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Characters: The Secret World The Big Three
A character subpage for The Secret World
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You came to us in search of a purpose, and mark this: there is no purpose greater than ours. The world will founder without structure and discipline. It needs leadership to guide it to a new age of stability. It needs those with the will to stamp out the darkness that breeds in the cracks. We do this because we are compelled- by tradition, by loyalty, by laws. Without these, we are just animals. Evil rules over animals, corrupting and compromising, toppling empires; so our empire must be incorruptible, must be uncompromising. Our conflict must be a righteous one. Your conviction will be tested, but among us, your faith will be unshaken... among the Templars.
By far the most militaristic of the three main factions, the Templars are dedicated to fighting the evils that threaten mankind in all imaginable forms- by any means necessary. Unfortunately, this means that they're more than willing to destroy an entire city just to get at a single demon. Old-fashioned, honour-bound and conservative - at least compared to the others - they naturally consider the Illuminati their enemy in every sense of the word; nonetheless, they have just as many connections in the "Real World," though they prefer to ally themselves with governments rather than corporations. Seeking new recruits among soldiers, adventurers and modern-day crusaders, the Templars invite you to their headquarters in London, offering a purpose in life and a chance to stand against the darkness. However, they also warn you to avoid becoming too fixated on chivalry; halos are fading all over town...
- Big Fancy Castle: Temple Hall, which looks more like a palace than anything else.
- Cain and Abel: Gladstone says the Phoenicians were once part of the Templars and that the founders of both societies were brothers, and only split when they had a disagreement, implied by the Stuart Twins to have been over a woman because "it almost always is."
- Quite literal in that the Phoenicians in theological history are, in fact, the Canaanites.
- Church Militant: Downplayed; their members aren't all religious, and the organization as a whole values order and tradition over any specific faith. However, it's clear the faction heads have a fixation on Christian imagery and biblical quotes, largely as holdovers from the faction's days as the Knights Templar.
- Color Motif: Their uniforms (and quite a few rooms at Temple Court) are coloured deep crimson, symbolizing both their passionate, fanatical stance in the Secret War, and of course...
- The Ghost: Out of all Faction leaders, only the Force-Marshal and the Grand Master have yet to make an in-game appearance, the former referred to many times throughout the Templar Story and the latter mentioned only in a an interview with IGN.
- Good Old Ways: Tradition and stability are prized among the Templars - especially among the old guard.
- Heroes R Us: Of the "Heroic Organization" variety.
- Honour Before Reason: Played with; they encourage a more practical frame of mind rather than blind pursuit of chivalry, though they still have points that they utterly refuse to budge on.
- Knight Templar
- The Knights Templar: Despite the name, they aren't the Knights Templar, though they did found the order during the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, Illuminati manipulations put an end to them.
- London Town: The Templar's homebase of Temple Court is set in an area of London known as Ealdwic, and their part of town is very much of the "paved with gold" variety.
- Magical Library: According to the lore entries, the Templars own the largest collection of occult literature in the world. Unsurprisingly, most of it's kept under lock and key in the vaults of Temple Hall, partly to prevent misuse of the knowledge it contains but mostly to ensure that unsuspecting readers don't get hurt. Anyone desperate enough to actually enter the vaults must be armed and ready to fight at the slightest opportunity. Gladstone recommends entering on Tuesdays, when most of the books are asleep.
- Gladstone has a sizeable library of his own at the Temple Club, the esoteric texts including several he wrote himself. It's apparently safe for unrestricted viewing - though Gladstone has been cultivating hallucinogenic moulds in some of the books.
- Not So Different: For all their contempt for the Illuminati, the Templars will occasionally end up relying on the same methods and strategies as their enemies - acquiring Innsmouth Academy's anima battery design for their own use, for example, or turning a blind eye to the Dimir's slaughtering of innocent magical creatures. Even Sonnac ends up unwittingly quoting Kirsten Geary every once in a while, especially in his disregard for the citizens of Kingsmouth.
- The Order: Complete with ancient traditions and codes of conduct.
- The Paladin: What most of their warriors are characterized as.
- Principles Zealot
- Shoot the Dog: What they often recommend doing for the sake of the greater good.
- Smoky Gentlemen's Club: The Temple Club, a hangout for off-duty Templars. These days, it's more commonly frequented by the "Old Guard" Templars; the more liberal members prefer the Horned God.
- Temple Hall itself has a few of these; for example, the training ground has a surprisingly luxurious sitting room equipped with its own bar.
- Torture Cellar: While the Illuminati use holographic projections and the Dragon straw dummies, the Templars chain actual demons up to train their initiates in weapon skills.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
You should know that I am eternally busy, but for my sins I prefer a more civilised mode of correspondence than “r sonnac at the templars dot org.” So, while my time is limited, my door will always be cautiously ajar.
