Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cotery: The Mourning Veil

The Mourning Veil will tell no lies of their purpose - their Aeries, huge shadow swept mausoleum cities, creeping morosely around the edges of The Endless Night that leads to the Abyss, feed on the Sadness and Despair of Dreams, and even the great powerful emotional torrents that enshroud a dying soul. The Corvids have done so for such a long time, and embrace their moribund way - many even revel in the brutality and despondence of Death.

However, there is also an objectively beautiful side to the Veil: where previously the Burning Eye had seen Despair as a source for controlling and "cheating" Death, the Veil instead try to use Despair to understand the raw, more hurtful parts of life. Corvids have great respect for Human Dreamers, gleaning their saddest, darkest memories out of them and using those as a basis for research. Magpie Colleges resemble the halls of some human youth's turbulent adolescence. Jays populate seedy clubs and dimly lit boudoirs. Jackdaws oversee the running of clanking, cringing underground train systems, cast in perpetual shadow under the pitch, lifeless streets above. All Corvids are, in their way, Artists and Philosophers of Death & Despair. As such, it is a common misconception to think of Corvids as Evil or Grim for their fascination with Death - it is just far more factually accurate that every Corvid thrives on some form of sadness.

The Veil have long-standing relationships with The Green & The House Of Raptor - all three thrive on almost entirely negative Emotion, and it is not uncommon for Magpies to commune with Rabble, Shrikes to trade with Shrike, Raven to lullaby Owl, and Jackdaw to argue with Hawk. There is long-standing trouble between The Eye and The Veil, as each are anathema to the other, and interactions between the two at Parliaments have proved problematic.

Following the Third New Parliament, which was successfully overseen by MINITru Agent James33, MINITru have decided to appear in their own capacity, beginning with Jay Agent Symaenid225. With the self-empowered fascist Ministry present at probably all future occasions, this is a severe wake-up call to Veil Houses, who now have to either comply, pretend, or fight for their creative freedom.

Five Principles of The Veil
  • Art 
  • Fashion 
  • Suffering 
  • Punctuality 
  • Statement 

OC, The Veil can be played as Death Cultists, A Goth Night Club, a cell of Despairing Artists, or a Voodoo Family.

Veil Bird Song is, in my head, a mix of Nightwish, Emotional Poetry, Baroque parlour music, Burlesque, The Cure and Brutal Metal.

Mixed Alleigance: It is possible to play a Jackdaw Agent or Enforcer in the Mourning Veil; storyline-wise all Jackdaws are members of MINITru, so they would be working in a Veil House both "on loan" and "on duty", patrolling the House for Secrets and (supposedly) making sure everything meets MINITru regulations. They will be expected to show loyalty to their new House, but a greater, unwavering loyalty to MINITru. How, and if,  you actually roleplay this, is up to you.

- - -


Magpies are generally considered bad luck. Groups of young Magpies often hang around the Parliament, bickering quietly, coveting others' shiny preciousness, and budding into smaller groups. Magpie birdsong is trill and repetitive, and no-one has really studied because Magpies are just that unlucky. Weird emotional "kids", Magpies are the students of the Corvids, studying the despondency of life and it's eventual, inevitable outcome. Magpies become fixated over interesting ideas and concepts that grab their attention, fixating over the Shinies until they can understand them. Understanding their place in the inevitable, and applying their own practical and theoretical study of life, it's meaninglessness, the importance of Dream and the Beauty of Bleakness is the sign of a Magpie maturing and coming to terms with it's next step beyond simple study. This may be a reflection of them embracing the darker, more addictive side of learning. Magpies often give themselves vaguely educational and Academic titles: Doctoror, Masaster, Batcheloreate, Frofessor, Graduateilate, Meenor, Mayjor, etc.
Magpies and Rabble consider each-other friends, and will happily mingle at gatherings, without hostility, to trade, tell stories, gain theories and ideas, and make rude comments together.
Magpies gather in large numbers, and rely on the protection they have in these quiet, staring groups.
Magpies often wear black and white school uniforms, some with hoods and small bursts of colour. They covet small, shiny objects, and anything anyone else covets.

