Sam Rougefeu, by way of Twitter, alerted me to The Great Library of Eruanna, located close to the south-western coast of the northern continent of Gaeta. Occupying a quarter of a Full region, this is an imaginative build by Amara Shino, forming both her private home and a place open to exploration by visitors and light role-play is welcome.
I say imaginative, as it takes the form of a stone castle sitting over a honeycomb of tunnels, caverns, halls and rooms – all of which is sitting on and within a giant floating island of rock. As such, despite the apparently small land area for the setting, it has – literally – a very real sense of depth to it.
The landing point sits on one of the walls of the castle, immediately before one of the more notable of its towers (not that many are not noticeable!) and offering a view down into the main bailey.
The architecture is a curious mix, the design suggesting this is a place which has grown organically rather than any planned development. The tower immediately in front of the landing point perhaps offers the first curiosity, a tampering, angular finger topped by a single-story house extending beyond its narrow top on a wooden platform.
Across the grass sitting outside of the castle walls is another tall, angular tower, this one offering a sense of mystery to it, being the home of an apothecary / alchemist, the vapours from cauldrons within its the ground floor escaping under the front door. Stairs climb the inside of this tower, allowing an escape from the vapours to the upper levels – including an enclosed bridge spanning the gap between this tower and a great shoulder of rock rising over the bailey of the castle.
A Hobbit-like front down sits at the foot of this shoulder (one of two Hobbit houses backing their way into the rock, each furnished in a manner that should keep orc, dwarf hobbit or human in reasonable comfort), while the flat top is home to more spire-like towers with conical roofs of another castle awaiting exploration.
This upper castle can be reached in one of two main ways: via the narrow tower rising from the keep of the lower castle, or via a path winding up the shoulder of rock itself. Both of the castles present multiple rooms to explore, one of the rooms in the lower keep hinting at the use of the building as a library, the walls lined with cabinets of scrolls. But this is just the start.
The real secrets of this place lie within the tunnels and caverns below the towers, keeps and little houses, together with the rooms they contain. These tunnels can be can be accessed from more than one point, but I’m not about to spoil things here by listing any of them; you’ll have to visit yourself to find them. All I will say is the majority – but not all – can be found within the castle.
Once within the tunnels, you’ll again find there is much to explore, including the great library itself, tucked away in the depths of the rock. Spanning multiple levels and comprising several rooms, this is an ideal setting for casual role-play. Part of it even comprises a tower built within the living rock, its floors linked by wooden stairways and an open-sided elevator passing level after level of bookcases.
The lowest level of this “tower” accesses another larger hall; at one time, this may have also been a used to store books and scrolls, but it now stands empty, the upper floor broken, and only the side rooms remaining in use. But books are not all that might be found here; some of the caverns have been turned into catacombs where mummified bodies lay at rest – those of past librarians perhaps? You decide
I could write more here, but as noted above, this is a location thoroughly deserving of exploration – and as such, I’ll break off here and encourage you to do so!
- The Great Library of Eruanna (Orbitalis, rated Moderate)