Characters: The Secret World The Big Three
A character subpage for The Secret World. For the main page, go here.
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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...
- Fantastic Racism: The Templars have nothing but contempt for demons, werewolves, vampires and most forms of undead in general, having fought the more hostile variants for too long to see them as anything other than villains. Quite apart from using rakshasa as live target practice in the Crucible, Sonnac regards the more sympathetic entities with a mixture of suspicion and disgust, openly dismissing any trustworthiness on their part.
- 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; even Sonnac, one of the more liberal figures among the Templar leadership, is quick to note that their strength lies in ancient bonds of tradition. Of course, outliers such as Gladstone and Engel buck this particular trend, and an entire faction of "New Templars" is currently attempt to draw the organization away from their more unpleasant traditions.
- 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: What they're known as, having become infamous for stopping supernatural disasters through extreme measures, at one point even known for wiping out entire villages just to get at a single demon. In the modern era, they're much more sedate and reasonable, but they still don't shy away from unpleasant methods if it means ensuring the safety of the world.
- 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, to the point that some of their uniforms look more like mediaeval suits of armour more than anything manufactured in the twenty-first century.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: It's heavily implied that, at one point, the Templars abided by a tradition of excluding potential recruits who were born outside of select bloodlines. Though reforms have seen this particular tradition abandoned by the mainstream, it's also hinted that it still has some followers among the Old Guard.
- 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 plush couches, oil paintings, and even a fully-stocked 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: While nowhere near as murky as the Illuminati or the Dragon, the Templars still occasionally indulge in Dirty Business from time to time. This is particularly true of the Old Guard, as is revealed in the Templar aftermath of Issue #11, where they go so far as to have Sonnac beaten to a pulp for his failure to anticipate the Dragon's success in Tokyo.
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.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.
Voiced by: Jimmy Akingbola
- As the Good Book Says: Sonnac will occasionally add an appropriate Biblical quote to his text messages, though sometimes he'll just as gladly use a quote from classical poetry - Dante being a favourite. The Bees make fun of this tendency in their own text messages, mockingly referring to him as "Mr Noble, Mr Right, Mr "Quote Some Ancient Knight." "
- Bald Black Leader Guy
- Big Good: Well, as much as you can be in a primarily Grey and Grey Morality setting.
- Deadpan Snarker: Much like Kirsten Geary, he often tends to provide a great deal of sarcastic remarks during text messages.
- Gentleman Snarker: Of course, Sonnac tends to prefer the more dignified forms of sarcasm, as opposed to Geary's barrage of derisive insults.
- Drink Order: After hearing that you had to stomach a glass of Harbaburesti moonshine in the intro to "A Drink To Remember," Sonnac offers to have some burgundy decanted for you as compensation.
- The Face: Both to the Templars as a whole, and the "new" Templars in particular.
- Friendly Enemy: Illuminati players will occasionally receive exquisitely-worded text messages from Sonnac, offering a place among the Templars and suggestions that you should visit London at some point - if only to see how the other side lives.
- The Handler: To you, and by extension most of the Bees under Templar control.
- Mission Control: Much like the other faction contact, he directs your movements via text messages and the occasional phone call.
- Named After Somebody Famous: Guillaume de Sonnac, Grand Master of the Knights Templar in the thirteenth century. Whether this is supposed to indicate that Richard is actually an descendant of Guillaume or not is unknown at present.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Subjected to this by Pit and Pendulum in the aftermath of Issue #11, officially as punishment for the Dragon's victory in Tokyo.
- Not So Above It All: As professional as he may be, even Sonnac can't resist sounding a little bit envious about your adventures in "The Girls Who Cried Wolf," especially your encounter with Aurelie and Celine - or as he calls them, "feisty French darlings."
- Only Sane Man
- Quintessential British Gentleman: Very gentlemanly, very British, and more than a little old-fashioned.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Already much more forgiving of mistakes than his counterparts among the Illuminati and the Dragon, Sonnac also proves more sympathetic towards your attempts to help civilians in danger, though he does try to encourage you to see the big picture. Of course, his credentials in this trope aren't limited to his duties as a handler: as one of the more active politicians among the Templars, Sonnac has to appear open and reasonable to everyone, allowing him to encourage cooperation between the Old Guard and the New and ensure that the faction doesn't get bogged down in Venetian-style debate.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Dresses in an impeccable pinstriped suit.
- Ship Tease: When recommending that you contact the Jingu, he mentions that he misses, ahem, "corresponding" with Gozen.
