Morgrave University is an institution of higher learning in Sharn, Breland which boasts an outstanding collection of ancient treasures and relics. While not the most reputable university academically-speaking, it has made great gains in research of the continent of Xen’drik, mostly by funding expeditions of Wayfinders and adventurers, who bring back artifacts and information to fill the university’s museums and libraries.
The university was founded by Lord Lareth ir’Morgrave in 738 YK to be a “beacon of knowledge shining from the tallest towers of the city, illuminating the forgotten secrets of the past.”
The university lies in the University District of Upper Menthis in Sharn. Morgrave University owns most of the buildings in Upper Menthis Plateau, even ones not used for University purposes. The University itself fills Dalannan Tower, which is crowned by the enormous dome of Lareth Hall. Five slender spires ring Dalannan Tower, representing and named after the Five Nations, and they house most of Morgrave’s students. The university library is located just below Lareth Hall, and the Commons—atop Breland Spire—is a popular gathering spot for students and faculty alike.
The Bridge: The long, arcing, covered bridge that connects Breland Spire (and the Commons) to Dalannan Tower serves as a center of student life at Morgrave. Shops line one side of the bridge, including bookstores, paper makers, clothing and equipment vendors catering to students, and related businesses. Notices, such as announcements of campus events, job opportunities, items for sale, rooms for rent, and the like, cover the opposite wall of the bridge.
The Commons: Pleasantly situated atop Breland Spire, the Commons is a large open-air plaza with a commanding view of the neighboring towers and lower reaches of the city. Every morning, vendors wheel their carts up to the Commons and offer a mouth-watering variety of food from a dozen different cuisines, from Karrnathi sausage to Talentan kebabs. The offerings are hardly haute cuisine, but they are authentic and generally delicious.
Dezina Museum of Antiquities: Home to the finest collection of artifacts from Xen’drik in Khorvaire, Morgrave University’s Dezina Museum fills many of the mid-levels of Dalannan Tower. Its collection would be even more impressive were it not for the strong tendency the University has to sell valuable artifacts rather than put them on display, not to mention the steady stream of items routinely stolen from the museum. More interesting (at least to some) than the museum’s displayed collection are its vaults, vast rooms below the publicly accessible areas of the museum that contain unopened crates of treasures waiting to be cataloged and shelves of artifacts deemed uninteresting.
Great Hall of Aureon: The grand temple to the god of knowledge at Morgrave University, the Great Hall of Aureon is an architectural marvel as well as a sacred site often visited by pilgrims. Scholars, scientists and artificers, and any others who seek knowledge have made a practice of spending the night in the Great Hall. They believe that inspiration will visit them while they sleep on the marble floor of the majestic temple. Some of Breland’s greatest minds through the ages have claimed that their greatest breakthroughs came after a night in the temple. Merrix d’Cannith (the grandfather of the current head of House Cannith in Sharn) attributed the invention of living constructs (the first warforged) to stay in the Great Hall of Aureon.
The Great Hall also provides a place to find experts in all fields. The temple staff represents the broad spectrum of scientific study, and if they do not know the answer to a question they can almost certainly find someone who does. The ordained clergy of the Great Hall include experts, wizards, loremasters, and bards, as well as clerics, and position in the hierarchy of the temple has nothing to do with character class or field of expertise.
Hadrill Gardens: Aundair Spire is crowned by the magnificent Hadrill Gardens, an extraordinary display of exotic plants, flowers, and even plant creatures from around the world. Access to the more dangerous plants is restricted to students in the botany department who have permission from a faculty member. There are nine greenhouses (including one devoted to orchids from Xen’drik and Q’barra) and a large open-air garden that is a popular site for romantic walks and meditation among both students and staff.
Lareth Hall: Named after the founder of Morgrave University, Lareth Hall holds the University’s administrative and faculty offices. This large domed structure at the center of the campus, situated at the top of Dalannan Tower, contains the office of Dean Larrian ir’Morgrave, along with the bursar’s and registrar’s offices, and—in a large chamber at the top of the dome—the abode of Flamewind, a gynosphinx.
Morgrave University Library: Centrally located on the University campus near the top of Dalannan Tower (just below the dome of Lareth Hall), the Morgrave University Library has the most extensive collection of books in all of Breland. It pales in comparison to the great library at Korranberg, but a significant number of Zilargo expatriates live in Den’iyas and work to make the Morgrave Library the best resource it can be.
History is clearly a specialty of the University, and those using the Morgrave Library for research into the history of Sharn or Xen’drik gain a +6 circumstance bonus on their Knowledge (history) checks. The Library offers a +4 circumstance bonus on Knowledge (history) checks related to other areas and on Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), and Knowledge (geography) checks.
For all other Knowledge checks, the Library provides a +2 circumstance bonus.
Those without formal ties to Morgrave University must pay a fee of 1 gp per day to conduct research at the Library. Students, alumni, and those working for Morgrave can use the Library for free.
Shava House: Shava House, a small academic community on the campus of Morgrave University, was originally a housing unit for professors with no families. It has developed into more of an intentional community: the residents share meals heavily laden with academic discourse, and generally share an interest in the history of Xen’drik.
Valdain Museum of Natural History: Underfunded and unappreciated at a university so focused on ancient ruins and relics, the Valdain Museum is nevertheless a fascinating collection of carefully stuffed and mounted animals from across Khorvaire and beyond. The exhibits go far beyond mundane animals to include a wide variety of magical beasts, from blink dogs and displacer beasts to a great bulette, and an enormous dragon skeleton hangs from the ceiling above the museum entrance. The Valdain Museum is located near the top of Karrnath Spire.