The Zodiac Society is an academic anthropological, archaeological, and historical society. To the mundane world, they are an Ivy League-affiliated research organization, similar to National Geographic and other academic bodies. They routinely give annual awards for outstanding finds and works, help fund important researchers in the fields they cover, and provide scholarships to promising students interested in their fields.
To the magical world, they are that as well, save that their research is into the magical history, archaeology, and anthropology of the world. They are known to be a center for sorcerers closely aligned with Aion, and who work to discover and preserve the rich magical past not just of the Telluric realm, but other mystical dimensions as well.
Ground Operative (Rank 1)
Ground Operatives are the rank and file agents of the Society.
- Missions: GroundOps are expected to be ready to go in a few hours' notice should a task come up. Ground Operatives are almost never given solo tasks of any sort of danger.
- Training: Though each usually has a specialty, they are expected to cultivate a wide variety of skills, in order to be of the most use possible to the organization. GroundOps spend a fair amount of their time in training, although sometimes that training takes the form of university, trade schools, or work of some kind in the job sector.
- Society Cards: GroundOps all have society cards which function as identification and credit cards, which they can use to cover their day-to-day expenses up to an including hotel rooms and rental cars, as long as those expenses are tied to pursuing society operations.
- Resources: They also have House access, giving them barracks quarters in whichever House they are assigned to, as well as resources from that House's armory, though not access to restricted areas.
- Arcana: Members of the Zodiac Society with the ability to use magic may learn the Arcana of Aion, a closely-held secret of the Society.
Senior Operative (Rank 2)
Senior Operatives are the tried-and-true of the society's agents.
- Missions: SeniorOps are most likely to function as solo agents, always within their area of expertise. They also round out teams where more experience is needed from the members of the team.
- Training: A SeniorOp always has a specialty of some sort, and their tasks tend to take advantage of those specialties. SeniorOps may also be assigned to assist with tasks outside of their specialty range. Typical specialties include arcane support, combat support, research, investigation, networking, infiltration and espionage, and clean-up.
- Society Cards: SeniorOp society cards function as a GrounOps card does, but they can also use them to get access to restricted areas of the Houses. SeniorOps are also reasonably permitted to use their cards to make personal purchases.
- Resources: SeniorOps share in barracks quarters in one of the Houses as well, although the senior barracks tend to be divided up into pairs of beds for slightly better privacy.
- Accommodations: SeniorOps also receive personal quarters, in the form of an apartment or small house in one of the cities where the Houses are found. They usually also have a personal vehicle.
Team Lead (Rank 3)
Team Leads act as mission-based leadership and heads of training.
- Missions: Team Leads are given team-based missions as their leaders, and may be permitted to pick their teams for the mission (although the orders of a House Lead or Head of House must still be obeyed). In rare instances, Team Leads may make up teams of their own, led by a House Lead or – very rarely – by one of the Heads of House.
- Training: When not leading teams, Team Leads take charge of training operatives in a variety of skill sets. They are also given authority over the armories, ensuring the teams have access to what they need to accomplish their goals.
- Society Cards: Team Leads are expected to use their cards for any and all purchases they make in general, as a sort of generalized salary. They can also acquire large cash advances.
- Resources: Team Leads have access to full member resources, including the ability to reserve society private jets with 24 hour notice (usually used for team missions), a private room in-House, and a welcome at any House worldwide, including a private room, with six hours notice. Team Leads often have mission-specific access to the House's magical relics.
- Accommodations: Team Leads are given either a single large home in any city in the world, or up to three smaller apartments around the world, with a reasonable conveyance at each.
House Lead (Rank 4)
House Leads are the right-hands of the Heads of House.
- Missions: House Leads do not undertake typical missions. Instead, they are expected to facilitate the needs of their House and to undertake projects on behalf of the Head of House. There are often divisions of labor among the House Leads of a given House: a typical set up has one one acting as mission control for missions, one acts to oversee general security for the House, one acts liaison for typical communications with the Society outside of the House, and a fourth tends to the direct daily needs of the Head of House. These duties may even have traditional titles within that individual House.
