Keys of Binding, Interlude - Dreamscape
The three friends from York rested in the Twisted stronghold, healing their wounds and recovering their strength. Sophia was resting in the dormitory when she felt something prickle on the edge of her consciousness. She focused, and felt that someone was trying to make contact with her. Cautiously, she probed the contact, discerning that it was friendly . . . and indeed a friend!
“Sophia?” asked a voice that she recognised as Manzio’s.
“Manzio? Is that you?” she asked. “Where are you?”
“I’m outside my father’s villa,” he replied.
“But how can that be?” asked Sophia, knowing that her friend was in Scotia just a few days before.
“I know, but something brought me here.”
“What was it?”
“I don’t know. Can you sense anything?”
“I’ll try.” Sophia extended her senses outward, beyond Manzio, trying to see through his eyes and feel the environment around him.
“Manzio, I think you are dreaming,” she said.
As her senses extended through the surrounding area, she suddenly felt the presence of three men in the villa. She focused on each in turn, and felt anger, violence, and flame in each of them. She also sensed that they had killed several people and were looking for more victims.
“You have to be careful Manzio. I sense real danger for you. There are three men in the house who mean to do you harm.”
“I am hiding,” replied the Vesuvian. “Can you do anything to make them leave?”
Sophia extended her senses again. Each of the men was searching through the villa, and she could sense their uncertainty – had they killed all the residents or were some still alive and in hiding?
The enchantress brushed against the mind of one man, gently suggesting that there was no-one left. He called out to the others in a strange language, but somehow Sophia could understand him. “We’re done here. We’ve got them all.”
His companion grunted. Sophia subtly guided his thoughts, and he agreed with the first man, calling out to the last. “Come on, let’s go.”
Sophia moved on to the last man, suggesting he agree with the others. “Alright,” he said. “Let’s get out of here.”
As the three violent men began to leave, Sophia sensed a fourth presence. She focused, and felt that this one was the leader of the group, an intelligent and powerful sorcerer. She pulled back and made contact with Manzio once more.
“Three of them are leaving, but there is one more, a powerful sorcerer. I think you should go.”
“I am hidden in the shadows, they may spot me if I move. Can you suggest to the leader that he should go as well?”
Sophia agreed, and somewhat nervously touched the mind of the powerful sorcerer. Immediately she felt a powerful reaction! “How dare you enter the mind of Justus!” came the furious response. Immediately she felt the mental equivalent of a punch in the face, and the contact with the mind of Justus was forcefully broken.
Reeling, and with a terrible headache, Sophia found the strength for one last contact with her friend. “Manzio! The last one is too powerful, he sensed my presence and attacked me. Be careful, my friend, and good luck.”