A Brief History of The Bureau
A few interesting notes from the history, as they really were.
1476, Pisa. In an attempt to “get things done, without the meddlesome people from the Church”, Leonardo da Vinci founded a secret society in order to fight “all that is occult, frightful, dangerous, and intent on destroying the world”. The following years, da Vinci managed to establish charters all over Europe, while fighting the darkness with one hand, and the Church with the other.
During the 30 year’s war (1618-1648) the society joined forces with the Protestants, in an attempt to withdraw even further from the [Catholic]Church. Some society scholars say that the society saved mankind during these troublesome times, while others claim the society just barely survived.
Historians still disagree on why the Industrial Revolution happened when it did, and why it happened in England first. The scholars of the society, on the other hand, know exactly why. Explorers that came back from the Indian Ocean brought with them knowledge from the sunken continent of Mu. They also brought with them uncanny knowledge, most of it hidden to this day in the vaults of the society, the rest lost to time.
“The Great War”, or “The War to End All Wars”, “The Great Fall-in”, or “The Mother of All Wars”. No matter what you call it, Europe was torn apart during the four years between 1914 and 1918, and the society was, yet again, bang in the middle (no pun intended). Soldiers who survived the gas often mentioned vile and unholy beasts who tore into their comrades flesh. There were stories about how someone could walk through the gunfire as if it was just a bit of rain, and there were stories about huge rats in the walls of the trenches. The society was there, trying their damnedest to save humanity, yet again.
In 1522, the first Asian chapter opened in Shanghai, where the society’s Asian headquarters still exist.
In 1600 the East India Company got a charter, stating that it had exclusive rights in trading with the “East India” (in effect India and China), as a cover. The company wasn’t really looking for “normal trade”, but trade in the various occult tomes, items, and weapons it could find. The society fought a hard, and brutal, war against the company, until they managed to dissolve the company in 1874. Parapsychological warfare, and politics was what eventually brought the once might company to it’s knees.
Early in 1573 the society spread through Africa, establishing the first base in Alexandria in Egypt, and following the various expeditions as they explored the vast continent.
During the colonization of Africa around 1870, the society suddenly got a lot to do, as explorers discovered new tribes, cults, and gods. An example is Great Zimbabwe, the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. Archaeologists have dated the buildings to between 1100 AD and 1400 AD, and they have also found items from as far away as China. Officially. Unofficially, they have found items of a much more sinister origin.
America was the next step in order to spread the society, and in 1603 a rudimentary station was established where Brazil is now. In South America, the society experienced many of the same problems as in Africa. Old gods and cults, human sacrifice, and generally bad mojo. Mix in natives with poisonous darts, and knowledge not only about the plants and animals, but also on how to use the vegetation to conceal themselves, and you’ll understand why the society had trouble when they tried to establish a base. The society also had to fight the Church in Brazil, a fight that still continues to this day. In 1808, as Napoleon invaded Portugal, Brazil started to tear away from their colonial masters, and the Kingdom of Brazil was established in 1822. In 1889, Brazil became a republic, and even if the Church’s presence was still felt, the society were able to work more freely from then on.
In 1631 the society arrived in New Amsterdam, the town later known as New York. In the northern parts of America, the society managed better than in the south. The natives weren’t too happy about being colonized, but they didn’t do human sacrifice, nor did they fight with poison. Of course, the people from the “Old World” still fought dirty, and during the first hundred years or so after the colonists arrived, as many as 85% of the natives had died to diseases and war. This made it easier for the society to explore.
The society’s most known expedition, lead by Lewis and Clark (ca 1804-1806), lead not only to “exploring and mapping the newly acquired territory, finding a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establishing an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it”, but also to the discovery of both artifacts and cultist texts that the society hid from public view.
During the Civil War (1861-1865), the society worked in the shadows to gather as much as possible of the lore, knowledge, and artifacts the southerners had accumulated from their African slaves. They also fought both sinister creatures, and vile beings from “elsewhere” during those dark years.
When James Cook discovered Australia in 1772, the society wasn’t far behind. They were operational in 1792, under cover of being a sort of a police force, helping the British government control the masses of criminals who got sent there.
The Aboriginals, the native Australians, had a lot of knowledge new to the society. Some scholars speculate that the Aboriginals are the descendants of the people from Mu, while others say they might be descendants from a civilization that we have no knowledge about. Needless to say, the Aboriginals Dreamworld is something the society spent a lot of money to understand.
The Bureau has been around for more than 500 years, fighting to keep humanity not only alive, but sane. This campaign will be based around the society, and it’s investigators.