The King’s Hands are a secret espionage group. These agents secretly support the Crown, feretting out traitors, investigating military and political manuverings of other countries, stealing copies of plans and spells that would unbalance the status quo, and in short, making the world safe for good decent people and the Crown that supports them. Most of these agents are adopted from the Academy of Arts (a misnomer since it is the military officer training academy, with a minor section for clerics and scholars).
These agents use mostly careful planning and their wits to resolve issues, though some carefully used tinkerer’s toys and an occasional magic item or two are used for special missions. Agents tend to avoid magic items, as they can be traced.
Agents are recruited at the Academy by Master M (the Crown’s spymaster). They occasionally find themselves in odd classes, giving them special training, without knowing why. While most of the agents are from the military, every now and again a scholar or cleric are recruited.
After these people have graduated and gone on to the field (where their placements were carefully orchistrated by Master M), they are brought back to the Capital. In the Capital, there is the Mystral Winery. The Mystral puts out a small batch of extremely high quality sparkling wine every year. The Mystral Winery is behind the Castle and far from the Academy, so the occasional “odd hand” there is not recognized. Those “odd hands” in addition to doing work at the winery are given intensive training in spycraft and agent work. After a time, they are either returned to their previous position or given special posts somewhere else (often under an assumed name and position).
Hidden in the Winery are the Journals of The Hands, the chronicles of the Hands. (These are written in code AND hidden in the winery). Perhaps someday people will know what these brave souls do.