Tyranny of Dragons
The Conclave of Silverymoon
The Conclave of Silverymoon
This new university is Lady Alustriel’s creation, one of her last acts as High Mage of Silverymoon before stepping down to assume broader responsibilities as Speaker of the Silver Marches. She persuaded several formerly independent centers of lore and learning to combine into a single institution in order to share their learning more effectively and make many fields of study available to their students. The High Lady personally defrays the costs of housing and tuition for promising students and also sponsors the esoteric researches of a number of loremasters, allowing them to concentrate on teaching and study.
The Conclave is not a single building or district within the city. Some parts of the university are located near each other in a Southbank campus, but other schools remain scattered across the city.
A school of sorcery (as opposed to wizardry), this is one of the few institutions of ts type in all of Faerûn. Students study under the infamously strict and sarcastic Arkhen the Icy, in a new building whose many furnishings are almost all animated constructs under the command of the Master Sorcerer.
An elf temple whose upper floors contain rooms upon rooms of genealogies, poetry, records, and philosophy of the elves and the eladrin, this hall is administered by the Loremaster Vadalathra Rivermantle.
The House of the Harp
Once known as the famous Focluchan bard college, this school stood empty for over a century. It has just reopened, and there arc plans to restore its historic name once the Master Bard feels that it lives up to its predecessor’s legend. Right now, the House of the Harp is little more than an endless live-in revel for musicians, orators, minstrels, and bards, under the guidance of the Master Bard Forell “Flarnebeard” Luckaun. He hopes this sharing of songs and tales will enrich all attendees and yield him a faculty with which to teach novices. Many Harpers are known to mingle with the “merry folk of the House.”
The Lady’s College
Considered by many to be the heart of the Conclave, the Lady’s College trains wizards not just in spellcraft, but in the history of magic. The tuition is steep—500 gp plus 500 gp per wizard level, to a maximum of 4,000 gp per year for a wizard of 7th level. Wizards of 8th Level or higher are not accepted as students, but may join the college as “fellows” at a cost of 5,000 gp per year. Students (and fellows) of 5th level or higher who agree to spend half their time serving in the Spellguard pay only half the normal tuition.
Students are provided with rooms in the college’s rambling housing-halls, and meals in the college’s refectory. If they elect to dwell off-campus, they of course must provide their own meals and accommodations. Fellows are not entitled to room and board in the college. The food—and particularly the wine that goes with it—is surprisingly good, and accompanied by dance, minstrelry, literary readings, or displays of entertaining illusions.
Many of the “Masters of Art” (tutors) are crusty or strange-minded, but the college teaches tolerance, cooperation, and an appreciation for differing philosophies and approaches to magic. All students are exposed to every school of spells, to see if they have the desire or aptitude to specialize. The college accommodates just over a hundred students at a time, with an ever-lengthening waiting list to get in. Naive hopefuls who show up at the gates are put on the list, taken in, and taught to do cooking, laundry, cleaning, and repair work around the university. If they continue to do such tasks, they’ll be given room and board and allowed to peruse limited portions of the Conclave libraries on their own, until their time comes.
The Map House
A soaring stone keep once owned by the High Heralds, this building is now part of the Conclave. The tower once housed the Vault of the Sages, and it remains a storehouse of maps and genealogies, most of them copies of precious originals kept elsewhere. The general public (guided by the heralds-in-training studying here and a staff of loremasters) is allowed to browse the maps and records here for a fee of 1 gp per hour. Materials may not be removed, and copies can only be ordered by application to the Master of the House. Heraldry, genealogy, and maps in this collection comprehensively cover all the surface realms of the North and the Heartlands. Coverage of other areas in Faerûn is spotty at best. The Map House is now presided over by the famous sage Esklindrar, whom Alustriel persuaded to relocate here by providing him with personal copies of everything in the collection.
Esklindrar is a sharp-tongued man who lives to acquire knowledge. Possessed of an awesome memory, he has become the greatest known expert on Sword Coast human writings outside Candlekeep. He has befriended several adventuring bands, and gives them leads to where old treasure may lie. In return, they tell him what they saw there and lend him any writings they gained so he can make copies. He is a personal friend of Alustriel and several other powerful Harpers who would certainly take steps to avenge any harm visited upon him.
Utrumm’s Music Conservatory
Relocated from the Northbank to a large, rather nondescript building in the Southbank campus of the Conclave, this archive of written music and “song scrolls” also houses over forty sound-shielded practice chambers, where musicians can sing and play. Many practice alone, but some teaching takes place for stiff fees. Utrumm is long dead, but the present faculty of Masters of Music enjoys a good reputation. Anyone (not just Conclave students) can rent a practice chamber, for a fee of 1 sp per 2 hours, but must agree to Masters and students listening in at will, from balconies in every chamber. Paid admission performances are forbidden in the Conservatory, buc free recitals may be given in either of its ground-floor Halts of Hearing.
The Vault of the Sages
This massive structure has the shape of horseshoe five floors high, with five vast, labyrinthine dungeon levels beneath. If Candlekeep is the greatest storehouse of written lore in Faerûn, the Vault is its greatest assembly of knowledge, in the form of a staff of expert sages and its remarkable library. It’s protected throughout by full Vaelun ward conditions, with one addition: Entry beyond the Forehall is by duraph tokens (regardless of alignment) distributed by the Keeper of the Vault. Intruders who don’t happen to be Jorus, Taern, or Alustriel, or who don’t carry a thelbane or duraph token on their person are barred from entry by an antipathy effect.
The Vault is maintained and guarded by priests of Deneir; they reshelve materials and fetch tomes from the library levels to examination rooms in the Forehall for a fee of 5 gp per book. Books dealing with magic cost 10 gp to view and requests for spellbooks or ritual books are met with the flat statement that “Any such volumes in the Vault are not available.” No personal copying of manuscripts or map is allowed; even carrying in writing materials is forbidden, although Vault scribes will write down a reader’s brief verbal notes as part of the reading fee. Copies can be ordered at a cost of 50 gp per map or 2 gp per page of text. Maps take s days to copy unless very large, and texts can be copied at 10 pages per day.
The Keeper may offer to purchase valuable manuscripts and literary fragments (200 gp per century of age is a good guideline for the value of an old manuscript). If the vendor refuses to sell, the Keeper requests the chance to copy the tome for half the price, and offers free room and board in luxurious guest apartments elsewhere in the Conclave while the vendor waits for the copying to be done.
Most patrons to the Vault visit the open book (no reading fees) galleries on the ground floor and the floor above it. Here news of Faerûn is posted on broad-sheets put up on the walls for all to view, and multiple copies of popular reference works such as Delblood’s Atlas of Faerûn, Revendro’s Roll of the Passing Years, and Gaurdront’s Guide to Monstrous Beasts are available.
The third through fifth floors contain workrooms for the Vault’s scribes, illuminators, and bookbinders; study rooms for each topic of learning (such as magic, history, alchemy, zoology, and geography) and offices where sages may be consulted. Sages are seen by appointment only, and for stiff fees: 50 gp per hour of general consulting, which includes learned guidance as to what books or experts to consult and simple definitions and identifications, plus 500 gp or more for the furnishing of each specific, detailed answer to a difficult question.
The current Keeper of the Vault is the impressive and mellifluous Haliver Muorin. He’s assisted at all times by six priests of Deneir and two Vault guards, and can call on another pair of guards and 2d12 lesser priests of Deneir in an emergency.