"What happened?" demanded Steward Arkiber.
Roberr had sent the guards away, but the rest of the privy council had arrived on the top of the keep before the troopers had finished filing back down the narrow stone stairs. Miledha was nowhere to be seen, but then she wouldn't be -- not if she still hoped to take Roberr out of the keep tonight.
"It was a messenger," said Roberr. "Captain Dezarr had it sent to repeat the terms of his offer."
"It was a greater demon," pointed out Brother Wend, "one of the uppermost flight -- the dark world's equivalent of a duke or even an arch-duke. Did you feel its power? It could have torn down half the keep by itself."
"Well," said Roberr, "that was part of the message."
"That is... quite a message," said Brother Wend. "There are only a few conjurers in the Order who would deal with such as that. I don't know of any who would dare summon such a thing."
"Will they be able to protect us from it?" That was Sir Berrn, who managed to make the question sound like just another matter for consideration, rather than cause for screaming panic.
"Yes," answered Wend, "though we'll need a group of trained adepts. Battle is a very different matter from conjuration."
"It changes nothing," said Roberr. "We're safe until the truce expires. If we receive support before that, we have a chance. If not..." He shrugged. "We'll see. Now... can we get down off this roof, before anything else comes to visit us?"