Lapin Secret Library Building / Landmark in Game of Tomes | World Anvil

Lapin Secret Library

I remember the first time I turned that key in the door of my closet... I thought I was in Narnia. A world of magic opened up before me! It was my childhood fantasy come to life; my own private little world, filled with peace, quiet, and books. The only problem was that it didn't have its own ready-to-hand food supply. If it had, I probably never would have come back.
— Queen Sable
  The Lapin Secret Library is a building within an extradimensional space that can only be opened with a particular Key one of which is carried by The Chief Rabbit the other of which is carried by the Lapin House Librarian. This space was created by Beata Lapin in response to the persecutions suffered by Literomantic families, with the idea that if the family had to run, the Library could simply be brought with them anywhere by means of the keys.   Contents of the Library are said to include works of Literomancy and literature from all over the world and much of recorded history, including clay tablets dating to ancient Sumer. It is also known to contain a significant collection of cursed items and books on Dark Literomancy in its notorious "Forbidden Books Section." Queen Sable Aradia, the current Chief Rabbit, claims this section of the Library is specifically meant to hold these dangerous items under lock and key to prevent them from causing harm.

Purpose / Function

The Lapin Secret Library was created in order to serve as a temporary hiding place for the Lapin family, and to protect the Lapin book collection from being destroyed or annexed by lords, kings, or churches. In subsequent centuries, the Lapin family has used its unique properties to make it a secure holding space for some of their greatest treasures, and as a means to facilitate rapid travel between geographically distant locations.   While much of the Library appears to have originally been formed of monasteries, synagogues, or other places of worship, the primary purpose of the Lapin Secret Library has now been almost entirely given over to the storage of books and reading materials, ranging from the earliest ages of recorded history to the mid-twentieth century. Most of the spectacular vaults, where possible, have been fitted with wooden shelves filled with books, built into every major surface not otherwise occupied by glass or decoration. This amazing collection has recently been categorized by House Librarian AttorraRu into a workable Dewey Decimal System, and Queen Sable Aradia is slowly adding more modern works of significance.

Contents & Furnishings

Furnishings appear to hold some of the ageless qualities of the rest of the pocket dimension. There are wooden pews, statuary, and tapestries dating back to the 13th century, and a few select pieces that are much older, through to the mid-twentieth century, that are perfectly intact. Often, they appear in bizarre anachronistic combinations; such as an authentic Queen Anne chair and a Roman bust in a room filled with 1920s furniture and a turn-of-the-century typewriter, in the Baroque section. Some significant pieces appear to be missing, however, and it is possible they were sold over the course of the centuries to provide for the needs of the Lapins in hard times.


Speculation on the potential treasures of the Lapins runs wild, but the Bunny Queen and her Librarian have been extremely taciturn on this subject. It is almost certain that some significant artifacts of the Lapin Family linger here, safely stored in a secret vault.   One "treasure" is a magical printing press that effectively works like a modern copier and book collation machine. To activate it, one must ink the first page of a book for printing, including setting the type as appropriate, and press the first page. The printing press will then continue to run on its own as long as it has the necessary supplies on hand to do so. This magical machine has been used to copy numerous books in the Lapin collection for either themselves or other Houses.   Regardless, the collection of written materials that line most of the larger spaces, and some of the smaller spaces, in the Lapin Secret Library is nothing short of priceless. Bibliophiles salivate at the fond hope that someday, they might be permitted to enter the Lapin Library and smell the scent of stone, wood, plaster, and thousands upon thousands of books.