Voiced by: Jimmy Akingbola
Dignified, affable, and occasionally quite sarcastic, Richard Sonnac is not only an administrator among the Templars, but the public face of the "New Templars," ushering new blood into an ancient society. Serving as your liason, he provides mission briefings and information on the Secret World, espousing the virtues of the Templars and their place in securing humankind's salvation.
Dame Julia Beatrix Tyburn
Voiced by: Susan Brown
One of the Templar "Old Guard," and an occasional mission provider.
Never mind why this power's been awakened in you. You're not the only one, and you're not The Chosen One. You're part of an army -
our army - and from now on, you'll do what you're told.
Voiced by: Tom Mannion
A decorated veteran of the Templar army and head trainer at the Crucible, Lethe tutors you in the use of your magical powers in combat; to that end, he provides you with your first set of equipment for the fighting style of your choice - along with several bound demons to practice on.
Iain Tibet Gladstone
There's much in history you need to confront and tackle head-on, preferably while wearing some kind of protection.
Voiced by: Jo Dow
Explorer, scholar, expert on the occult, and current Chief Librarian of the Templars. In his younger days, Gladstone spent most of his time wandering the world, observing magical phenomena, studying ancient civilizations, performing experiments and taking many, many drugs. However, after almost losing track of him in Indonesia, the Templars decided he was too valuable to risk on fieldwork and too dangerous to expose to the rest of the world any longer. As such, Gladstone is currently undergoing an extensive rehabilitation at Temple Hall, prevented from leaving Ealdwic and under constant supervision by the Stuart Twins; he can usually be found in the Temple Club's extensive library, reminiscing on past adventures.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Not that Gladstone is allowed to lecture on a formal basis these days.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Prior to being placed under house arrest, Gladstone was undoubtedly one of these - even arguing the necessity for historians to actually experience history instead of just reading about it.
- The Alcoholic: According to the Stuart twins, he frequently stinks of sherry; plus, during his cutscene in "Sign of the Times," he seems very eager to accept the twins' offer of a drink.
- Badass Bookworm: Before his enforced retirement, anyway.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Gladstone always abhorred the idea of becoming an academic...
- Bold Explorer: Judging by most of his anecdotes, which tend to feature him exploring some of the remotest corners of the earth, forced to survive on rainwater and navigate by touch alone.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Played with. The Tempars might not be prepared to tolerate Gladstone's eccentricities in the field, but they're willing to forgive the eccentricities he displays under while under house arrest - if only because they aren't as potentially fatal.
- Cloudcuckoolander: An impression that's exaggerated by his occasional unwillingness to elaborate on some of the stranger things he talks about.
- Cool Old Guy
- Disproportionate Retribution: He's been banned from lecturing at Oxford since 1968, and the university's prepared to have him hanged if he ever shows his face on their grounds ever again.
- Erudite Stoner: Just about all of Gladstone's anecdotes will involve some kind of hallucinogenic drugs.
- Foil: To Charles Zurn and Jin Jae-Hoon; like Zurn, he's wildly eccentric and takes a very strange view of ethics in regards to his experiments; like Jae-Hoon, he's barred from ever leaving his faction's home district. However, what makes him different from both is that Gladstone prefers fieldwork to laboratory research or academia, and his faction is actually making an effort to re-integrate him with modern society.
- Gilded Cage: Being held under house arrest at the Temple Club isn't too bad for Gladstone, especially given the Club's luxurious surroundings and extensive library. Plus, he openly admits to preferring the Stuart twins to any of the other jailors that the Templars might have to offer. All the same, he still misses travelling, and being banned from lecturing at Oxford does rankle from time to time.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: A firm advocate of this, often discussing his attempts to divine the answers to ancient mysterious through prohibited substances and massive water-pipes. It turns out he was actually caught by the Templars after one of these semi-magical trips, during which he was investigating the third circle of Hell.
- Mad Scientist: When he was younger, he demonstrated his credentials in this field by conducting a social experiment on cults that required him to create a cult of his own. Of course, he had to bring it to an end when his followers were gearing up for a mass suicide.
- Mental Time Travel: He mentions accomplishing this through the use of illegal drugs - and he's not lying, either: "The Darkness War" demonstrates that this technique is a reality within the setting.
- Mr. Exposition
- Naked People Are Funny: Enjoys meditating skyclad, and tends to forget to put his clothes back on afterwards - much to the Stuart twins' exasperation.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Along with his broad fascination with the weird and uncanny, Gladstone has a particular passion for death cults.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Bears an uncanny resemblance to Alan Moore, especially in the concept art. The tendency towards mind-expanding drugs and occult esotericism helps as well.
- Noodle Incident: Many of his stories end up being narrated this way:
I have been apprehensive of the gentler gender since that run-in with the Four Whores of the Apocalypse in Timbuktu... no, it's not a topic fit for discussion, believe me. I'd rather forget all about it...
