"The library is the temple of learning, and learning has liberated more people than all the wars in history."
Carl T. Rowan, journalist
The Amsterdam-Veneficia Incident
An incident in which an unidentified librarian boxed with two Veneficia demons who had been poisoning a local well. The 1552 incident is well documented, and occurred in a public square at noon. The librarian sucked them out of interstitial space with the aid of a spell book. Astonished at being confronted directly, the demons put up a brief fist fight before being soundly defeated and fleeing the scene. The heroic librarian was subsequently arrested for witchcraft by the Inquisition, itself a tool of demons who had possessed weak willed members of the clergy. Some say that Reginald Scot, famed debunker of the witch-hunt, was involved in the librarians escape, but there is no solid evidence to support this conjecture.
A secret organization of National Socialists with mystical pretensions and run by a motley collection of vampires, werewolves, and other monstrosities. Like many evil organizations, they are working towards conquering the planet, but also like most organizations, they are proving woefully ineffectual at it.
Large insects that enjoy entering heads of their victims through the ears and eating the brain. Generally fatal.
One of the earliest intelligent species to inhabit the galaxy and develop into an intergalactic extelligence. They reached a class III level civilization, capable of moving galaxies, before wiping themselves out. Jealous rival civilizations finished off the survivors.
A small cold planet that was overrun by Strontian warlord Vaglox and his mercenary army in 1287 AD. He was deposed by a native revolt led by Simonides, and assisted by Rex Libris, in 2006. The status of the planet is currently unknown.
Bibliognomes are often found in libraries. They live between the pages of books, and must read regularly for sustenance. Although they tend to move books about without leave and are poor at filing, they are also known to go on hunting trips of their own, and bring back new books to add to the collection.
Blumenkohl, Gustav Otto
Head of W.R.A.I.T.H., G.O.B. is a ruthless criminal mastermind who often travels with a raptor rabbit. He rarely descends to the use of violence himself, and prefers to allow his minions to do the dirty work. He is an able hypnotist and very well read.
A Canadian pastry dessert, they are very high in calories but are also correspondingly delicious. In an effort to preserve world health and slim waistlines, export of Buttertarts was banned by Pierre Trudeau during the seventies. Walnut, Pecan, and raisin variations are common. Due to their highly addictive nature, they are a controlled substance in the United States.
Rex's first boss at the Great Library of Alexandria, he produced the Pinakes, a 120 volume catalogue of the library's holdings. Callimachus also defeated invading Scythian Warspirits, bent on seizing necro-texts to reanimate their bodies, using riddles and a pipe. The incident greatly impressed the young Libris.
A man to give Saint Lawrence a run for the title of Patron Saint of Librarians. Controversial business magnate turned philanthropist, Carnegie was an avid reader from a young age and recognized the value of knowledge in achieving success. He wanted to enable others, and from 1901 used his 'excess' cash (he lived frugally) to fund the construction of some 2,500 libraries, among other philanthropic endeavours. Over the entrances of these buildings, many of which still serve as public libraries, are inscribed the words 'Let there be light'.
A former sorceress, Circe reformed her ways after being rescued from Salem by Rex Libris. She has since worked for the cause of universal enlightenment, and uses her arcane knowledge for the sake of good. She also bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie and has had romances with some of the most pivotal male figures in human history.
The Egyptian Incident
During Napoleon's expedition to Africa in 1799, a team of librarians prevented the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy of doom by defeating the minions of Seth, human corpses with jackal heads stitched on, who were intent upon unleashing a dark miasmatic cloud over the world that would consume the planet with hate. Once this was done, a bizarre array of hybrid human and animal corpses, stitched together thousands of years ago by Egyptian priests of Seth, had to be dispatched before the librarians were able to secure the Rosetta stone from the heart of the Tomb of Eternity. it was deciphered in 1822 by Jean Francois Champollion.
