“I don’t get it,” said Arkham, as they weaved their way through the shelves. “Libraries don’t usually restrict access. ‘Information belongs to the public’ and all that, right?”
Serafin just smiled. “For ordinary libraries, this is true. But we are no ordinary library.” She ran her fingers over a row of books. “These books must be treated with care, and only used by responsible people. The knowledge they contain is quite dangerous. Hence why members must be approved beforehand.”
“But they’re books,” said Arkham. “Just ink and paper. Sure, they may have spells and things in them, but that doesn’t make them dangerous.”
“You really think so?” said Serafin, plucking a book of the shelf and handing it to Arkham. “Then here you go. Read away.”
Begrudgingly, Arkham took the book and turned to the first page. They instantly regretted doing so. A wave of information crashed on thier head. Letters, numbers and symbols, seemed to dance around them mockingly, defying all logic yet driven by some infernal mechanism known only to them. It felt like they were surrounded by a vortex of pure data, and were being dragged out of their body and stright down into an abyss.
They awoke on the floor, panting and shivering. The book was beside them, closed neatly on the floor. Serafin stood above them, looking down. Her face was young, but her eyes were old and tired, and Arkham could see the faintest glimmer of disappointment in them.
“Well, young Arkham,” said Serafin. “I suppose know you see what I was getting at, yes?” Arkham nodded feebly, and Serafin helped them up off the floor.