Against the spirit’s physical and arcane attacks I was able to hold my own; but as the bonds solidified I was able to use my magic to do something actually useful, like look for the focus for the original Dominion torture spell. And when I found it, I barely managed not to swear. The aforementioned nameless bastard mage had deliberately made it hard to grasp. I’m a little unsure on how the afterlife really works for humans, but I know that most of their religions have fairly nasty hells for bad people. That’s a comfort, at times like these. Well, no help for it: I loaded up my arm with as much protective magic as I could slap on in a hurry, and drove my hand deep into the chest of the spirit.
The focus I was rooting around for tried to evade my questing fingers, the miserable thing; probably just a minor defense enchantment, but maybe it had a little volition of its own by now. Some things acquire a patina of sapient behavior, if only to properly exhibit a particular emotion – and if I had to guess, the emotion being exhibited here would have been spite. The focus had a plaything, and it didn’t want to give it up.
But I had volition, too. And while grabbing for the focus indeed hurt like a matrifututor, if you’ll pardon my Orcish, it turns out that spite is a decent motivator. I was going to get that literally damned thing out of that spirit if it meant burning my arm off. Which it didn’t, quite: but by the time my grasping fingers found and grabbed the focus the protection spell I had tossed up was suffering pinhole breaches and threatening to collapse completely. That would be really painful, so I yanked really hard.