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The Vault of the Sages was a famous library[6] and a part of the Conclave of Silverymoon.[7][8] Silverymoon's "pride and joy,"[3] it was exceeded in fame in the North only by Herald's Holdfast.[9] Some considered it the greatest collection of knowledge in all Faerûn.[1][10]

LocationEdit

VaultOfTheSages

A map showing both the old and new locations of the Vault.

Originally, the Vault of the Sages was located southeast of the Market in Northbank,[6][11] in a building that later became the home of the Map House.[12][7]

In 1247 DR,[4] the Vault was relocated to a new building in Southbank.[2][11][13][3][5]

StructureEdit

The new Vault of the Sages was described as a "monolithic" structure;[14][1] along with the High Palace, it was one of the two tallest buildings in the city.[14] It was five stories high and roughly shaped like a horseshoe.[1][10]

InteriorEdit

The first and second floors contained public galleries and lounges,[1] called the Forehall.[10] Here, news from all over Faerûn was displayed on broad sheets hung on the walls.[1][10] Multiple copies of popular reference works were found here in the open book galleries, including:[10]

The third through fifth floors had studies and offices.[1][10] The studies were organized by general topic.[12][1][10] The offices were those of scribes, sages, bookbinders, etc. employed by the library.[1][10]

There were five basement levels within the Vault,[1][10] where the stacks of books were located. Only attendants, the commander of the Spellguard, and the High Mage were allowed access to these levels. The bookshelves were located in twisting passageways that, while organized, were difficult to navigate without lengthy training and experience.[1]

ServicesEdit

The Vault charged a reading fee for accessing its books,[1][1] which could be between one silver piece per person per day[12] to five gold pieces per book.[1][10] Fees for rare works were much higher and depended on the age of the book and whether the books were on the topic of magic. Reading fees for such books were a gold piece higher for every 25 years of age for tomes on mundane topics, while magical tomes started at ten gold pieces[1][10] and rose by two pieces per 25 years of age.[1] The Vault allowed readers to view tomes about magic but never actual spellbooks.[12][1][10]

Copying services were available to those who wanted them, at a fee of about two gold pieces per page.[1][10] If close copies were requested, an additional fee[12] of four silver pieces was added per page.[1] Maps could be copied for 50 gold pieces.[1][10] No personal copying of any kind was allowed;[1][10] the carrying of any writing implements into the library was banned.[10] About ten pages of text could be copied per day, and it took about two days to copy a single map.[10]

DefensesEdit

Magical protections prevented anyone from teleporting into or out of any level of the Vault. An additional magic kept anyone from lighting a flame of any sort when among the books.[1] Special magical ward tokens (duraph tokens or thelbane tokens[10]) were required to access protected levels of the library.[1][10] These magical protections were powered by Silverymoon's mythal and were the same as those of the Vaelun, the inner ward.[10]

InhabitantsEdit

The workers at the Vault of the Sages were all worshipers of Deneir, the First Scribe.[1][10] Some of the scribes working there had been trained at the Monastery of St. Fanal in Calimshan.[15]

The Vault employed scribes, who copied information in their own handwriting; "forgers", who attempted to make duplicates of works; and cartographers for copying maps.[1] Sages were available for consultations by appointment,[1][10] and charged fees of 50 gold pieces per hour.[10] The fee increased to 500 pieces for the answering of highly specific and difficult questions.[10] Each study room had a custodian who could acquire books from the stacks by magical retrieval spells. When a patron was finished reading, the books were manually returned to the basement stacks by specially trained assistants.[1]

Keepers of the VaultEdit

The leader of the library was known as the Keeper of the Vault.[16][10] Notable individuals who have served in this role include:

The Keeper was assisted by six priests of Deneir and two Vault guards at all times. He or she could summon another pair of guards and up to a couple dozen lesser priests in an emergency.[10]

The Keeper of the Vault was happy to make purchases of rare, original manuscripts or historical literary artifacts, offering from 200[10] to 2,000[1] gold pieces per 100 years of age.[1][10] If sellers were not willing to part with originals, the Keeper might pay half as much for the opportunity to make a duplicate.[1][10] If a seller agreed, the Keeper would provide luxurious guest rooms elsewhere in the Conclave while the work was being copied.[10]

CollectionsEdit

The Vault was said to contain either an original or a copy of every important book, scroll, or carved inscription of Faerûn since the time of Netheril. Many tomes from lost Myth Drannor could only be found here, including the personal accounts of Elénaril.[1]

Mintiper's Chapbook, a compilation of writings by the Lonely Harpist Mintiper Moonsilver, were kept in the Vault.[17]

The Vault of the Sages also held other treasures beyond books, including a king's tear gem with an image of the Laughing Hollow on the Delimbiyr. The gem was enchanted to recite words of elven King Ruardh Lightshiver, the first ruler of Phalorm, which he spoke on that kingdom's founding in 523 DR.[18]

HistoryEdit

The original library of Silverymoon, the Silver Lady's Library, was burned to the ground in 876 DR by Warlord Lashtor, during his short and murderous rule. Thankfully, many of the rarest books were rescued and preserved by the Harpers.[3] A few decades later, in 900 DR, during the reign of Tanisell the Cloaked,[19] the Vault of the Sages was constructed at its original location in Northbank,[16][20] on the same land where the Silver Lady's Library once sat.[21] Every wizard in the city donated at least two books to the collection, and the Harpers gifted the works that they had been keeping from the Silver Lady's Library.[16]

The lore required for the construction of the magical Helms and Robes of the Lords of Waterdeep was discovered by the mage Ahghairon within the Vault in 1032 DR.[16]

The building was moved to a new location in 1247 DR. The Heralds of Faerûn purchased the old building to be the Map House.[4]

Sometime around 1370 DR, the Temple of Silver Stars, a Selûnite temple in the city, joined with the Vault of Sages in a project to assist the Harpers and Heralds in mapping the surrounding environs.[21]

In 1374 DR, Brother Calwern, one of the Vault's workers, assisted Araevin Teshurr in researching the history of the magic of Arcorar here.[22]

Rumors & LegendsEdit

There were many rumors about the size of the library and the number of books it possessed. Such estimates ranged from 6,000 to one million books. The Keeper of the Vault never provided the actual numbers.[1]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Template:Cite book/The Savage Frontier/Map
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 50. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Map included in Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), p. 80. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  8. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  9. slade, Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Steven E. Schend, Paul Jaquays, Steve Perrin (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness). (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 10.12 10.13 10.14 10.15 10.16 10.17 10.18 10.19 10.20 10.21 10.22 10.23 10.24 10.25 10.26 10.27 10.28 10.29 10.30 Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 63. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Karen Wynn Fonstad (August 1990). The Forgotten Realms Atlas. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 978-0880388573.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 174. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  13. Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 171. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  14. 14.0 14.1 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 51. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  15. Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), p. 97. ISBN 978-0786912377.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  17. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  18. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  19. Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
  20. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  21. 21.0 21.1 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Cities and Civilization). (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  22. Richard Baker (July 2005). Farthest Reach. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-3756-4.

ConnectionsEdit