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face looked even rounder. Usually his expression conveyed a sense of serenity and sincerity, making Galen think of a monk. Yet now Gowen's cheeks were drawn up in dismay, his thick lips turned slightly upward. He turned to Galen.

"I only saw Kell for a moment," he said, "when we first entered. But I can't get the image out of my mind. How could Elizar do such a thing?"

Why did they keep asking him this? Elizar had done it to Kell the same way Galen would do it to Elizar, given the chance. Cut pathways down the arms as the victim screamed, pull back skin, carve through muscle, tendon, and blood vessels down to bone, and for maximum satisfaction, rip the tech out with bare, bloody hands.

Gowen awaited an answer.

"Some people delight in hurting others," Galen said.

"I can't understand that. And Elizar always seemed so devoted to the mages. I never knew him to be cruel-except perhaps with an insult. Now he seems as determined to destroy us as the Shadows are. Did Alwyn tell you that he and Carvin were attacked?"


"A number of others are missing. The Shadows seem to be targeting us."

Galen's mind suddenly jumped to what he had overheard. We are the ones best equipped to defend, Alwyn had said to Elric. And Elizar, in the last moment before the universe had changed forever, had told him that Isabelle must die because she knew the secret of listening to the Shadows. The Shadows were attacking them because the mages formed a threat. The mages did have some potential to fight the Shadows. So why wouldn't they?

Following Blaylock and Herazade, they turned down another passage, this one wider and higher. Two great metal doors on the right side of the passage swung open as they approached, and Blaylock and Herazade entered. Galen and Gowen stopped outside,
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