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the spell, the instinctive flash from Galen's mind to the chrysalis, like the parry of a well-trained fencer. Such fights were not uncommon. What was uncommon was the strength of Galen's defense, a counterattack that could completely annihilate the opponent, and perhaps much more.

But did that mean he had to be sent, just out of the chrysalis, to face the Shadows, perhaps to die?

Almost instantly Galen's face tightened with concentration, and Elric could see him trying to alter the spell, to render it safe.

Suddenly Elric's attention was drawn away. Far behind Galen, in the shadows by the cliffs, someone was standing. Elric was amazed he had never seen the person before. He'd been so focused on Galen, he hadn't noticed anything else.

He cut away the rest of the image, enlarged the figure. The resolution was poor, the light dim, but he could tell that it was Human, male, of compact build. The man wore not black robes but a dark suit, and he had dark hair. The resolution was good enough that if the man had been a mage, Elric would have recognized him. But he was not a mage.

Elric remembered the man sent by the Rook of Tain, a special messenger with crates of pects. Morden. He looked like this man. Morden had arrived on the opening night of the convocation, though. This was the next night, the night of the Becoming, when all outsiders were banned. Yet here he was, watching.

Elric recalled that something about Morden had disturbed him, though the meeting had been so brief, the situation so chaotic, he had never determined what.

Elric accessed the probe archives in his place of power, returned to the opening night of the convocation. After some quick searching, there was Morden, with his smooth voice, his message from the Rook, and his crates of pects. As
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