Characters: The Secret World Other Realms
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The Hollow Earth, a place where trees grow eternally, home of the Bees, and a convenient way to get from Seoul to New York in the space of a few minutes.
Voiced By: Tim Watson
The only human resident of Agartha, the Stationmaster introduces players to the Agartha network and gives the player their Agartha Conduit.
- Clock King: Eternally seen with a pocket watch in hand and speaks of the local rail service as "100 years late at quarter past the hour".
- Really 700 Years Old: Looks no more than his senior years, but casually mentions Amundsen's own visit to Agartha, and the Queen's feelings on Agartha as a "Marvel of engineering", Queen Victoria that is.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Impeccably polite and very British.
Giant machine-creatures that maintain and protect the Agartha network. Very nearly indestructible, extremely powerful, and dedicated to providing directions.
A techno-organic Hive Mind
of tiny probes that live in Agartha, but can leave at any time. They are responsible for bestowing magic on your character, saving you in the event of your untimely death, and the Lore entries (which they call "the Buzzing") that show up throughout the game.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Lore entries show that Bees take a very whimsical, almost otherwordly view of events and morality.
- Bond Creatures: A rather internalized case, in that the Bee that gave you your power is permanently bonded to you, at least according to Zurn.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Lore entries reveal them to be this, decorating their already bizarrely-written explanations with mechanical commands and error messages, along with quotes from film, literature, pantomimes, and advertising.
- Cryptic Conversation
- Death Is Cheap: Thanks to them; whenever your body suffers mortal injuries, they save your anima form (your soul) and return it to the nearest anima well, where a new body can be grown- or else allow you to track down the old body and resurrect it.
- Deus Est Machina: Not only do they serve a "Machine-Goddess" who created Agartha, they aren't slouches in this department, either- being effectively the angels to the aforementioned goddess.
- Enigmatic Empowering Entity
- Knowledge Broker: Variant- the Bees provide all sorts of information, provided you can find the Lore objects. Arguably, you've already paid the price for it in being bonded to one of them.
- Mechanical Lifeforms
- The Nicknamer: They have a habit of calling people- especially you- "sweetlings."
- The Omniscient: As inhabitants of Agartha, they have access to virtually everything on the planet...
- Sentient Phlebotinum
- Starfish Aliens: Even leaving aside the fact they're well, tiny robotic insects, the Buzzing shows they think and communicate in a pretty alien fashion.
- Sour Supporter: They seem pretty pessimistic about you actually saving the world. Doesn't stop them from investing their all into helping you.
- Super Empowering: Type 1.
- Swallowed A Bee: Their modus operandi for granting magical powers.
- Touched by Vorlons: They're the Vorlons.
Bird of the Zero Point Pathogen (a.k.a. "Flappy")
A powerful filth creature first seen after issue 7, and the filth's entry into Agartha, this creature flew around for several months, screeching and dropping puddles of filth around Agartha as part of the "whispering tide" event. Eventually, players got to fight Flappy as it guarded the portal to Tokyo.
- Demonic Spiders: The arachnid enemies spawned in the fight.
- Fan Nickname: "Flappy". The name was actually given before the official name was seen in game, the fan name being given at the start of the event as Flappy flew around Agartha.
- Feathered Fiend: Looks like a cross between a bird and a prehistoric looking creature.
- Goddamn Bats: The infected human enemies.
- The Summoner: Summons a lot of extra enemies during the fight.
The Hell Dimensions
Created during a previous age of history, the Hell Dimensions are now an fiery, anima-deprived alternate dimension, populated by numerous varieties of demons and strewn with the remnants of heavy machinery. The player enters these a number of times to stop demonic invasions, and gets involved in a war between the rebellious demons (led by Theodore Wicker), and forces of the ruling order (led by Eblis).
- Dark Is Not Evil: Demons, for all their status at being demonic, ultimately just want to live in a better world than Hell. They are by no means inherently evil, just easily bossed around by Eblis (who is a Fallen Angel, not a demon).
- Death World: Quite apart from the fact that they're Hell, the dimensions are particularly inhospitable to human life; on top of the volcanic landscape, flesh-stripping sandstorms and hostile natives, the air itself will eventually be lethal to mortal visitors - to the point that Wicker has to notify you that the shortness of breath you're feeling is actually your blood slowly turning to metal. He himself only adapted to the environment through a complicated series of occult rituals that rendered him distinctly non-human.
- Eternal Engine: Neatly crossed with Nightmarish Factory.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Certainly has the fire, lava, brimstone and petrified forests; the decaying machinery adds to the atmosphere as well.
- Hell Gate: Most of the demonic forces conduct their invasion through various portals in America, Egypt and Transylvania - most of them instantly recognizable due to the burnt plantlife, semi-demolished buildings, demonic technology embedded in the scenery, and infernal fissures tearing the ground open.
- Hell on Earth: Currently waging a war on Gaia in the hopes of accomplishing this in totality.
Now. I am beyond the cage of humanity. I am... rarefied. This dimension has worked a great alchemy on me, and in return, I mean to restore it... to greatness. Every petrified forest must start from a single manganese seed...
Voiced By: Mark Healy
A legendary Oxford-educated demonologist who disappeared twenty years prior to the events of the game, Wicker nonetheless left a long trail of clues that both Daniel Bach and the player end up following- all the way into Hell, via the portal in the Overlook Motel. Once there, it's revealed that Wicker is actually leading a revolution on behalf of the demons, having learned that the Hell Dimensions are actually a ruined Scavenger World
, and wants to restore them to their former glory.
- Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: It's hard to tell which, though he could swing in either direction,
- Beam-O-War: Ends up getting caught in one of these with Eblis in the last battle of "Sympathy for the Devil."
