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Might the knowledge be kept for safety by the Circle?"

It wasn't like Galen to question the Circle. "I know of no such discovery. I think you fail to recognize the uniqueness of your language, and what it has shown you. But if the spell was found in the past, the user might have been killed in the conjury.

"Although many outside the Circle would like to believe we are omniscient, and many within would like to appear so, our records are far from complete. Mages contribute to our archives only the knowledge they wish to share, and while in recent years that has often meant the majority of what they know, in the past many mages preferred to pass their knowledge on privately, to those of their choosing."

Galen nodded. Although the incident obviously still troubled him, he looked better. The color had come back into his face, and he seemed to have come back to himself.

"I must return to the convocation," Elric said. "You are fit?"


"Good. I need you to set up the Becoming."

They left the house behind and headed out across the mak. The mist had thinned since morning, and the sun was bright. In the distance Elric could see activity around the tents. Through his place of power, he accessed various probes to see what needed his attention. One probe, on the side of the tents that faced the sea, showed a group of chrysalis-stage apprentices looking out over the cliff. They reminded Elric of a topic he had long postponed discussing with Galen. He found the topic even more difficult than the one they had just discussed. But he had known, when he had seen that expression on Galen's face this morning, that he must not delay. Perhaps the change of subject would do Galen good.

"At these convocations," Elric said, "you are around Humans of your own age, including
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