Big Bad HydraEdit

  • The Department of the Interior (DoI) has been the arch-villian of the Liaden Universe since the first book -- Agent of Change -- was published about thirty years ago.
  • A secret organization dedicated to the ascendancy of Liad -- "the control center that would one day be the command post for a galaxy”[1]
    • committed also to the destruction of Liad's clan-based, Delm-led system of authority[2]
  • Xenophobic, they view Terrans as animals/things, using the pronoun "it" [3]
  • Murky, nebulous nemesis

"But, I've got pilots—solid, port-worthy pilots who know how to keep clean—coming in from Out and Farther Out. They're telling the same tale, all independent of the other." He shrugged, bringing his shoulders high and letting them drop suddenly, nothing at all like a proper Liaden shrug. "Ghost stories—that's what I got."[4]

Old Tech & LogicsEdit

  • They use Old Tech created by the Sheriekas, so they hunt The Uncle [5] and raid The Scouts[6]
    • "this Department of the Interior. They wished to have the galaxy under their control, and they saw in the works of the Oldest Enemy the means to bring their ambition to fruition."[7]
  • The DoI hunts self-aware ships and other Independent Logics like Bechimo:
    “It was the Department of the Interior,” Win Ton told her serious pale face, “which had desired Bechimo with such ardor that they . . . captured me and sought to persuade my candor.” [8]

DoI MantraEdit

  • Agent sig’Alda found himself reciting the formula: "Dispassion. Control. Calculation. Success."[9]
  • Commander of Agents: "while he did not view his losses lightly, the Commander was able to maintain the dispassion necessary to ultimate success in those instances when the Department was momentarily thwarted.”[10]
  • DoI director Claidyne ven’Orikle:

She closed her eyes, reviewed one of the top-level exercises, and sighed to feel cold objectivity flow into her. Yes. With another breath, she allowed the Department’s mantra to rise and weave its spell: Dispassion. Control. Calculation. Success. Yes, exactly.[11]

Council of ClansEdit

Covert elements in the Liaden Council that represents The Clans:

  • In SY 1119, about 274 Standards before Korval activated Operation Plan B, Clan Rinork has/had spies in the Council, and employed disgraced Scouts as couriers:

The notes were copies of notes taken in hand at committee meeting, and the names were all of them known to him, and oddly, all of them in his debt book for one or another offenses. “The dispatch from our friends on the Council of Clans shows the Council disinclined to study the trade situation as a group.” [12]

  • “There's always been a faction in the Council of Clans that wants to shut funding for the scouts off, or reduce it. Some of them don't want us doing anything that might benefit Terrans..."[13]
  • "Meanwhile, at the Council of Clans, the Protocol Officer, long ago subverted by the Department, consulted with the Speaker..." [14]
  • Council Protocol Officer Her Nin yo'Vestra: "There are a number of us -- members of another organization which also believes in the purity of Liaden ways." [15] (see Daughter of Dragons)

Breath's Duty, excerpt, Daav seeking clues


  • The Department, and some Council members, along with all too many xenophobic Liadens, despise The Scouts because they respect other cultures (and maybe cuz they're aligned with Korval)
  • speculation: the DoI incited the rift within the Scouts, which existed almost three centuries ago: In SY 1119, Jethri’s notebook — with secret marginal notes from Arin — was stolen. Scout Captain Jan Rek ter'Astin tells Jethri someone within The Scouts — allied with a group outside the Scouts — took it from a secure Scout lock-up, with permission:

“That notebook and some related material have been appropriated—or perhaps misappropriated—by an internal agency allied with our organization. They’ve removed it from our facilities and taken it, we believe, in order to take control of several other pieces of property which may be forbidden technology, or which may simply be property of your own which you have yet to be made aware of....some of the permissions given to make this happen came from levels well up within my (Scout) organization. There is a debate going on, a stressing of boundaries, perhaps even a disaffection....Let me say this: the division in intent extends both up and down in the organization, yes.”[16]

  • Clonak ter'Meulen, Scout Commander, to Daav yos'Phelium: "The name of the problem is the Department of the Interior; their purpose is to eat the Scouts, among other things."
  • The Department monitors Scout Net comm channel[13]
  • DoI pilots fly Scout-class corsairs: “They look like Scout ships, Bechimo!” “Yes, they do. They are nearly indistinguishable and likely of Liaden origins; perhaps of the same shipyards, else they are built to confuse, which is a significant probability.”[17]
  • The DoI got into Scout records and Old Tech storage, and attacked The Scouts at Nev'Lorn auxiliary HQ, but Project Orange went into effect and the Scouts eventually prevailed, aided by reserve captain Daav yos'Phelium on Ride the Luck. (See Breath's Duty)[18]
    • Meanwhile, Win Ton yo'Vala had been taken under Scout guard to Nev'lorn for debriefing after the DoI tortured him for Bechimo. “Then Ride the Luck arrived, and turned the battle," Theo suggested. Win Ton sighed. "Perhaps it did; for my part, I was involved in the fighting on station.”[6]


  • The Department aims to destroy Clan Korval because it’s too powerful and not racist:
    • sig’Alda: “The commander's words came back to him, saying that only Clan Korval might mount a military threat to the Department.”[19]
    • “We have considered eliminating the current leader, Nova yos'Galan. The house is tainted with Terran blood”[20]
  • “The Plan encompassed the breaking of Korval. Break Korval and Liad wavered."[21]

“The damned Scouts...The Scouts would be answered, and fully. As Korval would be answered. And, it would seem, the Juntavas, profit-driven no longer, and allied to Korval through marriage."[22]

Origins of DoIEdit

only speculation on The Department's origins, but it's been active for decades, possibly centuries:

