Hall of Annals
The corners of his mouth tugged upward just as he finished reading the inscription, dry amusement glancing across his face. The annalist had stopped, and she waited while Evander read it once more. He reached out to the stone as he did so, running his thumb faintly over the crude carvings in its face as if he could imagine a different annalist dragging the knife in reeking scratches along the surface.The Hall of Annals, while not usually 'officially' considered a sector of the Steel Palace, is located underneath the main palace and houses many original documents pertaining to the Beourjen Army. The original journal of Forged in Blood: A Tale of the Crossing and Crusades is located here, as well as several of Ruskov Marnise's personal letters used as evidence for his trial and execution.
"Do you get it?" the annalist asked, and he nodded almost imperceptibly.
"Yes." He pulled his hand back to his pants' pocket and turned. "Do most people who read it understand?"
"All of them do," she said dismissively. She was already moving to unlock the library's doors but she paused, gave him a curious look over her shoulder. "Though most do not admit to understanding."
DesignThe 'main hall' of the Annals is a deceptively large chamber considering its hidden, underground placement, with the frontmost prison cells having been knocked out to make the main hall bigger. The floors and walls are all lined with wood, and bookshelves cover just about every wall of the main hall.
The hall is then broken up, much as a normal library is, with couches, tables, reference shelves, and typewriting and research stations. Going further back are the second-tier cells, which have been converted into individual reference rooms, storing files and texts that are perhaps prohibited or original sources. Most of these rooms are only accessible to the annalists and Triadic council members, or individuals who have recieved permission to access certain documents.
Past that section are the third-tier cells, which have been converted into dormitories for the annalists. Despite being in the essential basement of the Palace, they're some of the most finely furnished rooms in the building, and the dormitories even have running water.
It is a bit strange to reckon with, I suppose, because technically anyone could seek our assistance, but we're situated here to aid the Triadic, and diplomats and historians and the like. And also, it is our home. We live here, and eat and drink and stay up late and fall asleep on the couches all bundled in blankets sometimes, so it is—it can be strange at first.
It's really up to the annalists' discretion as to when the Hall of Annals is open to the public, however they usually keep the doors unlocked during normal business hours, and often until late evening. It's also up to them to determine who they allow into the halls; people typically only enter to see or work with one of the annalists themselves. This is partially due to the fact that not many people, outside of those who work at the Steel Palace, know about the Hall of Annals, but also because it's simply not meant for the public. The only exceptions to this are the annalists' close friends or family that might stop by or council members they're working with for a lengthy period.
HistoryThe Hall of Annals was originally built in 1296 to be the Steel Palace's dungeon and Beourjen City's aristocratic prison, however the Triadic decided almost immediately after the erecting of the Steel Palace that the dungeon might be too small as the confederacy, and capital, grew. Thus, most of the underground level was converted into what is now the Hall of Annals, while a small section stayed relegated for highly esteemed prisoners.
Since then it has grown steadily to the size it is now with minor renovations throughout the centuries.
EntrancesThe Hall of Annals has two entrances, though only one is publicly used. The main entryway is down the main stairway in the Steel Palace's grand foyer and along a narrow stone corridor, however there's another stairway running from the servants' quarters near the back of the palace directly to the dormitories so servants can easily and discreetly attend to the Annalists.
InscriptionJust before the front entrance to the Hall of Annals is a poem that some previous annalist presumably carved into the stone wall sometime during the early 1500s. That poem can be read here:
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