About the MoPO

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, with its head office located at the heart of the Empire, London, is here to solve these mysterious happenings that leave normal law enforcement officials baffled.

Located in a secret location near the river Thames, this is the Ministry that protects all citizens of the Empire from the occult, the paranormal and from secret societies bent on bringing down Old Blighty.

We take only the best, the brightest and the bravest men and women from all the dominions and outposts of civilisation. They are here to protect every one of the citizens of the Empire from threats that would haunt their dreams…if they but knew.

We stand by our motto Umbris occultati, contra furorem.

Awards and Honours

  • 2013 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast (Tales from the Archives: Volume 2)
  • Steampunk Chronicle 2013 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Fiction (The Janus Affair)
  • #7 Best Science Fiction of 2012 on Goodreads.com (The Janus Affair)
  • #8 Best Science Fiction of 2011 on Goodreads.com (Phoenix Rising)
  • Locus Magazine Bestseller in September 2012 (The Janus Affair)
  • 2012 Parsec Award for Best Short Story: Small Cast 2012 (“The Precarious Child” by Pip Ballantine)
  • 2012 Parsec Award for Best Short Story: Large Cast 2012 (“The Seven” by PC Haring)
  • 2011 Airship Award for Best in Steampunk Literature (Phoenix Rising)

 

Active Ministry Agents

Agent Eliza D Braun — New Zealand (re-assigned)

Agent Eliza D Braun

Agent Braun come to Head Office from the smallest outpost of the Ministry. Trained at an early age by her parents in the art of hand to hand combat, sharpshooting and pouring the perfect pint (all very necessary in this newest outpost of Empire), this agent worked her way through the various post New Zealand could offer.

She served her nation and the British Empire well at its farthest edge, but has recently be reassigned to the London office by her nation’s Prime Minister.

In the Archives, under the tutelage of Agent Books, she is developing a new set of skills that will only aid the Ministry into the future.

Agent Braun enjoys both fine art and fine dynamite.

Wellington Thornhill BooksArchivist Agent Wellington Thornhill Books — England

Agent Books is the Chief in Charge of the Archives of the Ministry. Like all of our agents, Books has learned basic training. So remember that if you ever borrow anything from the vaults!

Books, while not a field agent, does contribute to the running of the MoPO, with his efficient filing of cases, notes and evidence. The analytical engine he is responsible for installing in the Archives would be the envy of even a librarian of those hallowed halls of the British Library. That was if it were not completely classified, naturally.

Books has admitted to a gentlemanly interest in tinkering of all types. When not stacking and filing in the bowels of the Ministry he can be found messing about with cogs, steam and brass. Or making everyone a spot of tea.

Agent Kitty O’Toole — Liaison to Japan

Agent O’Toole is the daughter of Agent Melinda O’Toole, the first female agent in the Ministry. Following in her mother’s footsteps she has a reputation as a sweet and kind lady. However she is a ruthless negotiator, and (if that doesn’t work) a master of kendo, aikido, and shaolin. Serving as the Ministry’s liaison in Japan, Agent O’Toole’s specialty is in yūrei investigations and nensha cryptology. A remarkable trait with Agent O’Toole is her eyes which appear larger than usual, particularly when excited.

In her spare time she is a millenar and sword-smith.


Agent Brandon HillAgent Brandon Hill — Canada

Agent Hill joined the London HQ after many years working in the field at the Canadian outpost.

Agent Hill is renowned for his superb knife- fighting skills – with a specialty in dealing with wild animals.

He once managed to trek across the icy tundra of Russia armed with only his faithful knife, pipe and toe-nail clippers. After a daring fight with a clutch of polar bears, he used their skins to fashion a fine seagoing vessel. This he used to sail home to Mother England his mission a success.

Agent Hill also collects tropical spiders in his spare time, and enjoys holidaying in wilds of Africa for just this purpose.

Photo by Brandon Hill

Agent CampbellAgent Bruce Campbell — Australia

Born in the raging heat of Queensland, Australia, Agent Campbell was inducted early into the difficulties of life. His mother accidentally dropped him into a river infested with crocodiles. None can explain how he survived.

But from then on, good luck and good looks have always got him through any number of scrapes and adventures. After conquering the wildlife of his homeland, swimming the Tasman Sea, and winning nine of ten boxing fights in the kangaroo league, Agent Campbell came to the attention of the Ministry.

Rising through the ranks at first the Coober Pedie, then Darwin and finally the Sydney offices, Agent Campbell is currently on assignment to the London branch. Here he not only deals with the business in London, but also co-ordinates his compatriots back in the Australian branches.

