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"I'm a thinker. That is what I do, in great depth and detail, every working moment of the day. I like to believe it's worhtwile. And yet, I can't help but recall something Erasmus said to me once when I was young, and he was my master: "All of these things with which we occupy ourselves don't amount to much in the cosmic scale of things, do they? No matter how much we ponder any particular topic, there is really very little there.""
―Gilbertus Albans, Reflections in the Mirror of the Mind[src]

Headmaster Gilbertus Albans (185 BG - 3 BG) was the first Mentat and the founder of the Order of Mentats, serving as the first Headmaster of the original Mentat School on Lampadas after establishing it in 68 BG. Gilbertus was born as a savage human during the earlier years of the Butlerian Jihad in the slave pens of the independent robot Erasmus on the thinking machine capital Corrin, and Erasmus became his adoptive father and mentor and taught him in the practices that would later be instigated in Mentat training. The robot also gave him life extension treatment which allowed him to live for almost two centuries. After narrowly surviving the Battle of Corrin, Gilbertus managed to escape the human takeover of Corrin under the guise of a mere slave, and went on to train the first generation of Mentats, whilst secretly keeping Erasmus hidden against the laws established by Rayna Butler in the Corrino Imperium. Whilst he initially assisted the fanatical anti-technological Butlerian movement during the galactic civil war, his true identity as a machine sympathiser was eventually uncovered by the Butlerians during the Siege of the Mentat School and he was executed by Swordmaster Anari Idaho on the orders of Leader Manford Torondo, and was succeeded by his protege Draigo Roget when the Lampadas School was liberated with the downfall of the Butlerians.

Biography[]

Early life (185-164 BG)[]

Gilbertus was born in the cruel slave pens in Erasmus' villa to a slave family. In a conversation with Omnius, Erasmus claimed that any feral human could be trained to become brilliant, almost the equal of thinking machines. Omnius chose one of the most unkempt of all the humans in a nearby slave pen and challenged Earsmus to turn that boy into a civilized, educated person. Earsmus accepted the challenge and chose for the high-sounding name 'Gilbertus Albans' that carried respectable and important tonalities so that it would evoke such behavior in the then nine-year-old child.

After initially failing to make progress by using a system of benevolence and rewards, he switched to a system of strict supervision and punishment as well as behaviour-altering drugs. These alternate methods prove to be successful. By emulating Erasmus, whom he has come to consider his father, Albans becomes the first to display computer-like cognitive and calculation capacity on the level of thinking machines.

After that was accomplished, he then trained Gilbertus to think logically and organize his thoughts, in the same way a computer did. This allowed Gilbertus to remember everything, recite observations at a moment's notice, and rapidly perform computer-like calculations. He was also able to maintain several lines of thought and think in hyper speed.

Later life on Corrin (164-88 BG)[]

To his own surprise, Erasmus also developed a fatherly attachment to the boy; when Gilbertus was about 20 years old, Erasmus performed a life-extension procedure on him without permission from Omnius. Because of Gilbertus' remarkable memory-organizational ability and capacity for logical thinking, Erasmus nicknamed him "Mentat", created from the words mentor, mentee and mentation, all coming from the Latin root for mind (mens). Having already won the bet, Erasmus was determined to make him into the pinnacle of human ability. Soon Gilbertus was also doing physical exercises until his physique was as close to perfection as possible.

During the blockade following the Great Purge, Gilbertus enjoyed to spend time with clones of Serena Butler, while Erasmus attempted to reach the quality of the prototype. He was fond of one of them, and liked to talk with and teach her.and eventually had a child with her.

Battle of Corrin (88 BG)[]

When the Battle of Corrin began, Gilbertus felt bothered with the concept of the Bridge of Hrethgir; he didn't like the idea that Erasmus would be responsible for the deaths of millions. Therefore he programmed a trigger mechanism that would detonate the cargoes automatically, without Erasmus' input. Erasmus then put the clone of Serena in one of the cargoes, and then Gilbertus in a safe basement. However Gilbertus realized the truth, and decided to join Serena as a slave. He then managed to contact Erasmus through a watcheye and tell him where he was. Erasmus, to save his ward, reprogrammed and nullified the mechanism. The Army of Humanity fleet then passed through the Bridge without the expected losses. Gilbertus returned to Erasmus with the help of a combat robot that Erasmus apprehended, but could not take Serena with him. When the end of the machines was close, he escaped with the memory core of Erasmus and joined a team of soldiers and Martyrists who devastated the structures as he mingled with countless human refugees.

