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"Yeah, I ended up fighting the same sightless we fought again. Her healing ability got interrupted wherever the salt got into the wounds. Started getting brown spots like a bruised fruit, as the fight went on. Didn't kill her, but I did end up wounding her and her pride." Jen would reply to Chres.
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Karina Frost





Karina couldn't help but to frown at Chres' reply. While it was true that she couldn't say she 'understood' everything Chres went through, what he lost and his thoughts, in her opinion, those kinds of thoughts were only useful to further throw someone into a spiral of depression, which would, in turn, make it even more difficult for them to find happiness and a reason to live. It is a vicious cycle.
Besides... Having a team member with that sort of mentality could turn out to be a risk to the rest of the team and considering their situation, more risks were the only thing they didn't need.

"Take it, Chres. This jade candle is one of the few we have remaining and now, you will be responsible for it. If you need a reason to live, do it for your companions." Karina said, with a serious expression and a firm tone.

"Remember, you are not alone. Stay strong, Chres." Karina finished, putting her hand on his shoulder as she nodded at him.

While it certainly wasn't some emotional speak about how life was worth living, Karina already had dealt with similar situations before when training rookie soldiers. While Chres wasn't exactly a soldier, Karina hoped that it would give him some motivation to keep going.

Watching Karina's speech, Akai couldn't help but give a small smirk. Even though Karina sometimes gave off that cold and distant feel, she did care deeply about her companions. Even if it was in a rather... 'militaristic' way.

"Indeed..." Karina said after a moment when she heard Jen mentioning the salt.

"The Sightless have proven again and again to be rather... tricky to deal with. As you said, not only they now know we also know of their weakness, but our supplies are scarce... Especially now that the Kharu-Natjer are gone. We might have to do some magic with the little we have..." Karina said as she got the small pouch of salt she received from the Kharu-Natjer.

"Even though we only have a little, it might be just what we need to level up the playing field. We need to make sure to use it well." Karina said, sighing as she put the pouch of salt back on one of her pockets.
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Chres rubbing his chin in thought wondering how this new development changed things. "Two crystals, several pouches of salt, and a handful of soldiers... how can we use them to our benefit..." He pondered out loud.

He looked to the two guides. "How close will these tunnels get us to the the Cult's base of operations?" Chres asked the guides.

"Be near." said the first.

"Very be near." said the second.

"And where will it take us?"

"Building." said the first.

"Be building's under." said the second.

Chres scratched his chin at their strange phrasing of words. So beneath a building? Was it a raised building or just some sort of cellar?

"Take it, Chres." Karina said. "This jade candle is one of the few we have remaining and now, you will be responsible for it. If you need a reason to live, do it for your companions. Remember, you are not alone. Stay strong, Chres."

Shocked by Karina's caring words, Chres raised his gaze to the hand on his shoulder. During his time with the woman, he had not seen much of her compassionate side. He hadn't been looking for kindness or sympathy, and yet the gesture stirred a strange mix of emotions.

On the one hand, he was touched to have someone be there for him. He had been alone with Sil, the reminder of his past deeds, for so long now that he couldn't even remember what it was like to have a companion who he could count on. On the other hand, his guilty conscious stirred at her words. Within him, he felt the bubble of frustration rise further along with his self-loathing. That part of him whispered to him. He didn't deserve to have companions who cared for him. He didn't deserve to be happy. That side of Chres wanted to wallow in the pain and misery. It wanted to shrug off Karina's hand and throw a fit.

With difficulty Chres shoved away the negative thoughts and emotions. Those thoughts... those emotions... He didn't yet know whether they were valid. His wife told had said he didn't understand. He had to find out... He had to know... Just what didn't he understand? Only then could he validate those feelings.

Reluctantly, Chres took the Crystal Jade Candle from Karina. He stared at its greenish glow with empty eyes. Before feeling a tiny nudge on his neck from Sil's tiny elbow

"Well go on." Sil said.

Chres looked to her confused.

Sil just rolled her eyes at him.

"You silly little puddle. Aren't you going to thank Ms. Ice-a-rina already?"

Chres blinked. Twice now the familiar seem uncharacteristically aware of what was going on. Pursing his lips, he met Karina's gaze.

