ep: the library


There is a bookwyrm in the library.

Note the spelling. Not a bookworm. A bookwyrm.

No one is entirely sure when it snuck into the Elsewhere University Library, but one thing has become entirely certain: it is never, ever leaving.

And why should it leave, with a veritable unlimited floor plan filled to the bell tower with delicious, fragrant tomes to claim and hoard and sample.

An ink-black serpentine wyrm that originally was not much bigger than a rabbit, it used to scamper here and there in the library looking for open tomes to slurp the words out of (it is a terribly messy eater, much to the librarians’ chagrin). The words it eats etch themselves somewhere onto its dark hide, though it has consumed so many letters in so many languages that it is difficult now to see where new bits of prose are added.

Students have been warned repeatedly over the years not to feed the bookwyrm. But there are always those who do not heed the warnings of the librarians. It used to be a funny pastime for students that had become stuck in one section or another of the library’s labyrinthine stacks to feed scraps of paper with vulgar words to the then tiny bookwyrm and then try to find where the offending epithets manifested. The bookwyrm was not terribly picky about the words it ate back then, because it was always hungry. Whether they were in good taste or bad, it didn’t matter; its appetite was insatiable.

And this kind of recklessness is why it grew so large in such a, relatively, short amount of time. It sprang up to the size of a cat one semester, then a large dog a year later, and then eventually… well, to the point where it’s a very good thing that the library has a mostly Other architecture, because it surely would have burst the building by now. And the bigger it grew, the more territorial it became. The more it hoarded tomes in certain sections (it really seemed to savor Anne McCaffrey’s works, but would never be found anywhere near Hemingway, for example). The more aggressive it became to students and librarians alike who needed the books also.

Hoping to avoid another calamity like the last wyrm that took up residence on the campus, the librarians decided to make good use of their new pet. With a copious amount of parchment and ink, they lured the bookwyrm down down down deep into the seldom used catacombs of The Library and set it to work. They knew that once it was presented with its new collection that it would never stray far from it again. And there it stays.

It was a constant conundrum that the librarians faced in the early days, when the Fair Folk and students were beginning to… mingle. A place filled with a vast amount of knowledge like The Library is always bound to have certain… archives that are better perused by no one. Ancient texts. Tomes of ages, dated further back than it is currently recorded that written word existed. The language of the birds, poetry of the stars, and truths that would shatter the mind. Words that needed to be preserved but not necessarily studied. Not by the Good Neighbors, and certainly not by incoming freshmen. Absolutely not by school administrators.

A tiny bit of such knowledge is dangerous. A little more is a disaster. Lots of that knowledge, though, would present a crisis of cataclysmic proportions. These are the books, bound in iron and chains, locked with enchantment and dusted with bottled oblivion, that the wyrm keeps. Guards. Claims. Hoards.

Not all words fade with time. Some grow sharp teeth and attack from the dark instead.

So if you are lost in the library and find yourself in a place that is blacker than spilled ink, smells of iron and sulfur, and sounds like an ancient bellows, turn around and leave out the way you came.

Yesterday, if possible (which, in The Library, of course, it always, always is).

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

This was a great way to start the year. Reading a book about books and the secret Librarian spies who retrieve them from different alternate realities. Everything from the world building to the gender roles was thought through and how to execute it. If you read A Thousand Pieces of You, you’ll like this.

anonymous asked:

There's someone studying in the far reaches of the Library. Their skin and hair are coloured differently each time, but they always seem to have the same character model, so to speak, it's just textured differently. If you see them, it means you really should turn back. they have no face

once in a while a very small thing manages to genuinely creep me out and this is one of them

The Library**

Ravenclaw: “Hmm… I can’t seem to find the book I need.”

Slytherin *out of nowhere from around the shelf*: “Maybe I can help.”

Ravenclaw: “Oh um…”

Slytherin: “I know what you’re thinking. My house is known for its *grabs a book* pride and prejudice, but I am not like that.”

Ravenclaw: “Oh?”

Slytherin: “No, I am not lacking *grabs another book* sense and sensibilities.”

Ravenclaw: “What is happening?”

Slytherin: “I have noticed you coming here often. You must think I have a *grabbing yet another book* heart of darkness, but I assure you that isn’t true.”

Ravenclaw: “Oh, I wouldn’t have said that… at least not the way you said it…”

Slytherin: “Perhaps I can win you over with some persuasion.”

Ravenclaw: “I don’t think that’s really…”

Slytherin: “Is it some one else!? Perhaps they would like to meet my *grabbing another book* hatchet, and be laid to rest *grabbing another book* 20,000 leagues under the sea!”

Ravenclaw: “What!?”

Slytherin: “I’m sorry. That was just some… wicked humor for you.”

Ravenclaw: “Ok, I really need to find this book now so… Do you know where I can find Fantastic Beasts…”

Slytherin: “Mhhmm.

Ravenclaw: “Ok, no. I’m just going to get a Hufflepuff to help me find it.”

**Based on sketches by Studio C

mayastormborn  asked:

I wonder if a student in the Library has ever seen an orangutan swing past to have a chat and a banana with one of the librarians? I feel Unseen University's Librarian might like a chat with a kindred spirit who doesn't care what their form is or how they've changed as long as they can tend their books Also, what's the betting Ponder Stibbons took a wrong turn once and a brief stint in Elsewhere U is what made him start building Hex...

I imprinted on Discworld when i was 13 and I have been a firm believer in L-Space ever since

anonymous asked:

If the university is in many places at once, could a student go there accidentally? Maybe they arrived at a regular uni's campus, only to take a wrong turn and end up Elsewhere. They might even still think they're enrolled at Normal U and wandering why their aunt, a Normal U alumna, never warned them about all the weirdness.

Yes, absolutely! There have a definitely been a few stories about EU students wandering onto non-Elsewhere universities; it’s hard to believe the reverse doesn’t also happen. Usually it’s because you’ve taken a wrong turn in the Library.