I reached into the chaos of the collective unconscious, grasping the first energy I touched and throwing that desperate… something… at the bowl of blood on the pillar. The light must have guided my mind, for an instant later a shock of force tipped the bowl completely off its perch, spilling its foul contents on the stone floor.
Their protection eliminated, the ritualists were made short work of, first by Xentril, then Cier, and finally by myself, as I severed their minds’ connection to their bodies with vicious and painful directness. As the beast wailed his anger at us, I focused next on the captured prisoner, briefly wondering why she was still alive. As I moved to intercept the bearded devil, his writhing, vile face grinned at me with evil intent. Suddenly, my mental barriers came under an assault of such astonishing strength that I had to gasp. As the helpless woman before me transformed into a devastatingly beautiful and horrible succubus, I realized that my guard had been lowered, and it was too late. Mentally screaming, I had no choice but to obey as the thing commanded me closer.
The horrors had just begun, however. As I battled the Succubus in the shifting planes of our minds, just shaking myself loose before my soul was sucked from me, Xentril roared up to assist. Sneering, the succubus focused on the dragonborn, sensing a less-guarded mind. Realization, fatal and full of doom, fell upon me as Xentril lifted her axe. Rage, despair, and shock radiated out of my friend’s eyes as the always-kept-sharp blade whistled toward me. Holding up my javelin, a pointless defense, I braced for my own death, hoping against hope that Xentril wouldn’t slay me with one strike.
The axe slid into my arm, and as my reflexes made me turn aside, I felt a blaze of pain follow me, nearly severing my arm from my body. Mentally commanding my nearly dead self to remain upright, I knew that if I fell, Xentril would be lost. Blood flowed freely, and Xentril just stared at me, as if not believing that I hadn’t been decapitated by the blow. A wry thought, that it was a good thing the dragonborn practically considers me a halfling, flitted through my mind. Catching a thread of healing energy, as across the room… too far nearly… Victor’s wounds were lessening as he called upon that damnable blood of his, I bound that healing to my mind, mentally keeping some of my own blood within me.
This. This was going to be bad.