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I want to just write geopolitics and fight scenes
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They're gonna pay him to fight someone else.

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And so the lords of Barstoi assemble their forces, ready to strike at Czaszar's army as it attacks; the Hellknights of the Pyre, the Tiger Lords of Numeria, the proud, disciplined, knights of Barstoi, and whatever scattered forces they can call up from their own domains, all to face the might of Czaszar's undead juggernaut. The odds are against them, but the Order of the Pyre does not fear death, it fears failing to do its duty. 

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"This," he says bitterly to Konor, who happens to be around, "is the problem with heroes. They do what they desire, instead of what serves their purposes." The Order of the Pyre would be very useful if they were willing to recognize his status as a strategic ally of the empire that is their patron, but no, they have to do what they contracted to do. Morons.

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Kasimir Konor nods. "Just as you say, Grand Prince."

(Kasimir Konor was eighty, fifth-circle, damned and nowhere near finishing his phylactery when Ksiaze took him under his wing. He is now sixth circle and his phylactery has its own extremely warded demiplane with terrifyingly powerful guardians, and that he doesn't have a tuning fork it is a comparatively small problem compared to never needing to fear Hell again. It would be an overstatement to say that he is 'grateful' to his master, a projection of mortal emotions into entities that do not really feel them in the quite the same way, but he certainly does not consider freeing himself a particularly high priority.)

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Then Wielki Ksiaze will then go fly off from the Army of the North (Odranto but headed to Barstoi) to the Army of the East (Barstoi), which could probably use an eighth circle necromancer/enchanter with an absolutely ridiculous accumulation of magic items, leaving the Army of the West (sailing up the Vhitsuntide) to finish conquering Odranto, on his zombie griffin. He's taking his elite bodyguard unit with him, of course, that doesn't slow him down much.

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Kasimir Konor, who as general-in-chief is in charge of the tremendous amount of work involves in getting the Army of the North organized and marching all in one direction, has his own elite bodyguard company, because everyone meaningful does. If you can't direct twenty arrows and three counterspells - at absolute minimum - at anyone who teleports next to you before the surprise round is even over, what are you even doing? And if you are going to do that, you need at least a hundred people so that individuals who are sick (if your army isn't undead) or temporarily dead (if it is) or briefly missing limbs can be exempted, and then also so you can have four shifts at a time. His bodyguards aren't mounted on flying necrocrafts or undead pegasi and griffons, because he isn't Wielki Ksiaze, but they can keep up with him as he hovers up and down the columns of march, on their steeds or with their own Overland Flight spells.

Keeping a hundred of your most elite archers and sorcerers busy watching you twenty-four hours a day in shifts whenever you aren't in a Forbiddance is, of course, a drain on the resources of your army almost totally uncorrelated with the amount of resources your enemies spend trying to murder you, but you can't start thinking that way if you want to make it to two thousand, even if you are a lich.

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How elite are these archers? Well, pretty elite. Most countries maintain archer bodyguard units to protect against teleporting assassins. They had bows and teleportation spells when Aroden was a mortal, and even if Glitterdust (that marvel of efficiency, king of second-circle spells, conqueror of invisibility and a vitally important part of counter-assassin defense) is a more modern innovation which only leaked a thousand or so years back, the combination of "have people who can shoot the enemy ready to fire when they arrive, if you are Worth Assassinating and not in a Forbiddance" is not a new idea. From Absalom to Goka, every nation large enough to play with the big boys has elite archer bodyguards for its rulers and generals, and most of the ones that don't cargo cult it, and so there were plenty of graves for Ksiaze to rob.

Now, these bodyguards aren't the most elite archers. Kasimir Konor is one of Ksiaze's three underliches, so Ksiaze gets the finest archers and he needs to compete with his fellow underliches for the next-finest, but that doesn't stop his archers from being a good deal tougher than the veterans doing this service in most armies, since they're picked from centuries' accumulation of the best of them. And the guards are short on magic items, but, well, so's everyone in the Grand Prince's army. Being short on magic items is just life.