- Retired Badass
- Reluctant Retiree: They don't get much more reluctant than Gladstone, especially given that he had to be "retired" into house arrest.
- Toad Licking: According to the Stuart twins, he has to be gently discouraged from licking cane toads.
- Wales: Gladstone speaks with a very noticeable Welsh accent.
- Wild Hair: Sports an impressive mass of unkempt hair and beard. Gladstone claims to have gotten it from studying the Tone-Deaf Chanters of the Sunken Islands of the Seventh Atoll; apparently, their chants were meant to arouse hair follicles "in a rather spectacular fashion," and the results of this encounter have been known to eat combs.
- Wizard Beard: Also counts as this, given Gladstone's scholarly interests and many forays into chemical magic.
- Written by the Winners: Espouses this viewpoint - and updates it by observing that it's also written by subsequent winners who used to be the losers, and sometimes by people who had nothing to do with the conflict at all. All in all, there is no singular truth, no objective fact - only interpretation.
The Stuart Twins
Catherine: We're not officially Templars-
Mary: More "Templar advisors."
Catherine: Not to suggest that the Templars have ever listened to our advice.
Scandalous! We're their What Not to Wear,
bringing a touch of class to a dreary military-occult complex.
Voiced by: Annabel Scholey (Catherine), Laura Aikman (Mary)
The Stuart Twins act as advisors to the Templars to one extent or another; Catherine works the political angle, while Mary provides fashion tips. Assigned to help Gladstone recover, they can usually be found in his immediate vicinity at the Templar Club.
I'm the sign of the times, Blood: young, female, from the Colonies - second generation - and proudly wearin' the red of the Templars!
Voiced by: Sarah Powell
A young Templar soldier, and an enthusiastic representative of the "New Templars." Zamira helps provide directions for new players during the introduction; outside the intro, she spends her off-hours at the Horned God, arguing with Konrad Engel.
Ah, but I have said enough. I will douse my disappointment in another pint of what goes for beer around here: dull, tepid and cream-like... not unlike the current state of inter-factional diplomacy, but not what the Trappists had in mind, I'm sure. Luella? Refill, please!
Voiced by: Tim Bentick
Engel was once the Templar ambassador to the Council of Venice; however, years of bureaucracy and corruption eventually drove him to a career-ending misdemeanor (which he refers to as "critical debate"). Currently on "extended leave of absence" and replaced by someone more palatable to the Council heads, he has descended into cynicism, and is widely considered an embarrassment by the Templars, especially the Old Guard. For this reason, he is a frequent drinking buddy to Zamira at the Horned God.
- Ass in Ambassador: One of the reasons he was kicked out of office.
- Deadpan Snarker: Well known for his bitter sarcasm, Engel can rarely go five minutes without dropping a smartass remark.
Engel: Ja. As dead as the Greeks, him, isn't he?
- Dirty Old Man: Apparently past middle age, Engel admits that he left the Temple Club for the Horned God because of "the pleasant company of more pliable and vivacious women," though Zamira jokes that the Stuart Twins were just sick and tired of his drunken rambling. Plus, during "Virgula Divina," he reflects loudly and wistfully on Amparo Osorio's "stunning breasts."
- Drowning My Sorrows: Often encountered doing just this, stopping just short of being labelled an alcoholic.
- The Eeyore: By far the most pessimistic of all the Templars, Engel has an unerring tendency to ensure that everyone in the immediate vicinity knows just how gloomy the political atmosphere has gotten.
- Germanic Depressives: Unlike the common variant of this particular trope, Engel has just about given up on taking anything seriously; on the other hand, he makes up for the lack of seriousness in sheer unmitigated cynicism.
- Insufferable Genius: Politically savvy, cultured, sophisticated, philosophical... and very few people can stand him in any way, shape, or form; even Zamira has trouble coping with his attitude problems.
- Jade Coloured Glasses: By this stage, Engel's pair of glasses are practically bolted to his face.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Grumpy old bastard though he may be, Engel still believes in the Templars' original mission, and remains a good friend to Zamira in spite of his depressive rants.
- Knight In Sour Armour: Engel might be openly contemptuous of both the Council and the Templars, but he still acknowledges that they're the best option the world has for a stable future.
- Man in White
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: With Zamira, he's undeniably the blue.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: His position in most of the debates he holds with Zamira.
Zamira: Just 'cause you've become old and bitter don't mean you have to take us all down with you. Everything is changing, mate: it's not the Templars anymore; it's the New Templars, independent of skin colour, heritage, or gender.
Engel: Oh, the naiveté of youth, it is heartbreaking. My heart is literally breaking apart. Listen, you can hear it.
Zamira: Fuck off.
