The Relyimah (a D'ni word meaning "the unseen") served the D'ni kings as an undercover intelligence-gathering agency for more than two millennia, spanning the reigns of 10 kings. Their existence and activities were unknown to the public at large until the organization had nearly reached its end.
The need for an organization such as the Relyimah grew from the increasing religious and political dissent in the D'ni culture. There were a number of dangerous religious sects and political factions, with the public becoming increasingly divided on the question of contact with "outside"—that is, non-D'ni—people and cultures. The more radical factions were strongly isolationist.
Before his coronation, King Lemashal was an actor, interested in the art of illusion. He was also interested in expanding contact with outsiders, and, after the passing of his first wife, married a non-D'ni woman (as had King Hinash, 1266 years before). In 3961 DE, he established the Minor Guild of Illusionists, which was actually a cover organization for his new secret intelligence group. The guild was itself an illusion, concealing the membership and activities of the Relyimah.
The Yimas Uprising
The Relyimah faced their first major challenge in 4103 DE, during the reign of King Ishek—another anti-isolationist. In that year, Ishek's wife was kidnapped by the natives of the Age of Yimas, who demanded that the D'ni write Ages for them to rule. The situation had, in fact, secretly been set up by a D'ni sect—either the "Blood of Yahvo" or the "Light of D'ni", historical records are unclear—to discredit Ishek's talk of equality between the D'ni and outsiders. The situation was very similar, in fact, to the way in which the Pento War had been instigated by the "Judges of Yahvo" sect, nearly 2800 years in the past. Ishek set the Relyimah to watch the sect that he suspected, and then announced that he would not meet the demands of the Yimas. Relyimah informants soon followed two members of the suspected faction to an illegal Age, where they were able to rescue Ishek's wife.
Isolationist sentiments grew even stronger after this incident, and throughout the reign of Ishek's son, King Loshemanesh. He passed several laws imposing harsh punishments for those who created or traded illicit Ages, or induced an outsider to commit a crime. The need for an intelligence organization that could detect such crimes was greater than ever. Loshemanesh was ultimately assassinated by a member of the same sect that had kidnapped his mother, a black mark on the Relyimah's record.
The immaturity and weakness of the next king, Ji, resulted in even more religious, political and class division among the people. His successor, King Demath, found it necessary to impose even greater restrictions on interaction with outsiders. The long list of laws forbade outsiders from operating D'ni machinery or using Linking Books, among other things. Demath warned the isolationists that Loshemanesh's laws would be strictly enforced, and he doubled the membership of the Relyimah to ensure that a careful watch was kept for signs of illegal activities with outsiders.
Demath's enforcement activities, backed by Relyimah intelligence, worked. There were 10 groups convicted of violating the Loshemanesh laws in 4724 DE, though there was no official record made of the involvement of the Relyimah in the cases). By 4752 DE the crime rate had dropped to only three convictions. As the writer Besharen said, in Revealing the Unseen in 5999 DE, "There were stories of dark shadows and mysterious creatures ... for those carrying out such activities ... it was said that the eyes of Demath saw everything while his arms took anyone he wanted."
In 4784 DE, the Relyimah again proved their worth. An assassination attempt against King Demath was thwarted by two Relyimah who gave their lives to save him. The two assassins were caught in 4786 DE, and executed by linking them into a death Age -- the first execution of its kind in D'ni history.
Blood of Yahvo revolt
A cloud fell over the Relyimah in 4865 DE. The first son of King Yableshan was kidnapped by Blood of Yahvo cultists in a successful attempt to force Yableshan to release one of their leaders. Even though Yableshan complied, his son was killed and the body dumped on the steps of the Palace. The Relyimah were unable to find the perpetrators because they had been infiltrated by moles from the cult, though existence of the moles was not discovered until many years later. These moles continued to hamper the Relyimah, preventing them from assigning responsibility for a deadly explosion in 4954 DE in the Age of Meanas.
A man named Faresh was selected by Yableshan in 5043 DE to be the new head of the Guild of Illusionists. His true mission was to clean up the Relyimah and restore its effectiveness. His efforts paid off in 5083 DE, during the reign of King Emen. Two of the Relyimah mysteriously disappeared in that year, and Faresh became a silent hero to the upper levels of the government, having ended over 200 years of chaos within the organization. Ten years later, in 5093 DE, two members of the "One D'ni" cult were finally tried and imprisoned for the explosion in Meanas 139 years earlier, demonstrating the fresh vitality of the Relyimah.
In 5103, Faresh turned over his "mansion of illusions" on Katha Island to the Relyimah following the death of his daughter. The mansion was widely considered to be haunted thereafter, because of rumors of dark shadows in the windows and boats silently rowing toward the island.
The reign of King Adesh saw the beginning of the end of the Relyimah. The prophet Gish arose during this period, and was ultimately assassinated by the Relyimah on the orders of Adesh. The general outrage over this act led to the assassination of Adesh himself in 5701 DE. His son Lanaren took the throne that year, and publicly revealed the existence of the Relyimah and their connection to the death of Gish, promising to disband the group. Many of its members were forced to flee to hidden private Ages, and some were murdered. The Relyimah were officially disbanded in 5986 DE, though the organization had become moribund long before that time.