  • Commander Bar Vad yo'Tornier: “Korval must fall. They had almost been eliminated twice now. The Commander blinked. This time, perhaps. On his watch.”[23]
    • what were the first two attempts to destroy Korval? probably when Chi yos'Phelium and Sae Zar were killed, and Petrella poisoned. Maybe the Department incited “The Clan Wars” two centuries ago, which sorely weakened the clan.[24]:
  • Commander yo'Tornier recalls an exercise he was taught years ago as an Agent-in-training. (Decades ago, probably.) Thus, the Department is not a newly hatched horror, and this Commander is clearly not the first Big Bad. [25]
  • There is a strong likelihood that all Commanders of Agents are only mental copies (downloads) of some long-gone original goon:
    • new Commander of Agents sen'Ager: "twelve dozen wires pierced her skull and sunk, burning, into her brain"[26]
    • The wires-into-brain tech are also used by the Tanjalyre/ Lyre Institute (see Strings, Strands, and Vines in Motion at [Splinter Universe]
  • "This room -- that chair -- downloads....the Commander of Agents"[27]
  • DoI is prolly only ~50 years old, because the current Commander (sen’Ager) "had since the very early days of the Plan, personally monitored the search for Old Technology.” [28]

Access Grid 703Edit

The Department of Interior's Objectives and Guidance (Mission Statement):

"Allegiance to a single clan is addiction to an outdated and life-threatening philosophy...Terra seeks to overpower and annihilate us....Several clans have allowed Liaden blood to become diluted and have granted these half-breeds full rights...It is the part of the intelligent person to forswear allegiance to clan, and instead to ally himself with Liad, through this department. It is the prime objective of this department to establish the supremacy of Liad and true Liadens."[29]

Department's PlansEdit

  • Phase One: Control Liad by breaking Korval: "The Plan encompassed the breaking of Clan Korval. Break Korval and Liad wavered." -- partly achieved when Korval evacuated Liad as per Plan B protocol[21]

“Clonak’s news indicates that, far from giving up, the Department is moving into Phase Two of the Plan...They move more openly, dispose of their enemies, disband the Council of Clans, and establish themselves as a government.”

Miri’s eyes widened. “Are they serious?”

“Very serious,” Val Con assured her. “And—much worse—the odds are good that they will succeed.”[31]

  • Adjusted Plan (same goals):

After Korval emmigrated from Liad to Surebleak the new Commander of Agents, Iridyce sen'Ager, felt they'd broken Korval, the first phase of the plan: "Break Korval and Liad wavered. Indeed. What had they of the Department accomplished but precisely that? Korval was on its knees, banished from the homeworld, its power base destroyed. As a result, the homeworld stumbled, and became more susceptible to manipulation. Agents of the Department who had long trained for this day were even now exploiting these new advantages." [21]

So she updated the plan with three prongs:

1. "Prevent Korval from building a position of strength at its new base, Surebleak, while harrying those of, and those affiliated with, Korval, whenever and wherever they were encountered."

2. "Strengthen the Department...Purchase allies."

3. "Renew and intensify the search for operating Old Technology. Secondary Headquarters must be well defended. Impregnable." [21]

"The damned Scouts...The Scouts would be answered, and fully. As Korval would be answered. And, it would seem, the Juntavas, profit-driven no longer, and allied to Korval through marriage."[32]

DoI HeadquartersEdit

Prime Headquarters: beneath Solcintra, Liad, in “the underground control center that would one day be the command post for a galaxy.”[33]

  • Prime Headquarters were destroyed when Clan Korval attacked Solcintra. [21]
  • New Prime HQ: Runcible System, Daglyte Seam -- a guarded room and the downloading chair, where Iridyce sen'Ager, Commander of the Fourth Level, becomes the new Commander of Agents[26]

Making an Agent of ChangeEdit

Spies, assassins, and agent provocateurs / political manipulators

  • The DoI steals Liadens, including scouts thought eklykt’i, and twists them into mindless "agents of change” or support personnel, technicians, etc.
  • also steal pilots from Low Port Solcintra (inferred from texts)[34][35] -- see The Beggar King
  • also kidnaps off-world Liadens like Rys Lin pen'Chala [36]
  • A machine re-makes them, something like an Old Tech learning machine, prolly:
    • "It was thought that, instead of impersonating someone, an agent could become that person ... This could be accomplished by smoothing out the agent's own personality and overlaying a second... When the mission was done, the second personality would be removed and the agent allowed to emerge....It didn't work out very well. The only thing the machine did was eradicate, totally, the prime personality....The person was gone, irretrievably, though the body might live on to a very old age."[37]
  • The Dramliz may be part of the process:
    • "Once the proto-agent is in a malleable state -- confused, in pain, and frightened -- someone with the necessary skill binds them to alternate reality...To a lie...I very much fear that this someone must be one of the dramliz, though I cannot deduce whether she was herself corrupted, or came willing to the work."[38]
  • Torturous. A horrific subversion process, as Val Con yos'Phelium -- and perforce his lifemate Miri -- relived it via Rys and The Bedel's immersion simulation:
    • “...a blare of agony so encompassing that she didn’t hear her own scream. It was like — it was like hot lead being poured directly into her heart; it was like a million knives slicing into her brain, excising memories, stitching in patches with burning needles . . . she was disappearing; she was being remade, by blade and fire, and everything she’d ever known was twisted; she was twisted...”[39]
      • while a mesh crown is resting on his head[40]
  • Agents also treated by specialists in biomed and exotic pharmaceuticals[41]
  • Many aspects of this process are similar to Lyre Institute methods
  • The DoI equips top agents with scout-class ships, credit cards, an electronic picklock, explosives, and other assassin's tools (pins, blades, garrots, doodads, wire, poisons, little pillows of acid), etc.[42]

