Campaign of the Month: April 2012
Library of Bletherad
LIBRARY of BLETHERAD
Where learning begins.
The most extensive library in all of Palladium, it is located on the island of Y-Oda near the disputed lands of the Eastern Territory. The island is claimed by the Wolfen, but the library is open to all.
One of the only truly safe places in the world.
Home to Malkin Falimede, an elderly Elven scholar, who knew Elanu personally.
The Library is where the group meets Greldarr, Cava, and Chu, and welcome them into the group.
Most members of CrIsis have visited the Library of Bletherad at least once- Overkill and Cava have been there multiple times.
The Sage: Uncatalogued Works
Generalities. Do not bother with this section at all. First, it’s in the basement. Second, they don’t let anybody down there. Third, the monks themselves don’t even know what is in this section because it’s where all the new books come to get classified. Just imagine – it is some poor bastard’s job to actually read all that stuff Gives me the shivers. Just skim through this section of the Carbuncultun to get an idea of what the other sections of the Library hold.
Arcana. Magic. ‘Nuff said.
Religion. They should have just called this section Higher Powers or something, because that’s what it’s really all about- getting really powerful creatures to do your dirty work for you. Somewhere in here is supposed to be a book that offers foolproof methods of getting any god to grant a miracle for you,even if you’re not a believer!
Society. Sure there’s rules and laws and what-not. That’s not the good stuff The books on how to master new and exotic fighting arts – that ’s the good stuff There is also a book on jails in here that offers sample layout maps for most of the world’s dungeons and incarcerators. Bet you didn’t know that most of them follow the same basic floor pattem, huh? Believe me, a little groundwork here could save you a 30 year stretch tomorrow. When you’ve escaped from your fourth jail cell because of what you learned here, don’t forget to give the good old Carbunculum its due.
Language. Don’t be put off by all the different languages. Most of them have easy to follow alphabets and keys to them so you can figure this stuff out in the field. Now, I’m not suggesting you bother to learn all this stuff yourself. That’s why you hire a Diabolist or a scholar to come along with you. But before you head out into the big, bad world, have your resident egghead give this section a gander. He might just uncover something.
The Arts. Not good for professionals like you and me, but good for a couple of laughs. Somewhere in this section are the memoirs of Tirenn Lothaunnor, a court jester in Timiro who pulled incredible practical jokes on the royal family. He was so good that he never got in trouble for it, either. The royal family kept getting him out of jail to pull tricks on other folks in the court they didn’t like. Man, what a job! How do you land something like that?
The World. Maps, maps and more maps. It used to be that unless you were an explorer, there was no reason to come to this section. But if you know where to look and what to ask for, this part of the Library might as well be called the “Treasure Map section,” because that’s what it really is. Check out the copying rooms up there sometime. There’s a long line for a reason.
Undiscernible Works. Believe it or not, even though the monks can’t figure books like these out, they will still keep them somewhere in case somebody just happens along who can read anything. Me, I’d just set them up for fire kindling. Old paper burns really well.
Damaged or Incomplete Works. What I said up top goes double here. Keep a waterlogged book? Hey, unless it’s going to point me to the final resting spot of Castlerake and Frostfoil, don’t waste my time.
The Monk: Generalities
Reference. If you’re totally green, then give this section a quick once over. It will get your feet wet with what kind of information you can access here in the Library. The best part about this section, though, is that it’s where experienced treasure hunters and adventurers like to pick up partners for their expeditions. Lots of times you’ll find a real veteran who’s got a great plan worked out, but lacks manpower. You hang out in this section long enough and the right people will begin tapping you on the shoulder. Trust me.
Bibliographies, Indexes and Catalogues. If you like what you see in the Carbunculum, then swing by here and peek around a little more. I’m warning you, there’s a lot of useless stuff in here, but if you are really lookig for a good lead to something special, this is the best place to start. Just watch out for the monks. They’ve got a real short temper and unless you’re some scholar waring three sets of spectacles, they don’t want anything to do with you.
Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Sounds dull, right? Wrong. A lot of these books are subject specific. So while a general dictionary isn’t much help to you, a dictionary about rune making terminology might be. Seeing the big picture now?
Manuscripts & Rare Books. These are noteworthy books because they are really one of a kind. Like the book of signatures that supposedly contains the actual handwriting of of a thousand of the greatest wizards, warlocks, and other men of magic from the Time of a Thousand Magicks! If you score access to this book, make sure to have a psychic scan it for you. He could probably make contact with one of those old spell casters through their signature or the book itself. Do that, and you’re bound to learn something useful. This is where they keep the copies of the Tristine Chronicles.
