The Aventurine Mirror
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"Your proposal, Lorelei?"

A quiet snore emitted from a corner of the auditorium.

"Ahem. Head Chronicler? Your proposal?" a man's voice repeated, louder this time.

A quiet snore was quickly stifled as Lorelei shot up, at attention.

"Yes, sir?"

"This is the third time I've asked, Head Chronicler. You must stop sleeping during these sessions."

Lorelei looked sheepishly down at her desk, and meekly apologized.

"Sorry, Glaedwin."

"That's 'Head Librarian' to you. Anyways, I'll say again: your proposal, Lorelei?" asked Glaedwin.

"Proposal for what?"

"Your proposal for what can be done about the figments overrunning The Library." said Glaedwin, with a tinge of exasperation.

"Right, yes. Regarding the aventurine sample we found in the Mines — I'm sure you've heard of it?"

The other council members nodded in agreement, and Glaedwin motioned for her to continue.

"People have been talking up a storm about it, because it's the largest chunk of aventurine we've found to date, and the most perfectly smoothed. The people claim that the crystal might hold a cornucopia of untapped paths that could open the way to exploration. Of course, they're talking in the metaphorical sense, but my proposal is: what if we made it more literal?"

"And how do you mean?" asked a man named Sinclair, the Head Supervisor.

"It's a good thing you asked, as the explanation falls more into your domain than mine. I know fiction has been banned in The Library, but you still have a team of Muses at the ready, waiting for any orders they might need to follow regarding fictional undertakings. Is that correct?"

"Yes, that is correct, although many of my Muses have transferred to become Chroniclers so that they could apply their writing skills in other ways."

"That's understandable." Lorelei nodded along.

"What are you getting at?" asked a woman named Padrig, the Head Bookbinder.

Lorelei took a deep breath and steeled herself for the mixed reception of her outlandish proposal.

"I propose Sinclair and I work on that chunk of aventurine and polish it into a gateway, and write a small bit of fiction to imbue the aventurine crystal with the ability to literally open new paths to unseen places."

The room was silent for the entirety of a second, before erupting into uproarious outcry.

"Absolutely not, do you have any idea how much of a security hazard that would be?!" cried Harwin, the Head Architect.

"Why do you sign me along for such a preposterous project?!" shouted Sinclair.

"And just where do you think you're going to get that much Ebnestra? And who do you think will bind that book? Not me!" cried Padrig.

"How would you even go about attuning so much Ebnestra at once? A project of this sort would require an absurd amount to function!" came the quiet voice of Altair, the Head Interpreter.

"Quiet, QUIET! Calm yourselves, everyone!" shouted Glaedwin, the Head Librarian.

The auditorium fell silent at once. Confused and aggravated heads all turned to look at one another, and back at Lorelei, who merely sat there sweating in her seat.

"Lorelei, I believe your idea might have some grounding. Although figments are banned, one of this sort could prove very beneficial." said Glaedwin.

"How do you mean?!" cried Sinclair.

"Calm yourself, Sinclair. A physical gateway to unheard of places may be just the solution we need to the problem we came here to discuss originally. There are plenty of moral quandaries centered around the killing of figments, which has been a large hurdle in our quest to solve the major overpopulation issues in The Library. There are so many figments it has become difficult to tell what was real and what was written in the first place.

But, no, this idea might just work. Rather than eliminating all figments, we can simply give the figments somewhere to be. This Library doesn't have enough room to fit everyone on it, but with an artifact such as the one Lorelei proposes we may be able to create new Libraries, new homes for our people and their figments."

With the conclusion of his monologue, Glaedwin looked expectantly at the other council members, who were now beginning to nod along in agreement.

"And after all," continued Glaedwin, seemingly satisfied with this response, "Lorelei's gut has never failed us before. Her intuition of the future has proved handy many a time thus far, why should we break her chain now? What do you say, old girl, think you've got it right this time as well?" he finished, eyeing Lorelei expectantly.

Lorelei closed her eyes for a few seconds, and smiled. "Definitely."

"We'll put it to a vote." he said.

"All in favor of working on uh… Lorelei, got a name for this proposal?"

"Oh, um. We could call it… 'The Aventurine Mirror.'" she responded.

"All in favor of The Aventurine Mirror proposal?" asked Glaedwin.

"Aye." said Padrig.

"Aye." muttered Altair.

"Nay." said Harwin.

