Along with the Imperial Court
Council, the Guild of Librarians is one third of the triumvirate that
advises the R'unorian Empress. The Guild of
Librarians also performs a function similar to both the EnkyklopadiŽ
Nybelmarnica or the Compendium
of the Santharia in that it gathers and
records information in a scholarly fashion for future use.
Appearance. The Guild's lay people wear no special garb, nor do the gatherers. Apprentices are given dark red robes marked with a pair of grey stripes down the back and front, which serve as a uniform. Full librarians have similar dark red robes though these lack stripes. The Librarians Omnibus are awarded a silver medallion with the Guild Seal emblazoned on it, while the Speaker wears a silver mantle over his or her robe.
Guild gatherers can be of almost any race, tribe or profession, though as a rule gatherers in foreign lands tend to be sailors or merchants of one sort or another. The ranks of apprentices and librarians are largely populated by Rímart and N'eshmor, and this filters up to the ranks of the Librarians Omnibus.
Function. The Guild's supposedly impartial ultimate goal is to "acquire all knowledge of things physical, intellectual, and spiritual and to preserve this knowledge for the benefit of future generations". In order to accomplish this, the Guild gathers and records information from wars, to fashion to philosophy to new methods of cooking, and stores it in the Great Library of Glara.
In practice, the Guild is one-third of the R'unorian Triumvirate that advises the Empress. The various branches and organs of the Guild of Librarians act in R'unor's interest in matters of trade with foreign nations, conducting the census of the kingdom, the education of its peoples and, if rumour is to be believed, espionage.
Organization. The organization of the Guild of Librarians is much like that of the Santharian Compendium in some respects. At the base of the Guild is the "laity", a workforce of people who produce food, paper, ink and other things as required by the Guild.
Above these are various apprentices, who work to copy and collate the notes produced by the Guild's gatherers or various colleges. The apprentices are responsible for the legwork in keeping the Great Library organized, among other duties in order to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Guild. More senior apprentices may be assigned to synthesize notes into an acceptable summary to be included in one of many indices. Apprentices are formally approached by the various colleges of the Guild for induction into their ranks. The criteria vary between the colleges but usually involve the apprentice personally collecting and synthesizing information about something new. This process can take quite a while and not all apprentice have survived the ordeal or returned to the Great Library afterwards.
The Gatherers are the eyes and ears of the Guild of Librarians. They are its agents in Nybelmar and Sarvonia, and are also a significant source of income for the Guild. Many of the gatherers are merchants of one sort or another, and send goods or monies back to the Guild with their reports. Through these and other influential connections the Guild controls a significant proportion of R'unor's trade with the outside world. The Guild possesses the best contacts, information and maps of locations outside R'unor and so has an advantage when it comes to trade. A gatherer is not necessarily a particularly learned person, merely one who knows what sort of information or articles might be of interest to the Guild. Indeed, most gatherers often have no concept the value of some of the items or information they procure.
Above these are the Librarians, who maintain the Great Library and its records. The librarians organize themselves into four broad colleges, based on specific area of expertise.
- The College of Mechanists
The College of Mechanists is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge of mechanisms and their improvement, as well as advances in metallurgy, architecture, masonry and woodcraft. They count famed inventor Gregory Firelance among their number, and are partly responsible for constructing the mechanical hand used by Empress Kirvosa Flameseer.
- The College of Alchemists
The College of Alchemists is dedicated to the craft of alchemy and its associated schools, as well as knowledge of medical arts and techniques. The College of Alchemists operates hospitals in major R'unorian cities, and is responsible for training many R'unorian healers.
- The College of Magi
Members of the College of Magi study but do not practice magic. They are also, strangely, interested in the study of religions and spirituality. The College of Magi has been responsible for collecting the scriptures of the R'unorian deities into three books (the Books- of the Skies, of the Seas, of the Stones respective).
- The College of Travellers
The College of Travellers studies living things: plants, animals, races and tribes. They also research politics, cultures and customs. They catalogue and dissect animals, study agriculture, and observe festivals and other peoples in order to construct a complete profile. The Travellers are the largest of the colleges and also spend the most time abroad.
Each college appoints from its own ranks ten Librarians Omnibus, who form the Guild's council to the Empress. These then elect from their own number a single Speaker, who leads and moderates the group. The Librarians Omnibus lead the Guild as a whole and give direction to each of the colleges. To avoid confusion, the Speaker and Librarians Omnibus are referred to as a whole as The Omnibus.
The Omnibus nominally advises the Empress, alongside the Imperial Court and Guard's Council. Since the end of the reign of Mogh, the triumvirate that advises the Empress has also had the ability to veto her decisions if two thirds of the triumvirate agree to do so. While this may seem to place the power in the hands of the advisors to the Empress, it is rare that these groups agree amongst themselves, let alone with one another.
Coat of Arms. The seal of the Guild of
Librarians is a stylized vashkoon
head, one eye replaced with a sunburst, encircled by three curving lines that
each end in a spiral. The coat of arms, or elements of it, features prominently
in the architecture of the Library Towers. Each symbol is intended to represent
one of the R'unorian gods. The
vashkoon head represents
Helífik, who is said to have made the clever vashkoon, while the sunburst
represents Gorgamoth, the wise giver of glass. The curving lines are intended to
represent the tendrils of Murlar who attempts to hide secrets.
On the reverse or about the edge, where applicable, are often written the words "All the knowledge in the world is already known" the motto of the Guild.
Location. The Guild of Librarians is housed in the Great Library on the island of Glara, a short distance southwest from the city of R'unor.
History. The Guild of Librarians traces its history back to a minor R'mart family called Glara, and its household, which fled the isle of R'unor during the Glorious Reclamation, in which the combined forces of the R'mart and Blaar'kr subjugated the orcs of R'unor.
Their crude ship reached a small islet south of the main island, but foundered soon afterwards, beaten to scraps by the surf, leaving both the family and household stranded.
Despite the comparative adversity, the family survives and constructs what would become the basis of settlement on the island, and the beginning of the Library itself. It is common among R'mart to keep a tome of collected knowledge, a car'ido, which preserves the wisdom of generations past. The Glaran Car'ido marked the earliest known comprehensive record of flora or fauna of R'unor, and certainly the oldest surviving example of any such attempt. Following the Unification of R'unor, the contingent that arrived on Glara was surprised to find a thriving, if minute, settlement, which was quickly incorporated into the burgeoning kingdom.
The Guild of Librarians was formally formed following the unification of the Kingdom of R'unor itself in 2997 b.S. Construction of the Great Library had begun in 3172 b.S., but the structure was soon found to be too small to house the rapidly growing collection, and additions were needed. Construction began anew in 3003 b.S., with the formal completion of the Great Library in 962 b.S.
 The compendiumist digresses that the entry must contain a cursory explanation of R'unorian politics in order to be as clear as possible to the reader. This explanation has been largely simplified to avoid becoming a treatise on R'unorian government which would surely exceed the normal and natural length of an entry of this scope. [Back]