Lore of the Italian Branch

Lore of the English Branch | Lore of the Italian Branch


Let us join in a cohort,
we are ready for death.

The history of the Italian Branch of the SCP Foundation is complex and heavily influenced by the presence of other similar organizations.

One of them was founded by the Roman Emperor Titus following Mount Vesuvius’ eruption (79 AD): the event shocked the population and revealed the need to better understand the surrounding world. The monarch assembled a circle of the best intellectuals of the time to accumulate as much knowledge and experience as possible. Although not a full-fledged organization, the circle became an important center for research into what are now known as anomalies and compiled a vast collection of writings on their findings; most have been lost over the centuries, but some documents have survived to the present day.

When Christianity became the state religion in 383 AD., the circle was forced into hiding due to its strong polytheistic and pagan components. This resulted in a strengthening of the group's identity, which took the name of Ordo Iani (Janus’ Order) and the image of the god Janus Bifrons1 as its own symbol. The Order has managed to survive to the present day and actively collaborates with the Foundation.

In medieval times, with the help of Ordo Iani, King Frederick II built the first containment site in history, the fortress of Castel del Monte. The esoteric symbolism, inscribed in both the architecture and the details of the manor, served to contain various extra-dimensional anomalies. This site has never lost its function, because several of the anomalies it contains have been sealed in there forever, and cannot be moved elsewhere, nor contained again; this lasts as long as Castel del Monte remains intact. For this reason, the Foundation acquired this building in 1985, making it the current Site Deus.

The Church, once enough power and resources were acquired, built an order dedicated to study anomalies too, the Confraternity of Saint George's Knights. Their work was based on a purely religious view, with a division of anomalies into “Angelic” and “Demonic”; the former were preserved in abbeys and places of worship and venerated as relics, while the latter were frequently destroyed. Knights also participated in Crusades and in persecution of heretics, greatly expanding their sphere of influence and their knowledge. The large number of anomalies they brought to Italy attracted the interest of the great European monarchies who, over the centuries, invaded the peninsula or tried to ingratiate themselves with the Pope. A unique case was King Philip IV of France, who moved the papal seat from Rome to Avignon and appropriated a substantial number of artifacts.

The Knights of St. George reached the height of their power after the discovery of the Americas, which enabled them to take possession of the anomalies of the New World; the Protestant Reformation, at the beginning of the 16th century, put a limit to their influence in northern Europe and the Knights headed for decline, accelerated by the secularisation of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Following Unification of Italy and the Capture of Rome, the new government had to personally deal with the anomalies in the territory, since the Church absolutely didn’t want to collaborate with it in any way, and set up a secret corps, the Royal Institute of Italian Anomalies (RIDIA). It took possession of a large part of the documents and anomalies not kept in the places of worship and placed them under Italian control. The Foundation came into contact with this organization in the early 1900s and entered into negotiations for an alliance, which provided for the financing of Italian operations in exchange for information on all identified entities.

At the end of World War I, both groups seemed to be heading towards a merger, but the rise of the fascist party in Italy halted this process. Mussolini had realized the immense potential of the anomalies to support his nationalist and imperialist policy and did not tolerate the Foundation's presence on Italian soil. Therefore, the Institute was revamped in a fascist key, with the elimination or exile of dissidents, and was placed under the direct command of the Duce himself. Moreover, with the signing of the Lateran Treaty, it was able to gain access to some of the anomalies still held by the Knights of St. George.

The Institute participated secretly in the war in Ethiopia, where it tested artifacts on the battlefield, which were later used during World War II. The Foundation firmly opposed the Institute with sabotage and espionage actions. It also re-established contact with agents not loyal to the government and supported them when they fought against fascist supporters after the armistice of 1943. After the birth of the Republic, the Foundation absorbed what remained of the RIDIA, leading to the birth of the Italian branch; most of the members still linked to fascist ideology were subjected to amnesty and expelled from the organization. Despite this, some managed to escape and founded a group known as the "Fascist Council of the Occult".

I complete and sign this document a few minutes before receiving a dose of amnestics with retroactive multi-year effect, as requested by myself, while in possession of my full mental faculties, and therein recorded in the document IT/Vir/694728-C.

That is all.
The Outgoing Director,
Doctor A██████ Z██████
Site Virtus, 22/01/200█

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