Lecter (88-81 BG)[]

For the first two decades after escaping Corrin to freedom, Gilbertus lived under an alias, convincing others that he was a normal human being. He made his way to the remote planet of Lecter, where he was hired as a farmer. He lived a quiet life on Lecter for seven years, while continuing to protect Erasmus’s hidden memory core. He fell in love with a young woman called Juellia, but eventually she married someone else, leaving him heartbroken.

Foundation of the Order (81-68 BG)[]

"Gilbertus Albans, once the ward of the independent robot Erasmus, has established a different sort of school on the bucolic planet of Lampadas, where he teaches humans to order their minds like computers, making them into Mentats."
―Gilbertus' new role[src]

Gilbertus departed Lecter, following Erasmus’s dreams and encouragement to form a school that would surreptitiously teach thinking machine techniques, the Mentat school on the planet of Lampadas. Erasmus also convinced him to reclaim his original name of Gilbertus Albans. To encourage the concentration of the new Mentat type, Gilbertus built his school on the least populated continent of Lampadas; though it was already a pastoral world, he needed a place where his instructors and students could focus on the demanding curriculum and not be distracted by external concerns. The Lampadas School was therefore surrounded by vast wetlands, swampy canals, and dangerous predators, and the school complex was a large cluster of interlocked, floating platforms anchored on a huge marsh lake, surrounded by undeveloped, unpopulated land, with a warding shield system keeping away the bothersome disease-carrying swamp insects, creating a sort of oasis for the Mentat students. But he would later regret the Lampadas location altogether, for in choosing the Butlerian centre as the home of his Mentat School, he had erred by underestimating the continued strength of the Butlerian movement after the defeat of Omnius.

Development of the school (68-5 BG)[]

"My objective is to send you out of this school with your thoughts organized and your memory capabilities expanded so that you will be more than the equal of any computer."
―Gilbertus to his students[src]

At least four Sisters of the Rossak Sisterhood established by Reverend Mother Raquella Berto-Anirul in 88 BG as the successor to the Sorceresses of Rossak devastated by the Omnius Scourge directly completed Gilbertus' Mentat training at the Lampadas School by the reign of Emperor Salvador Corrino, and soon they used and even became semi-dependent on Mentats to memorise and chart bloodlines and the wisdom of the Sisterhood in general, though they secretly complemented this with forbidden machines.

With regards to the only growing strength of the Butlerians that he had not expected, Gilbertus soon decided that he had to walk a fine line and make no public stand for the Machine Apologists, a form of "acrobatics" that always made him uneasy, though he did attempt to get his students to reflect that there were not really so many differences between a human and a Thinking Machine. Though he was well over a century old, thanks to the life-extension treatment he’d been given by Erasmus, he kept up appearances of steadily aging and by the end of the first century BG was considering faking his death and leaving Lampadas before these suspicions reached their height. Because Mentats were the human answer to computers, the antitechnology Butlerians continued to support his school, but he continued to keep his opinions to himself for his own safety, especially at home on Lampadas. As part of his agreement with Manford, which granted him support for the school, each year Gilbertus had to admit a specified number of trainees selected by the Butlerians; although the Butlerians were not the best candidates, and took vital slots that might have been better suited for more talented and objective individuals, it was a concession he’d had to make.

The essence of the Mentat curriculum still came from the Erasmus data core hidden in Gilbertus' office with whom he often interacted, something that he knew would enrage the Butlerians and Butlerian students if it was ever discovered. Due to the rigors of Mentat instruction, the failure rate approached 35% percent even among the very best candidates who were accepted into the school (not counting the required Butlerian candidates), and only the best of those would advance to become Mentats.

Galactic civil war (5-3 BG)[]

This article is a stub: It may require more information.


By 5 BG, Gilbertus and his School were providing direct aid to the Butlerians, such as helping them find a former thinking machine attack squadron of twenty-five ships before they could instead be salvaged by Josef Venport's Venport Holdings. He also came with him to the Landsraad representatives headed by the Emperor later that year when he proposed a radical acceleration of the Empire's anti-technological standards before the Emperor's brother Salvador engineered a bomb threat to call this proposition off.

