Curators of Alexandria
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|Curators of Alexandria|
by Hayley Lazo
|Featured In||Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians|
The Curators of Alexandria are the undead caretakers of the Library of Alexandria.
Appearance and Characteristics
Curators' bodies appear as skeletons with a skull and bony arms. The skull portion has flames inside the eye sockets, causing it to glow red. They wear a dark robe that trails off in the distance -- they don't appear to have legs. The cloak and body are translucent. Despite having a skeletal face, they can somehow make facial expressions showing that they are pleased, disappointed, angry, etc.
Curators appear ghostly and can travel through walls, however, they can interact with the corporal world. They can grab people and physical objects. When touched by a Curator, the part of the body touched becomes cold.
When someone turns into a Curator, they immediately become a steward of the Library and subject to the Curators' rules. For example, when Kilimanjaro is transformed into a Curator, he immediately gives up the fight against Alcatraz and puts the scroll back on the shelf that he had just been tricked into moving. However, some free will is preserved. When Attica Smedry became a Curator, he was able to use his Translator's Lenses to read texts in the Forgotten Language.
The principle job of the Curators is to collect everything written by mankind, even things as trivial as tags on clothing. They keep the library collection tidy if books are moved. Anything with writing in the Library is considered a "book", whether it be scrolls, books, or even coins.
They are also very keen on getting people to join their ranks, i.e. collecting their souls. They use every means of temptation and trickery but have specific rules which they must follow (see below). The Library is laid out in a confusing fashion so that patrons will get hopelessly lost and give up trying to leave. Trip wires are set to engage traps that won't permanently harm guests but will make them lose all hope of escape.
The Curators acquire books from the outside world by means of an agreement with the Librarians. The Librarians send all new books to the Library of Alexandria in exchange for the Curators not coming out to get them.
1. If anyone enters their domain bearing writing, they may separate them from their group and demand the writing be given up. If they resist, they may take the writing, but they must return copies. If the copies are not requested within an hour, they are kept indefinitely.
2. They may take the souls of those who enter, but only if offered freely and lawfully. Souls may be coerced, but not forced.
3. They may accept or reject a person's request for a soul contract. Once the contract is written, they must provide the specific book requested, and the person must then sign the contract to certify that the book fulfills the request. They must then refrain from taking their soul for the time specified in the contract. This time may be no longer than 10 hours. If a person takes a book off the shelf without a contract, the soul can be taken after ten seconds.
4. They cannot directly harm those who enter.
5. When a person becomes a Curator, their possessions must be delivered to their kin, if requested.
6. They cannot lie if asked a direct question because they are the protectors of knowledge and truth.
How to Defeat Them
If one wishes to access the knowledge in the Library of Alexandria, a loophole in the rules can be exploited, as was discovered by Attica Smedry. He entered into a contract with the Curators and gave himself enough time to read the solution to how to defeat them (rule 3), write a note about how it's done, then turn into a Curator before the note was returned (rule 1). The note was kept by the Curators because Shasta didn't know to ask for it (rule 5), but Alcatraz figures out that his father must have left a note because something you write while in the Library is copied and returned (rule 1). The note bequeaths his soul to Alcatraz, which means that the Curators took his soul unlawfully (rule 2). Alcatraz demands possession of his father's soul, and Attica comes back to life. The whole thing is possible due to rule 6.