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As you may know I'm in charge of the Shadow Elves (SE) for the Net-Almanac. According to the Net-Almanac, in the last months of AC 1015 the SE suffered the invasion of the Schattenalfen. That invasion was the final part of a big plot set up by Atzanteotl. A key point in that plot was the control of Atzanteotl on the SE spymaster Xatapechtli, and thus on the whole Second Shadow (or at least on the covert branch).
After that war the SE have to rebuild their Spy Network.
The following article is a preview about the New Second Shadow.
Important note: we would like to change the names of the New Second Shadow and its branches (those marked by _ _) into something more elvish. Suggestions are welcomed, as well as general opinions.
Special thanks to Hervé Musseau for proofreading and to the "Star Wars - Rebel Alliance Sourcebook" for inspiration.
The New Second Shadowby Fabrizio Paoli
During the Shadow War, in the latest months of AC 1015, the Shadow Elves realised that their spy network, the Second Shadow, had been infiltrated by followers of Atzanteotl and thus had become completely unreliable. The Spymaster Xatapechtli himself had disappeared.
(Note: Xatapechtli is currently in the City of Aengmor, leading the "evil" shadowelf followers of Atzanteotl in the area. The "good" shadow elves ignore this, though they suspect it.)
After the war King Telemon decided to rebuild the spy network from scratch, appointing a former spy, X (Note: his/her/its identity will be revealed in the 1016 almanac), as new Spymaster.
In a few months X was able to recreate a reliable spy network: the New Second Shadow.
The New Second Shadow is divided into three branches, all of which answer directly to the Spymaster.
_Analysis_: this is the Second Shadow branch in charge of analysing and interpreting data acquired by operative agents and other sources. This kind of work is the least adventurous and craved one in all the whole spy business, but it's nevertheless a vital one.
Members of Analysis are usually retired operatives, wounded spies that need a period of rest or newly recruited agents that are learning the job, while waiting for an operative assignment. Analysis is the branch of the spy network that houses the largest number of Wanderers (Note: see the AC 1015 Almanac for the new Wanderers policy).
Besides its main HQ in the City of the Stars, Analysis maintains an additional office in Rafielton and members of Analysis can also be found in the newly founded shadowelf embassies in the Old World (Note: more about this in 1016 Almanac). Analysis officers often attend diplomatic meetings disguised as aides.
_Counter-Intelligence_: usually referred to as simply "Second Shadow", this is the branch of the spy network that every shadow elf knows about. Largely based on the pre-war "legitimate Second Shadow", the main task of this branch is to root out intruders into the shadowelf lands and spy network. Before the invasion of Alfheim this branch was mainly concerned with humanoids and occasional human or dwarven adventurers, then its enemies shifted to Alfheim Avengers and corrupted shadow elves. Though the logistic base is the same as that of the old Second Shadow, training procedures and modus operandi have been largely revised to account for the new tasks and the new enemies this branch has to face.
HQ of Counter-Intelligence is in the City of the Stars and its members are rarely seen outside the shadowelf lands.
Recruiting requirements and equipment are the same listed in GAZ 13 for the "legitimate" Second Shadow (page 37).
_Covert Operation_: this secretive branch, usually known as "Serpent's Eyes" among its members is the one in charge of doing the actual spying, infiltrating foreign lands, spreading rumours among enemy population, sabotaging, assassinating and so on.
This branch has suffered heavy losses during the Shadow War with many of its agents defecting to Atzanteotl's forces, and so has to be completely rebuilt. The Spymaster has taken care of selecting the new agents himself, trying to remove the most chaotic attitudes that made them easy preys of Atzanteotl.
Serpent Eyes usually are organised into small cells. (Note: more about this later in the Almanac).
Members of this branch usually work in foreign lands, but a few of them can also be found in the Shadow Elves' territories, especially in Aengmor, looking for subversives.
One of the most important Serpents is Carlisan, Clanmaster of Clan Chossum in Karameikos, and the whole Clan Chossum houses many members of this branch, some of which have even infiltrated the Alfheim Avengers.
Recruiting requirements and equipment are the same listed in GAZ 13 for the covert Second Shadow (page 51).