Engel: For my retort, allow me to paraphrase Aesop: "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." Power and influence within an organisation such as ours has little to do with a person's worth, but rather it is a reflection of their willingness to deceive.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: As much annoying as he finds her, he really does like Zamira.
It's all about power: grabbing it, keeping it, using it... Power is our currency, our DNA, our God. We control the world. We provide the blueprint and we give the instructions. We're the people in grainy photos on grassy knolls; we're the shadowy faces in smoky backrooms and darkened boardrooms. We're right here, hiding in plain sight, buying and selling favours: blackmail, treason, deceit- these are our stock in trade. We work the magic of the drunken evenings with senators and chiefs of staff. We shake down demons, and negotiate with sorcerers. We have stocks in Hell, and compromising photos of Angels. We use any means necessary regardless of the cost, because the world is a bad place, and you can either do or get done. We're the Illuminati... and we're not done.
Focused almost entirely on the pursuit of power, the Illuminati seek it in almost every possible aspect: physical, social, magical, scientific, political, and financial. With connections and controlling influences across the world and a very polished, corporate image, they are always looking for new ways to influence the world and attain even greater power - sometimes to their detriment
. Natural worshippers of individual advancement, they offer your character a chance to harness your true potential and achieve great power- but not before warning you that failure will not be tolerated...
- Big Apple Sauce: The Labyrinth is situated under a particularly derelict area of Brooklyn.
- The Chessmaster: Though they control several private armies, they generally prefer to act via manipulation and subterfuge than outright warfare. The last time they tried that with the Templars, it got them booted out of Europe altogether.
- Color Motif: The Illuminati logo and uniform colour is blue, representing their cold and clinical world-view.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: A lot of their leaders style themselves this way.
- Deal with the Devil: Literal case, in the sense that the quote about having stocks in Hell wasn't an exaggeration. According to Geary, the Illuminati aren't above hiring demons as consulting partners, though she naturally avoids mentioning the price.
- Do Wrong, Right: Their general attitude toward Orochi.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Labyrinth. According to Geary, its design was so elaborate that it drove the architect insane and led him to commit suicide.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Futuristic Pyramid: Invoked by the Labyrinth's main concourse.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Neatly combining image with practicality, Illuminati agents tend to wear gas masks along with their business-suit-esque uniforms. The Player Character can get one of these uniforms later in the game, complete with the mask.
- The Ghost: Befitting the Illuminati's secretive nature, several faction members remain unintroduced. For example, the "talking heads" that Geary reports to have never yet been seen, nor have the "old board members": the former are evidently too far above the player's level to be met face-to-face, while the latter rarely leave the Labyrinth's hidden executive suites - apparently due to crippling health issues, among other things that Geary refuses to elaborate upon.
- The Illuminati: Well, duh.
- Laughably Evil: They have some of the funniest comments and dialogue.
- Man Behind the Man: Their preferred place to be, obviously.
- One World Order
- Office Romance: The Twitterverse Experiment featured a story concerning a Love Triangle between two Illuminati agents and the librarian of Innsmouth Academy. Suffice it to say, it did not end well.
- Pragmatic Villainy: This is largely what makes them Villain Protagonists as opposed to just plain villains.
- Post Modern Magic: As the most modern of the factions, the Illuminati like to incorporate technology into their use of magic wherever possible, from the W.A.N.D. energy manipulators used in refueling the wards, to specially-made hard drives for imprisoning demons.
- Pyramid Power: Inherent in every aspect of the Pyramid symbol, especially when used as a protective ward.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!
- Sigil Spam: While the other factions have a habit of pasting their sigils on their uniforms and equipment, the Illuminati take it a step further by having almost everything they own marked with the Pyramid and the Eye to one extent or another: their uniforms and deck outfits are marked with it, Geary wears a medallion of it, Senator Cicero has it on the breast-pocket of his suit, and even the rooms in the Labyrinth are shaped like pyramids. And it's not entirely without purpose, either: their installations on Solomon Island are marked with versions of the sigil that form part of a protective ward, keeping troublesome zombies and familiars out.
- Social Darwinist: The Illuminati's motto is "Fuck or be fucked," and they take a very dim view of those who refuse to pull their weight or compete in their plans for world domination.
- Torture Cellar: Questions and Answers, the heavily-soundproofed interrogations department. According to Geary, it's equipped to deal with just about everyone, even vampires - the resident professionals apparently having a flair for high tensile wire and ultraviolet light. In the aftermath of the mission to Solomon Island, Illuminati players have to pay the department a mercifully brief visit.
- Tracking Chip: New recruits are all fitted with microchips at the base of their spines so that the Illuminati can keep tabs on them. This becomes a plot point when you have to track down a rogue agent; later in the quest, he turns up dead courtesy of a horde of angry mummies, so you've got to retrieve his chip.
