The REAL Illuminati

You may think you know a thing or two about the Illuminati. That may in fact be true, but you almost certainly know nothing about the *Real* Illuminati. In this subsite of Con City Press we shed light on the truth behind the most ancient secret society of them all, one so secret you didn't even know they existed... until now.

The Illuminati. For better or worse, when one hears their name, what first comes to mind are the conspiracy theories. Wild stories and legends that claim the Illuminati pull the strings of the world's governments from the shadows. Historians are quick to point out that the Illuminati, or more precisely the Bavarian Illuminati, were merely a group of well meaning intellectuals who wanted to enlighten the masses in a dark age of superstition and bigotry.

What historians will neglect to tell you, either on purpose or out of sheer ignorance, is that the Bavarian Illuminati called themselves the Bavarian Illuminati not to specify where they were from but to differentiate themselves from a very different and much older group called the Real Illuminati. This group was founded over two thousand years ago with a purpose orthogonal to that of the Bavarian Illuminati: to conquer the world.

The Real Illuminati were founded by none other than Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great. Alexander, after spending years conquering the world known to him, one day looked to the horizon and realized that the world, the true world, had to be much larger than he could see. On that day, he had a vision, and that vision was to build a great metropolis in the center of the world and from there slowly but steadily seize control of every corner of the Earth. Some, mistakenly, believe that the great city of Alexandria was this great metropolis. In truth, Alexandria served as a prototype, a testing ground, where Alexander demonstrated his vision to his followers on a smaller scale than what he truly envisioned.

Over his lifetime Alexander iterated his blueprint of the future, building newer and better incarnations of Alexandria, in order to convince the men and women who would then become the first of the Real Illuminati that one day, one of their descendants would come across a spot of the world where they could build the greatest city in history. And though it would take more than two thousand years, that city eventually became a reality in the heart of the Republic of North America; but more on that later.

Alexander left clear instructions for his followers: find a piece of unoccupied land next to a river with abundant natural resources in the surrounding area, and draw the richest merchants of the world there with the promise of multiplying their fortune. Then, when the great metropolis grows larger than any city in history and controls the economy of the world, the time would come to begin the unstoppable conquest. Few believed that the man who preferred to sow the blood of his enemies over exercising even an ounce of diplomacy would be willing to commit to such a long term and pacifist strategy, but the splendor of Alexandria and the unspoken threat of `defy me and die' burning from his eyes convinced even his loudest naysayers, and thus the Real Illuminati were born.

Knowing Alexander's well documented hunger for conquest it is easy to understand his decision to establish a powerful secret society that can not only realize his vision but make it last through the ages. What may be difficult to understand, however, is his naming choice. Why, one must wonder, did he name this group the Real Illuminati? Why not simply Illuminati? The answer lies in Alexander's visionary nature. Well over a thousand years before the Bavarian Illuminati came to be, he knew there would be imitators who would try to capitalize on his success.

Today, trademark law prohibits imitators from stealing another society's name, but in ancient times trademark protection was limited to the rule `if you rip off Alexander the Great he will rip off your head.' And while this was an excellent deterrent, Alexander knew that it would not be a very intimidating threat centuries after his death. Hence he chose to name his society the Real Illuminati. Because nothing says `we were here first' than calling yourself `real' eons before the competition.

Alexander's vision of the great metropolis at the center of the world eventually came true, at least in part. At the end of the 18th century, the Real Illuminati founded a tiny riverside settlement in North America and named it Con City. Over the years it became one of the biggest cities in the world; by the early 21st century it grew to a population of twenty million and established a firm hold on the economy of the Republic of North America, exactly as Alexander planned over two thousand years earlier.

And what became of the conquest of the world that the great Macedonian monarch envisioned? Whether or not that will come to pass remains to be seen. Perhaps it already happened, and the Real Illuminati control every country in the world, manipulating their leaders like puppets. Or perhaps they are just waiting for the right moment to demonstrate their dominance, relying on Con City to fill their conquest budget before they establish the new world order and plant Alexander's flag on every public building on the planet. Time will tell which it is, but if recent events are any indication, one thing is abundantly certain: anything can happen where Con City is concerned.

The true history of the Real Illuminati is filled with treachery and intrigue, and with figures embodying these notions. Perhaps the most prominent of such figures is the first traitor of the Real Illuminati, Julius Caesar.

The famous Roman dictator rose to power as one of the strongest supporters of the Real Illuminati. In the early years of his reign he vowed to make Rome into the next Alexandria and finally realize the vision of Alexander: he would conquer the entire world and make Rome its center. Backed by the illustrious secret society, he crushed his enemies and became one of the most powerful rulers Rome had ever seen. It was perhaps inevitable, that this power eventually went to his head.

With an unstoppable army at his beck and call, power over the seas, and reign over much of Europe and parts of Egypt, he came to the conclusion that he did not need the Real Illuminati any more. He had their members imprisoned on made-up charges and made preparations for their execution. He even had the Library of Alexandria in Egypt burnt to the ground, where he (mistakenly) believed the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati had been located.

As the saying goes, if you take a shot at the king, you better not miss. It's difficult to say whether Julius Caesar underestimated the Real Illuminati or simply did not pay enough attention, but his hasty attempt to rid himself of his unwanted allies was met with failure on account of Brutus, one of his closest confidantes. Brutus was in fact a loyal member of the Real Illuminati. Caesar either knew that and assumed Brutus had joined him in treason, or he never realized that the Real Illuminati had spies everywhere. Whatever the reason, Caesar found himself facing a room full of knives as the promise of wealth, power, and being free of a conceited megalomaniac turned the Roman Senate against him. Brutus delivered the famous finishing blow and set into motion the events which would lead to the rise of the Roman Empire, which he hoped would conquer the world for the Real Illuminati.

