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They did not tell him much, always promising more after he was initiated."

Again Elizar had spoken the truth, though only the truth as far as he knew it. Galen had studied the various methods of manipulation, and Kell's technique was one of the classics. Yet applied to Kell's own apprentice, it was a violation of trust. Galen could not imagine Elric manipulating him this way.

"I know that his alliance with the Shadows was feigned- at least at first. We all heard Galen and-Isabelle-say that he had warned them about a threat, that he was anxious to learn their spells to gain power to fight the threat."

"Or power for himself and the Shadows," Blaylock said.

Kell's hand tightened about his staff. "When Blaylock questioned Elizar about this threat, I turned the questioning to other issues. If the truth had come out, Elizar would have become contaminated and useless as our tool. When Burell brought her evidence before us, I suggested we send two inexperienced initiates, hoping they would find nothing. Once the Circle had clear evidence of the Shadows' presence, the mages would be forced to act, and we were not ready to act. We did not have enough information about the Shadows. We still do not. And yet now we are forced to act."

So Elizar had told the truth about that as well. Kell had sent them to fail. Kell had thought he could manipulate them all, could acquire information from one, could keep information from the rest. He had thought he could control all, control the Shadows, control chaos. He had thought he could impose his design upon the universe. And his arrogance had cost the lives of Isabelle and Burell.

"It was also important that the task fail," Kell said, "because once other mages came in direct contact with the Shadows, the Shadows themselves would
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