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Gringott's Wizarding Bank

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Gringott's Wizarding Bank

Postby VeNox » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:04 pm

GRINGOTT'S WIZARDING BANK


HISTORY

    Gringott's Wizarding Bank was created by a goblin named Gringott in 1474. After the opening of its doors, in London, England, the size and power of the bank began to steadily increase as it's safety procedures, business practices, and competitive lending programs attracted investors and customers from all over the wizarding world. As the political and economic clout of the organization grew, so did the concern from the Ministry of Magic. By 1500, there were only a handful of wizarding banks in direct competition with Gringott's and by 1515, the bank had a nearly complete monopoly.

    In 1550 the Ministry of Magic, unable to let an organization with such power -- run solely by goblins -- exist in a monopoly, enacted several pieces of legislation which put the oversight and management of the bank into government jurisdiction. Though displeased with the arrangement, Gringott and the other goblins of the governing board were eager to avoid conflict with the Ministry, and after some negotiation accepted the terms. The most notable change came in the form of personnel. Human witches and wizards were finally allowed to apply for positions with the Bank. The first of the new employees were primarily curse-breakers, and to this day are a minority within the bank's hierarchy.

    The Ministry of Magic oversaw the operations of Gringott's Bank until 1865, when it decided to put full control of the bank back into goblin hands, and remained so until 1997, when the dark lord Voldemort had a firm grip on the Ministry. The interference of the Ministry only lasted a year, and with the end of the Second Wizarding War, Gringott's was once again placed back under goblin management.

BREAK-INS

    Gringott's Bank has a undeniable reputation for being the safest place in the Wizarding World. And as of today, there have been only two confirmed break-ins of the infamous bank, both having taken place in the 1990s.

    The first confirmed break-in took place in 1991, and was committed by Quirinus Quirrell, who attempted to steal an object from Vault 713. The high-security vault was the hiding place of the infamous Philosopher's Stone, and most likely would have been procured had the stone not been withdrawn earlier that same day by a Mr. Rubeus Hagrid. Mr. Quirrell was not caught in the act, and it was found out only after the fact that he had broken into the vault under the orders of Lord Voldemort. This break-in was particularly shocking because it was thought impossible for the bank's security to be compromised enough to allow such a thing.

    The second confirmed break-in took place in 1998, just seven years after the first. This break-in was perpetrated by Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley with the aid of the goblin Griphook. The vault belonging to Bellatrix Lestrange was broken into and only one item was found to be missing after a close inspection: Helga Huffelepuff's golden cup, which was transformed into a horcrux by Lord Voldemort. The thieves escaped on the back of a dragon known to be part of the security of that particular vault. Griphook and several other bank guards and employees were executed by Lord Voldemort for failing to protect the treasure. Mr. Potter, Ms. Granger, and Mr. Weasley have since been pardoned for their crime.

DESCRIPTION

    Spoiler: Overview show
    Gringott's Bank is an imposing snow-white multi-storied marble building located partway down Diagon Alley, near its intersection with Knockturn Alley, that towers over the neighboring shops. It is the place where British witches and wizards store their money and other valuables, in heavily-guarded vaults miles below ground.

    The centuries-old bank is run by goblins, and they alone know the secrets of the twisting underground passages and the enchantments and creatures in place to defend against intruders. Goblins are known to be extremely greedy and would protect their money and valuables at any cost, which makes them ideal guardians for the valuables of the wizarding world. The goblins have a code that forbids them to speak of the bank's secrets, and would consider it "base treachery" to break any part of that code.

    Spoiler: Entrance and Main Hall show
    From Diagon Alley, a set of white stairs leads up to a set of burnished bronze doors. The doors are flanked by goblins in uniforms of scarlet and gold, though during the Second Wizarding War the goblins were replaced instead by two wizard guards with Probity Probes. Today, the uniformed goblin stands with the probes for enhanced security. Probity Probes are tools used to detect concealment spells or hidden magical objects.

    The doors lead into a smaller entrance hall and another set of doors. Engraved on the silver doors is as follows:

    Enter, stranger, but take heed
    Of what awaits the sin of greed
    For those who take, but do not earn,
    Must pay most dearly in their turn.
    So if you seek beneath our floors
    A treasure that was never yours,
    Thief, you have been warned, beware
    Of finding more than treasure there.


    Beyond them, a vast marble hall with long, looming counters that flank each side of the room which act as work stations for the bank's primarily goblin bankers. At the far end are doors that lea off to the vault passageways. The hall is grandiose and gaudy. It features a massive fireplace and the walls are lined with portraits of important goblins who dedicated their lives to the running of the bank.

    Spoiler: The Vaults show
    The vaults extend for miles under the city and are accessible through rough stone, complex and interconnected passageways by means of magic carts that are operated solely by goblins. The tunnels are incredibly dangerous for anyone not accompanied by a trained bank employee and employ several deadly security measures to prevent theft and tampering of vaults.