"Thanks Karina."

"That's Ms. Ice-a-rina." Sil corrected.

"Ka-ri-na." Chres reiterated, empathizing each syllable. Sil sighed and waved him off. "Thank you." He said again. It was a more meaningful 'thank you'. One that spoke to more than just the crystal jade given to him.

"Seems rough." He said after a moment of walking in silence. "To have boss who is also your father... What did he mean that 'the best soldiers do not undermine their superiors'? You came here on behalf of the army and completed your mission, did you not?"
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Octavio's fingers traced jagged lines across the surface of the walls. It filled him with a particularly hopeless sense of deja vu to know it hadn't been his first time in this situation. Skulking around in tunnels, but not by choice, the same way alleyway cats knew to stray from light to keep their heads from being torn off.

He had been previously approached by a strange woman who knew far too much about him. Although he hated the idea of someone like that running loose, he had to admit she had been a good source of information, if a little esoteric. She taunted him with implications and fairytales, preferring to watch the show that was Octavio drawing his own conclusions. That was fine by him. A performer had to entertain to eat. And he ate well that day.

His sister was hunting him down. It was the one thing he could be sure of. The mysterious woman's stories seemed to point towards Lynx as Octavio's most pressing issue, but she'd also left traces of his sister's presence linger in his mind. It was all so cruelly intentional, and he was aware that by mulling over it he was playing into the hands of others stronger than him.

"Will you not answer the question?" asked Lynx. He plodded along listlessly.

Octavio shook his head longer than was probably necessary. "Argh."

"Not holding up well," stated Lynx, in a tone so dry only Octavio could have understood it.

The others split resources amongst themselves and talked each other out of their troubles. He listened to their conversations, their confessions and their troubles. The last battle had been especially difficult, and they'd been a lot more trusting of one another. Octavio had been too, even if he didn't realize it. He remembered the story this woman had told, and his counterpoint.

"Because there was distrust. And ignorance. Had they been civilized little animals," his eyes followed the taken candle, "then they would have known that cooperation is the wisest choice. It's why we're the civilized species." The wording. I'm going to come to regret that.

"Civilized? Us?" Svephraey said. "That there is the real comedy. Cooperation? We cooperate only for as long as it serves us. In the end, no matter how much we pretend, our species is no different."


The more he thought back to that day, the more his own words surprised him. But he was right. They'd proven it, all of them, time and time again.

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Chres





Chres stirred uncomfortably. Karina's words had shone a spotlight on his inner emotion that he would have preferred being left in the dark. So turned his gaze in Octavio's direction. The man had been quiet during this whole time. Perhaps he, like Chres had also been hoping to escape from this town.

It was hard to tell with Octavio. Despite his ostentatious words and actions, Chres noticed that the man often tended to sit in the background and keep to himself.

Perhaps it would be good to redirect the spotlight on another. "You've been awfully quiet, Octavio. Is something wrong?"
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Karina Frost





Karina nodded after listening to Chres' and Sil's conversation and hearing their thankful words, letting out a rare, albeit discreet, smile. Emotions were very complicated things and traumas were even more. Karina knew that she was far from being someone appropriate for trying to understand Chres' and try to treat his trauma, especially having been raised in the military, but what she could do was to give them a motivation to keep going. Even if it wouldn't really treat the root of the issue, it would give them enough strength to keep moving forward.

As Chres changed subjects though, asking her about her father, Karina's expression changed. Despite her usually composed expression, there were hints of clear dissatisfaction in her expression.

"Insubordination." she said with an acid tone.

"Technically, I did go against orders from my incompetent superiors, even if my actions yielded positive results." she continued.

"I was the only one among the high officers who saw the threat the cult posed. How easily their influence grew and how easily they took over the city. At that time, I already knew there was something wrong with the cult, but I would have never expected to be so much worse than what I had initially thought... We still know too little about the cult. The reach of their influence, if they have other groups on other kingdoms, trying to do the same as they did here... " Karina said, with a concerned expression..

