Portals of the Written Word
By Robert Wiese
The Library of Deneir
Waterdeep is known for its worship of Oghma and Deneir, gods of knowledge and the spread of knowledge. Each church maintains a library of its own, but the two churches are in close contact because Deneir serves Oghma. The two churches have different reasons for collecting tomes and these reasons are reflected in the types of tomes that one finds at each of the churches. The church of Deneir, following its god's interests, collects literature and maps primarily, but it also keeps records of ancient languages and artistic renderings. The church of Deneir is full of scribes that transcribe books for the ever-growing collection. The church of Oghma is interested in knowledge in general (nonfiction), and the songs of bards from across the lands. The two churches share their works to promote the universal spread of knowledge.
Besides their own libraries, the two churches cooperate in maintaining a collective secret library that the church of Deneir takes primary responsibility for. This secret library is located deep inside a mountain and is accessible only via a pair of portals. One portal links the library with the temple of Deneir, and the other links it with the temple of Oghma. Each portal is human-sized and activated by a key.
At the temple of Deneir, the portal is located in the basement where some high-ranking priests have rooms to themselves. The portal appears to be a door, but the door is surrounded by a set of large scrolls that contain part of an old liturgy that has not been used by the church in some fifty years. To activate the portal, one must write in the missing parts of the liturgy where they belong and then speak the whole liturgy. (Those attempting to complete the liturgy should make a Knowledge (religion) check DC 25.) The portal does open if only the written part of the key is completed, but without the oral part, the portal malfunctions. Consult Table 2-2 on page 61 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, except that the portal never works properly without both keys. The scrolls magically erase the newly written words once the portal closes again.
At the temple of Oghma, the portal is located on the second floor near some scribes' chambers, and it's in a locked room. It too is surrounded by scrolls containing partly completed liturgies, but in this case there are three different liturgies intertwined. To activate the portal, one must complete only one of the three liturgies (Knowledge (religion) check DC 25); completing the others or more than one results in a portal malfunction that sends the traveler to a remote seaside place on the shores of the Shining Sea. The scrolls magically erase the newly written words once the portal closes again.
In the library, the return portals are creature-only, so that books cannot be removed from the library. The library is protected against teleport spells and the like, but planar travel is allowed so that the protector of the library, Colorrn the Thaumaturgist, can summon monsters to aid him in defense when needed. Colorrn is usually prepared with a scroll to seal any portals created by others into the library. The protections are not as absolute as those at Candlekeep because most of the books here are duplicated somewhere else in the Realms that the clerics can access, so if something happens to the library, they can in time replace all the tomes.
Colorrn: Male sun elf Cleric 3 of Denier/Wizard 3/Mystic Theurge 4/Thaumaturgist 4; CR 14; Medium humanoid; HD 3d6 plus 3d4 plus 4d4 plus 4d4; hp 40; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 13; Base Attack +7; Grp +7; Atk +8 melee (1d6/18-20, masterwork rapier) or +9 ranged (1d8/[TS]3, longbow); Full Atk +8/+3 melee (1d6/18-20, masterwork rapier) or +9/+4 ranged (1d8/[TS]3, longbow); SA turn undead (3/day, +2 on turning check); SQ contingent conjuration, sun elf traits, extended summoning, improved ally, low-light vision; AL NG; SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +17; Str 10, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 11.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +10, Decipher Script +10, Diplomacy +17, Knowledge (arcana) +11, Knowledge (religion) +11, Knowledge (the planes) +13, Listen +5, Search +5, Sense Motive +7, Spellcraft +26, Spot +5; Augment Summoning, Empower Spell, Eschew Materials, Extend Spell, Martial Weapon Proficiency (composite longbow), Martial Weapon Proficiency (composite shortbow), Martial Weapon Proficiency (longbow), Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword), Martial Weapon Proficiency (rapier), Martial Weapon Proficiency (shortbow), Point Blank Shot, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (Conjuration), Spell Penetration.
Contingent Conjuration: Colorrn can prepare a summoning or calling spell ahead of time to be triggered by some other event. This ability functions as described for the contingency spell, including the fact that Colorrn must cast the summoning or calling spell beforehand. The spell is cast instantly when the trigger event occurs. The conditions needed to bring the spell into effect must be clear, although they can be general. If complicated or convoluted condition as are prescribed, the contingent conjuration may fail when triggered. The conjuration spell occurs based solely on the stated conditions, regardless of whether Colorrn wants it to, although most conjurations can be dismissed normally. Colorrn can have only one contingent conjuration active at a time.
