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The Cobalt Soul is an order publicly dedicated to the search for and preservation of knowledge, making it as accessible to the public as possible, guided by the light of Ioun, The Knowing Mistress.[5][6] Their less-public mission is to use this accumulated knowledge against corruption and tyranny to ensure the freedom of all people. While their archives are available to everyone, the curators of the Cobalt Reserve privately determine what knowledge is too dangerous to be included — typically, information magical in nature or secrets that may be used against unjust leaders, cults, and any other antisocial factions.[7]

Most members of the Cobalt Soul do not consider themselves Ioun's zealous worshipers, but still pay homage to her in some form.[2]

Description[]

Cobalt Soul Seal from notebook

Symbol of Cobalt Soul on a Cobalt Journal.[art 2]

Some members of the Cobalt Soul are monks, while others are knowledge clerics of Ioun, bards, or fighters. Many folks are just standard researchers, caretakers, and historians.[8]

Ranks[]

  • High Curator: Those to whom all other members of their archive must ultimately answer.[7] The High Curator of Vasselheim and the High Curator of Rexxentrum (Yudala Fon) share dual and equal leadership over the entire structure of the Cobalt Soul.[9]
  • Curator: A small group of three to five curators manage the top-level operations of each archive.[7]
  • Expositor: Trained in the art of espionage, the expositors take on the duty of uncovering secrets and obscure knowledge. Their true mission is unknown to low-ranking monks, who see them simply as well-trained field agents,[7] but even among the lower ranks there are whispers about this secret order.[10] Expositors report only to their High Curator.[1]
  • Archivist: Charged with organizing the overwhelming flow of information from returning researching expeditions, training new monks, and performing administrative tasks within their local archive.[7]
  • Monk: A member of the library with the most visible public duties: searching out knowledge both modern and archaic, and aiding archivists with its preservation within an archive.[5] In the Ank'Harel library, any volunteer can perform a monk's duties, and are officially accepted into the order after about six months of probation.[4]
  • Order of mages: The members of this order within the Cobalt Soul are spellcasters.[11] They are very strict, Counterspelling any attempt by their apprentices to cast a spell if they consider that they do not meet all the theoretical and practical requirements.[12]

History[]

The Cobalt Soul was born in Wildemount, just after the Calamity.[2] Since the rise of the Dwendalian Empire there, the Cobalt Soul and the Cerberus Assembly have worked in an antagonistic lockstep for the better part of a century. They do not outwardly show aggression towards each other, but have maintained a series of checks and balances. Both sides have done what they can to curb the influence of the other and prevent the other from achieving internal goals that went against the needs and wants of their own faction. They also work together at times out of necessity, both publicly and behind the scenes. Sometimes they maintain a relationship of frustrated convenience, and at other times, a subversive antagonism.[13]

The Cobalt Soul has developed a relationship with the Revelry, and the Plank King is well aware of it.[14]

Around 833 PD a mage working for the Cobalt Soul was sent on a mission to the Shadowfell. While he was there he met a young shadar-kai, Prism Grimpoppy, who started helping him as much as she could, so when the mage was preparing to return to Exandria, he invited her to go back to the Cobalt Soul with him,[15] and she became an apprentice in the Cobalt Reserve of Emon.[16]

The Library has commissioned a large number of cobalt golems to guard their most restricted archives.[17]

Following the defeat of Uk'otoa in Misuthar 837 PD, Expositor Beauregard Lionett locked one of the three Cloven Crystals sealing the leviathan within the depths of the Cobalt Reserve in Westruun.[18]

At some point between 836 and 843 PD monks of the Cobalt Soul met an aeormaton, Frog, and trained her[19] in a temple in a snowy mountain, advising her to keep her inorganic nature secret whenever possible, for her own safety.[20] Eventually she left, adviced by her friend Delmy.[21]

