Monday, April 22, 2013

The Library


The Library of Atoz-Theln is the largest repository of knowledge in the known galaxy. It contains the noospheric archives of many worlds from the time of the Archaic Oikumene (and sometimes even more remote eras), and significant physical media from cultures both human and nonhuman. Built before the Great Collapse in the interior of a dwarf planet, it now lies within the lawless sector known as the Zuran Expanse. Despite its location, it remains an important center for scholarship.

The library is housed on several underground levels, all climate controlled for the particular media they hold. There are rest areas and tranquil spots to peruse information interspersed throughout, and rooms they were once spartan but serviceable quarters for travelers. Animated wall screens depict famous figures from the mythology and history related to the acquisition and preservation of knowledge from many worlds.


The library’s inhabitants and staff are tall, thin, humanoids with narrow skulls called Atozans. While their ancestors have been in the library since before the Great Collapse, their society experienced a dark age and backslid to savagery. Battles were fought between tribes occupying the popular culture mediascape and exobiology specimen sections. Dynastic histories from that time (meticulously carved into crystalline display screens) suggest there was once a bloody chieftain who rose from the recesses of the human evolution virtual displays.

Eventually, the Atozans clawed their way back to civilization and restored the library as best they could to its previous functioning. There are few of them left--only around 200--but their lives are extended by nanotechnology, and they long ago fabered small-scale cloning facilities. The ancient Library Mind never fully recovered its faculties, but the Atozans have managed to kludge a solution to the elaborate classification system used to organize the library's holdings. This encrypted, ceremonial language is known only to the Atozans and not shared with outsiders.

6 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

I had to look up kludge. The idea of a galactic library has always been a great idea. I imagine it would make a fantastic mega dungeon once the Atozans go insane from the slow corruption of their nanotechnology. They continue to live, but now they have been twisted into a caricature of themselves. Why does the cover of this book feel so warm?

Francis Lee said...

I take it you still have to be quiet!

Trey said...

@Fran - Unfortunately.

@Tim - Interesting suggestion...

Cygnus said...

But have they been prepared? :-)

Trey said...

Heh. No Vulcan time travelers here. ;)

Bard said...

The library is an awesome idea.

Plus a bloody chieftain who rose from the recesses of the human evolution virtual displays is just too cool.