Ornithocracy: The Fading Eye Picture

More Ornithocracy designs. The Fading Eye was an experiment in anachronism - Ancient Civilization sensibilities merged with Turn-Of-The-Century Militarization. And Heavy Mythology backdrops.

From L to R: Two Vulture Footsoldiers, Vulture Hero, Condor (Vulture General), Desert Hawk, Two Ibis, Falcon.

- -

Once, The Burning Eye stood strong. In those days, the Dream was a desert, arid and bitter, emotions pooled as mist below the gaze of The Raging Sun himself and The Tears Of The Night. Ra and Thoth and Horus all smiled down at the Vultures who worked the words of the Ibis with conviction, determination and fear: life was to be savoured and buit upon, for beyond death there was even more life, and who were we to be left behind? The Other Coteries respected The Eye for they were strong and positive, never threatening without backing from their Patrons, and The Eye grew as a powerful faction. And The Vultures fought for the Eye, and The Ibis spoke for the Eye, and high-above the Great Pyramids did the Falcon watch among his Fathers, and smiled for All Was Good.

And then "The Stars All Went Out".
No-one now outside the Eye can seriously say they know exactly what this means, but the phrase appered in every Raven, Owl or Woodpecker's depiction of "The Closing Of The Eye". Some believe this meant a great stellar eclipse, signalising a terrioble omen for the Eye, culminating in their destruction by another Cotery. Others believe it meant the Death of a Falcon, a great sadness falling upon his followers, possibly the first instance of a "documented" Cuckoo killing. Others think it meant the Eye's Patrons were destroyed by another Cotery's patrons, and without faith, the Eye fle into The Abyss..
All that is known is that "The Stars All Went Out, and The Eye Closed Til All Was Darkness."

And then nothing. The best of a thousand years passed and the Eye were considred an anomaly - a Cotery whose own grandeur had somehow swallowed them whole, allowing the Mourning Veil to ascend into the seat that had been left bare. The Eye were a story to tell your children - occasionally you'd see politically unaffilaited Vultures, mindless things trading for food, and your progeny would ask "who is that funny old man mother?", and what would follow would be stories of burning sands and great temples and beautiful priestesses...
"Eye" culture saw an uprise in the 1800's, with Egyptology becoming a thrill once more in the human subconscious: The Veil found themselves donning silk robes and daubing their eyes like Horus. Great Beautiful Funeral parties were held like a Pharoah's burial, turning fast into the Veil's own brand of debauchery and despair-worship. It was during one of these great parties within the Mausoleum-like walls of The Pitying Claw Cotery House that Lady Rook Sylvia KrimsonGryp did entangle with her Crow lover, her fragile silk dress discarded to the warm winds. In euphoria did she raise her eyes to the sorrowful starless void of The Abyss, ready to claim to it how wonderful sadness was, and how all life could be embraced with the punishing hold The Eye had had so long ago...

Only to see, instead of an Abyss, she was staring straight at a Colossal Pyramid, it's peak burning with red flame, emerging from beyond the Abyss, half of it still enclosed in shadows. It is said in tales and half truths that she was able to get off one small sound of pity, or perhaps awe or fear or despair before her entire Coterie was summarily crushed and burned beneath the Colossus' foot.

And thus did the Eye return. Hundreds of Pyramid Houses left the Abyss, immediately declaring war on Corvid Coteries. With the aid of the element of Surprise, the Eye devastated The Veil, appropriating and learning the use of rifles from the destroyed Coteries. Once contact was made with the Eye through pandering Hawks (Who knew power when they saw it), a truce was swiftly established, with The Eye, (Now Fading rather than Burning) reinsatated as a political power only if they were to cease aggression immiediately.
The Fading Eye (as now "The Days of Burning are long behind us") claim to have left for The Abyss when "All The Stars Went Out", fleeing some great un-nameable catastrophe (that obviously never happened). Within The Abyss, the Eye fought hard and prospered within the timeless void, unloved and without Patrons, against what they referred to as "Bright Burning Spirits" (The Xenos refuse to comment). Eventually, they were able to truly fight their way back after once more meeting with their True Patrons, the Sons of Horus, who protected them against the Darkness, and led them to strike against the Usurpers, The Veil.

The Eye are once again a powerful political power, a large military force backed by the belief that while all life is precious, perfection can only be achieved through Death and resurrection, as proved by their Falcons. The Eye get on well with The Wavefarers, whose lust for adventure and inevitable shining death matches their own, as does the natural hierarchy between Vultures and Cormorants. Obviously there is trouble between The Eye and The Veil, as each are anathema to the other, and interactions between the two at Parliaments has proved problematic.

The Fading Eye were once powerful and everlasting - now they are nothing and fading away. Proud worshippers of The End from an Endless Desert, The Eye once sat where the Mourning Veil sit - accepting Sadness and Aspirations as Power. Now, they are the children of Death, believing in a greatness Beyond The Dreaming, Beyond Life that no-one can prove to exist. This is their last stand, or be ground down into the sand and be forgotten. Eye Coteries resemble colossal Pyramids, glowing with supernal light, either breaking the mists or hovering above them. Philosophical, nomadic, but also warlike, The Eye desire that the world know their need for Death before they die too.

