Heavenwards; A History of Wallwalking, by Muhammad Antigonus
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Wallwalking: it's an obscure but relatively common pastime among the younger batch of Wanderers. Participants can come from any type of world or universe, but all tend to share the joys of heights, thrills, or adventure. Ascending the shelves of the infinite expanse above sounds frightening, but this group seeks to break records year after year, climbing as high as possible. But how did it all begin? Why do these daredevils dare to challenge the skies and rage against its supposed infinite length? The answers might be simpler than you think.

Richard Iago was the first Wallwalker, and lived some two to three hundred years ago. He was a known philosopher, scholar, literary analyst, author, scientist, and more, but his most impressive works were his poems describing the elegance and beauty of The Library at large. Alas, it was none of these that ultimately sealed his name in the history books; rather, it was his immense sportsmanship and dedication to Wallwalking that gained him his following and prestige.

Mister Iago, whilst in the middle of writing his newest poem about the eternity of literature (which has since been either lost or destroyed), noticed that there were no records of the top of the library, or any attempts to find it. Sparked by this sudden intrigue, he discarded this poem in favor of another, adding the former to an ever-growing mound of crumpled papers next to his desk. This one, however, was completed, and was shortly followed by Richard packing up his gear and heading for the nearest shelf two meters to his right.

His first record was ultimately not that impressive: a full ten-foot climb before falling backwards and twisting his ankle. Still, this did not shake his strong resolve, and a month later he was fully equipped with climbing gear and supplies. The first real record he set was a total of around 150 feet from the ground, or ~45 meters. A small crowd formed at the base of the ascent, and by the time he descended he had his own small cult following for this new idea.

Among this crowd was Edward Claudius, who quickly became a disciple and competitor of Richard Iago. Edward, seeing potential in this new sport, set the next record at a grand total of 151 feet in the air, which prompted Richard to set an even newer record of 152 feet. This supposed "teasing" annoyed another follower of Richard, who sent the record soaring to 197 feet (or 60 meters) — and the race was on.

What followed was the two frenemies battling out their highest climbs over a period of a few months, ultimately culminating with the highest record being 689 feet (~210 meters) set by Edward Claudius before his untimely demise. While attempting to set the 700-foot record, Mr. Claudius got his shoe stuck between two very heavy books, and perished a week later from dehydration. In order to honor his friend, Mr. Iago refused to break the record, and subsequently only climbed 688 feet instead on his future endeavors. Richard Iago later died from alcohol poisoning, when poison was slipped into his alcohol.

By this point, Wallwalking was considered dead; a discarded fad that didn't have the life in it to keep going. Yet, like an amateur author on a collaborative writing website, it just kept coming back for more, even though it knew better. Richard Iago's son, Illium Iago, was very different from his father; instead of being a philosopher, scholar, literary analyst, author, scientist, and poet, Illium was an athlete, which meant that he actually had a job. Finding his father's poem about The Library's height and accounts of his rivalry with Mr. Claudius, Iago Jr. took it upon himself to revive the sport. Twenty-three years after it was presumed dead, Wallwalking made a sudden surprising revival.

Illium, using his previously-established position in The Library's community, gave the sport its official name and community. From there, he broke the first quadruple-digit record of 1000 feet (305 meters) and trained a whole group of people in the art of climbing bookshelves without pissing off Librarians. Using these abilities, the new Wallwalkers set off to find the highest record they could get for absolutely no reason.

During this time, many key features of modern Wallwalking emerged from this primordial soup: Checkpoints were built, gear became standardized, and most importantly, the biennial Wallwalking Olympics. Participants could sign up for a three-day expedition into the not-that-great unknown and race the clock for the highest possible height achieved. In return, Wallwalkers had a small chance to win a signed autograph from Illium himself on their inner calves (signed autographs were illegal on cattle outside of farms). Most people, however, wanted the second place prize — plain old cash — ultimately resulting in aggressive attempts to be slightly better than mediocre but not the absolute best they could be.

Thanks to all these immense advances, records were broken every few months as professionals crossed the thousands and entered into the two thousands, then three thousands, and eventually decimal points above a single kilometer. To celebrate the momentous occasion, over a hundred Wanderers gathered together under the original spot that Richard Iago twisted his ankle, and threw a large party. It went about as well as any other party thrown in a library.

Alas, the Wallwalking Olympics did not last forever; on the contrary, only eight years. By the third round, people from worlds where sapients had wings would use their ability of flight to, at the last moment, gain an extra 500-or-so feet, allowing them to essentially "cheat" the system. This made non-wingers very upset, who simply left to pursue non-competitive Wallwalking. Iago, realizing his mistake, banned the wingers from the Olympics, which made the pro-wingers very upset and prompted them to pursue non-competitive Wallwalking as well. The fourth Wallwalking Olympics had a grand total of three people participate; one of which was Iago himself, and another which was also Iago himself but smaller and with a mustache. The Wallwalking Olympics were promptly disbanded and the Iago name faded into the sands of time.

From there, Wallwalking became more decentralized, but soon found its golden age. This started with Jeremy Ford's discovery of the first "Deadzone", approximately a mile and a half from the floor of the library and about 3000 feet from Checkpoint One. The Deadzones were large, spherical areas in the "sky" where all Librarians refused to enter; adding to this was the fact that all books were blank, rotting, and seemed to shuffle positions every time they were alone. The Deadzones were dark, mysterious, and eerie to all who encounter them. Yet this has little relevance to the overall plot, and will promptly be entirely ignored.

Many took interest in what could be above the shelves, though, and hundreds (if not thousands) flocked to become Wallwalkers soon after. It was during this longer period that the 2-mile record was broken, Checkpoint Two was established, and three more Deadzones were discovered. A few famous scholars in The Library even wrote about Wallwalking in their publications. These factors helped push Wallwalking into the mainstream, and shaped it into what it is today.

More strange things were discovered over time, a majority happening in the past decade. A famous example would be the Putos Monos Village (meaning "Sacred Abode Village" in most universes' ancient Hebrew texts). Putos Monos Village is a town located six kilometers from the Library surface, inhabited mostly by sapient simians from multiple worlds, and is currently also the third-highest Checkpoint. However, this was not the most impressive thing about the strange town: rather, it was the fact that Edward Claudius, who was presumed dead for over 200 years, was actually still alive! He had managed to climb high enough to enter Putos Monos, breaking the six kilometer record, then proceeded to become immortal through unknown means and live out his days as a poet. Richard Iago's body was found there, and it was being used as an infinite energy source for the village, since it continuously spins for unknown reasons.

Last year (94 AR), the 226th anniversary of Wallwalking was celebrated by Wallwalkers from all walks of life, and the first 10-kilometer climb from surface level was achieved to celebrate the occasion. Many fun oddities were discovered along the way, including many strange books, wood, more wood, some toilet paper, a Deadzone, and a coffin (which contained only a single live bee). When the climbers reached the top, a few fainted, but thanks to the long fall and intense powernapping skills, no one was ultimately hurt.

The possibilities are endless when Wallwalking, so what are you waiting for? Ask your local Docent on instructions to get to the nearest Wallwalk Center, and they'll give you lessons on how to start your own little adventure into the skies. Maybe you'll even become one of the many legends I've failed to talk about in this pamphlet and also be forgotten alongside them! This is your journey; who knows what the skies have in store for you?*

*probably bird poop

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