The Parliament is the meeting of dreaming Birds, the self-proclaimed Lords of the Air, where they take on their Dreaming, Perfect Forms and argue over What Should Be Done about Pressing Matters.
The Parliament Of Feathers is an Ancient Ritual Site within the Dream. Ever changing, one Night the Parliament could appear as a drab room, other times a lush forest field, another time a decadent hall.
The Parliament is Constructed from the memories the Dreaming Winged bring with them - any substantial loss of Winged within the Parliament may cause the Parliament to lose form, and the Dream to end. This has only happened once before, and it was Very Bad for all involved.
The Parliament comes together at regular times to address what should be done about the Wayward Dreams polluting the Sky of The Dream. They also gather to trade, talk, socialize and threaten.
Rules of the Parliament are quite simple, yet Clandestine:
- The Parliament may elect a Conductor to oversee that Judgements and disagreements are carried out fairly. A Conductor can be a Coterie's leader who volunteers themselves for the position. If one representative steps forward, he is decided or declined based on calls of Aye or Nay. If more than one steps forward, a vote is used to decide. Each Coterie House has a Single Vote. If a Conductor or his Coetrie House is involved in a Disagreement, they must step down as Conductor and a New Conductor must be voted in immediately.
- Once a Conductor has been set, all Coteries must announce themselves via Birdsong. These introductions may be rehearsed before teh Parliament, but re-suing teh same introduction from a previous Parliament is considered Unoriginal, Lazy, and Not In The Nature Of The Winged. Alternatively, Cotery Members may opt out from Sibnging, but must still announce themselves. Latecomers must announce themselves on demand.
- Every Coterie, Including Outsiders are allowed to attend and voice their opinions.
- All Coterie members represent the Coterie. An attack dealt / inflicted to / by a Coterie member represents the intent of The Coterie.
- Decisions over Dreams are to be Civilised, and anyone wishing to say their opinion must be given permission by the head of their Coterie.
- Dealings may be done over Dreams using The Things Of This World - Emotions, Stuff, Trade Goods, Favours, and even Souls
- Birdsong Ritual may be performed within The Parliament. Any attempt to interrupt ritual is considered A Potential Crime until a valid explanation can be given.
- Consumption of Emotion is allowed on Premises. Consumption of Soul is a Grievance to The Parliament and Punishment must be decided by the Elected Conductor of The Parliament.
- Birdsong is all. If someone wishes to put forward their opinion in Birdsong, all must be silent until the birdsong is finished. Interrupting a Birdsong is Taboo. Interrupting a Birdsong with Another Birdsong is considered a Dirge, and is a Heinous Crime Against Winged Kind.
- Any Disagreement within the Parliament that cannot be solved by simple debate or trade may be solved by either Beak or Blade;
- Blade Disagreements require a duel to be engaged between two representatives of the disagreeing parties. These can be performed to First Blood, to Mercy, or to Death. The Conditions of The Duel are to be decided by the Conductor. If the Duelists are unhappy with the conditions they may Plea against. Only if both parties Plea against may the Duelers themselves come to a decision. No outside interaction may engage with the Duel until The Matter Is Dealt With.
- Beak disagreements are Trial By Birdsong. One Voice may sing their opinion, and the opposition must sing theirs back. Choral accentuation is not considered Dirge unless it purposefully interrupts the Argument. The Two Voices may keep singing until either one yields (whereby they must be shown Appreciation for their Skills / Attempt at Birdsong by their Victor) or both yield and the Conductor must make a Sage Decision. Beak Argument is The Most Noble Art, and any Duelists who choose to do so are considered Noble and Friends Of The Parliament. Only if a crime is Dangerously Heinous may a further punishment be given to the Defeated of a Beak Duel.
- No Cuckoos. If a Cuckoo is discovered within the walls of The Parliament, it is allowed 30 seconds to explain itself or Leave, before it becomes Fair Game. Falsely accusing someone of being a Cuckoo is a Heinous Act.
- Every Hour, The Parliament will ring a Gong. All Winged will know that if their skills require an hourly observation, those skills are now ready for use again.
The Dreaming is a fluid, endless plane of everything that has ever existed in the Subconscious.
Human dreams travel to the Dream when they sleep, and become part of the landscape, enacting their nocturnal desires.
