open/close all folders
The Player Character
The custom-designed protagonist of the game, you apparently led a fairly normal life prior to the start of the game; however, a chance encounter with one of the Bees changed everything. After several days of getting your newfound magical powers under control, you find yourself promptly recruited by one of the three societies, being offered either a purpose in life, money, and power or a chance at true order and clarity. As a result, you find yourself plunged into the very darkest depths of the Secret World...
- Badass in a Nice Suit: A popular clothing choice for Illuminati Decks, though many can be purchased from in-game stores: these include the Original Gangster, the Industrial Revolution, the Spy Tux (white and black), and the Style and Gilt.
- Badass Longcoat: Apart from the examples available from clothing stores in the game, certain decks are naturally equipped with these: the Templar Magus, Paladin, Puritan and Witchhunter; the Dragon Warlord and Pandemonist; and the Illuminati Grifter, Necromancer and Thaumaturgist. The in-game online store has several notable outfits that fit this trope as well: the Quantum Patrol outfit, the Firestarter outfit, the Industrial Revolution outfit, the female version of the Original Gangster outfit.
- Big Damn Heroes: From time to time, you end up playing this role; for example, during the mission to Egypt, you rescue a beleaguered squad of Council Agents by driving off their attackers with bolts of lightning.
- Blood Magic: While the Blood Magic school can be used to attack enemies with spikes of hardened blood or set their fluid to a boiling point, there are actually quite a number of healing abilities in the tree. When your setting's version of White Magic is also Blood Magic, you know you're in a rough place.
- The Chosen Many: The PC is one of a number of mages created by the Bees to Save the World.
- Cool Mask: The male version of the Keepers of the Nile sports a very impressive golden mask.
- Dressed to Plunder: The Sea Smuggler outfit; for good measure, the in-store image of this outfit is clearly modelled on Jack Sparrow and Angelica.
- Elemental Powers: A given with the elemental school of magic.
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: Basically changing probability in your favor as wells as direct magic damage.
- Familiar / Loyal Animal Companion: You can either buy these from the in-game website or earn them as rewards for completing certain events; these creatures include the seemingly mundane (a dog, a cat, a crow or an owl), supernatural variations on the same theme (ghostly kittens and ancient Egyptian hounds), and the truly bizarre (A miniature Custodian, a baby werewolf, a diminutive Jinn, an Ak'ab hatchling, and a Draug Lord Puppy).
- Fantastic Recruitment Drive: How you ended up working for your chosen faction after your powers manifested; the Templars and the Illuminati are kind enough to give you legitimate invitation (and a veiled threat in the Illuminati's case); the Dragon just press gang you.
- Gas Mask Mook: Illuminati players become these as they ascend the ranks.
- You're also required to wear a CDC air filter for "The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn"- which involves journeying into the Fog.
- The Down By Law outfit also features one of these, explicitly modelled on a skull.
- Goggles Do Nothing: For some reason, Illuminati Necromancers wear goggles; nobody ever explains what these goggles are for or why they're never fastened over the wearer's eyes.
- Nor does anyone know why the Crypto Turbulence outfit sports glasses either, but at least they're generally fastened down.
- Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Style and Gilt; apart from the shirt, almost every single inch of this outfit appears to be made of woven gold, right down to the bow-tie.
- Guile Hero: At times; one notable instance involves you deliberately drawing a pack of wolves towards Emilia, forcing Octavian to come to the rescue- and admit that there is something about the world worth saving.
- Guns Akimbo: Pistols are used in this way.
- Handshake Refusal: From time to time, you will refuse handshakes from certain people, resulting in some awkwardness. In some cases, it's out of simply not liking the other character, in others it's out of genuine and much-justified suspicion- especially in the case of "Ellis."
- Hell-Bent for Leather: The Meat Is Murder outfit, both versions of which sport leather gloves, leather skirts, leather aprons, and leather pig masks.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: At the end of Issue 11, when your character is framed on worldwide news as one of the Tokyo bombers.
- Heroic Mime
- High-Class Glass: Style and Gilt comes equipped with a monocle, appropriately framed with gold and attached via a golden chain.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: If the player rejects the Dreamers and takes the Light Side "ending."
- Institutional Apparel: The Deathrow outfit; a bright orange jumpsuit, complete with handcuffs and ankle-bracelets.
- In Universe Nickname: The common nickname for the player characters (The Bees) is actually what the CDC (and other organisations) uses to refer to us, according to Marianne Chen. Another nickname is the Infused.
