|Active:||1554 AN - Present|
|Motto:||Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Rrakanychan B'algurd wgah'nagl fhtagn|
|In use by:||Ministry of Military Affairs|
|Part of:||Palatini Corps, Imperial Forces|
|Current Commander:||Jarvan Paxaa|
The Vigiles Arcani (Pr. ïes Ahtanas Fivrïoþeï, "Watchers of the Hidden"), formerly the Rrakanychan Watch, is traditionally garrisoned in the town of Demonsfall in Goldshire, is tasked with the Defence of the Realm from perceived threats eminating from beyond the material universe. This entails the monitoring and containing the forces and avatars of Balgurd as well as less typical anomalous phenomena sometimes encountered in the provincial counties or overseas. It's primary concern is with the prevention of the End-Times, or at the very least the allowance of some prior warning.
Its earliest cadres were recruited from the dissenters and deserters of such luminous entities as the Piscatores Alexandrii and the Assayers (both organisations that tended to hold to the view that the obligations of membership only ended with death, and were proactive in upholding that particular detail). Those recruits who survived were at least resourceful when it came to self-preservation. In subsequent years a gentleman's agreement was reached to coordinate the activities of these particular enterprises, permitting secondments and information exchanges, thereby reducing the number of incidental stabbings and smeltings to an acceptable minimum.
Not to be confused with the Order of Decima whose responsibility is to prevent an apocalypse that is anthropogenic in origin.
|VA-HQ||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Organization Headquarters and Central Office|
|I||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Data Analysis (IMINT, SIGINT, OSINT)|
|II||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Incursion Monitoring (MASINT)|
|III||Active||New Blackstone||Dionysian Heresies|
|IV||Organising||Lichkeep, Shirekeep (Imperial County)||Investigation and Enforcement|
|V||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Special Forces Unit trained in combat and survival within Daemonic Plane|
|VI||Active||Panalkey, Kezan||Special Forces Unit trained in combat and survival within Daemonic Plane|
|VII||Active||Vanyam, Raikoth||Igansurs Bistunig Vanïam (Recovery Colony Vanyam)|
Removal of Subversive Elements (Director: Palatine Legate Erik Rukovod).
|X||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Exorcism, Reintegration Operations|
|XI||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)||Occult Research|
|XII||Active||Panalkey, Kezan||Containment and Decontamination Operations|
|XIII||Active||Panalkey, Kezan||Deep Technology Research|
|XIV||Active||Demonsfall, Ynnraile (Goldshire)|| Investigation & Enforcement|
Jurisdiction: Ynnraile, Suthergold, Elsyran, Lunaris, Shirekeep
|XV||Active||Šlomxala, Lachmeren (State of Modan)||Temporal Adjustments Bureau|
|XVII||Active||Panalkey, Kezan|| Investigation & Enforcement|
Jurisdiction: Kezan, Hawshire-Dura, Crowsilver, Jorvik, Mar Sara, Ura'Bos, Arietta), Skyla Isles
|XVIII||Active||Citadel, Caverden (Brookshire)|| Investigation & Enforcement|
Jurisdiction: Caverden, Lachmodan, Lywind, Monty Crisco, Krazilec, Musica, Amity Mirioth and So-Sara, Yardistan
|XIX||Active||Mindon Araxion, Araxion (Elwynn)|| Investigation & Enforcement|
Jurisdiction: Araxion, Iserdia, Farewell, Cimmeria & Illumination, Agnesia, Wintergleam, Eliria, Alalehzamin and Utasia
|XX||Active||Joelsby, Seven Ports (Elwynn)|| Investigation & Enforcement|
Jurisdiction: Amokolia, Mishalan, Froyalan National Preserve, Inner Benacia, Oleslääd, Lachmodan, Shimmerspring, Highpass, Amarr, Florencia, Benacia and the Iridian Isles, Angularis
As an organisation, the Exercitus Arcanum has somewhat outgrown its original counter-demonic mandate to become a special forces division in its own right, with some of its operational specialisms overlapping with areas that the military intelligence agency S.W.O.R.D. considers to be exclusively its own preserve. In spite of those recent outgrowths, the Spiritual Directorate remains the dominant section within the division.
For an organisation steeped in the mythology of Cedrism, the Rrakanychan Watch is remarkably pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the manifestations of hostile entities derived from alternative belief systems - a philosophy that was best summarised by the late Ducissa Meng Po in the remark "Just because we don't believe in it, doesn't mean that it won't try to kill us".
