Ad Astra Per Arcana
Great Library of Greyhawk
The front of this building, facing the Processional, is a grand sweep of granite walls and tall columns. Three wide stairs lead to a pair of massive front doors, suitable for a castle or fortress.
The building beyond the facade is not so grand, but its true worth lies in the treasures kept within its wall. And indeed, the Great Library of Greyhawk is repository for more volumes than are gathered in one place anywhere else in the Flanaess.
The library is unlocked during the hours of daylight, and all free citizens of the city as well as foreigners are welcome to enter the library and browse through its cool, musty halls. Silence is expected of all visitors, and weapons and armor are not permitted.
Any visitor is welcome to peruse the volumes in the six public halls in the front of the buildings. Only those who are Contributing Members of the library board can remove these volumes, up to three at a time. Contributing Members must donate at least 100 gp annually to the library in order to maintain membership status.
Contributing Membership is often granted by sponsorship. For example, a rich merchant or powerful noble or businessman might not be a member, he will certainly make sure to purchase a Contributing Membership for his scribe.
The high desk of Gratius Saghast (NPC), head librarian, sits upon a raised platform inside the front door. Gratius is always found here. He is crusty and irascible, but a sage of great repute. He shares his knowledge (including simple directions on the library’s contents) only reluctantly, though the flattery of a pretty young woman always gets him to open up.
Six wings lead off from the main entry hall—three to the right and three to the left. Each is separated from the entry by an open arch. These are labeled History, Geography, Artistic Studies, Poetry, Science, and General. Each, of course, contains volumes on the listed topic. There are 3-18 thousand books in each wing.
Funded through the good offices of its contributing members, the library is well able to acquire new volumes. Indeed, it has several sages and scribes under contract to actually write books, mostly detailing current affairs in the Free City itself. This surplus of capital also enables the library to maintain a selection of exquisitely rare, even magical, tomes, and to protect those treasures accordingly.
The rear of the library building is a stone edifice, layered over on the outside to look like wood. Only Contributing Members are allowed back here, and even they may never remove any book from these chambers.
An iron door leads to a narrow hallway behind the head librarian’s desk. Several scribes labor constantly in here, not so much from scholarly diligence as from duty. Their true purpose is to serve as sentries, for their hallway guards the three locked, iron doors to the Library Vaults. These large metal chambers, surrounded by heavy stone, are the repositories for the library’s most valuable works.
Below the library are several cellar apartments. Gratius Saghast lives here in several austere rooms, and other tiny apartments are kept to offer scribes and scholars whose labors keep them in the library often for days at a time.
By Excior, waiting for authorization