The Arcanum was brought into being at the birth of the new Kingdom of Arvanor. In the new settlement of Theopolis, arcanists who fled Khepnefera during Gaius Arvanor’s exodus came together to pool their knowledge and further their craft.
The arcanists wished to break away from the planar magic of Khepnefera, they felt that the ancient empire’s downfall would be caused by dealing with forces without sufficient knowledge. The Infinity Coil of Khepnefera wished to chain the whole of reality to the Sorcerer-Pharaoh, but took risks and made poor choices when working with immortals. The Arcanum would be founded as an institute for the study of magic and its effects, not as a tool for power hungry arcanists.
Soon after its inception, the Arcanum began its practice of including only arcanists of a studious demeanor. The Arcanum became an almost exclusive Wizards Guild. Sorcerers, Bards and Swordmages could apply for membership, but had to prove that they were serious about their studies.
As Arvanor grew, the Arcanum spread itself throughout the Empire except for the anti-arcane city of Calastan. Their policy of political and social neutrality meant that no Lord-Mayor or king would see them as a threat. However, the Arcanum itself varies in demeanor in the different countries of Arvanor. In the Gendeau countries (Elteare and Sarten), the local branch is known as the Academae.
The Arcanum sees its rival, the Prismatic Order, as an organization destined to fall to its own excesses. They see the lack of “proper study” in the Prismatic Order as a recipe for disaster, and they work to see that any magical items and lore find its way into Arcanum hands rather than the Order’s.
Back to Organizations