The Lore Masters
"Put away your sword, your plow, your tankard for there is
nothing quite so pleasing to the hand as a book - firm weight, worn
cover, gilded page. Books are the souls of the ages, the wisdom of those
before. Like a ghost in the pages .. they speak to us, if we but listen."
Type of Organization
Type of Members
|Sages, scholars, historians, librarians, scribes|
|Number of Members||142|
|Demographics||Human 50%, Elven 35%, Grum 10%, Other 5%|
|Master Seulat Ruel, elven male sage|
|Year Founded||2198 CY|
|Symbol||A scroll and quill.|
|Group Wealth||Very Wealthy|
|Group Stability||Very Stable|
The lore masters are quite often called the Brotherhood of Knowledge, for it is knowledge that is there quest and their commodity. Based in Ithell and one hundred and forty two members strong, this academic group has a single goal : to collect, categorize and preserve... all knowledge. All the knowledge that they have accumulated is referred to in abstract terms as "lore".
Their endless search for knowledge takes many forms: the lore masters are always willing to purchase books and pay for accurate accounts from travelers. However, they often go to greater lengths to acquire their lore. They commonly employ powerful divination magic to answer questions to which the answers are not easily obtained. They attend seminars and debates in other cities to garner the latest views and theories on the great mysteries of the world. Often, the lore masters will send out representatives on expeditions in order to obtain specific information or verify questionable claims. This usually involves hiring independent mercenaries or adventuring parties, particularly if this involves going somewhere dangerous. On rare occasions, one or more lore masters themselves will go on one of these lore gathering expeditions.
The pride of this organization is its library, which is said to house more than one million items. Ancient books, dusty tomes, famous grimoires, crumbling scrolls and elaborate maps make up this collection. It is said to be the largest single collection in the world. The lore masters devote a great deal of time and effort into identifying, cataloguing, copying and organizing this enormous amount of information.
However, such access is limited to those with a genuine interest and need. Library access is, theoretically, open to anyone, but there is a fee of 10 gold pieces. The exorbitant fee, which allows a single day's use, limits access to those with money and keeps out most of the common citizenry.
Nobles, historians, wizards, priests and scholars often come to Ithell to visit this famous library. Sometimes this is just to walk the aisles and bask in the presence of such knowledge. Other times it is to look up some obscure bit of lore. Anyone wishing to access the library will be accompanied by lore master at all times.
While in the great library of the lore masters, guests may see vaporous ghostlike figures reading scrolls and pouring over ancient grimoires. These beings are the spirits of various lore Rings conducting research for their masters (see below).
The lore masters and their library reside in a large hall of grey granite stone, three story tall with a steeply sloped roof of dark wood shakes. This keep is connected to several other buildings by a high curtain wall wrapped around a central courtyard. The smaller buildings house servants and stables, a large kitchen and dining hall, a smithy and a bakery. Although not built as a miliary fortification, this central keep itself is known for stout walls and few entrances. It is considered almost impregnable by most of the common citizens. Since several of the lore masters are powerful wizards, no one ever bothers them.
The greatest threat to the great library and its precious contents is not thievery or siege, but fire. There is an astonishing amount of paper and liquid preservative (which helps retard aging in the paper, but is itself flammable) which could easily turn into an inferno. Therefore, fire of any kind is strictly forbidden in the central keep. This is why the smithy and kitchen are in separate buildings.
In addition, the library is armed with an alchemical powder which bonds with oxygen and extinguishes flame. This powder is kept in bags and glass orbs in every chamber and at the end of every aisle. The air in the great library is kept cool and dry to help preserve the books and scrolls. Whether this is done by magic or some clever ventilation system is not known. What is known is that several of the lore masters are wizards and likely have numerous spells to help preserve and protect the library and its books.
Originally, this was a single, private library that belonged to an Ithellian nobleman named Karl Graemer. This book collection containing some of the rarest titles had been passed down from father to son for six generations. In his later years, Karl became obsessed with expanding and protecting this truly impressive collection of books. Wishing to share the lore of his literature, he formed a club of intellectuals who gathered to read, study and discuss. Karl's best friend, an elven minstrel named Ellindar, promised to keep the collection safe and the group together after his death. The promise was kept and the ranks of the group swelled for many years. Later, the collection was moved to a safer location, a fortified keep. Members of the group added their own books to the main collection. Over the last three centuries, this group has garnered much respect from the Ithellian community. It has become more formal as the years have passed. It is something of a public institution now.
The primary goal of this group is threefold: to gather lore, to organize and categorize it and finally to make this knowledge available to those who need it. The lore masters believe that only through knowledge can the world be made a better place.
The lore masters are, of course, always greatly interested in expanding their library by acquiring new books, scrolls, maps and so forth.
Finally, the lore masters specialize in research. They can, for a price, scour the library for a specific piece of information for those who do not wish to do the work themselves. The price varies depending on the amount of time spent. Typically, this will be ten gold pieces per lore master involved per day.
The lore masters have several wealthy patrons who donate their time and money to the cause. Because of this, the lore masters are well funded and well equiped. Because of the work they do, they are on excellent terms with several groups in Ithell and neighboring Kalimura. The elven community supports the lore masters, out of respect to Master Ruel. Finally, the lore masters have a formal relationship of collaborative research and financial aid with the University. The nation of Carrikos has some connections with this group as well and trips to Carrikos and visitors from Carrikos are not uncommon.
The ranks of this brotherhood are comprised of historians, scholars, scribes, cartographers, a handful of nobles and more than a few wizards. Many of them live permanently in the keep though some maintain homes elsewhere and split their time between the lore masters and other duties and obligations.
Membership requires sponsorship by two existing members, a donation of valuable text and a probationary period of one year.
The lore masters have only a very loose hierarchy. Overseeing the entire organization is Master Seulat Ruel and a high council that consists of the twelve eldest lore masters. Beneath them is a the main bulk of the group, some seventy lore masters who maintain the great library and conduct research. The lore masters employ a small force of full time guards to help guard the place. Dozens of servants, bakers, cooks, scullery maids, stable boys and gardeners keep the place running.
The lore lasters occasionally give away lore rings to those who have done them some great service or if the eventual payoff in knowledge is deemed worthwhile. A lore ling is a simple silver band with a single green gem inset. Quite often, when a lore master dies, all of his knowledge is integrated into the accumulated lore of the library. His mind, soul and memories are placed within the gem of the lore ring.
From within the lore ring, the lore master's soul is free to wander the library unfettered by a physical form. Such a master appears only as a smoky apparition and nothing more. In essence, all the accumulated knowledge of the lore masters is available to him. Not every lore master chooses this fate, but many do. Some consider it a great honor. Others simply wish to spend another century perusing the great library.
A lore ring's only function is to answer questions. Anyone wearing the ring can communicate with the lore master's soul and ask questions. The lore master will then search the library to find the answer. The lore master retains his "personality" and memories. It is not uncommon for the spirit within a lore ring to regale the ring wearer with long stories, jokes, endless trivia and fatherly advice above and beyond questions that are asked.
A lore ring is designed to function for 100 years at which time the lore master's soul is freed to move onto the next plane of existence and the ring becomes non-functioning.
Some of the lore masters in Ithell include:
|Seulat Ruel||Elven||A sage and leader of the lore masters.|
|Pentash||Human||Pentash is a linguist specializing in Ithrian languages. He has studied most of the modern and ancient languages of Ithria, including some of the least languages - goblin, skrell and scrub rat.|
This website was last updated August 30, 2018. Copyright 1990-2018 David M. Roomes.