- So Proud of You: Often makes remarks to this effect as the player's successes continue, especially in the aftermath of "The Castle."You would fearlessly walk into the lion's den - or the vampire's den as it were - to pursue and eliminate your enemy. You are a true soldier of the Templars, and I am proud to have you on our side. And grateful we do not have you for an enemy.
- Stiff Upper Lip: Stoic and often deeply sarcastic even in the face of ongoing disaster, Richard Sonnac does not spook easily. Even while being beaten senseless by Pit and Pendulum in the epilogue to Issue #11, he steadfastly refuses to panic, going so far as to politely introduce you to his attackers and make a few sarcastic remarks at their expense.
Dame Julia Beatrix Tyburn
- Voiced by: Susan Brown
- Action Girl: In her youth she and Mrs. Plimswood once sneaked behind enemy lines during the War for sabotage purposes.
- Cool Old Lady
- Good Old Ways
- Grande Dame
- Grumpy Old Woman
- Hopeless with Tech: She really doesn't get modern technology, especially in her calls to the player.
- What Does This Button Do?: A common problem with much of the tech she's forced to work with.
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.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.
Voiced by: Tom Mannion
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Light example; given that the training period doesn't last long enough for a full-strength Training from Hell, he can only give you an earbashing on safety before sending you on your way.
- Eyepatch of Power
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Bears quite a few scars around his missing eye.
- Handicapped Badass: Scarred, one-eyed, and only able to walk with the aid of a leg brace, he's still as tough as ever.
- Meaningful Name: Named for one of the five rivers of the Underworld in Greek Mythology, specifically the one that the souls of the dead had to drink from to forget their former lives- appropriate for one of your mentors in the Secret World.
- Old Soldier
- Veteran Instructor
Iain Tibet Gladstone
There's much in history you need to confront and tackle head-on, preferably while wearing some kind of protection.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.
Voiced by: Jo Dow
- 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.
- Rationalizing The Overkill: Apparently, this is because Gladstone's last visit involved a mutiny. Exactly who mutinied, what happened, what drugs were involved and wether or not Gladstone was really responsible for any of it remain a mystery.
- 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.
Mary: Scandalous! We're their What Not to Wear, bringing a touch of class to a dreary military-occult complex.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.
Voiced by: Annabel Scholey (Catherine), Laura Aikman (Mary)
- Absolute Cleavage
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: To Gladstone.
- Coordinated Clothes: They both wear the same style of dress, though they at least vary the colour scheme slightly - Catherine wearing a red dress with a black belt, Mary wearing a black dress with a red belt.
- Deadpan Snarker
- The Ditz: Mary.
- Expecting Someone Taller: In conversation, Mary is quick to note that you looked taller in the security footage.
- The Fashionista: Mary, again. Above all else, her interest is in fashion, and she insists on providing as much commentary and advice on it as possible - to the point that her own understanding of pertinent events has been known to get muddled up with what she knows of fashion. Sadly, her advice to Gladstone hasn't had much success, so she's more than happy to try and offer some sage counsel to you instead.My sister and I can be your rock in these fairweather waters. All I ask is that you dress for success: if a new age of mankind is coming, you don't want to look like you've slept in a hedge.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: Both.
- May-December Romance: Hinted to have this kind of relationship with Gladstone, judging by Gladstone's remarks about enjoying their "womanhandling," not to mention their rather... conspicuous hand-placement during "Sign Of The Times."
- Polar Opposite Twins:
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Mary's the foolish one, Catherine's the responsible one.
- You Keep Using That Word: Used word for word in regards to Mary's understanding of the term "understated."
I'm the sign of the times, Blood: young, female, from the Colonies - second generation - and proudly wearin' the red of the Templars!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.
Voiced by: Sarah Powell
- Blood Knight:You're only as good as your last kill.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Genki Girl: Definitely one of the more exuberant figures in the Templar army.
- I'm Standing Right Here: Used in response to a long line of criticism of her personality from Engel.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: In regards to Engel.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Optimistic, fiery, and idealistic; forms the red when teamed with Engel.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Contrary to the stereotype, though, she actually has a great deal of combat experience. Politically, though, Zamira's still pretty new to the landscape - which might explain why Engel has taken a shine to her.
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!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.
Voiced by: Tim Bentick
- 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.Zamira: Enough with the Greeks, here's a quote to live by: "I am the lizard king, I can do anything."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.
