After the First World War, while our leaders were forming the League of Nations, the birds were already banded together into Feathered Affairs. By selecting representatives from each nation’s coat of arms – such as the American Bald Eagle, the German Golden Eagle, the French Rooster and the Double-Headed Eastern European Eagle – the goal was to find new methods of resolving conflict. Like the UN, they have departments dedicated to peace keeping, education, health, international trade and justice. And like us, they experience varying degrees of success.
Species Blue Jay
Latin Cyanocitta Simplisticus
Diet Birdseed straight up
Natural Habitat Northern North America
Behaviour As a recent university graduate, Jay is young, eager and more than a little naïve. He studied medicine to help people, finishing among the top in his class. While he has loads of book smarts, he lacks both experience and common sense. But don’t mistake him for stupid. Jay is the one character that consistently acts as a moral compass for all of the others. He’ll often look beyond what is expected to do what is right, suffering from the one malady that can only be cured by age – idealism.
Single and working at his first real job, Jay often finds that his good intentions lead him into trouble. In a world dominated by political interest, doing what it is right isn’t always what is prudent. But Jay comes by his bleeding heart honestly, by helping those who bleed.
Rank Master Sergeant
Species Bald Eagle
Latin Halleluia Kickmuchassus
Diet Burgers and fries
Natural Habitat Southern North America
Behaviour John likes to keep things simple. After high school he enrolled in the military, working his way up from Private to Master Sergeant. A veteran of numerous battles, John has learned everything about conflict except how to avoid it. While he may be blunt, crude and full of anger, no one cuts to the heart of a problem quicker.
John’s approaches life like a campaign. There is no situation he won’t shoot his way out of. While he always tries to do right, he does have a tendency of making bad situations even worse. It’s not always his fault. He’s often expected to step in even when it’s not even his fight. Charged with keeping the Feathered Affairs headquarters secure, John takes his responsibility seriously… perhaps a little too seriously. Day in and day out though, he’s at his post and no one would know what to do if he wasn’t.
Title Director General
Species Golden Eagle
Latin Aquirius Cheaperatos
Diet Bratwurst and Lager
Natural Habitat Northern Europe
Behaviour Hans protects the status quo. When people are happy, they spend money. Money is essential for a thriving economy. If Hans is passionate about anything, it’s prosperity. He’ll defend the established order even if it’s ridiculous, bureaucratic and riddled with circular logic.
Hans is extremely analytical and precise, running everything according to bankers’ hours. To him, there is no problem that can’t be solved by reason. Order and a procedure are paramount, even in the face of crippling war, famine and disease. This makes him incredibly level headed. It also makes him totally out of touch with the outside world. He never gets emotional, only thoughtful. Hans prefers to look for opportunity within a crisis, often finding the silver to line his pocket.
Title Communications & Cultural Attaché
Latin Gallus Chattius Maximus
Diet Wine, cheese and chicks
Habitat Southern Europe
Behaviour Francois is vain, shallow, and horribly self-serving… and these are among his best qualities!
Who better to represent the public face of an international organization than a rooster who starts each day strutting and crowing? And there is nothing Francois enjoys more than the sound of his own voice. Now if only he could get journalists and the public to share his interest.
His interest in current events is often fleeting, following what is trendy and of the moment. It is this very quality that makes him perfectly suited to public relations. How can an issue be relevant to the public when he can barely stay interested himself?
If Hans and John are conservatives, Francois is a left-leaning democrat. Just like the Kennedy’s, his hedonistic tendencies often overshadow his noble intentions. How can he even be blamed? Is it his fault there are so many attractive chicks in the world? He’s always looking to commit to the perfect woman. Just ask him. He’s had three fiancés – this year alone.
Title Unknown – Double Agent
Species Double-headed Eagle
Latin Dubious Duplicitous
Diet Potatoes and Vodka
Habitat Eastern Europe
Behaviour Vlad lives a life unto himself. His reasons are his own, his methods totally inscrutable. It’s this quality that allows him to weave in and out of Feathered Affairs. He’s a classic trickster. Sometimes he’s the cause of all of the problems. Other times, he’s the solution. Don’t ask Vlad why because the only thing that concerns him is vodka.
Out of all the characters, Vlad often states the most truisms. He’s spent his whole life working within politics and no longer cares about idealism or causes. There is no right or wrong, only what happens. He works as a double agent for balance. By not picking side, he’s never right and never wrong. In this way, Vlad is just as committed to the status quo as Hans. They just work in different ways.
Title Head of Operations
Species Spectacled Bulbul
Latin Pyious Micromanagmentius
Diet Fruit, seeds and nectar
Habitat South-East Asia
Behaviour While Hans might appear to be in charge, the smart money is on Ming. Strong-willed and autocratic, Ming is the grease that keeps the bureaucratic machinery humming. While she may appear shy and subservient to her superiors, anyone below her better watch out. Ming is a dragon.
Ming has made it in the world of politics the old fashioned way, through education and hard work. She’s the only female songbird in an office dominated by predatory eagles. Just to hold her position, she has to be better. While she comes across as overbearing and detail obsessed, these are just symptoms of her insecurity. She’s worried the moment she slips – she’s finished. She never slips.
The Feathered Affairs headquarters is located deep in the heart of the forest on the edge of a meadow. The forest is literal a city for birds. This Headquarters is based on the United Nations in New York, housing all of the different branches of the international organization. Feathered Affairs is meant to be a play on Foreign Affairs.
John is stationed at the front entrance, ensuring the perimeter is safe and secure. The roots are catacombed with computer servers, storage areas, and file rooms. As you travel up an elevator, you move through different offices. Nestled at the very top of the trunk is the Control Centre for Operations, the office where both Francois and Ming work. All of the different departments literally “branch” out from here with Hans’ roost being with the highest branch.
On Twitter, the headquarters has its own account. As in the strip, it is what unites all of the different characters, tying their tweets together. Relevant stories will first be tweeted from this account with characters able to re-tweet, editorialize and satirize the stories with their own comments. By following the Feathered Tree, all of the characters will come to you.