"Unfortunately, no matter how strange the situation was the more I investigated it, my request for a small division to be deployed for a reconnaissance and investigation mission was denied, over and over. Despite all my talent, my efforts, my skills and the overwhelmingly positive results I bring after most of my assignments, most of the high command still sees me as a naive little girl who likes to pretend to be a soldier, mocking and belittling me due to my age... Even though I continue to prove them wrong again and again, they refuse to let go of their pride... If I was older... Or if I was a man, I have already been promoted and I would definitely be taken more seriously by the rest of the high command." she finished, the resentment clear in her voice.

"It is not power nor fame that I seek, but respect and recognition." she concluded, looking to Chres with a determined stare.
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Chres





Sil giggled. She fluttered off of Chres's shoulder and landing atop Akai's head. Chres himself couldn't help but release a small chuckle.

"So instead of obeying orders and quieting down, you instead quietly disregarded them and stubbornly came here on your own volition?" Chres smirked and gave her a sidelong glance. The conflict now was making a whole lot more sense. "It doesn't get any more Karina than that I suppose." He said teasingly, while pocketing the crystal jade candle.

Chres turned a glance in Týfurkh's and Jen's direction.

"What about you two?" He asked. "You never did tell me what brought the two of you to this town."
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His fingers continued to trace the cracks in the stone surrounding him, quietly responding to his thoughts. When he remembered his past encounters with danger they skipped across the jagged rock, only steadying whenever he or Lynx would put an end to one of his mental tangents.

It was when Chres spoke that his index finger dug deep into a hole in the rock with a soft crack, nearly causing Octavio to stop moving entirely.

"Awfully quiet? Me?" he chuckled. He wiped his hand clean of debris and continued. "You're not in the wrong there."

Intuition told him the woman would know if he was loose-lipped about their encounter, but he also reasoned she'd be prepared for it. Why wouldn't she expect Octavio to talk? He bit his lip for a moment. At times it felt like clairvoyancy and good connections were identical.

"I had an encounter with a woman not too long ago. She knew too much about me." Another chuckle escaped him. "Now, I've been the subject of dossiers and wanted posters in the past, I'm well acquainted with the typical amount of information one person can gather on another. This was beyond that by a grand margin." His eyebrows widened as he shook his head.

"Even making some, some silly little nursery rhyme about me. Me and... my sister."

He let out a deep breath he hadn't realized he was holding in. "An awful lot of bizarre people in this world."

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Dossiers? Wanted posters? Chres smiled. You know, you had me going for a while. I thought you some sort nobleman for quite some time.

He looked to Octavio. This woman... what did she want?
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"I suppose veneers don't matter when our lives are on the line this often," he stated, not making eye contact with Chres. "No, I am no true nobleman. I grew up under... shall we say unfortunate circumstances, and had to sharpen my tongue to feed it." The dry start of a chuckle creaked out of him. "Although I suppose the throwing knives and constant bickering with Lynx outpaced my words at some point." The battlefields and peaceful lands turned battlefields they found themselves in had never been the time to talk as allies, and their periods of respite had Octavio thinking less about the benign and more about the myriad of threats surrounding them. The truth was out there now, at the very least.

His words slowed from their typical patter. "Wanting something. No, it wasn't that clear cut. It was more of a continual testing, a sort of odd verbal probing. She wanted to test her information and myself simultaneously, it felt like. Wanting to see if I'd stick to defending my principles and the rest of you." His eyebrows arched upwards. "And I did, you know."

It would have been simple to end the conversation there, but the dread of that day continued to loom over him. "She seemed satisfied, in her own enigmatic way. Her last words were a warning. She'd return... and... so would my sister."
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Jen had been walking in the back trying to catch his breath and take something of a break before this fight. It was interesting to listen about the other pact crew and how they came here. Of course, when Chres directed the question came to Týfurkh and Jen, he almost jumped. The tranquil pond that was his mind, now had a boulder crashing into its waters. He was trying to avoid thinking too much about he was going to probably worsen things by throwing the man to the Cult, but damn it the Syella's point was too strong.

"Riiiiight..." Jen mumbled as he was trying to reorganize his thoughts as he looked like a deer in the headlights.

