Wiki / The Wanderer's Library
The Wanderer's Library
is a sister site of the SCP Foundation
, based on the main location of the Serpent's Hand Group of Interest. But while the SCP Foundation is (primarily) a Science Fantasy
/Horror site with strict tone, format and minimum hardness
requirements, the Library plays much faster and looser with its requirements. Almost any type of story is fair, from crime to science fiction. Whereas the Foundation focuses on evoking a mix of fear and scientific curiosity, the Library focuses on creating a feeling of “wonder”. This doesn't mean that other types of stories are forbidden; the stories can be just as gruesome or disturbing as what you might find on the Foundation.
In universe, the Library is a Magical Library
located outside of any other universe, accessible through portals called “Ways”. The Library's catalog is massive, containing books that have already been written, have yet to be written, and will never be written, from an equally massive number of universes. Who created the Library, what purpose it serves, or where the books come from are all unknown, but many theories have been proposed.
The patrons are just as varied as the books. You're just as likely to find a human scholar as you are to find a god, talking animal, or alien, non-Euclidian explorer. Assisting in running the Library are the librarians, people who have broken the rules of the Library and physically transformed. The eyeless Archivists serve at the main desks, and can tell you where to find each book. Docents, mouthless humanoids with lanterns for hands, enforce the rules and help patrons wandering the shelves. Restocking of shelves is performed by the spider-like Pages.
Note that most stories are not set in the Library itself- it simply acts as a Framing Device
. Most of the stories take place in one of the (seemingly) infinite number of worlds it connects to, or maybe they're made up, or maybe it's a bit of both. Who knows?
The list of stories can be found here
. The archives, stories focusing on the Library itself, can be found here
This wiki provides examples of:
- Actual Pacifist: The monks in Pollution. It ends poorly
- After the End: The Cafe, among others.
- Alien Sky: The Unwaking. The sun changes color with the days of the week: On Tuesday and Thursday it's red, on Monday and Wednesday it's yellow, and on Fridays and Saturdays it's blue. It used to be dark on Sunday, when Sunday was still alive. Don't ask.
- Alternate Universe: Almost every story takes place in a different one.
- All Myths Are True: Almost anything can be found inhabiting the Library or its stories.
- All Trolls Are Different: It seems to be treated like a profession in The Troll's Introductory Handbook.
- The All-Concealing "I": Used to great effect in the Journal of Aframos Longjourney to conceal the fact that basically every assumption you make about the main character is wrong.
- This also happens with Avos Torr, the guy who wrote the In-Universe footnotes for the same series. Thus far, all we know about him is that he isn't human either.
- An Aesop: From A Caution to the Wise: “They ask for a story with a moral; the moral is, “A caution to the wise—look elsewhere for your wisdom.”
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Gods are often depicted this way, although there's no strict canon. In And I Was Present At the Death of a God the god of Tasmanian Tigers begins to die along with the species. In Gods of Money, the eponymous god confronts the ruler of a Zimbabwe Expy over rampant inflation.
- Apocalyptic Log: Stars describes the stars descending to earth and destroying The Land of Elrich as punishment for returning to ways of violence and warfare.
- Appeal to Inherent Nature: Grandfather Scorpion, which directly references the tale of the scorpion and the turtle.
- As You Know: Often completely averted. Entries are written from the perspective of people who assume the reader will know everything about the world they take place already, and the appeal of many is trying to glean as much information as possible from a very limited amount of exposition.
- The Atoner: The main character in Communion. Unfortunately, he's past forgiveness.
- Arc Words: Frequent mention of stars in the Elrich setting. The arc words crosses over back to an SCP on SCP Foundation.
The stars look beautiful tonight.
- Artificial Intelligence: The Cafe.
- Artificial Limbs: Simon Heller has an artificial hand after he traded the real one for better eyes.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: A Caution to the Wise.
- Belly Dancer: The narrator of Hips of Fools meets one on another planet's moon.
- Blessed with Suck: A humble carp turns into a dragon by way of a magical ritual. Unfortunately, it's a dragon with at least ten deformed heads.
