Welcome to the Ministry

Wel­come to the Min­istry, Ladies and gentlemen.

I know you have all had some pecu­li­ar exper­i­ences in the recent past and will prob­ably have a num­ber of ques­tions for me. I am going to attempt to answer those ques­tions for you, but if you have any fur­ther quer­ies, please ask my col­league at the end of this brief­ing. In the meantime…

Who am I?

My name is Major Charles Keithley, and I am your super­i­or, respons­ible for the Oper­a­tions Office and the organ­isa­tion, deploy­ment and well-being of all our agents.

Who are we?

We like to call ourselves the Min­istry, in hon­our of our founder and first pat­ron, King James the First, but, offi­cially, we are the Eso­ter­ic Research Office, a depart­ment of the Home Office.

Where do we come from?

The Min­istry has exis­ted, in one form or anoth­er, since 1587, when Fran­cis Walsing­ham detailed a small team to mon­it­or the activ­it­ies of the Faery Court while Eng­land was under threat from the Span­ish. The team con­tin­ued to per­form its task once the Span­ish threat had been lif­ted, des­pite reduced fund­ing fol­low­ing Walsing­ham’s death. King James I incor­por­ated the sur­viv­ing mem­bers into his Min­istry of Blades in 1611, char­ging them to “pro­tect the Crown and the King­dome from all unusu­alle threits, be they dae­mon­ic, faer­ie or mundane in naituir”. Crom­well abol­ished the Min­istry, but the mem­bers went under­ground, fight­ing an infest­a­tion of witches across the Mid­lands for most of the dur­a­tion of the Com­mon­wealth. James II restored the Min­istry and it has con­tin­ued as a gov­ern­ment office since that time. We gained our cur­rent title under the admin­is­tra­tion of Pitt the Young­er in 1803, as part of ongo­ing research into the use of magic to fight the French. Her Majesty the Queen does not know of our exist­ence, the Gov­ern­ment believes that she would not be happy with the concept.

What do we do?

Simply put, we pro­tect Great Bri­tain, Her Majesty the Queen and the Empire from those threats which can­not be opposed by the Army, Navy or the civil author­it­ies. These threats are usu­ally super­nat­ur­al in nature, although we also deal with prob­lems of a more sci­entif­ic lean­ing. For the entirety of our exist­ence, we have also been con­cerned with mon­it­or­ing the gov­ern­ment and res­id­ents of the realms of Faer­ie and main­tain­ing dip­lo­mat­ic ties with the Court of Flowers. We also carry out research into outly­ing and nov­el areas of sci­ence ignored by the more main­stream sci­entif­ic insti­tu­tions; in short, we look into any­thing that might give the Empire an advant­age in deal­ing with its enemies.

How do we do our job?

The Min­istry is divided into a num­ber of depart­ments, each with a spe­cif­ic responsibility:

The Lib­rary looks after our extens­ive col­lec­tion of lit­er­at­ure about the super­nat­ur­al, includ­ing books of magic and those writ­ten by super­nat­ur­al creatures. Madame Delgal tells me that our Eng­lish-lan­guage mater­i­als form the largest and most in-depth col­lec­tion in the world; in Lat­in and Greek, we are sur­passed only by the Vat­ic­an’s secret archives.

The Archive looks after the reports and oth­er data relat­ing to our own oper­a­tions. If you need to know what happened to an agent fifty years ago or the fate of the last known Giant in this coun­try, con­tact Fraulein Ruehlmann.

The Obser­va­tions Office is respons­ible for provid­ing us with leads for our invest­ig­a­tions. Mrs Har­ris and her staff are experts in spot­ting sig­ni­fic­ant pat­terns in oth­er­wise innoc­u­ous news reports, eye­wit­ness accounts and gossip.

The Quarter­mas­ter­’s Office sup­plies our weaponry, devices and oth­er mater­i­als, both mundane and exper­i­ment­al. Mr Llewellyn is your primary point of con­tact for any such items; his research­ers will occa­sion­ally accom­pany agents like yourselves for field tests and research.

Admin­is­tra­tion is respons­ible for pro­cessing mis­sion reports and expenses requests and over­see­ing your pay and oth­er bene­fits. Please stay on the right side of Mr Manders.

Finally, Oper­a­tions will be assign­ing you mis­sions, organ­ising your train­ing and attend­ing to injur­ies incurred in the line of duty. This is my domain and I expect agents of all levels to behave them­selves and con­trib­ute their utmost to the operation.

In day-to-day work, areas of con­cern are iden­ti­fied by Obser­va­tions in cooper­a­tion with the Archive and the Lib­rary. They pass sum­mary reports on to myself, whereupon I will assign agents to invest­ig­ate a case. Decisions on wheth­er to act are made by myself or my deputy, Mr Rooke, based on reports provided by the invest­ig­at­ors: agents are not per­mit­ted to ini­ti­ate offens­ive oper­a­tions without orders.

What is your role?

You are agents: juni­or agents until you have proved yourselves. You will invest­ig­ate spe­cif­ic cases: observing events, inter­view­ing wit­nesses and examin­ing evid­ence. Should cir­cum­stances dic­tate, you will be respons­ible for clos­ing indi­vidu­al cases, using the appro­pri­ate means. You may request assist­ance at any time it seems neces­sary, through myself or Mr Rooke: please do not abuse this facil­ity, we have lim­ited resources and can­not afford to waste the time of exper­i­enced agents on simple ghost or zombi incid­ents. Dis­cre­tion is, of course, a giv­en; nobody out­side of this organ­isa­tion should be left in pos­ses­sion of facts about ourselves or any case.

That cov­ers the inform­a­tion you need to know. If you have any ques­tions, please ask Mr Rooke. I wish you the very best in your endeav­ours and hope that you do yourselves and the Min­istry proud.