Monday, June 30, 2014

The Library of Tayke

The library of Tayke will be different depending on the age someone is adventuring in.  Before the time of Shaniko, the library will be large, well staffed and anyone may access it.  After the War of the Chosen, or the Avatar Wars, the library is destroyed and very little of the knowledge is left, especially after three thousand years of neglect.  Over the next few days I'll go over the two ages of the library in use for your campaign.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Grand Library of Notitia's Gardens

Outside the library, but behind a huge, protecting wall, are the gardens of Notitia.  The gardens hold exotic plants, animals and statuary. Old trees dot the landscape, herbs from all over the world grow here and there are many small animals and birds that populate the area.  There are a few magical creatures, such as fairy dragons and sprites, but they are in the gardens on their own volition.  If they are harmed, the wrath of the Empire falls upon the violator.   There is a crew of forty that cares for the gardens and animals and live just off site with their families in a small little village against the wall.  They have their own gate to enter and exit through, though it is guarded, day and night.  Each year advisors try to outdo each other and give the emperor a rare and exotic gift of a plant or animal.  It's getting harder, but the Emperor loves the competition.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Layout of the Grand Library in Notitia

The Grand Library is three stories high, with a basement, in most places.  The center building is a single story, with a basement.  This center building is the original building and so very small.  There are very few books here, but mostly tables and chairs for people to meet and discuss their finds in the library.  There are two food vendors selling food to eat and drink to sip upon as they talk.

There are three "wings" to the building.  One on each side, except the entrance on the southern face.  Each wing is close to five acres, with three stories and the basement.  Each "wing" is broken down into subjects, one or so each floor.

The western wings holds history on the first floor, but the next two floors are restricted to the Emperor and whom he deems worthy, along with certain caretakers.  The eastern wings hold maps, language, some history from other realms, and studies of the Gods.  The northern wing holds books on plants, animals, mythical creatures, old ruins, old nations and peoples, along with some fictional writings.

The basement, which spans the whole building, holds the rarest of tomes and maps, along with samples of rare finds.  One "wing" is devoted to rewriting and making of new books. This is manned by at least three caretakers at all times and there are always novices and journeymen of all faiths and guilds copying books.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Library Keepers of the Grand Library of Notitia

This large library in Notitia has grown over the years.  It started as a small, one room building the first Emperor designated for the monks he saved to store the little bit of knowledge saved from Shaniko's minions.  But the Emperors that followed loved knowledge as much as they did expanding their empire, so the library continued to grow in size and content.  To take care of all these books and the large building, takes lots of man power.  There are twenty full time librarians, who are ruled by a single librarian who is usually a Priest of the Mother (Catiana).  Then there is the cleaning staff of about thirty, along with a cooking staff of five to feed all the people in small community.  There is always at least three librarians on at all times, even in the middle of the night, and novices and journeymen of many faiths come and copy the older books for the library on a continuous basis.  There are several sections only certain librarians and the Emperor can visit, but this rare because the Empire wants its citizens to be able to read, write and know their history.

Tomorrow the lay out.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Grand Library of Notitia

The Emperor of Ariella has always harbored a fine library, seeing as the Empire started by protecting a small monastery from the undead of Shaniko.  The library, situated near the palace, but close to the edge of the palace compound so commoners can enter it, is Thirty acres in size.  Not all of it books, maps and scrolls, but also small gardens and zoos intermixed to make for a relaxing area to learn about the history of not only the Empire but the world.

Tomorrow we will discuss the library and it's keepers.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cory's Library and Print Shop

Cory's has been in Devonshire almost as long as Devonshire has been free of Shaniko and his dark god.  This building is quite large, though most of the building is taken up by a print shop, where the owners of Cory's have always printed books and fliers.  Though expensive, at the beginning, Cory's has been around for so long the High King's people come to the store to learn how to print and how to fix things on the printing presses.  Cory's has several printing machines, all tweaked in some way that they are better then the average printing press.  Some say that Cory's machines are infused with magic, they work so well, but the owners never confirm or deny such claims.

