Chapter 25

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"Where else," Arhyvhynne asked rhetorically, "but at the beginning?"

The Council reviewed the events that had led up to the disappearance of the Rune of Destruction. They even tried to incorporate any suspicious events which predated Uriel's arrival in Khaballe, but could only come up with the rumors of the SoulSlayers in the north. So they surmised that Uriel either instigated or precipitated the events.

Next, the Council examined the circumstances surrounding the coming of Uriel. The event was of such proportion that FireQueen had innately known of his appearance. Someone had deemed him important enough to construct a huge barrier to confine or protect him in conjunction with the SoulSlayers either coming after him or for him. To support the theory that the Slayers had been after Uriel, Arhyvhynne brought up Khyrhyelle's encounter with Ahrokh and Uriel's confrontation of him. But Qelharre pointed out that it was a non-contest. Neither Uriel nor the Slayer were ever seriously in danger. Uriel had not been attacked at all and the Slayer had only taken a hard fall.

There was also the wizard's inexplicable ability to perform the Ritual of Renascence on two occasions without need of a replacement. It was obviously the reason that Uriel was secured within a barrier when Khyrhyelle was killed. But the identity of the murderer remained a mystery as did the reason behind it and the real reason behind the barrier. Was Uriel imprisoned so that he could not bring Khyrhyelle back or was it a convenient explanation as to why he was unavailable to perform the ritual?

Finally, there were the Trials, of which both the High Witch and Eyrmysse could testify that Uriel was somehow a part of. Based on Arhyvhynne's Trials and the scan of Qenthyeffe, they could now assume that the SoulSlayers had been sent by Satarsmyt, that the demon was a known factor in the disappearance of the Rune of Destruction and was most likely involved in Khyrhyelle's death. But even so, it was generally thought by the witches that the demon had the assistance of someone within the Towers.

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