He wondered why he still was feeling so coy about revealing this detail. It certainly was something of a sore spot for him, and what wasn't helping with speaking was having glanced at Chres, the man he was supposed to screw over in some indeterminate amount of time in the future. Still, would they even care that much beyond passing interest? Perhaps the potential indifference was making him hesitant. An unconscious part of wounded feelings looking for some sort of commiseration, as heaven knows he already tried to drown his sorrows in drink to no effect.

Jen tried to ram through some words as he felt himself falling deeper into all sorts of thoughts. An awkward silence was filling the tunnels as he was stumbling. "So, it was, uh like I said before. Coming into this town was serendipity of sorts. I was following a lead about the cult to some other town, and this was on the way. I've come to rescue someone that was dear to me in the past."
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Chres





Chres pondered at Octavio’s words, hand to his chin. The way he hesitated at the part about his sister seemed ominous.

It was around then that Jen spoke up. Like Octavio, Jen seemed guarded about his personal life.

He looked to Jen, curious. ”They took someone from you?” He reiterated. ”Wh-”

“There be.” Interrupted one of the women leading the way.

“Exit there be.” Said the other.

Chres snapped his attention back ahead to a dead end with a ladder.

“I’ll go first said one of the soldiers behind them. Make sure the coast is clear.”

Chres nodded. The soldier had come prepared to look less conspicuous. Having taken uniforms from the wall guard.

Slowly the man climbed the ladder out of sight. Pausing for a moment to push away at a loose panel of stone blocking the top of the ladder. With some effort the panel gave way. The man disappeared for a moment that seemed to last forever, before finally calling back to report everything was clear.




It took some time for everyone to exit the tunnels. During that time Chres had taken a moment to assess his surroundings. The tunnel had exited them into the middle of a storeroom of what appeared to have at one time been a shop. The shop itself being conveniently being located a few blocks away from the inn of which the Cult had set up shop. And a few blocks beyond that, though significantly further, lay the O’Kal estate.

Outside, there seemed to be a mad rush of cultist going to and from their makeshift church. People running back and forth carrying supplies. Others rushing to the frontlines of battle, while yet others seemed in a mad rush to head for the western gate.

Most importantly there was no Sightless to be seen. The scene was ripe. A perfect mix of chaos to allow them slip into the Cult’s church.

Before leaving the shop, they had some of the soldier do some test walks around the perimeter of the Cult’s church before heading back to the shop. Few people barely paid the soldiers a glance. Yet another good sign.

The soldier reported back to the group with the findings. The Cult’s “church” did not seem to be heavily guarded, at least from the outside. They group could likely fight their way in though the front they worried about the commotion that would cause.

There was a back entrance, however. Similarly guarded but facing away from the main road. The downside was that a Sightless had been spotted through a window on the second floor at the backside of the inn. If they were to fight their way in from the back, then they would surely attract immediate notice from the Sightless.

Chres and the rest gathered around, having listened to the report. For a moment he stood there thinking. ”Is fighting our way in the only option?”

The soldier hesitated for a moment, before saying, “Perhaps not…”

Apparently, the scouting had shown that at least twice members of the Wall Guard had been seen entering the Church without barely a question from the ones guarding the building. While the group could use the stolen guard uniforms as some sort of ploy, they did not have enough for everyone. Only the soldiers had come wearing the wall guard’s uniforms.

Chres nodded at this. That meant that they could either try to steal more uniforms, or come up with another ploy, perhaps a ploy to use one of them as a prisoner. Hoping to divert the Sightless’s attention while the others sneak in. The Sightless were after all looking for ‘Pact Makers’.

Chres turn to the rest of the group. ”Well?” He asked. ”What do you think?”
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Together, the pact makers devised a plan. A plan to distract, outwit and dismantle the Church of Insight's defense. Alone Týfurkh went towards the back entrance. His hands tied in front of him. Surrounding him were a handful of soldiers dressed in the wall guard uniform.

The Sightless, sitting by a second story window, stood up and turned his Sightless gaze towards the entourage. The soldiers approached the cultists guarding the entrance.

"We got one." The lead soldier said.

The cultist raised an eyebrow before sparing a glance towards Týfurkh. "Got what?"

"A pact maker." The soldier said.

The cultist seemed skeptical as he took in the size of Týfurkh. "You all capture this giant man?"

