Before Nations in Rulers of the Sea will go to war with another nation they should know how strong their Army, Navy and ports defenses are and how they are deployed. If they want to compete with another nation economically, they should know the demographics and happiness of their citizens, how state policies, taxes and currency are set, what the sizes of their budgets are. Information is power, and often the difference between victory or defeat.
All Governments and Army and Admiralty Boards have intelligence sheets of each nation, but the pages are blank because the data is unknown. It is up to the intelligence service of the nation to fill in these blanks and keep them updated, and additionally, to advice their leaders on strategy.
A government has a Secret Service that is run by three Commissioners. These Commissioners are appointed by the Lord Chief Justice. They are the only government officials that can be both commoners or nobility. These Commissioners are not automatically replaced after each election as their jobs are not political and require time and skill to master. The Secret Service keeps office in an unassuming office building in the nation’s capital.
The Commissioner of Military Intelligence and the Commissioner of Economic Intelligence have similar jobs. They gather intelligence by infiltration or by acquiring informants. They have availability of ten false identities which they can use to blend in with another nation. They have to infiltrate in an Army, a Navy or in a Stock Market (by starting a local Joint Stock Company). If they manage to infiltrate undetected for 25 days, the intelligence sheet for that nation appears fully completed for either Navy, Army or Economics. Once the first cycle is completed, the data will continue to refresh every 14 days as long as the spy stays in position. These infiltrations require constant attention as the spy has to continually communicate and act through multiple different persona’s. Additionally they can attempt to recruit informants in high positions that can pass on the secret information which can then be manually entered into the intelligence sheets. The risk with informants is that they give false information.
The Commissioner of Military Intelligence has the additional task to have enemy Diplomats intercepted at sea. The Commissioner gets tips of the locations and ships of these Diplomats and can pass these on to the Navy. If a Diplomat is killed it is a painful loss to an enemy, but if a Diplomat is captured, all intelligence sheets of that nation are instantly updated.
The Commissioner of the Secret Police has the tasks of counter intelligence, spy hunting and investigating anyone in the nation. These Commissioners can recruit, manage and train 15 agents that can follow any citizen in the nation, reporting on their movements. They can look at all domestic records of Army, Navy, Government, Markets, Harbours, they can even read all the mail of a character if they obtain permission from the Lord Chief Justice. These powers of investigation allow the Commissioner to spot irregularities and then investigate and expose a spy or traitor.
If the Commissioner of the Secret Police has uncovered a foreign agent they can have them banished from the nation, but they can also attempt to catch them by physically ‘tagging’ them. If this succeeds all data in the enemy intelligence sheets is erased while all data of the enemy is instantly completed in the nations own intelligence sheet.
The powers of the Commissioner of the Secret Police can also be used for investigating crimes, tracking traitors, or straight-up spying on ones own citizens. The Commissioner also acts as a public prosecutor, filing charges against citizens or companies in order to bring them to trail.