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A deep shadow had fallen over Tower Gardelle. The clock struck ten fifteen as it was swallowed whole into the darkness there. Destrim, an elderly wizard, peaked out of his window into the shadow. Mixed into it was a burgundy mist that was slowly finding its way into the old brick-laid building. Wood creaked and the bricks trembled in its presence. Nothing could stop the magic from getting inside. It was weighted down with something that he couldn't place, something dark and dangerous.

Destrim sighed, closing the curtain and staring at the dark red of it instead of at the magic. If he was a younger magician, and not so rusty with his skills, he might be able to push it back. But, as it stood, the only thing he could do was go to his book.

He walked with a slight limp over to his desk, the familiar dusty wood covered with objects and sheets of spell paper. To the left of the center of it lay an old notebook, scarcely bigger than his hand and as long as his pocket. It was bound together with old sap and merry-dew, all which used to be young when he first plucked them. A page teared as he opened the book, several of them stuck together with dried food and filled with tea splotches. In places even the writing had rubbed off, but he paid that no attention. With a diligence, he paged through it, looking for a spell to reveal the nature of that mist. Wind howled outside as Destrim continued to look, his old mind growing frustrated as he reached the end and couldn't find it. He knew that he had done a spell similar in his younger years and recorded it, but it couldn't be found.

The smell of cooked meat and broth distracted him for a moment as the door to his study opened. "Destrim," called his assistant, "your stew is boiling. Shall I lower the fire for you?"

He waved her off before answering, his voice old and crooked. "Yes, yes. And while you're at it go to the library and get me my other spell book. This one is useless. Useless."

She nodded, backing out and closing the door loudly. Luistia didn't look much like an assistant, more strongly built with muscles than the lithe arms of a young magician. She didn't care much for magic either.

"Now, that girl needs to get her head out of the clockwork and back into magic. How am I supposed to pass on my magic when all she wants to do is work?" he asked himself with a sigh. Destrim shook his head. "I wonder...Mirianette!"

The young girl didn't call back to him, but he could hear her running around somewhere below. More than likely in the library, reading through one of his spell books. Now, if she wasn't so small she could probably be of use to him. But, perhaps she might have more aptitude than her sister in his field. "Mirianette!" he called again, his voice raspy and his throat slightly pained. Destrim banged his foot on the ground for good measure, not wanting to wait for the girl to finally make her way up to him.

After a few minutes had passed, she finally made her way up, throwing open his door and looking up at him. Her brown eyes almost matched the color of her skin, light and close to amber in shade. He gave her a nod, motioning for her to come over to him. "I called you forever ago," he said.

She nodded, then shrugged, "I was busy."

"I need your help with something."

Mirianette grinned, tilting herself upwards on her tip-toes. Around her the mist was slowly entering his study, wrapping itself around her feet without alerting her in the slightest. "With what? Is it magic?"

He nodded. Destrim walked over and sat down on a stool, watching as she sat cross legged in front of him. He coughed before speaking, "I need you to help figure out what this mist is. Some sort of magic has befallen the tower, Mirianette. Can you see it?"

She took her time in answering. He watched as she moved her head around, studying the walls where it was gathering intently. Her concentration was a little off, but it was workable. Certainly something he could fix with a few solid years of training. The girl's fingers moved as she thought, hugging the sides of her gray-blue dress and bunching it up. The mist closed in around her, then moved back, working through the air like smoke in a burning house. It didn't smell of smoke, though. It had a thick magical scent that was hardly there at all. The only real smell in the air was his stew, a stronger scent than he'd have thought. Whatever the magic was, it was something he didn't like to be there. It wasn't his, and since there were no other wizards in Gardelle he could only assume that it was very bad indeed.

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