OC: The Fading Eye can be played as (Surprise!) Egyptians, Oppressive Military Dictatorship, Mobile Army, Religious Fanatics, Aztecs, or Stygian Set Cult.
Eye Bird Song (In My head), sounds like a mix of heavy loud chanting, impassioned lyrical speeches, eulogies, celebratory cries and battle metal.

- -

- Vultures are the Eye's foot-soldiers, messengers and diplomats. Strong, believing and utterly dependable, Vultures are good at spotting a weakness and acting on it. Vultures pour their faith into their Ibis, letting their Priest channel their belief into Weapons of Contemplation and Death. Vultures maintain a strict military Morale and Structure, and a particularly well-regarded and hard-working Vulture may be promoted to an Officer, or even General. Officers are regailed for their unfaltering morale and leadership skills, while Generals are considred tactical geniuses, able to spot strategic weaknesses and encircle them relentlessly before destroying their mark utterly.
Vultures are famed for their patience, stubborness and cool under fire - although fully capable of charging an enemy and emerging cictorious, Vultures are far more likely to wait out a prolonged gunfight with superior firepower and morale. An old name for a General is a "Condor".
Vultures often wear simple uniform, whether it be military (with a desert-motif) or loin cloths. Officers are proud their insignia and marks of office, and proudly wear their scars. Generals are often dressed in full regalia, complete with goggles and mask to protect against both desert and trench conditions.
Vultures carry simple weapons - Scimitars, or Maces - some carry Rifles. Rifle lines are often bolstered by Shield walls.

Inspirations: Storm Troopers (Star Wars), Stygians (Conan), Modern Soldiers, Ottomans
Oppurtunities: Rifleman, Line-Breaker, Guardian, Medic, Hero, Strategist, Diplomat, Heartless Warmonger

- Hawks are supposedly less common within the Fading Eye than they are within the House of Raptor, but cantankerous Officers, Slave-workers and even simply out-of-place Nobles with strange-fancies have been seen following Falcons. It is believed that in the years after the first Hawk diplomats established links between the Returned Eye and The Parliament, many became far more enamoured with The Eye's words of forceful enlightenment than the Eagles' bothersome laws, and swiftly jumped ship. These Hawks are considred traitors and cowards by The House of Raptor, and the Fading Eye Hawks are well aware of this - antagonism at first sight between the two factions is a common occurence that is often settled with veiled words between Eagle and Falcon.
Eye Hawks are much the same as Raptor Hawks, except for their need to emulate Falcons rather than Eagles. The main difference is, as all Hawks are snappy if not slightly outdated dressers, these Hawks know how to dress for warmer climates.

Inspirations: Steerpike (Gormenghast), Brutus (Julius Caesar), Lancelot (Arthurian), the Vampire Lestat, Heathcliff
Oppurtunities: Duellist, Herald, Professional Antagonist, Panderer, Slave Driver

- Ibis understand that Death has it's place. Scholars, Priests, Efficiency Experts and Watch-Tappers, Ibis lead their Vulture servants in fervent Rituals to understand, channel, or even bring Death. Repositories of Knowledge, Ibis and Owls do not get along - Owls thinking Ibis too melancholy and Ibis seeing owls as Heathens and Heretics. Vultures will serve an Ibis as willingly as they would a Falcon, and these unfaltering, melodramatic Priests are proud of their willing, self-sacrificing flock.
Ibis often wear monochromatic robes, billowing, or sometimes prim and proper suits and dresses

Inspirations: Thulsa Doom (Conan), Saruman (LOTR), Necromancers, Alistair Crowley
Oppurtunities: Priest, Chaplain, Loremaster, Minion-Sacrificing Supervillain

- Falcons are the children of Horus, the Brothers of Hapi, Imsety, Dumateuf and Qebehseneuf. Embodiments of life and the Endless Sun, Falcons are somewhat messiah-like figures, worshipped and loved by Ibis and Vulture. Child-like and Compassionate, falcons will often fight for another's cause, as long as their purpose and need will be satisfied by it's completion, thus meaning their death will not be wasted. Sometimes Falcons will lose their child-like demeanour, and staring into their eyes in these moments of seriousness have been described as either like wading into an abyss or staring into the heart of the Sun.
Falcons are generally reffered to as "He", as Horus never had any daughters. Female Falcons often revel in this, delightring in the confusion this brings out in other cultures.
Falcons can be empowered by an Ibis, turning them into nigh-immortal embodiments of Ra, Horus or any of the other Patrons themselves.
Falcons often wear bright, simple clothes, often white, or white, foreign military regalia, all open fronted and informal - Falcons are beings of The Now, and care little on how to wear uniform correctly. Falcons carry Scimitars or Maces, especially Great Maces, the weapon of Seker.

Inspirations: Horus (Duh), Imhotep (The Mummy), Arab Princes, Mowgli (The Jungle Book), Darth Vader
Oppurtunities: Paladin, Blackguard, Weapon of Divine Wrath, Child-Like Saviour
Continue Reading: Sun