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The following study was commissioned by the General Staff Office of Military Intelligence, Foreign Military Intelligence Detachment, Leadership Section in the wake of military actions in the Black Zone by members of House Jesby.
The following study was updated by the General Staff Office of Military Intelligence, Threat Senior Leadership Detachment in light of recent reorganizations of the House Jesby command and governance structure structure. This file has been moved under the purview of the Threat Senior Leadership Detachment.
We assess with high confidence that within the last six months, Lady Glorianna Jesby has emerged among the top five most politically powerful and influential figures in the house. She is currently the vice-chair of the Jesby Council and Jesby Minister of the Black Zone. Members of her personal clique control seven of the twenty-five seats on the council, and her allies control another five. Members of her personal clique also have also been named to the positions of Minister of Security, Foreign Minister (non-Thelbane), and Postmaster-General. Finally, she commands the largest single military force in Jesbyways.
Jesby Council Power Distribution
Lady Glorianna can effectively count upon twelve of twenty-five votes on the Jesby Council. We assess with moderate confidence that the Ministerial-level posts that she and her allies control will give her faction to power to swing critical votes in their favor. We assess with moderate confidence that in the near to mid term, Council votes will be heavily influenced in favor of Lady Glorianna’s personal agenda, and in the mid to long term that agenda will include securing an open majority on the Council, and perhaps the Chairmanship.
Lady Glorianna is the Jesby Minister of the Black Zone. In the wake of Prince Benedict’s destruction of Jesbyways, Jesby’s Black Zone Territories are the richest lands that the House controls. She effectively has her hands on the current breadbasket, bank, and industrial heartland of Jesby. Until Jesbyways proper is rehabilitated, her Ministry gives her an outsized influnce of Jesby policy and finances.
Lady Octavia is Lady Glorianna’s half-sister, deputy commander, and right hand, and is the new Minister of Security. She effectively controls the internal secret police and the external espionage resources of the House, and recent reporting indicates that she is consolidating power and eliminating independent covert capabilities operated by the rest of the house, with the full backing of the Council.
Lord Wallis is a member of one of the previously neglected Jesby cadet houses, and controls the Posts. As such, he has a potential network of agents-in-lace as well as the capability to intercept most written communications within Jesby.
Lady Olivia is one of Glorianna’s many Jesby cousins, and Foreign Minister for non-Thelbane representation. By all accounts, the new Foreign minister has an external network of agents-in-place that is the equal of Lord Wallis’ internal agents in the posts. At the very least, the Foreign Ministry is being used to house Lady Octavia’s Ministry of Security agents. At worst, the two are full partners in external espionage operations. If there is less than full co-operation between the two ministers, this may be a lever to use against Jesby operations.
Lady Glorianna Jesby commands a large and versatile force that appears able to operate comfortable in a wide range of technological conditions. She is an able commander. She has demonstrated the ability to recruit peers within her house to serve as subordinates, while effectively mitigating the crippling rivalries that normally develop in such situations.
Her prosecution of military operations has been marked by the effective use of widely dispersed light infantry forces providing critical support to much larger formations of indigenous forces. Her forces have operated across a wide range of environments and technological levels, with no apparent loss of efficiency. This raises an important and yet unanswered question: how does she maintain a force that is cross-trained to such a high level?
Summary of Operations – Jesbyways
While we are still awaiting the full after-action report from the Threat Tactics Division, we can make some observations. This was a maneuver campaign that never actually resulted in military action. Instead, forces were maneuvered to cause sufficient threat to force the Jesby Council to the negotiating table. The campaign was marked by a concerted effort to recruit talent from her father’s Barimen relatives in Amber.
Summary of Operations – Dealunde
While we are still awaiting the full after-action report from the Threat Tactics Division, we can make some observations. The campaign was marked by the widespread but carefully targeted use of chemical weapons. The greatest mystery is Lady Glorianna’s involvement in a theater of war that does not seem to support any obvious political goals.
