It all started with a plot by the archmage Zunroun Iber of Calimport to kill the reigning Magister, Almer Galarthund. With the help of his three assistants (two of whom died in the process), Zunroun cloned himself a dozen times. Whilst secretly scrying Almer, Zunroun discovered that one of the favorite stops of the Magister for dinner was the Vizier Vanquished inn, in northern Calimshan.
When Almer went to the inn, Zunroun unleashed all his clones to attack the Magister. Almer died under the spells, but Zunroun collapsed from the fatigue. All nine surviving clones immediately became Magisters and went mad because of the sudden power. So they started to kill each other, devastating the inn. One of the few surviving inn staff members went to call the inn's hired "firestop mage", the local archmage Belmer of the Six Thunders. Meanwhile, the unconscious Zunroun was killed by his last assistant, Illinge Hardraw. Illinge was still exalting himself for the position he acquired when a spell cast from afar by Belmer killed him. Thus, the power of the Magister manifested in front of Belmer, but Belmer was quickly butchered by his own assistant, Turnock Draether, who at last become the new Magister.