Growing Book Collection, from Around Hope’s Bastion

As the group arrive that the spot chosen for the library, Bael looks over the parchment once more to refamiliarize himself with the instructions: 40 foot radius, clear of any structures.

As Ursa paces off the distance and finds the center of the area, Bael notices a faint etching in the gem seed he holds. Closer inspection marks a face of the crystal where the entrance to the library will be, allowing him to orient it correctly when placing it in the earth.

Once the center of the 80 foot wide area is found and a small hole a foot deep dug, Bael places the seed in the ground.

And waits.

(Start at the 6 minute 20 second mark if you’d like to have the full audio+text experience.)

(6:20) As the crystal is placed into the ground and those nearby back away a step, nothing seems to happen for a moment. Then, a slight rumble can be felt very faintly pulsing through the ground. At first it feels a bit discordant and begins to set one’s nerves on edge as those close enough to the crystal start to instinctively back away.

As some retreat from the spot, the purpose of the dissonant hum becomes clear as all around the area, creatures nestled underground for winter hibernation stir and flee from the crystal’s effect. Rabbits, hares, shrews, and occasional snakes crawl and sneak by as the bothersome chord grows more powerful, driving them out of harm’s way.

(7:10) Amazingly, once away from the crystal by at least 40 feet, the hum takes on a more vibrant and pleasing chord. A pattern of steady thumps begin pulsing thru the earth. Pebbles and dirt free from the snow dance ever so slightly on the frozen ground as the snow all around the spot that the library will occupy begins to bounce and dissipate in the rhythm of the unseen drum at the core under the ground.

As it builds in intensity, those watching see that the ground slowly sinks with each beat, forming an octagonal perimeter of rapidly disintegrating earth as glints of deep amber crystal begin peeking above the dancing rubble and soil.

(7:45) Suddenly, 8 thick hexagonal amber crystals as big as tree trunks shoot out of the earth at the points of the octagon, rising rapidly into position to frame out the structure. Hundreds of more slender crystals of topaz and cloudy quartz sprout up in between them, filling in the spaces as the thumping pulse now roaring in the air is joined by the sound of bending and sinewy creaking as the crystals grow and fuze.

(8:20) The tallest of the crystals forming the walls start diverging. Instead of stretching straight up, they start to sprout new beams of crystal at different angles, creating the framework of gables, buttresses and archways as they climb towards a meeting point high above.

Keen eyes notice that the loose dirt and snow being thrashed about in the center of the footprint have begun to transform from earth and slush to oversized forms of amber-colored gemstones as they dance.

(8:50) The quaking and tempestuous storm of gemstones in the center explodes straight up, sending a blinding display of gem and crystal confetti into the sky like a firework.

It slows and impossibly stops in mid-air, glittering and turning in the sunlight. Each piece sending out bright, blinding beams of light that magically solidify, filling in the canopy of glass and amber to complete the 100 foot tall spire that has formed above.

Anyone able to see thru the open archways of the doors in front can make out the formation of a cluster of tall, perfectly formed prisms nearly 10 feet tall, floating in mid-air all about the interior.

They begin to spin, and looking thru their surfaces, the warped refracted view of the interior of the original library can be seen. As their rotations pick up speed, they also proceed to orbit the center of the room. As they reach dizzying speeds spinning around their own axis and that of the library, the visions of the complete library thru their facets begin to overtake the view of the empty interior, making it impossible to tell what is there and what is reflection.

(9:35) All at once, the prisms inside shatter, leaving only the vision of the original library as a reality, complete with stack after stack of books, desks, chairs, shelves, alcoves, tapestries, sculptures, vases, not to mention a brass statue of an elegant Athenian Warrior, clad in armor, wearing a feathered helm, a quiver at her side and bow in hand, just as they all remembered it on their first visit.

The wind and noise finally wind down as the carved walnut doors lightly close. Before those gathered at the sight now see the complete Amber spire nestled neatly in its place in the town, awaiting its first patrons.

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