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This is related to my last question here.

The library here is not necessarily the magical sentient library mentioned in the previous question, but can be any wizard library. This library can be in any form e.g. a secluded tower in a wood, or a huge library where many wizards live together, or in an academy.

This parasite is an obligate parasite: it cannot live outside a wizard library, or it will die in 2-3 days. The parasite can be found in virtually any wizard library, and even an apprentice mage can detect its presence.

Considering it is a parasite, and it often tampers with a wizard's experiment or spell casting:

Why do wizards not attempt to exterminate these parasites?

Additional background:

  1. The parasite feeds on remnants of magic power used from experiments or spell casting. Often, it intentionally distracts the caster so that the spell fails, to get more magic remnants.
  2. There is no mana required to cast a spell. The residue of magic power is only produced after spell casting.
  3. There is no benefit for a wizard or mage to keep this creature around.
  4. This creature can accidentally activate scrolls. However, it is not believed that it does so on purpose. It might be on purpose, but it has never been proven. Scrolls can be activated without knowing the inner workings​ of the spell.

The physical or magical features of this creature are up to you to decide, but I'm imagining a ghost-like semi-corporeal creature flying around the library. You can make up a fully incorporeal ghost, or something like that.

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    – James
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 16:48

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I am thinking that these pests are sentient/concentrated "waste" magic. Any place where many magic spells are cast and leave sufficient magic residue one of these creatures will eventually appear. Though as these pests devour the residue that would make more of them they don't reproduce and much of their characteristics are decided by the magic residue that it originated from

This gets around why they can appear in any mages library even though they die after a few days outside of one. This also helps explain why wizards don't kill them as having them around makes it so more don't spawn. Wizards may kill a few of these parasites if they appear to be particularly annoying or malicious, but will stop after they get one that is bearably annoying. (eg. if the parasite presents with fire traits you kill it since fire has no place in a library. If a new parasite presents with a ghostly glowing that only interacts with the material world by sending chills down your spine and making mysterious noise you keep it since it is an annoying you can deal with)

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Why do runners train at altitude?

By always having a training aid around which forces one to work harder, the magician will not be as startled and distracted when casting a fireball and the Ice Giant tosses an iceberg his way. It's simple conditioning.

It stands to reason that some libraries have more parasites than others. These also are the libraries containing more magical works which attract the more experienced magicians. As magicians advance, so does the difficultly levels. Some wizards likely even cultivate parasites in their private libraries to give themselves even more of an edge.

Bleed in training so you don't bleed in battle.

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This question seems to have plenty of answers, but none of them describe it in terms of an epidemiological path of transmission.

Every infection has a path from one host to the next. In some cases it's sneezing, in others it might be conveyed by touch. The problem with most infections is that they're hard to detect in their dormant/transmittable form. They might be eggs, spores, or microscopic mites, no larger than a dust mote and functionally immortal while being transported.

You could either have every wizard be a non-symptomatic carrier of the spoor/egg,

A more entertaining alternative is to have the transmission be a matter of trans-dimensional access via l-space. When enough magical books get together, they warp reality to provide a transdimensional pathway. This is usually how bookworms work. It doesn't matter if you do completely eradicate them in your library -- they'll always creep back in.

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Once upon a time there were seven libraries.

The one in the desert eliminated the parasites. Two days later, an earthquake leveled it.

A couple centuries later, one in the mountains eliminated the parasites. Three days later, a fire burned it all down.

The one by the ocean eliminated them and got hit by a tsunami.

The one out in the plains, by a tornado.

There are other libraries out there, on top of the three remaining Ancient Libraries. There are many wizards who scoff at one or another of the tales, insisting that it was coincidence, or even that the parasites had not been eliminated, someone had made it up after the disaster. There are very few wizards who will insist absolutely that the parasites were eliminated, and thus disaster ensued.

There are even fewer who will insist absolutely that there was no connection. Especially if you suggest that parasites be eliminated at a library.

If this seems improbable to you, when Terry Pratchett was doing PR for a nuclear plant that had had to shut down for a time because of an accident, the engineers there weren't prepared to state that they believed it was because of a pixy, but they weren't prepared to state that it wasn't. Why risk offending a pixy?

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