The tome sat currently with Fiel, but Riathan, having noticed the norn necromancer remove it from the torture chamber or laboratory in Ebonhawke, requested to see it so he could skim through it and make some notes.
Now that he sat with his notes, he was able to really settle down and think about what was inside them. To put it bluntly, the book unnerved him. He’d read all sorts of arcane and mystical texts in his life, his work having garnered him access to the Priory Archive, but this one was… deranged at best. Mad scribbling, diagrams of things that he could only hint at the origin or intended use. Dissections, musings on the make up of both human and charr, and how they complimented each other, or in ways they weren’t compatible.
His initial thought was that Wilfred Essenvald was a racist torturer of charr. This was now becoming a bit more disturbing, and far more worrying as to what the member of the Lunatic Court had in mind for his scheme. It was becoming more clear that he had more of a deranged fascination with the charr, and how they could enhance humanity. He tapped a pencil against his desk, sending little chips of wood and graphite along before he grabbed a pen knife and started sharpening it again. He didn’t want his notes in pen, as per usual, because he didn’t want to make the man’s thoughts any more permanent than they already were in his own journal. Once was enough. It left him tempted to wanting to burn it when the ordeal was all over, and Riathan wasn’t one to wantonly destroy knowledge of any sort.
Fiel, on the other hand, was anxiously waiting, sitting in the human-size seat in front of Riathan’s desk. Calling the narrow chair “uncomfortable” was a kindness. But it was better than pacing to and fro and peeking above his boss’ shoulder.
He barely had enough time to go through half of it before he was called, and, whatever the head of the guild was planning to do with it, he wanted to at least make sure he’d finish it first.
He so hated unfinished stories.
“So?” he eventually dared as the man sharpened his pencil. “What do you think?”
Riathan wrote in neat tight handwriting. Years of schooling had that ingrained in him. He had an entire shelf behind him that was filled with musings and philosophizing by his own hand. He turned to look up at the entryway to his office, then back to Fiel letting out a brief sigh before speaking, “The man was insane before he joined the lunatic court. I dont imagine he is going to be any more agreeable or lucid when we go to attend this Macabre Ball he has planned.”
In that moment Eiranor, a sylvari Druid entered the room and gave a bow to both Riathan and Fiel. “I’ve been speaking with a few others, no one has seen Roddy. It’s very likely Essenvald took him while you all were in the Labyrinth fighting that skeletal horror.” The frond like hair swayed from his noseless, smooth green face, with a faint blue phosphorescent glow along his skin, with equally blue eyes peering at them. He looked down at the fur bound tome and the myriad of notes across Riathan’s desk. “Should we be concerned that Roddy is in that creatures care?”
A quiet, dull chill ran down Fiel’s back at the news.
He wanted to avoid addressing this, but considering how the events were unfolding…
“I… have the suspicion that… well…” He sighed. There was no way to say it that wouldn’t make it sound bad. For Roderick… or himself. “Those notes. Yes, they are the ravings of a mage obsessed with racial superiority –and yes, the man was clearly insane– but they do resemble some of my own… research? I mean, they are not completely identical, you understand. I would never experiment on living, sentient beings. But the point is–“
He exhaled forcefully, making a face.
“I do understand some of it. His process, I mean. It speaks to me. I’m sure you’ve all seen Waffles?” He was referring of course to his undead minion and favorite creation: a tall bipedal golem of preserved flesh and carefully selected bones, big as a human. All horns and jagged teeth. A battering ram on two legs. “I always try to find ways to improve him. Make him more… durable. If Essenvald was really trying to make the humans physically superior to charr, then…”
He let his words fall, letting the silence speak for itself.
Riathan shook his head at Fiel, “I’m not totally surprised, it does strike me as common work with a necromancer. But the way this is focused and directed makes it highly disturbing to me. Especially some of his notes didn’t imply the subject’s had to be dead either. This is a very large distinction with your own work, Fiel.” The guardian sat back in his plush office chair. Originally he had opted for a very basic wooden chair, but much prompting from Rynn that it would take his back out left him conceding to a more comfortable one. It was at times like this he was greatly appreciative of his cousin.
He let out a slow sigh, letting his fingers toy with the golden ankh that sat in his hand, the chain dangling after wrapping around his thumb a few times. He too was filled with unpleasant thoughts for what it must be like for Roddy right now, with Riathan himself having been held in captivity not long ago. He didn’t plan on leaving Roddy high and dry like that, especially since there was far less research needed to find out where he was being held. “You agree then we should roll in there armed and ready for a fight then, yes?”
A short pause as the necromancer considered.
“Yes. But, judging by how… extravagant he is… I would suggest playing along with his little fantasies.” Fiel slumped in his seat –or at least, as much as it would allow. “And that would mean… finding something fancy to wear.” The disgust in his voice was very obvious.
Riathan gave a small mirthless chuckle. “That won’t be hard to do.” He walked over to a large dresser to the side of his office, opened it and began picking through suits that were also laced with protection magic. “It’s almost like I’m ready to get attacked at any time.” He shook his head ruefully, mentally preparing himself for the fight that was to come.