Aug 18, 2019 12:03 PM
Sadde in Pact
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He's weakened, this battle is going to further weaken him, and then she can take him to his throne to defeat him there... Yes, good. She might take a few more hits on him if she gets the chance here. For now, she watches, and doesn't shoot; too much chance of being found.

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Hiding isn't reliable when there's a rampaging fire lizard et cetera that are only sometimes pinned down. She'll find herself being driven gradually away.

The fight itself is getting one-sided. The Shepherd may be cornered by his haunt, and the High Priest by the disembodied feeling of being watched, but once the Lord manages his temporary conquering they can take advantage to make something stick. Some of the more physical monsters turn to flee.

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Hmmm... can she be driven away but then go the long way around to the other side of the park, without being caught?

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She can circle around the battlefield easily enough. There's plenty of space in this park that isn't occupied by ghosts and monsters.

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Oh good then she's not being driven out anymore and she can keep watching everything.

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It's chaotic. The Eye is collateral damage incarnate, so there is no shortage of burning trees and smoke blocking her view. Several of the larger monsters are creating noise to match. And there's an undignified scream as Jeremy's arm loses a lot of blood to the tusks of the giant amphibian. He takes a sip out of a long drinking horn, and the blood keeps going but he stops paying attention. His opponent bulldozes its way out of the clearing immediately after, chased by some of his crazed followers.

The only one really being orderly is the Lord. Conquest is still pursuing one enemy at a time, pushing hard enough to be clearly winning, and then switching to the next one. No one on either side comes near him voluntarily.

It's a mess, with the general trajectory of attackers being driven off. Jeremy notwithstanding.

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That's gonna be awkward if she wants to hand him the Lordhood. Except she doesn't, does she?

She really doesn't wanna go back on her word, here, and press an advantage. Both because winning cleanly will carry more weight and because she doesn't want to give much more information about her location.

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It'll take some work, but she can stay hidden until it's over.

The final tally has the giant amphibian and the fire lizard with its parasite escaping, while the long serpent is beat up and drunk enough that some of Jeremy's people could violently tie it in knots. The orb of darkness circling the Shepherd signifies that he managed to bind the toothed creature somehow. There's no sign of the unobtrusive ones, which could mean captured or killed or fled.

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But presumably the Lord's people are injured? And the Lord himself? What are they up to, now?

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The Lord is directing/asking the others to cart the conquered creatures back to his capital, despite the fact that the only one here who actually answers to him is the Eye. The horned men and dancing women are coming down from their fighting frenzy and look to Jeremy, who gives a lopsided shrug. The Shepherd, on the other hand, leaves without turning over anything.

Conquest is not visibly injured or tired. He is visibly distracted, ignoring the mixed obedience and scanning for where he last saw Sadde.

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Which is not where she is but her voice can come from yet a third place instead.

"Congratulations! Feeling lucky today?"

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"No. I am inevitable."

(He shoos away the one or two of the Dionysians who are still paying attention.)

"And while I can respect your not capitalizing on the distraction, know that if you thought it would weaken me it only did the opposite."

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"I think you still underestimate me if you think I can't take you at full strength, and still overestimate yourself if you think you're currently at full strength."

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"As entertaining as having you hide from me is, I can simply end it.

You have the following choices: flee and declare your defeat, surrender or attack me directly, which are much the same thing, or wait for me to have the Eye torch the area except for this circle right here." He traces out a small space with his bayonet. It is easily large enough for two people to stand in, but not very comfortably when one of them is Conquest's size.

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"That's assuming I have to stay here at all; I could instead wait for you to torch all of here, and then you might see I'm not actually where you expected me to be. But fine, I suppose I can just fuck you up one-on-one if you're so keen on this. Gotta make for a good show."

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"Either I draw you out now or I break or exhaust your glamour. Either is the same victory."

His tone is casual, but a close look can pick up that he's subtly bracing himself.

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"Scared already?" comes the voice from behind Conquest as Sadde emerges from the foliage.

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"I do know fear. Fear, loss, pain... you can guess what use I have for the knowledge. But no, you cause none."

Conquest ignores where the voice is coming from and tracks the visible Sadde. Not because it's real, but because it's either real or a costly use of glamour. He checks for any unnatural symmetry, or simplistic movements and steps that don't quite match the ground underfoot.

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She does seem to have clipped one of the leaves there, but otherwise the illusion is surprisingly realistic.

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Costly use of glamour it is. Conquest focuses on the few discrepancies and comments whenever he sees one. He knows as well as Sadde does that too much of this could just make the illusion break. But mostly he's just waiting for the inevitable attack.

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Well, Sadde is a bit smarter than that. When he comments on the clipped leaves, it's the leaves that disappear, not Sadde herself.

When the shot comes, it's from behind him.

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When she gets close, she'll get distracted by an overpowering sense of loss. This whole magic thing started while tracking down the "conspiracy" that murdered her mother, and finding out that everything was so much worse than one conspiracy. Laura's gone, lost, never coming back, and the same could happen to anyone. Will happen. The feeling shuts out most other thoughts— aside from meaning that all she wants to do is sit down and cry, it's almost physically hard to carry out any plan.

Back off, or try to power through and land the blow?

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Neither.

So that's what had been keeping the attackers away, she thinks dully as she's hit by the emotional wave, causing her to flail backward and trip and fall onto the ground. Oh, she could've fought it, could've pretended it wasn't affecting her, if she'd been expecting it, but all she feels is the sense of complete and utter grief that she doesn't let herself feel every day.

She falls out of its field of influence, though, far enough that maybe she can scramble back to her feet and run away...

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Conquest notices the flicker when Sadde loses attention, of course. She's been altering the glamours regularly enough that "everything continues as current" is a visible change.

So he knows exactly how far she is, and swings his ridiculous oversized bayonet in a wide arc. In approximately the right direction, even.

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It catches her chest, only grazing, but enough to cut through clothing and a little bit of flesh, creating a bloody gash. She suppresses a cry of pain and tries to scramble faster now, almost tripping again as she turns tail to run.

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