This part is something like a second dramatis personae, only one that names and describes all the key organizations within the world of the story. Again, this list is by no means final or definitive. There is no particular rhyme or reason here with regards to the ordering, but for reasons unknown even to me, the most villainous gangs are mentioned first.
SAAZMOL. Pronounced SATS-mole. Also known as the Great Monopoly. A seemingly omnipotent conglomerate founded and controlled by extradimensional hostiles. After many centuries of war, violent oppression, cultural genocide and systematic brainwashing, SAAZMOL rose from an obscure and otherwise unremarkable corner of the universe to conquer all of humanity, establishing a near-monopoly in the neurological software market. Through its various organs and subsidiaries, it dominates and controls the human race, which it regards as little more than farm animals. The majority of humans are blissfully unaware of SAAZMOL’s existence, but are nevertheless subservient to it, through their loyalty and devotion to the Aardvark.
The Orycteropian Synod. Pronounced oar-ick-tear-ROPE-ee-un. SAAZMOL’s ecclesiastical arm, which also has a considerable influence on the economic system of the Environment and a comfortable majority of its governments. Roughly ninety-nine percent of the human race are licenced members of the Synod, contractually bound to worship a cartoon character called the Aardvark, who was originally the protagonist of a series of animated films produced by a SAAZMOL-owned motion picture studio, eventually becoming the face of the Great Monopoly’s software empire. Faithful devotees of the Aardvark are expected to spend at least a tenth of their income on authorized Synod Market software, and to be fruitful and give birth to more little customers for the Synod. The leader of the Synod is His Holiness the Chief Executive Officer, who is considered the living voice and embodiment of the Aardvark for all loyal clientele. None of his official press releases can ever be questioned.
There are three distinct castes within Orycteropian society. Which caste one belongs to depends mostly on the financial resources they have to purchase wares, as well as their level of personal devotion to the Aardvark and the teachings of the Synod, as determined by a personal interview that occurs once a year with their salesbishop or one of his lawyerpriests. The three castes are, from the highest to the lowest:
There is also a hypothetical fourth caste above Celestial, in which a faithful Orycteropian heterosexual couple sealed for all eternity in the name of the Aardvark is glorified forever as a Shareholder and Shareholdress, to be granted their own department of underpaid corporate lackeys to personally lord it over. However, this caste is rarely discussed outside the highest echelons of the Synod, and Orycteropian pitchmen are advised not to bring the subject up when recommending the Aardvark to their friends and associates, immediately changing the subject in the event someone does.
The Union of Twelve Nations. Often called simply the Union. The complete body of ordinary people who have mastered (or are in the process of mastering) the esoteric workings of the Environment and the fine art of cybersorcery. The Union is both feared and despised by SAAZMOL, for its leaders know the Great Monopoly’s dirty little secrets and are fully aware of what the Aardvark truly is. Its members are treated as pariahs by most Orycteropian governments, forcing them to form an underground society of their own. Its figurehead is someone known only as the Secretary General, whose identity is shrouded in mystery.
The Union is not a single monolithic entity, but a federation consisting of thirteen Nations. Despite this, it is still called the Union of Twelve Nations. The Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood was a late addition, and at the time of its creation, the Union did not have the budget for a complete rebranding. Hence, the Twelve Nations moniker stuck. The individual Nations that comprise the Union are united only in their opposition to the rule of SAAZMOL – some of them are known to dislike each other intensely, or otherwise have competing agendas. The names of the thirteen Nations are as follows:
- The Sons of Tiamat
- The Double Egg Guild
- The Dragon Boys of Zhomer Tyne
- The Order of the Beautiful Squid
- The Loose Nomadic Tribe of Sol Invictus
- The Society of Wheel Turners
- People for an Open Helix
- The Sovereign Viceroyalty of Guenevar
- The Knights of Io
- We Supply Our Own Damn Saliva (WeSOODS)
- The Burning Quokka Council and Community
- The Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood
The Thirteenth Nation Sisterhood. Often referred to as simply the Sisterhood. The only all-female cybermagickal Nation within the Union. It is also the Union’s newest Nation, having been created a few centuries after the foundation of the Union itself.
The Sisterhood is divided into 10,394 local chapters called Lodges. Each Lodge has its own internal government, which consists of a Vizier-Queen, a College of Vicerines and an Executive Cabinet. The Executive Cabinet is the main legislative committee of a Lodge, with the College of Vicerines functioning mostly as a senatorial chamber, additionally tasked with the responsibility of appointing a new Vizier-Queen from among their ranks in the event the incumbent Vizier-Queen dies, retires, or is elevated to the rank of Peony.
The Vizier-Queen is considered to be the living personification of the Lodge itself. She is vested with considerable veto powers, and always has the last word with respect to any motion of the Executive Cabinet. All Lodges are under the jurisdiction of the Presidium, a 333-member chamber which meets every six months in a secret underground cavern somewhere in Sector Echo, and serves as the central government of the Sisterhood as a whole.
There are five distinct ranks of seniority within the Sisterhood. These five ranks are, from the highest to the lowest:
These ranks are further divided into five academic levels which correspond with the first five letters of the Greek alphabet, with alpha-level Sisters considered the most learned members of their rank, and epsilon-level Sisters being the beginners or the least experienced. When an alpha completes some level of academic achievement that meets the requirements of her Lodge, she becomes an epsilon in the next rank above her, e.g. if she was an alpha-level Pansy before, she graduates to the status of epsilon-level Buttercup. Generally, a Sister must hold the rank of Peony in order to sit as an Honorable Member-Electress of the Presidium, and the most senior government positions of every Lodge are reserved for Crocuses. Sisters who hold a rank lower than Crocus are assigned a variety of other duties, at the discretion of their Vizier-Queen.
SILVER BROWN: A Forwarpendix
Part I: The Introduction of SILVER BROWN
Part II: The Birth of SILVER BROWN
Part III: The Long and the Short of SILVER BROWN
Part IV: The World of SILVER BROWN
Part V: The People of SILVER BROWN
Part VI: The War of SILVER BROWN
Part VII: The Language of SILVER BROWN
Part VIII: The Dashing Prince of SILVER BROWN
SILVER BROWN: A Blog
Part XI: The Journey of SILVER BROWN
Part XII: The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN
Part XIII: The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN
Part XIV: The Green Grass of SILVER BROWN
Part XV: The Zen of SILVER BROWN