(last updated: 12/28/17)
The Novus Orbis Librarium (NOL) is a global militaristic organization focused on the control and management of magical threats around the world. For decades, they have operated outside the public eye, hired by world governments to send their number into troubled regions where magical threats were beginning to develop.
With the surge of supernatural threats over the last few years and under the encouragement of the remarkably charismatic leader of NOL, nations have become quite receptive to the help the well-disciplined organization offers. Recently, they have begun inviting the NOL to operate openly within their borders, even allowing them to establish permanent footholds with military bases and academies to train new recruits.
A byproduct of aggressively hoarding all magical knowledge they can find is that the NOL is in possession of the largest collection of arcane devices, artifacts, and powers in the entire world. Promising desperate governments that they will 'fight fire with fire', the NOL troops are trained in the use of Ars Magus, devices that the NOL is proficient in creating to empower even ordinary foot soldiers to contend with supernatural threats.
Impressed by their well organized hierarchy of authority, exceptionally trained troops, and cautionary advice about the dangers of allowing magic to develop unchecked within their lands, governments have begun to grant NOL significant latitude in the pursuit of their self-proclaimed duties. NOL officers have endorsed jurisdiction to contain and control all supernatural threats, with authority that supersedes local law enforcement. Only national militaries tend to hold more sway over the security of the land, and most of them are all too eager to leave deadly magical threats to the NOL to solve.
To the everyday citizen of a nation, the NOL are a peacekeeping force, there to protect people from supernatural threats that normal law enforcement agencies are ill equipped to handle. Predatory darkstalkers, magic-abusing witches and warlocks, or rogue magical artifacts warping the very fabric of reality are all threats civilians expect the NOL to dispatch soldiers to deal with.
Sometimes, rumors will spread about the NOL being overly aggressive in subduing and securing any trace of magic to be found. Maybe that neighbor with the suspicious family heirloom went missing after a visit from NOL investigators. Or perhaps a fortune teller's shop was shut down and the proprietor vanished after a dissatisfied customer made a call to the local NOL office...
NOL has a practice of placing bounties on targets of interest. These bounties come with a rating and cash reward that will be paid to anyone who helps find or capture the target. Individuals who actively engage in hostilities against NOL rise quickly up to the highest of the Bounty charts, with the worst offenders receiving a SS Class Bounty. The reward for bringing in a SS class target is well into the tens of millions, making life extremely difficult for anyone who is given this designation.
There have only been a few SS-Class bounties in the history of NOL. One for for a man known only as Azrael who hasn't been seen in a few years, and one for a renowned terrorist known as Ragna the Bloodedge who has reported sightings coming in from around the globe, with at least one lost due to data deletion. Of course, the poor rendering job done on Ragna's bounty poster might be responsible for a large number of mistaken identities getting reported...
OCs can now be apped within the hierarchy of NOL. Specific minion units will be made available as the organization begins to aggressively recruit mercenaries, bounty hunters, and ex-military to their ranks. Existing characters can also join up with the NOL if its tenets are in line with their interests or if they're enticed by the promise of good pay.
The NOL's targets of interest include individuals in possession of any items that seem to be magical, individuals that claim to practice magic, and beings with innate magical properties in and of themselves. Darkstalkers are expected to fully cooperate, but NOL has no issues granting them rights and positions if they work with the organization.
When it comes to collecting and locking away any items with magical properties, the NOL is aggressive. Family heirlooms, legendary artifacts, or any other items of power are subject to legal seizure by the NOL and individuals in possession of such would do well to stay off their radar. It is rumored that the NOL has massive vaults with the best security in the world in their bases, where all the confiscated magic items are stored.
Magic users are of particular interest to the NOL. The organization will strongly encourage magic users to either join them or at the very least, add them to a global registry of known magic users. Individuals that demonstrate an aptitude for magic are tracked, often spied on, and tailed as they move about the world. As long as they keep their magic use limited to research, convenience, or self defense and keep NOL aware of all actions, magic users are not in danger of being openly persecuted by the NOL. But if there is evidence that their magic is being utilized for more than self-defense, the NOL is authorized to arrest and detain the individual in order to conduct a more thorough investigation of their guilt. If any magical crimes can be proven, the individual will finally be handed over to local law enforcement to process like any other criminal.
