This painting is of the city of Ark Mount, the holiest place of the Archivist faith. The city has a long history, going back before the Thousand Year Summer, when it was constructed by the Ancient Wise Ones to serve as a fortified sanctuary of knowledge among the shrouds of ignorance which engulfed the world.
In the distant past, the Wise Ones decided to build their Ark high in the mountains of Kolyrado, after failing to convince the Ancient Princes of their mistreatment of the world. These early founders of Archivism hollowed out an entire mountain and constructed great libraries and halls within its safe confines. Outside the unrelentless bombardment of the sun’s rays transformed the world into an inhospitable wasteland. The Archivists were sheltered from this intense and poisonous light for over a millennium within the dark corridors of their safe haven, and generation after generation of them lived and died within the Ark without ever seeing sunlight.
But Mother nature granted mercy to the world after the long summer finally ended, and she reclaimed her world. The first rains in a millennium fell, and trees and wildlife bloomed across the overgrown ruins of great ancient monuments and boulevards; the crumbling landmarks of man’s past arrogance. The leader of the Ark, known as the High Priest, then determined that it was safe to unseal the Ark for the first time in one thousand years, and the blinding light of the outside world shined upon the dumbfounded Archivists.
They entered a new world, so obviously different than the one the Wise Ones knew so long before them. Below them was the ruins of the ancient resort town known as Aspen, whose great palaces were now covered by a sea of pines. Led by their High Priest the Archivists began to settle the valleys of the mostly depopulated mountains of Kolyrado. On the slopes outside their Ark they carved new houses and passageways deep into the sides of the mountain, creating their new capitol, Ark Mount.
As the High Priest sent groups of his people to the surrounding valleys, new towns were formed, and Ark Mount continued to grow from a small village into a fortified city. A great temple was built at the top of the mountain, sheltering the entrance to the sacred Ark which lay below it. Ramparts were carved into the edges of the mountain to protect the Archivists from the vicious outsiders who often invaded them.
In fact, the Archivists strange ways and reverence of the written word frightened their neighbors, who believed the wisdom of the ancients to be in line with the sorcery which they believed destroyed the world. They now worshipped strange deities constructed upon myths and distortions of the distant past, which was now shrouded with mythology to them. They saw the Archivists and their claims of righteous wisdom as arrogant and conceited, and harassed them at any chance they were given.
In turn, the Archivists viewed their neighbors as uneducated and primitive, labelling them “Dunces”. Due to their constant fear of attack by them, they forbade any of their own to marry of associate with these outsiders. But the Archivists had one major advantage over their rivals, their understanding of the various sciences and philosophies of the past.