El compendio ilustrado de la morfología del monstruo del paleozoico al cenozoico del cryptozoologisto internacionalmente aclamado Juan E. Strozzi el Loco
A monster compendium written by the mad recluse Juan E. Strozzi, it is the most comprehensive book of its kind, and covers monsters both physical, memetic, demonic, and pan-dimensional. Juan E. Strozzi is also known for 'The Conjunction of Madness,' 'Screams of Mortal Terror from the Doomed Oneironauts in my Dreams,' and numerous Harlequin romance titles. His books are banned in dozens of countries. Not because they cause madness, which they do, but because they are often in poor taste.
Fate, Book of
An arcane text written by Vladimir Rossok in 1621, it is purported to tell the fate of everyone who has ever lived or ever will, thanks to the employment of string-theory based magics and a memetic pocket universe of pages. Those who read it are in grave danger of going insane, as no one is meant to know their fate in advance; unfortunately, individuals who do read it are preordained to do so. This book was moved from the shelves to the closed special collection of the public library after numerous complaints.
The burning of the books and the burying of the scholars. Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of china, united the country in 220 BC, and in order to break with the past, he ordered all books from earlier eras burned, and all the scholars buried alive. Later Emperors worked to restore the lost knowledge. The incident is disputed by some historians.
An evil genius who has experimented with both organic, infernal, and mechanistic technologies. He has produced several new species through genetic meddling and created robots with horrible destructive power, but always been thwarted by agents from the Ordo Bibliotheca. He abandoned his Paris factory lab in 1910 and moved to the South Pacific, where his experiments would attract less attention from the authorities. He has been involved in no less than eight attempts to overthrow a national government and once attempted to take over the world.
Forbidden Books of Sahar
A collection of black magic books written by the brutal reptillians of the Sahar Empire, which ruled what is now the Sahara desert. Ten Thousand years ago these were plains teeming with game and vibrant with life. The reptillian Sahar built temples, enslaved humans, and chopped down what trees there were. They practiced the darkest magic imaginable and worshipped the insanity that is Iagu, the black hole. Eventually they waged a terrible war with Atlantis, which broke their ascent and ended the Sull Dynasty. They became increasingly decadent and debauched, and descended into magic laced madness. It is in this latter era that the Forbidden Books were written, and while frighteningly powerful, all magics learned from them end in decay and death. During the Second World War, a collection could allegedly be found in the library of Count Gunther von Stokler, a German necro-scientist.
A wannabe warlord in China during the early nineteen thirties. He secured the Ong Zwarba gem and used it to resurrect the golem army of Shi Huangdi in an attempt to take over China. He was thwarted by Rex Libris and Circe, and died trying to escape from Huangdi's tomb.
The Great American Library Explosion
Between 1870 and 1920, the number of public libraries in the United States expanded from 200 to 4000 (over 1,500 of them Carnegie libraries), dramatically increasing access to knowledge for Americans.
The Great Library of Alexandria
Founded by Ptolemey II, it became the most important library in the Mediterranean world. Its only rival was Pergamum. The ongoing rivalry between the two libraries would benefit the world: Ptolemy banned the export of papyrus in the hope of crippling the Pergamum library, forcing them to turn to, and popularize, the use of parchment. Alexandria employed Rex Libris for many decades before it was destroyed by mobs who, according to some, were acting on the orders of Theophilus, the Patriarch of Alexandria.
Once a formidable monster from myth and legend, Grendel has since fallen on hard times and turned to drink, which has just made matter worse. For decades he has abducted fair maidens, but since he is often in a drunken stupor, he rarely keeps close track of them, and they often manage to escape without the need for intervention from a handsome prince or rescue party.
Inventor of the printing press, he helped unleash a flood of books upon the public, and made the publishing industry and pulp-fiction possible.
House of Wisdom
Built by Caliph al-Hakim in 1004 AD in Baghdad, it became center of learning in the Middle East and one of the world's greatest repositories of knowledge. Algebra was also invented within its walls by the great scholar al-Khawarizmi. Under the Banu Musa brothers it delved into the memetic dimensions, and it continued to grow and expand until it was destroyed by the Mongols in 1258. The texts of the library were thrown into a mound that became known as the Hill of Books.