"He came to us willingly." the soldier said, thinking quickly. "Agreed to give himself willingly in exchange for escape."

"Escape?" The cultist said, eyebrow still raised.

"This one is no friend of the Nation of Touch. A defector of the army who would be executed on sight if they recognized him."

The cultist frowned, and spared Týfurkh a second glance. This time the cultist took in the full suit of armor, his skepticism wavering.

"He surrendered his weapons to us." The soldier continued seeing an opening. He nodded behind him. Two of the other soldiers lifted his giant crossbow and other weapons to show that they had unarmed the pactmaker. "He his no threat to us."

The cultist hesitated before nodding. "Come in." He said.




”Looks like they took the Sightless left the window.” Chres said looking out the window of the abandoned shop from which they exited.

They had sent a lone soldier out as a look out. His job was to signal the group. If he wiped his brow, it meant the Sightless had taken noticed and left its position. If the adjusted his boots, then it meant that the cultists had taken the bait.

A that moment, the soldier took a moment to adjust his boots. ”And they took the bait. Octavio, your up.”




A Pactmaker? Now of all times? The Sightless Talne frowned, as he waited for the pactmaker to enter in the center of the church where his fellow cultists had placed statue depicting the Shadowy Eye atop a pillar made of vines. Well perhaps this will be enough to budge Nieffar out of his stuper.

The Sightless shook its head taking a moment to use the Insight in order to see if Nieffar had yet to budged. Nieffar remained rooted at the place Sight Talne had last seen him. Beside The Seed. Sightless Talne tsked. What was Nieffar doing? The town had fallen! It was time to leave with the rest of the Sightless!

As the giant man entered the room. Sightless Talne looked to one of his attendents at his side. "Tell Sightless Nieffar that we have a pactmaker. Tell him it is time to go." Sightless Talne's attendent nodded and went off towards the stairs leading to the building's cellar.

Sightless Talne turned to face the Pactmaker. A useless just with Insight at his fingertips, but he found that 'looking' at people of which he was about to address helped to settle the unease that most people felt around his fellow Sightless.

"So I understand you defected from the army of touch." The Sightless spoke to the giant. He frowned at the words. "You should have come to us sooner. Why surrender yourself now of all times?"
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Týfurkh


So far it seemed the plan had worked out. Neither the Sightless nor any of the many subordinates around here seemed to have noticed that the soldiers accompanying him had only dressed themselves up as Wall Guards. Well... if those cultists thought that it would be a good thing to 'employ' an entirely anonymous workforce instead of dedicatedly hiring people and getting to know their faces... their problem!

Another biggie roamed around in the Pactmaker's might though: What if anyone would recognize him ? After all there had been an encounter in a now somewhat ruined clocktower and how many other people even remotely matching his appearance were roaming around here ? His cover story of being a defector would fall apart the moment anyone of the Sightless' people would notice that discrepancy and speak up, so better noone of those be here!

Despite the severity of the situation and the fact that he, by now, was completely disarmed, the Sightless' question made Týfurkh chuckle slightly: "Well, as you might have noticed, the army has been outside the city walls for the vast majority of the time. It has only happened very recently that the gates have opened and I actually had the chance to slip in and surrender."

The overall talk did not interest Týfurkh very much. What was of much greater importance to him was where they would lead him to. A prison cell ? An interrogation chamber to see whether he could betray any important secrets ? Or would they send him right towards the marching columns of cultists on their way out of the city, if such even existed ? If his role here was to have any influence a place somewhere above ground would be good, preferably with a window no matter how small so he could 'talk' to the outside world.

And where did his weapons and armor go ?
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Inside the Church of Insight





Sightless Talne frowned. The Pactmaker was lying. While Sightless Talne had never met this man before, his description match that of the pactmaker Sightless Nieffar fought in the Clocktower. A giant man covered in armor with a giant crossbow. This had to be the same man.

"I see." Sightless Talne said acting as if he believed the man's response. He took a moment to use the Insight scout his body for hidden weapons. "Of course that's why you only now came to us, rather than before."

