While Arcane College and Huxelheim Academy are best known for their impressive lending libraries, the city and surrounding region have many other private collections.
Visiting any of these libraries is a treat. At first, adventurers may find their rules and restrictions strange. In time, though, they will come to appreciate the variety of magic used to keep the collections intact.
Some common features:
- Permanent magic mouths are placed strategically throughout the large libraries. If the magic mouths detect raised voices, they make a hushing sound, and if the offenders do not take notice, the mouths utter the command, “You are disturbing our patrons, so please be quiet.”
- Some librarians invest in a wand of unseen servant, mainly so they can have assistance placing and retrieving items from the most hard-to-reach places. The appearance of seemingly floating books handled by unseen servants gives rise to the rumors that libraries are haunted places.
- For those librarians who often are put upon tall ladders, many consider a ring of feather falling a worthwhile investment. At Arcane College, such a ring comes with the office of chief librarian. By tradition it is passed down to successors.
- Bags of holding and handy haversacks are not permitted in Reywald libraries. The main entrance is warded to detect moderate conjuration and ring a small bell as a signal to the librarian on the desk. Such items must be checked in at the desk to allow the patron to proceed.
- Genuine book donations are always welcome, but some people think the donation box is a great place to donate water-damaged books, books with broken spines, or stacks of pamphlets and leaflets kept in grandma’s attic. Lately, adventuring groups have started to leave a new type of discard. These are used magical manuals (such as manual of bodily health, manual of gainful exercise, manual of quickness of action, tome of clear thought, tome of leadership and influence, and tome of understanding). Once their magic is expended, they are simply bulky self-help manuals (usually poorly written and of dubious practical worth) of which the library already has plenty.
These two magic items are usually found only in libraries:
Librarian’s Wooden Stamp
Items of exceptional value that are checked out are usually stamped with the librarian’s wooden stamp, a magical version of the date due stamp used for lesser and mundane materials. When the term of the loan (usually one month) is over, a stamped item is automatically returned to the library.
Items stamped by the librarian’s wooden stamp can be countered by an erase spell. However, doing so is cause for having one’s library privileges revoked for a period not less than 10 years but usually for the standard 100 years. The chief librarian determines the penalty, which includes substantial fines. (Donations to the library can mitigate fines and punishments.)
Librarian’s wooden stamp. Aura conjuration (summoning); CL 7th; Slot hand; Price 184,600; Wt 1 lb.; Craft wondrous item, arcane mark, instant summons; Cost 92,300.
Lens of Comprehension
Place the text of a book or scroll under this glass, and it translates known languages and deciphers magical script. The lens is a circular glass encased in a metal mounting band that is engraved with the words “knowledge is power” in multiple languages. Swivel hardware permits precision movement of the lens and connects the band to a flexing arm attached to a heavy base. The entire apparatus is weighty. Presently, the Arcane College library keeps two lenses on site. One is permanently kept under lock and key in the occult reading room. The other is mounted on a cart so it can be moved as needed to different locations in the library.
Lens of comprehension. Aura divination; CL 3rd; Slot —; Price 14,000; Wt 50 lbs.; Craft Wondrous Item, read magic, comprehend languages; Cost 7,000.