The Library

You’ve always found the school library homey. It’s part of the oldest section of the school and the gray stonework architecture is decidedly more interesting than the modern pre-fab stuff that’s been all the rage for the last fifty years or so. Besides that, the library has a number of large comfortable chairs sprinkled throughout secluded nooks amongst the stacks of books, and a pervasive ancient bookish smelliness that makes you feel welcome.

Today you pull out one of the old forgotten tomes that you uncovered deep in the stacks on a previous visit, and find yourself a cozy baroque-patterned red armchair to spend an hour in, forgetting entirely to go about getting yourself something to eat. The book itself is a treasure, dating back several hundred years and full of stories of medieval chivalry and Arthurian legend, many of which seem to be written from a first-hand perspective. “La Vie d’Arthur” you murmur to yourself, reading the ancient script as you run your hand down the spine.

Settling into the chair sideways, you push your back into a corner while dangling your long legs off the arm of the opposite side. Just as you are about to delve into the storybook and surrender your awareness of the real world, you find yourself tipping back dangerously. Your weight is sending the chair tumbling over! Fortunately it stops after falling only a moment, making a loud clacking noise. “Oh Bors, I’ve broken it!” you exclaim, citing an Arthurian knight in your dismay as you scramble off to investigate the extent of your misdeed.

To your surprise, nothing is broken. In fact the chair didn’t even tilt far enough to bang into the gray stone wall behind it. Casting about for the source of the clacking, you realize that one leg of the chair appears to have been attached to an ancient lever of some kind, protruding straight out of the flagstone flooring. You deduce that, as the chair began to tip over, the lever was pulled upward until it hit some kind of resistance, stopping your descent.

Examining the lever leads you to realize that it has opened a hairline crack in the wall, running from floor to ceiling behind the chair, through which cool air now flows. Mystery! Grabbing at the crack with your fingertips and exerting your entire body, you manage to slowly pull it apart, revealing a small secret passage. Cold musty air wooshes out around you and you can spy a similarly tiny spiral staircase some eight feet down the passage. The stone steps lead both up to the right and down to the left.

What to do!
If you proceed up the spiral stair to whatever awaits above, click here.
If you descend the spiral stair to the depths of the school’s secrets, click here.
If you turn around and go back to school, click this one.