Library of Denlthor
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
The Library of Denlthor is a hidden library that works to build a collection of information about the various topics of Ansalon. This group of scholars researches information from all over the continent. The scholars of the library have dedicated themselves to recording history, science, and philosophy from an unbiased viewpoint.
The founding of the library occurred 31 PC when an Istar noble named Tolin Denlthor, received a vision from the god Gilean to open a place of learning. Denlthor's own private library had been confiscated by Knights of the Divine Hammer for containing scrolls that promoted the ideas of the gods of neutrality. Denlthor was forced to watch as the Knights burned the contents of his library.
Denlthor was a scholar of all the histories of Dragonlance and the knowledge that was lost when his library was destroyed affected him greatly. Denlthor traveled to Palanthas and visited the Great Library there, while he was in the library researching Denlthor was overcome by sleep. While he lay sleeping in the library Denlthor received a vision from Gilean showing him a cave in the Khalkist Mountains and in the cave was a book. The book was safe from a great wall of fire that was falling around it.
Traveling back to Istar, Denlthor announced publicly that he and a few other loyal scholars were returning to Palanthas to study. As the group prepared to depart Denlthor sold all his land holdings around the city and used the funds to purchase materials. The group traveled with Denlthor to the northwestern Khalkist Mountains where they located a cave opening.
The cave opening was large enough for a small wagon to enter and the scholars entered unsure of what they would find. Inside the cave was a series of caverns and in a central cavern, Denlthor found the book he had visioned. The contents of the book were read by Denlthor and a few chosen scholars which he called the Scribes.
Denlthor knew that his group of scholars would not be of much use in creating a library and he would set out to locate a group of travelers that could aid them. As Denlthor traveled to the west, he encountered a group of dwarven engineers, led by Tor Silverlight, who had received a vision of a great building project in the east. Denlthor quickly suggested that his vision of a library and the dwarven vision of a building project were indeed the same. Both groups then returned to the library where the dwarves quickly began to transform the cavern into living quarters and hid the cave opening behind a plug and screw gate.
As the scholars worked to record the history of the world prior to the Cataclysm, Denlthor understood a great issue. While the scholars were knowledgeable about the past, they knew nothing of the current happenings of the world. Denlthor then created the Watchers, members who would go out into the world to observe the current history and cultures.
Denlthor continued to expand the library and the dwarven engineers took up residences in the library as they worked to create an engineering section in the library. The scholars and the dwarves moved in their families prior to the Cataclysm and the library went largely unnoticed by outsiders. Denlthor did make contact with a few wizards and researchers that he felt he could trust and opened the library to them for a fee.
Following the Cataclysm the library was largely forgotten by the few that remembered it. Denlthor continued to gather the information of the outside world through the use of the Watchers and also created a new class of historians called the Researchers. The Researchers traveled across the continent in hopes of recording the past history before it was lost. Their task was made extremely difficult with the destruction of the libraries in Tarsis and Istar.
In 28 AC Denlthor died in his study as he was copying the History of Vinus Solamnus and the library fell to the hands of his eldest son. His son Tarl Denlthor continued the practices of his father and to silently record the events of the days as they unfolded. The library continued to grow during this time as Watchers and Researchers brought in information from all over Ansalon.
During much of the Age of Despair the Library of Denlthor stood forgotten by outsiders as its members continued to add to the literary collections. Also rare and wonderful artifacts were brought to the library and housed in the Room of Antiquities. The knowledge that the library contains is perhaps one of the most complete collections of history following the Cataclysm.
In the current age the library has become a focal point for a few people who have discovered it. The wizardry group of the Hawkstones have contracted the library to be used for research by several of their members. Also the library is close to discovering several lost sources of information including parts of the Library of Tarsis that were thought to be lost.
The scholars who work in the library believe that recording history is the most important thing to do in the world. They also believe that to record history you must witness things firsthand and do nothing to interfere. The preservation of knowledge and limiting the access to it is considered to be important.
The Library of Denlthor is a very organized group with a structured system of leadership. The Library Master oversees the activities of all the different groups in the library. The library is divided into three different orders, the Scribes, the Watchers, and the Researchers. Also living in the library are the descendents of the dwarven engineers who helped build the library. The dwarves still continue the construction and maintenance of the library and provide protection.
The Scribes oversee the copying of the materials and the preserving of ancient texts. They also are in charge of compiling information that is sent to the library from the Researchers and the Watchers. The Scribes have their own rank structure which is based on the levels of the library.
The Researchers are a group that travels out into Ansalon and tries to rediscover the lost histories of Ansalon. This group travels throughout much of Ansalon and is often found in major cities working with local scholars. There is no rank structure among the Researchers as they are all given tasks by the Library Master.
The Watchers are a group that oversees the current events of Ansalon. This group often travels throughout the continent and many times they follow specific personalities to learn more about them. Often times the Watchers take up residences in major cities and towns to record the events of these areas and send their notes and journals back to the library.
Areas of Influence
The Library of Denlthor is unknown throughout much of Ansalon and its members hold little influence in the area of politics. The Watchers, and the Researchers travel the countryside in hopes of gathering information to record and do not directly interfere with the events of the world.
Members of the Library of Denlthor follow the orders of the Master of the Book. The rest of the groups of the library follow various ways to determine rank within the group. The Scribes base rank on which level of the library they work on, while the Researchers and the Watchers base rank on the information they have gathered.
The Library of Denlthor has few allies that would often protection to the library in times of need. Instead of using allies, the library has a few patrons which for the most part have remained anonymous. These patrons pay fees to use parts of the libraries to conduct research.
The Hawkstones are the only group that has become affiliated with the library as they pay the library a lavish fee for the use of the facilities. This fee also ensures that the library asks only the basic questions an allows the members of the organization to use the library at any time.
The Library of Denlthor has few enemies that are known. These enemies include anyone who despise knowledge, destroy ancient sources of information, or those who attempt to steal from the library. Individual members of the library may have enemies.
Joining the Library of Denlthor
There are to ways to become a member of the Library of Denlthor. The first is to be a child of a current member of the library and the second way is to be admitted by a Researcher or a Watcher. If the second way is used, the candidate will be placed in a controlled environment and watched by the Master of the Book and his advisors. They will have the final say if they person is admitted.
Costs and Benefits of Membership
One of the costs of joining the group is that the members of the group are unable to tell others of the library. Scholars are restricted to living inside the library and rarely venture outside. Watchers and Researchers are often forced to continue to travel around the continent gathering information which leaves them little time for families.
The biggest benefit of joining the group is being able to observe history as it unfolds. The Watchers have observed some of the greatest moments in history. Using several methods this group has been able to record events as they unfold with great accuracy. The scholars of the library also have access to countless records of history following the Cataclysm.
The members of the Library of Denlthor have a variety of different classes. Most Scribes in the library are either experts or masters while the Watchers and Researchers have classes outside of those to help them survive. Several members of the library dabble in wizardry and a few have even become mystics.
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