Beings of magic are in particular danger of being hunted down by NOL. Magic constructs, such as Gears, spirit beings, powerful magic using darkstalkers, and any other supernatural being is subject to capture. As these threats are not considered actual citizens of any nation, there are few if any limits to what NOL can do with them once captured. NOL is willing to extend citizenship to certain magical beings, primarily the Beastmen group of Darkstalkers, and both protect and hide the Kaka Clan, artificially created Darkstalkers, with other individuals also granted special rights. Having the strength of such creatures on their side is considered an asset, and as long as a Darkstalker does not seem like they will be a liability in the militaristic organization, they may find themselves subject to recruiting efforts.
During the turmoil of the two great World Wars, nations began pursuing any leads possible on magical artifacts or arcane weapons that might give them the edge over their enemies. As the dust settled on the warzones and the Cold War began in earnest, twelve wealthy families of incredible influence organized in secret with a common goal of securing as many sources of magic knowledge and power for themselves. They called themselves the Novus Orbis Librarium.
While it started as a small, clandestine group manned only by the members of the 12 Originator families, over the decades since, the NOL has grown into an extensive, well-funded, powerful paramilitary force with a presence all around the globe. One of their earliest accomplishments was in convincing the world's most powerful organization of magic users, The Ten Sages, to join them. Over time, the Ten Sages have lost their identity within NOL and are hardly known of anymore.
As their archive of dangerous magical items grew over time, the NOL became more militaristic in its philosophies and organizations in order to better enforce discipline when dealing with such powerful items. Over the years, the NOL approached the governments of small nations struggling with supernatural threats within their borders. Operating with extreme secrecy, the organization cleaned up such messes in a ruthlessly efficient way, earning them a positive, if hidden, reputation among world leaders.
In more recent years, with the mysterious Majigen incident in Metro, the rumors of the world endangering Mortal Kombat, the catastrophic release of Gears by overzealous UN forces, and the reports of literal gods walking among men with the power to shatter the world, even First World nations have turned to the NOL for help and at long last, the global military has begun to operate in the open.
NOL is known publicly for its involvement in ending the Ikaruga Civil War six years ago. A separatist movement flocked to the Ikaruga region of Japan under the banner of an infamous terrorist, Tenjou Amanohokosaka. According to the news concerning the incident, the separatists had access to a powerful Arcane Doomsday device which kept Japan's military from being able to move into the region to put an end to the standoff.
Toward the end of the violence, NOL was authorized to deal with the magical threat. With Kagura Mutsuki offering critical support, a small team headed by the newly graduated Jin Kisaragi managed to infiltrate their lines and slay Tenjou, putting an end to the resistance efforts with no chance for the device to be put to use. As a result, Jin Kisaragi became known as the Hero of Ikaruga, a title spoken of highly by anyone who was following the news concerning the event.
Of course, there are many conspiracy theorists who claim what went down in Ikaruga is nothing like what was being reported by the major media outlets, but that is hardly a new phenomenon when it comes to any tragedy. Some say that Tenjou had no intention of harming anyone and that the whole event was a staged crisis by the NOL in order to suppress a dangerous truth that Tenjou was going to reveal to the world.
The NOL has a strict leadership hierarchy, with officer and non-officer ranks similar to many militaries around the world.
The NOL Ranks are as follows:
- Imperator Librarius
- Lieutenant General
- Major General
- Brigadier General
- Lieutenant Colonel
- First Lieutenant
- Second Lieutenant
- Warrant Officer
- Master Sergeant
- Lance Corporal
- Private First Class
- Private E-2
- Private E-1
The Imperator Librarius is the absolute leader of the NOL, though the current Imperator, Izanami, is known to leave almost all of the large scale military logistics to the board of 3 Admirals, each an elder member of the 3 most powerful Duodecim families.
Colonels are the highest ranking officers in the field, empowered to make large scale decisions, deploy units, and make judgement calls for the operations of the NOL within their regions of responsibility. For all intents, Colonels are the highest ranking officers most NOL soldiers will ever interface with. Each of the major regions of the world is directed by a Colonel in the field who coordinates with a specific Brigadier General back at Central HQ.
Small bases and outputs are commanded either by a Major a Lieutenant Commander.
The Generals and Admirals all work out of Central Headquarters, overseeing the global logistics of NOL, coordinating between Colonels, and planning future expansions of the NOL as more nations open their borders to the organization.
Most graduates of the NOL Academy program start their careers with the rank of Second Lieutenant, though exceptional students may start at First Lieutenant.