- Beat Still, My Heart: As part of his preparations for surviving the Hell Dimensions, he tore his own heart out; you can still see the scar on his chest.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Dark Messiah
- Healing Hands: Easily mends your injuries during the boss battle of "Sympathy for the Devil."
- Heroic BSOD / Villainous BSOD: In the aftermath of "Sympathy for the Devil" and "Paradise Now."
- Humanoid Abomination: A fairly benign example, but thanks to the various alterations he made to his body and "the great alchemy" that the Hell Dimensions worked on him, Wicker is no longer truly human- as evidenced by the slight demonic reverb to his voice.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: A firm believer in this, to the point that he claims that- through demon-summoning - humans corrupted the demons and not the other way around; he even goes so far as to portray the usual interaction in a Deal with the Devil as desperate scavenger demons prostituting themselves to greedy hedge-mages.
- Living MacGuffin: On top of being a rallying figure for one faction of demons and a potential gateway for the other, your contacts reveal that Wicker was being courted for membership by both the Templars and the Illuminati in the days before he vanished; the latter wanted to make use of his occult knowledge and magical skills, while the former wanted to keep him from doing anything potentially apocalyptic.
- Man in White: The outfit might be battered and slightly discoloured from his time in Hell, but Wicker still draws attention by being the first character in the area to be seen in white clothes. Even Eblis calls him "the One in White." After finishing off the last of the Hell Dimension dungeons, you're rewarded with a copy of this outfit.
- Rebel Leader
- Scarf Of Ass Kicking
- The Soulless: He actually thinks that this is a good thing, claiming that his soul allowed him to perform the worst of his past crimes.
- The Spock: Wicker doesn't often show emotion, having lost most of his capacity to feel and express it when he removed his soul.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Along with demonology, Wicker's main specialty was in portal magic- hence his ability to reach the Hell Dimensions and connect them back to the real world.
- Tongue Trauma: One rumour claims that he actually tore his tongue out in order to speak the demonic languages better.
- Voice of the Legion
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Voiced By: Catherine Taber
Theodore Wicker's right-hand demoness, and the reason he got into the whole "redeeming hell" thing to start with.
Eblis, Dominus Inferni in Profondis
Voiced By: Nicholas Boulton
Ruler of the Hell Dimensions and Wicker's nemesis, Eblis is the nearest equivalent to the devil present in the game. Coordinating the demonic invasion of Earth through the beachheads in Solomon Island, Egypt and Transylvania, he is single-mindedly dedicated to claiming Gaia as his new kingdom, having long since grown tired of ruling an Anima-starved wasteland. With a burgeoning revolution on his hands, however, he has had to divide his forces and eradicate any threats to his power - in particular, Theodore Wicker and anyone allied with him.
- Anime Anatomy: Doesn't appear to possess genitals.
- Arc Villain: Of the Hell Dimensions dungeons. Yes, Satan is not the main Big Bad of the game.
- Bad Boss: He takes great delight in knowing that his assassin's enforced One-Winged Angel status is extremely painful.
- Bald of Evil: Completely hairless, unrepentantly monstrous.
- Beam-O-War: Ends up getting caught in one of these with Wicker in the last battle of "Sympathy for the Devil," leaving Eblis unable to attack the players except by harnessing the deadly gales of the Hell Dimension around them.
- Bishonen Line: Noticeably more human than his monstrous lieutenants.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Despite being the game's equivalent of the Devil and a former member of the impossibly-powerful Host, Eblis can be killed by the players.
- Divinely Appearing Demons: Given that he was one of the Host, this is a given, especially since he still likes to show off his angelic nature through his wings and eerily flawless appearance. Unlike the ones you meet in the Dreaming Prison, though, Eblis doesn't even bother making himself look human for the player's benefit.
- Fallen Angel: Specifically noted; quite apart from the fact that Eblis is essentially Lucifer, the Bees also mention that he was once one of the Host, and actually helped to construct Hell eons before it was cut off from Earth and fell into disrepair. For good measure, his last appearance prompts Sonnac to sheepishly admit that angels are rarely on the side of the angels - though few go so far as to foment total war between Earth and the Hell Dimensions.
- Fantastic Racism / Puny Humans: Very dismissive of human beings, and very vocal about it.
- Flaming Sword: In keeping with his angelic ancestry, he goes into battle with one of these in the final battle of "Paradise Now."
- Final Boss: Of both "Paradise Now" and the entire Hell Dimensions arc.
- Flunky Boss: "Sympathy for the Devil" has him send in a gang of assassins to take out the players, while he tries to batter down Wicker's defences from above.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Averted. Eblis possesses the same kind of energy wings that other members of the Host possess. Also an eversion of Good Colors, Evil Colors, for Eblis' wings are pure white... though he does manifest at least three pairs of them at once.
- Hell on Earth: His ultimate goal is to take over our universe, remake it as his new kingdom, and enjoy the benefits of living in a world that hasn't been starved of Anima for the last few millennia.
- Light Is Not Good: In sharp contrast to the demons and damned souls that serve him, Eblis is an eerily beautiful humanoid figure rendered in white and electric blue. He's also more villainous than any of his underlings put together.
- Make My Monster Grow: After the assassination attempt on Wicker and the players has failed, Eblis magically transforms the last surviving assassin into the the next boss of "Sympathy For The Devil."
- Power Gives You Wings: Much like the other members of the Host encountered during the game, Eblis possesses wings of Pure Energy that deploy whenever he feels like travelling quickly - or when he's unleashing his most powerful attacks, such as during the final battles of "Sympathy For The Devil" and "Paradise Now."
- Tron Lines: Eblis' body is covered in luminous blue lines, forming patterns across his skull, heart, fists, hips and shins.
- Villain Teleportation: Likes to pull this little trick during the final boss battle.
