February 2024's Writer Support Thread

Here’s a snippet of what I wrote last night (formatted to be read easily on the forum, not to record proper indentation).

Summary

*if (theuspec = 1) or (theuspec = 5)
#It’s time to use my new ${wisardric} skills to escape–however conspicuously.

Glancing around, you’re relieved not to see Theurges operating any of the nearest boats. You’ll have at least a slight reprieve before anyone starts using magic to pursue you. Pulse pounding, you reopen one of the cuts in your hand.

“Did you hear me, ${girl}? I sai–” When you @{(theuspec = 1) float off the ground|sprint off at an obviously unnatural speed}, the Alastor recoils with a shriek of terror. “Goety!” Gasps and yells rise from the crowd @{(theuspec = 1) below. Every eye cranes up toward you, and for an instant your memory flickers back to Rim Square and Theurge Chirex. Rising on your own power fills you with giddy exhilaration|all around you, with people stumbling in their haste to get out of your way}.

No point in subtlety now. You @{(theuspec = 1) slow your arcing flight for a moment|leap gracefully to the top of a pile of timbers,} and cry at the top of your lungs:
*if ((religion = 0) and (natl > 50)) or ((religion > 0) and (natl > 70))
“Shayard will be free!”
*elseif religion > 20
“Stand in the truth of kenon and be free!”
*elseif (religion > 10) or ((religion = 0) and (skep < 50))
“The Angels rebuke you, servant of a false Hegemony!”
*elseif (religion > 1)
“In the name of the Blessed Angels and their Eclect!”
*else
“The Thaumatarch will fall!”
*if (theuspec = 1)
Then you thrust your arm northward, pour your will into that impetus, and hurtle off through the air on a terrifyingly unbalanced course.

You’re airborne for less than a minute; that’s all the time it takes to reach the Mesniel Shambles, a densely populated maze of tall, ramshackle buildings and narrow alleys where you’ve spent much of the last two weeks. It takes all your concentration to slow your descent, keep yourself from spinning out of control, and avoid the chimney stacks and tiled roofs looming up on all sides. As you make your final turn and plunge between two houses, you glimpse two other human-sized silhouettes rising into the sky from the Locks.

And then you’re hitting the ground, hard enough to wind you but not break a leg, scattering a handful of terrified locals who run screaming in both directions. You run as well, screaming, “Goety!” as loud as the rest (if a bit more breathlessly) when you reach the first crowded market road.

By the time the Theurges streak past overhead, there’s no distinguishing you from anyone else in the churning mass. When they land and start detaining people for questioning, you’re just one of hundreds ducking off into any side alley you can find.

As you’d hoped, there’s no way for the small watch-force of aristarchal guards and even sparser Alastor force to comb the Shambles effectively–even with the help of the two dozen Theurges who appear within minutes. If you’d been trying to fight, the magi would have made short work of you; if there’d been more of you, they’d surely have used it as an excuse to round up dozens for Harrowing. But for all their power, they’re not able to find a single fleeing rebel in a crowd.

*if (theuspec = 5)
Then you dart off, falcon-fast, across the narrow beam of the lock-gate and into the alleys on the far side.

The Alastors give chase, of course, but their armor doesn’t just slow their running–it keeps them from crossing water confidently or vaulting walls. They can’t even keep you in eyeshot, let alone catch you. In the minutes it takes them to rouse some Theurges from canal-boat duty, you’ve already reached the denser alleyways of the city and have slowed to a normal pace again. You blend in perfectly with the crowds, all witnesses left far behind with your pursuers.

As the magi swarm overhead like frustrated wasps, you find yourself light-headed…not just from blood loss and the high-stakes pursuit, but sheer exhilaration. Being able to move faster than a springing cat, while everyone else around you is as sluggish as an ox in deep water? That’s one of the headiest experiences you’ve ever had. The feeling’s an illusion, you know, but for the moment it’s as if you’re untouchable. And you relish it.

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