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Old 01-09-2013, 09:00 PM   #21
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Default Re: Ideas for real-world people belonging to the inner circle

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I like it. The Shadow Court was initially very much a private intelligence service; recollecting an earlier Elizabeth and her courtiers.


Whatever this involved, it wouldn't have anything to do with the supernatural, as in the 70s, the world wasn't any more magical than ours. I prefer the idea that it was a reward which allowed him to retire with dignity, after some very bad experiences. Being assigned to Windsor would then mark his return to active religious life, wiser and more compassionate toward the mental anguish of his flock for his own experience of mental scars.

An ideal confidant for a Queen dealing with some truly mind-shattering revealations and doubts, in the early stages. The more so because he had a record of extreme confidentiality and loyalty in the service of the Crown, aside from his duty as a priest.


Now that could have been granted after becoming a member of the Shadow Court.
Sounds like you have it covered - there's also several Internet pages that are interesting, like esoteric archives. What's your stance on Enochian magic? Considering next to no one speaks it outside of magicky stuff, it'd seem like a good choice to go for, especially since you need to be a scholar to have even the remote chance of pronouncing it right.

I'd also recommend Dion Fortune's stuff. The Secrets of Doctor Taverner is really awesome when it comes to generating a feel for the occult, especially in Britain.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:00 PM   #22
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Default Re: Ideas for real-world people belonging to the inner circle

What part in this do you have for the rest of the Royal Family? What's the succession plan?

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:29 AM   #23
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Default The Shadow Court and Enochian Magic

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Sounds like you have it covered - there's also several Internet pages that are interesting, like esoteric archives.
Don't be shy, my boy, link, link! ;)

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What's your stance on Enochian magic? Considering next to no one speaks it outside of magicky stuff, it'd seem like a good choice to go for, especially since you need to be a scholar to have even the remote chance of pronouncing it right.
The foundation of the most popular magic system used by the Shadow Court comes from such people as Dee on language, spirits and scrying, Bacon on a wide variety of subjects and Newton on alchemy. After starting there, proccess was made through intergrating that with newer traditions of syncretic Western Hermetic stuff up to the 19th century.* What resulted is functionally mostly the Western Hermetic system, with astrological decans, correspondances and suchlike, presented in GURPS Cabal and later GURPS Thaumatology.

On the other hand, even while magic still functioned to some extent in the world of the 19th century, it was still unreliable and difficult to access. Consequently, most well known traditions which formed after the Industrial Revolution are to some extent wrong and their rituals seldom, if ever, work as advertised, even in areas with tolerable conditions for magic use. Thus, even if the principles may have been to some extent right, all traditions with Early Modern origins or later may require some modifications to their rituals before characters can spend points on Ritual Magic (Western Hermetic) and Paths and rituals that default from it.

The most effective rituals have turned out to be those that are preserved unchanged from periods when magic was much stronger, during the medieval era and even before that. Despite claims of ancient survival of arcane knowledge being nearly a sine qua non of any self-respecting occult and esoteric tradition, however, actual preserved rituals are very rare. The Shadow Court found that two sources of functioning rituals were more useful than others.**

One is communication with spirits who apparently have memories from a time when effacious magical rituals were practised. This is, however, very risky as it opens up the possibility that malicious spirits could attempt to deceive the would-be student, causing him frustration and embarrassment at best and serious harm at worst. It also sometimes opens ambitious spiritualists up to possession or haunting by powerful spirits. It is also not available to those without inborn talents to see, converse with and ideally control spirits.

The other source of effective rituals are genuine grimoires of mages from a time before magic was lost. If such rituals are hand-written on period parchment or skins, having never been printed and widely dissemnated, this appears to make them even more effective than otherwise.

