I. Not unsurprisingly, the very placement of the “Death Spells” spoke quite eloquently to the Sorcerer’s Guild being an outmoded, nearly powerless organization. No-one would put them so close to the very front of the library, half-shielded from the view of the not-so-vigilant librarian. If they had any potency left, they’d be locked away. Who leaves weapons of mass destruction where they’re easily accessed? Either those who no longer care, or those who realize that there’s no power left.
Or both, of course.
II. Not that Alembric was particularly complaining. His Master senile, his classes dull beyond the ability of even most potent words to describe, he was biding his time until he could find out something halfway useful. Tradition and age-old practice be damned; he just wanted a few things he could use when he finally left in full disguest.
III. Stealing even the most complicated-looking librum wasn’t hard. The librarian had to be at the very edge of whatever age sucks even a powerful mage dry; assuming there were any powerful mages left. Alembric hadn’t needed to even run out of the building.
IV. Still, he was at least a tad cautious. He carefully caught and assembled a few mice; start with something small, easy, and lacking in life force, and go from there, eh?
V. When they found his much-gnawed body, some of the less-experienced mages looked away. The rest started on impassively. “You know, a death-spell takes extraordinary coordination. Fire it off without focus and thought, and it will simply come back you to bite you.” said old man Cheronko. He grinned, briefly. “…although, really, it’s the rats who do the majority of the actual biting.”