The Council Awaits
Introducing the 25th Faction for Twilight Imperium
A new faction has arrived in Twilight Imperium! First revealed as part of the Twilight Codex Vol. III, the Council Keleres joins Twilight Imperium’s roster as its 25th faction. How fitting for the year of the game’s 25th anniversary!
Read on to learn a bit about the Council and its motivations for joining the fray.
Across the galaxy, planetary governors compete for trade opportunities, the Great Civilizations joust for superiority on the battlefront, and still other, more insidious factions play at shaping galactic history for their own ends. In a galaxy fraught with so many agendas, it’s no surprise that the Galactic Council took it upon itself to assemble a force of its own to manage its affairs. The Keleres of the Council are that force, but they are also something more. They are a ragtag army of bureaucrats, soldiers, and spies, often at odds with themselves and not always appreciated by the galaxy they serve.
Though the Keleres are born of the Galactic Council, they are often left to their own devices, traveling the galaxy brokering peace, intervening in conflicts, and tackling threats to galactic civilization as a whole. They even act without the consent of the Tribunii or the Galactic Council when timeliness is a factor, only to be censured by the Galactic Council after the fact.
The member states of the Council send recruits, who are selected according to the traditions of each individual planet or system, to serve in the Keleres. The Great Powers have learned, since the Keleres’s founding, that the Keleres are a useful tool for furthering their own designs. Rather than sending their best operatives away to the Keleres, many send political opponents, incompetents, dangerous prisoners, and other individuals who are difficult to do away with and undesirable to have around. On the other hand, a few Great Powers find it prudent to send highly competent personnel, sometimes out of respect for the Galactic Council but more often than not to clandestinely advance their own goals. The Keleres, then, are a strange and difficult order to manage.
The Galactic Council elects three of its own to be the Tribunii of the Keleres. Members of the Council treat the responsibility with mixed sentiment: as both an honor and a burden. The Tribunii have the power to command the Keleres and to implement the designs of the Galactic Council in a concrete way. However, the mixed quality of the Keleres means having to accept no small number of failures, which, in turn, can hurt the Tribunii when members of the Galactic Council seek accountability. Canny Tribunii, such as Tribunii Kuuasi Aun Jalatai, learn when best to use the Keleres, when to set them aside, and who among the ranks are right for the job.
The fraught political environment means that most Councilors don’t serve as Tribunii long. In the five years since the Keleres’ founding, there have been seven Tribunii, including the current holders of the office. Two were forced to resign in disgrace, one was killed on a mission, and one was assassinated in an intra-agency power struggle. For those Tribunii who meet and overcome the challenge of utilizing the force of the Keleres, however, the fruits are significant indeed. It requires much talent for this to happen, but when it does, it can tip the balance of the Galactic Council itself.
The three Tribunii who currently serve are in delicate balance, and therefore the future of the Keleres and the Imperium itself may be at a tipping point. Kuuasi is oldest and wisest among them. Harka Leeds is as ambitious and cunning as she is ruthless in her schemes. Odlynn Myrr, though new to the role, brings a fresh perspective and hope for unity and stability in the Imperium.
Despite the delicate balance of power between the Tribunii, the Keleres represent the Galactic Council and, as such, must embody the unity of the galaxy, not just the whims of its leaders. The Great Civilizations, however, frequently compete with one another in trade, war, and politics. Though some conflict can cement the bonds of a society, too much can just as easily rip it apart. Thus, the diverse skills of the Keleres are brought to bear on missions of peace and negotiation.
At times, the Keleres act as a neutral party or temporary ally among factions at war. Negotiation, knowledge of history, and familiarity with alien species pave the way to peace and prosperity for the galaxy. They broker peace on the one hand, but join battles on the other, especially when violence seems to be the only means to stability.
If you haven’t read the latest Codex volume yet, you can find it here. Be sure to check it out to learn more about the Council Keleres and other recent new additions to Twilight Imperium.