During the apogee solstice of 843 PD the Cobalt Soul sent several agents, including apprentices, to gather information about people's experiences during this exceptional event.[22] They also had to deal with the disruption of several enchantments, which among other things deactivated the magical collar binding Trent Ikithon[23] and allowed him to successfully steal dangerous artifacts from the Archive of Rexxentrum.[24]

Locations[]

The Cobalt Soul operates several libraries, including the Cobalt Reserve in Westruun, the Cobalt Vault in Vasselheim[25], and several archives on the continent of Wildemount: the main archive in Rexxentrum, the Valley Archive of the Cobalt Soul in Zadash, and an archive in Port Damali.[26] These libraries are offered a degree of governmental protection.[27]

The Cobalt Soul also has a satellite archive in Ank'Harel in Marquet.[7][28]

The Cobalt Reserve in Westruun[]

A grand dome of blue, polished stone, the Cobalt Reserve is a well-fortified library in Westruun that is organized, overseen, and guarded by an order of monks in worship to The Knowing Mistress, goddess of knowledge, prophecy, and skill. The Reserve's collection of knowledge is so vast that individuals travel from all over the world to study here. A monk is assigned to every person that seeks entry, both as a guide and as a security escort, as Quian was assigned to Vox Machina during their quest to remove the proto-phylactery from Grog's torso.[29]

Known members[]

  • Greisalda Cassios, the High Curator of the Cobalt Reserve as of 836 PD. Half-dragonblood, half-human female with silver scales.[7]
  • Cressida Holt, an expositor of the Cobalt Reserve as of 836 PD. Orc nonbinary, slimmer than other orcs.[30]
  • Quian[29]
  • Jorum Irrelios, former High Curator of the Cobalt Reserve circa 547 PD[31]
  • "CS", an author of articles based on Beauregard Lionett's intelligence, with whom Zeenoth corresponds.[32]

The Cobalt Vault in Vasselheim[]

Some affluent individuals outside of the order were allowed to read books within the libraries but were carefully monitored to ensure that they did not remove any books.[33] The Curator of this Vasselheim branch, at the time of the events of Campaign Two, had dual leadership of the Cobalt Soul with the High Curator of Rexxentrum.[34]

Known members[]

The Valley Archive of the Cobalt Soul in Zadash[]

Built off of the western edge of the Pentamarket in the Innerstead Sprawl of Zadash,[38] this library is known to contain rare tomes and elaborate writings. It is maintained by the Cobalt Soul. Although open to the public under supervision, it has off-limits areas requiring special approval for access. After signing in, a monk is assigned as a watchful escort. Within the public areas, attendees can read and take notes on the materials within, though removing items from the library is strictly forbidden.[39]

Interior[]

The archive has a tall, tapering tower that curves at the top into a dome-like pinnacle. Flanking the sides of this tower are three smaller spires. The stonework of the main tower has a smooth, concrete-looking texture. In the morning sunlight, the tower shines brightly and reveals intricate carvings on the various tiers that spiral down the tower. The interior of this library consists of:[40]

  • Several curved staircases carved through the bookshelves, rising to different heights and connecting the higher levels of the library at various points.
  • Rooms usable for meetings or quiet research and study of the materials found within.
  • Subterranean training boxes with sand pits for sparring, as well as urban and wilderness obstacle courses.
  • Private and guarded teleportation circles to Rexxentrum, Port Damali, Tal'Dorei, and Vasselheim.[41]

Known members[]

Ioun Symbol, cobalt

Symbol of Ioun, the Knowing Mistress, with a cobalt blue backdrop

Rexxentrum Archive of the Cobalt Soul[]

One of the two headquarters of the Cobalt Soul, the other being in Vasselheim, this library is easily larger than the Zadash archive by fifty percent or more. There are multiple floors, with at least four full fifteen-foot high tiers visible from the interior, with many little pocket chambers. Walkways connect the tiers. In the basement are teleportation circles to Vasselheim, Westruun, Port Damali, and Zadash. In what is called the Vellum Basement is the master vault, which houses various potentially world-destroying artifacts.[54] The exterior is a beautiful cerulean building marked by four short multi-level domed towers of polished blue stone in the Tangles, a neighborhood in Rexxentrum.

