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The Iron Filings

Institutional Change

Shortly after the end of the historic Havering Hill meetings, Rosicrucia Withers-Blythe formally steps down as the de facto leader of the organization, triggering an election for a new 'someone who isn't officially in charge'. This sees Felix Charmed defeat Ottery Biscuit in a hotly-contested (but fair-fought) election.

One of the first things that Felix does as not-leader is to move the European HQ of the Iron Filings from London to Paris - the city where Anna Filing is Gaian. Though this causes a huge amount of hassle and administrative chaos, it is a move that's almost universally welcomed, save for the opposition from the faction under Mine's Milk and Two Sugars. After several heated disputes between Mine's Milk and Felix Charmed, the former departs the organisation, leaving another vacancy - Head of Research. Felix encourages Ottery, now a firm ally of his administration, to apply, but Ottery declines, deciding that they work best behind the scenes.

The position is instead taken up by Axel Jones, who adds Mine's Milk's followers to their own collection of Filings who are disgruntled with both Felix' personality - and priorities. Axel characterises Felix as an aesthete with a preoccupation with surface concerns instead of getting down to brass tacks1), and from the somewhat tasteless preponderance of Felix-shaped objects around Paris, that claim is not entirely unfounded.

Over the next few years, the move to New Paris is effected, the influence of the Iron Filings spreads (attracting many of the people who discovered magic during the Boring Field incident) and the research being conducted by the organisation takes on a serious and principled tone under Axel Jones, who is a constant check on Felix' wilder ambitions. In this way, the organisation thrives.

The Paris Aftermath

It wasn't until around a decade later that the disastrous consequences of the move to New Paris make themselves fully felt. This destroys the Paris HQ and several research laboratories, killing a large number of Filings.

With the assistance of Anna Filing, Felix Charmed pours a vast amount of energy, personal wealth, and witchcraft into once again reconstructing Paris. Notable Filings from all over - including more elusive characters such as Katy Jones and Nicholas Queensbury - lend their assistance. Paris is rebuilt again, and earns a new moniker: The City That Never Dies.

The reconstruction effort establishes the Filings further as an integral part of the city. Axel Jones' previous associations with the Friends are made public, and this, for a time, causes some serious problems with his ability to influence his faction and push through his research agenda. It is during this time that some of Felix' more extravagant personal projects, such as the vanity publication of Felix' Fun Filofax of Filing Facts, are perpetrated.

The Character of the Filings

Nearly four decades after the move to New Paris, there are some major institutional differences in the Filings compared to the organisation that was known to the participants at Havering Hill. There is no stigma attached to Filings who pursue the study of demonic magic, nor are any Gaians resentful of Filing's attempts to study and better understand them (so long as they are respectful, of course). Indeed, thanks to Felix, there is a pronounced focus on the importance of finding what is interesting and beautiful in the mundane world, and striving to protect it. Filings do much more conservation and restoration work than ever before.

Power is more formalised, and research is rigorous and more closely overlaps the areas of study in Slough. Whilst anomalous phenomena still form passion projects for Filings, breakthroughs in the study of these tend to come from Filings less involved in the 'institution proper' and more from rogue satellites to the institution itself.

However, the eccentric, bizarre, and indissolubly odd character of the Filings remains, the Esoterica Crumblesia is never out of print, and the only difference in the crumble is that sometimes it is made by Michelin-starred chefs who got their first taste for bakery in the Crumble Memorial Academy.

The Filings continue to make the world a weirder - and sometimes even better - place to live.

1) not to be confused with Brass Tacks
eternities/iron_filings.txt · Last modified: 2017/03/07 14:03 by gm_matilda