Bruce bears the separation from his lovely wife, by indulging in all the manly sports that England can provide.

Agent Dominick LochlearAgent Dominick Lochlear — Cape Colony

Known as a crack shot from his earliest day at school, Agent Lochlear represented the Cape Colony at the Pan-Brittanic games at the age of eighteen years.

At the age of twenty Agent Lochlear joined the MoPO and rose swiftly through the ranks. By twenty-five he was in charge of the Cape Colony office.

He is now working from the London office as liaison.

Agent Lochlear still maintains a healthy interest in sharp shooting.

Agent SmithAgent Maulik Smith — India

Agent Smith is very new to the London Head Office of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

He specialises in the occult and has studied under the mystics of the east, the shaman of the American plains, and the thaumaturges of the Alps.

Injured after a terrible fire, Agent Smith relies heavily on the latest McTuige breathing apparatus to sustain his mortal existence, but remains a valuable member of the team.

Agent Smith will not admit to any hobbies beyond the walls of the Ministry.

Photo by S Lesnik

Agent Althea Galway — Ireland (Missing in Action)

From the Emerald Isle comes Agent Althea Galway. Working between our Dublin and London offices, no one is more fluent in statistics and logistics than our Miss Galway. Add to her impressive credentials her talents of dialects and disguise, and this makes Althea Galway one of the greatest secrets within the Ministry’s ranks. Many agents worldwide have called upon her impressive mastery of foreign tongues and fact-checking, but her skills in the field only came to light due to an unexpected break in a Ministry investigation.

Althea Galway was commended by Doctor Sound for her ingenuity when infiltrating suspected hostiles hiding in plain sight. Her statistical work was instrumental in thwarting two assassination plots against Her Majesty the Queen, four acts of conspiracy within Parliament, and one dastardly plot to upset Lady Hainsworth’s High Tea. (The latter incident, known as “The Clotted Cream Caper of Canterbury,” is textbook material for Ministry recruits.); but it was her unauthorized work and subsequent breaking of “The Chinese Box Thefts” spree that led to her promotion.

Miss Galway’s first case — a deep undercover operation aboard the pirate airship Guy Fawkes — has ended in tragedy and mystery. Intelligence reports that the Guy Fawkes was shot down somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Miss Galway’s body has never been recovered and therefore she is considered missing, presumed dead.


Agent Moira Templeton — Shanghai, China

Field agent Moira Templeton (Code name “Chinese Lantern”) serves the Ministry out of Shanghai, China. She has considerable skill in chemistry, particularly with plant toxins. Partnered with Agent Braun on several occasions, Agent Templeton earned several decorations for her work in the field, most notably the Chinese New Year’s Plot, and the discovery and safe transportation of the Jade Elephant of the Jin Dynasty.  The child of British emissaries, she was raised in the company of Buddhist monks and political figures alike. As a result, she adapts to all functions from religious ceremonies to high society dinner parties with ease and speaks seven different languages fluently.

Despite the rumors, she firmly denies any participation in that messy business in Hong Kong involving a particular French Ambassador.

Photo by Starla Huchton

Agent (Lady) Caroline of Sidman Hall — Egypt

Second daughter of Lord Victor of Sidman Hall (new money… There are even rumors that the family is directly involved in industry), Lady Caroline preferred an alternative to being auctioned off to the highest (and highest connected) bidder. She eventually found her way to the Ministry, and with her love and passion for Ancient Civilizations, has found a place for herself in our Egyptian office. Fashionable as it is for the upper echelons of society, she makes an excellent spy as a result of her upbringing and connections there. Lady Caroline earned the respect of her fellow agents (and the fear of the House of Usher) in The Pharoah’s Affair case by unlocking the cypher connected with the ancient death ray hidden within one of the Giza Pyramids. On that assignment, Lady Caroline made it clear any man who attempts to take advantage of her striking face and pretty manners will quickly find himself at the mercy of her trusty ætheroscillator (shown here). Her family’s focus on marrying off their daughters has left her with something of a disdain for men.

Photo by Jamaila Brinkley

Engineer Agent Professor J. AxelrodEngineer Agent Dr. Axelrod — England

Dr. Axelrod’s greatest work has been in the field of matter transference. He has successfully removed matter, but is still fine tuning the recovery of it. Consequently there is a wonderful opportunity in the laboratory for a tall lad with nerves of steel. Dr. Axelrod is always looking for such men of character. (Please apply for the position with Miss Shillingsworth)

Addicted to the pursuit of science at an early age, Dr. Axelrod conducted his own experiments which resulted the unfortunate disappearance of part of Charing Cross (the portion that no one really missed). After this incident however Dr. Axelrod was taken under the tutelage of ‘Mad’ McTighe and the rest is history.

