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The Catalog

Postby Indigo » 10/14/2015 1:40 AM

The library seems to have been built overnight. It's not very large, a little brick building tucked behind a house and covered by a curtain of ivy, and the only indication that it even is a library is the sign, which is also quite small. Perhaps it was here before, and you simply overlooked it until now, although you have a strange feeling that this is not the case.

It's probably not safe to go into mysteriously appearing buildings, but you do anyway. It's only a library. What could it do to you?

Inside, the library is cool and dark; what windows there are have ivy growing over them. There seems to be only one large room, lined with shelves and with a few chairs gathered awkwardly in the corner. There's one lamp, on the circulation desk, and it's turned off. Behind the desk is a large newspaper, which after a few seconds is lowered to reveal a Yonyuu wearing what must be the tiniest glasses in the world.


Image

He meets your eyes for the briefest of moments before looking back down at the paper spread before him. "Is there something I can help you with? A magical artifact you wanted me to identify, or...I am rather busy, you understand."

He certainly doesn't look very busy to you.

"Mm, wait. I know why you're here." He reaches under the desk and presses something that clicks loudly, then pulls out a drawer and sets it on the desk. Inside is a line of little plastic cards, separated by plastic dividers. As you watch another card pops into existence.

"The catalog," he says, and the corner of his mouth twitches. "People who know people who know other people. One of the stranger devices I've been given. Eventually I imagine it won't fit in the drawer anymore, though that day is a ways off." He pushes the drawer toward you. "Go on. Everyone comes here to look at it, and almost everyone finds who they're looking for. Someone they know, someone they ought to know, someone who can solve a problem they've been worrying about or one they didn't even know they had. It's some sort of powerful magic. We've never been able to determine what kind."

You take the drawer with you to the table in the corner, and begin flicking through the cards. Somehow you wouldn't have expected magic to work in plastic. Most of the cards don't have contact information on them, but there are a few; people the catalog thinks you need to contact, maybe. If you believe what the Yonyuu says. It would be perfectly reasonable not to.
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Contents

Postby Indigo » 10/14/2015 1:46 AM

There are a number of dividers between the cards, each with a label in the same neat type as the cards themselves. Some are people's names, or so it seems, though in a few cases those people don't have cards of their own. Others must be organizations, some with very odd names. One even refers to the library you are in. None of them mention you, which is probably for the best.
--

There's an extra divider in the front with four symbols printed on it which you've seen in a few places before. What they have to do with the catalog, you can't imagine.
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The Library

Postby Indigo » 06/08/2017 4:44 PM

Alphonse Lemaire
Male Alliance Yonyuu
Age: 40
Size: Medium
Diet: Carnivore
Forms: Yonyuu
Based In: Various

He sits behind the desk and glares at you though dark glasses. He speaks to you as he would a child. He helps, but there is something insincere in it, a veneer of manners over superiority and resentment, and perhaps something more.

Alphonse became the custodian of the library at a young age, without ever intending to do so. Out of curiosity he stepped through a door that appeared overnight, and found himself in an enormous vaulted room, all dark wood and dim lights and comfortable chairs under bookshelves. It doesn't look like that anymore, of course—he rearranged things for the sake of his eyes—but the impression has stuck with him ever since, the library's true self.
He was as knowledgeable about magical artifacts as a nineteen-year-old can be when he arrived, and in the years since has become a veritable encyclopedia of the things. There are still things in the library he doesn't understand, but not for lack of trying; the curiosity that brought him to this life guides him through it to this day. He is part of the library now, an essential piece, and it cannot move without him. If he's outside when the location changes he'll be whisked away with it, and these days he doesn't leave much at all, to avoid such mishaps. Solo teleportation is very unpleasant when you're not expecting it.
The library treats him well and provides him with all the knowledge he could ever want, and he is haughty and demanding because, he says, this places him above those the library has not chosen. He believes it, some of the time, though he'll make exceptions where he can—Roderick was chosen by Alphonse, and that's basically the same as the library doing it—and rationalize them away so they don't interfere. And he watches the library's visitors leave, and return to their lives and the world outside, and there is something of envy in his gaze. But never expect him to acknowledge it.
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The Library

Postby Indigo » 06/21/2017 4:31 PM

Roderick Hodges
Male Biolune Rollaby
Age: 24
Size: Small
Diet: Saccharovore
Forms: Rollaby
Based In: Various

He is always there when you need him with a helping hand and a genuine smile, appearing behind you with exactly the book you wanted without having to be asked. He overflows with jokes and kind words, and his grin is infectious, when you can coax it out.

Roderick may well be the first person ever to choose the library, instead of the other way around. He'd always had an interest in singular magical objects, had in fact devoted his academic career to learning about them, and though the library appeared to him the way it does to anyone he was fully informed when he decided to walk in. The library does not provide for him, though he sleeps on its floor and moves when it does; he has wages and groceries and something like a normal life.
His studies, though cut short by his change in career, have given him a thorough understanding of the objects he works with, and that understanding has only been improved by his time with the library. But anyone with the right books can at least come close; the real service he provides is of the customer variety. He is chatty and upbeat and knows how to read people, and has prevented the occasional errant patron from being entrapped by magical lures by careful words alone. He earns his keep. The library doesn't teleport him should it move while he's outside, because he's not truly part of it, and it only takes him with it when he's in it by its will. Should he disappoint it, he'd lose it forever.
Though quite popular both among patrons and the people he knows in his mundane life, he has a certain sense of inadequacy, showing itself in occasional pauses and swallowed sentences and quiet laughs. After all, he wasn't good enough to be chosen, not really; he's only managed to stay through force of will. It wears on him when he thinks about it, and so he does his best not to.
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