A new employee at the Middleton Library and named after the great Hypatia of the Library of Alexandria, Hypatia Krupskaya has saved the world twice and looks forward to doing it again. She likes reading and playing wii in her spare time.
A form of snowflake based life form indigenous to planet Benzine V. They have three segments: a head, with a large compound eye and radio transmitter organelle; a thorax, which houses the main hydraulic pump resevoir and mounts to arms that end in gripping claws, and a trunk, which houses their brain sac in a hard armoured shell. While insectile, they appear to closely resemble snowmen. Some speculate that the myth of Frosty the Snowman is actually based upon a visit to earth by an exiled Kaniktshak leader, who melted while bemused earth younglings watched.
Kaniktshak can roll about on their trunk, or extend two pseudopods from it for more fine tuned locomotion. They live on the surface of extremely cold planets, where electricity flows virtually without resistance, and are able to exist off solar radiation and static electricity, which requires no energy to collect and thus leaves them with plenty of leisure time. Their mode of reproduction is unknown, although some speculate they reproduce by fission.
Kaniktshak culture is despotic, and their leader is determined by the Bzzt Bzzt, a general brawl that ends when only one Kanitkshak, the new dominant alpha, is left standing. Lacking social cohesion and group identity, they proved easily dominated by the invading Strontian Titanate, led by the infamous warlord Vaglox. Recently they have thrown off the Strontian yoke and asserted independence, thanks to the intervention of a librarian and a telekinetic bird.
Kronov, Vladimir Ilyvich
A former OGPU agent who went on to work for most of the evil organizations of the late twentieth century, Kronov is a versatile opportunist who is continually trying to amass wealth and power. He cares little for the interests of others and believes he is the salvation of mankind. Currently he is in the employ of W.R.A.I.T.H.
A point where telluric currents cross. There are approximately 157 major and 131,000 minor ley points in the continental United States.
A form of energy generated by ideas and what the ninth dimension is made of. Can occasionally be manifested into physical form in our reality if given supplied with enough telluric current. Note that tels (telluric energy units) are not to be confused with memes (or idea units), although they can be interchangeable, sometimes. It depends on a bewilderingly complicated set of variables and theorems, all validated and confirmed by the latest string theory. Of course if string theory proves totally bogus, this would all be, in fact, quantum based. And if that's all wrong, it's atomic powered.
Middleton Public Library
One of the most frequently damaged libraries in North America, the Middleton Public Library was built over the most active and powerful Ley point on the continent. Originally a Carnegie design, it has been memetically expanded on the inside, without modifying the exterior, through the use of pocket universes. Beneath the library is a large underground complex, including a book repository with over fifty kilometers of shelving and the world's largest Telluric Energy Collector. Administered by Thoth and staffed by some of the best action librarians in the Ordo, it is an excellent branch to gain experience at, providing one is not eaten by a slavering Gnorl.
Master of Library and Information Science. Completion of this masters degree is vital if one wishes to become a librarian and join the Ordo Bibliotheca. Few are accepted. Even fewer survive.
Nazi Zombie Commandos
Chain smoking Nazi Zombie Commandos have been a persistent problem since the end of the Second World War, emerging from their bases in South America, Greenland, and Antarctica at inconvenient times to carry out various arcane missions (or terrorize isolated groups of teenagers) and generally cause havoc and destruction. They smell absolutely terrible (distinctly so), are generally armed with obsolete weapons, and are sometimes led by vampires or disembodied brains in armoured machine casings. Fortunately, they are not perfectly preserved and have been slowly deteriorating mentally and physically for over half a century. As of 2008, NZC are quite frail, and appendages detach from them spontaneously on a regular basis due to decomposition. As a result, their vampire and reptilian overlords believe they are increasingly unreliable as goons.
The super massive black hole that is the universe.
Nesbit's Book of Beasts
A highly charged book of magical creatures who occasionally escape into reality. The dragon is particularly tough, and is to be avoided; fortunately, it is colour blind. This book should only be read by advanced readers familiar with memetic manifestations and disturbances.