Pit and PendulumA duo of sin-eaters in the service of the Templar Old Guard, commonly employed to enforce their orders and make their displeasure known to all and sundry. In the conclusion to Issue #11, they're sent after Sonnac.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Pit dresses in a neat brown suit, complete with a waistcoat, gloves, and of course his signature mask - his only concession towards the physical strain of the job being a slightly-loosened tie.
- Bald of Evil: As his mask leaves the back of his head exposed, Pit is clearly bald as a cue-ball.
- Black Knight: Pendulum is clad from head to toe in an imposing set of Templar armour, complete with a cross-visored great helm.
- The Brute: Both of them apply, given that they're employed to menace people on behalf of their employers. However, Pendulum seems the more violent of the two, and actually has to be restrained by Pit when Sonnac succeeds in provoking him.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Both go about their grim business masked, with Pit's face hidden behind a white porcelain mask and Pendulum's armour augmented with an eerily blank-looking visor.
- Necessarily Evil: To maintain the conviction of the rank and file.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Formally introduced while performing one of these on Sonnac, with Pendulum holding his arms behind his back so Pit can repeatedly punch him in the stomach.
- Those Two Bad Guys
- Token Evil Teammate: Even among the morally ruthless Templars, Pit and Pendulum are clearly extremists in the employment of extremists. Richard Sonnac himself sarcastically remarks that they might as well have "Necessary Evil" on their business cards - though only once they've left the room, of course.
- Shout-Out: To the Edgar Allan Poe story, The Pit and the Pendulum. True to form, Sonnac can only wonder which of the two is worse.
- The Voiceless: Both Pit and Pendulum remain completely silent during their introduction, even while beating Sonnac to a pulp.
- White Mask of Doom: As the more refined of the two, Pit wears a white porcelain mask reminiscent of the Venetian volto, complete with a set of unnervingly serene features.
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...
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Apparently, Thomas Edison was one of their membership. Sadly, this was ultimately a case of the Illuminati being forced to settle for second best, given that Nikola Tesla got away from them - a fact that Geary bemoans to this day.
- Big Apple Sauce: The Labyrinth is situated under a particularly derelict area of Brooklyn, accessible through the appropriately labyrinthine sewer network - or, if you're short on time, through the back of a local warehouse.
- Benevolent Conspiracy: While they have a cheerful disregard for the average person's safety and sanity, the Illuminati are fighting tooth and nail to preserve mankind. After all, you can't rule the world if there's no world remaining.
- 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; appropriate, given how many corporate entities the Illuminati secretly controls, and the fact that the Illuminati is already modelled on a corporation anyway.
- 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. Played with in Issue #9, when it's reveals that they've gone so far as to hire the services of an entire household of exiled Oni mercenaries, using their wealth and connections to bail them out of fanatical difficulty in return for their loyalty - reversing the usual equation of humans being at a disadvantage when dealing with demons.
- Do Wrong, Right: Their general attitude toward Orochi.
- The Dreaded: The Talking Heads, the unseen Illuminati leadership, are often regarded with a considerable degree of fear by their underlings -even by the formidable Kirsten Geary herself. The Illuminati ending to Issue #11 heavily implies that this fear isn't just due to simple factors like money or influence: their displeasure is apparently enough to make Geary's nose spontaneously bleed during a phone conversation.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Labyrinth, a huge rambling complex hidden beneath Brooklyn, complete with offices, laboratories, vast server rooms, training chambers, a heavily-soundproofed interrogations wing, private suites for senior members, and a vast pyramid-shaped concourse. For good measure, the vast majority of the place is strictly off-limits to you, and only accessible under highly usual (and probably dire) circumstance. According to Geary, its design was so elaborate that it drove the architect insane and led him to commit suicide.
- Five-Bad Band: The personnel encountered in the Labyrinth are organized this way.
- 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: As unpleasant as they can be at times, they have some of the funniest comments and dialogue.
- Man Behind the Man: Their preferred place to be, obviously; manipulating governments and corporations from behind the scenes has always been their chosen way of doing things, as it allows them access to objectives that direct force wouldn't grant them.
- One World Order: The end-goal for the Illuminati is to unite the world under their banner, controlling literally everything from behind the scenes as they usher human society into a new age of sophistication and advancement without boundaries.
