|“|| 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 board rooms. We're right here, hiding in plain sight, buying and selling favors. Blackmail, treason, deceit, these are our stock and 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.
|~ Illuminati: The Secret World faction intro|
The Illuminati are one of the 3 main factions in the M.M.O. known as The Secret World and are based on the urban legend of a New World Order-based secret cult: unlike the Templars the Illuminati are ruthless and cut-throat individuals out for personal power and wealth at all costs. While the Templars remain self-righteous, the Illuminati are unapologetic hedonists and The Dragon work to manipulate scenarios in their favor, because of this, the Illuminati and Templars tend to fight the most (while the Dragon manipulates both for its own goals).
Of the three societies, the Illuminati were originally the go to people, the organizers and enforcers. Where the Dragon would try to calculate and the Templars would fight, the Illuminati would outline and manipulate scenarios. For a somewhat undefined time, somewhere between one-thousand and two-thousand years, the Illuminati worked with/for the Templars, mostly as they solidified their hold over Europe from the Dark Ages onward. The Templars became a bevy of corruption, filled with egotists and control freaks. The Illuminati cared little for how this affected the masses but resented the man-hours they were putting in on what was less a prime-directive and more a matter of enforcing any given noble who was looking to gain personal power. The breaking point came when the Templars started killing each-other off as part of internal conflict and the Illuminati decided to terminate their alliance with an organization whose infrastructure was collapsing in on itself. As the Illuminati were the least moral of the Big Three, the Illuminati's departure was a major wake-up-call to the Templars; The realization more or less being - When those as amoral as The Illuminati consider you to be less than team players it's time to rethink the state of your organization. While the Templars began to cut-out their more petty and corrupt members the Illuminati laid it's hooks into what at the time was looking like a promising business venture, the colonization of what was being called "The New World".
The Illuminati's main members all journeyed to America to lay the out-line of their own empire, before long the United States were formed and the founding fathers (most of whom were Illuminati) declared independence from Great Britain (The Templar's prized government). The Illuminati orchestrated The Fight For Independence and won, officially the US was winning it's freedom from Britain, but to those that knew of the Societies it was a grand proclamation of how useless the Templars were without the Illuminati to help them organize an operation. The Illuminati consider the US to be less of a fresh start than simply a giant middle finger to their former co-conspirators. While the Templars were dealing with their staff-cuts and the loss of powerful resources that came with such down-sizing, The Illuminati were establishing influence far beyond the simple boarders and shores of the US. It is strongly implied that the Illuminati not only have the US in their pocket but the ENTIRETY of the Americas as well as key players in all major governments.
The Dragon kept to the underworld scene and operated mostly out of Asia until the turn of the 20th century. Once the Internet was created the Dragon were less restricted by boarders and have agents at what appear to be random locations all over the world. While the Illuminati subsumed modern governments and the Dragon traveled the information super-highway, The Templars were the slowest to adapt to the changing world and lost many of their political influences to the Illuminati. The Illuminati have senators, heads of state, tycoons and movie stars on their direct payroll to say nothing of how many serve them without even knowing it. The Illuminati are not bound simply to contacts on this plane and claim to have demons and devils as consultants and employees in Hell. The Illuminati even claim to have incriminating photos of some angels.
The Illuminati have no single grand goal outside of being the only game on the world stage and are more than willing to wait as long as they need to to outlast their rivals, all the while growing more powerful. Though The Illuminati tends to be less than philanthropic towards the masses it takes great care to be a good employer. Learning from the mistakes of The Templars, the Illuminati makes it clear that while it's employees MUST preform their assignments, the method is up to them and the rewards are worth it. Punishments for failure range from being considered less than useful to being killed on sight, with little more than the mood of a handler determining which. Senior members frequently are invited to company raves. There are devices in the spines of members not only to provide leverage against betrayal but also track members and collect sensory data from each member. If one member should meet their end the spinal implant device is retrieved from the corpse and uploaded to the Illuminati's achieves as records of missions from a first person perspective. Because of the B.Y.O.B. policy, hard stance on failure and high paying rewards, members tend to remain very motivated, most are kept so busy/content that even knowing about the explosive devices attached to their spines tends not to shake them.
The Illuminati members each have their own goals, Doctor Charles Zurn is a former government researcher who views working for the Illuminati as a paradise since he is allowed to pursue research with cutting-edge-tech and info that has no legal or ethical restrictions; Senator Cicero considers being an Illuminati puppet politician to be the height of having friends in high places; Leah Cassini is a master hacker turned internet admin who views her position at the reins of the Illuminati's cutting edge computer network as the ultimate responsibility; Kirsten Geary, the Illuminati's employee overseer, runs the day-to-day for the shadow members of the Illuminati and considers herself to have found her true calling in life, putting people in their place. The high commander of the group, or at-least highest shown, is known as The Pyramidion, who or what it is is unknown to say nothing of where it is actually located. The Pyramidion contacts members by hacking their phones, coms, computers, televisions and radios then communicates with them as either text messages or a robotic voice. The Pyramidion may well be an A.I. or one of the most powerful living members but either way it appears to have no superiors in the organization and all employees take The Pyramidion's mix of memes, sarcasm and death-threats, with the utmost importance.
The Illuminati are particularly bitter towards The Templars still and view them as control-freaks, ones which are slowly dying off generation by generation. As for the Dragon, the Illuminati view them as a formidable but untouchable foe, because The Dragon is made up of thousands of cells, each following "The Tides of Chaos", a al a philosophy over that of a clear objective or chain-of-command,The Illuminati view them as just a crazy anarchist cult that can't be predicted, only stopped when encountered. The lesser respected society known as The Phoenicians is a mercenary group, one the Illuminati view as useful for certain operations that require heavy man-power, but by in large they view them as degenerates. Phoenicians are in it entirely for the money and as such members tend to be less than trust-worthy and are susceptible to bribery, torture and stress (essentially all the things the Illuminati go to great lengths to discourage in their employees to keep them motivated), but extra muscle is extra muscle; The Orochi Group is a corporation that is blossoming into it's own independent power, one which none of the Big Three trust and all have become invested in uncovering due to their experiments with The Filth. The Illuminati consider Orochi to be big players, with big toys but bad at the game. The Illuminati consider conspiracy to be an art and the Orochi to be hacks, just hacks with good resources; The last of the Societies is called the Council of Venice, a supervisor of the Societies. Officially The Council of Venice keeps the societies from letting their rivalries spill over into the public and make everyone play nice with each-other like a Secret Society Untied Nations. Like the formal Untied Nations, The Council of Venice is a joke to those it claims to oversee. The Illuminati consider them worth obeying because they are a good mark of how stupid officials can be and how much stealth situations require and also because The Council favors Uncertainty And Doubt tactics that result in things like Inquisitions or Fa-quads that eat up resources to put down.