Loopy AgentsEdit

Agent of Change- Probability Loop

Making a Loopy Agent

  • The Department's Probability Loop -- "the greatest of all an Agent's weapons"[43] -- measures and displays Chance of Mission Success (CMS) and Chance of Personal Survival (CPS). "To some extent, it served as a predictor of coming action, and a strategy program."[44]
  • ”The Loop is like a computer, implanted in only the best of its agents -- including Scout Commander Val Con yos'Phelium [45]
  • It’s embedded with frequently changing access codes[46]
  • Loop might be powered by human spirituality, creativity: "I don’t dream...I believe that the — energy — generated by certain nonsurvival functions is what fuels the Loop."... "Like, maybe, dreaming? Or sex-drive?" He closed his eyes, nodding. "Or music. Or the very faintest of — paranormal talent...The night we met was the first time I made music in nearly four years." [47]
  • “I am fairly certain it is not a physical artifact implanted in my brain....the tissue tends to reject an implanted machine eventually....I believe that it must be more like a-master program, superimposed”[48]
  • The Loop has an energizing routine[49]
  • The Loop is also implanted with a self-destruct subroutine and other mandates to ensure loyalty "to his mission, to the Department, and to the Plan"[50]
  • If an agent suddenly regains his true mind, or if capture seems certain, the Loop initiates death:
    • "She accepted the Loop's Final Routine, suiciding to avoid capture."[51]
  • An upgraded Loop was employed on Agent sig'Alda.[52]

Timeline of AttacksEdit

A bit tricky to slot in some events. Some of this is supposition, but it's noted. This section became too long, so it's subdivided.

Attacks on past Delms KorvalEdit

“The Department of Interior had long been aware of the danger presented by Clan Korval, that maverick and most oddly successful of clans. The Department of Interior had taken measures—bold measures—in the past, with an eye toward nullifying Korval’s menace.”[53]

  • When eight pilots disappear from Low Port Solcintra, Delm Chi yos'Phelium sends Scout Captain Daav yos'Phelium to investigate. He meets new Juntavas Boss Clarence O'Berin -- engaged in the same mission. They capture an agent, but she spits anti-Terran venom and suicides. For some time afterwards, it seems that the kidnapping stops, but Daav likened the villain to a hydra, and they never find the mastermind.[35], [34](See The Beggar King)
  • In 1355, Delm Chi yos'Phelium and Sae Zar yos'Phelium (A'thodelm and Master Trader) die on Ganjir. Murdered. Prolly by the DoI. Petrella suffers a slow death (~3 years?) by radiation poisoning:
    • Daav to Theo : “Viewed by the illumination of hindsight, it is possible that your grandmother, my mother, was murdered by an action of this very Department of the Interior. That trail, though, is long cold. Unless we recover an archive . . .”[54]
    • Val Con: “The deliberate strike against Korval in his grandmother’s day had further reduced them...until now, they were dangerously few”[55]
    • “Actions reducing the leadership of Korval have occurred in the past.”[56] (Commander might be referring to Aelli(Daav) and Anne Davis, and/or further back, to Chi, Petrella, and Sae Zar)
  • 1360: To destroy evidence of a common mother tongue for Liaden, Terran, and Yxtrang, Fil tor Kinrea, Linguistic Student, [57] — perhaps with the help of DOI agents — instigates the destruction of the Language Department, [58], the murder of Scholar Jin Del yo'Kera clan Yoden, Specialist in Galactic Linguistics at Solcintra University,[59] and kidnaps Anne Davis and her little son Shan.[58]
    • (DoI suspected because fascist cause and because Fil tor Kinrea frightens Shan - he has no sparkles — nor does any “dead-eyed” Agent of Change)
  • Low Port pilot-snatching swells again, drifting to Mid Port[34] Daav investigates again, nearly dying because he "had a bounty on his head" (but Aelliana and Clarence O'Berin rescue him)[60]
    • Likely the DoI was responsible, stipulating they are behind the "Someone who is trying to set themselves up as boss" of the Low Port[60][61]
  • According to Neogenesis, Daav and Aelli were together eight years. On the morning before she dies Daav reflects: “Things had changed: The ports had grown chancier; Terran ports, if one were Liaden, chancier still. Ride the Luck carried weapons now...The Low Port pushed at its limits, reaching stealthy fingers out toward Mid Port's plump pockets, to the point that the Portmaster fielded more proctors, and the Pilots Guild offered warnings to those newly arrived, on a street-by-street basis.”[62]
  • Aelliana takes a bullet intended for Daav.[63] The Department incited the Terran shooter.
    • Daav, years later: "Since... the one who had employed the assassin so earnestly wished me to look to Terra for my villain, I could scarcely do less than accommodate him....Aelliana would never have wanted me to start a war in her name -- even had it been absolutely certain that her death was called by Terra. Which it was by no means." [64]
  • About ten years pass. Anne Davis is killed by racist Terrans, but they were manipulated by the DoI. Er Thom yos'Galan dies a year later, of heartbreak.[65]
    • "Clonak, my father wishes to know the name of Korval’s great enemy, that murdered his brother and his brother’s lifemate. You can tell him that, can’t you?” The older scout tipped his head. “Already did, but I don’t mind repeating it: Department of the Interior." [66]
  • Daav, to Theo: "in my time...we were hunted by what I believe were agents of the same organization because we were . . . inconvenient to their goals."[54]

