The Group YKTTW Discussion
Rolling Updates are in effect for this, and by that I mean, feel free to add your examples right to the main entry, not just as replies. Will be launching probably within the next 48 to 72 Hours if no one has any objections. Basically, a sub-trope of Names to Run Away From Really Fast that applies specifically to a group or organization, as well as the Super Trope under which several others fall (such as Ancient Conspiracy and Government Agency of Fiction). The Group does not have any proper nouns in its name. This is meant to convey just how ancient, mysterious, clannish, secretive, powerful, and connected it is. It is not "The Silford Group". It is simply...The Group. The Group is typically some form of Ancient Conspiracy, Government Agency, or Very Powerful Crime Syndicate. Even more likely, The Group will be some combination of some or all of the above, such as an ancient and extremely highly-trained order that traces its origins back to the time when it was an Egyptian mystery religion, today has deadly assassins and Men In Black counted among its many agents, is technically an ancillary part of the United States government and, oh yeah, manages a large underground criminal empire as well. If there's a Masquerade going on in your world, The Group is, de rigueur, the first ones in and the last ones out to deal with anything related to it. If it gets broken, that's on them. Even if The Group is evil, which they may well be, they may often try to cover up The Masquerade in an attempt to utilize whatever it is for their own ends, and thus do the world some good by keeping it ignorant and safe. Whether it is mystical, supernatural, or horrific beings, creatures, phenomena or MacGuffins, things of alien origin, superhumans and related paraphernalia, examples of advanced technology, time travelers and the difficulties they create, various types of monsters, demons, or whatever other Green Rocks or Weirdness Magnets may be around in a world, you can be assured The Group will be there to either hunt and destroy them, try to manipulate and use them, or simply watch and contain them. Oh, and it should go without saying that if anyone is in charge of The Group, yes, it will be an Omniscient Council of Vagueness. It's also entirely possible to have two Groups in the world. Often, they will be fighting a war in the shadows, this will be the basis for an Arc (story or myth), typically with one fighting behind the scenes to protect the world, and the other secretly trying to destroy or corrupt it. The Group may be several decades old (for example, formed around World War II or the Cold War), several hundred years old (for example, dating from around the time of the Industrial Revolution and the American and French Revolutions), several thousand years old (originating in Rome, Greece, or Egypt), as old as human civilization itself (as soon as one cavemen invented fire, two others got together on the other side of the cave and whispered to eachother that they had better keep an eye on this, and thus The Group was born), or older than time itself (humans may serve The Group, but some very definitely non-humans founded, and control, it). Now for the fun part. Here are some of the "names" that The Group may have in any particular work. This is only a partial list, feel free to add to it if you can.