- Villain Protagonist: Definitely the most sinister of the three main factions. The extent to which they're genuinely evil, however, as opposed to simply amoral, is disputable.
You have proved to be useful to me; if you continue to be useful, then BFFs forever. Blazers and jeans are only permissible with the proper footwear. I will be in touch... and I'm always,
always watching you. I'm the Pyramidion, the All-Seeing Eye In The Sky. We will be back with more messages in a moment. Please stand by...
Voiced by: CS Lee
The apparent head of the Illuminati, the Pyramidion's voice is heard throughout the Labyrinth, always delivering cryptic public service announcements and enigmatic mission briefings. As for who or what he actually is, no one seems to know...
The Illuminati are very achievement-focussed; it's like Xbox, only everything is hardcore. The ethic I really want to instil in you is to aim high and achieve even higher: it's not just in your best interest- it reflects on me too, and that is super-important. Make me look bad, I'll mount your head on my wall as an object lesson to the next fuckup. God it is
so cute when you new guys think I'm kidding...
A high-ranking Illuminati member charged with tutoring and directing new recruits; as an Illuminati player, you are merely the latest in a long line of students. Savvy, fast-talking and businesslike, Geary is also your contact while you're working in the field, recieving and sending important mission reports- most of which include a great deal of her trademarked sarcasm.
Doctor Charles Zurn
Pineal gland... overstimulated... higher brain functions... functioning. That is great work! Well above MK-ULTRA's success rate. Hey, can I ask you - have you ever seen a jaguar tripping?
An eccentric scientist working in the Illuminati headquarters, responsible for helping you to acclimatise your powers and providing you with the flashback to the Tokyo Incident.
- Absent-Minded Professor
- Affably Evil: Crazed and amoral though he may be, he's a very friendly dude, always eager to chat and joke around with visitors.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Zurn is wildly eccentric and possibly insane, but he's also a scientific genius with some very impressive credentials.
- Cloudcuckoolander: On top of all his other bizarre mannerisms, he has an unerring tendency to make inappropriate jokes or ask weird questions at certain junctures. Pretending to be Christian Szell while you've been strapped to a table or asking security guards if they've ever seen intruders void themselves due to exposure to pink noise are just a few examples of the many odd remarks that can crop up.
- Cool Old Guy
- Cutting the Electronic Leash: As the man responsible for buckling the leash in the first place, he advises new recruits not to do this.
Oh, and you may be feeling some discomfort from the microchip I grafted to your spinal column; no worries, though, I mean it - it's gonna fade. Really. And as your doctor, I caution you... strongly caution you... don't try removing it. Okay?
- Einstein Hair: The Illuminati counterpart to Gladstone's Wild Hair.
- Foil: To the intellectual powerhouses of the other two factions, Gladstone and Jae-Hoon; like the other two, he's a brilliant but eccentric scientist with many years of experience in studying the Secret World in one aspect or another; he never leaves his faction headquarters; and finally, like Gladstone, he's more than a little amoral and his hairstyle is decidedly manic. However, unlike his counterparts in the Templars and the Dragon, Zurn prefers biology and chemistry rather than the more "scholarly" pursuits of archaeology, anthropology and history. Furthermore, where Gladstone and Jae-Hoon are legitimately trapped within their headquarters, Zurn simply doesn't want to leave.
- Functional Addict: It's hard to tell just how much of the regular barbiturate dosages have affected his behaviour (maybe he was always like that), but Zurn remains a highly efficient member of the Illuminati despite them.
- Hikikomori: Thanks to the demands of his work, he hasn't left the Labyrinth since 2003. He doesn't seem to mind one way or the other.
- Keet: Just about bouncing off the ceiling in every scene and conversation he participates in; he really loves that swivel chair, too...
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Wears one of these, though it's slightly offset by the ragged tie and the rumpled-looking plaid shirt.
- Large Ham: Especially in his introduction.
... and then with a little... (inhale) ...chemical assistance, your uninhibited neurons are going to work their ca-razyyyyyy magic!
- Mad Scientist: Compared to some of the others found in the game, Zurn is at least pretty benign, in no small part due to the fact that he doesn't even pretend to be sane.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Naturally, Zurn operates one of these just below the Labyrinth's main concourse. Along with the operating table that you end up on during the Illuminati introduction, there's also a large number of weird-looking creatures preserved in jars of formaldehyde around the room...
- Playing with Syringes: To put his propensity for this in perspective, Zurn claims to have been part of the MK-ULTRA program.
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Your first encounter with him begins this way.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: Already in charge of implanting new recruits with tracking microchips, Zurn is currently attempting to take his propensity for non-consensual augmentation to the next level by pushing for you and other field operatives to be outfitted with "skull cameras." However, Geary claims to be doing her best to stall him as long as you keep providing detailed reports.
