Roberr woke in the dark, muddled and confused. He was still in his bed, but his thoughts were heavy with sleep... and with the three glasses of strong wine he'd consumed in order to get to sleep. Still, knowing that he was being watched, he struggled to come fully awake.
For a moment, he thought he heard whispers.
Still in his room, I see, said one voice, harsh and terrible even at a distance.
Yes, Captain. Either they do not have it, or it rests in their pitiful keep already.
The second voice was soft, deferential, pitched higher than the first. Roberr thought they were both male, but he couldn't be sure.
He wakes. Is he...?
He has some sensitivity, but little real skill. Such sorcery as we will face lies in the walls themselves, not in the men inside. Still, perhaps it would be best...
Withdraw. I've seen enough.
Roberr lay awake in the darkness, as the voices and the sense of being watched fell away. It might have been a nightmare, but he doubted it. He was certainly wound tight enough, but there was something about this that felt... intrusive. It didn't feel like something from his dreams, and the westerners had already proven the strength of their sorceries.
He was suddenly glad that he hadn't gone after the Gauntlet. The privy council hadn't intended this, but their stubborn resistance might have worked to the keep's advantage. It might even have saved his life. He and Miledha would have to be extremely careful; the Shadir knew, or at least suspected, far more of their plans than Roberr would have liked.