Rome eventually fell into ruin, in no small part due to the actions of a certain Emperor, but the violent demise of Julius Caesar ultimately saved the Real Illuminati. The example of Julius the Traitor sent a clear message to those who knew what it meant: no one can defy the will of Alexander the Great. The fate of Caesar inspired loyalty in the Real Illuminati for centuries to come, and many point to this event as the reason for the eventual colonization of North America and the founding of Con City, the great metropolis built to realize Alexander's dream. While Rome failed to meet expectations, the Real Illuminati of present day find solace in the fact that, since the dawn of the 21st century, all roads lead to Con City.

The rise of the Roman Empire was seen by the Real Illuminati at the time as the culmination of centuries of waiting and planning. The Inner Circle believed that Rome had the power to crush all opposition beyond its borders and that it was only a matter of time before they conquered the entire world. Rome, the Real Illuminati believed, would realize their founder's dream and become the last incarnation of Alexandria.

The fire of 64 AD which consumed half the city made them reconsider their view of the Empire and its future. The reason for this was not the fire itself, but the man who had caused it. Nero, then Emperor of Rome, enjoyed the firm support of the Real Illuminati, and while he was loyal to the powerful group, he proved rather difficult to control. He believed that the Emperor deserved a lot more splendor and grandeur than what had been afforded his predecessors, hence he insisted on having a new palace built for himself. When he realized that no suitable location was available in the city, he decided to improvise and set fire to Rome.

While historians debate whether or not Nero had caused the fire himself, the records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati contain plenty of written evidence pertaining to the fact, including the personal account of the centurion who was supposed to toss the first torch into the streets until his Emperor, standing right behind him, decided he wanted to do it himself. The witness accounts also record that Nero broke out in song and danced all night long while flames consumed much of the city.

After the destruction, the Emperor wasted no time beginning the construction of his new palace. During the constructions, the Real Illuminati met with him in an effort to convince him that such behavior will turn the people against him and make the planned conquest next to impossible. Nero responded by having the palace built even larger than he had planned and by commissioning the construction of a giant statue of himself.

It was then that the Real Illuminati decided to deal with Nero the same way they had with Julius Caesar. Their plan to assassinate the out-of-control narcissist ultimately failed for one very simple reason: not even the bravest, fiercest, or even most desperate assassins dared to go anywhere near the man who sang and danced while Rome burned and even had his own mother killed years earlier. Hence the Real Illuminati decided that the best thing they could do under the circumstances was to cut their losses and start over somewhere else.

As soon as the Real Illuminati abandoned Rome, Nero's empire descended into chaos. Within years he collected himself more enemies than he could count, which ultimately drove him to assisted suicide. It was all downhill for the Roman Empire after that, and while the Real Illuminati could have returned and seized control, they believed that after Julius the Traitor and Nero it was just a matter of time before yet another Roman Emperor messed up their plans. Hence they followed their first impulse and moved on. They did, however, celebrate with song and dance on the day the news of Nero's demise reached their ears.

Merlin, the famous magician from the Arthurian legends, lives in the minds of the public as the goodhearted supporter of a benevolent king and his court of heroic knights. Few know, that Merlin was first of all a real person, and second, he was in fact a high ranking member of the Real Illuminati.

Most historians rebuke the theory that Camelot was a real place and that Merlin was the strategic mind behind the kingdom, despite the available indisputable proof. Texts removed by traitors from the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati state that Merlin, not really a wizard but a traveling actor, used theatrical tricks to fool thousands into believing that Arthur, a capable but dim swordsman, managed to pull a supposedly legendary sword from a stone, and thereby manipulated the masses into accepting Arthur as their king. Camelot quickly rose to power as a medieval re-imagining of Alexandria. Merlin controlled the kingdom from behind the scenes and believed that he had built the foundations for the vision of the founder of the Real Illuminati, Alexander the Great.

While Merlin was a master manipulator and a brilliant strategist, he failed to prevent the fall of Camelot due to his inability to control women. Jealousy over a mutual love interest led to continued infighting between the members of Arthur's court, and despite Merlin's best efforts to motivate the knights into directing their jealous wrath at the common enemy, that enemy being the invading Saxon army, the disorganized kingdom fell in a matter of days.

Merlin fled and went on to erase Camelot from history in order to prevent the truth from ever leaking out. He knew he could never completely erase Camelot's rise and fall from memory, hence he opted to build it into a legend, adding elements of mystique, even going so far as presenting himself as a magician, all in an effort to hide the truth from the world.

The only reason anyone outside of or even among the Real Illuminati knows of the true history of Camelot is that Merlin felt the need to document his failed attempt to build the next Alexandria, so future strategists of the Real Illuminati would not commit his mistakes. His efforts proved worthwhile, as centuries later the Real Illuminati founded Con City and successfully grew it into the picture perfect vision of Alexander the Great. A few leaked texts from the Secret Library were a small price to pay for this success, especially considering that most people, mistakenly, dismiss these accounts as the ramblings of paranoid conspiracy theorists. Merlin, the Real Illuminati believe, is grinning in his grave.

History remembers the Vikings as a group of vicious barbarians adept at three things: looting, pillaging, and sailing. It is believed that they were the first European people to discover what we know today as America. What the history books do not record is the true purpose for their expedition across the Atlantic.

Operating as scouts of the Real Illuminati, the Vikings built a fleet of ships designed for long journeys across the seas, and used them to explore the world. The Inner Circle of the Real Illuminati had set upon them the unenviable task of finding the ideal location at which to establish the great metropolis envisioned by Alexander the Great, and the Vikings did not disappoint. By the end of the 11th century they not only set foot upon the shores of North America, the eventual home of Con City, but also brought back a detailed account of the area for the scholars of the Real Illuminati to record.

One might wonder why it is that the Real Illuminati did not build Con City immediately after the Vikings discovered America. It certainly would have made sense considering how much they wanted to keep their very existence a secret from the world. Had they built the great metropolis there and then, they could have built it up over the centuries with the help of the natives, and the European cultures would have been none the wiser. No one could keep up with the Viking ships, after all, and even if they could have, few would have dared to risk the wrath of the infamous northern savages.

