The High Inquisitorate Court, or simply the Inquisitorate, is the dreaded "people's court" of the Reydovan Empire, established by order of Emperor Kiran Joshmaul I on October 11, 2296. It is a combination of the national high court and a state-sponsored police force, and its actions remained a carefully kept secret in order to avoid scrutiny from the Empire's neighbors during Joshmaul's early reign. For nearly three decades, from 2296 to 2321, the Inquisitorate tried, convicted and executed tens of thousands of "enemies of the state", usually sympathizers with the United Federation of Planets. (At the time, Joshmaul was paranoid about Federation spies attempting to undermine the recently-signed Treaty of Korolev and re-annex the Empire into the Federation.) In recent days, the Inquisitorate has tried, convicted and executed the actual enemies of the Empire, the Separatist Confederacy that was backed by the powerful Devaneaux family until the ascension of its greatest patriarch - the Emperor, Kieran Devaneaux.
Traditionally, the Emperor has been the "Grand Inquisitor" (chief justice) of the Inquisitorate, but the actual duties of exercising judicial power have been handled by the Chancellor. The Inquisitorate's actions from before 2321 have remained a complete secret, in order to prevent accusations of crimes against sentients being levelled against Joshmaul or any other Imperial official, current or former, by the Federation Council.
Judgements of the Inquisitorate
The Inquisitorate has tried, convicted and executed tens of thousands of people, ranging from Federation sympathizers in the late 23rd and early 24th centuries to Separatist insurgents in the 2360s and 2370s. These are merely some of the more remembered cases.
Sentences Carried Out
- Illiana Petrovna Britanov, elder sister of Alexander Britanov. Having stayed behind with her brother Alexander, Illiana was charged by her father, Peter, to somehow find a weakness to exploit in the Emperor's household that would allow the Federation to defeat him. However, Joshmaul found out, and Illiana was arrested, charged with espionage, and sentenced to death. She was executed by lethal injection at Crow's Point, Reydovan Prime's most feared prison, near the town of New Valley Forge.
- Admiral Daniel Douglas Neill, Starfleet officer. Neill was captured by Joshua Underwood not long after the execution of Illiana Britanov, and tried in the Inquisitorate. However, the Emperor spared Neill's life in exchange for his loyalty. After the end of the trial, Neill - according to official records - spent two years in an Imperial prison, but in reality was kept in the Imperial Palace as a military advisor against Starfleet. He married a woman from a moderately powerful house and fathered two children - Jeremiah and Dorothea.
- Captain Jeremiah Robert Neill, Jr., Imperial Marine officer. He was caught attempting to assassinate the Governor-General, Alexander Ross; for what reason, no one is sure. Chancellor Underwood personally tried and prosecuted this proceeding in total secrecy; not even the elder Neill, serving in the Starfleet Marine Corps, knew what really happened to his son. Showing no mercy to the son of the powerful Count of Easthaven, Underwood sentenced him to death; however, Emperor Joshmaul intervened, having examined the case himself, and asked that the younger Neill be exiled instead. It is presumed that Joshmaul suspected psionic influence - specifically mind control - in the young man's attempt to assassinate Governor-General Ross. Imperial records list Captain Neill as "missing, presumed dead".
- General Artimus Lucanus Devaneaux, the First Warlord, known as the Defiler of Worlds. The Empire's most hated criminal, Artimus was arrested on the charge of high treason, genocide, conspiring against the government, and assassination of a government official - the Minister of State, Lucius Tyrael. Arrested in January 2375, his trial lasted two months, with his son Kieran and Kieran's wife Celest serving as the star witnesses. Like many of the Inquisitorate's victims, Artimus was sentenced to death and executed the day Kiran Joshmaul abdicated, March 17, 2375. He was hanged, impaled, dragged through the streets of Montagne Noire, and finally buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts of New Valley Forge, destroyed in a psionic storm he had created. However, Artimus was not slowed by death for long; six months later, he somehow rose from the shallow grave, regenerated his rotted corpse, and led a campaign of terror against the Empire that lasted six more months, killing millions, completely obliterating two Federation planets and leaving ghost-haunted wastelands on Reydovan Prime and several other Imperial worlds. On the Ides of March, 2376, Artimus was destroyed by the hand of his own son, now the Emperor, in his inner sanctum of Castle Devaneaux.
- Demon-Kieran Devaneaux, the Second Warlord, known as the Deceiver. A clone of Emperor Kieran, the Demon held Earth under siege with his massive fleet and stolen Omega weapon. The Inquisitorate, by the authority of the Emperor, issued a death warrant against the Demon. It was carried out by the Emperor himself on December 24, 2376.
- Captain Dawson Masterson Crenshaw (Ret.), the Third Warlord, known as the Betrayer. The former Federation Solicitor General, Crenshaw was arrested by the Federation for treason, attempted murder of a government official, and falsifying evidence against a government official. However, in early June 2376, Crenshaw escaped incarceration on Earth. In the employ of Demon-Kieran, Crenshaw openly attacked the Imperial flagship Absolution and kidnapped the Empress Celest. Crenshaw led the forces of the so-called "Empire of Defileron" in the siege of Earth. Crenshaw was arrested by Admiral Ian Taylor, father of Celest, and publicly executed in Imperial Square on January 1, 2377. Taylor was promoted to Fleet Admiral immediately afterwards.
- High Inquisitor Jaeden'laek XVI the Exile, former leader of the Gorak'nar Commonwealth, allied with Demon-Kieran. This warrant was jointly issued by Emperor Kieran and the reigning leader of the Gorak'nar, High Inquisitor Velenkayn VI. Jaeden'laek was Demon-Kieran's majordomo, and one of three men (the others being the Demon himself and Crenshaw) who commanded the war effort on Earth. Along with Crenshaw, Jaeden'laek was captured by Admiral Taylor and executed very painfully by his fellow Gorak'nar, in Imperial Square on January 1, 2377.
- Travis Taylor Devaneaux, youngest son of Emperor Kieran I and brother of Emperor Kieran II. Travis was a Starfleet cadet at the time of the death of his father in August 2406, and stubbornly refused to attend the funeral. When word of this reached Reydovan Prime, Travis was publicly accused of killing the Emperor - driving him to suicide due to his unbridled hatred - and many Imperial citizens demanded the Federation extradite him. However, the Emperor's former political advisor, Joshua Underwood, recommended exile, so the new Emperor, Kieran II, decided to declare him persona non grata instead. Upon the ascension of Jeremiah Neill to the Chancellorship, however, the High Inquisitorate convened and sentenced Travis to death. However, because he is a Federation citizen now, the sentence could only be carried out if Travis ever entered Imperial borders. In October 2406, the charges were dropped.