Have you tried turning it off and on? No? Then please kill yourself.
Voiced by: Roxana Ortega
As the Labyrinth's Sysadmin and general IT specialist, Cassini is rarely seen away from her workstation in the server room; nonetheless, she is in complete control over the Illuminati's electronic security networks - and as such, she knows almost everything the base's employees are up to.
Director De La Guardia
You, my friend, are in a world of tigers and they will eat you alive if you are weak, if you hesitate, if you do not strike first. Here, you will learn to strike first and strike hard, for those combat holograms, they can do nothing to you.
I, however, have a high-powered rifle and a streak of what some call sadism, I call a will to incentivize...
Voiced by: Andrew Kishino
Presiding over the test chamber, De La Guardia teaches you the basics of combat and the use of your powers.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: As one of the Illuminati's soldiers, De La Guardia wears same business suit-like uniform as the other Labyrinth guards - minus the gas mask.
- Cynical Mentor: Of course, cynicism is something of a job requirement in the Illuminati's service.
- Fair Weather Mentor: Again, a given considering he's an accomplished killer in charge of training the regular stream of new recruits that arrive in the Labyrinth. Then again, he's got nothing on Geary.
- Professional Killer
- Sadist Teacher: Implied. He certainly doesn't have any problem threatening to shoot you if you screw up, and given that you're effectively immortal...
- Scary Black Man
Veni, Vidi, Vici! Like a fuckin' Roman Emperor, I stand unscathed as the dust settles once more!
Voiced by: Andre Sogliuzzo
Representing Michigan in the US Senate, Henry Cicero is also a fully-established member of the Illuminati; naturally used to help protect the faction's political interests, he also ends up helping the player in the aftermath of the mission to Egypt.
- Beard of Evil
- Corrupt Politician: Given that he's essentially been bought and paid for by the Illuminati, it's hard for him to be seen in any other way.
- Drink Order: He certainly loves his thirty year old single malt whiskey.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Cicero naturally prefers cigars.
- Sharp-Dressed Man
- Sleazy Politician: Dear God, where to begin?
- Slimeball: Oily, ingratiating and thoroughly unpleasant.
- Smug Snake: Though he is a capable political ally, Cicero is just a little too confident in his political abilities, not to mention the belief that his connections and position make him indispensable to the Illuminati.
No hard feelings.
One of the Illuminati's assassins, Ronelle is commonly hired to ensure that Masquerade-breaking figures never see the light of day - or as she sees it, a big disappearing act. She's also used for eliminating problematic employees, as Illuminati players find out the hard way in the aftermath of "Black Sun, Red Sand."
- Creepy Monotone
- The Dreaded: Ronelle is feared by her employers almost as much as her targets, a fact that she secretly takes pride in.
- Headphones Equal Isolation
- Lean and Mean: Very lean and slender.
- Professional Killer: To put her assassin's credentials for this in perspective, she's hinted to know methods of putting down player characters for good.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: In "Mainframe," Ronelle is introduced this way, having managed to sneak up on the player entirely unnoticed; she likely would have remained so had Geary not called any attention to her. More alarmingly, she also has a gun to the player's head.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else: Instead of dressing in the snappy uniforms favoured by other agents, Ronelle prefers to spend her business hours looking like a jogger - making her all the more nondescript and inconspicuous.
- You Have Failed Me: Very nearly assassinates the player character on these grounds.
What is chaos in theory? It's a thousand coins flung into the air. Each one wavering in the course of its rise and fall between justice and greed, tenderness and blood, calamity and boredom. Who are the Dragon? We are not the face of a coin, praying for fate to favour our side: we are the hand that makes the toss. We are the trajectory. We are the violence in the wind. Countless conditions determine every outcome, and we strive to know and manipulate them all. A thousand coins tumble down and we formulate the equations and models that predict where each and every one will fall. And when they fall? We will adjust accordingly, and throw them back in the air. For we are the Dragon, and we take chaos far beyond theory.
Probably the most enigmatic of all the factions, they are also unique in their goals; the Dragon show no plans to "rule" the world as such, but instead seek to understand the underlying system upon which Chaos operates, and to ultimately balance the world with the knowledge they have gained. To that end, they cause chaos across the world in order to test their theories and models, sometimes as destructive as a major terrorist attack, sometimes as minuscule as a butterfly flapping its wings in the wrong direction. Headed by a perpetually-reincarnating, prophetic eight-year-old child
and the Silent Monks who enforce his apparent leadership, the Dragon are almost omniscient thanks to the predictive models they've created through their study of Chaos Theory; however, they still need operatives in the field to ensure that everything goes according to plan - which is where the player character comes in. Offered the chance at truth and clarity only after a kidnapping and impromptu lecture from an ex-professor and a prostitute, you join the Dragon with very little idea of your role - except that you are now officially an Agent of Chaos.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: Subverted; for a group dedicated to upsetting established structures, the Dragon itself is just as orderly as the other societies, if a bit on the overly mysterious side. Appropriately for the anarchistic side of it, it's not clear if the group really has any leaders in the traditional sense of the word - especially given how much influence the Monks have over the Child.