Dr. Axelrod enjoys big game fishing, tailoring his own garments and is currently building an ornithopter in his back garden with which he intends to use on the Grand Tour next year.

Photo by JR Blackwell


Engineer Agent Professor Josepha Raven Blackwell — England

Dr Blackwell

The Head Researcher in the Development Division, Dr Blackwell is known for her foreward thinking work in massage devices for relieving female hysteria. Her devices have provided relief and calm to women all over the Empire.

She came to the Ministry straight from her finishing school in Switzerland- which had unexpectedly burnt to the ground.

Coincidentally Blackwell’s ether accelerator came into production shortly there after and quickly became a staple of ours agents’ arsenal.

Beyond the walls of the Ministry Blackwell has developed an interest in exotic fauna, and has been known to feed nosy landladies to her venus maximus nomminess. She is also quite the devoted croquet player.

Photo by JR Blackwell

 

Known Ministry Associates

Olivia Maleficient Grey (a/k/a The Grey Ghost), captain of the A.S. Blythe Spirit

Known to be on call at a moment’s notice for emergency extractions and priority missions, Captain Grey sets aside her decadent deeds as an airship pirate to serve Her Majesty the Queen. The rule on board the Blythe Spirit is a simple one, reinforced by her ability to bullseye a target at 1000 yards (with thanks to some personal enhancements).

Olivia, in her private time, prefers to live in the cobwebbed corners of her dark mind writing fantastic tales of romance with a touch of cog and gear. Her premiere novel, Avalon Revisited, has recently been published and received with praise and acclaim. Her heart continues to fly, however, far above the Empire.

Gwynn_aviatrix_speiaMatilda Blanche Vanderfield, aviatrix

Heiress to the Vanderfield fortune of Columbia, Maryland, and living in the bustling metropolis of Chicago, Illinois of the United States, Matilda B. Vanderfield is one of the most sought-after aviatrix in the world, known for assuring her cargo—be it important people or expensive properties—to reach their destinations safely and securely. While the reputation “If it’s got wings and a prop engine, Matilda can fly it. And if she loses an engine, Matilda can land it!” sounds like a wild boast, it is a a business ethic for Vanderfield. From her own private airfield Vanderfield makes her gravity-defying machinations and her talents available for Ministry agents when working in the former colonies.

Agent Eliza D. Braun highly recommends barnstorming with the socialite-daredevil. “Quite an exhilarating experience,” she says. “Does wonders to steel one’s self before a suicide mission.”

Vanderfield, when she is not ruling the skies over the United States, participates in a clandestine society club that transforms literature into a bloodsport for charity. She would love to tell the Ministry more about Write Club, but tells us that doing so violates Write Club’s second rule.
Photo by Marc Hauser

Ministry’s Most Wanted and Known Enemies

Sophia del Morte

We know very little about this known associate of the House of Usher, but we have on good authority and further investigation of Sophia del Morte’s direct involvement with the following crimes:

  • Affiliation with the Phoenix Society
  • The murder of Agent Harrison Thorne
  • The abduction of Agent Wellington Thornhill Books
  • The assassination of Count Vladamir Olensov
  • The assassination of Countess Illa Olensov
  • The assassination of Duke William deSalle

Sophia del Morte is skilled in a variety of deviant arts including knives, sharpshooting, poisons, martial arts, and demolitions.

WARNING: If spotted, do not try to apprehend Sophia del Morte without full Ministry assistance. She is to be considered (always) armed and dangerous.

Dr. Ravyn McCallister

The first woman in Kentucky to receive a doctorate in the sciences, it was thought that Dr. Ravyn McCallister was destined to be one of the leading minds in chemical engineering and biology. Her brilliance, however, blinded her judgment and she found herself travelling the rails, offering her talents to the highest bidder. Known employers include:

  • The House of Usher
  • The Illuminati
  • Methuselah’s Order
McCallister’s signature is toxins, particularly the variety that shut down brain and muscular function. One of her more powerful instruments has been documented as “The Masque of the Red Death” wherein the victim’s lips and cheeks adopt a vibrant scarlet color just before death. She gained a modest amount of fame in the Baltimore Underworld with this particular agent, inspiring from local poet Edgar Allan Poe to write of her “Quoth the Ravyn, nevermore” in regards to her evasion of authorities.
Photo by Hallie Wilson

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