Catalog Divinator

"What is this?" Tylor poked at the book in front of him, its green leather cover embossed in a gaudy silver font. The Firefighter's Guide to Cheesemaking.   "It's the book you wanted." The Catalog Divinator's impassive green eyes blinked slowly.   "I didn't ask about cheese!" Tylor fisted his hand in his hair and pulled. "I'm trying to find my Mom's long-lost sister!"   The Divinator shrugged her shoulders. "That book will lead you to your answer. That's all I know."
  Catalog Divinators assist library patrons in locating the perfect books for their current needs, through the use of Divination. The resultant suggestions are frequently surprising but in most cases do meet the patron's requirements despite some appearances to the contrary.

Operations

Workplace

Catalog Divinators are most commonly found in libraries, although some are employed in government buildings and other businesses responsible for maintaining large collections of records. When assigned to catalogs available to the general public they tend to work behind help desks readily visible upon entering the building. Those who maintain more private collections tend to have access to a private office.

Provided Services

Individuals wishing to research information from within the libraries, archives, or other catalogs may request assistance from a Catalog Divinator. The patron must state their request as clearly and specifically as possible, at which point the Divinator will request to locate an answer within their available records through the use of Divination. If the spell identifies any useful records or books within the available stacks the Divinator will obtain a copy. If not, they will add a follow on question to their spell to locate somewhere that may provide the requested information, passing on this recommendation to their patron instead.   The services of a Catalog Divinator are free when researching in public libraries and archives, although sites accustomed to heavy repeat usage may charge fees for repeat Divinator usage after a certain quantity of requests are completed for the same individual. Private collections on the other hand commonly require a fee or a tip in order to use these services.
Tylor double checked the address before nervously approaching. Here we go. He closed his eyes and exhaled slowly before tentatively knocking on the heavy green door.   A moment later he was confronted by a short, blonde woman, her unkempt curls somehow personifying the annoyance on her face. "Yes?"   "Are you Likara, author of A Fireman's Guide to Cheesemaking?"   "Yes?" The word was more demand than question.   "Ummm... I'm sorry to bother you..." Tylor wrung his hands. "I was hoping you could help me..."   Likara pointed a perfectly manicured finger towards a sign nailed to the siding. "No soliciting." She began to close the door.   "Wait!" He had come this far, he wasn't going to back out now. "Your book, the cheese book, you dedicated it to a Marilla Ramshaw." The words were coming faster now. "I need to find her. I have to. My name is Tylor. Tylor Ramshaw, son of Jesska Ramshaw, and I think... I think Marilla is my Aunt."   There was the sound of shattering glass, and suddenly a tall, brown haired woman was pushing her way through the door. If he didn't know any better he would have mistaken her for his own mother, but from a decade ago. Likara nodded at her, those once angry eyes suddenly soft and hopeful, before fading back into the house and gently closing the door behind her.   "Tylor? Tylor!" Tylor found himself lifted from the porch, her damp face buried in his neck. "Please tell me it really is you."   Tylor squirmed uncomfortably. "Aunt Marilla?"   She didn't answer, instead setting him down before wiping the tears from her eyes. "Let me look at you. How did you find me? Why did my sister let you come here?"   Tylor frowned, wringing his hands. "Mom's real sick. She's dying. She told me about you, told me you had a big fight when I was born and haven't spoken since. She said... She said to tell you she's sorry. She's sorry for hurting you, and she's sorry for not telling me about you." He shifted his weight. "Are you really my aunt?"   Marilla broke down and knelt before him, before turning her tear soaked face to his. "No, Tylor." Grief and joy fought behind her smile. "I'm your mother."


Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
5 Dec, 2020 04:13

Are the firefighters making smoked gouda? :) Your story is beautifully sad, and the first part captures perfectly what a catalog divinator is.

5 Dec, 2020 04:26

I can only imagine how ridiculous a book that would be. :X So of course I had to use it once it popped into my head.   And thank you. <3

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
5 Dec, 2020 08:21

Ooooh, the end of that story was great! That aisde, being a catalog divinator sounds like a very fun job to have.

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse

Feel free to check out my latest work!
5 Dec, 2020 13:18

Not to mention useful!   *Remembers weeks spent in the state library searching for some obscure piece of information for a history project and shudders*   So much faster to research!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
5 Dec, 2020 13:36

The story made me cry a little! So amazing!   I LOVE the idea of the catalogue divinator. I wish they had been available when I was working on my PhD, haha.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea! Please check out my peculiar plants entry! :)
8 Dec, 2020 01:57

I love the story and how he finds the truth! What a cool profession!

Author of the upcoming book Rise: Liminal Chronicles |
17 Dec, 2020 10:23

This is a wonderful idea for a profession! And I absolutely love the story that frames this article. Excellent work!

The Kaleidoscope System | My DeviantArt Profile   My entry for the "Peculiar Plants" challenge: Umpu Deraksi
17 Dec, 2020 14:49

Thank you!   Since Fillimet is high magic I am always looking for opportunities to use magical spells for the mundane and everyday. This one was too fun to pass up.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
28 Dec, 2020 14:13

Aaaaah the story is so good :D Poor Tylor! I want to know more about his adventures--and cheese.   I think it'd be really cool to be a Catalog Divinator. Like the elitest of the elite librarian--always knowing what book you should read next ;)

28 Dec, 2020 19:25

This skill would be so useful.   Could probably adapt the spells to point you towards your car keys and such, as well.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Powered by World Anvil