IntroductionKarenth is rife with ruins, old magics, artifacts, and relics of long past civilizations. The Order of Eight is not the only organization interested in the past and its treasures, and not everyone agrees with the motives of the Order. The Reliquaria, the Archivists, and the Relic Chasers formed an agreement long ago to work together to fight against the Order of Eight. They do this by hunting for artifacts, relics, and areas of interest, studying and cataloging the finds, using useful items, and selling good art items to wealthy patrons funding the three groups. The funding also allows the building of parties capable of studying the Order itself, and trying to infiltrate its ranks. The groups by themselves are not an army, but they have the money to fund one for a short time if they ever needed. A cold war brews between the Order of Eight and the Reliquaria. The Reliquaria and its alliance with the Archivists and the Relic Chasers have proven themselves a worthy opponent to the well funded and well organized Order of Eight.
The Cold WarThe members of the Artifact Agreement has been at war with the Order of Eight since the inception of the various member parties. It was several years before the Order realized there were others searching for the same resources and knowledge they were. It took several more years before there were any interations between the two groups. While small skirmishes between adventuring parties or groups occur from time to time, outright conflict is rare. The Order still does not understand the motivations of the scholars. From time to time the Reliquaria attempts to get within the Order of Eight, and has succeed a few times getting agents within the various echelons of the Order, but has yet to get a senior member in place. Spies provide most of the intel, although the Reliquaria has also found a few scrying devices which have been beneficial to their cause. In turn, the Order has been actively hunting for the various groups within the Artifact Agreement. The Order currently has two spies within the Reliquaria, with one of them also being an Archivist.
The Artifact Agreement is a tight confederation of the three groups, the Reliquaria, the Archivists, and the Relic Chasers. Members often cross boundaries of membership and several individuals have memberships to two and even three of these organizaions. The Reliquaria is the predominant member of the three, often coordinating activities. They study the artifacts found by the adventuresome Relic Chasers. The Reliquaria is mostly interested in items with magical, psychic, and supernatural powers. They also commission Relic Chasers to find specific items, leading them to the general vicinity where the items are believed to exist. In turn, the artifacts and relics are passed onto the Archivists for storage, deeper or continuing study, and for determining if the artifact correlate to lore or other objects. The Archivists catalog finds, and determine which items can be sold to help fund the three groups. The Relic Chasers in turn have a place where they can always sell their finds as the Reliquaria is happy to pay for what is found.
The Artifact Agreement alliance is not written down, but a word of mouth, and understood agreement between the three parites. Each does their part, and in turn, all of their goals are met. The Reliquarium gets magic items and objects they want, the Archivists get to study and write about the past, and the Relic Chasers get money and adventure. As time has progressed, and membership among the three groups increases, the lines between an alliance, and a singular entity have blurred substantially leading the few outsiders who know of the alliance to believe it is one faction.
The members of the Artifact Agreement are very secretive of their existance. While the Relic Chasers have more visibility to the pulic than the other two groups, their membership as such is a closely guarded topic. Normally they appear as adventurers looking for loot. The Reliquarium and the Archivists on the other hand stay completely in the shadows.
Numerous warehouses are stored across the known world, usually in old buried buildings of long lost peoples. Finding these warehouses is nearly impossible as they often have addition illusionary effects placed on the surrounding area to detour the curious. The wealth of the Reliquaria and the Archivists is so vast that it would not be easily calculated, however much of this is in the form of old magics of interest to both parties.
At one point each organization of the three was doing the work of all three, and they were competing with one another. Eventually they got together, restructured, moving their members around, and got to work as a single working system. Many of the past founding members were senior members of the Order of Eight disturbed by the finding that the Order was using the Displaced as workhorses of their own agenda. They agreed to go after the items the Order desired in order to stop the progress of the Order. The Order does not know the exact nature of their enemy, the members of the Artifact Agreement. However, they do know that their are a few organizations which are actively working against them.
Balloon and Hand image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay.