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twenty feet tall, shrouded in moss. Each marked with one of the seven runes of the Code, together they embodied his commitment to the principles of the techno-mages.

Galen moved a few feet away, obviously reluctant to leave him. Elric had to stay close to the circle, for as with most mage powers, the ability to conjure magical fire was limited in distance.

Elric knew he should dissociate from his place before destroying it, but he could not. He had not dissociated from it in many years, and somehow it seemed wrong to break contact now, to force it to die alone. He accessed a probe in that dark stone chamber beneath the ground and began the conjury.

To cast a spell, he simply visualized what he desired. Yet this time, the visualization was no desire, but a nightmare: his place of power filled with magical fire. The tech echoed his command, and brilliant lime-green flames blazed light through the stone chamber, whirling in a vortex of fierce, searing heat. The flames played over the smooth surfaces of the devices he had built, their heat penetrating inward. Clenching his teeth, Elric increased the fire's intensity, hoping to complete the process as quickly as possible.

The heat melted through the top layers of metal and burned inward. The information he had stored there-information about the planet, its history-faded from his mind. One by one, connections to various instruments across the planet failed, those tools that had always been at his command now falling suddenly out of reach.

The dazzling green sizzled deeper, contacting the outstretched threads of the chrysalis.

Elric gasped through clenched teeth. Fire boiled into his hands, searing down middle and index fingers and thumbs, following the lines of the tech. He raised his shaking hands, determined
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