The Old Man of the Mountain
“My name? If you knew that, you’d be as clever as me.”
Considered to be little more than a fairy tale, the Old Man of the Mountain is the keeper of knowledge, with a crazed devotion to detail and scaring little children. Since the beginning of time, he has watched and recorded every word ever spoken and ever act ever done in his great book – including the misbehavior of children, written eternally for the Gods to see.
The Old Man sits atop a great wandering mountain that is never in the same place twice, and is often at two locations at the same time. Within the mountain is the Crimson Tower, an an endless expanse of interlocking hexagonal rooms, each of which contains the bare necessities for human survival – and four walls of bookshelves. The order and content of the books is random and apparently completely meaningless, but the books contain every possible ordering of every character – letters, spaces, and punctuation marks. Though the majority of the books in the tower are pure gibberish, the library also must contain, somewhere, every coherent book ever written, or that might ever be written, and every possible permutation or slightly erroneous version of every one of those books. The library must contain all useful information, including predictions of the future, biographies of any person, and translations of every book in all languages. However, because of this glut of information, the books are totally useless to the reader. The tale goes that one book, called the “Crimson Hexagon”, contains a log of all the other books. The librarian who found such a book would have access to all knowledge in the universe, and would become akin to a God.