Why, then, did the Real Illuminati not go down this path? The answer lies in what the Vikings told the scholars of the Real Illuminati about the lands they had discovered. It was their firm belief, that America was the perfect location at which to build the most violent, most dangerous, most barbaric city in the entire world. Given their nature, it is no surprise that they found this conclusion exhilarating, hence they communicated their findings to the scholars with the greatest enthusiasm.

The Inner Circle on the other hand was less than enthusiastic about the prospect of building the next Alexandria according to the Vikings' vision, as they meant to build a city where merchants could thrive, and they believed that extreme violence would hardly lure the richest merchants to such a place. Hence they abandoned the idea until, centuries later, one of their members read between the lines of the Viking scouts and separated the facts from the opinionated ramblings of what he perceived were `primitive northern savages.' It is thanks to him that eventually further expeditions were sent from Europe to America and, in time, Con City was established as a trade hub where merchants could thrive and multiply their fortunes, just as Alexander had envisioned.

The fact that by the early 21st century Con City and its surroundings had grown into the most violent plot of land on the planet seems to imply that the Vikings, perhaps, were not so far from the truth after all.

The conquest of England in the year 1066 is one of the most famous events in the history of the British Isles, as evidenced by the fact that 1066 is the most popular PIN code in England today. The story of how William of Normandy, better known as William the Conqueror, destroyed the Anglo-Saxons and became the first Norman King of England, is so legendary it was even recorded in an embroidery in France (even if they call it a tapestry). What is not so well known, however, was the reason why William invaded Britain in the first place.

The Real Illuminati, still bitter that they lost control of Britain when the Saxons destroyed Camelot centuries earlier, wanted to reestablish control over the British Isles. When they saw that Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson found himself in a vicious conflict with a challenger to the throne, namely seven foot tall giant Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, they saw an opportunity. They hired a distant relative of Harold, a mercenary lord from Normandy by the name of William, and sent him to England to launch a surprise attack on the unsuspecting Saxons and their challengers.

As history records, William waited for the right moment to strike, which was right after Harold Godwinson famously gave Harald Hardrada exactly seven feet of England, just enough for his grave, following a hard fought battle. William's cunning did not end by taking the fight to a weary Saxon army, either. During the battle William had his archers put the temporarily victorious Anglo-Saxon king out of his misery. After that the battle was all but a formality.

With William's crushing victory over the Anglo-Saxons, all was set for the Real Illuminati to march in and take control of Britain. What they did not consider, however, was that while William earned himself the title of Conqueror in England, he had long thought of himself in such a manner even back in Normandy, and with such a mindset he had no intention of handing over his newly earned kingdom to anyone. And so it came to pass that William the Conqueror, true to his name, not only conquered England, but chased every last member of the Real Illuminati so far away from his lands that no one in Britain heard from the group again during his lifetime.

That is not to say that the Real Illuminati took their defeat in dignity. Throughout William's reign they cooked up every scheme and plot imaginable to remove the Conqueror from his throne. The Real Illuminati had, according to the records in their Secret Library, incited dozens of rebellions against William, but with having to organize these revolts from a distance via carrier pigeons (since none of their members dared to set foot in Britain while William was still in power), each revolt proved more disorganized than the one that preceded it, and ultimately failed.

William the Conqueror sat firmly on his throne until his death, and during his reign he built the foundations of an empire that would later go on to have a foothold in every major continent on the planet, a feat not even the founder of the Real Illuminati, Alexander the Great, had accomplished. The Real Illuminati seethed with envy for centuries.

Since Alexander the Great founded the Real Illuminati in ancient times, the secretive group plotted and schemed its way towards their goal of world domination from within the shadows. While subtlety defined the group as a whole, a handful of its members opted for a more direct approach to conquest. One of these was the great Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan.

Following the humiliating failure of the Real Illuminati to manipulate William the Conqueror to give them control of Britain, Genghis Khan decided that it was time for a more hands-on approach. He was essentially the first person in history to become the embodiment of the idea that if you want something done right you should do it yourself: instead of manipulating others to fight their wars for him, Genghis Khan led his army personally and lay waste to everything in his path. He took over massive territories in Asia and made steady advances towards Europe, with the ultimate goal being to stretch the Mongolian Empire from the Asian shores of the Pacific Ocean to the European shores of the Atlantic.

The Inner Council of the Real Illuminati strongly disagreed with his course of action, for albeit the Mongolian conqueror exercised restraint and loyalty in keeping his allegiance to the secretive group to himself throughout his conquests, they feared that he would attract too much attention with the destruction in his wake. Nevertheless the Inner Council was powerless to stop the Khan, and so it seemed nothing would prevent him from sailing his hordes into England and showing the Inner Council that what worked for Alexander the Great could still get the job done over a thousand years later.

When Genghis Khan died shortly before he could lead his unstoppable army into Europe, the Inner Council of the Real Illuminati let out a collective sigh of relief, thinking, that the danger had passed. That was until the son and heir of Genghis Khan, Ögedei Khan, decided to honor his father's dying wish and take over Europe. The Real Illuminati could only watch their nightmare unfold, as the young new Khan sent his hordes under the command of his best strategists into Europe and had them lay waste to the eastern kingdoms without opposition.

Unfortunately for Ögedei Khan, but perhaps fortunately for the Real Illuminati as a whole, the Mongolian advance was decisively halted in Eastern Europe where the clever Hungarian King Bela IV managed to build several castles before the bulk of the Mongolian army arrived that prevented the horde from continuing its locust-swarm-like march towards the British Isles. Before the Mongolians had a chance to figure out how to lay siege to castles, Ögedei Khan suddenly and inexplicably died in Mongolia, which resulted in his generals rushing back home in order to try to claim the unexpectedly vacated throne.

