Selections from the files of Vora Bront…
The prisoner Jessa Carleo once again refused to name her co-conspirators, and I doubt any tactic can break her.
Her will is strong, yes, but more and more I suspect she has been strengthened by magical means. Some powerful binds prevent her from feeling pain, deprivation, fear or suffering. It is inexplicable to me.
No one has survived six weeks in the Spire without turning to a babbling mess. No one. Not once as long as I have served the Empire, gods smile upon it. The strangest thing is that she bears no marks, no tattoos or brands forming the glyphs. Today we checked her teeth to see if, perhaps, finely engraved gems or some sort of gold patterning had been embedded thereon. Nothing.
Of course, my masters will not be satisfied with me telling them that the leader of a plot to assassinate our dear imperator is made of tougher stuff than the cold steel and hot iron of our tools of pain. This woman somehow infiltrated the palace — without being seen by a soul — bypassed the guards at his door, and very nearly killed Rorei in his sleep. She insists she acted alone, but that is an impossibility. We will try harsher tactics tomorrow and hope they yield results.
Addendum: Her secret finally revealed itself. At some point during her training as a binder, Jessa Carleo — or another powerful magic user — replaced the dome of her skull with a metal plate engraved with glyphs of binding. Upon examination, we identified glyphs to conceal her in shadow, dampen pain and reduce metabolic functions, among other effects. Whoever created this source did a fine job of restoring her scalp and hairline after the procedure, for no scar was visible. Unfortunately, our discovery has rendered the subject useless as an informant.
— Vora Bront