SPOILER WARNING: Plot details for Chain of Iron follow. Caution is advised!

The Spiral Labyrinth is the central home of warlock magical research and knowledge. It is considered the underground headquarters of the world's warlocks, of scholars and students of lore, where a great deal of arcane knowledge is hidden. All of the ancient magic of the warlocks, as well as the magic that has been invented in recent years, is dutifully recorded and kept in the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is managed by the Spiral Council.

Description

The location of the Spiral Labyrinth is unknown, even to the Nephilim. It possibly exists in its own pocket dimension separate from Earth. Its age is also unknown but according to the earliest Nephilimic writings, it was already considered ancient at the time of Elphas the Unsteady.[1]

Jordan Kyle once argued that the Spiral Labyrinth's records were so extensive that it rivaled the Silent Brothers' archives and that the werewolves had nothing that could compare, but the Praetor Lupus' library was the only one that could come close.[2]

The sigil of the Labyrinth is a spiral symbol.[3]

High Warlocks are allowed to maintain their own spaces in the Labyrinth, for research and the storage of personal effects. Magnus Bane’s space is enclosed by purple Victorian velvet and lace curtains. It has a brook that runs through it with a crumbling bridge crossing it and stacks of books everywhere—on the lawn, the bridge, and some tied up in the branches of willow trees.

The corridors of the Labyrinth itself are all long arcs; the end of which often faces a different direction from the start, but at an indiscernible angle. There are many bookshelves lining the walls with reading tables at occasional intervals.

In one particular corridor, the stone walls give way to a platform of black glass above a bottomless abyss. From the center, a brass obelisk floats, waiting for a particular phrase that sends into the floor and opening up a spiral staircase that surrounds the sinking obelisk and deposits one into the Brass Vault. The Vault's walls are a polished metallic color that gleams so bright obsidian glasses must be worn to protect against the glare. Books are stacked in piles against the wall. Behind the Brass Vault is a corridor leading to the Brass Arcades, where similarly shining brass walls can be seen.[4]

History

As of the early 1900s, the Spiral Labyrinth catered to all kinds of Downworlder disputes and legal proceedings. After the mermaid Arabella was discovered to be a poisoner, Hypatia Vex had her arrested and later brought her to the Labyrinth for her to stand trial.[5]

A few months later, Magnus Bane and Brother Zachariah had to bring The Black Volume of the Dead from the Cornwall Institute to the Labyrinth as it had been moving on its own accord and needed to be repaired and possibly exorcized. Once they entered the Brass Vault, the book flew from Magnus's hands and formed a golem with the other books in the room. The book golem attacked the pair before crashed through a wall of the Vault and escaped into the Brass Arcades.[4]

In October 2007, shortly after the events of the Mortal War, the Spiral Labyrinth began receiving reports of disappearances and dead faeries which all led back to a cult by the name of the cult. The Spiral Labyrinth sent Tessa Gray under the cover of one of their members to investigate but she was unable to turn up much information before she was discovered. Rumors soon came that the leader of the cult was none other than Magnus Bane. The Spiral Council intended to involve the Shadowhunters and have them take care of Magnus, but Tessa spoke out in his defense, believing him innocent. They agreed to give Magnus the chance to clear his name by tracking down and stopping the cult. Which, Tessa later reported, he managed to accomplish.[6]

Some months later, in December of the same year, the warlocks of the Spiral Labyrinth worked in cooperation with the Clave in the Dark War; though they did not know much about it aside from rumors and what the Shadowhunters had told them. Tessa Gray was still among the warlocks at the Labyrinth at the time. They were consulted—and paid—to try and find a way to strengthen the wards and reverse the effects of the Infernal Cup and essentially cure its Endarkened victims. Their studies of Amalric Kriegsmesser's body showed that there was no plausible way to do it and have given up looking for one, knowing it would be futile—something Tessa informed the Consul of through fire-message.

Upon Zachariah's suggestion, the Clave approached the Labyrinth about a way to defeat the faeries that have sided with Sebastian Morgenstern against them. The warlocks sent those in Alicante instructions to protect its citizens from the faeries, along with boxes and bags of supplies of ammunition and materials—such as salt, grave dirt, and tools and weapons made of wrought cold iron—that can be used against the fey. The materials were placed or used as weapons, and others were spread throughout the city and its infrastructures.[3]

When the Scholomance was reopened, its students and Centurions were given access to their libraries.

For some reason, a piece of the shirt Cordelia Carstairs was wearing when she died in 2007 is at the Labyrinth. Her daughter, Emma, managed to get ahold of it through various connections and bribes. They had tried to decode the writings on the bodies of Malcolm Fade's victims, to no avail. With Magnus Bane, Jem Carstairs, and the Silent Brothers, they were able to charm a map to alert them when necromancy was being used.[7]

Trivia

  • The magic by which one may travel there is apparently one of the most closely guarded secrets in all the world. It is rumored that a geas placed on all warlocks at the moment of their birth guarantees that if a warlock reveals the Labyrinth's location to a non-warlock, the result will be an instant but blindingly painful death.[1]
  • The Spiral Labyrinth apparently tracks the histories of all other worlds, including Edom.[8]
  • The Labyrinth's receiving room has infamously uncomfortable chairs.[6]
  • The Labyrinth was seen for the first time in the Chain of Iron first edition extra One Must Always Be Careful of Books.
  • Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood were originally meant to visit the Spiral Labyrinth in first drafts of The Red Scrolls of Magic.[9]

References

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