- 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: Efficient and profit-oriented, the Illuminati join the other two factions in saving the world largely so that they'll have a world to dominate once the dust has settled; they're also prepared to cooperate with other factions on a mercenary basis if it means that their franchise is safe from eldritch threats like the Dreamers, and - unlike the Orochi Group - are usually much more cautious when it comes to their mad science departments. Its because of this practicality that the Illuminati serve as 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 of Innsmouth Academy, 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!: In the event that the Illuminati can't control something directly, they simply command one of their many political or corporate allies to do it for them, setting up yet another Man Behind the Man situation.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The Illuminati are in the habit of buying influence all over the world, securing control over corporations, governments, and even institutions in the Secret World.
- 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...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...
Voiced by: CS Lee
- Actually Pretty Funny: During the first Faction mission after you give him access to the parking garage camera, he does this to himself."I am now all seeing. Heh, I am the all seeing Eye."
- Affably Evil: For the leader of a ruthless syndicate of power-hungry psychopaths, he's actually a fairly pleasant character. Also, he's one of the few Illuminati characters prepared to trust you even as far as he could throw you.
- Badass Boast: In the epilogue to "Rogue Agent."I'm going to trust you to keep a secret. If you do not keep this secret, you will, in short order, be exiled from the Illuminati, lose everything you hold dear, find yourself convicted of murder, and locked up for life... and then I'll really come after you. This, by the way, should in no way be construed as a threat.
- Big Bad: The apparent leader of the Illuminati, and the administrator of the Labyrinth.
- Big Brother Is Watching: As the quote implies, the Pyramidion is always watching your activities and those of the other Illuminati employees.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A third of his dialogue consists of internet memes, and another third consists of bizarre public announcements.
- Creepy Monotone: Even during the more obviously emotional statements, the Pyramidion's voice remains coldly monotonous. Might even crossover with Machine Monotone.
- Invoked Memetic Mutation: He spits out them at every opportunity.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Will occasionally drop one of these, accompanied with trademarked eccentricity. For example, describing Seoul as "the city of lost... souls?" and adding "I don't know: tl;dr."
- Mission Control: For special missions such as "Into Darkness" and "Rogue Agent," he acts as this. Occasionally, when Geary's taking a day off, he also goes to the trouble of answering your mission reports as well.
- Precision F-Strike: "Just look at all these fucks I give."
- Rouge Angles of Satin: In keeping with his consistent references to Internet memes, he describes the rogue Templar agent as a "rouge" agent.
- Sinister Surveillance: How he keeps tabs on you and the other Illuminati operatives, making use of the same network of CCTV cameras and security systems that Cassini uses, though to a much greater extent. Indeed, the only place he can't keep an eye on you is in Agartha.
- Sophisticated as Hell: His dialogue often blends perfectly eloquent, rational dialogue with Internet memes, whimsical slang, and the occasional expletive - usually without even changing the tone of conversation.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Makes a lot of these in conversation with you, ranging from Jurassic Park ("Our man is attempting to be Clever Girl") to Star Wars ("Great shot, kid! Let's blow this thing and go home!")
- The Voice: Heard only as a voice on the PA system or over the telephone, nobody has actually seen the Pyramidion or met him in person.
- The Wonka: To anyone who listens to his broadcasts, it's pretty clear that the Pyramidion isn't entirely sane; however, Illuminati-specific missions demonstrate that while two-thirds of his psyche veers towards the wildly-eccentric, the remaining third is very much grounded in reality and actually capable of extremely complex planning. Besides, there's little anyone can do about it either way - after all, he's the boss.
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.
Voiced by: Kari Wahlgren
- Arbitrary Scepticism: Despite interacting with numerous supernatural phenomena on a daily basis and witnessing many more thought to be impossible over the course of the game, Geary's after-mission report to "The Death of Dr Armitage" declares that the events that occurred in the story of the same name are entirely fictional. Admittedly, this is due to records stating that Sam Krieg was in rehab at the time and couldn't have gone visiting cafés for mysterious meetings, but it's still a bit presumptuous given the existence of teleportation. For good measure, the Dragon after-mission report for the same mission proves her wrong, admitting to have facilitated the meeting via a Body Double.
- Blondes Are Evil: An amoral platinum-blonde with no scruples and no empathy for the suffering of others.
- Catch Phrase: "Ciao-ciao" (one of her three signatures when sending you texts), and "Fun Fact: (insert bad news here)."
- Conspicuous Consumption: She claims she once had the Sultan of Brunei fill a bathtub with diamonds for her to soak in. She came to regret it - not because of the cost, but because the already uncomfortable diamonds ended up caught in certain orifices.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Though the Illuminati might not be a corporation as such, it is modelled on one, and Geary fits the model of a crooked, scheming, underhanded project leader to a T.
