The Watch

The Watch

Overview

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The Watch is a clandestine organization of several hundred individuals spread out across the globe dedicated to protecting humanity from the Others and the Gloom itself. It was established in the 1950's, making it a relatively recent obstacle for the Gloom (although many of its members speculate that it is not the first organization of its kind, which does not bode well for its long-term survival). Its founders were Touched individuals who found one another and banded together, believing there was safety in numbers, and that they might be able to use their paranormal abilities to hold the Gloom at bay by destroying Others that cross from their world into ours, and by keeping the Gloom a secret lest other organizations try to harness its power.

The Watch's home office is in London, and the Galway Watch reports and shares resources with the home office (as do several other smaller Watch organizations throughout the UK and Ireland.) Despite the fact that Galway is technically under the umbrella of the London Watch, it makes its own decisions with regards to organization and policy, and functions mostly autonomously. The reason for this is both practicality and security. Practically speaking, the London Watch often has its hands so full with its own concerns that it has no time to manage the goings-on in Galway. For security reasons, it makes sense that each Watch knows as little as possible about the structure and location of the Watch in other cities, in case one organization should be compromised.

The two organizations are linked mostly through the flow of information, resources and personnel. The organizations will query each other and do record searches when dealing with threats. The London Watch also provides some financial support to Galway, mostly to assist with the operation of the the archives.

Because of the organization's nature, most of its members hold multiple jobs, although the Watch has some friends in very high places (mostly beneficiaries in London, but a few in Ireland as well) and can afford to pay its core staff full-time wages that they can live on.

Oftentimes, members of the Watch find themselves coming up against not only the Others and the Gloom itself, but other Touched individuals who either do not know how to control their powers, or are using them for destructive purposes.

Recent Events

A few years ago, the Watch were forced to move from their headquarters in Claddagh to the archives (see facilities below.) The Office of Unexplained Affairs raided the facility. The confrontation ended in the deaths of three OUA agents and two Watch agents, with several others seriously injured. The OUA believed the Watch to have terrorist leanings, but they have since re-evaluated that belief. A Watch agent managed to wipe their faces from the memory of the OUA agents, and the Watch disappeared underground. Since then, they have become guarded against both supernatural and mortal threats.

Hierarchy

The Watch's leadership is a closely-guarded secret for obvious reasons. Most members do not know who they are or where they're located for the sake of everyone's protection — the individuals who handle the organization's day-to-day operations are the visible authority figures, and are in charge of making sure the Watch's facilities run smoothly. They are the ones who hand out assignments to the organization's field operatives, resolve disputes between its members, and make the calls that do not affect the Watch as a whole.

A character's authority depends on their role within the Watch. Decisions made by its leadership will be passed down to players through staff when required. The rest of the time, characters are responsible for what happens under their specific purview.

Facilities

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Watch HQ used to be located in Claddagh, in a warehouse. After the Claddagh Quay Raid, the Watch moved their operations to the tunnels beneath the city. These tunnels house the archives and now the Watch itself.

Watch members enter through the back of Corrie's Convenience Mart on Bowling Green. There is a doorway that is only visible to Touched. Non-touched Watch agents and allies are taught how to count bricks to find the entryway. This entrance is not known to the OUA. Any visitors are brought via an underground river that connects to the canals.

The Watch is very security-conscious. Most records are filed via hard copy or by wired computer systems. WiFi is in use in the archive, but only because the signal can't penetrate the thick stone. There are several security procedures in place to destroy records or seal off caverns in the event of discovery.

The Watch does run a few safehouses, but they are rarely used. Compared to the safehouse network in cities like London, the network is practically nonexistent. The reason for this is both the size of the city and the Watch itself, and the fact that very few people exit the Gloom in Galway. Those who do are sent to London or another large city so that they can receive support. By and large, the Watch members in Galway have an understanding of what happened to them and have control over their abilities.

Affiliation Levels

In addition to being an active member of the Watch, there are two levels of lesser association with the organization.

Watch-Affiliated

These individuals are, for one reason and another, not active agents of the Watch, but are aware of the organization's existence and are friendly to it. They may be under the agency's protection, may work for someone involved with the agency, or have other associations.

Watch Allies

These individuals are aware of the Gloom and of the existence of the Watch, and may choose to work with them on occasion for the common good, but are often tied to another agency or organization and are not beholden to the Watch in any way as the affiliated usually are. Cooperation with the Watch often comes in the form of trading favors.

Relationships

Bear in mind that this is the stereotypical stance. PC opinions may vary based on personal experience, or may closely follow the official line. People are people.

The Office of Unexplained Affairs

The Watch is extremely wary of the OUA, but will occasionally trade favours with them. They try to stay on the government's good side. An all-out war with them would spell disaster for the Watch. There are few within the agency who are friendlier to the Watch than others. How much trust they give them sometimes varies on a case-by-case basis. Some Watch members hold a grudge against the OUA for The Claddagh Raid, and vice versa. It's very much an enemy of my enemy situation

Church

The church can be an occasional ally to Touched, but the church's belief that the Touched are tainted by evil prevents any closer alliance. By necessity, the church are trusted even less than the OUA, as they fear that religious zealotry might cause the clergy to pursue them beyond what would be strategically sound. As with OUA agents though, individuals can come to be trusted and more closely allied. Clergy who practice rituals meant to banish demons can either purposefully or inadvertently harm Touched. (see magic.)

There has been no official contact between the Diocese and the Watch, though the church does suspect that they exist. The church hears rumours just as anyone else who pays attention to supernatural murmurings does.

Unaffiliated

The Watch does their best to try and bring unaffiliated Touched under their wing. This is for mutual protection. A lone Touched is quite vulnerable, and a potential danger to themselves and others. A Touched on their own is also more likely to draw attention to themselves and the existence of the supernatural. They will, however, not try and force someone to join. There have been times where the Watch has forcibly contained a violent or dangerous Touched, but those instances are rare.

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