The origin of Black Hall
When the construction of the Odlucian Library was finished, it became clear that a wing dedicated to the most dangerous and controversial books would be needed. a wing for those books that didn’t fit in the other wings. Twelve shelves were designated for this purpose. This small section was dubbed the Black wing. After many books were added, a very small, but very important incident happened around –70 EC: the first ever booknapping. And it was one which had been contained in the Black wing.
The book itself was of little importance (a treaty of some unknown professor on an unimportant subject), but it confirmed one of the most feared suspicions the librarians had: the books were not safe enough in those twelves shelves. Theodore Aspic, the Master Librarian of the time, pondered the matter for several nights and days. After three days of deliberation with himself, he arrived at a
controversial solution: he would hire the Deathood to protect the books. Many librarians were furious at him, how could he let such a secretive and despicable group handle such important matters? But Theodore resolve could not be broken; he had taken a decission and would stick by it.
The construction of Black Hall
The Deathood worked in absolute secret in this new section of the library. The only persons with access to it, during its construction, were the best Occultologists of the time and the Master Librarian itslef. After one year of secretive and hard labour, the new wing was opened
in a fairly secret ceremony, with only the Deathood leader and the Master Librarian. It was renamed the Black Hall because it was situated in a single, long passage, filled to the top with unused shelves (for future books).
The protection of Black Hall
Very little is known about the secret library security system, or what secret mechanisms or spells guard it.
However, there is one known fact about it: the Deathood still keeps it safe. The Deathood guards are said to have terrible and unspeakable powers, but it is not known whether this rumours are derived from actual experiences or if they are propaganda spread by the Library itself.
Access to Black Hall
Access is restricted to one scholar per month, for a period of one day a week, strictly supervised by two Deathood members. This is to ensure the safekeeping of the books, as well as the safety of the public itself, as many books can cause harm directly to the viewers if not properly trained. Also, there are many harmful inventions that can be built with the instructions found in such books, and the library is not very keen to let loose crazy inventions on Ghyll.
How to put a book in Black Hall
Any book that is considered too dangerous, or too controversial for Ghyll, can be sent to the Black Hall committee (formed by the most wise and intelligent Occultologists of the year in course), which evaluates each individual book, and decrees whether it is Black Hall material or not. Though thousands of individual claims are sent each year to the committee, only about 10% of them are considered reasonable. When a book has becomed Black Hall material, millions of posters are sent to all Ghyll to announce it and to request all copies of such book. Using very complicated theomancy, all received copies are counted, to see if they match the number of actual copies in Ghyll. If they do not match (which is rare, as the public always tries to avoid too much danger or controversy when it comes to books), special librarians are sent to fetch the remaining copies to ensure the safety of the public. So far, no Black Hall book has ever had a remaining copy on circulation.
Note: This is not the only way a book can become selected, it is just the official medium a book gets selected. Special Deathood agents are always on the search for possible books in all of Ghyll.
Second note:Also there are exceptions to the rule. There are several rumoured private book collections that contain Black Hall books. The condition for the existence of such collections, is that there must always be a copy of every title of the book collection, inside Black Hall. One such rumoured collection is the one held by the Technomancer Crafts Guild.
The release of a book from Black Hall
A yearly committee (formed by the current Master Librarian and two Deathood scribes), analyses all of the books contained within the walls of Black Hall. They decide whether the controversy or danger of a book is no longer a threath to Ghyll. They usually give back about 20 books each year. This might seem as quite a bit of books, but considering the estimated number of over 10,000 titles accumulated in all the years Black Hall has existed, there are still too many books that are dangerous to Ghyll, according to the committee.
The collection of books in Black Hall
Because of the secret surrounding the actual subject and titles of the books contained within Black Hall, it is hard to go beyond speculation (except of the books that were publicly known and anounced by the Black Hall committee) as to what might the books be about. The only well known book contained within this wing is the
“Book of pretty things to look at” that contains such a horribly corny illustrations, that it is well known to cause instant death to any untrained eye.
While Black Hall has a fairly known construction history, it still holds many enigmas and hazards to the public, waiting to be unleashed when the time is right.
--Mr. Stokes 20:33, 27 May 2005 (EDT)
The Deathood knows what good for you, so overlook the black marks.