- Cynical Mentor: Often takes this role in the after-mission reports, providing valuable advice - mixed with a great deal of personal abuse, disturbing anecdotes and borderline-sociopathic orders.
- Fair Weather Mentor: Already sporting an attitude that ranges from snidely condescending to open contemptuous, Geary also warns you that she'll be more than happy to drop you like a ton of bricks should you reflect badly on her - and go the extra mile in making an example of you as a warning to other potential failures. And then subverted in the intro to "Mainframe," when she puts her career on the line to save you from assassination.
- Deadpan Snarker: It's very rare to find a single conversation or report in which she doesn't find time for the occasional smartass remarks.
- The Dragon: To the Pyramidion and the mysterious Talking Heads.
- Everyone Has Standards: Even she finds the detailed note the fake Ellis Hill left on the real one's corpse describing his murder to be excessively creepy, and then promises that you'll eventually be the one sent to show him "what the pointy end of the pyramid is for."
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Apparently, she used to be just an "ordinary valley girl," right up until she happened to kill two junior Illuminati thugs in self-defence (more or less). Curious about the organization her first victims had claimed to belong to, she decided to get herself a job. The rest is history, and probably classified.
- Friendly Address Privileges: Only her friends are allowed to call her a bitch.
- Functional Addict: In spite of her infrequent alcoholic benders, pronounced fondness for hallucinogens and utter dependence on lattes, she remains an efficient manager throughout the game.
- Fur and Loathing / Naked in Mink: In the aftermath of "The Howling," she starts getting rather interested in what werewolf fur would feel like on bare flesh.
- The Handler: To Illuminati players and, judging by the additional phone calls and meetings, a large number of other field agents.
- Jerkass: Geary isn't interested in "getting on" with anyone, least of all her agents, and her dialogue can swing from mildly condescending to utterly abusive at the drop of a hat. And when she's not addressing your behaviour, she's usually mocking the suffering of some other poor bastard. Don't make the mistake of calling her a bitch, though - only her friends are allowed that privilege!
- Lack of Empathy: Best demonstrated by her report on "Journey's End", where she refers to the mission's central NPC (who hanged herself in despair over losing her husband) as "insignificant," and takes the time to chastise you for being a "bleeding heart."
"It takes hours to die from a gutshot like that! Literally hours. It's a total drag..."
- In a later cutscene, she holds a phone conversation with a man who has apparently just been shot in the stomach, during which she orders him to stop crying.
- Last Name Basis: According to one of her text messages, she doesn't do "that first name thing."
- Mission Control: To Illuminati agents throughout the game.
- Mugging the Monster: Geary mentions that, before she joined the Illuminati, she was abducted by a couple of "fratboy necromancers" who were looking for human sacrifices. Unfortunately for them, they forgot to check her pockets for mace and duct tape.
- Multiple Choice Form Letter: Admits to using a form letter system, which breaks down in the aftermath of "The Echoing Doom of Solomon Island," resulting in her congratulating you for defeating [GENERIC APOCALYPTIC THREAT], providing you with a [GENERIC REWARD], embellished with some [GENERIC FLIRTATION] and a [DICK JOKE].
- Must Have Caffeine: Among other things, she's addicted to lattes and gets very grumpy without regular doses of coffee - apparently the real reason why she doesn't do fieldwork.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Her character design is based on Lady Gaga, a likely reference to the real-life conspiracy theory that a number of prominent entertainers (Gaga included) are members of the Illuminati who got their status by making a Deal with the Devil.
- Noodle Incident: In the after-mission report to "The Benevolent Conspiracies," she irritably mentions that she "nearly wore out a pair of kneepads over that shit (Sarge) pulled in Khartoum."
- OOC Is Serious Business: Regardless of how grim the situation might be, Geary remains snide, irreverent and unflappable... until the after-mission report to "The Sound of Children," where she drops the joking demeanour and lays out the situation as plainly as possible.I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him, and I'm more afraid of the talking heads, and they're afraid of her. Stay on her. I don't know what will happen to either of us if you don't.I'm not fucking around.
- Pet the Dog: After finishing one of the minor side-missions in Egypt, Geary's report actually suggests that you slow down a little and avoid sunstroke. Justified, as Geary wants to make sure that you remain an effective agent and don't end up as "another burnout."