In setting, the Royal Archives and the Royal Collection contained many items and books of power, dormant and useless while magic was not functional. Early in the history of the Shadow Court, several members carefully catalogued both and excluded certain items before the the public was given access to the rest. Counting the books of which the curators did not reveal the existence and the easy access of many Shadow Courtiers to the libraries of the oldest universities in Great Britain, the conspiracy has been able to get there hands on many valuable tomes from more magical times. Among them are original spellbooks, research notes on the paranormal, occult theorising or alchemical treatises by such luminaries as the FitzGerald Earls of Kildare, Sir Thomas Browne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Roger and Francis Bacon, John and Arthur Dee, John Lambe, Robert Fludd, Henry Percy, Sir Philip Sidney, the Earl of Oxford, Newton, Spenser, Walsingham, Marlowe and several of the Cecils of Salisbury. The Warburg Institute of the University of London was a very rich source of usable esoteric knowledge, a particularly rich source being the collections of writings and notes by two academics associated with it; Dame Frances Yates and D.P. Walker.

As Shadow Court consequently have unparelled access to Kelley's and Dee's notes on the language, inc. never published ones, it should therefore come as no surprise that Enochian is the language used by the most powerful magicians in the Shadow Court, those who have had the leisure to dedicate themselves nearly exclusively to its mysteries and magical study in general (and thus have little footprint in the mundane world). The most accomplished among them now is probably the Hon. Margaret Rhodes, but the Queen Mother was also very powerful before her death.

*Inc. the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, probably the most famous one in the UK.
**There are other sources open to different power groups, such as oral transmission of rituals within religous traditions with direct transmission from a time where their chants, mantras, spells or other rituals were effective. As that demands the preservation of such rituals unchanged for more than a century, this is not as frequent as one might assume. There are, however, some traditions where the supernatural is acknowleded as a force in the world and where the rituals surrounding it have been unchanged for many centuries. Most of them, as noted earlier, now form their own power groups in the world after having discovered their religious rituals suddenly manifesting observable effects where they had hitherto accepted their effaciousness on pure faith.


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I'd also recommend Dion Fortune's stuff. The Secrets of Doctor Taverner is really awesome when it comes to generating a feel for the occult, especially in Britain.
I'll take a look.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:28 AM   #24
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What part in this do you have for the rest of the Royal Family? What's the succession plan?
I haven't made up my mind about all of them, but as for succession, the Queen regards what she is doing as the lesser of evils, not really something to encourage if there are other options. If she were to die, the senior figures in the conspiracy would keep it running without a royal at the head, no doubt, which would in some way increase their personal levels of legal and political risks, as well as reducing their access to influence and information immensely.

This risk is seen as acceptable because most Courtiers believe that the paranormal has no chance at remaining secret past the year 2020 and are frankly surprised that the situation has lasted past 2010 without evidence coming out in the open from somewhere. It is expected daily that the ever-increasing profile of the supernatural in developing countries, for example, will lead a respected academic or journalist to publish something that gets taken seriously, triggering a rush of investigators who find incontroversible evidence. Hence, the chance of the paranormal being blown open before the Queen dies is generally considered being better than even within the Court.

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HRH the Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay, [...]
My thought was that the Queen turned to her mother and sister as she was struggling with visions at the beginning and frankly shared her fears of losing her mind with her beloved husband, with other members of the Royal Family hearing of it in rough relation to their level of intimacy with her and how much she sought emotional support from them as opposed to feeling a responsibility to shield them from unpleasant things.

Once she realised that it was not so much her sanity as received wisdom about the nature of the world that was at risk, however, that changed. For a brief while, she was willing to share these surprising views with her intimacies, family and otherwise, as long as they were not likely to think ill of her for having such beliefs*.

Once it became clear that this was no mere curiousity and could have an actual impact on the world, possibly for ill, another paradigm shift occured. The people in the know started to take on the character of a conspiracy meant to prepared Great Britain for a future with very different rules. This meant deliberately concealing important data from HM Government while actively taking on investigative (and later, worse) roles within Great Britain that properly belonged to government agencies.

The Queen had become convinced that not acting would be a dereliction of her duty to her people, but she also realised that convincing the government at that juncture would be challenging to the point of impossibility. Hence, her decision to act in a way that it is difficult not to label as illegal and contrary to the traditional constitutional role of the monarch. Her view was that her deeper duty to her people overrode any duty to the specific system of government.

On the other hand, she made a deliberate decision to shield her children from any consequences, if possible. Were her actions to be revealed and her government proved to disagree with her on the need for them, many of her courtiers would be sentenced to harsh prison sentences. Everyone involved accepts that.

