This act and its consequences came about as an oblique result of discord among the arch-magicians of the land. At this time they numbered eight: Murgen, Sartzanek, Desmei, Myolander, Baibalides, Widdefut, Coddefut and Noumique.*
*Whenever the magicians met together, another appeared: a tall shape muffled in a long black cape, with a wide-brimmed black hat obscuring his features. He stood always back in the shadows and never spoke; when one or another of the magicians chanced to look into his face they saw black emptiness with a pair of far stars where his eyes might be. The presence of the ninth magician (if such he were) at first made for uneasiness, but in due course, since the presence seemed to affect nothing, he was ignored, save for occasional side-glances.
I’m enjoying the book but wish it was more petty magicians feuding and less nobles.