SoS:Guild: Antiquarian Circle

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"We seek the truth above all else. Written histories rarely give an honest accounting of the past. So, we go straight to the source—relics, curios, even ancient bric-a-brac. Anything that can teach us more about the myriad cultures of Tamriel."

―Verita Numida, Antiquarian Circle Member

An independent department within the respected University of Gwylim belongs to Tamriel’s most organized historians, treasure hunters, and loremasters. This branch of researchers call themselves the Antiquarian Circle and can be found all over Tamriel, both unearthing and learning to understand the past. The Antiquarians value neutrality and wish for little more than to conduct their fieldwork in peace, staying far from political conflict. Anywhere tombs, crypts, and ruins can be found, the Antiquarian Circle is likely to be found as well. They stake their claims in whatever historical sites they deem interesting enough to explore. The more adventurous among the Antiquarians are usually the first to delve through the dangerous dungeons, sealed by time, to secure their forsaken halls. Afterwards, the way is made clear for other archaeologists and excavators to locate and learn from whatever relics were lost within. Their main goal is straightforward: to conserve and to study.

The Antiquarians won’t allow for just anyone to join their ranks, especially considering the years of study required to further the conservation of historical scripts and artifacts. While the intricate aspects of this line of work might not be suited for everyone, adventurers and mercenaries are always in high demand. The Antiquarians prefer a diverse base of associates to nurture a wide array of perspectives on history. While their main hub is located at the Gwylim University, multiple chapters can be found throughout the Tamrielic provinces. More recent reports on the Antiquarian Circle describe a decrease in central coordination, allowing parts of the Circle to manifest within local governments, guilds, or independently.'

Antiquarians in your Game

Often associated with excavations and expeditions, the Antiquarian Circle will, through use of their wide range of connections, be among the first to set foot within newly uncovered dungeons. They seek to conserve and study newly discovered relics and artifacts, disallowing looters from filling their pockets. Through advertisements, the Circle might call upon the aid of adventurers to follow up on new leads or to assist on existing missions.

While the Mages Guild is known to forward magical services towards the public, the Antiquarian Circle seeks to do so through knowledge. There are countless books written to educate the people of Tamriel and the Circle is also known to act as an advisory organ for local rulers on the subject of history. The Antiquarian Circle doesn't necessarily concern itself exclusively with the magical world, contrary to the Mages Guild, but seeks to gain insight in scriptures and architecture as well. As a member of the Antiquarian Circle, it is your duty to preserve the past through wisdom and will. There will be many forces that seek to abuse the powers that reside within the various caves and ruins of Tamriel, but the Circle upholds the task of safekeeping such power. Sometimes, the claim on potential excavation sites is challenged by authorities, but that shouldn't hold back the pursuit of scholarly traditions. Many dangers lurk between you and your next discovery, but your findings are set to educate others for generations to come.

Antiquarian Characters

A character that wishes to join the Antiquarian Circle is expected to be erudite and have passion for the past. Anyone who is studious and seeks to uncover the mysteries of the Mundus might be a good fit for the Circle. Not only does the Circle benefit from researchers, but also from those who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of discovery. Mercenaries are often invited on expeditions to offer protection to those who are unable to defend themselves. Scholars and treasure hunters will find the Antiquarian Circle to be a powerful and resourceful ally, allowing for the tools necessary to better understand the magical and material history.

Antiquarian Perks

As a member of the Antiquarian Circle, you gain the following perks.
Equipment. Each member of the Antiquarian Circle has their own excavation set dedicated to unearthing buried treasure, complete with a shovel, firm brush, linen wrappings, charcoal, etc. Additionally, you have a set of hooded robes bearing the emblem of the Antiquarian Circle, a lorebook of your choice and a padded bag for safely transporting fragile artifacts.
Food and Lodgings. You can eat and stay at any chapter or outpost belonging to the Antiquarian Circle. The food and rooms are comparable to modest meals and inns.
Proficiencies. Each member of the Antiquarian Circle gains proficiency in the History skill, if the character doesn’t already have it.
Services of the Circle. Because of your association with the Antiquarian Circle, you receive a discount on any guild service you wish to acquire. Upon displaying a token of your membership with the Circle, you can also gain access to libraries or sites that would otherwise be off limits.

Antiquarian Allies

Within the Antiquarian Circle, one will find a hierarchy based on accomplishments and scholarly achievements. There are no written rules on leadership, but members tend to greatly respect those who have proven themselves an asset to the Circle. Roll or pick from the examples shown on the Antiquarian Allies table, or use them as a guide to create your own. These could be main contacts that hand out missions to the adventuring party, fellow adventurers, or low ranking comrades.

