Into Yllowfort Castle
Making himself invisible before clearing the castle wall, Xenograg flies up to the height of the tallest tower. Looking down he sets about examining the castle and grounds. The traces of magic are faint except around the postern gate (and its fresh carnage).
'Lothair has not had his new power long,' thinks Xenograg to himself, 'else its mark would be obvious upon everything.' This is a comforting fact, giving clues for tactics. It takes several minutes of effort, but Xenograg finally begins to detect the keep's demonic aura. As expected, the strongest source lies underground; it was more a question of where under the former palace would Lothair's sanctum be. More minutes pass as Xenograg plots out his course of action.
'I do not know the magnitude of Lothair's power, but neither does he know mine.' Xenograg ponders ways of entering the castle without sorcery. Xenograg's eyes drift to the battlements, and the guards there.
'Hmm, yes….' Still invisible Xenograg floats down to study the soldiers. A gentle probing of one man's mind yields the identity of the watch captain and his probable location. Xenograg's next action requires a hiding place.
'Why not the captain's office? It is the last place anyone will look,' the Darelir thinks with a smirk.
Following the probed memories of the guard, Xenograg arrives at the locked door to the captain's office. Without wards a mechanical lock is as nothing to a sorcerer, and Xenograg slips inside. After relocking the door from the inside Xenograg sits on the floor cross-legged. It takes only moments for him to tap his inner well. Xenograg's ghost-like ethereal form rises out his physical body. Without stopping to look back Xenograg darts through the wall in search of the watch captain.
Captain Anselm broods as he walks the battlements of Ylowfort Castle. He could still remember Ylowfort as an independent kingdom. His true oath of loyalty to Lothair is one for a king, not a mere duke.
'This rebellion is useless, though,' he thinks. 'Lothair's abduction of Sovran Amaltea has sealed all our fates. We cannot defeat the whole Barsian Army. If I don't die in the inevitable assault, I will by a firing squad.' Anselm looks out over the wall at the Barsian soldiers below. Something had spooked them, but he did not know what. They were not leaving, just pulling back a few hundred yards.
Just then, a brilliant flash of light out of nowhere dazzles the man. He tenses instinctively, some sixth sense warning him of danger. It is too late.
'Sleep,' Anselm hears softly in his mind, and obeys….