The historical Fianna Éireann (Fianna of Ireland) were small, semi-independent warrior bands made up of landless young men and women. Living on the fringe of society, they largely survived through camping, hunting, fishing, and foraging. The Fianna were often supported by donations from local lords and families, and at times offered services—most notably protection of person and property—in exchange for food and quarters.
The most notable of these were led by Fionn mac Cumhaill, a rígfénnid ("king fennid") recognised when he’d slain a fire-breathing man of the Sidhe called Aillen. Following dubious accounts of his death (or, some say, simply a long sleep), numerous factions, political and otherwise, throughout the land’s history have laid claim to the title. Few, if any, have lived up to the legend.
Now, under the leadership of one of the world’s preeminent heroes, the rebirth of the true fianna is at hand. The Fianna of the World.
“Legends never die.”
Why do people run when things get tough? That’s easy – you can become someone else, wherever you land, right? Who’s gonna know the difference? So why stay? Why set yourself up for more failure? For more pain? Also easy – because we don’t know how to do anything else. So why stay? Why open yourself up to all the bad you tried to leave behind? ‘The only variable you can control is yourself.’ You can forget who you are, or you can be who you want to be. That’s why you stay. You stay for a second chance.
After her defeats at the hands of Ezra Strix and his confederates, Abigail Aensland disappeared from the world. She took her mother and very few allies, and fell away for more than a year while a doppelganger was stationed in their home to draw eyes and avoid suspicion. Then, in peace she could seek out what she needed to avenge her family to the man who arranged for the death of her father and tormented her mother—her entire family line, for generations.
The lance was called Gáe Buidhe and was said to possess the ability to strip the life and even kill those deemed immortal. But a single tool would never complete the task. So she called in her favours.
Venezuela. Gothic City. The Himalayas. Los Angeles. London. All the world round Aensland has travelled, committing herself to acts of heroism from the age of 18. And all the world round she has cultivated a network of allies and admirers more than willing to give themselves to a worthy cause in aid of the woman who’d done much for the world itself. Her goal: to create a coterie of pure unity around the world, to give it the strength to protect the True Virtues. Embodied from within, given form in the age-old call-and-response, the essence of these ideals is as follows and begins,
Glaine ár gcroí.
The call is answered:
Neart ár ngéag.
And then, together,
Beart de réir ár mbriathar.
Structure - "The Strength of our Limbs"
Much like the Fianna of legend, there is no rigid structure among the groups. Some insist on directly democratic rule. Others decide upon a small council of sorts. Some may even settle on a single wise or charismatic leader to guide. But while each fian runs itself more or less independently, each fénnid(member) acknowledges Abigail as Ríonfénnid (an old Gaelic term meaning, literally, “queen fénnid,” used to denote a female leader) and when called to, each member and each band answers to the Daughter of Diarmuid herself. However, there are no compulsory memberships. Participation is based entirely on voluntary aid and anyone may leave at any time. As well, in recognition of the extreme potential of tyranny of the majority—and in ultimate recognition of freedom itself—no member is compelled to act in a group’s venture, even should a vote be cast and the majority decide upon a course. Following the disaster that was her tenure as Raysh al-Shaytan of the League of Shadows and accounts of the death of Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, aside from recognition of the Ríonfénnid there are two principles from which deviance is absolutely intolerable:
- No children in the field - anyone under the age of 18 is to be kept from any contact which could endanger them.
- No member of any fian may act in betrayal of any other.
The size and composition of each band varies. Larger cities tend to have larger fianna, and demographics play a part in what kinds of members there are. However, though some members are drawn from the Shogunate of Venezuela, others from the group once led by Nikademus, and various other walks of life, all members – whether human or mutant, magus or not – are expected to work together just as well.
Methods, Tactics, Etc.
This blending structure, while unlikely to completely eliminate tension, aims to align the Fianna with the unified vision Aensland adopted from her father and mother. And to ensure ability gaps are filled where needed. Relatively inexperienced magi and mutants have the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. However the humans among them, while comrades, also learn to face threats the likes of which they may not otherwise face outside of life-or-death situations, and are better able to prepare for actual confrontations without the looming threat overhead. Many of these fighters served close and at a distance with Aensland in the Venezuelan resistance following the nation’s capture by Anthony Stark. Others are League of Shadows loyalists who still feel that she is the last rightful bearer of the title Raysh al-Shaytan. Expert combatants by any right, they bring with them experience as well as other skills to share with allies. These include stealth, espionage and subterfuge, tactics in guerrilla warfare, knowledge and use of toxins, engineering, and many more. While each fian acts semi-independently, travel and exchange of information is conducted freely among members. This especially includes regular bi-weekly status reports as well as information exchange following major events to account for successes and gains, losses, active areal conflicts and resources and more, enabling smarter allocation of manpower and resources when necessary.
