The sun was rising over the jagged treetops of the pine forest. Its shimmering, dancing rays cast an oddly pale pink light over the house and the small carriage next to it; the hue almost seemed to darken rather than illuminate the scene. Perhaps it was part of the aura left by the previous occupant of the house, or perhaps it was merely an unusually cloudy morning. The wizard, as he stepped out of the carriage, did not care. Scowling, he approached the front door and reached unconsciously for the knob...
...and suddenly drew his hand back with a mild oath. He had just barely avoided a rather unpleasant curse; apparently the doorknob was booby-trapped. How unoriginal. His cousin had lost all creativity in his older years, it seemed.
Muttering a quick counter-spell, he tapped the door once with his staff; it clicked open. Taking a moment to prepare a light aura to protect himself, he gingerly stepped over the threshold... into what looked and smelled like a cross between a prison galley and a blacksmith's shop. The odor of decaying food stung his nostrils and a musty, odious smoke drew tears from his eyes. It was, by anyone's standards, a complete wreck of a place.
Sighing, he looked over the room. Nothing was obviously cursed or enchanted maliciously. If there were traps, they were well-hidden. So he sighed again and set himself to the unenviable task of a thorough search, beginning at the corner of the room with the bookshelves.
The books were of the sort that non-magical readers would find immensely dull. Written in obscure dialects that only a trained mind could read, the texts were so dense that it was impossible to understand any of it without activating the built-in enchantments of clarity. But the wizard wasn't here to read; he was here to defuse. A thorough inspection of each book could wait.
As his eyes scanned row after row, one book suddenly caught his eyes and held them like a magnet. He pulled it out to look over it. In appearance it was an ordinary leather-bound volume, perhaps the sort you would find as a mage's index of potions and substances. But this book held a sense of enchantment far, far beyond what would be required for any standard clarity spells, and with concentration, he could see its aura: a white glow that seemed to press outward and expand in all directions with growing force and clarity, casting moving shadows of barely-indistinguishable words and symbols. The leather surface seemed to swarm with every color imaginable, a choreography of shape and light almost invisible to his weak vision. He turned the book over in his hand and saw a monogram on the front, a triangular symbol formed by three runes:
ᛁ ᚾ ᛖ
"Iné," he muttered, recognizing the symbols.