Amongst the Emperor's advisors in the Council of State is the Chamberlain of the Seal. Whilst the chamberlain performs the diplomatic duty of managing foreign relations, he is also the unofficial master of the Emperor's spies and assassins. For this reason, the position of chamberlain is one the Lahmians have long sought control over.
The previous Chamberlain, Otto von Bitternach, known as the Iron Graf for his pragmatism and strength of will, was immune to the Lahmians' charms and ploys for the duration of his service, first to Luitpold, then to Karl Franz. When old age finally claimed Bitternach, strings were pulled, and a more pliant replacement was found. Baron Amadeus Mencken is an apprehensive and uncertain man who was easily convinced of a need to clean house when he took over the position, and he appointed Baroness Helena von Culper as a Master of the Komission of the Imperial Archives, one of the Empire's chief information-gathering agencies.
Baroness von Culper has used this position to collect useful confidence that is then passed on to other members of the sisterhood to allow them to better manipulate their targets. One of her aims is to verify the existence of a rumoured network of magister-spies who are so secret that even the Emperor is not kept aware of their activities. So far, she has found no evidence proving or disproving their existence. Those spies who report to the Altdorf townhouse in which the baroness dwells are impressed by her cover. She appears to be an independent and striking widow who spends most of her time acting as an aunt and chaperone to the young socialites of the city, and few would suspect her of being a master of deeper intrigues.[1a]