The Crow Corner
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If you were to ask a new patron of the Library about its size, they would likely tell you that it's infinite. However, a more inquisitive patron may tell you that the Library must end somewhere. After all, if it holds every book that was or will be written, along with common areas for all manner of passersby, then it wouldn't need to be infinite. And for all the oddities of the universe, for all the men in the shadows in the impossible beasts that cast them, wouldn't it be nice if something was just very large instead of infinite? You certainly thought so. All you needed to prove it was to find every corner of the Library and use them to draw a connected shape. And others have already discovered a few corners, so it couldn't be that hard. Right?

Right?

People don't frequent this part of the Library. Not anymore. A faint melody floats around you as your footsteps kick purple ash into the air. It sounds like a small orchestra, the tune vaguely familiar. Maybe a page was humming it as you walked by. Maybe you heard it in a dream. Either way, most of the instruments don't sound like they came from your world.

The bookshelves? Dead. Neglected books on old wood, iced with dust and stained with whatever maroon gunk was around back in this place's heyday. Some of the books lie unceremoniously on the ground, their paper stripped and stolen off their wilting spines. On a bookshelf there's a ring of paper scraps, presumably a burial mound for some small creature that either loved books or wasn't given the grace of being buried somewhere proper.

A black bird pokes its head out from the nest. You assume that it's staring at you, but the bookshelf's shadow makes it hard to know for sure. Once it's had enough of you, it delicately brings one leg over the edge of the nest. Then the other. It takes off in a delicate dance, hopping and flapping and gliding with surgical position as to keep its nest intact. As you watch it fly across the shelves, you realize that this bookshelf is littered with nests and black birds. You are the latest patron to discover

The Crow Corner

You approach a row of nests, seeing new stories formed from the paper scraps of old. You decide which nest you want to take a closer look into…

Section 1: Identifying, Hunting, and Betraying Dragons

"The dragon may try appear less threatening by telepathically sounding like a young child or a soft-spoken woman. In rare cases, it will try to confuse the traitor by mimicking the traitor's own voice."

Section 33: On Djinn

"Rumor says that long ago, a party of wise and fearful humans discovered a way to hold power over the djinn. They scattered themselves across the land, traveling to every corner of Man's domain. One day, something changed. Some say a member had minced their words. Others claim that they believed their work to be over and retired, eventually forgetting their wish. Regardless, the group and their methods were lost to time, and the djinn have made a slow return in their absence."

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"Magic to modern humans is a bit like electricity to peasants."

Pain

You can't quite make out the words without getting closer…

The Advent of Space Toad

"Space toads don't have motivational phrases. They're surprisingly self-motivated."

A second crow takes off from atop a shelf, landing on an orange book accented with scratch marks. It nudges the book open with its beak, plucking a black feather out from between the pages. A message composed with a foreign alphabet and written in silver paint adorns the feather's vane, glowing slightly as the bird holds the feather in its beak.

You blink. The book is closed. The bird is gone, hitching a ride through the Way and into another Crow Corner in a far-off land. You blink again and the book has disappeared.

You have a lot to learn before you can start worrying about corners.




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