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one of its long oral arms.

The chrysalis had grown thicker and wider in the three years he'd been training with it, and its translucent skin had gained a silvery sheen. Elric had explained that it had been only partially formed when Galen had begun to work with it. That was why the first year of chrysalis-stage training had involved only the visualization of different spells, and no casting. The chrysalis had been adapting to him, adjusting itself to his patterns of thought, in a way almost mirroring him.

The process had continued even after he'd begun to cast spells. That was why the echo from the chrysalis had grown progressively stronger. As Galen was being trained, so was the chrysalis.

Galen was struck again by the brilliance of the Taratimude. They had developed a technology that could read one's very desires and out of nothing, conjure them. Their scientific understanding had been incredibly advanced, their sense of beauty, of magic, unequaled. What spells Wierden's people may have conjured, the mages would never know. When nearly all of them had died in a great cataclysm, most of their knowledge had been destroyed. The few survivors, Wierden among them, had decided to share what tech they had, and the secret of replicating it, with other species.

Wierden had formed the Circle and established the Code, and the techno-mages in their current form had been born. Yet their understanding of the brilliant science that had designed the tech had been lost. Galen feared the mages would never again be the equal of their predecessors.

"You honor the work of Wierden through your conjury," Elric said, closing the canister.


"Well and good, but what is your work?"

Galen didn't know. His parents, both mages, had died when he was ten. After that, he'd
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