The Library of the Ancients is the largest and most complete library on Disparia. It is located in the heart of Westlake City and offers a view of the Nation’s capital from its lengthy portico.
According to the Chief Librarian of the Ancients, Carol Veronas, the library is home to more than 15 million books, 5 million captures, manuscripts, sheets of music and other articles of publication. It was founded in 25PM and became the nation’s official federal cultural institution at the signing of Atla’s Constitution. Not only is it home to the largest public collection of books in the world, it also houses many of the most valuable historical, scientific and artistic artifacts in the world. The Library was designed to be the nation’s greatest and most complete public source of information, for use by anyone that registers for a free membership. But deep below ground level, sealed behind an intense and elaborate security system is the Hall of Ancients, the most secretive and important storage area for the artifacts of the past, none of which is open to the public.
The Hall of Ancients in the Library of Ancients has several levels, each containing artifacts of varying importance. The deeper one travels the more sacred, important, unique or special the items get. To put it in perspective, the original Atlan Constitution is housed in the Third Chamber, and there are said to be at least six chambers total, if not more.
Some of the more unique and special items housed within the Hall of Ancients are the Constitution, pre-historic human remains and tools, one of a kind fossils and extinct animal remains, the original copy of the legendary book Estrana, and the personal diary of the first Grand Provincial Councilor. Beyond the known relics and historical documents are even more mysterious and guarded secrets. Because access to the deeper levels of the Hall is granted to very few on Disparia, many items are only rumored to be held for safe keeping in the eternal vault. Some of these items include, a preserved alien body recovered over 100 years ago in the desert of Kahn, records of an ancient civilization that pre-dates the earliest known settlements on Feron, the body of Phoebe Transau the revered saint, and many, many more. In fact, speculation and rumors surrounding the hidden items in the Hall of Ancients is so common that many publications run monthly articles. The Others, the widest circulated paranormal and supernatural magazine runs a monthly feature on items supposed to be housed in the Hall. Few of those items mentioned however, come anywhere close to the most important and holy relic purportedly stored in the deepest level.
It is impossible to confirm or verify its existence. Reason, outside evidence and common sense suggest it’s all a lie. But, despite the obvious reasons why it shouldn’t exist, a select few former workers have claimed to have seen small parts of the original Testament of the Gods from the Writ of the Five. Reproductions and varying translations of this make up the first quarter to half of each of the five sections of the Writ of the Five for most major religions. The Testament of the Gods outlines the creation of Disparia and the very nature of the singularity through the words of the Gods. These tablets of ancient stone were said to have been given to the first humans as a record of where they came from and a guide for their lives, written by the Gods themselves. It is the existence of these very tablets that is the primary source of contention between the Pariahs and Norash. While they believe the Testament is still stored deep in the mountains of Zion, they might indeed be housed in the deepest level of the Hall of Ancients.
With such priceless and important artifacts stored in the Hall, only a few outside researchers are ever allowed in to the deepest levels. The request for information application process takes a minimum of two years and requires a background check more thorough than the one conducted on potential Grand Provincial Councilors. And even then, those lucky enough to make it are only allowed into the area they requested admittance too. Each level of the Hall is set up much like a prison, with rooms on either side of the long hallways. Unlike a prison, the relics are kept behind solid metal doors that offer no view in or out. Inside, the rooms are temperature, humidity and dust controlled. So even someone with wandering eyes will not be able to see anything more than exactly what they requested.
Nearly as mysterious as the artifacts housed below ground are the few people responsible for maintaining and protecting them. Nobody knows for certain the full extent of the security protecting the records. Identification such as names, age, race, gender etc. are all guarded as well as the relics themselves. Even the exact number of maintenance personnel tending to the rooms is classified. The only people one might encounter during a research opportunity in the Hall would be the emissary, who conducts the sign in and introduction to the vaults, and the security guards that watch over their respective levels. Beyond that, all communication and interaction is done by mail, with names and addresses conspicuously absent. The only identification marks ever associated with the Hall is the Grand Provincial Councilor’s seal of authority, and the NPFA’s endorsement.
But the Library of Ancients is more than just a lot of books and a secret Hall of Ancients. Festivals, expositions, tours and performances fill each year. Entire schools will make trips to the library where the staff will teach the children everything from how a book is published to how the government operates. Art displays and musical shows usually coincide with the field trips giving the entire area an aura of energy and vibrancy. And just three years ago, in 245EM, the Library of Ancients received one of its greatest assets, a dedicated railcart station. This station connects the Library to the rest of Atla making trips to the information capital of the world easier than ever.