Worldbuilding Wednesday, 8/9/17: Bureaucracies


Portrait of Auster Denoerval, by Virginie Carquin

Fantasy organizations are not limited to the grandiose and world-shaking. Scores of bureaucratic organizations run silently beneath the surface, serving to frustrate and stymie your characters in pursuit of their goals. Terry Pratchett, Franz Kafka, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stanislaw Lem, and J. K. Rowling all used them to good effect. Often they also serve as humorous interludes, as in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker series. Can they be satirical or offer social commentary? You bet. Often a minor character appears who offers up some pompous resume tidbit, and with this in mind, I created a list of impossible and not-so-impossible bureaucracies below.



Division of Unmentionable Mummification

Ministry of Reptilian Petrification

Department of Gustatory Purity

Task Force for the Relinquishment of Religious  Idols

National Institute of Mercantile Transformation

Regional Institute of Virtuous Education

Managerial Division of Domestic Communication

Imperial Task Force on Strategic Studies

Federal Task Force for the Creation of Healthy  Aesthetics

Managerial Institute for Strategic Hygiene

Druidic Hearing on Intelligent Horticulture

Bureau of Eldritch Battlecraft

Imperial Federation of Paranormal Persuasion

Federal Division of Philosophical Inquiry

Civic Bureau of Artful Labor

Imperial Institute of Human Love

Robust Hearing on Witches’ Adventuring

Federal Institute of Magical Freedom

Managerial Bureau of Insidious Comedy

Imperial Commission for Free Athletics

Managerial Commission on Spiritual Freedom

National Institute of Mercantile Management


Bureaucracies also include scholarly societies as might be found associated with a college or university.

Scholarly Societies

Bindenum Institute of Ophidian Intelligence

Imperial Task Force for the Study of Military Oddities

Royal Academy of Archaic Discoveries

Crossneedle Royal Campaign for Demonic Rights

League of Imperial Scholars

The Order of Hooded Sages

Professors of the Phlegmatic Trillium

Bright Wheels Literary Society

College of the Iron Laurel

Studious Society of Perfumed Fools

Way of the Fiery Wheel

Students of the Fulsome Heart

Scholars’ Conference on Gently Persuading Religious Literature

Sage’s Conference on Progressive Legendary Diseases

The Blacksmiths of Literature

Drovers of Civilization

Tricksters of Intelligence

Buskers of Warcaft

The Flaming Faction of Hell’s Scholars

The Eternal League of Skywise Scholars

Imperial Academy of Draconian Discoveries

Academy of Dignified Military Education

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