Type: Pawn.
Min: White Face/ Black Feathers, Black and White Streak Motif.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: Emo-Kids, Gypsy Kids, Any Child from Harry Potter, Newt (Aliens), Students, Lecturers
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Emotionallist, Quick, Quicker



Jays are considered an oddity by the other Coteries - a Winged in the Veil who do not wear black, do not almost permanently scowl and do not reek of an aura of sadness. Jays are smiling, cheery, thrilling bon-vivants, bohemians and dandies, incredibly friendly and forward, and embrace happiness as a way to experience "the Life we have". Jays have good connections with "other Jays", and are good at getting Emotions for "acceptable application" or "snorting" at Parliaments. Many remark that Jays' benign nature can be unsettling, and some point out that they've never seen a Jay "not smile". Ever. A Jay throughly enjoying himself can go from smiling and friendly, to grinning and chuckling, to cackling madly and back again within moments. Many Jays claim to be Artists. Many more simply claim to "appreciate" ("snort") it.
A common belief is that Jays exhibit a "dark" side of Desire - their haunts, strained from human memory, often resemble dingy clubs with colourful lighting, or luxurious theaters about to put on a risque show. Jays love creating joy, but often through more lurid means than just a compliment...
Jays wear bright, fashionable clothing, almost always in blue or green - blazers, shirts, bow-ties, blouses and skirts. Jays like to carry small daggers, despite the tabboo on knives, "Just in case! Haha!"

Type: Pawn.
Min: White Face/ Black Feathers, Blue Details.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: Dandies, Bohemians, Toulouse Lautrec, Robespierre, The Joker, Hunter S Thompson, Burlesque Dancers
Emotion: Desire
Qualities: Emotionallist, Pistolsman, Hardy



Although not true Corvids, Grackle are found most often amongst the company of their cousins the Jays. Couriers, runners, interlopers and ambassadors, they are friendly, good humoured and have very good relations outside the Veil & MiniTru, especially with Rabble in The Green, the Urban of the Dirt, and have even been known to serve within the Raptors of House Aquilla. Easily identified by their bell-like laughter and predisposition to leathers, what truly sets Grackle apart is their independence - even as part of a House or team, Grackle do what they like, when they like, with whom. This makes them especially valuable to MiniTru, who value the Despair that can be wrought and monitored by an independent Agent.
Grackle love to act as insurgents, spreading messages of change and spite, and delighting in the chaos caused.
Grackle love Leathers, which they view as both stylish and practical. They also, like Jays, have a predilection for small fire-arms. Some like to dye blue streaks in their hair.

Type: Pawn.
Min: Black Feathers, Blue Sparkles Over Eyes / Down Cheeks.
Beak: Small Yellow
Emotion: Desire
Qualities: Armoured, Pistolsman, Quick



Poseur Winged are those that have left their Cotery, their Family & Home, to join the Mourning Veil in the name of Art & Despair.
Artists, Poets, Goths, Beatniks, The Lost Generation.

Type: Pawn.
Min: See Previous Winged
Beak: See Previous Winged
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Stalwart, Fearful, One More Based On Previous Winged


Jackdaw Agent

Jackdaws exhibit a unique and peculiarly "dark" part of the human psyche: Secrets. Secret Societies, Secret Police, Secret Procedures. Jackdaws know that everyone has secrets, even a lifeless Eyrie, and they need to be regulated. Careful observation and interrogation, possession regulations and emotion documentation. Sacred Pacts and secret hand-gestures.
Masonic and Clandestine, Jackdaws protect the rest of The Veil not only from themselves, but also from external threats: Jackdaws are one of the only Winged whose usage of Knives is not considered taboo  well, there's no secret that the Jackdaw Secret Police use them to kill threats, perps, crims and liabilities.
Jackdaws bear ritualistic markings on their faces. They often dress in robes with ritualistic aprons, with nooses around necks and knives displayed prominently.
Jackdaws are those Corvids who at a young age are noticed for their ability to either keep secrets, or extract them. They are taken away to the Ministry Of Truth (Or MiniTru) and are trained in enforcing Despair.
Secret Police, Assassins, Interrogators, Bodyguards, Masons with a Slice of 1984.