It was decades later that the Mongolian army returned to Eastern Europe to continue where they left off. By then, Europe had made preparations. The Kingdom of Hungary awaited the Mongolians with dozens of newly erected, strategically placed fortifications, against which the invading nomadic army could do nothing. The Mongolian army was forced to retreat and had to give up on Genghis Khan's dreams of taking Europe by force.

There are those among the Real Illuminati who believe that the Inner Council had a hand in erecting the castles that forced the Mongolian army to turn around, and also in the sudden and peculiarly timed death of Ögedei Khan. The majority of the Real Illuminati consider these nothing more than mere rumors of conspiracy theorists, as no records exist in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati to substantiate such claims. Or at least none have been leaked by traitors to date.

The Hundred Years' War is considered one of the most vicious long-term conflicts throughout human history. As its name implies, the war raged for over a century, only pausing for a couple of years on occasion, and claimed the lives of countless people. It is widely believed that dispute over England's control of several territories in France and their claim on the French throne were the chief causes of the lengthy conflict. While those were indeed major contributing factors, the real casus belli was the decision made by the Real Illuminati to instigate a war.

The secretive group, still very much eager to reestablish their influence on the British Isles, took notice of the growing tension between the Kingdoms of England and France and realized that by offering their support to England and aiding them in their efforts to conquer the French they could gain the favor of the English Court. First, however, they needed to start the war. To this end, they infiltrated the French Court and manipulated King Philip VI to interfere in the ongoing war between Scotland and King Edward III of England. As the Real Illuminati had expected, Edward responded by asserting his claim on the French throne.

The fighting began in 1337. Initially, the war went quite well for the English side, too well in fact. In order for the plan of the Real Illuminati to come to fruition, they needed the war to last a long time so at the end they could be seen as the heroes who brought about the end of a lengthy and brutal conflict. Therefore, the Real Illuminati limited their support to England in order to slow down the war, and settled for a long term strategy until they could orchestrate the perfect moment at which to win the war for the English. That time came in 1415, over seventy years after the start of the war, during the reign of Henry V as King of England.

Henry, as later documented by William Shakespeare, was a brilliant, cunning leader, and he knew an opportunity when he saw one. He understood what power the Real Illuminati possessed, and accepted the alliance they offered him. Henry made them his secret advisors and the Real Illuminati supplied him with invaluable inside information on troop movements and army compositions from the French side. It was for this reason that Henry knew exactly how to defeat the French army.

At the Battle of Agincourt, when most of his advisors told him to bring lots of cavalry and spearmen to the fight, he opted to listen to the Real Illuminati and led an army eighty percent of which was made up of longbowmen. As history records it, the archers absolutely massacred the French army. The victory shifted the war decisively in favor of the Kingdom of England, and when the Real Illuminati arranged for Henry V to marry a French princess, they all but ensured that his son would become the heir to both the Kingdoms of England and France.

Thus the Real Illuminati gained the utmost favor of the English Court. With their influence firmly rising in both England and France, all seemed set for the group to finally accomplish the goal set out for them by Alexander the Great many centuries earlier, that of world domination. Yet the wheels of history kept on turning, and the Real Illuminati had to learn, that even with a brilliant tactician like Henry V on their side, conquest would not come as easy as they had hoped.

In the early 15th century the Real Illuminati believed, that when they helped Henry V claim total victory over the French army at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, they succeeded in putting themselves on the path to conquering all of Europe. Yet as history records it, what we know today as the Hundred Years' War did not conclude at Agincourt. The reason for this was that the Real Illuminati underestimated the power of French motivational speakers.

By the late 1420s the English had a good chunk of France under their control, but in 1429 they hit a roadblock at Orleans. They spent half a year laying siege to the city until in the spring of 1429 a young woman named Joan of Arc joined the French at Orleans. Making bold claims of having divine visions, she rallied the French troops who turned the table on the besieging army. The defenders attacked the English redoubts and forced them to lift the siege and retreat.

Whether or not there was any truth to her claims of divine visions, Joan of Arc's ability as a motivational speaker cannot be denied. The French heir apparent saw this as well and allowed her to accompany his army as they went on the offensive. They managed to take enough fortifications to force the English to abandon the whole of the Loire Valley. On their way out, the English lost thousands of men to a cavalry charge.

The Real Illuminati were baffled by the success of what they perceived as `a standard bearer in a skirt' according to records in their Secret Library. As they struggled to find a way to counter Joan of Arc's motivational power, the riled up French forces marched on Paris in order to take it back from the English. In September of 1429 they laid siege to the city and very nearly managed to take it over. Fortunately for the Real Illuminati, they had an assassin in the city whom they immediately tasked with removing the sole source of motivation the French army had. While Joan of Arc survived the assassination attempt, she did take a crossbow bolt in the thigh, and was forced to leave the battlefield, which demoralized the French army and drove them into retreat.

After the siege of Paris was lifted, the Real Illuminati thought they had averted disaster. That was until in November of 1429 Henry VI was officially crowned King of England at eight years of age. While his father Henry V had been on the best of terms with the Real Illuminati, the young new king was much more critical of the group and flat out placed all blame for the failures against the revitalized French forces upon their shoulders. The Real Illuminati found themselves faced with an ultimatum: either they could neutralize Joan of Arc, or they would get kicked out of the British Isles, yet again.

Not ones to surrender, the Real Illuminati decided to do what they did best, and pulled some strings. They convinced a French faction allied with the English, the Burgundians, that Joan of Arc was a servant of the Devil, and more importantly, that the English would pay them a fortune for her if she was captured alive. And so the Burgundians, who knew France inside and out, managed to set a trap near Compi´┐Żgne where they successfully ambushed Joan of Arc and her escort in May of 1430. The Burgundians traded her to the English, and as soon as she was in England, the Real Illuminati quickly arranged for a mock trial where she was found guilty of false charges, and executed in short order.