- Training: House Leads are often responsible for coordinating and facilitating the specialized kinds of training for the operatives of their House, keeping track of areas of specialty to help make sure they have a well-rounded group of operatives. As such, House Leads often cultivate networks of university and trade school contracts and mentors of a wide variety of talents.
- Society Cards: House Leads have effectively unlimited use of their society cards, with oversight only from the Head of House.
- Resources: In addition to the full resources allotment of Team Leads, House Leads have multi-room suites in their House. They also have access to the House's Zodiac Arch chamber and the House's vault of magical relics. House Leads are often also assigned individual relics of use to the tasks they perform for the House.
- Accommodations: House Leads often retain the accommodations they had as Team Leads, although they rarely have the luxury of any long residences there.
Head of House (Rank 5)
Heads of House are the leadership of the Society, each given one of the Houses as their domain.
- House Resources: A Head of House has access to the House over which they are given guardianship and leadership. This includes not just the equipment, personnel, financial assets, and arcane resources of that House, but also to the established network of investments, business holdings, and even esoteric pacts and debts accrued by their predecessors. Each Head of House also traditionally has at least one magical relic put into the keeping of that House's leadership, and many have several.
- Society Resources: The Heads of House also have extensive resources as part of the Society's leadership which extend above and beyond their individual House. The Twelve maintain an ancient set of pacts of alliances and mutual aid with a variety of entities and factions, and they may draw upon those benefits. (They are also beholden to uphold those agreements, as well.)
- Zodiac Arches: The Heads of House have access to the Thirteenth House, via the Zodiac Arch in their House. In addition to facilitating access to that otherworldly location, they can also be used to simply move from one House to another, spanning global distances in the span of a few footsteps.
The Heads of Houses
The Society is led by twelve academics, most of whom are also Aionic adepts. Each of these leaders is given governance over one of the Zodiac Houses around the world. Each of these leaders also has a traditional purview of authority within the organization, although they are expected to use that power in support of the Society as a whole.
The Society maintains a dozen small chapter-houses, built as offices and private museums, places where the secrets of magical pasts can be collected, archived, and protected. Each House has living quarters for the head of that House, library and research space, living areas, a barracks for defenders, and training space.
Each of the Houses also has a Zodiac Arch, magical artifacts that open into an extra-dimensional space called the House of Aion, or the Thirteenth House, where the heads of House gather to confer with one another and plan the Society's strategy once a month.
Everyone in the Society knows the faces of the twelve Heads of House.
Head of Aquarius House (Humanitarian Efforts) • Calcutta, India
An agent from Camaroon, Mbala is a pleasant-tempered, compassionate woman with a long career of operations around the world. She is new as a Head of House, and rumors say she has found her new role more demanding than expected.
Aquarius House: A fine multi-story structure in the heart of Calcutta originally owned by a wealthy Brahmin family in the days of British occupation of India.
Head of Pisces House (Music & Art) • Florence, Italy
Long one of the Society's foremost experts on valued art and similar artifacts, French national Dominique served as Pisces House Lead for only a year before her predecessor retired, leaving her as his heir.
Pisces House: A beautiful Renaissance-era estate outside of Florence, Pisces House is more gallery than residence, and has hosted more than a few famous gallery openings exclusive to the art world.
Head of Aries House (Security) • Lyons, France
An American from Tennessee, Romolo is known to have served with the French Foreign Legion as a young man.
Aries House: A phenomenally secure compound in the heart of Lyons, Aries House is known to have a vast armory and subterranean training facility.
Head of Taurus House (Politics & High Society) • Manhattan, New York, USA
A no-nonsense but charming woman, Beverly has been a background figure in political circles and high society for several decades now. She knows everyone who is anyone, not just among those in the public eye, but among the media moguls, lobbyists, and fixers who make their lives possible.