- It's Up to You: Justified; though there are plenty of magical adepts on whatever faction you side with, you're one of the few that have access to both Agartha and near-immortality. Also justified in the case of Boone and Wolf leaving most of the work to you; they're much more experienced, but neither of them have been touched by the Bees, leaving them mortal and vulnerable to the effects of the Filth.
- Magic Knight: Given the classless nature of the game, it's possible to become one of these, especially if you choose to use a melee school of combat alongside blood magic or elementalism.
- Man in White / Woman in White: The Polariser Deck.
- Mundane Utility: In the introduction, once you've gained a measure of control over your powers, you play around with them by juggling fireballs from hand to hand.
- Nice Hat: The Illuminati Illusionist and Gunslinger decks, and the Templar Exorcist deck. Available in-store are the Cowboy hats of the New West outfits, the snappy fedoras of the Original Gangster, the tricorner and bicorner hats of the Sea Smuggler, and the wide-brimmed hats of the Plague Doctor. The tentacle-strung brims of the Tentacle Toppers are also pretty extraordinary.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the Illuminati ending for Egypt, the player ends up ruining the Illuminati's potential alliance with the Orochi Group. The higher ups are not pleased, and were fully intent on having them assassinated if Geary hadn't vouched for them.
- Nightmare Fetishist: A few people actually accuse you of being this over the course of the game. The most prominent of them are Sam Krieg (who drunkenly speculates that you love evil) and Kristen Geary (who claims that your psychological profile has you diagnosed with "Autassassinophilia," a sexual fetish for danger).
- Occult Detective: Whatever faction the player picks, their primary mission will be investigating and combating supernatural phenomenon. The Investigation Missions in particular force the PC to actually play detective to complete them.
- Plague Doctor: One outfit available from the store is explicitly based on this design, right down to the name.
- Power Gives You Wings: The aftermath of Issue 11 has the player develop this.
- Power Incontinence: For the first few days after being bonded to the Bee, your magical powers are almost completely uncontrollable; you accidentally set your clothes on fire just by reaching for them, you blast furniture from one end of your apartment to the next, and you even end up firing Eye Beams into the ceiling while uncontrollably levitating. However, by the fifth day, you've managed to get things under control.
- Scarf of Asskicking: A must for the Illuminati Necromancer.
- Skull for a Head: The Illuminati Mercenary wears a skull mask.
- Swallowed A Bee: How you got your powers.
- Token Good Teammate: Illuminati players end up as these, especially if they take missions helping out innocent people caught in the crossfire of the rising darkness - Geary makes many comments chewing them out for being a charity case, and for being morally compromised by others.
- Touched by Vorlons
- Vetinari Job Security: At the end of the Illuminati Story, Kristen Geary comments that if you keep on doing what you do, you'll become totally indispensable.
- Waistcoat of Style: One comes with the Industrial Revolution outfit, and it is also available separately in a variety of colours.
- You Remind Me of X: Variant 2, at the end of the Templar Story Richard Sonnac says that "You have the same look in your eyes as the Force-Marshal"
The Tokyo Incident Team
Is it daunting to be a 21-year-old in a 21-century-old organization? Nope. Not at all.The Templar protagonist of The Secret World's trailers and promotional material, Rose is a typically dedicated agent of her chosen faction; right at home under the atmosphere of dedication and tradition, Rose's interests range from bloodline research to modifying shotgun barrels. In the game, she is first seen venturing into Filth-infested Tokyo alongside Alex and Mei Ling; it is not known what happened to her afterward- though she later appears in the Filth infestation of Manhattan, fighting alongside the players.
Voiced by: Catherine Taber
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In her profile, her likes are as follows: "Long walks in the dark, spilling the blood of evil, fuzzy sweaters..."
- Cute Bruiser
- Creepy Crows: One of her dislikes, most likely linked to her hate of the Revenant.
- It's Personal: Her crusade against the Revenant is linked to a personal tragedy, though no details have been given.
- Light 'em Up: Wields a relic capable of projecting a shield of light.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Seems to be her general perspective, given she ends her trailer by putting away her magical talisman and blasting the Revenant in the face with a combat shotgun.
- Sweater Girl: Though she wears a red vest over it, fuzzy sweaters are one of her "likes."
Why are we here? Is there a greater purpose? Who the hell cares?Representing the Illuminati in the trailers, Alex might not look the part of a dedicated follower of the Eye and the Pyramid, but what he lacks in personal grooming he more than makes up for in his mastery of chaos magic. Like most of his fellow agents, he parties hard and fights even harder, always eager to climb a little further in ranking and achieve greater power. In the player's flashback to the Tokyo Incident, he reluctantly teams up with Rose and Mei Ling to attack the Filth; during the events of the Manhattan raid, he does so again to suppress yet another Filth incursion.
