The tower of the Arcane Chalearii Aemilianus Latens was the most wondrous of the outer towers in the Royal Castle. Its curved walls were lined with bookshelves that reached nearly to the roof, and its cabinets were filled with alchemical ingredients. Exotic scents from herbs and reagents hovered in the air, so potent they were almost visible.
In the center of it, standing over an alchemical laboratory equipped with some of the most refined instrument, was Aemilianus Latens, the Arcane Chalearii, Prophet of the Ancients and First Arcanist of the Kingdom, performing one of his usual duties.
The bald head of Aemilianus reflected the light of the floating candles, which were held aloft by a seemingly complex arcane mechanism, giving the illusion of being held by invisible hands, which was actually a simple spell formula that distorted the light around the threads supporting them
Aemilianus understood that pageantry and mystique were important to the role of an arcanist
-Everyone, please be extremely careful,- the Arcane Chalearii instructed his assistants. -I'm about to mix up some extremely volatile reagents.-
The assistants all stopped in their tracks and looked at him with confidence. They were sure that even in a storm, he would be able to mix the compounds with his eyes closed. To them, Aemilianus’ precision was almost an artistic expression rather than a mundane task.
This was a task that Aemilianus had performed many times before, but he preferred the peace and quiet. His former laboratory had been much quieter than the tower, and he was considering making a new one underground.
The ingredients were a secret mixture of dried-out flowers that had been diluted in water and filtered to obtain a particular compound. Combined with reactive Cibus dust, it created a very strong adhesive that could be activated and deactivated using Vis
The mixing had to be done in small batches to prevent the compound from activating by absorbing Vis from the surrounding areas and turning into a powerful adhesive that could not be deactivated
As Aemilianus inched the contents of the delicate metallic spoon ever closer to the receptacle on the table, his pulse as firm and steady as a steel rod, he felt a presence, an energy he hadn't felt in decades.
He sniffed the air and caught a faint aroma of Vis. It was a scent so nostalgic that it almost drew a tear from his eye. Someone was using a spell formula, an ancient one, one that he knew, one that he had witnessed.
The Arcane Chalearii was attuned with the Vis across the capital, it was part of the reason he got the job, his uncanny ability to sense this energy and any large concentrations of it, to the point he could even pinpoint the location and deduce it’s effect from this sensation alone.
Someone was using a spell formula created by Ultracras, the previous Rex, also known as the Mad Rex. Aemilianus knew it well, as Ultracras himself had been one of his Arcane teachers.
The shock was so great that even Aemilianus, the picture of perfection when it came to Arcane Sciences, made a mistake.
He dropped too much of the compound into the reactive Cibus dust, produced a failed version that got so hard and tightened up so fast that the crystal beaker in which it formed cracked and imploded, pulled towards the center of the adhesive.
Everyone was shocked. No one had ever seen the Arcane Chalearii make a mistake, but none of the apprentices dared to speak. They stared at their master in disbelief, waiting for his reaction.
His first words were not what they expected.
-Call forth Saxum, Dratus, and Flos. I need them.- The Prophet of the Ancients who ignored the failure behind him and focused on something that no one else could feel
The apprentices were silent for a moment before reacting.
-But Chalearii? The adhesive…?- one of the apprentices ventured to say before he was interrupted.
-Saxum, Dratus, and Flos… NOW!- Aemilianus snapped, his tone so cutting it could have matched Callis's cleavers in a fight.
The apprentice almost fell flat on his face as he rushed down the spiraling staircase floating inside the perimeter of the tower. He crossed the door like a bat out of hell, looking for the Arcane Chalearii's close confidants.
Meanwhile, in another of the castle's towers, Conatus Canes was going over documentation for the upcoming Five Lord Council meeting when Sagitta erupted into the room in a rush.
-Brother! I have urgent news!- He spoke between pants, clearly out of breath.
-Breathe, Sagitta. Calm down.- Conatus stood up and paced around his desk until he reached the panting young Ensis. He placed a hand on his half-brother's shoulder.
Sagitta took a deep breath, following his brother's instructions.
-There was a massive arcane event in the city. Your people got the message through as fast as they could. A bubble of arcane energy lifted a barge over the river and kept it suspended up there.- The young Ensis explained.
-Suspended? Like being held aloft by the air itself?- Conatus listened with interest. This phenomenon was something he knew about. Something he read, deep down within the bowels of the castle.
-Exactly. It seems our cousin and Novus Igneus were involved in the incident.- Sagitta explained, a bit shocked that Conatus knew what was going on.
-Send word. We need to find the source of the arcane event and support Callis and Igneus.- Conatus ordered his half-brother, urgency clear in his voice. His eyes gleaming with dangerous determination.
-Yes… It will be done.- Sagitta stumbled with his words for a moment, before nodding and leaving in a rush.
The Young Ensis was confused about how his brother knew the effect of the Arcane Event without even seeing it, but for now he just wanted to help his brother.
Conatus turned around to observe the city from his window. If this arcane event was what he imagined, it meant that somebody out there had the remaining pages of the writings left by the Mad Rex, Ultracras.
The Magnus Chalearii had spent many years and many resources gathering every scrap of information he could about Ultracras and his work, as he was more advanced than anybody else had ever been in centuries when it came to the true heart of the Arcane Sciences.
Conatus expected that these old research papers unlocked the secrets he needed to push Via towards the shining future he desired.