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Athenaeum

"Athenaeum? The weird monks always studying ancient nonsense? I don't know anything about them, except they living in really nice monasteries out in the middle of nowhere. Then a few of them show up to trade from time to time. They're well-spoken a curious folk, but they don't understand some things. For example, they seem to use magic without much worry, they speak of things that we would never even mention. They say they only pursue knowledge, but I'll admit that they seem a bit cultish to me. But, they aren't a violent cult, and they pay well. So, as long as they keep me out of their business, I'll leave them to it."   ~A trader's thoughts on Athenaeum members.

Structure

The Athenaeum is organized in a rather simple hierarchy, styled as an Academy or University, but does seem to have a monastic styling for many of its members. It is led by the Council of Four, of whom each is the Grand Archivist of one of the four main campuses of the organization. Below this are the Grand Magisters, who oversee various high level positions within the organization, such as a head librarian at the Athenaeum Voreios. Archivists tend to the Great Archives and work with its collections, while Magisters pursue research and knowledge in other areas. Baccalaureates and Adjuncts round out their ranks, being the general term for senior and junior members with non-leadership or specialized roles, respectively.

The Athenaeum also has the Order of the Strix under its banner. This organization answers to the Council of Four through the Commander Strigine, but tend to operate rather independently.

Culture

The culture of the Athenaeum encourages the pursuit of knowledge and general curiosity. There is a clear belief that knowledge is paramount to the survival of all sentient life within the world. The organization falls somewhere between an Academy and a Monastary in its styling. Teachers walk students through lectures and training, experiments and theories are tested and perfected, and studies of ancient artifacts can be found in any of their campuses at almost any time. At the same time, the members tend to stay within the campus walls and long

Public Agenda

Publicly, the Athenaeum promotes the Preservation of Knowledge from ancient ages. They house vast libraries and archives and allow those interested to study them from time to time. This mostly keeps them as odd recluses on the edge of civilization concentrating on their hoard of knowledge and lore, with some of the curious seeking them out if they are willing to endure the trip. They are well-known collectors as well, preserving art, history, and science to the best of their abilities. Almost any campus has qualities of a museum.

But more accurately, they are tasked with the protection and preservation of the Great Archives, a mystical and ancient archive within the Endless River that seals away powerful and dangerous artifacts that cannot (or should not) be destroyed. The true nature of the Archives is hidden from most people, however, with only the most trusted members of the organization knowing its real nature. To most, the Archives appear to be nothing more than mundane.

History

The Athenaeum is ancient. Likely it is more ancient than any other organization in the world, and until recently it has survived unscathed through nearly every conflict. Much of its history is shrouded in myth and legend to outsiders. Supposedly founded by the goddess Aethe during the War of the Heavens, the organization has been tasked with preserving history and knowledge. It is a living record of the world and its events and generally serves as a casual observer, standing at the sidelines of the world - though its Order of the Strix tends to have a more hands-on approach to preservation.

With the Burning of the Athenaeum Voreios, however, the organization was thrust into the spotlight for a time. Rumors of dark monsters being unleashed by the fires spread like wildfire, and the world view of the order became clouded with fear and distrust.

Preservation of Knowledge is Wisdom

Type
Educational, Society
Alternative Names
The Great Archives
Demonym
Archivists (most common, but inaccurate)
Leader
Leader Title
Subsidiary Organizations
Controlled Territories
Notable Members

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