Known members[]

Port Damali[]

An archive in Port Damali has a teleportation room that does not link to Vasselheim, unlike both Rexxentrum and Zadash.[64]

Temple of the Mentor in Ank'Harel[]

The Ank'Harel branch of the Cobalt Soul was founded around 686 PD,[65] combining a vast library and a temple to Ioun. The local archivists are preoccupied with eradicating factions that they consider evil, particularly the Consortium of the Vermilion Dream, which uses weapons made out of a suspicious material called ruidium. Members of the archive are concerned about the Allegiance of Allsight's fascination with Cael Morrow but cooperate with them out of shared ideals and goals.[4]

Known members[]

Yios Library of the Cobalt Soul[]

The Library is located on the Dominion Ring in Yios, Aeshanadoor.[68]

The Cobalt Reserve in Emon[]

This library was created at some point before 833 PD in the city of Emon.[69][70]

Known members[]

Personnel at unspecified locations[]

Trivia[]

  • The Cobalt Soul trains several Inquisitive rogues due to their abilities.[74] They also train scribe wizards for the same reason, giving them a practical use even as apprentices, although not fully trusting them with certain spells (such as Sending), and even providing them with chaperones when necessary.[75]
  • A popular fan theory that Marisha Ray likes is that eventually the orb that Patia Por'co sent to Maya (Cerrit Agrupnin's daughter) containing all the knowledge of Avalir would have helped creating the Cobalt Reserve, with Cerrit's job influencing the work that future expositors would have to do.[76]
  • As of 836 PD Jamil A'alithiya is, at 29 years old, the youngest high curator in the history of this institution.[66] However, since it is not specified how long he has been high curator, it is unknown if the record age for obtaining the position is 29 or younger.
Seth Domade by pancakesprince

Fan art of Essek as "Seth Domade", by pancakesprince.[art 3]

