The Council of Venice is composed of members of all three main factions: the Illuminati, Dragon, and Templars, as well as a fourth faction, the Phoenicians. Other factions, such at the Orochi Group or the faction currently only referred to as 'The Rising Tide of Change' may be members of The Council of Venice, but that is not yet known. The Council of Venice is like the United Nations; a watch-group that makes sure all of the factions are abiding by the "gentleman's agreement" that allows for the Dragon, Illuminati, and Templars to carry out their secret war by designating both the locations and rules for where fighting can occur and to keep the Secret World from the public.
The Council representative Arturo Castiglione laments sending his protege, Sarah, to Kaidan; from the way he speaks the name Sarah without introduction, it is clear his lost student is the Sarah in the white jumpsuit in the Ground Zero and Back to the Beginning cutscenes.
The Sunken Library
- First encountered in The Venetian Agenda. In Legends, A Dream to Kill content is shifted back, as a prerequisite to the Council of Venice content.
For all we know, the portal in Agartha that leads to The Sunken Library is the only access to this place. It also seems likely that the reality warping world simulation that Arturo Castiglione has created, draws on magical power source such as Agartha, so why not Agartha itself?
Either way, the Virtual Training Scenario is more than a hologram.
Carmen Preda is a vampire hunter and Council of Venice agent and the primary contact for all factions throughout the course of Mortal Sins, the first quest in Transylvania and the main one for The Besieged Farmlands.
Council as viewed by others
Kirsten Geary of the Illuminati, as far as we can tell moreso than the other faction leaders, is not above bending the truth as far as it will go. Her interest in lying about the Council to a subordinate would probably be to emphasize the importance and victories of the Illuminati, make the Council seem less influential on the Illuminati than it is, make the Council's rules seem less just and more arbitrary, and in particular, diminish the appearance of the influence of the other factions. So, we get this speech from her about the Council, which appears to do all of those things. The biggest evidence that she is lying is when she, as usual, denies by omission the existence of the Dragons altogether:
- "The Council used to run the show. Back when the Earth was flat and the Sun revolved around Europe. These days they're all about being "neutral observers"; getting in the way of a good old-fashioned honor system. But until we find a way to speed up their slow descent into the ocean, it pays to use and abuse them. We scratch their back, they crack down harder on the Templars. It's a public service. The world is so over big swords and bad teeth." - Kirsten Geary, Questions and Answers.