no matter the cost.
The Custodies are given all required equipment by their Overseer to carry out their assignments or they can just pay for it or steal it if they want to. It is unknown if safe houses exist for them or they remain mobile to avoid detection.
Punishers of the GuiltyThe Custodies were formed after the second Vatian Civil War that brought the Vatian Empire to the edge of ruin. Back then they were known by the government and acted as a police/military force that was meant to stop any potential activities of insurrection and treason while the government was rebuilding itself. They were authorized to arrest and imprison anyone deemed a threat to the empire, along with eliminating them if they became too dangerous. No one was safe from them if any information was discovered that jeopardized the empire and fear and paranoia soon followed suit across the population of being arrested or killed for the slightest reason. No one knew when they would show up or disappear give them the nickname the "Phantom Guard '' as a result. But in some cases, they were not always in the empire and were often dealing with foreign threats beyond the borders to ensure that all out war was not possible. But as the nation began getting better and better the use for them became less needed as the state was capable of dealing with most threats to it now. They were disbanded publicly and many people could finally breathe without being afraid even though secretly they were still around.
Hidden in the ShadowsThe Custodies were never going to be disbanded even after the peace was secured, for the civil war showed many that an event such as this could happen again and could become worse in the future. It was then that the Custodies would watch from the shadows to preserve the peace of the empire. They had no banner and they had no influence; they were nothing more than a secret force that was not bound by the law and dealt with the dangers within the empire that would see it become undone. Only a few know of their existence and only the most loyal and fiercest of fighters may join this group. But once they do they are on their own for they are not bound by imperial law. If they are caught or killed for they are not held accountable nor will the imperial government disavow any afflictions with them. They are now nothing more than assassins and thugs to anyone who doesn't know the truth of their existence. No matter what they will ensure the duty is done with the utmost importance and no one can tell them otherwise. For they are the hunters in the shadows to ensure that the empire that raised them remains standing as long as they draw breath.
Only the Best and BrightestDue to the nature of their existence, it is only necessary to recruit like-minded individuals that know how to keep a secret and get the job done. This means that all the best military members from all across the empire are secretly recruited into it. This of course leads to their deaths being faked for the sake of secrecy and no longer being able to return to their old lives. Which is actually easy to do since soldiers die all the time in the empire. Once that happens their skills are trained to be honed until they are at their apex and then go on assignments all across the empire. Making them a deadly fighting force that has nothing to lose making them more willing to risk their lives more than the average soldier would get the job done.
Servientes in Nominis Umbra (Serving in the Shadows)
Spooks, Phantom Guard
Nice Article,i like the detail and cool pics. Aemon