WorldEmber2018
 

A warm, dark laughter reach your ears. "I... well, I'm the Librarian!", the Librarian answers with a smirky smile on his face.   "You already mentioned that part", slips out of your mouth, before you can even think about what to say. "I mean... I'm sorry. I just am curious about your person. Who have you been before you were the Librarian? How old are you anyway? And why are you here all alone?" The questions just spill out of your mind, as you look at his face for any hint of anger or discomfort. But the grin only gets wider the more you speak.   "Alright, dear adventurer, I have always been the Librarian. I was created for this purpose and my age depends on what calendar you use. In andarian years I am 3038 years old. In terran years this would only be about 1665 years. I don't know, how time turns in your home. So, as you see, you can't tell for sure."   The Librarian walks aroud the wooden counter and stands right in front of you. He seemed so much smaller behind the counter, that you are surprised by its height. He turns to a bookshelf next to you and grabs a random book. While talking, he gives you the tome, which you took without thinking.   "Being alone... that's something I haven't thought about in years." He grabs another foliant and reaches it to you in the same movement.   "How do you define being lonely?", he asks you with a lecturer's voice.   "Well... uhm... when nobody else is around you, I'd say", you answer with a puzzled look on your face, shifting the books from one arm to another.   "Which means, at the moment I am not alone, because you are here, right?" he adds, just as you finish your sentence.   "Y-yes, I'd say so", is the only thing you could say, before he starts to talk again. In the same moment, he let three more books sink onto the stack which is already heavy in your arms. The pure weight of the old paper lets you squeak in surprise and you miss the first words he spoke.   "...very good company, you know? You're totally wrong! Let us have a look at what you are holding against your pounding heart." He points at a small table at the side of the shelf, which is, surprisingly, not taken by stashes of books and foliants.   You let the weight sink onto the table with a sigh of relief. Five thick books skid along the wooden plate, until they couldn't slip any more. You look at it with a strange satisfaction, before the Librarian reaches for the first one. With a great gesture he opens the book and looks at it severely.   "This, my dear fellow, is the story of Yokul Ganok, the greatest healer of Andara. He is, as his name implies, a Ganok. And if you ask him anything about illness or wounds, he can tell you all things about what you should or shouldn't do. But to be honest, his high-pitched voice was something, I wouldn't want to hear every day."   With a sweeping gesture he positions the foliant on the table and grabs the next book.   "Vidar the wanderer! Ahh, great choice. Vidar was the one, who walked all around Vidar's Shoe - a landmass in the south which is formed like a shoe", he added knowingly and pointed on a map with his old fingers:

Vidar's Shoe
"Of course the area got it's name after that. Before it was just the south. Well, As I was saying, he walked just around the landmass, cartographed it and ruined five pairs of perfectly fine shoes, because the land was rough and unfriendly. Some would say, just like their inhabitants, but you didn't hear that from me." He twinkles at you, while he let the book slip back onto the table.   A few seconds his hands wander over the remaining book covers, hesitating to grab the first one. As he decided and reached for the middle one, the expression on his face changes like a carousel. As you watch him, you recognise pain, love, even adoration, fear and many more, before he seems to notice and changes to his familiar smile.   "I hadn't had this book in my hands for a long time. It's special to me. You can say, it's my greatest treasure in a room full of gold." His mouth twitches, as he seem to remember something, then he let his eyes sink down on the worn, green leather in his hand. It takes a while, before he finally opens the foliant. He took a deep breath, before he begins.   "This is about Fela. She is a great technician, peacemaker and a true leader. She taught humans to remember, that they have to care for this planet without destroying it. She taught them, that we have to live beside other beings instead of dominating them. She sacrifices herself every year to keep the balance of Andara. She is very dear to me."   His voice sank nearly beneath a hearable volume, but you hold your breath anyway, listening to his words. You soak them in like a sponge, feeling the pain the librarian feels. Even the fact, that he refused to speak in past tense about her, tells you more than words could express.   Finally the Librarian cleared his throat and changes his expression to the former, well-known friendly smile.   "What I wanted to show you with this: I am not alone. I have the very best company one could wish for. Right here."   Just to accentuate his last words, he holds the book up for a second, before he holds it tight again. With wide steps he leaves the remaining books unnoticed on the table and walks back to his counter. The book about Fela is still held tight like a crying child. After he sat down with a "plumpp", for a second he seems to be at least a thousand years older than he had told you. Then he just switches back to normal.   "What can I help you with next?" he asks, smiling, of course.


Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
5 Dec, 2018 08:08

Yeaaa I totally don't trust this guy. Not ONE BIT.

5 Dec, 2018 08:38

You love him. Admit it.

5 Dec, 2018 08:12

This guy sounds so great. I love him so much, he has the literal knowledge of the ancients at his fingertips and I'm 99% certain he's an AI of some fashion. Not sure tho.   I'm liking the style so far!

5 Dec, 2018 08:38

Interesting guess! Why do you think that?

5 Dec, 2018 09:07

World where humans fell from the sky and spread across the continent. A weird old guy that appears out of nowhere and seems like he personally knew some of the heroes he talks about. Sounds like he came down on the spaceship. :D

5 Dec, 2018 21:21

I love the way you think. ;)

5 Dec, 2018 08:18

Fraud! He's a time spinner, that's what he is.

5 Dec, 2018 08:39

Because he's ancient? :D

5 Dec, 2018 21:07

He's aging well. :D   A question: how does he maintain the library all by himself in his old age? Does he have helpers? Is it all a hologram, projected into people's minds? Will there be an exciting cataclysmic conclusion to this tale, with secret paths and daring rescues through the articles? :D

5 Dec, 2018 21:23

Good question! I don't want to spoil everything in my third article about it, but I maaaay clarify some things, the deeper I get with filling the information. :)   And: he has no helpers. Except in his books. :D

5 Dec, 2018 21:36

Sentient book automatons confirmed!

5 Dec, 2018 23:44

A+ art. I have some... I'll call it librarian magic, in a very broad sense... in my world, too. I have a soft spot for it. :)   As for your manner of delivery, it is very engaging. I love how you formatted this.   I did have a couple moments there where the orientation of the books was a little confusing, not to the extent that I couldn't understand the order in which the books were examined, but I was a bit unsure where the books go when they leave the hands of whoever the librarian is speaking to (me?). You might want to take a look at that and see if there is a way to express it with greater clarity. It's a subtle issue, I think.   Thank you for sharing this!

6 Dec, 2018 02:26

I love this!! The way you laid out the conversation between you and the librarian was a great way to distinguish between the background text and dialogue. I wish I thought of that before. So does he feel lonely? I mean he appreciates your company,but does wish there were more people around? Also does he normally have a habit about going off about random books? ;)

Powered by World Anvil