Zandu staightened up from his writing desk, the candles all flickering on their dying wicks. His eyes were exhausted and back ached, but he had finally finished transcribing the variant spells discovered in the odious derro Vreeg's spellbook. He called an unseen servant to fetch him the wine he had chilling and settled into a pipe he had promised himself as a reward for finishing his task. As thick rings hovered overhead he reflected over the events that led to this spellbook coming into his possession, and events that had happened since.
When Vreeg the necromancer was brought to justice under Bordana's stern gaze, his spell book was claimed by Zandu, who at the time was wryly amused at the fact that his first prize of magic combat to the death was a tome of the spells he found most difficult to read, let alone use. The variants made it a great prize none the less. Now, it would seem his battle was again against the very forces of magic that were shadowy and dim to Zandu - necromancy, with disease and rot. He barely knew the rudimentary basics of its magic, and it seemed he was in need of an expert, or at least an educated student.
Jolistina Susperio was as enigmatic as she was charismatic. She too, was an Acadamae Graduate, and an accomplished summoner in her own right. Her specialty, however, was necromancy, magics that could twist and control life energies, even after death. It was hard to know for sure, but Zandu believed her to be roughly the same age as he - within a couple of years any way. She was cool and distant to everyone, except two other women who were close associates. It seemed you never saw one of the trio alone, though rarely you would come across only 2 of them. All three were excellent mages, and known for impressive magical stamina, Jolistina especially always seemed to have one more spell ready than her opponent or rival. Of course the closeness of this trio led to many ribald rumors and stories, but Zandu believed he knew the true drawstring that bound them together. He believed, though he never voiced his opinion, that they were all sorceresses studying wizardry. They called themselves the Ashen Sisters, and Jolistina was their undisputed maven. Surely she would be interested in Vreeg's spellbook, and he might be able to exchange it to her for some information and perhaps some protection against the coming plagues.
His last task before retiring was to pen a note, a dinner invitation at a place of her choosing, to be sent to Madam Susperio through acadamae channels. The note included a teaser of the book he hoped to show and trade to her. He happily allowed the candles to burn out, and smoked as he fell asleep in a comfortable chair.