The desire to rule Atlas began to swell within her. Suddenly, she felt as if millions of needles were stabbing her organs. She doubled over in pain, gasping for breath. Ano shifted uncomfortably in the doorway. Krieger glanced briefly over his shoulder.
"Bound you, didn't she?" he asked.
"Yes," Kharnyx replied breathlessly.
Krieger chuckled. "That was always her favorite spell. As you can see, she excelled at it. She even made several modifications to the basic binding spell to make it even more permanent." He brought four books from the corner and set them on the table. "Which of these do you think will help?"
Kharnyx caught her breath and stood, looking at the spines and pointed to the third book in the pile. "That one, the one by Cleave Ardor. The Mythos of The Void."
Krieger removed the book from the pile and opened it. "This one? Are you sure?"
Ano moved aside and let Reginald enter. "Cleave Ardor wrote both theoretical works and some rather lesser known fiction," Reginald said.
Kharnyx blinked. "What?"
Krieger pointed to the writing on the page. "See here, where it says 'This work is based on theory?"
"Well, his actual theories say, 'This work is based in my theory'. Very subtle difference."
"This isn't the only book of his that I had," Kharnyx said cautiously.
"Yes, Druid Tim has the others. I've sent a raven to him; he should be here shortly."
Kharnyx placed her palms on the table and closed her eyes. "So, can you tell me what the difference between his theory and his fiction is?"
"Well," Krieger replied as he put the other three books back in the corner, "his theories are much shorter, and more numerous. They are based on actual accounts of Withermoon occurrences seventy-five to fifty years ago. There are some actual sightings, although human recollection is often very skewed. The stories based on his theories are what he imagines the creatures from The Void would do, et cetera."
"So, it's all speculation?"
"Well, more like educated speculation," Reginald interjected. "Very few have seen a creature from The Void and lived. I believe the last sighting he recorded was fifty years ago. That person is no longer living, I'm sure."
"These books, the ones by Ardor, belonged to my grandmother," Kharnyx said. "She was one of his sources. She died during the next Withermoon, from an unknown illness."
"And that is what you want to unleash on the world?" Ano asked angrily.
Kharnyx sighed and rolled her eyes. "Yes. But now I can't, so it's a moot point isn't it?"
"Hardly," Ano snapped. "I have not forgotten that you murdered my friend!"
Kharnyx turned to face him. "I did not, nor did I order it. I don't know who did, to be honest. It was my idea to throw is head on the beach. And I have no idea why I just told you that."
"It doesn't matter now," Reginald said. "What we need to do is find the correct sources to figure out what to do next. I am not ruling out using the fiction, either. There may be some truth woven into the fantasy."
Kharnyx and Krieger nodded. "I believe he did," Kharnyx said. "I based all of my plans on all of his works and most of it proved true."
"Alright then," Krieger said. "We will wait for Tim and the other books to arrive, then we will start pouring through them and see what we can come up with. Starting with the creature that came through the portal."