More Real World Inspiration: Tiny Red Tome Prompt

Happy Worldbuilding Wednesday, all! Today’s prompt came from one of those little moments of magic I’ve talked about in past posts, where the real world give the gift of inspiration. I was taking a break from work and wandering the library stacks when I saw this itty-bitty box secured with strings, its spine sticking well away from the rest of the books on the shelf. Curious, I investigated: inside of its protective sleeve was a tiny volume, old and worn and with that peculiar dusty, leathery smell that old books tend to have. The pages were yellowed, some of them rough at the edges, but still intact. I could not help but stand there for a moment and stare at it. In my everyday world, the little volume as a science text, but in the world of Ahra, would this be a treatise on forbidden the nightmarish Kraah? Perhaps a book of fire-leymagic spells used as catalysts in making magelamps and such? Just looking at this volume gave me all sorts of ideas both for my tabletop campaign, and for my writing. Which brings me to today’s prompt. This one is a bit unique in that it works for any setting – fantasy, sci-fi, urban fantasy. Without further ado:

You (or your character) are in a library, archive, or even a bookstore. In the midst of wandering about, taking in all the colorful volumes and fascinating titles, you feel a strange awareness. Not quite a presence, more of a powerful and driving feeling that you need to move toward a certain section of the building. Drawn inexorably toward the rare books room, you find yourself looking down at a little tome – a book encased in a scarlet protective covering, perhaps to keep the pages and cover intact. You reach out, your hand hovering just above the book, and you feel that you must open it, now, keeping out of the sight of others, or something terrible will happen. Do you obey the mysterious call? If so, what do you find waiting in the pages of this tiny red tome? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments, and I hope this little prompt brings you even half the inspiration I experienced in my own library wanderings!

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