- Weather Manipulation: Turns the skin-flaying windstorms of the Hell Dimensions against the players during the final battle of "Sympathy For The Devil," forcing you to run for cover.
The Dreaming Prison
First accessed in the opening cutscene of the game (appropriately enough, via a dream) and periodically revisited throughout the main story and DLC, the Prison is the world in which the players first encounter the Dreamers in person. It manifests primarily as a world of icebergs, black sand islands and many cuboid Gaia Engines floating in the middle of an ocean of Filth, beneath a bleak night-time sky of floating asteroids and desolate planets. As the apparent source of the Filth, portals to the Dreaming Prison often manifest in areas where the Filth has been allowed to accumulate in large enough quantities - Tokyo being the first encountered in the game. And though it appears to have successfully contained the Dreamers for the moment, there are hints that the prison isn't as stable as first suspected...
- Alien Sky: Complete with an orbiting chain of asteroids, a huge cracked planetoid, and the occasional angry-red star.
- Always Night: The only point in the game where the sun can be seen over the Dreaming Prison is during the Tokyo Flashback and the conclusion to "From The Valley To The Stars," and in that case, it's a red giant looming over a dying solar system of barren planets.
- Dark World: Prone to recreating objects and buildings from the real world, though rarely to any meaningful degree... Up until "The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn," when it's revealed that the Fog around Solomon Island conceals a portal to a location under the Dreamers' influence known only as the Red Sargassum Dream, consisting of a twisted recreation of Kingsmouth populated by Filth-infected duplicates of its people.
- Eldritch Location: As well as being the cage for a swarm of Eldritch Abominations, the near-permanent night and odd gravity adds a thick layer of surrealism to the area.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: As the name implies, the Dreaming Prison is essentially the can for the Dreamers.
- Sinister Geometry: The Gaia Engines, for all their extraordinary functions, are very basic in structure, being little more than enormous cubes either hovering in space or set into the beach.
- Weird Sun: The red giant seen looming over the Prison's solar system from time to time.
You will see the End of Days. You will see the dawning of a new age. To be a monarch... or a beggar. To lose everything... or become a god. To stand with us... or against us. The choice is yours. Remember this.
Voiced By: Enn Reitel
The creators of the Filth
, the Dreamers are a mysterious group of beings who are constantly trying to enter our reality for reasons unknown - though probably not for anything benign if the Lore entries are any evidence. They're called "dreamers" because, in a sense, the Filth is their dream, their desire to conquer and control all life made manifest as a physical entity - and because of their literal ability to create Eldritch Locations
that are actually called Dreams. Though apparently imprisoned beyond the boundaries of our universe, they've been attempting to devise means of breaking out for millennia; the disaster in Tokyo is just the latest example of their efforts to escape...
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: During the finale of "Mortal Sins," they're so desperate to escape their prison that they resort to openly begging with you, even if you made it clear that you're not interested in pledging yourself to them.
- Body Horror: A common source of it, being responsible for Filth and the many different forms it takes over the course of the game.
- Bigger Bad: They're pretty much behind everything with the Filth, which is just about everything in the game.
- Blue and Orange Morality: A distinct possibility; the Dreamers you meet during the main story claim that their imprisonment has left them unable to understand human nature, though given the fact that they're essentially begging for a way out makes this testimony unreliable at best. On the other hand, the Dreamer you meet during your voyage into the Fog is much more visibly abstract in thought patterns, almost giving the Buzzing itself a run for its money in the eccentricity department.
- Celestial Body: Implied to possess this to a certain degree, if the Buzzing's description of them possessing event horizons for mouths was accurate.
- The Corrupter: Throughout history, the Dreamers have seduced individuals to their side with many different promises, either offering to help them fulfil their ambitions in life, or tempting them with supernatural gifts and promises of power. Akhenaten accepted their help in leaving his mark on Egypt; Halina Ilyushin was offered the chance to achieve her childhood dream of travelling through space; finally, most obviously of all, the players are offered the opportunity to seize all the power their faction has denied them - in exchange for disabling one set of defences on their prison.
- Their followers continue this trend of corruption, with beings like Dr Armitage and John tempting unsuspecting mortals towards similarly corrupting deals, offering anything from artistic success to spiritual transcendence.
- Cosmic Entity: As star-eating, reality-warping, eldritch gods with enough power to warp reality even while still imprisoned, it's hard not to think of them as anything other than cosmic.
- Cosmic Horror Story: The centrepiece of one spanning the entire setting. For good measure, the Dreamers are the only enemy in the game that can't be fought on any conventional level, and likely never could be fought if they ever escaped.
- Creepy Monotone / Dissonant Serenity: The Dreamer encountered within the Red Sargassum Dream speaks in an eerily calm and oddly soothing monotone despite the fact that its providing a commentary to a hideous replica of Kingsmouth floating over a sea of Filth, populated by corrupted replicas of the townsfolk. This, combined with its Voice of the Legion, has the effect of making this particular mission really fucking creepy.
- Dark World: Their Red Sargassum Dream, a dark, twisted version of Kingsmouth inhabited by Filth-infected versions of the residents... because the real ones have all been infected with a strain of Filth carried by the Fog. More disturbingly, it's also implied that this place is essentially a sneak-preview of what the Dreamers hope to do with all of Earth, namely recreating the areas they've conquered within the Dream from the memories of those they've infected, and populating their expanding world with the souls of their victims. Those Dreamers found within the Red Sargassum claim that this is actually a good thing, as it means that nobody ever truly "dies."
