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The Leaves of Learning was a temple dedicated to Oghma in Highmoon in the Dalelands and contained one of best libraries in Faerûn.[4]

LocationEdit

Situated at the southern end of Highmoon Hill, the Leaves of Learning towered over the streets of Highmoon in Deepingdale.[4]

StructureEdit

The Leaves of Learning was surrounded by a large outer wall, inscribed with all manner of runes, and a large duskwood door was the only public entrance.[5][6]

Taller than even the Tower of the Rising Moon,[1] the central tower, known as the Tower of Tomes, was made of stout stone.[4] This Tower rose a full six stories high and was capped by a spired tower, reaching 30 feet (9.1 meters) above a parapet.[5][7]

Either side of the Tower of Tomes were a set of cloisters, each carved with intricate scrollwork and vines. These cloisters faced towards a forested inner court that was encircled by the outer walls of the temple. The forested garden was dominated by a large variety of trees and flowers native to the Dalelands and Cormanthor, such as helmthorns, phandars, weirwoods, and even a transparent chime oak. Winding paths leading past babbling pools and bowers dotted about the garden helped create areas of contemplation.[4][6]

Within the inner court was a free-standing wooden building named the Monk's House that rose two stories high.[4] Lastly, adjoining the cloisters was the Scroll House, a stone building that housed both the duskwood entrance door and the clergy's quarters.[6]

InteriorEdit

Inside the Scroll House, which housed most of the clergy, were various rooms with large fireplaces or wood-panelled walls. Besides the rooms directly above the kitchen, many quarters on the second floor could get rather cold in the winter months.[6]

The six-floored Tower of Tomes was a mix of shelving floors filled with bookshelves and reading floors segmented by reading rooms. A metal spiral staircase wound up through the middle of the entire tower, eventually emerging at the roof.[5]

ServicesEdit

The Leaves of Learning offered many services to visitors but it primarily operated as one of the foremost libraries in Faerûn, catering to almost all branches of knowledge, besides matters of magic.[3][1] It's collection of maps alone was considered the ninth most extensive in the Heartlands, just behind the Society of Stalwart Adventurers club's collection.[8]

Under the watchful gaze of at least two clergy members, visitors could examine tomes in the library for a fee of 15 gp per tome; this fee allowed one to examine the tome for a full day. Initiates and clergy of Oghma could examine a volume for only 1 gp instead.[1] Copying, however, was strictly prohibited, although discussion and reading was permitted.[9][3] The staff of the temple did offer a copying service for those willing to pay. In 1369 DR, this service cost 5 gp per page or, if the page contained maps, illustrations, or symbols, the price was 10 gp per page.[9] By 1372 DR, these prices had dropped to 1 gp and 2 gp for a written page and an illustrated page respectively. In addition, magical copying of works was offered for a price of 3 gp per page (minimum 50 pages).[3] In both times, the fee for copying larger works was only on a negotiated basis.[9][3]

Some of the finest bookbinders in Faerûn made their home in the Leaves of Learning. This attracted some quite wealthy patrons to the temple for book restoration from as far as Cormyr and Sembia. The usual fee for this service ranged from 10 gp to 100 gp, but would be waived entirely for books not found in the library if the permission was given by the owner for a copy to be made.[3]

Limited supplies of divine and bardic scrolls were also available to be sold.[2]

DefensesEdit

Although few may find the treasured books of the temple worth stealing, the Leaves of Learning was nevertheless protected by various magic wards that enveloped the entire structure. All infiltrators would find that the area was covered by a hallow spell with a zone of truth tied to it, which made any false proclamations of faith quite difficult. In addition, the walls (inner and outer) were inscribed with numerous runes and symbols. Although most were non-magical, some indeed served as glyphs of warding that triggered upon attempts to scale the walls. Some of the glyphs in the more restricted areas of the library could be triggered by pass phrases to afflict intruders.[5] Much like the library of Candlekeep, the Leaves of Learning was layered with anti-fire spells that stopped any form of fire igniting.[10]

Alongside the wards of the library were the ever-watchful lorekeepers who worshiped the Binder and ensured that visitors were supervised at all times when making use of its services. By 1372 DR, an increasing number of monks from the Children of the Passive Voice had begun supplementing the ranks of the staff and dedicated themselves to protecting the library.[3] These monks were led by Lorewarden Rowan Silvercrown. [11] Besides the clergy of Oghma, a detachment of Tower Guards from the Tower of the Rising Moon had been assigned by Lord Theremen Ulath to protect the temple under the command of Sergeant Mourn Deepwood.[10][2]

HistoryEdit

The rise of Learned Father High Atlar Hasicor Danali's work within the Leaves of Learning has gone hand in hand with the rise of Highmoon's prominence. Since beginning work on his Index in 1329 DR, repeated visions from Oghma have fast-tracked Danali to head of the temple.[9]

Rumors and LegendsEdit

Despite longstanding claims that no books of arcane lore were kept at the Leaves of Learning, rumors often circulated among some wizards that this was not really the case. These rumors gained traction after the death of Rhauntides, the sage of Deepingdale, whose spell collection was thought by some to reside with Danali.[12]

InhabitantsEdit

Although it was primarily Oghma's faithful who resided at the Leaves of Learning, the Harpers took to keeping watch over the library also and it was not unusual for a Harper such as Jhenna Iliathor to be there most days.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 4. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 3. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 2. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 11. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 10. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  7. Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 9. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  8. Ed Greenwood (October 2012). Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0786960345.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood (January 1996). Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. (TSR, Inc), p. 105. ISBN 0-7869-0406-2.
  11. Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 7. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.
  12. Eric L. Boyd (2002-05-29). The Leaves of Learning (Zipped PDF) p. 12. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2009-10-07.

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