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was already known.

Galen wanted to curse Kell, to burn him with eyes of fire, to break him. Yet Kell was already broken. Elizar's betrayal had broken him. And Galen had to remain still, or the pain would find him.

Kell continued. "The only way to discover their secrets was to have one of our number pretend to ally with the Shadows. The time to act was immediately, while the Shadows still believed their presence secret. But this deception could not be designed with planning and consultation. I feared that if our agent was discovered, our hand would be revealed, and the Shadows would turn against all of us. The best one to send, as always, is the one who does not know he is sent. Then if he is discovered, he will say he went alone, of his own free will. And we cannot be held to account."

Blaylock's eyes narrowed. "You manipulated Elizar, your own apprentice, as you would an outsider?"

Kell gave a single nod. "I baited Elizar with the story of Carvin invading Alwyn's place of power. I knew he could not resist the challenge." Kell's eyes narrowed with pride at the memory. "I allowed him to gain access to certain of my files, so that he would discover on his own the return of the Shadows and"-his gaze flicked toward Galen-"what this would mean to the techno-mages. He was angry at what I had hidden from him, though he said nothing. Yet I never doubted that he would work for the good of the techno-mages, that he would come to the same conclusion I had and do what was necessary to gain information for all of us. He has always dreamed of fighting for right, of regaining our glory.

"I left him clues, hints so that he could make contact with the minions of the Shadows. And soon he did. He began to gather information from them, which I would access secretly from his files.
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