"Oh, whatever. It'll give my Muses something to do. Aye." said Sinclair.

Knock, knock.

Sinclair opened the door to his office, still dressed in a bathrobe, unshaven. There, standing before him, was the Head Chronicler, Lorelei.

"Good morning, Sinclair." she beamed.

Sinclair shielded his eyes from the unseen light she gave off, and asked:

"Good… morning, Lorelei. What are you doing here so early?"

"Oh, I came to ask you about the progress on The Aventurine Mirror."

"And you chose to do so at 6 in the morning?"

"Yeah! Is there anything wrong with that?"

Sinclair sighed heavily, and wiped his hands down his tired eyes. Morning people.

"No, nothing. Anyways. Progress on The Mirror… I've been mostly staying in my office, but last I checked it looked like they were just about done polishing it and setting it into its frame. I'll have to run down to the chambers if you want a progress report on the Muses' figment."

"Oh, I wouldn't like to bother them. Are they having fun with their new assignment, at least?"

"A bunch of your Chroniclers transferred back here for the sole purpose of working on The Mirror, so I would say yes. I haven't seen them this excited since the first twisted figment was fought off." said Sinclair.

"Oh! Speaking of that. The Festival of The Lost is in a few days. Are you planning on going down?" asked Lorelei.

Sinclair pondered for a moment.

"No… I don't believe I will. If anything, I might be asked to go down to supervise and make sure no one's breaking the rules. But if I have my way, I wouldn't like to go."

"Aw, why not?"

"Celebrations just aren't my style. Plus, I'd rather not think about The Lost. They're lost for a reason, no sense in crying over spilled milk."

"You're such a sourpuss sometimes, Sinclair." pouted Lorelei.

"Only sometimes? Then I must be doing something wrong." he jested back.

Lorelei stuck her tongue out at him, then continued.

"Well, I don't have anything else to say, and I doubt I'll be able to convince you to willingly come down to the Festival. So… I'll be going now. Have a nice day, Sinclair." said Lorelei, as she turned on her heel and set off back to her section of The Library.

"Yeah, good day to you too." muttered Sinclair, as he shut his door and returned to his morning ritual.

The Muses proudly presented their new figment — bound by the Head Bookbinder herself — to Lorelei, who appraised it with a determined smile.

In our hour of greatest need
A hero from beyond arose from his grave
With his prowess in travel he promised to save
The Library from its own unfortunate deed

With the powers of fate on his side
And a door leading to all different ways
The man inside promised to turn the tide
Of the pool of figments that stays

And thus he led us into a new light
Showed us places we had never seen before
With this advent, all would be made right
As we traveled far and wide, more and more

The people of The Library and
The figments of their tomes
Would claim their new homes
In the shelter of a distant land

"Yes, this will be perfect. What did you write this with?" she asked.

"Citrine, blue lace agate, tiger's eye, and of course, aventurine to attune with The Mirror." replied a Muse.

Lorelei quickly mentally reviewed the properties of each of the listed crystals, and smiled again.

"Perfect." she said, "Just perfect."

"We have a highly charged shard of Ebnestrite here. One of the only ones left." continued another Muse.

Sinclair stood proudly before his Muses and their new creation — a large mirror polished out of solid aventurine, standing taller than a person and inlaid in a frame of silver which was then inset with a large amount of different attuning crystals; 36, to be exact.

"At your word, Head Chronicler, my Muses will place this Ebnestrite into the final attuning receptacle, and we'll all stand back as our project is realized."

Lorelei clasped her hands together and said, beaming:

"Hell, why don't we just do it now?"

"I can see you're just as excited as I am. Let's get on with it, then." said Sinclair.

He turned around, and raised his hand in the air. All of his Muses stood at attention.

With a lowering of his arm, the Muses placed the Ebnestrite into the attuning receptacle of The Mirror, and stepped back quickly.

Lorelei and Sinclair, and all the Muses standing in the room, were nearly blinded by the resulting light of their new creation.

A few seconds passed, and the light dimmed down.

Standing before them, was The Aventurine Mirror, fully realized — and with a new occupant.

A silhouette of a man with a monocle made out of pure white light stood inside of the mirror, and tapped on the crystal from the inside, looking around at the inside of the room.

Surprised, Sinclair and Lorelei stepped forwards, and waved to the man in the mirror. He promptly stood at attention and waved back, saying:

"Hello. My name is Donois. How may I be of service to you?"

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