Special Properties

Aside from the pocket dimension's "circles of time," there are two distinct special properties of the Library that bear mentioning.   The first is that these circles of time even seem to extend to the building itself. In other words, where one building begins, the other ends, even if this would appear to defy the laws of physics in regards to structural integrity. The most dramatic example of this is that several of the all-important flying buttresses supporting the Gothic structure simply cease to exist where they would overlap other sections of the building. There are even two external flying buttresses that just end mid-air, cross-sectioned off at the border between two different circles of time.   The other is that once a Key is used to create a connection from a doorway in the Realm to the Library, that connection remains until the Key is used again to close it. If no other connection exists, the first connection created is always to the main library doors. Connections after that will be linked to appropriate side entrances that seem to fit thematically; for instance, a connection created from a broom closet will likely open into a servant's entrance in the Library.   At one time, there were connections formed between the Library and several points around the globe, but before the Battle vs the Nite Qing, Queen Sable and Dame AttorraRu systematically travelled to these locations, closing all connections except the one to the main doors.   Currently, the main doors of the Library are connected to the walk-in closet in Queen Sable's office. Other known connections include the public library in The Warren, The Treehouse in Penwall, Windy Willows, and The Cavern. It is likely that a connection has been reopened to AttorraRu's Cave after the end of The Fourth Word War. Other connections may exist, but if they do, they remain closely-guarded secrets.


The Library has been extensively altered and added to over the centuries. The Lapin family seems to have considered their Secret Library a major asset, and they kept it functional with the latest in technological updates from their time period. However, nobody quite understands how this works, because it appears to defy the laws of physics.   The original Cistercian building still stands. Its style leans more towards early Gothic than Romanesque influences, although there are elements of both. Its construction is not dissimilar from the Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Rueda ("Royal Monastery of Our Lady of the Wheel") in Aragon, including impressive waterwheel technology, a Gothic aqueduct, and an early example of indoor plumbing and central heating as a result. The kitchen is an attached off-building originally created in this style, but more modern conveniences, such as a large wood and coal stove, have been added.   A second section was added in the early 16th century, constructed of a combination of stone and plastered brickwork, that displays some of the classic features of Polish Gothic architecture, including diamond vaults, tracery, and even a vault with curled, interwoven ribs forming fantastical flower patterns, something like the ceiling of the Vladislav Hall in Prague Castle in Bohemia, known by later critics as "Rococo Gothic". However, it also contains a gilded starry firmament vault and a rose window in a fashion that is associated with the Rayonnant style of Gothic architecture in France. It is unclear if these were added at the same time, or separately. A spectacular Torah Ark indicates that this building was once a synagogue, although its structure is more like a cathedral of the late Gothic period. The infamous "Forbidden Books Section" is located in this part of the structure as an underground vault. It is protected by a warded lock which can only be opened with one of the original Library Keys, and it has no other doors or windows.   A third section in the Baroque style was added sometime around the turn of the 18th century. This is the section that holds what are currently the large, wooden "main doors" of the Library, and where anyone brought by the Chief Rabbit or Librarian will typically appear upon entering. This area contains much more wood in its construction than most of the other sections, and features a vaulted stucco ceiling with elaborate frescoes. It also contains several cast bronzes, including one of Beata Lapin and another of Tobias Lapin, who was said to have forged the Library keys. Since the pocket dimension appears to freeze objects in time, dating these bronzes has thus far proved impossible.   A fourth, somewhat smaller section, was added sometime in the 1930s or 40s, this one built mostly in the Neoclassical style with some Baroque elements, such as less elaborate vaulted ceilings and a skylight. This section, too, features much more wood in its construction than other sections, and is rumoured to contain a bomb shelter in its basement, although this remains unconfirmed. This section is immediately recognized by its cupola, oculus, and copper roof, and may have been styled after "The Rabbit House" in Poland (or, perhaps it was the other way around.) One of the features of this section, however, is a hermetically sealed and environmentally controlled vault which now houses most of the more fragile pieces in the Lapin collection. The means to provide electric light seems to have been imported here, although no one is entirely sure what generates the power; theories include the incorporation of the waterwheels, or a flow of current that continues to enter from the outside universe, just as the rivers do.   While Queen Sable has done little to alter the existing structure, she did have significant sections of the building wired for modern electricity, allowing electric light even in the deep vaults. She has also made the effort to stock the armoury with modern combat gear and firearms, and she keeps the pantry stocked with dry goods and preserves, the root cellar with root vegetables, and the icehouse with meat and other foods requiring freezing — just in case it's needed.