Agent of Change Val Con yos'PheliumEdit

  • Val Con yos'Phelium is subvertedby the DoI: “The culmination of these measures [against Korval] was the recruitment of Korval’s young nadelm into the Department and the subsequent redesign of that same Val Con yos'Phelium into an Agent of Change.”[67]
  • Val Con's recruitment "was a five-year program”[68]
  • Scout Commander Clonak ter'Meulen "fed" him to the Department, to defeat the enemy from within. "Who better?"[69]
  • After “more than three years" detached duty with the DoI[70] on Day 242 SY 1392 (see pinbeam Edger sent to Nova on Day 255)[71] Val Con leaves Lufkit Prime Station on a Clutch vessel, wherein he wins mental freedom:
    • With help from lifemate Miri and via the incredibly slow L'apeleka dance, a Clutch discipline, "a way of reaffirming oneself. Of celebrating proper thought."[72]
  • DoI is seeking Val Con, but he's with Miri on low-tech Vandar from autumn SY 1392[73]to Winterfair in the new year, 1393 (one season, or relumma is 96 days, see glossary, yet Plan B says 8 months on Vandar???).[74]. Agents eventually go to Trealla Fantrol, thinking rogue agent yos’Phelium is there (because Nova logged in with his access code) but Anthora and Jeeves refuse them entry.[75]
  • On Vandar, Agent sig’Alda attempts to capture/ kill rogue Val Con yos'Phelium while Shan telepathically tells Val Con that Nova initiated Operation Plan B. Val Con exercises the L’apeleka moves named “Awaiting” and “Accepting the Lance.” Injured, sig’Alda loopicides, partly due to accelerants and Cloud.[76]
    • Val Con falters at sig'Alda's code words, but “Carpe Diem. The words were like bright sun, burning away the fog. In the instant of answering, he recognized the L'apeleka dance named "Accepting the Lance."[77]
  • Val Con pilots to planet Lytaxin on sig’Alda’s ship, renamed "Fosterling" [78], [79]

The entire season that Miri and Val Con are on Vandar, from autumn 1392 to winter 1393, the Clutch Turtles and the Juntavas are seeking them, offering aid and comfort. The Department is seeking him. Nova yos'Galan is gearing towards Operation Plan B, and the Mercs are fighting for Clan Erob, having boarded ship for Lytaxin when Miri and VC boarded the Clutch ship[80]

  • SY 1392: The DoI incites a civil war on Lytaxin, to break Korval’s oldest ally, Clan Erob: “The various actions against Korval, including fomenting revolution on the world of Korval’s oldest trade partner, were necessary to reduce Korval’s influence and bring about the true ascendancy of Liad.”[81]
    • Kea Tiazan, clan Erob pilot intended for contract marrige to yos'Phelium, shot by Clan Kenso in the revolt. DoI Commander: "there was rumor that one string, not yet strung to the bow of the alliance was now gone."[82]
    • Val Con says, “Erob became a target because of its ties with Korval. They will try again.”[83]
  • The DoI tortures Win Ton yo'Vala for access to Bechimo. He escapes, helped by the key. The Scouts take him to Nev'Lorn Hq for debriefing.[6]
  • But the DoI attacks The Scouts at Nev'Lorn (see Breath's Duty)[84] Dozens of Scouts died, Clonak later told Val Con[85]
  • At about this same time, operation Plan B:

During Operation Plan B:Edit

Looking back to when Val Con was on Vandar--

  • SY 1392: Not long after reading the DoI's objectives via Access Grid 703[86] Clan Korval's First Speaker Nova yos'Galan puts Operation Plan B into effect:[87] "It means that Korval is in deadly danger," that Dutiful Passage must become a battleship, "that we evacuate Liad..."[88]
    • DoI Commander: “Korval became aware of the Department. And, being Korval, measures -- bold measures -- had been taken. The Department found its name spoken in public places; long-stable funding sources came under scrutiny, several dummy accounts were unmasked and summarily closed by the Masters of the Accountants Guild, the funds returned to the Council of Clans....The clan vanished — ships, children, servants, and pets — all, all gone from Liad. Not quite all.”[89]
  • The DoI sends Kareen yos'Phelium's oldest friend / lover -- Protocol Officer Her Nin yo'Vestra, Council of Clans -- to subvert her at home, before she (finally) left Liad, as Plan B dictated, but she kills him. "He attempted to bribe me to overthrow the Line Direct in favor of my heir!"[15] (see Daughter of Dragons)
  • Day 286, SY 1392, Teriste: Pat Rin yos'Phelium cannot access his bank funds safely at Teriste, so he gambles to win, until Agents try seducing him with Korval’s delmship (brand new ring): “All your kin are dead" -- but he's got Cheever McFarland and Inas Bhar /Natesa the Assassin at his back. They kill every agent present [90]

  • Meanwhile, Agents get into Korval warehouses, disguised as maintenance crew, and sabotage the weapons stored there. Following Operation Plan B procedure, Shan yos'Galan orders those same weapons installed on Dutiful Passage, never guessing they would explode: "“Weapons pod six has been -- mined. Booby-trapped. Sabotaged while in storage.”[91]
  • Meanwhile, Boss Conrad is uniting Surebleak, from arrival on Day 307 SY1392 until Day 54 1393, Solcintra Skyblaze — about 131 days, given the glossary definition of 384 days in a year: “Relumma: Division of a Liaden year, equaling 96 Standard days. Four relumma equal one year.”[92]
  • Meanwhile, the 14th Conquest Corps of Yxtrang is attacking Lytaxin, because the civil war weakened it, making it easy prey. Clonak ter'Meulen's daughter dies. Nelirikk pledges loyalty to Line yos'Phelium. Dutiful Passage and Dragon's Tooth pod outwit the Yxtrangships in orbit. Miri and Val Con get badly injured, but a week later on Day 50 SY 1393 the Clutch Turtles heal them[93] and shortly after Diglon and Hazenthull pledge to Captain Miri Robertson, and Line yos’Phelium.
    • Yxtrang invasion is attributed indirectly to the Department.
  • Meanwhile, on Day 44, a DoI ship shadows a Juntavas courier with Pat Rin's bank funds in Surebleak space.[94]
    • So Pat Rin obtains eight ships — for Surebleak’s planetary defense net — from Korval shipstacks in the Sherzer System -- asteroid miners in remarkably good repair marked “reserved”[95]
  • Day 47: DoI ships fire on Pat Rin’s ship, Fortune’s Reward, in Surebleak space. Piloting, Pat Rin fires back, destroying at least one ship.[96]
  • Day 50: Operatives infiltrate Erob’s grounds to kill Val Con, but they fail, losing four agents and a ship, but they wound Daav yos'Phelium [97], [98], who had reunited with Clan Korval.[99]

