Melchor turned his head slightly but didn’t take his eyes off Garovel. “I have never heard that.”
‘Well, it’s not something they like to advertise,’ said Garovel. ‘And there are a lot of “unofficial” Archivers out there who muddy the waters a bit. Which isn’t to say that the unofficial guys are doing a bad job, necessarily. I just mean that there’s some confusion involved, as well as some ego and obsession.’
“How do you know so much about it?” said Melchor.
Garovel paused. He glanced at Hector. ‘Because I used to be one of the Prime Archivers.’
And if he was being completely honest, Hector still didn’t quite follow all this talk about official and unofficial Archivers, but even so, that particular revelation was surprising enough to make him stare.
Melchor and Orric were briefly silent as well, until Orric asked, ‘How long ago was this?’
‘...About fourteen hundred years,’ said Garovel.
‘And are we to assume that number is a coincidence?’
‘No. I had a falling out with them over their increasing sense of elitism and, in my view, cruelty. But I think if you asked them about it, they would argue that I simply lacked their vision and/or practicality.’
‘And you are saying that they have not allowed any new members since you left their ranks?’
‘Yeah. But it wasn’t just me. My sister and two others were part of the exodus as well.’
“Was there a particular event that caused you all to leave?” said Melchor.
‘Yes. The rift between us and them had been building for a long time, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was a new set of rules regarding the treatment of our servants. You see, in order to actually write anything down and keep records, we of course required servants for that physical labor. But keeping servants also meant that our neutrality was not protected under the Old Law. And that was a problem.’