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Curmudgeonly poodle-lady wants her money back.

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"It was a sizable collection." Gao added, suddenly feeling conscious of his accent around this intimidating woman. "He had his own library of books on the Arcane arts, at least that's what most of them must be for Arland to be so secretive about it. We believe we saw him inside the building, but he rushed past us and escaped before we could interrogate him."

Looking to Yineffe, he remembered distinctly hearing the sound of cloth ripping. "Yineffe, do you still have that piece of fabric from his jacket that you took? We may be able to track him using a scrying spell if we act quickly enough before he has time to erect counter measures."

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Realizing that she still, in fact, had the fabric she tore from the stranger, Yineffe reached into her outside pocket and produced it. Bontavia eyed her with an expression of doubt and studied the cloth carefully. "You may sit, if you wish." She spoke mostly to Gao, eyeing him just the same. 

Bontavia stood away from the window and walked over to her desk. "I believe this fabric is being effected by a glamor." She spoke the word as if both of them should know it. Yineffe glanced to Gao, a baffled look on her face. Bontavia pulled a large tome from her desk drawer and flicked through the pages.

"What is a Glamor, exactly?" Yineffe hesitated in the question, trying to recall if she had ever seen one used or heard reference to a glamor before. She had not. 

Bontavia gave a sigh of mild annoyance. "A glamor," she began, still leafing through her book. "Is an illusion spell, a magical hat and coat, if you will. It changes select properties of items to disguise them. For example, A clever pirate might use a glamor to hide valuable cargo in plain sight, make plundered treasure look like fresh fruit. It's very difficult to master and an incorrectly cast glamor can twist and deform the object you want to effect, even destroy it."

Yineffe considered Arland's disappearance, how no one had been able to locate him. "Can a glamor be used on a person?"

A toothy smile took Bontavia's face. "They can..." She twisted the scrap of fabric in her hands, the color changing from black to orange in a flicker of light.  

She examined the now changed piece of fabric, a deep frown forming. She threw the scrap back at Yineffe, unimpressed. "It's a window curtain."

Yineffe handed the fabric to Gao for his reference. "So Arland's using a glamor on himself?"

Bontavia wandered back to the window and patted one of her hounds head in affection. "Most likely. It's strange," she mused, tossing her hair. "I didn't think he was so advanced..."

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"He can't have gotten this far on his own." The fact that it evaded his senses told him this must be advanced enchantment, which required someone very talented as a teacher to pass on the technique. "There's no way he could have made it so far, let alone survive the rigors of the process, without a teacher. It's possible some of the money you loaned him went to such a mentor."

"I'm not familiar with this city, but could there be some other center of learning magical knowledge besides this Academy?" He hoped the woman wasn't offended by the question, but time was of the essence.

In Alethea, nearly all the different races there had some means of learning the ways of magic. Whether it was the ordered and highly sought after curriculum of the Dragonborn like himself, or the esoteric and dangerous arts of the arrakoa. Magic was an incredible thing, and Gao felt sorrow that someone might be using it for nefarious purposes. 

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