Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Content on this site is free to use under the Creative Commons License unless otherwise noted.

13 November 2010

Castle Pharmaceuticals: White Rook Division, Part 1

The White Rook Division of Castle Pharmaceuticals, they are the secret branch of Castle Pharmaceuticals that handles B.O.W.s (Bio-Organic Weapons). They specialize in the research of the Z-Virus (and to a limited extent the lesser X-Virus) and finding a way to make it a viable weapon.

While Castle Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1862 by Dr. Ian Castle and Dr. Ryan Maxwell, the White Rook Division didn't come into existence for another 63 years. White Rook was founded after Dr. Elizabeth Smitherson discovered the Pedes Mortis Virus (called the X-Virus initially), when she was only 25 years of age in 1925. While publicly calling for the eradication of the Pedes Mortis Virus, Castle Pharmaceuticals founded the White Rook Division to study and look for ways to use the virus as a weapon.

Dr. Smitherson was chosen to be the first Director of White Rook. It was under her that White Rooks current structure was formed. Due to her interest in the game of chess, Dr. Smitherson named the new division White Rook, and instituted chess related titles for all White Rook Staff. Dr. Smitherson became the very first Black King, a title still used by the head of the White Rook Division.

In 1943 Dr. Smitherson and her team discovered the Z-Virus, a more virulent version of the Pedes Mortis Virus, which reaminmated the host for a longer period of time and halted most decaying of the hosts body. Unfortunately Dr. Smitherson was infected by one of her test subjects in December of 1945 along with 80% of the staff at the facility, when the subject got loose. It is rumored that the subject was intentionally released by a rival looking to take over White Rook from Dr. Smitherson. A US National Guard unit was called in to eradicate the infected, and unfortunately all but one Guardsman were killed when the facility went up in flames. The survivor was Capt. James Keller.

In January of 1946 Capt. Keller was recruited by White Rook to establish an in house security force. This force in addition to providing security to all Castle Pharmaceutical facilities (both legit and subversive) acts as a clean up crew for any "accidents" that may happen. Capt. Keller named the new security force the Black Knights, keeping with Smithersons chess theme. Ultimately the Black Knights fall under the umbrella of White Rook due to the true nature of their existence, though they are also the only know part of White Rook that is publicly known. Their public image is that of Castle Pharmaceuticals armed security force for their facilities and upper echelon.

All White Rook facilities operate under the cover of another legitimate Castle Pharmaceuticals facility. Most of the White Rook facilities are actually housed underneath the legitimate Castle Pharmaceutical facility and accessed via a secret entrance. In addition most White Rook facilities consist of one main complex and a number of smaller satellite complexes that may be as far as 10 miles away, these smaller complexes are connected tot he main complex via an underground tram system. Each facility is color coded based on the Bishop (the head of the facility) in charge, so a facility run by the Red Bishop would be coded Red, along with any staff (pawns) stationed there, excluding Black Knight personnel. Using the color coding example above if the Red Bishop was assigned to the Omicron Facility, it would then become the Red Omicron facility and the satellite complexes would be referred to as Red Omicron 2, Red Omicron 3, etc... and all personnel would be referred to as Red Pawn Smith (if the personnel member's last name was Smith), if more then one member of the facilities personnel share the same last name the initials for their first and middle names are used, ie Red Pawn J. M. Smith and Red Pawn S. B. Smith.

The current number of facilities and total number of personnel are only known to the Black King and a select few within White Rooks and Castle Pharmaceuticals ranks.


  1. Doug, this is great stuff! I'm so glad you decided to share all this background info. Up until now I've taken Ed's advice from ATZ about how or why the zombie apocalypse came about - "it happened - deal with it!" That attitude is fine when you're playing an everyday Joe, whose primary goal is survival. Vampifan and his friends certainly fall into that category. But there will come a time when they want answers. I might very well be looking at your background to copy your ideas, if that's okay with you. I'd ask your permission first, of course. Keep up the good work - I love articles like this!

  2. Bryan,

    Everything I put up here on the Blog is put up under the Creative Commons License (see the little blurb at the top of all the pages on the blog right under the Blogs title).

    If you use Castle Pharm. I would ask that you wait, I have two more posts dealing with them/White Rook, one is the hierarchy of White Rook along with some details about a couple of the White Rook staff and the other is a list of White Rook facilities, which like this info was obtained at great risk by the missing MGCIS agent, his fate can be left up to you, he could be alive and hiding from White Rook, he could have been killed by the Black Knights, he could have been infected, he could have become a test subject and became a tyrant type zombie (perfect excuse to get a Hasselfree Jotun to represent a not-tyrant, one of White Rooks few semi-controllable successes).

    I know in my campaign I am using Castle Pharm. White Rook Division to explain the Chupacabra from the Giving up the Goat Scenario, it thier version of the RE Hunter, and I am hoping to pick up the Reaper Chronoscope Chupacabra here soon, and/or get one or two for Christmas (along with some of the Nova Corp. Chronoscope figures).

    Now that I think of it I may also draw up the fluff for some of White Rooks experiments (the Chupacabra, BA Worm, Not-Tyrants, etc...). I can't wait to see what "creatures" Ed releases in After the Horsemen, in the mean time I will have to go back and see what RE baddies I can remember from the games, other then the Zombies, Hunters, Tyrants, Lickers, and Giant Bugs (the Moths and Spiders).

  3. Thanks, Doug. I can say that any reveal that I do in my campaign about how the apocalypse started won't happen for a long time. If I do use any of your stuff, of course I'll credit you. Who knows, I might come up with something entirely different.

    I want to get a lot more games under my belt before I start thinking of who's to blame. I'll certainly be integrating stuff from ATH - vampires and werewolves are a definite. More than that, I'm not sure of until I've properly digested ATH.

    In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying reading your own background material. You're doing a fine job!

  4. My next Castle Pharm./White Rook post won't be as detailed as this one of the previous since its more of a Hierarchy of White Rook, and will only have info for a few individuals.

    I will tell you that in the Mayhem City campaign I played, it came out that while White Rook was behind the Z-Virus, they weren't the cause of the outbreak. The outbreak originated at one of their main rivals research facilities after some kids from one of the College's Fraternities broke in on a dare. During their break in they accidentally cut power to a secure area of the facility that was containing about two dozen individuals illicitly infected with the Z-Virus , these individuals had not turned yet and didn't realize they were hosts to the Z-Virus when they escaped. They subsequently expired and then reanimated, starting the outbreak. All this was discovered by the guy playing a Black Knights recon team sent in to locate the source of the outbreak and make sure that it wasn't traced back to Castle Pharmaceuticals, and if it could be traced back to Castle Pharm. to destroy any evidence by any means necessary. The Black Knights player ended up destroying over half the city (including the Nuclear Power Plant, the University, City Hall, and other prominent landmarks) by detonating some strategically placed Thermonuclear devices White Rook had previously put into place in case of such an emergency.