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|“||You are an exceptional footnote in a text one could not even leaf through in a star’s life cycle, so I invite you to contemplate how quickly my eyes gloss over you. Don’t take it personally.||„|
Samael is a character from the MMO The Secret World. Known publicly as "Samuel Chandra," he currently serves as the CEO (and founder) of the international corporate monopoly, the Orochi Group. Orochi itself proves to be more than just a corrupt multinational business but a sinister player on the world stage. Samael has much greater role than most of his employees and business partners comprehend, but ultimately wants little more than to live a life of abject luxury and comparatively mundane power, despite his angelic nature.
One of the general premises of The Secret World is that the history as we know it is merely part of the "Fourth Age"; that pre-history is made up of "Ages" when society progressed to astronomical levels, only to be wiped out through various apocalyptic events. After the end of one age, the world would be restored to "factory settings" by Gaia, the Immaculate Machine and embodiment of the world, allowing reality to recover from whatever damage had been done to it - until the end of the next age. Ironically, Gaia's creators, the angelic beings known as the Host, are directly responsible for some of these apocalypses - particularly in the case of rebel angels such as Eblis and the Nephilim.
The First Age is only barely elaborated on, even in the lore entries transmitted by Agartha's Bees, with only vague mentions of the Garden of Eden and the warring angels emerging from this period. The Second Age was a time of mysticism and violence; Samael in particular claims it was a time when iron cathedrals stained the moon blood red with sacrificial pyres. In this age, Eblis and the Host first introduced the Hell Dimensions to Gaia, allowing humans and demons to associate freely; ultimately, however, Hell was abandoned as a flawed creation by the Host, leaving it cut off from the sustaining force of Anima. Unlike Earth and humanity, the residents of Hell had no natural life spans, and were able to withstand the events that ruined their dimension, but with no Anima to fuel their world, the demons found themselves trapped in what was to become the "Hell" of human religion, glimpsed only in nightmares and dark rites.
More is known about the Third Age, though current information is still comparatively limited: here, human civilization rose to an astronomical level of technology, with machinery capable of manipulating and even warping universal laws; Samael mentions gear-driven cities crossing the ocean on gossamer sail, while the Bees make mention of entire settlements striding across the landscape on mechanical legs. Third Age technology is often likened to magic, and its close associations with Anima (the root of magic in The Secret World) makes the comparisons all the more blatant, yet it's creators saw themselves more as engineers and scientists rather than magicians. In fact, the likes of Odin, Thor and Loki were all residents of this age, beings so advanced that the surviving stories of their achievements would live on in the following age as the story of ancient gods. This age would be ended not by Eblis or the Host, but by Samael and his beloved wife's experiments.
For Love Of The Talking Apes
In the First Age, the Host had become divided over how to manage the world that they had apparently created, ultimately resolving into two warring camps: the Grigori and the Nephilim. The Nephilim sought to rule their creation and harness its power by any means available to them, while the Grigori merely wished to maintain and safeguard it. Like the Nephilim, Samael desired power over the world; however, he declined to ally with either camp, and instead decided to achieve his ambitions alone. Leaving his fellow angels behind, he retreated to the wastelands beyond the Garden of Eden.
It was here that Samael encountered a human called Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke. According to the Bees, she was one of the first humans born on the planet, though the Nephilim dismissively referred to her as a "talking ape." It is not certain if this designation was literal, and whether Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke really was an early stage hominid or a fully formed homosapien remains unknown, as even modern humans are called "apes" by Eblis. Whatever the case, Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke was an outcast from human society: she had chosen to betray her fellow humans by aiding the Nephilim against the Grigori, and had been exiled from the Garden of Eden as a result. Finding himself in the company of a fellow outsider, Samael arranged a mutually beneficial partnership with her, offering her power in exchange for her help in furthering his schemes. Ki-sikil-lil-la-ke, extremely ambitious and clearly impressed by the Archangel's power, accepted gleefully. Samael likewise became fond of the mortal creature, and the bond between them grew from a partnership of convenience to a genuinely loving relationship - and eventually, to marriage.
The pairing was seen as something of a scandal to the rest of the Host, though the details are lost to pre-pre-pre-history, for the Host's civil war came to an end with the defeat of the Nephilim and the apocalyptic conclusion of the First Age. However, even with the Host at peace and its dissenting members silenced, Samael continued plotting world domination with his newly-acquired wife by his side, always searching for new means of gaining power.
