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be as narrow-minded as she seemed. This was but one of many instances in which she seemed so focused on her own agenda-moving the mages toward a more people-friendly, social services role-that she completely missed the point.

Blaylock had been tapping the arm of his chair the entire time Herazade spoke. As soon as she finished, he stood again. His voice was harsh and certain. "This is idiocy. Elizar's behavior is erratic and overly emotional. He claims there is a threat to the mages. He uses this claim to try to acquire secrets of power and destruction. Yet when we ask him of this threat, he evades the question.

"He seeks power for himself. He seeks a weapon for himself. My belief is that he fabricated this threat. If not, there can be only one reason he does not tell us of it: he seeks to use it to his own advantage. He is a threat to the mages, the greatest threat, perhaps, that we have faced in many years. That some of you cannot see this frightens me even more." Blaylock paused for effect, a tall, thin specter. "We must cast Elizar away." He

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