Friday, September 14, 2012

The Crookstaff Family Library

We're continuing our series of posts with details on Everway's family clanhouses. For this series, I am using Kevin Crawford's One Page tables for creating an Urban Palace and Building A Noble Clan from his forthcoming medieval Africa-inspired fantasy RPG, Spears of the Dawn.

The Crookstaff family library - it's almost a cliche. Of course a family of wizards would have a library. A beautiful, sun drenched library with skylights in every room. Tragically, the library is entirely empty, and has been for generations. 

Long ago, the Crookstaffs shared magical resources with each other. But all that ended centuries ago. The Magistras and Magisters of the Crookstaff family were too individualistic and competitive with each other. It started with the wizard-teachers who demanded longer book loan periods. They treated this like an entitlement, even when they weren't teaching or conducting research.

Then there were the wizards who forgot to "return" books to the library altogether. And students sneaking into the library at night to steal books  Gradually, each wizard opted to remove books from the commons and to create their own personal library. Finally, the whole thing was privatized.

Then the library was sealed. It is said that when the stars are right you can still see the ghosts of long-passed scholars looking for the missing books.

So today, the Crookstaff clan house has many different libraries - each off limits to all but one wizard and their apprentice.  


  1. Not only a moody adventure location, but a useful metaphor.

  2. You've invented an Anti-Library...and it has a lot of potential for some interesting adventure possibilies. Can someone sneak into the sealed library and attempt to 'summon' one of the old books/grimoires that used to be stored there?

  3. The Anti-Library. I kind of like that. Yes, I can imagine it would be rather straightforward to sneak in and summon back books that used to be part of this library. it would be interesting to see the Ghost Librarians' reaction to this, and it would create quite a stir among the current Magistras and Magisters as books start disappearing from their private collections. Yes, this could be just the ticket to foment turmoil and divisions.

  4. Wardens, wards and the knowledge in the returning books could make it an unassailable location too, maybe even cut it off completely or move it elsewhere or -when.

  5. @Porky: That is a really clever idea too! It seems like whoever tries to summon books back into the Anti-Library may have a little surprise in store for them!


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