The Queen herself would probably not face legal consequences, but if the publicity was negative enough, the fate of the monarchy would be in doubt. To safeguard against that, the Queen hopes that should public perception not accep that her actions were in the best interests of the country, they might instead credit them as motivated partly by senility. If that were to hold up, however, she had to make sure that the Heir Apparent and as much of the other Royals as possible were kept well outside any potential scandal. Thus, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, in particular, have been deliberately kept in the dark as much as is at all possible.

*Which in practice restricted her early confidantes quite a lot, as any 'proof' being effective depended on people having an open mind about it in the first place or being willing to take anything HM said at face value, regardless of how bizarre.

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HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is, or used to be, a very able man with a sharp mind and a deal of naval decisiveness. But he seems like a profound skeptic, and I understand that his friends are mathematicians and physicists, not mystics and historians. Also, he is now very old and getting frail. Did you know that he is worshipped as a god?
Even were he the most skeptical man alive, there is essentially no hope for the Queen of concealing anything this large from her husband and partner. Nor would she want to do so, as he is an important source of moral and emotional support for her.

Some hope exists for casting the normally hard-headed naval officer as being more open-minded and even familiar with occult ideas. We might look to an influential early childhood tutor, the Jewish Kurt Hahn, a man of far-reaching interests and a deep attachment to the teachings of Plato. Something may also be made of the Duke's familial history, esp. in the person of his mother, a tragic sufferer from bipolar disorder and later a courageous and active Orthodox nun with... to put it mildly, interesting religious views.

Initially, of course, childhood memories of his mother's worst episodes would have fueled fears as HM confided in him about her dreams and visions, but their relationship appears too close for me to believe anything other than that he eventually accepted her beliefs as legitimate. And having done so; he could do no other than loyally support her to the hilt.

Which does not, however, imply that he is a mere adjunct with no views of his own. No, certainly not. As we shall see once I manage to post a brief history of the Shadow Court, he had a profound influence on the paths taken by the conspiracy, being rather more concerned with potential threat these new discoveries posed than their miraculousness, and consequently taking action to safeguard the Royal Family.

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I've heard HRH the Princess Royal described as "the best king we shall never have". Also (before her nephews started getting about) "the only real man in the Royal Family".

HRH the Duke of York had a genuine naval career, branching out into diplomacy, and seems capable.[...]

HRH the Earl of Wessex: [...]
On these three, I am not yet decided. That they were aware, in some way or another, of their mother's spiritual crisis in the beginning, seems not implausible, but then, neither does the possibility that she tried very hard to avoid alarming them.

Seeing as they have not been likely to inherit the throne since the birth of William and Harry, it would not be as dangerous for the future of the monarchy if they were involved, of course, so a peripheral role for some of them might well be possible. Or more than peripheral, conceivably, if I see anything that fits particularly well.

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HRH the Duke of Cambridge? [...] Could he, should he, be being groomed to take over the Shadow Court as well as the Crown?
As noted above, his position as the unofficial heir presumptive next in line after the Heir Apparent, has led HM to avoid, as much as possible, involving him at all.

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HRH Captain Wales? He's getting to be truly popular with the Services, though perhaps a helicopter-gunship is not the best place to cultivate skills or contacts the Shadow Court needs. Putting him in the SAS or the Paras would not of course be possible. Perhaps the RM is where they would have send him if they were using him to make Useful Friends of that sort. Or perhaps the Blues and Royals are plenty violent enough for their needs.
As it turns out, training as a forward observer with the Blues and Royals is a distinctly commando-ish course, all the more so since Harry actually served in a two-man team near the frontline of irregular warfare operations and called in air strikes during commando operations.

Not to mention that the SAS and Gurkhas are quite prominent in the province where he served, he fought in a close-quarters firefight alongside Gurkhas and the senior commanders he served under were mostly Old Etonian SAS men. So is his private secretary, when it comes to that, a man with a profoundly cinematic history, enough so that his appointment was widely seen as being motivated by security concerns.*

I'm actually thinking about making him have a large role; much to the vexation of his grandmother and many senior Courtiers who fear for his reputation and safety in equal measure.

