When I woke days later, Li-Ming had left the city, and none knew where she had gone. They have told me that it was impossible to hide what had occurred, for all throughout Caldeum the column of smoke that rose from the Sanctum could be seen, and from the outside the scars of our battle were obvious in the sheared and shattered stone.

Here my knowledge of the wizard's story ends, and my decision awaits. When mages threatened to tear our world apart, a Vizjerei master founded the order of the assassins, the mage hunters, who would ensure that we could not grow so powerful that all would be imperiled. He stood here in my place, speaking to the first assassin just as we speak now, and consigned many a great mage to death.

For my part, this will be the second time I have done so.

I believe she knew that it was I who sent you to watch Isendra, and despite what that must mean, she let me live, knowing that as I once sealed Isendra's death, I might do the same to her.

But understand this: Li-Ming did not lie. There are tomes within our library that describe the events that may now be coming to pass. It all begins with a star falling from the heavens, and such a star did fall the day I fought Li-Ming.

I know the true nature of magic and of who and what I am. Li-Ming knows these things as well, but she has come to a different course. This is the puzzle put before us, assassin. I am not blind to the evil that stalks us, but I fear for what Li-Ming might seek to undertake. Thus I consign to death my brightest student, perhaps the world's best hope for salvation, and pray that I have chosen rightly.

But I remember a girl who stood before me in this very room and feared nothing. I remember a selfless young woman who wished to do good, to whom no task was too great and no feat lay outside the realm of possibility. A woman who looked to me for guidance.

She has made her choice, and I have made mine.



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