“Are you aware of the news out of Aylodae, Master?”
A man shrouded in dark robes, cloaked with the hood drawn over his head, turned from the shelves of his library. The room was nearly entirely dark, but he could see the outline of his apprentice standing behind him. “No, Eclipse. Enlighten me.”
Eclipse shook her dark hair out of her face, her fiery scarlet irises glowing faintly. “There was an attack on the Instructory, or an ambush, more correctly. Less than a quarter of the graduating class survived, and all but one of the entire staff was slain. Six individuals appeared to be responsible; one was captured but died before being questioned. The losses to the Instructory numbered around eighty in total.”
“Six responsible for the death of eighty? Impressive work.” the Master said, browsing through titles on the shelves. “And in Aylodae, no less. . . we may have a vested interest in this matter. Has the responsible party been identified?”
“In spite of the capture of one of the attackers, no.” Eclipse answered, raising an arm. A raven alighted on her wrist, croaking. “My informant tells me there is interesting news, though. All of the attackers were wearing masks, and that the mask on the captured attacker is sealed to his face with magic. The company of mage knights assigned to Arcanis in the wake of the attack are working on removing the mask from the attacker’s face.”
“Masks. . . we may possess a book on cults utilizing masks.” the Master replied, still searching the shelves. “And the deaths? By magic or by the sword?”
“Magic. A few were killed by arrows, but it was obvious the intent was that all the targets be slain with spell circles. Very complex spell circles, I’m told.” Eclipse amended as the raven croaked once more.
“Masks and magic. . . most intriguing, and strikingly familiar. Our library will have something on this matter, I need only find it. . . meanwhile, we may be served well by a closer eye on the matter.” the Master mused.
“Understood. I will prepare my gear.” Eclipse said, turning and departing with a whirl of her black cloak. “I’ve caught wind of a secret emissary from the Archsage, gone to Arcanis with a message for a select few of the surviving senior students, and as I understand, it involves a mission pertaining to the attack. . .”
“An excellent place to start. May the night speed your flight, Eclipse.”