Around and beneath the Utrenitsa Vallis trench, though its exact location, like its inhabitants, is not widely published.
There’s a fine, at times invisible, line between “academia” and “dangerous cult.” The Kornbluth Academy of the Humanities danced on that line, never crossing it…depending on who you ask.
Founded some 170 years ago, at about the same time as the Eon facility, Kornbluth was built as an archive of terran lore, reprinted facsimiles of books and films in lovingly replicated “original” media formats. Unlike the Eon, Kornbluth’s archives were to be made available to the public—at least the “public” who could pay the exorbitant membership fees.
At some point, Kornbluth took a darker turn. Taking a page from the ancient Library of Alexandria, the scholar-caretakers of the Academy began expanding their collection by raiding space ships and rival institutions for information resources, whenever possible destroying original files after creating hardcopies. As the academy degenerated, it began capturing scholars and researchers as well, subjecting them to grueling oratories and tortuous hand-copying to break their spirits.
Recently, Kornbluth finally crossed IRPF one too many times, and lost much of their property and safehouses scattered through the system. Their final bastian was the deep literature vault “Kafka-6” in the Utrenits Vallis. For months the scholars held IRPF at bay by holding their own archives hostage. As negotiations broke down, the scholars detonated several explosive charges, burying their knowledge under tons of rubble.
Within the last 10 years, light has begun to shine on Kafka-6. IRPF and the Venusian elite converted the archive into a penal colony, forcing the former scholars to dig into the rock and soil to extract and interpret the buried trove of lore. Makework, mostly, as there were no great secrets to be uncovered. A number of educational centers around Sol have retrieved their colleagues, pulling the innocents out of the library-cum-prison. As the last of the Kornbluth University scholars have been moved to new prisons, Kafka-6 has drawn a strange sort of tourist, “extreme academics” willing to burrow under shifting stone and fight with Venus’s strange and sometimes toxic wildlife to salvage a copy of Thomerville’s thesis on Proust’s metaphors for time, or Norton’s Concordance of Norton Editions (Vol. 3) For a few creds you can hire a local guide to help salvage lost tomes. It’s a coin-flip whether you get a well-informed Venus native or a former University cultist.
Need to Know (before you go)
Once an archive, then perhaps a university, then a prison, then a reliquary, Kafka-6 has a long and strange history. Take both a guide and a guard with you, as the inhabitants of Kafka 6 are desperate and a little bit crazy.
Kafka 6 is based in part on Walter Moers’ The City of Dreaming Books, and if your game has a comedic streak you might want to read this surreal architectural/archival masterwork, for the underground librarian cult if nothing else.
♃ Once a librarian, always a librarian… Two warrior-scholars have escaped MarsCo’s reindoctrination program, and are wending their way back home. They are very interested in the handwritten copy of Wassily Leontief’s Marginalia Economica, which, when fully armed and annotated, could expose fatal flaws in the Ledger system and potentially debase the Cred. The copy’s in a vault held in the Eon, and its owner is…deceased? missing? got a life?