Type: Pawn.
Min: Black Feathers, Masonic Symbols
Beak: Large Black
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Quick, Knifesman, Footpad


Jackdaw Enforcer

Some Jackdaws need more than a mere Knife to enforce Despair. Enforcers smash their way through problems knives and interrogation won't budge. Enforcers often find themselves in moral situations, having to choose between Despair and Desire. Most make the right decision...

Type: Knight.
Min: Black Feathers, Masonic Symbols
Beak: Large Black
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Hardy, Armoured, Stalwart, Macesman , Juggernautism



Ravens are cowardly, emotional posers, prone to "the vapors" and "fits of melancholy". They are Artists and Poets, even composers of Bird Song, able to craft beautifully haunting pieces that even a Hawk or Owl would have trouble finding fault with. Ravens are truly in tune with The Night, and focus it's Melancholy into every Dreaming Step. Ravens are known to panic when backed into a corner, focussing their lives into their art and preserving it, rather than making themselves warriors. But with dedication comes power: Ravens' Song, channelled in the form of art, poetry, or even song, can work distraught wonders, reducing a room to tears or creating a practical monument to their tear-jerking beauty.

Ravens wear mostly black clothing with the occasional white or red thrown in. Shirt & cravat, Silk or Velvet dress, with patterned netting and filigree. They keep their hair immaculately scruffy, or confusingly beautiful. Many Ravens smoke, as it lets them focus on something that isn't base despair.

Type: Bishop.
Min: White Face/ Black Feathers, Black writing on face.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: Poets, Artistes, Poseurs, Byron & Shelley, Beatniks, Robert Smith, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, Mary Shelley
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Emotionallist, Orator



Old Shrikes do not mind being associated with their more immature, smaller cousins in The Green, but to be honest would much rather prefer you didn't bring them up. Or anything else for that matter, because reaping limbs & organs is a very delicate business that requires the most concentration. Shrikes, also known as Butcher birds, have always had a morbid fascination with how Dream Forms work, and what they're made of - as such they are incredibly good at working with Dream Stuff - wether it's refining it into new forms or taking it apart from a still alive "patient". They make good Doctors and Physicians, if not creepy ones, as well as Bogeymen and Butchers.

Shrike like to wear the clothes of their profession: top hat, long coat, apron, doctor's bag, fine, practical dress. Almost entirely Gore-Splattered, obviously.

Type: Bishop.
Min: White Face/ Black or Grey Feathers.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: Ghouls, Murderers, Jack The Ripper, Dr. Seward & Van Helsing (Dracula)
Emotion: Wrath
Qualities: Barbrisier, Undertakerism



A Magpie whose thesis on Applied Despair & Emotional Investment is sometimes elevated to the position of Treepie in order to carry out their research first hand. Often Anthropologists, Archaeologists, Zooologists (Regular & Crypto) or Applied Statisticians. In short, Treepies are Post-Grads, delving into the secrets, peoples, geography & history of the Dream on a shoestring budget of Emotion.
Treepies are very much still Magpies, prefering to perform a mix of hanging with their undergrad buddies and talking with / visiting / studying with allied houses as research ("Day 37, and, strangely, the owls *still* havn't eaten me"). With their great mix of subjects and specialities, Treepies are great at obtaining Emotion that ISN'T Despair.

Treepies are often huge fans of Raven fashion, and so their relationship is strained - Ravens don't feel very artsy when a smelly student is all excited up in your grill. 

