The history said Xaime Alfaro was most likely multiple people. Douglas agreed with that… yet he couldn’t help but think that the most likely thing wasn’t the most interesting. Or always correct. He found some more writings that he conclusively determined were either copies or different people… but the untitled journal he had and some of the original works associated with Xaime Alfaro still had too many similarities to ignore.
The handwriting was different… yet as he measured every little detail about it, some things stood out. The lengths of some stems, the widths of spacing between letters, how deeply the letters were embedded into the paper below, and how much ink went into each letter. If he had to say, more details were different than similar, but he still couldn’t help but conclude they were the same person trying to hide their handwriting. Which one was the ‘fake’, or if both handwriting examples were outside their normal style he didn’t know.
Frankly, it didn’t matter that much. Xaime Alfaro was responsible for ‘internal wards’ for the endless library… but with the writings on extradimensional spaces, Douglas felt they were more responsible for the fact that it could exist at all. The other founders also provided necessary pieces, but without the ability to move into extradimensional spaces, it would have just had to be a very large library instead of the Endless Library. Plus, it would have basically been contained in a single space, which would have limited the information and books that could reach it. Then again, without Idir Adler’s work to provide continuous power that kept the library mostly functioning until the current day and Narain Vexon’s external defenses keeping it from just being overtaken by anyone, it wouldn’t have lasted long. Still, Douglas had determined who was responsible for the extradimensional nature. He could have guessed that, but it had also been possible for there to be more experts on the subject in the past. Instead, he hadn’t found anything else on the subject.
The Endless Library was amazing. Lucy wished the world would stand still and let her read her fill of the books there. She wanted to keep her head buried in books and spend the rest of her days talking with the fey, learning magic. Unfortunately, things never worked out like that. Magic always had to be for something, if one wanted to survive in the world without prior wealth. And there were some people invested in making Lucy’s life harder.
A missive arrived from Countess Irieby, who while not trying to make Lucy’s life more difficult was stuck with the position of being the bearer of bad news. Lucy almost wished the Scoubarrans were attacking again, or that the Vospians had dredged up some excuse to try to fight. Instead, she would be dealing with something much more difficult to handle… people she couldn’t just kill.
Well, she could. But Lucy doubted her ability to kill more than a few people before she was overwhelmed by guards who would for some reason blame her for throwing fire at people when other people were basically trying to kill her but more slowly.
In short, politics. In a somewhat more descriptive fashion, dredging up old news. Major Aylmer had been in charge of the assault on Rifton mainly because of the support of Count Leigh. He had significant political weight in Bryria, allowing him to dictate some policies. While Major Aylmer’s death had quite conclusively been determined to be from his own recklessness, that didn’t stop the count from using it as a sort of leverage to get what he wanted.
Lucy wasn’t happy that she had to be bound to the service of Countess Irieby, but it was a much better option than any of the others. Of course, wizards being completely unrestricted wasn’t sensible either, but she didn’t like the way it was done. Now Count Leigh was gunning for more restrictions, and Lucy had to be there to argue against them. It wasn’t likely that Count Leigh wouldn’t get something out of his actions, but at least Lucy could prevent the worst case. Countess Irieby could make good points as well, but since she wasn’t a mage of any sort, she couldn’t be authoritative. Of course, that wasn’t stopping Count Leigh, but his own court wizard was present. So Lucy had to be as well.
She once again said goodbye to Douglas and her father. It seemed it wouldn’t be easy to spend all the time she wished with them… but then again, nobody got all the chances they wanted. Wizards were no different.
Lucy had to admit Count Leigh was intelligent. He was pushing for ‘sharing of magical knowledge’. That wasn’t something she could directly refute. However, the way things were planned… were too vague. If taken to the extreme, she could be required to loan out every book on magic she possessed, or even her own personal spellbooks. She didn’t want that.
She didn’t trust everyone with the books she had, and especially not with silent magic. Claude Tatham was the one who worked for Count Leigh, and she could say that especially about him. Not that she thought he was necessarily more untrustworthy than anyone else, but she just didn’t really know him. He was an above average wizard, but she hadn’t had much interaction with him beyond that. So she judged him by who he now worked for.
Still, Lucy had to agree that some institution for sharing knowledge had to be established. At least some of the wizards and apprentices had to have some books in their possession before they were gathered for war, and she’d heard very little of that. Senior Mage Lundgren had shared his knowledge with her- and for the most part with others- but he also hadn’t exactly brought his whole library with him.
Lucy herself was a bit short of a library, since she had only the few books she was able to gather… about half of her current collection she had just brought back from the Endless Library. She couldn’t exactly say that, of course. She wanted there to be at least a chance for them to get fully established there without too many people finding out.
Lucy prepared her list of guidelines. While some level of mandatory sharing was reasonable, if she was forced to spend time teaching others outside of war or required to give up secrets, she would have little to gain but much to lose. Holding onto her own position with all her power wasn’t necessary, but making sure whoever else did gain power were the right people was important. Just because they’d fought together when conscripted didn’t mean all of the mages from Bryria were united in thought.
Perhaps a few books donated to a central library. One thing was certain, Lucy wouldn’t allow that to be under Count Leigh’s control. She would love if it was near her, but that wasn’t necessarily going to be possible either. Fortunately, there was an easy direction to push things into. Lundgren had still been the most senior mage in title at the end of the war, and he was currently beholden to Count Gerhard, who was not unfriendly to Countess Irieby and not too friendly with Count Leigh. Count Gerhard’s lands were also more centrally located. Yes, perhaps she could figure out something there. It might take a bit of work, but she could use that angle. If something was going to get done, Lucy at least wanted to direct it somewhere more favorable to her.