The twins stood outside of the Great Library, home to hundreds of thousands of books and texts covering the history of the country, it’s magic, as well as various other manuscripts all relating to the magical world and its culture. It was a relatively short walk north of the city’s centre, through a woodland park, and a short ways uphill.
“I’m bored already.”
Xander whined, and Lexi simply rolled her eyes.
“Shut up. We’re not even inside.”
“But I can feel my soul slipping awaaay!”
“Wait outside, then.”
Lexi walked on in through the Library’s large wooden doors. Xander frowned, not getting the response he’d hoped for, and looked up at the giant library’s structure. He sighed before walking in after his sister.
The Library was as vast and intricate as one would expect in a city such as Reshingham. Xander thought to himself that if he weren’t carefully, he’d get lost and never be found. A little ways from the entrance, left of the reception desk, Xander sat himself defiantly at a table. He leaned back on his chair, looking exceedingly bored, as an excited Lexi sat down beside him with several large books that she’d deemed to be of interest and began to skim through a couple, placing them to the side if they didn’t instantly garner her interest. After three or four failed attempts, she finally stared contently at a book titled ‘ Beginnings of Wonder: The Great Land of Resh’ . Lexi began reading through it, stopping at a two page spread of picture-based history. She stared at it for a few moments before summarising aloud to her brother.
“Reshingham was founded around five-hundred years ago by travellers from the Holy Land of Dovara. It came in a dream to the elder of their tribe. In it, she claimed that a fae-like familiar would guide them to a land so imbued with Aether it would bring great prosperity to all who’d reside there. The world would be benefitted by the city they’d create in that spot.”
In the book there was Map of the continent of Vaerana. Lexi traced along an embossed dotted line showing the route they took with her fingertips.
“By foot, it took several months... But once they’d crossed the mountains that lead them to the South Varean border, it wasn’t long before the familiar of their Elder’s dream appeared. The travellers followed it for several days and nights without rest until it stopped here.” Her fingers stopped in the location where Reshingham now resided, tapping on it a couple of times, “The fae disappeared soon after and the foundations of Reshingham, then known as The Great Land of Prosperity - Resh, began.”
Lexi smiled, closing the book and looked over to her brother. The smile faded and her expression turned to that of annoyance as she saw him, arms crossed on the table being used as a pillow for his head. He had fallen asleep.
Lexi stood, gathering up the books in her arms and set off to return them to their sections. Once she was out of sight Xander opened an eye, sitting up with a smirk.
“If you want something that’s really of interest to you..”
Xander didn’t recognise the voice behind him, he turned around to see an elderly, bearded man.
“Try the legends section within the City Hall next door. I’m sure there’s something you’ll want to read.”
“Books aren’t really my thin-“
He was cut off by a familiar voice, sounding rather confused.
“Who’re you talking to?”
Xander turned back to face Lexi before returning his attention to the old man... Who had somehow disappeared in the few moments he had been distracted. Xander paused in silence for a moment before speaking.
“Mmm… let’s.. check the city hall next. I heard they have more books there.”
The City Hall was a few minutes walk from the Great Library. Both were situated atop beautiful green hills, with views all around that could move even the hardest of soul.
Inside, the twins walked through the visitors section. Paintings and busts of historical figures and previous leaders were lined up either side of the marble walkway.
“Why would they keep the books here and not in the library?”
“That’s because The Great Library is a sacred place, only to be filled with the truth of our culture, not to be filled with myths and fallacy.”
The twins turned to see an older Elven lady in a dress suit with a badge with the word ‘Curator’ on her lapel. She smiled warmly.
“Good morning. My name is Alice, I’m the curator of the Hall.”
“Morning. My name is Lexi, and this is my brother Xander.”
“So all the books here are made up stories?”
Her brother questioned the curator, Lexi raised a brow. It wasn’t often that he’d even consider discussing books.
“Well, they are tales of history that have no evidence or other texts to back their claims. So, they reside here. If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to the room of legendary texts.”
She began walking down the statue lined pathway, several feet further down she motioned to a door on their left before walking through. Xander followed first, looking at several cabinets filled with many books and scrolls.
“They could be true then?”
“Well,” Alice Looked over at the cabinets as she spoke, “There is a lot about our history that we are discovering and better understanding every day. One day the most laughable book here could be discovered as truth, and then it would appear within The Great Library.”
