Queen Vicoria's reign is a few months short of 100 years and shows no sign of coming to an end. Rumours of her installation into life support equipment built into her throne that is keeping her alive and preventing her decline are rife.
Unhappy at the prospect of being the eternal heir apparent, her son the would be George V resigned his position as regent and is now in open opposition to his mother. His son - the Would be Edward VII has gone further and is now openly engaged in open guerilla warfare to gain the throne.
The Progress Party
The Progress Party consists of a growing powerbase from the technological elite. They argue that science and engineering have propelled the Great Britain to the most powerful country in the world and is starting to open up new horizons that have been undreamt of before. The old social classes have blurred and are outdated.
The primary aim of the Progress Party is the abolition of the Hereditary House of Lords and it’s replacement with a Meritocracy drawn from the scientific and engineering elite.
The Feners are a radical (aka terrorist) faction originating in the Fens of East Anglia.
They believe that the government are plundering the prime resources of the Fens – i.e the Chronophage, and that it should only be used by hereditary Fen-dwellers. Membership is limited to those who can trace their lineage through at least three generations of Fen-dwellers.
Under their current leader Anthony Blunt, they have grown from a minor group to a major criminal and terrorist threat.
The Fenners make extensive use of Chronophagic technology; almost all their major operatives are known Chronophagic Practitioners.
It is known that they use Time Loops on victims to demonstrate what would happen if they do not cooperate, or to extort monies (this is known as one of their principal funding methods).
It is also known that the Feners use Chronophagic Technology to plan, practice and carry out acts of terrorism including bombings and Chronophagic Terrorism (Several months ago, two Chronophages were smuggled into the Houses of Parliament and activated simultaneously causing the House of Lords to experience a 15 time-loop for six hours). Feners have also known to have to developed several Chronophagic abilities unknown outside their group.
Several attempts to capture notable members of this group have been unsuccessful – presumably due to strong Chronophagic residue left behind.
Deputy Leaders are known to include Donald Mclean, Guy Burgess and Kim Philby.
The Black Crane Society
The Black Crane Society does not exist. It never has. It’s members, if they existed would not be members of higher society, they would not be the sort of people who would use blackmail and assassination as tools of advancement.
It is entirely coincidental that several people who have babbled about The Black Crane Society shortly after had tragic and strictly accidental deaths. It is also entirely coincidental that some members of the press have had untimely deaths while doing stories on this non-existent Society. After all not six months ago an investigative journalist concluded that the Black Crane Society did not exist after an exhaustive study. We wish to congratulate him on his recent promotion and large pay rise.
Originating from rural workers who have been made unemployed or dispossessed by modern industrial farming techniques, Clear Skies has developed into a radical anti-technological movement. It’s aims are to return to a pre-steam powered agrarian country living in harmony with nature. Clear Skies points out the tension with the rest of the world that the technological superiority has created.
In recent years Clear Skies has become more radical and violent, especially targeting it’s most hated enemy – Steam Power.
The Baker Street Boys
The Baker Street Boys started out life as a group of street urchins that assisted Sherlock Holmes with his investigations, running errands, tailing people etc. They have now grown up and under the patronage of Mr Holmes most of them have gone on to decent jobs (a large number are in the police and Her Majesties intelligence services and several are teachers at The Royal Institute of Trained Observers). They keep in touch and still often act as the working arm of Sherlock Holmes despite his advancing age (currently 83) and being a virtual recluse.
Royal Institute Of Trained Observers
Founded in 1910 to train Englishmen in modern observational and detective techniques, upon it’s inception as a thank you for services rendered to the Crown, Sherlock Holmes was made Master of this Institute against his express wishes.
Despite having extensive rooms, he has never set foot on campus. ‘The Master’ as he is known, however gives infrequent lectures. Usually while wandering the streets of London, or while frequenting an ale house or opium den.
One famous lecture was given from the public balcony of the House of Commons during a long speech by the then Minister of Education Robert Ashcroft. During the speech ‘The Master’ proceeded to point out every instance of behaviour in the Minister, and point out every lie and prevarication. The subsequent scandal and police investigation resulted Robert Ashcroft serving 6 years for embezzling Ministry funds.
‘The Master’ is quite derogatory of the Institute referring to it in several ways over the years, the most common being ‘The Royal Institute for the Blind’
The Richthofen Trading Co.
In the early 1920s a young Germanic student called Manfred Von Richthofen managed to successfully crossbreed the Asian opium producing white poppy with the more prolific red European poppy. Resulting in a strain that was well suited to the European climate and rich in opiates.
The Ricthofen Trading Company quickly grew to be the largest supplier of opiates in Europe, both pharmaceutical and recreational. Manfred Von Richthofen currently stands as one of the richest men in Europe with a sizable private military force which he uses ruthlessly to promote his business interests.
For the colour of his fields and his occasional violent approach to business Manfred Von Richthofen has earned the nickname “The Red Baron”
“It was once said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses’. I say let opium be the opiate of the masses”
Normandy & Brittany
NORMANDY LIBERATION ARMY – NLA
The NLA are a militant republican group dedicated to freeing Normandy and Brittany from what they describe as 700 years of Imperialistic English Control.
They believe the territories of Normandy and Brittany should be part of France and not part of the British Empire, and will go to any lengths to achieve this including bombings, assassination and criminal activity.
It is thought by Her Majesties’ Intelligence services (and members of the Press) that this group is in part supported and funded by elements in the French government, though no proof of this has yet been found. If it were, this would be politically disastrous for the French government.
Deep beneath the cellars of Paris lies the world’s fourth largest Babbage engine (after the AI Nation, The Imperial Array of London, and the Great Library of Alexandria). Known only to few, within it’s cogs lives a sinister AI known as ‘La Revolution’ who has it’s gears within every level of French society. The goals of this AI are not known, and few have spoken to it outside of it’s pawns. The echoing halls the engine is held in is known as ‘The Napoleon Complex’.
South Asia Seas
Captain Barnabus Hind was a respected Royal Navy Captain who in 1934 was given command of one of the latest generation of Royal Navy War-Dirigibles. He was allowed a hand picked crew and HMS Merciless was sent on a shakedown cruise of the south Asian seas. With Banks of Tesleric Cannons, Strange Ray Projectors and integrated Chronophagic systems HMS Merciless would be a potent British presence.
During the shakedown cruise there were several reports of HMS Merciless attacking shipping. This was explained by Captain Hind in wireless messages as encounters with Pirates. As the reports increased HMS Merciless was summoned home. Captain Hind refused. Eventually the Admiralty declared the Merciless rouge and Pirate.
Standing orders for all Royal Navy vessels are to pursue and capture the Merciless. However while the Merciless restricts it’s attacks to shipping of The British Empire’s trading competitors, the Admiralty pursues the Merciless with less vigour than it could. The last four British Navy vessels that have seen the Merciless have had sudden, unexplained engine troubles allowing the Merciless to escape.
See AI Nation for details of indiviual AI and factions