- Deal with the Devil: During their first "face-to-face" meeting with you, the Dreamers lavish you with offers to unlock your true potential and grant you everything you've ever wanted in life - offers that you are free to accept or deny. Furthermore, they also provide proof of their apparent generosity by displaying a huge gallery of individuals who've accepted bargains from them in the past and profited immensely, choosing to be rewarded with wealth, political power, artistic vision or even linguistic abilities. The Dreamers offer you the chance to reach even further they did, and claim true power.
- Later in the game, you actually meet several individuals who accepted such bargains, and they seem fairly content. Admittedly, most of them end up trying to kill you, if only for getting in the way of their ambitions.
- Eldritch Abomination: Often described by the Buzzing with labels such as "a multitude of eyes and mouths glaring and gnashing beyond the outer dark," "hungry mouths made of event horizons," and "those who slumber in the spaces between," it's hard to imagine the Dreamers as anything other than Lovecraftian gods.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: According to the Buzzing, they're somewhat squidlike in nature. Apparently, the Ur-Draug is a massively scaled-down replica of one of the Dreamers.
- Faux Affably Evil: The Dreamers encountered during the main storyline are polite and welcoming, encouraging you to aspire to greatness and modestly offering their help. But refuse the gift they offer or get in the way of their plans in Egypt, and they'll turn very nasty, bombarding you with insults and threats of betrayal, madness and destruction. The Dreamers you encounter in the Red Sargassum Dream are similarly faux-affable, and perfectly frank about how they want to "free Kingsmouth from civil trappings" ie: turn the inhabitants into Filth-infected monsters and allow their deranged souls to wander the Dream forever. They even claim that living forever in a nightmare is actually good thing, at one point offering you the position of mayor - or god, if you prefer. They even go so far as to suggest that you bring your friends along on your next visit...
- God Guise: Given their activities in Egypt, it can be inferred that the Aten is just another one of the Dreamers and Akhenaten was one of the many historical figures who accepted a bargain from them.
- The Man Behind the Man: The entities behind virtually every single regional disaster in the game, either directing the activities of the Draug on Solomon Island, calling upon their Atenist worshippers in Egypt, colluding with Lilith and her offspring in Transylvania, or even indirectly kicking off the subway bombing in Tokyo.
- Mind Rape: On your second visit, greatly displeased by your activities in Egypt, they begin threatening you with this. Given what happens to Filth infectees on a regular basis, it's likely that they really are capable of the Mind Rape they threaten; it's just that their current state of dormancy prevents them from reaching out to uninfected minds.
We can enter your mind, and we can wreak havoc. We can leave you an empty shell, or we can instil you with fear and anger, like those you have seen and fought in the world above. A mere thought from us, and you would vanish from this place and enter another: you would see sights that would destroy you, inside and out. We would leave only enough of you to mourn the loss of your soul!
- The Minion Master: How they affect the world despite being prevented from accessing it; they can still control the Filth and its many entities and infectees scattered across the globe, and their influence still commands the allegiance of cults from Egypt to New York.
- Multiversal Conqueror: According to the Bees, their goal is to take over our universe and convert it into their own private kingdom/larder.
- Physical God: The Dreamers have been worshipped as gods by many cultures throughout history, and given the powers they possess even while still dormant, it's not hard to see why.
- Plague Master: As the creators and controllers of the Filth and its many offshoots, the Dreamers fall under this heading.
- Planet Eater / Spacetime Eater: It's mentioned throughout the game and its expansions that the Dreamers eat stars. According to the Bees, they're currently content to lick at craters in moons while waiting to be released and "dreaming of the bigger feast." However, it's also implied that they feed on more extraordinary things as well; for example, the notes of the FNF counsellors, who are acting in imitation of the Dreamers, often mention devouring the light at the end of the universe. In issue #7, Emma wonders aloud why the Filth entities would be interested in her, given that they feed off stars; the shades only answer, "You are all made of stars."
- The Power of the Sun: As both the Atenists and the Cult of Deus Sol Invictus demonstrate, the Dreamers have a tendency to inspire the creation of sun-worshipping cults; indeed, one of the man warcries of the Atenists is "for the Black Sun!"
- Reality Warper: Having apparently willed the Filth into existence, transmuted the Viking dreams of the mythical Draug into physical reality, replicated entire landscapes as physical "dreams," and rewarded their willing followers with all manner of improbable gifts, the Dreamers are likely the most powerful entities in the setting even while still incarcerated and asleep. If they were to ever awake, chances are nobody would ever be able to stop them.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Imprisoned in state of dormancy outside our world, most of their activities throughout the game involve their followers trying to release them. At the end of the main game, the Player has the option of either breaking down one set of restraints or reinforcing it. Apparently, the main line of defence against their invasion are the Gaia Engines, which Emma Smith describes as "music boxes" lulling the Dreamers to sleep - with dire consequences if enough stop playing.
- Leaking Can of Evil: Imprisoned as they are, they can still direct the Filth into our reality - especially in the event that a Gaia Engine is damaged or destroyed.
- Time Abyss: The Dreamers have been trying to emerge from their prisons for millennia, and have likely been in existence for much longer than that - perhaps having originated in another universe countless eons past.
- Ultimate Evil: Nobody is entirely certain what they really look like... and that's assuming that the Dreamers even have stable shapes or bodies of their own. The Bees hint that they may be vaguely cephalopod in appearance and possess mouths like black holes, but that's about it.
- The Unfought: To date, no Dreamers have ever given you the option of actually fighting them, and to be brutally honest, it's not likely that anyone would really survive doing so if they were to escape from their dormancy.
- Villainous Breakdown: It's subtle, but during the final mission of "Mortal Sins," the Dreamers sound a little desperate in their attempts at convincing you to release them, even going so far as to beg you to open the locks on their prison.
