Who's Who Book Five

So you’ve found yourself in yet another section of the site where there’ll be spoilers… so if you don’t want to know about some of the characters you’ll meet in Book Five then look away now!

Throughout the series we have been introducing new members of Team Veritas. Well there’re no new members in The Pirate’s Sword but you do get to learn a little more about the enemy they are up again. Let me tell you now about who is in charge of the Suppressors and those who work at Level Five!

The Tyrannos Group

The Tyrannos Group had rules rules about everything. ...

… Absolutely no press reporting of their activities was part of the deal.
The Director had waited nearly ten years to get an invitation. The yearly meetings of the group were open to a select few; the greatest brains in the world; the most influential members of society; the richest. The meetings covered a range of subjects, the discussions were far reaching. Control of knowledge was always number one on the agenda.
The group had toyed with him for months now. The scrolls had been a tease. Notifications edged with black and stamped with an emblem in each of the four corners had told him that he was being watched. The latest scroll rested on his knee, the letter T embossed in gold and raised at the centre. This time he’d been invited. He could hardly breathe with excitement.

(Extract from Secret Breakers Book Five ‘The Pirate’s Sword.’) Show the full extract

Hopefully, while you were reading Secret Breakers Book Four : The Tower of the Winds, you began to wonder about who was sending the scrolls to The Director. Well the answer is finally revealed in The Pirate’s Sword. The scrolls come from The Tyrannos Group, that is why they are signed with a letter ‘T’. The Group is an international organisation who are trying to control information across the world. They influence what stories are read and so they control the work of the Suppressors. I wanted readers to understand that stories have always been controlled, and that sometimes organisations make decisions about what can be made available to people. Control of knowledge and control of stories is important. It is after all what the quest of the Secret Breakers is all about! In researching Secret Breakers I thought a lot about censorship and book destruction. I thought about powerful people who made decisions about what is read. And I invented the Tyrannos Group. Some conspiracy theorists believe though, that a lot of what we read and the information we are given, is controlled in the real world, by large international secret organisations just like the Tyrannos Group!

Interesting Truth:

The name Tyrannos is connected to the word Tyrant. A tyrant is someone who controls everything…even if they haven’t been asked or elected to do so! The word means ‘Illegitimate Ruler’ and so I thought worked perfectly as the name for the group who make decisions that influence the whole world! The Director meets someone called Periander in his Tyrannos Group meeting. The name Periander is used in a 7th Century legend about the very first tyrant!

Further Reading

So now it’s time to think about the real historical characters included in this fifth installment of the ‘Secret Breakers’ adventure. You know I love to include real people! So here’s the part of the site where I share the pieces of fact that really are stranger than fiction.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). If you look carefully at his date of birth you will see that he died on the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence Day, which is very neat!

Jefferson was an incredible man. He was an expert in many fields; could speak five languages and was interested in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy. Many people claim that Jefferson was a leader in the Enlightenment movement, which introduced a new way of logical thinking!

He lived at Monticello and his grave stone is here. Take a look at this on the locations part of the Book Page.

After serving his country through politics, Jefferson spent most of his time and energy pursing educational interests. He founded and built the University of Virginia and of course the Secret Breakers make a visit there to learn more.

Jefferson memorial
University of Virginia

Jefferson believed educating people was a good way to establish an organized society. He wrote often to Priestley, talking about his plans for education and so it is in one of the Priestley letters, that I hide a code for Team Veritas!

Jefferson really did come up with a new way of numbering library books and he really did donate his books to the Library of Congress. You can see these if you are ever lucky enough to visit Washington DC. And you can also see the huge Jefferson Memorial where he towers over the city where he once lived as President.

Careful readers of the series will have worked out that I was aiming to include President Jefferson in the adventure as I opened Book Four: Tower of the Winds with a brilliant quote from him!

‘I cannot live without books.’
Thomas Jefferson

You can find out more facts about this important president by watching this video clip.

Also, Brodie jotted down some notes about him so you can check these out too.

Thomas Jefferson Beale

Obviously making connections to names helped me when I was planning the Secret Breakers series, so I was thrilled to find a connection to one of most famous un-cracked codes in the world. This code claims that some treasure was hidden by a man name Thomas Jefferson Beale. You can find out more about the coded papers on the Secrets to Break page but very little is known about Thomas Jefferson Beale himself. The inn keeper at Lynchburg said this about him though.

