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University District, Parsantium

We're back from the USA and so I thought I'd post some Imperial Quarter locations I've been thinking about recently:

The University of Parsantium is situated in the Civic Ward and is renowned as the foremost centre of mundane learning in the former Batiaran Empire. Consisting of several buildings, the biggest, an impressive marble edifice known as the Ivory Towers, houses the 300-seater Auditorium where lectures take place, classrooms, and the offices of the tutors and academic staff. The University Library and the Imperial Museum of Antiquities, as well as halls of residence and for the students and academic staff, kitchens and a grand dining hall make up the rest of the buildings.

The Imperial Museum of Antiquities houses a collection of artifacts from the former lands of the Batiaran Empire, the deserts of Khemit, and beyond. Its collection would be more impressive if the University did not need to sell its most valuable artifacts rather than putting them on display, not to mention the steady stream of items routinely stolen from the museum. More interesting perhaps is the stuff not on display stored in the vaults beneath the building: some is awaiting cataloguing, some has been deemed too uninteresting to show and some too dangerous...

The university is also home to an enigmatic sphinx named Flamewind who came to the city after being met by adventurers in a ruined temple deep in the jungles of Sahasra. Flamewind has the body of a giant lion but with orange stripes on deep black fur. Her great falcon wings are jet black; she has the face of a beautiful elf or eladrin maiden, though her features are very feline and her hair is the same black and orange as her coat. She wears a few jewelled chains of platinum and gold around her neck and forelimbs and a silver diadem rests on her brow.
Flamewind spends much of her time in the Great Libary and around the university and has a great deal to offer adventurers and scholars seeking to know more about the Ruined Kingdoms and other remote parts of Sahasra. She possesses oracular powers and has been known to summon a band of adventurers, sending them on strange missions after uttering a cryptic prophecy identifying them by name.

The Great Library of Parsantium is situated in the university district in the Civic Ward and serves as the centre of the worship of the god of knowledge, Tinel.

This is the most complete and inclusive library in the former Batiaran Empire, housing many literary, artistic and scholarly works of the people of the Empire and beyond. This huge collection has grown over the centuries of Parsantium's existence, although many valuable works were destroyed or lost when the city fell into the hands of the humanoids prior to the Great Crusade.

To keep the library's Hall of Records current, the Inceptors (priests) of Tinel who look after the library hire adventurers to travel to remote locations and document their journeys. Sometimes, they are asked to find out the truth of a particular legend; at others, to verify a rumour or reported event. These adventurers are instructed to keep a journal of their travels; these journals are then purchased by the Great Library. Typically, adventurers return to Parsantium from their travels in the months of September and October hoping to sell their journals to the library.

The library is open to researchers and visiting scholars at a cost of 20 gp per day which includes assistance from the librarians, scribes and research scholars.

Sources:
- Flamewind is stolen from Eberron and appears in the Sharn, City of Towers book.
- The Great Library is based on the Great Library of Throal in Earthdawn -- I always liked the setting but never got to play the game.
- Tinel is from Green Ronin's excellent Book of the Righteous from which much of the Batiaran pantheon has been taken.

Any comments? The idea is to provide the PCs with a place to do research and also some potential adventure patrons.

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