Most buildings follow a common plan.
On the outside of the outer door is a simple pictogram indicating the building's purpose, and a latch to keep the door shut against animals. The latch requires a complex series of motions to open, but there are clear instructions drawn alongside.
When the outer door is opened, it leads to the antechamber, which serves three functions.
First, the antechamber acts as an additional precaution against animals, because the inner door is interlocked and will not open unless the front door is closed.
Second, it provides the building's basic affordances: food in the kitchen, language primers and other basic information in the library, and so forth.
Third, it provides instructions for how to use the contents of the inner chamber. The lock on the inner door always requires this knowledge in some way, to protect the inner chamber from unwise experimentation.
The inner chamber contains the most sensitive equipment, the machinery that, if mishandled, could break down or cause injury. Most things fall into this category – novice-proofing is far too difficult and time-consuming to do otherwise – and so the inner chamber is the most important part of any building.
In the kitchen, the inner chamber contains the firepit and the knives. In the library, the inner chamber holds paper documents, in contrast to the antechamber's engraved tablets. The waterhouse's inner chamber houses the treatment apparatus.
Repairs, restocking, and other forms of maintenance almost always require access to the inner chamber.
Most practical information is recorded at least twice, in the library and in the building where it is used. At least two dozen different buildings have primers on fire safety in their antechambers. At some point in history, it was common to keep information only where it was used, but after several buildings' antechamber-documents were lost in a heavy storm, Pren Library established her namesake, and with it the current practice of keeping redundant copies.
(Two of the lost buildings have since been deciphered and opened – the granary and the forge – and three more have strong conjectures as to their purpose and mechanism.)
The practice of redundancy was expanded by Pren History, who built additional branch or sub-libraries in various locations, intentionally somewhat distant from the Library proper. Important documents are copied to all the collections, but information of more specialized interest tends to gather thematically in the various branches.
I recently gained access to one of these whose inner-lock had confounded me for some time (though it seems obvious enough in retrospect). It appears to be a detailed record of who created which buildings, and who wrote which journals, with the sequence partially reconstructed based on cross-references. I added a line to the list for myself, although as I have not yet built anything I do not have a proper sakename. Still, I can at least place myself in the sequence – the 167th since Pren History – and have marked this number in my personal journal.
A distressing number of entries in the list have no sakenames. What did they do, if they left nothing behind? Even Pren Starmap, who never built anything, at least left her journals.
There are anonymous documents, and even buildings, known to postdate Pren History, but they are far too few for the nameless lines.
I added clarifying notes to the antechamber instructions, and a note to the list urging the reader to mark their works. (My number, of course, is on both.)
I have much to do, but that can wait for tomorrow. Tonight I wish to watch the wind on the lake.
(Written (slightly over deadline) for day 2 of the PICO Jam. 605 words vs. 500 words minimum.)