Special Committees are designations, or code names if you will, for groups of specialists within the Association and external factions allied with the Chair. Therefore you are likely to find these designations in Association correspondence only.
Their activities are usually related to the containment of Rift Related Activity, as is the Association's mission. In this regard, the Special Committees are factions that serve the International Interest and do not act on behalf of National Governments... Usually.
The Special Committees' origins.
Originally, the committees were ad hoc groups of people with similar interests or goals. As the Association grew and the threats lurking in the Multiverse became more apparent, these groups were formalized administratively. However, like individual Associates, these operate independently, and rivalry between the various committees is common. Especially when their interests align.
Special Committee Antiquarians
Associates and Doctors specialized in analyzing, reverse engineering, and testing the capabilities of Constructs.
Special Committee Beowulf
Associates who specialized in exploring pre-industrial civilizations. Even on Atlas, they are known to dress up as such primitives, and even live in off-the-grid communities to understand other cultures better. They also enjoy the practice of knightly combat, and other martial arts.
Special Committee Gutenberg
This is likely the most loosely organized Committee within the Association. However, it has a wide network of informants, investigators, journalists and even publicists. They tend to be both the Association's ears and mouth, both locating and manipulating information. However, due the nature of news travel - slow when urgent, fast when inconvenient - its members operate more locally.
Special Committee Hortus
The World Ecological Conservation society was originally a non-profit organization. However, after the Association of Ishtar discovered its prominent members were developing alien hybrid plants, the Association neutralized its leadership and appointed its own agents to its board of directors. Although this provided the Association with a wide network among academia, the main prize where there Ecological Seed Preservation Vaults, which are located on each continent.
group of specialists who focus on alien flora and its effects on Earth's environment. Their main focus is the preservation of the current ecosystem. However, among its researchers, there are many that believe the organization should prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Special Committee Icarus
Associates and Doctors specialized on astronomical anomalies and responsible for monitoring Elysium. When the City of Arkology was discovered in Elysium's Interior, they were made responsible for sending envois and maintaining relations with the Travelling Agent. Their Associates are also maintaining relations with Arkology's Founder, which makes many within the Association distrustful of its members.
Special Committee, The Resurrection Men
A specialized unit dedicated to hunting down body snatchers and infiltrators of a similar nature. The committee owes its name to stealing bodies from morgues and cemeteries to ascertain these people might have been victims and alien influences. Paranoia is a prerequisite for partaking in this committee's questionable activities, which includes monitoring their fellow Associates for suspect changes in behavior, and they are reviled. However, few would deny they are providing an essential service.
Special Committee Schliemann
Associates and Doctors specialized in archeology related to suspected Rift Related Activity. This committee gathered with the firm belief that in the past, forgotten civilizations had contact with visitors of other places and created temple sites in Rift Locations. Now they dedicate their efforts locating and preserving these sites.
When RA was formed by the 1851 Treaty of Den Hague, the Association was incorporated within the Rift Containment agreements and started a collaboration with other parties. Organizations, such as Project Bellorothon/Special Committee Dragoons, would be advised by committees of Associates. In correspondence, however, the line between these Associates and the organization they were embedded in became blurred. Thus, external organizations are still designated as Special Committees.
Special Committee Agincourt
In the 1870's, the Knights of Avalon (It's ok to snicker) are relative newcomers to the scene. Their archaic oaths and knightly demeanor made Special Committee Beowulf seem conventional. On paper, these armored hazard suit operators are Ütter-Krapp's contracted fumigator unit which is responsible for clearing outsider vermin of their premises. ÜK, however, owns a lot of lands.
These soldiers are clad in automotive armor (purely for operating in dangerous environments, of course) developed by their own technicians. Their novices have to be men with clear records who swear fealty to their brother Knights of Avalon. This oath includes never to lay hands on another human being unless provoked. Although most consider them to be self-righteous eccentrics, their bravery is unquestioned, making them the darlings of Ütter-Krapp's PR department.
Special Committee Dragoons
The SC Dragoons is the code name for the Airborne Dragoons of Project Bellorothon. The dragoons are comprised of an international force of elite soldiers there are to act as either a Quick Responds Unit. They might also serve as service agents during special operations that require exceptional protection or special forces during raids on identified threats.
The Dragoons use so-called Nimrods, Airships using a special fuel source, designated ....., that allows their ships to fly silent, often disguised as conventional zeppelins or blimps so as to not to alert the public.
Special Committee Entomologists
Outsiders is a very general term used to describe any lifeform traversing the Rifts. This does not cover the anomalous qualities some of these alien creatures possess. Some could lay waste to veteran units there are in short supply to begin with. Therefore, expendable personnel was required to make first contact. In other cases, large units would be required to contain a large area. Commanders also discover that criminally included tend to have fewer scruples making sure nobody escapes the quarantined areas.
The French Imperial Penal Legion consists of convicts sent to the French prison colonies, such as Devil's Island near French Gunneya. In order to reduce their sentence, or simply escape the hell that is the American colonies, these convicts serve in the legion as canon fodder during large-scale extermination missions, or quarantine operations.
To control the troops, these convicts are fitted with remote-controlled bomb collars while guarded by Senegalese tirailleurs who join them in combat to maintain order.
But their real power lays in the quadrupedal Chasis d' Battaille, or battle frames. The CB-3's are machines piloted by female convicts, known as Casket Girls, that provide heavy fire support. The Penal legion is the only force permitted used to operate experimental vehicles and weapons such as the CB's. The Penal Legions, however, are still under the purview of the Imperial Army, and the Association is watching them at all time.
Special Committee Fire Brigade
A clandestine branch of the Association. The Chair denies any relation with the mercenary brigade and proclaimed the embedded Associates to be Lost Numbers.
The Fire Brigade emerged from the chaos at the end of the Franco-Prussian War. When a Rift Breach created the Lothering Exclusion Zone, RA and affiliated governments, proclaimed the involved soldiers a security concern. However, veterans with experience fighting Outsiders were in short supply.
The Fire Brigade was created to separate soldiers, involved in Rift Containment Operations, from the general population. Officially they might be a mercenary band that operates internationally, from a fleet in the Atlantic. In reality, they are a professional force operating on RA's and the Association' s behest. Who controls the Fire Brigade, however, tends to be a dubious affair. The Brigade tends to favor the Association as they were the ones to suggest their formation to begin with.
If not engaged in large-scale containment operations, the senior and crippled members tend to be deployed indefinitely near Rift locations to serve as guards.
Special Committee Yeomen
Even more controversial than the French Penal Legion, the English Imperial Gendarmes are trained at the Academie to engage swarms of outsiders in melee. The idea of armored infantry armed with close combat weapons seemed ridiculous. However, when a group of Austrian watchmen, clad in centuries-old armor, fought their way to the heart of the Outsider nest, threatening their community, this theory stopped being that outlandish. Combined with the experiences of the Fire Brigade at the Lotheringen Exclusion Zone, the concept of the 19th-century gendarmes (men-at-arms) was born.
However, it was considered a massive drain on resources, time, and manpower on the already overstretched English Army. Not to mention the energy spent on the development of tactics and training programs. Thus, the program was given a charitable twist by adopting, urchins, survives of Outsider attacks, and sons of deceased officers, to be sent to a military boarding school.
Young, both as an organization and the average age of its combat personnel, Genrdames are eager to prove themselves.