*Which, however, seems insufficient to explain it, as the Prince can simply have more bodyguards assigned if that was the reason. No, the fact that Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton was Equerry to the Queen Mother at precisely the time when HM, her mother and their closest intimacies had just accepted the reality of the paranormal is rather more to the point for our purposes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:52 AM   #25
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Default Their Assorted Royal Highnesses

One figure I may well end up using in an important role is His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, who is, among other things, President of the Scouting Association and the Grand Master of Freemasons in England and Wales, both of which are talent scout positions extraordinaire. Also noted for his linguistic gifts and, of course, had a genuine military career, if not perhaps a warlike one. His Roman Catholic son, Lord Nichalos Windsor, seems like a nice unofficial ambassador to those activities of the Holy See* connected to tha paranormal, as well.

The sadly deceased Queen Mother will have had an enormous role in the early stages and until her death. In many ways, she was more active in the actual magical and secret stuff than her daughter ever could be, being much more in the public eye. Her mystical powers were also probably more powerful, at least in that she had much more time to devote to the maturing of her innate talents than the Queen ever could.

*Of course, no one could doubt that there was a Vatican conspiracy in this world. On the other hand, the wicked goals of that conspiracy appear to be limited mostly to similar things as the Shadow Court is involved in, with a focus on protecting Catholics instead of Britons. Naturally, of course, there are those who remain convinced that darker motives lurk within the Vatican.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:21 AM   #26
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Default Leadership Council

The Leadership Council appears to me just the sort of non-profit organisation that the Shadow Court would use to advance its agenda and extend their influence. Even if the public image of the Leadership Council has nothing to do with the supernatural; who is to say that the people on it are not equally concerned with the paranormal in private as they are with other problems of the world in public?

The Chairman, long-time Royal confidant and secretary Lord Janvrin, provides a direct link to the Queen, having been a member of her Household at the appropriate time to have been an early recruit to the Shadow Court. The other members of the Leadership Council number among them some very desirable contacts and even recruits, such as a former director of MI6, an Old Etonian former commander of SAS and well, pretty much the membership roll reads like a list of useful skills and connections. Indeed, when I read the list of members, I was flabbergasted to discover no less than three people I had already considered for membership in the Shadow Court among the sixteen names and most of the rest were strong contenders once I thought about it, at least as semi-aware contacts.

Does anyone have useful gossip about this organisation and the members, more than what I find on Wikipedia? Are there reasons why it's implausible to cast it as a central piece of a paranormal conspiracy? Or reasons why it seems even more suitable than I thought?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:08 PM   #27
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Default Ideas for real-world people belonging to the inner circle

Does anyone happen to know something about the following Ladies-in-Waiting:

The Rt Hon The Lady Grimthorpe
The Rt Hon The Countess of Scarbrough
Jennifer Gordon-Lennox
Lady Margaret Colville
Jane Walker-Okeover

and

Her Grace The Dowager Duchess of Grafton?

Their personalities, hobbies and interests? Where they were educated; if not at home? Any interesting friends or relations? What they are/were like? Anything more than I could find on Wikipedia and in some cases in Burke's Peerage, really?
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:25 AM   #28
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Default Chief of Head-bashing and a shadowy Lord Chamberlain

Ah, sweet ecstacy! I do believe I've found a perfect person to act as the chief of security for the Shadow Court, not to mention having responsibility for coming up with plans for changes to the military establishment once the secret becomes public. He'll also have been the creator and commander of the Queen's Paranormal Rangers, once the decision was made that the Shadow Court couldn't just stand by while British subjects were endangered by a threat that the mundane authorities had no realistic way of confronting.

That man is Brigadier Sir Miles Garth Hunt-Davis, GCVO, CBE; who served as the Private Secretary to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh from 1993-2010 (Assistant Private Secretary from 1991). Spent much of his military career commanding Gurkhas, seeing action in Borneo and Malaysia, and serving as CO over all Gurkha forces in Nepal later. Also served as Chief Instructor, Tactics Wing of the School of Infantry and has impeccable staff credentials, which would be useful for his initial role as a planning officer assigned to come up with responses that HM's government could enact once the paranormal was public.