- Body Horror: In Abundance, a stranger feeds a starving village by causing select villagers to grow new limbs and other meaty appendages, which they then cut off and eat.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Appears in the Haskhian Inscriptions, as it's based on ancient mythologies.
- Cannibalism Superpower: The driving force behind the events of Abundance.
- Cain and Abel: The First Blood, with the Anthropomorphic Personifications of Industry and Foresight as the brothers. It's left ambiguous which is which.
- The Chains of Commanding: The lord in A Caution to the Wise has only one lament : "If only I were free!"
- Chess with Death: In For the Glory, a former heavyweight champion challenges Death to a boxing match. He loses.
- Civilized Animal: The Elrich series of tales features them. In one, From the Crown Press, a notice is put out warning of an “armoured force of mystic marsupials, which were supported by a column of raccoon mystics”, and orders a death sentence on them.
- Cloud Cuckoo Land: Elrich, if this is any indication.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Everyone in Elrich, but the fruit are on a whole different level.
- The Conspiracy: "A Brief History of Stairs" has a hilariously petty one. For a long time in the world of Elrich, elevators were the only method of going up. When stairs were invented, they posed a threat to the livelihood of the Elra Architectural Sub-Union, which made elevators. In order to discredit stairs, they loosen one step that the king will be going up. He falls to his death, thus making sure no one will use stairs again.
- Cosmic Egg: Eggshells.
- Crapsack World: Several, but Ur probably takes the cake. Lower class citizens are treated as nothing more than batteries for powering magic in Alteres, Harrhem is being destroyed by the very earth, Etten is being slowly covered by an Eldritch Location created by gods afraid of death, and an enormous army of monsters and barbarians is coming from Yagron, led by an orc with dreams of world conquest.
- Creation Myth: Many. How Grandmother Triode Stole Binary from the Sun is one told by a computer program.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: According to Season of Chaos, Emperor Joshua Norton wasn't crazy, just from a different universe where he actually was emperor.
- Deadpan Snarker: Peristrixalo. “Just once, I would like to meet something beautiful that tries to kill me, but I suspect that's asking far too much.”
- Death of the Old Gods: And I Was Present at the Death of A God, wherein the god of Tasmanian Tigers begins to die along with the species. He Gets Better once his Thanatos Gambit pans out... seventy years later
- Death World: Excerpt of the Journal of Archibald Hannity.
- Doorstopper: The Journal of Aframos Longjourney, at least by the standards of the site. It's well over 70 entries and still going, all describing the travels of the eponymous Longjourney.
- Downer Ending: Elrich is destroyed by its stars, which are then captured and contained by the SCP Foundation at an unknown point in the future. A Hand, An Eye, A Tooth ends with protagonist being killed by her husband for her disfigurement.
- Eldritch Abomination: Whatever is in the Cave of Red Flies. “It had smooth red skin like that of a frog, had the body of a bare man, legs like those of an eagle, and four crimson-feathered wings. I could not see his head or face, or more likely my sanity forbids me from remembering. But I remember those two great eyes, impossibly large, shining with an intelligence like laughing fire.”
- Eldritch Location: Prominently featured in The Tomb War.
- In Red Bark, the narrator meets a village living on the edge of creation. They have planted the titular red-barked trees to delineate the edge of the world. Villagers and houses living on the wrong side of the line turned into something else.
- The Library itself. A repository of almost every book ever written, as well as countless others that have never been written and will never be written. It features portals that lead to various points in various realities. Oh, and it's capable of defending itself against any kind of attack.
- Epistolary Novel: Inscriptions Or Marginalia is about a man who finds some sort of conspiracy regarding writing in margins of books.
- Expy: Lower Gregaria from Gods of Money is one of Zimbabwe.
- Fantastic Fruits and Vegetables: Brother Calbach's Herbal is a book devoted to them.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Stories range from science fiction to urban fantasy and often blend genres. The Library itself acts as a waypoint between many, many universes, so almost any sort of patron can be found there.
