Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Chapter Ninety Seven

When they returned to university for their second term, Elenie and Ieaun immediately began to search for the hidden library.  
Initially it occurred to them that if the library had been hidden from ordinary sims, then the magic which had been used might be detectable to those sims of a magical persuasion and they used their respective magical powers to search for concentrations of magic.  Alas, they were not able to find any trace of the powerful spells which would need to be used to hide such a place, however, their efforts did alert others to what they were doing.

Elenie was out in the garden of their halls one day when her attention was caught by a butterfly fluttering determinedly in front of her face.  When she stopped and held out her hand the butterfly came to rest there and whispered "Tell your husband that his sight can be used for the present and the past, not just the future.  The magic hiding the library is masked so just looking for strong magic won't get you anywhere, but beware - the library is guarded by the spirits..."
Elenie listened to this announcement and, when the butterfly had flown off, went indoors to find Ieaun and explained what the butterfly had told her.  

Ieaun agreed to try using his sight to look into the past and the present in an effort to find the hidden library.  Thinking about what the butterfly had said, he decided that the best place to start would be by looking for the point in time when the decision had been made to hide the library and following events from there.  He had set up a vision crystal in a spare room in their halls, together with a set of alchemy apparatus for Elenie so he went there to start looking.

His sight wasn't very well focussed and, in the process of searching through the past in search of the library, he kept getting flashes of images which he could tell were part of the future, or at least, a possible future...  The images shifted and changed but were all overlaid with an intense feeling of sorrow and, as Ieaun tried to look past them to what he was searching for, he began to recognise certain recurring images - an old ruined castle and a grave.  Breaking off from trying to see for a while he brooded over those images, trying to either find some hint as to what they meant or to banish them enough for him to get back to his search.
While Ieaun worked on using his sight to look for the library, Elenie had come to the realisation that she couldn't really help him with this task and it was clear from the butterfly's words that it was Ieaun's sight which would find the library.  While she waited for him to find the information she decided to work on her degree and joined a group of other science students on a large project. 

Eventually, Ieaun was successful in identifying the location of the library.  It appeared that a secret cellar had been added to an old crumbling ruin in the hills around the university and the library had been transferred there.

He headed over to the science project to tell Elenie and they decided to head out to the ruin immediately - notwithstanding the fact that it was getting dark and the moon was full...

When they arrived there, the moon was fully up and they could see various ghosts floating around the ruined house.  Cautiously approaching the house, they entered and began looking around for any clues as to how to get to the secret cellar containing the library.

It was in the study that Elenie noticed something odd.  She couldn't have said what it was, but something about the bookcase called to her...

Examining the bookcase, they were both startled when it slid back to reveal another, hidden room, containing what they both recognised as a magical transportation device.

Entering the device in turn, they emerged into a lushly appointed library, the walls were lined with bookcases and there were various items of magical paraphenalia scattered around, but the first thing that both Elenie and Ieaun focussed on was the ghost floating towards them.  He was dressed in ancient robes and looked like an ascetic monk or scholar of some kind.

He approached Elenie first with a scowl on his face; "So, what have we here visiting my library?  A pretty little faerie with her head in the clouds like the rest of your kin?  What are you after?"

While Elenie stared at him in shock, unused to such a reaction, Ieaun stepped in; "Excuse me sir, my name is Ieaun Glyndwr and this is my wife, Elenie.  We are in dire need of the learning held within your archives.  My lady's mother, who is a normal sim, was kidnapped by one of the unseelie fae and we are searching for any indication as to where he may have taken her in order that we might mount a rescue attempt."

The ghost turned to him "Humph, well, I suppose I can help you with that, I take it you want to look up the records of sims taken by the fae?  I'll look them out and you can spend some time studying them."

"Thank you sir, I realise it is a bit of a presumption, but might I enquire as to why the library was moved here and how you came to guard it?"

"It is a long story, perhaps I should start with my connection to the library.  My name is Matthieu Saxe and many centuries ago, I was an archivist mage in charge of what would eventually become this library.  It was my job to keep the books and scrolls in order, to catalogue them and repair them and I was devoted to my books, ignoring all social occasions to tend to them and to study them.  One day disaster struck; some fool brought in a candle to study by and left it burning, by the time I found it some books had already been destroyed and the fire was well entrenched."