Treepies are also *not* big fans of MiniTru, strongly opposing the censorship of Academia and the fascist policing not seen in other Coteries - Treepies often run secret amnesties to help underdogs or the needy, claiming that the needy were "keeping all the despair for themselves", but in reality teaching them to fight the oppression. 

While mouthy Treepies disappearing in the night is common, so is huge Student pickets, or even worse, colossal mobs of Magpies led by Treepie rousers easily squashing any Jackdaw kettling through sheer numbers. When research is a key to the Veil's despair, an angry Academia can be a highly effective beacon for revolt.
Type: Bishop
Min: White Face, Black / Green Feathers, Green and White Streak Motif.
Beak: Black Large
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Emotionallist, Despairing



Crows are simply wrong. No-one quite knows how they come to be, but they are an anathema to The Dream itself - The Memory of a Dead Corvid, forced to serve the Coterie beyond their Death as an immortal, unstoppable killing machine. Crows spend much of their time as ephemeral shadows, haunting and provoking the dreaming Winged with their whispering, despair-laden humour, before being empowered by a Rook to fight, giving them a corporeal form. Crows flesh is like soft stone, and they feel no pain. Crows simply will not cease to be, unless they fulfill the purpose they were brought back for in the first place. However, rumours spread of true ways to fell the Abominations. But they must be lies. Nothing can stop The Inevitable.

A Crow will wear whatever it wore in life, either torn into rags and visibly degrading in the air, or eerily preserved beyond possibility. Some will eschew these shrouds, and choose to go mostly bare if not for their modesty, hidden behind leather. Their entire bodies are covered in black, almost alive sigils and tattoos, a strange reminder of their ties to The Night, Death and Despair. Some Crows dress as Oriental Demons, black and white silk trousers and jacket, long white mask, black mane of hair blowing in the breeze of melancholy.

Crows can deliver a nasty, unreal blow with most weapons, but prefer weapons that really signify the suffering and turmoil that comes from death - Daikatanas, savage looking swords, skull-headed maces, eerily sharp rapiers, for instance.

Type: Knight.
Min: White (Palid) Face/ Black Feathers, Heavy Black Tribal markings.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: The Crow, Tengu, Zombies, Baron Samedei, Wraiths, Vampires
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Hardy, Hardier, Armoured, Fearfulism, Enterrorfying, Two More Qualities Based On Previous Life



Pale Rook

Dark Rook

Rooks are always seeped in tangible cloud of melancholy as loud as a remorseful violin eulogy. The very embraced despair is palpable, yet, when they speak, Rooks are always controlled and measured. Rooks wear much jewelery, often fingering through it absent-mindedly during conversation. Some joke loudly and obnoxiously about the shadows, the same ones clinging strangely to the walls, shifting just in the corner of your eye. Rooks are emotion cast into it's rawest, darkest form - sometimes this Despair reaches and cloys around another Corvid, the Rook's sadness approaching something close to Love. However, this bond between Rook and Lover can go dangerously awry if the Corvid dies, and the Rook is willing to make the ultimate abominable act...

Rooks come in two distinct castes: Pale Rooks, often associated with the rare Albino Birds that hold a special place in a handful of human religions, whose talents are like those of witches: songs and tinctures to provide for their Cotery, fonts of emotion to be channeled into positive use. Dark Rooks are more closely associated with what Rooks are famous for: unnaturally raising Crows, fonts of emotion to be channeled into pain.

Rooks wear billowing dresses in dark colours, or smart silk or velvet suits. Some wear monochromatic kimonos, billowing in black, dead Sakura Blossom Breezes. They often carry umbrellas, Jewelery and Porcelain Masks to hide their almost-constant tears.

Type: King&Queen.
Min: White Face/ Black Feathers, Bone White Mask.
Beak: Black Large
Inspirations: Voodoo Hougan, Witches, Dr. Falicier (Princess & The Frog), Morticia Adams, Necromancers
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Fancy, Fearfulism, Scarista 

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