Eventually, Samael came to call his groomed mate by the much simpler name "Lilith", though this was hardly the only name she made use of. Lilith came to enjoy the infamy she acquired over the millennia, and made a habit of collecting the names and epithets she'd been labelled with - ultimately emerging with seventeen in total, behind which she hid her original name, for fear that it could be magically used against her. With her husband's assistance, Lilith gradually ascended to the level of the Host: though still apparently human, she was capable of incredible feats of strength and intelligence, along with many other supernatural powers. Effectively immortal, she came to exist on multiple dimensions, each version of which could act interdependently or upon the others while all were governed by the same hive-minded consciousness. She also gained a love and mastery of science, allowing her to magically and technologically sculpt the children born from her union with Samael into soldiers: according to the Bees, many of history's most terrifying monsters can trace their roots back to her, including both vampires and werewolves.
The plans of the two schemers came to a head in the Third Age, when Samael and Lilith began investigating the substance known as The Filth, a cancer on reality capable of enslaving minds and distorting flesh. As Lilith discovered, the Filth itself was generated by "The Dreamers", godlike embodiments of primordial nothingness kept imprisoned in perpetual slumber by Gaia - hence the name. However, it quickly became apparent that the name was more than just a reference to their current state of being: the Filth itself was merely a dream of the Dreamers, their desire for escape and domination made manifest as a physical substance by their immense power. Hoping to harness this power for their own schemes for world domination, Samael and Lilith sought to find a way to control the Dreamers, even excavating a Gaia Engine, one of the pivotal points of power used by Gaia to pacify the Immaculate Machine's captives. However, Lilith had secretly been in contact with one of the Dreamers, and had been offered unimaginable power in exchange for it's freedom; though she knew that the Dreamer was almost certainly lying, Lilith tampered with the Engine anyway, believing she could control the ensuing chaos. As a result, the Dreamers stirred from their slumber ever so slightly, awakening just long enough to wipe out human civilization and bring an end to the Third Age, before drifting back to sleep once more. Thus, the Fourth Age began...
OrochiWith the destruction of the mortal world and his own people in no position to help him after the scandal with Lilith, Samael's outlook changed. He put off his attempts to control the Dreamers, and instead devoted himself to business with the re-emerging forms of human civilization. Samael considered humans to be base creatures prone to self-destructive impulses, and so he began encouraging their violent natures by selling them weaponry: when man-kind was killing each other with rocks, he sold them fire; when they were killing themselves with iron, he sold them steel; when they were killing each other with guns, he sold them bombs and so on. The human race had proven it would persist in its violence, so Samael lived off the back of mankind's need to destroy itself, readily exploiting the technological head-start he had over them from the previous three ages.
Eventually, Samael's various enterprises coalesced into the Orochi Group in 1949, dominating the market through its innovative daughter corporations (Anansi Technologies, Faust Capital, Manticore Research Group, Plethron, QBL Media, Sycoil, Váli, and Zagan, respectively). In the modern era, the group is a global monopoly, commanding immense financial and political power in both the mundane and supernatural world, even directing the outcome of presidential elections through its media holdings. Headquartered in Tokyo with the skyline-dominating Orochi Tower, it has become a symbol of economic growth and prosperity to the mundane world - though the inhabitants of the Secret World think otherwise. Orochi is encountered many times from the start of the game onward, acting as a wall between the masses and the Secret Worlders - all the while subtly expanding their influence over both; over the course of the game, the player observes Orochi initiatives intended to claim further supernatural power for the company, whether by harnessing thaumaturgical phenomena, recovering functional Third Age technology, or seeking out supernaturally empowered individuals for employment - or enslavement.
However, Samael had become more concerned with maintaining the company rather than furthering his schemes, and this time as a business owner eventually allowed him to appreciate the simple luxuries wealth afforded him while slumming it as a mortal. He grew to enjoy extravagance and soon became addicted to it, eventually going native under the name of "Samuel Chandra," even introducing Lilith to the public as "Lily Engel," the Chairwoman of the group's Board of Directors. What Samael did not know was that Lilith had assumed they were still working towards the subjugation of the Dreamers and universal domination, and was enraged to discover that her beloved husband had abandoned the cause in favour of mundane corporate tyranny. Feeling betrayed, Lilith decided to continue her attempts at world domination alone, and began covertly seizing control of Orochi's research divisions to that end.