Because they have such a large selection of printing presses, and easy access to the pulp needed for paper, (seeing as they live in a forest), Cory's prints lots of books and sells many of them on site.  Since Devonshire has become a large trading city in the time of High King's Sword, Cory's is always busy and has expanded to several nearby buildings to hold all the equipment, supplies and books.  Cory's will print anything, for a price, and will happily rebind books if asked.  It is likely to find, though not all at the same time, a copy of any book on Martapa in Cory's.

Cory's will also reprint maps and other documents as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jordan Stanerio of Vandez's Library

A merchant of horses and riding gear, Stanerio loves books on horses, mounts of any kind and their gear.  His study's walls are covered in floor to ceiling book cases, most of which hold books on horses and the like.  He does have a few history books and family pedigree books, but most of the books have something to do with horses and other mounts.  Someone looking for a fine horse, with a fine background would do well to borrow some time in Stanerio's library to research the background of that horse. 

This library would be great for not only the paladin just looking for the best horse, but anyone who wishes to find or make magical gear for their mounts.  Stanerio has several books on different enchantment for mount gear, as well as where to get the necessary ingredients for such things.  Stanerio is willing to share his knowledge, for a price.  If someone is truly interested in horses, Stanerio may let them use the library for free.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lord Ganlian's Private Library

The Ganlian family, though a rich, noble family doesn't produce a lot of outstanding Knights, but mostly scholars.  They are the keeper of Bloodhelm's history, and Martapa's history in general.  In so doing this the family has accumulated a large library of history.  One wing, though small, is nothing but a well organized library.  Lord Ganlian has two librarians who catalog any new arrivals and keep the library clean and organized.  There are the normal pedigree books, rows and rows of them, keeping track of even off shoot branches for hundreds of generations.  There is history books on just Bloodhelm, Tridon and even the Empire.  The Ganlian's have a few books on elves, dwarves, and even some Akicitia.  They have maps from so far back that a few maps are dated back to the founding of the kingdom.  They have picked a few books on magic here and there, but not many. They even have a small section of books that were produced simply for the joy of reading a story.

The section Lord Ganlian is most proud of is that harboring non-magical healing herbs and other non magical healing techniques.  He has books upon books on healing herbs, how to bind broken bones, even how to treat plagues.  Priests of Tinaka come here often to copy his books or to look them over, which the Ganlian family allows them to do for free.  Lord Ganlian always jokes that it never hurts to have a healer in  your corner.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Libraries on Martapa

Though education is pretty wide spread, to point even the non-nobles can learn to read and write, the stock piles of books are far and few between.  Every mage guild and temple has a collection of books from just a few to a whole wing, but there are few actual libraries of books out side such circles.  These collections of books are mostly privately owned, by rich factors that love to have knowledge for the sense of power or for just the knowledge itself.  In the next few days we'll talk about these private libraries and how they may be of use in your campaign.

Tomorrow: Lord Ganlian's private library.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Magic as a Part of Life

Magic is pretty common in Martapa.  You have light stones, magical communication, and magic to be able to speak different languages.  The common person of Martapa does not fear magic users, except if the magic user is attacking them or their city.  Depending on the area of the world, really changes how much magic is used outright.

Tridon has many magical amenities in every day life.  People of Tridon use it to heat their baths, light their homes and sometimes communicate with people far away.  Mages can affect the weather and navigate ships.  The same can be said for the Empire, though they also use it to move water, rid of sewage and garbage and upon the battle field to communicate and decimate their enemies. 

Dwarves use a bare minimum of magic. They use it for simple things like light stones and for sailing, but not much in battling or to make life very easy.  Elves use it in almost everything they do, even saddling a horse.

The hidden city of Tayke uses it in conjunction with engineering and have mechanical messengers, cleaners of sewers, even creation to rid of rodents.

