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A few miles north of Carroburg, just outside the village of Tubingen, stands a fortified Manor House surrounded by a moat. This is the base of the Library and Repository of Wisdom and Magic, or the Ancient Library as it is better known. At first glance, it looks ordinary, but anyone with knowledge of warfare would notice its location is very defensible; a small force could hold this place for weeks if need be.[2a]

The Library exists to collect and study whatever material it can about the world's philosophical traditions and religions, and also the history and development of magic in the times before Teclis and the foundation of the Imperial Colleges. It was founded one hundred and twenty years ago by Lord Magister Heinz Meissner, a Hierophant of the White Order in Altdorf. Any Imperial Magister or Journeyman may visit the Ancient Library. Meissner and his staff welcome all who come with a genuine wish to learn, but he will ask for a donation towards the upkeep of the building. It is generally expected for visitors to give something.[2a]

Visitors will be shown upstairs to the Library itself, a huge, airy pine-panelled room, with four galleries spiralling up to a series of skylights. Unsurprisingly, the room is filled with row upon row of shelves of well-ordered and maintained scrolls, books, and papers, including the works of what appears to be almost every philosopher, seer, and theologian who has ever written in the Old World, and perhaps even beyond.[2a]

It is possible to find members of almost any Order here, reading or copying the ancient documents. It is also quite common to see philosophers, theologians, academics, and priests of a number of different religions at the library. Meissner will allow visitors to browse for as long as they please, and his staff will even offer them meals for a reasonable fee. Magisters of the Order of Light will be invited to stay the night free of charge if they wish; others will be allowed to stay for a small fee.[2a]

If a visitor gives the right pass phrases, Meissner will lead them down into the house's cellar and the rooms that lead off from it. This is where dangerous works of sorcery and witchcraft are stored, and it's the true reason for the library's existence. Meissner is a Lord Magister of the First Circle—the highest ranking Hierophants of the White Order and protectors of its most terrible secrets. This group, who also call themselves the Guardians of Light and sometimes the Children of Teclis, study the ways and means of Chaos to better combat it, and the library houses a wealth of dangerous and forbidden works of Daemonology and Witchcraft they have gathered. The Library exists as the Hierophants' base where they investigate, destroy, or capture the works and creatures of darkness. The library and cells hidden in the cellar are bound by powerful enchantments of Hysh to keep the evil contained in the books from contaminating those that read from them.[2a]

Including Meissner, there are three Magisters who reside at the Library permanently and ten apprentices. There also tend to be between three and six visitors in the secret cells at any one time—Magisters, apprentices, merchants, officers from the army, academics, politicians, and minor nobles—all one-time Apprentices of the Order who gather information and resources for the Library. The readers in the upstairs library are genuine scholars who know nothing of Meissner's true vocation or of the house's other occupants. There are usually between eight and thirteen visitors upstairs.[2a][2b]

The Ancient Library is one of the central bases in the White Order's network that spans the Old World and contains many powerful people. It is not a separate organization from the White Order, but Meissner will still only reveal the library's secrets to one who knows the passwords and not just any Magister of the Order of Light.[2b]

Old Canon

A few miles north of Carroburg, just outside the village of Pfaffhofen, stands a large moated and fortified manorhouse. This is the base of the Library and Repository of Ancient Magics and Enchantments, or the Ancient Library as it is better known. At first glance it looks very ordinary, but anyone with a knowledge of warfare can notice its location is very defensible: a small force could hold this place for weeks if need be.[1a]

The Library exists to collect and study whatever material it can about the history and development of magic in the times before Teclis and the founding of the Imperial Colleges. It was founded twenty years ago by Heinz Meissner, a former student at Baron Henryk's College in Marienburg, who presents himself as a historian rather than a wizard, happy to teach what he knows to anyone who is interested. Most wizards regard the Ancient Library as a joke, an eccentric folly, but for a place with such limited scope it attracts a steady flow of visiting magicians: students, masters and some senior scholars too.[1a]

Visiting the Ancient Library

Any magician may visit the Ancient Library; Meissner and his house-staff are always happy to see visitors. The newcomers will be shown upstairs to the Library itself, a long dusty room whose shelves are thinly stocked with books and papers. There may be a wizard and one or two apprentices here, reading or copying the ancient documents. Meissner will be happy to let his visitors browse and will offer them meals, but apologizes that due to lack of space he cannot let them stay – he will suggest the inn in Pfaffenhofen instead. However, if a visitor gives the right pass-phrases, Meissner will lead them down into the house's cellar and the rooms that lead off of it. This is where the majority of the collection is stored, and where most of the Library’s visitors come to read and talk.[1a][1b]

Meissner believes that Teclis deceived Magnus, and that the old forms of human magic had the potential to be- come as strong, or possibly greater, than High Magic. He thinks that the Elves established the Imperial Colleges to deliberately stunt the potential of human wizards, and that they are planning to conquer the Old World. He is not alone. Powerful backers have funded the Ancient Library as a school to study and teach the older forms of magic, to unlock their rue powers.[1b]

The Library has three full-time wizards on staff and keeps ten apprentices who are taught Meissner’s hotch-potch theory of magic, heritage and the superiority of humanity. There is also a weapons-master, and usually between three to six visitors – wizards, apprentices, merchants, officers from the army, politicians and nobles – all sympathetic to the Library’s beliefs and aims, and who usually stay for two or three days at a time. The readers in the upstairs library are genuine scholars who know nothing of Meissner’s true beliefs, nor of the house’s other occupants.[1b]

The Ancient Library is one of the nexus-points of a network of human supremacists that spans the Old World and contains many powerful people within its numbers. It is not exactly an organization, but rather a series of linked people and groups with similar beliefs and aims. No non-human and no wizard associated with the Imperial Colleges will be given access to the underground complex, and any such visitors will be encouraged to leave the Ancient Library and Pfaffenhofen as soon as possible.[1b]

Anyone who wishes to study here and who can convince Meissner that they share his beliefs will be able to learn a number of Battle magic or elementalist spell. The underground network of rooms also contains a stockpile of dried foods, weapons and plentiful spell components.[1b]

Heinz Meissner

Meissner is a paranoid racist conspiracy-theorist. Worryingly he is not alone. Meissner has a network of powerful allies around the Old World. Meissner’s own magical powers are limited, but he is a charismatic and convincing speaker. He studied at Baron Henryk's College in Marienburg, where after some unpleasant encounters with Sea Elves, he came to the conclusion that all Elves were evil and working to subvert humanity's true potential. He has made it his life’s purpose to ensure that when the Elves finally come for the Empire, there will be wizards with the heart to fight back and the magical skills they need to win. Although his researches into the history of magic have not borne any fruit so far, he feels he is close to a breakthrough.[1b]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Realms of Sorcery
    • 1a: pg. 87
    • 1b: pg. 88
  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Realms of Sorcery
    • 2a: pg. 86
    • 2b: pg. 87

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