By EM Malachi
Heigel looked around nervously. Suddenly, a window exploded outward, and a smoking rune landed at his feet. The mage shook his head and knocked on the door. When the frustrated mutterings on the other side didn’t acknowledge him, he entered the house. The room was cluttered with books, runes, and random artifacts piled against the walls. The table was covered with dirty dishes and highly toxic reagents. A disheveled mage in blue robes stood at the center of a pentagram.
Gilforn didn’t seem to notice him, so Heigel waved at the other mage. Gilforn smiled at him and waved back, before starting another casting on a blank rune. After a second shattered window, Gilforn seemed ready to talk. “I don’t understand. I’ve double-checked my calculations. The arcane geometry was perfect. It not as if some massive structure is occupying the same ethereal space as Britannia or anything.”
Heigel coughed. “I really need to speak with you.”
Gilforn gave an embarrassed grimace. “Sorry, it’s so easy to get lost in one’s experiments. What can I help you with?”
Heigel started his practiced spiel, “I’m calling together Moonglow’s best and brightest, because I believe we face a crisis. After talking with a wisp—”
“Wisp! Where?” shouted Gilforn as he hid behind a chair.
“The wisp isn’t here. I spoke with the Xorinite creature earlier.”
Gilforn cautiously stood back up. “Go on.”
“We were exchanging information a few weeks back, when the wisp asked if I was interested in sharing messages with a mage from beyond Sosaria on the topic of ‘interdimensional movement’ to and from Sosaria.”
Gilforn looked giddy with excitement. “Ethereal pen pals! I’m hoping you said yes.”
Heigel realized he had Gilforn’s full attention for the first time. “Given the terrible threats that have come to Britannia from across the Ethereal Void, it seemed the duty of a responsible citizen to learn such information.”
Gilforn replied, “And also you were really curious.”
“That too. With the wisp’s help, I have been exchanging letters with this other mage about the nature of the space between worlds, relics in the Ethereal Void, and important current events that affect Sosaria.”
Gilforn grabbed a scrap of paper and a broken quill from the table. “Tell me everything!”
“I don’t want to go into details yet, but what I’ve learned has me very worried. That is why I’m inviting important mages to meet at the Lycaeum tomorrow at dawn. Everyone needs to be there. Promise me that you will hear what I have to say.”
Gilforn nodded, “Of course I’ll be there. I’ll even set my alarm clock.” He motioned to a pile of tinkered gadgets and socks. “Hmm, I wonder if all of this will change my calculations…”
Heigel bid Gilforn farewell and headed back to the Lycaeum. He looked over his list, “Dexter. Check. Dryus. Check. Gilforn. Check. Only a few more to invite. Everything is going so well.” Still he couldn’t shake the feeling he was being followed.