Xander nodded, this was absolutely the sort of thing that interested him. Myths and legends were always more exciting than history.
He turned to his sister, raising a brow as he saw the concern on her face.
“Hey. You okay?”
She didn’t speak, instead opting to point in the direction of a book amongst several others in a cabinet beside her. He walked over to look, and surprise became visible on his visage.
“Is there a problem?” Alice questioned the twins, glancing to the book they had focused on, “Ah. That’s the Legend of The Particala, one of the creation myths.”
Lexi spoke under her breath. The book was small, leather bound and embossed with good thread. A language unknown to the twins was printed on the cover, circling a symbol at the centre. The very same the duo had marked upon their forms.
Xander turned to the Curator.
“What’s the story about?”
Alice moved close to the glass cabinet, opening the lid. She held her palm over the small book and chanted quietly under her breath. Her hand began to glow faintly, as did the pages of the closed book. Xander slid up beside Lexi, whispering to her.
“What’s she doing?”
“ Libarius, I think.” Lexi watched as she continued to hover her palm over the book, “It lets you gather all the information in a scroll or book instantly.”
Xander continued watching, the pages and Alice’s hand stopped glowing and she returned her attention to the twins.
“Before the world we reside in came into creation, there was another. This other world was filled with people, but none had affinity for magic. The arts, familiars, relics; none of them existed there. It was a world filled with war, disease, and darkness that has never been known to us. There is no information on how or why this previous world came to exist, be it gods, or something else. Perhaps it simply was always there.
In this world there was a man, The Creator. He and his disciples wished to create the universe anew. Some claimed it was for peace, The Creator wanted for a world without all the suffering of the one he currently existed within. Others claimed it was to rule over all and be a true deity. He and his disciples were the ones to create the first Sacred Relic: The Particala. A magical item that could recreate the very laws of the stars themselves if its user deemed fit.
Together with the faith and support of his followers, The Creator recreated the world. Only he and his disciples were left of the old world with their knowledge intact. It was decided all the rest of creation would be fresh, a new beginning.
Once the world was finished to their desires, they split The Particala into several pieces and placed an unbreakable seal over it’s parts so none could make use of it, even if all the pieces were reunited. They rejoiced and infused themselves with a sacred mark that would allow only those who became chosen to wield the mark to access it. It is said any who would come to be born with this marking are descendants of The Creator and his disciples, and one day our world may be rebuilt once more.”
“Wait, so anyone with the mark on that book is one of these chosen?”
Lexi questioned Alice after having heard the story, she’d never heard anything like this before.
“So they say.”
The twins went silent, raising a curiosity within the curator.
“Is something wrong?”
They looked at each other before nodding in agreement. Lexi turned around and loosed the jacket from her shoulders, letting it slide down just far enough to show the marking around the back of her neck. Xander lifted his shirt as well, both revealing that they bore the mark on the book. Alice’s eyes widened.
“Are these real?”
“Yeah. We’ve always had them.”
Xander responded as he lowered his shirt.
“Our whole family does.” Lexi adder, turning back around and returning the jacket to its comfortable place, “At least, on our Father’s side from what we know.”
The curator thought for a moment, Could it be real? They had never been here before to her knowledge, and this was the only copy of the book. They couldn’t have just known about the mark, could they ?
“I think you should meet the Mayor. She would be interested in this… If that’s okay with you both?”
“I’m okay with it. You, Lex’?”
Lexi thought a moment longer, unlike her brother she was prone to actually contemplating before making a decision.
The curator smiled warmly
“Wonderful. The Mayor is currently at the Great Chaplace overseeing a special Familiar Summoning. It’s the large building within the city’s centre. Shall we?”
The twins nodded and Alice left to arrange a car to drive them down. It wasn’t that far of a walk, but this was an urgent case. Lexi looked to her brother, he was strangely silent.
“What do you think?”
“I mean.. I just thought it was some family mark the old man made up and stuck on us. But this does seem more interesting.”
He grinned, this had the smell of excitement and adventure. Lexi sighed.
“I suppose it would be good to know. He never did tell us about our grandparents, or any other relatives for that matter.”
She frowned a little, thinking on the fact.
It wasn’t long before Alice returned to the two.
“The car is ready. Shall we?”
They nodded and followed her out of the city hall, to where a silver car awaited them. The doors slowly swung open by themselves and the three got inside.