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In The Secret World, factions represent secret societies that hide behind the shadows of the real world. Players must become a member of one of the joinable factions in order to participate in the game. There are three factions that players are allowed to join and they are The Dragon, the Illuminati, and the Templars; in addition there are also non-joinable in-game factions as well as groups that have appeared in the ARGs.

Playable Factions

Main article: Secret Societies

Factions are chosen during character creation and are permanent; there are no restrictions for race, ethnicity, or abilities. The three factions are designed to be equal and balanced in power and ability, but faction specific special abilities do exist. The goal in choosing a faction is for players to pick based on the ideals and mindsets of the group as a whole, rather than the one with the most powerful abilities.

Each joinable faction has a headquarters where players can gather, find vendors and trainers, and other facilities: the The Dragon in Seoul, South Korea, the Illuminati in New York, United States, and the Templars in London, England.

In Player versus environment, players of all factions are allowed to group together and finish missions. Player vs. Player will pit the factions against each other and players in Player vs. Player zones will be distinctive by both faction and role as everyone will be wearing uniforms.

Furthermore, despite any similarities to real life, all factions in The Secret World are purely fictional. They are not tied to any religion or mindset in the real world.

Before launch, there was a flash-based quiz players could take that would recommend a secret faction for them to join. The questions asked and the factions the answers aligned with can be see on the Initiation article.


Main article: The Dragon
"The Art of Chaos"

Manipulators and conspirators, the Dragon have survived for millennia by playing their enemies against each other. Since before the first empire, through the aggression of the Mongol Khans and the ebb and tide of the political change, a whisper in the right ear, a strategic assassination, alliance carefully crafted and broken - and the world eventually bends to the patient will of the immortal Dragon.

With a spiritual and philosophical approach to the secret crafts, as an acolyte of the Dragon you are taught to listen, shown how to teach others, and expected to respect the balance of the universe and to be humble in the face of fate. Yours is not the path of force, though force is often needed to clear the path.

Few know of the Dragon and their long history, and that is how the Dragon want it. You are invisible but pervasive, silent but all-knowing, and when the other secret societies have decimated each other, you will rebuild the world from the ruins of their arrogance.

The Dragon is too easily underestimated, but those who do so live to regret it - or die before they get the chance.
Flash Quiz, darkdaysarecoming.com


Main article: Illuminati
"Sex, Drugs & Rockefeller"

Notorious bad boys and girls of the secret world, the Illuminati are also the most ambitious, cut-throat and furtive of the secret societies.

From the gilded halls of the ancient pharaohs to the private clubs and the decadent parties of the famously rich and egocentrically famous, from leaders of industry and Hollywood agents to presidents and popes, the Illuminati have weaved their intricate web with ruthless cunning and acute skill.

They rule their corporate pyramid with cold opportunism, and only the strongest members survive. Their secrets can make you rich and powerful beyond compare - or they may destroy your soul and sanity with it

The Illuminati seek to plunder heaven and hell by any means necessary, and god help those who stand in their way.

As a member of the Illuminati, you don't play by anybody's rules. There are no rules. There is no honour.

There is only victory.
Flash Quiz, darkdaysarecoming.com


Main article: Templars
"Deliverance From Evil"

Crusaders. Judges. The Holy Terror. The Templars are the world's least secretive secret society. Their military-ideological machine has operated in plain sight since Babylon - a matter of pride, or moral superiority. Conspiracy theorists, obsessed with the minor 'Knights Templar' offshoot, underestimate the Templars' true European empire. Private armies. Members of parliaments. Royal families.

The Templars believe they will deliver the world from evil by force, and even their opponents - who call them zealots and warmongers - cannot deny that force. As an agent of the Templars you are not just fighting the war on darkness, you "are" the war on darkness. Suave and sophisticated, but brutal and uncompromising, you use history as a weapon to shape the future.

Few will stand in the way of the Templars' banner. Do you have the will to stand behind it?
Flash Quiz, darkdaysarecoming.com

Non-Playable Groups

These are the groups and factions that players know about and encounter in the game, but cannot officially play a member of.

Factions and Groups
Image Name Role
CDC.png Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is the national public health institute of the United States whose duty is preventing new or unusual illnesses and epidemics. Because of this they can been seen in The Filth hotspots.
Council of Venice.jpg Council of Venice The Council of Venice oversee the hidden conflict between the secret societies, act as a mediator of the Secret War, and maintain the secrecy of the secret world.[1]
Cult of Aten A cult working in the Valley of the Sun God that works towards awakening the deity they worship, Aten, and his most faithful servant, Akhenaten, the Black Pharaoh
Draculesti.jpg Drăculești The legacy of Vlad Dracula
Guardians of Gaia Gigantic golems embedded with the natural forces of the earth that are activated by The Gatekeeper. A defensive mechanism of Gaia that protects where she is most wounded.
Immortals A bunch of creatures and individuals that seem to have been around since the dawn of time and can be Gods, demigods or other god-like creatures that are above and beyond the Secret World that we know of.
Jingu Clan A clan of Samuri in Japan tasked with protecting Japan from Demons
The Kingdom Their members seem to primarily be mummies and other creatures who have been living since this group was founded back in ancient Egypt.
The League of Monster Slayers What started as a typical boys-only club became a monster hunting group for all the children of Solomon Island
Marya "The Young Warriors". Founded in the time of Tutankhamen, they vowed to fight the Cult of Aten and defend Egypt. [2]
The Morninglight.png
Morninglight The Morninglight is a group that publicly appears as a new-age, self-help and religious, but seem to show up in areas of occult activity.
Orochi Group Logo.png
Orochi Group A public mega international corporation that does extensive operations in various areas involving the supernatural.
Old enemy.png Brotherhood of Phoenician Sailors Phoenicians are a member of the Council of Venice and another faction responsible for keeping the secrecy of the Secret World.
Red Hand.png Red Hand A branch of the Russian military dedicated to researching the occult and supernatural and turning it to military uses. Now believed to be defunct.
Fa sos.png Sanctuary of Secrets Present since the They Are Coming Back ARG event, SoS is a mysterious group operating from the shadows. They're said to collect and hide dangerous secrets the world can never know of, and hide behind puzzles and names of history. Led by an oracle who has seen a bleak future and desires to change the course of events.
The Seven Sentinels Ptahmose and his children were charged with keeping Aten and Akhenaten, the Black Pharaoh in the black pyramid in the City of the Sun God.
Wabanaki A Native American tribe found on Solomon Island, that has been there for as long as any can remember with histories stretching back before their battles with invading Mayans. Today their tribe is few in number and had been weak in belief, but recent events has strengthened their resolve to carry on their ancestral duty to protect the evil that sleeps beneath the island.