The fire in the hearth roared as Stolf rummaged through the plethora of vials on his shelf. There were large ones and small ones, all of which contained some exotic or rare ingredients. The vials were an array of bright and vibrant colors. A lazy pungent smoke rose from a cauldron.
The boy sat silently on the cobblestone floor. Stolf paid him no heed, and he continued throwing ingredients into the cauldron chanting under his breath. After hours, Stolf inhaled deeply and looked to his page.
"Dear boy, I think we may have finished. Give it a look and let's see what we have," said Stolf with a smile.
The page, excited to be noticed, ran to the cauldron. He peeked over the edge. A thick, dark, and sap-like liquid bubbled lazily.
"What am I looking for, master?"
"Do, you not see it? Look closer, dear boy," said Stolf as he placed a gentle hand on the boy's shoulder.
The page leaned farther over the cauldron, but could not make any sense of the concoction. As he opened his mouth to speak, the page felt a cold blade slide across his throat and saw his blood spill into the black liquid.