The Lovers Divided
|“||What's the meaning of this? What is this? What's going on? Someone talk to me right now. Lilith, what's the meaning of this? Don't tell me that... I should have realized that you were involved somehow. But why? What's in it for you? You had everything you ever wanted. Infinite wealth, immortality, a legion of lovers... Me. I refuse to believe this is something you have orchestrated...||„|
|~ Samael, upon discovering Lilith's deception.|
Samael still had a vested interest in the Gaia Engines, hoping to harness them as sources of limitless energy to replace oil and coal - so long as the Dreamers remained undisturbed, of course. However, Lilith's plan to seize direct control of the Dreamers themselves remained intact, and she needed working Gaia Engines in order to do so; Samael's Prometheus Initiative offered her the perfect means of accessing the Engines. However, she also needed a method of capturing them when the time came, and couldn't trust the Orochi security forces her husband provided. So, she made use of her connections in both the mundane world and the Secret World: from the latter, she called upon a legion of Romanian vampires led by her "daughter" Mara in the former, she established a cult known as the Morninglight, based upon the ancient religious movement known as "Deus Sol Invictus" - a Roman secret society that worshiped the Dreamers. Having indoctrinated the followers of the Morninglight to believe in the Dreamers but follow her commands alone, she set out to mobilize both the cult and the vampires in her search for a Gaia Engine.
Throughout this time, Samael remained ignorant of Lilith's actions; however strained their relationship became, he refused to believe that she would ever turn against him. In turn, Lilith showed no desire to tip her hand, remaining outwardly content as the Chairwoman of the world's most powerful corporate empire, even when the Prometheus Initiative located a Gaia Engine in the Carpathian Mountains well within reach of Mara's army.
Unfortunately, Lilith found herself once again outsmarted by the Dreamers: unable to attack Lilith directly, they psychically reached out to Philip Marquard, the head of the Morninglight. Lilith had intended Marquard to be docile and easily manipulated as the rest of the her cultist servants; however, under the guidance of the Dreamers, he began rewriting Morninglight doctrine against Lilith's plans, re-directing the cult's efforts towards unleashing the Dreamers upon the universe. Just as Lilith slowly and subtly worked against Samael's designs, the Morninglight slowly and subtly worked against Lilith's designs. Eventually, they made their first decisive move by sending a suicide bomber armed with a Filth device to Orochi Tower, fully intending to kill Lilith in the resulting blast. Fortunately for the corporation, the bomber was caught by a rail security guard and detonated his device too early, allowing Lilith and the Tower to escape the Filth explosion unscathed; the rest of Tokyo was not so lucky, as the player discovers in the Tokyo Flashback at the start of the game.
Suddenly without her cult and with a trail of evidence leading back to her, Lilith panicked. Mobilizing her vampire army, she sent Mara and her children against the Orochi forces in the Carpathians; though she was able to easily overwhelm the defenders and claim the Gaia Engine, she was unable to actually use it without the Prometheus Initiative's star pupil, Emma - who'd mysteriously vanished by the time Lilith herself arrived on the scene. While Lilith's forces attempted to recapture Emma, the situation continued to spiral out of control: the depredations of the vampire army and their clashes with the inhabitants of Harburestii eventually became violent enough to get the attention of the Council of Venice, and from there, the three main secret societies of the game - eventually prompting the player's involvement during the third act of the game.
Eventually, even Samael discovered the truth, prompting a desperate attempt to contact Lilith via Orochi communications: in an uncharacteristic display of alarm and anger, he demanded to know the reason for her betrayal, refusing to believe that Lilith could be so ambitious as to risk destroying the world in pursuit of her goals. For her part, Lilith didn't even bother to respond.
Alliances And Confrontations
|“||I won't waste elaborate verbal flourishes. Let me pay you the compliment of being very plain. Lilith has shown a terrible lapse in judgement. It will be dealt with. But she is my wife and off limits to you. I want to be inescapably clear. If you harm her, I will destroy you. There is more than one way to destroy something, whole unknown dimensions of oblivion in varying bites. I know them all.||„|
|~ Samael, "Confrontations And Revelations."|
It is at or around this time that the player begins the game with the mission to Solomon Island, ultimately leading to a meeting between the Bee-imbued agent and the Orochi Group's CEO. At various points throughout the game, Samael will contact the player via Orochi communications systems, usually after they've been caught intruding on Orochi territory - only presenting his voice, never showing his face or admitting his name.
