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Caffeinated Onions

The Caffeinated Onions are a rumoured organisation said to be under the wings of the Information Department. The same rumours often place them as being middle-aged and older men and women who specialise in gossiping. They are respectively responsible for both the gathering and dissemination of information. Members are said to be everyday members of the public, with many of them being hidden in plain sight.


The Caffeinated Onions are said to have their roots in the Roarin' Seventies, not long after the end of the First Martial Law Declaration. According to official history, the First Martial Law Declaration (known thereafter as the First Declaration) was a state of martial law imposed when the nearby kingdom of Deep Port invaded the Glowing Lands, not wanting to recognise the latter's independence from its former masters of the White Empire. This First Declaration lasted a tense 3 years, with plenty of skirmishes on both sides, with official histories of both countries painting Deep Port as the aggressor and Glowing Lands as the plucky (to an extent) victim.   Unofficial histories and private records kept in both the National Archives and Jabatan Sihir tell a different story. Though Deep Port was the first to declare their intentions, the Glowing Lands was the first to strike. A small force of single middle-aged men and women entered the country openly, ostensibly to meet relatives and for tourism purposes, but what they actually did was to destabilise both key ley lines around Deep Port's largest city, simply named Field, and Watery Port, its third largest city which was responsible for most of the magical training and education for the islands. This was done not through actual acts of sabotage, but simply utilising what the group knew best - coffee shop talk and gossip. Within a few days of Glowing Lands' group's arrival (if not sooner) it was Deep Port's own citizens who had damaged the ley lines and inadvertently sowed their own distrust of their government due to the talk of these people.   The damage was only uncovered several months later, and it still Deep Port the greater part of two more years to realise the damage the group had done - for even though the most damage had been done around Field and Watery Port, the stories took on a life of its own and spread all across the archipelago, leading to ley lines and other magical formations, some untouched for years, being damaged. By the time they realised the scale of the damage, Glowing Lands had won the PR battle in both regional media and international news. Deep Port was offered a way out to save face during secret talks, which they took.   Rumours of the Caffeinated Onions being formed started in 1970s when the larger superpowers began flexing again, this time spouting new technologies and magics. To keep the populace calm and ensure a clear line of succession, the Government of Glowing Lands instituted a new secret policy. The Caffeinated Onions would do what they do best - talk, but this time their objectives were two-fold. On one hand they were to keep the populace calm and in favour of the current government of the day, failing which, they would also secretly lend support to the opposition parties of the day, with the idea that if there was to be any power grab, the populace would accept it and not take to the streets, or at the very least stop short of a bloodbath between the government and its citizens. It was summed up as "As long as one of us elites are reappointed, or someone is brought into our inner circle, it is ok."   The second objective is arguably the more familiar one - most operatives would be trained secretly in at least some sort of martial arts and/or self-defence. They were to be the ultimate fallback should the country descend into civil war; tasked with protecting not government facilities or personnel, but key personnel who would need to move through civilian lines to reach safety.  

Existence disputed

Oddly enough, the department that protests the existence of this group the most is the Auditing Department. Since the late 1980s, the Auditing Department has always issued at least one statement a year during its annual report, refuting the existence of the Caffeinated Onions. The Chief Auditors take great pains to mention this in a prominent place in the annual reports of Government spending, pointing out that there is absolutely no place in the records for the Caffeinated Onions to exist. For those in the know, Jabatan Sihir is mentioned in that same report, under the Home Ministry and listed as Department JS (Intelligence).   It is often said that the Chief Auditors and the Auditing Department is probably the only department in which an honest civil servant can work, because all they can do is gather the numbers and report it. Even if the numbers are made available, no action will be taken against those who spend the Government's money, and so the Auditing Department is like an old tiger that growls weakly.   Or is it?

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