Days 54-59 SY1393: Skyblaze EventsEdit

  • DoI captures Mr. dea’Gauss at the Accountant’s Guild, but he manages to follow Chi yos'Phelium’s defense protocols, presaged decades ago.[100] “The dea’Gauss had deprived the Department of three Agents, each dispatched with a precise shot to the head.”[101]
  • DoI attempts to imprison Anthora in dramliz box at Council of Clans meeting but Ren Zel freed her. She shot the proctor and ran.[102]
  • Commander: In I Dare, ch 55: “A team of Agents had been sent to the Council of Clans, with orders to arm the devices in place. Likewise at the Council of Clans, the Protocol Officer, long ago subverted by the Department, consulted with the Speaker on the precise placing of Balance against Anthora yos’Galan, who had casually and brutally murdered an unarmed Council Proctor." --[timing conflicts with Daughter of Dragons, wherein that same protocol officer died]-- "A second team of Agents, augmented by Departmental sharpshooters, was en route to Low Port, explosives and coordinates to hand. Another full team of Agents was attempting to invest Korval’s valley, while others undertook the infiltration of Higdon’s Howlers."[103]
  • “Tree and Dragon” destroys DoI headquarters on Liad, charging them with kin stealing, murder, etc. Korval strikes Solcintra from space to halt the Department’s Old Tech ASPS (nonstop murder machines). Gets backup from The Scouts, the Clutch Turtles, the Juntavas, and The Mercs.[104]
    • But slightly over half the Council judge Korval at fault and a danger to Liad. The Council of Clans banish Clan Korval from Liad.
    • Some Scouts side with the Council, causing a schism (see The Scouts).

Korval to SurebleakEdit

SY 1393 Day 202

  • Korval moves to Surebleak. New Commander of Agents sen'Ager doesn’t rest: "If the Department wished to rid itself of this impediment to the Plan, then it must strike while Korval was most vulnerable."[21]
  • The Department sends hunter ships to Runig's Rock, attempting to kidnap or kill Korval children and elders. They fail, but damage the safe house. (see Hidden Resources)
  • The Department attempts to kidnap or kill Theo Waitley and to steal or destroy her self-aware ship Bechimo on and near Tokeoport[105]
  • The Luck herself is specifically targeted, in answer for her role at Nev’Lorn.” [106](Clarence foiled that hit)[54]
  • DoI sends agents (including Rys Lin pel'Chala) to Surebleak. At Jelaza Kazone, dupe Otts Clark tries to kill the pregnant Delmae Miri[107]
  • After the Department's strike at Jelaza Kazone failed, the Commander pulls all her agents off Surebleak because they lost the element of surprise.[108]
  • But an agent stays on Surebleak and attempts to blow up the new school[109]
  • Agents try to subvert Val Con's friends Hakan and Kemmie on Vandar[110] (Prodigal Son)
  • Agents attempt to end Daav yos'Phelium at Moonstruck pod 78, but The Uncle...[111]
  • DoI hunter ships attempt to box in Bechimo at Ynsolt’i. The Struven is damaged.[113]
  • Agent Ban Del ser'Lindri and four others attempt to kidnap Kamele Waitley when Hoselteen docks at Yonimiko-Chan station.[114] She jumps ship sans suitcase and boards The Judy, working her fare to Surebleak.[115]
  • Galactic Trade Commision at Jemiatha's Station, to Theo Waitley: "We will release the station and your crew, in exchange for the ship Bechimo."[116]
    • "The GTC had taken her off Tokeoport; but they had been after Arin’s Toss, Uncle’s ship . . .Was the GTC in league with this Department of the Interior?" Theo wonders. She becomes bonded captain and, at Win Ton's suggestion, 7 graveyard ships are roused to action. Admiral Bunter is born, downloaded into the 7 ships. He bombs Donihue's Docent.[116][117]
  • DoI hunter ships attempt to take Korval trade ship Pale Wing on the approach to Liltander, a busy trade hub.[118]
  • ?? Possible DoI work: Padi arrested by Chesselport Security[119]
  • The Department attempts to destroy Korval's reputation as Tree-and-Dragon Trading Company, in some places successfully[120]
  • At Langlastport, Dramliza Tarona Rusk attempts to subvert Shan::“You will be a jewel in the crown of the Department’s recruitment program.” Her agents go after Padi, to subvert her for the Department. In orbit, agents — or port authority dupes — try seeding the hull of Dutiful Passage with remote activation bombs. Lute and Moonhawk help defeat them. DoI fails. Shan frees Tarona’s mind in Healer Space, at great personal cost. [121]

The Odds Going ForwardEdit

  • Korval’s coffers are lighter. Skyblaze and the move to Surebleak cost them, in cantra, allies, and business associates.

DOI lost agents but is still a power:

