Nation-House Profiles 2 – Biblios
“Knowledge is Power”
Designers note – This is the second of the great house profile for Easthalen and deals with the house-nation of Bilbios, scholars and covert agents
There is a common saying amongst the various races and houses that translates to “knowledge is power”. The House-Nation of Bilbios is the living example of that saying.
It is well known that their name comes from another world, as they were one of the first to cross the planes. In fact, the legend goes that the founder of what became Biblios, one Michael Dibosa, was if not the first to travel to another plane of existence and return with proof of the multiverse, then he was the first who was officially recorded doing so. On his travels, he came across a location and heard the word “Biblio” which, as far as he could tell meant something like “knowledge from records”, but he accepts that the translation may have been in error.
Regardless, after returning to Easthalen in the first few months after the Great Barrier had been erected, he set about gathering his family and friends and other allies. He knew that knowledge was what would save them, in more ways than one.
The now renamed Biblios estate was a large university complex with extensive libraries and accommodation. Whilst it had been mostly untouched by the upheaval that the Great Barrier had caused, Dibosa could see the signs that if the wars that sprung up didn’t get them soon, then the nearby nations needed resources would – After all, they were a perfectly harmless university campus, prime for looting.
Several steps were taken:
- The books and scrolls that contained knowledge were moved to the basements and storage areas. These were to be kept safe at all costs. To this day, no other place outside of the Archivers Vault has a complete history of the world as the Biblios Library.
- All those who could be trained in magic, a still relatively new practice at the time, were fast-tracked to be the University’s defenders alongside the more athletic and military-minded students.
- The books they had were poured over for tactics and ideas for defending their small nation.
- One of the faculties youngest members suggested sending out scout and so-on to check the local landscape
- Several of the sports grounds were converted into fields and so on to grow food and other resources
All was going well and they held off almost all those who tried to attack them or starve them out until one day …well…it didn’t.
One of the smarter local war-barons had somehow infiltrated the campus. They had managed to get very close to Dibosa and injured him. The failed assassination attempt shook Dibsoa and on his recovery, decided to personally interrogate his would-be killer.
Through “creative” means he learned that this baron, this would be king had their fingers and spies in almost every location in the region.
This would not stand. Dibosa vowed that they that no-one..NO-ONE..would ever catch them. Those on the outside would say there was a subtle shift that day. Externally , Biblios would maintain its place as a place of learning and education, where those who genuinely seeked knowledge would be welcomed and taught the subjects they desired, within reason of course.
Internally however, some promising students were removed from their duties and brought in for “special training”. Young, old, male, female, non-human. The variety was staggering. The public story given was for them to given training on how to spot covert activities. This, in part, had the beauty of being the truth, but it was not the whole truth.
The real truth was they were being trained to be spy, information brokers, to seek material for blackmail, to find out their opponents weaknesses, to find out information that others could not.
As has been said before, knowledge is power, and Biblios wanted that power. Never again would they find themselves at the mercy of other for not knowing something. Never again would one of their citizens be almost killed because of it.
A few months after the program had graduated its first batch of agents, it’s worth was shown.Yet another local would-be king tried to infiltrate the campus. They let them in. made them think their were nothing but scared scholars trying to eek out a living amongst all the chaos in the world.
They fed them false information at the same time finding out their weaknesses and troop details, such as locations, equipment and so on. A few went to the new threat to study and learn as much as they could about them.
A week after the spy left with what they thought was details they were after, a large force approached the gates of the campus, demanding entry or they would burn down what they thought was a library , when in fact was an empty building, filled with empty ledgers or books deemed worthy of a possible sacrifice.
Whilst this army was posturing and grandstanding and threatening them, a small batch of their agents had slipped into their camp and sabotaged various trebuchets and catapults and so on.
When the order came to launch the projectiles on the library and the rest of the campus, they were shocked when every single one of them collapsed. The cannons backfired, the fires failed to light and more.
It was a this point that Dibsoa, who was close to death from old age came forth. For a brief moment, the fighting stopped as he began to speak.
“You stand before me, threatening my home…my family….my friends….my life’s work…Yet your homes stand unguarded, your children unprotected, and your so-called kingdom ripe for burning to the ground!”
A few nervous mutters spread throughout the waiting army.
Dibosa continued, pulling a scroll from his gown and reading off details, names of those in the army, where they lived, the names of their children, their place of birth and so on. It was obvious to all present that this person, this leader knew a disturbing amount about them. The covert agents of Biblios had proven their worth a thousand-fold. Seeing the confusion and the start of what could be called fear brought a smile to Dibosas face.
Calling out the leaders and officers by name his addressed them one by one, commenting about their family life, their last meal before leaving for battle and so -on. Each time the army grew more and more restless and nervous, even more so as the declaration got more , aggressive, telling of their home burning, their leaders killed and so on.
It all came to a head when the lead-officer, who had recently became a parent was told that “Alphonse was a marvelous name for a newborn” – Their child had been born the morning of the army of them leaving for battle and him and his wife has agreed to not tell anyone until he got back.
This was enough for the officers to call a strategic retreat and head back home…fast. When they got their they found out that all the threats, all the proclamations had been true, except one. No-one had been killed, no one had been hurt.
When the first great-house conclave was created, to forge the 12 nation-houses, Biblios was the first to accept. Their knowledge was, for the most part available for all, for the right price. Information was worth more to them than coin and being a great-house nation would give them access to more and more.
To this day Biblios still maintains a reputation as a nation of scholars and students, their universities, schools, teachers, tutors and students a credit to all and the education they provide is the best, if a bit expensive. But everyone is aware that if they want to find out something, they will…and nothing will stop them obtaining the knowledge they desire.