1. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Help me name this FBI-like government organization/agency

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by rktho, May 31, 2017.

    In my book there is a clandestine task force that tracks down criminals. The director of the organization reports directly to the imperial headquarters. As far as its role in the book goes, a few things happen:

    A group of wizards called Shazarians have managed to slip a few members into the organization. They hire a dragon named Daktarash to steal a crystal from the emperor, Zarakharn, promising to protect him from imperial retribution if he brings them what they want, and threaten to turn him in if they don't. Daktarash fails to return the crystal because he loses it, but before he can get in trouble with his informant, Zarakharn captures him and he is killed shortly after his interrogation.

    His interrogation reveals to Zarakharn that his informant came from this organization, so Zarakharn speaks with Director Kharrin, charging him threateningly to find the informant who hired Daktarash to steal the crystal. Kharrin swears to do so.

    A terrorist named Sar Argarva is on the organization's watchlist. There is no need for him to be, however, because the Shazarians have him imprisoned in their personal headquarters. Sar believes because Zarakharn is a Kenshi, a member of the order of dark wizards the Shazarians are against, the government is evil. His wife and daughter were killed by Zarakharn, so he has a personal vendetta against him. His extremist views led him to murder a group of innocent police and the Shazarians deemed him too dangerous. He resents his imprisonment, protesting that he is on the Shazarians' side, but the Shazarians refuse to release him because he is unrepentant. Sar is known to the general public as well as the wizard community (for lack of a better term.)

    When Zarakharn is in disguise, attempting to track down the protagonists and kill them, he is arrested on multiple occasions. There always seems to be a member of this organization involved. Finally, Zarakharn and Kharrin meet at the palace, and Zarakharn expresses his extreme displeasure at the organization's tracking of "Zahn Arrissa", the alias Zarakharn has been using, their inability to capture the protagonists and their failure to find the Shazarian in their midst. Zarakharn kills the director. A brief summary of the instances:

    -Zarakharn is arrested for sneaking around an inn by a "Captain Rissa" and drugged by an "Inspector Drazarkhi". The drug causes him to forget Rissa and Drazarkhi as well as lose his magic.

    -Zarakharn beats the protagonists to their destination and puts out a warrant for a group of four, three males and a female, with one male bearing a mark like Zarakharn's. The mark has rubbed off, and Dav comes separately from the others, so they pass as a group of three with no mark instead of four with one. Zarakharn fires the policedrake responsible for letting them past the lockdown.

    -Zarakharn places the forest the protagonists will be landing in under restriction. However, while scouting for them himself, both he and the protagonists are arrested for trespassing and breaking his own order (he is in disguise again, so he doesn't get off for being the emperor.)

    The protagonists are then released and he isn't. By the time he escapes and makes it to the palace, he is very put out with Director Kharrin for this reason. (The Shazarians feel deep guilt and responsibility for his death as they could have protected him and didn't, and he was killed for not finding their members in the organization.)

    So, as you can see, this government agency is pretty important to the plot. Can you help me name it?
     
  2. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    The ZKN in honor of your favorite letters?
     
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  3. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    Perhaps, but I'm not looking for an acronym really. I'm looking for a full name. But that does beg the question: should I conform the acronym to fit the English translation or the original Dragonese? (In the latter case, ZKN would work quite well.)
     
  4. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    @Homer Potvin Came up with this while writing in my progress journal. What do you think? Should I use it?
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  5. RWK

    RWK Member

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    Titles and organizational names within a given nation are tied together. They follow a pattern; for example the USA has as its top echelon 'Departments'; Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, of State, etc.

    Bureaus are lesser organizations with a Department, but as the FBI, Land Management, etc.

    So sketch out a hierarchy for your government. It doesn't need to be comprehensive, but decide what the title for the equivalent of a US Department, Bureau, etc.

    Also, while are they clandestine? That seems an odd trait to put on an organization that hunts criminals. Criminals expect to be hunted, after all.
     
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  6. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    They just keep a lot of secrets. People know about it and who they're hunting down, but there's a lot classified information they keep under wraps. Mostly, who's in it. Since it's a largely undercover operation, this provides an advantage for the protagonists who are secretly part of it. The members never go by anything but their first name, and that's if they even use their real name at all. (Of course, the organization keeps tabs on who's who.) Your family and friends might know you work for it, but you're not allowed to talk about things that might reach a fugitive's ears and tip them off as to where on their trail you are.
    The hierarchy is a good idea. I'll create one.
     
  7. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin The bastards hung me in the spring of '25.... Contributor

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    Dude, how do dragons codify classified information? Do they have reams of paper stuffed into file cabinets or stone carved tablets piled into a cave? And don't tell me they memorize everything with their dragon wisdom because there's no way you can appropriate the concept of an intelligence/investigative service without a buttload of paperwork....
     
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  8. RWK

    RWK Member

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    Agreed on the paperwork; an average murder investigation will fill several binders.

    Dragons would have to have some sort of data storage system. Wood plates they write on by carving with a talon? Redwood-sized trees being common would make that possible. Or perhaps their technology goes in a different direction; perhaps they have trained small semi-intelligent lizards that liked on them akin to those fish that stick close to sharks, feeding off their leftovers. These little lizards etch data onto crystal stalks in a fashion similar to dictation and read it back upon demand. In the intelligence service they could train differently or use a different breed of lizard ala the wind talkers of WW2, so the opposition would not just have to capture the crystals, but a lizard to translate.

    Of course, rktho probably has already sorted all this out.
     
  9. rktho

    rktho Dragonmaster Contributor

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    They send over an agent to fly the necessary information to you so it doesn't get compromised in the post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

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