Following the execution, the English seemed to be on track to victory once more, as Henry VI managed to have himself officially crowned the King of France in December of 1431. The Real Illuminati thought they had managed to avert disaster by removing the root of all their problems. However, the ten-year-old King of England told them in no uncertain terms that they were no longer welcome in the English Court on account of how much money he had to pay to the Burgundians in exchange for Joan of Arc.

And so, less than two decades after the triumph at Agincourt, the Real Illuminati were once again back to square one. But as history records it, the Hundred Years' War did not end in 1431, either.

When the Real Illuminati found themselves kicked out of the English Court at the end of 1431, it seemed to many in the secretive group that the plan they had set into motion in 1337 -- when they tricked France and England into fighting a war -- had utterly and completely failed. Not only did they have to leave England in disgrace for the umpteenth time, they had to do so knowing that Henry VI, the very man who sent them into exile, was now King of both England and France, and was on his way to uniting the two countries without them. Their entire multi-generation plan seemed pointless. That was until the Real Illuminati finally realized the obvious, namely, that what we know today as the Hundred Years' War had in fact been raging for nearly a hundred years.

The group quickly concluded that the only chance they had at gaining influence in the English and the French Courts was to prevent Henry VI from unifying England and France. To do so, they needed to make sure that the war would go on indefinitely. It was then that the Real Illuminati coined the phrase, `Hundred Years' War,' and had their agents spread it among commoners and nobles alike, in an effort to make them believe that with a few more years still missing to reach a full century, the war was bound to go on.

Alongside the psychological warfare, they invested considerable funds into the war effort, on both sides. They secretly supplied funds for army provisions to both England and France to keep the fighting going. But of all the tricks they pulled, perhaps the most notorious one was in 1435, when they made use of their long time allies, the Burgundians, to engineer a major shift in the tide of the war.

The Real Illuminati paid off the Duke of Burgundy to have him switch sides from England to France and surrender the city of Paris to French rule. The English suffered a major humiliation due to this betrayal, and had no intention of stopping the war, exactly as the Real Illuminati had hoped. The fighting went on, eventually surpassing the hundred year mark, and looked like it would go on with no end in sight. The Real Illuminati were pleased, even considered renaming the Hundred Years' War to the Thousand Years' War and keep it going until they could wipe all hope of resistance from the lands of Europe.

However, the Real Illuminati had made a grave miscalculation. The war effort proved far more expensive than they had anticipated, and by 1453 their treasury ran completely dry. With no one funding the cost of army supplies and no one paying off French or English noblemen to advise their respective monarchs to keep the war going, neither side of the conflict was keen to continue fighting after a century of bloodshed. The Hundred Years' War came to an end and the Real Illuminati, having barely any funds left to buy candles for their midnight gatherings, let alone bribe anyone in either the English or the French Court for any purpose, had gained absolutely nothing from the century of violence. It was truly the darkest time in the history of the group, with the threat of dissolving and fading to obscurity looming over their heads like the Sword of Damocles. Yet even poor as a pauper the Real Illuminati would go on to prove that one should never count out the followers of Alexander the Great.

Richard III, King of England during the infamous Wars of the Roses, lives on in popular culture thanks to the efforts of William Shakespeare. While the play documenting the controversial monarch's rise and subsequent fall paints him in a largely negative light, records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati indicate that the Shakespearean image of Richard III is incomplete.

After the Hundred Years' War, which proved to be a colossal failure both for the Real Illuminati and the Kingdom of England, two rival houses started a civil war over the English throne. On one side stood the House of Lancaster, whose symbol was a red rose, and opposing them stood the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The Real Illuminati watched the conflict with vested interest, knowing that if they could find a way to gain the favor of the winning side, they could finally regain their influence in the English Court. They were, however, in no position to offer any kind of support to either side, due to the fact that the Hundred Years' War had depleted their treasury. For this reason, when one of the claimants of the throne approached them, they welcomed the man with open arms.

That man was Richard of York, and he made the Real Illuminati an offer they could not afford to refuse. He would give the group a large loan with which they could get back in the saddle, and in exchange they would use all their influence to help Richard ascend the throne. The Real Illuminati of course accepted the offer, and got to work on pulling strings, bribing or intimidating key figures in both Houses, and assassinating those who could not be bought or scared.

By the time the Real Illuminati realized what kind of a man they were dealing with, it was too late for them to back out. When Richard had the Real Illuminati manipulate the English Parliament into declaring the sons of his deceased brother illegitimate, which immediately opened the way for him to the throne, the two young princes were imprisoned in the Tower of London where they eventually vanished without a trace. Richard was crowned King of England as Richard III, and when the Real Illuminati inquired as to what had happened to his nephews, he responded with a clear threat directed at the Real Illuminati as a whole, then went on to outline his plan for the rest of his rivals both within his own House and the House of Lancaster. Records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati do not go into a great deal of detail as to what exactly those plans were, but they clearly imply that Richard III had been a much bigger psychopath than William Shakespeare's play had suggested.

It is perhaps no surprise then that the Real Illuminati decided to switch sides. They used up all the money they had been given by Richard III to give their full support to Henry Tudor of House Lancaster. By the time Richard started to even suspect that his loyal supporters might have stabbed him in the back, he was already staring at Henry's army at Bosworth Field, and it's anyone's guess whether he truly understood why he perished in battle later that day.

Henry Tudor was crowned as Henry VII in 1485 and went on to marry Richard's niece Elizabeth, thereby uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York, and putting an end to the Wars of the Roses. The Real Illuminati stood firmly in his corner and, using funds he provided them with after his coronation, removed all obstacles from his path. They believed they had backed the right horse this time, and while the records in their Secret Library certainly paint Henry VII in a positive light, they also point out he had seen through the Real Illuminati and managed to keep them in check by cutting the source of their power: their funds.