Incunabula. These are books that were written prior to the Elf-Dwarf War. They usually talk about what life was like in the Time of a Thousand Magicks.
Special Collections. This section is reserved for those bundles of books that are worth something because they’re all together. Frankly, I never saw the value in these things as books, but as merchandise. You can bet the Library would pay plenty ransom to get them back if somebody were to make them “disappear.” But you didn’t hear that from the Carbunculum.
The Mystic: Arcana
Spells and Ley Lines. They’ll tell you that there aren’t any spellbooks in the Library, but don’t you believe them. They’re there all right. You just have to know where to look for them.
Magic Items. There are something like 100 catalogues of magic items throughout this area. Most of them are really nothing more than free advertising from the Western alchemists who donated them, but there are a couple that detail things nobody’s ever heard of before.
Rune Magic. This section is pretty small and untrustworthy beacause so many of the stories you hear about rune weapons can not be believed.
Psychic Phenomena. If you have psychic powers, be sure to check out this section. Most of the bigger books are not what you want. Check out the personal journals and diaries. They often contain first-person accouunts of people who recorded how they developed their own psychic powers.
The Prophet: Religion
Pantheons. Everything you ever wanted to know about any major pantheon.
Religious Organizations. Churches, temples, holy orders. You know the drill.
Noteworthy Religious Figures. I know a guy who once researched this section so well he could basically impersonate any religious hero of any pantheon in existence. He did well by this racket and eventually retired happy and rich.
Religious Histories & Geographies. An interesting selection of books that track the physical movement of religions over the ages.
Religious Texts, Manuscripts and Manifestos. More rambling justifications and explanations of more particular religions than you really care to know.
Theology and Dogma. This is where one will find all sort of texts on religious creeds, miscellaneous literature, secret rites and my personal favorite, persecutions and heresies.
Dragons. This is the mother lode. There have to be ten books on every particular dragon that was ever named!
Elementals. Not much to write about here, since the people best qualified to write these books, warlocks, generally do not like putting their thoughts to paper.
Alien Intelligences. Nobody understands these things, least of all me.
Angels. The most interesting thing here are a few books that mention how there is some kind of civil war between the angels going on right now, and it is being fought in secret in the Western Empire!
Demons and Deevils. Everything you ever wanted to know about a bunch of monsters that will definitely make your life miserable.
The Old Ones. Lots of material, but it is all really sketchy, since it’s telling about prophecies and ancient history. What is useful, though, is a six-volume reference set called “They Walk Among Us”, that describes, in detail, the six largest Old Ones cults in the world.
Cultures & Institutions. This section is worth your time only because it lets you learn what things are important to different people.
Customs and Etiquette. Ever find yourself on the chopping block because you accidently offended an Orcish Lord?
Trade and Taxation. Believe it or not, plenty of cities will charge you traveling tax when you enter, just to skim 10 or 15% of your net worth off you for the privilege of visiting their fair city.
Slavery & Emancipation. Sometimes, steady work pays better than adventuring, but most times adventuring is more exciting than steady work. If you want both, try the slave business.
Diplomacy. Unless reading old treaties is your thing, then skip this section entirely.
Law. One of the biggest reasons so many adventurers are growing old in prisons or stretching their necks at the end of a noose is because they travel from country to country without ever stopping to think about the different laws that apply from place to place.
Penology. This is the section on the world’s gaols and prisons.
Government. This section covers all the different ways people have made other people do what they want over the years.
War. Everything you ever wanted to know about killing your enemies in large numbers.
Active Languages. Many adventurers rely on other folks in their parties to overcome any language barriers the group encounters. This section includes Dwarven, Elven, Eastern Human, Southern Human, Northern Human, Western Human and Wolfen.
Dead Languages. These are languages nobody speaks anymore. Most of them are languages of races that were exterminated in the Elf-Dwarf War.
Secret Languages. These are languages that are still used, but are not commonly spoken by any particular populace. They fall into three basic categories: Diabolism, guild codes and languages, and cryptography.
The Scholar: Nature
Mathematics. This strange new science seems to get more and more attention every day from scholars, especilly those who insist that if you create numerical patterns that are large enough you can see into the future.
Astronomy & Celestial Mechanics.
Chemistry. This section is just chock full of cookbooks for wipping up all kinds of home-brewed drugs, poisons, herbs and other fun stuff.
Geology. Rocks. Boring as Hades unless you’re a jewel thief.
Medicine. You want healing, hire a healer or a priest.
Botany. Plants. If you don’t mind working a bit for a huge payoff, try some speculative harvesting down in the jungles for a bit, with these books as your guide.