After engaging in a debate with the Butlerian student Alys Carroll, who was already suspicious about having seen Erasmus engineer the movement of deactivated thinking machine parts while helping Gilbertus clean up, in which he was seen to take the side of the Machine Apologists, his Butlerian students largely turned against him. When Gilbertus and his Butlerians visisted to search the Lampadas School, he enthusiastically joined in destroying machine parts but this went too far and they nearly found the Erasmus data core. Thinking quickly, Gilbertus revealed something to the Butlerian Leader that he had previously revealed to his recently graduated protege Draigo Roget: the location of the large-scale Thonaris shipyards, and was forced to directly accompany him to the Battle of Thonaris and fight against Draigo's direct personal assistance to the conduct of Venport's occupation. Manford then coerced him to directly serve as his special advisor in 4 BG.

Downfall and execution[]

"With his perfect memory, he could replay the images of Anari Idaho's brutal sword strike, how the blade sliced smoothly into Gilbertus' bowed neck and decapitated him. The robot struggled each time he reviewed the images, and most of all he couldn't comprehend the strange look of calmness on Gilbertus' face in those final seconds. The beatific acceptance that his life would end. What had he seen in those final moments? What had he known?"
Erasmus privately ponders Gilbertus' death[src]

Some time later, Manford Torondo demanded that everyone in the Imperium reaffirm their loyalty to him personally and the Butlerian cause in general through a vaguely-worded pledge. When Butlerian representatives came to the Mentat school, the Butlerian Mentats immediately gave their pledge, but Gilbertus, pointing out hundreds of possible loopholes and potential errors in the wording, refused to sign. Infuriated, Manford brought thousands of fanatics to lay siege to the school. After several days, Gilbertus went to Manford's tent to discuss what can be done to de-escalate the situation. During their conversation, Deacon Harian revealed that he had discovered Gilbertus's true identity after analyzing Jihad-era records. Unable to lie in front of a Truthsayer, Gilbertus admitted that he was indeed trained by Erasmus. Manford publicly revealed who Gilbertus really was and sentenced the "machine collaborator" to death on the following day. Draigo managed to sneak into the Butlerian camp and tried to free his mentor, but Gilbertus had given his word to Manford that he would not attempt to flee in return for Manford sparing his school and students. Instead, Draigo rescues Anna Corrino, the Emperor's sister, and Erasmus's memory core. Gilbertus was beheaded by Anari Idaho the following morning. Watching through his spy-eyes, Erasmus privately swore vengeance on the fanatics for the death of his adopted son.

Shortly afterwards, Erasmus demands a new body for his memory core in order to assist the Venport Holdings researchers on Denali in developing better weapons and defenses. He asks that a clone be made using Gilbertus's genetic material, recovered by Draigo, where his memory core could be installed instead of a brain. Thus, Erasmus gains a human body, while looking like his late ward.

Legacy[]

Ten thousand years later, the Tleilaxu Kwisatz Haderach candidate, Thallo, told Marie Fenring that the Tleilaxu Masters had intentionally put cerebral matter of famous humans into his brain tissue to improve his cognitive reasoning. He told Marie that one such individual had been Gilbertus Albans, founder of the Mentat order.

Relationships[]

Erasmus[]

"You saved me from a life of ignorance and squalor, and I saved you from destruction."
―Gilbertus to Erasmus[src]

Erasmus had orginally only selected Gilbertus from the miserable slave pens on Corrin in 176 BG during the Jihad as an experiment to see if it was possible to civilize one of the feral creatures through careful training. Over the many decades of his literally extended life, the independent robot became a father figure and mentor who taught Gilbertus how to organize his thoughts, and how to enhance his brain so that he could think with an efficiency formerly reserved for computers, and Erasmus was a hard but excellent teacher for whom Gilbertus was deeply grateful for, though he found it ironic that because of this detail his school for maximizing human potential had its roots in the world of thinking machines. By the time of the Battle of Corrin and later the many decades of the Lampadas School, Gilbertus simply referred to Erasmus as "Father", and kept him safe in his office whilst often engaging in covert private discussions with him.

Physical appearance[]

Gilbertus wore a tweedy waistcoat and trousers, and round spectacles on his narrow face, because he preferred these to medical treatments that could have improved his eyesight. His hair was thin but still the natural straw-yellow of his youth.

Appearances[]

Preceded by
None
Headmaster of the Mentat School
68 BG - 3 BG
Succeeded by
Unknown
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