Sunday, January 20, 2013

Cotery: MINITru, The Ministry of Truth

The Ministry of Truth, known as MINITru, is the largest Cotery House of the Mourning Veil, easily larger than even the Red, Cult or Church. A colossal collection of political lodges, all assigned a unique number, MINITru collects the secrets & dark truths unearthed by the Veil, guarding them with devout attention and many, many layers of paperwork. Over many generations, this has resulted in MINITru becoming true Fascists, policing the other Veil houses, character-assassinating and vanishing those Magpies & Ravens hoarding Secrets, reconditioning entire Houses to be loyal to True Despair, the notion of secrecy lost and truth uncovered.

All Jackdaws are trained at a MINITru Lodge (Sometimes rumoured to be the mythical Lodge 1), entering as scholarshipped youngsters, exiting either as shrewd Agents, or brutish Enforcers. Agents and Enforcers are often assigned back to the House they originally came from to spy, execute & report on behalf of MINIUTru. Alleigances are never questionned - if a Jackdaw is not lyal to their Lodge, they are rarely a  Jackdaw for much longer. At the top of all Lodges sits a Triumverate of Jackdaw Directors, those whose ambition, paperwork and backstabbing skills have earnt them grandeur, co-ordinating and running all Lodge activities to the very breath.

MINITru Memos are littered with BuzzwordsJackdaws casually use Truspeak, and Truspeak Words.
Although individual dress-sense is not discouraged (for Morale reasons), it is common for entire lodges to at least colour-coordinate. Straight-edged, minimalist Suits are always an option.

Famous Lodges include:
- Lodge1, the Jackdaw Collegium
- Lodge 33, a Bureaucratic / Provacateur Sect, famous for their Top Agents
- Lodge 225, Propaganda
- Lodge 101, a mythic Prison for "Vanished"
- Lodge Zero, a mythic Archive of stolen Secrets
- Lodge 9, a Science department, supposedly developing a "Killing Sound"
- Lodge Alpha, the High-Ministry, occupied by the highest-ranking Director, the mysterious and inscrutable All-Father

In short, MINITru rightfully think they own The Veil. Many Veil, especially Magpies, disagree with this, and with waking human insurgence on the rise, it is only so long until either an uprising occurs, or MINITru's stranglehold grows even tighter.

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 MINITru
  • Truth 
  • Punishment
  • Secrecy
  • Punctuality 
  • Statement
OC, MINITru can be played as Bureaucrats, Fascist Police, a Bank, an Intelligence sect or a Masonic Sect.

MINITru Bird Song is, in my head, a mix of speechmaking, rules-recital, pledge-chanting, and patriotic dirges.

Thematically, MINITru is a colossal Mourning Veil House, easily large enough to contend with other Coteries, with individually Numbered Lodges.
Systematically, MINITru is your "Cotery", and your Lodge is your "House".

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.

- - -


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


MINITru Agents

MiniTru attracts Bureaucrats, sadists and manager material of all types. The Ministry of Truth appreciates any pen-pusher willing to sign their life away. No matter where they previously called home.
As long as they are willing to serve the Ministry forever.
Agents are often expected to both run errands, and manage operations.
They use a lot of Buzzwords.

The Phys-repping for Agents is based on the kind of Agent bird you are, and which Coterie you fled from. Please ask and think sensibly about which kind of Agent Winged you can play.

Type: Pawn.
Min: See Previous Winged
Beak: See Previous Winged
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Emotionallist, Despairing, 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.
Jackdaws casually use Truspeak, and Truspeak words.

Type: Pawn.
Min: Black Feathers, Masonic Symbols
Beak: Large Black
Emotion: Despair
Influences: Secret Police, Assassins, Interrogators, Bodyguards, Masons with a Slice of 1984.

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. Armoured in thick leather coats, wielding reinforced cudgels, the Enforcers' job is to break down doors, charge through the gunfire, chaos & insurgence, and methodically and calmly beat any ideas of rebellion or radical-change out of the heads of the independent and subvertive.

Enforcers often find themselves in moral situations, having to choose between Despair and Desire, sometimes by finding enlightening diaries, beautiful paintings, or other symbols of enjoyment that spark off the wrong reaction.. Most make the right decision... some question their entire lives and motives up to this point. These Heroes become dangerous, seeds of positive Desire in an otherwise Cruel World...

Jackdaws casually use Truspeak, and Truspeak words.

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



Jays in MiniTru have a special place as interrogators and convincers. Some like this job... a bit too much. Whipps are Jays (And the occasional Grackle) who have embraced true sadism, or masochism, or both. To them, Pain is Desire, and Desire is Pain. And they're wonderful at their jobs. With a Grackle's taste in leathers, a Jay's sensibilities for pistol, knife and a savage grin, and MiniTru approved AnswRevTech (a whip) and BlankDescrip++ (a Mask), a Whipp on the offensive is a Threat+.

Like Jackdaw Enforcers & Agents, Whipps do ally themselves to Rooks of the greater Mourning Veil, as torturers and "diplomats", but still hold an allegiance to MiniTru. This allegiance can become stressed, strained and tested, and eventually broken: no known ex-MiniTruOps have sided with Art over Secrets and survived, and likewise Rooks that disobey MiniTru often find their House's dealings turning sour.

Type: Knight.
Min: Brown & Black Feathers, Masonic Mask
Beak: Small Black
Emotion: Desire
Qualities: Whiuppsman, Knifesman, Stalwart, Quick, Armoured



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, focusing their lives into their art and preserving it, rather than making themselves warriors. But with dedication comes power: Ravens' Song, channeled 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.

In MINITru, Ravens are expected to produce "Resource". Propaganda, stirring Music, moving Speeches, satirical material, etc. Art fror Art';s sake is something the Veil does, not MINITru. To this extent MINITru Ravens are either quiet, determined craftsmen and composers, or eccentric wildmen rebelling against their own constraints.

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 - whether 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 Hellsing (Dracula)
Emotion: Wrath
Qualities: Barbrisier, Undertakerism

Jackdaw Directors

Some Jackdaws crawl (or kill) their way up the MiniTru ziggurat. Sometimes this is through hard work and toil, but mostly it is either through soulless grinding and self-defacing, killing and hushing for the company, or it's through cruel sadistic back slapping and passive-aggressive managerial politics. Regardless of how it is achieved, at the top of each Lodge there is the triumverate position of Director, those responsible for that Eyrie's entire morale, productivity and achievement.

More than just in charge of Jackdaw Operations, many Directors believe they are truly their name-sake, carefully orchestrating all acts of Despair within their Cotery, thinking themselves puppet masters or Generals, pulling strings here or dumping a certain-death mission on an unfortunate office-worker there. Many are sadistic, delighting in the pain they inflict on their "Team": just as many are masochistic, feeling every failure and weight as a productive reminder to keep pushing, to keep straining for more Despair.

When a Lodge is large enough to support many Directors, they each usually assume one of three titles: Director of Morale, Director of Productivity, and Director of Achievement. Exactly how these differ to the sado-masochistic minds of a being purely focused on secrets and misinformation is anybody's guess.

They use a lot of Buzzwords.Jackdaws casually use Truspeak, and Truspeak words.

Type: King.
Min: Black Feathers, Masonic Symbols
Beak: Large Black
Emotion: Despair
Qualities: Pistolsman, Stalwart, Fearfulism

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