- Faux Affably Evil: Dark is unfailingly polite in letters, whether suggesting a business venture to potential partners or demanding the murder of one of the aforesaid partners
- First Love: A Loaf Story is this for one of the protagonists, Elizabeth.
- The Future: The Book of Potential is for stories set here.
- Gaia's Vengeance : The settlers in shikuan-misiwe are killed to stop destroying the island they lived on.
- Genius Loci: The Library itself is implied to be one.
- Gentleman Adventurer: Transitive Norton and Sir Foebeld.
- God Is Evil: The Sea Mother. Or maybe she's just insane from feeling us moving through her “skin”.
- Golem: Appears in A Caution to the Wise.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Occurs in The Hybrid. Always check the pedigree of your magical ingredients before performing a ritual.
- Great Big Library of Everything
- Grim Reaper: He appears in For the Glory.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Mssrs Marshall and Carter shows that Marshall and Carter of Marshall, Carter, and Dark, are caught in something similar, where Marshall kills Carter, forever.
- The Gunslinger: Simon Heller.
- Happily Ever After: A Loaf Story ends with this. You'll still cry.
- High School: I Was A Teenage Cyclops combines traditional teenage drama with Time Cube to great effect, twisting many typical teenage problems in bizarre ways.
- The Horde: A massive and diverse one is coming out of the land of Yagron in The Floating Armada crushing all resistance in its path, mounted on floating islands and assembled by an orc warlord out of every tribe and band of monsters and barbarians in his land.
- Human Sacrifice: At the end of their service, priests of Kahek in the Haskhian Inscriptions sacrifice themselves to their god.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Downplayed example in Soaring to Sol Morgana the Salamander is barely useful for channeling solar magic, but she has much more common sense than her master and is apparently a fairly accomplished water mage.
- I Did What I Had to Do: In Big Red, a village offers children's hearts to a monster attacking them.
- Imaginary Friend: The narrator of The Places the Mind Cannot Go is one, created to help boost a child's self-esteem. When the child begins to feel good about themself again, it's left without purposes, begging to be noticed again.
- Immortality: The narrator and his allies in There Were Six Of Us Once, though it's not clear what type they fall under and implied one is eventually killed. Turns out it makes them prime targets for the SCP Foundation. It's also implied the narrator of The People I Have Been is this, changing forms regularly to extend his life.
- In the GOI page for the Library, several beings who are several thousand years old are mentioned.
- Peristrixalo is stated to be older than the Victorian era.
- Jerk Jock: Wesley from I Date A Teenage Cyclops is a textbook example.
- Kill the God Ascendor: Storming the Gates Tour 2014 describes a band so metal that they kill a god at each concert they perform.
- La Résistance: In Victoria the Earth has been taken over by… something. What exactly is never made clear, but they're opposed by the Human Resistance Group, who uses superior numbers and technology to fight back. Whether it eventually succeeds or fails is never elaborated upon.
- Layman's Terms: In universe, Shortcuts is an attempt to use this to make magic comprehensible to the reader.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Not awesome per se, but the narrator of The People I Have Been seems quite happy with his arrangement, saying “I've been a soldier and a minister, a leader of men and a follower of causes. I've preached hellfire and harmony. I've said words profane and holy. I've been people I didn't like, and people I wish I could be again. But that's life, Emma. Life isn't static, it isn't frozen. Life doesn't stand still. It changes, and it changes us. This is just another step.”
- Lost Woods: The Ravelwoods, described in detail in The Journal of Aframos Longjourney, are a textbook example.
- Magical Library
- The Magic Goes Away: In The Last Magician of Moscow, the world of Russian magic has been destroyed by pointless rivalries and feuds. The titular magician is one of the few Russian magicians left alive, and he is retired. By the end, there's hope that it might return.
- Magic Is Evil: In The Rise of the Steam Soul mages wage ware against each other with no regard for its effects on others, killing thousands and destroying most of the land.
- Magic Librarian: The Library has a variety of librarians seen here, ranging from spider-like beings in charge of reshelving books to silent monstrosities who guide patrons. Some are implied to be human, some are implied to have been human but are being punished for breaking Library rules.
