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Scriveners' Guildhall neighbourhoodby Giampaolo Agosta
The Scriveners' Guildhall
Located at the end of Bricktop road, near the Great Market, the Guildhall is a four-story building, with a protruding turret on its corner. The ground floor is occupied by two halls -- the entrance, and the meeting hall. The meeting hall opens on a small courtyard, while the entrance hall opens on Bricktop road, and gives access to both the meeting hall, and the upper floors.
The first floor is divided in many small rooms, used by the Consuls and the Guildmaster as offices and council rooms. The second and third floor are occupied by the famed library of the Scriveners' Guild. The library collects tomes on law (mostly on the second floor), with smaller sections on economics and political topics (third floor).
Notable tomes include The Administration of Empire, written by Thyatian Emperor Alexandros II Dalessenos, the Oratory by Paphocuzitum, and the Rhetoric by Stroznner. A copy of the classical text on Traladara by Governor-General Elena Hassenberg (the third Thyatian governor of Traladara after Flavian Osteropulos) can also be found in the library. Texts on the history of Thyatis, Traladara and Darokin (including the Lynnell edition of the Lay of Almarand) are collected on the third floor as well.
A ``secret'' section is located in the third level of the turret (accessed through stairs from the upper level of the library). It is a single bookcase covering half of the curved wall of the turret, and it is protected by a trapped lock. Only the Guildmaster and Consul Igor Wolf (who is in charge of the maintainance of the library) have access to this area.
The secret library contains a number of secret documents related to Guild politics, as well as a few restricted access books (access to the library is otherwise allowed even to non-members), such as the works of Fabritius Luscinia, and a couple of tomes on alchemy and magic, collected by previous Guildmasters, including the magnum opus of one of Karameikos' wizardly luminaries, Krollan's Artifacta Arcanum.
The Golden Book
Right next to the Scriveners' Guildhall is a small inn and restaurant, The Golden Book.
The restaurant's walls are lined with dark woods and leathers, making it appear even smaller. It features a dozen small tables on ground floor, plus two smaller dining rooms at first floor, while the second floor has four single rooms, often rented by visiting scholars, and the last floor houses the innkeeper's family.
The Golden Book is an upscale establishment, where somber waiters in dark uniforms serve mostly Thyatian and New Karameikan cuisine with imported wines (the innkeeper, Lucius Falernianus, is a conoisseur reputed to have one of the best collections in Specularum) and some local light beers and ciders.
Lord Bartram Cordelius, the Minister of Trade, and doctor Antonius Marcianus, a prominent judge and a Consul of the Scriveners' Guild, can be often found here at lunchtime or in the evening.
The Priest and Jug
Just opposite of The Golden Book lies this much rougher establishment. "Decorated'' mostly by humorous (and often vulgar) graffiti, the Priest and Jug is the haven of the New Karameikan students. The walls are periodically tinted white by the owner, Pyotr Caesarion, but are immediately covered with new writings.
Caesarion, a drop-out student of Law who managed to put his hand on a good amount of gold in his first (and last, as he swears) attempt at adventuring and invested it in the establishment, serves simple but nutritious dishes of meat and vegetables, together with good beer. He is helped by a single serving girl, Marina, and the cook, Vika, an aged Traladaran woman.
The generally friendly atmosphere sometimes (especially late at night, when everyone has had too many drinks) degenerates when students of ``pure'' Traladaran or Thyatian descent come in to stir trouble.
During the day, besides the students, Caesarion's maternal grandfather hangs out at the Priest and Jug with a small clique of retired Traladaran scriveners. The aged gentlemen spend every afternoon playing cards and critiquing every item of news they can get.