- To find the volume containing the letters 'MCVMCVMCVMCV' repeated without pause, variation or break for its entire 410 pages. This is rumoured to be the book which led to the founding of the Guild of the Meaning in Dreams, when three librarians spent a week arguing over its meaning or lack of such, and finally agreed to form a debating society. The volume has now been lost, and there are those - antique book dealers, historians, kings and mages - who would pay fortunes to have it.
- To discover a book containing the line, anywhere in its midst, Oh time thy pyramids. This sentence was found a century ago on the second-to-last page of a book filled with otherwise meaningless text; it led Guinevere Brown, one of the most well known researcher-explorers, to her conclusion that all such sentence fragments in the library could eventually be reconfigured to trasmit profound meaning. There are many volumes containing this line on the shelves of the library, but as they are lost in a sea of 251312000 books, finding even one is a task worthy of a god.
- To find and bring back the sage Jessop Wayne, who ventured into the library some thirty years ago and is thought lost. He is the only man who knows certain secrets of his Order, and his colleagues must find him or lose that knowledge forever.
- To find, and kill, the members of the Cult of Senseless Cacophanies, who are systematically working their way through the library, destroying all the books which contain garbled text. This they do in an attempt to separate sense from nonsense and enforce some kind of order. Many believe that this vandalism is destroying forever the possibility of discovering meaning in chaos.
- To search for the rumoured God of the library, who it is said can be found at its very bottom, very top, and very centre, and who knows every volume intimately.
- To bring back a book holding the words to a Wish spell.
Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Quests in the Library of Babel
Why step into the Library of Babel?