- Ancient Conspiracy
- Ancient Tradition: The monastic aspect of the Dragon, and the selection of the Child.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Dragon doesn't share the same goals or perspectives as the two other factions. They value change and information. Thus they might oppose hell coming to Earth not because of a particular preference for non-hellish landscapes or for avoiding torture, but because Hell tends to get stuck in a rut of the same type of torture. Some of this loathing bleeds into the mission debriefs in odd ways: the presence of a theme park irritates them more than the deaths used to lend its master occult power, as the former forces a transient matter into permanence, where the latter is merely misguided adaptation.
- The Chessmaster: Even more so than the Illuminati; as well as casually manipulating fate and chance on a truly massive scale, the Dragon also have a habit of manipulating the other factions to their own ends. One after-mission report remarks that your theft of several Illuminati artifacts is of great benefit not only because of the value of said stolen goods, but because the Illuminati will naturally blame the Templars.
- In one mission, Bong Cha reveals that the Dragon casually engineered the birth of a man who they later manipulated into joining the Templars- only to induce him to turn traitor and escape with a priceless magical artifact, just so the Dragon could get their hands on the artifact in question.
- Color Motif: The Dragon have a specific attachment to the colour green. Their logo is green; the Child, Bong Cha, the Monks and most of the operatives wear green to some extent or another; their headquarters are furnished with green furniture; the district of Seoul where the headquarters are concealed is lit by green lamps; even Chaos magic - a favoured school of magic for Dragon operatives - is coloured green.
- Complexity Addiction: Justified. One of the Dragon's purposes is to model behavior, and specifically complex behavior. An overly complex plan is part of the point, or even the whole point, as it tests their existing models.
- Cryptic Conversation: A lot of their operatives speak in this fashion. Even their text messages read this way.
- Fatal Flaw: The Dragon's models have very clear blind spots, most obviously the low value they place on infrastructure or artifacts. The Priceless Magical Artifact mentioned under The Chessmaster above? Bong Cha has no idea what it is, or what it's capable of, and becomes increasingly emotional as the artifact drives the situation so far out of her models that she eventually just wants to end the experiment. During the after-mission report to "Crossroads," it's actually admitted that the Dragon have something of a weakspot in the case of targets with no predictable course of action - which is why they prefer to employ them.
- For Want of a Nail: Some of their gambits are modelled on these kind of events.
- Inscrutable Oriental: Given their current base in Seoul, the Dragon have this as their hat. The Monks take this to its logical extreme, thanks to their mouths being sewn shut.
- Nothing Is Scarier: The Silent Monks do not — can not — talk, and are all the more effective at interrogation for that, as a Krieg's informant/stalker found out the hard way. The minimal information even Dragon characters find about the organization's long-term goals makes them particularly frightening, as well.
- The Omniscient: Thanks to their predictive models. Following certain missions that run contrary to your main objectives (usually on the grounds of it being overly compassionate), where other faction contacts would criticize you for wasting time, the Dragon simply remark that they predicted that you would act as such.
- Not So Omniscient After All: For all their methods of predicting possible futures, the Dragon can still be surprised by unexpected events; quite a few points in the main storyline see them hurrying to alter events in their favour, and the player character being unexpectedly whisked off to another dimension catches them completely off-guard.
- Out-Gambitted: The Dragon's ability to model reality makes them one of the most knowledgeable and manipulative groups in the setting short of the Agartha itself, but their limits and organizational biases mean that they're far from perfect. The Bees repeatedly redirect Dragon mission reports so they can "make ripples too", and your contact is repeatedly surprised when things, rather than people or groups, cause events to occur.
- Rebellious Spirit: Both part of the faction's structure, and a constant assumption about the rest of the world. Dragon contacts insist that it is the nature of creations to raise up against their creators, and a good deal of the faction's interests are devoted to destroying or changing entrenched structures.
- Shrouded in Myth: Even by the standards of this setting, the Dragon is considered enigmatic and bizarre by just about everyone who isn't a member.
- Stupid Neutral: The Dragon desires "blood in the courtroom, and kindness in Hell," ie: enforcing Blue and Orange Morality through weird and extreme methods. Thankfully, the player characters are more likely deployed to Hell.
- Warrior Monk: The Silent Monks.
- Wipe That Smile Off Your Face: The Monks have had their lips sewn shut as part of their initiation rites — another reason why Bong Cha tells you not to speak to them.
