"As you can see, we are dealing with some extremely advanced magic." Castien walked back to the front of the small room in the observatory, standing once again in front of the series of blackboards on which he had written the passages from the books he had been studying.
"This is unlike anything I've ever seen before in my entire life. And I've seen much advanced magic throughout my life. This ancient secret ritual - last used several hundred years ago - is so complex that even some of my most powerful spells and incantations cannot begin to compare to the power of this magic."
"Professor Elenviel," began one professor in the back of the room, "What exactly is our interest in such powerful and dark magic anyway? Isn't it best that we simply let the forgotten secrets stay forgotten?"
"One might be tempted to think so," Castien responded, "But I feel that this spell can be of use - somehow."
"I see," said the professor. "Well, if that's what you think, then by all means, continue - for what purpose have you brought us all here, other than to listen to you talk about your newest research project?"
"I would like to request all of your help in discovering the secret to this ancient spell. It appears that my knowledge and expertise of the dark arts alone is not enough. Professor Angelus," Castien said as he turned to the professor in question, "It seems that some ancient runes are involved with which I am not familiar. I was wondering what you could make of these." With that, Castien produced a huge, dusty stone tablet covered on one side with runes. They had an odd property to them that Castien couldn't quite place, and they were completely foreign to him.
Lumen's face, however, lit up with sudden interest. "Oh my... these are - where exactly did you find this tablet? I've been studying these runes for years, but little of the original samples remain. If you could show me where you found these runes, I'm sure there would be more there that could prove useful to me - and I would be more than happy to assist you in your project."
"I will show you the location where I discovered this tablet as soon as the meeting is concluded, Professor," Castien said, "Assuming you're free to take a.. bit of a stroll with me?"
"Of course, of course," the professor answered. "I must say, I am rather impressed that you managed to find something like this - this civilization has not been seen or heard from in... well, I'm not sure quite how long, actually. Only the most devoted of scholars research this sort of thing anymore."
"yes, well," Castien said, "As I said, I will be able to discuss the details with you after this meeting is over. In the meantime, I ask only that each of you look into these," Castien said as he distributed several items to specific professors in the room - the runic tablet to Lumen, some strange implements to the professor of Applied Physical Magic, and a bottle half-full of liquid which had congealed and thickened considerably to the Potions and Elixirs Professor, to whom, as he was handing over the bottle, he said, "I wouldn't try to drink this if I were you, Professor."
After all of the items were handed out, Castien announced the conclusion of the meeting, asking each professor to examine their samples over the next week and planning another meeting for the same day the following week.
Lumen and Castien met up after the other professors had left outside the observatory. "Are you ready?" he asked.
"I've been ready since you showed me this," Lumen replied, indicating the tablet in his hands. "I'm eager to see just where this came from."
"Well, let's go," Castien said. "I hope you brought your walking shoes."