- In the aftermath of the mission to Egypt, she risks permanent damage to her career if not outright assassination by defending you from punishment. That said, she does expect something in return.
- Following the Halloween 2013 mission "The Lantern Man," Geary expresses real sympathy for the first time in the game over the plight of Scarlet Piedmont, though this is at least partially because the two share a similar propensity for beauty treatments and Geary obviously finds the thought of sulphuric acid disguised as cosmetics personally upsetting.
- In the same Halloween event, the after-mission report to "Spooky Stories of Solomon Island" reveals that Geary actually has a soft spot for Danny Dufresne, finding him "wholesomely adorable."
- Psychic Nosebleed: Unexpectedly suffers one of these while discussing your activities in Tokyo with the Talking Heads.
- Seen It All: Type 2. "Oh, yeah. Hell."
- Til Murder Do Us Part: Variation; apparently she tried to murder her husband at some point in the past. Though she didn't succeed, she seems fairly content with leaving him crippled and dependant on a respirator for the rest of his life.
- Work Hard, Play Hard: Geary's frenetic work hours spent managing you and many other Illuminati operatives are neatly balanced by the hedonism she gets up to in her free time:
- On occasion, her usual after-mission response will be replaced by an error message from Leah, notifying you that Geary is enjoying the benefits of an office party with an open bar.
- In "Breakfast of Champignons," she asks you to bring back some of the magical fungi you spent the mission tripping on.
- During the opening to "Black Sun, Red Sand," she waxes nostalgically upon the peyote she enjoyed during her time in the Mohave - alongside the gunplay and shallow graves.
- Following "The Final Countdown," thanks to apparently missing a system-wide memo, the player ends up messaging Geary right in the middle of a Christmas party; on top of having no idea what she's being contacted about, she's also very drunk - as evidenced by the deteriorated spelling.
- You Have Failed Me: Bluntly warns you that failing will result in your head being mounted on her wall as a warning to the next potential failure. Also, given how badly failure in training new recruits would reflect on her, she also does this to avoid becoming the recipient of this trope herself.
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.
Voiced by: Jeffery Combs
- 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: One of the oldest Illuminati employees encountered, and by far one of the more personable.
- 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...
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Inspired by Aldini's experiments and an acute case of "mad scientist envy," Zurn decides to try out biological grafting in the aftermath of "The Animate Clay." Though he's not been allowed access to human organs just yet, he has successfully created a "squid-squirrel."
- Nightmare Fetishist: Zurn is quite clearly fascinated with the more morbid aspects of the secret world, and a good deal of his dialogue options allow him to expound at length on his favourite disturbing subjects. Several Illuminati after-mission reports mention Zurn getting very excited over the phenomena you encountered, once to the extent that even Geary admits to being a little nervous around him.
- Pass the Popcorn: Takes this perspective in regards to the ongoing Orochi disaster.
- 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.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.
Voiced by: Roxana Ortega
- Becoming the Mask: It's hinted that one of the reasons she remains part of Dave Screed's D&D group is that she does really enjoy the social experience. For good measure, she actually warns Screed about allowing strangers access to his laptop... not that he listens.
- The Cracker: In the Illuminati's more covert operations, she fills this role.
- Emotionless Girl: Perhaps as a result of all the drugs, Cassini comes across as emotionless and disinterested through most of her face-to-face encounters, though if pushed, she does manage to sound mildly irritated at the antics of fellow Illuminati employees. However, she does tend to show a lot more emotion online - resulting in mild irritation being upgraded to keyboard-mashing rage.
- Functional Addict: Like Zurn, Cassini keeps up her productivity through regular drug doses. For the most part, she seems even more stable than him.(casually) I'm wasted here. No, I mean I really am wasted.
- GIFT: Cassini might be fairly sedate in person, but she can be downright abusive when online - as both her quote and her memos to other employees indicate.
- Hacker Cave: The server room - more specifically, Cassini's workstation overlooking the server room. Sporting an impressive array of monitors and other equipment through which the resident sysadmin observes all pertinent Illuminati affairs, it's also pretty clear that Cassini has pretty much taken up residence in front of it - as is evidenced by all the empty pizza boxes and other detritus scattered around it.
- Have You Tried Rebooting?: Asked during her formal introduction, as the quote indicates. Apparently, basic computer maintenance is a problem for Illuminati employees, much to her continued annoyance.
