Put simply, an Artifact is an inanimate object that has become “imbued” with the psionic energy of either its owner or in some rare cases it may be of the multitudes lost in a disaster. The effects of an artifact are quite varied, and though some can be quite innocuous most are far too dangerous to allow for public knowledge. Centuries ago it was decided by a group known as the Regents that these artifacts should be gathered in to one place to keep both them and the public safe. However, this has not always been the logic behind the Warehouses. Many of the artifacts represent great power that world conquerors have often sought; this reason was the very purpose for which the first Warehouse was established by Alexander the Great.
Construction for Warehouse 13 began in 1896, with the Warehouse officially “opening” in 1914. It was constructed in a remote part of the Union’s state of South Dakota, and designed by Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla (before he left for the Matriarchy), and M. C. Escher. As the name suggests, there have been 12 incarnations prior to the current one in South Dakota. The oldest is Warehouse 1, which was run by Alexander the Great. Warehouse 2 was known as the Library of Alexandria, Warehouse 7 was within the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan, and Warehouse 9 was in Constantinople and was the inspiration for the stories of Ali Baba. Warehouse 11 was within the Matriarchy, but with the threat of capture by Napoleon, the Regents who maintain the Warehouses’ collection saw fit to secretly move it, establishing a new Warehouse. Warehouse 12 was established in the United Kingdom during the mid 1800s, and remained safe only for a short time. In the late 1880s, with the world’s political stability in question; the Regents were approached by the Society of The Golden Globe, with a plan to make the largest move the Warehouse had made in centuries. Throughout the first decade and a half of the 20th century, artifacts were loaded on to any ship headed from the UK to the Union in America; both passenger vessels and cargo ships carried the vast collection to the New World. However, these journeys were not without risk. In 1912 for instance, the Titanic sank carrying many artifacts including the prized Rubiyat. For now Warehouse 13 is safe from the powers of the Reich and Shogunate, but it is still unclear how long the Union will be able to protect it, even their Matriarchy “allies” would like to see its collection return to their land.
The Warehouse Agents
The Warehouse can only house those artifacts that are known about, and have been obtained by the Warehouse Agents. Aside from obtaining known artifacts, the agents are also responsible for discovering new artifacts. The current hierarchy within Warehouse 13 is quite simple, with field agents of the same rank operating in teams of two; to locate and obtain both new and lost artifacts. These teams are under the direct command of the Chief Agent, who is in turn given his orders by the Warehouse Caretaker Mrs. Frederic. Mrs. Frederic is under the direct supervision of the Regents who work to maintain the Warehouse’s safety and security.
There will be much more coming throughout 2012…