Enlisted Soldiers who work their way up into the officer's corps begin their officer career at the rank of Warrant Officer.
New recruits that do not go through the Academy begin at Private E-1.
The main Branches of the NOL are:
- Magic Formula Troops - The rank and file NOL soldiers often deployed into the field.
- Air Troops - NOL soldiers that man NOL aircraft or guard airfields used by the NOL.
- Intelligence Department - Soldiers that specialize in subterfuge, investigation, and forensics. Captain Hazama is currently operating as Colonel over Intelligence due to an unfortunate accident that befell the rightful Colonel.
- Engineering Department - Oversees the research and development of magitech and studies confiscated magic artifacts. Relius Clover is currently the Colonel in charge of the entire branch.
- Relief Troops - Responsible for the medical care and recovery of NOL soldiers.
- Praetorian Guards - Responsible for securing dignitaries, high value NOL soldiers, or locking down places of extreme importance. Extremely stringent requirements to join. Kagura Mutsuki is currently the Colonel in charge of the entire branch.
Under the Imperial Guards is a special division known as 0th Division: Wings of Judgment. Tasked with tracking down traitors or rebels within the ranks of NOL, they operate entirely outside of the normal command structure and report directly to the Imperator herself.
Internally, the NOL is not all that different than what its public reputation suggests. Most rank and file NOL soldiers believe in the cause espoused by the organization, dedicating their lives to eliminating or capturing supernatural threats for the safety of people around the world. Some recruits or officers may be overly zealous in the pursuit of their duty, but overall, nations are happy with the high quality, disciplined aid the NOL is bringing into their borders.
Employment by the NOL does require certain sacrifices. All members of the organization are required to waive their normal rights of citizenship in whatever nations they call home or are currently deployed in. The NOL has the authority to discipline soldiers, including detaining them in NOL ran brigs for sentences that are left to the discretion of NOL officers to establish. There are unsubstantiated rumors about problem soldiers or officers who get 'disappeared' and are never heard of again, but with the organization as large as it is, it's also possible that soldiers considered missing have simply been redeployed elsewhere in the world.
The NOL accepts recruits from all walks of life, regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or education. Especially promising recruits are even sent through an all expenses paid Academy program that is starting to develop a reputation of rivaling some of the top military academies around the world.
Soldiers are generally well treated and while there officers that abuse their rank and power, if they cross the point of costing the NOL loyal soldiers due to their failings, they will usually get demoted back down the chain of command. Especially problematic officers have a way of simply disappearing. Loyal soldiers are paid well, given free room and board at any NOL base, and are usually respected by the average civilian in nations the NOL is operating in. A career in the NOL is a high risk, high reward pursuit, and many people enlist simply because of the extremely competitive pay.
Once a part of the NOL, it is not exactly easy to get out. Due to the rights waived upon joining, those looking to leave the organization will have to find a nation willing to extend citizenship to them. As the NOL's influence has grown, it has become more and more difficult to find nations willing to take in those who wish to quit the organization. Naturally, all Ars Magus, Grimoires, and equipment must be surrendered upon discharge. Going rogue while still possessing magical equipment is a good way to immediately get a bounty on one's head.
In the last decade, there has been a shift in the tone of matters internal to the NOL. The details surrounding the creation of the rank of Imperator were murky, as the position had never existed previously. Around the same time, new internal regulations began to emphasize the absolute authority of The Imperator, not just in matters of the NOL, but for the overall well being of the planet itself. The handbooks began outlining precepts that are considered to be the Imperator's Will and strict adherence to these principles can be grounds for rapid promotion up the ranks. While the somewhat zealous undertones of the new regulations have made some of NOL's rank and file uneasy, overall, they have not drastically changed what the paramilitary organization has always stood for, so there have been few open detractors concerning the changes.
All in all, how good or evil the NOL is depends largely on who a character interfaces with. The organization houses amoral scientists like Relius Clover, murdering psychopaths like Izanami, and proud loyalists like Jin Kisaragi. On the other hand, it also contains many individuals determined to do right by the public goals of the NOL in helping save people from supernatural dangers, like Makoto Nanaya or Mai Natsume. Finally, there seem to be the wild cards - individuals that know too much to be naive to NOL's darkness, yet still see it as a means to accomplish good in the world, such as Kagura Mutsuki.