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Relationship to the OrderEdit
Tarvek is a descendant of House Valois on his mother's side.
The Knights of Jove are a military organization, and their loyalty has been identified as being specifically with House Valois.
The Smoke Knights are specifically an organization devoted to espionage, presumably including everything from assassination to intelligence gathering.
The first mention of the Council contrasts them with the Order. Although the Order is noted as having sworn loyalty to the Geisterdamen and the Other, on behalf of House Valois, its real loyalty is estimated by Anevka to lie with House Valois alone. But Anevka does expect she will have to conceal her plans from the Council until she can present them with the fait accompli of the Geisterdamen and the Other having been defeated.
The Council is later shown as being behind the plot to establish Zola as the new Heterodyne, to validate Tarvek's claim to be the new Storm King. This would seem to indicate that the Council also works for House Valois instead of House Sturmvoraus, but it is not definitive, since seizing power for the son of Aaronev Sturmvoraus by this means would serve both groups' interests. As well, unlike Anevka - and Tarvek, for that matter - Aaronev, despite on occasion beingby them, was always completely faithful and obedient to Lucrezia.
Thus, it seems reasonable to view the Council as a conspiratorial organization operating on behalf of House Sturmvoraus. Since Aaronev's - and Tarvek's - rule over Sturmhalten derives from the claim of that house, the Council, even though its existence is likely also secret, is in some sense more public, or more official, than the Order. And, since Aaronev was loyal to Lucrezia without qualms, while the Council's loyalty is still to House Sturmvoraus first, and to Lucrezia only as a consequence of that, it is reasonable to conclude that it would not cooperate in any attempt to betray Lucrezia until such time as direct orders from the Sturmvoraus heir - which is Tarvek, not Anevka - were received by them.
As well, by all appearances, Aaronev would have been no stranger to conspiracy prior to his marriage, and so it is only reasonable to presume that there would be a conspiratorial organization working for House Sturmvoraus.
The activities of Zola and the Pink Airship, on behalf of the Council, while directly benefiting Tarvek, are not in conflict with the goals of Lucrezia and the Geisterdamen, but would simply give him more power to aid them, even if also less need for their services.
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Another interpretation Edit
Zola's suggest that they are the governing body of the Knights of Jove (best examples drawn from our world are the Jedi High Council and the various High Councils of the Latter-Day Saints) and direct the resources of the Order (knights, hired scientists, et al.) as they see appropriate to accomplish the restoral of the Storm King. There is a possibility they are a separate organization in authority over the Knights of Jove, but other than a royal advisory council, there seems no reasonable model for this.
Implications for the Smoke KnightsEdit
The Knights of Jove openly proclaimed themselves to be acting on behalf of House Valois, and Rudolf Selnikov belongs to both the Knights of Jove and the Order.
Veilchen, who acted on behalf of Anevka against the Geisterdamen, appears to be a Smoke Knight, as his cloak, grapnel gun, and locket resemble Violetta's. Hence, apparently it is Violetta's branch of the Valois family that has .
Thus, we have the Order, the Smoke Knights, and the Knights of Jove on the Valois side of the ledger, and the Council on the Sturmvoraus side of the ledger.
Of course, Veilchen could be a renegade ex-Smoke Knight as well, or the Smoke Knights could be a Sturmvoraus organization kept secret from the Geisterdamen, unlike the Order, serving as an insurance policy in the event the interests of the Other and of House Sturmvoraus did not coincide. Thus, while Veilchen's active participation in Anevka's plot would seem to indicate that the Smoke Knights are a Valois organization, it is not definitive.
As well, there is at least one piece of contrary evidence supporting a Sturmvoraus connection for Veilchen in particular, if not the Smoke Knights in general. Veilchen apparentlyan extensive knowledge of the secret tunnels beneath Sturmhalten, which is most easily explained by being based on closely-guarded Sturmvoraus secrets.
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