Log 906-1

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The following log was written by Dawn Marchesa of the M.E.G's Compass Point Regiment. It documents Team New Horizons's discovery and documenting of Level 906, though it's presumed the Cygnus Archive was known for a long time, as there are records dating as early as January 2nd, [censored]

Begin Log:

(Time: 16:30)

Well… this was supposed to be a log of that forest level we've heard rumors of, but… Axel just had to touch a book for once. He just vanished, then I went after him, can't afford to lose a teammate. Faith went after me, and finally, Kayn followed us. We’ve arrived at what seems to be some sort of library, it looks like we got to a new level? Looks old. Really old. But it also looks very clean, like those fancy libraries you'd see in fantasy movies. It's also huge, like, enormous, seems to stretch further than what we can see in all directions. There’s… floating shelves? That’s a new one.

I can hear some faint harpsichord playing in the distance. No sign of any entities so far… are there other people here? It smells nice, like old wood, paper and lavender. I’d take this over the awful stench of Level 1 anyday. We decided to stop here for a little while.

(Time: 16:45)

As soon as I finished writing the previous entry, we got approached by this nice-looking lady. She was wearing a really fancy white dress, kinda like those you’d see on a princess, really long skirt and all, and a sapphire pendant she seems really attached to. She has pale skin, blue eyes, and golden hair which almost reaches down to her waist. Something that’s a bit strange is the fact that we didn’t really hear her walk next to us. As of now, I have my suspicions on if she’s an entity or a human, but I’m not jumping to conclusions just yet.

The following segment is a transcript of that encounter.

???: Oh my! What do we have here… You do look like you're quite the lovely bunch of guests. Welcome to the Cygnus Archive! Please, put your weapons down. I promise you I mean no harm to my guests.

Kayn: Who are you? Why should we trust you in the first place?

???: Oh, how rude of me. I was so caught up in the excitement of having new guests I forgot to introduce myself… I have gone by many, many names, but you may call me Blanche. I am the keeper of this humble library, best known as the Cygnus Archive. Nicknames are appreciated, I’ve always found it amusing to see what names the guests come up with.

Axel: (chuckles) So can I call you a bi- (Axel continues to talk, but no sound comes out his mouth.)

Blanche: Please, do mind your language. While I do consider myself to be quite patient, I’d much prefer if you were more polite. Understood?

Axel: I- Yes ma'am.

Blanche: Lovely. Now, I have introduced myself, it is only fair you do the same, wouldn’t you agree?

Faith: Guess so. My name’s Faith, the guy with the spiky hair is Axel, that girl with the notebook is Dawn, and the other guy’s Kayn.

Blanche: So, Axel, Dawn, Faith and Kayn. Very well. It is a pleasure to meet you all, it has been quite some time since I had this many guests. Would you like to join me for a cup of tea?

Kayn: Thank you for the offer, but I don’t want tea.

Blanche: Oh, what a shame… I already had some brewing and I would hate for it to go to waste…

Dawn: Fine, I’ll have some. But if I die I'm haunting you guys for life.

Blanche: Wonderful! But I don't think the haunting will be needed. Once again, I have no intent of harming any guest of mine.

Axel: I’ll pass.

Blanche: Not fond of tea, are you? Well, I suppose… I could make you some coffee, if you’d prefer that.

Faith: I’m okay with tea, do you have lavender?

Blanche: I do! It seems to be one of the favourites among my guests.

Axel: I’ll take the coffee… I’m tired as fu-

Blanche: Language.

Axel: …-dge.

Blanche: …Well, it it is an improvement… so I’ll let it slide.

End of transcript.

After that, Blanche took us to another room, and served me the best [Censored] tea I’ve ever had in my whole life. It was mint tea, too, my favourite. I’ll write another log once i’m done with the tea.

(Time: 17:00)

Well that took a while. I’m still alive for now, no signs of anything bad happening to me, so that tea was just… Well, regular old tea, if you don’t count the fact that it’s really good.

We had a chat with this ‘Blanche’, and we ended up learning quite a bit about her and this library. She seems nice, but I can’t bring myself to trust her. She sounds an awful lot like Entity 18, which isn’t a good sign… but frankly, I feel like if she really wanted to kill us, she would’ve done it already. She’s really curious, too, asked us a ton of questions. Did I mention she baked butter biscuits too? Haven’t had one of those in ages.

Whoops, getting side-tracked. Time to get back to work.