In "The Filth Amendment," after remotely observing the player sneaking around the Orochi Camp on Solomon Island's Blue Mountain, he uses their presence as blackmail material, threatening to release it to the Council of Venice unless the player complies with his orders. Fortunately, these orders are mutually beneficial, allowing the player to ensure the safety of the locals while also ensuring Orochi security. Likewise, in the following mission "Win Win," he proves surprisingly generous in offering the player some classified Orochi data in exchange for doing his bidding.
During the second major story mission, "Black Sun Red Sand," he continues his temporary alliance with the player by aiding them against rogue elements of the Orochi Group: a camp pursuing Prometheus Initiative goals in the City of the Sun God has stolen the Song of the Sentinels, threatening the resurrection of the Black Pharaoh and the end of the world. Incensed at the stupidity of his own operatives, he arranges another temporary alliance with the player in order to ensure global stability, helping them past the camp's defences towards the stolen Song.
Finally, during the third major story mission, "Mortal Sins," the player arrives at the Orochi dig site (now guarded exclusively by Lilith's vampire super-soldiers) just in time to hear Samael demanding explanations from Lilith via Orochi comms. Unwilling to face the player or her husband, Lilith teleports away before the player can reach her.
Unfortunately, the player's dealings with Samael do not remain so friendly for long: having directly clashed with Lilith in her attempts to recapture Emma during Issue 7, the player and their handlers quickly recognize her as a threat closely associated with the Filth and the Tokyo Incident. In Issue 9, the player is sent to Tokyo in order to investigate the Filth outbreak and put an end to it - and those responsible for it - by any means necessary. In Issue 11, thanks to misleading evidence provided by the Black Signal, the player is led to believe that Lilith is directly responsible for the Filth being unleashed on Tokyo, prompting a massive attack on her current stronghold at Orochi Tower by the player, the Jingu Clan, the House In Exile, and the Korinto-Kai - all in the hopes of killing Lilith once and for all.
Upon arriving at the Orochi Tower's penthouse floor, the player is immediately contacted by Samael over the penthouse monitors, allowing them their first real glimpse of his face in the process: he politely asks the player to turn back, assuring them that Lilith's misdeeds will be dealt with in time and warning them not to put a strain on their otherwise amicable relationship. However, Samael has nothing to bargain with this time, and the intruder isn't interested in listening to him anyway. Annoyed at the player's insistence, he then unleashes his own private army of Bee-imbued agents, the Mitsubachi - counterparts to the player characters, essentially - and orders them to stop the player at any cost. As the player progresses through the level, Samael's taunts give way to enraged threats as he promises immediate and agonizing vengeance upon the player if any harm comes to Lilith, assuring the player that "both you and your Secret Society will come to regret it." Finally, he tries one last time to convince the player to leave, explaining that Gaia is dying and Lilith's plan might be the only means of creating a new world - though he is cut off by the arrival of Uta Bloody Valentine.
Fortunately, Lilith is able to avoid a fight with the player by reluctantly explaining herself, detailing her plans to chain the Dreamers and cleanse the Filth from Tokyo. Unfortunately, the Black Signal has a vested interest in removing Lilith as a threat and attacks her with all the bodies at his disposal, ironically forcing the player to come to her defence; worse still, the Black Signal is able to delay Lilith's escape just long enough for the Nephilim to arrive at the Tower. By now, the Nephilim have emerged from obscurity to continue their attempts at world domination, this time by harnessing the power of the Dreamers in much the same way as Lilith herself intends. Unwilling to tolerate competition from Lilith and still disgusted "that Samael should couple with a talking ape," the Nephilim magically bind and incapacitate her by the power of her eighteen names, leaving the area with Lilith as their captive.
Samael's vengeance is immediate and devastating: though he does not make any direct attacks (perhaps an acknowledgement of the fact that that they did not directly harm Lilith) he uses the Orochi daughter corporation QBL Media to frame the player as one of the terrorists responsible for the Tokyo bombing, ensuring massive social backlash against both the player and their employers.