Important Organisations

And so Ramble went from door to door, gathering their friends together for a party under the stars, in defiance of the Shadow-Spirit's threat. And, although they were small alone, they were not small together. The dark did not hold fear for them anymore. With friends around them, they could see how beautiful it was. The Shadow-Spirit did not bother them again. Perhaps it was all a test.

– From “Ramble, the Smallest, Bravest Vole”

Helping Paw is an animalitarian group which has cropped up fairly recently in response to the number of unusually harsh winters which have ravaged the area over the past few years.

Made up of animals from all corners of the map and all walks of life, the message of this group is simple. For years, we have taken it for granted that the natural world will support and sustain us, and allowed ourselves to live divided. But now nature has turned on us; if animal-kind is to make it through this threat, we must unite our forces.

In an area of strange, skeletal structures that the humans left behind, on the border between the Forest and the City, an event takes place as every Winter draws closer. It is a festive time, marking the transition between times, lying at the transition between spaces. There is a sadness underlying it, always half-acknowledged, but never uppermost; it is submerged beneath the sound of stories. Animals venture here from across the City's environs to take part in the festivities and, in particular, the story-competition that rounds off the event, days and nights of non-stop, escalating creativity that end only when one tale is voted victorious. Whoever wins is ceremonially crowned Lord of the Revels, which means they have to take the central part in organising the festivities next year. The pride of becoming Lord is for many overshadowed by the hard work this involves; thus the Forest reminds its inhabitants and visitors that power is not a thing to be desired, and thus only those who truly love stories claim the crown.

Several years ago, a section of the Straits collapsed under a group of adolescent wildebeest into the river. Thanks to the quick thinking of a cow named Boy, who happened to be nearby with his herd at the time, a cow chain was formed to wade into the river and snag the passing wildebeest. Boy realised that had his herd not been nearby, the story may have ended significantly differently, and so he resolved to create a rapid response unit that would patrol the Plains and react to danger as and when it arose.

What started out as a small herd of cows in the Plains grew in notoriety and reach, quickly attracting a plethora of other animals, though Boy always maintained the group as a relatively small, well-trained, and crucially, fast faction. Now Boy's Cows (who may actually be horses, tigers, gazelles, kites or more) can be seen cantering through the Suburb streets or galloping past the City Centre, equally ready to offer a helping hand to an elderly goat crossing the road or to begin excavation efforts after an apartment block collapse.

The Pigeons started from humble roots. The organisation originated when a small flock of pigeons noticed that some animals had difficulty traversing the wide region covered by the City and its surrounding area. They began to offer lifts to those who needed or requested them, in exchange for a small fee (typically a little bundle of food). As their popularity grew and their business skyrocketed, others started to join the organisation. Not just pigeons, either, but all sorts of birds (and occasionally some other animals) who just wanted to help their fellow animal around the City.

But the organisation is not simply limited to this taxi service anymore. They are also responsible for the collection and distribution of the news in the City, making sure everyone is kept up to date with the latest goings-on. While the organisation has changed from its early days, it has retained the name to remind everyone of its humble roots.

The Scholars are a group who research the ruins left behind by the humans in an attempt to understand them and their culture. While their work is on occasion a solo endeavour, they ensure there are many opportunities for them to come together to discuss their theories and findings, or to discuss philosophy and wax poetic through the night.

While much of their investigations take place in the Shelters (after all, they are a treasure trove for old human knick-knacks), they can often be found visiting other sites left behind by the humans, such as the metal beasts on the Straits or the vast halls of the White Jungle in the City Centre.

Notable Scholars include Professor Pancake and Maple, who can often be found in the Shelters, and Fern, who spends much of her time around the Rust Trees.

The self-proclaimed Empress of the Great Lake, the Empress Penguin sits in state on the Shore of the Great Lake along with her life partner, Seashell. She has gathered to her a significant following of penguins and other aquatic animals, and she collects tribute from anyone who wishes to pass into, and out of, the Great Lake (usually in the form of nice rocks).

The history of the ruling Penguins is an interesting one. The Shore is an incredibly important strategic location, as it is the easiest and by far most convenient way of accessing the Great Lake itself. Given that large groups of penguins already tended to congregate along the Shore, as well as a collection of crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, the legacy of the Reigning Penguins began as simply a collection of animals seeking to make use of it as a means to accumulate resources to bolster what they could gather from the Great Lake, charging animals to pass through.

As this scheme gathered in momentum, the confidence of these animals grew over time. What began as simply a rudimentary commercial enterprise evolved into a belief in the right of these animals to hold power over the Shore, an almost mystical belief in their power to rule the beaches. “Toll” became “tribute” and “organisation” became “Kingdom”. To cement their status as a political, and not commercial, power, they crowned the first Emperor Penguin, and his chicks have succeeded him in the position ever since, culminating in the reigning Empress Penguin.

Though notoriously arrogant and prideful, the Empress does command a significant amount of resources and territory, and it is not uncommon for animals to petition her for favours or aid. Such petitions are usually best made in the presence of her partner, who is famously a moderating influence on the Empress' more… royal tendencies.

For many, many years, the role of the Monarch of the Underground has been a role not to be taken lightly. It has been assumed to exist for as long as collective memory down there allows. Currently, this role is held by The Rat King, who has held the title for a few years now. The Rat King oversees all events and happenings that take place in his domain. He doesn't desire to conquer land – no – rather, he seeks repute and influence. He is a well-liked figure in the Underground for keeping the residents always well looked after, even during the harsh Winter months. He is clever, intelligent, and adept at his role – he will not let anything slip.

The Knights of the Nether Realm are less of a militarist group and more a collective of agents employed by The Rat King to patrol the labyrinthine tunnels that lie beneath the City. Most are quick-thinking, cunning, skilled gatherers of information. Others, however, prioritise brawn and/or an intimidating presence, a tactic utilised by some such as Moose Musculus. To the society in the City's depths, knowledge is power, and they have utilised the Knights down there to protect them since the early days. As a result, it is always known who enters the Underground, and when. The dealings and patrols of the Knights are commissioned by the Rat King himself, but overseen under the Knights of the Highest Order, notably Count Vincent von Unten, a bat by whom nothing passes.

But the Knights aren't there to deter people from entering. In fact, the Underground, despite its slightly off-putting and mysterious air, with many spooky stories told up on the surface about its existence, is more than welcoming to anybody who chooses to make the eerie caverns their home, just so long as they know to bend the knee to their liege lord.

The Followers of the Guardian are a religious group centred around the worship of the rusted animatronic Guardian who guards the entrance to the Gated Place, in the City Centre. Few members ever leave, and the few curious souls who enter seldom return, so information about this group is hard to come by. Most consider it a dangerous place, where only a fool would go.

  • organisations.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/07/17 14:39
  • by gm_aric