Summary of Operations – Kamaz
Assessment: Kamaz was a war of maneuver with extensive application of economy of force measures. Forces employed were prodominantly medieval light infantry with an as-yet-unidentified airmobile capability.
Following Jesby’s defeat at the hands of Prince Benedict, the principality of Kamaz declared its independence from Jesby overlordship. In what appears to be the beginning of a reassertion of control over wayward Black Zone and open shadow territories, Lady Glorianna conducted a military operation to change over the leadership.
Operations began with a palace coup backed by a company-sized element of light infantry covertly deployed by ship into the capital. Jesby-Loyalist forces fortified the city, and prepared for a likely counterattack by Rebel partisans. Rebel forces were halted in battles at the chokepoints of Chondelor and Jewel Creek by large forces of lightly-trained indigenous militias backed by company-sized formations that had evidently deployed weeks or months before.
Following the delaying battles at Chondelor and Jewel Creek, Loyalist forces began moving towards the Rebel strongholds around the Sea of Shade and Burr, backed by three companies that landed at friendly ports. Two additional mounted companies made a forced landing at Burr and began conducting long-range raids and counterinsurgency operations. The combined threat resulted in the withdrawal of Rebel main forces to the Sea of Shade. The campaign came to a rapid conclusion when allied Deep Dwellers traversed the Loyalist-controlled Iwak River and destroyed the coastal citis there.
Summary of Operations – Amaria
Assessment: Little is known about the Amaria campaign except for the widespread use of weapons of mass destruction.
Amaria was an open shadow territory granted by Countess Livella of House Jesby to Prince Rambault in return for his role in negotiating a peace with various Princes of Amber. Following Rambault’s neglect of the territory, a local resistance overthrew the governor and installed a new government. Information from Amaria is difficult to come by, but it appears that Lady Glorianna installed herself as queen after a brief campaign characterized by the indiscriminate use of chemical and biological weapons.
House Jesby is known for the vicious infighting within its ranks. That infighting is one of the characteristics that has crippled the House in recent centuries. Lady Glorianna seems to have oversome this flaw. She has recruited heavily from among her younger aunts and cousins to fill out command positions within her forces. In addition, she has accepted members of cadet houses that the main Jesby line has historically disregarded.
It seems that rather than taking advantage of historic internal House alliances and rivalries, Lady Glorianna has sought to deliberately break them. She has organized her relatives into heterogenous groups named ‘linea’ or ‘lineates’, routinely grouping individuals whose normal intra-House allegiances would require them to be deadly enemies. Rewards and punishments are doled out to lineate members based upon the success of the lineate as a whole. The assumed endstate is the replacement of fractued, competing loyalties with a homogenized loyalty centered upon herself.
The General Staff regards this as a particularly interesting development, from which we may draw lessons for our own forces. It is also a dangerous development – if the lineate structure is stable over the long term, Lady Glorianna may enjoy the backing of a large, unified faction that is personally loyal to her. Such a force would be devoid of the normal crippling inter-House rivalries, and may be a model for a makeover of House Jesby. A unified Jesby is far more potent than a divided one.
We have noted the emergence of several elite, ‘named’ regiments within Lady Glorianna’s forces:
The Blackwings: Lady Glorianna’s personal bodyguard. Their flag and unit crest is a pair of black avian wings on a flame-colored field
The Thorns: Also known as the Bloody Thorns and the Bloody Crown, this is Lady Octavia’s pet regiment. They are also rumored to form the core of the Ministry of Security’s Countersubversion directorate. They are unquestioningly loyal to Lady Octavia. The lack of a prominent or obvious role in any of Lady Glorianna’s military campaigns is rather telling: this is a force that does shadowy deeds in shadowy places. Their unit flag and crest is a black briar wreath with crimson thorns on an ivory field.
The Black Rose: Their affiliation is unknown, but the Black Roses are another of the elite forces that rarely see daylight. They are usually attributed to Lady Octavia, and their flag and crest is rumored to be a black rose, outlined in silver, on a black field.