"That is not true!" Liel cried.
"I'm sorry, m'lady, but it is." Hawke said.
Em nodded. "Theo has an uncanny sense of how long someone has been dead. He's better than a calendar. Your father said to go to Rosehaven? Where is Rosehaven?"
Liel looked at him. "It's not a where, it's a who. The earl is one of Papa's closest friends."
The waves of energy coursing over the dome were fading and only periodic pulses crackled over them. Em turned to Theo, noting his pallor under his normally dark skin. "Still with me, buddy?" he asked.
"Somewhat," Theo replied softly, closing his eyes again.
"Guess we should have mentioned the 'no one dead longer than a year' rule."
Hawke nodded, with his eyes still closed. "Yes, let's remember that for next time, shall we?"
"What do you mean?" Liel asked. "Why not more than a year?"
"It's all well and good to talk to ghosts of any age," Em said. "But to act as a medium… well, the longer a soul is dead the more distant it becomes from our realm. The toll on the medium's body becomes very great in bridging that gap. You perhaps felt the temperature of the room drop?"
"Long dead souls can freeze a living medium within moments. The only thing that saved Theo was that I was able to react in time with a warming spell… and your grandmother had some powers of her own to help."
Liel's brow furrowed. "Well then why not just talk to ghosts instead of using a medium?"
Em smiled. "There are surprisingly few souls trapped on this mortal plane. If you want to talk to one from beyond, at least talk to them clearly, you need a medium to open that channel."
"Talk to them clearly?" Liel asked.
"There are some talents and spells that can contact the dead, but it's much like dealing with the logic and symbolism of a dream. Even what seems like a direct answer isn't direct at all."
Liel looked at Theo. "Are you alright, Mr. Hawke?"
He opened his eyes and nodded. "I'll be well enough in a bit."
"I'm very sorry that you've been hurt. I didn't know. I didn't even," she paused for a moment and bit her lip. "I didn't even believe that you could really contact the dead." She frowned again. "Although I don't believe that my father is dead. I refuse to believe it."
Em set a hand against the inside of the blue dome and then looked back at Hawke. "If feels like it's stopped. Are you up to checking?"
Em waved his hand. "Terminate." And the blue dome shimmered out of existence.
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