THE ARCHIVIST

by Chris Cotgrove

A character for use in your SLA campaigns

Deep below Lower DownTown exists a region that does not appear on any SLA navigation guide; an uncharted realm buried for nearly 900 years. The sewers, tunnels, and old infrastructure of a forgotten age sprawl in organic, bizarre configurations, forming a vast maze. Areas of this place seem to defy physics, blurring together in insane configurations.

At some point in the distant past, a section of undetermined size was separated from the rest, and converted to the means of its sole occupant, in much the same way that Digger inhabits the ruin of Salvation Tower. Carrien, Carnivorous Pigs and the other beasts that dwell in the deeps of Mort have learned to instinctively avoid it, through repeated generations of slaughter. They leave it alone, leave its occupant to its singular task. The bodies of those who have not learned are left at the border to its territory for the others to drag away and feast upon.

The Archivist stands 7 feet tall, the majority of its form concealed beneath a long, flowing hooded robe. Its face is black, featureless, like a cross between ebony and blackened metal. Its hands have the same appearance, as do tendrils that emerge from beneath the robe to manipulate books or defend itself. Some have suggested it is an AI from the age of technology...or a hybrid being resulting from the fusion of Science Friction and biogenetic technologies; others have said it is the sole surviving member of a long-lost Conflict race, or a Dream Entity that has developed full sentience.

No-one knows what the Archivist actually is, and if anyone does, they are not telling. The few who even know of its existence do not speak of it in open conversation.  Whatever the true origin of this being, both Stigmartyr and Naga 7 know it exists, but both carefully leave it be. A handful of files locked down under SCL2.z D-Notice will state that the Archivist has been present on Mort since the dawn of the World of Progress, almost as long as SLA Industries has had its capital here, and that Lower DownTown was built over it. Only Platinum BPN's will ever direct Operatives to seek out the Archivist.

The Archive that it has built consists of miles of tunnels separated from the ancient sewers, drained and cleaned meticulously, kept pristine and ordered. Vaults of books, maps, manuscripts, papers and data cartridges line the walls, covering every kind of subject.  This record should be beyond the capacity of a single individual to maintain, yet it exists as a testimony to the immortal, unresting drive of the Archivist to gather and safeguard information.

The Archive has been visited by SLA Operatives, Stigmartyr agents, DarkNight Interceptors and White Earth Monitors over the centuries. Those who come here in search of esoteric knowledge can find it, at a price. They must bring information that the Archivist considers fair trade in exchange for what they seek.

There are rumours that the Archivist has an entire copy of Integration 20 held in its archive; but that for its own reasons, it chooses not to release it. Stigmartyr has done enough research - and lost many agents - to know that the Archivist's defenses are formidable indeed. 

QUOTES

'All information can be found here...if you are patient, or unwise.'

'Any secret can be uncovered, if you have no regard for the cost.'