Voiced by: Mark Healy
- Badass Longcoat
- The Can Kicked Him: His introductory trailer shows him casually obliterating a demon whilst taking a piss in a pub bathroom. He doesn't even bother to step away from the urinal!
- Deadpan Snarker
- Drink Order: The Illuminati Cocktail, which consists of two fingers of sixty-four-year-old Highland Scotch, two cubes of Antarctic ice, and a drop of counteragent.
- Entropy and Chaos Magic: Alex's specialty; along with making his cigarette spontaneously combust and controlling the trajectory of rolling coins, he also uses it to great effect in combat- either hammering his enemies into submission with bolts of energy, or distracting them with illusions and visions long enough to deliver the killing blow.
- Expy: Wears a trenchcoat? Smoking? Snarky and Jerkass attitude? Expert in Magic? Northern English accent? Are you sure that he's not John Constantine?
- Gas Leak Cover-Up: His proposed solution for dealing with the Manhattan disaster.
- Jerk Ass
- The Hedonist
- Oop North: Alex speaks with a very broad Northern accent.
- Psychotic Smirk: Flashes one at the end of his trailer, a split second before the bathroom mirror explodes in his assailant's face.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Frequently engages in this with Mei Ling on the side of The Illuminati's Order against The Dragon's Chaos - especially noticeable in the "Ground Zero" flashback, and the "Crossroads of the World" post-mission cutscene and dialogue.
Before the Dragon came knocking, my idea of chaos was a messy apartment.The representative of the Dragon in promotional materials, Mei Ling has left behind her formerly ordered life and embraced the chaotic lifestyle of a Dragon operative with considerable enthusiasm; ironically, she's the only one of the trio who even look back on her life before discovering the Secret World. Capable of impressive elemental magic and equally impressive swordplay, Mei Ling is ironically one of the more unassuming members of the team, spending her downtime in her apartment and enjoying homemade milkshakes. As with the other three, little is known what happened to her following the Tokyo Incident, although she reappears to fight another Filth incursion with the other Tokyo Incident team members.
Voiced by: Laura Aikman
- Bare Your Midriff
- Deadpan Snarker: Not quite to the same extent as Alex, but the Tokyo Flashback shows that she's more than capable of matching Alex's sarcasm.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Playing with Fire: In the form of a large fireball and a Flaming Sword in her introductory trailer.
- Power Tattoo: Mei Ling is tatooed extensively across her torso and forearms, though we can only see a few of them under her shirt. When she uses her powers, the tattoos glow and appear to expand along her arms and up her neck.
- Oop North: She sports just a hint of a Northern accent.
- The Snack Is More Interesting: After being ambushed by a demon in her apartment, Mei Ling takes the time to finish her milkshake before blasting the demon through the back wall.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Frequently engages in this with Alex McCall, on the side of The Dragon's Chaos against The Illuminati's Order - especially noticeable in the "Ground Zero" flashback, and the "Crossroads of the World" post-mission cutscene and dialogue.
My name is Sarah, I'm still on this planet, my name is Sarah, I'm still on this planet...The Fourth member of the Tokyo Incident Team, she is the protégé of Arturo Castiglione from the Council of Venice. Players take her place for the game's tutorial. The players meet her again when they first arrive in Tokyo. She has gone through some...changes.
Voiced By: Adrienne Wilkinson
- And I Must Scream: The tutorial you play through? It's all playing out in Sarah's head over and over.
- Blank White Eyes: Whenever she starts reliving the events of the Tokyo Incident Team, she gains these.
- Mind over Matter: Telekinesis is one of the abilities she has developed since looking into the breach and passing out.
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: How the tutorial is presented to the players. However, they also force Sarah to relive the experience over and over.
- Shotguns Are Just Better
- Suddenly Voiced: In Issue 9.
- The Voiceless: Never speaks throughout the tutorial, much like the players.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Last seen at the end of the tutorial, passed out in front of a similar breach to the Dreaming Prison in the Tokyo Subway System.
- Since then she's managed to survive down in the Subway while being forced to psychically relive her last mission over and over.
- Voiced by: Dave Fennoy
- Cool Old Guy: The oldest member of the Tokyo Incident team.