Every location uses magic to heal in one form or another, but depending on the person, the healing can be amazing to just adequate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Writing During the Summer...For Your Kids

I don't know about your children, but mine are out of school in a few days.  They plan on hanging with friends, playing video games and lounging a lot.  I plan for them to do chores and not let their brain die slowly over the summer.  One of my children loves to write, so I figured I'd have both of them write down what they do this summer.  No big long essays, though I'll shoot for essay type writing, but just something to keep their brain working.  Basically I'll have them write their own "Blog" but not on-line.  I also suggest, for other fun brain activities, that they read books and do a little math, just to keep sharp.  You can find good, free on-line worksheets for any level and there is usually good help guides for those parents that don't have an engineer or rocket scientist as a spouse to explain the math to their children.

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eating Habits of Humans

Humans, like most people, like to eat.  They have breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a break in the afternoon.  Depending on the location, the afternoon meal changes.

Breakfast is usually light, whether in the north or south, though farmers break that rule.  Those in the city usually have bread and cheese, some of the richer people having eggs, as well.  Farmers have fried meat, bread, eggs and maybe a little milk.

Lunch, for most, is usually a soup, with bread and cheese, or fruit if it is available.  Farmers, for lunch, usually have some bread and maybe fruit or cheese, depending on what they have that time of year.  During the winter they may have soup, since they have less field work to do.

The mid-afternoon break is usually small, consisting of fruit, cheese or bread, and tea if one lives in the city, or wine if you live in the empire.  This is mostly to pass the hottest part of the day in the company of friends.

Dinner is the biggest meal of the day, usually consisting of soup with meat in it or a meat platter of some sort, bread, fruit or vegetables, and possible some cheese.  This is about the only time poorer people have meat, and maybe not even then.  Ale is a common drink with dinner, wine if the people are richer.  Richer people of sweet treats as desert, though even poorer people manage sweet treats on some holidays and special occasions.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Eating Habits of Wood Elves

Elves do eat three meals a day along with a small meal between lunch and dinner.  Breakfast is usually light, a bread and or fruit, with a light wine or water if on the trail.  Lunch adds a little meat or some sort of cheese.  If on the trail, elves will usually eat their version of hard tack with berries and nuts mixed in for a high protein meal.  Dinner is a large affair with three courses of salads, berries, fruits and nuts.  Usually a course of meat is served, as well, though it is a small portion.  The small meal between lunch and dinner is often called "Relaxation".  If in a city the "meal" consists of crackers, cheese and a little fruit.  Richer homes have wine with the "meal" that most use as a social and rest time before the last chores of the day must be finished.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Eating Habits of Dwarves

So every race has a certain way and certain diet they eat.  Dwarves are no exception.  The dwarven day is pretty similar to most other races, a breakfast, lunch and dinner.  But they also have a time called "Ale Time".  This is after dinner and before bed, a social time when many dwarves get together to meet friends or be with family and drink ale.

Dwarves eat a lot of meat and bread, though they like vegetables and fruit as much as the next person.  And every meal, no matter the time of day, is accompanied with ale.  Most of the bread is heavy, wheat bread, dark in color and grainy in texture.  Meat can range from goat to fish, though they prefer red meat if possible.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Communications on Martapa

There are several ways communications are sent and received on Martapa. Here are the major ways.

1) Letters brought by runners.  There is a whole network of runners not only in Tridon, but Ariella as well.  Stations are spread out for rest areas and supplies for the runners so they don't have to carry a lot of supplies and thus can run faster.

2) By falcon.  Nobles keep falcons to fly from known location to known location.  They can carry small, short messages which can be the beginnings of communications.

3) Magical means.  The use of mirrors to speak through, mages can talk to each other.  Though there are lots of mages, only a few are capable of doing this.  And it is straining, so only the rich can afford to have such means of communications.

4) And what we would refer to as "snail mail".  Letters can be written and brought by stage or boat to the next location until it reaches its destination sometimes months later.