Our imprisonment has blinded us. We're insensitive to the needs of humans, and we've forgotten what it is to be free. We do what we do simply because we are in pain. Please forgive us. We don't often apologise, but we feel we may have misjudged you. Please allow us to repair our relations. You won't regret it. Those who are merciful will receive mercy in return. Please, have mercy.
- The Voice: The most they're willing to reveal of themselves at present are their voices, and that's only when you visit the Dreaming Prison or the Red Sargassum Dream. However, as Issue #7 reveals, a visit to Dreamer territory isn't necessary to hear them speak: they're more than capable of making Filth-creatures speak for them.
- Voice of the Legion: All Dreamers speak with an eerie whispering reverb.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A villainous example; during your first and third visits to the Dreaming Prison, the Dreamers encourage the perspective that you are so much better than your masters among the secret societies, encouraging your to reach higher and achieve more with their help. Granted, they don't stay very friendly if you refuse their overtures, but still...
- We Can Rule Together: Throughout the game, the Dreamers make overtures to this effect. Indeed, the one you encounter during the opening cutscene is very quick to inform you that standing with them will mean ascending to the monarchy of world they hope to create, and refusing them will leave you as a beggar in a world you no longer belong in. During the finale to "Dawning Of An Endless Night," the Dreamers expand on their sales pitch, displaying the legacy of "those who were bold and dared to dream" and offering you the chance to gain more than any of them. After briefly trying to threaten you into submission at their second meeting, they try again at offering the world during the finale. In turn, you're free to accept or deny these offers.
- Outside the main storyline, the Dreamers and their allies continue making offerings of shared power: the Dreamers presiding over the Red Sargasso Dream in "The Vanishing Of Tyler Freeborn" inform you that the dream-version of Kingsmouth is open to anyone who wants to enter, and suggests that you might make a good mayor of the town - or perhaps a monarch if the dream gets any bigger... or even a god. During the visit to Tokyo, John continues the Dreamers' marketing campaign by demonstrating that humans really can be transformed into demi-gods through the power of the Dreamers while still retaining their sentience, and with his help, you too can become "a voracious abstract."
The Dreamer's primary weapon in their attempts to escape their prison and break into our reality; essentially their desire to awaken and conquer transmuted into a physical substance, it commonly manifests as a viscous black fluid studded with writhing tentacles, though it can appear in many different strains. Exposure to the Filth, directly or indirectly, commonly results in hideous mutations and a swift descent into insanity, ultimately concluding with the victim being reduced to a servant of the Dreamers and forced to continue the spread of the infection. Having leaked in from the Dreaming Prison and diversified into hundreds of monstrous forms, it has nonetheless been kept under control through the efforts of the secret societies and resistance groups such as the Marya. However, following the Tokyo bombing, the Filth has experienced a sudden upsurge in activity around the world, with several previously-dormant sources becoming dangerously active, and new sources emerging alongside them - all threatening the awakening of the Dreamers.
The results of a unique Filth infection among the Norsemen returning from the Darkness War, the Draug began as nightmares within the minds of the afflicted warriors before being willed into physical reality by the Dreamers; as a result, the unfortunate Vikings were transformed into a new race of aquatic undead. Over the centuries, they multiplied and flourished, preying on unlucky travellers across the ocean and becoming the inspiration for many a marine ghost story; now, with the arrival of the Fog around Solomon Island, the Draug have emerged from the oceans to attack Kingsmouth en mass in search of new breeding grounds.
- Adorable Abomination: As horrific as their adult counterparts maybe, the Draug Lord puppies are astonishingly cute.
- Cute Is Evil: Flavour text indicates that the Puppies only stick around until they've "grown enough to feast upon the coprses of your friends and family."
- Alien Kudzu: In keeping with the Filth's habit of leaving weird platlife sprouting on everything, Draug territory can easily by recognized by the thick red seaweed growing there.
- Animalistic Abomination: The Draug Lords, who resemble giant octopi.
- Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Given that they aren't Filth-infectees in the truest sense of the word, the Draug rely on a much stranger form of propagation than simple exposure. Essentially, it begins by having Draug mages reanimate the corpses of the their victims; from there, the Broodwitches inseminate them with their tentacles, transforming them into Incubators; these walking eggs wander onto the beach, looking for a suitable place to nest, before planting themselves in the sand and becoming brood pods. Eventually, these brood pods will hatch, producing newborn Draug. This is one of the many purposes of the attack on Solomon Island, for apart from the zombies that can be produced from destroying townships like Kingsmouth, the Draug can also make use of the countless mass graves and hidden tombs scattered across the island to swell their ranks, hence the reason why some groups of zombies are found digging holes in the ground. Of course, this isn't the only reason...
- However, though straightforward reproduction-through-exposure doesn't often occur in the case of the Draug, it does happen: some unlucky humans exposed to the Draug's home environment tend to experience similar infections to the original Viking progenitors, ultimately transforming into Draug themselves as is the case with Joe Slater.
- Body Horror: On top of the grotesque blend of undead bodies and piscine biology, the Draug have a habit of impregnating zombies and mutating them into lumbering Incubators, which wander for a bit before sitting down and forming brood pods. Those weird fleshy triangular shapes all along the shore of Solomon Island used to be people.
- The rare few individuals who end up getting mutated into Draug experience this. Poor, poor Joe Slater.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: The unfortunate fate of the Darkness War veterans who became the first generation of Draug; sure, they managed to stop the Mayan cultists from reaching the Gaia Engine under the Blue Mountain or freeing any of the Dreamers, but Filth-infection resulted in them becoming the newest addition to the Dreamers' armies nonetheless.
- Combat Tentacles: Broodwitches have two large tentacles sprouting from the centre of their chests, and generally use them to attack enemies... when they're not being used to impregnate zombies - making them also examples of Exotic Equipment.