- Hollywood Voodoo: Doesn't seem to employ a Voodoo Doll, but does use a rod with a skull and feathers on the end.
- The Leader: The rest of the Tokyo Incident team defers to him during Ground Zero, and, in this teaser trailer, he breaks up the Mexican Standoff between Rose, Alex and Mei Ling before teaming up to fight the Unutterable Lurker.
- Voiced by: Fryda Wolff
- Abusive Parents / Domestic Abuse: Letters found throughout the climax of The Park suggest that Lorraine's father was physically abusive towards both his wife and his daughter, apparently going so far as to kidnap the latter over the course of a messy custody battle. Worse still, if Lorraine is to be believed, he covered his tracks so well that the rest of the family believed that Lorraine had simply run away from home. Lorraine herself, already a little bit on the neglectful side, becomes increasingly abusive towards Callum as the Park begins to distort her emotions.
- Bad Dreams: The focus of the 2015 Halloween mission "The Seven Silences" is a journey through the nightmares Lorraine used to finally destroy her Bee: dreams of falling for centuries, of insanity, of being naked in public, of clowns, of being crushed, of being mutilated and helpless, etc, etc, etc.
- Black Bug Room: While exploring Atlantic Island Park's haunted house, Lorraine finds herself unexpectedly imprisoned in one of these by the Bogeyman; it takes the form of her own house, complete with depressing reminders of her ongoing misfortune - ranging from disconnection notices to letters of rejection from her own mother. Worse still, when Lorraine attempts to leave, she finds herself repeating her path through the house over and over again... and on each circuit, the house becomes progressively more disturbing, with previously innocuous notes becoming mockeries of Lorraine and her difficulties in life, whilst the scenery slowly degenerates into scenes of hanged corpses and burning dolls.
- Boxed Crook: After being arrested for the apparent murder of Callum, Lorraine quickly found herself an unwilling recruit of the Council of Venice - and then bonded with one of the Bees. As "The Seven Silences" reveals, Lorraine found this bargain nothing short of hellish, and spent the next thirty years attempting suicide between missions.
- Bungled Suicide: As the pages of her dream journal show, Lorraine never really ended her attempts at suicide, even though the Bee bonded to her ensured that she would never stay dead. Even though the string of failed suicides continued throughout the buildup to "The Seven Silences," she was encouraged by the fact that for every nightmare she inflicted upon herself, it took a little longer for her to revive.
- Child Hater: During one of her many mood-swings displayed in The Park, Lorraine narrates her hatred towards children and the adults that idolize them, referring to children as "little life-sucking monsters" with no goal except to ruin their parents' lives. She even lumps Callum into this definition, and loudly contemplates abandoning him in the Park. However, this is likely a result of the Bogeyman's emotional distortion, given that her next bit of narration features her expressing fear and concern for Callum's safety.
- Despair Event Horizon: The aftermath of The Park leave Lorraine a guilt-ridden shell of a human being with nothing left to live for and no help to speak of; having apparently been arrested for murdering Callum, it's likely that she would have gladly stayed that way and killed herself in her cell had the Council of Venice not recruited her. Sadly, the events of Samhain 2015 make it painfully clear that Lorraine never recovered from her experiences at the Park, and the process of being forcibly grafted to a Bee only made things worse: when next you meet Lorraine, she's become the only Bee that's ever successfully committed suicide.
- Driven to Suicide: From the moment the Bogeyman drove her to murder Callum, Lorraine has been on a near-constant quest to end her own life. Of course, since she was bonded with a Bee soon after, it's been an uphill journey broken by many failed attempts; but after about a decade of failures and onerous service to the Council, she eventually discovered a means of destroying her Bee and making herself mortal once again: it took almost twenty years to complete, but in the Halloween mission "The Seven Silences," she emerges as the very first of Gaia's Children to successfully commit suicide.
- Evil Matriarch: As a result of the Park's corruption, Lorraine begins to slip into this role as her narration continues, growing increasingly abusive towards Callum and children in general. The enforced performance is so unpleasant that Lorraine actually compares herself to the Woodcutter's Wife in Hansel & Gretel once she manages to recover herself.
- Glamorous Single Mother: Averted. Lorraine has had to endure a great deal of hardship as a result of single parenthood, in no small part due to the fact that it began with her lover being killed in a workplace accident; following Callum's birth, Lorraine suffered chronic depression, struggled to provide for her son with a barely minimum-wage job, had the electricity to her home cut off, and was forced to turn to her family for financial report - and both her mother and her "in-laws" turned her down. Plus, her house looks pretty squalid even before it begins degenerating into a Black Bug Room.