  • operatives still sat their posts and held to their last-received orders. There were folks working on that—notably the Scouts, who felt that what happened at Nev’Lorn reason enough—but that didn’t change the fact that there were a good number of dangerous people out there in the wide galaxy who held a considerable grudge against Korval.[122]
  • "Following Korval's attack upon the Department's Liaden headquarters, there were not so many agents -- at all"[123]
    • “According to the Scouts, the new commander of agents had set about recruiting more operatives.”[124]
  • DoI is spread thin, says Clarence O'Berin: “If I understand the matter correctly, they’re also in pursuit of the Scouts, and not too pleased with the Juntavas, neither...What I take from this is that they’re spread just a little thin, the DOI, while those they’re in pursuit of are starting to solidify their bases and pull in new allies. You take Theo as captain, you become part of the group that’s getting stronger.”[125]
  • “Were Korval to abandon Liad and accept sanctuary from Terra, the balance long in favor of Liaden trade missions and Liaden expansion would be at risk. The children of yos’Galan were half-Terran.”[126]
  • Liad’s economy must have suffered since Korval emmigrated to Surebleak, which would logically weaken the Department:
    • DoI Commander: “....the world [Liad] in some measure, required Korval...a clan which held controlling interest in a triple-dozen industries was no part of the Department’s Plan that Liad should be made bankrupt. It was all to the Department’s good that Liaden economy flourish and expand.”[127]
  • Val Con is now Delm Korval with inside knowledge of the Department:
    • “To allow Korval to reclaim Val Con yos’Phelium would be an error. A very serious error. A most successful Agent, Val Con yos’Phelium.”[128]
  • Old Tech: DoI has a newly re-formed Salvage Team, since salvage and experts were destroyed beneath Solcintra.
    • "The Scouts had. . . sealed and now actively patrolled the treasure house of Old Technology that they had been gathering for so many centuries."[28]
  • Rys Lin pen'Chala is leading a mission against the heart of the Department, with four freed agents: Vazineth ser'Trishan, Sye Mon van'Kie, Claidyne ven'Orikle, and Bon Vit Onida. [129] They jumped away on “three sprightly shadows” in the bulk of the departing cruise ship Lilandia[130]
    • "They were away, the five champions the Luck had selected to bring an end to Korval's...most recent...enemy, and his part -- uncharacteristic for Korval -- to sit in plain sight, and do nothing."[130]
  • The Juntavas: “New Juntavas policy, straight from Chairman Reallan: whenever the Juntavas meets with operatives of the Department of the Interior, we’re taking them out. They’re no good for anybody’s business.”[131]
  • Dramliza Tarona Rusk: "I have key and codes, and knowledge, and I mean to use them well...I thank you for the gift of my life, and the opportunity to achieve Balance within it."[132]
    • ““That Witch will take a hundred lives,” Lute commented, “and confound your enemies, also.”[132]
  • Young Padi yos'Galan has accepted her inner dragon /dramliza. [132]
  • And...the Luck. Tassi posits that Surebleak has become a safe place of refuge: Surebleak shelters Clan Korval, making the entire planet "The Dragon's Lair" and as such, the planet is inside a consistent and quiescent field of Luck -- captured by the gravitational field. [133]

Korval’s New GrowthEdit

Meanwhile, Clan Korval is not shrinking any more, despite all the Department has done. Miri Robertson has recently lifemated with Val Con, Anthora with Ren Zel dea'Judan and Pat Rin with Inas Bhar / Natesa, while Shan and Priscilla confirmed their long-standing relationship via lifemating. Talizea yos'Phelium was recently born on Surebleak. Daav yos'Phelium is young again, and Aelliana Caylon is —- in the flesh —- a young adult. Neighbor Yulie Shaper is now Tree-Kin to Korval.[134] Anthora yos'Galan is carrying Ren Zel’s baby.[135] The goddess told Priscilla to expect a child.[136] Syl Vor gained a sister in Kezzi of The Bedel. Val Con gained a brother in former agent Rys, who is expecting baby Maysl, through Droi.[137] Although not officially “seen” by the Delm, Theo Waitley is finding ways to support Korval, as is Kamele Waitley, her mother. Jeeves created Tocohl Lorlin, who is Korval’s child, and Pilot of Korval Scout Captain Jen Sin yos’Phelium is back in touch, after 198 years keeping Tinsori Light on the edge of the universe. Diglon nor’Phelium has wed Scout Alara, clan Silari — who has stood with Korval nearly since they planted The Tree on Liad (see The Rifle's First Wife).

Oh! And The Tree is sprouting, too —- three more ssussdriads grow on Surebleak, and the wee tree in Spiral Dance has come home.

"Tree has shown us the way, by giving Yulie Shaper both a sapling and a pod, making him, if you will, Tree-kin. Therefore, Korval will attempt to...accrete members. We will no longer be a Liaden clan, but with controlled growth and thoughtfulness, we may create another sort of clan, which will extend benefit to all of its members. Perhaps it is time to become known as the clan of the Tree, rather than the Dragon.”[138]

Korval’s DeadEdit

Deaths attributed to the Department. Speculation indicated.

  • Chi yos'Phelium, Korval herself [139] (Daav speculates: “Viewed by the illumination of hindsight, it is possible that your grandmother, my mother, was murdered by an action of this very Department of the Interior. That trail, though, is long cold. Unless we recover an archive . . .”[54] (Sae Zar and Petrella were also attacked same time)
  • Sae Zar yos'Galan, A'thodelm and Master Trader -- died trying to save Chi[139] (speculation)[54]
  • Petrella yos'Galan, slowly wasted from radiation poisoning, by whoever killed Chi and Sae Zar[140]
  • Anne Davis -- The DoI manipulated fascist Terrans [141]
  • Er Thom yos'Galan -- died within a year of his lifemate Anne, due to heartbreak[142]
  • Aelliana Caylon -- [143], Dol manipulated the Terran shooter. [144]
  • Daav yos'Phelium, attacked by DoI assassins, thought dead at pod 78: "left arm nearly severed, blood sheeting his face".[145]
  • Jen Sin yos'Phelium -- supposition, as the DoI may have instigated the Clan Wars that put Jen Sin in so much danger, about two centuries ago (see Tinsori Light)
  • Numerous deaths to Korval's allies on Lytaxin, as the DoI instigated the civil uprising that occurred before Val Con brought Miri to meet her kin, Clan Erob.[146], [147]

DoI Commanders Edit

  • Commander of Agents Bar Vad yo'Tornier, Solcintra -- dead[148]
  • Commander of Agents Iridyce sen'Ager -- Promoted from Fourth Commander position when superiors died [26]

