Tour Through Time
Keepers of the Athaneum
Mage Branch of Custos Gnaritas
Forget Fallen World governments and occult politics. Knowledge is power. Over time, mystic lore trumps worldly ambition. The members of the Keepers of the Athaneum believe their order to be the purest, because it shuns mundane power. These Mages prefer to seek pure magical knowledge. That doesn’t mean there aren’t influential mystagogues, as mages of this off-shoot of the Mysterium call themselves. The order does not dictate individual ambition, but members of the Mysterium seek out knowledge first. Power is the welcome side effect of holding the chief currency of the occult: sorcerous lore.
The stereotypical Keepers of the Athaneum cabal is a group of lonely sages minding mouldering grimoires and corroded Artifacts. There have certainly been occasions when this image rings true. Witch hunters and ignorance has, throughout history, forced the order to seclude itself, waiting centuries for human curiosity to defeat dogmatism. Old mystagogues still tend ancient library-fortresses, but the modern order is more adventurous. Today’s mystagogue is an archaeologist, cryptographer and master of riddles who scours ruins. He soothsays the layout of city streets and programming codes. But aside from these puzzles, enemies threaten the Mysterium. Ancient curses and cultist bullets try to keep the secrets of Atlantis submerged and mages ignorant, and must be dealt with. The modern order values its scholar-adventurers as much as its librarians.
The modern world is a storehouse of secret lore, waiting to be retrieved, catalogued and developed for the good of the Awakened. Keepers of the Athaneum mages travel to obscure corners of the globe to add what lies there to the sum of occult knowledge. The end game of these adventures is possible induction into the main body of the Custos Gnaritas.
Founded by Marduke, a being of many names, the Keepers of the Athaneum is a collective of Mages growing out of the Mysterium. Where the Mysterium primarily deals with other planes, the Keepers of the Athaneum support the cause of the Custos Gnaritas, which focuses on the Hisil.
In Atlantis, the Mysterium’s members were professors and librarians. Legends describe the Cenacle of Sighs, where mages could consult the ghosts of savants and vast libraries written in the tongues of fae, demons, angels and gods. The ancient order ventured into the hinterlands to learn the natural sciences and cull the innovations of barbarian states. These expeditions were almost as martial as they were scientific, because outlanders (and the night-horrors who often ruled them) feared and hated the Great City. The early mystagogues paid for their knowledge in blood, securing a place of honor in the city’s silver halls.
It is from this tremendous beginning that Marduke rose into a being of knowledge. Legend has it that it was through the ally of one of his vassals that the search in the Histil was formalized. Marduke, once satisfied of the trajectory of the Custos Gnaritas, became one of the cornerstones of its beginning days and from there the Keepers of Anthaneum were started so that Mages could take their rightful place in all levels of the Custos Gnaritas.