“What are you going on about, Lindin?” Archmage Velsyph’s scratchy voice was harsh, but filled with tenderness.
Lindin had confronted the older wizard after the funeral, begging to meet with him. Velsyph had seemed reluctant, but agreed to meet briefly over tea. Lindin could see the kettle sitting upon the freshly cleaned table as he entered the Archmage’s private study. But there was no time. One man had already died.
He took a calming breath, trying to relax his nerves. A troubled mind led to troubled matters, that is what Velsyph said. He began again, “Recently, I’ve noticed something wrong with the spellweave. There is a resistance, where the arcane does not flow correctly. It seems to have a focal point inside the Senate. I tried to present this to Harsen, but he wouldn’t listen. Then I went to high mage Gellinns. I believe he was investigating my claims when he died.”
Lindin produced the scrap of parchment. “This had been freshly written when I found him.” Velsyph quickly snatched the fragment from his hands. While he scanned its contents, Lindin added, “We’d been working together on this.”
Velsyph silenced Lindin with a gesture, as he tried to comprehend what he was reading. “A tumor in the arcane,” he muttered to himself.
Lindin nodded. There was nothing more to be said. Once Velsyph began to think upon a topic, there was no interrupting him. He could almost feel the archmage’s mind turning, trying to discern the secret that was presented before him. Mental gears were turning faster and faster, as his entire being was turned towards this one task.
Finally, he blinked, setting down the scrap on the table, next to the kettle. Mildly, Velsyph asked, “How did you discover this… thing?”
“While on patrol,” Lindin explained. “I was watching the Senate, and it caught my attention.”
Velsyph nodded slowly. “You have always been quite perceptive,” he commented, smiling slightly. “Have you told anyone else of this?”
“A few, but none have listened. I tried to set an appointment with you to discuss this before going to Gellinns.”
“Did you really?” Velsyph asked suddenly, his brow furrowed.
Lindin frowned. “Yes. Your secretary said that he had informed you, but that you had declined to meet with anyone for some time.”
“I’ve been… occupied.” Velsyph sighed, closing his eyes. “Great things are at hand for the Empire, Lindin. I wish that I could tell you the half of what is taking place, but by Argantin, I am sworn to secrecy. For now.” He smiled faintly. “Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will make sure this is resolved as quickly as possible.”
Lindin smiled, feeling the stress falling off of him. “Thank you, Velsyph,” he said simply.
“Of course,” the Archmage responded, smiling as well. “Now, will you share tea with me?”