Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Magic of Libraries, part 3

I'm sorry, it seems I was again wrong in my estimating that this story would take 3 parts to tell. Anyway, it feels to me like I'm cheating, but I don't think I'm that motivated to finish this particular short story. So I won't. You can skip reading this post if you want, to save yourself from the dullness. Just keep in mind that I plan on editing most all the stories on this blog so that they're even better.
Perdu soon found that it was futile to keep on his feet in the giant's hand as she stomped her way across the forest, because he kept getting knocked down. So he gave up standing altogether and simply sat cross-legged, which was a much easier position to hold, though he still got shaken about.
He kept his hornbeam wand pointed to his mouth, continuing the spell that allowed him to speak as loud as the Great and Just Gigi could hear, and he told her of the imminent attack on the Great Library and why it was so important that they protect it.
"Many years ago, long before my time, the Great Library was started by the first wizard, Senex the Old. He wrote many books, but not just ordinary books, because every one contained the story of another world. He had constant, vivid visions of places that don't exist in this world, filled with strange inhabitants, usually in the form of man, though some places were populated by other classes of creatures. Every world's laws and customs and histories is contained in their own book, which constantly updates itself magically with more pages as the story of that world develops. Senex built the Great Library to contain all these books, and he cared for and protected them from any harm. He feared that if anything were to happen to the books, the worlds contained in them would be destroyed.
"Senex kept this library secret from the general population, only revealing it to his most trusted of wizard apprentices. They read the books he kept and, while they all believed him to be a most wonderful wizard, they were never sure what to make of the books, because they didn't know how the stories inside them could be true, that the worlds within them really existed. When he finally died, however, the wizards that succeeded him began having incredibly detailed visions of the worlds Senex had seen, in addition to some new ones. They decided these worlds must be as real as our own, and they started keeping even more books.
"For a long time, many wizards discovered more and more new worlds in this way, dozens of wizards working at the same time, and the Great Library kept growing and filling up with books. Eventually the wizards began having fewer visions of new worlds until they stopped altogether. An army of wizards was no longer needed to keep the library growing, so they only came to read of these magnificent other worlds whose stories were never ending
"Fewer and fewer wizards visited the library as the years passed, but there was always at least the Keeper of the Great Library, a wizard entrusted with the safety of these important books. It's their job to make sure that the books aren't stolen or fall into the wrong hands, as well as to make sure they are always handled with care when being read from.
"Now about a century ago, a rash and young wizard named Malum visited the Great Library and requested permission to read and learn about the different worlds. He was granted permission, but he had to be overseen by the Keeper at the time, Duros the Stern, for Malum showed no respect for books, handling them roughly and tossing them about. Duros kept the books from being harmed as best he could, and it soon became clear to him that Malum didn't want to pick out just any book and sit peacefully in a corner to read it. He was searching for a very particular book...
"Malum came back again the next day, and again, always under the stern eye of Duros, searching and searching for something. Finally the young wizard asked the Keeper why, in the whole of the Great Library, did there appear to be no book that contained our world, and our history? Duros didn't have an answer for him, and Malum concluded that if our world wasn't represented, then the whole library must be built on a lie. He didn't believe that other worlds could exist beyond our own, and wanted the Great Library destroyed. Duros wouldn't let that happen, and there was a great wizard's duel between the two, which Malum lost. Duros put a spell on him that prevented the young wizard from ever setting foot in the Great Library again, but Malum swore that even if it wasn't by his hand, the library would eventually fall.
"From then on, Duros let hardly anyone into the library, save for his apprentice, Verus the True, a good wizard he was confident would keep the library safe from harm. After Verus, that responsibility fell to Trux the Wild, my predecessor. Trux wasn't that interested in studying old books or very fond of keeping indoors, but Verus had little other choice in naming a Keeper to follow him. To keep himself from getting cabin fever, Trux made friends with the birds and forest animals and had them keep watch over the library for him whenever he went away on his frequent excursions.
"This is where I, Perdu, come into the story. I was a young and struggling wizard, not particularly skilled in magic and with no great title to my name, but Trux found me and took me under his wing and made me his apprentice. He helped me understand magic better and I swore to help him protect the Great Library. It's not been a particularly exciting or rewarding job, but I took it more seriously than Trux did, which he appreciated. Not long ago Trux disappeared, and he hasn't come back to the Great Library, which leaves me to assume that I am the sole Keeper of the library.
"Now this morning I got word from one of Trux's animal friends that a large group of men were approaching the library, calling themselves the army of Malum. I'm unfortunately still not the most talented wizard. I can hardly do any spell without having the Grimoire in front of me to read from. But for a long time I've been piecing together a spell of my own, putting together words from the ancient language that would bring me the help I need to defeat Malum's army, or at least keep them at bay.
"That, Great and Just Gigi, is how you came to be in this world, and now... Gigi? Gigi!"

Gigi couldn't help it. The wizard's story was so dull and boring that it just about put her to sleep. He didn't seem to have noticed, but she'd reached the Great Library ages ago, about halfway through Perdu's monologue, and had been sitting down next to the little model-sized building that just came up to her ankle. It didn't seem that great to her, but she supposed at the wizard's size it must be quite impressive.
It was like she was stuck back in class listening to a history lecture. Gigi held on for as long as she could, but all of a sudden her eyes just shut and her whole body fell backwards in a dead faint.

Perdu realized that her hand had gone all lax, that she'd suddenly fallen asleep. Quickly he took his wand away from his throat and waved it around himself, teleporting down to the ground safely near the Great Library (oh, they had arrived already?) just as her head hit the ground and caused the earth to tremble beneath him.
When the vibrations in the ground had finally stopped, Perdu teleported so that he was on the tip of the giant's nose. "Gigi?! Great and Just Gigi, are you alright?!" he asked, using his magically loud voice.
She didn't respond.
Disappointed and frustrated, the wizard looked all around to see if there was any large army approaching in the distance, like Trux the Wild's little bird had told him.
At first he didn't see anything, and he breathed a sigh of relief. But then, he saw something suddenly shoot up into the air and fall in a wide arc, flying straight towards the library and the giant.
It was an arrow tipped with fire.

Probably not to be continued...

But just so you know the rest of the story I had in my head, I'll spoil it for you. Malum's army shoots fire arrows at the Great Library, trying to burn it down, but Perdu manages to wake Gigi in time to scare them all off.
I'm not very clear on how she manages to get back home to her world, if I'm being honest, but I was aiming for this to be like an origin story for the Plot Holes, kind of explaining how that came to be...
If anyone wants to comment and give me ideas on how you think that would happen, I'd appreciate it. Or you can just tell me what kind of story you would have told using a giant, a wizard, a flame-bow and a library.

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