Order of Priori Historicus
This is a semi-secret society. It is invitation only, as only two members can confirm membership on another. Each city or region has one “circle”. Only a few members in a given circle actually have contact with other circles.
The Order is about the past. It is a collection of people who love history, ancient times, and artifacts of the past. Only people who are really interested in past should be members. A passing interest is not enough. Thus the membership is normally filled by members of Scholars, Merchants, High Ranking Clerics, and Nobles (who have the money and leisure time). The occasional “dashing adventurer” might be a member, retreiving artifacts and going out to the field.
The members get together periodically and swap/sell information, artifacts, and theories. Members occasionally send other members “letters” that contain certain scholarly thoughts. This is how information is often transfered between Circles. While many of these are sent in plain language, many intricate codes from the past or ancient langauges are used to send information in letters.
Certain members will go and hire people to retreive items or locate certain places or images. They will hire ruffians to escort people so they can take rubbings or make drawings of ancient places.
Educated people (or courtiers) are aware of its existance. The secret society nature of the group is there mostly to make the members feel important. However, since parts of the past are touchy subjects for some regimes and religions, the group keeps a very, very low profile.
The group does not seem to be much more than a bunch of dillitantes interested in history and artifacts.
But unknown to most, it is so much more
Buried deep inside the group are even more hidden groups. These Cabals are not even aware of each other. They all use the organization as a cover for them. They recruit members from the main organization. Those who were good at using the mock secrecy of the organization can be recruited to the more secret group. The secret cabals use secret signs and codes and even more clandestine meetings to follow their agendas.
Secret Cabal 1: Gywarian
This is the cell that deals with precious and important historical artifacts. More than items of gold and silver or magic, they deal with items of great importance as well. These are the people who buy and sell the Cup of Divinity, the Founding Seal of The Kingdom, The Crown Jewels, The first scroll of the Mage Guild Founder, and other things. These items are the basis for powerful groups. They would do anything to regain them (or know of their continued existance). Owners of said items can often influence these groups, blackmailing them with the item’s well being.
Secret Cabal 2: Sleywaopti “Clear Eyes”.
These are the recorders of true history. History is often so much more than what is generally known. The true reasons behind certain events are generally unknown, except to the Clear Eyes. More than catching general historical events, this group goes beyond. They talk with Dragons, interact with Liches, deal with demons, negotiate with Orbs of Corvus, send agents into rebellions, other secret groups, and even the Gywarian to watch and record what they do. The Clear Eyes are only watchers. They never interfere, nor get involved. To do so would invite someone to eventually attack and destroy them.
Note this Cabal is aware of all the others
Secret Cabal 3: DeSangre “Watchers of the Great Blood”.
This groups follows the bloodlines of the Great King. Supposedly the Great King died without every touching a woman. The DeSangre knows this not to be true. He had an heir. Since it was unsafe to reveal this knowledge in the early years, the DeSangre watched over the child who did not know how special he was. Generations later, there are many who have “The Blood”. They can seize the Great Throne, empty for centuries. They can utilize the Powers of the Great King, by claiming The Sword and Cup. When the time is right, the DeSangre will lead a descendent to take up the Great King’s role. Until that time, the DeSangre watch and protect those of The Blood.