It began with a word. Eventually it would swell to become something greater. It would envelop reality and become the heart of all universes. It would join world to world and unite people in its halls. But it began with a word, and a man.
The word was carved into a rock. The man stood above it and, in the bottom of his mind, felt something stir. He did not know that he had just changed the course of all worlds, but he could feel something was different. The world had become a bit more orderly.
He began to carve more words. The rocks surrounding him became a dictionary. Soon, the man was surrounded by language. The words stretched for miles in all directions, and he was still not satisfied. He began to look for more things to carve. He wrote words into the sand at his feet. He inscribed them on trees and in fields. All thought him mad. To them he was a crazed man drawing symbols with no meaning everywhere he went. And he was. But he was also something more.
Others began to carve. They followed his patterns, observed his technique, and began to create an alphabet for themselves. Soon there was not a spot in the world untouched by the wordsmiths. One had the idea to join two words together, and a phrase was formed. Sentences followed, paragraphs next, and pages and stories.
But all works were temporary. Rocks were eroded by wind and rain, sand polished flat by ocean tides, and wood was burned to ash. The followers despaired to see their work destroyed, but the man kept writing, so they kept writing. Stories lengthened until they became beasts eating away at entire mountainsides. Still the man was not satisfied. While his disciples created epics and poems, he continued to carve one word at a time. He traveled, never stopping except to lean down and scratch the earth. His followers, if they could be called that anymore, saw this as folly. They had all the words they needed to create beautiful prose. They could bring a man to his knees with a sentence. What need had they for new words?
By now, they had wrought the earth bare. There were no more forests or mountains or beaches. There was only a dry, stone page. Men spent years carving into miles of rock their masterpiece. When finished they would erase their work and begin anew. Each strove to top the other, to master their literary skills. All were devoted to the words. Only one, however, was devoted to the Word.
One hundred and thirty years after the man etched the first rock, he stopped, laid his tools at his feet, laid down, and died. No one noticed. He had long ago left their thoughts. Those who remembered him did so as a tittering fool stuck in the past. No one appreciated his true genius.
As his final act, he had made a carving in the stone. Like the rest, it was only one symbol. Three lines, four curves. And yet it was the most powerful of them all.
The ground around it began to crack. It expanded and pushed out, swallowing great swathes of earth, the stories contained on them, the storytellers. Rock gave way to void. The skies burned black and descended to feast. Millions died by fire and fear and hate, and their prose died with them. And when all was finished, when the skies rose back up to their rightful place and the earth calmed itself, the world had become a word. The greatest word, one that would ring out through all of creation. It had become the Library.