Sometimes, Rogue Dreams will detach from the Dreaming, floating free before becoming lost in The Abyss Above.
These rogue Dreams will travel to the Parliament, and explain their case. The Coteries will then decide what happens to the Dream.
Dreams will leave behind emotions, bequeathed to those that helped them:
- Adventure - Dreams of Beyond The Normal. Fantasies.
- Despair - Dreams and thoughts of Sadness.
- Nightmares - Dreams of Primordial Fear
- Desire - Dreams of What One Wants.
- Wrath - Dreams of Anger and Destruction.
- Bliss - Dreams of Happiness and Calm.
Consuming an emotion will have roleplay effects, but also grant the Winged new abilities. A Winged cannot stomach to consume too many Emotions in one night - Maximum One Emotion, or One Soul.
Of Similar note is Dream Stuff. Stuff is raw essence that is spent / used up to create Dream Weapons / Armour / Eyries. It is a very popular and expensive trade commodity.
If a Human Soul dies close to Dreaming, their entire Soul will take to the air. This is a semi-rare and highly sought after experience. Souls contain huge emotion deposits, as well as the human's entire memories. Soul consumption is a dread art, but is sadly a true and practiced act.
Similarly, if a Winged is killed at the Parliament, after they Swansong their way to Death, they will leave behind Dreamstuff and a Soul. Killing in the Parliament is socially acceptable only as result by Duel, and Winged Soul Consumption is entirely Taboo. Winged Souls and Dreamstuff should be returned to their Coetrie. Ofcourse, all the illegal acts are only considred Taboo if they are seen...
Every Coterie runs on a strict Hierarchy.
- Pawns run almost everything in the Coterie. They are all-rounders with a small number of Qualities & Songs, but have unique extras they gain from their History.
- Bishops deal with matters of Faith & Song. They have very few Qualities, but more Songs, and a choice of two Histories.
- Knights are masters of combat & defenders. They have many Qualities & few Songs.
- Kings, simply put, rule. They are much like Pawns, except they have unique Histories which improve either themselves or their entire group based on the number of members.
A Coterie exists as a minimum of One Pawn. One Bishop or Knight can join for every Peon. One King can join for every Knight or Bishop.
A Coterie can have a maximum of Three Kings and as many Bishops & Knights as Pawns.
Each kind of Winged has four distinct phys-rep requirements - Clothing, Make-up, Plumage and Beak
There is no definite Phys-Repping for Winged, only guidelines based on the plumage of the actual birds they are based on.
If you wish to phys-rep a Winged differently to the Guidelines, that is acceptable. This allows you to play a different bird as a specific Winged. Please bare in mind Other Players may have IC and OC difficulty distinguishing what you are because of this. It should not be used for disguise or confusion.
Clothing is only themed for each Winged and is not a definite requirement.
Plumage & Make-up will describe what colour your Winged's plumage should be. This can be done with make-up, feathers, or even hair-colouring. Plumage specifically refers to coloured fur or feathers, either part of your winged's body or in full display on their costume.
Some Winged (Like Albatross and Falcons) require extra make-up effects like tattoos or eye-make-up.
Beaks are only for the complete bird-headed effect. They are not necessary, but are useful for making the full impression.
These phys-rep guidelines should be adhered to, to help recognition.
If someone is able to provide a costume that does not require excessive make-up or beak, but is still instantly recognizable as their Winged, special cases may be made.
Winged are what kind of Bird your Dreamer is in the Waking World, a form of Social Status.
All Winged have a base of Two Hits, and can call STRIKE! with any weapon they can pick up.
Once a Winged has lost all their hits, they will collapse, and begin Mourning. This lasts 60 seconds - after 60 seconds they recover a single hit, and can get back up. Other ways to end Mourning include using special Qualities, or having an ally pour an Emotion down your throat - this immiediately ends your Mourning. You cannot prevent someone Mourning unless you give them an Emotion or havea special Quality.
If you are obviously (and showily) attacked (Minimum duration of Attack, 10 Seconds) during your Mourning, that Winged has succesfully broken your form and reaped your soul. Feel free to Swansong and lament you death out loud for one minute, before handing your Soul to the reaping Winged, and leaving your possessions behind.
