The two branches are
So far most of the world doesn't have a clue about the existence of immortals. The information on them possessed by the Arcanum, Project Twilight and other such organizations is sketchy at best. Most who associate with those groups assume any the Immortals they have encountered to be members of the supernatural races they have already encountered. There is, naturally, one notable exception. Only the Watchers themselves know how long the group has existed. Others who know of the society (and there aren't many) only know that the group is ancient. Most watchers themselves are taught that as long as the Immortals have existed there have been mortals who have watched them (which may be true, but that still doesn't tell you how long the organization has been around). In truth, knowledge of the exact date of the Watcher's founding is reserved for the continental heads of the group.
This is not the way the organization has always been run. Although the purpose of the Watchers has remained constant, their methods have adapted as required by the times. This is the way they conduct business now. This system has not been amended since a minor change in the powers of the chapter leader in 1957. The Watchers are run by a council of seven. Six of the councilmen (or women, of which there has only been one) each oversee the Watcher activities of one continent. Antarctica does not have an active chapter since not very many people live there. The seventh councilman is the chairman and president of the organization. All council members are elected by the regional heads of their continent and serve for life or until they voluntarily retire. When a new chairman needs to be elected the remaining council members elect a new one from among themselves who is then replaced by a vote of his continent's regional heads. The council convenes in Paris annually to discuss major changes in policy, recent appointments as region heads and to review the travel and demise of immortals across continents.
The hierarchy of power looks
Chairman of the Council
Regional supervisors report directly
to their Continental Head who form a Council of course headed by the Chairman
of the Council. They are also appointed by their councilmen. The regions
are basically divided by political boundaries. The tri-state New York-Pennsylvania-Ohio
area is one Watcher region. Regional supervisors serve for life, until
they retire, are dismissed by a vote of the council, or are promoted.
Regional supervisors meet together with their continental heads quarterly.
Chapter leaders report to their regional supervisors who also appoint them. They serve only as long as the regional supervisors want them to. A chapter consists of a city and its surrounding areas. A regional supervisor can call a meeting of his chapter leaders at any time, but generally does so only after every continental meeting. Every chapter leader appoints a cabinet to oversee and advise him on specific aspects of Watcher affairs. The regional supervisor then approves the leader's appointments. Specific cabinet positions vary from chapter to chapter (being decided upon by the leader and approved by regional supervisor). Typically there is a Treasurer, a Record Keeper, a Defense Minister, an Overseer of Recruiting, a Public Relations Minister (who is responsible for keeping the public unaware of the existence of both Watchers and Immortals), and an Overseer of Watchers (he who watches the Watchers). In areas with a large population of other supernatural beings, a cabinet position may be created to handle issues specifically with that situation.
A Watcher is a full member of the group. Upon being granted this status, a Watcher is tattooed on his wrist with the "w" symbol of the Watchers. He is given a specific duty in one of three areas. He either joins the Defense Branch, the Administrative Branch, the Research Branch or the Observation Branch. Full Watcher status is granted by the regional supervisors. He most often leaves the actual selection process in the hands of his advisors and signs off on any decisions they make. A Watcher can be removed from the organization for any major or repeated violation of the Watcher Code. A termination notice is signed by the regional supervisor, but can be challenged at the next meeting of the Council by anyone who is still a Watcher in good favor.
Initiates are trainees. These are the people who wish to be Watchers, but are still learning the ways of the organization. To gain access to the group, a potential member must have a sponsor who is a full member in good standing. Very often Initiates have a long history of family membership in the association and are sponsored by a parent or the sibling of a parent. However, being a Watcher does not allow much time for a family life and most Watchers die childless or estranged from their families. This means that new members must also be sought out from outside the society.
Finally, there are Associates. Associates are friends of the organization. They have no official standing and no desire to become Watchers, but they are sympathetic to the cause and will aid the group when they can. Associates are usually persons with influential positions in government and business, or people with specific scientific or occult knowledge (Duncan MacCleod is considered an Associate, though not publically one).
The Four Branches
All for one and one for all!
-- Alexander Dumas, "The Three Musketeers"
However distasteful, every large
congregation of diverse peoples will include several paranoid, warlike
individuals. Thankfully, given the passive goals of the Watchers in general,
this is the smallest of the three branches. Defense branch has three functions.
One, they maintain a standing defense force. This is not a organized army. It is run more like the F.B.I. Each chapter is assigned several agents who live in the area and provide muscle for any Watchers who need it. Agents usually report to the chapter Defense Minister. These Watchers are trained as initiates by Watchers who are in this Branch. They are taught, in addition to the rules of the association, how to use weapons, martial arts and sometimes learn numina.
Two, they maintain the veil of secrecy that prevents the human and supernatural populations from knowing of the group's existence. Watchers in this service get jobs in government, business, and the media where they can control (or, rather, stop) the flow of information regarding the group. These agents are periodically contacted by the Public Relations Minister.
Three, they maintain internal security. This is the internal affairs division of the Watchers. In the same way a Watcher follows an Immortal, it is not uncommon for her to find herself being followed by another watcher. The overseer of Watchers assigns these agents someone to watch, usually at random. If they discover any violation of the Code, the Overseer reports it to the Defense Minister who "takes care of it." Agents for this service are usually former members of other services or branches with training in different areas. No Watcher, even the Chairman of the Council, is immune from this division's eye. Note: The Overseer of Watchers is primarily responsible for the Observational branch. This service is possibly better suited to be a part of that Branch, but because it is a distasteful duty to spy on your own, these agents are considered part of the this Branch.
This Branch is responsible for record keeping, managing funds, and recruitment. The Chapter Leader spends much of his time conferring with his Treasurer, Record-Keeper, and Overseer of Recruiting running this Branch. This is what keeps the Watchers going and is arguably the most important of the Branches. However, administration is boring and Immortal characters are less than likely to encounter a Watcher secretary, so this section will be brief. Suffice it to say that this Branch is run in a businesslike and professional manner.
These are the Watchers, the men and women who are responsible for information gathering about the lives of Immortals. This Branch is run by the Overseer of Watchers. He confers with the record keeper concerning what immortals in the area need a watcher and assign appropriately. Once a Watcher is assigned to an Immortal, she follows him until she is taken off the assignment by the Chapter Leader, the Overseer, or most often another Watcher with word from the Overseer. Thus, a Watcher from New York may find herself traveling to Paris in pursuit of her quarry. On arriving in Paris, however, she will take the first opportunity to contact the local Leader and will be relieved by another Watcher. She will then return to New York and wait for another assignment.
Another duty a member of this Branch may be chosen for is tracking down the location of a "lost" Immortal. As efficient as the Watcher Organization is, they sometimes loose track of an Immortal as he dies and resurfaces with another identity. A watcher with this duty has almost unlimited resources at her command. She can travel the world in search of her prey and will not stop until she finds him or is reassigned. Recently, though, with the coming of the Gathering, most lost Immortals are found when they encounter another Immortal who is being followed.
The Research Branch handles the organization of the ancient Watcher Journals and is responsible for taking the notes from the Records-Keeper and organizing and cataloging the observation branches group. However the Research Branch is also responsible for the extension of their knowledge into other areas. They are responsible for the groups information needs in other supernatural and mundane activities.
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