Archeology Patrons!

THE ARCHMAGE - The Archmage had original claim to these ruins and is slightly irritated opened them up. He feels whatever is inside should be used for the betterment of the Empire, and will likely disseminate it throughout his bureaucracy to be studied in Horizon. It will likely be excluded from all other cities until he is satisfied - which could take a very, very long time - but he knows how to reward his champions, and will share whatever is learned with you. Should you choose the Archmage, your primary rival will be the Three; Drakkenhall's sorcerers have long been rivals to Horizon's wizards, and the Three are not interested in any potential supreme magic power finding it's way into mortal hands.

THE CRUSADER - The Crusader is entirely uninterested with magical trinkets and is merely offering his services as paid mercenaries to the highest bidder. He cannot be chosen as a patron, but that doesn't mean he won't get involved.

THE DIABOLIST - The Diabolist is entirely uninterested in these affairs and is not involved in this adventure, and thus cannot be chosen as a patron.

THE DWARF KING - The dwarven kingdoms were proudly independent - and staunchly magical - in the 4th Age, which means some artifacts there could be dwarven. More importantly, the Dwarf King claims right to all that exists below the ground, which includes the ruins. He will do as dwarves do, and will likely hoard whatever is found. You will be rewarded in gold and treasure, but will likely never hear of whatever it is you find again. Should you choose the Dwarf King, your primary rival will be the Elf Queen, who feels magic should be used to enrich the entire empire, not be locked away in an underground vault forever.

THE ELF QUEEN - "Elf" is synonymous with "magical" in many places for a reason. The elven kingdoms, much like the dwarven ones, were proudly independent in the 4th Age, and likewise believe there will be elven artifacts to be discovered. On top of that, as the oldest non-draconic sorcerer alive, the Elf Queen claims she knows best how to handle potentially dangerous magic. The Elf Queen will likely take a judicious eye to whatever is found, picking what should be displayed openly (things that make the elves look good and magic that can increase her influence), what should be kept privately, and what should be hidden away from all eyes - perhaps even her own. Should you choose the Elf Queen, your primary rival will be the High Druid, who remembers in her own way what sins the elves have committed when they have access to too much magic and too little control, and does not trust the Elf Queen to not screw this all up in a most horrifying manner.

THE EMPEROR - While not officially leased out by the Emperor himself, one of the wealthier nobles (the sort with a decidedly long lineage) is financing their own expedition. Anything discovered in the ruins will be put in any number of private galleries, so that high society can gasp at the barbarism of past ages and ooh at his magnificent collections. He will pay extraordinarily well for your services. Should you choose the Emperor, your primary rival will be the Dwarf King, who grows increasingly irritable at non-dwarves holding powerful magic that should be in his vaults and placing them in their own collections.

THE GREAT GOLD WYRM - The GGW will be interested if and when, and only if and when, the ruins turn out to contain an ancient unfathomable evil that most be smited; until then, he cannot be chosen as a patron.

THE HIGH DRUID - The High Druid is VERY interested in magic from the 4th Age - it was, after all, the 4th Age that proved magic's incorrigible nature and the horrors it could deliver on the kingdom as a whole. The 4th Age's history is to be learned from - but it's magic and artifacts are to be removed from existence to ensure they do not plague the Empire again, and the High Druid argues that only she knows the proper disposal methods. She is more then happy to trade power for power, not just to pay and reward you, but also to prove arcane magic is not needed. Should you choose the High Druid, your primary rival will be the Archmage, for somewhat hopefully obvious reasons.

THE ORC LORD - The Orc Lord is always interested in anything that can rain destruction on his enemies (everyone), and if he were around to see the Spellblaze, he probably would have called it beautiful. However, the offer is only open to Icons who are legally registered as members of the Empire, and while the Orc Lord may get involved, he cannot be chosen as a patron.

THE PRIESTESS - The Priestess thinks this whole thing is a silly distraction from the important things (praying to the gods) and has no interest whatsoever in arcane knowledge; she cannot be chosen as a patron.

THE PRINCE OF SHADOWS - It is all but guaranteed that the Prince of Shadows will get involved somehow, but he is about as non-legal of an entity as it gets, and cannot be chosen as a patron.

THE THREE - The Blue absolutely wants to grab more arcane power if at all possible, and the Black doesn't want any non-draconic Icon getting any more powerful then it already is. Similar to the Dwarf King, the Three will likely hoard whatever is found, though likewise similar to the Emperor and Elf Queen, the Blue will display anything that makes her look good, be it proof of how magnificent her hoard surely must be, or anything that makes the non-draconic races look foolish or poorly minded. Though dragons loath to remove things from their hoards, none know better then the Three (or at least, the Black and Blue) how important it can be to spend money to make money, and to spend artifacts to make artifacts. Should you choose the Three, your primary rival will be Emperor, as many nobles sneer at Drakkenhall and the haughtiness of the great dragons, and would love to put them a bit more firmly in their place.

THE LICH KING - Expect him.