energy surging in response to Elizar's words. What was he implying? That Kell was in league with the Shadows? Elric had clearly indicated that Galen had been chosen for the task to test his control. Could there be more to it? Could Kell have had another reason? Could Kell have sent them hoping they would find nothing? Galen held tightly to the anxious energy, trying to calm himself.
I respect and trust you two more than any others. And I tell you that the Circle has led us astray. They have lied to us, again and again. They have so constricted our powers that we are now only a shadow of what we once were. If we are to restore the techno-mages to greatness, this coming war is the time to do it. But it cannot be done without risk. It cannot be done by supporting the Circle.
I want to share with you what I know. We three, working together, can explain to the rest what is really happening. We three can rally them to fight, no matter what the Circle says. We three can learn the secrets of power needed to break free, to start again with no masters to suppress us.
But I cannot tell what I know to mages who have sworn loyalty to Kell and the Circle. I have held my silence this long because I fear what might happen if I speak out alone. Kell is old, but he is still a formidable opponent. We may have only one chance to reveal the truth, and I need allies of whom I can be sure. I need you to swear loyalty to me, now, and to our common cause: truth, freedom, and glory.
The message ended.
Galen sat in shock. He could not believe the Circle-and
Elric-capable of such things. How could Elizar accuse the Circle and expect them to accept the charges without proof? Kell was their greatest leader since Wierden. He would not keep such secrets from them, would not have sent