The Golden Child
One of a long line of children selected for the role of Head of the Dragon. Nobody knows his real name, and nobody knows who he was prior to his selection.
- Bald of Awesome
- Big Bad/Big Good: As the head of an almost completely neutral faction, the Child qualifies as both a hero and a villain in his designs.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: In both the literal and the symbolic sense.
- The Chosen One
- Creepy Child
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: During the final Dragon-specific mission, the Child quite unexpectedly beckons you over and shakes your hand. Judging by Bong Cha's stunned expression and the bow one of the servants gives you on your way out, it's clear that this trope was running through their heads.
- Puppet King: Averted; it might be tempting to believe that Bong Cha is just using the Child as a figurehead, but dialogue and events throughout the game reveal that the Child really does have as much influence as is claimed- to the point that Bong Cha actually ends up getting blindsided more than once.
- The Voiceless: Bong Cha specifically forbids you from speaking to the Child. Though many other characters mention him speaking to them, the Child himself makes no effort to speak with you; even during your one moment of direct communication, he never speaks to you.
- You Have Failed Me: The Silent Monks have been known to "dispose" of Children who fail to meet expectations.
We believe in free will- within boundaries. I'm going to set those boundaries, and then it's up to you to make your own choices.
Voiced by: Leigh Allen Baker
The "Voice of the Dragon" and the Child's second-in-command, all the Child's orders are relayed to agents of the Dragon through her. Bong Cha also acts as your contact while you're in the field, providing mission reports and critical information via text messages and phone calls in much the same way that Sonnac and Geary do.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times, though rarely in person.
- The Dragon: Jokes about being Dragon to the Dragon aside, Bong Cha is clearly this to the Child.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Subverted. Though it might seem that Bong Cha has more power over the faction than its apparent leader, later missions demonstrate that both the Child and the Monks are beyond her authority.
- Green Eyes: Bong Cha has rather vivid green eyes, appropriate for the voice of the Dragon.
- The Handler: To the player, and by extension, most of the Dragon's field operatives.
- Ice Queen: Cold, efficient, and very much to the point - except in text messages, in which she has no problem waxing philosophical. In any case, Bong Cha isn't prone to showing much in the way of emotion other than mild annoyance.
- Mission Control: To Dragon players throughout the game. Unlike the other two factions, missions such as "Rogue Agent" aren't passed to anyone else along the chain of command, so Bong Cha remains your contact even in these parts of the game.
- Mouth of Sauron: As "Voice of the Dragon," she serves as both this and a general administrator.
- Oh, Crap: Her reaction to the Child shaking hands with you.
At first, I thought it was all coincidence: the documents I found, the books I came across, the information I uncovered... but they wanted me here. So they made sure I came here. I'm a resource to them, and as long as they need me, I can't leave. I mean, I can
try... but I... Can... Never... Leave...
Voiced by: CS Lee
A former university professor and one of the Dragon's informal members, hired (or more accurately, "acquired") specifically to act as a historian of the Secret World for his faction. His most prominent role is during the prologue, where he provides information on the Dragon for new players through an appropriately roundabout lecture.
- Contemplate Our Navels: During "The Butterfly Effect" and "Eclipse," he waxes philosophical on the nature of chaos and random chance for some time while the player listens in mute confusion. Appropriately enough for the Dragon's intricate style, these seemingly pointless lectures end up eventually leading the player into what they needed to know.
- Cool Old Guy
- Gilded Cage: Jin might be a prisoner, but only in the sense that he knows there's no point in leaving Seoul given the Dragon's ability to predict and manipulate events. As such, he spends the majority of his time sitting in the lobby of the Kumiho Hotel, reading his notes and listening to the music until someone asks him a question.
- Jumped at the Call: Upon discovering the existence of the Dragon, Jin was very quick to embrace the opportunity to learn more about the both the society and the Secret World as a whole.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Unfortunately, the Dragon decided that it would be best if Jin didn't try and go public with his findings or work freelance and ensured that he would accept their employment offer by slowly dismantling his life outside the Secret World, even having him discredited as mentally unstable by his university.
- Married to the Job: Long before he became a virtual prisoner in Seoul, Jin's marriage fell apart thanks to his growing obsession with the Secret World.
- Mr. Exposition
- The Philosopher: Apparently, learning the true nature of the Dragon has brought out Jin's philosophical streak, especially during "The Butterfly Effect."
- Resignations Not Accepted: As long as the Dragon need him, he can never leave his position - or Seoul, for that matter.
- Tagalong Chronicler: It turns out the Dragon want Jin to create a comprehensive history of the Secret World, and have shunted him into playing the role of tagalong historian to the entire organization.
In this martial silence, meditate on what you are; what you will become.
Voiced by: Andrew Kishino
Master of the Dojang, and directly responsible for the training of new recruits, including you.