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The Incorruptible Republic of the Immortal Library of the Grand Architect

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To read what you want, you have to be free! [1]

The Incorruptible Republic of the Immortal Library of the Grand Architect (The Incorruptible Library, The Immortal Library, or simply The Library, for short) is, to quote Ardsley Wooster, "..an autonomous government which claims a large section of underground Paris off the Black Market. They lend out any book to anybody. Many people find this irresponsible."

This sprawling collection of extreme bibliophiles and the books they acquire, protect, and provide access to was founded by the mysterious Van Rijn, and has possession of some of his secrets. The Master Spark had a secret (or at least tightly locked and cleverly concealed) workshop inside its walls, dubbed his "Hermitorium". The site now occupied by the Library was previously one of the fortresses of the Corbettite Monks, and their trap-laden storage vaults for dangerous artifacts are still present, sealed off and mostly forgotten.

The Library also has in residence a population of over-sized cats led by a human Catmaster, which can be assembled into armor-clad clowders and dispatched on raiding expeditions against surrounding fiefdoms.

Doctor Dio Zardilev takes refuge here after his time-manipulation expertise makes him the target of numerous assassination attempts.

Library Officials Edit

As noted by Wooster's comment, the Library is not under the rule of the Master of Paris. At the time that Agatha is allowed entrance to the Library, two of its more important officials are the (evidently) married couple Jon and Melissa Solera, Grand Curators of the High Western Stacks. Agatha gives the duo Van Rijn's notebook for safekeeping, in exchange for being allowed free access to the rest of the Library's books. Melissa states that Margarella Selnikov was supposed to be bringing this book to the Library, instead of using it to ransack the vaults of the Corbettite Monks. Or more precisely, the wrong collection of Corbettite Vaults. (The key that Lady Selnikov stole along with this book is revealed to open the aforementioned Hermitorium.)

The head of the Library is the formidable Lord High Conservator, who is away on a raid during Agatha's visit; it is eventually revealed that the intent of said raid is extracting Tarvek from the "clutches" of now-Baron Gil.

Whether the Silent Librarians mentioned by Hristo Tiktoffen are associated with the Incorruptible Library or are another group entirely is unknown.

The Library Besieged Edit

Unfortunately, the Lord High Conservator and his entire raiding party are killed by a unit of hijacking Smoke Knights in the employ of Tarvek's family, followed shortly by the Library itself being subjected to a Revenant-assisted attack led by the King of the Silver Lands and Madame Velix, which succeeds to the point that the former can announce to Agatha and her friends in his usual over-enthusiastic fashion that he has taken control of the facility. A timely assist by Violetta and Agatha's Wasp-Eater, as well as Princess Larana carrying on the "ancient tradition of filial usurpation" to countermand her father's orders allows the Soleras to mount a successful counter-attack.

References

  1. Shouted in the form of a call and response as a Library hunting party is about to set off, act 2, volume 3, page 025 (web), panel 8.

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