The Lapin Library's original construction was an excellent example of late-period Cistercian architecture. Built entirely of stone with vaulted windows to capture shifting light at certain times of day, it was cruciform, with a short presbytery to meet the liturgical needs of its monks, small chapels in the transepts for private prayer, and an aisled nave that was divided roughly in the middle by a screen to separate the monks from the lay brothers.   Over time, more sections have been added to the original monastery, and apparently attached to the original like giant puzzle pieces or Lego sections. The building now forms a massive complex of cruciform structures that are all interconnected. Each of these structures reflects a different era in time.   The original Cistercian monastery features an underground crypt that appears to contain several medieval sarcophagi. It is likely this crypt served to house the remains of the Lapin Royal Family for several generations, although the Bunny Queen has not yet allowed anyone to examine the crypt more closely for official confirmation.   As a working medieval monastery, the grounds also feature several off-buildings, including a smithy, a mill with working waterwheel, a stable, a brewery, a tannery, and limited farmlands and pastures. More modern structures have also been added, such as an icehouse and a root cellar. While the original stone structure of these buildings remains intact, they have also been extensively altered over the centuries to take advantage of updated technology when possible, up to the limit of the 1940s, which was the last time any significant alteration was known to have been made.


The Library's greatest defense is the fact that it exists within an extradimensional space that seems to be independent of other planes and dimensions, and is only accessible by use of the keys.   As a monastery constructed in the 14th century, the original building of the Lapin Library is presumably made of solid stone in order to support its spectacular vaulted ceilings, and likely contains the usual plethora of High Medieval defenses, including murder-holes, channels for boiling oil, and working mangonels or catapults, or both. Later sections were constructed of stone, stone and brick, or marble, and may contain later defensive technologies, such as working cannons, though this remains unconfirmed.   It is possible that the section that was added in 1939 also includes a 20th century bomb shelter or WWII era artillery, but considering the financial status of the Lapin family as Jews in 1930s Poland, this is thought to be unlikely.  
It's warded six ways to Sunday. Other than that, I'm not telling you shit.
— Queen Sable, when asked about the Lapin Secret Library's defenses