The Sightless's brow creased. Talne could see the bottom contents of the pouch, a pile of salt. Though at the top of the pouch, that was a different matter. Atop the pile of salt, there was blank spot his Insight could not penatrate. A crystal jade candle... The blind spot couldn't be anything else.

"Well then. I suppose it would be good to get you out to safety, wouldn't it? ... but first-" The Sightless looked to the wall guard leading the pact maker. "-would you kindly relinquish this man of the pouch at his side and the crystal jade candle within it."




The lead soldier stiffened.

"C-candle?". He stuttered.

The man turned to Týfurkh, eyeing him nervously.

"Yes." The Sightless said. "The one in the pouch of salt."

"Of- of course your Sightlessness." The soldiers said with a bow, "Please forgive our negligence." The Sightless nodded at the man's words

The Sightless nodded as the soldier approached Týfurkh and began to slowly undo the pouch at Týfurkh's side. It seemed as if the Sightless might have seen through Týfurkh, however he still didn't seem to realize that he was speaking to soldiers in disguise.

"What now?" The soldier whispered to Týfurkh. "We can't give him the crystal, can we? Do we break it? Should we attack?"
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It was safe to say that a not so gentle wave of frost crept up Týfurkh's spine when he heard the words 'Jade Candle'. However, upon second thought, it could not come as that much of a surprise at all. If there were no other blind spots in one's vision the one that was there was pretty easy to see, wasn't it ?

It did not seem that the Sightless had any idea about the soldiers though, otherwise he would not have asked for one of them to take the candle off him but delegated the task to some other person. This way the probably most valuable asset they had in their hands stayed just there, just at a bit of a different position but that did not necessarily have to be a bad thing. For an instant Týfurkh considered using his magic to whisper something back, but then recalled that him moving his lips while nothing could be heard could just be even more suspicious.

So, trying to communicate without saying a word, Týfurkh did nothing to even try and stop the soldier from reaching into his pocket. They had to continue playing the game, attacking right now as a duo with one of them not having weapons was rather suicidal, but at least not making the best out of the moment of surprise they still might have. Maybe the Sightless could find him to be suspicious somehow, but even so he could still not blame his own men -- that it reality were not his own men at all -- for not noticing the same. As long as the soldiers in disguise were allowed to stay here playing the game would have proven worth it still.

"Oh that thing. I found it in a depot of the army while searching for anything useful before my, well, 'departure'. It looked quite precious so I took it with me." Of course that was a complete lie, but he had to present some continuation to his own cover story...

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A lone man strutted near the perimeter of the church, his fist tightened over his heart and his face a sort of twisted exaggeration of human emotions only seen in theater performances. It was as if whoever was making the expression and the original owner of that particular set of facial features were two different people, in the same way a puppeteer's hand and a new glove he was stretching out adapted to one another.

"Hear ye! Hear ye!"

The man's voice was nearly drowned out in its entirety by the chaos of war surrounding it. A puppeteer never sticks to one puppet, however.

"All who fight in the name of this great land! All who wish to destroy evil!" The second man sounded a lot like the first. Their features were identical, actually, but through careful tweaks to clothing and a noticeable pitch added to his voice, it was likely that no one would notice through the heat of war.

The first man raised a cupped hand to his mouth and spoke once more.

"We must invade the church! There is nothing but corruption happening within!"

The second replied. "A great corruption of what once was pure!"

It was a classic technique. If two conmen seemed to be on different sides, it complicated matters to their advantage. Likewise, the second man favoring a more spiritual argument to compliment the first man's more practical, rebellious shouting added an organic touch to what might have otherwise been two parrots mindlessly repeating words. And Octavio had far more tact than that.

A third illusion skulked near them, a silent guard meant to prevent any unfortunate interruptions. He stood beside a few other men who had been drawn in by the illusion's words and raised his weapon in a powerful motion. He furrowed his brow and took a moment to wet his tongue before speaking.

"What these men shout must be nothing short of the truth!" He turned to the other men and women nearby, trying to meet as many eyes as possible and respond to silent doubts with a thundering approval from a man who seemed to be just like them until moments ago. "We must storm the church!"

"Storm the church!"

"We must!"

"Until our last breath!"

More voices, more weapons drawn. It was a disheveled and disorganized attempt at what an army was, but it was an army nonetheless. An army that was amassing quite a lot of new, stringless puppets.

