Vault of Sages

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Vault of Sages

First Floor

  • Forehall: No one without proper authorization (which usually means references and an interview with senior archivists) gets past the Forehall. There are always four Vault guardians here, one of whom may be one of the Knights of the Vault, the half-dozen Deneirran paladins sworn to protect the Vault, its contents and its agents.
  • Examination Rooms: Requests to peruse books kept on the third or fourth floors are usually approved. When this happens, the scrivener (a Deneirran priest) fetches the book and the patron retires to one of these rooms to read its contents. Should the patron desire notes, he may dictate them to the scrivener as part of his reading fee.
  • Open Reading Gallery: These galleries are filled with shelves of books and maps that are open for patrons to peruse at their leisure. There are many comfortable reading places - both tables and simple comfortable chairs - to allow patrons such perusal. The books here are never books of high lore, but are always simplistic informational treatises (in game terms, a Tome of DC 10 or less), bits of entertainment, or cultural pieces, such as poetry, plays and the like. Readers are expected to do their reading in silence here.

Second Floor

  • Reading Room: Patrons with permission to pass beyond the Forehall also have access to this Reading Room, a well-lit place of comfort where books from any Open Reading Gallery may be brought to peruse and discuss with others. Unlike the Open Reading Galleries, strict silence is not expected to be maintained herein, so it is not unusual to find sages, priests, scholars and others gathered here in small groups discussing their findings with one another.
  • Temple to Deneir: The temple to Deneir is modest, and well-tended by the Vault's Deneirran clergy. Its straight walls are filled with bookshelves stocked with holy scriptures and other books of importance to the church and its history. The long curving back wall features a statue of Deneir, a great tome open before him from which he looks up and admonishes one to silence with a single upraised finger before his lips. The rest of the wall is painted with the calligraphy of thousands of important quotations of importance to the church and to Faerunian history and culture in general, the letters forming beautiful spiral designs radiating outward from the statue of Deneir like a divine halo.
  • Stores: Kept locked, this is a storage room for the various materials - inks, parchment and the like - used in the Vault on a daily basis.
  • Bindery: Another chamber kept locked from the public, this is where newly-copied pages are bound into books, and where repairs on old, worn books are performed. There is a steady flow of such work necessary, and it keeps the bindery's staff of a half-dozen binder-archivists very busy indeed.
  • Open Reading Gallery: As first floor

Third Floor

  • Reading Room: As the reading room on the second floor, save that this chamber is open only to the staff of the Vault. Nonetheless, the discussions between priests, archivists and sages can be just as raucous - if not moreso sometimes. Only books from the History and Natural Sciences Galleries may be brought here.
  • Sage: These are the offices made available to sages for consultations. These offices are assigned on an appointment-basis, rather than anything permanent. They are simply easy places for a sage to consult with a client. These offices are for sages in the fields of History and Natural Sciences, and are stocked with many of the most often-referenced books of those fields.
  • History Gallery: These rooms are filled with tomes regarding the History knowledge, examining in minute detail the history of various nations and places across the world. The center of each of these chambers features a large map table, which are actually like large "books," save that each "page" is a framed map. Each such page can be "turned" to peruse the other maps, and they all contain the various maps of relevance to the contents of that specific gallery.
  • Natural Sciences Gallery: These rooms contain tomes dealing with the Nature knowledge, and cover a wide variety of topics among the various sub-galleries. Instead of the map tables of the History Gallery, the center of these rooms contain displays of interest: stuffed animals and monsters of interest, bits of rare flora and stone, and the like.
  • Scriptorum: At the far end of each of the Galleries is a Scriptorum dedicated to copying out the books of that Gallery's specialty. Finished works are then sent to the Bindery to be tended to.
  • Stores & Bindery: As second floor, but specific to this level.

Fourth Floor

  • Reading Room: As third floor, but only books from the Theological and Arcane Studies Galleries may be brought here.
  • Sage: As third floor, but these chambers are equipped for arcane and theological sages.
  • Theological Studies Gallery: Shelves full of holy scriptures, treatises on the nature of the gods and divine influence and histories of the various churches and religions fill these galleries. Glass cases with religious artifacts of all kinds, from saints bones to weapons said to have been wielded by godly avatars themselves form the center of these rooms.
  • Arcane Studies Gallery: From biographies of important or famous mages to treatises on obscure arcane lore to studies of magical creatures, there are many books that can be found herein. The one kind of book that cannot be found, however, is actual spellbooks. These are kept locked away in the Vaults, although a handful of the books here and there do have spells in them (often as examples of techniques or lores being described, or transcribed spells from the culture or famous mage a book is talking about). The center of the room contains a bewildering variety of arcane artifacts, mementoes and the like - a dummy dressed in the robes of Ahghairon of Waterdeep, for instance, stands beside a stuffed and magically-levitating beholder, beneath which lies a stone slab which generates an illusory map of Netheril at its height.
  • Scriptorum: As third floor.
  • Stores & Bindery: As second floor, but specific to this level.

Fifth Floor

  • Sage: These offices are a sort of "overflow" - if there are any appointments made in excess of a given floor's available offices, the sages with the least prestige are placed in these offices. They contain the very seminal books in all four of the areas of study, but are rarely sufficient for a given sage's purposes, forcing the sage to bring those books he or she considers important to their fields with them.
  • Keeper's Office: The Keeper of the Vault oversees the running of the great library from here. It is a truly opulent room, with fine carpeting, shelves full of rare and important books, and a curving wall filled with windows offering a grand vista of the river and the rest of Silverymoon.
  • Garretts: These drafty attic spaces - which are traditionally home to snowy white owls, creatures sacred to Deneir - are given over to row after row of bunks for the apprentice archivists and Deneirran acolytes who have not yet achieved the higher degrees of their various vocations. Until they do, they are expected to be on-hand at all hours, to deal with any emergencies or errands that need to be run. Despite this, only one or two of the garrett chambers are ever filled at any given time.

The Great Vaults

Beneath the first floor lies the Great Vaults: five subterranean levels of narrow, twisting passageways, with bookshelves and scroll-niches chiseled into the walls of the tunnels. Here, in magically-sustained bubbles of perfect light, temperature and dryness, are preserved the original copies of those books the Vault manages to acquire for itself. It is said that these passages also maintain spellbooks and other books too dangerous to be casually lent about. Only the upper echelons of Deneir's priesthood and Vault archivists are permitted entry into the Vaults.