“Lemma the Librarian – Prologue”


Published: July 8, 2007


And so our great adventure begins! Well, not really, the adventure begins next time. This one’s just laying out the pieces on the board, as a good prologue should. 

We get our two main characters here, Lemma and Iason. Lemma is sketched out very efficiently. The very first thing we see her do is be massively, unearnedly smug, followed by a flashback where her history of wrecking shit ‘cuz she can is revealed, and she gets tricked into the collect-all-the-lost-books plot of the story by being even more arrogant. (Seriously, as even she acknowledges afterwards, the archmagus was setting up the world’s most obvious trap.) Then in the present she meets Iason and lusts after him a little bit. Pretty much all we’re missing is Lemma setting a human being on fire and we’d have the whole starting point of her character arc laid out.

Iason is a bit more of a cypher at this point. He’s clearly very good looking, seems to be a good guy, is unusually knowledgeable about magic and related stuff (as one would probably have to be, as a monster hunter). We don’t get much of a closer view of his character yet; but don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of time to get to that. He’s sticking with us to the end.

Not much mc – the geas at this stage is a plot point rather than a vehicle for sexytimes – and no sex. It’s ok. It’s a prologue. And both of those things will change massively with the first real story…

When The Fuck Are We? 🤷

So there are two main things here. First off is Lemma’s homeland of Lemuria. This is, just to state the obvious, not a place that exists. It is a “real” name, though – one of the three famous “lost continents”, along with Atlantis and Mu*. which fits its position in the story as the narrator’s somewhat more technologically advanced and vastly more magically powerful homeland.

Fun fact: originally, Lemuria had nothing to do with magic or ancient civilizations. It was proposed in the mid-19th C by evolutionary biologists as an explanation for how lemurs and related primitive primates, not notably famous for their swimming ability, ended up in Madagascar and India and Malaya but no places between them by land: there used to be a land bridge running across the Indian Ocean. This land bridge was, somewhat cutely, called Lemuria. Geologists shot it down pretty quickly on the grounds that continents Don’t Actually Do That, but had no explanation for the species distributions.**

Then the Theosophists got their hands on it. Theosophy is a… religion?… invented in the late 19th C, with a really, really complicated and (to modern eyes) kinda crazy and racist cosmology and mythology. It involved Atlantis and, since the Lemuria theory was having its big burst of public visibility just the same time as Theosophy was being made up by con artists revealed to humanity, it got added too; but as a human-era place with progenitor human civilizations on it, rather than a deep-time geological event. Which, since the biologists have abandoned it, is more or less where it has stayed in pop culture until now.

The other piece of history, which lets us get an actual time and place for the story, is the, er, actual places that the story involves: Iason and his ethnicity of “Sea Peoples”, the Tin Islands, the kingdom of Kyrnow. Since this note has gone on long enough, and since we’ll be kicking around with them for a while, we’ll save that for next time.

Next time: lots of mc, lots of sex! Also the Sea Peoples, the Bronze Age Collapse, and actually sticking a date to this thing.

*More on them later. Much, much, much later.

**Nowadays, of course, the explanation is that Madagascar, India, and Australia were joined together when the primates evolved and have since drifted apart due to plate tectonics. It fits the evidence very well and also fits a lot of unrelated evidence from other parts of palaeontology and geology. But, to be fair, 19th C geologists would have considered it just as mechanically ridiculous as the “rising and falling land bridges” theory.

I am so happy someone is actually looking at all the little contradictory hints I dropped about Lemma’s setting!

And it’s a chance for me to learn some things too! For example, I knew the idea of Lemuria originated as a pre-continental drift theory about how lemurs ended up in both Madagascar and India but nowhere in between, but not how it got from there to the pop-cultural lost civilization thing.