The Argent Compact
Founding the Argent Compact
The history of Faerun is littered with ancient civilizations that have prospered for centuries before falling into chaos and distant memories. The causes of these collapses are many. Temporal wars between nation states, the rise of and promotion of disparate forms of government or belief, internal revolutions against evil or unjust rulers, ecological or magical disasters brought on from greed or thirst for knowledge and power, the diaspora of refugees from adjacent planes of existence seeking freedom, and diverse pantheons from adjacent planes seeking to gain power and dominance over the world of Faerun are just a few of the reasons for the fall of these ancient civilizations. With each collapse, knowledge and lore are lost under the rubble of time forcing civilization to crawl back out from centuries of darkness time and time again.
To help resolve small issues from growing into larger world wrecking disasters the idea of a place where nations could discuss their concerns and grievances with their neighbors was born. In DR 982, the Sun Elf Sage Uriel of Waterdeep conceived of a scholarly place in the City of Splendors where nations could send ambassadors and debate the merits of combining their strengths together to resolve problems that affected regions or the entire world.
Unfortunately even the long lived Uriel would never see his dream become reality. He spent a lifetime seeking allies to his cause as he traveled across the width and breadth of Faerun. While he gained many allies and sympathetic ears, Uriel died without any concrete progress towards his vision.
It was not until the Greater Planar Convergence in DR 1203 that the vision of Uriel would once again be resurrected. The Convergence rotated portions of entire continents out of this plane of existence and brought portions of worlds from other planes crashing into their place. These physical upheavals brought about chaotic weather patterns, blurred the once crisp lines between nations, and introduced new and varied races and beliefs to Faerun. In this chaos war spread like a torch tossed onto a dry field of grain. Pestilence, famine and death followed closely behind. Old allies shut their borders to one another and trade ground to a halt. Only one man realized that without a common vision Faerun was headed towards another Dark Age. That man was Aramil the Lionheart, a high ranking paladin of Torm.
Aramil used every ounce of his wisdom, oratory skill, and religious faith to debate, argue, beg, wheedle, and cajole in every capital across Faerun for nations to set down their swords and serve their people instead. Wherever there was a border dispute, Aramil was to be found negotiating a peaceful settlement where all sides felt they had gotten the better of the deal. The Lionheart and his followers moved across Faerun protecting weak peoples of all races from their panicked and superstitious neighbors. His students set up small clinics across Faerun to bring health to the sick and lame. Aramil recruited teachers to bring new inventions and farming techniques directly to the people. Because of these actions Aramil was beloved by almost all of the common people of Faerun.
Using this popularity and his influence in the courts of the nobility, Aramil called the first Argent Compact to order in Evermeet in DR 1220. Only nine countries responded to that first invitation to discuss the founding of a permanent organization devoted to Uriel’s vision.
Aramil knew that placing the home of the Argent Compact in any existing country would render it susceptible to charges of undue influence by their host country. Wanting the Argent Compact to be above even the implication of total neutrality, Aramil took possession of an uninhabited small island of 100 square miles that had been born in the Sea of Fallen Stars during the Planar Convergence. Major construction of Logoss the City of Whispers started in DR 1221 and was finally finished in DR 1269.
The Argent Senate was first seated in their permanent quarters in DR 1270, over 100 years ago. Since that time over 35 countries have joined the Argent Compact and many other nations, racial groups, religions, and trade/business organizations have official observers at the Senate building.
The goals of the Argent Compact are laudable and every member nation would give full public support for the Organization. Yet when it came time to actually create the Compact the charter was riddled with language that intentionally keeps the organization weak so that individual national goals are never threatened. While Aramil knew that this would keep the Compact from ever achieving its full potential, the need for a unifying force after the Convergence was so important he accepted what he could get. Even with these constraints the Argent Compact has done a tremendous amount of good across Faerun over the last 150 years.
Section I of the Compact’s charter spell out the main goals of the organization. They are,
- Respect the national sovereignty, political structures, culture and religious beliefs of the member nations.
- Provide a forum where member nations can discuss and resolve issues in a peaceful and ordered manner.
- Promote the idea of fair and balanced trade between nations.
- Collect and promote the dissemination of knowledge throughout Faerun.
- Identify and protect Faerun from internal and external threats by taking early action.
Organization of the Argent Compact
Uriel’s original idea was to have a place where individual nations could meet and discuss items of mutual interest in a civilized, if informal manner. This deliberative body became known as the Argent Senate. Aramil expanded the idea of the Argent Compact after seeing the damage wrought by the Convergence to include two additional components to the Argent Senate. He included a place to collect, store and protect knowledge and wisdom from being lost and the return of that knowledge back to the world after danger has passed. This organization became the Academy of Faerun. The final component was the creation of the Implere, a standing group of individuals designated to carry out the policies of the Senate and Academy.