Retired now at the ripe old age of 74, but that's surely not too old for him to still function as the First Ranger, now free of having to have any cover job aside from a mostly ceremonial role as the International President of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation*. Granted, he probably doesn't go into the field, but I'm sure he's still spry enough to organise, plan and orchestrate. His Gurkha connections** are perfect for recruitment and they explain neatly the choice of martial arts styles for the QPR.

Interestingly, Sir Miles was once accused, in court no less, of being so fantastically discreet (and by implication, loyal to their Royal Highnesses) that he lived in a "hermetically sealed office". Just putting it out there. ;)

I've also found another man who'd be perfect for a large role in the first two decades of the conspiracy. Robert Alexander Lindsay, 29th Earl of Crawford and 12th Earl of Balcarres KT, GCVO, PC, DL. He was Commissioner of the Crown Estates, served as Chairman of the Historic Buildings Council for Scotland and later of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland; all of which puts him in perfect positions for various behind-the-scenes activity.

Veteran of the Grenadier Guards who served in the Middle East just after WWII. Privy Councilor since 1972 and a Lord Chamberlein for the Queen Mother's Household from 1992 to her death. Life Peer in addition to his inherited titles, Premier Earldom of Scotland and clan Chiefdom of Clan Lindsay. Knight of the Thistle and Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order; obviously.

Old Etonian and Trinity College, Cambridge man. Before becoming the Queen Mother's éminence grise he had a career in the genteel sort of politics, working as a researcher and advisor in his youth and staying mostly behind the scenes, though he was a Minister of State for both Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs under Heath. Still sits in the House of Lords.

*Itself extremely suspect, in light of the fact that verdant places are usually higher mana and the organisation specifically has contacts with all religions, including esoteric ones.
**Among other things, his first Regiment was the 6th Queen Elizabeth's Own Gurkha Rifles, he served as both Commandant and later Colonel of the 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles and his last command before leaving the Army for Duke Phillip's Household was as the CO of the Brigade of Gurkhas. Sir Miles served as Chairman of the Gurkha Brigade Association from his retirement from the Army in 1991 and until 2003 (or, in other words, almost the entire time that the Shadow Court was evolving from an unofficial circle of people in the know about a curiosity and into a conspiracy designed to prepare Great Britain for a new world). No doubt he gave up this post when his job in the Shadow Court grew in importance and time-consumption, as the security element was assigned an active role in seeking out the paranormal as the Queen's Paranormal Rangers (first operational in 2005). He remains Life Vice-President of the Gurkha Brigade Association.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #29
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Default London Metropolitan Police Force Career Paths

Calling Brits and Londoners! Or indeed anyone who knows London policemen, has done a lot of research on the Met or maybe just likes to read British police procedurals or watches a lot of British copper shows.

Many of the early recruits to the Shadow Court, by necessity and proximity both, would be members of the security teams surrounding Their Majesties. After all, even in the early stages, when the paranormal is merely a wondrous new field of study which Her Majesty, her mother and a few courtiers around her invesigate out of intellectual curiosity as well as concern about how this might affect their dominions, their subjects and the future of the monarchy, it would be nearly impossible to keep their activities secret from their closest bodyguards.

Later on, when it becomes clear that the supernatural can pose a serious danger to people and that mundane methods may not always suffice to defend against threats posed by it, Prince Phillip will be instrumental in making sure that the protection details of his family are capable of dealing with threats more esoteric than guns, knives and bombs.

As a result, I expect that early recruits among the knuckle-dragging, gun-wielding fraternity of the Shadow Court, later to be affectionately refered to as the Queen's Paranormal Rangers, will be drawn in large part from former royal bodyguards.* They will have been or still are members of the London Metropolitan Police Service Protection Command, mostly from SO14, Royalty Protection, but with DPG (SO6) also being a possibility as a source of some recruits.

Now, does anyone know details about the most common career progressions in the UK police, specifically the London Met?

I'm wondering about things like how soon after finishing the probationary period can a patrol officer expect to be accepted in specialised units or receive specialist training (inc. but not limited to Authorised Firearms Officer)?

