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I want to just write geopolitics and fight scenes
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Kasimir Konor will also be taking a hammer to the face, because there are situations where you want your ranger to be shooting people and situations where you really, really don't want your ranger to be shooting people.

(Kasimir Konor will spontaneously manifest seven illusionary doubles of himself without, to any reasonable observer, casting anything, which has no particular effect on the battle because nobody can see them, or anything else)

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... And, with the lich's position established by people beating him with large metal objects, then Agnipankha Asalela, She Whose Wings Blaze Like Fire, raises the small starmetal rod in her left hand.

It is not normal spheres of fire that she hurls at Kasimir, but a blazing sphere exactly his height and width summoned around him, a holy flame that sears him to the very bone, and surprised by the attack (and lacking the enhancements he'd cast before a battle he expected) he is too slow to dodge away. 

Then she'll flutter back a little, just so she's a little harder to hit -

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(She Whose Wings Blaze Like Fire is heir to one of the mightier kingdoms in Vudra, possessed of immense wealth, terrifying charisma, an excellent education, and an extremely powerful sorcerous bloodline with which she decided to go off to the Worldwound since it was the planet's biggest crisis instead of wasting time at home. Her mom will probably call her back when she needs her and until then she's just ignoring her mail while she KICKS DEMON ASS LIKE A BOSS and HEALS PEOPLE WITH FIRE and is GENERALLY AWESOME.)

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Then Feliu will properly smite him.

Feliu Tauler is... probably the fifth most powerful paladin in Avistan? Sixth is reasonable. Seventh isn't out there.

Either way, he smites hard.

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The adventures are really very good at delivering a high quantity of concentrated asskicking in very little space! Almost as though they trained for it!

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Dispel! Dispel! DISPEL!!!

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Sucks to suck, doesn't it?

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MORE ARROWS! This time, some of the undead champions who just happen to be around will fire into it, too!

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Some of these will hit! They won't hurt, though, because everyone can take six seconds of this -

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- And they're only four and a half seconds in when Feliu splits Konor's head open, grabs an armful of lich corpse -

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- And teleports off again.

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Scroll of Scry?

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Nondetection.

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... This is annoying. It is not, actually, worse than annoying. There's a command chain; Kasimir Konor had a right-hand champion, who is now in charge of the army. Most of his magic items fell off his corpse when he died, and he's a lich, so he'll come back fine in a week. And though they failed to scry the attackers, counter-assassinating them the next time they're outside a Forbiddance will not be hugely difficult, provided there's no more urgent use for the resources. Wielki Ksiaze is an archmage, and there's very little beyond an archmage.

Fundamentally, what was bought with this assassination attempt - bought with the knowledge that there is an elite paladin-and-teleporter hit squad with clerics who can cast third circle spells hard enough that fourth-circle wizards can't dispel them with four tries, bought with the small but significant chance that this plan would fail and they would all be pincushions and then, very shortly, zombies - was six to twelve hours' delay for the Army of the North while the new general investigates and gets everyone back to what they were doing.

Well.

How much is six to twelve hours worth?

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(When Ksiaze hears of this, his immediate reaction is frustration, because there was a simple, effective strategy that would have solved the problem. He's not frustrated that Konor didn't have a collection of True Seeing outsiders following him around acting as bodyguards; he doesn't have the Planar Binding spells for that, not with the needs of teleportation and his general wizard shortage, and he also doesn't have the required offerings for Urgathoa-clerics to Lesser Planar Ally in their own. He doesn't even think that Konor should have stayed somewhere secure; 'his own army' should have been secure enough. He's upset that they had six seconds and not one person read one of the Greater Dispel Magic scrolls he penned them; area-cast and with Ksiaze's power behind them, the spell should have taken out their Deeper Darkness even if they had six different castings of it and left them vulnerable to his army's fire.

Still, Konor has now learned a valuable lesson about being willing to use consumable magic items, and hopefully he will be wiser next time.)

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Since the adventuring party still has buffs, and since a sorceress instead of a wizard is giving them rides, it's going to be bouncing around murdering some less scary (but still extantly scary) mid-level Whispering Way independent powers until the buffs run out.

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The Order of the Pyre is, through some mysterious means, alerted to the news that their opposition is going to be delayed, and they strike.

A detachment of undead is besieging the castle at Vonosrel, and Lictor Stought means to start thinning the enemy's numbers before the rest of Czaszar's troops can arrive. The Army of the Pyre moves to break the siege. They intend to fight the battle, and they will do their duty and win it.

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Ksiaze has a different calculation. 

The Order of the Pyre considers him their chief enemy. They intend to defeat him through military force so their administration can maintain control over Barstoi and discharge the responsibilities it has taken up. Since the odds are against them, they will need to take a large number of risks - such as engaging the majority of the strength of the Army of the East with nothing but untried mercenaries, feudal levies and a handful of knights - in order to triumph. 

The Army of the Pyre isn't his chief enemy. Lastwall is his chief enemy; Lastwall and their strategic allies in Galt and the crusaders they can muster if the war continues. In order to restore his empire, Ksiaze wishes to be able to fight Lastwall and Galt without risking Tar-Baphon's escape or the collapse of the Worldwound border. This means that he must secure control over Ustalav as swiftly as possible, so that he can begin raising living auxiliaries and collecting taxes and forcing his undead allies into submission, so that he can dedicate churches to Urgathoa and destroy Good forbiddances and hallows and wiping out the Pharasmin church that would otherwise serve as spies and agents in his rear. He is prepared to accept battle with only a strong probability of victory, instead of a certainty, to gain speed in his conflict with Galt.

Yvane Richten, second of Ksiaze's loyal under-liches, is aware of Ksiaze's strategic priorities. She has been told that Ksiaze and his aerial guard tagama are on their way to reinforce her and that she should use her initiative.

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Yvane Richten considered the chief problem of liches to be that their lack of drive and ambition, and she did not cease to be capable of being bored when she died.

Initiative, she's got.

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