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.