How long would a rising thruster expect to serve before he could realistically apply to and be accepted into such units as the Territorial Support Group (fomerly SPG), SCO19 (formerly SO19 and CO19), Diplomatic Protection Group, Special Escort Group or other units within the Specialist and Royalty Protection Command?

How old is the average bodyguard to the royals when he is assigned there? What is his background as a constable, that is, what were his former assignments within the London Met?

I'm particularly interested in royal bodyguards after 1990. The most likely early recruits would have been there in 1990-1995. I'll use fictionalised real people if I can, so by all means suggest them if you know of any, but I'll make up NPCs if I have to.

*HM The Queen, HRH Prince Phillip and HM the Queen Mother all used their influence and contacts to reach out to other potential Rangers eventually, but at first, the Rangers were simply those who happened to be in the know and to possess skills relevant to using violence to solve problems. As a result, the were composed of an odd mixture of former soldiers (particularly SAS men) well-known to the Royals through their familial backgrounds and service at court and SO14 Met constables known to them as bodyguards.

Recruiting people specifically into the Rangers, for their skills at covert action, as opposed to personal connections, didn't really start until after 2005. Also, in all cases, before anyone is recruited, someone in the know already has to know him well enough to be able to confidently assert that he's discreet, trustworthy, utterly loyal to Queen and country and prepared to believe in the existence of the supernatural if shown indications and assured of personal experiences by members of the Shadow Court.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #30
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Default HRH Duke of Edingburgh, Prince Phillip

Happily, there are few men so mundane, unimaginative or pedestrian that they may not be cast as Ascended Masters in an Illuminated campaign or at least, in my case, as aware of the re-emergence of the supernatural.

And HRH Prince Philip is not pedestrian at all, of course. But I'll admit that I was surprised when I found connections with the paranormal in his personal history. I shouldn't have been, of course. As Kenneth Hite would say: 'Connect! Always connect!' As long as you can link the names of two people, in any way at all, you can propose them as being involved in a conspiracy together.

And we can link the esteemed Duke, oh, yes, siree.

I'll even avoid all the easy and delightfully insane ones, like claims that he's the Anti-Christ*, a reptilian vampire elf dragon sorcerer, descendant of the Merovingians, one of the very highest of the Illuminati, member of the Bilderberg Group (and the Gnomes of Zurich, one presumes), a knight of the Thule Group and other occult Nazi doctrines and a Freemason extraordinaire, with control over all other Freemasons (and members of the Order of the Garter, apparently the inner circle of Freemasonry).

Not even people who are/were all too often quoted by mainstream media without mentioning that they are blithering idiots and/or babbling lunatics get a pass here; which is why I'll ignore Maureen Davies and her campaign against the Duke of Edinburgh's Award because of its association with witchcraft (and presumably the status of HRH the Duke as Supreme Witch). Delightfully, the evil and terrifying witchcraft in question consisted of the playing of RPGs, specifically D&D.

We'll also avoid the painful subject of his mother; beyond mentioning that it would probably have served to make HRH somewhat leery of ecstatic faith and passionate, deep-seated belief in the absence of evidence. While psychobiography is hardly a science, I don't find it implausible to postulate that if the Duke is perceived as rationalistic and hard-headed, it might have something to do with his mother.

Yet I shall maintain that for the purposes of my setting, such rationalistic leanings do not blind him to evidence to the contrary, once it becomes available through the discoveries of his wife, HM the Queen. Furthermore, even during that period in the setting when all claims of mystical powers were by necessity false (because the supernatural was entirely absent), Prince Phillip had some connection to figures that might have possessed paranormal knowledge that would again become relevant with the return of magic.

To begin with, he attended school in Salem and Gordonstoun under Kurth Hahn, a neo-Platonic philosopher of Jewish origin holding some views that we'd call New Age today and who certainly sound mystical enough. And half the esoteric magical systems claim a descent from Plato or use ideas from neo-Platonic thought, so there's that.

One of his teachers at Gordonstoun was Sir George Trevelyan, known as 'the Father of the New Age' for his involvement in pretty much everything esoteric in Britain during the 20th century. He founded the Wrekin Trust and had many connections into the Findhorn Foundation. Amusingly enough, Sir George was a pioneer in environmentalism and organic farming, long before such views became fashionable and it is not therefore unreasonable to assume a certain degree of rapport between boy and young tutor on that question**, if nothing else.