(Time: 17:30)

We were supposed to get to work on mapping this place, but Blanche said she could do that work for us easily. She said she has a map of this place somewhere, and that she’d be glad to give us a copy (Not that I’m complaining to be honest, saves us the work of making maps). I’m not sure how that works, since the Level is infinite, but I’ll just go with it.

On our way to the shelf where the map was, we spent the time talking to Blanche, answering her questions and asking her some of our own.

The following section is a transcript of some of the more notable moments from that conversation.

Blanche: So, what brings you to my humble library? Most visitors seem to arrive here unintentionally, but you do look like you came prepared.

Faith: Well, that's… a fun story. You see, we ended up here on accident. Our goal was to find and document this forest level that's been the talk of the town lately… but we ended up here, so we're documenting this level now.

Blanche: Oh, if that’s the case, then I’ll be more than glad to assist you!

Faith: Well, it seems you're excited about it!

Blanche: Why wouldn’t I be? I am an archivist first and foremost, dear. The library you see around you is my life’s work. Such chances to publicize the Cygnus Archive are extremely rare, and if it is knowledge you seek, then I’ll be more than glad to share my records.

Faith: I guess it does make sense when you put it like that.

Blanche: Well, feel free to ask me any questions about this library. Once again, I’ll be more than glad to assist you in your task.

Axel: Alright then. How big is this place?

Blanche: Endless. It stretches towards infinity in all directions.

Axel: How can you be sure?

Blanche: I built this place, dear. I know where every book, scroll, folder, notebook and loose sheet is. I know every single one of these shelves like the back of my hand. Unless you’d like to try and walk to the end of it, I’m your best source of information, dear.

Axel: Yeah… Still don’t trust you. For all we know, you could be out to kill us.

Blanche: I once again assure you, I have no intention of harming any guest of mine… no matter how rude they may be.

Dawn: Pardon my friend’s hostility… It’s force of habit, really, he means no offense to you.

Blanche: Very well. I'll let it slide. After all, I know nothing about you, there's probably a good reason behind this habit of his.

Axel: Yeah.

Faith: How many books do you have here? Can you give us a rough estimate?

Blanche: The exact number is impossible to determine, as books phase in and out quite often… Speaking of, did you enter here through one of my books?

Faith: Yeah, we did. Are there any other entrances?

Blanche: Not that I know of, dear. Could you please return the book to me?

Faith: Once we’re done with our work. What exactly is this book? I don't understand a single word…

Blanche: Very well, then. The book you're holding contains some of my notes on a very intriguing topic. Dreams.

Faith: Oooooooh! Do you mind telling me more about it?

Blanche: I'll be more than glad to share my knowledge!

Dawn: Could you tell us a little more about the books you have here?

Blanche: Gladly. Most of them I simply found, scattered throughout various places. Some of them simply show up here, they phase into my shelves. And the rest of them, I wrote myself. I keep records on each of my visitors, I like to immortalize their stories on paper. After all, you seem to vanish in the blink of an eye, and I’d hate for your memories to go to waste. I’ve also written other things, of course. I translate, too, I strive to make the knowledge in this library accessible to all who visit. Records aside, the books in this archive range from fictional works, to scientific papers, to cooking books, and books that are… best left unread. Dawn, was it?

Dawn: Yeah, that’s me.

Blanche: May I know what are you scribbling in that notebook of yours, dear?

Dawn: I was tasked with keeping a written log of our expedition here. I thought a transcript of portions of our talks would fit well.

Blanche: I see… May I have a look at it?

Dawn: Sure, I guess…

Blanche: Your handwriting is quite nice… Do you mind if I make a few corrections? Namely on grammar and spelling. I would also like to switch up your vocabulary a little, it does seem a little repetitive… I promise you the contents of your log will remain unadulterated.

Dawn: I.. Okay. But I’m gonna hold you to that promise.

Kayn: Feel like you’re trusting her too much, Dawn…

End of transcript.

Now feels like a good time to mention that this log was written by me, Dawn Marchesa, with textual revision by lady Blanche Von Haderach . I think this is the first time an entity actively asked to collaborate with us on a log or entry.

And I'll be glad to collaborate further, if you'll allow me the pleasure of doing so, dear.

(Time: 17:45)

Finally arrived at the map’s location. It was in one of the floating shelves from earlier, way up high, far beyond our reach. Blanche just hovered her way up to the shelf and brought it down to us, much to Axel's surprise. After that, we walked back to her desk and unraveled the map, only for us to find out it was entirely blank.