DoI AgentsEdit

Partial list

🌟Freed from DoI control and seeking balance

  • Agent lar'Adrin -- (first name ?) -- bought Rys Lin pen'Chala from Jasin's brother, off Momma Liberty, fate unknown[36]
  • Agent ter'Fendil -- (first name ?) -- used his Scout training to find OLD TECH for DoI. Captured by Val Con yos'Phelium and Anthora yos'Galan. Last seen alive, his fate is unclear [149]
  • Ban Del ser’Lindri - "befriended" Kamele Waitley on her trip to Surebleak, almost certainly an agent. Fate unknown[150]
  • Beldyn chel'Mara Clan Aragon -- dead by suicide. She'd been a scout once.[151] (Related to the chel'Mara who lost Ride the Luck to Aelliana)
  • 🌟Bon Vit Onida -- free, with coordinates to Secondary Headquarters. He gladly lost three decades to remove dark seed in his soul[129]
  • 🌟Claidyne ven'Orikle -- DoI Director, free, with twin souls (a dramliza? a schizophrenic? half a lifemate?), her soul pinned together with Anthora’s dagger. Seeking Balance. She has the location of the quaternary transfer point and the entry codes, to replace the current Comander of Agents and to shut everything down [129][152]
  • Desa ven'Zel -- female agent in Friend of a Friend who accosts Villy at Ms. Audrey's House of Joy in order to get info on Quin yos'Phelium[153]
  • Her Nin yo'Vestra -- Kareen yos'Phelium's oldest friend / lovee, he attended her party — which was intended to disgrace Aelliana [154]. Protocol Officer for Council of Clans, appointed to the League for the Purity of Language. Kareen shot him dead.[15]
  • Ilbar ten'Ornold — Technician on Vandar, in Prodigal Son
  • Isphet bar'Obin -- killed on Surebleak, shot in the chest by a youth [155]
  • Kar Min pel'Mather -- freed, but chose to die, gratefully [156]
  • Karin pel'Nara / Zhena Pelnara -- (see Prodigal Son)
  • Melsilee bar'Abit -- Senior field agent, dead by Val Con in self-defense[157]
  • Osa pel'Naria -- with two other agents (maybe pin'Eport and yos'Vinder) she attempted to kill or capture Theo Waitley and Arin's Toss on Tokeoport[158]
  • Operative pin'Eport -- (first name not found) -- hunted Theo (Arin's Toss) and The Uncle's Smalltader on Gondola[159]
  • Rel Vad Yoltak -- in charge when agents sought out rogue agent yos’Phelium at Trealla Fantrol. Anthora upset his Probability Loop.[160]
  • 🌟Rys Lin pen'Chala -- Senior Field Agent sent to destroy Korval on Surebleak[161], now free, a member of The Bedel and foster-brother to Val Con yos'Phelium[162]
  • 🌟Sye Mon van'Kie -- free. He has recall codes for the Old Tech that has been deployed[129]a
  • 🌟Tarona Rusk - A director and powerful healer who drew from many Healers, until Shan yos'Galan set her free.[163]
  • Operative Tir Sha yos'Vinder -- hunted Theo (Arin's Toss) and The Uncle's Smalltrader on Gondola[164]
  • Tyl Von sig'Alda Clan Rugare -- dead on planet Vandar by MemStim-and Cloud- accelerated Loop-icide. Had been a pilot-for-hire before DoI.[165]
  • 🌟Val Con yos'Phelium -- Senior Field Agent. Now free. Was handpicked from The Scouts.
  • 🌟Vazineth ser'Trishan -- an agent, now free, by the "dream" Rys conceptualized. She left with Rys, along with Sye Mon van'Kie, Claidyne ven'Orikle, and Bon Vit Onida. Five total.[129]
  • Zara Chance (alias) -- probably an agent; seduced desperate pilots at Low Port. When captured, swallowed her poison pill.[35] (See The Beggar King)


  • In Saltation, Win Ton said: “And my keepers told me they would unleash these devices they’d collected, to destroy Liad…They promised, as if it were a chernubia, to allow me to help!”[6]
    • So...why would the Dept of Interior destroy Liad? They are pro-Liadian fascists, according to their goals, etc.
  • Yet when Val Con captured the Commander of Agents beneath Solcintra, he activated the Old Tech ASPS:
    • “Agent ter’Fendil was beside him. “They will destroy the planet. Give me the control.” Val Con looked at him, seeing honest fear in the Agent’s eyes.[166]
  • Is there a schism within the Department? Or a hidden agenda, to destroy Liad?


