Plumes and Parchments
The Forest of Knowledge
The Forest of Knowledge is located on the Central Campus of Sigil Planarversity. It is home to the largest Planarversity library and the largest shrine to Solace, Demigod of Growth and Learning.
The forest surrounds the Central Campus and is populated with fire blossom trees. They grow from everburning seeds, the holy symbol of Solace. The trees glow, giving off light from their leaves, following a cycle of darkness and light, corresponding to a regular 24-hour day. At their brightest, they give off the equivalent light of a sunny day. At their dimmest, they give off the equivalent of a full moon. The trunks and branches trees also give off heat, enough to keep the campus warm year-round: a warm summer day at their brightest, and a cool summer night at their dimmest. Fluctuations in light and heat among the forest are the cause of a constant warm breeze across the campus.
Spread across the forest is the vast outdoor library of the Planarversity. The books come from all across the planes, though the two largest sources are the Realms and the school itself. In the field of planar studies, the collection is second to none.
The fire blossom trees keep the air dry for the books, provide ample lighting, and despite their fiery nature, never burn anything except themselves. The planar nature of the campus also precludes any chance of precipitation or fog.
When fire blossom trees first sprout from the soil, they glow like faint fireflies. As they mature, the light from the trees brightens and takes on a reddish hue. Once a year, the tall trees blossom, covered in hot glowing white five-petaled flowers that steadily shift from white to pink to red over the course of a month.
The heat from the petals increases the surrounding campus to an almost summer-like heat. During the month-long bloom, classes across all Planarversity campuses are closed, overtaken by the Fire Blossom Festival, open to all Planarversity students across all campuses.
In the final days of the festival, the blossoms catch fire, burning for days. The largest, most blossom-laden trees completely catch aflame. At the end of the festival, the trees are dotted with all that remains of the blossoms: tiny everburning seeds. The seeds take to the wind, and a few take root each year to grow new fire blossom trees. The end of the academic year is traditionally marked as the last seed has taken to the wind, and the new academic year begins when the first new fire blossom saplings appear, a few months later.