This is much worse than I expected. Jirni paced around Dorian\'s office while assessing the gravity of Othre\'s predicament in the light of the most recent developments.
Royal Constables don\'t deal with mages.
It\'s the duty of the Mage Association to prevent idiots with more power than brain from endangering the Kingdom and its subjects.
My problem is that if I call in the Knight\'s Guard without a proper cover story, panic will spread.
Even if she wasn\'t referring to him, Dorian felt the need to justify himself anyway.
I assure you that there has been no early sign of a conspiracy of this magnitude.
I performed background checks on every mage that entered the city during the last months.
Also, the materials necessary to build a lab need special permission to be bought.
There\'s no record of someone applying for one in years.
It\'s not your fault.
Necromancer or not, we are dealing with someone smart enough to cover their tracks.
We don\'t even know what is their real agenda.
Based on what Lith said, made mages and blue pillars victims might be failed experiments.
Even though I don\'t see what they could possibly achieve by giving powers to random people.
But if Manohar is right and we are dealing with the making of a cursed artifact, then only the missing people are relevant and the rest it\'s just a diversion.
Think about it.
Small time nobles dying in the middle of the day are bound to draw attention and so are rogue mages bent on destruction.
We need more information and we need them fast.
We don\'t know how close the mastermind is to bring their plan to fruition.
We could require a copy of Brigadier General Vorgh\'s report for the Kaduria events. Kamila proposed.
Lith said that the aftereffects of the Black Star and of the blue pillar are similar.
Kaduria\'s world energy was sealed by the arrays.
Maybe after disabling them, the General noticed something that could help us understand what\'s happening here.
Lith considered it a waste of time, but said nothing.
\'I\'ve never seen blue pillars before, not even after Abominations absorbed small villages\' worth of world energy.
The phenomenon must be related to the kind of Forbidden magic employed.
Since we are clutching at straws though, we might as well give it a try.\' He thought.
Then, after pondering Jirni\'s and Dorian\'s words, Kamila took out her communication amulet and started browsing through her notes.
Her hands moved on the holographic interface with the grace of a pianist during a solo.
Her expression was so focused that Jirni stopped pacing to not disturb her work.
I knew it! She said with a warm smile that reminded Lith the reason he had asked her out the first time they had met, right after she had finished reproaching him.
There was something in her disposition that made her more than sunny, almost radiant.
So far we have considered the nobles involved with the blue pillars as victims, but if we consider them part of a bigger scheme, then I think this could give us a lead. Kamila handed her communication amulet to Jirni.
The data collected showed that every victim had renovated a part of their mansions during the previous months.
Some had set new arrays, others had bought new magical commodities.
Taken individually, each order was inconspicuous, but once put them all together, there were more than enough magical resources to build a decent lab.
Excellent job, Lieutenant. Jirni said while returning the amulet.
Do a reverse search and find me someone that fits the profile of the victims and the timeline of the purchases who is still alive.
The first name I want you to check is Arik Xolver.
Kamila frowned as soon as she typed the name.
Count Xolver had been flagged by the Mage Association multiple times over the years, but there were no recent activities on his accounts.
To Dorian, Jirni said: Damn! Why didn\'t you check on him He has an Alchemical lab, a Forgemastering Lab and at least two others.
With all this stuff, he could be doing everything by himself.
He has no magical powers and whenever he built a lab, a certified magician worked for him.
We didn\'t intervene because he has the means but not the skills to use them.
When the problems started, I searched his place and checked his inventories.
There was nothing missing and he hasn\'t hired a mage in the last two years.
I can send another team to make sure the magical equipment is still on the place too if you want.
No, it\'s better to wait.
We have no solid evidence he is related to this story.
I can\'t just storm inside his house and interrogate him.
Before we ask him questions, I need to know some answers.
While Lieutenant Yehval searches for more potential suspects, I want everyone to rest.
We have to be ready if another made mage appears and if they don\'t, I want to take a look around the old temple to check for glowing blue eyed people.
It took Kamila a couple of hours to complete her task.
Knowing what she was looking for and the timeframe for the purchase of magical materials to be relevant, allowed her to narrow her research greatly.
Since it was almost sundown, the group decide to scout the area where Hessie lived and make sure that her claims weren\'t just born out of superstition.
The building called the old temple was one of the rare relics of the time before Magus Lochra Silverwing gifted her legacy to the Garlen continent.
After mages learned to perform tier four and five magic, religions had slowly disappeared.
The temple was located in the outer Rim of Othre, in one of the oldest and poorest parts of the city.
The district was too distant from the city gates to be of any use for the merchants.
The streets were narrow and the pavements were full of cracks and holes due to the lack of maintenance.
Lith noticed the lack of beggars and street urchins that were common in all the other zones of the outer rim that he had visited.
\'I wonder if it\'s because they got scared by the people going missing in the neighborhood or just because the residents have nothing to worth stealing.\' Lith thought.
The old temple belonged to Xhal, the god of healing.
It reminded Lith of a Greek temple.
It was a simple rectangular shrine with protruding side walls, forming a small porch.
The temple was composed of two sections.
An outer space surrounded by columns, and the inner area which housed a stone altar engraved with runes belonging to a lost language and a statue of Xhal.
Both areas of the temple were entered and exited through ornate niches.
The god was depicted as a bearded man wearing an ample robe.
His right hand held a human heart, while the left one was destroyed, either by time or thieves.
Is it me, or this guy resembles Arthan, the Mad King Lith had seen Arthan\'s picture more than once while researching for a cure for his reincarnation problem.
The others had no idea of who Lith was talking about and there was no time to explain to them the whole story, so they kept looking around the temple.