During its construction, heat was forced out of the newly formed realm, forcing fire back into the mortal world, and forming the plane of ice on which the city was created. When the Library proper was torn out of Egypt, parts of the neighboring city were brought with it. The Library proper formed the core of the chancel's city. The ancient surrounding city submerged into the ground to become a labyrinth.
Due to the temporal anomalies involved in its construction, accounts of the Chancel's history are confused and inconsistent. Some inhabitants have been in the city for several generations, while others have just appeared, despite having been among the first to arrive.
The library is looked after by the Librarian, a sentient force that inhabits the library.
The library's many books are constantly being rearranged by the Librarian to match a time-dependent function that the Librarian insists represents the ultimate order of books, and which the Librarian considers far superior to the Dewey decimal system. The Librarian continually enforces the correct location of books; to find a particular book, patrons must run from the card catalogue to the book before the book gets moved. This situation is not helped by the card catalgue being kept in the basement, specifically, in the labyrinth in the basement. (Computer technology, being unknown in the Library of Alexandria, is not used to organise the books.)
The Librarian communicates through opening books, notes in margins, magazines, and the like.
The labyrinth was originally furbished with various traps by Set, but since the initial construction of the maze, the number of traps has been greatly increased thanks to the work of the Noble Eritus. These traps are fatal to most mere mortals who attempt to negotiate them, and since crossing the labyrinth is a necessity to get back into the city, many of the city's inhabitants have been killed trying to return to their city after trips abroad. Visiting Nobles are typically only slightly inconvenienced by the traps, but are reportedly still frequently found getting lost in the maze in an attempt to enter the city.
For reasons that are not well documented, the Librarian keeps the library's card catalogue in the labyrinth. While it is difficult to lead credence to these reports in light of the fact that the labyrinth is unlit, it is said that the exact location of the card catalogue itself changes over time. The city's inhabitants, being mortal, have not deigned to study this.
It is theorised by some that the labyrinth was built by Set as a way of protecting the city from unwanted visitors. Others argue that it originates from the many streets and homes that wore torn out alongside the library when the Chancel was created, mostly as a side-effect of Set's magic, and not as an intentional creation.
Another one of the towers is thought to contain an exit portal to another Chancel, but little is known of this portal, if it indeed exists, at this time.
Some inhabitants claim the statues sometimes speak to each other, but such claims are as yet unsubstantiated.
Some of the city's more settled inhabitants have formed families and started trading, both within the realm and (through Nobles) with other realms. It is not unknown for inhabitants to go on trips to Earth, though rarely are their return without serious and sometimes fatal incident; as mentioned in the previous sections, the traps in the labyrinth entrance to the city are frequently fatal to mortals. In addition, since the only exit to Earth leads to an international airport in the 21st century, and since most of the city's inhabitants range from the time of Casear to the mid 7th century, mortals wishing to visit Earth often suffer at the hands of Earth's immigration authorities.
There is a also a hippo that wandered in at some point. It's rather cranky about being lost in the tunnels.