The Apothecarium Building / Landmark in Kelbonnar | World Anvil

The Apothecarium

Located in the heart of the Gardens of Meltaro district in the Imperial Capital, Meltaro, the Apothecarium is an enormous research, educational and hospitalisation centre, where diseases, contagions and poisons are examined and assessed for their deadliness and potency. In addition, people from across the Empire of Turelion come for medical treatment, provided that they can pay for it of course.   The Apothecarium also acts as a training centre in a variety of medical professions and applications, herbalism, surgery and the medical applications of magic to name but a few. Indeed, such is the status of the institution that it is even regarded as being more esteemed that the Imperial College of Arcanists when it comes to its teaching and research work into medicinal magic.

Purpose / Function

There are three main purposes to the Apothecarium: the first of which is research into diseases and ailments; the second, the education of people in mundane and arcane methods of medicine; and the third the treatment of patients.   The importance of each of these aspects to the Apothecarium is as presented above. As the institution was originally founded as a centre to examine and research illnesses, contagions and poisons that could be used against the Imperial Family, it has retained this aspect as its core purpose. It is rumoured though, that this core purpose has also evolved into not just the research and study of pathogens and poisons, but also into the development of them. Several times, for instance, the Apothecarium has been accused of creating novel poisons for the Imperial Inquisition, though all of these accusations have been vehemently denied and remain unproven.   In order to undertake the volume of research required by generations of paranoid Emperors and Empresses, it was necessary for the Apothecarium to recruit and train new staff, something which has continued and developed a broader portfolio beyond simply training researchers.   The treatment of patients, is regarded as the least important of the Apothecarium’s purposes, principally because the centre was never envisaged as being a hospital, but over the centuries it has been in operation advantages have been seen to the treating of patients. Most openly, patients provide a nice additional source of income that helps to supplement the funding granted by the Imperial Bureau, as they have to pay for any treatment they receive. More sinisterly, taking on patients for free from the poorer districts of Meltaro, the Catacombs especially, provides an ample source of test subjects for the various and often dangerous pieces of research being undertaken in the institution.


Regarded as being one of the most picturesque buildings in the Gardens of Meltaro district, the Apothecarium is a large rotund building with a grand colonnaded entrance, which has a large walled garden stretching out behind it, which is used as both a place for patients to exercise and as a place for the cultivation of medicinal herbs and other plants.   Within, the main teaching spaces and the spaces dedicated to the treatment of paying patients are located in the above ground levels, in grand marbled rooms, with the hospitalisation spaces made to feel comfortable and clean.   Beneath the ground however, are the research floors, which are by necessity, much more cramped and dingy, with barrel vaulted ceilings and a confusing network of corridors, many of which have been fitted with arcane defence mechanisms to contain potential breaches in contamination. Beneath the ground is also where the so called ‘charitable hospital’ is located, grim halls with beds packed nearly side to side, where people often end up becoming sicker than they were when the were admitted, thanks to the ‘treatments’ administered to them.


Those who can afford to do so travel from across the Empire of Turelion to visit the medical practitioners at the Apothecarium for treatment, as they are viewed, rightly or wrongly as being some of the best, medical practitioners in the whole of the Empire.   As well as potential patients travelling great distances to be examined and hopefully cured by those that live and work in the Apothecarium, scholars from all over Kelbonnar frequently travel there for additional training and to utilise the institutions renowned library on diseases and ailments and both the non-magical and arcane methods of treating the sick and dying.
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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah


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