1. You, reader
Tarren Mill, in the sanctum of the apothecaries. On the top level is a desk turned ghostly with dust, most drawers left slightly open, one left tightly shut. It sticks, then gives. Inside, there are reams of notes. Tables of results, lists of instructions, ingredients: mountain lion blood, bear tongue, mudsnout blossom. A rusted amulet wedged down one side, amongst stoppered phials and an old bench cloth, stained dirty green.
A book hides amongst the detritus. It's leather-bound, worn. Two names have been branded on the front: G. Arcanus and A. Lydon. Arcanus has been crossed straight through. The book pulls free easily enough. Within, there are charts and lists and diagrams. Between these, two alternating forms of equally scrawling handwriting rake across the page in sharp, straight lines. This dominates a quarter of the book. Then come several blank pages. Another, riddled with the experimental lines and letters of a writer familiarising themselves with new ink: rusty brown, thick in places and dilute in others.
On the next page, only one of the first two writers resumes, their words stretched long. Sentences rove in distorted diagonals. Words are culled in vast swathes of scribbled deletions. This book has been hidden deliberately, but the writer intended their work to be seen. The survivor of an opening paragraph slashed to ribbons by a pen nib, one sentence stands alone:
Reader, I entreat you: keep this safe, when I forget.