Library of Korranberg
In Korranberg, Zilargo’s southeasternmost port city, there lies a library unlike any the world over. The Library of Korranberg is the single greatest repository of knowledge in Khorvaire (and perhaps even the world). Although its primary purpose is to serve as resource to scholars and explorers, the library often funds expeditions to study ancient cultures or unexplored lands.
The gnomes of Zilargo have an unparalleled thirst for knowledge; this inquisitive spirit gave rise to the Library of Korranberg. A loremaster of the powerful Korran family became obsessed with the theory that the deities of the Sovereign Host were in fact ascended dragons. This gnome, Dorius Alyre ir’Korran, swore that he would amass enough knowledge and information to surpass even the Sovereign Lord Aureon so that he could ascend and take the gods’ place. The Korran family invested considerable wealth in Dorius’ obsession; even those who didn’t believe his theories of divinity were intrigued by the idea of a vast vault for knowledge. In time, Dorius died, but his library remained. As the centuries passed, it continued to grow and expand. With the rise of the kingdom of Galifar, gentry and aristocrats from all across Khorvaire came to study at the colleges connected to it. Today, the Library of Korranberg plays a significant role in the economy of Khorvaire. It funds many expeditions to further the search for knowledge, and can be a valuable patron for adventurers.
The citizens of Korranberg take great pride in their library. Citizens of the city may attend the colleges without charge, and every citizen must devote four years of service to the Library. This service is considered an act of patriotism and an educational experience. Many choose to extend this period of service, accepting posts as lecturers, researchers, administrators, and other important roles.
Each of the library’s eight colleges seeks to advance a particular field of study: Aureon’s Holt (law and oratory), Balinor’s Horn (natural sciences), Blackdragon (alchemy), Drystone (engineering), Lyrris (art and literature), Morridan (mathematics), Soladas (history), and the Tabernacle (religion and philosophy). The colleges have an intense rivalry, which gives rise to academic, athletic, and arcane competitions. Together, the colleges maintain the archives – vast vaults containing knowledge accumulated over three millennia. The doyens of each college serve on a central council that manages the affairs of the library. This council is run by an appointed member of the Korran family, descended from the founders of the library. Like all politics in Zilargo, positions in the library involve intrigue, blackmail, and scheming.
The libraris based in Korranberg, but it keeps safe houses in the capital cities of every nation in Khorvaire. These offices provide shelter for library research teams. While the library does not focus on magic as much as the Twelve or the Arcane Congress, it has had centuries to fill its vaults. The restricted archives and secret vaults are heavily defended and shielded against scrying and other forms of spying.
The library appears larger on the inside than from the outside – and from the outside, it looks massive. When a researcher reserves time at the library, a clerk provides a catalog stone – an orange-colored crystal keyed to the topics the researcher wishes to study. A private study cell is provided, which initially looks like a small pool of light in a vast, open darkness located somewhere in the library’s extradimensional space. Within the pool of light, a desk, chair, work table, and narrow pedestal are placed for the researcher’s use, along with quills, ink, parchment, and sealing wax. When the catalog stone is placed atop the pedestal, alcoves formed of shelves full of books and scrolls rush out of the darkness to create the walls of the study cell. When the researcher completes his work, removing the stone from the pedestal causes the shelves to fall away so that the researcher can exit the study cell.