North American Garden Gnome
A species of gnome that inhabits North American gardens. Generally harmless and benevolent, but prone to being displaced by the more aggressive and destructive Rural Pack Gremlin. They can be assisted in resisting such incursions by supplying them with miniature firearms and molotov cocktails.
The North American Hyper-Ley Point
One of few Hyper-points on earth, the NAHLP lies beneath Middleton Public Library. As such, all manner of unusual events are attracted to this location, which is why the Ordo Bibliotheca has staffed the branch with some of their most formidable librarians.
The Ong Zwarba Gem
First written about by Lord Dunsany, the Orb Zwarba gem is a powerful crystal loaded with positive luck energy. Anyone in possession of it becomes incredibly lucky, and good fortune accrues to them. The longer one possesses the gem, the greater the effect. It diminishes over a period of several days, once the bearer and the gem are parted. Its sister gem, the Ong Vasta, provides the opposite effect, making the bearer unlucky. No one carries the Ong Vasta for very long, as death or incapacitation usually intercedes.
A secret yet benevolent organization of librarians who protect knowledge and work quietly to guide civilization towards enlightenment. Members are trained in everything from customer service and administration to book binding and hand-to-hand combat. They are extremely dangerous with paper clips.
Ordo Magi Malignus
An order of black magic practicing sorcerers who have made a pact with demonic forces in exchange for power on earth. Despise technology and believe that the average person is nothing more than chattel, to be used and abused by the Magi. Technology undermines their power and so they work to stem the advance of science and learning.
Ranganathan's Five Laws of Library Science
Developed by one of the world's greatest librarians and set down in 1931. They are as follows:
A former librarian at the Great Library of Alexandria, Rex now works for Thoth at the Middleton Public Library Branch. He also fights evil and ignorance with the help of his co-workers Circe and Hypatia, and has saved the world an estimated one thousand times. He enjoys reading, long walks, and kicking the butt of belligerent borrowers who haven't returned their books on time.
Patron saint of librarians. Also known as San Lorenzo. He once wrestled a ravenous Perseid meteor beast to the ground while reading a copy of the Iliad. He was later barbecued by the Romans in 258 AD, and his crispy head is kept in a reliquary at the Vatican.
Powerful demons from a militaristic Hell dimension, these beings are bent on warfare and domination. Paradoxically, as soon as one Samurai Demon Empire achieves complete dominance of their home dimension, they immediately splinter into thousands of new factions so as to avoid the peace brought by unity.
A monster from Greek mythology, she once came up through the plumbing and invaded the Middleton Public Library, causing extensive damage and irritating the Sphinx.
A librarian in the far-flung future, he lives in a time long after both the Earth and even Rex Libris have been forgotten.
Known for its fabulous book sales, this city is said to have discovered the secret of eternal youth.
Once a sophist philosopher and now a talking telekinetic budgie (more likely a house swallow), Simon continues to harbour dreams of world conquest and fame. He is not formally employed by Middleton Library and has been as much a help as a hinderance to its staff. He has known Rex Libris for almost two thousand years.
Soviet Sorcerors (Volsorcom)
Elite commissars trained in the black arts of Volkh and Vseslav, their hypnotic powers were unparalled for over fifty years. Originally deployed to crush peasant uprisings by Trotsky, they later became an integral part of Soviet five year plans by psychically exhorting workers on to higher and higher productivity. Distrusted by Stalin, senior members such as Gendavich and Bukarov were purged in 1936 and shot (then decapitated, burned, and scattered), and over 1000 of lower ranks burned at the stake. They were temporarily disbanded until being re-established under the brutal ageis of General Tarkov, a close ally of Marshal Voroshilov.In 1941 they worked with Kronov to excavate the tomb of Genghis Khan and create an army of clones from the body, but the scheme was abandoned.
Horrific cross between the Tyrannosaurus Rex and a giant squid. Created by the ancient Susslock breeding programs.