Extended Summoning: All spells from the summoning subschool that Colorrn casts have double their normal duration, as if the Extend Spell feat had been applied to them. The levels of the summoning spells don't change, however. This ability stacks with the effect of the Extend Spell feat, which does change the spell's level.
Improved Ally: When Colorrn casts a planar ally spell (including the lesser and greater versions), he makes a Diplomacy check to convince the creature to aid him for a reduced payment. If Colorrn's Diplomacy check adjusts the creature's attitude to helpful (see Influencing NPC Attitudes, Chapter 4 of the Player's Handbook), the creature will work for 50% of the standard fee, as long as the task is one that is not against its nature. Colorrn's improved ally class feature works only when the planar ally shares at least one aspect of alignment with him. Colorrn can have only one such ally at a time, but he may bargain for tasks from other planar allies normally.
Sun Elf Traits: Colorrn is immune to magic sleep spells and effects. He is entitled to a Search check when within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door as though actively looking for it. He has a +2 racial bonus on saves against enchantment spells or effects and a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot, and Search checks (already figured into the statistics given above).
Languages: Elven, Common, Auran, Celestial, Illuskan, Chondathan, Infernal.
Cleric Spells Prepared (6/6+1/5+1/5+1/3+1/2+1/1+1; save DC 13 + spell level, or 14 + spell level for conjuration spells): 0 -- detect magic (2), guidance, light, resistance, virtue; 1st -- command, comprehend languages, divine favor, inflict light wounds, obscuring mist, shield of faith, true strike*; 2nd -- bear's endurance, calm emotions, cat's grace*, hold person (2), zone of truth; 3rd -- dispel magic*, extended summon monster II, magic vestment, protection from energy, searing light, summon monster III; 4th -- freedom of movement, greater magic weapon, imbue with spell ability*, lesser planar ally; 5th -- empowered summon monster III, plane shift, spell resistance*; 6th -- antimagic field*, empowered summon monster IV.
*Domain spell. Deity: Corellon Larethian. Domains: Elf (free Point Blank Shot feat), Magic (use spell trigger and spell completion devices as 4th-level wizard).
Wizard Spells Prepared (4/5/4/3/1; save DC 13 + spell level, or 14 + spell level for conjuration spells): 0 -- acid splash, mage hand, ray of frost, read magic; 1st -- endure elements, feather fall, grease, mage armor, summon monster I; 2nd -- glitterdust, invisibility, Melf's acid arrow, scorching ray; 3rd -- blacklight, flashburst, stinking cloud; 4th -- thunderlance.
Spellbook: 0 -- acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue; 1st -- color spray, endure elements, expeditious retreat, feather fall, grease, jump, mage armor, shield, summon monster I; 2nd -- darkness, false life, fox's cunning, glitterdust, invisibility, Melf's acid arrow, mirror image, owl's wisdom, scorching ray, see invisibility, spectral hand, spider climb, 3rd -- blacklight, dispel magic, flashburst, fly, greater magic weapon, lightning bolt, slow, stinking cloud, summon monster III, tongues; 4th -- dimension door, greater invisibility, polymorph, Rary's mnemonic enhancer, summon monster IV, thunderlance.
Possessions: Masterwork rapier, longbow, 25 arrows, ring of evasion, ring of protection +3, divine scroll of gate seal.
As a sun elf among humans, Colorrn feels as out of place here as anywhere else. But, he really likes the privacy of his current position. He reads the books in the secret library to pass the time and can discuss many of them with scholars that visit the area. With these visitors he is pleasant but aloof, reinforcing the idea that he'd rather be left alone. He does not really miss the company of elves either, though when he does leave the library he visits with some sun elves in Waterdeep. He is a meticulous protector of the books and maps, and he will give his life if need be to protect them. This is really the only agreement he takes seriously.
How to Incorporate the Library of Deneir Into Your Campaign
- The PCs come across a deadly plot to take over some nation or do some other great evil, and find out that the perpetrator is seeking a piece of knowledge to complete a ritual or item or strategic plan. The piece of knowledge can be found in the books of the secret library, but the PCs have to convince the clerics of either Oghma or Deneir to allow them access. Alternatively, they have to divert the perpetrator from the real location of the library to some false location.
- A call goes out from the temple of Deneir for books, and at the same time a priest approaches the adventurers. The temple's secret library has been ransacked somehow, and its guardian missing. The clerics don't know whether the guardian is involved. They ask the PCs to investigate the source of the violence against their tomes and to find the missing Colorrn if possible. While traveling on this quest, they may also be asked to stop at various temples or sages' residences to collect books to replace those lost in the ransacking.