Zoology. Animals. You see a lot of big game hunters around here, looking to see where in the world they can find a particular creature.
The Artifex: Invention
Animal Husbandry. My favorite book in this section teaches you how to domesticate any animal, no matter how wild or dangerous it is.
Carpentry. Not much of use here.
Metalworking. Sure, you can handle a sword, but do you know how to make one?
Engineering and Architecture. This section’s got floor plans galore. To the casual eye, it’s nothing big, but if you’re staging a raid, heist, break-out, or any other kind of univited entry work, you owe it to yourself to take in some of the plan books here.
Manufacturing. This is a pretty small section devoted to making lots of things at once.
Miscellaneous Inventions. Crazy stuff here.
The Fool: The Arts
Drawing, Painting, Printmaking and Engraving.
Tapestries and Weavings.
Sculpture and Mosaics.
Music, Theater and Other Performing Arts.
Games and Amusements.
Epics, Legends and Folklore.
Poetry, Speeches, Essays and Letters.
Satire & Humor.
The Wanderer: The World
Travel. Not much of use here.
Geography. The following sections:
Land of the Damned. These works only describe the coastline.
Northern Mountains. The Northern Mountains are as unknown and as hostile a wilderness as the Land of the Damned.
Ophid’s Grasslands. The dearth of books on this place match its featurelessness in real life.
Great Northern Wilderness. These accounts are largely the work of hunters and trappers who logged their journeys.
Island Kingdom of Bizantium. The geography of this tiny island nation is well known. What is not, however, is the secret network of defence reefs and chain barriers that protect the island shores from a foreign invasion.
The Wolfen Empire. Although the Wolfen Empire has been around for approaching a century, there is precious little cartography devoted to it.
Y-Oda and Zy. There is more to check out here than you might think. There is nothing really quiet in this world.
Eastern Territory. The geography of this region depends on who is writing the books about it.
Phi and Lopan. These two islands are probably some of the oldest territories continually occupied by the same people in the world. The Elves who have claimed dominion over these isles have basically turned them into a very minor version of what used to be the Elven Empire.
The Timiro Kingdom. Easily one of the most completely mapped out regions of the world, the Timiro Kingdom section is filled with a great deal of redundant material.
Land of the South Winds. The geographical knowledge of this land is of varying accuracy and is incomplete, since the entire country’s interior has never been explored.
Floenry Isles. The extensive geographies written about this archipelago come not from formal cartographic expeditions, but have been taken from hundreds of ships’ logs as they cruised the islands on various missions.
Yin Sloth Jungles. Anything reliable written about this region has been penned by slavers and pirates, not official explorers. They only give local perspectives of small regions of jungle.
Baalgor Wastelands. Most of the books on this area promise to include maps to where the Golden City of Baalgor once stood, but they are not there.
Old Kingdom Mountains. Once the heart of the Dwarven Empire, these old mountains are riddled with the remains of subterranean Dwarven fortresses and cities.
Old Kingdom Lowlands. What thes books will tell you is that there are really three Lowlands- Western, Eastern and Southern.
Western Empire. With so much political upheaval in its history, the borders of the Western Empire have changed more times than geographers can keep up with.
Isle of the Cyclops. Reading the exquisitely accurate accounts of the Isle of the Cyclops is probably as close to that realm as anybody is likely to get.
Other Worlds and Dimensions. There are scattered books that describe over thirty alien worlds and dimensions. Most are sketchy accounts of the so-called Heroic Realms, where few have actually traveled to aside from the legedary Defilers. However, none of the Defilers personal accounts are here.
Cartography. The art and craft of making maps. Includes contemporary, ancient, unknown places and treasure maps.
Ancient History. Age of Chaos, Time of a Thousand Magicks, Elf-Dwarf War, Millennium of Purification.
General History. Land of the Damned, Northern Mountains, Ophid’s Grasslands, Great Northern Wilderness, Bizantium, Wolfen Empire, Y-Oda & Zy, Eastern Territory, Phi & Lopan, Timiro Kingdom, Land of the South Winds, Floenry Isles, Yin Sloth Jungles, Baalgor Wastelands, Mount Nimro, Old Kingdom Mountains, Old Kingdom Lowlands, Western Empire, and Isle of the Cyclops.
Racial Histories. Of all the major races.
Tristine Chronicles. The most famous book in all of Palladium, the Library has 32 different versions. Bletherad is also home to the oldest known copy.
All of these categories are available in more detail in the full Carbunculum.
Text from Palladium Books©, Palladium 2nd Ed.©, Palladium Fantasy ©, are registered trademarks owned & licensed by Kevin Siembieda & Palladium Books, Inc..