- Heel Realization: The climax of The Park features Lorraine suffering a breakdown as she realizes that Callum's plight is entirely her fault, the result of her neglectful parenting - and that after spending most of the game in search of the witch that supposedly captured Callum, she comes to the awful realization that she is the Witch that the Bogeyman has been referring to. For good measure, if the player continues calling out through the remainder of the game, Lorraine can be heard tearfully cursing herself for being an awful mother.
- Hurting Hero: Suffice to say that Lorraine's led a very troubled life even before the events of the game, having endured abusive parents, a dead-end job, the death of her lover and near-bankruptcy by the time she and Callum paid their fateful visit to the Park. By the end of the game, she's all but consumed by her own guilt and self-loathing - and her only appearance in The Secret World involves her successful attempt at suicide.
- Ironic Nursery Rhyme: Lorraine and Callum have a thing for Five Little Ducks; quite apart from the haltingly fearful rendition performed by Lorraine during the trailer to the game, she can occasionally be heard singing it to Callum in her attempts to call out to him - and sometimes, Callum responds. Terrifyingly enough, the Bogeyman decides to join in towards the end of the game. Sadly, it's no surprise that Callum - the "little duck," as Lorraine likes to call him - never returns from Atlantic Island Park.
- Mind Rape: Subjected to a ton of this over the course of the game as the Bogeyman continues toying with her. Apart from playing with her emotions and inflicting violent hallucinations on her senses, he also imprisons her in her Black Bug Room for a while. Not that she has any better luck after she escapes: The Bees actually inflicted this on her when they found one of their number unwillingly bonded to Lorraine by the Council of Venice; even the Buzzing admits that they were pretty harsh on her.
- Monster Clown: Lorraine really doesn't like clowns. A pity that her ongoing suicide attempt requires her to experience a prolonged nightmare about them. Plus, she actually had to return to the Park for this ghastly ordeal.
- Mood-Swinger: Over the course of The Park, Lorraine swings wildly between fear, nostalgia, grief, anger, resentment, concern, and guilt without much in the way of connection; in one particularly jarring scene, she expresses utter contempt for Callum and seriously contemplates just leaving him at the mercy of the forces loose in the Park... and yet, a few minutes later, she's almost sick with worry over Callum and promising that she'll save him no matter what. Of course, this is at least partly due to the malign influence of the amusement park, Lorraine becoming much more stable once she escapes.
- Muggles: Possesses no magical powers, no supernatural heritage, and no prior knowledge of the Secret World; for good measure, she's not even a Badass Normal or an Action Survivor - she's just an unlucky bystander forced into a situation she cannot control and never will. However, "The Seven Silences" and lore entries attached reveal that Lorraine actually has latent supernatural powers, one of the reasons why the Council selected her for recruitment and bonding.
- My God, What Have I Done?: While under the Bogeyman's mental control, Lorraine murders Callum. As soon as Winter releases her, she's immediately aghast at what she's done, and though she remains (completely silent during the epilogue), the expression of horror and guilt on her face says it all.
- Parental Neglect: Though Lorraine undoubtedly loves Callum when she isn't suffering one of her mood-swings, she often finds herself out of her depth when it comes to parenting, resulting in her leaving her son unattended in situations when he really shouldn't be left alone. Part of her Heel Realization involves her facing the awful truth that Callum would never have ended up trapped in the Park if it hadn't been for her neglect.
- Perpetual Poverty: With only her job as a waitress to support the family, Lorraine and Callum have been dirt-poor for several years, with electricity being only intermittently available in the Mailard household.
- Press-Ganged: At once a victim and an unwitting inflictor of this, having been forcibly recruited by the Council of Venice and bonded to one of the Bees - against said Bee's will.
- Offing the Offspring: After spending the entire game trying to find and rescue him, Lorraine is psychically guided into murdering Callum.
- Resentful Guardian: The crux of her argument against children during her Child Hater phase, claiming that they essentially turn parents into their slaves.
- Sanity Slippage: Exploring Atlantic Island Amusement Park does not do Lorraine's mind any favours, to say the least.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: The notion of immortality doesn't sit well with Lorraine, to say the least, having been contemplating suicide in the aftermath of The Park, - long before being subjected to a Mind Rape from the Bees; as she puts it, "they gave me eternity when I didn't want another second." Needless to say, this proves the impetus for a twenty-year quest for suicide calumniating in the events of "The Seven Silences," when Lorraine finally ends her life.