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"Aureon's work was left half-done, and it's the harder half we're trying to do here.... What drives a rare few to the way of the paladin and lets them actually follow it? Why are certain rare spells selective? What secrets keep druidic magic relatively contained even when talented rangers can draw out some of the same answers? And what are the boundaries of 'faith'?"
    — Belgiwig Santor d'Sivis, Founder of the Korranberg Archive

During the Last War, while all eyes were on the front line, some scholars who preferred to stay out of the conflict used the distraction as an opportunity to begin trying to make as much scientific sense out of divine magic as arcane magic. Thus, to a lot of people, this controversial group claiming they could demystify miracles appeared to sprout up overnight...

The Archival Foundation is a society dedicated to studying divine magic as an academic discipline rather than a matter of religious faith. Its members seek to bring about a new magical renaissance in divine magic comparable to the development of the arcane sciences in Khorvaire. Through their collective research efforts, many of the underpinnings of divine magic are becoming clearer, and in the process many widespread religious beliefs are being challenged.

There's no particular alignment leaning among the Foundation members; it often just barely holds together through common cause. One is equally likely to encounter a follower of Aureon who sees this work as finishing what he started, a follower of the Blood of Vol who hopes to throw off the tyranny of gods once and for all, an Aereni elf who simply views this as a natural extension of what elves already suspected anyway, or perhaps a merely curious gnome.

The Archival Foundation often comes into confict with the more staunchly religious, especially the Church of the Silver Flame with its emphasis on the significance of miracles. The underground nature of the Archival Foundation during the Last War helped them to avoid both being drawn into the war and being devastated by some overzealous cleric or another before they were ready to stand up to such threats; however, given that their aims were ultimately of a public nature, they could not afford to remain obscure in the long term.

The Foundation's presence is mostly felt in urban areas; while they might make the Korranberg Chronicle every now and then, in more rural regions there may be many who haven't so much as heard of them, and fewer still who know what they are truly about.

As an element in campaigns, the Archival Foundation can be a source of heroes and villains alike, including those who may be both at the same time, as befits Eberron generally.

(Adapted from an RP exchange and an IRC conversation; The Archival Foundation represents [personal profile] pteryx's vision for how the Archivist class (source book: Heroes of Horror) would fit into the world of Eberron, though Foundation membership extends beyond those of said class.)

Further Explaining the Archival Foundation

Date: 2018-08-19 03:13 pm (UTC)
pteryx: A neutral sprite of Pteryx. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pteryx
It's been several years since I had the gushing session in which I explained the Archival Foundation to a friend that got processed into this entry (with the addition of a line of Althea's). In that time, some things about Keith Baker's viewpoints and society's understanding of religion and divinity in general have become clear to me. That understanding would seem to necessitate some clarification of the nature of the Archival Foundation — and how a collection of scholars who interact with divine spells in a superficially wizardly manner can still be divine casters instead of arcane.

If that link seems to contrast with the OP, it largely has to do with presentation. The fragments of conversation compiled here are, in a way, out of context. I hope my new entry makes that context clearer to those who normally think about religion in more mainstream ways.
Edited (Elaboration) Date: 2018-08-20 01:50 pm (UTC)


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Althea Tamochi d'Jorasco

June 2016

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