Madeye stands before the derelict building at the cheap end of the commercial district, somewhere in the lower Despairs. Looking up, he notes that many of the windows have been smashed since his last visit. A pang of guilt stabs him in the gut: for a period of time this building was his life, his soul, his raison d’etre.
As with a mistress spurned, he smiles at the memories, before burning with the neglect, his neglect, etched in the features of his old love. He absent mindedly traces the outline of the salamander in the dirt on the sign next to the shuttered door.
He takes a deep breath and pulls up the metal shutter. Pressing the key into the door lock, he makes his way into the foyer. Finding the lights inoperative, he presses on, moving swiftly to his office at the back.
Grinning, he looks around, the accumulated dust giving everything a soft focus quality. Sitting down at his old desk, he spies the outline for the last published edition of the Ravenblack Grimoire.
Yes, he thinks, perhaps there is life in the old dog yet. Perhaps move the weighty tomes off the front page and into a separate section … focus on snappy up-to-the-minute news stories. Leaning forward, he opens the bottom drawer, pulling out a whiskey bottle and a shot glass. Pouring himself a measure, he smiles and sips it slowly.
There is life in the old dog yet …