Antiquarian Allies
d6 Description
1 Intern. A new member of the Circle who is looking to prove themselves through great effort. Sometimes, they are a little too eager to make a career among the other antiquarian’s, often getting themselves into trouble. This figure will ask anyone for their aid in helping them get out of trouble again. Is nervous and shifty.
2 Diplomat. A member who is specialized in interacting with local rulers to get access to new dig sites and ruins. Has a lot of experience in social interaction, but knows very little about doing research. This person will come off as overconfident but ignorant and is often clueless about scholarly traditions.
3 Teacher. A condescending educator, apt at conveying their extensive knowledge to others.

They are found teaching others about history, but come off as harsh towards those who disappoint them with their lack of knowledge. Quite stern and antisocial at times.

4 Curator. Overly enthusiastic and eager at every new finding to categorize. Knows something about everything and is extremely motivated to learn new things. They are enthusiastic about members performing well within the Circle. Loves to give hugs.
5 Mercenary. Professional and practical. Very much despises the Circle’s habit of endless theoretical discussion and wishes to go on an expedition. An adrenaline junkie that is secretly scared of Ayleid ruins. Deep down, they are really fascinated by science.
6 Celebrated Scholar. This individual is very helpful during research and their word is greatly respected among the others. They have achieved incredible feats within the Circle and have a profound knowledge of a specific field of study. Will do everything in their power to aid new members in preserving history. They may look frail in their wheelchair, but their mind is unmatched.

NOTABLE ALLY

Curator Gerard is among the oldest members of the Skyrim chapter of the Antiquarian Circle, located in Solitude. He is a jovial Altmer with little sympathy for his Thalmor kin. He serves as the chapter’s curator, categorizing and displaying the findings of the Circle. He is very apt at recalling historic information and can roughly identify almost any item directly upon inspection. He fears for the long-term survival of the Circle as it is and thinks that political forces might attempt to corrupt the objective conservation of history. Gerard was witness to book burnings by the Thalmor in order to solidify their power. Divided and decentralized as the Circle currently is, Gerard is afraid they will not be able to stand against such despicable actions. Gerard attempts to utilize his allies to cement a sustainable partnership between all chapters of the Antiquarian Circle, hoping for a strong centralized force that is ready to combat the changing world. Gerard is a very tender-hearted old Mer and wishes nothing but the best for the younger generations, but their stubbornness and individualism vex him endlessly. Gerard might be able to lash out to those who fail to respect history and handle relics carelessly, but deep down he means well. He has an unexplainable appetite for Skyrim’s sweetrolls, hence the reason why he is stationed here. He seldom talks about his wife, who was executed by the Thalmor. Their shared dream was to build a museum.

Antiquarian Quests

Your work with the Antiquarian Circle revolves around locating and securing relics of the past. You are bound to go on expeditions and travel to dangerous places to discover and research historical artifacts. Any discovered artifacts must be brought back to a Circle chapter or outpost in order to be categorized and studied. The Antiquarian Quests table provides a few ideas and examples of the type of work you might do for the Circle.

Antiquarian Quests
d6 Description
1 A Smuggler’s Secret. An old Dunmeri smuggler is locked up inside Windhelm prison. If you bring him a bottle of shein, he’ll tell you about his old smuggling routes, pointing you toward an intricate cave system within the Velothi mountains. He warns you about the dangers

lurking in the deepest parts of the cave system.

2 An Impractical Collector. A highly sought-after relic has fallen into the possession of an eccentric noble who plans on destroying it for pleasure. Although the noble seemingly does not wish to part with the item, the Circle wishes to

secure it.

3 The Missing Mission. A group of excavators has gone missing after following up on a lead in the Dragontail Mountains. They were well-guarded and the Circle does not wish to share more details than necessary concerning the mission they were sent on. Someone needs to save these people and complete the mission.
4 A Jealous Jarl. The Jarl of Falkreath has hired the Circle to investigate a Nordic ruin on the border with Whiterun Hold, hoping to flaunt whatever is found within. However, the Jarl of Whiterun is also interested in uncovering the mysteries and has sent a rival group.
5 The Turbulent Thesis. A senior member of the Circle wishes to complete an important thesis on Ayleid history. They invite you to follow up on rumors about an undiscovered Ayleid ruin in Skyrim after a little girl in Dawnstar was seen carrying a welkynd stone, raising questions as to where she found it.
6 Prowlers in Prison. Two interns of the Circle have been convicted as thieves after excavating a dig site near Solitude. They accidentally unearthed the stolen pendant of the High King’s advisor. The interns have been thrown in jail and may be scheduled for execution if you don’t intervene.