The team was annoyed, Axel and Kayn saying it was a waste of time. Blanche asked them to be patient as she dragged her hand across the blank paper. Surprise, surprise, it’s no normal map. It was like an hologram, building itself as Blanche’s hand moved through the empty sheet, but with no tech involved… Magic, maybe? It’s far from the weirdest thing we’ve seen, that’s for sure. We asked her about how it works, and this is what we got:

“It works simply because you believe it does, dear. Never underestimate the power of mere beliefs. Every day, mere belief shapes worlds far beyond what truth or fact could do. I simply gave form to those beliefs, and imprinted said form into this paper. Try it for yourselves, drag your hand across this paper, and witness the library take form as you do so.”

Didn’t really answer our questions as to how it works, but it does work, and that’s what matters, I guess. She gave us a copy of the map, it’s about the same size as a regular book.

(Time: 18:20)

Well, Level 906 “The Cygnus Archive” and Entity 140 “Blanche” have their entries written. Blanche lent me a hand, and honestly? I had fun writing these. We scrolled through a few existing pages, too, which seemed to make her real happy.

Everyone else’s still a bit distrustful of her, though. They’re leaving as soon as they’re done with photographs and sound recordings and whatnot. But me? I’ve grown attached to her. Might [Censored] me over later, but I hope the following transcript of a conversation we had helps explain why I trust her so much.

Dawn: I like this place!

Blanche: Oh, I’m glad to hear that, dear.

Dawn: You know, I think we’re really lucky to have found you.

Blanche: Do you believe in luck, Dawn?

Dawn: Yeah, I do.

Blanche: Do you believe that I, looking at the thousands of different types of tea available to me, guessed your favourite kind by sheer luck?

Dawn: It’s not impossible, I guess.

Blanche: It’s not luck. I simply delved into your thoughts, dear. It is rather rude of me to not ask for permission first, I know, but my only interest was to serve you the best tea possible. Besides, you couldn't stop me even if you tried.

Dawn: What do you mean?

Blanche: Every subatomic particle of this library is part of my being. Every single atom around you is at my command. But rest assured, dear, I have no intention of harming you or any of my other visitors, but… it still happens.

Dawn: What are you talking about?

Blanche: Humans are not equipped to understand my true nature. Their minds shatter at a mere glimpse. And I fear revealing my true nature would scare away visitors… I'd much rather keep it hidden…

Dawn: It’s not that hard to figure out you’re no ordinary human…

Blanche: I've had such wonderful visitors as of late… but you… you are different, dear. I had expected you to run away as soon as I told you who I truly am. I cannot show you my true self, it would be a serious risk to your safety, as I've stated before…

Dawn: That’s alright, Blanche. You don’t have to show me anything, okay? I trust you.

Blanche: Thank you, Dawn. You've been one of my favorite guests so far… Oh, my. I'm drifting away from the topic. Do you truly believe it was luck, or lack thereof, that drove you here? That you crossed through the very fabric of reality by mere chance?

Dawn: I mean, I did it by accident, I didn't really choose this. If it were up to me, I'd still be serving drinks at the Black Swan.

Blanche: I don't think so, dear. There are many others out there like me, but they aren't as polite or nice. They plan and scheme in the void. They mean harm to you, your species, your entire reality. And judging by this database of yours, you seem to have come across some of them…

Dawn: What do you know?

Blanche: That’s a question for another time, dear. Your colleagues are leaving soon. Please, tread carefully through these Backrooms. They're far too dangerous for humans like you.. and I would love to have tea with you again someday.

Dawn: Me too. I promise I'll be back, Blanche.

Blanche: Here, take this. Keep this book with you. Feel free to use it to visit me whenever you'd like, dear. There's plenty of hostile realities out there. It'd do you well to have a safe space, and I'll be more than glad to provide one. It's the least I can do for such an exceptional guest.

Dawn: Thank you… I think all of us could use that, to be honest.

It's time to leave…

(Time 18:30)

Left Level 906. Pretty easy to leave, compared to the amount of dead ends you can run into out there. Just had to ask Blanche nicely and she guided us to an exit, right back to the Hub. She calls it the Crossroads. Rest of the team went to report back to base while I finished writing this log. I’m definetly paying Level 906 a visit as soon as possible. Regardless of what the others think, Blanche’s a real sweetheart, and I want to know more.

End of log.

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