The old Rrakanychan Watch was instrumental in the collection of research materials from Kezan that were subsequently to feature prominently in the deposition, disposal and transmutation of the late Kaiser Dominus during the Oustfest Massacre of 1644.
The Rrakanychan Watch was first created by order of the Khan of Vijayanagara, in 1554 as Section A of MoMA Directorate of Anomalous Phenomena (Formerly Directorate of the Dark Arts). Known as the Rrakanychan Station by some of the more irreverent of its officers, the name stuck and remained associated with it over the years of its existence.
The recruitment of Piscatores
The Piscatores Alexandrii had abandoned their library in Bonedale (formerly Brookshire, now Lichbrook) after the events that had lead to the rise of the Lichgravine. As a consequence of the actions of one rogue magus, the dead now roamed the continent of Benacia in such numbers that people came to see the sight of a shambling revenant as being completely unremarkable.
The Piscatores however remarked and remembered. What began, slowly at first, in 1585 AN, with the zombots soon proliferated throughout the lands of the machine god. Transhumanism had given way to the postmortal. From the vantage point of their new hiding place, the Piscatores watched as the dominion of the undead grew, first the old ancestral land of Brookshire, then in the forsaken, frankly forgotten realms of Cibolan, and then, latterly, by the doleful caravans of the dead processing westwards, in ever greater numbers to Minarboria, refuge of Malarbor's own schismatic shrub. For an increasing number of those who had watched these events unfold, it was clear that the time had come to take a stand once more against the coming of the night. For those who held this view, the persuasion had taken hold, ever more firmly, indeed to the point of conviction, that in the rising horde of necrorobotic workers, societally displacing humanity - or breathers as they were contemptuously known in the lands of the dead, were to be found the Dæmons and Descendi, the twisted soulless wretches that would serve in the armies of Balgurd as the end times approached. For a society dedicated to hunting down and rooting out the Demon Fish of Balgurd it would be a dereliction of duty to ignore such a peril.
Yet there were those who disagreed, a majority in fact, and those who would not embrace the Liches as fellow sentients, and thus as worthy of protection as any mortal human, were cast out from the Holy Order, with much in the way of mutual recrimination and anathema.
It was ironic then, that those who were expelled from the Piscatores for seeking to destroy the Liches found their first introduction to the Imperial Government courtesy of a revenant known as Laqi Hyrrion, who served as MoMA during the reign of Kaiser Aiomide. But he was only ever an imitation Lich, and, to be fair, blissfully unaware of their intentions.
Decline, corruption and failure
The Watch has been purged twice in its history. The first instance in 1644–1645 was for the organisation's part in procuring for Tokaray al-Osman the daemon which was subsequently given corporeal form through the forced ingestion of the late Kaiser Dominus. The former commander, Ducissa Meng Po, protested her ignorance of the affair up to the moment of her execution, and a few moments after until the coup de grace was administered. It subsequently became an urban legend that her corpse continued to object to its treatment even as it was pushed into the industrial incinerator beneath the chambers of the Crypteia.
The second, and more serious, purge occurred in 1651, when Steward Liv Dravot became aware that daemons were being systematically extracted from Daemonsfall to provide the Coven of the Sun, the ruling sect in recently formed Malarboria with a terrifying race of daemonic enforcers. This representing a fundamental failure of the organisation's remit to actively warn of and prevent daemonic infiltration, the purges were severe and extended through out the rank and file of the watch, as well as the extended families and acquaintances of present and former watch members.
Following the purge in 1651 the Watch was renamed the Vigiles Arcani and subjected to a thorough organisational overhaul as it awaited the appointment of its latest Director. In late 1651, Jarvan Paxaa was appointed Dux of the Vigiles Arcani with a sweeping mandate to return the organisation to its core mission of combating the escalating daemonic incursions plaguing the mortal realms. By the end of this second purge, more than half of the Watch's commissioned officers were dismissed, outside research, operations, and combat personnel were brought in from Kezan, and the Watch's previous twenty vexillations were consolidated and reorganized into thirteen cohorts.
Persistent rumours about the survival of larval daemons, concealed by cultists in the aftermath of the Slurpgurgle incident, combined with ongoing concerns about the competence of the Shirekeep City Guard to cope with outbreaks of a similar nature, led in 1658 to the activation of the Fourth Vexillation, now based in Lichkeep, to serve as a rapid reaction force to investigate and eradicate any future "inter-dimensional cross-overs".
- Unknown officials, 1554–???
- Meng Po, ???–1645
- Position Vacant, 1645–1651
- Jarvan Paxaa, 1651–the present