***


"We're getting quite a bit of progress here," Octavio muttered, without moving a muscle. His eyes remained clamped shut and his hands remained on either temple. "All a rockslide needs is a couple of good pebbles in the right direction."
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Chres smiled. ”Well how about that. Come on. while they storm the front, We can hit them from the back.”




"Right." Sightless Talne said in a flat tone.

Swallowing, The soldier took the crystal Jade candle from Týfurkh. Slowly he turned towards the Sightless.

"Sightless Talne!" A cult guard interrupted. There was a touch of worry in his voice.

The Sightless frowned. "What is it?"

"The townsfolk! Their heading for the church! There are people in the street riling them up!"




While most of the mob went straight for the front of the Church, there were a few who thought to tackle the back entrance. Four Cultist Stood in front trying to fend them off.

”Come On!” Chres Shouted, as he took out his hatchet. ”we need to take them out before they reinforce the entrance!”




"What?!" The Sightless said, turning his back from the pactmaker and the soldier.

The head soldier took this moment to make a move.

"Now!" He shouted.

The Sightless' eyes widened as he realized what was about to happen. He turned as the soldier threw the crystal jade candle on the ground and slammed his foot down on the candle with all his might.

The crystal, rather than shattering, cracked. The cracks lit up as if the light inside was trying to escape.

Sightless Talne's expression darkened. "You! You were in on this farce too?!"

The Sightless' fingers elongated into tendrils. "Intruders!" The Sightless shouted. "Kill them all!"
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by 13org
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Karina Frost





At first, Karina was genuinely worried Týfurkh walked inside together with the disguised soldiers. While the plan was undeniably a good one, it was still a very risky move for Týfurkh and the soldiers disguising themselves as cultists. The longer they stood inside, the bigger was the chance the sightless would realize there was something wrong.

"Come on... Come on! Where's that damn signal!?" Karina mumbled, carefully watching for the soldier that was going to signal them if their bait had worked.

Only a few seconds after, a cultist came out to stay on the lookout. The moment he did, Karina immediately recognized him as one of the disguised soldiers. A few seconds after, he stopped and adjusted his boots, the signal they had decided for them to do if their plan had worked.

Just as that happened, Chres quickly looked to Octavio, signalling that it was time for him to do his part of the plan. As Octavio began concentrating, one after another, illusions started forming outside of the church, their inflamed voices fanning the fire of rebellion among those who had also fell victims to the cultists.

Just as if a small ember was thrown in the middle of dry grass, soon after Octavio's illusions stopped speaking, more voices joined, agreeing and shouting. One after another, until there were enough people that it would be simply impossible for the cultists to ignore.

"Perfect. We need to act quickly if we want to take full advantage of the distraction." Karina said, nodding towards Chres and agreeing with him as he said for them to storm the back of the church while the angry mob Octavio had started would go for the front entrance.

Unfortunately, it appeared it wouldn't be as easy as they had thought. Despite the huge confusion going on in the front of the church, the cultists still had left four of them to be on the lookout on the back of the church.

Just a few steps behind Chres, Karina simply nodded as she unsheathed her rapier, a thin layer of ice forming around it's blade as she lunged towards one of the cultists.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Jerkchicken
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It was a couple of nerve-wracking minutes watching Týfurkh being escorted into the repurposed inn. The ruse being discovered prematurely worried him as not only would an ally be killed, but then they would have lost their element of surprise and be forced to fight a horde of cultists. Not only that, but there was at least one Sightless that they had spotted, and likely a handful more. He could feel his nervous energy running through him like electricity as they stood there. Jen would try and steel himself as he took breaths to calm down and stood there quietly waiting. Nothing else could be done, they had selected their plan and now they needed to see if it would work. All he could is wait and take advantage of this pause to rest some more.

Eventually the fake mob rallied a real one, and the soldier with the signal appeared. It was time to strike! "Agreed. Now do we beeline it to the basement or should one of us try and help find Týfurkh's gear? I can't imagine it's going to be conveniently placed for him to retrieve it." He said as he took to their rear, letting Chres and Karina act as the vanguard.
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