In the morning, after a long night (and several occasions of heading off Vaslo before he reached the Spire door) our heroes discuss how to approach the Spire. It was decided that first, Shemhazai would attempt to mind probe Vaslo while he was still asleep, both to discover what was within the Spire, and what the Inspired might have gotten from him. Shemhazai very shortly runs into an issue – a strong mental wall, that completely blocks off Vaslo's memories of the first time he visited the Spire. It starts with a conversation with Merrix – the grandfather of the current Merrix – but the details of the conversation, as well as anything that happened afterward, up until they departed for Stormreach – is blocked. The mental block shows quite a bit of evidence that the Inspired Vial – had attempted to break it down, but it appeared that she was unable to do so. Perhaps most startlingly, it appears that Vaslo is not truly senile.
Shemhazai found that after the events in the Spire – whatever they were – Vaslo's mind started to slowly degrade. He had created the mental block in his own mind – but something had helped him do so, or it would not have been so complete nor so strong as to hold up to two psions. What it was that helped him was still a mystery; but it wasn't the reason behind Vaslo's mental deterioration… or at least not the main reason. Vaslo's mind kept trying to return to those blocked-off memories, but was unable to do so.
(To be continued)