energy, driven by commitment, and illuminated by wisdom. But he was now one hundred Earth years old, and over the last six years, Elric had observed signs of decline. Kell's stride, once long and quick, was now shorter and slower. His shoulders had become hunched, his lined face tensed with the effort to understand events that would have previously required no effort. Kell's powers of technomancy must have suffered a similar decline, though Elric had seen no evidence of it. Kell's falling star had burned as brightly as ever as it had made its way to the planet's surface.
Kell always used that symbol at convocations, as did many others in his honor. Kell believed the falling star embodied the concepts of magic and science for every intelligent race. What intelligent species did not look up in wonder at the sight of a mysterious, brilliant object streaking through the night sky, or later seek to explain its nature?
Kell wore a plain black robe with a short, white fur cape over it, and carried an intricately carved ivory staff. The cape had been awarded to him several years earlier by the Shan of Zafran 7, to whom Kell served as adviser. Kell kept his dark scalp hairless, in respect of the Code, though he always wore a goatee scoured into the complex pattern of the rune for knowledge. It had gone white in recent years.
Behind Kell followed his two apprentices, Elizar and Razeel. They, along with Galen, were part of the group of fifteen chrysalis-stage apprentices to be initiated into mage-hood at the convocation. Elizar and Razeel were brother and sister, both dark haired and fair skinned. Kell had received them as babies in exchange for services, as many apprentices were obtained. They wore rather more ostentatious clothing than Elric would have approved for apprentices,