- Derelict Graveyard: When they're not attacking unfortunate ships and Maine coastlines, the Draug live in a vast half-submerged graveyard of all the vessels they've plundered over the centuries; known only as the Isle of Lost Ships, it's apparently inaccessible to most travellers except the Draug themselves. Unluckily for them, the Lady Margaret found it by accident and stayed just long enough to steal Excalibur from the wreckage.
- Expy: The Ur-Draug, which is essentially Cthulhu in all but name. Lore entries imply that it's really just a physical mock-up of one of the Dreamers, making this essentially a stand in for the real Cthulhu.
- Fake Real Turn: Apparently, the Draug really were just a legend in Norse society, either because they were effectively extinct or because they'd never existed at all... up until the Dreamers got hold of the idea.
- Fantastic Caste System: In contrast to the chaotic hordes spawned by exposure to normal Filth, the Draug have taken on a rigid hierarchy of castes. The lowest levels are occupied by the zombies they've animated, which are commonly just there to help create more zombies or to be converted into Incubators; this is swiftly followed by the Incubators themselves, and from there, onto real Draug. The next caste, the Warriors, naturally help protect the brood pods, herd the zombies, and combat possible threats to their clan - either through brute strength or magic. Above them are the Broodwitches and Broodsources, who play a vital role in fertilizing the zombies. Draug Warmongers are the lieutenants and bruisers of the clan, often commanding waves of attackers and usually doing the most damage in the process. Finally, at the head of each clan are the Draug Lords, directing the invasion and the movements of the clan as a whole.
- Fish People: All Draug are piscine to a certain extent, the degree increasing depending on the caste. Maulers and Impalers only possess crustacean claws and clubs, whilst the only fishy traits of the Seacallers and Broodwitches are the tentacles sprouting from their chests; Broodsources are swarming with colonies of seaweed and barnacles; Draug Warmongers possess exoskeletons and crab claws; finally, Draug Lords are essentially octopi.
- For good measure, Draug often fight alongside the Deep Ones, having herded them from the deepest oceans and onto the shores of their land-based battlefields.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Draug Warriors and Broodwitches all go into battle stark naked; given the unpleasant mixture of aquatic mutations and necrotic tissues, most of them fall under the heading of Fan Disservice.
- Giant Enemy Crab: The Warmongers, which are essentially enormous crabs from the waist upward.
- Gigantic Adults Tiny Babies: Adult Draug Lords tend to stand at ten feet tall at the very least; larger specimens, like the Primordial Dwellers, can grow to more than twice that height. Draug Lord puppies on the other hand, are barely three feet tall - roughly waist height with the players.
- Ghost Ship: Responsible for many legends of these. Also, the Draug invasion force arrived on Solomon Island aboard a ruined Orochi cargo ship called the Polaris, and the dungeon mission "Dead In The Water" features players being sent into the wreck to confront the Draug's commanders head-on.
- It Can Think: In spite of their monstrous behaviour, the Draug are capable of complex thought - at one point actually stealing Orochi force-field emitters and setting them up around their brood pods for defence.
- Large and in Charge: The upper echelons of the Draug castes tend to be more imposing than the run-of-the-mill warriors; the Broodsources, the Warmongers, and the Lords are all prime examples of this. And the Ur-Draug, the apparent commander-in-chief of the entire invasion is borderline Kaiju-proportions... but even it's miniscule compared to the being it was modelled on.
- Meat Moss: The spawning grounds for high-caste Draug often end up becoming layered with tentacles and fleshy growths, along with enormous heavily-carapaced pods for the growing Warmongers.
- Power Floats / Flying Seafood Special: Draug Lords have a habit of levitating into battle. Amusingly enough, their puppies levitate up to six feet in the air as an Idle Animation.
- Power Pincers: Natural weapons of the Draug Warmongers; as cutscenes from "The Search For Tyler Freeborn" demonstrate, these claws are not only large enough to shield a Warmonger from gunfire, but also strong enough to smash moving vehicles off roads and swift enough hurl them at helicopters with deadly accuracy.
- Stronger with Age: If the enemies encountered during "Dead In The Water" are any evidence, the oldest generations of Draug spawned are the strongest troops in their army; as for the Norsemen first converted into Draug, they have become powerful enough to count as major bosses.
- Walk, Don't Swim: The cutscene to "Draugnet" features them doing exactly this, marching slowly from the waves and onto the beaches of Kingsmouth.
- Was Once a Man: The oldest of the Draug, having been drawn from the ranks of Filth-corrupted Vikings. Particularly tragic in the case of the Varangian, who once wielded Excalibur and led the charge against Wayeb-Xul during the Darkness Wars, even healing the players when it looked as though the battle might be lost... only to be eventually distorted into one of the Warmongers guarding the Polaris.
- Also, some of the newest additions to the horde fall under this heading, though they are rare in comparison to the pod-born majority: Joe Slater is the only living example of a Draug convert encountered in the game.
The Fungal Filth
Initially a comparatively mundane breed of fungus, upon being exposed to the Filth's "putrescent radiation," a dramatic mutation occurred: appearing in vast semi-mobile colonies, the Fungal Filth multiplies and flourishes across the globe, growing in countless different environments and living off a variety of fuels - ranging from electricity to human flesh. First encountered in the shadowy forests of Transylvania, a shipment of the Fungus from the Congo has recently arrived in Tokyo, worsening an already-apocalyptic disaster...
- Alien Kudzu: Their territory is often distinguished by the huge patches of multi-coloured fungus growing on the sides of buildings.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: In sharp contrast to the pitch-black Filth entities and the muddied blue-green Draug, the Fungal Filth appear in a wide variety of bright colours, ranging from electric blue to phosphorescent yellow.
- Energy Absorption: Some varieties of Filthy Fungus learn to feed on electrical current, hence the infestation of the old Soviet power plant in Transylvania.
