The door in front of you is dark-colored wood, heavy and ornately carved with many sinuous designs. You get the feeling that there are many faces hidden inside the designs, though you can’t actually see them when you look directly at them, and if you look long enough at the door, the patterns seem to change and move. Of course, that’s not possible, you think, but a shiver runs through you all the same. Carved in among the swirls, curlicues and geometric shapes is a poem.
Enter friend or enter stranger,
Bring you kindness, bring you danger
Tell the tales and speak the words
Of our wisdom’s ancient hordes;
Fear you not and listen well,
All these ages have tales to tell.
You move to push open the door, but it opens on its own. Curiouser and curiouser, you think, and step inside. The door closes behind you as you stare about.
Inside, it is pleasantly cool, quiet, and dim. The light seems to come from the floor, despite the many windows all around the room. The room is huge, round, with what seems to be a domed roof. It is set up like a library, with shelves upon shelves of books lining the walls and set everywhere in the room, like the spokes of a giant wheel. Up above, light shines dimly from the roof, which is hidden from view by heavy hangings. Deep, low, heavily cushioned window seats covered with throws and extra pillows allow people to sit by the tall, drapery-hung windows. Lower down, the few visible windows are plain glass, but higher up, the windows are all stained glass, depicting scenes from both history and fantasy. The floor is mosaic, with thick carpets scattered about, and there is artwork everywhere. Through the shelves’ aisles, you can see doorways leading into other rooms. One has a plate on the door that proudly announces in elegant block letters, “Archivist’s Office.” Underneath is written what seems to be the same inscription, only in a different language. Other doorways are labeled in this same strange language. Though most of the letters appear to be letters in the alphabet you know, there are some different ones, such as the “dh” Old English symbol, ð, and the ae symbol, æ. Some letters even appear to be Cyrillic, Hebrew, Greek, or other, older languages. There are even some in Sanskrit. Then there are letters which you have never even seen or imagined before. In one dark corner, you see a couple of inscriptions in Aurebesh.
The shelves are all labeled. Some of them have more mundane labels, such as “reference,” “young adult,” and whatnot. However, there are full shelves labeled “Bound to the Flame“, “Unnamed”, “Untitled”, “Angels’ Reflections”, “Camelot Cycle”, “Tales of Teryen”, “Untitled 2,” and so forth. There are a great deal of “untitled” shelves. For what seems like a long while, you just stand and look. There’s more than enough to look at in here.
Suddenly, quite close to you, a cheery voice says, “Oh, hello!” You spin around, alarmed that you didn’t even notice that someone is there; you certainly did not hear someone behind you. Standing there is a tall young woman with a wide, almost inane-looking smile on her friendly face. She is dressed in white leggings, a lightweight white shirt belted in close (you gulp nervously as you catch sight of what looks like a slender dagger around the back of her belt), a thin blue scarf around her neck, and a dark green frock coat. Her feet are bare, and she is carrying a pair of supple high-top leather boots over one arm. Her nondescript chestnut hair is pulled back into a bun, but is beginning to loosen, and ginger-gold strands are attempting to fly away. She is attempting to balance a large pile of books, journals, maps, scrolls and papers on one arm. “I didn’t know you were here,” she says, trying to brush her messy, curly mostly-dark hair out of her face with the hand that she’s holding her boots in. “Welcome to the Archives of Selay’uu. Apologies about the door–it’s convenient for me, but quite the trial for first-time newcomers. It’s also in the way if you absolutely must study but don’t really want to–you see, it’s a magic door, and you have to be curious, want the knowledge, and will to go in for it to open. It’s handy for keeping Anakin out, though, ’cause he almost never is interested in studying, or in practically anything inside these archives! Well, don’t just stand there–come in! Let me drop these off at my office… I’m always in the middle of a research project of some kind or other, so the place is sort of a perpetual mess, growing all the time. I would like to get it clean, but I really don’t have the time or the energy, so it’s mostly organized, but if you ever need help finding things, give me a call.” At the doorway to the office, she suddenly stops and claps a hand to her brow. The boots clatter almost comically on the floor. “Oh! I almost forgot. I haven’t introduced myself. I’m the Archivist. I have a lot of different names, but around here I mostly go by Erin, and before you read anything, bear in mind, I’m not the one in charge here. Mostly, the people whose comings and goings are chronicled here live their own lives and are their own people. There are a few who are mostly my servants and do only what’s expedient to me, but most of them exercise their free will to the fullest. And I beg your pardon for the errors and other little mistakes–I’m only an apprentice historian, but I was born to be their historian, so there’s really only so much I can do. I do have assistants, coworkers, and whatnot, but the only constant is Kysherin, my muse. She’s the one who tells me what to write next, and gives me inspiration, and then there’s Mistress El’ye…” She falls silent. Then, she brightens up, and waves the doorway to her office open.
“Anyway, welcome to the Archives of Selay’uu! Feel free to look around, and if you need anything, don’t be afraid to tell me!”