Published by Lindsay Wardell on 03/29/2018

This post was originally made on 4/9/2018, but for continuity reasons has been advanced.

“I am sorry, but Archmage Velsyph is very busy at the moment.”

Linding breathed deeply, frustration starting to boil inside of him. For weeks, he had watched the anomaly in the Senate, trying to determine what it could be. No one else seemed to be aware of its existence, and yet the arcane flowed chaotically around the ancient structure. Perhaps it was nothing, just an enchantment needing to be adjusted. Or perhaps it was a spell sealed away from most wizards, only for the eyes of the greater councils.

Whatever the answer, Lindin could get no response to his inquiries. The clerk sitting before him was no use, either. An appointment with an archmage was difficult to obtain at the best of times, but in general Lindin found it easier than most to meet with his old mentor. Today, however, was different.

Lindin closed his eyes, composing himself. When he opened them again, the clerk had returned to his duties, his hands perched over a stack of parchment, his eyes closed to narrow slits as he worked. A blue light emanated from the stacks of paper. Lindin watched as the top sheet was filled in by an invisible pen.

“I need an appointment with the Archmage,” Lindin repeated, attempting to hid his emotions. “It is very urgent. My name is Lindin.”

The clerk opened his eyes, his concentration broken. The man’s brows furrowed as he focused on Lindin’s presence again. “An honor to meet you, I’m sure,” he said wryly. “However, as I have already stated, the archmage is too busy at the moment to make any appointments for the foreseeable future. You will just have to go away,” he waved his hands towards the door, “and leave me to my work.” He smiled, satisfied, then returned to his work.

Lindin cursed. “What could possibly prevent him from seeing me?”

Without opening his eyes, the clerk shrugged. “Perhaps the goings-on of the Empire are more important than those of a single high mage. I know it may be hard to understand, for one only second to Argantin himself.”

Lindin sighed. It was no use. He left the office, his mind churning. As he exited, the normally silent door slammed audibly behind him, its sound echoing through the corridor.

Making his way through the tower’s hallways, Lindin thought about what other course he could take. Velsyph would have known if anything was going on that was meant to be hidden. Lindin didn’t know anyone else in the city as well as his former mentor. Was there anyone else he could reach out to?

His thoughts were interrupted as Lindin turned a corner, nearly walking straight into Harsen. His hands were placed on his hips, his eyes stern. “Lindin,” he said, his voice sharp. “What, in Argantin’s name, are you doing here?”

Lindin gulped. “High Arcanist!” he said, surprise overtaking him. “I was, ah, doing research on the anomaly that I found in the Senate.”

“You were attempting to make an appointment with Archmage Velsyph,” Harsen stated. His expression hardened slightly. “After I specifically told you not to make contact with him again.”

“This is relating to my work,” Lindin tried to explain.

“Any concerns you have should be brought to my attention, without exception.” Harsen lowered his arms. “Do you understand, high mage?”

Lindin bowed. “Yes, high arcanist.”

Harsen nodded. “Now, what is this about an anomaly in the Senate? I haven’t seen any mention of it in your reports. Negligence is not a trait that will serve you well.”

Frowning, Lindin asked, “I’m sorry?”

“You said there was an anomaly in the Senate just now. Why have you not mentioned it before?”

“I did mention it,” Lindin answered. “It’s been in my report every day for weeks now.”

Harsen shook his head. “You mean the hidden knot you’ve been babbling on about. What you have described is not worth investigating. The nature of those kinds of knots is inherent to the spellweave.”

“This one is different from the others I’ve seen,” Lindin added. “It seems to be warping the flow of energy around the entire Senate.”

“Or perhaps the nature of the Senate and its intricate enchantments is doing that on its own.” Harsen signed deeply. “Really, Lindin, you must let go of this. None of the others have reported such an issue around the Senate. This is a case of your inexperience blinding you, nothing more.”

“Master, I know what I saw.”

“And yet you continue to insist that it is something else.” Harsen placed a hand on Lindin’s shoulder. “Listen to me: let it go. This is the same sort of mad obsession that High Mage Gellinns exhibits. It’s the reason he’s never been promoted, despite all that he’s done. If there is one thing his failed career can teach, Lindin, is to focus on that which is important, and nothing else.”

Lindin nodded, “Yes, master.”

Harsen clapped his shoulder. “Now get back to work.” Lindin nodded, and continued on his way down the corridors. As he walked, his mind turned over the conversation. By the time he reached the transport crystal, a new idea had come to mind. Rather than the key to the Watcher’s tower, he summoned the rune for the Great Library.

The world shifted around him, and in a moment he found himself standing in the center of the largest archive of knowledge in all the World. Rows of books covered every service, reaching high into the sky above him. Beneath his feet, Lindin felt the pulse of the Arcane, as wizards from across the Empire reached through the ley lines to access to knowledge stored here.

A wizard dressed in a green robe approached him. She smiled. “Welcome, how may I direct your visit?”

Lindin prepared himself. “I need to know where High Mage Gellinns’ study is located.”

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