Taurus House: A cunningly-designed compound that appears to simply be a pair of side-by-side brownstones, Taurus House overlooks central park.
Head of Gemini House (Publishing & Academia) • Oxford, United Kingdom
Kilasla has worked as an editor, a publishing agent, and in marketing, all the while continuing to serve as a Zodiac Society operative. She has extensive contacts in the industry, and has served as Head of Gemini House for well over a decade at this point.
Gemini House: Ostensibly an office building, with a suite of publishing-related offices on the ground floor, Gemini House proper takes up the two floors above those.
Head of Cancer House (Inter-House Support) • Hong Kong, China
Israeli Levi Dayan is mostly known for his overseeing the logistics of Houses supporting one another, frequently approaching one House on behalf of another.
Cancer House: An old British estate from the years of English occupation of Hong Kong, Cancer House features extensive meeting rooms and is the center of the Zodiac Society's intranet support.
Head of Leo House (Celebrity, Media) • Hollywood, California, USA
A socialite from a big media family, Regina Seville is often in the public eye, circling as she does among the celebrities, producers, agents, and media moguls who make up the foundation of Hollywood life.
Leo House: The outer edges of Leo House have been featured in more than one feature film, as it is a castle that was brought over to the United States by a wealthy German financier just before World War I and reconstructed in the Hollywood foothills. While the exteriors are scenic enough to warrant their use as backdrops in lush period pieces, the interior of the complex is not only very modern, but also delves into the bedrock on which they stand.
Head of Virgo House (Infrastructure) • São Paulo, Brasil
A Samoan man of indeterminate years, Afato Rokeni is Head of House for his ease with interacting with both corporate researchers and blue-collar workers alike. He is in charge of maintenance and upgrade to all the Society's Houses, and once a year hosts a conference for upper leadership where he introduces new materials, schematics, and equipment as a proposal for Society use.
Virgo House: Virgo House is known to be on the outskirts of São Paulo, and looks like a huge, swanky house with lots of security.
Head of Libra House (Arbitration & Negotiation) • Istanbul, Turkey
Botswanan by origin, Tale has worked in both private and government facilities as an arbitrator and diplomat's aide. She is best known for stepping in when there are disputes over some facet of operations between two Houses – according to Society bylaws, the moment any conflict rears its head, Libra House has authority in the situation.
Libra House: Easily the oldest of the Zodiac Houses, Libra House has extensive guest facilities and conference rooms, and is frequently used to host resolution discussions both internal and external.
|Samuel "Sammy" Greggs|
Head of Scorpio House (Espionage & Intelligence) • Cairo, Egypt
Generally known to have once belonged to one of the alphabet agencies (FBI, CIA, etc), Sammy is a quiet, "aw, shucks" sort of fellow who looks far too large and lumbering to be a deadly spymaster.
Scorpio House: Another quite old Zodiac Society house, Scorpio House is constructed in an old refurbished Coptic Church. Society members know it has extensive tunnel systems in and out of it.
Head of Sagittarius House (Travel & Exploration) • Brisbane, Australia
Victor Ryom has traveled extensively, thanks to being born into a wealthy Korean business family, and he spent a good deal of his young adulthood trekking through places few people ever get to see.
Sagittarius House: An old refurbished ranch outside of Brisbane, Sagittarius House is out of the way and rarely visited, save by Society with business in Australia.
Head of Capricorn House (Gear & Resources) • Detroit, Michigan, USA
The oldest of the current Heads of House, Carver is a quiet presence on the Society council of leaders. For all his "mountain man" mystique, he's a canny investor and keeps up to date on the best new toys on the markets.
Capricorn House: An old steel baron's manor, everyone in the Society ends up at Capricorn House at least once, for a week-long crash course in using all of the Society's gear and assets.