Thaum was snapped out of a research fugue as his cell phone rang, he glanced away from the 200 year old tome he was painstakingly translating. The phone said four missed calls from Marcus, one of the few in the local magic scene that would actually be called a friend. he casually tapped the phone to answer the call. "hey Marcus, whats up?" being called at odd hours of the night was not surprising as several spirits or particularly nasty vampires had to be dealt with sometimes.
"Thaum, what the hell happened?" answered Marcus
Thaum was about to return to reading the tome, but his tone was nearly accusatory. "What do you mean by What the hell happened?"
"You dont know?" asked Marcus this time almost accusing Thaum of stupidity.
Thaum spent several heart beats trying to think of something like, having missed a night at the pub or something but this sounded much more serious. "Uhm no Marcus, what are you talking about?"
Thaum grimaced at the name. He wasnt exactly popular with the local magical hierarchy but he wasn't breaking any of the rules, If severely bending a few. That being said, he didn't think that those at the top would have known or cared about him. "What about him?" asked Thaum cautiously. Marcus was tied to the magical society much more closely than he was and might be giving him a heads up about some sweeping rule change or a crack down on his kind of magic.
"He is dead.. your name was carved into his chest." said Marcus. Thaum had half a mind to start laughing at the ridiculousness but how Marcus was talking made him sure that this was no prank. Thaum stayed quiet for several long seconds trying to think how or why such a thing might happen.
"Wh- what? when? how?"
"He was found a few hours ago, i have a few friends that give me a little info on things like this.. Look, i shouldn't even be talking to you, I'm probably going to get into a hell of a lot of trouble over this.. b- but i know you man. You wouldn't have killed Mauser. Hell, I doubt you could have even if you wanted to. I mean, I'm just calling to let you know that the Guardians are coming to collect you so that you don't do something stupid when they do."
Thaum stayed silent for another moment, "Oh shit..." he finally said as the weight of the situation dawned on him, and that weight threw him into a panic. "Right, thanks uh- for letting me know" He hung up on Marcus, later he might realize that ending the call probably made him sound guilty as hell but that didn't matter. There was going to be a proverbial witch hunt that probably started minutes after finding the body and reading his name.
Which meant, the witch hunt started hours ago and he didnt have time to prepare for it. Thaum snapped the book closed and dropped it on his desk thinking furiously as to what he might need and not realizing he was muttering aloud "ok.. chalk, rosemary, belladonna, candles, some silver and gold, iron, charcoal..." he continued muttering ingredients for most common summoning rituals. His little collection grew into a messy pile before he realized he needed to stop because he didn't have time to make a real plan. "Ok ok, stop it Thaum, basics for an emergency case. That's all. Except that emergency case is my own survival." He clenched his teeth and calmed himself like he would before a ritual which due to practice only took several moments. Once calm he ran through what he needed much easier only collecting what was vital: a hat, jacket, a simple sturdy cane, a pack with simplistic ritual components, some cash, his dinky little handgun, and finally his little black book of demons.
With all that in hand he left his apartment and locked the door behind him and thumbing the rune etched into the door activating his magical defenses as pathetic as they where. He set off down the street hat pulled low.