There is no standard equipment. Each band uses tools tailored to their individual members, the circumstances of their environment, lifestyles, and the kinds of enemies they are to face. General trends are capable tools which are handy but not obstructive. (E.g. vehicles for general travel which don't attract undue attention, cosmetically "normal" for an area, but which may be customised and functionally enhanced in some ways.) Allowing members to express themselves individually ensures each is comfortable from the start, and usually has experience with whatever their chosen vocation; however, with some less disciplined bands, the lack of structure may mean members (particularly the inexperienced or headstrong) of the fian don't complement each other as well as others; however, steps are taken to correct these cases as they appear.
As has become their way, Fianna Domhan make it their habit to continually adapt to circumstances around the world. Not only do different tactics serve differently in different areas; but they must take careful observation of enemies in order to discern what the enemy knows, so that by the time an enemy recognises the pattern, the pattern has already changed. This is partially achieved by the scrying eyes of mutants and magi, as well as financial, social, and technological savvy including support from the Aensland Estate and (secretly) corporate giant Avalon. But one of the principle means of achieving this is garnering a deep intrinsic understanding of the area and the people within it. Most members don't move to join a fian, because they don't need to. Most often, a fian is constructed within communities of which one is already a part, pending approval of the Ríonfénnid. Members do not wear uniforms or have fixed requirements for operational bases. Instead, they continue to operate within their normal lives and act on an as-needed basis. This allows them to not only fight opposition via physical threat, but to attempt real change from within their communities regardless of whether or not the day has a singular, tangible enemy to face. Yet by operating within a degree of the cultural norms and social mores of their area (as much as their ideals will allow), fianna take care to avoid being seen as a destructively disruptive force by the better society around them―except, of course, to the proper targets. And by meeting wherever is needed on a case by case basis, a fian makes it additionally difficult to track movements or gain more valuable information even should someone manage to discern a particular member's identity and affiliation with the group.
Gairm Slógaidh - Call to Arms
Sparta, Rome, the knights of Europe, the Samurai...all shared the lone ideal: the honour of strength, because it is strength that makes all other values possible. Nothing survives without it. Who knows what delicate wonders have died out of the world for want of the strength to survive? Civilisation's highest ideas―justice―could not exist without strong men and women to enforce it. Indeed, what is civilisation but simply the honour of the strong?
Forming a united band from disparate individuals and factions is not an easy accomplishment. To maintain them, as many and simultaneously as one, it is not enough that one man has done wrong and must be punished. While an understandable emotional response, for a collective this large Aensland understood full well that her vengeance alone is not a valid motive. More than that, Fianna Domhan exists for protection. Of person and property. Of the weak from the strong but unscrupulous forces that would do them harm. It exists to lend its strength for preservation of the values and virtues of society which are noble and just, and the betterment of those which are not. Her original vision to transform the League of Shadows, which she once headed as Raysh al-Shaytan, into a force for good—a failure from start to finish—she attempts to actualise by starting from the ground up.
The fianna are linked by the Dord Fiann. Historically, this was a war horn whose ghostly, wailing cry was used to stir the blood of the Fenians for a battle, and to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. More than that, the dord allowed communication and direction among large ranks of war-frenzied men; by blowing different notes a signal could be given to press forward, retreat and regroup, mount up and possibly more. For the challenges of the modern world and its ever-evolving threats, Abigail's fianna are linked by a private network called "Borabu" and carry a device named for this instrument. They come in many forms - a watch, an earpiece, a pair of glasses, and others. And just as the classical dord, they serve variable functions as global communications devices allowing members to reach one another just as well across a city or across the planet. Between individuals, across groups, or among a single fian. In addition to verbal communications there are short-hand signals, distinguished by variable emitted sound, which are used to communicate messages only understood by trained members of the fianna. It was said that a blast from Fionn mac Cumhail's borabu could summon warriors from all parts of Ireland. The same is true of Diarmuid's Daughter; though she commands a much larger force with which to strike upon enemies worldwide.
I don't do this that often so my familiarity with the norms is...iffy at best.
- This is a concept/faction existing in CVnU. Standard rules apply.
- They operate many places worldwide, but not everywhere. If you wish to use them for something, ask nicely. I [probably] won't bite. However, if you are attacking, expect the potential for retaliation.
- Same deal in case of membership. Ask nicely.
- No godmodding. Selling is required, though not exceedingly strict and I'm leaving a bit of wiggle room to take a bit of pressure off the NPCs thing, at least here (as long as we're not made to look inept).
- For questions and things, on me.