- Hollywood Hacking: Subverted. In conversation, Cassini observes that even with all the enhancements the Secret World can provide, her job is still nowhere near as fast or dramatic as the movies portray - which might explain why Cassini tends to sound bored out of her skull.
- Hollywood Nerd: For someone who rarely ever exercises or leaves her "Robot Kingdom" for that matter, Cassini is pretty damn good-looking.
- Hikikomori: Cassini has almost no interest in social interaction, and much like Zurn, spends most of her time too wrapped up in her work to care about it anyway. Of course, the key word here is "almost", so she does make an exception for Screed's D&D group.
- Ice Queen: At times, given her stated aversion to revealing personal details or making any personal attachments with field operatives. Knowing everyone's dirty little secrets can't help much.
- Mysterious Past / Dark and Troubled Past: Cassini refuses to talk about her past or herself in generally, having "data scraped enough matchmaking sites to know where that leads." The most she's willing to reveal is that she's visiting a therapist in her attempts learn how to properly interact with other human beings, and that she took the trouble to make herself indispensable by gaining admin-level access to the hard drives of the Illuminati's board members.
- No Social Skills: Human interactions prove something of a problem for her, though not quite to Montag's extent; she seems to have some degree of understanding, but no real interest in involving herself. Plus, she's apparently uncomfortable with making eye contact.
- Only Sane Woman: At least in regards to web safety; Cassini gets very annoyed at the lack of care Illuminati employees show online.
- Peeping Tom: Subverted. Despite having full access to the Illuminati's surveillance feeds and being more than capable of tracing your activities online, Cassini doesn't have much interest in spying unless she's been specifically ordered to do so. Apparently, "voyeurism loses its edge after about 20 minutes of your first Illuminati office party."
- Smart People Wear Glasses
- Sinister Surveillance: Currently responsible for operating most of it, both on-base and abroad. Sometimes, she likes to perform surveillance in person - a fact that Dave Screed is still in denial of.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. She mentions that her therapist wants her to be more social.
- Workaholic: Uninterested in leaving her workstation and deeply engrossed in surveillance, the only thing stopping her from becoming a shut-in like Zurn is her participation in Dave Screed's DND games.
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...Presiding over the test chamber, De La Guardia teaches you the basics of combat and the use of your powers.
Voiced by: Andrew Kishino
- 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!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.
Voiced by: Andre Sogliuzzo
- 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."
- Consummate Professional
- Creepy Monotone: In the event that she's required to speak, she speaks in a deathly monotone barely louder than a whisper.
- 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.
- Nothing Personal: Or as she puts it, "No hard feelings." For good measure, when she later texts you during one of the side-story missions in Tokyo, she makes it clear just how emotionally detached she is from her work by obliquely noting "We met once." "Met" meaning "put a gun to your head and would have pulled the trigger if Geary hadn't stopped me."
- 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. Plus, as an expert in her field, she's also apparently required to provide mission-critical advice on other renowned assassins, even going so far as to take over texting duties from Geary in the aftermath of "Fierce Competition."
- 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.
- The Stoic: Shows very little emotion, wether she's texting, speaking, or just getting ready to shoot somebody.
- 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.
- Mouth Stitched Shut: 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.
- 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.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: As of Issue #11, the Dragon has undergone a drastic change in leadership and management style: the Child has matured into a teenager, Bong Cha has been fired and replaced by Daimon Kiyota, and the organization as a whole has decided that their philosophy of mathematical prediction is out of place in the Dark Days, opting to temporarily abandon it in favour of Daimon's radical belief in elemental audacity.
- 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: Issue 11 reveals they've taken the Tokyo situation by the horns, and are essentially the ultimate victors; plus, with Daimon Kiyota having supplanted Bong Cha as the Voice of the Dragon, the faction as a whole has taken a considerable level in audacity.
- Warrior Monk: The Silent Monks.
- We Have Become Complacent: By Issue #11, the Dragon has decided that their predictive models are no longer effective in the Dark Days, and have adopted both the advice and the assistance of Daimon Kiyota in order to implement a drastic change in management style. As the man himself puts it, "there's a time to contemplate, to model actions; there's a time to make actions!"
The Golden ChildOne 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 / Bald of Evil: The Child's head is shaven hairless, likely as a sign of religious devotion. Wether this marks him as a heroic sage or a demonic cult leader is anyone's guess.
- 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.
- Born-Again Immortality: It's believed that every single Child selected by the faction is the latest in a long line of reincarnations.
