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not fight. And that was for the best. For if they did fight, who knew within the fog of war what destruction they might wreak, what sides they might take, what chaos they might generate. Even in fighting against the Shadows, they would promote the cause of the Shadows.

Galen thought with longing of Soom, his home. He would have liked to return there. He would have liked to see Fa again. He thought that, if there were a place where he could find peace, it was on the rugged mak, along the cliffs that fell to the mist-shrouded sea. But he would never be there again. He could not.

He had wanted nothing more than to be a mage. He had wanted to inspire awe and wonder, to do good, to heal, to know all that could be known. He had wanted some measure of control over an uncaring, unthinking universe, a universe that had killed his parents for no reason. He had wanted certainties and order. Instead he had received lies and chaos.

He had gone to the rim hoping to find an end. Yet still he persisted. Instead he would leave, he would fade. And if there was anything for him to do with the remainder of his life, it would be to arrange the rest of their spells in his neat, regimented columns and discover what else lay at their base. Elric had taught that he must find his own work; now he had. This was his work. This was who he was. Kell had told him. You have hidden so well that any more you might have been is lost. You have become these regimented paths, and the places to which they lead.

Only when he knew all the Shadows had put inside him could he truly know what he was. He had already discovered three basic postulates; there must be more. And he would find them, because was that not his role in all this, to know all that should not be known, and to bear its burden?

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