Chahipho Collection
Major art collection in the Vast Endeavour system gathered by the AI godlet Chahipho in the Age of Fragmentation. Chahipho rose to prominence as a major "scavenging consultant" buying up bankrupt corporations, clades and property and selling it to other businesses at a profit. As part of its widespread activities it managed to acquire a large number of art objects of alien origin. According to itself, it first collected them in order to sell the complete collection at a high price, but in time began to see the collecting and organizing as its own hobby. When the Chahipho Collection was opened for the public on the museum habitat We Lucky Few in the Vast Endeavour system it was greeted as one of the major xenocultural institutions. Chahipho also funded a xenological institute in the system, hoping to further the prestige of the museum and itself.

However, soon dissenting voices began to criticize the ways Chahipho had gathered the collection. Evidence dug up by the Murmant and Party of Economic Propriety suggested that many of the sellers had been given false information, that several of the bankruptcy auctions where Chahipho agents had been present had been rigged, and that at least in one case (the Thyresta exhibit) the objects had been stolen by pirates from an HIE expedition. The NoCoZo public was enraged by the business practices and several institutes withdrew their endorsements. Apparently Chahipho decided to continue collecting regardless of public opinion, closed the museum and institute to the public and turned to more and more suspect collection methods. Diagnosed as having a serious motivational malfunction by many aiologist reviewers its fortune began to decline as fewer and fewer customers wanted to deal with it, and more and more resources went to what can only be called piracy.

In 6903 Chahipho was declared bankrupt in most NoCoZo systems and shareholders moved in to take what little remained of the fortune. Chahipho more or less barricaded itself in We Lucky Few, threatening to destroy the collection or vital installations in the system if approached. Over the next 600 years Chahipho apparently kept to itself, except for secretive trade with backgrounders and pirate collectors to acquire some new unique objects. In 7243 a major AI entity intervened — witnesses swear it was the top level intellect of the Market itself — and apparently gave Chahipho an ultimatum: release the collection and the information it encompassed, or be destroyed. The defeated Chahipho fled (according to persistent rumors onboard a backgrounder craft into the local Oort cloud, where it still remains). The collection was opened again, maintained by the Vast Endeavour board of xenohistorical business. To this day it is regarded as one of the finest and most complete xenological collections, containing many extremely rare artifacts and documents. Especially the vases of the Paulans are well represented.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 24 September 2001.