  • In 843 PD Essek Thelyss was acting as an ally of the Exandrian Accord, but using a magical disguise and pretending to be Archivist Seth Domade of the Cobalt Soul.[77] He has worked with members of the Cobalt Soul and with Beauregard as this new persona,[78] but it is unknown if he is an official archivist, or how much the Cobalt Soul knows about his past.
  • In the past there was some contact between Arkhan the Cruel and archivists of the Cobalt Soul, but everything about the champion of Tiamat was shrouded in mystery and secrecy. At some point before 911 PD the Cobalt Reserve outright prohibited any formal study of this figure.[79]
  • Apparently this institution still exists as of 911 PD and treats the adventures of Vox Machina as historical events. An already retired Uvenda of the Water Ashari, by then a tale-teller for her people, is visited in Vesrah by researchers of the Cobalt Soul interested in clarifying details about Keyleth's Aramenté.[80]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 52.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 58.
  3. See Matt Mercer's clarification on Twitter.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 88.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, pp. 58–59.
  6. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:38:23.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 59.
  8. See Matt Mercer's clarification on Twitter.
  9. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:57:50.
  10. See "Disparate Pieces" (2x04) at 2:18:19.
  11. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) at 3:33:30.
  12. See "A Long Walk of Reflection" (3x62) at 0:19:19.
  13. See "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 4:06:16.
  14. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 216.
  15. See "A Long Walk of Reflection" (3x62) at 1:25:20.
  16. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) from 1:46:10 through 1:59:56.
  17. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 239.
  18. See "The Mighty Nein Reunited Part 2" (Sx74) at 5:08:44.
  19. See "The Bog House" (RTx02).
  20. See "The Frozen Puppet" (RTx03).
  21. See "The Lost Light" (RTx08).
  22. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) at 1:51:43.
  23. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 3:06:34.  When the Mighty Nein encountered him, the inactive collar was still around his throat.
  24. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 2:21:12.
  25. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) from 1:38:20 through 1:38:57.
  26. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) from 1:22:33 through 1:22:52.
  27. See "Talks Machina: Campaign Wrap-up" (Sx31) at 0:33:14.
  28. See "Chasing Nightmares" (3x11) at 3:34:02.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Information about Quian was imported from Matthew Mercer's Vox Machina Wiki article, "Quian".
  30. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 60.
  31. See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 201.
  32. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, pp. 148 and 247. May also be an abbreviation of "Cobalt Soul".
  33. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) from 1:47:11 through 1:47:45.
  34. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:57:50.  However, in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 53, it states that the second High Curator is located in Zadash rather than Vasselheim.
  35. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:43:55.
  36. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:50:45.
  37. See "Voice of the Tempest" (1x90) at 1:50:45.
  38. See "Curious Beginnings" (2x01) from 1:22:33 through 1:22:52.
  39. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:49:48.
  40. See "A Favor in Kind" (2x16) at 3:33:54.
  41. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:27:00.
  42. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:35:47.
  43. See "Manifold Morals" (2x74) at 1:36:24.
  44. See "Family Shatters" (2x96) from 3:50:22 through 3:52:12.
  45. According to Zeenoth. See The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 152.
  46. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 2:26:17.
  47. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:50:34.
  48. See "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 3:28:38.
  49. See "Disparate Pieces" (2x04) at 1:03:48.
  50. See "Harvest Close" (2x17) at 1:50:34.
  51. See "Disparate Pieces" (2x04) at 2:18:19.
  52. See "A Walk to Warmer Welcomes" (2x124) at 1:23:04.
  53. See "Commerce & Chaos" (2x31) at 1:22:38.
  54. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:37:05.
  55. See "The Threads Converge" (2x85) at 3:57:50.  However, in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 53, it states that the second High Curator is located in Zadash rather than Vasselheim.
  56. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 53.
  57. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:42:04.
  58. See "Bathhouses and Bastions" (2x90) at 1:09:01.
  59. See Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, p. 37.
  60. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:35:11.
  61. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:38:37.
  62. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:39:27.
  63. See "The Mighty Nein Reunion: Echoes of the Solstice" (Sx79) at 1:40:10.  Aggy is described by Volither as "an old friend" and investigator that he sent in, but it is unclear if Aggy is a member of the Soul or not.
  64. See "Between the Lines" (2x78) at 3:43:17.
  65. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 88. "nearly 150 years ago"
  66. 66.0 66.1 See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 83.
  67. See Call of the Netherdeep, p. 112.
  68. See "The City of Flowing Light" (3x42) at 3:41:05.
  69. 69.0 69.1 See Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Reborn, p. 13.
  70. See "Faith or Famine" (3x60) at 0:20:28.  Prism has been studying in the library for ten years. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) at 2:00:00.
  71. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) at 1:50:14.
  72. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 182.
  73. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Mighty Nein, p. 193.
  74. See "4-Sided Dive: Fly Into The Danger Zone" (4SDx03) at 1:05:28.
  75. See "Somewhere Out There" (3x59) at 3:39:13.
  76. See "Exandria Unlimited: Calamity Wrap Up" (Sx70) at 1:40:57.
  77. See "Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94) at 2:44:30.
  78. See "4-Sided Dive: Swordgate" (4SDx24) at 1:36:16.
  79. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 202.
  80. The Chronicles of Exandria - The Legend of Vox Machina Volume II, p. 60.

Art:

  1. Symbol of the Cobalt Soul, by Claudio Pozas (source). Used with permission.
  2. Symbol of Cobalt Soul on a Cobalt Journal (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  3. Fan art of Essek as "Seth Domade", by pancakesprince (source). Used with permission.
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