Thursday, 20 September 2012


This week Steampunk Czar Tim Hart tells us about The All Seeing Eye!

There is a phrase we often hear banded about Big Brother is watching you. These days it is a hackneyed cliché used by those who welcome or loathe public surveillance. But if you go back before reality television and even before George Orwell, for me it has another, far more personal meaning: the idea that you have an older brother who is watching to keep you safe.

So how does my take on a cliché relate to the glorious steampunk sequence that is Victoriana? The idea that there is an organisation that observes and records reality is central to the narrative. This organisation The Agency of The Eye was formed in Georgian days to gather information, you could say that The Agency is the ultimate fence sitter, for me the organisation personifies the very word neutral (although they may occasionally gives events a helping hand).

So quite what do they do? They are simply the observers, recorders and facilitators. From the upper-class Goodship Estate in Central London, a whole network of communications and subterfuge stretches out across the world like a spiders web, with its centre in deep underground facilities. The official origin story that goes around the office, is that there was a terrible prophecy, one that foretold the fall of the British Empire. Unfortunately the details of said fall were not apparent at the time and a decision was made to ensure that the Empire would never fall. The Agency was given a large government stipend to develop resources to prevent the factors – unknown as they are - from coming into play. The rest, of course, is history.

The Agency is currently under the command of Lord Erasmus Mayfair (the third head of the facility) and under his leadership it has flourished. London is constantly monitored and agents span the globe from the New World (that’s America to you lot-Ed) to Hong Kong. These reports are returned by various means, telegraphs, coded messages and by courier pigeon.
So how is the organisation structured?
There are ranks within the Agency;
Top Level: Overseers & Acknowledgers.
Mid Level (Sergeants): Seers and Specialists entities.
Lower Level (Agents): Observers and recorders.
And at the very bottom the Gatherers. These hail from all walks of life and are paid well for any titbits of information they provide. These are the vital lifeblood of the Agency, it is their work that ensures the constant flow of information.

So by now you are asking how do the Sisters Bast come into this?
Well, the answer to that question is simple. Once The Agency has gathered and recorded every foreseeing, prophecy and rumour, The Agency allows them to happen. Even if this does mean that there must be some interference to make certain it is fulfilled. Be that a loose cobble or an accidental Laudanum overdose in a politician’s morning coffee. The Sisters just aren’t there in anything and that is why The Agency must find out as much as it can about them.

Welcome to the Weird Era my friends.


  1. This is a great metaphor to our society.

    1. Yes, I thought that too when I first heard the story outline.

  2. insightful stuff. the agency sounds like the watcher character in marvel "what if" comics.

    1. I don´t know that comic, but I think the idea of social observation has been around since the start of the last century.