The Book Conservator

The sorcerer sighed unhappily as he picked up the waterlogged book. He was decades too late to save it from the building’s collapse, the sacking of easily sellable riches, the careless disregard for this once priceless treasure. He carefully wrapped the volume in cloth, tucked it into his rucksack, and continued his search.

“Lost, but not forever,” he said to himself.

Several days later, the sorcerer stood before a collection of pages floating in the air. Using a scalpel, he’d dissected the book into separate elements and cut away the mold, the rot, the grime that couldn’t be lifted or cleaned. With gestures, he directed the pages to turn over or rotate, seeking any damage he had missed in the original inspection. Every imperfection was cut away with painstaking care, each sliver added to a carefully numbered pile.

Only when he was satisfied with the book’s integrity did he begin the next phase. With a fountain pen and black ink, he carefully copied each word, symbol, and mark onto fresh sheets of paper. Centuries of experimentation from countless magic users the world over have tried to automate this laborious task, all failing, some dangerously.

To bring a book back to life, it seems, requires the a special magic.

With the flaring of a match and the soft sputtering of a burner, the sorcerer began the next step. Each page fragment pile was burned separately, siting atop an apparatus that allowed the smoke to be gathered into a flat tube.

Keeping the ash as smoke was a simple matter of embedding aPreserve Status spell on each tube, the difficulty came in discerning how to reverse the original damage. Some required the moon to sit in a particular spot in the sky, while others demanded to be placed in boiling water, viewed through a ruby red lens… the list of possibilities seemed endless, expensive, and time consuming.

It took months, but eventually the sorcerer eventually completed the books’ restoration.

With a deep sigh of joy, he browsed the pages, double checked the order, and began sewing them together.