- Mind Screw: The Cyphers, “is a collection of seemingly random quotes and musings, most of it handwritten. Based on the styles of handwriting found, the original authors number in the dozens. Some of these quotes have been deliberately arranged to form dialogues or storylike proses.” They make about as much sense as it sounds.
- Monster Compendium: Howe's Bestiary and The Spirit World.
- The Multiverse: The Library acts as a linchpin for it, connecting an uncountable number of words together.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Geb from the The Rise of the Steam Soul. “Gods forgive me; I knew not.”
- Native American Mythology: Surprisingly frequent. Eggshells, Sedna V. Ataciara the Qalluk, and Memoir of Ongwe Ias are just three examples.
- Our Liches Are Different: Boris Yegorovich is an Evil Sorcerer who hides his death inside the thirteen days that Russia skipped when it moved from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar after Red October.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The Elrich setting, and the Library as a whole, thrives on this. Goats that sweat butter and psychic cabbages that serve as royalty are just two examples.
- Panthera Awesome: Nigerian lava cats.
- Passing Notes in Class: The events of I Date A Teenage Cyclops start with this.
- Physical God: They appear frequently. Communion, Gods of Money, and Sedna V. Ataciara the Qalluk to name a few.
- Quietly Performing Sister Show : To the SCP Foundation. Emphasis on quietly.
- Ragtag Bunchof Misfits: In For Sorrow a random assortment of Library patrons are sent into the Ravelwoods after a thief. They include a wolf wizard with prosthetic thumbs, a scholarly troll, two four foot tall lizard soldiers, one of whom is a Miles Gloriosus while the other is The Big Guy and The Quiet One, and a "totally normal human girl."
- Rebellious Spirit: Victor from I Dated A Teenage Cyclops rejects standard cubic-Earth theory for present-day mathematics.
- Sanity Slippage: This happens to a book in Of The Metabible. The Metabible, a godlike entity over which wars have been fought, is an impossibly long book. As you read farther it begins to get more and more incomprehensible, and by the millionth page it's completely broken and begging for somebody to read it. The last page of the book separates itself from the Metabible and forms a second one. It's implied it eventually goes through the same process.
- Science Is Bad: The Rise of the Steam Soul, though it's not science per se.
- Second Love: After Emilio is eaten by a pigeon, Elizabeth from A Loaf Story finds happiness with this in the most Tearjerking way possible.
- Shout-Out: To Discordianism: The five seasons of discord are discussed in Season of Chaos, and gives it its name.
- Spell Book: The Book of Eleven Hours, which contains “alchemical processes, written accounts on contact with supernatural entities, and magic rites and rituals.”
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Mixed Metaphors describes two people who will never be together, because one's a symbol and the other's a metaphor.
- The Storyteller: They appear frequently.
- Steampunk: The Rise of the Steam Soul.
- Straw Nihilist: A Prayer To Futility is written from the perspective of such an individual.
- Switching P.O.V.: And We Slipped Away, which is written from the point of view of a man and his murderer during the few seconds before he dies. The two inner monologues run together to form a continuous narrative.
- Technicolor Eyes: The Woman in the Mountain has eyes with the coloration reversed. The pupils are white, with black irises and green sclera.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Vladimir Stane meets one, "The Ol' Biglio", which leads him into Hades.
- 20 Minutes into the Future: 2052 and Family Co. Replacement Parent User Guide both take place in the year 2052. AI and mechanical implants are commonplace, the moon is colonized, India is suffering from “the worst war in human history”, and genetically modified “changelings” are denied the right to breed.
- Urban Fantasy: Several entries fall into this. In Asphalmancer, special mages are employed “to appease the gods of the parking lot and bring another day of successful parking.”
- Upper-Class Twit: Elrich again. Some of them are cabbages.
- Walking the Earth: The Journal of the Walk, The Journal of Aframos Longjourney (in fact, Longjourney is a title specifically given to someone who walks the earth).
- The Western: The Unwaking setting.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: One of the stories involves what the author refers to as a pescomancer. Another involves an asphalmancer. You have to feel sorry for the poor mages who were born with such terrible affinities.