Literomantic Great Houses were once known for their vast libraries, as might be expected. When persecutions against Literomancers heated up during the late Middle Ages, maintaining those libraries became more and more difficult. Punative taxation policies deliberately made keeping such libraries extremely expensive, and moving them if necessary to flee persecution was a Herculean task.   During the later days of the Reconquista, Beata Lapin, her husband Tobias, and their baby daughter Estelle were visiting a mosque in Aragon, when the mosque fell under attack from Christian raiders. The Lapins and a few of the Muslim scholars smuggled the mosque's written collection out through underground passageways, where the Lapin family's collection of written and literomantic materials was also hidden.   They took shelter at a nearby Cistercian monastery where a scholarly friend lived among the brethern. They turned away the raiders, but a particularly insistent knight noticed Tobias and his Muslim friend, and attempted to force his way past the monks. Beata acted quickly and used her Literomancy to remove the monastery from that point in space-time, thus creating the first part of the Lapin Secret Library.   While the monastery was reasonably self-sufficient, and the monks and the refugees were able to survive there for some time, they eventually grew short on certain perishable goods and clothing. However, they found that they could not leave this little pocket dimension they had almost accidentally created. Eventually, Tobias realized a key must be crafted in order to allow them to leave, and being a blacksmith, he reforged part of a bronze candleholder into a magical Key.   Turning this Key in the lock of the main doors of the cathedral returned them to the grounds of the monastery they had left; only several months had passed, and the monastery was a burned ruin, having been destroyed by the Christian raiders. But they found that the monastery within the extradimensional space, and the pocket dimension itself, remained intact.   The Lapin family fled to present-day Poland, where they mingled with the Ashkenazi Jewish population. They were on hand for the rise of the printing press and the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.   The Bunny Crown came to Ruth Lapin, the wife of Joshua Lapin, a Rabbi at a prominent synagogue in Kraków that also served as a Yeshivot gymnasium. The Lapins flourished under the tolerant and mostly-Jewish-friendly policies of the Commonwealth, and were personally involved in the construction and maintenance of the synagogue. They invested much of their personal wealth into the structure, and they hired a prominent French cathedral architect to adapt some of the Rayonnant style into the existing Polish Gothic tradition. The end result was a massive structure that is easily the biggest part of the overall building of the Secret Library.   The Chief Rabbit, however, fully intended to have this building constructed not only to serve the Jewish community of Kraków, but to make a copy of it for their pocket dimension. This effort was intended to make more room for the expanding Lapin literomantic and literary collection, which had been built up considerably by the Lapin family as merchant-traders with expansive ties in other countries. The exact date of the enchantment has been lost to history, as has the original synagogue, which was destroyed during the Cossack Uprising and further demolished and looted in The Deluge. Its ruins were later repurposed for rebuilding efforts.   If the Baroque section strongly resembles a more familiar library, the library of the Strahov Monastery in Prague, there is a reason for that. Abbot Jeroným Hirnheim was a friend of Katarzyna Lapin, the Chief Rabbit in 1670, the same year the Abbot had a new library begun in the co-called Theological Hall. In a time of unusual cooperation and co-existence between the Jewish and Christian population of Poland, who were united against numerous external threats, the two routinely met for religious and philosophical scholarly debates. When the work on the new monastery library was completed in 1679, the Abbot granted permission for Katarzyna to make a copy of the monastery building for the Lapin Library, and asked that in return, she make use of the magical printing press to make copies of the most significant books in the monastery's library to protect them. The Lapins had the opportunity to repay the debt after the assaults of French and Bavarian troops in 1742, when Prague was bombarded and seriously damaged.   The final section, the Neoclassical section, was added near the beginning of World War II. With rising anti-semitic policies and sentiment in Poland, and the news of a pact between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia on August 23, 1939, most of House Lapin in Poland met at a library and museum in the city of Radom. Just after midnight on August 30, they broke in and piled whatever they could muster of their treasures and important books, including their literomantic journals, wherever they could find room. Then they all contributed their Literomantic Power to aiding in a ritual to draw the building into the Secret Library's pocket dimension, and Dorothy Lapin, then Chief Rabbit and Queen Sable's grandmother, fled the country, carrying the collected knowledge of her House with her. Most of the Lapins were later victims of the war and the Holocaust, and the original library was bombed to the ground in the initial German air raid of September 1st.


Access to the Library is tightly restricted and closely monitored, but several House scholars and Librarians have visited in the course of the House Library Exchange sparked by The Treaty of Burned Alexandria (a.k.a. "The Library Treaty").
This article is a work in progress, and may be subject to changes.
This article is part of a series related to streaming the Game of Tomes. For more information, see Streaming Game of Tomes.
A vast library with a pink carpet, old fashioned wooden shelves and a vaulted ceiling with skylight, furnished with modern furnishings
Lapin Secret Library - Northwest Vault - Neoclassical Section by Nightcafe


