Reading Room - History

The Reading Rooms

place-reading-room for a description of the building
g-npc-reading-room for a description of the political group

The reading rooms were founded , in central New Hope, by Peter Umberta about 20 years ago. At this time Umberta was one of the town aldermen, and he decided that he wanted a place to go that would allow him to relax and meet with his associates and like minded people – in some sort of comfort. Being elected Alderman had bought him patrician status and he used that to acquire a room. First off, he arranged for one of his friends, a school teacher called Robert Brown, to get promoted to master status, then he made sure that master Robert got a good set of rooms for his school and Peter Umberta got part of the cellar of the same building for his ‘Reading Rooms’.

The ‘Reading Rooms’ have never been a secret - those in authority know about them, and most people know they exist, but don’t know where exactly they are.

To start with the membership was very select - just a few people getting together to talk about politics, life, religion etc …. But it became a little more serious when Peter Umberta decided to stand down after 20 years in office. He was surprised when there was no serious independent candidate to challenge the Corwen’s and O’Barants at the election – and he was very disappointed that the election returned a council that consisted entirely of members of ‘Noble’ houses. (Note - he actually thinks that Calis Corwen is a clever person and a good alderman - he just didn’t like the idea of two noble families running the city unquestioned). And what’s more, those people who joined him at the reading rooms agreed.

So Peter gave thought to the problem and decided to do something about it. Using his friends at the Reading Rooms as researchers, Peter searched among the more educated people of the town searching for someone who could make a real challenge for the Council next time an election came around.

A number of new friends were made, and a candidate discovered. Glone Hammerhand, a Dwarf from Kargadan had risen to a position of prominence in the mines. He ‘managed’ a number of mine workers and was Master of the Minegate Militia Brigade - and just as importantly his early life as a trader and administrator had given him a soft voice and even handed approach that made him acceptable to a wide and diverse number of the electorate. The power of the mines combined with the influence of ‘the Reading Rooms’ combined to give Glone enough votes to become Alderman.

It was around about this time that Rupert Bionta decided he wanted to join the reading rooms. Rupert was a loud mouthed braggart, and he didn’t wait to be invited, just came along and made a nuisance of himself. Rather than make too much a fuss, a two of the senior members got together to resolve the problem. Peter Umberta and his long term occasional lover Fortuna Longeye, both fairly experienced mages, created a magical door that would only let members into the club. For anyone else, even if they tried to sneak in with a member, the door remained stubbornly closed.

Over the last 6 years the Reading Rooms have deliberately been expanding their membership. The long standing members retain the exclusive right to invite people to membership, after all it is still a private club, but many of the newer members recommend people who they think might have the right credentials.

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