On the surface, the Company is a megacorporation that had its roots in medical and genetic research. Peeling back the layers reveals something much more complex and sinister. With roots in Nazi occultism, eugenics, and chemical weapons, in actuality, the Company is a dangerous organization that has interfered directly in the lives of many of the Major Houses, especially House Lapin and House Meles. While their goal remains unknown, it is evident that they seek to control the use of Literomancy -- and literomancers -- for their own purposes.
The Company's structure is like an onion. Peel back the paper, and there are layers underneath. Peeling back each successive layer leads to a smaller layer. Each one stinks worse than the last. On the surface, the Company presents itself as a medical and genetics research corporation that occasionally stretches the limits of anti-trust legislation, and delves into other fields in an effort to expand its influence. Their foray into pharmaceuticals slipped under the radar, as did their expansion into military weapons, then prosthetics; and through that, into robotics, software technology, nanotechnology, algorithms, and social media and advertising. Their recent attempt to expand into media from that jumping-off point was met with severe backlash in the Lapin, Meles, and Chiropteran Protectorates, however. Most of the people who work for the Company think they are effectively working for Amazon. It's a megacorporation that engages in the typical megacorporate activities of buying influence, trying to control information and markets, oppressing workers, and (mostly legally) bribing politicians. Most of them are ordinary people trying to make a living as warehouse labourers, public service representatives, advertising executives, tech geeks, or research technicians. Beneath this layer there is a complex web of illegal and immoral activity. Much of their genetics and nanotech research is like something out of a comic book or a Bond movie. Through blackmail, careful selection of "the right personality type" and NDAs, behavioural engineering or outright mind control, the Company engages in a variety of dangerous and highly illegal experiments into bioweapons, some of which are performed on willing or unwilling sapient beings, primarily literomancers. Beneath this layer is a tangled web of former and current intelligence operatives who are either loyal to the cause or willing to sell their services to the highest bidder. On this level, the Company deals in illicit weapons sales, particularly chemical and biological weapons, and also engages the services of numerous "private contractors." Beneath this layer is a secret occult society that has its origins in the Thule Society, who conducted occult research for the Third Reich; and in the research of Nazi eugenicists. On this level, they seek to master the use of Literomancy for their own purposes. It was they who unearthed The Iron Tome in the 20th Century, thus inadvertently causing the return of Literomancy and the recent reappearance of the Undead Horde. The Board of Directors are puppets of the nebulous society underneath, managed either through blackmail, open threats, or actual mind control.
The corporate front of the Company is everything one might expect of a soulless megacorp. Team-building exercises and corp-speak direct loyalty up the chain, but little loyalty is offered in the other direction. Whenever possible, they keep their employees on part time hours to deprive them of benefits, require forced overtime, and regulate the amount of time spent to take a bio-break. They do their utmost to keep their rank-and-file too exhausted and anxious to think much. They brainwash their middle management into believing if they just worked a little harder, they, too, could ascend the corporate ladder. They pay women, the disabled, and People of Colour less than they do white, able-bodied, cishet men, and in all ways, they illustrate that every Company worker is an interchangeable part. Once an employee makes it past the public front, either into research and development or private contracting and security, they are showered in a Company culture that tells them in no uncertain terms they are among the elite. They are told they have been selected because of their special skills, their superior intellect; whatever is most flattering. They suddenly gain access to many Company perks; the fancy hotels, the private jets, the catered dinners, the first class legal services if their activities get them into trouble with secular authorities. They are made to believe they are above the law; and mostly, they are. If the boss occasionally sexually harasses their sisters, or makes a racist joke or two, it's worth it to look the other way. At its heart, the Company is a flat-out Nazi cult. Eugenics and the occult yearnings of the Thule Society , which revealed that Literomancy existed, but not how to harness it , have combined to create a secret society that does not view literomancers as human. They are demons, innately evil creatures with unnatural powers, who should be yoked by the best and the brightest among real humans, and then destroyed once they have outlived their usefulness. Even children with literomantic powers are spawn of the devil, who deserve only pain and suffering.
The Company appears to have a ridiculous amount of money and resources at its disposal. Little is known about how this is maintained, or even where all of it is, but investigations by the Lapin, Meles, and Chiropteran Protectorates, and the World Criminal Court, as well as a clandestine investigation by House Sauropoda, are actively underway.
After the fall of the Third Reich, many former members of the National Socialist Party fled Germany and did their best to hide in any country that would have them. Numerous governments around the world looked the other way, either because they had fascist leanings, or because they wanted the skills, knowledge or resources these people had. The Company was one such group. Created from the unholy union of some ex-executives from IG Farben (many of whom also went on to found Bayer) and the Thule Society, they quickly put many of the things they had learned from their chemical weapons production and their concentration camp experiments to work for the "public good." Many of the details are yet unknown, but they somehow managed to stumble upon House Lapin among the Polish Jewish population. Then Chief Rabbit Dorothy Lapin fled Poland at the beginning of WWII, taking the secret Lapin Library with her, to keep it out of Nazi hands. She managed to disappear from their view in North America, leaving the key to the Lapin Library and the Carrot Throne to her future granddaughter, Sable Aradia. Much of that history is only now coming to light, but it appears there were numerous crimes committed against the Lapin and House Meles royal families, and they likely were responsible for an attack against Siobhan the Writer, Queen of Bats, as well. It is believed that DM Stretch was at one time a double agent within the Company structure, working secretly for House Lapin; although some believe he may have, in fact, been working in the opposite direction, and his recent disappearance lends some credibility to that theory. Also recently, after a successful civil suit, Lapin, Eds & Chiroptera vs. GOT News and the Company, the Company has been charged with criminal conspiracy in the Lapin Protectorate, and numerous criminal offenses in the International Criminal Court at the Hague. It is believed that many more sinister details are likely to be revealed then.
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
We're Here for Life
Sauropoda is aware of the danger The Company represents, and hates and fears them. The Company hates and fears all literomancers.
Chiroptera considers The Company a mortal enemy after they almost killed Queen Siobhan. The Company hates and fears all literomancers, but is doubly concerned about Chiroptera after the increased hostility following their attempted murder of the Bat Queen.
Mollusca considers The Company a mortal enemy after what they did to their Regent, and they suspect them of being involved with recent issues that have worsened in the oceans. The Company hates and fears all literomancers, and is more wary of Mollusca after they became aware that the Regent had joined them.
Ailurus and The Company are mortal enemies who will kill or kidnap each other on sight.
Lapin and The Company are mortal enemies who will kill each other on sight.