Henry had a firm understanding of how much it cost his secretive allies to manipulate his opposition, and made sure to give them just enough money to get the job done, and nowhere near enough to allow them to grow. In essence, the Real Illuminati once again found themselves with an empty treasury. They did, however, have a plan to secure more money than they had ever seen. And so, even with an empty treasury, and even under the scrutiny of a clever English monarch, for the first time since the fall of Camelot they felt confident that they were on the right track to realize Alexander's ancient vision.

During the Wars of the Roses the Real Illuminati succeeded in reestablishing their fleeting control over the Kingdom of England, but in doing so, for the second time in the 15th century they completely exhausted their treasury. Although their renewed presence in Britain provided them with some income, it was just barely sufficient to maintain a minimal influence over the English Court. Hence, they looked to fill up their coffers in other ways.

In Italy, the Medici bank reigned supreme as the most successful financial institution in the region. They owed much of their success to the support of the Real Illuminati during the early 15th century when the secretive group aided the Medici family in seizing power over the Florentine Republic. In 1487, with their foothold in England relatively secure, the Real Illuminati felt it was time to cash in on old favors, and turned to the Medici family for money.

Lorenzo de' Medici, head of the Medici Bank since 1469, was a firm believer in paying old debts, and was more than eager to provide the Real Illuminati with all the financial support they needed. He also believed that, with the group once again on the rise, an alliance between the Medici family and their old patrons would be beneficial. The Real Illuminati were pleased that the head of the Medici Bank was on board, and they proceeded to plan out their moves for the next century using the funds they would get from Lorenzo.

There was, however, a complication that the Real Illuminati were unaware of. Lorenzo de' Medici was the head of the Medici Bank in name only. With no interest in managing the bank, Lorenzo, also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, spent all his time on his political and artistic interests. He relied on a man named Francesco Sassetti to manage the bank instead, and when Lorenzo made the decision to support the Real Illuminati, it fell to Sassetti to handle the details. Unfortunately for the followers of Alexander the Great, Francesco Sassetti hated the Real Illuminati, for reasons unknown to this day. His hatred of the group was so profound that he decided he would rather bankrupt the bank than allow the Real Illuminati to use its funds to gain more power.

The shame the Real Illuminati later felt for not seeing through Sassetti's scheme cannot be put into words. Several high ranking members of the group in fact committed suicide when they realized that they, the very inventors of manipulation and plotting in the shadows, had been stabbed in the back. The treasury of the Real Illuminati went from being empty to being filled with bills and contracts they thought they would pay with Medici gold, leaving them in substantial debt.

Lorenzo de' Medici tried his best to resolve the situation but the damage had been done. While the Medici Bank managed to survive Sassetti's scheming, it went on a steady decline from which it never recovered, and Lorenzo failed to supply the promised funds for the one time patrons of his family. The Real Illuminati had to find inventive ways in which to pay their debts, and they had to do it quickly, for the numerous assassins they had optimistically contracted to eliminate certain influential figures for them did not react kindly to delays in being paid.

The discovery of America by the famous Spanish expedition in 1492 lives in the minds of people as a fortunate mistake. History books record that Christopher Columbus set out on the seas in order to establish a naval shortcut to India, and discovered America simply because the great continent happened to be in his way. In truth, Columbus knew exactly where he was going all along. He knew, because he was a member of the Real Illuminati.

Records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati, left by the Vikings, told Columbus about America and the Vikings' belief that it would be the perfect place to build the most barbaric city in the world. Columbus was of course more interested in the economical resources in the region, which he deemed appealing enough to suggest America as the site for the great city envisioned by the founder of the Real Illuminati, Alexander the Great. The Inner Circle agreed with him, but due to the expenses incurred during the Hundred Years' War and the Wars of the Roses, not to mention their failure to secure funding from the Medici Bank, they were severely out of funds and had no hope to send even a single ship across the Atlantic Ocean.

That is why Columbus devised his plan to trick the King of Spain into funding his so-called expedition to India. The King, eager to fill the treasury with the increased trade income he envisioned, proved easy enough to fool, but the rest of the world had to be fooled as well. No one other than the Real Illuminati could ever know the true purpose of the expedition. Therefore, Columbus had to hide from the crew of the three ships the fact that he knew the exact route, destination, and number of days needed to get there. Through masterful manipulation of the sea charts, he tricked the crew into getting lost until he deemed that they were sufficiently panicked to remember the journey having been a perilous one. Then he led them to shore and took a deep breath of the air of the new world.

As much as the expedition of 1492 is a success story, the Real Illuminati know just how close Columbus came to failure. When he altered the sea charts to make the journey take longer and seem difficult, he did not count on the storms that would further slow them down, and further aggravate his crew. By the time the Pinta, the Nina, and the Santa Maria reached America, the crew was on the verge of mutiny, and Columbus himself on the edge of a nervous breakdown. When he finally saw the shore, he sighed and spoke the words `thank Alexander.' One of the crew mates stood right beside him when he said it. Realizing his mistake, Columbus quickly snapped the man's neck and pushed him overboard. Then he had to spend a great deal of money on buying the silence of the sailor who had seen him do so from the crow's nest atop the mast.

The Inner Circle of the Real Illuminati punished Columbus for taking things too far by taking away from him the honor of founding the great metropolis Alexander had envisioned. In fact, the Real Illuminati decided to lay low and indefinitely postpone establishing the potential capital of their future empire, fearing that the Spanish Court might be on to their schemes. In the end they waited exactly three hundred years until they deemed it safe to finally build what we know today as Con City. To this day, many among the Real Illuminati blame Columbus for causing such a long delay to the realization of Alexander's vision. Still, he is held in considerably higher regard than Julius Caesar.

