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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Realms of Sorcery (pg. 86-87).