Dawn of the Archive
Amongst the darkest hours of human history is the sacking of the Library at Alexandria. In 48 BCE, an army led by Julius Caesar burned the library to the ground, resulting in the epic loss of the knowledge within. It might have been a blow from which humanity never recovered, if not for a secret society of scholars and arcanists who seized the opportunity to save some of the most valuable and precious materials from the library’s collection.
The members of this secret society would eventually become the first Archivists of the Archive Arcanus. This passionate group of skilled men and women had already spent their lives preserving the world’s knowledge. They were not caught unaware by the dangers facing the Library and its contents. When the library began to burn, they sprang into action, gathering as many scrolls, manuscripts, and artifacts as they could, before fleeing from the ravaged city.
The destruction of the Library was proof that the Archive Arcanus was not safe residing solely in the physical realm. The Archivists knew they could not simply hide their precious cargo away in some remote location. Instead, they needed a place to hide it that was safe not only from the ravages of man, but of time and the elements as well. They needed an arcane solution to a mundane problem.
While pouring over the texts saved from the Library, Lyssandra of Cairo discovered a potential answer to their dire need: a complex ritual to open a stable portal to a multidimensional, liminal space. In this space, they had a place of pure potentiality, where anything was possible. It was in this space that they could build a true archive, outside the grasping hands of man as well as the depredations of nature.
The construction of the Archive Arcanus was a complex undertaking by the most knowledgeable of arcane minds. Though the challenge of creating the portal to their new home was great, the Archivists were equal to the task. The brave men and women who would become known as the founders of the Archive dedicated themselves to mastering the ancient arts, delving into forbidden texts and making pacts with powerful beings from beyond the veil in pursuit of their singular goal.
The years it took to prepare the space for the Archive weighed heavily on the Archivists, as with every passing month the threat to the knowledge they were trying to preserve grew greater. However, they were able to persevere and after many years of study and preparation, the portal to the Archive Arcanus was ready, and the physical structure inside the liminal space was complete.
They gathered together the sum total of their protected knowledge, and with a great concentration of magical energy, opened the portal to the newly constructed Archive Arcanus. As they stepped through the gateway, they could feel the very fabric of reality shift and warp around them as they left the physical world behind and stepped into something altogether new, strange, and wonderous.
For years, the Archivists worked tirelessly to organize and catalogue their collection, building shelves and racks to hold the countless scrolls, manuscripts, and books they had saved from destruction. They created wards and spells to protect their precious hoard from any who might seek to steal or destroy it.
As the Archive grew, the Archivists recruited trusted scholars and arcanists to the cause, ensuring that this vast storehouse of knowledge that lay just beyond the bounds of human perception would be accessible to generations of new arcanists to come. As word of the Archive spread, arcanists would come from far and wide to learn from the Archivists and to study the scrolls and ancient texts that lay within.
And so, the Archive Arcanus was born… a place of great learning and knowledge that has endured through the centuries. The Archivists passed their knowledge down through the generations, training new members in the ancient arts of magic and preservation. And as the world changed and evolved around them, the Archive remained a constant, a beacon of knowledge and wisdom that shone through the darkness.
Today, the Archive Arcanus remains hidden from the world, having evolved alongside, but apart from, the realms which it connects. In addition to several portals to multiple locations on Earth, there is the ancient Garden of Doors with portals that lead to destinations across many dimensions.
The Archive Arcanus exists just outside our perception, but for those who seek knowledge and understanding, it is a place of great value, a place where the secrets of the past are preserved for the benefit of the future and there is always an Archivist willing to unlock the magic… if one knows where to look.