Throughout their history, the Real Illuminati experienced various periods of prosperity and decline. Their longest era of darkness and uncertainty began with the fall of Camelot, and even many centuries later it showed no signs of ending. By the late 15th century the Inner Circle was desperate to get the group back on track to conquering the world. In the year 1492, they sent Christopher Columbus across the Atlantic Ocean in hopes of getting back in the saddle through the colonization of America, and while Columbus himself predicted success, the Inner Circle was too skeptical to bet on a single horse. It was for this reason that in the same year they approached the head of a wealthy European family with an offer of forging an alliance. That man was Rodrigo Borgia.

The Real Illuminati saw Rodrigo Borgia as an ambitious nobleman with designs on becoming a pope, much like his uncle did before him. They believed that securing the support of a wealthy pope would set them on a path of prosperity for the first time in nearly a thousand years. Rodrigo welcomed the opportunity to have all of his rivals removed from his path to papacy through the well tested skills in coercion, blackmail, manipulation, and bribery that the Real Illuminati possessed. The deal was made, and Rodrigo Borgia became pope while Christopher Columbus was barely half way to America.

While the Real Illuminati were infinitely pleased with the newfound alliance, what sent waves of unrest through their ranks was Rodrigo Borgia's choice of papal name, Alexander VI. The Inner Circle of the Real Illuminati believed it was a most ill-advised choice that would draw undue attention to the group, who have been desperately trying to hide from the world the fact that they were established by Alexander the Great. Tensions between Rodrigo and the Inner Circle mounted further when word came of how Columbus, upon finally reaching the shores of America, spoke Alexander's name out loud at the end of the harrowing journey. And while the Inner Circle managed to handle the Columbus situation, they had little clue as to what they could do about Rodrigo Borgia's unwise decision.

During the early months of 1493, the disagreement between the new pope and his secret patrons led to what is referred to in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati as `the most ruthless demonstration of power since the conquests of Alexander the Great.' Rodrigo had several members of the Inner Circle assassinated in various brutal, and sometimes innovative ways. The most memorable assassinations included that of the Secretary of the Inner Circle, who was handed a cigar filled with gunpowder, and the Treasurer, who was stabbed to death with a golden fork.

The surviving members of the Inner Circle demonstrated remarkable survival instincts by acknowledging Rodrigo Borgia as their new leader, who from that day forward was known as Pope Alexander VI only in public, while at the meetings of the Real Illuminati he insisted on being called Alexander the Greater. He went on to build a successful career both in the secretive group and in the Vatican, where he held repeated orgies, if records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati are to be believed.

With Rodrigo Borgia at the helm, the Real Illuminati once again started to prosper. While many within the group felt that the culling of the Inner Circle had done them a service, the traditionalists among them believed that a man who disrespected their founder's name should never have been allowed to lead them. During Rodrigo's lifetime, none of them dared to speak out against him, but they never forgot their grievances. Thus began a new era within the Real Illuminati, one characterized by prosperity, and by ceaseless infighting.

After their takeover by Rodrigo Borgia, the Real Illuminati observed how the infamous pope turned the organization's ceaseless bad luck around and led them with uncanny efficiency. For the first time since the fall of Camelot, the Real Illuminati believed they were on a clear track towards the goal left to them by their founder, Alexander the Great, namely, to conquer the entire world. Yet there were many among the secretive group who felt that the ascension of Rodrigo Borgia as their leader was nothing but a terrible mistake. The chief reason for this was Rodrigo's second son, Cesare.

Cesare Borgia was the epitome of ambition. He held titles of bishop and archbishop even before his father became Pope Alexander VI, but after Rodrigo's papal appointment Cesare was named a cardinal. The Real Illuminati believed he was destined to succeed his father as the next pope, until in 1497 his elder brother Giovanni Borgia was assassinated. Records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati are undecided on who had Giovanni assassinated and why, but one theory states that Cesare was behind the murder. This speculation is supported by the fact that he resigned the cardinalate after his brother's death and took up all titles and duties that had been Giovanni's, including being named commander of the papal army, and handed several territories.

Witnessing Cesare Borgia's unopposed rise to power rang warning bells inside the minds of most members of the Real Illuminati. An anonymous letter presumably penned by a member of the Inner Circle spoke of his fears loud and clear with the words, `Caesar Borgia will kill us all.' The misspelling had been intentional, drawing on comparison with one of the most reviled figures in the history of the Real Illuminati, Julius Caesar. The author of the letter believed that Cesare would go on to even bigger infamy than Julius Caesar, and urged his compatriots to take action. Despite the warning, Cesare Borgia went on to carve a realm out for himself in Northern Italy, while the Real Illuminati stood by and watched, in fear of what would happen if they were to assassinate Cesare, and Rodrigo Borgia were to even suspect that they had anything to do with it.

They were forced to watch when in 1502 some of his generals rebelled against him only to be lured into a trap by Cesare where they were promptly executed. It was this event that finally made them draw the conclusion that they had to deal with Cesare one way or the other. A year later Rodrigo Borgia died of illness, leading to Cesare Borgia becoming the new head of the Real Illuminati. However, with his secular positions of power and with having resigned his offices in the church, he had no way or intention of becoming the next pope. This fact was not lost on the Real Illuminati, and nor was the fact that throughout much of his conquests and empire building he had relied on support from the reigning pope, namely, his father. It was therefore clear that Cesare would want a new pope appointed who would support all of his ambitions.

When his candidate took the papal seat as Pius III, traditionalist members of the Real Illuminati took great pleasure in living out a decade of frustration when they ordered the pope's assassination. They spared no expense at hiring an assassin who could make Pius III's death look like it had been a result of natural causes, and within a month of Pius's appointment Cesare found himself having to look for a new pope. The Real Illuminati advised him to support Giuliano Della Rovere, and in a moment of poor judgment he took their advice. When Rovere became pope by the name of Julius II, a name chosen for him by the Inner Circle of the Real Illuminati in an attempt at irony, he undermined Cesare Borgia at every turn, and eventually managed to have him imprisoned and took all his lands.