Remember however, if a weapon does not have a visible License (Lammy), it is illegal within the Parliament. Feel free to bring this up in The Parliament!
Winged have a number of Qualities. These are extra abilities & skills your Winged has, ranging from extra hits to weapon skills, to being able tos crae enemies, or resist being scared.
Every Winged in a Cotery generates One Emotion of their type for their Leaders.
Some Winged have Hourly abilities. An NPC ringing the Parliament's gong signifies an Hour passing, and the renewal of your hourly abilities.
Birdsong is The Most Noble Art Of The Winged: Singing Your Soul And Opinion Into One. Birdsong is considered, if not beautiful, then at least inspiring - anyone publicly calling attention to themselves before singing is undergoing a Beautiful Thing, and Appreciation Shown is the minimum payment for such a thing. Alternatively, Birdsong does not have to be public, and private, personal birdsong can have equal effects.
Winged get special abilities that require Birdsong, called Songs. If you beform a Song your Winged knows, it is guaranteed to succeed if you pay the minimum cost. You amy attempt any effect with your birdsong, but if you do not know that song, it has a good chance of failure.
There are different ways of performing Birdsong:
This is the big celebration of your cotery your entire Flock may perform at the opening of The Parliament. A big, all members song & dance number. Particularly impressive dawn Chorusses may attract exctra Emotion from their Patron.
Duel By Beak
This is Rap Battle / Verbal Combat, and is explained above under "Parliament".
Performing A Learnt Song
Inform a Ref if you are about to perform a Song. Most require a minimum payment of Emotion (with bonus effects calculated for extra Emotion used), followed by a performance illustrating / asking / based on the effect you are attempting.
More people may join in on your Song, but only characters who know the same Song may have a definite effect.
This performance can be anything: singing, dancing, poetry, impassioned speech, burlesque, for a minmum 30 seconds, maximum 5 minutes.
The Crew will take your used Emotion away, and will return with a description of what has happened.
Please contact The Crew if there are any questions you have about performing these.
If you have any prepared Filks or Songs you would wish to perform at Ornithocracy, please email tehm to the Crew before hand; partially so we can check they're acceptable (pretty much anything can be in setting), and partially so we can congratulate you.
Patrons are the God-like Spirits and Memories of Great, Powerful Winged that Came Before. Coteries have a small number of favoured Patrons they worship.
An Eyrie will likely worship a single Patron. Some Winged will also be able to worship and pay tribute to a Personal Patron as well as a Coterie Patron. This is uncommon knowledge, and finding out your trusted Bishop has been sacrificing Souls to Great And Terrible Thing Like A Vast Predatory Bird rather than your Patron should be discovered in play.
Certain Birdsong Abilities will allow Winged to send messages to their Patron. Patrons will send Birdsong back.
Some Patrons can manifest in the Parliament by being summoned by Birdsong. Depending on the Birdsong and Patron, they may require tribute.
Other Birdsongs will allow Coterie members to be possessed by their Patrons. These Birdsongs require large, choral rituals, and the crew should be notified before the event so that they can prepare for the effects and logistics of the ritual. These Birdsongs will require special costume and phys-reps provided by the crew, as well as prepared Birdsong and briefs.
Possessed Coterie members, or Avatars, will gain strange new Patron-blessed abilities for the duration of the Event.
Patrons are fickle, demanding beings, but appeasing them will have definite benefits for your Coterie.
STRIKE! - This is a Single Point of Damage. It removes one of your Hits if it connects. Roleplay as you feel your character would react to a wound.
SEVER! - This is Two Points of Damage. It removes two of your Hits if it connects. Roleplay as you feel your character would react to a severe wound.
DISARM - This attack has forced you to drop your weapon. It removes none of your hits. Roleplay as you feel your character would react to being surprised.
MIGHTY DISARM - This attack has not only forced you to drop your weapon, it has also knocked you on your back. It removes none of your hits. Roleplay as you feel your character would react to being knocked over. MIGHTY DISARMS are natural grandiose, and should spend at least two seconds swinging the weapon.
DESTROY - This attack has struck with enough brute force, but no finesse, to break your weapon or put a hole in your armour. It removes none of your hits if it hits flesh. If it hits basic armour, it is destroyed. If it hits advanced armour twice, it is destroyed. If it hits a weapon, it is destroyed.