A species of crystalline aliens from an unknown homeworld. They can be found in dozens of systems, typically ruling over the coldest and outermost planets. Strontian culture extols the virtues of fighting and dominating others, particularly workers. They believe work is something that should be done by lesser beings.
Composed of universal life energy, telluric energy currents flow in the ether of the eighth dimension and criss-cross the globe. Locations where they intersect are known as Ley Points, and it is here that shit happens, as telluric energy draws events, actions, and energy. This is all intimately connected and tied into string theory and anything else that can be misinterpreted for dramatic effect.
A secret order established in Italy in 1666 AD by Duke Arturro Cellini Basti and Jorge Fallaci VI, it went global in the 18th Century. The Tenebrati subscribe to the notion that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and as such, they work ceaselessly to monopolize information and keep it out of the hands of the public. Ordinary citizens are seen as being too stupid to know what to do with an education. In addition, access to books makes them more ornery and difficult to control.
According to Tenebrati doctrine, only a small educated elite can run the world effectively. They have been working to impede the dissemination of learning for centuries while simultaneously assembling the largest closed library collections in the world.
They specialize in dark magic and infernal technologies.
A type of space leech, they are often incorrectly referred to by the more generic label of Space Slug.
An ancient Egyptian god who now works for the Middleton Public Library, and has an addiction to buttertarts. The Sphinx is in his employ. He also secures magical insurance policies for Middleton Library employs, such as immunity to space vacuum. Well known to be cantankerous.
Tyrannoryctolagus Cuniculus Lepus Raptus
A rare white furred rabbit from South America with large hind legs and ripping claws like a Veliciraptor. Extremely dangerous. Hunt in packs and a pair of them can bring down a fully grown cow in under thirty seconds.
The Ulpian Library
Built by Trajan, it was the most famous of the Roman libraries. Rex Libris worked here briefly during the third century AD as head librarian, until he was forced to go underground in order to avoid the Ignotus Curse of Inifinitum Mortis.
Vaglox is a Strontian warlord. The Strontians are a species of proud crystalline creatures; they prefer to live on incredibly cold planets that have little to no atmosphere. Thousands of years ago, Vaglox worked as a delivery chunk, but he grew discontent and joined a gang of raiders. His ruthless nature helped him rise to the top of this criminal organization, which he was quick to expand into a private space faring army. Backed by this formidable military machine, Vaglox assaulted and captured the planet Benzine V. There he ruled until deposed in 2006.
Bred by the Yeti as the ultimate war machines, these huge, flightless avians are capable of sinking ocean liners. Guided by radio control, they are faster than most ships, and they are able to spew predigested food at foes while on land. Laced with acid, this vomit can eat through tank armour and disintegrate people in a few seconds.
A criminal organization founded by Gustav Otto Blumenkohl, after he read one too many Ian Fleming books during the chaos of the 1960s. It links together crime cartels from around the world under one centralized executive, and aspires to world domination, which nevertheless eludes its grasp. The central authority gives it the ability to coordinate the largest scale criminal operations possible. Over the years, however, W.R.A.I.T.H. has struggled to establish its identity and profile in the face of stiff competition from other secret, global criminal organizations that have managed to garner significantly more press. This has lead to difficult relationship between the W.R.A.I.T.H. Crime Executive and journalists, who dismiss W.R.A.I.T.H. as a pale imitator of other, more prominent evil organizations. The New York Times called it 'an also ran' in an expose in 2002, which resulted in a sharply worded rebuttal by Blumenkohl that was run on the letters page. The topic dominated the page for several weeks, and drew heated comments from the top criminal masterminds on the planet, both for and against W.R.A.I.T.H.
The most successful W.R.A.I.T.H. operation ended in disaster when the nuclear weapon they stole and intended to blackmail the UN with was set off in the Bikini Atoll by a meddling librarian.
Dreaded sulfothermophiles who live in underwater cities around thermal vents.
Rare creatures found now only on the Ustyurt Plateau.