Yet the Real Illuminati had to learn the hard way that a man like Cesare Borgia would not give up easily. He managed to escape with the aid of loyal allies and people seeking the favor of the Borgias, and went on to marshal his forces to retake the lands he believed were his rightful possession. The Real Illuminati had wisely not bragged about their role in his imprisonment and hence avoided his wrath. This, in turn, allowed them to finish what they had started. In 1507, during the siege of Castle Viana in Navarre which Cesare hoped to take, an assassin hired by the Real Illuminati led a party of knights out of the castle and lured Cesare away from the siege, isolated him from his forces, and speared him to death.

The name of the assassin is missing from the records in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati, but the significant expenditure is clearly noted in the books, as is the cost of the celebration the traditionalist members of the group held after Cesare's demise. Yet history went on to prove that they were far too quick to count their chickens, and there were plenty more foxes right outside the hen house.

The year 1507 marked the fifteenth anniversary of the Borgia family seizing control of the Real Illuminati. Traditionalist members of the organization felt it fitting that in that very year they managed to rid themselves of Cesare Borgia, and believed they would finally free themselves of the tyranny of Borgia rule. The reins of the Real Illuminati were handed to Cesare's sister, Lucrezia, much to the delight of the Inner Circle. They believed that between the various political marriages forced upon her by her father and the murder of several of her lovers ordered by her brother, she would prove sympathetic to their own plight and would affect a change in leadership, and an eventual return to the way things were before the rise of the self-styled Alexander the Greater.

Supporters of Borgia reign were of course none too thrilled about this turn of events, as they very much believed that only leadership like that of Rodrigo Borgia could allow them to accomplish their goal of total world domination. Like the traditionalists, they, too, believed that Lucrezia would not be a strong leader, and worried that with her at the helm the group would go into decline once more. Yet the Real Illuminati, both the traditionalists and the Borgia supporters had to realize, that this particular apple did not fall far from the tree.

Within a week of Cesare's death, Lucrezia organized a masquerade to which all members of the Real Illuminati were invited. The Inner Circle considered this a sign of good things to come, and flew straight into the proverbial spider's web. At the ball, Lucrezia toasted her allies and wished prosperity for the group. It was only when the first guest collapsed that the Real Illuminati started to suspect that they might have misjudged her.

By the end of the evening, more than half the guests lay dead on the ballroom floor, including the majority of the Inner Circle. Lucrezia thanked the survivors for attending the function and bid them good night, then retired to her quarters while her servants attended to the duty of throwing the bodies into the river. A week later, Lucrezia invited the survivors to another party, adding a thinly veiled threat to the invitation about what would happen to those who failed to attend the gathering.

The Real Illuminati were left with no choice but to accept the invitation and once more drink from their gracious host's wine, who repeated the toast from the first meeting and acted all night as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened a week prior. This time around, none of the guests died from the wine, but the Real Illuminati read the message loud and clear: Lucrezia could poison any one of them whenever she saw fit, and they would never see it coming. The traditionalists begrudgingly bowed to their superior, while the Borgia supporters simply felt pride that they were led by such a strong and capable woman.

In the years that followed, Lucrezia Borgia governed the Real Illuminati from her countryside manor using messengers and carrier pigeons. While she took the group no closer to world domination, she did build up a strong new Inner Circle dominated by her fiercest supporters that would ensure sufficient unity within the group in the years to come. She did not eradicate the traditionalists, some believe because she wanted them to keep her supporters on their toes. She did, however, host a masquerade every year, where a couple of guests always expired from unexplained food poisoning.

Throughout their existence the Real Illuminati attempted to seize control of countless nations in order to further their ultimate agenda of world domination. Yet the organization is not without its benevolent side. A little known fact about the Real Illuminati is that they have been patrons of various artists throughout history. One of the most famous artists who received support from the secretive group was none other than Leonardo da Vinci.

Da Vinci's early creations resonated with the leadership of the Real Illuminati in the late 15th century , giving many of their high ranking members creative ideas for paths to conquering the world. Christopher Columbus supposedly devised his plan to trick the King of Spain into funding the Real Illuminati's expedition to America after he spent a day admiring one of Leonardo's paintings, looking for tiny details that the casual observer might miss. And while this plan yielded mixed results, the Real Illuminati remained supporters of da Vinci, largely due to the Borgia takeover of the organization.

Rodrigo Borgia was a great admirer of da Vinci's work and insisted that the organization commission the artist to make paintings for the Real Illuminati. These include, among others, `Alexander the Greater,' which portrays Rodrigo Borgia sitting on a golden throne in white papal garments and holding the globe in his hand, and `Last Alexandria,' which depicts a great city from a birds's eye view with the light of the heavens shining down on its buildings. While none of these paintings have ever been seen by anyone outside of the Real Illuminati, records leaked by traitors from their Secret Library prove that the paintings exist, along with a number of nude statues of Rodrigo's lovers.

While the admiration of Rodrigo Borgia earned da Vinci fortune and fame, it also earned him the ire of the traditionalists within the Real Illuminati, who despised Rodrigo so much they believed they should hate Leonardo as well by association. Had it not been for the eventual rise to power of Lucrezia Borgia, Leonardo might have met the same fate as her brother Cesare, for whom Leonardo worked as a cartographer. Lucrezia adored da Vinci's art even more than her father had, and reportedly she took every opportunity to spend time in the artist's company. Rumor has it that several of these meetings took place in her bedchambers, but no proof appears to exist in the Secret Library of the Real Illuminati.

When Leonardo da Vinci passed away in 1519, Lucrezia was reportedly heartbroken, and died herself not much later. The various pieces of art commissioned by Rodrigo were put on display at the private wake held by the Real Illuminati, where traditionalists and Borgia supporters stood united for the last time in the existence of the organization, taking a moment to admire da Vinci's secret art in a moment before the storm. After the wake, the artworks were locked away in a secret location, never to be seen again.