One of the greatest examples of ka-Khastan grandeur is visible in the Library of Aç Sulsum, which was magnificently restored in 4508AS after Princess Gamzhey’s inspiring visit to the Library of Ol-Penh. The only thing more impressive than its architecture would have to be its history; first constructed sometime around 1500AS, the library was twice destroyed by shalledrim and rebuilt by the resilient and dedicated librarians. Today, it is the largest of the three Bereni libraries, and holds the most extensive collection on the shalledrim and their hunters.
Since 4190AS, the library has acquired and studied three separate shalledrim corpses, which contributed greatly to what little modern understanding we have of shalledrim anatomy. The first, nicknamed ‘Yael,’ was gifted in 4190AS to the library from hunters in Khebeg, a contribution that revolutionized the way scientists approached shalledrology. The second, ‘Gehelenine,’ was named after the legendary shalledra who rent apart the Prophet Evin’s son, in the same region of south-central ka-Khasta the body was taken from in 4251AS. But the body of ‘Melailah’ is the true prize of the library, if only for the fact that there is still a large swath of its skin on display for researchers, carefully preserved since 4232AS.
Melailah’s skin, and the documented discoveries from the other two shalledrim, are accompanied by many human artifacts from the period of the hunts. There are centuries’ worth of hunters’ logs, translated into over a dozen different languages. There is also an entire section dedicated to the hunters’ tools, demonstrating the trial and error that occured in the great attempts to identify shalledrim weaknesses. These tools are not just ka-Khastan, but from all over Berena–for while the ka-Khastans have a great deal of national pride for their hunter heritage, they honor all those in Berena who were bold enough to fight against the terrible tyrants of history. For those new to shalledrology, one suggested bit of reading would be the biographies of the Chainbreakers, the largest human army that ever came together to hunt the shalledrim. Their story has inspired a number of exciting adaptations, for both the page and the stage!
Another notable section of the library would be the theology wing, particularly its Evnist collections. Evnism is one of the oldest human religions practiced in ka-Khasta, and its influence can still be found in many places across the kingdom. The library contains a series of texts from his disciples, and a few early artifacts that the Prophet himself may have touched, including a bone hair comb. Even more exciting, the current head librarian is said to be directly descended from the Prophet Evin– and given that scholars claim he had anywhere from twelve to seventeen children, it’s not all that unlikely.
Fans of ka-Khastan literature may also enjoy the section of the library that contains the first folios of Maril Bi-Jelsihad, including the much-beloved satirical novel The Prophesier. But don’t expect to just wander into the library and gain access to whatever you’d like. According to rumor, the only way to reach parts of the poetry collections is to recite a verse that can move a librarian to tears.