- #1 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Bound Fey
- #2 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Trip to Market
- #3 Co-Writing With AI Dungeon: Lore and the Great Palace
- #4 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Lady with White Eyes
- #5 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Wizard’s Familiar
- #6 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Palace Crypt
- #7 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Restrained Demon
- #8 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Chase
- #9 Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Library Vault
- #10 FINALE Co-Writing with AI Dungeon: Lore and the Court Wizard
It’s a big library, and you can’t search every section. You wish you had Kae here to teleport you straight to the Vault, but he is nowhere to be seen.
The tower. The demon told you that you would find Babelography at the top of the library tower, in the vault. That libraries, even the Great Library, have vaults is news to you, but you will do your best to get there. You suppose your first step then is to find the tower, or at least get as high up in the Great Library as you can. You begin, cautiously, to search for signage or stairs, wary of attracting the attention of the Librarians you were warned about.
You find a signposted staircase, hidden away in a corner of the library. Most of the light here comes from magical runes painted on the walls, and you shudder at the unearthly blue glow they give off.
You fear that you will be caught if you make things any brighter than they are. Still, you need light to see, and so you cast a small flame in your hand to illuminate the way ahead.
You keep the flame shielded with your other hand and avoid standing too close to any of the books, ascending the stairs ahead. It appears that you are on the third floor in the Magical Texts section. The next floor houses the Otherwordly Creatures section, according to the sign, and you are briefly entertained by the thought of trying to read up on Kae, but there’s no time for that. You hear movement up here, and see a robed figure pass between the stacks: one of the Librarians. You quickly snuff out your flame, plunging you into darkness.
You wait patiently for the Librarian to pass, then count to a hundred after he has disappeared from view. You turn your hand over and re-ignite the flame, and continue up the stairs.
You climb the next floor, and the next, never finding any indication of a tower or vault. You take the opportunity to read some of the book titles as you go, and give a start when you see a large spined tome entitled simply “You”. Something about it strikes you oddly. You carefully hold your flame away and reach out to grab it with your other hand, but as you do so your eyes fall on another book just behind it.
The book is titled “Lore the Witch”, and you freeze as you see it. There is no reason anyone should be writing anything about you. You are neither well-known nor well-loved, keeping to yourself these many years. Both books are oddly appealing, and you are tempted to take them with you. But the thought feels alien to you, as if pushed in from outside. You steel yourself to it, knowing that the Great Library houses many dangerous books. You aren’t here for these books. You turn away and continue searching for the tower. There are no more stairs up that you can see. Access to the tower must be hidden in some way.
You hear a shout from below, and the pounding of feet. The Librarians are on to you. You turn back to the bookshelves and scan your surroundings. Does this bookcase turn into a secret door, like in the old stories?
You jostle it a bit, but nothing happens. Well. That didn’t go as well as hoped. You hear the librarians on the stairs and decide to run, rushing past shelf after shelf, accidentally knocking over a book cart in your haste. The tower, the vault — you need to find a way to them, and quickly. Giving up on secrecy, you shout “Kae!” hoping that perhaps he is somewhere here and didn’t abandon you in the library after all.
The Librarians are gaining on you — you can hear them shouting at each other as they close in. You need a place to hide, or something, anything… And then you see it: a metal door, unlike the wooden ones you’ve passed up until now.
Desperately, you try the handle; it’s locked. You look back; the Librarians are almost upon you.
They wear dark robes with long purple sashes around their waists, each sash misshapen with the imprint of tools. Three Librarians rush between the stacks. The first draws a crystal wand from her belt and begins tracing runes in the air, the same creepy blue light that you’d seen on the walls. At a glance, it’s a holding spell, and you don’t fancy being trapped.
You spin back to the door, your mind racing. You can unlock some doors with magic, but this one has runes etched into the metal. You’ll need to break the spell locking it and no simple spell will do.
While you are frantically racking your mind for the right spell, your muscles seize up as a cage of energy surrounds you, crackling with blue light. You are spun on the spot against your will until you are facing the Librarians. The one with their wand out raises their eyebrows at you. They are middle-aged, with wire-rimmed spectacles perched on their nose. “How did you get in here?” They ask. “This library is not for general access.”
The energy trapping you is so tight it’s almost painful. It’s frustrating now that you are bound not once but twice; you really wish you had never heard of Kae, and could return to your swamp cottage in peace. “I don’t know how I got here,” you say, and that’s true. You have no idea how Kae’s magic works. “There was a demon, and fey, and now I’m here. I’m just looking for a way out.” That part isn’t true, but they don’t know that. You hope your general panic sells the lie, at least.
“A fey?” The Librarian tuts. “That explains a lot. Now, let’s see…”
They approach you with surprising speed, and you jump as their hand touches your head.
It’s an oddly comforting feeling, like a mother stroking your hair. Then, they start speaking in a language you don’t understand.
If you weren’t already locked in place by the spell, your body would tense with fear. You have already been trapped by spells twice in the last few days, and you feel in your gut that the language they are speaking is Imbriol, the same ancient language which has cursed you and Kae.
Almost as if your thoughts had summoned him, Kae appears beside you in a flurry of thorns and leaves which quickly fade. “Where have you been?” he says, clearly irritated. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.” He casts a disgusted look at the Librarians.
“I see you got yourself into trouble again. What is this, the third time in as many days?”
“I’m locked in a spell. They’re casting something,” you hiss at him.
The Librarians raise their wands, clearly intending to trap Kae as well. Instead, Kae seizes your wrist through the magical cage and with a swooping sensation, you are both shifted away. The bookshelves are gone. The Librarians are gone. You are in a room of dark stone bricks, which you assume is still in the library as it is lit by the same eerie runes. “Leave it to a useless mortal to get lost during a teleportation,” Kae says. “Here. This is where we were supposed to end up.” You look around. This must be the library Vault, or near it, but the room looks completely bare to you.
You don’t see any trace of the books or any valuable treasures. The only thing of note is a plain door of wood.
You glance at Kae. Your heart is still pounding from your near miss with the Librarians, and who knows how long you have before they find you. You stride forward and try the door, which opens easily at your touch.
Beyond it is a perfectly ordinary room. The walls are lined with wooden shelving units filled with books. There is no other exit apart from the door you just came through.
This is not at all what you were expecting. You half-expect Kae to have botched the teleportation again. “So is this it?” You ask. You examine the books, searching for Babelography. The books have strange titles like
“The Joys of Dew” and “A Study of Spatial Patterns in Tree Structures in Relation to Magic”. Nothing at all like the dangerous dark magic texts you would have expected to be kept in a vault at the Great Library.
“Yes. This is it.” Kae sounds angry.
“This is the Vault?” you say, in-case he has misunderstood. You cannot reconcile this bland room and blander books with the instructions the demon gave you.
“This is it,” he says again. “Well? Aren’t you going to start looking?”
You shake your head. This has all gotten very strange.