    The passageways to the vaults are carved through stone and are dimly lit with flaming torches. Carts on tracks run deep into the earth through a maze of twisting passages, allowing for access to all of the vaults. The carts move quickly and suddenly to restrict their occupants of getting a good idea of their surroundings, and rarely utilize direct routes to reach their destination.

    The vaults vary in size and security. The largest and most well protected vaults lie deepest beneath the surface of the Bank. Those that are closer to the surface are typically smaller and have fewer security measures. Only those near the surface use keys, for example, rather than require the touch of a goblin to open. Security measures are, however, customized by the owner of the vault.

    Gringott's bank exists outside of Ministry law. A vault may not be emptied or tampered with under court order, allowing criminals and missing persons alike to retain the contents of their vaults. These vaults will only be opened in the instance of death or explicit transfer. Vaults themselves are considered to be possessions and can be transferred to others in the instance of the owner's death, though only one vault may be owned per individual.

SECURITY

    Gringott's Bank uses a variety of security systems to safeguard the bank and its vaults. Low security vaults require a key, while higher security vaults require the touch of a certified Gringott's goblin. It these instances if anyone but a Gringotts goblin touches the door, the person will be sucked into the vault, which is checked for trapped thieves about once per decade. Vaults may also have various enhancements placed on the door, and some may even have multiple chambers within.

    Magical creatures are also used in the protection of the Bank. Dragons and sphinxes are often used in the protection of high security vaults. Though affiliated with Gringotts, the Dragons kept there are not actually "tamed" in the traditional way. They are merely used to discourage intruders and unauthorized persons from approaching the vaults in which these beasts are stationed at. They are "domesticated" in inhumane ways that compel them to retreat whenever they perceive certain sounds. These sounds are produced by magical instruments called Clankers which are solely used and kept by goblins.

    Another important security measure is the Thief's Downfall -- a magically enchanted waterfall that all goblin carts must pass through. The waterfall can cancel all enchantments and magical concealment, and in the case of intruders, throws the carts off their tracks. Carts cannot bypass this security measure, and in recent years traffic around the Downfall has been closely monitored.

    Special wards also exist in different parts of the bank. For example, inside of the bank walls, summoning charms of any kind will not work. Other spells may be present in certain vaults as well. Historically, many vaults use Gemino and Flagrante charms; when any item is touched by a thief, it multiplies rapidly and burns them, eventually crushing and scorching them to death.

    Since the last successful theft of the bank in 1998, several added security measures were added by the bank to mollify their increasingly concerned customers. The bank has been incredibly tight-lipped about these extra precautions in hopes that future would-be thieves be unprepared for the trails of the vaults.

EMPLOYMENT

    While Gringotts is largely staffed by goblins, it is known that the bank does employ humans. They comprise a relatively small demographic of the employment roster, and are primarily curse-breakers. Others may have desk jobs both inside and outside of the bank, though none are trusted with the maintenance of the vaults. The only notable exception to this was during the Second Wizarding War when a human security force was stationed within the bank's walls under the Ministry's direction. The goblins did away with this force when control was transferred back to them and have very little trust when it comes to "wand-bearers".

    Spoiler: Curse-Breakers show
    A Curse-Breaker is a profession at the wizard's bank Gringotts, in which a wizard or witch disables or counters curses in ancient tombs or other historical sites, in order to bring back gold and other treasures to Gringotts. Curse-Breakers are similar to Muggle archaeologists, though in recent years they have come under fire for the plundering of national and cultural treasures. So far, the goblins have resisted any regulation in this area, adopting a finder's keepers mentality. Recently, countries, organizations, and other cultural safe-keepers have been paying Gringott goblins finder's fees in exchange for significant artifacts, though all at the goblin's mercy.

    Curse-breaking is a dangerous and serious profession, in which a wizard or witch could be killed as a result of an old curse, jinx, or hex. An O.W.L. in Arithmancy is required, as some banking and transacting will be done. Also, N.E.W.T.s in Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, and Charms are necessary, given the dangerous aspects of the job. Preference for those skilled in Ancient Runes is also cited in recent job listings.

RUMORS

    With any secretive organization around as long as the bank has been, there are bound to be some legends, myths and rumors flying around. And while most of the scandals to reach the ears of the public are vehemently denied by Gringott's Bank, some rumors unfortunately stick.

    Spoiler: The Gringott Gangbang show
    Recently, a video of a rather inappropriate use of company time involving a not quite corporeal woman and a good deal of the Gringott goblin staff, has made rounds in underground circles. Enough waves were made that Gringott's Bank was forced to issue an official statement. They deny all accusations and insist that the video in question is undoubtedly fake. Unrelated, the majority of those responsible for the circulation of the video have since perished or disappeared.
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