‘In person, he was about six feet in height, with jet black eyes and hair of the same colour, worn longer than was the style at that time. His form was symmetrical, and gave evidence of unusual strength and activity; but his distinguishing feature was a dark and swarthy complexion, as if much exposure to the sun and weather had thoroughly tanned and discoloured him; this, however, did not detract from his appearance.’

Beale became a popular guest at Morriss’ inn. It is believed he hid the treasure in Santa Fe and had a team of at least 29 people to help him.

Robert Morriss

Morris was a trusted innkeeper in Lynchburg. He was born in 1778, in the State of Maryland, but moved at an early age, with his family, to Loudoun county, Va., where, in 1803, he married Miss Sarah Mitchell. Thomas Jefferson Beale gave Morriss a box containing three coded papers. The incident is described like this.

‘In the spring, at about the same time, Beale again left, but before doing so, handed me this box, as he said, contained papers of value and importance; and which he desired to leave in my charge until called for hereafter. Of course, I did not decline to receive them, but little imagined their importance until his letter from St. Louis was received. This letter I carefully preserved, and it will be given with these papers. The box was of iron, carefully locked, and of such weight as to render it a safe depository for articles of value.’

Beale asked Morriss not to open the box, unless he or one of his men failed to return from their journey within 10 years. Beale promised a friend in St. Louis would mail Morriss information about the cryptograms, but it never arrived. I found an open letter to Morriss though in a newspaper from the time and included this in my Secret Breakers story! Morriss waited much longer than ten years before he opened the box containing the coded papers. He was never able to make sense of the codes and so he passed the box onto another trusted friend.

James B Ward

I like the idea that three friends are involved in the story of the Beale Papers. It’s that Power of Three at work again! Morris passed the codes onto a friend and they eventually came into the hands of James B Ward. He was the last receiver of the box of codes and it is he who published a pamphlet asking for help with the ciphers. You can find out more about what happened when the ciphers began to be broken on the Secrets to Break page!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Sir Francis Bacon

Now you know all about Coleridge and if you have forgotten you can find out more on the Who’s Who in Book Three Page. But this figure from history becomes important once again in the plot of The Pirate’s Sword. Coleridge and another poet, Robert Southey, came up with the idea of Pantisocracy. It’s an idea which involves building a utopian society which tries hard to be perfect and everybody has equal rights.

Brodie made some notes to explain the idea.

You’ll also remember lots of details about Sir Francis Bacon. You can check him out on that Who’s Who in Book Three Page too. He wrote about the idea of a perfect society in New Atlantis and just like a circle we are coming back to this idea as we draw to the close of the Secret Breakers adventure! These ideas must be important as check out the statue of Sir Francis Bacon in the Library of Congress. Locations, people and ideas are all coming together as we race towards the conclusion of the series!

Secret Breakers Challenge!

Having understood that real people thought long and hard about how societies could be organised so that everyone was happy and felt valued, I’d like to offer you your hardest Secret Breakers challenge yet!

If you were in charge, how would your perfect society be organised? Would there be schools? How would work be shared out? What types of homes would people live in? How would people travel? Why not have a go at inventing your own ‘Utopian’ society. You can give it a fancy name like ‘A Pantisocracy’ if you like and if you write down your ideas and send them to H.L. Dennis c/o Hodder Children’s Books, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH then, while stocks last, I shall send on some prizes! You can include pictures and maps if you want to and make your designs as wonderful as you can. I can’t wait to see them!

A note about Pigafetta and Martin De Judicabus!

So at the end of this Secret Breakers instalment, Team Veritas find a pirate’s sword. There is a name marked on it. Pigafetta. Now that’s a name I think you should remember. You should also remember the name Martin De Judicabus. That name was inside a ring and on a map found very close to the sword. I can’t tell you about them here, just like I couldn’t tell you much about Hans of Aachen earlier on in the adventure. But by the end of The Pirate’s Sword, Team Veritas understand that these names must be connected. (Remember how much I like connecting names!) I think that by the end of this whole adventure, the names of Pigafetta, Martin and Hans are going to help us understand something very powerful! Book One is called The Power of Three after all!

The Power of Three cover

Why don’t you check out the final Who’s Who section here, where we get to meet characters from the very last book in the series!