When a wizard named Mendalus develops a spell that summons an obedient woman named Catherine--exactly like any other summoning spell--it creates chaos in the wizard-metropolis of Meltheria, as many interested parties struggle to understand the nature (and legality) of the Catherine spell, while vast fortunes hang in the balance.
"We're nothing new. We've always been here. YOU're the newcomers. You're the animal that forgot that it was a man. Stop crying, you animal, you sleepwalker! If you opened your eyes for only an instant you would see that. You're a race of amnesiacs, of dreaming children. I said STOP CRYING! You disgust me. That's why I'm not going to explain anything else. That's why you will die--screaming--without ever having truly woken up. I will paint every inch of this floor with your blood."
-An Awakened, formerly Ms. Albright, speaking to Albert Frond, immediately before his murder
A family of semi-retired doomsday cultists, just trying to live a quiet life while tending an apple orchard in the country. Except with complications.
If it was a castle, it was the strangest one he had ever seen.
He of course saw the main tower - taller than anything he had seen outside of Stoneholt, the spire looked fragile and was topped by a glassed-in chamber.
The outer wall was so gently sloped that it would have only stopped a horde of hobbling old men, an able-bodied soldier could stride up to its crest with little effort. Within one saw a huge, nearly perfect bowl-shaped area with the base of the tower in the centre, covered in hundreds of mirrors.
This structure is a massive solar collector designed by the Wizard-King Aardwal in centuries past. He used the concentrated light in his investigations into the magic of light, and in the fashioning of flash crystals.