(There's a bird twittering overhead as he flies. Kasimir Konor does not order it immediately shot because he eventually got bored of wasting arrows, it's not as though his people need to eat.)

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When Lastwall agreed to neutralize the forts along the Worldwound to prevent Ksaize from attacking them, they signed a formal agreement with him regarding how it would be executed. Nobody wants the world destroyed, but it's worth getting the terms of the agreement down on paper.

As part of this formal agreement, anyone who was unwilling to accept this neutralization could leave the Worldwound and travel to neutral territory, and then continue with their lives as they wish. This particular agreement was necessary because Lastwall has Crusader's Fort, which is not staffed by Lastwall soldiers but by whatever adventurers happen to have shown up to fight evil today, and trying to impose complicated formal treaties on them beyond We Do Not Start Shit At The Worldwound is often an exercise in futility.

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The most elite part of the Crusader's Fort staff is, of course, the flex squad. Lastwall throws together its mightiest adventurers, drawn from every land under the sun and headed by a single tough Lastwall paladin teaching them common sense, into a teleport-based squad that is supposed to travel from Worldwound crisis spot to Worldwound crisis spot, killing the deadliest demons and getting themselves more and more powerful. The flex squad is not part of the resources Lastwall can command, for most purposes; it is part of the resources that helps out at the Worldwound, and it just so happens that most people helping out at the Worldwound prefer to volunteer at the part of the border Lastwall runs, instead of the part Mendev runs or the extra-frozen, extra-northern part that Cheliax runs.

The head of the Lastwall flex squad sent in his early retirement yesterday just before teleporting an unknown number of miles south of the border.

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Kasimir Konor is presently leading the largest part of his army along the river, through the plains of southern Odranto! He is not at their head, because someone needs to prevent all the regiment commanders from feuding with each other, again, or at least hit them with pain spells when they do it and ask them if they want to go to Hell.

He has Detect Scrying active, which is surprisingly useless a very large fraction of the time.

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Then everything happens very, very fast.

(Because, if you insist on looking at everything through the lens of Pathfinder mechanics, practically everything is happening in the form of a stack of readied actions in the surprise round.)

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Five invisible adventurers appear in midair holding hands! Some of them are right next to Kasimir Konor!

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A zombie wizard hits the adventurers with Glitterdust!

(See Invisibility is just fundamentally what you're supposed to use, here.)

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You mean the giant cloud of Darkness So Deep Not Even Darkvision Can See Through It?

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I mean the center of it, yes.

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Some of them are now blind!

Unfortunately, they were blind before. That's not the point. The point is that firing aimlessly into the center of a cloud of darkness is a really useless way to kill people with arrows.

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Dispel Magic targets a hostile effect used by an attempted assassin, i.e., the Deeper Darkness spell.

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Lastwall's flex squad is stronger than the zombie sorcerer who threw that, which could probably be deduced from the fact that they can teleport and Czaszar has been strategically not raising people who can teleport because then they would leave instead of joining his army.

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The last of Konor's wizards is supposed to counter the first spell he sees a hostile spellcaster cast, but she can't see any hostile spellcasters casting spells, and all of Konor's archers are supposed to shoot at the first hostile thing they see detect using their senses, but they can't actually tell where the attackers are!

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Meanwhile, in the cloud of darkness, Kasimir Konor is surprised!

(This is not, like, unexpected. Most people would be surprised if teleporting assassins tried to kill them.)

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Good.

The head of what used to be the Crusader's Fort flex squad and will probably be the Crusader's Fort flex squad in a year if it's still around immediately takes a cut at him.

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Your puny mortal weapons cannot harm a lich!

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Yes they can. Iomedae is on his side.

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Swords make a lot of noise.

Thirty elite archers simultaneously shoot Feliu Tauler.

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Thirty elite archers miss Feliu Tauler.

Actually, twenty-six of them miss him and four of them bounce off his Protection From Arrows.

(Don't feel bad. Half of them are from him being invisible, and that's really an astonishingly good rate if you are trying to hit Feliu Tauler, who doesn't wear mithril full plate because it would slow him down.)

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