Finley: A Preface

There is a high probability that once in your life you have entered a library. A large structure built for housing books, a structure of knowledge, where one peruses favorite sections before flipping through new releases. Maybe you have settled on a book or three, cracked the spines, and smelled the pages. Maybe you have even fancied yourself a bibliophile. Yes, we lovers of books have all infiltrated a library, but not a library like the one we are concerned with today. The library in the Guild Tower of Thaumaturgy and Alchemical Studies is no ordinary pile of books. It is a library that rivals the lost collection at Alexandria. It stores the greatest books of ours or any time. In this library you would find Beesley’s, Combustion: A Study in Mercury alongside Coffer’s, The Great Unknown: A Redaction of Criticism. If this is not enough to titillate your senses, then know that you would also find Blakely’s, What We Know of Knowledge, Epistemology on a Continuum, or Proof and Sense, the original copy of Beowulf written, anonymously of course, by Grendel, and Tusantte’s Thaumaturgy: I Posit Mythology. Yes, this is no ordinary library. From things Alchemical and Magical, to things serious, studious, and salvific, this is the library of the chosen. Not all can step inside its hallowed halls. Not all can sing its praises. Only those students selected to study at the Guild Tower of Thaumaturgy and Alchemical Studies can soar to such great scholarship. Do not be mistaken, however, please refrain from the nonsensical: all know that magic is extinct. The legends surrounding the many uses of magic in Elaea are just that, legends. There never was such a thing—and please forgive the forceful language—there never will be such a thing. I am sorry to disappoint you lovers of myth, mystery, and magic, the fantastical and phantasmagorical, but this is not that kind of story. In Elaea, Thaumaturgy is nothing more than engineering; alchemy, the study of mathematics and chemistry. The Guild Tower of Thaumaturgy and Alchemical Studies is a place for serious and sober people, like our very own Doctors and Lawyers and Politicians. Those people of sound mind who do not participate in frivolities. This is the library we find ourselves in, a place of learning, not imagination. It is with this preface that our story begins, in the library located in the Guild Tower of Thaumaturgy and Alchemical Studies, three weeks before Year Three Examinations (Yi—TEE for short).

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