Great Library of Greyhawk

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Adventurers seeking knowledge at the Great Library, as depicted in Living Greyhawk Journal #4 (2001). Art by Matthew Mitchell.
This article is about the in-game library. For the page covering this wiki, see Great Library of Greyhawk (wiki).

The Great Library of Greyhawk, located in the Free City of Greyhawk, is one of the largest and most-celebrated libraries in the Flanaess. The Great Library's collection is one of the finest and most complete in the Flanaess, rivaled only by two others: Celene's Nethalion Archive in Enstad, and Nyrond's Royal Annals of Rel Mord.

The Great Library has been managed since 591 CY by a highly respected Sage known as Iquander, who is also the library's chief researcher. A former resident of Nellix in the Duchy of Urnst, Iquander came to Greyhawk to do research in the years following the Greyhawk Wars. The former head librarian, Gratius Saghast, named Iquander as his successor before his death.

History

The Great Library of Greyhawk was founded by Zagig Yragerne during his tenure as Lord Mayor. An old Oeridian fort in the city was chosen to house the collection, where it is still housed to this day.

Facilities and holdings

The Great Library of Greyhawk's facade is an impressive granite structure, featuring statuary and tall columns. Its massive double doors are reached via three wide stairs facing the Processional. However, this grandiose exterior masks a drafty, dusty, crumbling mess resulting from years of inattention. The desk of the head librarian sits on a raised platform inside the entrance, where Iquander can usually be found during business hours.

Flanking the entry hall, three on a side, stand the six wings of the Great Library, each entered through an open arch. The library's innumerable books, papers, and scrolls cover countless subjects, and are loosely organized in accordance with the building's six wings: Artistic Studies, Geography, History, Poetry and Literature, Science and Engineering, and General (a catch-all for everything not covered by the other five categories).

Each wing of the Great Library consists of little more than one massive room containing thousands of monographs arranged on shelves stretching from floor to ceiling. The higher shelves are reached via rickety ladders. Tables and chairs are located at each wing's center, with one or more assistant librarians nearby to aid in deciphering the library's notoriously puzzling cataloging system. When not helping (or shushing) patrons, the librarians research and produce works of their own, copies of which enter the library's collection on completion.

A secret staircase behind the head librarian's desk leads to the library's vaults, containing items believed too dangerous for the wings. Protected by bound outsiders and a host of magical locks, access is only granted to library archivists, certain Contributing Members, and a handful of dignitaries from the Greyhawk Guild of Wizardry and sundry local universities. There are three vaults, each featuring iron doors and stone walls.

The first vault contains magical scrolls, manuals, tomes, and librams, with a special section set aside for the works of Zagig Yragerne. The second vault contains works of priceless art, and the third official city records, including admission rosters from the city gates.

Services and policies

The Great Library of Greyhawk is open daily, from dawn to dusk. Admission is free, but only "Contributing Members" (those who donate at least 100 gp yearly) may borrow items, and then no more than three at a time for no longer than one week. Others patrons must perform their research on-site.

A strict code of silence is enforced by the librarians, and weapons and armor are strictly forbidden. Those defacing library property are subject to a mandatory length of service in one of Greyhawk's more toilsome workgangs.

Gallery

Great Library of Greyhawk01.jpg Johanna01.jpg

Bibliography