Founding Date
May 13, 1440
Environmental Effects
The grounds surrounding the Library in the extradimensional space extend to a 1 mile radius in all directions from the nave of the original monastery building. At that point, everything simply seems to disappear into a white mist, although the sun continues to rise and set overhead, weather continues to function as if it were still connected to a broader universe, and water continues to flow.   Further, different overlapping circular sections of the exterior grounds appear to be frozen in different eras in time. These "circles of time" are thought to extend as tubular columns above and below, affecting even the sky and ground. Over the centuries, the Lapins have arranged and rearranged their little pocket dimensional space to take the best advantage of this.   In the gardens, it is high summer, when the most produce is typically available; while in the fields, the vineyard, and much of the orchard grove, it is late summer or early fall, the ideal season for harvest. Most of the pastures remain in late spring/early summer, when the grass is freshest; and at least one section remains in perpetual winter, allowing for an abattoir and an icehouse. Several Japanese cherry trees have also been planted in the spring sections, and birches and oaks in the autumn sections, evidentally for ornamental reasons.   Queen Sable is trying to figure out how to add Canadian sugar maples, but her initial attempts to plant saplings has resulted in perpetual saplings that refuse to grow. She is trying to figure out how to work around this to add mature maple trees.
Additional Rulers/Owners
Owning Organization
A salmon pink banner with a white rabbit head in the center. Text:
House Lapin by Dani Adventures
Interior of an early Gothic monastery, showing pink stone and a vaulted ceiling
Lapin Secret Library - Interior view, Cistercian section by C. Michael Hogan
Exterior grounds of a monastery, displaying a large waterwheel
Lapin Secret Library - Exterior Grounds - Cistercian Section by Pierre 79
Lapin Secret Library - Diamond Vault - Synagogue Section by Adrian Grycuk
A spectacular Torah Ark
Lapin Secret Library - Torah Ark, Synagogue Section by Azymut (Rafał M. Socha)
A spectacular gilded vaulted ceiling that resembles the night sky
Lapin Secret Library - Firmament Vault - Synagogue Section by Benh LIEU SONG
A rose window of abstract designs in stained glass
Lapin Secret Library - Rose Window - Synagogue Section by boulanger.IE
A vast library with a green carpet, old fashioned wooden shelves and an elaborate vaulted ceiling, a bronze statue of a woman with rabbit ears, and a book stand in the center
Lapin Secret Library - Theological Hall - Baroque Section by Pixabay/HeroForge/Sable Aradia
A baroque library with spectacular ceiling frescoes and a bronze statue in the foreground
Lapin Secret Library - Theological Hall with Tobias Lapin bronze - Baroque Section by Jorge Royan/HeroForge/Sable Aradia
A simple blue and gilded cupola with oculus, viewed from below
Lapin Secret Library - Cupola - Neoclassical Section by Sable Aradia
A vast library with a pink carpet, old fashioned wooden shelves and a vaulted ceiling, furnished with modern furnishings
Lapin Secret Library - Southeast Vault - Neoclassical Section by Nightcafe
A number of fantastical tomes on an old-fashioned wooden desk with an antique oil lamp
Ancient Tomes by Nathalia Books with Nightcafe
The Lapin Secret Library is said to contain numerous, extremely valuable Literomantic tomes
The Battle vs the Nite Qing took place in the Cistercian and Baroque sections of the Lapin Secret Library

Cover image: Lapin Secret Library by Pixabay/HeroForge/Sable Aradia


Please Login in order to comment!
Jan 5, 2024 21:58 by Kwyn Marie

Flashbacks to art history...I liked the blueprint. I had the vibe of a cathedral-esque library that stayed with me the entire article.

Jan 10, 2024 18:01 by Lilliana Casper

I love the idea of a pocket dimension that contains such a beautiful library. I found the architectural details interesting and enjoyed how you lined the timeline up with real events. Great job!

Lilliana Casper   I don't comment much, but I love reading your articles! Please check out my worlds, Jerde and Tread of Darkness.
Jan 11, 2024 23:57 by Myth Magic

I really love this idea. Actually, I have a soft spot for any secret library, but this one seems very cool.

Jan 27, 2024 20:18 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I always love articles that are stuffed full of history and feel real, and this is one of them. I would love to visit and just get lost in the library for a week.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Feb 6, 2024 13:20 by Carolyn McBride

I adore your Secret Library! It's the kind of place that fascinates me enough to spend weeks and weeks there. Except for the lack of food... Seriously, I love your concept, your imaginings, and the sheer amount of information here! Stunning and imaginative! Well done!

Magic, Dragons & Drama! Uclandia   If the real world is more your thing, come visit Sitka Cove A small town on the brink of explosive change fueled by secrets!