- Festering Fungus: On top of being highly toxic and prone to damaging vital utilities like electrical power stations and water purification plants, they're offshoots of the Filth. They don't get much more festering than that.
- Fungus Humongous: Apart from the enormous mushrooms sprouting in the vats at the water purification plant, the more mobile kinds of fungus can actually grow in excesses of ten feet tall.
- Garden of Evil: Just about any area they've colonized will usually end up turning into one of these.
- Giant Spider: Many of the lesser breeds of mobile fungus take this form.
- Killer Gorilla: One breed of Fungal Filth infected in Tokyo appears like this, being more distinctively simian than most mobile varieties of Fungus. At present, it's not known if this is actually an ape that's been overtaken and colonized by the fungus, or just a cluster of fungus that's shaped itself into the form of an ape.
- Water Source Tampering: In Transylvania, one such colony of fungi took over an entire water purification plant, threatening thousands of unsuspecting citizens and forcing the player to intervene.
The Black Signal ("John")
Sssssssssssssssssssssssssssss-I am the pirate signal-let me in.
Pleased to meet you. I'm the message. I'm John. Nothing fancy. I want to get to know you-you-you.
Voiced By: André Sogliuzzo
The Voice of the Filth. Opposite number of the Buzzing. A mysterious voice that begins making contact with the player when they enter Tokyo through strange black lore pieces found throughout Kaidan. He calls himself John.
- Affably Evil: He's a pretty friendly, light-hearted kind of guy who just so happens to be a living Filth infection and the bomber who unleashed the Filth on Tokyo's subway. Not so friendly if you don't happen to be a player character, though.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: As a result of being at the very epicentre of the detonating Filth bomb, John was transformed into an entity far more advanced than any normal Filth infectee, even transcending physical existence to become "a voracious abstract."
- Berserk Button: Don't go into AV Room, and more importantly, don't go through his memories.
- The Blank: When the player explores his memories during "Nightmares In The Dream Palace," John's human form has been left faceless.
- Break Them by Talking: Attempts to do this to Ricky Pagan during the introduction to "The Last Pagan."
Your friends are all dead-dead-dead-dead- deeeeaaad. Your name is Ryuchi Sagawa. Ryuchi Sagawa. Ryuchi Sagawaaaaa. Ryuchi Sagawa, you have no power. This is just a park: a pile of sod and shrubs. Amaterasu is something you ate, or something you smoked... or a hard black tumour in your soft brain-in your brain-in your brain- in your brain. Your friends died following a lunatic. I saw them suffer-suffer-suffer-suffer-suffer...
- In an Apocalyptic Log it is shown that John succeeded in this in the days after the Bomb, driving several people to suicide.
- He tries this on you during "Nightmares In The Dream Palace," specifically while trying to mind-rape you into submission.
Werewolves, vampires and communist gnomes? Is this even likely, Chuck? Maybe you're just some slob who got stung in the throat by a bee while sleeping and slipped into a coma. Wake up, Chuck. Your family is waiting. Your bills are waiting.
- Catch Phrase: "Hiya Chuck. It's John." and "I am the __. Let me in."
- The Corrupter: The Black Signal lore entries mostly involve him trying to get the player to stop trusting the Bees and Gaia, while also trying to convince them that what the Dreamers and their supporters are doing isn't wrong at all.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The mission "Immersion" from the Sidestories: Further Analysis mission pack, in which he shows up as a bombardment of text messages in the Sunken Library's simulator - long before Tokyo is chronologically accessed.
- Interestingly enough, it's possible that he may have appeared even earlier than that: In "Obstructive Persons," the Morninglight tablet obtained during the mission contains an entry on a man known only as John Copley; though most of the details on him have been redacted, he has been identified as a member of the FNF, and employed as a "messenger..."
- Electronic Speech Impediment: In keeping with his tech-oriented nature, he has a tendency to repeat the last word in a sentence several times - wether in speech or in text. Also, he has a habit of beginning his text messages with an eerie "Sssssssssss" reminiscent of radio static.
- Enemy Mine: When he discovers you came to Kaidan despite facing Lilith back in Issue #7, he decides to help you by unlocking the gateway to the Orochi Tower, apparently out of respect for your bravery.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Buzzing. Right up to contacting the player through black lore pieces.
- Evil Laugh: Chuckles malignantly while undermining Tanaka's emergency speech with footage of unarmed citizens being gunned down by the military, and again while trying to break Ricky Pagan's spirit in "The Last Pagan."
- Evil Sounds Deep: Obvious from the moment his voice is heard during "A Message From Kaidan."
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: In the preview comics to issues #9 and #10, John is wearing a pair of large rectangular glasses that completely obscure his eyes.
- Friendless Background: His memories reveal that he started out as a lonely young man with a self-confessed case of No Social Skills, along with a dead mother and absentee father. Quite naturally, the Fear Nothing Foundation exploited this, offering him acceptance and friendship in exchange for his loyalty - ultimately indoctrinating him into the perfect suicide bomber.
- Friendly Enemy: From the moment you meet him, John seems determined to cast himself as your new best friend, and for the most part, he does seem genuinely affable in spite of his grotesque nature. Even when you insist on defying the Filth, he holds back on retaliating - up until you hammer his Berserk Button one too many times. The aftermath of "Nightmares In The Dream Palace" sees him become even more friendly with you, even resolving to defy Lilith herself in his attempts to help you. Of course, to everyone else in Kaidan, the Black Signal offers nothing but hostility...
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from a neurotic outsider recruited by the Fear Nothing Foundation, to the bomber who unleashed the Filth upon Tokyo - and from there, to a powerful incorporeal entity haunting the electrical systems of Kaidan.