BLIND - This attack has shocked, blinded and debilitated you. It removes none of your hits. If struck with it, roleplay severe pain, and back away from your opponent. Do not close your eyes for safety reasons. The effect lasts until it has seen IC Medical Attention.
BLAST - This attack has shook you with severe pain, and probably strange energy. It removes all your remaining hits. Drop your weapon, fall onto your back, and writhe in pain. Immediately start your Mourning.
REND - This attack has torn your flesh, causing severe pain. It removes 1 of your hits. Grab the area you were struck, scream in pain, and do not remove your hand until it has seen IC Medical Attention.
DODGED! - You have dodged an attack. Ignore the effects of that attack, and deduct one use of Dodge from your amount Per Hour.
I RESIST! - You have resisted a FEAR! call. Ignore the effects of that attack, and deduct one use of Fear from your amount Per Hour. Remember, you cannot resist a TERROR! call. Roleplay being stalwart and fearless.
HOLD! - You have the ability to hold yourself against attacks. Pose with your shield out, or polearm in both hands, defensively. Attacks that land on the Shield / Polearm ONLY can be ignored by calling HOLD! Non-projectile ranged attacks aimed at a HOLD!ing winged always strike the Shield / Polearm. The only attack that HOLD! cannot be used against is MIGHTY DISARM!
FEAR! - You are attempting to scare an opponent. Roleplay being frightful for at least 5 seconds, then call FEAR! Those effected should either cower & whimper, nod fearfully or back away, slowly or fast-paced. The effect lasts 30 seconds.
TERROR! - You are attempting to channel utmost horror into your opponent. Roleplay being frightful for at least 5 seconds, then call TERROR! Those effected should either cower & whimper, nod fearfully or back away, slowly or fast-paced. The effect lasts 30 seconds.
SILENCE! - You are attempting to call for quiet, to gain attention or silence those arguing. Call SILENCE!, instructing evferyone in the area to stop talking, and pay attention to what they have to say. It is polite to stay quiet for at least 30 seconds, and not doing so can be Quite, Quite Rude. This is not strictly a muting ability, but a Status Symbol. Please bear in mind the Social Faux-Pas of silencing any sort of Bird-Song, or speaking over another Orator – but bear in mind also that that doesn’t mean you can’t do it…
I CURSE YOU WITH - ! - You are targeting someone with a powerful Birdsong Curse. Roleplay cursing for at least 30 seconds, followed by calling I CURSE YOU WITH <NAME OF CURSE> ! The target will be informed by the Crew what they have been cursed with.
TORTURE - TORTURE requires One Minute of appropriate Roleplay on the target, roleplay mutilating, severing or generally being unpleasant – any desired results should be made clear to a Crew immediately or afterwards. The Crew will inform the target of torture what has happened. Roleplay being in pain. Do not take torture too far - there is a difference between being unpleasant or mean and being offensive or insensitive.
ASSASSINATE - This requires a prolonged period of roleplay, whether that be hiding or disguising your intents, approximately one minute, before striking with your knife and calling ASSASINATE. A Target struck with ASSASSINATE is instantly Grievously Wounded, losing ALL remaining hits, and immediately lapsing into their Mourning. You cannot use ASSASSINATE for Hit&Run tactics, neither can you use it in the Orchestral Pit.
Licences (& Weapons)
A Licence states that your Winged is trusted by their Cotery to wield a weapon.
It entitles the following:
- You are legally allowed to carry that weapon
- You always begin an event with that Weapon
Nothing stops you carrying another weapon except for someone enforcing Licences.
You can only carry as many Weapons as you own. You might want to create / buy a few.
A non "forged" weapon or armour should NOT be taken IC.
Between Parliaments, Winged may choose to do one of the following:
Learn a New Quality.
Your "Next" Quality will change with The Season. This Quality will be identified before you choose to learn it - you do not get to pick & choose.
Learn a New Song.
Your "Next" Song will change with The Season. This Song will be identified before you choose to learn it - you do not get to pick & choose.
Enter a Teaching Contract.
An Ancient & Noble way of ensuring knowledge survives. You teach an agreed participant a single Song or Quality, and they teach you one back.
You will also be informed in your DT of any happenings in the Dream, and in your Cotery, you should know about.