|Type||Pathfinder Society faction|
|Headquarters||Grand Lodge Vaults, Absalom|
|Goals||In Darkness Lies Enlightenment|
Source: Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, pg(s). 13-14 (v6.0)
- See also: Cheliax (faction)
- For another meaning of "Dark Archive (faction)", please see Dark Archive.
Chelish officials condemned Zarta, the former Cheliax faction leader, on false charges in 4713 AR. Because the accusation and punishment were largely off the record, there was little context for Cheliax to apologize, formally withdraw the charges, or invite Zarta to resume her duties as a liaison to the Pathfinder Society. Even Zarta's agents have not escaped blame entirely.
Since then, Zarta has worked from Korvosa to consolidate what remained of her faction, and to her surprise, the Pathfinder Society has extended a hand to help on multiple occasions. As a result, Zarta finds her professional relationship with the Society has grown stronger. As her agents stay busy recovering powerful artifacts and tomes that they might use to track down the faction's enemies and defend themselves against future betrayals, Zarta has corresponded with the Society's leaders to carve out a niche for her organization.
What resulted is a major victory for the faction, for Zarta has convinced the three Masters that she and her agents are uniquely suited to handle dangerous relics. Not only does this cover for the evil artifacts that the faction has recovered, but it has also earned an invitation to begin cataloging the vast array of perilous finds the Society has acquired and then promptly hidden away for later study. Zarta intends to accept the offer and found a dark archive, giving her faction access to untold numbers of forbidden texts and relics—purportedly to catalog and better understand these objects, but also as a backdoor for her agents to gain power from sinister sources.
Goals: In Darkness Lies Enlightenment
The Dark Archive must record, store, and research its library of hazardous objects. It also pursues ways to use these items to expand their influence, as well as alliances with similar groups.
Despite being estranged from Cheliax, the faction still values order and law. These are worthy end goals in their own right, and they are also potent mantras in maintaining a positive working relationship with the Pathfinder Society. Any betrayal of that trust must be a calculated one.