20 May 2009

More backstory

I think I've resolved the question of how/why Gutenberg gets involved with th eDjinn. There has long been a question regarding what Gutenberg's real role was in the invention of printing as it was used in Mainz. So, let's put pieces together.
  1. The issues of printing included
    • typedesign & molding
    • dimensionally stable metal alloy
    • press
    • paper supply
    • ink

  2. At one point or another, Gutenberg has been credited with the invention of all these except paper. I'm going with the theory that even though he was experimenting with various forms of printing at least ten years before the Bible, his only real contribution was the alloy.

  3. In 1440, we have a secret organization that has been protecting the library of Alexendria for 1700 years. It includes a caste of librarians who are charged with duplicating the texts because they would naturally deteriorate over that period of time. Since they continue to gather the writings of cultures all over the world, they have encountered various forms of printing, both woodcut, engraving, and movable type. So, it stands to reason that they would have also experimented with printing for the preservation of books.

  4. The Djinn have realized long ago that they are inadequate for the job of preserving all the books of the world, so early in the first millenium (at least by 400 C.E.) they had infiltrated the Christian monastic system to recruit more copyists. At first the scriptora copied only Judeo-Christian texts, but as the system expanded, various classics were introduced for copying.

  5. The Djinn also realize by the 15th century that the body of written work is expanding more rapidly than they can collect and preserve. So by the early 1400s, they are actively seeking ways to expand and de-centralize the library and principle of preservation. They decide to promote printing as one method of doing this (the creation and expansion of libraries is another) but the Djinn copyists are unhappy with the quality of the works. While looking into the method of expanding, they discover the alchemist Johannes Gutenberg. They engage him to develop a dimensionally stable alloy and in return for his services, they take him to the library to train in the other aspects of printing. These are the missing years in Gutenberg's life between the mid-1430s and 40s.

  6. When Johannes returns from Turkey, he is filled with a vision and sets about to fund a printshop. It is possible that he was ejected from the Djinn because of some inadequacy, which is why he had to seek funding for his operation in Mainz. Because he is not a fabulous artist, his first typeface is large and is used to print indulgences. He sets an initial page or two of The Bible to try to get funding and also attracts a yount artistic talent named Peter Schoeffer. Schoeffer designs and cuts the 42-line type, and gradually takes over the printing business as Gutenberg becomes more absorbed in recreating his journey to the library. He shares his story only with his friend and priest, Dieter von Isenburg, who encourages Honnes to record and conceal the information. This ultimately leads to the rift with Johan Fust and the resulting suit.

  7. In order to survive, Gutenberg sells his original type molds for the 36-line Bible and instructs the owner in Bamberg on how to set up the printshop. He even assists in the printing of the 36-line prior to 1460. When he is exiled from Mainz in 1462, he returns to Bamberg and, the print-run having been finished, he prints the rubric, concealing in it the secret location of the Djinn and their incredible library. He dissassembles his own family Bible from the wealthy Wyrich clan that was given to him by his mother. He re-assembles it with the printed gospels from the Bamberg Bible along with the personal memorial page of his grandparents, and re-binds it in the original binding, using the rubric for inside cover padding.

  8. When Gutenberg returns to Mainz, he once again goes to Dieter. Dieter has been suplanted by Adolf of Nassau, but has been retained in Adolf's court. Gutenberg gives Dieter the family Gospel and tells him the secret is hidden in the Black River. Dieter sets Johannes up with Hummery and begins his plea with the Archbishop Adolf to recognize Johannes for his contributions, resulting in Adolf pensioning gutenberg in 1465.

  9. Gutenberg dies in 1468 and Hummery inherits everything he owned. In 1476, after the death of Adolf, Dieter is restored to the archbishopric of Mainz. He contacts Hummery and gives him the family Gospel, telling him that Gutenberg's secret is hidden in the Black River. Hummery, now a master in the Guild of Alchemists and Typesetters, uses the Guild to pass down the symbols and legend of the Black River, but doesn't pass on the Gospel because he sees it as just a part of what he inherited, and not related to the mystery. The Gospel is passed down, lost, and eventually comes to America where it is donated to the LDS library in 1983. No one knows what it contains until Peter and Maddie discover it on their visit, all because Peter's alias - Bjorn Wyrich - is mentioned in a search of the family name as being in a family Bible at LDS.