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jameson (ST)

Mutants & Masterminds - His Majesty's Order of the Fox

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After reading the Supernatural book I got to thinking about secret societies and the like, I guess today's date must have been on my mind seeing as I came up with this:

November 5th 1605. Every man woman and child in Britain knows what happened that day ... or do they?

Guy Fawkes was not the conspirator that history claims him to be. The Gunpowder Plot had nothing to do with Gunpowder, and its goal was not the death of the king ... the truth is far stranger.

This is the truth:

In the early hours of November 5th, 1605 in the basements and tunnels below the Houses of Parliament a cabal of worshipers, The Cult of Kar'Kradas, sought to enact a dark ritual that would allow their dark lord to claim and possess the King and thus bring tyranny and darkness to the land. In the dark of the night, Guy Fawkes and twelve others clashed with the followers of Kar'Kradas beneath the House of Lords. Fawkes and two others alone survived the encounter to be taken into custody of the King's men.

In secret the truth was revealed and a plan enacted. A ritual was carried out, binding the identities of Fawkes and the other two men to criminals awaiting execution. Those men were executed for a plot to destroy the King by gunpowder, those men were claimed by Death in place of Fawkes and his men, who were now outside of the reach of death; immortal. The king charged Fawkes with the protection of the crown and the empire from threats foreign and internal that originated from sources beyond the realms of men.

Thus was the His Majesty's Order of the Fox created. A play on words to hide the truth in plain sight and ensure that Empire had a bulwark against the dark powers beyond the ken of mortal men.

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I can tell you from past experience that NOTHING is cooler than blackpowder-era magic. :firedevil:

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The game in question is actually going to be pulp-era set. My group's current game needs to go on hold now that the school year is making it difficult for the GM of that game to plan ahead. I'm rotating in and during discussion this weekend the idea of some like Indiana Jones came up. I really enjoyed the section of the new Supernatural Handbook that dealt with secret groups and so I decided to base the game around a "pulp-era BRPD type group" as my pitch to the two players. On the drive home most of the percolated into my brain and was written down yesterday during a spot of free time into an proposal email to the group.

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His Majesty's Order of the Fox

Mission Statement

"By decree of the King, His Royal Majesty James the First [...], the Order of the Fox shall endeavour and strive to protect the crown, the monarchy, and the empire from all threats originating from, or pertaining to, witches, heretics, magicks arcane and foul, and all other threats beyond the ken of mortal man and within sight of God."

In practice this empowers the Order and its members to investigate and intervene with any threat to the British Empire from sources supernatural. The interpretation of what is, and isn't, a threat is left rather vaguely worded, and in the 300+ years since the Order's inception it has used that freedom to pursue objects of power on every continent (the world will never know that the Order reached the South Pole in 1853, or what they found there).

Current to the late 1920's era the Order has a number of operatives working in Egypt and northern Africa as well as the middle east. Additional assets have made inroads into the far east and South America.

The Order is also currently preoccupied keeping an eye on the growing Nazi movement in Germany. Likewise they have taken a role in ensuring that the archaeology boom of the past decade does not fuel a revival of heretical and forbidden magic.

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Connections and Influence

The Order of the Fox has survived for more than three hundred years by hiding in the shadows when need be, and more often by hiding in plain sight. Membership within the Order is bestowed by the monarchy with the recommendation by the heads of the Order. Members of the Order are publicly known and given minor title, specifically the denotation Vulpini after their names, though this is seldom used outside of formal situations.

While membership within the Order does not make a member a knight many members have also earned knighthood through continued years of service or exemplary action in service to the realm. This grants members of the Order increased social standing. Within the Empire the members are able to use title and badge of office to help "lubricate" the gears of bureaucracy through perceived political influence. Obviously this decreases in the more remote and less civilized portions of the Empire and likewise outside of its territory proper.

Members of the Order given to scholarly pursuits have a remarkable track record getting positions within prestigious universities, museums, and scholarly foundations. In truth many of these are orchestrated behind the scenes by the Order's leaders, while as many more are simply a matter of earned position given to individuals who often have unparallelled expertise within their chosen field of study.

Through these connections the Order can both learn about new discoveries as well as influencing the course of studies. Likewise members in academic institutions can often keep an eye on promising students who may be given to more esoteric area of research.

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Organization

The Order is loosely organized, with a structure that resembles a series of concentric circles that is then divided into three wedges. The center-most circle is comprised of Fawkes and his two fellows, rendered immortal by identity stealing magics. Each of the original three members controls a specific aspect of the Order's operations. Fawkes himself is the head of the militia, and responsible for maintaining and deploying the Order's witch and monster hunter's.

The other two leaders control research and scholarly pursuits, and information gathering and counter-intelligence. At this time these represent the greater share of the group, with the gathering of knowledge and artifacts being given over the largest number of members. These are the researchers, the professors, the archaeologists, and such. Those who uncover lost secrets and hidden relics.

The next largest portion of the Order is its intelligence arm. Gathering rumors and tracking legends, while simultaneously suppressing forbidden magics and debunking myths and legends that could endanger the Empire.

The second circle out is made up of the "middle management" of the Order. Those senior members, by virtue of experience or expertise, who manage and run the secret doings of the Order. Outside of that is the fuzzy ring of individual contributors; members who pour over tomes, dig in the sands of Babylon, or recover lost items from far flung corners of the globe and return them to the Order's control.

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