  1. Carpe Diem, Liad
  2. Carpe Diem, Trealla Fantrol (Access Grid 703)
  3. Carpe Diem
  4. Mouse & Dragon chapter 18
  5. Ghost Ship, chapter 11
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Saltation, chapter 38
  7. Dragon ship chapter 30
  8. Dragon Ship, chapter 33
  9. Carpe Diem, Interdicted World i279689344
  10. I Dare, Day 52, DOI HQ
  11. Dragon in Exile, Interlude Eight
  12. Trade Secret, chapter 11
  13. 13.0 13.1 Breath’s Duty
  14. I Dare, chapter 55
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Daughter of Dragons
  16. Trade Secret, chapter 6
  17. Dragon Ship chapter 32
  18. Carpe Diem, Nev'Lorn Headquarters / chapter 48 Audible
  19. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair
  20. Carpe Diem, Liad
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Ghost Ship, chapter 9
  22. Ghost Ship, chapter 18
  23. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  24. Space at Tinsori Light
  25. I Dare, Day 52, Standard Year 1393, Department of Interior Command Headquarters, Liad
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Ghost Ship, chapter 4
  27. Dragon in Exile, Interlude Eight
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ghost Ship chapter 14
  29. Carpe Diem, Trealla Fantrol (Access Grid 703)
  30. I DARE, Day 51, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob’s Grounds
  31. I DARE, Day 51, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob’s Grounds
  32. Ghost Ship, chapter 18
  33. Carpe Diem, Liad
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Mouse & Dragon, chapter 33
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 The Beggar King
  36. 36.0 36.1 Necessity's Child, chapter 33
  37. Agent of Change, chapter 20
  38. Dragon in Exile, chapter 11
  39. Dragon in Exile, chapter 8
  40. Dragon in Exile, chapters 7-8
  41. Carpe Diem, Liad
  42. Agent of Change, chapter 17-18
  43. Plan B, chapter 1: Liad, Department of the Interior
  44. Agent of Change, chapter 1
  45. Carpe Diem, Lufkit, Nifra’s Tavern/ ch 2
  46. I Dare, Solcintra: Liad
  47. Agent of Change, chapter 19
  48. Agent of Change, chapter 19
  49. I Dare, Solcintra: Liad
  50. Plan B, chapter 1: Liad, Department of the Interior
  51. I Dare, Day 51
  52. Carpe Diem, Liad
  53. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 Ghost Ship chapter 30
  55. Neogenesis chapter 3 Audible format
  56. Carpe Diem, Liad
  57. Local Custom, chapter 29
  58. 58.0 58.1 Local Custom, chapter 36
  59. Local Custom, chapter 26
  60. 60.0 60.1 Mouse & Dragon, chapter 34
  61. Mouse & Dragon, chapter 35
  62. Mouse & Dragon, chapter 37
  63. Mouse & Dragon, chapter 37
  64. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  65. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's House
  66. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  67. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  68. Carpe Diem, Liad
  69. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  70. Carpe Diem, Liad: Solcintra
  71. Carpe Diem, Liad, Trealla Fantrol / chapter 7
  72. Agent of Change, chapter 21
  73. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Springbreeze Farm / chapter 11
  74. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair / chapter 68
  75. Carpe Diem, Liad: Trealla Fantrol
  76. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair
  77. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair
  78. Plan B, Standard Year 1393 Vandar Orbit and Jump / chapter 2
  79. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair
  80. Agent of Change, chapter 15
  81. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  82. Plan B, Liad / chapter 4
  83. I Dare, Day 51, SY1393, Lytaxin: Erob’s Clanhouse
  84. Carpe Diem, Nev'Lorn Headquarters / chapter 48 Audible
  85. I Dare
  86. Carpe Diem, Liad: TreallaFantrol / ch 47
  87. Carpe Diem, Dutiful Passge / chapter 52 Audible
  88. Carpe Diem, Dutiful Passge / chapter 52 Audible
  89. Plan B, Liad (ch 1)
  90. I Dare, Day 286, SY 1392, Teriste Midport chapter and Casino District chapter
  91. Plan B, Dutiful Passage: Jump
  92. I Dare
  93. I Dare, chapter 5 /DAY 50 Standard Year 1393 Lytaxin Erob’s Medical Center
  94. I Day, Day 44, SY1393, Surebleak
  95. I Dare, Day 45, SY1393, Sherzer System
  96. I Dare, Day 47, SY1393, Surebleak Space
  97. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  98. I Dare, Day 51, SY 1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Grounds
  99. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's House
  100. I Dare, ch 44
  101. I Dare, Solcintra, Liad / ch 55
  102. I Dare, ch 49
  103. I Dare, chapter 55
  104. I Dare, chapter 56
  105. Ghost Ship, chapter 18
  106. Ghost Ship, chapter 13
  107. Ghost Ship
  108. Ghost Ship, chapter 35
  109. Necessity’s Child
  110. Ghost Ship, ch 41
  111. Ghost Ship, epilogue
  112. Ghost Ship, chapter 42
  113. Dragon Ship, chapter 32
  114. Dragon Ship, chapter 36
  115. Dragon Ship, chapter 42
  116. 116.0 116.1 Dragon Ship, chapter 37
  117. Dragon Ship, chapter 39
  118. Alliance of Equals, chapter 6
  119. Alliance of Equals, ch 8
  120. Alliance of Equals
  121. Alliance of Equals, chapters 32-35
  122. Ghost Ship, chapter 12
  123. Necessity's Child, chapter 2
  124. Neogenesis
  125. Dragon Ship, chapter 34
  126. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  127. I Dare, chapter 3 / Liad, Day 283, SY1392, Liad, Department of the Interior Command Headquarters
  128. Plan B, Liad/ chapter 1
  129. 129.0 129.1 129.2 129.3 129.4 Dragon in Exile, chapter 31
  130. 130.0 130.1 Dragon in Exile, chapter 37
  131. Dragon in Exile ch 25
  132. 132.0 132.1 132.2 Alliance of Equals, chapter 35
  133. Neogenesis, ch 20 "Surebleak" part II
  134. Neogenesis, Surebleak
  135. Neogenesis
  136. Alliance of Equals
  137. Dragon in Exile
  138. Neogenesis, Surebleak
  139. 139.0 139.1 Mouse & Dragon, chapter 39
  140. Local Custom
  141. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  142. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's House
  143. Mouse & Dragon, chapter 37
  144. I Dare, Day 50, SY1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Clanhouse and Gardens
  145. Ghost Ship, epilogue
  146. Plan B, Liad / chapter 1
  147. I Dare, Day 51, SY1393, Lytaxin: Erob’s Clanhouse
  148. I Dare
  149. I Dare
  150. Dragon Ship, chapter 31
  151. I Dare, Day 51, SY 1393, Lytaxin, Erob's Grounds
  152. Dragon in Exile, interlude eight
  153. Friend of a Friend
  154. Mouse & Dragon
  155. Necesity's Child, chapter 37
  156. Dragon in Exile
  157. Dragon in Exile, chapter 1
  158. Ghost Ship, chapters 16-17
  159. Ghost Ship, chapters 10-11
  160. Carpe Diem, Liad, Trealla Fantrol
  161. Necessity's Child, chapter 2
  162. Necessity's Child, epilogue
  163. Alliance of Equals, chapter 34
  164. Ghost Ship, chapters 10-11
  165. Carpe Diem, Vandar: Winterfair
  166. I Dare, Solcintra, Liad