Eincyg (5) – The library

I’ve asked my way to find Eincyg library. Perhaps I will start finding the responses I am looking for there. I climb the city to its upper top. I cross a couple of watch towers, a castle, a temple that stands in front of the library. I still haven’t wondered about Modrians religion, and out of curiosity decide to visit the temple. It’s entirely bare, except for a few large candles burning. Is it a christian or a pagan temple, nothing seems to indicate. There are no icon, no religious sign. I recognized it was a temple only because the building resembled a church. Close to the two buildings that tower over the entire city, there’s an observation point where one has a circular view on Modry, from the lake Farrayne, the mountains, and the volcano, to the lake of Cyg and the isle and the mountains beyond. I can’t see the ocean so large and mountainous is the island. The sky is partly cloudy and the reflection of clouds travel over the surface of the lakes as they shift. I watch more intently the Ghost Bridge, and how it disappears in the mist in the vicinity of the isle of Cyg, which is itself wrapped in a thich layer of mist today.

I then resolve myself to go into the library. The buildings seem to keep the warmth quite well. I direct myself toward a small desk with a middle aged woman that sits there. I greet her and ask her if there are any books I can find about Modry that are not written in Modrian, in any Europen language. She tells she only has a couple of books in English and ushers me toward another room. I follow her, drifting to the depth of the library that contains stacks upon stacks of books on wooden shelves after the old fashioned way. We cross many rooms, some large and some small, until we arrive in a very dark room where she climbs on a stool and hands me the two books she has promised me. One is called History and Geography of Modry, and the second is Legends and Stories related to the Ghost Bridge. The woman asks me if that is what I was looking for, and I tell her it does. She continues her way telling me to follow her until a vast vaulted room which is lit with many windows and a view on the lake of Cyg. She tells me I can sit there on a table and keep the books as long as I need. She shows me a small cupboard in the wall where I can leave my personal effects, in case I need to go out and come back. The wall is lined with many of these cupboards, and there only are a couple of other persons sitting on distant tables.

I sit there and open eagerly the books. Fortunately they’re written only fifty or sixty years ago and will hopefuly contain still relevant information. I immediately notice the book is hand written. The author starts the book by presenting himself and stating why he has underwent such an enterprise as mapping and writing the history of Modry. He says that he was bred in England but ever since his youth he felt that his calling was to travel the world to unexplored places. And, out of chance he had found the gate between Earth and Modry and arrived in Modry, enamoring himself of this island. He had lived ten years here before writing these two books. During his stay in Modry he had learnt to read and write Modrian, until he could truly integrate himself in the local culture.

The legend tells that Modry was originally populated from people from the Earth, from Ictus, fom Velver and from Nardh, the four planets that have gates toward Modry. Strange mechanisms and conjunctions let these gates work, ones that the author claims not to understand. Usually, the few people that travel between worlds are ones that have had a calling, a vision, pushing them to undergo that journey. Other times, explorers like him happen by chance on Modry, but these occurences are quite rare. Probably in the past, a combination of the two had contributed to bring small waves of migrants to Modry. The people who went there often were people who were persecuted, witches in the Middle Ages for instance. People from four different planets, worlds, ended up in Modry. But the largest contingent came from Earth, as Earth has all its gates pointing toward Modry, while these planets have gates pointing on other places like Modry. Therefore, Modry is largely of Earthian culture, with only a few remote villages that have kept a strong influence from these other worlds. Several migration waves, at times when the veil between worlds was thinner, contributed to form what Modry is today. The people who came here found a land so quiet and peaceful, harvests so abundant, that they were reluctant to go back on Earth. The author believes that some sort of spiritual selection occurs before being admitted through the gate to Modry, and that people who are openly evil won’t be able to pass through. Anyway these gates between world have always remained secrets, and there has never been a wave of conquest, like the ones which had conquered America, Africa and Oceania. Modry was immune to that. And there had been a remarkably low rate of conflict throughout history. In 1960 the population of Modry amounted to a bit more than one million inhabitants. Much of its technological advance came from Earth. There were a few Modrians who made it their specialty to travel between worlds, and they had brought back with them some of the most important inventions, adapting them to the local culture. Modry was not a true capitalist society. People held a lot of power. And since the island was wealthy in natural resources, since food security was high, since competition was inexistant, there was no mass production like on Earth for instance. So Modrians enjoyed some levels of technological comfort, while keep a strong craft, as everything was still hand made. And I believe that didn’t change despite the fifty years that passed. The logic of Modry is different from that of the Earth on that regard.

Another strong peculiarity of Modry, is, of course, the way languages work.