The room was fully furnished but almost entirely empty. There was a desk, a chair, and shelves. But despite the lack of materials in the room, it succeeded in making one feel as though it was the perfect place to work. And that there was always more work to be done.
The desk was just a simple brown board with four legs. No drawers to hold anything for there was nothing to hold. The top of the desk was entirely clear except for a single scrap of parchment. Behind it was the chair, the only chair in the room. Years of wear had given it the appearance of something that would soon be nothing more than a pile of splinters. Yet for now it stood.
Shelves lined the entire perimeter of the walls, their lengths coated with dust save a few spots where items had recently been moved. One shelf, third from the top, had a larger spot without any dust. As if it had been hastily brushed away. Another, just underneath, had claw marks. And on another, third from the bottom, stood a small pool of blood.
The air in the room was heavy. Comfortably heavy. Like a warm coat of fur on a cold day. It made one feel safe. Not a false sense of security or a promise that no wrong would occur, but a promise that one would be capable of handling anything.
There were no sources of light in the room, archaic, arcane, or otherwise. But there were many holes carved into the walls to create windows of no distinctive shape. They seemed to capture the moonlight just perfectly enough to illuminate whatever needed to be seen. Aldous stood in front of one such window.
He was visibly shaken.