Third Section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellory
Number of Employees: Classified
Annual Budget: Classified
Agency HQ: Novgorod
Agency Director: Count Orlov
Special Corp of Gendarmes (internal security)
Okhrana (foreign operations)
The Third Section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery often known simply as the Third Department or its more insidious nickname of 'Cheka' began as a small core of investigators formed in 1844 on the orders of Chancellor Vasily Shuvalov after the events of the Decembrist Plot. In the time since then, Section Three has become a rather infamous weapon sworn personally to the Tsar and has existed as an extension of his will over the many decades of its existence often snuffing out rebellions before it can begin, though its operations extend far beyond monitoring internal dissent. The Third Department maintains an active network of informants and operatives outside the country which it can turn to in order to achieve the Tsar's foreign policy objectives.
The Decembirst Plot, taking place during 1844 was the collaboration of officers from the Imperial General Staff and the separatist group known as the People's Hand to assassinate Tsar Vladimir I. The goal of the conspirators was to place Vladimir's brother Constantine on the throne. As planned, the Tsar was shot several times in the chest by a member of the Imperial Bodyguard (before he himself was killed) while on a military inspection tour in the city of Riga. However, the conspirators had misjudged the depth of support they had garnered. The expected revolts of support in neighboring regions never materialized and Vladimir's son, Viktor moved with brutal efficiency to crush the attempted coup as the conspirators attempted to storm the Imperial Palace in Novogorod with nearly 3,000 mutinous troops. They would never break through the gates as they were met by the Preobrazhensky Imperial Guard regiment and driven back. By nightfall, the army had been mobilized and the rebellion crushed.
With the army plotters dealt with, Tsar Viktor Survarov signed an Imperial Decree to create the Third Department attached to the Ministry of Police. With an active force of only forty investigators, the Third Department was given the task of gathering intelligence on the People's Hand. A separatist group that had assisted the Army plotters in the assassination of the Tsar, although its first year of operation met only with mixed success by 1846 its numbers had grown from forty to well over six hundred and the People's Hand was dismantled as its organization, its leader's imprisoned or killed, and a number of its members thrown off to the frozen wastelands of the Baku region.
Antovian Empire / War with URRS:
The Third Department was active throughout the long running conflict's with the Tsar's man rivals in the region, the Antovian Empire. Tsar Peyotor Suvarov saw a chance to destabilize his long time foe by secretly funneling weapons and money to the United Revolutionary Council of Survaek, a Communist nation in a constant struggle with the Antovian Empire. Much to the Third Department horror, the monarchy of the Antovian Empire was overthrown in a popular revolt and many of the member states elected to join the URRS. Leaving the Third Department with a monster that it had helped to create. The goal of the Tsar had never been to see a fellow absolute monarchy overthrown but weakened enough that Chernogov could make political and territorial gains.
More worryingly were the efforts of separatists in Kavestov and Azov to break away and join the URRS. Imperial troops crushed an attempted revolt in Azov and were attempting to deal with a second one in Kavestov. The result lead to a tense political standoff with Chernogov's new neighbor, hoping to take advantage of the chaos on the frontier the URRS launched an attack. While Chernogov initially had the upper hand in the early years of the fight, it would be the November Uprising and similar political turmoil throughout the country that would see its defeat in the four year war. Throughout the conflict, the Third Department was suspected of being behind the assassination of various URRS officials and some historians have even claimed that the Third Department murdered or imprisoned leftist leaning politicians and union leaders within Chernogov that sympathized with the Communists. Though such claims have always been denied by the government.
The province of Markatz had always been somewhat of a backward place even by Chernogovian standards, it's strange religion coupled with the fact that it was a relatively new province of only 60 years within the Empire made it ripe for dissenters and revolutionaries. Throughout the first year of the war with the URRS, tensions continued to rise as the Chernogovian army stretched for manpower began conscripting thousands of young Markatzan's.
The Third Department maintained a stranglehold on the area and six months prior to the Uprising successfully kept a local insurgency in check. However, it was the arrest of a priest by a local official and the massacre that followed against protests that truly kicked off the revolt. For the next two years, the Third Department detained an estimated 250,000 people in camps scattered from Baku to Azov, before the Imperial Army withdrew from Markatz. However, the Third Department would not leave with it. For the next twenty years it remained. It was the actions of the Third Department and stoking tension between Nationalist, Communist, and Facist factions that were some of the main reasons behind the civil war that would eventually split the nation into two countries. One lead by a King and another lead by a Dictator in the self proclaimed Republic of Markatz. The Department would later go onto create the infamous Black Front to continue its war with the Kingdom of Markatz and once again bring it under Chernogov's thumb.
The Black Front:
A devil's alliance of Communists, Facists, and counter revolutionaries the Black Front is made up of former rebels of Markatz whom are dedicated to overthrowing the current government that they view as false. The group has been established and supplied by Section Three for well over a decade and conducts raids into Markatz on behalf of the Department. They are the main proxies in which Chernogov uses to keep its old enemy in check at any price. Officially, the government of Chernogov denies any links between the Black Front and Chernogov. Despite setbacks, the Third Department continues to remain as the right hand of the Tsar and an effective agency enforcing his will.