It’s been ages since I tried to tell the tale of our Order and how it came to be. I will start by saying, not all you see is all there is. We are like a mechanical bauble. On the surface, you see a pretty little trinket, but buried within are tiny cogs and cranks that make it function in fascinating and mysterious ways. Arte Factum is just that, a machine that appears to be something else. There isn’t much I can say to elaborate on that ideal, but I will tell you of our roots.
"Buried for millennium, hidden by the shaping of the soil. Things long forgotten or cast aside by the ignorant. Everything has its power.”
Before I ascended, I was a man of cloak and dagger. A creature who embraced the night. Nothing were finer than the feeling of completing a high value contract. I must have been but a teen when I started to accept jobs. In that line of work you meet folks, all sorts. I even made a few friends. Well, acquaintances that I knew wouldn’t run me through for fewer than a couple thousand platinum. Over time, we would trade contracts over a mug of ale or tea. Generally, there is no order amongst our types, but that’s when it all changed. A contract came through that no one wanted to touch. It just sounded fishy. Survival is very important when accepting a job. You always think, ‘Can I get this done and get away with all my skin? ‘ Well, I took the job and my peers knew I was crazy for it, too. The job wasn’t the normal assassination, but a retrieval. Usually, those are the easy jobs. Not this one. I had to take something from the most vile of places. The Sanctum Scholar’s Vault. A very well guarded vault, at that. Took me days of planning before I found the window of opportunity and before you knew it I was jumping through that window. *Haha* I had most of the Guardians in the damned city chasing me across that bridge. Longest damned bridge I ever did sprint over. Eventually, I lost them in the woods. Finding a safe place to regain my wits, I examined the item I was hired to retrieve. Unwrapping the small brass sphere was all but exciting. The only shock I felt was that someone was paying me to steal this chunk of worthless metal. It was time to meet the contractor, find out why this was so valuable.
I arrived at a tower. I won’t disclose the location, due to it’s relevance. There was books strown around and stacked in piles. Works from every great author and, from what I saw, some that were accused of being insane. -Though, these details aren’t important, they serve to help you understand the person who hired me.- I was growing ill at having not seen a soul in what looked like an abandoned study. In my anger I kicked a stack of books as I turned to find my way out of the dusty place. As if by summoning, a hooded figure peered around a corner. I knew it to be elf, by the ears jutting through slits sewn into the sides of the hood. Judging by the hue of the ears, it had to be Kelari. She introduced herself as Phren. I, to this day, still called her Great Scholar, though truly she is a dear friend. A long and extremely confusing conversation enlightened me to the true purpose of the sphere. It wasn’t a hunk of metal at all, but a powerful device used to amplify magicks that were channeled into it. My taste for these oddities grew. I frequently returned to the Great Scholar socially, to satisfy my curiosity and sate the craving she had opened within me.
Then… We ascended…
Perhaps, it was the artifacts that drew me to find her in this new world. Or better yet, we were chosen to find them. I am still very much of the shadows. She is still buried in her research, but there are more of us. Many more like minded. Many more who ‘collect’ these baubles. Other yet, who help us maintain our livelihood as mercenaries. Though, deep within us all.. is a treasure hunter!
Together we are an Order. Protectors. Preservers.