- A Child Shall Lead Them: In both the literal and the symbolic sense; initially, it seems as though the child is just there as a symbol and a means of associating childlike innocence with chaos. However, it's clear that he does have a role in directly leading the faction, though how much is kept ambiguous.
- The Chosen One: The Child and all his predecessors have been this to the Dragon, treated as leaders, saviours, figureheads, and occasionally as necessary sacrifices - all for the sake of chaos.
- Creepy Child: At times, particularly during the mission "End Game." In this scene, Bong Cha and the other attendants are absent from the temple, making the Child's silence unnerving for the first time - amplified by the sudden implication of just how much power he really wields.
- Dark Messiah: Given the morally ambiguous nature of the Dragon as a whole, the Child hovers somewhere between this and Messianic Archetype.
- 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.
- Mysterious Past: Who the Child was prior to his selection is something of a mystery to the player, and the only people who would know of it are unable or unwilling to discuss it.
- Oracular Urchin: Acts as this on occasion, most notably to Kang-Ye-Jinn; during the mission "End Game," she mentions meeting the Child in person and being told " Emma wants her teddy bear." True to form, Jinn has absolutely no idea what this means, and neither do you... up until the mission to Transylvania.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: In the aftermath of Issue #11, the Child is revealed to have unexpectedly aged into a teenager during your mission to Tokyo; it's not yet known why this happened, but it's clearly part of the Dragon's drastic change in management style.
- 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 by his movements 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 actually speaks to you.
- You Have Failed Me: The Silent Monks have been known to "dispose" of Children who fail to meet expectations. The current Child appears to be doing well so far, though.
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.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. Up until the events of Issue #11, in which Bong Cha finds herself unexpectedly fired and replaced in favour of Daimon Kiyota.
Voiced by: Leigh Allen Baker
- 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. One might be tempted to believe that she's this for the Child too, though "End Game" proves this assumption incorrect.
- Horrifying the Horror: Throughout the game, she distinguishes herself as a frighteningly efficient manipulator of probabilities, unfazed even by the surprise appearance of Lilith. However, Bong Cha finds herself deeply unsettled by Daimon Kiyota: even though he and the Korinto Kai are the Dragon's allies in Tokyo, she can't stop herself from remarking with fear and confusion on the many discrepancies in his backstory, how his methods make no sense even to her, and how his angles seem "all wrong." She even speculates that it was a mistake to work with him in the first place, and advises you to keep a close eye on him at all costs. In the end, it turns out that her suspicion was actually pretty justified, though not for the reasons she believes are important: the Dragon has been courting Kiyota as her replacement for quite some time - leading to Bong Cha being summarily fired and mind-wiped at the end of Issue #11.
- 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.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: As if being fired wasn't bad enough, Bong Cha also has to endure having all the memories of her time with the Dragon forcibly erased, leaving her just as she was when the Silent Monks first recruited her: an ordinary university student.
- Locked Out of the Loop: During the prelude to your mission to Tokyo, Bong Cha finds herself unexpectedly excluded from a meeting between the Monks and the Child, and neither of the two are interested in keeping her informed of their decisions. This results in a bizarrely funny scene in which the near-omniscient Voice of the Dragon is forced to stand on tiptoes and peer over the Monk's shoulders in the hopes of seeing what the Child's up to. It turns out they were discussing firing her.
- 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.
- As part of the drastic change in status quo for the Dragon, Bong Cha is forcibly ejected from this role at the end of Issue #11 and replaced by Daimon Kiyota.
- Mouth of Sauron: As "Voice of the Dragon," she serves as both as a speaker for the Child, a general administrator, and - in text messages - a preacher for chaos.
- Mysterious Past: Much like the Chid, Bong Cha's backstory is largely unknown; her origins, her connection to the Secret World prior to joining the Dragon, and even how and why she as recruited are all mysteries to the player, and Bong Cha herself isn't interested in discussing any of it. In the epilogue to Issue #11, it's revealed that she was recruited directly out of college while studying for an exam.
- Oh, Crap: Her reaction to the Child shaking hands with you.
- The Philosopher: Though Bong Cha might be extremely direct with you during your face-to-face meetings, during her text messages she makes use of the medium to lecture you at length on the ways of the Dragon, discussing its philosophy, its goals, and the true meaning of the events that you've witnessed.
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...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.
Voiced by: CS Lee
- 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.Master of the Dojang, and directly responsible for the training of new recruits, including you.
Voiced by: Andrew Kishino