"I knew there was no way I would be able to save the library, it would need many mages casting ice and water spells to quench the fire and there was only myself around.  In my desperation I cast an impossible spell, trying to bind the knowledge within the library to myself so that it could be preserved; I failed and yet, at the same time I succeeded...  Time stopped for a moment and I saw a spiritual version of my library around me; I was given a choice in that moment between times, I could save my library by binding the fire into myself.  I would die from the flames but my spirit would be bound to the library and so long as I guarded it then it would be preserved.  Alternatively, I could save myself and my library would burn.  I chose the former and my afterlife now consists of this library, should I ever wish to move on then I must find someone else to take my place or the whole library will perish as I move on."

"A while ago, the Council of Magi received reports from a number of seers; they were receiving visions of a great catastrophe for magical sims.  At some point in the future the normal sims who are currently happy to see all types of magical sims amongst them and cheerfully use our powers will turn against us.  The seers have been unable to identify the cause of this, but it seems almost certain that it will happen."

"So, is that why the library has been hidden?  So that when this happens it can be preserved?"

"Exactly, at the present because they do not know what will bring this uprising about, the Council are unable to take steps to try and prevent it from happening.  Therefore they have chosen to take steps to ameliorate the damage when it does.  The first thing was to hide this library and others like it; whilst they do not believe that the war with normal sims will happen for a couple of generations, they wished to ensure that by the time it did happen, important resources such as this library and others would be forgotten about by the normal sims.  So the library was moved to this ruin and spirits who have given a portion of their afterlives to the service of the Council were appointed to guard it.  Various mages have also planted stories about the history of this place, suggesting that it was the subject of a battle between a sorceress and a group of warriors and that the ghosts who guard this place are the remnants of that battle."

For the remainder of that year, Elenie and Ieaun spent almost every spare moment they could find in the hidden library studying the records which Matthieu searched out for them.  

They did however find some time to spend together alone, taking the occasional trip away to one of the secluded parks on the outskirts of the university where they built a bonfire and spent some time enjoying one another's company.
Elenie did spent a little while talking to the will o the wisps which lived there, but when she had persuaded them to leave her and Ieaun in peace they had a nice quiet date together.  

Elenie had brought a small fairy house with her to the park and, when things got to a certain stage she managed to made Ieaun small enough to fit in there with her... 

Afterwards, they stretched out together on the grass and gazed up at the stars.

All too soon the academic year was over, but they had found a great deal more information than they had been able to find the previous year and when they returned home they were hopeful that they had found enough that they would be able to make a start on finding out where Elenie's mother was.


  1. Of *course* it wouldn't just be as easy as looking for magic! Look for ghosts instead. And helpful butterflies. And ruined castles. It does indeed seem like Ieaun will need to be the one searching, as none of that advice was really for her.

    Wow. That's a heckuva sacrifice Mr. Saxe made for that library.

    LOL! I hope she didn't make him too small! ;)

    1. Whilst the advice from the butterfly (who may or may not have been more than just a butterfly) was mainly for Ieaun, he wouldn't have been able to understand it since he's not a fairy so she just did her bit first... I should probably mention that the ruined castle he was seeing when he was looking for the library wasn't the same ruin as the library was hidden in, it was part of another vision which was forcing its way through regardless - I need to set up and take some pics for a few visions, but I haven't quite decided how I want to show them yet.

      Although it sounds like a really big sacrifice, my mental image of Matthieu Saxe is of someone who's really really obsessive over books and his library and probably would see the sacrifice of becoming incorporeal (but still able to handle things) fairly minor in comparison to spending eternity with his precious library and being able to protect it!

      Finally, is it bad of me that I had a very naughty thought and giggle about your last comment... ;)

  2. I loved the history of the library, and the sacrifice the archivist mage made to preserve it!
    I'm glad Elenie and Ieaun are making some headway, even though it is slow going, they are at least moving forward.

    1. I had a lot of fun coming up with the history of the library and the reasons why it's been hidden.

      Elenie and Ieaun are making some progress, I've just got to get them through their final year at uni and get a few things ready in their homeworld and I should be ready to send them off on their quest (although that is going to require some extensive set prepping!)

  3. Just wanted to leave a quick comment to let you know I'm reading it. :) I'm this far in your legacy and almost caught up! Interesting story about the library. For a minute I thought something bad was about to happen to Elenie when the ghost approached her. D:

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying it :)