The Golden Wastes
The Inquisition of Velos was established long ago by the Calusari when the city was part of the Imperial domain in the Second Dynasty. Although Velos now has no direct relationship with the Empire, the institution continued and the Council functions very similar to councils in the Empire proper.
The Inquisition still follows the rules established by the Calusari. It investigates forbidden magic and knowledge, witchcraft, sorcery, and demon worship. While its investigations can take place privately, it cannot accuse people with impunity. It must hold public Inquests and produce evidence that becomes public record.
The Inquisition is not concerned with matters of “heresy” or religious orthodoxy. The multitude of sects, cults, and philosophies are too varied for any such things. Only when matters turn to Chaos worship, dangerous magic, or criminal actions that are against the races of Man does the Inquisition become concerned.
Most of the work of the Inquisition is routine, and it is possible for meetings to be held only at an annual basis. Usually it convenes only when evidence of withcraft is brought forth to them by others, very often by judges of the city or the collegium sacorum. Once evidence is presented however, the Inquisition can be very quick and forceful.
The Council of Inquisition is typically made up of three represenatives, a cleric of Menari, a druid of the Crocodile Sect, and a monk of the Sable Brotherhood. This assembly brings not only expertise across many areas, but a diversity of viewpoints. Since each if a political rival of the other, it also ensures the Council is unlikely to bring up trump charges. It is not a perfect system, but it seems to get the job done.
Currently, the Inquisition is most concerned about the Ghul Cult in Velos and its possible intentions involving the Conqueror Worm. Much evidence has been provided by a group of fortune hunters who explore giantish ruins, a band called “Samedi’s Team” after its nominal leader. However, recent evidence has been brought forth that Samedi’s Team has been less than completely forthright. They have suppressed evidence, abused their possession of a writ authorizing their witch hunting, refused to cooperate with the Council and Palace, and fled the authorities.
The Council has reluctantly issued warrants for the arrest of all members of Samedi’s Team after one of their members, Akbar the Paladin, escaped custody. Since the members of Samedi’s Team include a known paladin and heroes of the city, there is much discussion on why they have refused to fully cooperate with the Inquisition and city government. They have not been charged with the crimes of witchcraft, only the obstruction of justice, but such a charge still indicates great peril. Popular opinion is that one member, the wizard Samara, may have corrupted the others by use of powerful magic.