- Gold-Colored Superiority: In the preview comics to issue #9 and #10, John is depicted this way via Splash of Color. Not only is his human form coloured gold, but technology under his control is also tinted the same eerie shade of gold. For good measure, it's pretty clear that John is more powerful than any other Filth entity in Tokyo.
- Hope Crusher: Most of his soul-destroying lectures are specifically targeted at his victims' hopes and fantasies, often designed to make the listeners feel mundane and powerless - or just drive them to suicide. John's attack on Ricky Pagan is a prime example of this: during this, the Black Signal not only rubs the fact that the other Pagans are likely dead in his face, but forces Ricky to become Ryuchi Sagawa once again, proclaiming that Amaterasu and the power of Rockabilly were just meaningless fantasies that led the rest of the gang to their deaths. In "Nightmares In The Dream Palace," he even tries a similar approach with you.
- I Have Many Names: Along with his official title of The Black Signal, John also calls himself the Pirate Signal, the Brain Pathogen Grammar, the Word Virus, the Symbiotic Signal, the Dreamer's Dream, and the Truth Pathogen - titles all provided in the introduction to his lore entries.
- Poke in the Third Eye: Performs this on you in the climax of Issue #10, via a mind-rape... only for him to come face to face with one of your memories of Lilith, forcing him to retreat in a panic - apparently believing that the memory itself might be able to deliver a Poke in the Third Eye to him.
- Mind Rape: After catching you exploring his memories in "Nightmares In The Dream Palace," John decides to inflict this on you, namely by hurling you into a twisted replica of the game's introduction in which you end up getting empowered by the Filth instead of the Bees, then forcing you to watch all your memories of the main campaign and occasionally fight the three main bosses encountered there - and all while John hammers you with Breaking Speech after Breaking Speech. And then he catches a glimpse of Lilith and accidentally turns the mind rape on himself, thumping his own trauma button so badly that the Mental Picture Projector that was sorting through your memories abruptly breaks down and reverts to a test pattern.
- Mouth of Sauron: Speaks for the Dreamers, often attempting to convert you on their behalf.
- The Nicknamer: He calls the player Chuck for some reason.
- Seeing Through Another's Eyes: John claims to have the ability to see through any Filth-infected being's eyes, though he apparently dislikes this, ultimately preferring to observe and influence the world through technology.
- Shoot the Messenger: He repeatedly asks the player not to do this. He's just the message after all.
- Start of Darkness: "Nightmares In The Dream Palace" allows the player to witness John's SOD in great detail, beginning with his recruitment into the Fear Nothing Foundation and ending with him detonating the Filth-bomb.
- Suicide Attack: While still human, John was selected by Phillip Marquard himself for a suicide bombing of Orochi Tower - an act referred to as "The Great Message. It was during this mission that John was caught by a security guard and, terrified of Lilith's retaliation, prematurely detonated his device, beginning the Filth infestation of Tokyo and becoming the Black Signal in the process.
- Technopath: As a Filth entity, John appears to possess the ability to influence electrical devices. Among other things, he disrupts Tanaka's broadcast with horrific imagery and psychic heckling, hijacks Ricky Pagan's boom-box in order to deliver a Breaking Speech, sabotages the Dream Palace's AV room in order to prevent the player from accessing any of its functions, and likely helped corrupt Orochi's security mechanoids. Plus, he also created the Patchwork Horror.
- Trauma Button: When John was human, Lilith became this for him; it lead to him detonating the bomb prematurely rather than at Orochi Tower out of fear of her. As a Filth entity, John is still affected by it.
- Troll: When not chatting with the player or messing about with Kaidan's technology, John has a habit of emotionally tormenting people for little more than his own amusement. Even on occasions when the intended victim manages to shake off the Signal's influence, John doesn't appear to mind - if anything, it actually prompts him to burst out laughing. Evidently, getting his target to break down just once is amusement enough.
- Verbal Tic: In both his speech and lore entries, John will sometimes repeat the last word or phrase in a sentence several times, somewhat reminiscent of a Repetitive Audio Glitch.
- Villainous Breakdown: The teaser comic for issue #10 features John suffering a panic attack when he realizes that in spite of the fact that he's managed to transform himself into an intangible Filth-being, Lilith is still capable of killing him.
- He suffers one in the issue proper, after discovering that the player has actually met Lilith in person.
- Was Once a Man: More specifically, was once a terrorist bomber.
- We Can Rule Together: Already in the habit of encouraging you not to trust the Bees or Gaia or any of the apparently heroic factions around you, John occasionally goes the extra mile in offering you the chance to become "a voracious abstract" like him.
- Villain Respect: Already trying to stay on a friendly basis with you, John actually ends up respecting you once he discovers that you've met Lilith, and not only survived, but followed her into Tokyo.
Guardians of Gaia (Pitiqtu Nasiru, Anzanunzu Nasiru, Abnu Nasiru, Isatis Nasiru, Basi Nasiru, Halbu Nasiru, Erbu Nasiru, Kasu Nasiru, Kaspu Nasiru, Samsu Nasiru)
The Guardians of Gaia are massive Elemental Golems which act as as a secondary line of defence in the places where Gaia has been damaged most heavily. Unfortunately for everyone they are indiscriminate in who they attack and it is up to the players to take them out.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Guardians each embody a natural force.
- Golem: Although differing in appearance they are all basically giant golems.
- In-Series Nickname: They are referred to as the "White Blood Cells of Gaia".
The Patchwork Horror
In Kaidan a horrific amalgamation of thrown away technology stalks the streets.
- Evil Counterpart: It is implied in the lore that it is a Filth mockery of the Guardians of Gaia created by John.
The enigmatic, long missing builders of this reality and others like the abandoned Hell Dimensions.