“The Coven and Rovers have sent a joint message, a request for your assistance, Headmaster.”
“As I am certain you are aware, we do not . . .”
“Pardon, Headmaster, they say they’ve found an anomaly between their territories, in some woods. They would like some Tower scholars to help them best investigate it.”
Waite leaned back in the chair and folded his long fingers into a ball on his chest. His eyes moved to the door, but Tobias sensed they were seeing something far beyond the mere walls of the office or even the Tower.
“What sort of anomaly?” Tobias said, softly, when the Headmaster’s eyes became unfocused.
“They didn’t say, only that it was big. And I got the feeling they meant in terms of size, not effect.”
Waite chose that moment to return to the conversation, “Master Jacobs, what are you teaching this term?”
“Early History of Sorcery, Western Civ to 1600, Saxon Runes,” Tobias rattled off, “And I’m covering Babylonian Glyphs, after Master Thomlin’s . . . accident. Master Arden’s covering Intro to Rune Lore, as junior-most.”
“Hmm. We can reassign those, even if we need to overload someone,” Waite said, obviously thinking aloud. “With your expertise, I think we will attempt to assist the Coven and Rovers. Choose a couple other members of the faculty, not Master Thomlin, of course. Junior would be best, given the nature of field work. No more than three, in addition to yourself. No reason to leave us entirely short staffed.”
“What about the senior faculty?”
Waite smiled, “They will just have to get used to teaching some of the introductory courses again, for a time. This should only take a week or two. It will be good for them, perhaps a bit humility building.”
“Why me?” Tobias noted the messenger’s interest in the question as well, nothing more than a quirked eyebrow but it was still there.
“Basic skill set, Jacobs. Barring any other information, we do not know if this thing is natural or unnatural. If the latter, your knowledge of cultures and languages can be helpful in identifying the magic,” Waite waved absently toward the area beyond the room, “If you would like my advice, I recommend taking a mixed team, cover as many specialties as three people can. More angles.”
Jacobs nodded, his mind already reviewing some candidates. Although he had only been at the Tower for a few years, the faculty body was small enough that there were no nameless faces.
As Tobias left for his office, he heard the Headmaster say, “Ms. Johnson, if you could, inform the Coven and Rovers, assuming the latter are still present, that we will have a small group of specialists available to them in a few days. We really cannot assemble qualified individuals faster than that, with a new class of students only just arrived.”