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gathering place and leave immediately for the hiding place. To minimize the chance of discovery, we will move in one single group, and only the Circle will hold the key to entering our new home. Any who do not arrive in time will be assumed lost and left behind.

"Before we give ourselves over to these preparations, though, we face a grievous task. Kell must be sent to the other side. Ing-Radi?"

Ing-Radi laid her four hands, palms up, on top of each other, and bowed her head. "It was long, long ago that I first became a mage. We had great ideals, yet few followed them. They were for the lips only, not for the heart. Many years later, Kell was initiated as the latest of the line of Wierden. What he said with the lips, he felt with the heart. He made us see that we need not squabble and maneuver for power, but instead we could do good. He made us see that we must not only speak the words of Wierden, but believe them. His vision and wisdom drew us to him. And so a new age of relative peace and cooperation was born. His leadership brought us together. His example inspired us. I hope that we may live on in his example. These trying times shall be the test of how well we have learned what he taught us: to put the needs of our order above our own.

"My first experience with Kell's leadership came at the convocation at which he was initiated." As Ing-Radi spoke of the accomplishments of Kell, Carvin, beside him, began to cry. Galen cast his eyes downward, trying to block out the sound.

In four hours he would be headed with Blaylock for the rim, for the home of the Shadows, for the last place where he had seen Elizar. The chance that he would encounter Elizar was minuscule, but Galen couldn't stop the image from forming in his mind, of Elizar turning and seeing him, of
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