The Tilava Vault
It's like some of the Ancients knew something was about to happen and wanted to do something about it. I can only imagine what plans they had for this place, and I wonder what may have been lost...
OverviewWhen Archaeologist Savannah Pavlis discovered the Tilava vault in 1242AGC in the Northern Arctic Wastes, she initially believed it to be an Ancient Dwarven fortress. Further examination revealed that the design of the structure had influences from at least five other cultures in addition to Dwarves, which indicated the structure may have been built late in the life of The Ancient Order, possibly a few years before the The Great Collapse began. The ruin appeared from the outside as a fortress carved into the side of a cliff, but further in were only gigantic carved rooms. Few things were found within these rooms, and it is theorized that more lie buried by rubble deeper within the compound. These rooms made little sense as living spaces as the relative dryness and cold ambient temperatures were more suited to storage and not at all meant for habitation by most humanoids. Strange devices were also discovered having been built into the wall, one of which appeared to have remained functional as its magic had yet to dissipate completely. The device appeared to be trying to make the room colder than it already was. The air it expended seemed "sterile" as described by Savannah Pavlis.
The Sealed CrateSavannah Pavlis concluded that the apparent fortress was actually a vault of some kind. As for what Tilava contained, no one knew at the time as whatever was meant to be in the underground structure was long gone. Robbers had pillaged the ruin of its resources long ago, maybe even during the collapse. It is possible that Tilava really was a fortress long ago, but its interior had been rapidly converted into a gigantic cellar that contained a variety of goods. This would have implied a large settlement was nearby but evidence of this has yet to be found. In 1245AGC, one partially collapsed room contained a key piece of evidence in Savannah's mission to understand the strange structure: a magically sealed and protected crate of great size. It took the services of a mage a year to dispel the magic sealing the crate. When the crate was opened, everyone present were at once astonished and even mildly disappointed. The crate contained many carefully packaged seeds. The packages themselves were made of an unusual clear and smooth material that crinkled in someone's hand. Several of the seeds were familiar, but the rest could not be identified. As confusing as the discovery was, finding the last seeds of entire plant species lost to the collapse was a major find.
It seems so obvious in hindsight, but then I've never thought I would lay eyes on a theoretical structure before.
A Seed VaultSavannah pondered the the meaning behind the presence of a crate full of seeds for a while. She came to realize that Tilava was not just a major storage center for many goods, it was meant to only store and protect one kind of good: seeds. Tilava was a seed vault, an underground warehouse meant to contain and protect a great variety of seeds against any calamity. Such structures have been proposed within academic circles back in the Free City of Centrum, but no one seems keen on expending precious resources to such an endeavor. As for Tilava, one can only wonder how many other kinds of plant life could have been reintroduced to the world had it not been pillaged long ago. Perhaps there's still more the find beneath the rubble within the underground structure, but Savannah Pavlis was not able to return to the ruin after her 1450AGC expedition.
Where are the Recovered Seeds Now?Savannah sent the seeds to the Camila Grand Library in Centrum. According to official documentation from the library, most of the seeds have been kept safely in storage ever since. Of the seeds that remain at the library, they are sometimes brought out for display during particularly extravagant events. As for the others, they have been sold by the Camilla Library to wealthy buyers as part of fundraising drives. The Mabara Guild has purchased several seeds and it seems they aren't done buying yet.
Room, Common, Undercroft
A Second FloorTo date, the structure has only one floor that is carved deep into the mountainside. However, it is believed that the Ancients carved a second floor beneath the known one. That floor probably contains more seeds. Some are more ambitious with their hopes: that the floors contain great and intact ancient devices. It won't be known exactly what the nature of the second floor would be if it exists until someone finds a way to it. There is probably a stairway at the back of the room and that it is hidden by rubble.
Note(s) from the Archivists:Why haven't we been able to get our hands on one of those seeds yet? - Archivist Bob Perhaps because the Camilla Library staff don't like us very much. I wonder why that is, Bob? - Archivist Enna For the last time, I had nothing to do with the grand piano incident! - Archivist Bob It's a shame because the Windtracer visitors managed to obtain some of those seeds when they were here. - Archivist Savitri They did? Bob, you've gotta make amends with that library! - Archivist Enna You know I'm not the only reason they don't like us. - Archivist Bob
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