|“||The secret factions sneer at Venice. They make us the butt of their quick wit. And yet it is the Council that sets the foundation that gives the factions the luxury of their clever poses and vapid humour. I wish you could have seen the Council as it was. The shining promise of it. What you see now are the ruins of a grand idea. But even ruins can inspire greatness in others. And so, we hold up the pillars.||„|
|~ Arturo Castiglione|
The Council of Venice are a central peace-keeping force in the M.M.O., The Secret World. The Council of Venice is composed of high-ranking bureaucrats from the Templars, Illuminati and The Dragon and collude with each-other in order to keep their root factions from fighting each-other, throwing the world out of balance or exposing the secret world to the general public. While all three factions are playable, and thus may be backing for the Player's various good deeds, all have alternative motives. The Council of Venice, unlike the factions it is built out of, is entirely dedicated to protecting the common man from the machinations of the Secret Societies and the various hidden evils they fight. However despite their altruism, the Council of Venice are in-fact seen by The Big Three as an incompetent leader skilled only in applications of red-tape and not in solving any on-the-ground problems.
The Council of Venice was founded some time between 3,000 B.C.E. and 1,300 C.E.. although as The Bees refer to them as ancient by mortal standards the early 3,000 B.C.E. is probably closer to the exact date. The Council was founded in Jerusalem, Israel, but later was moved to Venice, Italy during the early thirteenth century (likely the source of the wide time-range). The Templars, Illuminati and The Dragon had all come to re-discover each-other, much of their history having been lost even to them. All three tied back to a prehistoric cabal called the Four and Sixty, which they all fractured from. By the time all three met there was conflict for supremacy. The details of the conflict are unknown but it was nearly world-ending. The conflict could have been easily avoided in retrospect and so the societies decided to form an official treaty organization - The Council.
All three main societies have representatives on The Council, but they also humor representatives from other societies such as the Phoenicians, The Druids and official unofficial overseers from the Orochi Group. Once a member of one of the societies rises high-enough in their society they are given an option to be transferred to the Council of Venice - however no such figures are anyone who has risen due to field-work but rather paper-work, in essence making the Council of Venice bureaucrats that have transcended their root factions due to the amount of thankless busy-work often over-looked but still essential to keep each faction running. Having a place in the Council is considered a comfortable assignment as pay is excessive, physical danger is virtually non-existent and it comes with all manner of luxurious living conditions. As their positions were largely benign yet their seats on the Council are near beyond reproach, the Council of Venice members often quickly lose touch with those they are supposed to represent. The Council have back-log that stretches as far back as the Classical period, one which gets swept further and further back by additional busy-work used by rivals to delay decisions that would be unfavorable to them. As the Council can not refuse any action taken, they are often kept too busy to even address any real problems, let alone solve them. Months after Tokyo is attacked the Council of Venice are still in deliberation on if they should send help or not, this is to say nothing of what form that help would need to take. Though nearly all members want to help keep the people safe, their complex policies delay them from acting for so long that their faction members ignore the official need for sanctions and simply go to address the problems themselves, unofficially.
|“||The Council are ineffectual, but they take their peacekeeping responsibilities seriously.||„|
|~ Richard Sonnac|
|“||We pay lip service to Venice laws because you shouldn't make fun of the elderly.||„|
|~ Kirsten Geary|
|“||You can only imagine how hard it is to govern those who wish to govern themselves, how difficult it is to deal with as many agendas as there are member societies.||„|
|~ Jin Jae-Hoon (Dragon record-keeper)|
The Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors
The Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors, often simply shorted to "The Phoenicians" are the figurative black-sheep of the secret societies. The Phoenicians were founded by Cain. After Cain tried to kill his brother, Abel banished his brother. Cain brought with him his supporters to form the Phoenicians as a society with no single home - always on the move. The Phoenicians became pirates and worked as mercenaries through-out the secret history of the world, everything from armies for hire, to treasure-hunters, to assassins. The Phoenicians have kept up influence to mirror that of their brother society - the Templars, but use their might for monetary gain instead of any real cause, something which the Templars see as a perversion of themselves. The Phoenicians have official members on the Council but are seen as degenerates even in diplomatic company. Many a dangerous artifact has ended up in the hands of non-secret-worlders thanks to the Phoenicians - who are willing to steal from any of their compatriots and sell them off for profit. Due to their open contempt for policy in recent days the Council have levied more and more sanctions against the Phoenicians, reducing their influence to little more than mandatory votes on matters that concern all societies.
Druids of Avalon
The Druids of Avalon are one of the lesser societies. Very little was known about them, and they were only referenced as a background society in three minor missions. They are very keen on magic and organizing small-scale spy-work but thus far they have not been documented as engaging in any major combat situations. In the later versions of the Council of Venice's Scenario program (part of a holographic training chamber) the Druids of Avalon are shown to maintain and protect wards on areas of power around the world and particularly Stonehenge. The Druids appear to protect similar sites around the world to the benefits of all the societies but welcome extra help whenever another society can spare the man-power.
The Orochi Group was founded in the 1940s C.E.. They control much of the public world from clothing production, to food distribution, to bio-engineering, to medical supply, to media supremacy. The Orochi Group has built it-self a monopoly in every field, with each subsidiary existing under the massive parent company. The company C.E.O., Samuel Chandra, knows much about the secret world and has used his influence to catch empirical evidence of it. Though not an official member of the Council of Venice, Orochi has black-mailed it's way into representatives watching out for Orochi interests to any major decisions. Orochi largely simply wants to be left to conduct it's own business and maintains non-interventionist arrangements with the societies - no official actions are ever taken against Orochi and Orochi refrains from exposing the Council of Venice and all it's society members to the public in a 60-minute exposé or viral web-video. Samuel Chandra claims to have treaties forged in blood binding the factions from interfering in his affairs. Though the Council is bound by their treaties with Samuel, the societies who make them up have no such patience for the contracts and attempt to undermine them at every chance they can to test just what "interference" constitutes.