Critical Reception
rating: +5+x

Wrolgar… Wronpus… Wruickle… Ah, damn it.

You stop in front of a shelf with a large banner draped in front of it. There's a single word written across the fabric in splotchy black ink: "FORBIDDEN". You peel back the banner, but behind is just dust and cobwebs. Same as last time you came. "All the knowledge in the universe" your ass.

You flag down one of the librarians, a short reptilian bloke with robes that drag behind him as he waddles. He's carrying a stack of books twice his height, so changing his course to meet you takes a herculean effort, so he's noticeably disgruntled when he arrives.

"Eh? Waddya want? Huh?" he shouts from behind his tower of pages.

"I was just confused," you start, "It seems you're missing some books."

"Missing books? Inconceivable. You just aren't looking hard enough."

"You sure? It seems you've made quite a display out of your Shiloh Wrun collection."

The librarian puts down his load to get a better look at you. He strokes his elongated chin. It's been a long time since he's heard that name.

"Why are you looking for Wrun's books?"

"I'm just an old friend of his. Promised I'd read his stuff, but never got around to it."

"Old friend, huh? You should know why those shelves are empty then."

"No no, not a friend for a long time. Just a friend from long ago. Did something happen?"

"Hmm… in that case, it's almost not worth thinking about."

The lizard turns back to the books he was carrying, and readies himself to lift them once again. You grab a hold of the bastard's robes before he lifts though. He's not getting away.

"Hey! Get off me! What's wrong with you."

"Oh! I'm sorry," you fain ignorance, "I just— you're sure you don't have any books from Shiloh?"

"I… hmm…" he's flustered now. Time for once last push.

"Here, I'll carry these," you pick up the stack of books, "We can drop these off and then we can talk about the books, ok?"

The librarian's whole body turned red. Guess he was a chameleon.

"Fine! I guess we do have one… but you can't check it out!"

Finally. You pick up the books and follow the librarian, who waddles ahead like a miniature majorette. However, you may have underestimated how daunting the task of "book transportation" could be. You march for god knows how long, anywhere from three hours to three days. The library is big after all. But you've walked this far before. You did it for Wrun. You walked and walked for days, searching for some salvation. In a way you were running. You left your ruined home and broken friends behind, all because Wrun promised you that there would be meaning at the end of your long journey. You marched for him.

But carrying these books and marching from your past were both easier journeys than the last time you came here to see the books. They were locked behind an obsidian case. The security was more important back then. But no number of hexes, wards, sentinels or other obstacles would stop you from fingering through those books. You were determined to be the last person to do so. In exchange for such a precious experience (being the last to read the works of Shiloh A. Wrun in full), you did leave behind a story of your own.

That was years ago though. Today, all the librarians need to do is discourage fellow wanderers from asking too many questions. Which is quite a feat since curiosity is what brings most creatures to these hallowed shelves.

Once you and the little chameleon thing finish organizing the new shipment of "Journalistic Imitations of Garothian Warzone Reporting", he taps the ground twice and a small Way opens up.

"Why couldn't you do that the first time?"

"Eh, wanted some fresh air. Stretch my legs. Also make sure you really wanted to see these books," he replied. His toothy grin could go eat shit.

You both step into the Way. On the other side, the room is dark. Candles on granite shelves cast faint glows to the area.

"So, technically we do still have the entire Wrun collection," the librarian says as he escorts you down a corridor, "Just most of it ain't readable."

You nod like this is interesting and new information, but already know. You know exactly what the chameleon is about to show you.

He stops and makes a small gesture toward a desolate shelf, "Ta da."

There's an urn, and a single book. The urn is labeled "The complete collection of Shiloh Wrun". And much like any other urn, it contains ashes.

"Just uh, don't go around touting that we keep burnt books. Or that our books have been burnt… doesn't look great for PR, ya know?" the chameleon says. You nod, and pick up the book. It's titled "The Life and Times of Shiloh Wrun". You choose kind of a pathetic title, but you never liked Wrun's overly poetic style anyways. Simple is nice sometimes.

You silent flip through the pages. First is a dedication page, to all of Wrun's readers, and also his believers. And then after that the book just starts:

This book is about my life.

This book is my life.

I am not sorry.

You continue to flip through the pages, with your eyes closed. You're making wishes in your head. Wish for health, happiness, and that Wrun may find peace. The chameleon asks what you're doing, but you shut him out. He won't understand anyways. He either knows too little to accept the premise, or enough to point out the contradiction.

Because yes, you hate Wrun. You hate him with every fiber of your being. But even if you hate your God, you may still feel obliged to pray to him every now and again.

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