The Royal Eyes of Aundair serves as the crown's elite covert force. Its operatives spy on other nations, pursue Aundair's most notorious criminals, and undertake all sorts of cloak-and-dagger missions for Queen Aurala ir'Wynarn. The history of the Royal Eyes goes back to Lady Aundair herself, who had a handful of loyal agents she used to gather intelligence throughout the kingdom--and to watch activities of her younger siblings.
Spy Master Thuel Racannoch manages the network and keeps track of Aundair's many agents. He was appointed by Queen Aurala to his position immediately after the conclusion of the Last War and he's utterly loyal to her.
At any given time, the Royal Eyes has a dozen major operations under way. About half to two-thirds of these missions take place beyond Aundair's borders. The remainder of the missions concern Aundair's internal security. The Royal Eyes keeps dissidents under surveillance, chases spies from Thrane and Karrnath, and makes periodic raids against hostile targets in the Eldeen Reaches.
Most residents of Aundair have never heard of the Royal Eyes. It is a secret organization, and it likes to remain that way. There is a saying at court: "The Royal Eyes are watching." But few truly understand the significance or truth of that statement. Only the most well-connected and powerful nobles have an understanding of what goes on within the alabaster tower that rises quietly about the Royal Court.
Beyond Aundair's borders, the Royal Eyes are also an unknown or perhaps a rumor at most. Other intelligence agencies know of the Royal Eyes, of course, but since they tend to keep their own activities secret, little details of the games of intrigue get out into the public. They differ from their counterparts in other nations in two main respects: their close cooperation to the crown and the greater degree to which they integrate magic into their operations.
The Tower of the Eyes Edit
In the Royal Court of Fairhold in Fairhaven, a round alabaster tower with two heavy lidded eyes carved into the stone near the top rises from the northeast portion of the great keep. This otherwise nondescript tower houses the secret headquarters of the Royal Eyes.
The Royal Eyes headquarters has one of Khorvaire's greatest concentrations of magical and mundane surveillance. At any given time, Spy Master Racannoch has a half dozen arcanists using scrying spells or crystal balls to observe Aundair's rivals at home or abroad. Other spellcasters within the tower experiment with illusion magic, crafting stealthy magic items for Royal Eyes agents, or interrogating those prisoners unfortunate enough to know something the Royal Eyes has an interest in.
The Tower of the Eyes is a central clearing house for the Royal Eyes' intelligence-gathering operation, but few agents are there at any given time. Only agents undergoing training or those taking a first look at spy reports can be found within the Tower of the Eyes. All others are spread across Khorvaire, doing the Crown of Aundair's bidding. Spartan, but magically secure accommodations are available for agents visiting Fairhaven for a few days.
The organization takes care of its agents in direct proportion to how useful they are. The best are made noble lords of Aundair in a private ceremony with Queen Aurala, and wealthy after numerous high-risk missions. The crown grants them a small piece of land in rural Aundair along with their title. In contrast, new agents have little more than a shadowy contact and the promise of a bag of gold when the mission is complete.
The Royal Eyes has a network of thousands of informants, both in Aundair and abroad, and it issues its trusted agents with magical hats of disguise. Other magic items may be temporarily issued as needed.