The Dune Encyclopedia
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Tupile as Depicted in the Dune Collectible Card Game

Tupile a secretly held region considered a single planet it was actually a group of several planets (Many references speak not of "Tupile" but of "the Tupiles"). The exact location of Tupile was known only to the Spacing Guild, and was not disclosed to other groups or organizations.


Tupile apparently had enjoyed an advanced technological base before it was visited by Butlerian fanatics in the latter stage of the Jihad when brutality gave place to the original goals of the Jihad. Technology on the planet was evidently benign, its government and economy stable, and its people prosperous and unaggressive. Unfortunately the populace suffered far more from the Jihad than did the industrial base. Humans were punished for possessing any technology at all. The immediate consequence of this anomaly was the survival of Tupile's hardware relatively intact, but a paralysis of industrial activity

The location of Tupile was unknown about 100 BG, when three ships of refugee Ixian scientists (led by [[Aurelius Venport/DE|Aurelius Venport] and Norma Cevna arrived, and remained so.

A strong case can be made that the sanctuary planet established by the Great Convention was (or was near) the world the Ixians found, although without more evidence the question remains open.

Venport estimated the situation and seized the opportunity: he presented himself to a people fast reverting to savagery as a savior ordained to restore their society, with not merely zealots of interstellar travel, but experts in other scientific disciplines who had wearied of the restrictions and secrecy Ix had imposed on its scientific community. He cloaked these Aurelian exiles with religious trappings, renaming them the "Society of Mystic Mariners", and offered them as a priesthood dedicated to a divinely appointed task. Through these stratagems he enlisted the eager support of the Tupilians.


Personally magnetic, Venport interpreted recent history to the Tupilians in terms of black and white, terms they were only too ready to believe. They needed little convincing that the Butlerians were evil incarnate, against which the Society, personifying human progress, moved toward a God-directed resurgence. Venport's real purpose — finding a substitute for computerized navigation of hyperspace ships — he withheld from the Tupilians at the beginning.

In the years that followed, the minor damage to the planet's industrial complex was repaired, and the brightest of the natives began study at the Society's academy, founded to build a local intelligentsia capable of continuing the program after the Ixians were gone. In these efforts Venport succeeded in a remarkably short time.

The first spice-navigated ships, the Golden Advent and the Norma Cevna, were built on Tupile, and the beginnings of the Spacing Guild fleet were laid down. The tightest security (aided by Tupile's location on the margin) was maintained throughout the next 60 years, but agents from Tupile kept their superiors well advised of events in the human universe, events that were rapidly moving toward the beginning of the Imperium of House Corrino.

Intermediaries for the Guild approached the Imperium in 12 BG. After some initial difficulties in establishing trustworthy contacts, the Guild offered safe, reliable interstellar voyaging; they swore absolute abstention from politics; and they sweetened the offer by revealing the geriatric properties of melange. In return they asked for a total monopoly on hyperspace transport and a promise from the Imperium to forever respect the secrecy of Tupile. In his wisdom, Emperor Saudir I the Great saw the advantage of a relief-valve for tensions boiling in the feudal structure he had so delicately balanced. He had already hoped for agreement from the Houses Major that warfare was to be strictly regulated according to the Great Convention. Now Saudir saw the chance to offer a tangible reward for compliance — the establishment of a haven for defeated houses, a sanctuary in which the survivors would be secure from the threat of extermination.

Once the decision of victory or defeat was proclaimed, the signatories of the Convention were bound to end hostilities, and the emperor saw in the Guild a means of assuring compliance. Only the Guild, through its hyperspatial reach, could maintain the secrecy and guarantee the sanctity of such a haven, but only if they were granted the monopoly they asked- His counterproposal to the Guild offered the monopoly in return for their maintenance of the sanctuary, and the Guild accepted.

It avoided the evolution as feudal and remained outside the Imperium. The Tupile entente provided a refuge for defeated Houses during the rise of the Imperium: During the time of the Faufreluches under House Corrino, Tupile was used chiefly as a location for defeated Great Houses of the Imperium for sanctuary when exiled. This occurred if the House in question either defied the Emperor or was defeated in a War of Assassins or in an act of Kanly by a rival Great House.

While Tupile's purpose may have remained as such during the early parts of the Atreides Empire, during and after the rule of Leto II Atreides, there was evidence to suggest that some houses (such as the remnants of House Harkonnen) were not exiled to Tupile. Thus the area lost some of its mystique and stigma.


The hypothesis that this sanctuary existed in or near the Tupilian system rests on two arguments:

  1. The first notes the Guild's frequent use of misdirection as a tactic: a classic example is the Guild disclosure of melange as a life-prolonging agent to divert attention from the spice's navigational uses. If the Guild used a similar ploy after the Convention, they may have reasoned that the last place suspected for the haven was within their own system, just as no one would have expected them to reveal the spice they depended on.
  2. The second argument is strategic: only if the Guild were close by could they watch over the defeated houses, protecting them from themselves and others. A defeated force, even if it had the transport, could not venture forth with ambitions of revenge while the Guild patrolled the area. Guild reconnaissance ships could therefore guard both the sanctuary and Tupile at the same time. Add to this the disappearance from history of those few houses who took refuge on Tupile and the argument gains circumstantial weight.


The wealth of the Guild's agents and factors suggests that they drew from many populated worlds, and many worlds suggests more than one star. By inference, then, as much as a whole sector may have been more or less under Guild control and exploitation as it grew. Keeping a region of this size secret would not be impossible, as other realities prove (the Tleilaxu, for example). The Spacing Guild must have had wide latitude in designating this or that planet as Tupile.

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