The Findhorn Foundation, of course, shares the focus on environmentalism and organic farming that serves to connect them to the Royal Family, but there is a more personal connection. Peter Caddy, one of the founders, met personally with Prince Phillip (as well as Clement Attlee after his premiership) and presented them with dossiers of his beliefs. At the time, serving as Equerry to HRH the Duke was Air Marshal Sir Beresford Peter Torrington Horsley KCB, CBE, LVO, AFC; British UFO-logist who claims to have had a close encounter with an alien in London while working for the Duke. As far as my source*** can tell, the Duke accepted Caddy's dossier.

While in reality, he probably did not read it, it is not such a big change to suppose that in this setting, they not only read them, but HRH the Duke of Edingburgh maintained some slight acquinstanceship with the Caddys afterwards. Peter Caddy, in turn, was a member of the Rosincrucian Order Crotona Fellowship along with Wica-founder Gerald Gardner, studying under the Theosophist and Co-Freemason daughter of Annie Besant, Mabel Besant-Scott. Personal links with founding figures in Neo-Paganism and Wicca, British Rosincrucianism, Theosophy and UFO-logy, all in one fell swoop through the valuable Peter Caddy.

Of course, in 2004, the other founder of the Findhorn Foundation, Eileen Caddy (Peter's ex-wife), received an MBE for 'services to spiritual enquiry'. One could imagine that once the Shadow Court came into existence and selected people started realising that the paranormal could influence events in our mundane world, figures within the court were well enough pleased that there was someone making research into the esoteric acceptable to the public, without ever actually trying to learn, let alone use, any harmful magic. The Findhorn Foundation might turn out to be a useful organisation once magic becomes public, even if most or all of what is taught there has limited utility as adventuring magic (or even as magic, full stop). It's fairly media-savvy and has a positive public image, for the most part, which is more than most esoteric organisations do, after all.

Friendly-seeming and long-accepted organisations which acknowledge the paranormal as a positive force, like the Findhorn Foundation, might turn out to be crucial for convincing the public that magic is not always a terrible and dark force, but can be simply another area for scientific study. It might be one which sometimes yields poisonous fruit, in the form of awful new dangers and powerful tools which can be turned to use as weapons of terrible frightfulness, yes, but the same might be said for mundane science.

Not flashy, perhaps, but I'm going for secret fantasy without Huge Capital Letters, one with only small and wordly conspiracies and an overall more plausible vibe than most games with magic in the modern world. I want my setting to make sense, beyond the One Impossible Thing which is the conceit of having the supernatural be real and returning to the world. As such, these connections are perfect.

I'm also thinking of making him the first to realise the potential risks of the supernatural and a leading figure in arranging for plans to be made for an eventual publication of the secret of the paranormal. He's the one who has had friends within the armed forces quietly making up intelligence estimates, proposals for changes within the defence establishment of Great Britain and other Commonwealth states and a modified training regimen for soldiers in a new world where the paranormal might intrue on the battlefield. Whatever government is in power when the secret comes out, there will be plenty of material for them to use if they decide to be smart and adjust instead of panicking immediately.

Does any poster have thoughts on HRH the Duke or any individual with connections to him that might be useful? Any friends from his military service that might have esoteric interests or, alternatively, useful connections and skills for being part of his network of planning officers for the future?

*Or more commonly, the father and John the Baptist figure for the tru Anti-Christ, Prince Charles.
**While Prince Phillip is sometimes considered opposed to the strong focus on certain environmental views and championship of organic farming on the part of his son, the Prince of Wales, the reality is that their views are much closer than is usually allowed. Prince Phillip disagrees with his son on certain points, it is true, and their approaches to lending their name and image to causes within environmentalism differ, but allowing for their generational difference in how they present their view, they have far more points of commonality than discord on environmental policy.
***A Brief Guide to Secret Religions: A Complete Guide to Hermetic, Pagan and Esoteric Beliefs by David V. Barret.
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Last edited by Icelander; 01-14-2013 at 08:37 AM.
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