The moon rose like a bloated balloon on the third night of her stay within the desert. It's bold faced illumination colored the world in a solemn black and white. There was a certain simplicity, a certain peace to it -if one could excuse the obvious violent racket she'd left on the farthest side of the ruins.
The kodo lifted it's head as it's temporary master showed over the ridgeline and scooted down towards the simple cloth that served as a door to the broken hut. Two days of this insanity it could not fathom, but orcs seldom explained themselves to kodo. It huffed indifferently and lowered it's massive head to resume it's peaceful slumber.
Drekora hefted the leather sack over her shoulder as she sidled into the primitive dwellings side-ways around the broken doorway. Most of the items she'd set up looked more suited for the fetishes of a troll witch doctor. Hung, wound, and placed in exact positions that may increase or decrease their usefulness depending upon a hundred scenarios. She wasn't particularly proud of her in-depth knowledge of the ways of primitive magic, but that was just stubbornness that'd been roasting on her brain for the past two decades.
She moved around to the rug set in the corner and dropped the sack in the middle. Around her she milled, rooting out scrolls and tomes from studies long past. Hours passed into the night as she reflected on passages, mumbling the words aloud to herself and setting them around what would be her work station.
The White Lady had passed over the center part of the roof, casting just enough illumination to prevent the use of a candle. She settled cross-legged across the ground in front of the sack and carefully opened it and turned it over. Dozens of runes inscribed on wood, stone, paper, and even pieces of dried flesh scattered across the dingy space she'd left for them.
To any other eye they would have looked like pieces to an elaborate board game. Correct in some ways, but the game these keyed into was more of the arcane sort. Circles and lines interloped as she arranged them haphazardly over one another, some duplicates being discarded or placed further down a line for later use and study.
The mess looked scattered, the runes overlapping one another, lines touching within lines that only she could see in her mind's eye. She glanced around the books and scrolls, mostly for the inane desire to reassure she was doing the right pattern. It went for naught as she fine-tuned the pile with ticks of a certain piece and the last minute re-arranging of a set here or there. The end result looked like a collage of varying squares smashed together.
The edge of her lip turned into a satisfied grin. A snap of her fingers elicited the glow of a single, tiny spark of arcane upon the edge of one pointed nail. Carefully, so painfully carefully, she set the spark upon the center of the mess where it soaked in cozily. Within mere moments a reaction was visible as the inscribed pieces glowed an unearthly black and spread like a rapid infection, covering the pieces of chiseled, torn, and salvaged canvas in an oily sheen. Drekora winced as she gathered up her journal and a piece of sharpened charcoal and listened.
The oily sheen settled and started to vibrate, filling the room with a rumbling bass of ancient words. Words of those that had passed on – the original inscribers. She scribbled furiously through the night, notes and drawings filling out pages at random as she stored the knowledge they shared.